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We welcome back the Advance Scout as the Jays wrap up their season series against the A's with their only visit to Whateveritscallednow Coliseum. So far this year the teams have split a pair of three game series in Toronto, the most recent of which was last week. Since the All-Star Break the Jays are 18-13, and are playing extremely consistent baseball with few highs and lows - their longest win streak was three games, and their longest losing streak two. Meanwhile the A's are 16-15 in the same time period, though interestingly they've been doing it more with the bats than with the arms, a reversal of the beginning of the year. What else? We'll find out next, on Advance Scout.


Thursday: Ricky Romero v. Tim Cahill

The Jays missed Cahill last time around, though he shut them down at the beginning of the year, limiting them to a solitary run over eight innings. Cahill hasn't been able to match his superlative 2010 season, thanks to a normal batted ball rate - .290 v. .236 - and as a result his ERA has risen by a run, though he's decreased his FIP and xFIP by a bit, and all three numbers are hovering around 3.90. Cahill doesn't strike out a ton, and he gives up his share of walks, but where he really excels in is keeping the ball on the ground, as he's in the top six in the majors in both GB% and GB/FB ratio. Despite this being his third year in the majors he's still just 23. Cahill doesn't throw especially hard, averaging around 89 MPH with his sinking fastball, which is about 10 MPH faster than his change up. Still he gets a decent number of swinging strikes. His second best pitch after his fastball is a low 80s slider; more commonly he'll mix in a mediocre curveball in the high 70s, with the occasional slider against righties. Aaron Hill and Adam Lind are the only Jays with more than 10 at bats, and they've both been mediocre.

Friday: Brett Cecil v. Rich Harden


Canadian Rich Harden has only been up in the bigs since the beginning of July, thanks to one of a plethora of recurring injuries. He remains an A despite a myriad of trade deadline rumours, and while he limited the Blue Jays to one run when they played at Skydome last week, he has been mediocre overall in his 46 innings. He still strikes out a lot of batters, but walks nearly 4 per 9 innings and gives up a lot of line drives. He no longer throws mid-90s heat, settling in comfortably in the low-90s instead. He also throws a sort of knuckle splitter with lots of movement, as well as a change up that no longer counts as a plus pitch. Once in a blue moon he'll mix in a slider. Yunel Escobar is 4 for 8 with a walk, Jose Bautista 1/5 with 3 BB, and Adam Lind is 0/6 with 5 Ks.

Saturday: Henderson Alvarez v. Gio Gonzalez

I'm not quite sure how Gio Gonzalez does it. He's always struck out batters, averaging close to a batter an inning over his career, but he walks about 4.5 in the same time period, and he's doing the same this year. He has been successful at keeping the ball in the park and on the ground, but not to an inordinate degree. The lefty gets a lot of swings and misses with his fastball, which comes in hard at around 92-93 and has measured as one of the best in baseball this year. He'll mix in the occasional low 80s change up, but his outpitch is a superd, 10-4 breaking curveball with two-plane movement. He hasn't been quite as successful with it this year, but it's a strong pitch overall. Adam Lind is 4 for 11 lifetime against Gonzalez.

Sunday: Brad Mills v. Guillermo Moscoso

Moscoso has skated by on smoke and mirrors so far in his first extended big league stint. The 28 year old strikes out fewer than 5 per 9 and walks over 3, and gives up a ton of fly balls. A .237 BABIP and a miniscule FB/HR% will do that for you though; don't look for the success to continue though. Like most of the other Athletics, Moscoso goes fastball-curve-change, in about that order, with the fastball coming in a 90 and the other two 10 MPH slower. The Jays could only muster 3 hits the first time they faced Moscoso last week.

On the offensive side of the ledger the Athletics have been bad, the 3rd worst hitting team in the AL this year, mustering up a lowly .247/.315/.369 (or about 8% worse than Juan Rivera). Three of the four worst hitting teams reside in the AL West (you should be able to figure which are which), draw your own conclusions. The only bright spot has been Josh Willingham, who's hitting .249/.331/.473; he's the only A with more than 12 home runs. Given that Willingham is a 32 year old journeyman, this may fall into mixed blessing territory. Rookie Jemile Weeks is flitting around a .300 batting average, though he walks about twice a month and has a .347 BABIP. So overall, pretty depressing. First baseman Brandon Allen is up with the A's after raking for three straight years in AAA, he might get a start or two as Conor Jackson is experiencing neck tightness.

Infirmary: Brett Anderson (Tommy John surgery, out for season), Dallas Braden (left shoulder, out for season), Conor Jackson (stiff neck, day-to-day,) Michael Wurtz (thumb, 15 day DL)

Credit: All stats from fangraphs.com




Advance Scout: Athletics, August 18-21 | 70 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Mike Green - Thursday, August 18 2011 @ 07:46 PM EDT (#241471) #
Great to have the Scout back.
92-93 - Thursday, August 18 2011 @ 07:47 PM EDT (#241472) #
It's a pleasure reading these. Good work.
Alex Obal - Thursday, August 18 2011 @ 07:48 PM EDT (#241473) #
Nice. The world is right again.
Dave Rutt - Thursday, August 18 2011 @ 07:51 PM EDT (#241474) #
Someone got a little too into the World Cup last year.
Anders - Thursday, August 18 2011 @ 08:03 PM EDT (#241475) #
Argentina! Brazil!
damos - Thursday, August 18 2011 @ 08:09 PM EDT (#241476) #
The Jays Twitter account just tweeted:

"LHP Brad Mills optioned to Las Vegas...RHP Joel Carreno to be added to roster tomorrow."
92-93 - Thursday, August 18 2011 @ 08:13 PM EDT (#241477) #
Carreno's lack of command is worrisome but anyone getting the start over Mills is more than fine by me.
China fan - Thursday, August 18 2011 @ 08:19 PM EDT (#241479) #
Mills demoted, Carreno promoted. Just for the record, I suggested this scenario a week ago and was scoffed at...
Maldoff - Thursday, August 18 2011 @ 08:40 PM EDT (#241480) #
Wow, I guess management really wants to see what they have in the minors. I don't love bringing guys up straight from AA (see Stewart and Alvarez), but I guess they are the best options.

What worries me is I remember hearing Anthopolous speaking about Lawrie earlier in the year and saying he wouldn't bring him up until he was "fully cooked". I feel like he has gone against these ideals with the recent pitching promotions.
Ron - Thursday, August 18 2011 @ 09:21 PM EDT (#241483) #
Good lord do the A's have a sorry batting lineup. Coco Crisp hitting 3rd? Haha. If Billy Beane wasn't one of the owners, his job should be on the line.
TamRa - Thursday, August 18 2011 @ 09:25 PM EDT (#241484) #
Mills demoted, Carreno promoted. Just for the record, I suggested this scenario a week ago and was scoffed at...

Apparently Perez gets the start and Carreno will be in relief.

I feel like he has gone against these ideals with the recent pitching promotions.


Maybe - or maybe these pitchers are more ready than many of us imagine.
Gerry - Thursday, August 18 2011 @ 09:26 PM EDT (#241485) #
Luis Perez gets the start, Carreno goes to the pen.

The issue with Carreno in the minor leagues has been he loses faith easily in his fastball. He goes to his slider too often. So watch and see if his FB gets hit and see if he shakes off the catcher to go to the slider. In the mnors, as a starter, they had to force him to throw more fastballs.

I think Carreno is a pitcher who does need to pitch out of the bullpen first to get his feet wet.
Anders - Thursday, August 18 2011 @ 09:40 PM EDT (#241488) #
I'm a huge Carreno fan, irrationally so, though I do doubt he is ready for the majors. His command has regressed this year, and he's been downright wild at times.

Still, he keeps the ball in the park and strikes out a ton of guys, so I'm optimistic long term, though he may end up in the pen.

Parker - Thursday, August 18 2011 @ 09:47 PM EDT (#241489) #
There are some who call me... Tim.
John Northey - Thursday, August 18 2011 @ 11:05 PM EDT (#241491) #
Carreno will be interesting. 10.2 K/9 this year, 11.3 last. 4.5 BB/9 this year, but just 2.0 last year. His hits per 9 was at just 6.7 this year after 4 years of 8+.

Carreno started in the Dominican Summer League at 19, then climbed a level a year - rookie, A-, A, A+, AA but is skipping AAA and going straight to the majors this year. 138 innings is his career high (2010) and he is already up to 135 this year. Odds are he has just 30 more innings before being shut down or about 5 starts.

If his control has improved he could be good, but 5 walks in his last start doesn't look good.
uglyone - Thursday, August 18 2011 @ 11:19 PM EDT (#241495) #
I like the Carreno callup, but I'm less enthused about Perez in the rotation. I would have just stuck Carreno in the rotation and see how it went. I'm happy enough that Perez has turned into an effective reliever, but I'm not going to buy that he has any future as a starter.
92-93 - Thursday, August 18 2011 @ 11:45 PM EDT (#241496) #
Yunel hasn't looked comfortable at the plate the past couple of games to the standard he's set over the season. Perhaps he could use a day off.
Dave Till - Friday, August 19 2011 @ 07:45 AM EDT (#241507) #
Want to see something interesting and/or scary? Here's the list of regular players with the lowest OBP in MLB:

1. Vernon Wells .231
2. Miguel Olivo .250
3. Alex Rios .255
4. Alex Gonzalez .258
5. Orlando Cabrera .268
6. Aaron Hill .273

Just think: in an alternate universe - if the Jays hadn't made any trades, and if Olivo had accepted arbitration - five of those six guys could be Jays.

What has happened to Aaron Hill? Is he ever going to recover, or is he done?

Mike Green - Friday, August 19 2011 @ 09:08 AM EDT (#241511) #
I like the decision to give the start to Perez with Carreno to the bullpen.  Perez has had 29 serviceable outings in low leverage relief in the big leagues and should have a fair bit left in his arm. 

The Jay offence right now is very, very good.  At the start of the season, the club had a slightly better than league average offence thanks to Jose Bautista playing like Babe Ruth.  The additions of Thames, Rasmus and Lawrie have made this a wide and deep offence (that is a lot of fun to watch almost every day).  Scoring 7 runs against Trevor Cahill in a night game in Oakland is not easy at all to do.  Rasmus' homer was a thing of beauty. 

Magpie - Friday, August 19 2011 @ 09:20 AM EDT (#241516) #
Rasmus' homer was a thing of beauty.

He hasn't actually done much since he got here (not that I'm worried). He's staked out his place along with Bautista as a firm upholder of the Never-Smile-While-The-Game-Is-On club. But man - does he have a gorgeous swing or what?
Ryan Day - Friday, August 19 2011 @ 09:29 AM EDT (#241518) #
Perez-Carreno may well be an unofficial tandem start; you wouldn't expect Perez to go more than 5 innings, so someone needs to pick up the slack. Four inning for Perez followed by four for Carreno could be quite effective.

Speaking of relievers & starters, John Lott had a nice piece on Jesse Litsch's conversion to the bullpen, which seems to be going very well so far. Pat Hentgen talks about the difference in preparation & workout regime for relievers, which isn't a subject I've heard much about.
Hodgie - Friday, August 19 2011 @ 09:29 AM EDT (#241519) #
Agreed Mike. I am in San Jose for the week and was watching the game while having dinner. When Rasmus smoked his homerun the bartender noticed my reaction and wanted to make sure that I wasn't a Cardinals fan. He then proceeded to expound upon the arrogance of TLR and wondered sadly why Beane was no longer capable of doing for his Athletics what Anthopoulos is doing for the Jays. TLR is apparently a four letter word in the greater Bay area now and Moneyball is just a cruel joke.
BlueJayWay - Friday, August 19 2011 @ 09:38 AM EDT (#241521) #
What has happened to Aaron Hill? Is he ever going to recover, or is he done?

Hill has been done for a while.  Maybe another organization could resuscitate (sure I spelled that wrong) him, but he's done here, imo.
Hodgie - Friday, August 19 2011 @ 09:46 AM EDT (#241522) #
Rasmus has been slow to get going since the trade. Subjectively he does seem to be hitting the ball much harder as of late and boy does he ever have easy power. The homeruns in Oakland and Seattle were very impressive!
MatO - Friday, August 19 2011 @ 09:54 AM EDT (#241523) #

Perez-Carreno may well be an unofficial tandem start

Stop already.  You don't want to get Mike Green started.  Of course, the last 2 Mills appearances have been tandem starts.  Unfortunately, they were unplanned.

Mike Green - Friday, August 19 2011 @ 10:10 AM EDT (#241525) #
Well, I rejected Springsteen's Two Hearts Are Better Than One and U2's Two Hearts Beat as One as too easy  for the song of  the day.  "arm and arm we are the harmless sociopaths" was however too much to resist.
greenfrog - Friday, August 19 2011 @ 10:27 AM EDT (#241529) #
Rasmus does have a beautiful swing. I would like to see him drive the ball the other way at times, though. He seems to get into trouble when he tries to pull pitches on the outer half.

On a completely different note, I just checked Doc's season stats. Apart from his abridged 2005 season, you could argue that (at age 34) he's having his best season ever. Some highlights:

- Traditional stats: 15-5 record, 2.53 ERA
- 8.6 K/9 IP (best ratio of his career)
- 7.7 K/BB (leads league; best ratio of his career)
- 184.2 IP (leads league)
- 0.4 HR/9 IP (his best ratio since 2002)
- 1.045 WHIP
- 1.1 BB/9 IP (leads league)

Doc never ceases to amaze.



greenfrog - Friday, August 19 2011 @ 10:36 AM EDT (#241531) #
Oh, and opponents are hitting 245/269/318 against him. That's the rough equivalent of having 2011 Aaron Hill hit in every plate appearance.
Mike Green - Friday, August 19 2011 @ 10:38 AM EDT (#241532) #
And more innings.  Doc has led the league in complete games 5 of the past 6 years and is doing it again in 2011.  He also again leads the league in innings pitched. 

A few years ago, the comparisons for Doc were with pitchers like Mike Mussina.  At this point, the comparisons would be with someone like Lefty Grove.   When Doc is finished, it wouldn't shock me if he were seen as a bit of Grove and a bit of Cy Young.

John Northey - Friday, August 19 2011 @ 11:00 AM EDT (#241535) #
Wonder if the Phillies could hit a budget crunch and decide to send Halladay back here :) Yeah, yeah, I know, not a hope.

Still, their rotation is...
Halladay: $20 mil a year through 2014
Lee: $11 this year, then $21.5/25/25/25/27.5
Hamels: $9.5 this year, arbitration then free agent 147 ERA+ over 172 IP so far.
Worley: First full season
Oswalt: $16 this year, $16 next or $2 mil buyout
Blanton: $8.5 this year and next (only starter over 4 for ERA, just 34 IP)
Kendrick: $2.45 this year, arbitration, swing man.

Wow. In 2012 they will be paying $20 + $21.5 + $10-$20 + $0.5 + $2mil (buyout for Oswalt I expect) + $8.5. $67.5 million for a 5 man rotation (plus buyout) and that is with a guy at league minimum (estimate $15 for Hamels). Add in Ryan Howard ($20), Chase Utley ($15), Victorino ($9.5) and others and they have about $130 million in payroll locked up. Yikes. Still, they have a heck of a team and will be in the playoffs this year. For a franchise that had 1 WS title from 1883 to 2007 I guess it is well worth it.
PeteMoss - Friday, August 19 2011 @ 11:04 AM EDT (#241537) #
As Mike Wilner posted on his blog last night, Rasmus has pretty solid after starting 0-13 - Since starting his Blue Jays career on an 0-for-13 run, Rasmus is hitting .306 with 7 doubles and 3 homers in 16 games (that translates to 70 and 30 over a full season). The .565 slugging percentage over that span is terrific, the fact that hes only walked once is troubling. But Im willing to give him time on that, seeing how hes been an on-base guy his whole career.
Lylemcr - Friday, August 19 2011 @ 11:09 AM EDT (#241538) #

A couple comments after watching last night's game

1. Remind me why Romero isn't considered a #1 starter?

2. I thought Rasmus looked good last night.  He had some real quality swings last night.  He really hit that home run a mile. 

3. EE looks really confident up there.  A totally different player than the one we saw earlier this year.

Ryan Day - Friday, August 19 2011 @ 11:17 AM EDT (#241542) #
3. EE looks really confident up there.  A totally different player than the one we saw earlier this year.

Or ever, really. While he's certainly flashed his potential on occasions (I'm a little surprised the Twins didn't offer him a 5-year deal), I can't recall him ever having two good weeks in a row. He's always been able to do a bit of everything - average, patience, power - but never all at the same time.
92-93 - Friday, August 19 2011 @ 11:21 AM EDT (#241545) #
Romero isn't considered an ace because he has a 7.56 K/9 and 3.24 BB/9. If he can't increase the K rate the BBs must come down before he can pick up that elite status. Until then I'm more than fine with the #1/#2 he has become.
Dave Rutt - Friday, August 19 2011 @ 11:23 AM EDT (#241546) #
1. Remind me why Romero isn't considered a #1 starter?

This came up yesterday as well so I'll offer my take. If he does it for another year he will be. In 2009 he wasn't great. In 2010 he was above-average but not ace-level. People aren't ready to say a guy's an ace based on just one year.
uglyone - Friday, August 19 2011 @ 11:55 AM EDT (#241555) #
The Jay offence right now is very, very good. At the start of the season, the club had a slightly better than league average offence thanks to Jose Bautista playing like Babe Ruth. The additions of Thames, Rasmus and Lawrie have made this a wide and deep offence (that is a lot of fun to watch almost every day). Scoring 7 runs against Trevor Cahill in a night game in Oakland is not easy at all to do. Rasmus' homer was a thing of beauty.

What i really liked is not only that they scored the runs, but how they scored them. Cahill like you say is a very good pitcher, and he looked very sharp at the start, getting the first 5 very easily and looking to settle into a groove....but then our much improved depth in the order came through with Rasmus getting the two out double after battling through a bunch of pitches, and Lawrie battling hard for that dinky rbi single. What could have been a very quick two innings for Cahill (and would most likely have been if it had still been Hill in that 6-hole), suddenly was him having to battle through a couple of tough at bats and conceding a run while elevating his pitch count. Then the next time through again Bautista and EE put together a couple of very nice tough at bats for Cahill to battle through to get the second run, and then right as his pitch count that inning was elevating, boom Rasmus with the sweet sweet swing gets the big blast and suddenly it's 4-0 and we're well in control. Seems to me just that little bit of extra quality and depth in the lineup completely changed what could easily have been a quality outing by Cahill into a rout. That's the kind of offensive depth we're so used to seeing from a team like the Red Sox .
Kasi - Friday, August 19 2011 @ 12:03 PM EDT (#241557) #
Because beating one of the worst offences in the AL doesn't really prove anything? I'm sure Romero would be much happier if he could get those sort of results against the Sox or Yankees.

Improve his peripherals and improve his consistency against good teams and he'll be an Ace. For now he's a 2 who sometimes flashes ace results.
uglyone - Friday, August 19 2011 @ 12:12 PM EDT (#241560) #
He's an Ace who has had problems against one single team in his career - which also happens to be the best offense in baseball.
Kasi - Friday, August 19 2011 @ 12:16 PM EDT (#241563) #
He's not an ace until his peripherals get better (like Mike said before with his walk rate/K rate) and he shows he can maintain current level of results without a freakishly lucky BABIP against of .242.
uglyone - Friday, August 19 2011 @ 12:31 PM EDT (#241569) #
He's an ace who is top-5 in IP/GS, ERA, and GB% (and 7th in whip), despite pitching in by far the toughest offensive division in the league.
92-93 - Friday, August 19 2011 @ 12:35 PM EDT (#241571) #
So essentially you only use xFIP and wOBA when they support your case. Gotcha.
uglyone - Friday, August 19 2011 @ 12:51 PM EDT (#241574) #
I like xFIP, but I'd never use xFIP to claim Morrow was an ace either, even though it says he is.

I use all the numbers I can, and there's always outliers in every stat profile.

That being said, Ricky's 3.63xFIP is in the same ballpark as guys like Weaver 3.63, Lester 3.41, Cain 3.58, Beckett 3.55, Masterson 3.43, and a whack of other Ace-like pitchers, while Ricky pitches more innings than most all of them.
Mike Green - Friday, August 19 2011 @ 01:15 PM EDT (#241578) #
Romero fields his position very well, and has allowed many fewer line drives than usual this year.  You would expect his BABIP to be down and for his ERA to beat his FIP by a noticeable margin. 

On the other hand, arguing that he is as good as Lester requires one to view one-year ERA as the key piece.  It seems to me that the easiest thing is to say: "Romero has been a good and durable pitcher for a couple of years, and has taken a step forward in 2011.", and not argue about whether he is a #1 or a #2 or a #1A. 

uglyone - Friday, August 19 2011 @ 01:42 PM EDT (#241582) #
actually it's two-year ERA. (3.24 for Lester, 3.27 for Ricky).

and two-year everything, actually (i.e. everything but Ricky's rookie year).
uglyone - Friday, August 19 2011 @ 01:45 PM EDT (#241583) #
and actually, their career numbers are pretty dang close as well.
BlueJayWay - Friday, August 19 2011 @ 01:49 PM EDT (#241585) #
What i really liked is not only that they scored the runs, but how they scored them. Cahill like you say is a very good pitcher, and he looked very sharp at the start, getting the first 5 very easily and looking to settle into a groove....but then our much improved depth in the order came through with Rasmus getting the two out double after battling through a bunch of pitches, and Lawrie battling hard for that dinky rbi single. What could have been a very quick two innings for Cahill (and would most likely have been if it had still been Hill in that 6-hole), suddenly was him having to battle through a couple of tough at bats and conceding a run while elevating his pitch count. Then the next time through again Bautista and EE put together a couple of very nice tough at bats for Cahill to battle through to get the second run, and then right as his pitch count that inning was elevating, boom Rasmus with the sweet sweet swing gets the big blast and suddenly it's 4-0 and we're well in control. Seems to me just that little bit of extra quality and depth in the lineup completely changed what could easily have been a quality outing by Cahill into a rout. That's the kind of offensive depth we're so used to seeing from a team like the Red Sox .

Absolutely.  I love the way this lineup is "thickening".
Magpie - Friday, August 19 2011 @ 01:55 PM EDT (#241586) #
I think Romero isn't considered an ace because he has a 12-9 W-L record. Otherwise, his season wouldn't look at all out of place in Roy Halladay's career (he walks more guys, but he gives up fewer hits.)

He could very easily be 16-7 (four starts with Game Scores of 60 or better, in which he went 0-2). Which might change the perception.
Alex Obal - Friday, August 19 2011 @ 01:59 PM EDT (#241587) #
Halladay has a 3.37 WPA and he never has to face the Phillies. Romero has a 2.97 and he pitches in the AL East. Just sayin'. Of course, the Phillies do ride Doc a bit harder into late-inning, high-leverage situations (as they should) than the Jays do Romero, but it's still on Fangraphs for the world to see.
Dave Rutt - Friday, August 19 2011 @ 02:11 PM EDT (#241591) #
Absolutely. I love the way this lineup is "thickening".

So do I, and I also love the word "thickening". Great descriptive.
Magpie - Friday, August 19 2011 @ 02:12 PM EDT (#241592) #
On a somewhat related theme, on his website Bill James has been looking at starting pitchers and the quality of the opposition starter. He just went wandering through the 1960s and reports that, somewhat to his surprise, Whitey Ford faced the third toughest batch of opposition starters of any AL starter in 1963 - 12 #1 starters, 11 #2 starters, just 4 fourth starters. Ford went 24-7 anyway, and James suggests: a) that he was probably quite a bit better than that, and that b) Whitey Ford

over the course of his career may have faced the most difficult opposing starting pitchers of any pitcher in history. I know that Stengel often held Ford back off-rotation to match him up against tough teams and tough pitchers, and I know that Ford was near the league lead in facing strong opponents not only in 1963, but also in 1965.

Ford's career record (236-106) really should speak for itself, but I think there's a tendency to regard him as a product of the mighty team he played for. It was a great team, but they did not play .690 ball in any single season during the course of his career. It's more accurate to say that the mighty team was a product of the three all-time greats - Mantle, Berra, and Ford - who were in the lineup all those years.
Spifficus - Friday, August 19 2011 @ 02:17 PM EDT (#241595) #

This came up yesterday as well so I'll offer my take. If he does it for another year he will be. In 2009 he wasn't great. In 2010 he was above-average but not ace-level. People aren't ready to say a guy's an ace based on just one year.

That pretty much sums it up for me. The question right now is, is he a #2 having an ace-like year, or has he developed into an ace / #1? Another year of this performance will sway my thinking.

Matthew E - Friday, August 19 2011 @ 02:32 PM EDT (#241597) #
There are no consensus definitions of "ace" or "#2 pitcher", so it is kind of silly to argue about whether Romero is one or the other. Obviously, he is each, both, and neither.
jgadfly - Friday, August 19 2011 @ 02:33 PM EDT (#241598) #

" ...EE looks really confident up there..."  Lylemcr 

       During the preamble to the game there was a video of EE at batting practice.  It was of particular interest to see stationed immediately behind EE, watching every pitch and offering encouragement , none other than his 'fishing buddy', Jose. 

      

Mike Green - Friday, August 19 2011 @ 02:35 PM EDT (#241600) #
The Yankees of the 50s and the early 60s were also aided by the AL's slow integration pattern.  In Ford's great (and only Cy Young) 1961 season, he went 25-4 with 283 innings of 117 ERA+ ball.  That was an expansion year, and also the year of Mantle and Maris. 

Personally, I think that Ford's contributions are neatly summed up by 3100 innings of 133 ERA+ regular-season ball and 10-8 with a 2.71 ERA in 144 innings in the World Series.  A very, very good pitcher but not quite Halladay...

Magpie - Friday, August 19 2011 @ 02:35 PM EDT (#241601) #
Wasn't Encarnacion one of the "get rid of these guys" Gang of Four back in May? As soon as Jayson Nix was ready? I missed that whole discussion.
Magpie - Friday, August 19 2011 @ 02:37 PM EDT (#241602) #
You can't mention the 1961 Yankees without me giving you my favourite Brain Stumper!

Which team led the AL in runs scored in 1961?
Mike Green - Friday, August 19 2011 @ 02:57 PM EDT (#241606) #
Cash and Kaline vs. Mantle and Maris.  As always, I'll take the cash.
Magpie - Friday, August 19 2011 @ 03:06 PM EDT (#241609) #
Don't knock the Rock...
Spifficus - Friday, August 19 2011 @ 11:24 PM EDT (#241616) #

There are no consensus definitions of "ace" or "#2 pitcher", so it is kind of silly to argue about whether Romero is one or the other. Obviously, he is each, both, and neither.

Right, but I think repeatability would be a factor that can be agreed on. Personally I can't call someone an ace unless I have an expectation he's going to actually pitch like one (or has pitched like one over an extended period of time). No matter the definition, once you think he's gotten there it's just as important that he can stay there. Romero hasn't proven that yet... Hopefully he will in 2012.

hypobole - Saturday, August 20 2011 @ 01:26 AM EDT (#241625) #
I only remember #1 to #5 starters being defined one time, although I can't remember where or when. IIRC a #1 has one plus plus pitch and 2 other plus pitches, plus command and plus control.  If anyone else saw this, or has another definition for various starters, I'd appreciate it being posted.
TamRa - Saturday, August 20 2011 @ 01:34 AM EDT (#241626) #
Essentially, "Ace" carries emotional intangibles that "#1" doesn't. Roy halladay is an "ace" - CC Sabathia is an "ace"

Jared Weaver is a #1...Roy Oswalt is a "#1"

Some guys, like Cliff Lee or Zach Grienke, you maybe waver on which they are.

Romero is, for me, a #1 (and Brandon Morrow could turn into one at any moment - he's real close) but he's not an "ace" in that undefinable emotional sense.

But the thing is - i don't care about the emotional stuff - whether he "feels" like an Ace. He feels to me like a guy who i expect to pitch well enough to win every time he takes the mound. the only time I go into a game with ANY doubt that we'll win a Romero start is if, say, David price or Felix Hernandez or Sabathia is pitching for the other guys....or if it's Boston.

greenfrog - Saturday, August 20 2011 @ 08:12 AM EDT (#241634) #
So, should the Jays claim Wandy Rodriguez off waivers? It would be an interesting gamble, especially if AA can convince the Astros to cover part of his remaining contract.
Mike Green - Saturday, August 20 2011 @ 01:37 PM EDT (#241663) #
Last night's homer surrendered by Cecil illustrates one of my points about him. The pitch Willingham hit was down and on the inner half of the plate. With the wind blowing in from right field in the evening in Oakland, you can either get him out up and in, down and in and off the plate, or away. Up and in can be particularly useful to take advantage of the large foul territory.

Cecil obviously did not have good control last night, but did pretty well regardless.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, August 20 2011 @ 08:58 PM EDT (#241689) #

So, should the Jays claim Wandy Rodriguez off waivers?

Yes.   If A.A. covers all of the remaining monies owed he might get by with lesser value - possibly Henderson Alvarez and a PTBNL or cash considerations.

Nolan - Saturday, August 20 2011 @ 11:30 PM EDT (#241693) #
I don't there is any way I trade Alvarez for Wandy Rodriguez; he's a good pitcher, but is 34 yrs old and owed plenty of dough.

The new ownership for the Astros has publicly committed to lowering payroll and so any trade of Wandy would be a salary dump pure and simple. I can see someone like Litsch or Jenkins or Mills, etc being offered, but not any of our prized prospects.
TamRa - Sunday, August 21 2011 @ 01:28 AM EDT (#241703) #

So, should the Jays claim Wandy Rodriguez off waivers?

No.  


Not interested. It's not my money and the jays have plenty so I don't really care about that - but I do care that he makes enough that he will tie up a rotation spot for the next three years.

the only way I'd want him is if i was sure i could flip him within a year for more than i gave up, or I gave up so little that i don't care if I lose it.

The one thing I DON'T want is him with the Jays for the next thre years. He doesn't fit the plan.


Besides, Baltimore among others has far more reason to claim him before he got to the Jays. If he even made it to us in the waiver claim order, it's a good sign we shouldn't claim him. Let the Yankees tie up a spot on him if it comes to that.
John Northey - Sunday, August 21 2011 @ 10:33 AM EDT (#241705) #
Wandy is interesting. 4 years of 100+ ERA+'s. 7 years of 20+ starts (ie: no injuries that cost over 1/2 a year).

Very solid pitcher, but nothing amazing. IE: he'll never win a Cy Young unless his offense goes nuts. As TamRa said others who would get a shot before the Jays would probably pick him - the entire NL gets a shot first before the AL, then Baltimore, KC, Seattle, Minnesota, Oakland, and ChiSox get a shot.

Would I get him for the Jays? Hrm. $36 million over 3 years, ages 33-35 seasons. Might be worth it, but in the AL East where average pitchers are eaten up? Still, he has a 7.7 lifetime K/9 rate which is good, 3.2 BB/9 which is decent, 1.0 HR/9 rate which is decent. This is a case where scout would help, telling you if that walk rate can drop and if he would translate to the AL well.
Mick Doherty - Sunday, August 21 2011 @ 12:03 PM EDT (#241707) #

Thursday: Ricky Romero v. Tim Cahill

Um ... isn't it Trevor Cahill?

China fan - Sunday, August 21 2011 @ 05:50 PM EDT (#241727) #
Not sure what's happened to the Jays offence.  But on the positive side, Perez and Alvarez seem to be forcing their way into the discussion for the 2012 rotation. 
BlueJayWay - Sunday, August 21 2011 @ 06:43 PM EDT (#241730) #
What a hideous series.  Thank god they're coming home.  Can't stand watching these games in Oakland.

I don't know why, but the entire Jays lineup became incapable of hitting a fastball for those last three games.  That was some ugly baseball.

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