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The Blue Jays roll in to Baltimore after salvaging their series against the Rays. The team has 28 games left, 14 each at home on the road. The good news is they play the Orioles a total of 6 times. The bad news is that with one exception, their other 22 games are against teams fighting for a division title (Red Sox [6], Yankees [6]), or the playoffs in general (Angels [4], White Sox [3]). The worse news is the exception is the Rays [3], and we all know how the Jays do against them. If the team wants to finish the season with a winning record, they'll need to beat up on the Orioles to give themselves some cushion. Can they do it, without John Farrell who will sit out the series with pneumonia? Find out next, on Advance Scout.


Baltimore's been seesawing the entire second half, though they did manage to sweep a four game series in Minny before taking the first of a Irene upended series from the Yanks, before losing the later two. In the last month they've been one of the worst hitting teams in the Majors (though narrowly ahead of the home nine, natch), and towards the middle of the pack in pitching (narrowly behind the home nine, unless you look at FIP and xFIP. Double natch.) Still, they're playing out the string just like the Jays, and probably want to avoid losing 100 games - they have to win at least 10 of 30, and have a much tougher schedule than Toronto because, well, they don't get to face the Orioles. The team is also dealing with the death of former Oriole player, and at the time Oriole broadcaster, Mike Flanagan, who was also a Jay for parts of four seasons. As always, condolences and well wishes.

Tuesday: Brett Cecil v. Jeremy Guthrie

The Jays miss Zach Britton, who has probably been the Orioles best starter this year, though "best" is being a bit generous. Jeremy Guthrie, the team's former "best" pitcher, has finally had the BABIP gods catch up to him, though he's got a very low career number (.272) so maybe he's just been unlucky. He throws reasonably hard, averaging 92-93 with the heater, throwing a slider and change 10 MPH slower than that. He's also mixing in more low 70s benders, albeit without a ton of success. His fastball has historically been his best pitch, though he hasn't been doing much with it this year. There really isn't much remarkable about Guthrie, to be honest. Brett Cecil has been shakier in two of his last three starts, but his numbers post-minors are encouraging: 76.2 innings, a 52/23 K/BB, era of 3.76. He's been average on balls in play lucky, but also hasn't been giving up many line drives, and batters are reaching base less than 30% of the time against him. He's only faced the Red Sox/Yankees once, but did get Anaheim, the Rangers twice, Tampa... The Jays have faced Guthrie a bunch; Bautista is 6/24 with 3 doubles and a dinger, Edwin 9/22 with 4 2B and 2 HR, Adam Lind 12/35. The only regular to struggled has been Yunel Escobar, who's just 2/13, but even one of those was a homer; current Jays have 7 home runs in about 120 at bats.

Wednesday: Henderson Alvarez v. Jo-Jo Reyes


The one, the only, the man, the legend. He's been better or worse as an Oriole, depending on how you measure it, with a lower ERA but awful peripherals (13 strikeouts to 11 walks in 21.2 innings.) Reyes still throws his "hard" fastball, which tops out in the low 90s but generally sits about 90 even, and his slider and change that both go about 83. He's throwing more curveballs as an O, though they are getting hammered when he can locate them. None of his pitches are plus ones, though he has had some success with his slider this year. It would give me a perverse amount of pleasure to see him get hammered by the Jays; E5's the only healthy Jay that's faced Reyes, and he's 2 for 6. Henderson Alvarez meanwhile has been a bit shaky, but I'm fairly to pretty optimistic. For one, he's striking out and walking batters at about the same clip as in the minors, at an excellent 3/1 ratio (3.2/1 actually.) Secondly, he's still getting a fair amount of ground balls - not a ton, like in the minors, but a fair amount. He's been a bit unlucky to give up 5 homers in 22.2 innings - he's given up 7 home runs in 96.1 minor league innings otherwise this year. Also, he's averaging about 94 on his heater, and is doing all this while basically only throwing a fastball and a change-up. If he can ever learn a breaking pitch...

Thursday: Luis Perez v. Tommy Hunter


Tommy Hunter is a pretty lousy pitcher who's managed to fool people into thinking otherwise for bits and pieces of time, though he's still pretty young - 25 to be specific. That sounded unduly harsh, but Hunter doesn't strike out anyone (under 5/9 innings for his career, and under 4/9 this year) and there's only so long one can pull that off. To his credit he doesn't really walk anyone, and doesn't give up many home runs. He has a career babip of .277 in some 300 innings, and if that's not a repeatable skill then he really is in trouble though, because when batters connect they connect, with a LD% of 22% this year and close to 20% for his career. He throws a lot of fastballs, a normal one around 92 and a cutter that's about 5 MPH slower. His cutter is good though his best pitch is probably his curveball, which he throws fairly often (15%), and he'll mix in the occasional change. He faced the Jays twice in relief with the Rangers, giving up 2 hits in 4.2 innings, but got knocked around in his O's debut against Toronto, allowing 4 runs in 4 innings. Lind and Bautista are the only Jays with more than 10 AB against Hunter, and they 2/13 and 1/11 respectively. Everyone else has done well in a limited sample.

The Orioles lineup is about the same as it has been for a while now, and they are kindof like a worse version of the 2010 Jays - lots of power, no walks. J.J. Hardy, who got an extension earlier in the year, is having a pretty good season at short, kindof like Alex Gonzalez (the second one we had) on crack, with a ton of power and no walks, plus pretty decent D. The outfield core of Nolan Reimold, Adam Jones and Nick Markakis remains, though none are especially distinguishing themselves this campaign. Jones is a good hitter with power who the defensive metrics don't like. Markakis has morphed from "wow, that guy is pretty good" to "wow, I thought that guy was better" over the last couple of years - his power has been steadily decreasing and he's walking less. Reimhold just isn't that good period.

Matt Weiters is still the catcher of the future, even as we move increasingly further into that future. It's not that he's bad; he's more than fine, and is a good defender; he's got some pop and is willing to take a walk. Just, he's not the greatest thing since sliced bread, at least yet. Mark Reynolds is still playing first (though that's being generous to him, he's awful defensively) and striking out a million times, and Robert Andino and Ryan Adams are manning 3rd and 2nd, and there's absolutely nothing at all to say about either of them.

Infirmary: Jake Arrieta is done for the year with a bone spur in his throwing arm; Luke Scott and Brian Roberts are also both gone with a torn labrum and concussion-like syndromes, respectively. Chris Davis, acquired with Tommy Hunter in the Koji Uehara trade, has a labrum tear, and Cesar Izturis is eligible to come off the DL a few days after this series ends.

Credit: All stats courtesy of Fangraphs, with the an assist from BR on the splits.

Chart:



Advance Scout: Orioles, August 30 - September 1 | 80 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
uglyone - Tuesday, August 30 2011 @ 02:47 PM EDT (#242709) #
The least they can do for us after taking their typical beating from the Rays is to give out a typical beating to the O's this series.
Mike Green - Tuesday, August 30 2011 @ 02:49 PM EDT (#242710) #
This is as good a time as any for mea culpas.  I was wrong about the Orioles.   No, that doesn't quite capture it.  I was wrong about the Orioles.  And if anyone bet money or made a foolish promise to a significant other ("honey I'll change the diapers for a year if the Orioles finish last in 2011") on the basis of my optimism,  I am sorry.  Really sorry.  I will not however change the diapers.
TamRa - Tuesday, August 30 2011 @ 03:01 PM EDT (#242715) #
I suppose if you combine the Rays and the O's you'd have a team the jays would play .500 ball against...


Ryan Day - Tuesday, August 30 2011 @ 03:15 PM EDT (#242719) #
Ah, the perils of counting on young talent. I'm sure Matt Wieters was supposed to have 2 or 3 MVP trophies by now, and Brian Matusz and Chris Tillman should have pitched the Orioles into the playoffs.

Is Baltimore awful at developing talent, or have they just had awful luck? Remember when Nick Markakis looked like he was about to become a star? (circa 2008) What the heck happened? (He's still a very good player, but appears to have peaked at 24)

Magpie - Tuesday, August 30 2011 @ 03:16 PM EDT (#242720) #
I was wrong about the Orioles.

Well, you're always wrong about the Orioles! But this year, for once, I thought you were finally going to be right. So mea culpa from myself, as well.
uglyone - Tuesday, August 30 2011 @ 03:21 PM EDT (#242723) #
Too bad Adam Lind decided to follow the Markakis school of development, and Drabek the Matusz school.

That being said, I always thought the Jays' young talent was underrated compared to the Orioles. I thought any edge in young talent the O's may have had was wildly overstated.
perlhack - Tuesday, August 30 2011 @ 04:16 PM EDT (#242729) #

Spotted on <a href="http://espn.go.com/sportsnation/chat/_/id/40001/sweetspot-schoenfield">today's ESPN chat with David Schoenfield</a>.

Jack (Texas): David, do you think Vernon Wells struggles this season have to do with him being the main guy instead of being the number two guy like he was with Toronto when he played along side with Jose Bautista?

David Schoenfield: I think he's struggled because he's not very good anymore.

There was also a question suggesting that Scioscia was the one to request the Angels trade for Wells:

Dave (Isla Vista, CA): Any chance Scioscia is the one really calling the shots, which has led to him continuing to play Vernon Wells? I mean, if he's the one that pushed for the Wells acquisition, it makes perfect sense for him to continue to play Wells hoping for some vindication.

David Schoenfield: Not sure if he pushed for Wells or not. That's a good question. But there's a point where giving a long leash to a veteran turns into stubbornness which turns into stupidity. Mike Trout is the better player right now.

John Northey - Tuesday, August 30 2011 @ 04:21 PM EDT (#242730) #
Funny how some teams become the flavour of the month. The Jays were at times during JPR's era, the O's keep trying to be now. Guess everyone tries to pick who will be the surprise team. Luckily I did well on that one (Arizona was my pick to surprise check the NL West preview for 2011) but I am smart enough to know it is more dumb luck to guess these things correctly.

Hopefully to help the Jays and O's we can have the Yankees start to fall apart soon as many have predicted for years (6 of their starting 9 are 30+, with the other 3 being 27 and 28). I mean, Rivera has to become human one of these seasons (41 years old and a 2.16 ERA with 34 saves and under a walk per 9 innings) and miracles like Granderson (113 OPS+ pre-2011, 152 OPS+ this year) can't keep happening for them. How the heck can they have their stud prospect (Hughes) fall apart (67 ERA+), their star free agent (AJ Burnett) fall apart (81 ERA+) and then find off the trash heap Colon (118 ERA+ after missing a year and having 4 years of sub-100 IP) and Freddy Garcia (139 ERA+ after a 93 last year and 3 injury plagued years before that). It just isn't right.

Argh! Lousy Yankees resisting natural aging process. Rant over.
robertdudek - Tuesday, August 30 2011 @ 08:16 PM EDT (#242741) #
I find that Mike McCoy is spending too much time on my TV screen. Is there anything that can be done about it?
Mike Green - Tuesday, August 30 2011 @ 08:56 PM EDT (#242745) #
A gap-to-gap privacy shade for your screen?

Drew Hutchison gave up his first two runs in the EL in the 5th inning tonight. Still, no walks or homers and 7 strikeouts in 5 innings is pretty good.
AWeb - Tuesday, August 30 2011 @ 10:21 PM EDT (#242746) #
I hereby protest Tallet pitching in extra innings as anything but the "tie game could go forever" guy. And thank you Orioles for giving an out away...
Mike Green - Tuesday, August 30 2011 @ 10:29 PM EDT (#242747) #
If you could boo over the internet...Is there an emoticon for that? A few.



smcs - Tuesday, August 30 2011 @ 10:42 PM EDT (#242748) #
Wow, that was bad. Francisco must have been hurt and Janssen must have felt something twinge that turned the decision into Tallet or Lewis for the 10th. And that was some awful balls and strikes calling by the ump. To be fair, both sides had reason to complain.
scottt - Tuesday, August 30 2011 @ 10:44 PM EDT (#242749) #
Certainly didn't expect to see Tallet in a save situation.

Can't wait to see what he does against Boston and New-York.
Landomar - Tuesday, August 30 2011 @ 10:58 PM EDT (#242752) #

It makes me angry that guys like Tallet, Lewis, Miller, and Ledezma have even been on the team recently.  All the evidence suggests that these are terrible pitchers, and it's been painful watching them go out on the mound for us.

I would have much rather seen us try out guys that have been doing a bit better this season, like Korecky, Pino, Uviedo, Farquhar, Beck, etc.  Those might not be ideal options right now, but I would vastly prefer them to the barrage of awful lefties that we've been subjected to.  

hypobole - Tuesday, August 30 2011 @ 11:00 PM EDT (#242754) #
After Tallets performance this evening one has to imagine we'll be seeing another DFA in the very near future.
TamRa - Tuesday, August 30 2011 @ 11:01 PM EDT (#242755) #
apparently Janssen came up with some sort of back pain, no word yet on Frankie.

I keep reminding myself all this is happening because we got Colby Rasmus
BlueJayWay - Tuesday, August 30 2011 @ 11:29 PM EDT (#242758) #
I think that might have been the worst played game the Jays have been involved in this season.  Defensive blunders, walks, unclutch hitting, blown saves.  One of those games neither team deserved to win.
Mylegacy - Wednesday, August 31 2011 @ 12:18 AM EDT (#242762) #
Brian Tallet...B.R.I.A.N.T.A.L.L.E.T...W.T.F... I'd have preferred McCoy.

We didn't deserve to win - but - surely the O's didn't deserve to be given the game by us allowing BT to try for the save...

The ONLY step now is to get in the bottom 15 - so we protect our first draft choice then sign the Fat Prince or the Old P - AND, we'll have 2 first round draft choices as well!



Ron - Wednesday, August 31 2011 @ 12:56 AM EDT (#242764) #
Wilner speculated on Jays Talk that Francisco can't be used on back to back days so that's why you didn't see him last night. On the positive side, the Jays are going to get an upgrade in the bullpen very soon because Rauch is almost healthy.
China fan - Wednesday, August 31 2011 @ 05:09 AM EDT (#242766) #

.....I would have much rather seen us try out guys that have been doing a bit better this season....

One problem is that the Las Vegas statistics don't seem to translate to anything in the majors.  Pitchers such as Brad Mills put up excellent numbers in the PCL, yet they look terrible in the majors.  Others such as Cecil and Litsch actually do worse in Las Vegas than they do in the majors.  Consider, for example, the baffling Luis Perez:  he puts up an ERA of 4.60 in the PCL (and an ERA of 6.13 last season in the PCL), and nobody expected much, yet he comes up to Toronto and looks dazzling with a 3.29 ERA.   I don't remember anyone clamoring for his promotion to the majors in the early months of this season, yet the Jays spotted something in him.  (I guess they spotted his left-handedness and his 94 mph fastball, anyway.) 

New Hampshire seems a better source of good pitchers, but their rotation has already been decimated with promotions and trades (Carreno, Alvarez, Stewart), leaving only younger guys, and they're in the middle of a playoff run anyway.  So the Jays are unlikely to promote from New Hampshire for the rest of this season.  That leaves the unpredictable bunch at Las Vegas, and generally I'd tend to trust the Jays scouts on which ones are worthy of promotion. 

Another factor seems to be this unwritten rule that the Jays cannot dump a veteran until he's been given some time in the majors.  Look at how they've handled Rivera, Teahen, Miller, Tallet, Ledezma.....  What is this, is it Canadian politeness??  You can't throw a guest out the door??   (Especially an expensive one.)

John Northey - Wednesday, August 31 2011 @ 07:20 AM EDT (#242768) #
I think with the vet relievers the Jays are trying to show they give them a shot thus create some goodwill towards minor league free agents and low level ml ones. These guys don't get offered big bucks so they go where they think they will get a real ml shot. If you dump this type of player without giving them a shot then you will find it harder to sign them thus end up with a weak AAA team and get stuck in Vegas.
johnny was - Wednesday, August 31 2011 @ 10:55 AM EDT (#242782) #
The Chase Field effect has already taken hold:  Aaron Hill is hitting .333/.400/.556 in 30 PAs since joining the D-Backs.
jerjapan - Wednesday, August 31 2011 @ 01:39 PM EDT (#242801) #
As much as I agree with landomar and would rather watch a minor league soldier, like korecky, get a shot, I think John is likely right, that the team want's to be a premiere destination for free agents at both the major and minor league level, and thus reward the Brian Tallet's and Dwayne Wise's of the world with a chance  ... players will notice these 'rewards' .  Just witness the desire of both Hill and McDonald to return to the team in the off season. 

That said, I assume Tallet will be DFA'ed or buried on the bench once the Sept. call-ups arrive and Rauch is activated from the DL.


Jonny German - Wednesday, August 31 2011 @ 04:16 PM EDT (#242825) #
Fun fact: JP is putting up the highest IsoP in Blue Jay catcher history.

.229 Arencibia 2011





.213 Borders 1990


.208 Buck 2010


.203 Whitt 1983

.199 Whitt 1985
.199 Martinez 1983

.196 Fletcher 2000
.195 Myers 2003
.194 Fletcher 1999

.190 Zaun 2006
92-93 - Wednesday, August 31 2011 @ 04:32 PM EDT (#242828) #
Funner fact: JP is putting up the lowest OBP in Blue Jay catcher history. And he might give Alan Ashby's 1977 BA a run for its money.
Mike D - Wednesday, August 31 2011 @ 04:36 PM EDT (#242830) #
That said, I assume Tallet will be DFA'ed or buried on the bench once the Sept. call-ups arrive and Rauch is activated from the DL.

Ah, but Tallet already has been DFA'ed!  To make room for the reactivated Villanueva.  Kudos to those who correctly identified last night's 10th inning as one of the "that wasn't just bad, that was DFA bad" relief outings of which we've seen quite a few around these parts.  It's not even that surprising anymore.
John Northey - Wednesday, August 31 2011 @ 04:45 PM EDT (#242832) #
Wonder how many relievers will be looking over their shoulder after this past week.

I suspect AA told Tallet, Miller and Ledezma that they had an extremely short leash and would be let go as soon as the DL'ed guys came back unless they were perfect. Still, wow. 27 different guys have pitched for the Jays so far this year, 2 more than ever before and last year was at 24, one shy of the 2004 record. Only 3 times since the last WS was won have the Jays used under 20 pitchers. The only year before 1994 that the Jays used 20+ was 1991.

However, the 35 hitters used (so far - just 23 non-pitcher hitters) is the lowest total since 1994 with 33 being the lowest ever. I hate how B-R doesn't list non-pitchers only for that stat though as early Jay years see some totals sub-20 (1983) if you remove pitchers.
hypobole - Wednesday, August 31 2011 @ 04:47 PM EDT (#242833) #

Funner fact: JP is putting up the lowest OBP in Blue Jay catcher history.

Where did you find this? I only checked back to 2009 and found Rod Barajas and his .258 OBP. There must be more.

Mike Green - Wednesday, August 31 2011 @ 04:48 PM EDT (#242834) #
mylegacy, wishing for your team to lose, so that it can sign a Type A free agent and not give up a pick, leads to bad attitudes and bad karma.  I'd much rather that the club won 20 games in September, signed a type A or two, gave up a pick or two, garnered a supplemental pick or two from type Bs, and then spent big in the draft for the equivalents of Norris.
Jonny German - Wednesday, August 31 2011 @ 04:59 PM EDT (#242836) #
Funner fact: JP is putting up the lowest OBP in Blue Jay catcher history.

You have an unusual idea of fun. And you're making stuff up.

.282 Arencibia 2011
.279 Santiago 1997
.270 Huckaby 2002
.270 S.Martinez 1995
.265 Parrish 1995
.258 Barajas 2009
Landomar - Wednesday, August 31 2011 @ 05:02 PM EDT (#242837) #

Well, I don't mind that the Jays kept Tallet around to help him through his injury rehab.  That was a nice courtesy type thing to do for a veteran guy.  I suppose letting him get in a game "to show he's back from injury" before releasing him is also a nice thing to do.  Still, if the team was just hoping to get him into a game, it would have been great for them to have planned out their bullpen usage a bit better (to avoid the type of situation we saw last night).  They also could have not called up Rommie Lewis, and instead called up someone that would rank higher than Brian Tallet in an absolute emergency.

None of this matters much, in the big picture, but I think that some better decisions could definitely have been made about the bullpen bullpen roster construction and usage in recent weeks.  I'm very happy with the general long term type moves that A.A. has been making, but many of his short term micromanagement type moves have been very bizarre this season, at least in my opinion.  Hopefully this won't end up being a problem for the team in future seasons.

uglyone - Wednesday, August 31 2011 @ 05:08 PM EDT (#242839) #
Buck and Pat keep harping on it, but in this case they seem to be on to something....it sure looks like JPA has made a distinct adjustment to the outside breaking stuff. He's singled on at least 4-5 of those outside sliders in the last couple of weeks that he just wasn't coming anywhere close to most of the season.
Mike Green - Wednesday, August 31 2011 @ 05:16 PM EDT (#242840) #
Nonetheless, his monthly splits basically  show two good months in April and May and three crappy ones in June, July and August.  I do think that injuries have played a significant role, as they have throughout his minor league career.
Original Ryan - Wednesday, August 31 2011 @ 05:17 PM EDT (#242841) #
mylegacy, wishing for your team to lose, so that it can sign a Type A free agent and not give up a pick, leads to bad attitudes and bad karma.  I'd much rather that the club won 20 games in September, signed a type A or two, gave up a pick or two, garnered a supplemental pick or two from type Bs, and then spent big in the draft for the equivalents of Norris.

While late-season surges aren't necessarily a reflection of a team's quality, I'd be more bullish about this team and its future if they managed to win 20 games in September. It would certainly be a positive sign going into next season.

If they found a way to lose 20 instead, the team may have bigger concerns than whether or not its first round pick is protected. A big free agent may also be more reluctant to sign with a sub-.500 team.
uglyone - Wednesday, August 31 2011 @ 05:42 PM EDT (#242842) #
Nonetheless, his monthly splits basically show two good months in April and May and three crappy ones in June, July and August. I do think that injuries have played a significant role, as they have throughout his minor league career.

He was having an epically bad Lind-style August for a while, but the last couple of weeks he's recovered with (according to ESPN fantasy) a .910ops over his last 15 days to bring his August up to .691.

That being said, while his .736 July and .691 August aren't very good, they're also not that bad for a catcher, especially a rookie one. It's that .582 in May that really sticks out.

Surprisingly, overall he's actually had a significantly better 2nd half split than a first half:

  • Pre-AS: 248ab, .714ops
  • Post-AS: 119ab, .767ops


  • SSS stats splits aside, though, I'm really encouraged by what he's been doing with the outside breaking stuff lately - I think that's literally the only thing that's been holding him back from being an upper-tier offensive catcher this year, and if has learned how to better handle those pitches he could be very good.
    Dewey - Wednesday, August 31 2011 @ 07:19 PM EDT (#242844) #
    I just donít get the frequent complaining about JPA.  The kid is a rookie!  And at perhaps the most demanding position on the field.   Cut him some slack.  I read the figures you present; and I watch the man play on my TV screen.   He doesnít look nearly so bad to me as some of you suggest.  Which Jaysí catchers had a *better* rookie season?  (Not saying there werenít some:  I simply donít know who they might be.  And I'm not saying he doesn't need improvement.)



    hypobole - Wednesday, August 31 2011 @ 08:36 PM EDT (#242845) #
    Watching the first few innings tonight a quote from Jackie Brown comes to mind. To paraphrase Samuel L. "You can't trust JoJo, but you can trust JoJo to be JoJo'"
    Nick Holmes - Wednesday, August 31 2011 @ 09:19 PM EDT (#242846) #
    That certainly was JoJo being JoJo, I just hope that was Henderson being Henderson...
    TamRa - Wednesday, August 31 2011 @ 09:20 PM EDT (#242847) #
    Which Jaysí catchers had a *better* rookie season?  (Not saying there werenít some:  I simply donít know who they might be.  And I'm not saying he doesn't need improvement.)

    The answer to this question is "none" - in fact, there haven't been many seasons by catchers in Toronto rookie or otherwise which were better.



    TamRa - Wednesday, August 31 2011 @ 09:31 PM EDT (#242848) #
    Nonetheless, his monthly splits basically  show two good months in April and May and three crappy ones in June, July and August.

    First 40 games:

    .259 .321 .503 .824

    Next 34 games:

    .150 .221 .283 .505

    Last 29 games:

    .250 .296 .570 .866


    That looks better than arbitrary monthly splits
    A lot more bad than good there - it's the depth of the slump that skews the current totals.


    Gerry - Wednesday, August 31 2011 @ 09:52 PM EDT (#242849) #
    You can see why scouts like Kelly Johnson, he seems to do everything with ease.
    greenfrog - Wednesday, August 31 2011 @ 10:54 PM EDT (#242851) #
    Johnson seems like a good fit on the Jays. Unfortunately, the better he performs, the more likely he would seem to be to hit the open market (this may have been a foregone conclusion all along). Of course, this doesn't preclude the Jays from signing him as a free agent.
    John Northey - Wednesday, August 31 2011 @ 11:09 PM EDT (#242852) #
    Advantage of the trade is if Johnson becomes a type A free agent the Jays, if they resign him, don't lose a pick while if they lose him gain 2. Without the trade they would've had McDonald & Hill with the option of offering arbitration to Hill and getting a single pick or stuck with a bigger contract than Hill is worth on the open market.

    Btw, how long until Teahen is let go? 1 for 20 so far as a Jay. The pitchers hit better (2 for 22) and they hit horribly for pitchers! Sheesh.
    hypobole - Wednesday, August 31 2011 @ 11:39 PM EDT (#242853) #

    Btw, how long until Teahen is let go?

     I for one don't really care this year. However if he's on the roster when we come out of spring training, I'll be both surprised and disappointed.

    Flex - Wednesday, August 31 2011 @ 11:51 PM EDT (#242854) #
    A lot more bad than good there - it's the depth of the slump that skews the current totals.

    I'm assuming that's just a misstatement. Because it seems to me more good than bad.

    By the way, interesting news in a tweet from Bob Elliot: Anthopoulos is currently in Japan, watching Yu Darvish pitch. (He won and went 16-4). It seems the Jays will be serious players in that auction.
    China fan - Thursday, September 01 2011 @ 04:14 AM EDT (#242857) #

    Yep, for Anthopoulos to fly all the way to Japan -- in the midst of baseball season -- says something about the level of his interest in Darvish. Looks like he'll be a serious player in the bidding for Darvish, which is very encouraging for those of us who want him to add substantial money to the payroll next year for free agents or other acquisitions. Bidding for Darvish would certainly be consistent with AA's strong interest in the international market and his signing of seven or eight Latin American prospects this year, including some of the highest-ranked of all the Latin American prospects. The common thread in all of these international signings: no draft pick required! And they're young and controllable!

    China fan - Thursday, September 01 2011 @ 07:32 AM EDT (#242858) #

    On another front: after five games, Henderson Alvarez now has a WHIP of 1.08. He has 21 strikeouts vs 5 walks. He's holding the enemy to a .237 batting average. He has a GO/AO ratio of 1.80. And the most important stat -- he's doing this in the majors at the age of 21. Yeah, I want to see how he does against better-hitting teams, but is anyone starting to think he could be a 2012 rotation member?

    John Northey - Thursday, September 01 2011 @ 08:26 AM EDT (#242860) #
    No question, if Alvarez keeps this up for the rest of the season (3.5 ERA, sub 1.25 WHIP) he will earn a slot in 2012.

    Right now the only 100% locks are Romero & Morrow with Cecil a near lock. I figure other contenders (as is) are Alvarez (3.52 ERA over 30 2/3 IP), Drabek (if he shows great stuff in spring - it'll take a lot for him to start the season in the majors), Villanueva (5.15 ERA as starter, 73 1/3 IP), Litsch (4.66 ERA as starter over 46 1/3 IP) and Perez (1.64 ERA over 11 IP). I see Alvarez as #4 and Perez as #5 at the moment. Litsch & Villanueva have shown better stuff in the pen and probably are more valuable there.

    Darvish is very tempting with that potential 2012 rotation. I like the kids as much as anyone, but wouldn't count on Perez or Alvarez and am nervous about Cecil while Morrow is plain old frustrating as he keeps teasing that he'll be great but never seems to be able to hold it together for long stretches. If the Jays are willing to risk $60 mil over 5 years ($30 posting, $30 to sign) then go for it.
    budgell - Thursday, September 01 2011 @ 08:37 AM EDT (#242861) #
    You can see why scouts like Kelly Johnson, he seems to do everything with ease.   And that's one pretty swing.  Blue Jays fans know more than most that pretty doesn't neccessarily = production but Lind, Rasmus and Johnson have 3 of the nicest left handed swings in baseball.
    China fan - Thursday, September 01 2011 @ 08:53 AM EDT (#242862) #
    John, it's interesting that you're not even mentioning McGowan in that list.  I think subconsciously all of us can't quite bring ourselves to see him as a legit pitcher for 2012.  Maybe you just forgot to include him in the list, but I think a lot of us are forgetting him because we can't quite believe that he'll pull off the comeback.  We'll know better in a few weeks.
    Mike Green - Thursday, September 01 2011 @ 09:15 AM EDT (#242863) #
    Kudos to Don Wakamatsu for using Rommie Lewis in precisely the correct situation.
    Paul D - Thursday, September 01 2011 @ 09:22 AM EDT (#242864) #

    Is Jeroloman still with the team?  I figured they were keeping Molinda in since Alvarez was cruising, but once you pull him, why not let Jeroloman catch that last inning?

    Ryan Day - Thursday, September 01 2011 @ 10:00 AM EDT (#242866) #
    I can't think of many pitchers who came up with Alvarez's control. Even Jesse Litsch walked more batters, and he was generally a strike-machine. I wouldn't expect him to be this precise over a full season - his 1.5 bb/9 would be third in the league, behind Haren & Tomlin - but I love the approach. Alvarez is the anti-Drabek.
    Hodgie - Thursday, September 01 2011 @ 10:19 AM EDT (#242870) #
    Of course, Alvarez's career BB/9 in the minors is 1.7 and he has had only one season with a mark over 2 so this is not entirely unexpected.
    BlueJayWay - Thursday, September 01 2011 @ 10:51 AM EDT (#242876) #
    By the way, interesting news in a tweet from Bob Elliot: Anthopoulos is currently in Japan, watching Yu Darvish pitch. (He won and went 16-4). It seems the Jays will be serious players in that auction.

    Yes, it does.

    I think this offseason will be extremely interesting.  There's only 40 some odd million committed to the payroll for 2012 right now, I think.  I see us being a major player for Darvish and a lot more.
    dan gordon - Thursday, September 01 2011 @ 11:17 AM EDT (#242880) #

    I'm very impressed with Alvarez.  The movement on his fastball is among the best I've seen.  He has very good velocity and locates his pitches very well.  I know it was only one start, and wasn't against one of the best hitting teams in the league, but that game was a significant development for the Jays.  The biggest problem they have to address is the starting rotation, and Alvarez is making initial indications that he might become a front line starter.  Look at how many games Tampa wins with that rotation, despite an offense that is not as good as Toronto's.  If they can keep producing kids like this for a few years, some of them are going to be high quality big leaguers.  I guess the question is whether they are going to go and get a starter or two this offseason to bridge the gap until hopefully 2 or 3 from the group including Alvarez, Molina, Hutchison, McGuire, Drabek, etc. develops.

    You never know which of these international signings is going to work out.  Big bonus buck signings Leance Soto, Balbino Fuenmayor, not so much, but Nestor Molina and Alvarez look like real gems.  I don't recall them even being mentioned when they were signed in 2006.

    bpoz - Thursday, September 01 2011 @ 11:27 AM EDT (#242882) #
    With Tallet gone there is a 40 man spot open for Dustin McGowan. He is pitching tonight.

    I wonder who the Sept call ups will be, and if any will need to be added to the 40 man?
    Mike Green - Thursday, September 01 2011 @ 11:39 AM EDT (#242887) #
    The advantage of getting a starter is that it allows the club to ease the young pitchers into the rotation gradually, while learning a thing or two in the pen and keeping their seasonal innings totals consistent with career patterns.  Alvarez and Molina particularly could benefit from this. 
    greenfrog - Thursday, September 01 2011 @ 11:51 AM EDT (#242892) #
    No question that in theory, the Jays should have money to spend in coming seasons. They are getting outstanding value at most positions and up and down the pitching staff. The team basically has no onerous contracts, and has a burgeoning farm system. The issue now is when to plunge into the FA/IFA market, and for which players. Darvish (and to a lesser extent Fielder) makes sense because he's young; the Jays would be getting him during his productive 26-30 years. Of course, health is a potential concern with Darvish.
    MatO - Thursday, September 01 2011 @ 12:34 PM EDT (#242909) #

    The advantage of getting a starter is that it allows the club to ease the young pitchers into the rotation gradually, while learning a thing or two in the pen and keeping their seasonal innings totals consistent with career patterns. Alvarez and Molina particularly could benefit from this.

    Exactly.  If pitching in Las Vegas is a concern to management when it comes to young pitchers then this is an alternative way to develop them.  Please, no more stop gaps in the bullpen.

    China fan - Thursday, September 01 2011 @ 12:55 PM EDT (#242911) #
    Well, when you trade 3 of your better bullpen arms at one fell swoop, and convert 2 others to the rotation, there's going to be some stop-gaps for a while....
    MatO - Thursday, September 01 2011 @ 01:09 PM EDT (#242914) #
    I mean guys like Rauch and Dotel.
    uglyone - Thursday, September 01 2011 @ 01:20 PM EDT (#242917) #
    On another front: after five games, Henderson Alvarez now has a WHIP of 1.08. He has 21 strikeouts vs 5 walks. He's holding the enemy to a .237 batting average. He has a GO/AO ratio of 1.80. And the most important stat -- he's doing this in the majors at the age of 21. Yeah, I want to see how he does against better-hitting teams, but is anyone starting to think he could be a 2012 rotation member?

    I thought he had a pretty decent shot at the rotation next year even when he was still in AA. His performance since the callup is starting to make it look like a no-brainer. Aside from a few atypical homeruns in his first few starts, he's been really good.

    And it McGowan comes up and starts looking for real, then all of a sudden Morrow and Cecil are going to have to start looking over their shoulders, especially if AA manages to add a good SP this offseason.
    uglyone - Thursday, September 01 2011 @ 01:22 PM EDT (#242918) #
    I guess the question might turn into: If Alvarez and McGowan look like they're for real as soon as next year, and AA goes out and adds another SP in the offseason.....who is the best closer candidate out of Alvarez/Morrow/McGowan/Cecil?
    John Northey - Thursday, September 01 2011 @ 01:44 PM EDT (#242923) #
    Morrow would probably be the best closer candidate out of Alvarez/Morrow/McGowan/Cecil due to his ability to K guys like mad and his having a few good innings then 1 blow up. This way his blow ups would be a loss, but if he has 8 or 9 good for every blowup it works out nicely.

    Still, I suspect the Jays would be far more likely to shift Cecil to the pen first. McGowan could be good if used in a planned fashion - ie: tell him he is on the books for the 7th/8th every 3rd day or something and have him warm up, then if not needed he does a full workout in the pen and sits for a couple of days to keep him in a routine. If a reliever is needed those innings you use him.

    I suspect 2012, if the Jays are active and get Darvish & Fielder (dream for many here I'm sure) and keep Johnson then we'll see a lot of creativity in the pen and major battles in the rotation. If they go totally nuts and get those two plus Papelbon then who knows what comes next. That'd be around $50 mil a year for the 3 of them but it would sure fill 3 big holes right now mixed with Lawrie filling 3B, Johnson at 2B and Thames/Snider in LF and maybe Alvarez filling a rotation slot.

    Sigh. Fun to dream.
    Ryan Day - Thursday, September 01 2011 @ 03:12 PM EDT (#242935) #
    Brett Lawrie is just ridiculous. You're not supposed to go from the PCL to MLB and improve your offensive numbers.
    vw_fan17 - Thursday, September 01 2011 @ 03:35 PM EDT (#242937) #
    Brett Lawrie is just ridiculous. You're not supposed to go from the PCL to MLB and improve your offensive numbers.

    I almost feel bad for him that he's a lock to exceed 130 AB this season, and thus won't qualify for Rookie of the Year next year.

    Then again, after seeing what it did for Hinske and Griffin.. Maybe it's best he DOESN'T have that hanging over his head..

    Ryan Day - Thursday, September 01 2011 @ 03:41 PM EDT (#242938) #
    Who needs the ROY? If Lawrie can keep this pace up for another 180 games or so, he'll win the 2012 MVP pretty easily. :)
    92-93 - Thursday, September 01 2011 @ 04:03 PM EDT (#242947) #
    It's going to cost a heck of a lot more than 60m over 5 years (including the posting fee) to land Yu Darvish.
    greenfrog - Thursday, September 01 2011 @ 04:20 PM EDT (#242952) #
    At what point does AA offer Lawrie a long-term deal? And should they offer him (with apologies to Mike Wilner) a super-extendo deal, a la Tulowitski or Braun? Lawrie could be a monster for the next ten years or more.
    hypobole - Thursday, September 01 2011 @ 04:40 PM EDT (#242956) #

    Has anyone heard the official explanation for Andino being given the do-over by West?

    John Northey - Friday, September 02 2011 @ 12:02 AM EDT (#242989) #
    Darvish is interesting. I listed $30 as what you start at, but most estimates are in the $50-75 for posting. The general rule is to add the same for salary for the player. Thus $100-$150 million for 5 years of Darvish (most contracts seem to be for 5 years with year 6 arbitration). Or if you prefer, $20-$30 million a year. No team will spend $30 mil as that hasn't been spent on any ML player to date (A-Rod came close as did Roger Clemens - only Ryan Howard has signed a $25 per year deal so far outside of those 2).

    After the Dice-K mess ($100 mil+ total, roughly $20 per year for 4.25 ERA over 622 IP over 5 seasons 9.5 WAR [b-r]) I doubt anyone will go above $50 mil. Even FanGraphs, who some feel overvalues guys, has those 5 years at $44.1 million or about 1/2 of what he cost the Red Sox (less than the posting fee).

    If AA is aggressive he'll bid $50, if not he'll go in the $30-40 range. I can't imagine anyone will go up to $60 mil though.
    TamRa - Friday, September 02 2011 @ 03:16 AM EDT (#242992) #
    that really is the trick - overcoming the Dice-K precedent - to wit, if you don't offer at least that much, will the Ham Fighters simply elect to decline all offers?



    TamRa - Friday, September 02 2011 @ 03:22 AM EDT (#242993) #
    by the way, Kevin Goldstien tweeted that if the Jays signed Darvish, he'd be the third best starter on the team.

    I took it as praise for Morrow, rather than slagging Darvish since his last previous tweet said Yu was more a #2 than a #1.



    Spifficus - Friday, September 02 2011 @ 03:38 AM EDT (#242994) #
    I'd say that was sarcasm, given the previous tweets regarding the lunatic fringe's notion that there's a US media smear campaign against Bautista.
    ayjackson - Friday, September 02 2011 @ 08:59 AM EDT (#243001) #
    Yes that was definitely sarcasm. He thinks Darvish would be a number 2 starter.
    Gerry - Friday, September 02 2011 @ 09:40 AM EDT (#243004) #

    Bob Elliott explains Andino's "do-over":

    The box score will show Perez retired 15 men, however, he got one more than that. He would have retired Robert Andino in the third on a liner to centre fielder Mike McCoy, only to discover West had called ďno pitch.Ē ... Perez was guilty of a quick pitch. Given a second chance, Andino singled .

    Mylegacy - Friday, September 02 2011 @ 12:42 PM EDT (#243023) #
    On Yu - Law said (a few weeks ago - I can't find the link) that he'd talked to seven scouts who have seen him this year and NONE of them thought he would be an "Ace" this side of the Pacific.
    TamRa - Friday, September 02 2011 @ 01:01 PM EDT (#243028) #
    if that's true, Alex will pass (or offer a low bid) on him. no worries.


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