Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
Playing out the string here folks, both on the field and in the Advance Scout (sorry! Though not actually.) The Jays need to win one to finish exactly .500, and at least two to surpass that arbitrary but oh-so-fantastic mark. Otherwise let's just hope for the Red Sox to lose I guess?

Thanks for sticking around for this half (ok, third) season of Advance Scouting, we'll see you next year, assuming the robotpocalypse hasn't happened by then.

This is the way the world ends, not with a bang but with an Advance Scout.

Monday: Dustin McGowan v. Dylan Axelrod

No, I've never heard of him either, but Dylan Axelrod is the nephew of a prominent player agent and made it to the Majors as a 30th round draft pick. At age 26 Axelrod blew threw AA and AAA, with a K/BB approaching 4 and a FIP in the mid 2's. He's made 2 starts and one relief appearance in the bigs, and from what little there is to go on it seems that he's a fastball/slider guy.

Tuesday: Henderson Alvarez v. Mark Buehrle

Mark Buehrle keeps on chugging. This is his 12th major league season, and after his mid-season debut in 2000 it will be his 11th straight over 200 innings, assuming he makes it out of the second against the Jays. Despite being only 32, Buehrle is already firmly in Jamie Moyer territory, hitting 85 with the heater and striking out about 4 batters a game. He doesn't walk anyone, doesn't give up many home runs, never gets stolen on (baserunners are 3/10 this year, and have 49 steals in almost 2500 innings.) So, those are pretty good things if you aren't blowing the ball by anyone. Buehrle doesn't rely on his fastball much, mixing in an array of cutters, curves and changes at a variety of speeds, and assuming he doesn't get bombed, will post an ERA under 4 for the 4th time in 5 years. He's got 160 wins and unless the wheels fall off he could get well into the 200s. Jose Bautista is 5/19, Jose Molina 7/21, and Mark Teahan 24/53 for a 1.153 OPS. That is probably a reasonable sample size, as far as these things go.

Wednesday: Brandon Morrow v. Phillip Humber

Phil Humber is 29, and this is essentially his first full season in the Major Leagues. Wow. Cause Humber's been around forever, it seems. He throws the standard Fastball-Curve-Slider-Change, in that order, touching 90 with the heat and dropping to 80 with the deuce. Anyway, he's actually having a pretty great year. As you may have picked up, the two things that I'm a big fan of in pitchers is keeping the ball down and not walking anyone, and Humber's been good at both those things, and he strikes out a reasonable number of batters. So, Mazel Tov! Speaking of, don't watch this if you don't want Humber get smoked in the face with a batted ball. No Jay has faced Humber more than 5 times.

Otherwise: Stuff, probably. It's the White Sox.

Elsewhere: Jose Bautista is I guess what you would call a game time decision with a knee contusion. He wants to keep playing, perhaps sensing that Jacoby Ellsbury's three home runs have vaulted him closer to the MVP lead. Speaking as a Toronto fan, I most sincerely hope that Boston doesn't make the playoffs, for two reasons now! Some stuff from the Times: on run scoring being down, and a good article about Billy Beane, post-Moneyball, that touches on some of the problems smaller market teams have.

Tony Pena and Ramon Castro

The usual, Fangraphs, Yahoo, BR.

Use your imagination!
Advance Scout: Chicago White Sox, September 26-28 | 34 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
TamRa - Monday, September 26 2011 @ 02:56 PM EDT (#244748) #
well darn. I thought we were going to see Stewart in this series.

92-93 - Monday, September 26 2011 @ 04:25 PM EDT (#244762) #
I quite enjoy watching Mark Buehrle pitch. If he's willing to leave Chicago and test the FA market (there were reports he may even retire), I'd love to see the Jays bring him in. Usually "veteran innings-eaters" is synonymous with "mediocre", but in Buehrle's case he can still really help a good ball club. He might be the kind of guy who would accept a higher average, shorter term deal.
Mike Green - Monday, September 26 2011 @ 04:55 PM EDT (#244765) #
Buehrle is pretty much on a marginal Hall of Fame path, with an ERA+ of 119 and almost 2500 innings at age 32.  He has now survived for three seasons with a K rate under 5.  You wonder how long he can do that for. 
greenfrog - Monday, September 26 2011 @ 05:06 PM EDT (#244768) #
Buehrle has been very consistent and could be a useful #3 or #4 for a few more years, but given his age, signing him would be a gamble. I don't see him as a difference-maker in the AL East. Better than Brett Cecil, maybe, but not a lot better. I would rather see AA go hard after CJ Wilson or Yu Darvish.
Mike Green - Monday, September 26 2011 @ 05:35 PM EDT (#244770) #
The Times' article on run-scoring in 2011 points out that runs scored at are a lower level than a century ago in 1911 during "the middle of the dead-ball era",the implication being that we are in the middle of another "dead-ball era".  The implication would have some merit if it weren't for the fact that 1911 was an anomalous year (like 1987) in which run scoring shot up. The game of today is closer to the game of the 60s (without the Wills and Brock thing happening at least until Anthony Gose arrives). 
Magpie - Monday, September 26 2011 @ 05:52 PM EDT (#244772) #
a century ago in 1911 during "the middle of the dead-ball era",

And of course 1911 is really the beginning of the lively ball era. Quite literally - that's the season the lively ball was introduced, and that's why scoring went through the roof that year. 1911 is Year One.

The increase in offense was quickly snuffed out by a parallel development - pitchers discovered what you could do with a scuffed baseball. They were permitted to do anything they wanted until 1920, when the spitball and all the other trick pitches were outlawed. Then the death of Ray Chapman later that year brought on an effort was made to keep clean, fresh balls in the game at all times. Which is why 1920 and 1921 are the effective beginning of the lively ball era. But 1911 is when they actually changed the baseballs.
ayjackson - Monday, September 26 2011 @ 07:32 PM EDT (#244780) #
So would you rather finish above .500 and in 15th place or below .500 and in 16th place?  Think I'd prefer the latter.
Thomas - Monday, September 26 2011 @ 08:31 PM EDT (#244782) #
Thanks for a good year, Anders. I really enjoy the Advance Scouts.
greenfrog - Monday, September 26 2011 @ 10:21 PM EDT (#244788) #
Heck of a game by Shields tonight, shutting down the Yankees over 8.2 IP in pretty much a must-win game. He is a good pitcher having a great year.
melondough - Tuesday, September 27 2011 @ 12:00 AM EDT (#244791) #

I have a question that I am hoping someone can answer for me.  I am sorry if this has previously been asked but I didn't see it.

What is the tie breaking rule for MLB standings as far as draft order goes?  The Jays have a good chance to fall to 15th place overall which would give them a protected 1st round pick.  I believe in order to to do so the Jays would have to drop their final two games which should get them the 15th pick (protected) while CWS would get the 16th pick (unprotected).  I believe that the tie-breaker for draft order is made by looking at who had the worse record from the year before and giving it to that team.  Since the Jays has a worse record in 2010 than the CWS they would get better pick in a tiebreak.  I found this in a 2 year old link shown below but I am not sure if these rules are still in effect.  Does anyone know?

I think it is very important for AA to be able to go out and sign a type A free agent without having to worry about losing one of his 2 first round picks.  This brings me to the other question.  Anyone know if a teams supplemenary pick is in play if they sign a Type A free agent?  This would be the 23rd overall pick the Jays got for not coming to terms with Tyler Beede.  I believe the Jays would lose pick #23 because I think it a team's "next best pick" after those that are proteced that is lost as compensation.  Amyhow I just wanted to confirm.

According to (link below) I may have my answer but am intererested to see if others also interpert it this way (i.e. Jays would win tie breaker with CWS for protected pick but would still lose pick #23 if they sign a Type A FA).

TamRa - Tuesday, September 27 2011 @ 12:46 AM EDT (#244792) #
they cannot under any circumstances lose the #23 pick

If the rules favored them 2 years ago they do now because the CBA hasn't changed yet.Still, other than Pujols/Fielder, there's not really a Type A that really suits our situation out there (unless you want to throw the bank at Papelbon)

hypobole - Tuesday, September 27 2011 @ 02:20 AM EDT (#244794) #

Mendoza Mania

7 non-pitchers the Jays used in todays game have a batting average worse than JPA's .220.

melondough - Tuesday, September 27 2011 @ 08:19 AM EDT (#244801) #
TamRa you say "they cannot under any circumstances lose the #23 pick".  By this are you saying that it is in the colective bargaining aggreement (or something similar) that a team cannot lost a supplemantary pick or are you saying you personally see no way that the Jays should sign a Type A FA if it means that they lose this pick?

85bluejay - Tuesday, September 27 2011 @ 10:12 AM EDT (#244808) #

I saw a 2012 draft list - can't remember where - which indicated that the Jays compensation pick for Tyler beede is protected. I would be surprised if the Jays sign a type "A" FA, so I don't think it will matter.

I'm hoping for a White Sox sweep because not only will the White Sox pick ahead of the Jays but the Indians,Nationals,dodgers amongst others have a chance to pass the Jays - my philosophy is if you're not contending then finish as poorly as possible to get the higher pick in every round - I was always frustrated when the Jays would always have good Sept. under the old regime which allowed them to give the illusion of getting better but costing the Jays valuable spots in the draft  and it can be very important - in 2008, the Brewers took Brett Lawrie 1 spot ahead of the Jays who were interested & in 2009 , the cardinals took Shelby Miller 1 pick ahead of the Jays (yes, it's likely that the previous FO probably would have passed on a HG pitcher) but the point is that moving up even a few spots can be very valuable especially in a sport where you can't trade up. 

melondough - Tuesday, September 27 2011 @ 01:32 PM EDT (#244839) #
IMO the Jays must at least atempt to go after Fielder (Type A) and deal Lind for a starter.  I think the supplementary picks are not protected unless the team was unable to sign a pick that was taken using one of the first 15 picks.  In Beadee's case this is not so and I think that not signing him will prohibit the Jays from getting Fielder due the fact I believe they are not willing to even contemplate losing this pick (yup...Beadee may have just cost the Jays Fielder).  I can't find anywhere that states this to be the rule but everything I read says that only the first 15 picks are protected - simple as that.  I wish someone had a definitive source to proove this either way.
John Northey - Tuesday, September 27 2011 @ 01:38 PM EDT (#244841) #
Basically the rule for draft pick compensation is...
1) you can't lose a top 15 pick
2) you can't lose a replacement pick for not signing a guy the year previous
3) you can't lose a 'sandwich pick' for loss of a free agent
4) you can't lose a pick you gained by losing a free agent
5) you CAN lose your 'natural' first round pick (based on where you finished the previous season) if your team is in the top 15 for won-lost record (after various tie breakers are used). If you sign a type A but have no pick in the first round that can be lost, you then lose your 'natural' 2nd round pick. If you sign multiple type A's you can lose up to 3 picks (ie: you cannot sign more than 3 type A's) which would be rounds 1/2/3 or 2/3/4 depending on if you are a top 15 team or a bottom 15 team the season before.

Hope that helps.
China fan - Tuesday, September 27 2011 @ 02:13 PM EDT (#244851) #
For what it's worth (perhaps not much):  Jon Heyman is tweeting today that he is hearing "whispers" that the Jays may be "big spenders" on the free-agent market this winter. Hmmmmm.
bpoz - Tuesday, September 27 2011 @ 04:15 PM EDT (#244867) #
IMO if someone says it then it is not true. All make believe!!
greenfrog - Tuesday, September 27 2011 @ 04:19 PM EDT (#244868) #
You mean, like the whispers of a predraft deal with Beede?
melondough - Tuesday, September 27 2011 @ 04:22 PM EDT (#244869) #

Thanks John.  I would love to know what link you found to confirm this.  I checked and found it no where.  This being the case I really do believe the planets are alligning themselves nicely.  This time the Jays management need to do whatever is reasonable to increase their chances of finishing with a protected pick (i.e. losing the next 2 games would do it).

I would suggest that they do not put out their "A" lineup for the whole 9 innings going forward.  I believe this would still keep the integrety of the game since it is little different than what the playoff bound teams are doing - pulling their prized starters after 2 innings to save them for the playoffs.  This is no different and Farrel needs to run through the bench.  Give Bautista half the game, same for guys like Lind and Arencibia. 

I believe losing the next 2 games will be the difference between signing Type "A" Free Agents Fielder or Wilson (I think they will target both) versus not signing either.  In addition, like another person wrote here earlier today, having the 13th or 14th pick overall instead of 17th pick could end up being a much bigger advantage than many realize.

Go White Sox Go!

mathesond - Tuesday, September 27 2011 @ 04:30 PM EDT (#244870) #
Is Scott Boras whispering sweet nothings in Heyman's ear?
92-93 - Tuesday, September 27 2011 @ 04:35 PM EDT (#244871) #
The decision whether or not to sign a Type A FA should have nothing to do with where you finish in the standings. If everybody is going to sit here and defend the front office over the draft and say that not signing Beede doesn't matter because of the amateur haul they ended up with I can't see why having a protected pick matters. You're going to end up with the amount of talent you are willing to spend on whether you select 5th, 10th, 15th, or 35th.
greenfrog - Tuesday, September 27 2011 @ 04:37 PM EDT (#244872) #
Article in Sunday's NYT magazine on Billy Beane ("Billy Beane of ‘Moneyball’ Has Given Up on His Own Hollywood Ending"). Here's an excerpt that might be of interest to Jays fans:

. . .

The A’s, meanwhile, have tumbled back to mediocrity: the team is on its way to a losing season this year, after compiling a record of 231 wins and 254 losses over the previous three seasons. Most of the innovations introduced or popularized by Beane have been freely adopted by other organizations, thus eliminating whatever stealth advantages he once enjoyed. The Moneyball philosophy ultimately triumphed, but Billy Beane never quite did.

. . .

[Beane] told me baseball is moving “back to an efficient market — albeit one with some random events that don’t offer perfect efficiency — where whatever you spend, that’s where you’re going to finish.” In short, the Yankees spend a lot and make the playoffs pretty much every year. The Pirates don’t, and they don’t. There are aberrations to this pattern, but the pattern itself is unmistakable.

But the more efficient baseball becomes as a market, I asked him, the worse it is for you, right?

“Oh, yeah!” he said, and laughed. He imagines a future for baseball, perhaps not too far off, when the haves — the Yankees, Red Sox, maybe the Dodgers — could split off into their own division, becoming “superfranchises, similar to what you have in soccer,” he said. In European professional soccer, which Beane has become increasingly obsessed with, you have the Champions League, which is loaded with superpowers like Barcelona, Manchester United and Real Madrid, who slug it out in a kind of tournament of the gods. “I think in baseball we’re headed that way,” he said. “Where you have superfranchises that are just getting huge. Where that leaves a lot of the other teams, we’ll see.” It goes without saying, though, that the A’s wouldn’t be asked to join that league of superteams.
John Northey - Tuesday, September 27 2011 @ 04:53 PM EDT (#244874) #
The draft is more a fun thing right now - hey, when you are playing a team that is as stuck out of the playoffs as you are you need something to watch for.

For that last protected slot, the Jays are 1/2 a game 'behind' Washington and 2 back of the ChiSox and Cincinnati. Tied with Cleveland, and just 1 1/2 ahead of the Dodgers.

So, if the Jays win their last 2 and the Dodgers lose their last few the Jays end up in 13th place overall (highest possible). If the Jays lose their last 2 and everyone else wins they end up tied with Cincinnati and Chicago for 16th-18th overall.

If MLB used the NHL/NBA method for deciding playoffs then the Jays and Sox weekend battle would be the one to watch as the Jays are tied for 7th overall in the AL and the Sox are 9th with Cleveland tied with the Jays. So if the Leafs were playing like the Jays the papers and TV would be buried in analysis of every last move.


This is just not as much fun as cheering them to win the division is it?
DaveB - Tuesday, September 27 2011 @ 06:39 PM EDT (#244879) #
melondough, an example of Type A compensation in action relevant to your question was the 2009 draft. The Yankees signed Type A's Mark Teixeira, C.C. Sabathia and A.J. Burnett, and lost their 'natural' first, second and third round picks to the Angels, Brewers and Blue Jays, respectively. The Yankees retained the first round pick (29th) they had been awarded for not signing Gerrit Cole the previous year.
BlueJayWay - Tuesday, September 27 2011 @ 06:48 PM EDT (#244880) #
So if the Leafs were playing like the Jays the papers and TV would be buried in analysis of every last move.

It's always like that anyway.
TamRa - Tuesday, September 27 2011 @ 08:30 PM EDT (#244889) #
TamRa you say "they cannot under any circumstances lose the #23 pick".  By this are you saying that it is in the colective bargaining aggreement (or something similar) that a team cannot lost a supplemantary pick or are you saying you personally see no way that the Jays should sign a Type A FA if it means that they lose this pick?

Under the rules, the pick you get for not signing a player the previous year cannot be lost. the flip side of that is you have to sign that guy because you won't get another pick the next year for him if you don't.

On the larger subject, put me down for wanting to win every game possible. I am totally against the idea of hoping to lose to get a better pick, or to manipulate who ends up in the playoffs.

ESPECIALLY when it's the difference in finishing over .500 or not. i could porbably be ambivalent about it if it were the difference in 70 and 72 wins or whatever, because sucking is sucking. but when you get a chance to finish over .500, symbolic though the accomplishment might be, i want to do it.

After all, do i not trust AA to score an excellent player no matter where he picks? I do.

melondough - Tuesday, September 27 2011 @ 10:22 PM EDT (#244895) #

After all, do i not trust AA to score an excellent player no matter where he picks? I do.

Thank you for clearing up the answer to my query TamRa and DaveB.  Normally I would agree with you TamRa but not this year.  I love AA and think he is one of the smartest GM's in baseball and because of this I have to think that he would never even attempt to sign Fielder nor Wilson if it meant he had to surrender a first rounder.  That said, I will continue to route for a White Sox sweep of the Jays.  No one will convince me that it is in the Jays long term best interest to finish one spot out of the top 15 protected picks just to say they finished .500 instead of one game under .500.  Like Romero said in the "young guns" interview; you either make the playoffs or the season is not a success. 

TamRa - Tuesday, September 27 2011 @ 11:54 PM EDT (#244897) #
well, If i thought singing one of this year's type A guys was absolutely crucial to the future...

Mostly though I just have difficulty hoping for a loss.

The exception to this is there are times when i think the current core just won't work and a rebuild is necessary - at times like that I'm all about stripping away every excess part even if we lose 100 instead of losing 85 or whatever.

but that's off-season. On the field, I like to see success. if i were going to root for a loss, I'd have to even then do it in the context of a player I hated or didn't want back. for instance, if Alvarez had gotten 6 runs of support tonight and then Rauch (if he were still active)   came in and got shelled and blew the game, i could enjoy all the players I like having done well and not be busted up that a guy on his way out the door got roughed up.

Ultimately though, this is academic for me because i'm not at all looking for AA to make a run at an A-type. I might be proven wrong.

John Northey - Wednesday, September 28 2011 @ 12:53 AM EDT (#244898) #
Interesting to note: in Tampa Bay, in a game where their team on the 2nd last day of the season was tied for the wild card with a chance to move ahead, had just 22,820 fans. The Jays had 29 games with more fans showing up, 7 of which were weeknights including games against Seattle, Minnesota, and Oakland - hardly big draws - with every month represented from April to September.

Tampa meanwhile has had 2 games with 30k+ this year. 11 more at 25k+. The Jays had 5 at 40k+, 9 more in the 30's, and 9 more in the 25k+ range.

Montreal, in their last season, had as many 30k+ games as Tampa Bay has had this year (2). Montreal. In their final season after years of neglect and insults and having 70 ton chunks of the park fall off.

I say it is time for the Rays to move to Montreal where they'd probably see 2-2.5 million fans show up for a contending team.
TamRa - Saturday, October 01 2011 @ 02:11 AM EDT (#245162) #
worth noticing from Alex:

...On whether Adam Lind, is first-half Lind or second-half Lind?

"I think he’s the player we saw in the first half. He’s done what he did in the first half in past years. He’s been banged up this year, wrist, back, the workload at first base. I just think he got worn down. He’s too good a hitter."

If this is sincere, you have to wonder how heavily he's going to look to replace Lind.

Chuck - Saturday, October 01 2011 @ 09:10 AM EDT (#245164) #

If this is sincere, you have to wonder how heavily he's going to look to replace Lind.

Why would AA say anything but this, no matter how he felt? This is how GMs are supposed to talk.

It may very well be 100% sincere. It may also be the utter hooey you spew when you are talking up someone you'd like to move.

hypobole - Saturday, October 01 2011 @ 10:01 AM EDT (#245165) #

To me, AA's comments mean one of two things. Either,

a)  he hopes another GM in need of a 1st baseman thinks the same way

or more likely

b) for those thinking the Jays are going to make a run at Fielder or Pujols, you can forget about it.


BlueJayWay - Saturday, October 01 2011 @ 10:44 AM EDT (#245167) #
I'd be very disappointed if Lind were back at first next year.  He's now 28, has more than 2500 PA in the bigs, and has a career .316 obp.  AA knows this.  We also know he (AA) understands the value of obp.  I have to thik this is his way of 1)not throwing a player under the bus, and 2)not killing his trade value by saying how much he'd like to move him.

There must be some GM out there who would be fooled by the old school stats.  Someone who would be enticed by the 30 homerun, 100 rbi season Lind could have had if not for the missed time, and who doesn't realize Lind actually sucks.

Advance Scout: Chicago White Sox, September 26-28 | 34 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.