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It's baseball time - for realsies. We kick off the 2012 baseball season with our first Advance Scout. What lies ahead? Mystery? Danger? Suspense? Romance? Baseball?

Mostly baseball.

On, to the Advance Scout!


Thursday: Ricky Romero v. Justin Masterson

Coming off a strong 2011, Justin Masterson makes his first ever opening day start. The key to Masterson's success in 2011 was figuring out how to pitch to left handed hitters (sort of). Masterson, who is a righty, throws from a relatively low arm slot, and pre-2011 was basically Tanyon Sturtze against portsiders - his career splits (including 2011) are a .605 OPS against righties and a .790 OPS against lefties. In 2011 those numbers were .560/.746. Masterson throws a sinker and a low 90s fastball to go along with a pretty deadly slider, and once or twice a game will mix in a change up. The sinker results in a strong GB/FB ratio of over 2/1, with enough K's to be dangerous. In 5 spring training starts this year Masterson gave up 18 runs in 18 innings, with 2 gopher balls and a 16/5 K/BB.  Jose Bautista is 4/8 with a HR and 2 BB career vs. Masterson, Edwin Encarnacion and Yunel Escobar are both 2/5 with a walk, Adam Lind is 2/9, Jeff Mathis 3/7, Omar Vizquel 7/20.

Saturday: Brandon Morrow v. Ubaldo Jiminez

After a random off-day (I think that they put these in because of increased inclement weather, but seriously, is there anything more deflating than spending two weeks (or two months) getting ramped up for baseball then to play one game (which most fans can't see because of work) and then have an off-day? But I digress.

In 2010 Ubaldo Jiminez struck out 8.69 batters per nine innings and walked 3.74. In 2010 it was 8.60 and 3.73. Tough to be more consistent than that. But last year his BABIP rose by .043 points to .314, his HR/FB% almost doubled, to 9.3%, and as a result his ERA rose from 2.88 (in Coors!) to 4.68, even though his FIP only shifted from 3.10 to 3.67 (his xFIPs were almost identical). All of this is a long winded way of saying Jiminez was still a pretty good pitcher in 2011. If there was one reason for his supposed struggles in 2011 though it was his fastball, which lost a couple of MPH - falling from 96.1 MPH in 2009 and 2010 (which is basically best in the majors type heat) to 93.5 MPH in 2011, with a corresponding drop in effectiveness. Still, Jiminez retains a good slider and change, as well as a perfunctory curve. Jiminez was also suspended for 5 games for throwing at Troy Tulowitzki in spring training - there's bad blood between the two from their time in Colorado. Of course, Major League Baseball suspensions being what they are (a joke), Jiminez will appeal until he gets to start against the Jays, then take the suspension and get pushed back by a day. Lifetime Jose Bautista is 0/9, Yunel 5/11 with 4 walks, Kelly Johnson 7/27 with 7 walks, and Colby Rasmus 7/17.

Sunday: Joel Carreno v. Derek Lowe

Our rubber match features rookie against veteran, as Joel Carreno makes his first major league start while Derek Lowe makes his 356th. (For what it's worth, Lowe's made several more hundred relief appearances than Carreno as well.) Lowe turns 39 on June 1st but is still chugging away, albeit at a decreased level of efficacy. That's what a good sinker will do for you, fellows (and gals, potentially). The Clevelands picked up Lowe in the off-season by agreeing to give up a throw in and take on $5 million of his $15 million salary; given that Lowe was probably the Braves 7th best pitcher, Atlanta was happy to oblige. Anyway, Lowe still throws his fastball in the high 80s (around 88 last year), and relies heavily on a slider and change up, with the occasional cutter mixed in. The key to his success is his groundball rate, which has hovered around 62% for his career. Its ticked down a bit to the high 50s in the last couple of years, but is still one of the best in baseball. Lifetime EE is 1/9. Kelly Johnson 3/15, Omar Vizquel 12/47.

The Lineup


The Indians tentative opening day lineup is:

CF Mickey Brantley
SS Asdrubal Cabrera
RF Shin-Soo Choo
C Carlos Santana
DH Travis Hafner
LF Shelley Duncan
1B Casey Kotchman
2B Jason Kipnis
3B Jack Hannahan

In his debut season Kipnis hit a strong .272/.333/.507 in 150 PA. He's not an elite prospect but is one of Cleveland's best young position players... Cleveland's best young position player is Carlos Santana, who I am firmly convinced has superstar potential. His defense doesn't measure up to a Matt Wieters say, but in all other regards he blows sliced bread boy out of the water - he walked in almost 15% of his at bats and hit 27 home runs in 2011. This is a 26 year old catcher... Asdrubal Cabrera is locked up for the next three years at $21 million; Cabrera hit 25 home runs last year, pretty great for a shortstop, although his defense gets poor reviews per UZR... Casey Kotchman is the roving king of empty batting averages. He does walk about 8-9% of the time, but doesn't hit for any power...Grady Sizemore is injured, again... Travis Hafner hasn't played more than 120 games since 2007. Still, he's probably good for a wRC+ of about 120 in what time he can play... Shin-Soo Choo had a rough 2011, with a thumb injury and a drunken driving arrest (I'm not making light of this - that's a crappy thing and baseball has been very regressive in dealing with this). He's one of the most exciting players in baseball if he can recover though, a 20-20 threat with a great arm.


Infirmary: Grady Sizemore just got put on the 60-day DL (back). Carlos Carrasco is out for the year with Tommy John surgery. Jeanmar Gomez will be back soon, but after this series, as will David Huff.

Credit: All data from Fangraphs, except for the batter/pitcher career data from Yahoo!

Chart: The Chart!



Advance Scout: Cleveland Indians, April 5-8 | 117 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Ron - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 11:09 AM EDT (#253903) #
Here's the batting order for today:

Escobar
Johnson
Lawrie
Bautista
Lind
EE
Thames
JPA
Rasmus

During Spring Training, Farrell said Lawrie would eventually move up in the batting order. Well I guess the time is now. If I was in charge, I would have Lawrie hitting 2nd and Bautista hitting 3rd. Lind would be hitting 9th since he's probably the worst hitter in the lineup.

I'm just glad the regular season has started!

Mike Green - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 11:15 AM EDT (#253905) #
Good to see the scout back.  "Perfunctory curve" is a nice description.  I hate pitches when they're not polite.

It's nice to have an excellent Thursday before a Good Friday.  Meanwhile, I have to re-work my Hagadah for the Seder tomorrow night- "children, the green parsley on the plate reminds us of the green turf of the ballparks in spring".

Mike Green - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 11:17 AM EDT (#253906) #
Thanks, Ron, for posting the starting lineup.  Lawrie 3rd and Bautista 4th is a sign that Farrell means business.  Now, if he switches Thames and Lind in the batting order, it would be just about perfect. 
CSHunt68 - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 11:25 AM EDT (#253907) #
Nope, wrong lineup. Might have been a "mystery lineup card" distributed in the press box before the game, but the official official (DOUBLE-confirmed by the Blue Jays' twitter feed) lineup is:
Escobar - Johnson - Bautista - Lind - Encarnacion - Lawrie - Thames - Arencibia - Rasmus

Mike Green - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 11:40 AM EDT (#253908) #
Davidi tweeted a picture of the line-up card with Lawrie batting 3rd.  It's a little late for April Fools.
CSHunt68 - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 11:42 AM EDT (#253909) #
That card was later removed from the press box. Ah, sweet opening day shenanigans. :)
Chuck - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 11:51 AM EDT (#253910) #

Lind would be hitting 9th since he's probably the worst hitter in the lineup.

The past two seasons for him have been very poor overall, but against RHP his OPS's even then have been 829 and 771. The 771 doesn't scream out heart of the order, but it doesn't scream out 9th either. Now, if a LHP starts, 9th is appropriate. Or even 10th.

I can't imagine a scenario where Arencibia is not the weakest hitter in the lineup against RHP. If anyone regresses to Arencibia's level (against RHP), they'll be taken out of the lineup. And if Arencibia can catch anyone (against RHP), well, that would be some serious, and welcome, over-performing on his part.

 

Ryan Day - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 12:00 PM EDT (#253912) #
Lawrie seems like a perfect fit for the top of the lineup, 1st or 2nd - he can hit, take some walks, and run. He'll probably lead the team in steals, unless Davis somehow ends up in a starting role again. I'm slightly concerned being in an "RBI spot" might cause him to focus on power at the expense of the rest of his offensive game - the Aaron Hill effect, if you will.
John Northey - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 12:01 PM EDT (#253913) #
So the final lineup, Escobar - Johnson - Bautista - Lind - Encarnacion - Lawrie - Thames - Arencibia - Rasmus is ...

Batting...
R-L-R-L-R-R-L-R-L

Age...
29-30-31-28-29-22-25-26-25

Boy does the age drop from #6-9. #1-5 is 28-31, #6-9 are 22-26. Nice to see the R-L pattern where you only once make it easy for managers who love their LOOGY/ROOGY's.
Mike Green - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 12:28 PM EDT (#253914) #
Lawrie would be a perfectly fine #2 hitter too. 

Installing Lind as one's cleanup hitter against any kind of pitching is a bad idea.  It is the equivalent of giving Brett Cecil the opening day start (actually Cecil has performed considerably better the last 3 years than Lind has).  What it says is: "it's the way we always have done it", and, "we know that Tampa Bay has had a lot of success with forward thinking, but we are not going to".  Oh well.
ColiverPhD - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 12:38 PM EDT (#253915) #

Glad to see the corrected lineup.  When I first saw Lawrie in the 3 hole, I was thinking "Wow, the Blue Jays are putting extraordinary expectations on the kid".  We sometimes forget that he only has 150 ABs in the majors and that he still should be eased somewhat into the major league picture.  All-Star potential nothwithstanding, he is still on his initial adventure in the big leagues.

Rasmus hitting in the 9 hole...I like this.  Despite some major league success in the past he is still figuring out the American League.  Plus, I like a "toolsy" player in the 9 hole that rolls up to the top of the order. 

The last thing I would want to see is someone with little speed hitting ahead of Escobar.  Speed would allow Escobar to stretch that single into a double (or a double into a triple) if the situatiion dictates.

Numbers are nice but I think they are over-emphasized at times.  Major League Baseball is played by people.  It is not some Y2K game.

robertdudek - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 12:40 PM EDT (#253916) #
Lind (Career) versus RHP:

1875 PA/ .283 AVG/.334 OBP/.508 SLG

92-93 - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 12:40 PM EDT (#253917) #
Man is it nice to sign in and see an Advanced Scout. Here's to many more.

LET'S GO BLUE-JAYS!!!
greenfrog - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 12:41 PM EDT (#253918) #
It's not the worst lineup against Masterson, who (as noted above) has a big L-R split. So the first four batters go R-L-R-L instead of R-L-R-R. I would be more distressed if the Jays were facing, say, Lester and Lind was batting 4th (which may well happen at some point, although I hope not).
John Northey - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 12:45 PM EDT (#253920) #
FYI: Jays free on mlb.tv - http://mlb.mlb.com/mediacenter/index.jsp?c_id=mlb - today only. Doubt it will work from Canada (boo!) but for all those Jay fans elsewhere - enjoy!
Mike Green - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 01:02 PM EDT (#253922) #
Robert, even if you treat Lind's career line as representative of reasonable expectations from him (and you ought not to), the .334 OBP isn't great.  Further, it is unlikely that there is a plan to have Lind bat cleanup against RHPs and to sit against LHPs.  
Ryan Day - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 01:05 PM EDT (#253923) #
Lind might have some competition for the 9th spot vs. LHP - Rasmus is sporting a 217/296/362 career line against lefties. Better than Lind, but not by much; if he doesn't pick it up, the team would be better playing Davis against LHP.
Paul D - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 01:18 PM EDT (#253924) #
The Nationals demoted John Lannan, their opening day starter from 2009 and 2010. He has apparently demanded a trade. If I were AA, I'd be exploring that. His K/9 and BB/0 aren't great, but he looks to me like he'd be a nice upgrade over Cecil/Carreno. No idea what Washington would want for him though.
Chuck - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 01:23 PM EDT (#253925) #
Nice tribute to Gary Carter in the Mets opener today.
Moe - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 02:08 PM EDT (#253926) #
Thanks John. Would have missed that one. One of the few benefits from being on the wrong side of the border. Of course, I'd much rather catch a game in the Dome and miss out on mlb.tv.


uglyone - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 02:21 PM EDT (#253927) #
last 2yrs wRC+

Bautista 174
Lawrie 163
Encarnacion 113
Johnson 111
Rasmus 109
Thames 108
Escobar 100
Lind 92
Arencibia 88

I agree that Lind has no business being in the middle of the order, but should be scrapping it out for the 9th hole duties.

and unless he has scorching first half like he did last year, he better not last long up there.
Ron - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 02:23 PM EDT (#253928) #
"The past two seasons for him have been very poor overall, but against RHP his OPS's even then have been 829 and 771. The 771 doesn't scream out heart of the order, but it doesn't scream out 9th either. Now, if a LHP starts, 9th is appropriate. Or even 10th.

I can't imagine a scenario where Arencibia is not the weakest hitter in the lineup against RHP. If anyone regresses to Arencibia's level (against RHP), they'll be taken out of the lineup. And if Arencibia can catch anyone (against RHP), well, that would be some serious, and welcome, over-performing on his part."

I got punk'd with the wrong batting order.....

I actually agree with you about Lind. Against RHP, he deserves to hit ahead of JPA who was brutal against RHP last season. Now of course ideally the Jays would have a better hitter at 1B.

Assuming Lawrie hits like we think he can, I hope Farrell quickly moves him up the order.

John Northey - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 03:45 PM EDT (#253933) #
Ouch. 4-0 in the 2nd. Romero does not have control today.

The only Jays hit so far? Adam Lind.
Mike Green - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 04:01 PM EDT (#253934) #
Maybe that off-day will work out fine.  At 62 pitches and no outs in the 3rd, Romero isn't likely to go much beyond the 4th inning today.  Nice time to give the pen some work.
Chuck - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 04:09 PM EDT (#253935) #
Roy Halladay gives up singles to the first two hitters he faces and then gets 24 outs without allowing another hit.

In NY, Rauch gets a hold and Francisco gets a save.

Valverde perfect in '11. Not so much in '12.
greenfrog - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 04:23 PM EDT (#253936) #
No matter - Tigers win it 3-2 in the bottom of the ninth on a base hit by Austin Jackson. Tough loss for Boston after coming back against Valverde following a dominant start by Verlander.

Now, let's see what the Jays can do. Ricky has settled down a bit and might last 5 or 6 IP. Game still has a ways to go.
John Northey - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 04:34 PM EDT (#253937) #
Watching on MLB GameDay and I'm hoping the person running it is off otherwise the hitters & pitchers must be going nuts as I'm seeing pitches clearly in the zone being called balls and ones well outside being called strikes.
ColiverPhD - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 05:00 PM EDT (#253938) #
Oliver is in. He now joins Al as the second Blue Jays Oliver!
Ski - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 06:48 PM EDT (#253940) #
One more instance of the "I'm coming home" commercial in this game and I'm gonna lose it...
greenfrog - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 07:01 PM EDT (#253941) #
"Nice time to give the pen some work."

Careful what you wish for!
Chuck - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 07:06 PM EDT (#253942) #
One more instance of the "I'm coming home" commercial in this game and I'm gonna lose it...

Concur. And the reason we are continually subjected to it is because nobody is coming home.

Is Santos hurt? How does the team's best reliever not appear in an extra inning game? He should have pitched the 9th and then the rest of the gang should have been brought in in sequence. Farrell doesn't dare use him now for fear the game goes on indefinitely.

Save for Masterson's excellent work, the Indians are looking like the inept lot from the movie Major League.
Chuck - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 07:12 PM EDT (#253943) #
Why not pinch-hit Francisco for Vizquel and go for the home run? You need an outfielder anyway.
greenfrog - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 07:23 PM EDT (#253944) #
Who will Farrell go to if this lasts a few more innings? Morrow, maybe?
Original Ryan - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 07:34 PM EDT (#253945) #
Is Santos hurt? How does the team's best reliever not appear in an extra inning game? He should have pitched the 9th and then the rest of the gang should have been brought in in sequence.

Agreed. Farrell's decision to leave Santos sitting around in the bullpen is baffling. Apparently maintaining "defined bullpen roles" now trumps putting the team in the best position to win a ballgame.

greenfrog - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 07:40 PM EDT (#253946) #
It is nice having a second baseman who will take a walk.
Ski - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 07:45 PM EDT (#253947) #
It'd be even nicer to have a bungee who runs after laying down the bunt.
Ski - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 07:47 PM EDT (#253948) #
And by bungee I meant "bunter"..... Stupid autocorrect ...
CeeBee - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 07:54 PM EDT (#253950) #
I've heard of chin music but shin music?
vw_fan17 - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 08:00 PM EDT (#253951) #
Just saw the replay on that "bunt" - or more realistically, "intentional out". Davis should be benched.
We could have at least had 1-3 with 1 out and a good chance to score.

And WTF (Why T F) is Perez still pitching at 50+ pitches in the first game of the season????
Wow, it worked, to the 16th we go.. If Perez comes out for the bottom of the 16th, Farrell should be canned.

Bets on how long before Perez becomes ineffective/has an injury? I'm sure in 2 weeks we'll see something wrong with Perez.
There are 6 pitchers still on the bench, with an off day tomorrow and lots of "filler" at Vegas. Why abuse your young lefty?



greenfrog - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 08:03 PM EDT (#253952) #
Now that is pretty cool.
grjas - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 08:08 PM EDT (#253953) #
So good to see JP crank one. Probably the most underrated player on the jays. Pilloried for a low oba in his rookie year, despite nagging injuries. Give me a break. This guy is a winner.
grjas - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 08:14 PM EDT (#253954) #
Or rather obp.
vw_fan17 - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 08:15 PM EDT (#253955) #
FINALLY, Santos is in.. 61 pitches for Perez?

Way to go JP!!

China fan - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 08:19 PM EDT (#253956) #
Perez did come out for the 16th inning. Not sure if I'd can Farrell over this. Perez had lots of starting experience for the Jays last season, and he seems to be auditioning for the role again. If Carreno falters, Perez might be a good choice for the rotation. All the reports from spring training suggested that he'd ramped up his game.
grjas - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 08:24 PM EDT (#253957) #
Quote of the night tongreenfrog from 4 hours ago :

"Game still has a ways to go."
China fan - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 08:27 PM EDT (#253958) #
Fantastic victory for the Jays, in the longest Opening Game in major-league history. And I'm going to revive my suggestion of a couple days ago: the Jays are going to need an 8th reliever, even with tomorrow's day off.
scottt - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 08:30 PM EDT (#253959) #
It's nice to come home after work and be able to watch the part of the game that matters.

If you're JPA, you can go 1 for 7 and have a good game.

Alex Obal - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 08:31 PM EDT (#253960) #
What lies ahead? Mystery? Danger? Suspense? Romance? Baseball? Mostly baseball.

Nailed it. 6 for 6.
Ryan C - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 08:34 PM EDT (#253961) #
I like how everyone agreed that they would just keep playing until Arencibia hit his annual Opening Day Homerun.  That was sweet of them.

vw_fan17 - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 08:36 PM EDT (#253962) #
After 1 game, Bautista is 3/4 for a BA of .750. He got on base 5/7 times, for an OBP of .714.

Don't see OBP < BA every day..

Well, ok, maybe not that uncommon on opening day..

Ryan Day - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 08:39 PM EDT (#253963) #
Arencibia has his weaknesses, but the guy has a knack for hitting home runs in style.
dan gordon - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 08:39 PM EDT (#253964) #

What a great job by the bullpen.  What a difference from last year. 

However, what the heck happened with Santos not coming in until there was an out in the 16th?  He must be miffed that he doesn't get a save because of that.  Very, very strange indeed.

Nice game to win.

BlueJayWay - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 08:47 PM EDT (#253965) #
Well.
Ryan Day - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 09:00 PM EDT (#253968) #
Apparently Perez ran out onto the field in the 16th before anyone could tell him he wasn't pitching, and then he had to face one batter.
Gerry - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 09:05 PM EDT (#253969) #
And that's a new rule this year after Joe Madden had Sam Fuld warm up last season and then pulled him without facing a hitter.
Flex - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 09:09 PM EDT (#253973) #
Hilarious seeing so many wanting to can Farrell after his terrible decisions to have Perez pitch the start of the 16th and have Arencibia bunt, neither of which turned out to be his decisions, or his fault.

Can we all agree that there's more going on in a baseball game and a dugout than you might be able to pick up through your 40" TV and that maybe you should give the people playing the game a little benefit of the doubt?
Richard S.S. - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 09:11 PM EDT (#253974) #
To the best of my knowledge, when Santos officially came into the game he was earning a save that he met all of the qualification for.   Until someone correctly explains why rules are being disregarded, it will always be a Save.
Ron - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 09:18 PM EDT (#253976) #
The Good:

- JPA!!!!!!!
- Luis Perez dishing out the chin music to Shin-Soo ďDUIĒ Choo. Why is their so much outrage for use of PEDís but so little for DUIís?
- The 5 Man IF that resulted in the inning ending double play
- Rasmusís diving catch in the 5th inning
- Justin Masterson. He reminded me of Roy Halladay, missing bats/working quickly/heavy sink

The Bad:

- Romero in the 2nd inning. He couldnít locate any of his pitches and was just brutal.
- The control of the whole pitching staff. Throwing strikes only %55 of the time isnít going to cut it.
- Thames in the OF. I forgot what inning it was but he badly misread a ball that went for a double.
- All the idiots in the crowd chanting USA. Do they know the best player on their team isnít even American?

The Ugly:
- Saving your best reliever until the 16th inning. Santos should have been in to start the 9th. I have no doubt in my mind Santos would have appeared earlier in extra innings if the Jays had the lead. Can we please remove the save statistic?
- Pat Table being an idiot. While everybody was scratching their heads as to why Santos wasnít in the game, Tabler said perhaps the Jays were saving him for the next game so he could pitch more than one inning. THE JAYS DONíT EVEN PLAY TOMMOROW and THIS WAS GAME ONE OF THE REGULAR SEASON. Call me crazy but I donít think we should be worrying about burning out Santos on April 5th.
- Colby Rasmus at the plate. I had to sit through 7 pathetic at bats. I know Rasmus is a quiet guy but Iíve noticed he just keeps to himself in the dugout. I didnít see him talk to anybody in the dugout the whole game. Now of course you don't have to be a rah rah guy like Lawrie to be a good player, but I do find it odd how isolated he is from his teammates (at least from what I can see on my TV screen).
- Davis needs to be benched for what he did in the 15th inning. Just imagine if the Jays lost the gameÖ..
Ryan Day - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 09:19 PM EDT (#253978) #
The official rule is this:
Credit a pitcher with a save when he meets all three of the following conditions:
(3) He qualifies under one of the following conditions:
- (a) He enters the game with a lead of no more than three runs and pitches for at least one inning; or
- (b) He enters the game, regardless of the count, with the potential tying run either on base, or at bat, or on deck (that is, the potential tying run is either already on base or is one of the first two batsmen he faces; or
- (c) He pitches effectively for at least three innings. No more than one save may be credited in each game.


He wasn't facing the tying run, so he had to pitch at least one full inning to earn the save.
uglyone - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 09:31 PM EDT (#253980) #
Our 'pen makes me very happy. I can't remember having a 'pen where I'm perfectly content seeing any of the 7 relievers out there at any point. It's fantastic.

Tough time for the kiddie corps at the bottom of the order today, though JPA got them some redemption.

Nice having a 2B/#2 hitter who can take some pitches, too.

And not sure if this is big news or anything, but Joey Bats is easily the best hitter in Jays history, IMHO.
dan gordon - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 09:42 PM EDT (#253981) #

Ah, it was Perez' fault.  OK, that's interesting.  He owes Santos something for costing him a save, LOL

Mike Green - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 11:06 PM EDT (#253984) #
Everywhere I went this afternoon and evening, people were talking baseball.  There is definitely a buzz.

When Thames hit into that double play off Joe Smith, I wondered why Lawrie wasn't going.  The theory, I guess, was to keep a hole open on the right side for Thames.  Personally, I would have sent Lawrie over and over again with the idea that Thames would be better trying to line a double to left-centre than trying to pull one in the hole.  The decision to send Lawrie in the 16th with Vizquel at the plate turned out to be important. 

16 innings doesn't quite equal 40 years in the desert, but I am sure that I can work this in somewhere.

Sano - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 11:11 PM EDT (#253985) #
Seeing the blue back in Blue Jays was a sight for sore eyes. Things just looked right again.

In terms of execution, the game was a bit of a gong-show. Perez stepping over the line and screwing Santos' out of a save, JPA mistakenly reading a bunt sign, Davis not running out of the box (wow, I'd love to be a fly on the wall for Farrell's discussion with him about that!). But I was really impressed with the spirit this crew has. It's very evident that they are starting to believe in their talent (love the mock flexing muscles thing that EE and Bautista have going).
Magpie - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 11:18 PM EDT (#253986) #
I'm still waiting to hear what Matthew has to say about this game....
hypobole - Thursday, April 05 2012 @ 11:50 PM EDT (#253994) #
Only game 1 of the season and:
Farrell should be canned for Perez making a mistake
Bench Davis - great "cut off your nose to spite your face" thinking.

EMOTIONS RULE!!!!!
Zao - Friday, April 06 2012 @ 12:03 AM EDT (#253995) #
I thought it was a well managed game by Farrell. Bringing in Vizquel in that situation was good thinking. I was hoping he'd start the DP to get credited with an OF Assist (would he get one assist or two?). Only thing is I would've brought him in for Davis instead of Thames since Thames' spot in the lineup was coming up that inning and Davis had just hit. Though he was probably thinking solely of defense at that point. I wonder who has the stronger arm, Davis or Thames? They both seem mediocre.

Sure, I would've preferred him to bring in Santos for a couple innings but it's hard to go wrong with this pen. When you have solid long relievers it's not the end of the world to bring them in for 3 or 4 innings. It's certainly not a fireable offense, in fact I think Farrell out managed his counterpart on this night.
John Northey - Friday, April 06 2012 @ 12:21 AM EDT (#253996) #
Not often you get to see the whole bullpen in use and not worry about having guys for the next game.

Frasor first guy out - guess he'll be in that role this year, 6th inning, one inning.

Oliver - facing LH hitters, but used earlier than loogys normally are (7th inning after Frasor walks one)

Janssen - 8th inning, I suspect he'll normally be in the 7th but when behind he gets in a bit later.

Cordero - 9th inning when behind, probably earlier if ahead, nice to have a backup established closer (tm)

Villanueva - 10th/11th/start 12th - as expected, used for extra innings when more than one inning is needed. Nice to see him pulled fairly quickly when he started to get into trouble.

Perez - 12th/13th/14th/15th/start of 16th - again, as expected, used to eat a ton of innings when needed. Did far better than I'd have expected.

Santos - 16th - closing out the win but was shaky. I thought Farrell was showing a lack of addiction to the save when Perez faced one hitter but it was the new rule that messed it up instead. Ah well.

Thus Villanueva and Perez to eat innings, everyone else has their role in order from least pressure to highest...
Frasor, Oliver, Janssen, Cordero, Santos. No shock there but nice to see. 3 guys who've been closers (Frasor was for a period of time) plus two excellent setup men. Should shorten a lot of games for the Jays, or extend them when in extras.
Zao - Friday, April 06 2012 @ 12:52 AM EDT (#253997) #
When I joined this site over 10 years ago we were complaining about the closer role. Some of you have been holding your breath an awful long time.
Original Ryan - Friday, April 06 2012 @ 01:12 AM EDT (#253999) #
When I joined this site over 10 years ago we were complaining about the closer role. Some of you have been holding your breath an awful long time.

Over the last ten years the use of sabermetrics has become standard in front offices, but bullpens continue to be used inefficiently. It's baffling. Saves should've been relegated to the statistical dumpster a long time ago.

uglyone - Friday, April 06 2012 @ 01:21 AM EDT (#254000) #
I've seen enough otherwise quality relievers completely lose the plot when given the Jays' "closer" role the past 10 years to know that there's a whole lot more to that innocent-seeming moniker than many seem to want to believe.
TamRa - Friday, April 06 2012 @ 03:17 AM EDT (#254003) #
Over the last ten years the use of sabermetrics has become standard in front offices, but bullpens continue to be used inefficiently. It's baffling. Saves should've been relegated to the statistical dumpster a long time ago.

simple answer?

it matters to the players and the agents. so they are stuck with it. As long as the stat drives contracts, as long as the pitchers themselves (a majority at least) think it matters, then it matters.

Coco's attitude is healthy, if it's genuine. but does he really believe it or is it simply what one has to say to put a good face on it when one knows they are not going to be the closer?


Paul D - Friday, April 06 2012 @ 08:01 AM EDT (#254004) #
I've seen enough otherwise quality relievers completely lose the plot when given the Jays' "closer" role the past 10 years to know that there's a whole lot more to that innocent-seeming moniker than many seem to want to believe. Who? the only prominent guy i can think of is Hawkins (and maybe Dotel?)
mathesond - Friday, April 06 2012 @ 08:45 AM EDT (#254005) #
I just thought it was awesome to have Davis batting cleanup and Vizquel playing first.
92-93 - Friday, April 06 2012 @ 02:02 PM EDT (#254016) #
"Hilarious seeing so many wanting to can Farrell after his terrible decisions to have Perez pitch the start of the 16th and have Arencibia bunt, neither of which turned out to be his decisions, or his fault."

It IS Farrell's fault that Perez went back out there to start the 16th. If a pitcher finishes the previous inning and isn't told he's done for the night, it's natural for him to step back out onto the field when the next inning starts. There was a communication breakdown somewhere, and for me that falls on Farrell.
Thomas - Friday, April 06 2012 @ 02:09 PM EDT (#254017) #
I agree. It's a relatively understandable oversight to make in the excitement and exhaustion of that long a game and the unstated expectation that Santos would have entered the game as soon as the Jays got the lead.

However, it's something Farrell should have done. I'm sure he'll learn from it and avoid replicating it in the future. And, it doesn't realy diminish what was an otherwise well-managed game (aside from the debate about using Santos earlier).
China fan - Friday, April 06 2012 @ 02:22 PM EDT (#254018) #
It was blindingly obvious to every fan that Santos would enter the game in the 16th inning after the Jays got the lead. Quite possibly Farrell assumed it was blindingly obvious to Perez as well, and that Perez would at least check with Farrell before bounding toward the mound. Still, I agree that Farrell shouldn't have assumed that Perez would understand that -- a manager should never assume anything.
China fan - Friday, April 06 2012 @ 02:31 PM EDT (#254020) #
"....Who? the only prominent guy i can think of is Hawkins (and maybe Dotel?)...."

Really not sure who "Hawkins" is. And I don't think Dotel was ever the official closer, except as part of a committee. But the original comment about Jay pitchers who "lost the plot" when they became the closer might be a reference to pitchers such as Jason Frasor and Jeremy Accardo. Frasor was briefly anointed the closer at one point, but did poorly as closer. Accardo racked up 30 saves in 2007 and could have continued to be the closer in the following year if he had continued to pitch well, but he fell into terminal decline.
Original Ryan - Friday, April 06 2012 @ 02:46 PM EDT (#254021) #
it matters to the players and the agents. so they are stuck with it. As long as the stat drives contracts, as long as the pitchers themselves (a majority at least) think it matters, then it matters.

I don't disagree, but I would add that it takes two to tango. If teams stopping placing a high value on saves, they would matter a lot less.

The stats that teams value change with time. For example, it's unlikely that Joe Carter would be one of the highest paid players in baseball if he were in his prime today. If the perceived value of saves declined in a manner similar to that of RBIs, teams, players and agents would just focus on other stats to assess a reliever's worth when negotiating contracts.

I've mentioned this previously here, but the ideal time for a team to experiment with sabermetrics-friendly bullpen roles would be when there isn't an established closer, and you have a bunch of guys who don't have enough leverage to complain to their agents and/or management about how they're being used. If it worked, other teams would likely follow suit eventually.

Ron - Friday, April 06 2012 @ 04:15 PM EDT (#254024) #
The whole closer role/usage is very baffling in the year 2012. Every single team has numerous sabermetric experts working for them either as full time employees or consultants. We all know the current usage role of the ďcloserĒ is out-dated and not optimal when it comes to winning baseball games. Despite all the information we have, every single manager (even the most forward thinking manager in the game, Joe Maddon) is still a slave to the save statistic. This is the biggest mystery in baseball.
Magpie - Friday, April 06 2012 @ 04:30 PM EDT (#254025) #
This is the biggest mystery in baseball.

Gosh, I don't think there's anything remotely mysterious about it at all. There are all kinds of reasons to run your bullpen in this fashion, even without taking into account the very real - very, very, very real - financial aspects that TamRa mentioned. You may not think these are good reasons, but no field manager is going to run a game in strict accordance with sabermetric principles anyway. Most of them like their jobs.
Magpie - Friday, April 06 2012 @ 04:49 PM EDT (#254026) #
the ideal time for a team to experiment with sabermetrics-friendly bullpen roles would be when there isn't an established closer, and you have a bunch of guys who don't have enough leverage to complain to their agents and/or management about how they're being used. If it worked, other teams would likely follow suit eventually.

I had the same thought, way back when. It was in early 2005, I thought Oakland was in the right situation and would give it a try. But instead Huston Street emerged as a closer. You did leave out something crucial - you need a manager who is: a) absolutely confident in his job security and his position in the game, and b) is quite happy the contradict the conventional wisdom of the day. Someone like Bobby Cox (except running a bullpen was actually Cox's greatest weakness as a manager) or Tony LaRussa (except LaRussa practically invented modern bullpen usage, and actually did fairly well with it.)

And then it's got to work, because if a team tries something different and it doesn't work immediately, that idea goes on to the shefl for an entire generation.

In other words, so long as the 2003 Boston Red Sox live on in the memory of those involved in running the game... fugeddaboutit!
Ron - Friday, April 06 2012 @ 05:34 PM EDT (#254028) #
"Gosh, I don't think there's anything remotely mysterious about it at all. There are all kinds of reasons to run your bullpen in this fashion, even without taking into account the very real - very, very, very real - financial aspects that TamRa mentioned. You may not think these are good reasons, but no field manager is going to run a game in strict accordance with sabermetric principles anyway. Most of them like their jobs."

I think Original Ryan brings up a perfect scenario for a team to try it out. I view the Rays as the sort of team that would explore closer usage. The Manager, General Manager, and Owner are all very close. We have smart men owning/running/managing baseball teams who continue to handicap their own team by not willing to be flexible.
smcs - Friday, April 06 2012 @ 05:44 PM EDT (#254029) #
by not willing to be flexible.

Flexible in what sense? That they are still slaves to the save, or that they tab their best pitcher as their closer? Because the last time the Jays best reliever was also their full time closer was 2006 and BJ Ryan's tour of destruction. (80-0 when taking a lead into the 9th). Other than that, the Jays have kept their best reliever away from the closer's job, like Casey Janssen last year, or Shawn Camp the year before, or Scott Downs for 2 or 3 years.

Non-paradoxically, so long as the save statistic exists, the "slave to the save" mentality will also exist. However, the belief that the best reliever must also be the closer isn't quite so prevalent, either as a conscious effort of the manager, or because of an adherence to a belief in a "proven closer" -- hence Jon Rauch and Frank Francisco last year -- where the closer isn't actually the best reliever.
Original Ryan - Friday, April 06 2012 @ 05:48 PM EDT (#254030) #
Almost on cue, Jonah Keri over at Grantland writes about...just about everything we've been talking about here. After stating that "It's time to kill the save, send it to hell, and strand it there for eternity", Keri goes on to talk about an alternative method of evaluating relievers. He concludes by saying that the Indians would be a good test case, if they were willing to give it a try:

In fact, the Indians could be a perfect candidate to blow up the save and start anew. They're a small-revenue club that's already opted to pass on megapriced free-agent closers. They're run by a progressive front office and a manager who's eager to use statistical analysis to his advantage. Their bullpen already skews young and features multiple middle relievers and setup men with the skills to succeed (depending on the situation, Pestano, Rafael Perez, or Joe Smith could be a great fit, and even Tony Sipp and Dan Wheeler can be deployed against certain batters in certain ballparks for big spots).

Whether it's the Indians or anyone else, the door's wide open for any other ball club with some balls and some common sense to run with a new idea. The first team to make the switch and stick with it could gain a huge advantage on the competition.


I haven't had time to take a closer look at the alternative method of evaluation Keri proposes, but I certainly don't disagree with his basic premise.
Gerry - Friday, April 06 2012 @ 07:16 PM EDT (#254034) #

Gregor Chisholm talked with tomorrows starter Joel Carreno.

The hope of Carreno making the big leagues in April was dashed, but the organization assured him it wouldn't be long until he was back with Toronto. Carreno just never knew at the time how fast that promotion would occur.

"They said I had to do a couple of things for being a starter," Carreno said. "I had to work on a couple of pitches and I had to go back to the Minors to work on those pitches. Then, they called me and I'm here now.

"I'm working on my changeup and my front side. Sometimes I go side to side with my pitches and my pitches fly into the strike zone and the hitters take advantage."

Gerry - Friday, April 06 2012 @ 07:17 PM EDT (#254035) #
That should be Sunday's starter, not tomorrow.
bpoz - Friday, April 06 2012 @ 07:57 PM EDT (#254036) #
Would it be best to not use L Perez until Sunday? And for how many innings?
It is possible that we get another long game on Sat. Use Carreno if the pen is used up, then demote him & bring up Cecil or someone on the 40 man to make his start. Farquar or C Beck if he is a starter.

I can see the strong offensive teams like NYY & Detroit being too much for some of our young starters. The veteran pen we have is valuable for that reason IMO.

Last year Mills & Richmond were brought up for 1 game as insurance and Richmond pitched. I cannot remember the details of this move.
ComebyDeanChance - Friday, April 06 2012 @ 08:30 PM EDT (#254040) #
Is repeating a slogan like "slave to the save" supposed to substitute for a rational argument?
Ron - Friday, April 06 2012 @ 11:25 PM EDT (#254049) #
"Flexible in what sense? That they are still slaves to the save, or that they tab their best pitcher as their closer? Because the last time the Jays best reliever was also their full time closer was 2006 and BJ Ryan's tour of destruction. (80-0 when taking a lead into the 9th). Other than that, the Jays have kept their best reliever away from the closer's job, like Casey Janssen last year, or Shawn Camp the year before, or Scott Downs for 2 or 3 years.

Non-paradoxically, so long as the save statistic exists, the "slave to the save" mentality will also exist. However, the belief that the best reliever must also be the closer isn't quite so prevalent, either as a conscious effort of the manager, or because of an adherence to a belief in a "proven closer" -- hence Jon Rauch and Frank Francisco last year -- where the closer isn't actually the best reliever."

I'm actually talking about both. The majority of teams pick their best reliever as the closer and the usage pattern of the closer is the same across all the teams.

I read Jonah Keri's article and I agree with pretty much everything he said. He saved me 30 minutes from typing some of that stuff out.
Thomas - Saturday, April 07 2012 @ 01:31 AM EDT (#254050) #
Really not sure who "Hawkins" is

LaTroy Hawkins. He is infamous for being an effective reliever, but a disaster as a closer.

(Although, like many reputations in sports, this isn't born out by a cursory look at his stats, as his career ERA is better in the 9th inning than in the 8th or 7th and is roughly the same in save and non-save situations. Neither of which fully captures his performance when entering the game as a closer and when he did not. However, they're a pretty reasonable indicator his reputation is overblown, if accurate at all, and mostly stems from a poor season early in his career and probably a couple of occasional blown saves later in his career that have stuck in people's memory.)

China fan - Saturday, April 07 2012 @ 05:21 AM EDT (#254053) #
Yes, but Hawkins never played for the Jays. The original post by Paul was talking about pitchers who "lost the plot" when they were appointed as the Jays closer.
Ryan Day - Saturday, April 07 2012 @ 11:44 AM EDT (#254057) #
Using Perez as an example makes Keri's article look like it's more about rushing back injured players than the save. He speculates on the possibility of Pestano stealing the closer role with a couple hot weeks, but how many managers would take a player's job away because he spent 2 weeks on the DL? (For comparison's sake, Frank Franciso began last year on the DL, and was the closer almost as soon as he came back.)

In other words: If a) Perez was healthy and got the save, or b) Perez was on the DL and Pestano the fill-in closer got the save, we wouldn't be having this conversation right now.
Paul D - Saturday, April 07 2012 @ 12:03 PM EDT (#254058) #
Yes, but Hawkins never played for the Jays. The original post by Paul was talking about pitchers who "lost the plot" when they were appointed as the Jays closer. I was talking about LaTroy Hawkins. And Dotel, although not when he was with the Jays.
StephenT - Saturday, April 07 2012 @ 01:05 PM EDT (#254059) #
Some information on Thursday's 16th inning from the John Farrell interview on the radio Saturday:

Several people congratulated Luis Perez after JPA's home run, but unfortunately he didn't interpret that as being taken out of the game, and he was the first one to take the field in the bottom of the 16th, like he normally does, and with the new rule he then had to face a batter.

When asked, Farrell said if Cleveland had pinch hit, he could then have brought in Santos right away.  (That was something I had wondered about.)

Carreno was next in line to pitch if necessary.  They then would have rearranged the rotation going forward.
Mike Green - Saturday, April 07 2012 @ 01:51 PM EDT (#254060) #
The Jays are in a perfect position to do something different with their ace reliever.  Santos is signed through 2014, with team options afterward.  If they indicated to him that the ace reliever role in Toronto was somewhat different from what it might be elsewhere, what exactly would he do? One simple change might be that the ace pitches the tenth inning, unless the Jays score a ton of runs in the top of the tenth.  It's a high leverage situation, and you don't want your ace sitting out until later in the game for a chance at a save that may never come.  There are, of course, numerous other possible adjustments to the role. 
greenfrog - Saturday, April 07 2012 @ 03:10 PM EDT (#254062) #
KJ!!!
Mike Green - Saturday, April 07 2012 @ 03:35 PM EDT (#254063) #
Yunel Escobar ought to be the one to end this game.  All of the other middle infielders have homered. 
hypobole - Saturday, April 07 2012 @ 04:58 PM EDT (#254064) #
So Rajai Davis drives in a pair of runs in the 12th to put the Jays ahead, steals a base and scores an insurance run. All this while he was supposed to have been benched. Glad cool heads rather than fans manage the team.
greenfrog - Saturday, April 07 2012 @ 05:08 PM EDT (#254065) #
Jays with a chance to win all three games in Cleveland this year. Great way to start the season (and build buzz in Toronto around the team).

I liked the Davis PH assignment - get him right back on the horse.
bpoz - Saturday, April 07 2012 @ 05:49 PM EDT (#254067) #
Morrow was great.
Since I am not good with computers, I have problems. Anyhow I easily figured out how to go back in years and get the game line on each game pitched. Not bragging just pleased. I did that with Morrow. If he becomes what everyone hopes, I will really enjoy the transformation very much more by comparing numbers present to past.
hypobole - Saturday, April 07 2012 @ 05:54 PM EDT (#254068) #
After an 0-fer on opening day, Aaron Hill hits a 1st inning HR off Bumgarner, then follows up with a 2nd inning 2 run shot.
Change of scenery seems to be working well both ways.
Sano - Saturday, April 07 2012 @ 06:00 PM EDT (#254069) #
Wasn't Francisco supposed to be our PH who can come in and hit left-handers? I was a little surprised to see Davis called on to PH for Thames (the getting him out of the doghouse aspect of it aside).
Original Ryan - Saturday, April 07 2012 @ 06:21 PM EDT (#254071) #
Wasn't Francisco supposed to be our PH who can come in and hit left-handers? I was a little surprised to see Davis called on to PH for Thames (the getting him out of the doghouse aspect of it aside).

Davis and Francisco have very similar numbers against lefties over their respective careers, but Davis had been 2-4 against Perez heading into the game. Francisco had never faced Perez before. As silly as it is, my guess is that those four previous at-bats against Perez were the deciding factor.

StephenT - Saturday, April 07 2012 @ 06:44 PM EDT (#254072) #
fyi, here is the new rule 3.05(d), from David Vincent on the SABR-L list:

Rule 3:05(d):
If a pitcher who is already in the game crosses the foul line on his way to take his place on the pitcher's plate to start an inning, he shall pitch to the first batter until such batter is put out or reaches first base, unless the batter is substituted for, or the pitcher sustains an injury or illness which, in the judgment of the umpire-in-chief, incapacitates him from pitching.
greenfrog - Saturday, April 07 2012 @ 07:30 PM EDT (#254073) #
"As silly as it is, my guess is that those four previous at-bats against Perez were the deciding factor."

Davis's speed was probably an important factor in that situation (harder to double up).
Mike Green - Saturday, April 07 2012 @ 11:03 PM EDT (#254074) #
It seemed to me that the move had both offensive and defensive advantages.  The Jays were up 3-2 in the ninth when Davis pinch-hit for Thames. He came on to play left-field in the bottom of the ninth. Pinch-hitting Davis allowed Farrell to get both the platoon advantage and the defensive improvement.  Francisco does have a role; if the club was down 3-2 in the eighth and the opponents brought in a LOOGY to face Thames with runners on, Farrell would probably pinch-hit with Francisco. 


John Northey - Saturday, April 07 2012 @ 11:42 PM EDT (#254075) #
2 games, 3 games plus 1 worth of innings. Phew. Guess tomorrow's pen will be missing Cordero (30 pitches) and Janssen (31 pitches). Oliver & Santos will be available I suspect with just 10 and 12 pitches respectively.

6 earned runs in 28 IP = 1.93 team ERA. Nice. I bet Farrell & AA are both very, very happy with their bullpen so far.
katman - Sunday, April 08 2012 @ 12:47 AM EDT (#254076) #
Sure am glad they didn't bench Davis, eh!  :-)
92-93 - Sunday, April 08 2012 @ 10:23 AM EDT (#254082) #
Arencibia's done a lot of squatting. With Carreno on the mound I wouldn't mind seeing Mathis catch today, rest JPA for BOS.
StephenT - Sunday, April 08 2012 @ 10:43 AM EDT (#254083) #
Carreno is pitching today with 10 days rest, if I'm understanding Bob Elliott correctly, who seems to be saying that Carreno last pitched on March 28, "five innings throwing 72 pitches".  Ref: http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Baseball/MLB/Toronto/2012/04/07/19606221.html
Richard S.S. - Sunday, April 08 2012 @ 04:32 PM EDT (#254094) #

Toronto's biggest problem this series was it's offense and how it disappears for inning after inning after inning.   As cold as it was, for early April, there's always been two or three hot batters staring Game 1, three or four more productive hitters, with the few others slower off the mark, but still contributing.   This year we have zero hot batters, a few productive hitters, some slower but contributing, but the majority of the team's forgotten how to hit.

Now they face Boston who's missing most of their top relievers, a starter or two and a starting Outfielder.  Unless Toronto's Offense remembers how to hit, it'll be a possible series loss.  

TamRa - Sunday, April 08 2012 @ 04:51 PM EDT (#254096) #
"Carreno is pitching today with 10 days rest, if I'm understanding Bob Elliott correctly, who seems to be saying that Carreno last pitched on March 28, "five innings throwing 72 pitches". Ref:"


True, but he did pitch a sim game on Tuesday, per Wilner and others (it came up during the extra innings Thursday as a point in who was available if the game continued)

Not sure to what extent that fills the need to stay fresh...
TamRa - Sunday, April 08 2012 @ 04:53 PM EDT (#254097) #
"Now they face Boston who's missing most of their top relievers, a starter or two and a starting Outfielder. Unless Toronto's Offense remembers how to hit, it'll be a possible series loss."

I'm optimistic - we catch the band-aid starters, we get the home-crowd enthusiasm, we get to face a team who's not off to a good start themselves...

I'm not concerned until the Rays come to town personally.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, April 08 2012 @ 09:58 PM EDT (#254110) #
Laffey was called up to the Bullpen, while Carreno goes to work on his stuff in AAA, where there's an opening.  Imagine that.
Sano - Monday, April 09 2012 @ 01:34 AM EDT (#254117) #
Carreno isn't going to AAA is he? That makes no sense. I thought all the legitimate pitching prospects were to go to New Hampshire.
TamRa - Monday, April 09 2012 @ 03:32 AM EDT (#254120) #
guessing that Cecil has filled up the rotation in NH and there's no one there they want to cramp by adding a sixth starter.

On the other hand, it's a good sign that they might well give him another turn since you wouldn't think they'd want him in Vegas for long.

Richard S.S. - Monday, April 09 2012 @ 11:11 AM EDT (#254133) #
I think Toronto's serious in developing him as a Starter, or he would have moved into the Bullpen.   He has shown he needs to develop secondary pitches and otherwise pitch.   His next appearance will be the 21st, then again the 26th and possibly the 1st.   Laffey will fill in until the 21st as a neccessary.
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