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Raise your hand if you had the ChiSox's Philip Humber in your office pool as the next to throw a MLB Perfect Game. Sox just won it, 4-0 on the first perfect game to end on a controversial call of a swinging third strike that, on a full count, bounced to the backstop but was completed catcher-to-first-base. Yowza.

Congratulations on the unlikeliest office pool win in, well, ever ...

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TamRa - Saturday, April 21 2012 @ 10:24 PM EDT (#254885) #
Behold Colby Rasmus, ye skeptics, and tremble.

OPS now up to .831 - 2 homers tonight
BA of .348 over the last week.

Other than Eddie E, he's got the best line among the starters at the moment.

(Kudos to EE also, he's been a monster so far)

Wilner says Hutch pitched a lot better than his line tonight - is this accurate, in the estimation of bauxites?
Thomas - Saturday, April 21 2012 @ 10:37 PM EDT (#254888) #
I only saw two innings, but no, not really. The line indicates a guy who was hit when he didn't locate the ball and struggled with his control at times, which is hopefully uncharacteristic. For a 21-year-old making his MLB debut with only a handful of starts at Double-A it was fine, but it was not a performance where Hutchison was unlucky to allow only two runs or something. He could have allowed more if he hadn't got the double play just before Hosmer's homer.
BlueJayWay - Saturday, April 21 2012 @ 11:06 PM EDT (#254889) #
Wilner's out to lunch on Hutchison's performance.  He was not good, especially in that fifth inning.  Constantly falling behind 2-0, hit pretty hard. 
John Northey - Saturday, April 21 2012 @ 11:13 PM EDT (#254890) #
Weird end to the perfect game - looks like the ump wanted it as bad as the pitcher did.

As to how stats are early on...
Rasmus pre-tonight: 234/288/362 - 650
After tonight: 275/321/510 - 831

181 points of OPS in one night. From struggling and poor to solid year so far. Gotta love April.
sam - Sunday, April 22 2012 @ 12:05 AM EDT (#254893) #
I agree. Wilner is out to lunch with his analysis of Hutch's performance (as he is with most of his baseball analysis). He was 92-94 early on with good movement on the two-seam. The velocity is a little bit mis-conceiving as the fastball doesn't possess that dynamic, baring action you see out of Drabek or Alvarez. He gets it up there and it moves a bit. He was inconsistent with his command, however, it wasn't Kyle Drabek inconsistent where you basically don't really know where the ball is going, but he was continually missing a couple inches off the plate and getting behind batters. It looked like he didn't want to challenge hitters until he had to. He did get a couple hitters looking with good fastballs on the paint. His slider gets slurvy and is not really anything that's going to get ML hitters out consistently. It's really just a show me breaking ball at the moment. With that being said there were one or two that looked a bit tighter and I believe he got Francouer out on one. His change up is a solid pitch, but definitely not plus or something he'll be able to go to get a strikeout in any situation. It's more of a set-up change-up, in which batters might miss if they are thinking fastball or have had their hands sped up. At times his fastball flattens out in the zone and will likely be one of those fastballs that is particularly prone to big flys. Today there were two legit bombs and Mitch Maier hit one off the base of the right-center wall that probably was a homer anywhere else. He settled in around 90-93 with the two seamer later in the game, but struggled to throw strikes consistently and was incredibly lucky to get out of a couple jams when hard hit balls were hit right at fielders or they made sensational plays.

With that being said, it was a good debut considering his limited minor league experience. The line is somewhat generous and I'm sure they'll talk to him about challenging hitters early in the count if he gets another start. He definitely needs to go back down and work on the repertoire.

I think if you were to project him going forward (a couple years down the line), you'd say he's a good guy to have in the bottom of your rotation. There's not the dynamic package you're looking for in the front end, but he does look the guy that can throw strikes and go 6 or 7 innings every five days, be low maintenance, and give the team a chance to win. He's the type of guy who in his prime might quietly rack up twelve to fifteen win seasons on a good team and post 200 innings, but not necessary receive the plaudits that a Romero or Morrow might receive. There's some funk to his delivery as he comes across his body and you have to say the next step for him will be to learn a cutter so he has an additional weapon against LH.

Sorry for the long spiel here. In short, he's not Jeremy Hellickson, nor is he Hellickson-lite. The eternal optimist might say if it all came together he might be a Tim Hudson type starter, but he'd have to learn a few more tricks to approach that sort of career. Mike Leake might be the closest comparison, but even then Hutchison would really need to develop the breaking ball or some other way to get hitters out. Right now it's a solid fastball, a solid changeup, but a below average breaking ball with flashes of average. Solid command and solid mound presence. A solid prospect.
Thomas - Sunday, April 22 2012 @ 12:37 AM EDT (#254896) #
In my post, I meant "unlucky and should have allowed only two runs." He pitched to his line in the innings I saw, but I'm glad to hear from people who were able to watch it more closely.
TamRa - Sunday, April 22 2012 @ 12:45 AM EDT (#254897) #
I always kind of figured him for a ceiling of (results wise, not necessarily same "stuff") about what we got out of Marcum.

Which is to say a guy I wouldn't be scared to have in the 4/5 spot in his prime years but one that will almost certainly be shuffled off to the trade block when the Lansing guys start coming round.

If he's more than that, it's gravy.

(and that might sound like faint praise but most teams need a couple of Marcum type guys filling out their rotation. Few have better than that in the 4/5 but if you have worse than that then you start moving to the fringes of being a contender unless the competition is weak. nothing wrong at all with being Marcum, even if ideally you'd rather have Verlander or Lester)
92-93 - Sunday, April 22 2012 @ 01:28 AM EDT (#254898) #
Keep in mind that gun in KC is fast, so all that 92-94 was from Hutchison was probably more like 89-92. I saw a pitcher who still needs to do a lot of work on his secondary offerings, something which shouldn't be happening at the MLB level for a 21 year old with 6 starts above A ball.
ayjackson - Sunday, April 22 2012 @ 09:41 AM EDT (#254903) #
It all starts with fastball command with Hutchison.  Whether it was nerves or not, he didn't even have fastball control last night.  Hard to take anything from last night from a scouting perspective, especially if the gun is hot to boot.
ayjackson - Sunday, April 22 2012 @ 09:51 AM EDT (#254904) #

I guess the Sportsnet gun isn't juiced because Brooks Baseball agrees with it.

Hutch threw 42 four seamers averaging 92.4mph (max 94.3) and 37 two seamers averaging 91.3mph (max 93.6).

10 change-ups and 10 sliders and 2 likely misclassed. 

bpoz - Sunday, April 22 2012 @ 10:17 AM EDT (#254906) #
I love the scouting report, especially the details. Thanks to all.
I hope he does get a few more starts, any & all scouting reports will be appreciated. Especially his adjustments.

Perfect game for P Humber. Must stay on the topic.
AWeb - Sunday, April 22 2012 @ 11:46 AM EDT (#254916) #
I haven't poked around Seattle sites too much, but is there a good angle replay on that last pitch from Humber? I couldn't tell at all whether or not the batter went around, although the lengthly argument happening in the background of the celebration was a little odd...made me think it was a genuinely bad call. Maybe MLB umpires were told to make up for the Galarraga/Joyce game :)
dan gordon - Sunday, April 22 2012 @ 01:05 PM EDT (#254923) #
As amazing as Humber's perfect game is, it doesn't get my vote for amazing pitching acomplishment of the week.  At least in Humber's case, he did something that 20 other pitchers have done before.  The thing that really caught my eye was Bartolo Colon throwing, count 'em, 38 straight strikes in a game.  It's not clear if that has EVER been done before.  Records back to 1988 indicate that it hasn't happened at all in that time frame, and from what I've read, pitching lines prior to that are not as detailed.  He pitched the 5th, 6th and 7th innings with zero balls called by the umpire.  Then threw 8 more without a ball to start the 8th.  Think about it.  Didn't give up a run during that stretch, either.
greenfrog - Sunday, April 22 2012 @ 01:47 PM EDT (#254928) #
Gosh, Rasmus put a couple of great swings on the ball last night (just checked out the video highlights). He's hitting 275/321/510 and playing solid defense. Nice quiet batting stance. Excellent start to the season, and talk about an upgrade over last year's CF position.


"most teams need a couple of Marcum type guys filling out their rotation"

Marcum has been more of a solid mid-rotation guy than a #4 or 5 (career OPS+ 112, BRef WAR of 3.1, 3.6, 3.3 over his last three seasons). In other words, his 2008-2011 stats would probably make him the Jays' resident #2 (however, I fear that the oft-banged up Marcum is going to fall off a cliff one of these days, possibly sooner rather than later).
TamRa - Sunday, April 22 2012 @ 03:46 PM EDT (#254931) #
I don't mean to disrespect Marcum. I think he's quite good at what he does, but on a team which presumes to be a regular contender, depending on the context of competition, a pitcher of his quality ought not be higher than third-best in your rotation. And if you are fortunate enough that he's 4/5 then you have a nice group of guys.
ColiverPhD - Monday, April 23 2012 @ 10:28 AM EDT (#254964) #

I don't know if anyone listed to "Jays Talk" the other night (I refuse to call it "The Blue Jays Talk" or whatever Wilner calls it...when McCown hosted it in 1989 it was called "Jays Talk").  An old neighbor of Rasmus called from Columbus, GA stating that he would do fine once he got comfortable in Toronto.  Someone had to find him some "catfish and hushpuppies", the old timer said.

Anyhow, Rasmus must have found some catfish and hushpuppies in Kansas City.

Where is a place in Toronto where he can eat???


John Northey - Monday, April 23 2012 @ 10:55 AM EDT (#254967) #
It is possible that Hutchison is just going to be trade bait too. The Jays did this last year, giving a couple of kids a start or two so they would have ML experience and thus be showcased a little but not too much.

AA always has balls up in the air. So far what we have seen suggests...
1) He values control over years more than control over costs (ie: tries to get option years and will delay signing guys to keep his options open)

2) He will make surprise trades as he asks about every last player in MLB and keeps an eye open to see if someone is available who he might (or might not) want.

3) He loves giving kids a brief taste of the majors then sending them back down to work on specific things. Spring can 'count' in some cases (Lawrie for example) but generally a brief audition followed by demotion seems his favorite route.

4) He won't hesitate to trade anyone, anytime if the return is good enough. From his ace (Marcum) to young talent (Zach Stewart, Nestor Molina) to long time Jays (Frasor).

5) Accumulation of talent is very important to him, but only high end talent as he won't hesitate to dump mid or low level talent in trades.

6) He isn't scared of 'problem children' as long as it isn't a physical problem.

This suggests if Hutchison projects to a #3 or worse starter that he is toast here - he will end up traded ASAP to try to get a #1 level talent (part of a package of course).
CeeBee - Monday, April 23 2012 @ 12:01 PM EDT (#254973) #
"AA always has balls up in the air. So far what we have seen suggests..."
Baseballs I hope :)
Moe - Monday, April 23 2012 @ 12:12 PM EDT (#254975) #
Where is a place in Toronto where he can eat???

Southern Accent, Bathurst and Bloor.

I miss Toronto...

ColiverPhD - Monday, April 23 2012 @ 12:40 PM EDT (#254976) #

Thanks Moe, hope the information can get to Rasmus.  Everyone is happier eating the food that they like...that's what the old timer said!

Seriously, it seems that he is starting to get into a groove.  Last year was just a mess for him.  He had to adjust to the American League, His psyche, after the problems in St. Louis, was off, and I guess he is on his own now...I read that both Rasmus and the Blue Jays have requested that his Dad lighten up on him.  I have helped out both on the High School level and on the American Legion level and have seen the good intentions of Dads have less than positive results.  In fact I am witnessing it now on the High School level...a CF with the same tool-set as Rasmus (albiet at the HS level).

Best of luck to the kid...and I like him in the nine hole.  In the AL, it is like a 2nd leadoff spot...rolls into the top of the order.  I know they have moved him up a bit, but he looks good at number nine.

sam - Monday, April 23 2012 @ 01:18 PM EDT (#254977) #
Thanks all for the insights. I really think Adam Lind's time with the franchise is coming to end. I wouldn't call him a black hole, but he's certainly not a difficult out and nor does he even threaten the opposition. Worse, teams are blatantly pitching around Bautista to get at Lind. I think part of the reason Bautista is in this funk is teams refuse to give in to him and Bautista has expanded his zone and approach. In sum, he's making those around him worse.

I don't know what the Jays do. Getting an established 1B and bat is really not AA's M.O. Getting someone like Brandon Belt or Ike Davis certainly is, but there's no guaranteeing that will improve the situation. I think at some point though, especially if Belt's situation doesn't improve and the Jays' scouts think he's got ability than you make that move and hope the Giants or someone else is willing to take on Adam Lind's contract.
Mike Green - Monday, April 23 2012 @ 01:20 PM EDT (#254978) #
If Lind were unavailable due to trade or DL, I imagine that the club would call up Snider, move Thames to DH (platooning with Francisco) and Encarnacion to first base. 
greenfrog - Monday, April 23 2012 @ 01:40 PM EDT (#254979) #
The time to make a trade is when the other team has a pressing need - that's how the Jays acquired Rasmus and Escobar and managed to unload Wells. One of the reasons AA has been so effective is that he consistently deals from a position of strength. However, this approach requires patience.
Sano - Monday, April 23 2012 @ 02:46 PM EDT (#254980) #
I think the long-term answer is Bautista to 1B, Snider in RF, Thames/Rasmus in LF and Gose in CF. Encarnacion is DH/1B when Jose needs a rest. Davis is 4th OF and Francisco spells whoever needs a break (much like he does now, which is to say, not a lot).
greenfrog - Monday, April 23 2012 @ 02:56 PM EDT (#254981) #
I think there is a good chance EE is gone after 2012. If he has a big season, he'll have every incentive to try to land a hefty contract on the free agent market.
92-93 - Monday, April 23 2012 @ 03:00 PM EDT (#254982) #
If EE plays well enough to earn a qualifying offer from the Jays his best option may be to accept it.
greenfrog - Monday, April 23 2012 @ 03:26 PM EDT (#254984) #
No way EE gets a qualifying offer, in my view. Even if he has a great year, he doesn't really have a defensive home and teams will be wary that his performance was a one-off. He's essentially a DH with a career OPS+ of 105. That seems unlikely to translate into $13M+ annually, although if he really hits this year I wouldn't be surprised to see 3/30M or some such.
Jonny German - Monday, April 23 2012 @ 03:46 PM EDT (#254986) #
Gary Matthews Jr.

greenfrog - Monday, April 23 2012 @ 04:23 PM EDT (#254990) #
And this is apropos of...?
Moe - Monday, April 23 2012 @ 04:51 PM EDT (#254994) #
If EE plays well enough to earn a qualifying offer from the Jays his best option may be to accept it.

although if he really hits this year I wouldn't be surprised to see 3/30M or some such.

Looking at what DH types have gotten last year, I don't see 3/30. 1/13 I could see. Then it comes down to whether the Jays want to risk it. But GMs seem open to slightly overpay on 1 year deals. But it's a long season -- if we still talk about EE's next contract in 4-5 months, that would be great news.

Dewey - Monday, April 23 2012 @ 04:55 PM EDT (#254995) #
April 23 is Shakespeare’s birthday; (and St. George’s Day, for those of British ancestry).  It’s also the day that Ted Williams played his first game at Fenway Park in 1939, in his fourth ML game.  He was 20 years old.  His first hit was a homer, followed by a double and two singles before he made an out.  Also made a nice running catch.  The Red Sox still lost 12-8 to the Philadelphia Athletics.  There were only 12,000 or so there to see this, but they stayed in the rain and cold to see his last at-bat.

In olden times, giants walked the earth.
greenfrog - Monday, April 23 2012 @ 05:16 PM EDT (#254996) #
I agree that 3/30M is a bit rich. I was thinking that EE might command that much only if he breaks out and hits 300/350/550 or something, thereby convincing some team that he's truly Bautista-lite (which he certainly has been of late).
Mike Green - Monday, April 23 2012 @ 05:28 PM EDT (#254997) #
Thanks, Dewey, for the "This Day in Baseball".  The Yankees went on to win the pennant that year, going 106-45 and then swept the Reds in the Series.  The Red Sox finished 17 games out that year despite having three inner circle Hall of Famers having good years (Foxx, Williams and Grove) plus two outer circle Hall of Famers (Cronin and Doerr) having decent years. 

The Yankees won with top-to-bottom quality- DiMaggio, of course, led the way, but it was Joe Gordon and Charlie Keller and Tommy Henrich and Twinkletoes Selkirk and Red Rolfe who were the (at the time) relatively unsung heroes.  The pitchers were just a bit above league average in every way, but the defence was so good that almost all of the pitchers (from Lefty Gomez to Bump Hadley) succeeded.

robertdudek - Monday, April 23 2012 @ 07:03 PM EDT (#255003) #
It's not clear if that has EVER been done before.  Records back to 1988 indicate that it hasn't happened at all in that time frame, and from what I've read, pitching lines prior to that are not as detailed.  He pitched the 5th, 6th and 7th innings with zero balls called by the umpire.  Then threw 8 more without a ball to start the 8th.  Think about it.  Didn't give up a run during that stretch, either.

I'm sure its been done many many times. Legend has it that Bob Gibson would occasionally throw complete games where he had less than 5 balls.
Mick Doherty - Monday, April 23 2012 @ 07:12 PM EDT (#255004) #
Mike, Joe Cronin is "outer circle"???? He's no Williams/Foxx/Grove, but he's several thousand cuts above a Doerr. Where are you drawing the line?
Moe - Monday, April 23 2012 @ 07:50 PM EDT (#255005) #
I'm sure its been done many many times.

I'm not so sure. Probably it has been done before given how many games are played, but the odds are strongly against it happening too often.

Here is a Dave Cameron post on that question

Even if his result of  "one sequence of 38 straight strikes in 4.1m pitches" has its problems, it sure is very, very rare.

Mike Green - Monday, April 23 2012 @ 08:11 PM EDT (#255006) #
Mick, I just meant to describe two groups- the inner circle of Hall of Famers and then every other one, i.e. the outer circle.  I agree that Cronin was a lot better than Doerr. 
Dewey - Monday, April 23 2012 @ 08:13 PM EDT (#255008) #
Legend has it that Bob Gibson would occasionally throw complete games where he had less than 5 balls.

Robert, I’m surprised at you.  “less” refers to an amount, for numbers you use “fewer”.  Right?  Right.
Mike Green - Monday, April 23 2012 @ 08:23 PM EDT (#255009) #
No, Dewey, Bob Gibson always had less than 5 balls.  Cue classic George Carlin.
Dewey - Monday, April 23 2012 @ 09:25 PM EDT (#255011) #
Damn.  I don’t know who I admired more, Gibson or Carlin.  If they say that’s how it was, I’ll  have to go with them.  Sorry, Robert.
ayjackson - Monday, April 23 2012 @ 09:37 PM EDT (#255012) #

I think EE could pass on an arb offer if he thought he could get 2/$18m or 3/$24m.  And there's nothing precluding the Jays from signing him to one of those contracts should he accept arb.

I think with a good year, they offer him arm, but goo is likely a wOBA of .360 or so.

bpoz - Tuesday, April 24 2012 @ 09:44 AM EDT (#255022) #
Thanks Dewey for the knowledge about less & fewer.

I would like to use this information correctly. So he weighs less and he has fewer wins. Correct? Do you always have to be comparing something?
For baseball contracts Fewer years & less $.

Proper language use is diminishing, I cannot & do not usually try to teach it to my kids. Also I sometimes feel that their teachers are wrong in certain cases but challenging a teacher can backfire.

Is don't OK?
bpoz - Tuesday, April 24 2012 @ 10:35 AM EDT (#255026) #
John N, excellent list on some of AA's trends. Thanks.

You mentioned Hutchison. If we were to evaluate him tool wise what would you say he is or more realistically he projects to be. If you/anyone want to give him an extra 2 mph on his FB please state that.

My evaluation is:
1) Young and developing, so improvement is expected rather than not expected.
2) Sits at 90/91 mph, maybe higher. So not a power pitcher that blows guys away.
3) I am going with very smart, very cool ie ice water in veins. So he will get the most out of his tools.
4) Some how he will develop 5 different pitches that he can control very well. He will also study his hitters so that he can exploit their weaknesses. I know that every pitcher tries to do this but sometimes they do not accomplish this. Grooves a pitch the odd time unintentionally.

The above is part 1. Part 2 is to compare his results at the ML level with power pitchers that are projected to be pretty good. Pretty good being Morrow, Drabek, C Bucholz, M Harrison, D Holland etc... These guys IMO are looked upon as hopefully into developing into solid #2s or #3s, depending on each person's ranking system.

IMO Hutchison earned his promotion by narrowly being the best available injury replacement. Looks like he will get his 2nd start this week, so we can compare him to Alvarez & Drabek. If he sticks around he will eventually face the elite teams.

IMO presently our rotation is Romero & nobody that is proven to be pretty good. I can see the other 4 SPs in the rotation being given a long rope but not for Hutchison. So this year is probably his audition for 2013.

Dewey - Tuesday, April 24 2012 @ 12:16 PM EDT (#255032) #
For baseball contracts Fewer years & less $.

You’ve got it, bpoz.  Thanks for your interest.  Language usage is a vast and contentious subject, but a very important one.  We think with words; we attempt to communicate in words.  They’re perhaps the most valuable tool we have at our disposal --along with numbers, of course.

What worries me with the conflation of “few” and “less” is the slippage in precision and accuracy of meaning.  It is often very useful, even critical, to know if you’re talking about a smaller number of something, or a smaller (lesser) amount/weight/mass of it.  They are different things.  But if we don’t pay attention to this distinction, it gets lost; our thinking blurs a bit, becomes a bit sloppier.  Which has a way of becoming habitual.  So we always pay a price for imprecise ‘thought’ and speech.   Any Toronto newspaper,  media outlet, or politician will provide dozens of ready examples of this diminishment.  (George Carlin, by the way, was deadly in many of his skits about the use and abuse of language.)  Clarity and subtlety of thought are available to those who bother to pay attention to their language.  We don’t see much of that in our leaders these days.

I waver between amusement and annoyance at those who regard care with language as “nitpicking”.  Do they know that nits are the eggs of lice?   Do they enjoy lice, or find them attractive?  Or think they should just be ignored?   One’s speech and one’s writing can easily be infested with the linguistic equivalent of lice,  betraying one’s ignorance that they’re even there.  And linguistic lice are also unpleasant and unattractive. The more of them we can get rid of, the better.

As for “don’t”, sure go ahead and use it when it’s needed.  People write for an audience, in a certain context.
Never hesitate to ask your kids’ teachers why they’ve made a certain comment.  Any decent teacher will try to explain his or her reasons.  And, of course, it goes with out saying that teachers can be (often are) wrong.  It’s an occupational hazard.  They know that.  For sure.

Sorry for the length: you got me going early in my day.  
Jonny German - Tuesday, April 24 2012 @ 12:26 PM EDT (#255033) #
For baseball contracts Fewer years & less $.

You’ve got it, bpoz.

You're being too lenient Dewey. It depends on how you read "$".

Correct: Fewer years and less money.

Incorrect: Fewer years and less dollars.
Dewey - Tuesday, April 24 2012 @ 02:18 PM EDT (#255042) #
Whoosh.  He can pick ‘em, can’t he?  You’re right, Jonny; I had simply (lazily) assumed that by the dollar-sign bpoz meant “money”.  But it is a dollar-sign; and if bpoz meant “dollars” instead, then he’d use “fewer” rather than “less”.  Are you all still with us, class?

  This does show, however, how rudimentary ‘texting’ has to be when acronyms and symbols are used instead of words.  It strikes me as little more than technologically sophisticated grunting:  “Yo, I’m here.  You there?”

The game will be on later.
bpoz - Tuesday, April 24 2012 @ 04:58 PM EDT (#255053) #
Thanks Jonny G & Dewey. Your high standards we just experienced are a big help to me personally. I just tuned 60 and find that my mind is getting more confused & forgetful. It just does not seem to be as good as before. But I am more patient, tolerant, considerate & understanding.
I don't think things are evening out, I am losing the battle. Hopefully being more precise & clear will allow me to participate in complex conversations. I know that the day will come in a few decades when I will be repeating myself a lot. I will then spend more time with the little kids. If I end using a hearing aid, I will turn it off smile & nod.

I was not distinguishing between money & dollars when I used $. Both words were covered in my meaning.
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