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Advance Scout: Angels, May 3-6 | 128 comments | Create New Account
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Chuck - Thursday, May 03 2012 @ 04:16 PM EDT (#255712) #
Nothing to do with the series against the Angels, but for your viewing pleasure, a really crappy call by an umpire.
Thomas - Thursday, May 03 2012 @ 04:16 PM EDT (#255713) #
For lack of a better place to note this, I just thought I should mention the latest controversy surrounding Chicago Sun-Times columnist Joe Cowley. If you recall, Cowley was the columnist who bad-mouthed Toronto, called Canada "a third-world country" and refused to stand for the Canadian national anthem. He subsequently omitted Carlos Delgado and Vernon Wells from his 2003 AL MVP ballot. For that decision, the Chicago chapter of the BBWAA suspended him for voting for a year. (He also put Derek Jeter 6th on his MVP ballot several years later in the Morneau v. Jeter year, which was another ridiculous placement.)

On the weekend, Cowley posted some appallingly sexist comments on his now-deleted Twitter account. There was a free speech discussion last month with Ozzie Guillen's comments about Castro, so I don't intend to rehash that debate, but I'd be appalled if this buffoon was covering baseball for one of our local papers.

Richard S.S. - Thursday, May 03 2012 @ 04:20 PM EDT (#255714) #

This series will depend on who hits better, because the Pitching will be good enough to win, if the Offense is good enough to win.

greenfrog - Thursday, May 03 2012 @ 04:58 PM EDT (#255719) #
I always feel like .500 ball on a west coast trip (where momentum often goes to die) is pretty good. 3-3 against LAA and Oakland and I'll be a happy camper.
92-93 - Thursday, May 03 2012 @ 05:37 PM EDT (#255727) #
I'd love to meet the brilliant author behind Richard S.S.'s posts. I'm convinced he's a Pulitzer winner.
greenfrog - Thursday, May 03 2012 @ 06:19 PM EDT (#255729) #
Maddon's Rays just swept the M's 3-2 (in 12), 3-1, 5-4 and 4-3. No Longoria in the latter three games. They're now 18-8 and 12-1 at home. Somehow they just cobble together an effective lineup and keep on winning. Oh, and their first baseman has an 844 OPS and plays great defense. Whatever they're having, can Farrell and the Jays have some?
92-93 - Thursday, May 03 2012 @ 06:24 PM EDT (#255730) #
That 1B (Pena) was available all winter. Nobody around here wanted him. Gotta see what you have in Lind.
Hodgie - Thursday, May 03 2012 @ 07:57 PM EDT (#255732) #
Whatever they're having, can Farrell and the Jays have some?

I don't know, can you put a whole lot of luck and a slightly easier schedule to date in a bottle? Consider the following early stats with AL rank in parenthesis:

  • TB: OPS+ 117 (1), ERA+ 96 (10) Run Diff +12 (4)
  • TO: OPS+ 96 (8), ERA+ 112 (5) Run Diff +18 (3)
The biggest difference so far seems to be 1-run games in which the Jays are 2-2 and Tampa is 7-1 which puts the Rays 4 games up on old man Pythagoras at this point.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, May 03 2012 @ 08:17 PM EDT (#255734) #
How is it possible, when on a West Coast trip, to consistently underachieve in all areas every year?   The Angels are still struggling, with most of the lineup making Lind and Bautista look like MVPs.   Their pitching, the next four days, is not as efficient as our Starting Staff.   The Angels (present opponent - 4 G) are joined by the Twins (final road trip opponent - 3G) and the Royals (we swept them - 4G) as the least productive teams (last 3) in the A.L.   Oakland is temporally most productive but shouldn't be an impedient to a winning streak.   I'd like to see 9 -10 wins on this road trip, with anything less than 7 wins as being disgraceful.   Time for this Team to step on the throat of these teams when they are down and finish them off.
John Northey - Thursday, May 03 2012 @ 08:49 PM EDT (#255735) #
The Angels are having a tough year so far.
Among regulars...
OPS+ sub 60: Pujols, Bourjos (CF), Aybar (SS), and Callaspo (3B at just 9).

But they also have a few going well...
OPS+ 130+: Hunter (RF), Trumbo (UT), Kendrick (2B), and Morales (DH).

These are from the 11 who have played semi-regularly (48+ PA)

Outside of Ervin Santana their rotation has 108+ ERA+'s while Scott Downs has yet to allow a run and leads the team in saves (at 2, but still leads them).
Mike Green - Thursday, May 03 2012 @ 09:17 PM EDT (#255736) #
I hadn't noticed how close the FIP and xFIP of Drabek and Hutchison are.  Basically, Drabek has done a helluva job stranding runners and Hutchison has had a real struggle in this regard. That will probably even out considerably.
/the quiet scout
BlueJayWay - Thursday, May 03 2012 @ 09:34 PM EDT (#255737) #
That 1B (Pena) was available all winter. Nobody around here wanted him. Gotta see what you have in Lind.

I certainly wanted Pena!  Nobody listens to me though.
uglyone - Thursday, May 03 2012 @ 10:05 PM EDT (#255738) #
C.Pena (34):

Gms 01-11: 41ab, .390/.490/.707/1.197
Gms 12-26: 51ab, .157/.328/.235/.563

PeteMoss - Thursday, May 03 2012 @ 10:56 PM EDT (#255739) #
Whatever caused Morrow to be unable to get a double play last year has left the building. Another two DPs tonight.

Also for a guy who allegedly couldn't defend when he was acquired... Lawrie sure is a good 3rd baseman.
Jimbag - Thursday, May 03 2012 @ 11:32 PM EDT (#255740) #
The error that allowed 2 runs was nice, but is anybody concerned at the lack of "productive" outs? Lind and Bautista both sit without moving the runners, and I've see this too often this year...swinging for Mars one pitch and waving the stick around like you're conducting an orchestra the next, but no contact. Nothing wrong with a sac to push the runners along.
Jimbag - Thursday, May 03 2012 @ 11:45 PM EDT (#255741) #
Just to clarify, I'm not suggesting you ask your 3 & 4 hitters to lay one down, but I am suggesting they shouldn't go up there thinking 3 ribbies...a deep fly is a beautiful thing.
dan gordon - Thursday, May 03 2012 @ 11:52 PM EDT (#255742) #
Mariano Rivera has a torn ACL, from shagging flies in the OF.
sam - Thursday, May 03 2012 @ 11:58 PM EDT (#255743) #
Jose Bautista is having one of the worst games I've seen of him in a Jays uniform. He looks completely lost at the plate. I think it's time to start getting a little concerned here. In other news, Adam Lind is just a bad baseball player.
sam - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 12:04 AM EDT (#255744) #
Brandon Morrow is pitching really well. In terms of executing a plan, Morrow is doing that to perfection. He starts the hitter off usually with a fastball at 89-90 for a strike and then builds up the velocity in the count. The slider has been phenomenal and he has worked the curveball in periodically to good effect. Just a really good "pitching" performance. Must be an advance scout's nightmare considering the start before he was pumping 95 the whole game and was all power, where tonight has been methodical and has reverted to power when he needs to.
uglyone - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 12:21 AM EDT (#255745) #
Morrow may have just turned into a pitcher tonight.

spectacular. my favorite game he's ever pitched. much better than that 130+ pitch 17k game, IMO.

I would never have dreamed that Morrow would ever have thrown a complete game with barely over 100 pitches thrown.
Subversive - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 12:42 AM EDT (#255746) #
That was a fabulous game by Morrow, looked completely in control, very impressive. Also, Lawrie looks great at 3B. Bautista looked...not good, sure hope he can turn it around soon.
Hodgie - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 12:44 AM EDT (#255747) #
To each their own, but I would be lying if I said I liked this better than 17Ks and a near no-hitter. Tonight is what you hope from Morrow, the Tampa Bay game was just plain special.
Thomas - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 12:57 AM EDT (#255748) #
One has high standards when a .600 winning percentage on a road trip is disgraceful.
Hodgie - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 01:06 AM EDT (#255750) #
Would it be fair to say that Morrow has never had a 3 game stretch like this? 21 2/3 innings with 15 hits allowed, 1 earned run and a 20:1 strikeout to walk ratio is extremely impressive regardless of the opposition.

Also nice to see the good guys can still win a game when their 3-6 hitters go a combined 0-16 with 6 strikeouts.

hypobole - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 02:04 AM EDT (#255751) #

 Time for this Team to step on the throat of these teams when they are down and finish them off.

Since he's near Hollywood, Farrell got some advice from the Coen brothers on how to accomplish this. The plan is to zap opponents with compressed air canisters, feed them through a wood chipper, then cremate and pack them into Folgers containers.

In all seriousness, a great EW win tonight. Jays outpitched, outdefensed and hit the 3 run homer.

The new Jays pitching philosophy seems to be very anti-FIP, Going into the season, the Jays starters were suspect, even before 2 of the planned 5 either imploded (Cecil) or agreed to a new contract extension with the DL (McGowan courtesy The Onion). But with a solid defensive infield and aggressive defensive shifts, the starters down-in-the-zone pitch-to-contact gameplan looks promising. Going into tonights game, the Jays starters  had the highest GB rate in the AL and the lowest  BABIP.  The league average starter ERA - 4.24, Jays starters ERA - 3.67. 

Yet per fanGraphs, Jays starters FIP - 4.96. So the Jays starters had a mere 0.5 fWAR, bettering only the woeful Twins staff. I can't say the current success is sustainable, but it makes me question some of the assumptions FIP and pitchers WAR is based upon.

TamRa - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 02:54 AM EDT (#255752) #
"That 1B (Pena) was available all winter. Nobody around here wanted him. Gotta see what you have in Lind."

Completely untrue.

when the question was Pena v. Lind (i.e. with fielder et al off the table) a solid majority around her were for getting Pena

(and I say that as a person not that impressed with him - I happen to thin he would hit as well as he is now all year in fact)

I thought he might have been a little more valuable than Lind, but not worth putting the latter on the bench for and at an age when decline seemed likely...but I was in the very distinct minority.
robertdudek - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 07:34 AM EDT (#255753) #
Dear Brett Lawrie. Graig Nettles called - he wants his glove back.
budgell - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 08:41 AM EDT (#255754) #
Dear Brett Lawrie. Graig Nettles called - he wants his glove back.

 

Unbelievable range, explosive first step/reaction time.  If his foot work continues to improve I see a future gold glover.  Reminds me more and more of Chris Sabo, with a higher ceiling.  Hopefully injuries don't impact his career as it appeared to do with Sabo.  I hold my breath during every walk off win with the Morales-like leaps onto home plate and hyper aggressive celebrations.


greenfrog - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 08:44 AM EDT (#255756) #
Pena was (and is) by no means a sure thing, for the reasons TamRa mentions. The $7.5M outlay for Pena plus the ~$10M eaten in releasing or trading Lind would have made the signing an expensive proposition. However, at the moment Pena is looking like a smart acquisition for the Rays.

What a start by Morrow (judging by the highlights - I can't stay up that late). Great start to the road trip.
greenfrog - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 08:47 AM EDT (#255757) #
This short article from a week ago (on Miguel Cabrera's defence) suggests that Lawrie may already be the best 3B in baseball.

http://www.billjamesonline.com/is_the_miguel_cabrera_third_base_experiment_working/
robertdudek - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 09:02 AM EDT (#255760) #
Pena was (and is) by no means a sure thing, for the reasons TamRa mentions. The $7.5M outlay for Pena plus the ~$10M eaten in releasing or trading Lind would have made the signing an expensive proposition. However, at the moment Pena is looking like a smart acquisition for the Rays.

Why do people insist that Lind has to be released. Just make him a bench player in the mold of Rick Leach.
Mike Green - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 09:44 AM EDT (#255761) #
I thought that Brett Lawrie was a third baseman from the outset, but I had no idea how explosive his first step to his left would be.  He gets to more balls in the hole than any third baseman I have ever seen.  It changes the dynamic of the infield defence.  Escobar does not need to worry about the ball deep in the hole (and very few shortstops are able to make that play consistently, with Cal Ripken a notable exception).  If the ball gets by Lawrie in the hole, it's a hit.  So, Escobar's plays are basically a few steps to his right and quite a ways up the middle.  He's a good defender, so he does this very well.  Johnson has average range to his right (he's not going to make plays from directly behind the bag), but Escobar's focus works well with that. 

It really is hard to believe that Lawrie was a catcher, and then a second baseman, with the defensive attributes (and weaknesses) he possesses.

Morrow's outing was, I thought, a very positive harbinger of what is to come.  Every pitcher has to have a bit of an artist in them.  Facing a right-handed listing lineup loaded with power hitters, Morrow leaned on his slider and dialed it up only occasionally.  A different picture will probably need to be painted when he faces the Yankees of Cano, Granderson, Swisher et. al, but I think that he can.



bpoz - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 09:49 AM EDT (#255762) #
Greenfrog you basically made the point I was thinking about. It would be expensive. And there would be left overs.

AA used the word Parameters, we know that word can apply to topics beside money.

Players ego, reasons for signing here or there. I know this is vague, but hopefully clearly expressed. But I do get very confused when someone says something that can have more than one meaning or it could be me that is inventing/interpreting more than one meaning. I am talking about AA, not anyone else. I do respect our Toronto media. From being silent, AA is talking (if true) about acquiring a big bat & pitcher. I am OK with any & all teams saying that they would be happy to get good players now, later or any time. AA however almost suggests that he will do it reasonably soon as I interpret him. I was also surprised when the St Louis pitchers acquired were let go so fast & shocked when Teahen was released, it was very expensive IMO.

IMO the new CBA rules have changed AA.
greenfrog - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 09:57 AM EDT (#255764) #
Robert: let's say you have Pena, EE, Thames, Davis and Francisco on your roster - why do you need Lind around? Sure, you could put Lind on the bench, but that doesn't solve the financial issue, as he would just become a vastly overpaid bench player. And who knows how effective he would be in that role?
bpoz - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 09:58 AM EDT (#255765) #
You could be right Richard SS. But I would be frustrated if Oakland & Minnesota were responsible for this road trip being disappointing.
greenfrog - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 10:02 AM EDT (#255766) #
I liked this quote from Pujols on Morrow's start (from Gregor Chisholm's writeup on the official website):

"He's a competitive athlete," Angels first baseman Albert Pujols said of Morrow. "He made good pitches, kept the ball down and didn't make too many mistakes. He was taking off some of his fastball. He wasn't just throwing 95 like he usually does. He was mixing his pitches pretty well and keeping us off-balance."
Beyonder - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 10:19 AM EDT (#255768) #
Have to agree with Sam's assesment of Jose. Last night he swung at a couple of cricket pitches that bounced a foot in front of him, and generally looked like he was guessing at what Haren was throwing. While Haren does this to lots of hitters, I can't remember a time when Jose consistently saw the ball so poorly. While I'm not at all worried that there has been any permanent erosion in his skill level, I am worried that if he can't find a way to deal with his frustration more constructively this slump could carry on for quite some time. I think he would benefit from a day off to clear his head.
robertdudek - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 10:42 AM EDT (#255769) #
Robert: let's say you have Pena, EE, Thames, Davis and Francisco on your roster - why do you need Lind around? Sure, you could put Lind on the bench, but that doesn't solve the financial issue, as he would just become a vastly overpaid bench player. And who knows how effective he would be in that role?

As opposed to a vastly overpaid released player.

History is filled with players who became productive when their role changed. And even if we had Pena, does this team have an abundance of left-handed bats? Clearly not. So I am against outright releasing a player who could have value if used appropriately.
Flex - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 10:42 AM EDT (#255770) #
We should remember that the fact that Lawrie was first a catcher, then a second baseman, and now a third baseman, had nothing to do with an inability to play a position. It was Lawrie who targeted catcher and second as his quickest routes to the majors in the Brewers system. It wasn't a lack of defensive ability, it was his assumption and confidence that he could play ANYWHERE that had him skipping around the diamond.

Thankfully the Jays realized he was a third baseman and put him where he belonged all along.
robertdudek - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 10:45 AM EDT (#255771) #
It was Lawrie who targeted catcher and second as his quickest routes

Do you have a source for this? I always thought it was the Brewers who wanted to try him at catcher.
uglyone - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 10:50 AM EDT (#255772) #
To each their own, but I would be lying if I said I liked this better than 17Ks and a near no-hitter. Tonight is what you hope from Morrow, the Tampa Bay game was just plain special.

I understand most preferring that game, but this game was what I've been waiting to see from Morrow for way too long now. This was vintage Halladay-type stuff.

Strikeouts are great (and fun to watch) but that game he had to battle much harder than in this one, with a ton of deep counts and tons of pitches. That game was more about his pure "stuff" than actual pitching, IMO. This game he was in complete command and control, heck I'm not sure he threw more than 5 pitches that weren't either fastballs or sliders. He owned the low outside corner all game long and was never - not once - in any kind of trouble in even any one at bat, let alone an inning.

Maybe look at it this way - pitch this Morrow against that Morrow, and it's a 0-0 tie after 9, and that morrow is out of the game, while this morrow is pitching 3-4 more innings with a bunch more strikeouts (if they're willing to go to the same kind of pitch count that that Morrow did). The only reason this game looks less dominant than that game is because baseball games annoyingly end after 9 innings.
robertdudek - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 10:50 AM EDT (#255773) #
Also, I'm not convinced Lawrie would not have become one of the greatest defensive second basemen of all time had he stuck it out there. After all, agility is the key ability to playing 2b and Lawrie has that off the charts.


uglyone - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 10:53 AM EDT (#255774) #
Why I would be against Pena is because I'd rather have Snider in there. I doubt that Pena's bat ends up significantly above leage average this year, and that's just not the kind of player I'd want to spend decent money on, especially if he's blocking quality youngsters. Rather give that spot to a cheap talented kid. Now if we're talking about adding Prince Fielder, than that's a different story.

Besides, if we're talking about good looking cheapo Rays pickups, we should be probably talking about Luke Scott (.928ops), not Pena (.844ops).
robertdudek - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 10:56 AM EDT (#255775) #
Encouraging note:

Toronto has the third best SRS in MLB right now (according to baseball-reference). St. Louis and Texas are 1 and 2.

SRS is run differential adjusted for strength of schedule.

robertdudek - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 10:59 AM EDT (#255776) #
Why I would be against Pena is because I'd rather have Snider in there. I doubt that Pena's bat ends up significantly above leage average this year, and that's just not the kind of player I'd want to spend decent money on, especially if he's blocking quality youngsters.

Just to be clear, are you saying you would have Snider as the everyday 1B, or would you have EE? Not sure how exactly this would work in your scenario, please explain.
greenfrog - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 11:00 AM EDT (#255777) #
"As opposed to a vastly overpaid released player"

Lind might have some very modest amount of value as a pinch-hitter, but moving him to the bench in this scenario doesn't produce much of a financial gain for the team. In other words: Pena ($7.5M) plus Lind ($5M in 2012) = $12.5M for your first baseman and LH pinch-hitter (with the 2013 obligation to Lind of $7M ($5M plus $2M buyout) pending).

Versus (say) Lind ($5M) at 1B plus Damon ($1.25M) on the bench = $6.25M.

Look, I would much rather have Pena than Lind playing first right now. Add Darvish and Pena and the Jays are probably among the favourites to make the playoffs. But looked at from the perspective of a team still subject to "parameters," the cost of Pena-to-first / Lind-to-bench is not insignificant (doesn't mean it's not worth it, just that the financial implications should be recognized).


robertdudek - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 11:08 AM EDT (#255778) #
Look, I would much rather have Pena than Lind playing first right now. Add Darvish and Pena and the Jays are probably among the favourites to make the playoffs. But looked at from the perspective of a team still subject to "parameters," the cost of Pena-to-first / Lind-to-bench is not insignificant (doesn't mean it's not worth it, just that the financial implications should be recognized).

My main point is that right now we have a negative superstar at first base, a position that should be, theoretically, much easier to fill than any other (excepting DH).

Something has to be done and assuming the team's resources are limited there are not a lot of options.

But since you have to pay Lind anyway, why not maximize his value?  Rick Leach's ratio of PA against RHP versus LHP was something like 18 to 1. That ought to be Lind's ratio this season.


greenfrog - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 11:10 AM EDT (#255779) #
Uglyone: Scott is off to a great start (albeit in 80 PA versus Pena's 113 PA) and looks like a nice acquisition but the Jays already have a DH. Pena's strong 1B glove should be taken into account. I also like that Pena's OPS is driven by OBP (398 versus Scott's 325), although this is nitpicking to some extent, as the two players have similar career numbers offensively. There are also potential durability issues with Scott.

On balance, I would still opt for Pena, although I like Scott as a hitter.
finch - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 11:14 AM EDT (#255780) #

If we need another bat, which we do, aquiring a 1B would be the best option. I would target Carlos Lee. Last year of a $18.5 contract. Would be a nice power bat in the lineup.

 

Trading a Pitching prospect like Jenkins or McGuire might get it done.

zeppelinkm - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 11:26 AM EDT (#255781) #

As we are discussing what's going on with Jose, I remembered this little blurb from baseballmusings.

Here's the relevant quote:

"When Bautista struck out, he looked like he pulled off the ball. I backed it up and watched the pitch frame by frame. Jose keeps his eye on the ball until he starts to swing, but remains looking up and out as the bat comes through the strike zone. I then watched the Encarnacion home run, and you can see the stark difference. Edwinís eye stays on the ball right through contact. His moves down to see the barrel of the bat, and Bautistaís never did."

Anyone been able to notice if this has still been happening?

uglyone - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 11:27 AM EDT (#255782) #
Just to be clear, are you saying you would have Snider as the everyday 1B, or would you have EE? Not sure how exactly this would work in your scenario, please explain.

I think from the start of this season we should have had Snider in LF, EE at 1B, and Thames at DH.....with Butterfield spending all spring training teaching Thames how to field 1B as well, because if Lind can do it, Thames certainly can.

The frustration with Lind right now for me isn't so much that there are better 1B around the league, but that we have better options in house and refuse to use them, because of some weird blind spot when it comes to this guy. I trust in all of EE, Thames, and Snider to be decent to good hitters (or at least am more than happy to give them a chance to show it), which is why I was never really interested in going out and getting a marginal guy with age and performance question marks like Pena or Scott for he 1B or DH roles. If we're talking about upgrading to a stud like Fielder, then sure, but otherwise I'd rather go with what we have (which means Lind on the bench or off the team).
uglyone - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 11:36 AM EDT (#255783) #
Scott is off to a great start (albeit in 80 PA versus Pena's 113 PA) and looks like a nice acquisition but the Jays already have a DH. Pena's strong 1B glove should be taken into account. I also like that Pena's OPS is driven by OBP (398 versus Scott's 325), although this is nitpicking to some extent, as the two players have similar career numbers offensively. There are also potential durability issues with Scott.

Both of them have had hot starts, but to be honest I don't see it lasting very long. They've both already started to cool off and I doubt they perform as impact hitters over the course of the year. And both of them have age an injury issues which will likely stop them from playing full seasons anyways. Scott is 34 and missed most all of last year, and only had about 450ab in each of the three previous seasons, and even less before that. Pena has been more durable but is also 34 (and has only once managed to play 150gms) and that 3-year surge of him being an elite hitter from 07-09 is getting further away in the rearview mirror.

These were both smart pickups by the Rays but that's as much to do with them having zero internal options for the 1B/DH slots as them having a chance to be significantly above average players. For the Jays, I'll put EE and Thames and their upside and pricetags up against the Pena/Scott combo no problem.
John Northey - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 11:49 AM EDT (#255784) #
Yeah, we always have to remember that hot starts do not last, cold streaks do not last, players will work towards their true level.

What is funny is how confident everyone is that Bautista will come back and play like he has the past two seasons after he had 4 years before that of 242/334/412 95 OPS+ level play. His 172/310/323 73 OPS+ is well below that, and he should come back up but could it be the magic of the past 2 seasons is over and he is back to being Jose Bautista, solid backup but not a star? If he started off like this last year we'd have all assumed that.
sam - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 11:59 AM EDT (#255785) #
I think the technical issue with Bautista is his front hip. He's been susceptible to that outside pitch all year and his front hip is flying out before his hands get through the zone.
Mike Green - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 12:05 PM EDT (#255786) #
As for Lawrie the second baseman, it's the relative absence of baseball instincts (combined with a borderline reckless approach to the game) that would worry me.  Mostly, I would be worried that he would make judgment errors around the bag that would lead to him getting injured repeatedly.  I am worried enough about that with him at third base, and tricky situations occur much less often there.

Anyways, I am delighted that the organization moved him and that Butterfield was here to help. 

Beyonder - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 12:06 PM EDT (#255787) #
Well yes, the sample size was much smaller at the beginning of last year. New and Improved Jose has been around for two (and a bit) years now. I don't believe very many players can sustain that level of success for two consecutive years without being the real deal. A much more likely explanation is that he's having some temporary timing issues that he hasn't been able to work out, and that he's having a hard time dealing with his frustration.

Why would he simply revert to "old Jose"?
Hodgie - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 12:21 PM EDT (#255788) #
"The only reason this game looks less dominant than that game is because baseball games annoyingly end after 9 innings."

Not to take anything away from the result last night as I agree that performance is the preferable outcome going forward, but the game against Tampa "looks" more dominating simply because it was. Not only that, it was one of the most dominating games in the last 90+ years. Say what you want about Bill Jame's game score, but that game had the 4th highest score since 1920. It also made him one of only three pitchers since 1920 to record at least seventeen strikeouts in a one hit shutout with Curt Schilling and Kerry Wood being the only others. Morrow faced 31 Rays in that game and struck out 55% of them while recording a .768 WPA in a 1-0 win over the eventual 96 win AL East champs. It was one of the rarest, most incredible pitching performances I have had the pleasure of viewing - ever.

rtcaino - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 12:23 PM EDT (#255789) #
Iirc- Lawrie was drafted as a C, requested a change to 2B, and then requested a move to 3B before being traded.
Ryan Day - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 12:49 PM EDT (#255790) #
Mostly, I would be worried that he would make judgment errors around the bag that would lead to him getting injured repeatedly. I am worried enough about that with him at third base, and tricky situations occur much less often there.

I'm worried he's going to pull/sprain/tear something while doing a fist-pump, or possibly injure a teammate in a horrific high-five accident.
Flex - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 01:01 PM EDT (#255791) #
Do you have a source for this? I always thought it was the Brewers who wanted to try him at catcher.

Iirc- Lawrie was drafted as a C, requested a change to 2B, and then requested a move to 3B before being traded.

That's probably more accurate than what I originally said, regarding it being his choice to be catcher. I did remember that Lawrie was the one pushing for position changes, and I got that from this Lawrie profile from John Lott:

http://sports.nationalpost.com/2012/04/05/jays-have-never-looked-back-since-picking-up-brett-lawrie/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter
John Northey - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 01:11 PM EDT (#255793) #
Agreed about Morrow's 17 K game being a thing of beauty. Still, for 'most fun' I'd rank Roger Clemens going to Boston as a Jay and having the crowd go nuts against him at the start then by the time he left after 8 innings the crowd was cheering him. Just amazing to see (on TV). This was pre-drugs based on all testimony to date too. There is a reason he won 350+ games, and that game was a great demonstration of it.
eungar - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 01:14 PM EDT (#255794) #
maybe putting bautista at first and snider in right would solve the lind-sucking problem.
Matthew E - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 01:16 PM EDT (#255795) #
I'm worried he's going to pull/sprain/tear something while doing a fist-pump, or possibly injure a teammate in a horrific high-five accident.

I would also put Lawrie at greater-than-average risk of spontaneous human combustion.
Beyonder - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 01:20 PM EDT (#255796) #
Lawrie looked great yesterday, but he still rushes unnecessarily. Yesterday Pujols (I think) hit a very sharp liner that Brett grabbed beautifully, then popped up insanely quickly and fired to first in one motion, beating Pujols by about five steps. Awesome looking play, but he could have taken a lot more time and recorded the out in a much less spectacular manner.

Love the athleticism it takes to make a play like that, but learning where and when to bring that athleticism to bear will play a big part in his development as a third baseman. For an example of a rushed throw with a far less benign result, see last week's 9-5 loss to Seattle, where Brett botched what should have been an easy throw to first to end the game.
John Northey - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 01:29 PM EDT (#255797) #
Well, JPA is no longer the worst (by OPS+) regular on the Jays. He is up to an OPS+ of 61, putting him just ahead of (you guessed it) Adam Lind and his 58. Escobar is up to 63 after hitting 303/324/424 - 748 OPS (just over 100 OPS+) over his last 8 games.

Jays hitters are now in a few groupings...
Horrid: JPA/Lind/Escobar in the 58-63 OPS+ range
Bad: Bautista/Rasmus at 73/83
OK: Thames/Lawrie at 100/101
Woohoo: Johnson/Encarnacion at 134/168

Escobar seems to have recovered, as has JPA but Lind is getting worse (0 for 15 last 4 games) and Bautista is also getting worse (108/190/216 over past 10 games). Rasmus showed hope but dashes it again (161/212/258 over past 10).

Boy, with 1/3rd of the lineup hitting worse than John McDonald one wonders how the Jays have done as well as they have lately.
robertdudek - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 01:31 PM EDT (#255798) #
Not that this is an omen, but another guy who threw his body around the baseball field managed to play 3562 major league games.
robertdudek - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 01:34 PM EDT (#255799) #
Boy, with 1/3rd of the lineup hitting worse than John McDonald one wonders how the Jays have done as well as they have lately.

It's not really a wonder, it lands squarely within the realm of small sample size.
92-93 - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 01:56 PM EDT (#255801) #
Speaking of John McDonald:

JMac, career vs. LHP - .253/.294/.340
Lind, career vs. LHP - .220/.263/.341
greenfrog - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 01:57 PM EDT (#255802) #
On a different note: not that you ever want to capitalize on someone else's misfortune, but recent injuries might make the playoffs a bit more attainable this year:

- Boston: Ellsbury, Crawford, Youkilis, Bailey, Dice-K, Beckett (minor injury?)

- Tampa: Longoria, Farnsworth (have also missed Upton until now, not that it has hurt them much)

- New York: Pineda, Rivera, Chamberlain, Chavez

I mean, that's a star-studded DL.
Mike Green - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 03:18 PM EDT (#255809) #
I cannot agree that Lawrie rushed the throw in the 9th inning of the game against Seattle.  I actually thought that he was (for him) very deliberate, and that might have contributed to the poor throw.  There is a bit of a balance between taking your time and fighting your nature. 

I love the energy that Lawrie brings to the game.  If Pete Rose was an 18 on a 1-20 energy scale, Lawrie would be a 20. 

subculture - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 03:25 PM EDT (#255810) #
Whatís actually wrong with Adam Lind?  What are the actual reasons for his hitting to decline so dramatically since his 2009 year, where he led the Jays in most hitting categories?

Iím partly asking because I want to know, and partly because Iím getting frustrated continually reading posts about his ineptitude without any descriptions or theories as to why he is hitting so poorly.

Previously, Iíve held out hope that much of his crappy hitting periods were a result of lingering injuries.  Heís hit well enough in spurts (twice last year) to make me believe he could return to being an above average 1st-baseman offensively.  But the vast majority of posts now simply state that he just canít hit any more, and thatís a curious statement to make without any reasons offered.

For Snyder, Iíve read posts and articles that suggested he couldnít catch-up to a good fastball (and it appears his tinkering with different stances was meant to address this).
For Thames last year it was obvious pitchers were exploiting his willingness to swing at high fastballs Ė and this year he seems better at taking those pitches.
For Jose we all know that a couple years ago he adjusted his timing to get ready for fastballs sooner, and basically spit at off-speed pitches unless he was pretty certain they were coming.
Vernon Wells bane of existence has been his pull-happy ways, so extreme that any decent low-outside pitch resulted in a weak grounder or pop-up.

But how about Adam Lind?  What is his weakness, and is it fixable?  Has his bat-speed declined (like Frank Thomas as a Blue Jay)?  I donít think soÖ his confidence shot?  Definitely..  Poor swing mechanics?  I still see what looks like a sweet swing (except when heís bent over reaching for balls in the dirtÖ like both he and Jose did last night)Ö. Pull-happy?  Doesnít seem like thatís the caseÖ Canít hit lefties?  Yes, but why?  Poor strike-zone judgement?  Yes, but why is it so bad now when previously it was the best on the team?  Doesnít get borderline calls from umpires?  I absolutely believe this is true, but is this fixable?

Iíd really like to hear from someone like an experienced batting coach, or scout who has analyzed Lindís swing and approach, and concluded that he has issues that canít be fixed.

His defence has improved so much at 1b that Iíd really really like him to figure this stuff out (especially since I drafted him in my fantasy league!).

The Jays are 15-11 despite their 3-4 hitters performing like 8-9 hitters Ö in the National League!!

With the AL East injuries mentioned above, if Jose and Lind could be 80% as good as their best years, I'd put our chances at 70%!  (Barring severe injuries to our key guys of course). 

Mylegacy - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 03:33 PM EDT (#255811) #
Jose's strikeout in the 9th last night (9th or 8th?) was his worse at bat in several years. Hopefully - it will snap him out of this horrible - awful - timing funk he's in.

How long can we contend with a 3 and 4 hitter BOTH doing worse than my grandmother? Mind you - Granny's got a great bunting stroke agianst left handed knuckleballers. Too bad Jose and Lind don't face too many of those.

zeppelinkm - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 03:35 PM EDT (#255812) #

And not to go back to that painful game anymore (the Lawrie throw in the dirt game), but by gosh, that was a pick I see most good 16 year olds make. Let alone a guy playing 1B in the MAJOR LEAGUES.  Just disgraceful. I agree he actually appeared to take his time on that throw as well. Relatively speaking, of course.

Chuck - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 03:53 PM EDT (#255815) #

I actually thought that he was (for him) very deliberate

I agree. And that type of thing just happens. The weekend warriors among us can all relate to this, in whatever our sport of choice is. When you think about throwing a baseball or taking a jump shot or swinging a golf club, while you are doing the actual thing, there's a good chance you're going to mess up. You can't think about your mechanics while you're doing the thing.

And professional athletes are no different. How many infielders mess up on throws where they have "too much time"? How many basketball players miss open jump shots when they have too much time? It happens.

Mike Green - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 03:58 PM EDT (#255816) #
From a statistical perspective, it seems that pitchers have been throwing Lind fewer four-seamers and more two-seamers than before (if Fangraphs' pitch classification from 09-12 is accurate), but the result has been that Lind has had less success against four-seamers. 

This year, he seems to have adopted a more patient approach but the power has not been there.  It might very well be that his back is not 100%. 
greenfrog - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 04:08 PM EDT (#255818) #
To me, Lind doesn't look as lithe and responsive as he did in 2009. I think he acknowledged overdoing the chest workouts in the weight room in 2010 (or pre-2010). He then apparently backed off the weights before 2011. But he still looks sort of bulkier and more sluggish (or less athletic) than he once did.
John Northey - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 04:08 PM EDT (#255819) #
Y'know, despite the issues we've seen (Lind, Escobar, JPA, Bautista hitting horribly, the closers either being injured or ineffective) the Jays are still in position for the 2nd wildcard at the moment. Just 3 back of the Rays, 1 1/2 behind (of all teams) the Orioles. Gotta count those blessings.
uglyone - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 04:32 PM EDT (#255824) #
It's interesting with Lind (and cordero, really), because I think Farrell's stubborness in keeping them in their "roles" has more to do with him not wanting to put other players into those pressure roles - whether that be players who are currently performing very well in their comfortable current roles (like Encarnacion, Frasor) or whether that be young or inexperienced players who he doesn't want to load any more pressure on (like Lawrie, Thames, Perez). He'd rather keep those other guys playing well in lesser roles, then move them up, have them fold, and then be stuck with them struggling AND the other guys still struggling.

I can sort of see where he's coming from, because I have no doubt that players can defeat themselves pretty easily when cast in one of those mystical "roles" of the "Cleanup Hitter" or the "Closer". (And I have no doubt that EE's 0-4 performance the day he was named the "#4 hitter" spooked Farrell but good).

But I can see plenty of people mocking that kind of attitude, and I couldn't really disagree with them. And even if I do agree with Farrell on this a little bit, at a certain point you just can't keep trotting out ineffective players in key roles, and you can't be scared of putting other guys in those roles forever, either.
robertdudek - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 04:41 PM EDT (#255826) #
Iím partly asking because I want to know, and partly because Iím getting frustrated continually reading posts about his ineptitude without any descriptions or theories as to why he is hitting so poorly.

The most likely explanation at this point is that his one good year was a fluke, and that he is a poor hitter for a first baseman.

If you look at his swing, it is neithe rbuilt for power nor consistent line drives. He doesn't walk a whole lot and his control of the strikezone isn't above average either. It adds up to mediocrity.

If you don't do anything particularly well with the bat it's hard to be a good major league hitter. Not really sure much more needs to be said.
uglyone - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 04:42 PM EDT (#255827) #
Whatís actually wrong with Adam Lind? What are the actual reasons for his hitting to decline so dramatically since his 2009 year, where he led the Jays in most hitting categories?

Unfortunately, it looks like the better question is "why was Lind so good in 2009?", and not "why has he been so bad otherwise?"

  • 2006: 65pa, 1.015ops (RHP 54pa/.997, LHP 11pa/1.101)
  • 2007: 311pa, .678ops (RHP 235pa/.720, LHP 76pa/.542)
  • 2008: 349pa, .755ops (RHP 250pa/.781, LHP 99pa/.688)
  • 2009: 654pa, .932ops (RHP 475pa/.992, LHP 179pa/.780)
  • 2010: 613pa, .712ops (RHP 468pa/.829, LHP 145pa/.341)
  • 2011: 499pa, .734ops (RHP 393pa/.771, LHP 149pa/.639)
  • 2012: 93pa, .581ops (RHP 70pa/.675, LHP 23pa/.310)


  • I think we can safely ignore the 2006 and 2012 stats based on small sample size. Which leaves Lind with a career progression of .678 - .755 - .932 - .712 - 734. To be objective, it's very hard to look at that and conclude anything other than that 2009 was a complete fluke career year.
    Mike Green - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 05:32 PM EDT (#255830) #
    Usually, when a hitter has a fluke good year from a power perspective, something is going on.  Lind's 2009 was entirely balanced, and it was not particularly a hitter's bacchanalia year (as 1987 was when Larry Sheets hit 30 homers...).  Lind hit 46 doubles and 35 homers, and the profile of the homers according to Hit Tracker was normal- hit to all fields and many of them well over 400 feet. 

    I might add that his 2009 major league season is broadly speaking consistent with his performance in the high minors from 2006-08.

    Nonetheless, whether Lind's relative lack of effectiveness since 2009 is due to 2009 being a fluke or due to the effects of a back injury or some other cause, the upshot is the same.  He is not likely in 2012 and 2013 to hit the way he did in 2009, or frankly to quite match his career norms. 

    scottt - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 07:34 PM EDT (#255834) #
    The Angels have good pitching, so this might not be the series in which all the Jays bats come alive.

    Couple of quotes from way back when"

    "I know exactly what I need to do now to be ready for each game, for each individual pitcher, I know what to look for, what to worry about what to not worry about.

    Before, I put too much stuff in my head, too much weight on my shoulders trying to hit the fastball, the slider, the curveball and the changeup every single pitch of every at-bat every day. I know I can't do that now.

    I single things out, I go by probabilities, I watch video, I try to come up with a way that they will attack me so I'm prepared. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't but when you combine all those things, you're lining yourself up for success instead of failure. I think I lined myself up for failure earlier in my career."  JB



    "There's a lot of players out there that break our hearts and that have all the ability in the world and we all sit there and say, 'Why isn't he better?'

    Normally it's what's between the ears. You like to convince yourself it isn't that but it really is." AA

    scottt - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 07:42 PM EDT (#255835) #
    Toronto has the second best run differential in the AL East behind Baltimore. The Orioles are the best in the league with 85 run allowed. That looks like a mirage.



    Richard S.S. - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 11:30 PM EDT (#255839) #
    Every game we hope for a resurgence of Jose Bautista domination of Baseball and quest for an MVP title.   My only question is, when did Jose stop having fun at this game, because I believe that is the key?
    Richard S.S. - Saturday, May 05 2012 @ 12:28 AM EDT (#255840) #
    Kyle Drabek has not allowed more than 2 ER this season, while facing Boston (W), Baltimore (W), Kansas City (NDW), Baltimore (L), Texas (L).   The Offence was lacking in his last two starts, which hopefully means it will get better.
    TamRa - Saturday, May 05 2012 @ 01:50 AM EDT (#255842) #
    "Toronto has the second best run differential in the AL East behind Baltimore. The Orioles are the best in the league with 85 run allowed. That looks like a mirage."

    Actually tied with Baltimore now at +25, which is second in the AL and third in all of the majors.

    Runs scored leaders:

    1. (t) - StL/Atlanta - 142
    3. Texas - 139
    4. Boston - 136
    5. Colo. - 135
    6. Toronto - 133

    That's pretty impressive given how many cylinders they are NOT firing on.

    PeteMoss - Saturday, May 05 2012 @ 07:41 AM EDT (#255843) #
    Just read on Buster Olney twitter feed that the Angels have been shutout the last five times Ervin Santana has started. That's unbelievable.
    CeeBee - Saturday, May 05 2012 @ 08:38 AM EDT (#255844) #
    Henderson Alvarez is an unflappable young man. He not only pitched a really good game but he was very efficient as well. Calm cool, and collected from start to finish. Santana should sue for run support as he pitched well enough to win as well. The bats are still quiet but good pitching sure can make hitting look tough. At least Batista and Escobar seem to be slowly waking up.
    92-93 - Saturday, May 05 2012 @ 11:33 AM EDT (#255845) #
    As Rex Hudler would say, Henderson Alvarez chews his gum with confidence.
    scottt - Saturday, May 05 2012 @ 12:03 PM EDT (#255850) #
    Lind has 4 hits in 7 career at-bats against C. J. Wilson.



    PeteMoss - Saturday, May 05 2012 @ 02:14 PM EDT (#255864) #
    Non-Jays... but Jason Hammel has stuck out 5 guys in 2 innings versus the Red Sox. No idea what has gotten into him but he's suddenly looking like an ace.

    Aaron Cook on the other hand... probably should have just let him go. 8-0 Orioles in the 2nd inning.
    Richard S.S. - Saturday, May 05 2012 @ 03:16 PM EDT (#255871) #
    At least the Bullpen will be well rested.   Drabek gets another chance to show he's here to stay.   The elephant in the room won't be discussed by me.   Bautista looked a bit better yesterday, so it will be interesting to see how the Team wins today.
    ayjackson - Saturday, May 05 2012 @ 03:43 PM EDT (#255874) #
    Unfortunately, it looks like the better question is "why was Lind so good in 2009?", and not "why has he been so bad otherwise?"

  • I think we can safely ignore the 2006 and 2012 stats based on small sample size. Which leaves Lind with a career progression of .678 - .755 - .932 - .712 - 734. To be objective, it's very hard to look at that and conclude anything other than that 2009 was a complete fluke career year.

    The only problem I have with this analysis is that it looks at individual seasons and not any periods within the seasons.  When you look at each month of his career, he's almost never a .725 OPSer, which is what he almost always is over a full season.  It seems he either hits .850+ or below .600 over smaller samples.  This may mean he's very streaky, but it also may mean he's had numerous injuries to deal with (back/wrists).  Both of which are fair reasons to replace him, but, as I suspect is the case with Mgt, it's also a fair reason to decide to stick with him another year to see if he can stay healthy and hit well.

    I think it's improbable that Lind ever becomes anything more than a streaky hitter, but if mgt felt injuries were the cause and decided to give him another chance this year, 100 PA's is hardly a fair sample to abandon the plan.

    Abandon his as clean-up hitter, by all means though.

  • robertdudek - Saturday, May 05 2012 @ 05:46 PM EDT (#255876) #
    I think it's improbable that Lind ever becomes anything more than a streaky hitter, but if mgt felt injuries were the cause and decided to give him another chance this year, 100 PA's is hardly a fair sample to abandon the plan.

    100 PA is a small sample as far as results are concerned, but it is not a small sample as far as the qualitative characteristics of the at-bats. In other words, it's not only the result that are poor, but they look bad as well. This is something that hasn't been true this year, for example, of Eric Hosmer.
    ayjackson - Saturday, May 05 2012 @ 06:58 PM EDT (#255880) #

    100 PA is a small sample as far as results are concerned, but it is not a small sample as far as the qualitative characteristics of the at-bats.

    Well in that case, up until the first two games of the Angel series, he had displayed the best strike zone control of his career, statistically speaking.

    robertdudek - Saturday, May 05 2012 @ 07:58 PM EDT (#255883) #
    Well in that case, up until the first two games of the Angel series, he had displayed the best strike zone control of his career, statistically speaking.

    I'm not sure you get my point - I'm talking about how the at-bats look, how the swings look, how late/early they are. It has nothing to do with statistics like OPS, K or W. 100 PA is plenty to make judgments about how the a-b LOOKS.
    Mike Green - Saturday, May 05 2012 @ 08:27 PM EDT (#255884) #
    Lind gets the start against C.J. Wilson tonight, while Davis returns to the lineup for Thames. Ben Francisco sports a nice .250/.400/1.000 line against Wilson in 5 at-bats, and looked good at the plate when the Jays beat up on Matt Harrison. 
    greenfrog - Saturday, May 05 2012 @ 08:57 PM EDT (#255886) #
    Pujols is being given the day off today, apparently. Not a bad idea by Scioscia. I just hope Phat Albert stays quiet at the plate - until the Jays leave town.
    Mike Green - Saturday, May 05 2012 @ 09:02 PM EDT (#255887) #
    ...with the result that Callaspo is at third instead of Trumbo.  With a lefty starting for the Angels, there is an especially significant defensive benefit there.  Of course, you could just rest Trumbo or Morales.
    greenfrog - Saturday, May 05 2012 @ 10:11 PM EDT (#255888) #
    The Angels broadcasters, noting that Lind is hitting terribly and doubly terribly against LHPs, are perplexed as to why he is batting in the middle of the order tonight. They sounded rather bemused about why he's the Jays' everyday first baseman and cleanup hitter in general.
    Mike Green - Saturday, May 05 2012 @ 10:18 PM EDT (#255889) #
    After two complete games and Romero's 8 inning outing before that, and with a day off coming on Monday, most of the bullpen could use work today or tomorrow.  With Drabek on the wild side, it should be possible to use two or three tonight. 
    subculture - Sunday, May 06 2012 @ 04:18 AM EDT (#255892) #
    I missed the game... so what did the announcers say after Lind hit his dinger?

    I know what I'm saying... "please let this be the start of a hot streak for Lind, oh please let this be the start of a hot streak for Lind..."

    Even if it means just increasing his trade value, a hot Lind would make this lineup really formidable.  What I don't want to see is we dump Lind for nothing (and eat payroll), then watch him have some good years for another team with a different hitting approach, a la John Olerud.  When he was traded to the Mets, it just seemed wrong to see him in that uniform.

    CeeBee - Sunday, May 06 2012 @ 08:41 AM EDT (#255893) #
    Well, the Dodgers won the WS in 65 with Wes Parker at first base and he didn't provide much production either. 8 home runs and 51 RBI's to be exact. I guess it probably can work in a low scoring environment plus having 3 starters named Koufax, Drysdale and Osteen start 127 games and go a combined 64-35.
    Chuck - Sunday, May 06 2012 @ 09:19 AM EDT (#255894) #

    Well, the Dodgers won the WS in 65 with Wes Parker at first base and he didn't provide much production either.

    His 238/334/352 slash line was actually good for an OPS+ of 100. LA was a hell of a pitcher's park. 

    Every time Farrell makes small overtures at turning Lind into a platoon player, Lind does just enough to extend his shelf life vs LHP. Yesterday's homerun should buy him another month of fulltime duty and further compound Ben Francisco's existential angst.

    On a night of many miscues, Brett Lawrie showed his inexperience: two poor decisions fielding bunts, not tagging up on a flyball and getting picked off first (and then flipping Aybar off his back for having the temerity to tag him out). These are the inevitable growing pains of a young player.

    Add to Lawrie's seething (man, he is scarily intense), you've got the powder keg that is Jose Bautista. The indignity of striking out on a ball that hit him gave him the look of an angered postal worker.

    Good thing they play baseball every day.

    Mike Green - Sunday, May 06 2012 @ 09:23 AM EDT (#255896) #
    And, of course, Lind doesn't field the way Parker did. 
    CeeBee - Sunday, May 06 2012 @ 09:37 AM EDT (#255898) #
    Could Lind even carry Parker's glove? I was more of a Giants fan in the 60's than a Dodgers but the Dodgers seemed to do pretty much everything good enough to win. Defense, base running and hitting. Then there was the pitching. Not a bad bullpen either to go along with the nice group of starters. But hey.... give me Marichal, Mays and Cepeda/McCovey any day :)
    Mike Green - Sunday, May 06 2012 @ 10:08 AM EDT (#255899) #
    Parker to Lind with the glove would roughly be the equivalent of Schmidt to Butch Hobson. 
    greenfrog - Sunday, May 06 2012 @ 10:30 AM EDT (#255901) #
    "so what did the announcers say after Lind hit his dinger?"

    Hitting a HR every so often is nice but in itself isn't enough (as we learned with Aaron Hill) - last year Lind hit 26 dingers but had an OPS of 734 and an OPS+ of 94. Incidentally, I think a relatively high percentage of his HRs last year were of the "just cleared the fence" variety - per Matt Klassen or another fangraphs writer recently.

    Part of me wishes Lind would just hit 150/220/280 for a couple of months so that the Jays would finally release him (would that slash line do it?). If he dribbles along at 250/300/375 he might just last the season while slowly draining the life out of Jays fans.

    Another random observation: I wonder whether Mathis might be a better batterymate for Drabek - just a hunch.
    Chuck - Sunday, May 06 2012 @ 04:38 PM EDT (#255913) #
    Does Albert Pujols have a (non-baseball playing) twin brother standing in for him these days?
    Richard S.S. - Sunday, May 06 2012 @ 07:50 PM EDT (#255920) #
    Hutchison pitched well enough to continue into the 6th. It's not his fault Drabek woke this team up. It's not his fault this team can't hit. Most games 3-4 Batters are ice-cold, sometimes 4-5 are ice-cold. If Bautista's hitting well, everyone but the elephant will start hitting better.
    Bautista is signed through age 35-36. Why couldn't Fielder be signed through age 35-36? Offensive problems are A.A.'s responsibility, no one else's.
    Mike Green - Sunday, May 06 2012 @ 08:27 PM EDT (#255921) #
    When you're hot, you're hot.  Chris Davis throws two shutout innings against the Red Sox and gets the win when Adam Jones and JJ Hardy combine to throw out the winning run at the plate in the 16th inning and then Jones homers off Darnell McDonald in the 17th inning.  As the tying run in the bottom of the 17th, McDonald grounds into a DP to end the game.  If you are going to wear the goat horns, you might as well wear them proudly...
    greenfrog - Sunday, May 06 2012 @ 09:43 PM EDT (#255922) #
    Rough day for BoSox fans. Losing a game like that (and getting swept at home by Baltimore) can't be fun. But Boston shouldn't be dismissed. When they get Ellsbury, Crawford, Youk and Bailey back, they're going to win their share of games. And Middlebrooks could give them a further boost (grand slam today; off to a 313/353/625 start).

    The Jays aren't going to have an easy time of it in Oakland, facing a stud rookie SP (Parker) and an effective veteran (McCarthy). As I said, it's never easy on the west coast. I'm still hoping for a 3-3 swing through LA and Oakland.
    Beyonder - Monday, May 07 2012 @ 09:14 AM EDT (#255929) #
    I would be curious to hear people's views: if Hutchison continues to scuffle along like this, how long before you think he should be sent down? Or do you think he's shown enough that if he keeps pitching like this he keeps his spot indefinitely (or until McGowan's ready)? Does the decision turn on how well Chavez pitches at AAA, or is it all about Drew's development at this point?
    John Northey - Monday, May 07 2012 @ 09:46 AM EDT (#255931) #
    I think it is mainly about development. 4 starts, 5 IP in each (plus 1/3 in 2, plus 1 full inning in another). He hasn't been good, but he hasn't been horrid either. He keeps the team in the game if the offense is alive. In the 2 losses the Jays scored a total of 5 runs - you don't win many scoring 2 1/2 runs a game.

    If he wasn't getting through 5 innings, if he was getting wilder (as Drabek is, which is scary) then I'd worry. Instead he walked 3 his first game, then a total of 3 in his next 2 starts and 0 in his last start. 3 HR over 4 games, 2 in the first game so just 1 HR over the last 16 1/3 IP which is excellent.

    Hutchison is showing very good signs of growth in the majors and I'd leave him in there for a few more starts. If he starts getting wild, giving up HR's, or not making it through 5 then I'd be sending him down but for now he is holding his own. If a better option existed (say, McGowan 100% healthy) then fine, send him down. But for now I don't see a reason to remove him from the rotation.

    Drabek I'd be keeping a closer eye on right now. Just 2 of his 6 starts have fewer than 3 walks, twice he walked 5+ including his last start. 2 of his last 3 starts he gave up 2 HR in, not horrid but a bad sign if his control is going. He might be fine and just having a few issues but he is the one I'm most nervous about at this point.

    Starters with HR/9, BB/9, SO/9 figures...
    Romero: 0.9 3.4 6.2
    Morrow: 1.5 1.7 6.3 (look at that BB/9!)
    Alvarez: 1.3 2.2 2.6 (K rate a concern)
    Drabek: 1.5 5.1 7.2 (BB/9 is a yikes)
    Hutchison: 1.2 2.5 7.1

    Hutchison's figures are pretty darn good. He has a 12 H/9 to go with it, by far the worst figure among starters (Cordero is worse). I suspect Hutchison will see that H/9 normalize a bit which should shift him into a key role going forward. The HR/9 is high across the board.
    greenfrog - Monday, May 07 2012 @ 10:07 AM EDT (#255933) #
    I like Hutch, who has shown good command of a decent fastball, but his other pitches look like they could use some refinement. Despite the fact that he could probably use some more development in the minors, he's probably the best option for the #5 spot in the rotation.

    I basically feel the same way I did in the off-season: the Jays need another strong SP and bat to really compete for a playoff spot. As for starting pitching, I never really bought the argument that the Jays had sufficient depth (in arms like Cecil, McGowan, Litsch, McGuire and Jenkins), but this was an unpopular position in the off-season.
    Beyonder - Monday, May 07 2012 @ 10:09 AM EDT (#255934) #
    I agree with your assessment of Hutchison's performance John. I think he's holding his own, and performing well enough to keep his spot until such time as: a) we find ourselves within striking distance of a playoff spot anytime after the half-way mark, and b) we have someone (likely Chavez or McGowan) who we think can do a better job.

    I also agree that Drabek is worrying, but at his age and at this stage of his development, I don't think there are many scenarios where it makes sense to send him down (unless he completely implodes).
    bpoz - Monday, May 07 2012 @ 10:33 AM EDT (#255939) #
    I don't think being up so soon will harm Hutchison's development. He probably would have dominated AA within a few more starts. He has had 2 bad innings 4 ER to KC & 5 ER to Texas. So my conclusion is that at this time he is learning more in the Majors than he would at NH, and he admits being aware of the big inning being a problem.

    Without a clear better choice as 5th starter, IMO this is a golden opportunity for the Jays to cautiously gamble with his development.

    John Northey - Monday, May 07 2012 @ 10:40 AM EDT (#255940) #
    Yeah, unless Drabek implodes I'd keep him up too but he is a concern despite the nice ERA right now. His wildness is far too much, and he (plus the rest of the staff) gives up too many HR to survive much longer unless that wildness calms down.

    However, we now have 29 games done and 29 games where the starter went 5 or more innings. Very, very odd especially with such an inexperienced staff (3 with under 1 full season in the majors plus the 6th starter also having sub-1 season). I think the Jays are very happy with that but very frustrated by the gang of sub-90 OPS+ (Bautista, JPA, Escobar, Rasmus, Lind). JPA and Escobar appear to have come out of their early season slumps but the other 3 haven't and Lind is getting worse (65 OPS+ overall, 152/263/273 - 536 OPS in his last 10 games).
    Chuck - Monday, May 07 2012 @ 10:48 AM EDT (#255942) #

    Starters with HR/9, BB/9, SO/9 figures...
    Romero: 0.9 3.4 6.2
    Morrow: 1.5 1.7 6.3
    Alvarez: 1.3 2.2 2.6
    Drabek: 1.5 5.1 7.2
    Hutchison: 1.2 2.5 7.1

    Further to John's list showing each SP's peripherals, here are their ERA, FIP and xFIP. Recall that FIP is the ERA to which a pitcher's peripherals correspond. xFIP normalizes HR/9 to use a league average HR/FB rate, to ferret out bad luck (or good luck) on flyballs.

    Romero 3.64, 4.03, 3.89
    Morrow 2.38, 4.32, 3.74
    Alvarez 2.83, 5.20, 4.63
    Drabek 3.34, 5.30, 4.23
    Hutchison 6.65, 4.15, 3.67

    Here are GB%, LD% and BABIPs (the MLB averages are 46%, 21%, .286):

    Romero 51%, 20%, .214
    Morrow 48%, 11%, .202
    Alvarez 57%,14%, .200
    Drabek 54%, 16%, .263
    Hutchison 39%, 32%, .356

    FIP and xFIP "like" Hutchison and presumably "believe" that his LD% and BABIP are unduly high and, by contrast, unduly low for his rotation-mates.

    vw_fan17 - Monday, May 07 2012 @ 12:20 PM EDT (#255950) #
    When you're hot, you're hot.  Chris Davis throws two shutout innings against the Red Sox and gets the win when Adam Jones and JJ Hardy combine to throw out the winning run at the plate in the 16th inning and then Jones homers off Darnell McDonald in the 17th inning.  As the tying run in the bottom of the 17th, McDonald grounds into a DP to end the game.  If you are going to wear the goat horns, you might as well wear them proudly...

    And with both of their bullpens exhausted, with any luck they'll both get swept in their next series against the Rangers (vs Orioles) and the Royals (vs Red Sox).. One can dream.. :-)
    Chuck - Monday, May 07 2012 @ 04:23 PM EDT (#255959) #

    The team slash line is 239/313/397 overall, but in RISP situations (22% of PAs) it is 308/378/490.

    The opposition slash line is 236/308/416 overall, but in RISP situations (25% of PAs) it is 198/273/292.

    Though the team's overall slash line is virtually the same as their opponent's, suggesting a .500 team, their 3rd in the league run differential is attributable to the team excelling with RISP and to their opponents tanking in those situations. I'll leave it to others to speculate how much luck and how much skill is at play here.



    Mike Green - Monday, May 07 2012 @ 04:51 PM EDT (#255963) #
    The club has turned many double plays so far this season.  The rate is particularly high with runners on scoring position, and in particular with runners on first and second, and runners on first and third.  If you combine an extreme ground-ball staff with very good infield defence (and in particular a second baseman who is good on the pivot), that is not really shocking. 

    Luck is undoubtedly part of the team's prowess with RISP.  On the other hand, the club leads the majors in HR/FB allowed at 16.3%.  There is probably a significant element of bad luck in that. 
    Chuck - Monday, May 07 2012 @ 05:16 PM EDT (#255967) #

    On the other hand, the club leads the majors in HR/FB allowed at 16.3%.  There is probably a significant element of bad luck in that. 

    Agreed.

    By my calculations, factoring in the Jays' FB% (34.6) and their opponents FB% (31.3), and giving both the Jays and their opponents an expected HR/FB of 11.3% (league average):
    * the Jays are 4 HR on the lucky side
    * their opponents are 12 HR on the lucky side

    Now, this quick and dirty "analysis" doesn't take into account park factors, so maybe the Jays really are 0 HR on the lucky side and their opponents 8 HR lucky. Nonetheless, there is an 8 HR differential working against the team that can largely be attributed to chance.

     

    Mike Green - Monday, May 07 2012 @ 05:27 PM EDT (#255968) #
    The Blue Jays may lead the league in home runs off the top of the fence, so it does seem strange to see them as less lucky than their opponents. According to Hit Tracker, the opponents edge them in "Just Enoughs" 13-12 and in "Lucky Homers" 2-0 (apparently the ones off the top of the fence were not lucky because they would have gone out no matter the wind conditions etc.)
    robertdudek - Monday, May 07 2012 @ 08:46 PM EDT (#255974) #
    apparently the ones off the top of the fence were not lucky because they would have gone out no matter the wind conditions etc.

    Perhaps you mean zero wind conditions, or perhaps "typical/average" wind conditions. They would not have been homers with a gale blowing in.
    Mike Green - Monday, May 07 2012 @ 09:19 PM EDT (#255976) #
    Yes, that is right.  I wonder how much of a wind would be required to knock back a ball that hits the top of the fence and continues over.  I guess it would depend on the arc.
    John Northey - Tuesday, May 08 2012 @ 01:43 PM EDT (#255995) #
    That bizarre Red Sox game vs the Orioles is interesting. Two hitters used as pitchers to decide it after no reliever went more than 2 innings.

    One is glad Farrell is smarter than that and lets relievers go more than 2 if a game hit extra innings.

    Luis Perez has a 4 inning stint. Villanueva a 2 1/3 IP stint.

    When checking I noticed every last outing Cordero has had is exactly 1 IP. 11 games, 11 IP, 1 each time. 3 to 6 batters per appearance.
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