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A very quiet workmanlike night on the farm but the affiliates nevertheless went 3-1 without any real standout performances.

Las Vegas 5, Reno 4

This one was not as close as it looked from the final score, until late in the game. With Charlie Allstaff on the mound, the 51's pitching did their job in most respects. Andrew Carpenter started things off with 2 shutout innings, followed by the belegured Bill Murphy who's already pitched himself out of the rotation but managed to hold Reno to one run in his three innings. The trouble came when Evan Crawford started the 8th and got a rude introduction to the PCL. He offered up two walks, and was tagged for two singles and a double and if he hadn't gotten a double play ball it might have been much worse. By the time he'd gotten 2 outs he'd allowed three runs and the Aces were back in the game. But Jerry Gil got him out of the inning and Chad Beck threw a perfect ninth for his third save.

On offense, things were quite pedestrian. Six batter got a hit, Travis d'Arnaud got 2, but they were all singles. Four of those seven singles came in the first inning, and combined with a walk and an error by Reno led to 4 of the 51's 5 runs.

New Hampshire 6, Reading 8

Casey Lawrence made his second AA start and he was competent, but not dominant in giving up 3 runs in 5.1 IP, and the F'Cats were still clinging to a one-run lead going into the ninth inning where Ron Uvideo was tagged for 3 runs, 2 earned and blew the save.

Offensively, the only real fireworks came when Jon Diaz was hit by a pitch and Mike McDade immediately followed with a 2-run homer in the third inning to put New Hampshire up 4-0. McDade also stole a base, while Justin Jackson was thrown out trying, which is kinda curious.

Dunedin 5, Lakeland 3

Sean Nolin wasn't at his sharpest tonight, but worked around a lot of contact to escape with 2 earned runs allowed over 5 IP. The bullpen, however, chipped in 4 scoreless innings among 4 relievers to make that effort stand up.

This team, as well, had a quietly efficient night on offense, the big blows being Michael Crouse's 2 run double in the second (his only hit of the night) and “Captain Jack” Murphy's solo homer in the 4th to take the lead for good. Murphy and struggling Marcus Kencht were 2/4 on the night.

Lansing 6, Great Lakes 5

Dave Rollins had a short and not particularly impressive night, lasting only 3.2 innings and giving up 2 runs. I'm not sure why he came out in the 4th unless he had thrown too many pitches in the inning, or maybe there was an injury. Kramer Champlin allowed an inherited run to score in relief of Rollins and an inning later 2 of his own, Tyler Ybarra followed with two shutout innings, recording 4 strikeouts, and Ajay Meyer struck out the side for the save.

On offense, Chris Hawkins was the main man. Hitting high in the order for the first time (I think) Hawkins settled into the thee hole by collecting 3 of the 'Nuts 7 hits, including an RBI double in the third. No one else on the team had multiple hits or extra-base hits.

Three Stars-

3rd Star - Chris Hawkins
2nd Star - Michael Crouse
1st Star - Mike McDadfe

On transaction news, formerly disabled reliever Trystan Magnuson was transferred to Dunedin Wednesday which is presumably for rehab purposes. As we know, Travis Snider was placed on the DL just this week but he's been out for a week and it's odd they are just now putting him officially on the DL.

for the week in review...


Fill in outfielder Danny Perales hit .448 in the last 7 games in Snider's place
3B Yan Gomes is hitting .423 over the last seven games, and slugging .690
SS Adeiny Hechevarria and RF Mosies Sierra had a cold week.

On the mound, Jesse Chavez and Ryota Igarashi continue to impress. Chavez pitched twice in the last seven days and threw 12.1 innings, allowed 8 baserunners, and one run, while striking out 11. Igarashi

New Hampshire -

Justin Jackson (5 for his last 33) continues to crash back to the mean.
Brad Glenn (5 for 38) likewise is in a huge slump.
AJ Jimenez, hitting .357 over his last 7, is the only offensive standout lately.

LH Reliever Matt Wright deserves your attention. He has't gotten much work but in that sample he has a 5:1 K to BB ratio and that's worth noting.
Yohan Pino is on no one's list of prospects but plug him into the rotastion when there's a need and watch him outpitch a couple who are.


Show unheralded back-up catcher jack Murphy some love, he's hit .375 in his last 7 games and has the highest OPS on the team. (okay so it's just 39 AB)
Jon Talley, like Murphy, has played in only three games in the last week but his OPS is 1.044 in his last 10 games.
SS Kevin Nolan did play every fay this week and hit .407 for the week.
On the flip-side, mega-prospect Jake Marisnick had a cold week, hitting just under .250

SS Andy Burns hit .429 over his last seven games. the rest of the Nuts just steadily do what the do. But let's pause and note Jesse Hernandez of the 11:1 K/BB ratio.

Just another night at the office | 27 comments | Create New Account
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wacker - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 08:43 AM EDT (#255755) #
Talley been on DL for the week
greenfrog - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 08:58 AM EDT (#255759) #
Out of curiosity, who is likely next (6th) on the big club's SP depth chart? Carreno, Perez, Villanueva? Chavez, perhaps?
China fan - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 09:51 AM EDT (#255763) #
I'd say that Perez is definitely ahead of Villanueva, based on this year's performance. But the Jays might prefer to keep him in the bullpen, at least until Santos is back. The bullpen needs all the help it can get.

Carreno could still be in the picture. There were interesting reports yesterday that Farrell was unhappy at Carreno for being somewhat overweight and out of shape at the start of the season, and that's why he was sent down to Vegas after only one start. If he gets himself into shape, which he appears to be doing, he could be a candidate for the rotation again.

And of course we're hoping that Hutchison continues to improve. But you're right to think about a possible 6th starter when there are so many young pitchers in the rotation, and with McGowan and Cecil gone indefinitely. It's hard to imagine that Alvarez, Drabek and Hutchison will continue to occupy 60 per cent of the rotation for a full season, no matter how good they might look in the early stages.
TamRa - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 01:38 PM EDT (#255800) #
technically speaking, Hutch is 6th - Mcgowan is in the top five.

one might argue that Cecil is 6th and Hutch 7th in the abstract but i don't think that's true anymore.

It depends on your context. if you are asking "if alvarez has a bout of tendonitis and misses a couple of starts..." that's one thing, but if you asre asking "who's next in line to press for a full time job?" that's a whole diferent question.

On the former, I think it's Chavez. Perez is a better pitcher but he's not stretched out and it would be kind of difficult (not impossible) to work him in - it's just easier to plug in a journeyman for a couple of games.
Next after him would be Carreno and if they get past that, they are in real trouble.

On the latter question, I think that abstract depth chart for the near future (i.e. before the A ball pitchers start arriving) looks like this:

1. Romero
2. Morrow (and by the end of the year he could be #1 on results by ricky is still probably the "heart" of the rotation)
3. McGowan (that contract symbolized something)
4. Alvarez
5. Drabek (potential to move up, might have a tic higher ceiling than Alvarez)
6. Hutchison
7. Cecil (likely future is trade or bullpen)
8. Perez (if events broke in the direction that he could break camp as a starter or they got REAL desperate - I think they love him in relief)
9. Carreno (a stopgap as a starter but a better one than Laffey-types)
10. Jenkins/McGuire - depending on who's better at the time of need.

If, by some incredible long shot they burn through all that and the A ball kids are not ready yet then you are looking at filler like Chavez and you can consider them so far out of contention as to not be worried about it.
greenfrog - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 02:09 PM EDT (#255803) #
I don't think we know yet what that McGowan contract symbolized. There are different ways you can interpret a 3/$4.1M (plus club option) contract for a 30-year-old verging on free agency following a long injury rehab. Some might see it as a commitment to a putative #3 starter. Others might see a low-cost flyer on a guy who once had a lot of potential as a SP and has shown signs of realizing at least some of that potential as a #3, 4 or 5.

It will be interesting to see what happens with the rotation in the coming months. No doubt AA will be monitoring the trade market as it develops in July - probably no harm in hunting for a strong short-term option (e.g., Floyd or Peavy) or potential long-term option (the next Brandon Morrow). If the price is right, of course.
John Northey - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 02:23 PM EDT (#255804) #
I suspect the Jays will keep looking for long term solutions. Guys they'd control for at least 3 seasons including this one. A short term rental would only happen if they are in playoff position or super-close to it mid-season I suspect, and then only if it was cheap or a very clear hole (cough...1B...cough).

I fully expect another surprise trade that makes us all go 'wha??' mid-season. Second base is a potential hole in 2013, and first base clearly is one. The rotation and pen would be tough to add to right now unless you found a potential ace I suspect as Hutch is the only weak link at the moment (the big 4 have 119+ ERA+'s right now). McGowan and Cecil have to be viewed as non-factors at this stage.

Wonder if there are any 2B who were all-star level last year (not necessarily at the game, but at that level) who have slumped this year or who are viewed as more trouble than they are worth. A challenge trade ala the A-Gon for Escobar trade would be nice and with Johnson playing so well it could be extras coming here rather than going away.
John Northey - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 02:29 PM EDT (#255805) #
Btw, I know we have a top SS prospect but I suspect AA wants more offense as well as defense. Slumping 2B who did well last year who are also young and controllable would be Jemile Weeks (62 OPS+ after a 110 last year, just 25 with 5 more years of control post-2012 - 2B in Oakland) and Dustin Ackley (77 OPS+ after a 117 last year, 5 more years of control post this season - 2B in Seattle). Given the AL West is a blowout already I doubt either team is interested in trading young talent for someone who is a free agent post-2012 but they could be part of a 3 way trade or Seattle could have a nervous GM who needs to make a splash of some kind (hey, who thought we'd get Escobar or Rasmus or get rid of Wells?).
Mylegacy - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 02:44 PM EDT (#255806) #
How about post All Star break -

Thames (Bats LH) in LF, Rasmus (LH) CF, Snider (LH) to RF, Lofty Lawrie (RH) at 3rd, Hech (RH) at SS, Escobar (RH) at SS, Bautista (RH) to 1st, JP (RH) at C and Encarnacion (RH) at DH. With right handed bats: Francisco, Davis and Kelly Johnson and Lind from the left as the main bats off the bench.

Picture a SS AND a 3rd baseman BOTH playing defense like no man has seen before.

PeteMoss - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 03:13 PM EDT (#255807) #
No way you can sit Johnson 70% of the time (or whatever the RH/LH split is) when he's your 2nd best hitter right now.
sam - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 03:14 PM EDT (#255808) #
Mylegacy, I too am looking forward to that day. I know you might disagree with this, but Escobar is no slouch defensively, but from what I've seen of Hechevarria, he has the ability like Lawrie to do the sensational on any given play. Still I would really like to see him take more walks at Las Vegas.

Brett Lawrie is an impressive player. This time last year there was a very real concern he was not going to be able to handle the position defensively. He has worked hard and looks exceptional over there. Kudos to him and to the coaching staff.

In terms of player movement for the Jays. I would like to see something done immediately at first base and maybe a day off or two for Bautista. I don't think we'll see any call-ups until mid-May at the very earliest and I doubt we'll see any trades until after the draft at the very earliest. I'm basing this on Farrell's comments about 35-40 games for an "assessment" and AA's comments on the trade front usually not heating up until after the draft. That seems like an eternity with Adam Lind in there though.

Bryan Lahair is having a nice start for the Cubs and I'm sure Epstein hopes he continues his hot start so they can maximize the return for him. Brandon Belt is stuck behind a bunch of guys right now and it seems like the rumours of him being traded have filtered to Sabean as he addressed these rumours the other day. It's probably too soon to maximize trade value for bullpen arms, but come July who knows. Ike Davis and Paul Goldschmidt are off to cool starts so who knows there. In short, there are obviously internal options in Snider and Cooper, but there are external options fitting the Jays MO should they decide to make a move.
Mike Green - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 03:39 PM EDT (#255813) #
McGowan's contract symbolizes nothing; everyone knows that, if healthy, he can be a fine pitcher but the "if healthy" part is a huge issue.  The contract is a low-level gamble that McGowan will at some point recover from his injuries and become Chris Carpenter.  You don't build a depth chart around that. 

Floating around the #5/long man slots are Hutchison, Carreno, Luis Perez, Villanueva and Jesse Chavez.  Igarashi is a potential addition to the bullpen (ideally, in my opinion, in a medium leverage role to begin).  For the time being, I think that the club is just going to let Hutchison pitch and see what happens. 

The overall success of the rotation has led to a minor bullpen problem.  Many of the RH relievers (Janssen, Frasor and Villanueva) haven't had enough consistent work.  Strangely, I happen to believe that all three of them would be better than Cordero in the replacement ace role, even if Cordero has a better performance history.  Regardless, one hopes that Farrell makes sure to give them each (at least) an inning here and there to keep them sharp. 

Original Ryan - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 03:47 PM EDT (#255814) #
Per Ballpark Digest and Kevin Gray, AA baseball is unlikely to land in Ottawa any time soon. Local politicians in Ottawa were interested in bringing a team there, but no one with money was willing to put up the cash to make it happen. It's probably for the best -- New Hampshire has been a good affiliate for the Blue Jays and it would be a shame to lose them.
TamRa - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 04:06 PM EDT (#255817) #
"I don't think we know yet what that McGowan contract symbolized. "

At a minimum, IMO, it symbolizes a commitment to include him in the rotation if he's healthy and effective....he's more than "this year's JoJo" at any time when he can take the mound.

and in the context of oncoming young pitchers like Hutchison et al, it symbolizes a likelihood that their promotion and stick-titude depends on an opening created my McGowan's inability (rather than the kid having the priority over the veteran, as with, for instance, Laffey)

Or so it seems to me.
Chuck - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 04:21 PM EDT (#255820) #

Hech (RH) at SS, Escobar (RH) at SS

Two things, Rog.

1. Looks like there will be a huge hole on the right side of the infield, though nothing should get through the left side with three-man fortress in place.

2. Were you on holiday in Cuba some 24 years ago? The love you show AH is almost fatherly in nature.

doc_alex - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 04:27 PM EDT (#255821) #
Original Ryan: Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought the original idea of the Jays was to move a AA team to Ottawa and move New Hampshire into the IL as the AAA team. Does signing a new PDC with the Fisher Cats preclude them from doing this?
Chuck - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 04:27 PM EDT (#255822) #

Bryan Lahair is having a nice start for the Cubs and I'm sure Epstein hopes he continues his hot start so they can maximize the return for him.

LaHair's BABIP is .514. He has struck out in a third of his PAs (not ABs, PAs). The 7 HR and 11 BB are nice but a major crash is imminent.

John Northey - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 04:32 PM EDT (#255823) #
Good point about the starters...
Romero: 5 IP 1st start, 6+ every start since 3 times 8+
Morrow: 6+ IP all starts, 3 at 7+
Alvarez: 6+ IP all starts, 2 at 7+
Drabek: 2 at 5 1/3, 2 at 6, 1 at 7 1/3
Hutchison: 5 1/3, 5, 6 IP
Carreno: 6 IP in his one start.

So, 26 starts in we have just 5 starts of under 6 IP, none under 5 IP. Wow, that is a surprise. 75 2/3 IP so far for the bullpen out of 241 total IP = 31.4%. Sounds fairly low, but don't have the figures at my fingertips to compare.
Landomar - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 04:35 PM EDT (#255825) #
There's no reason to move Johnson off of 2B this season to make room for Hechevarria at short. I'm hoping we sign Johnson long term and keep both Escobar and Johnson for the next few years. I believe both of those guys will be better in 2013-2015 than we could expect Hechevarria to be (once you factor in offense as well as defense; so far, Hechevarria looks most similar to a guy like Rey Ordonez).

For the rotation depth, if there's an emergency, Chavez should be the guy. He's throwing great in Vegas, and he's a logical choice for right now (but only in an emergency). If it turns out that we need a "permanent" fill-in type, then Carreno would be next on the overall depth chart(although I do like him best as a reliever long term).

Right now it's something like:
1. Romero
2. Morrow
3. Alvarez
4. Drabek
5. McGowan (if healthy)
6. Hutchison
7. Cecil (if healthy)
8. Random guy who's hot in the minors (Chavez right now)
9. Carreno (assuming we need a long term solution, or no one in the minors is "hot" and ready to go when we need to fill in for a start or two).
uglyone - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 04:47 PM EDT (#255828) #
It would be pretty damn hard to upgrade at 2B over KJ, since the only guys clearly better than him in MLB at that position are never going to be traded (Kinsler, Cano, Pedroia, Utley, Weeks).
sam - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 05:01 PM EDT (#255829) #
Kelly Johnson has been fantastic at second base this year. He's more likely to get a contract extension than to be demoted or traded.
TamRa - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 06:12 PM EDT (#255831) #
'Original Ryan: Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought the original idea of the Jays was to move a AA team to Ottawa and move New Hampshire into the IL as the AAA team. Does signing a new PDC with the Fisher Cats preclude them from doing this?"

In order for Manchester to get a AA team they had to contractually oblige themselves to stay out of AAA per the Red Sox territorial demands.

also, they can't affiliate with the Yankees IIRC
greenfrog - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 06:28 PM EDT (#255832) #
"At a minimum, IMO, it symbolizes a commitment to include him in the rotation if he's healthy and effective"

I agree. I just don't think they're saying, we've pencilled you in as our #3 going forward (way too much uncertainty for that). And of course "effective" means that McGowan has to be one of the best five SPs available. It's interesting that no Jays starter has failed to reach the 5 IP threshold this year - just another challenge that McGowan faces in his comeback attempt (he'll have to perform well and be relatively durable).
Dewey - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 07:16 PM EDT (#255833) #
Is Jessie Litsch still a Blue Jay?
Mike Green - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 07:54 PM EDT (#255836) #
No, but Jesse Litsch is, Dewey.   He is on the 60 day DL, however. 
Dewey - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 08:28 PM EDT (#255837) #
Oops.  Got me, Mike.  Sorry about giving him an i.  No one ever seems to mention him in their prediction-fits.  Even though another DL figure, McGowan, appears frequently in them.  When is Litsch due to come off the DL?  Has he been there since the season began?   I wonder if he still does have a place on this team.
Landomar - Friday, May 04 2012 @ 08:42 PM EDT (#255838) #
I think Litsch is a bullpen arm at this point, if he ever gets healthy again.  We shall see though.
Doom Service - Saturday, May 05 2012 @ 01:46 AM EDT (#255841) #
Chavez is not on the 40 man roster, so someone would have to go to make room ... Farquhar or lLaffey or someone of that ilk. Litsch is eligible to come off May 26, but I don't see him in the rotation. Plus, someone would need to leave the 40 to make room for him, too.
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