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Okay, so, the site just deleted the entire Advance Scout that I wrote up, which, that's super annoying. Only the intro survived, and I don't have the time and inclination to write the whole thing again, so super abbreviated Advance Scout.

The Minnesota Twins are the worst team in baseball. They're last in the majors in both ERA and FIP by a healthy margin, and they're third from the bottom in the AL in wOBA, just ahead of noted offensive juggernauts Oakland and Seattle. They are 8 and 22, at least three games worse than anyone else, and they're -53 runs on the season, which is almost twice as bad as the next worst team. They are 3-13 in their last 16, and in a just concluded 9 game sequence against Anaheim (x2) and Seattle they were outscored 37-17. In the set against the Jays they're going to start two minor leaguers and two of the worst starters in baseball. So beware, for this sets up perfectly as a high expectations series that the Jays predictably blow. But never fear, the Advance Scout is here to talk you through it.

The Twins situation is pretty ghastly, and at this point the team is basically a good AAA squad.

Thursday: Henderson Alvarez v. Jason Marquis

Marquis has been injured in each of the last two years, he is not very good, and he is poised to become the third most winningsest and strikeoutingest Jewish pitcher of all time. Like every starter in this series, he throws sub-90, doesn't strike anyone out, walks a slightly better than average number, and has no above average pitches at this point. Seriously, this is true of each of these four pitchers. Only the Jays who spent time in the NL have faced Marquis, and Edwin has crushed him. Oh yeah, he's a groundball pitcher too.

Friday: Kyle Drabek v. Nick Blackburn

Blackburn had two decentish years after debuting, but in the last three his ERA is, cumulatively, over 5. He is not very good.

Saturday: Drew Hutchison v. PJ Walters

Walters was a Jay for 1 inning (he allowed a run), coming over with Colby Rasmus in the Edwin Jackson trade. He's mostly relieved in the big leagues, making 20 appearances (4 starts), and his numbers are poor, with a FIP above 5.

Sunday: Ricky Romero v. Scott Diamond

It seems like Ricky Romero only pitches day games against lefties. And I crazy here? Anyway, Guelph Ontario's own Scott Diamond was taken in the Rule V by the Braves, who subsequently traded him to the Twins anyway for a prospect. He projects as a back of the rotation starter at best, and has had a good 2012 in AAA with the Twins. He pitched 3 innings for Canada in the last WBC.


This is a guess, as there is some turmoil

Denard Span CF
Brian Dozier SS
Joe Mauer 1B
Josh Willingham LF
Ryan Doumit DH
Erik Komatsu RF
Drew Butera C
Jamie Carroll/Trevor Plouffe 3B
Alexi Casilla 2B

Just read this by Aaron Gleeman. It explains a lot. In short; Justin Morneau is on the DL with a wrist injury, Danny Valencia, the Twins 3B for the last two years, just got sent down, with former Jay Darin Mastroianni coming back up. Jamey Carrol and Trevor Plouffe figure to platoon at third. Alexi Casilla has been out of the lineup with shoulder soreness the last three games, but should be back tonight. Expect Chris Parmalee to start at least 1 game at first, with Mauer catching. The Twins can't hit at all, and of four guys in the above lineup, probably 4 of them are major league calibre hitters at this point.

Infirmary: Scott Baker is out for the year with TJ, and Justin Morneau is on the DL with a wrist injury.

Song to Advance Scout by:
In celebration of Canada, Canadian supergroup (plus Neko Case) the New Pornographers, with Use It.

Chart: Diamond and Walters stats from AAA

Advance Scout: Twins, May 10-13 | 84 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
DH - Thursday, May 10 2012 @ 04:14 PM EDT (#256128) #
Noah - Thursday, May 10 2012 @ 04:18 PM EDT (#256129) #
Wow that Vlady news sure came out of nowhere. I wonder if the plan is to release Fransisco, move Lind to the bench, EE to 1B and have Vladdy DH.

Other option is that Vladdy just replaces Fransisco as a good bat off the bench.
Matthew E - Thursday, May 10 2012 @ 04:20 PM EDT (#256132) #
I imagine Guerrero will find Vegas a fun place to hit. If nothing else.
Gerry - Thursday, May 10 2012 @ 04:31 PM EDT (#256134) #

I am sure AA is asking "what's the plan if Lind doesn't hit?"

You can bring up Snider, move EE to first.  But Snider is a risk with all the injuries he has had and with his swing being unproven over an extended period

You can use Francisco or Davis but thier bats likely don't stand up to everyday use against righties

So plan C, if he hits, is Lind to the bench, EE to first and Vladdy to DH. 

It might work, it might not, it's low risk and you decide by June 15 or July 1

Noah - Thursday, May 10 2012 @ 04:35 PM EDT (#256135) #
Good argument from Dustin Parkes on twitter:

Dustin Parkes ‏ @dustinparkes If Jays bring up Vlad, I expect him to DH vs. LHP only, EE to 1B vs. LHP, DH vs. RHP; and LInd to 1B vs. RHP only.
Mike Green - Thursday, May 10 2012 @ 04:37 PM EDT (#256136) #
Guerrero hasn't hit enough to be an everyday DH for 3 years.  He might make a slightly better platoon partner for Lind than Francisco, although even that is questionable in light of the difference in speed. 
CeeBee - Thursday, May 10 2012 @ 04:47 PM EDT (#256137) #
But it's gotta be worth something seeing Vlad swing at pitches in the dirt or elsewhere out of the strike zone..... and sometimes get hits or even a home run or three.
China fan - Thursday, May 10 2012 @ 04:48 PM EDT (#256138) #
Even if Vlad hits only as well as last year, his 2011 numbers would actually be an improvement on Lind's numbers this year.

Not sure about the platooning idea. His splits aren't dramatically different for LHP and RHP -- either his career splits or his 2011 splits. Rather than a platoon player, he might actually be a replacement for Lind full-time if Lind fails to improve. Not a great solution, but there's not much else out there at this stage of the season.
92-93 - Thursday, May 10 2012 @ 04:53 PM EDT (#256139) #
Francisco has an option left so he shouldn't be released.

Mastroianni is starting tonight for the Twins. I'll be disappointed with a series split.
Mike Green - Thursday, May 10 2012 @ 04:58 PM EDT (#256140) #
.290/.317/.416 from a very slow DH is worth precisely 0 (as fangraphs has it).  Maybe Vladdy has a comeback year in him, but personally I think that I'd rather have Lind batting than Vladdy against a RHP right now. 
Hodgie - Thursday, May 10 2012 @ 05:21 PM EDT (#256141) #
While I seriously doubt that there is anything left in the tank the nostalgic part of me would be happy to just see Guerrero in a Toronto uniform if even for the shortest of times. Growing up in Pointe Claire in the 70s I was exposed to most of the greatest players to ever don the jersey and yet Guerrero is my favourite Expo of all time. In his prime he was a force of nature, seemingly capable of causing mass destruction to friend and foe alike with the reckless abandon with which he approached the game. No pitch was deemed unhittable, no throw seeemed impossible, no base safe from theft. One of the few players that made me stop whatever I was doing to watch. I know that player is gone but if I squint hard enough ......

Just for the record, Pedro would have been my favourite had his Expo career not been so short, another one of those stop whatever you are doing and watch right now players. Oh what should have been.

Chuck - Thursday, May 10 2012 @ 06:50 PM EDT (#256142) #
I don't get this at all. Is Guerrero really any better than Francisco as this stage of his career?
greenfrog - Thursday, May 10 2012 @ 07:12 PM EDT (#256144) #
Maybe in some ways it's a message to the team's hitters (e.g., Lind) - namely, that the club isn't going to accept subpar offensive performance forever.
greenfrog - Thursday, May 10 2012 @ 08:07 PM EDT (#256145) #
The Jays definitely need to win 3 of 4 in Minnesota (four wins would be a real bonus - the Jays would come home with a 21-14 record).

Is Boston (12-18) ever struggling...with boos raining down, Beckett just got chased from the game in Boston, where Cleveland is up 7-1. The Sox are in the soft part of their schedule, but haven't been able to capitalize.
dan gordon - Thursday, May 10 2012 @ 09:03 PM EDT (#256148) #
Some interesting stuff on Rotoworld today about infield defense, saying the Blue Jays are turning ground balls into outs better than any other team, holding opponents to an average of .156 on grounders.  The Dodgers are 2nd at .189 and the major league average is .229.  I think the aggressive infield shifts the Blue Jays are using is helping a lot, and the article pointed out that Lawrie is leading all mlb 3rd basemen in UZR, well ahead of runner up Mike Moustakas, and that Escobar is 2nd among AL shortstops to Brandan Ryan.
92-93 - Thursday, May 10 2012 @ 11:26 PM EDT (#256149) #
"I don't get this at all. Is Guerrero really any better than Francisco as this stage of his career?"

Is there any reason not to see if he is on a minor league deal?
lexomatic - Friday, May 11 2012 @ 08:08 AM EDT (#256151) #
Some interesting stuff on Rotoworld today about infield defense, saying the Blue Jays are turning ground balls into outs better than any other team,

I saw somewhere, maybe fangraphs? that the Jays were leading the league by a significant margin in gb/fb ratio at 1.03
If it isn't luck, then you could say the team did some good analysis and is efficiently using it's resources.
Parker - Friday, May 11 2012 @ 09:12 AM EDT (#256154) #
I'm hoping AA at least spoke with Derrek Lee's agent before making this move.
John Northey - Friday, May 11 2012 @ 09:22 AM EDT (#256157) #
Defense is one area that hasn't been fully exploited yet as no one stat has taken over, and many stats contradict others.

Defensive efficiency is generally viewed as a strong method though (percentage of balls in play turned into outs). For an idea of the value - in 2011 each additional point = 1.87 baserunners removed.

The Jays by year...
2012: .745 1st place
2011: .710 16th place
2010: .703 19th place
2009: .692 28th place
2008: .716 3rd place
2007: .718 2nd place
2006: .708 10th place
2005: .714 12th place
1993: .707 19th place
1992: .725 7th place (738 was 1st, Milwaukee who challenged the Jays to the end)
1985: .742 1st place with 99 wins
1977: .707 22nd place
1969 Expos: .711 21st place Baltimore lead with .757
1950: range was .695 to .746 (oldest year stats exist)

Interesting to see how the defense collapsed in JPR's last year as GM. The difference between the def eff that year and this would equal roughly 99 baserunners. The peak in 2007 vs this year is 50 baserunners so the spread from when the Jays were in 2nd to this year is as big as the spread from that year to the worst year the Jays have recently had. I put in a few historical years to give perspective - seems the range has been similar over the years (late 60's was a dead ball era). One would expect the efficiency to drop as hitters hit the ball harder now than before (weak hit balls easier to make into outs - in the old days K's were rare as hitters just wanted to make any kind of contact with 2 strikes) but better equipment and training and advance scouting (massive shifts common now) has compensated.
MatO - Friday, May 11 2012 @ 09:40 AM EDT (#256159) #

One of the fringe benefits of the Twins being awful is we won't be hearing how the Minnesota Twins teach their players how to play "the right way".  Highlights from last night's game:

  • Encarnacion's "RBI single" (100 ft up and 5 ft in front of the plate)
  • runner thrown out at 3rd with 2 out after Alvarez throws away the ball on a bunt single
  • Lawrie goes from 1st to 3rd standing up after a passed ball which lay there about 15 ft from the catcher
  • Escobar scores from 2nd standing up after a force play at 2nd
Chuck - Friday, May 11 2012 @ 10:00 AM EDT (#256160) #

Is there any reason not to see if he is on a minor league deal?

In all seriousness, what performance level at AAA will signal to the Jays that Guerrero can outperform Francisco, say, at the major league level? Above and beyond the perils of reading too much into a small number of at-bats, there will be the challenge of translating the AAA numbers into MLB equivalents. That said, I imagine that much of the assessment process will be based on look and feel, perhaps even most of the assessment process.

Guerrero used to be a great player. No question. Now he's a prematurely old player whom nobody deemed worthy of a major league contract in the off-season. My first thought, when I heard of the signing, was Dave Parker. Another washed up, once famous player signed for no obvious reason.

AA had an agenda with this signing, but it's not clear to me what it was. If it was to passively aggressively signal to some of the underachievers that that their jobs were not secure, he chose a very tepid way to deliver that message. AA is just too smart to honestly believe that Guerrero has much of anything left in the tank and is also too smart, I believe, to be bedazzled by someone who used to be famous.

Lylemcr - Friday, May 11 2012 @ 10:40 AM EDT (#256163) #

Part of my problem is that I am a former Expos fan and next to Vlady is my third favorite Expos of all time. (next to Walker and Dawson).  Call me a romantic.... I love having him on the team.

Another thing, it is a positive thing for all of the latinos on the team.  The Jays now have 2 of the greatest Dominican Republic ball players on roster.  There is a large Latin American movement on the roster.  This cannot be underestimated.

As a bat coming off the bench, I love it.  He is a shadow of himself, but he is still Vlady.  He is not going to play everyday, nor should he. 

Also, it is only a minor league contract.  Nice gamble.  I like it.


John Northey - Friday, May 11 2012 @ 10:40 AM EDT (#256164) #
Vladmir Guerrero would be a RH DH and maybe a full time DH if Lind is traded/released. His last time sub-100 for OPS+ was 1996, his rookie year in 27 PA. He had a 119 OPS+ as recently as 2010. 130 in 2008 and 147 in 2007. That is a pretty high potential level that could be reached if all goes right.

Who would he replace?
Ben Francisco: lifetime 103 OPS+ peak of 106 over 100+ PA (Vlad at 101 last year, his only time as low as Francisco's peak), used as a DH and once in a blue moon in LF.

Adam Lind: 2009 had a 141, otherwise never over 101 or if you prefer he has done better than Vlad's worst just once.

Edwin Encarnacion: Lifetime 105, 109 was his peak before this year, just twice has Vlad done worst than EE's previous best over 15 full seasons.

Looking at those stats and usage pattern I don't see any reason not to sign Vlad. Francisco is really dead weight - Davis is the backup outfielder and we have Snider & Gose & Sierra in AAA nearly ready to step in. If Francisco was great at something (speed, defense, power, whatever) then he'd be worth keeping but instead he is a league average hitter with mediocre corner outfield defense. Useful but not needed unless our manager is willing to bench Lind.
John Northey - Friday, May 11 2012 @ 10:45 AM EDT (#256165) #
Just to make it clear...
Vlad = high risk / high return - if he is right (like Frank Thomas was for the A's a few years back) then he is cheap and productive - all star level offense.

Francisco = low risk / low return - if all goes right he would be a 4th outfielder with a 110 OPS+

Which type of player would you want on this team? At this stage and in this division I always go for high risk / high return. Francisco seemed odd at the time and we all figured another shoe was about to drop and maybe there was another one about to that never did (a trade involving Thames or Snider or someone in the outfield or Lind or Encarnacion).
greenfrog - Friday, May 11 2012 @ 11:01 AM EDT (#256167) #
Beltran was another high-reward (moderate-risk?) player reportedly targeted by AA in the off-season. So far this year he's been great: 284/391/569 (959 OPS) for the Cards. Of course, he's in a different category than Vlad these days. But it looks like AA's scouts were doing good work yet again.
greenfrog - Friday, May 11 2012 @ 11:06 AM EDT (#256168) #
MatO: don't forget about the Twins player running directly into KJ's tag between first and second, making it easy for Johnson to throw to first in time to complete the DP.
joeblow - Friday, May 11 2012 @ 11:09 AM EDT (#256169) #
It seems like this is the last chance for Lind. Put the pressure on him, move him down in the order and get ready to platoon him to try to get the most out of him for the team and also to maximize his value before unloading him.

Is EE the first baseman of the future? The team is in a bit of a bind with his strong season at the plate so far. A long-term contract is the end game but I don't know how you lock yourself into a player without a position.

As for 1B options, there are not many that I can see moving this season. Bryan LaHair? Lyle Overbay?

Gerry - Friday, May 11 2012 @ 11:48 AM EDT (#256175) #
In the off-season the Jays were reported to have been a finalist with the Twins to sign Ryan Doumit.  I think it might have been for more of a DH type role but after last night I hope it wasn't for the backup catcher position.
dan gordon - Friday, May 11 2012 @ 12:18 PM EDT (#256178) #
Just saw on Rotoworld that Ken Rosenthal says the Jays and Phillies have been in discussions about a deal involving Cole Hamels and Shane Victorino.  The Phils did say the other day that they may become sellers if things don't turn around for them.  Probably means nothing, but youneverknow.
Chuck - Friday, May 11 2012 @ 12:27 PM EDT (#256179) #

Vlad = high risk / high return - if he is right (like Frank Thomas was for the A's a few years back)

When the A's signed Thomas, he had been oft injured, certainly, but had been producing, with OPS+s of 146, 156, 131 leading up to his season in Oakland. Toronto then signed him off a season of 140.

Whereas Frank Thomas was a fit old man when he came to Toronto, albeit with diminished bat speed, Guerrero hobbles around like a 60-year old with arthritis. His previous 3 seasons have seen OPS+s of 107, 119, 101. I simply do not see the potential high return you speak of. What I see is someone who's reasonably optimistic output is that of a replacement level DH. I think the likelihood that he is toast is much higher.

 He's a Hall of Famer, he's hispanic and he has a history in this country. I don't think any of this matters a whit to this team at this stage.

sam - Friday, May 11 2012 @ 12:32 PM EDT (#256180) #
dangordon, thanks for this. A ridiculous rumour on so many levels, but makes for good discussion board fodder.

MatO - Friday, May 11 2012 @ 12:35 PM EDT (#256181) #
MatO: don't forget about the Twins player running directly into KJ's tag between first and second, making it easy for Johnson to throw to first in time to complete the DP.   Thanks.  I didn't watch the whole game so I missed that one.
Ryan Day - Friday, May 11 2012 @ 12:48 PM EDT (#256186) #
If there's one thing we know about Anthopoulos, it's that he has discussions with everyone. He probably picked up his phone as soon as there was a tiny hint Hamels might be available.And it's entirely possible he hung up just as quickly when Philly demanded, say, Lawrie & Alvarez.
dan gordon - Friday, May 11 2012 @ 01:19 PM EDT (#256190) #
Don't forget that Hamels is a free agent after this season.  If Philly doesn't think they are going to resign him, then they will probably deal him for what they can get for a rent-a-player for 3 months if they look like they are going to be sellers in the summer.  That certainly wouldn't be Lawrie and Alvarez.  Not sure what kind of prospect package it would take.
Ryan Day - Friday, May 11 2012 @ 01:36 PM EDT (#256191) #
Well, it's still early, and they don't have to move Hamels. At this point in the season, I'd expect them to be asking for quite a bit.

Anyway, my point is more that "discussions" can mean a lot of things that don't necessarily mean anything. Anthopoulos will talk about anything with anyone.
John Northey - Friday, May 11 2012 @ 01:38 PM EDT (#256192) #
For Vlad I compare him to the other options. If he came up odds are Francisco would be dumped (AAA or released or traded). That isn't replacing much. 106 is as high as his OPS+ has been over 100+ PA, played fairly regularly from 26-29 and didn't produce that much. An 817 OPS in AAA is nice but nothing to write home about.

Vlad had a 119 OPS+ in 2010. That is better than all but one season (not counting this one) for Lind, Encarnacion, Thames, Francisco, and Davis (Lind's 2009). Just 1 of 3 years has Rasmus done better than Vlad's worst. Outside of his 2 big years Bautista never reached Vlad's worst season.

Think about that. All the guys who Vlad could take playing time from in their entire careers have a total of 2 seasons (not counting Bautista) where they hit as well or better than he did in 2010. Yes, he is most likely going to hit around a 100 OPS+ level which isn't much. However, if he is just replacing a guy who is sitting on the end of the bench anyways and if it encourages Farrell to bench Lind vs LHP (and some RHP) then it is well worth it.
John Northey - Friday, May 11 2012 @ 01:46 PM EDT (#256194) #
Don't forget the old AA rule - if you hear of it and it doesn't happen in 48 hours it ain't happening.

Halladay though...hmmm...2 more years at $20 mil per plus this year at $20 mil. Would be funny to trade for him and send Drabek back along with a minor leaguer or two. They also have Jim Thome who seems odd for a NL team (rarely plays the field anymore). Two super competitive guys who went there to be on a contender.

If the Jays are contending come June/July and still need a DH and ace...
uglyone - Friday, May 11 2012 @ 01:59 PM EDT (#256196) #
Drabek/D'Arnaud/Gose for Halladay. I'd do it.

As for Vlad, IMO the writing's on the wall for Lind. If Vlad hits in the minors Lind better start hitting up here or else he's done.
Anders - Friday, May 11 2012 @ 04:11 PM EDT (#256208) #
One of the fringe benefits of the Twins being awful is we won't be hearing how the Minnesota Twins teach their players how to play "the right way". Highlights from last night's game:

I told you they were bad! They are running out below average defenders at pretty much every position on the infield, and they have a groundball pitch to contact staff. Things are going to get worse before they get better.

Also, the cheapest contract I can see Hamels signing is 5/125, and I suspect he could get 6/150 pretty easily. I can't see the Jays going more than 5 years on a pitcher, and I don't imagine they'd give up say Travis d'Arnaud and Justin Nicolino for three months of Hamels, when they've been pretty firm about trying to maximize value, wait for their window, etc.

Richard S.S. - Friday, May 11 2012 @ 11:16 PM EDT (#256225) #

Early returns indicate Drabek's out for another sucky start, is it his control, or is he landing out of position after delivering the pitch?   Arencibia should have surely noticed this.

I would trade Alvarez and Hutchison for a top of the rotation type like Hamels (who was the Phillies Ace, and in the World Series, before Halladay and Lee arrived).

John Northey - Friday, May 11 2012 @ 11:46 PM EDT (#256226) #
And the 5+ innings per start streak is over. Drabek got just one out in the 5th before Farrell couldn't take it anymore.

Not bad though, 32 games with 5+ IP for all starters.
Thomas - Saturday, May 12 2012 @ 02:50 AM EDT (#256229) #
I would trade Alvarez and Hutchison for a top of the rotation type like Hamels

The idea of trading over 11 years of service from those two pitchers or four and a half months of Cole Hamels is one that should invoke horror in any right-thinking Jays fan.

92-93 - Saturday, May 12 2012 @ 03:35 AM EDT (#256231) #
It sucks when you lose by 1 run and your manager decided to give the other team a free baserunner in the 5th inning.
bball12 - Saturday, May 12 2012 @ 07:05 AM EDT (#256232) #

Very enjoyable - LOL

bpoz - Saturday, May 12 2012 @ 09:24 AM EDT (#256237) #
Nice to hear from you bball12. I hope Mastro can stay as the 4th OF with the Twins. Even a weak team will give a hot shot prospect preference over lower ceiling types like Mastro. That is just the way it is IMO.
Dave Till - Saturday, May 12 2012 @ 10:22 AM EDT (#256239) #
Some random randoms:
  • 2012 is proof, yet again, that what looks like good pitching is often at least partly good defense. The infield combination of Lawrie, Escobar and Johnson is hoovering up all ground balls in the immediate vicinity. In particular, the combination of Lawrie and Johnson on 5-4-3 is something wondrous to behold. Is it any surprise that the Jays' starting pitchers are doing better than expected?
  • I don't think I have ever rooted for a Blue Jay more than I am rooting for Joey Bats to break out of his slump. When I read that he got two home runs last night, it didn't bother me that the Jays lost. I'm pleased that Farrell has left him in the #3 slot - in my opinion, the amount of time that the Jays should be patient with Bautista is approximately forever. Or at least as long as they have been patient with Adam Lind. (By the way, Bautista is now on the leader board in home runs - he's tied for eighth with 7. "Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water...")
  • Speaking of which: it might be time to feed Lind to the sharks. It's not hard to find first basemen who can hit at least a little. And, while Lind is good at scooping throws, he's not a tremendously good defensive first baseman. (By the way, I don't think that David Cooper is the answer - he's not a great fielder and he doesn't hit for power.)
  • I've heard rumours that Omar Vizquel wants more playing time. While I can't blame him, I don't see any logic in sitting Lawrie, Escobar or Johnson down more often just so that Omar can get in there. The man knew what he was getting into when he signed up with the Jays. If he is actually complaining - and I don't know if he is - there's lots of utility infielders who would be more than happy to take the 16 at-bats. Mike McCoy is only a phone call away!
  • I think Vlad is done, but if there is anything at all left in his tank, the Rogers Centre is probably the best place for him. He'll have Bautista and Encarnacion to hang around with, and a homer-friendly ball park to play in. Ben Francisco isn't likely to be here long regardless of what happens.
  • As I type this, Brandon Morrow is fifth in the league in ERA. I'm just sayin'.
  • Come home, Sergio Santos. All is forgiven.
Hodgie - Saturday, May 12 2012 @ 11:17 AM EDT (#256243) #
It sucks more when you lose by one run and 5 of the 7 runs conceded reached base via base on balls.
JB21 - Saturday, May 12 2012 @ 11:29 AM EDT (#256246) #
Joey Bats now had an OPS just shy of 900 in the month of May, and is slugging .571 during that time period. We have 5 everyday players with an OPS 875+ in May (over a third of the way through).
92-93 - Saturday, May 12 2012 @ 11:36 AM EDT (#256247) #
"It sucks more when you lose by one run and 5 of the 7 runs conceded reached base via base on balls."

Not for me. I prefer to see the players win and lose ballgames, and despise seeing Farrell hand out baserunners and outs like they're candy.
John Northey - Saturday, May 12 2012 @ 11:54 AM EDT (#256249) #
Losing by a run when a pitcher walked in a run is what I find annoying.
Anders - Saturday, May 12 2012 @ 02:09 PM EDT (#256259) #
Not for me. I prefer to see the players win and lose ballgames, and despise seeing Farrell hand out baserunners and outs like they're candy.

Let's not forget Eric Thames, who let a runner go first to second on a high and not especially deep fly ball to left field by being lazy about getting the ball back in to the infield, then missed home plate by 8 feet on a shallow single to left that scored that runner!

Hodgie - Saturday, May 12 2012 @ 02:41 PM EDT (#256261) #
I agree and that is exactly what happened last night. When a team's pitchers hand out 8 unintentional walks to the worst team in baseball, it just feels like picking nits to bemoan the IBB in the 5th.
greenfrog - Saturday, May 12 2012 @ 02:46 PM EDT (#256262) #
It doesn't get any easier for Drabek, as his next start is against the Yankees (who as a team are hitting 273/342/464, compared to the Jays' 240/315/406).

I still think it would be helpful to have another competent veteran in the rotation - maybe someone like Floyd or Peavy (both are off to excellent starts, but Floyd is probably the better value, given that the Jays would have him for 2013 at $9.5M versus Peavy's $22M club option). I like Drabek and Hutch, but both are likely to have their share of ups and downs (hopefully Drabek doesn't go to pieces this year). And there doesn't seem to be much depth behind the current five. The rotation has done well so far, but it's a long season - they're probably going to need one more good starter if they're going to make the playoffs.

The problem, of course, is that this year proven SPs are going to cost a ton at the deadline - probably too much for the Jays' liking, unless they're willing to take on a lot of salary (maybe with someone like Wandy Rodriguez, and even he seems unlikely to come cheap in terms of prospects).
uglyone - Saturday, May 12 2012 @ 03:00 PM EDT (#256264) #
another home run for Hamilton today.

Hamilton's first 121ab this year vs. Bautista's first 121ab last year:

Hamilton '12: 121ab, 18hr, 1.344ops
Bautista '11: 121ab, 16hr, 1.365ops
greenfrog - Saturday, May 12 2012 @ 07:18 PM EDT (#256275) #
I predict a strong start for Hutch tonight.
Gerry - Saturday, May 12 2012 @ 09:08 PM EDT (#256279) #
Hutchison's pitch selection, per MLB Gameday:

1st: FB-14; slider-2
2nd: FB- 6; slider-5; changeup-1
3rd: FB-14
4th: FB-18; slider-8; changeup-1
5th: FB- 8; slider-1
6th: FB-14; slider-6; changeup-1

Now some of the sliders looked like change-ups to me.

As I watched the game I thought Hutch could have been throwing more change-ups. He did throw 2 or 3 to Doumit in the sixth but until then he threw very few.

If you read my interview with Vince Horsman this week you would have seen how the Jays emphasise fastball command. Hutchison showed you why tonight, 75% of his pitches were fastballs.

Hutchison did have a good start but I think he needs to use his change more and his slider needs to be tightened some. But he is just 21 and has lots of time to learn.
JB21 - Saturday, May 12 2012 @ 10:39 PM EDT (#256282) #
Joey Bats watch: #'s in May after tonight


OPS of .981
ayjackson - Saturday, May 12 2012 @ 10:56 PM EDT (#256283) #
Something's funny about the pitch fx data on Hutchison tonight.  When I look at the Horizontal Movement vs. Speed charts, it seems clear that he threw about 10 each of change-ups and sliders.
greenfrog - Sunday, May 13 2012 @ 09:13 AM EDT (#256284) #
Hutch's change and slider command definitely wasn't as good as his FB command (he hung one slider to Willingham (I think) that could have been hammered). He pitched a good game, but also benefitted from a fairly liberal strike zone.

If he can tighten up and locate his secondary pitches, I think he'll be fine. I wonder how hard it will be to develop these pitches in the majors as opposed to the minors.
Spifficus - Sunday, May 13 2012 @ 10:07 AM EDT (#256286) #
One other thing to note is that, while his fastball command is very good, he's almost always throwing it to one spot: low and away to the hitter. Hitters seem to be leaning out over the plate after they pick up that pattern. If he could establish the inside corner a bit more often, it could help quite a bit.
bpoz - Sunday, May 13 2012 @ 10:44 AM EDT (#256288) #
I am OK with Romero missing TB & NYY because I know what he can do.

The other 4 SPs will have the big challenges in their next start. IMO Morrow & Alvarez need to really hold down the TB offense, our offense has to score, which will not be so easy. The pen?
greenfrog - Sunday, May 13 2012 @ 11:56 AM EDT (#256289) #
The Jays will get Niemann, Price, Kuroda and Hughes in the four games against TB and NY. Price has very strong career numbers against the Jays and Niemann is off to a good start, but that's a pretty good draw overall (no Sabathia, Hellickson, Shields). Also, both teams are dealing with their share of injuries.
uglyone - Sunday, May 13 2012 @ 12:40 PM EDT (#256290) #
Funny thing is that despite the better results this game, I was more dissappointed in Hutch's performance this game than in any of his other games. Against a very weak lineup, he really struggled with his command, and really laboured through this one I thought. Not very sharp at all. Way too nibbly.

I thought he looked much better his previous couple of starts.
Mike Green - Sunday, May 13 2012 @ 04:40 PM EDT (#256294) #
Is there something about the mound at Target that is making it difficult for Jay pitchers to adjust to?  Somehow I doubt it.  Whatever it is, their inability to throw strikes, and the batter's inability to lay off pitches outside the zone, has made this a most frustrating series.
BlueJayWay - Sunday, May 13 2012 @ 05:45 PM EDT (#256295) #
That was one hell of a frustrating series.  I don't know why Jays pitchers simply couldn't throw strikes. 

Unlucky today with the bats too.  So many ropes hit right at fielders.

greenfrog - Sunday, May 13 2012 @ 06:03 PM EDT (#256296) #
PJ Walters and Scott Diamond combined: 13 IP 11 H 2 R 0 BB 9 K. It actually could have been worse: a timely hit or two yesterday and the Twins might have won that one, too. Moving on...
Richard S.S. - Sunday, May 13 2012 @ 06:25 PM EDT (#256297) #
What a bad road trip, their opponents were not good enough to win more than one game. Only luck let the Team win any games, because Offense was bad again and pitching struggled. Last years offense to date with this years pitching to date and 30 games would be won.
Chuck - Sunday, May 13 2012 @ 07:13 PM EDT (#256298) #

Last years offense to date with this years pitching to date and 30 games would be won.

The team's offense, to date, has been better in 2012 than it was in 2011 by almost half a run.

In the first 35 games in 2011, the Jays scored 147 runs.
In the first 35 games in 2012, the Jays scored 163 runs.

In all of 2011, the Jays scored 4.59 runs per game. The league average was 4.46.
In 2012, the Jays are scoring 4.66 runs per game (4th overall). The league average is 4.32.

In 2012, the team's runs for, prior to day's game, was better than league average by 0.39.
In 2012, the team's runs against, prior to today's game, was better than league average by 0.29.

Gerry - Sunday, May 13 2012 @ 10:18 PM EDT (#256299) #
From Nick Cafardo's Boston Globe column:

Travis d’Arnaud, C, Las Vegas - The Blue Jays’ top catching prospect is off to a good start. Said a National League scout who spent four days watching him: “Put it this way, he’d be Boston’s best catcher right now. He’s ready for the big leagues. Now it’s a matter of the Jays making room for him.’’
ayjackson - Sunday, May 13 2012 @ 10:40 PM EDT (#256300) #
I'm going to go ahead and speculate that the NL scout was from the Phillies.  Just to stir the pot.
Dave Till - Monday, May 14 2012 @ 06:49 AM EDT (#256301) #
Today's fascinating fact: there are six American League teams that have scored more runs than they have allowed - Texas and the five AL East teams.
ColiverPhD - Monday, May 14 2012 @ 07:51 AM EDT (#256302) #
Something that I just have to state...during yesterday's radio broadcast, Jerry did a nice job talking about the duties of the Blue Jays ancillary staff; namely, Bullpen Catcher Alex Andreopoulos and Luis Rivera.  However, no mention was made of Jesus Figueroa.  Figueroa has been with the Jays since 1989 as a Batting Practice Pitcher and a Jack-of-all-Trades.  He isn't even on the Blue Jays web site...what gives?
Mike Green - Monday, May 14 2012 @ 09:28 AM EDT (#256303) #
d'Arnaud is hitting .266/.336/.406.  As Stringer Bell would say, that's a 35 degree day in Vegas.
John Northey - Monday, May 14 2012 @ 10:19 AM EDT (#256306) #
Interesting stats Chuck. It shows how the 'steroid era' has screwed up what we see as good offense and good pitching. I know I'm working on readjusting my parameters to 1980's levels back when a 1000 OPS was rare and amazing. In 1985 for example just one player in the majors had a 1000+ OPS (George Brett) and #10 was Jesse Barfield at 905. In 1995 there were 7 over 1000. 5 in 2005, but just 2 last year. So far we have 7 who have enough PA to qualify (I included Hamilton who is short but is high enough that he'd be well over 1000 even with 0 for's added to his total) but that'll drop by mid-season.
John Northey - Monday, May 14 2012 @ 10:21 AM EDT (#256307) #
I'll be darned... checking OPS leaders and doing a last check I saw the HR leaderboard and Adam Dunn is on it. He is hitting 250/393/600 for a 168 OPS+ so far. Who'd have thunk it after his 56 OPS+ last season.
John Northey - Monday, May 14 2012 @ 10:29 AM EDT (#256308) #
One more leaderboard random note: Moyer is up to 4209 hits allowed which puts him in eyeshot of giving up as many hits as Pete Rose had his his career - 4256. He won't get too high on the pitchers career board though as that puts him in 31st place right now with top 10 requiring 4783 hits allowed (Tommy John) while #1 is at 7092 (Cy Young). Phil Niekro was the last member of the 5000 hits allowed club which puts him at #4 all time. Greg Maddux was just shy of top 10.
Ryan Day - Monday, May 14 2012 @ 11:33 AM EDT (#256309) #
It's funny to compare D'arnaud to Boston's catchers. Remember when Saltalamacchia was going to be the next great catcher? (#18 prospect in baseball at BA after his excellent 2005)

D'arnaud doesn't appear to be having a "Call me up right now" season so far. Rushing him would probably be a bad idea.
greenfrog - Monday, May 14 2012 @ 12:08 PM EDT (#256310) #
Speaking of leaderboards, Aroldis Chapman is off to a fine start:

3-0, 0.00 ERA, 17.2 IP, 6 H, 4 BB, 31 K

He didn't come cheap (6/$30.25M through 2015, with the last year a player option), but that is one fine arm. Nice for the Jays and Reds to have players like Hechavarria and Chapman in the fold, now that the new IFA restrictions are in effect.
John Northey - Monday, May 14 2012 @ 12:12 PM EDT (#256311) #
Agreed. If JPA was hitting like he did the first few weeks, then it would be tempting to rush but he is up to 229/265/375 for a 71 OPS+. Doesn't sound like much, but you remove the first 9 games of the season and you get 313/338/484 which is amazingly nice production from a catcher. Those first 9 games? 063/118/156 - ugh.

Btw, OPS+ for the individual starters...
100+: 2 players - Johnson & Encarnacion
90's: 2 players - Bautista & Lawrie (98 & 97)
80's: Thames
70's: JPA, Escobar, Rasmus
60's: Lind

So we have hope as Bautista & Lawrie are one decent game away from the 100's, Thames isn't too far away. JPA/Escobar/Rasmus play the positions you don't need high offense from (CA/SS/CF) and are showing life.

And then there is Adam Lind. Past 10: 156/229/344, overall 189/274/324. In short, he is getting worse. Sigh.
Ryan Day - Monday, May 14 2012 @ 12:21 PM EDT (#256313) #
The thing I find really interesting so far this year is that Edwin should be setting a new career high in stolen bases later this month, if not this week. It's strange that a guy would just start running this late in his career - he stole some bases in the minors, but his MLB high is 8.

He's obviously not a fast guy, but he seems to have a decent sense of when to run.
Ryan Day - Monday, May 14 2012 @ 01:24 PM EDT (#256316) #
Following up on their possible interest in Shane Victorino, the Jays have apparently asked the Angels about Peter Bourjos.
AWeb - Monday, May 14 2012 @ 02:23 PM EDT (#256318) #

I have to wonder if the Angels would ever deal with AA again after last time...and I'm not seeing a fit for Bourjos in Toronto - we already have a promising and light-hitting CF.

The following is not a serious proposal -  Maybe if they throw in Pujols (but pick up half the contract) with Bourjos, we can send back Rasmus and Lind. An old-fashioned challenge trade! I don't think the Jays have any dead weight contracts left for the Angels to take on at this point, but I'd risk Pujols' contract at half it's value. Worth a try to see if AA really does have them hypnotized. Also, don't turn around and trade them for a middle reliever.

Chuck - Monday, May 14 2012 @ 02:41 PM EDT (#256321) #

Worth a try to see if AA really does have them hypnotized.

The "them" they had hypnotized was GM Tony Reagins who no longer occupies the position.

uglyone - Monday, May 14 2012 @ 04:17 PM EDT (#256330) #
Ryan Day.....this seems like one of those rare times when the great Spring Training cliche "In the best shape of his life" actually turned out to make a positive difference.

"Encarnacion, 29, also worked with a new personal trainer in the off-season, building leg strength and lowering his weight to 225 pounds from the 235 he carried last season. He likes the way he feels now, and says his goal is to stay at 225 for the rest of his career."

Both his hands and feet seem faster as a result so far this year.
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