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The Jays return to Toronto after splitting a ten game road trip; despite the .500 record the club must be a little disappointed, after blowing a game against Oakland and dropping two winnable ones against Minnesota. Meanwhile Tampa comes to town for a weird 2 game set after losing 2 of 3 at New York and Baltimore, getting Toronto for two games and Boston for two games before interleague play this weekend (they get the Braves, Toronto gets the Mets). Both teams trail Baltimore in the division, Toronto by 3 and Tampa by 1. Will somebody get closer to the O's, or will they split the series and just tread water? Find out this, and who really shot JFK*, in the Advance Scout.

*Not, you know, actually.


This is the second series against the Rays for Toronto; they played in the middle of April in Toronto, with the Jays taking the first and Tampa the last two. Interestingly (or not, I guess), the Jays face these two Rays pitchers last time out.

Monday: Jeff Niemann vs. Brandon Morrow


Jeff Niemann actually has the best strikeout and walk numbers of any of the Rays three starters this series - ditto for Morrow, who is actually walking fewer than Alvarez, even with his recent 4 walks (and 10 strikeout, to be fair) outburst. Here's what I wrote last time: "The fourth overall pick out of Rice, Niemann never really put it together as a star; one of the the major area's in which he has struggled is in going deep into ballgames - Niemann almost always makes it through five, and usually through six, but goes into the seventh in only about a third of his starts - he usually tires after about 75 pitches." Well, in his first five starts this year (the Jays were the second), Niemann has gone 5.0, 5.0, 5.1, 5.2, 5.2. He did put up his best start of the season against the Yankees in start six, going 7 and allowing one run. In that start against the Jays Niemann took the loss after allowing 5 runs - 2 earned (I seem to recall several Evan Longoria errors) - while in his subsequent starts he's allowed 8 runs in 23.2 innings.

Niemann is a giant, standing 6'9" and weighing in at about 260 pounds, but despite his stature he doesn't throw very hard, topping out at about 92 MPH, though this year his fastball is running close to 90 MPH on average. In addition to the heater Niemann has developed a split fingered pitch over the last couple of years, to go with his righty curveball and his slider. The slider and the splitter both run in the mid to low-80s, while the curve tops out at about 78 MPH. Niemann has been using his slider and splitter a little more and his fastball and curve ball a little less so far this year. Lifetime: Jose is 5/19 with 2 home runs, EE 1/11, Yunel 0/11, Kelly Johnson 2/10, Adam Lind 13/28 with 3 home runs.

Tuesday: David Price vs. Henderson Alvarez

David Price has owned the Jays in his career, and after beating them earlier in the season he's now 10-2 in 13 starts against Toronto, holding Blue Jays hitters to a .600 OPS. So he basically makes Jays hitters look like Omar Vizquel is pinch hitting - except not by choice. Price is of course good against everyone, allowing more than 3 runs just once this season - a 5 spot to the Yankees in his last start - and posting a 2.98 ERA so far, with strong peripherals. Price possesses one of the best fastballs in baseball, and certainly the best from a lefty. He throws both a two-seamer and four-seamer, the former can runs up to 98 MPH. Amongst starters he averaged the third highest velocity in 2011, being narrowly beat out by Alexi Ogando and Justin Verlander; the year before he was fourth overall.  Price mixes speeds effectively, throwing a late breaking slider around 90, a change up around 85 and a curveball around 80. The change up is probably the best of these pitches, which he throws about 10% of the time each. If you think that line against the Jays is bad, take out Jose Bautista, who is 10/28 lifetime against Price with 4 homers and 6 walks. JP Arencibia is 1 for 13, Jeff Mathis 4/14 while Edwin Encarnacion and Yunel Escobar are 5 for 21 and 18 respectively, both with a home run. Adam Lind is 6/33, while KJ is 2/13, Rajai Daviss 3/16 and Colby Rasmus 2/9.

Lineup

Joe Maddon tinkers with his lineup moreso than any manager in baseball, so take this as a best guess. Other than Luke Scott DHing and Carlos Pena playing 1st, everything else is pretty much up in the air.

Ben Zobrist RF
BJ Upton CF
Matt Joyce LF
Luke Scott DH
Carlos Pena 1B
Jeff Keppinger/Sean Rodriguez 3B
Will Rhymes 2B
Jose Molina/Chris Gimenez C
Elliot Johnson SS

Leadoff hitter Desmond Jennings has sat out the last six games with a knee sprain, but it doesn't look like his condition is improving. Evan Longoria is also out, for at least the rest of this month, and the normally deep Rays lineup is showing some cracks around the edges, they've only scored more than 3 runs 3 times in their last 8 games... There was a big article in the New York Times a week ago about Joel Maddon and The Shift. It suggests that, amongst other things, the Brewers improved by 56 runs in a year by implementing the shift, which cannot possibly be/isn't the case. I think that the shift makes sense in certain situations against certain hitters, but it's impact is probably overblown, especially recently. On a related note, Brett Lawrie basically rates out as Brooks Robinson as a defender, according to Defensive Runs Saved. Then again, he did do this.

Infirmary: Evan Longoria (3B) is on the 15-day DL (for now) with a partially torn hamstring, I believe that the diagnosis is 4-6 weeks, as of 10 days ago. Brandon Allen (1B) is also on the 15-day DL with a quad strain. Kyle Farnsworth (RP) and Sam Fuld (OF) are both on the 60-day DL. Desmond Jennings (OF) is day to day with a left knee sprain.

Song to Advance Scout By:
Midnight City, by M83. It is real good, as the kids say.

Chart: Chart! All data from Fangraphs.


Advance Scout: Rays, May 14-15 | 161 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
uglyone - Monday, May 14 2012 @ 04:10 PM EDT (#256326) #
Huge two series here (at least for May, that is).

Our manager's big move to kick off this big homestand is to....wait for it.....move Lind back to the cleanup spot!

92-93 - Monday, May 14 2012 @ 04:14 PM EDT (#256327) #

Oswald was just a patsy. Sign Oswalt.

Gerry - Monday, May 14 2012 @ 04:15 PM EDT (#256328) #
If I have learned one thing this season it is do not believe what John Farrell says.  From EE is our clean-up hitter; to Cordero will be used in low leverage situations; to Lind needs some time out of the clean-up spot; you cannot believe what he says is good for more than one day.
Mike Green - Monday, May 14 2012 @ 05:13 PM EDT (#256331) #
With Longoria and Jennings out, this is a weak lineup that Morrow and Alvarez are facing.  Can the club give them at least 3 runs each night?
electric carrot - Monday, May 14 2012 @ 07:11 PM EDT (#256332) #
Throw out those pink bats boys.
uglyone - Monday, May 14 2012 @ 07:52 PM EDT (#256335) #
I'm still not sure why people see Jennings as an impact player, Mike. 25 year old with an .800ops in AAA, .770 in MLB, and .730 this year. Not sure his loss matters a whole lot to their lineup, since he should be near the bottom of it anyways.

And nice - not only does Lind hit what should have been an inning ending double play ball with 2 guys on in his first at bat, but now Niemann is out of the game after 1ip, negating the only reason Lind was put in the 4 hole in the first place (his whole 28ab sample v. Niemann). Nice work, Farrell.
Mike Green - Monday, May 14 2012 @ 08:02 PM EDT (#256336) #
Jennings is a good leadoff hitter.  Gets on base enough (given the current depressed offensive environment) and runs very well.  Obviously, he's not Rickey Henderson or Tim Raines.
greenfrog - Monday, May 14 2012 @ 09:11 PM EDT (#256338) #
It's pretty hard to take when Lind is hitting 186/270/319 and playing defence like that (a play that Pena makes with his eyes closed). If he fields the grounder Morrow is up 1-0 heading to the bottom of the fifth. Instead it's 6-1 TB. Not good.
Sister - Monday, May 14 2012 @ 09:22 PM EDT (#256339) #
This team is going nowhere this year. This team can't hit. We are making minor league call ups look like aces. And while the pitching has looked good a times, I don't trust this staff in a way that you do a real contender. A lot of smoke a mirrors going on.
greenfrog - Monday, May 14 2012 @ 10:04 PM EDT (#256340) #
Hey, it could have been worse. The Jays could have signed 38-year-old Jamey Carroll (223/314/264) to play second base - apparently Toronto bid on his services - with KJ declining arbitration.
Sherrystar - Monday, May 14 2012 @ 10:19 PM EDT (#256341) #
Not going to win a lot of games when you only get 3 hits.
King Ryan - Monday, May 14 2012 @ 10:23 PM EDT (#256342) #
So I go out of town for a few days and don't follow the team; when I come back, Adam Lind is back batting cleanup for the Jays, as if it's still 2009 and his .238/.289/.422 line over the past 1,289 plate appearances haven't happened. Sigh; he must have hit a homerun on Saturday or something.
electric carrot - Monday, May 14 2012 @ 10:26 PM EDT (#256343) #
The only good thing about starting Lind these days is that Farrell can't use him to pinch hit.

92-93 - Monday, May 14 2012 @ 10:37 PM EDT (#256344) #
Despite the fluff you read all spring Thames still throws like a girl and Arencibia is poor defensively.
lexomatic - Monday, May 14 2012 @ 11:20 PM EDT (#256345) #
I hate to  say it, but the Jays have ALWAYS made minor league call ups look like aces.
They seem to do especially poorly compared to the league. Sure there's exceptions, but I recall so many first wins, gems from pitchers with 8 eras etc.
If someone wants to run the numbers it might make for an interesting post.

King Ryan - Monday, May 14 2012 @ 11:22 PM EDT (#256346) #
I am pretty sure that every fanbase believes that about their team, in baseball and all other sports.
smcs - Tuesday, May 15 2012 @ 03:14 AM EDT (#256347) #
Jays all-time record in games vs. starters in their 1st career game: 32-16. Now, those 16 losses do include names like Steve Woodard, Shane Komine, Jason Berken and David Pauley, but those 32 wins include Matt Garza, Phil Hughes, Rick Porcello and Joe Saunders.

Jays all-time record in games where their starter is in their 1st career game: 19-21. The 19 includes Jesse Litsch and Brandon Lyon. The 21 includes Chris Carpenter and Dave Stieb.

MLB record for teams where their starter is in their 1st career game (1977-2012): 510-558.

China fan - Tuesday, May 15 2012 @ 08:21 AM EDT (#256348) #
....do not believe what John Farrell says ... you cannot believe what he says is good for more than one day....

Would you want a manager who ties his own hands? Would you want a manager who is loyal only to the comments that he made to the media a few days earlier? Isn't it better to have a manager who is flexible, adjusts frequently, and tries to win each game, based on the factors that arise from day to day?

I'm not saying that Farrell's decisions are always correct. But to criticize him for a lack of rigidity seems misplaced. I don't see any reason for a manager to be so rigid that he refuses to change his mind, and refuses to alter any decision. That would be stubbornness and obstinacy that we would rightly criticize.
zeppelinkm - Tuesday, May 15 2012 @ 08:32 AM EDT (#256349) #
No, but I want a manager who isn't so rigid and stubborn and loyal to Adam Lind.
Gerry - Tuesday, May 15 2012 @ 09:10 AM EDT (#256350) #
China fan, my point was that Farrell is so non-rigid that anything he says today could be changed for tomorrow.   You are twisting my comments to suggest I want a manager to stick to his decisions and not change them.  I am just surprised at how many decisions have been changed within a day or two.  Usually managerial decisions in baseball last a week at least.
Gerry - Tuesday, May 15 2012 @ 09:17 AM EDT (#256351) #

As I was coming in to work today the question in my head was...Which players on this years Jays are exceeding expectations through the first (almost) quarter of the season?

My list, ignoring the long relievers:

Henderson Alvarez

Kelly Johnson

 

That's it for me.  That's two out of about 20 players.  It's hard to win without at least five or six players playing above expectations.

Am I missing anyone?

Mike Green - Tuesday, May 15 2012 @ 09:20 AM EDT (#256352) #
I guess Farrell put a lot of weight on the Lind vs. Niemann numbers, which are pretty compelling.  I still think that it was a bad idea for reasons that go beyond the particular game.  Lind's offensive role generally has to be commensurate with his overall performance, and batting him cleanup sends the wrong message.

Is it me, or is the offence having a lot of trouble with soft tossers?



Mike Green - Tuesday, May 15 2012 @ 09:30 AM EDT (#256353) #
Encarnacion, Morrow, Luis Perez and Drabek have exceeded my expectations for them (while Alvarez has pretty much been at par- with his ERA reflecting some luck and terrific infield defence). 

I still say this club is a contender.  Igarashi for Carreno, and reinforcement at 1b/dh, are the immediate steps that pretty clearly need to be taken.
Ryan Day - Tuesday, May 15 2012 @ 09:47 AM EDT (#256354) #
Encarnacion is likely exceeding many people's expectations, depending on what you expected after his excellent 2nd half of 2011. And Morrow, though some people had very high, if somewhat unreasonable, expectations.
greenfrog - Tuesday, May 15 2012 @ 10:09 AM EDT (#256356) #
I think the actual problem is the number of players performing below expectations (sometimes well below). A list of such players might include:

Bautista 726 OPS (995 and 1056 the last two years)

Lind 589 OPS (773 career OPS)

Arencibia 628 OPS (720 OPS last year)

Lawrie 725 OPS (953 OPS last year)

Escobar 614 OPS (757 OPS career)

Rasmus 658 OPS (746 OPS career)

Thames 709 OPS (769 OPS last year)

That's the entire outfield and most of the infield. The pitching staff has been better, but has had a few weak spots, mainly in the bullpen:

Romero 111 ERA+ (148 ERA+ last year)

Cordero 54 ERA+ (141 ERA+ career)

Santos 51 ERA+ (121 ERA+ career)

Janssen 101 ERA+ (116 ERA+ career)

Villanueva 76 ERA+ (100 ERA+ career)

Add it all up and a 19-17 record (during a supposedly relatively soft part of the schedule) seems about right.
Ryan Day - Tuesday, May 15 2012 @ 10:23 AM EDT (#256357) #
I wouldn't throw Janssen into the underachievers just yet. He's had a couple bad games, which makes his ERA look bad, but he's still getting lots of strikeouts and not walking anyone, and he's only allowed one baserunner in his last five appearances.
smcs - Tuesday, May 15 2012 @ 10:29 AM EDT (#256358) #
And let's not forget that the defence, especially at 3B, 2B and SS has been incredible. According the DRS, the Jays are in the lead by 13 runs (36-23) over the Tampa Bay Rays.
greenfrog - Tuesday, May 15 2012 @ 10:45 AM EDT (#256359) #
Yes, Janssen has been basically fine. He has given up 3 HR (already one more than last year), but otherwise his numbers are solid.
Gerry - Tuesday, May 15 2012 @ 10:55 AM EDT (#256360) #

There is a very good article at Beyond the Boxscore looking at pitchf/x analysis of eight rookie pitchers, including Drew Hutchison. 

In case you don't want to click through:

Fastball command has just been OK

Slider has worked well because he uses it infrequently

Change-up can be a plus pitch but it is thrown too hard for now

And the summary:

In order to become an effective big league starter, Hutchison will need to get better command of his fastball, which will in turn allow him to deploy his secondary pitches with increased frequency and take some pressure off his fastball. Most of the rawness were seeing here is probably due to his youth (hes just 21) and the fact that hes really just spent half a year above the Midwest League, making 10 starts in High-A and six in Double-A. Give him time and he should be able to settle down.

sam - Tuesday, May 15 2012 @ 11:07 AM EDT (#256361) #
Greenfrog, your post on players performing below expectations is a good one. I agree as well with Gerry on players performing above expectations.

I was at last night's game and it was a painful one. Long, boring, and bad baseball. I was sitting in the right field bleachers and in watching Adam Lind play first base, especially in comparison to Carlos Pena, Lind's physical tools have completely deteriorated. He had very little range. The ball he ranged to his right and was charged with an error on, Pena made an identical play on standing up. It was shocking to see in person how he physically can't play the position and at the plate it was not much better. He was behind several fastballs. I don't think I've ever seen a 20 something year old deteriorate that quickly.

Arencibia looks lazy behind the plate. I know he's had success throwing from his knees this year, but he has slow feet behind the plate and doesn't rotate or move well enough to block balls.

Jose Bautista is an excellent defensive right fielder and those don't grow on trees, so I'd hold off calling for him to move to first base.

Eric Thames does not have a strong throwing arm, but has improved his routes to balls and looks a competent outfielder. From an offensive standpoint, you probably want a bit more out of that position to put up with below-average to average defense.

From watching games on TV and then now in person, I wouldn't say this team is very good and once they start to play the division a bit more I think they'll start to drift back to .500 baseball.
Mike Green - Tuesday, May 15 2012 @ 11:08 AM EDT (#256362) #
It is a good summary.  At age 21, Greg Maddux was about the same.
Mike Green - Tuesday, May 15 2012 @ 11:11 AM EDT (#256363) #
Bautista is moving around much better this year than last, presumably because he is healthy.
uglyone - Tuesday, May 15 2012 @ 11:37 AM EDT (#256364) #
Not that it needs another post, because everyone's pretty much on the same page here, but hey why not add another breakdown of the starting roster:

Guys who have exceeded my expectations (4): B.Morrow, K.Drabek, L.Perez, E.Encarnacion

Guys who have been somewhere near expectations (7): R.Romero, H.Alvarez, D.Oliver, J.Frasor, K.Johnson, B.Lawrie, E.Thames

Guys who have been below expectations (10): B.Cecil, S.Santos, F.Cordero, C.Janssen, C.Villanueva, J.Bautista, Y.Escobar, C.Rasmus, J.Arencibia, A.Lind


With the extra players contributing about as expected as a group - Hutchison, Carreno, Crawford, Francisco, Davis, Vizquel, Mathis.

With the note that Oliver/Frasor might actually be slightly higher than expected and Lawrie/Thames slightly lower, but considering the small sample size close enough to expectations not to make an issue of at the moment.
BlueJayWay - Tuesday, May 15 2012 @ 11:40 AM EDT (#256365) #
I was at last night's game and it was a painful one. Long, boring, and bad baseball. I was sitting in the right field bleachers and in watching Adam Lind play first base, especially in comparison to Carlos Pena, Lind's physical tools have completely deteriorated. He had very little range. The ball he ranged to his right and was charged with an error on, Pena made an identical play on standing up. It was shocking to see in person how he physically can't play the position and at the plate it was not much better. He was behind several fastballs. I don't think I've ever seen a 20 something year old deteriorate that quickly.

I wonder if it's the back problem again.  Either way he's going to have to be jettisoned.
uglyone - Tuesday, May 15 2012 @ 11:41 AM EDT (#256366) #
To add to the "Disturbing Farrell Quotes" File, add this one from his post-game comments:

"We need Adam Lind"
zeppelinkm - Tuesday, May 15 2012 @ 12:01 PM EDT (#256367) #
I wish he could have just added... "To go on the 60 day DL to finally fix his back." Then return as a productive LH power bat against righty pitchers. Mind you, an expensive one, but the cost has been paid so might as well utilize the asset.
Anders - Tuesday, May 15 2012 @ 12:14 PM EDT (#256368) #
Jose Bautista is an excellent defensive right fielder and those don't grow on trees, so I'd hold off calling for him to move to first base. Eric Thames does not have a strong throwing arm, but has improved his routes to balls and looks a competent outfielder. From an offensive standpoint, you probably want a bit more out of that position to put up with below-average to average defense.

I have to disagree with both of these. Bautista is not especially fast and while he gets decent breaks on balls I don't think he always takes the best route; it's hard for me to think he grades out above average. Per UZR and DRS he's been quite bad the last two years. Also, again subjectively, he hasn't provided much value with his arm this year. People are afraid to run on him, but he hasn't been especially sharp with his throws.

As for Thames, I think he moves alright, but he gets horrible breaks on the ball and takes poor routes. His arm isn't good, but I don't think it's extremely below average, it's not an order of magnitude worse than Rajai Davis or Shannon Stewart. Just, he can't play the ball off the bat well.

Somewhat ironically I made fun of Buck for calling Lawrie the best fielding third baseman in the AL earlier in the year. It might actually be true. there's a link in the Scout above, but Lawrie is I believe 4 standard deviations above what a good fielding third baseman would be at. He's made a couple errors, but he has impressive range to his left and is very quick, especially coming forward (also see link to play above); I think this has helped the left side of the infield D as a whole. Really the team just needs to bench Adam Lind.

smcs - Tuesday, May 15 2012 @ 12:31 PM EDT (#256369) #
There is a very good article at Beyond the Boxscore looking at pitchf/x analysis of eight rookie pitchers, including Drew Hutchison.

Odd that they didn't notice that he doesn't throw his change to righties, and doesn't throw his slider to lefties. He really needs to get comfortable throwing inside on guys. But, he's 21, and pitching inside is something probably best learned in the minors.
AWeb - Tuesday, May 15 2012 @ 12:43 PM EDT (#256370) #

Lawrie gets top defensive ratings deservedly, but some of the systems don't handle shifts at all. That is, when Lawrie plays in short RF against a LH hitter and makes a routine play, he gets credit, in some of the systems, for making an out of zone play and therefore gets extra credit. Similarly when he's playing way off the line and essentially in the SS position. I think increasing shifts and positioning in general are likely to break the standard systems that break the field into zones and assign each fielder to a zone. I know UZR has this issue, and maybe other systems as well. I assume more dedicated minds are working on correcting for this, but it's really just waiting around for hit F/X and field F/X, if those do become available in the near future.

For team defense, I still think balls in play turned into outs, with a simple grounder and flyball split, is probably the best way to evaluate it, because the coaching bonuses are built right in. The Jays have been great on defense, despite making a lot of errors. They have somehow ended up in the top half for runs scored - does anyone else feel like they must have missed two games where they scored 35 runs or something? The offense right now is in a dead zone, where no one is hitting well. Last night...ugh. Couldn't watch. The ABs were depressing, and I tuned in as Morrow was busily disintegrating after the error, and then the wild pitch K, and then...I'm pretending it never happened.

Gerry - Tuesday, May 15 2012 @ 12:45 PM EDT (#256371) #

Lind:

1. Sometimes backs don't get fully better.  They get well enough to handle day to day, but they restrict athletic activity

2. The Jays recently have tried to draft "athletes".  Lind didn't fit that description when he was drafted.  Maybe he has just become bigger and slower and he is too far from an "athlete" to succeed. 

neurolaw - Tuesday, May 15 2012 @ 01:06 PM EDT (#256372) #
Just to add to Gerry's points about under-performing players. I think that the offensive struggles this year have been in large part due to the philosophy of the front office.

When it comes to getting young major league or near ready major league controllable assets AA wants those who have immense talent but who are having a bad year or attitude problems or are simply inconsistent. By doing this he has not had to give up as much talent to get them. Colby Rasmus, Brandon Morrow, Kelly Johnson, Yunel Escobar and Brett Lawrie are all pieces that have come this way.

Now I think that is a great way to get talent. AA probably figured that he simply did not have enough minor league talent yet to acquire consistent young talent so he went this route.

However looking at these players over the past 2 seasons I have no idea what to expect now. I can't say for certain that Escobar or Rasmus will bounce back and I have no idea if Kelly Johnson can continue to produce at an elite level. And after watching Morrow for a couple of seasons I don't think he will ever put it together long enough to become an elite pitcher. So what I am trying to say in a long winded way is that when you get really talented but inconsistent players generally inconsistency is the thing that stands out which is what has happened this year.

I think AA went into this season thinking that if his gambles paid off then Escobar, Johnson, Bautista, Rasmus and Lawrie at the top half of the line-up would produce a lot of runs consistently. He gambled that if Morrow put it together then Romero and Morrow would make for a very good top of the rotation. Unfortunately that has not played out. As a side note I read somewhere in the off-season that if Johnson did not accept arb he had a trade in place for Beckham who also has been terrible this season. Imagine for a second how much worse the Jays would be off if that happened.

Question is where does he go from here? I have no idea but I bet he will probably change his philosophy a little bit because I would and I have no where near his baseball expertise.
uglyone - Tuesday, May 15 2012 @ 01:10 PM EDT (#256373) #
"I have no idea if Kelly Johnson can continue to produce at an elite level."

2012yr: 13.4bb%, 26.8k%, .326babip, .259/.363/.422/.785, .355woba, 125wRC+
Career: 10.9bb%, 21.3k%, .311babip, .280/.344/.440/.784, .344woba, 108wRC+
Ryan Day - Tuesday, May 15 2012 @ 01:12 PM EDT (#256374) #
Yunel already appears to be turning things around - he's hitting 326/396/419. By the all-star break, I expect we'll have completely forgotten his lousy April.

On the other hand, I'm not so sure about Rasmus, who's hitting 196/245/341 over 71 games as a Jay. He's young enough to improve, and he offers some defensive value, but it's possible "buying low" was not such a great idea.
neurolaw - Tuesday, May 15 2012 @ 01:19 PM EDT (#256375) #
I saw his career numbers of 108 WRC+ before I posted. He has good career numbers but this year he has been elite and that was my point. Dustin Pedroia, Ian Kinsler and Robinson Cano continue to produce at an elite level year in and year out.

I know he will be good but not sure if he will be elite and to be honest if everyone else in the lineup plays to their talent level its probably not important that he be elite.
Ryan Day - Tuesday, May 15 2012 @ 01:25 PM EDT (#256376) #
er - I meant to say that Yunel is hitting well over his past 14 games. Obviously, he's not hitting that well overall.
Magpie - Tuesday, May 15 2012 @ 01:30 PM EDT (#256377) #
do not believe what John Farrell says

Do not believe what any manager says, ever. Every day a pack of media assembles in the dugout to ply the manager with questions. The beast needs feeding. The manager's main motivation is simply to get through this business without creating any problems, for himself or his team. And that is all.

Just last week Joe Maddon - Joe Maddon! - was talking about how pitching the ninth inning is different from the rest, that it requires something different from pitchers. Does anyone actually believe he meant that?
greenfrog - Tuesday, May 15 2012 @ 01:38 PM EDT (#256379) #
"Just last week Joe Maddon - Joe Maddon! - was talking about how pitching the ninth inning is different from the rest, that it requires something different from pitchers. Does anyone actually believe he meant that?"

I do, actually.
Magpie - Tuesday, May 15 2012 @ 01:39 PM EDT (#256380) #
Bautista is not especially fast and while he gets decent breaks on balls I don't think he always takes the best route; it's hard for me to think he grades out above average.

Agreed, but I think he can improve somewhat with more experience out there. Bautista only became an outfielder when he got to Toronto. He really didn't play there at all in the minors, and the Pirates only used him in the outfield for about half a season in CF. He's got a right fielder's arm, but the rest has been On-The-Job training at the major league level, repeatedly interrupted by the need to send him back to the infield.
uglyone - Tuesday, May 15 2012 @ 01:44 PM EDT (#256381) #
Maddon's handling of the bullpen is very interesting. While it's clear he believes very strongly in matchups, and it's also clear that he doesn't believe the closer has to be or even should be his best reliever, he does seem to believe that the closer role is "special" in some way, at least in terms of needing consistency in that role. He almost always uses a veteran in that role, and he uses them very consistently in that role, despite being very matchup-conscious in his use of all the other relievers.

And for the record, i think he's easily the best bullpen manager in the game.
92-93 - Tuesday, May 15 2012 @ 01:55 PM EDT (#256382) #
"And for the record, I think he's easily the best manager in the game."

*fixed
92-93 - Tuesday, May 15 2012 @ 01:58 PM EDT (#256383) #
Sam, you were at last night's game and concluded that Bautista is an excellent defensive RF? Yikes, we must've been watching different games. I swear it looked like he had weights attached to his feet on one of the doubles hit into the right-centre gap.
Magpie - Tuesday, May 15 2012 @ 02:45 PM EDT (#256384) #
Another Maddon quote:

"...we really try to stay away from using the word 'closer.' I have not even mentioned it once this year, nor did I mention it at all last year. We're always just trying to put the best matchup leverage situation together."

Maddon's bullpen use is indeed very distinctive. No one uses relief pitchers for shorter outings. Everybody who gets mad when Farrell pulls a reliever after eight pitches would go berserk if you had to deal with Maddon. For the last five years (including what we have so far of 2012), his relievers have had the shortest outings of any AL team, averaging less than one inning per appearance every year. During that period, just two other AL teams have slipped below the 1 IP per relief outing bar - the 2011 A's and the 2010 TWins (Gardenhire shows the same tendency, just not to the same extent.)

I rather think that, more than most managers, Maddon regards relief pitchers as essentially interchangeable and (he can't come out and say this) disposable. Somebody different will lead his team in saves every year. And while most managers are somewhat reluctant to use a relief pitcher in three consecutive games, not Maddon. I've seen him use the same guy in five consecutive games.
sam - Tuesday, May 15 2012 @ 02:52 PM EDT (#256385) #
If memory serves me right, there was only one double hit to the right center gap and it was unplayable in the air from where I was sitting. Bautista made a nice play ranging to the right center gap to track down a ball. I don't pay much attention to fielding metrics and I apologize if my first hand impressions don't correspond to others. From what I've seen of Bautista this year, he has played strong defence in right. He might not have the glamourous outfield assists, but runners seldom seem to try to take the extra base on him (which only happens to good RF's) and when they do I can recall two separate incidents where JP Arencibia failed to "pick" the ball on good throws home. I'm not saying he's a gold glove caliber RF, however, I think he's an asset in RF and I think you'd be hard pressed to find someway say he's a liability and should be moved off the position.
92-93 - Tuesday, May 15 2012 @ 03:24 PM EDT (#256386) #
I wasn't implying that Bautista should have made the catch, I was merely making an observation that Bautista looked slow as molasses trying to fill the gap going after the ball. And while I agree that he isn't yet a liability in RF and needs to be moved off, that's a far cry from being an "excellent defensive RF" which, IMO, means you ARE saying he's a gold glove caliber RF. Also, one of those throws was completely on Bautista, despite you being right about Arencibia's inability to block the ball (a recurring theme). Bautista uncorked it from VERY shallow RF and it still bounced a good 5-10 feet in front of Arencibia.

Ideally between Gose & Snider we have the solutions that push Bautista into an everyday 1B role by as early as 2013.
sam - Tuesday, May 15 2012 @ 04:02 PM EDT (#256387) #
92-93, I think we have a different definition of very good. I agree with a lot of your points on Bautista. He is certainly not fleet of foot and that tends to get exposed when we play in more expansive ball parks. The ballparks in the AL East are sandboxs in comparison to the NL West. I don't think he's a gold glover, but I do think he's above average.

It seems a bit petty to argue over throws from the outfield, but I will say that outfielders are taught to throw threw the cut-off man, which often means the ball skipping to home.

I think the timeframe for being supplanted out there by one of Snider or Gose is a bit premature. Again, this is entirely subjective, but in watching Snider play the outfield with the Jays and a bit in Las Vegas. I'm not entirely convinced that he's better than Bautista in any shape or form. In watching Gose play in Las Vegas he is nowhere near ready to hit ML pitching. I get that he has the tools to be a difference maker in the outfield, but the instincts for RF are significantly different than CF or LF for that matter. So I do think it's a leap to say that Snider or Gose would provide an immediate defensive upgrade at the position as soon as 2013.

Ultimately, I agree that in time Bautista will have to be moved off the position, however, I don't think that time has come, nor do I see it happening in the near future.
Anders - Tuesday, May 15 2012 @ 04:05 PM EDT (#256388) #
Agreed, but I think he can improve somewhat with more experience out there. Bautista only became an outfielder when he got to Toronto. He really didn't play there at all in the minors, and the Pirates only used him in the outfield for about half a season in CF. He's got a right fielder's arm, but the rest has been On-The-Job training at the major league level, repeatedly interrupted by the need to send him back to the infield.

While this may all be true (and I'm sure it is), I don't think it matters. Any improvement at this juncture is probably going to be offset, in whole or in part, by a natural decline in athletic ability. He is 32 now. I've been saying this for six months now, but I would lay even money that Bautista is the club's starting first baseman in 2013. The only thing I really think that would interfere with this is if Rasmus just keeps falling off this cliff and isn't a starter for the team next year. Otherwise Gose to CF, Rasmus to RF, Snider/Thames in LF/DH, with EE around if he doesn't take $30 million from someone else.

uglyone - Tuesday, May 15 2012 @ 04:15 PM EDT (#256389) #
let's not age him that fast. he's got a good 6 months before he turns 32.
Mike Green - Tuesday, May 15 2012 @ 04:29 PM EDT (#256390) #
Do not believe what any manager says, ever. Every day a pack of media assembles in the dugout to ply the manager with questions. The beast needs feeding. The manager's main motivation is simply to get through this business without creating any problems, for himself or his team. And that is all.

...except that in the case of the Lind/Cordero moves, it was, I thought, a pre-game scheduled "announcement" from Farrell.  And if Farrell wasn't sure what he was going to do and didn't want to make a statement, he could simply have said that Lind was batting 8th that day rather than making a big deal about Encarnacion being his clean-up hitter etc..

It seemed to me that Farrell intended what he said several days ago, and then played a hunch based on the batter vs. pitcher numbers for Lind and Niemann.  It's not really a great idea from a communication perspective.
Magpie - Tuesday, May 15 2012 @ 04:37 PM EDT (#256391) #
It seemed to me that Farrell intended what he said several days ago

Oh, probably. Most of the things managers say are mostly true, more or less, at the precise moment they're saying them. But tomorrow is another day (or whatever the hell that woman says in that movie I've never seen.)
Chuck - Tuesday, May 15 2012 @ 04:52 PM EDT (#256392) #

I've been saying this for six months now, but I would lay even money that Bautista is the club's starting first baseman in 2013.

What might motivate this move, more than his decline in the outfield, is that there is no first baseman in the system screaming out for the job, no established first basemen on the market (and when they do hit the market, 10/200 seems to be where discussions start) and a potential glut of outfielders fighting for jobs.

But tomorrow is another day

Tomorrow is a latter day.
-- Book of Mormon (the musical)

Ryan Day - Tuesday, May 15 2012 @ 05:01 PM EDT (#256393) #
On the other hand, that potential outfielder glut may not amount to much - Rasmus has had plenty of problems, many people don't want Thames in the field, no one's sure if Snider can actually hold down a MLB job, Gose is still looking very raw.

If the stars align properly, the 2013 oufield could be Snider-Gose-Rasmus, with Bautista moved to 1st, but that's far from a sure thing. I'm not sure there any outfielders aside from Bautista who are a sure thing for 2013.
Charlie - Tuesday, May 15 2012 @ 05:18 PM EDT (#256394) #
While almost all Jays hitters have underwhelmed this season, we should not forget that they field one of the younger lineups in the AL. The Jays' average age per AB is 27.8, over a year below AL average of 29.0. Average age per AB is correlated with runs scored at a statistically significant level. This year, the five oldest teams per AB are New York, Boston, Texas, LA, and Tampa. Of the teams below the AL average, only one has produced more runs than us - the Orioles.

Yes, Lind needs to be benched or traded (for someone, anyone!). Yes, we will not continue to hit so well with runners in scoring position; and as the timely hits become less frequent, our run production will dip. Overall though, let's enjoy watching the young talent on this team develop because when we had our damp squib of an off-season, we knew weren't going to be contenders this year anyway!

92-93 - Tuesday, May 15 2012 @ 05:23 PM EDT (#256395) #
I know the results haven't been there, but I'm still not worried about Rasmus at all. He typically has very good ABs and hits the ball hard, he's just had horrendous luck thus far this year.
uglyone - Tuesday, May 15 2012 @ 05:28 PM EDT (#256396) #
Jays Hitters Ages, for no real reason other than it came up:

45: (Vizquel)
44:
43:
42:
41:
40:
39:
38:
37:
36:
35:
34:
33:
32:
31: Bautista, (Davis)
30: Johnson, (Francisco)
29: Escobar, Encarnacion, (Mathis)
28: Lind
27:
26: Arencibia
25: Rasmus, Thames, (Cooper***)
24: (Snider***), (Gomes***)
23: (D'Arnaud***), (Hechavarria***), (Sierra***), (McDade**)
22: Lawrie, (Knecht*)
21: (Gose***), (Jimenez**), (Marisnick*), (Crouse*), (Perez*)
CeeBee - Tuesday, May 15 2012 @ 07:39 PM EDT (#256398) #
My 2 bits for what it's worth.
Over:
Encarnation
Johnson
Alvarez
Morrow

Under:
Lind
Escobar
Thames
Rasmus
Bautista
Santos
Villanueava
Cordero

The rest are close to what I expected.
A side note.
It's pretty sad when I spend half my day at work hoping that when I get home I'll find out that Adam Lind has been traded, disabled, DFA'd or at least benched(tonights a start)... Oh well, there's always tomorrow. Can't say that there's ever been a Jay that has frustrated me more than Lind. No hit no field.....
greenfrog - Tuesday, May 15 2012 @ 08:06 PM EDT (#256399) #
According to fangraphs, Rasmus's wOBA over the last three years is as follows:

2010: .366
2011: .302
2012 (to date): .280

Fwiw, a wOBA of .280 is very bad and would seem to go beyond a few line drives failing to fall in. Here is fangraphs' rule of thumb for this stat:

Excellent 0.400
Great 0.370
Above Average 0.340
Average 0.320
Below Average 0.310
Poor 0.300
Awful 0.290

http://www.fangraphs.com/library/index.php/offense/woba/
Waveburner - Tuesday, May 15 2012 @ 08:24 PM EDT (#256400) #

Not that I'm an expert, but I don't know if I have much faith in any Rasmus turnaround. I agree that he has been unlucky as far as line drives turning into outs. I'm not sure I agree that he has good at-bats. Yes he sees lot's of pitches, but so do Lind and Arencibia. In the end all three seem to end up swinging at bad pitches on the edge of the strike zone or out of it. He also swings right through hittable strikes at a more noticeable rate than other guys with power in their bat (And just swinging and missing a lot in general).

I just don't think he has a very good eye at the plate. With all the strikeouts he's unlikely to ever hit above .250ish anyways. If he doesn't have a good walk rate he'll be a very mediocre offensive player. 

Chuck - Tuesday, May 15 2012 @ 08:27 PM EDT (#256401) #
What does a $200M payroll buy you? The Yankees' starting LF tonight is Jayson Nix. DeWayne Wise has also logged some ABs as a Yankee this year.
Mike Green - Tuesday, May 15 2012 @ 09:32 PM EDT (#256402) #
Bringing in Janssen down a run in the ninth is a good move by Farrell.  He's been pitching an inning every three days, and that's a pretty decent routine. 
Mike D - Tuesday, May 15 2012 @ 09:41 PM EDT (#256403) #
Overall though, let's enjoy watching the young talent on this team develop because when we had our damp squib of an off-season, we knew we weren't going to be contenders this year anyway!

This is a surprisingly overlooked insight by Charlie. It's amazing how many among not only fans but media forget this essential truth about the state of the team.
Mike D - Tuesday, May 15 2012 @ 09:49 PM EDT (#256404) #
That's just a god-awful call and, worse, it wasn't a case of incompetence or mistake. That was a vindictive, intentionally dishonest call and fundamentally changed the game. That's everything people hate about bad umpiring: provoking confrontation and making yourself the story.
Beyonder - Tuesday, May 15 2012 @ 09:53 PM EDT (#256405) #
Agreed. But Lawrie gets (and deserves to get) 5 games for that bit of helmet throwing nonsense.
CSHunt68 - Tuesday, May 15 2012 @ 09:56 PM EDT (#256406) #
What does the umpire "get and deserve"? Make this about umpiring. Every time someone brings up Lawrie, ask about the ridiculously incompetent umpiring on display this year.
CeeBee - Tuesday, May 15 2012 @ 10:02 PM EDT (#256407) #
"What does the umpire "get and deserve"? Make this about umpiring. Every time someone brings up Lawrie, ask about the ridiculously incompetent umpiring on display this year."
amen!
Mike D - Tuesday, May 15 2012 @ 10:03 PM EDT (#256408) #
Clearly, there will be a suspension for the helmet, but what percentage of big league hitters would have been ejected after that call? Conservatively, I'd say 80%. Maybe much higher.

I still can't believe what I just saw. The umpire decided that he just wasn't going to care where the next pitch was, he was ringing that little snot-nose up no matter what.
BlueJayWay - Tuesday, May 15 2012 @ 10:10 PM EDT (#256409) #
Really getting sick of the Rays.
Mike D - Tuesday, May 15 2012 @ 10:18 PM EDT (#256410) #
Oddly, per Pitch FX, strike two on Lawrie was a worse call than strike three. Pitch FX says that strike two was a horrendous call, nowhere near the plate; but strike three caught the plate, albeit high and just out of the strike zone.

Then again, the statutory strike zone is different than the customary strike zone, which is belt-high or slightly higher. Not shoulder-high like the controversial called strike three.
AWeb - Tuesday, May 15 2012 @ 10:18 PM EDT (#256411) #
Bill Miller has one of the largest strikezones in MLB : http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/printarticle/which-umpire-has-the-largest-strikezone/ I didn't see enough tonight to judge whether that was the case or not this game, but it's not a shocker overall. Oh, and this incident is on Bill Miller's wikipedia page for now (a level headed summary). Oh internet, you're awesome.

I'd say 90-95% of players get thrown out there, since there are two outs in the ninth - might as well get your words in. Lawrie is going to lose a bunch of games for his helmet throw, which was lucky to just hit the ump where it did.

Maybe this will light a fire under the team for a while. I also thought - thank goodness Bautista wasn't called out on that given how angry he gets on just regular striekouts.


Beyonder - Tuesday, May 15 2012 @ 10:19 PM EDT (#256412) #
Ceebee. That particular umpire deserves everything he got and more. Umpires in general deserve to be able to call the game without being afraid of being attacked by players.
Magpie - Tuesday, May 15 2012 @ 10:26 PM EDT (#256414) #
John Hirshbeck's been calling that pitch a strike for 20 years. Hitters get pretty frustrated by it sometimes (hello Robbie!) but they've come to expect it. What was really irritating about this episode was that the "strike two" pitch was in exactly the same spot as the ball one pitch. It's when the strike zone changes from pitch to pitch that always drives players crazy.
Mike D - Tuesday, May 15 2012 @ 10:33 PM EDT (#256415) #
Really getting sick of the Rays.

It's frustrating watching a team trying, as an organization, to out-Rays the Rays. It's an admirable model to try to emulate, although it's not easy to re-create the Rays without their manager, without their minor league development team, and without their string of high-end top-5 draft choices like Price, Upton, Longoria, Niemann, Young, etc. that have starred or been traded for stars.

Clearly, the Jays aren't as poor as the Rays, and so will have the advantage of a much better ability to retain homegrown talent as it becomes expensive. But having said that, despite an overall lower payroll, the Rays have actually been more willing to spend on free agency -- at least so long as it's useful vets on short-term deals like Scott, Pena, Damon, etc. AA's relentless search for value (and/or the dreaded "payroll parameters") has kept the Jays out of the moderately shallow end of the free agent pool where even the Rays swim.
neurolaw - Tuesday, May 15 2012 @ 10:46 PM EDT (#256416) #
Mike D I don't think that is necessarily true. I can't remember where but I remember reading that AA has said that the Texas Rangers is the model franchise that he wants to emulate and has been trying to follow their blueprint of success.

Magpie - Wednesday, May 16 2012 @ 12:09 AM EDT (#256417) #
the Texas Rangers is the model franchise that he wants to emulate

Interesting. The Rangers have been very fortunate with some late round draft picks (Kinsler in the 17th round, Holland in the 25th.) They've shelled out the cash for some pricey free agents (Darvish and Beltre.) They got lucky with a couple of guys other organizations had given up on (Cruz and Lewis.) But I have to think the real key was some extremely lopsided trades: the two with Toronto a decade apart that acquired Young and Napoli, and getting Josh Hamilton for Volquez. But especially - especially - the Mark Teixeira firesale that landed them Andrus, Harrison, and Feliz (their shortstop and two rotation starters.) Too bad Saltalamacchia didn't work out for them. I guess.

Anyway, I don't know if you can really follow that model. Cleveland did manage something similar a few years earlier when they fleeced Omar Minaya in the Bartolo Colon deal. Still, it's hard to actually count on being able to achieve that kind of haul in exchange for your Proven Asset. You can certainly try, but you will need fortune to smile on you.
Dave Till - Wednesday, May 16 2012 @ 06:50 AM EDT (#256418) #
Last night is more proof that Lawrie is a comp for George Brett - recall Brett's reaction when he was called out for too much pine tar on his bat.

If Miller was calling pitches out of the zone strikes because he felt that Lawrie was showing him up, that is unprofessional. I hope that MLB factors this in when determining the length of time Lawrie will be suspended, but I fear that they won't. I am expecting at least a five-game suspension.

Mike D - Wednesday, May 16 2012 @ 07:41 AM EDT (#256419) #
Having seen the replay of both pitches, Dave, I don't see how one can deny Miller's motivation. Strike two call was very late (and Miller's calls are generally late) but strike three was, uncharacteristically, called immediately as Molina caught the pitch.

My problem with Miller thinking he was shown up is that the strike two call came late and the pitch was so far outside that Lawrie couldn't reasonably have been expected to wait for a call.
Chuck - Wednesday, May 16 2012 @ 08:45 AM EDT (#256420) #

If Miller was calling pitches out of the zone strikes because he felt that Lawrie was showing him up, that is unprofessional.

While Miller may well confide to his crewmates that the snot-nosed punk is never going to show him up again, he can refute his motivations publicly because he has plausible deniability in his favour. He can point to the video tape. While strike two was certainly outside (more like 2-3 inches rather than the hyperbolic 6 that many have claimed), strike three appeared to be over the plate but "high" (maybe not high by the rulebook, but high by how umpires choose to interpret the rulebook).

The culture of umpires being bigger than the game needs to change, but I'm not sure how that happens. It's been like this for a long time. Once robot umpire technology is ready, I'm on board to embrace it fully.

Lawrie was right to be upset, but not right to throw his helmet seemingly at Miller. I imagine the suspension will be announced today and that Lawrie will appeal it, if only to delay finally dropping the appeal and sitting at the most opportune time. Given the impending schedule, however, there doesn't seem to be an opportune time. Too bad the games against the Mets are at home. Lawrie could sit in an NL park while E5 took over. Absent this option, we could be seeing more Vizquel than is really called for.

Lost in the hullabaloo was the game itself. Alvarez finally experienced bad luck on the BABIP front (9 for 18 if my math is correct), goosing it to .230 on the season. More balls in play means more hits... and it means more errors behind him. This low K-rate high wire act will be an interesting one to watch this season. To me, it just doesn't seem sustainable, particularly when paired with his HR propensity. It will also be interesting to see if Alvarez somehow truly has a low-BABIP ability that many have suggested though I'm skeptical on that front.

Mike Green - Wednesday, May 16 2012 @ 09:23 AM EDT (#256421) #
Alvarez gave up 7 line drives, six of which were hits, and the homer.  Still, with all that, he didn't really have a bad game. 

CB Bucknor calling balls and strikes on Monday and then Miller last night.  "Snake eyes" might be seen as insulting, but I was thinking of it in the bad luck sense.

John Northey - Wednesday, May 16 2012 @ 09:28 AM EDT (#256422) #
No need to wonder if they were strikes or even close to it when you have pitch f/x stats.

The at bat in question.

The pitch that was 2nd last (when he should've walked) was clearly outside by a good margin. Any 1/2 decent ump should've had that call. The final pitch was just a bit high - not a strike but close. Lawrie should've been swinging at anything close after the previous pitch.

How did that inning go otherwise? Those were the only pitches outside the strike zone he called that inning. What about the rest of the game? Joel Peralta appears to have had one pitch called outside the zone, Rodney just those 2, and Price had quite a few called in the same area as the first strike but none as high as the final strike (8 called strikes that were outside the zone on the same side as the first bad call, 3 which were just as bad). Alvarez had 3 'lucky strikes' in that area and one on the other side of the plate. He also had 4 strikes that were called balls. Games like this one just scream out to me that we need to see ball-strike calls be done via the pitch f/x machines rather than by umps as they get it wrong enough times that it does affect the outcome.
Paul D - Wednesday, May 16 2012 @ 09:36 AM EDT (#256425) #
Does it seem like the Jays do the "start walking to first before the call's made" more often than other teams, and more often than they used to? I think it's led by Bautista, and it's the one part of his game that I don't love.
Mike Green - Wednesday, May 16 2012 @ 09:42 AM EDT (#256426) #
I am glad that Lawrie didn't swing on the last pitch.  It was a ball, and almost all umpires (including Miller) would have called that a ball in the situation.  It is very unusual for a batter up 3-1 in the count for the home team down a run in the ninth to get two bad called strikes in a row.  Lawrie's refusal to swing at a ball is part of the self-discipline that he needs to acquire to become a great player.  As for the anger that followed,  the acquisition of self-discipline is a process...
Mike Green - Wednesday, May 16 2012 @ 09:44 AM EDT (#256427) #
Does it seem like the Jays do the "start walking to first before the call's made" more often than other teams

In Lawrie's case, it's running to first, but yes, there is a fair bit of that on this club and it ought to stop.
greenfrog - Wednesday, May 16 2012 @ 09:47 AM EDT (#256428) #
Sketchy calls by the ump, but Lawrie was way out of line. Horrible behaviour by that fan/goon, too.
Beyonder - Wednesday, May 16 2012 @ 09:53 AM EDT (#256429) #
I agree with that Paul D. And it's not just the walking to first before the call. Being the leader of the team, Bautista's increasing histrionics and disrespect for the umpires can't help but percolate through to some of the younger players. While I don't blame Jose for Lawrie's bad behaviour, Jose sets the tone for the team.

Jose's excuses for his behaviour parallel Lawrie's. They are all about "passion", and wearing hearts on sleeves. My view is that you can be passionate about the game without throwing helmets in the obvious direction of the umpire, (or in Bautista's case) without showing the umpire up completely.

Beginning to wonder whether a 5 game estimate is off the mark. Griffin mentions the possibility of a suspension in excess of ten games. I'm trying to think of a parallel here. Delmon Young grew his bat intentionally at an umpire and got 50 games. Lawrie denies that he threw his helmet at the umpire, but he obviously threw it a couple of feet in front of the ump in such a way that it would have been a miracle if it had not hit him.
Chuck - Wednesday, May 16 2012 @ 09:54 AM EDT (#256430) #

Still, with all that, he didn't really have a bad game. 

True, but he did catch a huge break when Rajai Davis did the seemingly unthinkable, throwing a man out at the plate. How often does Davis field the ball that cleanly and make a throw that strong and accurate? 1 time in 10? 1 time in 20?

greenfrog - Wednesday, May 16 2012 @ 10:01 AM EDT (#256432) #
Ben Lindbergh of Baseball Prospectus has a nice writeup of the Lawrie incident. He points out that Miller made an even worse strike call *against* the Rays (on a 1-2 pitch in the top of the ninth that was even more outside than the 3-1 pitch to Lawrie).

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=16942
Dave Till - Wednesday, May 16 2012 @ 10:25 AM EDT (#256433) #
My problem with Miller thinking he was shown up is that the strike two call came late and the pitch was so far outside that Lawrie couldn't reasonably have been expected to wait for a call.

Reasonableness has nothing to do with it.  An umpire with an authoritarian frame of thinking would expect the player to wait there, patiently, until the umpire made his call. No matter how long it took.

The idiot fan who threw his beer at Lawrie might, unfortunately, influence the length of Lawrie's suspension.
Dave Till - Wednesday, May 16 2012 @ 10:26 AM EDT (#256434) #
The idiot fan who threw his beer at Lawrie might, unfortunately, influence the length of Lawrie's suspension.

The fan threw his beer at Miller, of course. Me not proofread good in morning.
BlueJayWay - Wednesday, May 16 2012 @ 10:44 AM EDT (#256435) #
I've heard that apparently, the same umpiring crew is doing the Yankees series.  Should be fun.
Anders - Wednesday, May 16 2012 @ 11:20 AM EDT (#256437) #
I agree with that Paul D. And it's not just the walking to first before the call. Being the leader of the team, Bautista's increasing histrionics and disrespect for the umpires can't help but percolate through to some of the younger players. While I don't blame Jose for Lawrie's bad behaviour, Jose sets the tone for the team.

I agree, the Jays have started taking things a bit too far. Especially with the walking to first - it pretty much increases the chances of a pitch being called a strike instead of a ball.

The incredible thing about the Lawrie at bat was after he got rung up late on "strike" 2, he took off even earlier towards first on strike 3 (which I will say was basically slightly above the elbows, making it a borderline strike in theory though generally not in practice). It wasn't a smart move.

greenfrog - Wednesday, May 16 2012 @ 11:53 AM EDT (#256439) #
The Angels (250/301/379) have just fired Mickey Hatcher, their hitting coach. The Jays (237/308/391) have been just about as bad offensively - should their hitting coach be terminated as well? I have no idea if Murphy makes a difference, good or bad, and maybe this is just a statistical blip, but you would hope that your coach helps your hitters excel (or at least stay out of bad habits).
BlueJayWay - Wednesday, May 16 2012 @ 11:56 AM EDT (#256440) #
I wanted Murphy fired last year.  This year so many of the hitters are underachieving.  Might be time for a change.
Mike Green - Wednesday, May 16 2012 @ 12:18 PM EDT (#256441) #
True, but he did catch a huge break when Rajai Davis did the seemingly unthinkable, throwing a man out at the plate. How often does Davis field the ball that cleanly and make a throw that strong and accurate? 1 time in 10? 1 time in 20?

On the other side of things, the defence generally last night was way below par for the 2012 version of the club.  The bloop that scored the first run would (this year) usually have been caught by either Escobar or Rasmus, while the 7th inning hi-jinks weren't exactly entertaining. 

It is definitely the case that the way Alvarez pitches, he is going to be more affected by the ups and downs of the team defence.  There are simply more balls in play for him (at this point) than for 98% of pitchers.  He can affect the ratio of line drives to ground balls, but not what the defence does with them.  So far in his career (216 at-bats), when batters put the ball on the ground, they have a line of .157/.157/.171.  League splits are .237/.237/.256.  Team splits in 2011 (including Alvarez) were .213/.213/.226 and in 2012 (with Alvarez contributing more of the sample) are .166/.166/.178.   Alvarez' slash line on grounders, of course, understates their importance to him because of the significant DP advantage.  A ground ball with a runner on first and less than two out for Alvarez is a poorer outcome than a strikeout, but not by that much. 
Matthew E - Wednesday, May 16 2012 @ 01:17 PM EDT (#256443) #
Jose's excuses for his behaviour parallel Lawrie's. They are all about "passion", and wearing hearts on sleeves. My view is that you can be passionate about the game without throwing helmets in the obvious direction of the umpire, (or in Bautista's case) without showing the umpire up completely.

And mine is that I don't care how freaking "passionate" they are. Passion is overrated. I don't have any myself and I don't appreciate it in others. If these players insist on playing passionately, I don't object, unless it has negative on-field effects. And sometimes it does.
Chuck - Wednesday, May 16 2012 @ 02:00 PM EDT (#256445) #

And mine is that I don't care how freaking "passionate" they are.

If not for passion, how would hockey fans know when baseball players are trying?

Mike Green - Wednesday, May 16 2012 @ 02:11 PM EDT (#256447) #
Passion is overrated

In totally unrelated news, support for sovereignty in Quebec is rising again. 

For myself, passion is way underrated.  "That's just the way it is" is one of those phrases that makes me frustrated.  This does not mean that passion ought not to be tempered with judgment.  On a ball-field, Lawrie's passion for the game has obviously both positive and negative aspects (including the additional risk of injury and suspension).  On balance, it is currently a positive in my view, and hopefully that passion will be tempered with judgment and so it becomes an even more positive attribute as time passes.
uglyone - Wednesday, May 16 2012 @ 02:43 PM EDT (#256448) #
I like passion, think that it matters (hello, verno!), and I was very glad that Lawrie lost his head after those horrible clutch calls from the ump. I was waiting for somebody to show he cared this series and lawrie finally did.

unfortunate that the helmet bounced into the ump, but otherwise it was a totally justified freakout, and a welcome sight after the team choked away this series like that.
Dave Till - Wednesday, May 16 2012 @ 03:01 PM EDT (#256450) #
Players who play with emotion or passion are more fun to watch. George Bell was one of my favourite Blue Jays, partly because you never know what he was going to say or do next.

Teams that play with bland corporate efficiency, such as the old-school Yankees, often achieve better results, but they're less enjoyable to watch.

We wouldn't care about the games if robots were playing them, no matter how good the robots were.

Matthew E - Wednesday, May 16 2012 @ 03:09 PM EDT (#256452) #
Players who play with emotion or passion are more fun to watch. George Bell was one of my favourite Blue Jays, partly because you never know what he was going to say or do next.


This is something that's been bugging me under the surface for a while, and I don't want to get into a big thing about it because a) my thoughts on the subject aren't fully formed and b) that's not what people want to talk about here.

I will say that my favourite Jays have included Jimmy Key, John Olerud, Shannon Stewart, Tony Fernandez, and Devon White, who were more on the quiet, make-it-look-easy side of things than was Bell. (On the other hand, I also liked Pat Hentgen, who was more fiery.)
uglyone - Wednesday, May 16 2012 @ 03:33 PM EDT (#256453) #
it's fine to have a bunch of calm efficient guys as long as you have enough fireballs to complement them.

Those WS Jays had Morris, Guzman, Stottlemyre, Alomar, Carter, Gruber, Borders....all who played with a nice bit of flair and grit and fire. (Not sure whether to call Henke a gritty fireball or calmly efficient....for some reason, in my mind he was kinda both. Same for Ward too, really.)

This list also includes many of the superclutchiest of the Jays responsible for some of the biggest games and plays of those playoff runs....(not sayin'.....just sayin').
uglyone - Wednesday, May 16 2012 @ 03:34 PM EDT (#256454) #
oh, and of course, they also had Wells, Stieb, and Hentgen in the 'pen. fireballs, all of them.

fireballs >
Matthew E - Wednesday, May 16 2012 @ 04:16 PM EDT (#256455) #
it's fine to have a bunch of calm efficient guys as long as you have enough fireballs to complement them.

Hmm.

Would you say that the converse is equally true? It's okay to have a bunch of fireballs as long as you have enough calm efficient guys to complement them? Or are the quiet ones the only ones that need to be balanced out?
Chuck - Wednesday, May 16 2012 @ 04:31 PM EDT (#256456) #
I'm with Matthew. Having a bunch of fireballs is fine -- nay, desirable -- but you need some adults in the room as well.
Mike Green - Wednesday, May 16 2012 @ 04:32 PM EDT (#256457) #
Passion and reason in beautiful combination makes for great ballclubs, relationships, creative acts and enterprises.  Om.
MatO - Wednesday, May 16 2012 @ 04:56 PM EDT (#256458) #

The only time I saw Henke fiery is when some guy spilled beer on him at Fenway just before he came in to close the game. 

Paul D - Wednesday, May 16 2012 @ 05:01 PM EDT (#256459) #
Lawrie suspended for 4 games, will appeal, per rotoworld
Gerry - Wednesday, May 16 2012 @ 05:02 PM EDT (#256460) #
I am surprised it's only four.
Ryan Day - Wednesday, May 16 2012 @ 05:19 PM EDT (#256461) #
The thing about passion is that we have no way of truly judging it. We can evaluate expressions of passion - and on that score, Brett Lawrie ranks quite high - but different people express emotion in different ways. This is one of the reasons John Olerud was run out of town - he was, outwardly, a quiet, easygoing guy, which for many translated into not caring.

Admittedly, it's nice to see players play with enthusiasm and energy. But surely they can do it without throwing temper tantrums that would be embarrassing for a ten-year-old.
JB21 - Wednesday, May 16 2012 @ 05:23 PM EDT (#256462) #
To throw my two cents on the "passion" subject. I'm obviously a huge baseball (obviously b/c I'm on this site) but most of my friends are causal fans at best. All of them know, and love Brett Lawrie, and are watching more Jays games because of him. One of my buddies that knows nothing about baseball and has never followed the Jays except for 92/93 playoffs when everybody in Canada did has watched almost every game this year and has been bugging me to go to a game this year with him. He didn't watch a second of baseball last year until Lawrie's grand slam bomb freakout last year and he was hooked.
JB21 - Wednesday, May 16 2012 @ 05:24 PM EDT (#256463) #
Shoot! I'm not obviously a huge Baseball haha. But a huge baseball fan. Oops! The premiew button is more than just a pre-submit button apparently.... I should use it more often.
BlueJayWay - Wednesday, May 16 2012 @ 06:16 PM EDT (#256464) #
To throw my two cents on the "passion" subject. I'm obviously a huge baseball (obviously b/c I'm on this site) but most of my friends are causal fans at best. All of them know, and love Brett Lawrie, and are watching more Jays games because of him. One of my buddies that knows nothing about baseball and has never followed the Jays except for 92/93 playoffs when everybody in Canada did has watched almost every game this year and has been bugging me to go to a game this year with him. He didn't watch a second of baseball last year until Lawrie's grand slam bomb freakout last year and he was hooked.

See this is the kind of thing I see sometimes, and I'm not sure what to think about it.  I guess it's good that it turns more people onto baseball/The Jays, but it irritates me too somewhat. 
Beyonder - Wednesday, May 16 2012 @ 06:42 PM EDT (#256466) #
I know it's de riguer to appeal suspensions, but I really wish Lawrie would just take this one on the chin. 4 games is more than reasonable given that he threw his helmet in such a way that it stood an 80% chance on hitting the ump (he's lucky it didn't strike the ump in the face). It would be nice to see him accept some responsibility for his actions, especially at such an early stage of his career.


christaylor - Wednesday, May 16 2012 @ 06:48 PM EDT (#256467) #
Not that it excuses Lawrie's behavior but...

I wish/hope the ump would man up and admit he blew the calls -- I don't know if he wanted to put the rookie in his place, but it certainly seemed liked it from afar. This may have played a role in the length of suspension. MLB taking account of the circumstances. Hopefully, the ump was giving a talking by someone.
#2JBrumfield - Wednesday, May 16 2012 @ 07:08 PM EDT (#256469) #

Without question, Lawrie deserves the suspension because he's responsible for spiking his helmet the way he did.  I'm sure it'll be reduced to 3 games after the appeal.  However, why the hell is Miller even allowed to work tonight's game - at third base no less!  It's obvious after last night's debacle that if there is a close call at third with Lawrie, either as a runner or a fielder, Lawrie get screwed over.  Miller obviously thinks he's bigger than the game and that people pay to watch him.

Also, Miller is at risk if some fan decides to throw beer at him again.  Never understimate the idiot fans at the Dome.  Part of me wish does Miller was nailed in the head or in the junk, but in his case, can anyone tell the difference?

TamRa - Wednesday, May 16 2012 @ 07:59 PM EDT (#256471) #
Prediction (or at least how i would play it)

if the appeal is not resolved before June 17, i would hold the appeal until then and drop it.

Why? Because the Jays will then be visiting NL parks for six games and Edwin can be kept in the game at 3B during those 4 games (albeit, of course the argument exists for benching Lind but I'm taking an "all other things being equal" tack here)

Beyonder - Wednesday, May 16 2012 @ 08:05 PM EDT (#256473) #
Apparently it is getting resolved next week.
TamRa - Wednesday, May 16 2012 @ 08:05 PM EDT (#256474) #
i'm not in a position to judge Lind's defense, but is it time to ask of simply being a 1B is taking too big a toll on his offense (if he MUST be in the line-up in their view)?

I mean, he was a DH in his great year (and in his sucky one - inconclusive) but there might be some value in seeing if EE can be a solid option at 1B going forward if you get really worried that Lind isn't going to recover. It's a lot easier (money aside) to jettison and replace your DH than your 1B
greenfrog - Wednesday, May 16 2012 @ 08:11 PM EDT (#256475) #
I agree with Beyonder - I wish Lawrie would admit he overreacted and accept the suspension. Of course, this rarely seems to happen in baseball, so the appeal is unsurprising.

Both EE (who is having a near-MVP-like season) and KJ are likely gone as free agents after this season - I have no desire to do the math, but I can't imagine how awful the Jays' offence would be this season without those two. I'm not sure the team OPS would crack .600. Scary.
AWeb - Wednesday, May 16 2012 @ 08:44 PM EDT (#256477) #
Arencibia has a lot of faults and strengths, but he has a great "avoid the catcher and swipe home plate" slide that I seem to recall seeing a few times before. Pretty random skill for a player with his profile, and it's damn handy to have a few times a year.

Random note - the Jays have been ahead at some point in 10 of their 18 losses this year. I'm not sure if this is an unusual % or not, but it's been really frustrating to watch, especially since I tend to tune in part way through the game and have had an unfortunate knack for watching games fall apart the last few weeks .

Lawrie looks pretty messed up a the plate by all the breaking balls, as noted by the announcers. Given how quickly he seemed to adjust to almost everything last year, I hope he jumps on a few of them soon. His swing has looked too quick lately, to my untrained eye. Maybe a few days off will let him reset.

And it's always fun to see Bautista hit a baseball like that...

92-93 - Wednesday, May 16 2012 @ 11:17 PM EDT (#256480) #
"Both EE (who is having a near-MVP-like season) and KJ are likely gone as free agents after this season"

Now we're assuming the Jays can't even afford to keep their own talent? Great, just great.
uglyone - Thursday, May 17 2012 @ 12:22 AM EDT (#256481) #
looks like fireball Lawrie's fiery freakout woke up our blue jays!

(makes a good story, at least...)

uglyone - Thursday, May 17 2012 @ 12:26 AM EDT (#256482) #
TamRa - Lind is just an awful player, period. Offensively and defensively. what position he plays won't have any impact on his value as a player. I wouldn't even bother trying to analyze him anymore.

It was beautiful to see, for the first time this year, EE and Lind together in the lineup with EE at 1B. EE is easily better than Lind in the field, and this is yet another demotion for Lind which indicates he's likely on the way out sooner rather than later.

And if EE and KJ aren't re-signed, that will be a crying shame. Thankfully, I can't remember the last time the Jays lost one of their own simply due to financial considerations. They always pay their own, even if that turns out badly.
TamRa - Thursday, May 17 2012 @ 05:19 AM EDT (#256483) #
"I have no desire to do the math, but I can't imagine how awful the Jays' offence would be this season without those two. I'm not sure the team OPS would crack .600. Scary."


.643

Without factoring in sac flys and HBP and stuff like that.
greenfrog - Thursday, May 17 2012 @ 07:18 AM EDT (#256485) #
Yeah, I actually thought .650 might be a better guessestimate after I posted. But .643 - that is still pretty scary!
jjdynomite - Thursday, May 17 2012 @ 08:21 AM EDT (#256487) #
Cool article on Bengie's bro's talent on framing pitches that solicits "favourable" calls from home plate umps:

The Infuriating Jose Molina
http://mlb.sbnation.com/2012/5/16/3024755/jose-molina-rays-defense-brett-lawrie-framing

An extensive representation of Blue Jays in the animated GIF-work. Which is funny to watch. Or not.

Chuck - Thursday, May 17 2012 @ 08:53 AM EDT (#256489) #

Cool article on Bengie's bro's talent on framing pitches that solicits "favourable" calls from home plate umps:

Mike Fast's study came to light last year. It was Molina's undervalued framing skills that many believed to be what motivated TB to pursue him in the off-season and hand him a job as a starter.

 

bpoz - Thursday, May 17 2012 @ 10:41 AM EDT (#256491) #
All this talk about passion, reminds me of how we took down Eck...
vw_fan17 - Thursday, May 17 2012 @ 12:24 PM EDT (#256494) #
Yeah, I actually thought .650 might be a better guessestimate after I posted. But .643 - that is still pretty scary!

What's REALLY scary is that Pittburgh's team OPS is 613 - almost 100 points less than the Jays. The Jays are currently at 710 overall, which is definitely "middle of the pack" - 15th, but 10 points better would put them tied for 11th.

They are 8th in runs scored, dead last in "sacrifice hits" with 3, but in a 4-way tie for 4th for "sacrifice flies" with 12.

They are 28th in OPS with "runners on" (667), but 4th in OPS with RISP (847), and in 1st place for RISP, 2 outs at 860 (tied with Boston).
Time to re-do those "clutchiness" studies :-)
A very strange stat, though. AFAIK, "runners on" but NOT RISP, would mean "a runner at 1st". Since they are killer with RISP, this seems to indicate that with just a runner at 1st, the Jays are really bad.

Any chance that the increased "running game" is responsible for hitters getting distracted? Maybe someone should put an end to the running game for a week (and let the players know) and see if they can hit a little better with just a runner at 1st.


Last bizarre stat of the day: If you look at "total home runs by team", the top 8 include Texas (3), St. Louis (5), Milwaukee (7) -- and the entirety of the AL (B)EAST. Baltimore at 60 has 1 less than the Padres, Mets and Twins put together!! Wow.




smcs - Thursday, May 17 2012 @ 12:30 PM EDT (#256495) #
Since they are killer with RISP, this seems to indicate that with just a runner at 1st, the Jays are really bad.

.158/.220/.256 in 289 PAs with a .164 BABIP.
China fan - Thursday, May 17 2012 @ 01:16 PM EDT (#256497) #
In all the talk of overall offensive statistics, one number hasn't been mentioned yet: despite all their woes, the Jays are just a half-game out of the final wild card slot. And if they beat the Yankees tonight, they would be in the playoffs (if the season ended tonight).
Yeah, of course it's far too early to talk about the wild cards, but it's a reminder that the Jays could be contenders this year if they just improve their game a little. That final slot is up for grabs.
PeteMoss - Thursday, May 17 2012 @ 01:26 PM EDT (#256498) #
Whoa... from Shi Davidi on Twitter:

Jays demote Adam Lind to triple-A Las Vegas, promote Yan Gomes
Beyonder - Thursday, May 17 2012 @ 01:26 PM EDT (#256499) #

jester00 - Thursday, May 17 2012 @ 01:27 PM EDT (#256500) #
Wow.  Lind optioned to AAA, Gomes called up.
FisherCat - Thursday, May 17 2012 @ 01:34 PM EDT (#256502) #
I see you were speechless just like I was ;-P
BlueJayWay - Thursday, May 17 2012 @ 01:34 PM EDT (#256503) #
Lind in Vegas, apparently he had an option left so no waivers, Yan Gomes up.  AA to speak to media at 2 pm
China fan - Thursday, May 17 2012 @ 01:37 PM EDT (#256504) #
There are early reports that Francisco will DH and Gomes will be on the bench. Still, it's interesting that Gomes has apparently leaped ahead of Cooper on the depth chart for 1B. Is it just because of his positional flexibility, his ability to play 3B and the upcoming Lawrie suspension? Or is he considered a better hitter than Cooper now? He's younger than Cooper, anyway.
Thomas - Thursday, May 17 2012 @ 01:38 PM EDT (#256505) #
Like many of you, I didn't see this coming. Congrats to Gomes. His versatility is an asset and, if he can play adequate defence at the corners and behind the plate, he could become a useful bench player.

One wonders what David Cooper makes of this move.
greenfrog - Thursday, May 17 2012 @ 01:38 PM EDT (#256506) #
"The Jays are currently at 710 overall, which is definitely "middle of the pack""

A few points:

- When ranking the Jays, I think we have to focus on the AL, not MLB as a whole (pitchers hitting in the NL will obviously bring down team OPS, and the AL teams constitute the Jays' competition to get into the playoffs). Among AL teams, the Jays' OPS ranks 9th of 14, while the Yankees, Boston, Baltimore and TB rank #2, 3, 4, 5 (Texas is #1). Here are the slash lines for those teams:

1. Texas 292/348/477 (OPS 826)
2. NY 269/342/456 (OPS 798)
3. Boston 275/337/455 (OPS 792)
4. Baltimore 251/313/448 (OPS 760)
5. TB 248/331/413 (OPS 744)
...
9. Jays 239/310/400 (OPS 710)

So, at least at the moment, the Jays' offence is well behind their chief playoff rivals.

- Yes, the Jays are fifth in the AL in RS, but this is largely the result of timely hitting (847 OPS in 324 PA with RISP versus 710 OPS in 1447 PA overall). This could be read as "wow, the Jays' hitters are incredibly clutch" (optimistic view) or as an ominous sign, namely, that as the team's performance with RISP inevitably regresses, the number of runs scored will decline (pessimistic or realistic view, depending on your perspective).

- Lastly: while it's true that the Jays' offense overall is not as bad as some teams' (among playoff favourites, the Angels have been especially bad), it has to be a concern that so much of the Jays' production is being driven by KJ (804 OPS) and EE (953 OPS), both of whom have a strong incentive to test the free agent market after the season - and there is no guarantee that either player will receive a qualifying offer.
FisherCat - Thursday, May 17 2012 @ 01:39 PM EDT (#256507) #

The answer is yes...

He's filler and he's been hot.  This is partly a reward for a strong spring that continued onto Vegas.  He'll probably get a couple of at-bats while Lawrie sits and they'll get a quick assessment of whether he's the 2nd coming of Ryan Roberts.

Beyonder - Thursday, May 17 2012 @ 01:40 PM EDT (#256508) #
Yes. I wish I could say that was my first ghost post. It only ever happens to me at work. Maybe the IT guys are trying to tell me something?
AWeb - Thursday, May 17 2012 @ 01:41 PM EDT (#256509) #

Wait, they replaced Lind with a Catcher (Gomes)? Yay to sending Lind down (I had forgotten it was even an option, so to speak). I admit that I haven't paid much attention to Gomes with the other catching prospects getting the hype - what does he add to the team? Another RH hitting catcher - is another move in the offing here?  D'Arnaud seemingly gets the reins in AAA alone now - are other minor league catching moves required due to this move?

For now, I'm just happy that Lind's leash has finally run out. When you don't add any defensive value, even at the easiest positions, and don't add any particular hitting value beyond replacement level middle infielder, it's time to go. I hope that Vegas fixes what's wrong with him (his back will get lose, that's for sure), he hits .400/.500/.800, and returns a new man. Not holding my breath, but it's possible Lind turns into the best Vegas hitter. Also possible that he is simply roster space filler who's proper position is AAA DH. 

Also, I like the newfound willingness to simply eat a bad contract, also shown with Teahan this spring.

Thomas - Thursday, May 17 2012 @ 01:42 PM EDT (#256510) #
Batter's Box included Yan Gomes on our list of "Prospects to Watch" at the end of the 2011 season.
PeteMoss - Thursday, May 17 2012 @ 01:46 PM EDT (#256511) #
Gomes can play 1B and 3B as well... which will be needed shortly when Lawrie suspension goes through.
greenfrog - Thursday, May 17 2012 @ 01:48 PM EDT (#256512) #
Lind currently has a 586 OPS. If Gomes adds even 100-150 points to that during his tenure, that's a huge gain already.
Chuck - Thursday, May 17 2012 @ 01:48 PM EDT (#256513) #

One wonders what David Cooper makes of this move.

My career as the new Ross Gload may have to get its start for a team other than Toronto.

Chuck - Thursday, May 17 2012 @ 01:57 PM EDT (#256514) #
Gomes can play 1B and 3B as well... which will be needed shortly when Lawrie suspension goes through. 

There you go. That's why Gomes. Vizquel is no real option at 3B. And the team probably wants to not risk messing up EE's offense by playing him at 3B.

And maybe the team wants to find out if EE can keep hitting while playing 1B fulltime, perhaps with an eye to the future. Then the dominoes could perhaps fall so that Thames becomes the DH, opening LF for Snider.
China fan - Thursday, May 17 2012 @ 01:58 PM EDT (#256515) #
The optimistic scenario on Lind is that he follows the path of Encarnacion, who was sent to the minors in 2010 and absolutely demolished Las Vegas to the tune of a .438 batting average and a .781 slugging average (over 7 games), and then returned to the majors, where he has remained ever since. It's possible that Lind has been struggling so badly that he needs to clear his head and relax and figure out his mechanics.

The negative scenario is that he never gets much better -- and the Jays have to eat his salary.
vw_fan17 - Thursday, May 17 2012 @ 07:51 PM EDT (#256556) #
The negative scenario is that he never gets much better -- and the Jays have to eat his salary.

Actually, IMHO, that's the "ok" scenario. The negative scenario is that they recall him after 5-10 games, he hasn't done much in Vegas, and he continues with a 600 OPS the rest of the year in the cleanup spot...
uglyone - Thursday, May 17 2012 @ 11:36 PM EDT (#256563) #
agreed with that 1000%
Nolan - Friday, May 18 2012 @ 12:42 AM EDT (#256565) #
Not much to add, except that I agree with the consensus: Hurray for the demotion!

Also, I don't listen to the Jays on the radio and have not really listened to Ashby. That said, I really enjoyed him when he did the Twins series. A big improvement over Tabler and seemed to bring out actual insight from Buck.
Chuck - Friday, May 18 2012 @ 09:45 AM EDT (#256575) #

A big improvement over Tabler

A Pat Tabler bobblehead doll would be a big improvement over Pat Tabler. At least it would have the good sense to keep quiet and not utter and endless series of inanities.

bpoz - Friday, May 18 2012 @ 09:46 AM EDT (#256576) #
Thanks for the link Thomas. I always liked big power hitting players as potential 1B options. Y Gomes & J Talley have not had enough ABs to stay sharp IMO, due to being the back up catcher. IMO Gomes overcame this situation. Talley is doing quite well since getting ABs at 1B starting last year. But these are just stat based opinions.

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