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This is one of those reports which provides details of a bunch of relatively lackluster events.

One game of the four was canceled, the teams went 1-2 in the other three and no one really distinguished themselves.



Las Vegas 3, Colorado Springs 6

Andrew Carpenter started and went 5 giving up 4 runs, three of them earned, and took the loss. The weakness of this team is still a lot of marginal starting pitching, despite some pitchers having exceeded expectations.

Offensively, all the guys you care about had a relatively quiet night (Travis d'Arnaud did contribute a first inning RBI double) while the offense was carried by journeyman 3B Kevin Howard, who went 3 for 4 with a double and 2 RBI.

On another note, which may or may not be significant, Adam Lind was pulled from the game after 2 at bats.

Worth noting: d'Arnaud is hitting an insane .463 in his last 10 games, with an OPS of 1.318, on the season he's up to .346 now. His 1.014 is third in the PCL among qualified hitters in OPS, and one of the two in front of him is Randy Ruiz (the other is Anthony Rizzo, BTW). Also, Anthony Gose is leading the league in SB with 24.


New Hampshire 2, Richmond 3

Despite a moderately successful bounce-back outing from struggling prospect Chad Jenkins, who gave up a single run in six innings albeit sullied by 5 walks the Fisher Cats dropped their seventh game in a row, and recorded the 16th loss in their last 19 games. Other than the walks, Jenkins start would be considered encouraging given that he came into the game with an ERA over 6. However the offense as nowhere to be found and the teams went into extras tied at 1-1. The third F-Cats reliever, Fernando Hernandez was on the mound when the hitters delivered a second run in the top of the 13th, only to thank them by giving up two runs in the bottom of the inning to take the loss.

The hitters recorded no extra base hits, and only two of them managed a second hit namely Sean Ochinko and Gabe Jacobo. Even the go ahead run was scored via a wild pitch, which came at the end of a sequence of walk, HBP, groundout, WP hardly an impressive reflection on the NH offense.


Dunedin canceled


Lansing 5, Ft. Wayne 4

Starter Dave Rollins only gave up one earned run, but exited the game before the end of the fourth for some reason. He gave way after 3.2 to Blake McFarland who spotted the opposition another 3 runs.


However n this case, the offense was prepared. First baseman Kevin Patterson delivered with a 3 run homer in the 8th to put the Lugnuts ahead for good. Additionally, Shane Opiz, Kevin Pillar, and KC Hobson had 2 hits apiece, one of Hobson's being a double. Also worth noting, Kevin Pillar stole his 24th base and is on an impressive(tied with Gose), yet unheralded, pace.


Third Star - Shane Opitz got on base three times (2 hits and awalk) and drove in a run for Lansing.

Second Star: Kevin Howard, for being the only farm hand on the night to record as many as three hits

First Star: Kevin Patterson, for the game winning homer in the night's only win.




Coming up tomorrow - the VanCan's Opening Day.

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vonwafer234 - Friday, June 15 2012 @ 02:38 AM EDT (#258661) #
So it looks like Gabe Jacobo had been promoted to Double A a few days ago and Javier Avendano was sent down to one of the shorts season teams to be stretched out as a starter. I'm really intrigued by how these guys will fair with their new teams. What's happening with our 3rd Rule 5 Pick of last year the catcher Hector Alvarez? I haven't heard absolutely anything on him this year.
Krylian19 - Friday, June 15 2012 @ 09:20 AM EDT (#258665) #
Alvarez is having a mediocre season in Las Vegas.
Krylian19 - Friday, June 15 2012 @ 09:21 AM EDT (#258666) #
My mistake.  Those were 2011 stats I was looking at.
hypobole - Friday, June 15 2012 @ 10:43 AM EDT (#258669) #
Those were 2011 Gulf Coast League stats for Alvarez. He's probably at the minor league complex and the reason there's been no mention of him is probably because he's basically a backup catcher/org filler.

As far as Pillar is concerned, he's putting up some decent numbers (although without power) at age 23 in low A. He really should be in AA at his age, although a somewhat similar player, Reed Johnson, also spent most of his age 23 season in Low A.
China fan - Friday, June 15 2012 @ 10:52 AM EDT (#258670) #
A couple of interesting comments by Chad Mottola in a story on MLB.com:

Hechavarria still needs to work on recognizing (and hitting) breaking balls, but he has made improvements there, and his bat is "almost major-league ready."

D'Arnaud has been taking grounders at 1B and is athletic enough to switch positions temporarily if the Jays need it. He "would be ready to do so if an opening was created at the Major League level."


China fan - Friday, June 15 2012 @ 10:57 AM EDT (#258671) #
And the Mottola quote about d'Arnaud makes me wonder if that's a possible scenario for 2013, or even for August/September of this year: having d'Arnaud split time between C and 1B when he first joins the club. That would allow him to break into the catching duties on a gradual basis, while still keeping his bat in the lineup. Then the decision about trading JPA can be made in 2013.
BalzacChieftain - Friday, June 15 2012 @ 11:03 AM EDT (#258672) #

I can see that being a possible solution, but in all honesty if JP continues his sub .280 OBP trends, I don't know if the club can justify giving him regular at bats for a 3rd full season.

acepinball - Friday, June 15 2012 @ 11:45 AM EDT (#258676) #
Not only that, but he's got limited trade value if he can't get on-base at a better than .300 clip. Mathis may be the one traded this July. There is nothing wrong with a d'Arnaud/JPA pairing behind the plate until JP builds enough value to start for another team.
Glevin - Friday, June 15 2012 @ 12:06 PM EDT (#258679) #
"Not only that, but he's got limited trade value if he can't get on-base at a better than .300 clip. Mathis may be the one traded this July. There is nothing wrong with a d'Arnaud/JPA pairing behind the plate until JP builds enough value to start for another team."

How is JPA going to build value by becoming a part-time player? If anything, it will do the exact opposite.
John Northey - Friday, June 15 2012 @ 12:27 PM EDT (#258680) #
How valuable is a catcher who has power and an OBP near 300?  Lets check some recent Jay catchers...
John Buck: 237/303/405 lifetime, 87 OPS+ - on a 3 year $17 mil contract for Miami, made $2 mil as a free agent before that
Rod Barajas: 237/284/413 lifetime 81 OPS+ - 1+ year deal with Pittsburgh for $4 mil + $3.5 team option, has signed for $2+ a couple of times on one year deals

Interesting eh?  So a guy like JPA when he hits his 30's can expect to make $2-6 mil a year depending how desperate a team is.  Right now though he is 26 and entering his prime so teams might expect more going forward than his lifetime 216/272/423 84 OPS+.  He is a lot like Buck & Barajas though I'd say - someone who is nice to have but never going to be a real star.  He should not be viewed as a block to d'Arnaud or to anyone who has star potential.  I could see having d'Arnaud at 1B when not catching while JPA takes the bulk of catching time this year - let him break in without the catching pressure might help his bat.

92-93 - Friday, June 15 2012 @ 12:35 PM EDT (#258684) #
So we're already planning to punt 2013 as well? Great, just great. This cycle never ends.
China fan - Friday, June 15 2012 @ 12:50 PM EDT (#258687) #
Ummm -- how would the presence of d'Arnaud suggest anything about punting 2013? Probably just the opposite, since JPA has been so mediocre this season. The sooner the Jays can find a way to get d'Arnaud into the lineup (even if it involves part-time play at 1B), the sooner the Jays will move towards contention. So break him into the lineup later this year, with a view to making him a full-time player in 2013.
92-93 - Friday, June 15 2012 @ 01:04 PM EDT (#258688) #
Because when you are an AL team starting a rookie catcher at DH or 1B you aren't very serious about winning. The way to improve the team is to trade one of your Cs and find a bat that can produce up to the level expected of a 1B/DH, not to play both Cs in the same lineup.
greenfrog - Friday, June 15 2012 @ 01:10 PM EDT (#258689) #
From today's KLaw ESPN chat:

Tom (Windsor)

Is Hechavarria probability of being able to hit in the majors rising?

Klaw (2:14 PM)

No.
China fan - Friday, June 15 2012 @ 01:15 PM EDT (#258691) #
Nobody is suggesting that d'Arnaud would be the regular 1B or DH, especially in 2013. The suggestion is that he would get some at-bats at 1B as a way of working him into the lineup as fast as possible -- ideally this season, not next season. It's a way to accelerate his ability to replace JPA, so that the Jays are able to upgrade at catcher as quickly as possible.

Realistically, we're not going to see d'Arnaud vaulting straight from the minors into a full-time catching job for the Jays this season, and probably not in the spring of 2013 either. So there has to be a way of integrating him gradually into the lineup, and I'd hope the Jays are looking for creative ways of doing it -- which might include 1B.
zeppelinkm - Friday, June 15 2012 @ 01:16 PM EDT (#258692) #

Despite his obvious bias, I'd take Mottolas first hand account of Hech more seriously than Law's opinion. Mottola works with the guy daily.

The opportunity to buy low on Brandon Belt may be gone in the extreme near future, if it hasn't already. That's based on the assumption that he was even available to be bought low in the first place, which admittedly, is likely a bit of a stretch.

92-93 - Friday, June 15 2012 @ 01:17 PM EDT (#258693) #
Nobody except John, who did just that and was the post I was responding to.
92-93 - Friday, June 15 2012 @ 01:19 PM EDT (#258694) #
I'd try and trade Arencibia while teams might still be under the illusion he can be an above average everyday catcher. The longer he shows he isn't...
China fan - Friday, June 15 2012 @ 01:24 PM EDT (#258695) #
John said nothing about 2013. His exact words: "I could see having d'Arnaud at 1B when not catching while JPA takes the bulk of catching time this year."
bpoz - Friday, June 15 2012 @ 01:37 PM EDT (#258696) #
For 2012 there is too much youth & inexperience with 4 regular position players, JPA, Rasmus, Lawrie & Thames.

For 2013 I can see the argument "he has nothing more to prove in the minors" for d'Arnaud. Then the "he needs everyday ABs" will mean he is a regular somewhere in the lineup. It could be the same story for Hech. Maybe at 2B with KJ most likely gone.

The 2012 rotation has done quite well IMO considering the injuries. I see much hope for 2013 in Morrow, Alvarez & Hutch. They all seem to have a few outstanding games now and then considering their 2011 season. Drabek's high ceiling gives him an opportunity in the rotation. Since you usually need more than 5 Cecil & McGowan makes 2 more.

It is the pen that has failed us in 2011 & 2012 IMO. Both 2011 & 12 pens were constructed by AA in that he added multiple $3-4mil pieces to both. I tend to think of these 2 pens as lousy rather than mediocre, but maybe I am being too harsh due to my disappointment. When AA constructed the 2011 pen he said that he wants 7 good options in the pen. I thought that was a brilliant philosophy. But it has a huge flaw in that if all 7 have a reason to be in the majors due to seniority, out of options and too good to lose & they were signed as $3+mil FAs. If 1 of these RPs is struggling you can only bring up someone good if we have 1, as the 8th man in the pen. I thought that the talk of sending Jannsen down in ST 2011 because he had options was horrible. But then it is more that I liked/believed in him than that he had a good 2010 season. So what I am saying is that we should have a max of 5 RPs that "have"to stay in the Majors, that allows for the 6th & 7th spots to be available for unknowns that can be moved up & down with no complaints. This should usually result in 2 very good pitchers occupying those 6th & 7th slots.

Punt 2013? Well TB & others will not compete financially in the Off season with about 6 teams NYY, Boston, Texas, LAA, Detroit & Baltimore. So IMO these big spenders will probably take 3 of the 5 playoffs spots and TB & the others will compete for the other 2 spots. TB is V good & Baltimore is trying.
John Northey - Friday, June 15 2012 @ 01:51 PM EDT (#258699) #
I have suggested that doing an alternate JPA/d'Arnaud CA/DH mix could work to help get the most out of both.  That largely is due to the poor options we have at 1B/DH outside of Encarnacion and how he could be gone after this season.  Lind is obviously not an answer, Snider/Thames have yet to show they can handle LF let alone another spot, and none of the minor leaguers coming up look to be the masher we want at 1B/DH (some look decent but none look like 900 OPS guys).

Now, ideally we'd see JPA traded for a stud hitter but last winter the cost for a young stud was a solid young #2 starter (who now might not have any more career - nice to see the Yanks screwed).  And that stud has a 100 OPS+ now (261/298/405). 

For 2012 I say 'why not'?  d'Arnaud could be as good as any other option at 1B/DH unless Cooper can get his average back over 300 (105 OPS+ right now, 281/328/439 means he needs to hit 300 to have a shot at being solid at 1B).

This teams offense has been scoring above its raw stats for awhile - OPS+ rank (50+ PA)...
EE: 140
Bautista: 131
Cooper & Davis: 105
Rasmus: 102
Johnson: 99 (slowed down a lot)
Lawrie: 91
Mathis: 80
JPA: 76
Thames: 75
Escobar: 69
Lind: 58
Vizquel: 28

Gomes is at 108 in just 36 PA.  A minor league backup catcher is hitting better than all but 2 guys.  Just 3 regular (or semi-regulars) are over 100 for OPS+.  That is bad.

For sOPS+ (OPS+ vs league at position) you get
Above average: P/RF/CF/2B/3B/DH (from 102 to 114)
Below average: CA/1B/LF/SS (from 81-90)
PH are at 20 thanks in large part to Thames being 0 for 7 and Lind/Francisco/Davis/Mathis/Cooper/Rasmus/JPA being 0 for 13.

Those positions sub-average are very below average.  Above average are not that high though.  So might as well try something.

Gerry - Friday, June 15 2012 @ 02:54 PM EDT (#258707) #
Jesse Goldberg-Strassler tweets from Lansing that Aaron Sanchez and Justin Nicolino have been detached and will each start in the upcoming series.  I assume this also means they can pitch up to five innings each.
Gerry - Friday, June 15 2012 @ 03:44 PM EDT (#258712) #

TamRa had asked in a previous thread about expected promotions around this all-star break time.  I am not expecting many promotions.

There has been a lot of debate about pushing the young pitchers from Lansing to Dunedin.  I don't think it will happen now and if it does happen it will happen in August.  First, the Jays have been conservative in recent years with their promotions.  Second, the young pitchers are still on a development path.  They started at three innings for five weeks.  They then moved to four innings for five weeks.  Now they are moving to always starting and five innings.  In five weeks time it will be the start of August and if they pass the five inning test then let them get their feet wet in Dunedin.  There is a third reason, namely the playoffs.  I know Dunedin are in the playoffs too but there is some element of allocating the starts in Dunedin and Lansing between the prospects you have in both places.  If you promote Sanchez and Nicolino you could take starts away from Sean Nolin and John Stilson.  Do they not need development too?  So I don't see promotions until August. 

If any Lansing starter does get promoted I would guess it would be Marcus Walden.  I got the sense he was initially ticketed for Dunedin but he had problems in spring training that dropped him back to Lansing.  He could get bumped up.

In Dunedin I could see Asher Wojciechowski get promoted to AA.  He has been in Dunedin for a season and a half and he needs the promotion.  I could see Stilson and Nolin staying in Dunedin for a while.  Again Dunedin are headed for the playoffs whereas NH is not.  Stilson probably still needs development time in his first full season, assuming the Jays see him as a starter still.  Egan Smith and Casey Lawrence are fungible in high A, they could fill in in AA.

With Cecil and probably Chavez being promoted to the Jays, I can see Carreno moving to Las Vegas; Wojo moving to AA, and Walden moving to high A.   That's my guess.

For the position players I don't see many moves.  Mike McDade or Ryan Goins could move up but would likely be dependent on the Jays bringing Adam Lind back up or moving Kelly Johnson.  I think Kevin Nolan will stay where he is in Dunedin as will Jon Talley.  There is no room for Talley in New Hampshire with McDade and Jacobo there.  No-one else in Dunedin is hitting well enough to move.

I could see a couple of Lansing players move.  Kevin Pillar is hitting well and is old for the league, he could get moved up to Lansing.  Carlos Perez is another "season and a halfer" and he too could get moved.

 

So that's it for my crystal ball.  Not a lot of moves but there should be a few.

JC - Friday, June 15 2012 @ 03:57 PM EDT (#258714) #

FWIW, Boomer Potts tweeted that Stilson is headed to AA.

https://twitter.com/lefty21k/status/213623001495773185

I wanna give a shout out to my boy @JayStilly12 he is makin the jump to AA...good luck bub

9:24 AM - 15 Jun 12

Gerry - Friday, June 15 2012 @ 04:01 PM EDT (#258717) #
That's a new record, that 13 minutes for my prediction to be wrong.
China fan - Friday, June 15 2012 @ 04:25 PM EDT (#258721) #
Carreno has been promoted to Las Vegas today. And Cecil promoted to the majors, so New Hampshire is down 2 starters. So someone from Dunedin will probably need to be promoted to NH soon, no? Wojciechowski?
Gerry - Friday, June 15 2012 @ 04:28 PM EDT (#258723) #
Ok, here we go...Cecil to Toronto; Carreno to LV; Stilson to AA; and Jesse Hernandez to Dunedin.
China fan - Friday, June 15 2012 @ 04:37 PM EDT (#258725) #
Even after Stilson's promotion, does New Hampshire still need one more starter?
Gerry - Friday, June 15 2012 @ 04:51 PM EDT (#258726) #
I just talked with a Blue Jay front office contact.  The injury to Drabek has left the system scrambling.  Some of these promotions were not necessarily planned for this moment and with the injuries guys who were "on turn" had to be promoted.  That's not to take anything away from Stilson or Hernandez, they have been given an opening, hopefully they grab it.
Richard S.S. - Friday, June 15 2012 @ 08:40 PM EDT (#258747) #
Since Hutch is hurt enough to DL, who comes up?
TamRa - Saturday, June 16 2012 @ 12:48 AM EDT (#258765) #
^^
Chavez or Carreno would be my guess, maybe Coello.

I wouldn't be stunned if they broke down and resorted to Villianueva in the rotation until they figured out how long Morrow was going to be out.


-------------------------
"If you promote Sanchez and Nicolino you could take starts away from Sean Nolin and John Stilson. Do they not need development too?"

Actually no - in that scenario it would be Lawrence and Smith who suffered, as i mentioned in my question.

So I don't see promotions until August. "

Still, you make a solid argument for holding the kids back until August.

China fan - Saturday, June 16 2012 @ 05:52 AM EDT (#258770) #
Cuban defector Kenen Bailli is hitting .563 in his first 4 games at New Hampshire. I realize he is 27 and wasn't very highly regarded when he signed with the Jays -- and his numbers at Dunedin this year were nothing special -- but I'll be interested in his progress. Scouting reports on pre-defection Cubans are not always very accurate, and it's conceivable that he was underestimated.

Bailli was one of the best hitters in Cuba before his defection. His weakness is his high strikeout rate. One observer in Dunedin said: "He would start swinging from the on-deck circle." So the theory is that he could be a much better hitter if Sal Fasano can teach him some plate discipline.

An interesting report on Bailli is here:

http://jaysprospects.com/2012/06/13/cuban-missile-alert-in-new-hampshire/
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