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The Jays head to the Windy City for the second of three series they'll play against the White Sox, after which we head into the All-Star break. Toronto took two of three from the South Siders in their first matchup, but face one of baseball's hottest teams coming off a sweep of the Rangers. Plus, Youk!

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Friday: Jake Peavy v. Aaron Laffey

Jake Peavy has thrown one more inning to date than he did all of last season. So far in 2012 he's: walked the same number of batters (as he did in 2011), struck out 6 more batters, allowed 1 more home run, allowed 29 fewer hits, and consequently, allowed 24 fewer runs. You can take that to mean a bunch of different things, but to me it basically indicates Peavy's pitching about the same as last year, just getting a lot more hit lucky. Which he is, with a BABIP of .256 as opposed to last year's mark of .317. His LOB% has also increased dramatically, and as a result Peavy has a sparkling 2.96 ERA, which somehow still couldn't get him in the All-Star game (he came second in the final vote.. Anyway, Peavy's peripherals are actually pretty good, striking out over 8 and walking fewer than 2 per 9 innings, while allowing fewer than 1 dinger. So far this is also the most innings Peavy's thrown since 2008. Good for you Jake. Peavy's been around forever (he made his debut in 2002) and had a potential Hall of Fame type career path (throw a lot of innings, start early), making at least 27 starts from his age 22 to 27 seasons. Things started to unravel after that though, as I just alluded to; in 2009 Peavy strained a tendon in the back of his ankle, then after a trade to Chicago subsequently suffered back and general fatigue/conditioning problems. Peavy has an $18 million club option for next season (well, $22 mil with $4 mil buyout). I wonder if the White Sox bring him back on that. Anyway, Peavy throws an array of fastballs - a cutter, 2-seamer and 4-seamer, to go with the slider-curve-change. He throws the 4-seamer the most of the fastballs, and it goes from about 90-93 at this stage, while the two seamer is around 90-91, and the cutter in the mid-80s. The slider and the changeup come in at roughly the same speed, 80-83, while the curve is in the high-70s; all of the pitches are capable of generating swings and misses. Since becoming a White Sock Peavy has used his 2-seamer, which sinks, much less, instead relying on his other pitches and upping his curveball count. Historically his fastball and slider have been his best pitches, and this year is no different, with the fastball ranking in the top 5 in value and the slider in the top 20 (of 99 qualified starters). Lifetime Jose Bautista is 1/12, Edwin Encarnacion 2/12, and Old Man Vizquel 8/34; no current Jay has ever homered off Peavy.

Saturday: Ricky Romero vs. Gavin Floyd.

Gavin Floyd is not yet, in fact, a Blue Jay (the website appears to be down, alas). He would fit right in with the Jays staff though, in terms of bein inconsistent. Floyd has now made 16 starts, in which he's allowed 2-3 earned runs exactly once, which I wager is nigh impossible, especially when you consider his 4.91 ERA and 6 IP per start indicate he should be allowing just over 3 runs a start. Instead Floyd has 6 starts of 0 or 1 runs, and 6 starts of 5 or more runs. I am not quite sure why Floyd's numbers are this bad - and they are relatively bad, given that few teams are hitting much. His K/BB ratio is 3/1, and he strikes out plenty, and his BABIP is right around .300. Floyd is a relative fly ball pitcher, and has always allowed his share of home runs, which is mainly what has prevented him from the potential to be great. A mystery. Floyd goes 4/2/Cut, with the 4-searmer hitting 94 and the 2-seamer 93; both reside around 91 on average, while the cutter (which he only really started throwing last year) comes in 84-88. Floyd will throw about 5 change ups a game, and a lot of 80 MPH curve balls. Anyway, you should basically just expect to see 4-seamers, cutters and curve balls, with the cutter being the money pitch, so to speak. Career: Jose Bautista is 1/9, Rajai Davis 3/10, Ben Francisco 4/15, Adam Lind 6/13. Adam Lind and Omar Vizquel (2/6) are the only Jays with homers off Floyd.

Sunday: Brett Cecil vs. TBA

TBA's had a pretty lousy season so far, getting rocked to the tune of...

We're missing them, so I won't speak at length, but it's worth noting that Chris Sale (who is going to the ASG) has been phenomenal, while Jose Quintana has been very good (but in a flukier way).

Also I never talk about bullpens, but the White Sox bullpen is essentially all rookies at the moment; Matt Thornton is the one veteran, but pretty much everyone else, led by closer Addison Reed, is a rookie born between 1984-1986. I think this is probably about as good a bet as paying the Francisco Corderos of the world in free agency. Zing.


Alejandro De Aza CF
Kevin Youkilis 3B
Adam Dunn DH
Paul Konerko 1B
Alex Rios RF
AJ Pierzynski C
Dayan Viciedo LF
Alexei Ramirez SS
Gordon Beckham 2B

The White Sox don't tinker a ton with their lineup; their guys are their guys, basically. Tyler Flowers will probably get a start at catcher, maybe on Sunday against Romero. The White Sox only lefties are Dunn, De Aja and Pierzynski, and they aren't about to sit even with three lefties on tap (when was the last time this happened with the Jays?)

Kevin Youkilis is obviously the big news of late in White Sox land. The Red Sox are paying most of the freight, and in return got Brett Lillibridge and old friend Zach Stewart. As a White Sock Youkilis is hitting .308/.357/.487, a significant improvement on his Boston numbers, though it's only been 10 games. He even had the game winning home run yesterday! Because sportswriters are sportswriters, Youkilis is immediately being credited with turning the club around thanks to his grittiness. I imagine the Jays could have paid the price that the White Sox did, though I suppose the Red Sox may have been reticent to trade him inside the division. Plus, who knows if the Jays actually care about spending money/improving... Speaking of old friends, Alex Rios quietly doesn't suck anymore again. He leads White Sox position players in WAR, and is hitting .316/.350/.511 and is on pace for a 20-20 season. The 100 point BABIP jump probably helps, but those are solid numbers... Adam Dunn is doing Adam Dunn-y things, striking out 36% of the time, walking 18% of the time and homering 7% of the time. Three true outcomes! I don't know how Dunn is in the All-Star Game. It is kind of disgraceful really, given that he is the worst defender in baseball, likely (the White Sox, smartly, don't really let him play the field)... Paul Konerko is also in Kansas City next week, and he's been solid if unspectacular, with a .332/.408/.540 line. Actually that's pretty good. Pierzynski's hitting too, .287/.335/.524.

Infirmary: Brian Bruney (RP) is on the 15-day DL with hip inflammation; Jesse Crain (RP) is also on the 15-day with shoulder tightness, he could be back by the end of the month. John Danks (SP) is due back around the beginning of August, with a shoulder strain, Phil "Perfect Game" Humber is also strained, in his throwing elbow, and could be back by the end of the month. Brent Morel (3B) is rehabbing a back strain, with a return date of TBD.

Song to Advance Scout By: In honour of Peavy (should we really be honouring opposing players? Feel free to discuss in the comments) Comeback Kid, by Sleigh Bells. Because, really, who doesn't love noise pop?

Chart: All data from Fangraphs.

Advance Scout: White Sox, July 6-8 | 51 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
DJRob - Friday, July 06 2012 @ 01:28 PM EDT (#259913) #
I see Jose Bautista has chosen someone from the advance scouting department as his pitcher for the Home Run Derby. It's nice that you guys are going to have representation at the all star game - we appreciate your hard work!
zeppelinkm - Friday, July 06 2012 @ 01:34 PM EDT (#259916) #

I said this in an old thread.. it's about last nights game.

Why Cordero in the 8th when you're only down by 2? Why??? Has anyone asked Farrell?

Mike Green - Friday, July 06 2012 @ 01:40 PM EDT (#259917) #
Baseball Reference tells me that T B A is Thin Man Bob Allen.  Allen made one start in his career, going 5.2 innings, allowing 7 runs (4 earned), walked 6 and struck out 4.  Talk about a man living up to his initials. Incidentally, the pitcher who comes up for E R A, Ed Rube Albosta, didn't fare any better.
PeteMoss - Friday, July 06 2012 @ 02:14 PM EDT (#259921) #
Farrell obviously thinks Cordero is better than he is. His use has cost the Jays many games this year by being put into high leverage situations.

Between the constant Coco appearances and his use of Luis Perez as a mop up guy among other issues has caused many to question Farrell's bullpen management skills
uglyone - Friday, July 06 2012 @ 03:58 PM EDT (#259931) #
I actually can't blame farrell for using him last night. We just don't have enough arms back there right now.

Still, the fact that he's called on Cordero more than any other reliever this season is just not very smart.
scottt - Friday, July 06 2012 @ 06:43 PM EDT (#259937) #
The White Sox have a decent team. Kinda like the Jays in May minus Cordero.

Sale is going to run out of innings, which is probably why he was skipped rather than used on short rest. This way he can pitch in the All-Star game.
Logically, Axelrod starts Sunday on short rest, but he might get pulled before5 innings. He has not been better than replacement value anyway and the bullpen will have 3 days to recover.

The man who changed Sox gives them 6 bats in the top of the order. In the steroid era that would have seemed little, nowadays, that's a pretty good lineup.

Wells, Rios, Hill, Lind, Snider. It seems like it's been a long time since the Jays developed a hitter with some constancy.
Thomas - Friday, July 06 2012 @ 07:37 PM EDT (#259941) #
Great job as usual, Anders.
Anders - Friday, July 06 2012 @ 09:11 PM EDT (#259942) #
Great job as usual, Anders.


sam - Saturday, July 07 2012 @ 04:03 AM EDT (#259944) #
Stephen Drew has come back from his extended stint on the DL with an ankle injury. While he has hardly set the world afire with a .200/.259/.240 line and is coming off a fairly poor half season, he does have some track record of success and does a lot of things on the baseball diamond well. Drew also has a $10 million mutual option for the 2013 season, which is a bit steep. The real kicker here is his agent is Scott Boras, whom the Jays under AA have yet to do business with (or least that we know of).

They also have Joe Saunders and a whole host of competent pitchers. Nobody seems to want Saunders these days despite a 3.44 ERA. The peripherals aren't great, but the man can pitch and knows how to get himself through five or six innings. He is a free agent at the end of the season and I don't see any multiyear offers coming his way this offseason if it's anything like the last.

I think Yunel Escobar is on the decline. The stats say he's not having a great year and maybe I'm suffering from toomanygdp disease, but there has been some drop off in his physical tools. I don't know what it is, but he's either not physically capable or mentally focused to repete his swing. Drops the back shoulder too frequently and the whole approach is too average for me. I mean he goes up to at-bats with a runner in scoring position and the first ball out over the plate he's just trying to put the ball in play on the right side. Call me greedy, but advancing runners is great and all that, but I want big innings and production! Defensively I still think he's solid, yet I do question the range on occasion.

With all that being said, and I admit a lot of it is entirely subjective, Escobar is a very serviceable SS and an improvement on what the Jays have had for a long time. He has a very friendly contract with another guaranteed year at $5 million and two more team options after that at $5 million as well. So there's that.

I think people can see where I'm going with this. A trade idea involving Drew, Saunders, and Escobar. For the Jays, they're getting back the better SS (in my mind) albeit for this year really at the most with no compensation and a solid mid-backend arm, which the Jays desperately need at the moment. If Drew walks, I think you hand the job over to Hech, but it's still a lost asset. I don't know what you do with Saunders, but if he were to pitch well in the AL East down the stretch you got to think he might get more term than one year.

Drew is the catch here. On his game, he's a five tool talent playing a premium position. He doesn't display the same tendencies as his brother (thank god), but he does have a tendency to rub people the wrong way. I don't think this deal gets done, or is fair without the Jays including a prospect or two. So here's what I propose:


greenfrog - Saturday, July 07 2012 @ 08:13 AM EDT (#259945) #
Lawrie is having a decent sophomore (more like almost-rookie) season, but he could be a great player if he applies a bit more plate discipline. His tremendous energy is an asset but he's going to have to harness it if he wants to fulfill his impressive potential.
Charlie - Saturday, July 07 2012 @ 11:28 AM EDT (#259947) #
Sam: Rather than trade Escobar and his very reasonable contract, why not shift him over to 2B once Hech finally comes up to the big club? His decreasing range won't be such a problem over there and his hitting, while not as aggressive as some might like, would be sufficient as long as he starts drawing walks again. In the past I've heard that Escobar would take offence to such a switchover but I feel like that could be dealt with.

Frankly, the Escobar plus prospects trade for rentals of Saunders and Drew (because there's no way we should be picking up that $10 million option) strikes me as a crazy deal.

That said, we're certainly going to trade for some veteran starting pitching and Yunel's a tradeable asset whose spot on the diamond will be ceded eventually to Hech. He may leave in some trade but I would hope not this trade.
Landomar - Saturday, July 07 2012 @ 12:54 PM EDT (#259949) #

I don't think there should be any questions about Yunel Escobar's defense.  He looks great to me, and both UZR and DRS have him in the elite range for this season.  Both of those metrics have Escobar as the second best defensive shortstop in all of MLB, behind only Brendan Ryan.

One explanation for these numbers is that on the tough plays to his right, Lawrie usually gobbles up the ball.  On all other plays, Escobar is great.  I don't see why we would need to upgrade defensively at shortstop at all.  His hitting this season, well, that's another story.  He might have "Aaron Hill"-itis (sometimes elite, sometimes awful, who knows what he'll do in the near or distant future). 

MatO - Saturday, July 07 2012 @ 02:21 PM EDT (#259951) #
Josh Hamilton left last night's game with back issues.  I think Ron Washington should hold him out of games played on grass as a precaution.
damos - Saturday, July 07 2012 @ 04:47 PM EDT (#259954) #
Unbelievable that they'd haul the team back out on the field minutes after Ricky had clearly struck Rios out.  Terrible, terrible display by the umpire crew. 
Anders - Saturday, July 07 2012 @ 05:28 PM EDT (#259955) #
Unbelievable that they'd haul the team back out on the field minutes after Ricky had clearly struck Rios out. Terrible, terrible display by the umpire crew.

This was just abysmal. Buck and Tabby speculated that they thought the pitch was foul tipped; Rios missed it by about a foot. Goodness.

greenfrog - Saturday, July 07 2012 @ 06:40 PM EDT (#259956) #
Why on earth would Bautista try to stretch a one-out double into a triple down 2-0 in the 9th? That was a ridiculously dumb play. His run meant nothing.
Anders - Sunday, July 08 2012 @ 02:22 PM EDT (#259965) #
TBA's had a pretty lousy season so far, getting rocked to the tune of...

I am right so infrequently that I feel the need to tell everyone when it happens #safepredictions.

Chuck - Sunday, July 08 2012 @ 02:53 PM EDT (#259966) #
Does it not seem especially cavalier for the White Sox to sit Sale so that he can pitch in the AS game? They are not quite punting this game, but certainly not treating it with the importance that a regular season game warrants.
John Northey - Sunday, July 08 2012 @ 03:15 PM EDT (#259967) #
That does sound odd - the Sox are leading the Central by 3 over Cleveland and 4 1/2 over the Tigers. Odds are the Tigers will do better in the 2nd half, Cleveland and the White Sox not so much. They should do everything they can to win with 3 days off to recover. This is their ace's usual turn day, 4 days off then you could have him start the next game so he'd have 2 straight starts and could go to the All-Star game and just enjoy the show rather than pitch.

If I was a fan of the White Sox I'd be very angry over this. Mix in Axelrod giving up 7 runs so far and I'd be wondering if this was the 'white flag' White Sox all over again.
Jdog - Sunday, July 08 2012 @ 03:32 PM EDT (#259968) #
The reason they are skipping Sale's turn is to try and keep his innings down. Sale slipped in the draft, industry speculation was that teams didn't like his mechanics and felt he was a serious injury risk. That and they probably saw the Jays were throwing Brett Cecil and figured it just wouldn't be fair to start Sale.
Chuck - Sunday, July 08 2012 @ 03:52 PM EDT (#259969) #

The reason they are skipping Sale's turn is to try and keep his innings down.

I concede that that does seem like a legitimate concern. But that said, Sale is healthy and effective right now, so why not take advantage and pitch him right now? There's no guarantee that diminished health or effectiveness might not step and reduce his innings on their own at some point this season.

Anders - Sunday, July 08 2012 @ 04:08 PM EDT (#259970) #
I concede that that does seem like a legitimate concern. But that said, Sale is healthy and effective right now, so why not take advantage and pitch him right now? There's no guarantee that diminished health or effectiveness might not step and reduce his innings on their own at some point this season.

And games count just as much now as they do in September... but somehow few teams seem to see it this way. Though to be fair, it would be preferential come October, should things break the right way, that Sale threw his last pitch 5 days prior as opposed to 5 weeks prior, assuming they would let him pitch then at all.

scottt - Sunday, July 08 2012 @ 04:32 PM EDT (#259971) #
Axelrod is (was?) their 5th starter. The Jays are not the only team short on starting pitching.

Sale will only pitch 1 inning in the all-star game and I think he's already over his pitching quota.
John Northey - Sunday, July 08 2012 @ 04:36 PM EDT (#259972) #
Didn't know much about him - 10 innings in the minors then up in the pen for 23 more in 2010, 71 in the pen in 2011, now starting and up to 102 2/3. If ChiSox make the playoffs then 200 IP is a lock (baring injury). I can see trying to play it safe.

Still, it does seem risky when you are fighting to make the playoffs to have your ace not start on regular rest just to allow him to throw a meaningless inning in the All-Star game.
ogator - Sunday, July 08 2012 @ 04:39 PM EDT (#259974) #
Did you see the picture of the cyclist who crashed and ripped his uniform at the hip? Now that was a "baring injury."
Chuck - Sunday, July 08 2012 @ 05:13 PM EDT (#259975) #
While Mathis is having a good game (and a better season than any of us could have envisioned), Mills is throwing a shutout for LA.

The Futures Game is on SN1 right now, but be warned, Rick Sutcliffe is in the booth. Mute, baby, mute.

Oh, am I the only one to hear Buck use the expression "clog the bases" today? Buck gets paid to talk. This is a strange world we live in.
China fan - Sunday, July 08 2012 @ 05:50 PM EDT (#259976) #
Bauxites should be happy: Janssen is being brought into the game in a high-leverage situation in the 8th inning for a potential 5-out save. Exactly what many people have often been clamoring for. Although in this case Janssen is given the 5-out opportunity perhaps only because he hasn't pitched for a few days and won't have to pitch again for another few days.

This whole game has been a series of unappetizing choices for Farrell as he tries to manage his pitchers. Cecil survives for barely 4 innings, and then who do you choose? Most of the bullpen are fringe or inexperienced guys. Farrell goes first to Chavez and Perez, who predictably don't look very good. Frasor and Oliver pitched yesterday, but Farrell has to go to them next -- otherwise he's stuck with the very raw Dyson or the fringy Carpenter or the terrible Cordero. Finally he has to haul out Janssen for the 5-out stint. It's all very high-wire and risky, but those are the choices he is left with.
Mike Green - Sunday, July 08 2012 @ 05:56 PM EDT (#259977) #
Janssen gets the 5-out save opportunity for the reasons CF describes, plus the fact that RHHs Konerko and Rios were up in the 8th.  It's a step forward.  The next step is to bring Janssen on in a tie game in the eighth in some circumstances.
China fan - Sunday, July 08 2012 @ 06:07 PM EDT (#259978) #
And it almost doesn't work, with the tying run on 1B and Janssen up to 28 pitches and extra innings looming as a possibility and nobody left in the bullpen except Cordero/Carpenter/Dyson. (Unless you want to haul out a rotation pitcher.) But it did work. So kudos to Farrell for trying the unconventional.
China fan - Sunday, July 08 2012 @ 06:34 PM EDT (#259980) #
And another pitcher bites the dust: Luis Perez will go on the DL with tightness in his left elbow, and will go to Florida tomorrow for further examination, according to a tweet by Mark Zwolinski of the Star.

Perez has only made 3 appearances since June 30, and some Bauxites were suggesting that Farrell should have used him more often. I wonder if there were already some worrisome signs of elbow issues, and the Jays were trying to baby him a little by having him pitch less often. Just my speculation -- could be wrong.

Who replaces Perez? Who will be thrown next into the great vortex of the Jays pitching staff?

Chad Beck is one possibility, but he's a one-inning pitcher and Perez had more of a multiple-innings role. So the Jays might want someone else. Let's hope AA manages to acquire a pitcher or two during the all-star break.
sam - Sunday, July 08 2012 @ 06:48 PM EDT (#259981) #
China Fan thanks for this. I wonder if John Stilson is a guy the Jays consider? Gerry reported earlier in the year that Stilson was not repeating his delivery nearly enough to warrant consideration for promotion. He has since been promoted to AA and has faired well in five starts. Stilson is also coming off a fairly serious shoulder issue and currently sits at 76 innings pitched. If he continues to start he'll likely push 120 innings. I claim no knowledge here on what the Jays intend on doing with Stilson, but having him pitch out of the bullpen where he'll get his innings to 100 I don't think is a bad idea.
John Northey - Sunday, July 08 2012 @ 10:00 PM EDT (#259990) #
Sheesh - Perez gone too? I guess anytime someone isn't being used as often or when we think we must assume 'injury' now. Frasor was nursing one, I suspect Romero is too.

Sigh - what a year when it comes to injuries. Time to chase down the Tampa Bay trainer and sign him as a free agent (if such a thing exists for trainers).

Who to call up? My daughter has a live arm and can throw 60'6" fairly accurately - the Jays do seem to be getting to that desperation level. Maybe call Moyer and say 'want to pitch in the pen for a week or two?'
hypobole - Sunday, July 08 2012 @ 11:22 PM EDT (#259992) #
Jeff Mathis' double and HR today raised his SLG% to .521, which is 3rd on the team behind only Jose and Edwin. The guy he was traded for also played today as Brad Mills was recalled from the minors by the Angels, pitched 5 scoreless innings and got the win. That gives Brad the following career lines:

vs Baltimore - 3 GP, 3 W, 17.1 IP, 3 ER, 1.56 ERA
vs Everyone Else - 12 GP, 0 W, 36.0 IP, 43 ER, 10.75 ERA
TamRa - Monday, July 09 2012 @ 02:06 AM EDT (#259995) #
the Jays are still going with 8 relievers, it's possible the person who comes up in Perez's spot is not a pitcher but a hitter (cough*Shiderplease*cough)
tstaddon - Monday, July 09 2012 @ 07:52 AM EDT (#259999) #
My guess is that short-term they recall Crawford. Cecil gets the Yankees start to earn any further ones. If he fails, I wouldn't be surprised to see Farrell put him in the bullpen. The Jays only need a fifth starter once before July 28th. I think if Cecil struggles, they may give that start to Chad Jenkins or Deck McGuire, minor league performance be damned. At least in Jenkins' case, there's reason to believe, historically, that the Jays' infield defense could make him playable for 5 innings.

Could always back to Chavez too. *Deep breath*

ogator - Monday, July 09 2012 @ 08:24 AM EDT (#260000) #
Both Sean O'Sullivan and Shawn Hill have had some good starts in Vegas. Maybe Cecil takes the Perez role and they take a chance on one of the Sean/Shawn(s). Cecil has been effective in short spurts but not really over extended innings.
hypobole - Monday, July 09 2012 @ 09:07 AM EDT (#260001) #
"My guess is that short-term they recall Crawford."

Crawford is on the DL also.
bpoz - Monday, July 09 2012 @ 09:14 AM EDT (#260002) #
At the AS break discussion starts on which teams should be buyers & sellers.
IMO any team that is within 4 games of a playoff spot should consider themselves still in it. So in the AL 3 teams are out & 7 in the NL.
I checked back 2 years and the AL has never been so bunched up.
BlueJayWay - Monday, July 09 2012 @ 10:17 AM EDT (#260006) #

At the AS break discussion starts on which teams should be buyers & sellers.
IMO any team that is within 4 games of a playoff spot should consider themselves still in it. So in the AL 3 teams are out & 7 in the NL.
I checked back 2 years and the AL has never been so bunched up.

The second wildcard probably has a lot to do with that.

John Northey - Monday, July 09 2012 @ 01:31 PM EDT (#260019) #
So, how are the Jays doing vs old systems?
Pre-1969 (1 playoff team per league): Yankees in 1st by 1/2 a game over the Rangers, Jays 9 1/2 back
Pre-1994 (2 playoff teams per league): Yankees lead the AL East by 7, 9 1/2 over the Jays (Rangers lead the west by 4 over the Angles, 4 1/2 over the White Sox)
Pre-2012 (4 playoff teams per league): Yanks/White Sox/Rangers/Angels in, Jays 5 games back
2012+ (5 playoff teams per league): Add Orioles to playoffs, Jays 2 1/2 back.

Quite a difference.  Pre-wild card the Jays would be a very depressing team although it would've been obvious for years that they needed 95+ wins minimum thus shifting managements thinking.  Even pre-this year the Jays would be pretty much in the 'sell' category as no one would expect one of the Yanks/Rangers/Angels to drop off.  Now? We all expect the Orioles to fall soon, leaving the Jays 2 back of the Rays, 1 1/2 behind Cleveland (also expected to fall), 1 back of Detroit, and tied with Boston and Oakland (huh, didn't notice them sneak back into it).

Baseball Prospectus lists the Jays at just 6.7% odds of making it.  In the AL you have the locks (Yanks, Rangers over 90%), the great shots (Angels & White Sox over 75%), the fighting for it group (Tigers, Rays, Cleveland 25%-40%), the 'better do something soon' gang (Orioles, Red Sox in the high teens), and the 'faint hope' group (Jays & A's at 6.7% and 2% respectively).  The last 3 are 'no hope' at 0.0% odds (Royals, Mariners, Twins)

So, a chance still exists.  Can they do it?  No idea.  If I was in AA's shoes though I'd probably do what he says he is doing, looking for help that will still be here in 2013 (and beyond).  One year rentals should only be gone for if it costs a C prospect or less.  If the Jays were in the 'fighting' group though I'd be tempted to spend a lot more on that one year rental.
greenfrog - Monday, July 09 2012 @ 01:42 PM EDT (#260020) #
Just thought I would give a shout-out to EE, who is currently hitting 295/382/565 (947 OPS / 149 OPS+). He's having an All-Star calibre season, on pace for 43 HR, 70 BB, 104 R, 109 RBI and 17 SB. For all the criticism of Murphy, I expect he deserves a lot of credit for the performance of Bautista, Rasmus and EE.

I think EE will be gone after the season, as he's going to be in line for a nice multiyear contract if he keeps this up (probably more than the Jays will want to commit to him). And more power to him. I just hope his giant leap forward translates into a couple of high draft picks in 2013.
John Northey - Monday, July 09 2012 @ 01:43 PM EDT (#260021) #
Checking the Twins Francisco Liriano is very tempting although just a rental for 2012.  After a very rough start he has done well.  May 14th to today he has a 3.02 ERA, 61 K 31 BB in 56 2/3 IP giving up just 1 HR.  Before that he was 9.45 ERA, 26 2/3 IP 19 BB 21 SO 6 HR.

I'd offer something small to Minnesota (they might want to save the $2.5 mi he is owed) for him and if they don't bite offer more but only if you get to talk with Liriano about an extension first.  His wildness is an obvious concern, but keeping the ball in the park is a good sign and he was an elite talent at one time.  They are spending $100 million+ for a team that sucks so taking on some of that salary (if Rogers signs off on it) would be nice.  Carl Pavano has homeritis but could eat a few innings here I'm sure for his $8.5 mil (about $4 mil left).  Justin Morneau could take over 1B for his $14 mil next year and about $7 mil left this year (105 OPS+) while Lind goes the other way.  Scott Baker is a pitcher costing them $6.5 mil this year who has been DL'ed all year thus fits in nicely here :P

Risky, but perhaps something could be worked out that would allow Minny to save some cash, upgrade our staff and allow Morneau and Lind to get away from crowds that are hostile to them.

TamRa - Monday, July 09 2012 @ 02:12 PM EDT (#260025) #
Oh yeah, if you could execute a deal for Mornaeu and Liriano and get them to take on Lind in the deal, that wold be sweet.

Another scenario I like is Wilner's speculation about dealing for Headley and flipping him with prospects for Upton.
hypobole - Monday, July 09 2012 @ 04:28 PM EDT (#260041) #
"For all the criticism of Murphy, I expect he deserves a lot of credit for the performance of Bautista, Rasmus and EE."

It's a bit strange that Murph took a ton of flack for the struggles of Hill and Lind, yet Bruce Walton seems to be made of Teflon.
BlueJayWay - Monday, July 09 2012 @ 06:49 PM EDT (#260043) #
Luis Perez torn UCL, according to Shi Davidi.  That's the tommy john ligament.  Out for the year.
scottt - Tuesday, July 10 2012 @ 07:07 AM EDT (#260058) #

I'd like to see Shawn Hill get a shot and Cecil in the bullpen.

Let's go easy with Villanueva.

Hutch could be back in September, but I don't want him to be rushed back.

I don't think we see Santos before September.

The current Yankees rotation is Kuroda, Hughes, Nova, Garcia and TBA?

Paul D - Tuesday, July 10 2012 @ 09:15 AM EDT (#260059) #
Well this is interesting: Carlos Beltran told Shi Davidi of and other reporters that the Blue Jays showed interest in him this offseason, but never made a formal contract offer.
John Northey - Tuesday, July 10 2012 @ 09:18 AM EDT (#260060) #
I figure the 'formal contract offer' was due to Beltran telling the Jays that he had no interest in being primarily a DH and that whatever they were saying for dollars and years wasn't enough to make him change his mind. Why pay a lawyer to write up something just to have it rejected?
Mike Green - Tuesday, July 10 2012 @ 09:29 AM EDT (#260063) #
There are many possible constructions of the situation.  There have been suggestions that Beltran wasn't interested in coming to Toronto, period.  That may not have been so; it simply may have been a matter of dollars, as it was with Darvish (and probably several others). 
bpoz - Tuesday, July 10 2012 @ 11:33 AM EDT (#260065) #
Thanks for providing those odds for winning John N.

Whatever happens, I am going to say that it will generally take 90 wins to win the WCs. My reasons are that there are too many good teams in the AL. NYY, Boston, Texas & LAA are willing to spend $ and are run by reasonably smart people. The schedule favors Texas & LAA. TB has won 90+ games 3 of the past 4 years, so I count them in as well. I also think that there will generally be 1 surprise team.

Rarely do I see the AL Central winning a WC.

For the Jays, since May 26th (19W-21L) they have scored at least 6 runs in about half their games. So in that period their offense has been very strong. So right now I believe in the offense. While no lead is safe because of the pitching, I also think that these guys can come back quite often. I do not know how the offensive roster will change for the rest of this year or next year, but most of the big guys should be back. If he leaves EE will be missed, but this could be a fluke year, so the 2012 EE will not be here. Of course that goes for anyone positive or negative. I can judge the offense from May 26th to the end of the year to see if it is as good consistently. Injuries, cooling off or heating up or traded individuals will have to factor in. But I am really hoping that this offense is going to be very good going forward. I hope that Romero, Morrow & Alvarez can be 3/5 of a good rotation. I don't know about the pen but AA is trying to improve it.
John Northey - Tuesday, July 10 2012 @ 11:53 AM EDT (#260066) #
The pitching injuries are the big question. If the Jays can get a few healthy out of Morrow/Drabek/Hutchison/Perez/whoever else is dl'ed then that would be a big boost going forward. Hopefully they survive this year and gain a lot of depth next year (hopefully ).
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