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We need a thread to catalogue the Jays woes over this long weekend. As Dirk Hayhurst said today todays game is brought to you by the Red Cross. In case you missed it here is yesterday's news:

- the Jays tied the game on a 3 run home run in the ninth by Jeff Mathis

- The Jays lost in 15 innings

- Brett Lawrie left the game in the first inning with a sore side/rib cage

- Colby Rasmus left the game in extra innings with what is believed to be a strained groin

- After the game Brett Cecil was sent down, and Drew Carpenter was DFA'd

- Jesse Chavez and Adeiny Hechavarria have been recalled

There is not many media from Toronto with the team in Oakland and the game ended at approx. 3am so news is short until the team shows up today.

The first issue is what of Brett Cecil. Was he going to be sent out anyway after yesterday's start or did yesterday's start trigger something? Cecil appeared to pitch well for stretches but did leave a number of pitches in the middle of the plate. The first two runs came on 0-2 pitches that were down the middle.

Is Cecil finished as a starter? There has been a lot of speculation that Cecil should become a reliever.

Jay Happ is taking Cecil's spot in the rotation. The Jay's traded for Happ to be a starter and they need to evaluate him.

Hechavarria may have to play third base today even though he has never played there before. At least we will get a look at his bat.

Missed in all the injury stories is that Edwin Encarnacion is in the middle of a slump

The Jays used all of their key relievers in last nights game so their availability is uncertain for today.

Today's lineup could be missing Jose Bautista, Adam Lind, JP Arencibia, Colby Rasmus and Brett Lawrie. Plus Edwin Encarnacion is nursing a sore heel and hasn't been available to play first base.

On the mound today is Ricky Romero. Romero did pitch better last time out even if the results weren't great. Hopefully he can build on that today.

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Mike Forbes - Saturday, August 04 2012 @ 01:23 PM EDT (#261813) #

Today's Las Vegas 51's roster!
Original Ryan - Saturday, August 04 2012 @ 01:23 PM EDT (#261814) #
Per Barry Davis, Hech is playing third and batting 9th. Encarnacion is playing first base with Cooper DHing. Both Lawrie and Rasmus out.
Gerry - Saturday, August 04 2012 @ 01:35 PM EDT (#261816) #
Lawrie and Rasmus are described as day to day. Monday is an off day so there is a good chance that both Lawrie and Rasmus sit out tomorrow too to give them three days off.

Jays bench today, not counting Lawrie and Rasmus: Gomes and Vizquel
John Northey - Saturday, August 04 2012 @ 01:36 PM EDT (#261817) #
So how many innings can Mathis go today? If Romero has another bad game it could get very ugly very fast.
Gerry - Saturday, August 04 2012 @ 01:53 PM EDT (#261818) #
Make the bench Mathis and Vizquel. Gomes is playing.
Ryan Day - Saturday, August 04 2012 @ 02:13 PM EDT (#261819) #
If nothing else, I'm excited to see Hechavarria play. Hopefully he'll get into a few games at short while he's up.
Chuck - Saturday, August 04 2012 @ 04:42 PM EDT (#261820) #
Sierra has not exactly been flashing a high baseball IQ thus far.
hypobole - Saturday, August 04 2012 @ 04:53 PM EDT (#261821) #
Lovullo might start reminding baserunners how many outs there are. Also Butterfield has waved 2 guys the past few innings on plays that were not even close.
Thomas - Saturday, August 04 2012 @ 05:47 PM EDT (#261824) #
Sierra has not exactly been flashing a high baseball IQ thus far.

I don't recall reports on Sierra's baseball IQ either positive or negative. Does anyone know if this is a reputation he has or if this may be attributable to excitement at arriving in the majors and trying too hard to impress the coaches and teammates?

Mike D - Saturday, August 04 2012 @ 06:13 PM EDT (#261825) #
Hopefully some regulars will be back versus the Rays, because this lineup is capable of losing 25 games in a row. Good thing you can't score fewer than zero runs.

My feelings are truly equally divided between sympathy for bad luck on the one hand, and anger at how the roster was constructed on the other.
mathesond - Saturday, August 04 2012 @ 06:42 PM EDT (#261827) #
I agree Mike D. Not having capable backups for Bautista, Lawrie, Rasmus, Morrow, Drabek, Hutchison, and Lind is terrible planning. And don't get me started on the bullpen!
uglyone - Saturday, August 04 2012 @ 07:08 PM EDT (#261828) #
Not sure about Sierra's baseball IQ, but his basrunning IQ has always been questionable, based on his constant combination of great speed and awful basestealing percentage in the minors.

on another note, I'm in no way excusing the Jays' season so far on injuries, but at this precise moment it's tough to complain about roster construction when we're missing a full 9 frontline players to injury as well as a bunch of potential depth guys.

RF Bautista
CF Rasmus
3B Lawrie
C Arencibia

SP Morrow
SP Hutchison

RP Santos
RP Perez
RP Frasor

Depth guys - Lind/D'Arnaud/Drabek/McG/Litsch
Mike D - Saturday, August 04 2012 @ 07:31 PM EDT (#261830) #
Exactly right, Mathesond. The only logical way to interpret "equally divided between sympathy for bad luck and anger at roster construction" is "the team deserves no sympathy for bad luck."
Mike D - Saturday, August 04 2012 @ 07:44 PM EDT (#261831) #
On the bright side, the Jays undoubtedly have plenty of good bullpen options for now and 2013, especially if Oliver doesn't retire.
China fan - Saturday, August 04 2012 @ 08:01 PM EDT (#261832) #
Even if you dislike the recent trades, the last 2 games certainly show that there's an advantage to having a strong and deep bullpen. Farrell always said he wanted a deep enough bullpen that the Jays would stay in the game even when they're down by a run or two. That's what happened yesterday and today. The Jays trailed, yet they stayed in the game because the bullpen was deep. And they eventually caught up. A strong bullpen is a nice thing to have. Does it justify the loss of Travis Snider? That's a separate issue, but the Jays can at least mount a good argument for it.
uglyone - Saturday, August 04 2012 @ 09:19 PM EDT (#261833) #
Hilariously early trade updates:

T.Snider: 17pa, .214/.294/.214/.508
B.Lincoln: 4.2ip, 0.64whip, 0.00era

E.Thames: 10pa, .300/.300/.700/1.000
S.Delabar: 3.1ip, 0.90whip, 0.00era
Mike Green - Saturday, August 04 2012 @ 10:42 PM EDT (#261834) #
What will go wrong next?

Don't even ask.  Bedbugs in Rogers Centre?  Falling concrete? Blackouts?  Frogs on the playing field?  Gnats on the mound?
I am sure that one could work up an alternative version to "Shattered" for the end of the season.
Original Ryan - Sunday, August 05 2012 @ 12:15 AM EDT (#261835) #
Bedbugs in Rogers Centre? Falling concrete? Blackouts? Frogs on the playing field? Gnats on the mound?

If we're starting a pool, I have dibs on space junk crashing down on second base.

TamRa - Sunday, August 05 2012 @ 03:57 AM EDT (#261836) #
Not having capable backups for Bautista, Lawrie, Rasmus, Morrow, Drabek, Hutchison, and Lind is terrible planning. And don't get me started on the bullpen!

other than the ongoing discussion of whether it was the best choice for the jays to add someone like Kuroda or Floyd as veteran prsence in the rotation, there's no reason at all, in my view, to be angry at the initial roster construction.

the problem we have now, beyond the injury issues that ugly noted, is similar to the post-trade issues in the 2011 bullpen in at least one respect.

Bautista's back-up plan was Snider. and oportune (in AA's view) trade undermined the original depth.

To go further into your list:

Lind had a "capeable" back-up - David Cooper. Copper is doing pretty much exactly what we've become accustomed to Lind doing (albeit with contact moreso than with power)
Drabek and Hutch WERE the backup plan - to McGowan and Cecil.
Well technically the front-line backup plan was Drabek and Carreno but Carreno failed and was replaced by Hutch so arguably Hutch is in the third line of defense. THEIR backup plan was Villianueva and Laffey.  And it worked out just fine  Drabek and Hutch combined for a 4.64 ERA, Villianueva and Lafey have combined for a 3.86 as starters in their stead.

and THEIR backup plan was McGuire and Jenkins - and they obviously collapsed. Which meant that the next line of defense after them - the SIXTH level of depth, is/was Jesse Chavez.

for clarity:

Plan A: Romero/Morrow/Alvarez/Cecil/McGowan
Plan B: Drabek/Carreno
Plan C: Hutchison
Plan D: Laffey/Villianueva
Plan E: McGuire/Jenkins (one might argue they were originally intended to be Plan D before they collapsed)
Plan F: Chavez/Richmond et al
Plan G: Perez? Litsch?

There's considerable depth there - particularly when "Plan D" is outpitching your supposed Ace.
The backup for Rasmus would have been

A. Davis - not great but name me a team who has a reserve CF the equal of their starter or even close
B. Snider
C. Gose
the reserve for Lawrie should he suffer a long term disability would be
A. Bautista
B. Encarnacion
C. something unappealing, as most teams "C" options are.


for context, let's consider the Boston Red Sox, a team considered by almost everyone, pre-season, to be considerably better than the Jays (not by me, I thought they were marginally better but very vulnerable to being equaled or passed) and a team similarly situated in the standings now, and a team likewise plagued by injuries.

What was there "capeable backup plan" for a wave of injuries?

Pedroia is, in some sense, their Lawrie - and he's missed considerable more games. who replaced him? Punto (he of the 62 OPS+)  and Cinaco (a 26 year old rookie who wasn't good enough to stick with the Pirates and of whom basically nothing was expected before the season. In 8 minor league seasons he had a .656 OPS)

The same two players are the second and third line of defense at SS (and 3B now) as well.

In an outfield that has never been made up of the three best players on the roster because of health, they have had to use:

Dan Nava - 29 year old rookie and minor league journeyman
Cody Ross - a slightly above average guy for the last 4 seasons who inexplicably is having a career year.
Ryan Sweeney - 79 OPS+
Darnell McDonald - given up on and released
Scott Podsednick - do I have to comment here?

and ended up having to swallow Marlon Byrd (and his ponderous contract) who make Raji Davis look like Elsbury at this point.

Pitching? They only had to resort to 3 starters beyond the five who broke camp in the rotation and only 18 of the teams games were started by those.

they opened the season with a rotation featuring:

1. a rock-solid lefty who'd been good for several seasons in a row (Romero? No Lester)
2. an enigmatic and inconsistant, but talented RHP (morrow? no Beckett)
3. a young pitcher starting his first full season as a major league starter (Alvarez? no Doubraunt)
4. a guy who'd been very good but de-railed by a series of injuries (McGowan (in the rotation throughout the spring)? No Buchholtz)
5. a converted reliever (Carreno? no Bard)

their "Plan B" was a minor league free agent pick-up who any fan would have to tremble at the thought of having to use (Lafey? No Cook)

Their "Plan C"? Matsuzaka (Drabek? This comp is imperfect)

Plan D - Morales (compares well to Villianueva)

Notice that in their plans there's no "Hutchison".

In reality, they have faired considerably better than the Jays in terms of pitching injuries, and yet arguably their "back up plans" were LESS well constructed than those of the Toronto team.

The simple reality is that when you have THAT many players injured (not saying only the Blue jays have had injury problems) you WILL run out of quality major league depth. i hate to see the AAA lineup run out there every night right now, but under the circumstances, it is perfectly understandable that this would be the case.

scottt - Sunday, August 05 2012 @ 07:23 AM EDT (#261837) #
The Jays lineup looks bad, but Oakland's doesn't look any better.
Toronto's system has produced lots of good pitchers recently but very few good position players. So trading away hitting prospects while holding on to the pitchers seems like the safer bet.

bpoz - Sunday, August 05 2012 @ 08:19 AM EDT (#261838) #
It seems obvious to me that our offense has been carrying us through these hard times. But in the last 10 games or so the offense has faltered. Relatively speaking.

Alan Ashby said a few days ago that the Jays were leading the AL in runs scored. This gives me some hope that this lineup can develop into a good offensive unit. There is a lot of youth & talent there, like Lawrie.
uglyone - Sunday, August 05 2012 @ 09:43 AM EDT (#261839) #
I'd say doubront was boston's hutchison - i.e. Surprising out of nowhere kid who cracedks the rotation and performs better than expected.

I'd say that buchholz was boston's alavarez - i.e. Unproven guy with some sucess but worrying peripherals.

And i'd say dicek was boston's mcgowan or litsch - i.e. Always injured, mediocre track record

Of course, the difference was that boston's rotation was generally looked at as a powerhouse for some reason, while the jays' rote was rightly looked at as a question mark.
Thomas - Sunday, August 05 2012 @ 11:27 AM EDT (#261840) #
2. an enigmatic and inconsistant, but talented RHP (morrow? no Beckett)

This comparison becomes a lot less convincing once you look past the adjectives. Beckett had a terrible 2010, but posted an ERA+ of 150 in 2011. Meanwhile, in his two seasons as a full-time starter before 2012, Morrow had posted ERA+s of 93 and 91. Beckett had posted better ERA+s than that in his 9 of his 10 seasons as a near full-time major league starter and had posted an ERA+ of 115 or higher in four of the last five seasons.

I liked Morrow's chances of taking a step forward (and spent handsomely in fantasy baseball based on that belief), but going into 2012 Beckett was a proven major league starter with one recent bad season and Morrow was an unproven commodity. That shouldn't be camouflaged by calling them both "inconsistent."

uglyone - Sunday, August 05 2012 @ 12:10 PM EDT (#261841) #
Stats as SP in AL:

B.Morrow (27): 84gs, 4.33era, 3.73fip, 3.79xfip
J.Beckett (32): 191gs, 4.09era, 3.81fip, 3.66xfip
Ryan Day - Sunday, August 05 2012 @ 02:05 PM EDT (#261843) #
Hopefully some regulars will be back versus the Rays, because this lineup is capable of losing 25 games in a row.

No one's lost 25 games in a row in major league history, so probably not. Even the most horrifically, historically awful teams scratch out a win once ever 15-20 games.
uglyone - Sunday, August 05 2012 @ 02:26 PM EDT (#261844) #
the rays are currently trotting out a lineup with I think only 2 guys with an OPS over .680.
Magpie - Sunday, August 05 2012 @ 02:39 PM EDT (#261845) #
B.Morrow (27): 84gs, 4.33era, 3.73fip, 3.79xfip
J.Beckett (32): 191gs, 4.09era, 3.81fip, 3.66xfip

Which suggests that Beckett is really kind of a league average pitcher, just a little better than Morrow. But in fact, Beckett is a wildly bipolar pitcher, who routinely alternates between outstanding and awful. He's the Bret Saberhagen of his generation, brilliant in odd-numbered years, not so brilliant in even numbered years. Since joining Boston, he's gone 50-20, 3.36 in his odd-numbered seasons, 39-36, 4.81 in the even-numbered seasons.

The pattern even goes back to his Florida days, where he posted his two best ERAs (and won a World Series MVP) in 2001 and 2003.

So, if he's available, this winter - grab him, right! Get his good year, and then get rid of him!
scottt - Sunday, August 05 2012 @ 03:04 PM EDT (#261846) #
Snider benched already? He was 0 for 6 in the last 3 games.
uglyone - Sunday, August 05 2012 @ 03:40 PM EDT (#261849) #
yep magpie, odd-year beckett is a near Ace, but even-year Beckett is a bottom of the rotation guy.

the rating of beckett, though, including going into this year, has always been a mystery to me - it's as if people just ignore all his bad years, and think they should expect his good years every year. everyone talked about all the bad luck the Sox got last year, but glazed over the good luck - of which Beckett's near-career year was just one of many examples - and again going into this year he was touted as one of Boston's "two aces", despite the reasonable expectation being him falling off significantly from last season.
uglyone - Sunday, August 05 2012 @ 03:58 PM EDT (#261850) #
more hilariously small sample size comps....this time the Jays' AAA call-up hitters comp...

Since the Trades:

M.Sierra (23): 4gms, 9pa, .444/.444/.556/1.000, .433woba, 177wRC+
E.Thames (25): 3gms, 10pa, .300/.300/.700/1.000, .418woba, 171wRC+
D.Cooper (25): 5gms, 20pa, .263/.300/.579/.879, ~.360woba, ~130wRC+
A.Gose (21): 4gms, 17pa, .250/.250/.313/.563, .243woba, 47wRC+
T.Snider (24): 4gms, 18pa, .200/.278/.200/.478, .237woba, 44wRC+
grjas - Sunday, August 05 2012 @ 04:19 PM EDT (#261853) #
...39-36, 4.81 in the even-numbered seasons.

Hmm. These days, I'll take that.
Thomas - Sunday, August 05 2012 @ 05:05 PM EDT (#261854) #
Stats as SP in AL:
B.Morrow (27): 84gs, 4.33era, 3.73fip, 3.79xfip
J.Beckett (32): 191gs, 4.09era, 3.81fip, 3.66xfip

That includes this season. I'm not convinced by the idea that they should have been viewed as similar coming into the season. Morrow was a consistently league average starter. Beckett was somewhat inconsistent, ranging from excellent to terrible, but usually solidly above average. One could hope for improvement from Morrow or have been worried about Beckett, but their histories weren't really comparable.

uglyone - Sunday, August 05 2012 @ 05:36 PM EDT (#261856) #

though, to note, Morrow's peripherals were always better than Beckett's, if you trust the FIPpy numbers at all.
scottt - Sunday, August 05 2012 @ 07:30 PM EDT (#261859) #
Encarnation has now 12 sb. Rasmus has 4. He was running more with St-Louis.

TamRa - Monday, August 06 2012 @ 03:45 AM EDT (#261866) #
"but their histories weren't really comparable."

Well no, a lot of the comparisons were imperfect, and ugly's revisions might have made more sense - the point was to illustrate the flaws in the "we should have been prepared for 9,000 injuries and I'm mad we weren't" sort of thinking.

The idea being that the Jays and the Red Sox were similarly situated to deal with injuries, and have, as a team, ended up in a similar place after having dealt with some, albeit the Jays had more impact on the pitching side and the Red Sox more on the offensive side.

Even down to the fact that they got irrationally good results out of Ross, and the Jays have gotten entierly unpredictable service out of Laffey. Look around the league at other examples, say the Rays for instance. when you are hit THAT hard, the guys you put on the field won't be impressive. There's no preparing for that.

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