Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
At last, at long last, the end is here. The third and final installment of The Replacements, which covers all the relief pitchers who were added to the roster in mid-season.

Their number, if not their names, were legion. We shall consider:

Aaron Loup
Jesse Chavez
Steve Delabar
Brad Lincoln
Brandon Lyon
Chad Jenkins

They weren't the whole story. We're giving the old INC for Incomplete to all the men who worked less than 10 IP. That group numbers Andrew Carpenter, Chad Beck, Evan Crawford, Robert Coello, David Pauley, Scott Richmond, Ryota Igarashi, David Carpenter, and Sam Dyson. Seeing as how most of them would have received an E grade only if they were lucky, lucky enough to find me in a sunny and forgiving frame of mind, I hope they'll take their INC with gratitude and humility...

As always, I grade on the following curve:

A - Outstanding (You could be an MVP, and ought to be an All-Star)
B - Good (You too could be an All-Star)
C - Average (You're getting by, there are probably bigger problems)
D - Below Average (You passed. Big deal.)

E - Fail. (You don't belong at this level. Not at this moment anyway - not yet or not anymore)
F - Epic Fail (You need to look for a new line of work.)

And now I'll take a week or two, which will provide some time for me to write some trenchant commentary (and for some players to make some late movements in one direction or other. I will of consider the various marks everyone has offered (and report them back to you) before issuing whatever grades I feel like...

Blue Jays Report Card: Ninth Preliminary | 58 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, September 18 2012 @ 07:27 PM EDT (#263561) #

Aaron Loup has been a pleasant surprise, being much more effective than others could be.  He deserves consideration for the 2013 Bullpen.

Jesse Chavez is AAAA material, and looked it.

Steve Delabar's acquisition was a big win for A.A.  I keep him.

Brad Lincoln is effective, perhaps not as good as his game logs indicate, but worth his trade.

Brandon Lyon should be re-signed, he's exactly what we need.

Chad Jenkins is surprising, worth his improved Prospect status.  Needs to take what he's learned back to the minors for his move to AAA.

John Northey - Tuesday, September 18 2012 @ 07:57 PM EDT (#263562) #
Tougher group as impressions are minimal as are stats.

Holds-saves-blown saves/holds as relievers are often given leads but did they hold on or screw it up? Followed by IR/IS = inherited runners/number scored

Aaron Loup: 4-0-0, 13/1: his teammates love him, 2-17 BB-SO ratio with 0 HR gives him a solid B

Jesse Chavez: 0-0-0, 5/4: not helping anyone, not trusted, 2.5 HR/9 will do that despite his 11.4 K/9 thus an F+ (the K/9 is the +)

Steve Delabar: 5-0-0, 9/1: a few guys owe him a steak, 14.8 K/9, 4.6 BB/9, 1.1 HR/9, 99 ERA+, C+ as the results are good despite the mediocre ERA, but the wildness is a concern.

Brad Lincoln: 2-0-0, 13/5: meh, decent ratios but nothing 'wow' (7.3 K, 2.8 BB, 1.2 HR, 120 ERA+) so I go with a C - remember ERA is not a good way to rate relievers.

Brandon Lyon: 6-0-0, 9/2: sweet, 4-25 BB-SO ratio, 0.9 HR/9, easy A would love to see here next year

Chad Jenkins: 0-0-0, 6/1: not bad, but never trusted, under 4 K/9 with 2.9 BB/9 so a tightrope act. D

Guys with 0 chances for a save/hold are ones who I suspect the manager has little faith in. 30% of inherited runners were allowed to score overall for the Jays vs 29% for the league. For comparison, in 1993 with Henke/Ward (plus Timlin/David Wells/Eichhorn thus a killer pen) 34% scored. The game has changed, but I suspect a big part is guys who get baserunners on, get one out, then someone else comes in thus they get 2-0 (if 2 are on) then the next guy goes 2-2 (allowing both to score) and the team gets a 4-2 record whereas in '93 it would've been one guy thus a 2-2 or 100% scoring but the end results are the same for the club (2 runs).

These guys were better than I thought. Loup, Delabar, and Lyon I'd love to see next year, with Lincoln a solid guy in AAA ready for a shot. Jenkins needs time and might be a starter, Chavez is scary - a 'Dunn' on the mound (HR, BB, or SO are the likely outcomes) which isn't a good thing - type of guy you like to have in the minors just in case he figures it out, but now is in Oakland.
Dave Till - Wednesday, September 19 2012 @ 02:53 PM EDT (#263606) #
Aaron Loup: B-
has there ever been a more perfectly named pitcher? His deliveries travel in an eccentric loup, or loop, from the first-base side of the rubber to the hitter. Reminds me a lot of Dan Plesac. A pitcher with a K-BB ratio like that has a good chance of being able to pitch until he's Darren Oliver's age.

Steve Delabar: B-
Wow, look at those numbers. They scream, "Here it is - hit it if you dare." Occasionally, they dare - he's given up more home runs than is seemly for a relief pitcher. But that split-fingered fastball is a killer. Probably will be the #2 behind Janssen next year, unless Santos fully recovers.

Brandon Lyon: B
I'll be curious to see whether somebody gives him closer money next year. I assume that he won't be back.

I don't know anything about the other guys.
CeeBee - Wednesday, September 19 2012 @ 04:13 PM EDT (#263608) #
Loup : B-
Chavez : E
Delabar : B
Lincoln : C+
Lyon : A
Jenkins : C-
John Northey - Wednesday, September 19 2012 @ 06:03 PM EDT (#263614) #
The pen in 2013 is a good challenge. Who will be there?

Closer: Janssen: obvious
Backup Closer/setup: Santos: if healthy
Setup: Oliver: if doesn't retire

Loup: great control, nice job this year
Delabar: wild but sweet K numbers

Free Agents we'd like back...
Lyon: did fantastic, would be great setup/backup closer
Frasor: solid #3/4 guy, if Lyon/Santos/Oliver here would be #5 or #6 depending on Loup.
Villanueva: would be nice but won't be in the pen in 2013

Lincoln: decent, easily dropped to AAA
Cecil: probably here for long relief, the #7 guy in a 7 man pen.
Carpenter: who knows
TamRa - Thursday, September 20 2012 @ 02:01 AM EDT (#263625) #
I haven't been doing the letter grade thing, but I'm a little disappointed to see Lincoln regulated to "good guy to have in AAA" - both because I see almost no possibility he will be there short of a spring training collapse, and because it's a poor evaluation of his work for the Jays.

For one week, from August 12 to August 19 - 4 appearances - he was scored on in three appearances and threw 5 innings, gave up 12 hits and 8 earned runs and 2 homers.

Outside that week, as a Blue Jay, he's thrown 17 1/3 innings. and given up 7 hits, one of them a homer, which is the only run he's allowed.

There's no reason at all to worry about Brad Lincoln, IMO.

If everyone is healthy, Santos/Janssen/Lincoln/Delanbar/Oliver;/Cecil is a potentially monster bullpen.

And that's not even including the idea of bringing Lyon back or how good the kids may or may not be.
The only guy there you even mildly wonder about - again, other than health - is Cecil.

John Northey - Thursday, September 20 2012 @ 08:33 AM EDT (#263627) #
Don't forget Loup. So a 7 man pen of (in order)...

Janssen/Santos/Oliver/Loup/Delanbar/Lincoln/Cecil is the probable one for next year. Ideally mix in Lyon and/or Frasor so it has depth as injuries can and will happen (as this year demonstrated to an extreme degree).

Rotation of Morrow/Romero/Alvarez/Happ/??? is the rest of the staff. Boy do the Jays need a solid starter or two to help out otherwise that pen will get a workout. Of course, maybe McGowan will be back (the minute we write him 100% off is the minute he comes back...hopefully here and not elsewhere).
Ryan Day - Thursday, September 20 2012 @ 10:16 AM EDT (#263633) #
One amazing thing about Loup: He has yet to give up a home run in the major leagues. He's also completely shut down LHB to the tune of 180/196/220. He's only pitched in 26 games so far, so this might not be entirely for real, but it's a pretty good start to your MLB career, particularly for a guy no one thought much of beforehand. B

I love watching Delabar pitch. It's been a while since the Jays had a pitcher who could just blow hitters away like this. On top of that, he's got a great story - broke his elbow, retired to teach high school, then came back. B+
greenfrog - Thursday, September 20 2012 @ 10:58 AM EDT (#263634) #
One might ask why Loup has faced almost as many RHB (48 PA) as LHB (52 PA), but that's a question that only Farrell can answer. Probably he's just figuring out what Loup's strengths and weaknesses are (probably in addition to some RH pinch-hitters being used against him), which is fair enough.

However, I note that last year Farrell took a long time to figure out that Dotel wasn't built for getting LHBs out, despite Dotel's splits in recent years, with some painful results.
Ryan Day - Thursday, September 20 2012 @ 11:43 AM EDT (#263636) #
Loup has been respectable vs. RH: 289/298/400, and was solid against them in AA. So far, at least, he hasn't shown any Dotel-esque splits that would demand he be pulled as soon as a RHB comes to the plate. No harm in letting him face a RHB in between lefties, or finish off an inning.
greenfrog - Thursday, September 20 2012 @ 12:03 PM EDT (#263639) #
Well, you're talking about a 282-point difference in Loup's opponents' OPS as between LHB and RHB. That's actually a more Dotel-like split than Dotel's L-R split this year (245 OPS difference).

However, I agree that you may as well use this season to find out how Loup stacks up against both lefty batters and righties (although given his delivery and breaking stuff, I imagine he'll always be somewhat better against LHB). It's not as though the Jays are in contention and need to claw to get outs.
Ryan Day - Thursday, September 20 2012 @ 12:16 PM EDT (#263641) #
The size of the split isn't the only issue. Loup is certainly much better against lefties, but he isn't bad against righties. Dotel, on the other hand, was lousy against lefties, letting them hit 236/345/500 last year.

Letting Dotel face a lefty in a close game was a recipe for disaster. Loup is probably okay against RHB, aside from really high-leverage situations.
Chuck - Thursday, September 20 2012 @ 12:23 PM EDT (#263642) #

One might ask why Loup has faced almost as many RHB (48 PA) as LHB (52 PA), but that's a question that only Farrell can answer.

Bear in mind that Loup was not used initially in high leverage situations (like a Clay Rapada). 4 of his 9 first outings were 2 or more innings. He was just a generic arm brought in to chew up some innings.

Now that he has proven some ability (albeit of the small sample variety), he is being used very differently. In his 9 most recent outings, he has faced just 1 or 2 batters 6 times. So Farrell has seemingly changed Loup's role. Part of that could be attributed to the recent influx of RH relievers, making it easier for Farrell to play the platoon game with his pen. And part of that may be the recognition of Loup's vulnerability to RHB.

greenfrog - Thursday, September 20 2012 @ 12:36 PM EDT (#263643) #
I think the sample size is too small at this point for us to really know.

For now, I have no issue with Farrell using him against both LHB and RHB to see how he fares. As you imply, he could end up (perhaps like Downs or Plesac in their salad days) being excellent against lefties and solid against righties. One thing I love about Loup is his control (0.7 BB / 9 IP), which will help him however he's used.

On the other hand, his sizeable L-R split suggests that he might end up having issues with RHB. Time will tell. (And if this proves to be the case, will Farrell modify his usage accordingly? That's another issue altogether.)
uglyone - Thursday, September 20 2012 @ 08:51 PM EDT (#263656) #
"with Lincoln a solid guy in AAA ready for a shot."

Lincoln as RP: 58.0ip, 9.0k/9, 2.3bb/9, 0.97whip, 1.71era, 3.05fip, 3.19xfip

You're gonna stick that in AAA?
uglyone - Thursday, September 20 2012 @ 08:55 PM EDT (#263657) #
Here's what I'd do with the pitching next year:

SP1) legit top of the rotation get
SP2) Morrow
SP3) Romero
SP4) Happ
SP5) Villy

Alvarez starts the year in the AAA rotation, along with Jenkins and McGuire, with Hutch and Drabek joining them as they recover.

CL) Janssen
SU) Oliver
SU) Santos
MR) Delabar
MR) Lincoln
MR) re-sign Lyon or Frasor
MR) Loup or Cecil

With guys like Carpenter in reserve, along with every one of the AAA SP available for BP reserve.
John Northey - Thursday, September 20 2012 @ 11:24 PM EDT (#263659) #
Lincoln has warning signs though - just allowed 2 more inherited runners to score, so he is 15-7 (inherited-scored) I think. His relief stats look solid, but so far it is 65 2/3 IP plus tonight which won't help. He might be great, but that issue with inherited runners is a warning sign - the manager needs to use him to start innings for awhile and see how effective he is. Might make him an effective closer someday since they just pitch the 9th or a setup man who always starts the 8th. Delabar and Loup should be the 'uh oh, trouble brewing' guys who come in with men on base since they seem to do well in that situation.

Guess it really is a matter of figuring out what each guys top talent is and using them in that fashion. Maximizing your assets. If a guy has trouble with men on base, use him to start innings. If a guy loves the pressure of it, then use him primarily in that situation.

Hopefully though Loup, Lincoln, and Delabar are for real and can be effective in 2012 along with Janssen & Oliver & Santos. Frasor probably heads off somewhere while the Jays try to hold onto Lyon.
greenfrog - Friday, September 21 2012 @ 08:11 AM EDT (#263660) #
To me, Cecil is the Lind of the pitching staff (similar to Josh Towers) - a guy the Jays keep running out there in the hope that he will eventually break through, despite the mounting evidence that he just isn't that good.
John Northey - Friday, September 21 2012 @ 09:04 AM EDT (#263661) #
Cecil looked good in the minors, having good numbers in his first two season (07/08) and did OK down there this year (sub 3 ERA) but his ML numbers - 1.4 HR/9, 3.1 BB/9, 6.5 K/9 - just aren't good enough. So far just 6 games in the pen, so too soon to know if he can be an effective guy there but I'd figure this is his last chance. If he has issues there next year I figure he'll become AAA fodder or dumped as an add-on in a trade.
Oceanbound - Friday, September 21 2012 @ 09:13 AM EDT (#263662) #
Just wanted to point out that when Cecil's pitching, the average RHB hits like Josh Hamilton, and the average LHB hits like Yunel Escobar.
Beyonder - Friday, September 21 2012 @ 09:46 AM EDT (#263663) #
Sorry if this is innapropriate use of the comments forum, but where is Bpoz? He hasn't posted for two weeks? I can't remember him ever going two days without posting.
greenfrog - Friday, September 21 2012 @ 10:04 AM EDT (#263664) #
The problem is that Cecil may be used as more of a multiple-innings guy than a LOOGY. If he's going to audition as next year's Villanueva (i.e., a durable non-hard-thrower with an assortment of pitches), he's probably going to go 1-4 innings at times, possibly with spot starts, and will face lots of RH bats.

It's true that he has good numbers against LHBs for his career. I'm just not sure it will be worth carrying him if 40-60% of his opposing batters end up being righties.
Mike Green - Friday, September 21 2012 @ 10:58 AM EDT (#263665) #
Cecil was a successful closer in college.  The Jays moved him to the rotation where he succeeded in the minor leagues.  He has been unable to succeed as a starter in the major leagues, due to an inability to adapt to a loss of velocity.  He is now throwing 92-93 in the pen.  If the club gives up on him, I guarantee that he will be snapped very, very fast. 

Chuck says that his upside is Bob McClure.  I'd put it at Scott Downs. 

Magpie - Friday, September 21 2012 @ 12:03 PM EDT (#263667) #
One might ask why Loup has faced almost as many RHB (48 PA) as LHB (52 PA)

It used to be unheard of and it's still unusual for a LH reliever to actually face more LH hitters. Unless you're a true specialist, like Randy Choate or Mike Myers. Loup may indeed turn out to be one of those guys.
Magpie - Friday, September 21 2012 @ 12:05 PM EDT (#263670) #
That is one of the things the large modern bullpen has made possible - the team on the field is much more likely to be be able to get the platoon advantage. Jesse Orosco, who actually finished his career as a LOOGY, faced twice as many RH batters in his career. Wasn't that long ago.
greenfrog - Friday, September 21 2012 @ 12:10 PM EDT (#263671) #
Mike, I checked Cecil's average FB velocity on fangraphs for his relief outings this year. The pitch type for his last outing (against the Yankees) isn't posted yet, but here are the other five games:


Average: 90.7

You're correct in the sense that he appears to be dialling it up to a level that matches his debut season (his average FB was 90.8 in 2009 and 90.5 in 2010).

Nevertheless, even if throwing harder than that is unrealistic (barring a visit to Bartolo Colon's doctor), if he can average around 89-91 with very good control/command and secondary stuff he can be successful. Can he pull it off? Time will tell.
greenfrog - Friday, September 21 2012 @ 12:20 PM EDT (#263672) #
Orosco had an 85-point opponents' OPS R-L differential over his career. For his career, RHBs had a 673 OPS against him.

RHB OPS against Downs (career): 759

RHB OPS against Cecil (career): 847

Cecil still has some work to do.
bpoz - Friday, September 21 2012 @ 12:29 PM EDT (#263673) #
Thanks Beyonder. Good to know that someone reads my stuff. I was moving computers. My comfortable one is still not yet set up. I do not like this one.
i have now caught up with the reading.

Since I am impressed with many opinions by Bauxites ie Dotel, it is good to hear that Delabar has a shot at being really good.
greenfrog - Friday, September 21 2012 @ 12:45 PM EDT (#263676) #
Welcome back bpoz. I like reading your posts.
Mike Green - Friday, September 21 2012 @ 01:46 PM EDT (#263679) #
Downs was a similar washout to Cecil as a starter.  Batters hit .305/.371/.486 against him over 1200 PAs.  It is generally easier to pitch in relief, and some pitchers are particularly well-suited to the relief role. 
bpoz - Friday, September 21 2012 @ 01:54 PM EDT (#263680) #
Looking at 2013 $, the pen should be cheaper with 2 of Fraser, Cordero & Lyon not returning. 2B could also be cheaper. Also so far no Teahen $ to swallow.

AA would know this and ... Also Beeston said something about a big splash.

Of course EE got a big raise. My guesses never seem to be worth much.
greenfrog - Friday, September 21 2012 @ 02:01 PM EDT (#263681) #
I would like to see Lyon on the team - I think he would be a valuable veteran presence in the 'pen - but I'm guessing he'll be looking for a two- or three-year commitment - perhaps something in the range of 2/$7M with a club option (low end) or 3/$15M (high end). I don't see the Jays going there, but I'm hoping something gets worked out.
Mike Green - Friday, September 21 2012 @ 04:12 PM EDT (#263686) #

Hopefully Anthopoulos has learned from the experience of the last few years that building a ballclub by spending a lot of money on a number of relievers is not a winning strategy.  All it does is give some cover for not actually addressing the needs of the club.  At this point, there are the obvious holes in the rotation, at DH, at left-field and in the middle infield. 

Chuck - Friday, September 21 2012 @ 04:24 PM EDT (#263688) #

Just like during last year's off-season, I agree with Mike. I am not a fan of trying to solve the team's problems 60 innings at a time in a world with payroll parameters. AA has much bigger fish to fry. Sure Lyon and Frasor would be nice to keep, but not at the expense of more pressing problems, like 500-AB position players and 180-inning starting pitchers.

uglyone - Friday, September 21 2012 @ 04:35 PM EDT (#263689) #
"Downs was a similar washout to Cecil as a starter."

Many examples of that, including our Darren Oliver.

Brian Matusz, another 25yr old formerly good SP prospect seems to be undergoing a similar transformation to reliever in Baltimore, too.
uglyone - Friday, September 21 2012 @ 04:37 PM EDT (#263690) #
"Hopefully Anthopoulos has learned from the experience of the last few years that building a ballclub by spending a lot of money on a number of relievers is not a winning strategy."

true, but for the record, I don't think any of his bullpen additions had anything to do with his lack of upgrades in other areas.
Chuck - Friday, September 21 2012 @ 05:13 PM EDT (#263691) #

Many examples of that, including our Darren Oliver.

Sort of. Despite a spotty record of success over the course of a decade, his "wash out" period was allowed to last for over 200 starts until he ultimately retired at age 33.

It was only after he was coaxed back into the game after a year away that he fully made the conversion, at age 35, at which point he became effective in a way that was not even remotely predictable.

greenfrog - Friday, September 21 2012 @ 05:45 PM EDT (#263692) #
Hopefully Anthopoulos has learned from the experience of the last few years that building a ballclub by spending a lot of money on a number of relievers is not a winning strategy.

I am in favour of placing a priority on the major needs of the team.

However, I would not be opposed to adding Lyon (or another excellent, not mediocre reliever) on a two-year deal in addition to addressing those needs. Some smart teams have made moderate-but-smart strategic expenditures on their bullpen (think Texas and Joe Nathan, 2/$14.5M, 1.6 BRef WAR, and Mike Adams, 1/$4.4M, 1.3 WAR).

Look, I know that some teams do very well constructing bullpens on the cheap. It can be done. Even Texas this year has done this to some extent. But they also identified a couple of high-performing veterans they liked and moved aggressively to acquire them. It's costing them a bit of extra money, but really not too much, and they have an extremely nice 'pen as a result, with an impressive mix of veterans and youth.
Mike Green - Friday, September 21 2012 @ 06:01 PM EDT (#263693) #
Texas also spent a gazillion dollars for Yu Darvish. 
Mick Doherty - Friday, September 21 2012 @ 07:49 PM EDT (#263694) #

... who has 16 wins and a more-than-respectable ERA and IP!


greenfrog - Friday, September 21 2012 @ 10:38 PM EDT (#263696) #
$20M a year or so for five years of Darvish in his prime might be an overpay, or it might not. Look at what Lee, Cain, Hamels, and pitchers of their calibre have commanded in recent contract negotiations.

BRef WAR this year:

Darvish: 3.4
Cain: 3.3
Lee: 3.6
Hamels: 3.9
John Northey - Friday, September 21 2012 @ 11:15 PM EDT (#263698) #
Interesting to see the BRef WAR for the $20 mil pitchers.

Jays worth more: Encarnacion 4.3, Lawrie 3.6
Jays close: Bautista 3.2, Escobar 2.6 (!)
Top Pitcher: Morrow 2.6, Villanueva 2.2, Oliver 1.9, Janssen 1.5

Romero is a -1.6 (yes, negative) or the same as Cordero and Chavez combined (combined in 55 2/3 IP vs Romero's 173).

Boy would Darvish have looked nice here this year.
China fan - Saturday, September 22 2012 @ 09:57 AM EDT (#263704) #
"....building a ballclub by spending a lot of money on a number of relievers is not a winning strategy...."

That's a ridiculously unfair summary of what Anthopoulos has been doing for the past few years. Acquiring free-agent relievers was obviously a very small part of his overall strategy. He's been building a ball club by building one of MLB's best farm systems, acquiring multiple draft picks, signing international prospects such as Hechavarria and Osuna, spending money on a big network of scouts, and trading for key young players such as Lawrie, Rasmus, Escobar, Gose, d'Arnaud, Drabek and Santos, along with acquiring good controllable pitchers such as Happ, Lincoln, Delabar etc. The money spent on free-agent relievers in 2011 and 2012 was obviously just a short-term stop-gap to bridge the gap until the home-grown prospects could arrive. To portray it as somehow central to his strategy is absurd.

It's fascinating to see people suddenly turning against Anthopoulos when it's clear that a huge part of the Jays problems this year was a direct result of key injuries (Bautista, Morrow, Hutchison, Santos, and many others for shorter periods) plus the unexpected collapse of his top starter, Romero, which nobody could have predicted.

It was quite reasonable for Anthopoulos to assume that the foundation of his rotation would be Romero and Morrow, and the foundation of his bullpen would be Santos, and the foundation of his lineup would be Bautista. Yet all of that was blown up by factors beyond his control.

Yes, he should have added another pitcher and a DH, and most of us called for that, but 2012 was probably going to be too early for his long-term strategy to pay off anyway -- especially since the lineup was full of young players like Lawrie, Rasmus and JPA. Before the season began, most of the Bauxite pundits were optimistic about the hitting abilities of players such as Escobar, Snider, Rasmus and Johnson. Nobody said AA was wrong to count on those guys. (Certainly I don't recall anyone here predicting their dreadful hitting seasons.) Yet when the team collapses, we're blaming Anthopoulos for his bullpen strategy. Very weird.
greenfrog - Saturday, September 22 2012 @ 10:41 AM EDT (#263707) #
I think Anthopoulos has done a great job overall. But Rogers is a different story, and I do think ownership dropped the ball with Darvish, who would have been a perfect fit for the team. This July people wanted the Jays to trade a couple of top prospects for a season and a half of Josh Johnson or Matt Garza; the same debate is sure to ensue this off-season vis-a-vis other SPs. Meanwhile, Beeston is getting all worked up about making a splash, letting it be known that trading away prospects would be one way to do this, because the Jays' farm system is supposedly in such great shape.

Well, they could have had a younger, better pitcher in his prime for *five* years without giving up a single prospect or draft pick. But that would have required some foresight *and* cash.
Mike Green - Saturday, September 22 2012 @ 12:16 PM EDT (#263708) #
CF, I'd give Anthhopoulos a B- for his work so far.  His major failing (assuming that budgetary restraints have prevented him from addressing certain larger needs) has been a misallocation of resources towards secondary roles in the bullpen and away from other more important areas.  My comment above was in response to the suggestion that Lyon ought to be re-signed.

Anthopoulos' major achievement to date was getting the Jays out from under the Wells' contract.  Rogers said thank you Romney-style. 

CeeBee - Saturday, September 22 2012 @ 12:37 PM EDT (#263710) #
With the way the sh*t has hit the fan in Jays land I wonder how the fans in Tampa are reacting to their struggles.... O wait! Are there fans in Tampa? And what about L.A., both teams there are in trouble and then there's Detroit and rumours that if they don't make the playoffs Leyland might be gone. Welcome to Toronto Jim! At least the Jays and the Red Sox can use major injuries as an excuse if they choose.
greenfrog - Saturday, September 22 2012 @ 12:50 PM EDT (#263711) #
I would argue that Anthopoulos's major achievements are as follows:

1. Rebuilding the farm system, largely from scratch (from bottom-five to top-five). This required many individual moves (scouting and front office additions, securing extra draft picks over the course of several seasons, aggressive IFA moves, trades) that collectively are a big deal. Obviously we won't know the results for a few years, but everyone from Jim Callis to Keith Law to Ben Badler loves the system

2. Acquiring Morrow for League and Johermyn Chavez

3. The Wells trade

4. The Lawrie trade

Minor but still significant achievements:

- The Escobar trade

- Acquiring Villanueva for a PTBNL

- The Bautista extension

- The EE extension

- The Janssen extension

- The Morrow extension

Lastly, the jury is still out on a number of moves involving ML players, including Rasmus, Happ, Lincoln and Delabar (I might be forgetting one or two). One or more of these players could still prove quite valuable.

I would argue that AA's major shortcomings or failures to date fall into the omissions category: not being more aggressive with IFAs (Darvish, Soler and Cespedes) and possibly in relation to trade targets like Latos (hard to evaluate this as we don't have enough data). In summary, I think the GM is making very good moves, but I think he could put his foot on the accelerator even more in certain respects. I don't know how much this has to do with financial constraints, on the one hand, or his personal "value" and long-term building philosophy, on the other.
greenfrog - Saturday, September 22 2012 @ 01:02 PM EDT (#263712) #
I also have some concerns about potential coaching failures (which ultimately falls at the feet of the GM), but again, I don't have the data or experience to make this call. I do wonder why so many players seem to be underperforming - offensively, defensively, and on the basepaths - but there are many variables in play when it comes to performance. So I put coaching under the "query whether something is amiss" category.
jerjapan - Saturday, September 22 2012 @ 04:48 PM EDT (#263716) #

Nice list Greenfrog.

I would argue though that the 4 extensions you mentioned are one of AA's top achievements, and I would personally rather have a do-over on the Escobar trade - Pastornicky hasn't hit much worse the Yunel, and Collins looks to be a dominant, cost-effective reliever for years to come. 


China fan - Saturday, September 22 2012 @ 06:58 PM EDT (#263717) #
"....His major failing (assuming that budgetary restraints have prevented him from addressing certain larger needs) has been a misallocation of resources towards secondary roles in the bullpen and away from other more important areas...."

To call this "a major failing" is excessive. Anthopoulos signed 3 free-agent relievers as one-year rentals this year. Of those, Oliver was certainly worth the money (and he didn't have a "secondary role" either), and Frasor arguably was worthwhile as well. Cordero was a bad signing, but AA traded him in July, so he only cost the Jays about $2.5-million. Even if we include Frasor as an unnecessary acquisition, AA spent only $6.25-million on two unnecessary relievers. That wouldn't have been enough to acquire a good starting pitcher such as Edwin Jackson, so where's the issue?

You could argue that the Jays could have saved $12-million by not signing any of those three relievers. But they needed to acquire at least one or two relievers for 2012. To go into the season without Oliver and Frasor (for example) would have been a big problem -- there simply weren't enough pitchers available in the farm system to replace them. So the amount of excessive spending, even in a generous estimate, if you include all of Cordero's salary and all of Frasor's salary, was about $8-million -- still not enough to acquire Jackson.

And even if you think the Jays should have been reckless enough to go into 2012 with a bullpen consisting of only 4 decent relievers (Janssen, Santos, Villanueva, Perez and a bunch of minor-league fodder), it's still true that signing a starter like Edwin Jackson on a one-year rental would not have boosted the Jays into contention in 2012, and obviously wouldn't have helped for 2013 either. So I fail to see any "misallocation of resources." The only way for AA to strengthen the rotation (with a one-year rental) would have dangerously weakened the bullpen. Not a hugely helpful improvement.
Magpie - Saturday, September 22 2012 @ 09:32 PM EDT (#263721) #
Pastornicky hasn't hit much worse the Yunel

Pastornicky lost his job in Atlanta because of his defense, and Escobar is one of the best defensive players in all of baseball. So there's that.
Oceanbound - Sunday, September 23 2012 @ 10:47 AM EDT (#263728) #
Lincoln sure had one of those "if you remove that game from his line..." type games.
vw_fan17 - Monday, September 24 2012 @ 02:53 PM EDT (#263769) #
About the only positive I can take from the fact that we're now 7th worst overall is that we're VERY unlikely to rise to 11th worst - too much ground to make up.

This means we have a protected 1st round draft pick (10 worst, IIRC). Given AA's draft pick obsession, I find it very unlikely we would have signed a top free agent in the offseason, if it meant forfeiting our first round draft pick. This way, we hopefully don't have to worry about that. Hey, aren't we almost in competitive balance draft pick territory (worst 6, IIRC)?

hypobole - Monday, September 24 2012 @ 03:10 PM EDT (#263771) #
The competitive balance lottery is for bottom 10 low revenue and small market teams. Jays are neither (although a few more seasons like this would put a sizable dent in revenues). Win/loss records only matter in the odds of winning the picks.
bpoz - Thursday, September 27 2012 @ 10:54 AM EDT (#263918) #
Thanks to the Bauxite who posted the link to the recent AA interview.

Beeston said that the Jays will make a big splash. Maybe AAA in Buffalo is the big splash. A decent FA or trade would also qualify.

In the AA interview he went into detail about FAs & acquiring a big name player in a trade. $ and length of contract or length of control are very important.
You pick up a $10-15 mil/yr player with 2-3 years of control. In this trade you give up 3 prospects Trade A the big 3 at Lansing or Trade B Yan Gomes, M Sierra & C Beck. You have 6 years of control for each player. That is 18 years of control VS 2-3. So big loss in quantity. But maybe none of the prospects work out, it happens. Also the big acquisition may also not work out. If so there is the dent to the budget, 2 years is better. The dud is also taking up a spot on the roster and maybe the lineup or you can hide him on the bench. However there are a limited number of hiding places on the bench.

V Wells & AJ Burnett are examples of disappointing big names IMO.

AA seemed to stress 7 years as a long contract to hide/deal with. So I read that as no FAs, basically. I could be wrong & often am. AA also makes use of options to escape long contracts.

I do expect trades. This route has risk/reward. AA says that he is happy with his decisions because he thought it through ie at the time of the decision he was happy with it. How the trade ultimately works is not really known.
John Northey - Thursday, September 27 2012 @ 11:18 AM EDT (#263919) #
It'll be interesting. The key to a trade is to factor in not just years of control but quality of those years and what the cost of replacing those lost years is.

For example, if you see Gomes as a backup who can hit around a 95 OPS+ then the cost of a replacement is someone like the old Bautista (covering 3B/1B/OF) who was around $2-3 mil a year, lets say $4 mil now for that type, and a C class prospect or nada if you get via free agency. If you see Gose's future as being another Davis then his replacement cost is a C class prospect plus $3 mil a year. Thus in a trade involving those 2 you factor in what that is worth vs what you'd pay them both (given C class prospects are a dime a dozen) and add that to what you have to pay the player who comes here. Now, if you think Gose is an everyday outfielder who will be decent then you up that dollar figure to $10 mil a year or more - in which case the savings for the 6 years of control make him very hard to trade (value of $60 mil less 3 years pre-arb and 3 years of arb, around $40 mil or so) as it is hard to regain that in a trade.

Free agency, if it only costs a second round pick, becomes a different game. You factor in the potential value/cost of that 2nd round pick (which is less than a 1rst round) and the odds of it occurring (thus if a 25% shot at stardom you take $20 mil * 0.25 * 6 years - bonus of $1 mil = $29 mil and discount it for the years you have to wait for it) and add that to the cost of the free agent you are acquiring and factor in the potential of that free agent collapsing so you have a 'worst case' cost lost and best case and most likely and decide based on that.

Very complex calculations, plus you have to factor in salary increases that you expect.

This winter I suspect the smart teams will go hard and fast after the best talent to try to lock them in before salaries go up more - this could be a lot like the winter of 2000-2001 when Delgado got a record which was quickly broken by A-Rod & ManRam & Jeter with other giant deals to Chipper Jones and Mike Hampton. Crazy winter with lots of deals teams came to regret but the Jays were glad Delgado's was 'just' for 4 years and not 7+ which it might have been had they waited.
bpoz - Friday, September 28 2012 @ 10:27 AM EDT (#263956) #
Something I think is very important is that you do not want to trade a SP pitching prospect that has the potential to be an ace/#1.

Halladay, Carpenter & Kelvim Escobar. 2 Aces.

McGowan, Marcum & Litsch. Zero aces. Marcum #2 IMO. 2 with potential but injuries messed them up. Who would you trade before the results were in? It would be hard to give up McGowan.

Romero, Cecil, Janssen, Brad Mills & Zep. Before the results only Romero looked like a potential ace, but he had mental/ confidence issues that he had to overcome.

I have always been satisfied with our farm producing very good starting pitchers. I count D Wells & Hentgen as #1s actually but I believe many will disagree with my assessment.

I think LAD & maybe SF seem to produce many V good SPs. They should not trade them IMO. LAD P Martinez? & J Guzman. E Jackson had the same potential as Felix Hernandez I read some where.

So I am terrified of trading A Sanchez etc... because he could be the next #1.

Florida had J Beckett, AJ Burnett & Brad Penny. All hard throwing SPs. Nice base to build a rotation with.

For soft tossers maybe T Glavin & G Madux.
Blue Jays Report Card: Ninth Preliminary | 58 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.