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Opening day for the Jays is next Tuesday.  Opening day for most teams is next Monday.  The Jays have four games left in Florida and two in Philadelphia as they make their way back to Toronto.  The roster is now getting clearer:

Brett Lawrie will start the season on the DL.

The Jays will likely start the season with an 8 man bullpen.  The Jays think it will be easier to get Jeremy Jeffress through waivers a week into the season than it will be just before opening day.

Henry Blanco has made the roster, Josh Thole is headed to Buffalo.

Brad Lincoln has also been optioned to Buffalo, he has been nursing a sore shoulder.

So what is left to decide?

First there is the fate of Ricky Romero.  Romero starts tomorrow and he could also start on Sunday.

Despite the kind words about Happ being in the bullpen,  I assume that if Romero makes the team, Happ will start in Buffalo

It looks like Brett Cecil will make the team.  Cecil, Oliver and Loup gives Gibbons a three lefty pen.

It also appears that both Casey Janssen and Sergio Santos will be ready to go.  Rogers, Delabar and Jeffress makes it 5 righties.

Dustin McGowans fate needs to be decided.  I assume he starts on the DL, that will buy the Jays thirty days assuming no setbacks.


Is that it?

Opening Day is One week Away (for most teams) | 78 comments | Create New Account
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John Northey - Monday, March 25 2013 @ 12:33 PM EDT (#269409) #
Sounds about right...
SP: Dickey, Morrow, Burhle, Johnson, Romero
RP: Janssen, Santos, Oliver, Rogers, Delabar, Cecil, Loup, Jeffress

CA: JPA, Blanco
1B: Encarnacion
2B: Izturis
3B: Bonifacio (Lawrie when healthy)
SS: Reyes
LF: Cabrera
CF: Rasmus
RF: Bautista
DH: Lind
IF: DeRosa
OF: Davis

Once Lawrie is healthy one of the bullpen goes down (probably Jeffress).   If Romero isn't ready then Happ comes in until Romero is ready.
Ryan Day - Monday, March 25 2013 @ 12:39 PM EDT (#269410) #
Per John Lott in the Post, Gibbons says Derosa/Izturis will platoon at third in Lawrie's absence. That would make Bonifacio the most-of-the-time second baseman.
greenfrog - Monday, March 25 2013 @ 12:59 PM EDT (#269411) #
There was a link on MLBTR the other day indicating that the Jays are still looking for a full-time second baseman, as well as a reliever.

Factoring in AA's comment the other day, it appears that the Jays are still in the market for:

- A quality depth starting pitcher...someone of Happ's calibre, more or less

- A second baseman

- A reliever (perhaps someone with experience / ability / price tag similar to that of Jason Grilli)
Parker - Monday, March 25 2013 @ 01:33 PM EDT (#269412) #
I know that Hill would probably never have found his stroke again in Toronto, but man does that sting hearing the team is looking for a second baseman when the one they just traded away is the best hitter on his new team.
92-93 - Monday, March 25 2013 @ 01:48 PM EDT (#269413) #
I think it's actually more of a Bonifacio/DeRosa platoon with Lawrie out than a Izturis/DeRosa one. Against a lefty, DeRosa will play 3B and Izturis will play 2B; against a righty, Izturis will move to 3B for Bonifacio. I'd be surprised to see DeRosa at 3B and Bonifacio at 2B, but who knows.
China fan - Monday, March 25 2013 @ 01:50 PM EDT (#269414) #
The article on Beattie and his major-league scouting is an interesting one, but I wouldn't interpret it as saying that the Jays are desperate to acquire a new 2B. Beattie merely said that the current 2B situation is "a little unsettled" -- which obviously it is. Having spent $10-million on Izturis and having acquired Bonifacio by trade, Jays will wait to see if one of those two guys can make a strong case for a full-time job. Of course AA is always trying to upgrade everywhere, so he's probably got Beattie looking at all sorts of players, but I don't interpret the article as any kind of proof that the Jays are unhappy with their 2B situation.
John Northey - Monday, March 25 2013 @ 01:51 PM EDT (#269415) #
Thanks Ryan for that info.  Interesting to see how fast Izturis' star has faded here.  From likely everyday 2B, to platoon at 2B even with Lawrie out and his likely time share guy playing everyday at 3B.  Of course, DeRosa has quietly had a great spring - 471/525/735 although it has been against weaker competition (8.6, or closer to AAA than majors quality).  Of course, the past 3 years he has hit for a 62 OPS+ so I'd take his spring with massive grains of salt.
John Northey - Monday, March 25 2013 @ 01:55 PM EDT (#269416) #
I'm hoping AA can find the next Roberto Alomar - a kid in his early 20's whose team has decided he just isn't 'right' for them for whatever reason.  Now that would be sweet.
Ryan Day - Monday, March 25 2013 @ 01:58 PM EDT (#269417) #
The Post had a piece about Derosa's recovery from a wrist injury that's been bothering him for the past few years. There may be some legitimate reason for optimism - not that he'll hit .471, obviously, but he might return to being a solid role player.
92-93 - Monday, March 25 2013 @ 02:05 PM EDT (#269418) #
So like Brett Lawrie, John?
China fan - Monday, March 25 2013 @ 02:19 PM EDT (#269419) #
"....Interesting to see how fast Izturis' star has faded here...."

Not sure if that's true. From the beginning, I think the Jays have always seen his role as something like Rajai Davis: a possible full-timer, or a possible utility guy, depending how he plays. (Davis is now a 4th outfielder, but we saw how many chances he was given to be a full-time player.) And as 92-93 noted above, Izturis is likely to be a full-time player (either at 2B or 3B) as long as Lawrie is out of the lineup. Even with Lawrie back, Izturis will probably get the bulk of the playing time at 2B, since Bonifacio will be often called upon for other duties in the outfield or as a pinch-runner. And Izturis is also valuable as the back-up SS and 3B. So I don't think we can draw any kind of conclusion that the Jays are souring on Izturis. That might be true in a few months, but we don't know.
John Northey - Monday, March 25 2013 @ 02:27 PM EDT (#269420) #
Yeah, a Brett Lawrie type deal would be sweet although I doubt AA would do that right now unless he was really, really sure the kid would be able to play at a high level right now. 

Speaking of kids... d'Arnaud is back down to AAA after hitting 343/415/457 (no home runs) vs 9.0 quality (mid way between AAA and majors).  It is thought to be a service clock demotion, to allow the Mets to keep him for an extra year pre-free agency.

greenfrog - Monday, March 25 2013 @ 02:42 PM EDT (#269421) #
I know the Jays are theoretically built to compete for a few years, but I think 2013 is a big year for the organization. Josh Johnson is still in the fold, and Reyes, Cabrera, Bautista, EE (their #1-4 hitters), and the entire rotation are as close to likely peak performance as they'll ever be. At least some of their AL East rivals are regrouping.

It doesn't mean that 2013 is this group's only opportunity, but it might be their best one.
JohnL - Monday, March 25 2013 @ 04:34 PM EDT (#269422) #

...a kid in his early 20's whose team has decided he just isn't 'right' for them for whatever reason.

But hopefully not like Rasmus or Escobar... (Admittedly, they were more mid-20's)

92-93 - Monday, March 25 2013 @ 04:56 PM EDT (#269423) #
Izturis is a vital component of the roster. Reyes has an injury history, Bonifacio can't play SS, and you don't want McCoy anywhere near a contender.
Mylegacy - Monday, March 25 2013 @ 06:20 PM EDT (#269425) #
The silly season is coming to an end...the marathon begins (soon).

I was going to review the hitters - but I'm not oging to - the hitters are fine - just fine - and then some. Even Rasmus' awful .167 BA and .250 SLG are accompanied by a 375 OBP (11 walks 12 SO).

The starting pitching however is another story - and generally speaking - it has a certain odor - sort of reminds me of a catfish rottin' in the sun.

The ONLY guy not signed for the next 42 years, Johnson is the only one putting projection and production together.

Buehrle and Romero are trying to become "The Biggest Loser" finalists; which one has the .362 ave against and the 2.15 whip and which one has the .333 ave against and the 2.08 whip. Ugly and Uglier.  We seem to be giving Buehrle the benefit of the doubt and want to tar and feather Romero. Anyone here - other than me - getting nervous about having the highest paid 5th starter in baseball history the next few years? AND - I'm not talking about Ricky.

That leaves Dickey, Happ and Morrow. Morrow - the next "Great Hope" - ya - well his era doesn't concern me - 7.80 - heck Dickey's is 9.00, his 21 hits in 15 innings is just a phase, his .318 average against and his 1.67 whip are just a plot to make the opposition think he's just not ready to start the season - or - sigh. Happ is the only guy not named Johnson that is not stinkin' the joint out. Dickey - is - well Dickey - and I - like most of you - have no clue if he's OK or totally smuckered.

IF - we fall short this year - and I seriously think we might just - it'll be our "completely reworked" rotation that proves to be our achilles heel. MAN - some of these guys better get their Ironman shorts on because the marathon of hope is nearing the starting line and my belly aches thinking about what might come to pass.

grjas - Monday, March 25 2013 @ 08:18 PM EDT (#269426) #
Yeah the ST stats of the starters make me shudder, but Dickey had a 1.80 Era in the wbc despite a slow start, Morrow looked strong in his last start till he ran put of gas, and Beurhle claims he always stinks in the spring. JJ also rounding in to form so cause for optimism in most of the slots. And at least RR has a back up.
greenfrog - Monday, March 25 2013 @ 09:32 PM EDT (#269427) #
Fangraphs just released its 2013 starting pitching rankings, based on a hybrid of the ZIPS and Steamer projection systems. The AL East teams rank as follows:

Yankees #5
Red Sox #11
Jays #14
Rays #15
Orioles #24

Here is the Jays writeup:

Let’s point out the obvious right away – you should take the under on R.A. Dickey’s BABIP projection, and I’d expect him to easily beat that ERA forecast, even with the shift to the AL East. So, if you want to adjust the Blue Jays up a bit for the low-end forecast on Dickey here, I won’t object. I’d even join you in doing so.

However, we should acknowledge that the Jays rotation still has some real questions. Josh Johnson’s health, Brandon Morrow’s total revamp of his pitching style, and Ricky Romero’s performance are all unsettled issues, giving the Blue Jays staff a pretty big variance in outcomes for the upcoming season, even beyond the “can Dickey do it again?” issue. With J.A. Happ, they have a pretty interesting #6 starter, but he’s apparently not that interested in being a #6 starter, so they’ll have to sort that out as well. After him, it’s downhill in a hurry. So, yes, there’s clear upside with the reigning NL Cy Young winner and a couple of power arms, plus Mark Buehrle to eat innings, but there are scenarios where this all goes south in a hurry.
grjas - Monday, March 25 2013 @ 09:47 PM EDT (#269428) #
The comments don't surprise me but it's hard to fathom how the yanks SP rates that much higher than both the Jays and the Rays...and then there's Boston's....he thinks ours have question marks....
electric carrot - Monday, March 25 2013 @ 10:04 PM EDT (#269429) #
I actually think the Yanks starting rotation looks pretty good overall all things considered.  And yes, Romero is a worry.  And yes Happ doesn't want to be the 6th man (who in tarnation ever has?)  And darn right Dickey will be great.  And Johnson has shown that he's either great or pretty close to it his whole career (and what pitcher has never had an injury?) Morrow's "reinvention" looked pretty darn Cy Youngish in 2012.  I think TOs rotation is at least as good as the Yanks - probably a bit better.  Also, I don't really share Mylegacy's Spring Training concerns about Morrow and Buehrle.  I think taking too much stalk in Spring training is like listening to the orchestra tune up before a concert and using it to judge the concert that's about to take place.  I mean if the guy can't get his violin in tune at all (Romero) then I think you probably should worry some -- but aside from that ... it's tuning.  It's not music.
Richard S.S. - Monday, March 25 2013 @ 11:35 PM EDT (#269430) #
A fair numbers of posters on the site were advocating acquiring Macier Izturis for 2B. A.A. made acquiring him his first priority. He was the best Free Agent available at the time, who could play more than one position. Positions Played stat is available and usually indicates best positions.

Brett Lawrie goes on the D.L. retroactive to his last preseason game and could rejoin the Team around the 6th or 7th or at least one Romero start. That's about as long as they go through with an 8-man Bullpen.

Happ has made it clear to everyone he's not a Team player, it's all about Me, Me, Me. That will cost him Years and Millions, starting next year. He's spent most of the preseason sticking his foot in his mouth opposing his GM. Chances are he's up pitching before 10 days are out.

A.A. has now put it out there he's looking for a good 2B, a quality Starter and capable Bullpen arms. We'll see who bites. As a side note, Valverde and K-Rod are still available, Boras and all.
StephenT - Monday, March 25 2013 @ 11:38 PM EDT (#269431) #
I thought this was interesting: Trading for Vernon Wells might actually give the Yankees $2 million of additional room under the luxury tax threshold in 2014, because although his average salary counts toward the threshold ($126m / 7 = $18m), the Yankees can deduct what the Angels pay in a particular year, which might be $20m of the $21m in 2014.  (In 2013, the Yanks might pay $12m of the $21m.)  Ref:
jgadfly - Tuesday, March 26 2013 @ 01:35 AM EDT (#269432) #

Canadian victory ...  I didn't see this last September but it's a pretty sweet ending to a good beginning ... and a nice touch from the players ...

also is Osuna ever a big 17 year old !

John Northey - Tuesday, March 26 2013 @ 06:27 AM EDT (#269433) #
Happ making it about me,me,me publicly might hurt him with AA, but AA is also a professional and will see how to get the maximum value out of Happ.  Be it as a 6th starter here or as trade bait elsewhere.  I suspect he is checking if some guys he sees as equal to Happ (or better) might be viewed as worse than Happ by their current teams.  If another team thinks Happ is closer to a 140 ERA+ pitcher who has been on hard times since his big year, rather than the 84 ERA+ pitcher he's been since that big year then AA will take advantage.  I'd expect a 95 ERA+ range from Happ over a full season with decent defense but I haven't exactly put the time and effort AA would've into it. 

So who are our spare pieces?  Happ for sure, Romero if someone is willing to pay as if he was still an All-Star, Thole could be available but AA will try not to trade him, Bonifacio/Izturis/DeRosa - if a new 2B is acquired I suspect one of them will go or Davis will (making Bonifacio the primary OF backup).  Lind is always available but doubt anyone would take him.  And various relievers would be available as well plus Rasmus in the right deal (ie: gets a high end 2B so the Jays can feel safe with risking Gose in CF right away).  That is it for ML roster guys I'd think.  The minors, well, we've seen that AA won't hesitate to trade even his prize prospects in the right deal.

A reliever won't cost much, a 6th starter wouldn't either.  But AA is dreaming big and I could see him trying to pull off another miracle trade which gets all 3 things at once (upgrade for 5th starter to a #2/3, reliever who would be #3/4 in depth right now, 2B who is a potential all-star if all goes right for him) or gets at least one of those 3 at minimal cost.  Some teams are getting desperate at this point, seeing their dreams of post-season weakening as the spring winds down and the GM who is prepared (via stacks of scouting reports and a clear plan) can take advantage. 
greenfrog - Tuesday, March 26 2013 @ 08:36 AM EDT (#269434) #
The Jays' starting pitchers' ST stats don't concern me. I think the team should be happy that its rotation is healthy and ready to go. Romero is a different story, though. One problem is that if he makes the roster, the Jays probably have to give him at least a few (maybe four?) starts before sending him down. Those could be 4+ brutal starts.

The Yankees potentially have a very good rotation but I wonder if (like Halladay) CC's innings are going to start catching up to him. I believe he dealt with some elbow soreness last year. Pettitte and Kuroda are getting up there in age. And Hughes has been sidelined with a back injury. Things could unravel for New York, especially with an enervated offense.
Maldoff - Tuesday, March 26 2013 @ 09:06 AM EDT (#269435) #
I've been following that Fangraphs series pretty intently, and with relief pitchers remaining (admittedly a weakness of the Jays), it appears that the Jays are grading out as third best in the divison, behind the Sox and the Yankees. Interestingly, the Sox would appear to have the best offense in the division (led by Ortiz, Ellsbury and Pedroia), while the Jays come in second. The Tigers and Rangers, however, run away with things overall. The Jays would also be trailing the Angels, if you're looking at wild card possibilities....
Mike Green - Tuesday, March 26 2013 @ 09:26 AM EDT (#269436) #
StephenT, that is very interesting.  The Yankees are trying to get under the luxury tax threshhold for 2014; it is not well known that the Wells trade might help them do this, rather than hurting them.

I wonder how the Jays team defence will grade out by the end of the year.  I suspect that there will be some changes in mid-season aimed at upgrading what figures to be a somewhat below average defence at the start of the year. 

Mike Green - Tuesday, March 26 2013 @ 10:12 AM EDT (#269437) #
Ricky Romero's last spring start can be viewed on by non-subscribers apparently.
Jonny German - Tuesday, March 26 2013 @ 10:43 AM EDT (#269438) #
" the Sox would appear to have the best offense in the division (led by Ortiz, Ellsbury and Pedroia)"

Ellsbury missed the first half of 2012 with injury and posted a line identical to Kelly Johnson's in the second half. That's a guy who leads the best offense in the league?
Maldoff - Tuesday, March 26 2013 @ 10:46 AM EDT (#269439) #
Johnny German, I'm just relaying what Fangraphs has projected. That said, their projections also include defensive value.
bpoz - Tuesday, March 26 2013 @ 11:12 AM EDT (#269441) #
M Buehrle thinks that this team has more talent than his WS champ 2005 White Sox. He then says that we have to do this on the field.

As the season progresses we can calculate if we are on pace for a 95 or 85 win season. Moves should be made accordingly, getting more intense as the trading deadline gets closer. Actual results & events will determine additions to the club. Whomever is the current #6 & #7 most likely changes by mid May as performances are constantly evaluated on the ML, AAA & AA teams.

It would be great if we were in a playoff position from start to finish. I am very sure as are many Bauxites that we will need the services of a 6th & 7th starter. Whomever is the current #6 & #7 probably changes by Mid May as the ML, AAA & AA team players are evaluated. So injuries could make Happ the # 4 or #5 starter. If he pitches well then that is a strong message to the FO to keep him in the rotation. I see that as an obvious consideration since he is out pitching 1 or 2 of the other 4 in the ML rotation. He was pretty good in 2009 & 10. That is asking for a few uncertainties to break right for Happ. But if they do and there are 6 starters available I have heard it said "that is a wonderful problem to have".

Seriously I have never had a wonderful problem. My wonderful selection of beers was never considered a problem for me as to which 2 500ml cans to select. Being easy going I have not 2nd guessed myself.

With extreme uncertainty I would let it be known that I have an extra SP that is good and is available. I have faith that AA will be able to keep it quiet so as not to be a distraction to the club. I probably keep Happ because if J Towers can be hot & that SF pitcher Voglesong then why not Happ for a short while.
Mike Green - Tuesday, March 26 2013 @ 11:21 AM EDT (#269442) #
It's kind of a strange way to evaluate things.  If you are trying to predict team performance at the start of the year, the logical choices would be run prevention (pitching and defence) and scoring. 

For fun, I took an average of the ZIPS and fans' projections for OBP and slugging for the Jay starters, made adjustments for the performance of backups, and put it through baseball musing's run estimator.  It gave me a 5 run per game offence (i.e 810 runs for a season).  Last year, the Jays scored 717.  The big differences are Cabrera over Rajai and Reyes over Escobar.  810 runs is historically not normally a league-leading figure, but would have led the league last year.

The figures I used were:

Reyes plus back-up: .290/.340/.433 (140 games)
Cabrera plus back-up: .290/.337/.440 (145 games)
Encarnacion ditto:      .267/.354/.485 (140)
Bautista ditto:            .261/.375/.520 (130)
Lind ditto:                  .260/.317/.448  (120)
Lawrie ditto:             .275/.333/.463 (140)
Arencibia ditto:         .230/.280/.430 (110)
Rasmus ditto:         .245/.313/.440 (140)
Izturis ditto:              .267/.327/.361 (110)

The projections for LInd, Rasmus and Izturis were not adjusted for injury because of the likelihood that the replacement would provide comparable offensive performance (in Lind's case, it would probably be better because it would mean he is being strictly platooned). 

Lylemcr - Tuesday, March 26 2013 @ 11:37 AM EDT (#269445) #
I don't know about you guys, but I am so stoked about the season starting....
China fan - Tuesday, March 26 2013 @ 01:28 PM EDT (#269451) #
John Lott has a minor scoop today: he reveals that J. A. Happ is likely to make the major-league team, despite all the talk about having him stretched out in Buffalo. Presumably this means he will be in the bullpen, which means that Jeffress is unlikely to make the team.

Happ in the bullpen is a scenario that I've been touting for a while. It keeps Happ available as a spot starter or long relief guy, and he's a much better pitcher than someone like Jeffress, so why have him in Buffalo while inferior pitchers are in Toronto? The Jays need to mount the best possible team, and Happ is one of their best 25 guys.
Mike Green - Tuesday, March 26 2013 @ 02:22 PM EDT (#269452) #
FWIW, I did the same thing with the pitchers (using Dickey, Johnson, Buehrle, Morrow, Romero, Happ, Cecil, Delabar, Loup, Oliver, Janssen, Santos and Rogers) with very small adjustments (Loup and Rogers innings reduced somewhat and Cecil treated as a reliever).  The result was 1450 innings with an ERA of 3.95 and about 670 runs allowed.  There is, of course, a wider error bar on run prevention estimates. 
CeeBee - Tuesday, March 26 2013 @ 03:12 PM EDT (#269453) #
I guess when you've been even worse allowing 6 hits and 3 walks in 4.1 innings seems like an improvement for Romero. On the bright side, McGowan threw a perfect inning.
Lylemcr - Tuesday, March 26 2013 @ 03:45 PM EDT (#269454) #

I am listening the ballgame on

Dirk Hayhurst is a blubbering fool.....

jjdynomite - Tuesday, March 26 2013 @ 04:46 PM EDT (#269456) #
[From Rotoworld (worthwhile especially if you're drafting in late rounds AL-only fantasy leagues this week)]:

Ricky Romero allowed three runs -- two earned -- in 4 1/3 innings Tuesday against the Pirates. It's an improved outing from Romero, but that still doesn't make it very encouraging; he allowed six hits, walked three and struck out two. It sounds like the Jays are still leaning towards making him their fifth starter, but they'd likely be better off sending him to Triple-A and going with J.A. Happ instead


Making his spring debut, Dustin McGowan (shoulder) pitched a perfect inning out of the pen Tuesday against the Pirates.
It's nice to see McGowan back on the mound. He'll open the season on the disabled list and go down to Triple-A to rehab, but if he can stay healthy for a bit, the Jays might give him a look in early May.
jjdynomite - Tuesday, March 26 2013 @ 04:50 PM EDT (#269457) #
[And for the hitters on the bubble...]

Adam Lind homered and doubled in the Blue Jays' 6-3 win over the Pirates on Tuesday. Lind figures to be an everyday player initially following a strong spring in which he's hit .358/.419/.547 in 53 at-bats. He's unlikely to be productive enough against lefties to justify those extra starts, but he should put up pretty good power numbers versus righties.


Maicer Izturis went 0-for-3 on Tuesday to drop his spring average back down to .220.
Emilio Bonifacio has outplayed Izturis this spring, but there will be room for both in the lineup initially with Brett Lawrie starting off on the disabled list. Izturis is expected to play third base against righties until Lawrie comes back.

ogator - Tuesday, March 26 2013 @ 05:00 PM EDT (#269458) #
About Lylemcr's criticism of Hayhurst. I would be interested in knowing what Hayhurst said or didn't say that caused you to disagree or to become disillusioned with him but to call him a name without justifying your dismissal of his work seems unfair. I listened to much of the broadcast and I heard nothing like "blubbering." If you don't like his work and you can explain why you don't, well, that is a good basis for discussion. But I don't see how calling Hayhurst a name is worth posting on a discussion board.
Lylemcr - Tuesday, March 26 2013 @ 05:05 PM EDT (#269459) #

He would say things like 'he would understand why players would take Steriods' or 'now that he is press none of the players would give him the time of day and the players were trying to hit him with the ball' 

It was a weird radiocast.  Sometimes I would say 'Does this guy realize that he is on the radio?'

jerjapan - Tuesday, March 26 2013 @ 05:34 PM EDT (#269460) #
that sounds intensely honest to me ... no wonder it seemed strange on the radio ...
John Northey - Tuesday, March 26 2013 @ 05:34 PM EDT (#269461) #
Actually, stuff like that is better than 'so and so is a great guy'  and 'you had to play the game to understand why things happen' or the 1001 cliche's we hear all the time from most athlete/broadcasters.

Did he elaborate on the steroid comment?  I'm pretty sure he has in his blog before, but it would be good for the 'average listener' to hear why players did steroids in order to understand why the era happened and why it will happen again with other drugs.  The way players react to him now that he is 'press' instead of 'player' is also interesting.  He was a borderline ML player, not like guys such as Jack Morris, thus doesn't get a carryover from playing to broadcasting where players will still go 'wow, he has multiple WS rings' or 'HOFer' or whatever.  Those things get players to automatically open up even if you are 'press' I'd think. 

BlueJayWay - Tuesday, March 26 2013 @ 06:41 PM EDT (#269462) #
Per Shi Davidi, Ricky Romero optioned to Dunedin, so won't be coming north.
China fan - Tuesday, March 26 2013 @ 06:41 PM EDT (#269463) #
Well, forget my earlier comment about Happ in the bullpen. It's Happ in the rotation, and Ricky Romero optioned to Dunedin. Wow. That's a serious decision, and shows how much work Romero needs to do. We're talking about a Halladay-type resurrection in the low minors.
Doom Service - Tuesday, March 26 2013 @ 07:04 PM EDT (#269465) #

Weather weather weather. If Romero's going to be working on things, better to do it in warm weather and a predictable schedule than coping with Buffalo's April weather risks.

If MLB's Gameday is correct, it was a really weird outing today. A whole lot of one pitch at bats for the Pirates, but eight straight balls at one point for back-to-back walks.  Not sure that's right, but that's what it appears....

China fan - Tuesday, March 26 2013 @ 07:06 PM EDT (#269466) #
Gameday pitch counts do not function accurately in the spring.
Doom Service - Tuesday, March 26 2013 @ 07:09 PM EDT (#269467) #
...GameDay only shows just 35 pitches, 22 strikes and 13 balls.... 12 balls for the 3 walks, but just 1 ball otherwise. That just seems inconceivable, so maybe GameDay isn't fully operational in spring....
JayWay - Tuesday, March 26 2013 @ 07:31 PM EDT (#269468) #
I enjoyed Hayhurst and Wilner on the mic today. The broadcast carried a sort make-shift, non-professional tone - and I mean that in the best sense of the words. The banter wasn't forced and I really enjoy Wilner's sense of humor. It seemed close to what I'd imagine it would sound like if you got two Bauxites in the booth.
rtcaino - Tuesday, March 26 2013 @ 09:13 PM EDT (#269475) #
The way players react to him now that he is 'press' instead of 'player' is also interesting.

I presume this reaction is less about his generic press affiliation and more about his status as a fringe guy that wrote tell all books about the club house.
Dave Till - Tuesday, March 26 2013 @ 10:15 PM EDT (#269481) #
Hayhurst's books aren't tell-all books. He changes the names of players, and doesn't say anything directly incriminating (though I suppose that some insiders might be able to match stories to names). I find him entertaining to listen to - he and Wilner make a good combination.

The Yankees are currently employing Vernon Wells, Ben Francisco, Juan Rivera, and Jayson Nix, and may be reaching out to Lyle Overbay (if rumours are true). While you can never count the Evil Pinstripes out, signing Blue Jays castoffs is not normally the traditional Yankee route to victory.

Chuck - Tuesday, March 26 2013 @ 10:35 PM EDT (#269483) #
signing Blue Jays castoffs is not normally the traditional Yankee route to victory

A newly invigorated Dave Berg sits anxiously by his phone.
electric carrot - Tuesday, March 26 2013 @ 11:24 PM EDT (#269485) #
signing Blue Jays castoffs is not normally the traditional Yankee route to victory

While no castoffs I recall a few Jays doing well for Yanks in past years. Barfield, Clemons, and Kelly Gruber come to mind.  Oh wait, did that really happen or did I just dream the Kelly Gruber part ...
MatO - Wednesday, March 27 2013 @ 10:49 AM EDT (#269498) #

While no castoffs I recall a few Jays doing well for Yanks in past years. Barfield, Clemons, and Kelly Gruber come to mind. Oh wait, did that really happen or did I just dream the Kelly Gruber part ...

Barfield had a couple of good years for the Yanks.  Pinball Clemons never played professional baseball.  Kelly Gruber had 70 PA with the Angels after leaving the Jays and that was the end of his MLB career.

Mike Green - Wednesday, March 27 2013 @ 11:36 AM EDT (#269503) #
Pinball Clemons never played professional baseball

Wrong Clemons.  He meant Clarence, who a decade and a half before managing the Blue Jays to two World Series titles, played a little saxophone while moonlighting as an outfielder with the San Diego Padres and Atlanta Braves.

Electric carrot is entitled to quite a few mis-spellings before getting razzed.   The prediction contest results speak for themselves.
John Northey - Wednesday, March 27 2013 @ 12:31 PM EDT (#269505) #
Don't forget David Wells (who always wanted to be a Yankee), Rick Cerone, David Cone (ugh, that was a bad trade), Jimmy Key (sigh), and of course AJ Burnett (OK, he didn't do that well).
JohnL - Wednesday, March 27 2013 @ 04:12 PM EDT (#269522) #
And while not as multi-talented as Clarence Clemons, don't forget the immortal Tanyon Sturtze. 3 years for each team, and two playoff seasons with the Yanks.
MatO - Wednesday, March 27 2013 @ 04:27 PM EDT (#269523) #
I believe both Pinball and Clarence played in the Skydome so I can understand the confusion.
ogator - Thursday, March 28 2013 @ 03:44 PM EDT (#269574) #
Justin Nicolino had a very interesting start for the Marlins today. No need to hurry into regret. They'll be plenty of time for that in the years ahead.
bpoz - Thursday, March 28 2013 @ 07:43 PM EDT (#269575) #
Ogator, Blue Jays World 2013 Series Champs. No regrets.

Well OK few regrets.

If not then complain, complain, complain. Especially at the AS break. I complained first. Where is my cuttle fish!
China fan - Friday, March 29 2013 @ 06:49 AM EDT (#269580) #
Now that Happ is in the Jays rotation, what's the likely Buffalo rotation to open the season? Bush, Germano, Jenkins....? What are the other likely names?
Gerry - Friday, March 29 2013 @ 08:20 AM EDT (#269581) #
Vargas, Ortiz, Redmond.
China fan - Friday, March 29 2013 @ 10:27 AM EDT (#269582) #
Thanks, Gerry. Do you think Jenkins will be in the rotation or the bullpen at Buffalo? Which 5 pitchers will comprise the rotation at the opening of the season?

I was surprised to learn that Ortiz has his 40th birthday in a couple months, so he can't really have much of a major-league future ahead of him. Why would the Jays give a spot in Buffalo to him?
Gerry - Friday, March 29 2013 @ 11:56 AM EDT (#269583) #
The Jays need to win in Buffalo this year. They want to stay in Buffalo for a long time and to do that they need to help the Bisons sell tickets. A winning team is the best way to sell tickets. Older pitchers, like Ortiz and Vargas, who throw junk often do well in AAA. A lot of AAA hitters are there because they have difficulty with the breaking ball. Bottom line, they think Ortiz can get them more wins than say Deck McGuire.

I am not sure where Jenkins will end up. I don't know if there is a big difference between AA and AAA from a pitcher development perspective. If the Jays want him to start to get his innings in I can see him back in AA. That leaves more experienced starters in AAA, and that might include some guys who they promised could start when they signed them. If they move him to the pen he could be in AAA.
Gerry - Friday, March 29 2013 @ 12:00 PM EDT (#269584) #
Kenny Wilson is headed to AA. That's a nice promotion for him. Wilson hit .280 in limited playing time last season in Dunedin. Wilson came off an injury in the 2011-2012 offseason and made the conversion from a switch hitter to just hitting from the right.
92-93 - Friday, March 29 2013 @ 01:02 PM EDT (#269586) #
"They want to stay in Buffalo for a long time and to do that they need to help the Bisons sell tickets."

In light of the news that Romero was being optioned to Dunedin, partly because of the weather, I started wondering where exactly is the ideal AAA location for the Jays. Is it actually Buffalo, or would there be a more desirable location that can combine both proximity to Toronto and decent early season weather?
jerjapan - Friday, March 29 2013 @ 01:24 PM EDT (#269587) #
BP has their farm rankings up today as free content and the Jays do much better than in some of the other rankings, behind only TB in the East ...  interesting to see Tirado as a breakout pick. 

13. Toronto Blue Jays
Ranking in 2012: 2
State of the Farm: The farm took a hit when top 101 prospects Jake Marisnick, Justin Nicolino, Travis d’Arnaud, and Noah Syndergaard were shipped out of town for an infusion of major-league talent.
Top Prospect: Aaron Sanchez
Breakout Candidates for 2013: Alberto Tirado and Matt Smoral
Prospects on BP 101: 2
Must-See Affiliate: Low-A Lansing
Prospects To See There: D.J. Davis, Roberto Osuna, Daniel Norris, Alberto Tirado
Behind the Curtain (Key figures in talent acquisition/player development): Doug Davis, Tim Leiper, Dane Johnson, Brian Parker, Jose Rosario, Luis Marquez


Gerry - Friday, March 29 2013 @ 03:35 PM EDT (#269591) #
The Jays have two new players, RHP Alex Burnett and 1B Clint Robinson, both claimed on waivers. They have been optioned to AAA and AA respectively. The Jays need to make a move on the 40 man roster.

The Jays have a lot of 1B candidates, Luis Jimenez, Lars Anderson, Gabe Jacobo, Adam Loewen.
Gerry - Friday, March 29 2013 @ 04:02 PM EDT (#269595) #
Lars Anderson has been DFA's to make room on the 40 man roster.

Summary, the Jays like Robinson more than Anderson.
China fan - Friday, March 29 2013 @ 04:06 PM EDT (#269596) #
Why did the Twins release Burnett? He reached the majors at age 22, and pitched 71 innings for them last year at age 24. His strikeout rate isn't particularly high, but he was generally effective for them last year, and at his age he should only improve. His spring numbers were poor, but that shouldn't negate his 2012 performance. I'm a little puzzled at why he became available.
Gerry - Friday, March 29 2013 @ 04:56 PM EDT (#269597) #
Daniel Norris is a Lugnut this year.
Gerry - Friday, March 29 2013 @ 05:18 PM EDT (#269598) #
Kellen Sweeney is also a Lugnut. Sweeney was a Lugnut last season before he was sent down mid-season.

I have requested a copy of the rosters from the Blue Jays.
Gerry - Friday, March 29 2013 @ 05:36 PM EDT (#269599) #
The Jays have some changes to the rosters, possibly because of today's waiver claims and they say the final, final rosters won't be nailed down until Monday.
bpoz - Saturday, March 30 2013 @ 10:35 AM EDT (#269611) #
Thanks Gerry. I am guessing that we will have 2-3 pairs of tandem starters in the Lugnut rotation.
Gerry - Saturday, March 30 2013 @ 10:47 AM EDT (#269612) #
Osuna is also heading to Lansing.
Mike Green - Saturday, March 30 2013 @ 12:15 PM EDT (#269615) #
I concur with CF about Alex Burnett.  Good waiver claim by AA.  I can imagine him as a decent middle reliever for years.

Maybe it's the beautiful day in TO, but how can one not be optimistic as opening day approaches?  As spring training winds down, it looks like the club has five starters who can give them 5-7 decent-to-good innings most times.  Usually, I am quite worried about the 4-5 slots but this year I am not. 

Gerry - Saturday, March 30 2013 @ 01:36 PM EDT (#269619) #
Gibbons said today that Lind will sit against left handed pitchers. He also said that Rasmus would sit against "certain" left handers.
Mike Green - Saturday, March 30 2013 @ 04:02 PM EDT (#269620) #
Good.  Bring on opening day.
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