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Game Thread - 4/5 vs. Red Sox | 42 comments | Create New Account
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binnister - Friday, April 05 2013 @ 07:03 PM EDT (#269850) #

Prediction:  The Blue Jays will not require a closer tonight.




(Hey, it worked for yesterday's game.. :P)

whiterasta80 - Friday, April 05 2013 @ 07:37 PM EDT (#269851) #
John Farrell is a scoundrel. Won't make it tonight, but I'll be booing until my voice goes tomorrow. I will also be cheering the Jays "dream manager" John Gibbons equally loudly.
Gerry - Friday, April 05 2013 @ 08:33 PM EDT (#269853) #
The Jays still have not played a good defensive game this season. As of the fourth Boston lead thanks to an unearned run.
greenfrog - Friday, April 05 2013 @ 09:30 PM EDT (#269854) #
Lots of issues with fundamentals tonight: throwing error, fielding error, two failed bunt attempts, leadoff walks, etc. Tough to win in those circumstances.

Still a close game, though - for now.

Gerry - Friday, April 05 2013 @ 09:53 PM EDT (#269855) #
What is the best word to describe Gibbons walk to the mound?

I will go with trundled.
Richard S.S. - Friday, April 05 2013 @ 11:08 PM EDT (#269856) #
Considering how deep the Starters are getting (well 6-ish) yet the Bullpen controls the game (losing two). Aside from very few mistakes, defense is good. Offense is a work in progress. Starters are worse than is believable. Does this put pressure on the Bullpen or did A.A. acquire some of the wrong Relievers. It's an ongoing adventure we're on now.
timpinder - Friday, April 05 2013 @ 11:09 PM EDT (#269857) #
Lawrie's importance is abundantly clear. Bonifacio and Izturis have been butchers.

Does Jeffress go down now? The 8-man bullpen is ridiculous. In a year when the Jays are supposed to contend you don't keep a project on the major league roster so that you can sneak him through waivers later.
Four Seamer - Friday, April 05 2013 @ 11:25 PM EDT (#269858) #
I always wondered what happened to that great 80s couple hit wonder, Boney M. Apparently he's been reincarnated as Boney E.
Alex Obal - Saturday, April 06 2013 @ 12:10 AM EDT (#269859) #
I wonder if New Improved Cecil might just throw his name into the #5 starter sweepstakes...
Anders - Saturday, April 06 2013 @ 03:22 AM EDT (#269860) #
I don't really get the hate on for Farrell, personally (and the crowd really, really laid into him). The manner of his departure was not well executed on his part, but the Jays didn't want him, and they traded him and managed to get something. The end. It's not like he's A-Rod.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, April 06 2013 @ 07:55 AM EDT (#269862) #
Farrell, as it turns out, never wanted the Blue Jay job, but he needed experience to get the job he wanted. A-Rod wants to play, he's just too hurt to play. He never cared where, he followed the money.

I'm just surprised that trading Farrell, Carpenter and Gomes would get us Esmil Rogers. It's possible he can be really good.

I would have taken A-Rod at anytime through age 35. Short Stops (converted 3B) start breaking down then.
China fan - Saturday, April 06 2013 @ 09:47 AM EDT (#269864) #
So, after 1 bad inning, Jeffress is the new Jo-Jo Reyes, the new hate figure? Give the guy a chance.

Last night actually showed that the 8-man bullpen was a good idea. None of the much-vaunted new starters are getting past 6 innings so far, so a deep bullpen is absolutely essential at this stage of the season. The problem is that the 8th man, obviously, isn't as good as the top 2 or 3 relievers, which is entirely understandable and not easy to fix. So what are the solutions? Here are the potential options -- neither of them good:

1) dump Jeffress onto the waiver wire and bring up another reliever. The problem is that there's no obvious choice to promote. Brad Lincoln might be the best option, but he's not necessarily better than Jeffress. If we're going by small sample sizes, his ERA is as bad as Jeffress this year. If we're going on a larger sample size, the Jays assessed both Jeffress and Lincoln pretty carefully in spring training this year, and decided that Jeffress was a better choice. (And I honestly don't believe it was purely to avoid waivers; the Jays pledged to bring north the best possible team, as the Romero demotion clearly proved, and I don't think they would have chosen Jeffress over Lincoln if they believed he was clearly worse than Lincoln.) Lincoln was also nursing an injury in the latter stages of spring training and might still be recovering from that. Other options -- Burnett? Perez? -- are as much of a gamble as Jeffress.

2) the other option is to manage the bullpen in a perfect way, so that the best relievers are in the highest-leverage situations, like the 8th and 9th innings of last night's game. But the problem, again, has been the starting rotation, which is burning out the best relievers. Almost every inning for the bullpen so far has been a high-leverage situation. Janssen and Santos have both gone back-to-back days already, which the Jays would have preferred to avoid. If the Jays had managed to build up a comfortable lead in any of their four games, they could have used Jeffress and Rogers in those situations. Instead the Jays were forced to use them in the 8th and 9th innings of a close game. With perfect foresight, the Jays could have used Jeffress in the late innings of the first game, saving Santos for later, but Gibbons understandably has been playing for the win in every game.
greenfrog - Saturday, April 06 2013 @ 09:59 AM EDT (#269866) #
One reason the starters aren't going deeper into games is the defense. The passed balls and assorted other errors give the other team extra outs, remove DP possibilities, and generally make innings more taxing for the pitcher. Last night JJ was cruising before the Boni errors.
ComebyDeanChance - Saturday, April 06 2013 @ 10:39 AM EDT (#269868) #
What is the best word to describe Gibbons walk to the mound?

I felt sorry for Gibbons last night. The loud display of insecurity by Toronto fans, who showed that if you snub Toronto like a second-rate baseball market and take the coaching staff with you, the fans and media will then act like insecure fans and media in a second-rate baseball market, only served to underline that Gibbon's primary attraction is that he won't/can't go anywhere else. He may not be the best soldier, but he'll a least be a loyal one, or one without choices.

If Torontonians want to boo and jeer someone, wouldn't Koji Uehara make a better target? Koji's the reliever who Anthopoulos traded with Texas for a couple years back who had a no-trade to Toronto in his contract. If there is a presumption that a favorable term of contract is achieved at the expense of another term, here's a guy, an older relief pitcher with a short career, who presumptively gave up something of value so that he couldn't be traded to Toronto. And when the time came when he was traded to Toronto, he said 'no' and didn't waive the no-trade. Then went to Boston last offseason.

Unlike Uehara, who'd apparently pay money not to play in Canada, Farrell came to Toronto and managed for two years. Farrell's 'sin' it appears, is 'humiliating' Toronto by making clear he regards Boston as a better place to be than Toronto. So what. He's a New Englander. I suspect that an overwhelming majority of sports figures in every sport feel the same. Brian Butterfield and Lovullo did as well. Rather than point out how humiliated they feel by humiliating themselves further (the paper airplane display last night sure impressed), perhaps Torontonians could pause and think about how the attention they're drawing to their 'humiliation' reflects on Gibbons, the guy who desperately wanted the job Farrell didn't want.
CeeBee - Saturday, April 06 2013 @ 10:40 AM EDT (#269869) #
Boni is looking more like he belongs in the outfield with every passing day.
China fan - Saturday, April 06 2013 @ 10:57 AM EDT (#269870) #
Well, now it appears that Jeffress is gone and Dave Bush has been recalled to replace him. A very odd move, in my view. Bush has been tried many times in the past and found wanting, and he certainly doesn't have the stuff that Jeffress does. I know the Jays were impressed with him in the first half of spring training, but I thought their impressions had changed.
China fan - Saturday, April 06 2013 @ 10:59 AM EDT (#269871) #
I guess the Jays are reverting to the theory that "relievers are fungible." They tried that theory in 2012 and it didn't work.
ComebyDeanChance - Saturday, April 06 2013 @ 11:04 AM EDT (#269873) #
Last night actually showed that the 8-man bullpen was a good idea.

I agree. Last night showed what a poor decision it would have been, in the first week of the season playing 6 games in 6 days with starters unlikely to go deep in the game and the possibility of extra innings, to have gone with 7 relievers.

Jeffress was the second last guy in the pen. The last guy was Santos coming off surgery who'd pitched in 2 of the previous 3 games. I can just imagine going to Santos in that situation with the possibility of extra innings, and the options of blowing his arm out; using Morrow on two days rest (also coming off an injury), or; bringing in Blanco to pitch extra innings in game against a divisional rival- all of this apparently to gain the benefit of adding a heretofore unnamed utility player.

Who is this unnamed utility player that should be the 25th man on the roster, so that Gibbons could be down to his last reliever in the 9th and a pitcher tossed away on the waiver wire? Mike McCoy?
92-93 - Saturday, April 06 2013 @ 11:12 AM EDT (#269874) #
Have you considered the option that Gibbons runs his 7 man bullpen in a manner that doesn't preclude 3 of the top 4 RPs being able to pitch in a game?

Jeffress has been DFAd and Bush is already with the team, proving that this 8 man bullpen insanity has very little to do with the length of Lawrie's injury or the necessity to derive value from Jeffress. I guess we'll now have to be lectured about why 8 man bullpens are just better roster construction.
92-93 - Saturday, April 06 2013 @ 11:16 AM EDT (#269875) #
"If the Jays had managed to build up a comfortable lead in any of their four games, they could have used Jeffress and Rogers in those situations."

This why I didn't like how Gibbons managed the bullpen in the opener. Down 3 runs is not the time to use your #2 & #5 RPs (Santos, Loup) if 3 of your arms can't really handle stressful back-to-back loads (Oliver, Santos, Janssen).
China fan - Saturday, April 06 2013 @ 11:16 AM EDT (#269876) #
"....I guess we'll now have to be lectured about why 8 man bullpens are just better roster construction...."

That's a ridiculous exaggeration. Not a single person has said that.

What some people have said is that, in certain situations, under certain conditions, an 8-man bullpen might make sense for a few games.
Gerry - Saturday, April 06 2013 @ 11:22 AM EDT (#269877) #
The Bush move seems a bit reactive to me. The message is we are carrying an eight man bullpen and it isn't enough. Jeffress did not pitch well last night but it was his first appearance after a week of just throwing in the bullpen. The Jays knew this could happen during spring training, what changed yesterday?

Today the Jays should have everyone available in the bullpen except Cecil, that's seven guys, why do you need Bush? The only reason I see to have Bush here is to have a guy who can throw 3-4 innings.

With this move, the Jays might lose Jeffress and they could lose Bush too when Lawrie comes off the DL.

And to be a broken record, last night the Jays had three errors, one play not made (Izturis) and one baserunning error (Reyes). I am still waiting for a fundamentally sound game.
92-93 - Saturday, April 06 2013 @ 11:23 AM EDT (#269878) #
"Jeffress was the second last guy in the pen."

No, he wasn't. Delabar, Oliver, and Janssen were all still in there, and I haven't yet found the rule that says relievers who have pitched a bit the previous 2 nights are ineligible to pitch a 3rd game in a row. Janssen was being avoided because of the surgery, but both Oliver & Delabar were available as last resorts, and if Gibbons was so concerned with getting through the game without them he could've easily left Cecil in the 8th inning with one out, 26 pitches thrown, and having struck out the last 4 batters faced.
China fan - Saturday, April 06 2013 @ 11:27 AM EDT (#269879) #
That last post by 92-93 brings up an interesting issue: the Jays don't really have a long man in the bullpen. Maybe that's what they're hoping to get from Bush. During the spring, there was talk that Cecil or Happ could be the long man. But the situation last night suggests that Cecil isn't the long man -- the Jays probably feel that he is best in short bursts. So maybe the absence of a long man is collateral damage from the Romero implosion, since Romero's demotion has prevented the Jays from using Happ as the multi-inning reliever.
92-93 - Saturday, April 06 2013 @ 11:31 AM EDT (#269880) #
If that's the case with Cecil then they really shouldn't be carrying Loup, a 3rd LHP with options who should be replaced by a guy who can mop up and keep everybody else fresh. Otherwise you run into situations where you need to carry 8 relievers even though your starting RF is injured just because all your guys are being capped at 30 pitches per appearance.
ComebyDeanChance - Saturday, April 06 2013 @ 11:36 AM EDT (#269881) #
Delabar, Oliver, and Janssen were all still in there

Gibbons announced before the game that all three were unavailable Friday.
ComebyDeanChance - Saturday, April 06 2013 @ 11:39 AM EDT (#269883) #
I guess we'll now have to be lectured about why 8 man bullpens are just better roster construction.
It must be really tough to be such a victim and receive 'lectures'.
Gerry - Saturday, April 06 2013 @ 11:41 AM EDT (#269884) #
Bush has options left so he will not be claimable if he is sent down.
92-93 - Saturday, April 06 2013 @ 11:45 AM EDT (#269885) #
Bush has enough service time that he can't be sent down without his permission, so I'm not sure options matter.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, April 06 2013 @ 12:13 PM EDT (#269887) #
Cecil should be tried for two inning stints as he's passed any possible tests so far. Jeffress has been watched closely since being acquired. He wasn't getting better and had done nothing to give anyone any confidence he could get better.

Any pitcher on the Jays should be able to pitch any inning in any game (nice theory) or they should not be on this team.
StephenT - Saturday, April 06 2013 @ 12:51 PM EDT (#269891) #
Farrell "wanted to get Cecil out of the game" and is getting credit for bringing that about.  Ref:
Wildrose - Saturday, April 06 2013 @ 01:04 PM EDT (#269892) #
My understanding is the team is reluctant to use Delabar on back to back nights because his elbow is held together by an assortment of metal screws.

I always operate under the premise that as fans we have only about 10-15 % of the actual pertinent information before us. I think before making broad condemnations, better to speculate on potential scenarios as to why a certain decision was made.

Mike Green - Saturday, April 06 2013 @ 02:10 PM EDT (#269897) #
The starters are going 6 innings.  There is a day off after the sixth game of the year.  If one cannot manage with a 7 man pen in those circumstances, you cannot do it in most circumstances during the season.
If you don't want 4 of your relievers to pitch on back-to-back nights, it's probably a good idea to have one or two of them throw 2 innings+.  Brett Cecil might be one candidate for this role.  It is easy to understand why Gibbons might have wanted to see some positive regular seasons results from Cecil before changing his role.

Jose Bautista and Brett Lawrie are the club's two most valuable players.  If they are out at the same time, the pitchers will have to step up.  I think they can.  It would help if Gose was up and Rasmus moved to right field to improve the defence, but I guess they are going to wait awhile before considering that.

grjas - Saturday, April 06 2013 @ 02:12 PM EDT (#269898) #
I think one of the biggest challenges with the BJ bullpen is the dearth of relievers that can go more than one inning reliably. I suppose that works if your starters are regularly going 7 or 8 innings, but early in the season it means...a lot of bullpen arms. Hopefully Bush has more than 15 pitches a night in him
China fan - Saturday, April 06 2013 @ 02:16 PM EDT (#269899) #
The Jays have now made it clear that Bush's job is to "chew up innings" if they need it. So it's an attempt to address the lack of a long man in the bullpen, which does become noticeable when the bullpen is required to cover 14 innings in the first 4 games.
grjas - Saturday, April 06 2013 @ 02:16 PM EDT (#269900) #
PS. Brandon Lyon sure would look nice right now in the pen. He's averaged high 60's appearances for a while with solid peripherals. Never understood why that fish was allowed to jump the net.
Mike Green - Saturday, April 06 2013 @ 02:25 PM EDT (#269901) #
14 innings in 4 games for a bullpen is nothing exceptional at all.  One 11 inning game is it.

Colby Rasmus has now struck out 9 times in 19 PAs, almost all against RHPs.  There is nothing cool about being ice cold,  notwithstanding the erudite opinion expressed by Outkast.

China fan - Saturday, April 06 2013 @ 02:44 PM EDT (#269906) #
So, Mike, you're quite content to see the Jays starters averaging less than 6 innings per game? With all the high-priced starters in the rotation, you wouldn't expect one of them to go more than 6 innings, not even once in 4 games?

One of the arguments for acquiring those 3 new starters was to get longer starts from them, giving more breathing room to the bullpen and allowing the relievers to pitch better too. So far, it hasn't happened.

China fan - Saturday, April 06 2013 @ 02:56 PM EDT (#269907) #
Happ is out of the game after 5.1 innings today, so let's update those numbers: it will be at least 18.1 innings for the bullpen in the first 5 days of the season. (And more than that if there's extra innings today.)
Mike Green - Saturday, April 06 2013 @ 05:18 PM EDT (#269913) #
Of course, I'd prefer that they average 6.2 or 7, and they might very well do that by mid-season.  The notion that you need 8 relievers to go 3+ innings per game when you have a day off after six games is just strange.  Delabar went 1.2 today, and that helps.  The real problem is that the club doesn't really have a position player that it wishes to add to the roster at this stage of the season.  It isn't stellar planning.
JB21 - Saturday, April 06 2013 @ 10:53 PM EDT (#269924) #
Mike Green, I don't think AA planned on having to release David Cooper.

Also, re: Colby, agreed that he has looked terrible on those AB's (and GREAT on 3 swings...) but look at the K leaders in the MLB right now, some pretty good hitters have struck out at a percentage similar to Colby.
Mike Green - Sunday, April 07 2013 @ 09:59 AM EDT (#269929) #
During AA's tenure here has been a preference for relief pitcher depth over position player depth.  It may be (fortunately) improving at a time when the club most needs it. I am glad that the club now has LaRoche, Goins, Kawasaki, Negrych, Thole and Gose in Buffalo.  Within a month or two, I anticipate that one or two will in Toronto if a position player is injured. 

Game Thread - 4/5 vs. Red Sox | 42 comments | Create New Account
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