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Leave it to the gutsy Ortiz and the suddenly dominant Buehrle to steady the Jays' pitching. Could they really steal this series and finish the road trip with a winning record?

Jenkins and Dempster at 1:35. Good luck, Chad.
Game thread 5/12 @ Boston | 56 comments | Create New Account
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greenfrog - Sunday, May 12 2013 @ 11:10 AM EDT (#272020) #
For a glimpse of what might have been had the Jays had the 19th instead of the 20th pick in the 2009 draft, check out the Friday night Cardinals boxscore...
ayjackson - Sunday, May 12 2013 @ 11:28 AM EDT (#272022) #
Phillip Humber DFA's by Astros. Worth the claim I'd suggest.
greenfrog - Sunday, May 12 2013 @ 01:14 PM EDT (#272030) #
Hopefully we see the paint-the-black Chad and not the hanging Chad.
Gerry - Sunday, May 12 2013 @ 01:17 PM EDT (#272031) #
Astros sign Edgar Gonzalez to a major league deal. That is why he elected free agency.
greenfrog - Sunday, May 12 2013 @ 01:29 PM EDT (#272032) #
David Ross on the DL with a concussion. Catching is a brutal position (just ask Mike Matheny). No doubt Ross sustained the injury on one (or both) of the hard-hit balls off his face mask this series. There may have been more - I watched only about six or eight total innings of the last two games combined.
Oceanbound - Sunday, May 12 2013 @ 01:45 PM EDT (#272033) #
So the Astros basically chose Edgar Gonzalez over Phil Humber, which is probably not the best endorsement for claiming Phil Humber.
greenfrog - Sunday, May 12 2013 @ 01:54 PM EDT (#272034) #
Not really clear on why Arencibia (career versus RHP: 221/273/437) is batting ahead of Lind (career versus RHP: 281/337/499) in this lineup.
finch - Sunday, May 12 2013 @ 02:15 PM EDT (#272035) #
Dempster is leaving a lot of balls up in the zone. It's only a matter of time before they pounce. Couple that will long at bats
ayjackson - Sunday, May 12 2013 @ 02:17 PM EDT (#272036) #
So the Astros basically chose Edgar Gonzalez over Phil Humber, which is probably not the best endorsement for claiming Phil Humber. It's all about timing.
ayjackson - Sunday, May 12 2013 @ 02:26 PM EDT (#272037) #
Okay, if you think claiming Humber is a bit rash, fine. Nolin is ready though.
greenfrog - Sunday, May 12 2013 @ 02:39 PM EDT (#272038) #
Is someone on Sportsnet reading the Box? So far Buck Martinez has mentioned Ross's concussion as a result of balls off his mask, the fact that Mike Matheny had to retire because of concussions off his mask, and that Shelby Miller "who just pitched a great game on Friday night," was selected 19th overall, just ahead of Jenkins, in the 2009 draft.
hypobole - Sunday, May 12 2013 @ 02:52 PM EDT (#272039) #
Also puzzled by having the 3 RHB's in a row rather than flipping Lind and JPA, over and above their hitting.

Don't know if Nolin's ready, but he seemed pretty good today - 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R/ER, 2 BB, 8 K.
Kasi - Sunday, May 12 2013 @ 03:06 PM EDT (#272040) #
Hard to care about Miller going a pick ahead of Jenkins when Trout went 6 picks after Jenkins and is already a superstar.
Kasi - Sunday, May 12 2013 @ 03:08 PM EDT (#272041) #
Oops make that 5 picks. Still Jenkins has been pitching well between last year and this. He's not great by any means, but he's serviceable.
hypobole - Sunday, May 12 2013 @ 03:25 PM EDT (#272042) #
Concerns about Jenkins mental fragility seem to have been put to rest for the time being.
finch - Sunday, May 12 2013 @ 03:55 PM EDT (#272045) #
Lets be realistic with Trout. Given the track record with the development of high school bats by the Blue Jays, they would have ruined Trout as well.
Paul D - Sunday, May 12 2013 @ 04:04 PM EDT (#272046) #
What's the best possible outcome for Jenkins?  A couple of years like the good Josh Towers?  Better than that?  A right handed Ted Lilly?
Alex Obal - Sunday, May 12 2013 @ 04:06 PM EDT (#272047) #
I was thinking Runelvys Hernandez. Today's start was encouraging...
hypobole - Sunday, May 12 2013 @ 04:13 PM EDT (#272048) #
Other than Wells, Snider and Ahrens, how many high school bats with potentially plus hit tools have the Jays drafted? For the most part it's been athletes they've tried and failed to turn into hitters. I know AA seems to love this strategy, but it's been panned by others and asks PD to almost become miracle workers. And can you realistically blame PD for Snider?
China fan - Sunday, May 12 2013 @ 04:22 PM EDT (#272049) #
I'm often confused by the contradictory attacks on how the Jays handled Snider. One group of fans says the Jays "ruined" him. The other group of fans keeps pointing to his numbers for Pittsburg and says the Jays were stupid to trade him away. Well, which is it? Is he ruined, or is he a great young hitter that the Jays should have kept?

For the record: his OPS for the Pirates this year has sunk down to almost the same historical level that it's been at for almost his whole career -- even though he's being strictly platooned against RHP this year. I guess the Pirates ruined him too.
China fan - Sunday, May 12 2013 @ 04:29 PM EDT (#272050) #
By the way, given all the negativity on this site lately, who would have imagined that the Jays would actually have a winning record on a 7-game road trip against two tough AL East teams, despite injuries to 60% of their starting rotation?
hypobole - Sunday, May 12 2013 @ 04:44 PM EDT (#272051) #
Jays player development did their job with Snider. The way the Jays front office handled him is not a path I would recommend any team should emulate. Wrist injuries seem to have sapped much of his former power. And the fact that MLB teams have advance/video scouting have exposed his deficiencies. Truly good hitters can make the adjustments Snider has never seemed to be able to.
John Northey - Sunday, May 12 2013 @ 05:00 PM EDT (#272052) #
Wow.  Jays take 2 of three and had a shot in the other game from the formerly first place Boston Red Sox.  Despite starting Jenkins (5 IP in minors this season), Buehrle (who has royally sucked this year with an ERA over 6) and Ortiz (40 year old AAA pitcher now).  The 3 starters did a total of 17 innings allowing 4 runs, or a 2.12 ERA against a team that has scored 4.78 runs a game this year.  Wow.

Jays are now up to 3.95 runs per game (climbed by 0.2 today) but still less than Houston and well below AL average of 4.44.  Meanwhile only Houston allows more per game (Houston over 6 runs a game, Jays at 5.18 before today).
John Northey - Sunday, May 12 2013 @ 05:28 PM EDT (#272053) #
Humber... from 23 to 28 he had a 4.12 ERA, 106 ERA+ over 214 IP (28 starts, 26 relief).  Then... last year and this year combined 137 2/3 IP 7.26 ERA 59 ERA+.  Ugh. 3.9 BB/9 and 6.9 K/9 but 2 HR/9 (yikes).  Lifetime his ERA in relief (6.03) is worse than his as a starter (5.20).  If he clears waivers then signing him to a AAA or AA deal is fine but no way would I let him on a ML mound until I figured out why his HR rate skyrocketed and got it fixed.
92-93 - Sunday, May 12 2013 @ 05:30 PM EDT (#272054) #
Great all-around win today. The offense is finally starting to put together some decent ABs, and guys are regressing towards their norms over the past 3 seasons.

Bautista .246/.360/.544
Lind .264/.393/.417
Rasmus .231/.308/.427
Arencibia .230/.246/.475

Melky, Lawrie, and Encarnacion need to be better, and there's reason to believe all 3 are close to getting hot. Kawasaki has been a capable injury fill-in for Reyes, and the team has finally started to get some offense out of 2B. Things are looking decent on this side of the ball.

With off days Monday & Thursday there's little reason to carry Mickey Storey for the Giants series. I expect to see Moises Sierra.
Thomas - Sunday, May 12 2013 @ 06:08 PM EDT (#272058) #
Well, which is it? Is he ruined, or is he a great young hitter that the Jays should have kept?

This is an exaggeration of two viewpoints held on the Box, which aren't mutually exclusive. It's very possible to believe that the Jays handled Snider poorly in terms of his development as he was approaching the major league, as hypobole pointed out. It is also possible to believe that, despite Toronto handling him poorly, Snider still has sufficient chance of rediscovering his potential or is simply currently a good enough player that he shouldn't have been traded for Brad Lincoln.

greenfrog - Sunday, May 12 2013 @ 06:28 PM EDT (#272061) #
The good news? The Jays looked like a good team today. Chad Jenkins was solid.

The bad news? The Yankees, Rays and Orioles are rolling. The Jays have 11 teams ahead of them in the wild card standings.

Baby steps.
Magpie - Sunday, May 12 2013 @ 06:57 PM EDT (#272062) #
This is an exaggeration of two viewpoints held on the Box

Ahem. Option Three! (He was never all he was cracked up to be.)
Richard S.S. - Sunday, May 12 2013 @ 11:16 PM EDT (#272066) #
Series wise, Toronto has two wins, two ties, was swept once and lost seven. Seven games were lost by one run, so they have chances. Six games were bad / blowouts / routs, so those would be loses anyway. Too easy to assign blame / fault / responsibility, so no one should. Since May 5th, Starting pitching is better (not yet great), Offense is getting better (finally), Bullpen is good, but overworked, Defense is getting better. So I think they've turned the corner on their way to being good.

With day off, Game, Game, day off, the extra rest can be a bonus. It's been about 9 days between Morrow's scheduled starts and about 6 games for Dickey. If the Team is going anywhere, these two pitchers need to be better.
John Northey - Monday, May 13 2013 @ 12:18 AM EDT (#272068) #
Kawasaki has been very solid: 250/346/297 - slg is horrible but that OBP is 4th on the team (Reyes/Lind/Bautista ahead of him) and this team needs OBP guys as we have lots of sluggers.

What is interesting is Kawasaki has now played as many games as Adam Lind (27).  I'd like him to stick around as the backup infielder if he can cover 2B (I'd have to think he could) and 3B.  He also is 5-1 for SB-CS.  Mr. Superspeed Bonifacio is 4-0 despite playing more games and having more PA.

6 of the 14 hitters are sub 300 for OBP, just 4 are above 330 (generally where I draw the line between 'acceptable' and 'ugh') although Davis is close (326) but only Encarancion is also over 310. 

Encarnacion is 2nd in HR (just 1 back of Upton).  JPA and Bautista are 3 back of first place.  Bautista is 10th in BB.  Rasmus #1 in K's, JPA 6th (with 2 walks, no one else in the top 30 has under 5.  Davis is 7th in SB.  Cabrera is 9th in triples (with 2) and is 6th in AB.  Encarnacion is 9th in total pitches seen in MLB (who knew?). 

Richard S.S. - Monday, May 13 2013 @ 05:00 AM EDT (#272074) #
As bad as the Bullpen has been, only one game has been lost by the Bullpen when Toronto has had the lead - May 9th. All other losses are from tied games. Just check the boxscores.

Of course, when Relieving Starters within an inning, the results aren't as good as we would like. To get exact numbers, checking the game summary helps.
John Northey - Monday, May 13 2013 @ 06:27 AM EDT (#272076) #
Stats before Sundays game...

At first I thought 'but the pen has been a strength' then I checked and saw ERA: 2nd last.  But save percentage is right near the middle at 69% vs league average of 70%.  16 holds is dead centre, and 11 saves is 4th in the AL.  IRs% (inherited runners who scores vs total inherited runners) is poor at 37%, 4th worst in AL but ahead of the Yankees. 

Why these issues?  The Jays lead in >3 out appearances by relievers with 40 (tied with Houston).  Meanwhile are at league average with 26 appearances of 3 or fewer innings.  Surprisingly the Jays are just barely over league average for 0 days rest appearances (20 vs average of 18).  Pitches per relief game is dead on average too at 19 vs league of 19.

Cecil, Delabar and Rogers are tied for 6th in relief appearances, Oliver is one back (16 games) putting him tied for 19th in the league.  So those 4 have carried a big load with Loup just one back.  The big 5 though (Janssen, Delabar, Cecil, Rogers, Oliver) have just one with an ERA+ below 150 (Rogers at 78) thanks to a low HR rate (0.6 HR/9 the highest there).  Loup is at 129 and 0.9 thus not part of that group's success but still solid.  Lincoln and Santos are the others with 5+ appearances and have ERA+'s of 130+. 

So why the poor ERA?  Can't all be Rogers fault.  It is due to the 2 and under crowd.  Total of 8 appearances by 6 guys none with an ERA below 5.40 as a reliever.  Ugh.  19 IP allowing 18 runs.  So over 2 IP per game but very, very poor 2 IP+ each game.  These are the 8th men and they've sucked as a group but did eat up innings in blowouts.  So for the pens total of 137 2/3 IP and 56 ER you can cut that by removing the 8th guys and see 38 ER in 118 2/3 IP for an ERA of 2.88 which would be #1 by a landslide in the AL (Texas leads at 3.42). 

Thus the pen hasn't been an issue really.  Just the guys used when the Jays have a starter blown out and need a pitcher to eat innings so the good relievers (total of 8 including the injured Santos) can rest have sucked.  Seems our manager's rep for knowing how to handle a pen is well earned.
Magpie - Monday, May 13 2013 @ 08:28 AM EDT (#272081) #
At first I thought 'but the pen has been a strength' then I checked and saw ERA: 2nd last

I bet you were looking at R/G column (5.15, second worst) on bb-ref's Relief Pitching page. But even on the relief pitching, the R/G figure is for the entire staff. (I hate to complain about anything at bb-ref, but the relief pitching splits could be better!) The Jays relievers have a 3.68 ERA and have allowed 4.19 R/G, which is roughly middle-of-the pack (league averages are 3.62 and 4.02 - it's the starters who have dragged the staff's overall numbers down to Better-Than-Only-Houston.
Mike Green - Monday, May 13 2013 @ 11:34 AM EDT (#272089) #
The Cubs extend Rizzo for many years (including the options).  Epstein and Hoyer are in it for the long haul, and my money is on them. 
Dave Till - Monday, May 13 2013 @ 01:24 PM EDT (#272102) #
By the way, given all the negativity on this site lately, who would have imagined that the Jays would actually have a winning record on a 7-game road trip against two tough AL East teams, despite injuries to 60% of their starting rotation?

I was about to make exactly the same point. Fenway Park and Tropicana Field are usually death traps for the Jays, and they got out of there with a winning record. They've got a long way to go to reach respectability - and a 2-7 record in games decided by five runs or more is not a good sign at all - but this is the first glimmer of hope I have seen in what has been (so far) my least favourite Blue Jays season ever.

By the way, a shoutout to John Gibbons for deciding to platoon Adam Lind.
greenfrog - Monday, May 13 2013 @ 01:42 PM EDT (#272105) #
Yep:

Percentage of Lind's total PA that have come against LHP (career): 25.5

Percentage of Lind's total PA that have come against LHP (2013): 4.5
TamRa - Monday, May 13 2013 @ 03:10 PM EDT (#272114) #
Concerns about Jenkins mental fragility seem to have been put to rest for the time being.

Wasn't it McGuire who had the confidence issues?


ayjackson - Monday, May 13 2013 @ 04:10 PM EDT (#272117) #
Jenkins reminds me of a young Casey Janssen. Can't get strikeouts, but has a lot of pitches and seems to mix them well down in the zone. Janssen had the better minor league career, though Jenkins was more highly rated coming out of college.

Therefore, I see rotator cuff surgery and success as a closer as Jenkins likely future.
Gerry - Monday, May 13 2013 @ 06:52 PM EDT (#272121) #
Moises Sierra is in the starting lineup for Buffalo tonight, as are Gose, Negrych and Thole. The only regular missing is Ryan Goins.
rtcaino - Tuesday, May 14 2013 @ 01:10 AM EDT (#272126) #
Encarnacion is 9th in total pitches seen in MLB

He is tied for 21st with Jason Kipnis and Austin Jackson with a P/PA of 4.04.

Interestingly, Colby Rasmus is 3rd with 4.25. Kelly Johnson is 2nd with 4.40, while the leader is Mike Napoli with a 4.43. JPA is tied for 14th with a 4.09. Bautista tied for 29th with a 3.95.

Hopefully this means Rasmus and JPA will start drawing some walks. But, chances are it means pitchers are throwing 1.25 and 1.09 pitches per plate appearance too many - when they could just throw three low breaking balls.
Chuck - Tuesday, May 14 2013 @ 08:25 AM EDT (#272127) #
Interestingly, Colby Rasmus is 3rd with 4.25.

I've weighed in on this topic several times over the years. To my mind, the numbers are deceptive. Why does Rasmus "see" so many pitches? Because of a very high swing-and-miss rate. He tries to end at-bats (by swinging) quite early. But, because he swings and misses so much, the at-bats continue, driving up the pitch count up. By contrast, Ichiro Suzuki, whom I am assuming "sees" fewer pitches, is able to end his at-bats earlier than Ramus because of a high contact rate. I would argue that each of Rasmus and Suzuki attempt to end at-bats as early as the other, but one is able to do so and the other less so. Should Rasmus get credit for this? Should we misinterpret a problem making contact as patience?
Mike Green - Tuesday, May 14 2013 @ 08:42 AM EDT (#272128) #
What you are (at least I am anyway) trying to measure is how much a batter contributes to the total load on the pitcher. It's a combination of pitches/PA and OBP that tells that story.  Kawasaki so far sees 4.37 pitches/PA, and has an OBP of .346.  He has been terrific in this department.  The league leader is probably Carlos Santana.  They should have a statistic- 2 strike fouls/strikeouts- which tells you something else. 
greenfrog - Tuesday, May 14 2013 @ 08:45 AM EDT (#272129) #
Early returns on the Justin Upton trade:

Upton (Atl): 289/395/644, 13 HR, 178 OPS+
Johnson (Atl): 324/355/486, 3 HR, 127 OPS+

Prado (Ariz): 233/285/346, 4 HR, 70 OPS+
Delgado (AAA): 34.2 IP, 9.09 ERA, 24:32 BB:K
Spruill (AA): 31.2 IP, 1.42 ERA, 12:20 BB:K
Spruill (AAA): 17.2 IP, 4.08 ERA, 8:6 BB:K
Drury (A): 314/338/479
Ahmed (AA): 162/228/171

Oceanbound - Tuesday, May 14 2013 @ 09:01 AM EDT (#272130) #
Chuck, while you may be somewhat correct, Rasmus does have the lowest swing rate of anyone on the team not named Kawasaki, Lind, Bautista or Encarnacion. He has decent, if not quite elite discipline.

However, it's mindblowing how terrible Rasmus is at making contact. He's only making contact on about 38% of pitches thrown outside the zone (63% league average). That's a 20% decrease from his career average. It's ridiculous and unacceptable.
CeeBee - Tuesday, May 14 2013 @ 09:26 AM EDT (#272132) #
Maybe he needs glasses?
Mike Green - Tuesday, May 14 2013 @ 09:28 AM EDT (#272133) #
Cecil's are big enough to share...Don't the hitters go in for vision correction surgery these days?
CeeBee - Tuesday, May 14 2013 @ 03:19 PM EDT (#272148) #
Sometimes people don't really know they have a vision problem and sometimes the ego gets in the way of doing anything about it if they do know. As I recall Ted Williams had incredible vision so it seems to me that even normal or what might be considered above average vision might just not be good enough for a hitter. Also it could only take an extremely small change in ones vision to make a huge difference.
hypobole - Tuesday, May 14 2013 @ 03:26 PM EDT (#272149) #
How could an MLB team allow it's players to have vision problems? You have to think they are tested as well as anyone.
Mike Green - Tuesday, May 14 2013 @ 03:27 PM EDT (#272150) #
I agree, ceebee.  You'd think that clubs would require vision examinations at the start and end of each season (maybe the collective agreement prohibits something like this).
hypobole - Tuesday, May 14 2013 @ 03:43 PM EDT (#272151) #
"maybe the collective agreement prohibits something like this"

What possible sense would that make???? The guys are getting 90 mph balls thrown at them. I would bet my house they are regularly tested, the only question is how often? It may even be monthly.
Mike Green - Tuesday, May 14 2013 @ 03:49 PM EDT (#272153) #
I agree that it would make no sense for there to be a bar.  It's non-invasive testing, and it benefits both club and player.  Nonetheless, I have seen stranger things.
hypobole - Tuesday, May 14 2013 @ 04:02 PM EDT (#272157) #
Yeah, I have a medical condition that requires my eyes be tested every 3 months or so. The tests range from innocuous to mildly annoying (puffs of air hitting my eyeballs). I would imagine MLB players (and minor leaguers) would be tested at least as often as I am.
Gerry - Tuesday, May 14 2013 @ 04:09 PM EDT (#272159) #

Lots of Jays news:

Brandon Morrow will not start tomorrow, now his start date is Saturday.

Ramon Ortiz will start tomorrow.

Sergio Santos will have surgery to remove bone chips from his elbow.  His return date is uncertain.

Josh Johnson has just begun throwing off flat ground, a rehab start is still a bit away.

JA Happ still has knee pain.

hypobole - Tuesday, May 14 2013 @ 04:13 PM EDT (#272161) #
Brandon Morrow will not start tomorrow, now his start date is Saturday.

I don't know anything about how good the training staff is, but how often do they get players back without multiple setbacks?
Mike Green - Tuesday, May 14 2013 @ 04:51 PM EDT (#272165) #
Wild lineup today.  Cabrera leading off and DHing, Bautista, Encarnacion, DeRosa (!), Lawrie, Izturis (!), Rasmus, Blanco and Bonifacio in LF.  Over his career, Zito has no platoon splits whatsoever.
92-93 - Tuesday, May 14 2013 @ 07:06 PM EDT (#272173) #
Over the last 3 years for Zito:

.227/.308/.361 vs. LHB
.265/.338/.437 vs. RHB

Obviously the sample size against the lefties is only around 420 PA but Gibbons probably considered those numbers.
Game thread 5/12 @ Boston | 56 comments | Create New Account
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