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Bases are loaded and Casey's at bat, playin' it play by play.

Another game, another lefty goes against the Jays in the form of North Delta, BC native Jeff Francis (2-4, 5.87). Former Rockie Esmil Rogers (2-2, 3.21) hopes to show the way for the Jays, starting at 7:07 pm Eastern.

@BlueJays: .@BlueJays lineup: Cabrera-DH Bautista-RF Encarnacion-3B Lind-1B DeRosa-2B Davis-LF Rasmus-CF Arencibia-C Izturis-SS
Game Thread ó 6/18 vs. Colorado | 76 comments | Create New Account
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John Northey - Tuesday, June 18 2013 @ 03:23 PM EDT (#274422) #
After all the nightmares of Lind playing against LHP and Gibbons finally avoiding it for the first couple of months he seems to be in there everyday now.  So how has he done?  464/464/679 for a 1.143 OPS vs LHP.  Go figure.  Just 28 PA, but still quite the shock.
Lylemcr - Tuesday, June 18 2013 @ 03:59 PM EDT (#274432) #

I haven't been this excited to see a Rogers pitch since Steve.  I am liking how the starting pitching is rounding into shape and the bullpen as well.  When Reyes comes back, our top 5 in the batting order is solid.  I am not sure what to do about the bottom 4.  Hopefully, Lawrie and Bonafacio find something and do better.  Rasmus and JPA....  Well... I am happy they can hit a home run every once in awhile...

Lind has been incredible this year.  For the first time(even with his good year he had), he looks like a pure hitter.  He is hitting the ball well, swinging at strikes and taking alot of walks.  How about that 411 OBP!!!! 

BTW....  How did Rasmus Avg crawl up to 249? 

ayjackson - Tuesday, June 18 2013 @ 04:04 PM EDT (#274433) #
Over the last four weeks, Colby is .273/.337/.534 for an .871 OPS.
Lylemcr - Tuesday, June 18 2013 @ 04:12 PM EDT (#274435) #

Also...  I am excited how well the Jays are playing. 

I think the next 10 days can tell us about whether they can be a contender or not.  Orioles, Rays and Red Sox are coming up.  If we can come out with a winning record, I think the season can be salvaged.

ayjackson - Tuesday, June 18 2013 @ 04:25 PM EDT (#274439) #
Morrow and Perez have both suffered setbacks. Morrow to visit the doc, Perez' is minor. Maybe playing games with Perez' rehab days.
Dave Till - Tuesday, June 18 2013 @ 04:30 PM EDT (#274440) #
A statistic that I find fascinating is one of the obscure stats that Baseball Reference compiles: for each American League team, the number of games played against teams over .500. The Jays lead the league in this category:

Toronto 57
Tampa Bay 48
Houston 45
Cleveland 44
Minnesota 39
Seattle 39
Baltimore 38
Los Angeles 38
New York 36
Boston 34
Oakland 33
Kansas City 32
Detroit 29
Texas 26
Chicago 23

Of course, since the Jays are under .500, they have fewer sub .500 teams to play. And the Jays are only 5-7 against sub .500 teams. But still: that's been a tough schedule.

earlweaverfan - Tuesday, June 18 2013 @ 04:46 PM EDT (#274443) #
AYJackson (I do like your pictures)

Can you provide the reference to that news about Morrow and Perez?

ayjackson - Tuesday, June 18 2013 @ 04:55 PM EDT (#274444) #
It's all a-twitter!!!

Every beat writer for the Jays has reported it.
jerjapan - Tuesday, June 18 2013 @ 05:11 PM EDT (#274446) #

I haven't been this excited to see a Rogers pitch since Steve.

No kidding, he's looked great.  Every winning streak needs and unlikely hero or two and if Rogers can pull it off again I think we might have something with him in the rotation.  Not saying he WILL but he certainly looks like he could.

Especially significant if the Morrow news is bad, or if Wang turns back into a pumpkin.


John Northey - Tuesday, June 18 2013 @ 05:30 PM EDT (#274448) #
Well, I've been saying for things to work we need a few surprises.  Big ones so far...
  • Lind hitting better than his best ever - currently a 161 OPS+
  • Rogers & Wang being excellent for 5 starts combined so far
  • the pen - who predicted Cecil, Delabar, and Loup to all have ERA's 2.02 and below with all 3 over 30 IP, averaging over an inning a game.

Lots of smaller ones - Rasmus over 110 for OPS+, Encarnacion & Bautista still hitting over 130 OPS+ each, Kawasaki proving value (higher OPS+ than Lawrie at the moment), Janssen continuing to be a solid closer.

Now, if only someone could step up at 2B and take it over.  Izturis in June is at 264/291/302 which is endurable vs Bonifacio's 176/200/206. DeRosa has cooled a bit but still effective at 280/308/400.  Kawasaki continues his walking onto the job with a weird 207/361/310 line for June making him the most valuable hitter of the group.  Weird.

Mike Forbes - Tuesday, June 18 2013 @ 07:17 PM EDT (#274454) #
Wouldn't it be nice if Esmil could become the pitching version of Jose Bautista? Guy who was a former prospect, flamed out, becomes a star with the Jays?
uglyone - Tuesday, June 18 2013 @ 08:26 PM EDT (#274455) #
man, rogers really does have a hell of an arm. and his component numbers have always been good. if he can learn to actually pitch like this consistently, he could be pretty damn good.
uglyone - Tuesday, June 18 2013 @ 08:33 PM EDT (#274456) #
that we got Rogers as a result of trading Farrell has a chance of being a pleasant little factoid.
Magpie - Tuesday, June 18 2013 @ 08:59 PM EDT (#274457) #
I haven't been this excited to see a Rogers pitch since Steve.

Fair enough. The Gambler was pretty good, but I never liked watching him work.
Mike Green - Tuesday, June 18 2013 @ 09:02 PM EDT (#274458) #
Well, I sure got Esmil Rogers wrong.  A lot more than a fungible reliever, it seems. 

whiterasta80 - Tuesday, June 18 2013 @ 09:56 PM EDT (#274460) #
Man Esmil must have really felt hard done by the Rox. Just sensational. Between Rogers, Delabar, and JoeBau we are getting pretty good at scouting other teams 25th guys.

If he has a good start againt Boston I vote for a "thank you Farrell" chant.
uglyone - Tuesday, June 18 2013 @ 10:01 PM EDT (#274461) #
Looks like the jays'll be 4.5gms back of a playoff spot tonight, with 92gms to go.
rfan8 - Tuesday, June 18 2013 @ 10:06 PM EDT (#274462) #

I can't remember the last time the Jays dominated opponents the way they have recently. 

JB21 - Wednesday, June 19 2013 @ 12:31 AM EDT (#274465) #
Jays now up to just negative 8 in the runs column as well.
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, June 19 2013 @ 01:33 AM EDT (#274467) #
With Draft Picks 3, 4, 5, 7, 10 signed for $604,100.00 under slot , there's more to come after the College World Series finishes. This draft could have far-reaching effects on future drafts depending on picks #1 and #2s outcome. There could be a total of almost $2,000,000.00 ($1,600,000.00 more likely) available to sign picks 11-40. Signing as many HS picks as possible increases the odds of a Star developing (Halladay - never been replaced here, and he wasn't considered a Star).

I feel comfortable this Team is on a roll. The win streak will last as long as it lasts, but the winning percent will be very good for as long as there are games to play.
robertdudek - Wednesday, June 19 2013 @ 05:56 AM EDT (#274469) #
Signing as many HS picks as possible increases the odds of a Star developing (Halladay - never been replaced here, and he wasn't considered a Star).

What kind of nonsense is this?
greenfrog - Wednesday, June 19 2013 @ 06:45 AM EDT (#274470) #
The funny thing is that the Jays are dominating in part thanks to players who weren't expected to do much this year: Lind, Cecil, Wang, Wagner, Perez, with Rogers and DeRosa also surpassing expectations.
John Northey - Wednesday, June 19 2013 @ 07:43 AM EDT (#274471) #
Halladay in 1995 wasn't viewed as a super pick.  John Sickles did a look back on Halladay and says he would've rated him a B prospect after his first pro season, B+ after his second.  He wasn't a top 100 prospect after the 1995 season, but was #23 after the 1996 season and stayed a high prospect until he reached the majors.  He signed for $895k and in pre-season 1996 he was rated (by Baseball America) the Jays #6 prospect behind other pitchers Marty Janzen, Chris Carpenter, Jose Pett and Jose Silva as well as Shannon Stewart.  So was he viewed as a great pick?  Doubtful, more as a decent value pick.

Btw, should look at the Baseball Cube more often - shows current status for all these guys including Marty Janzen being a pitching coach in Lancaster (an independent team) in 2012.  See that Steve Karsay is also a pitching coach now, Tom Evans a hitting coach, Bob File an assistant coach in college, Kevin Cash a bullpen coach, Gabe Gross an assistant coach in college.
ayjackson - Wednesday, June 19 2013 @ 09:37 AM EDT (#274474) #
"What kind of nonsense is this?"

The usual kind.
Dave Till - Wednesday, June 19 2013 @ 09:38 AM EDT (#274475) #
For whatever reason, I remember Halladay being a highly touted prospect as he was coming up. I guess scouts must have seen a lot of potential in him (and it's safe to say that the scouts were right).
ayjackson - Wednesday, June 19 2013 @ 09:44 AM EDT (#274476) #
The funny thing about the Jays players, is that almost every one of them has been written off by the Jays fanbase, or a former team's fanbase at one point or another. There's a lesson of patience in there for some folks.

Jeepers, even JPA is just another week of dingers away from a near 100 OPS+.
Paul D - Wednesday, June 19 2013 @ 09:47 AM EDT (#274477) #
Speaking of JPA... I suspect that this is a long shot, but do you think there's any chance that having Thole on the team, and providing real competition for JPA, is a motivating factor in JPA's big week? (Yes, athletes should always be 100% motivated, but that's not always how it works for most of them)
John Northey - Wednesday, June 19 2013 @ 09:47 AM EDT (#274478) #
Yeah, Halladay and most Gord Ash first rounders were viewed as bargain picks when drafted but quickly viewed highly after a year or so in the minors.  I remember Vernon Wells being viewed as a cheapskate pick as was Alex Rios.  The Jays owners at the time were cutting every corner they could it seemed up until they opened the floodgates for payroll at the end (boy was that a mistake).
ayjackson - Wednesday, June 19 2013 @ 09:49 AM EDT (#274479) #
I think JPA is always running hot and cold. I think you're right that it's a long-shot that Thole's presence is responsible for the hot streak.
Mike Green - Wednesday, June 19 2013 @ 10:05 AM EDT (#274480) #
It is possible that having Thole around is good motivation for Arencibia.  Nonetheless, his seasonal line as of June 18 is a smidgen worse than it was on May 18 and on April 18. 

The real test for him is his ability to lay off the 2 strike pitch down and away and 6" or more off the plate.  The Texas announcers were saying after an Arencibia 2-strike home run that the pitcher obviously did not realize that it was a bad idea to throw him a strike in that situation.  That won't be happening when much (at all?) when the Jays face AL East opponents who know them well.

Speaking of the divisions, the AL East is 15.5 games over .500, the NL Central (!) is 11.5 games over, the NL West is at .500 and the other divisions are below .500.  I figured that the AL West would be over .500, with the other teams making hay against the Astros.  It hasn't happened that way- the A's and Rangers are good teams, but not that good. Who knows what ails the Angels?

bpoz - Wednesday, June 19 2013 @ 11:14 AM EDT (#274483) #
Miguel Negron was a young skinny kid 6'1" 165lb. I imagine Halladay & Rios were the same when drafted.
Halladay said to Jim Hunt that his FB was 93 the day he was drafted. Impressive!! His pitch to contact method & his between game preparation are big factors in his success.

So players get bigger & stronger in many cases. When Hutch was interviewed he downplayed his increase in Velocity and seemed to stress quality pitching. I hope what I just said is accurate.

So what is quality pitching? People probably have their own opinions in this.

IMO T Glavine & G Maddux had a quality pitching style maybe Buehrle. Sorry I cannot break it down. I loved Tom Davie with his 100mph FB, that has to rank as quality. But he only had a cup of coffee in the majors.
John Northey - Wednesday, June 19 2013 @ 11:37 AM EDT (#274484) #
Power is nice, but control is nicer.  For example, I was bowling last night and getting up to 22 mph on the ball but had a bad night (131 and less for the 3 games).  Meanwhile, in the lanes next to ours a woman was shooting in the 150+ range while throwing it 6-8 mph.  Similar stuff exists in baseball.  Phil Niekro probably never threw a pitch in the 90's or even high 80's, but he won over 300 and is in the HOF while guys who threw 100+ are stuck in the minors until they retire.  Power is nice and helps a lot, but effectiveness is what matters in the end.
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, June 19 2013 @ 11:51 AM EDT (#274486) #
College Picks with the "Wow" factor or budding "Star" potential go very early in the draft, and go fast to the Majors. They seldom last beyond pick #5. They were at one time High School players. The more high ranked, high upside HS picks signed, the better chance of having "Wow" factor / "Star" potential arise. Generally ages are: HS: age 18, J1: 19. J2: 20, JR: 21, SR: 22, 5S: 23.

This Team, as good as it is, has only the absent Jose Reyes as that caliber player. They had only one Player who became that caliber - Roy Halladay, which they have not replaced. Players this good are rare, sometimes Hall Of Famers or just not quite. Sometimes the very, very good burn bright and sometimes they burn slower and longer (but indications are there).

I don't think I have to lead you through my points step by step to dhow relevance, most should figure it out for themselves. Hint, this Team is really good when everyone contributes.
Thomas - Wednesday, June 19 2013 @ 11:53 AM EDT (#274487) #
Yeah, Halladay and most Gord Ash first rounders were viewed as bargain picks when drafted but quickly viewed highly after a year or so in the minors.

I disagree with this. Aside from the clear exceptions of Rios and Negron, I don't recall criticism of the Ash picks as being "bargain picks." And if there was, I'm not convinced it was warranted.

No player signed after Roy Halladay in the 1995 draft received a higher signing bonus than he did. Plus, if Sickels would have rated Doc as a B prospect at the time of the draft, that would place him just outside Sickels' Top 100 prospects (and DJ Davis, who was last year's 17th overall pick didn't rank in Sickels Top 150 prospects for 2013, although Stroman did). Getting a B prospect with the 17th pick doesn't seem like a bad return and his signing bonus doesn't suggest the Jays were trying to get a bargain.

And, regarding Wells, he signed for a $1.6 million bonus (compared to $1.9 for Grilli who was picked with the 4th overall pick in 1997 and $1.7 for Geoff Goetz who was picked 6th and $1.45 million for Dan Reichart who was picked 7th overall). Only five players picked in the first round after Wells received higher signing bonuses and they were selected 6th, 8th, 9th, 19th and 26th. Perhaps Wells was something like $150,000 below slot, but it's not particularly noticeable and there's not a lot of evidence that this factored heavily into Toronto's selection.

The ownership deserves criticism with regards to the parameters placed on Ash for Rios (who was the only player selected in the 1999 first round to sign for under $1 million) and Negron (who was one of only 2 players selected in the first round of the 2000 to sign for under $1 million), but to my recollection those restrictions didn't factor into Ash's earlier drafts. And Ash and his scouting staff deserve credit for tabbing Rios there and nobody selected after Negron in the first round that year, save for Adam Wainwright, has had a noticeable major league career.

Lylemcr - Wednesday, June 19 2013 @ 11:59 AM EDT (#274488) #

Has anyone read about this evans guy?

Interesting.  This could be a competitive advantage for the Jays.  Delabar and Cecil have been excellent.  If they can get this throughout the organization....

Personally, moves like this are just as important as who they draft.  This is why organizations like Atlanta and St Louis just seem to churn out the talent.

85bluejay - Wednesday, June 19 2013 @ 12:17 PM EDT (#274490) #
This is great site for baseball, but sometimes the comedic value is priceless
sam - Wednesday, June 19 2013 @ 12:26 PM EDT (#274493) #
There was some mention on the broadcast last night that Sal Fasano spent time with Arencibia recently to "refine" his defensive game, and Chad Mottola worked with Arencibia significantly after the White Sox series.  I just think that with Arencibia, he's not the type of pro's pro that takes pride in his game.  Three years in the league and you've got to be a better receiver than he is and not need a roving guy to come through and remind you about basic technical skills.  At the plate, it's simply unacceptable to be such an easy out the way he tends to be when he's not in one of his streaks.  If you're not going good, you can't go up there swinging at everything--work the walk or at least see some pitches.  Guys can have productive at-bats going 0-4. 
92-93 - Wednesday, June 19 2013 @ 12:29 PM EDT (#274494) #

As for his improved defence post-Fasano, Arencibia has looked far more comfortable behind the plate since the session at U.S. Cellular Field. He sets an early target, and keeps his body low and still. His setup is consistent and comfortable, with his actual receiving of the ball being sublime and umpire friendly. He claims he doesnít feel much change, but others around the club have noticed.

ďI feel like Iíve been catching good even before this run,Ē Arencibia shrugged. ďI feel like Iíve been working well with the pitchers. Iíve been blocking the ball well. Iíve been catching the ball well. Sal showed me a study, too ó how I had the most strikes that were balls that I (turned) into called strikes when I was catching. We talked about that, too. And thatís obviously the whole season. Itís showing up because weíve been playing a little bit better. But I think for me itís been pretty consistent.Ē

China fan - Wednesday, June 19 2013 @ 12:33 PM EDT (#274496) #
"....he's not the type of pro's pro that takes pride in his game...."

Wow, another fan who is psychoanalyzing the players through the TV set....
hypobole - Wednesday, June 19 2013 @ 12:55 PM EDT (#274498) #
I think JPA's catching this year has been a bit like Colby's hitting. If you did a compilation of Colby's worst PA's this year, it would be ugly to the point one could think of him as another Brandon Wood. But there he is with an OPS+ of 112.

If all you notice are JPA's bad frames and stabs, there is no amount of convincing that will make you believe he's actually an above average framer.

sam - Wednesday, June 19 2013 @ 01:07 PM EDT (#274501) #
China Fan,

What's I'm looking at his laziness behind the plate.  Catching is a skill as well as an art.  It takes an extreme amount of effort and perseverance to catch a pitched baseball 150+ times a game.  A pro never lets up and takes real pride in his craft.  That pitch that he boxes himself out on or the upteenth time there's a sign discrepancy are mistakes that guys who take pride in their craft as technicians behind the plate don't allow to happen, especially as frequently as they do for Arencibia.  That's the way they teach them.  Arencibia has all the physical tools to be a good defensive catcher.  He was a first round pick for that reason.  Everyone here seems to acknowledge that Arencibia makes mistakes, it is the repetition of these mistakes this far into a pro career that is disappointing and warrants my questioning about his commitment to the demands of the position.  Of course, ask Arencibia and he'll tell you he's the best. 
uglyone - Wednesday, June 19 2013 @ 01:09 PM EDT (#274503) #
I think people get tunnel vision with their own players sometimes.

Watch other catchers and you'll see plenty of stabbing at the ball, too. Most catchers aren't Molina-smooth behind the plate (though speaking of Molinas, Jose's pitch framing is about the most overrated thing in baseball, and sure isn't helping the Rays' pitching much this year). It really doesn't shock me that JPA's balls-called-strikes numbers are good - I've noticed him steadily getting those edge calls since last year. And let's remember that for most of his career JPA's been catching the nasty-stuff poor-command type pitchers - Romero, Morrow, Happ, Drabek, Cecil, Villy, and now Dickey and Johnson. Aside from Alvarez and now Buehrle (and maybe Wang), he hasn't had the benefit of catching many command specialists. And he's never had any trouble making command specialists in the 'pen like Janssen and Oliver look good, either.

JPA's got an average arm, is at least average in pitch framing, and his issues with passed balls seem to be improving, at least when he's not trying to catch a knuckler.

Hodgie - Wednesday, June 19 2013 @ 01:12 PM EDT (#274504) #
I just think that with Arencibia, he's not the type of pro's pro that takes pride in his game.

Please stop. The hate for Arencibia is bordering on absurd. Be disappointed in his performance; mention that disappointment as nauseum if you must, but the flippant attacks on the manís character need to stop. For the love of Pete, an example of the man working with the coaches in the organization results in his commitment to being a professional getting called into question? Talk about damned if you do and damned if you donít Ö I would expect something like this if he had refused to work with Fasano.

Lylemcr - Wednesday, June 19 2013 @ 01:13 PM EDT (#274505) #

The one thing I notice about JPA is that he loves the camera.  I think he has a bit of an ego.  I think there is alot of maturing that needs to happen yet (same goes for Rasmus and Lawrie)

It seems like catchers take longer to mature than other positions.  Maybe he is starting to mature....  I think he has the tools... 

Maybe someday he will stop swinging for the fence and a little more for contact.  But...Chicks dig the long ball you know.... 

uglyone - Wednesday, June 19 2013 @ 01:31 PM EDT (#274508) #
I'm also not sure that people appreciate how awesome JP's power really is.

JP currently has the 5th best SLG for catchers....of all time...

1. M.Napoli 2934pa, .244iso
2. M.Piazza 7745pa, .237
3. B.Estalella 1056pa, .225
4. R.Campanella 1215pa, .224
5. J.Arencibia 1146pa, .217
6. T.Hundley 4305pa, .209
7. J.Bench 8673pa, .208
8. M.Tettleton 5745pa, .208
9. D.Ross 2045pa, .207
10. C.Hoiles 3339pa, .205
Ryan Day - Wednesday, June 19 2013 @ 01:31 PM EDT (#274509) #
Pretty much every interview I've seen with Jays players & coaches states that JPA is a very hard worker, and he appears to be very well liked in the clubhouse. At the end of the day, I think he's just a guy with some big holes in his game, and that doesn't seem likely to change - he's been the same player since the day he was drafted. I suspect that if he were a mediocre defensive catcher with absolutely no strike zone judgment and a lazy jerk, he would not have lasted as long as he has in the organization.
Lylemcr - Wednesday, June 19 2013 @ 01:41 PM EDT (#274510) #

I also wondering if working with a veteran like Beuhrle has changed his game too...


92-93 - Wednesday, June 19 2013 @ 01:46 PM EDT (#274512) #
"I'm also not sure that people appreciate how awesome JP's power really is."

It's fine if you want to keep defending Arencibia, but like with his pitch framing please stop pretending everybody else around here is ignoring information that only you have been enlightened by. ISO is very misleading when the guy rarely picks up hits or gets on base. It penalizes a player for adjusting to situations. If every catcher in MLB history took JP Arencibia's piss poor approach to the plate and swung from his shoetops every time with little regard to the game's circumstance you'd see ISOs that were a lot higher across the board. Take Jon Lucroy, for instance; his ISO is only .160 this year compared to Arencibia's .240, but his OPS is 43 points higher (and SLG only 30 points lower) because he isn't a terrible hitter.
Mike Green - Wednesday, June 19 2013 @ 02:13 PM EDT (#274515) #
The offensive aspect of Arencibia's game (positive and negative) is pretty obvious and pretty objective. The defensive aspect is a little harder to trace.  My subjective impression defensively was that he was terrible early in the season (perhaps he was affected by the cold weather as some of the starters appeared to be), and has been noticeably better more recently.  I agree on balance that he is a somewhat below average defensive catcher.  Fangraphs has him as a 2.1 WAR catcher over 1000 PAs from 2010-12.  That's a fair assessment, I think.  Personally, I'd prefer to have Thole playing 5 times a week and Arencibia 2.  It is however reasonable for the job to be split 50-50 or even as Gibbons is doing it. 

My subjective impression is that Thole has developed more power than I previously thought he had, and I believe that if you had him facing RHPs only except for when Dickey started facing a lefty, he could deliver Whitt-like performance or even a little better than that.  That is a purely subjective impression.

uglyone - Wednesday, June 19 2013 @ 02:29 PM EDT (#274518) #
I meant ISO not SLG in that comparison, btw.

Magpie - Wednesday, June 19 2013 @ 02:35 PM EDT (#274519) #
having Thole on the team, and providing real competition for JPA

He hasn't provided any real competition for playing time so far.

Slumps end, just like hot streaks. That's all.
uglyone - Wednesday, June 19 2013 @ 02:37 PM EDT (#274520) #
"It's fine if you want to keep defending Arencibia, but like with his pitch framing please stop pretending everybody else around here is ignoring information that only you have been enlightened by. "

funny, it seems to me that it's all the JPA critics with delusions of grandeur, pretending their expert scouts' eyes are so great that we should ignore any statistical evidence to the contrary.

You might find me annoying, but trust me, I'm nowhere near as annoying to you as all the JPA bashers are to some of the rest of us.

And ISO is quite easy to look up, and nothing that I am privy to that nobody else is. Though I'm sure many people would be surprised to see that JPA is 5th in catcher ISO in the entire history of baseball, so I thought I'd share.

The numbers tell us that JP, in the first couple seasons of his career, has been a moderately below average catcher across the board. He makes peanuts, too, and has the raw talent to hope for some improvement with a little bit of refinement that usually comes with more experience. He's hardly been the biggest problem on this team this year, and there are far more expensive underperformers we should be worrying about.

The hate he receives from you and your ilk is not only annoying, but really just dumb.
Dave Till - Wednesday, June 19 2013 @ 02:45 PM EDT (#274522) #
JPA can do three things at the major-league level: he can catch, he can hit home runs, and he is reasonably durable. He has lots of obvious negatives too (he reaches base about as often as some pitchers), and they are serious ones, but: I don't want to punt JPA until somebody who is demonstrably better is available.

Josh Thole might prove to be that player, but I'd like to see him contribute on a regular basis first.

For now, let's hope that JPA improves his on-base percentage, and let's enjoy the baseballs going over the wall.

92-93 - Wednesday, June 19 2013 @ 03:14 PM EDT (#274524) #
There's nothing dumb about recognizing JP Arencibia is both a below average hitter and defensive catcher, and nobody here hates him. There's a wide gap between criticizing a player and hating him, one that you can't seem to acknowledge. I don't think Arencibia needs to play 4 out of every 5 games but I still find the suggestion that Thole should be handed 5 out of every 7 starts equally ridiculous.

Right now, JP Arencibia is an asset. Any team would love to have him for 500k. I suspect that in Arb1 he will be paid close to his true FA value, and that by Arb2 there won't be any real value left because of how the arbitration process weighs HRs & RBIs. Nobody around here is suggesting we kick Arencibia to the curb for a bag of baseballs, whether or not people think he's cocky, arrogant, and/or unwilling to learn how to get better.
uglyone - Wednesday, June 19 2013 @ 03:16 PM EDT (#274525) #
Another number apparently I'm "privy" to is wOBA, a number which adjusts properly for OBP without ignoring SLG.

Here's how our "awful" hitting catcher stacks up this year offensively against the rest of the starting catchers in baseball:

1. MIN Mauer .391
2. STL Molina .390
3. SFG Posey .387
4. CLE Santana .382
5. ATL McCann .352
6. HOU Castro ..349
7. BOS Salty .348
8. PIT Martin .344
9. TEX Pierzynski .343
10. LAA Iannetta .328
11. KCR Perez .323
12. MIL Lucroy .321
13. LAD Ellis .321
14. COL Rosario .321
15. NYM Buck .308
16. TOR Arencibia .301
17. CIN Mesoraco ..300
18. NYY Stewart .299
19. BAL Wieters .299
20. CHC Castillo .292
21. SDP Hundley .288
22. OAK Norris .285
23. CHW Flowers .283
24. ARZ Montero .275
25. TBR Molina .270
26. WSH Suzuki .265
27. MIA Brantly .264
28. SEA Montero .261
29. DET Avila .256
30. PHI Ruiz .255

Lots of awful hitting catchers around, it seems.
92-93 - Wednesday, June 19 2013 @ 03:18 PM EDT (#274526) #
I enjoy when people put quotations around words that haven't been said; it really helps build their case.
China fan - Wednesday, June 19 2013 @ 03:23 PM EDT (#274527) #
I think he meant to put quotation marks around "piss poor" rather than "awful."
92-93 - Wednesday, June 19 2013 @ 03:25 PM EDT (#274528) #
Citing this season's #s as a response to me pointing out Arencibia's horrendous APPROACH in the context of an isolated power discussion does nothing.
China fan - Wednesday, June 19 2013 @ 03:26 PM EDT (#274529) #
Onward to more positive subjects:

BP had the Jays with a 6 per cent chance of making the playoffs, before Tuesday's game. But ESPN now has the Jays with a 17 per cent chance of reaching the post-season.
92-93 - Wednesday, June 19 2013 @ 03:28 PM EDT (#274530) #
Even that hyperlink makes me angry. "Can they"?! They're 4.5 games back IN JUNE. If we were this close in mid-September I'd be excited.
92-93 - Wednesday, June 19 2013 @ 03:38 PM EDT (#274532) #
Arencibia's average wOBA is context-neutral. If we're ignoring defense and using sabermetrics, why don't we just look at WPA, which can properly measure the effect Arencibia's offense has had on the Jays' win probability since he became starting catcher?

uglyone - Wednesday, June 19 2013 @ 03:40 PM EDT (#274533) #
fun with quotes from just this thread.....

"At the plate, it's simply unacceptable"

"piss poor"

"ISO is very misleading"


........then suddenly.......

"below average"

"nobody hates him"

"Arencibia is an asset"
China fan - Wednesday, June 19 2013 @ 03:51 PM EDT (#274534) #
"...nobody here hates him...."

Perhaps you don't hate him, but some others here have called him "lazy" and "egotistical" and "unprofessional" and "lacking pride." Those are the cheap-shot descriptions that I object to. Anyone can debate his hitting numbers, his defensive abilities, etc, but I think it's unfair to suggest that he's lazy or egotistical. Anyone who gets to the majors has worked damn hard to get there.

bpoz - Wednesday, June 19 2013 @ 03:57 PM EDT (#274535) #
John N, The BA 1996 top 6 is a great list. Was anyone good 7-10. K Escobar had to have been on the list I am guessing.
John Northey - Wednesday, June 19 2013 @ 03:58 PM EDT (#274536) #
Good list from uglyone.  Another one to check is sOPS+ as it compares him  only to other catchers.  His sOPS+ as a catcher is 101 (it removes his 14 PA as a DH or PH).  Now, OPS+ does give the same weight to Slg as OBP when OBP is more valuable but the main point is that he is, if not average at least very close to it offensively for catchers.  wOBA suggests it, OPS+ says it.  Right now his slash line is 222/243/461 and career is 222/268/439.  OPS+ lifetime 88, OPS+ 2013: 87.  He is who he is and it really hasn't changed.  In his 3 full seasons he has ranged from 87 to 91 for OPS+, 219 to 233 for avg, 243 to 282 for OBP, 435 to 461 for Slg.  This year he moved a few points from OBP to Slg but by years end it probably will be a lot closer to his norms than it is now. 

In many ways I see JPA as the Alex Gonzalez of the 2010's.  In the 90's we all hoped Gonzo #1 would be a star as he came up young and did fine.  Then he kept doing the same thing year in/year out and never really improved.  JPA seems to be the same.  It isn't a bad thing, it just means the guy we hoped would become a star will instead 'just' be a solid league average performer.
Alex Obal - Wednesday, June 19 2013 @ 03:58 PM EDT (#274537) #
There's a wide gap between criticizing a player and hating him, one that [it is possible to be unable] to acknowledge

I blame Drake.
bpoz - Wednesday, June 19 2013 @ 04:09 PM EDT (#274538) #
Regarding catchers. IMO we hit gold when P Boarders & G Myers came up together.

Since my memory is poor they should not have come up together.

I would argue theoretically.

1) A contender should not have 2 young catchers.
2) With catchers having a low number of ABs in the minors, IMO it is hard to develop their hitting.

JPA, d'Arnaud, AJ Jimmenez & C Perez are a lot to develop at the same time. Jan Gomes too.
John Northey - Wednesday, June 19 2013 @ 04:10 PM EDT (#274539) #
The 1996 BA list for the Jays also had Ryan Jones, Tom Evans, Felipe Crespo and Kevin Witt.  None did much, although Crespo was one of those guys who always seemed close to being something but never was.

A quick look through the Jays top 10 from 1992 to 2013 shows me that all 10 made it to the majors in 1992 (Delgado & Hentgen the highlights but #1 was Derek Bell and #2 A-Gon the first), 2002 (Jayson Werth or Alex Rios the highlight, Dustin McGowan and Orlando Hudson also part of that group), 2003 (very similar), 2005 (Aaron Hill, Dustin McGowan again), and only 2013 had none make it so far with AJ Jimenez being the only one on a 40 man roster.  Kevin Ahrens as the #3 Jays prospect in 2008 (ahead of J.P. Arencibia & Ricky Romero) is the highest rated to never make it (baring a major shock) not counting 2011-2013. 
Mike Green - Wednesday, June 19 2013 @ 04:16 PM EDT (#274540) #
Arencibia isn't quite Alex Gonzalez.  Gonzalez was a terrific defender when he came up, and even hitting badly, he was an average player.  He then had a terrible year in 1998. In 1999, he was off to a great start and likely would have had the best year of his career had it not been for the injury that put him out the rest of the year.  He was never the same.  Gonzalez never came close to reaching the promise he had in the minor leagues.

Arencibia has basically performed in the same way as one would expect from the 2nd half of his minor league career. 

If you are trying to measure where he sits among catchers, I would use this chart.  I put a 150 PA minimum.  It should be noted that the A's are winning with Derek Norris who has been little better than Arencibia, and the Diamondbacks are above .500 with Miguel Montero who has been pretty terrible. 

Paul D - Wednesday, June 19 2013 @ 04:23 PM EDT (#274542) #
OPS+ does not actually quite give the same weight to SLG and OBP. OPS+ is not actually just OPS normalized. It's essentially (OBP+)+(SLG+)-100.

More detail here:
Magpie - Wednesday, June 19 2013 @ 04:39 PM EDT (#274543) #
Borders & G Myers came up together

They didn't quite come up together - Myers was generally at least a year ahead of Borders in the minors. And Borders spent his early years in the minors as a corner infielder. He didn't really become a full-time catcher until 1987 in AA (Myers was in AAA.) In 1988 he leapfrogged past Myers to the major league team because he provided a RH platoon partner for Ernie Whitt.
92-93 - Wednesday, June 19 2013 @ 06:27 PM EDT (#274544) #
Wait, do you actually think those quotes are somehow irreconcilable, uglyone?
92-93 - Wednesday, June 19 2013 @ 06:31 PM EDT (#274545) #
A WAR chart doesn't really help when somebody is trying to tell you Arencibia is an average offensive catcher with prodigious power. A WPA chart, on the other hand, shows that Arencibia has provided the least value offensively of any starting catcher in the AL since becoming the Jays catcher.
Mike Green - Wednesday, June 19 2013 @ 07:00 PM EDT (#274546) #
I don't agree.  For a position player, WPA measures only offensive contributions and heavily weights "clutch performance".  Some of Arencibia's worst moments aren't captured (i.e. the balls not blocked and so on), and some of his best aren't fairly weighted. WPA is much more relevant for relief pitchers.
bpoz - Thursday, June 20 2013 @ 11:55 AM EDT (#274596) #
Thanks Magpie. My memory is refreshed.

So we have 2 young catchers and neither is established. I also have no idea if they were WOW prospects based on performance. Both turned out to be very good. If I may say we had a surplus in catchers & also I recall in our history McGriff & C Fielder as 1b/DH. I always hated losing our surplus. I know we got nothing for Fielder. Myers?

IMO JPA was a WOW prospect, ie hit a lot of HRs & won the PCL's MVP. That is performance. d'Arnaud helped get a Cy Young winner (twice) so IMO he has achieved something.
uglyone - Thursday, June 20 2013 @ 04:52 PM EDT (#274615) #
an interesting addition to the pitch framing discussion:
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