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All this energy callin' me, back where it comes from.

Ubaldo Jimenez (6-4, 4.67) versus Josh Johnson (1-3, 4.89) to see who will rock the best. First pitch from Progressive Field is 7:05 pm Eastern.

Tonight's @BlueJays lineup: Reyes-SS Bautista-RF Encarnacion-DH Lind-1B Rasmus-CF Izturis-3B Davis-LF Arencibia-C Bonifacio-2B
Game Thread 7/9 @ Cleveland | 80 comments | Create New Account
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Mike Green - Tuesday, July 09 2013 @ 04:40 PM EDT (#276041) #
Bonifacio is back at second again for a Josh Johnson start.  That pairing, I thought, had worked particularly poorly.  Let's check. 

It wasn't my imagination.  Bonifacio has started in 6 of Johnson's starts and made 5 errors in those games. 
uglyone - Tuesday, July 09 2013 @ 05:35 PM EDT (#276045) #
I mentioned it a thread lower down, but we might finally have a legit internal option to give us a credible second baseman.

That's because Izzy's finally regressing back to career norms, and Lawrie's imminent return frees him up to move over to 2B.

Last 26gms: 100pa, 2ht, 16rbi, 0/0sb, .342babip, .315avg, .350obp, .435slg, .785ops
Last 48gms: 177pa, 2hr, 18rbi, 0/2sb, .290babip, .274avg, .313obp, .378slg, .691ops

Making me feel better about expecting him to give us career-norm production the rest of the way (or even better, if the baseball gods feel like evening out that horrendous first half for us a bit).

Career: .271avg, .332obp, .378slg, .710ops, 91ops+

That's not great, but it's a massive upgrade over what we've received so far this year at 2B.

And for now I'm going to assume his poor defensive metrics are just a small sample anomaly.
uglyone - Tuesday, July 09 2013 @ 05:47 PM EDT (#276046) #
apparently Lawrie is playing 2B for Buffalo tonight.
China fan - Tuesday, July 09 2013 @ 06:02 PM EDT (#276048) #
Jeez. I mentioned the Lawrie-to-2B rumor in another thread, but didn't think it would materialize so fast.

Of course it doesn't necessarily mean that Lawrie will be at 2B in the long term. But if his hitting performance doesn't get out of the doldrums soon, his bat could play better at 2B than at 3B.

But then who becomes the 3B of the future? Could it be Bautista, given the surplus of OF in the Jays system? But is his defence good enough for 3B, and does he want to do it?

There are very few other 3B options in the system. And if you're going to trade for a 3B, why not trade for a 2B and save everyone the shifting-around hassle?
John Northey - Tuesday, July 09 2013 @ 06:30 PM EDT (#276049) #
If they are trying Lawrie at 2B I wonder if AA has a potential trade for a third baseman sitting in his pocket and is just checking if Lawrie can handle 2B again.  Trades are tricky things, you need to not just have what another team wants but they also need to have what you want. 

Hrm.. but who has excess at 3B or might be willing to clear out their 3B?  Given the Mets are trying to be cheap, cheap, cheap (due to owners issues) could they be trying to move David Wright?  I doubt it, but he is owed $20 mil a year for the next 5 years and $27 mil for the 2 years after that.  Not a contract AA would go for normally, but who knows?  At his level of production he is well worth it.  Would have to give up prospects or cheap players plus, of course, the Mets pen (along with many other areas) is a mess.  The Cubs have a 37 year old Cody Ransom who is having a good year (126 OPS+) but his 90 OPS+ lifetime and age suggests we might as well stick with DeRosa.  Cubs are out of it though and their regular, Luis Valbuena, is decent this year with a 106 OPS+ but lifetime is just 79 - probably a single reliever would get him but would we want him.  Aramis Ramirez in Milwaukee is having a good year (109 OPS+) after two great ones (136 OPS+ both years) - he is 35 and signed for next year at $16 mil with mutual option for 2015 or $4 mil buyout - he seems a very viable target and would help this year and next if Lawrie can handle 2B.

Any other candidates?  Milwaukee seems most likely to me, with the faint hope to stealing Wright (which lands into my old 'get King Felix' and 'get Profar' themes as extremely unlikely).
uglyone - Tuesday, July 09 2013 @ 06:49 PM EDT (#276050) #
From the "when will i ever learn?" Files, i'll point out that one edwin encarnaion looked pretty dang snazzy over at 3b this year.

And getting a 1b/dh is probably an easier task than a middle infielder.
92-93 - Tuesday, July 09 2013 @ 07:09 PM EDT (#276051) #
There is no surplus of OF in the Jays system, and Bautista does not like playing 3B.
China fan - Tuesday, July 09 2013 @ 07:18 PM EDT (#276053) #
"...There is no surplus of OF in the Jays system, and Bautista does not like playing 3B..."

More than a year ago, you were touting Gose as major-league-ready in certain OF scenarios, so why are you now dismissing him as an option? And then there's Pillar, who is currently deemed major-league-ready by Anthopoulos. So there are two OF options in the system. And then there's Rajai Davis, who arguably deserves a shot at a full-time job (an OBP of .341 plus 22 stolen bases). Certainly there are more OF options than 3B options in the system, even if none of them are ideal. If someone like Davis is a superior bat to Bonifacio or Kawasaki or Izturis, the offense is stronger if he's in the OF and Bautista is at 3B and Lawrie at 2B.

As for Bautista's wishes: you're purely guessing. He has never said that he won't play 3B or doesn't want to play 3B. Maybe he does and maybe he doesn't, but there is no concrete evidence from Bautista himself to show that he doesn't.
92-93 - Tuesday, July 09 2013 @ 07:33 PM EDT (#276054) #
I touted Gose in CF as the Jays best all-around alignment, not as a MLB-ready starting OF; Eric Thames sucks. AA has deemed Pillar MLB-ready to fill in if needed, but certainly not as somebody around whom other moves can be made so he can be slotted into an everyday role. As for Rajai Davis, there isn't a credible argument that suggests a 32 year old with a .650 OPS deserves a shot at regular playing time.

If the idea is to just slot in players who don't deserve everyday jobs into LF, the same can be done at 3B.

Bautista has made it clear on numerous occasions he prefers the outfield to the infield. You don't mess with that at this point.
92-93 - Tuesday, July 09 2013 @ 07:35 PM EDT (#276055) #
Also, are you actually suggesting I ignore the 9 months of baseball that have passed since I thought Gose could handle MLB pitching well enough to swim?
China fan - Tuesday, July 09 2013 @ 07:38 PM EDT (#276056) #
"...Bautista has made it clear on numerous occasions he prefers the outfield to the infield...."

Everyone has a preference, but that's not what you said in your previous post. You claimed he "does not like playing 3B." You don't have anything to substantiate that statement.

As for Davis: you're wrong about his OPS. It is nearly 100 points higher than you stated.
92-93 - Tuesday, July 09 2013 @ 07:43 PM EDT (#276057) #
I've heard Bautista say things of the sort on multiple occasions. Obviously, on the record, everything sounds like "I will gladly play 3B for the team, but think I serve them best in the OF." He isn't the type of player to come straight out and make demands, cornering the team's management into a stance.

I figured you understood I was referencing Rajai's experience vs. RHP. My apologies. But since you claim it's nearly 100 points higher, I have no idea what you're talking about, because it isn't even 50. His career OPS, lefties included, is a paltry .697. Argue away that he deserves a shot, though.
eudaimon - Tuesday, July 09 2013 @ 07:44 PM EDT (#276058) #
I remember an article a while back that stated Bautista's preference for the OF. That doesn't mean he couldn't fill in, but I doubt the team is going to play around with their star player and put him where he doesn't feel comfortable.

Davis has a .697 career OPS. You're both off.

China fan - Tuesday, July 09 2013 @ 07:53 PM EDT (#276059) #
I was referencing his 2013 season numbers: OPS of .736. That's the most relevant number for assessing how he's doing this season, surely.

When I talked about Kawasaki's career numbers, most people here shouted me down, arguing that only his 2013 numbers mattered. So I presume that the same people will support the use of 2013 numbers to assess how Rajai Davis is doing in 2013.

As for his RHP numbers: why is that relevant, unless the league has eliminated all LHP hitters? Davis hasn't been hidden from RHP this year -- he's faced more RHP than LHP.
China fan - Tuesday, July 09 2013 @ 07:56 PM EDT (#276060) #
"....Obviously, on the record, everything sounds like "I will gladly play 3B for the team, but think I serve them best in the OF"....

Bautista hasn't made that statement either. He's never said "I serve them best in the OF."

If you want to make the statement that Bautista is better defensively in the OF than in the infield, that's fine, I agree. But don't say that Bautista is unwilling to go to 3B if the team asks him.
eudaimon - Tuesday, July 09 2013 @ 08:01 PM EDT (#276061) #
Kawasaki had like a third of a years experience in MLB before this year. Davis has been around for years.

"I never said I prefer [right field]," Bautista told MLB.com. "I always said that I think I'm more valuable to our team defense, as we were set up, in right field, and I still believe that."
Magpie - Tuesday, July 09 2013 @ 08:05 PM EDT (#276062) #
Obviously, on the record, everything sounds like "I will gladly play 3B for the team, but think I serve them best in the OF."

Exactly - but he would of course be perfectly willing to "sacrifice" - his word - and play third base if it's what the team needed.
China fan - Tuesday, July 09 2013 @ 08:09 PM EDT (#276063) #
Bautista is saying the obvious -- he is "more valuable" defensively in the outfield. Everyone agrees. But he's never said "I don't like playing 3B" -- which is my main point. And notice the caveat about "as we were set up." He was talking about the previous lineup. If Lawrie shifts to 2B (which is what we are discussing), it would be quite a different lineup, with an obvious hole at 3B which would have to be filled by someone like Encarnacion or Bautista.

My main argument is that the Jays have to find options to solve the sinkhole at 2B. If it means shifting Lawrie to 2B, there need to be internal options to fill 3B and there's no need to eliminate any possibilities.
Magpie - Tuesday, July 09 2013 @ 08:23 PM EDT (#276064) #
Bautista hasn't made that statement either. He's never said "I serve them best in the OF."

He's certainly been quoted as saying something very similar, as the Google quickly tells us. From a Ken Fidlin story in February 2011:

I do think I can help out the team the most as an outfielder. I felt pretty comfortable there last year and I had a good offensive year. But I do understand that we are a team and if I can help the team by making a move, I will.

And in March of this year, Mike Rutsey wrote:

Bautista has stated over and over that he prefers right field but for a stop-gap measure, if it is beneficial to the team and it is imperative that this team get off to a good start he may, in needed, be open to the idea.
Magpie - Tuesday, July 09 2013 @ 08:29 PM EDT (#276065) #
It always startles me to seen Carlos Santana playing baseball. That's not your instrument, man.

And there's never been a ball player named Jimmy Page? Go figure. We've got Joe Page, but that's kind of like Rod Beck.
Chuck - Tuesday, July 09 2013 @ 08:30 PM EDT (#276066) #

So I presume that the same people will support the use of 2013 numbers to assess how Rajai Davis is doing in 2013.

Looking at Davis's 2013 numbers only, we get the following.

His L/R OPS splits are 880/626. Given that 43% of his PA's have come against LHP, that has netted to a .736 OPS overall (OPS+ of 100).

Were Davis's playing time more normally split, like Bautista's say, he'd be facing LHP just 22% of the time. So his 880/626 splits would net to a .682 OPS overall.

Davis's numbers only look as good as they do this year because he has been protected from an overabundance of RHP. He is getting ABs vs. RHP in Cabrera's stead only because the team has no other options, not because he deserves to.

China fan - Tuesday, July 09 2013 @ 08:32 PM EDT (#276067) #
Magpie, you're right. I withdraw my statement that he didn't publicly state this. But I stick to my assertion that he has never said he "dislikes" playing 3B if it best serves the team. And if Lawrie goes to 2B, the Jays will have to look at everyone (Encarnacion, Bautista) as options at 3B.
China fan - Tuesday, July 09 2013 @ 08:40 PM EDT (#276068) #
Chuck, good points. But Davis is still a superior bat to the current 2B options (Bonifacio, Kawasaki) and probably a better bat than Izturis too, especially if his base-stealing is included in the equation. My point was: a lineup with Bautista at 3B and Lawrie at 2B and Davis in the OF would produce better offence than Lawrie/Bautista/Bonifacio or Lawrie/Bautista/Kawasaki or even Lawrie/Bautista/Izturis.
Magpie - Tuesday, July 09 2013 @ 08:43 PM EDT (#276069) #
that he has never said he "dislikes" playing 3B if it best serves the team.

Sure - a preference for one option does not mean an actual dislike of the other. And I've always thought Bautista has been pretty straight forward and professional about the whole thing - he's clear about what he prefers, and he's equally clear that he's perfectly willing to do something else. And I suppose I'd rather see him at third than Encarnacion.

But... This team has regularly driven me crazy with these position shifts that get abandoned in three weeks. And I don't know why anyone would think Lawrie could play second base without hurting himself.

Finally, I don't know who the hell Brett Lawrie is yet. The possibility that he's really just the next Aurelio Rodriguez (or Jeff Francoeur) can not be ruled out. In which case, you don't rearrange anything about him.
Chuck - Tuesday, July 09 2013 @ 08:50 PM EDT (#276070) #
Josh Johnson reminds me of A.J. Burnett. Amazing stuff, but from night to night you never know what you are going to get. And even when things appear to going swimmingly, you can't help having a nagging doubt that he could become derailed at a moment's notice. I don't know if this characterization is necessarily fair, it's just a feeling he instills.

Men on first and third, nobody out, and 7-8-9 can't do a damn thing about it. That bottom of the order is one oversized Achille's Heel.
Magpie - Tuesday, July 09 2013 @ 08:52 PM EDT (#276071) #
On the Twitter, Ben Ennis just noted that J.P. Arencibia has drawn twice as many walks as Adam Lind since the beginning of June (8-4).

In other news, MEN FROM MARS HAVE LANDED. Run for your lives.
Mike Green - Tuesday, July 09 2013 @ 08:56 PM EDT (#276072) #
Absolutely, Chuck.  I will spare you however the "wrath" of Dewey.  Achilles had two heels; one was Achilles' heel.

Carlos Santana does indeed win the rock guitarist competition (baseball names division) over Joe Page, Chad Beck and Claude Hendrix. 

Chuck - Tuesday, July 09 2013 @ 08:59 PM EDT (#276073) #
Nick Swisher: career 255/360/464, RISP 243/379/440.

Because Swisher just recored an RBI, Pat Tabler felt comfortable opining that with men in scoring position Swisher "raises his game a notch" and "becomes more focused" and blah blah blah cliche nonsense blah blah blah. Pat Tabler has no need for the facts, ma'am.
Chuck - Tuesday, July 09 2013 @ 09:00 PM EDT (#276074) #

I will spare you however the "wrath" of Dewey. 

Rats, I did bollox that up. Hopefully Dewey is taking the night off.

Mike Forbes - Tuesday, July 09 2013 @ 09:04 PM EDT (#276075) #
Natt Devlin >>> Buck Martinez
Mike Forbes - Tuesday, July 09 2013 @ 09:05 PM EDT (#276076) #
Matt* that is
uglyone - Tuesday, July 09 2013 @ 09:08 PM EDT (#276077) #
Is Lind the dumbest player of all time? how can he turn around his career by laying off the bad stuff for months on end, and then go right back to hacking at everything they toss?

blech.
Chuck - Tuesday, July 09 2013 @ 09:10 PM EDT (#276078) #
Natt Devlin >>> Buck Martinez

Agreed a jillion percent.

Are there any broadcasters who are fulltime in two sports? Does Gary Thorn do baseball and hockey fulltime? (he's the brutal Orioles guy who pairs with Rick Sutcliffe on MLB's non-network playoff broadcasts)
Chuck - Tuesday, July 09 2013 @ 09:15 PM EDT (#276079) #
Is Lind the dumbest player of all time?

In fairness, his back issues may be forcing him to have to start his swing early (and if so, let him sit and heal). And if not, surely you've been around long enough to know to not let the unfulfilled promise of his hot streaks break your heart. Yeah, I know. This time it will be different. We want to believe.
Mike Green - Tuesday, July 09 2013 @ 09:18 PM EDT (#276080) #
Brett Lawrie in Buffalo.  Thumbs up.  Brett Lawrie at second base.  Thumbs down. 

Pillar and Lawrie combined for the Bison's first run with singles. 

Chuck - Tuesday, July 09 2013 @ 09:27 PM EDT (#276081) #
Brett Lawrie at second base.  Thumbs down. 

Agreed. A china doll is best kept out of traffic's path.

Given his defense at 3B, even an unspectacular 250/300/400 slash line from Lawrie would make him a useful player. And I don't think it's a given that he'd be nearly as good a defensive 2B as a 3B. Those are very different positions.
Mike Green - Tuesday, July 09 2013 @ 09:28 PM EDT (#276082) #
Oh yeah.  The legendary Bonifacio bunt attempt.  Almost made the second deck behind the plate.
Mike Green - Tuesday, July 09 2013 @ 09:32 PM EDT (#276083) #
Followed by a baserunning faux pas from Arencibia.  This game just keeps giving and giving.
Four Seamer - Tuesday, July 09 2013 @ 09:34 PM EDT (#276084) #
"Followed by a baserunning faux pas from Arencibia.  This game just keeps giving and giving."

Are you aware just how difficult the game of baseball is, Mike Green?  I'm sure everybody is trying their hardest.

Alex Obal - Tuesday, July 09 2013 @ 09:37 PM EDT (#276085) #
I get the '08 Burnett vibe too. One difference between Burnett and Johnson: For a couple of years, Johnson had a plausible claim to the title of Best In The World. Burnett was relatively unproven, and had never sustained comparable excellence. If, as some folks do, you overrate provenness...

How much better would Bonifacio be hitting if he didn't put himself in an 0-1 hole every single at-bat by showing bunt?
Magpie - Tuesday, July 09 2013 @ 09:41 PM EDT (#276086) #
Carlos Santana does indeed win the rock guitarist competition

Rich Thompson is still toiling away in the Tampa system. A better musician than a ball player, I suppose. And strangely enough, his British namesake, founding member of Fairport Convention and in my view the most original and inventive electric guitarist ever (at least in the not-from-Seattle division) has emigrated to Los Angeles and become a huge hockey fan.
Alex Obal - Tuesday, July 09 2013 @ 09:42 PM EDT (#276087) #
'06, that should read. His first year, when he was taking a few poundings in his transition from a relatively mellow city in an inferior league to Toronto.
uglyone - Tuesday, July 09 2013 @ 09:47 PM EDT (#276088) #
This was a game for the taking. JJ pitched great. Had Ubaldo on the ropes. Messed it all up.

Even if it doesn't make sense, I blame Bonifacio.
CeeBee - Tuesday, July 09 2013 @ 09:56 PM EDT (#276089) #
They tease, and then they disappoint. This is a slow death march to the trade deadline. 1 step forward, 2 steps back. Damn, I'm wishing the hockey season was a lot closer.
Alex Obal - Tuesday, July 09 2013 @ 09:56 PM EDT (#276090) #
Carlos Santana does indeed win the rock guitarist competition

Matt Moore may have something to say about that...
uglyone - Tuesday, July 09 2013 @ 09:57 PM EDT (#276091) #
This is Perez' 4th night in a row pitching.

can the bottom of the order take advantage?
Alex Obal - Tuesday, July 09 2013 @ 09:59 PM EDT (#276092) #
Or Johan Santana, I guess. Nevermind. This is getting really hard to watch.
uglyone - Tuesday, July 09 2013 @ 10:00 PM EDT (#276093) #
hey, at least they didn't let Bonifacio be the last out.

progress.
Dewey - Tuesday, July 09 2013 @ 10:03 PM EDT (#276094) #
Rats, I did bollox that up. Hopefully Dewey is taking the night off.

Nah; but this game is so damned demoralizing that its too hard to work up any wrath other than for the bottom of the Jays order.

Moreover, you very kindly let me mix up Rick Sutcliffe and Rick Honeycutt for the 23rd time the other night without calling me out.  So I cant see anything wrong with the allegedly bolloxed post.  Dont get complacent though.
BlueJayWay - Tuesday, July 09 2013 @ 10:07 PM EDT (#276095) #
Arencibia terrible.  Bonifacio terrible.  This is a recording.
greenfrog - Tuesday, July 09 2013 @ 10:35 PM EDT (#276096) #
Bonifacio is having one of the all-time terrible Blue Jays seasons. To put it in perspective, Corey Patterson had an OPS+ of 78 with the Jays in 2011. Bonifacio's OPS+ this year (before tonight's game) is 49. (Side note: Patterson had an OPS+ of 17 with the Cards after the trade. Who says the NL is easier?)

However, Boni's 2013 surpasses "athletic" Joe Lawrence's one-and-only season (2002), in which he hit 180/262/247 (OPS+ 35) over 174 PA and was never heard from again.
Magpie - Tuesday, July 09 2013 @ 11:30 PM EDT (#276097) #
Bonifacio is having one of the all-time terrible Blue Jays seasons.

This is absolutely correct. Let me provide some historical perspective. Have any Blue Jays regulars (as determined by a simple browse of BBref.com) have posted worse hitting lines than EB's mighty 49 OPS+.

Sure, and it's not a club you want to be part of.

1977 - Gary Woods (The majors? Moi?)
1980 - Danny Ainge (Whoa. Baseball is hard.)
1982 - Danny Ainge (Yeah, I've had enough of this.)
1984 - Alfredo Griffin (Why am I still here, that Fernandez kid is good.)
1987 - Garth Iorg (Uh-oh. I think the league has got me figured out.)
1997 - Carlos Garcia (Am I too old for this sh*t? I guess I am.)
2000 - Homer Bush (I am injured and probably shouldn't be playing. Why me?)

How bad were these seasons? How bad has Bonifacio been? Let me put it this way:

Worse than Huckaby.

smcs - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 02:22 AM EDT (#276098) #
1984 - Alfredo Griffin (Why am I still here, that Fernandez kid is good.)

He was on the 1984 All-Star team.
Oceanbound - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 02:34 AM EDT (#276099) #
Ahahaha. I was wondering how that was possible, so I looked it up on Wikipedia. Too funny.
Magpie - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 03:51 AM EDT (#276100) #
Alfredo managed to be part of four WS winners (1988 Dodgers and 1992-93 Jays as a player, and 2002 Angels as a coach) - that's four more than Ted Williams and Barry Bonds. You never know.

Yogi Berra had the most of any player, with 10, and he coached on three more champions. Stengel and McCarthy each managed 7 winners, and Stengel played on another.

But I would assume the all time champ would have to be Frank Crosetti, who was in uniform as a player and coach for the Yankees from 1932 to 1968, from Ruth through Mantle. There should be around 17 titles in there. When a World Series bonus was good for more than messing up your taxes.
Chuck - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 07:19 AM EDT (#276101) #
Not a good day for ex-Jays. Brandon Lyon released. Shawn Camp released. Shaun Marcum to undergo season-ending surgery.
John Northey - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 07:20 AM EDT (#276102) #
Griffin's 1984 all-star berth was a funny one indeed.  Alan Trammell was hurt at the last minute, and since Griffin came with Damaso Garcia to the game (they were close friends) the manager named Griffin to the team so he wouldn't be short handed.  And that, my friends, is how a guy hitting 241/250/317 (567 OPS) at the break gets into the All-Star Game.  Guess if Kawasaki wants in he should go down there too, just in case.  Maybe hire Tonya Harding to make sure he gets in :)
John Northey - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 07:41 AM EDT (#276103) #
Speaking of all-stars... is everyone voting for Delabar and Freeman (whose parents are Canadian)?  Delabar was leading as of yesterday, as was Freeman so the vote push is working for the Jays and Atlanta.  The link is http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/events/all_star/y2013/fv/ballot.jsp?tcid=ASG13_HP_MW. I just keep tossing in votes for fun now and then.  Seems some people are doing thousands of vote as there is no limit to votes per email address.  Jays had a big advantage since they started promoting it within seconds of the announcement (I did about 50 to 100 entries right after it was announced too - was surprised it didn't stop me). 
Mike Green - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 09:01 AM EDT (#276106) #
Rich Thompson is still toiling away in the Tampa system. A better musician than a ball player, I suppose. And strangely enough, his British namesake, founding member of Fairport Convention and in my view the most original and inventive electric guitarist ever (at least in the not-from-Seattle division) has emigrated to Los Angeles and become a huge hockey fan.

Richard Thompson certainly has the Cy Young thing happening, playing extremely well at 64.  Never a slowhand. Never "smooth". Probably a better bunter than...
85bluejay - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 09:08 AM EDT (#276108) #
Given where the team is, I won't be upset if a disastrous road trip allows the team to become a seller  & start planning for 2014 - the team has many pieces they can move especially in the BP - the Jays should be aggressive - I have dreams of a Kolten  Wong  or  Castellanos (Lawrie to 2nd?) - The worst thing would a  split road trip that leaves them in limbo.
Ryan Day - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 09:43 AM EDT (#276110) #
How much better would Bonifacio be hitting if he didn't put himself in an 0-1 hole every single at-bat by showing bunt?

Or if he could bunt it fair every now and then. He's fast enough to beat out a well-placed bunt, and probably force some errors.

Regardless of the general desirability & usefulness of bunting, there's no excuse for Bonifacio to be doing it this badly.
John Northey - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 10:53 AM EDT (#276117) #
This year has been frustrating.  Since the big winning streak the Jays are 5-10 and look it.  18 games until the trade deadline (non-waiver version) with the Jays 7 games out of a playoff slot.  15 games ago the Jays were tied with Tampa Bay, who now has the 2nd wild card slot while falling just 2 more behind Baltimore & NYY who both are struggling as well.  From 5 behind the Red Sox to 10 1/2 back.  From serious contender to pretender again.

Another 11 game winning streak and all is nice and good.  A 9-9 stretch between now and the deadline though and AA has to be a seller, at least in the case of Johnson, Davis and Oliver who won't be around for 2014/2015.  That includes 2014 only guys like Cabrera, Bonifacio, DeRosa and Janssen.  Also Lind should be traded if someone buys into his hot first half as I don't expect it to continue - we've seen this story before and it doesn't have a happy ending.

Mike Green - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 11:01 AM EDT (#276119) #
Five games to the All-Star break.  Lawrie likely returns after the break, hopefully with Izturis moving to second base (unless the club bizarrely takes the view that Izturis at third and Lawrie at second is a better defensive alignment).  My guess is that the club waits for another two weeks to make decisions about its approach at the deadline.

Ryan Day - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 11:21 AM EDT (#276121) #
Playing Lawrie at 2nd and Izturis at 3b would be one of the stranger things the team has done. We know Lawrie is an exceptional 3B, and he has the right tools for it - lightning reflexes and an outstanding arm. My recollection is that very few people ever thought he could stick at 2B.

Lawrie at 2b may make sense if AA can find a serious option at 3B, but how many are out there?
bpoz - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 11:22 AM EDT (#276122) #
John N with 18 games to go before the deadline what record would you think of for 14 games for the Jays to be sellers or not. I say 14 because you want some time to work with.

If a buyer then we want someone good ie help now.

I can even see us trading good players (seller) like Janssen and doing better because the preseason opinion was that there were a lot of good pieces on the team.

Four Seamer - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 11:24 AM EDT (#276123) #
If I recall correctly, the radio crew discussed this on the weekend, and what captured my attention was Jack's observation that playing an exceptional defender like Lawrie at second would give him more opportunities to touch the ball.  As if he were a point guard, or something. 
Paul D - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 11:28 AM EDT (#276125) #
I'm sure that this is just wishful thinking, but doesn't this team strike as the kind of team where, after a big trade to re build for next year (say Johnson, Janssen and Oliver are all traded for a AAA 2b and an A SP), the team goes on a huge run and finishes 2 games out of the playoffs?
Ryan Day - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 12:06 PM EDT (#276128) #
Ricky Romero returns to MLB from the brutal hellscape of Buffalo and leads the team to the World Series. I want to watch that movie.

(Though I'd feel bad about shipping Janssen off, since he's a Jays lifer and such a great pitcher to watch.)
92-93 - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 12:18 PM EDT (#276130) #
Couple of tweets from @RobPettapiece that I agree with:

"Before yesterday, Delabar hadn't thrown in a week. When will they actually DL someone who can't play, rather than playing with 23 or 24?"

"Casey Janssen has pitched only 4 times in 17 days (51 pitches total), mostly in low-leverage situations. And the Jays need eight relievers?"

To add to the last one - Gibbons was on 590 this morning talking about how Janssen has been used the last few times in low-leverage situations simply because they needed to get him work to stay fresh. 8 man bullpens are silly.
Chuck - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 12:34 PM EDT (#276131) #
Ricky Romero returns to MLB from the brutal hellscape of Buffalo and leads the team to the World Series. I want to watch that movie.

Which Disney would surely have to make. Or NFL Films. Same diff.
Ryan Day - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 12:40 PM EDT (#276132) #
Janssen's usage is less about the size of the pen than it is the modern closer's role - there haven't been any save situations. His last save was June 22nd; the only opportunity since then was on June 26th, but that was Dickey's 93-pitch complete game. It's possible Janssen wouldn't have got into a game even with a 6-man pen.

(It's still ridiculous, of course, but differently ridiculous.)
Magpie - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 02:07 PM EDT (#276134) #
As if he were a point guard, or something.

It's an unusual way to make the point, but the point is solid. Your second baseman is going to be involved in about 800 plays over the course of the year, a third baseman about 500. Which puts a higher premium on good hands, at the very least.

That said, Lawrie played second base for a couple of years in the minors and everyone who watched him immediately started wondering which position he'd have to switch to before he got to the majors. (The consensus was that he probably wouldn't even be able to stay in the infield and would have to become a corner outfielder. So he's already turned out much better than anyone dreamed.)
Magpie - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 02:22 PM EDT (#276135) #
I don't think it's a given that [Lawrie]'d be nearly as good a defensive 2B as a 3B.

Joining the chorus - it was mentioned earlier in the thread that Lawrie's primary defensive tools - his reflexes and his arm - are better suited to 3b than 2b. That's obviously true - you need those reflexes much more when you're just 100 feet or so away from the batter. Not nearly so much when you're 140 feet away. And equally obviously, making a strong and accurate 140 foot throw is somewhat tougher than a 75 foot throw.

Someone else (can't remember who or when) also mentioned Lawrie's general fearlessness as an attribute at third base. True dat, and it's just about the last thing I want from my second baseman. A second baseman needs to bail out of impending trouble, and that doesn't seem to be in Lawrie's nature.

In other words - playing him at 2b simply wastes two of his main defensive tools, and turns the other into an actual disadvantage.
Mike Green - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 02:23 PM EDT (#276136) #
Yes and no.  You have to consider both no. of plays and degree of difficulty; second basemen have many more completely routine plays.  Most analysts who have recently studied the defensive spectrum come to the conclusion that third base, second base and centerfield are in a comparable zone of importance significantly behind shortstop.  Of course, in the case of Lawrie, as everyone agrees, his particular defensive skills and weaknesses are much better suited to the requirements of third base play than second base play.  No "Jose Bautista Feminist" jokes please.
Ryan Day - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 02:37 PM EDT (#276137) #
A second baseman needs to bail out of impending trouble, and that doesn't seem to be in Lawrie's nature.

On the other hand side, he would probably run into fewer walls.
smcs - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 02:54 PM EDT (#276138) #
He'll almost certainly get suspended for starting a fight after a takeout slide when trying to turn the double play.
Wildrose - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 03:11 PM EDT (#276140) #
In fairness to Lawrie his first few years as a pro with the Brewers playing second he was making the transition from being a catcher to the infield. Lawrie played catcher with Canada's National Junior Program and the Langley Blaze ( imagine the collisions if he had stayed at that position ?). I'm sure in his first few years with Milwaukee he was justifiably a little uneven in the middle of the diamond ( he earned his way out of the Brewers chain by hanging up on G.M. Doug Melvin during a club house call as a rookie).

I think now, 5 years into his pro career he could easily make the transition back to second quite well. He is very athletic ( remember he's a 5'10" guy that can dunk ), he's got good hands, lots of lateral agility , a strong arm that would play well on the double play. In short I think he can play second easily.

Still I wouldn't make the move. With his personality it's a recipe for disaster turning the double play, and he is just so outstanding defensively at third. It is nice for the organization though to have this as an option I suppose.



uglyone - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 03:48 PM EDT (#276143) #
IMO, Lawrie's strength is his reflexes and athleticism, not his hands. He reacts at the hot corner as well as anyone I've ever seen - and the key is all he has to do is block the hot shots, not glove them cleanly, because he has plenty of time to throw out the runner. And he does just block the ball a lot, instead of fielding it cleanly.

middle infield is much more about hands, and IMO that plays more to Lawrie's weaknesses as a defender than his strengths.

Of course, I could be spewing pure BS, too.
ogator - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 04:05 PM EDT (#276145) #
There is obviously information to which we are not privy. I would guess that in exploring the trade market for a guy who plays 2B, the team had little success but perhaps there is a guy who plays 3B who is available. Or maybe, some team covets Lawrie but needs to know if he can play 2B for them. Why convert a guy who plays third well in order to see if he plays second well and why do it in the middle of a season?

Wildrose - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 04:17 PM EDT (#276147) #
Jeff Blair has commented several times he believes Lawrie's future is at second base ( I'm not sure if he's reflecting his own beliefs or the teams). He also has said the team is in no hurry to lock up Lawrie to any sort of an extension. It does appear something is in the wind though.
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