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Its Esmil Rogers, Thad Weber and Mickey Storey, with Brett Cecil as closer, taking on the Sawx tonight.  How will that turn out?  Rogers has been "off" for the past few starts and unless he finds his sinker in the back of his locker he might be in for a long night.

The Jays face John Lester and his 4.27 ERA.  Lester has been up and down this season.

Kevin Pillar makes his debut in left field tonight.  Munenori Kawasaki is back and playing second.
Game thread - 8/14 vs Boston | 43 comments | Create New Account
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Mylegacy - Wednesday, August 14 2013 @ 06:49 PM EDT (#277994) #
Good to see MuKaw back - speaking of him - Ive always wondered if Munenori Kawaski was a member of the crew of the Kobayashi Maru, and Captain Kirk being played by a Canadian (William Shantner), knew he'd eventually be a key player in the "2013 Jays Drive for the Series" historic run... er... perhaps I'm drinking too much...
dalimon5 - Wednesday, August 14 2013 @ 08:13 PM EDT (#278002) #
Besides the age difference and "toolsy defense" provided by Markakis in the minors...what's the difference between Pillar and Markakis? There's obviously a major difference since scouts were much higher on the latter. Anyone?
uglyone - Wednesday, August 14 2013 @ 08:44 PM EDT (#278005) #
well, markakis was an awesome prospect, pretty much a 5 tooler, with great contact, patience, power, and good speed and D, and was crushing AA at age 21.

Pillar's got contact and defense, but not much else, and was just a good not great hitter in AAA at age 24.

not comparable, really.
John Northey - Wednesday, August 14 2013 @ 08:51 PM EDT (#278007) #
Well, Jake Marisnick is hitting a 31 OPS+ in Miami over 75 PA while Pillar is 0 for 2 in his debut...
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, August 14 2013 @ 08:51 PM EDT (#278008) #
Racist implications aside, Pillar is #979 in 2011while Markakis was 7th in his.
uglyone - Wednesday, August 14 2013 @ 08:56 PM EDT (#278010) #
Pillar just ensured that he'll be a fan favorite forever.

first impressions >
greenfrog - Wednesday, August 14 2013 @ 08:57 PM EDT (#278011) #
Interesting comment by KLaw in his chat today, for those who think the Beede non-signing was a travesty. Someone asked where Beede might have been drafted this year had he been eligible. Law said maybe back of the first round, same as last time. I wonder whether he would prefer Stroman or Beede (as of today). He might say Stroman...
uglyone - Wednesday, August 14 2013 @ 09:03 PM EDT (#278013) #

looking at his College line this year...

Beede (20): 17gs, 5.9ip/gs, 9.2k/9, 5.6bb/9, 0.3hr/9, 1.26whip, 2.32era

Good line, and better than his previous year, but not a great line, with walks being a big concern.

Does anyone know if they do any equivalencies between NCAA and minor pro leages? Do we know if his level is comparable to RK or A or A+?
John Northey - Wednesday, August 14 2013 @ 09:10 PM EDT (#278014) #
Stroman: 3.22 ERA in AA 22 BB vs 103 SO 12 HR in 89 1/3 IP 22 years old
Tyler Beede: 2.32 ERA in college 63 BB vs 103 SO 3 HR in 101 IP 20 years old

I know which is more impressive to me.  Stroman has shown he can get pro hitters at a high level out and has solid control, Beede has got a low ERA in college but his wildness is scary and K/IP decent but not 'wow'.

For comparison, at 20 Stroman in college had a 2.80 ERA 21 BB vs 90 SO vs 1 HR in 64 1/3 IP. better control, better K rate, better HR/IP even.
uglyone - Wednesday, August 14 2013 @ 09:20 PM EDT (#278016) #
did some digging around, and Division 1 is considered to be no better than Rookie Ball or Short Season A ball in terms of quality, so Beede's line there as a 20 year is not all that impressive.

we'd be dissappointed if any of our top pitching prospects were putting up that kind of line in Rookie or low-A at age 20.
greenfrog - Wednesday, August 14 2013 @ 09:20 PM EDT (#278017) #
Law also had very complimentary things to say about Austin Meadows, who was chosen at #9 (just before the Jays' pick this summer). Could he be the mystery player that AA said they were hoping would fall to #10?
dalimon5 - Wednesday, August 14 2013 @ 09:24 PM EDT (#278019) #
Let me rephrase the question...besides the perception that Markakis was a solid prospect and Pillar was not...just going off the numbers in the minors...does anyone see something that spells out that Markakis has a much bigger track record in the minors than Pillar?
scottt - Wednesday, August 14 2013 @ 09:29 PM EDT (#278020) #
David Ortiz's sixth-inning home run (437 feet) left the bat at a speed of 118.8 MPH. That's the fastest speed off bat for any David Ortiz home run since the start of 2006.

Seems to me like he has his own anti-aging clinic somewhere.
Beyonder - Wednesday, August 14 2013 @ 09:31 PM EDT (#278021) #
A few times now I have asked Keith Law about the Jay's failure to sign Beede, and he suggested (but would not get into specifics) that something came up after the draft that made Beede unsignable for some reason. He said that it was not a question of the Jays misreading his financial demands. The only things I can think of are that perhaps there was some sort of medical issue, or that perhaps he simply did not want to sign with Toronto.
greenfrog - Wednesday, August 14 2013 @ 09:35 PM EDT (#278023) #
A couple of more KLaw comments:

Nicolino could be a league-average starter. Changeup is an out pitch.

Norris could end up as a reliever. Has trouble maintaining a consistent delivery.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, August 14 2013 @ 09:36 PM EDT (#278024) #
Anyone know why Huchison was pulled and Drabek came on in relief out of the bullpen tonight?
greenfrog - Wednesday, August 14 2013 @ 09:39 PM EDT (#278025) #
He also said Syndergaard profiles as a mid-rotation starter at best, at least until his breaking ball is better than below-average.

Lots of comments about current and former Jays prospects...
uglyone - Wednesday, August 14 2013 @ 09:42 PM EDT (#278027) #
Hutch was at 72 pitches. Last 3 outings he's been at 75, 71, and 72. Seems like they're being extra cautious with his recovery.

Drabek was planned to piggy back on Hutch tonight, IIRC.
uglyone - Wednesday, August 14 2013 @ 09:44 PM EDT (#278028) #
I'm gonna go on record as disagreeing with Keith on both Syndergaard and Nicolino. He underrated Syndergaard, overrates Nicolino.

Nicolino has had a steep decline in K rates this year with the promotion to more competitive levels. Marlins seem to like rushing kids more than the Jays do. Marisnick has no business being in MLB right now, and I don't know why they promoted Nicolino to AA at age 21 when he wasn't even K-ing 6 per 9 in A+.
uglyone - Wednesday, August 14 2013 @ 09:58 PM EDT (#278030) #
the worst season of all time.
John Northey - Wednesday, August 14 2013 @ 10:39 PM EDT (#278031) #
Now now uglyone - if you are a shareholder of Rogers this year probably is a nice profitable one (big attendance jump, good TV ratings) so it isn't a disaster for everyone :P

So, as far as disappointing seasons go where does this rank?  Years that come to mind right away...
1987 - that horrid, horrid collapse at the end
1994 - the end of an era plus a strike wiping out what was left of it
1995 - seemed to have hope at the start (David Cone trade) then mid-season it was wrote off (David Cone trade again) and Alomar, our HOF'er, left at the end over the way the Jays dealt with the collapse.
2004 - the year before brought hope, 2004 brought disaster
2013 - trades jumped hope, results dashed them.

  • 1987 and 1994 both had hope at the end for the future (unfounded in 1994 it turned out) so those are out as hopelessness has to be part of it.
  • 1995 saw a sub-400 winning percentage, loss of a HOF'er and a near HOF'er (Cone) both in prime years. A potential future HOF'er arrived in the draft but no one knew it then. All we knew was the wonderful 1983-1993 stretch of 500+ and contention was over.
  • 2004 after a strong 2003 (2nd most wins since WS years) hopes were high. Frank Menechino having the highest OPS+ of anyone on the team tells you all you need to know about the offense.  To make it worse though Delgado left after the season ended.  Roy Halladay got hurt and had his highest ERA in the 2002 to 2011 stretch. Jason Frasor was the closer with 17 saves and a 4.08 ERA. Not one pitcher had a K per IP. Pat Hentgen tried a final go and had a 6.95 ERA.
  • 2013 followed a weak 2012, but major player trades were supposed to make this a contender. Instead the Jays are dead last and playing like it. Luckily no HOF'ers should be leaving unless Johnson has an amazing comeback elsewhere.

I'd rank them 1995, 2004, 2013, 1994, 1987.  1995 and 2004 both were periods where hopelessness hit hard - seeing potential HOF'ers leave, guys who were the best or near best at their positions due to stupidity/cheapness on the clubs part (Alomar due to Ash being cheap pre-1995 dreaming salaries would go down then not talking to him before doing the Cone trade, Delgado due to JPR lowballing in negotiations then not even offering arbitration) plus the team not showing any real hope to fans for anytime in the near future.  This year there is still hope for next year at this stage, but if the Jays do a fire sale in the winter then this year could climb the ranks of 'oh crap' fast.

JB21 - Wednesday, August 14 2013 @ 10:42 PM EDT (#278032) #
Davis is pretty fun to watch play baseball (aka run).
greenfrog - Wednesday, August 14 2013 @ 10:59 PM EDT (#278034) #
1987 was exquisite agony. Seven consecutive one-run losses to end the season two games out (96 wins total). Unlike the 2013 Jays, that was actually a good team.

Call it the Week from Hell.

In other news, I look forward to the Rays acquiring Bonifacio in the off-season and turning him into a three-win player in 2014.
AWeb - Thursday, August 15 2013 @ 07:15 AM EDT (#278040) #

I don't think I could list 1994 and 1995 among the most disappointing seasons. They had just won two straight World Series, which no team had done in my lifetime. A couple of down years were tough after a decade of relevance, but the glow was still there, at least for me.

This year, more than any year I can recall, has been about unexpected underperformance. The entire starting pitching staff projected to start the year (Dickey, Johnson, Romero, Buehrle, Morrow, Happ) has been terrible, with Buerhle "leading the way" in ERA+. The defense has collapsed at times, second to AAA Houston in unearned runs, third in errors. Both second basemen brought in to provide a best-case of average performance have been at or below replacement level. Injured players have been left to play too long (Melky, Arencibia apparently) or brought back too soon (Lawrie, Romero). Aside from the bullpen (itself fraying around the edges now), this season has stunk. The pre-season projections were both hopeful and reasonable. The top five paid pitchers have produced about zero on field value (Dickey, Johnson, Buehrle, Romero, Morrow). There's simply no way to recover from that sort of disaster - those guys should have been "worth" 10-15 more (team) wins among them in an average year.

Do the coaching and development stink for this franchise, or has it just been a few unlucky years? That, to me, is a key question.

John Northey - Thursday, August 15 2013 @ 08:36 AM EDT (#278041) #
I still see 2004 and 1995 as more disappointing due to the total feeling of no hope.  2004 going in was 'look at the great kids, the great plan, and our two starts Delgado & Halladay' by the end Delgado was gone and Halladay injured and ineffective while the kids flopped hard.  1995 showed few kids (Delgado flopped hard with a 32 OPS+), lost stars (Alomar plus Molitor, White, Leiter, Cone, Ward) and a general frustration over the strike hanging around.  Trust me, as a fan back then it hurt to see such a great team fall apart in '94 then instead of recovering or rebuilding it just floundered and flopped.  A shame our GM at the time did such a horrid job with the rebuild when so many good parts were there.

This year I still see hope - Encarnacion, Bautista, Reyes, Rasmus all having solid star quality years, Lind having his 2nd good year ever, Lawrie has climbed back over 100 for OPS+, the pen has generally been very good, just the expensive rotation let us down (big time) plus the catchers and second base.  Three spots which are obvious issues which makes it easier to fix than if the team has a ton of mediocre players (aka the Gord Ash era).  The worst of the rotation flops are either off the 40 man (Romero) or about to go elsewhere (Johnson).  A batch of kids are fighting to get here for next season or even September (Nolin, Stroman, Drabek, Hutchison).  The 2B hole is a tough one, but the rotation I think something can be done about although like everyone else I'd love a star to be brought in.  2014 can be a lot better even if nothing is done, but with AA at the helm I don't think we have to worry about nothing happening.  Mix in the jump in attendance and ratings and I figure Rogers won't turn off the tap this winter too.
92-93 - Thursday, August 15 2013 @ 08:37 AM EDT (#278042) #
I thought last year was way worse than this year. There are still a lot of entertaining things to watch on this team.
whiterasta80 - Thursday, August 15 2013 @ 08:42 AM EDT (#278044) #
AWeb, I wouldn't say the entire pitching staff. Mark Buerhle he has pitched about as well as I think we could have reasonably expected him to pitch. He has taken every turn in the rotation and more often than not given this offense a chance to win.

You can certainly make a case that he hasn't earned his contract, but personally I am willing to pay a little bit more for the kind of certainty that comes from having someone who has logged 200 IP in 12 (potentially 13) straight seasons.

Everyone else though?... Yeah...
whiterasta80 - Thursday, August 15 2013 @ 08:58 AM EDT (#278047) #
Didn't Pillar play 2B at some point during his college/minor league career or am I confusing him with someone else?

I have to assume if he hasn't shown up there yet it is because the Jays don't think he can handle it.
Super Bluto - Thursday, August 15 2013 @ 09:51 AM EDT (#278053) #
if you are a shareholder of Rogers this year probably is a nice profitable one

Except since April 1st, Roger's shares are down over 21%.

Magpie - Thursday, August 15 2013 @ 10:13 AM EDT (#278056) #
the worst season of all time

Oh, I don't know. Try watching this lineup for a whole damn year. I know I'll never, never get over it.

ss - .209/.243/.289 OPS+ 49
2b - .252/.277/.304 OPS+ 64
cf - .233/.278/.357 OPS+ 78
1b - .248/.360/.452 OPS+ 128
dh - .213/.363/.404 OPS+ 116
lf - .247/.291/.309 OPS+ 70
rf - .220/.263/.339 OPS+ 68
3b - .187/.258/.228 OPS+ 38
c - .236/.307/.297 OPS+ 71

I don't know if at any other time in history a guy with a .243 OBP has batted leadoff in 70% of his team's games.
ayjackson - Thursday, August 15 2013 @ 10:15 AM EDT (#278058) #
Would you offer Josh Johnson a one-year, $7-8m contract right now?

His career and 2013 xFIP are 3.57 and 3.59, respectively. His HR/FB rate is 18.5% this year. LD% consistent with last year, but up over his career rate. He's still getting swinging strikes at his career rate.

It's possible he's just had miserable fortune this year.
Thomas - Thursday, August 15 2013 @ 10:33 AM EDT (#278060) #

AY, I discussed this question with a friend briefly at the game last night. Iím of the mind that I think you do sign Johnson at that price range. I generally lean yes, you should roll the dice at that price given that the rotation alternatives do not really have the same upside for 2014 that he does, even if he is a serious question mark (as many of them are).


My friend made the counter-point that one problem with Johnson is that if the team commits to him, the reality is that theyíre going to give him a long leash, based on his pre-2012 track record and the price they paid for him. A benefit for most of the rotation alternatives is that they can be swapped out after 2-3 bad starts if it becomes apparent that they arenít ready or need more injury recovery time.


I donít think that swayed me, but I do think heís right that if the Jays brought back Johnson youíd be looking at at least 15 starts, even if he was underperforming again. He suggested that maybe you could find a cheap one-year alternative, but Iím not convinced that this same downside wouldnít apply if the team signed this yearís Kyle Lohse, for example.

Chuck - Thursday, August 15 2013 @ 10:48 AM EDT (#278062) #

Regarding Johnson, I think an even larger concern than performance, at the moment, is his health. It would be one thing to gamble that his peripherals portend a better future, if you could be confident that he'd give you 180 innings. Now he appears to be a wild card on two fronts: health and performance.

While some could have argued, heading into 2013, that Johnson had pitched 180+ innings in 3 of his previous 4 seasons (and thus could be considered fairly reliable), they can now argue, thanks to the magic of arbitrary end points, that he's only reached that figure once in the past 3 seasons.

I think Johnson will receive numerous lowball one-year offers and will be able to pick and choose where he'd like to attempt to reestablish his value (if I'm him, I'd opt for a nice quiet pitcher's park like San Diego). I am doubtful that he'll see an offer of 7-8MM and can't imagine anyone offering a multi-year offer. But when it comes to the pitching market, I've underestimated things before. So who knows what madness this off-season will bring? Ryan Madson had made over 10MM the past two seasons, in two separate contracts, pitching not a single inning. 


Mike Green - Thursday, August 15 2013 @ 11:34 AM EDT (#278067) #
I don't think that there is a match.  Johnson probably won't consider Toronto a great place for a pillow contract, as Chuck has pointed out.  The club, in addition to the performance and health issues, has to deal with budget/need issues.  Let's say you believe that Johnson can, on average, be expected to deliver 120 innings of somewhat above-average performance.  Is it worth spending $7-$8 million for this as opposed to on some other need.  The club's 2014 payroll with a Lind buyout and not counting any arb. players is $115 million.  Personally, I'd upgrade the position players and take my chances with younger and rehabbing pitchers already in the organization. 

If Johnson does not return this year, I am pretty sure that he is gone. 

uglyone - Thursday, August 15 2013 @ 11:51 AM EDT (#278069) #
yeah, I would sign him for one year $7-8 for sure. while I don't ever expect ace-dom from him again, there are so many numbers that scream fluke this year for him that he's definitely worth a gamble, and I'm already angry that he's going to be an ace for the rays next year for $5m.

$14-15m, though, is a no.
eudaimon - Thursday, August 15 2013 @ 11:57 AM EDT (#278070) #
How much do you want to bet the team will go on a run now that Kawasaki is back and new blood (Pillar) has been infused?
ayjackson - Thursday, August 15 2013 @ 12:11 PM EDT (#278072) #
I should add that a lot depends on the nature of his current injury. ie end of season or misses a couple of starts
jerjapan - Thursday, August 15 2013 @ 02:47 PM EDT (#278085) #
The club's 2014 payroll with a Lind buyout and not counting any arb. players is $115 million.

But should buying Lind out be a given?  With a $7million dollar contract and a 2 mil buyout, he's $5 millions to mash righties as part of a DH platoon ... hopefully with Davis. That's value in my books. 

Of course, this assumes that Gibbons learns how to use Lind properly.  Perhaps with a more balanced roster, AA could make it easier for Gibby to do the right thing. 
Mike Green - Thursday, August 15 2013 @ 03:28 PM EDT (#278086) #
The point wasn't whether they should bring back Lind, but that the payroll is $115 million + without him.  If they bring him back, it's $120 million plus.

I wouldn't bring him back.  Both Encarnacion and Lind are below average defensive first basemen.  It's better to make Encarnacion mostly a DH and look for a first baseman who can catch and hit some, aka a James Loney, Casey Kotchman type.  If you bring back Rajai Davis, you could use him sometimes with a LH going as a DH with Edwin moving to first base (ideally you find a LHH first baseman). 

vw_fan17 - Thursday, August 15 2013 @ 06:17 PM EDT (#278092) #
Should the Jays bring Lind back? As someone else said, he's having "his 2nd good year ever". Let's see how true that is.

Splits (just OPS/sOPS+ for simplicity):

vs RHP: 874/133
vs LHP: 553/72
This confirms what we all know - never, EVER let him hit lefties

Home: 737/104
Away: 875/146
He seems to have a hangup about Rogers' Center - trying too hard? Fans getting on him?

1st half: 871/141 (297 PA)
2nd half: 604/74 (99 PA)
Ok, maybe small sample size for 2nd half.

By month:
April/March: 708/102 (average - 58 PA)
May: 999/175 (monster numbers - 88 PA)
June: 982/170 (monster again - 105 PA)
July: 619/74 (bad - 95 PA)
August: 520/51 (yikes - 50 PA)

So, 1 average month of 60 PA, 193 PA of absolutely destroying almost every pitcher he faced, then 145 pa of bad to horrible performance.

And, looking at prior years, it seems to follow a pattern: every season he squeezes in 1-2 months (100-200 PA) of crushing everything, and the rest of the time is below average to significantly below average. I really think health is a factor - he seems to wear down too much. And, his dWar this year is -1.3. He may be a valuable DH contributor (and/or pinch hitter?), but probably shouldn't be in the field except for emergencies/late inning substitutions. And I don't think you can count on him for a full year of productivity either. I don't think he's worth $7M.
ayjackson - Thursday, August 15 2013 @ 06:32 PM EDT (#278094) #
Lind appears to have an average bat that's never average. Again I wonder if it's directly tied to health.
scottt - Thursday, August 15 2013 @ 08:53 PM EDT (#278098) #
Everything screems "platoon me"!
Wildrose - Thursday, August 15 2013 @ 10:59 PM EDT (#278107) #
I really think health is a factor - he seems to wear down too much.

His career numbers don't really reflect this though, his first half WRC+ is 107, second half 103, not that much difference.

Also I'm not sure the narrative that he is a terrible fielder is justified as well. His career UZR /150 is -1.4 and DRS about -5/150, not gold glove material, but hardly that horrible either.

I'm not saying the team shouldn't look to improve at his position, but he's a perfectly reasonable platoon player. If they do decline his option I hope they have a good plan B.
Game thread - 8/14 vs Boston | 43 comments | Create New Account
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