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Andy Pettitte vs. JA Happ.

After winning with the Toronto Blue Bisons last night, the Jays are back to a more normal line-up.  Rajai Davis and JP Arencibia are back to face the lefty.  That leaves just three Bisons in the line-up, Moises Sierra, still looking for his first major league hit of 2013, Ryan Goins and Kevin Pillar.

AA met with the media today, there will be comments to discuss but off the top Gibby will be back.  Did you ever doubt it, he was AA's guy and that means he gets more than one year.

There were 35,000 in attendance last night, that is a great crowd for a bad team, although some percentage would be Yankee fans.  Some news from yesterday is that Esmil Rogers will be passed over this time through the rotation, Thursday's off day allows the team to do that.  They will need a fifth starter next week, it could be Rogers or a call-up.  If Buffalo and New Hampshire do not make the playoffs their seasons will end on Monday. 

The AFL rosters were announced today.  Marcus Stroman and Sean Nolin are going.  Based on that I think it is unlikely that either will be called up for September. 

Game thread - 8/27 vs New York | 31 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
China fan - Tuesday, August 27 2013 @ 04:43 PM EDT (#278452) #
A few other pieces of news from the Jays this afternoon: Anthopoulos is reportedly saying that Gibbons will return as manager next season; Gibbons confirms that Josh Johnson is finished for the season (with forearm strain; no surgery required); and Gibbons is saying that Goins will get "a lot" of playing time for the rest of the season.

It's a little surprising that Gibbons was re-upped so quickly. I thought he might make a convenient scapegoat to placate the fans in the off-season, if the Jays are unable to make any substantial moves to upgrade the team.

Goins could be interesting. I wonder if the Jays will try to trade Izturis? Goins could have the potential to replace Izturis as a utility guy, especially if they can find a stronger full-time 2B via the trade route.

Ryan Day - Tuesday, August 27 2013 @ 05:13 PM EDT (#278453) #
Gibbons doesn't make a great scapegoat, since AA really got behind him when he was hired. AA put together what he thought was a great, contending team, and then he hand-picked Gibbons to lead it. Sacking Gibbons would be an admission of failure.
92-93 - Tuesday, August 27 2013 @ 06:10 PM EDT (#278454) #
They should be looking to dump Izturis on waivers.
PeterG - Tuesday, August 27 2013 @ 06:52 PM EDT (#278455) #
Does anyone know if the KC deal has been was reported as Bonafacio for ptbnl or cash and might be completed by Aug.15 but I don't think there has been any announcement. Could be a list of minor leaguers from which to choose.......or cash (hopefully not)......but could the delay possibly be because it is a roster player KC does not wish to give up before end of their season..........
greenfrog - Tuesday, August 27 2013 @ 07:18 PM EDT (#278456) #
The Jays will be paying $52M in 2014 for the services of Buehrle, Reyes, Morrow, Romero and Izturis. That's about $8M less than the Rays' opening day payroll this year. The Rays are 74-55. The Jays are 59-73. This is not good.
Gerry - Tuesday, August 27 2013 @ 07:55 PM EDT (#278457) #
I was never impressed by JA Happ. I know AA liked him and targeted him from Houston but I never thought he was a good AL East pitcher. And I still don't.
Magpie - Tuesday, August 27 2013 @ 09:22 PM EDT (#278460) #
I never thought he was a good AL East pitcher. And I still don't.

Even if you give him a mulligan for this year, Zaun is probably right. Happ doesn't strike out enough hitters for a pitcher who walks as many as he does. He's close - his career numbers for H/9, HR/9, K/9 and BB/9 are very close to Ricky Romero's (and Ricky was a pretty effective pitcher in the AL East for three of his four seasons.) The problem is that Happ is bringing that record to the AL East. But I think he's pretty close to that level, and he could conceivably get there.

But I'd like his chances a whole lot better if this organization had anyone at the major league level with a history of identifying and maximizing an existing talent.
Magpie - Tuesday, August 27 2013 @ 09:24 PM EDT (#278461) #
Sacking Gibbons would be an admission of failure.

An admission of failure would certainly be appropriate.
Oceanbound - Tuesday, August 27 2013 @ 10:16 PM EDT (#278463) #
Not really, it would be an admission that hiring Gibbons specifically was a failure. I don't think you can really say that. AA has failed in a lot of different ways but Gibbons has basically been a passenger in this train wreck.
King Ryan - Tuesday, August 27 2013 @ 10:38 PM EDT (#278464) #
AA and Gibbons are best buds and Gibby probably works for cheap. The money needs to be saved somewhere if we're going to pay all that money to RA Dickey and Mark Buehrle.

What, me negative? No...
Petey Baseball - Wednesday, August 28 2013 @ 01:26 AM EDT (#278465) #
All hail King Ryan. (Inside joke from years ago)

Seriously though, is trading Jose Bautista for a front line starter crazy? Hunter Pence is a free agent, and although much of his value comes from fielding and baserunning (something the Jays have sucked at recently), I see him as a fit if the Jays can replace Bautista's production elsewhere. Pence is also going to be considerably cheaper than Choo, who is also a free agent. Jose Bautista for Derek Holland straight up? I might do it.

I'm rather optimistic on Melky Cabrera. He had a terrible year with the Braves in '09 and rebounded nicely with KC. He'll have had plenty of time to rest his legs and get back in shape (he never looked ready this year). 

Tell me I'm full of terrible ideas...

adrianveidt - Wednesday, August 28 2013 @ 11:49 AM EDT (#278467) #
The money needs to be saved somewhere if we're going to pay all that money to RA Dickey and Mark Buehrle.
Rogers is the second richest owner in baseball and third in all pro sports (Nintendo, Comcast). Why does money need to be saved?
Lylemcr - Wednesday, August 28 2013 @ 12:41 PM EDT (#278469) #

Rogers is a business, not a charity. 

Now, if the argument that the Jays need to spend money and they will make money. 

I don't think the issue was Gibby. Have you seen the ERA of the starters.  I do think Pete Walker is going to lose his job though.... 

To me, Dickey and J. Johnson are the #1 and #2 reasons why we collapsed.  Only to be followed with Morrow, Happ and Romero.  (But, I sensed at the beginning of the season, this would be what happened with them.)    Someone has to answer about that.

But is this Gibby's fault? I don't think so.  I think it is the scouting department and player development.   

katman - Wednesday, August 28 2013 @ 01:28 PM EDT (#278471) #
Gibbons did not put this team together. But most of us this year saw more than just a bad team. We saw a bad team that beat itself far, far too often.

Gibbons isn't responsible for the 1st half of that statement. But he is partly responsible for the 2nd. Somehow, that has to be fixed. Keeping Gibbons signals that it won't be, and that's why people are upset.

I am sympathetic to the idea that firing Gibbons isn't the answer, because it's not. At best, it's the first step toward an answer that includes a full overhaul of the major league team's mindset, and of how this organization picks and develops players. That needs to become a lot better, and the players produced by an improved system need to be arriving in the majors with the full set of basic baseball skills and IQ.

AA may yet surprise me this offseason, but I don't think he has it in him to make the kind of changes that are necessary. It's easy to lead when things are going well, or when you have a lot of rope, and your choices are assumed to be good. The real test is when things go badly, and you need to start questioning your choices and the system you built.
92-93 - Wednesday, August 28 2013 @ 01:45 PM EDT (#278472) #
"But most of us this year saw more than just a bad team. We saw a bad team that beat itself far, far too often."

I'd love to know what this means.
greenfrog - Wednesday, August 28 2013 @ 02:45 PM EDT (#278473) #
I know I keep touting the moves the Red Sox have made over the last year, but this is getting ridiculous. After his monster game yesterday, Victorino is now 4.8 fWAR on the year. That's exactly 0.3 fWAR less than Reyes, Buehrle and Dickey *combined*. (I'm not even getting into the negative WAR posted by Izturis and Bonifacio this year.)

As I wrote a while back, the Red Sox and Rays front offices are currently running circles around the Jays' FO. It's painful to watch.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, August 28 2013 @ 03:03 PM EDT (#278474) #
"But most of us this year saw more than just a bad team. We saw a bad team that beat itself far, far too often."

"I'd love to know what this means."

Unless you haven't been watching the games this year I don't understand how you need someone to extrapolate this comment for you. Things I've seen this year:

1. Running into outs too often.
2. Getting picked off too often.
3. Getting three outs on defense and NOBODY knows that you have three outs until the umpire explains it to you.
4. Letting Arencibia catch opening day
5. Putting Lawrie at 2B
6. Rushing Lawrie back from injury (this one is less on Gibbons but he still pencilled him into the line up).
7. Batting Adam Lind against LHP after a fluky start to the season.
8. Running Josh Johnson out there for too many terrible starts expecting him to magically turn it around.
9. Currently playing Reyes when he is playing NOT at 100%
10. Some will argue that Gibby's been overusing certain players in the bullpen and think it's contributed to their injuries. Sure, you can say it's not his fault that the starting pitchers haven't gotten the job done and added stress to the bullpen BUT a good manager can still limit the damage by using certain players to overwork instead of everybody.
11. I would argue that Gibby's failed to implement a cultural or attitude change to his players this year. Bautista arguing balls and strikes early on, Lawrie showing up Adam Lind on the basepaths, etc etc. These issues are on the players but a manager CAN make a difference. Look at Yunel Escobar in Tampa Bay. He pimped a bat when he hit a home run and Maddon was all over him for it. He's never done it since. Contrast that with Bautista, Encarnacion and Arencibia who are fist pumping, riding parrots and raising their arms like body builders whenever they hit a home run. There's nothing wrong with doing these things when the time is called for...a managers job in my opinion is to manage these things...tell his players when it's the right time or when it's not appropriate to pimp a friggin bat.

Another poster is spot on, Gibbons doesn't deserve to be fired but someone has to answer for half the rotation imploding as well as the cultural/mental/fundamental errors the team has made this year.

How simple it is to simply sit back and say "I'd love to know what this means."

I apologize if I'm accusatory but come on, are you seriously watching the same games as us when you make a comment like that?
adrianveidt - Wednesday, August 28 2013 @ 03:16 PM EDT (#278475) #
...a full overhaul of the major league team's mindset, and of how this organization picks and develops players.
It's easy to say something like that, but you go on to say that Gibbons and AA shouldn't be fired, or at least they could still do a good job, or something. What specific changes should Rogers make, without going into foggy conceptual statements?
adrianveidt - Wednesday, August 28 2013 @ 03:17 PM EDT (#278476) #
Oops. Forgot to close last comment's blockquote.
Beyonder - Wednesday, August 28 2013 @ 03:25 PM EDT (#278477) #
While the Victorino deal looks better all the time, I don't see this as a case of shrewd offseasson moves by Boston. The story of Boston's season is the moves it didn't make.

Just look at the ERAs of Boston's top four starters in 2013 vs. 2012:

Lester: 2012-4.82, 2013-3.97
Buchholz: 2012-4.56, 2013-1.71 (only 81 innings)
Doubront: 2012-4.86, 2013-3.74
Lackey: 2012 (N/A), 2013-3.17

If we had got this level of production from our top five starters we would be in very good shape as well. The big addition to the Boston rotation this year, Dempster, has been a disappointment (though not on the level of Johnson or Dickey) with an ERA of 4.77.

In addition to the rotation, Boston has been the beneficiary of improved performances by Ellsbury, Saltalamachia, and Nava.

Victorino has been very good, but at what point do you have to question his defensive ranking? Here is a guy that for his entire career until now has been a wash defensively (usually slightly below average), who is now suddenly worth 2.6 games above replacement defensively?
hypobole - Wednesday, August 28 2013 @ 04:09 PM EDT (#278479) #
How often have the Jays been picked off and how does it compare to other teams? This team has problems, but baserunning has been awfully low on that list.

According to BR, Victorino had been worth +44 RAA prior to this years +23. FG's UZR has Victorino as +38 prior to this years *24.2. Victorino has been a good defender over his career.
Beyonder - Wednesday, August 28 2013 @ 04:36 PM EDT (#278481) #
Greenfrog was discussing Victorino's WAR. His DWar the last five years:

2009: .2
2010: .4
2011: .5
2012: .5
2013: 2.2
92-93 - Wednesday, August 28 2013 @ 04:43 PM EDT (#278482) #
I'm a season ticket holder and have seen the majority of the games, and don't see a team that has "beat itself, far too often". I see a team that relied on Dickey, Johnson, and Morrow to be aces and received nothing of the sort. I could go into dispelling each one of your points and how little most of them have to do with John Gibbons, but I'm not going to bother because I appreciate that you at least attempted to quantify the statement.
Beyonder - Wednesday, August 28 2013 @ 04:53 PM EDT (#278483) #
....or if you prefer, here is Victorino's UZR150 over the past five according to fangraqphs.

2009: -6.1
2010: 1.9
2011: 6.1
2012: 5.2
2013: 39.2
greenfrog - Wednesday, August 28 2013 @ 06:02 PM EDT (#278484) #
To the extent that the Sox veterans are having resurgent seasons, isn't this potentially another reason to laud their new coaching and training staff?

The team's starting pitching goes beyond the names you mentioned (and remember that Buchholz has been injured for much of the season). Ryan Dempster, a (modest) cash-only acquisition, has almost the same WAR as Dickey. And while the Jays were standing pat, Boston poached Peavy (controllable through 2014) for their backup shortstop (albeit a very good defensive one). Unlike the Jays, the Sox have traded no serious prospects and now have Bogaerts starting at SS, where he's going to cost about $15-20M less than Reyes for the next four years. He'll be playing alongside one of the league's best players in Pedroia, who was recently extended for 7/$100.

It goes on and on. I'm a lifelong Jays fan, mais il faut appeler un chat un chat. The front office is falling behind its counterparts in Tampa and Boston.
hypobole - Wednesday, August 28 2013 @ 07:58 PM EDT (#278488) #
The Jays have beat themselves on numerous occasions, but it's more AA's fault than Gibbons. AA brought in below average defenders at SS (Reyes), 2nd base (Izturis) and LF (Cabrera), with 2 of the subs he acquired (Bonifacio and DeRosa) also being poor defensively. Couple those moves with the fact catcher and 1st base (Lind or EE) were already manned by poor defenders and the holdover sub (Rajai) also wasn't known as a plus defender. That is simply poor roster construction unless you're trying to field some sort of a fantasy team where defensive metrics don't matter.

The starting staff absolutely bears the brunt of the responsibility for this seasons disaster, but defensive ineptitude has to come in a strong second.
greenfrog - Wednesday, August 28 2013 @ 10:20 PM EDT (#278490) #
Agree completely with the above analysis.

Whatever you think of the Rays-skewed defensive metrics, Escobar is now up to 3.7 fWAR for the season, an excellent total (and excellent value, given his exceptionally team-friendly contract). Meanwhile, Reyes is at 1.4 fWAR. Even had he never been injured, would Reyes have much more total value than Escobar does this year? Defense matters - a lot.
Hodgie - Wednesday, August 28 2013 @ 11:25 PM EDT (#278491) #
"To the extent that the Sox veterans are having resurgent seasons, isn't this potentially another reason to laud their new coaching and training staff?"

When it's essentially the same staff that couldn't do the same with the Jays a season earlier? I say no. Is it not also the same front office that presided over last season's train wreck? I get it, this year they are successful and lucky and they look great because of it. Last year it was the Orioles and their pixie dust that we were supposed to moon over. Outside of the Rays and the deal they made with their former namesake, I don't see a lot being done by the rest of AL East FO that leaves me salivating.

hypobole - Thursday, August 29 2013 @ 03:24 AM EDT (#278492) #
"When it's essentially the same staff that couldn't do the same with the Jays a season earlier?"


The Jays training staff certainly didn't go to Boston. Poulis and his boys are still working for the Jays at the Rogers Centre, AKA "The Land of 1000 Injuries".

Farrell didn't take Walton, Wakamatsu, Murphy, Walker or Rivera. He cherry-picked the 2 coaches he wanted, Butterfield and Lovullo, and left the dregs.
Hodgie - Thursday, August 29 2013 @ 03:02 PM EDT (#278523) #
My bad for not being explicit. I thought that the 3 coaches most responsible for overseeing the operations of their team would qualify as being essentially the same but I guess not. As for that "new" Red Sox training staff, are they not the same personnel that oversaw a team that lost the 3rd most man games to injury in 2012? Exactly what accolades are they deserving of?

The biggest reason as I see it for the Red Sox success this year is a bounce back performance from their pitching staff. They are currently on pace to give up approximately 160 runs less than last year despite their defensive numbers being almost the same. If you really want to credit coaching for that so be it, I certainly don't agree.

92-93 - Thursday, August 29 2013 @ 08:50 PM EDT (#278536) #
Excellent point, greenfrog. I hadn't realized the solid season Yunel was having. People have been quick to say that nothing we gave up in the Marlins deal will come back to bite us, but that's because they are looking at Alvarez, Nicolino, and Marisnick, and forget that the team parted with the AL leader in SS WAR who makes a paltry 5m with 2 incredibly valuable team options. And judging by what the Marlins did with him, I bet they didn't even demand him in the trade, but rather that AA was looking to dump his problem child's salary on Miami. Perhaps this season wouldn't have been a disaster if AA could've acquired Reyes with the intention of sticking him at 2B and leaving his gold-glove calibre SS right where he was.
Game thread - 8/27 vs New York | 31 comments | Create New Account
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