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Spring training games start this week, on Wednesday to be precise. I know the game is on MLB Network, a channel that I can get, and it's free for now. The Thursday and Friday games are on Sportsnet 1 and regular Sportsnet respectively. Saturdays game is on the radio and Sunday's is shown on MLB Network on a delay. If you can get the MLB Network and Sportsnet you can see lots of baseball this week.

Elsewhere there is not much to report, the Jays do not appear to be interested in any free agents, Scott Boras thinks Rogers is a cheap owner, and the Jays added another AAA pitcher in Liam Hendricks. That transaction leaves Brett Morel in the waiver dark-zone.

In the absence of news I thought we should track all the reasons why the Jays are going to be much better than last season.

Navarro is better than JP Arencibia

Ryan Goins can help the team even if he hits 260

Ryan Goins has changed his swing working with Kevin Seitzer.  That change will help improve his BA

Jose Reyes and his ankle are back to top form

Maicer Izturis has lost weight

Melky Cabrera has lost weight and his legs are back to normal

Edwin Encarnacion's wrist is completely healed

Brandon Morrow is back to full health

Esmil Rogers has learned/improved the change-up

JA Happ has lowered his arm angle and is getting more movement and better results

The training staff are focused on cutting down on oblique injuries

The Jays need a season with few injuries if they intend to compete. Am I missing any?

Game Week | 187 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
stevieboy22 - Sunday, February 23 2014 @ 08:01 PM EST (#282801) #
Hey Gerry,

What do you peg the chances at the Ryan Goins can hit 260 with a 300 obp at the major league level?
PeterG - Sunday, February 23 2014 @ 08:09 PM EST (#282802) #
I believe all of the games can be seen online at available on radio at same site.
Gerry - Sunday, February 23 2014 @ 08:59 PM EST (#282803) #
I would give Ryan Goins a 30% chance to hit 260 with a 300 OBP. In the minor leagues he has averaged .373/330. Some 2014 major league projections have Goins at 240/280. If that's the projection I think he has a 30% shot to exceed by 20 points.
ogator - Sunday, February 23 2014 @ 09:26 PM EST (#282804) #
In an interview on, Kevin Seitzer says, "you can't come in like a bull in a china cabinet..." That man is gonna have a tough road to hoe.
Mike Green - Sunday, February 23 2014 @ 09:30 PM EST (#282805) #
30% is probably about right.  Goins swung at 37% of pitches outside the zone (too high for a player of his profile) and 53% of pitches inside the zone (too low for a player of any profile) in his brief appearance last year.  He apparently had special trouble with the forkball, the split and the two-seamer, while holding his own against fastballs, sliders, curves and change-ups.  It looks like a pitch recognition problem that he might be able to deal with.  When I saw him years ago, he was far from undisciplined.  I wonder if he has a subtle vision issue. 
92-93 - Monday, February 24 2014 @ 12:45 AM EST (#282809) #
Has anyone heard anything on who might be replacing Morris in the radio booth, or will it be the Season of Wilner?
gnor - Monday, February 24 2014 @ 09:07 AM EST (#282812) #
I think Ryan Goins' BA will be fine. What he needs to improve on is OBP and SLG. In other words, take more walks and don't strike out as much.

Gerry - Monday, February 24 2014 @ 09:10 AM EST (#282813) #
There has been no announcement of a Morris replacement, or a Hayhurst one if that is required this year.
whiterasta80 - Monday, February 24 2014 @ 09:17 AM EST (#282814) #
Oh God anyone but Wilner. I'd rather Pat Tabler and Jamie Campbell for god sakes. In fact I'd rather Hawk Harrelson.
John Northey - Monday, February 24 2014 @ 09:45 AM EST (#282815) #
Goins is interesting...
  • signed out of university in 2009 (4th round)
  • 2009: split between rookie, A- and A ball 246/300/304
  • 2010: split between A and A+ 271/335/360
  • 2011: A+  (plus 1 game in rookie) 284/340/404
  • 2012: AA 289/342/403
  • 2013: AAA and majors - 257/311/369 in AAA, 252/264/345 in majors
So he progressed in all but 2011 (should've had a cup of coffee in AA that year) but never fully repeated (only 47 games in A+ before 2011).  This year if he sticks in the majors that trend will continue.  Of course, Gose was doing the same up until last season. 

His lifetime 273/330/376 line in the minors would be fine if duplicated in the majors but that is unlikely. Of his 4 full seasons last year saw the lowest OPS (679 in minors). Hopefully he can find a way to hit like he did in AA (289/342/403) but I wouldn't bet on it. But with his defense if he could even hit like he did in AAA last year that would be livable.

Mike Green - Monday, February 24 2014 @ 10:27 AM EST (#282817) #
a tough road to hoe

I guess the farming roots of the phrase will be totally lost in a few hundred years. 

"Eddie Valiant: So that's why you killed Acme and Maroon? For this freeway? I don't get it.
Judge Doom: Of course not. You lack vision, but I see a place where people get on and off the freeway. On and off, off and on all day, all night. Soon, where Toon Town once stood will be a string of gas stations, inexpensive motels, restaurants that serve rapidly prepared food. Tire salons, automobile dealerships and wonderful, wonderful billboards reaching as far as the eye can see. My God, it'll be beautiful."

"Who framed Roger Rabbit" is one of my favourite movies to watch with older children. 

Back to baseball.  Seitzer seems to me to be a smart guy.  He's not trying to do the same thing for each hitter, rather working on little things to make what each hitter does work better.
Ryan Day - Monday, February 24 2014 @ 10:46 AM EST (#282818) #
The bar for Goins is pretty low.

Izturis: 236/288/310 with lousy defence.
Kawasaki: 229/326/308 with solid defence.

There's always a chance Izturis just had a bad year, and will bounce back to something like his career norms. Subjectively, he looked pretty done, but you never know. If he doesn't come back, though, it would be a bad move to keep him on the roster - not much use for a guy who can't hit or field.

Goins/Kawasaki would give you some versatility, as both can play shortstop. Goins doesn't appear to have played any 3B, but he certainly looks capable.

Also purely subjectively, I enjoy watching Kawaski play. Given a bunch of guys hovering around roughly the same skill level, I'd keep him on the team.
mathesond - Monday, February 24 2014 @ 11:14 AM EST (#282819) #
"In fact I'd rather Hawk Harrelson"

I lived in Chicago for 4 careful what you wish for!
Mike Green - Monday, February 24 2014 @ 11:16 AM EST (#282820) #
Kawasaki posted 0.8 WAR in 289 PAs last year.  That's an average player.  If you use him in a strict platoon role, it's just about perfect.  Last year, he hit .247/.341/.340 against RHP. He's had 74 PAs against LHPs in his major league career and he has been absolutely horrid. 

I am pretty sure that if you strictly platooned Kawasaki, he would be solid.  The problem, of course, is that he doesn't look like a major league player at this point (with the weakness of his arm being the big thing) and so there is a great reluctance to give him a shot. 

greenfrog - Monday, February 24 2014 @ 11:30 AM EST (#282821) #
It's interesting to read about the work Seitzer has done with Goins. If he can turn Goins into a respectable hitter, it would be a big feather in his cap.

I can see why AA is considering giving Goins a shot. Kinsler, Infante, Ellis, Kendrick, and Roberts are off the table. The M's (Franklin) probably aren't a good match with the Jays for a trade. Drew is represented by Boras (Drew might not want to come to Toronto in any case). Phillips, assuming he's available, would be an expensive gamble.

Drew is probably the more interesting option at this point, but it doesn't sound as though the Jays are going there.

There might be a better trade opportunity in July (for example, if some team like LAA implodes).
Chuck - Monday, February 24 2014 @ 11:32 AM EST (#282822) #
The M's (Franklin) probably aren't a good match with the Jays for a trade

The Mariners may be constrained by the number of teams that are actually in pursuit of a second baseman.

Gerry - Monday, February 24 2014 @ 11:36 AM EST (#282823) #
The Jays could sign Drew to a one year deal once the season has started.  Drew can play 2B for the Jays, rebuild his value and not be subject to a qualifying offer at the end of the season.
John Northey - Monday, February 24 2014 @ 11:43 AM EST (#282824) #
I think the Mariners, if they are in contention, might trade mid-season with the Jays to help out a weak pen.  Their pen had a 4.58 ERA last year, 2nd worst in the AL and 0.46 away from 3rd worst so not close. Only Houston's pen walked more although their K/9 was #2 at 9.5.  Not sure who they've added but that could easily be a big weakness and for the Jays it is a strength thus a match should be there but only if Seattle thinks they can contend otherwise they'd hold players longer.
92-93 - Monday, February 24 2014 @ 11:44 AM EST (#282825) #
Kawasaki seems to know the limitations of his arm and positions himself accordingly. It probably costs him range, but I feel like it was rare that you saw him get to a ball and be late with his throw. I don't think the arm would be an issue at all at 2B, and that if Goins can't hit they shouldn't hesitate too long to make the switch. Kawasaki has proven he can handle MLB.
greenfrog - Monday, February 24 2014 @ 11:44 AM EST (#282826) #
That might be true, but I'm sure a number of teams without a glaring hole at 2B would still be happy to add Franklin as an upgrade (i.e., a young, cost-controlled, and potentially very good second baseman).

It would be interesting to know exactly what the M's are seeking in return for Franklin (established starting pitcher? Young starting pitching talent? Power bat?). There was a rumour a while back that they were hoping he could be the main piece in a package for Price.
Lylemcr - Monday, February 24 2014 @ 11:45 AM EST (#282827) #

We always talk about 2nd base and catcher.   I can live with Goins at 2nd.  Another season of last years starting, I don't think I can watch another game. If the Jays don't get starting pitching, it is going to be a long year.  And that is the bottom line to me.  If some young starter looks great in spring training, I will be very excited for the season. If not, I think I will have to look learning how to garden.


I think the offense will be better than last year assuming everyone is healthy.But that is a big if. IF they stay healthy, they have a really good top 6.

The bullpen is nice and deep.  We have 2 closers and glut of good left handers.  The only issue there is the starting staff might tax them again.

The starting staff is the issue.  There are things to be hopeful about.  We have a lot of good young hopeful arms that could come into the team this year in Hutchinson, Sanchez, Stroman,etc.  We just need 1 of them to make it past spring training this year, but it would be nice if someone forced the Jays hands to make room.  (and who knows about Morrow...).  There is room for hope.

greenfrog - Monday, February 24 2014 @ 11:46 AM EST (#282828) #
Gerry, I feel that Drew will want to continue to play SS (which he plays well). This is probably the best way to maintain his value long-term.
Chuck - Monday, February 24 2014 @ 12:11 PM EST (#282829) #
I feel that Drew will want to continue to play SS (which he plays well). This is probably the best way to maintain his value long-term.

And the Yankees will need a replacement for Jeter in 2015. Hell, if Jeter pulls up lame in spring training, they could decide to pursue Drew sooner rather than later.

Mike Green - Monday, February 24 2014 @ 12:22 PM EST (#282830) #
Kawasaki seems to know the limitations of his arm and positions himself accordingly. It probably costs him range, but I feel like it was rare that you saw him get to a ball and be late with his throw. I don't think the arm would be an issue at all at 2B, and that if Goins can't hit they shouldn't hesitate too long to make the switch. Kawasaki has proven he can handle MLB.

I agree with most of that.  Personally, if it were my club, I'd start Kawasaki/Izturis in a platoon and make sure that Goins could hit triple A pitching acceptably before he got a regular shot here. 
Chuck - Monday, February 24 2014 @ 12:58 PM EST (#282832) #
I can live with Goins at 2nd.

I'm worried that there's every real chance that Goins' glove would not carry his bat and that he'd basically net out to replacement level. If so, that would be a huge hole.

85bluejay - Monday, February 24 2014 @ 01:14 PM EST (#282833) #
FWIW, 2 ex-catchers, both Canadians, Chris Robinson & Joe Siddall were on with Blair on fan590 - seemed to be auditioning for the Hayhurst role - Both were nice, vanilla and completely boring - Gtd. not to offend - you could say Rogers is trying to nurture Canadian talent/going cheap/getting corporate speak gtd. not to offend - it was only a 1st impression but so far, no thanks.
greenfrog - Monday, February 24 2014 @ 01:46 PM EST (#282834) #
The Mets and Yankees are good fits for Drew. He would also be an asset for the Red Sox.
greenfrog - Monday, February 24 2014 @ 02:01 PM EST (#282835) #
I hope this doesn't turn into another season of exhaustive and minute comparisons of the relative merits of mediocre players at a given position (last year it was Izturis, Bonifacio, Kawasaki, Goins and Negrych at 2B; and Arencibia, Blanco and Thole at C).

It would be nice instead simply to have a good player at each position. After the debacle that was 2013, this doesn't seem too much to ask, especially for a rich ballclub.
Mike Green - Monday, February 24 2014 @ 02:53 PM EST (#282836) #
Most pennant-winning clubs have a position or two where the club does not have an everyday regular player who is average or better.  It's the nature of the beast.  Good clubs usually find a way to get the most from the position.  With the Cardinals last year, it was third base and shortstop (and they got very little from those spots).  For the Red Sox, it was left-field and third base. They got good production from Gomes and Nava in a partial platoon arrangement in left-field. 
Mike Green - Monday, February 24 2014 @ 03:05 PM EST (#282837) #
Fangraphs has now incorporated ZIPS, as well as Steamer, projections into depth charts and projected standings.  The Blue Jays slot in between the Red Sox and the Rangers for the most runs scored/game in the majors.  There is greater differential between the top teams (Dodgers, Cardinals and Red Sox) and the bottom (Astros and Twins). 
PeterG - Monday, February 24 2014 @ 03:48 PM EST (#282838) #
anyone know who is scheduled to pitch in the 4 inning intra-squad game tomorrow?
ISLAND BOY - Monday, February 24 2014 @ 05:00 PM EST (#282839) #
" A tough road to hoe "

Being a part-time farmer I believe the original saying must have been a tough " row " to hoe , meaning the area between two rows of planted crops being hard to hoe because of grass and weeds. Why would you want to hoe a road anyway ? In any case, enough about agriculture, unless you want to talk about the farm system.
John Northey - Monday, February 24 2014 @ 05:05 PM EST (#282840) #
As a Jays fan I much prefer the FanGraphs record - 82-80.  Makes a lot of sense as odds are something needs to go very right for 90+ wins.  Red Sox at 88 wins is the highest they project in the AL so the Jays aren't _that_ far away.  Luck, health, sudden development (or sudden drop) will be the deciding factors as it normally is.  The Rays are only at 83 wins, Yankees 82 and Baltimore 78. 

One of these years the Jays gotta catch a break and have health and W-L vs R for/against go the right way at the same time.  No question that pitching will be the key - the Jays are listed as allowing 4.45 runs per game vs the Rays at 4.03 (tops in the east).  For the rotation they have DickeyBuehrle at 4.9 total (I projected 5.0 ... nice my dart tossing matched).  Morrow they have at 2.3 which seems optimistic. Happ at 1.5 is not unreasonable, Rogers & Stroman both at 1.0 apiece.  They see the pen as quite a bit weaker than last year at just a total of 3.6 WAR. 0's in pitching for WAR include McGowan, Jeffress, and Hutchison - all 3 I expect to be much better than replacement level if given any innings.
ogator - Monday, February 24 2014 @ 05:15 PM EST (#282841) #
There is a special place reserved in hell for people who explain jokes and I am tempted to visit. But anyone who felt like a bull in a "china cabinet" might indeed try to "hoe a road." I agree that the farm system is a more interesting discussion. Too bad that if our second base prospects fell out of a canoe, they'd be unlikely to hit water...or anything else.
Mike Green - Monday, February 24 2014 @ 05:27 PM EST (#282842) #
I like Dickey better than the projections.  Both Steamer and ZIPS project an opposition BABIP of .290.  Dickey has been significantly lower than that since he became a knuckleballer but not over his career.  As a great fielder and a knuckleballer, I see no reason to expect that his four year run at being way above average at preventing hits on balls in play will not continue assuming his health is good. A modest regression in other spheres (as the systems project) is reasonable, but the .290 BABIP most likely comes from using career numbers which aren't really relevant in his case. 

#2JBrumfield - Monday, February 24 2014 @ 05:38 PM EST (#282843) #
The Brent Morel era is over. He's been claimed by the Pirates. Chase d'Arnaud, brother of Travis, was let go by the Bucs to make room.
greenfrog - Monday, February 24 2014 @ 06:06 PM EST (#282845) #
Fwiw, here's Dan Szymborski's response during his chat today to my question about Goins:

Comment From greenfrog
New hitting coach Kevin Seitzer has reportedly said that Goins has some offense left in the tank. Is there a better 2B option out there that is a realistic acquisition target for the Jays?

Dan Szymborski: Not really at this point. Jays really fumbled here. I think an Izturis bounceback is actually more likely than Goins not sucking.
Richard S.S. - Monday, February 24 2014 @ 06:17 PM EST (#282846) #
Robert Allen Dickey will be Opening Day Starter (per John Gibbons). Whoever becomes the Number Two Starter will be aided by "the Dickey Effect" ( per this site). Just about anyone will have a good year following him - anyone. The better the Starter, the better the Season. (Jimenez or Santana would have done very well here). But I believe putting Brandon Morrow here doesn't make best use of this spot. If properly used, this Team could be better.

I'm very disappointed A.A. couldn't trade any of his TOO MANY Relievers. After bragging about waiting out the Market to increase their value, nothing has happened. With Esmil Rogers in the Rotation, Todd Redmond in the Bullpen, Steve Delabar, Aaron Loup, Neil Wagner sent down (have an option left), there is still too many left.
greenfrog - Monday, February 24 2014 @ 06:41 PM EST (#282847) #
One thing I liked about the Red Sox' off-season last year was the acquisition of Uehara (3.3 fWAR - same as Craig Kimbrel).

That's just slightly less fWAR than Janssen, Cecil and Delabar combined. It's also significantly more than any single Jays pitcher's fWAR in 2013, SPs included. Carrying a super-elite reliever (cheaply, to boot) can be a very efficient allocation of resources.

Too bad Uehara nixed a trade to the Jays a couple of years ago.
Richard S.S. - Monday, February 24 2014 @ 06:50 PM EST (#282848) #
Ryan Goins showed he was a defensive Star on this turf, while everyone else was not quite as good. He started very well .400, .419, .467 over his first 8 games. He finished well .293, .293, .390 in his last 10 games. He struggled in between .125, .143, .229 in 16 games. Somewhere in there is how he'll hit. I think he'll hit well enough to keep.

A bigger issue is who's the backup catcher? Being able to catch Dickey is mandatory. Neither Thole or Kratz are much with the bat, so defense matters. Moises Sierra and Maicer Izturis we are stuck with.

The 4th spot on the Bench is vacant right now and has been all offseason. Why does A.A. always fill his Bench with who's left, not acquiring better.
greenfrog - Monday, February 24 2014 @ 07:18 PM EST (#282850) #
Here is a list of Steamer's 2014 fWAR projections for various AL second basemen:

Cano: 5.2
Zobrist: 4.7
Pedroia: 4.0
Kinsler: 3.5
Kipnis: 3.5
Kendrick: 2.9
Altuve: 2.5
Infante: 2.1
Profar: 1.6
B. Dozier: 1.3
B. Roberts: 0.7
R. Flaherty: 0.7
Izturis: 0.3
Goins: 0.0
Franklin: -0.1

Make of it what you will, ye optimists and pessimists, media scribes and bombastic agents...

A few other random players' 2014 fWAR projections: Drew (1.8), Ellis (0.6), Phillips (2.5), Hill (2.5)
Eephus - Monday, February 24 2014 @ 10:44 PM EST (#282856) #
It's been discussed here a bit before, but I found this an interesting article about Aaron Loup's transition into a sidearmer. The pictures are especially neat:

(Sure makes throwing a baseball look awful awkward on the elbow, to say the least.)
gabrielthursday - Monday, February 24 2014 @ 11:32 PM EST (#282857) #
My problem with the projection systems for Izturis (and to a lesser extent, Goins) is that they regress defense highly to the mean. Defence is one area where observation can help us; and Izturis looked extremely poor both at second and backing up SS and 3B. Izturis will probably bounce back to an 80 or so wRC+, but I expect his defence to be nearly as bad as it was last year. Take that into account, and we shouldn't expect anything above replacement from Izturis.
greenfrog - Tuesday, February 25 2014 @ 08:14 AM EST (#282858) #
Marc Hulet's top ten Red Sox prospects list is up. It's a very good farm system that bodes well for the future of the organization:
Mike Green - Tuesday, February 25 2014 @ 08:49 AM EST (#282859) #
What I like most about the Red Sox system is the high-end talent at the left end of the defensive spectrum- C, SS, 2B, CF, 3B. It is still easier to cobble together arrangements for the corner outfield, first base,  and DH slots, as the Sox have done so often in the past.
finch - Tuesday, February 25 2014 @ 08:53 AM EST (#282860) #

It's amazing what happens when an organization can properly develop hitters. I would swoon to the thought of the Blue Jays doing this.

Maybe the Jays should STOP drafting/trading-for the 5 tool player that the HIT tool doesn't have a sign of life.

John Northey - Tuesday, February 25 2014 @ 10:47 AM EST (#282861) #
Gets me thinking about who have the Jays developed as hitters (from time first signed to a pro deal until reached majors)?  Noteworthy ones are Delgado, Olerud, Jeff Kent (all near HOF level), Ed Sprague, Tony Fernandez, Jesse Barfield, Lloyd Moseby, JPA, Pat Borders, Derek Bell, Cecil Fielder, Alex Gonzalez #1, Shawn Green, Aaron Hill, Orlando Hudson, Reed Johnson, Lind, Greg Myers, Alex Rios, Shannon Stewart, and Vernon Wells.

CA: Borders, JPA, Myers
1B: Delgado, Olerud
2B: Hudson, Hill, Kent (3B to start but just because of Alomar)
3B: Sprague
SS: Fernandez
OF: Barfield, Moseby, Derek Bell, Green, Johnson, Rios, Stewart, Wells
DH: Lind, Fielder (they could be at 1B too)

A fair number of good ones there with 3B being the weakest but even Sprague made an ASG (with Pittsburgh).  The Jays pretty much developed George Bell, Kelly Gruber, Willie Upshaw, Fred McGriff and a few others and gave first ML AB's to guys like Lawrie and Hinske but those don't count for pure development from scratch stuff.

Lind is the only one still here. Goins, Sierra and Pillar are about it for ones who might start this year at some point with Jimenez on the edge.  Any others close?

Doom Service - Tuesday, February 25 2014 @ 11:40 AM EST (#282862) #
If you've set the bar at Greg Myers, Ed Sprague and Derek Bell, I think there's a few others. The ones that came quickly to mind include: Michael Young, Ryan Freel, perhaps Yan Gomes. If you set the bar a titch lower, there's dozens of 'em. For the "partial credit" pile, you can add Jayson Werth.
Mike Green - Tuesday, February 25 2014 @ 11:43 AM EST (#282863) #
There hasn't been a noteworthy one since Hill made his debut 9 years ago.  The club has been able to acquire big bats at the corner OF and 1B/DH slots, and made good deals to acquire a CF and a third baseman.  The long-term problem has been in the middle infield and behind the plate. 
Mike Green - Tuesday, February 25 2014 @ 11:46 AM EST (#282864) #
And as Doom Service's comment illustrates, for every player at a key position brought in through trade, one has been lost.  Rasmus in, Gomes out.  Lawrie in, Michael Young out. 
John Northey - Tuesday, February 25 2014 @ 11:56 AM EST (#282865) #
Young lands under partial as he didn't reach the majors with the Jays (plus had 90 games in the minors with Texas).  Myers had a great final full season here (125 OPS+ in 369 PA while catching) but must've been hurt or something as he only had 33 more PA. Sprague was an all-star (weird as that seems) and was an important part of both WS winning teams (first one he hit a key home run in game 2 of the WS in a 5-4 win - switched the game in the 9th from a 4-3 loss to a 5-4 win).  Derek Bell was a super-hyped prospect (everyone thought he'd be a super-star)  and he even had some MVP votes one year (1995 when he had a 126 OPS+) but will always be remembers for Operation Shutdown (in his final season he said..."Nobody told me I was in competition. If there is competition, somebody better let me know. If there is competition, they better eliminate me out of the race and go ahead and do what they're going to do with me. I ain't never hit in spring training and I never will. If it ain't settled with me out there, then they can trade me. I ain't going out there to hurt myself in spring training battling for a job. If it is [a competition], then I'm going into 'Operation Shutdown.' Tell them exactly what I said. I haven't competed for a job since 1991.").

Gomes might land into this category with another couple of years.  It wasn't a perfect set, just my first guess and did a quick check of B-R to see if any obvious candidates were missed.  Freel is a good catch - he was developed here, then spent a year in the old Devil Rays minors (before they became good) and became a super-utility guy in Cincinnati (played at least 4 positions every season after he left Toronto) and with an 88 OPS+ he was a good backup to have around (93+ OPS+ in each of the 3 years he played 100+ games for Cincinnati).

The Jays historical offensive development is weak though.  1B/2B/SS/LF/CF/RF are solid but 3B/CA are fairly weak and no real backups outside of 1B and OF (if Jimy Williams managed this group Fielder would be the everyday 3B I suspect....that was scary to watch).
greenfrog - Tuesday, February 25 2014 @ 12:23 PM EST (#282867) #
Gotta love Cecchini's 316/442/455 line (111:100 BB:K ratio last year). Not much HR power so far (37 doubles, though). Sounds like the Red Sox have another Youkilis in the pipeline.

With their budget and their recent judicious decision-making at the ML level, the Red Sox could be a perennial contender for the next half-dozen years or so. Currently one of the model organizations in the game.
greenfrog - Tuesday, February 25 2014 @ 12:36 PM EST (#282868) #
It's still hard to believe the Jays traded away a cost-controlled, four-win catcher making the ML minimum.

I hope Rogers's new changeup is a good one.
Parker - Tuesday, February 25 2014 @ 01:53 PM EST (#282869) #
It's still hard to believe the Jays traded away a cost-controlled, four-win catcher making the ML minimum.

You can't teach a guy to hit home runs though.

Unfortunately, the Jays couldn't teach Arencibia to do anything OTHER than hit home runs.

What'll be really depressing though is if Texas CAN.
John Northey - Tuesday, February 25 2014 @ 02:26 PM EST (#282870) #
While Gomes had a great, great year last year remember it was just 322 PA helped by a 342 BAbip.  Only Rasmus and Sierra had BAbip figures that high on the Jays last year, while the team figure was 284.  Cleveland had only Kipnis with that high a BAbip figure and the AL figure is 297.

Now, maybe Gomes just is really that good.  But odds are he isn't.  He could very easily turn back into a pumpkin or be a steady but nothing 'wow' backup catcher.  Before thinking AA did a deal as bad as, say, McGriff/Dave Collins/Mike Morgan for Tom Dodd and Dale Murray (two relievers) I'd advise waiting another season and seeing what happens.  However, I do agree I'd rather he was kept instead of JPA.
Parker - Tuesday, February 25 2014 @ 02:54 PM EST (#282871) #
It's not that I think Gomes is a true 133 OPS+ player; it's the staggeringly misplaced level of confidence Anthopoulos had in Arencibia and the Jays coaching staff's ability to turn him into a productive catcher.
Dewey - Tuesday, February 25 2014 @ 03:15 PM EST (#282872) #
Did you know that Gomes is in the Hall of Fame at Cooperstown?  Or at least his cap is, as the first player in the majors to come from Brazil.  So AA passed on a HoFer, sort of.

All that aside, I wish we'd kept Gomes.

Mike Green - Tuesday, February 25 2014 @ 03:23 PM EST (#282873) #
It's well known that the Jays used the extreme shift less often in 2013 with Butterfield gone.  It is not as well known that they weren't very successful when using it in 2013.  Butterfield brought that skill to Boston.  The Sox used the extreme shift a lot and were very successful when they did. 
greenfrog - Tuesday, February 25 2014 @ 05:46 PM EST (#282874) #
staggeringly misplaced level of confidence Anthopoulos had in Arencibia

It seems somewhat inconsistent to simultaneously (1) believe that the Jays' confidence in Arencibia was staggeringly misplaced and (2) be afraid that Texas might be able to turn him into a productive catcher.

I think the Jays simply thought that Arencibia would be serviceable and that the rest of the team was so stacked that his shortcomings wouldn't matter all that much. His WAR, while modest, was trending upwards and he was entering his age-27 season (which is around when players normally peak).

It certainly would be heartbreaking, though, if his Texas receiving turns out to be a work of staggering genius.
Four Seamer - Tuesday, February 25 2014 @ 05:52 PM EST (#282875) #
Whether or not you and I consider his work there this year to be an act of staggering genius, the one thing you can bank on is that he will think it is.
greenfrog - Tuesday, February 25 2014 @ 05:56 PM EST (#282876) #
Just saw this on twitter:

Adam Rubin @AdamRubinESPN
Heard while ago that #Rays and #Mariners were ready to pull trigger on Nick Franklin trade and Jeremy Hellickson's injury scuttled it. #mets

Damn you, Rays! Always making those sneaky-good moves (at least in this case the deal wasn't completed).
Parker - Tuesday, February 25 2014 @ 08:57 PM EST (#282877) #
It seems somewhat inconsistent to simultaneously (1) believe that the Jays' confidence in Arencibia was staggeringly misplaced and (2) be afraid that Texas might be able to turn him into a productive catcher.

Right, because it's not like any other players in recent memory have suddenly blossomed after Toronto dumped or traded them.
whiterasta80 - Tuesday, February 25 2014 @ 09:35 PM EST (#282878) #
Personally I think Hellboy for Franklin would have been a heist for the Mariners.
Parker - Tuesday, February 25 2014 @ 09:42 PM EST (#282879) #
Adam Rubin suggests that it wasn't necessarily Hellickson who would've been traded for Franklin, only that the reduced depth resulting from Hellickson's injury might have caused the Rays to think twice about trading a starting pitcher in general.
Eephus - Tuesday, February 25 2014 @ 11:18 PM EST (#282880) #
Heard while ago that #Rays and #Mariners were ready to pull trigger on Nick Franklin trade and Jeremy Hellickson's injury scuttled it.

I'm secretly still holding out hope that AA can find a way to snatch Dustin Ackley from the Mariners. Think about it: a guy who's still fairly young (26), is by most accounts a good defender at 2nd base, has no platoon split of any kind AND can back up centerfield for you (which is something this team is going to need unless 2014 becomes The Year of Gose.)

Course, with Franklin Gutierrez out for the year again Seattle will probably end up keeping Ackley for another season, hoping he can learn yet another position while learning to hit at the same time.
R Romero Vaughan - Wednesday, February 26 2014 @ 03:45 AM EST (#282881) #

Is Rogers a cheap owner - maybe a little bit but to be honest having he 8th highest payroll in MLB is not a million miles away from what I'd expect based on revenues.

AA has an expensive starting rotation that is not very good:

Buehrle at 18m

Dickey at 12m

Morrow at 9m

Romero at 7.5m

Happ at 6.5m

Total of $53m - all of these contacts given by AA We have a platoon DH at $7m and a $20m (average salary) SS who replaced a $5m that represents a fairly marginal upgrade over the incumbent when defense factored in for a risky, expensive contract that involved giving up prospects for. Both the FA deals from last year were pretty disastrous (2B and LF). I think AA deserves a year but the recent track record on transactions has been about as poor as any GM in the league in terms of results and I think blaming Rogers is a fairly simplisitc approach to take...

John Northey - Wednesday, February 26 2014 @ 07:14 AM EST (#282882) #
The money taken on was always a concern with the Marlins trade.  We all knew year 2 and beyond were going to be expensive. If things went close to how it was planned last year it would've been a lot less of an issue.  Lets just look at those 6...
Buehrle: bWAR 2012: 3.5 2013: 2.1
Dickey: bWAR 2012: 5.8 2013: 2.0
Morrow: bWAR 2012: 3.2 2013: -0.6
Romero: bWAR 2012: -1.4 2013: -0.3
Happ: bWAR 2012: 0.3 2013: 0.1
Johnson: bWAR 2012: 3.3 2013: -1.5
bWAR 2012: 14.7  2013: 1.8

Ouch.  12.9 wins lost right there.  Mix in the 3 lost due to runs scored/allowed not adding up 'right' and you get just shy of 16 wins.  That is the difference between a 74 win disaster and a 90 win near miss for the playoffs (92 got in).  Losing some of that, even 1/2 of it, plus having those 3 lost wins would've been a lot better - if they had just 7.35 WAR instead of 1.8 that would've added 5 1/2 more wins mixed with the 3 luck based lost you get 82-83 wins which would've been disappointing but not a disaster.

Was it reasonable for AA to assume his starting 6 would produce at 50% of last years level (and to have break even luck on runs for/against W-L)?  I think so. It was just a total disaster for the rotation for whatever reason.  If the starting 5 (with guaranteed money) produce 10 wins this year they will be producing at a reasonable level for dollars vs wins but is that likely?  3.3 WAR is all they produced last year so maybe not, but in 2012 those same 6 produced 11.4 WAR (12.8 not including Romero) which would be fantastic and would put the Jays near 90 wins.

Sigh.  We can dream but odds are 5-6 WAR is all we can hope for right now from that group which, at least, would be an improvement of 3-4 wins which (mixed with break even luck) puts the Jays to 500 which seems to be the tale since 1994.  A 500 team plus or minus 7 wins.
jerjapan - Wednesday, February 26 2014 @ 08:35 AM EST (#282884) #
heartbreaking, though, if his Texas receiving turns out to be a work of staggering genius.

Ha, nice one.  If anyone could find the poetry in JPA's lost season last year, it'd be David Eggers. 
#2JBrumfield - Wednesday, February 26 2014 @ 01:18 PM EST (#282888) #
Home Run Jose Bautista! 1-0 Jays leading Phillies, top 1st! World Series, here we go!
JB21 - Wednesday, February 26 2014 @ 01:24 PM EST (#282889) #
And conversely JA Happ with 0 outs after 3 Phillies hitters, last place again :(
JB21 - Wednesday, February 26 2014 @ 01:25 PM EST (#282890) #
Opps! Missed the Utley K, I'll let myself out.
Eephus - Wednesday, February 26 2014 @ 01:47 PM EST (#282891) #
Nice to see Lawrie keep that quiet stance from last year. If we can just get 130+ games from him...
SK in NJ - Wednesday, February 26 2014 @ 02:49 PM EST (#282893) #
Redmond: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K
Drabek: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 1 K (14 strikes, 20 balls)

#2JBrumfield - Wednesday, February 26 2014 @ 02:50 PM EST (#282894) #
Just watching highlights on MLB.TV, Bautista's poke was wind aided but he hit it well. Rasmus scorched a nice double off the wall in center.
John Northey - Wednesday, February 26 2014 @ 02:59 PM EST (#282895) #
Interesting to see who starts, who is first in, walks vs K's for pitchers.  Gives hints about stuff although nothing means much in game one of spring.

Good to see...
Kawasaki at 3B - getting reps around the infield so Jays know if he can be the backup they need instead of Izturis
Pillar/Gose/Sierra OF - LF/CF/RF resp, which makes sense and is important as they all try to win a job as the #4 guy although Gose at a big disadvantage being a LH when the Jays need a RH to platoon with Lind, Sierra big advantage being out of options
Happ - 1 walk, 3 K's in 1 IP
Redmond - 6 up, 6 down one by K...sweet.

Bad to see...
Drabek - wild thing, 3 walks vs 1 K in 1 2/3 IP...very lucky to have only one run against
Happ - the 2 runs in an inning on 4 hits part of his outing

Yeah, not much to really notice right now.  Only top of 6 but now it will all be minor leaguers most likely.

Ryan Day - Wednesday, February 26 2014 @ 03:12 PM EST (#282896) #
I can't understand why Drabek is still a starter. He's shown dreadful control in the majors, and he's coming off his second TJ surgery at the age of 25. Surely that combines to tattoo "reliever" across his forehead.

I suppose he's still young, and miracles do happen sometimes.
whiterasta80 - Wednesday, February 26 2014 @ 03:22 PM EST (#282897) #
Miracles do happen, but more often Dustin McGowan does.
#2JBrumfield - Wednesday, February 26 2014 @ 03:32 PM EST (#282898) #
Rain delay! Jays clinging to a 4-3 lead heading to the bottom of the 7th. Exciting, isn't it?
#2JBrumfield - Wednesday, February 26 2014 @ 04:28 PM EST (#282899) #
It's a final. Jays win 4-3. Redmond with the win, Jenkins got the save. Yankees lost to the Pirates 6-5 so the Jays gain a game on them. What a way to start the year!
Original Ryan - Wednesday, February 26 2014 @ 05:46 PM EST (#282900) #
It's a final. Jays win 4-3. Redmond with the win, Jenkins got the save. Yankees lost to the Pirates 6-5 so the Jays gain a game on them. What a way to start the year!

Look out, Mariano Rivera! If Chad Jenkins keeps this pace up during the regular season, he'll become the all-time major league saves leader before he's even eligible for free agency.

Jdog - Wednesday, February 26 2014 @ 05:55 PM EST (#282901) #
In Gregor Chisholm's latest article he mentions that the Jays are set to start with an 8 man bullpen and will only be carring one OF. He mentions that battle being between Gose and Sierra. I would hope the battle is between Pillar and Sierra as they need a RH hitting option for Lind. Pillar seems the better candidate as he could probably handle a little CF and has some actual baseball sense which Sierra is lacking. Almost expected the 8 man pen, but was hoping they would come to their senses.
John Northey - Wednesday, February 26 2014 @ 06:04 PM EST (#282902) #
It makes sense though for April with all the off-days (lots of rest for regulars) and since 3 of the 5 starters will probably have short leashes.

Sierra I think is a lock for the last OF slot unless he really blows it this spring.

The 8 man pen though...who will it be?
Janssen, Cecil, Rogers, Delabar, Santos, McGowan, seem like locks (options and the like) while Loup should be but due to options isn't.  Redmond should be on the team somewhere, Jeffress I expect to make it, and if Drabek is out of options (I thought I read that somewhere) then he is a lock too.  Problem is that is 10 pitchers and I haven't touched the two Perez's, Wagner, or any kids or surprises in camp (there always is someone).  13 guys for 8 slots, with only 1 able to go into the rotation potentially (Redmond or Rogers or Drabek but it could be Hutchison or someone else) leaving 4 out of a ML job thus making it almost a lock for those with options to go to AAA as I doubt AA wants to lose any of them.
greenfrog - Wednesday, February 26 2014 @ 06:18 PM EST (#282903) #
If Chad Jenkins keeps this pace up during the regular season, he'll become the all-time major league saves leader

The Jays will also be getting good value this year from Redmond's 33-0 record, as well as Bautista's 162 HR and 324 runs scored.

I could also predict 162 triples for Sierra, but that would just be unrealistic.
Mike Green - Wednesday, February 26 2014 @ 07:26 PM EST (#282905) #
The Blue Jays have every Monday off in April.  You do not need an 8 man pen in these circumstances.  It's reasonable to have 2 pitchers ready in the pen to go 2-3 innings in relief if needed and then 4 relievers for innings 6-9, if needed.  Six men is enough.  Seven if you are really pushing it.  The club does need as many position players as possible; it's not as though they have 9 regulars who ideally will play every day.  They ought to be platooning at two positions minimum and perhaps three. 
Gerry - Wednesday, February 26 2014 @ 07:41 PM EST (#282906) #
The Jays will not keep 8 pitchers because of need, they will keep 8 pitchers to try and avoid losing one to waivers. You wonder what the priority for the season is.

I think that approach means that no matter what Hutchison and Stroman do, the favourites for the fifth starter are Rogers and Redmond because they are out of options. Its the AA way.
Mike Green - Wednesday, February 26 2014 @ 08:25 PM EST (#282907) #
Exactly right, Gerry.  Anthopoulos needed to make a couple of more Lincoln/Kratz type deals this off-season, but it doesn't look like he has it in him.  Maybe he trades Janssen and Loup (say) for Nick Franklin in the next couple of weeks, but I am not holding my breath...
Gerry - Wednesday, February 26 2014 @ 09:11 PM EST (#282909) #
I saw some of todays game tonight on the PVR.

Happ and Drabek looked the same as last season even though both are supposed to have changed. Redmond gets no respect but he just throws his fastball from a low 3/4 and hitters don't square it up well. Its early days yet, hitters are getting their first swings but Redmond took the early lead today.
Doom Service - Wednesday, February 26 2014 @ 09:27 PM EST (#282910) #
Two quick thoughts on the bullpen crunch: 1) The disabled list will help. Someone will get really injured, or someone will get injured enough to be stashed on the 15-day list until someone really gets injured. 2) Late spring is the best possible time to DFA players who are out of options because many/most teams face similar issues, trying to make room on the 40 for the NRIs who have made the team. Someone might snag a Walker or a Perez or a Jeffress, but it's the most likely time of the year that everyone will pass. Jays were very aggressive last March/April in fishing in that roster churn, but most teams aren't.

Eephus - Wednesday, February 26 2014 @ 09:34 PM EST (#282911) #
I could see a scenario to start the season where Lind's DH platoon mate is whichever regular is getting the day off from the field, whether that be Reyes, Cabrera, Bautista (the first three guys that come to mind who really need at least a game or two a week not playing defensively.) Of course, for that plan you'd ideally want a fifth outfielder hanging around that isn't Anthony Gose (Pillar or Sierra I guess).

It could work really well if, like others have argued, this team goes with a 6 or 7 man bullpen. With the injury concerns and players with severe platoon splits, this team with an 8 man bullpen is completely insane.

John Northey - Wednesday, February 26 2014 @ 10:43 PM EST (#282912) #
I find it funny how many harp on how vital a deep bench is.  Who is likely to platoon/position share?
1) Lind - please, please, please

2) Goins - him and a backup infielder will split time at 2B, sometimes both in the field to give Reyes or Lawrie a break but not in April with so many days off

3) Navarro - you always have 2 catchers, here one is for Dickey (Kratz or Thole) and the other plays the other games (Navarro) outside of day game after a night normally

It would be nice to platoon Cabrera and Rasmus at times (RH bat needed) but that is it.

So, what do we need?  A right handed bat who can play the outfield (Sierra or Pillar), a backup infielder who can cover 2B and 3B and ideally SS as well (although Goins can do that) (Izturis or Kawasaki - Izturis having an advantage being a switch hitter), and a backup catcher who can catch the knuckleball (Thole can, Kratz might).

So that means a 3 man bench covers the core needs. A 4th man would be either a 5th OF (to cover Cabrera or Rasmus when the 4th OF DH's) or another infielder (so 2 infielders can have a day off).  When Bautista, Encarnacion, Rasmus or Cabrera need a day off you just play both Lind and the 4th OF (Sierra most likely) or let the guy having a 'day off' be the DH and play Lind at 1B or Sierra in the OF (for a few games you can live with him in CF just try to plan it so he does so on days a ground ball pitcher is going).

Now, ideally you'd have that 5th OF and 2nd backup middle infielder and a 3rd catcher to maximize the possibilities (you'd see that in the 80's when a 5 man pen was the norm, although it was normally 3 backup infielders instead of 3 catchers). However, it has been shown that resting relievers and doing smart matchups can result in even scrap heap guys being valuable (see waiver wire/minor league free agent guys like Jeffress and Wagner being worth a net of 0.8 WAR last year and Juan Perez being useful at times too).  I think in the long run an 8th reliever is more valuable than a 4th bench guy as long as the manager is the type who knows how to use him (as Gibbons has shown he does know how to mix and match a pen effectively).

R Romero Vaughan - Wednesday, February 26 2014 @ 10:55 PM EST (#282913) #

The irony of course is that the 'policy' on sending down people with options ensure that we burn all of their options as well - with the consequence that they are in the smae situation next year and every year player choice is dictated by having too many players without options.

I though having the AAA in Buffalo would mean we could have a smaller bullpen if managed properly. The issue isn't the bench it's platoons. We need every advantage we can get and the delta beween the 7 to 8 guy and the pen and adding another platoon to the lineup is potentially huge. I think its the obssession with Managers not running out of arms and looking bad (even in games long lost) that matters more than actually what strategy will yield more wins over the season - kind of an anti-analytic approach

SK in NJ - Wednesday, February 26 2014 @ 11:52 PM EST (#282914) #
Is Jeremy Jeffress or Luis Perez really worth having a 3-man bench of Sierra, Izturis, and Kratz? I mean, what is the priority this season? To win or keep relievers?

But yeah, I'm guessing one of Redmond or Rogers (likely Redmond) joins Dickey-Morrow-Buehrle-Happ in the rotation. If AA's priority is to not lose anyone that is out of options, then he will probably keep the guys with options in the minors (Stroman, Hutchison, Drabek), save for Loup who is too good to send down.

My guess is....
Rotation: Dickey, Morrow, Buehrle, Redmond, Happ
Bullpen: Janssen, Santos, Delabar, Cecil, Loup, McGowan, Rogers, and Perez

They will try to sneak Jeffress down, and probably succeed. Of course, expecting McGowan to stay healthy in Spring Training is probably optimistic, so Jeffress might make it if McGowan (or someone else) goes on the DL.
92-93 - Thursday, February 27 2014 @ 09:29 AM EST (#282915) #
"I though having the AAA in Buffalo would mean we could have a smaller bullpen if managed properly."

I've made this point many, many times. With Buffalo around the corner and multiple relievers with options, you could easily employ a 6 man bullpen if you wanted to. Maybe then we wouldn't be subjected to repeated education lessons for the front office when it comes to Adam Lind facing LHP.

John, if you accept that Goins and Lind need platoon mates, a 3 man bench simply does not suffice. It means you don't have ANY bench options when you face a left-handed starter.
Ryan Day - Thursday, February 27 2014 @ 09:29 AM EST (#282916) #
You might be able to get Luis Perez through waivers, if teams don't think he's healthy yet. Or not, since he's left-handed. But the Jays really seem to like Jeffress, so I suspect they'll give him every chance to win a spot.
PeterG - Thursday, February 27 2014 @ 10:07 AM EST (#282917) #
Haven't heard anything about John Stilson since he came hone from AFL.  What is his status? Is he injured?
Mike Green - Thursday, February 27 2014 @ 10:49 AM EST (#282918) #
So, let's say that you go with an 8 man pen to prevent losing a reliever who is out of options.  By this logic, you almost certainly will prefer Sierra (who is out of options) to Pillar and Gose (who are not) for the backup OF spot.  What happens if Rasmus pulls a hammy and is out for 3 days?  Sierra to CF?  We've seen this movie before and it is not pretty. 

Would it be so bad to have Sierra and (let's say) Gose around?  Sierra can platoon with Lind and maybe give Bautista/Melky a rest every once in a while.  Gose can backup all three OF positions, and be useful as a pinch-runner. 

92-93 - Thursday, February 27 2014 @ 10:59 AM EST (#282919) #
Good point, Mike. A 3 man bench also means if a guy is day to day you effectively can't give anyone else a day off, otherwise you have no bench.
John Northey - Thursday, February 27 2014 @ 11:00 AM EST (#282920) #
A 3 man bench is a 3 man bench regardless of who is in the field.  If you start Goins & Lind then (for example) Izturis and Sierra are on the bench.  If you start Izturis and Sierra then Goins & Lind are on the bench.  Yeah, if you bring in Lind for Sierra to face a RHP you cannot just replace Lind when the other team brings in a LHP but I think that is the rule anyways (one switch per team per AB outside of injury) and unless the game goes extras or the switch is made early Lind would only have that one PA anyways.

Now, what happens if you have an extra bench guy?  Well, back in '93 they carried Alfredo Griffen all season and he had a total of 102 PA while the backup catcher has 112 and just 10 guys had 200 PA.  For a more recent case, 2012 had Omar Vizquel on the bench all year and he had a total of 163 PA with just 10 guys having 200+.  Last year we saw 13 guys get 200+ PA.  Meanwhile the pitchers in 1993 had 11 guys face 200+ (just one other faced over 100) with 2 key guys (Ward & Cox) move to the DL for pretty much the rest of their careers.  Last year we saw 12 guys face 200+ batters but another 7 face 100+. 

Now lets add in a few other factors...
1) Guys with injury issues: Janssen, Cecil, Morrow, McGowan come to mind immediately - do not give them enough rest or push too hard and you might lose them but if used properly they can be very valuable. Mix in Drabek & Hutchison if you want.

2) Rotation: #1 is 39 years old this year, #2 is 35 and those are the guys we count on for 200+ innings.  Happ and Morrow were hurt last year (although Happ's was a freak accident) and the #5 and beyond slots are going to be kids mainly or guys who are trying to make it back.

Think about that.  We have a staff with a lot of guys recently hurt and with 2 key rotation members in their mid to late 30's making them much higher risks even if they have been healthy lately.  Do you _really_ want to take a chance on hurting them?  Yeah, the pen could be 6 guys and maybe get away with it but generally each reliever will see more batters in a season (even in an 8 man pen) than a 4th or 5th guy on the bench will see pitchers.  Generally if a batter is left in too long you have a wasted AB.  If you leave a pitcher in too long you have multiple runs scored against and/or possible injury issues.

Now, there is an upper limit as eventually you will not have enough innings. The question is what is the magic number?  7 or 8 seems to be it right now, but at one time 5 seemed enough.  The offense?  Platooning helps, but only 2B and DH fit that this year and as long as the DH can play the field (Lind at 1B, Sierra in the OF) you can get away with a very short bench.
92-93 - Thursday, February 27 2014 @ 11:28 AM EST (#282921) #
"If you start Goins & Lind then (for example) Izturis and Sierra are on the bench. If you start Izturis and Sierra then Goins & Lind are on the bench."

Izturis and Sierra can hit righties. Lind and Goins can't hit lefties. There's a BIG difference in the scenarios.

"Now, what happens if you have an extra bench guy? Well, back in '93 they carried Alfredo Griffen all season and he had a total of 102 PA while the backup catcher has 112 and just 10 guys had 200 PA. For a more recent case, 2012 had Omar Vizquel on the bench all year and he had a total of 163 PA with just 10 guys having 200+. Last year we saw 13 guys get 200+ PA. Meanwhile the pitchers in 1993 had 11 guys face 200+ (just one other faced over 100) with 2 key guys (Ward & Cox) move to the DL for pretty much the rest of their careers. Last year we saw 12 guys face 200+ batters but another 7 face 100+."

Which is why many of us have been advocating all offseason that AA builds an actual bench, instead of veteran mascots who are glorified coaches. Bringing back Rajai Davis would've been ideal, but payroll parameters.
Lylemcr - Thursday, February 27 2014 @ 11:30 AM EST (#282922) #
I don't think the Jays have what the Mariners need to get Franklin (another proven starter).  But I think they can get Ackley for one of thier arms.  There are a couple young players that could use a change of scenery from Seattle.  I would love to try Smoak and/or Montero too. 
PeterG - Thursday, February 27 2014 @ 11:38 AM EST (#282923) #
No to Montero.....a PED user and 40 lbs. overweight plus has no defensive position. he will likely be out of baseball within a year or two.
Mike Green - Thursday, February 27 2014 @ 11:42 AM EST (#282924) #
Ackley would work for me.

Do you notice how the Rays and Red Sox always seem to have a decent bench?  Have the Rays ever gone with an 8 man pen (September callups excepted)?  Zobrist's versatility helps the Rays by allowing them to use players like Joyce, Rodriguez, Fuld and Roberts more effectively.   Last year, the Rays pen was not at its best but they stayed the course on the bench/bullpen issue.

John Northey - Thursday, February 27 2014 @ 11:53 AM EST (#282925) #
The Rays also have a big advantage called 'health'.  6 guys with 20+ starts, 9 total starts by #7 and beyond and that was a bad year for them.  12 guys faced 200+ batters, 2 more over 100.  No one threw 200 innings, just 2 qualified for the ERA title.  By comparison the Jays had 2 200 IP guys, but they were the only ones over 140.  The #7 and beyond starters had 27 starts.

The Rays had 13 guys with 200+ PA, 2 more in the 100's vs the 13 with 200+ for the Jays and 5 more in the 100's.  In the end the Jays actually used more of their bench hitters than the Rays did while both teams used 22 non-pitchers.

Hard to measure really.  If I had an easy source that showed days with a 13 man staff vs days with a 12 (or 11 or 14) that it'd be interesting to see how much it actually happened and how teams did in each situation.

In the end the Jays really need to stay healthy.  That would make all the difference in the world I suspect.  If going with an 8 man pen means the pitchers stay healthy then it would be well worth it. If they can do that with a 6 or 7 man pen, great but who knows.  Hopefully that weighted ball program works well as the Jays really, really, really need something to go right.

92-93 - Thursday, February 27 2014 @ 12:11 PM EST (#282926) #
"If going with an 8 man pen means the pitchers stay healthy then it would be well worth it."

There is no evidence to suggest this is the case. If anything, there's evidence of the opposite.
JB21 - Thursday, February 27 2014 @ 12:14 PM EST (#282927) #
EE denied the reports of him asking to be full-time DH. The Jays are going to split time between EE and Lind just as they did last year. Also, Lind's goatee is hideous.
John Northey - Thursday, February 27 2014 @ 01:43 PM EST (#282928) #
Last year the split was 698 2/3 innings Encarnacion and 620 Lind with DeRosa getting 96 innings, Langerhans 27,  8 1/3 to Thole, and 2 innings for Bautista.  The UZR/150 for EE was -11.7, for Lind -9.2.  Lifetime it is -12.9 for EE, -2.3 for Lind.

So lets hope the Jays put Lind out there a bit more as EE has shown over 1481 innings that he really isn't good out there, while Lind has been endurable in his 2000+ innings.

For 'funny' you get EE at 3B last year (87 2/3 innings) at +18.3 UZR/150 but lifetime -11.6.  So really he is about the same defensive cost at 1B or 3B.  Might be worth looking at (whenever Lawrie gets hurt, or to give him a rest) putting EE at 3B.  Not ideal for defense of course, but if the defensive cost is roughly the same for him at 3B vs 1B then why not?  Don't push it, of course, but for a few games here and there maybe it isn't a bad idea.  Would allow the Jays to call up another OF and let Bautista or Cabrera DH more often during Lawrie's inevitable DL stint and might help the health overall for the club while also keeping the offense reasonable...assuming Gose or Pillar or Sierra would hit better than any of the 3B options in AAA/AA of course.
92-93 - Thursday, February 27 2014 @ 01:57 PM EST (#282929) #
If Encarnacion prefers to DH and the Jays aren't willing to let him do so in an effort to protect Lind, that's a massive mistake. Keep your studs happy.
JB21 - Thursday, February 27 2014 @ 02:20 PM EST (#282930) #
EE said he is indifferent.

If Adam Lind plays full-time 1B it only increases his chances of re-injuring his back.
Ryan Day - Thursday, February 27 2014 @ 03:16 PM EST (#282931) #
He expresses a slight preference for DHing, at least some of the time, as it gives him time to review video.

Unless some named & credible source steps forward with a story about how he refused to play 1b, this is a pretty boring non-story.
John Northey - Thursday, February 27 2014 @ 03:16 PM EST (#282932) #
A mix and match is easily the best option. Be it 2 days for Lind, 1 for EE, 2 for Lind, 1 for EE or alternating days or whatever (one week all DH, one week all 1B for example).  When a LH is on the mound you put Sierra (or whoever) in the field and someone else in DH and EE at 1B with Lind at 1B all other times perhaps.  Like I said, whatever works best to keep everyone healthy and fresh.
Ryan Day - Thursday, February 27 2014 @ 03:29 PM EST (#282933) #
In encouraging news, Shi Davidi reports that Melky Cabrera appears to be running well again.
whiterasta80 - Thursday, February 27 2014 @ 03:41 PM EST (#282934) #
With a properly balanced bullpen and a farm team in Buffalo there should be no need to carry 8 pitchers ever. Just use the options properly shuttling pitchers up and down. Now we have a tonne of guys in the bullpen with no options left but that needs to be addressed regardless.
JB21 - Thursday, February 27 2014 @ 03:52 PM EST (#282935) #
Here is more than enough information (okay, too much information) on the DH topic.

In short, Jeff Blair claimed he requested to be full-time DH. EE laughed off the claim and said it was false.
Chuck - Thursday, February 27 2014 @ 03:57 PM EST (#282936) #
In encouraging news, Shi Davidi reports that Melky Cabrera appears to be running well again.

Spring is here
Spring is here
Life is skittles
And life is beer

smcs - Thursday, February 27 2014 @ 05:49 PM EST (#282937) #
Also, Lind's goatee is hideous.

Very Reed Johnson-y.
92-93 - Thursday, February 27 2014 @ 06:37 PM EST (#282938) #
A Reed Johnson circa 2006/2007 + Adam Lind would make for a mean platoon.
greenfrog - Thursday, February 27 2014 @ 07:40 PM EST (#282939) #
Pillar has had a somewhat similar minor-league trajectory to that of Johnson. I'm sure he would love to match Johnson's ML career (282/339/409 in 3767 PA).
Mike Green - Friday, February 28 2014 @ 11:43 AM EST (#282944) #
Dickey apparently hit 75 on the gun and definitely had the soft floater working too.  A good first outing. 

Brett Lawrie is off to a good start.  I am (probably unrealistically) optimistic that this is the year he plays a full season in relatively sound mind and body.  One of my sources of optimism for the year is the absence of Arencibia; I believe this may help Lawrie in maturing and may help the pitchers too.

John Northey - Friday, February 28 2014 @ 01:56 PM EST (#282945) #
It will be interesting to see how things go without JPA.  Last year he really acted immature about things publicly - from the twitter comments and blowing up about the media daring to criticize him to insulting Zaun and Hayhurst.  One wonders what he was like behind the scenes...did he show as much of a 'I am deserving of everything no matter what' attitude?  Was he rude to teammates he felt were lesser than him?  Can't help but wonder.

Sometimes teams add by subtracting and JPA showed bad attitude to go with bad play.  Gose showed a bit of that in spring as I recall but sending him to AAA was easy enough. No one else on the roster from last year jumps out as having a bad attitude (at least in interviews).  Must be one of the hardest things, figuring out how to deal with players who have a bad one.

John Northey - Friday, February 28 2014 @ 04:17 PM EST (#282946) #
Jays win again!

No pitcher had more than 1 strikeout, Buehrle & Morrow allowing 1 run apiece in 2 innings each, with Morrow 0/0 BB/K while Buehrle was 1/1.  Sanchez a bit wild (2 walks, 1 K, 1 H in 1 IP).

Kawasaki 2-2 at SS, Navarro a double, Nanita a triple (who? - Ricardo Nanita a career minor league with 11 seasons under his belt split between ChiSox, Jays, and Washington...296/362/427 lifetime at all 3 outfield positions plus 10 games at 1B) otherwise just 1 hit per player.

Yeah, not a lot to chat about unless something bad happens.

Chuck - Friday, February 28 2014 @ 04:47 PM EST (#282947) #
not a lot to chat about unless something bad happens.

Isn't that spring training in a nutshell?

You live long enough and you learn to not get overly enthused by what happens in Florida. Of course, those hard earned lessons must annually do battle with man's unabashed spring-induced optimism, and too often find themselves sacrificed at the pollyanna altar. Who's in the best shape of their life? Absolutely everyone? Fantastic.

Mike Green - Friday, February 28 2014 @ 04:52 PM EST (#282948) #
Apparently Drew Hutchison gets the start tomorrow against the Orioles, who unfortunately do no reside in Pennsylvania. It is interesting that the rotation was organized this way. 
Mike Green - Saturday, March 01 2014 @ 12:19 PM EST (#282951) #
With Iwakuma and Walker out to start the season for the Mariners, maybe one of the Jays lesser starting pitcher options (Happ, Rogers, Redmond) becomes a useful piece in a trade for Franklin or Ackley. 
Richard S.S. - Saturday, March 01 2014 @ 01:16 PM EST (#282952) #
The World Baseball Classics came at the absolute worst possible time for Toronto. Most (but not all) of Toronto's problems started there.

Brett Lawrie had 15 ABs with the Team before going off and being hurt. Any hitting stats before August should be ignore as being Lawrie's lost Spring. I think he'll be much much better this year. How good? Speculation never resembles reality.

I don't think A.A. makes any moves this early. However, moving two Pitchers might clear some of the back load.
greenfrog - Saturday, March 01 2014 @ 04:23 PM EST (#282953) #
Seattle needs reinforcements, but I imagine that it can do better than one of those guys for Franklin. If I were Jack Z I would ask for Stroman and a decent A-ball prospect or two.

Stroman could have a nice career as a starting pitcher in Safeco.
Mike Green - Saturday, March 01 2014 @ 05:10 PM EST (#282954) #
I guess it depends on whether Seattle is in "win now" mode.  They've got advanced pitching prospects already, and Stroman may need another 1/2 year in the minors.

The way the rotation has been set up in the spring could lead to a Dickey, Morrow, Buehrle, Hutchison, Happ/Redmond lineup. If Happ continues to struggle in the spring, there is a natural spot for him as the 3rd lefty in the pen. 

katman - Saturday, March 01 2014 @ 07:36 PM EST (#282955) #
Hutch looked very good, like he did a couple of years ago. Very encouraging. If he can keep looking like he did a couple years ago, I'm OK with him as a 5th starter. It's #6 that gets dicey, but we'll see if Esmil can keep his winter ball streak going.

Stroman seemed to live up to our hopes and fears: strikeouts, but good contact that created hits. Looks like AAA would do him good.

Romero started the game with 8 balls - he got out of the inning on fly balls. Yeah, it's early, but to still have issues to that extent, and wouldn't make any fundamental changes when he had the chance... lightning can strike, but I've gone from "he may not pitch in the majors again" to "I'd be very surprised if he ever pitched in the majors again."
John Northey - Sunday, March 02 2014 @ 01:54 AM EST (#282956) #
I see Seattle as a 'win now' setup too.  You don't blow $240 mil on a guy unless you want it all right away.  With a top heavy rotation (Felix & Iwakuma) and two kids planned for it (Paxton & Walker) and now 2 of those 4 hurt I'd think a desire for someone with experience who you can easily shift to the pen is needed and Happ fits that role nicely.  Mix in the pen problems they had last year (just one had an ERA+ over 100 who threw 8+ innings) and the Jays are looking nice for a matchup.  A couple of guys from the pen plus Happ might work.  Heck, Morrow might be tempting to them right now although I doubt the Jays want to let him go just yet.

Now, for the Jays the issue is if they let Happ (or any starter) go then the low end depth they have in the rotation looks worse.  But if they feel Morrow, Hutchison, Drabek, and Redmond are healthy and set then it would be well worth the risk. I'd try to trick them into thinking Romero was A-OK too but doubt even Seattle would fall for that.
christaylor - Sunday, March 02 2014 @ 04:59 AM EST (#282957) #
Was a hex put on Romero by the Batter's Box banner?

I don't usually go in for such non-sense, but in this case I there is a disturbance in the force that I find difficult to explain.
gnor - Sunday, March 02 2014 @ 07:15 AM EST (#282958) #
A tough "row" to hoe.
gnor - Sunday, March 02 2014 @ 07:26 AM EST (#282960) #
Four games in:
  • Casey's shoulder is tender
  • Edwin's wrist is sore
  • Brett has hamstring problems
Gibby lists them as "precautionary," butů We've seen minor injuries drag out into a stay on the DL in the past. Don't like last year's injuries to show up in ST.
Sorry ~ stuff doesn't post from "Preview" mode because the comment box is empty.
christaylor - Sunday, March 02 2014 @ 12:11 PM EST (#282961) #
On the flip side these are all known unknowns.
JB21 - Sunday, March 02 2014 @ 01:56 PM EST (#282962) #
Redman getting hit hard today, Rogers gave up 3 hits in 2 innings also.
Original Ryan - Sunday, March 02 2014 @ 07:07 PM EST (#282963) #
There was a brief blurb today in the Tampa Bay Times on Nick Franklin:

"Seattle scouts have been around watching young Rays pitchers, but the market for INF Nick Franklin may be stronger elsewhere."

Where "elsewhere" is remains to be seen, but it could be a reference to the Mets. If Seattle was looking at Tampa's young pitchers, it might be wishful thinking to expect that someone like Happ or Janssen could be the centrepiece of a trade for Franklin.

greenfrog - Sunday, March 02 2014 @ 07:13 PM EST (#282964) #
Keith Law scouted Beede on Friday night and concluded that he's now in line to be a top five pick in June. Apparently he delivered a dominating performance (showing both stuff and command) against Stanford.

Credit to the Jays for selecting him when they did (I recall that Law wasn't all that impressed with the pick at the time). In his recent article, Law said it would be unfair to blame the Jays for not signing him, as they offered well over slot, "a very reasonable sum given the kind of prospect he was at that time."

I wonder if Phil Bickford will be a top five pick in a couple of years, too.
Parker - Sunday, March 02 2014 @ 07:18 PM EST (#282965) #
Was a hex put on Romero by the Batter's Box banner?

I think Aaron Hill was on there at one point too. That probably means that once the Jays finally give up on Romero and release him, he'll go on to have a 130+ ERA career with his new team.
Parker - Sunday, March 02 2014 @ 07:47 PM EST (#282966) #
That should read 130 ERA+. My bad.
Mike Green - Sunday, March 02 2014 @ 08:58 PM EST (#282967) #
The March 2 birthday team features only one HoFer, but it is solid:

C-    Terry Steinbach
1B-  Jake Virtue
2B-  Nick Franklin
SS- Woody English
3B-  Leo Gomez
LF-  Ron Gant
CF- Danny Hoffman
RF- Mel Ott

Bench- Cal Abrams (OF), Chico Fernandez (3B/SS/2B), William Fischer (C), Jay Gibbons (1B/OF), Michael Rocco (1B/PH)

SP- Mort Cooper
SP- Don Schwall
SP- Jack Knott
SP- Bud Norris
SP- Elmer Myers

RP- Jim Konstanty
RP- Ace Adams
RP- Dave Tobik
RP- Glen Perkins
RP- Pete Broberg
RP- Tim Layana

It's a really nice offence.  Hoffman got on base quite a bit for his time and could scoot.  English and Virtue got on base a lot too.  Gant, Ott and Gomez is a nice power core.  Steinbach and Franklin make good offensive for their positions.  Cal Abrams and Fischer contribute a lot with the bat from the bench, as does Gibbons. 

Cooper was an ace for 3 and 1/2 years and a good pitcher for 8 years. Don Schwall had 3 pretty good years in the rotation.  Knott had the misfortune to pitch most of his career for the St. Louis Browns; when he escaped to the White Sox late in his career, he had 3 good years making 20-25 starts per year. 

If you take each player on this club in the 3rd best year of his career (and treat Franklin's 2013 as his 3rd best), it might win a pennant. 

John Northey - Sunday, March 02 2014 @ 09:25 PM EST (#282968) #
The 130+ ERA is what he'd have here...130 ERA+ is elsewhere is what you meant I think Parker.  Sigh...just it just seem that way or is it that way lately...

Eh, we still have hope. Kids always appear at some point and we still have 2 more WS wins than Seattle, Montreal/Washington, Tampa, San Diego, Texas, Colorado, Houston, and Milwaukee combined.  Also more WS crowns (2) than Kansas City, Arizona, and the Angles.  So 11 clubs who have yet to get as many titles as the Jays have.  Also tied with the Cubs, Phillies, Cleveland, Mets, and Marlins with 2 each.  With one more WS win the Jays would move into a big tie for 10th place all time for WS titles (Atlanta, Baltimore, Minnesota, and the ChiSox have 3 each).

As to years since last getting there the Jays are more recent (1993) than Montreal/Washington & Seattle (neither has made it there), Cubs (1945), Pirates (1979), Brewers (1982), Orioles (1983), Royals (1985), Dodgers (1988), Reds (1990), A's (1990), and Twins (1991).

Sadly, when it comes to just reaching the playoffs though only the Royals have a longer streak than the Jays, having last got there in 1985 (the first time the Jays made the playoffs).  Every other MLB team has made the playoffs since 2001 with only the Marlins & Mariners also having over 10 years out of the playoffs (Houston should join them after 2015).

So things could be worse.  We could be cheering on the Royals.

greenfrog - Sunday, March 02 2014 @ 09:52 PM EST (#282969) #
Two big positives for the Jays are that (1) they apparently have quite a bit of good young talent on the farm (and they seem to be targeting many of the right players (e.g., Syndergaard, Beede, Osuna), although they sometimes seem to pull their punches, even when they know the player is first-rate (e.g., Darvish)) and (2) their payroll has jumped significantly.

The future should be bright if the organization can continue to acquire talent at a healthy clip but also focus on developmental excellence, scouting excellence, preventing injuries, advanced metrics, etc. Avoiding long contracts for mediocre players should eventually pay off (I do wish they'd added a short-term contract or two this off-season, though).

I would like to see the Jays aim to become sort of a Rays-plus or an A's-plus (no pun intended). Brainy, rigorous, creative, intuitive *and* rich (upper middle-class, anyway).

It seems as though free agency is never going to be a major part of building a championship team in Toronto (at least, during the core building phase). Probably the team will always have to get good first, making itself an appealing destination, then look to free agency for the final complementary piece or two.
John Northey - Sunday, March 02 2014 @ 10:43 PM EST (#282970) #
greenfrog - agreed with your viewpoint.  I was thinking about the guys the Jays have missed in the draft and ones they have signed lately and noticing how guys who are thought to be reaches end up being good signings (Syndergaard) or would've been good signings (Beede).  Seems the scouting might be strong and needing just a bit of help in the sorting out of who knows the most (ie: bonus for guys who picked Beede, Stilson, Sanchez, Syndergaard and  the like, pay cuts for the ones who recommended McGuire over Sale)

It'll be interesting to see if the Jays do start to reap some rewards from the 2010/11/12/13 drafts where AA had a ton of picks early on and seemed to make a few good choices. 

SK in NJ - Sunday, March 02 2014 @ 10:45 PM EST (#282971) #
I can't see a scenario, barring injury, where Hutchison is not the #4 starter in 2014. The only drawback with him will be innings, as if the Jays are in the race towards the end of the season and Hutch is at 150 innings, how much longer do they ride him given his age and the fact that he is coming off surgery?

Outside of that, he is easily one of the top 5 starters in the organization at the moment, and this season is too important to worry about option years attached to fringe MLB pitchers. Go with your best guys.
snider - Sunday, March 02 2014 @ 10:59 PM EST (#282972) #
Does anyone else think it is somewhat crazy that Buehrle will never shake off a sign from his catcher?

He has recently said that he leaves it to the catcher to know the hitters and also won't sit in on the pregame discussion regarding the opposing lineup. The soft hitting Toronto media is reporting this as almost a positive attribute. Seems quite lazy too me.
smcs - Monday, March 03 2014 @ 12:13 AM EST (#282973) #
He has recently said that he leaves it to the catcher to know the hitters and also won't sit in on the pregame discussion regarding the opposing lineup. The soft hitting Toronto media is reporting this as almost a positive attribute. Seems quite lazy too me.

When you've had as long of a track record of success as he has, you can't really doubt his methods.
JB21 - Monday, March 03 2014 @ 12:34 AM EST (#282974) #
He also doesn't throw sides, and has stayed healthy forever. He has that whole command thing in his favour so he doesn't have to work on things as much as others, but maybe it has been a secret for him staying so healthy.

Note: throwing 82 MPH fastballs may help as well..
Richard S.S. - Monday, March 03 2014 @ 01:11 AM EST (#282975) #
I don't think it matters on who you sign. As long as you are taking the best possible prospect each time you pick. It only matters what you do with the monies saved from the picks you don't sign. Jacob Brentz and Rowdy Tellez were good last minute signings with the money saved.

Bickford came from a lot of money so even offering more might not have been enough. Beede wasn't worth more at the time. I don't know what A.A. did with monies saved because 2011 was the last uncapped draft year.

Coming back from Tommy John, I don't know what the limits could be for total IP. If Hutchison makes the club, I'd go 180.0 IP (20 IP postseason) as he pitched 149.1 in 2011. To stretch him out for the entire season, he needs to be in the Bullpen for the first month/six weeks.

Would one of Happ or Rogers, and Santos be enough for a deal with Seattle?
dawgatc - Monday, March 03 2014 @ 07:37 AM EST (#282976) #
AA gave 16 million bucks to melky Cabrera.This would have been enough to sign Bickford,Beede and James Paxton with enough left over to grab Kris Bryant while your at it.I for one find their handling of the draft to be perplexing to put it mildly .
christaylor - Monday, March 03 2014 @ 08:00 AM EST (#282977) #
I'm curious -- why do people care so much about the amateur draft at this point?

Young players don't, won't, and wouldn't do what the team needed in 2013. The fact that the FA signed didn't is merely history.
John Northey - Monday, March 03 2014 @ 11:54 AM EST (#282982) #
Well, odds are far better that Cabrera will do well than 4 draft picks would as a general rule.  Cabrera came off a (PED enhanced) 157 OPS+ season and 5 times had a WAR over 1 in his career.  1 WAR = $5 mil of value roughly lately it seems.  So hoping a guy who just had a pair of 4+ WAR seasons (normally worth $20+ mil each) would be worth 1 to 1 1/2 WAR seemed reasonable.  Now lets see about the draft...

Bickford: 10th overall pick. 23 have had 2+ WAR in their career out of the 49 who have been drafted.  Exclude the most recent 4 drafts (0 WAR between them) and you have 23 of 45 who produced what one could reasonably say was the minimum expected from Cabrera.  11 reached 20 WAR (more than Cabrera could ever reach in a 2 year deal), 2 more were over 10 (again, more than Cabrera could be hoped to reach) while 10 had 2-8.5 which is the range I suspect the Jays had in mind when signing him.  In exchange for not signing Bickford the Jays get pick #11 next year.

Beede: 21st overall pick. 2 over 20, 3 more over 10, 11 in the 2-9.9 range out of 49 drafted.  Remove 6 most recent (be generous) and you get 15 of 43 being worth at least what the Jays hoped for from Cabrera. For not signing him the Jays got Marcus Stroman the following year.

Paxton: 37th overall pick. 3 over 20, 4 over 10, 1 in the 2-9.9 range.  Remove 10 most recent (none reached 2 WAR yet) and you have 8 out of 39 being worth what Cabrera was hoped for.  Noah Syndergaard was the consolation prize (important for getting Dickey).

So, losing those 3 led to the Jays getting Syndergaard, Stroman and the 11th pick this year.  If the Jays signed those 3 they probably also wouldn't have signed Rowdy Tellez and Jacob Brentz (bonus money for Bickford went to those 2) as well.  Also, if the Jays opened their wallets that large they would've also signed a few others back in the pre-cap days like Jake Eliopoulos (never signed anywhere, Jays redrafted in 43rd round years later) among others.

Yes, like everyone else here I'd have loved it if the Jays singed Paxton back in 2009.  Also Beede might be a big mistake but Stroman isn't chopped liver either (no Stroman if Beede is signed).
John Northey - Monday, March 03 2014 @ 11:58 AM EST (#282983) #
Missed Kris Bryant.  Drafted 546th overall (18th round). Just one 546th overall pick has ever reached the majors and had a negative WAR.  He is one of those lottery tickets teams draft after round 10.  Sometimes you get them to sign (such as Tellez and Brentz) but most of the time you don't (ala Gillick with Jim Abbott).
dawgatc - Monday, March 03 2014 @ 01:22 PM EST (#282984) #
Point taken but I would rather have Beede and the others plus the money not spent on Bickford is not usable on other picks if I,m not mistaken.
greenfrog - Monday, March 03 2014 @ 06:57 PM EST (#282996) #
From today's BP chat:

Erix (NYU): I believe the Jays took Stroman with the comp pick for Beede. Which of those 2 would you prefer going forward?

Jason Parks on the Completed Prospect Rankings: Stroman
John Northey - Monday, March 03 2014 @ 10:19 PM EST (#283002) #
Bickford was going to cost over the recommended slot for that draft slot, otherwise I suspect the Jays would've signed him.  Rumours at the time were $1+ mil over slot.  If so then the cash wouldn't have been there for the others.  The fact the others were signed right away after it was clear Bickford wouldn't sign suggests that this was the case...the Jays holding the cash hoping to get Bickford but having a backup plan ready to go.
dawgatc - Monday, March 03 2014 @ 11:51 PM EST (#283004) #
I stand corrected but still disagree with the strategy.Waiting til the 11th and 30th round is risky to say the least.How you allocate your allotment is important.The jays didn't,t spend to their limit and had to settle for whomever they could get .Most draft experts agree with me on this one.Outside of the draft our team did not successfully pursue any of the many fine Cuban players who have defected recently.Even highly rated catchers,pitchers and middle infielders.I don,t see the effort by the Jays that AA showed when he first took the job.Seems like we have a bunch of scouts but for what?
Spifficus - Tuesday, March 04 2014 @ 06:59 AM EST (#283009) #
I wouldn't say it was a strategy, so much as a contingency plan in case they couldn't come to terms with Bickford. I'd suspect that most teams that draft tough-signs in the first 10 rounds (ie, ones that will require over-slot) have some contingencies in place like that, including the Jays when they drafted Smoral. The alternative is to play it safe and not take tough-signs, but that's just boring.
Beyonder - Tuesday, March 04 2014 @ 07:22 AM EST (#283010) #
Whether it is a strategy or a contingency plan, it has worked out pretty terribly for the Jays. This past year, not only did they miss out on Bickford, but they also spent the remainder of the first round drafting lesser and non prospects so they could clear cap space to sign him. Only after Bickford decided not to sign did the Jays focus their attention on signing the prospects who slipped through the cracks.

Rowdy Tellez may or may not become a major league first baseman, but he was not someone the team targeted int he first round -- he was someone simply left over after the teams had made their selections.
John Northey - Tuesday, March 04 2014 @ 09:01 AM EST (#283011) #
Tellez was either the #59 or #99 prospect in the draft (BA & respectively) but fell due to his not feeling any club would meet his demands.  Via this link where he was interviewed post-draft but pre-signing. He clearly didn't intend to sign at that point but the Jays must have found a way to convince him (outside of just cash) to do so.  He is the type who would be viewed as too risky for round 1 but find to risk tossing out a late round pick.  Brentz was similar, ranked #80 by BA pre-draft but fell due to an unwillingness to sign.  Both might have been 2nd or 3rd round picks if they indicated they would sign.

Now, is that as good at a #10 pick?  A #59 and #80 pick?  No. 
#10: 81% reached majors, 11 WAR per guy who reached on average (13 over 10 WAR, 3 over 50 WAR)
#59: 36% reached majors, 2.2 WAR per guy who reached (just 2 with 10+ WAR)
#80: 38% reached majors, 4.7 WAR per guy who reached (4 over 10 WAR, 1 over 30...Curtis Granderson)

But, of course, one has to factor in that the Jays also get a #11 pick...
#11: 63% reached, 4.8 WAR on average, 7 over 10 WAR, 3 were in the 20's.

FYI: #9 has just 59% reaching, 8.9 WAR per player... the #10 picks were helped a lot by having 3 near HOF'ers

So, the equation is a bit complicated.  Would you trade a #10 pick for a #11 the next year, #59 and #80?  Would you do it if you knew that the next draft was supposed to be a stronger one? 

Also of note: Bickford was ranked #18 by BA, #17 by by Baseball Prospectus.  #18 overall is 55% reaching, 4.9 WAR per player.  It seems that Bickford might have been an attempt to do a value pick to save cash for other choices. I think I remember people complaining about his choice at the time.

So, imo, the backup plan being 2 later picks plus a #11 in 2014 was a reasonable one just in case Bickford didn't sign. In 5 years the Jays might be glad that was what happened.  Much like Beede vs Stroman - two solid prospects today (one not drafted yet but will be vs a guy who is almost here).  Other 'trades' are Jake Barrett not signed for Marcus Knecht, Jake Eliopoulos for Kellen Sweeney, James Paxton for Noah Syndergaard.  Paxton & Syndergaard are both top prospects today (neither here now), Jake Eliopoulos is out of organized baseball while Kellen Sweeney isn't much (604 lifetime OPS in minors).  Jake Barrett had a solid year in A/AA for Arizona in the pen, Marcus Knecht has a 748 OPS for the Jays minors lifetime but has been stuck in A+ in LF so not a prospect now.

So a slight loss as I'd put Barrett over Knecht but relievers (as the Jays have shown) are a dime a dozen with rare exceptions. The rest are pretty much a wash I'd say.
Thomas - Tuesday, March 04 2014 @ 09:28 AM EST (#283013) #
Paxton for Syndergaard was a clear upgrade, at least as things stand now. It would have been a lot easier to stomach had Syndergaaard not retired Upton-Upton-Heyward yesterday, even without sharp offspeed pitches, throwing a reported 97.
Mike Green - Tuesday, March 04 2014 @ 09:38 AM EST (#283014) #
Yeah, it really helps him if he takes a little bit off the fastball. :)
Beyonder - Tuesday, March 04 2014 @ 10:04 AM EST (#283015) #
A couple of points on that John. First, we don't know why Tellez and Brentz fell. High demands are one possible reason. But another equally plausible one is that teams didn't think they were good enough to be drafted at slots commensurate with their BA ranking. So they might, as you say, have been 2nd or 3rd round picks, but they also may have dropped for other reasons -- lots of players are not drafted in accordance with their BA rankings.

Second, if you really want to look at BA rankings, take a look at the guys we drafted in rounds 2 through 10, and ask yourself whether the team got value from those picks. I posted about this at length at the time, so won't repeat it here, but in their effort to sign Bickford, the Jays signed players in at least the next 8 rounds well before their BA rankings suggested they should have been drafted, and signed them for bargain prices. So not only did they fail to sign Bickford, they also failed to make value picks for the next 8 selections.

This value strategy enabled them to stockpile a lot of draft slot room, which, after Bickford refused to sign, they ended up throwing at Tellez and Brentz -- two players who happened to be left on the board after the first half of the draft had run its course. If those two turn out to be major leaguers it will be more on account of luck than anything else. Not only that, but the team actually left slot room on the table because they could not find enough players to throw that money at.

As always, it is possible that the players we selected go on to have amazing careers. But as a matter of strategy and executing that strategy, this past draft was as bad as it can get.

John Northey - Tuesday, March 04 2014 @ 11:05 AM EST (#283016) #
Now there is where I have an issue - you state that if Tellez and Brentz become major leaguers that it is luck, not the Jays being smart enough to draft them when others thought they were unsignable.  But that Bickford, who was a reach at #10, was a mistake to not sign overslot and the other picks for #2-10 were obvious mistakes as they were not highly ranked.

I see it as the rankings via BA are about as good as we will get as fans - we don't have access to what MLB teams thought behind the scenes.  Tellez might have been ranked #30 or #300 for all we know by the Jays but what we do know is the most respected baseball magazine (when it comes to amateur and minor league talent) had him as #59.  They also had Bickford as #18.  They also had many later Jay picks ranked lower than they were drafted.  From what I can tell the Jays went for lower ranked talent (thus likely easier to sign) for their rounds 1-10 picks then were aggressive for picks #11 and beyond.  Is that a good strategy?  Maybe so, maybe no. 

Syndergaard was drafted #38 overall in 2010.  Pre-draft he was not ranked among the top 200 by Baseball America or the top 100 by Keith Law.  Sure seems like a good move in retrospect (shame he is a Met though).  Sanchez ranked #59 pre draft, taken #34.  Wojciechowski was ranked #22 but taken #41 (signability issues).  Dang, that 2010 draft could be a killer for pitching...just a shame only one of those 3 is still here.
92-93 - Tuesday, March 04 2014 @ 11:36 AM EST (#283018) #
Not sure how it looked on television on Sunday, but Kawasaki made an excellent play at SS. He dove deep in the hole and made a strong accurate throw to nail the runner. He continues to look like a much more comfortable hitter than Goins at the plate. If AA is going to option Kawasaki because he overpaid Izturis, that's a big mistake.
Mike Green - Tuesday, March 04 2014 @ 11:46 AM EST (#283019) #
I don't see how the Izturis' contract impacts on the Kawasaki/Goins decision.  Izturis switch-hits and will be on the club as a utility infielder one way or the other.  Kawasaki and Goins are both left-handed hitters with essentially minimum salary contracts; if the club is not picking the better player, I don't know what they could be thinking. 

Hopefully, Seitzer weighs in on their respective bats when it comes time to make a decision. 

Beyonder - Tuesday, March 04 2014 @ 12:19 PM EST (#283020) #
Here is my point. I want the Jays, using their own judgment, to draft the very best players they can sign. I have no issue with the Jays drafting Bickford at ten, because he was in their judgment, the best player available. Their mistake -- a mistake other teams don't seem to make -- was in their assessment of how much it would take to sign Bickford. That single mistake caused the team to underdraft throughout the remainder of the first ten rounds.

Tellez was picked in the 30th round. It is hard to imagine that the Jays singled him out as a talent that they coveted highly, yet let him fall to the 30th round. Players drafted in the 30th round are largely afterthoughts. This isn't to say he won't be good, but if he is, it won't be because of any shrewd drafting strategy on the Jays part. It will be mostly luck.

As far as rounds 2-10 go, they were not only not highly-ranked, the picks were largely punted in an effort to save cap room. Murphy and Smith (picks in rounds 3 and 4), for example, were not in the BA 500, and the selections in rounds 6, 8, 9, and 10 were all college seniors.

I don't think your description of the Jays strategy is correct. I think they drafted cheap signs primarily in an effort to sign Bickford -- not so they could scoop up hidden gems in rounds 11+. What sense would that strategy make? What would it say about the quality of the Jays scouting if the team, rather than picking the guys they actually valued highly, waited until after round ten to see who was left over?

John Northey - Tuesday, March 04 2014 @ 12:21 PM EST (#283021) #
Izturis right now is a sunk cost of $7 mil (what the Jays owe him for 2014/2015 plus buyout of 2016).  I have trouble imagining him being more than a 0 WAR player at this point.
Izturis bWAR by year...
2006-2011: 11.7 total over 6 years, 1.3 to 1.8 in 5 of those years plus a 3.7 career year in 2009 (FanGraphs WAR was 1.0-2.0 for all but '09 at 3.2)
2012: 0.3 bWAR at age 31 (0.8 fWAR)
2013: -1.0 bWAR at age 32 (-2.1 fWAR)

He is now entering his age 33 season.  Few players are better at 33 than at 31 and he needs to be at least as good as he was in 2012 to be worth a roster slot, let along his salary.  I'd be watching him with the new hitting coach all spring and seeing if he has picked up anything.  Check if he was hurt the past 2 years or not and if he is healthy now.  At 1-2 WAR he is well worth $3+ mil a year.  At 0 or worse, he isn't and if he isn't looking better by the end of spring I'd say it is time to let him go. 

Goins and Kawasaki are decent backups.  Unlike Izturis they both can play SS and 2B at a league average level.  Both are also working at 3B I'm sure and would be better than Izturis defensively (-0.3 lifetime UZR/150, -23.1 last year) .  Right now Izturis' only reason for being considered is his contract. 

If I had to bet, I'd expect Izturis on the opening day roster while Kawasaki is in AAA until mid-May when the Jays finally get sick of Izturis playing poorly and they give up and let him go.  Or they try to find a sucker to take him as part of a trade of poor contracts.

As to projections, Oliver (via FanGraphs) says he'll be a 0.7 WAR player this year and 0.3 next year with a 0 in his option year but it assumes a positive value for defense which seems overly optimistic. 
Kawasaki is listed as 0.6, 0.4, 0.1 for the next 3 years with slightly better defense than Izturis (reasonable to assume).
Goins is listed as 0.7, 0.6, 0.5 but with extremely strong defense.
Mike Green - Tuesday, March 04 2014 @ 12:30 PM EST (#283022) #
Neither Kawasaki nor Goins can hit LHP at all.  If ever there was a time for a platoon, this would be it.  You've already sunk the cost for the RH part of the platoon.
John Northey - Tuesday, March 04 2014 @ 12:46 PM EST (#283024) #
Beyonder - cap space is what it is all about now.

Rounds 1-10 you know if you don't sign the player you lose cap space.  Rounds 11-whatever you don't.  In fact, for rounds 11-end you get an extra $100k to blow free of charge (first $100k doesn't count towards the cap).  Rounds 1-3 you get security in knowing that you get that pick back next year if you cannot sign him this year so tough signs are not crazy in those slots, while slots 4-10 you gotta sign as those will create cap space for other picks. 

I see a few methods teams can reasonably use...
1) Draft the best available for rounds 1-3 no matter what, then cheap signs for 4-10 to gain cap space to sign rounds 1-3
2) Draft a high end guy round 1, then use picks 2-10 to save cash and do some risks post 10 'just in case'
3) Draft guys you think you can sign for rounds 1-10 at below cap then go nuts on hard to sign guys in rounds 11-end and try to sign them

The Jays in year one of the cap did #1.  Last year they did #2 sorta (given where Bickford was ranked).  Next year?  We'll see. 

As to guys in the 30th and beyond who are hard to sign... past guys the Jays drafted but couldn't sign...
Scott Erickson 21.9 WAR (44th), Jim Abbott 17.2 (36th), Mike Henneman 12.5 (27th), Ryan Franklin 11.7 (25th), Jeffrey Hammonds 9.9 (9th round)
Signed ones include Jeff Kent a 20th round, Woody Williams a 28th, and Orlando Hudson drafted twice (33rd and 43rd).

So lots of talent exists in the junk rounds (20 and beyond) no question and the Jays have found some but signed few.  Does that make it pure luck or is it a mix of luck, scouting, and taking a shot at a guy others think won't sign but actually will?  I know John  Olerud in the 3rd round was viewed as a 'he will never sign' otherwise he'd have been a top 10 pick (perfect W-L record as a pitcher plus the bat and no minor league time before reaching majors it turned out), same with Bo Jackson (viewed as by far the best in the draft at the time and lasted until 4th round).

If I ran a team you bet I'd be chasing top talent post rounds 1-10 and have signability as a key consideration. Taking the best in round 11 and if some guys I thought would never sign were around in the 30's then grab them just in case they change their mind. 

dawgatc - Tuesday, March 04 2014 @ 01:11 PM EST (#283025) #
It's hard to win it all in baseball without pitching.You gotta have at least 2 or 3 studs at the top of your rotation.You can get these guys in 4 different ways if you,re lucky.The June draft,free agency,Foreign talent (eg.Cubans,Japanese etc. or international spending(Dominican,Venezuelan etc.).The jays compete for international talent but take the low road in the other 3.I don,t think you can get it done unless you pursue excellence right across the board and that involves spending money and even overspending when you think the player might be one of those top 3.Beede and Bickford were good picks in my opinion and not getting that done is a loss that will be hard to make up.I don,t see the plan at this stage.This constant search for cheap solutions leads nowhere.Heres hoping I,m wrong.
Beyonder - Tuesday, March 04 2014 @ 01:30 PM EST (#283027) #
Here's another strategy: they could stop being cute, and draft the best player available, so long as they think they will sign for their slot amount. From what I've seen of these other strategies 1) they have insubstantial payouts, or at least uncertain payouts, and 2) they are difficult to execute.
92-93 - Tuesday, March 04 2014 @ 01:33 PM EST (#283028) #
I really don't understand carrying Goins if you are going to platoon him. If his defense is valuable enough to the team to warrant the job heading into spring training, it shouldn't matter what sort of P they are facing. It's not like he can hit RHP. It's far more important to have a viable platoon for Lind (which they don't) than for the 2B.
Mike Green - Tuesday, March 04 2014 @ 01:53 PM EST (#283030) #
There's not hitting and there's not hitting.  Goins has hit .248/.307/.350 in his minor league career against LHPs (.289/.342/.408 against RHPs).  He's liable to be right around the Mendoza line with very few walks and little power.   In other words, very good but not Mazeroski-level defence could potentially make him a decent platoon player but nothing more.  Izturis will hit probably hit so much better than Goins against LHPs that he will add value even if he is a significantly worse defender; the club is going to keep him anyways because they don't have a player to back up Brett Lawrie.
John Northey - Tuesday, March 04 2014 @ 03:45 PM EST (#283032) #
Well, the trick is to try to get more than the 1 or 2 guys to reach the majors as regulars that you tend to get if you just draft based on signability and who is there at the time. 

Being cute helps them find better quality talent I suspect though as it allows a bigger budget.  Rounds 4-10 normally don't  produce a lot, as prospects who fall there tend to be either lower talent or 'unsignable', thus punting those while using the cash for rounds 1-3 and for drafting multiple tough signs after round 10 can be very useful.  You won't win every year, but when you are facing clubs like the Yankees and Red Sox who have mountains of cash you need to find any edge you can.
Thomas - Tuesday, March 04 2014 @ 04:11 PM EST (#283033) #

What evidence do we have the Blue Jays are "using the cash" in Rounds 1-3, as you assert, at least in the most recent draft?

If I recall correctly, every single player selected in the first 10 rounds in 2013 that the Jays signed was signed for under slot value. That's different from 2012, when they signed Smoral, Nay, DeJong and Alford all for above slot, after essentially punting the fourth round onwards.

92-93 - Tuesday, March 04 2014 @ 04:43 PM EST (#283034) #
Maicer Izturis has hit .252/.318/.336 the last 3 years vs. LHP. He's a poor defender. If that's your idea of a platoon player, you are doing it very wrong.
John Northey - Tuesday, March 04 2014 @ 04:44 PM EST (#283035) #
We have Tellez and Brentz who received the highest and 3rd highest bonuses since the cap came into place for post top 10 picks (more than the 3rd round slot money was for the Jays).  Did they use all of their amounts?  No, that is a matter of record.  They tried, but sometimes the guys you pick just won't sign which indicates the Jays didn't do enough research on certain players signability (Bickford).

Unsigned guys were Bickford (round 1), Eric Lauer (round 17), Sam Tewes (round 22), Tanner Cable (round 26).  That's it for the unsigned from the first 30 rounds.  Rankings on BA for them?  20, 125, 175, unranked.  A shame they didn't find a way to sign Tewes and Lauer as that would've given the Jays a lot of good talent and just missing the high pick.  Seems clear the Jays were going for a few guys in the 20's who they felt might sign but were tough signs.  They also had BA #490 Dane Dunning (round 34) among the unsigned.  I suspect the Jays thought Tewes and Lauer were wanting to go pro and felt they could get them for sub-$1 mil but in the end they just wouldn't go for it.  With Bickford the Jays had the hammer of knowing they got #11 the next year, plus knowing that Bickford didn't have a whole lot more bonus available no matter what he does from here on out.  Sadly, they missed that he didn't need the money (his family is wealthy iirc) which means that he could pick a figure and stick with it far more so than the average kid (most couldn't risk missing out on millions of dollars I'd suspect).

A tough thing, figuring out who will sign and who won't I suspect. 

greenfrog - Tuesday, March 04 2014 @ 05:56 PM EST (#283037) #
Drew has a 114 OPS-point LHP/RHP split (681/795). He would be relatively weak against LHP, although his overall offense should be much better than that of Goins or Izturis.

I would feel better about the Jays having a weak second baseman if Morales were on the team to provide offensive depth.
greenfrog - Tuesday, March 04 2014 @ 06:05 PM EST (#283038) #
For example, let's say EE gets injured for a while. Is Lind then going to start at 1B against LHP? Then you've got Lind and Izturis or Goins in the lineup against LHP (possibly also with Sierra or Pillar at DH or in the outfield). Not good.

And what if another starting player gets injured?

It's likely that the team's lack of positional depth is going to significantly impair its performance this year. The team is over-relying on its starters staying healthy all year long. Instead of building in redundancy, the front office is evidently going with the "hope for the best" strategy.
92-93 - Tuesday, March 04 2014 @ 06:17 PM EST (#283039) #
The same problem exists in the rotation. It's one thing if you have 4 "locks" in the rotation and want to use your youth for the 5th slot and as depth throughout the season. The Jays, however, have 2 SP who have made it through a complete season healthy. Heck, they have 2 SP who have thrown 180 innings. By not improving the roster they are essentially saying they are willing to sit back and hope for a best-case-scenario in order to compete, and it just seems that way too many things would have to go right for that to happen.
John Northey - Tuesday, March 04 2014 @ 06:42 PM EST (#283040) #
The killer is the 'go for it' choices last winter.  3 of the 4 highest paid are from those transactions (Buehrle, Reyes, Dickey) and will cost $46 mil this year for, probably, under 10 WAR.  Then you have 4 guys who got big deals after their best season to date years (Morrow, Cabrera, Lind, Romero) who cost $30.5 million who would not have deals that rich if they were free agents this past winter.  Not to mention annoying deals like $1.25 for Thole and $3 mil for Izturis.  Those deals combined equal just over $80 mil, or about what the Jays total payroll was in 2012.

The allocation of dollars hurts...a lot.  Then you have what they could blow it on now - Santana, a pitcher with a tendency to give up home runs, Kendrys Morales who is a DH and part time 1B, and Stephen Drew who is a SS but might play 2B for enough money.  All 3 carry risks that might not be good ideas for the Jays to take - can Drew handle 2B well (position changes always have some crapshoot mixed in)?  Would Morales be an improvement over Lind?  Would Santana be able to keep the ball from flying out of the dome?

Top prospects to trade we'd all rather see kept, especially after watching Syndergaard do well in the minors last year and thinking about how nice d'Arnaud would look in Toronto blue right now.

Sigh... it all might work out. As I showed earlier it wouldn't take much luck for the Jays to be a 90 win team with the current lineup, just need to avoid disasters really and have decent (not perfect) health with replacement level performances from guys who come in to fill in.  Doesn't seem like much to ask but in Jay land it seems like asking for a lottery win.
92-93 - Tuesday, March 04 2014 @ 06:56 PM EST (#283041) #
There was also little reason to guarantee JA Happ's 2014 salary.

I believe it was done so AA could hold steadfast to his rule of not negotiating one year deals with arbitration eligible players after a certain date.
greenfrog - Tuesday, March 04 2014 @ 07:15 PM EST (#283042) #
The other problem with the Jays' strategy is that it runs a higher risk of burning out / injuring players. Instead of mixing and matching and resting players (as the Rays do), the burden is on every starting player to play every day, no matter what, because the replacements are so subpar.

Last year, Lawrie rushed back from injury because the Jays "needed" him so badly. Perhaps as a result, in April and May, his OPS's were 609 and 662.

Arencibia also "took one for the team" in 2013 (or so he thought).

It's a short-sighted strategy, in more ways than one.
greenfrog - Tuesday, March 04 2014 @ 07:21 PM EST (#283043) #
EE, Delabar and Cecil were other players the Jays arguably pushed too far in 2013, possibly leading to DL stints or surgery.
scottt - Tuesday, March 04 2014 @ 09:12 PM EST (#283044) #
With Goins, you can always use the utility infield player against most lefties. That does not change anything with regard to the bench construction.

With Lind, you need a platoon partner because he can't hit lefties, the platoon player would presumably be better defensively and Lind tends to suffer from back issues when he plays everyday.

You also use EE at first, DH one of the regular outfielders and play the 4th outfielder.

John Northey - Wednesday, March 05 2014 @ 12:49 AM EST (#283045) #
Backups are something that would be nice... but the question becomes where to put resources until the minors are producing more than what it is right now.

Right now Goins, Sierra, Pillar and Gose (although he started elsewhere the Jays really developed him) are the only home grown talents with a bat in their hands who can be used.  Hopefully in a couple of years AA's drafting and international free agents will start reaching AAA and be useful in the role that guys like Kawasaki, Izturis, and the like are taking up now.  Home grown ones can be on a Buffalo shuttle - going back and forth as needed much like the pen was last year.  So Lawrie is day-to-day so you call up someone for a week while someone else goes down.

For 2014 though Izturis and Kawasaki appear to be the best options for 3B/SS/2B backups.  Not a good thing.  Ideally Kawasaki would be in AAA and used only if/when Reyes is out for a bit.  Goins would be the backup day-to-day in the majors and someone else would be at 2B while another guy is signed for the role Izturis has (a RH hitter who can play a passable 2B/3B).  Given we are where we are though I suspect it would be best to just go with the LH backup of Kawasaki and not worry about a platoon at 2B but more a mix and match depending on who is pitching (more ground balls = Goins, more flyballs = Kawasaki) while Sierra is the RH DH sorta (play in LF/CF/RF so others can rest at DH).  Ideally the Jays would have a solid RH bat on the bench and Erik Kratz could be that bat potentially (although he hasn't shown a normal platoon split in the majors yet but few PA vs LHP too).  Still perfect world they find a guy who can hit LHP as well as Lind hits RHP who can also cover 2B (unlikely) or at least LF/1B so some bench options exist.  Could Sierra be that guy or Pillar?  Maybe but I wouldn't be the farm on it.
bpoz - Saturday, March 08 2014 @ 06:04 PM EST (#283146) #
Good discussion Beyonder & John N. P Bickford at 10 should have been the best available player in the Jays opinion. But they still have the option of not signing him and still retaining the pick & cap space but for the 2014 draft. That particular pick may still be protected for 2015. So it is a budgeting consideration. This applies to all protected picks.

Round 4-10 have to be signed as neither the pick or the cap space is protected. So do your best.
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