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A three game set at the Son of the House that Ruth Built. Second place is on the line.

I fear the Yankees.

You're wondering why. The Yankees are five games over .500, despite surrendering 27 more runs than they've scored. They get blown out far more often than a good team should (10-16 - they've gone 15-12 in one-run games.) They have pitching that more or less defines the concept of "average" (4.22 ERA, league average is - wait for it - 4.22). Their offense is rather sad, averaging less than 4 runs per game. They've been treading water (24-24) in their own home park. The brilliant work of Masahiro Tanaka was most of what kept them afloat, and he's on the DL. Keeping him company there are C.C. Sabathia, Ivan Nova, and Michael Pineda, all of whom are on the 60 day DL. Gosh, that's four starting pitchers. You mean that happens to other teams as well as Toronto? But still, thanks to Tanaka and a legitimately outstanding bullpen, the Yankees pitching has fought the league to a draw.

But the offense.... Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran have both been great players in the past, but 2014 has seen both men endure an extremely rocky adjustment to the American League. Mark Teixeira seems like a shadow of his old self - even so, he's still been one of the team's best hitters. Brian Roberts has been able to stay in the lineup, which is shocking - his play, alas, hasn't reminded anyone of Brian Roberts. That guy was actually good. Derek Jeter is one of the best 40 year old shortstops in the history of the game, but there's a reason there have only been half a dozen 40 year old shortstops in the history of the game, and Jeter is no longer a good ballplayer.

But they're the New York Yankees. And I fear the Yankees. I think Chase Headley was a terrific pickup for them - they got a good player having a lousy first half to fill a gaping hole in the lineup. Headley should enjoy not playing his home games at Petco Park (only the toughest hitter's park in the history of baseball) - Headley's career line in his road games is .286/.360/.444 (at home, it's just .244/.331/.372), and he's only 30 years old (on the Yankees, "only" is the appropriate adjective.)

Anyway - the matchups:

Buehrle (10-6, 2.86) vs Kuroda (6-6, 3.88)
Hutchison (6-9, 4.54) vs Greene (2-1, 2.79)
Happ (8-5, 4.55) vs Whitley (4-3, 4.60)

Buehrle, of course, has gone almost two months since his last win; he's 0-5, 4.06 in his last 8 starts. If you're thinking - hey! A 4.06 ERA over 8 starts? Don't you have to be a little unlucky to come away without a single W - you'd be exactly right. He's gone 0-3 in his Quality Starts, and he's also handed a pair of three-run leads over to the bullpen, which promptly coughed them right up. He's actually been an above average pitcher over this period - really, exactly what most of us expected him to be.

Hutchison's recent work is a little more disturbing. His last 8 starts have been much, much worse (2-6, 6.37) then Buehrle's. Hutchison's just getting hit - the league hit .234 against him in his first 12 starts, they've hit .305 against him in the last 8. Fewer groundballs and more line drives. That seldom works out well.

Interesting lineup tonight, as tweeted by Noted Tall Person Barry Davis.

Reyes, ss
Kawasaki, 3b
Cabrera, lf
Bautista, rf
Navarro, c
Francisco, 3b
Rasmus, dh
Goins, 2b
Gose, cf
Buehrle, p

I think the Jays may want to re-consider their decision to play two men at third base, and no one at first.

Jays vs Yankees | 143 comments | Create New Account
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Mike Green - Friday, July 25 2014 @ 04:28 PM EDT (#290475) #
You have nothing to fear but fear itself.  There would however be nothing wrong with a stinging article describing ball/strike calls in Yankee Stadium vs. other ballparks using Brooks Baseball.  Say it loud, say it proud.  The umpires are afraid of all those imagined presences in the stadium. 

Anybody able to compile the data?
uglyone - Friday, July 25 2014 @ 04:31 PM EDT (#290476) #
It's legit crazy that the yanks are even above .500, let alone in a playoff spot. Their rotation is destroyed, and their lineup is pitiful. They do have a nice bullpen, though.

The Yanks have been pulling a Jays roster move for the last week or so......not only do they have an 8 man bullpen and 3 man bench, but Tex is also injured enough not to play but not injured enough to DL, so they actually have been runnning a 2 man bench for the most part.

Jays really have no excuse here - Kuroda, Greene, and Whitley are all three very hittable righties, which should be right in our wheelhouse. The Yanks do have a great backend of the 'pen - Robertson/Betances is as good as it gets at the top, with warrne/kelley excellent as well and Thornton a good LOOGY. Their do have some depth issues, though - right now they're carrying three crappy lefty vets in Capuano, Francis, and Huff to try and fill out the bottom of the 'pen. Of course, even crappy lefties can give the jays problems, and they now have four lefty relievers to use this series.

But Buehrle and Hutch have no excuse not to bounce back and limit this yanks' lineup. This lineup should not be scoring any runs.

LF Gardner 420pa, .787ops, 119wrc+
CF Ellsbury 426pa, .770ops, 112wrc+
3B Headley 317pa, .653ops, 89wrc+
1B Johnson 227pa, .674ops, 88wrc+
2B Roberts 337pa, .672ops, 84wrc+
C McCann 356pa, .665ops, 82wrc+
DH Beltran 283pa, .681ops, 82wrc+
SS Jeter 396pa, .645ops, 80wrc+
RF Suzuki 243pa, .642ops, 78wrc+

UT Wheeler 27pa, .769ops, 109wrc+
C Cervelli 62pa, .753ops, 109wrc+

no choking this time.

John Northey - Friday, July 25 2014 @ 04:51 PM EDT (#290478) #
Checking the B-R Preview for the game...
0 days rest: Redmond, Rasmussen
1 day: Sanchez, Janssen
2 days: Cecil, Loup, McGowan
sound asleep: Rogers

So Rogers is the long man, the big 4 are all available although I wouldn't be surprised if Janssen is kept out unless needed.  Sanchez will be saved for tomorrow I'm sure.  Ideally you'd have Rogers and Sanchez kept on the bench until Sat/Sun as Buehrle should go 7 and the next 2 days you might need live arms for a few extra innings.
PeteMoss - Friday, July 25 2014 @ 04:52 PM EDT (#290479) #
Yankees are going to start Chris Capuano on Saturday and Greene is pushed back to Sunday.
Ron - Friday, July 25 2014 @ 04:53 PM EDT (#290480) #
I see a match between the Jays and Mets. It's being reported the Mets are willing to eat 2 million of what is remaining in Colon' contract. Dan Murphy would solve the 2B issue and he can bit LHP. Both players are club controlled for next season. There's a young SS on the Canadians that I' m sure the Mets would love to have as part of the trade package. Now of course almost every trade is going to be hard to complete since the Jays can't add payroll.
Richard S.S. - Friday, July 25 2014 @ 04:59 PM EDT (#290482) #
The Jays don't seem to hit as well in New York, and I would ask, "why"? After watching, I answered my question. They don't do the same things in New York that they have success with everywhere else. Is it going to change???....
PeteMoss - Friday, July 25 2014 @ 05:04 PM EDT (#290483) #
Well for comparison's sake, here are the called strikes for both pitchers tonight in games played at Yankee Stadium:

Kuroda (2014 only) -

Buerhele (2008-14)-
Mike Green - Friday, July 25 2014 @ 05:12 PM EDT (#290485) #
For the second time in a week, Gose is in centerfield and Rasmus DHs with Cabrera in left-field.  I guess it's all about managing egos in light of seniority, but somehow I doubt that Rasmus is happy and that Cabrera is as well-rested as he might be if a different division of responsibilities was chosen. 
92-93 - Friday, July 25 2014 @ 05:24 PM EDT (#290487) #
I don't fear the Yankees because they aren't a good team, but I do loathe them. Just win one this weekend and we'll be fine.
Thomas - Friday, July 25 2014 @ 05:27 PM EDT (#290488) #
The Jays have dealt Deck McGuire to the Oakland A's for cash considerations and Brad Mills has accepted his assignment to Buffalo.
92-93 - Friday, July 25 2014 @ 05:27 PM EDT (#290489) #
Rasmus is a guy who gets hurt often and was playing sore a few weeks ago, so it's likely Gibbons has decided Rasmus needs the rest more than Melky does. Whether or not that's because Colby appears to be "softer" than Melky is hard to decipher, and it's quite possible Gibbons is trusting the players too much on how they feel and making the wrong decision here as to who would benefit more from being off his feet.
greenfrog - Friday, July 25 2014 @ 06:01 PM EDT (#290492) #
"Deck McGuire is now an Oakland A, in exchange for cash considerations."

Brad Mills, Deck McGuire...what's going on? Probably after the A's struck gold with Jesse Chavez (and after almost snagging EE when the Jays initially released him), they decided to look long and hard at every Jays retread. Hopefully the Jays haven't acquired the reputation of an organization that can acquire talent, but has trouble developing it.
Alex Obal - Friday, July 25 2014 @ 06:08 PM EDT (#290493) #
Y'all noticed the Red Sox infield played Juan Francisco straight up (unless there was a LH pitcher in)? Good sign.
greenfrog - Friday, July 25 2014 @ 06:35 PM EDT (#290494) #
Re 92-93's comment:

It would be nice if the Jays won tonight to get that win out of the way. Nothing worse than a weekend series with the Jays in NYC or Tampa and hoping to salvage a win on Sunday after losing games 1 and 2.
greenfrog - Friday, July 25 2014 @ 07:20 PM EDT (#290495) #
Dang - that was sweet
Richard S.S. - Friday, July 25 2014 @ 07:56 PM EDT (#290496) #
Occasionally the Jays have had a tendency to score all their runs in one inning and never again in the game.
AWeb - Friday, July 25 2014 @ 08:11 PM EDT (#290497) #
Well, that's enough of this game for me. I'll check back later to see if Bautista hits more HRs...all the rotation shifting for Dickey the past few years, and you can't move Buerhle away from the Yankees?
Richard S.S. - Friday, July 25 2014 @ 08:43 PM EDT (#290498) #
Jays aren't coming back from this one.
Super Bluto - Friday, July 25 2014 @ 09:15 PM EDT (#290499) #
With the lefty going tomorrow, wouldn't it be a good time to forgive Kevin Pillar?
Richard S.S. - Friday, July 25 2014 @ 10:39 PM EDT (#290500) #
I wonder how often the Jays come back after losing the lead by a big inning. It seems like almost never.
TangledUpInBlue - Saturday, July 26 2014 @ 07:10 AM EDT (#290501) #
Here's how I see the priorities as we approach the trade deadline:

1. A right-handed bat. I place this at the top because it's a relatively easy hole to fill. You'd think so, anyway. To some extent Reimold can do the job but he has no platoon splits over his career (.257/.328/.438 vs LHP) and preferably we'd want something more like a .350 OBP and .475-500 SLG.

2. A top starter. Stroman's been pitching like an ace, but at the same time Hutchison -- who looked like a solid #2 or #3 -- has really struggled. So there's Stroman and a bunch of mediocre-looking guys. That means there's no real point in trading for a #3 pitcher (unless he comes really cheap). What we need is someone who can be paired with Stroman at the top of the rotation, especially if we get to the playoffs. Ideally this would be David Price, and I'd still be willing to give up Sanchez and more to get him, but he's probably off the table at this point. So maybe James Shields? As a pure rental, he'd come a lot cheaper than Price, but, well, he's probably off the table, too. A month ago, I would've thought it only made sense to trade for a true #1 (i.e., David Price) since we were really lacking a top-of-the-rotation arm. With the emergence of Stroman, though, as a potential #1/#2 pitcher, getting someone like Shields (in the 3.50-3.60 ERA/FIP range) is definitely good enough.

3. A right-handed reliever. We thought this was a strength. Now we know it isn't and can look to fill the hole. Since we're not looking for a closer, the cost shouldn't be too high. If it is, then you stand pat and hope that Santos or Delabar or someone emerges.

4A. A second or third baseman. Actually, I don't really consider this much of a priority at all, since I think the combination of Lawrie/Tolleson/Francisco/Goins is good enough. Francisco and Tolleson have solid platoon splits and with Goins in the mix on defense (and who knows, maybe he's figured things out offensively), we're fine. You can win championships with spots like that on your roster. That said, it is an area where a big upgrade could be made. If the Rockies, for example, want to trade Troy Tulowitzki, then I'd try to put together a package (and move Reyes to 2B).

4B. A catcher. Again, not a priority and not something I'd be spending a lot of time on, but it's the same as 2B -- it's currently a weakness so if you get the chance to make a big upgrade, hopefully beyond this year, you try to do it.
BlueJayWay - Saturday, July 26 2014 @ 08:25 AM EDT (#290502) #
The AL East is 27-11 since the ASB.
uglyone - Saturday, July 26 2014 @ 11:08 AM EDT (#290503) #
Ichiro homerun. Of course. Why not?

Win today please.
John Northey - Saturday, July 26 2014 @ 11:25 AM EDT (#290504) #
Jamie Shields? Nice as that'd be I cannot imagine he is available as KC is right there for the 2nd wild card slot (2 games out) and 2nd in the Central so if Detroit falters they are ready to pounce. 

The Rays have moved into contention (dang it).  7 1/2 out of first, 4 1/2 out of a playoff slot.  I don't see them trading Price now unless someone makes a crazy high offer they cannot refuse.

In the AL the only teams really out of it (10+ out of a playoff slot) are Houston and Texas.  Minnesota, Boston, ChiSox are the only others 5+ out of a playoff slot.
In the NL the teams really out of it are Phillies, Arizona, Cubs, Colorado while fringe teams (5-9/12 out) are Miami, Mets, Padres.

So there are the teams for trades.  6 teams with no hope, 6 more with faint hope.  If a player isn't on one of those I'd say not to bother hoping the Jays get him as everyone else has some hope of making the playoffs.
uglyone - Saturday, July 26 2014 @ 11:33 AM EDT (#290505) #
Division Records

1. ALE 262-252, .510
2. NLC 259-252, .507
3. ALW 260-253, .507
4. ALC 256-255, .501
5. NLE 254-257, .497
6. NLW 246-268, .479

So much for the AL East being crappy.
TangledUpInBlue - Saturday, July 26 2014 @ 01:12 PM EDT (#290507) #
Jamie Shields? Nice as that'd be I cannot imagine he is available...

Well, I did say he's probably off the table. There are still five days to go, though, so a 5-game losing streak for the Royals could change things. (For the Jays, too, of course.) Even there, though, I think Dayton Moore would be unlikely to trade him, since giving up on this year probably means losing his job. The Rays on the other hand -- they'll be looking out for their long-term future, and if things don't look good on July 31, Price could be available. If the Jays have money available (big if), two other big names are Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee, but both have no-trade clauses that include Toronto.

In the end, there might just not be any frontline pitchers available to the Jays.
CeeBee - Saturday, July 26 2014 @ 01:38 PM EDT (#290508) #
Nothing like a little adversity to make winning today more lets just do it!
Mike Green - Saturday, July 26 2014 @ 01:43 PM EDT (#290509) #
It sure would be nice to have Pillar today in left-field instead of Gose, as Super Bluto said.  He's done enough time for his outburst. 
Thomas - Saturday, July 26 2014 @ 01:47 PM EDT (#290510) #
Jake Peavy just provided the Red Sox with a very nice return. If you had any doubt that it was a seller's market after the Shark trade, this trade should eliminate it.
Magpie - Saturday, July 26 2014 @ 02:04 PM EDT (#290511) #
1. ALE 262-252, .510
2. NLC 259-252, .507
3. ALW 260-253, .507
4. ALC 256-255, .501
5. NLE 254-257, .497
6. NLW 246-268, .479

So much for the AL East being crappy.

Interesting. Let's get into the weeds.

The AL East has the best record of any division in Inter-League games. All three AL divisions have winning records in interleague, all three NL divisions have losing records - the best individual teams have been Oakland and... Miami?

AL East teams have a losing record against the AL Central, which has a losing record against the AL West. But AL East teams have a winning record against the AL West, largely because AL East teams seem to have a unique ability to beat the crap out of the Houston Astros (19-7). (The only single team matchup against a particular division as lopsided as Houston-AL East is Colorado vs the NL Central (4-13), and there's still quite a few games remaining in that matchup.)

On the other hand... The Astros actually have a winning record against the AL Central (11-10). No AL East team has a winning record against the AL Central; collectively they're playing .471 ball (56-63.)

I think it's pretty safe to say that no team in the AL East is as bad as Texas or Houston. But I doubt any of them are as good as Oakland or Los Angeles.
Mike Green - Saturday, July 26 2014 @ 03:11 PM EDT (#290514) #
Hutchison is having a decent outing, but he still does not have his best stuff (by far).  I guess that cuts both ways.
uglyone - Saturday, July 26 2014 @ 03:12 PM EDT (#290515) #
I don't get what's happened to his command. He's always been a great command guy but right now he's not hitting spots at all.
uglyone - Saturday, July 26 2014 @ 03:18 PM EDT (#290516) #
Melky went from idiot to genius in a millisecond there.
Mike Green - Saturday, July 26 2014 @ 03:28 PM EDT (#290517) #
Not having any right-handed bats on the bench and all those left-handed hitters in a row is a pretty terrible idea.  I don't know what management was thinking.
dan gordon - Saturday, July 26 2014 @ 03:41 PM EDT (#290518) #
I see on Rotoworld that Encarnacion has had a bit of a setback in his rehab. He's going to shut it down for a couple of days.
uglyone - Saturday, July 26 2014 @ 03:52 PM EDT (#290519) #
Gregor Chisholm @gregorMLB
Toronto's bullpen hasn't allowed a run in its last three games. #BlueJays 'pen hasn't gone four straight scoreless games all year.
uglyone - Saturday, July 26 2014 @ 03:59 PM EDT (#290520) #
oh great, now the ump is trying to give the Yanks the game again.
Eephus - Saturday, July 26 2014 @ 03:59 PM EDT (#290521) #
Two straight two-out walks. Very concerning.
uglyone - Saturday, July 26 2014 @ 04:02 PM EDT (#290522) #
huuuuuuuuuuuuge pitch.
scottt - Saturday, July 26 2014 @ 04:16 PM EDT (#290523) #
Reimold should be the first one to return. Actually, I was expecting him to be playing rehab games by now.
uglyone - Saturday, July 26 2014 @ 04:17 PM EDT (#290524) #
there we go.

FINALLY one of the jays lefties takes advantage of that short porch in right.
Mike Green - Saturday, July 26 2014 @ 04:29 PM EDT (#290525) #
Monkey off back.
uglyone - Saturday, July 26 2014 @ 04:30 PM EDT (#290526) #
omg we did it.

now beat them tommorrow and break this stupid curse for real.
TangledUpInBlue - Saturday, July 26 2014 @ 04:50 PM EDT (#290527) #
How about Jonny Gomes? His numbers look pretty bad this year (.239/.333/.363), but that's because he should be platooning. Against LHPs, he's .312/.409/.450 this year, and .280/.380/.498 for his career. He's also a free agent after this season and probably available.
China fan - Saturday, July 26 2014 @ 04:56 PM EDT (#290528) #
Hutchison is the biggest story today.  I was getting worried about him, but he returned to strong form today.  Now we only have to worry about Buehrle.  And Buehrle can't really be replaced in the rotation -- he's not the kind of guy that you shift over to the bullpen if he's slumping -- so the Jays just have to hope that he begins to pitch well again.  Nothing else can be done, just wait and hope for him to recover.

So I'm back to thinking that the Jays don't need to acquire an expensive veteran pitcher before the trading deadline, unless it's someone like Price who would be valuable next year too.  Or unless it's someone who's a definite upgrade on Happ, which would exclude a lot of veterans.   Would you really want to demote a Hutchison or Happ into the bullpen for a marginal upgrade which might be risky and might not materialize anyway?  Sure, do it if you acquire Price, but not if you acquire a league-average 4th or 5th starter.

If the Jays need further rotation depth as insurance against injury, Todd Redmond could actually be the temporary answer.  He's had a great season, and he's perfectly capable of throwing 5 or 6 decent innings if the Jays need a starter for a few games.

uglyone - Saturday, July 26 2014 @ 05:23 PM EDT (#290529) #
Gomes has always been the guy i wanted to target but getting reimold makes that less of a priority i think.

What's our bench right now when healthy?

C Thole
IF Kawasaki
OF Reimold
UT Tolleson

That's already short a guy who can handle cf. Gomes might be an upgrade over reimold, but might not be...and its hard to see how we woukd carry both.

TangledUpInBlue - Saturday, July 26 2014 @ 05:47 PM EDT (#290530) #
Hmm... If everyone were healthy, and we push it to 14 position players, I'd say it looks like this:

C: Navarro, Thole
1B: EE, Lind
2B: Tolleson, Goins
3B: Lawrie, Francisco
SS: Reyes
LF: Cabrera
CF: Rasmus, Gose
RF: Bautista, Reimold

Gose has to be on the team just to make sure CF is covered, plus his defense and pinch-running is useful. I'd also prefer to have Goins on the roster going into the playoffs, though I suppose he's expendable if you had to make a cut. In any case, it's true that it might be tough to find a spot for Gomes, but that's only if everyone gets healthy, which likely won't happen, and in any event, if it came down to Reimold or Gomes, I'd prefer Gomes.
Magpie - Saturday, July 26 2014 @ 05:48 PM EDT (#290531) #
Now we only have to worry about Buehrle.

I'm not too worried about Buehrle, yesterday's stinker notwithstanding. Thanks largely to that stinker, he has a 4.89 ERA in the nine starts since his last win, along with the 0-6 mark. That isn't great, not at all. But if Buehrle had gone 5-3 in those games - and that's something could easily, easily have happened - I don't think anyone would be too worried. He did hand a pair of three run leads to the pen - three run leads, late in the game - which the pen couldn't hold. And in his six losses, the team has scored 0, 2, 3, 0, 1, 4 runs. Nobody wins very often when that happens. He's the same guy, he should be fine.
PeterG - Saturday, July 26 2014 @ 05:50 PM EDT (#290532) #
Reimold is due back anytime......possibly tomorrow is what I heard on the pre game show.
92-93 - Saturday, July 26 2014 @ 07:18 PM EDT (#290533) #
"Would you really want to demote a Hutchison into the bullpen for a marginal upgrade which might be risky and might not materialize anyway?"

I might want to demote Hutchison to the bullpen to strengthen my 7th and 8th innings and Drew's chances of being effective for a full season in 2015. I know the Jays insist there's no limit on Hutchison's innings, but perhaps there should be.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, July 26 2014 @ 07:45 PM EDT (#290534) #
Remember how today's game went, all the little stuff that went right? That used to be how Yankee games went against Toronto in Yankee Stadium. Half the time it wasn`t because New York was better that the Jays got beat, it was because they were luckier.
uglyone - Saturday, July 26 2014 @ 07:56 PM EDT (#290535) #
agreed, Rich.

I was sick of hearing "the yankees make sure they never beat themselves" too.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, July 26 2014 @ 08:20 PM EDT (#290536) #
Dan Johnson basically single-handedly won this game for us. Without his offense, I don't think Toronto wins. He's without options, because they usually are or they wouldn't be on the Team. With everyone back and healthy, I think he must stay.
Mike Green - Sunday, July 27 2014 @ 09:48 AM EDT (#290539) #
The July 27 birthday team has plenty of "bad" apples.  How appropriate to be in New York.

Mgr.- Leo Durocher

C- Nelson Santovenia
1B- Ray Boone
2B- Bump Wills
SS- Joe Tinker
3B- Alex Rodriguez
RF- Larry Biitner
CF- Tom Goodwin
LF- Don Lock

Bench- Shea Hillenbrand (1B/3B), Rich Dauer (2B), Zach Taylor (C), John Hiatt (C/1B/PH), Floyd Honey Bear Rayford (PH/Mascot)

SP- Max Scherzer
SP- Shane Rawley
SP- Len Barker
SP- Rube Walberg
SP- Johnny Kucks

RP- Yoervis Medina
RP- Charley Hall
RP- Jack Doscher
RP- Harry Kane
RP- Jim Faulkner
RP- Brian Kingman

There are plenty of Yankee and Ranger connections here, which of course puts me in mind of Mick Doherty.

The infield has all kinds of possibilities.  Durocher was, of course, a great fielding shortstop himself.  Boone was best at third base.  Hillenbrand and Dauer were capable starters.  In truth, Durocher would probably have sent Alex Rodriguez out to right-field and told him to become Henry Aaron or at a minimum Jose Bautista; he'd have been a huge upgrade on Biitner. 

Hiatt was a very good hitter.  I don't know what the story was with him, but he did play for the Giants in the mid 60s and so he struggled to get at-bats.  If he was playing now, he would have probably made his way to the American League and spent most of his career as a DH, like Cliff Johnson or Jim Leyritz.

perlhack - Sunday, July 27 2014 @ 09:55 AM EDT (#290540) #
Aside: the Baseball Hall of Fame executive board has reduced the number of years for which a player is eligible for election to the Hall of Fame from 15 years to 10 years. Apparently, the 'grandfather' clause applies only to players who have been on the ballot at least 11 years, but not to those with 10 or less (so Mark McGwire has only two years left on the ballot, not seven).

It also appears that BBWAA voters must sign a 'code of conduct' agreement.
JohnL - Sunday, July 27 2014 @ 10:22 AM EDT (#290541) #
Speaking of Hall of Fame, nice article in today's NY Times about Roger Angell, who's this year's JG Taylor Spink winner for baseball writing. Pretty unusual for a non-beat writer, but Angell's writing is definitely Hall of Fame.

The online article contains links to a couple of his stories: the first one mentioned, his 1980 interview with Bob Gibson, and his most recent essay on old age (he's 93). The timing is good, because the New Yorker where he wrote all his essays has temporarily opened up its archives for free viewing.

Also, check the NYT article for a link to an article/interview with Angell by Maureen Dowd, "Angell in the Outfield".
Mike Green - Sunday, July 27 2014 @ 10:25 AM EDT (#290542) #
Angell's writing is definitely Hall of Fame

Oh yes.  Inner circle, if you ask me.  Thanks for the heads-up, JohnL.
Gerry - Sunday, July 27 2014 @ 11:03 AM EDT (#290543) #
Reimold activated.
Gerry - Sunday, July 27 2014 @ 11:26 AM EDT (#290545) #
Esmil Rogers, DFA, again.
92-93 - Sunday, July 27 2014 @ 11:42 AM EDT (#290546) #
They may be hoping someone claims him after a better AAA showing so they have some $ to spend this week. For depth purposes that consider team needs, I would have taken Mastroianni off the 40, not Rogers.
rtcaino - Sunday, July 27 2014 @ 12:40 PM EDT (#290548) #
Interesting theory 92/93.

On an unrelated note, here is an article about how Johnny Damon is adjusting to life after Baseball.!bnWsHF
ISLAND BOY - Sunday, July 27 2014 @ 01:20 PM EDT (#290549) #
With J.A. starting today, and his propensity for alternating good/bad games, one wonders if the glass will be Happ-empty or Happ-full.
mathesond - Sunday, July 27 2014 @ 01:32 PM EDT (#290550) #
Whatever Happ-ens, Happ-ens.

Years from now, when J.A. is the subject of a long-form story to go along with his induction into the Hall of Fame, the chapter on the World Series win that marked the turning point in his career will be titled, "It Happ-ened One Night".
John Northey - Sunday, July 27 2014 @ 01:57 PM EDT (#290551) #
Funny... used to be addicted to checking stats daily but with 3 kids and a 4th on the way no time.  So checking today oddball stuff...
Rasmus: Not getting a qualifying offer as is - just a 93 OPS+, 216/272/440 vs Gose 71 OPS+ 232/333/275 - factor in defense and the OBP vs Slg (OPS+ gives Slg too much strength) and Gose is the more valuable player right now
Francisco: came back to earth but still doing well overall - 126 OPS+ 242/314/521, 267/320/556 in July

Team seems to be a mix of high slg, low OBP or decent OBP low Slg then the stars (EE/JB/AL) plus Johnson & Reimold (both 320+ OBP and 400+ Slg).
Sub 400 Slg, 320+ OBP: Kawasaki, Gose, Thole
400+ Slg, sub 320 OBP: Francisco, Rasmus, Lawrie, Tolleson

FYI: those were just figures that came out of my head, nothing scientific.  Just seemed interesting to draw a line in both figures and get a batch who are in each group.  Tolleson barely qualifies in both categories and could easily flip from one group to the other.  The others not so much.
Hodgie - Sunday, July 27 2014 @ 01:57 PM EDT (#290552) #
I can't decide who I find harder to stomach behind the plate, Angel Hernandez or Joe West.
Chuck - Sunday, July 27 2014 @ 03:20 PM EDT (#290557) #
McCann and Bautista are putting on a "how not to" clinic at first base this weekend. Bautista has way more trouble with short hops than I would have imagined.
92-93 - Sunday, July 27 2014 @ 03:22 PM EDT (#290558) #
Why is Bautista playing 1B anyway and not Dan Johnson?
Chuck - Sunday, July 27 2014 @ 03:24 PM EDT (#290559) #
With J.A. starting today, and his propensity for alternating good/bad games...

It's like clockwork. He has yet to throw two consecutive good starts all year and has only once thrown two consecutive bad starts.

Dez - Sunday, July 27 2014 @ 03:26 PM EDT (#290560) #
You're not gonna consider this a good start? That's a bit harsh.
Magpie - Sunday, July 27 2014 @ 04:24 PM EDT (#290561) #
McCann and Bautista are putting on a "how not to" clinic at first base this weekend.

Neither of whom is a first baseman by trade, of course. The idea that "anyone can play first base" is taking a beating.
uglyone - Sunday, July 27 2014 @ 04:28 PM EDT (#290562) #
Man oh man navarro is singlehandedly trying to prove that clutch exists this year.
Chuck - Sunday, July 27 2014 @ 04:33 PM EDT (#290563) #
You're not gonna consider this a good start? That's a bit harsh.

I'm admittedly just going by the bottom line here. I've seen little of today's game.

uglyone - Sunday, July 27 2014 @ 04:33 PM EDT (#290564) #
Nice series win, but that really should have been a sweep. We're a better team than them. Sucks that buehrle had an uncharacteristic meltdown to ruin it.

Next 7gms against bottom feeding teams boston and houston, while the orioles continue their tough stretch against top teams. Real chance to catch the orioles and even pass them before we play them in two weeks.

Nice to be all alone in a playoff spot again.
Eephus - Sunday, July 27 2014 @ 04:37 PM EDT (#290565) #
That Bautista stolen base is easily one of my favourite plays of the year. You could tell by the look on Robertson's face that it was the last thing he was expecting.

92-93 - Sunday, July 27 2014 @ 04:38 PM EDT (#290566) #
What a fantastic game, and a massive series win. It's still only late July, but hopefully this will give the team some confidence to build on right now, and to get the monkey off their back for when they head into Yankee Stadium for 4 games in late September, a series that will probably be pivotal to their playoff chances. Let's ride this momentum and take 5 out of 7 vs. the lowly Red Sox & Astros.
Hodgie - Sunday, July 27 2014 @ 05:01 PM EDT (#290567) #
Was anyone listening to the Fisher Cats game? Pompey was lifted for a pinch runner in the 9th - that can't be a good sign. Hopefully nothing too serious as he seems to clearly have adjusted quickly to AA. Before being lifted he was 3-4 with a triple and a walk.
greenfrog - Sunday, July 27 2014 @ 05:14 PM EDT (#290568) #
I missed this one, but it sounds as though it was a great team effort by the Jays.

That makes two consecutive series in which the Jays rebounded in a huge way from a loss in game one. To hang tough and notch those wins without Lind, Lawrie and EE is pretty impressive and has to give the team added confidence.

Interesting note: Sanchez has now pitched 4 innings in the majors (in late-innings pressure situations in big games), with zero walks.
Alex Obal - Sunday, July 27 2014 @ 05:20 PM EDT (#290569) #
Three in a row. The Texas series started inauspiciously - there's no shame in being stymied by David Cone 2.0, but getting owned by J.P. Arencibia is pretty aggravating.

That was a fun game.
greenfrog - Sunday, July 27 2014 @ 05:24 PM EDT (#290570) #
Correct! Three in a row.

Also, the BoSox beat the Rays today, cooling their jets a bit. Good to see.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, July 27 2014 @ 05:27 PM EDT (#290571) #
Why settle for a less than a 7-7 record verses Boston and Houston? The Team is learning to have fun again.

It's possible Pompey's 1) Being traded; 2) Moving up to Buffalo; 3) Family issues he's needed for: 4) Injured?

This was not a bad game for Happ, but with two HRs given up, it's not a good game.
greenfrog - Sunday, July 27 2014 @ 05:40 PM EDT (#290572) #
It would be convenient for the Jays if Lester were traded before his July 30 start.
BlueJayWay - Sunday, July 27 2014 @ 05:41 PM EDT (#290573) #
Hey Rogers the team you own is in a playoff spot and crowds are getting big and the tv ratings are awesome so mabe just maybe you could take on just a little more payroll and

ah forget it

greenfrog - Sunday, July 27 2014 @ 05:51 PM EDT (#290574) #
It sometimes seems with Rogers that if the Jays are winning, it's a reason not to increase payroll (i.e., the team is doing fine with internal options). And if the team isn't winning, adding players isn't worth it because there needs to be more buzz/attendance/viewership around the team to spend more on it, and there isn't enough evidence to justify spending more for a playoff run when the team isn't winning enough to justify this.

To be fair to Rogers, though, they did increase payroll a lot before the 2013 season. The current payroll is at a fairly robust level. Plus, it appears to be a seller's market, so it's probably hard for AA to execute a good trade. And aren't we all thankful that the Jays didn't trade two of Stroman, Hutchison, and Sanchez (or Sanchez, Norris, and Pompey) for Samardzija? The Jays' parsimoniousness is starting to look more and more like prudence.
BlueJayWay - Sunday, July 27 2014 @ 06:13 PM EDT (#290575) #

Jays winning: well the team is doing well, don't really need to increase payroll

Jays losing: well the team isn't doing well, no need to throw good money after bad, not gonna increase paryoll.

Either way there's an easy excuse to not spend any more. Anyway I don't feel like giving Rogers a break for the payroll hike a couple years ago because as far as I'm concerned that only finally brought it to somewhere near a level it should have been all along if they were serious about trying to win with this team.

"The Jays' parsimoniousness is starting to look more and more like prudence."

It's sort of working out so far, luckily. I don't think it's prudence though. It's their only choice (other than to tear it down and dump payroll right now, which probably even Rogers wouldn't want to deal with the flack of if they did it)

Richard S.S. - Sunday, July 27 2014 @ 06:18 PM EDT (#290576) #
...The Jays' parsimoniousness is starting to look more and more like prudence.

I can't agree. I suspect deals could already have been done if A.A. could take on full salary. Trading for anyone is cheaper when you do.
smcs - Sunday, July 27 2014 @ 06:30 PM EDT (#290577) #
Why is Bautista playing 1B anyway and not Dan Johnson?

Because Reimold couldn't play a defensive position, Bautista had to be available to move to RF once a righty came in to pinch-hit for the lefties.
greenfrog - Sunday, July 27 2014 @ 06:32 PM EDT (#290578) #
People might want the Jays to make more acquisitions and take on payroll, but there seems to be a scarcity of good, constructive, realistic trade proposals.

Last off-season, lots of people wished the Jays had signed Tanaka or Ubaldo or Infante or Ellis. Aren't you glad the Jays steered clear of these players?

It's easy to spend money. It's much more difficult to spend it intelligently.
John Northey - Sunday, July 27 2014 @ 06:40 PM EDT (#290579) #
I think this is the latest in a season the Jays have been in a playoff slot since 1993.

2000 they were just 1 game out of the wild card after games on July 27th and that was the last time they were in first (July 14th) in July since 1993.  FYI: Started July 28th 2000 the Jays lost 6 in a row and that was that for 2000.  They went on a 3 game winning streak after that slump and were still 4 1/2 out of it.  FYI: it was the 19th of July that year they made the trade of Darwin Cubillan and Michael Young to the Texas Rangers. Received Esteban Loaiza.  Ugh.  Other trades were made but none were very costly in the end (Pete Munro had one good year, got the Jays Dave Martinez, Brent Abernathy for Mark Guthrie and Steve Trachsel - Abernathy had one good year and that was it). 

1999 the Jays were actually in the wild card slot after games on July 27th - 1/2 a game up on the Red Sox.  That flipped the next day, back into playoff position on July 30th.  The Jays bounced around a bit and still held that playoff slot on August 12th 1999.  The Jays then went 19-26 for the rest of the season while Boston (1/2 a game behind the Jays that day) went 31-17.  Big trades that summer were getting Tony Batista and John Frascatore for Dan Plesac, then getting David Segui for Tom Davey and Steve Sinclair.  In August they traded a minor leaguer for Brian McRae for some reason (those were McRae's final PA's in the majors).  Batista was a great one to get (123 OPS+ while playing SS) as was Segui (125 OPS+ at DH) and Frascatore (144 ERA+ in the pen over 37 IP, 7-1 record too).  The problem was bizarre choices like keeping Joey Hamilton in the rotation for 18 painful starts and having Halladay in the pen a lot before giving in and letting him start from August 13th on more or less (7 starts, 3.43 ERA over 6 IP per start but 0-3 record).  Seems bizarre because in June he started 2 games in a row (well, 5 days apart) and threw 12 2/3 shutout innings then tossed into the pen for some reason.  Sigh.  Hamilton wasn't horrid during that time (4.75 ERA which would've been roughly a 100 ERA+ that year) but what could've been.  Of course, a bigger concern was dumb stuff like Willie Greene having 248 PA mainly as DH with a 66 OPS+, Brumfield in OF with a 69 OPS+ (195 PA), and a rotation without an ERA+ over 111 (Carpenter who got 24 starts) and two guys who didn't have it (Escobar 86 ERA+, Hamilton). What could've been...

So that is the Jays 2014 short term goal - be in playoff position later than the 1999 team - August 12th.
BlueJayWay - Sunday, July 27 2014 @ 06:53 PM EDT (#290581) #
The addition of the 2nd wildcard really seems to change the dynamic. Lucky it exists now because without it probably the only playoff slot available to the team would be winning the division outright.
greenfrog - Sunday, July 27 2014 @ 06:58 PM EDT (#290582) #
I really want to see the Jays win the division. A wild card berth is better than nothing, but a wild card loss after a 162-game season is an abrupt and sorry thing to behold. Let's go whole hog(town) and secure ourselves at least a full playoff series.
PeteMoss - Sunday, July 27 2014 @ 07:08 PM EDT (#290583) #
Taking a gander at the Orioles/Mariners boxscore (Mariners managed a run off Darren O'Day to tie it up in the 8th) and noticed Chris Davis is now hitting .199 with a slugging percentage under .400. Now his BABIP is crazy low, but a giant step back there.

He also wasn't that great in the 2nd half last year. Looking like last year was a bit of a fluke.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, July 27 2014 @ 07:48 PM EDT (#290584) #
I just wonder what happens when A.A. doesn't do anything before 01 August 2014. The reason he couldn't will not matter. It's just basically a message to the players saying "you're not worth making the effort to get someone". He can do all he wants next month, but the optics this month are most important.

Nolan Reimold is back, tomorrow I suspect, if not today.
Adam Lind should be back before the 31st, or very soon thereafter. That's still 4-7 games away.
Edwin Encarnacion, with his set-back, is August 7th - 10th, I suspect. That's about 10-13 games away
Brett Lawrie could be back before Edwin, or just after. That could be 8-15 games away.
Cole Gillespie and Brandon Morrow - I'm not sure when they might be back.

That's a long time to go, when help is just a trade away. And that's what players are seeing.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, July 27 2014 @ 08:00 PM EDT (#290585) #
Someone at a Sports network said the Jays are in an easier place in their schedule, while Baltimore plays the stronger West Coast teams. 17 games later they meet, in Toronto, to determine the Division.

Through the first 10 Games, Toronto is 7-3, while Baltimore is 6-4. Toronto, while in sole possession of the 2nd WC, is still three games out.
greenfrog - Sunday, July 27 2014 @ 08:12 PM EDT (#290586) #
I would support a trade for Beltre or (maybe) Prado. If AA had a reasonable deal lined up for Beltre (say, Norris and a couple of good A-ball prospects), but Rogers refused to add his salary, effectively nixing the trade, well, that would be annoying.

I say Beltre because he would be the type of high-value, two-way player who could well propel the Jays into the playoffs this year (and give them a good chance to do so again next year). His contract meshes well with the Jays' window of contention.

Probably Texas would demand Norris and Pompey, though (and maybe another decent prospect or two). Which would be too much, in my view. Deals are hard to make in a sellers' market.

Prado could be a good, versatile, experienced (if less impactful than Beltre) infielder for the Jays. MLTBR says that AZ doesn't want to move him, though. The Jays might have to pay a "grittiness" premium for him. The asking price would probably be too high.
Ron - Sunday, July 27 2014 @ 08:54 PM EDT (#290588) #
Great speech from The Big Hurt.

He name dropped a lot of teammates and when it came to the Jays, he mentioned "Doc Halliday, Accardo, AJ,Downsy, Frazier, Rios, Casey, League, McGowan, Marcum, BJ, Towers, A Hill, Vernon, Johnny Mac, Lindo, Reed, Raja and Big Red."

I have to imagine this is the first and last time Josh Towers ever gets mentioned in a Hall Of Fame speech. He also thanked Toronto fans, JP Richardi, and Alex Anthopoulos.

uglyone - Sunday, July 27 2014 @ 08:54 PM EDT (#290589) #
Our offense is kind of awesome. Not sure why we'd be adding hitters.
greenfrog - Sunday, July 27 2014 @ 09:05 PM EDT (#290590) #
Upgrading the team's offense and defense. Increasing the team's chances of making the playoffs (via a divisional title, instead of hoping for a 50-50 chance of making the playoffs via a WC spot), and then advancing. Creating a stronger, deeper roster by adding a durable superstar two-way player.
greenfrog - Sunday, July 27 2014 @ 09:13 PM EDT (#290591) #
Also: the team's RS total to date (482) has been somewhat inflated by the RC's 1.111 park factor (second-highest in the majors).

So the offense has been good, but not as good as it seems at first blush. The A's, by contrast, have scored 515 runs in a neutral ballpark (15th-best offensive park) and the Angels have scored 508 in the 22nd-best offensive park.

So: add offense, add defense, add pitching (if you can). At the risk of offending Canadian sensibilities, why not go from good to great?
China fan - Sunday, July 27 2014 @ 09:21 PM EDT (#290592) #
"...why not go from good to great?...."

I agree with greenfrog on this.  The Jays have done well since the all-star break, but don't forget how badly they were playing before.  Their rivals are adding talent.  Can the Jays afford to be the only team in the playoff race that stands pat?  Of course they'll get a boost from the return of Lind/Encarnacion/Lawrie, but Lind seems to be the only one of those three who is actually close to returning.  There are too many spots in the lineup that are adequate but not great.  Just adding a strong 2B or 3B could make a big difference.  Anthopoulos should be working hard to do it.
uglyone - Sunday, July 27 2014 @ 09:24 PM EDT (#290593) #
Well, because most any addition means taking francisco's bat out of the lineup, so you better be damn sure you're getting a better bat. Even getting a big proven bat isn't a lock to better than what francisco is giving us.

And in terms of champ team building, having a nice cheap surprise like francisco is something you take advantage of, not something you replace. Like Boston last year with Nava, or LA this year with Calhoun.
uglyone - Sunday, July 27 2014 @ 09:27 PM EDT (#290594) #
"There are too many spots in the lineup that are adequate but not great."

I think you're spoiled. What team are you comparing the jays to here?

The jays don't have any real holes in their lineup, to be honest. Nothing remotely as bad as, sau, the gaping holes the orioles have at C and 2B.
uglyone - Sunday, July 27 2014 @ 09:37 PM EDT (#290595) #
"So the offense has been good, but not as good as it seems at first blush. The A's, by contrast, have scored 515 runs in a neutral ballpark (15th-best offensive park) and the Angels have scored 508 in the 22nd-best offensive park."

wRC+ does all the dirty work of adjusting for park factors and all that:

LAA 114
DET 110
OAK 108
TOR 108
LAD 107

And wat makes toronto's number there so much more impressive is that those other teams have been far, far healthier than the jays' hitters.

I'm not sure people realize what the jays have here.

Joey/EE is the best one-two punch in baseball, bar none. They're getting way above average production from melky, frsncisco, and lind. Reyes, lawrie, rasmus are all around league average. Navarro is the weakest spot in the lineup and he's hardly a gaping hole at around a 90wrc+. On top of that we have all sorts of contributing bench parts in tolleson, johnson, reimold, thole, and kawasaki.

This is a very good lineup. Think back 5-10yrs when we looked wistfully at the power laden lineups in BOS and NYY.....right now they're the ones looking wistfully at us.
JohnL - Sunday, July 27 2014 @ 10:17 PM EDT (#290596) #

He name dropped a lot of teammates and when it came to the Jays, he mentioned...

He mentioned that many Blue Jay names just from his 1+ seasons with them? His speech must have gone on forever, just listing names...
greenfrog - Sunday, July 27 2014 @ 10:23 PM EDT (#290597) #
This is a good point and it's helpful to see the big picture. Looked at globally, the Jays have had a very good offensive season, with solid to excellent contributions from a range of players, including some savvy unheralded additions by AA.

On the other hand, here is the Jays' wRC+ by month:

March/April 103
May 128
June 95
July 103

So, what do we really know about this team's true offensive sea level? They've had one tremendous month, which has kept them afloat for most of the season, and three average-ish months (100 wRC+ being average). Sure, the team has been without some key cogs in July, but what about June? Should the Jays be confident that the injury issues will all be in the rearview mirror once Lawrie, EE and Lind return? What about team defense and the left side of the infield (Francisco), or 2B if Lawrie moves back to third?

Personally, I would like to see one more good, experienced RH bat on the team - preferably a good two-way player. Beltre is solid defensively and his offensive performance speaks for itself (wRC+ of 135, 141, 135, 136 over the last four years). Over the past four full seasons, his fWAR has ranged from 5.2 - 6.6 per year. Assuming the price is right, not sure why you wouldn't want to add that to the roster, even if it's unlikely to happen in the real world.
China fan - Sunday, July 27 2014 @ 10:48 PM EDT (#290598) #
"....The jays don't have any real holes in their lineup, to be honest. Nothing remotely as bad as, say, the gaping holes the orioles have at C and 2B..."

Yet the Orioles are three games ahead of the Jays and they're showing no signs of slowing down.  The Jays might look better on paper, but the Orioles are ahead.  Uglyone seems to be implying that the Jays should simply wait for the game results to catch up to the logic of their lineups.  I don't think the Jays can afford to be complacent or to stand pat.  It will be easier, in my view, to improve the lineup than to improve the rotation.  The Jays (including Francisco) remain vulnerable to LH pitching. Their season hitting numbers, as greenfrog noted, are inflated by a miraculous month that is unlikely to recur.  There's no guarantee that Encarnacion and Lawrie will be back soon -- it might take another two or three weeks, and those are key hitters.  The disastrous slump by the Jays in June was largely due to a sharp decline in hitting, rather than poor pitching, and this could easily happen again.  I think AA's top priority on the trade market should be to upgrade the lineup.  If he can't do it, the Jays could still be contenders, but 2014 might turn out to be a wasted opportunity.  Anthopoulos should be doing everything possible to exploit the remarkable opportunity that was created by the relatively poor seasons of the Yankees, Red Sox and Tampa.  It might be a lot more difficult next year.
greenfrog - Sunday, July 27 2014 @ 11:11 PM EDT (#290599) #
Two-way players represent a nice way of addressing the "add offense or pitching?" dilemma. By adding someone like Beltre (or, on a lesser scale, Headley, perhaps), you improve your teams RS and RA totals in one fell swoop.

Lind, Francisco, Melky, Reyes and EE are all valuable hitters, but they don't offer much on the run prevention side of the ledger. None of them is even close to a 5-6 WAR player like Beltre.
China fan - Sunday, July 27 2014 @ 11:13 PM EDT (#290600) #
Also, to suggest that there aren't any holes in the Jays lineup is to assume that 2B will be solved by Lawrie's return.  (In the meantime, Kawasaki has an OPS of .656 and could regress further to his career norms; Goins still has a .477 OPS even with his recent improvements; and Tolleson is only capable of hitting LHP.)  Lawrie doesn't even have a projected date for his minor-league rehab stint yet.  He could be gone for most of August -- a crucial month for the Jays.  And even when he returns from the DL he won't necessarily solve the 2B problem.  Similarly, as long as Encarnacion is out of the lineup, for a few more weeks, Reimold and Johnson are unlikely to be an adequate replacement for the power that EE brought to the lineup.

I do agree that most of the current Jays lineup positions are difficult to improve upon.  Navarro/Thole and Rasmus/Gose are adequate for the premium positions of C and CF, especially considering how well Navarro is handling the Jays pitchers.  But it's a bit of an exaggeration to suggest that there aren't any holes in the lineup.

uglyone - Sunday, July 27 2014 @ 11:19 PM EDT (#290601) #
The orioles are on a nice hot streak (16-7)....but that has been driven by an incredible 6 extra inning wins during that short stretch, which is more than a bit lucky. And even then their 6-4 record since the break is a slowdown from their scorching 10-3 run into the break. We play two bottom feeders before we play the Os, and they play two plaoff contenders. Wouldn't be surprised if we gain some more ground on them by the time we face them.

But anyways, we've been the best offense in the league since the break, and have three key bats coming back soon, so i'm not sure trading for a bat puts us over that perceived hump anyways.

As for parsing the season and ignoring the hot months....well, that's not a smart way to analyze things.

Especially since, like i mentioned, we've been the best offense in baseball again since the break....a 134wrc+ since the break, not including today's 12 hit 5 run performance....and with a bunch of injured cavalry coming round the bend.

And again, we have to remember that trading for someone that kicks francisco out of the lineup could easily make us worse, not better.
greenfrog - Sunday, July 27 2014 @ 11:30 PM EDT (#290602) #
If analyzing the team's offensive performance month over month is not a smart approach, wouldn't that make focusing on the team's offensive performance in the couple of weeks since the ASB sort of, um, extra not-smart?
China fan - Sunday, July 27 2014 @ 11:32 PM EDT (#290603) #
I'm not sure why you're so high on Francisco.  His OPS since June 1 has been barely over the .700 threshold.  His OBP and BA have been terrible.  If the Jays can upgrade over Francisco or any of the 2B replacements, they should do so.
uglyone - Sunday, July 27 2014 @ 11:33 PM EDT (#290604) #
And i don't think its exaggerating to say that guys like rasmus and navarro, being average hitters for their position, aren't holes in a lineup. Average isn't a hole.

But i do agree that there's half a hole in the lineup.....i'd still love to get a legit CFer who can hit lefties. That's something we just don't have....unless pillar figures it out.
uglyone - Sunday, July 27 2014 @ 11:39 PM EDT (#290605) #
Francisco's red hot again this month. One of our best hitters again. His monthly splits (not including today's homer):

APR: 137wrc+
MAY: 175
JUN: 56
JUL: 136

Today's game probably gets him to around 150 for the month.

greenfrog - Sunday, July 27 2014 @ 11:40 PM EDT (#290606) #
In roughly half a season, Rasmus is 0.1 fWAR. That leaves a lot of room for improvement, although his health issues can't be helping the situation. Not sure why he should be starting in CF over Gose at this point.
uglyone - Sunday, July 27 2014 @ 11:42 PM EDT (#290607) #
"If analyzing the team's offensive performance month over month is not a smart approach, wouldn't that make focusing on the team's offensive performance in the couple of weeks since the ASB sort of, um, extra not-smart?"

I'd rather stick to the season totals myself.

But since you dismissed their hot may as an aberration in the past that we should ignore going forward, i thought i'd point out that we're currently the hottest offense in baseball, even with the injuries.
greenfrog - Sunday, July 27 2014 @ 11:47 PM EDT (#290608) #
Right, so now it's Francisco's and the team's last week or two that matter?

I get it: sample size matters, but only when it supports the point of view you're advocating for.
uglyone - Monday, July 28 2014 @ 12:02 AM EDT (#290609) #
No, it's their whole season that matters. Actually we should go back further than just this season, really.

But you guys have both tried to use splits to devalue the season totals, so i've had to use splits only to respond to those splits-based arguments.
uglyone - Monday, July 28 2014 @ 12:24 AM EDT (#290611) #
We could mitigate streak bias even more if we look at a bigger sample.....let's try last two years:

1B E.En'cion 996pa, 151wrc+
RF J.Bautista 956pa, 145wrc+
DH A.Lind 719pa, 134wrc+
CF C.Rasmus 708pa, 116wrc+
C D.Navarro 603pa, 112wrc+
LF M.Cabrera 836pa, 109wrc+
SS J.Reyes 821pa, 108wrc+
3B J.Francisco 630pa, 108wrc+
2B B.Lawrie 723pa, 94wrc+

UT D.Johnson 41pa, 89wrc+
OF A.Gose 316pa, 79wrc+
IF S.Tolleson 134pa, 99wrc+
C E.Kratz 302pa, 71wrc+

UT M.Izturis 437pa, 63wrc+
OF N.Reimold 154pa, 64wrc+
IF M.Kawasaki 420pa, 77wrc+
C J.Thole 231pa, 60wrc+
Magpie - Monday, July 28 2014 @ 03:04 AM EDT (#290612) #
Some subtle scheduling differences have given the Orioles a slight break, in both the overall scheme of things and the season so far. Toronto has 14 games this year against Oakland and Los Angeles, the two best teams in the league, and they've played all of those games (they went 5-9); Baltimore has just 12, and they still have 3 of those left to play against the Angels (Orioles are 4-5 so far.) And Baltimore has 14 games against Texas and Houston, the two worst teams in the league - they played them all and went 10-4; Toronto has just 12, and still have 3 left against Houston (Jays are 6-3 so far.)
Magpie - Monday, July 28 2014 @ 03:34 AM EDT (#290613) #
[Thomas'] speech must have gone on forever, just listing names...

The final count evidently came to 138 teammates mentioned by name. Thomas later said he felt bad about the 50 others he had to cut.
92-93 - Monday, July 28 2014 @ 09:21 AM EDT (#290616) #
I'd trade Norris & Pompey for Beltre, but it would take more.
Mike Green - Monday, July 28 2014 @ 09:54 AM EDT (#290621) #
The club ought not to be trading Pompey for one reason- he's more valuable to the Blue Jays than any other club. 

It seems clear to me that some of the positioning of players has been about showcasing Gose as best they can.  I think that the club might start out 2015 with Dalton Pompey in centerfield, even with only two months in double A behind him.  The theory being that he adds enough with the glove that he can sustain a few struggles with the bat. 

92-93 - Monday, July 28 2014 @ 10:07 AM EDT (#290623) #
The concept that Pompey is worth more to the Jays than any other club is silly and I would hope doesn't factor into their personnel decisions. We already have one Captain Canada that isn't nearly as good as people think.
Ron - Monday, July 28 2014 @ 10:18 AM EDT (#290624) #
Despite all the names mentioned by Thomas, his speech was only around 18 minutes long. Great speech by a great player.
Mike Green - Monday, July 28 2014 @ 10:23 AM EDT (#290625) #
The reason has nothing to do with how good Pompey (or Lawrie) is on the field.  I see about as many Lawrie jerseys as Bautista jerseys, even though Bautista is obviously a far better player.  His popularity leads to a more popular Blue Jay brand and more eyes on the ballgames, and in turn more revenue. 
uglyone - Monday, July 28 2014 @ 11:12 AM EDT (#290629) #
Yeah i agree with all that mike. Pompey does not have as much prospect status as his performance indicates he should.

And i'll even add a twist.....pompey is destroying AA right now, after his slow start....and if he keeps it up that puts him in line this year for a september callup. This year.

And i think lawrie has gone from overrated to underrated. Lawrie has been worth around 3.5war/150 from ages 21-24, and is producing right about that pace again this year. Just a little improvement with the bat, and a little bit of health, and he's an excellent 4-5war player.
uglyone - Monday, July 28 2014 @ 11:15 AM EDT (#290630) #
And to finish up last night's argument here....i'm very confident we catch the orioles with even a dexent amount of health the rest of the way. We just have a better roster.
92-93 - Monday, July 28 2014 @ 11:21 AM EDT (#290631) #
You know what else leads to more revenue, and a far more tangible increase than some shirtsey sales? Winning. And that HAS to be the priority, so if Pompey is the only position prospect you have to get a top player, he should be on the block. Jeff Blair's scout sources (he mentioned a Cubs guy in particular who was probably checking out the Jays with respect to Samardzija) aren't very high on Pompey, for what that's worth.
Richard S.S. - Monday, July 28 2014 @ 12:05 PM EDT (#290635) #
On MLB Trade Rumors site, a Blue Jays Note tells Chase Headley's price for Toronto. Just shows how valuable Juan Francisco is for A.A.
John Northey - Monday, July 28 2014 @ 12:37 PM EDT (#290639) #
Yeah, Francisco for Headley would've been a very bad trade imo.  Headley is off to a great start for NY but before hit just an 88 OPS+ and is a free agent after this season.  His 113 lifetime is a nice figure, but Francisco has a 104 lifetime and is skyrocketing this year (128) and has 3 more years of control.  It would've been one of those trades that could've looked really, really bad as soon as this year let alone over time.

The Cuban outfielder, Rusney Castillo is very, very interesting.  A right handed hitting outfielder with speed who can play SS in a pinch.  Age is 27 so he doesn't affect any cap, rumoured that he might go for $42 million - depending on years and if he is the real deal it might be worth it.  WIth 2 outfield slots opening up this winter (potentially) he'd be a nice fit in LF with Gose/Pillar/whoever in CF if needed and would be far cheaper than Rasmus or Cabrera might be.  That way the Jays keep their prospects and add the bat they want this year.  As to cash, a creative contract would fit the budget for this year and plan out for the next few by juggling cash to fit expected budgets.  Lets hope ...
uglyone - Monday, July 28 2014 @ 12:48 PM EDT (#290641) #
Updated team wRC+ after last night's games:

1. LAA 114
2. TOR 109
3. DET 109
4. OAK 108
5. LAD 106

With those other four lineups being far healthier than the jays. And with the jays being bybfar the hottest at the moment at 134 since the break (OAK is 2nd at 121).

and note that our 3b platoon is not only 129 and 102 on the season, but are at 144 and 118 in july so far.
Hodgie - Monday, July 28 2014 @ 01:33 PM EDT (#290646) #
I am obviously not a scout and while Jeff Blair's sources may not be high on Pompey I think his performance speaks for itself. To put it another way, Pompey has performed as well or better than his following higher ranked FSL/EL contemporaries (rank in parenthesis):
  • Blake Swihart (28)
  • Josh Bell (33)
  • Albert Almora (41)
  • Brandon Nimmo (68)
  • Colin Moran (72)
  • Gary Sanchez (76)
92-93 - Monday, July 28 2014 @ 01:33 PM EDT (#290647) #
The same scout wasn't high on Aaron Sanchez either.
Richard S.S. - Monday, July 28 2014 @ 01:47 PM EDT (#290650) #

finch has MLB's lists posted.
Mike Green - Monday, July 28 2014 @ 01:55 PM EDT (#290651) #
You know what else leads to more revenue, and a far more tangible increase than some shirtsey sales? Winning. And that HAS to be the priority, so if Pompey is the only position prospect you have to get a top player, he should be on the block. Jeff Blair's scout sources (he mentioned a Cubs guy in particular who was probably checking out the Jays with respect to Samardzija) aren't very high on Pompey, for what that's worth.

Sure.  If Dalton Pompey will net you David Price straight up, go for it.  Heck, if Dalton Pompey and Miguel Castro will net you David Price, go for it.  It isn't happening, because other teams are unlikely to value Pompey's talents as being that much more than they are. 
MatO - Monday, July 28 2014 @ 03:38 PM EDT (#290669) #
Gotta love Casey Janssen. He gave up 2 runs and recorded 3 outs on Saturday all on 9 pitches.
Alex Obal - Monday, July 28 2014 @ 04:12 PM EDT (#290673) #
I've come around on Francisco. When he was hitting .300/.302/.650 or whatever back in early June, I only saw the 117.3% strikeout rate, and predicted certain doom once the league learned never to give in to him. But he's a less one-dimensional hitter than he may have first appeared. He's got power to all fields, and he goes the other way just often enough that the pitchers have to challenge him every now and then. Even if the contact and range issues persist, he might just be able to overpower them enough to be almost as good as Headley. I still wouldn't move Lawrie off third for him, of course.

You can't fault the Padres for asking. He'd be a logical fit in their park.
Mike Green - Monday, July 28 2014 @ 04:24 PM EDT (#290674) #
One early cut at an absolutely ridiculous Hall of Fame ballot.  If both Schilling and Mussina get under 30% of the votes, it'll show that many voters are having difficulty with sabermetrics.  Schilling and Mussina are 80 WAR pitchers, with peaks to match.  Schilling had a terrific post-season record, while Mussina's was merely good.  Even if you could not care less about steroids, they are easy choices for two of the 7-10 slots for your ballot.
Mike Green - Monday, July 28 2014 @ 04:29 PM EDT (#290675) #
Dan Johnson's home run yesterday was not enough to earn him a starting spot in today's lineup.  Francisco plays first base and bats cleanup.  Kawasaki at third base (come on Muni, the wall beckons you) bats sixth.  Rasmus plays center and Gose plays left-field with Cabrera in right. Bautista DHs.

Alex Obal - Monday, July 28 2014 @ 05:27 PM EDT (#290678) #
I'd be tempted to go Johnson over Rasmus (or Francisco) in the name of fielding the best possible OBP lineup and playing for big innings against Buchholz. 

[reporter]'s scout sources (he mentioned a Cubs guy in particular who was probably checking out the Jays with respect to Samardzija) aren't very high on Pompey, for what that's worth.

I guess it depends on the context, but I'd be skeptical of this. The reporter may have been, as they say in pro wrestling, getting worked.
92-93 - Monday, July 28 2014 @ 05:56 PM EDT (#290680) #
So much for needing Bautista at 1B because he's the 4th OF.

I don't think either Schilling or Mussina are HOFers, but between the two I think Schilling is clearly a head above because I do think playoff performance matters.
Magpie - Monday, July 28 2014 @ 06:10 PM EDT (#290681) #
I don't think either Schilling or Mussina are HOFers

I take a back seat to no one - no one, I say! - in my basic disdain for Mike Mussina. But the guy's got to be better than half the pitchers who are in the Hall right now. Which I think ought to make it hard to keep him out. This is always a matter of where you set the bar, of course. But after 75 years, I think the bar is in place. And it's set low enough that Mussina enters with ease.
92-93 - Monday, July 28 2014 @ 06:14 PM EDT (#290682) #
I don't doubt he'll make it, I just go by the rule of "Is it an immediate yes when you consider him for the HOF?" as my standard. Mussina never won a CY and wasn't good in the playoffs, so while I appreciate that he was an amazing pitcher for a long time, he just doesn't do it for me. There's allure with Schilling that Mussina doesn't have. Pretty amazing that Moose was able to win 20 games for the first time in his final season.
John Northey - Monday, July 28 2014 @ 06:15 PM EDT (#290683) #
Yeah, another tough HOF ballot... 15 guys on it with 60+ WAR, 9 with 70+.  Just below 60 you find Piazza, Sosa and Kent along with Jay favorites Delgado & McGriff plus guys who will get a few votes in Garciaparra, Mattingly, and Lee Smith.  2 300 game winners, total of 6 with 200+.  Smith with 478 saves and Percival with 300+.  4 with 500 HR, 7 with 1500 RBI (a figure often used as a HOF marker when Tony Perez was on the ballot), 10 with a 130+ OPS+, 6 with a 130+ ERA+.

Yeah, that is a bit crowded.

My thoughts right now if I had a ballot?  Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, Schilling, Bagwell, Walker, Trammell, Smoltz, Raines, Biggio, Piazza, Clemens, Bonds, Delgado, McGriff & Kent (bit of a Jay bias there at the end) but that is too many at 15 and I even skipped Mussina who I detest due to his various actions involving the Jays (ASG, complaining about having to wait for Tom Cheek's day at the park).  What 5 do I cut?  I'd have to cut the 3 Jay connections first (Delgado/McGriff/Kent) as they clearly aren't up to the standards of the rest.  2 more though... ugh ... I might, if I had a real ballot, cut Clemens & Bonds just due to the fact they won't get in anyways but would feel bad about doing that.  I couldn't cut Raines or Biggio as it is near the end for Raines and Biggio should make it this year.  So yeah, I'd have to cut Clemens & Bonds.

Geez is that a tough ballot.  Odds are Johnson, Martinez and Biggio get in with a shot for Smoltz I'd say which helps as the next ballot will only be adding Griffey Jr as a HOF lock and Jim Edmonds for the 60+ WAR club.  Trevor Hoffman will get support due to his 601 saves but I doubt he gets in right away.  Big names in 2017 are ManRam (won't do well), I-Rod (shouldn't do well but will), and Vladmir (no idea what to expect).   This will be Tim Raines final ballot and hopefully the voters put him in as he really should've been in a long time ago.
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