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Woohoo!  Games! Starting today.- Click here to see Gameday - live coverage of the game via  Jays vs Pirates to start off spring.  1:07 PM on RSN.  Pirates tomorrow at 1 as well, then the O's for 2 and Phillies for 2.  Makes one want to fly to Florida doesn't it.

FIrst game in an effort to remove the 'longest streak out of the postseason in major North American sports' tag from the Jays.  Martin helped break a 20+ year no postseason streak in Pittsburgh. Lets hope he can help break another 20+ year slump. 
Hopefully that helps hype up everyone.  Its the most wonderful time of the year.
Opening Day (of Spring) | 205 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
mathesond - Tuesday, March 03 2015 @ 09:06 AM EST (#298020) #
Gerry - Tuesday, March 03 2015 @ 09:36 AM EST (#298021) #
Vernon Wells and Scott Rolen are in camp to help the kids. Wells I understand, but its interesting that Rolen is coming in. I would have thought that the Cardinals or the the Reds would have been more likely choices. Rolen was only with the Jays for a year and a half.

I have the PVR set for todays game, there will be some baseball watching on the couch tonight. Miguel Castro is among the scheduled pitchers for the Jays.
Mike Green - Tuesday, March 03 2015 @ 10:20 AM EST (#298022) #
Tim Raines seems to have been a key person for Dalton Pompey the last few years and is in Dunedin of course. One of the pleasures of going down to spring training is watching the passing of knowledge up close. 
uglyone - Tuesday, March 03 2015 @ 10:47 AM EST (#298024) #
pretty pumped for this year.

what makes it more exciting than even recent years with big offseasons is thatcthis year in addition to the veteran stars we have a whole whack of kids who could be legit contributors - Stroman, Hutch, Pompey, Sanchez, Norris, Travis, Pillar - is as exciting and as big a group of young talent as we've seen in a long while, and as good a ggroup as any but a few other teams have. (kind of makes a mockery of our system being ranked near the bottom the last few years, too, given that these kids didn't exactly come out of nowhere.)

stevieboy22 - Tuesday, March 03 2015 @ 11:30 AM EST (#298027) #
This seems like the most certainty the Jays have had with their rotation going into camp since the year Litsch and Janssen competed for the 5th spot??

Would that be correct???

JB21 - Tuesday, March 03 2015 @ 11:44 AM EST (#298028) #
Probably two years ago, 4 slots set with Happ & Romero battling for the 5th spot.
JB21 - Tuesday, March 03 2015 @ 11:51 AM EST (#298029) #
I clicked on the link for the Cuba story and it went to another story already linked up there. He is the correct link.
JB21 - Tuesday, March 03 2015 @ 11:53 AM EST (#298030) #
Sorry, I think most of the links are wrong, at least on my computer.
China fan - Tuesday, March 03 2015 @ 12:06 PM EST (#298032) #
On the rotation: it actually seems like a good idea to have competition for the 5th starter job at every spring training.  Why get too locked in?  Better to have several contenders, some competition, and the flexibility to give the job to whichever pitcher looks best.  This also allows the team to have a good look at the potential 6th and 7th starters, so that the team knows who to choose if there's an injury.  I'm sure the Jays have a pretty good idea of whom they prefer to have in the 5th slot in the rotation, but they shouldn't rule out a surprise and they should allow some genuine competition.  Then they have a better idea of what they've got in Sanchez, Estrada, Norris, Hendriks etc.
John Northey - Tuesday, March 03 2015 @ 12:49 PM EST (#298036) #
Sorry about the link issues - fixing them now, a method I use to quickly add them ended up causing many to take the link before them and put it in.  Most should be OK now.
JB21 - Tuesday, March 03 2015 @ 12:59 PM EST (#298038) #
Thanks John! And thanks for posting all of the articles. I really enjoyed the Cuba story. I plan on going there this upcoming winter, gotta get there before it starts to open up more and more for los Jankees!
eudaimon - Tuesday, March 03 2015 @ 02:07 PM EST (#298040) #
So far, Sanchez got destroyed (5 runs in 1.1 innings, though 3 of those were unearned) and Pillar hit a home run. 6-3 Pirates, still bottom of 3rd
John Northey - Tuesday, March 03 2015 @ 03:19 PM EST (#298043) #
Sanchez obviously needs a few games to get into a grove.  None of the pitchers have been impressive.  Nice to see Pillar with the HR and Pompey with a SB. 
ogator - Tuesday, March 03 2015 @ 04:40 PM EST (#298045) #
One day of spring training doesn't mean a thing, but I'm sure Sanchez would have rather been in an orange grove.
PeterG - Tuesday, March 03 2015 @ 05:46 PM EST (#298046) #
I thought that Wilton Lopez was impressive.
jerjapan - Tuesday, March 03 2015 @ 07:51 PM EST (#298047) #
PeterG, why?  I know very little about Lopez, but he does seem to be well regarded as a candidate by Bauxites and the Jays brass alike, so I'm curious to hear from those that know more than I. 
PeterG - Tuesday, March 03 2015 @ 08:54 PM EST (#298048) #
Lopez threw one inning today.....2 quick ground ball outs and a strikeout facing only the 3 batters. Had good command, sink and appeared confident.
cruzin - Tuesday, March 03 2015 @ 10:23 PM EST (#298049) #
"Vernon Wells and Scott Rolen are in camp to help the kids"

Speaking of vets helping kids, one former prospect got some interesting assistance:

Can understand the talking to by Wright, but seriously what a great example of being a good teammate and show of professionalism that Parnell showcased by tossing someone's lunch into the trash.

I hope any kid that makes a misstep in Jays camp, doesn't get reprimanded by a vet going all roid rage on him.
jerjapan - Tuesday, March 03 2015 @ 10:30 PM EST (#298050) #
"If a kid's not playing nice, you take his toys away," Parnell told Newsday.

Ughh.  That one quote summarizes everything I hate about sports. 
Oceanbound - Wednesday, March 04 2015 @ 05:03 AM EST (#298051) #
Somewhere Gregg Zaun is applauding rapturously.
lexomatic - Wednesday, March 04 2015 @ 08:16 AM EST (#298052) #
"If a kid's not playing nice, you take his toys away," Parnell told Newsday.

Ughh.  That one quote summarizes everything I hate about sports.

Parnell sounds like the biggest jerk.
Mike Green - Wednesday, March 04 2015 @ 02:20 PM EST (#298053) #
Munenori Kawasaki at third base.  A mid-game shuffle of outfielders.  It must be spring training!
uglyone - Wednesday, March 04 2015 @ 02:22 PM EST (#298054) #
I'm gonna start evangelizing about a pillar-pompey-Saunders OF pretty soon.
Mike Green - Wednesday, March 04 2015 @ 02:48 PM EST (#298055) #
And then a second mid-game switch of OFs so that all three starting OFs have played all 3 positions. That's what I call giving everyone a shot!  I like it. 
eudaimon - Wednesday, March 04 2015 @ 02:50 PM EST (#298056) #
AJ Jiminez has thrown out 2 baserunners already on my count. His arm must be ok!
uglyone - Wednesday, March 04 2015 @ 02:52 PM EST (#298057) #
AJ's throwing numbers were back to normal last year iirc. now if he can start showing his hit tool again, he's gonna be a useful mlber imo.
Mylegacy - Wednesday, March 04 2015 @ 04:01 PM EST (#298058) #
Jays 1 - 1. We win 4 - 1.
John Northey - Wednesday, March 04 2015 @ 04:32 PM EST (#298059) #
Wouldn't be shocked if we get that by the end of the year... I can see a lineup with...
Pillar-Pompey-Saunders in the OF
EE at DH
Bautista at 1B
Defense much improved, should help both EE & JB's health.

Nigel - Wednesday, March 04 2015 @ 08:39 PM EST (#298060) #
Unfortunately there isn't really a RF's arm in that threesome (although I haven't seen a lot of Pompey's arm). I suspect that the added range in RF would more than make up for the loss of Bautista's arm but it would be something to pause and consider.
Michael - Wednesday, March 04 2015 @ 09:05 PM EST (#298061) #
A creative thing, that likely no team would do, if RF arm is a concern: platoon Bautista and one of the other OF where Bautista plays 1B if no one is on base, but moves to the RF only when runners are on base. Then have one of the weaker armed but better ranged young guys play 1B while Bautista is in RF, and RF while Bautista is at 1B.

It is like a shift, but emphasizing different skills.
TamRa - Thursday, March 05 2015 @ 03:35 AM EST (#298062) #
Rolen maybe tutor JD on the throws?

whiterasta80 - Thursday, March 05 2015 @ 06:21 AM EST (#298063) #
Tamra- you wonder if that's management's creative way of dealing with JD without offending him. "Don't worry, he's here for 'Mitch Nay' and our other stud 3b prospects".
John Northey - Thursday, March 05 2015 @ 08:27 AM EST (#298064) #
Just noticed that FanGraphs has updated with ZiPs for 2015. 
WAR leaders for Jays... hitters
5+: Donaldson (5.4)
4-5: Jose Bautista (4.6)
3-4: Martin 3.7, Encarnacion 3.4
2-3: Reyes 2.9, Saunders 2.4
1-2: Navarro 1.7, Pompey 1.5
0-1: Jimenez, Valencia, Pillar, Smoak, Tolleson, Izturis, Thole
0: Goins

2-3: Stroman 2.8 Buehrle 2.6,
1-2: Dickey, Hutchison, Hendriks
0-1: Estrada, Norris, Cecil, Loup, Hynes, Redmond, Oramas, Aquino
0: Delabar, Rasmussen
Negtive: West, Guilment, Sanchez !!, Barns, Tepera, Jenkins, Schultz, Drabek (-0.6 the worst score)

Seems a bit screwed up for a few guys like Sanchez and Hendriks but mostly reasonable.

Mike Green - Thursday, March 05 2015 @ 09:23 AM EST (#298065) #
The zWAR figures for the starting pitchers would be a disappointment.  You do have to figure in risk of injury, but for instance, ZIPS has Phil Hughes at 5.6 WAR and Marcus Stroman at 2.8...I'll take the over on Stroman and the under on Hughes.
uglyone - Thursday, March 05 2015 @ 10:06 AM EST (#298066) #
i like to keep an eye on the ip and usage for the pitcher projections.

projecting playing time is the least scientific part of these projections so I usually ignore it.

so for me the more useful zips projection for stroman is his 3.2war per 200ip. still might be low but it would be pretty ballsy to predict much more than that. also i like to note that his brief initial implosion in the bullpen in his first callup likely disproportionately impacts last year's line and thus the projection.

as for sanchez, keep in mind that is projecting most of his innings as a starter....and based on his milb stats a negative war as an SP this year wouldn't be a surprise to me. but projecting as an RP would produce a very different number I think.

this also effects platoon players - for example I"m sure that valencia would project significantly better in a strict platoon role. I'm pretty sure zips will in fact come out with platoon projections before the season starts. maybe SP/RP splits too.

Mike Green - Thursday, March 05 2015 @ 10:28 AM EST (#298067) #
I'll grant that the Hughes projection is the more dubious of the two, on an objective basis.  Subjectively, I've got Stroman down for a 19-4, 2.50 ERA, 215 IP line in 2015.  Obviously, that is not what any rational projection system would spit out. 
Richard S.S. - Thursday, March 05 2015 @ 10:49 AM EST (#298068) #
I don't know how people value the Teams Starting Staff. Only 50 Pitchers won an arbitrary 12 games last year. And you have to start with some figure.
Of that group, only 24 made 30 or more Starts and pitched more than 200 or more Innings. Eight members of this smaller group had a ERA over 3.99.
Only Dickey and Buehrle are in this group of sixteen 12 game winners, and fortunate to be with ERAs under 4.00.
Hutchison, Happ and Stroman are in the next group of six Starters with just 11 Wins but not enough Starts or Innings. That will change this year which will make it interesting to follow.
Only 32 Pitchers in all of Baseball made 30 or more Starts or pitched more than 200 Innings. That makes Dickey and Buehrle very valuable.

If a Starter is not striking out everyone, he's relying on his teammates to help him out. Catching is improved greatly. Offense, in my opinion, is improved greatly. Defense is improved greatly. Strikeouts should be down. The Starters should be better, and they were pretty good already. Last year, Relievers won roughly one third of what the Starters won. So if the Starters could be credited with 70-75 Wins?
John Northey - Thursday, March 05 2015 @ 11:35 AM EST (#298069) #
People do forget how hard it is for a guy to get 200+ IP and a sub 4 ERA with 10+ wins.
Only 504 pitcher seasons since 2000 have had 200 IP and 9+ wins.
374 times they had an ERA below 4
92 times below 3
2 times below 2 (Kershaw 13 & Clemens 05)

165 different pitchers had the 200 IP, 10+ wins, sub 4 ERA.  Most common guy is Buehrle at 10 times, then Halladay at 8, Dickey has done it twice.  75 guys did it once only.  I love the Lahman database ( I strongly advise it for anyone who likes doing queries on baseball history - it is free to download but I recommend giving a donation.

Mike Green - Thursday, March 05 2015 @ 11:56 AM EST (#298070) #
In other words, a pitcher season something like what I anticipate from Stroman happens on average about 6 times a year.  That's basically your pool of Cy Young contenders in a typical year and that is what I subjectively anticipate from Stroman.
uglyone - Thursday, March 05 2015 @ 11:59 AM EST (#298071) #
2.50era is a little aggressive...but surprisingly not crazy.
JB21 - Thursday, March 05 2015 @ 12:42 PM EST (#298072) #
MLB.TV question for anybody with a subscription. I had heard that Rogers lifted the blackout as of 2013 and all Jays games are available in Canada on MLB.TV. I also heard that the all-star game and playoffs are also not blacked out. Is this true? If so, are Sunday Night Baseball games available as well?

Hoping a couple of members have some experience with MLB.TV over the last couple years.
finch - Thursday, March 05 2015 @ 01:47 PM EST (#298073) #

A friend of mine has MLB TV and the Jays games are available. I'll be piggybacking off this subscription this year. I'm unaware of the playoffs though. I can't stand Tabler.
JB21 - Thursday, March 05 2015 @ 01:56 PM EST (#298074) #
Agreed! Looking forward to the away broadcasts...

When you get a chance can you ask him about his experience in 2013 & 2014 with Sunday Night Baseball, Fox Saturday, All-Star game, playoffs, etc.?
Jdog - Thursday, March 05 2015 @ 02:20 PM EST (#298075) #
I subscribed to for 7 years straight while I was in living in PA. The Sunday night games and Saturday morning featured games were always blacked out, for playoffs it was just regional blackouts.
JB21 - Thursday, March 05 2015 @ 02:31 PM EST (#298076) #
Thanks Jdog. I do know that in the USA they're all blacked out, but I heard in Canada they're not, as of 2013.

I lived in South America during the 2013 playoffs and subscribed to MLB International. You got every playoff game for something like $20. It was pretty great.
finch - Thursday, March 05 2015 @ 03:13 PM EST (#298077) #

He said he doesn't recall any issues of being blacked out during the regular season; he doesn't remember the playoff so he's not sure about those games. Hope that helps a bit. I would recommend just calling/emailing them. They'll give you a definitive answer.
Mike Green - Thursday, March 05 2015 @ 05:15 PM EST (#298078) #
This article on Glenn Fleisig's work on TJ is interesting. The highlights for me:
  • Only about 2/3 of MLB pitchers with TJ make it back to MLB. 
  • There is no performance bump when they do return.
  • The key risk factor is overuse, particularly at a young age.
perlhack - Thursday, March 05 2015 @ 05:48 PM EST (#298079) #
ESPN has a feature on Daniel Norris, aka "Van Man".
Oceanbound - Thursday, March 05 2015 @ 07:29 PM EST (#298080) #
According to Tony Lacava, Tellez is in the Best Shape of His Life. Interesting if true.
JB21 - Thursday, March 05 2015 @ 07:37 PM EST (#298081) #
Haha, I love the "best shape in my life" watch. My fav is this link re: Mark Teixeira.
Mike Green - Friday, March 06 2015 @ 11:37 AM EST (#298082) #
Jose Reyes expects to do better in the field this year because he will not have nagging injuries, he will have a healthy and rangy third baseman beside him and perhaps because he is in THE BEST SHAPE OF HIS LIFE.
Richard S.S. - Friday, March 06 2015 @ 11:41 AM EST (#298083) #
Whether or not Dioner Navarro goes or stays, his $5.0 MM budget hit can be very useful. At the Non-Waiver Trade Deadline at the end of July, that $5.0 Mm in budget space lets you take on $13.0 MM in Salary (e.g.: Jonathan Papelbon), not an insignificant amount. Just imagine what having more will do.

It's all and fine to discuss the merits and issues with who joins Russell Martin as the second and only other catcher on the Roster, but it should be noted that occasionally Catchers must rest, catch whatever bug that going around or just gets hurt. Catchers will miss time.

As it goes in the minors, ignoring any possible health issues, we have as our number one Catching Call-up: one A.J. Jimenez. Posters on this site believe he is a perfectly acceptable Backup Catcher, emergency call-up or not. I am not that confident, but alternatives are lacking. Derek Chung might become good enough to be up here, but he's only reached A+ at this point. He doesn't have much power, but everything else he seems to do well. Emergency call-up? Maybe. Sean Ochinko fell into the Backup Catcher roll into 2013 and with less playing time doesn't hit well enough any more. Could he be an emergency call-up? I hope not.

It's fine to talk about Max Pentecost, Dan Jansen, Matt Morgan and other high rated Catching Prospects. They are not here, they have zero value to this team, right now and this year. The value they might have in the future is debatable and unnecessary right now. If the Blue Jays need more than three catchers this year, they are in trouble.

Keeping Navarro means a smaller Bullpen, because I firmly believe a smaller Bench is totally unacceptable. Playing Edwin Encarnacion at First Base is fine except for two reasons. Edwin Encarnacion does have back issues and other problems that paying regularly at First get aggravated. Anything that can be done to keep him healthier, should be done. One of the penalties of having a Star Third Baseman means you need your best Defensive talent at First Base. He doesn't need to be an All Star talent, but he must be good enough, which Edwin is not. So just why are we keeping Navarro?
Richard S.S. - Friday, March 06 2015 @ 12:05 PM EST (#298084) #
"In the best shape of my life".

That phrase is the bane of so many Ball Players that I shudder every time I hear it. It usually means he's been pumping the weights all offseason and his every one of his muscles is so tight that normal baseball activity could put him on the D.L. Just being healthy and being healthy enough to do his normal offseason routine is good enough. Muscles and tissue need the ability to flex when above normal stresses are placed upon them, and still keep you unhurt. Pumping iron reduces this ability. The most important ability is to be able to learn from your mistakes, as most people really can't.
pubster - Friday, March 06 2015 @ 02:41 PM EST (#298085) #
Pumping iron reduces the ability to stay unhurt? Dude what are you talking about?

Players working out have made them bigger/faster/stronger. In all sports. Unless you want weak, slow, out of shape players, offseason workouts are probably a good thing.

During the steroid era when players were at their biggest offence took off. Look at how insane Bonds was.
rafael - Friday, March 06 2015 @ 06:44 PM EST (#298086) #
Keeping Navarro because...
If a catcher gets hurt (other teams or Jays) he becomes very valuable.
Meanwhile can DH and be backup catcher (in unlikely event of mid game switch we have to live with no DH for rest of that game- no showstopper)
....not as bad as keeping Thole up and shortening bench.
There's no guarantee that saved money can / will be allowed to be spent.
So being patient seems OK - Navarro can't stay too mad if he gets to hit and win and no-one is offering starting position elsewhere yet.
Hodgie - Saturday, March 07 2015 @ 11:05 AM EST (#298087) #
Say it isn't so, Adam Lind suffering from a sore back. I guess he and his mother didn't realize the Brewers employed the Jays substandard medical staff.

mathesond - Saturday, March 07 2015 @ 12:40 PM EST (#298088) #
Now now, Hodgie, let's not go casting aspersions on Milwaukee's medical staff until they miss diagnosing a broken bone. Fair is fair, after all.
jerjapan - Saturday, March 07 2015 @ 04:55 PM EST (#298089) #
Injuries to key players are the major challenge to our success this season, so I'm concerned about Cecil missing time, just as I was when the initial prognosis for saunders came out.  People seemed to not worry much about his injury - what about the pen if Cecil or another key arm is out?  I know many Bauxites are optimistic that AA is onto something with his pen construction, especially with the bottom half of the depth chart - do you folks still feel optimistic if a key arm like Cecil is shelved for any length of time?
CeeBee - Saturday, March 07 2015 @ 05:06 PM EST (#298090) #
So Darvish might need Tommy John surgery?
Kinda glad the Jays stay away from the real long contracts.
China fan - Saturday, March 07 2015 @ 07:42 PM EST (#298091) #
"....I'm concerned about Cecil missing time...."

Of course it will be a problem if Cecil is out for months. But the current prognosis would still allow him to get  6 innings of work in pre-season games, which should be enough to prepare him for opening day.  Also, if he's not ready until the second week of the regular season, that would have one advantage: it would allow the Jays to keep an additional reliever at the start of the season and then try to sneak him through waivers in mid-April when it's easier to do so.  The same thing with the Saunders injury: it could allow the Jays to keep an additional hitter until mid-April when it's easier to get the player through waivers without losing him.  Both in the bullpen and in the LF/1B/DH positions, the Jays have more quantity than quality, and several of these guys are out of options, so it's helpful if they can keep their depth pieces on the 25-man roster until the 2nd or 3rd week of the season, and then stash them in Buffalo.
BlueMonday - Saturday, March 07 2015 @ 09:07 PM EST (#298092) #
I'm fortunate to be able to get down to Florida for some games this week. Going Friday vs. Orioles, Saturday vs. Yankees, then Sunday at the Braves. As an infrequent poster, I'd be happy to accept a 'scouting assignment' from some Bauxite(s). Something like 'How are Maicer's defensive skills after being off most of last year'. I'll try to avoid saying that he's in the best shape of his life.
Oceanbound - Sunday, March 08 2015 @ 06:14 AM EDT (#298093) #
I'll try to avoid saying that he's in the best shape of his life.

Too late, Gibby already did it for you.
bpoz - Sunday, March 08 2015 @ 09:59 AM EDT (#298094) #
Thanks BlueMonday. The young guns would be great to report on. Sanchez, Norris, Osuna & Castro ... their ability to throw strikes.

I too am concerned about injuries. Happ may have been out 5th or 6th starter in 2013 & 2014. In 2013 IMO he was our 3rd starter, Josh Johnson did not produce as hoped for. In 2014 he was our 5th? guy. Stroman joined the rotation late and Morrow & McGowan were not up to the task.

The Nationals have 6 good starters. The least experienced is Tanner Roark, 31 starts, 2.85 ERA. I believe he is their 6th starter. It should be interesting, if at any time in the year they have all 6 starters healthy. I feel sure that they will not go to a 6 man rotation.

For our pen, I like our 2 very good lefties Cecil & Loup. I also am very confident in our long men Redmond, Estrada & Jenkins. After them we have a long list of enticing unknowns. Hopefully a few will make good use of their opportunities.
uglyone - Sunday, March 08 2015 @ 11:32 AM EDT (#298095) #
we really can't start panicking every time someone gets injured. we really don't need to ask "are you worried now?" every single time. especially with relievers and bottom of the lineup hitters. injuries suck. if we get too many, we won't win anything.

encouraging development yesterday was delabar sitting at 95 and dominating. bounceback would surprise nobody, because relievers are a crapshoot.
PeterG - Sunday, March 08 2015 @ 11:43 AM EDT (#298096) #
Delabar was ok but I thought both Lopez and Castro looked better. There are many good bullpen candidates and Buffalo should be well stocked with relievers as needed.
SK in NJ - Sunday, March 08 2015 @ 12:13 PM EDT (#298097) #
I hope the team is not seriously considering putting Castro in the big league pen to start the season. I can live with Sanchez in the pen because at least he's been a poor minor league starter over a four year sample with enough warts in his game to justify a role change (whether you agree with it or not), but Castro is so young with so few pro innings.

I know the Jays have no money and need to use the system to fill holes, but there has to be better ways of constructing a pen than rushing a 20 year old with a grand total of 8 innings above low-A.
uglyone - Sunday, March 08 2015 @ 12:16 PM EDT (#298098) #
Lopez is such a smart pickup. even if he doesn"t work out. he was a good to very good reliever four years in a row before last year, his first bad year.
uglyone - Sunday, March 08 2015 @ 12:19 PM EDT (#298099) #
interesting lineup today.

its the projected starting lineup minus martin and saunders....but with martin out, donaldson moves up into the #2 hole.

interesting because this might be the best way to do it even when martin is in the lineup.
jerjapan - Sunday, March 08 2015 @ 12:42 PM EDT (#298100) #
Ugly, I agree that injuries are part of the game and there's no point in assuming the worst - but I find AA's roster construction so unusual this year that I find myself much more uncomfortable with the thought of anyone missing time.   Mostly, I'm just curious to hear from Bauxites if they are as worried about depth as I am.  Thus far, it appears not;.

Ultimately, AA seems to have decided that veteran big league depth is overrated and is easily replaceable with minor league talent.  It clearly wasn't money that prevented him from adding established big leaguers at the bottom of the bullpen depth chart , he wants to be able to cycle through minor league guys.  The Buffalo express will be used more frequently than ever, I'd assume. 

AA is always a few steps ahead of me in my thinking, so I'm trusting him this year, but it seems to be a volatile, high risk, high reward approach, and a few millions more on vets would have decreased that volatility, in my mind. 

China fan - Sunday, March 08 2015 @ 01:26 PM EDT (#298101) #
"..... there has to be better ways of constructing a pen than rushing a 20 year old with a grand total of 8 innings above low-A...."

I think you're getting prematurely outraged here.  There is virtually zero chance of Castro opening the season with the Jays.  They're just taking a look at him, and they're signalling their high regard for his potential.  Nothing wrong with getting his feet wet in the pre-season games, and giving him some exposure to major-leaguers in meaningless games.  It can only help him in the long run.  I'm pretty sure he'll be in the minors for most of 2015. 

"....Ultimately, AA seems to have decided that veteran big league depth is overrated and is easily replaceable with minor league talent.  It clearly wasn't money that prevented him from adding established big leaguers at the bottom of the bullpen depth chart , he wants to be able to cycle through minor league guys...."

I don't think we can be certain that it's nothing to do with the budget.  It's possible, but we really don't know.  He might be making the best of a bad situation.  Lots of smart GMs are spending money on multimillion-dollar contracts for good relievers -- I don't think we should assume that Anthopoulos must be smarter than them, or that he wouldn't spend money on free-agent relievers if he had a bigger payroll.
uglyone - Sunday, March 08 2015 @ 01:29 PM EDT (#298102) #
jer I think the depth thing gets overrated. look around the league and our bottom of the roster doesn't look atypical. every team is screwed if their top guys are injured.

for example the red sox are being lauded for their "great depth" yet the bottom half of their roster is a bunch of guys with zero track record (kelly betts castillo bogaerts vazquez workman) or injured vet reclamation projects coming off of awful years (craig, victorino, masterson, ogando, breslow). that's the entire bottom half of their roster filled with big question marks, and they're considered the deepest team in baseball.

and I literally can't remember the last time spending money on a "proven reliever" actually worked out well for us. or even spending money on "good bench depth". these signings are almost always a complete waste of money. all I remember are corderos and olivers and izturises and bonifacios.

when i look at the roster, depth is not something I worry about. the roster flaws that worry me are the lack of legit starters at 2B and 1B.
SK in NJ - Sunday, March 08 2015 @ 03:36 PM EDT (#298103) #
Depth in the rotation is most definitely an issue. Right now they look 7 deep at best (if Sanchez is stretched out), but more likely 6 deep if Sanchez is in the bullpen. After that they are depending on Johan, Hendriks, and whatever other minor league filler they use in AAA. If the top four guys stay healthy (Dickey, Stro, Hutch, Buehrle), then they'll likely be fine, but you can't bank on that.

I think this is AA's best work in his career as far as accumulating depth for position players, but the rotation is my biggest concern.
greenfrog - Sunday, March 08 2015 @ 04:18 PM EDT (#298104) #
I thought AA had a very good off-season. I'm looking forward to watching the team this year. If Norris is healthy, I could easily see him joining the rotation at some point in the season. The left-handedness will help his cause.

Stroman/Hutchison/Buehrle/Dickey/Sanchez/Norris is a nice front six. But there is obviously a lot of uncertainty around Sanchez and Norris (not in terms of talent, but in terms of readiness to step into the rotation). One more starter, perhaps someone with a year or two remaining on his contract, might have been a good idea.

I would have liked to see the Jays add a second baseman (Kendrick would have been nice) and a starting pitcher (for example, Porcello). No doubt the Dodgers and Red Sox matched up better with the Angels and Tigers for those deals.

I have no doubt that Anthopoulos will be scanning the market for a key acquisition or two in July. Hopefully some of the farmhands have good seasons, giving him more options to help consummate a deal to put the Jays over the top.
SK in NJ - Sunday, March 08 2015 @ 05:23 PM EDT (#298105) #
"I think you're getting prematurely outraged here. There is virtually zero chance of Castro opening the season with the Jays. They're just taking a look at him, and they're signalling their high regard for his potential. Nothing wrong with getting his feet wet in the pre-season games, and giving him some exposure to major-leaguers in meaningless games. It can only help him in the long run. I'm pretty sure he'll be in the minors for most of 2015."

It's not outrage (you're the one using hyperbole this time). I don't expect Castro to start the season in the Majors either. However, the fact that it's even being talked about makes no sense. Even if they are blowing smoke to the fans to hype Castro up, it doesn't benefit anyone to do so. Just say "he's getting a look in big league camp before he heads off to start the year in Dunedin because we like him". Short, simple, effective. Saying he has a chance to make the club out of Spring Training, which has been mentioned far more than it should have in the past month, is pointless if they have no plans on doing it. It's not going to make anyone else work harder or make Castro himself any better off.

Again, I don't expect it to happen, but potential lameduck GM's do stubborn things some times, including putting a 22-year old who they apparently think has "front of the rotation potential" in the backend of a bullpen (Sanchez). At this point, I'll wait until they send Castro down before I breath of a sigh of relief.
jerjapan - Sunday, March 08 2015 @ 06:02 PM EDT (#298106) #
As I think about it, I guess depth options exist in a few distinct categories:

AAAA guys who are cheap, and if not optionable, are acceptable losses if demoted - West, Lopez, etc.

Injury reclamation projects - your Santanas and Ogandos. 

Big Leaguers who can step into larger roles if injury or performance dictate - Smoak or Viciedo could conceivably go all James Loney and become valuable regulars at 1b, or a Shane Victorino could comeback to be a valuable full time player. 
Quality utility guys fit this category (izturis pre-blue jays), and I think versatile regulars like a Zobrist expand on this kind of depth as well. 

and prospects - Norris as our 6th starter, Jiminez our 4th catcher, etc

AA has done a great job getting intriguing AAAA guys - I assume this is what you are talking about SK in NJ?   

But the other types of depth are missing - versatile vets who could cover a few positions in a pinch have been forced into starting / platoon roles - Izturis, Smoak, Valencia.  Navarro is an exception to this and I'm glad he's still on the roster. 

most of our prospect depth is at the A level and thus unlikely to be available in an emergency,, although I guess the silver lining with that is opportunities for quality AAAA guys. 

This is what makes me nervous - few legit prospects at the higher levels and limited flexibility on the 25 man, with too many guys pencilled in as starters that would be better suited as reserves - even Pompey fits this description in my mind. 

I agree Grennfrog that AA had a great offseason upgrading the higher end talent on the roster, but to my mind, he's still rolling the dice at the bottom end.  I sure hope Uglyone is right that depth is overrated!  

China fan - Sunday, March 08 2015 @ 06:14 PM EDT (#298107) #
"....Saying he has a chance to make the club out of Spring Training, which has been mentioned far more than it should have in the past month, is pointless if they have no plans on doing it...."

Well, what's the point of spring training if there's no competition?  And if there's competition, you can't announce before the competition that a specific pitcher is ticketed for Dunedin regardless of what he does. That's not competition.  And I don't think it's normal for any MLB team to be announcing in advance that specific players are already assigned to specific minor-league teams.

But anyway the "mentioning" about Castro has mainly been by the media, not by the Jays management. 
China fan - Sunday, March 08 2015 @ 06:19 PM EDT (#298108) #
"....potential lameduck GM's do stubborn things some times, including putting a 22-year old who they apparently think has "front of the rotation potential" in the backend of a bullpen (Sanchez)....."

I'm really baffled by this one.  Can you explain the "potential lameduck" thing and why it would affect the Sanchez decision?

It's pretty clear that Sanchez doesn't get assigned to the bullpen if the Jays need him in the rotation.  If he goes to the bullpen, it's only because Estrada or Norris have shown that they can handle the 5th job in the rotation. 

Moreover, as you mentioned yourself, the kid is only 22 years old. A year in the bullpen isn't going to prevent him from moving into the rotation in the future.  But first he has to show that he has a good enough range of pitches to be in the rotation and to slot him ahead of Estrada and Norris in the rotation depth chart -- and I don't think anyone has made a decision on that yet, regardless of whether the GM is a "lameduck" or not.
greenfrog - Sunday, March 08 2015 @ 09:39 PM EDT (#298109) #
I am quite curious to see how Sanchez does this year. A year and a half ago I expressed the view that he still had strong potential as a starter, notwithstanding his high BB rate and moderate K rate (relative to his stuff) at the time. Others disagreed, preferring (understandably) other prospects with a safer statistical track record. Should be interesting to see how his career unfolds. It's possible to imagine quite a wide range of outcomes for him.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, March 08 2015 @ 11:43 PM EDT (#298111) #
A.A. will be in extreme demand if Toronto doesn't keep him. He's one of the best in the business on a Team with "limits". Imagine "no limits", and what he might be able to do. Lame Duck, my foot, he's a Rock Star of GMs.

I just like to bitch about him not doing enough, even when he has nothing to spend. Who can I be unfair about if he leaves?
uglyone - Sunday, March 08 2015 @ 11:57 PM EDT (#298113) #
if we assume this 25 man roster:

1.Reyes 2.Martin 3.Bautista 4.Encarnacion 5.Donaldson 6.Saunders 7.Smoak 8.Pompey 9.Izturis

Bench: Navarro Pillar Valencia Kawasaki

SP Stroman Hutch Buehrle Dickey Estrada
RP Cecil Loup Delabar Redmond Jenkins Lopez Rasmussen

then our "depth team" could be this with their combined steamer/zips projections:

2B D.Travis (24): 90wrc+, 1.7war/600pa
RF A.Dirks (29): 98wrc+, 1.1war/600pa
LF D.Viciedo (26): 102wrc+, 1.0war/600pa
1B D.Barton (29): 96wrc+, 0.5war/600pa
DH J.Fox (32): 93wrc+, 0.2war/600pa
CF E.Carrera (28): 82wrc+, 1.4war/600pa
3B S.Tolleson (31): 78wrc+, 0.5war/600pa
SS R.Santiago (36): 74wrc+, 0.0war/600pa
C A.Jimenez (25): 68wrc+, 1.0war/600pa

UT M.Hague (29): 86wrc+, 0.2war/600pa
OF C.Dickerson (33): 89wrc+, 0.2war/600pa
IF R.Schimpf (27): 79wrc+, 0.9war/600pa
C J.Thole (28): 79wrc+, 0.2war/600pa

SP D.Norris (22): 4.18fip, 1.2war/200ip
SP L.Hendriks (26): 4.35fip, 1.5war/200ip
SP J.Santana (36): 4.11fip, 2.0war/200ip
SP J.Francis (34): 4.03fip, 0.7war/200ip
SP A.Sanchez (22): 4.59fip, 0.6war/200ip

RP C.Hynes (29): 3.64fip, 0.3war/65ip
RP P.Guilmet (27): 4.13fip, -0.2war/65ip
RP M.Boyd (24): 4.14fip, 0.0war/65fip
RP M.West (26): 4.18fip, -0.2war/65ip
RP C.Burns (27): 4.23fip, 0.0war/65fip
RP J.Stilson (25): 4.26fip, -0.1war/65fip
RP G.Burke (32): 4.35fip, -0.2war/65fip

that seems to be enough serviceable depth that wouldn't embarass themselves as mlb fill ins....and those numbers might underrate some of their platoon split advantages.

imo depth is pretty easy to find.

but like most any team, we won't have the depth to cover for too many serious injuries to our best players. no team really does.
ISLAND BOY - Monday, March 09 2015 @ 06:57 AM EDT (#298114) #
I dunno, Uglyone. I think Sanchez will be on the opening roster in some capacity. I haven't seen any mention on here of an article that was on the Sportsnet site were Colby Rasmus is quoted as saying " I don't have much more left in me to give". He says that his years in Toronto on the hard turf are partly to blame and that he plans to play just 4 more years. It seemed to me that Colby lost heart in playing baseball last year. I would hate to be the team that had him in that fourth year (age 32) when he has one foot out the door.
Mike Green - Monday, March 09 2015 @ 09:48 AM EDT (#298116) #
The March 9 birthday team includes old friends Jesse Litsch, Vince Horsman and the late Doug Ault.  It's a pretty good club:

C-    Benito Santiago
1B-  Willy Aybar
2B-  Arky Vaughan
SS- Bert Campaneris
3B- Aaron Boone
LF-  Billy Southworth
CF- Jim Landis
RF- Jackie Jensen

Bench- Koyie Hill, Darrel Chaney or Eliot Johnson, Myril Hoag, Doug Ault

SP- Terry Mulholland
SP- Lefty Williams
SP- John Curtis
SP- Al Atkinson
SP- Daniel Hudson

RP- Ron Kline
RP- Jesse Litsch
RP- Vince Horsman
RP- Craig Stanmen
RP- Joe Dawson

Southworth manages, of course.  Jim Landis was a little before my time.  He was the centerfielder of the Go-Go Sox and by all accounts, a great defensive player as well as a good hitter in his prime.  The pitchers are decent, but rely on their defence but this team is very strong defensively down the middle. 
Mike Green - Monday, March 09 2015 @ 09:54 AM EDT (#298117) #
Dear Brett,

If you catch grounders bare-handed in spring training,  your EDTDL (estimated days to disabled list) is less than 50.  It's not a good number.

Best regards,


John Northey - Monday, March 09 2015 @ 11:22 AM EDT (#298118) #
A reminder of why we loved Lawrie and feared him at the same time - great to watch plays like that, but a quick way to the DL if you do them.  Doing that in a playoff game makes sense.  Doing that in spring is just silly.
Hodgie - Monday, March 09 2015 @ 11:40 AM EDT (#298120) #
Kiley McDaniel of Fangraphs fame has posted his prospect evaluations for the home nine here. I am sure there will some some disagreement among Bauxites with the groupings/rankings but it is an impressively deep sumamry, touching on no less than 57 prospects in varying degrees.
uglyone - Monday, March 09 2015 @ 12:17 PM EDT (#298122) #
yeah great write up. the system is looking crazy deep.

still think he's missing the boat on pompey, though.
whiterasta80 - Monday, March 09 2015 @ 12:50 PM EDT (#298124) #
Chris Sale was 22 and had a stellar year in the bullpen before becoming the elite SP that he is today. In fact his minor league track record was similar to Sanchez's at least in terms of walks (mind you Sale was rushed through much quicker as a college guy).

Talent will win out over time and I have absolutely no issue with putting Sanchez in the bullpen for now.

Lylemcr - Monday, March 09 2015 @ 01:53 PM EDT (#298125) #
What does everyone think of this article?

Does Osuna really have a chance to make it? I like what I am hearing, but I think AAA. That being said, if they show no fear, what the hell. 100 MPH fastball is always nice to have come out of the bullpen.
dan gordon - Monday, March 09 2015 @ 02:54 PM EDT (#298128) #
Osuna managed 22 innings in high A last year, with an ERA over 6.00. Even AAA would be a stretch. I'd start him in Dunedin, and if he does well, move him to AA. Castro had 2 appearances for Dunedin last year, the rest were in Lansing or Vancouver. I think he starts the season in AA, although they may want to give him a few starts in Dunedin, where it's warmer. With the number of candidates the Jays have for the big league roster, it would take failure of epic proportions for them to start the season with either Osuna or Castro in the big leagues.

Assuming Cecil, Loup and Redmond are healthy, that's 3 for the bullpen. Then you've got 1 or 2 of Sanchez and Estrada, depending on whether Norris makes the rotation. It looks like Delabar is a pretty good bet to make the team. That leaves just 1 or 2 spots open. Hard to imagine that they can't find 1 or 2 from the gang of candidates that includes Jenkins, Lopez, Drabek, Rasmussen, Hendriks, Guilmet, Infante, Tepera, West, Perez, and the rest of the horde that are vying for a spot.

On the other hand, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see Castro with the team at some point this season.
Ryan Day - Monday, March 09 2015 @ 02:55 PM EDT (#298129) #
This article in the Post is more conservative about expectations for the young pitchers, particularly Osuna.

It's not hard to imagine Osuna blowing through the system if he's healthy, but I'd be stunned if he started above Dunedin. (If for no other reason than Dunedin is generally a better place to pitch in April & May.)
ogator - Monday, March 09 2015 @ 03:06 PM EDT (#298130) #
It's probably irrelevant to the discussion but speak of Osuna. He just went two scoreless innings against the Tigers with 2 K's and no walks. Hmmm.
uglyone - Monday, March 09 2015 @ 03:25 PM EDT (#298131) #
yeah I'd be disappointed if osuna and castro started the year above A+. I'd hope that they, along with hoffman, start in dunedin, earn a midseason promotion to AA, and then get considered for September callups in bullpen roles. with the plsn to have all three start next season in AAA. That would be an optimistic scenario if everything goes smoothly I think. putting them in the bigs to start this year sounds a bit crazy to me, even if I do have a mancrush on osuna.

John Northey - Monday, March 09 2015 @ 03:37 PM EDT (#298132) #
Always tough this time of year to know what is going on.  Osuna pitched the 4th/5th innings against Herman Perez (strike out), Dixon Machado (fly out to CF), James McCann (gound out to pitcher), Andrew Romine (called out on strikes), Rajai Davis (Fly out to LF), Gose (ground out 2B).  Not exactly pitching against WAMCO there.

Norris didn't help his cause giving up 3 runs in his 2 innings.  Rasmussen might have killed his chances, given a lead and blowing it vs last inning guys on Detroit.  (2 outs, 3 runs, not a good combo).  Travis going 2-3 helps his cause,
Mylegacy - Monday, March 09 2015 @ 04:49 PM EDT (#298133) #
My old bones tell me Castro and Osuna will both be mega-stars with the Jays (not to mention Stroman, Hoffman, Sanchez and Norris who will be stars as well). Castro will become Darvish(ish) when he gets a bit older and puts on 10 to 20 pounds. Osuna will become David Wells(ish) or Sabathia(ish).

Remember, that Osuna was pitching (and pitching well) at 15 years of age in the Mexican Professional League (roughly a AA equivalent). IF - he had not had surgery he would - no question - be challenging Sanchez and Norris for the 5th spot this spring. Because of the injury he won't be able to get enough innings this year to start for a full season - but - he just might be able to last 60 to 80 innings in the Toronto pen. Just picture the back end of the Jay's pen this year with Cecil, Castro, Osuna and Sanchez to share the late innings - yum, yum. Estrada could start the year as the number five starter. Norris in AAA for a while, but as he goes he'll say: "I'll be back" - to quote the former Governor of California back in his movie days.

To be honest, I'd like to keep Castro in the pen in T.O. for this year (and perhaps even next) while he puts on some good weight to aid his stamina when he goes back to being a starter for the following decade or so.

Mike Green - Monday, March 09 2015 @ 05:11 PM EDT (#298134) #
Castro is a thin right-hander, isn't he?  Too bad.  If he were a portly left-hander, he'd be headed for greatness!

Relief pitching is different. You can have a pitcher come in and blow smoke for an inning and be successful.  Whether it's a good idea from a developmental perspective is another question.  Personally, if that was what I was contemplating, I'd let Castro throw out of the bullpen for a month and a half in Dunedin and then for a month in New Hampshire.  If he's looking good then, maybe you take the plunge. 

jerjapan - Monday, March 09 2015 @ 06:02 PM EDT (#298135) #
Dan Gordon, I've gotta think that if the team is considering an Osuna or Castro, it's for a higher leverage role than those names you mention - as you point out, the Lopez / Guilmet / Jenkins type arms can battle it out for the mop up / long relief roles.  If you are going to burn an option and some valuable development on a hotshot rookie, he needs a legit significant role.  If the Jays brass figure one of these prospects is ready to pass Redmond on the depth chart, I'm at least receptive to that idea. 
uglyone - Monday, March 09 2015 @ 06:05 PM EDT (#298136) #
dreaming on the future, if this Big 7, does turn out, I think I'd see Sanchez and Castro as the guys that end up in the prn due to a limited arsenal.

If they work out, I'd dream on something like this:

SP1 Stroman
SP2 Hoffman
SP3 Norris
SP4 Osuna
SP5 Hutchison

CL Sanchez
RSU Castro
LSU Smoral
MR Reid-Foley
MR Borucki
MR Labourt
MR Tirado

with a little luck, that could be a lotta fun for a lotta years.
Lylemcr - Monday, March 09 2015 @ 10:47 PM EDT (#298138) #
I too have a mancrush on Osuna.

Good article from the National Post. I didn't realize Osuna lost so much weight. I have a feeling he could be the Norris of this year. Jump into the top 100 prospects. (As opposed to the Norris trophy winner, which would be highly unlikely)
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, March 10 2015 @ 11:03 AM EDT (#298139) #
Spring Training can be nerve wrenching. Michael Saunders' injury could be an issue if he pushes too hard to start the Season. Mid-April is just fine. Jose Bautista tweaks a hammy, deemed not serious. I hate them because hammys can reoccur, sometimes often. Brett Cecil has a shoulder issue which might keep him from starting the Season on the Team. And Sanchez starts where? Edwin Encarnacion is having an MRI ( on his back. Still over four weeks of Spring Training to go, so it will be interesting how everything turns out.
uglyone - Tuesday, March 10 2015 @ 11:57 AM EDT (#298140) #
saunder' injury is actually the least worrisome.

pretty much the entire recovery period is just precautionary. there is nothing in his knee right now that actually has to heal.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, March 10 2015 @ 12:40 PM EDT (#298141) #
That's encouraging.

Early Pitching reports have Delabar, Drabek and Lopez making the team. I don't see much or catch much talk, so is this accurate?
uglyone - Tuesday, March 10 2015 @ 02:23 PM EDT (#298142) #
Alex Anthopoulos to address media in 10 minutes with a "significant announcement." #BlueJays #MLB
uglyone - Tuesday, March 10 2015 @ 02:25 PM EDT (#298143) #
richard - imo Delabar and lopez make it with a good spring. drabek not do much
Mike Green - Tuesday, March 10 2015 @ 02:31 PM EDT (#298144) #
Stroman tore ACL.  Out for season.  Blah.
JB21 - Tuesday, March 10 2015 @ 02:33 PM EDT (#298145) #
Well, that was a fun week.
uglyone - Tuesday, March 10 2015 @ 02:33 PM EDT (#298146) #
my god.

now THAT is an injury worth freaking out about.
CeeBee - Tuesday, March 10 2015 @ 02:33 PM EDT (#298147) #
Dammittt all to ell!!!
JB21 - Tuesday, March 10 2015 @ 02:34 PM EDT (#298148) #
Occurred during PFP. Of course.
uglyone - Tuesday, March 10 2015 @ 02:34 PM EDT (#298149) #
the worst thing I've ever heard.
John Northey - Tuesday, March 10 2015 @ 02:46 PM EDT (#298150) #
There is always 2016....
Mike Green - Tuesday, March 10 2015 @ 02:48 PM EDT (#298151) #
Stroman has everyone's best wishes for a full recovery. 

I wonder who will get stretched out now.  You've got Dickey, Buehrle, Hutchison, Estrada, Sanchez and Norris who are doing multiple inning work.  There are other possibilities- Redmond, Hendriks and guys like Albers.  You probably want to stretch out two of them just in case.

CeeBee - Tuesday, March 10 2015 @ 02:54 PM EDT (#298152) #
Francis, Santana....... maybe
MrPurple - Tuesday, March 10 2015 @ 02:56 PM EDT (#298153) #
Hodgie - Tuesday, March 10 2015 @ 02:59 PM EDT (#298154) #
As I search for a silver lining, at least it was not an arm or shoulder injury. Only thing worse than sabotaging 2015 would be sabotaging his career.
CeeBee - Tuesday, March 10 2015 @ 03:01 PM EDT (#298155) #
Time for the kids to step up and not be kids any more.
JB21 - Tuesday, March 10 2015 @ 03:05 PM EDT (#298156) #
Time for the kids to step up and not be kids any more.

Problem is, it already was that time.
#2JBrumfield - Tuesday, March 10 2015 @ 03:10 PM EDT (#298157) #
According to Scott MacArthur from TSN...

@TSNScottyMac Follow
Josh Donaldson called off Stroman during bunt drill. Apparently Stroman's knee buckled when he stopped quickly to back off.

The Donaldson trade has paid off already! </sarcasm>


eudaimon - Tuesday, March 10 2015 @ 03:14 PM EDT (#298158) #
Let's not get too emotional here. Shit happens, and Donaldson had nothing to do with it.
jerjapan - Tuesday, March 10 2015 @ 03:28 PM EDT (#298159) #

Mike Green - Tuesday, March 10 2015 @ 03:30 PM EDT (#298160) #
Sometimes a blank comment says it best.
Mylegacy - Tuesday, March 10 2015 @ 03:33 PM EDT (#298161) #
Once again the Chinese Philosopher was correct when he said: "Sometimes shit happens." Then he was even more correct when he continued and said: "As far as the Blue Jays are concerned shit happens everyday."

Dear oh dear oh dear (etc....)

There is no good news, no way to spin this other than to admit the obvious. We had one guy who might have been an Ace this year and he is finished for the year. Realistically, we are finished for the year, sigh, shit, double sigh and double shit.

Fortunately, they don't hand out World Series rings in March. We're going to need a few things to come together to have a serious chance this year. Firstly, the offense will have to rake (did I mention EE's back injury). Secondly, Dickey and Big B (or Daddy as Stroman was calling him) will have to give us a serious top notch veteran presence - which then can do, which they will do.

And a new paragraph for the most important part...Thirdly, and herein lies the really exciting opportunity for this season; our road to glory (if it is to exist) will be through the arms of four spectacular - but most likely not quite ready for prime time future stars:Sanchez, Norris, Castro and Osuna. We're going to need at least a couple of these precocious arms to be ready to achieve at a level of perfection that they will one day become accustom to - the thing is - they have to make the leap now. I know: it's a bridge too far, a leap of faith too outrageous, a prayer no mortal could ever ask the gods to fulfill...but...I've a feeling in my bones, my heart and every fiber of my being that 2015 will go down as the most fantastical turn around in Blue Jays history such that our great grandchildren will talk about it - and we'll live it!  Glory is ours for the grasping - grasp it!

Now look at the more realistic good news - next year we'll have Stroman back, Hutch firing on all cylinders and Sanchez, Norris, Castro and Osuna will ALL have at least some taste of the bigs - add Hoffman to that mix and 2016 looks like gold  - gold I tell you. Perhaps, maybe, unless Global Heating (screw Global Warming - we're past that now) causes the oceans to rise so much Lake Ontario ends up flooding the Rogers which case we'll end up being fitted for our World Series rings wearing hip waders. Could happen, trust me...

John Northey - Tuesday, March 10 2015 @ 03:34 PM EDT (#298162) #
Suddenly the idea of signing Price in the offseason seems a much better one.  Guess we'll get Norris & Sanchez in the rotation now.
christaylor - Tuesday, March 10 2015 @ 03:35 PM EDT (#298163) #
This hurts but SP is (or I guess was) really the only part of the team where the Jays have depth.

So there's that... plus it isn't an arm injury.
Lylemcr - Tuesday, March 10 2015 @ 03:38 PM EDT (#298164) #
JA Happ looks appealing now
uglyone - Tuesday, March 10 2015 @ 03:45 PM EDT (#298165) #
he does?
ISLAND BOY - Tuesday, March 10 2015 @ 03:46 PM EDT (#298166) #
And then he would look appalling. Aaaaggh ! Anybody but Stroman -- I was really looking forward to watching him shine this year.
uglyone - Tuesday, March 10 2015 @ 04:08 PM EDT (#298167) #
Sanchez/norris/estrada/hendriks should cover the bottom slots just fine.

but there's not much chance of actually replacing stroman.
vw_fan17 - Tuesday, March 10 2015 @ 04:12 PM EDT (#298168) #
I was looking forward to a COMPETITIVE Toronto team, after the annual Leafs collapse. We already had to hope for many things to break right. Now we have to hope for *ALL* of them to break right. :-( just renewed for the season - maybe I can get a refund and buy lottery tickets..

Mike Green - Tuesday, March 10 2015 @ 04:27 PM EDT (#298169) #
but there's not much chance of actually replacing stroman.

Of course.  This team can still win, but it will require the other young players (Pompey, Travis, Sanchez, Norris, Hutchison, Pillar) to do quite a bit better than reasonable expectations although not to make a miraculous Bautista-like leap forward. Feet on the ground, stand in the place where you are...
scottt - Tuesday, March 10 2015 @ 04:50 PM EDT (#298170) #
Sanchez/norris/estrada/hendriks should cover the bottom slots just fine.

Estrada is a given. Probably not worst than Happ.

Sanchez is not ready. Norris is probably not ready either.

Santana, Hendriks, Redmond, Jenkins and a bunch of others could have a shot in the first couple of months.

On the bright side, guessing--I mean predicting the number of inning pitched by Blue Jays suddenly becomes vastly entertaining.

jerjapan - Tuesday, March 10 2015 @ 05:03 PM EDT (#298171) #
I really don't get why people talk about Jenkins and Redmond as starter candidates?  I could be way wrong on this, but I don't think even the front office is talking about them as possible starters. 
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, March 10 2015 @ 05:06 PM EDT (#298172) #
At least we have four weeks to go. Pitchers who are almost good enough but usually not expected to be good enough, should be taught a two-seamer. Matt Boyd and Liam Hendriks both fit that category and don't throw one. At one time, Kendall Graveman didn't either. Might not be enough, but it might work.
CeeBee - Tuesday, March 10 2015 @ 05:15 PM EDT (#298173) #
I suppose there was also a small chance that Stro would have gone through the sophomore jinx. Maybe this is the way to avoid that..... Dammmit, that didn't make me feel any better tho.
bpoz - Tuesday, March 10 2015 @ 05:25 PM EDT (#298174) #
Buehrle, Dickey & Hutch are our top 3 now.
Losing Stroman for 2015 is a huge loss. When he comes back in 2016 IMO the expectations for him will be lessened for example I believe he may/should be on an innings limit.
Also one less year of our expensive stars Martin, EE, Donaldson, Bautista, Dickey & Buehrle. Also our best pen guys will get more expensive.

I do not think that we will spend money to replace this loss. However when 2016 starts the good prospects will be one year closer.
For me, I was going to see/expect the Jays to be a 2nd tier competitor. The disappointment of 2013 is still vivid in my memory. A great start would change my mind. Now we have one more hole on the team.

Well this is just a rant. Life goes on. I have a beer. Cheers to everyone!! We knew that there would be ups and downs to this season. Please tell me the ups again.
Eephus - Tuesday, March 10 2015 @ 05:37 PM EDT (#298175) #

It's not like this means the end of 2015 before it even began, but geez the margin for error just got a whole lot smaller. I suspect a trade for a starting pitcher around the deadline will be very necessary if the team is in contention.

Saying "this sucks" is the greatest understatement of sucky suckitude ever.
jerjapan - Tuesday, March 10 2015 @ 05:42 PM EDT (#298176) #
I still support AA and the path he has the team on, but a losing season could easily cost him his job, and this injury could result in a losing season, which gets a top young GM fired.   So positives?  Not seeing any right now.  This team was built to be high risk high reward, and this is the high risk aspect. 

That's baseball and yada yada - sure, Hendricks could be Josh Towers, or Norris could win ROY, or Pompey could be our best CF since, uhh, i forget - but this is a dreadful blow to a team ill-equipped to deal with one.  We don't have high end rookies that can replace high-end talent in the upper minors, we don't have bench players that can step into starting roles, and we don't have the financial resources to go get replacements. 

scottt - Tuesday, March 10 2015 @ 06:32 PM EDT (#298177) #
Jenkins and Redmond are there and don't cost a thing. Maybe the improved defense will let them throw a Josh Towers season.

Really, what kind of starter can you get for Navarro?

eudaimon - Tuesday, March 10 2015 @ 06:59 PM EDT (#298178) #
Perhaps Johan Santana can be our savior?
Alex Obal - Tuesday, March 10 2015 @ 07:06 PM EDT (#298179) #
If he's really got Halladay's fastball and Halladay's command, I guess it's only fair he gets saddled with Halladay's penchant for freak injuries too.

Oh well. HDMH. He'll be back.
eldarion - Tuesday, March 10 2015 @ 07:13 PM EDT (#298180) #
Perhaps I'm in the minority...but I really don't see any reason to panic. Does losing Stroman suck? Sure. You really think any other team in the AL East isn't going to have similar challenges this year? Every team in our division has holes, including ours. Deep breath, people: Navarro will be traded for a closer or set up man, Estrada becomes the long man and we get Sanchez and Norris in the rotation. A bit early for them? Sure. But the talent is undeniable. We just need them to step up. And I don't know about you guys...but I plan on cheering them on to do that all season long. PLUS...people are dramatically underestimating the impact of a Donaldson on our offence and a Martin on our defence. I'll miss Stroman...but bring on the season. We've still got a shot.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, March 10 2015 @ 07:36 PM EDT (#298181) #
If Johan Santana can pitch for the Jays, it won't be until Mid-May at the earliest. His fastball MUST be in the 88-91 range for his killer other pitches to work most effectively. I hope he can, I enjoyed watching him pitch. No one knows, least of all Santana, whether or not he's got enough left.
Mike Green - Tuesday, March 10 2015 @ 07:49 PM EDT (#298182) #
If he's really got Halladay's fastball and Halladay's command, I guess it's only fair he gets saddled with Halladay's penchant for freak injuries too.
Oh well. HDMH. He'll be back.

Well said, Alex.  He seems to have something of Johnny Cueto too, but I guess Cueto is on the right all-initial team.
JB21 - Tuesday, March 10 2015 @ 08:35 PM EDT (#298183) #
Not too sure if this helped or hurt. But it's well written.
John Northey - Tuesday, March 10 2015 @ 10:53 PM EDT (#298184) #
Wonder if Halladay is up for a comeback yet? 
The good news is Norris and Sanchez now could develop into all-stars.  The 10's answer to Stieb & Key.  That's what the Jays need now.  For 2 pitchers to develop into 40-50 WAR players quickly.  Osuna can see the majors as a real goal for mid-season now, It'll be an interesting year and hopefully one that gets very exciting as the kids devlope.  If Norris & Sanchez can have solid seasons then letting Buehrle go in the off-season will be a lot easier.  Jeff Hoffman like Osuna could be dreaming of reaching this year now too. 
SK in NJ - Tuesday, March 10 2015 @ 11:47 PM EDT (#298185) #
Make a trade with the Diamondbacks. They have a surplus of starting options and no catcher. Something has to be possible with those two teams.

Sucks about Stroman. He'll be tough to replace. At least it's not an arm related injury, but I don't think anyone is thinking about 2016 right now. This really hurts the team's chances in 2015. Not impossible, but they'll need to stay really, really healthy from this point on.
BlueMonday - Tuesday, March 10 2015 @ 11:51 PM EDT (#298186) #
Maybe Marcus could get his Tommy John Surgery done in the year off...
ayjackson - Wednesday, March 11 2015 @ 12:16 AM EDT (#298187) #
I'm partially of the mind to just plug in Norris and Sanchez and see what happens. If they're out of it by July, trade Bautista and EE.

But then, I'm particularly down this evening.
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, March 11 2015 @ 03:39 AM EDT (#298188) #
I've been looking at the Diamondbacks' Pitching Staff, and all I can say is it's got it's issues, besides not being very good. Thirteen Starters, but only the best might be good enough to acquire.

Allen Webster (RHP - 25) and Robbie Ray (LHP - 23) came over in the Wade Miley trade and aren't going anywhere. Vidal Nuno (LHP - 27) and Jeremy Hellickson (RHP - 28) also came over in Trades and are staying.

Trevor Cahill (RHP - 27), Andrew Chafin (LHP - 24), Josh Collmenter (RHP - 29), Patrick Corbin (LHP - 25), Rubby De La Rosa (RHP - 26) and Randall Delgado (RHP - 25) are good enough for them to keep. And just right there are too many Starters to keep.

They also have, who might be available, Chase Anderson (RHP - 27), Bronson Arroyo (RHP - 37) and Daniel Hudson (RHP - 28). They need to keep the five best, move one or two into the Bullpen and sent a few down. That's still too many, so there might be something there.
TamRa - Wednesday, March 11 2015 @ 03:54 AM EDT (#298189) #
My suggestion, from several weeks back, of the pitcher we could likely get from the D'Backs for Navarro: Oliver Perez.  He's turned himself into a nice lefty reliever, if Cecil is now the presumptive closer than we need another good LH relief pitcher. And he's not too steep a price for them too be willing to pay.
scottt - Wednesday, March 11 2015 @ 07:27 AM EDT (#298190) #
For Stroman that's a year of service time wasted and who knows what state he'll be in next year.

ayjackson - Wednesday, March 11 2015 @ 08:13 AM EDT (#298191) #
I think jon morosi was on here last night.
85bluejay - Wednesday, March 11 2015 @ 08:34 AM EDT (#298192) #
Yes, losing Stroman is a major blow, but the Giants, Orioles & A's all suffered crippling injuries to key players last year and still won - the key thing is not to panic - allow the guys in camp to step up - it's a long season, Santana or someone not in the opening day rotation may be a key contributor as the season goes along - the most exciting thing about the Jays for me is the potential of the quality young arms coming through the system and I would be opposed to trading that talent for some aging veteran - maybe if the team is in contention come July.

I am hoping that both Norris and Sanchez are in a rotation - either at the MLB level or in AAA preparing for their opportunity - no BP for me.

I think that Santiago will be the backup infielder, Lopez will win a pen spot - Barton has a 50/50 shot of knocking off Smoak, Gindl is surprising and may play initially if Saunders needs extra DL time - for all the talk about Martin catching Dickey, in the end I think Navarro will be traded and Thole will catch the majority of Dickey's start.
Mike Green - Wednesday, March 11 2015 @ 10:23 AM EDT (#298193) #
My inclination with the current talent would be to start the season with Estrada and some other pitcher (Hendriks or Redmond probably) in the rotation with Norris and Sanchez in the major league bullpen.  I'd use Norris as a longer left-handed guy with Loup as the situational lefty and Cecil as the ace.  Sanchez would pick up the high-leverage relief work that Cecil doesn't have and would often work 2 innings.  If Norris is making a good adaptation, I'd aim to have him in the major league rotation by July, and on target for maybe 150-160 innings. 
Spifficus - Wednesday, March 11 2015 @ 10:40 AM EDT (#298194) #
I'd rather have them pick up a good reliever (Evan Marshall would be my top pick, though it would take more than Navarro) for the back end of the bullpen. That would take the pressure off putting Sanchez in the bullpen and allow him and Norris to start. I could see one of those two at the back of the rotation and the other staying stretched out in Buffalo, with Estrada providing bulk innings the other spot.
Mike Green - Wednesday, March 11 2015 @ 10:56 AM EDT (#298195) #
It's all a matter of opinions about readiness.  I don't think that either Norris or Sanchez is ready to start or to throw 180-200 innings in a season.  With any kind of innings limitation, I don't see what the downside is to both of them starting the season in the bullpen.  You certainly have to hope that one (and maybe both) are ready for the rotation later on. 

Having limited seasonal inning load for both in the past to varying degrees (Sanchez more so than Norris), I think that is unwise to reverse course now.  I suppose that you could start one in the rotation now (maybe Sanchez) with Norris in the bullpen and then flip them in a couple of months, but it isn't what I would do. 

Spifficus - Wednesday, March 11 2015 @ 11:01 AM EDT (#298196) #
The downside of that is you lose them for three weeks to a month while you stretch them out mid-season in the minors, or you risk taxing the bullpen moreso than usual. Also, there's the lack of development time on their third (and fourth) pitch when they're in the pen.
Mike Green - Wednesday, March 11 2015 @ 11:09 AM EDT (#298197) #
If Norris is working in long relief (and with a rotation that includes Estrada and Redmond or Hendriks), odds are pretty good that he'll get some outings of 3-4 innings. What you do with Sanchez is a little trickier.  If he is going to be a starter, then he does need more work and longer work than he would see in 2 inning bits.  I guess we'll see how Sanchez does in his remaining spring outings.  If he's up to 5-6 innings and keeping control and velocity, that would be a good sign.  He is 22 years old and threw 133 innings last year, so a bump to the rotation and 180 innings would not be out of the question. 
Spifficus - Wednesday, March 11 2015 @ 11:37 AM EDT (#298198) #
Sanchez would be my particular concern in your scenario (though I would still have some with Norris as well). Last year, he only threw his curveball 11% of the time, and maybe one changeup. Of course, his fastball averaged 97MPH so that's understandable. I just wouldn't expect that to change if they continue using him out of the bullpen in high leverage situations.

Of course, for Norris, I just believe he's better positioned to thrive as a starter out of the gate, with better current command of a deeper arsenal. To me, both he and Sanchez are the wildcards that could make up the Stroman gap, and putting them in the bullpen (with everything that I mentioned running through my head) mutes that potential.
Mike Green - Wednesday, March 11 2015 @ 11:39 AM EDT (#298199) #
Inside Edge tweeted something interesting.  In the last 3 months of 2014, the "Well Hit Average" against Stroman was .080.  It was the best figure by a starting pitcher in the majors and about half the average for starting pitchers (.154).  It corresponds pretty much with what I saw, and why I was so high on him for 2015.  Water under the bridge, sad to say.
Mike Green - Wednesday, March 11 2015 @ 11:43 AM EDT (#298200) #
Spifficus, I am not as convinced of Norris' current command.  It looks to me to be a work-in-progress.
bpoz - Wednesday, March 11 2015 @ 11:51 AM EDT (#298201) #
I think Sanchez, Norris, Estrada, Redmond & Jenkins all should spend time in the rotation as the need develops through the year.
I would give Sanchez & Norris the opportunity right out of ST if they show that they are capable. After all injury may cut them down after 100IP and it is best for development that those are as ML starters.
Of course the season may be over if they struggle. Then what?
Lets face it... the Jays & Dodgers for example both hope for success this year and made some moves towards that happening. But it may not happen for either. There are quite a few good teams that they have to compete with.
So I suppose each season has future & present issues to deal with. If the present is looking good then trying to improve it at the expense of the future is worthwhile.
greenfrog - Wednesday, March 11 2015 @ 04:34 PM EDT (#298202) #
So, I've been away for a few days. Did I miss anything?
mathesond - Wednesday, March 11 2015 @ 05:49 PM EDT (#298203) #
Not much, greenfrog. Well, turns out Marcus Stroman isn't in the best shape of his life.
greenfrog - Wednesday, March 11 2015 @ 06:19 PM EDT (#298204) #
Obviously it will be more of an uphill battle, but the Jays could still end up being OK in 2015. I wish they'd acquired a starting pitcher this off-season, though. A Miley, Porcello, Shields or even Masterson would come in handy right about now. It must be tough as a GM when your margin of error is always so thin.
Hodgie - Wednesday, March 11 2015 @ 06:49 PM EDT (#298205) #
Ottawa Senators coach and/or British Prime Minister Dave Cameron shares his thoughts on the The Value of Marco Estrada....
uglyone - Wednesday, March 11 2015 @ 07:02 PM EDT (#298206) #
I think the best idea would be to go with norris and estrada in the rote to start the season, with sanchez and hendriks in the pen.

if they have to be flipped at some point, then so be it.


92-93 - Wednesday, March 11 2015 @ 08:37 PM EDT (#298207) #
I got flack for suggesting that getting 52 starts from Hutchison/Stroman would be a success. If a pitcher hasn't consistently shown, let alone once, that he can make it through an MLB season as an SP, I try not to assume in a seasonal outlook that he will be able to do so. I guess that's why I'm not despondent because of this injury - I always felt the Jays SP base was the 380-400 innings from Dickey & Buehrle, and that they needed 2 of their young arms to step up and produce. That's still the case, and while losing Stroman drastically reduces the chances of finding those 2 guys from within their mix, they do still have enough talent to find some high quality innings and maintain a decent rotation. This is exactly why I wanted the Jays to add another SP, though, while everyone was complaining about the bullpen. Now AA is going to need to use one of his primary bullpen weapons, Sanchez & Estrada, in the rotation, if not both of them.

So we have a short, bulky pitcher who tested positive for PEDs who tears an ACL fielding a bunt. I hope it's all coincidental bad luck, and I think athletes should be able to take PEDs (HGH?) if it helps them recover from these types of injuries. Get Stroman back to close out Game 6 of the World Series, youknow?
SK in NJ - Wednesday, March 11 2015 @ 11:16 PM EDT (#298208) #
I think the six current starters are good enough to be a decent staff but they simply cannot withstand another injury, especially to Hutchison (who really has to step up now). The offense will have to carry the load for sure.
Mike Green - Thursday, March 12 2015 @ 09:19 AM EDT (#298209) #
92-93, Stroman was suspended for using methylexenamine.  It's a stimulant found in over-the-counter products.  It may pose a small cardiovascular risk, but there does not seem to be any indication of any musculoskeletal effect.

Taking credit for predicting Stroman's vulnerability to injury seems a little rich to me.  If he had arm problems, I could see it, but this injury could have happened to any pitcher. 
Spifficus - Thursday, March 12 2015 @ 09:32 AM EDT (#298210) #
Well, if Hutchison gets hit by a bus, at least we know which swami to pelt with stones.
uglyone - Thursday, March 12 2015 @ 11:12 AM EDT (#298211) #
ah yes, the eminently reasonable expectation that our best pitcher would be unable to pitch a single inning this year, that only homers would deny.
bpoz - Thursday, March 12 2015 @ 11:22 AM EDT (#298212) #
I agree with 92-93. 200 innings is a mark that does not get reached often. I believe one of our Bauxites did a count on 200 IP pitchers and it proved that there are not many.
How you do not get to 200 IP does not matter IMO.
Also as discussed before, you generally need 7-9 SPs per year. I count Stroman as 1 of our used SPs. So 8 more if we need 9.
JB21 - Thursday, March 12 2015 @ 11:23 AM EDT (#298213) #
Also, since when is Stroman stocky?
JB21 - Thursday, March 12 2015 @ 11:27 AM EDT (#298214) #
Sorry, "bulky".
Ryan Day - Thursday, March 12 2015 @ 11:40 AM EDT (#298215) #
Also, since when is Stroman stocky?

Possibly if he was standing next to Miguel Castro.
uglyone - Thursday, March 12 2015 @ 11:41 AM EDT (#298216) #
yep, there is nothing in between 200ip and 0ip.

the jays group of two hotshot prospects plus a bunch of journeyman with some starting success in AAA and mlb is typical #5/6/7/8/9 starting depth. replacing a top of the rotation pitcher for a whole season is impossible to do internally.

though, interestingly, with the upsides of hutch norris sanchez the jays might have a better chance at replacing that than most teams would....even if that chance is still small.

whenever we talk about depth, I like to bring up the red sox, as they seem to be considered the deepest team around.

their #5/6/7/8/guys are kelly/owens/rodriguez/barnes...none of whom have even shown the ability to be above average SP in AAA, let alone mlb.
bpoz - Thursday, March 12 2015 @ 11:52 AM EDT (#298217) #
So Vegas put out an over/under for all teams. The loss of Stroman should reduce the number of wins. I suppose they will now change the over/under number.
Mike Green - Thursday, March 12 2015 @ 12:20 PM EDT (#298218) #
Incidentally, if you are going to look at pitcher injuries over a slightly longer time frame, how about those snakebit Texas Rangers? In 2012, the club had finished 93-69 with Harrison, Darvish and Holland starting and looking good for 180 innings (at 26, 25 and 25 years old respectively) and Alexei Ogando and Martin Perez in the wings.  Youneverknow.
uglyone - Thursday, March 12 2015 @ 01:14 PM EDT (#298219) #
for those who care about these things, we may have an amazing and truly comprehensive new pitching stat to evaluate pitchers with.

basically cFIP takes into account the tendencies of every batter and ballpark for every single plate appearance the pitcher throws, which no other stat comes close to doing. this still doesn't preclude some pitchers being able to consistently over or underperform this stat, but it does seem to be a huge step up in terms of year to year sustainability.


0-70 = superb
70-85 = great
85-95 = above average
95-105 = average
105-115 = below average
115-130 = bad
130+ = awful

jays 2011-2014

Hutchison 92
Stroman 92
Dickey 109
Hendriks 109
Buehrle 110
Estrada 110

Cecil 75
Drabek 94
Sanchez 98
West 101
Redmond 102
Rasmussen 104
Loup 104
Lopez 106
Jenkins 110
Norris 115
Delabar 120
uglyone - Thursday, March 12 2015 @ 01:46 PM EDT (#298220) #
guilmet 91
eudaimon - Thursday, March 12 2015 @ 02:18 PM EDT (#298221) #
Honestly if it rates Buehrle as "below average," then this stat is just as crappy / flawed as the rest. He's been an average to above average players for years now. Same goes for Dickey. Maybe I just need more information about how it's calculated.
eudaimon - Thursday, March 12 2015 @ 02:24 PM EDT (#298222) #
What's the deal with Caleb Gindl? He's hitting well this spring, and seems to have some decent minor league numbers, outside of two brutal years in AAA in 2014 and 2012. He had success in 2013 in the majors, posting a 113 RC+ in 155 ABs. Fangraphs rates him negatively defensively, but it's a small sample size so it might mean nothing at all.

Chuck - Thursday, March 12 2015 @ 02:44 PM EDT (#298223) #
Honestly if it rates Buehrle as "below average," then this stat is just as crappy / flawed as the rest

Buerhle and Dickey have each outperformed their FIP by 0.30 over their career.

In Buerhle's case, he controls the running game and induces many doubleplays, two things FIP doesn't consider. In Dickey's case, it has been argued that knuckleballers innately induce a lower BABIP so FIP will expect more hits allowed than Dickey actually yields.

And then there are pitchers like Morrow who routinely underperform their FIP because of a worse than typical decline in performance with runners are on base.

I think FIP is good in general, but there are pitchers who deviate from their FIP for reasons other than just random chance.

uglyone - Thursday, March 12 2015 @ 02:52 PM EDT (#298224) #
with another double already today, Caleb Gindl is becoming the early eyebrow raiser in camp. which is interesting given the OF/1B/DH competition.

so who the heck is caleb gindl?

RF C.Gindl: 26yrs, 5'9"/210lbs

Drafted out of high school in the 5th round of the 2007 draft.

Rk (18): 231pa, 8.7bb%, 16.5k%, .429bsbip, .372avg, .208iso, 160wrc+
A (19): 578pa, 10.9bb%, 24.9k%, .405babip, .307avg, .167iso, 143wrc+
A+ (20): 462pa, 12.3bb%, 19.9k%, .314babip, .277avg, .183iso, 136wrc+

good performer in the low minors. showed patience, pop, and contact ability. the spike in K% was a bit of a worry, as was the too-high babip....but posting a solid avg after that babip collapsed in A+, while getting his Ks back under control was encouraging.

worth noting that he was fairly young for all these levels, and reached AA at a fairly young 22yrs old. at each level he was receiving all star nods and other prospect honors.

AA (21): 534pa, 10.3bb%, 14.6k%, .307babip, .272avg, .134iso, 110wrc+
AAA (22): 538pa, 11.7bb%, 17.3k%, .357babip, .307avg, .165iso, 117wrc+

at this point he looks like a legit prospect, though not spectacular. looks like a good hitter but the power seems lacking for a corner of/dh type.

AAA (23): 497pa, 7.4bb%, 19.7k%, .306babip, .261avg, .162iso, 88wrc+

Disaster year. career worsts in walk rate and average result kn an awful season, and suddenly he's not looking like a prospect anymore.

AAA (24): 347pa, 8.6bb%, 20.7k%, .351babip, .295avg, .192iso, 122wrc+
MLB (24): 155pa, 12.9bb%, 16.1k%, .262babip, .242avg, .197iso, 113wrc+

great success. a small bounceback in bb% with big bouncebacks in contact and power leads to a very good year in AAA, and a callup to the bigs.....where he continues to hit well, with patience and power. suddenly he looked like a legit mlb hitter.

AAA (25): 408pa, 10.3bb%, 21.6k%, .277babip, .227avg, .127iso,
MLB (25): 23pa, 17.4bb%, 21.7k%, .214babip, .158avg, .000iso, 43wrc+

disaster. his contact and power desert him and he's useless. brewers give up on him.

doesn't seem to be too much to talk about. a decent looking prospect who got exposed at higher levels, seems like.

but I was interested in looking at him for a couple of reasons - as an NL prospect, the DH spot wasn't available to give him extra mlb opportunities. and of course, as a lefty, I wanted to see his platoon splits.

unsurprisingly, his AAA struggles seemed to come vs lhp:

vLHP: 571pa, 7.5bb%, 22.4k%, .312babip, .253avg, .149iso, .697ops
vRHP: 1219pa, 10.6bb%, 18.3k%, .329babip, .283avg, .176iso, .819ops

not an insane split, and not an amazing line even vRHP.....but imo that might be a good enough line vRHP to imagine him capable of posting mlb average offense in a strict platoon.

and given our immediate need for LHH in both LF and 1B/DH, Gindl may legit earn himself a look if he keeps tearing it up this spring.

uglyone - Thursday, March 12 2015 @ 02:55 PM EDT (#298225) #
"Honestly if it rates Buehrle as "below average," then this stat is just as crappy / flawed as the rest. He's been an average to above average players for years now. Same goes for Dickey. Maybe I just need more information about how it's calculated."

Buehrle and Dickey are freaks. Dickey because of the knuckler and buehrle just becuz buehrle - his performance just defies all stats and scouting.

but there are always outliers, and outliers don't invalidate good statistics.
uglyone - Thursday, March 12 2015 @ 02:56 PM EDT (#298226) #
didn't even see your gindl post, eudaimon.

great minds etc.
Beyonder - Thursday, March 12 2015 @ 02:59 PM EDT (#298227) #
"Honestly if it rates Buehrle as "below average," then this stat is just as crappy / flawed as the rest."

Who are you going to believe -- cFIP or your lying eyes?
Beyonder - Thursday, March 12 2015 @ 03:03 PM EDT (#298228) #
If I'm reading the gamecast correctly, Estrada is serving up batting practice. Four out of last five batters hit solo home runs.
uglyone - Thursday, March 12 2015 @ 03:04 PM EDT (#298229) #
bad news - homer prone estrada just gave up 4hr in 0.2ip.

good news - after a tough first few games, travis is starting to hit.

and pompey rules, of course.
uglyone - Thursday, March 12 2015 @ 03:54 PM EDT (#298230) #
looks like a gameday glitch - those 4hr were actually just 1hr.

estrada still got lit for 7er in 0.2ip tho.
92-93 - Thursday, March 12 2015 @ 04:07 PM EDT (#298231) #
"Also, since when is Stroman (bulky)?"

Well, when I mentioned Pedro Martinez in a pitcher's height discussion, I was told Stroman's body was much different because he's well built and muscular, which is what I thought the word bulky meant.
JB21 - Thursday, March 12 2015 @ 04:53 PM EDT (#298232) #
I would call Stroman lean, and Stroman's dad bulky.
92-93 - Thursday, March 12 2015 @ 04:57 PM EDT (#298233) #
Great pic. He shouldn't share any milkshakes with Dad.
Mike Green - Thursday, March 12 2015 @ 05:03 PM EDT (#298234) #
Just for fun- here are Stroman's age 23 BBRef. I'll go out on a limb and suggest that he'll do better than Shawn Hillegas and not as well as Cy Young. 
Richard S.S. - Thursday, March 12 2015 @ 06:45 PM EDT (#298235) #
What I know about surgically repaired A.C.L. tears varies so very much and consists of so little. Besides the fact that it has a success rate of 75% - 95%, it can take 6-8 months for total recovery. Then I watch someone I work with have it done on both knees and be back to work, looking fully healed, within 8-10 weeks. Same injury, surgery, but different recovery times.

My question, because I don't know, is, "What should we expect?"
James W - Thursday, March 12 2015 @ 09:33 PM EDT (#298236) #
I'll trade to find the story I read, but Buehrle overperforming his FIP is entirely attributable to his own defensive abilities, whether it's fielding or holding runners.
James W - Thursday, March 12 2015 @ 09:42 PM EDT (#298237) #
uglyone - Friday, March 13 2015 @ 10:57 AM EDT (#298238) #
wow those stolen base and pick off numbers are mind boggling.
Mike Green - Friday, March 13 2015 @ 11:41 AM EDT (#298239) #
Rany sure writes well.  I love the imagined discussion between scout and cross-checker about drafting a Buehrle equivalent today. 

Rany's comment about Buehrle's Hall of Fame progress got me thinking about where he is in relation to Glavine at age 35.  Here's a chart:

Buehrle 58 WAR 199-152 117 ERA+ 3084 IP  
Glavine 61 WAR 224-132 121 ERA+ 3120 IP  

They are pretty comparable, once you realize that Glavine pitched for better clubs and with better defences behind him. 
Ryan Day - Friday, March 13 2015 @ 12:12 PM EDT (#298240) #
Dickey's also quite good at fielding his position & holding runners. And the obvious thing the two have in common is that neither throws very hard - they both have a quick & simple delivery that doesn't give runners time to steal, and that leaves them in a strong position to field the ball.

Buehrle's always been like this, but it would be interesting to track Dickey's defensive development - was he always a great fielder, or did it evolve alongside his knuckleball? (Fangraphs has him with decent defensive numbers pre-2010, but I don't know how much that's worth given the small sample size)

I just remembered another Blue Jay with a similar profile: Shaun Marcum. Not a hard thrower, good glove, consistently outperformed his FIP. Shame he couldn't stay healthy.

Maybe soft-tossing, slick-fielding pitchers are the new market efficiency.
finch - Friday, March 13 2015 @ 12:44 PM EDT (#298241) #
I blew out my left ACL playing basketball March 2014 and I was back playing again in October and I'm not a full time athlete. I did do pre-surgery rehab and rehab every day for 1 hour after surgery. And I have a job, my own business and write a blog about fantasy football. Seeing how Marcus is a full time athlete, he will definitely be 100% again and back sooner than later. Once his swelling subsides, he will have surgery and be back on the field, in a competitive manner in 5-6 months.
jerjapan - Friday, March 13 2015 @ 01:23 PM EDT (#298242) #
sorry to hear about the injury finch, but good to hear about your recovery and the prediction for stroman.

does he have any chance of being back if there's October baseball?
uglyone - Friday, March 13 2015 @ 01:51 PM EDT (#298243) #
I refuse to hold out hope for it, but from what I've read stroman pitching even in september wouldn't be a crazy development.

of course we'll know better when he actually has the surgery.
finch - Friday, March 13 2015 @ 07:12 PM EDT (#298248) #
If he has surgery before the end of the month, 6 months rehab will take him to September so it is possible he'll be back.
scottt - Saturday, March 14 2015 @ 09:52 AM EDT (#298251) #
I think he goes from ACL to AFL. Or something like that.
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