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Uh oh, panic time. Jays are 0-3 in spring. Time to fire everyone! Oh, these games don't count? OK. ::steps off ledge::

Stroman goes today, yesterday Saturday Casey Lawrence made a good first impression 2 innings 1 H 1 W 1 K 0 R. Sparkman got hit hard 4 R in 1 inning (no walks at least). Elmore (who?) was 3-3 at 3B/2B, Cecilani 2 for 3, Tellez 1 for 2 with a double. Sunday had 2 games (split squad) : vs Phillies : Kendrys Morales had a single and home run. Martin had a hit, Bautista 2, Biagini gave up 2 unearned runs. Greene made a bad impression giving up 5 in his one inning. Goins 0-3 as expected. vs Yankees : just 3 hits (Saltalamacchia, Alford, Lopes), Oberholtzer started and gave up 3 runs in 2 innings. Poor Schultz 0 H 0 BB but 1 R. At this point the stats mean little. It is more staying healthy, getting in game shape, kids like Alford and Tellez trying to leave strong good impressions as are minor league vets like Lawrence. Tellez & Lawrence both were complimented by Gibbons (article only mentions Tellez, but I know I read something about Lawrence elsewhere but cannot find it at the moment). If Tellez can force the Jays hands that'd be fantastic as if he can be a 3+ WAR player he'd be much more valuable than Smoak. Still, I suspect Smoak gets to play in April and Tellez will need to pound AAA for a month to get his shot.
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ramone - Monday, February 27 2017 @ 10:50 AM EST (#339120) #
Baseball Prospectus had their weekly Monday Morning 10 Pack post up today. Today's was a bit different, it was about the 10 things in the minors they are most excited to see this year. On the list was the Fisher Cats team with BP saying "this season there is a good chance I will catch six of the top ten Jays prospects there, perhaps as soon as Opening Day".

It's a paywall so I won't copy anymore.
China fan - Monday, February 27 2017 @ 02:34 PM EST (#339122) #
Wow, Rowdy Tellez just stole 2B and it wasn't even close.  The guy has deceptive speed.  Those spring-training lessons from Tim Raines are really paying off!
uglyone - Monday, February 27 2017 @ 02:55 PM EST (#339123) #

1) rowdy doesn't look very fat to me.
2) that was a legit SB with some pretty quick feet for a big guy.
3) read somewhere that he started a nice DP in one of the weekend games too.
China fan - Monday, February 27 2017 @ 03:23 PM EST (#339125) #
And he's hit another double too, his second extra-base hit of the spring.  This time on a 97 mph fastball.
PeterG - Monday, February 27 2017 @ 04:22 PM EST (#339128) #
I liked what I saw from House. It was also interesting to hear that he had a vision problem most of last season that was corrected near the end of the season when he started to wear glasses. Apparently, that is a reason they think Jansen hit well in the AFL after not such a productive offensive season in Dunedin. He too started wearing glasses at that time.
Four Seamer - Monday, February 27 2017 @ 04:28 PM EST (#339129) #
All this talk of glasses brings to mind the spring Rance Mulliniks showed up to camp with his new specs, all ready to rake, in turn inspiring this little leaguer to inquire about getting some glasses of my own, in order to take Brampton Minor Baseball by storm.  Turned out, to my despair and the regret of my optometrist, that my eyes were just fine - I just plain couldn't hit.
John Northey - Monday, February 27 2017 @ 04:43 PM EST (#339130) #
Four Seamer - I can identify. Needed glasses non-stop since I was 7 but nothing helped my so called hitting. My one home run in life was off a 10 year old when I was in my mid-20's and came after I gave up 20 runs in 1 inning to those kids. Yes, the adults proceeded to tie the game in that inning. Lots of fun for everyone although my arm sure was gone after that. Last time I pitched people thought my hardest fastball was a knuckleball. I didn't argue as at least it gave me a shot on a mound which I always wanted to try. Poor fielders.
uglyone - Monday, February 27 2017 @ 05:02 PM EST (#339133) #
ah rance. the original nerd that gave us all hope.
eudaimon - Monday, February 27 2017 @ 06:06 PM EST (#339142) #
0-4 now. If the team isn't at .500 come March 15 should they fire Gibbons?
John Northey - Tuesday, February 28 2017 @ 01:18 AM EST (#339148) #
Remember 1999 when they fired Tim Johnson part way through spring. Jays were 3-12 at that point in the spring. An article on it is here.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, February 28 2017 @ 09:45 AM EST (#339149) #
Word is Pagan is willing to sign a minor league deal. If that is the case, then there is no reason for the Jays not to be interested. A non-guaranteed deal for a player that is much better than Zeke and Smoak seems like a no brainer. Of course it's free agency so it takes two to tango, but the Jays clearly have an OF spot open for Pagan to get playing time, assuming they are not 100% committed on Pearce in LF (which seems like a waste of an asset, especially if it's being done purely to get Smoak in the lineup). The fit is still there for both sides. Just put Pearce at 1B full-time, platoon Pagan with Upton, and find a way to dump Zeke.
Chuck - Tuesday, February 28 2017 @ 10:03 AM EST (#339150) #
Just put Pearce at 1B full-time

I wonder if his recovery from surgery to his throwing arm isn't going to force this all on its own.

uglyone - Tuesday, February 28 2017 @ 10:46 AM EST (#339151) #
Tim Johnson was a great manager, which makes it all the funnier.
Mike Green - Tuesday, February 28 2017 @ 11:12 AM EST (#339152) #
I agree that Pagan is a better fit than Carrera.  Strangely, both ZIPs and Steamer are very down on Pagan presumably because of his age and his poor 2015 season.  They have him as about even with Pompey and Carrera as a hitter and of course, a lesser fielder and base-runner.  Personally, I look at his lines against RHP over the last 5 years, and I see a useful player for another year or two. 
BlueJayWay - Tuesday, February 28 2017 @ 11:18 AM EST (#339153) #
Tim Johnson had some Vietnam problems.
PeterG - Tuesday, February 28 2017 @ 11:29 AM EST (#339154) #
I think the Jays are committed to Smoak whether we like it or not. Although I likely cursed him as much as anyone last year, I feel that the pessimism is a tad overdone.
uglyone - Tuesday, February 28 2017 @ 11:38 AM EST (#339155) #
One of (maybe the only?) story worth following at this instant:

John Lott @LottOnBaseball
Josh Donaldson (calf strain) took outdoor batting practice today for first time, felt good. Next step: running. Says every day feels better.
Chuck - Tuesday, February 28 2017 @ 11:54 AM EST (#339156) #
Next step: running.

Step after that: offering his brother up to Odin in a ritual sacrifice (hey, he's done it once!).

China fan - Tuesday, February 28 2017 @ 11:54 AM EST (#339157) #
"....I agree that Pagan is a better fit than Carrera..."

I agree too, and this is why I've been saying for weeks that it would be easy for the Jays to upgrade at LF at a very reasonable cost. 

For me, the key number is Pagan's OBP of .331 last year, which was right in line with his career OBP.  That's 17 points better than Carrera's career OBP, and it's a full 70 points better than Upton's OBP last year.  Even if we look at Upton's numbers from the past five years, Pagan's OBP is 40 points higher. Pagan also has more slugging power than Carrera, and perhaps more than Upton too.  And of course Pagan is a much defender than Carrera.  So it's a no-brainer that he would be an upgrade for the Jays at LF, and acquiring him would allow Pearce to be used much more often at 1B where he's a more logical fit.

I wouldn't even bother with a minor-league contract -- I'd give Pagan a major-league contract if that's what it takes to entice him to the Jays.  And if not him, there are probably other available outfielders (via trade or other means) who would be an upgrade in LF.
China fan - Tuesday, February 28 2017 @ 11:56 AM EST (#339158) #
"'s a full 70 points better than Upton's OBP last year..."

* 70 points better than Upton's OBP as a Blue Jays last year, is what I meant to say.  But also 27 points better than Upton's OBP as a Padre last year.
Chuck - Tuesday, February 28 2017 @ 12:06 PM EST (#339159) #
Further in Pagan's favour is that he is a stronger hitter vs RHP than LHP, so he matches well with Upton.

Pagan 709/751
Upton 760/708
Carerra 711/649

China fan - Tuesday, February 28 2017 @ 12:46 PM EST (#339160) #
One more point about Pagan:  he could also be useful as a CF back-up for Pillar.  He was a full-time CF as recently as 2015.  He's now mainly a LF but he would give the Jays another option if Pillar is injured.  (Or on those days where Pillar has to be rested; he can't play everyday, much as he would like to.) 

Upton of course has CF experience as well.  An interesting question would be whether Upton or Pagan is a better centre-fielder at this stage in their careers -- I don't know the answer. 

PeterG - Tuesday, February 28 2017 @ 01:24 PM EST (#339161) #
I think Upton would be better defensively as he can cover more ground. It would appear that Pagan would contribute more offensively. Don't see any harm in giving him a look but we don't know if he would want to play here.
lexomatic - Tuesday, February 28 2017 @ 01:25 PM EST (#339162) #
I think I would prefer Upton as the backup in CF. Pagan's CF #s have been brutal (-10 to -20/150gp) for the past 5 years. The last 2 years have been -20.
But the Jays haven't signed him yet, right?

China fan - Tuesday, February 28 2017 @ 01:32 PM EST (#339163) #
"....we don't know if he would want to play here..."

If other teams are offering him only minor-league contracts (as reported), then it should be relatively simple for the Jays to acquire him by guaranteeing him a million or two. Unless he has a strong objection to turf, or something like that. But he's such a natural fit -- and it would only require the demotion or release of Carrera to make room for him. I don't see why the Jays can't offer him a better contract than he is currently being offered. 

Another point that some commentators are making:  the acquisition of Pagan would also allow the Jays to put Bautista more often at 1B.  This helps the team in multiple ways: less dependence on Smoak at 1B, better defence in the outfield, no need to put Morales at 1B under any circumstances (except the NL games), and greater ability to use Pearce at other positions besides 1B.  Overall a significant contribution to the team's roster flexibility.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, February 28 2017 @ 02:01 PM EST (#339164) #
Upton is a much better defensive player in left and center than Pagan based on defensive metrics the past two seasons. I think Upton is the back-up CF in 2017 regardless of who they end up playing in LF. Pagan would be an offensive upgrade in LF, which is what the Jays need if they plan on running Zeke out there against RHP.

I'm a big Pearce fan, and it makes too much sense for him to start at 1B. He's above average defensively there and it would be less toll on the arm/body in general in contrast to LF. Pagan would make sense on a number of levels, but they would also have to move on from Smoak, and clearly the FO likes him more than his performance warrants.
92-93 - Tuesday, February 28 2017 @ 02:31 PM EST (#339165) #
I miss Rance the broadcaster. It was nice when they changed things up by rotating through Tabler, Mulliniks, and Fletcher.
China fan - Tuesday, February 28 2017 @ 03:18 PM EST (#339166) #
"....they would also have to move on from Smoak, and clearly the FO likes him more than his performance warrants....."

I'm not completely convinced that the Jays are big fans of Smoak.  We should ignore all their public praise for Smoak, since they routinely find ways to praise all of their players.  It's standard protocol to praise everyone on the roster. It's only natural that the Jays would HOPE that he suddenly finds his groove and begins crushing the ball, because that would solve the 1B question and make their job easier.  But I don't think they're naive enough to honestly believe that this is LIKELY to happen.  And I don't think they are counting on it.  They have protected themselves with other options (Pearce, Bautista etc) in case Smoak hits badly again this year, and I think the presence of those options is further evidence that the Jays don't necessarily assume that Smoak is better than his numbers.

As others have already noted, the $8-million two-year contract extension to Smoak isn't proof of their confidence in him, since the contract can be justified even if he is a part-time player and pinch-hitter and late-inning defensive replacement.

With the roster as it stands today, the Jays need either Smoak or Upton to hit substantially better than they hit in 2016.  If that happens, Pearce can replace the other one.  I still think it's a risky strategy and they should upgrade at LF, but I can at least see a bit of plausibility in this strategy.  They wouldn't need BOTH of Upton and Smoak to have good seasons; they only need ONE of them to have a good season, and that's more plausible than the scenario in which both of them are crushing the ball this year.
Chuck - Tuesday, February 28 2017 @ 03:56 PM EST (#339167) #
I miss Rance the broadcaster.

Ditto. While he could be dry and humourless, he certainly knew what he was talking about, sharing insights and displaying a pitch-by-pitch level of focus that many broadcasters cannot. For some reason, the organization has decided that the fatuous milquetoast pairing of tweedledee and tweedledum is what the fans want. I can't imagine what crime I have committed to warrant this punishment.

PeterG - Tuesday, February 28 2017 @ 04:34 PM EST (#339168) #
Chad Girodo has his 2nd good outing. Glad he cleared waivers and is still in organization.. He may work his way back to 40 man at some point this year. Really like what we are hearing about one of my favourite prospects, Josh Palacios. I believe he will move through system quickly.
uglyone - Tuesday, February 28 2017 @ 04:34 PM EST (#339169) #
yeah i third that. rance was maybe the best we've had.
uglyone - Tuesday, February 28 2017 @ 04:55 PM EST (#339170) #

KATOH top 100 is out.

Jays prospects ranked on the raw KATOH list:


and on the KATOH+ list, which folds in BA ranking:


and comping to BOS and NYY, using only the purely objective raw KATOH list:

TOR --------- BOS ------------ NYY

3.Guerrero - 7.Benintendi - 35.Torres
47.Tellez ---- 46.Devers -- 45.Fowler
66.McGuire --- xxxxxxxxxx - 52.Judge
xxxxxxxxxx --- xxxxxxxxxx - 57.Holder
xxxxxxxxxx --- xxxxxxxxxx - 62.Frazier

and ex-prospects

18.Barreto -- 2.Margot
xxxxxxxxxxx - 28.Kopech
xxxxxxxxxxx - 36.Moncada
xxxxxxxxxxx - 79.Dubon
bpoz - Tuesday, February 28 2017 @ 05:33 PM EST (#339171) #
Thanks uglyone. I think our future looks bright.

Someone young has to provide power for us. If good enough Tellez can do that soon and in a few years Vlad. That would keep the offense productive on a somewhat on going way.

Our pitching is already young and good. With others at the stage of arriving soon. Alex A's guys seem to be on a roll.

C Green knows that he has to develop FB command and another pitch or 2. He could start in the pen like Sanchez when ready.
dan gordon - Tuesday, February 28 2017 @ 06:15 PM EST (#339172) #
Make it a 4th vote for Mullinicks as a broadcaster. I always enjoyed hearing his analytical style. He actually said things that were interesting and insightful.

Pagan would be an interesting add, but I think they'll get more from Pompey. Pagan still hits righties pretty well, and actually has more power against lefties, but his on base % really suffers from that side. He can still steal bases, but he is very injury prone, something that likely gets worse as he ages, and is no longer a good defensive outfielder, even in LF. I wouldn't want him to block Pompey if the latter really takes a step forward this year, but if Pagan can be had cheaply, you could start Pompey in Buffalo, and if he's having a great season, then you can either just dump Pagan, or if he's playing well, trade him, or jettison Upton.

The Athlon Sports preview has a top 50 prospects list that includes the following: Benintendi(BOS) 1, Moncada(ex-BOS) 2, Torres(NYY) 6, Guerrero 24, Devers(BOS) 29, Frazier(NYY) 34, Hoffman(ex-TOR) 44, Groome(BOS) 50.
scottt - Tuesday, February 28 2017 @ 06:25 PM EST (#339173) #
First win for the Jays today.  12-0 rout of the Pirates.

Harrell, Lawrence, Sparkman, Browning, Beliveau, Stilton, Grube, Girodo contributed to the shutout.
And of course lots of guys had hits...

scottt - Wednesday, March 01 2017 @ 07:11 AM EST (#339174) #
Smoak is from South Carolina and went to Stratford HS and the University of South Carolina where he was drafted by the Rangers who traded him to the Mariners for Cliff Lee in a 5 player trade.
Tellez is from Sacramento and went to Elk Grove HS where Smoak once took at least one batting practice with him.
Tellez was 18 back then and is "taller and thinner now" according to Smoak.

"He's a very talented guy," Smoak said. "I think offensively it is what it is, but the defensive side is what I've talked to him about more than anything, probably... He's a great guy, and I'm hoping for the best for him"

85bluejay - Wednesday, March 01 2017 @ 08:10 AM EST (#339175) #
Sadly, it appears that the Jays are more interested in Pearce in LF, than signing Pagan - my guess is that Pagan will try to wait for an injury.
Mike Green - Wednesday, March 01 2017 @ 09:15 AM EST (#339176) #

"He's a very talented guy," Smoak said. "I think offensively it is what it is, but the defensive side is what I've talked to him about more than anything, probably... He's a great guy, and I'm hoping for the best for him"

That's a good attitude. 
PeterG - Wednesday, March 01 2017 @ 11:19 AM EST (#339177) #
We discussed the relative merits of Barney and Goins previously. Apparently, another name has come into the mix as positive comments are being made about the merits of Jake Elmore. At first blush, one would think he will be depth at Buffalo but it seems that Jays find his ability to play all nine positions to be somewhat intriguing. No predictions here, just a suggestion that another name may have entered the mix.
PeterG - Wednesday, March 01 2017 @ 12:18 PM EST (#339179) #
Poll on MLBTR as to which team most likely to sign Pagan. Jays currently lead but only by a slim margin and at 13.64%
Hodgie - Wednesday, March 01 2017 @ 12:39 PM EST (#339180) #
"yeah i third that. rance was maybe the best we've had."

Personally, I would be more than happy to listen to Shulman for more than 30 games this season.

92-93 - Wednesday, March 01 2017 @ 01:23 PM EST (#339181) #
Shulman is clearly fantastic and a pleasure to listen to, I miss being able to hear him on 590 doing Sunday Night Baseball games on the patio. The problem is he gets rammed into the Sportsnet booth sometimes with Tabler AND Martinez and has to work around their rambling nonsense.
Mike Green - Wednesday, March 01 2017 @ 01:30 PM EST (#339182) #
Concur on both counts.  Two's company, three's a crowd.
China fan - Wednesday, March 01 2017 @ 02:05 PM EST (#339183) #
Tim Mayza is wowing the observers at the Jays game today.  A tweet by Joshua Howsam says Mayza is sitting 96, touching 98, and flashing a 90 mph wipeout slider.  Pitched a scoreless inning, allowing only a single.  And he's a LHP too.

PeterG - Wednesday, March 01 2017 @ 02:27 PM EST (#339184) #
I have my eye on Mayza as well. I don't see him making it out of ST, but he could factor in before the season for sure. Likely to start at NH but Buffalo is not out of the question.
Mike Green - Wednesday, March 01 2017 @ 03:23 PM EST (#339185) #
That's a nice start to the spring for Pompey. 
uglyone - Wednesday, March 01 2017 @ 03:24 PM EST (#339186) #
Pompey with a jack and a walk so far.

China fan - Wednesday, March 01 2017 @ 03:39 PM EST (#339187) #
Nice start for Pompey, but he hit the HR off a 23-year-old pitcher who was in A ball last year in the same league as the Lugnuts et al.  Let's curb our enthusiasm until we see how the rest of the spring unfolds.
PeterG - Wednesday, March 01 2017 @ 03:47 PM EST (#339188) #
Could Ceciliani be a legitimate LF candidate? Remember that his early season injury probably held him back last year. I am sure he will continue to get a good look at least.
uglyone - Wednesday, March 01 2017 @ 03:51 PM EST (#339189) #
thanks for the warning, china.
eudaimon - Wednesday, March 01 2017 @ 03:54 PM EST (#339190) #
I remain skeptical on Pompey's future but I'd be more than happy if he proved me wrong. Good start, even if it was against an A-ball pitcher.

I'm probably more bullish on Carrera than most, so I'll be fine if he comes away with the 4th OF job.
Mike Green - Wednesday, March 01 2017 @ 04:02 PM EST (#339191) #
eudaimon, are you saying that you are OK with Upton as an everyday LFer and Carrera as the 4th OFer? Melvin has not really been a serviceable player for the last 4 years playing against RHPs.
eudaimon - Wednesday, March 01 2017 @ 05:32 PM EST (#339192) #
We'll see. Agree that Upton is probably only of use vs LHP unless he can find his recent Padres form.

My optimism regarding Carrera is that I think he was injured in the middle of last year which would have affected his stats. Despite a terrible stretch his walk rate increased to a career high and he performed well when it counted in the postseason. I also think his reputation as someone who sucks against righties might be more due to BABIP luck than anything, given that his walk / strikeout rate is more or less the same from both sides. I like his speed, his ability to bunt and I think his defence plays well in the outfield.

I admit that this all might be a bit crazy, but I do think he could be our best option, and maybe even a good option at the position.

My hesitance regarding Pompey is more due to his reported lingering focus issues and his mediocre stats in 2016 during his second go around (and third viewing) of AAA. I think he can still be good, but unless he knocks our socks off in spring training I'd rather go with the guys who are more likely to post slightly above replacement numbers (and from Carrera, I hope for 2 win per season numbers). I subscribe to the idea that he has to force his way onto the team.
Alex Obal - Wednesday, March 01 2017 @ 05:37 PM EST (#339193) #
I know I'm alone on this as usual, but I'm OK with Carrera as an everyday OF and #9 hitter. Nevertheless, at some point you have to take the kid gloves off Pompey or trade him before he totally stagnates and becomes a PTBNL. He's 24. If the other LF options are sure-shot 1.0 WAR/600 players and you think Pompey's likely a bust, a frustrating 0.2 WAR/600 player but one with a high ceiling, then from an EV perspective, are you actually losing anything by giving Pompey the first 300 PAs in LF to find out for sure?
Alex Obal - Wednesday, March 01 2017 @ 05:41 PM EST (#339194) #
OK, maybe not alone! Didn't see that last post...

I don't like competitions, though. I would prefer the team have an idea of who's getting the job, and then stick by it unless something shocking happens in March, whether that's Carrera or Pompey or Carrera/Upton platoon or whatever else.
PeterG - Wednesday, March 01 2017 @ 06:00 PM EST (#339195) #
I am not sure that I want Zeke as an every day starter but am ok with him as a 4th OF. I think a trade may be in Pompey's future....just a hunch.
Mike Green - Wednesday, March 01 2017 @ 06:05 PM EST (#339196) #
If the other LF options are sure-shot 1.0 WAR/600 players and you think Pompey's likely a bust, a frustrating 0.2 WAR/600 player but one with a high ceiling, then from an EV perspective, are you actually losing anything by giving Pompey the first 300 PAs in LF to find out for sure?

It's a confidence game, and it appears that different members of the management team have had differing levels of confidence at times.  Hopefully, everyone is on the same page (both publicly and privately) when the spring is over.

I agree that the club does not lose anything in theory by giving Pompey a shot.  He's not likely to do substantially worse than Carrera/Upton vs. RHPs. However, if Gibbons doesn't have confidence in him, it's not a good idea. Confidence is of course a right-brain phenomenon and EV a concept for the left-brain.  As an aside, it would be cool to have a switch-brainer on the club, but the good ones are few and far between; most management types brain better from one side or the other.
scottt - Wednesday, March 01 2017 @ 07:00 PM EST (#339197) #
Ceciliani was bad offensively and defensively last year.
Don't see him as a serious candidate to win a job in March.
uglyone - Wednesday, March 01 2017 @ 08:12 PM EST (#339198) #
still find it weird that people think upton and carrera are any safer bets than pompey. does nobody remember how bad upton was for us? or how bad carrera has been his whole career other tha a short stretch last year?
SK in NJ - Wednesday, March 01 2017 @ 09:27 PM EST (#339199) #
The starting LF based on the current roster should either be Upton or Pompey (if he wins the job due to a great ST). I'm willing to take the hit against RHP with Upton starting as long as he's still a very good defensive LF, and the metrics support that. He'd have to play closer to his SD level though, otherwise they'll have to pull the plug on that.

Carrera should not be in the OF unless there are multiple injuries. Appreciate the hot streak he had towards the end of last season and the playoffs, but he's not a good player. He is a replacement level 4th or 5th OF. Upton at least has the potential to be a 1-2 WAR player if his bat bounces back a bit.
eudaimon - Wednesday, March 01 2017 @ 09:32 PM EST (#339200) #
I wouldn't called Carrera's career "bad". Just above replacement level, yes but I think there's some upside there still.

It's worth noting here that Carrera's OPS in the last two years isn't that far below what Pompey did last year... in AAA.
uglyone - Wednesday, March 01 2017 @ 09:46 PM EST (#339201) #
well, no, zeke's 87wrc+ with the jays is well below pompey's 110 in AAA at the same time. zeke's 96wrc+ in AAA over that same time is also much lower.

And, more importantly, zeke's 87wrc+ as a jay is the same as pompey's 86 as a jay. we won't mention BJ's 52wrc+ as a jay.

As a jay:

Carrera 502pa, 87wrc+, 0.9war
Pompey 148pa, 86wrc+, 0.4war
Upton 165pa, 52wrc+, -0.3war

with pompey the only one there that wasn't being overly platooned in that time.
eudaimon - Wednesday, March 01 2017 @ 10:16 PM EST (#339202) #
I won't deny that Pompey might be better. I just want him to win his role - I don't think he should be handed anything at this point. His .702 OPS in AAA last year doesn't inspire me, and his worsening BB% / K% rate in AAA between 2015 and 2016 is worrying. He did not take a leap forward, as you'd expect a solid prospect might do despite repeating a level.

There's also the chatter regarding his somehow imperfect intangibles. It's hard for us to really know if there's any truth to this, I trust the coaches to figure it out.

Maybe I'm wrong to think Carrera might be a better bet for 2017, at least early on. But I don't think it's unreasonable to have doubts about Pompey's ability to produce replacement level production (which Carrera definitely offers) in 2017.

That's pretty much all I have to say about that until the end of spring training.

uglyone - Wednesday, March 01 2017 @ 11:44 PM EST (#339203) #
of course there's big question marks on pompey - i just don't understand why he's held to a different standard than his competition.
dan gordon - Thursday, March 02 2017 @ 01:21 AM EST (#339204) #
Pompey battled a couple of injuries last year, so I don't place much weight on how he performed. He was a dynamite player in 2014 at the age of 21. I've got a lot of patience for somebody who can do what he did at that age. I think he's quite capable of having an offensive season similar to those of Odubel Herrera and Adam Eaton last year.
Mike Green - Thursday, March 02 2017 @ 08:36 AM EST (#339206) #
Ben Nicholson Smith reports that Pompey has added 17 lbs (hopefully muscle) this off-season.  He is now apparently one inch taller and 5 lbs. heavier than Josh Donaldson. 

I remember the bombs he hit off Felix Hernandez and Justin Verlander (in the spring), and wonder if there is the possibility of 15-25 homer power there.  He certainly didn't show that in Buffalo.
PeterG - Thursday, March 02 2017 @ 09:52 AM EST (#339207) #
Lourdes Gurriel, Jr. tweaked a hamstring in Saturday's game in Orlando. Could be back by the weekend. Set to be Dunedin SS. #Bluejays #Jays
uglyone - Thursday, March 02 2017 @ 09:56 AM EST (#339208) #
schadenfreude time.

David Price is on his way to see Dr.Andrews regarding forearm pain.

Hanley Ramirez can't DH in the WBC due to ongoing shoulder trouble.
uglyone - Thursday, March 02 2017 @ 10:10 AM EST (#339209) #
weird with pompey is that AAA is the only level he hasn't shown pop. he's shown legit pop at all of A+, AA, and MLB.
China fan - Thursday, March 02 2017 @ 10:16 AM EST (#339210) #
".....He is now apparently one inch taller and 5 lbs. heavier than Josh Donaldson...."

He's in the best shape of his life!  Can't get through spring training without a few of these stories.

But seriously, I am optimistic about Pompey.  If the Jays are actually not going to acquire another LF such as Pagan (which seems more and more likely with every passing day of inaction), then it is clearly Pompey who has the most upside of all the various options.  I certainly see more upside from Pompey than I do from Carrera or Upton.  The only question is whether he needs a little more time at AAA to show that he is definitely better than last season.  And since he has options, and since the Jays will be trying to protect the maximum number of players at the end of the spring, then it seems likely that he'll begin the season in Buffalo.  And then we'll see how fast he bangs on the door.
PeterG - Thursday, March 02 2017 @ 10:23 AM EST (#339211) #
Maybe some of those projections for the Rd Sox will need to change. I didn't buy them in the first place.

Sounds like both injuries could be serious, with possible surgery for Price.
BlueJayWay - Thursday, March 02 2017 @ 10:35 AM EST (#339212) #
The dreaded Dr. James Andrews.
SK in NJ - Thursday, March 02 2017 @ 10:41 AM EST (#339213) #
Yeah that does not sound good for Price. The huge amount of mileage he has on his arm may have caught up to him.
CeeBee - Thursday, March 02 2017 @ 10:43 AM EST (#339214) #
Young pitchers might break your heart but older pitchers might break your wallet.
dan gordon - Thursday, March 02 2017 @ 10:55 AM EST (#339215) #
Price's possible loss is another example of the reason why you can't be all that confident with preseason predictions of how teams will stand by year end. It's a very long season, and lots of stuff happens. Good health for your best 10-12 players is one of the most important determinants and is very difficult to predict.

Interesting about Pompey bulking up. I see no reason he can't be a 15-20 HR guy. Power is quite often the last attribute to develop.
lexomatic - Thursday, March 02 2017 @ 11:04 AM EST (#339216) #
Hopefully the weight is not bulk buy general strength. The kind that keeps him productive throughout the season. Maybe this is the kind of commitment the front office has been waiting for. I'd hate to have him be subject to muscle pulls. That stuff, I see this as a positive as long as it doesn't lead to a speed loss that prevents him from playing cf and doesn't lead him into bad hitting habits. In some ways he seems more like Shannon Stewart as a player now. I'd be pretty happy with that outcome. I still expect him to start in AAA but hope he has made adjustments and comes back for good during the season.

85bluejay - Thursday, March 02 2017 @ 11:07 AM EST (#339217) #
I will always hold Pompey to a different standard - Upton/Carrera are placeholders not potential core players as I see Pompey's potential - I want Pompey to win the job, not be given it as I felt he was in 2015.

I would never wish or take joy from a player's injury but Price, Sale and Kimbrel are arms I don't trust to stay healthy this year.
China fan - Thursday, March 02 2017 @ 11:17 AM EST (#339218) #
The apparent Price injury is another reminder of how swiftly the best-laid plans can go awry.  And how easy it is for a strong rotation to suddenly lose one of its best pitchers.  That can easily happen to the Jays too, and they'd better be prepared.  That's why I'm watching Latos closely this spring.  I'm hoping he'll be a strong 6th starter.  If he's lacking, the Jays might indeed have to turn to Biagini in the event of an injury in the rotation, although I'd rather see him stay in the bullpen.
PeterG - Thursday, March 02 2017 @ 11:52 AM EST (#339219) #
Gibbons raving about Mayza according to Jamie Campbell.
China fan - Thursday, March 02 2017 @ 01:39 PM EST (#339220) #
So the Jays are now saying that they can't guarantee that Travis will be ready for the start of the season.  I suspect they will try to keep Goins around, despite the roster squeeze.  Not quite sure how they'll do it, unless they DL Travis at the end of the spring.

Even if Travis is on the roster, his health seems again an uncertain factor, so the Jays might try to avoid the risk of losing Goins on waivers.  (I know that some people think he wouldn't be claimed.)  The Travis situation could also help to explain why they acquired Jake Elmore and brought back Jonathan Diaz.  They might need middle-infield depth again this year.
PeterG - Thursday, March 02 2017 @ 02:10 PM EST (#339221) #
Jon Berti, who is optionable, would be the one to start season if needed. Elmore or Petit must be waived once brought up to majors but can go to Buffalo at start of season as on minor league deals.

If Goins waived, I believe that a NL team would claim him
PeterG - Thursday, March 02 2017 @ 02:23 PM EST (#339222) #
As Berti is optionable, he can be used like a yoyo as is the case sometimes with optionable relievers. This means that some major league time is very likely for him during the course of the season.
PeterG - Thursday, March 02 2017 @ 02:52 PM EST (#339223) #
Bautista appears to be in mid season form as he is really crushing ball so far this spring.
China fan - Thursday, March 02 2017 @ 03:35 PM EST (#339224) #
The Jays bullpen situation is becoming a little clearer.  Glenn Sparkman broke his thumb today, so the Jays are likely to begin the season by putting him on the DL and then sending him on a minor-league rehab (which they are allowed to do under the Rule 5 rules).  Then they can take their time in evaluating him in the minors.  So that provides an answer to one of the opening-day question marks.  The final two vacant positions in the Jays bullpen will now probably go to some combination of Latos, Bolsinger and Floyd.  Pick two of the above.  Almost everyone else can be optioned.  (With the exception of Bo Schultz, who I suspect will be waived.)  Even someone like Loup still has options, so why would they need to put him on the opening-day roster?

The only surprise would be if one of the marginal relievers is head-and-shoulders above the rest.  Maybe someone like Chris Smith.  In that case, if he's clearly the best of the lot, the Jays might just give him the job and not worry about losing an out-of-options pitcher.

rpriske - Thursday, March 02 2017 @ 03:36 PM EST (#339225) #
It sounds like an actual injury and not one of those oh-so-convenient 'sore arms' for Rule 5 guys to keep them around until the next guy gets hurt.
Mike Green - Thursday, March 02 2017 @ 03:49 PM EST (#339226) #
It's March 2.  Sparkman's injury likely means he will start the season on the DL, but all other decisions on the low leverage roles in the bullpen are still muddy to me.  Not that there's anything wrong with that.
PeterG - Thursday, March 02 2017 @ 03:55 PM EST (#339227) #
Yes Mike, bullpen situation is still murky. Loup and Dermody each pitched a scoreless inning today. Barnes had a good outing.

I agree with CF that pitchers with options more likely to start in Buffalo but some differing combinations still exist.
dan gordon - Thursday, March 02 2017 @ 04:33 PM EST (#339228) #
Interesting situation with Sparkman. They now have a better chance of retaining him. Broken thumb on his pitching hand should keep him from pitching for 2-3 months I would expect, and then you have rehab. They can send him to the minors for 30 days of rehab. In order to keep him, he has to spend a minimum of 90 days on the major league roster, they can't just DL him until Sept 1 and then activate him when the rosters expand. So if the injury/rehab keeps him out until the end of June, he could be on the roster starting early July and meet the 90 day requirement, which means he's only a roster issue for 2 months, instead of 5 months.

Agree that the bullpen is still an open competition. Tepera, Barnes, Smith, Loup and others have a legit shot. They have enough depth in arms like that to not be overly concerned about losing Floyd, Bolsinger, Schultz etc. I do think they would like to keep Latos if he looks OK in spring games, but that's far from a certainty.
uglyone - Thursday, March 02 2017 @ 04:35 PM EST (#339229) #
fun day at the park for the kids today.
PeterG - Thursday, March 02 2017 @ 04:39 PM EST (#339230) #
As Floyd needs more time, he might be agreeable to going to Buffalo.
85bluejay - Thursday, March 02 2017 @ 04:49 PM EST (#339232) #
Alternatively, the Jays could keep Sparkman on the DL till the end of July, rehab him in August, call him up in September and then make a decision on him next spring - If the BP is going well, this could be a tempting option, though KC might complain.
dan gordon - Thursday, March 02 2017 @ 04:58 PM EST (#339233) #
Yes, then they would need to keep him on the roster for 60 days next season (assuming he is on the active roster for 30 days this September).
dan gordon - Thursday, March 02 2017 @ 05:07 PM EST (#339234) #
Nice to see Alford hit a HR against a guy who pitched very well in the high minors and majors last year. He started to show some real pop late last season, and it would be great to see that continue. Pompey with a hit and a walk in 3 trips, 2 runs scored.
PeterG - Thursday, March 02 2017 @ 05:08 PM EST (#339235) #
I know it is VERY early but Tellez had rbi in game situation today while Smoak with 2 rbi opportunities , grounded out into shift and struck out. Perhaps Tellez is a better hitter right now though I think he goes to Buffalo regardless to begin season.....but maybe not. Smoak is getting many early spring AB's. It is said it is to get him in a groove before regular season but could it really be for evaluation purposes.
Gerry - Thursday, March 02 2017 @ 05:21 PM EST (#339236) #
Tellez has not played AAA yet. Plus there are many financial reasons for keeping him in Buffalo for a month (to get an extra year of free agency) and for two plus months (to avoid super two).

If Smoak sucks and is released its more likely that Goins or Pompey is kept and Pearce or Bautista shuffle around the diamond than keeping Tellez.

At least until May.
Mike Green - Thursday, March 02 2017 @ 05:26 PM EST (#339237) #
What Gerry said.

It sure would be nice to see Steve Pearce healthy and playing soon.  And Devon Travis.  And Josh Donaldson. 
scottt - Thursday, March 02 2017 @ 05:30 PM EST (#339238) #
Sparkman broke a bone during a fielding drill. There's nothing for KC to complain about.
They could be smart about it and try to trade him to the Jays for a minimum return.

scottt - Thursday, March 02 2017 @ 05:53 PM EST (#339239) #
The Minor Camp begins on March 14.  At that point we'll start to have a better idea on where things stand.
I'm fully expecting veterans to win the spots in April now.

With the Price injury, the division will be wide open in April.
April is a fruity month as some players start really slowly and most of the games are in the division.

Then again, there's still a whole month to go through with Pearce and Travis still recovering and Donaldson day to day.
Most of the starters haven't even had one inning yet.

PeterG - Thursday, March 02 2017 @ 06:07 PM EST (#339240) #
I too agree with what Gerry said and don't think there is a realistic chance of Tellez starting in the show, Just putting possible ideas out there as it does seem as if Rowdy may be the better hitter now. Despite what the FO has said, you have to believe that Smoak will be on a short lease.
uglyone - Thursday, March 02 2017 @ 06:13 PM EST (#339241) #
yeah i see no rush for rowdy either. he could probably hit as well as smoak already, but probably not much better, and i don't want him on the bench......and of course he could use a taste of AAA both offensively and defensively.

he's also been an extremely slow starter every year.

but as a midseason callup and in the starting mix next season i'm loving that idea.
PeterG - Thursday, March 02 2017 @ 06:30 PM EST (#339242) #
Maybe Rowdy does not like hitting in the cold weather?
Parker - Thursday, March 02 2017 @ 07:02 PM EST (#339243) #
I'd be curious about the post where uglyone details the program from which he graduated where they taught him the meaning of Schadenfreude.

He could start composing that post immediately after he finishes his convincing exhaustive dissertation regarding the Jays' failure to sign David Price, and what a horrible organizational mistake it was.
scottt - Thursday, March 02 2017 @ 07:09 PM EST (#339244) #
So far Oberholtzer and Greene haven't looked like starters.
Parker - Thursday, March 02 2017 @ 07:10 PM EST (#339245) #
I'm sorry, but I'm just so tired of revisionism, and last year's "Jays screwed up by letting Price go" combined with the "Oh my God, look at how bad the Red Sox screwed up by signing Price" idiocy I'm seeing here is really frustrating to have to scroll through.

Am I the only one?
China fan - Thursday, March 02 2017 @ 07:12 PM EST (#339246) #
"...Am I the only one?..."

scottt - Thursday, March 02 2017 @ 07:16 PM EST (#339247) #
If I'm not mistaken, the 90 days on active roster requirement for Sparkman extends to the following year.
So that mean is Sparkman only spend 40 days on the active roster this year, they would still need to keep him on the active roster another 50 days at the beginning of next year. 
scottt - Thursday, March 02 2017 @ 07:18 PM EST (#339248) #
If only on this forum, than I would have to say yes too.

I did roll my eyes at the "My prayers are with Price" posts elsewhere.
The guy is fine. He's making 30M every year as long as he's alive.

Gerry - Thursday, March 02 2017 @ 07:32 PM EST (#339249) #
Regarding Tellez you really need to see what he does in the last ten days when he faces the major league and top triple A pitchers. I am withholding my excitement until then.
uglyone - Thursday, March 02 2017 @ 08:00 PM EST (#339250) #
aw dearest parkie, i think it is probably only you with this particular obsession.

I always root for the red sox to lose, any which they can. If it takes a signing i liked to blow up spectacularly, so be it.

Just like i always root for thr jays to win, even if it takes a signing I hated to turn out spectacularly.

I was glad happ did well last year and that price did poorly. And will be glad if the same happens this year. I hope morales is great too. And i'll again admit it if I was wrong.

The Jays' success brings me much more satisfaction than winning interweb arguments.
dan gordon - Thursday, March 02 2017 @ 08:13 PM EST (#339251) #
Price's MRI results "inconclusive". Meeting with Drs. Andrews and ElAttrache tomorrow.
Mike Green - Friday, March 03 2017 @ 10:26 AM EST (#339252) #
Today's game against the Yankees would be a good one to watch.  Dan Shulman and Pat Tabler have the call on the TV.  The starting lineup is: Pillar, Martin, Bautista, Morales, Upton, Tellez, Barney, Urena, Elmore.  In other words, a reasonable facsimile of a major league team with a few injuries.  Not bad for an early March game on Friday afternoon!

Dave Till - Friday, March 03 2017 @ 10:58 AM EST (#339253) #

Just to add a data point: I was disappointed when the Jays didn't sign Price. As a fan, I want the Jays to sign everybody. And, when their expensive signings don't pan out, I want them to sign more. To heck with the budget. After all, it's not my money! Let's go for 162-0! Whee!

But, so far, it's looking like the new Jays' front office is making very good decisions. Choosing to sign Happ and retain Estrada turned out better than spending on Price, and that's even before whatever has happened to his elbow. But that just might have been luck: Happ could have turned into his old Jays Happ self, Estrada could have turned back into the version of himself that led the NL in home runs allowed, and Price could have won the Cy Young. I'm convinced that nobody really knows anything, and that all anybody can do is make a best guess and cross their fingers.

It sure would be nice to see Steve Pearce healthy and playing soon. And Devon Travis. And Josh Donaldson.

What about Tulo? Is he injured? Or does he not need/want to play early spring games? I did a Google search, and didn't find anything.

Tellez has not played AAA yet. Plus there are many financial reasons for keeping him in Buffalo for a month (to get an extra year of free agency) and for two plus months (to avoid super two).

Agree 100%. There's no rush. If Tellez is that good, he'll force his way onto the roster.

So far Oberholtzer and Greene haven't looked like starters.

I saw Greene's first outing (hurray for MLB.TV!) and I can see why scouts are excited about him: he just looks like he will be a good pitcher some day. Of course, that means nothing: the minors are full of pitchers with tremendous upside who haven't harnessed their talent, and Greene obviously hasn't harnessed his and maybe never will. But if Greene figures it all out, he can become really good.

Gibbons raving about Mayza according to Jamie Campbell.

Mayza has about the same amount of minor-league experience as Aaron Loup did when he was first called up. We flinch when thinking about Loup now, but he was pretty good for a couple of years.

Today's game against the Yankees would be a good one to watch. Dan Shulman and Pat Tabler have the call on the TV.

I'll have to check some of it out when I get home (hurray for MLB.TV, again). Thanks for the info.

BlueJayWay - Friday, March 03 2017 @ 11:52 AM EST (#339254) #

Just to add a data point: I was disappointed when the Jays didn't sign Price. As a fan, I want the Jays to sign everybody. And, when their expensive signings don't pan out, I want them to sign more. To heck with the budget. After all, it's not my money! Let's go for 162-0! Whee!

But, so far, it's looking like the new Jays' front office is making very good decisions. Choosing to sign Happ and retain Estrada turned out better than spending on Price, and that's even before whatever has happened to his elbow. But that just might have been luck: Happ could have turned into his old Jays Happ self, Estrada could have turned back into the version of himself that led the NL in home runs allowed, and Price could have won the Cy Young. I'm convinced that nobody really knows anything, and that all anybody can do is make a best guess and cross their fingers.

I was totally fine with the Jays not signing Price to a huge deal. I wish he went outside the division but at the time I was glad they didn't hand out that much money to a pitcher.

PeterG - Friday, March 03 2017 @ 11:52 AM EST (#339255) #
Nothing wrong with Tulo. He is just being held back due to heavy workload last season.

Pearce will get AB's today.

Kevin Barker watched batting practice and says Jays working on hitting ball to opposite field and to expect more of that in 2017.
#2JBrumfield - Friday, March 03 2017 @ 12:38 PM EST (#339257) #
A good story from Jayson Stark about Aaron Sanchez and Marco Estrada about throwing the changeup.
Gerry - Friday, March 03 2017 @ 01:25 PM EST (#339258) #
White Sox are releasing Brett Lawrie. There must be a back story there somewhere.
uglyone - Friday, March 03 2017 @ 01:34 PM EST (#339259) #
I'd take a flyer on him.
PeterG - Friday, March 03 2017 @ 01:36 PM EST (#339260) #
2 solid innings from Liriano...3 K's. Another HR for Bautista.
Gerry - Friday, March 03 2017 @ 01:39 PM EST (#339261) #
I now read that Lawrie had, and still has, some injury issues.
Mike Green - Friday, March 03 2017 @ 01:47 PM EST (#339262) #
2 solid innings from Liriano...3 K's

Excellent news.  One set of worries fading.
China fan - Friday, March 03 2017 @ 01:47 PM EST (#339263) #
"...I'd take a flyer on him...."

Lawrie's hitting is still okay for a 2B.  And with the uncertainty about Travis, he could be an interesting option.  But he's owed $3.5-million this year.  Unless the White Sox pick up almost all of that salary, he's too expensive to take a flyer on.
92-93 - Friday, March 03 2017 @ 01:49 PM EST (#339264) #
If he clears waivers, Lawrie isn't owed anything other than 1/6th of his arb salary from the White Sox.
China fan - Friday, March 03 2017 @ 01:50 PM EST (#339265) #
Thanks for clarifying those rules, 92-93.   Thought it was a guaranteed salary, but I guess I was wrong.
China fan - Friday, March 03 2017 @ 01:55 PM EST (#339266) #
And just to clarify this further:  I presume Lawrie will clear waivers because anyone who takes him on waivers would be responsible for the full $3.5-million salary, is that right?  In that case, if the Jays are interested in him, they could wait for him to clear waivers and then try to negotiate a deal with him.  But they'd be competing against any other team that might be able to offer him a better route to a starting job.

The health situation is the other factor.  I guess Lawrie could be interested in signing with a team that would give him a minor-league rehab and an eventual shot at a major-league job.  Not sure if the Jays would be the right fit there.
92-93 - Friday, March 03 2017 @ 01:59 PM EST (#339267) #
If a team claims him on waivers they too can cut him by a certain date and only be on the hook for 1/6th of his salary. Arb salaries are not guaranteed.
PeterG - Friday, March 03 2017 @ 02:12 PM EST (#339268) #
6 up - 6 down for Latos
China fan - Friday, March 03 2017 @ 02:14 PM EST (#339269) #
Mat Latos looking very good in his 2 innings today.  If he keeps going like this, he's a perfect choice for the Jays bullpen:  a long man and 6th starter who could have good enough stuff for high-leverage innings too.
PeterG - Friday, March 03 2017 @ 02:49 PM EST (#339271) #
2 ok innings from runs. He is working on improving change up.
dan gordon - Friday, March 03 2017 @ 03:38 PM EST (#339272) #
Nice to see Latos pitching well. He was a very good pitcher from 2010 to 2014. Sometimes it takes a pitcher a couple of years to fully recover his form after an injury. Maybe the Jays have found something.

It sounds weird, with his injuries and all, but Lawrie has perhaps been the most consistent hitter in mlb the last 5 years. His highest OPS over that span is .729 and his lowest is .706, a range of only .023. Certainly one of the most consistent, anyway - anybody find somebody with a tighter OPS range over the last 5 years?
PeterG - Friday, March 03 2017 @ 03:56 PM EST (#339273) #
McBroom walks it off.

Last night Jamie Campbell talked at length about Pompey. The gist of it was that he might be better of in another organization. Today, Pat Tabler suggested that beginning the season in another org was a possibility. I heard similar rumblings during the winter.

Could it be the Jays are trying to deal him?
85bluejay - Friday, March 03 2017 @ 04:20 PM EST (#339274) #
With his leg injuries, I don't expect Lawrie wanting to play on turf.
PeterG - Friday, March 03 2017 @ 04:28 PM EST (#339275) #
I can't see the Jays being interested.
PeterG - Friday, March 03 2017 @ 04:38 PM EST (#339276) #
Price to rest 7-10 days with no immediate surgery. Doesn't mean the knife is not in his future however. This is not a decision that will be taken lightly.
BlueJayWay - Friday, March 03 2017 @ 05:51 PM EST (#339277) #
Last night Jamie Campbell talked at length about Pompey. The gist of it was that he might be better of in another organization. Today, Pat Tabler suggested that beginning the season in another org was a possibility. I heard similar rumblings during the winter.

Sound's like they're being fed some info.
PeterG - Friday, March 03 2017 @ 07:22 PM EST (#339278) #
Could well be
China fan - Friday, March 03 2017 @ 07:34 PM EST (#339279) #
To trade Pompey at this stage would be the very definition of selling low.  The only way that it makes sense is if the Jays have virtually given up on him, while another team is very high on him.  But even then, why would the other team offer anything of value to the Jays, if they suspect that the Jays have a low valuation of him?  Pompey could be much more valuable if he crushes the ball in Buffalo for a couple of months. 

The Jays aren't even showcasing Pompey this spring.  They haven't even given him a single start.  His ABs so far have come in the middle innings.  I know he had some mild illness in the early days of the spring, but even after his return the Jays don't seem to be showcasing him at all.  They're playing him as if they know that he's a player who will open the season in Buffalo and they don't need to know much more about him at this stage.  Carrera is starting games, while Pompey is entering the games in the middle innings, which doesn't give him much of an opportunity to shine for other teams.

If there are other teams that have a much higher opinion of Pompey than the Jays do, a trade could be logical.  But I would be surprised if there's such a mismatch in evaluations.  Most teams probably have a similar view of him:  he's a good young player who might become a MLB regular, or might not.

Of course even Anthony Gose was valued highly enough to net Devon Travis in a trade.   So I suppose anything is possible.

PeterG - Friday, March 03 2017 @ 08:09 PM EST (#339280) #
Pompey wasn't playing the first few games du to a head cold. Campbell did indicate, and it makes sense, that the better he plays the more likely a trade so obviously they don't want to sell low if indeed they sell at all. Campbell thinks that it is believed , rightly or wrongly, that he has trouble with the pressure of playing in his hometown.
scottt - Friday, March 03 2017 @ 08:12 PM EST (#339281) #
And maybe Detroit knew that Travis wouldn't stay healthy. Prior to the shoulder issue and the knee issue, he had a core muscle injury.

It's all conspiracy theories because we don't really know anything.

vw_fan17 - Friday, March 03 2017 @ 08:56 PM EST (#339282) #
Sounds like Lawrie and Travis would make a great DL platoon..
PeterG - Friday, March 03 2017 @ 09:02 PM EST (#339283) #
Travis isn't necessarily injury prone though it may be the case that he does not heal quickly. He has been unlucky imo, especially with the shoulder injury and the difficulty in the diagnosis.
Glevin - Saturday, March 04 2017 @ 03:01 AM EST (#339284) #
The Jays would only be trading Pompey low if he gets better, if he stagnates, they'd be trading him high. I would be fine trading Pompey if someone values him as a very good prospect still and gives that value back but generally, I think teams would try to low-ball the Jays so it would make no sense. You don't need the Price injury to show why the front office was right to go for depth. Instead of Price, the Jays now have Liriano, Happ, and Estrada. So even with a healthy, Price, what would their staff be? Price, Sanchez, Stroman and...Latos? Biagini? Something awful anyway. Pitchers especially are incredibly injury prone so you are relying on nobody getting hurt to maintain 3/5 of a rotation. If Price is injured and on the Jays, what would their rotation have been? Stroman, Sanchez and three scrubs? Spreading risk out matters.
scottt - Saturday, March 04 2017 @ 07:00 AM EST (#339285) #
None of Travis' injury seem accidental. like running into a wall or colliding with another player. He just wears down.
The shoulder issue was congenital. That's the definition of injury prone.

Lawrie is just an hyper active kid who hustle because he doesn't know how to slow down. Except now he's not a kick anymore and people don't want to deal with his antics if he's not a 4+ WAR player.

scottt - Saturday, March 04 2017 @ 07:02 AM EST (#339286) #
If Price is injured and on the Jays, what would their rotation have been?

Stroman, Sanchez, Hutchison, and 2 scrubs.  It's not like Liriano was paid with money.
China fan - Saturday, March 04 2017 @ 07:41 AM EST (#339287) #
The more that I think about it and check into it, I have to agree with those who say that Brett Lawrie doesn't make any sense for the Jays.  He wouldn't cost them $3.5-million but he would cost them a minimum of nearly $600,000 (one-sixth of his salary) just to pick him up on waivers.  Why spend that money if there's no available job for him?  He can't play SS and his defence at 2B is questionable, so he can't fill the utility back-up role.  The Jays have Barney and Goins for the utility role, and it makes sense to prioritize defence in that role.  He won't be a starter, and he's not a logical back-up, so why would the Jays need him?  That's not to mention the clubhouse issues.  (I'm always doubtful about clubhouse rumours, but Lawrie does sound like one of the few cases where the rumours might actually be true.)

Theoretically, if the rest of the league passes on him and he clears waivers and the White Sox are already on the hook for the $600,000, then the Jays could sign him to a minor-league deal and send him to Buffalo.  But it's doubtful that he would agree to that, and there's little upside for the Jays either.  And he'll probably catch on somewhere else where there's a 2B or bench vacancy.  So it's very difficult to see any scenario where Lawrie could be back in a Jays uniform. 

China fan - Saturday, March 04 2017 @ 08:01 AM EST (#339288) #
"....Campbell thinks that it is believed , rightly or wrongly, that he has trouble with the pressure of playing in his hometown...."

I heard some chatter about this during the latest Jays game, and they quoted Pompey as saying that there are advantages and disadvantages to playing in his hometown.  He loves some things about it.  But he is also aware that his friends are watching and he has a lot of ticket requests.  He didn't sound greatly troubled by it, from what the broadcasters were saying.

I agree that it's a bit of extra pressure.  But it shouldn't be a big enough problem to affect his playing, unless he is somehow a lot more psychologically stressed than almost any other major-league player is.  A lot of Canadians thrive on Canadian teams.  Is it so much more difficult for a Mississauga guy to play for the Jays than it is for a Montreal guy (Martin) to play for the Jays?  Was there unbearable pressure on Rob Ducey or Paul Quantrill when they were Jays?  I don't think it's a reason to trade Pompey, unless there is some huge psychological factor that we're unaware of. 

I'm always a little skeptical when people start speculating about the "pressure" that a player faces.  Should they crumble at the "pressure" of a wild-card game or the "pressure" of a hitting streak or the "pressure" of competing for a spot on the roster?  Pressure is part of the game.   The term is bandied around, but I think it's over-used and misused. From what I've read from the analysis at Buffalo, his problems have been a lack of consistent focus, rather than crumbling under pressure.  He's been working at that issue, with the help of Gil Kim, the Jays player development director, and seems to have largely overcome the problem. 

As long as Pompey has the potential to be a starting CF in the majors, the Jays should keep him, barring an exceptional offer from another team.
92-93 - Saturday, March 04 2017 @ 08:13 AM EST (#339289) #
The funny thing is that while Lawrie may not be a better option than Barney as your backup infielder, he's probably a better option in LF than Carrera considering Upton mashes LHP anyway and Zeke aint that good defensively.
bpoz - Saturday, March 04 2017 @ 10:09 AM EST (#339290) #
I wonder if there will be any surprises on the Opening Day roster?
PeterG - Saturday, March 04 2017 @ 02:26 PM EST (#339291) #
Mayza continues to impress retiring all 3 batter he faced today.
ramone - Saturday, March 04 2017 @ 02:54 PM EST (#339292) #
Smoak however does not.
PeterG - Saturday, March 04 2017 @ 03:43 PM EST (#339293) #
I like this kid Olivares. This is the 4th game he has been in. He has a good arm, good speed and was able to get the bat on the ball though he has never played higher than advanced rookie at Bluefield where he hit .273 last season. He is 20 years old and will be 21 this coming season. likely in Vancouver.
jerjapan - Saturday, March 04 2017 @ 04:43 PM EST (#339294) #
Mayza looks good and continues to bring the big heat, but I can't see him starting the year with the team given all the out-of-options / non-guaranteed contract contenders we have and the fact that the guy has walked 85 guys in 175 career minor league innings, even in last years breakout season he was over 4BBs/9IPs.  He has to be added to the 40 man this offseason, so I see him as more of a potential late-season addition.

Oliveras was totally off my radar, but he looks to have a nice 4th OF profile of OBP skills and baserunning in CF.  Hard to get excited about a guy turning 21 Monday who is still in rookie ball, but it does look like he may have missed some time last year to injuries and the club must like him to give him ABs in spring training.

Brett Lawrie is such an odd case - how in the world does a player's defense collapse the way his seems to have?  I wouldn't rule him out as a reclamation project - we have next to zero legit 3B depth - versatile utility guys don't bring a whole lot with the bat, but Lawrie might. 

PeterG - Saturday, March 04 2017 @ 05:55 PM EST (#339295) #
I doubt that the FO would have any interest in Lawrie being that they express more interest in intangibles and baseball IQ.

I still expect Mayza to begin season in NH but if he does well and there is a need, making a 40 man spot sooner than necessary will not stand in the way
lexomatic - Saturday, March 04 2017 @ 09:04 PM EST (#339296) #
Brett Lawrie is such an odd case - how in the world does a player's defense collapse the way his seems to have? 

I think there's 2 easy answers to this
1) The shift. a) Once he got away from Butterfield, he wasn't shifted as well (I have zero evidence, I'm just speculating). b)They adjusted the defensive metrics to take shifting into account c) With more teams shifting more frequently, the floor comes up to meet Lawrie, and because maybe his defensive ratings were artificially high due to positioning rather than skill.
2) Injuries slowing him down.
Dave Till - Sunday, March 05 2017 @ 09:24 AM EST (#339297) #
I wonder whether Lawrie would become an above-average defender again if he was given the chance to play third base full time. When he was in Toronto, he made plays at third that had to be seen to be believed.

Lawrie seems to be one of those players who has never been able to successfully adjust to cover all of his weaknesses at the plate. His OPS over the last five years has been .729, .712, .722, .706 and .723, which is consistently mediocre. (Oddly enough, his strikeouts shot up when he left Toronto - my guess is that he was instructed to try to hit for more power.) He reminds me of Eric Hinske, who started off with one very good season but was never able to get back to that form.

Unless Devon Travis is likely to be out for most of the season, the Jays don't really have a spot for Lawrie, especially since he doesn't have a superior skill of any kind: he's a sorta okay defender and a sorta okay hitter. Compare him to Ryan Goins, who can't hit at all but is an exceptional defender: somebody who is exceptional at just one thing can help a team if he is asked to do just that one thing.

Lawrie should land a job somewhere. Even now, he is significantly above replacement level: he's been consistently between 1 and 2 WAR the last three years. If your second baseman or third baseman is producing 0 WAR, Lawrie will be an upgrade.
Mike Green - Sunday, March 05 2017 @ 10:11 AM EST (#339298) #
Lawrie was explosive, both on the field and at bat, when he came up.  It seems that his long-standing leg injuries, which have evolved into hip/low back problems, have robbed him of much of his explosvieness.

At this point, he's pretty similar to Melvin Upton Jr. as a hitter.  Over the last 2 years, he has made much less contact against RHPs and has only medium range power. 
Mike Green - Sunday, March 05 2017 @ 10:17 AM EST (#339299) #
The Jays send out a nice early season line-up behind Stroman today: Pillar, Martin, Tulo, Bautista, Pearce, Tellez, Upton, Barney, Elmore. 
scottt - Sunday, March 05 2017 @ 10:33 AM EST (#339300) #
When playing division rivals, it's customary to load up on regulars but to use mostly backup pitchers.
Also, it looks like the Jays have Monday and Tuesday off and then visit Baltimore on the 8th.

The Rays have one or 2 rotation openings I think. Still very early.

PeterG - Sunday, March 05 2017 @ 11:17 AM EST (#339301) #
The Jays play Team Canada (WBC) on Tuesday. The game is televised on Sportsnet.
eudaimon - Sunday, March 05 2017 @ 11:25 AM EST (#339302) #
Lawrie made a hefty 18 errors at 3B last season, in just 106 starts. I think given his injury concerns he's only a project suitable only for crappy teams hoping to get lucky.
scottt - Sunday, March 05 2017 @ 12:27 PM EST (#339303) #
China fan - Sunday, March 05 2017 @ 01:44 PM EST (#339304) #
At this time of year, the pitchers are usually ahead of the batters.  Someone apparently has forgotten to notify Jose Bautista.
China fan - Sunday, March 05 2017 @ 02:37 PM EST (#339305) #
Melvin Upton does not look like a player fighting for a starting LF job.

Optimistic scenario:  maybe he'll get the bad swings out of his system in the spring?  If that's his goal, he's doing a good job of it so far.

Nigel - Sunday, March 05 2017 @ 03:10 PM EST (#339306) #
Upton has been taking bad swings for 3-4 years now against RHP. He really shouldn't see the field against them unless it arises as a result of him having to play one of the OF corners for legitimate defensive reasons.
uglyone - Sunday, March 05 2017 @ 03:59 PM EST (#339307) #
rumor we're in on pagan?
PeterG - Sunday, March 05 2017 @ 04:00 PM EST (#339308) #
If Pearce is ready to play LF by opening day, I don't think Upton makes the team. He has shown no interest in adjusting his swing. Seems like maybe he is happy to collect his 17 mil or whatever and play out the string. I now think it would be better that it is not in TO.
China fan - Sunday, March 05 2017 @ 04:31 PM EST (#339309) #
".....rumor we're in on pagan?...."

As far as I know, this rumor was purely a result of Gregor Chisholm repeating the old report that the Jays had shown interest in Pagan.  He then shot down the rumor, saying it was "unlikely" that he'll end up in Toronto.  Somehow this ended up on Twitter as a rumor that the Jays were showing fresh interest in Pagan, whereas in fact it seems to be simply a routine report on MLBTR today, based on Gregor's comment of a couple days ago.  Here is the excerpt from MLBTR, but it can be traced back to Gregor's article on Friday, which was only a basic summary of the various potential LF options:

The Blue Jays have shown interest in outfielder Angel Pagan, one of the best free agents left on the market, but it’s unlikely he’ll end up in Toronto, according to Gregor Chisholm of The club is content to stick with Steve Pearce, Melvin Upton Jr., Ezequiel Carrera and Dalton Pompey as its left field options and doesn’t want to disrupt their competition by adding Pagan to the mix on a major league contract, per Chisholm.
PeterG - Sunday, March 05 2017 @ 04:49 PM EST (#339310) #
I too think this is an old rumour but as long as Pagan has not signed elsewhere, there is always a chance he could end up here.
China fan - Sunday, March 05 2017 @ 05:27 PM EST (#339311) #
But here's a rumor that will get people talking:  Jim Bowden claimed today that the Jays are one of four teams that have expressed an interest in Brett Lawrie.

The other teams are said to be the Rays, Royals and Mets.

I still don't really see why the Jays would be interested -- unless they are worried about Travis.   Or unless they see Lawrie as a potential LF.

PeterG - Sunday, March 05 2017 @ 05:40 PM EST (#339312) #
I would rather have Pagan than Lawrie.
jerjapan - Sunday, March 05 2017 @ 05:52 PM EST (#339313) #
What appeals to me about Lawrie is his potential positional versatility.  Pagan is a LF and an emergency CF.

If Travis is likely out past spring training, than why not?  Lawrie can play 2B, backup 3B (we really don't have any 3B depth) and presumably could play LF as well as Pagan can play CF. 

He is clearly a reclamation project, but is young enough still that he could regain some of his pre-injury form.  And I can see why he'd like to play here - this is the one stop where he's been successful, and where the 'head case' rumours were quietest. 

Lawrie could, potentially, be an upgrade over Goins (again, if Travis is out).  I doubt Pagan is much of an upgrade over whoever wins out in our mix and match LF, although he is likely to bring a higher floor while we sort out the options. 

PeterG - Sunday, March 05 2017 @ 05:59 PM EST (#339314) #
I don't expect Travis to be out unless just a couple of weeks. Pagan in left with Pearce at first would considerably improve the offence. A switch hither can help team more than another right handed hitter.

I may be wrong, but I doubt that Jays FO is seriously interested in Lawrie who has always had attitude problems. I suppose if he can be had at minimum salary, you can take the chance. Still rather have Pagan.
uglyone - Sunday, March 05 2017 @ 06:13 PM EST (#339315) #
i think the interest in lawrie is easy - the guy is a total headcase, but he's a real talent that can play almost everywhere on the field. He's a career league dead average hitter, and even his worst year was far from awful (92wrc+). he was a 2ish war type even with that hitting.
scottt - Sunday, March 05 2017 @ 06:29 PM EST (#339316) #
Elmore's looking serviceable with the bat.

Apart from Shultz, who won't make the team, the pitching looked solid today.

I think Latos has the edge as the long man, but I have no idea for the one or two other spots.
They need at least one optionable spot to rotate arms with Buffalo and ideally they would carry 2 lefties.

PeterG - Sunday, March 05 2017 @ 06:49 PM EST (#339317) #
If they decide to carry an optionable reliever, I think Barnes has the edge at this point though they could go with Loup. I prefer the former.
PeterG - Sunday, March 05 2017 @ 06:54 PM EST (#339318) #
I guess I would prefer Lawrie to Upton but still think Pagan would be a better fit than either of those 2.
John Northey - Sunday, March 05 2017 @ 07:45 PM EST (#339319) #
There is a big part of me that would love to see both Lawrie and Donaldson on the team without it costing anything but money at this point (and not much). I remember being a bit nervous about Lawrie maybe taking that next step and becoming a star while Donaldson could step back and become mediocre. Luckily it went the other way and the Jays have two ALCS appearances. I'd certainly look at taking a flyer on him depending on what the rest of the roster looks like. Better than Carrera or Smoak by a fair margin I suspect. MLBTradeRumors says the Jays, Rays, Mets, and Royals are all interested in him.
cybercavalier - Sunday, March 05 2017 @ 10:46 PM EST (#339320) #
Myself: In my opinion, Jake Elmore seems to be the leadoff second baseman backup to Devon Travis.
Someone (before ST): Elmore is below average offensively and defensively
Another one: Elmore's looking serviceable with the bat.

The assessments seem to change with a player's performance. So would it be wise to save from definite answer to a question.
Can the Jays deal away unused parts to other teams? For example, trading away Schultz
Speaking of Lawrie, what is the financial obligation if the Jays picks him up?
Can attitude issues be changed for the better?
Petey Baseball - Monday, March 06 2017 @ 02:30 AM EST (#339321) #
Going back to the announcer thing: Doesn't Rogers want to save money? Tabler is redundant. I can't think of anyone who wouldn't want to have just Shulman and Martinez doing games. Even if Shulman can't do them all, just fire Tabler and use a rotating cast for the rest.

If I'm Justin Smoak, I'm going to want to start hitting....right about now. It's only Spring Training, but you have to think his leash is getting short, given that the Jays have guys to play first base should he be released.
Glevin - Monday, March 06 2017 @ 03:31 AM EST (#339322) #
Spring is always about small sample size so it's only useful for specific sorts of players. We know who Upton is by now. Elmore has a 60 WRC+ in almost a full season of major league appearances, etc...
scottt - Monday, March 06 2017 @ 06:57 AM EST (#339323) #
Elmore has no power, but he had a .371 OBP last year. He's mostly an insurance in case someone makes a claim on Goins. The bench looks set to be Carrera, Salty, Pearce and Barney.
China fan - Monday, March 06 2017 @ 08:12 AM EST (#339324) #
"....The bench looks set to be Carrera, Salty, Pearce and Barney..."

One would hope that Pearce gets more ABs than Upton, Carrera or Smoak over the course of the season.  He's certainly a better hitter than any of those three.

His fielding position might shift around, but -- if he's healthy -- he should be playing almost every day, somewhere in the lineup.
85bluejay - Monday, March 06 2017 @ 11:01 AM EST (#339325) #
ESPN will apparently be cutting some on air personalities.
Selfishly, I won't mind if it results in Dan Shulman being able to do more Jays games.
Mike Green - Monday, March 06 2017 @ 11:32 AM EST (#339326) #

One would hope that Pearce gets more ABs than Upton, Carrera or Smoak over the course of the season.  He's certainly a better hitter than any of those three.

I agree that he's a better hitter.  He should not play left-field though.  Assuming that the club goes all-veteran (which is not my preference), I'd rather that the lineup was Carrera everyday in LF and Pearce everyday at 1B.  It would be nice to see Bautista getting many days out of the field and DHing with Morales or  Smoak playing first base sometimes so that Pearce gets regular time off and Upton in RF.
PeterG - Monday, March 06 2017 @ 11:41 AM EST (#339327) #
I may be in the minority on this one, but if it comes down to Goins or Upton for 25th man, I would prefer Ryan. He gives his all and Travis re-injuring could be a worry. Upton seems to be just going through the motions and if so, I would jettison him. An extra outfielder is only a phone call away and Goins or Barney can play there in a ingame emergency if necessary.
PeterG - Monday, March 06 2017 @ 11:43 AM EST (#339328) #
Of course, the possibility also exists of adding another OF before the start of the season
whiterasta80 - Monday, March 06 2017 @ 12:00 PM EST (#339329) #

I would argue that dropping Smoak should happen before Upton, but the point remains. Goins is not the least valuable "bubble guy" that we have.
PeterG - Monday, March 06 2017 @ 12:09 PM EST (#339330) #
The reason I might prefer Smoak over Upton (though losing both would be optimal) is that Smoak seems to at least be trying to change his approach while Upton does not. I just don't want someone that seemingly does not care on the team.
Mike Green - Monday, March 06 2017 @ 12:11 PM EST (#339331) #
John Lott has a fine article in The Athletic on Lourdes Gurriel's journey, with nice little points on a Jose Bautista jersey and the role of an interpreter (Josue Peley).  My only complaint- I'd prefer "Into the Mystic" to "Into the Woods" as a title, although a difficult sea voyage probably isn't worth it.

Gurriel has an interesting hairstyle.  It looks like an otter with wings made an unexpected landing on his head.  Very Canadian.
PeterG - Monday, March 06 2017 @ 12:21 PM EST (#339332) #
Hoping to see Gurriel on the field soon. I think it is smart to start him at Dunedin as is being done. I believe that if he can be successful there, he will be moved straight to Buffalo unless there is an injury. Urena will likely spend most of the season at NH. Of course, Lourdes could go to NH to play a different position but I think the Buffalo scenario is more likely.
rpriske - Monday, March 06 2017 @ 01:40 PM EST (#339333) #
If Travis is going to miss an extended period of time I would like it if they brought Lawrie back.

Otherwise, no way.

But I have lost all faith in Travis being healthy when we need him. Barney is an acceptable back-up, but you don't want him as your starter (and Goins isn't even an acceptable back-up, really.)

Mike Green - Monday, March 06 2017 @ 01:43 PM EST (#339334) #
One step at a time. 

Gurriel has been out of baseball a long time and may be rusty.  He's not used to cold weather.  For those reasons,I agree that the plan to start him In Dunedin is a good one. Hopefully he will begin to dominate there, and the club can then figure out what to do next, both vis a vis developmental level and position.
dan gordon - Monday, March 06 2017 @ 04:10 PM EST (#339335) #
It was mentioned on the weekend on The Fan 590 that Upton is making only $1 million this year from the Jays. I know there has been some uncertainty about how the amount of his contract the Jays are paying was apportioned between 2016 and 2017. If the report I heard is correct, then it should be possible to trade him to another team, or failing that, to simply release him if the team wants to go with Pompey or sign Pagan.
85bluejay - Monday, March 06 2017 @ 05:00 PM EST (#339336) #
If the RH CF platoon candidates in Detroit don't step up, maybe Upton may interest the Tigers -he's cheap and his brother is there.
Jimbag - Monday, March 06 2017 @ 05:15 PM EST (#339337) #
Thanks for the link to the article, Mike. As noted, there is little likelihood of seeing Guriel with the big club in the near future, but it will be fun to watch him develop. With Stroman, Sanchez, Biagini, Osuna and Travis already contributing, plus a crop of good young talent waiting in the wings led by Guriel and Vlad Jr., I like the future of the ballclub.
#2JBrumfield - Monday, March 06 2017 @ 06:22 PM EST (#339338) #
Good article from MLB Trade Rumors about the Blue Jays 1997 draft.
vw_fan17 - Monday, March 06 2017 @ 06:29 PM EST (#339339) #
Gurriel has an interesting hairstyle.

I dub it: the turtle..
Parker - Monday, March 06 2017 @ 06:53 PM EST (#339340) #
If Travis can't play, Barney steps in. If Goins doesn't survive the roster crunch, the Jays have Diaz (and maybe Elmore) in reserve.

If the Jays ditch Upton, and one of Bautista/Pillar/Carrera gets hurt, is Pearce becoming a full-time corner outfielder? If so, that likely means Smaok is a full-time 1B, if you want to make that argument. If Tellez is destroying AAA and he takes the 1B job and runs with it, that's fine, but is that something you want to bet on before the season starts?

The alternative is some other OF is called up from the minors - who is it other than Pompey? The Jays want to develop him, if they can, and sitting him on the bench while Boomhauer runs Carrera out there every day isn't going to accomplish that.

The Jays have some "who gives a crap" depth guys in the infield this year, but they don't have those guys for the outfield. As bad as Upton might be, he's a better option than throwing a prospect to the wolves - at least this year.
scottt - Monday, March 06 2017 @ 07:11 PM EST (#339341) #
Pearce hasn't been cleared to throw yet. I don't see him playing anywhere but first base or DH in April.
The DL is only 10 days now. If someone has to miss more than a day, better put him on the DL and bring someone from AAA.

As it stands, I'm guessing that Upton would only start against a lefty and come in as a pinch runner or defensive replacement. In a close game, replacing Smoak or Morales with Upton after a base hit would totally change the outlook and then he can stay on the field while Pearce or Smoak hits for Carrera.

cybercavalier - Monday, March 06 2017 @ 07:39 PM EST (#339342) #
No prediction here but Barney steps in if either Travis or Goins does not survive the roster crunch or play. The consequently vacant roster spot shall be filled by Diaz if Goins cannot play or Elmore if Travis cannot. Given history, Elmore may have a chance.

For some "who gives a crap" depth guys in the outfield, there are numerous options on another MLB teams' NRIs. Keep the eyes on them. If one or two perform well in ST and but sent down by the end of March, the Jays can just trade for them with minimal cost. Those guys just become the Diazes and Elmores.

FYI, 2017 NRI WGAC outfielders who were also Jays. Chris Dickerson is an Oriole, Domonic Brown a Rockie, Travis Snider a Ranger.
PeterG - Monday, March 06 2017 @ 07:43 PM EST (#339343) #
Pearce has been throwing long toss for 2 weeks. He has not been cleared to throw in a game yet under more stressful circumstances. I hears Pearce allude to that in an interview last week whrn at that time he had been long tossing gor one week.

All of our roster ideas could be wrong if some moves are made the last week of ST and a new player is added. This is just as likely as not imo.

I am one who very much sees the bigger picture and don't want any young p[layers rushed. But if my suspicion about Upton just playing out the soring is correct, I think he should be elsewhere.
PeterG - Monday, March 06 2017 @ 07:48 PM EST (#339344) #
please excuse all the typos in the above. It accidentally was posted before I could edit. I won't attempt to post again while also watching a hockey game . Sorry.
Parker - Monday, March 06 2017 @ 08:46 PM EST (#339345) #
cybercavalier does has a good point - there should be options available from other teams that are a better bet than, say, Darrell Ceciliani.

Upton was terrible for the Jays in a limited sample last year, and he's been awful in a limited ST sample this year, but he's still only 32 and he's got an MLB batting record of 98 wRC+ and 97 OPS+ with above-average LF defence and average in CF/RF. A team could do a lot worse betting on a rebound from a $1M player at that age and with that pedigree.

Don't get me wrong, I don't like Upton much... I really hate watching his AB's against RH pitching and his bungling of plays he should make in the field. But if Justin Smoak is taking Upton's roster spot, not only is Smoak far more expensive, he also provides zero positional versatility and is equally (or more!) awful at the plate.
PeterG - Monday, March 06 2017 @ 09:21 PM EST (#339346) #
It is attitude more than potential performance that concerns me. I agree that it should not be that difficult to find another OF if necessary. I am thinking now that there will be 2 extra infielders and one extra OF. I don't think they want to lose Goins if it can be avoided and remember both he and Barney can play OF in a pinch.

No typos this time I hope....between periods.
scottt - Monday, March 06 2017 @ 09:28 PM EST (#339347) #
Upton is a natural talent. The more he tries, the worst he gets.
The important thing in spring training is that he doesn't collide with Pillar.
The upside is there.  Somewhere.

jerjapan - Monday, March 06 2017 @ 10:22 PM EST (#339348) #
Awesome article JB.

How in the world did I not know that Mark Hendrickson had been a power forward in the NBA? 

SK in NJ - Tuesday, March 07 2017 @ 08:15 AM EST (#339349) #
I'm not sure why people are so quick to want to dump Upton. Even when he struggled as a Jay, he still managed to have a 107 wRC+ against LHP and that was with bad luck with balls in play (.269 BABIP against LHP post trade, .315 career).

He can hit LHP and last season had a 10 DRS in the OF (which would rank him 10th in all of baseball minimum 1000 innings). The Jays are paying him $1M in 2017.

If Upton plays in 2017 like he did post-trade 2016, then at worst he's a platoon 4th OF who can pinch run and be a defensive replacement late in games. That's a worst case scenario. Best case, he improves a bit and plays like he did with the Padres, and in the event that happens he is a passable stop gap LF option.

I don't see any logical reason to release Upton. That's a huge reach and overreaction.
Parker - Tuesday, March 07 2017 @ 09:01 AM EST (#339350) #
Hmm, for what it's worth, Jeff Sullivan at FanGraphs has an interesting article that gives reason for optimism about an improvement from Justin Smoak. I'm thinking this kind of analysis has to be the reason behind the Smoak extension last year.

Either that or Smoak is hanging onto a phone camera with video of Ross Atkins robbing a 7-Eleven or something...
Mike Green - Tuesday, March 07 2017 @ 09:02 AM EST (#339351) #
It's better to use 3 year defensive statistics (especially for a player in mid-career).  Upton Jr. has been +4 over the last 3 years according to DRS, and +3.5 according to UZR.  That seems like a fair reading of his overall ability- a smidge above average perhaps.  He has been a pretty good hitter against LHP the last 2 years.  He is indeed a decent 4th outfielder.  Carrera is the same and because of his reverse splits (so far- probably due to his greater success bunting against LHP), it's questionable whether you want both on your club.  We'll see where things are near the end of March.
China fan - Tuesday, March 07 2017 @ 09:10 AM EST (#339352) #
"....while Boomhauer runs Carrera out there every day...."

Carrera got a lot of playing time last year because Upton was hitting horribly (OPS of .578 for the Jays), Saunders was defensively terrible, Pompey was repeatedly injured and deemed unready for the majors, and Shapiro/Atkins had failed to find a better LF for the lineup.  Under those conditions, it was unsurprising that Carrera would get ABs, and it's silly to pretend that Carrera was only getting ABs because he was "the manager's favorite."

If he plays "every day" this year, as the manager's critics seem to be predicting, it will again be because Upton is hitting poorly and Pearce is required at 1B and the front office has failed to acquire a better LF -- despite the easy availability of several upgrade options.
Parker - Tuesday, March 07 2017 @ 09:20 AM EST (#339353) #
Fair enough, CF.

I did a poor job of trying to make the point that if the choice is between Pompey and Carrera starting (or Pompey and Pearce/Upton, in the case that Carrera is injured) then Pompey is invariably going to be riding the bench. I have no problem with Carrera getting at-bats at the cost of Upton's, because that means Upton is cratering again. I just don't want to see Pompey called up to play the backup OF role.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, March 07 2017 @ 09:21 AM EST (#339354) #
I used 2016's defensive numbers because it was Upton's first season playing LF. He's probably an average defensive CF at this point, but if his LF metrics are sustainable, then he's clearly very good there. The sample size is small, though.
85bluejay - Tuesday, March 07 2017 @ 09:38 AM EST (#339355) #
The problem with Upton is perception - he's useful, but he just seems to be mailing it in with little or no effort and that's exasperating - it really detracts from one's enjoyment.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, March 07 2017 @ 09:42 AM EST (#339356) #
The article written by Tony Blengino in November about contact quality (the one which really liked Kendrys Morales) had this to say about Smoak:

"I nominate Justin Smoak‘s 27.3% liner rate for Fluke Statistic of the Year. Despite that outlandish number, Smoak’s Adjusted Production checks in at only 96. His K rate is real, and really high, and his fly-ball rate is likely to regress downward a bit. All of this points to potentially significant near-term decline. The Jays are wisely hemming him into a platoon role, which should give him the best chance to succeed."

Just as a contrast to what Sullivan wrote about Smoak yesterday.
uglyone - Tuesday, March 07 2017 @ 10:16 AM EST (#339357) #
I googled "Smoak breakout" and found multiple articles every year since 2012.

i also agree with SK that ditching smoak or upton from the start is pretty unlikely.
Parker - Tuesday, March 07 2017 @ 10:22 AM EST (#339358) #
Interesting. Thanks for sharing that, SK. I wonder about that Launch Angle stat... I mean, if a guy either tops the ball or gets way underneath it, that's going to average out to a pretty solid LA, but in reality he's still only hitting grounders and pop flies.

What's funny about Smoak's 2016 though is that he struck out a ton more but got more hits on balls in play and hit way more line drives on average, but his isolated power stayed right around his career average mark. He started making much more solid contact on the pitches he DID swing at, but he still managed to strike out a lot more. Were those all strike-three-looking? Did the Jays turn him into a pure mistake pitch-hitter? He drew a ton of walks early in the season while not hitting for any power, so it seems possible that the coaching staff was focusing on making him more selective at the plate and shortening his swing. That'd possibly explain the fluke LD%.

It seems like the opposite of what the Jays tried to do with Olerud. It didn't work for Olerud, and it doesn't look like it worked for Smoak either. I guess we'll have to wait a few years to see how the stats end up shaking out.
China fan - Tuesday, March 07 2017 @ 10:22 AM EST (#339359) #
"....if the choice is between Pompey and Carrera starting...  then Pompey is invariably going to be riding the bench..."

Because the manager automatically favors Carrera?  I don't think that's the case.  I think Pompey will be promoted as soon as he is ready for a full-time job.  When Pompey is promoted -- later this season or whenever -- he'll be ready to play full-time, and he'll almost certainly be relegating Carrera to the bench or the waiver wire.

The only way Carrera stays on the roster is in the following scenario:  1) Upton is still hitting badly against RHP and doesn't warrant a full-time job; and: 2) Pompey is deemed to need more time in the minors; and: 3) the front office still hasn't acquired a better left-fielder.  In that scenario, Carrera would be the only remaining option to share time with Upton.

I don't think there's any logical reason why the Jays would promote Pompey and then relegate him to a bench job.  Everyone agrees that he needs to play every day, to continue his development.
Parker - Tuesday, March 07 2017 @ 10:30 AM EST (#339360) #
I guess a guy could hit the ball often, consistently hit it really hard straight up into the air or straight into the ground, and he'd end up with EV, LA, and Contact% numbers that compare with elite hitters. It seems unlikely, but when enough baseball is played, every possible outcome is inevitable.

Sullivan to his credit does admit in the first line of the article that it's only an experiment. Maybe he just found a really interesting statistical outlier in Smoak.
Parker - Tuesday, March 07 2017 @ 10:39 AM EST (#339361) #
Everyone agrees that he needs to play every day, to continue his development.

We agree there, of course.

When Pompey is promoted -- later this season or whenever -- he'll be ready to play full-time, and he'll almost certainly be relegating Carrera to the bench or the waiver wire.

I don't necessarily agree there. If the front office waives Carrera, it's obviously a moot point, but Gibbons really does like Carrera a lot. Roster management is the GM's decision, but lineup construction is the manager's, unless the FO tells Gibbons something like "play Pompey every day or you're fired."

We're both speculating here, and I do hope that you're right and I'm wrong. I'm just a little skeptical is all.
uglyone - Tuesday, March 07 2017 @ 10:40 AM EST (#339362) #
Carrera got lots of playing time last year because there was a point there where he was literally the best hitter on the team for weeks. It wasn't favoritism.
Mike Green - Tuesday, March 07 2017 @ 10:40 AM EST (#339363) #
DRS has Upton as +10 in LF for 2016 and UZR at +4.  His inside edge data in left-field is completely unspectacular (actually a little below average).  Subjectively, he has a good arm and range in left-field but makes an inordinate number of bonehead plays. 

If you look back at his data in CF over  3 seasons worth, he's about -3 according to DRS and -1 according to UZR.  Normally, the improvement from CF to a corner is about 5 runs.  +10 in LF is an extremely optimistic take, essentially taking 2016 DRS in left-field as the only relevant piece of evidence.

Parker - Tuesday, March 07 2017 @ 10:54 AM EST (#339364) #
Carrera got lots of playing time last year because there was a point there where he was literally the best hitter on the team for weeks. It wasn't favoritism.

Yeah but despite a couple of hot streaks, he still wound up with enough playing time to finish the season on the whole with an 85 wRC+ / 82 OPS+.

It's fair to defend the merits of his playing time by pointing out his hot streaks, but you still have to wonder why he got so much playing time when he was utterly, utterly terrible in July and August.
Parker - Tuesday, March 07 2017 @ 11:00 AM EST (#339365) #
Upton was pretty awful in July and August for the Jays, and he still looked like an MVP candidate compared to Carrera in those months. It seems tough to make the argument that Carrera got so much playing time based on merit until he ran into another hot streak two months later.
PeterG - Tuesday, March 07 2017 @ 11:01 AM EST (#339366) #
Interesting article suggesting Bautista turned down much larger contract offer to return to Jays:
SK in NJ - Tuesday, March 07 2017 @ 11:08 AM EST (#339367) #
I never said I expect Upton to be +10 going forward, just pointing out that's what he did last season. Defensive numbers in general can be highly variable year to year so trying to predict them beforehand is kind of pointless, but Upton does have a season of sample size to show that he's an above average to very good defensive LF, and unfortunately that's all the data there is for his work in the corners.

He's in his 30's now so that could change in a hurry, but I see no reason why he can't be above average in LF again, even if you throw a few boneheaded plays in there.
Mike Green - Tuesday, March 07 2017 @ 11:09 AM EST (#339368) #
For what it's worth, I don't agree that it is necessary for Pompey to play every day to continue his development.  He's 24 years old.  If the club decided that it was in his interest and theirs to platoon him at the major league level, I wouldn't disagree. He certainly wouldn't be the first player to start off his career in that way.

Smoak's BABIP on line drives in 2016 was .661 (MLB average .631).  On ground balls, it  was .172 (MLB average .246), but then he's slow as molasses and often hitting ground balls into a shift. On fly balls it was.068 (MLB average .074).  I don't see anything there.  The big thing is that he did hit the ball very hard and his HR/FB rate was a very good but not outstanding 17.7%.  Perhaps he might have a hit another homer or two if he had been lucky.  HitTracker has him with 3 JEs and 3 NDs last year- it does not seem that he was spectacularly unlucky in this department either. 

I didn't find the Sullivan article persuasive at all once I took a closer look at the Smoak comps.  The contact % figures suggest that the top comps had similar difficulties with swing and miss.  They didn't.  Smoak's 33%K rate was 7-8% higher than all of them.  There is a huge difference between a power hitter with a K rate of 25-26% and one with a K rate of 33%. 

PeterG - Tuesday, March 07 2017 @ 11:24 AM EST (#339369) #
Word is that Pearce will begin playing the OF on March 19 while Travis likely to begin season on DL.
Mike Green - Tuesday, March 07 2017 @ 12:06 PM EST (#339370) #
Mat Latos gets the start tomorrow with Liriano on Thursday. 
SK in NJ - Tuesday, March 07 2017 @ 12:20 PM EST (#339371) #
Travis on the DL means that Goins makes the team again.

I'm starting to warm up to the idea of bringing Lawrie in, if for no other reason than it would mean Goins would not make the roster.
uglyone - Tuesday, March 07 2017 @ 01:16 PM EST (#339372) #
Travis is depressing me.
mathesond - Tuesday, March 07 2017 @ 01:19 PM EST (#339373) #
Travis is depressing me.

Hey, at least he isn't Anthony Gose!
China fan - Tuesday, March 07 2017 @ 01:44 PM EST (#339374) #
" still have to wonder why he (Carrera) got so much playing time when he was utterly, utterly terrible in July and August....."

Maybe because he had been hitting very well in the first half of the season?  His OPS was .805 in the first three months of the season.  And then he played very little after Upton's arrival, so it might be unfair to judge him on his July-August numbers.

It's very interesting to compare the usage of Carrera and Upton last year.  Upton arrived in late July and the Jays clearly expected a lot from him -- they played him almost every day from late July until early September.  In fact, the Jays gave three times as many ABs to Upton as they did to Carrera in this period.  I'm sure the Jays gave Upton plenty of ABs because they thought he would be as good for the Jays as he had been for the Padres.  But instead, Upton's OPS fell to .594 as a Blue Jay (from the date of his arrival until Sept. 5).  That was much worse than his numbers in San Diego.  He wasn't doing the job.  So, beginning around Sept. 13, Carrera began to get twice as much playing time as Upton, and he responded with a .736 OPS. 

The Jays gave Upton a good six weeks to show them his stuff.  They used him heavily in those six weeks.  He mostly failed the test.  It was understandable that the Jays might prefer to go back to Carrera, who had hit quite well in the first half of the season.  And indeed Carrera responded by hitting better than Upton when he was given a chance in September.

Small sample sizes on all of the above numbers, admittedly.
John Northey - Tuesday, March 07 2017 @ 02:38 PM EST (#339375) #
Love how that Halladay trade worked just because of how long it is.
December 16, 2009: The Philadelphia Phillies send Travis d'Arnaud, Kyle Drabek, and Michael Taylor to the Toronto Blue Jays for Roy Halladay and cash.

December 16, 2009: Brett Wallace traded by the Oakland Athletics to the Toronto Blue Jays for Michael Taylor.

July 29, 2010: Anthony Gose traded by the Houston Astros to the Toronto Blue Jays for Brett Wallace.

November 13, 2014: Anthony Gose traded by the Toronto Blue Jays to the Detroit Tigers for Devon Travis.

So it goes Halladay & cash for Drabek, d'Arnaud, Taylor. Taylor for Wallace, Wallace for Gose, Gose for Travis. You can also mix in ...

December 17, 2012: d'Arnaud traded by the Toronto Blue Jays with Wuilmer Becerra (minors), John Buck and Noah Syndergaard to the New York Mets for R.A. Dickey, Mike Nickeas and Josh Thole.

FYI: d'Arnaud is at 0.8 bWAR, Taylor -1.1, Wallace -0.6, Gose 1.9, Travis 5.4; Dickey was 7.2 as a Jay, Buck 1.1 post Jays, I won't bother checking Thole and Nickeas. Drabek was -0.1, Halladay in Philly was 17.1. No matter how you cut it the Jays lost that trade in the end but the side deals after were regular improvements. Taylor
John Northey - Tuesday, March 07 2017 @ 02:41 PM EST (#339376) #
Carrera is the usual 4th OF type - a guy who is talented but not good enough for everyday play. Bobby Cox in the 80's would've platooned him or done a mix-and-match to find value probably as he was very good at that as one would expect from a HOF manager. Carrera has value but if he is playing regularly there is a problem and it isn't him but instead is whoever didn't find a better player to take that position.
Parker - Tuesday, March 07 2017 @ 02:50 PM EST (#339377) #
It sounds like you're saying that Carrera's utter failure in July and August and Upton's poor performance with the Jays is John Gibbons' fault. Carrera was good for a couple months, and when he got awful (because he's not actually any good) the Jays traded for someone better. And Carrera continued to be awful, and the player they traded for wasn't much better.

Did Gibbons promise Carrera that he was going to get that playing time? Did Gibbons tell Upton that he was required to beat out Carrera for a job? After Carrera's hot start, the Jays gave HIM six weeks to show his stuff, and after he produced value you'd associate with a player who'd have to fight for his job in an independent league, of course Gibbons had no choice but to start giving more playing time to a guy who has an ML pedigree. And he was bad too, so Gibbons had to go back to the guy who was already bad. And he got lucky with that decision, because Carrera had a month where he bunted his way on base better than almost anyone ever has in a single month of baseball.

I find this argument confusing. Players who are bad play bad. Players who aren't bad sometimes play bad. Nobody is trying to argue against that.

I guess we'll find out next year when the Jays hire an MLB manager.
eudaimon - Tuesday, March 07 2017 @ 03:11 PM EST (#339378) #
Carrera also had some Achilles issues starting in late June, around when he started sucking. This is why I still have optimism about the guy, but who knows really.

Pompey in interviews comes off as kind of spacey. I can see how maybe it makes him hard to coach, or that it could relate to his "focus" issues. Good game by him today regardess.
China fan - Tuesday, March 07 2017 @ 03:17 PM EST (#339379) #
"....he got lucky with that decision..."

When someone is convinced that Gibbons is a bad manager, of course you'll dismiss every good decision as merely "lucky."  It doesn't make you look very objective.  It makes you look like you have an agenda, and then you twist everything to fit your agenda. 

Nobody is trying to argue that Carrera is a good player.  You're setting up a straw-man argument there.  Everyone agrees that Carrera is not very good.  He's a 4th outfielder at best.  That's why many of us have been calling for the Jays to acquire a better LF, and the Jays mysteriously have not done so. 

The issue is whether Gibbons had any better alternative in 2016 when he gave those ABs to Carrera.  Saunders was hampered in the field, and Upton was hitting terribly.  Gibbons made the best of a bad situation.  He had no good alternatives.  He made a decision (in mid-Sept) that turned out quite well.  Why are you using this as proof that Gibbons has an irrational love for Carrera?  All he did was choose Carrera when all of his alternatives were poor.

You can talk about "streaks" and "luck" and all the rest, but the fact remains that Carrera was quite good in the first half of the season, with an OPS of .805 over that period. Everyone knew he would probably get exposed if he played full-time. Everyone knew his numbers would probably decline.  So the Jays acquired Upton as the LF solution.  It seemed like a good move, but instead Upton was terrible.  So, beginning in mid-September, the Jays gave more ABs to Carrera than to Upton, and they were right.  All of this seems quite ordinary and rational to me.

It hardly seems worth the agitation that you're bringing to the situation, and it certainly doesn't prove that Gibbons is a bad manager.

uglyone - Tuesday, March 07 2017 @ 03:24 PM EST (#339380) #
canada seems to have a good leadoff hitter. we could use a guy like that.
Mike Green - Tuesday, March 07 2017 @ 03:47 PM EST (#339381) #
The WAR analysis doesn't really get at the nub of the Halladay trade.  Anthopoulos traded him for understandable budgetary reasons.  Did the budgetary restraints make sense?  Nope.  As it happens,  Bautista broke out in 2010 and the Blue Jays probably would have eked in to the playoffs with Halladay at the top of the rotation.  And, as we know from what happened in 2015, the crowds would probably have come back big time.  To top it off, the big Blue Jay draft was 2010 (which was helped in large measure by their poor standing in 2009 and free agents lost after 2009).  Hindsight is, of course, 20-20.
uglyone - Tuesday, March 07 2017 @ 03:58 PM EST (#339382) #
Halladay wasn't exactly gracious in giving AA any leverage.
dan gordon - Tuesday, March 07 2017 @ 04:36 PM EST (#339383) #
Pompey 2 for 3 plus a walk today, with a SB and a great catch in CF. I'm with Mike - he could start the season in a platoon with Upton, and maybe take over the full time job, depending on their performance. Particularly if Travis starts the season on the DL, as you could fill the leadoff spot hole with Pompey against righties.
Parker - Tuesday, March 07 2017 @ 04:49 PM EST (#339384) #
I guess we'll find out next year.
PeterG - Tuesday, March 07 2017 @ 04:58 PM EST (#339385) #
Everything I hear suggests that Jaya are committed to Pearce in LF and Smoak at 1B although the latter may soon start to waver.

In other news, Jays have signed righty Matt Buschmann to a minor league deal.
dan gordon - Tuesday, March 07 2017 @ 05:03 PM EST (#339386) #
I don't want to see Pearce in LF on anything close to a regular basis, both for injury concerns, and for defense. Pearce at 1B, Pompey/Upton in LF and Smoak giving Pearce the occasional rest works for me.
PeterG - Tuesday, March 07 2017 @ 05:15 PM EST (#339387) #
That might work better Dan, but apparently it is not what the Jays think. They will probably go 6 weeks into the season before altering that view unless injuries force change. There is always the possibility of a trade as well. We will see Pearce in the OF in less than 2 weeks and have a better idea if it is going to work.
John Northey - Tuesday, March 07 2017 @ 05:31 PM EST (#339388) #
I expect the Jays to start with plan A (Upton/Pearce in LF, Smoak/Pearce at 1B, Carrera as backup in OF) for April then by late May if Smoak or Upton has flopped (odds are good at least one will) we will see adjustments. Probably more time for Carrera at first then if Pompey is tearing it up in AAA he'll finally get a shot in June or by the All-Star break. If both Smoak and Upton flop (very possible) and Pompey does well in the WBC and in AAA to start the season he could be up in early May. I think a month in AAA gives the Jays another year of control so watch for that.
scottt - Tuesday, March 07 2017 @ 06:36 PM EST (#339389) #
Interesting article suggesting Bautista turned down much larger contract offer to return to Jays:Interesting article suggesting Bautista turned down much larger contract offer to return to Jays:

It's kinda like how Encarnation turned down 20M to play for Cleveland.

He was offered 50M for 3 years early on when he still thought he could get more.
He ended signing for one year at 18.5M. He gets better endorsement in Toronto than anywhere else.
He mentions looking at the tax rates.

Less guaranteed money, but it still look to me like he's betting on making more than 50M over the next 3 years.
Nothing wrong with that. We all like Jose when he rakes.
Glevin - Wednesday, March 08 2017 @ 02:53 AM EST (#339390) #
If Pompey hits, he'll play. The reason he wasn't playing ahead of the mediocrity the Jays had in LF last year is that he wasn't good enough. The Jays would love for him to force his way into the lineup.
jerjapan - Wednesday, March 08 2017 @ 12:52 PM EST (#339391) #
Dave Cameron is guessing Toronto as the landings spot for Lawrie in his latest fangraphs chat, given Travis' ongoing injury concerns.  Whether or not it's a good baseball move aside, I liked Lawrie enough as a player and a personality that I'd be happy to see us try it - the loss of Ryan Goins isn't significant enough not to do it, IMO.

Apparently, Eric Gagne has been hitting 93 mph for Team Canada.  I love early baseball!

Any other storylines around spring you guys are following?  Any breakout player predictions?

uglyone - Wednesday, March 08 2017 @ 01:40 PM EST (#339392) #
Lawrie is a headcase of that there's no doubt.

But he can arguably fill in at every position on the field, even catcher, and his bat is usually around league average.

We should have enough vet leadership that we can handle a headcase.
jerjapan - Wednesday, March 08 2017 @ 02:34 PM EST (#339393) #
Yeah, I don't think Lawrie would be an issue in the veteran clubhouse, especially the way his career has played out - he's not a young hotshot anymore.  If anything, we seem like the best fit for him in terms of managing his 'headcase' label.

Matt Latos with a pretty brutal outing today.  I hope he doesn't automatically make the team based on his rep ... I'd rather one of the AAAA relievers at this point.

PeterG - Wednesday, March 08 2017 @ 02:59 PM EST (#339394) #
3 run HR for Gurriel in first AB.
uglyone - Wednesday, March 08 2017 @ 03:02 PM EST (#339395) #
that's pretty cool.
PeterG - Wednesday, March 08 2017 @ 03:20 PM EST (#339396) #
Latos won't make it on rep. He will have to earn it. He was very good last outing before sucking today. The problem was constantly being behind in the count. He should have 4 more appearances before any decision has to be made. Pointless to jump to any conclusions now, either positive or negative.
jerjapan - Wednesday, March 08 2017 @ 03:44 PM EST (#339397) #
I hope he has to earn it, but I'm not really jumping to any conclusions I didn't already jump to when he signed - I'm still of the opinion that he's not worth 1.5 million, and I assume he opts out if not on the big league club.

Chris Collabello is having a nice spring thus far for Cleveland - an OPS of 1.147 in 17 ABs.  I'm certainly pulling for the guy, his improbable 2015 was a real highlight of a great season for me.

Gerry - Wednesday, March 08 2017 @ 03:54 PM EST (#339398) #
Lawrie's agent says he is recovering from injury and he won't sign until he is fully fit. No timetable given though.
dan gordon - Wednesday, March 08 2017 @ 04:09 PM EST (#339399) #
Saw today on Rotoworld that Lawrie is experiencing lower body soreness due to the orthotics he was given last year, and doesn't intend to sign with another team until he is 100%. If healthy, he'd be an interesting add if Travis out for a long time, but I understand that Travis is only expected to miss a week or two.

If Latos keeps pitching like he did today, no way does he make this team.

Nice to see the HR by Gurriel. He's a real wild card, it's very hard to estimate just how good he is.

I wouldn't be surprised to see Colabello have a good season, although it's hard to see where he gets a lot of playing time, with EE and Santana occupying DH and 1B. Even if you discount his 2015 season by 10% or so due to the possibility he was using some help, he still put up some good numbers.

Breakout candidates this year? How about Keon Broxton (MIL), Ryon Healy (OAK) and Alex Bregman (HTN). Possibly former Jay Eric Thames(MIL). He's playing in a great park for lefty power hitters. Those are some of the guys I'm targeting in my pool drafts coming up. Wouldn't be surprised to see Pompey have a very good season, but I still think he starts in AAA.
Cracka - Wednesday, March 08 2017 @ 04:10 PM EST (#339400) #
Gurriel's HR was on the first pitch he saw, in his first "real" North-American at-bat - a legit, no-doubter that cleared the several rows of seats and hit the snack bar:

Impressive... even though it was on a 73 mph high hanging curve.

China fan - Wednesday, March 08 2017 @ 04:18 PM EST (#339401) #
"....his first 'real' North-American at-bat...."

I really hate to spoil a great anecdote, but it was actually his 3rd at-bat of the spring.  He had two in an earlier game.

Also, get ready for all the puns this year.  Today's most popular, after the HR:  Lourdes have mercy.
jerjapan - Wednesday, March 08 2017 @ 05:12 PM EST (#339402) #
Broxton's having a great spring as well and on a crappy Brewers team he should be a key guy - a classic late-bloomer.  I'm pretty hyped about Bregman - I see him as a major part of a super-exciting Astros team.  I've always had a soft spot for the Stros and they will be fun to watch this year. 

And I'm totally pulling for Thames, along with Cola.  But how in the heck do you predict his performance?  He could be Cecil Fielder light or ByungHo Park for all I know, although Milwaukee is definitely a good fit for him.

scottt - Thursday, March 09 2017 @ 07:20 AM EST (#339408) #
Steve Pearce will play the role Cola had in 2015. Pearce's defense doesn't nullify his offense and it seems better to hope for a player to remain healthy than to wish for improbable production.

Speaking of Cleveland, it looks like Encarnation has formed a duet with Carlos Santana.
They are very similar players from the Dominican who hit right handed and provide negative defense at first.

James W - Thursday, March 09 2017 @ 08:45 AM EST (#339409) #
Carlos Santana is a switch hitter.
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