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On a mostly quiet night on the farm, the clear offensive standout was Anthony Gose, and Travis Snider continues to demand the attention of decision makers in Toronto.
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There has been a lot of talk about how the pen has been used lately. Is Farrell using it appropriately or is he giving the highest leverage outings to the worst pitchers? Lets see.
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This is one of those reports which provides details of a bunch of relatively lackluster events.

One game of the four was canceled, the teams went 1-2 in the other three and no one really distinguished themselves.

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Okay, no, they didn't ACTUALLY have six complete games on the farm on Thursday, but six official results went in the books, four of those wins.

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Just was thinking about where the Jays are weakest so far and where improvements are needed so far in 2012.
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Haven't done a song in a while here, and it's been even longer since we did one for a specific player anthem. Tonight's game makes this too easy ... The original is here if you want to compare these to the (clearly baseball-inferior) original lyrics, the box score is here and the new lyrics are … well, no link necessary, they’re right here, only on Batter’s Box!

B. Morrow
With profuse apologies to the creators of the Broadway musical Annie.

The shutout was thrown by Morrow
He three-hit the Mets and so B. Morrow (and the Jays) won …

Just watched that gem by Morrow
Batista tried but lost to Brandon Morrow … who won …

How about our Jays, who played their hearts out …
Our middle infielders, had four base-knocks
And both RBI

The sun'll come out thanks to Morrow
We'll hang in this race with Brandon Morrow
It’s only May …

Oh Morrow, B. Morrow,
We love Brandon Morrow
His next start’s just days away …

The shutout was thrown by Morrow
Eight K’s and just one walk for Brandon Morrow
How ‘bout them Jays?

Oh Morrow, B. Morrow,
5-and-2 B. Morrow
His next start’s just days away …

Oh Morrow, B. Morrow,
We love Brandon Morrow
We’re so glad that he’s a Jay …

It's typical practice for major league teams to give some left-handed batters a rest when the opposition starts the game with a left-handed pitcher on the mound. This, of course, is because of the well-known platoon advantage that pitchers have against same-handed batters. I remember a time when it was rare to see any left-handed batter in the lineup against Randy Johnson, but we don't seem to have a monster like that in the game today. Most managers will leave their best lefthanded bats in to face a lefty starter, with the more marginal lefty bats replaced by right-handed hitters.

But not all pitchers are created equal, especially when it comes to this theoretical platoon edge.

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As the first month of the season closes, I like to peruse the minor league numbers to see how the touted prospects have started their seasons. This is my subjective list of 10 pitchers (plus honourable mentions) to watch. The ranking is based in part on something I call Dominance Ratio, which weighs strikeouts against walks, hits allowed and home-runs allowed. It is designed to give a summary of a pitcher's dominance over the opponent hitters. Other factors, such as age versus level of play and previous experience are taken into account in a more subjective way. However, this is not intended to be a top prospect list.

It should not be a surprise who the number one is on this list.
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A major league manager expressed his admiration of a former head of state and was met with a 5-game suspension. Fidel Castro is not an MLB-approved strongman - could we imagine such a penalty for expressing admiration for a dictator who did far worse, such as Pinochet? Would the same punishment have occurred if Guillen had been manager of the Tigers?
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The Red Sox come to town after being blown out of Detroit, losing all three games by a combined 26-14 margin. I'm not sure which of their three losses was worse - coming back to tie it at 2-2 in the 9th on Friday, the first blown save by Jose Valverde in a year, only to then lose it in the bottom half of the inning? Getting wrecked 10-0 on Saturday? Or blowing leads of 7-5, 9-7, 10-7 and 12-10, finally falling on a two out, two run home run to Alex Avila in the bottom of the 12th. From the opposite end of the spectrum, they were really all quite enjoyable.

Will the Jays be able to keep the beat alive against the suddenly seemingly vulnerable Red Sox? All this, and more (well, not really), on a new episode of Advance Scout.
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Yes. it's time for Opening Weekend Overreactions, or as we like to call is here at Da Box, Overreaction Sunday ....

Should anyone be concerned? Or does the headline say it all?

The Boston Red Sox are, right now, the worst team in baseball, as they are 0-2 and have been outscored, 13-2 -- they're the only team in baseball with a double-digit negative run differential.

The Sox' East Coast metropolitan nemeses, The Yankees of New York, share their 0-2 misery, but have been outscored "just" 15-12. On the gloomy side, baseball's All-Time Greatest Closer (TM), Mariano Rivera, blew one of those games in the ninth inning.

Atlanta's Braves, also 0-2, join the Red Sox in offensive futility, having scored just two runs, though they have given up just five.

Other winless teams include the Padres (0-3) and five more 0-2 starters, in the Cubs, Giants, Rockies, Twins and Indians.

Should anyone be inching toward the panic button yet? (Well, no -- of course not. It's early April.) But which of these teams are actually showing a sure-to-be-continuing trend?

Some games were closer than others, but all the boyz on the farm made us proud on Friday evening. Las Vegas was a winner and so was Lansing, both squeaking in runs in the late innings. The D-Jays behind some great pitching put the shut out hurt on cross town rival Clearwater while New Hampshire put their second win in the books for a good start to their defence of last year's Eastern League Championship.

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On Monday we took a look at the offense; on Tuesday the defense. Today we bring it all together.

Also, this is your last chance to enter a record prediction and a playing time prediction.

Lastly/elsewhere, the Jays rank as the number nine franchise in baseball, per Fangraphs' annual offseason exercise. Our own Marc Hulet wrote the piece.
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Yesterday we looked at the offense. Today we look at pitching and defense. Feel free to chime in in the comments.

(Note: these comments were mostly made in advance of today's Cecil-related news.)
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ESPN has just released its initial MLB power rankings for 2012. No real surprises at the top -- Yankees, Rangers, Angels and Tigers are the top four. The highest-ranked NL team is the D-Backs at #7, with the Phillies, Cardinals, Giants and Marlins following directly behind, all just a noodge ahead of your #12 Blue Jays.  The Rays are #5 and the Red Sox are #6, so 12th in MLB translates here to fourth in the AL East. Bringing up the rear at #30 are your (dreadful?) Houston Astros. Let's go 'stros!

Who looks, to you, to be ranked too high or too low?

My take ...

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