Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Jays Closer Brian Tallet DFA'ed

What is this, like 15 straight Brian Tallet posts?  Fuck man.

Anyway, Carlos Villanueva has been, or will so be, activated and sent to the bullpen.  Tallet blew a save last night in pretty hilarious fashion, and has been given the boot.  Thank fuck.  My girlfriend was asleep on the couch last night during the game, and I was like |                              | this close to punching her square in the box when I saw Tallet warming up.

My favorite part about this DFA is the timing.  Rosters expand less than 8 hours from now, but instead, the Jays read my blog and realized "wait a second... Brian Tallet is the namesake of the dog poop stench meter?  What else do we not know about this guy?"  So they did some research and this conversation ensued:

AA: Hey Ben, have a seat.
BT: I knew about seats before they were cool.  It's Brian, by the way.
AA: That's great, shut up though.  We're going to DFA you.  You're fucking terrible and the only people that like you are opposing hitters.
BT: But rosters expand tomorrow.
AA: Yeah, and Jojo Reyes is pitching for Baltimore tonight, which means that we might score a fucking thousand runs tonight.
BT: So you won't even have to use me, keep me around.
AA:  I know we won't have to use you.  We weren't planning on it either.  That's why we're DFA'ing you now.  It's a testament to just how fucking embarrassing you are to this organization, pitching, baseball, and the misnomer that 'if you're a pitcher and you're left handed, you can find work.'  Your career is over.
BT: Is this about last night?
AA: Partially.  It's also partially because nobody can stand to look at your dumb fucking face.
BT: But where will I go?
AA: Shut up.

But seriously, this DFA opens a spot on the 40-man roster for someone in the minors to be a September call-up.  I have no idea who they plan on using it for, if they even plan on filling it now or at all this season (Adam Loewen?).  Honestly, this could have just been a move to re-inforce exactly what that real and totally serious conversation above was: Brian Tallet is terrible and shall never be mentioned on this blog again.

MLBTR is doing a live chat as I write this, and there's been like 8 Jays questions through the first half an hour.  Among the answers so far, Ben thinks that Jonathan Broxton is a candidate to close for Toronto next year (scary), that the Jays are contenders for CJ Wilson (pricey) and Yu Darvish (me gusta), and that Edwin Encarnacion's option will be picked up, even if he's "all bat" (No shit).

They also mention stuff about Aaron Hill probably resigning in Arizona, Alex Rios being untradeable, and AJ Burnett not being cut, even if the Yankees land CJ Wilson or Yu Darvish.  Along those lines, Ben doesn't really think that the Yankees can re-sign CC and get CJ Wilson to sign, which does eliminate one contender for the Jays if they're interested in either.

Expect Jon Rauch to be activated tomorrow, according to Richard Griffin.

So Wil Ledezma was DFA'ed for that

Now I do remember ranting recently about Brian Tallet being the worst pitcher in the history of baseball, and that by no means should he ever enter a game in any sort of leveraged situation.  Well, my friends, it took literally 40 hours for him to not only come in to a 1-run game in extra innings, but to subsequently blow that lead and lose the game for the Jays without any incredible amount of effort.  Tallet went out there and got 1 out, throwing 23 pitches, just 9 for strikes.

I do remember reading on twitter last night that once Casey Janssen was determined to be no longer available (he has tightness in his back, otherwise he could have probably went out for the 10th inning), all that was left in the bullpen in terms of available pitchers were Dumb and Dumber, AKA Tallet and Rommie Lewis.  I'm still not sure why Frank Frank was a no-go, or what the plan was if this game went another couple innings, but whatever.

Now I also remember mentioning yesterday how losing a few games down the stretch isn't all that big of a deal, assuming there's an interest for a Type-A free agent out there, which is actually a pretty limited bunch of guys*, but I'm not sure if the losses have gotta be this obvious.  I'm not incredibly sure what there is to expect with Tallet in a ballgame other than exactly what happened, even if it's against the Baltimore Orioles.  The AAA season ends September 5th, at which point I'm sure at least one pitcher will come up as a September callup for expanded rosters, and I'm modestly confident that Tallet will be DFA'ed/released when there's another arm there to clean up the puke.

Speaking of September callups, Bluebird Banter lists the candidates for such an event here.  I'd go yes on PJ Walters and/or Brad Mills as the aforementioned puke cleaner though, but that's just me.

Brett Lawrie gets a Zaunhead for his 3-run tater.

*- Some of the potential targets include Prince Fielder, Albert Pujols (as if he's not a Cardinal next year), Chris Carpenter (though I'm not sure who would give up a draft pick for a 38-year old starter who isn't as good as he used to be), or maybe one of those silly closer types that the Jays desperately need to give up a draft pick for (Matt Capps, Ryan Madson, Koji Uehara, Heath Bell, Jonathan Papelbon to name a few).  I'm sure a lot of these guys won't be free agents, and even more won't be anywhere close to the Jays radar.

Jojo Reyes starts for the Orioles tonight.  When asked for comments, the entire Jays offense replied:

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

It's a point of pride

Warning: this is kind of rambly, and will end up being pretty controversial.  If anyone completely disagrees with what I'm saying, you have every right to.  Frankly, I'm not even completely sure that I agree with myself.

All too often do we hear casual sportsfans, who don't know anything about anything, make a wild claim about their team upon realizing that there's not much chance at a playoff berth (i.e. Jays fans circa each of the last 20 years).  They'll say stuff like "They should just lose the rest of their games on purpose so they can get the first overall pick," or something along those lines.

Now of course:

It's obviously an incredible shit in the mouth of your fans and players to just go out there and fuck off for the last 2 months of the season, which explains why nobody goes to Marlins games.

But the Bluejays are in a pretty unique situation, and I'm not sure it's a complete accident.  Thanks to the perfect storm of affairs going on with this team, including but not limited to:

  • Their incredibly tough division, and thus, incredibly tough schedule,
  • Injuries to their starting (and backup) CF,
  • Poor performance by supposed impact guys Kyle Drabek and Travis Snider,
  • Several potential Type-A and B free agents,
  • The strength and hype of the farm system,
  • The willingness to spend, and the availability of money from ownership
The Blue Jays can actually get away with playing guys like Jon Rauch and Frank Francisco as often as they have, despite how terrible they've been, since they're both close to free agent comp status.  They can also have a guy like Darin Mastroianni starting in CF at times, because OMG PROSPECT! and thus, not necessarily going out there and putting the best lineup forward everyday, but without slapping fans in the face.  On literally every Bluejays telecast, we get a "farm report", exaggerating just how good some of these guys within the system really are.

This isn't to say that the Jays farm isn't as good as advertised, because it definitely is good, a consensus top-5 system based on several different opinions.  Unlike most teams, however, we (the fanbase as a whole, not necessarily people who go out of their way to read stuff about the Jays and advanced stats and whatnot; I mean your average Jays fan who catches 50 games a year on TV) are getting a very good idea of not only who these people are, but also how close they are to making it to the bigs.  Brett Lawrie got his balls waxed by Sportsnet literally all season long, as did Eric Thames before his callup.  Drew Hutchinson and Nestor Molina have been getting a ton of attention since the Henderson Alvarez callup, and Marcus Knecht is Canadian (!!!!!) and tore up single-A this year.

Most people who only watch a couple of games a week (read: most Jays fans) now actually know who some of these guys are, which gets them excited, since every team who ever hears anything about any of their prospects assumes that they're going to be an all-star in 3 years.  For example, remember that time David Cooper hit a homerun this year?  8 years, $120MM at least.  Remember that time last year where Brad Mills went 8 innings allowing 2 hits against the lowly Baltimore Orioles, or the fact that he's torn up AAA each of the last two years?  He's Shaun Marcum!  Travis d'Arnaud won the AA MVP award!  Bautista 2.0!

What's my point, you ask?  Well, we all know how AA loves his draft picks, which explains why Jon Rauch keeps getting a chance to close despite how terrible he's been.  That's because saves count more than they really should when it comes to free agent compensation.  Well the thing with free agent compensation is this:  It's great to get compensation for losing your guys, but something that the Jays haven't done in a long time, but could very well do this offseason (*cough* Prince Fielder*) is actually acquire one of these free agents that could cause them to lose a draft pick.

Question: But wait a second, Grady.  Wouldn't losing more game just mean that the Jays are giving up a better draft pick?
Answer: No, you fucking idiot.  The 15 teams with the worst records in baseball are protected from losing their first rounder if they sign a Type-A.  Currently, those teams include all the embarrassments of the league, plus the Rockies and Jays.  Cleveland and Chicago have a better winning percentage as of right now, but there are still about 25 games left in the year, and lots can change in that time.  The Jays are tied at the moment with the Reds for the 15th worst record, thanks to the recent skid, despite Cinci's schedule being way easier.  The tie-breaker is determined by last year's record, which the Jays win against CIN and CHI, but lose to both CLE.

I submit that if the Jays are going to make a serious run at any type-A's, thus forfeiting a draft pick, it's not a terrible idea to get some AAA and AA players up as some September callups, and let them play in a bunch of games.  This gets them time in the bigs to see what's to be expected in the near future, it doesn't alienate the fans because prospects are making their major league debuts, and all prospects are as good, if not better than, Brett Lawrie despite being Americans/internationals.

They don't necessarily have to do it everyday, and are still trying to win games.  It's not like fans will be be pissed with a 6-man rotation comprised of whatever they have plus Brad Mills or Kyle Drabek or whatever the fuck, or giving Adam Lind a coupla days off a week[sidenote: can Cooper be as bad as Lind has been over the last two months?  Might even be an improvement].

The Jays' current draft picture for next year includes the 15th overall selection, the 21st overall as compensation for failure to sign Tyler Beede, and a pick or two (maybe more) from guys like Kelly Johnson, Jose Molina, Jon Rauch, and Frank Francisco, plus the 15th pick of each subsequent round.  By having a protected pick in the first round, the Jays could conceivably sign a guy like Prince Fielder, plus have 6 of the first 50 picks, on top of having a top-5 farm system.

The best (worst?) part?  The Jays don't even need to tank all that bad.  They pretty much have to play as they've been playing, considering their last 28 games are made up of a schedule that leaves 6 games with Baltimore, and 22 others against teams with better W-L records, including 15 against the Yankees, Red Sox or Rays.  Of these 28 games, the Jays could seriously play some good baseball and lose 15+ without the bat of an eye.  It's not like Baltimore or Chicago are an automatic sweep, nor are the TB/BOS/NYY series an automatic get-swept, but .500 for the rest of the year, given the schedule, is probably a bit ambitious.  Especially with NYY, ANA and BOS fighting for the division, plus CHI has an outside shot of making their division semi-close with a win streak.

Is there really a big difference between a 2nd rounder and a 1st rounder?  Well, probably not big enough to justify intentionally losing any games, given the volatility of the MLB draft (that is, first rounders sometimes flame out and never become big leaguers, 15th rounders sometimes become superstars).  But on average, according to some guy, a pick in the 10-20 range of the draft is worth just over 4 WAR, whereas the 50-60 range is worth 1.4 WAR, which is a difference of about 2.75 WAR.  This seems like an "extra 2%" situation, where you have to capitalize on every edge you have, no matter how small.

Basically, what I'm saying here is that I wouldn't be all that upset if the Jays got some September call-ups in to the lineup a couple times, as they probably will do anyway, and just lie to us and say "we want to see what some of these guys can do" with regards to their prospects, instead of saying what they mean, which is "Yeah, we wanna tank a couple games to stay behind Cincinnati in the standings because we want to have Prince Fielder, but also a first rounder."

Then again, they got Daniel Norris with a third round pick so I'm just talking out my ass here.

Ricky Romero: Slumpbuster

For those of you who don't know the actual meaning of the word "slumpbuster," the above image should probably at least narrow it down.  You see, the photoshopped Ricky Romero makes this clever, since all he does is goes out and pitches well and wins ballgames, when other pitchers proceed to lose them.  Though I suppose Wade Davis could get his face on there as well.

But what if it was Brian Tallet that did all this?  The Jays have yet to lose since Brian Tallet has been activated and placed on the active roster.  Has your mind been blown?  I know mine has (note: n't).  But seriously, I'm still holding out hope that Tallet doesn't throw a single pitch for the Jays this year.  There are two days left until roster (potentially) expand, and I'm really hoping that a bullpen arm or two can come up.  It's not like this is anything that actually matters; I'm just a bitter little boy who has a lot of rude things to say about people I don't know from behind a computer screen.

Speaking of guys I'd like to never see again in my life, DeWayne Wise played CF again last night, doing absolutely nothing of value.  Don't get me wrong, Mike Mccoy isn't all that good either, but I'm not sure this one is even close.  I guess it doesn't really matter too much though... it's not like both Colby Rasmus and Rajai Davis are going to be simultaneously injured for the rest of eternity.

JP Arencibia gets his first Zaunhead in fucking forever.  He had 3 hits, including a really funny triple that Matt Joyce misplayed in right field.  I think he raised his batting average to the Aaron Hill zone.

Before anyone thinks I'm serious about that statement, let's not forget that JP is a rookie who has 20 homeruns this year, and has the highest ISO among catchers in baseball, let alone rookies, and has a .253 babip, as opposed to Aaron Hill who peaked in his 2nd full season.  JP is also a catcher, so any offense that he contributes is complete gravy.

Alex Anthopoulos Alert!  The Jays have just announced that they have signed seven international free agents, though a couple of these probably happened a little while ago and are only being announced now, such as Roberto Osuna, the nephew of former Major League fireballing reliever Antonio Osuna.  I'm pretty sure I linked to a spanish newspaper article like a month ago, breaking this one, so I dunno, maybe there's some contractual reason that this couldn't be announced/made official until now.

This series of signings shows that the Jays are, in fact, willing to spend money, and is a testament to AA's dedication to scouting and international free agency.  The Jays signed Dawel Lugo for $1.3MM earlier this year, but people smarter than myself speculate that both Osuna and Wuilmer Becerra both signed for more than that.  Tyler Beede could not be reached for comment.

Monday, 29 August 2011

The Return of Brian Tallet

Yes folks, tonight is the night.  Not the night where Tampa Bay stops being here, not the night that Ricky Romero avenges the death DFA of Wil Ledezma, no friends... none of that.  Well. actually, both of those things are rather likely to happen, but that's not what I was going to talk about.

Nope, tonight is the long-awaited... nay, much anticipated... no, critically feared return of THE Brian Tallet.  He takes Wil Ledezma's spot on the team of "Lefty who can't get anybody out".  I actually remember defending this idiot once.  Yes, one lefty who throws mid-90's with an ERA of about a billion has been replaced with the lefty who throws mid-80's with an ERA of about a billion.  Granted, Tallet's shittiness, very similar to Ledezma's shittiness, has been almost entirely within the AL East, so Tallet has been shitty against better competition.

Some Brian Tallet "Did you know?" for you, my loyal readers:

  • Did you know that Brian Tallet is really fucking awful?
  • Did you know that Brian Tallet was once traded for a guy named Bubbie Buzachero, a trade that the Blue Jays undoubtedly lost, despite Buzachero never having made it to the big leagues?
  • Did you know that Brian Tallet has an ERA of 8.31, which is way worse than I would do, despite not having played baseball competitively for the last 9 years?
  • Did you know that Brian Tallet's career WAR is 0.5, most of which being taken up by various mustaches and sideburns?
  • Remember in my last post where I briefly spoke about WPA?  Well instead of WAR, I prefer to use WPA for relievers, due to the context of the stat.  Did you know that Brian Tallet has a career -4.09 WPA, despite being used in fairly low leverage situations for the better part of his entire career?
  • Did you know the stench of dog's bowel movements are measured by a metric called "The Brian Tallet scale", due to how dogshit Brian Tallet is?
I beg of you Ricardo Romero-- be good tonight.  We don't want to see Brian Tallet pitch for this team ever again.  We don't wanna see this guy with a huge lead, because he'll just Brad Mills lose it, and we don't wanna see him pitch with a huge deficit, because that means that there's a huge deficit.  Don't even get me started about close-ish games.

I feel so...

Seriously, what was that?  I mean they get 3 HR's off Morrow on pitches that were outside the strikezone, and we get like 40 swinging strikes.

Then Wil Ledezma goes ahead and DFA's himself late in the game.  Honestly, I turned the game off after the Jays half of the 8th inning, when it was an already unreasonable 6-0, but still.  That's demoralizing.

But really (fuck you, this is my blog, I can start a paragraph with "but"), Wil Ledezma actually got himself DFA'ed after the game.  Acting Manager Don Wakamatsu said after the game "No one wants to have to go through that, but we talked about three starts in a row not getting into the sixth and the bullpen being overworked. Once we fell behind 6-0 we tried to piece it together and get through that ballgame."

Translation: Ledezma was getting DFA'ed after this one anyway, may as well let him throw an inning even though he can't get anybody out so we can save everyone else's arm.  As far as I can tell, the Jays haven't made a corresponding move yet, but I assume it will be a pitcher.  Perhaps Kyle Drabek?  I'm wondering if they opt to stick him in the bullpen for a while.  I suppose it's more likely to be PJ Walters, the not-yet-released-but-also-not-still-injured other piece in the Colby Rasmus trade, or maybe Alan Farina, a 25-year old reliever making his second ride in AA New Hampshire.  I could be wrong about this, though I certainly don't care to look it up, but I think AA leagues are starting their playoffs this week or possibly next, which could make that Farina call up less likely, though I suppose they let Hechavarria go to Las Vegas.  Maybe that's why they're taking so long to make a corresponding move though.

I was actually hoping that either Carlos Villanueva or Dustin Mcgowan would be the corresponding move, but it looks like Villy just made his first of three (?) rehab appearances yesterday, and I think Mcgowan is supposed to make another start or two in the minors before getting his shot.

Rajai Davis has started jogging and taking BP.  He fucked up his hamstring real good, sicking Mike Mccoy and DeWayne Wise on us when Colby Rasmus got hurt.  Thanks Raj.  He hopes to be back before the end of the season.

I guess Jon Rauch threw a bullpen session recently, which means that he should be back soon.  That makes me feel sad.

Former Blue Jay AJ Burnett sucks now, and Lucas from Fangraphs suggests due to his declining fastball velocity, that it's time to turn him in to a reliever.

TomTango, via Joe Poznanski, explains WPA (Win Probability Added).  I don't use WPA here, but I do watch the in-game scoreboards on Fangraphs, and they're plenty useful for single-game samples (i.e. Zaunheads*) and storytelling about games.

*-- As if anybody is getting a Zaunhead for yesterday's game.  Fuck.  Who?  Mike Mccoy, the one guy who managed to not strike out four fucking times?  Piss off.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Good one Jesse

Hey guys! Remember how Jesse Litsch is amazing out of the bullpen?  You know, after 12 innings or whatever? I think we can all agree that we got ahead of ourselves, annointing Litsch as the next shutdown reliever for the Blue Jays bullpen.  I'm not saying he's a batting practice guy, but I think yesterday was enough to stop waxing his junk.  I don't think there's any legitimate reason to believe that he's going to go out and be fucking incredible after being so mediocre as a starter.


No, but really.  Jesse can relieve all the shit he wants; he isn't, and probably never will be, an impact reliever, but that's not a huge deal.  He's better than Jon Rauch, so who cares?

I'll give Eric Thames a Zaunhead, I guess.

Hey, it's Morrow-day.  He stunk last time he pitched, maybe he'll do good this time?

Friday, 26 August 2011

Jays claim DeWayne Wise, other things that don't matter much

Slow news day.  The above picture reflects the excellent catch DeWayne Wise made two years ago in the 9th inning, preserving Mark Buerhle's perfect game.  The Jays claimed DeWayne Wise today, after he was released by the Marlins earlier this week.  If you'd have a look at the comment section in that thread, you'll see me predict that the Jays would claim him.  Now, obviously I didn't know Colby Rasmus would get hurt, and therefore I didn't know that there might actually be a use for him; my comment was simply a statement about Wise and Toronto('s farm system) being like a highschool couple who had never had sex with anybody before, and no matter how bad a match they actually are, they just can't possibly remain broken up forever, until they get married at 37 because they're both fat and old and can't find anybody else, stay married for a year or so, and then he gets sent to jail for beating the shit out of her for the 8th time.  In this case, Wise is the wife.

But seriously, if Rasmus is hurt enough that he needs DL time (note: there's no DL in September, as rosters expand from 25 to 40, but you get the point), maybe the Jays need Wise to split CF time with Mike Mccoy.  As far as I know, Darin Mastroianni can't come back up for 10 days unless someone goes on the DL, so the Jays would have to retroactively DL Rasmus to Tuesday or Wednesday or whenever it was that he last played in order to get Mastro back up.  That might change with September rosters, but I'm not sure.

Having said all that, rosters don't expand until this coming Thursday, and Wise is scheduled to report to Toronto tomorrow, which means there's going to have to be another roster move if Rasmus isn't DL'ed.  Brian Jeroloman is sitting on the bench, and has been for the last couple days since the KJ trade, and Jose Molina is starting tonight, so maybe that can be nipped in the bud?  If not that, Mccoy?  Otherwise, it's a stop-gap reliever like Rommie Lewis or Wil Ledezma getting the boot.

John Farrell is confirmed to miss tonight's game, according to Shi Davidi.  Don Wakamatsu is in charge tonight.  Alex Anthopoulos is scheduled to chat about this one at some point tonight.  The Score's ticker thing on the bottom of the screen still says that it's pneumonia, but I still haven't read anything elsewhere that confirms or denies that.

Update- Tony Ambrogio of The Score reports that Rasmus will in fact be DL'ed tomorrow, via twitter.

Unsuccessful series is unsuccessful

So yeah, that was frustrating.  Glad to see KC get the hell outta here after that series.  Sure the Jays won one of those games, but they got outplayed pretty severely pretty much the entire series.  I dunno, I'm over it.  I prefer ignoring games like last night's when that kind of thing happens.

Does anybody remember that time Adam Lind hit a bunch of homeruns over the span of like two weeks and had his average up to like .320 or something?  Yeah, he's currently at .257/.301/.447.  Two months ago today, he was hitting .314/.360/.569., and is 4-for-31 in his last 8 games, and hasn't walked in a month.  A MONTH.  Last season's Adam Lind is strikingly similar to the Adam Lind we've seen the last two months, so maybe that's just the real Adam Lind?  I mean, his peripheral stats are a little bit better as a whole this year than they were last year.  His babip is actually lower this year than it was last year, despite a much higher line drive rate.  Having said that, it just seems like all he's doing lately is striking out.  I would say that he's been slightly unlucky, but is also pressing pretty badly, getting impatient and swinging at a lot of bad pitches; last year he swung at an astonishing 35% of pitches outside of the zone, and has actually swung at more balls this year.  Travis Snider was sent to LV for that.

I guess John Farrell left the game last night with a muscle pain in his ribs.  I read somewhere that he may have been diagnosed with pneumonia, but I'm going to go ahead and say that that is probably wrong, as I've seen nothing else confirming that to this point.

Colby Rasmus has sat out the last two games with a wrist problem, and may need DL time.

Travis Snider is expected to miss 4-6 weeks, also with wrist problems.  He had an MRI the other day, which revealed tendonitis.  Snider being out 4-6 weeks probably means that he'll be out for the rest of the season, as there is almost exactly 5 weeks left, making this season a giant disaster.

Carlos Villanueva is set to make the first of three rehab appearances in the minors, before returning to the big club and joining the bullpen.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Elias Rankings, plus more

MLBTR has the new Elias Rankings, done with a midweek update thanks to the Hill/Mac-Johnson trade, and there's a bit of a shuffle.

Jose Molina remains a Type-B, which, if nothing else, is a testament to how fucking broken this whole system is. The big change is under the 2B-3B-SS category, where Kelly Johnson, who moves from the NL to the AL, becomes the lowest ranked Type-A free agent, bumping Yunel Escobar from Type-A status, which doesn't matter at all since he's not a free agent until four years from now.  His inclusion to the AL picture probably didn't have much to do with the fact that Edwin Encarnacion is now the lowest ranked Type-B, tied with Mark Reynolds, and barely above Robert Andino.  He'll have to swing a decently hot bat for the rest of the year to remain in that picture, but there's no reason to think that he can't do that.

Jon Rauch and Frank Francisco remain Type-B's, though Rauch's combined suckiness and giant appendix, his chances of keeping that status is lowering by the day.  Shawn Camp has quite a few guys between him and Type-B status, which sucks for a guy who began the year as a Type-A.  He probably won't get there.  Carlos Villanueva is actually the second highest ranked non-type-B player, which, despite being under team control beyond next year, can still have an effect on things if he comes back soon, as he could theoretically perform well and knock Rauch out of the running.

Obviously the big thing to wonder about here is Johnson and just what happens if he does in fact retain Type-A.  I kind of touched on this yesterday, but the big question is whether or not Johnson accept the arbitration offer that the Jays will inevitably (?) offer to Johnson at the end of the season.  Johnson was due for a regression coming in to this season, but I think he kind of overdid that, and I'm sure the Jays realize this as well, to the point where they can expect him to return to form often enough to justify giving him an arbitration offer even if they don't particularly want him back next year.

As AA said in his presser yesterday, this team needs both a backup infielder and a starting 2B next season (when talking about the possibility of Mac or Hill coming back next year), which I think gives us at least some perspective on what he thinks about the Johnson situation in terms of whether he declines arbitration/whether they offer it.  I honestly don't think the Jays go out of their way to acquire Johnson if they don't expect to offer arbitration, but he's a lot smarter than I am, so maybe I don't know what's going on there.

Anyway, I only see three possible scenarios here:

  • Johnson finishes the season as a Type-A, The Jays offer Johnson arbitration, and he accepts. One of two things happen under that scenario.
    • The Jays give Johnson a year under his arbitration contract, and he tries to rebuild value.  Nothing really suggests that he can be bad enough to drop down below Type-B status (though we thought the same about Hill when he started the year as Type-A), so the Jays would probably get a pick from him after next season.
    • The Jays work out a contract with him to avoid arbitration, probably replete with club options the way AA always does.  This will allow the Jays to capitalize on Johnson if he does happen to return to form the way he seems to do every even numbered year.
  • Johnson finishes the season as a Type-A, The Jays offer Johnson arbitration, and he rejects it.
    • This only happens if he and/or his agent decides that he is, without a doubt, the best 2B available on the market (which he probably is), and despite the poor season, he can still get a multi-year contract on the Free Agent market.
  • Johnson finishes the season as a Type-B, The Jays offer arbitration.
    • Under this scenario, really anything can happen.  As a type-B, he won't cost a team a first round pick the way he might as a Type-A (the 15 teams with the lowest records will have their first round picks protected from compensation, plus any team who signs a higher ranked Type-A can then sign Johnson and give up a second rounder).  As such, Johnson might eschew the 1-year contract he'd get through an arbiter in favor for whatever the free agent market may offer in terms of multi-year deals.  The Jays would then be forced to find a replacement, either through free agency or trade.  Mark Ellis, Marco Scutaro, Omar Infante and Aaron Hill are all set to hit the market this offseason, or maybe a guy like Orlando Hudson or Chris Getz could be had to fill in.
    • Johnson might also still accept arbitration, thinking that he won't find a raise on the free agent market.  If this happens, it's not really a big deal.  The Jays will need a 2nd baseman, and if Johnson wants to hang around, I'm sure AA would gladly accept the upgrade over Aaron Hill.  If he sucks, hopefully Hech pans out, but even if he doesn't, there always seems to be all kinds of different scenarios that present themselves, similar to the way Colby Rasmus suddenly became available, despite being "untouchable" this time last year.
Apparently Johnson had to fly from Washington to Phoenix yesterday to pick up his passport, and then fly back across the continent to Toronto today, which means he might not be available for tonight's game.

I know I freaked out last night when Mark Teahen pinch hit for Colby Rasmus, since it seemed to be some kind of strategical move at the time (at least that's what I thought/was outraged about), but it turns out that Rasmus jammed his wrist against the CF wall making a catch, and was pulled as a precaution.  No word as of right now on whether or not he plays tonight, though this tweet that I'm using as a source from @shidavidi is 15 hours old.

Speaking of Rasmus, since the trade, he's hitting .241/.256/.443 (and playing excellent defense, by the way), while Jon Jay has been hitting .212/.255/.250.  Nice try Tony La Russa/John Mozeliak.

And umm, why didn't anybody tell me about the Tim Hortons/Coldstone deal that the Jays struck?  

A Beating? J-Mac tribute

Well the Jays got beaten pretty badly last night.  Sure the score was 6-4, but at no point in the game did it ever really feel like a 2-run ball game.  Some good work out of the bullpen by Wil Ledezma and Joel Carreno to keep the good guys kind of in it, or to at least stop the bleeding.  I feel as though we should completely forget about this game, get to work on this John Mcdonald tribute.  Now, the first thing I should mention is that Mcdonald said that he would be back, whether it's as a player or a coach or some sort, whether it's next year or two years or 10 years, he'll be back.

Having said that, the Jays just traded a fan favorite, and there is plenty of reason for him to be such.  I hear he's really good at defense, but also just seems to be a great dude, always doing what he can to help, hustlin', supplying some unreal defense, and coming up with clutch hits just at the right time, despite his career batting average of like .240 or something.  If it weren't such an inevitability that he'd be back in the organization much sooner than later, this post might be a little more sombre, sentimental, or even angry.  He hasn't had a chance to even be in a post-season race, let alone post-season action.  As far as I can tell, in his 10 full seasons as a pro, he has never appeared in the playoffs.  Needless to say, this will be great for him.

It's a pretty rare occurrence that a 36 year old bench player is the favorite of the fanbase, but all you need is to watch opening day, in a sold out Roger's Centre Skydome and hear the massive pop he got when they introduced "Your 2011 Toronto Blue Jays" to confirm that that is/was/forever will be the case.

I think we can all agree that Mac's best moment as a Jay was a week or so after what was probably the worst time in his life.  John's father had just lost his battle with cancer, and had asked John to dedicate his next homerun.  Naturally, as JohnnyMac is wont to do, he went and picked a really awesome time to hit a pinch hit homerun, on father's day.  Obviously MLB is retarded and doesn't allow any of their stuff to be on youtube, which essentially stops me from posting any video evidence of such a homerun, but work with me.

Then there was that time in April when Mac was summoned to second base early on when Jayson Nix got a hangnail or something and had to come out of the game.  Fast forward 10 innings later, and JohnnyMac did this to the Tampa Bay Rays:

And of course, who can forget the D?

This will probably be some sort of ad-furious tugjob for, but it's as good as I can do without a big pile of gifs.

This should be some fun.  Seriously, just the stuff he's done this season could put up at least half an hour's worth of entertainment.  He'd been with the club for almost 6 years, and if there were some sort of video highlight package that I could find, believe me, I'd do that.

I don't know about anyone else, but I will now be rooting for Arizona a little bit more, because Mac is one of my favorite players of all time.  It was an absolute pleasure to have him on my favorite team, and I really hope he's back next year, but if not, it has certainly been nice.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Hey Aaron Hill....

Aaron Hill has been traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks, along with John Mcdonald (*tear*, more on him later) for KELLY MOTHERFUCKING JOHNSON.  ARE YOU SERIOUS?!?!  I cannot begin to express how awesome this is.

I've seriously been pining for Kelly Johnson to be the Jays second baseman ever since about halfway through last season, when Aaron Hill decided that he would begin sucking, immediately after the career year with 36 HR's (and a ridiculously never repeatable 15% HR on flyball rate).  Hill so far this season has been worth a rather uninspiring -0.5WAR on the fangraphs scale, and -0.2WAR on the baseball-reference scale. For the second time in 3 years, Hill has (to this point) put up a -UZR, which is a fancy way of saying that his defense has cost the team runs (total zone has him at about 2 runs above replacement.  Total Zone and UZR are the defensive metrics that make fWAR and rWAR different).  Hill's line drive  rate (LD%) has actually risen back up to close to where it was in his breakout '09 season, though his IFFB% (popups) is higher than it was last year.  As result, his historically low babip of .196 last season has risen back up to .242, which, with the line drive percentage being back up, is probably a touch unlucky, but can't be all that far from expected.

Basically, what I'm trying to say here is that Aaron Hill is the least exciting, least impressive, least valuable, and most frustrating player that I have ever seen.  Not helping was the amount of faith I had in him to recover from the turd he laid last year, which only caused me to spew more and more vitriol every single time I saw him ruin a fucking rally, popup with a runner on 2nd and 1 out, strike out with the bases loaded, or even just get slotted in to the batting order incorrectly, causing him to take AB's away from guys like Brett Lawrie, JP Arencibia, or Travis Snider (thanks Cito).

In Johnson, we're getting a guy who's having a pretty rotten year, and may very well just be Aaron Hill 2.0, but that's fine since he's different from Aaron Hill 1.0 and I'm not sick and tired of him shaking his head while looking sad, walking back to the bench after a popout.  Johnson's power has remained pretty consistent, despite his batting average and OBP dropping by about 75 points compared to last season (where he had a .339 babip), and 40-50 points from his career numbers.  He hits for plenty of power for a second baseman (.202 ISO this year, .212 last, .182 career), and, as with most power hitters, strikes out quite a bit.  He's the same age as Hill, but is a lefty batter.  That power has probably been helped a bit by the Arizona ballpark, but we can expect close to the same with our park.

Lost in the shuffle here, and I feel like this is the most brilliant part of the deal, is the fact that the Jays no longer have to question themselves on whether or not to decline Hill's contract option(s), let alone offer arbitration.  Apparently, and I haven't watched this yet (update- I guess I can't?  Maybe there will be another version available, I dunno), so I'm going solely off the analysis of the trade by Eno Sarris at fangraphs, which I honestly skimmed through really quickly since I couldn't sit still due to my excitement of Aaron Hill having been traded (*breath*, this sentence is a fucking mess), in his press conference, AA said that he'd be very open to both Hill and Mac returning in the offseason.
If Hill’s option wasn’t going to be picked up, getting a player with a better chance at picks is a no-brainer. At the press conference today, GM Alex Anthopolous said he wouldn’t rule out either player returning to the team. John McDondald can be a valuable utility player, and Hill at a cheaper rate might make sense. Both players could return — after they give one last gift to the Blue Jays.

Hill will be a Type-B free agent, but probably won't get an arbitration offer, since, despite his double dosage of suck, players almost always get raises in arbitration, meaning if he'll likely get $5.5MM or more.  Nobody in their right mind will give him that after what he's done for two straight years.  He'll be non-tendered and will become a free agent.

There were ideas floating around about the Jays declining the options and non-tendering him, but bringing him back for a paycut.  I got mad everytime someone suggested that, since in no other profession would you accept the same job if someone fired you and then offered you less money.  Now, if the Jays want to bring him back on the cheap, I actually think it's possible.  The market for him will be (guessing here) solely 1-year deals, possibly with club options and incentives, for $3MM tops?  I mean the 2B market is pretty thin, probably the thinnest of any position, and if Kelly Johnson doesn't stick around, and Hech isn't ready, which I highly doubt he will be, someone's gotta hop in there.  I don't fucking want to see it, but if Johnson rejects arbitration to become a free agent, he might seriously be the best option available for a while.  I don';t think he disliked Toronto while he was here, and seriously, who wouldn't want to be part of this organization the way things are shaping up.

My favorite aspect, though, is that now, if the Jays actually do want to bring him back next year, they don't have to decline his contract options or offer him arbitration.  The D-Backs get to do that dirty work.  I mean, I know they traded him away, and thus, passive-aggressively declined them, but still.  The Jays will instead offer Kelly Johnson, the much better player, arbitration and maybe a multi-year contract, obtaining at least a type-B compensation (and maybe type-A, given how close he is to that) if he declines (thin 2B market, remember).

Now some people (especially those over at MLBTR's comment section of the post reporting this deal) think that the Jays overpaid for the last month of Johnson, thanks to Hill's "need for a change of scenery" and "chances to return to form".  I call these people idiots, of course.  You see, Aaron Hill is bad at baseball, and John Mcdonald is a 36-year-old bench player.  Both of whom are free agents at the end of the year.  Hill will not become draft picks, Johnson might.  People in that thread think that Hill may very well bounce back and become reasonably good again, and that is plenty true.  My rebuttal is obviously the fact that Johnson can just remain the same player he has been his whole career, and he'll probably remain more valuable and better than Hill.

Johnson has been way better than Hill, both offensively and defensively, for the last two seasons, and was real fucking good last season.  I think it's pretty safe to say both of the following:

  • If Aaron Hill rebounds to be a quality player again next season, he will rebound to approximately be a Kelly Johnson comparable.
  • Kelly Johnson is much more likely to rebound and put up numbers on par with career averages than Aaron Hill.
In closing, it's going to be great, even if it only last until next offseason, to not see Aaron Hill hit another goddamn popup and kill a rally for my home team.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Hey so Louie did okay!

So that was a tandem 1-hitter between Casey Janssen and L(o)uis Perez.  Not so bad.  A quick Bautista tater and you've got yourself a 1-0 win.  I'm going to make a judgement call here and give Zaunheads to both perez and Janssen, and if anyone's got a problem with that they can just go follow me on twitter (@alexgrady80).

Worth noting: Aaron Hill, the worst hitter on this team, hit leadoff for some reason in yesterday's game.  I just struggle so hard to see the logic in taking your #8 hitter, the guy who has sucked really bad throughout the last 3 months, and all last year, and saying "Yeah, Hill fits in the leadoff spot without Yunel in the lineup."  There were literally 6 better choices yesterday for the leadoff hitter over Hill.  How about Lawrie?  Wouldn't that have been cool?  You still get the R-L-R-L-R-L thing in the lineup (which really matters a lot less when the regular lineup ends with 3 R's, but we can ignore that for a minute).  How about Rasmus?  He's swinging a bit better lately.  How about Bautista?  Sure, it's not traditional, but it guarantees your best hitter more plate appearances.  How about Edwin?  Hottest hitter in the lineup, so the same reasons that applied to Bautista can apply to Edwin, plus it's more likely to get runners on for Bautista.  How about Thames?  He's just straight up better than Hill.  John McDonald?  Despite a small sample size, he has better offensive numbers than Hill by a pretty wide margin (~65 OPS points).

I mean, I'm not going to get in to Jose Molina's .948 babip or anything, because we all know what we really have there, so basically Mark Teahen and Jose Molina are the only candidates who are worse are equally bad.  It's just the most important spot in the order, no big deal.

Anyway, on the injury front, Adam Lind's MRI on his wrist showed no fracture.  With yesterday's benching and today's offday, we can safely expect him to be back in the lineup tomorrow, maybe the next day.  Bautista's neck is obviously OK, as he played and homered yesterday.

Sunday, 21 August 2011


This isn't to be confused with Jesse Litsch, who suddenly, after getting like 30 pounds fatter on his AAA rehab stint, now actually looks quite a bit like Louis CK.  No, this one is for Luis Perez, who probably could have gotten the Louie Anderson treatment or something, but I don't care.  As an aside, if you're not watching Louis CK's show Louie, you're probably an idiot.

I chose to write about Louie P. today because he's making his first start, in place of a tee Brad Mills, who got returned to Canadian Tire AAA Las Vegas because it was broken he sucks.

Jose Bautista sat out yesterday with a stiff neck.  He missed 5 games earlier this year with some neck thing, so let's hope that gets sorted out.  Adam Lind got an owwey yesterday too after a beanball on the hand.  Don't be surprised if Lind sits out today, but I expect Bautista to be good to go.

Umm, here's something that's totally not news: Brandon Morrow is a good pitcher, no matter what they may tell you.  He's got the 4th biggest discrepancy between his ERA and SIERA (SIERA is pretty much FIP and xFIP, but kind of different and I don't feel like explaining it/learning it).

Richard Griffin on the Star thinks Alex Anthopoulos is either due for an extension, or has already gotten one, but obviously, AA keeps it nice and quiet.

Maybe a rally today would be ok.  Coupla runs please?

Friday, 19 August 2011

Cecil will try to Harden Oakland's chances of a win, plus Linkdump

No, you come up with something better.  I'm not completely sure why this guy picture comes up when you google "Cecil", but I'm using it now and forever.

Some quick reading material for you, presumably to read on the toilet.  I assume that's why they call it a link "dump".  Because nobody is pooping these links, right?

Remember like 2 days ago when Brandon Morrow said that he likes "nerd stats", and that they make it quite obvious that he's had a pretty good season to this point?  Well.  Someone linked me to this piece today.  It provides indisputable evidence that Morrow is the 2nd best pitcher in the American League, behind only Ricky Romero.*

JaysJournal evaluates Jesse Litsch's performance as a reliever to this point, pointing out how well he's done and that he may be better suited for relief pitching instead of starting. They also claim that if left in the bullpen, Litsch will become the greatest relief pitcher in recent memory*

Doesn't have a ton (read: anything) to do with the Jays, but the Pittsburgh Pirates are focusing their attention in the wrong place, though they aren't too far off.  MLBTR's Tim Dierkes has learned that the Pirates are close to signing  Jose Tabata to a contract extension, which really makes me wonder what the hell they're planning with Andrew Mccutchen, and why they haven't figured that out yet.

Finally, this will be the best thread that the internet has ever seen.

No wait, actual finally is a quick fist bump to Team Canada at the Little League World Series.  They're from Lawrie Langley, BC, and won their first game today against Saudi Arabia (despite that entire team being a bunch of Americans) on a walk-off passed ball/wild pitch thing.

* May not be exactly what the article claims.

That's our Ricky

Everybody's favorite Bluejay, RickyRomero, went out and destroyed some fools last night.  It's really a shame that ballgames are only 9 innings, because holy fuck man.  I'm wondering if the Ricky was a little off, because he doesn't usually give up any more than 1 hit the way he did last night, but I'm not complaining (Pitch f/x tells me that he was excellent last night).  Maybe that's why he got so many ground outs.  If you somehow missed, Romero went all 9 innings, allowing 0 ER and 3 hits.  Easy Zaunhead for guy.  Romero also happened to hit embarrass the Oakland A's batters in front of his family, which probably felt fucking awesome.  Turns out he's an excellent pitcher.  A's manager Eric Wedge said after the game that “We’ve had inconsistencies across the board at times so when a guy like him has some struggles, everybody feels it.” which is a fucking stupid statement since it's about Trevor Cahill, and not Ricky Romero.

Colby Rasmus hit a massive tater to add to the Jays early lead.  Too bad the A's got no-hit by the best pitcher in baseball over the last month from the 5th until the end of the game.

Okay, that was fun enough while it lasted.  And if you didn't notice what I was doing there, you don't read this blog enough.

Brett Cecil will get a rematch against Rich Harden, who shut down down the Jays on August 9th.  The Jays look to go 5 games over .500 for the first time this year, which is pretty good for a team who was supposed to win like 74 games this year/had Corey Patterson and Juan Rivera on the team to start the year.

Brad Mills, who was supposed to lose start Sunday, has been instead demoted, being sent back to AAA Las Vegas.  Luis Perez will move from the bullpen to the rotation, and the Jays have called up Joel Carreno to take his spot in the bullpen.

Speaking of new guys, Colby Rasmus had 3 hits last night, and has raised his (AL-only) batting average to .253, while Brett Lawrie went 2-for-3 and is up to a small-sample-size-and-ridiculous-babip'ed .378, which I'm sure is due for a regression, but maybe he's just that good.

What would you do with the guy responsible for all of these terrible contracts?  If your answer was "Fire him 8 years ago," as is the answer with most people with half a brain, you'd be wrong.  Jim Hendry, GM of the Chicago Cubs for the last 9 years, was finally fired yesterday after 9 years of incompetence.  Seriously, reading that page of contracts is about as head-swimmingly painful as anything I know of.  The fact that I'm currently poor, and this stupid fuck has had a front office job with the Chicago Cubs makes me sad.  I thought I read something the other day about the Cubs having already assured him that he'd be back next year, but maybe I imagined that.  Go crazy Cubs fans, go crazy.

Thursday, 18 August 2011


Everybody's favorite Type-1 diabetic, Brandon Morrow, went out and destroyed some fools last night.  It's really a shame that striking out every single batter you face takes so many pitches, because holy fuck man.  I'm wondering if the gun was a little off, because Morrow doesn't usually throw as many 97 and 98MPH bombs as he did last night, but I'm not complaining (Pitch f/x tells me that his average fastball was 96.3MPH, with a max of 98.4, so it was probably fine).  Maybe that's why he struck so many people out.  If you somehow missed, Morrow struck out 12 over 6 innings, allowing 1 ER and 3 hits.  Easy Zaunhead for guy.  Morrow also happened to hit Casper Wells in the nose with a 97MPH fastball, which probably felt fucking awesome.  Turns out it's not broken or anything.  M's manager Eric Wedge said after the game that they "dodged a bullet", which is probably about the worst analogy you could ever use for such a scenario, since, you know, he didn't exactly dodge it, per se.

Adam Lind, Edwin Encarnacion and Colby Rasmus all hit taters to get the Jays out to an early lead.  Too bad they got no-hit by the worst bullpen in baseball from Rasmus' lead off homer in the 4th until the end of the game.

Hey, speaking of Morrow, he may very well be just as nerdy as I am.  For some reason, the article linked inside that Tango article doesn't mention fip/xfip, which I assume is something that Morrow looks at as well, since, those are kind of the best nerd stats for pitchers, and according to them, he's been pretty much one of the best pitchers in baseball if you look at those metrics.

Also speaking of Morrow, but also also speaking of pitch f/x, the umpire last night was dogshit (granted, for both teams).  I wonder if this has anything to do with why the M's hitters were swinging at so many high fastballs, or why the Jays didn't pick up a hit for the last 5 innings.

The Jays now head to Oakland for a rare Thurs-Sun 4-gamer.  Ricky Romero (!) gets the start tonight.  He's allowed 4 runs in his last 31 innings pitched, and Oakland kind of sucks, so let's do this.

Some other stuff:  Carlos Villanueva still hasn't thrown off a mound yet, but has been throwing from flat ground.  He'll probably need a couple of rehab appearances before coming back in about 2 weeksish?

Brian Tallet will begin his rehab assignment Thursday in Dunedin (Single-A).

John Farrell has apparently said that Brad Mills will get the start again this weekend.  I dunno, if I were Mills, I'd probably try a little harder to not suck.  It takes a special kind of guy to give up 6 runs in 3 innings against the Seattle Mariners.  And to be honest, he'll probably get at least one more after that before rosters expand. I'm not sure who's coming up and who's going to be shut down, but it looks like Dustin Mcgowan is going to get a callup for September, maybe Kyle Drabek too.  I'd be surprised if they went with a 7-man rotation, but 6 doesn't sound all that crazy... That ellipse is me hinting at not letting Mills start anymore once rosters expand.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Rehashing on Zambrano

Remember the little thing about Carlos Zambrano yesterday?  I had a quick reread of it last night, and commented on the DJF post about the notion of acquiring him in a trade, and it really kind of made me think about what would be a fair deal for the Jays to ever consider taking him in to the mix.  In writing my comment last night, I kind of decided that I should probably contribute something similar to my own blog instead of/in addition to commenting it on someone elses.  Below is basically a more in-depth version of that comment.

First, let's revisit what's going on with the proposed deal with the Cubs.  Tim at MLBTR suggests that the Jays trade Mark Teahen (prorated portion of $4.75MM for this season, $5.5MM next season) for Carlos Zambrano (prorated portion of $17.875MM for this season, 18MM next season, virtually impossible $19.225MM vesting option with a top-4 in Cy Young voting in the '12 season) and $12.5MM.  Basically, the Cubs would be eating the difference between the Zambrano and Teahen contracts for next year in order to make the trade.  That's where I find my first problem.  This season is ~75% finished, meaning that 25% of this season's contracts still remain. Zambrano is still owed $4.4+MM this year, whereas Teahen is owed slightly over $1.1MM, for a difference of more than $3MM this season alone, or a total difference in contacts of $15.5MM from now until the end of the contracts.

I think we can all agree that Zambrano, when on his meds or whatever, is far from useless.  He's averaged right around 3WAR/season over the course of his career, and in his prime, was probably worth pretty close to the $17MM and change that he was getting.  Obviously, he's no longer in his prime, but he's still just 30 years old, and has put up 1.0WAR this season, despite having an off-year.  I'm sure there's still at least something of value there.  Teahen, however?  He's in the midst of his FOURTH CONSECUTIVE SEASON OF NEGATIVE WAR.  How the fuck does that happen?  He's seriously still in the majors?  ON A MULTI-YEAR CONTRACT?!?!  Kenny Williams, you're a madman.  Granted, a lot of that comes from really horrific fielding, but his bat is nothing to be at all happy about; he has 1 season of above average wOBA, and another of almost exactly league average wOBA (fueled by babips of .329 and .359 respectively).

The big problem with Zambrano though, is the fact that he's so likely to lose his fucking mind again.  He's had outburst after outburst over the last few years, and I can't imagine it's got a whole lot to do with being in Chicago.  What would change in Toronto?  He's a loose cannon deep down, and that kind of player comes with an absolute ton of risk.

I feel like the Jays would demand enough cash in this deal to justify being able to cut Zambrano at any point they desire.  Someone known to be a clubhouse cancer, especially one that is earning $18MM per season, should be on a no-tolerance policy, and should be expendable at any time.  The only reason The Cubs haven't done so is because they don't want to just eat the $21MM that they owe him over the next year and a quarter.

$12.5MM isn't enough cash for the Jays to assume the risk of Zambrano going off the deep-end again, and the Jays having to cut him.  Based on any and all reports, Teahen not only understands his current role on this team, but has accepted it, knowing why he was included in the Edwin Jackson deal.  Zambrano is just simply certified fucked in the head.  My comment in the DJF thread originally said that I would accept no less than $15MM (or, say the original $12.5MM+ a prospect), but after thinking about it and doing some number crunching on the contracts, I think I'd want even more.  AA would have a ton of leverage in this deal, since all Mark Teahen is doing is taking up a roster spot, while Z is an acid burning a hole in that entire team.

My new number would be closer to $17MM.  There is a half-decent chance that Zambrano is going to lose his shit again, and if that does happen, he should be cut immediately.  If the Jays are going to cut him after trading for him, especially when they don't particularly need him, they should be able to cut him without batting an eye, and if there is a high likelihood of him being cut in the future, the Jays should want to secure a profit on him.  If they have to eat anything around $3MM, they should ask for the difference between the salaries ($15.5MM) plus an extra piece as an insurance policy against dropping him earlier than the end of 2012.

Let's say Zambrano has a 25% chance of either going crazy again, or just sucking enough to the point of being completely useless.  The Jays should ask for an extra 25% of what they will be paying him (so .25*[$18MM+$4.4MM-$15.5]=$1.725).  Obviously, if they think there's less than a 25% chance of that happening, change that percentage to whatever that is and adjust properly, but under my model, it would be $17.725MM+ Zambrano for Mark Teahen.

Update- I should probably point out that 17MM+Zambrano for the waste of space that is Mark Teahen is probably never going to happen, even if it's Jim Hendry that we're dealing with here.  That just goes to show you how fucking horrible and untradeable this contract is.

Jays blow a save in the 3rd inning, recover.

Colby Rasmus just bit his tongue.

So Brad Mills, huh?  Nothing like getting staked to a 6-0 lead and blowing it by the end of the third inning.  I realize that I was really pining for Bradley to be up with the big club earlier this year, since, you know, he was dummying AAA hitters in a hitters environment for the last 2 years, albeit, this is/was his third season there.  Well, I've changed my mind, sue me.  Maybe send him to the bullpen and let Luis Perez start next time, since, you know, he went four solid innings in relief.

Did anyone else notice Jose Bautista get on base FIVE TIMES last night?  Zaun.  Edwin got on four times too, and actually threw his bat twice in one AB.  Pretty awesome.  Aaron Hill even joined the party.  Colby Rasmus also had a bases-loaded double in the first inning.
Look!  I photoshopped something!

Elsewhere, Chris Lund from The Hardball Times calls our very own Yunel Escobar the best SS in the American League.  You'd think he could have gotten an All-star nod, but I guess not.

Dustin Mcgowan had another rehab start yesterday in New Hampshire, and it went well again.  4 IP 4 H, 3 k's 1 BB 0 ER.  57 Pitches, 39 Strikes.  He's scheduled to pitch 3 more times before the end of the month (read: before MLB rosters expand), which should theoretically expand him to a 90-ish pitch capacity.  He could start instead of Brad Mills!  Especially with the expanded rosters.

Casey Janssen will apparently be typecast as the 8th inning guy, with Frank Frank being the closer, now that Jon Rauch has been DL'ed.  Rajai Davis also got an MRI the other day, confirming the fact that he has a torn hamstring, and will miss a few weeks.  He hopes to get back in to games before the end of the year, but I kind of doubt that one.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011


There's some stuff I didn't mention earlier, mostly because I forgot to, but that other post was getting a little long anyway.

MLBTR revisits the Mike Napoli trades that occurred this offseason, the first being that for Vernon Wells, the second for Frank Francisco.  It's kind of ugly.

Second, the Elias sports bureau released their most recent Free Agent rankings.  Jose Molina is definitely still a Type-B free agent-to-be, and he'd pretty much have to get on base 0 times again for the rest of the year to lose it.  Aaron Hill is still firmly a Type-B, and I thought that that would have no significance to the teams offseason plans with regards to cutting his useless ass, but apparently, as MLB's Gregor Chisolm reports, the Jays aren't necessarily done with Aaron after the season.  Honestly, this could just be posturing because it's mean to say "Yeah we're cutting this useless piece of Jon Rauch."
On Aaron Hill…
“If he was 38 years old and at the end of of his career that would be one thing. But (the talent) still is in there and he’s flashed it at times, it just hasn’t come out on a regular basis. I would not rule it out, people thought Edwin Encarnacion wasn’t going to come back last year and then he did because he got hot at the end.
“We’re always open minded for Aaron still being a long-term part of this team.”

Anyway,  Edwin Encarnacion is now also a Type-B after being the bestest, most on fire-enessed bat in the world lately.  Hope that works out.

As for relievers, Jon Rauch (somehow) and Frank Francisco remain Type-B's, with Shawn Camp remaining not particularly close.

Finally (this post really should just be called "HEY EVERYBODY! Go to MLBTR and read the front page.) Tim at MLBTR writes down the potential trades the Chicago Cubs might figure out in order to unload Carlos Zambrano on some poor unsuspecting sap, and sure enough, he expects the Jays to "kick the tires", so to speak.  Among his ideas, Tim suggests that Mark Teahen's contract is bad enough to justify that trade (with a shitload of cash, obviously).
Zambrano and $12.5MM to Blue Jays for Mark Teahen.  The Cubs could attempt to use Teahen as a supersub next year.  But to Toronto, does Zambrano offer any advantage to Teahen?

Zambrano has the rest of this season,  plus next year's $18MM left on it, whereas Teahen still has $7MM between this and next season.  Closer of the future?


Trever Miller has been DFA'ed!  Who wants him?  I don't think there's been a corresponding move yet, but maybe Kyle Drabek?  Travis Snider?  I'm sure it's a pitcher, especially since Jon Rauch has been placed on the DL with appendicitis!  There hasn't been a corresponding move yet, but maybe Kyle Drabek?  Travis Snider?  I'm sure it's a pitcher.

Another update!

Ledezma and Rommie Lewis back up.  A guy can dream.

John Farrell you piece of garbage.

I really hope he ego-googles his name every so often and reads this.  In fact, I'm going to steal a quick idea from Stoeten over at DJF and write Farrell a little lovenote.

Hi Mr. John,

I'm writing today to politely tell you to fuck off and learn how to manage your bullpen.  Specifically, did you know that Jon Rauch is a steaming 7ft. tall pile of shit?  I sure did.  Please stop allowing him to pitch on consecutive days, or at least in any kind of leverage situation on that second day.  I know that your bullpen is kind of weak right now, but if that giant piece of shit blows another game for this team, I might actually murder someone.

Secondly, Trever Miller is not a good option when Luis Perez is also there.  Thanks for bringing in the two worst relievers on the team in a one run game on the road.

Fuck-yourselfingly yours,


Didn't really mind the rest of the game though.  Henderson Alvarez kind of Brad Mills'ed it out there for a while, but it was only his second MLB start, so he obviously gets a pass.  Frankly, I didn't think he pitched overly bad, but the fastball location kind of has to be a bit better when they know the fastball is coming for  the most part.  As advertised earlier in the week (or yesterday?), Michael Pineda continued to be mediocre, as he's done since the all-star break, giving up 3 homers.  That obviously didn't stop Buck and Tabby from rinsing his balls with various creams and lotions.

In the ultimate contrast, we're going to get two guys tonight who couldn't break an egg with their fastballs in Brad Mills and Jason Vargas (and maybe Jon Rauch?).  This oughtta be a barnburner.

Yesterday was the deadline to sign 2010 draft picks, and the Jays failed to sign their first round selection Tyler Beede.  Before everyone goes shitting their pants about this, it's not really a big deal.  The Jays had more selections that anybody except for the Tampa Bay Rays, and by not signing Beede, they get the 22nd selection next year.  They also signed 3rd rounder Daniel Norris, who was thought to be unsignable, and Kevin Comer, who was also thought to be a tough sign due to being a Vanderbilt commit along with Beede.  I've since unfollowed Beede on twitter.  The Jays also inked Cristian Lopes and Matt Dean to over-slot deals.

Norris signing is a pretty big deal though.  Keith Law, in his pre-draft rankings, called him the best prep lefty in the draft, despite under-achieving this year.  His commitment to Clemson is what caused him to fall out of the first round.  I'm pretty sure I read something similar about Comer, but I can't find it right now (that might have actually been about Matt Dean, now that I think about it).

As previously mentioned, the Jays will get the 22nd selection in the draft next year, along with whatever their own pick is (currently projected as the 19th overall selection), unless they sign a type-A Free Agent (who rejects arbitration), as well as any picks they may receive from Type-B free agent compensation.

Elsewhere, personal favorite of mine Jim Thome hit his 599th and 600th career homeruns last night.  He does do twitter any more, but when he did, it was the best.  Zaunhead for JIMMERS FOR MASHING 600 TATERS FOR THE TWINNED CITIES.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Epic (Ed)-Win!

That was fun!

Jose Bautista even hit himself a dinger.  Hopefully everything's all better on that front.  He went 3-for-4 with a walk, and gets his first Zaunhead in like a month or something, but Edwin walked off and went 2-for-5, raising his average to .287, and has raised his OPS to .808.  This last month has been cool.

Let's not forget about Brett Lawrie and Colby Rasmus either, who combined to do a little 9th inning rally to save this one for the Jays.  Colby came really close to hitting a dinger off Jordan Walden, but Brett Lawrie's RBI double fixed that.

In the top of the 10th inning, Jon Rauch somehow didn't blow it, allowing John Farrell to make another move in a string of weird coaching options.  John Mcdonald got to first on an infield single, which was followed by Yunel Escobar bunting.  STOP.  BUNTING.  Especially with your leadoff hitter!  You know, that guy who is batting .300 on the year and gets on base a lot.

Basically what Farrell told us yesterday is that he'd rather have Rajai Davis hit over Yunel Escobar, which is obviously horseshit.  This isn't rocket surgery, but you have a greater run expectancy with a runner on first and nobody out than you do with a runner on second and one out.  It seems like Manny Acta is the only manager in the majors who knows this (I'm pretty sure that this doesn't take in to account the fact that Yunel is an above average hitter, though I'm not sure that matters enough to make a difference).

Anyhow, it all worked out, and the Jays pretty much need to be ecstatic about winning 2 of 3 against the starting pitchers that went this weekend for Anaheim, though there's a chance that the Angels would say the same about Morrow-Romero-Cecil given the way they've pitched lately.

Rajai Davis yanked a hammy running to first base last night, and has been placed on the 15-day DL.  His season could very well be over.  Frequent Flyer Mike Mccoy has been recalled to take the roster spot.

Today is the deadline to sign 2011 draft picks, of which the Jays have several.  On that note, the Jays have signed sandwich pick Dwight Smith Jr. to a 800k signing bonus.  Smith was chosen with the selection that Alex Anthopoulos essentially purchased from the Rockies in the Miguel Olivo trade.  They have signed a couple other guys over the last few days, ranging from 3rd rounders to guys who will never amount to anything.

Fangraphs has a piece about the Jays 2010 draft class, detailing just how effing much they spent on signing guys.  It's a pretty cool read one year later.

They Jays get a 3-gamer with the lowly Mariners.  Henderson Alvarez and Brad Mills will start the first two, making it at least kind of possible that the Mariners score a run or two.

The Marlins have demoted Logan Morrison to AAA, despite the fact that he's been their third best hitter this year.  I expect him to be a Blue Jay before opening day next year.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

I did not see that coming

Yeah, after looking at the lineups before yesterday's game, I honestly thought to myself "Sweet Jesus.  Get Aaron Hill in to that lineup and you've got what is actually the worst possible lineup the Jays can put out on that field".  Then I remembered that Jered Weaver was pitching, and thought "Sweet Jesus.  Why don't you just hand the no-hitter, Farrell."  Boy, is my face red.

Naturally, Ricky Romero went out and no-hit the Angels for a while, and pretty much did what he normally does.  He's only allowed 11 hits in his last 31 IP, which I hear is pretty good.  After the game, he was quoted as saying "Just being consistent, throwing strikes, getting quick outs and getting deep into games.  There’s really no other formula. I’m kind of just going out there and competing. The key for me every time I go deep into games is strike one. That’s big with me, and when I do that I feel like I’m in control."  He must not have seen the first inning, where he threw 10 straight balls before getting out of the jam.

Adam Lind hit a grand slam, which is pretty good.  Edwin hit another homer.  Ricky Romero whooped.  Eric Thames walked twice for gods sake.  This was literally the best case scenario we could have ever possibly hoped for, and with half the bench playing.  Though, I suppose, without Aaron Hill in the lineup, that's what you get.  Maybe we can see a little more Mac for the rest of the year.*

MLBTR reports that the Jays have signed third round draft choice Josh Stilson.  A commenter reports that his name is actually John, though.  I dunno.  That goes along with a couple other non-Tyler Beede/Derek Norris selections that I don't particularly care about, though third round is pretty good.

*Jose Bautista and Colby Rasmus are back in the lineup, but it looks like Mac is going to get another shot at 2B today, with Aaron Hill getting another chance at bench play.

Friday, 12 August 2011


Brad Mills is sad panda.
Well that was a beating.  It would appear that when you only throw 57MPH, you should probably keep that ball down, or at least on the corners of the plate.  Mills' first two innings were actually OK, but he lost it in the third, allowing 6 runs.  Mills threw 44 pitches in the 3rd inning alone, and they were all over the place.  The pitches that didn't get taken for hits or called balls were absolutely smashed foul, or lined off the fence.  I actually count 13 pitches there that are right down the middle of the plate, which doesn't work unless you can throw in the 100's.

Let's just hope this is a blip.  It doesn't make any sense that he can have so much success at the AAA level in a hitters league, and then suck against major league hitters.

The Jays fought back a bit with a rally in their half of the 4th inning, at least until Aaron Hill got his hands on the rally.  That pretty much got shit on though, after Oakland scored 4 more in the 6th thanks to some errors.  JP Arencibia did what JP Arencibia does, going 1-for-4 with a HR.  Not sure anyone gets a Zaunhead for this one to be honest.

In other news, Adeiny Hechavarria or however the fuck you spell it got promoted to AAA Las Vegas yesterday, despite a 63 wRC+ in AA.  When I heard this, my first thought was "Who did he blow?", but the less cynical folks around the twitters are telling me that there was probably a clause in his contract (4yr/$10MM, immediate 40-man roster) that states that he's got to be at such and such level by whatever date. Apparently he has about 0 offensive upside, but is a son of a bitch of a glove and arm, plus he's real fast (The linked scouting report is from May of this year), though there are some conflicting reports, saying that his bat is catching up.  Having said that, he OPS'ed .622 in 111 games in AA this season, so I can't say I'm expecting a whole lot.  Still, all he has to ever do, if his glove is actually as good as people say it is, is be a #9 hitter.

Travis Snider has played 3 games in AAA, and has gone like 8-for-11 or something like that.

It looks like the rumored pre-draft agreement between the Jays and 1st rounder Tyler Beede was bullshit, as Beede apparently will not sign.  If he doesn't sign, the Jays will get pick 21A in the draft next year, which could be as good as the 22nd overall pick, but will probably be worse than that, assuming at least one 1st rounder before that doesn't sign, as is the case pretty much every year.

Vernon Wells is going to make his return to Toronto for the first time since the trade tonight.  I assume there's going to be some combination of cheers and boos for the guy.  I don't really care either way, and I doubt he does either, given that giant bed of money that he has.  Brandon Morrow pitches for the Jays.  Hopefully he gets deepish in to this one, because you pretty much get a guaranteed appearance by Jon Rauch and/or Jesse Litsch if anything goes sour tonight.  Speaking of Morrow, Tom Tango looks at what happens to him late in the game.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Nooner, plus recap of last night

Naturally, I was at the bar during last night's game, which was broadcast on SN1, and therefore not on any TV set that I was at all close to.  I saw the highlight of the Lawrie slam though, and immediately stopped whatever I was doing at the time to overreact.

Then obviously some guy intentionally threw at Yunel and pretended like he didn't, which, I mean, is pretty dumb, but do the Jays ever retaliate when that happens?  Not really.

Afternoon game today.  Brad Mills goes out there to face the A's.  I find it rather convenient that Mills hasn't had to face a really good team yet, but that's probably partly intentional by the team, and part schedule.  He'll get to face Seattle in his next start if I'm not mistaken, so uhhh....

You may have heard about this sign stealing thing (if you haven't, you're not missing much, but are probably living under a rock).  I'm not going to write about it, mostly because it's been covered and talked about all over the place for the last day or so, but also because it's completely retarded and really doesn't deserve to be mentioned at all.  But congratulations on being retarded if you believe anything at all related to this story.

The Jays have announced the signing of 17th rounder Brady Dragmire, according to Perfect Game USA, via MLBTR.  When asked for comment, Dragmire replied "Who?"  But seriously, get to the important ones.  The deadline is one minute before midnight Monday, but I'm sure news of signings will drip in to late Tuesday.  I keep reading that Tyler Beede and Daniel Norris are definitely signing, but haven't seen anything about that yet, though I think a lot of higher picks wait until pretty close to the deadline before signing.

OK game started.  Gogogogogo.