Sunday, December 16, 2012

R A Dickey - A Blue Jay - Jays deal for CY Young Winner

Just when you thought the Blue Jays were going to take a break for the holidays, BAM! Double A comes up with a little Christmas cheer for all of us. Dickey, a knuckle baller that has only recently become a star in his late 30's, should give the Jays a few more years of elite performance. Robert Allen Dickey came out with a tell all book about how he was molested as a child, his success has been inspite of all the issues faced as a child. Dickey, will give the Jays a completely different look than the rest of the rotation. Knuckle Ballers are their bread, not thought of as lefties or righties, many switch hitters often hit from their best side and not worry about lefty/righty advantages. Dickey also throws a very hard knuckle ball, not like the old days of the floating Niekro ball. Dickey was also a traditional pitcher from much of his career and spots an 85-87 mile per hour fastball, not usually the repertoire for a knuckle ball pitcher.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

JP Arencibia - GM gives vote of confidence

Double A was on the Fan590 to settle all the rumor talk that JP Arencibia may be moved to pull in another pitcher. Travis D'Arnaud is still considered the top prospect in the system, but will need time to recover from knee surgery. He will most likely start the season at Buffalo(New Triple A Team). John Buck has been told he will be the backup catcher this year and should play in about 40-50 games. Buck has excellent power but his average has been on the steady decline over the last few years. The vote of confidence was needed after Arencibia had been the focus of many rumors on Twitter. Given the recent acquisitions, one should feel confident that the Jays are going to need a stable backstop. JP has improved drastically behind the plate in the last two years plus. Breaking in a rookie catcher is not the way to build a winner. And as we all know, this team is built to win.

Carlos Villanueva - Should he be a starter?

The Blue Jays have some unanswered questions, do they bring back Carlos V or is he just a luxury insurance policy. Carlos proved that he can't handle the big innings.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Blue Jays use which glove maker

As you may know the Blue Jays use several different glove makers, the glove is the discretion of the individual. Glove makers try and sign up deals with lots of players to gain exposure. Most Toronto fans will remember Roger Clemens using a Cooper Glove for his years in Toronto with a sense of pride. Cooper is not a traditional maker of Baseball Gloves, at least not in the likes of Rawlings Baseball Gloves or Mizuno. Cooper signed Clemens to an endorsement deal. Endorsement deals are usually only for well known players or pitchers that get enough face time for it to matter. Jose Bautista uses a Wilson Outfield Glove Brett Lawrie - Mizuno; Adam Lind - Wilson; JP Arencibia uses an All Star, that's the name of the maker. Newly acquired Melky Cabrera also uses Wilson. Jose Reyes uses a Rawlings, while the other newly acquired John Buck uses a Wilson
Just remember that you should not pick their because their favorite player uses it. Here is a great site for tips on picking your glove.

Esmil Rogers - Scouting Report Blue Jays

I think a lot of Blue Jay Fans didn't realize that the Jays traded the guy they got for John Farrell. Mike Aviles and Yan Gomes were sent to Cleveland in exchange for very hard throwing right hander Esmil Rogers. Rogers throws in the high 90's and will be a grea backend complement for Casey Jansen, Darren Oliver and the rest of the Bullpen. Rogers a fastball clocked at 95+ and a devastating splitter. The video will give you a good look at this guy and the stuff he features. I think we gave up a couple marginal players that were not going to contribute to the 2013 Blue Jays and received a plus arm. Rogers has spent most of his time with the Colorado Rockies. Rogers had an ERA of 3.06 in 2012 after coming over from the Rockies.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Mike McDade plucked from the Jays by Indians.

Mike McDade was an interesting pick up for the Indians, he has been with the Jay s since 2007. Check out this article on this pick up by the Indians.  He was an All Star at a couple levels.  Players like McDade are often lost as a result of years of service and the Blue Jays not protecting him.
Here is a little video of what Mike McDade looks like swinging the bat. This video is from the 2011 Double A All Star Game.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Toronto Meet DeMarlo Hale - your new bench coach

This doesn't sound like a huge maneuvre, but it is.  Hale is considered one of the top coaches in Baseball and has been on most GM's shortlists for Managerial jobs.  DeMarlo Hale served as the Orioles 3rd base coach this past season, is taking a job as bench coach for the Blue Jays.  He will be a great addition for John Gibbons and a huge asset for a coaching staff that lost Brian Butterfield who followed John Farrell to the Red Sox after nearly a decade with the Blue Jays.   Hale, who been the Red Sox bench coach for manager Terry Francona, joined Buck Showalter’s staff this past season after Francona had not been offered a contract for the 2012 season.  Showalter had a notion that Hale would be a flight risk potentially and was not surprised by the departure. Hale will head to Toronto to work under new manager John Gibbons, who was hired Tuesday for his second stint with the club.  Hale’s contract with the Orioles had expired, making a move possible. The Blue Jays had interviewed him prior to the 2011 season for the Managerial Job.
Losing Hale is a loss to the Orioles, who had hoped to have their staff signed by the end of this week. Hale, who also served as infield coach this past season, was well respected by coaches and players. He was one of Showalter’s trusted coaches when it came to pre-game preparedness.  DeMarlo Hale built his way up through baseball and is well regarded as one of the most prepared coaches in baseball.  He worked at the Bucky Dent Baseball School early in his career, before coming to prominence as a Major League Coach.

Baseball Reference Coaching Page - DeMarlo Hale

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Alex Anthopoulos hires puppet .... I mean Manager

I was startled to hear that the Blue Jays were considering bringing back John Gibbons!?@:( Unfortunately it happened!  After spending lots of time in my local Starbucks contemplating why they would bring back JG, I came to the conclusion that it must be for the simple reason that AA wants to control all aspects of the team.  All other candidates would have taken the GM's feedback into consideration  but that would be it.  This move is more about AA relationship with his manager than it is about the managers relationship with his players.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Melky Cabrera - Blue Jays new Left Fielder - Melkman

The Melkman is coming north.  The Blue Jays added the NL batting title winner, even though he declined to win the award as a result of his positive PED test.  This was quite an honorable thing to do and shows why Melky is a fan favorite and well like player amongst his teammates.  Melky Cabrera represents a huge upgrade in Left Field, his ability to switch hit will ensure there is a permanent option.  Last season started with Eric Thames and ended with Rajai Davis.  Davis was able to provide better defense and his ability to steal bases made him an option.  Unfortunately, Davis is at best a 4 or 5th Outfielder and the Melky signing may necessitate his being moved.  This also begs the question, who plays Centrefield? Gose or Rasmus? For the first time in the history of the Blue Jays, this should be a set lineup from day 1 in Spring Training.

Melky Cabrera understands the challenges of playing in the American League East, he came up with the New York Yankees.  He seems to enjoy the challenges of the game and is a clutch player.  In 2012, he was the All Star Game MVP and won the Giants Hustle Award.  His average of .346 was best in the NL. The real question is will his lack of being on the sauce(PED's) limit his performance.  Even if Cabrera returns to the 800 range in OPS production, this will be a huge improvement on previous years.  His defense is more than adequate, having covered Centrefield for the Yankees for 3+ seasons.  We are also confident that he wont make the same mistake 2 with the Performance Enhancing Drugs that derailed his 2012 season and cost him 50 games and a playoff birth.    The Jays are lucky to have this guy and should be considered favorites for the Playoffs if not the Division out right.  

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Blue Jays Get Jose Reyes and Josh Johnson

The Marlins have made a huge splash at the Winter Meetings, dropping some dead weight and bringing All Star Shortstop Jose Reyes and Pitcher Josh Johnson along with John Buck and Mark Buerhle. The Jays were able to shed talented SS Yunel Escobar, starting pitcher Henderson Alvarez, along with several top level prospects.  Escobar was a cancer at the end of the season and Jays are ecstatic to find a home for the slander-flipping Cuban.  Alvarez should turn into a quality Major League pitcher, but may be a couple years away from reaching his full potential.   The Jays land Josh Johnson who instantly becomes the ace of the staff, he has no hit stuff and provides the staple the Jays thought they had in Ricky Romero.    Jose Reyes is another prize, he instantly becomes the best middle infielder since Roberto Alomar.

 The Blue Jays are definitely making changes, bringing 5 legitimate major leaguers - Emilio Benaficio is one of the fastest players in Baseball.  He is considered an ideal top of the order guys and will create lots of run production for Bautista and Encarnacion.  John Buck who is also reportedly in the deal will necessitate more moves, with the moving of Jeff Mathism, Buck had his best year in 2009 with the Blue Jays and will be a wonderful back up to JP Arencibia if he stays with the club.  The Jays are loaded at catcher with Travis D'Arnaud thought to be on his way to the Majors.  Buck only has 1 yr left on his deal and will be a good fill in until 2014. 

The Marlins are taking some baggage with Escobar, but the rest of the players are all high level prospects.  Justin Nicolino is considered one of the Blue Jays top five prospects.  The hard throwing lefty spent 2012 with Lansing and dominated.  Most discussions for the Blue Jays with other teams have included Nicolino.  The real steal in this trade may be Jake Marisnick, the speedy outfielder is a potential 5 tool player with gap power that could progress into middle of the order power.  His potential is big - but given that Alex Anthopoulos needs to win quickly, this is a good move.  In Adeiny Hechavarria; the Cuban SS the Jays outbid all of baseball became superfluous with Reyes.  Deny was a pleasant surprise in 2012, building on his offensive performance the entire season.  He may be the Marlins shortstop in 2013, moving Yunel Escobar over to 2nd Base.  This may be the final stop for Escobar, his offense is limited and his defense is not good enough to out way the cancer he is in the clubhouse.  The Jays will be better just for losing Escobar.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Blue Jays - Sad end to 2012

The season that started with such promise has deteriorated into a last place jumble of celebrating O Vizquel passing the Babe for 41st place on the hits list.  Not sure why a 45 year old is even getting at bats, there must be guys at triple A deserving of some playing time.  This season must be viewed as a major backslide.  From Yunel Escobar exposing himself as a major liability with 2 years and 2 more options remaining on his contract, the Jays no longer have an asset.   Losing 3 top arms in Drabek and Hutchinson to Tommy John surgeries is terrible.  The lack of ability within the organization to develop talented sluggers Travis Snider and Eric Thames before giving up on them.  The poor result of off season signings.  This team has shown poor patience and even worse talent evaluation.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Outfield Anthony Gose - 2012 Prospect Report

Anthony Gose is a supremely talented outfielder who can play Right, Left or Centre.  Most people don't know that he was clocked at 95 MPH in High School from the mound.  He is also ridiculously fast, routinely flying around the bases showing everyone the potential that the Blue Jays have been flogging for 3 yrs as the second coming of Kenny Lofton meets Usain Bolt.
The sad part of this story is that with the trading of Travis Snider and Eric Thames they have cleared the way for Gose to take over in Leftfield, sadly he is proving not ready for the promotion. His inability to foul off curveballs, change ups and most off speed pitches is concerning.  His swing is simple and uncomplicated, fundamentally very sound.  The hope is that he should be able to hit the ball consistently enough to utilize his speed.   Only time will tell if the Jays have jumped the gun on Gose, who is clearly over matched right now by Major League pitching.

As a side note, Travis Snider is continuing his great play for the Pirates and I will make the bold prediction that he is a perennial 280 hitter with 30 bombs.  Sad it won't be for the Blue Jays.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Blue Jays Prospect Chad Jenkins - No longer a prospect

Chad Jenkins came to the Jays with great promise, a high round pick with plus stuff and 3 quality pitches he has degraded at each level. I always like to see if they are striking out hitters, with 57 strike outs in about 117 innings pitched at New Hampshire.  Jenkins does have a good sinker, but even guys like Derek Lowe had plus punch outs in the minors.  It is more a commentary on how quality young pitchers can turn into basically a 500 pitcher.  This begs the question - Are the guys we have been promised going to worth the wait??  I am not convinced.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Moises Sierra - Scouting Report - Jays Prospect

Moises Sierra, the Jays newest addition of an unproven outfielder that needs seasoning but will only be give a few atbats to become a MLBer before being traded to another team.  :)  From what we understand this guy has some great raw tools, a big arm that he showed off last night.  Average speed, no plate discipline and good power, his average of .289 in Las Vegas doesn't strike me as a guy that is a top prospect?  Well that is because he isn't anything more than a serviceable MLBer potentially.   Vegas is a place where the pitchers hit .200, so the fact that Sierra hit in the 240's does not make me that confident in his abilities.  In comparison, David Cooper is hitting .314 at Vegas and won the PCL batting title in 2011.  The funny thing about this is he is still not considered a prospect by most watchers.   Is this a positive step forward??

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Eric Thames - Gone for what??

Wow, what a shitty day to be a Blue Jays fan. You go to bed thinking, we have one of the best stock piles of young outfielders anywhere in baseball.  You wake up and your Bullpen is now just okay... for a couple guys they could probably get via free agency.  The raw power of Eric Thames was evident with any BP session you watched.  Its very sad that this organization has forgotten the lessons of Cito Gaston who turned Jose Bautista into Joey Bats and Marco Scutaro in a valuable player and Shawn Green into well you get where I am going here.  What happens in 3 yrs when Anthony Gose has been sent back to the farm 3 times and people are wondering, will he be traded??   You need to give these young guys an opportunity to succeed and compete at the Major League level.  Travis didn't know where he was going, one minute he is stud, the next he is back on the farm.  This is a huge mistake by an organization that always claims that you need to get the best player in the deal to win the trade.  Well on deadline day 2012 they lost both trades.

Travis Snider Traded to the Pirates for RHP Brad Lincoln

I guess the Blue Jays got tired of seeing Travis Snider swing and miss at off-speed pitches.  Snider who would be out of options next spring was slowly degrading as a prospect.  The Jays maximize there investment and are clearly going to go with Anthony Gose in the outfield as the third with Colby Rasmus and Jose Bautista.  Anthopoulos, Jays GM has realized that Snider was not going to be one of the top 3 in the Spring and there hand would be forced.  Snider had been up and down many times over the last 4 years, his huge home run potential and still projects as a quality corner outfielder.  His power and early success had lots of Blue Jay Fans excited about his potential.  Only to be disappointed when he would go in prolonged slumps.  Snider is also an excellent defensive outfielder getting quality jumps on the ball and exhibiting a strong arm.  He will probably play rightfield for the Pirates who are in a playoff push for the first time in more than 2 decades.

Open question - But how much of a chance did they really give Travis Snider?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Blue Jays 2011 Year in Review

2011 was a year of change.  New Manager, New Closer, New 1st Baseman, and most of the experiments worked out this year.  Adam Lind who played 1st Base in College turned in a great year with the glove, making most of us forget about Lyle Overbay.  Lind who appeared at times as uninterested left fielder, we have to assume that the idea of chatting with all the opposing players is more interesting than standing in left field or on the bench waiting to hit.  The move has solved the issue of the offensive vacuum that plagued the Jays for parts of the last 5 yrs.  To Adam's right was Aaron "I Forgot how to Hit!" Hill, who was traded to the Dbacks for another under performer Kelly Johnson.  Johnson could be brought back next season but it is not sure how they will handle second base next year. 

Does Brett Lawrie play to hard??

Brett Lawrie makes huge difference in return from leg contusion driving in 3 runs in his first game back. This shows his determination as many thought the injury was going to be much more serious. This begs the question is Lawrie going to be limited by his all or nothing effort. With each injury he will be less of the player he could be, but its also impossible to ask Lawrie to play less hard. That is like telling a pitcher to throw quite so hard. He is intense and that is why we love him, but unfortunately it could be an issue moving forward.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tigers Sign Prince - while Jays Get Closer

Ummm....5-3 record with a 2.45 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP with the Cincinnati Reds. Not to shabby... considering pitching is our biggest weak point.
Um ya.... Prince Fielder - a legit free agent that is WORTH every penny would have been WAY better then these old bums we keep signing. Ya great we got Cordero and Vizquel while the rich (Red Sox, Yankees, Tigers and Rangers) just keep getting richer.

Tigers have 1 pitcher,,, 2 hitters... thats about it.
Visquel being signed might mean a move is on the horizon, he is a perfect fit if they decide echavaria is ready to join the big club, what a mentor to have plus his Defense is still all-star caliber. He is now a DH... Cabrera doesn't like DHing
Cabrera is a better hitter - I am sure they checked with him. What happens when Fielder hits 300 hundred on the Scale and at the plate. That has to be some kind of record.

Unless Cabrera is going back the 3rd, but I imagine they both wanna be in the field. This just in Jays traded Escobar and 2 prospects for Cabrera. Kidding.

Dont get me wrong... i like both Jay signings. Ill take Vizquel over McCoy ANY DAY. Cordero cant be worse then Rauch. Fielder will be the 1B for at least 4 years and Cabrera will probably spend 60% of his time at 3B, 15% at DH and 15% at... 1B. Maybe a bit of LF too. Im just personally so F'ing sick that the Jays refuse to shell out money when opportunities like this come up. This is a proven guy that is YOUNG. I dont want them to spend money for the sake of it but this was a really good young guy who hits .300 35HR 115 RBI every year and never gets injured!See More
I just gotta trust AA knows what he is doing, so far he has been pretty good and a I am sure he has plans for this type of signing eventually, hopefully when the team is ready and needs to spend they step up.
Not sure if you guys remember, Stand Pat? Pat Gillick
Cordero had 37 Saves last year, to get him for 4.5 is a steal. Great insurance at closer and he cost 1.5 less than Francisco ended up getting from the Mets. Explain that...