Sunday, December 29, 2013
So, if you weren't disappointed enough in the 2013 season, step into the 2013 off season. Yes, shedding JP Arencibia is an addition by subtraction. And we are very happy to have Dioner Navarro onboard. His leadership and experience in the AL East will be a great asset. Anyone that has played for Joe Maddon is smarter for it. Navarro should give the maturity to the catching position that will ensure a rebound season for all under-performing pitchers. That said, not everything can be saddled on Arencibia. But everything begins with the catcher and JP would rank as the worst offensive and defensive player at his position in all of baseball. His lack of awareness of his short comings must have been an incredibly frustrating situation for all management. Pitching is what wins you championships, the Blue Jays have some potential upside many players that will be needed to fill the 4-5 rotation spots in 2014. Dickey, Buerhle, Morrow are an established group. The Second group of Jenkins, Happ, Rogers, Drabek and Redmond will be in until Prospects like Aaron Sanchez are ready to contribute. Management seems committed to this group, having turned down several offers for top prospects like Aaron Sanchez and others for stop gap pitching like Jeff Samardzija, the current Cubs ace. The hope for 2014 is in the second group of arms.
Friday, April 26, 2013
Watching a Jays game with Buck and Pat is getting pretty stale. Buck Martinez blabs on and on about Mariano Rivera... I watch the odd Yankee broadcast and they NEVER EvER gave ANY other player this kind of lip service. This is not a slight on Rivera, he is a great player but.. Oh my gosh, give it a rest. He is not the second coming of the lord himself... but Buck, also the President of the Mariano Rivera Fan club needs to remind us of all the accomplishments.
Sunday, April 21, 2013
I know I am writing this before the weekend series with the Yankees is over but I am already pretty disgusted with the effort that has been put forward. From Vernon Wells going deep to Lyle Overbay going deep to Ben Francisco even getting some playing time. Yes we are missing perhaps our best player in Jose Reyes, but the Yankees are missing 3 sure fire hall of famers and they nutted up better than the Blue Jays. Plane and simple, this team lacks the intensity and ability to work at bats and get big hits. Lets start with Saturdays game, Maicer gets a lead off single in the 10th inning and Bonifacio moves him up. Rajai has a chat with Jose Bautista right before he goes to hit. Bautista says watch out for the Slider. What does Rajai do, well he swings at the first pitch, a slider on the outside corner. Lack of mental rehearsal or mental preparation. Something the Jays not possessed since the last won a world series. Guys like Joe Carter, Dave Winfield and Paul Molitor all had a plan. Now for a team that relies on the long ball to score a large majority of their runs. The Jays are going to struggle madly in close scoring games. That brings us to the mismanagement of the Bull Pen. Tom Lasorda was the worlds greatest match up king. He would ensure that his pitchers always had the best chance for success. Leaving Aaron Loup in for back to back Righties and then a switch hitter was a guaranteed disaster. No body ever called JG the brightest bulb. Go Jays Go!
Saturday, April 13, 2013
Blue Jay fans have been going crazy for Brett Lawrie for almost 3 years now. Unfortunately, I fear the second coming of Larry Walker is not going to be the Tip Oneill we all hoped he would be. Potential aside, Lawrie plays with a reckless abandon that will only put him on the DL for longer and longer stretches. Similar young players like Scott Rolen and Kirk Gibson played with the same tenacity only to suffer late in their careers to stay healthy and produce at a high level. Rolen is the perfect parallel, producing Hall of Fame numbers his first few years in Philadelphia before being limited by a chronic shoulder injury. Lawrie needs to understand that each injury today will cost you 50-100 games in your career - perhaps more. Now, I think Lawrie is going to be a fine alround player and should make a couple all star games. But he is not the next Mike Schmidt, perhaps he is more of a Scott Brosius or on the high side Eric Chavez.
The Jays do not have a tone of depth at the short stop position, but 1 player that can fill for Reyes and has Major League experience is Munenori Kawasaki. Kawasaki is not one of these high priced Japanese imports. He is an all glove no stick kind of player. But he should be able to handle the position in his absence. Other option include Ryan Goins, who had a very nice spring and turned some heads. But has no Major League experience. Also in the mix would be Mike McCoy and Maicer Izturis. Emilio Bonifacio is not a Short Stop and some might argue that he should not be playing 2nd base. Kawasaki, played with the Mariners in 2012 and has all the Major League Tools from a defensive position. I was watching the broadcast last night and they had no idea who they would be turning to in this situation. I believe Reyes is an irreplaceable player, so anyone they use will only be the weakest of stop gaps. Reyes is the Blue Jays best player! So, this is a huge blow. Someone should send him tape of Vince Colemen who never took a play or steal for granted. He slid 100% of the time. Part of the reason you do slide is to protect yourself and get on the base with jarring your body to harshly.
Sunday, March 31, 2013
Just when you thought the Jays might suffer Ricky Romero for another 6 months north of the border. They make a move right out of the Gord Ash play book, sending a lost player way back to A Ball - complete with his huge guaranteed contract. The opportunity of him losing every fifth day in trying to figure himself out is not acceptable on a team that is built to win this year. Happ will be marginally better than a 500 pitcher, but on this club where offense will be easy to come by, Happ should be able to put up 15 wins. Where Romero who was struggling mightily would not be able to win 12 Games.
Saturday, March 9, 2013
The Blue Jays have some serious questions with their bullpen in 2013. Its probably the only real debate in camp this spring. The closer role is undecided with Sergio Santos having an inside track on the job. Many questions will be left unanswered, a role of huge importance for the Jays is long reliever. In 2012, this was handled by Carlos Villaneuva, who now pitches for the Cubs. Brad Lincoln, who was acquired in exchange for Travis Snider last season. Lincoln has excellent stuff, a former first round pick he has issues with command. His in ability to throw strikes and keep the ball in the yard is going to make a long stay in Toronto a challenge. The Jays have loaded up on depth in this role with Dave Bush, Ramon Ortiz, J.A. Happ, Brett Cecil and Claudio Vargas are all going to spend time in Buffalo auditioning for time in Toronto. Lincoln and Happ have the greatest potential to help in the short and long term. Their potential contribution should not be underestimated, the number of staffs that have won a pennant without losing a starter along the way is few. Even Al Leiter was a great spot starter for the Jays in 93. The Yankees who won 95 games last year, needed David Phelps to make 11 starts and pitched well in the role. Brad Lincoln, has had excellent stints in the high minors. He pitched well with Pittsburgh before trading to the Jays. His strike out to walk ratio is also well above average at around 3 to 1. If he can find the command of his slider, his best pitch, he should be able to find a role with the Jays in the Pen.
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
With all the optimism of this year, it would have been a great situation to have Dustin McGowan fighting for a long role in the bullpen. His shoulder and knees have been a problem for better part of the last 4 years. He has had several moments of rebound but sadly, this latest incident was around him playing catch.
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Henry Blanco - yes, 41 year old Henry Blanco. Not sure where this fits, but I guess if you obsolutely need a catcher who can catch a knuckleball. The veteran will give the Jays some needed depth at catcher. Blanco signed for 750,000, but its not guaranteed and he may not make the 25 man roster. Josh Thole is considered to be the back up catcher, he has plenty of experience catching Dickey. But if he were to be injured, Blanco will be able to easily step in. This season will probably be Blanco's last, but this shows how most veteran players view the potential for the Jays in 2013.
Sunday, January 6, 2013
Love him or hate him, Jason Frasor has been the longest tenured arm in the bullpen. Having appeared in more games in relief than any other Blue Jay. The diminutive right hander is headed to the hot Texas heat. This may not be the best thing for a guy that seems to sweat alot no matter the conditions. The Rangers signed him for just over 1 million dollars. This will probably end an era for Jason Frasor that saw him be drafted by the Blue Jays, most BJ fans were very nervous whenever Frasor entered the game. He still commands a terrific fastball for a small guy. As a life long Jays fan, I think Frasor will be missed. The second item that was revealed, Darren Oliver is holding the Jays ransom. Trying to the Jays to increased the front loaded contract that he signed in 2011. The deal was front loaded, as a result Oliver is holding the Jays hostage. Insisting that they increase the option yr or he will retire. The issue here is around the nature of the deal. When it was signed, the money was front loaded at the request of Oliver. This behavior is despicable. I would say let him go, but truly he should just honor the deal that was signed when no body else was calling.