Saturday, March 5, 2011

Brett Lawrie: Toronto Blue Jay?

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want Lawrie to start opening day with Toronto. I think it would be harmful to his development, as a fielder, and as a hitter. He’s making it awfully hard not to consider him though. There’s a bunch of factors that play into it, and I’m going to try to see if him starting the year here is really a bad idea.

A)   A) The conditions at AAA Las Vegas.
-The field conditions in Las Vegas are hard, rough and not the environment you want to put a guy learning a brand new position.  And while I know Rogers Centre wouldn’t necessarily be any better, at least he would have consistent access to Brian Butterfield, and I don’t think sending him back to AA is a great idea because…

B)  B) He’s too good to go back to New Hampshire
-He put up a .361 wOBA at Huntsville last year. He had a respectable BB% of 7.7, and his K% was 21.3, which is really quite good for a 21 year old with just over 1000 pro at-bats. And some of those triples and doubles are going to start turning into tater tots. I don’t think it would be good for his development, or psyche, to go back to New Hampshire and hit .300/.380/.500. He seems like the kind of guy who would let that go to his head.

C)  C) Speaking of his personality…
-Do you really want Brett ‘Doctored Eminem Tattoos’ Lawrie going to sin city? I’ll let you answer this one.

D)  D) Our line-up would improve
Without Lawrie:

C Arencibia
1B Lind
2B Hill
3B Bautista
SS Escobar
LF Snider
CF Davis
RF Thames/Podsednik/Patterson*
DH Encarnacion

With Lawrie:

C Arencibia
1B Lind
2B Hill
3B Lawrie
SS Escobar
LF Snider
CF Davis
RF Bautista
DH Encarnacion

…Uh, yeah, Podsednik or J-Bau…your call.

E)  E) He had a double and a homerun today, and Ashby liked his D
-This is a completely reactionary post. I listened to the Jays game today on the ol’ Fan 960 here in Calgary, and when I heard Ashby gushing about Lawrie pickup on the one double play…well, got me thinking about his defensive readiness, I mean, he has been playing second for a year or two now, hasn’t he? Weren’t we all asking for Hill to go play third earlier this year? Can’t be too hard of a transition. And then ‘The Law’ hit his homer and…well, this post was spawned.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Travis Snider, Oh How I Weep

All right. Sorry I took so long to get back into this. Have had some stuff going on that consumed a rather large chunk of my time, and with so much (unequivocally better) analysis out there, four seam fastball wasn’t really a priority. My schedules cleared up for the time being though, so i'm going to aim for at least one post a week.

Any who, onto the actual post.

The other day while surfing the interweb, I stumbled across Travis Snider’s fangraphs page. I decided, being the egregious baseball nerd that I am, to look to see if I could find any factors that helped turn his season around before his injury. When I looked down to his month-by-month splits, this is what greeted my eyes.

May/April BB%            14.5%
May                           4.3%
August                       5.6%
Sept/Oct                     2.0%

Is it just me, or does that scare the shit out of anyone? His k% remained in the mid to high 20s, but his BB% took a huge dip. Could this be another GODDAMN IT CITO!!!!! Moment, or was Snider just pressing? In his first month, he had some awful fucking luck. We’re talking about Henry Ziegland unlucky here. His LD rates were above average, his GB% was just fine, and he didn’t hit an exorbitant amount of fly balls. Yet his BABIP for April was .157.  Then, he decided to start swinging at everything, and his BABIP skyrocketed to .467, the lone reason he had any success at all in May. His BB% fell into the abyss, and his K% rose (and would continue too till the end of the year). I can’t get month-by-month splits for it, but almost all of Snider’s Swing% rates increased compared to his 2009 season. So far his career BB% and K% look like this:

8.1% BB
29.4% K

Mystery Players Third year in MLB

6.0% BB
20.1% K

Can you guess who the player is?

Jeff. Fucking. Francoeur.

Have a look at this nifty BB/K graph

Or maybe their OBP comparison will be more to your liking.

…. Goddamnit.
If you’re like me, you thought Travis Snider was a god. That he would single handedly deliver the Jays mountains and mountains of championships. Well…uh yeah. Not feeling so sure about that anymore. Don’t get me wrong, he could rub off the Cito-stain and return to his minor league levels, but after looking at this stuff, right now I see him as a .260/.320/.450 guy until he figures out how to balance taking a walk and swinging with reckless abandon.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Marlwaukee (pun-master!)

Ok, last nights roundup (if you can call it that) was not adequate, so here comes a whole shit load of my opinion. Also Jays rumours. 

The Marcum Deal

This deal only gives me a chubby, so AA must me slowing down. Just jokes, but it is sad to see a pitchers pitcher like Marcum depart the Jays. I wish him the best of luck in Milwaukee. The Jays received Brett Lawrie, a 21 year old second basemen who just finished his first year in AA. The Langley, BC native hit .285/.346/.451 last year, and was the Brewers best prospect. He has a very good bat and decent speed, he had 16 (16!!!!!!) triples last year. His defence is atrocious though, as  MLBTR said this, 

"The 16th pick in the 2008 draft, Lawrie is said to be an aggressive hitter with good pop.  While he was praised for his strong hands and quick bat, Baseball America writes that he needs to dedicate himself to defense if he wants to become a second baseman in the mold of Jeff Kent. Some scouts believe the soon-to-be 21-year-old is destined for an outfield corner."

So, yeah. I personally hope he stays in the infield at either second or third. Hell, maybe even first. Doesn't really matter, his bat WILL play. (says my almost super-human guessing ability). He was 20 this year and he turned in a .360 WOBA at AA, so thats kind of nails. 

Mathias Diaz

Well, he could platoon with Lind. It would be nice to just steal him from the Yankees, but this is also a three horse race, with the mariners sticking their retarded asses into the mix, so who the fuck knows. I, for one, would be cool with it.

Carlos Pena

Sign him to a one year deal with an option for '12 and '13, with the payday for those years being relatively huge. If he returns to form, you have a slugging first basemen for three years, if not, just dump him at the deadline or waive him. Win-win. Of course they have to sign him first, but I hope they get him.

Rusty 'Maple Boners' Martin

Apparently the Jays looked at his medical sitch today. Doubt they sign him.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Non-tender Musings

Sorry that i haven't really been updating this blog, though I doubt anyone really reads it anyways, because fuck blogs. Anyways, i've been a bit overloaded with homework recently, so that is the cause of my absence from this increasingly shitty blog.

Now, to actual baseball. MLBTR recently released the lists of non-tender for the National and American leagues. I wont link to them because i'm having a fuck of time trying to get it to work, so if you care that goddamn much, go find it yourself.

Anyways, i've decided, because studying is a bitch, that I'll try too see if any of them fit the Jays

Matt Albers RP
If I were AA I would either try to land Albers for a very low price, or extend him an invite to spring training (I would also enjoy greek salad). He's been moderately effective out of the pen for the orioles, and while he'll never (ever) blow anyone away (career K/9 rate of 5.84) he'll provide consumption of innings. He'll never be great, but he'll at least be better than Brian Tallet right?

Bobby Jenks RP

Sign him. Right now. Now.  RIGHTFUCKINGNOW. Holy shiiiit, do the White Sox look like fucking senile blowhards on this one. Yes, his ERA was 4.44 last year, but his FIP was fucking 2.59, while his XFIP was 2.62. He's still only 29 or 30 (I can never tell on those (3/14/1981 things), he just had his best season since 2007, his K-rate was over 10/9, he walked just over 3/9, and he had a ground ball rate of 58%. He's not Mariano Rivera, but he'll fucking do. Sign the guy to a 1-2 year deal at say, 3.5 per, and huzzah, closer problem solved. (I don't actually believe strongly in the concept of closers, but they're nice to have, aren't they?)

Zach Miner RP

either him or Albers, take your pick.

Hideki Okajima RP/Organizational consultant

OK, this one's a little outside the box, but sign Oka-cheese to a deal, let him retire as an MLB-er, and let him stay on as head of Japanese scouting or something, or if AA deems he's not intelligent enough to head a major office like that, keep him as a personal baseball/english for any potential pacific rimmers to come to the Jays.
(i didn't do any research on this one, because really, who gives a shit)

I'll do the NL tomorrow, because i'm a lazy fucker.

In slightly related notes, the Jays did tender Dustin 'bow down to my mutton chops' Mcgowan.

They're also pursuing AJ Piersyzinski. I literally fucking hate him. Apparently they're close to a deal but fuck, i want to see the AAA fucking MVP catch.

Note: Joe Cowley is a lying pig-fucker.

Friday, November 12, 2010

A quick break from that shitty list

Here's some of the noteworthy transactions (and rumours) that involve the Jays. This is just a summarization of the stuff on MLBTR, so just check that out if you want to avoid looking at this blog for too long. Most of this post is just what they said, but re-written by a 9th grader, so i would recommend just reading it there.

A's claim Edwin Encarnacion

I think this just guarantees Brad Emaus starting at third this year. I don't see the Jays going after a 3B in free-agency, simply due to the lack of quality players, and unless AA works some magic via trade (Gordon) its Emaus's job to lose.

Dewayne Wise/ Brian Tallet hit free- agency

They both refused outright claims to AAA, so now the Jays only have 11 arbitration eligible players. Wise is a poor man's Fred Lewis, and Tallet has only his mutton chops going for him. This was a surprise to no-one that they're gone.

Buster Olney says stuff

Some interesting tidbits here. Olney states that the Rays are willing to move Upton, and would not have to be overwhelmed to pull the trigger on a deal. He also says that the Yankees are interested in Buck, but not as interested the Red-Sox, i don't really understand the Red-Sox interest. That could be because im a hge believer in Saltalammachia, but i guess it would be nice to have some depth catching. He also talks about how Downs compensation pick could be a second or third rounder, due to higher ranking free-agents being signed by the same team.


As you've probably heard on other blogs that aren't lazy fucks, the Jays are interested in Greinke. I doubt we get him though. Also Alex Gordon.

On the coaching staff:

Fuckin' A. I love our staff

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Potential Jays Trade Targets (A.L East)

Just a quick word here on BA's new prospect list. I won't do a post on it, because i don't know enough about prospects to fully explain each players position on the list, and it's already been summed up pretty nicely over at The Southpaw, and The 5th Starter. With no further ado, lets venture forth into the A.L East portion of this (shitacular) list.

Baltimore Orioles

Luke Scott DH/1B

He certainly wouldn't be the Jays long term solution at first, but he could definitely keep the seat warm for whoever the Jays decide is the future of the franchise going forward at first. He would provide above-average pop (.235 career ISO), good patience (11.2% BB), and in general a good bat. His defence is a little shoddy, as is shown by his career UZR of -0.6, but I'm of the belief that you don't need a gold glove first basemen too win ballgames. He'd be a nice piece, but not something you'd build around. You don't necessarily have to acquire him now either, wait and see if (opening day 1st basemen) works out at first.

The Orioles are a rebuilding franchise, and while you'd obviously inquire about their young players, I doubt the Orioles would be entirely happy to part with them. Luke Scott works this way because he is roughly 30, and is a nice piece for the Orioles to get prospects back for. As large as my Man-crush on Brian Matusz is, I don't see the Orioles parting with him. Or Wieters for that matter. Really any of their kids would be off-limits, especially to a division opponent.

Tampa Bay Rays

B.J Upton CF/INF

B.J is the obvious choice when you think about the Jays. AA went after a similar player (similar as in they both had slightly down years, and basically nothing else) in Yunel Escobar. He provides average patience (11.3% BB), nice pop (ISO of .187 last year) and the speed of a gazelle, as witnessed by 40+ SB in his last three years. He's a good fielder, with a career UZR/150 of 5.8. He was converted to a CF in 2007, so his ability to play infield would be in question. If he could still play the infield though, it would prove a valuable commodity to John Farrell. With Upton, Wells would be pushed to right, Bautista would march over to third, AA could non-tender E5, or have him platoon with Adam Lind at first. Of course if they were to do that, I'd rather it be with Colby Rasmus in center, but that thought is for another day. 

Dioner Navarro C

Sign him for cheap, keep him as a backup, then trade him for something when a team is analed during the season by catching injuries, simple as that. Or don't even wait that long, and trade to one of the teams you were bidding against for something this winter. (Note: make sure you're actually bidding against someone and he actually still has value.)

If you want to pursue Dan Johnson as your 2010 first base backup option, go ahead. I like some of Tampa's young pitching, but I also love the Jays young pitching, and doubt we need much more (starting) pitching. Maybe get Randy Choate just so Adam Lind can take him out behind the Jays clubhouse and pummel him.

Boston Red Sox

Jed Lowrie 3B/SS/2B

Here's a guy who is sort of blocked in Boston. They have Beltre at third, Scutaro/Iglesias at short and PEDroia at first. So it's logical that the Jays should try to pick up Lowrie, deal Hill while he still has some lingering value from 2009, and see what happens. Lowrie's poor 2009 season was partially caused by an injured wrist, and he rebounded nicely in 2010. He walked 12.7% of the time, and cut his strikeouts down to a manageable 14.6%. His ISO was a bit high, at .240 compared to a career .172, but thats pretty solid for a middle infielder. He is a much better fielder at second than short or third, so that would probably be his final destination in the field as a Jay.

Go after Daniel Bard if you want, but other than him, there isn't much on the Red Sox that would be attainable. And I will never cheer for Jonathan Papelbon. 

New York Yankees

I actually don't see many pieces on the Yankees that are both helpful to the Jays and viable. I mean Robi Cano would be nice, but a kings ransom would be needed to aquire him. Joba Chamberlain was the obvious selection for this portion of the piece, but looking at his numbers, his one successful season, 2007, was incredibly lucky. Most of his value would have to be through starting, and I don't see him doing that successfully ever.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Potential Jays Trade Targets (A.L Central)

Cleveland Indians

Matt LaPorta 1st Base
Matt LaPorta was the centrepiece in the C.C Sabathia deal that sent C.C over to the Brewers, so he was once a very highly touted prospect. A bit of the shine has come of though in recent years as his career MLB line is a meek .232/.307.308. He's always raked in the minors though, and his MLB career walk rate is a healthy 9%, and although his k-rate is a little high (21%) if the power comes around it shouldn't be a problem. He is a right handed bat, so Rogers Centre may help his power come into fruition a tad. He's a bit of a brick in the field, with an UZR/150 of -5.7, but you can live with that from your first basemen. 

I don't think the Indians would be willing to part with Carlos Santana (Casey BLake!!!!) or Shin-Soo Choo, so I'm going to leave it there for now.

Kansas City Royals

Billy Butler 1st Base
Another first basemen. Like AA said, it's the easiest position to obtain talent. (he did say that, right? After the Wallace trade?). Butler has had consecutive strong years at the dish, and although he clubbed less home runs this year, he did manage to raise his BB-rate to 10.2, and lower his K-rate (13.1%). His power numbers would go up in Rogers Centre anyways. He's about the same fielder as LaPorta, and wouldn't be much of a detriment to the ball club that way.

I wouldn't go anywhere else with the Royals. I like our pitching staff enough without Greinke, and I think Kila Ka'aihue's ship has sailed (unfortunately). The Jays have too much outfield depth to obtain Alex Gordon IMO, and from what knowledge I've managed to glean from Rany on the Royals, Most of the young outfielders on their club are career fourths. Joakim Soria would be nice, but how much are you willing to give up for a man that at maximum provides a WAR around 2.5.

Detroit Tigers

Daniel Schlereth RP
Schlereth, a part of the three-way Granderson trade, had a cup of coffee in the majors last year, and impressed. In 18 2/3 innings he had an era of 2.89, a k/9 of 9.16 and managed to scrape together a BB/9 of 4.82. He's still young (24) and could be the closer for next year.

Looking at the slew of young hitters for Detroit is kind of misleading. When I see Austin Jackson, I see a k-rate of 27.5 and a BABIP of .396. Although he has great speed, he will not be able to post a BABIP that high with any consistency. He walks at a decent clip, but he's not a viable leadoff candidate due to the k's. He could still provide value to the Ja- Oh right, the Tigers would demand a king's ransom in return. No thanks. Brennan Boesch strikes out far too often, and has only only had one season with justifiable power numbers to counter-act that (his 2008 AA season). Don Kelly is a non-entity.

Minnesota Twins

Alexi Casilla Middle Infield
He walks at a decent clip (7.6%) doesn't strike out much (11.2%) provides decent OBP (.331), and is quick. According to Fangraphs his 'Speed rating' is 8.0. I have no idea how it's calculated, so please, don't ask. He had an UZR of 4.0 in 2010. All of his stats cited in this paragraph are 2010 only. His 2009 season was atrocious, please also note that he didn't play much in 2010 (170 Major league PA's).

I don't really fancy any of the Twins young hitters currently in the Bigs, and their pitching philosophy of 'pound the strike zone with below-average fastballs' doesn't really fly with me. Call me old fashioned but I do like a nice 95mph heater. 

Chicago White Sox

Chris Sale SP/RP
Wish the Jays would have drafted this kid. He was lights out for the 'Sox last year, with a K/9 of 13.34, a BB/9 of 3.86 and a FIP of 2.74. It's not like he got lucky either, as his BABIP was an average .278. Have him as your Closer or have him be the swing-man of the rotation, keeping everyone's innings low.