Archive for November 2014

Hello Josh Donaldson, Goodbye Brett Lawrie

November 29, 2014

So much for a quiet Friday night.

It’s hard to imagine Brett Lawrie wearing an Oakland uniform. He was the Canadian kid playing for Canada’s team. But that marketing ploy went out the window once Russell Martin joined the team.

Of course, Lawrie’s nationality had nothing to do with the trade.

In retrospect, Brett Lawrie was a great infielder and an inconsistent hitter. I admired his energy and passion, although that same energy and passion got him into trouble sometimes; not to mention some stints on the DL. Perhaps he’ll find some consistency at the O.Co Coliseum.

I realize some fans are upset about losing Lawrie, but here’s the important item to remember: Josh Donaldson is a major upgrade.

Donaldson’s stats on Baseball-Reference.com do not lie. Over the last two seasons, he’s hit 20-plus homeruns and collected 90-plus RBIs per year. In addition, his batting average for 2013 and 2014 was above the .250 mark.

Another crucial stat from Baseball-Reference.com: Donaldson played 158 games each season. That’s something Lawrie could not do (107 in 2013, just 70 in 2014).

Obviously, this is a good trade for the Blue Jays. They get a talented third baseman in exchange for a third baseman who may or may not reach his full potential. Oakland also picks up three players (Nolin, Graveman and Berreto) who may or may not have productive big league careers.

Say what you want about AA. At least he’s rolling the dice and making an effort this offseason.

It’s funny. Back in 2010-2011, I was excited about the core group of young players on the Jays’ roster: JPA, Lawrie, Travis Snider, Ricky Romero, etc.

With the exception of Romero, who’s still toiling in AAA, all those young players are no longer with the team.

ER

Quick Thoughts on Russell Martin

November 18, 2014

I like it!

Russell Martin is a big upgrade from Dioner Navarro. The Canadian’s offensive numbers are better than Navarro’s. More importantly – as pointed out by Baseball-Reference.com – Martin’s career CS% is higher than Navarro’s (32% vs. 28%). Doesn’t seem like a big difference, but it certainly helps.

That’s not to say Navarro was a dud. The Blue Jays were very fortunate to get what they got from Navarro. Remember, this was a catcher who hadn’t played 100+ games since 2009.

So what happens to Navarro from this point forward?

He could be used as a trading chip or backup Martin, which wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing.

As for Martin, I look forward to seeing what affect his experience and leadership will have in the clubhouse and on the field.

A part of me fears he will under-perform, becoming a target for angry fans.

But there’s also a part of me that believes he will continue to produce like he has in the past.

So here’s hoping #55 will be nothing like a recent Blue Jay who wore that number.

ER

Quick Thoughts on The Gose/Travis Trade

November 13, 2014

Woke up this morning and realized I will never hear Montell Jordan at the Skydome again.

And so, the Anthony Gose era has come to an end. He had promise and certainly had his moments, but he never achieved his full potential.

From all accounts, Devon Travis is the “second baseman of the future.” As many have pointed out, Baseball America listed him as Detroit’s top prospect. I looked over his numbers on Baseball-Reference.com last night. His Single-A and Double-A stats are quite nice.

Essentially, the Blue Jays gave up an inconsistent player for a player who has potential. Regardless of how Devon Travis turns out, it’s not like the Jays gave up a lot or too much to get him.

ER

image

Anthony Gose during a 2013 Bisons game

The Pitcher With No Name

November 11, 2014

He appeared young and at the top of his game
At least that’s how the film portrayed him
A Cuban All-Star with a cannon for an arm

His name is unknown due to a language barrier
But it seems he was a family man
And it seems he was loved by his teammates

He threw a perfect game and was hoisted onto the shoulders of mortals
A deity that people would come to see
Studying every move, every action

One night, his career came to an end
An apparent upper body injury
As his image disappears, I ask how he met his untimely end

Was it from the injury?
Was it from a car accident?
Was it from the loss of something far greater?

An inability to understand Spanish allows for a lack of closure
But I do come to one conclusion:

It was a sad story, yet I am grateful to have heard it

ER

Final Thoughts & Awards

November 4, 2014

It seems the San Francisco Giants enjoy even-numbered years. They’ve  captured MLB’s top prize in 2010, 2012 and now, 2014.

There are simply two words that describe the 2014 World Series: Madison Bumgarner.

What the World Series MVP accomplished was incredible! But you already knew that.

Think about this: The life of a big league starter is extremely controlled and organized. Their throwing schedules are planned out, as are how many days of rest they get between starts. It truly defines routine.

A full-time starter pitching on two days rest would be strongly discouraged. But this was game seven of the World Series and the Giants were holding on to a slim lead. Therefore, I applaud Bumgarner and Bruce Bochy for taking “the rules” and tossing them into the dumpster. It paid off beautifully.

Meanwhile, the Royals have nothing to be ashamed about.

They went on an amazing run, captivating fans and creating some exciting drama. They took the eventual champs to seven games and only loss the final match by one run.

Yes, it stings. But they battled and should hold their heads high.

How about some awards?

American League

Best Manager: Ned Yost, Kansas City
Best Pitcher: Felix Hernandez, Seattle
Best Hitter: Mike Trout, LAA

National League

Best Manager: Matt Williams, WSH
Best Pitcher: Clayton Kershaw, LAD
Best Hitter: Giancarlo Stanton, Miami

Blue Jays

Best Pitcher: Marcus Stroman
Best Reliever: Brett Cecil
Best Hitter: Jose Bautista

ER

My “artistic rendition” of Madison Bumgarner pitching in game seven of the World Series.

Re. Everything That Happened This Weekend

November 2, 2014

And now, some random musings about all the roster announcements made this past weekend.

Where to begin….where to begin?

1) Re. Jeff Francis and Andy Dirks: Small gambles by AA, with the hopes they turn out to be so-called “diamonds in the rough.” I’m placing them in the same file with Justin Smoak – nothing to get excited about or expect much.

2) Re. Sergio Santos: Big disappointment. The writing was on the wall after he was demoted late in the season.

3) Re. Brandon Morrow: Bigger disappointment. Actually, it’s a sad ending to a story that looked so promising. Morrow was terrific….when he was healthy. He just hasn’t been the same since he injured his oblique in 2012. It was like everything went downhill from that point on.

4) Re. Dustin McGowan: An inspiring journey, but the journey has come to an end.

5) Re. J.A. Happ: Shi Davidi recently reported there’s been interest in Happ from other teams. By picking up the option, the Jays allow themselves to get something in return for him.

6) Re. Josh Thole: If he’s staying, then it’s likely R.A. Dickey won’t be traded; or, they are considering trading RAD and want to keep Thole – the knuckleballer’s personal catcher, for now – in the mix.

7) Re. The Adam Lind trade: I’m really going to miss Mr. Lind. Marco Estrada’s numbers aren’t awful, but they’re not fabulous either. Either way, he’s not worth giving up Lind’s power. Sure, Lind couldn’t hit lefties, but I feel he offers more than what Estrada could contribute to the team. Of course, I could be wrong and Estrada becomes a beneficial reliever out of the bullpen. Time will tell.

ER

My Instagram tribute to Adam Lind. What I lack in talent, I make up for in enthusiasm.

My Instagram tribute to Adam Lind. What I lack in talent, I make up for in enthusiasm.


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