Posted tagged ‘AA’

Episode 52: Halfway Home

July 9, 2015

The all-star break is just around the corner. It’s a perfect time to assess all the highs and lows the Blue Jays have given us thus far.

April Whitzman joins DNJT to look back at the Jays’ first half.

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Why, yes. It is a good time for a break.

Episode 50: Getting It Done

June 11, 2015

The Blue Jays have been playing an exciting brand of baseball lately. They’re looking like a team that plays in the “Get It Done” league.

Nick Hansen stops by to chat about pitching, Jose Reyes, Josh Donaldson and more.

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Everything is beautiful these days ;)

Everything is beautiful these days 😉

Re. Melky, Happ & Saunders

December 4, 2014

Can’t say I’m surprised the Blue Jays are no longer competing for Melky Cabrera’s services. AA never seemed optimistic about bringing him back.

After a PED suspension in 2012 and surgery to remove a tumour from his spine in 2013, Melky had a banner year and proved he was still a valuable asset. He lined himself up for a big pay day and the Jays just couldn’t come up with an agreeable figure.

As for the trade, I have mixed feelings.

During the 2013 World Baseball Classic, I remember a commentator predicting a big season for Michael Saunders. It didn’t happen and he hasn’t reached his potential yet. Mike Wilner suggested that’s due to playing in not-so hitter-friendly Safeco Field.

Saunders’ career numbers are far from spectacular and he’s had trouble staying healthy. Perhaps a change of scenery and playing in hitter-friendly Skydome will turn things around for him.

J.A. Happ was a serviceable fifth starter. I don’t mind that the Jays sent him to Seattle. However, this trade was addition by subtraction. AA added a leftfielder by subtracting from the rotation.

Yes, Aaron Sanchez or Daniel Norris could fill Happ’s spot; but a starting rotation featuring three pitchers (Stro, Hutch and Sanchez/Norris) who haven’t pitched more than three big league seasons each is unsettling.

Then again, you don’t need experience to be talented. And of course, AA is likely not finished.

ER

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Bright days ahead?

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

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Anthony Gose during a 2013 Bisons game

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.

Episode 44: [Season Finale] The Roller Coaster Season

October 2, 2014

It was a roller coaster ride that lasted 162 games.

In the end, the Blue Jays finished third in the American League East, with a record of 83-79.

Not bad, but not good enough to make the playoffs.

@Minor_Leaguer of BluebirdBanter.com looks back at the Jays’ 2014 season and also discusses his recent legal issue with the Major League Baseball Players Association.

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See you next season!

See you next season!

Episode 39: Those Young Arms

July 31, 2014

Just before the Blue Jays acquired Danny Valencia, Nick Hansen shared his thoughts about the non-waiver trade deadline, Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez and Dioner Navarro.

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By the way, did I mention this was BEFORE the Jays picked up Valencia? 😉

So, I have a crazy idea…

July 8, 2014

Going forward:

C – Navarro
1B – EE (when he comes off the DL)
2B – Lawrie (ditto)
SS – Reyes
3B – Joey Bats
LF – Melky
CF – Colby
RF – Alfonso Soriano

DH/Back-up Catcher/Bench – Lind, Thole, Francisco, Tolleson, Kratz

Wait! Before you start throwing spoiled fruit and veggies at me, let me explain.

1. Bautista has played third in the past. Not ideal, but until AA acquires a quality second or third baseman, this is a suitable option. If the hamstring is an issue, have Bats DH and Francisco play 3B.

2. Facing a right hander, both Lind and Francisco are suitable at DH and could also be used as left-hitting pinch hitters late in a game.

3. Facing a left hander, Kratz could DH or be that right-hitting pinch hitter late. Plus, he’s a better option as the back-up catcher than Thole.

4. As long as RAD is on the roster, so is Thole (for now). Just accept it and move on.

5. Tolleson can play infield and outfield. That gives him the edge over Kawasaki.

6. Yes, Soriano’s number aren’t great. However, as noted by Baseball-Reference.com, he’s managed to keep his OPS at .700 or better since 2001. To me, that makes him a better option than Cole Gillespie and Nolan Reimold. Of course, if Reimold turns into his 2009 form, this is all a moot point.

NOW…If the Blue Jays do pick up a quality second or third baseman, then Bautista goes back to right field, Lawrie goes where he’s needed, Soriano can DH and/or PH and Kratz gets sent down.

Not perfect, but it could help.

Eric aka @TheHek


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