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Pujols really ought to flunk the throwing component, just being a 1B (would he really pass at any other position?) but, meh, it is Pujols. Fine by me.
Also, as a Jays fan seeing Alex Rios so high on this list makes it clear that a couple more tools need to be added: work ethic and baseball intelligence.
I wonder if what was an undervaled skill OBP has now become an overvalued skill, relative to SLG, that is...
Best and dang, on your last article "I thought this is my new favourite BP author..." now, gone. As said on YES after Yankees home runs, "See ya!" -- clearly this column is a walk-off.
I'm curious -- just how awful do you think the Jays' infield defense is and why? The OF defense I can understand, but, if memory serves only Marcum can really considered a fly-ball pitcher.
The Hentgen vote was almost certainly from a Toronto writer so it was unlikely that it was a protest of Alomar.
Of late, Arnsberg has been receiving as much criticism as praise because of the number of pitchers who've gone down in the past two seasons. I'm not sure it is deserved, as that's the medical staffs job, but one would hope that a coach would have noticed and tried to mitigate the arm problems of Marcum, Litsch and McGowan.
I say this as a big fan of what he's done and what I've read about him since his becoming the Jays pitching coach. The pitching was also helped (especially in 2007 and 2008) by the good defence over the past few seasons.
AA will need the right deal to part with Halladay. Part (a large part) of why the Philies deal didn't get done was that they were offering a load of prospects, but none especially good nor ones that fit the Jays needs.
Unless it is for a young SS/C and perhaps a CF -- I can easily see the team hanging on to Halladay. There've already been noises in that direction and it is certainly not fact that Halladay WILL leave Toronto after 2010. He and his wife have easily been very connected to the community in Toronto.
Don't get me wrong, as someone who follows the Jays I think the better move would be to trade Halladay for the best prospect package available, but it is only those who follow the team at a distance or sporadically who believe it is a certainty that Halladay will be traded in the offseason.
Interviews with his wife in this respect are very telling; especially those about leaving Toronto done around the deadline last year. He (and she) would be too humble to say it but based around Doc's contributions to Toronto's Sick Children's hospital, he ought to win the Clemente Award each and every year. Halladay's comments about leaving probably stem from not wanting to go through another rebuilding phase a la 2002-2005. In a recent interview AA has said that he has no intentions of tearing the team apart and losing.
Don't underestimate the value of one more season of Doc + picks to the Jays, especially if what is on offer is less than what the Jays feel they could get via the picks.
I've thought about this issue before (I've used SDT in my PhD thesis) and when I thought through it operationalizing the type I/II error in this way may not actually capture what this analysis wants to... take a couple of extreme examples, the young vlad (heck even the older vlad) who can hit any ball tossed near (or bounced before the plate) or the anecdote (was this about Giambi?) that there was a zone one ball high and one ball wide where he'd swing and miss (but next to this zone was an area where he would crush the ball.
What I'l getting at is that letting a pitch go in strike zone is not always a type II error nor is swinging at a pitch outside the zone a type I error. Not that this analysis isn't great, but I think that more than a correction for the oval shape of the zone needs to be done. The data need to be combined with something like "hit tracker" to establish a "zone of hittable pitches" for each hitter.
Simply, if a player can't hit the high fastball for anything but a IF pop-up in the zone there's no point in him doing anything but taking the pitch and calling that an error is a tad misleading.
Ooops. Sorry, I ought to have read the comments before posting... as I've repeated some of the content of previous posts.
Hockey has since abandoned the Canada v. World format. Couldn't have been that big of a winner.
I know you weren't going to state the obvious, but, how about at least listing the best pitcher in the game, Roy Halladay? If he wins 20 (very possible with 10 in June) this year this list will get him to 300:
33 - 19
34 - 18
35 - 17
36 - 16
37 - 15
38 - 14
39 - 13
40 - 12
41 - 11
42 - 10
43 - 9
...certainly not a stretch, especially if he wins more than 20 this year or in the next two seasons.
You still may not regret doing this deal... just sayin'. I don't think Hamilton has been proven to be "injury prone". He came back quickly from a minor injury and will rake during the summer in Texas.
Sigh. You can't reason with an anti-fanboys, they're not rational.
In that draft Tulo was the only one that JP was likely to pick (he was avoiding high school players like the plague at the time) and it easy to make an argument that Tulo is a below average offensive play away from Coors.
24 teams passed on Garza in 2005 does that make them "bad drafters"? JP drafted players other than in 2005, you know. Heck, in the 2005 draft he got Robert Ray in the 7th round. What does that mean about how good his drafts have been (hint: nothing). Romero has been good in his major league starts. He's a lefty. It is 2009. Take a chill pill before you point to that draft as an example of JP "poor drafting".
I don't think you can accuse Sheehan of much bias (except when he says take the under on 75 Jays wins in a chat) but BP has under-rated the Blue Jays in its annuals consistently in recent years. I don't think it is out of left-field to say that BP has fallen out of love of the one time sabermetric darling JP.
43,000 was the official figure for the Doc-AJ game on Tuesday.
Also, I've noticed a substantial drop in "other team fans" in the past three years. Maybe they don't sit at field level anymore (or something as that's the only place I sit). One (or two) seasons back there weren't any Red Sox - Yankees games at the Dome on Fri-Sat or Sun. That year the lack of other team's fans was VERY noticeable.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that Sox/Yanks games draw extra fans. But the proportion of fans that come just to see the Yanks/Sox has gone down in the past few years in 2006 I had a 15 game "flex pack" of tickets made up of exclusively of Sox/Yankees games - each of the Sox games were beside a lovely older couple who rooted for the Sox and who were from upstate New York (where I lived for a time and was surprised by the number of Sox fans there relative to Yankee fans). No such thing has happened since. Heck, I sat beside a large contingent of Tigers fans (from Windsor, ON) for the 2nd game of the season.
Also knowing Toronto (born and raised, I was) and talking to the fans who go to the games a fair number of "other team's fans" are actually FROM Toronto. I can't explain it, but I understand it because I as a young teen I had at least as much Yankee gear as Jays gear.
My point - as it has become easier to get tickets for the Yankees/Sox (as it must be with expanded capacity and/or dwindling interest) the number of the surplus crowd being visit team fan has gone down. However the Sox/Yankees fans draw more because that's what they do around the league... at least half of the extra attendance are the "prestige crowd" as Toronto is a city whose citizens tend to be both slaves to prestige and faddishness (see the success of a b-grade psychology team).
"I appreciate the enthusiasm of Jays fans, but there's no way you can evaluate this team, relative to preseason expectations, without considering the scheduling issue"
There's also no way you can evaluate the team now, relative to the prediction without considering that the team has already gone 23-12. Regression to the mean doesn't wipe wins off the board. If you want to weight the evidence already collected as meaning nothing, that's your business, but that's an extreme re-weighting for the strength of schedule, especially for a team that was very good 3/5 of the season last year and has only upgraded its line-up. It isn't enthusiasm to apply Bayes' theorem to re-evaluate ones' pre-season projections, just rational.
Also last I checked, the end of May is about two weeks away, not a month away, when the Jays will play the Red Sox at home.
You're attributing the Jays performance to Scutaro? That's just silly. Since May 1st he's .261/.329/.381 - almost exactly his career norms. The Jays are 8-3 in that span. As long as Scutaro plays average SS and hits his career norms, he's doing more than any option they have and cheaper than any option available on the FA market last winter.
There's not much to suggest that JP will overpay Scutaro when the time comes for a contract. He dumped a player with more grit scrap in Reed Johnson. Sure there's Eckstein but that wasn't a terrible gamble.
Look elsewhere for your blame for the Jays making your pre-season predictions look bad. How about Cito? (After his hire the Jays have the best record in MLB). Nah. Gene Tenance? Nah.
I'm not saying the Jays are "for real" (I don't particularly care) but they were a good team last year and JP has been focusing on drafting and obtaining pitching FOR YEARS... there's no accident that there's pitching depth even on a staff rife with injury; that's been the GMs focus. My advice, sit back and enjoy a team beat up on the big boys and cheer when 43,000 show up in a stadium usually filled with 20,000-something. It is more fun than wringing your hands over empty seats down the baselines at the house that was steroids built.
Baseball prospectus - always looking ways to justify their broken projections w/respect to the Blue Jays.
You can talk about patching a rotation, but JP has stressed acquiring pitching for entirety of his tenure. Just because you've fallen out of love with your former little sabermetric darling does mean "they must regress to the level we've predicted" -- regression to the mean doesn't work that way. Players will tend to move toward their true talent level in the long run but if you're projections about their true talent level are so broken to as to be silly then the problem is with your projections. We'll see though.
Thanks BP for cursing the Jays (just kidding). Romero just hit the 15-day DL. To quote a poster on the best site for Jays information, The Batters Box, "An injury to the Jays starting staff is like kicking a puppy".
Brett Cecil will be up and show you why he is better than any of the young pop-guns the Yankees have trotted out over the past two years.
I don\'t think there\'s anything alarming about what\'s happened to Curtis Thigpen or Russ Adams. Now there\'s JP Arencibia and Justin Jackson... yawn.
Also Beam in the pen? Again BP shows its absolute lack of knowledge about the Jays, the Jays have too many arms in the pen if anything right now. Heck Jason Frasor, who just got a big arb award, might even be on the outside looking in.
Just because the Jays are short one starter, doesn\'t mean their pen is suspect. Get real Ms. Kahrl.
Have to agree with eighteen. To call the Indians a contender is strange. The Blue Jays look like a powerhouse in comparison.
Forget one of the young Blue Jays pitchers surprising, all three could. Few people recognize how much of the 2008\'s rotation\'s success was driven by the defense - that aspect of run prevention for the 2008 Jays remains unchanged and is perhaps improved with a healthy Aaron Hill.
\"Can you do serious after six, seven, eight months of baseball?\"
Is the world series any less serious because it has been played after about 6-7 months of baseball?
I have no problem with the WBC not getting playoff teams, the world championship of hockey happens every year and the Canadian team is composed of players who didn\'t make the playoffs or were turfed in the first round; the quality of play is quite good. This would also handicap the US as several of the best players would be unavailable. Not a terrible idea.
Steam Whistle Beer (much better than the over-rated Sleeman\'s (the Derek Jeter of Canadian Premium brands that was mentioned above).
Fresh (formerly Juice for Life) restaurant at various locations...
The Host (Indian Restaurant)
and the best bar I\'ve ever been to:
The Cameron House (the sign behind the bar says, \"THIS IS PARADIS\" and it is not wrong. On any given night the music is excellent (Prince once popped his head in and played the piano, among others) the house band on Sunday nights, Kevin Quain and the Mad Bastards are excellent).
...sorry they\'re not deliverable, but people seemed to have strayed from that theme.
Elvis is the king... Costello that is. The best songwriter alive, with very few deceased challengers.
Hudson doesn\'t equal Sabbathia, but I\'d still take whatever O-dawg\'s contract is over what CC signed for... I think that is the commenter\'s point. CC contract carries a ton of risk, he MUST keep pitching how he has for 7 years for it to be worth it - and what pitcher does that?
Litsch, gave up 44H in 61 IP after his demotion to Syracuse. Small sample size? Sure, but he came back a different pitcher (see pitch/fx).
On the season, Litsch did give up about a hit an inning, but his WHIP is good. With the Jays defense, I\'ll take pitching to contact.
Lastly, I meant to mention previously that Sheehan is also living in the past with respect to McDonald. Check his 2008 plus minus. 2007 was a career year for McDonald and there\'s no way he should be playing at SS in front of Scutaro who is average at SS, but a much better hitter.
Litsch has as his best comp Fausto Carmona... would anyone trade Carmona for Montero (who\'s never had an OPS north of .800 at any level he\'s play 100 games at)? I\'m not sure why the Jays should be eager to trade a know commodity like Litsch when they\'re short on arms.
All the Jays need is a similar approach to 2007. Sign low cost / high upside pitcher for the staff (and hope for better result than Ohka/Zambrano/Thomson), a slugger at DH. Move Overbay, but Lind at 1B and Snider in LF. The IF defense takes a hit but the OF defense is better. Compete.
The Rays and Jays run differential was almost equal in 2008. Odd are at least even of that happening in 2009. The Rays caught serious breaks in 2008. Hinske? Balfour? Their young pitchers living up to the hype instead of pulling a Hughes/Kennedy/Buckholz? The Rays are as over-hyped now as they were under this time last year.
Echoing the sentiments of people who\'ve posted before this summary reads like someone who doesn\'t a) watch the Jays b) doesn\'t know what they have in the farm system.
1) Litsch isn\'t Chacin. Look at his stats. Check out pitch/fx after he returned from the minors (his fastball was sitting in easily the mid-90s. Marcum isn\'t the product of his defense. The similarities in between the way he pitches and Maddux pitched are incredible.
2) Montero (for Litsch?! which makes it doubly laughable)... he\'s not needed on this team. JP Arencibia. That\'s all there is to say.
3) You mentioned Romero before Cecil? Sloppy Mr. Sheehan, sloppy. Cecil is more likely to help in 2009.
Lastly, this was hard for you Mr. Sheehan because you don\'t understand what\'s going on with this team... in fact, each time I\'ve seen them mentioned in BP, I am more and more convinced that there\'s no one at BP who understands this team. Go back and look at your predictions about the 2008 team. Off base and no where close to projecting what they are - just talk about a team built like a 1980s FA built team.
Please don\'t write on the Jays anymore. It just makes you look bad.
McGowan didn\'t pitch a full season. He pitched just around half a season. It is no stretch to say that Purcey will give the Jays in 2009 what McGowan did in 2008.
I don\'t see why you think the O\'s will improve and the Jays won\'t. Lind will be able to play a full season instead of Wilker-mench. Snider can improve the offense now. AJ isn\'t gone by an stretch (although I hope he is) and if he is the Jays are sure to either to add a bat or a pitcher.
The Rays are over-rated by far right now... I don\'t see it as a forgone conclusion that they\'ll be able to finish ahead of the Jays in 2009. They were under-rated for so long but now people over look the improbably performances they got from players like Hinske and a bullpen of stiffs who suddenly became great.
The Yankees have problems up the middle, in the rotation and at 1b.
The Red Sox are a strong team, sure... but Dice-Ks could crater next season with those ratios. Beckett seems to inch ever closer to TJ. Varitek is done.
The O\'s rotation would be worse than the Jays even if the Jays had a rotation of Halladay, Litsch, Purcey, Janssen and Romero.
No the comment doesn\'t make sense at all, it is full of bias and ignores how the Jays actually performed in 2008 and what they\'ve lost. The offense is weak and OBP heavy, but in a way that is good, because it could improve a lot by adding a slugging DH. Also, strong performances by Rios and Wells were masked by injury. Lind, even with a slow end to the season is a good bet to improve LF.
JP has, each off-season, made the Jays better incrementally. I know that\'s not a fashionable way to build a team versus the Rays breakout of years of draft-picks, but he\'s an easily above average GM whose efforts get over-looked.
On the Jays \" a last-place finish might not be all that improbable.\"
The Jays run differential was a mere 1 run different from those now over-rated TB Rays. McGowan was basically a league average starter. Accardo and Janssen did not contribute in 2008. Marcum wasn\'t on the team for long stretches. AJ will be missed but will easily be replaced given that both his and Thomas\' money is off the books.
I don\'t know what JP did to you, but your comment is not based on the data/evidence about the Jays and is borderline stupid.
The Blue Jays signed him and promised Loewen a 1000 minor-league AB in the minors. I am surprised it wasn\'t mentioned here.
Jackson\'s a thrower. Probably the worst pitcher that the Rays have probably. Terrible ratios. If I\'m trading with the Rays I give up very little for him.
Sonnanstine also, not very good.
The Rays will be as over-rated next year as they were under-rated this.
Yes to hockey prospectus, but given the errors in this post (Crosby being a rookie and his winning the Calder when he never did, OV did - a MUCH better player btw)... I hope that the quality of reporting will be better or that the mistakes were there on purpose to see if people would point them out.
So count me in for a Hockey-Prospectus. I will pay for it and it is a sport dying for more analysis and better stats.
This Jays team was highly under-rated by the media and most saber-minded folk. Without injuries to Marcum/McGowan they\'d have to be in the conversation for next year. As it is, they could surprise people with Purcey looking better, AJ possibly resigning and Cecil/Romero knocking on the door. The defense will be just as good or better next year and add a full year of Lind or even better Snider, this team could be good. Then again probably not.
Save for Rolen being locked up for two years and the Jays being in need of pitching with McGowan and Marcum both out with arm surgery.
I\'d like to hear why Vernon Wells springs to mind in a list with Rowand and Matthews Jr. he seems quite unlike the others - he does have a big contract but it hasn\'t kicked in yet (it gets big in 2010, I believe) and after playing through injury in 2007 he\'s bounced back (with a freak wrist injury and a more troubling hamstring injury)... he is not the spare part that the other two you list are and unlikely to be traded as a) the face of the Jays franchise and b) he certainly won\'t go within the division.
Most Jays observers forget that they need to be at least mediocre or the fanbase will collapse again (at the gate, but more importantly for Rogers, on TV). The Blue Jays are a team where the marginal value of wins 82-87 are probably higher than any team. With a decent team they can draw 30,000+ on weekend and sell out the place for Sox/Yankees series and draw 150,000 on television. Less than 81 wins, those numbers collapse as they did in 2004.
Personally, as a Jays fan, I\'d like to see him moved for SS/Kennedy because Rios is better in CF, Snider could be fine in RF and Lind in LF; but I just don\'t see him being moved in the way that Sarge Jr or Rowand could.
I want Delgado to win the MVP too, but only because he ought to have won it in 2000 and/or 2003 but was passed over for not very good reasons.
The Mariner\'s site lists Caesar Jimmenez as a spot starter today.