Weekly Round Up: Nov 22 - 28

Consider this your required reading for the week.

Consider this your required listening for the week. 

Courtesy of Jim Callis:
    Blue Jays righthander Joel Carreno had a 173-30 K-BB ratio in 138 innings at high Class A Dunedin. How good is he?

    Jason Miles
    Columbus, Ohio
Signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2004, Carreno led the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League with 64 strikeouts in 65 innings in his U.S. debut three years later. Though he consistently threw strikes and racked up whiffs, he didn't spend an entire year in full-season ball until 2010, when he ranked fifth in the minors in strikeouts.
Carreno is a prospect in that he has a fighting chance to get to the big leagues, but he's not going to make our Blue Jays Top 30 in the 2011 Prospect Handbook. He was old for the Florida State League at age 23, and scouts who saw him weren't sure how he'd be able to overmatch more advanced hitters like he did high Class A opponents. Carreno's best pitch is a changeup that grades as plus at times, and he also throws an 88-92 mph fastball and an average curveball.
Pitchers with good command of average stuff often thrive in the lower minors. Carreno's future should become clearer after he pitches in Double-A next year.

Joel was recently added to the 40 man roster in order to avoid being selected in the Rule 5 Draft. A while back we did a post on him. In it his pitching coach Darold Knowles mentioned he views Joel as a reliever in the higher levels. That may have been a reason why Boy Wonder felt comfortable dealing away Danny Farquhar and Trystan Magnuson. Joel will most likely start the year in New Hampshire as a starter but if he is unable to adjust to the level of competition, look for him to get converted to a reliever.
Courtesy of Batter`s Box:

BB:  While developing the organization is important, at some stage do you not have to say I will sacrifice the long term for the short term so I can compete this year?  Or do you want to be a strong team every year and if the playoffs happen they happen because enough players have career type years? 
AA:  There's no question that you always weigh the short and the long term. That's what makes trades, free agent signings, etc so challenging. There really isn't a specific template or formula to follow. By the same token, the goal is to build the organization up to the point that we can be competitive year in and year out. 

BB:  Is there anything we haven’t touched on that you would like to say directly to the fans of the Blue Jays?
AA:  I'd say thank you for your passion and thank you for your belief in what we're doing as an organization. It's energizing to know how much people care about this organization and the excitement that exists in this city and country for the Blue Jays. It's a huge responsibility for all of the employees of the organization and one that no one takes lightly. 

Nice job by the team over at Da Box.

Courtesy of John Sickels:

Toronto Blue Jays Top 20 Prospects for 2011

1) Kyle Drabek, RHP, Grade A-: Borderline B+. Looks like he's going to be a workhorse and possibly more.
2) Deck McGuire, RHP, Grade B+: I don't expect that he'll need a lot of minor league time. Number three starter type at worst and could be more.
3) Zach Stewart, RHP, Grade B+: His stock has dropped a little, but I still like him. If he can't cut it as a starter he can close.
4) Asher Wojciechowski, RHP, Grade B: You can make a case for B+, but I want to see some additional pro data. I like him a lot, and this is another guy who should be a solid starter at worst.
5) Carlos Perez, C, Grade B: I like the balance of offensive and defensive skills. Very young, will have to avoid Young Catcher Stagnation Syndrome. Grade is aggressive.
6) Aaron Sanchez, RHP, Grade B: Aggressive grade for a high school arm, but I really like his projectability and his stuff is already strong. Also has high-K, high-ground ball profile in the early data.
7) J.P. Arencibia, C, Grade B: Borderline B-. Power is genuine, but I don't buy a high batting average or OBP in the majors from him.
8) Travis D'Arnaud, C, Grade B-: Strong glove, but I think people are overrating his bat. Young enough to improve that.
9) Anthony Gose, OF, Grade B-: I realize other people will think this is too low. I respect his athleticism and potential, but the risk of failure is high enough for me to be a little wary.
10) Eric Thames, OF, Grade B-: I believe in his power.
11) Noah Syndergaard, RHP, Grade B-: Another high school power arm that I like a lot.
12) Dickie Joe Thon, SS, Grade B-: Speculative grade based on tools and scouting reports. Could be much higher (or lower) next year.
13) Kellen Sweeney, 3B, Grade B-: Good plate discipline and I think he sticks at third. Power??
14) Griffin Murphy, LHP, Grade B-: Solid high school lefty from the 2010 draft.
15) Jake Marisnick, OF, Grade C+: Others will rank him higher due to his excellent tools, but I don't buy into the bat yet.
16) Chad Jenkins, RHP, Grade C+: Looks like a workhorse strike-thrower, will need to step forward in '11 to avoid getting buried by influx of new arms.
17) Adeiny Hechavarria, SS, Grade C+: Like the glove. The bat...well, I'll wait and see on that.
18) Marcus Knecht, OF, Grade C+: Good balance of tools, skills may need some time but I like his power.
19) Henderson Alvarez, RHP, Grade C+: Like Jenkins, a guy who throws strikes but needs a good year to stay in the picture.
20) Drew Hutchison, RHP, Grade C+: Overlooked strike-thrower from 2009 draft.
21) Joel Carreno, RHP, Grade C+: Excellent K/IP and K/BB in the Florida State League, older for the level but just added to 40-man.
22) Alan Farina, RHP, Grade C+: Intriguing relief sleeper to watch.
23) Justin Nicolino, LHP, Grade C+: Yet another arm from the 2010 draft.

Another list about our prospects. Nice to see Drew Hutchison getting some love! 

Courtesy of Ken Rosenthal:

In recent years, free-agent relievers who received Type A rankings sometimes had difficulty finding work. Teams were reluctant to forfeit a high draft pick for signing them.
This offseason could be different.
As of Friday, the highest first-round pick that could be lost was the 20th overall selection. What’s more, for teams that sign more than one Type A free agent, the high number of supplemental choices will reduce the impact of losing a second and third pick.
Here’s how it breaks down:
Thirty-five free agents were offered salary arbitration by their respective clubs, an increase of 12 from a year ago. If most decline, virtually an entire round of compensation picks will be created between the first and second rounds when those players sign with other teams.

We got 2 days till the deadline for players to accept or reject arbitration. You have to figure Scott Downs will be able to get a multi year offer and thus is more likely to reject arbitration. Jason Frasor is a bit of a wildcard. I'll set the line at 50/50 that he accepts arbitration and returns to anchor the bullpen in 2011, possibly as the closer. 

Courtesy of Kenneth Gray:

College Councillor Rick Chiarelli has been talking with Toronto Blue Jays officials about bringing an affiliated professional baseball team to Ottawa.
Chiarelli is optimistic a deal can be worked out.
"If the (Blue Jays) were disinterested, I wouldn't be doing this," Chiarelli said. "I've discussed the possibility of an affiliated team."
At present, the sole tenant at Ottawa Stadium is the Fat Cats of the Intercounty Baseball League that has teams across southern Ontario. The Triple-A Ottawa Lynx operated out of the stadium from its opening in 1993 until the team was moved to Allentown, Pennsylvania, after the 2007 season. In 2008, the independent Can-Am League had a franchise here, but the Rapidz folded after one season.
Ottawa Stadium is owned by the City of Ottawa and that's why Chiarelli is seeking an agreement with the Blue Jays.
"Maybe nothing will come from it, but we have a great facility and people across North America recognize it."
Chiarelli was reluctant to provide details about his negotiations because the Blue Jays are sensitive about offending the ownership of their farm teams and breaking rules of the various leagues involved.

If the City of Ottawa has their eyes set on bringing affiliated baseball back, then they had better look into the parking situation at their "great facility". Absolute and total clusterfuck. 

Courtesy of Dirk Hayhurst:

There are some cases where copy-catting works, but most of the time, it fails. The players who’ve made it to the Bigs have all mutated and adapted their mechanics to accommodate for their own specific bodily feedback. Every pitcher’s delivery at the top of the game is a combination of sensory feedback, over coming a limitation, and maneuvering to produce a desired result based on those first two informants. And, these mechanics are constantly evolving to accommodate age, pain, and new information. In many cases, what one pitcher does is something only meant for that one pitcher to do. There are certain things we can glean from them, but complete imitation was never intended. That’s not to say you can’t learn a lot from one pitcher or another, or that some pitchers aren’t more similar to you than others, but none of them are you- nor you them.

Dirk talks about his philosophy on pitching mechanics. Take a look. Interesting stuff.

Courtesy of North of the Border:
  • Anthopoulos has not received any indication about whether relievers Scott Downs, Jason Frasor, Kevin Gregg or catcher Miguel Olivo will accept arbitration. All four players have until Nov. 30 to decide whether to accept the offer and likely will take as much time as they can before making a final decision.
  • The Blue Jays GM said that if he had to make a prediction he thinks all four will decline the offer. He cited the current market for middle relievers and the fact that teams being forced to part with draft picks to sign players likely isn't as big of a deal as previous offseasons. There is a possibility for 35 compensation picks between the first and second round of the Draft this year, which means a second round pick really has third round value. That limits the risk for teams who may already be signing a higher-ranked Type-A free agent to also be interested in another arm like Downs or Frasor.
  • That being said, Anthopoulos stated he would love to have all four players with the Blue Jays next season.
I`m gonna go out on a limb here and say that he would really love to have the 6 picks more.....

Courtesy of Jeremy Sandler:

Can Adam Lind play [first base] at the major league level?
I thought his hands were good. If you don’t have good hands at first, you’re in big trouble. I think where he may lack is in range and footwork, and I think those things can get better. But until you run him out there every day for six months, you don’t know that.
Does [Lind] want be a position player?
He said, “As long as I’m in the lineup, I’m happy, I’m fine with it.”

I wrote this basically out of frustration with about 10 games to go in the season. I have said it many times before and I will say it again: Thank fuck Cito is gone.

Courtesy of Shi Davidi:

While that came off as a nod to Arencibia, he also seemed to somewhat open the door to Lind, who logged 76 innings at first base after not playing there since college. Anthopoulos praised Lind’s hands while adding that his footwork needed to improve, and conceded that he’s more willing to take a chance on a permanent move.
“If you would have done something like that last off-season, it would have been a total guess. Even though it’s a small sample size, you’ve (now) seen something to grab hold of,” said Anthopoulos. “I don’t think anyone can definitively say Adam Lind can play first base over the course of a full season, there’s an unknown there.
“And maybe there is a component where you say we’re going to take that chance, we’re going to roll him out there and see what we have. We haven’t made that determination, but I wouldn’t rule it out.”

I'm starting to wonder if Lind goes down to the islands and plays a little winterball?

Courtesy of Pete Kerzel:

Anthopoulos, part of the new breed of young, sabermetrics-savvy front office bosses, is aggressive and unpredictable. He’s willing to take chances, part of a think-outside-the-box philosophy that’s so far served him well. There are times you wonder if he’s not some stockbroker managing his own Rotisserie roster.
He has a willingness to turn the Blue Jays into a contender, an attitude that doesn’t accept anything short of success, and a workaholic streak endearing him to players, fans and media alike. He’s willing to talk to anyone, anywhere. Last week, during the general managers’ meeting in Orlando, he reportedly broke off trade discussions to keep a radio talk show commitment, then told listeners he would get back to negotiations as soon as he’d finished talking baseball.

Uh oh, people are starting to notice what we got going on up here. 


  1. Round up Darrin Fletcher, Pat Borders, Jose Molina, Rod Barajas and Sal Fasano and you got yourself a hockey team.

  2. @Xave,
    At the very least a solid blueline unit.

    Thanks again for your comments.