Please consider this your required reading for the week: PhoulBallz.com: Spring Training Q&A with Travis D'Arnaud
Click here for your Toronto Blue Jays quotes of the week.
MLBTR put out it's offseason in review piece about your Toronto Blue Jays. Did you know we spent a whopping $10.5 million on 4 major league free agents this winter?
Courtesy of King Jordan:
You Don't Know Dick Griffin's cell phone ring is "Forever" by Drake. I have been bouncing to this tune ever since the news came out.....
Courtesy of River Avenue Blues:
2010 Amateur Draft order is official. We have 9 picks in the first three rounds and as mentioned earlier we have $16 million USD allocated to spend on the draft.
Courtesy of Minor League Ball:
Sleeper Alert List for 2010
Robert Bell, RHP
Carlos Perez, C
Courtesy of Scott Carlson @ Sportsnet.ca:
Who hold the Blue Jays record for most stolen bases in a season?
Now, I'm thinking that most of you are Googling this furiously, but I'll save you the work. It was Dave Collins, or "Doc" as Rance Mulliniks usually refers to him, who swiped 60 bases way back in 1984 before a good chunk of you were even a twinkle in your parents' eyes. Since then, only Roberto Alomar (55 in 1993), Otis Nixon (54 in '96) and Shannon Stewart (51 in '98) have hit the half century mark.
Looking back at Blue Jays playoff teams of seasons past, speed was always part of the equation. A look at their five postseason appearances seasons tells us as much:
|YEAR||STEALS||AL RANK||MLB RANK||RECORD|
Courtesy of Baseball Musings:
Team Offense, Toronto Blue Jays
- Best lineup: 4.95 runs per game
- Probable lineup: 4.85 runs per game
- Worst lineup: 4.73 runs per game
- Regressed lineup: 4.57 runs per game
As a whole, the lineup is poor. There are no great hitters, and three poor ones (Wells, Buck and Gonzalez). While the Blue Jays can hope for Wells to rebound, the longer it takes to happen, the less likely it becomes (think Eric Chavez). If the Jays are going to win with this lineup, they will need outstanding pitching, or a couple of career years from the hitters.
Courtesy of Hardball Talk:
Who will win the closer battle between Kevin Gregg, Jason Frasor and Scott Downs?
In the grand scheme of things, it hardly figures to matter; the Jays are a fourth- of fifth-place team and it's quite possible that none of the three will still be around in 2011. Fantasy leaguers, though, may feel differently.
Manager Cito Gaston had made it pretty clear that he wasn't very comfortable with either Frasor or Downs in the closer's role, necessitating an offseason addition. Gregg was viewed as a proven alternative, even though he blew seven saves last season and nine in 2008. Frasor and Downs are superior pitchers, but both have more experience setting up than they do closing. Odds are that Gregg will be handed most of the save chances initially. Of course, that was also the case the last two years and he went on to lose the job both times.
Courtesy of Baseball Musings:
Players A to Z, Jason Frasor
Jason Frasor pitches in relief for the Toronto Blue Jays. Jason brings an excellent strikeout rate, a decent walk rate and an outstanding home run rate to the table. Jason turned in the best season of his career in 2009 by greatly reducing his walk rate, his 2.5 BB per nine IP in 2009 was 1.4 BB per nine below his career mark.
Jason was used in the closer role at times and converted 11 of 14 save opportunities. That wasn’t enough for him to get the job going into 2010, but he’s one of the candidates the Jays are testing. If he keeps his walks low, I can see him taking the job.
Pitching in a very tough division, he dominates the Red Sox, Rays and Orioles, but the Yankees hit him very well. The Yankees have been able to throw a lot of lefties against him, and they’ve done very well.
Courtesy of CBS Sports:
Fantasy Analysis: For closers, a manager's confidence goes a long way. Gaston might ultimately opt for Kevin Gregg because he has more experience in the role, but Jason Frasor already has his foot in the door and is worth a flier late in mixed leagues as a result. Even if he retains the job, though, you can't expect him to get 30 saves pitching for the out-of-contention Blue Jays.
Courtesy of CBS Sports:
Fantasy Analysis: Whenever a manager starts praising a reliever's versatility, it usually means he'd rather not confine the reliever to the closer role. Considering Scott Downs is the only left-hander of the bunch, he's a long shot to close anyway. He'd post decent peripherals as a setup man, but nothing to make him more than an AL-only option.
Courtesy of Jeff Schultz @ AJC
Hinske brings his ‘living canvas’ tattoos to Braves
“It’s just traditional Japanese styling tattoo,” Hinske said. “I got a tattoo of a cross on my left arm when my grandfather died and I liked it so then I got one of a dragon on my other arm. I just liked the way it looked. Then I got addicted to it and I couldn’t stop. I had my arms and chest plates done so I just wanted to tie it all together so it looked like one big piece. So I just got this big Japanese warrior and this snake wrapped around with the snake’s mouth open, with wind and clouds and stuff. It’s pretty cool.”
This guy is out there. I mean way out there. I absolutely LOVE making fun of Hinske and rarely pass up the opportunity.....this time though I have to post a comment from the article that made me laugh out loud.
Courtesy of The National Post:
The G8 and G20 summits this summer will be the largest security event in Canadian history, officials said today.
The federal government announced last week it would host the G20 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre June 26-27, despite the city’s expressed wishes that it be at Exhibition Place.
A blueprint of Toronto’s security perimeter has not been divulged, but there is already a glimpse of the force being amassed to protect those coming to and living in Toronto: the federal government’s “Integrated Security Unit” will include Toronto police, RCMP, the OPP, the Canadian Forces and Peel Region Police.
“There will be security, there will be disruptions,” Mayor David Miller told councillors yesterday.
Courtesy of Fantasy Fanhouse:
You may not like trying to spell it, but you'd better get used to seeing Marc Rzepczynski's name. Considering he didn't come with much (if any) fanfare, it would be easy to dismiss his 11-start debut in 2009. If you do that, you may miss the next great breakout pitcher.
Rzepczynski (or the RZep, if you want to go a little Wu-Tang on it and ignore that the 'R' is silent) has produced fantastic numbers at every level of his professional career. In the minors, he never had an ERA above 3.00. He always struck out over a batter per inning. He almost never surrendered a homer, allowing just five in over 250 minor-league innings. High strikeouts and low homers allowed? Sounds like an ace in the making to me!
Courtesy of Yahoo!
Top Candidate To Surprise: CF Vernon Wells has not had a good and injury-free season since 2006, when he hit .303 with 32 home runs and 106 RBI. Last year, in 158 games, he hit .260 with 15 homers and 66 RBI. It wasn’t until after the season, though, that Wells revealed he was bothered throughout the season by a wrist injury, one that was fixed in the offseason. If Wells, 31, can stay healthy, he still has the tools to put up some quality numbers.
Top Candidate To Disappoint: 1B Lyle Overbay hasn’t been the same player at the plate since his right hand was fractured by a pitch in June 2007. In the last two seasons, Overbay hasn’t produced the kind of numbers needed from the position—.270, 15 homers, 60 RBI in 2008 and .265, 16, 64 in 2009. He has been woeful against left-handed pitching, to the point where manager Cito Gaston last year benched him against lefties and thought that he lacked aggressiveness at the plate. Overbay claimed the reduced playing time affected his timing. Overbay will earn $7 million in the final year of his contract, and the Jays will be looking to move him through the spring and up to the trading deadline.
Courtesy of Mop Up Duty:
I know we’re supposed to suck and all this season but the fantasy community is giving the Toronto Blue Jays absolutely no love. Only three players rank within the top 200 (average) for standard 5×5 roto leagues. Here’s a table of the top Jays fantasy players for 2010 from four of the most well known fantasy services. The average applies only to players that ranked on all four lists:
|Top 375||Top 575||Top 350||Top 550||(made all 4 lists|
Courtesy of King Jordan:
Every Saturday from now until the end of camp, I plan on including my current predictions for the Opening Day roster. Two days into full-squad workouts, here is who I believe will be among the 25 players headed north:
PITCHERS -- Starters: Ricky Romero, Shaun Marcum, Brandon Morrow, Brian Tallet, Marc Rzepczynski. Relievers: Kevin Gregg, Scott Downs, Jason Frasor, Shawn Camp, Jesse Carlson, Casey Janssen, Jeremy Accardo
POS. PLAYERS: John Buck, Jose Molina, Lyle Overbay, Aaron Hill, Alex Gonzalez, Edwin Encarnacion, Adam Lind, Travis Snider, Vernon Wells, Jose Bautista, John McDonald, Joey Gathright, Randy Ruiz.