Game 103 Line Ups

As expected Travis Snider was recalled from the minors for tonight's game and as you can see he is not in the line up AND when he is he may be leading off.

Check out the fall out on Twitter:

@ShiDavidi Cito says Snider sits b/c he doesn't want to mess with lineup that won 3 straight. Says Snider may leadoff on days he's in left for Lewis.

@1bluejaysway @ShiDavidi OMG Snider to lead off? Cito needs a pillow and a new fucking job man! #jays #bluejays

@drunkjaysfans Come on! Now he's just fucking with us. RT @ShiDavidi: Cito says Snider says Snider may leadoff on days he's in left for Lewis.

@jordanmackinnon @BlueJayGal Just bench E5 and play with 4 outfielders....Escobar can cover the entire left side of the infield, right?

@FakeCitoGaston @drunkjaysfans Even I can't make this stuff up RT @ShiDavidi: Cito says Snider may leadoff on days he's in left for Lewis

@dan_carrier You have got to be fist fucking me... #BlueJays #Jays RT @ShiDavidi: Cito says Snider says Snider may leadoff on days he's in left for Lewis

@LottOnBaseball Gaston, told some fans are surprised Snider's not starting: "They can be surprised all they want. Where would you like me to put him?"

@LottOnBaseball Someone suggested sitting EE and playing Bautista at 3rd. Gaston said EE has started to hit lately. "I want to try to give him (more)
… a chance to get a job next year too," CG said, referring to EE's impending free agency.

@JaysBalk Gaston won't sit EE & put J-Bau at 3rd and Snider in right because he wants to "give him a chance to get a job next year too." I'm so ...
happy Cito doesn't have his job next year too.

@rrwillerton @LottOnBaseball so Snider is a bench player? Cito has to go. It should be on the few days Lewis plays for Snider, not the other way around

@MLBastian Travis Snider: "I'm happy to be on the bench or in the starting lineup. I'm just happy to be here."

@BlueJayHunter Exit left, Clarence ... please."I want to try to give him (EE) a chance to get a job next year too," (via @LottonBaseball).

@rrwillerton @BlueJayHunter so ridiculous. i have no words for it.

@BlueJayHunter What's the frigging point of calling up Travis Snider if Cito's going to keep him on the bench for the last 2 months of the season?
@andymc9293 Snider needs to play.

@LottOnBaseball Snider, drawing on his diploma in Media Relations 101: "As long as we’re winning and guys are playing well, any way I can contribute (more)
… I’m happy to be on the bench, in the starting lineup, I’m just happy to be here and help the team win any way I can."

@MLBastian Cito said if Lewis is out of lineup, Snider might lead off. Other days, Cito will "mix and match" where Snider fits in the lineup.

@GSJays @LottOnBaseball-Cot's show EE has one more year of arbitration, so unless hes non-tendered he isn't a fa until 2012.

@LottOnBaseball @GSJays You are correct. CG sounds like he thinks a non-tender is a foregone conclusion, although he'll have no say in the matter.

@TaoofStieb Well of course Snider's sitting. Forget it, Jake. It's The Manager's Town.

@rrwillerton Does hitting 9th every game count as mixing and matching? RT @MLBastian Cito will "mix and match" where Snider fits in the lineup.

@Jays_Fan_Ryan Yeah Cito, the important thing is to secure EE a job for next year...just look at how well it worked for Kevin Millar. #pleasemakeitstop

@1bluejaysway Lightbulb finally goes off RT @MLBastian: Travis Snider:"I'm happy to be on the bench or in the starting lineup. I'm just happy to be here."


And you are not on Twitter yet because why again?

Courtesy of Daily Baseball Data

T. Crowe cf 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .264
A. Cabrera ss 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .276
S. Choo rf 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .297
C. Santana c 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .265
A. Kearns lf 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .268
M. LaPorta 1b 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .256
S. Duncan dh 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .263
J. Nix 3b 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .224
J. Donald 2b 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .261
Totals 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

F. Lewis lf 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .280
Y. Escobar ss 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .354
J. Bautista rf 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .256
V. Wells cf 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .271
A. Lind dh 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .225
A. Hill 2b 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .201
L. Overbay 1b 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .246
J. Buck c 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .279
E. Encarnacion 3b 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .245
Totals 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

J. Masterson 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.58 5.19

S. Marcum 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.21 3.36


Gose For Wallace

Whoa. Didn't see this one coming.....

Your Toronto Blue Jays traded Brett Wallace, our first baseman in waiting, for Anthony Gose, a 19 centrefielder.

Our boy Jay Ballz did two interviews with Sir Gose A Lot last year. You can check them out here and here. Keep rocking the high socks and the crooked cap kid!

Gose was selected in the 2nd round, 51st overall, in the 2008 amateur draft. At that time, he was a 17 year old outfielder as well as a pitcher. Apparently he had "electric" breaking stuff on the hill. Gose received a $772,000 signing bonus and was rated as the Phillies 6th best prospect entering this year. The left handed hitting, left handed thrower is billed as being lightning fast. He stole 115 bases in 245 minor league games to date but was also caught 48 times. His full stats look like this:


2008 17 Phillies GULF Rk PHI 11 41 39 4 10 2 1 0 3 3 1 1 12 .256 .293 .359 .652

2009 18 Lakewood SALL A PHI 131 572 510 72 132 24 9 2 52 76 20 35 110 .259 .323 .353 .676

2010 19 Clearwater FLOR A+ PHI 103 461 418 67 110 17 11 4 20 36 27 32 103 .263 .325 .385 .710

3 Seasons 245 1074 967 143 252 43 21 6 75 115 48 68 225 .261 .323 .367 .690


I think it is fair to say that Adam Lind will be playing 1st base for your Toronto Blue Jays for a long, long time. It will be easy to find a DH in the off season.

With respect to Wallace, he has been traded three times in just over a calender year. Is he the next Andy Marte?

AA has said many times in the past that he covets the speed game. Today he proved that. Here is what he had to say on the FAN590 shortly after the trade was announced.

Take a look at your lead off hitter of the future:


The one and only Jay Ballz sent over a beauty pic that I just have to share:

That's the new guy holding the trophy with not so new guy Travis d'Arnaud.



12 Must-Follow Toronto Baseball Twitter Feeds

That Twitter thing is here to stay. Are you still among the "Twitter-ain't-for-me" crowd? It's becoming a critical part of fandom. Members of the media use it to share important updates instantly, bloggers use it to inform their readers when a new article or interview is available and everyday folks use it to communicate about, and track, their favorite sports teams. Twitter is becoming the premiere manner to communicate instantly about the latest happenings in sports.

Today, 1BlueJaysWay brings to you the top 12 must-follow Toronto baseball Twitter feeds. Check it out below.

12- Us @1BJW
We're too great to not include ourselves. However, I thought it best to play it cool and rank our account high on the list, so as to avoid any accusations of favoritism or special treatment or nepotism. I mean, psssh...whatever.

11- Andy Mc @AndyMc9293
Andy is a fan with plenty of intelligent opinions. Think that sounds like you? Andy will probably disagree and tell you all about it. He's not a bed, so don't sleep on him.

10- Toronto Sports @SportsToronto
This feed provides a steady stream of links and news. As there are loads of accounts that post endless links, I chose just one such account to list and this is the lone link loader that made the cut. During the summer, Toronto Sports provides the non-stop Blue Jays updates that you need.

9- Fake Cito Gaston @FakeCitoGaston
The feed provides comedic updates from an imposter Cito and 1BlueJaysWay loves it! If internet marriage existed, I might put a ring on Fake Cito.

8- Bob Elliott @elliottbaseball
Bob is a Toronto baseball columnist who would be ranked higher, if not for his reliable infrequency of tweeting efforts. Inside knowledge and expert opinions are the main attraction here. It's true times two.

7- Ryan the Jays fan in NY @ADKSHerpa5344
Ryan W. is an insightful fan, who regularly offers his input on team news, has ties to team history and roots for the Blue Jays from deep in enemy territory...New York. This Twitter feed is so smooth that jazz musicians should make songs about it.

6- Navin from Globe Sports & Sports and the City @eyebleaf
Navin is a blogger, who posts updates with the enthusiasm of a youthful fan. His blog work is also noteworthy, if for nothing else than his road trip to all 30 ML ballparks. That's so baller that Lebron James and Chris Bosh thought about signing to play for him.

5- Drunk Jays Fans @DrunkJaysFans
A must read blog results in a must read Twitter feed. The Drunkards always keep it real...funny. Don't miss any of their work by staying connected! Drunk Jays Fans is the Return of the Jedi of Twitter feeds, if by Jedi you mean "tremendously cool baseball content".

4- April W of JayProspects.com @Alleycat17
She's on point with her input, critique and thoughts on all things Jays. If you wanted an internet pal to chat baseball with, "AlleyCat" is just the right gal. Her intensity as a fan and efforts as a blogger elevate April into the top tier of Canadian baseball tweeters. AlleyCat17 is the I Dream of Jeannie of Twitter feeds, if by Jeannie you mean "a spunky Jays dreamgirl".

3- Blue Jay Hunter @BlueJayHunter
Ian runs one of the best Toronto baseball blogs on the planet and provides solid opinions in brief fashion to the tweeting public. Need news? Need humor? Need Blue Jays? This is where to get those things! I often feel like BlueJayHunter is my dishes, since I'm always arguing with my lady about who should do them after dinner.

2- Shi Davidi @ShiDavidi
Shi is the beat writer for The Canadian Press. Insider news on your Toronto Blue Jays is his job. Nothing gets by this guy. Plus, he's so cool that school nurses all over Ontario place him on injured children instead of ice packs.

1- Jordan Bastian @MLBastian
The top dawg is certainly deserving. Breaking news often hits this feed before any other place. Unique opinions and stats allow this MLB.com reporter to stand out among a group of smart tweeters. Jordan is so hot that I wish that he was a set of drums and I was in Def Leppard, so I could bang him with my stick.

If you do not yet have a Twitter account, get one. And let 1BlueJaysWay be the first to welcome you to the new realm of awesome. Need more convincing? Twitter's logo is an illustration of a blue bird...it's made for you, Blue Jays fans! If you are already on Twitter and don't follow the users on our list, get on it. You are missing out.


Public Service Announcement: I'm Out

Your truly, The Man With The Golden Arm, will be unavailable for the next 3 or so weeks.  I am off to Europe to see my sister, meet my nephews and check out some sights.

My absence really could not come at a worst time, it being close to the trade deadline and us being sellers.....but what are you gonna do?

I have asked the contributors to pick up the slack and trust they will do their best.  I hope you will continue to check in with us from time to time for some Blue Jays news.


I have compiled a short wish list for things I would like to see upon my return:

Kevin Gregg, Jason Frasor, John Buck, Lyle fucking Overbay, E5 and Scott Downs traded to somebody other than the Red Sucks or Skankees

Not to much to ask is it?


On This Day

Your Toronto Blue Jays traded RHP Darwin Cubillan and INF Michael Young for RHP Esteban Loaiza.

For some detailed analysis of the deal, head over to Cooperstowners in Canada

I agree that the Loaiza trade turned out downright awful for us but it got me thinking.....and I gotta ask:

Was this one worse?



Weekly Round Up : July 12 - 18

Consider this your required reading for the week. Great story about our other Cuban shortstop. Morgan Campbell absolutely nails it.

Courtesy of Mop-up Duty:

Asher Wojciechowksi – Auburn Doubledays (A)

Like (Noah) Syndergaard, Asher Wojciechowski was drafted this year in the sandwich round and signed quickly. Signed out of the well-respected college baseball program of The Citadel, Wojciechowski is further advanced and was assigned to single-A Auburn. The Blue Jays view him as a “bulldog-like” starting pitcher. Since he was a closer, he is being stretched out by starting games but only going 3-4 innings. Regardless, he has been putting up stellar numbers by relying on his fastball that tops out at 94mph with good downward plane and a slider that projects as above average. He does have a changeup that is not yet playable but he is working on it as a 3rd pitch.

Great work by the guys over at Mop-up Duty. Lots of ink on our new draft picks and higher level prospects.

Courtesy of Klaw @ ESPN:
Jake (Toronto)

J.P. Arencibia will be up with the Jays once John Buck likely gets traded. What should we expect out of him?

Low-average guy who makes up for it with power and some patience, although (sorry, broken record here) he is repeating AAA and some of what he's doing there this year is a function of that. As their cheap catcher for three years while they wait on d'Arnaud, though, Arencibia should be a good to great value.

Normally I ignore Klaw because he is a whiny little bitch when it comes to Blue Jays analysis but this seems right to me.

Courtesy of Hardball Talk:

After no doubt watching Major League for the umpteenth time, prospect guru John Sickels decided to take a stab at projecting Rick "Wild Thing" Vaughn's career numbers, including transactions and injuries and all sorts of stats.
Someone really needs to do this for every character in every baseball movie, if only because I always suspected Roger Dorn was underrated and the kid who broke his arm in Rookie of the Year probably had a worse WHIP than you'd think.

Any reference to the best baseball movie ever will always be welcome at 1bluejaysway.

Courtesy of King Jordan:

After tonight's 3-2 win for the Blue Jays, the team announced that it had designated infielder Nick Green for assignment to clear a spot for pitcher Shaun Marcum (due to be activated from the disabled list). What does this have to do with Snider? Let me explain.
Removing Green from the roster leaves the Jays with 12 position players and 13 pitchers (six starters and seven relievers). For the next 10 days or so -- or the minimum amount of time Snider must remain in the Minors -- Toronto will play short-handed on the bench. Why, you ask? To ease the workload for the starting pitchers.

6 man rotation in the house! Well sorta. This is only possible because The Cito continues to refuse to make any in game moves. For the next little while we will have only Johnny Mac, Wise and the back up catcher on the bench.

Courtesy of You Don't Know Dick @ The Star:

Where are the Jays headed as the trade deadline approaches? The Gonzalez deal offers clues as to what Anthopoulos may be thinking about revamping his roster to young and controllable:

Lyle Overbay: The 33-year-old first baseman, earning $7 million (all figures U.S.), is a free agent at the end of the year. Unlike shortstop-for-shortstop, the Jays don’t need to receive a young first baseman in return. If Overbay goes, they will either call up Brett Wallace or fill in with Adam Lind who has been working more intensely with a trapper and Brian Butterfield over the past month.
John Buck: The 33-year-old catcher, earning $2 million, is a free agent at the end of the year. As an all-star, his value has increased and the Jays would rather keep Molina because if they bring up J.P. Arencibia, having a breakout season at Triple-A, the veteran backup is a better mentor.
Edwin Encarnacion: The 27-year-old third baseman, earning $4.75 million, is arbitration-eligible and a free agent following 2011. They already placed him on waivers and nobody took him so the only way they could move him is if they offered to pay the remainder of his salary this year — which they would surely be willing to do.
Jose Bautista: The 29-year-old right fielder/third baseman, earning $2.4 million, is arbitration- eligible and a free agent following 2011. Bautista is one of Gaston’s favourites and his versatility and intensity make it difficult to understand why they would deal. They should hang on to the major-league’s home run leader, giving them off-season flexibility in adding either an outfielder or a third baseman. Then they could sign Bautista to a well-deserved three-year deal.

Ah Dick. You try so hard to be insightful. 

Here's what I'm thinking: If the plan is to keep J-Bau around then we will be either signing him to a one year deal again or taking him to arbitration. Due to his excellent production this season, he will likely project as a Type A free agent after a good 2011. Then we could shop him around at the deadline next year (think Scott Downs) and demand a great prospect. Or we could hang onto him and offer him arbitration again. If he declines and signs with a different team (think Marco Scutaro) then we get a couple of picks in the 2012 Amateur Draft.  I guess what I am trying to say is his value will be higher in the future.  It makes no sense to sign him long term right now.

Courtesy of Shi Dividi @ The Canadian Press

More parts may arrive before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, as Anthopoulos has several strong chips to play with in relievers Scott Downs, Kevin Gregg (who has club options for next year or the next two seasons) and Jason Frasor, plus catcher Buck and first baseman Lyle Overbay, all potential free agents.
But anyone who thinks Anthopoulos will scorch the ground just to get rid of them hasn't been paying attention. It looks like all four players will qualify for draft pick compensation should they sign elsewhere, so only an asset of significance will pry them away since the Blue Jays are under no financial pressure to deal them.
Additionally, Anthopoulos doesn't want his young players to develop in a negative, losing culture, so he won't pick the team apart unless it's really worth it.
“Naturally the assumption is (the Gonzalez trade) is a precursor to a flurry of other moves and a look to move veteran players,” said Anthopoulos. “We're not looking to shop any of our players, or move any of our players specifically.
“I try to keep in touch with teams and continue to have dialogue and it's more a process where we target players, we call teams about specific players.”

In Boy Wonder we trust. Amen.

Courtesy of Fan Graphs:

Alex Gonzalez is currently the NL Leader in Just Enoughs with ten. Jose Bautista is second with eight. Both have HR/FB rates that eclipse their career averages. Even though the park factor for overall runs in Toronto favors the pitcher, the factor for home runs largely favors hitters. According to StatCorner, the RHB HR park factor in Toronto is 110, heavily favoring the hitters. This is balanced out by a 92 park factor for singles for both hands, which is why we see pitchers seemingly favored at the Rogers Centre.
All of the factors for a heavy decline in the second half are there, particularly for Alex Gonzalez, who moves to Turner Field and its 90 park factor for RHB HRs. These players are getting lucky in almost every possible sense with home runs. The Braves are likely to fall victim to a drop in power from Alex Gonzalez, and any team, particularly without a RH-friendly ball park, would likely see the same out of Jose Bautista.

I have linked to this post numerous times over the week when challenged about the Escobar / Gonzo deal by smug Braves fans. The comments section was quick to point out that the author didn't mention one important detail.....

George says:
Bautista has 8 no-doubters (2nd only to Vernon Wells in the majors), 8 just enoughs, and no lucky home runs according to HitTracker.
He’s hitting for major power and has been since September of last season. That’s not a matter of luck


Saturday Pick Me Up

Easy reading post for y'all.  Straight rip from my CBS Sports fantasy news wire.

Lind could turn it on in 2nd half: Toronto OF Adam Lind still showcased the power with 12 homers and 40 RBI but his .214 first-half batting average was the lowest of his career. Luckily for Lind, he's historically been a far superior hitter after the All-Star break with a career batting average of .300. Lind hit .303 after the break last year with 16 homers and 55 RBI and has never hit worse than .273 in the second half.
(Updated 07/14/2010).
Fantasy Analysis
Lind might already be getting hot as he entered the break 10 for 32 (.313) in July thus far with three homers. Lind finished 2009 with 35 homers and 114 RBI and we lauded him as a top 10 Fantasy outfielder to begin the season. He's been anything but a top 10 outfielder this season but certainly has the ability to find his stroke entering the second half. Fantasy owners have started him in mixed Fantasy leagues pretty much all year so there is no reason to stop now when the splits say he's in for a solid second half.
(Updated 07/14/2010).

Encarnacion a second-half guy: Toronto 3B Edwin Encarnacion finished the first half of the season with hits in six of his final seven games. He batted .346 over that span with a homer and has gained back his starting job at third. Encarnacion hit .221 overall in the first half, which is actually over 50 percentage points higher than his average heading into the break last year. He came back to hit .251 with 11 homers and 30 RBI in the second half last season.
(Updated 07/14/2010).
Fantasy Analysis
Encarnacion is a better hitter in the second half for his career and that was supremely evidenced last season. He hasn't had fewer than 10 second-half homers in each of his last three seasons and is averaging 10 second-half homers per year over his last five years. Encarnacion should keep the power coming with regular at-bats in the second half and can see Fantasy use in some deeper mixed leagues.
(Updated 07/14/2010). 

Speaking of fantasy baseball, I should mention I literally put my money where my mouth is and picked up Yunel Escobar in my AL only, big money keeper league.  I know I overpaid for him at 21 bucks, that's 21 REAL dollars, and don't know if I will or will not keep him at that price but it simply boils down to this for me:  

I believe in Esco

And Team Balco is in 3rd place and needs the OBP desperately.....


Whatever Happened To Jo-Jo?

Truth be told, I am a little disappointed in myself right now. I got so horny about the Yunel Escobar half of the recent blockbuster deal that I neglected to talk about the other guy coming to your Toronto Blue Jays. I just had so much to say about the Cuban shortstop and didn't really have space or time to give Jo-Jo his due.

Well that is just completely unacceptable to me. And today I had an opportunity to think about and research "the other guy" in the Escobar trade.


LHP Jo-Jo Reyes was selected in the 2nd round, 43rd overall, of the 2003 Amateur Draft out of high school in California. He was given an $800,000 signing bonus to skip school and play baseball full time.

Currently the 6'2, 230lbs southpaw has accumulated 1.132 years of MLB service time and is scheduled for arbitration from 2012-2014. I am not sure how many, if any, option years he has left.

The big lefty features the following pitches in his repertoire:
  • a 4 seam fastball that sits at about 91mph which he uses over 50% of the time
  • a slider that hits the gun at about 83mph and he throws it about every five pitches
  • a 2 seam fastball that comes in at about 89mph
  • a change up between 83-85mph
  • a slow curveball at about 76mph
It is safe to say he is pretty much a fastball, slider kinda guy. The other 3 pitches only get mixed in less than 10% of the time. From what I have read his best pitch is either the change up or the curveball depending on who you ask. Makes you wonder why he doesn't throw them a little more?

Jo-Jo made his debut as a 22 year old in the show in 2007, which also happens to be the year he was listed as the Braves 7th best prospect. He had breezed through their system in a very short time and pretty much struck out a batter an inning everywhere he made a stop, except the big leagues.

200419A Rom 1514074.38444102571-2405.331.466
200722AA MIS 1513073.3632953571-8103.561.336
200722AAARIC 66036.025421239-4001.001.028
200722MAJATL 1410050.75535930271.242206.221.678
200823AAARIC 88039.0311021638-1102.311.205
200823MAJATL 25220113.0134731852781.5331105.811.646
200924AAAGWI 1514066.0682162432-4202.861.394
200924MAJATL 65027.02721413212.160207.001.481
201025AAAGwi 1210047.1573081550-1505.701.529
201025MAJATL 1003.31092320.8600024.303.900
3Yr Avg

As you can see, Jo-Jo has been used almost exclusively as a starting pitcher up till this year. He had some success in the minors but struggled considerably when pitching to MLB hitters.

I was able to find out why that is courtesy of the Atlanta Braves Examiner:

In 2009 Reyes held opposing batters to a .220 average through his first 50 pitches, but after that point they hit .318 off of him. The first time through a lineup he held the opposing offense to an average of .189, the second time .216 and the third time the batters caught up to him and hit a robust .417 off the lefty.

I think a look at his splits will help answer the riddle as well. I will try to sum up his MLB career for you:

In 698 plate appearances right handed hitters are hitting him at a .320 clip. He also has served up 27 of his 33 homers to them. Angry Little Girl.

On the other hand, in 186 plate appearances lefties have only managed to hit .215 against him. Happy Cat.

Alright. Seriously. Is any of this sounding even the slightest bit familiar?

Can you say David Purcey redux?


Disclaimer: Normally I am completely against converting starters into relievers unless they are old or injury prone *cough* Dustin McGowan *cough*


The brain trust needs to tell this young man to simply pick two or three of his best pitches and drop the rest. Then they need to send him to the bullpen full time to dominate in a situational role. I'll bet the Braves had just figured that out this year and most likely ran out of the patience needed to see the transformation through.

I doubt we make the same mistake.


Lansing Lugnuts Roster Transaction

LANSING, Mich. – The Lansing Lugnuts, in conjunction with the Toronto Blue Jays, announced Thursday that shortstop Ryan Goins has been promoted to Dunedin (A-Advanced, Florida State League) while corner infielder Randy Schwartz has been activated from the 7-day Disabled List in a corresponding move.

The Dunedin infield slot opened up for Goins following the trade of Tyler Pastornicky to the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday. The 22-year-old Texan batted .308 in 77 games with the Lugnuts this season, with a team-leading 91 base hits as well as 19 doubles, three home runs and 35 RBIs. Goins had his team-high 24-game on-base streak end on Sunday against Bowling Green.

The moves brings the Lugnuts’ current roster to 25 active players and three players on the DL.


DELETE: SS Ryan Goins, promoted to Dunedin (A-Advanced, Florida State League)
ACTIVATE: 1B/3B Randy Schwartz, activated from the 7-day Disabled List

Our boy Jesse caught up with Ryan in early May.  They discuss a 16 pitch at bat among other things.  We wish him well on his climb up the organizational ladder. 




Boy Wonder does it again!

The Trade:

Your Toronto Blue Jays received SS Yunel Escobar and LHP JoJo Reyes in exchange for SS Alex Gonzalez, SS Tyler Pastornicky and LHP Tim Collins.


For starters, I will send it over to our boy Jesse for his take on the deal: 

This is a challenge deal.  A challenge deal (a term created I believe by Bill James) is where teams trade players of exact same positions, pitting those players against one another.  A challenge deal is much easier to evaluate in the long run because players at the same position are directly comparable.

Some examples of other challenge deals are:
Toronto perspective:  shortstop Yunel Escobar is better than shortstop Alex Gonzalez (regardless of their stats this year) and minor league shortstop Tyler Pastornicky (playing “eh” in A-Advanced, though he’s still young); and left-hander JoJo Reyes is better than left-hander Tim Collins.

The Atlanta perspective is the exact opposite:  Gonzalez and/or Pastornicky is/are better than Escobar.  Collins is better than Reyes.  Anyway, three players are better than two.

By the way, Sal Fasano is a fan of Reyes.  Likes the way he pitches.

I neither defend nor disparage the deal right now:  Time will settle the winner and loser of this one, and probably pretty clearly, too.

I will add that Toronto’s system has a plentitude of middle infield prospects, causing Pastornicky to become expendable.  It is very likely that Lansing shortstop Ryan Goins now gets promoted to Dunedin, where I believe he will outperform Pastornicky’s production.  This moves Justin Jackson back to a full-time role at shortstop with the Lugnuts.

To hear what Jesse has to say about Tiny Tim Collins click ahead to 5:47.  I must warn you, it may pain you to do so.

More Analysis:

I, unlike Jesse, am ready to call this one right now: AA fleeced em.  I mean he should be wearing a ski mask into the office tomorrow.

First off, we got the best player in the deal.  Hands down.  No disrespect to Gonzo and the career year he is having but..... 

At this time last year Joe Polanski had Yunel Escobar rated in his top 100 baseball players, of any position in both leagues, including pitchers.  No way does a guy lose that type of ability in half a season.  It's just not possible.  Christ, he managed to get an MVP vote in 2009.

For argument sake, let's examine the offensive data.  Keep in mind his 2009 totals for AVG, OBP and Runs were good enough for top 25 in the NL.  More importantly his .373 batting average with runners in scoring position ranked third in the entire Major Leagues.  Also worth noting, he has hit .312 in the second half of the season for his career.






4 Seasons44618471622242472874291831713180199.291.368.403.771105654

162 Game Avg.162671589881713211166656572.291.368.403.771105238

If those aren't nerdy enough for you.  I suggest you take a look at Fan Graphs.

Here are all his 14 home runs from the 2009 season courtesy of Hit Tracker.  Click the link for some videos of his bombs.  Start by watching the 459 footer he hit in Arizona off John Garland.  Love the trot.

What about his defense at shortstop?

Well let's shoot it over to the guy that has been watching him since he got to the big leagues former Blue Jay manager Bobby Cox.  Here is what he had to say in February of this year before he put him in the dog house:

"Escobar, to me, is a Gold Glove winner at short," Cox added. "He's as good as it gets."

For the 2010 season he has the most assists as a shortstop in the NL to go along with a top three range factor.  

How about his contract info?

According to Cot's Baseball Contracts he has 2.121 years of Major League Service time and is arbitration eligible for 2011-2013.  At that point, he can become a free agent.  He is currently being paid $435,000, which is just above the league minimum.  He is represented by the Wasserman Media Group which is only worth noting because they are not Scott Boras.

In the interests of being thorough I must mention a few things.  He has been labeled as having an attitude.  Now I'm not going to sit here and pretend to know what that means.  I can guess he plays the game with the same fire and passion that every other Cuban I have ever seen in the big leagues but here are the facts courtesy of Alden Gonzalez / MLB.com:
  • In 2009 he was removed from a game on June 14 because of a lack of focus. 
  • On June 25, he took exception to a charged error by gesturing toward the press box and pouting in his next at-bat.
  • He was benched by his manager for disciplinary reasons.
  • He was deemed abrasively brash by opponents.
  • all while continuing a tense relationship with the Atlanta media.
"People would perceive it as being flashy, but he's always said, 'That's just me," said Braves bench coach Chino Cadahia, who's been Escobar's interpreter since he made it to the big leagues.
"It's just a lot of people don't understand his whole story. But I'm not defending him to some of the things he's done, because they've been wrong, and I've told him they've been wrong. But at the same time, if they understood where he came from, how he was able to get out [of Cuba] and the stuff he had to do to do this, sometimes you understand a little better some of his actions."
"He has to be himself most of the time," Cadahia said. "But being himself, he has to be able to control being himself, also. We definitely want him to be Yunel Escobar. But he can be Yunel Escobar and not show anybody up."

Yunel had this to say about it:

"Us Latin players are a bit aggressive, and sometimes that gives off a bad impression," Escobar said in Spanish "We play a brash game, an aggressive game, and that's what I've been demonstrating here.
"People have misinterpreted those mannerisms. But honestly, I'm not a bad kid, and I don't disrespect anybody. I respect the game."
"This is the year I'm trying to focus on [learning English], because I've already been here three years since 2007, and a lot of people have wanted to talk to me, but I couldn't talk," Escobar said. "I'm getting tired of that. I have to express myself to people because a lot of people want to get to know me, but they can't because of the language.
"Things happened last year where there were just misinterpretations that brought me problems I've never really had before."
"Every year that passes, I feel more like this is my home, and I gain a little bit more confidence," Escobar said. "Since I got here in 2007, I've felt a bit out of place. I didn't know how they were going to treat me, because it was the first time I was in a big league clubhouse."

I think now is the time I drop this on you.  Must read.

All that and he hits into a lot of double plays.  Like over 20 a year.  And you could call him a little soft.  But that is it.  Promise. 

Some More Analysis:

On centerpiece Yunel Escobar:

"It's fair to say that if Yunel Escobar was performing like he did last year, it would have been a much more difficult deal to make," GM Alex Anthopoulos said.
“If Yunel was doing what he did in the past, he’s not available to us and this trade does not present itself. This was an opportunity for us to take a chance on a very talented player."
“We control the player for three years after this,”
“We feel as though he has a chance to be a core player. Certainly he’s having a down year but, again, when you look at what he did the years prior to that, (we are) getting a very high-ceiling, talented shortstop that was arguably coming into this year as one of the better young shortstops in the game.”
"It's never a bad thing to have two great players,"
"We're just as high on Adeiny Hechavarria. We absolutely believe he's going to be an All-Star caliber shortstop. When we get a chance to add another guy like that in Yunel Escobar, we're never going to shy away from the talent."
“When you have depth at premium positions … It’s an absolutely outstanding problem to have,”
"I certainly believe Alex Gonzalez is going to continue to have a great year and help the Braves get to the playoffs, their aspirations are to win the World Series, but Yunel Escobar, long-term, is a guy we think is equally as talented ... and he certainly has greater upside."
"Where there's smoke there's fire and we weren't going to roll our eyes at that,"
"Everyone we've spoken to has said, first and foremost, this is a good kid and that was the number one factor for us. There have been run-ins, other issues, and I think it's a product maybe of the style of game he plays, maybe it didn't mesh well with the Atlanta Braves."
“Everybody that we spoke to — former teammates, coaches, minor-league staff, everybody — the response was the that this was a good kid,”
"Jose (Bautista) said he was a good kid, quiet, not a problem in the clubhouse at all. But he does play a flashy kind of game and I think being in the environment we have here for him, I think this is an opportunity for him to thrive."
"When we looked at it, we said, 'Well, we're either going to go off of three years of track record that Yunel Escobar has showed as a young man, or the three months that he's performed so far.'"
"We think there could be some mechanical things that can be addressed in his swing, and I think he may need a fresh start and a new organization and a city like Toronto that embraces Latin players,"
"There's no question his power has been lacking from what it has been in previous years,"
"The biggest concern for us was the lack of power and we really had our scouts focus on batting practice and make sure the raw power was there and we were pretty diligent about examining his health. The raw power is still there, and we think it's just a matter of making some tweaks."
"He can still drive the ball in batting practice. I think it's just a matter of making some tweaks."
"If you look at the Cuban player, they play with a lot of flare, a lot of emotion, a lot of flash,"
"But I think it can be exciting for fans. Toronto fans love watching a high energy player who brings a lot of passion and desire to the shortstop position and I think he's going to be able to thrive in this environment."
"Just talking to Cito Gaston, he said Tony Fernandez was very flashy as well and he thrived here, he was a fan favourite."
"I think Yunel coming to a city like Toronto — that a lot of Latin players seem to love and enjoy for obvious reasons — it’s a fresh start for him. It’s a new organization. Getting with people like (manager) Cito (Gaston) and (hitting coach) Dwayne Murphy, that will unlock some things.”
"We did a lot of homework and we feel like this is going to be an environment for him to really thrive."
"At the same time acquiring someone like Yunel Escobar along with Jo-Jo Reyes -- two young, talented players (was key). Going into the season, Escobar was widely regarded as one of the best young shortstops in the game. He's 27 and he's controlled (rights-wise) for three years beyond 2010 and he also has a chance to be a core player."

On JoJo Reyes:

"(The Pacific Coast League) is a tough league to pitch in and we want to try to get the best out of Jo-Jo," Anthopoulos said "He's had time in the big leagues before. He was a highly touted prospect. It's just a matter of getting him into the right environment to get some success, to get some confidence going. His stuff is certainly there."
"He hasn't had a great performance this year,"
"We have some scouts that feel pretty strongly about him and think he has a chance to bounce back and be the player he was in the past."

On Alex Gonzalez:

"The production and the results speak for themselves," Anthopoulos said. "As I told Alex, the two most professional position players that I've probably been around in my time in the game have been Scott Rolen and Alex Gonzalez.
"Just the way he carries himself and the way he conducts himself, he's a tremendous teammate and a quiet leader -- not an easy guy to part with."
"It wasn't a reflection on Alex at all. He's absolutely exceeded any expectations we had for him. He's a plus player, a plus defender. What a tremendous competitor, tremendous person and good role model for the younger players. That's what made this so complicated."

On prospects Tim Collins and Tyler Pastornicky

"Both guys are very talented," Anthopoulos said. "I give the Braves a lot of credit. I think they did a great job from a scouting standpoint. The makeup of both players is outstanding. I spoke to both of them today. They're both tremendous kids, very hard workers, outstanding baseball players and very tough, intense competitors."
"We were reluctantly willing to give up both players,"
"But it was not an easy decision to make."
“We think Tim Collins can pitch in the big leagues right now as a 20-year-old with a great arm,”
“That was the cost to doing it.”

Boy Wonder has spoken.  It should be noted he sees Escobar as a top of the order hitter.


I didn't even bother to mention the other players in the deal.  It's not because I forgot but more because this trade, to me, boils down to this:

We just traded a potential lefty bullpen stud, a potential back up infielder and a season and a half of a 33 year old Major League shortstop we got for nothing.


A potential All Star and a lefty with big league starting experience.