Weekly Round Up: Double Shot

You see what I just did right there?

Missed last week's round up due to the 3 day bender I went on after the Vernon trade was officially completed. Much has happened in Blue Jay land. Check it.

Consider this your required reading.

Consider this your required listening.

Consider this your required viewing. This one was a close second place.

Courtesy of Kirby Arnold:

Wakamatsu, still considered one of baseball's best young managerial prospects, said he had coaching opportunities with four teams before going with the Blue Jays under new manager John Farrell.
"People asked me, 'Why not Baltimore, why not Milwaukee, why not Oakland?'" he said. "The impression I got from (Blue Jays general manager) Alex Anthopoulos, (assistant GM) Tony LaCava and everybody in the front office really blew me away. I felt really good about Johnny Farrell. It felt like the right fit and I think I needed something like this to rekindle myself.

Great read on the Wak.

Courtesy of Shi Davidi:

Hill, with six seasons under his belt, is now the longest-tenured Blue Jay while Bautista — who is eligible for free agency after the 2011 season but is believed to be engaged in talks on a long-term deal — embodies many of the qualities the team would like to have going forward.
The longest-tenured player on the team is reliever Jason Frasor, who made his debut in 2004, but the heart and soul of the pitching staff is now left-hander Ricky Romero.
Those four players, along with starter Brandon Morrow, first baseman Adam Lind and outfielder Travis Snider, may all end up shouldering some of the burden in Wells' absence.

So.....ah.....which one is it then? Hill or Frasor

Courtesy of Robert Emrich:

MiLB.com: You're moving to an organization that has an established second baseman at the big league level in Aaron Hill. Has the idea of switching positions been discussed at all?
Lawrie: I've been working out at third -- they've wanted me to play some third. I felt comfortable over there, I think I am going to go into Spring [Training], where third is where I'm going to be put at.

This interview via an MLB.com reporter was posted on MiLB.com an hour before..... 

Courtesy of Jonathan Mayo:

2. Brett Lawrie, Blue Jays: Toronto got the top Canadian prospect from the Brewers in the Shaun Marcum deal and he's another one still learning the position after being drafted No. 16 overall in 2008. Lawrie can flat-out hit and should have power and speed at the big league level. He may never win a Gold Glove, but a Jeff Kent-like evolution isn't out of the question.

This one was posted on MLB.com. Nice to see the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing in other organizations as well isn't it?

Courtesy of Jonathan Mayo:

3. Kyle Drabek, Blue Jays: Doug's kid had a pretty good first season in Toronto's organization after coming over from Philadelphia in the Roy Halladay deal. He was the Eastern League's Pitcher of the Year and made his big league debut in September. With one of the best breaking pitches in the Minors, Drabek also throws a lively fastball and a changeup that's improved considerably. A strong competitor, he's ready to take on the AL East as part of the Jays rotation.

Mayo also liked two of our catchers, and a shortstop. Throw in a top 60 list and you got yourself a couple of busy weeks.

Courtesy of Justin Bopp:

Courtesy of WAR Graphs:

Courtesy of Sporting News:

But the 33-year-old lefthander readily admits he will not miss facing the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays in a third of his team's games this season.
"Face it, that had has much to do with it as anything," Tallet said. "Let's be honest. It's a brutal division."
So brutal that it can wear on teams such as Toronto, which enters every season as a long shot to contend. The Blue Jays have won at least 83 games in four of the past five seasons but have yet to finish closer than 10 games out. That can put a drag on players.
"You start to accept (you're not going to win)," Tallet says. "And that's the worst thing a player can do."
Tallet isn't the only refugee from the AL East hoping to find comfort in the NL Central. All six clubs have added at least one player whose most recent team resides in the AL East:
Reds: Fred Lewis, Blue Jays.
Cardinals: Tallet, Blue Jays; Lance Berkman, Yankees.
Brewers: Shaun Marcum, Blue Jays.
Astros: Bill Hall, Red Sox.
Cubs: Matt Garza and Carlos Pena, Rays; Kerry Wood, Yankees.
Pirates: Lyle Overbay, Blue Jays.

Take note fellow fantasy pool players. These guys are nice candidates to reap the rewards from moving from the AL to the NL.

Courtesy of Jim Caple:

28. Blue Jays

Toronto tried to improve its old logo a couple years ago. It failed.

Does anybody out there actually, you know, like the new logo? This guy clearly doesn't either.

Courtesy of Ben Badler:

The Blue Jays have agreed to terms with 16-year-old Dominican lefthander Jairo Labour for $350,000.
Labour, who is 6-foot-4, 185 pounds, became eligible to sign when the 2010 international signing period opened on July 2, but he developed into a better prospect later and has run his fastball up to 92 mph. Labour, who is from Azua, is a good athlete with a solid delivery and feel for spinning a breaking ball. 

A little prospect porn sprinkled in for ya. Everybody loves prospect porn. 

Courtesy of Bernie Puchalski:

After two years, he was promoted to assistant scouting director in 2003, but decided to take a step back to become the scouting coordinator with the Toronto Blue Jays because he worried what would happen if the Montreal Expos made their rumoured move to the United States.
His ascent through the Blue Jays' ranks was dramatic. He became assistant general manager in 2005, vice-president of baseball operations in 2006 and, finally, the team's general manager in 2009.
"If there's one word you leave here with today, it's humility," he said. "There's more power in humility than you will ever believe."
Because of that humble nature, he drives around Toronto in a Honda CRV.
"I've got a raise, but I'm not changing the way I live.
"I don't need to."

Stay grounded. Stay focused. Do whatever you gotta do man, just win me a World Series before I die.

Courtesy of Jeremy Sandler:

But money probably means something — especially when the MLBPA pushes its members to go for the maximum — and a big contract would help Bautista help a lot of kids.
Taken together, unless the Blue Jays are right now willing to pay him premium power hitter money for several years to come, Bautista is likely going to take his chances and see what the market will bear.

The more I think about it, the more I don't see an extension being done with J-Bau at any point this season. And there is really nothing anybody can do about it. Consider that he has been playing/waiting his entire career to become a free agent and his 2010 season slash line of .260/.378/.617 looks a little video gameish. Perhaps his agent is driving the bus on this one or as the article suggests the MLBPA, either way, I say he plays out his final year of arbitration and takes his chances on the open market. Wouldn't you? 

Courtesy of Kevin Goldstein: 

Five-Star Prospects
1. Kyle Drabek, RHP
2. J.P. Arencibia, C

Four-Star Prospects
3. Brett Lawrie, 2B
Three-Star Prospects
4. Travis d'Arnaud, C
5. Deck McGuire, RHP
6. Carlos Perez, C
7. Adeiny Hechavarria, SS
8. Zach Stewart, RHP
9. Anthony Gose, CF
10. Aaron Sanchez, RHP
11. Asher Wojciechowski, RHP
Nine More:
12. Eric Thames, OF: As of now, this spot might be low, because he could be solid, everyday corner outfielder.
13. Dickie Joe Thon, SS: This $1.5 million fifth-rounder has the tools to rank higher, but he needs more polish.
14. Adonis Cardona, RHP: The Venezuelan teen got a $2.8 million bonus, but he's raw, but he also has an absolutely huge arm.
15. Noah Syndergaard, RHP: A teenage righty with length and projection, Snydergaard needs to tighten up his secondary stuff.
16. Henderson Alvarez, RHP: Scouts love his stuff, yet wonder why the results rarely match.
17. Jake Marisnick, OF: A tremendous athlete, but he's far away from being a tremendous baseball player.
18. Griffin Murphy, LHP: He possesses a good fastball, better curve, and--like many young Jays pitchers--tons of projection.
19. Kellen Sweeney, 3B: The younger brother of Ryan has the same pretty swing from the left side of the plate.
20. Chad Jenkins, RHP: This 2009 first-round pick had a so-so full-season debut, but looks like future innings-eater.

BP weights in on the much improved farm system. I tend to take this list a little more seriously than the one BA puts out. What about y'all?

Courtesy of You Don`t Know Dick:

Need a clue that something with the Jays and Young could be in the works? Vernon Wells was asked during a Tuesday conference call where he’d been when Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos called to ask him to waive his no-trade clause, to consent to go to Anaheim in trade.
“I was at the Mavericks-Lakers game with my wife and, ironically, with Michael Young and his wife,” Wells said. “I got the call at halftime and missed most of the rest of the game.”
Ironically? Why would Wells use that word for something that was merely coincidental?

Hate to point of the obvious here Dick but Vernon didn't go to college. Just relax. This is not a "clue". This is obviously a writer for a sport in it's offseason trying to make up a story out of absolutely nothing in order to sell some papers. As always, a trip into the comments section provides some interesting reading. My favorite is courtesy of Adhoc: 

a teachable moment for Griffin

Hey Griff - Even if Wells used the term 'ironic' because he knew the Jays were looking to acquire Young, it would still be a coincidence; there's nothing ironic about it. Have you been studying at the Alanis Morissette School of Irony?

Courtesy of  Jeremy Sandler:

But baseball sources confirmed to the National Post that Toronto also included a cash payment to the Angels.
Jon Heyman of SI.com, who broke the news of the money changing hands and is one of the most reliable insiders in the business, pegged the amount at US$5-million.
All cash transfers greater than US$1-million must be approved by the commissioner’s office.
When confronted with this information on Wednesday, Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos offered only a cryptic reply.
“We agreed for the deal to be that deal, that was the deal that was announced,” he said. “I don’t think there’s anything more to it. I think people are trying to read way more into this, like way more. There’s not. There’s no smoking gun. There’s no conspiracy theory.”
In truth, the only conspiracy comes from the two teams involved in their attempts to keep the money quiet.
This is what Anthopoulos said last Friday when directly asked about dollars changing hands in the deal:
“I guess what I would tell you is the deal that was consummated is the deal that we announced, which is  a 2-for-1 deal,” he said. “And that ultimately was the final transaction of Mike Napoli and Juan Rivera.”
Why Anthopoulos or his Angels counterpart Tony Reagins would try to cover up the payment is more of a mystery than anything else.

Alright, seriously now. I was starting to embrace the lack of commenting from the braintrust PRIOR to a transaction taking place.....but are we also suppose to except them not commenting on transactions AFTER they are completed as well? WTF is going on here? 

Courtesy of Tom Valcke:

Toronto Blue Jays legendary closer Tom Henke leads the 2011 class of inductees who will be enshrined on Saturday, June 18th in St. Marys, Ontario.  “The Terminator” will be joined by Kelowna, British Columbia native Allan Simpson, the founder of Baseball America, the monthly publication commonly referred to as the Bible of the baseball industry, and posthumous inductee George “Dandy” Wood, born in Pownal, Prince Edward Island, who played almost 1,300 games in the major leagues back in the 1800’s, but whose Canadian citizenship was only uncovered a year ago.
Bob Elliott, an icon in baseball journalism, will be presented with the Jack Graney at the ceremony as well.

God damn this song was fucking awesome. Terminator, Terminator, you can bring him in now but he's even better later. Been singing it for the last hour now.

Courtesy of Ian Harrison:

As they delightedly discussed the deal on Twitter, Jays fans called their GM the “Silent Assassin” for trading a supposedly untradeable player without even a whisper of rumour beforehand. Anthopoulos didn’t comment on the moniker when Canadian Press reporter Shi Davidi informed him of it during a conference call last Friday night.
Talk? Come on. That’s not how the Silent Assassin rolls.

Actually, in fact, that's how the Blue Jay Hunter rolls dude.


You'll be Mad at Me

So I finally started a podcast for Beyond the Box Score. I'll tell you what though, I was incredibly nervous in episode one. I accidentally said "and joining us from Ontario, Toronto." So please don't hold it against me! I love my Jays and my Jays fans! However, I do encourage you to listen.

The Chronicles of Vernon Wells

1:06AM: I just got home from work. Yeah it's Friday night, I know. But you see I work at an airport and it never closes. Like ever. I have been working there for over 10 years on shift, so I am wide awake and looking for some info. And I wanna get drunk.

1:10AM: Where to fucking start. V-Dub has been a Blue Jay his entire life. Drafted 5th overall in 1997. A lot of expectations when you go that high up. I remember him being referred to as having panache when he was in the Minors.

1:14AM: Looks like I need to get a beer.

1:16AM: Gotta say my favorite interview is this one. Funny how he's trashing Aaron Hill who I believe takes over the title as longest serving Blue Jay.

1:21AM: Jeremy over at 500 Level Fan made a solid observation that Tony Fernandez will remain the career games played leader. Vernon would have passed him this season for certain.

1:25AM: Smoke break. Stand by.

1:29AM: Taking a look at those all time Blue Jay records. V-Dub lifetime .280 hitter. Impressive. Considering he leads in at bats. Tony still got him in hits. More impressive.

1:33AM: I still remember like it was yesterday Jerry Howarth saying "It seems like there has been a changing of the guard in centrefield as Vernon Wells has supplanted Jose Cruz Jr." That would have been in 2001.

1:41AM: Need a beer. Almost out of the good stuff.

1:48AM: Just responded to the comments. Sorta. Love you guys for participating.

1:50AM: BJH comes right out with the elephant in the room. Vernon's contract. Widely regarded as THE WORST in baseball and potentially all of pro sports. Check it courtesy of Cot's.
Vernon Wells of
7 years/$126M (2008-14)
  • 7 years/$126M (2008-14)
    • signed extension with Toronto 12/06
    • $25.5M signing bonus ($8.5M payment each March 1, 2008-10)
    • 08:$0.5M, 09:$1.5M, 10:$12.5M,
      11:$23M, 12:$21M, 13:$21M, 14:$21M
    • full no-trade clause (waived 1/11)
    • Wells may opt out of contract after 2011
    • award bonuses: $0.25M for MVP, $0.2M for WS MVP, $0.15M for LCS MVP, $0.1M for most All-Star votes in league
    • Wells to donate $143,000 annually to Blue Jays charity
    • acquired by LA Angels in trade from Toronto 1/21/11
  • 5 years/$14.7M (2003-07)
    • signed extension with Toronto 3/03
    • $0.85M signing bonus
    • 03:$0.35M, 04:$0.7M, 05:$2.9M, 06:$4.3M, 07:$5.6M
    • award bonuses: $25,000 for All Star selection, $50,000 bonus for Gold Glove
  • drafted by Toronto 1997 (1-5)
  • $1.8M signing bonus
  • agent: Brian Peters
  • ML service: 8.113
1:53 Obviously in the AM

1:54 Vernon Wells won 3 gold gloves in a row. 2004, 2005, 2006 I recognize that.

1:57 I met Vernon. Well as much as you can meet someone in an autograph session. It was the during winter he signed his mammoth deal. Jimmy Triggs scored the invite. I got a ball and my bat signed. I remember that I made a point of congratulating him on his deal. He responded with "Well I'm going to be here for a while". I have to say that at that moment in time I was uber happy with that being the case. As of about 7 hours ago, not so much.

2:06 Uploading some pics. Stand by.

2:11 Zaunie and Gruber before you ask. Zaunie I got at the same autograph session as Vern. Gruber, well that's a whole different story.

2:18 Coors light tastes like water. And fuck the mountains.

2:19 Just looked at something. Check it. Circa 2009. Consider the time.

2:21 While we are at it, I wrote this. Circa 2009. Consider the time.

2:24 I called Vernon fat and bald.

2:25 Just looking at Vernon's contract again. Jesus. I wonder if he has to still donate $143,000 annually to Blue Jays charity. Good question. I'm sure he will.

2:28 Thinking about how he fits in with the Halos. Consider this: Torii Hunter moved to right field for this guy. I say Vernon plays LF. Should help him out quite a bit. That and the natural grass. I sincerely wish him well.

2:32 Starting to be concerned with the beer stock. It's not like I or anybody else knew that Vernon Wells and his immovable contract would be traded today when we got up. #silentassasin Hat tip to the BJH for the nickname. It fits.

2:41 Aren't all assassins silent? I mean it's still a total kick ass nickname for a Major League GM but isn't that part of the job description?

2:43 My hashtag didn't catch on. But I tried. It is important to repent your sins. I think all of us can honestly say we were a little to hard on Vern. Everyone except Navin. May the Vernon Wells Hatred Advisory System rest in peace.

2:51 Spell check and I are best friends.

2:56 Once upon a time I believed in Vernon Wells. I really, really x 100 did. Check it.

2:58 Wondering how many bombs Vernon hit in the SkyDome.

3:03 Found his splits for 2010. Ugly against lefties.

3:08 Gonna look into the home run at home question. Stand by.

3:15 It must be said that Fangraphs is the shit. Vernon Wells home runs at home:
  • 2010: 21
  • 2009: 8
  • 2008: 11
  • 2007: 8
  • 2006: 24
  • 2005: 14
  • 2004: 14
  • 2003: 13
  • 2002: 10
He also hit a homer in 2001 and 1999. Doesn't look like they happened at home. Therefore his total at his former home is 123.

3:20 Beer #6

3:23 One of the guys I worked with, who is a hockey fan, pointed out that trades don't really happen in the NHL anymore. Not like this. It was an interesting discussion trying to equate this trade in hockey terms. Just a thought.

3:26 I'm gonna miss Vernon. I really am.

3:28 That being said, is there a King or a Prince in our future now.....

3:35 Boy Wonder weighs in. Some people are saying he is the early favorite for executive of the year.

3:39 Kenny breaks the story. Of course he did. That is what he does. What up Span?

3:46 Napoli kills lefties. Wells does not.

3:47 More video. The Angels probably felt like they had to do this deal.

4:01 I had a bunch of shit come to me and then it went away. Stand by.

4:02 It is 4 o'clock in the morning.....

4:03 So I guess Rajai is gonna play CF. I have no issue with that at all. Dare I say it is an upgrade?

4:07 Bautista. My brain sees that video and yeah.....Bautista

4:08 What does this deal mean for Bautista?

4:11 For starters it means he will be the highest paid player on your Toronto Blue Jays 2011 edition whether he wins or loses his arbitration hearing.

4:14 I once traded Juan Rivera and Matt Thornton for Brendan Harris and Joakim Soria in a fantasy baseball league. Just saying.

4:19 I like this deal. Vernon Wells for Juan Rivera and Mike Napoli. It was rumored that $5 million went from the Jays to the Angels in the deal. Or not. Does it really matter?

4:25 Check this shit out. Click here. Then here.

4:31 Why the fuck didn't we ask for Brandon Wood as a throw in? Am I the only guy that thinks he needs some steady at bats? Could have been a solution at 3rd base.

4:32 I have started my 2011 Toronto Blue Jay defensive positions depth chart. Kinda lost in the OF without Vernon. I always thought he would eventually end up in RF but now he is gone. Completely gone. His contract, his stranglehold on CF.....I am a little perplexed.

4:35 So this is what I got so far:

CF Rajai
2B Hill
SS Esco

4:37 Yeah that's all I got for sure. Whoa. Mind fuck.

4:42 Looking at the new 40 man roster. That's totally not helping at all. E5 and Lind listed as the DH. Napoli as a catcher and J-Bau still as an OF. Rommie Lewis got DFA'd to make room. Hope he sneaks through waivers, I like him.

4:43 The brain trust just traded Vernon Wells. It's starting to sink in.

4:45 Back to the defensive set up. I like Rivera in LF, Snider in RF, Bautista at 3B and Napoli as the back up catcher.

4:48 I think Adam Lind may be a platoon player next year. E5 and Napoli should be in the line up when anyone who throws with their left hand is pitching.

4:51 Wondering who the 4th OF will be if Bautista plays 3rd.

5:02 Fuck I'm not sure about anything. Expect that it's time for a smoke break.

5:07 Alright. The best thing that I can figure to do is run down the scenarios.

Preferred would be to keep Bautista happy which means right field. Based on that, I got:

RF Bautista
CF Davis
LF Snider
3B Lawrie or E5
SS Esco
2B Hill
1B Lind
C Arencibia
DH E5 if Lawrie makes the team. I hope he does. Napoli if he doesn't.

J Mac
Molina (maybe)

5:16 More likely would be Bautista at 3rd.

5:17 Scenario #2:

RF Snider
CF Davis
LF Rivera
3B Bautista
SS Esco
2B Hill
1B Lind
C Arencibia

J Mac
Patterson or Mastro
Molina (maybe)

5:21 I'm gonna sleep on it. It's getting hard to think and type.


Travis d'Arnaud Talks to 1BJW

Blue Jays catching prospect Travis d'Arnaud was in Toronto recently to take part in team activities. It was d'Arnaud's first taste of Major League life north of the border. d'Arnaud, who will turn 22 years old next month, was acquired last off-season in the trade that sent Roy Halladay to Philadelphia. Injured for much of the 2010 season, d'Arnaud has been working hard to get healthy during the Autumn and Winter months.

We reached out to Travis last week for some quotes about his off-season. His thoughts on the team event and where his training and rehab work stands lies ahead. Check it out.

The format of the event in Toronto was pretty much like any day at the field. We had to show up around 7:30 am and breakfast was there for us. Each day from 9-10 was meetings from all of the front office staff for the Blue Jays. Then from 10-1 was a strength and conditioning program where we stretched, threw, ran and then worked out. After that we had lunch and attended more meetings from 1-2. After 2 we hit on the field from 2:15-3. After that we were allowed to go back to the hotel we were staying at and walked around the lovely town of Toronto.

The players that were there were: David Cooper, Eric Thames, Darin Mastroianni, Alan Farina, Kyle Drabek, JP Arencibia, Brian Jeroloman, Brett Lawrie, Jo Jo Reyes, and me. The MLB players that were there were: Vernon Wells, Adam Lind, Jesse Litsch, The new players they acquired from the A's (Rajai Davis) and Brewers (Carlos Villanueva), Travis Snider, and Dustin McGowen.

My off-season program has been a very long process for me. Since I was injured last year, I had to go through vigorous physical therapy for two months in Laguna Hills, CA, with Randy Bauer. After that, I went to Fischersports in Arizona and rehabbed with Brett Fischer. Without either of those two men, I would still be in a lot pain. So for the past month I have been lifting lots of core and strength lifting such as squats, deadlifts, and push/pull lifts for upper body stuff. My main focus of all of my workouts was core. Now, I am in my "get in shape" phase of the off-season, where I lay off heavy weights and focus more on getting an ever stronger core and start my running, agility, and plyometrics. By the time spring training starts next month, I was to be in peak physical shape so my body can withstand a 140+ game season.


Be sure to follow 1BlueJaysWay on Twitter by clicking HERE.


Weekly Round Up: It's been a while.....

Yeah so whatever. My e-mail account and Twitter feed are cluttered. It's downright silly at this point. Plus, it's not like I plan to stop looking for new sexy cowgirls on line anytime soon.

What I have done is turned in my BBA membership card, turned off sitemeter and remembered why I started up this bitch in the first place. It's not about pages views. It's not about making money. And it's certainly not about writing out everything that happens, as it happens, everyday.

What is it about you ask?

That's simple. A place where we are all free to discuss Blue Jays baseball. That and I need somewhere to keep all this shit together. An outlet if you will.

Anyways, a long overdue round up for y'all.

Consider this your required reading.

Consider this your required listening.

Consider this your required viewing. There were a couple of honorable mentions.

Courtesy of Jim Callis:

Every year, there's usually at least one prospect who gets caught in Top 10 limbo, and this year it's Lawrie. He would have been our No. 1 Brewers prospect, but he got traded to the Blue Jays for Shaun Marcum before our Milwaukee Top 10 came out—and after our Toronto Top 10 was published. So Lawrie won't make a Top 10 in our magazine or on our website, though he will appear in the 2011 Prospect Handbook.
Here's the scouting report that would have appeared with our Brewers Top 10 had Lawrie stayed put:
The Brewers put Lawrie on the fast track in 2010 by assigning him to Double-A Huntsville at age 20, making him the second-youngest regular in the Southern League. Very confident to the point of cockiness, he was anything but intimidated and got better as the season progressed and he adjusted to the higher level of competition. He led the league in runs (90), hits (158), triples (16) and total bases (250). Lawrie has very strong hands and a quick bat, allowing him to wait on pitches and drive the ball to all fields. He's not a prolific home run hitter but piles up extra-base hits by shooting the ball into the gaps. Lawrie needs to balance his aggressiveness with more plate discipline, however. Though he stole 30 bases, he was caught 13 times and his speed is just average. Lawrie has smoothed out some of his rough edges in the field but still must work on making his hands softer, as evidenced by the 25 errors he committed in 131 games at second base in 2010. He has solid arm strength but may not have the first-step quickness to remain at second. He won't have to be a Gold Glove defender because his bat will get him to the big leagues and keep him there. If he has to move to an outfield corner, he'll still provide enough offense to profile as a quality regular.
Lawrie will rank No. 2 on our Blue Jays list, between righthanders Drabek and Deck McGuire. I don't think Lawrie will stay at second base and think his big league home will be right field. He should join Toronto at some point in 2012.

So there. Even if Lawrie does turn out to be a corner OF, he is still suppose to profile as above average there. Currently, he slides right in at number 2 on the BA list of best prospects in the system.

Courtesy of The Wall Street Journal:

J.P. Ricciardi came to the Mets in November after eight years as the Toronto Blue Jays' general manager—eight years of running a team that only once finished higher than third in Major League Baseball's best division.
So now that Mr. Ricciardi is a special assistant to Mets general manager Sandy Alderson, the prospect of having to wrench supremacy in the National League East away from the Philadelphia Phillies doesn't fill him with much apprehension.
"The AL East always had two or three teams coming at you," he said by phone recently. "After having done it so many years against the Yankees and the Red Sox and Tampa being good through that cycle, I'll take my chances. Even though the Phillies are really good, I'll take my chances over here."


Courtesy of You Don't Know Dick:

The comfort that Wells has found later in life has come from the fact he realizes that he is not worth what he is being paid, but, in fact who is?
“I think the most important thing about getting contracts like this is you get to go out and do so many different things in the community,” Wells admitted.
“You get to go out and impact lives. The way I feel about it, I was blessed with that contract to go out and do things. Everybody would say I’m not worth the money and I would totally agree that I’m not worth that contract, but I don’t think there is anybody . . . but I know what I can do with that contract will far outdo what that contract’s worth.”
Jays fans, understandably, only care about results on the field.

In other news, winter is cold and the CN Tower is really tall.

Courtesy of Jeremy Sandler:

In less than a week, the Toronto Blue Jays should know if a 14-year streak is going to continue.
The club has not gone to an arbitration hearing with a player since reliever Bill Risley in 1997. But the Jays have a major league-high nine players eligible this season and a team-imposed deadline of Tuesday to clear them from the books.
Toronto’s timeline shrunk last year when general manager Alex Anthopoulos said the team would not negotiate after salary figures were officially submitted for arbitration. That policy is expected to continue this season.

By my calculation the team imposed deadline or "file-to-go" strategy if my memory serves correctly is on Tuesday around mid day. I predict a flurry of signings in the next 24 hours or so to keep us happy.

Courtesy of Jeff Caplan:

Lance Berkman, a career National League outfielder and first baseman with the Houston Astros, agreed to be traded last season to the New York Yankees. He knew he wouldn't play first base for the Yanks. That is property of Mark Teixeira. Berkman went to the Bronx Bombers to serve solely as DH and perhaps a game here or there at first.
When New York came to town late in the regular season, Berkman -- who is 34, the same age as Young -- talked about what it's like to hit and then not trot out to your position.
"At the time, I had never not played every day and I didn’t realize how much I appreciate being out there and playing defense," Berkman said. "That’s one of the byproducts of this trade is it’s made me realize I love to play defense and play it every day. I knew I liked defense, but to me the game is so much easier from a rhythm standpoint, from a timing standpoint when you know you’re going to be in there and when you get to go out there and play the field."
Pretty strong words.

I thought I would include this one for all you E5 will be a great DH types out there to consider. You know who you are.

Courtesy of Cathal Kelly:

Good Lord, we need to move on. How about we try the Blue Jays.
“It seems to me like they’ve got everything in place. It feels like, to me, like they’ve got it right and they shouldn’t touch it now. They feel me to like a bow and arrow, like they’re ready to launch.”
Are we talking playoffs?
“I’m not going to push it.”

A psychic’s look at your Toronto Blue Jays future fortunes. Yeah. Right.

Courtesy of Chris Jaffe:

According to Baseball-Reference.com, the Toronto Blue Jays have lost 2,709 games in franchise history. There have been more important losses, more heart-rending losses, and more memorable losses, but none of losses were quite as lamely filtered away as one that came 10,000 days ago today.
After nine innings, they battled the Orioles to a 4-4 tie in Baltimore’s Memorial Stadium. The top of the tenth got off to a great start for the visiting Blue Jays, as Cliff Johnson led off the frame with a go-ahead homer. Jays led, 5-4. As an added bonus, Barry Bonnell followed that up with a single. Things were going great.
They were about to go stupid.

A great reminder on one of the reasons why teams like to carry an extra lefty in the pen. Keeping guys close at first base late in a tight game is a weapon that far too many managers don't use nearly enough.

Courtesy of Roto Professor:

The Closer: Octavio Dotel
He became the front-runner for the job once he signed his free agent contract, but he is far from a lock to maintain it all year long. In fact, it is arguable that he is even the best man for the job.
Dotel pitched for three different teams in 2010 (Pirates, Dodgers & Rockies), compiling a 4.08 ERA and 1.31 WHIP. He certainly still is a strikeout artist, posting a strikeout rate of at least 10.55 each of the past four seasons. However his fastball, which is a pitch he throws over 80% of the time, has been losing a little bit of zip in recent years:
  • 2007 – 93.5 mph
  • 2008 – 92.5 mph
  • 2009 – 92.6 mph
  • 2010 – 91.7 mph
That certainly makes you wonder if he will be able to sustain the lofty strikeout rates or if a regression could be in order.
Another question is his control. He’s never posted good control numbers (career BB/9 of 4.09), but he has been even worse over the past two years with walk rates of 5.20 and 4.50. Throw in his struggles against lefties (they hit .301 against him in 2010 while his strikeout rate was just 7.66 and walk rate was 7.25) and there should be major concerns with his ability to shut down games (in the AL East he’ll have to face batters like Mark Teixeira, David Ortiz, Adrian Gonzalez and others).

In fact, it's over 85% if you include the cutter, which clocks in at a cool 89.7 MPH. I have to think the guts of this article is bogus. It's basically saying Dotel throws a slider and a fastball. That's it. A cut fastball, regardless of the fact it has the word fastball in it, in my opinion, is another pitch altogether. It has to be thrown slower and thus moves more than a fastball.

A more appropriate statement to make regarding Dotel's velo in "recent years" would be: Since 2007 he has thrown the fastball almost 60% of the time and it comes in between 92 and 93 MPH. He mixes in a cutter and a slider.

Unfortunately all the shit about lefties is accurate.

All that said, I'm looking forward to watching him break some bats for us this year and try to remind yourself during one of the inevitable meltdowns this upcoming season that shitty bullpens do make the game of baseball more interesting.

Courtesy of R.J. Anderson:

Offenses driven behind low on-base percentages and high slugging percentages have existed throughout the history of the league (with league context being key in defining what a high slugging percentage defines). But recent seasons have led to a proliferation of these offenses. Perhaps we should take to calling them the Joe Carter offenses in honor of the Blue Jays’ legend with a slugging percentage of gold and an on-base percentage of tinfoil. I fully understand that even if the Jays returned the same lineup they would be unlikely to replicate their 2010 feats. Still, I wanted to know how the teams alongside the Jays fared in the year thereafter.

This is a must read.

Courtesy of R.J. Anderson:

What Bautista’s season means is simple and complicated. Bautista owned 59 career home runs in more than 2,000 plate appearances entering the 2010 season. He then added 54 jacks in 683 plate appearances. A journeyman becoming the most feared batter in baseball in the blink of a winter is an unpleasant thought because history provides little comfort. Keep Bautista’s lack of a 20 home run season in mind as you read the accomplishments of the other players to hit 50-plus in a single season.

This too.

Courtesy of TSN:

With the Toronto Blue Jays being better than expected last season, fans of the club hope that the Jays can contend in the AL East in 2011, but what should they expect in 2011 from Jose Bautista, who led the majors with a surprising 54 home runs last season?
In order to help Jays' fans get a glimpse of what could be, we're collecting different projection systems' results so fans of Canada's lone MLB team can see what others are expecting the Jays to do.

Some projection systems go head to head. Interesting to note the differences.

Courtesy of Matt Klaassen:

2. Edwin Encarnacion, July 4, -.224 WPA. The Jays were playing the Yankees on Independence Day when Encarnacion came up to the plate in the tenth with runners on first and second, no one out, and the score tied at six. He bunted into the air to the third baseman and Adam Lind got thrown out at second. The Jays went on to lose in the bottom of the inning.

As a manager, it's not really fair to ask your player to do something in a game you know he can't do. In extra innings against the Yankees? That is just plane stupid.

Courtesy of Scott Carson:

Now, there's a new sheriff in town and his name is John Farrell. While he's a former pitcher and pitching coach by nature, he's been around the game long enough to have a strong opinion on what direction he would like his team to take at the plate. Based upon his introduction to the Toronto media and subsequent comments at the winter meetings, you Cito-bashers out there -- and I know there are more than just a handful of you -- must be enjoying the fact that the Jays will be bringing a lot more 'small ball' into the mix.

Sounds like anyone you might know?


Jays Invite 13 Minor Leaguers to Spring Training

According to report, the Jays have invited the following to Major League Spring Training:

Jonathan Diaz
Anthony Gose
Eric Thames
John Tollisano
Zach Stewart
David Cooper
A.J. Jimenez
Travis D'Arnaud
Brett Lawrie
Deck McGuire
Henderson Alvarez
Michael McDade
Chad Jenkins


Projecting the 2011 Fisher Cats Opening Day Roster

Don't think 1BJW has disappeared. If you thought that, you're wrong! But I've decided to take the time to project the Double A Fisher Cats' Opening Day roster that I unfortunatley will not be seeing on April 7th, but will definitely listen on the radio. Here we go...

C Travis D'Arnaud
1B Michael McDade
2B Jonathan Diaz
3B Ryan Schimpf
SS Adeiny Hechavaria
LF Michael Crouse
CF Anthony Gose
RF Adam Loewen
DH David Cooper

C Ryan Budde
SS Luis Sanchez
OF Adam Calderona
1B Roan Salas
IF Callix Crabbe

SP Zach Stewart
SP Joel Carreno
SP Chad Jenkins
SP Reider Gonzalez
SP Randy Boone

RP Matt Daly
RP Ronald Uviedo
RP Evan Crawford
RP Vince Bongiovanni
RP Boomer Potts
RP Alan Farina

Keep in mind, this is just Opening Day as we will most likely see Deck McGuire among many others throughout the season.