Archive for July, 2014

Blue Jays Could Risk Future By Not Addressing Present

The Toronto Blue Jays biggest trade deadline addition this season was….platoon infielder Danny Valencia.  Yeah, awesome.

In a wild trade deadline that saw names like David Price, Jon Lester and John Lackey move the Blue Jays stood pat and made no major acquisitions.  A lot of the time the deadline is in fact the worst time to make a move as the bidding is intense and the asking prices start to rise.  It can be very detrimental to the future of your franchise if you make the wrong move(s).

However this year the Blue Jays might have slightly risked their future by not addressing the present day roster.  Hear me out.

RA Dickey, Mark Buerhle and JA Happ.  That is who the Jays will be counting upon to a) attempt to make the playoffs and b) attempt to win a playoff series with.  Marcus Stroman is the future of the rotation but he has six maybe seven starts total remaining in his season before the Blue Jays brass has to seriously consider shutting down their shiny new toy.

Marcus Stroman’s highest inning count as a professional came last year when he threw 124 total innings.  He has over 109 innings thus far in 2014.  If the Blue Jays are willing to ratchet up his innings by 20% year-over-year Stroman would be able to throw around 148 innings this season.  That leaves 39 innings for the remainder of this season or around 6-7 starts.  That barely gets him to September.

Drew Hutchison is coming off Tommy John surgery and has shown enough promise this season that risking his future by pushing the innings down the stretch is just not an option in my opinion.  He has shown both flashes of brilliance and the inconsistencies of youth.

Drew Hutchison’s highest inning count as a professional came in 2011 when he threw 149 total innings.  He has over 119 innings thus far in 2014.  Considering he barely pitched last season and is coming off surgery I can’t see the Blue Jays going much over 150 total innings.  That leaves about 31 innings or about 5-6 starts.

If you are satisfied with JA Happ as a permanent member of the starting staff the Blue Jays will be without two of their best arms when the games will presumably mean the most, and that’s if the team is smart in terms of not abusing their top two young arms.

Perhaps Brandon Morrow has been secretly held back for this very reason and will be the saviour of the season but if I’m Alex Anthopoulos I’d be very concerned about my job security at seasons end.  This was not the year to come away empty handed in terms of a starting pitcher (or two) who can be relied upon to pitch meaningful innings in September (and beyond).

I hate to have such a negative, knee-jerk reaction but the fact of the matter is the Blue Jays have essentially decided to give this season away.  They didn’t add to a weakened bullpen, they didn’t add a desperately needed veteran pitcher and they didn’t help a quickly deteriorating public relations problem.

If the richest owner in the game of baseball couldn’t fork out another $10-12 million (prorated) to help the current roster while at the same time eliminating the temptation to push our top two arms to the breaking point shame on them.   This article doesn’t even begin to touch on what message this is sending your star players.  Specifically Jose Bautista who was none to happy with the recent inactivity at the deadline.


Did Melky Cabrera Take Subtle Swipe at Teammate RA Dickey Via Twitter?

This was probably an innocent mistake but one Melky Cabrera favorite the following Tweet on Thursday, July 3, 2014:

This prompted a quick reply from an astute Blue Jays fan:

Read what you will into this.*

Even after his last start which was a complete game his stats for 2014 are less than stellar.  Through 112 IPs Dickey has a 4.10 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 4.68 FIP and 1.29 HR/9.  In 30.2 June IPs Dickey had an almost unfathomable 2.93 HR/9 as 28.6 of his fly balls left the yard.  There is a lot of talk on Twitter (always a reliable source of fandom) that Dickey needs to be taken out of the rotation.

Without a proper replacement there is absolutely no sense in taking out one of the few starting pitchers who can actually pitch 200+ innings.  I am worried that with a division on the line and an impatient fan base to please the Blue Jays are going to really push the envelope with our tender young arms Marcus Stroman and Drew Hutchison.  Stroman has barely reached the 100 inning mark as a professional and Hutchison is still fairly fresh of his Tommy John surgery and I am not sure how far he can be pushed.

RA Dickey is definitely here to stay.  That’s not necessarily a bad thing if he can live up to his ZIPS (rest of season) projections of 90 inning, 4.21 ERA and 1.29 WHIP.  Perhaps his last start will jump-start him into the second half of the season.  The Blue Jays are certainly counting on him.

*Today’s hack job brought to you by Jerry Springer.

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