Results tagged ‘ Toronto Blue Jays ’
We’re back for our first off-season podcast talking about the big moves that have been made around the majors. Marlins hold a mini fire sale and David Wright secures his title as ‘Mr. Met’.
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As far as the hot stove is concerned, this move is luke warm; but when all is said and done in 2013, we could see the players involved paying big dividends for their new teams.
In what will undoubtedly be the trade with the coolest names involved this off-season, the Cleveland Indians are trying to add a little young punch to their lineup. Let’s break it down:
C/IF/OF Yan Gomes
IF Mike Aviles
Blue Jays Get:
RP Esmil Rogers
Both Gomes and Aviles are right-handed hitters, something the Indians sorely lacked in 2012. Both are relatively young and promising, with the ability to play multiple positions. With the exception of pitching, you can pretty much cover the entire diamond defensively with Gomes and Aviles.
In Rogers, the Blue Jays get a promising, young, right-handed reliever to add to the ‘pen. With multiple starters going down with injuries in 2012, this blogger wonders if Rogers will get a shot to start a little bit in Toronto? In his second full season in Colorado, Rogers started 13 times – since then he’s been used strictly out of the ‘pen.
Last season with Cleveland, Rogers had the most impressive portion of his pro career. In 44 appearances, he held a 3.06 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and a nifty 4.5 K to BB ratio. Rogers struck out over a batter per inning, but his past performance is questionable.
For someone with as much talent as the 27-year-old Rogers, his career numbers don’t reflect what he’s capable of. In 185 innings as a reliever in Colorado, his ERA was nearly 7.00 and his WHIP hovered around 1.82. Then again, that’s in Colorado, where pitching stats go to die.
A quick glance at his home/road splits tell me that his numbers away from Coors Field were better, indicating that he may have been a victim of that crazy mountain air in Denver. I doubt Rogers will actually be considered for a set-up or closing role, but if he continues to improve in a normal atmosphere like he did in Cleveland, you never know.
The Indians land a couple young bats that I personally like a lot. Yan Gomes (pronounced: “Yawn”) is more than just an awesome name. He only got a taste in the bigs last year, compiling a .204 average with four home runs and 13 RBI in 98 at-bats for the Jays.
But, he started 24 games, appeared in 41, and split time at all the following positions: first base, catcher, third base, DH, and two outfield spots. He seems to be a good defender regardless of where he’s placed, and only made one error in 119 innings at first base.
Before being promoted, Gomes hit .328 with 13 homers and 59 RBI in 79 games at Triple-A, and tossed in a nice .380 on-base percentage to complement a .938 OPS. Clearly, the kid can hit. If the coaches in Cleveland can get him used to playing every day at the Major League level, they may have a very good player on their hands by the time he hits his prime.
We all know Aviles, too. He’s been around for five seasons now, and finished fourth in the Rookie of the Year voting as a Kansas City Royal back in 2008. Though he’s always been considered a role-playing utility man, his career average is .277 and he has started multiple games at shortstop, second base, and third base.
Even though Aviles is likely in Cleveland to play that utility role again, he can provide some pop and is a guy that plays the game the right way. Personally, I’m a big fan of Aviles and think he’s a very good spark guy, much in the mold of Nick Punto or David Eckstein.
It’s a tough call, but I think I’m going to give the slight edge to the Indians in this trade, because they acquired two bats that can make immediate impacts. While Rogers has all the tools to become a good bullpen arm in Toronto, it remains to be seen if he can continue to improve.
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- Jeremy Dorn (@Jamblinman)
Oh, yeah. And then there’s THIS.
There is no good way to spin the issue. It can’t have been lost in translation, because Cuban professors in Canada have told various media members that is a homophobic slur and very offensive in Escobar’s home country.
In other parts of Latin America, the word is used much more loosely and in a teasing manner, but Escobar isn’t from other parts of Latin America. He is from Cuba, where it means the same thing as the English translation for “You are a f—-t.”
Forget whether or not there is a large portion of the LGBT community who watches baseball. The point is that there is a very large LGBT community in this country, and they know how to use computers. That means most of that community has seen what Escobar’s eye black said last Saturday and can’t be very happy about it.
So how should Escobar be punished? There isn’t a ton of precedence for this, and it also goes way above and beyond just being about baseball. But the Toronto Blue Jays, as approved by the MLB and MLBPA decided to suspend Escobar three games starting tonight, without pay.
The $92,000+ Escobar will lose in salary over the three games will be donated to GLAAD and You Can Play, two very respected LGBT charity organizations. And Escobar will have to do sensitivity training and work with outreach programs.
Well, that’s a nice gesture. But three games? Really? Didn’t Cole Hamels get five for purposely beaning Bryce Harper? Didn’t Brett Lawrie get four for throwing his helmet down when arguing a call?
And is sensitivity training going to help the fact that he was so insensitive in the first place? Regardless of how much Escobar stresses that he was joking and it has “no meaning,” he is completely, utterly mistaken.
So what I’m seeing here, is that MLB believes a heated argument or an intimidating pitch are more punishable than literally offending an entire community and legion of fans and then giving half-assed excuses in front of that same audience.
Escobar, who doesn’t speak English, was talking to the media through a translator just now at Yankee Stadium and I caught a few snippets of what he said via social media.
“It was a bad joke.”
“It wasn’t meant to offend.”
“It’s a very common term in Latin America. It has no meaning.”
“I don’t hate gay people.”
Well, Yunel. It does have meaning. To millions of people across the globe. Next time, try something a little more intelligent when you want to write something on your face to get pumped for a game.
It’s the humble opinion of this writer that Escobar should have been suspended the rest of the season. Send him home for the offseason. The Jays are out of the race and Escobar isn’t doing anything for them on the field anyway.
But the second he steps back on the field this Friday in a meaningless game, he’s going to hear it from the fans, whether home or away. Wouldn’t it be best to have a full off-season to let this blow over?
I think it’s fair to say that the three-game suspension is too short. I think it’s also fair to say that Escobar’s reputation is really shot to hell, if Twitter is any indication:
— Ron Sutton (@seekingup2) September 18, 2012
Escobar is trash as a player and a person
— Clint Holzner (@ClintHolzner) September 18, 2012
Escobar should have been suspended the rest of the season. Can’t wait for the #BlueJays to show him the door.
— Kyle Mayer (@kymayer) September 18, 2012
The biggest loser in this whole fiasco is Escobar himself. He just lost money, games and most devastating, respect of his peers and fans. It seems like Blue Jays fans can’t wait to see him shipped away. And if the poor play and stupid decisions continue, that might happen a lot sooner than we think.
Do you believe this was a just punishment for Escobar? VOTE below!
- Jeremy Dorn (@Jamblinman)
Yesterday, we posted our All-“You Don’t Know Me But You WILL” team for the National League. Pay attention, because those guys are the ones who will make you look like a genius in future fantasy drafts.
They are the ones who will be the next Giancarlo Stanton. The next Mike Fiers. Young guys that aren’t known to the casual baseball fan but are absolutely ripping it up in 2012 and show big flashes of potential for the years to come.
You’ll thank us later, when you can tell your friends that you knew who Josh Rutledge was before anyone else and knew he would be an All-Star. Here is our American League version of the All-Unknown team – one stud you probably haven’t heard of yet, at each position:
Catcher: Salvador Perez, Kansas City Royals (.312/11/45 in 89 games)
I can do this because – well, let’s be honest – nobody really cares about the Royals outside of Western Missouri. That being said, you should know who Perez is. The 22-year-old will be a huge part of that offense in K.C. for years to come.
1st Base: Chris Carter, Oakland A’s (.274/12/31 in 48 games)
Here’s another case of “unknown-by-location.” If Carter was on the Red Sox or Yankees, he would be a household name. Luckily for A’s fans, he plays in Oakland and all he does is hit the ball very, very far. He will hit 30 homers some day.
2nd Base: Ivan De Jesus, Boston Red Sox (.273/0/4 in 23 games with Boston and LA Dodgers)
Clearly, this was a very weak position for our team. That being said, I watched De Jesus a lot in Los Angeles and he’s got all the makings of an above-average Major League infielder. If the BoSox develop him right, he could be a .300/25 steals kind of guy.
3rd Base: Alex Liddi, Seattle Mariners (.231/3/10 in 31 games)
The Italian-born prospect has absolutely lit minor league pitching up, and though he struggled a bit in his call-up, I fully expect stardom in the next few years. He’s blocked in Seattle by Rookie of the Year candidate Kyle Seager though.
Shortstop: Pedro Ciriaco, Boston Red Sox (.336/2/16/10 for 10 SB in 46 games)
I just feel ridiculous including a Red Sox player here, but considering they aren’t in contention and are getting less national attention, some people might night know about the fantastic job Ciriaco has been doing in Boston this season.
Outfield: Moises Sierra, Toronto Blue Jays (.284/2/5 in 24 games)
This is going to be the Toronto Blue Jays show in the outfield. Get used to it. And Sierra is finally getting a shot at playing full-time with super star Jose Bautista injured. This 24-year-0ld outfielder needs a little seasoning but could turn into a 20/20 player.
Outfield: Jarrod Dyson (.270/0/9/25 out of 28 SB in 87 games)
Dyson is not on the big league club for his power bat. He is a terrific defender who steals bases at will. Look at those base-swiping numbers; with a full-time gig, Dyson could legitimately steal 50 bases in his prime.
Outfield: Anthony Gose, Toronto Blue Jays (.183/0/2/10 SB in 28 games)
I know the stats aren’t very good. But he stole 70 bases twice in the minor leagues. Gose just turned 22 and the Blue Jays know they have a future star in him. Give him another couple of months against Major League pitching.
Starting Pitcher: Samuel Deduno, Minnesota Twins (5-2/3.72/1.50 in 10 starts)
Deduno went 7 strong against Seattle in his most recent start, allowing no runs, no walks and striking out 9. But one start isn’t why he’s on this list. He has filthy stuff. The elder statesman on this list at age 29, Deduno might be a late-bloomer in Minnesota.
Relief Pitcher: Sean Doolittle, Oakland A’s (30.2 IP, 45 K, 3.23 ERA, 1.21 WHIP in 28 appearances)
Doolittle is doing a lot in Oakland for that magical Wild Card run they are attempting to make. The kid is only 25 and all he does is strike people out. A lot. Doolittle could be a future closer if he gets a little more sink on his breaking ball.
You’ll thank us when these guys become rich and famous and awesome in the next few years. Did we forget anyone? Snub your team’s young star? Let us know in the comments below, but remember it’s unknown players. So don’t yell at us for omitting someone like Will Middlebrooks or Manny Machado. Thanks!
- Jeremy Dorn (@Jamblinman)
If there is one team that has made it clear that they are sellers at this year’s trade deadline it’s the Houston Astros. Why wait until July 31st to make some some moves though? Houston already dealt Carlos Lee to Miami that we covered here and Astros General Manager Jeff Luhnow is continuing to build towards the future by pulling off two more deals this weekend. Let’s take a look at how the Astros did.
Astros receive: RP Francisco Cordero and OF Ben Francisco, plus prospects RHP Joe Musgrove and Asher Wojciechowski, LHP David Rollins, C Carlos Perez and a player to be named later
Blue Jays receive: SP J.A. Happ, RP’s Brandon Lyon and David Carpenter
The Blue Jays were looking for any pitching help after losing Brandon Morrow, Kyle Drabek, Drew Hutchison, Sergio Santos, Luis Perez, and Jason Frasor to injuries. Drabek, Perez, and Santos are done for the season. Happ can be serviceable in both the rotation and out of the bullpen. He came out of the bullpen in his first appearance with the Jays. Lyon will replace Cordero as the righty set-up man in the bullpen.
Cordero joins his 6th MLB team in his career and comes back to the N.L. Central after being with Cincinnati from 2008-11. He has fallen off this season with a 5.77 ERA, but is only signed to a one-year contract, meaning the Astros will clear his salary at the end of the season or it makes him a target to be flipped by the end of July for more prospects. Francisco was a former big-name prospect, but hasn’t lived up to it. He’s turned into a reserve outfielder and is hitting .236 this season.
The Astros made this deal though for the prospects. The three pitchers all have been good in the minors so far and two were high draft picks in the 1st compensation round. Wojciechowski and Perez were top 15 prospects in the Blue Jays system according to “Prospect Corner.”
Astros receive: Prospects RHP Matt Heidenreich, LHP Blair Walters, and a player to be named later
White Sox receive: RP Brett Myers
Was there a more obvious trade candidate in the 2012 season than Brett Myers? The Astros converted him to closer in order to maximize his value on the trade market. The two prospects aren’t anything overly special, but stockpiling pitching lottery tickets and hoping one makes it, isn’t a bad strategy. Walters, 22, was ranked by Baseball America as the 26th best prospect in the White Sox system, but has struggled since moving up to high A with a 7.01 ERA and 1.63 WHIP for Winston-Salem. 21 year-old Heidenreich was solid in Winston-Salem going 8-2 with a 3.57 ERA this season, but also has struggled since moving up another level.
Myers moves to the Windy City to help stabilize a bullpen that has the 3rd worst bullpen ERA in the American League. Myers has 19 saves and a 3.52 ERA for Houston before being traded. Myers, Matt Thornton, and Addison Reed isn’t exactly the strongest combination at the end of games, but it can be good enough to keep the White Sox in contention for the A.L. Central.
The Astros have shown that they’re trying to bottom out completely and pick up high draft picks in the draft to build a nucleus for the latter part of this decade. We’ve already seen Houston grab Carlos Correa with the #1 pick in this years draft. They’re setting themselves up to pick near the top once again.
-Bryan Mapes (@IAmMapes)