Toronto Blue Jays

Discussion in 'Thread Archive' started by Zikry, Jun 4, 2011.

  1. Zikry

    Zikry Walk On

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    The Blue Jays have decided to sign their 1st round pick, SP Alex "Smalls" Meyer. For all you Blue Jay fans out there, here is a player bio for the newest addition to the team's pitching staff:

    http://www.ukathletics.com/sports/m-basebl/mtt/meyer_alex00.html

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    In terms of their 2nd round pick, the Blue Jays have decided to give OF Shawon Dunston Jr a chance by signing him to a contract.​

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    After committing to Vanderbilt, Dunston Jr decided it would be best to come out straight from high school and enter the draft. Will the kid out of Valley Christian high school make a name for himself, or will he forever be remembered for being the kid of former MLB shortstop Shawon Dunston, a former 1st overall pick by the Chicago Cubs in the 1982 Draft.​

     
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  2. Zikry

    Zikry Walk On

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    Rule 5 Draft: Introduction + Key Losses
    Edition

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    June 4th, 2011​

    As we head into the start of another exciting baseball season, let's take a look back at what happened over the winter, and more specifically, in the rule 5 draft. As many of you fans know, the Jays are coming off a horrific year in which they ended the year with only 10 wins, 2nd worst in the entire league and only better than the 9 win Orioles. Entering the Rule 5 Draft the Jays were thinking about rebuilding the team, especially in such a power-house division including the likes of the 19 win Red Sox, the 18 win Rays, and the eventual world series champs, the New York Yankees. Before we go any further though, here is a brief description for our less-frequent readers about what exactly the rule 5 draft is here in the TCBL:​

    Rule 5 Draft:

    The rule 5 draft occurs during the annual Winter Meeting of general managers. Here, players that are 25, 28, and 32 are all "vulnerable" to the draft. Each general manager is given a maximum of 2 "free agent tags" in which he can "save" 2 players from entering the draft. The draft starts with the worst team record wise from the previous season selecting first, followed by the 2nd worst team, and so on until all teams have completed their 40 man roster for the upcoming season.​

    When the Jays were asked to tag two players the first one was simply a no-brainer. Aaron Hill, who led the team in RBIs with 11, in doubles with 6, and was the 3rd best hitter average wise with a .265 would be tagged. Other than his offense, Hill was simply irreplaceable in the eyes of the Jays front office in terms of his leadership and commitment to the team, along with his stellar play at 2nd base. The 2nd tag brought more of a discussion between a number of players. First, the Jays reached out to the Indians to try and set up a deal that would see Grady Sizemore come to Toronto. If that deal was successful then Grady would be given the tag without questions. However, when negotiations broke down the Jays were left with a tough decision, but ultimately decided to go with SS Yunel Escobar in order to keep the middle of the Jays' infield intact. Both Escobar and Hill grew throughout the year, and their understanding between one another was something that the Jays front office did not want to fracture by releasing Escobar.​

    With that being said, let's take a look back at some of the Jays losses in the draft:​

    Key Losses

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    Juan Rivera (OF)​

    Although Rivera ended the year with only 67 at bats as the part time DH and spot starter, he did end the year with the highest batting average on the team at .298. Rivera brought a veteran presence to the team and someone who could be relied on in late game situations to be called upon and deliver the clutch hit. Rivera's power off the bench will surely be missed in Toronto, however when it was time to decide the tags for the rule 5 draft, Rivera was almost a certainty to be dropped. The Jays were hopeful that they could pick him up in the 3rd round, however he went 1 spot before the Jays pick to the Rockies with the 17th pick in that round.​

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    J.P. Arencibia (C)​

    No player polarized the Jays front office more than J.P. Here was a guy that was highly sought after in college and was one of the hottest prospects coming into the league. The Jays selected him with the thought that he could be the team's equivalent to Jason Varitek in Boston, someone who would stay with the team for over a decade and dominate behind the plate. However, when push came to shove, and while looking at the play of Travis D'Arnaud defensively late on in the season, coupled with Arencibia's dreadful 0.111 batting average in 81 at bats, he just had to be let go. As fate would have it however the Jays will be seeing plenty of Arencibia as the Red Sox drafted him with their 2nd round pick, so the decision to let go of him will surely be something that the front office will be asked about for many years to come, especially if Arencibia dominates in Bean-Town.​

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    Jon Rauch (CP)​

    Standing 6'10 and weighing 290 pounds, his sheer presence will be missed in Toronto. Rauch was brought it with the plans of being the set up man for Francisco, or even taking over the closer position if Francisco struggled. However, with the Jays struggling mightily over long stretches of the year, that plan didn't really come to fruition, as Rauch only appeared in 13.1 innings over the span of the year. However, his 1.35 ERA along with 11 Ks and just 1 walk over that span showed that he could surely get the job done when called upon, but with the Orioles nabbing him early in the 3rd round, the Jays really didn't have a chance to bring him back to Toronto.​

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    Jesse Litsch (SP)​

    The only "big" loss in the starting rotation and relief pitching came with the loss of Big Red, Jesse Litsch. Litsch was the #4 starter all of last season, posting a 2-4 record and a 3.115 ERA. At times Litsch seemed to be playing his best baseball ever, but the lack of run support all year didn't really give him the recognition he deserved. Litsch ended the year with 20 Ks and only 3 walks, while giving up 12 earned runs all year. Litsch was a tough choice to let go of, however, with the plethora of young talent at starting pitcher, including the likes of Noah Sydergaard, Aaron Sanchez, and this year's first round selection Alex Meyer, it made more sense to let Litsch go, rather than sacrifice losing Yunel Escobar. Litsch was drafted by the Rangers in the 2nd round, and we wish him all the best there!​

    That's it for now! Don't forget to come back soon as our next edition will go over the key additions to your Blue Jays in the Rule 5 draft. 'Til Next time don't forget, when something has gone terribly wrong and there is no one around to take the blame you can always...​

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  3. Zikry

    Zikry Walk On

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    Rule 5 Draft: Key Additions Edition

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    Heading into the draft the Blue Jays had a number of positions that were huge question-marks. A relief pitcher was a top priority, and with the loss of Jesse Litsch, and the reports that Carlos Villanueva would be moved from the pen to the rotation, the need for relief pitching became even more important. Octavio Dotel and Brett Cecil didn't exactly send chills down the spines of opposing lineups. Along with relief pitching, a young alternative in the outfield who had some speed was a top priority. Scott Podsednik wasn't getting any younger, and with Rajai Davis on the wrong side of 30 already it was time to bring in someone who could start in multiple positions in the outfield, while also allowing Travis Snider to continue as the team's DH, and possible a starter against left handed pitching. Knowing all this, the Blue Jays ended the draft with several key acquisitions, adding two relief pitchers that should immediately come in and help the team, while also capturing that outfielder they coveted in the draft. Along with that, the Jays were able to pick up Dustin McGowan late in the draft, keeping him in Toronto, while also adding 2 catchers who will be fighting for the 1 MLB spot left alongside Travis D'Arnaud, with the expected release of Jose Molina coming soon.​

    Key Additions:

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    Sean Marshall (RP)​

    The Blue Jays 1st round selection was the 29 year old Sean Marshall, who the Chicago Cubs let go of. Marshall comes in and immediately becomes the best relief pitcher on the Jays' staff, and look for him to be given some major playing time this upcoming season. The 6'7'' pitcher will look to build off his stellar year in Chicago, and if the ineptitude of the Jays' offense last year is anything to go by, Marshall will most definitely need to be at his very best this year.​

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    Jeff Niemann (SP)​

    Selecting Niemann in the draft left some questions for the Jays staff. Would Niemann, who went 4-0 for the Rays the past year, stay as a starting pitcher, or would he be moved to the pen? Well, all of that would depend on the staff's confidence in Villanueva, the projected #5 starter. After some deliberation the staff decided that Niemann would be moved to the pen and by doing so, would be the top right handed pitcher out of the pen, and along with Marshall, would hopefully rejuvenate the entire Jays' pitching staff. Standing at 6'9, the Jays staff really looks to be targeting the "bigger" pitchers, and whether that is deliberate or is just a coincidence is unknown to this point.​

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    Julio Borbon (CF)​

    In the 2nd round the Jays were thinking of going with pitching once again after picking Marshall in the 1st, however when their pick came up and Borbon was still available, the team had to go with the ex-Rangers and Nats man. Borbon, who is joining his 3rd team in the TCBL, will look to have much more sticking power in Toronto than he did in Texas or Washington. It is still unknown whether he will be playing in center, slotting rajai to left, or if he will take over in left field, but whatever the case, look for borbon to add some more speed to the Jays.​
     
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  4. Zikry

    Zikry Walk On

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    Ricky Romero to stay for one more year? Morrow on the trade block?

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    After earlier reports suggested that Romero would be traded in the offseason, news from the Jays front office indicates that they will look to keep Romero for one more year, and instead turn their attentions to trading away Brandon Morrow. An equally talented pitcher, Morrow will look to garner some interest from teams in desperate need of starting pitching. Like Romero, Morrow is also eligible for the rule 5 draft in a year's time, so the Jays will look to get some value out of him by trading him in the offseason, rather than having to scramble next year trying to trade him and Romero.

    Brandon Morrow (SP): 27 years old. 6'3'' Right hander

    B overall, B potential, B velocity. Hits high 90s on his fastball with ease. Specializes in striking out opposing batters with his change of speed pitch (changeup) and his slider. He struggles for control at times, however he still would be a great add for many teams in need of a #2 or #3 guy in the rotation.
     
  5. Zikry

    Zikry Walk On

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    Blue Jays Management Confirms that Romero has Signed a New Contract

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    After much speculation about where Romero would be pitching next year, the Jays Management have been able to come to an agreement with the leftie that will see him stay in Toronto for the foreseeable future. With D-Day about a year away, the Jays wanted to make sure that they had everything in order, before the mass exodus in the rule 5 draft next year. With the signing of Romero to a contract extension, the Jays assured that they would keep their best pitcher on their current roster, and at only 27, Romero still has a lot to offer the organization. Look for the Jays to also work out a deal with Kyle Drabek, who, at only 24 this year, has become the #1 pitcher on the Jays rotation. Drabek was the one certainty to be kept in next year's list of rule 5 eligible talent pool off the Jays roster. With the decision to keep Drabek and Romero, the Jays have decided to keep their top 2 pitchers in the rotation, which will allow them to make moves to shore up some positional spots come season's end. With this news, it seems as if Brandon Morrow and Jose Bautista will be the two that will be let go at the end of next season. Look for the Jays to field offers for either of these two players, as they would both be great additions to almost every team in the league.​
     
  6. BobJr

    BobJr To each their own

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    @Zikry

    Get at me this offseason!
     

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