Monthly Archives: July 2011

Coverage at Getting Blanked

For further updates on the 2011 MLB Trade Deadline from me, head on over to Getting Blanked.

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Trade Deadline Reactions — July 29th

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Trade Deadline Reactions — July 28th

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Trade Deadline Reactions — July 27th

Like most Jays’ fans, words cannot describe just how happy I am with the Colby Rasmus trade(s).  Enough words have been spent on the deal by my many, many, many contemporaries in the Blue Jays blogosphere, and there are more than a few professional opinions on the matter, so I shan’t bore you with mine.  Needless to say, this one is an unequivocal win for Alex Anthopoulos and his front office of ninjas.  It seems like every trade he makes, he doesn’t just come out on top, he leaves the entire industry dumb-founded.

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How bad is the Jays’ bullpen, really?

The Jays’ bullpen has been the ire of a frustrated fan base over the course of this season.  The often cited statistic is the ‘blown save’ which the Blue Jays are tied with the Angels for the most in the American League at 17.

But if we are going to decry the save statistic (which, if you don’t, you might want to remove your breathing orifices from your rectal cavity), then don’t we have to decry the blown save stat too?

The obvious answer is yes, but there is something to be said about a team blowing 17 leads late in games when it’s only late July.  But keep in mind, a pitcher can record a blown save if he comes in with one out in the seventh inning with the bases loaded and a one-run lead, and then surrenders an infield-single before striking out the next two batters; there are certainly gaping flaws.

Blown saves inevitably occur in both good bullpens and bad ones.  Just as it is flawed logic to look at how many saves a certain bullpen has to determine how good they are, it is almost equally as absurd to look at blown saves to judge how bad one is.

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Why are the Blue Jays considering Heath Bell?

News broke this past week that the Jays were inquiring about Padres bullpen arms, specifically Heath Bell’s arm.  I think all of us collectively moaned and groaned at the thought of this.  After all, why would a team in fourth place with no chance of contending this season go after a 33-year-old closer being courted by all the contenders?  Especially considering the wealth of veteran right-handers already occupying spots in Toronto’s bullpen.

The answer is simple: Alex Anthopoulos is a crafty mother-trucker.

As ESPN’s Buster Olney noted earlier today via Twitter, the Jays interest in Bell is most likely purely an interest derived from Bell receiving Type-A free agent status this offseason.  Now, you may be saying, “but Travis, isn’t it very likely that the Jays would have to give up more in a trade than the equivalent of two draft picks in the next draft?”

The answer is, maybe not.

The trade market is absolutely flooded with right-handed relievers which drives the asking price down.  Another factor is the lack of offense in Major League Baseball this season; most teams are already doing a good job of preventing runs so there aren’t as many in the market for expensive relievers.

All of this means that sure-fire Type-A free agent relievers such as Bell and his setup man Mike Adams may be acquired for less than what the teams would get when they sign elsewhere this offseason

The Padres have also said they are now less likely to trade their two relief aces*, most likely because they are worth more as free agents than they are on the trade market.

If either of those two players could be acquired by the Jays for less than what a first- and sandwich-round pick are deemed to be worth, than I am all for them going for it.

And those who are worried that the new CBA will affect the draft pick compensation rule, it may, but not until next season.  Even if a new CBA is hammered out before the offseason festivities truly get underway, there is no way it will start to take effect right away; next year would be that year.

We’ve said it before, Alex Anthopoulos is a ninja…let him work his magic.

*– Eric Karabell mentioned this today on ESPN’s Baseball Today podcast.

On a Low-A Prospect

Baseball America’s mid-season prospect list was released today and three Blue Jays’ farmhands cracked the Top 50.  The list did not include rookie players who have graduated from “prospect status” such as Kyle Drabek or Braves’ first baseman Freddie Freeman so many prospects moved up by default.

Brett Lawrie is now the top ranked prospect for Toronto and is 10th on BA’s list; catcher Travis D’Arnaud moves up to 29th; and centerfielder Anthony Gose comes in on the list at 45th after not ranking in the top 100 at the beginning of the season.

But this post is not to talk about those Jays’ prospects that have had a lot of words spent on them.  I want to talk about a player that is still very raw but may end up finding himself near the top of prospect lists in a few years.

Jake Marisnick was taken in the 2009 draft in the third round by J.P. Riccardi and his crew; the last draft he presided over.  The pick was acquired by the Jays from the Yankees as compensation for the signing of A.J. Burnett the previous offseason.

Marisnick doesn’t get talked about too often because he’s very, very raw.  He was drafted out of high school and signed well over-slot at about $1-million to keep him from his college commitment.  He has all the defensive tools to keep him in centerfield, but at six-foot-four and two-hundred pounds, he has the arm strength and power potential to play in rightfield.

There were worries about his bat coming out of the draft, but he is slowly proving those worries to be ill-founded.  After a solid pro debut in the Gulf Coast League last season, he was moved up to Low-A Lansing where he struggled, but this year those struggles are gone.

In 296 plate appearances with Lansing, the right-handed-hitting Marisnick has a .304/.372/.360 slash line with a .384 wOBA.  He’s shown power with six homeruns and has plenty of speed with 19 stolen bases.  He was named to the Midwest League’s All-Star Game and is priming himself for a promotion to High-A Dunedin before the end of the season.

Don’t be surprised if Marisnick’s name starts showing up on top prospect lists as early as next season.

You can also follow him on the Twitter.  His profile pic is an old-school Jays’ logo, which automatically makes him more awesome.