11:50 PM Eastern

The amazing series in Texas continued – the Jays are playing with house money after skunking the Rangers by the same 9-0 score that’s recorded when a team forfeits.

Brian Tallet was fantastic – getting through his first-inning jitters by retiring the side in order, and winding up throwing seven innings of two-hitter.  Perhaps more importantly, Tallet only walked two.  The tall lefty has been nothing short of a revelation since being forced into the rotation by injuries to, well, everybody.  Jesse Litsch joined that crew today – he’s going to have Tommy John surgery on Friday and may not be back until the 2011 season.

But back to tonight.  Vernon Wells kick-started the offense with a lead-off triple in the second.  Adam Lind scored him with a grounder to short and the Jays went on to score four in the inning, thanks in large part to Elvis Andrus booting what would have been a very easy inning-ending double play ball.  Lind later homered (he’s 20 for his last 50!), as did Aaron Hill, and Scott Rolen had his second straight three-hit night.

It’s as though the switch has turned back on for the offense, which I guess is to be expected when you go to Texas, but you wouldn’t expect that the switch would be turned off for the Rangers, who came into this series tied with the Yankees for the best record in the American League, but have been outscored 15-3 over the two games.

Their ace, Kevin Millwood, takes the mound tomorrow against Ricky Romero as they try to turn things around.  If the Jays can win that game, they’ll move to within half a game of second in the divison, behind either Boston or the Yankees, unless it rains in New York (in which case they’ll move to within a game of both of them).

The Jays could get an offensive boost in the near future – they’re in talks to bring in David Dellucci, recently released by the Indians, to replace Millingltista as either the left fielder or DH against righties.  Dellucci brings a nice three-true-outcome bat, and while he would certainly be no saviour, and there will be better options available at the trade deadline, he would definitely be an improvement over what the Jays are running out there right now.  We should know in the next couple of days where Looch will wind up – he’ll get a pro-rated portion of the major-league minimum wherever he signs, with the Indians on the hook for the rest of his salary.

I understand that Looch will draw comparisons to Brad Wilkerson – and he is as far removed from his best years as Wilkerson was.  One simply hopes that if he comes here and doesn’t work out, the Jays will be quicker to pull the plug on the experiment than they were last year.

It was draft day today – at least the first three rounds worth, anyway, and the Blue Jays did pretty much exactly what they wanted to do.  They got Kennesaw State (GA) University righty Chad Jenkins, with whose agent they’d been in conversation all day, then grabbed Canadians with their next two picks – B.C. lefty James Paxton with the compensation pick for losing A.J. Burnett, and Newmarket high school lefty Jake Eliopoulos with their second-rounder.

They love Jenkins – a big guy at 6’4″, 225 who the scouts say throws a heavy fastball with late sink that touches 95.  He has a good slider and a better change-up, and he throws strikes.

Paxton is a power lefty who may be headed for the bullpen because he doesn’t have a great third pitch.  His fastball sits comfortably in the mid-90s and he’s hit 98 on the gun, and he also has a terrific slider.  He has some issues with his command, but he’s Canadian!  He’s a Scott Boras client, but the Jays have said they’ll go over slot – and he’s Canadian!

So is Eliopoulos, who plays for the Brantford Red Sox and the Canadian National Junior Team.   His fastball is in the high 80s, he’s got a promising curveball and a feel for the change-up.  He just turned 18 last month, though, so he’s a long way away, as is the Jays’ first third-rounder, Jake Barrett.

Barrett is a big kid out of  Desert Ridge High School in Arizona, and doesn’t turn 18 until next month.  Scouts rave about the 6’4″, 230-pound righty, who lights up the gun at 94 miles an hour and also throws a power curve and a big splitter.

The Jays stayed in high school for their final pick of Day 1, grabbing outfielder Jacob Marisnick of Riverside Poly High School in California five picks after Barrett, with the other compensation pick for A.J.  Apparently a fantastic defensive centrefielder, he hit .495 last year (high school alert!) with power and speed, and was ranked 11th among high schoolers on the MaxPreps Baseball Top 100 list – some even projected him as a first-rounder.

Here’s tonight’s edition of The JaysTalk, for your listening pleasure:

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Join us tomorrow night, we’re on at 7:00 PM Eastern here on the website and on The Fan590 for a pre-pre-game show, hooking up with the rest of the country at 7:30 for an 8:05 first pitch.  Make sure you tune us in!

Rational, reasonable comments are always welcome!

106 Responses to “If The Rangers Hadn’t Shown Up, The Score Would Have Been The Same”
  1. 1.

    Mike, I’m confused as to why you think that David Dellucci is a good option to hit against right-handers. The last time he had good numbers against right-handed pitching was in 2006. In ’07 he went .240/.306/.403 in 154 at-bats and last year, the Baton Rouge, Louisiana native was .251/.319/.426 in 110 at-bats. These are Rod Barajas-type numbers. I understand that nobody picked up for nothing at this time of year will be a superstar or a savior. But, what is it you see in Dellucci?

    By the way, not only was Josh in Hamilton on the show tonight, you also had Moe in Vaughn. Perhaps, Tom in Wilson is next. After all, there is Wilson, Missouri and Wilson, North Carolina and Tom is a common name!

    Keep up the great work, Mr. Wilner.

    MW: You’ll note that I said that Looch is as far removed from his good years as Wilkerson was.

    - Jake Roth
  2. 2.

    pablo: why did you delete my post comparing rios to mondesi?

    MW: It was a poor comparison, but that’s not why I deleted it. There was something insulting or obscene in there. I can’t remember why I delete everything I delete. Rest assured the comment was either unreasonable, irrational or offensive.

    that is absolutely not true. there was nothing obscene or insulting or offensive in it. irrational? the fact is it is a great comparison. to repeat. their career avgs are close. mondesi’s slug was higher. in fact mondesi was actually a better player. he had all the same tools as rios, but was a better power hitter and better base stealer. the point I was making was that while mondesi was here, he was touted as this great player, but he really wasn’t all that great and was overpaid. same as rios. it seems that 5 tool players get more praise as a hitter. why is this a poor comarison? in what area was rios better than mondesi? if you disagree with my point then write a reply telling why. deleting it defeats the whole purpose of this blog.

    MW: If you had written that, it wouldn’t have been deleted. I don’t think it’s a great comparison, though, because Mondesi was older and out of shape by the time he got to Toronto. He also had a better track record. And I can choose whatever comments I want to post at my discretion without defeating the purpose of this blog.

    - pablo
  3. 3.

    .252/.314/.398 AL Catchers
    .270/.303/.408 Rod Barajas

    You really need to lay off the hatred of Barajas. Tonight you scoffed at the notion that Barajas hits decently for a catcher, and said he hits well for a pitcher. Last year you refused to entertain the idea that the Jays needed Barajas’ increased SLG over Zaun more often in the lineup than what was happening. What did Hot Rod ever do to you?

    MW: Nothing. And as I said many times, I don’t hate him at all. He had a great April, but over the last month, he’s been awful, and the true measure of the man as a hitter is far closer to the last month than the first.

    - Ari
  4. 4.

    Mike, you’re totally wrong about Barajas being a ‘terrible’ hitter, even for a catcher. What we have here in Rod We Trust is something like a 245/295/410 hitter, right? That’s basically his career line and his true ability.

    This year AL catchers are batting 252/314/398

    Last year they hit 258/322/393

    In 2007 254/318/395

    So basically Barajas is a little less average and obp, and a little more slug. I realize those numbers above include backups, and Rod is basically the frontline catcher here now, but it’s very much in the ballpark. If he had a career line like John McDonald I’d say he was terrible, even for a catcher.

    Fact is, he’s almost perfectly cromulent as a catcher.

    MW: I wouldn’t go that far.

    - Flaming Moe
  5. 5.

    Hello Mike …..looks like the Jays got some exciting draft picks…..and enough said about Rios… he had another high energy offensive game with lots of ambition and desire….I promise not to whine about him anymore….after all “who gives a *#$k”

    - Mark from Thorold
  6. 6.

    this lineup reminds me of gibby when the best hitters bat at the bottom of the lineup and the worst bat at the top. the top ops player bats 7th? I wonder how many more runs this team could score if the lineup was done correctly.

    - pablo
  7. 7.

    I had to Google that three-true-outcome thing. Thanks.

    MW: Happy to help!

    - McLovin
  8. 8.

    I saw an interview today with Hey Dirkhurst and although he seemed like a very nice and bright guy, he said Doc Holiday in the interview when referring to Halladay… HOLDIDAY!!!!

    If us as fans should be expected to know how to pronounce his name, surely his teammates should. YEASH!

    Do we give him a pass because he’s new? He has had at least since March to learn his name.

    MW: He was too scared to talk to him in March.

    - Alex
  9. 9.

    how many years in a row have the Jays had a guy fall to Tommy John Surgery? It’s been BJ, Marcum, and Litsch in the last 3, was there anyone in 2006?

    MW: Probably.

    - Brendan
  10. 10.

    What a game! First, I just wanted to say that I love Tallet. What an extremely pleasant surprise he has been throughout this entire season. If he can just get over some of his problems early in the games (too many walks… certainly seemed to have it under control tonight) then he will be even more reliable as one of our starting pitchers. He has been really fun to watch though because even when he does get behind early, he seems to fight throughout the game to keep the Jays in it.

    On another note, I didn’t want to bring this up (especially since it’s always brought up)… but I really do hope that Cito fixes the line-up (i.e. I really do not think it is as effective as it could be with Rios and Wells hitting 3/4). Sometimes, we’ve seen flashes of brilliance from both these players and I just hope we get a bit more consistency from them. It was refreshing to see Wells get on base and Lind cash him in again tonight! I definitely do think it’ll be better for the team if Rios and Wells are moved from their current position though.

    And the last thing I wanted to say is – his name is ROY HALL-ADAY! Not HOLiday. I too am on a campaign to make people realize what his name is… it’s the least you can do for a guy who’s the backbone of our team!

    GO JAYS GO!

    MW: Why did you bring up Rios and Wells if you didn’t want to bring them up?

    - Lawrence
  11. 11.

    Mike, Do you think the amount of innings Tallet is throwing might effect him later in the season? I doubt he’s thrown anywhere near this much in years.

    Also prior to “Josh” from Hamilton there was a caller “Mo” from Vaughn. Just wondering if you caught that one because you didn’t mention it.

    MW: I didn’t. Tallet certainly isn’t used to this kind of workload, so we’ll definitely be watching with interest how he holds up as the season goes on. But once we get into August, guys like Cecil and Castro and maybe even Marcum will be ready to pick up some of the slack.

    - Dylan
  12. 12.

    Mike, has Tallet been a starter at any time in his career prior to this season?

    MW: Not with any kind of regularity in the majors.

    - oliver
  13. 13.

    Litsch out with Tommy John???

    The Jays truly are a M*A*S*H* unit.

    What’s next? Cito dressing up as a woman?

    MW: Wouldn’t that be Butterfield? Being Cito’s right-hand man and all that.

    - Blake
  14. 14.

    Michael of the Ballyard:

    Do you know if Eliopoulos will stay with the Red Sox now that he’s been drafted, or if he’ll head down to the states somewhere? Maybe to that change up wholesale place in Tennessee… (bad joke, not actual baseball commentary)

    If he stays with the Sox, I will definitely be catching up with him the next time they play the Twins and doing an interview for the blog or something!

    MW: I would think that he’d be off to rookie ball with the Jays within the fortnight, once he signs, of course.

    - Kevin Draper
  15. 15.

    Hi Mike,
    So Delluci is from Baton Rouge as well as Tallet and BJ Ryan is also from Louisiana. I wonder if those guys will trade gumbo recipes?

    You said you didn’t think Rios/Wells were the best option for the Jays in the 3/4 slot. If you were filling out the lineup card, who would you write down?

    MW: I would write Overbay down in the third spot, and then I’d have to really sit and think. Rolen is the one who jumps to mind first, so I could split the lefties Overbay and Lind.

    - Oz Rob
  16. 16.

    Mike,

    With BJ Ryan now being relegated to mop-up duty in a 9-0 game (the most expensive mop-up man in history) is it now safe to say that Ryan is one of the worst signings in Jays history?

    MW: One of them? At this point, absolutely.

    - Neil
  17. 17.

    Actually, Brantford is in town this coming Saturday — but my pay grade, unfortunately, dictates that I’ll be at the cottage.

    They’re back later in July, though, and a month and a half out I would say my chances of being at that game are good.

    MW: But not Jake’s.

    - Kevin Draper
  18. 18.

    Mike,

    It has been said the Jays would part with Overbay if someone would take his ‘somewhat’ overpriced contract. Im an Overbay backer and he’s had one heck of a year (.303/.406/.577) even though he gets zero credit for it. Now I feel like we might end up selling low on Lyle and regret it. How do you see things shaking out with Lyle?

    Keep up the good work, I enjoy your posts direct to my email!(keeps reading at work super nice and low key, and allows me to book even more free breakfast and internet laden trips).

    MW: The posts get e-mailed to you? Cool. I don’t see why you think the Jays would be selling low on Overbay right now, given the year he’s having.

    - Andrew (Guelph)
  19. 19.

    Mike, the guy you are thinking about who helped Frasor with his change up is Doug Botchelor, former Ranger im pretty sure.

    You really think delucci would be better than coats? im thinking coats would hit at least as well as delucci against righties and brings better D and far more speed..and it always sounds cool when you say “from Fort bening Georgia”

    Lastly, dont know if you saw this very cool article by tim kurkjian from espn (in my opinion the best baseball guy going on the web) about the draft and Ross Orlendorf, Pirates starter.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?columnist=kurkjian_tim&id=4230662

    MW: Very cool story – definitely worth a read. I do think Dellucci is a better gamble than Coats provided, as I mentioned, that they don’t wait too long to pull the plug if it’s not working.

    - General Zod
  20. 20.

    Mike.. Tommy John surgery for Jessie ties him up for 15 months.. But Mike this procedure has got awesome results.. I am not saying its a slam-dunk, but I will take it over shoulder problems for a pitcher any day.. Probably, A lotta people dont know Dusty had the procedure and a bunch of other guys are doing fine.. ELBOW FINE.. SHOULDER TROUBLE.. Can you imagine if Bobby Ore had a knee surgery named after him… He would still be playing.. Anyway Mike my question is.. Its not about the batting order because there might have been thousands of calls on that one.. Its about Adam Lynn playing left field and batting vs. a DH.. I like him out there, not from a standout as a great fielder ,but as a young kid , I think that you cant give the tag on him as being the DH. and it might take a little pressure off the kid by letting him play both-ends.. Whats your take on that? Thanks Mike..

    MW: I don’t really think it matters whether LIND is the DH or plays left field, though I know he’d rather play left. The fact of the matter is if there’s a better defensive option than you in the line-up, you should DH. If there isn’t, you shouldn’t.

    - FLIPPER
  21. 21.

    Hey Mike,

    The caller who brought up the comparison between David Dellucci and Kevin Mench was bang-on and I don’t even want to check the numbers.

    The Blue Jays’ “solution” for adding a bat should not be another team’s throwaway fourth outfielder, nor should it be someone whose slugging percentage is under .400 the past three years and OPS under .700. (checked the numbers)

    When I think of adding a bat, I would have thought Nate McLouth (missed that one) or Matt Holliday if he’s available.

    Similar to giving Mencherson at-bats in 2008 instead of Adam Lind, . . . if you’re bringing in Domenic DeNucci and giving him at-bats, you might as well just recall Travis Snider . . .

    MW: Snider is hurt and regardless, Looch isn’t anyone’s “solution” to anything – he’s just someone they hope will be better than Millingltista.

    - Ken Pagan
  22. 22.

    It’s unfortunate that we are seeing another case of Verducci effect. How concerned is the Jays management about it? Is it time to aquire pitching help?

    MW: Verducci effect?

    - Leo
  23. 23.

    If old-man softball isn’t slo-pitch . . .

    1) it’s men’s fastball?

    2) doesn’t the Jays’ schedule make it hard to make a game?

    MW: 1 – Nope, it’s “modified” fast-pitch. 2 – Yep.

    - Ken Pagan
  24. 24.

    Michael,

    I miss Tony Batista’s batting stance.

    Do you think the Jays are willing to go over slot on any of their picks this year?

    MW: Yep.

    - Uncle Ben
  25. 25.

    to say that barajas production is not even close to rios? barajas has more rbi’s than rios in 70 fewer ab’s despite batting at the bottom of the order. you could remove rios from the lineup and there would be no noticeable difference in the jays production. today was a perfect example. higher obp doesnt mean you actually scored. rbis mean you scored.

    MW: Barajas has done a whale of a job hitting with runners in scoring position, no question. Amazingly, since May 6th, even with a brutal .211/.240/.311 line, he has 14 RBIs in 96 plate appearances.

    - pepi
  26. 26.

    Mike,
    Vernon Wells has a lot of physical talent as a hitter, but I don’t think he understands the first rule of hitting: “Get a good pitch to hit”.
    This requires patience, as Chipper Jones found out last year.
    Now I do think I detect a little more patience recently, so I hope he is beginning to see the light.
    Why is he in the #4 slot?
    When you pay a hitter $126 million over 7 years, you can’t hit him low in the batting order. Not good economics

    MW: I would hope it has nothing to do with economics, but they have to be a factor. Vernon understands the rule you mention, he’s just having a hard time applying it.

    - Cito Man
  27. 27.

    It is unbelievable that boras wants 50 mil for strasburg. that is burnett money. why dont the owners put a clampdown and have a salary structure for draft picks. these guys are not part of the union so it seems like a no brainer.

    MW: Seems like it, but it’s never that easy. We’ll see what Strasburg winds up getting.

    - pepi
  28. 28.

    Weird, Mike. I was writing to tell you that, while I largely agreed with your Jays all-time top five starting pitchers — though you may scoff — I would prefer Guzman over Cone. That may be partially sentimental, I admit. However, for the new code word, to prove I’m not scam submitting this entry, the word I had to type in was “cones.” Freakish. Are you like psychic and just cutting me off at the pass?

    MW: I didn’t even know we’d put in a code word. I’m ecstatic about that.

    - mikie
  29. 29.

    you heard it here first. I will GUARANTEE that alex rios will be traded this offseason, if someone is stupid enough to take him off our hands. yeah I know he has a no trade claws but he will waive it.

    MW: You’re wrong.

    - maximus
  30. 30.

    if rolen continues to do well this and next year will the jays work hard to resigning him or will he ask for similar contract as the one he’s getting? I also read that hes doesnt like the effect of turf on his body, will this affect his decision too?

    MW: Depending on how little he likes it, it’ll play a big part in his decision. I don’t think the Jays will go after Rolen too hard after this contract – he’ll be 35.

    - nick
  31. 31.

    Hi Mike

    in your blog and talk, you say that Dellucci hits with a lot of power. I was checking his stats. As far has home runs are concerned, his best year is in 2005 when he hit 29 home runs. However, he does hit a lot of doubles. He seems to be in the double digits in his career. Good OBP though.

    Thanks

    Francis

    MW: As I said as well, he hasn’t been a good hitter for three years now. Doesn’t mean he can’t be again, and it’s not costing the Jays anything to find out.

    - francis x
  32. 32.

    What a satisfying game! Everyone played well. Tallet was brilliant. And Aj Burnett got the hook before the 4th inning started if I recall correctly. I hope the Yankees are thrilled with their $80M He-Kills-Redsox pitcher.

    However all this success brings a delicate question. The Jays are contending with a team that everyone thought would be an also-ran. You talk of the trade deadline, but would you do much trading? We don’t know if the team could keep up as well in the second half, and the pitching, even with Brilliant Tallet, is questionable. Do you trade for someone this year?

    I don’t really have an opinion on this, and I’d love to hear yours. And also, if the club does trade, who do they let go and who do they trade for?

    MW: I wouldn’t do much trading, unless I could add legit help for B- and C-level prospects, as teams seem always to do at the deadline. However, if there’s a big-time player available, who is under control for a while at a reasonable cost, all bets are off.

    - isabella reyes
  33. 33.

    Fun game to watch last night, Mike. Looks like those days off did wonders for Rolen. I just hope his back holds up for the rest of the season! Just one small thing – “unless it rains in New York (in which case they’ll move to within a game of both of them).”

    The Boston vs. NYY series is actually being played in Boston.

    MW: It is. And I should have said “unless it rains in Arlington”.

    - yyz
  34. 34.

    Mike, I was one of those guys who gets deeply into the draft every year, and I was very impressed by their draft haul so far this year.

    Kinda figured they would go with Jenkins since he seems to be a perfect fit to the Toronto/JP mold as a polished pitcher with excellent command. The bonus here is that he’s got great stuff and a groundball style that’s really going to help him in the AL East. Those last few adjectives could’ve described Cecil to a tee.

    And wow, I was stunned when they nabbed Paxton in the supplemental, as a lot of people had him pegged in the mid-late 1st round. A ton of value there and a ton of upside. At this point in time, he sounds a lot like Purcey, as a power lefty with command issues, but there’s certainly a lot to like about his pitching arsenal. If they refine some of the kinks as well as tweak his inconsistent delivery a bit, he could really be a keeper.

    Marcum, Mcgowan Litsch as established young MLB starters.

    Romero, Janssen already in the rotation.

    Cecil, Mills, Castro in AAA.

    Now Paxton and Jenkins in the low minors.

    They are really stockpiling some impressive arms.

    MW: Don’t forget Rzepczynski, Collins and Eliopoulos.

    - Alex
  35. 35.

    Mike, it won’t necessarily matter if it rains in New York, since the Sox and Yanks are playing at Fenway.

    I commented a couple of days ago about Rolen’s tendency to jack his average back up every time he fell close to .300. This time he fell a few points below, but now he’s right back up there again — good to see.

    - Norm
  36. 36.

    Mike,

    I’d like your opinion on 2 baseball plays.

    1st – Runner on second nobody out and the guy at the plate rolls one to the right side (effectivly moving the runner to 3rd).

    I always hear announcers just praise players for grounding out. “Oh he’ll be getting high fives and hand shakes for giving himself up.” Ok… there are situations where I’m sure hitters try and ground the ball to the right side, but not when the game is say 5-0! Are they really ‘giving themselves up’ in that situ?

    2. Runner on second, nobody out and the batter smokes a line drive / fly ball to the outfield.

    Shouldn’t that runner always prepare himself to tag up? It happened last night where Lind went half way to third but the ball was caught (so he didnt tag) and the announcers said it was ‘good aggressive’ base running…. because he went half way?

    MW: 1 – I don’t think anyone actually should be trying to “give himself up” in that situation, but if they want to try to get a hit to the right side to ensure that if they fail, at least the runner moves, that’s cool with me. 2 – It depends. Can you score from second if the fielder doesn’t make the catch? If so, then tag up. If not, go halfway (unless you’re sure the ball will be caught).

    - Jake
  37. 37.

    Hey Mike,

    I was wondering if you could tell me what you mean by “The network” and the “Flagship”. Usually one of these two cuts out and goes to a different program and the other stays on the Jays talk… could you explain.

    Thanks,

    Justin (Halifax)

    MW: We have a network of radio stations across the country that carry Blue Jays games. The “flagship” station, or the home of the entire network, is The Fan590 in Toronto.

    - Justin
  38. 38.

    Hi Mike,

    What in the name of Butch Edge is Brian Tallet doing???? This guy never has a bad outing (except the one in KC). He has really been one of the early MVPs along with Marco Scutaro and Adam Lind and Aaron Hill.

    I see a real positive from Adam Lind. He had a torrid start and tailed of a bit but has begun to tear it up again. This is a sign that he has arrived. Really, ever since Cito and his staff tookover last season, Lind has hit well.

    MW: And throughout the course of his entire career as a pro, save for his first trip or two to the bigs.

    - Ian from Whitby
  39. 39.

    Another great game for the Jays last night. Tallet threw a gem, and both the offence and defence were good. A pleasure to watch. Good to see BJ have a flawless 9th.

    With Litsch now out of the lineup, what do the Jays do with their starting rotation? It looks like Tallet has earned a spot there. But what about Jannsen? Do you see Cito using his rotation with the top two prospects in the minors (Cecil / Purcey). I guess we’ll see how the season unfolds.

    Anyway, despite what everyone is saying, I love the potential of this team.

    MW: I think Janssen is reasonably secure. Cecil will be the next pitcher called up, Fabio Castro is pitching well and Brad Mills is starting to, as well. There are reinforcements.

    - Tim
  40. 40.

    I hear the Blue Jays have an interest in David DeLucci. If he is signed, will that keep Travis Snider in the minors until September? It seems a shame as I think Snider has much more potential. I know he has a sore back, but hopefully it is just spasms. Thanks for all your efforts on your blog and radio show.

    MW: There’s no question that Snider has much more potential than Dellucci. It’s not even worth discussing. But Snider has work to do and the Jays are hoping that Looch might be able to hold down the fort until he comes back.

    - Stan
  41. 41.

    Good to see the Jays racking up some wins before the dreaded Interleague Play starts up again.

    With the news of Jesse Litsch going for TJ surgery today, I was wondering if there is any update on the status of Dustin McGowan and Shaun Marcum. We knew McGowan was anytime between May-August as of the beginning of the year, and I thought I heard JP say Marcum might be throwing minor-league games in June. Do you know what’s going on, Mike?

    Also, what year did McGowan have his TJS, would he qualify for the consecutive years of surgey a previous poster mentioned?

    MW: McGowan had his Tommy John back in 2004, too early to qualify. I don’t have an update on either, but I don’t expect their arrival dates will change over the course of the next two months. Marcum by mid-August at the absolute earliest, McGowan later than that, if at all.

    - Matthew
  42. 42.

    Jim in Ohio – thanks for reminding me that it was Butch Wynegar who hit the HR of Henke to delay by one day, the Jays clinching the 1985 Pennant. Good memories for me and my buddies watching that game at our favourite pub at UoWaterloo since we all had tickets for the next days game. It was a classic good news/bad news situation for us.

    Mike – I’m glad some bloggers pointed out your caller last night. I was screaming at my radio “Mike Mike, Moe in Vaughan, Moe in Vaughan !!”

    I suppose it’s only a matter of time now before we hear from Albert in Belle-ville.

    - Rez
  43. 43.

    Maybe Lind having moved to the outfield this past month or so will help with his All – Star consideration. Hill is stuck behind 2 great 2B and will have to catch fire again at the plate. I think it would be tough for the AL manager to not bring the major leagues leader in hits to the All – Star game.

    I don’t think I would consider getting rid of Millar. Solid guy to back up Overbay, and seems like a guy who is good for the lockerroom. He also has playoff experience, which is rare in Toronto. I don’t think Inglett or Bautista would be missed by anyone.

    Overbay is my favourite Jay, has been since a couple years back when I was able to get on the field for batting practice. He signed a baseball for me and posed for a couple of pics for my wife’s newspaper. And you can’t question his D at 1B. I hope he sticks around for a long time.

    Keep up the good work. Let’s see if another lefty can shut down the Rangers in Texas.

    How many Jays pitchers have had Tommy John surgery in the past couple of years?

    MW: Couple of years? One. Litsch will make it two on Friday. As for Bautista, last I looked he was leading the team in OBP.

    - Aaron Ker
  44. 44.

    Do you think Glavine may be an option for the Jays to eat some innings and give some rest to guys who are not used to a heavy workload? Or is he done and the Jyas will use the farm for fresh arms?

    - Al

    MW: I don’t think Glavine can do any better than any of the Jays’ starters are doing.

    - A Price
  45. 45.

    Here’s an excellent debate over whether JP Ricciardi should stay or go:

    http://www.bluebirdbanter.com/2009/6/9/903432/dangling-conversation-debate

    Excellent points on both sides.

    On another topic, how in hell does Youkilis hit the ball? I know he hits it–hard and often–but his stance is just nuts! He wiggles and waggles and then he kind of leans forward at an odd angle so his back is at maximum torque…

    MW: I’m sure it’s a great debate, and I’ll read it at some point if I have time. Youkilis winds up in a great position to hit once his theatrics finish up.

    - reyes
  46. 46.

    Hi Mike,

    How can the Jays only be 1.5 games out of first on June 10th after:

    1) The Red Sox have already had an 11 game winning streak

    2) The Yankees have already had a 9 game winning streak

    3) The Jays have already had a 9 game losing streak

    This makes no sense to me. But I like it.

    Anyway, how about Accardo straight-up for your boy, Nick “The Stick” Johnson (not to be confused with that Chippendale’s waiter guy from the 80′s Tom Hanks classic “Bachelor Party”). I see that Accardo is now making rumblings that he wants to be in the majors, even if that means he’s traded, so the Jays might have to move him:

    http://www.lvrj.com/sports/47510272.html

    MW: I don’t understand why Accardo “making rumblings” would mean that the Jays would have to move him.

    - Jamie
  47. 47.

    Mike- Barajas will never be a great hitter. He is going to give you 10 -15 HR’s and 50 to 60 RBI’s but that is not why he is needed. The pitchers love to throw to him because he is an above average defender and a good target. You may recall I sent you some stats last year which compared the record of the Jays when Barajas caught as opposed to Zaun. The difference was remarkable even though one would argue Zaun is a better hitter. You just can’t survive with a lousy receiver/pitch caller and don’t forget he is probably the second most important person on the field after the pitcher as his actions and decision making involve every pitch.

    MW: Barajas is a very good defensive catcher, I’m not arguing that at all.

    - mike glatt
  48. 48.

    michael,
    you can “sigh” if you like but the love affair with scott rolen continues on for me. another incredible night down at the park for my man at the hot corner.
    and so far so good on the prediction of winning this set down in texas. but truth be known, i only made this prediction based on the notion that they haven’t won a series down there in many, many yrs.
    but as you correctly pointed out, they swept them in the lone star state just last april.
    needless to say, that kind of puts a dagger in the heart of my grandiose prognostication.
    you’re a dream killer mike wilner… but i continue on my friend regardless….

    MW: It’s OK, turns out they won the series after all.

    - darrell bishop
  49. 49.

    I can’t believe the person (and maybe people) who commented last night on the pre-game show in regards to the Jays and their pitchers undergoing surgery!!

    Sounds like he wants to create a parliamentary committee to study why ONLY Jays pitchers are suffering these injuries and nobody else is. I just wished I had enough battery power left in my cell phone to call. How can he blame the organization and their policies as a whole as the factor for Jays arms blowing up? His sample size is too small in my opinion. Maybe the good folks at the Freakonomics blog or even Malcolm Gladwell have something to say about this.

    And you seemed very calm with him. I thought you were going to throw the book at him.

    :)

    Cheers!

    Karim

    - karim kanji
  50. 50.

    Hi Mike. Should I be hoping for Boston or NY to lose at this stage? Can’t stand either of them so I get conflicted when they are both ahead of the Jays and they play each other. My strategy is to root for the one furthest ahead of the Jays to lose… Argh. Help!

    MW: There are over 100 games left. You need to calm down a bit.

    - Stan
  51. 51.

    Hey Mike,

    My wife begged me to comment on something for her. Your comment regarding the Jays looking to sign Dellucci raised a feminine eyebrow in my household. You see, my wife LOVES Frank Catalanotto and she lets it known every chance she gets that she misses him in Toronto. When he was released by the Rangers our of Spring Training, she hoped upon hope that the Jays would pick him up again. Alas, he finally ended up with the Brewers. So, while my wife is glad he is playing again she keeps cursing J.P. for not picking him up. And now she reads that the Jays want a left-handed bat who can play Left Field and DH. Needless to say, the expletives coming out of my house today are intense. Thanks Mike.

    And keep up the good work (no matter who it hurts).

    MW: It would have been a great idea, in retrospect, for the Jays to have signed Catalanotto to a minor-league deal. But at the time, it didn’t seem as though there would be room for him, so I don’t know if he’d have been interested.

    - James
  52. 52.

    You missed one caller who was “Mo” in “Vaugn” (Mo Vaugn).

    - Ryan McCallen
  53. 53.

    Hi Mike,

    Sorry if you have answered this already but what is the little piece of (looks like rubber) that Scutaro and Wells wear on their thumb (right thumb) when batting?

    MW: A lot of guys have used that, or something similar, over the years. It helps to eliminate vibrations.

    - Boldstar
  54. 54.

    Hey Mike,
    I’m a huge fan of your show, but I was bothered yesterday when a guy called in asking about our propensity toward the Tommy John and you laid in to him.
    I think this is an interesting trend that deserves some examination. We’ve now lost Litsch, BJ Ryan, and Marcum to Tommy John surgery (and I might be missing one or two others). And, not to blame this on Arnsberg, but during his time in Florida, AJ Burnett and Pavano both needed a TJ as well.
    And that’s before we throw in labrum tears, etc. which seem to hit our team quite hard. There’s an interesting piece on
    http://fullcountpitch.com/2009/04/29/blue-jays-negligent-with-pitchers/

    about this too, showing some fairly startling numbers backing up a theory that we give some of our young pitchers too much, too fast.

    What do you think of all this? I don’t think it’s worth dismissing as quickly as you did yesterday, and I’d love to hear your opinions.
    Keep it up!

    MW: It really seems to me as though the author of this article either has an axe to grind or is misinformed. He says that B.J. Ryan has lost 10 miles an hour off his fastball, which means that he buys into the assumption that so many others have made that he threw 95-97 prior to his TJ, which isn’t true at all. He sat at 91 prior to his surgery, and sits at 87 now. He also seems to ignore innings pitched before players were drafted. For example, Janssen went from 51.2 innings in 2004 to 148.2 in 2005. True, as a pro, but he also threw 116.2 innings in college in ’04, so he really went from 168.1 to 148.2. Likewise Marcum, who allegedly went from 34 innings in 2003 to 148 in ’04. But what about the 44 innings he threw at SMSU in ’03? He also states that moving back and forth from the bullpen is a dangerous thing, but pitchers often have to do that as they progress up the ladder. Also, he says that the Pirates have had less trouble keeping their pitchers healthy. Not true at all.

    - Neil
  55. 55.

    Mike! Great game! Our offense is starting to find its way through. It was a hitter’s ballpark but Tallet shut the Rangers down. I can’t believe what Tallet is doing. He looks like a veteran starter to me. All he needs to improve on is throwing strikes. Then, he is deadly. I really hope Cecil comes back because he is awesome. I don’t know what else to say, it was amazing. Rios needs to step up. Have a good day.

    - Peter
  56. 56.

    I know on the show that it is ridiculous to have the guy on base the most bat 7th (Lyle) , but where would you put him? You certainly wouldn’t put him in scutaro’s spot or hill’s. Would you make him the 3 hitter? Where would you like to see Overbay bat?

    MW: Third.

    - Keith
  57. 57.

    Mike, just a precusor to Richmond pitching, I’ve noticed a distinct pattern that whenever he’s consistently in the 90-92mph (occassionally touching 93mph) range with his fastball, he pitches an excellent game. If he settles into the 87-90mph range, he gets lit up. Never mind his location.

    MW: Seems simplistic, but let’s keep an eye on it.

    - Joachim T
  58. 58.

    Mike I love that you show no mercy to nonsense. I listen all the time. Keep up the great work.
    B

    MW: Thanks!

    - Brian
  59. 59.

    Hey Mike great game from the jays and hope they can take Millwood deep tonight too, my question is what do you think if the jays go after someone like Giambi at the deadline I mean even if they pick up his option for 6.5 next year thats pretty cheap for a DH with his numbers in the past, is their any chance they would go for him or is this a pipe dream? maybe Giambi would like to come to the AL east and haunt the yankees for not picking up his option.

    MW: Giambi has had a pretty precipitous power outage this season, which is an issue.

    - Royce
  60. 60.

    Mike, heres a catcher study offensively

    With 09 and 08 ops+

    Barajas 09=87
    08= 86

    Other AL East Catchers:

    Posada: 09= 146
    08: 103

    Varitek: 09: 113
    08: 73

    Zaun: 09: 59
    08: 87

    Naverro 09: 34
    08: 98

    Summary: Barajas ranges anywhere from 4th to 2nd on this list, I would argue 3rd or 2nd mostly because Naverro had a fluke 08 (never had an ops+ over 80 before that), Zaun is simply worse and Varitek is about the same as he is overperforming and is quite old. Id rate him 3rd which makes him the average catcher in our divison.

    AL Central:
    Maur: 2009: 242
    2008: 137

    Laird: 2009: 74
    2008: 92

    AJ 2009: 96
    2008: 88

    Olivio 2009: 84
    2008: 91

    Shopach: 2009: 83
    2008: 123
    That puts him about 5th out of the 6 catchers (including barajas) in the divison and out of two divisons he’s 7th out of 10.

    AL West

    Suzuki 2009: 93
    2008: 97

    Napoli: 2009: 117
    2008: 147

    Salty: 2009: 77
    2008: 91

    Johnson 2009: 40
    2008: -6

    I give rod the benefit over Salty for better career numbers and better this year. So Rod places 3rd out of 5th in the AL West.

    So in total Rod is 9th out of 14th in the AL offensively. So your sortve right but Rod is pretty near average considering Varitek and Laird are close.

    Looking at the NL:

    NL East

    Santos 2009: 85
    2008: Not in the big leagues

    Ruiz: 2009: 136
    2008: 63

    Baker: 2009: 121
    2008: 102

    McCann 2009: 144
    2008: 134

    Justin Flores: 2009: 135
    2008: 81

    Summary: Im giving Barajas, Ruiz (Better career and current) but he loses Flores and Baker. This means he would place 4th out of 6 in the NL East.

    His national League rank is 4/6
    MLB Rank so far: 13/19

    NL Central

    Ramon Hernandez 2009: 83
    2008: 86

    Soto: 2009: 62
    2008: 120

    Kendell 2009: 56
    2008: 72

    Jamillero 2009: 106
    2008: didnt play

    Molina 2009: 87
    2008: 95

    Pudge: 2009: 87
    2008: 87

    Summary: Im going to give him Jamilero since hes a rookie and Ramon Hernandez (hes done better), and on Pudge, hes older and is more likely to fall than Barajas imo. Soto gets barajas though.

    NL Central Rank: 2/7

    NL Rank: 5/12

    MLB Rank: 14/25

    NL West:
    Hudly: 2009: 103
    2008: 74

    Russel Martin 2009:: 80
    2008: 106

    (What happened to him?)

    Molina 2009: 75
    2008: 95

    Snyder: 103
    98

    Ianatta: 110
    127

    Im giving him over Hurdly but under Molina

    NL West Rank: 5/6

    NL Total: 9/17

    MLB Total: 17/30

    Hes slightly below average and hes cheap and a nice vet for pitch calling and defense. You can call him mediocre and slightly below average but hes not terrible or like a pitcher hitter. He’s about 17th out of 30.

    If you can respond to my study it would be much appreciated. I put alot of work into it (slacking off lol)

    MW: It’s good work, for sure. But I wasn’t debating Barajas relative to other catchers. I was explaining that he is one of the worst hitters in the line-up (with Millar). The fact that he’s a middle-of-the-pack offensive catcher doesn’t change that.

    - Darren
  61. 61.

    Hi Mike,

    I am not sure if you found your answer on Jason Fraser or not:

    “Preparing for his sixth season with the Blue Jays, Frasor spent three days this week working with Doug Bochtler, a former big-league pitcher and the current chief executive officer of Cherokee Athletic Facility, on developing a new pitch.”

    “Bochtler, 38, connected with Frasor through a mutual friend who told Frasor that Bochtler had helped Trevor Hoffman, Major League Baseball’s career saves leader, and Johan Santana, a two-time Cy Young Award-winning ace, learn how to throw their patented changeups.”

    http://www.thedailytimes.com/article/20090208/SPORTS/302089967

    MW: Thanks, a couple of people beat you to it, though.

    - Kevin
  62. 62.

    Thought this would be of interest to you in regards to my earlier comment today on pitching and injuries:

    http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/fantasy/wsfb/news/injuries.jsp#team141

    karim

    MW: Very helpful indeed! Man, those Angels, A’s, Mariners and Twins just can’t keep their pitchers healthy.

    - karim kanji
  63. 63.

    Jiovanni Mier
    Kyle Gibson
    Jared Mitchell
    Randal Grichuk

    Who are these guys you ask? Well I can’t say for certain, but history tells us they are hall of famers. How? These were the 4 guys taken after Jenkins the first pick by JP, and we ALL know how well guys after a JP pick do.

    In about 4 years Mike people will be demanding to know why these 4 were not Blue Jays.

    - David
  64. 64.

    It surprised me to read Tallet’s line after the game since my impression was that he had some control issues throughout the game. Was Texas’ inability to hit the ball the real reason behind this “gem”, or am I simply wrong in my assessment?

    Further to the caller who asked you to compare the Jays’ young pitching injury woes to those of other MLB teams, I wonder if you think that American style pitching can and will eventually learn from that of the Far East, where pitchers seem much more durable? Perhaps there I am also making an incorrect assumption. Or maybe those pitchers that last never hit their max on any one pitch, preferring “pitching” over “throwing”? Your take would be much appreciated. Thanks, and stay well!

    MW: I have no take on Japanese pitchers vs. Western hemispheric ones.

    - Vava
  65. 65.

    Hey Mike?

    If the Jays are in a position to make a move at this year’s trade deadline, what do you think would be there biggest need? I think a #2 starter to slot behind Roy Halladay is needed, and to a lesser extent, possibly a power bat that could DH or play LF.

    What do you think the Jays would have to give up for Erik Bedard? He’s having a great season with the Mariners and would be a perfect fit in my opinion to slot behind Doc. A #1-2 punch of Halladay and Bedard would probably be one of the best in the league. It would be like late last season when Halladay and Burnett dominated during the last two months. Also, the Jays did save money last winter so there is always the possibility that they could resign Bedard to an extension. When Bedard is healthy, he could be one of the top pitchers in the game, evident by his 2007 season. Plus he’s spent most of his career pitching in the AL East with Baltimore.

    I’d also like to see the Jays go after Jack Cust if the price is right. Oakland will most likely be sellers at the deadline and I don’t think Cust would come at a steep price as some other power bats would. Cust would be a better option over Millar as a DH. What do you think?

    MW: I think Bedard and Cust would be a couple of terrific pick-ups, if the Jays are willing to spend the necessary cash and prospects – provided Bedard can stay healthy.

    - Silvio
  66. 66.

    Mike,
    Can’t say that I love Looch but it does make for a good nickname. I can always call him Pooch or Wooch (which kind of sounds like the sound of bat missing ball). But Mr. Pooch would be an upgrade on Millar who is close to an automatic out against righties.

    And Mike, with all due respect, I don’t think we can count Cone in any discusion on the Jays greatest pictures. As a Blue Jay, not including the Playoffs, Cone only won 13 games. Yes, Cone pitched fantastic as a Jay posting a 3.13 ERA in 24 starts but it was only 24 starts. I think it is an insult to Hentgen and what he did as Jay and for the Jays.

    MW: I’m very surprised that it was only 24 starts, I thought it was more. Still, if we can count Clemens, we can count Cone.

    - JW
  67. 67.

    Can I just add that Raul Mondesi also made a great Salsa CD. Something Rios probably has not done in his lifetime. I believe the disc was called “Loco”

    - Jordan
  68. 68.

    Mike…You’re a braver man than most typing out the full catcher’s name for Texas. ( I won’t even try) Good thing his battery mate isn’t Tim Spooneybarger or else you’d be yelling like Ringo at the end of Helter Skelter, ” I’ve got blisters on my fingers.”

    MW: Actually, I think that was John, and it was “on me fingers”.

    - chris m.
  69. 69.

    You’ve maintained that winning 3 of every 5 games will get a team to the postseason. With 101 games left that pace would bag the Jays 60 (ok 60.6) more wins for a total of 94 (ok 94.6). That could just do it !

    MW: 94.6 wins would be more than enough for the wild card.

    - Rez
  70. 70.

    Mike, what do you think the chances of Troy Percival getting into the Hall? I looked at his stats, and he’s got almost 400 saves, and his career WHIP is 1.11. He’s also been a winner, winning a couple of rings.

    MW: I don’t think of him as a Hall of Famer. He fails the smell test for me.

    - James from Mississauga
  71. 71.

    two questions Mike:

    1) To follow up on some of the talk on the morning show about the origins of and reason for the rule allowing someone who strikes out to get to first if the ball is dropped, do you know why the rule is there because I agree that it makes no sense since usually the ball is dropped or gets by the catcher when the pitch is so good and has so much break on it ( usually bouncing into the dirt) that the hitter is hopelessly fooled and looks really bad, in which case why is he potentially rewarded and conversely why is the pitcher who threw such a great pitch punished? Unless of course the rulemakers felt that if the pitch had so much movement that the catcher couldn’t even catch it then it must be an illegal or almost illegal pitch of sorts and this was a way to give the hitter a bit of a break. Just wondering.

    2) I’m not sure if this has ever happened but I’m guessing that if a pitcher threw a perfect game except for an error, he would not get credit for a perfect game although as this should be a pitching statistic he has clearly still pitched a perfect game notwithstanding the error. This is sort of the corollary to your point about why a pitcher’s error does not result in an earned run if one is scored as a result of the error.

    Thanks for any insight on the above.

    Lorrie

    MW: 1 – There’s no play in which an out is recorded when a defensive player doesn’t have possession of the ball (except a dropped third strike with a runner on first and less than two out), so I think that’s why. 2 – If a hitter reaches base, regardless of how he reaches, the game’s not perfect. Perfect game means every hitter who comes to the plate is retired every time he comes to the plate.

    - Lorrie
  72. 72.

    Not that any of us would take pleasure in seeing A.J. Burnett get thumped by Boston, but… After yesterday’s games, it was hard not to notice that Burnett and Tallet have identical records after almost the same number of innings, and Tallet’s numbers are better in just about every category. He’s certainly the nicest surprise of the year so far, wouldn’t you say?

    MW: Him, Lind and Hill, I’d say.

    - Jason
  73. 73.

    Hi Mike, just a couple random tidbits…

    What a pitching performance by Burgundy last night! And plenty of offense. Ok, so I was watching more of that other thing, but checked in on the ball whenever I could, and it was a good night to be a Blue Jays fan.

    I hope tonight’s game goes something like last Friday’s, Romero could be some kind of Acekiller.

    I know Glaus had good HR and RBI totals last year, but I’ll take Rolen over him eight days a week.

    Do you think the Jays should pick up Paolo? He has absolutely no power, but has speed, and can get to a lot of balls in CF. A 1.310 OPS would look awfully good in that #4 spot.

    MW: Burgundy? The ‘stache does that much for you?

    - Dilly in Dundas
  74. 74.

    I really don’t understand all the complaining about the Blue Jays lineup. The TEAM is scoring massive amounts of runs. Why would anyone want to mess with that?!? So, Wells & Rios aren’t hitting well, so what? The team is winning. And, if you actually think that moving them up or down line-up would get them to hit better, then the same logic would mean the guys getting displaced would hit worse. Wouldn’t it?

    Pitchers don’t pitch to spots in the line-up, they pitch to scouting reports. With few exceptions. Like, at the beginning of a game (or inning) you might see more fastballs. But, he’s definitely trying to locate, based on a scouting report.

    Line-ups should be set on a player’s strength, not on whether they are slumping, or hot. (Of course, that changes if he’s just plain sucking. Like David Ortiz.)

    My line-up would differ from Cito Gaston’s, but the team is winning, so he must be doing something right.

    MW: Or the rest of the players are doing something right. I don’t think people want Rios and Wells moved down in the order because they think that will make them hit better, it’s because they want to see the hitters who are hitting better come to the plate more often.

    - Rome
  75. 75.

    I admit I’ve puzzled as to the team’s interest in Dave Delucci. He’s had a nice career and all but hes been a way-below-average hitters for a few years, he’s 35 so he’s not getting any better, and it’s not like he has defensive value. Why not bring up Buck Coats? He might post a .300 OBP just like Delucci and at least you’d get defense and speed.

    Incidentally, should I be worried that all the Jays’ minor league affliates are bad teams?

    MW: No.

    - Rick Jones
  76. 76.

    hi mike,tuned into jays talk last night and realized why i don’t tune in much anymore. one caller said it was bedtime, one said it was july, and one said rios had a good night (0 for 5).you sound frustrated not being able to share your insight and knowledge

    - Stan Skawinski
  77. 77.

    Marco Scutaro is set to become a free agent at seasons end. What kind of money will he demand if he keeps up this successful season?(my guess is 4-5M per season) And will the Jays pay him that much?

    MW: I don’t know how much a 33 year-old who has had one good year will command on the open market, but the Jays will be interested if the money and, more importantly, the term aren’t too far out of reach.

    - Adam
  78. 78.

    Mike, re prior post, #2, I was referring to an error by another player, not the pitcher although as far as pitching goes it shouldn’t matter, but I can see how the game isn’t quite as perfect if the error is made by the pitcher.

    - Lorrie
  79. 79.

    Hi Mike, is David Dellucci gonna be a good hitter.

    MW: I don’t know. He used to be.

    - mike
  80. 80.

    Mike the whole point of my last post was that Rios is indeed “dogging it” some nights. Judging by some of the posts I’m not alone in thinking this. It’s time to take off the rose colored glasses you are wearing and see Rios for what he is..a spoiled little brat who doesn’t care about anyone else but himself..oh and his big fat paycheque!!

    MW: I take it from your numerous conversations with Rios you’ve come to this conclusion.

    - Blair Martin
  81. 81.

    Interesting note, the 1st Base position has been the most productive in terms of offense.

    300/383/525/907

    As a 1B
    Overbay: 301/406/568/974

    Millar: 299/333/442/775

    I think there is no way this production continues. Millar was on a hot streak to start the year and now is coming down to earth. If Millar plays 40 or so games against lefties, the production will not be this good. Even if Overbay plays more against lefties the production won’t be this good.

    At the end of the year, what kind of production will the jays get from 1st base? In terms of AVG/OBP/SLG/OPS

    Where does the need for an everyday 1st baseman rank on the jays list of priorities? As worse a hitter Barajas (I still think, he is average for a catcher) is, it might be easier to find an offensive first baseman than an offensive catcher. I think jays should look at finding a slugging first baseman, sometime during the offseason or next year. I still think jays should at least look at a decent player to platoon with Overbay and hit lefties.

    MW: They seem to be in love with Millar, so I don’t see that platoon changing up much. I don’t know what sort of production the Jays will wind up with at first base at year’s end, but I expect that Overbay can stay close to his current production – with a bit of a drop in slugging – provided he doesn’t see lefties much. You’re right, it’s easier to pick up a slugging 1b than an offensive catcher, but the first basemen are doing a great job.

    - Vjey
  82. 82.

    Hey Mike, I saw you on TV the other day, is the show live? When are you on the show on a regular basis?

    MW: It’s not live, it’s taped earlier that day. I’m not on on a regular basis, just three times a month or so.

    - Oz
  83. 83.

    Every fantasy baseball participant, with the possible exception of those who win quite often, has a fringe player on his or her roster with whom they simply can not part.

    For me, it’s Brendan Harris.

    Every year in my keeper league I sigh, drop him for more talented protectable guys, then snap him up again at the next draft or the first time he hits the waiver wire.

    And I remain firmly convinced that he is unable to perform except when attached to my fantasy team.

    And Mike, you will scoff. But in a world where chaos reigns and a flap of a butterfly’s wings in Singapore can cause a hurricane to roar into the Gulf Coast, who’s to say that the electronic signal of my picking up Brendan Harris yet again might not be the sensitive-to-initial-conditions trigger which causes him to exceed his full potential year after year.

    That, my friends, is faith.

    Recognize something as silly. Then firmly believe in it anyway.

    - James (from the Church of the Double Steal)
  84. 84.

    Mike,

    What are you talking about.

    Scutaro is hitting .306 at this moment.

    MW: Whoops. Five hits in the last two games will do that for you. Two weeks ago he was down at .271. He’s still a long, long shot to make the all-star team.

    - Chris
  85. 85.

    Mike, i was wondering if there was any reason why Brian Dopirak is still in double A he’s hitting nearly 300 has 12 hr he looks like a good player so ya why isn’t he in triple A

    MW: Either they like the AAA guys better, they want him to have some more time in AA or they want to keep him close by. Then again, I don’t know that .290/.361/.545 means automatic promotion because you’re too good for the league.

    - Jason
  86. 86.

    Hey, just heard you on the radio during the rain-delay show. For future reference, to check current radar, visit the following site:

    http://www.intellicast.com/National/Radar/Current.aspx?location=default&enlarge=true

    Also to get EDT, subtract 4 hours from GMT. In standard time (not Daylight Savings), subtract 5 hours.

    I hope this helps,
    Love the show/blog!

    MW: That’s the radar I was on, thanks!

    - Luke B
  87. 87.

    Hey Mike,
    Don’t know if you check this during rain delay programming or not. Feel free to delete this as it will be abundantly superfluous once the game begins.

    BUT, if you have any concerns about the continuing rain in Arlington check here:

    http://www.wunderground.com/radar/radblast.asp?zoommode=out&num=6&delay=15&scale=1.000&noclutter=0&ID=FWS&type=N0R&lat=32.62086868&lon=-97.15393066&label=Arlington,%20TX&showstorms=0&map.x=275&map.y=247&centerx=400&centery=240&lightning=0&smooth0&showlabels=1&rainsnow=0

    That will show you that the rain will be done in a half hour or less and then the Jays can continue their bid to sweep a team that came in to the series with the second best (I think?) record in the AL.

    Let ‘em have it RR Cool Jay!

    MW: Or…..not so much.

    - KP
  88. 88.

    Mike.
    Here is the link to the Tim Lincicum artilce I talked to you about during the Ranid delay show. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/writers/tom_verducci/07/01/lincecum0707/index.html

    When the Rios for Lincicum trade was being discussed I said if the trade was made I would not be a Jays fan. Too bad the trade was not made because a Halladay – Lincecum 1-2 would be the best in baseball right now and maybe all time.

    BTW I think Arnsberg is one of the best pitching coaches in the league

    - Rick from Pickering
  89. 89.

    Hey Mike, you think theres a chance Tallet wears out?

    Hes never pitched more than 62 innings his entire MLB career and hes already surpassed that.

    MW: Sure there’s a chance.

    - Corey
  90. 90.

    With the Nationals set to sign Strasburg for a ridiculous amount of money especially for a franchise that isn’t financially sound and potentially getting the #1 pick next year.

    I was wondering what would happen if they did indeed get that pick. There was an article in Sports Illustrated, that claims Bryce Harper “more advanced at his age than Junior or A-Rod.” Harper is trying to get his GED do he can miss his final year of high school to apply for next years draft. The article mentioned that Harper, whose primary position is catcher, can throw 96mph and he hit a 570 (!) foot home run. If the Nationals follow your method and draft “the best avalible player” which is assume is Harper, do you think they will be able to sign him? Sports Illustrated guessed that the deals for Harper/Strasburg would exceed 100 million. Would Washington even consider this? By the way Harper may be represented by Scott Boras who has become an “advisor” to Harper.

    MW: It depends whether they can sign Strasburg, but I’d love to see them get them both.

    - Robert Spencer
  91. 91.

    cito keeps talking about racism. I wonder if rios and wells would still be batting 3 4 if they were white? would overbay and lind be batting low if they were black? it seems cito is giving rios and wells the opportunity that he perhaps never had.

    MW: I can’t believe that would be the case, and Lind isn’t batting low. Aaron Hill is white, by the way.

    - richard duncan
  92. 92.

    Dirk Hayhurst is our Saviour.

    - Terry
  93. 93.

    Michael,

    What MLB managers would you say are the best in terms of in-game strategy and line-up construction?

    And on that note, Larry Dirker where are you?

    MW: Too early in the morning to tax my brain so.

    - Uncle Ben
  94. 94.

    Hey Mike …fantastic work
    don’t get a big ego now….

    Lot’s to be positive about,and the future looks very bright.I firmly believe that the way things are set up we will have the most dominant pitching staff in the league for the next 5-7 years!

    but… will the team even be here? the attendance is pathetic and we should be ashamed. Rogers must be ansy.
    This is a lousy sports town, as I will debate that with anybody.
    Do you think there long for here?
    by the way…

    I would love to move to Phoenix, just to get away from people who talk about Phoenix!

    MW: I think the Blue Jays will be in Toronto a good, long time.

    - steve wilton
  95. 95.

    Mike, I’m with you on Barajas but not only are you not being too hard on him, you are giving him too much credit when you say he had a good April.

    In point of fact, on April 21 he was hitting .211 with a .533 OPS

    He then went on a TEN game hot streak in which he hit .474 with a 1.289 OPS in 38 at bats.

    In his other 136 at bats this year he’s hitting for the following averages:

    .213
    .251
    .301
    .553

    So in 10 games, he’s been amazing – in 40 games he’s been pathetic.

    MW: But he drives in runs!

    - WillRain
  96. 96.

    Hi Mike

    The rainout guarantees a series victory! That’s great for a trip to Texas.

    I was thinking of Halladay’s impressive won/loss record and wondering if you recall any pitchers who had great winning percentages in a season where their team had a losing record. The stat I’m thinking of would be something like personal vs team winning percentage differential (minimum 10 decisions to qualify).

    Won/loss records are obviously not the best measure of a pitcher’s performance but it would be pretty impressive if a guy was 20 and 5 while his team only won 75 games or something like that.

    Thanks – and hope the sun shines on Thursday – though another rainout means a sweep.

    MW: Steve Carlton was 27-10 for the ’72 Phillies, a team that finished 59-97. How’s that?

    - Senior Felix
  97. 97.

    Hi Mike,

    From previous blogs/comments I know you don’t think there is much that can be done to prevent injuries to pitchers like the Jays have suffered over the past few seasons. Your last response to me back in April was that you go with the bad luck theory.

    Here’s an interesting quote from the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Injuries: “The increase in the number of UCL reconstructions being done now can be attributed to many things: improved diagnostic techniques, heightened awareness, increased chance of positive outcome with current surgical techniques, but most importantly, the overuse of young throwing arms.”

    These guys are talking about overuse/abuse in high school and even earlier. Maybe that’s the source of the problem, and by the time these players get into professional organisations it’s too late.

    On the positive side, the article says that 75.5% of major league pitchers who have the surgery, return to be as good or better than they were.

    Here’s the link to the article.

    http://esciencenews.com/articles/2008/07/12/dramatic.increase.tommy.john.surgery.young.patients.cause.concern

    - Steve in HH
  98. 98.

    Do you think Richmond will be passed over in Friday’s start, for Halladay?

    MW: Absolutely

    - urmom
  99. 99.

    Time for rios to go!
    Ok Mike,here’s your chance to play devils advocate,which you do so well.Rios doesn’t seem to want to play in Toronto.His head doesn’t seem to be in the game at times.From forgetting how many outs there are to playing the field Nonchalantly to being rude to little kids.I say trade him and get what we can for him and bring back Travis Snider after his back gets better.If Rios was gone Cito could then move Wells up in the batting order(which he should do anyway)which in turn would give him more chances at some RBI’s.With Scutaro getting on base the way he is and Hill hitting so good in the #2 spot i think Wells would be better suited for the #3 spot.The Rios experimant needs to end soon,sell high before the market drops on him.Ok, i am done now your turn.Point out all that is wrong in my opinion.Great show Mike keep up the good work.

    MW: I’ve already pointed out all that is wrong in your argument, conservatively, 243,652 times over the last few weeks. And why on Earth would you want Wells hitting third?

    - Mike
  100. 100.

    So it seems that the only other team that offered Dellucci a contract was…the Rangers? Wait, I don’t get it. Why didn’t they just keep Catalanotto?

    MW: Different time, different Chris Davis, healthy Josh Hamilton.

    - Brendan
  101. 101.

    I know you try to be rational and reasonable but what gives lately?. Dellucci will not “definitely” be better than what the jays have. He might be. Even his splits are crappy so you can’t throw around terms like lefty or righty masher like you did with Mencherson. He has been brutal for years. And on Barajas, I’m glad others posted his numbers vs AL catchers. He is not a terrible hitter for a catcher. Methinks you are too wedded to obp. It is important, but you cannot reasonably say that because his obp is a bit lower than average for his position that he is terrible for a catcher when he posts a higher slg. Why do you love obp and hate slg? Is it congenital? You are right about Overbay being moved up though. Keep up the normally strong work.

    MW: I don’t hate slg, I hate slg in the absence of obp. And never was I talking about Barajas relative to other catchers, nor were the people who suggested he should be hitting 5th. Looch, I think, will definitely be able to put up a .600 OPS, which is better than what the Jays have been getting out of Millar lately.

    - g
  102. 102.

    You’ve maintained that winning 3 of every 5 games will get a team to the postseason. With 101 games left that pace would bag the Jays 60 (ok 60.6) more wins for a total of 94 (ok 94.6). That could just do it !

    MW: 94.6 wins would be more than enough for the wild card.

    Don’t be so sure of that Mike, last year the red sox and yankess were both above that 94.6 number.

    MW: The Red Sox and Rays were, yes, but if the Blue Jays can get to 94.6, it’s safe to assume that some of those wins will come at the expense of those two teams (or the Yankees, too). There’s no way three teams in the same division with 94.6 games. I mean, it’s mathematically possible, but you know what I mean.

    - josh
  103. 103.

    Hello Mike………I got a kick out of one of your callers last night who claimed he agreed with everything you ever said and than before his conversation was over disagreed..Sigh!!.. Mike do you think the Jays are keeping Accardo in the minors for they feel he is a tradeable commodity and know if he were in the majors he would probily be getting ripped…I feel Accardo along with Purcey and Dopirak are possibly going to moved to bring in that power bat or a #2 or #3 starter…Iam willing to trade Purcey because eventhough he has all the physical tools I have heard and have read about his mental instabilities…

    MW: Mental instabilities (sic)? You mean the fact that he’s on ritalin? I don’t think that counts. I don’t think Dopirak has as much value as you think he has, and I don’t think that Accardo is being held down to keep his value up. That seems counter-intuitive.

    - Mark from Thorold
  104. 104.

    MW: 1 – There’s no play in which an out is recorded when a defensive player doesn’t have possession of the ball (except a dropped third strike with a runner on first and less than two out), so I think that’s why. 2 – If a hitter reaches base, regardless of how he reaches, the game’s not perfect. Perfect game means every hitter who comes to the plate is retired every time he comes to the plate.

    Hi Mike! Isn’t an out recorded if a batter is struck by a batted ball, in fair territory? We had that very scenario in our 8 and under game last night, and the batter was called out.

    Was that the correct call?

    MW: Yes it was – outs can be called on interference plays, too. But those are pretty unusual.

    - Cam
  105. 105.

    Shortstops ahead of Marco Scutaro in All-Star balloting…

    Jeter 20.1 VORP
    Bartlett 31.5 VORP
    Andrus 8.3 VORP

    Scutaro’s VORP 28.3, second highest on his team behind Lind (and he was ahead until Lind decided to average one homer per night the last few games.

    For those who don’t know its Value Over Replacement Player…. he’s contributed 28 runs over something like MacDonald/Eckstein in that situation. Which amounts to almost 3 wins so far this year.

    So what am I saying? I’m saying Scutaro is very, very good this year, but Bartlett is still my backup shortstop if I’m the AL manager. Because he’s killing the ball.

    Oh yeah, and since I’m the AL manager, my name is Joe Maddon, and nobody’s gonna argue with me for picking him.

    MW: Managers don’t have nearly as much power to pick the roster as they used to.

    - Greg W
  106. 106.

    Surely i could hit better then vernon in the four spot (jokes). By the way Mike whats your league name, mine is the Hendon Park Sports Association. http://www.hpsa.ca

    Its a really great league for modified fast pitch. I played slow pitch last year, and i hated it, boy was it boring to watch a ball come at you slowly and hit a board.

    MW: I have played at Hendon Park a time or three! Ahhh, memories.

    - paolo
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