12:30 AM Eastern

Other than to say that it was great to see Brett Cecil take advantage of his opportunity this time.  He was tremendous tonight and I hope that he’s in the Jays’ rotation to stay.  A caller suggested that he’d been left in too long, but I don’t buy it – low pitch count, 6-2 lead, runner on first with two out in the seventh and facing the nine hitter?  Not a situation that screams for a pitcher to be yanked.

Also, with Aaron Hill back in the line-up, Alex Gonzalez moved down to the six-hole, apparently to take advantage of his hot bat.  The bat’s not hot anymore, but the move paid off tonight as Gonzalez delivered a huge two-run single in the first inning and added an infield single in the 7th.  A few people have wondered what the Jays should do with Gonzalez when he cools off, and the short answer is – he has.  He had a massive first week, hitting .346/.346/.923, but over the last 11 games (including tonight), Gonzalez has hit .261/.306/.408.  I guess that’s strong by Blue Jays’ standards. though, and it still warrants hitting him ahead of John Buck.

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

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Tomorrow, it’s an early start for a night game.  We’re on at 5:30 pm Eastern for a 6:10 first pitch, and if Ricky Romero keeps pitching as he has been through his first three starts, the Jays are looking awfully good for yet another series win.

Rational, reasonable comments are always welcome!

35 Responses to “Lack Of Weekend Bloggage”
  1. 1.

    Brett Wallace hit his 7th home-run tonight. Keith Law says he’ll be up by June 10th. Agree?

    MW: Not necessarily. I doubt he’s up until the Jays find a taker for Overbay.

    - Renegade
  2. 2.

    Hey Mike!

    Thanks for the forum to get this off my chest! I missed out on yesterday’s Jays chat, but I’m guessing it went something like this…

    I thought Cito had screwed up again! I know you don’t necessarily agree with sitting Overbay down, Mike, but in the 8th tonight, I believe with 2 on and 2 out, Overbay stepped to the plate instead of Ruiz.. Does Cito really not think that maybe a guy who hit 10 hommers in 33 games last year can help this team in that situation more than Overbay, who is hitting .119 and has 3 RBI in 67 PAs?

    This has possibly been beaten to death, but so far I have counted four games in which Cito has made (or not made) decisions that didn’t give them the best opportunity to win. They have lost all four of those games.

    Let’s just say it is only in 4 of 16 games that these situations occur. Let’s say they lose all four of those games every time. That is 20 games over the course of a season that their manager did not put them in the best possible position to win, based on what is in his control.

    Let’s say now Cito puts Ruiz in to bat in all of those situations (example of a move within his control) and they win even 2 times out of 4. That is 10 extra wins over the course of the season.

    Last year they would have been 85 wins and 77 losses at seasons end instead of 75 and 87. Still only good for 3rd place behind the Yanks and BoSox, but better than the Rays.

    Right now they would be 12 and 5 instead of 10 and 7. That would put them in a tie with the red hot Tampa Bay Rays.

    I’m just saying… If the Jays were to be neck-in-neck with the Rays or Yanks at the end of season and lost out on the wildcard by 3 or 4 games, these missed opportunities would look really, really bad.

    I like Cito but as far as managing goes, he’s not doing his job, which should be to give his team the best opportunity he can to win the most possible games.

    Keep up the great work, Mike!!

    MW: Thing is, it’s quite a bit of a stretch to say that the Jays would have won half the time had Cito done the right thing. Of course, those situations do crop up more than 25% of the time.

    - Doug
  3. 3.

    baseball brain teaser question.

    if an american league team in an american league game starts the game with a designated hitter, could they, at a later time in the game, and assuming he is still in the game, “pinch hit” the DH with the starting pitcher?

    i can not think of any reason why this would happen in reality..yet many baseball brain teasers dont deal in probable scenerio

    MW: No, they can’t. But if they bring the DH onto the field to play defense, the pitcher would go into the batting order in the place of the position player who was replaced.

    - General Zod
  4. 4.

    Mike,
    I have a thought regarding Tallet, although it may very well be moot now that he is on the DL. If my memory serves me correctly his first few starts last season were lights out. When he comes back I would try and start him a few games to see if he can put together a few solid starts together. I’m not sure if Cecil has an innings limit this season, or what his service time situation is, or how long Zep is going to be out but would it not be wise to try and maximize Tallet’s value as a ‘number 2′ starter. I’m sure most in baseball will not view him as that, but ‘going forward’ I cannot see him in the rotation with all the other pitchers that there are in the organization. The amount of quality arms that this team has really is amazing. Alex has a LOT of depth of which to draw and deal from if he chooses to do. It is going to very interesting how he is going to juggle all of them.

    On a side note, I wish Rogers would pull a page out of the TSN/CFL agenda of the last few years and have programming with a full panel and act like it’s a huge deal. I think the Jays would really benefit from something like that, if they have not already done so. (They may have already I am living in the US and only watch on mlb.tv)
    I know you are a busy man and I am sure this blog takes a tonne of time to write and then read and respond to comments. I appreciate your candidness and value your opinion and wish you had not only more JaysTalk, but other outlets to share your opinion. This seems really long so sorry about the length.
    FREE RANDY RUIZ!!!

    MW: I think Tallet’s value as a starter may have been maximized last season. His best role is as a swingman in the bullpen, and he can provide a lot more value there, I think. A panel is a fantastic idea, as long as I’m on it. But it’s true, we do have panels of TV talking heads for hockey, football and basketball, but not for baseball. Why not?

    - joe
  5. 5.

    do you think frasor should of been in yesterday’s game?

    MW: No, but I think he should have been in there.

    - nick
  6. 6.

    Should the Jays just use Frasor for seventh inning relief only or when there is a mop up? Frasor has always struggled when pitching under pressure. Why not just use Downs and Jansen purely for the set up role?

    MW: To say that Frasor has always struggled when pitching under pressure is completely untrue.

    - jack
  7. 7.

    Hello Mike,
    Is it important to constantly talk about (and anticipate) Gonzalez cooling off (he’s still hitting well) or Snider never warming up? Snider had a nice go at the beginning of last season, dipped quickly and since his return at the end of ’09 season is shooting blanks.

    MW: I don’t anticipate Snider never warming up, maybe that’s the difference. Snider is 22 years old and is one of baseball’s best hitting prospects. Gonzalez is 33 years old and has a 12-year track record of being a very below-average hitter. And, as illustrated in the post on which you’re commenting, he’s not still hitting well.

    - Jim
  8. 8.

    Mike,

    I was wondering why Cito keeps hitting Snider 9th vs. Righties. He has shown so far a decent approach vs them, and I think this is hurting his confidence. I know as a former hitter, the 9th slot is an insult, espeically for a power hitter. Cito did not do the same approach with Adam Lind, so why does he do this with Shawn Green and Travis Snider. I feel that if he was moved up in the order, we would begin to see the real joy in his game. Push him out of the nest CITO!!

    MW: Cito did, in fact, use this same approach with Lind. What level did you reach as a player?

    - Daniel
  9. 9.

    Hi Mike,
    Cecil I though had a pretty good last night. My only question is that his ground ball to fly ball ration was 3-7. Im not sure, but I dont think this a very good ratio; is that true? Also is this similar to what he was doing in the minors throughout his career?

    MW: It depends. If you’re getting weak fly balls and a ton of strikeouts, as Cecil did last night, then it’s fine. Career-wise in the minors, Cecil got about 60% ground balls.

    - Adam
  10. 10.

    I disagree with the comments that the lack of promotions and marketing is a sign that Rogers is going to sell the Jays. Rogers has too much of a synergy with its other divisions to let the Jays go. The Jays game feeds Sportsnet with content as well as the Fan Radio network coast to coast. You’re loaded up with Rogers content when you get to the Dome. If Rogers was to lose that content, that synergy wouldn’t be there.

    I think the lack of promotions and raising of ticket prices is just a conscious decision by management to decrease expenses and raise revenue at the park during the rebuilding year, but I think the decision to do so is very shortsighted.

    Great to see Cecil on the mound and great to see a nice pounding of Tampa in a game that everyone thought the Jays would lose given the way Garza started the season and the record the Jays had against the Rays last year.

    - Tim
  11. 11.

    Mike, you must be watching a different game when Jason Frasor is pitching. He as been way too inconsistent.

    MW: He has been remarkably inconsistent this season, but he certainly hasn’t been awful.

    - Jim
  12. 12.

    Cecil I don’t think was left in too long, but with Kapler, he threw two straight fastballs down the pipe to get back into the count, and decided to throw another. And why doesn’t Snider subscribe to the Aaron Hill school of SEEITHITIT baseball? It’s obvious that Snider is not a technician like Lind, and it’s also obvious he has too much natural ability to overthink
    at bats.

    MW: Maybe because he’s 22.

    - Will, Oshawa
  13. 13.

    Hey Mike I was wondering if their has been any news on the status of Dustin McGowan is he on track to come back soon or has he had any setbacks?

    MW: I don’t believe he’s throwing off a mound yet.

    - Royce
  14. 14.

    M-Dub,
    You warming on my boy Gregg yet?
    Sweet little interview a few days ago, by the way.

    MW: When have I been critical of Gregg?

    - slobberface
  15. 15.

    Hey Mike,

    You mentioned that what Cito did or rather didn’t do should require him to explain to his boss regarding his rationale to his methods. However, I think this season presents a unique scenario where AA and Beeston had such low/realistic expectations of the Jays that they probably gave Cito a lot of slack given that they know it’s a rebuilding and it’s Cito’s last year. Given what happened last year and the mutiny that went on, I’m certain that AA and Beeston spoke to all their players and gathered their thoughts about Cito and decided that such behaviours from Cito is acceptable. What could be more distrubing is Cito knows this and may be not under the same pressure to be the best he can be knowing that he’ll be gone at the end of the year and he knows AA/Beeston would not fire him before then. There’s really no motivation for Cito to always be sharp.

    Which is why it’s rather puzzling that AA did not bring in his own Manager to start the rebuild. I feel like this could be a waste of a year as far as rebuilding as a team is concerned. With so many kids hoping to use this year to grow together, would it not be a better idea to get a new manager rather than having Cito there for the year and the young kids know that he will no longer be here next year? I would much rather AA bring in a new manager that has a good track record of being a good mentor to start working with the kids this year and build on that rather than having lame duck Cito for this year.

    Were there no legitamate managers in the off season this year? Who would be good candidates for Cito’s replacement next year? And why?

    MW: There were some legitimate managerial candidates this off-season, but firing Cito wasn’t a consideration. The field of candidates to replace Cito after this season is not yet known.

    - Antony
  16. 16.

    Michael,

    Is there an unwritten baseball rule you don’t trod on the other teams mound?

    http://yankees.lhblogs.com/2010/04/22/rodriguez-ive-never-quite-heard-that/

    MW: There’s only one mound, I’m not sure when it becomes one team’s or the other’s. I had never heard of such a rule before, but then, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen someone running across the mound on his way off the field.

    - Uncle Ben
  17. 17.

    hi Mike

    Not sure if you feel the same but to me, Cecil looked good out there. There is something about his demeanor as well, he looked different. He has this air of confidence in him, unflappable, unlike what we see last year

    Do you see him staying?

    Francis

    MW: I do.

    - francis
  18. 18.

    Hey Mike,

    When do you think we will see Jesse Carlson this year? I heard he didn’t make the team out of camp.

    MW: He was hurt in the spring, which set him back a bit. I haven’t heard his name much, I don’t know if there’s a rush to get him back.

    - Adam
  19. 19.

    Should (not will) Cito play Lewis in centre and Wells in left (or right, whatever)?

    MW: Not at this point. Vernon has been fine in centre.

    - Nick from Peterborough
  20. 20.

    Michael,

    Brett Alexander Wallace is tearing it up in AAA.

    I don’t think we need to be in a rush to bring him up before the trade deadline.

    I was just curious how do the service time issues work in regards to him? What would be the impact of bringing him up now instead of later in the season?

    MW: If he was brought up now, and never sent back down, then he’d be eligible for arbitration a year earlier than if he was brought up for good in, say, late June.

    - Uncle Ben
  21. 21.

    I just wanted to ask you about two Jays prospects, Kenny Wilson and Markus Brisker.

    I understand Kenny Wilson is super fast and Brisker is a great athlete.

    Do you think we will see them in the bigs at any point?

    MW: They’re both still really, really far away. Wilson is in low-A and Brisker is still only 19. It’s way to soon to know whether either one will be able to make it.

    - Uncle Ben
  22. 22.

    Hey Mike,

    None of us our as fortunate as you to be in the position you are in. With all of this recent criticism of Cito Gaston shared by myself, you, and 99% of the hardcore Jays fans out there, none of us have access to Cito. With your position, could you not ask Cito personally what his motives were for leaving Ruiz on the bench the other night and hitting Johnny Mac? I would love to hear first hand why Cito made this decision.

    MW: Since I do the post-game, I don’t have the opportunity to talk to Cito after any game, and since I don’t travel, I haven’t talked to him in a few days. By the time they get back, it’ll be old news and bringing it up will only serve to make Cito angry, which won’t result in getting a good answer.

    - Morgan
  23. 23.

    Hi Mike,
    I thought you said you’d ‘calmed down’ before writing the Tough to Swallow entry!

    Good to see you (or any journo) get fired up.

    Cito can be exasperating, that’s for sure.

    - OzRob
  24. 24.

    Another theory..maybe he just doesn’t care, can’t be bothered, or is bored. Sometimes that seems to be the only logical explanation for some of his decisions.

    MW: I doubt that very much.

    - OzRob
  25. 25.

    Hey Mike,

    Why is it that people dont realize that there is a pretty large following for the Blue Jays and the problem is, we havent really been good since the World Series era?
    Lets be honest here, winning almost always equals a larger fan-base. I understand in the late 80′s/early 90′s we had great ball teams, and not to mention, the “sky-dome”, which everyone and there mother’s want to go visit.
    The reality is, those fans are still around, they are just waiting for a true contender. I could see us filling the Rogers Center with about 40 thousand fans, if competing for a wild-card come end of July/Auguest. By then, they would show fans they are truly contending.
    Im a die-hard baseball fan, and Jays fan–Im 31 now, so I got to live through the glory years of the late 80′s early 90′s.
    I try to go out and catch a game 3 to 4 times a year. But i’d tell you now, if they were a “great team” with playoff potential, I’d go a lot more–trust me.
    Anthoplous is taking this team in the right direction. bringing in young players, and trying to develop a core group here. Next season, this team could be really exciting to watch.
    Anyways Mike, always great hearing your thoughts an opinions. Keep on truck’n

    Cheers,
    Sandro A

    - Sandro A
  26. 26.

    Michael,

    Justin Morneau is slugging .542, but yet has only 2 HRs so far, do you think this is a product of Target Field?

    MW: I have no idea. It’s far too early to judge how a park plays, wait until the weather warms up.

    - Uncle Ben
  27. 27.

    Mike, what are the odds Bryce Harper falls to 11th in the draft? Can I dare to dream?

    On a serious note though, do you see any trades on the horizon for the Jays? Looking around the league are there any names that pop out at you as possible targets for Anthopolous? It’s obvious we’d love to move Overbay or Wells, or maybe even Encarnacion and Bautista. But what are some of the returns we could be possibly looking at? If not a player, what qualities do you think the Jays are in need of? i.e. speed, power, hits, pitching, relief…

    MW: It’s really hard to make trades this early in the season, unless they involve a guy for whom a team is willing to take anything rather than losing him on waivers. The returns for guys like Overbay, Bautista and Encarnacion aren’t likely to be very impressive at all.

    - Morgan
  28. 28.

    hey Mike, what constitutes a “hold”?

    MW: When a reliever comes into a game in a save situation, records at least one out and leaves with that same save situation still intact, a hold is earned.

    - Oz
  29. 29.

    Hello Mike,

    I have two questions for you.

    1. Do you know the reasoning behind Brett Cecil’s delivery change? He used to go over the top, but is not doing so this year.

    2. You mentioned that we are still paying B.J. Ryan for this season. What is he even doing right now? Is he still playing?

    Thanks.

    MW: 1. No, but I’ll ask. 2. Counting his money, I believe.

    - Matthew
  30. 30.

    Regarding A-Rod and the ‘crossing the mound’ debate. My understanding is that during an inning the mound ‘belongs’ to that pitcher, like and expanded personal space. Generally, runners returning to their bases are not supposed to sneak behind, or cut in front of a pitcher, as he is trying to reset himself for his next pitch. I have read references to this in a couple of baseball books, most recently I think, from Catcher In The Wry, by Bob Uecker. My understanding was also that an at bat following such trespassing generally started with something up under your chin at about 90mph.

    And innings like the eighth tonight would have upset me in a season where the team was making an effort at winning the division.

    MW: It shouldn’t have, because there wasn’t really a better way for them to have played that 8th inning. As far as the A-Rod “controversy” goes, the Yankees had just turned a triple play, had they not? So then the mound would belong to no one, a between-innings DMZ, as it were.

    - Greg W
  31. 31.

    “Now batting, LFer Fred Lewis”

    My roommate: I’d almost rather watch Wilner’s reaction to letting him hit here against Choate than the inevitable fly out or ground out.

    I was personally more curious as to when we’re all gonna stop being so surprised by Cito’s incompetence when it comes to managing a roster during games, but I digress.

    My question has to do with the pen, more specifically why Cito seems to have such little faith in Shawn Camp. The numbers show a guy who’s probably the best RHer in the entire pen yet he’s getting thrown out there in 6-0 games while Frasor/Jannsenn are pitching in tight games late. Until he gets back to the mid-90′s (I think he was down around 91 last night) Frasor shouldn’t be pitching in high-leverage situations.

    MW: Frasor doesn’t ever sit in the mid-90s, unless 93 1/2 or so counts. Cito thinks of Camp as a long reliever, though he considers him to be very valuable.

    - Nik
  32. 32.

    Comment 14

    When AA first signed him

    MW: This is what I said about the Kevin Gregg signing at the time – check the February archives: “It’s really a win-win move here for both the Jays and “the player”….Gregg is an asset…..he’s not a great closer, and there’s plenty of debate that he’s even a good one, but that’s OK. He’s an established, durable guy with a good arm who is only costing the Blue Jays $2.75 million……When you can get a guy like Gregg – whose numbers are kind of enigmatic – for less than three million bucks, you do it…” That’s being critical?????

    - slobberface
  33. 33.

    Hi Mike,

    I was combing through minor league stats and noticed that Brian Jeroloman was just tearing things up so far in this young season. I know he had a bad season offensively in 09, but he was pretty good in 08, and has always been a good OBP guy, and I believe I heard that he is a good defensive Catcher.

    If ever he gets a chance it should be now, before Arencibia (if), and D’Arnaud are up there for good, and he becomes the AAA backup guy.

    If a guy like Thigpen got a shot, why not Jeroloman?

    MW: Thigpen got a shot for a different reason than Jeroloman would right now, but they’ll find a place for him if he earns it. He is off to a terrific start, and I’m sure they’re keeping a close eye on him.

    - RM
  34. 34.

    Hi, Mike — re Post #2, “Cito not doing his job” — the original poster (Doug) needs a math lesson — assuming his ratio of 4/16 is correct, that would equate to 40 games over the course of the 162-game season, not 20. Looked at this way, it seems quite unlikely that these situations in fact occur more often than 25% (as you imply), but on the other hand it is no longer necessary to have a 50% “improvement rate” to yield an improvement of 10 games.

    Anyway, all moot, because Cito won’t change!

    - Norm
  35. 35.

    Comment 32
    M-Dub,
    I never said you said he was crap. I was just asking if youre warming up to him?
    Is that not fair given your quote?
    gosh!

    MW: No, I don’t think that’s particularly fair. I still feel the same way I did at the time, but I wouldn’t say that means I need to warm up to him.

    - slobberface
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