5:23 PM Eastern

This post could have been all about the craziness in St. Petersburg that saw the Blue Jays get up off the mat in the 8th inning and pick up huge two-out hits in the 10th and 11th but wind up on the losing end of a 12-inning affair against the Rays, but the Jays ensured the conversation would be directed elsewhere with their post-game roster moves.

It was a crazy game, though.  Jose Bautista ignited an offense that had been dead since the first with his two-0ut game-tying home run in the 8th, Colby Rasmus hit his second opposite-field double of the day with two out in the 10th to cash Yunel Escobar with the go-ahead run after Rajai Davis had been picked off first base because his foot slipped off the bag after he stumbled, and Jose Molina tripled – yes, tripled – with two out in the 11th to score a pair and give the Jays the lead again.  It was a drive to left-centre that one-hopped the wall and kicked back towards right-centre, so B.J. Upton had to chase it down.

But the bullpen couldn’t hold it.  After Casey Janssen’s perfect 7th and 8th and Frank Francisco’s shutout 9th, Jon Rauch came in to start the 10th and immediately gave up the game-tying home run to Desmond Jennings.  It’s the 9th big fly Rauch has allowed in 46 2/3 innings of work this season, which is just awful.

After the Molina triple, Rauch came back out for the 11th and gave up a leadoff double to B.J. Upton followed by a Casey Kotchman single.  Matt Joyce grounded to second to score one, then Shawn Camp came on to pop up Elliott Johnson and give up a seeing-eye single to Robinson Chirinos that tied the game.  The inning ended with Evan Longoria hitting a bases-loaded rocket up the middle that caromed off Camp’s shoe to a waiting Jose Bautista, who threw out Longoria.  If Camp doesn’t make that kick save, Blue Jays fans are spared an extra inning of agony.

The game continued, and with Jesse Litsch having been used for multiple innings Wednesday night and Trever Miller and Wilfredo Ledezma the only other options, Camp came back out for the 12th and gave up a one-out triple to Upton down the rightfield line.  Two intentional walks loaded the bases to both set up the force play at home and take the squeeze off the table, and Camp whiffed Johnson for the second out.  But then it was Chirinos’ turn to play hero again, and the man Dirk Hayhurst dubbed “Honey Nut” while they were at AAA Durham came through with a ground single to left just past a diving Yunel Escobar to give the Rays the win.

This was the third game this season in which the Blue Jays’ bullpen has blown two separate save opportunities, they’re 1-2 in those games.  They’re 4-9 in games in which they only blow one save.

Unfortunately, part of this is a by-product of the Rasmus trade, in which the Blue Jays dealt away Jason Frasor, Marc Rzepczynski and Octavio Dotel.  They had to stretch both Rauch and Camp because the other alternatives – Miller and Ledezma – aren’t at all reliable.  This short-term 2011 pain really is for a much better long-term gain.

That still doesn’t make fans happy, though, so how about a little Brett Lawrie?

The 21 year-old phenom out of Langley, B.C. was called up after the game and will make his major-league debut in Baltimore on Friday night, playing third base.  Blue Jays fans have been salivating over Lawrie ever since his tremendous first impression in the Grapefruit League this spring, during which he hit .293/.326/.488 with two homers in 41 at-bats and was a giant ball of hustle.

Then Lawrie went down to Las Vegas and absolutely torched the Pacific Coast League, forcing the Blue Jays’ hands.  He was hitting .354/.415/.677 and was a couple of days away from an early-June promotion to the majors when an inside fastball hit him and broke his left hand.  Since coming back, Lawrie has maintained his hot hitting (he’s at .353/.415/.661 overall, barely a dip) and after an early blip is back to walking more than he’s striking out – he has earned this promotion.

Something that I feel needs to be said is this, given all the hype and all the excitement surrounding Lawrie:  He can’t walk on water.  He’s not going to be the American League Rookie of the Year.  He will probably struggle, as most young players do, and will likely have to head back down to the minors at some point.  All that said, it’s exciting to have him on the team and he’s going to be a lot of fun to watch.

Headed back to Las Vegas at Lawrie’s expense is Travis Snider, after the Blue Jays said he was up for good when they called him up on  July 4th.  Snider went 0-for-5 in the extra-inning loss, and is 2 for his last 18 as part of a 6 for 46 rut over which he hasn’t walked and has just one extra-base hit.

The choice was to either demote Snider or Eric Thames, or to swallow hard and eat the $7 million remaining on Mark Teahen’s contract and release him.  So it really was Snider or Thames.

Snider is the better defender and the better baserunner, and both he and Thames are in a real trough right now.  I noted Snider’s struggles, but Thames also went 0-for-5 in this game, striking out three times, and he’s in an 0 for 22 run right now.  Covering the same time period over which Snider is 6 for 46, Thames has gone 9 for 49 with two doubles, a triple, a home run and four walks.

So yes, Thames has been doing better than Snider, but only marginally so – there really isn’t much to choose from between the two.  Alex Anthopoulos will meet the media this evening – monitor my Twitter feed for quotes – and I have a feeling that we’ll hear that Snider has gotten back into the bad habits that got him sent down earlier this season, and they’re going to get back to work to get him out of them.

I continue to believe that the notion of Snider being a quadruple-A player is pretty far-fetched.  It bears mentioning – once again – that he’s only 23 years old, still younger than Thames and Rasmus, and he has NEVER been given a legitimate, long-term, everyday opportunity in the major leagues. Travis Snider will be a monster someday, but it might not be with the Blue Jays.

So Bautista goes back to right field, Thames moves to left and Lawrie takes over at third.  Expect Lawrie to hit either 7th or 8th in his major-league debut Friday night in Baltimore.

Carlos Villanueva, whose recent struggles were pointed out in the blog post previous to this one, was placed on the disabled list with a right forearm strain, and Luis Perez has been called up to take his place.  For now, John Farrell says that Perez will be used out of the bullpen – the Jays have an off-day Monday, so they won’t need a 5th starter until next Saturday, when they’re home to the Angels.  The bullpen could definitely use the help.

No JaysTalk because of the mid-week day game, so just find something in the Audio on Demand section of this very website for your listening pleasure!

Please give me a follow on The Twitter, you can find me at www.twitter.com/wilnerness590.  It’s especially important to do so now, because I’ll be tweeting Alex Anthopoulous’ answers in the conference call that will be held at 6:00 PM Eastern on Thursday.

The Blue Jays’ road trip continues on Brett Lawrie Night in Baltimore – Brad Mills will take on Tommy Hunter (Juliette is going to play second base for the Orioles), and we’ll be on the air at 7:00 PM Eastern.  Join us, won’t you?

Rational, reasonable comments are always welcome.

44 Responses to “And So It Begins”
  1. 1.

    Hello Mike, so it looks like as if Snider will be in AAA for the rest of the season until September Call Ups. So say when he comes back up again in September and struggles. And even say he is stuggling in Spring training. Could we see him traded or anything if the Struggles keep up?

    MW: Sure we could, but trading him now would mean a highly diminished return.

    - David
  2. 2.

    I really like Snider but I think it’s time to explore trade possibilities this winter. He has so much potential but this club refuses to give him a good chance to work things out. A Drew Storen for Snider trade would certainly be interesting and I think it would make sense for both clubs.

    MW: How does that make sense for Washington?

    - John
  3. 3.

    Mike, I don’t get it… if Snider is struggling, wouldn’t it make sense to send down Thames and let Snider play everyday at a major league level without having to constantly watch over his shoulder for who might vulture his playing time?


    MW: Well, not if Thames doesn’t deserve to be sent down. I’m just not sure why the coin landed on Snider and not Thames, their production has been so similar lately.

    - Luke
  4. 4.

    The Jays have gone back on their word. How is Snider suppose to trust the organization now? I am very disappointed. There is absolutely nothing Snider can learn in AAA that he can’t learn here furthermore we are not in a pennant race. Let him play!

    - Atlanta
  5. 5.

    Not all rookies come up and struggle, that is simply not true. There are many cases when players come up and contribute right away. It is not a forgone conclusion that he will struggle. Every single player is different and to just make a statement, “he will probably struggle and get sent down”, is absolutely ridiculous. What are you basing that assesement on? The 353. batting average, 18 Home Runs, maybe its the 13 steals that suggest he will struggle in the big leauges. I read this blog, because I thought it might offer some more insight on lawrie. What a waste of time.

    MW: I’m basing that assessment on the fact that approximately 98% of rookies struggle when they first come up to the major leagues, especially the 21 year-olds, even first-rounders who were great in AAA. It’s certainly not a foregone conclusion that he’ll struggle, but the odds against immediate success are overwhelming.

    - Lawrie
  6. 6.

    Why does everyone think that with Lawrie here we have to trade away a prospect that still has lots of upside? It’s not like he’s an injury away from being back in the big leagues? Oh wait…Jays Fans (myself included) having LOTS of a talent is a good problem to have.

    As well, as Jon Rauch clearly demonstrated, throwing BP fastballs (like Villaneuva has been doing recently) is NOT going to cut it in the AL, not the AL east at least. Maybe in the NL, can you afford not to be able to throw over 90mph, but in the real league, in the stronger league, you need dynamic stuff, perfect control, strikes, with two of those 3 always being a requesite for sucess.

    We could argue Rauch’s BABIP or other advanced sabermetrics, but the fact is he throws no movement, slow pitches that get hit hard.

    - Aaron
  7. 7.

    I mean really, to watch this team almost, I say, almost, systematically derail Snider is a joke. I’d like to know Murphy’s role in this, as Snider had nothing but praise for the Vegas hitting instructor and showed significant improvement on his return. And this BS about his one handed swing at times. I’m sorry but Alex Rodriguez has done very fine thank you with the more than ocaasional one hand free swing, especially when going the other way. Seems the Jays have all kinds of time for the bumbling Encarnacion’s and the awful relief core than they do for Snider…

    MW: Yeah, I do think all the wailing about the one-handed swing is pretty overdone. It’s not as though he doesn’t have two hands on the bat at contact. As far as Encarnacion and the bullpen, different situations with contracts and options, etc.

    - Will
  8. 8.

    Snider for Pittsburgh’s Hanrahan (he’s a closer). We will also throw in Rauch to sweeten the deal for Pittsburgh…

    MW: Hanrahan is 29 years old and having his first good season in the major leagues. Snider is 23.

    - TrueBlue4Ever!
  9. 9.

    What wrong with John Farrell?He did’t not solve the problem on his team!
    He is waiting for a miracle on Rivera,Reyes,and Villanueva.
    Why take so long on Lawrie’s called up?Why send Snider to LV,not Thames ?
    Why doesn’t he send them both to LV,and called up Loewen(it is fair to them) ?
    Why didn’t he shuffled up his called up card every game?
    Why didn’t he put his lefty pitcher against 2 lefty batters in a row in 11 inning ?
    Farrell have not do everything to win a game !!

    - Kerry
  10. 10.

    Saw Lawrie in Vegas last night, he looked great. guess i won’t be seeing him again on this trip! instead, Snider.

    Sad to see it and I still have faith he will learn to work the count and control the strike zone at the major league level, but it is starting to get hairy for the guy’s chances, at least as a Jay.

    I’ll be at 2 more games, so I’ll post here again with a short Snider report later.

    MW: Looking forward to it!

    - Darren
  11. 11.

    I wonder how many of ur listeners will have a clue about ur juliette reference????

    - andy
  12. 12.

    a shame that snider doesn’t appear to be catching on yet. I have a feeling he’s one of those players when he’s 25 they will be saying well he’s only 25 let him develop. But this is a big bucks game and you have to produce to be in the show. And please do something about this bullpen if I see rauch give up another home run I am going to lose it.

    - dave
  13. 13.

    I’ve always been a big backer of keeping Snider with the Jays but he’s been absolutely terrible since his recall. 30+ strikeouts and 1 walk is a recipe for long-term disaster for a hitter. He is completely lost at the plate right now. It is a small sample as well but he should at least be making better contact or taking some walks.

    Then with the addition of Rasmus (I’m still giggling about how amazing this was) and, unfortunately, Teahan eating up money and a roster spot, sending Snider down was the only real option to get Lawrie up here.

    MW: Other than sending down Thames, who is doing just as poorly as Snider is right now. And Snider certainly hasn’t been absolutely terrible since his recall, he hit .357 over the first 13 games back

    - Luke
  14. 14.

    I wonder – if it really is a “could go either way” situation with snider and Thames why not alternate them – i.e. it’s Thames’ turn to take one for the team so to speak.

    MW: It’s not an unfair question.

    - Tammy
  15. 15.

    I have to agree with the previous comment about Snider. I love Thames but they are in the process of destroying Snider by the way they have handled him and I fear that he will leave the Jays system because he’s almost out of options and become a star with another team. This is almost a textbook case of how not to handle a young player.

    MW: They certainly have made some mistakes with Snider, no question.

    - Steve
  16. 16.

    Sadly, it looks like Snider will never get a fair shake with the Jays. I can’t imagine how mad I would be if my employer kept lying to me.

    MW: I don’t think that they’re lying to him. But situations change and I wouldn’t blame Snider at all if he feels as though he hasn’t gotten a fair shake.

    - Andrew
  17. 17.

    Mike, two questions. 1) I know you love Snider and yes he is very young, and he could still have a bright future ahead of him, but have you soured on him at all? 2) Can you admit that Rauch is terrible?

    MW: 1 – No, and 2 – Don’t be ridiculous.

    - JackO
  18. 18.

    “Travis Snider will be a monster someday, but it might not be with the Blue Jays.”

    As you like to say mike “all present evidence to the contrary” on that one. I see nothing to indicate he will be a monster anywhere at this level

    MW: Except, you know, everything he’s done in the minor leagues and the fact that he’s only 23.

    - jim
  19. 19.

    I lied, one more question. Do you think the Blue Jays have soured on Snider at all?

    MW: I do. Not entirely, but some.

    - JackO
  20. 20.

    Why not just release Teahen? Just because you owe him $7M until the end of next year? It makes no sense. He has no place on this team. Whether you keep him or release him, you’re paying him to do nothing. Keep Snider up, let him work it out, and get rid of Teahen. Rogers has the money, this makes absolutely no sense.

    MW: It’s also about the reputation of the organization. Don’t want to be seen as a team that treats its players like garbage.

    - Ewah
  21. 21.

    A couple of questions Mike…The first, Alex Anthopolus & Farrel have said they think Travis was rushed to the majors too early; That he should of stayed longer in the minors before being promoted the first time. Travis has said he doesn’t think so but any player will say that. They are not going to say the team made a mistake bringing him up when they did, as every player wants to be in the majors as soon as they can. So, do you agree with AA on this??

    Second, you mentioned in this blog that Travis may not be with the Jays in the future. Why would you say something like that, knowing how gigantic of a fanatic you are of his??..He’s still very young..You don’t think the Jays have the patients to wait for him to be good when he does?…You always bring up how long it has taken Alex Gordon & he is 27 so Travis still & I think will be a good player by 27…Good player is one thing but “10 time perennial All-star” or “Top 10 in MVP voting for 10 years in a row”, I’m not sure I can agree with you on that, not yet anyways..hehe

    MW: I don’t think Snider necessarily got called up too early, but he did really get screwed around once he did get called up, and I can’t imagine that helped his development at all. As far as the second part, I don’t think the Blue Jays will wait until he’s 27 – he’ll be out of options at 25. Gordon was in the minors as recently as last season.

    - David F.
  22. 22.

    What year will Brett Lawrie be inducted into the Hall of Fame ?

    MW: I’m thinking 2014 at the latest. Why wait?

    - Roberto A.
  23. 23.

    Mike, I realize you continue to act as the President of the Travis Snider Fan Club but he HAS been given several chances now to show whether he has it or not and hasn’t been able to produce over any substantial period of time. It’s simply pure speculation on your part that ‘he will be a monster some day’. I was berated by your followers for saying this earlier this year but the evidence suggests he just isn’t consistent enough at this stage to be out there every day. You and others also said he had what it took to be a fine centrefielder, something I didn’t agree with at the time either. It’s obvious with the addition of Rasmus that AA didn’t see it either. If I’m wrong on this one, I’ll be happy to admit I was wrong.

    MW: You’re wrong – Rasmus wasn’t acquired because the Blue Jays didn’t think Snider could play centre, he was acquired because the Jays had been after him for years, and he’s a very good centrefielder. As far as my enthusiasm towards Snider, the idea (that you share with many others) that it’s pure speculation is ridiculous. It’s as though I just picked a guy at random and said he was going to be a stud. He was a first-round pick, he tore up the minor leagues at every stop, and every scout and front-office guy I have ever spoken to has raved about him.

    - Craig M
  24. 24.

    mike: every time Farrell goes to the bullpen I get this sick feeling in my stomach… Rauch, Frankenstein, Camp you name them they suck.. you put them all in a blender mix ‘em up and you couldn’t come up with a decent “RELIEVER” by the end of the year we are going to end up with the most blown saves by a team. sad for the rest of the players. If I was the manager I’d send the before mentioned players via couch bus back to Toronto.

    MW: You have to look at the big picture, as frustrating as this bullpen has been.

    - Didier
  25. 25.

    While I’m sympathetic to the idea that Snider is being mishandled by the Jays, it does seem to me that he’s somehow developed one ugly swing. When did the one-handed, head bobbing like a cork pass on a baseball happen?!? His refusal to take a walk since his call-up is particularly distressing. If this was the Snider of last season (or 2008/9 for that matter), I’d be screaming bloody murder. He seems to have gotten into his own head. Perhaps he needs a Halladay-esque deconstruction in the minors.

    - RobT
  26. 26.

    Excited to see Lawrie. I won’t be too upset if he has to get sent back down but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t optimistic.

    I turned on the TV today just in time to watch our buddy kick around another routine ground ball (I know you know who I’m talking about). To his credit he still made the out but why is it every time I watch this guy he look like he’d be a better midfielder or striker than a second baseman?

    MW: He hasn’t actually kicked any balls yet.

    - RealityCheck
  27. 27.

    Hope Lawrie, is up for the rest of the season. Let’s see what the kid can do. I hope we can let Rasmus do his thing for the rest of the year before everyone starts judging the trade (I am doubtful that will happen). I am a little disappointed in the #’s game played with Travis, at this point if I were him/his agent I’d be screaming for a trade, I thought he was told “come up this time and you’re our everyday LF till the end of the season.” Any ways we need a bull pen next year, bring back Henke! But seriously spend the money in the pen next year, sick of blown saves!
    Looking forward to tomorrow night. Go Jays Go!

    - Hapless Jays Fan
  28. 28.

    MW: Yes. Jesse Litsch is my best friend.

    You’re being sarcastic, clearly. But you do tend to go on about him…referring to him last night as a “solid, solid” pitcher. He absolutely is not. He was solid, but hurt his arm, and hasn’t been the same since. He’s a journeyman now; you do over rate him.

    MW: He’s 26 years old and has never had a bad season in a year in which he’s been healthy. His WHIP this season is almost exactly the same as it was in his rookie season – he came back too early from Tommy John last season.

    - evan white
  29. 29.

    Thank G-d for your blog. I desperately need to vent after today’s fiasco. In my mind it was reminiscent of the 14 inning loss in California, earlier this year (only it was the batters that couldn’t deliver, then).
    I am entirely frustrated with the Rauch experiment. Coming in late in a game he needs to produce strike outs. Scratch that…outs. Period. When he came in, in the 10th (with the lead) I pulled my hair out. When he gave up the lead, I pulled out more. And when he came in during to start the 11th…well, you get the picture.
    Did Gregg fray our nerves as much as Rrr-ouch and FranciscOH-NO!
    We need pitching.

    MW: They do, and they’ll revamp the bullpen over the winter.

    - Bird is the Word
  30. 30.


    Not only is Snider in a horrible slump in Toronto, he was showing no power at all in the PCL.
    You keep on about him only being 23 years old, and that he hasn’t been given 500 at bats. But what players his age, with his stats this season so far, get 500 at bats during a season? He hasn’t earned the at bats. He hasn’t shown improvement…if anything he’s regressing.

    - Evan White
  31. 31.

    Well, Mike… This loss was the most bitter of all the blown losses for me.. Having your offense put you in position for a win twice in extra innings… Well, I was so furious and frustrated w John Rauch…

    Even w the Lawrie call-up, I couldn’t get over my anger for a while… Really, Snider sent down again? Would anyone miss Mark Teahan??? I totally forgot he was on the team until you mentioned him, Mike. I think the management has as well considering they don’t even use him…

    Aaahhh… I hope Snider doesn’t ask for a trade after this latest yank-around, I can see that happening…

    AA better not simply ‘address it for next year’ as he stated on Bob McCowan’s show, but get a legitimate closer for next year.. And start by calling some hot shot kid up this year to see if there’s anything on the farm… Enough of this ‘losing’ atmosphere… The Yanks are about creating a winning environment, let’s start now in Toronto, eh!?

    Uggh sorry about the rant.

    MW: No problem, but I think going after a “legitimate closer” in the off-season is likely to be a big mistake.

    - Furious and Frustrated
  32. 32.

    I am with you there Jim. As much as I have a vision of the second coming of Travis Snider, at this point you have to say maybe he is not going to walk on water let alone to first base as much as we thought?

    Be a realist as you would say Mike and maybe let it go…Rasmus, Gose and Sierra coming up the ladder means Travis better figure it out quick or he will be the forgotten man.

    Cheers from Freddy Beach and Congrats to our hometown Matty Stairs! He is one guy who did figure it out!

    MW: He sure did – and the irony in your praising Stairs at the same time as being willing to cut bait on Snider is most delicious, indeed.

    - David from Fredericton
  33. 33.

    If Snider or Thames wass playing well, what woud the difference be in eating the last 2 months of Teahen’s contract. It’s not like they have alot of playing time for him.

    Is it just optics?

    It shoud be fun to see another young gun in the lineup; not necessarily to result in more wins, but for another glimpse of the future.

    MW: Keeping Teahen does have to do with optics to a point, but it’s possible that he could be a useful player.

    - Gary
  34. 34.

    hey Mike,

    we almost saw the same pitcher blow the save twice in one game… don’t know if i have ever seen that in the bigs…

    i feel bad for Snider, even though i am one who is not convinced he can be a major league hitter, his defence and speed was surprisingly stellar. AA said that he could not look Thames in the eye and tell him Snider was playing better than him- Really! I guess AA does not value defence as much as offence and even so, i think i’d rather have Snider at the plate over Thames at this point in a clutch situation… but that is why these guys make the big bucks… sorry Travis, hope you find your way in the bigs on some other team some day…

    as for MLB streaming.. so who exactly is to blame for MLB not streaming the Jays?.. why would MLB not want to stream through Canada?, It makes no sense, (ever visit the site? they are the biggest floggers out there! for sure they’d be looking to market), where as Rogers, looking to squeeze providers makes complete sense..

    please fill me in on who I should be mad at..

    thanks Mike

    MW: It’s not possible for a pitcher to blow a save twice in the same game. Once he’s blown a save, he can’t be in another save situation. You should be angry with MLB – they control all their internet broadcasting rights.

    - eastcoast ball fan
  35. 35.

    If yesterday’s game doesn’t make you pull your hair out, I don’t know what will. Very frustrating to see the Jays come back, only to blow the lead twice and then give up the loss. Mind you, the Jays have been very successful in extra-inning ball thus far this season. Still…

    I pointed it out on the game blog, and it’s worth noting that the Jays would probably have 4-5 more wins with a decent closer, just an average closer in fact, a team with Sergio Santos or a Brandon League would put the team there. I really think that AA should stop focussing on the offense and work on shoring up the pitching, both from a starting and relief standpoint. We’ve said on the blogs that relievers are easy to get. Well, the Jays need to get them, and a #5 starter to boot.

    Now, I know, it’s a building year. Why add relievers when they’ll just join the team next year? But it’s more about heart and hustle this year, and while the offense has been making moves and good ones at that, the pitching I think has taken many frustrating steps backwards.

    MW: It’s interesting that you noted League and Santos, because if you were looking for a closer this past winter, you wouldn’t have been looking at either one of those guys.

    - Tim in Niagara Falls
  36. 36.

    Like a lot of other people, I don’t like what’s happening with Snider. And it just seems un-AA-like as well that Snider has been singled out to get very little patience in the way of coming out of slumps. The first demotion this year seemed fast, the 2nd seems ridiculous. Meanwhile JP Arencibia went through an extended slump before deciding that turning off his brain was likely to improve his hitting, and no trigger was pulled to get him out of the way.

    As someone else said somewhere else, if Snider played for St Louis or Atlanta, one suspects AA would be putting together a trade for him.

    If Travis ends up with a monster career with another team one of these days, I will wear a black arm band during every Jays game, mourning a wasted talent. Or is it going to be Matt Stairs all over again?

    MW: I’m not sure I know what you mean with the Matt Stairs all over again thing? Stairs didn’t kick in until he was 28, but it wasn’t with his original organization. So maybe I just don’t get the OR part.

    - Ben
  37. 37.

    Hi Mike,

    Really excited to see Lawrie, but I have one question – Why not just wait until September? Doesn’t this call up affect when he can become a free agent? Is it worth calling him up now (and he does deserve it based on stats alone), instead of waiting until September 1st?

    MW: The callup doesn’t affect when he can become a free agent.

    - Sean
  38. 38.

    Hitting coaches can mess up a player’s head.
    Snider always hit in the minors till Blue Jays coaches worked him over .

    I’d like to see Jays trade or release Snider like St. Louis did Rasmus.Give him another chance.

    Remember the Shawn Green case?

    I worry about Lawrie this way too . The Jays are harting every pitch . Take more pitches. All sorts of nonsense ,

    There is way too much over analysis , and micro-managing going on with hitting and pitching .

    I think Jays may mess up Thames too . He’s probably as talented as Rasmus imo.

    - Clarence G.
  39. 39.

    hey Mike, how are ya?

    MW: Good, thanks

    - Matt
  40. 40.

    I’m stunned at how little attention David Cooper is receiving in the Toronto market. We have been talking Snider, Rasmus and Lawrie for weeks now, yet a 24 year old 1st round pick Cooper is far too quietly ripping up AAA. Why are the Jays in such a rush to get 21 year Lawrie and 23 year old Snider into the big show when we’ve got a more mature 24 year old Cooper seemingly ready for major league AB’s? Move Lind back to LF, put Coop at 1B/DH and let Snider simmer a little in Vegas. His time will come. If this year is purely a “let’s see what we’ve got” year for AA then is it not stunning to you that Cooper is not getting meaningful AB’s right now?
    I trust AA but this surprises me. What am I missing?

    MW: You’re missing the fact that Cooper doesn’t really project as a power guy and they’re getting that from Lind at first and they hope to get it from Thames and/or Snider in left field and maybe DH. Also, Cooper looked completely overwhelmed in his first stint in the majors.

    - Paxton
  41. 41.

    Mike…when is the projected arrival time for Henderson Alvarez in a perfect world?…also Mike, Art Garfunkel did do a version of Sam Cooke’s What A Wonderful World in 1978 with Paul Simon and James Taylor, so I’m not going crazy.(yet)

    MW: I know Art Garfunkel did that song, but I wouldn’t reference that version – you have to give me more credit than that. In a perfect world, Alvarez probably shows up the second week of April, 2012 at the earliest, but it’s tough to imagine that he’ll be up to stay if he’s called later this month or this September.

    - chris m.
  42. 42.

    why does everyone say snider hasn’t been given a fair shake by the jays? He’s been given plenty of opportunity. How much time does he need? Even though as everyone has said umpteen times he’s only 23 it’s doubtful he’s going to suddenly learn how to hit big league pitching well at this point. Mike you seem to have a great skill backing players that don’t seem to be panning out. You defended BJ Ryan long after most saw that his arm was shot. If snider sticks with a team he will be an average hitter and defender at best.

    MW: OK. Now take a look at the history of Major League Baseball and what players did at 22 and 23 compared to what they did at 27 and 28.

    - why
  43. 43.

    You really don’t think giving up their closer for the superstar potential that Travis Snider brings is worth it for Washington? Of course this is all theoretical but I would make that trade if I’m Rizzo, especially with Clippard as a potentially dominant closer in the waiting. Could put Snider in center with Harper in left and Werth in right. That’s a pretty solid offensive force in the outfield.

    - John
  44. 44.

    MW: It’s interesting that you noted League and Santos, because if you were looking for a closer this past winter, you wouldn’t have been looking at either one of those guys.

    Good point. And even the “proven closers” are often hardly that.

    - Evan White
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