So What do the Blue Jays Do Now?

I don’t have a seahorse in the postseason really, what with my Feesh handicapped like some Harrison Bergeron by the surplus wrecking ball front orifice shackled to their caudal fins. However, because I have an illustrious friend in Toronto (and one slightly less illustrious but no less praiseworthy professering away at Western Ontario University just down the 401), I had vested my favors in the Jays this year. Even went to a couple of games at the Rogers on my friends’ nickels. Normally I’m an underdog kinda guy but this year’s underdogs all had uberfleas – the Mutts with homophobic cracker Daniel Murphy, the Astros being mostly children, which are horrible.

Argo, I have been paying more attention to the Feather Lice this season than I normally would.

So, here’s my affectionate postmortem. What are they gonna do this orfseason to fill in the holes, because as things stand those holes are going to be craters whan that April, with its shoores sote, the drught of March hath parced to the rote:

– Buehrle sounds like he’s used up. By the beginning of September he couldn’t have snuck an electron past a blind cyclops. If he comes back, he’s liable to be a bottom-of-the-rotation starter at best.
-Biggeth Dicketh is finished, too. Cheap sentiment notwithstanding, if he comes back, it’s going to be as a pitching coach (I think he’d make a great one) or a launching platform for startup private space firm.
-Will AA meet Price’s price? If you’re competing with the Beanbags and the Borg, I bet not.
That leaves you with Stroman as your budding stud and Estrada. Spahn and Sain and pray for rain, remember? It’s the same configuration that sank the Dodgers this season, though in their case injuries had more to do with it than age and overuse. Anthropoulis has got to go out there like some anthropophagous esophagus and swallow up some  number three and four guys. For any FA he will be bidding against your two big ugly slobbering exaggeratedly self-entitled neighborhood bullies to the south for anyone worth having.
And the bullpen. Well. Osuna is going to be even better, but he can’t come out every night, and after that Chernobyl-style meltdown in game 4 – which has been foreshadowed by not a few comparable meltdowns earlier in the season – it’s clear that you’re gonna need to restock some fresh control rods bigtime.
So – AA has a surplus of run production on his hands but even with the monumental numbers the Jays put up this season, all those LOBs last night say to me that you need to seed a couple of Punch-and-Judy guys into the lineup too. Contact hitters. Given the competition on the FA market, he’s going to have to get clever and make some steal-your-face-right-off-your-head moves once the trading season begins.
Anyway, it’s hockey season, which is more inherently therapeutic for a Canadian than for a tropical type. The Panthers? Don’t ask. They’re like a haunted house we bought thinking it was just a conventional fixer-upper.
Time to learn some new ways to hurt.
R.

30 thoughts on “So What do the Blue Jays Do Now?

  1. Great post Gator. I agree. There are probably a dozen good pitchers on the market, but there are a lot of teams that need two this offseason. I think the Tigers are in a very similar position as the Jays, for instance. I also think the Jays may have gotten some career years out of some of their talent, which could be a problem as well. Still, it was fun to watch them get this far.

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    • I agree about the pitching needs. But I dunno about the “career years” comment. I would say the only player that had a career year was Estrada. Who else could you attach that assessment to? Jose was his “average,” as was EE. Pitching was harder to say because Osuna and Sanchez are rookies, everyone else was just good enough. Donaldson had a great year, but he’s been in the MVP conversation the last three. Revere had a better year last year and Tulo certainly was well below his norm. Martin’s average was down and homers were up(big shock). Pillar is also basically a rookie that has hit above .300 in the minors, so too soon to say. Goins has never had the chance to see how his bat plays for more than a few weeks here and there over the past couple of seasons. Maybe I’m forgetting someone, but I’m not sure I agree Reflex. I do agree about the fun to watch part though.

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      • Estrada was the primary one in my mind, but Goins is another one I’m not sold on, nothing in his minor league track record suggests he is an average starter much less as good as he looked this year. Donaldson is great but I expect some regression based on at least age. The same goes for EE and Bautista.

        The Jays are not a ‘young up and coming’ team. They are a collection of mostly veterans who got some standout seasons from a few young players some of whom are likely to regress, and the veterans are likely to do the normal decline that players in their 30’s experience. I don’t see a ton of talent in the minors ready to replace them either.

        I’d like to be wrong, and in fact I hope I am. I really like to see the AL East with teams on top not from NY or Boston. But I see the Jays this year as a slightly older version of the Orioles last year: A decent team that if everything breaks right could be in it, but rarely does a team have everything break the right way.

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    • That’s my bet. The Cubs do remind of the Rays a lot. I’m not sure why.

      As for what the Blue Jays are doing, perhaps golfing and fishing. AA might consider trading some of the surplus hitting for pitching. Collabello seems like a nice little piece to trade.

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  2. The Jays were kind of reminding me of the Tigers: all big power that wasn’t consistent and not a lot of fallback when the SP’s failed. Very offense-reliant. You see where that’s gotten us.

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  3. Gator, I agree about the pitching: I think Buehrle needs to hang them up as the crafty lefty thing wasn’t working toward the end of the year. Dickey is still capable of good things, as evidenced by his second half (8-1, 2.80 ERA, 1.003 WHIP), but is also capable of getting hit all over the ballpark as well. If no David Price, then Stroman is your ace, Estrada (who is also a FA) for #2 and then who? Hutchison? He was only effective at home and a disaster on the road.

    For the other half of the battery, in Martin they have one of the best defensive catchers in baseball, and Navarro (another FA) isn’t a huge drop. Martin also had a career year in HR, although his bat vanished in the postseason. If Dickey isn’t back, then there’s no need for Thole, who is a liability at the plate.

    IB has been a Colabello-Smoak platoon and I agree with ‘Burgie that they try and deal Colabello for pitching. Smoak is far and away the better glove anyway.

    The middle infield will be difficult to parse out. Tulo is under a big contract and is an elite defender but will his bat come back in a full season with the Jays or was it more of a product of Coors? Goins showed a great amount of plate discipline late in the season and can play SS or 2B with the best. Will Devon Travis come back healthy, and, if so, what do they do with him? Darwin Barney? Cliff Pennington? Muni?

    The outfield of Revere, Pillar and Bautista is pretty damn good, especially when Pillar is hitting well. Who saw his defense coming? Dude was the 4th outfielder out of spring training. Does this free up Michael Saunders as another trade piece? Keep Pompey or Carrera as the 4th OF?

    Yes, the immediate need is starting pitching, with maybe some bullpen help, but is anything else lacking? Not really, in my opinion.

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    • Welcome jimmiejohnson. I have been wanting to get you over here, but I can’t reliably reply to anyone. Needless to say…I read some of the posts but the community feel is gone forever. I’m thinking that this may get a lot bigger as people get sick of the fool’s ( some old..mostly newbies) and they will get nudged over here.

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  4. Maybe I’ve been drinking the koolaid, but I think most of the pieces are already here. Yes, it would be great to get back both Price and Estrada, hopefully we get at least one. Price isn’t going to be much more than what we were paying Buerhle (he was at $22M, I think) even at $30M and Tulo is less than what we were supposed to pay Reyes’ $22M, so there’s that. Estrada will likely get close to $10-12M/, so I’m not sure if AA wants to pay that and hope for the stars to align a second time. I agree with nbjays regarding Dickey, but I’m pretty sure he’ll be back. He’ll log you 200+ and probably have the same year he’s had the past 3; solid 1/3 of the starts, mediocre for 1/3 and BP for the other 1/3 with a sub 4 ERA and 13-15 wins. I’ll take that from my #3 or 4. He was pretty dominant the second half. Sanchez started the year as the 4/5th starter and likely will again. Hutchison is still here and might need to move to long relief to reset his head as this is the only “problem.” People forget about Cecil, but as long as they don’t try to put him in at closer, he was pretty dominant as your setup until he got injured, not to mention the chopped liver that is Mark Lowe. We need a deeper/longer bullpen and a #2 or #3 starter depending on the Price sweepstakes. Not unattainable, but it won’t be easy either with our AL East brethren flashing $$$.

    As for hitting, from what I know, everyone is coming back, short of Navarro. Travis had a cyst removed in his shoulder that hadn’t been discovered until the surgery and is expected to be 100%. The only question will be who starts at 2b, but there’s your Punch&Judy (even though Travis managed 9 HR, which surprised no one more than himself!) Navarro said he’d like to come back. Which do you go after first? Navarro or Estrada? I think if you get one, you should get the other. Other than that, we have no place for Saunders and could trade him and one of Colabello, Smoak or even Encarnacion (hope not! but at the trade deadline might fetch a nice return) for some pitching. Easier said than done, for sure, but at least we aren’t looking for as much as we were this year in the spring.

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  5. I should have mentioned Estrada. I think AA would be wise to re-sign him and kinda assumed that he will. As far as Biggeth Dicketh, let me make clear that I love the guy. He’s intelligent, he’s literate and his Christianity is non-discriminatory so far as I can tell, and based on his charitable work it seems to live in his heart moreso than in his mouth, like a certain infielder for the Mutts.

    I think he would make a terrific coach or even manager, but I also fear that the only way he’s going to eat 200 innings again is if he gives up so many runs in the first inning or two that there’d be no point replacing him before the fifth or sixth. He’s horribly erratic and becoming less effective every season since his great years with the Mutts. I believe he’s in an option year, right? If I were AA I’d cut this bait and use the money to re-sign Estrada and go FA hunting if trades won’t bring in a haul of reliable fodder for the starting rotation.

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    • Gator, I understand your trepidation, however having watched virtually every game this year (and basically the last 17!) I have a little more faith(!) in Biggeth. If his half seasons had been reversed and the first half was better than the second, I might share your concerns. Sure, he is prone to erratic starts. That’s a knuckler by definition. Is he “slowing down?” I don’t get that impression. Granted, everyone’s fingers are in a constant crossed state on virtually every inning, but more often than not, if he gets through the first 2 innings, he’s usually good for 7+.

      This ownership can certainly afford to pick up his $12M option and be more than capable of paying Price, Estrada and Navarro. I forgot to mention that Ricky Romero’s $7M+/ is also FINALLY behind us as of next year. If I’m not mistaken, Tulo will be our most $$ player and pretty much everyone else is $15M or less and most are MUCH less. Time to pony-up Rogers, the country demands it or we’ll all cancel our cable subscriptions! (I wish)

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