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The Toronto Blue Jays Prospects + Org. Depth Charts For All Affiliates – 2014 (MLB + MiLB)

marcus stroman

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): & Jeff Kleiner (Org Depth Chart + Payroll Expert – find his website here)

The Blue Jays have used their system well to acquire several key pieces from other organizations via trade over recent years.

Despite all of the prospects that have left, several are still on their way to the Majors for the big club and several are highly touted.

In 2014, the Blue Jays will try to erase a 21 year playoff drought.  Will the franchise part with some more of its youth, or may they hold steady with the personnel in the MiLB?

If you are a fan, get to know these players we list in the post, and follow their progress in the Minors.  if you click their name, it will take you to baseballreference.com’s player page of them. Read the rest of this entry

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Triple Play Podcast Episode 2 Of 2014: Empire State Of Mind: NYM + NYY + TOR Chat

 

The Triple Play Show will have 5 shows per month.  Each show will be about 1 hour

The Triple Play Show will have 2 shows per month. Each show will be about 1 hour. Chuck Booth will guest once a month for MLB  Reports Power Rankings,

By The Big Ticket Show ( AKA Triple Play Podcast on http://www.mlbreports.com)

Mike Silva (Radio Host 1240 AM WGBB, Long Island New York – 19 Minute Mark and a 31 Min segment) )

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New York, New York big city of dreams where not everything is as it seems, so we had Mike Silva (http://www.mikesilvamedia.com)of WGBB1240 AM break down the Mets and a bit of the Yankees + our new Mt .Flushmore segment. Read the rest of this entry

Is Rushing Marcus Stroman A Good Idea? Anybody Remember A Young Roy Halladay?

Video by E. Tyler Bullock

By ‘Baseball Writer’ Steve Cheeseman 

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Is Rushing Marcus Stroman a Good Idea?

Prime pitching prospect Marcus Stroman is the pride and joy prospect of the Toronto Blue Jays.

The 22 year old out of Medford, New York is front and centre with many media outlets heading into the spring training. Consider his age, and little professional experience under his hat. Why rush him?

Stroman was drafted 22nd overall in the 2012 Major League Baseball Draft, after finishing a college career at Duke where he set the school record for strikeouts with 290 (over 222.0 innings). Read the rest of this entry

The Toronto Blue Jays State Of The Union: 2014 Preview

The SkyDome was opened in May of 1989.  For the championship ERA, the club drew 4 Million fans each per year.  In recent years, it was tough for the club to draw 2 Million fans.  In 2013, with the promise of a new club mantra, based on Free Agent signings, the team held the best year to year attendance boost in 2013.  I doubt they will be able to do this again in 2014.

The SkyDome was opened in May of 1989. For the championship ERA, the club drew 4 Million fans each per year. In recent years, it was tough for the club to draw 2 Million fans. In 2013, with the promise of a new club mantra, based on Free Agent signings, the team held the best year to year attendance boost in 2013.  If the Jays can’t spring out of the gate fast in 2014, I think the Walkup single game tickets will be tremendously affected negatively.  Toronto has not made the playoffs since winning back to back World Series in 1992 and 1993, and only them and Kansas City hold that dubious honor since the Player Strike/Lockout ensuing seasons of 1994 – 1995.

By ‘Baseball Writer’ Steve Cheeseman 

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The Toronto Blue Jays have been a franchise in question for over 20 years.  This floundering franchise has gone through 11 manager changes since winning the World Series in 1993 vs. the Philadelphia Phillies. 

2 of those managers in Cito Gaston and John Gibbons have been hired twice! The 2013 season was supposed to be the year the Jays went all the way. 

GM Alex Anthopolous numerous moves acquiring major pieces to what was supposed to be a contending team.

R.A. Dickey, Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Emilio Bonifacio, Maicer Izturis, Mark Buehrle, and Melky Cabrera.  Despite these additions via trade or signing….same story, different season! Read the rest of this entry

Toronto Blue Jays Payroll In 2014 + Contracts Going Forward

The Blue Jays were the odds on favorite to win the World Series in 2013 among oddsmakers.  After a failure of a season, these guys are still placing way too much faith in the team.  To have them listed as tied with the Rays for the 12th best odd to win the World Series is a joke.  Stay away from this bet.  The odd should be +3000 - and not +1800.  Toronto is listed as tied for the 3rd favorite in the AL East, behind Boston and New York respectively.  It could really be another last place finish in the Division for the Canadian franchise.

The Blue Jays were the odds on favorite to win the World Series in 2013 among oddsmakers. After a failure of a season, the gambling websites  are still placing way too much faith in the team. To have them listed as tied with the Rays for the 12th best odd (+1800) to win the World Series is a stretch.  This team has committed $129 MIL already for 2014 payroll, and have not much room to gamble any more cash on the Roster.  This is incredible considering the bargain the team has with Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista being just paid $23 MIL between the two of them.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): & Jeff Kleiner (Org. Depth Chart Expert)

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It was a 2013 season that saw the team have the biggest spike in attendance in the majors, but it also came at a hefty price in total team salary.

For as much as the team forked out in payroll, they must not have been able to recoup all of their money.

Their payroll places them right in the middle of AL East pack.  The Yankees are right near the Luxury Tax Threshold right now of $189 MIL at $182 MIL – and the Boston Red Sox are hovering at around $160 MIL.

The Orioles will be near the $100 MIL range, and the Rays figure to be in the low $70 MIL area. Read the rest of this entry

Cano Signs With Seattle 10 YRs/$240 MIL: Do You Want A Good Team Or A Good Business?

Cano and his brass were in the Emerald City over night - to dicker with the Seattle Brass over a supposed 9 YR contract worth around $225 - $240 MIL.  But something went awry, and the Cano camp made the Seattle Mariners storm off with disgust over what the demands were. In a city where they have only had 2 winning seasons in the last 10 years, they do not need to put all of their eggs in just one basket.  We will go through the long decade of suffering in his blog, and come up with the conclusion, that the last thing the franchise needs - is another Free Agency flop.

Cano and his management posse were in the Emerald City over night – to dicker with the Seattle Brass over a supposed 9 YR contract worth around $225 – $240 MIL . But something went awry, and the Cano camp made the Seattle Mariners storm off with disgust over what the demands were originally.   It has now been reported the sides agreed to a 10 YR/$240 MIL deal.  This could be a colossal mistake from the club, despite seeing probable early returns on their investment and the ticket wicket and for TV Ratings. In a city where they have only had 2 winning seasons in the last 10 years, they didn’t need to put all of their eggs in just one basket. We will go through the long decade of suffering in his blog, and come up with the conclusion, that the last thing the franchise needs – is another Free Agency flop.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): (Big Credit to Paul Francis Sullivan)  

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The deal was supposed to be 9 YRs/$225 MIL for Robinson Cano‘s services to be taken to The Pacific Northwest, and play for the home fans of Safeco Field.

Somewhere in the deliberations, the Roc Nations Sports Agency (Jay – Z’s gang) made an unruly notion for something, to which the brass of the Seattle Mariners stormed off.

It would be nice to have been a fly on the wall for that sparing off of the minds.

The two sides finally agreed this morning to a 10 YR/$240 MIL deal for the ALL – Star, SIlver Slugger 2B.

Before the deal, a neutral fan had to ask Cano really taking the M’s seriously, or was it all for show – in hopes he could draw more cash from a team he really wants to play for?

Sully’s Daily Podcast from last night – truer words have never been spoken – Listen to this 20 Min show!

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – December 5, 2013

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The Toronto Blue Jays Players, Organizational Affiliates, Prospects + Depth Charts (MLB + MiLB)

The Blue Jays have been trading away all of their top prospects in recent years, and so far, not one of the players has come back to burn them.  Unfortunately, the veterans brought in via trade haven't pushed them over the top either.

The Blue Jays have been trading away all of their top prospects in recent years, and so far, not one of the players has come back to burn them. Unfortunately, the veterans brought in via trade haven’t pushed them over the top either.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): and Jeff Kleiner (Salary, Roster and Depth Chart Expert for the MLB) – visit his website  here  

For all of the Rosters, Depth Charts, State of the Unions and Salaries Posts that we do, please visit our dedicated page link here.

The Blue Jays have invested a great deal of their future in trades in recent years.  First they traded away several prospects to acquire Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson and John Buck.

The 2nd move was to also trade Travis d’Arnaud and Buck for R.A.Dickey.  However the moves backfired on them in 2013.

What is worse for the team, is the franchise has not been able to develop their own talent over the last several years.  Their best players on the club were all brought in via trades.

Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion were absolute steals for the guys they doled out to reel them in (Robinson Diaz, never played in the Majors for Pit in the Joey Bats deal, and they originally acquired in the Scott Rolen traded to Cincy.  He was selected off of waivers by Oakland, before he came to the club via Free Agency.

Jose Bautista 2013 Highlights

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The Disaster That Was The Blue Jays 2013 Season: State Of The Union

Following the 2012 Major League Baseball season, Toronto Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopolous made some noticeable moves, to seemingly re-invent Canada’s team.  Jay’s fans everywhere were ecstatic and pumped for the upcoming season, thinking that playoff baseball would finally return to Canada after 20 long seasons.

Following the 2012 Major League Baseball season, Toronto Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos made some noticeable moves, to seemingly re-invent Canada’s team. Jay’s fans everywhere were ecstatic and pumped for the upcoming season, thinking that playoff baseball would finally return to Canada after 20 long seasons.

By ‘Special Guest  Blue Jays Writer’ Steve Cheeseman 

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Another Season, Another Disaster.

The off-season started with a boom, with the signings of Maicer Izturis (3 yr-$9 million), and Melky Cabrera (2 yr-$16million).  This was followed by acquiring hard throwing Esmil Rogers from Cleveland.  

They weren’t done yet.

On November 14th, Anthopoulos completed a blockbuster trade with the Miami Marlins, receiving pitchers  Josh Johnson  (2-time All-Star)and Mark Buehrle (4-time All-Star), short-stop Jose Reyes (4-time All-Star, 2011 NL Batting Champion),   catcher John Buck,  utility man Emilio Bonifacio, and $8 million in cash in exchange for pitcher Henderson Alvarez, short-stop Yunel Escobar, catcher Jeff Mathis, and prospects.  

It was a steal.  Toronto then sent John Buck and prospects to the New York Mets, for reigning NL Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey, catcher Josh Thole and a prospect.   

Odd makers out of Las Vegas named the Toronto Blue Jays as the favorites to win the 2013 World Series.  Too good to be true right? Pretty much.

Munenori Kawasaki – See You Tomorrow

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Toronto Blue Jays Payroll In 2013 And Contracts Going Forward

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Friday, August.16, 2013

Jose Bautista is one of the  power threats in the line up for Toronto. He has rebounded nicely this season, after injuries cut his 2012 season short. He has a .261/.357/.857 triple-slash in 2013 with 27 HRs and 72 RBIs in 440 at-bats. He has 51 extra-base hits on the season, with 115 hits overall to go along with 220 Total Bases. He fares better against right-handers with a .263 batting average in 350 at-bats against them, while he is just hitting .256 facing southpaws. Bautista is still a threat with runners in scoring position, as indicated by his .301/.410/1.002 triple-slash with 6 HRs and 45 RBIs in this situation. He is still solid with two outs and runners in scoring position with a .306 batting average and 17 RBIs. They need him to stay healthy to contend in 2014.

Jose Bautista is one of the power threats in the line up for Toronto. He has rebounded nicely this season, after injuries cut his 2012 season short. He has a .261/.357/.857 triple-slash in 2013 with 27 HRs and 72 RBIs in 440 at-bats. He has 51 extra-base hits on the season, with 115 hits overall to go along with 220 Total Bases. He fares better against right-handers with a .263 batting average in 350 at-bats against them, while he is just hitting .256 facing southpaws. Bautista is still a threat with runners in scoring position, as indicated by his .301/.410/1.002 triple-slash with 6 HRs and 45 RBIs in this situation. He is still solid with two outs and runners in scoring position with a .306 batting average and 17 RBIs. They need him to stay healthy to contend in 2014.

By Chris Lacey (Lead Baseball Columnist/Minority Website Owner)

The Toronto Blue Jays have not had the greatest of seasons with them dead last in the American League East division. They trail the Boston Red Sox by 15 games and the chances of them being a Wild Card team are slim at best.

One of the reasons that this season has been a nightmare for the team that made plenty of noise during the offseason is with their pitching. They have allowed 590 runs this season, and only the Houston Astros have allowed more runs at 633 this season.

J.P. Arencibia Toronto Blue Jays Highlights – Parental Guidance Is Advised

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Triple Play Podcast Episode #14: Empire State Of Mind: NYY + NYM Chat

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Sunday, June.23, 2013

The Triple Play Show will have 5 shows per month.  Each show will be about 1 hour

The Triple Play Show will have 5 shows per month. Each show will be about 1 hour. Chuck Booth will guest once a month for MLB Power Rankings,

By The Big Ticket Show ( AKA Triple Play Podcast on http://www.mlbreports.com)

Guests in this Podcast – James Acevedo (MLB Reports 2 And A Hook Podcast Host – 42 Minute Mark and a 15 Minute Segment) 

Mike Silva (Radio Host 1240 AM WGBB, Long Island New York – 14 Minute Mark and a 27 Min segment)

New York, New York big city of dreams where not everything is as it seems, so we had Mike Silva of WGBB1240 AM and James Acevedo of the Bench Warmers and 2 and a Hook podcasts come on and break down the Mets and Yankees.Mt Rushmore, BetHubb.com best bets and Blue Jays talk too. Another Home Run show! Read the rest of this entry

Toronto Blue Jays Organizational Charts: Payroll, Depth Charts And Rosters, (MLB + MiLB)

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Saturday, June.14/2013

The Blue Jays have played better baseball of late, are now 30 - 36.  They sit in last place in the AL East.  Mark Buerhle was great in a 8 - 0 win versus Texas Fri.

The Blue Jays have played better baseball of late, are now 30 – 36. They sit in last place in the AL East – 9.5 Games Behind the Boston Red Sox. Mark Buerhle was great in a 8 – 0 win versus Texas Fri.  The two teams continue a Series today.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): and welcome Jeff Kleiner (Salary, Roster and Depth Chart Expert for the MLB) – visit his website  here  

You guys are all in for a treat.  Jeff Kleiner recently contacted me about a partnership merge for the website.  He has developed a site (prosportsrosters.com) that covers all organizational affiliates in the Minors for all of the Major League Baseball Clubs.  We are going to combine efforts to bring you the best look at salaries, current 25 Man Player Rosters and Depth Charts for all 30 teams. 

Jeff is going to provide the documents in form of spreadsheets and I am going to accompany the posts with deep analysis of what the numbers tell us from my perspective.  If you can’t wait for all of my assessments for each club, go and visit Jeff’s website over at http://www.prosportsrosters.com.

In Speaking with Jeff, he is one of the more passionate fans I have come across towards the game of baseball.  He spends enough time in updating his MLB Facts for it to be a Full-Time Job.  So after the usual Video Clip and READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY button, you will find some serious &*!@?!#!

Jeff updates this page below on a daily basis.  After you click on it….Bookmark it.  There is a 3 year salary forecast and stats not listed here on this page.  Jeff updates these pages daily and these changes include any Roster moves!

For a Full 3 year Salary Outlook plus last years Stats for every player in the Blue Jays Organization click here

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Blue Jays And Dodgers Are Done In 2013: Stick A Fork In Them: Angels Are Marinating!

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Thursday June.13/2013

The Dodgers don't lead the Majors in many categories this year (except for Bench clearing brawls).  The 1st incident with the Padres cost them Greinke with a broken clavicle.  He will likely be suspended for more games today.  Who else will be suspended??  We should find out from baseball today.  Meanwhile the team is 28 - 37 - and 11 Games behind Arizona

The Dodgers don’t lead the Majors in many categories this year (except for Bench clearing brawls). The 1st incident with the Padres cost them Greinke with a broken clavicle. He will likely be suspended for more games. Who else will be suspended?? We should find out from baseball today. Meanwhile the team is 28 – 37 – and 11 Games behind Arizona.

It is time to call it like it is – and back it up with some cold hard facts.  As a former professional oddsmaker, I understand why the ESPN page lists the Blue Jays at a 2.8% chance to make the playoffs – and the Dodgers just slightly better at 2.9%. 

The math involved is not even as complicated as Sabermetrics.  I will show you how they have derived this notion.  The fanbases will always tell you that they are one big winning streak away from jumping back into the mix. 

They would be right some of the time (Note the 2007 and 2009 Rockies, the 2012 Athletics, the 2011 Cardinals and Rays also made up around 10 Games deficits for playoff spots even in September).

I can also think of the 2005 Astros flying off the wall in the second half to earn a playoff spot.

Here is why these two teams are deep trouble.

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MLB Team Power Rankings

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Sunday June.02/2013

Miguel Cabrera is absolutely unconscious this season so far;.  He has a 3 Slash Line of .369 (Leads AL)/.445 (Leads AL/1.121 (2ndi n AL), with 17 HRs (2nd AL) and a mind - blowing 65 RBI through 54 Games Played.  He is on pace for 51 HRs. 195 RBI and about 250 Hits.  He keeps getting better every single year if possible. Despite his prominence - and a lineup full of ALL - Star hitters and Pitchers, the Tigers are limping along at just a few games over .500.  It certainly isn't this 30 Year Olds fault.

Miguel Cabrera is absolutely unconscious this season so far; He has a 3 Slash Line of .369 (Leads AL)/.445 (Leads AL/1.121 (2nd in AL), with 17 HRs (2nd AL) and a mind – blowing 65 RBI through 54 Games Played. He is on pace for 51 HRs, 195 RBI and about 250 Hits. He keeps getting better every single year if possible. Despite his prominence – and a lineup full of ALL – Star hitters and Pitchers, the Tigers are limping along at just a few games over .500. It certainly isn’t this 30 Year Old’s fault.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

Featuring the Podcasters the Big ticket Show in the Audio Portion

I will be doing a stat fueled rankings list on this Thursday.  These rankings will have some stats and  random thoughts of what I will be talking about in today’s podcast with the Big Ticket Show (AKA, Triple Play Podcast.)

Games Prior to Sunday June.02/2013

Cardinals 2013 30/30 Preview

Click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON to continue… or scroll past the Triple Play Podcast. Read the rest of this entry

Toronto Blue Jays: All Offense?

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Tuesday May 28th, 2013

Melky Cabrera, Jose Reyes and Edwin Encarnacion. 3 of the first 4 hitters in the 2013 Toronto Blue Jays lineup, and all from the Dominican Republic. In their first year as teammates on the Blue Jays, and one of their first spring training practices, have already become a close trio. Dominican slugger Jose Bautista is missing from this photo, but is the 4th piece of this dazzling 1-4 combination.  The Jays’ offense has been a completely different story. Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion, the two leading hitters on the team, have 11 and 13 HRs, respectively. Bautista is hitting .291 and Encarnacion is hitting .247, which is not the best, but his power makes up for it. Encarnacion has also driven in 38 runs while Bautista has driven in 27. Melky Cabrera has not been the same person as he was last year with the Giants, but he is still hitting .287.

Melky Cabrera, Jose Reyes and Edwin Encarnacion. 3 of the first 4 hitters in the 2013 Toronto Blue Jays lineup, and all from the Dominican Republic Dominican slugger Jose Bautista is missing from this photo, but is the 4th piece of what was supposed to be a dazzling 1-4 combination this year. But Jose Reyes was hurt and the Jays’ offense has been a completely different story. Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion, the two leading hitters on the team, have 11 and 13 HRs, respectively. Bautista is hitting .291 and Encarnacion is hitting .247, which is not the best, but his power makes up for it. EE has also driven in 38 runs while Bautista has driven in 27. Melky Cabrera has not been the same person as he was last year with the Giants, but he is still hitting a respectbale .287.

Bernie Olshansky (Baseball Writer):

When Alex Anthopoulos and the Blue Jays set out last winter to improve the team, no one could have predicted what is happening currently.

Anthopoulos brought in R.A. Dickey, the reigning NL Cy Young, Josh Johnson, and Mark Buehrle. Ricky Romero struggled in 2012, so he started the season in the minors, and Brandon Morrow remained in the rotation.

The Jays also had a tremendous hitting lineup to build on with Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, and Brett Lawrie.

Jose Reyes arrived as part of the Marlins trade and Melky Cabrera was signed through free agency. Although the Blue Jays are saddled with being in one of the strongest divisions in baseball, they were the favorite on paper.

Over the course of a few games, all this was thrown out the window. Josh Johnson and Jose Reyes got injured, Melky Cabrera got off to a slow start, R.A. Dickey was not in his Cy Young form, and the team was not playing the way everyone had expected. Now, some could say, the Blue Jays are all offense.

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Triple Play Podcast Ep #9: Jays Misery, The Expos Franchise Mt. Rushmore + An Interview With Michael McKnight

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Monday, May  20th, 2013

The Triple Play Show will have 5 shows per month.  Each show will be about 1 hour

The Triple Play Show will have 5 shows per month. Each show will be about 1 hour.

By The Big Ticket Show ( AKA Triple Play Podcast on http://www.mlbreports.com)

Guests in this Podcast – Ian Hunter of bluejayhunter.com  ( and Michael McKnight [twitter-follow screen_name=’mcknight_mike_’ show_screen_name=’yes’

On this week’s show we once again find ourselves lamented the Blue Jays futility but this time Ian Hunter of bluejayhunter.com joins in the misery. Chris’ Expos jerseys inspires a trip down memory lane to pick our Expos Mt Rushmore. Finally Michael Mcknight of Sports Illustrated drops in to recount the tale of Brian Cole.  Its a must listen. Read the rest of this entry

Can The Blue Jays Weather The Jose Reyes Injury?

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Wednesday Apr.17/2013

Anthopoulos is about as prudent a man as you will find.  He is all smiles in this press conference, but he knows what is at stake.  He has deemed that the "time is now" for the Blue Jays to go for it all, and convinced his bosses to risk hundreds of millions of dollars.  If the team he has assembled does not compete, for any reason, he may be out of a job.  He is not the kind of guy who puts his feet up and becomes content.  His focus right now is on eliminating any causes for concern from the 2013 Blue Jays as possible, because they do still exist, despite the recent mania.

Anthopoulos is about as prudent a man as you will find. He is all smiles in this press conference, but he knows what is at stake. He has deemed that the “time is now” for the Blue Jays to go for it all, and convinced his bosses to risk hundreds of millions of dollars. If the team he has assembled does not compete, for any reason, he may be out of a job. The team has had a mediocre start at 6 – 7 in the tough AL East – and have lost their prime Leadoff Man for 3 months.  Going the extra mile to add depth in the franchise may enable the club to stay in contention until Jose Reyes comes back in July.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

Jose Reyes was the best player acquired over the winter by the Toronto Blue Jays.  He was supposed to be the Leadoff Hitter, provide speed and flash the glove at the Short Stop position.

The 30 Year Old was doing just that before going down in a heap at Second Base over the weekend stealing a bag.

Incredibly, the guy almost was injured even weeks doing the very same thing just a few weeks back.

Brett Lawrie was activated from the Disabled List last night.  The initial plan was to maybe play him at Second Base, with Jose Bautista moving back to Third Base.  This would put Maicer Izturis at Shortstop, with relegating Emilio Bonifacio to Right Field.

Jose Reyes Injury:

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Ricky Romero: Aiming For 2013 As The #5 Starter

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Tuesday March 19th, 2013

Ricky Romero had a rough 2012 campaign, posting a 9-14 record to go with a sky-high 5.77 ERA. He is looking to rebound in 2013 with the help of the revamped Blue Jays lineup and rotation.

Ricky Romero led the American League with 105 Walks – and featured a brutal WHIP of 1.674 en route to a 9 – 14 campaign with a 5.77 ERA. This was only a year removed from being an ALL – Star in 2010 – and finishing 10th in AL CY Young Voting. The Blue Jays Left Handed Pitcher was 15 – 11, with a 2.92 ERA and a 1.138 WHIP. After the year, the team traded for Josh Johnson, former AL Cy Young winner Mark Buerhle – and reigning NL CY Young winner R.A. Dickey. Along with fellow returning Blue Jays Starter Brandon Morrow.

Bernie Olshansky (Baseball Writer):

At the beginning of 2012, Ricky Romero was solidified as the number one starter in a strong Toronto Blue Jays roster. In the previous three years of his career, he only had an ERA above 4.00 once (in his rookie season, 4.30), and had won more than 10 games every year.

2012 was an absolute disaster for Romero as he posted a sky-high 5.77 ERA and a 9 – 14 record. He had fans confused as to how such a solid pitcher could do a complete 180 and turn from an ace to an iffy back-of-the-rotation starter.

Romero is in a very interesting situation for 2013. The Blue Jays added two very formidable starters in Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle when they acquired the two in a blockbuster trade with the Miami Marlins. The two former Marlins starters will help support the preexisting rotation consisting of Brandon Morrowand Romero..

Also in contention for a spot is Kyle Drabek, who has made starts over the past couple of years, but has never really stuck. Johnson, Buehrle, Morrow, and Alvarez will round out the top four spots, and Romero will most likely be the fifth starter for 2013.

Ricky Romero Interview:

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Toronto Blue Jays: Clubhouse Cohesion, New Faces, And The World Baseball Classic

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Monday, February 18th, 2013

Melky Cabrera, Jose Reyes and Edwin Encarnacion. 3 of the first 4 hitters in the 2013 Toronto Blue Jays lineup, and all from the Dominican Republic. In their first year as teammates on the Blue Jays, and one of their first spring training practices, have already become a close trio. Dominican slugger Jose Bautista is missing from this photo, but is the 4th piece of this dazzling 1-4 combination.

Melky Cabrera, Jose Reyes and Edwin Encarnacion. 3 of the first 4 hitters in the 2013 Toronto Blue Jays lineup, and all from the Dominican Republic. In their first year as teammates on the Blue Jays, and one of their first spring training practices, have already become a close trio. Dominican slugger Jose Bautista is missing from this photo, but is the 4th piece of this dazzling 1-4 combination.

By Alex Mednick (Baseball Analyst and Toronto Blue Jays Correspondent)

The Toronto Blue Jays had a very well publicized off-season.  Many moves were made, including two blockbuster trades, the signing of one of baseball’s best and most controversial contact hitters, and a new (old) manager.  A core of the former Blue Jays remained intact, but between the big moves made by GM Alex Anthopoulos this off-season, along with the smaller additions, the Blue Jays have 12 new players on their 25 man roster.  These 25 players are expected by many, to hit the gates running, and to at the very least, earn Toronto a spot in the playoffs come October 2013.

Clearly, team chemistry plays are huge part of winning championships.  We have seen numerous teams boasting extremely talented rosters have merely moderate success, and we have seen teams loaded with professional journeymen have historic success.  Michael Jordan is noted for making the comment, “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships”.

The 2013 Blue Jays are very unique in that while half of their team is in fact new to Toronto, many of these players have played together and have cultural bonds. The blockbuster trade with the Miami Marlins brought a total of 6 players to Toronto, all of whom, were quite obviously teammates in South Florida.  5 of these players are expected to immediately be impact players in the clubhouse. Another big trade with the Mets brought over three players who will likely contribute to the team to varying degrees, and have already formed close ties amongst each other due to the relationship that exists between a knuckleball pitcher and his battery mate.  Right off the bat, we can account for 8 of the 12 new players on the roster who at the very least, already are familiar with each other and are not entering a new city completely unfamiliar with their teammates. The following players might all make their way to the ALL-Star Game at Citi Field this year:  R.A. Dickey, Mark Buehrle, Jose Bautista, Jose Reyes and Edwin Encarnacion .

2013 Preview of the Toronto Blue Jays:

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The Toronto Blue Jays Franchise 1994-2012: Part 2 of a 7 Part Series

Wednesday, Nov.28th, 2012

Note from Chuck Booth:  I am attempting to bring the history for each of the 30 MLB Franchises into a 5-7 part series that will focus on 1. The teams history.  2. The hitters 3. The pitchers. 4. The Teams Payroll going into 2013 and 5.The Ball Park that they play in. (The stadium articles will all be done next summer when I go to all of the parks in under a month again.)  Be sure to check my author page with a list of all of  my archived articles section here.

Today’s Part 2 Feature of the Blue Jays Franchise will be written by our Baseball Writer Alex Mednick.  To do this franchise series service, Alex has studied this club a lot more than I have in the last 20 years and will do this article better justice for you the reader!

Alex Mednick (Baseball Writer and Analyst):

Note from Alex Mednick:  Chuck Booth offered to me the opportunity to step in to his Franchise Series and cover the Blue Jays history from 1994-Present. I gladly accepted the honor.

In Part 1 of this series, Chuck covered the Blue Jays history from their humble beginnings at Exhibition Stadium in 1977, through the glory years in the late 80s and early 90s.  The story dropped off right after the Blue Jays won back-to-back World Championships in 1992 and 1993.  We closed the books with the walk-off winning home run by Joe Carter to win the World Series, and the parties and celebrations that were to follow across Ontario, Canada.  I will pick it back up at the beginning of the 1994 season, when the Blue Jays had high hopes to win a third consecutive world championship.

(Scroll Down Past the Links or Click the READ MORE OF THIS ENTRY ICON.)

Franchise Series Links:

Franchise History Part 1 1977-1993:  http://mlbreports.com/2012/11/09/jays1/

The Hitters:  The Toronto Blue Jays Franchise Hitters: Part 3 Of A 7 Part Article Series: 

The Pitchers:  The Toronto Blue Jays Franchise Pitchers Part 4 Of A 7 Part Series

Skydome:  An Interview with ‘Rogers Centre Expert’ and “MLB reports Founder” Jonathan Hacohen Part 5 of 7

2013 Team Payroll:  http://mlbreports.com/2012/09/10/tor/

Special Bonus Fan Blog Of 2013 Team Payroll:   http://mlbreports.com/2012/09/12/torfanalex/

Read the rest of this entry

The Toronto Blue Jays Franchise Pitchers Part 4 Of A 7 Part Series

Monday, November 26th, 2012

Note from Chuck Booth:  I am attempting to bring the history for each of the 30 MLB Franchises into a 5 part series that will focus on 1. The teams history.  2. The hitters 3. The pitchers. 4. The Teams Payroll going into 2013 and 5.The Ball Park that they play in. (The stadium articles will all be done next summer when I go to all of the parks in under a month again.)  Be sure to check my author page with a list of all of  my archived articles section here.

 

Roy Halladay won 148 out of his 199 career wins under the years he played for the Blue Jays. After struggling with his mechanics early in his career, he was one of the best pitchers in the AL for the years of 2002-2009.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer/Website Owner):

The Toronto Blue Jays have had some incredible pitchers in their 35 years in the MLB.  From Dave Stieb being one of the top 2 pitchers in the 1980’s, to the dominant closers like Tom Henke and Duane Ward be part of their playoff runs, to Pat Hentgen and Juan Guzman firing out of their career like a sprinter making a mad dash for the finish line, to David Wells, Jimmy Key and Roger Clemens tasting success, awards and leading the league in many categories.  Finally, you had the premier pitcher in the American League with Roy Halladay in the 2002-2009 time frame.  Yes there may be some competition from C.C. Sabathia for that last claim, however no one will argue that Halladay is not one of the best pitchers of this ERA.  His being the Career Leader in winning percentage attests to that with 199 Wins versus 100 Losses (.666).  So let us take a journey through the franchise and recognize all of the best hurlers that have towed the hill for the Toronto club.  (Scroll Down Past the Links or Click the READ MORE OF THIS ENTRY ICON.)

Franchise Series Links:

Franchise History Part 1 1977-1993:  http://mlbreports.com/2012/11/09/jays1/

Franchise History Part 2 1994-2012: http://mlbreports.com/2012/11/28/jay/

The Toronto Blue Jays Franchise Hitters: Part 3 Of A 7 Part Article Series:  http://mlbreports.com/2012/11/16/torhitter/

Skydome Part 5 of 7 :  An Interview with ‘Rogers Centre Expert’ and “MLB reports Founder” Jonathan Hacohen

2013 Team Payroll  Part 6 of 7 :  http://mlbreports.com/2012/09/10/tor/

Special Bonus Fan Blog Of 2013 Team Payroll Part 7 of 7:   http://mlbreports.com/2012/09/12/torfanalex/

Read the rest of this entry

The Blue Jays New Reality: Building Towers on Shaky Ground

Saturday, November 23rd, 2012

The Blue Jays have made a lot of moves in a short period of time and added a jolt to a fan base which had become numb of 19 years of not competing. People are saying they will win, including Las Vegas odds makers. They certainly look way better on paper than they did two weeks ago and people have a reason to be excited with the direction the franchise is going. They have taken 2 quick steps forward, but what happens when Murphy’s Law strikes and they take 1, or 2 steps back? How good are they then?

Alex Mednick (Baseball Writer and Analyst):

There has been a lot of talk thus far about how the Blue Jays are slotted to be ultra-competitive.  And I don’t want to be a “negative-Nancy”, because this hype comes with good reason.  I, as a Blue Jays fan, am beyond thrilled with the organization allowing Alex Anthopoulos to pull the trigger and make this kind of off-season happen…there is no doubt that this is what Blue Jays fans have been waiting for over the last 18 years.  The Rogers family has shown that they aren’t simply using the Rogers Centre as the world’s largest billboard.  They demonstrated that they are committed to take the financial risks necessary to make this team competitive.  They said they would spend big $$$ when the “time came”, and they kept their word.  The time has definitely come when you have two guys hitting 40 home runs a season in the middle of your lineup.  I applaud the Rogers’ and the front office for saying something and sticking to it.

That being said, when I hear things like “we’re not done yet”, and, “the Blue Jays would like to add another front-line starter”, it soothes me and calms my nerves.  The truth is, and I don’t want to seem greedy, but I am not content with where the team is now.  If the past three seasons have shown us anything it is that over the course of 162-game season, injuries happen.  Bottom-line: the roster you start with on opening day, will not be your roster throughout the season.  Nobody has a rubber arm and muscles made of Teflon.  Murphy’s law is constantly looming over any clubhouse and just waiting to strike.  Look at 2012, we lost our 2, 3, and 4 slotted pitchers in 3 consecutive days! Read the rest of this entry

The Toronto Blue Jays Payroll 2013 and Contracts (Updated For MIA Trade Nov.13/2012)

Monday, September.10/2012

Note from Chuck Booth:  I am attempting to bring the history for each of the 30 MLB Franchises into a 5 part series that will focus on 1. The teams history.  2. The hitters 3. The pitchers. 4. The Teams Payroll going into 2013 and 5.The Ball Park that they play in. (The stadium articles will all be done next summer when I go to all of the parks in under a month again.)  Be sure to check my author page with a list of all of  my archived articles section here.

The Blue Jays have not qualified for the Playoffs since they won Back to Back World Series in 1992 and 1993. At that time, they were around the top of the MLB Payroll for all teams. How much will they spend in 2013?

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer):

It has been a disastrous season for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2012.  Only the Boston Red Sox can usurp them in the AL East for being more disappointing.  It is not entirely anyone’s fault, injuries to many key pitchers-plus the loss of Jose Bautista just after the All-Break, crippled the team’s ability to compete.  Just chalk up the season to unlucky.  Fortunately for the Blue Jays, Alex Anthopoulos has kept the team flexible with the payroll going forward.  I still think that getting out of the Vernon Wells and Alex Rios contracts was the biggest ‘Houdini Act’ of the New Millennium.  Since he got out from under those contracts, only Joey Bats makes more than 10 Million Dollars now on the club.  To contend in the AL East, the Jays will need to spend at least 100-110 Million Dollars.  The core of the team is intact for a couple of more years.  From 2013-2016 is the clubs best window to make a charge at the playoffs and have some success.

Perhaps the best move that the Blue Jays GM did this year was to lock up Edwin Encarnacion to a 3 YR/27 Million Dollar contract before he hit the Free Agency Market.  In a downtrodden year, EE could have requested an arm and leg for his services and been obliged.  He left between 8-10 Million Dollars on the Table in my opinion.  The keys will be to lock up a couple of their young player to long-term contracts.  The catching looks solid (Arencibia and Mathis) for years to come with some more prospects filtering through the Minor Leagues (Travis D’arnaurd.)  Trading away Eric Thames and Travis Snider paved the way for the club to lock-up Colby Rasmus long-term-and maybe take a run at a power hitting Outfielder.  The team’s starting pitching must heal up from multiple Tommy John Surgeries and come back to be relevant.  The team should definitely be players for free agent pitchers.  

For Part 1 of a 7 Part Article Series:  The Toronto Blue Jays Franchise 1977-1993, click here

For Part 7 of the 7 Part Series:  Blue Jays 2013 Team Payroll:  A Readers Thoughts, Click Here:

Josh Johnson brings a career record of 56-37 (.602) to the Blue Jays lineup in 2013. With one year and 13.75 Million Dollars left on this current deal. will Toronto try and extend him or wait to see if he can stay healthy all year.

Read the rest of this entry

Moises Sierra Has a Future in the Majors: A Blue Jays Work in Progress

Sunday August 26th, 2012

Sam Evans: When Toronto Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos traded away both Travis Snider and Eric Thames at the trade deadline, it created an opportunity for unheralded twenty-three year old outfielder Moises Sierra. Sierra has a chance to show Toronto that he should be part of their future in these final couple months of the season. With his 70-grade arm and his ability to produce runs at a solid pace, Sierra could have a job in the majors for years to come. However, Sierra has a lot of work to do to become a candidate for playing time at Rogers Centre in 2013.

Moises Sierra was signed by the Blue Jays out of the Dominican Republic back in 2005. This was before the Blue Jays dominated the scouting world, so Sierra has never been an “Anthopoulos guy”. From 2006 to 2008, Sierra had some rough numbers for different teams, but he showed enough to be promoted from the DSL, in 2006, to earning a starting job in High-A for the 2009 season. Sierra had a 122 wRC+ at High-A in 2009, but he missed most of the 2010 season due to a stress fracture in his leg and a couple of other minor injuries. Read the rest of this entry

What’s Wrong with Ricky Romero? Jays Hope Their Ace Can Return to Form

Thursday August 2nd, 2012

John Burns:  The 2012 season has been one to forget for Ricky Romero. Romero was the Blue Jays ace coming into this season after posting a 2.92 ERA in 2011. This year has been a complete disaster for Romero. The Jays lefty has a 5.68 ERA this season and has allowed 82 earned runs in 129.2 innings. Last year, Romero allowed 73 earned runs in 225 innings. It’s obvious that something is not right with Romero this year. Romero has also lost seven straight starts for Toronto. The second half has been even rougher for Romero. Since the All-Star break, he has 8.38 ERA. Read the rest of this entry

The Interesting Case of Francisco Liriano: Twins Look to Move a Starter by the Trade Deadline

Thursday July 26th, 2012

Bryan Sheehan (MLB Writer): There is no doubt that the Minnesota Twins are going to be sellers this year at the trade deadline. At 18 games under .500, they have the worst record in the American League, and with a team ERA of an even 5.00, they find themselves only ahead of the Colorado Rockies at the bottom in terms of pitching. According to Jayson Stark , the Twins are willing to move “just about anybody” on their roster, and all signs point to starter Francisco Liriano’s departure. The troubled starter ranks 93 out of 101 qualified pitchers in ERA (5.31) and is just one loss off a league worst 11. Liriano’s $5.5 million salary is fifth highest among Twins players, and it goes without saying that his performances are well below what he’s being paid. But does that mean he has no trade value? Read the rest of this entry

Toronto Blue Jays: 2012 Trade Deadline Predictions

Friday July 13th, 2012

Alexander McWilliams (MLB reports Intern Candidate):  As of yesterday, the Toronto Blue Jays and their fans can completely throw out the idea of trading the surging Edwin Encarnacion at the trade deadline on July 31st. General Manager Alex Anthopoulos locked up the 1st basemen/Designated Hitter to a 3-year deal worth $27 million, with a club option in 2016 worth a reported $10 million. With this deal taking place some 19 days before the trade deadline, what can fans expect to happen with their beloved Blue Jays? Many say they will be sellers, and others say buyers. Buy why can’t they be both?

                  The Blue Jays have developed, arguably, the best farm system in the MLB ever since Alex Anthopoulos took over as GM. Not only do they possess some of the best pitching prospects, but position players as well. All teams across the league are more than aware of the injuries that Toronto has suffered over the past few months, and could look to exploit said farm system in order to provide an immediate need for the team north of the border. Names such as Justin Upton, Carlos Quentin, Matt Garza, and Cole Hamels are the big names being talked about by a lot of teams these past few months. All are huge impact players which could benefit any team that acquired their services, but at what cost? Read the rest of this entry

The 2012 Toronto Blue Jays: Need a Big Bat to Contend in the A.L. East

Tuesday May 2nd, 2012

Rob Bland:  Much has been said about the quiet offseason that Toronto Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos underwent.  After the uproar that was caused by the media in the Yu Darvis bidding process, and the Prince Fielder free agency, fans became upset that Anthopoulos was just sitting on his hands.  The fact that Anthopoulos stated numerous times that they would not be major players in free agency seemed to fall on deaf ears.  Anthopoulos has been adamant about building this team with young and athleticism, the latter of which is something that Prince Fielder doesn’t necessarily embody.  That’s no knock against Prince, because he is paid to mash, not steal bases. 

The question is asked, do the Jays need a big bat or another arm to take that final leap into contention in the American League East?  Now, I could answer this a few different ways.  Read the rest of this entry

An Interview With Safeco Field Expert Doug Miller

Thursday April 19, 2012


Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024)- Doug Miller is another Pacific West guy that exemplifies what it is like to be a ball park chaser.  Living on the this side of the mountains forces you to exercise every single one of your travel tricks to make it to all of the MLB Parks you can.  Doug has made it to the majority of the current parks.  He is knowledgeable, a class act and it is a shame that the baseball world does not hire this man and use some of his skills.  Today Doug is our Safeco Field Expert and the subject of our featured article.

CB: “Welcome to the MLB Reports Experts Interview Doug. Please tell us about yourself and then give us a bit of background information on your life as Mariners ticket fan?”

DM:You bet, thanks for having me!  It’s funny, but I wasn’t a baseball fan when I was a kid.  I played some Little League for a while, but was awful at it.  Right Field all the way.  Ha-ha.  I had some friends that were on the baseball team in high school and I really started getting into the game in a different way.  This was back in 1988-1992 –- I didn’t know this interview was going to make me feel old!  I knew a few guys from school that got drafted, so I paid more attention because I thought I could be watching these guys in the Kingdome someday, whether with the Mariners or the couple of other teams they got drafted by.  My enthusiasm was ramping up, I’m in college and watching games at WSU, I’m hitting a handful of games in Seattle during break and then BOOM, the strike.  I was happy when it started back up, and by the time I got out of WSU, baseball was just a way of life for me.  Since then I’ve hit close to 50 ballparks, but Safeco Field is my home away from home.”

CB: “You have been to nearly all the baseball park. Besides Safeco Field, what has been your favorite other ballpark so far?”

DM; “Definitely Fenway, with Wrigley as a close second.  One of the things about the game that I really love is the history.  It’s hard to argue with the history of the franchises and these parks.  I had my first games at Petco last year and was really surprised at how much I liked it.  I thought it was going to feel kind of forced, you know, with the whole retro vibe so many parks have gone for, but I really liked it.  There are a ton of parks I like for different reasons, like Citizens Bank in Philly.  Without a doubt the best smelling park in baseball!  I could talk ballparks all day long, I know you’re the same way!” Read the rest of this entry

Daniel Bard: Future Red Sox Ace?

Thursday March 15, 2012

Rob Bland (Baseball Writer):  With most of Red Sox Nation knowing that big time closer Jonathan Papelbon would be leaving the team via free agency after the 2011 season, many thought that it would be a seamless transition to throw Daniel Bard into the mix as the closer for the foreseeable future.  However, new Red Sox GM Ben Cherington surprised many when he announced that Bard would be stretched out as a starter in the spring.

Now, it’s not the first time a good reliever has been turned into a starter, and many of them have turned into useful starters.  C.J. Wilson is just one of these successful conversions, having been the Texas Rangers’ closer from 2007-2009, then shifting into the rotation for 2010 and 2011.  Wilson earned 46 saves in those 3 seasons, and after his move to the rotation, he went 31-15 and accumulated 10.5 WAR, putting him in the upper echelon of starters.

This year, another closer for the Rangers will be shifting to the rotation in Neftali Feliz.  Many believe that he will struggle. But if C.J. Wilson, who was a decent reliever can do it, why not Feliz?  Why not Bard?

Bard has an electric fastball, averaging over 97 mph over his MLB career.  He also has a solid slider that sits around 84 mph.  Bard has induced ground balls at an extremely high rate; 48.6% over 197 IP.  Bard has lowered his walk rate, as well as HR/FB while maintaining an extremely low BABIP over the last two seasons, .215 and .224, respectively.

Bard hasn’t started a game since 2007 when he was in single-A ball.  He threw 75 innings of 7.08 ERA, striking out 47 and walking 78.  Obviously a lot of those control issues are behind him, as evidenced by his shrinking BB/9; 4.01, 3.62, and 2.96 in 2009, 2010, and 2011, respectively.  Bard has been able to get guys out with a fastball that touches 100 mph, and a plus slider.  The problem here is that he only ever threw one inning at a time, and thus rarely needed a third pitch.  According to brooksbaseball.net, in 2011, Bard threw his change-up 83 times, which is only 7.5% of all his pitches, in contrast to 64% on his fastball, and 25% on his slider.  He also threw 46 sinkers, around 4.1%.

In such a small sample size of changeups, one should definitely not get too excited over the results.  However, in 2011, Bard fared pretty well with his change-up.  He was able to induce swings on 48.19% of his changeups, and 25% of those were swing-and-misses.  His changeup was put in play 23% of the time, and had a ground ball rate of 63%.

In no way does this mean it is a good changeup. However, it does seem promising.  It is also possible that Bard just throws them at the most opportune time, and delivers when necessary.  It could also mean that he is incredibly lucky.

With Bard having to throw 6+ innings every 5th day, how will his arm hold up moving to the rotation?  Most relievers have a limit in their first years starting as to how many innings they will throw.

Brandon Morrow was moved to the rotation full time when he was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays, and was shut down after 146 innings in 2010, and threw only 179 innings in 2011. This year, there will be no limitations on the hard throwing righty, whose profile closely fits that of Bard.  Morrow can get his fastball in the upper 90s as well as having a devastating slider.  His success has been only moderate due to mediocre offerings in his curve ball and changeup.

Bard’s development as a starter rests mostly on the development of his changeup.  If he is able to use it more often and maintain success with it, he could be a solid starter this year and going forward.  The other extremely important thing to look at is whether new manager Bobby Valentine will limit his innings, or let him go for the full season, as the Rangers did with Wilson in 2010 (204 IP).

I see Bard throwing somewhere around 170 innings this year, and performing fairly well, getting acclimated to throwing every 5th day.  His changeup is developing, and if he harnesses it, he could be a deadly addition to a rotation that includes Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, and Clay Buchholz.


***Today’s feature was prepared by Baseball Writer, Rob Bland.  We highly encourage you to leave your comments and feedback at the bottom of the page and share in the discussion with our readers.  You can also follow Rob on Twitter.***

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Ricky Romero: Future CY Young Award Winner?

Friday February 17th, 2012

 

Rob Bland:  When Ricky Romero was taken 6th overall in the 2005 MLB Draft, ahead of the likes of shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, and outfielders Andrew McCutchen and Jay Bruce, I was shocked, and to be honest, a little bit angry.  Romero was a good pitcher at Cal State – Fullerton, but he was raw; an unfinished product that still needed a lot of work.  Tulowitzki was a tremendous defensive shortstop with plus power potential.  He was bound to be a good Major League shortstop, whereas Romero was still very much a question mark.  McCutchen is a superstar in the making in Pittsburgh, and Jay Bruce is really starting to come together, hitting 100 home runs in his first four seasons.  While these three position players often come up in conversation that they will be perennial All-Stars or future MVPs, Romero has not quite garnered that attention.  He was an All-Star in 2011, albeit after a number of players declined their invitation to participate. But will Romero ever gain notoriety as a potential Cy Young Award candidate? Read the rest of this entry

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