Daily Archives: September 12, 2012

Just How Bad Are The Houston Astros?

Wednesday September 12th, 2012

Sam Evans: The 2012 Houston Astros are breaking records every day. If you have followed baseball at all these last two years, you know that these aren’t records that are normally associated with winning baseball teams. At their current pace, this year’s Houston team is on pace to lose at least 111 games. What Jeff Luhnow and others are doing to turn around the losing in Houston looks great, but it doesn’t hide the fact that the product the Astros are putting out on the field is historically bad.

Since 1962, only one team (the 2003 Detroit Tigers) has lost more than 108 games in a single-season. The 2003 Detroit Tigers were pretty awful, but it’s not like they were bereft of talent. That team featured a young Jeremy Bonderman in the rotation and Fernando Rodney pitched out of the bullpen. That Tigers team also had Dmitri Young, Carlos Pena, Omar Infante, Andres Torres, and Cody Ross. Looking at the current Astros’ roster, I don’t see anywhere close to that level of talent. Read the rest of this entry

Was Edwin Jackson The Most Valuable Free Agent Signing During The Offseason? Smart Move By The Nationals

Wednesday September 12th, 2012

Jake Dal Porto: During all the chaos that surrounded Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder during the offseason, the Washington Nationals made a very sneaky addition to their pitching staff by adding Edwin Jackson. The deal was signed in early February, which made it the final piece to their rotation, as Gio Gonzalez was added before Jackson. But this move flew under the radar as Pujols and Fielder garnered most of the media. Obviously that didn’t come as a surprise. Now, Jackson looks like the most valuable offseason signing.

The thing about Jackson, is that he didn’t break the Nationals’ bank. He came at a reasonable $11 million price tag, and compared to the contracts that Pujols (10 Year, $254 Million) and Fielder (10 Year $214 Million) brought in, Jackson’s contract is practically nothing. Simply, he’s a value player. Talent-wise, he clearly isn’t as respected and accomplished as Pujols and Fielder. But that’s not the point.

However, Jackson won’t be flying under the radar for much longer now that Stephen Strasburg is out of the equation. He will have to play a much bigger role in a starting pitching staff that leads the National League in ERA (3.32). Yes, the Nationals have decent alternatives to fill Strasburg’s void. Those alternatives being Ross Detwiler and John Lannan, but Jackson takes an immense step up depth chart pyramid. Gio Gonzalez now assumes the “ace” role, Jordan Zimmerman follows him, and now Edwin Jackson is third option which means higher expectations. It also means that Jackson’s production can’t be taken as a bonus anymore. His production is now crucial for the Nationals to continue to find success on the pitching area of the game. If he depletes, the Nats are suddenly down to two consistent arms— Gonzalez and Zimmerman. That’s no longer intimidating.

Can he thrive under the pressure? Read the rest of this entry

The Blue Jays Payroll 2013: A Reader’s thoughts On The Jays Part 7 of a 7 Article Series

Wednesday, September.12/2012

Note from Chuck Booth:  Sometimes at the Reports, we are fortunate to have someone take out some serious time to write a huge-detailed explanation of their thoughts on a piece we have written about.  I was blown away by the enthusiasm of one of these such readers.  Alex Mednick and I started back and forth on the piece I wrote about the 2013 Toronto Blue Jays and I suggested that we should give his analysis a full appreciation by posting it in a guest column for him,  So this is Alex’s guest column:

Alex Anthopoulos has fixed a lot of the problems that J.P. Ricciardi left him with. It will take a few more years to see the club reap the benefits of the stock-piled talent coming from the replenished Minor League System.

Alex Mednick: (Special Guest Writer):

Update after the Nov.13 Trade with Miami:

Man, I gotta say…The move with the Miami Marlins made by the Blue Jays shows that management want’s to play ball.  Signing Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle give the Blue Jays two bonafide front-end starters to add into the mix in 2013.  With a healthy year from Johnson and Morrow, you’ve got to guys with electric stuff going 1-2, and Buehrle is about as solid of a #3 any team could wish for.  Romero in the number 4 slot, takes a lot of pressure off of him to bounce back, and even if he can simply perform at 90% of what he is capable of…it’s a pretty sight for the Blue Jays to have this kind of rotation in the AL East.  Management definitely quieted some dubious fans and put it’s money where it’s mouth is!  

The signing of 29 year old Jose Reyes gives the Blue Jays a superstar shortstop up the middle for the next 5 years.  A guy to lead off who gets on base and steals 40+ bases a year will be very nice to set up the table for Bautista, Encarnacaion and Lawrie.  And I wouldn’t be surprised if the Blue Jays still added some more pop to the lineup by trading for an offensively minded left fielder or DH.  

The Blue Jays inherited a lot of salary from the deal, but only parted with a few prospects from their deep farm system (Nicolino…one of the Big 3 pitchers, Hechevarria, and Marisnick).  They now have Bonifacio and Izturis at 2nd base who are nearly identical players and can deal from a sudden strength there in a emaciated 2nd base market…and they have a plethora of catchers in another thin market, that they can trade.  Not to mention the remainder of their extensively talented farm system which they can use as trade bait.  

I don’t think the Blue Jays are happy with expecting Adam Lind to bounce back, and I’m unsure whether they are comfortable with Gose/Rasmus in CF either so I would expect them to bring in another outfielder or DH.  They already have incredible speed on the basepaths between Gose, Lawrie, Bonifacio, Reyes and Davis.  

They may still go after ANOTHER pitcher in the mold of Edwin Jackson, but it is doubtful that they want to spend any more money on the rotation after acquiring Johnson and Buehrle.  If they did anything it would likely be via trade, but why when they have Drew Hutchinson, Kyle Drabek, JA Happ and a bunch of other great 5th starter possibilities laying in wait?  They are more likely at this point to use trading chips for offense/and or bench players.

The Blue Jays finally made a bold move that shows they recognize that with their current players/contracts/core and the current health of the AL East…the time to strike was now…we couldn’t continue to wait for a rich farm to develop and then harvest.  Who would have ever guessed that the two front end starters we required this offseason would come in a single trade? Out of nowhere! And we knew that Yunel Escobar was on the trading block, but we never would have expected to have a Super Star like Jose Reyes at SS for the next 5 years?  I know the Blue Jays inquired on Reyes last year during the offseason, but wow…All we can say is “Thank you Mr. Loria”.

I really enjoyed your analysis of the Blue Jays future (for that blog click here ) along with your digest of the various possibilities and directions that may chose going forward.

Furthermore, you hit the nail on the head: When Alex Anthopoulos  inherited this team from J.P. Ricciardi, he was merely a protégé of a failed, and over-hyped GM (Ricciardi), who was the protégé of Billy Beane…possibly also “over-hyped”. If Anthopoulos learned anything from his time working under J.P. Ricciardi, and his time sweeping floors in Montreal it may have been this: “While some people may quantify your value based on perceived potential, it is best to quantify yourself on what you have actually done”. Therefore, Anthoploulos wasted no time making moves and proving to all of Canada (along with most of baseball) that he truly is a Ninja. Somehow, someway…he was able to convince the Angels brass, and the ChiSox to fill in the holes that Ricciardi had dug with contract extensions to Vernon Wells and Alex Rios (respectively).

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

For Part 6 of the 7 Part Series:  Blue Jays 2013 Team Payroll Click here:

Read the rest of this entry

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