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***Official Jays Thread*** Lots of optimism, again.


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Jason Frasor accepts arbitration.

I predict this will generate more discussion than the Derek Jeter deal
:ptts:Also, Miguel Olivo has officially declined arbitration, meaning when the Jays traded for him they were just buying the compensatory draft pick like most people suspected.
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On it's face, I don't really like this trade ***If**** Lawrie is supposed to be Snider's replacement when/if Snider/Drabek get dealt for Grienke. Lawrie, like Snider is supposed to have a great bat, but no position (both are likely corner outfielders in the long term), Lawrie is only 20 and still in AA. So, Lawrie's young for AA, and did well there but on the other hand, at 20 Snider was already in the majors. Now if the Jays keep Lawrie and Snider and Drabek, I can get behind this deal. The Jays have a ton of pitching prospects and few blue chip offensive prospects, so down the road, this makes sense. On a talent for talent basis, the Jays likely come out on top... but not for 3 years, and I'm hoping this team makes a real run in 2012 (as the thread title says).

Marcum had the fewest years of control left of the Jays pitchers and is coming due for a raise. The Jays insist they're willing to go over 100 million to compete "when the time is right" but this deal, if it's the only deal, only serves to push that timeline backwards and save salary.

Marcum is less talented than all of Cecil/Morrow/Romero/Drabek but he was the leader of the Blue Jays staff and he really stepped up and brought the group together after Halladay left.

He had a lot of trouble with New York/Boston/Tampa this season, again likely because his approach is better than his physical gifts, but I could see him feasting on the NL Central.

Marcum:

vs NY Yankees

0-1 in 1 game with a 7.50 era

vs Boston Red Sox

1-3 in 5 games with a 5.34 era

vs Tampa Bay Rays

0-2 in 4 games with a 5.55 era

vs Baltimore Orioles

2-0 in 4 games with a 1.13 era

Edited by Northern Voice
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Great interview here with Alex Anthopolous. Talks about ownership realizing that Toronto isn't in any way a small market, about competing in the AL East, about the Montreal Expos, and more:

http://blogs.thescore.com/mlb/2010/12/06/a...ex-anthopoulos/

Alex Anthopoulos began his baseball career with the Montreal Expos organization, where he worked for three years. The Montreal native moved to the Blue Jays in 2003, where he took over as scouting coordinator. Two years later, he earned a promotion to assistant general manager, then vice president of baseball operations.

Finally at the end of the 2009 season, Anthopoulos took over the big chair, becoming one of the youngest GMs in the game at age 32. Armed with a scouting background, he’s vowed to try and outscout the competition, and building a Blue Jays team that can contend over the long haul.

Just ahead of the Winter Meetings, I talked to Anthopoulos about the challenges of competing in the toughest division in baseball, the little (and big) moves the Jays can make to get back on top, and the sleeping giant potential of North America’s fifth-biggest market.

Jonah Keri: Are there any lessons the Jays can draw from the Expos’ failure, on the field or off?

Alex Anthopoulos: There are lessons we can draw from their success. You look at the people in that front office over the year, how so many of them spun off to do good things, how they developed really good baseball executives. From a baseball standpoint, they were one of the models used in scouting and player development. The failures were really the financial component. But you can’t argue with the quality of the product and how well the team played.

As a Montrealer I do believe that with a new stadium, it would have worked. Look at the Alouettes. They played in the Big O, didn’t draw flies. They move to an outdoor stadium and have great success. Montrealers love being outside, relaxing, having a beer, enjoying the city. There’s a tremendous passion for sports.

When I left, we were tied with the Marlins for the wild card that last year, in late 2003. There was excitement in the city, we were drawing 30,000-plus, and that’s after everything the team had been through, all the rumors of them moving away. People were dying for a winner, it was loud and exciting. Why couldn’t the Expos have been the Minnesota Twins? Or the Mariners after the Kingdome?

Keri: The 2010 Forbes franchise rankings had the Jays 26th in franchise value, and 25th in revenue. That’s despite playing in the fifth most populous city in North America. Has Rogers given you a mandate to run the team as if it’s a small-market club, or do you see opportunity to become something bigger?

Anthopoulos: There’s a huge opportunity here. Due respect to Montreal, but the greater Toronto area has something like 7 million people, and Rogers Communications is probably the wealthiest owner in MLB. They have huge synergies when you consider all of Rogers’ media properties, coast to coast.

People talk about what the Indians did in the past, growing their product and drawing 3 million fans. 3 million is a great achievement, but don’t forget, Toronto once drew 4 million. Of course Toronto is a market where you need to have a winning team. It’s not like with the Cubs where fans just show up. The window for other markets is limited, because there’s only so much upside for payroll. For us, if we can build the foundation of a great team, payroll, attendance and revenue can all climb together. The upside here is massive.

Keri: So where would that leave you in terms of payroll? No one’s going to match the Yankees, but could the Jays be on par with teams at that next tier down?

Anthopoulos: We all understand, and it starts with ownership, that we are a large market. We got away from that, we forgot how large the market was. This is a massive market with massive upside. The fan base is certainly there, they’ve shown it in the past. It’s on us to put a great product on the field that can be good for years, not a quick fix for the short term. If we can do that…not New York, but Chicago, Anaheim, Seattle? We absolutely have the upside to be there.

Keri: The question, like you said, is when to ramp up. The Tigers lost 119 games in 2003. The next off-season, they threw substantial dollars at veterans like Pudge Rodriguez and Rondell White, even though they obviously weren’t going anywhere in ‘04. But two years after that, Pudge is the starting catcher on a World Series team. Is that part of the plan, to sign veteran players to decent-sized deals, even if you feel you’re not quite ready to contend, and hope to benefit the way the Tigers did?

Anthopoulos: There’s lot of merit to that approach, a lot of value. Of course the question is always, what’s the expense, how many years. We signed some veterans to short-term deals last year, guys like Alex Gonzalez and John Buck. Gonzalez was one year plus an option, giving us a starting shortstop in a thin market for that position. Buck was a one-year deal, so we could see what would happen to J.P. Arencibia. So yes, we would look at it–we have looked at it. It’s just a matter of finding the right player.

Keri: With Gonzalez it seems to have worked out perfectly: You signed him at an affordable price, he put up nice numbers, the Braves got fed up with their shortstop, and suddenly you add a player who’s six years younger. Is that part of the rationale, hope to catch lightning in a bottle with a 30-something veteran, then flip him for prospects or young major league talent as soon as you can?

Anthopoulos: If it’s young players who are just average or fringe-average, that doesn’t make sense. Because of the division we play in, the teams they put together, we need to get as much upside as we can. There’s a risk component involved, that’s part of it. But we’d rather shoot high and miss.

If we were in a different division, our strategy could probably be tweaked. But the win totals required to get into the playoffs in the AL East, they’re 95 and above. You can build a very good team, and we have. Gord Ash had a team with 88 wins, J.P. had 87 wins. We had one year where we were number one in ERA in both the rotation and bullpen, but that still wasn’t enough. You certainly can get into the playoffs with 88 wins elsewhere. In this division, you need to be that much better.

Keri: Another benefit to acquiring veterans is if you get one who’s coming up on free agency, you stand to gain compensation draft picks. Last month you traded for Miguel Olivo, kept him for a few hours, bought him out for $500,000, and now you’ll get a comp pick as a result. Is this the type of move we should expect more of from you in the future?

Anthopoulos: With Olivo, we had John Buck as a free agent, and it was clear last off-season that catcher and shortstop were two positions we wanted to solidify. We had the opportunity to acquire Olivo for a short period of time. That gave us the right to negotiate with the player, being the only team who could communicate with him. He had a pretty attractive club option at $2.5 million too. The acquisition cost made it a no-brainer.

It’s the same thing with acquiring someone just before the non-tender deadline, you get that exclusive window. We considered whether we should we pick up the option, sign him to a new deal, potentially decline, potentially secure a draft pick. The flexibility to do all those things made the move make sense.

Keri: If you are going to run the team on a small budget, you would seem to have a blueprint to follow in the Rays, a team that won the AL East twice in three years, despite playing with a payroll a fraction the size of Boston’s and New York’s. What lessons can you draw from the Rays’ success?

Anthopoulos: Pffft. Where do I start? What they’ve done with the resources they had. It’s been said that they finished in last place, and piled up top draft picks. Some players came from there, sure. But the number of smart trades and good moves they made really showed how they could recognize value. They are absolutely one of the best-run franchises in baseball, arguably the best-run franchise. It hasn’t been a fluke or a flash in the pan. Scouting, player development, they plan well, they were built well, they have an identity. I think it all speaks for itself.

Keri: You’ve talked a lot about trying to outscout the competition. On a percentage basis, how much bigger would you say your scouting staff is now than it used to be?

Anthopoulos: We expanded it quite a bit, but part of that’s because it was low. We added a lot to the pro side. We just felt we needed more looks. We felt we were a little understaffed.

Keri: Is there a proven, objective way to evaluate the quality of a scout?

Anthopoulos: Well the best way is to see whether they were right or wrong in their reports. I don’t think you can do it in real time, though, everything is hindsight. Like with a scouting director. To rate and evaluate your draft that same year, you just can’t do it. You need to let time pass.

Keri: What did you see in Brandon Morrow that you liked when you traded for him? For all of his talent, he had plenty of flaws at the time too, especially struggling with command. Was this move along the lines of what you mentioned before, go after high-upside players with flaws, trade a veteran who’s not part of your long-term plans like Brandon League, and hope to hit the lottery like you may have with Morrow?

Anthopoulos: It was League and also Johermyn Chavez–he was ultimately the player that got the deal done. League and Morrow had been talked about. With Chavez, we were reluctant to part with him, but that was the chance we were willing to take.

But yes, you don’t get players [like Morrow] when they’re performing at their peak. You have to take a chance that they will improve after you acquire them, so you look for the right timing. You’ll make quite a few mistakes. But hopefully you’re right more than you’re wrong.

Keri: While doing my reporting for The Extra 2%, I asked [baltimore Orioles president of baseball operations] Andy MacPhail about strategies for competing in the AL East against teams like the Yankees and Red Sox. One thing he said was so blunt, it really surprised me. He said free agent starting pitchers just will not sign with an AL East team that’s not New York or Boston. Do you buy that?

Anthopoulos: What I would say is a starting pitcher would not come to the AL East at comparable dollars. I’m a big, “How can we?” guy. I don’t believe in absolutes, that you can’t do this or that. Everybody has a price, the question is do you want to pay that price. If it comes down to straight market value of a player, a lot of players may elect to go elsewhere. With the Yankees and Red Sox, they may just outbid other clubs, like the Yankees did with Sabathia, and other clubs don’t have the financial wherewithal to beat their bid. If an elite starter is coming into the AL East, those clubs can go more dollars and years, it’s just a matter of if they choose to do that.

I am not deterred by financial statements, though. I’m more deterred by the brains of every other GM in this division. They have all won. They’ve all won division titles, they have all been to the World Series, they’re all incredibly bright. That’s much more challenging. In business, is it the company or the leadership of a company that matters most? Most people would say it’s the leadership. As much as you look at the front of the jersey, it’s who’s making the decisions that can make or break a team.

Competing with those GMs, that’s the daunting challenge. Many teams have proven that they can win while spending less money, strictly due to the management of the club. Put these four GMs in another division–taking nothing away from other GMs in the game–but put these four in another division and I’d say that becomes of the harder divisions as well. It’s compounded by resources, sure. But that doesn’t concern me nearly as much as the intelligence of these guys.

Keri: The Jays hit 257 home runs last season, the most by any team in five years. How did that happen?

Anthopoulos: We thought we would be a team, with the track record of the players we had, we thought we’d potentially have seven players with 20-plus home runs. That we would not be up there in on-base percentage, but slugging percentage and home runs were going to be significant. Did we expect to hit that high a total? No. But we thought we’d hit a lot.

Keri: This wasn’t park effects or anything like that, was it?

Anthopoulos: No, not park effects. Two, three years ago, our slugging wasn’t good at all. We had that year where we led baseball in starters’ and bullpen ERA. But this team was different. Encarnacion had hit 26 in a season, Buck had 8 in just 186 at-bats the year before. Bautista…well, we certainly didn’t expect him to hit as many as he did, but he’d shown power, look at the September prior. Wells and Lind had hit 30, Hill had 30, Overbay 20, Gonzalez 23. Guys like Bautista exceeded expectations by a lot. But guys like Fred Lewis didn’t hit a lot more than in the past. We pitched well also. This was just how our team was built.

Keri: Finally, and let’s face it, most importantly…best souvlaki in Montreal?

Anthopoulos: Village Grec, it’s a small place on Jean-Talon. Definitely the best.

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It seems unlikely that the Jays get Grienke now that they've traded Marcum. If they could swap Lawrie and Drabek for Grienke, from a Jays perspective they've actually dealt Marcum & Drabek for him... not sure if they'd like that or not. From a KC perspective, I would insist Snider be part of the deal. After Romero/Marcum, he's likely the most valuable trade piece the Jays have.

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It seems unlikely that the Jays get Grienke now that they've traded Marcum. If they could swap Lawrie and Drabek for Grienke, from a Jays perspective they've actually dealt Marcum & Drabek for him... not sure if they'd like that or not. From a KC perspective, I would insist Snider be part of the deal. After Romero/Marcum, he's likely the most valuable trade piece the Jays have.

Still think the Blue Jays should make that deal. If it is Drabek, Snider and a couple lower level prospects, they should do it. Greinke is a legit # 1 starter. I wonder if Lawrie is ready they start him at 2nd and move Hill to 3rd. With a couple more moves, the Jays will be right in the thick of the East, IMO. I think getting Greinke would be the first step. Then securing a 1B (Derek Lee/Adam Laroche).
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It seems unlikely that the Jays get Grienke now that they've traded Marcum. If they could swap Lawrie and Drabek for Grienke, from a Jays perspective they've actually dealt Marcum & Drabek for him... not sure if they'd like that or not. From a KC perspective, I would insist Snider be part of the deal. After Romero/Marcum, he's likely the most valuable trade piece the Jays have.

Still think the Blue Jays should make that deal. If it is Drabek, Snider and a couple lower level prospects, they should do it. Greinke is a legit # 1 starter.

I wonder if Lawrie is ready they start him at 2nd and move Hill to 3rd.

With a couple more moves, the Jays will be right in the thick of the East, IMO. I think getting Greinke would be the first step. Then securing a 1B (Derek Lee/Adam Laroche).

Lawrie is 20, has never been above AA, isn't a polished defender and appears to be a bit of a doosh
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It seems unlikely that the Jays get Grienke now that they've traded Marcum. If they could swap Lawrie and Drabek for Grienke, from a Jays perspective they've actually dealt Marcum & Drabek for him... not sure if they'd like that or not. From a KC perspective, I would insist Snider be part of the deal. After Romero/Marcum, he's likely the most valuable trade piece the Jays have.

Still think the Blue Jays should make that deal. If it is Drabek, Snider and a couple lower level prospects, they should do it. Greinke is a legit # 1 starter.

I wonder if Lawrie is ready they start him at 2nd and move Hill to 3rd.

With a couple more moves, the Jays will be right in the thick of the East, IMO. I think getting Greinke would be the first step. Then securing a 1B (Derek Lee/Adam Laroche).

Lawrie is 20, has never been above AA, isn't a polished defender and appears to be a bit of a doosh
:lmao:

Point taken.

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It seems unlikely that the Jays get Grienke now that they've traded Marcum. If they could swap Lawrie and Drabek for Grienke, from a Jays perspective they've actually dealt Marcum & Drabek for him... not sure if they'd like that or not. From a KC perspective, I would insist Snider be part of the deal. After Romero/Marcum, he's likely the most valuable trade piece the Jays have.

Still think the Blue Jays should make that deal. If it is Drabek, Snider and a couple lower level prospects, they should do it. Greinke is a legit # 1 starter.

I wonder if Lawrie is ready they start him at 2nd and move Hill to 3rd.

With a couple more moves, the Jays will be right in the thick of the East, IMO. I think getting Greinke would be the first step. Then securing a 1B (Derek Lee/Adam Laroche).

Lawrie is 20, has never been above AA, isn't a polished defender and appears to be a bit of a doosh
He's not lacking confidence...

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/base...article1829957/

Brett Lawrie has already broken the news to Toronto Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos.

He's through with the minor leagues and is making the team out of spring training.

“Yeah, if he doesn't know it then he should have known it when he was picking me,” the newly acquired prospect says from Los Angeles, where he was visiting fiancée Sydney Leroux, a forward on UCLA's soccer team. “He told me he didn't get me because he wants me to play in the minor leagues, so that obviously tells me he wants me to be in the big leagues. Traded for a big-league starter, what can I say?

“He's been trying to get me for a long time, he really wants me to play major-league baseball. And I'm looking forward to it in the near future here.”

Just two years into his professional career, coming off a solid season with double-A Huntsville, Lawrie made it clear that he's intent on winning a job with the Blue Jays in 2011, and sees no need for a stint at triple-A Las Vegas.

“Nah, I'm ready,” he says, not a hint of doubt in his voice. “My goals are what they've always been — I'm looking for major-league baseball, I'm not looking for minor-league baseball.

“I figure I'm good, I'm done, I'm pretty good at minor-league baseball so I think it's time to (take) a shot at major-league baseball. So my goal is to try and break with the team out of spring training and see what I can do.”

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He's not lacking confidence...

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/base...article1829957/

Brett Lawrie has already broken the news to Toronto Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos.

He's through with the minor leagues and is making the team out of spring training.

“Yeah, if he doesn't know it then he should have known it when he was picking me,” the newly acquired prospect says from Los Angeles, where he was visiting fiancée Sydney Leroux, a forward on UCLA's soccer team. “He told me he didn't get me because he wants me to play in the minor leagues, so that obviously tells me he wants me to be in the big leagues. Traded for a big-league starter, what can I say?

“He's been trying to get me for a long time, he really wants me to play major-league baseball. And I'm looking forward to it in the near future here.”

Just two years into his professional career, coming off a solid season with double-A Huntsville, Lawrie made it clear that he's intent on winning a job with the Blue Jays in 2011, and sees no need for a stint at triple-A Las Vegas.

“Nah, I'm ready,” he says, not a hint of doubt in his voice. “My goals are what they've always been — I'm looking for major-league baseball, I'm not looking for minor-league baseball.

“I figure I'm good, I'm done, I'm pretty good at minor-league baseball so I think it's time to (take) a shot at major-league baseball. So my goal is to try and break with the team out of spring training and see what I can do.”

http://www.millerparkdrunk.com/baseball/mi...brett-lawrie-9/
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  • 2 weeks later...

Edwin Encarnacion has re-signed with the Jays. 2.5 million this season with a club option for 3.5 million in 2012. Apparently he is going to share first base and DH with Adam Lind, this limiting his opportunities to throw the ball into right field. Not an exciting signing by any means, but probably a good deal for the Jays on a guy who could pretty easily hit 30 HR's this season. He made 5 million last season, so the Jays saved a decent amount of money by letting him go to free agency, rather than offering him arbitration. The end of his 2010 season, was similar to the end of Jose Bautista's 2009 season (Encarnacion hit 8 HR's after Sept. 13), so maybe he's due to go off for 50 like Jose.

Ideally the Jays would still sign someone better as a DH and Encarnacion could play mostly against lefties, who he does very well against. If Adam Lind continues to hit like he did against lefties last season (:shrug: .115/.159/.182 :bag:) the two of them would be an effective platoon, but ideally Lind gets the chance to play everyday and turn it around.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Impressive. Is that mostly from trades or young guys being better than originally thought?

A lot of things, basically an entire shift of the organizational philosophy.J.P. Ricciardi decimted the entire scouting staff, often failed to sign first round picks and liked to hand big contracts to guys like Frank Thomas and B.J. Ryan.Anthopolous has made huge additions to the scouting staff. On top of that:The Halladay trade brought in Kyle Drabek, Travis D'Arnaud and Anthony Gose (via Brett Wallace via Michael Taylor).Trading Shawn Marcum last week brought in Brett Lawrie.Anthopolous spent $10 million to sign Cuban Adeiny Hechavarria.Last year the Jays had 10 picks in the first three rounds of the 2010 draft (compensation for Scutaro, Barajas, Zaun), they signed their first 13 picks, and 14 of their first 15 and went "over slot" 12 times in total and spent over $11.5 million in total.J.P. Arencibia who was already in the system was PCL MVP, with a .301/.359/.626 line.Zach Stewart, from the Rolen trade was really good in double A, alongside Drabek, who was (mostly) dominant. Edited by Northern Voice
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  • 4 weeks later...

With the Dotel and Rauch signings and now the trade for Francisco, as well as the Cordero signing and the trade for Villanueva earlier in the offseason, and Jason Frasor accepting arbitration, the Jays bullpen is looking really crowded. These guys have almost all been 8th inning guys with a bit of closing experience, they're also all righties. Right now it looks like a deep bullpen but will be intersting to see how Farrell uses them all.

Octavio Dotel

Jon Rauch

Jason Frasor

Frank Francisco

Carlos Villanueva

Shawn Camp

Casey Janssen

Marc Rzepczynski

David Purcey

Scott Richmond

Josh Roenicke

Chad Cordero

Rauch, Villanueva, Frasor, Francisco and Dotel are all on one year contracts (a couple of them have options), no doubt Anthopolous will once again let a few walk and pick up extra draft picks (like Downs/Gregg this offseason).

Edited by Northern Voice
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  • 3 weeks later...

Anyone else got the feeling that Bautista's new contract is going to become a large albatross like Vernon Well's did :goodposting:

I haven't seen the year by year breakdown but I don't think it'll be as big a problem as the Wells deal. Vernon's contract was heavily back-end loaded with annual salaries double that of Bautista's deal. It's a steep price to pay though for one career year.
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Scott Podsednik signed to a minor league deal to compete and/or platoon with Rajai Davis as CF/leadoff.

Someone explain why they did this.
the same reason they acquired Mike Napoli and flipped him for Frank Francisco
Yeah, I guess they like random acquisitions just to keep the tank stirred.
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  • 3 weeks later...

So far, the most impressive position player in training camp is Brett Lawrie. 4 for 4 with a 3 run shot yesterday, and more importantly, he's been making great plays at 3B throughout the exhibition games. There's already a lot of talk about him starting the season with the Jays. I don't think it will happen, but Farrell isn't doing much to quash the speculation, saying things like "he's doing everything he needs to do to stay with the team". The Jays are likely a better team with Lawrie at 3B and Bautista in RF, but they'd need to find a taker for Rivera.

The other interesting battle is for the back end of the starting rotation. Morrow, Romero and Cecil are locked in as the top 3 but the battle for 4 and 5 has a few contenders.

So far....

Jesse Litsch is looking very good in spring training. In the 5 innings he's pitched over 2 games, he's only given up 2 hits and 0 runs. He also has the best MLB track record, and is in the best shape of his career (still fat though). If he keeps pitching like he has early on, he'll definitely win a spot.

Kyle Drabek is expected to have the #4 job to lose, he had a minor injury early on and struggled a bit in his first outing but it's early, and he may get a job by default.

Jo-Jo Reyes has looked very good. He's been pretty awful in the majors so far, but has good stuff, maybe he can put it together here.

Marc Rzepcynski was probably the favourite enterring spring as the #5 but he's looked bad so far.

Zach Stewart is a long shot, who should eventually be a big part of the Jays team, whether at the back of the rotation or the back of the bullpen is to be determined though.

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  • 4 weeks later...

In a surprising end of spring announcement, Jose Bautista will play RF this season. Edwin Encarnacion will be the starting 3B. Rivera will DH until he gets moved to make way for Lawrie.

ETA - Encarnacion lost 14 lbs in the offseason and was great defensively in the spring. Bautista has always been more comfortable in the outfield. This shows a lot of faith in Adam Lind at 1B as well, Encarnacion was his primary backup there, now Lind should play every day at first, and have the added bonus of trying to catch E5's throws.

Also, when Lawrie gets called up, Bautista won't have to switch positions, they can just move Encarnacion back to DH.

Edited by Northern Voice
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In a surprising end of spring announcement, Jose Bautista will play RF this season. Edwin Encarnacion will be the starting 3B. Rivera will DH until he gets moved to make way for Lawrie.ETA - Encarnacion lost 14 lbs in the offseason and was great defensively in the spring. Bautista has always been more comfortable in the outfield. This shows a lot of faith in Adam Lind at 1B as well, Encarnacion was his primary backup there, now Lind should play every day at first, and have the added bonus of trying to catch E5's throws.Also, when Lawrie gets called up, Bautista won't have to switch positions, they can just move Encarnacion back to DH.

Great news. Love watching Bautista throw it to 3rd. Fingers crossed on Encarnacion and Lind. So many questions this year.
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1-0.

13-3 win.

Good start to the season. I'm glad the Twins gave Pavano the opener, rather than Liriano.

Romero looked good. His girlfriend looks even better (Miss USA).

Arencibia 2 HR's and a triple. He's been great defensively in the spring, looks like he may run with the job.

Home runs also by Bautista and Lind.

Hill looks healthy. Snider was patient at the plate, with 2 walks. Encarnacion got things started with his first E5 of the season.

Ray-Jay Davis and Yunel Escobar pulled off a double steal in the first.

The only negative for the game was the stupidity of the fans, throwing giveaway towels on the fields and several fights.

I'm going down Sunday afternoon for my first game of the year.

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1-0.

13-3 win.

Good start to the season. I'm glad the Twins gave Pavano the opener, rather than Liriano.

Romero looked good. His girlfriend looks even better (Miss USA).

Arencibia 2 HR's and a triple. He's been great defensively in the spring, looks like he may run with the job.

Home runs also by Bautista and Lind.

Hill looks healthy. Snider was patient at the plate, with 2 walks. Encarnacion got things started with his first E5 of the season.

Ray-Jay Davis and Yunel Escobar pulled off a double steal in the first.

The only negative for the game was the stupidity of the fans, throwing giveaway towels on the fields and several fights.

I'm going down Sunday afternoon for my first game of the year.

WTH? Does this happen every jays opener? Those people need to stay home and watch a hockey game instead if they are going to treat the diamond like a trash can. On the other hand, it pissed off Joe West, which is nice.
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Best team in the MLB? I think so!

Alright, maybe not. Nice to see a comeback win. The last few years they would have just rolled over and played dead. Having a guy like Davis at the top of the order sure makes things more interesting. A couple nice hits for him to things started in the 6th/11th. Great to see some base running mixed in with all the power they have.

Is it just me or does Juan Rivera not fit at all with this team? Will he get waived/traded when its time to bring up Lawrie?

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Best team in the MLB? I think so!Alright, maybe not. Nice to see a comeback win. The last few years they would have just rolled over and played dead. Having a guy like Davis at the top of the order sure makes things more interesting. A couple nice hits for him to things started in the 6th/11th. Great to see some base running mixed in with all the power they have. Is it just me or does Juan Rivera not fit at all with this team? Will he get waived/traded when its time to bring up Lawrie?

I love having Davis in the lineup.The Escobar/Gonzalez trade was a ridiculous steal for the Jays at the time and will only look better as time goes on. Escobar is such a complete player.
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Looking forward to watching Drabek pitch tonight. S-T-U-D

He just needs to rock a sweet mustache like pops.

Drabek was more impressive than his final line might indicate tonight. The strike zone seemed to be all over the place and he struggled a bit early, he was at 60+ pitches through 3 innings but he stuck in there for 6 innings and gave the Jays the chance to come back and win it.

Juan Rivera on the other hand just looks like he doesn't give a #### out there. Slow and lazy, he's actually making fans ask to see more of Jayson Nix in the lineup...

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Brett Lawrie, raking. Don't care if it's Edwin or Rivera make room for him.

Please make it Rivera. He is horrible.Are the Jays getting ridiculously lucky in run-downs this year? Last night Bautista got out of one thanks to a sissy girl throw from Barnett. I remember at 3 or 4 more from this year as well. I was under the impression that the runner is put out the vast majority of the time.
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  • Northern Voice changed the title to ***Official Jays Thread*** Lots of optimism, again.

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