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


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This team is so much fun to watch right now. Lawrie with the go-ahead grand slam tonight and the reaction by both Lawire and the dugout was awesome to watch. Huge smiles everywhere.

Lawrie finished 2/4, HR, 2B, 2 runs, 4 RBI. Rasmus, 1/3, BB, R, RBI. These two guys have made the team so much younger, more athletic and more talented.

I know Cardinal fans on here have downplayed the impact Rasmus could have down the road, but it's tough not to think of when the Alex Gonzalez/Yunel Escobar trade went down and Braves fans were saying good riddance and that they were happy with the trade.

Escobar is now 9th in the AL at 4.3 WAR, with a .302/.382/.440 line, and is signed through 2015 at just $5 million per season in each of 2012-2015. Would it be much of a surprise to be saying something similar about Rasmus a year from now?

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I know Cardinal fans on here have downplayed the impact Rasmus could have down the road, but it's tough not to think of when the Alex Gonzalez/Yunel Escobar trade went down and Braves fans were saying good riddance and that they were happy with the trade.Escobar is now 9th in the AL at 4.3 WAR, with a .302/.382/.440 line, and is signed through 2015 at just $5 million per season in each of 2012-2015. Would it be much of a surprise to be saying something similar about Rasmus a year from now?

What would have been surprising is if it happened in a Cardinals uniform. He burned his bridge here and just stopped giving a ####.When or whether that happens in Toronto remains to be seen. But when he's on, he's a good player, I'll give him that.
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This team is so much fun to watch right now. Lawrie with the go-ahead grand slam tonight and the reaction by both Lawire and the dugout was awesome to watch. Huge smiles everywhere.

:lmao:That was great. I surprised he didn't hurt anyone with those high-fives or when his helmet almost took E5 out.

Lawrie finished 2/4, HR, 2B, 2 runs, 4 RBI. Rasmus, 1/3, BB, R, RBI. These two guys have made the team so much younger, more athletic and more talented.

And just inches away from that 2B being another HR.
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**** IN GAME UPDATE ****

Rasmus 3 for 3, HR, 2B, 1B, 2 RBI, 3 R

Lawrie 2 for 2, BB, 2B, 1B, RBI, R

Lawrie was .357/.410/.690 before the game started. Rasmus has another 4 RBI game just 2 nights ago.

This team is now one more starter + a bullpen away from 90+ wins next season. This lineup will continue to produce offense, enough good players top to bottom that they can withstand slumps from any one or two players, including Bautista.

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  • 1 month later...

OK Blue Jay fans, and interested on-lookers, what's in store for the off-season? More pressing need, big bat or top 2 starter? I believe the FO think they're close, and will attempt to get a player to get them over the hump. What I like about AA, is I don't think he'll spend just because he can. He'll look to add a big money player, but will wait if the right player doesn't work out.

Any chance for Prince?

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  • 4 weeks later...

So, next season will be 2012, which means when I started this thread 2 seasons ago, this was supposed to be the goal year to be competitive :unsure:

Start of Offseason news:

Edwin Encarnacion had his 3.5 million dollar option picked up. Pretty much a no brainer after the way he played from June on this season. He's an acceptable 1B/DH, and even if the Jays improve on him at those positions, for 3.5M, he's a great guy to have on the bench who can also play 3B/OF in a pinch.

Jon Rauch had his option declined (because he was terrible).

Kelly Johnson somehow scored as a type A free agent (rankings had him as a B all year). This may make him more likely to re-sign with the Jays. His arbitration number will likely be around the range of 6.5 million for one season. With his being a type A now, a team would have to give up a first round pick to sign him. If it seems unlikely there will be a big market of teams looking to give compensation and a multi year deal worth 6+ per season, it might be in his best interest to accept the Jays arbitration offer.

Jays have been linked to every FA out there, most often Ortiz and Darvish, but also Sabathia, Fielder, Votto, etc.... which means in all likelihood Anthopolous will sign none of them and do something completely out of left field (like he did with Lawrie, Escobar, Rasums, etc...). Jays most obvious holes in the offseason are in the rotation and bullpen.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Just wanted to drop in here and say I :wub: everything this organization is doing. From the front office all the way down to the new uniforms and hat. Return to a classic with a nice twist. Good luck in the AL East this year. I'm pulling for you. :thumbup:

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  • 2 weeks later...

I wouldn't mind a trade for Garza. I don't think Gio Gonzalez will translate well to the AL East.

The buzz around Darvish was incredible. Middle of December on a night the Leafs played and everyone was talking about the Jays. They were talking on the radio today about how the Jays fanbase has gotten so much younger and more intense over the past few years. If you look at message boards, blogs, twitter, the Jays fans are among the most passionate in the league, asking questions to guys like Keith Law, Kevin Goldstein, etc... and starting blogs of their own. Their point was the Jays are cool again, and there is a real expectation around the team to compete with the big guys and the team needs to capitalize on the interest and make a move to get the fans back at the park.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

So, anyone else think the Jays jump into the 85-88 win range with an outside chance at low 90's and a wild card? One more starting pitcher would really help...

81 wins last year with the following upgrades:

3B - Full year of Brett Lawrie vs. last year's Encarnacion/Nix/McCoy shuffle

CF - Full year of Colby Rasmus vs. last year's Patterson/Davis/Wise debacle

LF - One of Snider/Thames has to step up and be better, right?

2B - Full year of Kelly Johnson vs. Aaron Hill's rotting corpse last season

Bullpen - Santos/Cordero/Frasor/Oliver/Janssen vs. Rauch/Dotel/Francisco/Frasor/Janssen/Camp

Projected 25 man roster:

C - Arencibia

1B - Lind

2B - KJohnson

SS - Escobar

3B - Lawrie

RF - Bautista

CF - Rasmus

LF - Thames/Snider (loser of the battle in AAA)

DH - Encarnacion

OF - RDavis

OF - BFrancisco

IF - McCoy/Vizquel

C - Mathis

SP - Romero

SP - Morrow

SP - Alvarez

SP - Cecil

SP - McGowan

RP - Perez (L)

RP - Villanueva/Litsch

RP - Janssen

RP - Oliver (L)

RP - Frasor

RP - Cordero

CL - Santos

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Are there any minor league starting pitchers that may be ready for the jump up this year? Otherwise what happens when McGowan gets injured again? Litsch or Villanueva in the rotation?

They literally have more than a handful of really good pitching prospects but not sure they would want to bring them up unless they had to or late in the year for a cup of coffee.
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  • 3 weeks later...

So, with the rotation set unless Kyle Drabek can force his way back in and all starting positions and most backups except LF set, it will be a mostly boring camp. In this thread we track the Snider/Thames grudge match for LF. Farrell has said that Thames is the favourite but if Snider finds his swing, he could easily unseat him.

Friday March 2 - Intrasquad Game (Thames on team Blue with Bautista, Lawrie, Lind, Escobar, Rasmus, Johnson, Encarnacion, Arenicibia... Snider, not):

Thames 0 for 3

Snider 1 for 3 - double off the base of the centre field wall

Daily winner: Snider

If season started today, starting LF: Thames.

Saturday March 3- Exhibition vs. Pirates (Thames in starting lineup with Bautista, Lawrie, Lind, Escobar, Rasmus, Johnson, Encarnacion, Arenicibia... Snider, not):

Thames: 2 for 3, Solo HR, RBI Single

Snider: 0 for 1, ground out

Daily Winner: Thames

If season started today, starting LF: Thames.

Brett Lawrie for the record had 2 doubles for 4 RBI in this game and continues to be a ####### beast.

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Sunday March 4

Thames gets the day off as they took the bus to Pittsburgh's site. Only regulars playing are Lawire, Arencibia, RDavis and Snider...

Snider: 2 for 4, 2B, 1B, 3 RBI, SB, Threw a runner out at second base.

1 of the RBI's came on an infield ground out where Anthony Gose scored from second base.

John Farrell:

So who’s in the lead for the starting spot in left field now?

“You know what, both guys are playing well, getting their hits. I thought Travis did an excellent job of running the bases today. Overall, I thought we took care of the baseball on defense and it was good to get a number of guys back to the mound. I thought Cordero was very sharp with the three pitches that he had. Casey picked up right where he was a year ago, crisp, clean. But still, we were able to manufacture some runs and took advantage of some defensive miscues.

Head to head competition bringing out the best in Snider and Thames?

“I’d hope so. We’d hope that as young, talented players continue to make their way to the big leagues, that internal competition is a healthy thing and I think that’s the case here.”

Have you seen a difference in Snider’s mechanics from a year ago?

“He’s made some adjustments, he’s lowered his hand set, he’s eliminated some of the wrap in his early approach to generating his swing and it has allowed him to stay through the baseball. I thought in his third at-bat he was a little late getting started but he has simplified his lower half and the movement that was giving him some issues a year ago. So, he’s doing a good job.”

Edited by Northern Voice
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Snider 0/3, 3K's today :(

During a difficult 2011 season that included two trips to the minors, Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Travis Snider took up reading about Zen.

It started with a book by former Blue Jay outfielder Shawn Green, The Way of Baseball: Finding Stillness At 95 MPH in which he talks about how baseball taught him to be in the moment and how to find inner stillness. “That kind of propelled me into a few other books,” said Snider, who is competing with Eric Thames for the starting job in left field. “I had read that book right before I got called up. I couldn't put the book down and read it twice. It was not just an enjoyable read for me but I was able to relate to a lot of things.”

Snider also could apply them to his own life. “I don't claim to be Buddhist or any particular religion from that sense,” he said. “But I definitely was able to take some things and put them in perspective . . . Our minds as competitors can get the best of us at times and (it's a matter of) being able to take a step back and saying. ‘OK, I've done everything I can do to this point, just go out and play.’

“At times, it's easier said than done but that focus that you are able to refine over the years of experience is what's key for me moving forward in my career.”

Do not brood over your past mistakes and failures as this will only fill your mind with grief, regret and depression. Do not repeat them in the future.
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Snider was 1/3 with another home run today, this time off a lefty, which is even better.

Thames was 1/2 with a single.

Before the game, Farrell said this:

"This will be a head-up situation. But it's important to note that our evaluation and our ultimate decision isn't based on the batting average of both guys in ST. We have to look at what happened a year ago. We have to include in that decision that at the end of the year, Eric Thames was our left fielder. So Snider's gonna have to come in and just flat-out take the job away from him."

Snider (15AB) .267/.267/.733/1.000

Thames (12AB) .250/.250/.500/.750

Someone suggested on the Jays board that the first to take a walk should get the job....

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Snider was 1/3 with another home run today, this time off a lefty, which is even better.

Thames was 1/2 with a single.

Before the game, Farrell said this:

"This will be a head-up situation. But it's important to note that our evaluation and our ultimate decision isn't based on the batting average of both guys in ST. We have to look at what happened a year ago. We have to include in that decision that at the end of the year, Eric Thames was our left fielder. So Snider's gonna have to come in and just flat-out take the job away from him."

Snider (15AB) .267/.267/.733/1.000

Thames (12AB) .250/.250/.500/.750

Someone suggested on the Jays board that the first to take a walk should get the job....

Love is the absence of judgment

-Dalai Lama XIV

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So far this afternoon, Snider already has a HR (3rd of spring, 2nd off a lefty), an outfield assist at second base (4th of the spring), and has taken a walk (1st of spring). Looking like the player he was always expected to be, which will undoubtedly get my expectations up, only for him to post a .225/.287/.426 line or some stupidity and end up in AAA again...

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So far this afternoon, Snider already has a HR (3rd of spring, 2nd off a lefty), an outfield assist at second base (4th of the spring), and has taken a walk (1st of spring). Looking like the player he was always expected to be, which will undoubtedly get my expectations up, only for him to post a .225/.287/.426 line or some stupidity and end up in AAA again...

Do you know who he hit the homers off of? If it is off scrubs, sure, there is nothing to get excited about, but if he hit them off major league regulars, there is reason for optimism.
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Snider's HR's are off Brad Lincoln, Cesar Cabral and Zach Duke.

Also, I won't be shocked if Aaron Laffey gets into the Jays rotation in place of Cecil as the second lefty, maybe not to start the year, but at some point. He'll be this year's Jo-Jo Reyes/Dana Eveland reclammation project (and Cecil still doesn't have velocity back on his fastball).

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So far this afternoon, Snider already has a HR (3rd of spring, 2nd off a lefty), an outfield assist at second base (4th of the spring), and has taken a walk (1st of spring). Looking like the player he was always expected to be, which will undoubtedly get my expectations up, only for him to post a .225/.287/.426 line or some stupidity and end up in AAA again...

Yup. Just like last season when he was called up and went on a tear for a week or so (BOS/CLE series). He was laying off the low and inside pitches and ripping doubles all over the place. A week later he's whiffing at pitches that might hit his ankles. Edited by Cliff Clavin
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Snider had a 2 run double today and 3 K's.

Thames was also 1/4, with a single and 2 K's.

Yesterday, Snider was 1/2 with a walk, hit was off the wall in RF but only a single due to a baserunning error by Rasmus who has been generally pretty bad this spring (one commentator (Alan Ashby) wants Snider in CF, Thames in LF and Rasmus on the bench but that won't happen). They still talk like it's Thames' job to lose, but if Snider keeps hitting like he has, I'm not sure they can send him back to AAA again.

In other news, Dustin McGowan looks good returning from 3 years of injuries, sitting at 93-94 on his fastball, occasionally as high as 96. Cecil still doesn't have a lot of velocity, sitting 86-88, which is where he was last year when he got lit up. Laffey has had a couple decent starts and may still be a factor. Henderson Alvarez looks pretty safe since Farrell and Anthopolous both love him. Morrow looks awesome, maybe this is the year his results catch up to his K/9 and his FIP.

Positionally, Hechavarria is making a name this spring showing power and patience at the plate, his glove is already above average by MLB standards and people are starting to talk about how soon he'll be ready (and what happens between him and Escobar, who is signed to a ridiculously team friendly deal through 2015 and is solid defensively himself).

Brett Lawrie has picked up where he left off and looks like he'll have a big year. Bautista is Bautista, 2HR and 2-2B in 15 AB.

Travis D'Arnaud will push Arencibia sooner than later behind the plate, but Arencibia may stick around as a Napoli type.

Notable Meaningless Spring Slash Lines:

Snider .304/.360/.783/1.143

Thames .286/.348/.476/.824

Lawrie .579/.600/.842/1.442

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Snider had a 2 run double today and 3 K's.

Thames was also 1/4, with a single and 2 K's.

Yesterday, Snider was 1/2 with a walk, hit was off the wall in RF but only a single due to a baserunning error by Rasmus who has been generally pretty bad this spring (one commentator (Alan Ashby) wants Snider in CF, Thames in LF and Rasmus on the bench but that won't happen). They still talk like it's Thames' job to lose, but if Snider keeps hitting like he has, I'm not sure they can send him back to AAA again.

Pay no attention to the faults of others, things done or left undone by others.

Consider only what by oneself is done or left undone.

-Buddha

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I think it shows they're worried about Cecil. McGowan isn't going to pitch more than 150 IP as an absolute best case scenario. They could use someone who could log 200 innings. Floyd would be my preference, I wonder if Thames or Snider and a pitching prospect would get him.

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In case anyone is really following the Thames/Snider thing, neither played today (Encarnacion played in LF in preparation of interleague play - they want his bat in the lineup, he showed why with 2 bombs today, but also chased the ball all over the field).

Anthopolous gave more quotes that seem to point towards Thames starting the season in Left though:

From Drunk Jays Fans

“Travis knows that Eric is the frontrunner going in. Eric knows that he’s not being handed the job. Travis is going to have to play that much better than Eric, because the context of spring stats,” said Alex Anthopoulos, summing up the left field situation as best he could, in response to a Stephen Brunt question about the impressive start Travis Snider has had in camp.

“I knew that the competition in left field would be a story,” he lamented. “I was hoping it wouldn’t be as much of a point of emphasis, strictly because, by design it was– we told Travis this, we told Eric this– Eric is frontrunner for the job.”

If there genuinely is a competition, Snider has to have made a much bigger first impression than Thames. Anthopoulos seems to acknowledge it, downplaying it while astutely noting that “Travis has been great, Eric has played very well also, but I’m also cognizant of the fact that these are small sample sizes in Spring Training against not the greatest of competition.”

“It’s nothing against Travis,” he says, “because I love him as a player, I love him as a human being, I love him as a prospect, but you don’t want to guarantee anything.”

Further to that, ”I really want to avoid the up and down with Travis,” Anthopoulos explains. “Hopefully the next time he’s up here, whether it’s Opening Day, or it’s some point during the season, or whether it’s next year, he’s here to stay.”

Perhaps that indicates that the team is going to be more inclined to take a cautious approach with Snider, even if he outperforms Thames thoroughly this spring. And, you know what? If they’re not ready to give him the reins on April fifth, because of a fear that he’ll once again lose his consistency and have to be sent back down, while some fans seem to want to look at that as some kind of indication that Snider’s task this spring is impossible, and that the organization is probably looking to move on, I just don’t know how they ####### figure. The Jays’ reasoning on all this sounds about right to me.

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In case anyone is really following the Thames/Snider thing, neither played today (Encarnacion played in LF in preparation of interleague play - they want his bat in the lineup, he showed why with 2 bombs today, but also chased the ball all over the field).

To live a pure unselfish life, one must count nothing as one's own in the midst of abundance.

- Buddha

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Lawrie is unstoppable in Spring Training. The guy seems like moving up to the big leagues doesn't faze him much. He just hits and hits. Are they going to #####foot around with the guy and leave him batting 6th/7th or will they move him up to 2nd in the order during the season?

We can only hope. Farrell was a little too insistent on mixing up the hitters (left vs right) last year that it stopped him from using an optimal lineup (imo). It should be:1) Escobar2) Lawrie3) Bautista4) Rasmus5) Edwin6) Thames/Snider7) JPA8) Lind9) JohnsonIt will most likely be:1) Escobar2) Johnson3) Bautista4) Lind5) Lawrie6) Rasmus7) Edwin8) Thames/Snider9) JPAThe 2 and 8 spots could be swapped. Edited by Cliff Clavin
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Lawrie is unstoppable in Spring Training. The guy seems like moving up to the big leagues doesn't faze him much. He just hits and hits. Are they going to #####foot around with the guy and leave him batting 6th/7th or will they move him up to 2nd in the order during the season?

We can only hope. Farrell was a little too insistent on mixing up the hitters (left vs right) last year that it stopped him from using an optimal lineup (imo). It should be:1) Escobar2) Lawrie3) Bautista4) Rasmus5) Edwin6) Thames/Snider7) JPA8) Lind9) JohnsonIt will most likely be:1) Escobar2) Johnson3) Bautista4) Lind5) Lawrie6) Rasmus7) Edwin8) Thames/Snider9) JPAThe 2 and 8 spots could be swapped.
No faith in Lind?
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Lawrie is unstoppable in Spring Training. The guy seems like moving up to the big leagues doesn't faze him much. He just hits and hits. Are they going to #####foot around with the guy and leave him batting 6th/7th or will they move him up to 2nd in the order during the season?

We can only hope. Farrell was a little too insistent on mixing up the hitters (left vs right) last year that it stopped him from using an optimal lineup (imo). It should be:1) Escobar2) Lawrie3) Bautista4) Rasmus5) Edwin6) Thames/Snider7) JPA8) Lind9) JohnsonIt will most likely be:1) Escobar2) Johnson3) Bautista4) Lind5) Lawrie6) Rasmus7) Edwin8) Thames/Snider9) JPAThe 2 and 8 spots could be swapped.
No faith in Lind?
Little to none. It would be great if he could regain his form from a couple years ago but I think that was the outlier and the last two seasons are the norm.
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  • Northern Voice changed the title to ***Official Jays Thread*** Lots of optimism, again.

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