Title says it all, no? I don't know if anybody was expecting Romero to repeat last season's success, because he beat his peripherals by a pretty comfortable margin, but I don't think anyone was expecting a regression to the point where he's a Drabek-type either. Sure hope he fixes things, though.
Ricky has said, a couple of times now, that his fastball command hasn't really been anywhere close to what it should be, and he doesn't exactly seem like he's one of those guys who will just go out there and play, and just accept it when what he's got isn't good enough (*cough Vernon Wells*). If anything, he appears to be the exact opposite, if we can base anything on his twitter rant from last night (within that link).
I believe in you, Ricardo.
Anyway, James Shields is pretty good at pitching, if nobody's noticed yet. And Kelly Johnson noticed. He looked completely lost at the plate all day, striking out four times. Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista each supplied two hits, one of which being a homerun (Edwin gets the Zaunhead). Don't look now, but Jose's OBP is up to .337.
Speaking of OBP, have you guys noticed that the formula to getting Eric Thames out is to just throw three pitches that aren't strikes? .299 OBP to this point in the season. I bet he's thanking the lord for Travis Snider's wrist issues (and Adam Lind's Adam Lind'edness) right about now, because I would suggest that that (those?) is (are?) the only reason(s?) that he's still in the majors right now. I mean, he's offering nothing with the bat, and this:
No idea who was playing LF for the Jays, but he has a 20 urgency tool. Sheesh.
— Mike Axisa (@mikeaxisa) May 23, 2012
Anyway, it's an offday today, as the Jays are travelling to Texas for a 3 gamer against the Rangers, before going up to Baltimore and probably putting forward a poor effort, from a collective standpoint. Then you'll see me avoid the internet for a few days because people who think that the Orioles are an actual team are just going to use this as even more evidence proving so.
DJF looks for a decent comparable for free-agent-to-be, Edwin Encarnacion. They suggest Josh Willingham's deal with the Twins (3y/$21MM) to at least be a place to start.
Behind a paywall, Keith Law ranked Travis d'Arnaud as the 4th best prospect in the minors, now that Matt Moore, Bryce Harper, and Mike Trout have lost their eligibility. He was ranked 6th at the start of the year, which means that he's been leapfrogged by a few guys. A few things of note:
- Orioles' prospects Dylan Bundy (#1) and Manny Machado (#3) both rank above TdA, as does Rangers SS Jurickson Profar.
- Profar and Bundy both jumped TdA, while Cardinals' pitcher Shelby Miller dropped to #9.
- d'Arnaud is the only 23 year old on the list.
- Jays' Aaron Sanchez was given an honorable mention, of sorts.
- The D'Backs have Trevor Bauer, Archie Bradley, and Tyler Skaggs at 8, 12, and 13.
I'm sure we'll be seeing other lists soon, from guys like Kevin Goldstein (BP) and Jim Callis (BA).
Speaking of Kevin Goldstein, Shi Davidi will be on the next Baseball Prospectus podcast, which is hosted by Goldstein and Jason Parks. That should be up soon-ish, as they're recording tonight. Still speaking of Kevin Goldstein, he's got a quick (free) piece up at BP about some minor leaguers that he's seen recently. This includes Blue Jays Adeiny Hechavarria, Mike McDade, and John Stilson.
Finally, I'm going to do something kind of complicated, based on the preliminary research I was doing today for the draft thing that I mentioned yesterday (more in a second). Basically, I'm going to look at the current roster, and determine where each guy "came from", by which I mean figuring out how each guy become a part of the team. Jason Frasor, for example, was traded for Jayson Werth in like 2004. Werth was acquired for some dude named John Bale in Dec. 2000. Bale was drafted in the 5th round of the 1996 draft. Everything is connected.
Once that's done, I've decided that I will in fact be doing a little draft primer, probably dating from the present and going backwards until I run out of time (draft day). The first few (i.e. most recent) drafts should be together and up soon, and might have a bit of a different format from the rest, since the last three drafts typically make up a massive percentage of guys who are still within the lower half of the system, and are pretty tough to project. Not only that, but I've actually heard of most of the guys in the last couple of drafts, and fully expect each of the first rounders to become all-star big leaguers, which is obviously retarded (I doubt Hutch, Sanchez, Maguire, Syndergaard, Nicolino and Stilson all even make it to the bigs, let alone all become useful pieces for the Jays).
[Update:] As I was writing all that baloney up there, there was an announcement of a trade! The Jays acquired catcher Paul Phillips from the Milwaukee Braves for cash considerations. I can only assume that this is a move that gets another catcher to AAA in the absence of Yan Gomes, who is with the big club right now (and maybe for the foreseeable future?). Of course, Travis d'Arnaud is the main catcher in AAA LV, but Gomes was his backup. I believe I read something the other day about AJ Jimenez (AA catcher) going down to Tommy John surgery too, so that may also be related. Either way, I doubt you'll ever see or hear from Paul Phillips in terms of MLB playing time, so it's not a huge deal.