E-mailbag

Mailbag_art.jpgAs you all might have noticed, the once weekly mailbag that would appear on bluejays.com is no more. We at MLB.com used to run mailbags every week during the winter and every other week during the regular season on the club sites, but we’re now headed in a new direction content-wise.

That being said, I know there are many fans — not just of the Jaybirds — who loved the weekly Q&A and are probably upset that it’s gone. With that in mind, I plan on trying to do a weekly E-mailbag right here on my blog. For now, let’s tentatively pencil it in for Fridays, since I’m doing one tonight, but I’ll probably move it to Saturday or Sunday once the season opens.

So, without further ado, I’ll kick it off with just one question that was brought to my attention this week:

Hi Jordan,

Just a question regarding your recent starting rotation posts. Why is it such a given that David Purcey will be one of the Jays’ starters going into next year? He finished 3-6 with a 5.54 ERA, not exactly dazzling numbers. I know there aren’t a lot of options, but if Casey Janssen is anywhere near 2007 form, he’s way ahead of Purcey. Matt Clement was a consistent 3.50-4.50 ERA guy before his injuries. I just don’t think Purcey has done anything yet to be promised a Major League job.
 
Thanks for the articles though, much enjoyed.
 
Aaron

Thanks, Aaron. One thing to keep in mind is that Purcey’s stats are skewed some by his first few outings. After being inserted into the rotation on a full-time basis, the big lefty went 2-5 with a 4.88 ERA over nine outings. Sure, those still aren’t dynamic totals, but Purcey certainly showed flashes of his promise. Also, take into consideration that he only received 1.4 runs of support in his five losses during that stretch.

Purcey isn’t necessarily guaranteed a job in the rotation. All I wrote in the four-part series that ran this week was that he is one of three presumed locks on the staff, along with Roy Halladay and Jesse Litsch. And the only reason I included him in that group was because manager Cito Gaston and general manager J.P. Ricciardi have been saying since the Winter Meetings that it’s his job to lose this spring.

Obviously, if — for argument’s sake — Janssen, Clement and Scott Richmond have fantastic showings during the spring and Purcey labors, his stock could fall. As for Janssen’s 2007 form, he was a reliever that season — not a starter. He’s also returning from a shoulder injury, as is Clement, and those can be tricky ailments to rebound from. There’s no guarantee that Janssen and Clement will be back at 100 percent. But, from what the team is saying, they’re ready to compete for jobs.

So, basically, it’s only a “given” that David Purcey will be one of the Jays’ starters because that’s what Toronto is saying at this point. Consider that we were only saying Halladay and Litsch were locks when the offseason started. It’s also possible that someone like left-handed prospect Brett Cecil steps up in a big way this spring and forces the Jays’ hand.

I hope that answers your question.

As for the rest of you readers, feel free to shoot inquiries my way at jordan.bastian@mlb.com. A link to my e-mail is also included at the bottom of each story I write on the team’s web site. And, hey, this doesn’t have to be limited to just roster questions. We can just as easily discuss movies, music or my marathon training, or anything else I deem relevant for that matter, if the Jays don’t have much going on.

~JB

9 Comments

Nice to see some additional scouts hired to bring us up to an average sized scouting department for a MLB team.

(Globe article) Anthopoulos said he conducted an informal study in which he looked at the opening-day rosters of all 30 major-league clubs over the past two years. He said he found that about two-thirds of all the players on those rosters were there as a result of the advance work conducted by pro scouts.

Cuddles for this change of direction goes to Alex Anthopoulos and Tony LaCava who both lobbied hard to get the club to beef up the ranks of the pro scouts. And of course, to Paul Beeston who convinced the folks at Rogers to fund this activity in a year of pressing financial concerns.

It has long been my opinion that the only way we can compete is to draft well and invest more into our minor league system. This recent move does not bring immediate results, BUT clearly is a step in the right direction. Now, let’s see us draft and/or sign high school kids and 16 year olds with high ceiling potentials instead of a bunch of “safe nice college players” like JP’s moneyball philosophy has given us.

It appears JP Riccardi was missing in action on this direction change, although he is trying hard to capture some claim in the various press discussions and blaming Rogers and subsequently Godfrey for the reason this didn’t happen years ago.
In my view, this is simply another example of JP’s incompetence. This should have happened 5-7 years ago and I’m sure if he had asked for the funds to be spent in this fashion back then instead of continually signed reclamation projects that never worked, we’d now have a strong minor league system and bright future.
As it sits, after 7 years we are still ranked in the bottom third or quarter of MLB minor league systems which is no change from 7 years ago. At best, under JP’s tutelage for 7 plus years, we’ve treaded water.

Hopefully, the new President is signed soon (although my favorite is still Beeston) and JP is thrown out like the incompetent fool he is.

I bet they still invested less than they paid eckstein in there scouting department

I don’t even want to hear about eckstein (the biggest mistake of last year) because not only did we gain a shortstop who sucks and can’t throw a ball, we lost our second baseman for the year and who knows if he is back to normal.

Im tired of all the doom and gloom going into this season. Teams are never as good or as BAD as early speculation tells. When was the last time the Yankees werent huge favorites only to have a less than huge season. Ya the Jays are in tough but it will still be fun to watch the development of the young players, Halladays Gems, and who knows wells and rios could regain form. I for one am looking forward to this season with catious optimisom. Its just more fun.

A new book by former New York Yankees manager Joe Torre contains allegations that members of the Toronto Blue Jays used amphetamines while former pitcher Roger Clemens was with the team.
The Yankee Years by Torre and Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci contains allegations by Brian McNamee, Clemens’ former trainer, that the Blue Jays were enveloped in the amphetamine use that was allegedly widespread in baseball at that time.

“I didn’t know one pitcher on Toronto’s team that wasn’t taking them when he pitched,” McNamee claims in the book. “It’s speed. Guys were ‘beaning up’ to play golf after workouts.”

McNamee, who was hired by the Blue Jays when Clemens was with the team from 1997-98, also claimed former Toronto general manager Gord Ash “did not want to know if players were doping.”

Ash, now an assistant GM with the Milwaukee Brewers, replied to the allegations in an e-mail to the Globe and Mail.
“I don’t know or have reason to suspect that the Blue Jays were unique and there were no obvious issues,” Ash stated. “Our medical staff never brought any abuse to my attention.

“We did place a great deal of emphasis on education and were one of the few clubs to have a full-time EAP (employee assistance program) director.”

From CBS Sports.com

Nice to finally read something positive about the team from somebody. Quick is right, it is more fun.

I will say though that I disliked that they’re willing to spend $2.5 million on Jose Bautista when there are potentially more useful players still around who could sign for less or equal value. GS was bang on a few posts back, that move made no sense.

Our overseas scouting is doing a great job so far. I bet in a couple years from now that 40 year old pitcher will be of ace caliber……..

WASHINGTON — Tests have linked Roger Clemens’ DNA to blood in syringes that his former personal trainer says he used to inject the pitcher with performance-enhancing drugs, according to a report.

Citing two unidentified sources familiar with the investigation, The Washington Post reported Tuesday that the DNA results are preliminary and subject to verification tests. The newspaper said Clemens voluntarily gave a DNA sample to federal authorities, according to the sources, and it still remains to be determined whether the syringes ever contained steroids or human growth hormone.

The test results could prove important to the investigation into whether Clemens lied under oath to Congress last year when he denied using steroids or HGH.

**I think Roger, the Dodger goes to jail-looks good on him.

Quicksilver, yep I was looking forward to watching the young guns perform and develop this year as well. Guys like Lind, Snider, Arrencibia, possibly Cecil, Romero, Campbell, Dobriak and Mills

Then a funny thing happened on the way to Florida. JP, on one side of his mouth, talked about the kid movement while on the other signed a bunch of has beens like Takahashi, Barrett, Chavez, Maroth and Ruiz and is having day dreams each day about landing Kevin Millar. So I guess we’re becoming the “old folks team” where old players who can’t make it anyplace else come to Toronto.

So I asked myself, why would we throw money away signing old has been catchers when we have 3 catching prospects in AAA and more coming behind them? Of course the same situation is true for 1st base. And what kind of a youth movement is it when we sign a 40 year old pitcher who’s never played in North America before-are we trying to set an age record for the oldest rookie in baseball to have something to talk about this season??????

The only positive thing I’ve seen all winter was the hiring of more scouts, although no one knows how good they are and whether they’re properly positioned. I just hope Beeston is the one who made the hiring decisions.

To be frank, we are running out of time on dumping JP, moving out some guys for prospects and retooling. If we don’t start making quality moves quickly, our tradeable properties will decline significantly in value-we possibly have already missed the window on dumping Wells for anything of value in return.

I’ve been a Blue Jays fan since they came to Toronto, this is the first time, I can honestly say, I’m embarassed to admit it.

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