“I felt like I got blindsided a bit. I thought I was in the loop, in the conversation,” Tulowitzki said in his first comments since the deal went down. “So it definitely caught me by surprise. I was shocked and it caught me off guard. I think maybe I was a little naive to think I would be so connected to the (trade) process.”
Is this trade enough to get the Jays into the playoffs? Can Tulo hold up on that turf?
The artificial turf at Rogers Centre is another concern for the oft-injured Tulo, but generally the surface is more of an issue for players with back trouble. Tulo underwent season-ending surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left hip last August, but had played in 87 of the Rockies’ 97 first games. He was batting .300 with an .818 OPS, with similar splits at Coors Field and on the road.
According to MLB.com’s Thomas Harding, Monday’s blockbuster trade sends big league shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and reliever LaTroy Hawkins to Toronto for right-handers Jeff Hoffman and Miguel Castro, the Jays’ No. 3 and 5 prospects. A third prospect yet to be named and Major League shortstop Jose Reyes are also headed to Colorado.
Devon Travis has been a pleasant surprise for the Jays this season, as he’s hit better than anyone could have expected out of the gate. Despite a horrible month of May when he tried to play through a shoulder injury, he’s hit to a 129 wRC+ so far with solid defense at 2nd. Additionally, he may be helping the Jays in other ways, as it seems as though he may be involved in stealing signs.
I was watching the Jays game against Oakland July 22nd, and after Devon Travis hit a double in the top of the 9th inning off of A’s closer Tyler Clippard, I began to notice Travis making some obvious movements at 2nd base. Sometimes, I would see him clap his hands together enthusiastically; other times, I would see him hop up and down a few times. I then paid attention to the pitches that were subsequently thrown, and noticed a pattern: Whenever Travis would clap his hands, Clippard would throw a fastball, and whenever Travis would hop, Clippard would throw an offspeed pitch. I decided to go back to the MLB.tv game archive to confirm what I thought I had seen live, and here is what I found:
Update: Conforto raked at high Class A St. Lucie and has been even better since a promotion to Double-A Binghamton, slashing .317/.401/.518 in 43 games.
Prognosis: Drafted No. 10 overall just a year ago out of Oregon State, Conforto is forcing the Mets’ hand into considering a callup quicker than they would like. An inept offense and an injury to Michael Cuddyer have Conforto on the precipice of a major league stint and scouts believe his lefthanded bat and power to all fields will play.
But even with so many teams still in contention, there will be impact players changing teams, possibly several of them. Reds ace Johnny Cueto could be the best, but there is a long list of others, including Cueto’s teammate Mike Leake.
He was a 24-year-old rookie middle infielder who hit 23 homers while playing half his games in Petco Park. How do you not want to lock that guy up? The only real question is when to stop offering him more and more years on the extension. He had a 113 OPS+ when he was 24, which meant it was reasonable to expect even more from him as he entered his prime, and that even more would mean he would be a perennial All-Star.
Instead, he was one of the worst everyday players in baseball last year, hitting .210/.280/.333. He’s hitting .210 again this year, and he’s doing it with even less power. There was a glimmer of hope last year, as Gyorko got relatively hot after the All-Star break, but he lost his job to Cory Spangenberg this season and was banished to the minors again. He’s 26 now, and he’s been a .220-or-worse hitter for almost two calendar years now. He’ll make $13 million in 2019, which is an absolutely stunning amount for a player struggling this mightily.
Even when the problem with a pitcher is hard to diagnose, like with Cahill and Romero, there’s still an element of assumed risk that’s easy to understand because pitchers are supposed to be fragile and mercurial. Gyorko reminds us that hitters can be just as weird, and considering how far removed we are from the version the Padres thought they were locking up, it looks like the problem had more to do with poor evaluation and overreacting to a fast start. It’s the new front office regime that has to pay for it, too.
According to sources, the Blue Jays inquired about Cole Hamels but were told Hamels would not waive his 20-team no-trade clause to go to Toronto, as is his right (Hamels, meantime, has handled things professionally; he hasn’t complained and generally pitched well for the non-contending Phillies). That Hamels call was a blow to the Phillies, who likely saw Toronto, with all its young pitching talent (Aaron Sanchez, Daniel Norris, etc.) as a potential landing spot, especially considering their frustration in landing the marquee prospect they desire and these two teams’ solid trading history.
Blue Jays hitting coach Brook Jacoby has been suspended 14 games for his postgame conduct toward the umpires following an April 29 game at Boston.
Joe Torre, Chief Baseball Officer for Major League Baseball, announced the suspension Monday.
After Russell Martin was called out on strikes by Adrian Johnson for the final out of Toronto’s 4-1 loss, members of the Blue Jays coaching staff traded words with the umpiring crew as they left the field.
At Fenway Park, the umpires exit through the visitor’s dugout and share a tunnel with the players to their respective locker rooms. Following the runway incident with the Toronto coaches—of which no details have been provided—baseball sent a memo instructing visiting teams to remain in the dugout until the umpires have passed through.
From the translated Japanese description on this video:
Made a “fun chants reduce” concept, body fat gymnastics.
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That should clear things up!
Out of my way, all of you. This is no place for loafers! Join me or die! Can you do any less?
“You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone, particularly left-handed, better than him,” Amaro says. “Debate it all you want, from the sabermetrics to scout evaluations, but he is as good as there is going to be out there.
“No respect to the guy out there in Los Angeles (Clayton Kershaw) or to Felix (Hernandez), but he was as good as any pitcher in baseball the second half of last season. If you match up his numbers from late May to the end of the season, he’s as good as it gets. And he tends to be a better pitcher late in the season.”
Spoken like a true salesman, and a GM who thinks he has a Ferrari Testarossa sitting in the showroom and isn’t about to sell it at a Ford Fiesta price.
The Pirates, meanwhile, are optimistic the catcher they acquired from the Yankees, Francisco Cervelli, will replicate much of what Martin offered defensively, if not his .832 OPS from 2014.
Heck, Martin probably will not match that outlier; his OPS the previous five seasons had been .702. But the Jays will be a postseason threat if they get even league-average pitching to complement their dynamic lineup. And that’s where Martin should make a difference.
“I think if I can get ahead in counts, shave my walks down, throw strikes, and pitch deep into games that I’m going to have a pretty good season,” says Dickey. “I would say a successful season for me would be 200 innings, 15 or more wins, keep my walks around 50 or 60, [while] going to the playoffs and hopefully to the World Series.”
Welcome to Grantland’s 2015 MLB division previews. From now through next week, Jonah Keri and I will analyze each team in each division, focusing on offseason triumphs and failures, roster strengths and weaknesses, telling projections, revealing stats, and off-field story lines, and wrapping up with our over/under verdicts on each team’s projected record. As always, all overly pessimistic opinions should be blamed on the well-known grudge we bear your team, and only your team, because of that thing it did to us that one time that we’re still extremely bitter about.
After an off-season in which he became a viral sensation for his bushy beard, cerebral surfer persona and his habit of living in his van, Daniel Norris is ready to bring the focus back to his work on the mound.
The media requests — from The Atlantic magazine to NBC — are still pouring in for the man ESPN dubbed “The Most Interesting Pitcher in Baseball,” but the 21-year-old is turning them all down now.
The rookie left-hander, considered among the Blue Jays’ top prospects, is technically still vying with veteran swingman Marco Estrada for the fifth spot in the team’s starting rotation. But it’s hard to see Norris losing the job at this point.
Michael Saunders should be ready to rejoin the Toronto Blue Jays by mid-April rather than around the all-star break after the left-fielder had 60 percent of the meniscus removed from his left knee during surgery Friday.