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Jays the front runners for Prince Fielder

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Re: Jays the front runners for Prince Fielder

Postby mweir145 » Wed Dec 28, 2011 12:45 pm

SpecialFNK wrote:I don't think the Jays really planned on having Jayson Nix as a starter going into the 2011 season. he is someone who could have been a decent bat off the bench and play multiple positions. (maybe the plan was after acquiring Lawrie that he would play 3B in the minors and come up when ready?)

The original plan was to use Bautista at 3B to begin the season. They eventually decided to go back on this plan, moved Bautista back to RF, and stuck Nix there about halfway through ST. Lawrie was supposed to come up in the middle of June to replace Nix (he was kept down likely for his development and to push back his clock), but that became August due to his injury.

Nix was someone who had decent numbers in the minors when he played regularly in the Rockies minor leagues. it was worth giving him an extended look. even after going down to Jays AAA team he put up decent numbers.
http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/ ... -nix.shtml

There was absolutely no reason to expect Nix would hit well enough at the MLB level to deserve a starting job. At best, he's a utility player. And of course he put up decent numbers in AAA, he was playing in the PCL. Everybody does.


I intentionally didn't use OPS on Davis because he's not that type of player. it's not his job to SLG. it's his job to get on base so OBP is better to use on someone like him. he can get on base and then has the speed to steal.

If it's his job to get on base, he's consistently done a poor job at it. He's got a career .319 OBP...that's below average.

.320 OBP in 2010 is decent enough, and .360 OBP in 2009 is good. it was worth giving him an extended look to see if he could get back to that level of producing.

If you're a cheap team like the 2011 Jays with no better option in CF than Rajai Davis, then sure it is. But teams with actual aspirations and teams that care about contending don't give players like him starting jobs. He's not nearly good enough.

someone like Elvis Andrus only had .703 OPS in 2011. guess he sucks. but he had .347 OBP with 37 SB and 96 R.

Andrus is an incredible defensive SS, Davis is a poor defensive outfielder. They aren't comparable whatsoever.

.721 OPS isn't bad. it's good enough when you want to see if that player can return to the numbers he had the previous season. even counting last season he has .776 career OPS. he's not good but he's good enough for a bottom of the order hitter. when you're a team that doesn't want to spend a lot money, it's players like these you have to take a chance on. you roll the dice hoping for something good.

Juan Rivera wasn't given a spot because the Jays thought he would be a good hitter for them. He was given a spot because they were paying him $6M a season and no other team was willing to take on that contract. He acted as a stopgap "solution" before Thames showed up and they eventually got rid of him after a few months of poor performance.

Hill had disappointing numbers across the board no doubt in 2010. you could also give fault to the Jays coaching staff. Aaron Hill should have never been hitting that many HR. it looks like he tried to hard to hit HR and that effected his other numbers. he had 41.0 FB% in 2009 and that jumped to 54.2 FB% in 2010 (way more than earlier in his career) with 10.6 LD%. he was hitting way to many fly balls instead of driving the ball. I would think someone like a hitting instructor should have been on his ass to have him stop hitting so many fly balls.

At this point, it doesn't matter why Aaron Hill stopped hitting to me (his plate approach went to absolute **** over the past few years, that much was obvious). It only matters that he did. Nobody that watched him flail away in 2010 was surprised at his performance in 2011.


baseball isn't just about numbers. you're dealing with real people, with real feelings and emotions. someone like Thames. he wasn't good against LHP in 2011, so lets say you tell him right from the start he wont be facing any LHP. that could upset him and effect him in a negative way even against RHP. you also can't take players who have had past success and after a couple weeks of "sucking" just bench then completely. even if one is struggling you can give them an extended time period to try and turn things around. especially on a team that doesn't spend big money or have much better replacements.

If you're a team in a contending year, you'll deal with Thames (and other players like him) a lot differently than if you're a team in a developmental year. Winning games was not a primary motivation for the 2011 Jays and that completely changed the way the team managed its roster. If winning games is a primary motivation next season, I'd expect such young players to get a much shorter rope before being platooned/sent down.
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Re: Jays the front runners for Prince Fielder

Postby SpecialFNK » Wed Dec 28, 2011 8:59 pm

it was worth giving Davis an extended look based on multiple previous seasons.
2007 with Pittsburgh. 24 G/ 48 AB - .357 OBP
2007 with San Francisco. 51 G/ 142 AB - .363 OBP
2009 with Oakland. 125 G/ 390 AB - .360 OBP
2010 with Oakland. 143 G/ 525 AB - .320 OBP
343 G/ 1105 AB - .350 OBP
he has also had bad seasons.
2008 with Oakland. 101 G/ 196 AB - .288 OBP
2011 with Toronto. 95 G/ 320 AB - .273 OBP
196 G/ 516 AB - .280 OBP
plus what he has done in the minors. 631 G/ 2435 AB - .375 OBP
http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/ ... avis.shtml

if teams did not give an extended look to players who over multiple season were not good, then the Jays would have never given a look to the one who is Jose Bautista. he wasn't all that good in his time with Pittsburgh, or in his brief time when he first came to Toronto in 2008.
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Re: Jays the front runners for Prince Fielder

Postby Skin Blues » Thu Dec 29, 2011 11:52 am

He's a 30 year old poor fielding outfielder with a career 319 OBA and 696 OPS. He's played well over 500 games. He should not be given a chance at being a starter, especially not in the AL East. He can earn one by being spectacular as a 4th OF and if an injury arises, but... he's pretty much useless.
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Re: Jays the front runners for Prince Fielder

Postby SpecialFNK » Thu Dec 29, 2011 12:16 pm

Skin Blues wrote:He's a 30 year old poor fielding outfielder with a career 319 OBA and 696 OPS. He's played well over 500 games. He should not be given a chance at being a starter, especially not in the AL East. He can earn one by being spectacular as a 4th OF and if an injury arises, but... he's pretty much useless.


his 2 bad seasons bring down his career numbers. 516 AB - .280 OBP, but he was better in his good season with twice as many AB, 1105 AB - .350 OBP (.733 OPS)
using OPS to judge someone like Davis is useless because he's not that type of player. he doesn't have any power so there's no sense to judge him on OPS which is OBP + SLG. if he can get on base with a walk or single and then steal 2nd (and 3rd) that's good enough to be successful as a leadoff hitter.
another example is someone like Michael Bourn. last year he had 61 SB with 94 R and .349 OBP, but .734 OPS. the season before Bourn had 52 SB with 84 R and .341 OBP, but .686 OPS.
another example is someone like Juan Pierre. in 2003 he had 65 SB with 100 R and .361 OBP, but .734 OPS. in 2004 he had 45 SB with 100 R and .374 OBP, but .781 OPS.
I wouldn't expect him to be an all star, but he can be a capable leadoff hitter.
I wouldn't expect him to get another chance with Toronto, unless there is an injury or multiple players are not producing. but I think he could wind up on another team and still be a successful leadoff hitter similar to the numbers he put up in his good seasons.
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Re: Jays the front runners for Prince Fielder

Postby bigh0rt » Thu Dec 29, 2011 12:49 pm

Skin Blues wrote:He's a 30 year old poor fielding outfielder with a career 319 OBA and 696 OPS. He's played well over 500 games. He should not be given a chance at being a starter, especially not in the AL East. He can earn one by being spectacular as a 4th OF and if an injury arises, but... he's pretty much useless.

Sounds like Jose Bautista before the last month of 2009. Only difference he was 28, not 30. He had posted the riveting OPS lines of .502, .404, .755, and .753 (and .729) before landing in Toronto, where he posted a .648 OPS his first season there (21 Games). He had been a bum for half a decade. He'd played 450 games of suck. By your standards, he shouldn't have been given a chance at being a starter, especially not in the AL East. Then, in his first full season in Toronto he wowed with a .757 OPS. Toronto took him likely for the same reasons they took Davis. What they need to do is take Rajai to see Jose's pharmacist so he can 'rework his swing' and develop 'the best eye in the game'.

That's the thing about reclamation projects. Sometimes guys get it together, and sometimes they don't. It's always easier to see in hindsight.
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Re: Jays the front runners for Prince Fielder

Postby kab21 » Thu Dec 29, 2011 1:11 pm

Rajai is a CF'er that posted a 3.8 WAR season when given his first starting job. WAR isn't a perfect stat but it's certainly better than OPS. He should have been a solid player (.330 OBP with solid CF defense) but he sucked. But this happens to every team every season. It is very likely that this will happen to a MLB team next season. And I think it is shortsighted to say that a team is better because X, Y and Z are gone.
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Re: Jays the front runners for Prince Fielder

Postby Skin Blues » Thu Dec 29, 2011 1:29 pm

Of course his 2 bad seasons brings down his career numbers. Just like his 1 good season brings up his career numbers. If we gave every 30 year old who ever posted a 3.8 WAR season a starting job, then every team would have 7 starting outfielders. Bautista was the biggest outlier probably in the history of baseball, so I think we can safely file that under "the exception, not the rule". If Rajai racks up a 1000 OPS as an injury replacement/4th outfielder, I'd be more than happy to say he deserves to be a starting outfielder. But you can't predict something like that. As it stands he's a fringe major leaguer that sticks around because of his speed.
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Re: Jays the front runners for Prince Fielder

Postby kab21 » Thu Dec 29, 2011 1:46 pm

If you only give starting jobs to no doubt good players then you're the Yankees or Red Sox.

Rajai had a limited MLB sample with 6.4 WAR in his first 1500 PA's. Teams don't have unlimited cash and I don't think someone would be crazy if they predicted him to be a 1.5-2.5 WAR player last year. That's a below average starter. Somewhere on your team you're going to have someone like him (or 2-3). but Rajai absolutely collapsed last year. You aren't going to be able to prevent this from happening. At the end of the year you will always have a certain number of AB's that went to awful players. Suggesting that a team is better the following season simply because those players will be better or gone is foolish.
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Re: Jays the front runners for Prince Fielder

Postby Skin Blues » Thu Dec 29, 2011 5:37 pm

To make it simple: the roster is much better right now than it was 12 months ago. I didn't like the Rajai trade last year and made it known before the season even started, because he's essentially the same player as Fred Lewis who we'd just gotten rid of. A useless scrap that is only used to avoid paying a real player. We also have Lawrie now instead of Rivera. Rasmus instead of Corey Patterson. Kelly Johnson instead of Hill. Arencibia is a year older and hit 23 HR as a rookie; his expectations are no doubt higher than they were last April. To add Prince Fielder could bump the team up to ~800 runs on the season. They already finished 6th in the majors in runs scored last year, it's not like they have a huge hole to climb out of. Obviously when the two highest scoring teams with the highest budgets in baseball are in your division it's gonna be tough, but they haven't had a better outlook on the coming season since the strike in '94.
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Re: Jays the front runners for Prince Fielder

Postby mweir145 » Thu Dec 29, 2011 5:38 pm

You can't just use the giant exception of Jose Bautista to justify handing starting jobs to every scrub OF out there. Especially when the genius Cito Gaston isn't with the team anymore. If you're a contending team, those jobs should generally go to guys with proven records of success.

Of course, the 2011 Jays weren't a contending team. They went cheap and had no better option in CF than hoping Rajai Davis regained his 2009 success. But nobody realistically thought he was going to succeed. He didn't have to for it to make sense for them.


kab21 wrote:Suggesting that a team is better the following season simply because those players will be better or gone is foolish.

No, suggesting that a developing/rebuilding team manages their roster in exactly the same way as a contending team does is foolish. The 2011 Jays weren't primary motivated by wins and that showed through the players they put on the field (and the players they allowed to stay on the field through months of sustained struggles). If the Jays intend to contend in 2012, they aren't going to enter the season with stopgap scrubs and reclamation projects comprising half the roster like they did in 2011. It also helps that they actually have talented players now to fill those positions that they didn't before.
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