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Bluebird Links - Wednesday Afternoon Edition

Sorry for the late post today.  I had a dentist appointment this morning (ugh).  Not sure that I'll have a post up Friday either since I have a service appointment in the A.M.  So if one of the other guys wants to put up a post Friday morning, have at it.  Right to the Links!

Jays News

Has Kyle Drabek arrived?
The Hardball Times has a look at what we can expect from Drabek this season. Those THT forecasts look pretty good for a 4th starter in his rookie season. If he pitches like that, I think we can expect more than 138IP though.

JP Arencibia Receives Johnny Bench Comp
Matthias at Mop up Duty takes a look at the Pecota, Zips and Marcel projections for Arencibia. I'd be happy with the Pecota or Zips projection for a first year catcher, wouldn't you?

Brett Cecil won't be ignored
Have we forgotten about Cecil this offseason? The Tao certainly hasn't.

Wallace for Gose redux
Navin at Sports and the City pulled some comments out of Keith Law's 'Graduated Prospect' list regarding Brett Wallace. Mr. Law isn't all that impressed with Wallace and if he was eligible for his prospect list, Wallace would no longer be in the top 100. Gose didn't make the list either, however, he is still very young and has time to move up the prospect charts has he ages.

Time flies for Vancouver Canadians owner Jake Kerr
A nice article on what the Vancouver Canadians have accomplished in five years under their current owner. He seems excited about the relationship with the Jays:

"We will have a better on-field product. The Blue Jays have committed to their scouting and player development and you can see that they believe in what we are doing out West. I don't think you can ever promise a winner at the Minor League level, but I believe in what the Toronto Blue Jays are doing and the direction they are headed and I think Alex Anthopoulos and his staff including new Manager John Farrell are doing great things for baseball as a whole in this country".

Are there any Vancouver-ites here? Sounds like a good park to see a game and it would be great to get some first-hand experiences from the upcoming season from locals that actually get to watch Jays prospects.

2011 Minor League Players - The Middle Infielders
The Batter's Box continues their series on the Jays position depth across the system. For those that missed it, they looked at corner infielders earlier in the week, here.

10 Jays burning questions
Carson had some questions answered by Buck Martinez. When asked about the rotation, Martinez didn't mention Rzep at all. Oversight or deliberate? When asked about left handed relievers he mentioned Purcey and Carlson, and then had this to say about Rommie Lewis:

Lewis is a journeyman minor leaguer that was with the Orioles briefly and got some action with the Jays last year. I watched him throw a side session at the end of January that was awesome. He is a big, strong guy that has struggled to find his arm slot but he is very close. After that particular session, he told me, "that was the best side session I have ever had." It was powerful with a great downward angle and pinpoint command. I give him all of this praise with qualifications, it was January, it was at the minor-league complex and there was a big, broad-shouldered right hander standing in the box with a club. He needs to remember the effort level and the arm slot, but if he can do that, he will be packing his bag for the Rogers Centre and the Minnesota Twins on Opening Day.

Around the League

MLB Players Of The Decade: Second Base
Rob Neyer is attempting to predict who will be the best player at each position for the current decade. Here he covers 2nd base (hint -it's not good news for the Jays). He has also covered 1st base and catcher with links to those articles here.

AL Managers and The Hook
Magpie at the Batter's Box uses 2010 data to figure how managers typically approached their starting pitching staffs. Gaston was above average for the 'quick hook' and Terry Francona lead the pack at 'slow hooks'. Which way will Farrell trend? I could see him being somewhere in the middle based on his Boston tendencies versus Toronto's relatively inexperienced starting staff.

Rethinking the Standings
Joshua Macieal at FanGraphs has put together a visual interpretation of the 2010 AL standings. I like this one, check it out.

Joe Posnanski " Posts Looking at Hall of Fame Pitchers "
Pos takes a look at Hall of Fame Pitchers by decade they were born in. He had some interesting words on pitchers born between 1951 and 1960 (4 pitchers in the Hall, only one lifetime starter) and specifically, Dave Steib:

There’s just a gnawing belief, one that makes a bit of sense, that SOME starting pitcher has to represent this general time period in the Hall of Fame. The Hall of Merit chose Stieb, whose basic numbers (176-137, 3.44 ERA, 1669 career Ks) do not do him justice. He was, by WAR, the best pitcher in the American League in 1982, ’83 and ’84, and he was second best in the bookend years of 1981 and 1985. He had the Hall of Fame misfortune of wasting some of those years on terrible teams, and the Hall of Fame misfortune of spending just about his entire career in Canada where he often went unnoticed, and the Hall of Fame misfortune of having his greatness obscured by bland won-loss records. His 123 ERA+ is right in line with the better Hall of Famers.

Will 'Moneyball' movie be worth it?
Jon Weisman thinks the upcoming 'Moneyball' movie will have a chance to succeed. What do you guys think - will it be worth seeing? I didn't even know this was in the works, never mind that Brad Pitt is in it as Billy Beane. It is scheduled to be released in September for those interested.