One Year Ago Today
The Jays made three trades. One went very well. One was pretty, one....well, they can’t all be winners.
Robbie Ray came over from the Diamondbacks for Travis Bergen. Bergen pitched 6.2 innings for the Diamondbacks at the end of last season, and then we got him back at the end of February for cash. He pitched in 10 games for the Jays. Now he’s in Buffalo.
Ray? Well, you know. He was ok in the last month of 2020. This year? He’s a Cy Young candidate. Among AL pitchers:
- bWAR 1st, 5.9
- Strikeouts 1st, 202
- Innings pitched 2nd, 159.1
- Quality starts 1st, 20.
I think we can count that trade as a win.
Ross Stripling came from the Dodgers for Kendall William and Ryan Noda.
Williams is in A-ball. He has a 4.59 ERA, with 72 strikeouts in 80.1 innings. Noda is in Double-A and has a .240/.382/.514 in 95 games. He’s 25 now. Williams might become a major league starts. Noda? If it was the 70s would have a good shot at a career as a pinch hitter.
Stripling has been up and down, some terrible starts, some outstanding starts. We can’t really judge if the trade is a win until we see how Williams turns out.
Jonathan Villar came from the Marlins for Griffin Conine.
Villar hit .188/.278/.203 in 22 games. But, of course, he’s a Met now, which is punishment enough for the .188 BA.
Conine is hitting .247/.382/.587 with 23 home runs in High-A. He’s 24 now, so he’s old for the level, but I’d rather have him than 22 games of Villar.
3 year ago
We traded Josh Donaldson.
It was all a mess. Josh had been injured. He hadn’t played since May 28th (and he wouldn’t play until September 11th for Cleveland).
The rush to trade him was hard to understand. I know the front office must have decided that they wouldn’t sign him over the winter and likely didn’t want the PR problems of not offering a former MVP a contract. Add in that they wanted to get something back for him (of course, whether we actually got something back for him is yet to be determined. But, it wasn’t done well.
I don’t know that there was a way for it to be done well. As it turned out, it would have been better to trade him before the season. But the team hoped that he could have a good year, that Tulo could play, that the pitching (led by Marcus Stroman, Marco Estrada, and Aaron Sanchez) would be the team's strength and, well, a half a dozen other things would turn outright. Almost nothing good happened.
When he finally could play. He was excellent in 16 September games (.280/.400/.520 with 3 homers). However, he had a tough time in the playoffs getting just 1 hit in Cleveland’s 3 and out against the Astros.
In 2019 he had a terrific year with the Braves. And, now, he is in his second season with the Twins. He is hitting .259/.360/.494 with 21 home runs so far this year.
12 years ago
The Jays won a wild game over the Rangers.
Adam Lind had a huge game, going 3 for 5 with 2 home runs, including a grand slam and 8 RBI.
After 5 innings, we were up 11-0, and the game appeared to be over.
We scored 5 runs in the first. The big hit was a Rod Barajas 3-run homer. We scored 1 more in the third, 4 in the fourth (Lind’s grand slam), and 1 more in the fifth.
All seemed good. Brett Cecil had thrown 4 shutout innings. Then came the fifth. Cecil gave up 7 runs.
Now, why would a manager leave his starter out there to give up 7 runs? Well, because it was the fifth inning, and Cito wanted Cecil to get the win. In that fifth Cecil:
- Gave up 3 straight singles to start the inning.
- Then, after a ground out, Ian Kinsler hit a triple, and it was 11-3.
- After a fly-out, 2 more singles (one from Josh Hamilton) set up a 3-run Nelson Cruz home run, and it was suddenly 11-7. Thankfully that’s where the bleeding stopped.
Then the bullpen got into the game:
- In the sixth, Casey Janssen came in and gave up 2 more runs. Jesse Carlson (a favorite of mine) got the last out of the inning. 11-9.
- Carlson gave up 2 singles in the seventh, coming out of the game with runners on the corners and 1 out.
- Scott Downs followed, and a sac fly made it an 11-10 game, and it didn't look good. But Downs shut things down for the inning and the eighth.
From my recap:
Brett Cecil pitched 4 very good innings then gave up 7 runs in the 5th. He was clearly tired. Cito wanted him to get through the 5th so he could get the win but it darn near cost us the game. He was hit in the thigh with a ground ball in the middle of it all. I’m sure he has a great bruise. 2 batters later he gave up a grand slam but after that he got a strikeout to end the inning. He has pitched more innings than ever before in a season, he is clearly tired. I would have much rather Cito pull him when he was tired. A win is nice but a young man pitching tired is an invite for an injury.
In the top of the ninth, we scored 7 runs to make it a blowout again (with. It finished 18-10.
The inning started with Lind’s second homer, followed by doubles from Kevin Millar and Vernon Wells. After Randy Ruiz and Rod Barajas made outs, the inning went: Walk (Jose Bautista), single (John McDonald), walk (Marco Scutaro), walk (Aarron Hill), and 3-run double (Adam Lind).
Lind drove in 8 runs (and only had a .126 WPA). Rod Barajas hit 2 homers.