Posts Tagged 'Matt Garza Jays 2012'

Jays Talk: AL East Recap

Some various Jays related and AL East rumblings:

-Chicago Cubs assistant GM Jed Hoyer was on ESPN 1000 sports radio and discussed Matt Garza’s status and possibly keeping him longer term.

“It was a long (arbitration) process, but we talked to Matt a number of times since and we’re happy we didn’t have to go into a hearing room with him,” Hoyer said. “He’s a great pitcher and a guy we’re going to talk to him about being part of our future, for sure. We need more guys like Matt, not less, and if we can work something out we’ll certainly have those discussions.”

This could be posturing and I would fully expect the rebuilding Cubbies to explore all possible trade options, and if available the Cubs would love to get their hands on some of the Jays top prospects.

-MLB Trade rumors reports the Yankees want Garrett Jones from the Pirates in any trade involving A.J. Burnett reports ESPN’s Buster Olney, but Pittsburgh isn’t interested in moving him and talks haven’t progressed (Twitter links). Yesterday we learned that the Pirates are not on Burnett’s no-trade list.

-Rays GM Andrew Friedman said it was a “dream scenario” to make the upgrades they did without sacrificing depth during an interview with 620AM radio, says Marc Topkin of The Tampa Times (Twitter link). Tampa added free agents Carlos Pena, Luke Scott, and Jose Molina this offseason.

-Ben Nicholson-Smith writes the Twins announced that they claimed Darin Mastroianni from the Blue Jays, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com tweets. The Blue Jays designated the outfielder for assignment last week to create roster space for Francisco Cordero.

Mastroianni made his MLB debut with the 2011 Blue Jays after spending most of the season at Double-A and Triple-A. The 26-year-old posted a .268/.353/.377 line with 34 stolen bases (44 attempts) in the upper minors last year. He has minor league experience at all three outfield positions and has mostly played center field.

-Canadian hurler Rich Harden had a shoulder operation performed by Dr. James Andrews to repair a torn capsule and will miss the entire 2012 MLB season.

-A interesting story on Dennis “Oil Can” Boyd who discussed his rampant usage of cocaine during his playing days, admitting he was under the influence of cocaine two-thirds of the time he was on the mound.

Blue Jays 2012 ZIPS Projections – Pitchers

Yesterday we looked at the ZIPS projections for the Toronto Blue Jays hitters and the line-up looks to be pretty solid again if we can maintain solid health throughout the season.  There is even some potential upside if one or more of Travis Snider, Eric Thames, Kelly Johnson, Adam Lind or Colby Rasmus has a breakout season.

The Jays should hit but the question going into the 2012 season is the state of the starting rotation. 

Let’s see what ZIPS is projecting for the starting pitchers. 

ZIPS ERA IP H BB K HR/9 ERA+
R. Romero 3.72 210 190 79 171 23 117
B. Morrow 4.12 166 154 71 176 18 106
H. Alvarez 4.65 155 175 31 89 21 94
B. Cecil 5.00 174 189 59 122 28 87
D. McGowan 5.00 72 77 34 54 10 87
K. Drabek 5.80 147 170 87 88 21 75

 -          Yikes, that is ugly and a hefty dose of reality that the Jays are going to need some serious overachievement from their starting rotation to have any hope this season.

-          Overall, only two of our starters are expected to produce above a league average level – Ricky Romero and Brandon Morrow. 

-          I think Romero’s numbers look doable and even a good chance he can best them.  He won’t likely repeat his 2011 stats (2.92 ERA, 4.20 FIP) as he had some help with the BABIP but he did a great job of limiting hits when it mattered. 

-          A novel could be written about Brandon Morrow’s mediocre results versus his excellent peripherals.  He has been dubbed the Ricky Nolasco of the American League.  He has the potential to give the Jays a monster 200 IPs with a mid 3.00 ERA and strong strikeout numbers or what ZIPS projects. 

-          ZIPS does not think Henderson Alvarez will pitch quite as well as he did in his 60+ IP MLB debut last season but those would be sufficient numbers for a fifth starter, if we had two starters ahead of him we could depend on.

-          Brett Cecil is being punished for his awful 2011 season and ZIPS isn’t that high on him for this coming season.  I think he has a chance to beat those projections and can be a reliable number four starter.

-          If Cecil was being punished for a poor 2011 campaign Kyle Drabek is being put to sleep.  He was plain and simple terrible and given the ZIPS projection bias to more recent major league numbers they do not exactly paint a rosy picture for 2012.  He was a top rated prospect and has shown glimpses of success in small doses so there is some room for upside surprise here but it would be hard to project anything but a below league average pitcher until shown otherwise.

For those curious here are the projections for the topic of yesterday’s post and possible trade target, he would look great slotted in as the number two starter in Toronto:

ZIPS ERA IP H BB K HR ERA+
Matt Garza 3.52 194 176 64 181 19 116

 There is an outside chance one of the talented arms in our minor league system take the leap but given the likely strict innings cap put in place it would be hard to expect more than a 100 IPs or any meaningful season long contribution. 

I’d say the likeliest candidate to make the team out of spring training (or shortly after) would be a guy like Deck McGuire.  Though he isn’t the highest rated guy in the system he has solid stuff across the board and unlike most of the other highly touted young arms he was drafted out of college and thus probably closer to “big league” ready – at least in theory.

Obviously the Jays will need a break or two here with the absolute necessity for Morrow and Romero to stay completely healthy, Cecil to pitch as a league average lefty and breakout seasons for Kyle Drabek, Jesse Litsch, Henderson Alvarez or a yet to be determined minor league riser. 

Stranger things have happened but unless the Jays make a move for a veteran starter the rotation could be a real Achilles heel.  Luckily the Jays have seriously bolstered the bullpen with the addition of Sergio Santos (13.1 K/9!), LOOGY Darren Oliver and the return of Jason Frasor.  Add those three to Casey Janssen, Carlos Villaneuva and Shawn Camp and the bullpen should be a force.


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