Posts Tagged: Jon Rauch

Will the Jays be risky buyers or effective sellers on the deadline?


Will Alex Anthopoulos be a buyer or seller at this year's deadline

Will Alex Anthopoulos be a buyer or seller at this year's deadline

13 days from now, the MLB non-waiver trade deadline will come and go and every year, Blue Jays fans will wonder whether AA will be a buyer or a seller. The races are pretty tight this year and you may be even surprised to hear that the Pirates could be buyers at the trade deadline. That’s right! A team that hasn’t had a winning record for 18 years are in the hunt!

Judging by AA’s game plan ever since he because the GM and the standings, AA will once again try to seek out trades that will bring him impact players or beef for the already beefy farm system. I cannot see Alex being a buyer this year and it would be a mistake if he was. The Blue Jays are pretty far back in the wild card spot and 1st place in the AL EAST. This year was considered to be a year that we wouldn’t be competing, but more of a developmental year for our young studs. So if we are that far back, with maybe a 0.01% chance of making the playoffs, why even tender the idea of buying. I rather see this team make the playoffs year after year like the Braves in the 90s, than make it one year and drop off the next few.

With that being said, who is a prime target to be traded on the Toronto Blue Jays? The Blue Jays don’t have that many trading chips on their team like last year. The team is primarily stocked with young talent, but our veteran bullpen pitchers could be packing their bags. As you know, we have 5 pitchers in the bullpen that are potential Type-B free agents, which could net 5 sandwich picks for the Blue Jays next season. Last year, AA tried to move Downs, Frasor, and even Gregg who were in that Type-A/B range, but no team wanted to give up young talent for those pitchers. Well, second time around, things could be different, especially since a lot of teams are looking for pitching help to get them into the playoff hunt. Teams in the hunt are always looking to improve their bullpen and the Blue Jays may have the pitchers teams want. I hear the St.Louis Cardinals are looking for some help.

Another interesting name that has been popping up in the rumour mill of being traded is Marc Rzepcynski. The lefty “Weapon” who use to be a starter has made a nice transition to the bullpen and has been nothing but great, minus a few games give or take. Rzepcynski could be a great piece to move along with another reliever like a Jon Rauch to acquire some young talent. I could see AA doing a trade like this. Rzepcynski has more added gold because he’s in control for the next 4 years, before he becomes a free agent. Would be an excellent trade piece, but of course for the right price. He could be our Scott Downs for many years to come.

Los Del V's value could be as high as it can get. Could he be dealt this season?

Los Del V's value could be as high as it can get. Could he be dealt this season?

One final though about Blue Jays pitching, keep your eye on whether the Blue Jays will keep or deal Carlos Villanueva. He’s been pitching great as a starting pitcher, but does he fit in as a fifth starter or the long man in the pen? With his stock pretty high right now, maybe a sell high situation is in store for this pitcher.

Aaron Hill could be on his way out before the trade deadline.

Aaron Hill could be on his way out before the trade deadline.

For position players, I can only see Corey Patterson, Edwin Encarnacion, and/or Aaron Hill being moved. Juan Rivera would have been in this discussion, but he’s with the Dodgers. Patterson looked great early in the season, but has really tailed off as the season progressed. He’s also not doing any favours when he makes crazy mistakes in the field and on the base paths. I don’t ever remember seeing anyone make blunders in the field and the base paths as much as Corey. Those are softball mistakes, not MLB mistakes. Patterson doesn’t have Type-B status so AA wouldn’t get much for him if he were to move him. Edwin Encarnacion is starting to heat up as of late, and double E doesn’t really have much trade value. I heard that the Brewers are looking for a 3rd baseman.. After he shined the leather on Friday, maybe the Brewers will have some slight interest :) Aaron Hill on the other hand is an interesting piece that could be traded. I don’t see the Blue Jays picking up his options that would net him multi-millions of dollars because he has dropped off so much that he’s not even worth a couple million. Aaron Hill is also a Type-B FA so if the Blue Jays were to not pick up that option and he declines arbitration, we could net yet another draft pick. Teams can also gamble on Hill as he is still relatively young and with maybe a few adjustments (a la Bautista style), he could regain his 2009 form. I’m sure some teams out there might take a risk on Hill, but it is unlikely. Still, he is a potential Blue Jays player that could be on the move, and I wouldn’t mind it. As much as I want Hill to succeed, he just isn’t that player that we envisioned he’d be.

Other trading chips from our farm team that I just don’t see them fitting into the Blue Jays lineup would be guys like Brad Mills, David Cooper, and Adam Loewen. These guys are good, don’t get me wrong, but they just don’t seem to fit on the current MLB roster. Mills has been great in Vegas, but I can’t see him cracking the rotation. Cooper looks to be a solid contact hitter, but he won’t be starting in front of Lind. Adam Loewen has really showed off his power, but again, we have a lot of left handed Outfield bats with power.

So who should AA try to target to improve our team? This team is fairly decent, but we are probably 2-3 pieces away from even thinking about competing for the multiple World Series Championships. First off, we need to think of what our future lineup will look like. Within a few years, i’d like to see this lineup:

C – J.P. Arencibia / Travis d’Arnaud (Backup)
1B – Adam Lind
2B – ??? Maybe Adeiny Hechavarria
SS – Yunel Escobar
3B – Brett Lawrie
OF – Travis Snider, Anthony Gose, Jose Bautista, Rajai Davis (Backup), Eric Thames (Backup)
SP – Ricky Romero, Brandon Morrow, Brett Cecil, Kyle Drabek, Dustin McGowan/Zack Stewart
RP – Marc Rzepczynski, Luis Perez, Henderson Alverez, Danny Farquhar

Could this speedy shortstop be a Blue Jay this year or years to come?

Could this speedy shortstop be a Blue Jay this year or years to come?

I don’t expect AA to target relief pitching because you can find those pitchers either in your system (failed starters) or on the FA market. I do expect him to maybe pick up a middle infielder, either a SS or 2B because we are somewhat weak in that area. People have said, maybe we should bring in the speedy and talented Jose Reyes, but he would cost a ton. I don’t think this is the time to acquire him. Maybe if this was two years later. Another nice piece to pick up would be a veteran starting pitcher. Our rotation is relatively young and they say you need those veterans in your clubhouse, who’s been to the promise land to give the young guns their experience and leadership. Jose Bautista is our current veteran leader, but it would be nice if a veteran starting pitcher were to be inserted into the rotation to solidify our explosive rotation. Maybe we can get some of those great Oakland pitchers on our team.

At the end of the day, if AA can add to the farm, that will be good enough for me, as long as he doesn’t sway away from his plan. People have been a bit impatient with AA cause he’s trying to stock pile as many good prospect as he can, but you watch. When he feels the Blue Jays are ready to contend, he’ll be using those prospects to trade for elite talent, like how the Red Sox used Hanley Ramirez to get Beckett and Lowell from the Marlins or Bartolo Colon to the Expos for Cliff Lee, Brandon Phillips, and Grady Sizemore. I guarantee you elite talent is coming and these trades will happen. When? I would figure as early as 2012, but 2013 would be a good target. You never know if one day a guy like Mike Stanton, Jason Heyward, Bryce Harper, or great young talent could end up in a Blue Jays uniform. It could be a silent trade deadline for the Blue Jays or AA could blow our minds by getting some big league talent or young prospects. I hope the Ninja can work his magic and beef up our team and the farm. I’m just excited to see what the Blue Jays have in store for the future. Like they say, this game is a marathon and not a sprint.

Game 93 vs. New York Yankees


New York Yankees @ Toronto Blue Jays

Thu, July 14th, 2011 7:05 PM @ Rogers Centre

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If you’ve caught Buck in the act again, please send it to us by commenting to this post or by tweeting @buckblunders or by emailing: Text, Audio, and Visual comments will all be accepted. If you have an audio or video comment, please post a link to it. Thanks.

Buck Blunder 1 – Buck starts off the unofficial second half with an “Alice Rodriguez” name blunder.. We could use that next time to taunt him! (Contributed by @JerrySchaq and @AndyMc9293)

Buck Blunder 2 – Buck Martinez said that a ball fell on the warning track, but it wasn’t even close! (Contributed by @ShakeelSalamath)

Buck Blunder 3 – With 3000 hits and counting, Jerek Jeter! (Contributed by @s_poole420)

Buck Blunder 4 – Buck Martinez made a comment on when you play with a ton of vets, you automatically win games on the road. That doesn’t make a lick of sense. (Contributed by @ShakeelSalamath)

Buck Blunder 5 – Buck Martinez said that the Blue Jays have back to back 4 game series with the Yankees. That’s not true cause they play them in September and it’s a 3 game series. (Contributed by @LFri45)

Buck Blunder 6 – Buck Martinez said the Yankees erased a 9 run lead. They only scored 7 at that point and guess what, the Blue Jays beat the Yankees by 9! Go Figure! (Contributed by @JerrySchaq)

Buck Blunder 7 – Buck Martinez said that Frankie Frank was the closer and needed work, but Jon Rauch is our closer at the moment! (Contributed by @GuzmansJhercurl)

Buck Blunder 8 – Buck Martinez said Russell Martin was from North York, when he’s from East York. (Contributed by @scoopdf)

Buck Blunder 9 – Buck Martinez said that 90% of baseball is “half” mental”. WHAT THE BUCK??? (Contributed by @JordanAshton11)

Capital ‘C’ Closer? Will one emerge this year and for years to come?


When will the Toronto Blue Jays have their Capital 'C' Closer?

When will the Toronto Blue Jays have their Capital 'C' Closer?

Well, well.. We’re finally at the so called mid point of the 2011 season and the Blue Jays have had a roller coaster ride in the first half with their bullpen. Coming into the season, many of you probably thought that our bullpen would be even better than last year. With all the veteran arms that we signed and traded for (Rauch, Dotel, Francisco) the Blue Jays had a blueprint to help the young arms in the starting rotation… Boy were we wrong.

Last year, we had to hold our breath whenever Bizzaro Clark Kent, Kevin Gregg came into the 9th to try and close out a 3, 2 or 1 run lead. No Blue Jays lead seemed safe last year, but if you compare the numbers from last year to this year, you might be a bit surprised. According to Baseball References, Kevin Gregg only blew 6 saves last year and 4 before the All-Star break. The Blue Jays this year have combined 15 blown saves (4 – Francisco, 3 – Rauch, 3 – Rzepczynski, 2 – Perez, 2 – Frasor, 1 – Camp), which is 1 less than the Blue Jays had all of last season (6 – Gregg, 4 – Frasor, 2 – Tallet, 2 – Camp, 2 – Downs). So to think of it, does this mean that Gregg wasn’t as bad as we thought? Sorry, i don’t think so.. He was bad last year. It’s just that this year’s core is making him look good. As Bob McCowan would say, he would fit perfectly with this group.

But let’s not talk too much about Gregg since he’s in the past. What do we do about this year’s group? We all know that Frank Francisco was dubbed the closer when we got him from Texas for slugger Mike Napoli. After starting on the DL at the beginning of the season, Francisco has looked nothing like the closer he was in 2009. Maybe he hasn’t been the same after the throwing chair incident. So if he’s so bad, why do the Blue Jays give him chance after chance? Because he has good stuff? Because he’s been an elite closer in the past? That’s just bull. But John Farrell’s hands are pretty tied right now. Other than Francisco, Rauch and Dotel haven’t had much success with the closer role. Dotel hasn’t blown a save, but you can’t put him in there if a lefty is up, cause he gets creamed by lefties. Rauch has been a little more reliable because he doesn’t walk many batters, but he still give up a ton of fly balls, which some go out of the park. So what do the Blue Jays do to salvage this season?

Some people have been saying we should move these pitchers or DFA them, but to be honest, that is not going to happen. 5 of the relief pitchers are Type-B free agents after this year. If you are unfamiliar with what a Type-B Free Agent means, there are Elias Rankings for different positions and both leagues for every player in the MLB. The rankings determine whether players are either a Type-A or Type-B in the player’s positions like (C, 2B/3B/SS, 1B/DH/OF, SP and RP). So at the end of the year, players who are free-agents who are given arbitration by their original team, but decline and are signed by other team, the original team receive draft picks for next year’s draft. Type-A free agents score 1 first round pick (unless the team is a bottom 15 team based on record, then a team receives a 2nd round pick, or if a team signed a Type-A player with a higher score, then the team will get a 2nd round pick, or 3rd round pick depending on how many Type-A free agents they sign) and a sandwich pick (a pick between the first and second round). If you want an example of this, remember when the New York Yankees signed A.J. Burnett, Mark Teixeria, and CC Sabathia and the Blue Jays only got a 3rd round pick out of that cause CC and Mark were higher Type-A FA? Yeah, the Blue Jays got royally screwed on that.

So back to my point after that little education. Type-B free agents will net a team with one sandwich pick. Last year, the Blue Jays netted 4 sandwich picks (Scott Downs (A), Kevin Gregg (B), Miguel Olivo (B), John Buck (B)) and we all know that AA loves the fact that he can add as much young talent as he can to his farm. This year is no different. I’m sure AA is salivating that he could potentially get 5 sandwich picks out of Francisco, Dotel, Rauch, Camp, and Frasor (though Frasor is on the bubble of being a Type-A and if he is, he won’t decline arbitration cause no one will give up their own top pick for him). AA would only trade these guys if the player was a top prospect (higher than a sandwich pick) or a player who would net him a Type-A free agent. Remember how last year he tried to trade Downs and Frasor who were both Type-A FA at the end of the season and no one wanted to give him the talent he demanded? I’m sure this is going to be the same this year, so don’t expect any movement in the pen.

So with that being said, we will probably have to live with this shaky bullpen for the remainder of the season. Maybe we throw some one else out there besides Rauch and Francisco. Maybe Frasor should get another stab at the closer role as he has been a little more consistent than these two or what about Casey Janssen? Before he got hurt, he was very good against lefties and righties and has the best ERA and WHIP amongst the relievers. I say the Blue Jays should go with either the matchups and the hot arm. At this point in time, there is no Capital ‘C’ closer as no one seems to really want to take the role and run with it, like Gregg did last year (Frasor was the closer at the beginning of the season, but was ousted when Gregg dominated the first couple months).

But what about the future? Who should be our Capital ‘C’ closer??? With probably 5 relievers leaving this team cause of their Type-B status, the bullpen looks to have an overhaul and room for 5 relievers to come in and help this team out, which means, we could have a closer within the system. When was the last time the Blue Jays had a closer that was home grown? Billy Koch you say? Actually that’s not correct. In 2002, Kelvim Escobar saved 38 games and he was a Toronto draft pick, though he was a converted starting pitcher that year. Besides the point, we haven’t had a home grown closer since 2002, nor have we had a closer pitch full consecutive season since Billy Koch (1999-2001). So who can we throw in the fire for next year and years to come as the Blue Jays will contend for the World Series title? Three names come into mind…

Zach StewartZach Stewart – We saw this young stud for a few starts in June and he had some great stuff. His game isn’t about power, but he had some great movement on his pitches that could be useful in closing games out. Although he is starting in New Hampshire, the Blue Jays have a lot of Starting Pitching, which could move Stewart in the pen just like Purcey and Rzepcynski. People have been saying he could close, so maybe we’ll see him there next year… or maybe this guy…

Henderson AlverezHenderson Alverez – This guy has been on fire this year. His stuff and power pitching is the opposite of Stewart. Sal Fasano has said that he is averaging 95-96 mph on his fastball and has topped the gun at 101!!! That’s Alrodis Chapman area. I would love to see a hard throwing pitcher close games out like the Papelbon and Marmol, striking out guys left, right and center, but let’s hope he has some off speed pitchers, or it could be another Billy Koch, who threw hard, but didn’t have a changeup slow enough to offset the batter’s timing, ultimately making him very predictable and fizzling. He could very well be the closer of the future, but probably not next year. Hopefully we can see a glimpse of him this year when the rosters expand to 40 in September… Or finally…

Dustin McGowanDustin McGowan – The dark horse of this bunch, McGowan has been nothing but unlucky for his MLB career. Having had Tommy John surgery, than a shoulder surgery, than a minor knee surgery, this guy just needs to get healthy so he can help this ball club. McGowan has been preparing himself as a starting pitcher in rehab, but I think he could be a closer or setup man in the future. He has the stuff to be a closer, but can he transition to that relief role, because some pitchers can’t do that as they are so use to pitching every 5 days and getting into their routine as oppose to being a relief pitcher and not knowing when you’ll pitch. I’d love to see McGowan just come back to the mound for the Blue Jays and make an incredible come back like Chris Carpenter. We’ll see. We miss the long sideburns, though Cecil is sporting that look now.. Stealing his thunder :p

They say that the best closers are starting pitchers who fail and get converted to being a relief pitcher. We’ve seen this before from Mariano Rivera, Jonathan Papelbon, Eric Gagne, Tom Heinke, etc… So why not have this happen for the Blue Jays. It can’t get any worse than that 4 run lead destruction last Thursday against the Cleveland Indians. If you have any other suggestions or comments, let me know below in the comment box. I’d like to hear your thoughts on what the Blue Jays should do and who maybe be the next closer of the Blue Jays’ future!

Game 90 vs. Cleveland Indians


Toronto Blue Jays @ Cleveland Indians

Fri, July 8th, 2011 7:05 PM @ Progressive Field

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If you’ve caught Buck in the act again, please send it to us by commenting to this post or by tweeting @buckblunders or by emailing: Text, Audio, and Visual comments will all be accepted. If you have an audio or video comment, please post a link to it. Thanks.

Buck Blunder 1 – In the 3rd inning, Buck Martinez said that Carlos Baerga, Victor Martinez, and Sandy Alomar JR all came up at the same time.. WOW really.. Victor Martinez must be very, very old. (Contributed by @Jaret_Dezotell)

Buck Blunder 2 – Buck Martinez said that the baseball game was on the radio, the Fan 690.. I mean Fan 960.. What the hell man.. it’s the FAN 590. (Contributed by @barbaragbaggio)

Buck Blunder 3 – When promoting the Dudesons, he said that it can be watched on OLN, which he claimed was the channel that everyone was watching.. You mean Sportsnet. (Contributed by @NewpDawg)

Buck Blunder 4 – When Travis Snider hit his homerun, pretty much said the same thing when Jose Bautista hit his home run against Papelbum. 2 homerun.. 2 run homer. VIDEO EVIDENCE BELOW. (Contributed by @gosensgo101 and @GregBats19)

Buck Blunder 5 – “First pitch pitch-out not going” but there wasn’t a pitch yet and not even a pick-off attempt. Smart Buck Martinez… Smart (Contributed by @craigrwc)

Buck Blunder 6 – John Buck is warming in the bullpen.. Jon Rauch please… (Contributed by @markchech, @GuzmansJhercurl, @liamclemen, @needsanickname)

Game 88 vs. Boston Red Sox


Toronto Blue Jays @ Boston Red Sox

Wed, July 6th, 2011 7:10 PM @ Fenway Park

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If you’ve caught Buck in the act again, please send it to us by commenting to this post or by tweeting @buckblunders or by emailing: Text, Audio, and Visual comments will all be accepted. If you have an audio or video comment, please post a link to it. Thanks.

Buck Blunder 1 – Buck Martinez was talking about Jose Bautista and his ABs against Riverdancer Papelbum. He said he went 0-7 against him last night. I think he meant 0-7 all time and not that one game. Good thing Bautista delivered his 28th off Papelbum. (Contributed by @ShakeelSalamath)

Buck Blunder 2 – Ricky Romero was on the mound tonight and Buck was talking about his impressive 9 game streak of going 7 innings or more. Too bad he said it was 5 or more… (Contributed by @LFri45)

Buck Blunder 3 – A strong possibility that Buck Martinez called Tim Wakefield, Winfield. (Contributed by @LFri45)

Buck Blunder 4 – Buck Martinez mentioned last night’s Blue Jays starter as a righty. I didn’t know Brett Cecil can pitch right handed. Maybe if you watch the game from a mirrored point of view. (Contributed by @WildWalrusChild)

Buck Blunder 5 – Buck Martinez said players take 162 Batting practices a day. You mean for the entire season right Bucko? (Contributed by @gomego11)

Buck Blunder 6 – Buck was off by 2 pitchers when mentioning a 32 pitch inning by Romero. He said it was 34. (Contributed by @seanmacey13)

Buck Blunder 7 – We have a new Synergy pair. Shawn Camp and Shane Victorino -> Shawn Victorino… The Flyn’ Hawaiian Camp Day would be awesome! (Contributed by @jordangeville and @coolhead2010)

Buck Blunder 8 – I didn’t know pitchers can charge the mound! According to Buck Martinez, Jon Rauch did in that Philly game where he got the boot! (Contributed by @ROHZeebo)

Buck Blunder 9 – I know that Josh Bard was a Red Sox before, but come on. Daniel Bard is the pitcher and Josh Bard is a catcher. Maybe Daniel threw to Josh at one point in their careers. (Contributed by @GuzmansJhercurl and @ROHZeebo)

Buck Blunder 10 – So Daniel Bard comes in and the difference between his velocity and Wakefield is about 25-30 mph. Buck Martinez said that the players will think the ball is travelling at 100 mph, when Bard can hit the gun at 98-99 mph. So it’s more like 130 mph. (Contributed by @ROHZeebo)

Buck Blunder 11 – Buck Martinez mistaken the outs in the inning saying it was only 1 when it was 2 :p (Contributed by @davepoaps)

Buck Blunder 12 – Buck Martinez thought Dan Wheeler pitchers yesterday, but he pitched on Monday’s ugly game by John Lackey. (Contributed by @GuzmansJhercurl)

Buck Blunder 13 – Buck Martinez mistakenly said that Camp only pitched 0.2 innings, when he pitched 1.2 innings. He changed it later on.

Buck Blunder 14 – Buck Martinez mistakes an Octavio Dotel 93 mph fastball as a breaking ball. If you throw a breaking ball that fast, your fast ball better be 100 mph+ (Contributed by @ShakeelSalamath)

Buck Blunder 15 – Late blunder here. Apparently there was a play where catcher’s interference could have been called on a Eric Thames AB. Buck Martinez said that you can get a re-pitch, but really, you get first base. Thanks to commenter “davepoaps”

Game 70 vs. Baltimore Orioles


Baltimore Orioles @ Toronto Blue Jays

Thu, June 16th, 2011 12:35 PM @ Rogers Centre

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If you’ve caught Buck in the act again, please send it to us by commenting to this post or by tweeting @buckblunders or by emailing: Text, Audio, and Visual comments will all be accepted. If you have an audio or video comment, please post a link to it. Thanks.

Buck Blunder 1 – Buck Martinez talked about Jeremy Guthrie’s time with the Orioles. He said that he signed with the Orioles and started his clock, but that was the Cleveland Indians. (Contributed by @sleepy416)

Buck Blunder 2 – Buck Martinez said Zach Stewart was 8-3 in 10 starts in double A… Really.. that’s 11 stars Buck.(Contributed by @kantianallstar)

Buck Blunder 3 – Buck Martinez finally pulled a Nolan Ryan call when talking about Nolan Reimold.

Buck Blunder 4 – We have a new pitcher in the pen. Bryan Rauch. (Contributed by @itsaljustal)

Buck Blunder 5 – Buck Martinez was talking how Tom Henke is going to the Canadian Hall of fame… He said, “Tom Henke, congratulations to Tom Henke”.

Buck Blunder 6 – Buck Martinez did a correction blunder by saying Adam Lind was 2-3, but he was 2-4.

On a side note, @blandy12 and @dustinparkes tweeted about a stupid comment by Buck regarding how every hit at this time will increase your average by 3 points… HMMMMMMmmmmm…