Category Archives: Alexis Rios

A Tale of Two Catchers


The Jays have turned things around since May 9th, the day many thought would be the end of their playoff chances. But behind the MLB’s best pitching staff (leads the league in ERA), the Jays have crawled back to within 3 Games of the AL East leading Rays and currently stand at 31-26. This marks the first time the Jays have been 5 games over .500 since 1997*. So whats driving the resurgence of the Blue Birds besides the consistently sublime pitching? I say the Catcher Quandry. Though I hadn’t even considered the catching platoon to be an issue, after looking at some numbers, it appears as if Gregg Zaun enjoys spearheading Losses. In Games the recently calmed Zaunn has appeared in (significant playing time, no pinch hitting, sub bullshit), the Jays have gone 16-21. He was also involved in an anemic April stretch that saw the Jays lose 11 of 12 in  which he played. The other side of the coin reveals the brilliance of Ontario’s finest, Mr. Rod Barajas. In games the Barajas plays in, the Jays have gone 17-10. The post-Mitchell era has been cruel to Mr. Zaun.

Otherness, to Mr. McGowan for extending the Cycle of Litsch streak to an unprecedented four games. When will people see the invigorating properties of Litsch?

Shannon Stewart has a 224 point difference between his batting average in Jays’ wins compared with his batting average in Jays’ losses. Catalyst? Just maybe. All this despite being endowed with the names Harold and Shannon. Amazing.

Though he’s my favorite Jay, arguments concerning his prominence in the lineup are continuing to look bleaker everyday. The Rios is hitting 18 points better in Jays losses. The Jays have won despite him this year. However,  I do take comfort in the company he keeps atop the GIDP leaderboard. Some future HOFs right there.

Matty Stairs has some seriously fucked splits. He is currently hitting .071 against LHP and .300 v RHP. The Canadian boy has also proved my longtime suspicion that he hates Canada by hitting .206 at the Rogers Centre and .333 on the Road.

Props to Baseball Reference for refusing to abandon the Skydome. Strange how the insanely updated site still refers to buildings by their 20th century names. Seriously Awesome.

Among MLB pitchers with more than 60 IP, Jesse Litsch is 17th in Run Support. Dustin McGowan, not so lucky (though that will change after the explosion last nite) He is currently 85th of 86 pitchers with 2.78 Runs/Start.

The Jays are currently rocking two pitchers in the WHIP Top 3!! Marcum is #1 with the Doc coming in at #3.

Marcum is also leading the league by quite some margin in Opponent’s batting average. He has made the AL his collective bitch, allowing them to hit only .160 thus far. Or, for awesomeness context, 20 points less than the next best pitcher!!

Litsch has the fewest BBs among pitchers with 60 IP with 9. Doc has the 3rd fewest with 11.

Though these figures will probably never be topped in the history of man, one number suggests they could be even better. According to the Jays ERC percentage, the pitching staff has been UNLUCKY so far this season. If the figure is less than 100, than it is assumed they have been unlucky. The Jays number: 94!!! Look for a 1-2-3-4-5 showing in the Cy Young voting come October. For a more detailed explanation check this out:

*No actual evidence to support




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Filed under AL East, Alexis Rios, Baseball, Dustin McGowan, Jesse Litsch, Major League Baseball, Toronto Blue Jays

Fear for the Mo’

This afternoon, the Jays usurped the Royals (yesssss) 7-2 to finish off the sweep. Marcum continued his brilliant 2008, giving up 1 earned and maintaining his petty 0.87 WHIP. This guy hasn’t given up more than 6 hits all year. From what I understand about sabermetrics, that is money. The unlikely duo of Scoots and Zaun launched a few jacks into the Roger Centre seats, with the Scoots adding a stolen base as well. Rios too displayed the hybrid game, hitting a 2Bagger and stealing 2nd. It looks like Rios’ power game has not left him and if today’s performance is any indicator of future progress, expect him to be in the 30-30 club by August. Real talk (ye ye Real World assholes). I’d almost prefer to see Scutaro hitting jacks than Rios since I can talk myself into buying Rios’ “continued development” when he may have peaked last year. Whatever. Keep working those gaps Alexis.

Though we have swept the Mizzou shit, the upcoming schedule is eerily similar to another era of unbridled optimism. Remember when the Jays swept the Sox in their second series of the year? I was dreaming October back then until Beane’s boys came to Toronto and embarassed us behind some expendable Diamondbacks’ prospects. Shit, that sucked. Anyways beware of the similarities and hinder the expectations surrounding the upcoming road trip. After the trip, the Jays will have played 19 of 25 on the road. What the shit?

Otherness, brought to you by the Professor of Letter Recognition, Mr. Jamie Campbell. Did anyone witness the fiery bastard proudly inform the Rogers faithful that the Royals roster contained 5 players with surnames beginning with G? Is that Jamie’s “filler”? How many dyslexic research assistants did it take to present that as “air-worthy”?

Yesterday the Rogers’ crew cherrypicked my Lyle research. Dicks.

Sunday’s victory saw McGowan limit his walk total to zero for only the 2nd time in 11 starts. Very encouraging considering he walked 9 batters in his previous 11.1 innings.

The Jays allowed 3 ERs this series. No lime needed.

Rios strike from CF on Sunday was fucking beautiful. Though, Jose Guillen deserves some credit for being a fucking shit baserunner. 

It was either Saturday or Sunday that a Jay was thrown out at home for the first time this season. Peavy’s sublime streak finally ended.

McGowans’s breaking ball (I’m not entirely sure what pitch it is) is absolutely unhittable against left handed batters.

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Filed under Alexis Rios, Baseball, Dustin McGowan, Major League Baseball, Oakland Athletics, Sports, Toronto Blue Jays

Afternoons in Minneapolis

So I come home from work excited for some beers, some chow, and the potential for a Jays’ sweep. While all three of these things have or will happen, I was hoping to combine them in a melding of lazy ectstasy. Instead, I will have to eat and drink while watching fucking hockey. Apparently, the Twins’ braintrust (yes I realize no one from Minnesota had any hand in this debacle but I dislike Minnesotans. They’re the American equivalent of Tobans’. I think) feels the need to schedule games in the afternoon. In a dome for fucks sake. I thought the whole point of afternoon ball was to enjoy the daytime sunlight. This is obviously impossible in the shithole that is the HHH. Its not like the two teams have far to travel for tomorrow’s games either. The Jays’ are going to Philly and the Twins’ to Colarado. Fucking schedule. Now I have to relive the game through MLB Gameday.

Anyways, despite not playing a part in the sweep-clinching W (I feel my attention produces wins), I am stoked (bro) the Jays’ pulled it off. In extra innings no less. And Rios actually contributed. Although he only had one hit, it produced one of the runs in the 3-2 11 inning victory. The Jays’ once again rode a early inning burst to the W with a 2 run 3rd.

Otherness, Gibbons almost fucked up pitching assignments once again as he only had one reliever left in the pen when the game ended. I guess you could argue that Shawn Camp could have remained in the game had the Jays not scored the run in the 11th, but thats not encouraging either. Whatever we got the W and thats all that counts.

Apparently (I say this because I have no first hand knowledge of such an occurence. Besides numerical evidence) Dustin McGowan was wild tonite this afternoon. I thought Gibby may have performed another premature pull until I saw his pitch count. 104 in 5 innings? Shit. I’m a little concerned with Chairman Gow’s last two outings.

Jesse Crain once again shit the bed by allowing the game clinching run for the second straight game. Right on Jesse.

Scotty Roles ended his streak of Masterful plate discipline by swinging on the first pitch in 3 of his ABs and only seeing a total of 11 throughout his 5 plate appearances. Whatever, I ain’t mad at cha. Guy scored the game winning run for the second straight game.

The Beej!! locked down the save to pull out of a inexplicable tie with Scotty Downs. The universe has been remedied.

Tomorrow sees the Jays travel to Philly to face Jamie Moyer. Epitome of the Senior Circuit right there. We’ll also by seeing David Purcey. Hopefully Moyer’s lack of velocity will counter Purcey’s lack of control.

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Filed under Alexis Rios, B.J. Ryan, Baseball, Dustin McGowan, John Gibbons, Major League Baseball, Scott Rolen, Toronto Blue Jays

Vernon’s Wrist is Tired of this Shit Too

Fuck. According to the WWL, The Vern’s wrist has quit on him after colliding with earth yesterday. It too must have grown tired of wasting countless quality starts from the Jays’ starting pitchers (alrite, there easily quantifiable but countless is more powerful).

What is our OF going to look like tonite? I assume Rios will move over to centre but whos taking over rightfield? We may have to endure consistent playing time from Shannon Stewart. Fucking Primoz.

At least the report offered good news too. Accardo has been placed on the 15 day DL, which presumably will be upgraded to the 60 in the near future..

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Filed under Alexis Rios, Baseball, Major League Baseball, Toronto Blue Jays, Vernon Wells

Hanley Ramirez makes me Feel Bad

I know I’ve been supportive of the Rios contract in the past, but recent developments have changed my perspective on shit. First there was the Chris B. Young contract, which had the D-Backs giving the young slugger 28 million over 5 years, but Young’s stats ain’t that great. He may become the only member of the 30-30 club to hit under .250. He is a truly confusing specimen. When Rios breaks into the club, there will be no way hes hitting under .250 (and I’m still confident Rios will eventually break in)

However, the news today gave me vertigo. The Florida Marlins have surprisingly signed Hanley Ramirez to a 6 year deal for 70 million. The same Hanley Ramirez who has outperformed Rios’ in EVERY statistical category (except RBIs. Damnit). In his two years in the MLB. And is two years younger. Wow, I feel awful.

Comparing Jays’ contracts is incredibly difficult. When I heard the news of the Rios signing, I was ecstatic. I instantly thought of the shitness that is Vernon Wells (126 million over 7) and Frank Thomas (20 million over 2 years) and thought to myself, JP congrats. You’ve seen the mistakes of the past and corrected appropiately. The only benchmarks I was using to compare were the awful contracts of old. And it made me feel happy.

But now, I have realized the folly of my ways. The Rios contract is nothing to be ecstatic about. Its decent but ain’t special. This Hanley deal has shown me the light. Dude has performed more consistently than the Rios and clearly (no proof for such a claim) has a higher ceiling.

While some may find the comparison troublesome, money is the great equalizer in baseball comparisons, especially when the two signings occurred within two months of each other.

On the bright side, I’m pretty sure the Vernon Wells and Alexis Rios’ contracts may increase the contracts of countless guys in the near future. Any agent could point to the absurdity of said contracts and reel in some more dough. Or GMs may counter with arguments concerning the idiocy of JP. We’ll see how things play out.


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Filed under Alexis Rios, Baseball, Hanley Ramirez, Major League Baseball, Toronto Blue Jays, Uncategorized

Brutal Losing and New Bats

The 13th inning proved to be the Jays’ Achilles heel (they probably passed under a ladder across a black cat’s path while pouring salt  once again last as the Rays’ overcame a 9th inning meltdown by Troy Percival with a 5 run 13th inning to defeat the Jays’ 8-3. After Percival allowed the Jays’ back into the game in the 9 by way of a Vernon 2 run homer and Aaron Hill single, the Rays’ put it out of reach in the 13th behind a Dioner Navarro Grand Slam off former Ray, Shawn Camp. Absolutely awful. Whenever the Jays’ get involved in these extra extra inning games, the result feels inevitable. Why do I watch this shit.

Though everyone is justifiably bitching about the Jays’ failure to knock in Rios in the tenth, the same situation went down in the fourth when Scotty Roles hit a triple with one out. In this particular situation, Stairs ground out and Vern popped out leaving the Roles visibly enraged (at least mentally). So instead of vilifying Shannon Stewart (though I too wish he was dead), lets get after Matty Stairs, the man who was involved in both failures. We ain’t scared to cut ties with Canadians, Matty. You ain’t invincible. Wheres Koskie right now? He ain’t got no hand injury. Not.

Kevin Mench’s career decline: collateral damage of the Mitchell Report

Now onto some ignorant optimism. KEVIN MENCH AND BRAD WILKERSON!!! THEY WERE AVAILABLE ALL THIS TIME AND WE DIDN’T PICK EM UP!!! Inexcusable JP. But honestly, I don’t see how these dudes can help at all. I assume they’re either 1B or OF so we’ll likely have a Stewart/Wilkerson/Mench/Stairs/Overbay combo at those two positions. I don’t see how either dude is a possible upgrade over anyone, and I mean anyone. This could have one positive side effect however, as it would occasionally (and hopefully permanently) remove the universally hated Stewart from the two-hole and allow Hill to take over, which would awesome considering Hill’s confidence is presumably at an all-time high after that game tying RBI last nite.

OK, after doing some statistical research on the two dudes, they do have some skills. Wilkerson is good at drawing walks and once finished 2nd in Rookie of the Year voting. So theres that. Even more encouraging is Kevin Mench’s ability to hit left handed pitchers (like we needed help in that department) and his sweet line-drive percentage. This is pretty coincidental since I was listening to a podcast today that claimed line-drive percentages is the new OBP (concerning their mainstream usage) anddudes with LDPof 16 or over are bound to succeed in the future. Kevin Mench’s LDP: 16.9%!!! The Gods smile upon us.


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Filed under Aaron Hill, Alexis Rios, Baseball, Major League Baseball, Matty Stairs, Scott Rolen, Toronto Blue Jays, Vernon Wells

Unnecessary lack of Cuba

Supposedly the Jays got some hot young Cuban in Dunedin right now. According to this article in his first ever Stateside start, he played pretty well and even called the game himself. Very exciting.

This dude’s success has got me thinking; Why don’t the Jays take advantage of their ability to scout Cuba? We could monopolize the whole talent pool. We could have Jays scouts based permenently in Cuba who would constantly restock the Jays’ system. If the Cuban players have a choice between rafting to Miami or flying to Toronto, whatdya think they’ll do? Granted I have no idea whether the government allows their citizens to leave whenever they please (I somehow doubt it) but I’m sure JP could work something out with the Castros. Plus all I ever hear about the AL East powers is how they are rebuilding their farm system and will be looking internally in the future. We got to keep up. Cubas where it’s at.


Filed under Aaron Hill, AL East, Alexis Rios, Baseball, canada, Cuba, New York Yankees, Scott Rolen, Sports, Toronto Blue Jays