Jays Journal Hits: Arencibia's Record, Snider Out, Farrell's 88 Wins, and Minors Updates

There’s a lot going on in Jays land and I’ll try to get through the most important aspects below. This update comes after a loss to the Royals who are providing us with a glimpse of what’s to come from their end. Just as the Jays have improved the outlook of their club, so have the Royals.

J. P. Arencibia Ties HR Record for Jays Catchers

That Arencibia has been able to develop as much as he has as a game caller this season is incredible in its own right. But, that he has simultaneously been able to tie the HR record for a Jays catcher with his 20th big knock last night is even more impressive. When you look around the majors and see how few catchers can actually hit 20 HRs per season, you get a sense of just how big of an advantage it is for the Jays to have JPA behind the plate and in the lineup.

It pisses me off when Carlos Santana gets as many accolades as he does and Arencibia does not. JPA has 1 more HR than Carlos despite getting 85 fewer ABs this season. JPA also has a slightly higher SLG% with .440 compared to .437. Sure, Carlos has a better average and OBP, which is what makes him more impressive, but it’s not for as much of a difference as people make it out to be. Only Brian McCann and Mike Napoli have more HRs this season than Arencibia (each has 22). When you consider how much experience they have, and the fact that Napoli is really a 1B/DH now, it means that Arencibia is one of the 2 most powerful catchers in all of baseball….as a Rookie!!! What’s going to happen in 2012 or 2013 when he hits 30-35? It’s going to lead to a huge advantage for the Jays when playing most teams who will likely get modest power numbers from their catchers, that’s what.

Travis Snider May be Out for the Remainder of the 2011 Season

Just when you thought things couldn’t get worse for Lunchbox45, they do. Although the latest news on the Jays website still says his status is up in the air, several “unconfirmed” Tweets have informed us that he is actually out for the season after being diagnosed with wrist tendinitus. If true, it will end what has become a very frustrating year for Snider. I was part of a big group of people who believed that he would finally break through in 2011 and become a staple in the middle of the Jays lineup.

As far as I know, his wrist should heal very well if given the time to do so and he should be healthy for 2012. If that happens, he could earn a spot in LF, whether it be in platoon or not. Still, as it stands today, Snider will be lucky to earn a shot at playing time in 2012, nevermind getting a starting role. With the possibility of Anthony Gose manning CF in 2013 and Colby Rasmus moving to LF or RF as a result (with Jose Bautista staying in RF or LF), the possibility of Snider being moved in trade has suddenly become more prominent than ever.

Whatever happens, I sincerely hope he gets healthy and mashes as he should be able to do. He’s still young, has plenty of time to reach his star potential, and whether it’s with the Jays or not, I’m sure he will be a star one day.

John Farrell is Aiming for 88 Wins

As much as I have been impressed with the way he has drawn up the lineups this season, and the way he has used his pitchers, Farrell has disappointed me in one way: making unnecessary statements about expectations. First it was about the “no player from AA or below being promoted to The Show.” Well, guess what happened next, Joel Carreno got promoted from AA. Then it was Travis Snider being the “next in line” guy in terms of promotions if needed. Well, guess what happened next, the Jays promoted Mike McCoy instead. Now it’s the needless projection of wins. Why? Why does he need to make that statement? After doing so, every single fan and player will now have a chance of being disppointed by the outcome.

Had he just let things develop, maybe the Jays would win 90, or maybe they’d win 85. In each case, the Jays players would either be ecstatic or would be indifferent, because both outcomes are the same: no playoffs. That’s all he needed to say: “we will not make the playoffs this year, but we intend on winning the most games possible to set ourselves up on the right course for 2012.” At that point, everything would happen as it should, players would play relaxed, and fans wouldn’t have expectations. Instead, now each fan will see anything less as disappointing or as a shortfall of performance, and each player will see it as pressure to do more than they can instead of taking it one game at a time.

John Farrell needs to understand what he should and shouldn’t talk about. Just because it’s his thought at the time, it doesn’t mean it will stay that way or that he should divulge all of his information. Just my take on it. Be a little more quiet John, and it’ll help keep you out of trouble. Otherwise, great job all around.

Minors Update

Jays bloggers are going ape about the pitching in the minors for their system, and they have great reasons to. Not only have many pitchers move up a class, but it seems that every time the Jays push a pitcher up a class, his performance either stays as dominant or improves! Here’s the latest information on the most prominent of the bunch, as well as a few who have turned things around despite staying at the same level:

  • AAA – Kyle Drabek: last start, 6.2 IP , 8 hits , 1 ER , 3 BB , 2 Ks (finally some hope!)
  • AA – Drew Hutchison debut: 5 IP , 2 hits , 0 ER , 2 BB , 7 Ks (WOW)
  • AA – Chad Jenkins: last start, 7 IP , 5 hits , 3 ER , 0 BB , 8 Ks (Improving)
  • AA – Nestor Molina: last start, 5 IP , 2 hits , 0 ER , 0 BB , 7 Ks (Huge WOW)
  • HiA – Casey Lawrence: last start, 6.2 IP , 7 hits , 3 ER , 0 BB , 5 Ks (nice)
  • HiA – Asher Wojciechowski: last 2 starts, 13 IP , 8 hits , 2 ER , 0 BB , 9 Ks (excellent)
  • LoA – Justin Nicolino debut: 5 IP , 7 hits , 2 ER , 1 BB , 4 Ks (great start)
  • LoA – Noah Syndergaard debut: 5 IP , 4 hits , 1 ER , 1 BB , 6 Ks (even better start, 1 yr younger than Nicolino)
  • LoA – Sean Nolin: last start, 7 IP , 4 hits , 2 ER , 0 BB , 8 Ks (bringing it!)
  • SS – David Rollins: last start, 5 IP , 6 hits , 2 ER , 0 BB , 2 Ks (pretty good, no walks!)
  • GCL – Adonys Cardona: last 3 starts, 11 IP , 9 hits , 3 ER , 2 BB , 14 Ks (at 17 years old?? Crazy)
  • GCL – Griffin Murphy: last start, 5 IP , 5 hits , 0 ER , 1 BB , 4 Ks (turning it around of late)
  • GCL – Joseph Musgrove: last 4 starts, 12 IP , 5 hits, 1 ER , 0 BB , 11 Ks (early signed workhorse is in motion as he got promoted to Bluefield for his latest efforts!)

Talk about ending the minors season on a great note! There are so many great pitching stories throughout the minors system that it’s hard to peg one to write about! And, we haven’t mentioned the likes of Deck McGuire who is on the DL and a group of other pitchers that are working through some hiccups (Aaron Sanchez and Mitchell Taylor, to name a few).

The Jays will likely kick off 2012 with Syndergaard and Nicolino leading the way in Lansing, Nolin and others leading the way in HiA, and one of the best groups I can ever recall manning posts in AA and AAA (Hutchison, McGuire, Drabek, Molina, Wojciechowski, and Jenkins). All of the latter group could come into play at some point in time in 2012 for the Jays and will be extremely important to the possibilities of the Jays making the playoffs that season. Just as the Braves have displayed tremendous pitching depth this season, the Jays will be able to do the same in 2012. More importantly, they’ll be able to do the same well into the future, as the LoA and below group seems to be just as strong.

The Jays have a ridiculous amount of pitching depth in the minors right now, and it’s making us wonder about how the silent assassin will use this depth. Will he deal some for more established guys or key pieces, and if so, who will he deal? Who will make the cut and be a part of the 2013 rotation? And then you have to consider the fact that even those who are extended by AA are not getting no-trade clauses (so far), so there’s no guarantee that they’ll stick around either.

It’s an interesting time in the Jays minors, and the pitching is leading the way in a very big way.

– MG

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Tags: John Farrell JP Arencibia Travis Snider

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