In his latest column at ESPN.com, Jayson Stark asks MLB scouts and executives for some help determining which teams are legitimate contenders and which ones will fade as the season progresses. Here are some highlights from the piece:
- The Blue Jays are “hunting diligently for another masher and another top-of-the-rotation arm,” Stark writes. It’s no surprise the Blue Jays have an eye on rotation help given the uncertainty at the back of their rotation. Though Kyle Drabek, Drew Hutchison and Henderson Alvarez are meeting or exceeding expectations, the Blue Jays don’t have much depth or experience in the rotation relative to other teams. Toronto GM Alex Anthopoulos has acknowledged he’d like to add a hitter
- Scouts say the Red Sox don’t resemble a playoff team because they are thin on quality relievers and outfield depth. The Red Sox are "canvassing every bullpen option out there," Stark hears from other teams.
- Stark’s sources believe the Angels need bullpen help. "They've got major issues at the back end of the game," one person said.
Is there a draftstreet freeroll this week?
What about Dustin McGowan… He would have fit nicely into that 5th spot but might have wrecked his shoulder… again.
Edit: Some people might misinterpret what I’m saying so I clarified it.
Would Twins trade Justin Morneau?
He could be a good trade target for the Jays.
I think they would be open to that. I also see Huchison being another Zach Stewart…
calling him up way too early and hoping he pitches well to drive up his trade value
They kind of need Hutchison to stay and perform because they have no other SP option unless you consider Aaron Laffey as a candidate which I don’t.
Jays SP depth is pretty bad.
Cecil – Injured
McGowan – Injured
Not like I had any hopes for them but one more injury to rotation and they’ll be pretty screwed.
Hutchison is most likely to be optioned “when” McGowan is ready to start…then…further down the talent funnel…you have Sanchez Syndergaard and Norris who profile as Number 2 starters. Hutchison will get squeezed out from both sides. That is why he looks like a trade candidate after one or two seasons of options are used on him.
Give Laffey some credit… he’s not THAT bad.
Yep…I think you are right about Hutchison. Basically, any Blue Jays pitching prospect who projects to 3rd starter will be used as the 6th to 8th starter and traded after one or two of the three seasons of optional assignments have been used.
I think they would if he remains healthy and Twins continue going nowhere.
If he is healthy, he would be a fantastic acquisition.
Considering that adam lind has been about as good as JT while JT wasn’t playing. I concur.
I disagree with Stark. The Red Sox have a powerful lineup even with the depleted outfield…I mean, not many teams look better than Shoppalamacchia, Gonzalez, Pedroia, Aviles, Youkilis, Ross, Byrd (who will be replaced by Ellsbury in 5-7 weeks, assuming all goes well), and Sweeney/McDonald (McDonald is actually surprisingly good against lefties). Further, Beckett, Lester, and Buchholz are three very good starters, while Bard and Doubront are holding their own. Yeah, Justin Thomas is garbage, but they just called up Rich Hill. Aceves and Padilla will eventually regress to the mean, while Cook could help out in the pen. Also, every GM should be “canvassing” any possible improvement to their team…that’s their job.
If the team they put on the field yesterday was the team they were expected to have all year then I would say that they are probably not a playoff team (despite what the team did to the White Sox yesterday, and the Twins the three days before that). They have several weaknesses in the ‘pen, and started three guys in the outfield who should all be bench players on a playoff team (Ross was on the bench to start the game; he would be a fine outfielder on a playoff team as long as he wasn’t your best outfielder).
But that isn’t the team they are expected to have all year. Ellsbury will be back before too long; Kalish is making his way back; Bailey will be back at some point; Melancon will be back (assuming they figure out his control problems); Crawford should be back as long as they don’t decide he needs surgery; Dice-K will be back in three weeks or so, pushing either Bard or Doubront to the bullpen (and while I don’t expect sudden greatness out of Dice-K, I am curious to see what he’ll do with the reigns supposedly released on him); and they are already looking for options to bring in from outside the organization, so they will most likely add a guy or two by the deadline (who knows who it could be, but Oswalt remains an option).
Plus, some really key guys aren’t performing the way they have shown they can (Buchholz, Lester, Beckett, Aceves, Pedroia, Gonzalez and Youkilis are all underperforming what they are capable of doing), so there is room for the team to get better even before they start getting guys back, or start adding people from the outside.
Agreed. This is still one of the best offenses in the game. Add to that the outfield depth comment seems a little strange when you consider what you mentioned.
I would like to see a good quality reliever added. Depending on the state of the AL West in a month, perhaps League or Balfour will be available.
Red Sox have scored the most runs per game in MLB this season (and last season) and they dont even have Crawford/Ellsbury
And, as I mentioned before, without a fully effective Pedroia, Gonzalez, or Youkilis.
Yeah, when three of your top four outfielders (or all of your top three depending on where you stand on Ross and Kalish) are out with injuries and your outfield is still producing at about league average, I’d say your outfield depth is pretty good. And it’s not like they don’t also have options left in the minors if more injuries happen in the outfield (Lin, Linares, Kroeger, and Nava would all be useable short-term players if they needed them).
Wilson working out of the pen at Pwtucket could be a big plus in another month with his slider and mid 90’s FB and help as much as what is available on the market, Rich Hill activated earlier today as the lefty specialist helps a bunch as well.
Even with Bard having a good game vs the Chisox tonight.. You have to wonder who makes there way to the pen when Matsuzaka returns when it boils down to Doubrant and Bard… Bard a known shot in the arm there and Doubrant a wild card who is out of options if he fails to help at all in the pen.
And Brock Huntzinger (in AA) actually asked them to move him to the bullpen. No idea how he works out there, but if he does well it wouldn’t be crazy to think he could come up and help out the ‘pen later in the year.
If I had to guess about who goes to the ‘pen when Daisuke comes back, my guess would be Doubront. Only because Bard has way more upside than Doubront (and they are pretty committed to Bard as a starter at this point), and Doubront already has experience moving from the ‘pen to starting and back again.
If it were going to be closer to mid season when Daisuke comes back I could see them putting Bard in the ‘pen to keep his innings down, but I think Daisuke is coming back too soon for that. I could see them putting Doubront in the ‘pen when Daisuke comes back, and then adding a starter at the trade deadline and moving Bard to the ‘pen at that point. That’s the way I would play it anyway.
Interesting on Huntzinger as he didn’t really seemed to ever be a fit, or much of a chance to make it past AAA as a SP and possibly could get somewhere as a middle/long reliever.
The one have been looking over at Portland “stuff” wise is the kid Kurcz that they got from the Cubs.. He seems to have the velocity (mid-upper 90’s) but seems to be lacking a 2nd pitch yet and only learning it and probably far too young right now.
As far as what they can get from the system for help (AA/AAA) the pickings are slim it looks like.. Maybe Mortenson, Miller, Melencon. Carlson if he ever gets healthy. None of the other relievers would put any faith in who are on the Pawtucket roster.. Just a collection of retreads playing for a paycheck and on an AAA team for that reason.
He’s got a good slider that has a lot of potential, but it’s inconsistent (it gets loopy sometimes), and his command is inconsistent as well. I think he’s got potential out of the ‘pen, but he’s not there yet.
As a starter Huntzinger’s fastball sits high 80’s and touches 90, and he has good command and control of all of his pitches. If he gains a couple MPH (as guys usually do when they go to the ‘pen) and sits more around 92 to go along with his very good slider, and decent change-up and is able to keep his good command, I think he could be pretty good out of the ‘pen.
Is this where I can chime in that Fife would probably come in handy as a possible long man? Kidding.. We been over that a dozen times 🙂
Good point on Huntzinger and the possible increase in velocity switching to the BP.. Usually they do going only an inning or 2.
Lets hope he is a successful convert and quick at that.
Another miracle guy would be Fields whom they got in the Bedard deal.. yeah.. he has had issues since Seattle drafted him.. But can always hope…
“The Jays are hunting diligently for another masher”
Fielder would have been really nice, and as his market shrunk, I’ll bet they could have gotten him to take 5/125. Oh well, at least we get to watch the comedy of errors that is Miguel Cabrera playing 3B.
I like the Morneau idea though. Bautista-Morneau-Lawrie is a sick 3-4-5.
That is, unless the Jays want Alfonso Soriano… Come on, Canada! He’s very polite!
I don’t understand Twins direction though. Are they going complete rebuild or are they just adding peices for next season because that will dictate if they want to trade away Morneau and what prospects they want in return.
“I’ll bet they could have gotten him to take 5/125”.
I have no idea why Fielder would pass up 9/214 to take 5/125.
I meant if they could have gotten him to sign before the V-Mart injury.
even then, there was not really any signs that he would have taken that.
agreed, boras is well known for waiting as long as it takes to get the maximum. vmart getting hurt was like christmas come early for boras, but i dont think it made a ~$90mill difference
They have a masher, and his name is Travis Snider.
Really? I thought Snider was strikeout extraordinaire.
Where’d that sniderlover fellow go, anyways?
he’s in vegas. destroying the ball
Who just got injured.
Snider got pulled last night due to a presumed injury.
Yep. Jammed his wrist on a play in the Outfield.
It’s the wrist…again.
Don’t know how serious but it’s definitely something.
other wrist i believe
If Ells comes back around when they suspect I think we will be just fine as long as this core stays healthy. I mean Adrian, Pedroia, and Youk have not really dialed in yet and we are still hanging up big numbers. Ross, Sweeney, and Aviles are all exceeding expectations. Lars (Very happy they got him reps in the OF) and Byrd could surprise as well. The rotation is def working things out i’m not worried about Lester, Beckett, Doubront, or even Clay (Despite his crappy start). The pen remains the one issue where the solution is going to be tricky. First off I think Tazawa has been a boost and will continue to be. Second Rich Hill has been filthy in rehab and was filthy before his injury last season so I think that he will also be a boost. If Melancon can find some stability when he returns I have faith we will do ok back there because I see the rest of the pen as solid and capable.
You can hang big numbers all you want. But that won’t help when your pitching gives up 10 runs all the time.
Like every team in baseball the Red Sox are a team in the making at the end of April. At 8-10 they are not setting the world on fire but the have won their last 4 in a row. Each day they are starting to look more like the mid summer team of 2011. For any pundit to say they are not a playoff team after 18 games is either putting forth a very seductively biased remark or is uttering the thoughts of a fool, who knows little to nothing about Red Sox baseball. Lets wait until 40 games into the season before making any judgements, perhaps even longer, considering the fact there are so many new faces in the team clubhouse. If, by then, the team is 25-15 (62.5%) this could very well be the same team that won 83 of 123 over a four month span last season. Time will tell.
rios is one fire recently…hahah the sox eat half his contract to send him back?? hahah
When Ellsbury, Crawford, Bailey, Melancon and Hill return, those observations about the Red Sox will be irrelevant. Lack of outfield depth? Marlon Byrd will be he Red Sox backup outfielder and he’s a CF who’s OPS’d .775 or better four of the last six years. And Melancon, who had 20 saves last year, will be the Red Sox third best reliever. Once Bard gets close to his innings limit, he’ll be re-inserted as the setup man.
Forgot to mention, Crawford is due back before the All-Star break. How many teams can boast two All-Star caliber outfielders and a Cody Ross/Ryan Sweeney type player as their 5th outfielder?
” Scouts say the Red Sox don’t resemble a playoff team because they are thin on quality relievers and outfield depth. ” Wow! How insightful. I actually didn’t notice. I appreciate the “scouts” pointing that out.
LOL, I love the claim that anonymous “scouts” say to give relevance to a non-story. Must be a light news day.
So the Sox main weakness is the pen and OF. But they are gonna get Crawford and Ellsbury back before the All-Star break. And theyre gonna add Bard/Doubront/Melancon/Hill/Wilson/Miller/Bailey to the pen before the season ends.