The Blue Jays announced today that they’ve selected the contract of veteran left-hander Jeff Francis and optioned fellow lefty Colt Hynes to Triple-A Buffalo. The 34-year-old Francis, a native of Vancouver, will add another Canadian player to Toronto’s roster, joining Russell Martin, Michael Saunders and Dalton Pompey. Francis will hope for better results than he’s seen over the past three seasons, during which he’s posted a combined 5.84 ERA in 203 1/3 innings with the Rockies, Reds, A’s and Yankees. Toronto already had an open 40-man roster spot after designating Todd Redmond for assignment last week.
Here’s more from the AL East…
- Recently designated right-hander Grant Balfour spoke with Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times about how he wished his second run with the Rays had yielded better results. Balfour admitted to shying away from his fastball after the realization that the pitch lacked its typical life. The Australian righty wouldn’t state for certain whether or not he’d pursue another opportunity immediately: “Maybe a little bit of rest will be good for me. … I’m not thinking too far ahead. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t.”
- After speaking to multiple scouts about the futures of Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts, Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald writes that Betts has leap-frogged Bogaerts in the eyes of the baseball industry. “I don’t think you could find anyone in baseball who would pick Bogaerts over Betts right now,” one scout told Silverman. Another said Betts “clearly” has the better bat of the two, while a third scout said that in 20 years, Betts “makes quicker adjustments to his game than anybody I’ve seen.” All of the scouts to whom Silverman spoke are quick to clarify that Bogaerts still has star potential, but the glowing reviews add to the meteoric rise of Betts over the past 12 months.
- Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop is likely to miss longer than the minimum amount of time on the 15-day disabled list, writes Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun. The 23-year-old Schoop suffered a Grade 1 partial PCL tear and an MCL sprain, and while surgery is unlikely, an exact timetable is unknown. Encina looks at Anthony Rendon as a possible comparable, noting that Rendon has just resumed baseball activities six weeks after spraining his left MCL.
Dang, Grant Balfour was more honest than most. Glad he understands that his career is probably over. I wish more athletes were more forthcoming.
I don’t know it’s still too soon to call who has the better future between Bogaerts and Betts. Betts has looked good at times this season, but seems to be having some of the same growing pains with outside off speed pitches that Bogaerts had last season. Bogaerts on the other hand has been hitting the ball very well and made some descent strides on defense. Betts speed and athleticism may make him a more fun player to watch, but the jury is still out on who will be more productive.
Yeah, right now it seems as though Betts is struggling with pitches away. Hopefully he can adjust on the fly, or he’ll end up struggling for much of the season. I do, however, think he is capable of doing so. As for Bogaerts, he has looked great. Both at the plate and in the field. He was always an average SS anyways as the numbers would indicate, so hopefully he can make strides to be above-average.
For the Sox, the question also hinges on which player they will show more patience toward. Bogaerts has Deven Marrero coming up behind him, followed by Chavis and Guerra. That depth may impact Bogaerts more than Betts who would seem to have a simpler task to stick as an outfielder.
I don’t think that’s true. Castillo, although on the DL (maybe for a week), is making 10 million dollars a season to play in AAA. If he isn’t breathing down Betts’ neck I don’t know who is. You also have JBJ in AAA who seems to have figured out his swing. Both of those players have ML experience and good potential. Marrero on the other hand projects to be another glove first defensive wiz, and the Red Sox have demonstrated over and over again how much they value offensive production over defense in the shortstop position. Chavis has moved off of short to play third base and both he and Guerra are at least two years off at this point.
Fair points. There are 5 outfield positions, and maybe 2 shortstop on the ML team. Some combination of Victorino, Napoli, Ortiz, and/or Craig moving on could get Ramirez out of the outfield (edit- AND clear up much of the outfield logjam). The path seems clearer to me for Betts, even if he has to play as 4th outfielder for some time, he could be valuable there. where Bogaerts coming off the bench seems less likely, but surely possible.
Also fair. FWIW I don’t see either of them losing their starting jobs unless they fall off a cliff. Although Betts should probably start picking it up.
FWIW I see Boston having a glut of ML caliber players for the next few years that they have to make decisions on quickly with a small body of work. How this will play out is what fascinates me, not necessarily rooting for one player over the other.
Tough to see what will become of guys like Marrero, Coyle, Brentz, and at least one of the lefty starters, maybe 2. I think we’ll see some trades in the off season like Ranaudo, De La Rosa, Webster, this year. They’re not getting big enough chances, but you’ve got to move on quickly with that much MiL talent.
Some of that talent can become backup players. Marrero being a defensive talent could easily slide into backup SS for a few years. But there are some real conundrums to ponder. What are they going to do with Moncada having Pedroia signed through 2021?
Moncada was never going to be a second baseman. He’s too big. It’s the shortest position in MLB. Moncada is already 6’2″ 205 lbs at 20. He’ll end up in left field or as a corner infielder.
Jeff Kent/Robinson Cano/Neil Walker say hello.
Great that’s three in the history of MLB. Only one of whom is an above average defender.
I was just thinking off the top of my head. Ben Zobrist is 6’3, Chase Utley is 6’1, Kelly Johnson is 6’1, Daniel Murphy and Mark DeRosa are 6’1, D.J. LeMahieu is 6’4, and lastly Jeff Baker is 6’2.
Zobrist is an excellent defender at 2B, so is Chase Utley. DJ LeMahieu is also a superlative defender at 2nd base. Jeff Baker has been above average at the position, DeRosa was a touch below average. I could go on forever, but I think finding 10 players recently who have played a lot of innings at the position and have been 6’1 or taller is enough precedent for Moncada at 6’2 to be considered a possible 2nd basemen.
Perhaps. I don’t feel strongly one way or the other. Scouts say 2B is his best position. More important is that Sox have a high investment in him and might be best served to play him in minors where he can expect to play in the majors, unless he breaks in as a super-utility type, and I didn’t see that said about him.
And that is what makes the Sox so fascinating to me. They have so much depth and flexibility that it makes it impossible to predict what piece goes where and how Moncada will slot onto the MLB roster.
Corner infield or left field. He’s too big to be a second baseman anyway.
All the leftovers will be packaged in a trade for an Ace starter, of course 🙂
You know how they say that never gets old…in this case they’d be lying.
still, it’s fun. the running joke that just wont die 🙂
Keep in mind that the scouts weren’t answering “who has the better future”…that’s a different question. Most are still confident that Bogaerts has a top-notch ceiling, a guy who could have multiple 35 HR seasons while playing passable SS defense. Basically Hanley Ramirez (as he started off with passable defense) minus the wheels.
But Betts’s ceiling isn’t much lower in terms of his all-around game, and his floor seems much higher at this point. There’s still a CHANCE that Bogaerts ends up only being an okay player; Betts looks sure to be at least a fringe star. He should settle in as a plus defender at some reasonably valuable spot, speed doesn’t slump, and he can do enough in enough ways with his bat that he should be a good offensive player.
So, if I had to choose one, I’d go with Betts for sure. I’d “prefer” him. But, I’d rather have both, deal with a few growing pains, and then dance a jig in two or three years when they are likely just going to be entering their primes, and at pre-FA salaries.
Currently Bogaerts is hitting .366 and Betts is hitting .209. Betts had that great game against the Nationals where he hit the homerun, stole 2 bases and robbed Bryce Harper of a homerun. All very exciting, very athletic plays, but Bogaerts has hit very well so far and he gets less credit because he’s last year’s news. This year I’d take Bogaerts based on production. That coupled with the obvious strides he’s made on defense put him ahead of Betts at least for the moment. That can and probably will change, but Betts is getting too much credit for excitement and Bogaerts isn’t getting as much for his reliable good hitting.
There’s not much you can tell in 10 games. Bogaerts has cut down on the strikeouts but is also down in power. He’s living on a high BABIP. But obviously a very SSS and no one’s opinion on Bogaerts or Betts should be any different than 2 weeks ago.
I disagree. I think Betts has gotten a huge bump from one game that he pretty much took over. It’s tough to see why that is when you look at the entire season. Granted you can’t see much from 10 games surely, but Bogaerts hasn’t done anything to lower his value. If anything he should have raised it by noticeably improving his defense.
I completely agree. That’s why I said “no one’s opinion of Bogaerts or Betts should be any different than 2 weeks ago”
They are the same players with the same tools as when Spring Training ended. A hand full of games doesn’t mean anything.
Keep fighting the good fight good sir.
two weeks does not reliable make. or unmake.
No, but it can sway an opinion. Betts hasn’t shown the same bat this season he did last season, and hasn’t adjusted as quickly as he should to being pitched outside.
I think Betts has the higher floor because he looks to be quite a good defender in the OF and is a good base runner who will add value even if his bat doesn’t come around.
Also, while Betts is struggling his BABIP is .219 which should rebound and bring his batting average up. The power has been there and the walk rate is average (could use a little work).
But Betts and Bogaerts don’t play same position so why pick one instead another if you need a shortstop by example.
In my opinion, Betts is the safer bet to be a productive player for the next decade. But Bogaerts has a super star ceiling at the most shallow position in the game. Pick what you like best. Bogaerts is still very young with enormous potential.
I would like to see my mets sign Balfour to see if they can recapture anything, ala Chad Fox for the 03 Marlins
Betts and Bogaerts are both capable of huge futures, and the bright side is, that the Sox don’t have to choose. However, Betts may have to go through the same adjustment periods that Bogaerts did and then people will call him a bust too. Let’s wait and see because both have ridiculous potenital
I find it hard to believe that another organization is trying Francis.
Can you be surprised? The Jays probably have the most runs scored on them in the majors after today. Pitching has been horrendous.
100% not true. Jays are 8th place for most runs allowed, with only 3 more runs allowed than the 1st place Red Sox, and have a +9 run differencial, good enough for 10th best in all of baseball.
That’s probably after yesterdays statistics were collected, going into the game they had a 14th out of 15th rank in the A.L most runs allowed by a pitching staff.
That was as of two days ago.
and they think Francis is going to help??