Tag Archives: Jose Bautista

The Buffalo Bautistas going deep everyday

There are a lot of good things would come with the Blue Jays having their Triple-A squad in Buffalo, something that it seems like — if the rumours are true — could happen in the middle of next month.

There’s the obvious proximity factor and how much easier it would be for players to go up and down from the majors to Triple-A and vice versa. There’s the fact that the International League is much lesser hitter friendly than the ridiculous Pacific Coast League and is therefore much easier to get a true sense of the development and performance of both hitters and pitchers.

There’s the stadium, which by all accounts is great. Seriously, check out this review. The guy’s only real complaint is that there’s nothing around the stadium. Of course there’s nothing around the stadium. It’s downtown Buffalo. But that doesn’t mean Buffalo’s not worth the trip. Buffalo’s actually pretty great. Dont’ believe me? Visit the Old Pink and then try to tell me otherwise.

Anyway, look, did I mention the proximity? That’s key. You know how all the Blue Jays are hurt right now and they’re a bit painful to watch? As much as it sucks, things like this will happen again. If the Jays align with Buffalo, then we can all go watch the real Jays come back from their injuries and when Jose Bautista hits a grand slam during his rehab stint, you can be there in person!

Oh right, Jose Bautista hit a grand slam tonight in New Hampshire! Check it out:

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Jose Bautista: Steam train of awesome

Hola amigos. How’s tricks? I know it’s been a long time since I rapped at ya, but I’ve pretty been bummed lately.

Brandon Morrow. Kyle Drabek. Drew Hutchison.

Ricky Romero’s not his usual self. Henderson Alvarez is falling hard and fast.

And now there’s a Shawn Hill to worry about. And maybe a Jeremy Guthrie?

Ugh.

Not a whole lot to be excited about as far as starting pitching goes.

But not all is bleak for Blue Jays fans. There is one bright spot on the team; one steam train of awesome that’s rolling over opponents left and right even if he can’t carry the team to victory by himself.

Jose Bautista is amazing.

Sure, there are other players to be excited about on the team. Plenty of them, actually. But if you’re like me and you’re feeling a little down about the team on the whole, there’s nothing quite like a solid Bautista bomb to cheer you up. For example, watch this ding dong he blasted last night.

Take that, baseball, indeed.

The great thing about Jose is that when he connects with one, and I mean really connects, everybody watching knows as soon as ball hits bat. As soon as Bautista connects, the only question is “how far past the outfield wall is this one going to land?” and that is a great question. It’s a question I don’t think I’ll ever tire of asking.

Edited to remove swears. We’re not DJF (if you’re confused, you can tell by the lack of profanity, the lack of frequency and the lack of quality).

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Hack, hack, hack

For all the consternation in Toronto about Jose Bautista’s slow start to the 2012 season, baseball fans in Orange County have much bigger worries. Continue reading

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Kelly Johnson? Yes, please

Oh man. There are a lot of things for Jays fans to be excited about so far this season: Colby Rasmus looks like he’s figuring it out; Edwin Encarnacion has figured it out to the point that he’s been officially handed the cleanup hitter’s role; Brett Lawrie is being Brett Lawrie and that gets people excited even if he’s not yet playing as well as he’s capable of playing; the pitching!

Yes, there’s a lot of to be excited about. But there’s one guy who seems to be flying under the radar. Perhaps it’s because he doesn’t seem to have a personality that lights the world on fire. Perhaps it’s because his offensive production isn’t the flashiest. Perhaps it’s because your Toronto Blue Jays had to trade John McDonald and someone other scrub to get him. Continue reading

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Slumping sluggers

11 games in and the superstar outfielder has, compared to what people are used to seeing from him, struggled. He’s coming off a season in which he was arguably robbed of the MVP award — I mean, just look. He led the league in home runs, walks, OPS+ and intentional walks.

But now, 11 games in, his team is at 6-5 and some fans are kind of freaking out. He’s got a sub-.800 OPS. In a little more than 50 plate appearances and he’s only hit two home runs! Should we be worried? Is he finished?

Am I writing about Jose Bautista? No, although all of the above applies to him.

In 1959, Mickey Mantle was in the exact same situation. Well, I say exact, but I don’t know for sure what the fans were saying about him. Other than that, it was pretty much the same. Really, check out the stats!

(Click the pics to embiggen, or the links to see the source at Baseball Reference.)

Mantle’s 1958:

Bautista’s 2011:

Mantle’s first 11 games of 1959:

Bautista’s first 11 of 2012:

Obviously Bautista is not Mantle, but to everybody out there worrying about Bautista: Don’t. It’s way, way too early yet. If you hear people talk about small sample size, listen to them. If you don’t want to believe them, remember the above stats — and remember this: Despite his slow start in ’59, Mantle went on to hit 31 home runs and post on OPS of .904. It wasn’t Mantle’s best season, but it was still very, very productive.

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Rookie of the year

Summer. Damn. It moves too fast. Seems like just yesterday I was at the SkyDome watching the Jays thump the Twins in the season opener.

But it wasn’t really yesterday. It was long enough ago that now I’m getting emails reminding me (and rightly so, since I often have trouble remembering which day of the week it is) that it’s time to vote on the 2011 Baseball Bloggers Alliance awards.

First up is the Willie Mays Award, which the BBA bestows upon the best rookies in each league.

Ballots for this award use a 5-3-1 point system and for a ballot to count, it must include three names. Since this is a Blue Jays blog, I can only vote for the American League award. So my choices, in ascending order, are as follows:

3. Chris Sale, Chicago White Sox

While not the sexiest of choices, Chris Sale led all American League rookies in WPA this year. For those unfamiliar with the stat, WPA stands for Win Probability Added or, basically, by what percentage did a player add to his team’s chance of winning over the course of the season. A good explanation of the stat can be found here.

Anyway, working out of the bullpen and in only 71 innings pitched, Sale piled up a WPA of 3.53. He also posted an ERA of 2.79 and a FIP (like ERA, but with fielders taken out of the equation as much as possible) of 3.12. Overall, a great year for the Pale Hose rookie.

2. Desmond Jennings, Tampa Bay Rays

The Tampa leftfielder made his first appearance in the Rays’ lineup this year on July 23 and proved he belonged immediately, going 2-for-3 with a double and a triple and drawing two walks in his first game. He’d go on to post a slash line (BA/OBP/SLG) of .259/.356/.805 and give Blue Jays fans further proof that the road back to the playoffs is not going to be an easy one as long as the schedule stays unbalanced.

I mean, really, Tampa may not have any money but, NEWSFLASH, the team’s got some amazing player development going on.

1. Brett Lawrie, Toronto Blue Jays

I fully expect flack for this choice and (probably justified) accusations of homerism but, to my mind, Brett Lawrie is definitely the rookie of the year.

In only 150 at-bats, Lawrie hit nine home runs. He posted a slash line of .293/.373/.580. He showed patience and poise at the plate and an eye that at times seemed to rival that of Jose Bautista.

Now, it would be reasonable to say that, with such a small sample size, there’s a good chance that opposing pitchers would adapt and figure out ways to get him out. Totally possible, but his incredible eye would help to offset that a bit as he seems unlikely to chase after bad pitches and get himself out. There are two more reasons he’s got my vote though:

  • Before his call-up, there were a lot of questions about his defence, but not only did he not look out of place playing third on the SkyDome’s artificial turf, he was downright impressive.
  • While his offensive output may have slowed had he played more, how incredibly productive he was during his stint has to be taken into consideration. Despite only 171 plate appearances, Lawrie’s WAR (wins above replacement) came in at 2.7 — tied for first among non-pitching rookies and that is just insane.

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So there you have it, my Wille Mays Award ballot for the rookie of the year. There are many other great rookies this year who could have (and maybe should have) cracked my Top 3, with Eric Hosmer, Michael Pineda, Alexei Ogando and Dustin Ackley chief among them. So who’s your rookie of the year? Let me have it in the comments.

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Jose Bautisa: Jaw dropper

There are a lot of fun things about watching the Blue Jays, but my favourite by far is watching pitchers pitch to Jose Bautista. Dingers are fun, chicks love the long ball and all that, but Bautista does it like no other.

Seriously, when Bautista connects, it’s almost always a jaw dropper. Boston Red Sox fans who didn’t already know this learned it the hard way Tuesday night when Bautista smashed a ball so hard it ended up hitting the top of the foul pole above the Green Monster. Check it out.

The dinger’s impressive, but the reaction of the people behind the plate are almost as entertaining:

The girl in the middle is in complete awe.

The guy on the right, I like him. He’s probably a die-hard Sox fan, but he can’t hide his excitement at watching such a moonshot.

Dude on the left? Well, I had to highlight a pissed off Sox fan.

Jose Bautista: Dropping jaws and aggravating Massholes. Gotta love it.

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Buck 65 loves hot dogs (an interview)

Years ago, when I was living in Halifax, I took a drive to Mt. Uniacke one day to go to an elementary school. That could be weird, but I was headed there for a reason: Rich Terfry, a.k.a. Buck 65, was being given the key to the, well, I guess Mt. Uniacke is a town. As part of the ceremony, I was witness one of the most fun live performances I’ve ever seen: The school band, a bunch of Grade 5 and Grade 6 students, played the arrangement from Hang on Sloopy while Buck 65 sang Wicked and Weird over the top.

Yesterday, before all Colby Rasmus craziness broke, a DJF post linked to a song that Buck 65 had just written about Jose Bautista. You should check it out — Joey Bats is definitely worth a listen.

I was curious what brought that song on, so I took a chance and sent a few questions to his manager. A little while later, I got a happy surprise: Answers to my questions!

Read the interview after the jump…

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Farrell’s useful argument

Some people, including (very) occasional poster to this site, Squizz, have argued that the argument between the manager and the umpire serves no purpose and should be taken out of the game.

Personally, I enjoy watching a manager chew out the umpire as much as the next guy — unless the next guy is Squizz — but I do agree that, in general, the argument accomplishes next to nothing. But there are instances where the argument serves a purpose and can be beneficial to the team in ways other than the slim chance that the ump will see the error of his ways.

For example, take John Farrell’s argument with home plate ump Alfonso Marquez during the 9th inning of Saturday’s game. Jon Rauch and his blowup will (deservedly) get more attention than anything else that happened in that inning, but Farrell’s argument with Marquez is far more interesting to me.

Sure, Farrell was probably upset that he had just been tossed around by one of his pitchers. And yeah, he was likely upset — and justifiably so — about the horrendous game Marquez called, but, to me anyway, that’s not why Farrell got himself tossed.

When Rauch went ballistic, the Blue Jays had nobody warming up in the bullpen. After Rauch lost it, Farrell made sure to get one of his coaches to call the pen and visit the mound to talk to Shawn Camp before returning to Marquez and engaging him a lengthy argument.

Why would he do this? I checked on the MLB.tv archive and, because the cameras were focusing on Farrell, I can’t find a video record of Camp warming up. At the game, I was also watching Farrell and really paying attention to Camp. And that’s the thing: Who was paying attention to Camp?

I know J.P. Arencibia was, because Camp was warming up throughout the whole argument, but was anybody else?

I can’t be sure, but I’d be shocked if Camp didn’t throw more than the eight warmup pitches that MLB allows.

And if that’s the case, if Farrell’s arguing allowed an ice-cold pitcher to get a little warmer before facing live bats, that’s an argument that definitely serves a purpose.

Pepper!

  • What the league will do with Rauch, I don’t know. I do feel like the team should probably take some kind of disciplinary action against him though. You can’t just let a player throw the manager around like that, can you?
  • I was worried about the fans at Saturday’s game. I thought they might be overcome with Roy Halladay love to the point of forgetting which team they should be cheering for. I was pleasantly surprised that the cheers for Doc were limited to the beginning and end of the game.
  • Rajai Davis: I want to like him. I really, really do. But watching him play is getting to be painful. He’s a fourth OF at best. #FreeTravisSnider
  • Watching Jose Bautista hit a home run is like nothing else. I knew this, you knew this, we all knew this, but it was really driven home during Friday’s game. Eric Thames’ home run was mammoth, but Bautista’s just felt more exciting, even if he didn’t hit the fourth deck.
  • I’m getting the feeling Thames could be something that’s somewhat special. I could see him as a contributing member of this team for quite a while.
  • Wasn’t it nice to see John McDonald get a couple of hits off Doc?

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What’s up with Jose Bautista?

Hey everybody! Let’s play a game! I’m going to give you the stats of three players, you try to guess who they are. Sounds fun, right? OK, here we go:

Player 1: 32 games, .368/.520/.868, 16 home runs, 42 hits (18 singles)

Player 2: 34 games, .283/.419/.433, 5 home runs, 34 hits (26 singles)

Player 3: 22 games, .269/.400/.333, 1 home run, 21 hits (18 singles)

Don’t bother trying to guess. It’s a trap! They’re all Jose Bautista! His stats from this season, broken into three segments, with the third being a subset of the second.

The first set up stats covers the season up to May 15. The second goes from May 16 to today. The third starts on May 29 — with the “beginning” of the “slump.”

What’s happened to the monster from the first 32 games? I don’t know, but that doesn’t stop me from writing hundreds of words about it after the jump.

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