Thursday, 11 August 2011

The Man in White Comes Through!

No one seems to have a photograph of the fabled Man in White - but due to my four unidentified sources, I've found one!

Seriously though, this makes every bit as much sense as the nonsensical ESPN story which is being so thoroughly dismembered across the internet that all I could do would be to summarize the hard work of others. I will only go so far as to say that based on his voice at the beginning of his presser today, if Alex were a violent man something or someone would be broken and bleeding from his rage.
Justifiably so.

Ultimately though, the god-like powers might belong to Alex himself, and not the man in the photograph. The way this team is coming together is almost majestic to behold. there have been isolated moments over the past 18 years when I've been this giddy about the team - possibly the most recent pre-Alex moment was the acquisition of Scott Rolen (I'd always been a huge fan of his) - but I can't remember an extended period when the excitement has just grown and grown as it has since he took over and over the last couple of weeks we're cresting at hights not seen since the fall of '93.

Tonight was already going to be exciting as we watched yet another potential core piece make their debut in a Blue Jay uniform for the first time - the third such occasion in two weeks - but then Brett "Full Tilt" Lawrie stole the show and blew our collective minds. Props to Alvarez who had a perfectly fine debut, especially for a raw 21 year old. But the sheer passion and joy on Lawrie's face as he celebrated his game winning grand slam with his team-mates was electrifying in a way I'm having difficulty finding appropriate words for.

I'm still buzzing over it five hours later! These, my friends, are heady times! If you have missed something, you may want to ask Article Writing Services to write for your site so next time you can catch all the action.

Just a few tidbits you might have missed:

*The Blue Jays have signed Canadian RHP Tom Robson, their 4th round pick and their ninth selection overall, to an over-slot contract; they've also signed 17th rounder, also a RHP, Brady Dragmire - about whom I know almost nothing.

*Travis Snider in three games back in Vegas is 7/12 and more importantly drew three walks tonight and has struck out only once.

*I'm seeing more and more buzz about Travis d'Arnaud from thought-leaders in the baseball commentary universe. I've a hunch you'll see him be a consensus Top 20 prospect in the majors this winter.

*Dustin McGowan got through 4 IP in very impressive fashion - mst nights he'd be the main focus of our discussions. Look for him to join the Jays as early as September 1.

*25 year old "non-prospect" Brad McElroy is hitting for an .829 OPS Since the break. He and teammate Brian Van Kirk are looking like guys who will knock around the organization for a few more years - but don't get excited, they are both quite old for the FSL.

*Some source, which I can't find again at the moment, reports that the latest issue of Baseball America ranks Lansing manager Mike Redmond as the best prospective major league manager in the circuit, and also honored Jake Marisnick as the best batting prospect in the league as well as Steve Turnbull as the best relief prospect (the latter of which surprises me some).

*Another Canadian in the system, 2010 16th round pick Dalton Pompey (gotta love the name) was promoted to Bluefield - he's a speedy CF with a pretty good bating eye for an 18 year old. Some speculation the Jays might be clearing a starting spot in the GCL for 2011 draftee Jake Anderson.

*Finally, I've heard random noise (things like "took a physical" or speculation from professionals) about the Jays having a pretty good likelihood of signing the following:

Tyler Beede
Kevin Comer
Daniel Norris
John Stilson
Matt Dean

That would be a very impressive haul if that was all the signings still unannounced. There have been a couple more vague implications about a couple of other guys - Christian Lopes in the company of Beede at the area-code games for instance - but nothing you could take to the bank.

The highest pick about whom I have seen absolutely not one word in print about is Dwight Smith Jr. It's good to sign everyone but I wouldn't be crushed if he were the one who got away.

Edit: I'm planning a more in depth look at this question some time late next week after the signing hubbub passes but there was a comment with a question about potential September call-ups and I want to just throw out a rough basic list of possibilities. in the JP era it was usually a pretty short list, it's unclear what AA's philosophy is. but as I see it, here are the possibilities:

Carlos Villanueva - if he's not activated before then
Dustin McGowan
Brian Tallet - if he's recovered
Kyle Drabek
Maybes: Ledzma, Walters, Ray, and Danny Farquhar

Travis d'Arnaud
Travis Snider
Adam Loewen
David Cooper
Mike McCoy
Jayson Nix and/or Chris Woodward
Adeiny Hechavarria (would not actually get playing time, just for the experience, since he's on the 40 man anyway)

Major caveat - any of the legit prospects listed here may very well be assigned to the AFL and generally players going to the AFL are not September call-ups. Henderson Alvarez, d'Arnaud, Cooper, Adeiny and Loewen would all be potential candidates. If d'Arnaud went west you might see Ryan Buddie or, less likely, Brian Jeroloman come up since the team traditionally adds a third catcher in September.


Chill said...

I am torn between "Full Tilt" and "Menace" as a nickname for Lawrie. Don't be surprised if someone ends up on the DL if he ever hits a walk-off HR. Torn Labrums from hi-5's are a real possibilty.

gabriel said...

Too many call-ups! The only guy not on the 40-man roster I could see being added is Adam Loewen (and McGowan, but he's on the 60-day list). Since d'Arnaud, Nix, Woodward, Ledezma, Ray and Farquhar are all off the 40-man, they are all out of luck.

Loewen is perhaps 50/50. Tallet, Villanueva and McGowan will all come back should their health permit it. Cooper, Snider, McCoy and Walters all make sense to me as well. Hech and Drabek could make it, but neither would have much of a role - and for Drabek you'd be burning more service time.

The Southpaw said...

I wasn't suggesting ALL would be called - just that those were the candidates.

I disagree about Drabek though - everything Farrell has said indicates he will get some September starts.

Also, Alex has explicitly denied he factors in service time on these decisions. Assuming we believe him.

On d'Arnaud: he has to be added to the 40 this winter anyway - it's exactly the same situation as Drabek last year. the rest of the non-roster guys, that's a valid observation.

By the way, says on Twitter that Hech got promoted to Vegas today...