Baseball America: Blue Jays Re-Sign with Lansing & Bluefield

I was 300 words into a post scheduled for tomorrow that was to act as a primer for the start of Affiliation Free Agency when I read on Baseball America that Lansing and Bluefield have re-signed with the Blue Jays for another 2 years. The exact quote:

If a team neither applied for a new affiliation nor extended its current PDC by the Sept. 11 deadline, then its current agreement was automatically extended for two years.

Both Lansing and Bluefield did not apply for a new affiliation, and BA does not list them among the 23 cities that will be free agents tomorrow.

The Blue Jays have been in Lansing since the 2005 season, and have made the playoffs twice since then. The Lugnuts play in Cooley Law School Stadium, which is set to undergo a lot of renovations in the near future. The Lugnuts play in the Midwest league, which is at the full season “A ball” level.

The Blue Jays have been affiliated with Bluefield since 2011, and play in the Appalachian League, an “advanced Rookie ball” level. Their home field is Bowen Field, a park opened in 1939 that has become a historical monument that rests in Virginia, even though the team represents both Bluefield, Virginia, and Bluefield, West Virginia.

The move has not been officially announced yet.

All of the Blue Jays affiliates, aside from the ones the team owns(Dunedin, GCL, DSL) now have their PDC’s due after the 2016 season.

Scoops at First- September 12th

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The goal of every blog on the internet is to deliver the best content to you, the reader, at all times. However, in the blogosphere, many articles get written that might get missed and lost in the shuffle of the eternally updating internet. With that in mind, I’ve compiled some of the best articles of the last week, let’s get to some baseball links! 

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One At-Bat: Brett Cecil vs. Sean Rodriguez

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This feature is titled One At-Bat. And it is, more or less, about one confrontation in a close game. I usually set up the plate appearance with a few details about the game to give a little perspective as to why it’s the key moment in the game. Now, some games don’t have any key moments. Like when one team scores six runs in the first and wins 8-2. There’s just not much to zoom in on and examine.

And then there are the games where I have the opposite problem. I have a whole inning that has enough drama to spread over several ‘One-At Bat’ posts. And of course, I am unwilling to change the title to ‘Three At-Bats’ and get you to read a five thousand word essay about one half inning. So I will keep myself to one at bat and probably a thousand words or so. But I will have to restrain myself, for reasons that will become clear shortly (I hope).

Sean Rodriguez. Right handed. Platoon player. Hits almost exactly league average. Now, there’s nothing remarkable about him, as there is about Mike Trout or Billy Hamilton, but it takes something to be league average, for example, it means you hit baseballs better than half the guys in the league. That’s real skill.

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Scoops at First- September 5th

The goal of every blog on the internet is to deliver the best content to you, the reader, at all times. However, in the blogosphere, many articles get written that might get missed and lost in the shuffle of the eternally updating internet. With that in mind, I’ve compiled some of the best articles of the last week, let’s get to some baseball links!

Blue Jays Links

Nick Ashbourne of Bluebird Banter has a solid piece on Aaron Sanchez, where he looks at what type of pitcher he might be(hint: not what is expected). Ashbourne shows that strikeouts might not be his thing, and he can maybe be a sinkerballer guy, with a high ground ball%, and great stuff. And that’d be great. In the end, the question isn’t “how did he produce?”, it’s “did he produce?” and that’s really what matters(assuming it wouldn’t cause injuries). Also, if his plans don’t work out as a starter, I think we can expect some dominance out of the bullpen.

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Jose Bautista Should Move to Third Base in 2015

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Alex Anthopoulos, the “smooth talking” General Manager of the Toronto Blue Jays appeared on the Fan590 on Tuesday night to talk about a number of things, among them what his priorities are for the off-season. Although he was asked specifically what his number one priority was, he tip toed between two answers, going back and forth about filling the outfield spot(s) that will be open if/when Melky Cabrera and/or Colby Rasmus depart via free agency, and acquiring a player who can play either second or third base. The latter is made available of course by Brett Lawrie’s positional flexibility, meaning the Blue Jays could find the best fit at either of those positions, and shift Lawrie to whichever one the newly acquired player cannot occupy.

As much as this plan by Anthopoulos makes sense, moving Jose Bautista to third base and filling two(or three) outfield spots should be a lot easier than acquiring a 2nd/3rd basemen this off-season. Take a look at AA’s full answer, and then I’ll go deeper into explaining why. I was going to transcribe it, but luckily, Andrew Stoeten transcribed the entire interview yesterday on DJF, so I’ll just borrow it from there. Thanks, Stoeten.

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Daniel Norris: What the Experts are Saying

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With the expanding of rosters a couple of days ago, the Blue Jays called up several players to the big leagues to help out the club for the month of September. One of those players was pitching prospect Daniel Norris, who started out the year in High-A Dunedin. Something I enjoyed doing yesterday was reading all the reports on Norris from the various outlets all over the web. Comparing them is pretty fun, and allows we, the fans, a great look as to why prospecting is so volatile. Everybody sees something different in these players, even though they’re all watching the same product. I’m going to compare the reports that four internet outlets put out yesterday on Norris, and see how they are similar, and how they differ. The four outlets are Baseball America (Staff), FanGraphs (Kiley McDaniel),  ESPN (Keith Law), and Baseball Prospectus (Mark Anderson). All of those except for FanGraphs are subscription based, and I am not lying when I say all three are worth the money. They all provide a ton of content with lots of different views of the game, and are all a great way to spend your money.

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1 Year Later: Some of Our Favourites

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Roughly one year ago, we launched the new Blue Jays Plus with the goal of offering various unique perspectives on both the game of baseball and the Blue Jays in particular. This past year we’ve done our best to accomplish that, and provide you, the reader, with some great Jays content! What you’ll see after the jump are some of our favourite articles of the past year. This post will remain in the sidebar and will be updated as time goes on. We hope you enjoyed the first of many years to come writing about the Blue Jays.

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Breaking: Blue Jays Acquire John Mayberry Jr.

So, this is some fun news for a Sunday night, right? John Mayberry Jr.!

Alex Anthopoulos, with hours left before the August 31st trade deadline, has traded minor league third baseman Gustavo Pierre to the Philadelphia Phillies for John Mayberry Jr. Matt Gelb was the first one on my timeline with the news.

So this move is pretty awesome…If Mayberry is going to platoon at DH with Adam Lind for the rest of 2014, and for however long the Blue Jays decide to hold onto Lind for. Mayberry, for his career, owns a nifty little 130 wRC+ against left handers, which will go beautifully with Lind’s numbers against right handers. Mayberry had his best season in 2011, when he was worth 2.3 wins for the Phillies in 104 games played. He did that by putting up big numbers with the bat, including a .240 ISO and a .368 wOBA. Since then, his bat has suffered quite a bit, but he is taking more walks this year than ever before, and has lowered his K% by a couple of points as well. 

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Scoops at First-August 29th

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The goal of every blog on the internet is to deliver the best content to you, the reader, at all times. However, in the blogosphere, many articles get written that might get missed and lost in the shuffle of the eternally updating internet. With that in mind, I’ve compiled some of the best articles of the last week, let’s get to some baseball links!

Blue Jays Links
Drew Fairservice of FanGraphs has a solid piece on Colby Rasmus, and trying to figure out who he is and will be as a hitter. He’s been extremely inconsistent as a hitter, from being a star in 2010 and 2013 to hitting rock bottom in 2011, 2012 and 2014. He’s a free agent after this year, and Drew tries to figure out the best comp for him. He compares him to six guys, and he’s similar to all them, but in different ways. With his performance being so veering, it’s very difficult to project him and comp him, but the best comp looks like it would be Michael Saunders, as Drew notes.  It’s difficult to know whether Rasmus and the Jays will part ways, as it depends on if Alex Anthopoulos wants to stay internal for his outfield next year, or look for reinforcements on the free agent market. Melky Cabrera seems like a preference over Rasmus, which makes it even unlikelier that he’ll stay, unless AA really believes in Rasmus’ ability to produce(consistently) and stay healthy. We’ll see.

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Under The Hood: Brett Lawrie and Oblique Injuries

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On August 5th Brett Lawrie made his return to the Blue Jays lineup after missing 36 games with a broken finger, but before he could take his second at bat, he was removed from the game. Fans hearts’ were crushed yet again. He had suffered an oblique injury; the third in his short career and second in as many seasons. Since Lawrie hit the DL for a second time, I’ve stumbled across hundreds of conversations regarding the obliques and theories around his injury history. What I’ve discovered is that there is a vast misconception about oblique injuries, in how they occur, and how they can be prevented through training.

The “core” has multiple responsibilities. It not only controls all movement in the body, it also protects the hips, spine, shoulders etc. from injury. Additionally, it acts as an absorber of tremendous forces. When a player is swinging and the front leg lands, it halts the tremendous rotational velocity in the hips. The hips rotate at an incredible 714 degrees per second. Lawrie is both a right-handed hitter and thrower. We all know that he hurls his body with full force into almost everything he does. Let’s consider the extreme internal rotation during a swing such as Lawrie’s.

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