Friday, April 29, 2011

Programming Notice

BTTN apologize for infrequent posting over the past couple weeks and wish to inform you that over the next few months, Bleachers to the North will almost exclusively cover baseball. This will include well-thought out posts as well rumblings that follow significant on-field events.

Soon to be released is a best-case scenario post about the Blue Jays future, including 2011 and beyond.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Blue Jays Notes: Jays Playing Great Despite .500 Record, Positive Signs Emerge

JP Arencibia has had a lot to smile about in 2011
Complain all you want about Aaron Hill and Adam Lind, but hey, it is a small sample size, and well, the rest of the team has been playing so well that we should focus on the positives.

I've always though of J.P. Arencibia as more of short-term filler until D'Arnaud and Perez reach the majors, but he's really impressed in every opportunity he's gotten this season and has a shot at Rookie of the Year if he gets enough work. And he should certainly get more work, I understand that Jose Molina is some sort of gamecalling savant but really, if 2011 truly is about 2012 and beyond, Arencibia should be playing five days a week at least.

The pitching staff has also vastly impressed me, as the Jays currently are 7th in the majors in ERA and at 3.07 are easily better than one would expect the end-of-season #1 team to finish with. Top to bottom, the rotation has been great, so who will vacate a position when Brandon Morrow comes back?

To me, it all depends on everyone's next start. If Brett Cecil gets rocked tonight against Boston (game currently scoreless), he may be called down until he velocity eclipses 90. Meanwhile, if Jo-Jo Reyes pitches poorly in his next start, he will almost certainly be waived/traded.

While the bullpen has pitched well statistically, they haven't done well in clutch situations, which will almost certainly even out over a larger sample.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Could Kyle Drabek Win AL Rookie of the Year?

Kyle Drabek has a lot of things going for him in the 2011 AL Rookie of the Year race.

Firstly, he obviously has the talent to put up a sub-3.80 ERA with a respectable amount of strikeouts. Secondly, he's going to pitch the whole season, the Blue Jays will not be limiting his innings unless he really pushes the envelope and hits 210 in mid-September.

To date, his detractors have said that he's not 'ace'-caliber and while he could very well end up as a dependable workhorse over the next decade, he's never going to strike out guys at elite level or put up a sub-3.00. 

Yet, after adding a lethal cutter (small sample size, but according to Fangraphs, the cutter has earned 2.7 wCT in his two starts, making it the second-best cutter in baseball so far), I think he's in for a serious re-evaluation. 

Monday, April 4, 2011

Raptors Report Week 22: Jose Calderon on the Way Out?

This article is by Sachin Arora, who also is the main contributor of, a new Raptors fan-blog.
Mike Cassese/REUTERS
The Raptors finally snapped their losing streak against the Orlando Magic, and Jarryd Bayless was one of the main reasons why.
Once again, Bayless has sparked a point guard controversy. For some reason, the young point guard only seems to play well when Jose Calderon is out of the line-up and Bayless is in the starting line-up.
The reason for this is probably because Bayless is very potent, but when he’s coming off the bench he feels urged to force his offense because he needs to earn his minutes. When he’s starting he plays much more relaxed, and is in much more control.