You've got questions? We've got the smarmy, self-congratulatory repartee that may or may not answer you, but is certain to amuse and entertain. (Okay, "certain" might be a little strong.)
Let the tweetbaggery...BEGIN!
Our blogging pals @6thSens present the following quandry: Dilemma: Canada Day in Ottawa or a trip to TO to watch the Jays and Halladay's return?
Indeed, Canada Day in the Nation's Capital is a throwdown of a hoedown, filled with face-painting, bands you've never heard of (in both official languages!) and patios filled with tomfoolery and iniquity.
But let's be serious: You've lived in Ottawa, and you've done this Canada Day thing before. If you stay in Ottawa, you'll spend a lot of time watching nimrods piss on monuments and puke in bushes that were well-manicured by federal government agencies. It's the same routine as last year, pretty much.
If you don't have family coming to town who want to experience this bacchanal of polite patriotism (as some of us apparently do), then get down to Toronto and see the Jays-Phillies series. Even if Halladay doesn't pitch, his presence in the building is sure to make everyone weepy.
Speaking of fun times, @GrubersMullet (party in back y'all!) asks: should the Jays try the Frasor as closer experiment one more time?
How frustrating is it to watch your closer hack up a game? So frustrating that some of us got nostalgic for B.J. Ryan the other night. (Not naming names...) Still: We like Franky Frank's ability to miss bats, and while Frasor can fosh his way through some hitters, Francisco's K-rate is still pretty stellar (10.38 per nine innings versus Frasor's 8.85.)
We like Frasor as a back of the bullpen arm (in spite of his infuriatingly deliberate approach to pitching), but we'd prefer to be able to use him as needed in the seventh or eighth or what have you.
More more more! @Linutor (who is too slovenly to replace his default egg profile pic in Twitter) asks: Is this really a team that can contend in 2012, even with the addition of he who shall not be named?
Wait a second...who shan't be named? We realize that we've turned into a scolding aunt recently, and we've cast aspersions on people who pine for many players. (Sorry about that...Scolding comes so easily to us.)
To the core of your question: This team CAN contend in 2012. We hope. But the 2012 team is going to have to look a lot different from the ramshackle collection of dubious, marginal veterans that are lurching around this team right now. IF Gordie Dougie Lawrie and Travis Snider are fairly productive (let's say 1.5-2.0 WARs) in 2012, and IF there is a bit more of a solid back end to the rotation, they could build around what exists and at least push 90 wins.
Yikes. Did we just get carried away with the optimism again?
On a related note, @cgorveatt asks: is Travis a "change of scenery" guy now?
No, not nearly. Though that is our worst fear, we've actually managed to reel it back and remember just how young Snider still is. Even with some of the struggles we've seen this year, we figure that it'll be a few years before he even approaches his peak, and we've got to be a bit more patient with his development.
We've heard that the Jays are fixing his swing, which had become encumbered with hitches and weight shifts designed to help him hit mistake pitches 7000 feet, but left him unbalanced and unable to adjust to good fastballs or breaking pitches. It seems as though he's hitting well enough at Las Vegas, but we're willing to let him figure out how to hit again down there if it takes all year.
Side thought: Seeing Hunter Pence (who we like a lot) this week, we were curious to know what his progression looked like. Pence was a 21 year-old with college ball experience in a big-time program before he even took his first cuts in low-A ball, whereas Snider was called up as a 20 year-old who'd flown through three minor league levels in one season.
At 24, Pence rounded into shape and became a solid (.899 OPS) contributor, and has acquitted himself pretty well (.816 career OPS) over the past few years. We think Snider can be a better hitter than Pence, so let's see where Snider is next year before we cast him off.
From the man with the plan, @dpriest: If you were the GM, what would you do right now? Assume you have 8 million, but all other real world limits apply.
You can't buy your way out of problems. You can keep your $8 million. Having said that, we'd look to start moving non-performers off the 25-man roster (EE, f'r'instance), and start easing in some of the future roster into big league roles. (Which they've already kinda done.) We'd also be looking at guys like the Reds' Chris Heisey, who might not have a big role with their current team, but who could contribute to the Jays.
Okay, we're a touch loquacious, so we're gonna tighten up the answers from here on out. Quickly!
@jdotwdot asks: Is Josh Roenicke still considered a prospect/valuable? 15 BB in 20IP, 6.30 ERA, coming up to 29th birthday.
Nope. Roenicke's an old righty with control problems. He's fallen way back in the Jays' bullpen plans.
@bfg900 asks: Can we get some commentary on the facial hair with legs that goes by the name of Eric Thames?
Seriously, we had to read this question five times before we realized that you weren't asking about Thames' leg hair. As for what we think of him: We think he'll have decent doubles power in the majors, and we wonder why he's DHing and not getting a regular turn in the outfield. Is he that bad? Or does the org really love Corey Patterson that much? As for his facial hair: Pretty fly. Though we saw a hipster on the street with a similar look yesterday, and we thought he looked like a douche. Conflicted!
@Archizuber (Hi Ar-Kee!) requests: Draw up a scenario in which David Wright ends up in Toronto. Thanks. Rosterbation!
We love David Wright, and we think he'd be a stellar addition to the Jays. But even with the Mets' lunacy in recent months, they are not giving him away without getting a king's ransom back. Who would they want? Snider? Stewart? Gose? All of the above? Quite possibly. Would they take a collection of second-level prospects? Aaron Sanchez and Travis d'Arnaud and Deck McGuire and Asjer Wojciechowski? We'd do that...though mostly because those guys are purely theoretical beings to us. Still: David Wright!
Hurry hard! @wayofthejay asks: What lineup do you want to see tonight?
Versus lefty Mark Buehrle, we'd set it up like so: Escobar SS, Nix 3B, JPA DH, One Man Gang RF, Rivera 1B, Rajai CF, Molina C, Hill 2B, Thames LF. Ask us why in the comments!
One more! @TheAck asks: Are we OK? or am I looking at a potential June 1 DFA?
No, we're okay. This blog is firmly committed to a weekend editor, and The Ack is that weekend editor at this time. (Vague vote of confidence!) Now get ready to spin some gold over the weekend!
Speaking of which: Have a great weekend everyone, and thanks again for the questions. The Tweet Bag is now closed.