Projections and Paces – Blue Jays

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The article below is meant to provide a quick look at how my
preseason projections match up with the paces of select major league
hitters.

Alex Rios
2008: .291/.337/.461, 15 HR, 91 R, 79 RBI, 32 SB in 635 AB
Proj..: .299/.355/.502, 25 HR, 96 R, 89 RBI, 21 SB in 613 AB
Pace: .278/.336/.454, 22 HR, 82 R, 80 RBI, 27 SB in 660 AB

Vernon Wells
2008: .300/.343/.496, 20 HR, 63 R, 78 RBI, 4 SB in 427 AB
Proj..: .285/.340/.489, 25 HR, 86 R, 92 RBI, 9 SB in 571 AB
Pace: .241/.299/.367, 12 HR, 99 R, 68 RBI, 27 SB in 653 AB

We know which one of the Jays’ two “superstars” has Cito Gaston on his
side. Rios was recently moved down third to sixth in the lineup despite
an OPS right around 850 since the beginning of May. Wells was moved up
to third despite one of the worst showings of any regular in the
majors. He’s hit .214/.271/.310 in 171 at-bats since May 1.

Aaron Hill
2008: .263/.324/.361, 2 HR, 19 R, 20 RBI, 4 SB in 205 AB
Proj..: .281/.345/.428, 14 HR, 80 R, 71 RBI, 7 SB in 594 AB
Pace: .315/.352/.503, 36 HR, 94 R, 114 RBI, 5 SB in 692 AB

Hill entered this year with 114 doubles and 28 homers in his career. He currently has nine doubles and 15 homers.

Marco Scutaro
2008: .267/.341/.356, 7 HR, 76 R, 60 RBI, 7 SB in 517 AB
Proj..: .262/.338/.374, 8 HR, 63 R, 46 RBI, 5 SB in 439 AB
Pace: .298/.396/.434, 12 HR, 121 R, 70 RBI, 15 SB in 641 AB

All five of Scutaro’s homers came in April, so it seems unlikely
that he’ll really finish with 12 this year. However, he shows no signs
of losing his hold on the leadoff spot in Toronto’s lineup. The century
mark in runs is well with reach.

Adam Lind
2008: .282/.316/.439, 9 HR, 48 R, 40 RBI, 2 SB in 326 AB
Proj..: .277/.324/.460, 19 HR, 64 R, 74 RBI, 2 SB in 494 AB
Pace: .301/.367/.539, 31 HR, 94 R, 111 RBI, 2 SB in 619 AB

Lind was a tough projection after the Jays kept going back and forth
with him during his first three partial seasons, especially in light of
the fact that he finished poorly this year. He’s likely a legitimate
25-homer guy. I don’t think it’s all that likely that he keeps hitting
.300.

Scott Rolen
2008: .262/.349/.431, 11 HR, 58 R, 50 RBI, 5 SB in 408 AB
Proj..: .259/.341/.429, 13 HR, 60 R, 64 RBI, 4 SB in 413 AB
Pace: .325/.394/.471, 10 HR, 82 R, 53 RBI, 7 SB in 498 AB

Rolen knows his limitations now and has adapted his game. The power
probably isn’t coming back, but it no longer looks like he’ll be out of
the league by age 36 or 37.

Report: Mariners’ Taijuan Walker drawing “strong” trade interest

SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 08:  Starting pitcher Taijuan Walker #44 of the Seattle Mariners looks on from the dugout after completing eight innings against the Cleveland Indians at Safeco Field on June 8, 2016 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
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Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY reports that the Mariners have received “strong” trade interest for starter Taijuan Walker. The right-hander is currently on the mend from tendinitis in his right foot.  He’ll throw a bullpen on Friday at Wrigley Field with scouts in attendance.

Walker, 23, has a 3.66 ERA with an 80/18 K/BB ratio in 86 innings this season. It’s his first bit of sustained success at the major league level. What’s arguably just as intriguing is the fact that Walker will be under team control through 2020.

The Mariners have been hovering around .500 for the last month and entered Thursday six games behind the first-place Rangers in the AL West and 4.5 games out of the second AL Wild Card slot, behind three other teams as well as the two Wild Card leaders. It’s enough uncertainty which could push the Mariners to sell.

Report: Mets, Brewers continue discussing Jonathan Lucroy

PITTSBURGH, PA - JULY 20:  Jonathan Lucroy #20 of the Milwaukee Brewers walks back to the dugout in the eighth inning during the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on July 20, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
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On Monday, we learned that the Mets offered to swap catchers with the Brewers, Travis d'Arnaud for Jonathan Lucroy. The Brewers, as expected, turned that down. The two still continue to discuss a trade involving Lucroy, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports.

The Mets certainly could use some help at catcher. The club has gotten an aggregate .608 OPS from their backstops, the fourth-lowest mark in baseball, ahead of only the Pirates, Rays, and Indians. However, the Mets seem to be behind other teams — including a “mystery” team — in the bidding, according to Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball.

Lucroy, who took Thursday off, is batting .300/.361/.486 with 13 home runs and 50 RBI in 371 plate appearances for the Brewers this season. He can become a free agent after the season if his controlling club opts against picking up his $5.25 million option for the 2017 season.