What’d The Colorado Rockies Get For Troy Tulowitzki? We Talk To Jays Journal
Jul 30, 2015; St. Louis, MO, USA; Colorado Rockies shortstop J. Reyes (7) looks on prior to the game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Maybe you heard: the Colorado Rockies traded a superstar last week. We talk to the guys at Jays Journal about what it means for each club in a nice interview.
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A huge thanks to Shaun Doyle here, the editor of Jays Journal (@JaysJournal) for agreeing to speak to us about the Colorado Rockies, Troy Tulowitzki, and the trade.
He sat down to talk about the three prospects we got in return for Tulo — Jeff Hoffman, Jesus Tinoco, and Miguel Castro — as well as the new Rockies’ shortstop Jose Reyes, and whether or not the Jays are in it to win it all this year. It’s a good interview, so strap in and enjoy…
Rox Pile: So the first thing all Colorado Rockies fans want to know is about the three prospects — Jeff Hoffman, Miguel Castro, and Jesus Tinoco. What do the Rockies have in each of those guys?
Shaun Doyle: Man, Jeff Hoffman is the one prospect that Blue Jays fans DID NOT want to lose. In fact, the club (and its fan base) is so high on him that we all assumed he’d be untouchable. This is a kid who could have been #1 in his draft year. Thanks to Tommy John surgery, he fell to the Blue Jays at #9. They started him out in Dunedin (A+), likely to monitor his health more and keep him in warmer weather. He showed no signs of lingering effects from the surgery and was promoted all the way to AA New Hampshire. From all accounts, this kid is the real deal. He’s a projected #2 (could even be a #1) starter. It’ll be interesting to see how he does in Colorado.
Miguel Castro is an interesting case. At 20 years old, the Blue Jays gave him a shot at the big league bullpen. His electric fastball will excite you. He’s a starter first, but the Blue Jays needed a bullpen solution and he lit up Spring Training. He struggled early in the year and was demoted. Then, he went out with an elbow injury. IT wasn’t anything too serious as he was back to his normal self in AAA Buffalo before the trade. He will light the radar gun with his velocity. And, if he can harness that and gain some control, you’re looking at a potential lock down closer. If he can develop his whole repertoire, he could be an impact starter. But, that is a more remote possibility.
Jesus Tinoco is a 20 yr old righty who didn’t have much success in Lansing (A) as a starter. At least, if you look at his record (2-6) you would say that. His problem is that he was hit way too often. Over his last 10 games, he’d averaged 6.2 hits per start. That in and of itself isn’t terrible. But, if you combine that with the fact that he doesn’t exactly last deep into games, you start to see the point. This season can be summed up under the “bend, but didn’t break” for Tinoco. Despite the hits totals, he managed to contain damage and has only given up 32 runs in his 81.1 innings. He’s only allowed one home run all season. His K:BB ratio is a nifty 3:1. He’s an arm that Blue Jay fans wouldn’t be too familiar with and one they weren’t too sad to see leave.
RP: What’s the prevailing feeling among Toronto fans and media about the trade? Like, did you steal a superstar from Colorado for nothing, or are Toronto folks mad about giving up three very good prospects to get an aging, injury-prone shortstop?
SD: The general consensus around Toronto is that this is an unbelievable get for GM, Alex Anthopoulos. At first, it was very confusing given that the club had glaring needs in its rotation. There were some who raged over losing Jeff Hoffman and they pointed to the questionable health of Tulo. But, the fans around here have been indoctrinated with the “team control” issue and love the fact that we’re getting one of the best players in baseball for the next 5 years.
The initial negativity around the deal, if you can call it that, likely has more to do with the fact that this was the first move of the summer. We’re used to watching the Blue Jays sit back and wait things out and then do nothing. So, this move came as a surprise. Now that the fans see an “all in” approach, it feels really good and the doubters have quieted. Now, in a few years, when Hoffman is up, they may come out again. But, for now, they’re loving the deal. Tulo is healthy. If he stays that way, all will be good. If he misses a significant amount of time like he has in the past, look out!
RP: Update Rockies fans on Jose Reyes, because most NL folks probably don’t watch as much AL baseball as they should. He’s not the player he was in 2011, but he’s not worthless and over the hill either, right?
SD: He certainly is NOT the player he once was. And, lately, Blue Jays fans have been shouting that from the rooftops. Now, some of that is the frustration of not making the playoffs in 22 years. Blue Jays fans are beyond frustrated with mediocrity. Reyes became a bit of a lightening rod for that. He did spend quite a bit of time on the DL over the last few years with an ankle injury and his wonky hamstrings.
But, most of the criticism has come from his defense. He appears to be very lackadaisical at short stop. He’ll often boot balls and expect to make up for it with his canon of an arm. His arm is great. His range is NOT. Some Blue Jays fans have been calling for him to be moved to 2B or even to LF. That’s how much rage his play brings out. The problem is that he would never agree to it. That also rubs fans the wrong way. It comes across as “me first”.
Is it warranted? Sort of. He’s not quite Derek Jeter in his final years bad, but he very well could be soon. The fact that Alex Anthopoulos has been trying to trade him for over a year should tell you something. Honestly, Blue Jays fans are happy to be rid of him.
That said, his bat is great. He is a great addition at the top of the order. He can still run and steal bases. And, his personality is captivating. His smile is real and its contagious. Players love him. Blue Jays fans just grew tired of paying that much for what they were getting out of him. He wasn’t bringing the playoffs, so he’s not worth it.
Next: What The Trade Means For The Jays