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Itís major league baseball time in Toronto, once again.

Dustin McGowan gets the honour of starting the home opener against the New York Yankees. He faces off against Masahiro Tananka, who will be making his major league debut. Blue Jay legend Roy Halladay will throw the opening pitch.



On Saturday, Michael Pineda will oppose R.A. Dickey and, on Sunday, Jays fans will get to see a slim new C.C. Sabathia face off against Drew Hutchison, who was very impressive in his first start against Tampa.

 

 

Game Threads: Opening Weekend | 91 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Ryan Day - Friday, April 04 2014 @ 11:48 AM EDT (#284221) #
Just in case you're going to the games & using transit: In a terrible bit of planning, the Yonge subway line is going to be shut down Saturday & Sunday between Yonge/Bloor & St. Andrew.
uglyone - Friday, April 04 2014 @ 12:26 PM EDT (#284228) #
So much depends upon

This sideburned starting pitcher

Glazed with rainwater

Beside the white chickens.
mathesond - Friday, April 04 2014 @ 01:35 PM EDT (#284238) #
Thanks for the heads-up/reminder, Ryan. I'm gonna be hit with it twice tomorrow, once when I make the trek to St. Lawrence to get my groceries, and again when I go to the game (courtesy of my siblings, who know just what to get me for my birthday!)
katman - Friday, April 04 2014 @ 01:58 PM EDT (#284240) #
Couple interesting bits on Sportsnet today. One article about Tanaka exemplifying the difference between the franchises.

To drive the point home... if key players offered to defer salaries to get Santana, and that has been confirmed from multiple sources, it means that AA's hands were completely tied financially, despite the public denials.

christaylor - Friday, April 04 2014 @ 04:22 PM EDT (#284250) #
Wow. Games have started and some folks are still hand-wringing about the off-season. I only see highlights and pass-out listening to the games on the inter-radio, given where I am located, but has the team really been that dull to watch?

Were AA hands tied financially? I don't know and can't know and can't see why I should even care now. It seems to me that it is reasonable to believe that the players offered salary deferral and AA declined believing that the options available were/are not for him. It is OK if he'd rather keep his pot of available money, well, y'know available. The players aren't GMs and keeping them happy is not his job. Ken Rosenthal wants us to be talking about this because that's his job, click baiting. Sure, he has good sources, but even good sources aren't sources of perfect information... the Jays did nothing this off-season, fine by me. I'm on board with that decision.

Well, Drew would look nice now... but meh.

Let us bleed Blue Jay Blue and see what the Jays do on the field for a bit shall we before we whinge? Yes, yes, the Leafs suck and no Toronto team will ever win anything again. How sad.
Chuck - Friday, April 04 2014 @ 04:30 PM EDT (#284251) #
With no obvious segue... I am not a big reader of baseball books but have recently read, and heartily recommend, both the newest Dirk Hayhurst (Bigger than the Game) and Jonah Keri's book on the Expos (Up, Up & Away).
Mike Green - Friday, April 04 2014 @ 04:38 PM EDT (#284252) #
Thanks, Chuck.  The Keri book was, of course, high on my list.

Diaz and Goins get the start in the middle infield today behind McGowan and facing Tanaka. Defence first with a groundballer going...

Richard S.S. - Friday, April 04 2014 @ 06:16 PM EDT (#284253) #
When does Cot's get updated? I'd like to checks this $140 MM Beeston is claiming the Team is at. Seem a bit high.

This New York Team is nothing to fear, Defense will be less than the best, and might have issues Offensively. I have no idea right now on how good McGowan or Tanaka will pitch.

I think we have the better Team.
Chuck - Friday, April 04 2014 @ 07:28 PM EDT (#284255) #
How many guys retire and get thinner? Somebody get Doc a cookie.
Magpie - Friday, April 04 2014 @ 07:46 PM EDT (#284256) #
Mark Mulder has spotted something, and says McGowan is tipping his pitches from the stretch.
greenfrog - Friday, April 04 2014 @ 07:52 PM EDT (#284257) #
I wonder if Pete Walker has noticed, too. It would be nice if the coaching staff were attuned to these things.
greenfrog - Friday, April 04 2014 @ 07:54 PM EDT (#284258) #
Tanak attack! Nice one, Melky.
TangledUpInBlue - Friday, April 04 2014 @ 08:16 PM EDT (#284259) #
So itís now confirmed that the idea came from management, not the players. This story is a huge one. The club, first of all, looks incredibly cheap, which has got to have ramifications for the future. What free agent in his right mind is going to take any offer from the Jays seriously from now on? ďHey, hereís the deal weíre offering, though understand, we might ask to re-negotiate things a year from now. Just sign here, though.Ē Torontoís already a backwater to a lot of these players and stuff like this makes them look bush-league.

Second, this pretty much confirms that Beestonís been spouting B.S. about their payroll. Before today, we only had our suspicions. All the talk about ownership making money available whenever asked, never saying ďnoĒ etc. -- in this case, ownership simply wasnít going to allow the team to spend more money. That might be fine, in and of itself, if Anthopoulos was aware all along of some kind of payroll cap, but given his comments at the start of the off-season about acquiring a new pitcher and so on, it looks as though somebody stepped in at some point this off-season and told him ďainít gonna happen, things have changed.Ē Had he known all along he was going to have to try to build a low-budget winner, last yearís big trades probably wouldnít have happened. Those trades were made under an understanding thatís now been betrayed. Thatís how it looks to me, anyway.
greenfrog - Friday, April 04 2014 @ 08:36 PM EDT (#284260) #
I feel bad for Teixeira, injuring himself last inning. That turf is nasty stuff.

Beeston was interviewed on CBC the other day (pre-Rosenthal). He defended Rogers's payroll. What I found interesting was his comment to the effect that went something like, look, with payroll of $140M or $130M, the team has plenty to spend. That said to me that payroll is going to be in 130-140 range going forward.
Mike Green - Friday, April 04 2014 @ 09:48 PM EDT (#284262) #
Nice little comparison in relief pitcher choices between yesterday's game in the 7th, down 2, and tonight's in the 6th, down 2. 
Mike Green - Friday, April 04 2014 @ 09:49 PM EDT (#284263) #
Man, it's fun to watch Cecil when he is on. 
Richard S.S. - Friday, April 04 2014 @ 10:43 PM EDT (#284265) #
Blue Jays have $9,458,500.00 to spend on June Draft (on MLB App).
dan gordon - Friday, April 04 2014 @ 11:36 PM EDT (#284266) #
Jeffress designated for assignment.
John Northey - Saturday, April 05 2014 @ 12:05 AM EDT (#284267) #
Chad Jenkins is up, Jeffress down (or released or lost on waivers).

Sadly Jeffress really hasn't looked good this year. He showed hope last year, thus why I felt strongly he deserved a shot, but he has been wild (check the plots on Brooks Baseball and you'll see) and I figure the Jays have hit the point of 'screw it' with him. If he gets down to AAA great, but if not then so be it.  Jenkins, as many pointed out, has done well in the majors in his limited time plus, since he has an option left, can be up and down like a yo-yo if needed.
uglyone - Saturday, April 05 2014 @ 12:10 AM EDT (#284268) #
good.

hope we never have to watch jeffress play chuckball ever again.
greenfrog - Saturday, April 05 2014 @ 07:31 AM EDT (#284269) #
Well, the Jays have a built-in excuse for losing that one (Tanaka is good). AA and Beeston seem to like that. Never mind that the Jays actually led 3-2 at one point in the game.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, April 05 2014 @ 07:39 AM EDT (#284270) #
Chad Jenkins could pitch multiple innings if needed and should. That was a bad decision by Gibbons, where was Todd Redmond? Ideal time for him to go once through the lineup, or at least through the fifth.

There is no reason for more than one reliever to be pitching in his third game in 5 days. Long men should go long anytime a Starter can't go more than 5, and they need to get at least 7 outs. If they don't, find someone who can.
ComebyDeanChance - Saturday, April 05 2014 @ 09:17 AM EDT (#284272) #
i have a friend who had heart surgery at a very young age, and as a result of his cardiac problems is on a number of medications. One day, inspired by something he read, he told his cardiologist he was concerned about the side effects of his medications. The cardiologist broke out laughing, saying "The only thing keeping you alive is the drugs!"

Listening to Blue Jays fans continually gripe about Rogers Communications and Paul Beeston always reminds me of that story.
TangledUpInBlue - Saturday, April 05 2014 @ 09:28 AM EDT (#284273) #
They're also being weasels about it. On the Fan, Anthopoulos said he didn't want to get into who approached whom. Beeston used the phrase "there was discussion about that." Why won't they admit that *they* approached the players? Because it looks bad. It looks cheap. It's embarrassing to the whole franchise, and their reluctance to admit what they did shows that they know it.
Mike Green - Saturday, April 05 2014 @ 09:29 AM EDT (#284274) #
Tabler said something I agree with on last night's broadcast. Down 5-3, Encarnacion at first, Lind up, nobody out.  An extreme shift on with the shortstop in typical double play position and everyone else on the right side.  Tabler suggests that it would be great if Lind could bunt for a base hit (or even a double if he was skilled) and that hitting coaches are going to have to adapt to the increased use of shifting by having power hitters who pull practise their bunting.  Buck makes a comment about "taking the bat out of Lind's hands"; Tabler counters with: "they need baserunners". 

After that conversation, Lind grounded into the routine 6-5-3 double play.  Tabler did not gloat.

Chuck - Saturday, April 05 2014 @ 09:59 AM EDT (#284276) #
Tabler said something I agree with on last night's broadcast.

So rare an occurrence that it warrants mention!

...that hitting coaches are going to have to adapt to the increased use of shifting by having power hitters who pull practise their bunting.

I agree. This would seem a natural reaction to the growing prevalence of the shift. But I think there is a cultural hurdle that must first be leaped. In a testosterone-fueled profession, having sluggers bunt for singles just doesn't play as especially manly. Oh, once in a while Ortiz can do it and be praised for it. But I don't know that the praise is universal nor do I feel that Ortiz himself feels entirely "clean" about employing cleverness in lieu of brute strength. Obviously on this latter point I am merely speculating. I would imagine that if Ortiz did feel clever, he'd do a whole more bunting than he actually does.

Buck's reaction to Tabler's remark betrays, I think, the unspoken, Hemingwayish belief system within baseball that sluggers slug because they are real men and real men slug.

TangledUpInBlue - Saturday, April 05 2014 @ 10:00 AM EDT (#284277) #
ComeBy, The analogy works better for me if the doctor was causing all kinds of trouble because he couldn't stick to a course of treatment.
Gerry - Saturday, April 05 2014 @ 10:22 AM EDT (#284278) #
According to reports Marcus Walden is coming up now instead of Chad Jenkins. There are no explanations yet, I have to assume Jenkins is injured.
greenfrog - Saturday, April 05 2014 @ 10:27 AM EDT (#284279) #
Or: a remedy is available at a reasonable cost, but the health care provider won't provide coverage.
bpoz - Saturday, April 05 2014 @ 10:32 AM EDT (#284280) #
I am glad to see Chad Jenkins promoted. He deserves a chance, IMO.
But I wonder what he has to do to stay up? Yes obviously pitch well enough to stay up. He probably will get mop up situations. He is not stretched out enough to start in Toronto or Buffalo if any SPs get injured or do badly.
I am thinking that he goes up & down between Tor/Buf and somehow gets to show his stuff.
bpoz - Saturday, April 05 2014 @ 10:40 AM EDT (#284281) #
The Jays official site, states in the transactions section that C Jenkins has been recalled. It will be interesting to see if it is Jenkins or Walden up.
Original Ryan - Saturday, April 05 2014 @ 10:48 AM EDT (#284282) #
Wilner just mentioned on Twitter that it's Walden because Jenkins was optioned to the minors at the start of the year and therefore needs to stay down there for ten days. Unless someone goes on the DL, Jenkins can't be called-up until April 10.
lexomatic - Saturday, April 05 2014 @ 10:49 AM EDT (#284283) #
Tabler said something I agree with on last night's broadcast. that hitting coaches are going to have to adapt to the increased use of shifting by having power hitters who pull practise their bunting.

I generally agree with the point he's trying to make, but not the way he's suggesting about solving it.
Lind is not fast. with a fast player, I could understand maybe about making sure they could bunt. But for Lind, to be an effective major-league hitter, he needs to be able to hit to opposite field when they shift him like that.
All it takes is burning a team a few times, and the whole field opens up.
That he (and really so many major-league players can't) can't, or won't make the effort/doesn't have the ability is his failure as a ballplayer.

I hate bunting unless you're Gose fast.
John Northey - Saturday, April 05 2014 @ 10:49 AM EDT (#284284) #
As if we needed more reasons for why the Jays of the Ash era were doomed.  Buck Martinez was a super-hyped hire as manager at the time, largely due to him being 'media friendly' I suspect. Anyone who thinks the best idea is to try to hit the ball through the shift though is someone who should not be in the dugout as a coach or manager imo.  In certain cases could it work? Sure - extreme fly ball pitcher, hitter who hits lots of fly balls - but most of the time the far better idea is to do a bunt along the third base line (for LH hitters of course) in an attempt to get a single or double.  The smartest teams (Boston, Tampa) will be doing this I'm sure.  The dumber ones won't.  Smart teams will cheer on their sluggers when they do it, dumb ones will complain about not being manly enough.
uglyone - Saturday, April 05 2014 @ 10:53 AM EDT (#284285) #
Not shocked at the walden callup, since they used him quite a bit this spring, right up to the end, and he pitched well.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, April 05 2014 @ 11:04 AM EDT (#284286) #
Marcus Walden is not on the 40-man roster, so who goes down? It might be Jeffress if he's being released, otherwise who's worse than him. If we've got space (and how do we have space?) then disregard my question.
Original Ryan - Saturday, April 05 2014 @ 11:07 AM EDT (#284287) #
When a player is designated for assignment, he's removed from the 40-man roster. The DFAing of Jeffress created a spot.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, April 05 2014 @ 11:20 AM EDT (#284288) #
Marcus Walden is basically auditioning for his future with the Organization. The Majors, AAA, or released/traded looks like his only possibilities at his age. I don't think there's enough room, lower, for him to return (possible promotions).

I might not always be right, but I'm never wrong, so any assistance with Walden info is appreciated.
Mike Green - Saturday, April 05 2014 @ 11:35 AM EDT (#284289) #
I generally agree with the point he's trying to make, but not the way he's suggesting about solving it.
Lind is not fast. with a fast player, I could understand maybe about making sure they could bunt. But for Lind, to be an effective major-league hitter, he needs to be able to hit to opposite field when they shift him like that.

It has nothing to do with Lind's speed.  All he has to is get it by the pitcher and he has reached base.  If he gets good at it, he bunts it firmly down the third base line and he has himself a double.  "Hitting the other way" is exactly what he did- right at the shortstop for the double play. 

I like Chuck's description of the Hemingwayish culture that needs to be overcome for bunting by power hitters to become widely accepted.  In the same broadcast, Buck asked Doc what was the pivotal point in his career- Doc, of course, pointed to the advice that he got from the sports psychologist Harvey Dorfman about the roots of self-belief.  Yogi Berra would have been proud ("baseball is 45% mental, now that I have a calculator").  Hemingway would have suggested that he ought to have shot a few moose instead.
Gerry - Saturday, April 05 2014 @ 11:46 AM EDT (#284290) #
Walden is a sinker, slider pitcher, similar to Jenkins. The big difference is size and speed. Walden is under six feet tall while Jenkins is well over six feet. Walden also throws a bit harder than Jenkins.

Walden should get ground balls, and he needs a good defense behind him.
TangledUpInBlue - Saturday, April 05 2014 @ 11:46 AM EDT (#284291) #
FanGraphs did a piece a few weeks ago on bunting against the shift. The conclusion was it's not as easy as you'd think.

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-truth-about-bunting/
bpoz - Saturday, April 05 2014 @ 11:47 AM EDT (#284292) #
Marcus Walden missed most of 2009 & 10 with an injury. In 2011, 12, 13 he increased his innings 100IP, 139Ip and 162IP last year all as a starter. He is reputed to be a fairly hard thrower and as a starter should have a variety of pitches to work with.
When he pitches for the Jays we will find out exactly how hard he actually throws, what his other stuff is and his mental make up. As a reliever he should also throw harder.
Chuck - Saturday, April 05 2014 @ 11:55 AM EDT (#284293) #
The interview with Halladay yesterday was an eye opener for me. He was famously solitary and single-minded of purpose as a player and because of that, not a mentor to younger teammates (other than leading by example, of course). So to hear that he was very interested in now mentoring younger pitchers (when he doesn't have his own starts to prepare for) is a pleasant surprise. I imagined him to be the type to walk away from the game entirely.

I think younger players would be much more receptive to listening to a Halladay than a Clemens, say. Halladay had raw talent, failed terribly, reinvented himself both physically and mentally, and ultimately became a HoF caliber pitcher. That he struggled early in his career would be something many young pitchers could relate to. And his handle on the mental discipline required to excel would be invaluable for anyone wise enough to listen.

Thomas - Saturday, April 05 2014 @ 12:27 PM EDT (#284294) #
Batter's Box highlighted Marcus Walden at #27 in the 2012 Top 30 Prospects feature.
Mike Green - Saturday, April 05 2014 @ 01:22 PM EDT (#284295) #
TangledUp, Sullivan's article doesn't really assist you in understanding whether left-hand pull-hitting power hitters should learn to bunt against the extreme shift as his measure is not finely tuned enough.  He measures how many bunts land in fair territory and how many in foul territory.   For instance, he says that Rajai Davis was 42-156 in putting bunts in fair territory, and treats a foul bunt as a bad result.  That description is both inaccurate and not helpful to the question.  Davis mostly bunted towards third basemen who were usually playing near the line and even with the bag or further in.  His bunts had to be very well placed for him to succeed.  When he attempted to bunt, there were 5 common results- a miss, a popped up bunt- fair or foul, a hard bunt back to the pitcher, a ground foul, and a good bunt.  The second and third results were the bad ones.  The ground foul would be obviously not ideal but many times would just be the natural result of attempting to do something difficult- sometimes it rolls foul and sometimes it doesn't.  It's a whole different question when there is no third baseman in sight...
JB21 - Saturday, April 05 2014 @ 01:54 PM EDT (#284296) #
Colby's been working with his brother on arm accuracy?

Funny his arm looks great vs. last year but he looks a little lost ranging for balls so far, (my) eye test only.
Chuck - Saturday, April 05 2014 @ 02:06 PM EDT (#284297) #
Dickey's knuckler is only a few MPH slower than Buehrle's fastball.
TangledUpInBlue - Saturday, April 05 2014 @ 02:16 PM EDT (#284298) #
It's a whole different question when there is no third baseman in sight.

Yeah. In a follow-up piece, Sullivan concluded: "The math is still probably on the side of more bunt attempts. Itís definitely on the side of hitters practicing bunting more often so that they can be more successful when it counts. There should at least be the perception of the threat of a bunt. Over the last two years, shifted batters havenít been great bunters, but when theyíve bunted the ball fair theyíve reached base twice as often as they havenít. The numbers show that bunting against the shift is by no means an easy thing, not that any aspect of hitting is easy."

So in the discussion between Pat and Buck, I agree with Pat, though I suppose it really depends on how good a bunter Lind is. But Buck's argument, which seems to be that Lind shouldn't bunt even if he can get on base -- a base hit which Buck would somehow equate with taking the bat out of his hands -- is silly. Here's the follow-up piece I mentioned:

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/more-about-bunting-and-beating-the-shift/
Eephus - Saturday, April 05 2014 @ 02:25 PM EDT (#284299) #
Pineda's slider is just evil. Yankees have themselves a real good one if he stays healthy.
JB21 - Saturday, April 05 2014 @ 03:54 PM EDT (#284300) #
Funny his arm looks great vs. last year but he looks a little lost ranging for balls so far, (my) eye test only.

Colby with a middle finger to this.
Parker - Saturday, April 05 2014 @ 04:27 PM EDT (#284301) #
The called strike 3 to Encarnacion in the 8th was brutal.

Lind's at-bat though, where not a single pitch was in the strike zone but he still somehow managed to strike out looking, was truly an amazing example of terrible umpiring.

I hope the Yankees asked the umps for their money back after the Jays still managed to win the ballgame.
dan gordon - Saturday, April 05 2014 @ 05:35 PM EDT (#284302) #
The discussion whether to bunt for the base hit against the exaggerated shift reminds me of an study Bill James did once. He took Babe Ruth in his best season (I forget which one he used, probably '20 or '21) and then looked at the weakest hitting regular in the league at every other position, and made up a mock "team" of these 8 hitters. You would think this would be a situation where it might be advantageous for the opposition to intentionally walk a player every time he came up to bat - you've got maybe the best hitter compared to his time period in history, having a truly monster season, and a very, very weak lineup around him. James ran hundreds of simulations with the opposition intentionally walking Ruth every time he came up, and hundreds where the opposition pitched to him every time he came up. Interestingly, the teams that intentionally walked Ruth every time consistently gave up more runs vs. this "team" than the teams that pitched to Ruth every time he came up. Really shows the important of getting on base, something that a lot of people still underestimate. Now, Lind doesn't have a 100% chance of getting on base if he bunts against the shift, but I would think it would be a pretty good chance if he practiced it. Plus, he's nothing even remotely close to Babe Ruth. I completely agree with Tabler - if the opposition is "giving" you almost half the field, take it.
Jdog - Saturday, April 05 2014 @ 06:18 PM EDT (#284303) #
The above comments are why I would love robot strike callers, the bad calls with the strike zone are much more frequent and change the game drastically. The difference between 1-0 and 0-1 is huge not to mention the full count blown calls. Also in contrast with the replays currently being implemented it would actually save time as there would be no stepping out when your frustrated with a call. Bring in the machines, the strike zone is where the umps really need help.
eudaimon - Saturday, April 05 2014 @ 06:35 PM EDT (#284304) #
I've been impressed so far with the Blue Jays play on the field. I consider going 3-3 against the Rays and Yankees a pretty good start. They've also looked good doing it across all facets of the game. Melky Cabrera is sure making it look as if that tumour was the cause of his poor 2013 - did he ever have a stretch this good last year? If he's "back" 3-4 wins becomes a realistic possibility for him. Lind has also looked good both with the bat and in the field and I'm happy Gibbons has not started him vs lefties. Great start by Dickey today, the knuckleball's a beautiful thing when it works. Let's see if the "Dickey effect" helps us win the series finale tomorrow.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, April 05 2014 @ 06:46 PM EDT (#284305) #
When you consider R.A. Dickey won 14 games last year with:
1) Being injured, neck and upper back, for first two months;
2) Having below average Defense for first four months;
3) Basically missing two Regular hitters every month.
I fully expect Robert Allen to win 16-20 Games this season because:
1) He's healthy to start the season;
2) He's had a full Spring Training with His Team;
3) This is the best defense this team has had in years;
4) The Regular hitters are healthy than last year.
Assuming good luck and health for a change, this Team should do well.
TangledUpInBlue - Saturday, April 05 2014 @ 06:52 PM EDT (#284306) #
I honestly donít know, but is there evidence that something similar to this didnít just happen in the Blue Jay front office?

1. Letís DFA Jeffress and call up Jenkins.
2. OK, done.
3. OK, not done. Apparently Jenkins canít be called up till April 10.
4. Oh crap.
5. Actually, it seems everyone on the 40-man roster has to wait till April 10.
6. Oh crap. Is it too late to rescind the DFA of Jeffress? It is?
7. So we gotta pick someone whoís not on the 40-man? Well, OK, whoís out there? Walden? With the 4.9K/9 last year in AA? Er, OK.

And in all likelihood, what remains -- step 8 -- is that Walden gets sent down, either on April 10 to make room for Jenkins (the guy Gibbons really wants) or when Janssen returns, and a spot on the 40-man roster gets wasted (not that anyone would claim him if you sent him back, I suppose).
jerjapan - Saturday, April 05 2014 @ 07:12 PM EDT (#284307) #
The Jenkins call-up is an obvious error, but I've got no problems with Walden - he's a fringy guy who could end up a middle reliever with his groundball tendencies.  He's a full-time reliever now and has improved his peripherals since moving to the pen, and he's got options so we don't need to worry about bouncing him up and down.  Seems like solid roster management - this is not prematurely calling up Dyson or Nolin and burning options on valuable prospects.  Ultimately, I think most of these bottom of the roster moves are so minor they're almost irrelevant - I don't get why so many people are frustrated by who the 25th guy is.  Jeffress sucked, but in low leverage situations, and Diaz has looked good so far.

I agree that a 3 and 3 start against TB and the Yanks is solid, and the team looks promising so far, especially with the leather, which is a nice change.  Melky looks great and has all spring.

scottt - Saturday, April 05 2014 @ 07:19 PM EDT (#284308) #
I have this fear that if Lind keeps doing well against righties, they'll start putting him against lefties again.



greenfrog - Saturday, April 05 2014 @ 07:42 PM EDT (#284309) #
3-3 with no Reyes (four road games in Tampa and two at home against the Yankees) is a fine start to the season. Nice to see.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, April 05 2014 @ 08:24 PM EDT (#284310) #
When our Starters are pitching well, very good or great they have giving up zero runs with the bullpen giving up/oops two runs. The Offense doesn't score much.

When the Starters pitch poorly, bad or ugly, they've given up 14 ER while the bullpen hasn't pitched any better having given up 9 ER. The Offense scores even less.

One interesting note: in 6 games, all runs are earned.
John Northey - Saturday, April 05 2014 @ 09:35 PM EDT (#284311) #
Checking MLB.com....
Jays OPS: 640 (209/278/362)...#22 out of 30, just behind the Yankees (#21). The Orioles are the only worse AL team (599). The Rays are #6 (790), Red Sox #10 (749)

Jays ERA: 4.33. #20.  Yankees #16, Orioles #25, Rays #5, Red Sox #14.

This includes todays game for the Jays & Yankees, but not the Orioles, Red Sox, or Rays.

Super early of course, but interesting that the Jays are 3-3, Rays 3-2 (losing right now), Boston 2-2 (tied right now), Yankees 2-3, and Orioles 1-4 (includes today's loss).  If Boston and Tampa lose then guess what? Jays are in first place.
Mike Green - Saturday, April 05 2014 @ 09:44 PM EDT (#284312) #
Tampa extended Yunel Escobar today at reasonable rates. 
scottt - Saturday, April 05 2014 @ 10:40 PM EDT (#284313) #
Tampa is in first place with a +15 run differential.
Boston is currently tied with the Brewers. Could be second.
Jays are next with -7.

At any rate, April numbers are mostly meaningless. Except the wins.

smcs - Sunday, April 06 2014 @ 12:04 AM EDT (#284314) #
Now, Lind doesn't have a 100% chance of getting on base if he bunts against the shift, but I would think it would be a pretty good chance if he practiced it.

When would you let him bunt? If the argument is that he should try to bunt every time he faces the shift, I'd say he has less than a 20% chance of getting down a bunt, between pitches out of the zone, foul balls, pop ups or bad bunts. I mean, he hasn't put down a sacrifice hit since 2008. If you tried to shift the odds that he would face a pitch that was easier to bunt, it might be 40%. Last year, after the count went to 2-0, Lind had an OBP of .573 in 75 PAs. Can he bunt better than that? Over his career, he has faced a 2-0 count 495 times, and has an OBP of .497.

It's a trick to bust out every once in a while, but Lind should be allowed to just keep doing what he was been doing against righties. He might have some singles swallowed up by the shift, but an aggressive bunting strategy would rob him of walks, doubles and homers, and not give him that many extra singles.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, April 06 2014 @ 07:33 AM EDT (#284315) #
Texas is really having early issues and guess who's playing them now! Best time to face a time is when they're having issues. We don't face them until mid-May-ish.
christaylor - Sunday, April 06 2014 @ 08:26 AM EDT (#284316) #
Richard, I don't think your comment makes a ton of sense -- good teams figure things out all the time. When are issues resolved? Youneverknow.

Do you believe that that Texas, probably an 85-ish win team, is a particularly fierce team that is destined to sweep the Jays mid-May? I'd bet, if you'd like, either the Jays or the Rangers will take 2/3 (if it is a three game serious, I have no idea, think about May feels like an eternity).
Richard S.S. - Sunday, April 06 2014 @ 08:57 AM EDT (#284317) #
Texas has "issues", more pitchers hurt than healthy; key players injured. They are just trying to survive until (almost) everyone is healthy. Are they are good team - yes. Have they figured it out - not yet.

Advantage Tampa, not Texas.
Will they figure it out by May -yes. Advantage Texas, not Toronto.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, April 06 2014 @ 09:24 AM EDT (#284318) #
And if you still don't understand, Toronto's had "issues". Injuries beyond the unreasonable, sucky defense and inconsistent offense. Texas is just luckier. Tampa's just luckier.
scottt - Sunday, April 06 2014 @ 10:17 AM EDT (#284319) #
I remember Dunn bunting against the Jays. Is he faster than Lind?
scottt - Sunday, April 06 2014 @ 10:33 AM EDT (#284320) #
Lind is 7 for 15 against CC...

christaylor - Sunday, April 06 2014 @ 10:53 AM EDT (#284321) #
I don't know. I do know that on any given day a strong team can win a series against a weak one or vice versa.

The advantages of which you speak are, really, rounding error.
bpoz - Sunday, April 06 2014 @ 11:22 AM EDT (#284322) #
I still do not know how good or bad this Jays team is. But there are positives, 3 starters have pitched well. The negatives are that 3 starters have pitched poorly. Other factors are day to day.
Original Ryan - Sunday, April 06 2014 @ 11:59 AM EDT (#284323) #
Chances are the Blue Jays will face another team that is going through a rough stretch, while the other A.L. East teams have to face that team when it is closer to full strength. Things tend to even out over 162 games.
greenfrog - Sunday, April 06 2014 @ 01:48 PM EDT (#284324) #
Lawrie looks awkward at the plate so far. He appears to have made changes to his stance, but it doesn't look a whole lot more effective than it did last year. He's still hacking, at least some of the time.
John Northey - Sunday, April 06 2014 @ 02:16 PM EDT (#284325) #
Well, so much for the Dickey effect.... Hutch is dead in the water after 6 runs in 3 1/3 innings.  The Yankees seem to be stealing at will against Kratz (2 so far).
Original Ryan - Sunday, April 06 2014 @ 02:23 PM EDT (#284326) #
Well, so much for the Dickey effect.... Hutch is dead in the water after 6 runs in 3 1/3 innings.

For all we know, Hutch would've been gone in the second inning without the Dickey Effect. :-)

Today's takeaway: the Dickey Effect, if it actually exists, won't help you if you can't locate your pitches.

John Northey - Sunday, April 06 2014 @ 10:16 PM EDT (#284330) #
Heh. True enough Ryan.  Key element is to be hitting your spots and not giving hitters too good a pitch to hit. It just wasn't his day today.  Nice to see the pen do well though.
ComebyDeanChance - Sunday, April 06 2014 @ 10:47 PM EDT (#284331) #
Does anyone know what happened to Tamra?
Thomas - Sunday, April 06 2014 @ 11:20 PM EDT (#284333) #
Today marks the 30th anniversary of the major league debut of a southpaw from Alabama. This control specialist came on to pitch 3.1 hitless innings against the Angels, retiring every batter he faced.

He'd move to the rotation the following season and win 186 games in his major league career, more than half of them for the Blue Jays.
katman - Sunday, April 06 2014 @ 11:52 PM EDT (#284334) #
4 out of 7 games to start the season have us giving up 6+ runs.

Yes, it's a tough division. We're going to keep playing them. Has to be better.

Meanwhile, great job by Redmond today.

hypobole - Monday, April 07 2014 @ 12:42 AM EDT (#284335) #
Thomas, the babyfaced youngster 30 years ago was Jimmy Key.

One of my all time favourite Jays.
Four Seamer - Monday, April 07 2014 @ 12:54 AM EDT (#284336) #
One of my all time favourite Jays.

One of mine, as well.  While I concede it highly doubtful, I wouldn't consider it amiss to see his name raised to the Level of Excellence.  Could it really be 30 years ago already he joined the bullpen?  Time marches on.
Richard S.S. - Monday, April 07 2014 @ 07:48 AM EDT (#284337) #
The offense struggles to score four runs, mostly two or three in most losses. Somewhere in at least one of the games there should have be a slugfest/blowout type of game where they steal a game despite poor starting.

Rasmus is really struggling, for a walk year. That doesn't portend well. Bautista is colder than normal. He's usually on base more than this, especially as he said he worked hard in the offseason so he could start better.
Chuck - Monday, April 07 2014 @ 08:32 AM EDT (#284338) #
Bautista is colder than normal. He's usually on base more than this

His OBP is .414.

Mike Green - Monday, April 07 2014 @ 09:18 AM EDT (#284339) #
A couple of Key notes, courtesy of the Baseball Cube.  I did not know that he was signed by a young Tim Wilken.   I did know that his minor league development path was quite different from what you would see today.  He had made 16 starts for Clemson (116 innings) in 1982 when he was signed by the Blue Jays.  They gave him 14 more starts that summer (89 innings)  in the Pioneer and Sally Leagues.  They jumped him to double A and triple A in 1983 where made 29 starts total and 198 innings.  In both years, he faded as the season went on (he went 4-8 with a 4.13 ERA in Syracuse at the end of 1983).  Instead of sending him back for more work in the minors, they brought him up to the major league bullpen for a year (62 innings).  He threw 212, 232 and 261 innings the next three years.

When he arrived in 1985, he benefited from the fine Blue Jay defence of the day- Barfield was great, Fernandez and Upshaw were very good, Moseby, Bell and the rest were good.  This allowed him to thrive despite striking out less than 4 batters per game. 
Craig B - Monday, April 07 2014 @ 09:41 AM EDT (#284340) #
"So much depends upon

This sideburned starting pitcher

Glazed with rainwater

Beside the white chickens."

I enjoyed this immensely.
Richard S.S. - Monday, April 07 2014 @ 10:00 AM EDT (#284343) #
Bluebird Banter site:
If it was a low pitch and Sabathia threw it, it was a Strike.
uglyone - Monday, April 07 2014 @ 04:12 PM EDT (#284358) #
Just noticed that the jays hitters have a .243babip so far, worst in AL (2nd worst is oak at .170), & 26th in mlb.

Meanwhile the pitchers have given up a .366babip, also 15th in AL, and 30th in mlb.

Now babip isn't all luck, but its very much luckful.

Supports my gut feeling that the team is playing pretty well deapite their record, at least.
jerjapan - Monday, April 07 2014 @ 04:18 PM EDT (#284359) #

Does anyone know what happened to Tamra?

Ive wondered this myself - her website hasn't been updated since last summer.  I always enjoyed her commentary and passion for the Jays.

92-93 - Monday, April 07 2014 @ 05:14 PM EDT (#284370) #
I was at all 3 games Opening Weekend. One of the highlights was certainly the crowd chanting "Melky-Melky-Melky" in the bottom of the 9th on Sunday. It probably drove some people crazy.
BlueJayWay - Monday, April 07 2014 @ 05:41 PM EDT (#284373) #
Just noticed that the jays hitters have a .243babip so far, worst in AL (2nd worst is oak at .170), & 26th in mlb.

Meanwhile the pitchers have given up a .366babip, also 15th in AL, and 30th in mlb.

Now babip isn't all luck, but its very much luckful.

Supports my gut feeling that the team is playing pretty well deapite their record, at least.


Agreed. The babips will certainly normalize, and not remain 120 points apart, which will help.
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