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The Blue Jays take their road act to Cleveland this weekend where they hope to forget all about The Minnesota Doubleheader (I sure know I'd like to). The Indians are currently last in the AL Central but with an 7-8 record, 1.5 games back of the first place Tigers (as a cool side note, how often do you see five teams within 1.5 games of each other yet all with different W-L records? Wacky).

Pitching Matchups!

Friday (7:05 ET) Drew Hutchison (1-1, 3.68) versus Justin Masterson (0-0, 5.87)-(2013: 14-10, 3.45) *A battle of the "sons"!
Saturday (1:05 ET) Mark Buehrle (3-0, 0.86) versus Corey Kluber (1-1, 5.40)-(2013: 11-5, 3.85)
Sunday (1:05 ET) Brandon Morrow (1-1, 5.52) versus Carlos Carrasco (0-2, 7.84)-(2013: 1-4, 6.75)

Jose Reyes is on track to join the team Saturday, which should infuse some much needed speed into the Blue Jay attack if his legs are good to go. The Cleveland starting pitchers have struggled in the early going but their bullpen is very strong, so it will be crucial for Toronto to grab an early lead and ACTUALLY HOLD IT, NOT BOUNCE IT AWAY IN THE DIRT GRRRRRAUGGHHHHH!!!!! Okay, got that out of my system.

Questions

Will Michael Brantley continue to abuse the Blue Jays? (career 397/.484/.538) How hilariously bad is Carlos Santana at third base? Can Nick Swisher ever stop smiling?

Oh, and there's that Gomes guy everyone always seems to be talking about.

Series Thread: Blue Jays at Cleveland | 109 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Mike Green - Friday, April 18 2014 @ 03:16 PM EDT (#285002) #
Now that Janssen's rehab has been slowed down, it probably would be a good time for Gibbons to rethink bullpen roles.  Steve Delabar can be expected to walk between 4 and 5 batters per 9, while striking out between 10 and 11.  Do you really want him in the high leverage relief role?  Aaron Loup can be expected to walk between 2 and 3 batters per 9 while striking out about 7.  Is he a better choice than Delabar?  Neil Wagner is about halfway between Loup and Delabar on the power/control continuum.  Maybe he's a better choice.

What you could do is make Cecil your closer, Santos and Loup sharing the high leverage work,  Wagner and Delabar as the6th/7th inning  medium leverage guys, Redmond and Happ doing the long work and Rogers (if you must) mopping up.  Or you could keep Santos as the closer and flip roles for Wagner and Delabar.. 

bpoz - Friday, April 18 2014 @ 03:47 PM EDT (#285003) #
If the pen can bounce back, a lot will be forgotten.
ayjackson - Friday, April 18 2014 @ 05:46 PM EDT (#285004) #
Really just want to make our way through April at .500 or better. Win this series and we're 5-4 on the road trip.
Mike Green - Friday, April 18 2014 @ 05:49 PM EDT (#285005) #
Tonight's lineup has Sierra in right, Rasmus back in center and Bautista DHing. That is better, but you don't want that configuration against RHPs for more than a day.  Bautista should be in RF and you need a DH/1B who can hit RHP.

Management keeps making the same mistakes over and over again.  Lind ought to have been on the DL. The frustrating thing is that management made good depth signings in Johnson and Francisco and for some reason won't make use of them.  Masterson has large platoon splits and they faced 3 RHPs in Minnesota.  It sure would have been nice, but Thomas called it. 

92-93 - Friday, April 18 2014 @ 06:21 PM EDT (#285006) #
"and for some reason won't make use of them"

The reason being an obsessive, irrational fear of losing your valueless, bottom-of-the-roster players.

scottt - Friday, April 18 2014 @ 07:27 PM EDT (#285007) #
There's 2 different things at play. One is the large bullpen/small bench. The other is not putting players on the DL immediately. With a short bench you cannot have regulars sitting on the bench unable to play.

Mike Green - Friday, April 18 2014 @ 07:51 PM EDT (#285008) #
Francisco was pulled from the game early today.  Maybe a move is coming. 
sam - Friday, April 18 2014 @ 08:01 PM EDT (#285009) #
I like Ike Davis. He's always going to strike out a fair bit, but he defends well and I think with a change of scenery and in AL East ballparks he could do a lot of damage. The swing is long, but there are legitimate tools there.

Considering the Pirates just gave up a non-prospect relief pitcher for a guy with Chris Davis potential, I don't get why this wasn't something the Jays were looking at. Our GM made his name on nicking these types--talented, controllable, young players. There was little risk here and serious reward. Davis could have been optioned until Adam Lind inevitably got hurt.
krose - Friday, April 18 2014 @ 08:22 PM EDT (#285010) #
Does anyone know how roster decisions are made? Does Gibbons have important input, or does he receive that from above?
Magpie - Friday, April 18 2014 @ 08:28 PM EDT (#285011) #
I remember the Dave Bergman game. (It was actually the bottom of the tenth.)
Mike Green - Friday, April 18 2014 @ 08:42 PM EDT (#285012) #
Now that was a filthy pitch from Hutchison to Swisher.  This is fun.
ayjackson - Friday, April 18 2014 @ 09:07 PM EDT (#285014) #
Delabar only hitting 91 on the gun tonight. At least he's hit the strikezone.
Mike Green - Friday, April 18 2014 @ 10:21 PM EDT (#285018) #
Had them all the way.
BlueJayWay - Friday, April 18 2014 @ 10:25 PM EDT (#285019) #
Sergio "heart attack" Santos
Chuck - Friday, April 18 2014 @ 10:25 PM EDT (#285020) #
Gibbons was looking like Earl Weaver in the Don Stanhouse days.
Eephus - Friday, April 18 2014 @ 10:28 PM EDT (#285021) #
Santos really has one of the dirtiest sliders I've ever seen. He just doesn't quite know where it's gonna go half the time.

I think this team needs Casey Janssen back a little more than people realize. Nice play by Edwin there.

Gerry - Friday, April 18 2014 @ 10:28 PM EDT (#285022) #
Santos seems to have lost confidence in his fastball. I mentioned last night that he hardly threw it at all. Tonight Chisenhall doubled off the fastball. Swisher saw no FB's. Santos only threw one FB to Kipnis, a ball. He threw two to Santana, both balls. And the ball that Brantley lashed to EE was a fastball.
92-93 - Friday, April 18 2014 @ 10:42 PM EDT (#285023) #
Nice to see you around, Magpie; I was wondering as to your whereabouts.

Santos' apparent complete lack of confidence in his fastball is very strange. He can't survive throwing slider after slider.

Big hit from Edwin. With Bautista looking like the Jose of yore, it's imperative El Fuerte gets going, to keep opposing pitchers honest.

I wish I understood why the Jays played tonight's game shorthanded with Lind on the bench, only to DL him immediately after. What reason would they have to not just keep Gose around until game time - if Lind is ready to go you option him down, and if not you keep him around?
Richard S.S. - Friday, April 18 2014 @ 10:57 PM EDT (#285024) #
I understand it is still very early in the season. Is Hutchison hitting a wall after 85 pitches? Up until the 6th he'd gone: 5.0, 5 Hits 9 SO. After that: Dble, HR, Out,Trpl and DONE, making another 15 pitches.

If and when Adam Lind gets DL'ed, they'll need to call up someone who can play 1st Base and not named Sierra.
John Northey - Saturday, April 19 2014 @ 01:00 AM EDT (#285025) #
It isn't looking good for Sierra. He had a chance to really stick in the majors for good this year and maybe earn a full-time job in 2015 with Cabrera and Rasmus being free agents. Instead he is 'hitting' 091/130/091 with an OPS (221) that would be poor as a batting average. 2 for 22 just won't keep you in the majors.  I could see him being sent down and risk losing him to waivers very soon.
85bluejay - Saturday, April 19 2014 @ 02:04 AM EDT (#285026) #
It's too bad Dan Johnson lacks positional flexibility, because he would be the better bat to call up. I think Sierra is lucky that none of the Rh bats in Buffalo are off to good starts - I think if Tuiasosopo starts hitting, Sierra will be out of luck - Gibbons has stated he wants a veteran as a bench bat. With Lawrie struggling with the bat, I wonder if Francisco may get some starts at 3rd with Morrow/Dickey pitching.

It's early, but it's pure joy watching Mike Trout play, Mike Stanton hitting and king Felix pitching.
85bluejay - Saturday, April 19 2014 @ 02:14 AM EDT (#285027) #
In the Ike Davis trade, We have to wait for the PTBNL in order to evaluate the price Pittsburgh paid - apparently, that's the player of value for the Mets.
greenfrog - Saturday, April 19 2014 @ 06:47 AM EDT (#285028) #
Nice to beat Masterson on the road. Melky and Bautista are largely carrying the offense.

AYJ, Delabar might be getting tired. Last year he had fatigue/injury issues and this year he's already tied for the league lead in appearances. Looks like the Jays are going to ride him hard again and hope for the best.

The Jays need to start getting 7 from their starting pitchers. The next best thing would be to have Lawrie, Rasmus, EE and Reyes get it going so that Rogers and Redmond can soak up some low-leverage innings in one-sided wins.
Jdog - Saturday, April 19 2014 @ 08:46 AM EDT (#285029) #
With Happ, Rogers and Redmond all in the pen they can't all be reserved for Mop up, 3 inning stretches. I would start to use Redmond in the 6th inning in close games if you have to pull a starter. Maybe not bring him in with runners on, but if your starter is done at 5 and its a 1 run game, I would rather see Redmond come in and pitch 2 innings rather than waste every good late inning reliever we have.

Save Happ for for Mop up time and lefty-lefty match ups when Loup and Cecil are not available.

Rogers Mop up time, long relief
CeeBee - Saturday, April 19 2014 @ 08:51 AM EDT (#285030) #
Agree with Jdog. Need to stop using the setup guys in the 5th and 6th innings for the most part. By June the Bullpen will be burned out at this rate.
uglyone - Saturday, April 19 2014 @ 11:05 AM EDT (#285032) #
Pitch counts:

Dickey 88, 108, 112, 112
Buehrle 108, 81, 91
Hutch 83, 78, 96, 100
Morrow 87, 86, 98
McGowan 72, 90, 85

Gibby has to start letting these guys go deeper.

Sure plenty of these were deserved pulls but a good number of them were quick hooks at the first sign of trouble in otherwise decent starts.
92-93 - Saturday, April 19 2014 @ 11:28 AM EDT (#285033) #
Damned if you do, damned if you don't. I've seen every Jays game thus far and have not been left with the impression that Gibbons' SP hooks have been too quick. If anything, I'd say he's been too generous with his rope for his starting pitchers - the only one who has proven he deserves the benefit of the doubt late in a game is Mark Buehrle. In fact, I can't think of one start where I thought definitively Gibbons should be leaving in his starting pitcher right now as he was pulling him. Maybe if Gibbons had better starting pitching to work with he wouldn't have to burn out the bullpen this quickly.
Mike Green - Saturday, April 19 2014 @ 11:31 AM EDT (#285034) #
Last night, Gibbons made the right call with Hutchison.  It was pretty obvious that he was tired when he was pulled. 

I did not watch Thursday night's game, but at first blush, it does seem like a quick hook.  If you are intending to pull your starter  if he is ahead 5-1 after 4 innings and gives up two line drives around a walk to open the fifth, you might as well go with a tandem.  Happ is here.  You could tandem McGowan and Happ. Perhaps the notion of giving the starter an opportunity to "win" the game is losing some currency.  If so, live it and act on it.  If not, you have to give your starters some slack.  Personally, I think that the club is better off being a trailblazer but somehow it just doesn't seem in character.

92-93 - Saturday, April 19 2014 @ 11:46 AM EDT (#285035) #
10 baserunners over 4+ innings and we're calling that a quick hook? McGowan had thrown 85 pitches and had already cut the lead in half with a man in scoring position and nobody out. If that's not the right time to come get your fragile starter, I don't know when is.

Not sure what tandem starting has anything to do with Thursday's game, when the Jays had SEVEN fresh relievers sitting on the bench.
Gerry - Saturday, April 19 2014 @ 11:58 AM EDT (#285036) #
As I noted in the Minny thread McGowan's velocity was down in that last inning. I was watching and I agree with Gibbons call there.
PeterG - Saturday, April 19 2014 @ 12:06 PM EDT (#285037) #
Those pitch counts are not out of line. If anything, they are too high for this early in the season. 3 x this week, Gibby has left a starter in 1-3 batters too long.
CeeBee - Saturday, April 19 2014 @ 12:09 PM EDT (#285038) #
The cold weather has to be a factor as well. Harder to get loose and to stay loose. Baseball isn't at it's best in hockey or football weather.
Mike Green - Saturday, April 19 2014 @ 12:29 PM EDT (#285040) #
The point of tandem starting is as follows.  Let's imagine that you have a club with 3 starters who are likely to average 6 innings or less per game.  Call them Morrow, McGowan and Hutchison.  If your plan consists of bringing in relievers for anywhere from 1 batter to 2 innings, you are going to burn through your relievers by August even if you have 7 of them. If you acknowledge the situation and say that on McGowan's day, Happ will pitch and  will go anywhere from 2-5 innings depending on how McGowan is pitching, the game situation and what Happ has that day, you avoid reliever appearance burnout. 
Mike Green - Saturday, April 19 2014 @ 12:51 PM EDT (#285041) #
Good to have Reyes and Francisco in the lineup.  I would probably have separated the LHHs in the lineup, with 5-9 being Rasmus, Navarro, Francisco, Lawrie and Goins.   Rasmus is a much better hitter than Navarro against RHP and Navarro much better than Rasmus against LHP; it's ideal to flip-flop them in the 5-6 holes depending on the handedness of the starter.
uglyone - Saturday, April 19 2014 @ 01:40 PM EDT (#285042) #
You cannot pull your starter every time he gets into a rough spot.

You can't assume he's "losing it" every time he has a bad inning.
Oceanbound - Saturday, April 19 2014 @ 01:49 PM EDT (#285043) #
Oh dear, please make Buck and Pat stop talking about what makes a good hitter
John Northey - Saturday, April 19 2014 @ 03:16 PM EDT (#285045) #
Just checked B-R to see the days of rest/pitch counts for relievers...
Pitched last 2 days in a row: Cecil, Delabar, Santos, Wagner - none should be used today
1 day rest: Loup (19 pitches), Redmond (68 pitches), Happ (26 pitches)
6 days rest: Rogers (39 pitches)

So Rogers & Loup should be available but the rest should not be used other than maybe Happ.  Good thing Buehlre is having a good game.
uglyone - Saturday, April 19 2014 @ 03:38 PM EDT (#285046) #
Good call by Gibby to try and push Buehrle through another inning, even if it didn't work out.

thankfully we're up 5-0.
greenfrog - Saturday, April 19 2014 @ 03:48 PM EDT (#285047) #
Just what the doctor ordered. Rogers really showed his natural talent in innings 8 and 9.
John Northey - Saturday, April 19 2014 @ 03:52 PM EDT (#285048) #
Nice outing by both Buehrle and Rogers.

Checking the pitch f/x data (Brooks baseball - available live during the game now) I see...
Rogers: 35 pitches, no strikes were called balls, but 2 balls were called strikes
Buehrle: 3 strikes called balls (all on the lower part), 7 balls called strikes

Funny - the gameday website makes it look like the Jays pitchers were getting squeezed but Brooks shows it as no problem, in fact in the Jays favour.  Go figure.
92-93 - Saturday, April 19 2014 @ 03:54 PM EDT (#285049) #
Boy did they ever need that game. 7 quality innings from the starter, and one reliever to finish it up. The two tack on runs from the offense when it was 3-0 were also huge, helping Gibbons relax by not having to use his better relievers. With Monday off Gibbons can now use all his RP tomorrow and still have them ready once the divisional series vs. BAL opens up on Tuesday.

I'll probably be saying this a lot this year, but WAR simply can't measure the all-around upgrade from Arencbia to Navarro.
AWeb - Saturday, April 19 2014 @ 04:03 PM EDT (#285050) #
Arencibia - 2/28 (single, double), 1 walk, somehow only 5K. 2 errors in 77 innings. In some ways it is a relief that he hasn't immediately turned it around (still early of course), but that's amazingly bad. I hope it's rock bottom for him, and he has a passable year or two, but yeesh.
Mike Green - Saturday, April 19 2014 @ 04:05 PM EDT (#285051) #
I'll probably be saying this a lot this year, but WAR simply can't measure the all-around upgrade from Arencbia to Navarro.

I agree.  WAR has difficulty with measuring the contributions of catchers, and it always has been so.  Navarro is not a great defensive catcher, but he is a decent one and it makes a big difference.

If you give Mark Buehrle a good defence behind him and the wind blowing in, he's going to give you 7 good innings most of the time.  He walks very few.  The wind helps him with the potential long ball.  He fields his position well.  He holds runners well. It's usually about tacking 4 hits together in an inning and that isn't that easy to do.


uglyone - Saturday, April 19 2014 @ 04:09 PM EDT (#285052) #
If you're blaming JP for Buehrle last year, remember that after Buehrle's first two horrific starts last year, he put up this line: 31gs, 6.3ip/gs, 6.2k/9, 2.2bb/9, 1.33whip, 3.85era, 4.00fip.

In his last 24 starts last year, he put up this line: 24gs, 6.2ip/gs, 6.3k/9, 2.1bb/9, 1.30whip, 3.37era, 3.58fip.

Though it is kind of funny that we have a starting catcher with a sub-.300obp and a ~.600ish ops, who has only thrown out 2 of 16 base stealers....and we like him. Mostly because a) the SP have been healthy and b) he's been "clutch" with risp (i.e. a "RUN PRODUCER!").

JB21 - Saturday, April 19 2014 @ 04:17 PM EDT (#285054) #
And because he's not JPA.
uglyone - Saturday, April 19 2014 @ 04:25 PM EDT (#285055) #
and because he's so dang cuddly.
John Northey - Saturday, April 19 2014 @ 05:04 PM EDT (#285056) #
Well, outside of Gomes who else could've been the Jays catcher this year?  Stats pre-todays game except for Navarro.
JPA: 071/103/107 -41 OPS+
d'Arnaud: 143/250/238 39 OPS+
Buck: 182/250/182 29 OPS+
Molina: 136/136/136 -21 OPS+
Mathis: 286/444/286 107 OPS+ in 10 PA (ie: an 0-4 kills it)
Gomes: 245/309/429 113 OPS+

Navarro: 254/279/317 597 OPS

Navarro has the best Slg, 2nd best OBP and 2nd best BA among the crew outside of Gomes.  Yikes.  Amazing how many are still kicking too.
92-93 - Saturday, April 19 2014 @ 05:21 PM EDT (#285057) #
Zaunie could probably outhit all those guys right now.
bpoz - Saturday, April 19 2014 @ 05:29 PM EDT (#285058) #
I am really thankful for the good start by Mark Buehrle. I shudder to think where we would be without his efforts.
Mylegacy - Saturday, April 19 2014 @ 11:35 PM EDT (#285064) #
Uglyone - never, in all my many wasted years, have I ever drank enough scotch to get myself into a state where I would mention... "Navarro" and "...because he's so dang cuddly" in the same sentence. And some think I've a drinking problem!

TangledUpInBlue - Sunday, April 20 2014 @ 07:53 AM EDT (#285067) #
2 for 22 just won't keep you in the majors. I could see him being sent down and risk losing him to waivers very soon.

Still, it's only 22 ABs. If management had enough confidence all off-season and through spring training that Sierra could fill the right-handed DH and 4th outfielder role, or that his potential was too good to be risked on waivers, then 22 ABs shouldn't really change that.

Now, whether they should have viewed Sierra so positively in the first place is another question. I was surprised they stuck with him once Tuiasosopo was signed.
Mike Green - Sunday, April 20 2014 @ 08:02 AM EDT (#285068) #
Yes, that is right.  The one argument for Sierra was that he had outperformed his minor league record in the majors.  That argument is now gone.  He now has a .239/.301/.384 career line in the majors, which is entirely consistent with his minor league record since 2011.  For a less than stellar defensive corner OF, that won't cut it. 

At age 20 in 2009, he put up a nice year in Dunedin.  At that point, the Blue Jay farm system was weak and he had a case to be the top prospect on the club.  Since then, he got hurt, missed a year, and has not progressed.  It isn't easy.

bpoz - Sunday, April 20 2014 @ 09:19 AM EDT (#285070) #
Henderson Alvarez is looking good so far this year for Miami.
ISLAND BOY - Sunday, April 20 2014 @ 12:30 PM EDT (#285076) #
As is Adeiny Hechavarria.
jerjapan - Sunday, April 20 2014 @ 02:09 PM EDT (#285078) #
As is Mark Buehrle.  and while I like Alvarez, not sure that 34 baserunners in 24 innings, with 14kos, looks that good to me anyway.



Eephus - Sunday, April 20 2014 @ 02:51 PM EDT (#285079) #
As far as pitcher names go, "Outman" has got to be a pretty darn good one.
Chuck - Sunday, April 20 2014 @ 02:59 PM EDT (#285080) #
Outman is no more an out-man than Cecil and Prince are fielders.

Grant Balfour has sometimes struggled with too many ball fours. And Bob Walk was aptly named early in his career, but less so later.

Chuck - Sunday, April 20 2014 @ 03:15 PM EDT (#285081) #
What's worse? A double scoring 3 walks or those damn WestJet commercials?
uglyone - Sunday, April 20 2014 @ 03:40 PM EDT (#285082) #
Another quick hook by gibby. 95 pitches. Wearing the 'pen out.
timsevs - Sunday, April 20 2014 @ 03:44 PM EDT (#285083) #
I think with a day off tomorrow that it is reasonable to go to the pen early. Especially with only Rogers being used yesterday.

Personally I'm trying to not get too concerned about Lawrie... Most of my hope lies in the fact that his BABIP is currently at 0.111 which seems pretty unsustainable. However I worry about his patience in coming out of this slump and not developing bad habits.
finch - Sunday, April 20 2014 @ 04:44 PM EDT (#285084) #
I would say send Lawrie to Buffalo to try to figure it out but sadly we don't have any other 3B options :|   #LackOfDepth
John Northey - Sunday, April 20 2014 @ 05:15 PM EDT (#285085) #
Only Rogers wasn't really available today and Loup was due for another game. Sadly he also had no clue where the strike zone was.  Checking the charts, one pitch near the centre of the plate was called a ball (2nd pitch of an AB), but every other pitch was called correctly so it was all Loup.
Mike Green - Sunday, April 20 2014 @ 08:21 PM EDT (#285086) #
Loup threw 2 innings on Thursday.  Evidently, Gibbons does not have much confidence in Happ, who, to my mind, would have been a more logical choice.  If you can't bring him in with a 2 run lead in the 6th, with Loup (and Cecil) ideally suited to a LOOGY appearance, and you have Redmond and Rogers also in long relief/mop-up, what is the point of having him here?  He could have stayed in Buffalo longer on the rehab outing. 

I am a bit biased though.  I hate the walk.  If I had a reliever with a 2 run lead walk two consecutive batters (and it wasn't due to bad calls), I'd have him out of there. 



Richard S.S. - Sunday, April 20 2014 @ 08:44 PM EDT (#285087) #
Gibby's has a quick hook because everytime he tries to stretch a Starter out, they get into trouble. The offense isn't good enough to overcome that. You can get pitchers stretched out if your willing to lose more games.

Right now this division has issues, an excellent time for Toronto to be gaining distance over their competition. Losing Reyes, Izturis, Janssen and Happ when we did, shouldn't hurt this team. Happ and Reyes are back so that should improve the Team. Too many of the main Hitters are struggling badly, so overcoming deficits is very difficult. Goins isn't the Issue, Encarnacion and Lawrie are just two of too many.

As Mike Wilner said, "they won 5 out of 9 Road Games. Winning 5 out of every 9 is 90 wins over the season."
Richard S.S. - Sunday, April 20 2014 @ 09:02 PM EDT (#285088) #
Toronto had a four-game Road Trip and won 2 games, .500. They had a 6 game Homestand and won 3, .500. They have just finished a nine-game Road Trip and won 5, .556. With all their issue, the Jays are doing all right.

May 13 at Home to Cleveland is Game 40, 1/4 of the way through the season and six weeks in. This is when Stroman and Sanchez are being evaluated for possible callups.
ayjackson - Sunday, April 20 2014 @ 09:31 PM EDT (#285089) #
We have a deep bullpen, with more options at AAA. With the pen being spared on Saturday and Monday, I think Gibby was right to go to his best 4-5 reliever to finish the last four innings. Who'd guess Loup walks three of four faced?

That loss is on Loup, not Gibby.

And if Gibby had brought in Happ instead of Loup, he'd have been run out of town. Happ is the 8th reliever and should be treated as such.
John Northey - Sunday, April 20 2014 @ 10:13 PM EDT (#285091) #
Now that 19 games are done where are the Jays?  1 game out of first in 2nd place.  Not bad.  10-9 record.

Pluses:
  • Buehrle 0.64 ERA and 4-0 in 4 starts impossible to ask for more. 
  • Hutchison 4 starts 3.60 ERA 5 IP per game, 24 K in 20 IP vs 8 BB. Lasting deeper would be nice, but overall have to be happy.
  • Redmond 13 1/3 IP 1 ER 4 BB 11 SO - sweet
  • Wagner 6 2/3 IP since called back up, 1 BB vs 5 SO - deserves to be here and to stay.
  • Cecil 8 IP 0 R 4 BB 13 SO. Sweet.
  • Bautista over 1000 for OPS
  • Lind 965 OPS but DL'ed now :(
  • Thole over 900 for OPS but just 15 AB so won't last I'm sure, still fun for now.
  • Cabrera fully recovered 345/367/563


Negatives:
  • Dickey 1-3 in 4 starts 6.26 ERA, under 6 IP per game. Ugh.
  • Morrow 5.03 ERA in 4 starts, under 5 IP per game. 8-23 BB-SO ratio is great but the big inning keeps on happening. Perhaps he should just say 'screw it' and stick with the full windup at all times and say 'so what' to stolen bases.
  • McGowan 4.85 ERA in 3 starts, under 5 IP per game. 6-8 BB-SO ratio.  He had a very good game and 2 bad ones. If the pen was less deep he'd be in danger of being shifted back there
  • Delabar - 5 BB in 6 1/3 IP is way too much
  • Loup 7 BB in 8 2/3 IP is also way too much
  • Rogers 4 HR in 10 1/3 IP...ouch.
  • Santos: 8 BB 13 SO in 6 1/3 IP. Fielders might as well catch up on sleep while he is out there.
  • Rasmus not doing his free agency any favours 197/243/409
  • Izturis was hot to start, then dropped to 286/324/314 and now out for the season
  • Encarnacion 230/313/324...ugly
  • Navarro just a 618 OPS
  • Lawrie a 435 OPS - I think we all thought he'd have a slg% of that
  • Goins 363 OPS, even worse than we imagined.
  • Sierra: 2 for 22...yikes. Guess last year in the majors was a small sample size illusion.

Lots of negatives for a team doing well overall. That actually is a good thing as it suggests the law of averages will help the guys not doing well soon more so than it will hurt the guys doing well.  At least we can hope.

uglyone - Sunday, April 20 2014 @ 10:24 PM EDT (#285092) #
I'm gonna force myself to wait for my "initial impression" of this year's team until I see what they do at home against BOS and BAL this week, after they've faced all the other AL East teams.

uglyone - Sunday, April 20 2014 @ 10:28 PM EDT (#285093) #
"Right now this division has issues, an excellent time for Toronto to be gaining distance over their competition. Losing Reyes, Izturis, Janssen and Happ when we did, shouldn't hurt this team. Happ and Reyes are back so that should improve the Team. Too many of the main Hitters are struggling badly, so overcoming deficits is very difficult. Goins isn't the Issue, Encarnacion and Lawrie are just two of too many."

Not sure I follow, Richard SS - why do you think this is an excellent time to be gaining distance on the competition?

are we talking about injuries?

So far here's the AL East teams' DL lists (I'm pretty sure I have it right):

TOR: Reyes, Lind, Janssen, Izturis, Happ
NYY: Teixeira, Nova, Robertson, Cervelli
TBR: Cobb, Moore, Hellickson
BOS: Victorino, Middlebrooks, Breslow
BAL: Machado

Richard S.S. - Monday, April 21 2014 @ 01:54 AM EDT (#285094) #
I'm talking about no one running away with this division yet because no one is good enough to.
I'm talking about our injury issues at season's start being less of a problem for us than other team's are for them.
I'm talking about the sometimes stupid ways the Jays lose games.
Last year after 18 games the Team was three games worse. Before they won their 11th game, they had 22 loses.
uglyone - Monday, April 21 2014 @ 04:07 AM EDT (#285095) #
Starting SS (maybe best ss in al), starting dh, closer, starting 2b, depth arm....i'd say our injuries have been as serious as anyone else's.



92-93 - Monday, April 21 2014 @ 09:25 AM EDT (#285098) #
"Another quick hook by gibby. 95 pitches. Wearing the 'pen out."

Another ridiculous assertion by you. The entire bullpen was available to Gibbons yesterday, Monday was an off day, and he had a starter on the mound who wasn't dominating, has an injury history, and hasn't pitched well enough to have a good 6th inning yet this season. The Jays had a 2 run lead so Gibbons was willing to let Morrow start the 6th, but it was absolutely the right move to have Loup up ready behind him and to yank Morrow at the first sign of trouble.
bpoz - Monday, April 21 2014 @ 10:06 AM EDT (#285101) #
I agree with you Richard SS. We lost 2 games because of a lot of walks. Hopefully that does not happen often. 12-7 record sounds quite OK to me. Actually I would be sky high.
uglyone - Monday, April 21 2014 @ 11:27 AM EDT (#285102) #
Jays' AL SP ranks:

3.82era (6th)
3.57fip (4th)

5.46ip/gs (14th)


Even though the jays' SP have been pitching quite well, they're still getting the 2nd quickest hook in the league. Their 93.5 pitches per start are more league normal but that's skewed by rubber arm knuckleballer dickeyy who's up around 110, while the rest average under 90. Funny thing is dickey's the one guy who has actually deserved a quicker hook this year, but hasn't got it.

This has resulted in the jays' bullpen throwing 64.2 innings already, which unsurprisingly leads the league. The bullpen is already short its best pitcher, and now the rest of the rp alis starting to buckle under the strain.

You may think its a ridiculous assertion to point this out - i think its stating the obvious.
Paul D - Monday, April 21 2014 @ 11:30 AM EDT (#285103) #
I assume that the nice ERA and low innings count are related.
92-93 - Monday, April 21 2014 @ 11:53 AM EDT (#285104) #
Of course they are. Pitchers are yielding their highest OPS against during pitches 75-100, as well as in a batter's 3rd PA against them. Swisher had just singled in his 3rd PA, and the heart of the Indians order was due up. I can't say I would've minded leaving Morrow in there for one more batter, but watching the game I certainly couldn't argue that Gibbons was definitively wrong with the move he was making.
Oceanbound - Monday, April 21 2014 @ 11:59 AM EDT (#285105) #
This has resulted in the jays' bullpen throwing 64.2 innings already, which unsurprisingly leads the league. The bullpen is already short its best pitcher, and now the rest of the rp alis starting to buckle under the strain

Well, it doesn't lead the league. The Astros lead the league. Secondly, those numbers are propped up by Redmond and Rogers, who've pitched over a third of those innings by themselves. There's nothing particularly unusual about the innings counts of the other relievers.
greenfrog - Monday, April 21 2014 @ 12:03 PM EDT (#285106) #
Number of appearances is another important variable in assessing a reliever's workload. It's not all about total innings.
John Northey - Monday, April 21 2014 @ 12:10 PM EDT (#285107) #
I wonder if the Jays are slowly working towards the tandem starter idea.  Keep the starters innings/pitch count low (5-6 IP, 90-100 pitches) and maybe you get more effectiveness from them. The pen's ERA is 3.90 which is 8th in the AL.  Their innings are not #1 though as Houston has thrown 67 innings vs the Jays 64 2/3.  3 other teams are over 60 in the AL as well, with 2 teams sub-50 (KC and Detroit).  The starters are 6th in the AL for ERA with Oakland #1.

The Jays overall ERA is 3.85 (7th, between Tampa and Baltimore) with a FIP of 3.69 (7th as well).  Last year the Jays were 13th in FIP, 12th in ERA.

I think the key issue is Gibbons keeping the pen shuffled well so they don't get wore out.  I think they are close to the ideal 8 man pen with Santos, Cecil, Wagner, Loup, Delabar all good short men and Redmond & Happ & Rogers solid long men.  3 long, 5 short should prevent burn out.  Just assign each game to one of the long men and if not used put him in short relief until his next 'day' (ie: a 3 day rotation for them).  The 5 short basically want to have a day off between games and limited to 15-20 pitches per game.  Try to avoid the temptation to do 1 batter matchups whenever possible.  When Janssen comes back hopefully they can cut down to 2 long men or even 1 at some point.

uglyone - Monday, April 21 2014 @ 12:43 PM EDT (#285108) #
right, i still classify houston as an nl team when I speedscan the stats pages. my bad. the jays have the 2nd most RP IP.

The Jays' starters have an average amount of P/PA at 3.95 (6th), but are still getting yanked the 2nd quickest in the league, even though they've been both effective and fully healthy so far - Seattle's the only team with a (barely) quicker hook so far, and that's only because they've suffered a couple of SP injuries which have forced them to use some RP/AAA fill ins in pitch count limited spot starts.

And this despite having one guy (dickey) who is amongst the league leaders in pitch count.


IMO he's got to let Buehrle start pushing 110 on a regular basis soon, and get Morrow and Hutch pushing 100 more regularly as well. McGowan I can understand having a much quicker hook with.
Mike Green - Monday, April 21 2014 @ 12:50 PM EDT (#285109) #
I don't think they are moving toward the tandem starter idea.  If any of the starters is gone after 5 innings or before the sixth inning is done and the Jays have a lead of 3 runs or less or the game is tied or they are down one, on come the short guys. 

I myself am fond of the long save.  If Buehrle guts it out for 5 innings and 100 pitches and leaves with a 4-3 lead, bring on Redmond and if he has it working, let him finish the game.  Same with McGowan/Morrow and Happ.  I am pretty sure that we won't see a game like that this season.  Better yet, if you are going to have an 8 man pen, pair them up and give all four (McGowan/Redmond, Morrow/Happ) predictable work. 

Gibbons has a different style.  He likes to match up early in a close game.  In the end, you either wear down the bullpen or the starters, and sometimes both, using this approach.  The best thing that can happen probably is if new blood comes in mid-season and starters near their limits become relievers.  That might happen this year with Jenkins, Stroman and Nolin.

scottt - Monday, April 21 2014 @ 05:00 PM EDT (#285115) #
The whole point of the large bullpen is to use the relievers more and the starters less.

Dickie and Bhuerle should be able to throw 100+ pitches, but the other 3 are not going to throw 30 starts. There's no point in burning them early.

This is still April and pitchers will have days where they don't have the right feel for the ball. In a perfect world, a pitcher shouldn't come out of the bullpen if he can't throw strikes. I don't think it works like that in the real world.

Mike Green - Monday, April 21 2014 @ 05:03 PM EDT (#285116) #
Some managers routinely pull a reliever on the basis that "he just doesn't have it today".  "Not throwing strikes" is one type of "just doesn't have it today", in my book.  You do have to give a starting pitcher a longer leash, of course.

Dewey - Monday, April 21 2014 @ 06:57 PM EDT (#285117) #
Hey, Richard.  Since I barked pretty sharply at you a while back about
your posts, I thought I should tell you that Iíve noticed your posts
have greatly improved of late.  By which I mean that you seem to be
taking a lot more care with them; and they are more readily understandable
than many earlier ones.  I donít always agree with you, of course; but
at least itís more worth my while to read what you have to say.  Way to
go.  And thanks for the effort.
John Northey - Tuesday, April 22 2014 @ 12:17 AM EDT (#285118) #
Still crazy early in the season but... the Jays are just 1 game out of the AL East lead and in the 2nd wild card slot right now. Nice to be able to say that. Lets hope we still can in September.
Dave Till - Tuesday, April 22 2014 @ 09:14 AM EDT (#285120) #
We're nearly 20 games into the season now, and it is a relief to discover that the Jays don't totally suck. I don't know about you, but I was expecting them to be something like 7-12 or 6-13  right now. They've benefited from a soft schedule - 6 games against the AL Central, and three against Houston - but they are 5-5 against their own division, so it's not all an illusion.

I can understand the criticism of Gibbons for overusing his pen, but what else can he do, given that (a) he is trying to win games, (b) three of his starting pitchers are recovering from recent significant injuries, and (c) Dickey hasn't really gotten it together yet? A reliever or two might wind up suffering from overuse, but they're easier to replace than starters. I'd say he's doing it more or less right. You can only play the hand you're dealt.

(Speaking of Dickey: if he has another off year, it might prove to be the end of the knuckleball specialist in major league baseball. The prevailing baseball wisdom is that the butterfly pitch just isn't reliable enough to win consistently with, and Dickey will only serve to reinforce that wisdom.)

Chuck - Tuesday, April 22 2014 @ 10:07 AM EDT (#285121) #
I concur with Dave about Dickey. If his career fizzles, it could make it more difficult for other knucklers to get a chance. I don't know that baseball has ever been so biased towards hard throwers. With each passing year it seems that everyone's bullpen is made up of one-inning guys who can throw 95. Of course that's not exactly the truth, but it sure feels that way. Soft tossers better be effective and able to eat innings.

As for Gibbons' bullpen usage, I also concur that the man is in a pickle and has been doing what he must. The MMH troika has averaged less than 5 innings in their 11 starts. I understand that they need some coddling to become stretched out (and pitching more efficiently wouldn't hurt), but in the interim there will be plenty of call for long relievers. Not quite Mike's desired tandem approach, but not far off it seems.

Dickey could certainly start helping the cause with some 7 and 8 inning outings. If he's going to need 3 innings of relief a night, that's gonna introduce strain the system can barely tolerate. Off-days in the schedule are going to become fewer in number in fairly short order.
Mike Green - Tuesday, April 22 2014 @ 10:19 AM EDT (#285122) #
If it is the prevailing wisdom that knuckleballers cannot win consistently, it's just narrow-minded and foolish.  From Wilhelm to Niekro to Hough to Wakefield, knuckleballers have been successful for long periods of a career.  And their records in their late 30s/early 40s is pretty much unmatched. 

Dickey leads the league in walks right now.  He cannot be successful like that, but fortunately he has never had control problems since learning the knuckleball and I would venture a guess that he'll have that licked by season-end. He is going to give up some home runs, but that is fine.  What he needs mostly now is some run support so that he does not feel that he has to shut out the opposition (and hence avoid the solo home run at all costs).  The Blue Jays have scored 1 run total in the first 7 innings of the four games he has pitched and nothing in the first 4 innings.  The only significant "run support" was 3 runs in the bottom of the ninth, down 6-1 against Houston. 

As of right now, Dickey and Buehrle together are 5-3 (40-24 prorated over a season) with an average ERA of 3.45.  That would be a good result for them together if they could continue.  I am pretty sure that individually they'll be much closer to the average by season-end.  As much as Dickey has been poorly supported, Buehrle has been well supported. 

electric carrot - Tuesday, April 22 2014 @ 10:30 AM EDT (#285123) #
Yeah, I agree with Mike on this. For some reason I'm not that worried that Dickey will be at least decent this year.  All the bluster about the knuckleball seems unwarranted to me.  Every MLB pitch is a trick pitch.  IF you don't trick the hitter most mlb hitters are going to smack it somewhere hard.
Beyonder - Tuesday, April 22 2014 @ 10:41 AM EDT (#285124) #
"Dickey could certainly start helping the cause with some 7 and 8 inning outings."

He could, but the truth is, if there's anyone who looks to be in need of coddling when they get to 100 pitches, it's Dickey. His last two starts have been very strong until the point he reached the 95 pitch mark, and his start before that was excellent. I don't think he's too far off from being where we need him to be.
Dave Till - Tuesday, April 22 2014 @ 11:04 AM EDT (#285125) #
If it is the prevailing wisdom that knuckleballers cannot win consistently, it's just narrow-minded and foolish.  From Wilhelm to Niekro to Hough to Wakefield, knuckleballers have been successful for long periods of a career.

I should point out that I am not a huge fan of the prevailing wisdom, and I do think that Dickey will bounce back some. Or he could wind up being Jack Morris 1992: a so-so innings eater. But someone who can chew up innings is going to be extremely valuable, given that much of the starting rotation needs nearly 100 pitches to get through five innings.

But there have been so few knuckleballers with long careers: Wilhelm, the Niekro brothers, Hough, and Wakefield are just about it before Dickey. It's a really tough pitch to master, and very few pitchers are given the time it takes to master it. Scouts, managers, and GMs would rather try to teach some big and strong youngster  to throw his 97 mph fastball somewhere near the strike zone.

As of right now, Dickey and Buehrle together are 5-3 (40-24 prorated over a season) with an average ERA of 3.45.  That would be a good result for them together if they could continue.

Again, not really disagreeing with you, but: Buehrle's ERA is 0.64. He and just about anybody have an average ERA of 3.45 :-)
Mike Green - Tuesday, April 22 2014 @ 11:27 AM EDT (#285126) #
My point, Dave, was that Buehrle is likely to have an ERA over 3 and Dickey an ERA under 4 and a quarter when the season ends.  In other words, sample size.
uglyone - Tuesday, April 22 2014 @ 12:15 PM EDT (#285129) #
Just to kick the dead horse again - its not just the MMH trio that has been yanked quickly imo, but also buehrle, who could probably have easily been given more leash in every one of his starts so far, considering not just his middling pitch counts but also bith his dominance so far and his low-stress delivery in general.
92-93 - Tuesday, April 22 2014 @ 12:27 PM EDT (#285130) #
There hasn't been a Buehrle start this season where leaving him in any longer would have made sense.
92-93 - Tuesday, April 22 2014 @ 12:29 PM EDT (#285131) #
http://www.sportsnet.ca/baseball/mlb/astros-minor-league-tandem-system-worth-watching/

Interesting piece in light of our constant tandem discussions.
Mike Green - Tuesday, April 22 2014 @ 12:37 PM EDT (#285132) #
I basically agree with 92-93.  The only start where you might have kept Buehrle in longer was the April 8 start against Houston. For a starter to average 7 innings per start in April is excellent.  I am particularly fond of Gibbons' decisions to pull Buehrle for Rogers with large leads late.  Rogers would not have had a role otherwise. This way he is relatively fresh and may improve to his 2012-2013 reliever performance norms.
uglyone - Tuesday, April 22 2014 @ 12:46 PM EDT (#285133) #
Start #1: 8.2ip, 4 hits, 1bb, 11k. Cruising in the 9th, though Lawrie had just failed to snare an easy out to let a man on base. Pulled because he was at 108 pitches in his first start. Fairly high pitch count for his first start but nothing crazy. Could easily have finished the game. Understandable hook bu unnecessary.

Start #2: wasn't as sharp this outing but was at 81pitches with one out in the 6th. Had only let up one run on 8 hits and a walk. Had a comfortable lead too. Coukd have finished that inning and gone for another one or even two after that, but gibby pulls him as soon as one guy gets on base. Clearly an overaggressive hook.

Start #3: cruised through 7ip with 5 hits and no walks. Just one run. Team had a huge lead. He sat at 91 pitches and could easily have gone out for another. Heck with a quick 8th could have gone for the cg.. Really no reason to pull him whatsoever. Another clear overaggressive hook.

Start #4: 7 shutout innings, 4 singles and 3 walks allowed. He was at 107 pitches so this time i actually agreed with the hook. Though even then, especially with our 'pen starting to show signs of stress, nobody would have been upset if gibby had tried to squeeze one more quick inning out of him.


Overall, IMO two clearly overaggressive hooks (one almost egregious), and two logical hooks that were at least erring on the side of caution.



92-93 - Tuesday, April 22 2014 @ 01:10 PM EDT (#285134) #
I will only address the ones you call clearly overaggressive, because it should be obvious to everyone the other ones were good yanks.

Start #2: If you watched this game, Buehrle did not have it. He was lucky to get to where he was in the game, having just allowed his 9th baserunner with one out in the 6th. It was the day after an off day, and Loup/Cecil/Santos hadn't pitched since 3 days prior. The Blue Jays were clinging to a one run lead.

Start #3: The Jays were up 7 runs. They have an 8 man bullpen. They have a starting rotation that has serious health/durability concerns. Why on earth would you try milking another inning out of your one reliable starter, when it's completely unnecessary and you can send your 8th reliever out there in a low leverage situation?

As long as you keep calling these clearly overaggressive and wrong moves, I will keep defending them.

Gibbons has reason to manage each game like it's September - he has fans exclaiming in April that this week will determine how invested they are in the team.
Mike Green - Tuesday, April 22 2014 @ 01:59 PM EDT (#285136) #
Gibbons has reason to manage each game like it's September - he has fans exclaiming in April that this week will determine how invested they are in the team.

I hope he isn't thinking this way.  His job is to make sure that the club wins as many games as possible over the season.  Managers manage differently in September for very good reasons- the callups can allow for greater use of relievers/bench and so on. 
uglyone - Tuesday, April 22 2014 @ 02:05 PM EDT (#285137) #
Start #2: buehrle was getting it done, with nary a hard hit ball allowed, only 1 run, a comfy lead, and only 81 pitches thrown thru 5.1. Deciding to risk using four relievers in that scenario makesnlittle sense, Arguing that wasn't a too quick hook is silly.

Start #3: i could care less what the score is. By that argument we could have justifiably pulled him in the 3rd inning. He was cruising, nowhere near a pitch limit, and was yanked for no reason. And no, getting esmil rogers more work is not a reason.

Starts #1 and #4 were justifable hooks, but we both know that nobody in the universe would have said a bad word if gibbine had let him go longer in either start.


Gibby has had the quickest hook in the league this year, and these are clear examples of why - treating his so far best pitcher (and arguably hottest pitcher in baseball) with kid gloves, despite his impeccable history of durability.

It's not arguable that he has had a quick hook this year - its demonstrable fact.

And when a previously lights out bullpen starts to buckle under one of the heavier workloads around, then i think it would be stupid not to mention the manager's decision making here.

Remembering, of course, that i'm probably the buggest gibber fan here, and don't criticize him for much.

uglyone - Tuesday, April 22 2014 @ 02:08 PM EDT (#285138) #
"Gibbons has reason to manage each game like it's September - he has fans exclaiming in April that this week will determine how invested they are in the team"

Yes he does - but quick hooking the hottest SP in baseball for esmil rogers is april managing, not september managing.
Four Seamer - Tuesday, April 22 2014 @ 02:17 PM EDT (#285141) #
So in two separate high leverage opportunities, Loup, Delabar, Santos and Happ simultaneously lost their ability to locate the strike zone because Esmil Rogers was gassed from one of his mop-up appearances?
uglyone - Tuesday, April 22 2014 @ 02:30 PM EDT (#285142) #
Not exactly, but he was forced to use a just called up happ in a tough spot because his other buys were spent, he was forced to leave loup when struggling because the other guys weren't available, etc.
Hodgie - Tuesday, April 22 2014 @ 03:22 PM EDT (#285143) #
"Start #2: buehrle was getting it done, with nary a hard hit ball allowed, only 1 run, a comfy lead, and only 81 pitches thrown thru 5.1. Deciding to risk using four relievers in that scenario makesnlittle sense, Arguing that wasn't a too quick hook is silly."

Here is Buehrle himself after the game, excerpted from the game recap on MLB.com.....doesn't seem so silly to me.

Buehrle admitted afterwards that he didn't feel very good warming up before the game and had trouble finishing a lot of his pitches. "I think that was probably the reason I got taken out," said Buehrle, who allowed a sacrifice fly to Matt Dominguez in the second. "Everybody was kind of asking, wow 80 pitches, and I think it relayed from [pitching coach] Pete Walker down to Gibby that I didn't feel good in the bullpen and was just kind of battling out there. "I was up in the zone and everything, wasn't getting ahead in the count like I was last start. I'm fortunate to get away with one run in 5 1/3 innings. That could have been a game where I gave out eight to 10 runs."

Mike Green - Tuesday, April 22 2014 @ 03:25 PM EDT (#285144) #
That's a sale for me, Hodgie.  Man, there's a lot to like about Buehrle. 

92-93 - Tuesday, April 22 2014 @ 03:27 PM EDT (#285145) #
Wow, Hodgie, I had missed that postgame session. Thanks to you and Buehrle for confirming exactly what I said - "If you watched this game, Buehrle did not have it. He was lucky to get to where he was in the game, having just allowed his 9th baserunner with one out in the 6th."

Demonstrable facts, yo.
uglyone - Tuesday, April 22 2014 @ 04:25 PM EDT (#285151) #
So every time buehrle doesn't feel good in the bullpen, we should yank him early even if he's effective during the actual game. Nice of him to go out of his way to explain what his manager was "probably" thinking, even though he acknowledged that getting yanked on 80 pitches is pretty surprising. Not sure why he hasn't guven dickey an 80 pitch hook in similar circumstances when dickey's complained about a dead arm.

I have noticed what a great teammate buehrle's being this year though. Mr.positivity out there starting way back in ST, joking and smiling every time gibber gives him the hook. Don't remember him ever being the jovial type before. Looks good on him.

None of that changes the fact that pulling your starter after 5ip and 80pc when he's battling but effective is still clearly an aggressive hook. Or that our manager has had the quickest hook in the league this year.
Paul D - Tuesday, April 22 2014 @ 04:30 PM EDT (#285152) #
There's a difference between aggressive and overly aggressive/egregious. Gibby's been aggressive, but many here find it justified.
Intricated - Tuesday, April 22 2014 @ 05:16 PM EDT (#285155) #
I question using a measurement like IP/start as a gauge for "quickest hook in the league this year", but then examine each of Buehrle's starts and declare all four were some form of "quick" and "aggressive", even though he's averaged 7 innings per start, including one where he went 8.2 innings of a usual 9 inning game.

Obviously you believe a quick hook is more than just innings pitched.  Gibbons has to-date allowed his starters to pitch the fewest innings per game, yes, no dispute about that (after Houston got 6 innings out of Keuchel last night), but you only have to look at most of the starts from Morrow, McGowan, and (to a lesser extent) Hutchison where ineffectiveness and/or pitch count (looks like 90-100 for Morrow, 90 for McGowan, and 100 for Hutch) resulted in their exits.  Nitpicking on Buehrle not given another out or two is far from the perceived problem of low IP/start and Gibbon's tendency of an "overaggressive" hook.

Hopefully the non-Buehrle starters will pick up their game (and health is proven for the fragile ones to get to 100-110 effective pitches) to justify hanging out in the latter innings of their starts.
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