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Three games with the Rangers.

Your pitching matchups:

Hutchison (1-3, 4.37) vs Darvish (3-1, 2.33)
Buehrle (7-1, 2.04) vs Ross (1-4, 5.04)
Dickey (4-3, 4.53) vs Martinez (0-1, 2.38)

Topic for the discussion.  It's early days yet in the AL East, but the five teams in the division collectively have a losing record against the rest of the baseball world. There's no obvious weak sister in the pack to account for this, Tampa's surprisingly poor record notwithstanding. Has the AL East come down in the world?
Series Thread: Deep in the Heart of Texas | 104 comments | Create New Account
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John Northey - Friday, May 16 2014 @ 07:53 PM EDT (#286392) #
Well, for years the AL East has had to draft from the bottom end of each round so it had to catch up eventually. 

Of course, only Tampa is sub-500 right now and most expect that to reverse itself at some point this season and if it does then we could have 5 teams over 500.

As to tonight's game...
B-R Preview on relievers....
No rest: Cecil, Delabar, Janssen, Loup
1 Day: Rogers, Stroman, Wagner
5 days: Redmond - yup, a full rotation+ worth of rest.  Hutchison has less rest than Redmond.

So basically the Jays would love to see a complete game from Hutchison (extremely unlikely) or for him to go 7 and the team to be leading by 4+ so Gibbons feels safe to bring in Redmond to finish it and let the other 7 get rested for tomorrow.
Richard S.S. - Friday, May 16 2014 @ 07:54 PM EDT (#286393) #
No, with last year's Bullpen and this year's Starting, Defense and Offense, the Jays would be at least 30-12, running away from the field.
Mike Green - Friday, May 16 2014 @ 10:09 PM EDT (#286397) #
No pinch-runner for Kratz?
greenfrog - Friday, May 16 2014 @ 10:19 PM EDT (#286398) #
Well well well. Just when I thought this game might end up having a roughned odor to it.

Now let's have a couple of shutdown innings.
Mike Green - Friday, May 16 2014 @ 10:21 PM EDT (#286399) #
If Doc is watching, he might be smiling.
Richard S.S. - Friday, May 16 2014 @ 10:27 PM EDT (#286400) #
The 5th Starter Spot will be skipped due to the off-day on the 19th. So first use will be on the 24th vs Oakland. Redmond will pitch at least one inning today, as a regular throwing day if he's the 5th Starter. Chances are he'll pitch more today (24th is another 8 days away). McGowan might be available for an inning also.
Mike Green - Friday, May 16 2014 @ 10:36 PM EDT (#286401) #
All right!
greenfrog - Friday, May 16 2014 @ 10:37 PM EDT (#286402) #
Congrats to Hutchison on a terrific start -- and on finding a way to beat the mighty Darvish.
tecumseh18 - Friday, May 16 2014 @ 10:49 PM EDT (#286403) #
"So basically the Jays would love to see a complete game from Hutchison (extremely unlikely) ..."

Is it too late to take that bet?

So we've got a rested bullpen for the rest of this critical series. Nice.
Richard S.S. - Friday, May 16 2014 @ 11:20 PM EDT (#286404) #
Does beating Darvish improve Toronto's odds of a possible sweep? I'd like to think so with Buehrle and Dickey to follow.
John Northey - Friday, May 16 2014 @ 11:49 PM EDT (#286405) #
Guess I should make predictions like that more often.  Maybe I should bet against myself in this election (Thunder Bay-Atikokan candidate for the Green Party...I won't mention that again though except maybe as a side note after it is done as this is a baseball forum, not a politics one).

I had a great feeling about Hutch for awhile now and it sure is nice to see signs of it being right.  ERA down to 3.64 from 4.37 (97 ERA+ grew to roughly 115).  That gives the Jays 3 guys over 100 in the rotation - Buehrle (208), Happ (120) and Hutch (~115).  94 for Dickey is acceptable but not great, Morrow's 72 and McGowan's 84 are gone.  It'll be interesting to see what happens with the #5 slot now - Redmond has a great ERA but 2.7 BB/9 vs 6.5 K/9 isn't great.  Stroman's ERA is scary but his 1 HR, 1 BB 4 SO in 6 1/3 IP isn't bad. Roger's 2.2 HR/9 is scary but his 3.1 BB/9 vs 9.3 K/9 is nice.  Hendriks in AAA has done very well (1.51 ERA 3 HR 2 BB 33 SO in 41 IP), Nolin has been solid (2.70 ERA 0.2 HR/9 3.6 BB/9 7.6 K/9), Drabek was showing hope (4.04 ERA, but 2.08 over his last 4 starts) but was hit hard today (8 runs, 6 earned in 5 IP).

Hrm.  I'd love to see Hendriks given a shot, but suspect it'll be someone here already.  Rogers has been getting into a lot of games lately, Stroman is the hot prospect while Redmond is probably the guy who deserves it at the moment. My gut says Stroman gets it but it depends how he does over the next few days.
John Northey - Saturday, May 17 2014 @ 12:06 AM EDT (#286406) #
Fun item from the game, the 2 ex Jays (JPA and Rios) went 0-6 with a K while the son of an Ex Jay (Fielder) was also 0 - 3 with 2 K's.  After seeing ex-Jays often pounding the Jays it is nice to see them be quiet for a change.

uglyone - Saturday, May 17 2014 @ 12:52 AM EDT (#286408) #
Holy crap that was an enjoyable game to watch. Amazing.

My only regret is that reyes couldn't complete the triplebunt play.
JB21 - Saturday, May 17 2014 @ 12:56 AM EDT (#286409) #
Definitely one of the most fun games I've watched in a while. Hutch pitched amazing, Yu was untouchable for most of the game, and the back-to-back bunts, Reyes crushing a ball, followed by Melky's double was entertaining as H.

HUGE win with Darvish on the mound in game 1 of the series.
Mike Green - Saturday, May 17 2014 @ 09:18 AM EDT (#286412) #
Gose also had an excellent game.  He chased down everything in a large centerfield, laid down a terrific bunt that set the tone for the key inning, and then scored on Cabrera's double which was something of a feat.  If you didn't see the game, Gose was on first base, Cabrera lined a ball approximately an inch over the first baseman's glove with Gose naturally frozen, the ball took 3 or 4 hops and caromed off the wall to the rightfielder who played it perfectly and hit the cut-off man who fired home.  There wasn't a play at the plate because Gose is so freaking fast. Gose has done nothing in Buffalo, but it is pretty clear to me that he has a role on a major league ball club.  He is probably one of those rare players who is better off as a 4th outfielder on the big club than as a regular in triple A.

And as for Magpie's question, the AL East is now marginally over .500. Right now, the AL Central leads the way in the AL, with the Tigers being a little better than expected and the Twins and White Sox being quite a bit better. I think that it's a bit of a sample size fluke and the AL East will have the best record in the AL when the season is done.  It may be that the aging of the dynastic clubs in the division means that both fall under 90 wins this year for the first time in over 20 years.  The Red Sox system is very strong and will likely result in regeneration quickly.  And as for the Yankees, they may be beginning one of those lulls in their organization with the end of the Jeter/Rivera era, perhaps similar to the end of the Mantle/Berra/Ford era in 1964.

John Northey - Saturday, May 17 2014 @ 09:54 AM EDT (#286415) #
Just looking at the Yankees and I see one player with 30+ PA who is under 30.  Yangervis Solarte who is at 3B and has a 150 OPS+ (!!!)  Big, big surprise there - lifetime in the minors he has hit 286/336/397 and in AAA over 2 years he hit 282/332/404 so no indicator of his current 325/403/504 line.  Blinking Yankees...lose A-Rod and replace him with a guy who is hitting like a healthy A-Rod would.  Sigh.

Ichiro is having a nice comeback year witha 364 avg (131 OPS+), Kelly Johnson has a 110 OPS+... at least McCann isn't doing so hot with a 70 OPS+.  Michael Pineda is showing why the Yankees traded for him with a 226 ERA+ in 4 starts so far, Masahiro Tanaka is earning his pay with a 188 ERA+.  Sigh... two young pitchers (25 years old each) who could be the cornerstone of a new Yankee machine.  Figures.
Cracka - Saturday, May 17 2014 @ 10:10 AM EDT (#286416) #
Erik Kratz is another bottom-of-the-roster guy who deserves mention for last night's win. The bunt single to start the 8th inning was a head's up move with Beltre playing so deep. He also deserves credit for calling a great game for Hutch -- his reward will likely be a trip back to Buffalo today with Navarro coming back tonight.
greenfrog - Saturday, May 17 2014 @ 10:19 AM EDT (#286417) #
Cabrera, of course, also deserves credit for last night's win, as he solved Darvish at just the right time. Melky has been a vastly improved hitter this year.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, May 17 2014 @ 10:57 AM EDT (#286419) #
I'm sorry most people will disagree, but several things about the Jays are self-evident.

1) R.A. Dickey, Drew Hutchison, Mark Buehrle are about as good as most teams have. Where the Jays can separate themselves from the rest of the pack will come from their 4/5th Starting Positions.

2) Jose Reyes, Melky Cabrera, Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, Adam Lind, Juan Francisco and Brett Lawrie are as strong an offense (not in order) as most teams have. With Anthony Gose and Dioner Navarro to round out the lineup they are doing all right. Where the Jays can separate themselves form the rest of the pack will come form the Bench. Josh Thole has shown himself to be effective. Steve Tolleson is effective and versatile. Kevin Pillar is a work-in-progress and they should be able to do better here. Someone named 'who' isn't here yet and that's an issue. Limiting options for your manager is not a good thing.

3) Casey Janssen now re-establishes the Bullpen into one of the better ones in Baseball. The Bullpen was a huge asset last season and can be as good or better, with better use, this season.

Texas has replaced the 2nd,3rd,4th and 5th Starters at least one due to injuries. Most of the lineup is colder than needed. The Bullpen has it's issues. This team is here for the taking.

Oakland has their injuries as well and are not last year's team (definitely not better). They're still good, but the Jays' chances are better.

Returning home Toronto plays Boston, who's definitely not as good as last year (when everyone had a good - great year). The Jays should do well.

I'd love to see a 10-12 game wining streak about now, but I'll settle for the Jays just winning every series they play in.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, May 17 2014 @ 11:45 AM EDT (#286421) #
When you consider the moves Toronto had to make, I think they survived well (two Starting Pitchers, both Closers, Starting SS, Starting CF, Mid-Inf).

Maicer Izturis, prior to injury, turned out to be the player he was supposed to be. Erik Kratz turned out to be a very serviceable Catcher. Juan Francisco has turned out to be a big surprise. Steve Tolleson turned out to be effective and versatile.

Sergio Santos filled in well as closer. Eight of his 14 appearances were clean, four saves. Two appearances did not matter, one save. Four did matter, costing games. J.A. Happ's foray into the Starting Rotation is a success thus far.

Other moves - it's too early to tell.
Mike Green - Saturday, May 17 2014 @ 12:41 PM EDT (#286425) #
Tonight's situation presents an ideal opportunity for Gibbons to DH Cabrera and play Pillar in LF and Gose in CF.  A lefty is starting for Texas.  Buehrle is going for the Blue Jays and the park in Arlington has a lot of room for a left-fielder and centerfielder to cover (as we saw last night).
greenfrog - Saturday, May 17 2014 @ 12:46 PM EDT (#286427) #
Interesting non-Jays note: both Robbie Ray and Doug Fister have pitched the same number of innings in the majors this year (11.1). So far, Ray has been better than Fister.

Also, Kinsler is significantly outperforming Fielder, who has fallen off this year.

Dombrowski strikes again.
Mike Green - Saturday, May 17 2014 @ 12:48 PM EDT (#286428) #

Sergio Santos filled in well as closer

Um...I think Bobby Korecky could have done better.  Not that I am advocating it.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, May 17 2014 @ 01:38 PM EDT (#286431) #
Santos had only four bad games. His 1st bad game (7th app.) was then icebox game (17 April) in which Relief as a whole sucked. His 2nd bad game (11th app.), at KC, was the 29th April. About this time I think his injury occurred. His 3rd bad game (12th app.) was May 2nd at Pittsburgh. May 4th he was removed as Closer and only made two appearances (one bad) before going on the D.L.

So in other words, Santos did well as Closer for as long as he could. If your new friend Bobby Korecky was that good, he'd already be up here.
PeterG - Saturday, May 17 2014 @ 02:22 PM EDT (#286432) #
I don't see how anyone can reasonably make a case for Santos being good other than his initial appearances which were shakey even though he got the job done. Even when he was being credited with saves, I can remember Zaun suggesting that fans would soon be screaming for Janssen and in this particular case, he was proven to be correct. We simply don't know how injury may or may not have affected performance or even what the real extent of the injury may be.

I have a feeling this is the year the Jays decide to cut bait with oft injured I will predict right now that unless another taker is found before the off season, that both Santos and Morrow will NOT have their respective team options for 2015 picked up by the Jays.

jerjapan - Saturday, May 17 2014 @ 04:58 PM EDT (#286433) #
Morrow's at 10 million next year, with a 1 million buyout - so 9 million for his arm on a one year contract?  If he comes back reasonably healthy and effective, I'm sure that gets picked up.  There were people here talking about picking up JJ's option which was 14 million or so, if memory serves.  Even if Sanchez, Stroman or Nolin are fighting for a rotation spot, he's good trade bait.  Heck, I could Happ's 6.7 million option getting picked up if he can turn in a run of decent starts. 

Santos' option is for 6 million though.  Barring a dominant return to form, with our collection of minor league arms, he's a gonner.  McGowan, depending on his results in the pen, could be too, with a 4 million dollar option for him and a half mill buyout. 

bpoz - Saturday, May 17 2014 @ 05:22 PM EDT (#286434) #
Thank you Richard SS for your optimistic evaluation. 30-12 is something I cannot even dream of enjoying. Yet, it could have happened. We had some great performances.
After the last 2 season my optimism has vanished. I am more expecting a let down than a hot month. So probably .500 the rest of the way. I just do not know.

Every thing revolves around a solid rotation. What ever that is.
Yesterday I was thinking that we are deep in #5 pitchers. We may have 5-8 of them. Nolin, Jenkins if we stretch him out. Happ maybe. Rogers? Maybe not. IMO we did not have this depth in the last 2 years. So this is a positive. Our wins may total in the 80s rather than the 70s.
So what is a #5 SP? An Ace is Verlander or Price among others and we have zero of them. We also do not have any #1s 200+IP Era under 3.50. What is a #2 200+ or very close IP Era under 4.00. #3 200+IP or close Era 4.00-4.50, Mark B & RA. So what is a reasonable #4 and #5?
I expect differences of opinion, that is a given and it is fine by me. Also fine is making projections, ie Juan Guzman and Henderson Alvarez based on 10-15 starts when they break in. As a fan I make projections.
ayjackson - Saturday, May 17 2014 @ 05:44 PM EDT (#286435) #
You got what you asked for, Mike.
Mike Green - Saturday, May 17 2014 @ 06:34 PM EDT (#286437) #
Exactly, from Pillar to Gose. ..I'll be here all week,  don't forget to tip the servers...

Richard S.S. - Saturday, May 17 2014 @ 07:09 PM EDT (#286439) #
McGowan should do well in the Bullpen, because he did well as a Starter- stuff is stuff, no matter where you pitch. I think he's kept around for as long as he's able to pitch well .

I agree that Santos' future and Morrow's future as Jays may not extend past this year. I can see A.A. cutting ties with them.

Will Buehrle continue to be as good as he presently is? I personally projected him to win at least 15 games this season, with just better defense and no Arencibia any longer. As he's pitching right now, he could win 20-24 games.

Drew Hutchison looks like he 's at home in the Majors. I'd like to see what happens next here, but I think he's on his way to being a #2 Starter type winning 15 or more games yearly.

R.A. Dickey seems to have a problem pitching into the 7th. His record through just 6 is very good. He's not an Ace, but he's our Ace. He's not a #1 Starter, but he's our #1 Starter. Considering what he dealt with last year, I wouldn't be surprised if he won 18 or more games.

We don't need great pitching, we need consistent pitching that keeps us in games. We do have potential #1's in Dickey and Hutchison and a #2 in Buehrle.

J.A. Happ might be pitching the way we hoped he would. If we can get 6.0 and 3-4 runs from Happ and the pitcher named 'who', Toronto will win a lot of games.
christaylor - Saturday, May 17 2014 @ 07:15 PM EDT (#286440) #
It is refreshing to see some optimism here.

Anyone else annoyed by the several places (site/podcasts that shall not be named) where the Jays have been dismissed as pretender in the race for the AL East or even a playoff spot?

All the AL East teams have holes -- the Jays' holes seem on the minor side and can be addressed in season.

There's probably a little too much focus on last year's disappointment and too much weight given to the lack of off-season changes. The series against the Red Sox will provide a nice test and given that it is Boston, it'll attract a lot of eye-balls and generate buzz if the Jays can put together three good games and two wins.
Gerry - Saturday, May 17 2014 @ 07:54 PM EDT (#286441) #
AA was in Buffalo today to see Liam Hendricks pitch. Hendricks pitched well and according to Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News AA intimated that Hendricks was the faourite to be the fifth starter.
Magpie - Saturday, May 17 2014 @ 08:20 PM EDT (#286443) #
a #2 Starter type winning 15 or more games yearly.

That's no #2 starter. Guys who win 15 games in any year aren't all that common (certainly last season most teams didn't have one of those guys.) As for doing it regularly... there's exactly one man in the majors who's won 15 games in each of the last three seasons.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, May 17 2014 @ 08:32 PM EDT (#286444) #
Didn't that one pitch in Japan?
Magpie - Saturday, May 17 2014 @ 08:49 PM EDT (#286445) #
Nope. Arizona and Detroit.

Fun to think that Vernon Wells is being paid more money by a major league team to watch the game than anyone on the field is being paid to play it (seeing as how Prince isn't playing.)
Mike Green - Saturday, May 17 2014 @ 10:28 PM EDT (#286446) #
Anthony Gose means business in Texas.  I don't think that they will be sending him out any time soon.
uglyone - Saturday, May 17 2014 @ 10:52 PM EDT (#286447) #
Nice to see Gose showing his worth, but I still want him down in AAA for the full season to see if he can get his contact rate up. I haven't given up on him being a starter yet (even if he has to sit vs. LHP), and I think keeping him up as a 4th OF is counterproductive, especially since as a lefty he can't platoon rasmus effectively, either.
uglyone - Saturday, May 17 2014 @ 10:54 PM EDT (#286448) #
Let's see if the boys can pick up Buehrle here.

Interesting that Gibby has twice now had a chance to pinch hit Francisco in for Tolleson but hasn't pulled the trigger.
uglyone - Saturday, May 17 2014 @ 11:01 PM EDT (#286449) #
heh after all those warning track shots Reyes gets the massive clutch blooper. nice.
Magpie - Saturday, May 17 2014 @ 11:06 PM EDT (#286451) #
Interesting that Gibby has twice now had a chance to pinch hit Francisco in for Tolleson but hasn't pulled the trigger.

I dunno. Sixth inning, two out, no one on base - might be a little early to start burning up the bench. As for this inning, against a LH pitcher I have to think Dickey would be a better PH option anyway.
TangledUpInBlue - Saturday, May 17 2014 @ 11:20 PM EDT (#286453) #
Sixth inning, two out, no one on base - might be a little early to start burning up the bench.

And with Buehrle on the mound, you want defence on the left side if at all possible.
uglyone - Saturday, May 17 2014 @ 11:21 PM EDT (#286454) #
before this at bat ends - shoulda pinch hit for navarro here.
uglyone - Saturday, May 17 2014 @ 11:23 PM EDT (#286455) #
works out anyways. nice at bat by navarro.

with a 2 run lead I would not pinch hit for tolleson here.
greenfrog - Saturday, May 17 2014 @ 11:26 PM EDT (#286456) #
I liked Navarro in that situation. Contact hitter. Experienced. Usually provides a decent PA.
Magpie - Saturday, May 17 2014 @ 11:29 PM EDT (#286457) #
You can't assume the double play, and the official scorer would not have been able to give the second baseman an error if the throw had bounced in the dirt and Moreland was unable to scoop it. But he can indeed give Moreland an error for muffing a throw that would have completed a double play. The second baseman gets an assist.
Mike Green - Saturday, May 17 2014 @ 11:34 PM EDT (#286458) #
In the old days, the boxscore would read "Moreland- muffed catch". 

Solid patient hitting and throwing strikes usually adds up to a win.  Tonight was no different. 

greenfrog - Saturday, May 17 2014 @ 11:41 PM EDT (#286459) #
Winning the first two of this road trip (including a W against Darvish) is pretty sweet.

Add one more strong SP and an above-average second baseman and this team looks like it could be very good.

I would like to see Bautista and EE get the occasional day off, so that they're healthy and productive in the second half. I don't believe in putting the pedal to the metal (with either position players or pitchers) in May.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, May 17 2014 @ 11:43 PM EDT (#286460) #
Time to step on the throats and go for a sweep.
JB21 - Saturday, May 17 2014 @ 11:44 PM EDT (#286461) #
Another fun game to watch. Was hoping for two in Texas with Darvish going last night, hopefully Dickie can keep it going tomorrow on the bump.
uglyone - Sunday, May 18 2014 @ 12:13 AM EDT (#286462) #
Big game for Dickey tommorrow. Another solid outing would not only be good for him but would really confirm that we have a dependable 1-2-3 punch going at the top of our rotation, which is huge.

Especially since the Jays have a chance to move into first with a win tommorrow, if Orioles and Yanks cooperate. Orioles have the improving Jiminez going up against the dominant Shields, while the Yanks have struggling Kuroda going up against winless but still pretty good Morton, so there's a decent chance they do cooperate.
Mike Green - Sunday, May 18 2014 @ 07:27 AM EDT (#286464) #
I would like to see Bautista and EE get the occasional day off, so that they're healthy and productive in the second half. I don't believe in putting the pedal to the metal (with either position players or pitchers) in May.

Goins is hitting well in Buffalo (including walking more).  If he gets the call back one of these days soon, you could nicely give Encarnacion a day off when facing a RHP by playing Lind at first base, Francisco DHing, Lawrie at 3B and Goins at second base.  In Bautista's case, the easiest thing to do is the next time they face a LHP, play Pillar in right and let Jose DH. 
92-93 - Sunday, May 18 2014 @ 08:52 AM EDT (#286465) #
"and I think keeping (Gose) up as a 4th OF is counterproductive"

It's anything but counterproductive. The Jays are 2 games over .500 and half a game out of first. Gose is very clearly their best 4th OF - he's their best defensive CF and their best baserunner. Now, you can make the case for Gose's career he's better served getting every day ABs in the minors (one with which I don't agree), but there shouldn't be any argument as to whether Gose is the team's best option for 4th OF among the current 40 man roster or not.
CeeBee - Sunday, May 18 2014 @ 09:08 AM EDT (#286466) #
I'm all for keeping Gose up unless he proves he isn't good enough or ready enough. I'll take his top notch defense and speed and whatever he can provide hitting wise at this point. If he just can't hit at all, which seems unlikely, then send him back down but right now he is by far the best internal option for a fourth outfielder and the Jays might as well find out if he can be their starting center fielder next year just in case Rasmus isn't re-signed.
Mike Green - Sunday, May 18 2014 @ 09:08 AM EDT (#286467) #
Agree exactly, 92-93.  Gose has significant value to the club in 2014 and that should be enough.  I agree also that it would not harm his career to be here as a 4th outfielder; he seems to be much more focused here than he was (according to reports) in Buffalo.  His last at-bat against Neal Cotts with Pillar on second and 1 out was a good example.  He fell behind 1-2, and then took 2 close pitches which were outside.  The 3-2 pitch was definitely low but Chirinos did a nice job of framing and he was rung up. He turned and walked away although you could tell that he didn't agree with the call.  I like the idea of Seitzer working with him on a prolonged basis.
92-93 - Sunday, May 18 2014 @ 09:54 AM EDT (#286468) #
A couple of observations from last night's game:

1. As a defender of the majority of Gibbons' pitching moves, I have to say I was surprised by the timing of his pull on Buehrle. He had just given up 2 weak hits (theme of the night) and his pitch count was fine, so I probably would've given him the change to clean up or blow open his own mess. That being said, the top of the 7th took forever and it's possible Buehrle and Gibbons had already discussed being yanked at the first sign of trouble - Mark didn't seem perturbed.

2. Reyes' range is just awful, and it's going to become a big problem if his offense doesn't allow us to look past it. There's been more than a few balls this season he should at least be getting leather on, none more obvious than the tying run in the 7th inning. He HAS to knock that ball down, if not make the play.
Mike Green - Sunday, May 18 2014 @ 10:14 AM EDT (#286469) #
I thought that Reyes' positioning  was off and that contributed to his inability to knock the ball down.  Loup doesn't throw that hard and it appeared to me that Reyes was positioned towards the second base bag with Lawrie in his usual spot.  Generally speaking, I don't mind that alignment; Reyes' arm allows him to get outs moving toward the line with regularity.  However, when one is late in a tie game and a runner is on second, I'd like him to be a little closer to Lawrie.  Incidentally, wtih Sardinas up and facing a lefty, I'd also have preferred if Pillar played a little farther in.  I thought that he should have a shot at Chirinos.

There is no question that Reyes' range is below average and gradually deteriorating with time.  It's hard to believe but he will be 31 next month. 

uglyone - Sunday, May 18 2014 @ 10:17 AM EDT (#286470) #
"Gose is very clearly their best 4th OF - he's their best defensive CF and their best baserunner. "

A pinch runner / late inning defensive replacement is not more valuable than a platoon bat for rasmus, imo.

And keeping gose up as a pinch runner when he clearly could use more AAA at bats writes off his starting mlb potential.
Mike Green - Sunday, May 18 2014 @ 10:23 AM EDT (#286471) #
Gose also allows you to give occasional days off to Bautista against a tough RHer like Darvish, once Rasmus is back.  Gose/Rasmus in CF/RF is the optimal defensive set-up, but it would probably be Rasmus/Gose because of seniority.
uglyone - Sunday, May 18 2014 @ 10:31 AM EDT (#286472) #
But how many days off do you want to give to our mvp favorite?

I just don't see any playing time for gose. The only chance at significant time for a fourth OF would be a CF who can hit lefties.

And pillar has a .925ops vs. Lhp in milb since 2011.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, May 18 2014 @ 10:32 AM EDT (#286473) #
Reyes vs Jeter, who's the better defender. I contend it's always been anyone but Jeter. Positioning is the only reason Jeter wasn't a disaster at S.S. Positioning will be the only thing to keep Reyes at SS towards the end of his contract. That being said, being out of position makes anyone, at any position, look bad.
92-93 - Sunday, May 18 2014 @ 10:50 AM EDT (#286474) #
"And keeping gose up as a pinch runner when he clearly could use more AAA at bats writes off his starting mlb potential."

There's two parts of this sentence I disagree with.

1. It isn't clear that more ABs at AAA for Anthony Gose will help at this point. He's had over 1000 of them, and seems disinterested. He's also produced better at the MLB level than at AAA to date.

2. The path to MLB starter is not always linear. Gose needs only to look at the guy playing to his right to understand you can break into an MLB OF through good circumstance and seizing the opportunity when given the chance to shine. I was living in NYC at the time and the Yankees OF was ironman Hideki Matusi, Johnny Damon, and Gary Sheffield. Matsui, who hadn't missed a game in his 3 year MLB career (163, 162, 162), broke his wrist and was out for the season. Sheffield had played 154g for the Yankees the previous two seasons but had crashed into our very own Shea Hillebrand and would end up missing the season too. That opened up two spots, one of which was filled by a trade for Bobby Abreu, the other by a surging Melkman. He played well enough that they kept penciling his name into the lineup, which is pretty much what Anthony Gose is doing right now.

Should this continue, and I hope it will, Gose has to stay up with the big club, and I'm sure things will sort themselves out in terms of getting him playing time. He's essentially coverage on an injury to 5 positions - LF, CF, RF, 1B, and DH, and he would pinch run and/or play defense in every game. And if you'd ask him if he'd prefer everyday ABs in Buffalo to expand his chances at being an MLB regular or if he'd rather be the 4th OF in Toronto, I'm pretty sure I know how he'd answer, because he's confident enough to believe he can make the same if not better impression at this level.

greenfrog - Sunday, May 18 2014 @ 10:54 AM EDT (#286475) #
I think the ankle injury has likely had an impact on Reyes. SS is a high-skill position. It appears Jose was already average or below at the position before his injury. Subtracting another 2-5% off his reflexes/mobility/speed because of the injury (perhaps coupled with the wear and tear of playing on turf), if that is what has happened, would be significant.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, May 18 2014 @ 01:38 PM EDT (#286481) #
It's possible being paid a prorated portion of $500 K is of more interest than earning less than $100 K in AAA.

Generally three years of pre-arb earnings, $1.5-ish MM, can assure some degree of financial security to most players. Six years in the minors might, and I mean barely, equal one pre-arb year.
uglyone - Sunday, May 18 2014 @ 01:39 PM EDT (#286482) #
"1. It isn't clear that more ABs at AAA for Anthony Gose will help at this point. He's had over 1000 of them, and seems disinterested. He's also produced better at the MLB level than at AAA to date."

True, but it is clear that he needs lots of development if he's ever going to be a starting mlber, and at 23 there's every reason to give him fulltime at bats in AAA rather than just pinch running and defense on an mlb bench.

And he's still been better at AAA (.713ops) than mlb (.669ops).

"Should this continue, and I hope it will, Gose has to stay up with the big club, and I'm sure things will sort themselves out in terms of getting him playing time."

This won't continue once rasmus is healthy again, though. Because he won't play.

The only way playing time "sorts itself out" is if someone gets injured again..,.in which case we could just call him up again anyways.

We may be getting overexcited by some baserunning plays - gose won't be stealing a run with his legs every time he plays, he still has to hit to be valuable. And odds are that pillar hits better than him, and much better than him vs. Lefties, which is currently the only glaring need from our 4th OF, imo.
PeterG - Sunday, May 18 2014 @ 01:58 PM EDT (#286483) #
I'm all for keeping Gose as the starting cf and trying to trade Colby as soon as he is active.....AA could try and get another OF back or maybe a 2b.
92-93 - Sunday, May 18 2014 @ 04:02 PM EDT (#286486) #
I think you can safely throw Gose's .785 OPS in Las Vegas out the window when comparing his stats. That OPS was inferior to that of Hechavarria. Gose has been a better hitter in Toronto than he has been in Buffalo, and he hasn't shown any tangible improvement in 4 years of AAA. At some point you can stop worrying about what a player might become and take advantage of what he is right now, which is one of their 25 best baseball players.

When I look at the bullpen usage and see that Redmond hasn't pitched in over a week and Rogers/Stroman since Wednesday, I think about the benefits of a 5 man bench. If only we had 5 good enough starting pitchers that Gibbons felt comfortable to go with a 6 man bullpen.
scottt - Sunday, May 18 2014 @ 04:05 PM EDT (#286487) #
You can platoon Gose and Pillar, but I'd be surprised if they'd platoon Rasmus.
Chuck - Sunday, May 18 2014 @ 05:11 PM EDT (#286488) #
Is there a law that says that the 7th inning of Dickey's starts have to be ugly?
Mike Green - Sunday, May 18 2014 @ 05:23 PM EDT (#286489) #
I wasn't watching the 7th inning, but I did have some thoughts about the use of the pen generally.  With Hutchison's complete game, Buehrle's 7 inning outing and the day off tomorrow, the club had a world of options in the 7th inning.  Dickey was not throwing exceptionally well from the 4th inning on but had not thrown a lot of pitches.  I would have been happy to see another pitcher- even Todd Redmond, but I know that Dickey is the "#1" and this would be unthinkable.
Mike Green - Sunday, May 18 2014 @ 05:32 PM EDT (#286490) #
Now there was a ball that Reyes ought to have got to.  Choo thought so too and stopped at third until Pettis waved him in.
Magpie - Sunday, May 18 2014 @ 05:36 PM EDT (#286491) #
Jays catch a break on the fielder's choice. That was pretty clearly a muff.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, May 18 2014 @ 05:41 PM EDT (#286492) #
R.A. Dickey would be in Cy Young territory if he never started the 7th inning. But Gibbons will ALWAYS let him start the 7th.

Apparently the desire to win is not matched by the ability to do so. How many LOB thus far this season?
Magpie - Sunday, May 18 2014 @ 06:00 PM EDT (#286493) #
How many LOB thus far this season?

Coming into today's game? The Jays have stranded 304 runners in 37 games, which I think might be fewer than one might expect. Toronto does have the fourth best offense in the league (4.84 runs per game) - this is because they actually do a good job of cashing in the baserunners they get (they're only 9th in the league in getting people on base.) And they do a good job of cashing in baserunners because they lead the league in slugging.
Magpie - Sunday, May 18 2014 @ 06:01 PM EDT (#286494) #
Not 37 games, they've played 44.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, May 18 2014 @ 09:32 PM EDT (#286495) #
Checking Dickey's 7th inning woes/losses, I found runs also given up in the 8th inning. In three Starts, all losses, 9 runs were allowed to score by opponents in the 7th and 5 runs in the 8th.

If a Reliever starts a fresh inning, does he have a clean inning? Usually yes. Chances are good Dickey would be 7-1 with an ERA under 3.00 instead of 4-4 and an ERA of over 4.00.

What that means, is he's not fooling anyone third or fourth time through the lineup (usually 5th or 6th or later hitter). He's becoming predictable.
Gerry - Sunday, May 18 2014 @ 09:43 PM EDT (#286496) #
The ugly defense was a matter of time, the Jays are selling out for offense against RHP, sometimes the bill comes due.
Gerry - Sunday, May 18 2014 @ 10:13 PM EDT (#286497) #
After the game Marcus Stroman was optioned back to Buffalo. I don't have a problem with the demotion, the word is he will start back there.

However I wonder if the Jays have a plan for Stroman. He was called up to be in bullpen and the Jays suggested that was a permanent move to get him acclimated to the major leagues. After his first couple of appearances, Gibby said "he is not going anywhere".

Now two weeks later Stroman is going back to Buffalo to be a starter. It seems that the Jays plan changes from week to week. The Jays now need a starter and Stroman either isn't good enough yet to handle it or, per the Jays, he is not stretched out enough.

The cynical side of me looks back to when Stroman was promoted, it was in the middle of a rough patch for the Jays. Was the promotion a ploy to take attention off the losing streak? Now that the Jays are winning Stroman's "promise for the future" is not needed.

In any event, I don't understand what the Jays are doing.

Richard S.S. - Sunday, May 18 2014 @ 10:17 PM EDT (#286498) #
Since Marcus Stroman was optioned to AAA Buffalo, that must mean Liam Hendriks was called up to be our 5th Starter. He's pitched extremely well in AAA Buffalo, and deserves a chance. He's on the 40-man Roster so we need to see what we have with him. It's still early for Stroman to take over. Rogers and Redmond are already known quantities, as is Jenkins - provisional 5th/6th Starter types. Happ on the other hand is a definite number 5.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, May 18 2014 @ 10:28 PM EDT (#286499) #
Stroman must be recalled to the Majors within 19 days so as not to burn an option. That gives him time for three Starts - 18.0-21.0 IP.

At the same time Liam Hendriks will get three Starts here to see whether he stays and Happ gets three more starts to see if he stays.

In 19 days, it will be the 6th of June, the Start of Mid-Season Trade Market. And that's a fine time to start negotiating. Starters of any kind will have a market.
Paul D - Sunday, May 18 2014 @ 11:33 PM EDT (#286500) #
On the one hand, this is reductionist, on the other hand... if you have to worry about options on a first round college draft pick, you've done something wrong.
TangledUpInBlue - Monday, May 19 2014 @ 04:08 AM EDT (#286501) #
Whoa, Gerry.

Now two weeks later Stroman is going back to Buffalo to be a starter. It seems that the Jays plan changes from week to week.

Because circumstances change.

The cynical side of me looks back to when Stroman was promoted, it was in the middle of a rough patch for the Jays. Was the promotion a ploy to take attention off the losing streak?

This is the "whoa" part. The bullpen had just blown a big lead for the second straight night in Pittsburgh and the 80th (or something) game in a few weeks. They were pitching terribly, they were overworked, and they needed help. So the Jays called up the best available arm in AAA. That sounds pretty rational. Sounds to me like they were more interested in getting some wins than in any ploys (wins being the best "ploy" anyway). We can use Occam's razor here.

Now that the Jays are winning Stroman's "promise for the future" is not needed.

"Now that the Jays are winning" or "Now that Janssen and McGowan are back in the bullpen and Stroman hasn't pitched in several days on account of being the #6 man in the pen and if the Jays need anything going forward, it's starting pitching and Stroman might as well get ready to help with that"?
scottt - Monday, May 19 2014 @ 07:21 AM EDT (#286502) #
McGowan moved to the pen basically performing the same function as Stroman.

After that the option is to either put him in the rotation or move him to AAA to prepare him to start later.

Considering he had 3 bad games and 2 good one for an ERA over 12, it's hard to make the case that he's ready to start now. There's a genuine concern that he would get shelled which would make a move to Buffalo even more painful. Besides, there might be something the staff want him to work on.

Mike Green - Monday, May 19 2014 @ 11:12 AM EDT (#286503) #
I am with Gerry. The club is delivering mixed messages to Stroman.  When he is called up to the pen, he is immediately brought in to medium to high leverage situations.  After some initial success, he has some rough outings and is sent down.  You don't want to mess with the confidence of a top prospect, who is the one player in the organization who could reasonably be very, very valuable in the second half.  The only reason that Stroman is not in the low leverage role on the big club is Anthopoulos' reluctance to part with bullpen depth.  It's a failing.
Richard S.S. - Monday, May 19 2014 @ 11:15 AM EDT (#286504) #
The Bullpen has Casey Janssen to Close, aided by whoever hasn't pitched as much to Close when he can't. The 'Pen has Brett Cecil and Aaron Loup as LHP with Steve Delabar and Dustin McGowan as RHP. This is Gibbons' core. One of these pitchers are almost always called first, second, third...

Cecil, Loup, Delabar and McGowan could pitch at least two innings if needed. Any need for "long" Relief is handled by Esmil Rogers and Todd Redmond with varying degrees of success. The need for an eighth Reliever, right now, is unnecessary. Marcus Stroman would not pitch enough to stay sharp.

At the time of his callup, he produced an amazing 'lift' to the Team, and over his first three appearances it was exciting. Something happened and he got hammered twice, and it wasn't as important as the Team was winning more.

Someone pitches the 24th, 5th Starter time, at home to Oakland. It is more likely to be Liam Hendriks, but possibly Sean Nolin. For Stroman to not burn an option he needs to be back here by June 5th/6th. That amounts to three starts (18.0-21.0 IP at most) for Stroman. Over that time, Happ and "who?" will make three Starts. Decisions will then be made that might remake this radically.

Until then, relax, good things will happen.
92-93 - Monday, May 19 2014 @ 12:45 PM EDT (#286507) #
The message seems consistent to me - you pitch well, you earn your way on to the big league club when a spot opens up out of necessity. Then, when you pitch poorly in 3 out of 5 appearances, you leave management with no option but to send you back to AAA when the roster is being shuffled and somebody needs to be sent down.
Mike Green - Monday, May 19 2014 @ 12:52 PM EDT (#286509) #
It's a bad way to develop pitching. 

I guess it shouldn't be a surprise.  The club has spent a lot of draft "currency" on starting pitchers, and the rate of return has been pretty crappy.  Obviously you never know with pitchers, but better organizations tend to not call up a pitcher until they are pretty sure he is ready and then don't get deterred by two good outings followed by three bad ones.
92-93 - Monday, May 19 2014 @ 01:00 PM EDT (#286510) #
Last year, the Orioles needed a starter in May, so they called up top prospect Kevin Gausman from AA. He got his teeth handed to him, so they sent him down to the minors, this time to AAA. He made one start and was recalled 10 days later out of necessity to fill a bullpen role, something he did well over 4 appearances. That didn't matter though, because when he was no longer needed due to a numbers game, he was sent back to AAA. He made another 7 starts in AAA before his September recall back to the big leagues to help out again in the bullpen. You could just as easily say Buck made them mishandle Gausman. Teams do this all the time, and it's pretty much impossible for us to say from the outside looking in that there's a wrong and right way to be breaking in a specific arm into the major leagues.
Mike Green - Monday, May 19 2014 @ 01:17 PM EDT (#286511) #
The Rays don't do it.  And yes, I wouldn't use the example of the O's handling of Gausman as a textbook.  The O's don't have a great record at developing pitchers either.

scottt - Monday, May 19 2014 @ 01:29 PM EDT (#286512) #
It's not a fair comparison because the Rays have better prospects.

The opposition hit .419  against Stroman. Find me a team who put up with that for 5 starts or more.
Mike Green - Monday, May 19 2014 @ 01:38 PM EDT (#286513) #
Stroman made 5 relief appearances, not starts.  In those 5 appearances (34 batters), he gave up 1 home run, 1 walk and 1 HBP while striking out 4.  Of the other 27 batters, 16 hit ground balls, 5 hit line drives and 6 hit fly balls in the park.  This would be consistent with one very typical 8 inning start, allowing 4 runs, assuming average luck and defence. 
uglyone - Monday, May 19 2014 @ 02:17 PM EDT (#286514) #
Sure the rays do it.

At 23yrs old in 2012, Archer was called up in june, made two starts, and was sent back down. He was called back up in september, and had two more starts and two relief appearances.

At 23yrs old in 2011, Cobb was called up at the end of may, made 9 starts, and was sent back down at the start of august. Started 2012 in the minors before being called up for good in may.

At age 22 in 2008, Price was called up in september and made one start and four relief appearances. Started 2009 back in the minors before being called up for good in may.

At 23yrs old in 2010, Hellickson was called up in august and made four starts then went back down. He came back up in september and made 6 relief appearances.

At 23yrs old in 2013, odorizzi was called up in may for two starts and sent back. Called up again in june for one start and one relief appearance and sent back. Called up in august for one start and sent back. Called up in sept for two relief appearances. Started this year back in the minors, then called up in may.

This is routine stuff, for any team.

The jays needed bullpen help, so they used him. now they need rotation help, so they'll stretch him back out again. Not a big deal....and nothing to do with his last couple of bad appearances. They'd still be making this move even if he had pitched well, mist likely.
Mike Green - Monday, May 19 2014 @ 02:40 PM EDT (#286515) #
The Price (a September call-up following a late return to the majors for service time reasons) and Hellickson (a brief hiatus around September 1 because of post-season roster makeup) situations were nothing like this.  In Archer's case, they gave him two starts and were not counting on him for anything that year.  He succeeded and was sent back.   Cobb was something like this in 2011, but reversed.  He had two rough starts (total 10 innings) and then had 3 good starts before being sent down as the Rays had Jeff Niemann returning from injury.  The message from the Rays to Cobb was clear- we have confidence in you when you struggle initially. 

In this case, the decision to send Stroman down is not like that at all. We've got an opening in the rotation and you were the best candidate, but you had a couple of rough outings in the pen and that's it- back to Buffalo.  Anyways, I hope Stroman takes it in his stride or better yet, uses it to motivate himself to do better.
uglyone - Monday, May 19 2014 @ 03:13 PM EDT (#286516) #
Price came up a reliever, went back down to start for 2 months, came back up a starter.

Hellickson came up as a starter, went back down, came back up as a reliever, then switched back to the rotation the next season.

any difference is minimal.

Stroman isn't being sent down because he was struggling, but because they need rotation help.
uglyone - Monday, May 19 2014 @ 03:16 PM EDT (#286517) #
and as a reminded, Stroman last started on April 29th, 20 days ago. Next opening in the rotation is in 5 days, which would make it 25 days since Stroman last starter, in which he's had 5 relief outings of less than 2ip. He needs to be stretched back out.
Richard S.S. - Monday, May 19 2014 @ 03:17 PM EDT (#286518) #
It's always been the choice of the Organization that Stroman Start. I don't think anyone has heard anything different. It's possible they discovered something they want him to work on. A top pitcher doesn't go from effective to a disaster (but still getting people out) that quick unless something changed, or needs to change. It all depends on when he starts as being how quick he's back.
John Northey - Monday, May 19 2014 @ 03:41 PM EDT (#286521) #
I suspect the Jays felt also that Stroman needed a 'reality check' with the callup. If he blew people away in the majors then he'd still be here and getting that start, but instead he was OK in some respects (6 1/3 IP, 1 HR 1 BB 4 SO) and so in other (13 hits, 10 runs 9 earned) with almost all the damage in his last 2 appearances.  Best to get his feet under him again with a likely call-up in the not too distant future.
China fan - Monday, May 19 2014 @ 03:50 PM EDT (#286522) #
".....You don't want to mess with the confidence of a top prospect..."

In the case of Stroman, that's a purely academic concern.  He is the least likely player in the Jays system to fret and worry.  He has a supreme sense of self-confidence, and it's extremely unlikely to be dented by anything the Jays do. 

When he said his goodbyes to the Jays in the clubhouse after his demotion, he shook hands with every player and said:  "See you soon."  The beat writers said they've never seen a prospect do that before.  His confidence was not messed with.
dan gordon - Monday, May 19 2014 @ 06:28 PM EDT (#286527) #
Another new arm to contend for a bullpen spot. The Jays acquired Raul Valdes from Houston for cash or a PTBNL.
Richard S.S. - Monday, May 19 2014 @ 06:30 PM EDT (#286528) #
Stroman could start tonight if A.A. wanted. As long as he's available, with 3 starts in, by June 5th.
scottt - Monday, May 19 2014 @ 08:36 PM EDT (#286529) #
This would be consistent with one very typical 8 inning start.

129 pitches? That's hardly a typical start.

The scary thing is that he never got through a lineup a second or third time.

Jonny German - Tuesday, May 20 2014 @ 04:53 AM EDT (#286531) #
I think sending Stroman to the minors now is a reasonable thing to do. If he's going to be a difference maker for the team this year it'll be as a starter, and he'll have a much better chance of early success if he's stretched out. And with him starting today in Buffalo it lines up very nicely for him to make three starts there and then replace either Hendriks on June 4 or Happ on June 5.

Speaking of Hendriks, I do like the idea of him coming up and making 2 starts. The odds are against him, but youneverknow, he could be the next Doug Davis. Having him make a couple starts in Toronto will help determine if he's really figured something out this year.
China fan - Tuesday, May 20 2014 @ 08:02 AM EDT (#286532) #
"....Having him make a couple starts in Toronto will help determine if he's really figured something out this year...."

And if it transpires that Hendriks hasn't figured it out, there are 3 pitchers who can bail him out for multiple innings each: Redmond, Rogers and McGowan.  So the gamble is worth taking.  There's a big payoff if the Jays can turn Hendriks into a major-league starter. 
bpoz - Tuesday, May 20 2014 @ 11:46 AM EDT (#286536) #
I like the R Valdes trade. A lefty with experience in the Majors and he does not need to be added to the 40 man roster.

I am very interested in what actually happens with Stroman this year. There usually is a need for starting pitching in the Majors all year long as both injuries and poor performances occur. So if the need arises and he does not get the call then I will be very disappointed. By need arises I mean that part of the 5 man rotation is not that good.

I am liking the recent performances of J Stilson, R Tepera & R Rasmussen. They all have experience starting, so they should have enough pitching variety to succeed in the Majors as relievers. I mean quality, variety pitching.
Mike Green - Tuesday, May 20 2014 @ 04:54 PM EDT (#286540) #
The Jays send out 6 RHHs and 3 switch-hitters to face Doubront tonight.  He has a small platoon split. 

Happ has only faced 2 batters in Fenway in his career.  It's a bit of a challenge for him. 
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