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Me with the floorshow, kickin' with your torso, boys getting high and the girls even more so.

The lefties grab center stage in the middle game of this series. Matt Moore (9-3, 4.13) gets the start for the Rays. and Mark Buehrle (4-4, 4.60) hopes to rock the Jays to another win. First pitch is set for 7:10 pm Eastern.

Tonight's @BlueJays lineup: Cabrera-DH Bautista-RF Encarnacion-3B Lind-1B DeRosa-2B Davis-LF Rasmus-CF Arencibia-C Izturis-SS
Game Thread 6/25 @ Tampa Bay | 44 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
China fan - Tuesday, June 25 2013 @ 03:25 PM EDT (#275010) #
An interesting article on MLB.com, quoting Baseball Prospectus and the Fielding Bible, claims that the Jays have dramatically improved their defense and are now among the best defensive teams in the majors. This seems to contradict a lot of the chatter that we've been hearing around these parts, so I'd be curious to see people's reaction to this. Here's an excerpt from the MLB.com article, with the BP and FB analysis plus some comments of their own:

"Entering Monday, the Blue Jays ranked third in the Majors in park-adjusted defensive efficiency, according to Baseball Prospectus. According to Team Runs Saved, as calculated by the Fielding Bible, they were eighth-best. Those marks are improved from 26th and 22nd, respectively, in late April. This ought to be a good defensive team, especially when healthy. The regular left side of the infield has as much ability as any in baseball. The outfield is a quality unit as well."
ayjackson - Tuesday, June 25 2013 @ 03:39 PM EDT (#275012) #
That's interesting and encouraging, but it reminds me of something that I cam across the other day on Fangraphs.

Our normal outfield defense of Melky-Colby-Jose are sporting uzr/150s this year of -0.8/11.9/24.0 respectively. Each rating seems way over what I would expect for the three and I'm wondering if they aren't benefiting from a fair bit of Ball-in-Play luck this year.
Mike Green - Tuesday, June 25 2013 @ 03:48 PM EDT (#275014) #
Rasmus' defensive numbers this year are pretty consistent with what he has done before.  Cabrera's and Bautista's do look high.  The club pitcher's HR/FB rate is 12.3%, which is high.  I don't remember too many balls off the wall, and it may be that more are flying over them and fewer are hitting them- doesn't help the pitchers but helps the outfielders UZR.
China fan - Tuesday, June 25 2013 @ 03:48 PM EDT (#275015) #
I'm also wondering if it's due to the extreme ground-ball tendencies of Wang and Rogers, which can make a decent defense look above-average if it doesn't commit too many errors.

Lawrie's presence in the defense in May must have helped the improvement too. But this is still a defense that's been criticized often by many fans (especially Cabrera, Bonifacio, Izturis, even Bautista and Kawasaki). Why do the numbers look so good? Or is it a product of metrics that aren't sufficiently refined?
China fan - Tuesday, June 25 2013 @ 03:49 PM EDT (#275016) #
My above comment is about the BP and FB analysis, not the outfield numbers, of course.
uglyone - Tuesday, June 25 2013 @ 03:54 PM EDT (#275017) #
I've been surprised by the great outfield ratings from the start of the year. I think at least Rasmus' are legit. though Bautista has been pretty flawless out there too, come to think of it. Cabrera lacks range but that's not uncommon in LF, and he makes the plays he gets to. Davis is a good backup, too. But the IF I still can't buy is good defensively, especially with Lawrie out. Lawrie gives them elite 3B defense when he's in, but the rest of the infield is below average at best IMO.

The numbers over half a season are generally not very useful, but here's the UZR/150 numbers from fangraphs just to save anyone the time, with their AL ranks:

RF: +12.8 (T-4th)
CF: +7.6 (5th)
LF: +2.1 (8th)
3B: -3.9 (9th)
C: -4drs (T-9th)
SS: -7.6 (11th)
1B: -6.6 (12th)
2B: -5.9 (13th)

I'd guess that's probably fairly close to what's been happening out there. Doesn't seem to be any glaring number at odds with what we've seen on the field so far I don't think.
Parker - Tuesday, June 25 2013 @ 04:14 PM EDT (#275022) #
It looks like a full season of the infield D we've seen so far would cost the Jays almost 50 runs in a season, without even counting defensive "contributions" from the catcher.
ayjackson - Tuesday, June 25 2013 @ 04:26 PM EDT (#275024) #
Kawasaki/Boni have been fairly neutral at SS/2B per UZR/150.
ayjackson - Tuesday, June 25 2013 @ 04:31 PM EDT (#275025) #
UZR/150 with at least 275.0 innings this year

1B Encarnacion -10.8
1B Lind 2.3
2B Bonifacio -1.8
3B Lawrie 7.3
SS Kawasaki -0.8
LF Cabrera -0.8
CF Rasmus 11.9
RF Bautista 24.0
Mike Green - Tuesday, June 25 2013 @ 04:52 PM EDT (#275026) #
Incidentally, if I were trying to seriously evaluate team defence over a 3 month period using numerical methods, I would not start with UZR or DRS. I would start with ERA-FIP (the Jays are at a healthy -.43) and then look at batted ball and runners on performances to try to attribute differences to pitching vs. defence.  In the case of the 2013 Jays, the pitchers have allowed many fewer line drives than average and generated more pop-ups than average.  The pitchers have performed better with runners on than with nobody on base.  You'd need to put numbers to the line drive, pop-up and runners on factors, and then do the math. 

Ideally, the sum of the UZR/DRS (don't forget the pitchers) should be comparable to the result using the wholesale team defence vs. pitchers approach.

Mike Green - Tuesday, June 25 2013 @ 04:58 PM EDT (#275027) #
Incidentally, in the batter vs. pitcher department, Encarnacion is 2-7 with a homer, 7 walks (!) and 1 strikeout against Moore.  I guess Moore has pitched around him.  Gibbons apparently decided on the basis of the batter vs. pitcher numbers that he'd rather have Rajai Davis bat 5th and Arencibia bat 8th against Moore.  That works for me.  Rajai is actually a better hitter...
Mike Forbes - Tuesday, June 25 2013 @ 05:28 PM EDT (#275032) #
Brett Lawrie will start a rehab assignment tomorrow. Sergio Santos (remember him?) will start pitching in Dunedin next Monday.
Wildrose - Tuesday, June 25 2013 @ 05:38 PM EDT (#275033) #
The buzz is back. T.V. Ratings at 900,000 for last Fridays Orioles game verses the low 400's for the Atlanta series.

Naturally there is a host of factors, but winning certainly helps.
Wildrose - Tuesday, June 25 2013 @ 05:51 PM EDT (#275035) #
Imagine the various roster machinations involved with these two returning. I think this place might implode.....
uglyone - Tuesday, June 25 2013 @ 05:56 PM EDT (#275037) #
Interesting idea, Mike....an easy way to approach that might be to just use ERA-SIERA, as while I have no idea what the details of it are, SIERA apparently considers and weights all that batted ball data.

Heck, I think I'm gonna try that. Seems like a dang good idea, unless I'm missing something.
Thomas - Tuesday, June 25 2013 @ 07:04 PM EDT (#275039) #
Apparently, in today's pre-game media scrum Gibbons suggested the team knows who will go down, assuming there are no injuries or anything. On the subject of who that will be, he said Wagner has become a "key guy" in the bullpen. Gibbons also noted Kawasaki is fundamentally sound at 2B and that he likes having four left-handers in the pen.
scottt - Tuesday, June 25 2013 @ 07:34 PM EDT (#275040) #
Would have been surprised to hear Gibby say he doesn't know who's going down.

It's hard to imagine Reyes going the rest of the year without being regularly rested. Anyone who ever had a serious ankle sprain will tell you the same thing.

If it was my call, I'd keep Lawrie down until he starts hitting.

And indeed, it looks like Moore pitches around Encarnation. I understand Lind is having a great year, but has anyone told Moore?

Magpie - Tuesday, June 25 2013 @ 07:53 PM EDT (#275041) #
Predictions, then! Who's going down? Frazer? Brown?

I say Kawasaki.
sam - Tuesday, June 25 2013 @ 07:53 PM EDT (#275042) #
Hilariously awesome swing by Rasmus.  Ball must have been 6 feet in front of the plate and Rasmus swung at it like a champ. 
Magpie - Tuesday, June 25 2013 @ 08:21 PM EDT (#275043) #
And it sure looked like Rasmus was sitting on the breaking ball in his second at bat.

Moore can simply blow a 92 mph heater past major league hitters, the same way guys who throw much harder do. (Something in his delivery or how he hides the ball.) So some of the batters are laying off the heater and looking for a breaking ball. But Moore hasn't been able to throw strikes with his slider or his changeup. He's figured that out now, cut down on the breaking balls, and getting hitters in the hole with the fastball.
Chuck - Tuesday, June 25 2013 @ 08:41 PM EDT (#275044) #
Everything about this game has been ugly, regardless of who you are rooting for.
Mike Green - Tuesday, June 25 2013 @ 08:43 PM EDT (#275045) #
I think the club is going to send down Kawasaki, as well.  Sit him out tonight, ship him out tomorrow.  I hope to be wrong.

Is it me or have the Rays gotten all the bang/bang plays so far this series?  About 1/2 the calls appear to have been wrong.

Magpie - Tuesday, June 25 2013 @ 08:48 PM EDT (#275046) #
Molina was certainly safe - cunning, veteran move on the slide.

Ah. Zaun's been watching the same game as me! (Had the sound muted until a few minutes ago...)
Hodgie - Tuesday, June 25 2013 @ 08:48 PM EDT (#275047) #
Someone should mention to Buehrle that Yadier Molina plays for St. Louis.
Mike Green - Tuesday, June 25 2013 @ 08:53 PM EDT (#275048) #
Molina was safe.  Myers was out the inning prior.  Last night, there were several close plays at first base.  It appeared to me that the Jay batter was safe at least once, and possibly twice. 
krose - Tuesday, June 25 2013 @ 08:56 PM EDT (#275049) #
Back to April!
Thomas - Tuesday, June 25 2013 @ 08:57 PM EDT (#275050) #
My prediction is Kawasaki, too. Recently, the front office/management has never seemed to subscribe to the philosophy that you can carry too many relievers and we've also seen roster moves based on options.
Mike Green - Tuesday, June 25 2013 @ 09:15 PM EDT (#275051) #
Lind chased quite a few pitches out of the zone from Moore (both up and down).  He needs a day off against a lefty.
scottt - Tuesday, June 25 2013 @ 09:19 PM EDT (#275052) #
The problem tonight has more to do with 11 strikeouts in 6 innings. Lind needs to go back to his platoon role.

Kawasaki got the night because of the lefty on the mound.  Doesn't really mean anything.

Mike Green - Tuesday, June 25 2013 @ 09:27 PM EDT (#275053) #
I think that the purpose of the delay in Reyes' arrival with the club was to put some distance between Kawasaki's reception at home and his demotion.  Call me cynical.
Hodgie - Tuesday, June 25 2013 @ 09:41 PM EDT (#275054) #
I am always so conflicted when it comes to the Rays. I have a tremendous amount of respect for how the organization operates while at the same time harboring a deep hatred of their ability to transmorgify into the 1950's Yankees seemingly every time the home nine visit the Trop.
Chuck - Tuesday, June 25 2013 @ 09:55 PM EDT (#275055) #
If the Rays can stock their team with such highly coveted players as Loney, Johnson, Escobar and Molina, what chance do their opponents have?
Chuck - Tuesday, June 25 2013 @ 10:12 PM EDT (#275056) #

A couple of slash lines that look more similar than one might have imagined:

Bautista 248/347/477
Rasmus  246/321/472

 

Chuck - Tuesday, June 25 2013 @ 10:19 PM EDT (#275057) #
Japanese night in NY. Darvish vs. Kuroda. Girardi, with him team reeling, pitches Rivera in the top of the 9th of a tie game. Suzuki homers in the bottom of the 9th for the Yankee win.
Thomas - Tuesday, June 25 2013 @ 10:42 PM EDT (#275058) #
Kawasaki draws the short straw and has been sent to Triple-A. Ortiz is placed on the 60-Day DL.
John Northey - Tuesday, June 25 2013 @ 10:44 PM EDT (#275059) #
I could see Kawasaki down for the short term, while Lawrie is out.  Why?  So they can keep the current mix/match at 3B/2B/1B/DH going (DeRosa/Encarnacion at 3B, Izturis/Bonifacio at 2B Encarnacion/Lind at  1B, Lind/outfielder needing day off at DH with Davis going to the outfield those other days).  Then, once Lawrie is back things change.  You then have had Kawasaki play 2B for awhile in AAA and have had more time to find a buyer for Izturis or Bonifacio or both.  Then you can put Kawasaki at 2B with DeRosa in a platoon or Kawasaki mixed with Bonifacio or Izturis.  Or you just go with DeRosa and one of Bonifacio or Izturis.

Not a perfect solution, but could cover things.  Ideally you trade for someone to play 2B everyday who is under team control for at least 3 years and then pick between the 4 guys 2 to be the backup infielders (odds are DeRosa and Izturis due to the 3 year deal for Izturis). 

The pen becomes more of an issue once Santos is ready as 9 relievers would be totally nuts.  Not to mention if/when Morrow and Happ are ready and if Romero every gets it together.  Still, these are the problems the Jays want - where too many decent players are available and a need is there to trade a few to get a truly outstanding player instead.
Four Seamer - Tuesday, June 25 2013 @ 10:53 PM EDT (#275060) #
As long as Bonifacio remains on the big league roster, any complaints about having too many decent players available will fall on deaf ears.
John Northey - Tuesday, June 25 2013 @ 11:27 PM EDT (#275061) #
Well, Bonifacio has had hits in his last two games.... OK, that is reallllly stretching it.  Clearly the club loves his raw speed and feels he will get better in all other ways.  Not sure why, but for whatever reason they must think that way.
Four Seamer - Tuesday, June 25 2013 @ 11:52 PM EDT (#275062) #
Oh, to be as lucky as Bonifacio in having a boss who bestows loves unconditionally, regardless of a thin track records and better performing colleagues. 
katman - Wednesday, June 26 2013 @ 12:48 AM EDT (#275063) #
"Me with the floorshow, kickin' with your torso, boys getting high and the girls even more so."

Somehow, the part of the video where the guy rips his own ass off seems oddly prescient for tonight.

This team has looked careless and unsinspired again the last 2 games. Not sure hoe demoting Muni will work, but having to call a team meeting for it is not a great sign. One GM said of AA earlier this year that he's good at collecting interesting players, but that's not the same thing as a team.

Reyes is great in his own way, in that department, but they just messed with something that I'd rather they hadn't messed with. Even if the price was losing a guy like Perez. Whom we're going to lose anyway soon, as others come off the DL.
John Northey - Wednesday, June 26 2013 @ 12:49 AM EDT (#275064) #
The next two big crunches are Santos coming back (requiring a reliever to go) and Lawrie's return.  Not to mention Happ and Morrow.  Santos will probably mean the end for Perez unless AA is determined to keep everyone available and sends Loup or Wagner down instead, but will they go to a 7 man pen for Lawrie or will they clear out one of the 3 backups (DeRosa, Izturis, Bonifacio) leaving the other 2 to share 2B with Kawasaki a phone call away in Buffalo?

So current DL list...
Starting pitchers: Morrow, Happ, Drabek, Hutchison - last two optioned to AAA most likely
Relievers: Santos, Luis Perez, Ramon Ortiz - Santos in majors, Perez & Ortiz to AAA most likely
Hitter: Lawrie

Thus room at some point has to be made for 2 starters, 1 reliever and 1 infielder.  Rogers will probably be moved back to the pen first, but then someone has to go down from the pen.  Wang almost has to be send down or to the pen as well to make room, but who is shifted for him?  Loup and Wagner are the only ones with options I think and Perez might clear waivers as might McGowan but I doubt the Jays want to risk losing either right now.

As to trades, the only clear cut position needing improvement is 2B with 3B being weak but Lawrie should get the benefit of the doubt for 2013 (age, defense).  Pitching is always nice, but I don't see the Jays selling what is left on the farm to get yet another starter.  The budget is maxed out too according to AA so any trade needs to be cost-neutral or close to it.  Tough to do.

Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, June 26 2013 @ 01:38 AM EDT (#275065) #
If we're throwing hypotheticals out there: Jansen for Nick Castellanos, who says no? I think Cecil/Delabar/Wagner can step it up and Castellanos is a long term fit @ 3rd or LF.
whiterasta80 - Wednesday, June 26 2013 @ 09:13 AM EDT (#275069) #
My hope is that the demotion of Kawasaki was to get him some experience at 2B and avoid any potential MLB growing pains in the transition.
92-93 - Wednesday, June 26 2013 @ 10:07 AM EDT (#275073) #
"I think that the purpose of the delay in Reyes' arrival with the club was to put some distance between Kawasaki's reception at home and his demotion."

You better be wrong, because this type of thinking would be inexcusable.

If Kawasaki was a bag of tools and not a valuable baseball player maybe AA could appreciate what he's brought to the table thus far.
Game Thread 6/25 @ Tampa Bay | 44 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.