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The storm is comin' through and it's runnin' right up on you.

Justin Masterson (10-7, 3.78) for the Tribe. Esmil Rogers (3-4, 3.84) for the Jays. Look out for the first pitch at 7:05 pm Eastern.

Tonight's @BlueJays lineup: Reyes-SS Bautista-RF Encarnacion-1B Lind-DH Rasmus-CF Izturis-3B Thole-C Bonifacio-LF Kawasaki-2B
Game Thread 7/10 @ Cleveland | 61 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
John Northey - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 03:49 PM EDT (#276144) #
Well, the entire 8 man pen should be available as only Delabar was used yesterday and only for 6 pitches.  Everyone else has had 2 days off in a row (since Monday was an off day).  Meanwhile Cleveland's pen... wow.  Allen has been used 3 days in a row and 6 of the last 8, Perez 4 straight Smith 3 straight, Albers 4 of the past 7 days with 20+ pitches in 2 of the past 4 days, Pestano had 2 days off after pitching in 2 straight, Shaw had yesterday off but pitched in 4 of the past 7.  Then you get the 'very well rested' Hill (4 days straight then had 3 days off). Francona seems to love to lean on his relievers a lot and makes them throw in as many games in a row as possible - kind of the opposite of Gibbons who seems to baby them.  Given the Jays team bullpen ERA is 2.95 (#2, KC is at 2.94) and Cleveland's is 4.18 (11th in the AL) I suspect Gibbons does better here.

So the plan should be to wear down the starter as much as possible then hit their pen hard.  Odds are then that many will swing at the first pitch :P

92-93 - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 04:10 PM EDT (#276146) #
Again with the correlation between bullpen ERA and management, ignoring that the components of each bullpen are completely different. You can't make chicken salad out of chicken shit. If you want to give Gibbons credit for managing Cecil well I can accept that, but Janssen, Delabar, Loup, and Oliver are all having basically the same or slightly inferior seasons to last year under Farrell. It's more than likely the Jays just have good bullpen arms.
92-93 - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 04:25 PM EDT (#276148) #
Bonifacio gets the start in left vs. Masterson. We all know what Rajai can do vs. RHP, but management's insistence on running Bonifacio out there this often regardless of the results is really frustrating. Make the guy earn his playing time, because he's certainly played poorly enough to lose it, and the worst part is that it feels like we haven't seen Bonifacio make any adjustments all season. He still pathetically attempts to draw in the infielders on first pitches frequently and can be seen taking full hacks with his warning track power instead of trying to put the ball in play and using his alleged speed to get on base.
Mike Green - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 04:31 PM EDT (#276151) #
Team bullpen WPA is an indicator of something.  Last year, it was 3.56 for the entire year.  It is 4.32 for the year to date (which pro-rates to about 7.5). There is an argument that the bullpen has added roughly 4 wins this year. Brett Cecil's improvement obviously has a fair bit to do with that.
smcs - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 04:37 PM EDT (#276152) #
Bonifacio gets the start in left vs. Masterson. We all know what Rajai can do vs. RHP, but management's insistence on running Bonifacio out there this often regardless of the results is really frustrating.

Masterson's OPS versus righties this year is .498. That's a pretty good reason to sit Davis for Bonifacio.
Mike Green - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 04:43 PM EDT (#276153) #
Bonifacio in LF?  Career .254/.316/.334 against RHP. 2013- .220/.246/.346.  I would have left Rajai in there.
92-93 - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 04:43 PM EDT (#276154) #
It doesn't matter what side of the plate you hit from if you can't hit. Bonifacio's career OPS vs. RHP is WORSE than Rajai's, and Davis can't hit righties at all. When you factor in recent play, defensive value, and baserunning, it's a pretty easy decision for me.
CeeBee - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 04:47 PM EDT (#276155) #
Maybe they're showcasing Bonifacio for a trade..... ahem yeah, that'll do it.
Mike Green - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 04:50 PM EDT (#276156) #
Bonifacio's trade value, in light of his years of service, is a smidge above 0.  A contending team who wants a pinch-runner for the stretch drive might give him a non-zero value. 
uglyone - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 04:57 PM EDT (#276157) #
I am glad to see how hard they are working to find new and creative ways to get Bonifacio in the lineup at all costs.

uglyone - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 04:59 PM EDT (#276158) #
Add yet another thing for me to be frustrated with this year.....




Gregor Chisholm @gregorMLB
Sounding more and more likely that Lawrie will be coming back as a second baseman. #BlueJays

Gregor Chisholm @gregorMLB
Gibbons talked at length this afternoon about possibility of pairing Lawrie with Reyes up the middle. Likes the athleticism. #BlueJays

Gregor Chisholm @gregorMLB
Gibbons ruled out using Bautista at third base. Said Encarnacion could occasionally start there but not often. Mostly would be DeRosa/Maicer
uglyone - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 05:01 PM EDT (#276159) #
"Again with the correlation between bullpen ERA and management, ignoring that the components of each bullpen are completely different. You can't make chicken salad out of chicken shit. If you want to give Gibbons credit for managing Cecil well I can accept that, but Janssen, Delabar, Loup, and Oliver are all having basically the same or slightly inferior seasons to last year under Farrell. It's more than likely the Jays just have good bullpen arms."

Don't think I agree with that. A manager like Maddon has been making salad out of poop for years.

What Gibbons has done with the 'pen this year, especially given the implosion of his starting staff, is nothing less than remarkable - especially considering he has basically the same set of options as Farrell had last year.
Mike Forbes - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 05:02 PM EDT (#276160) #
There must be a typo in the lineup... Thole is starting and catching some guy not named Dickey? Doesn't Gibby know that despite Masterson's dominance of righties that JPA is a "run producer"?
Alex Obal - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 05:09 PM EDT (#276161) #
So the idea is to move Lawrie to second in the name of (1) letting Izturis remain at third and (2) having the option to play Encarnacion there?
CeeBee - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 05:21 PM EDT (#276164) #
I think it's the " being further from the wall" idea. Can't be the "turning the double play" one.
robertdudek - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 05:30 PM EDT (#276167) #
The carriage is a pumpkin and the slipper is lost: Kawasaki is currently the 4th coldest hitter in MLB, according to a measure I devised called "Heat Score". (full explanation and current stats at Coach's/my relatively new website HERE)
robertdudek - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 05:49 PM EDT (#276168) #
Masterson is especially tough on righthanded batters - has been his whole career. If Bonifacio and Rajai are at all close versus RHP, remember, that is against the "average" RHP. Masterson is extreme so it makes sense to load up on lefty bats tonight.

Plus Rajai needs a day off after playing nearly everyday for the past two weeks.

1783 PA/ ..220/.299/.295 slashline v RHB
2301 PA/ .287/.364/.425 slashline v LHB

That's a big sample and that is extreme for a starting pitcher.


sam - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 05:58 PM EDT (#276169) #
I don't agree with the Lawrie move, or with the logic.  Wouldn't Lawrie's athleticism be better served at third base--the position which requires more athleticism?  Is third base not the more difficult position to find a franchise player?  Off-season moves aside, I think the player personnel moves have been poor. 
Alex Obal - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 06:58 PM EDT (#276170) #
Masterson is extreme so it makes sense to load up on lefty bats tonight.

Cheap shot about using "bats" loosely goes here.
John Northey - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 07:12 PM EDT (#276171) #
Well, traditionally 2B has been a lot harder to find good offense from than 3B.  Checking stats for MLB this year...
2B: 264/324/395 719 OPS
3B: 263/326/419 744 OPS

Sorted by OPS you get 1B/RF/LF/3B/DH (by 001 point)/CF/2B/CA/SS and waaay down there P (341 OPS).  SS is at 675 for OPS btw (ah for the old days of Jeter/Nomar/A-Rod). 

So there is a clear difference in offensive production between the two (25 OPS points is a fair amount).  The big question is who do the Jays have for 3B that wouldn't play well at 2B.  Right now either way Izturis and DeRosa play as #1/#2 with Bonifacio and Kawasaki as the backups.  Seems like the Jays have given up on Bonifacio at 3B (phew...now just 2 more slots to go) and Kawasaki's star is fading fast.  DeRosa and Izturis are doing well at 3B but I figure they'd be fine at 2B too.  Guess the big question is if Lawrie can handle 2B and if the Jays have a trade up their sleeve for 3B but cannot find one for 2B.  Burns, Andy is the best prospect at either position in A+ or higher (he is in A+/AA, 22, and hitting 301/363/494).  Schimpf, Ryan is 25 in AA so a bit old for a prospect but also hitting well at 3B - 229/356/468.  So maybe the Jays see one of them (OK, Burns) as able to reach the majors by 2015 so they just need a 1 1/2 year stopgap, but at 2B the wait would be much, much longer.

Eh, my best guess is a trade for a solid 3B who would be here for 3+ years is ready to go once they know if Lawrie can handle 2B.
John Northey - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 07:19 PM EDT (#276172) #
Well, Gibbons actually was taking a pen that last year had a 4.33 ERA and now has them sub-3.  That is pretty impressive.  The top two guys from last year are here still (Janssen and Oliver) but #3/4/5 in appearances are gone (Frasor, Cordero, Luis Perez), Loup is here but Lyon is gone (he was effective last year).  Delabar the Lincoln were next in appearances, then Villanueva who is gone.  Cecil had just 12 appearances (11 IP, 4 BB 9 SO 7 ER).  He has had to deal with AAAA guys being core (Wagner & Perez), with 8 guys who were called up to just eat innings.  Before this season everyone felt the pen was a weakness, instead it is a massive strength so 92-93 I would have trouble saying 'it is just good bullpen arms' or that they are 'having the same year as last year'.
CeeBee - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 08:30 PM EDT (#276173) #
So if the Jays lose tonight they will fall to 43-47 with 90 games played. To reach 90 wins they would have to go 47-25 the rest of the way...... just sayin!
smcs - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 08:38 PM EDT (#276174) #
That was some Corey Patterson-level base-running from Reyes there.
Chuck - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 08:41 PM EDT (#276175) #
If second base had been twenty feet closer, he might have made it.
Alex Obal - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 08:41 PM EDT (#276176) #
He's got a ways to go. The real Patterson would have reversed course two-thirds of the way to second, and turned it into a rundown.
CeeBee - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 08:42 PM EDT (#276177) #
Like Masterson needs any help. Jeepers!
uglyone - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 08:50 PM EDT (#276178) #
for the love of sweet mary mother of jesus, knock this runner in, Rasmus.
uglyone - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 08:54 PM EDT (#276179) #
sweet, Thole, Boni, and Kawasaki coming up with the tying runner at 3rd and 2 outs.

what could go wrong?
uglyone - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 08:58 PM EDT (#276180) #
are they really going to let Bonifacio hit in the highest leverage situation in the game?
Alex Obal - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 09:01 PM EDT (#276181) #
Yeah, I know, I would've handed out the bases-loaded intentional walk too.

Bonifacio!

uglyone - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 09:01 PM EDT (#276182) #
OH MY GOD HE DID IT

HE DID IT

HE HIT THE BALL
CeeBee - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 09:03 PM EDT (#276183) #
Bonifacio getting a hit...hmmmmm, are there any scouts in the building?
eudaimon - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 09:05 PM EDT (#276184) #
Miracles do happen!
Magpie - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 09:09 PM EDT (#276185) #
Blind squirrel prepares dinner.
Mike Green - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 09:15 PM EDT (#276186) #
Some players are just born clutch.
CeeBee - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 09:17 PM EDT (#276187) #
Lost in the OMG Boni stuff is an excellent outing by Mr. Rogers.
hypobole - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 09:20 PM EDT (#276188) #
We can thank Francona for that one. Bonifacio hit Masterson's 120th pitch. I thought he would have been relieved after he was nowhere close to the plate during the Izturis AB.
uglyone - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 09:39 PM EDT (#276189) #
bases loaded, 2 outs in the 8th, is where you bring in your well-rested control-freak closer for an extra out.

IMO.
Petey Baseball - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 09:49 PM EDT (#276190) #
Colby Rasmus is light-years ahead at the plate from where he was.

Lots of walks, good power, and has really shortened his swing to allow for opposite field line drives.




uglyone - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 09:57 PM EDT (#276191) #
KA WA SA KI

KA WA SA KI

KA WA SA KI
Alex Obal - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 09:58 PM EDT (#276192) #
Bonifacio and Kawasaki. There is no answer.
uglyone - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 10:00 PM EDT (#276193) #
Thomas - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 10:01 PM EDT (#276194) #
Kawasaki. That is all.
uglyone - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 10:24 PM EDT (#276195) #
WHY ISN"T BONI PLAYING SECOND!?
uglyone - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 10:28 PM EDT (#276196) #
All-Star Delabar

All-Stellabar?

Delastar?

win.
BlueJayWay - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 10:29 PM EDT (#276197) #
I thought for sure Brantley was gonna get a hit there and win the game.
Intricated - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 10:46 PM EDT (#276198) #
So... who's next that da' Box should put through the wringer in tomorrow's gameday thread to come up with some big hits?  Let me suggest Thole... man, does he suck, a random guy off the street can hit better than him, etc.

And a night of season firsts for the bullpen: First save for Delabar, first blown save for Cecil, and first holds for McGowan AND Janssen
smcs - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 11:28 PM EDT (#276199) #
I'm not sure what was cheaper: Wagner's 4-pitch win or Delabar's 1-pitch save.
John Northey - Wednesday, July 10 2013 @ 11:50 PM EDT (#276200) #
Better a 1 pitch save and 4 pitch win then letting the 'closer' go another few pitches and get a loss.  Glad that Gibbons was willing to switch pitchers when he saw the guys he normally can count on didn't have it.

So, does that 1 pitch save up Delabar's vote totals?  :)
Magpie - Thursday, July 11 2013 @ 01:44 AM EDT (#276201) #
Agreed. That was one of the least cheapest saves we'll see this year. Coming into the game with the winning run in scoring position? That just never happens anymore.

Cheap win, sure. The vast majority of wins given to relief pitchers are pretty cheap. They bear a strong resemblance to the game of musical chairs. It involves being in a certain spot at a certain moment - when the music stops playing or the hitters start hitting. Still, Wagner inherited a dangerous mess and dealt with it.
Chuck - Thursday, July 11 2013 @ 07:11 AM EDT (#276203) #
So, does that 1 pitch save up Delabar's vote totals? 

No, it removes him from eligibility now that he is a closer and not a middle reliever.
zeppelinkm - Thursday, July 11 2013 @ 08:03 AM EDT (#276205) #
Agreed Petey Baseball. Rasmus has looked consistently good at the plate for at least 2 - 3 weeks now, to my untrained eye. He's laying off the low and away pitch from lefties which is really helping him extend those at bats.

I haven't seen nearly as many 3-4 pitch strikeouts, where he would normally go down swinging for the fences.
Chuck - Thursday, July 11 2013 @ 08:51 AM EDT (#276208) #

Colby Rasmus: 251/325/478
Adam Jones:   290/314/475

One is an AS game starter. One is not.

 

zeppelinkm - Thursday, July 11 2013 @ 09:14 AM EDT (#276211) #
The AL OF options look pretty weak compared to the NL. It would have helped if Hamilton hadn't hit like a pumpkin for 2 of first 3 months of the season.
Mike Green - Thursday, July 11 2013 @ 09:28 AM EDT (#276212) #
I agree.  Thole is the obvious target for some Box magic; he'll be behind the plate for Dickey's start this afternoon.

So, what is with those 11 pitch at-bats anyways?  What the team needs is hits, man, and he's not delivering.  Hell, Arencibia pinch-hit for him last night and singled.  If Thole can't deliver what the team obviously needs, he's going to lose what little playing time he gets to a guy who can.



Chuck - Thursday, July 11 2013 @ 09:45 AM EDT (#276213) #

Thole and Kawasaki seem to approach their at-bats the same way. See a lot of pitches, take the walk if it's there and if not, look to slap the ball into left. It's odd to see this approach from a 200-pound catcher (especially since so many catchers have the opposite low-OBP, high-SLG profile), but it has been his career pattern. Thole looks like he should be able to give the ball a jolt (and he did in Buffalo) but his bat speed seems to too slow to permit it.

Now, if he can put up numbers like he did in 2010 and 2011 -- enough singles and walks for a good OBP -- that'd play.

Hodgie - Thursday, July 11 2013 @ 09:50 AM EDT (#276214) #
Speaking of Thole, was last night just a bad night for him behind the plate or is that the norm? He looked like he was catching a knuckleball last night, expect of course he wasn't. The borderline pitches he didn't get that Santana did was hard enough to stomach, but watching him give up on pitches in the zone that he thought were balls was frustrating.
Mike Green - Thursday, July 11 2013 @ 10:05 AM EDT (#276215) #
Thole reminds me a lot of Ernie Whitt, except that his swing is actually quicker and more compact.  His timing is completely off leading to his struggles.  There is no way that it will end this afternoon however.  Caucasian ballplayers never solve timing problems with the sun beating down on them in the summer; all they can do is drink margaritas and sit in the dugout.
/dustybuffett

China fan - Thursday, July 11 2013 @ 10:42 AM EDT (#276219) #
I never thought Thole would be the Jays savior, and I said so many times, but I'm puzzled by the impatience that people are now expressing about him. People spent 2 months campaigning fervently for his promotion from the minors; why criticize him now after just 36 ABs? Mark deRosa had a .553 OPS after 33 ABs this year. Adam Lind had a .598 OPS after 36 ABs this year. It's a bit early to say much about these guys.
92-93 - Thursday, July 11 2013 @ 11:06 AM EDT (#276220) #
Agreed. Thole's sample size this year is pretty much useless in evaluating him as a hitter because the chances have come so sporadically. I like what Gibbons did yesterday, deciding vs. the tough righty to give Thole 2 days in a row to see if he can get him feeling a bit more comfortable at the plate.

I was pretty surprised that Gibbons didn't walk Brantley to with Janssen to make it bases loaded before calling in Delabar; The winning run was at 2nd anyway.
Mike Green - Thursday, July 11 2013 @ 11:41 AM EDT (#276224) #
I thought that the appearance of "Dusty Buffett" would be enough to set off sarcasm detectors. 

For what it's worth, I thought that Thole's 11 pitch at-bat last night turned out to be pretty important.  The Indian pen was spent, and Masterson faded as his pitch count rose significantly over 100 pitches. I have confidence that Thole will emerge from this funk in time.  Just not this afternoon....

Game Thread 7/10 @ Cleveland | 61 comments | Create New Account
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