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That's the first place White Sox, by the way. The team with the best record in the American League. It's the return of Brett Lawrie, Dioner Navarro, and Melky Cabrera.


The White Sox have allowed just 47 runs in 19 games, and in games started by People Who Are Not John Danks they've gone 13-3 and allowed just 33 runs in 16 games. Which is pretty good. We won't see Danks in this series. Incidentally, let me enthusiastically recommend the second album by Danks' wife, Ashley Monroe† Best country record of 2015, even better than Chris Stapleton's. (Ashley's a little more old school C&W than her fellow Pistol Annies - Angaleena Presley's something of a contemporary singer-songwriter, and Miranda Lambert is just a star, running roughshod over all kinds of music, old and modern. The Annies are kind of a contemporary, female CSN, except the three women are all much more talented... What? Baseball? OK...

Veteran RH Miguel Gonzalez has been added to the Chicago roster to start against the Jays tonight, which bumps Danks out of the series. The White Sox didn't want to start three LH against Toronto? Gosh. As you doubtless recall, Gonzalez has been in the Baltimore rotation these last few years (39-33, 3.82). He did not pitch particularly well last season, and the Orioles released him this April. He signed a minor league deal with the White Sox a few days later and opened this season at AAA Charlotte. He's always pitched well against Toronto (7-3, 2.61 in 12 starts.)

The White Sox optioned RHP Erik Johnson to Charlotte to make room for Gonzalez. I would expect Toronto's Drew Hutchison to shuffle back to Buffalo, but I'm not aware that a move has been made at this point. Yesterday the White Sox have recalled Kevan Smith to back up Navarro, with Alex Avila hitting the DL.

Matchups? Sure...

Mon. Gonzalez (---, ---) vs Stroman (3-0, 4.13)
Tue. Sale (4-0, 1.80) vs Dickey (1-2, 6.10)
Wed. Quintana (2-1, 1.82) vs Estrada (1-1, 2.50),

All games start at 7;05


White Sox at Blue Jays, 25-27 April | 300 comments | Create New Account
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Mike Green - Monday, April 25 2016 @ 02:59 PM EDT (#321757) #
Incidentally, let me enthusiastically recommend the second album by Danks' wife, Ashley Monroe  Best country record of 2015, even better than Chris Stapleton's. (Ashley's a little more old school C&W than her fellow Pistol Annies - Angaleena Presley's something of a contemporary singer-songwriter, and Miranda Lambert is just a star, running roughshod over all kinds of music, old and modern. The Annies are kind of a contemporary, female CSN, except the three women are all much more talented... What? Baseball? OK...

I like the songs on Monroe's record but I find her voice a bit thin.  Speaking of CSN, Lake Street Dive has them beat on both the acronym and the vocal harmonies.

Miguel Gonzalez isn't much of a pitcher, but at least he makes my all-initial team.  When your best players are Matt Garza, Mark Grace, Marquis Grissom and Mike Greenwell, it's a low bar.
uglyone - Monday, April 25 2016 @ 03:17 PM EDT (#321760) #
any word on who we swapped for Hutch?
Paul D - Monday, April 25 2016 @ 03:19 PM EDT (#321761) #
I can't find anything online ugly. You'd think whoever it was would be on their way, if not already in Toronto by now. Wilner suspects Dominguez.
Cracka - Monday, April 25 2016 @ 03:38 PM EDT (#321762) #
I'm wondering if they're waiting for an update on Russell Martin's neck spasms before deciding on whether to add Dominguez or a 3rd catcher (presumably Tony Sanchez, as they Jays just successfully DFA'ed & retained Jimenez and may not want to re-add him to the 40-man roster).

I tried, but was unable to find the "deadlines" for making 40-man and 25-man roster moves prior to a game... from memory, I believe this can be done up to a few minutes before the first pitch.



uglyone - Monday, April 25 2016 @ 03:39 PM EDT (#321763) #
Carrera playing CF and hitting leadoff. Saunders hitting 6th.

Pillar getting a rest for the first time in forever.

Martin still out.

Hutch still on the roster.
China fan - Monday, April 25 2016 @ 03:47 PM EDT (#321764) #
It's odd that the Jays are going short-handed tonight, with Hutch still on the roster and nobody promoted from Buffalo to replace him.   I suspect we'll get an explanation when Gibbons addresses the media before the game, but -- as mentioned above -- it's possible that the Jays are still trying to assess Russell Martin's health.  If there's any possibility of a DL stint for Martin, the Jays might want to wait until tomorrow before making a decision on which hitter to promote. 
Mike Green - Monday, April 25 2016 @ 03:52 PM EDT (#321766) #
Barney gets the start at third base while Donaldson DHs and Encarnacion plays first base.  The less Encarnacion plays first base, the happier I am.

John Northey - Monday, April 25 2016 @ 04:05 PM EDT (#321767) #
No question in my mind they should call up a catcher. The question is which one as none are on the 40 man other than the 2 in the majors.

Checking the Jays roster on their site I see 6 outfielders, 8 infielders (plus Colabello), 2 catchers, 21 pitchers. That totals 37 players leaving 3 open slots plus 4 guys on the DL at least one or two should be movable to the 60 day thus opening more slots if needed. I'd probably call up Jimenez myself as he is strong on defense. Sanchez has hit in the majors 260/356/406 in over 2000 PA so I wonder about his defense, a catcher who hits that well in the majors shouldn't be signing minor league deals.
China fan - Monday, April 25 2016 @ 04:31 PM EDT (#321769) #
Okay, here's the explanation about Hutch:  he's on "optional waivers" and has to spend 24 hours on waivers before he can be optioned down.  By tradition and courtesy, opposing clubs will not claim him on waivers. since he can simply be recalled from waivers and kept on the roster if he is claimed.  But it does require 24 hours, so he cannot be optioned to Buffalo until after tonight's game.

Gibby also made it pretty clear that it is Dominiguez who will be promoted to replace him.  As noted yesterday, Dominguez has been hitting very well, and has been playing at 1B for the past couple games to get him ready for the majors.

Mike Green - Monday, April 25 2016 @ 04:37 PM EDT (#321771) #
Here's the fangraphs season projection using "season to date statistics".  The home nine is at 93 wins, tops in the American League. 
hypobole - Monday, April 25 2016 @ 04:48 PM EDT (#321773) #
"Sanchez has hit in the majors 260/356/406 in over 2000 PA so I wonder about his defense, a catcher who hits that well in the majors shouldn't be signing minor league deals."

Where did you get this from? Sanchez has only 155 MLB PA's over the past 3 years, slashing 259/303/378. He is defensively challenged, especially controlling the running game.
China fan - Monday, April 25 2016 @ 05:11 PM EDT (#321775) #
"....The home nine is at 93 wins, tops in the American League...."

Meanwhile, the guys of fivethirtyeight.com are now forecasting the Jays to finish first in the AL East, albeit with a record of just 86-76.  The Jays are also given a 6 per cent chance to win the World Series.  Here's the link:

http://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/2016-mlb-predictions/?ex_cid=538twitter
John Northey - Monday, April 25 2016 @ 05:18 PM EDT (#321778) #
oops, I did a boo-boo. Read Sanchez's minor league line as his major league one - price of using MLB.com's site instead of B-R which I'm more used to. So Sanchez has been an OK hitter in the minors but not 'wow' and in the majors has been poor but in line with what one would expect from that minor league line. I'd say if Martin is down for any length of time Jimenez is the call-up as we know he can defend at a high level based on everything I've ever read about him even with the poor bat (271/313/380 lifetime in the minors without an OPS over 650 since 2013 outside of a short stint in AAA in 2014 [652 in 219 AB's]).
China fan - Monday, April 25 2016 @ 05:53 PM EDT (#321781) #
In his comments before today's game, Gibbons did not specifically name Dominguez, but said they would promote a RHB who can play both 3B and 1B.   Technically this could also include Burns, but it's generally believed that Gibby was referring to Dominguez, who has been playing 1B in the past couple of games, and who is probably a better defender than Burns at both of those positions. 

Since Donaldson is at DH tonight and has had minor injury problems this season, I wonder if the Jays are anticipating that Donaldson might need more time at DH or even the bench, due to lingering health issues.  That could be one of the reasons why Dominguez is getting the promotion.

Magpie - Monday, April 25 2016 @ 06:03 PM EDT (#321782) #
Martin's neck is still sore, so Darwin Barney is indeed the emergency catcher.
92-93 - Monday, April 25 2016 @ 06:10 PM EDT (#321784) #
Giving all your SPs an extra day of rest is a debatable strategy to begin with, so if you're going to call up a guy to be a 6th starter knowing he has to stay on the roster an extra game afterwards, it's a really bad idea to do it when your starting C, LF, and 3B are nursing injuries. I hope nothing happens in tonight's game that exposes the Jays' roster mismanagement here.
Magpie - Monday, April 25 2016 @ 06:13 PM EDT (#321785) #
I like the songs on Monroe's record but I find her voice a bit thin.

Really? (It's Miranda's voice I find a little thin!) Anyway, never even heard of Lake Street Dive, will investigate. Lord knows I'm still trying, but it's simply impossible to keep up with everything now. There's just way more good music being made now than at any time in my life.
John Northey - Monday, April 25 2016 @ 06:57 PM EDT (#321788) #
I'm guessing the question becomes which is the biggest improvement to the roster...
A) Dominguez vs Barney at 3B
B) Pompey vs Carrera in LF
C) Jimenez vs Thole at CA

Given Carrera has started to really hit option B is out, Jimenez has never played in the majors and hasn't hit in the minors so he'd probably be the backup catcher and if Martin can catch for a few innings here and there then no need for option C thus making A the choice. Or adding another reliever :)
jerjapan - Monday, April 25 2016 @ 07:36 PM EDT (#321789) #
You guys have good taste in country .... so you likely know him and  I'm cheating anyway if I bring up Sturgil Simpson since he released albums in 13, 14 and 16 ... but man, the metamodern sounds in country music (2014) is my favourite country record this decade.  and of course "indie" Lindi Ortega is both amazing and a Torontonian. 
Mike Green - Monday, April 25 2016 @ 07:41 PM EDT (#321791) #
There's just way more good music being made now than at any time in my life.

I agree. 

Nice to see the big hitters going the other way. 
scottt - Monday, April 25 2016 @ 07:52 PM EDT (#321792) #
Thole hitting for .211, Navarro .125.
Four Seamer - Monday, April 25 2016 @ 07:56 PM EDT (#321793) #
Thole hitting for .211, Navarro .125.   And Martin right in between them at a lusty .154.
Mike Green - Monday, April 25 2016 @ 08:07 PM EDT (#321794) #
Impressive hook from Encarnacion.  I think that he needs to use a 3 wood next time.
uglyone - Monday, April 25 2016 @ 08:11 PM EDT (#321795) #
how good would we have been last year with Saunders?
uglyone - Monday, April 25 2016 @ 08:12 PM EDT (#321796) #
our left fielders last year combined for -1.0fwar as left fielders.
SK in NJ - Monday, April 25 2016 @ 08:18 PM EDT (#321797) #
I like using DH as a way to rest star players (tonight being Donaldson). Guys are going to get banged up over a long season, so giving them a breather while keeping their bat in the lineup is a good thing to do every once in a while. In this case the Jays could have used someone like Valencia who can cover 1B/3B and not hurt you with the bat, but I guess we'll have to settle for Dominguez (most likely) in that role shortly.

Saunders is off to a great start. Keep him healthy all year, somehow.
uglyone - Monday, April 25 2016 @ 08:20 PM EDT (#321798) #
the microphone around homeplate tonight is giving us fantastic stuff tonight. so much so that i doubt we hear it ever again.
scottt - Monday, April 25 2016 @ 08:24 PM EDT (#321800) #
If he stays healthy, Saunders is an easy QO. No?
92-93 - Monday, April 25 2016 @ 08:30 PM EDT (#321801) #
One way to keep Saunders healthy is to give him a full weekend of rest when the 4th OF shows competence in his role, and to further parlay that hot streak into a day off for the starting CF who rarely gets a blow. Great work by Gibby.

scottt - Monday, April 25 2016 @ 08:32 PM EDT (#321802) #
Stroman might not have a great ERA, but he just goes out there and paces himself to a win.
That seems very valuable to me.

Magpie - Monday, April 25 2016 @ 08:33 PM EDT (#321803) #
Kind of like how Tabler resisted the urge to congratulate himself after Gonzalez bounced a curveball on the very first pitch after Tabler said that's what he might do with it.
92-93 - Monday, April 25 2016 @ 08:35 PM EDT (#321804) #
Damnit, they keep just missing these pitches. Would have been nice to rip this open right there to be able to take the game home with Venditte & Biagini.
China fan - Monday, April 25 2016 @ 08:38 PM EDT (#321805) #
"...If he stays healthy, Saunders is an easy QO....."

Why not sign him to a new contract, rather than settling for a draft pick?  But the QO could make this easier -- as the Estrada situation demonstrated.
uglyone - Monday, April 25 2016 @ 08:42 PM EDT (#321806) #
lots and lots of swinging strikes for stroman today. nice to see.
ComebyDeanChance - Monday, April 25 2016 @ 08:52 PM EDT (#321807) #
Stroman's done a nice job coming back on the pitch count. Thole did well blocking that pitch in the 5th with a runner on third.
Magpie - Monday, April 25 2016 @ 08:54 PM EDT (#321808) #
I liked what Stroman and Thole did last inning - with the leadoff man on second base, they went away from the sinker (two groundballs scores a run) until there were two outs.
92-93 - Monday, April 25 2016 @ 09:17 PM EDT (#321811) #
I understand why Gibbons is making this move (Cecil and Storen are relatively fresh), but I wish he would stick with his "ace" Stroman for one more batter in this spot in April. There's value in trying to get him through the 7th and into the 8th.
BlueJayWay - Monday, April 25 2016 @ 09:21 PM EDT (#321812) #
Stroman can't get much luck with inherited runners this year.
uglyone - Monday, April 25 2016 @ 09:22 PM EDT (#321813) #
is that all 6 runners stro has left on base that have scored?
ComebyDeanChance - Monday, April 25 2016 @ 09:22 PM EDT (#321814) #
Pretty clear message from Stroman to Gibbons in that look he gave him as he left the dugout.
Mike Green - Monday, April 25 2016 @ 09:24 PM EDT (#321815) #
Gibbons has aged 10 years in 5 minutes.  It's not an easy job.
John Northey - Monday, April 25 2016 @ 09:24 PM EDT (#321816) #
Osuna allowed a runner to score on opening day, Chavez allowed 3 to score on April 8th and now Cecil has allowed 2 to score today. That sucks. Better watch out or Stroman will get Dave Stieb complex.
uglyone - Monday, April 25 2016 @ 09:27 PM EDT (#321818) #
actually kind of a good thing that they scored. teaches gibbons to stop pulling him.

good only if we win, of course.

floyd in high leverage. hope he earns more of them.
Four Seamer - Monday, April 25 2016 @ 09:28 PM EDT (#321819) #
There may come a time next year when I miss Brett Cecil, but it sure won't be April. Man, he's miserable early in the season.
Mike Green - Monday, April 25 2016 @ 09:29 PM EDT (#321820) #
In fairness to Gibbons, the 4 pitch walk by Stroman after he was hit hard on the elbow by Navarro's ground ball was a pretty clear signal.  The 4th pitch wasn't close.
uglyone - Monday, April 25 2016 @ 09:32 PM EDT (#321821) #
just when it looked like we were turning the corner, we implode. dammit.
92-93 - Monday, April 25 2016 @ 09:32 PM EDT (#321822) #
Ugh, another brutal meltdown. Lots of game left for the sticks, though.
eudaimon - Monday, April 25 2016 @ 09:36 PM EDT (#321823) #
I think it was the right call by Gibby to pull Stroman. One can generally expect that two of the better relievers on the team will be able to get out one of the next five batters. That did not happen, and that is baseball.
Mike Green - Monday, April 25 2016 @ 09:36 PM EDT (#321824) #
I would have brought in Floyd one batter earlier, but Gibbons played it well.  It just didn't work out.  Keep giving the ball to Cecil and Floyd in the high leverage situations, and things will work out in the long run.
uglyone - Monday, April 25 2016 @ 09:43 PM EDT (#321825) #
letting goins hit vLHP annoys me.
uglyone - Monday, April 25 2016 @ 09:49 PM EDT (#321826) #
aaaaaaaaaaaaand back to low leverage goes Floyd.
CeeBee - Monday, April 25 2016 @ 09:49 PM EDT (#321827) #
Can he take Cecil with him?
Richard S.S. - Monday, April 25 2016 @ 09:51 PM EDT (#321828) #
Brett Cecil did himself no favors with that meltdown. That's costing him both term and value on any contract beyond this year. Can he be trusted to do the job? That's the question that will be asked.
BlueJayWay - Monday, April 25 2016 @ 09:52 PM EDT (#321829) #
Jays bullpen seems to be doing the same thing it did most of last year: pitch well in low leverage situations, blow up in high leverage. Solid numbers overall, but really uncluctch.
eudaimon - Monday, April 25 2016 @ 10:08 PM EDT (#321830) #
I think MLB needs to test Albers for greenies.
uglyone - Monday, April 25 2016 @ 10:09 PM EDT (#321831) #
Albers was just trolling stroman. pretty funny actually.
uglyone - Monday, April 25 2016 @ 10:13 PM EDT (#321832) #
and enough of the venditte fun and games. he's not an mlb pitcher.
uglyone - Monday, April 25 2016 @ 10:15 PM EDT (#321833) #
no need to see carrera in cf anymore.
Mike Green - Monday, April 25 2016 @ 10:17 PM EDT (#321834) #
Leaving in Venditte to face a switch-hitter is definitely not a good idea. It shouldn'the be that hard to figure that one out.
scottt - Monday, April 25 2016 @ 10:19 PM EDT (#321835) #
He's mostly a LOOGY.  He's not my pick to go through the heart of the order, but it's now a low leverage inning.
uglyone - Monday, April 25 2016 @ 10:22 PM EDT (#321836) #
i'd like to see what calibre of lefty hitter he's put up his loogy stats against.
uglyone - Monday, April 25 2016 @ 10:23 PM EDT (#321837) #
please let this happen.
uglyone - Monday, April 25 2016 @ 10:32 PM EDT (#321838) #
man oh man.
BlueJayWay - Monday, April 25 2016 @ 10:33 PM EDT (#321839) #
I believe that's 5 games lost while taking a lead into the 7th inning or later.
hypobole - Monday, April 25 2016 @ 10:52 PM EDT (#321841) #
And once we lose a lead in the middle innings or later, the lead stays lost. Have we had one comeback win?
scottt - Monday, April 25 2016 @ 10:54 PM EDT (#321842) #
The rotation hasn't lost many games, but the pen hasn't been able to strand runners at all.

It's only  April. Chris Archer finally won a game. Now, he's 1-4 ahead of Cecil 0-4.

I wonder if the contract year situation is affecting Cecil.
Osuna closing and Sanchez starting sure seems to leaves a huge hole in the pen.

Meanwhile Tepera has an era of 7.27 in  Buffalo. Aardsma 6.35.
Cecilliani is hitting 0.077 and Lake .167.

John Northey - Monday, April 25 2016 @ 11:15 PM EDT (#321843) #
Recently Cecil has sucked in April.
2016: 5.19 ERA
2015: 5.14 ERA
2014: 5.23 ERA
2013: 1.23 ERA
Before that he was mainly a starter so the stats don't matter for this issue.

Yeah, seems the Jays would've been smart to work Cecil a LOT harder in spring or give him low leverage innings in April.
Vulg - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 12:02 AM EDT (#321845) #
Sale vs. Dickey next.

Thankfully I have a half-bottle of Blanton's and the Raptors vs. Pacers to distract me tomorrow night.
Magpie - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 12:05 AM EDT (#321846) #
Sale vs. Dickey next.

Guaranteed win night.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 07:45 AM EDT (#321847) #
Cecil alone has cost the team four (?) games. He should get better based on his track record, but these types of losses are starting to get old.

With that said, I had no issue with the way the pen was managed. Cecil and Floyd are two of the best in the pen. They failed. With Cecil it's becoming a trend, but hopefully one that doesn't keep happening.
China fan - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 07:58 AM EDT (#321849) #
I have a lot of sympathy for any manager in these circumstances.  We know, intellectually, that relievers are going to be volatile and unpredictable from year to year, but -- by definition -- we don't know which ones are going to implode.  Even Osuna has had some bad outings, which -- luckily -- haven't hurt the team as much as Cecil's bad outings.   It's one of those bullpens that looked good on paper, and still might be good in the near future, but right now it isn't good.  The Jays have assembled a good rotation -- which should be more important than the bullpen -- but the rotation is routinely being sabotaged by an erratic bullpen.  And I don't see a lot of help on the horizon.  Because of salary commitments, the team can't really do anything with most of the bullpen, except wait for them to turn it around.  Has anyone heard if Loup is close to a rehab assignment yet?  Maybe the Jays should bring back Girodo when his 10-day waiting period has expired?
China fan - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 08:01 AM EDT (#321850) #
And any reports on Franklin Morales' health status?
China fan - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 08:43 AM EDT (#321851) #
By the way, for projection nerds, the fivethirtyeight.com methodology might be worth exploring.  They're trying to give the odds of victory for every game this season. Here's their Jays page:

http://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/2016-mlb-predictions/blue-jays/

hypobole - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 08:57 AM EDT (#321852) #
As bad as our bullpen has been at giving up leads, our later innings hitting seems to be atrocious. It's the third/fourth time through the order that starters give up the most damage, but it doesn't seem that way with our hitters. And relievers are shutting us down far more than I would expect.
Chuck - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 09:16 AM EDT (#321853) #
The team's forte is supposed to be its juggernaut offense, which currently sits 5th in the AL at 4.3 R/G, not far ahead of the league average of 3.9 and light years behind last season's 5.5.

The team defense is exactly league average at the moment.

The Jays and Pythagoras are on speaking terms this season. The team is 10-11 while the ancient Greek has them at 11-10.

SK in NJ - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 10:10 AM EDT (#321856) #
Is anyone else a bit frustrated with Stroman? He has the arsenal to be a bonafide ace, but he seems to be relying heavily on pitching to contact and going deeper into games rather than trying to get strike outs. A SP with his stuff should not be striking out 4.8 per 9. I'd be fine with fewer innings from him if the quality of those innings were better. Halladay was able to blend those things very well (high GB rates + good enough K rates = going deep into games on low pitch counts) but Stroman is playing with fire if he's depending on his defense that much. He doesn't need to. Get GB's early in the count and then with runners on base change the approach to get more swings and misses (maybe throw some more 4 seamers).

It's early, and I know he's capable of improving, but I'm not a big fan of low-K/high contact Stroman.
Mike Green - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 10:47 AM EDT (#321857) #
Stroman is wearing the ace mantle.  In the 2016 version of the ace, that means pitching through the 7th consistently (though not always). His pitching style reflects that objective.  The first time through the order, he strikes out plenty and after that he pitches to contact.

You could redefine the objective of the ace.  Here's an alternative.  The objective of the ace is to pitch 6 innings and leave the bullpen with a lead 75% of the time.  If you did that for Stroman, he'd probably meet the objective and with a higher K rate.  If you are going to do that, you have to redefine roles in the bullpen with more 2-3 inning stints.  Take last night.  If you give Floyd or Chavez a 5-1 lead after 6 innings and ask him to bring him it home, I think that he's got a very good chance of doing it.   You could change the roles in that way, but as far as I can tell, no team is doing that on a regular basis. 
Kasi - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 11:04 AM EDT (#321858) #
That's the thing Mike. Bonifide aces go deep and strike out a batter per inning. It seems odd that Stroman has to focus on one but loses the other. By relying on contact so much he's going to have a lot of games like he has recently, where he has some very quick innings but some innings where the team just strings together a few hits and knocks him out of the game with a bunch of men on base. I don't think a 4 FIP/xFIP and a sub 5 K/9 is very acelike, but ymmv.
uglyone - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 11:05 AM EDT (#321859) #
you guys made good arguments for pulling stroman last night but i still don't agree.

especially with a 4 run lead, i want to give stro the chance to pitch out of it - even if he gives up some runs. continually pulling him as soon as he gets into some late trouble, but BEFORE he actually gives up any runs, is the wrong strategy, imo.

I get it more if it's a one run game and he's at the end of his rope and it's highest possible leverage....but damn it's frustrating that he's not even the guy actually giving up these leads, even if he was in trouble.

SK - while i disagree about the pitching to contact i do agree that what stro is doing out there is borderline arrogant - while any good pitcher knows to limit his arsenal 1st and 2nd time through and save some breaking stuff for later, stro seems to be taking it to an extreme so far this year. That being said, this guy hasn't even had 30 starts in his career so he's going to learn - and imo the fact that he thinks the game at that high a level already is probably a good thing (though of course overthinking it a la poet batista can be just as bad). But generally i agree that he's swung a bit too far to the efficiency end of the spectrum - average of 98 pitches and 7ip per game probably says he can afford to be a little less efficient.
Kasi - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 11:11 AM EDT (#321861) #
Well I think he got pulled because he got hit on the elbow and then did a 4 pitch walk. If not for that he likely would have stayed in. I'm guessing the move was precautionary as much as anything. I'd agree with you if he had just given up a couple hits and a walk and the bases were loaded with 2 outs. But in this case he got hit.
uglyone - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 11:13 AM EDT (#321862) #
yeah true enough.
Chuck - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 11:27 AM EDT (#321864) #
The objective of the ace is to pitch 6 innings and leave the bullpen with a lead 75% of the time.

I wonder if that shouldn't be the strategy for Stroman at this stage of his career. 30-32 starts, 180-190 innings. Then post-season.

Not sure when he'd be ready for a Halladay workload, but it doesn't feel like now is the time.

Mike Green - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 11:28 AM EDT (#321865) #
It is early in the season.  Stroman has been taken out three times so far with under 100 pitches.  As the season wears on, he'll probably be in the 105-110 range regularly.  The aces who strike out a lot tend to be up in the 115-120 range.  That is probably not a good idea for Stroman in light of his workload pattern and prior injury.
Mike Green - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 11:33 AM EDT (#321866) #

I wonder if that shouldn't be the strategy for Stroman at this stage of his career. 30-32 starts, 180-190 innings. Then post-season.

Not sure when he'd be ready for a Halladay workload, but it doesn't feel like now is the time.

Maybe, Chuck.  It might be that J.A. Happ and Marco Estrada are better suited to the "good pitcher, 210 inning" thing.    It would take a lot of creativity to disentangle the conflation of "best pitcher" with "the one suited to throw the most innings". 


John Northey - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 11:36 AM EDT (#321867) #
In light of how the manager likes to pull Stroman and the weakness of the pen so far might it be a good idea to just say 'screw it' and go with the 6 man rotation? The Jays are in a nice situation with 6+ ML starters for a change and with the young guns in there it might be a good idea. Only Dickey has established a clear ability to get 200+ innings (Estrada's peak is 181/28 starts; Happ 172 IP/31 GS; Sanchez has only 149 lifetime ML innings; Stroman 192 2/3 lifetime innings; Hutch peak is 184 2/3 innings/32 starts).

Of note: Stroman currently leads the AL in innings pitched, starts, and winning percentage and batters faced.
Four Seamer - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 11:48 AM EDT (#321868) #
John, as it relates to Stroman's counting stats, how much of that is due to the fact that Stroman was the opening day starter on the team that has played the most games in the American League?
Chuck - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 11:50 AM EDT (#321869) #
John should have mentioned that Stroman is one of only 3 AL pitchers to have started 5 games so far.
uglyone - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 11:51 AM EDT (#321870) #
on another note, i find it a bit baffling that we still refer to a pitcher's workload with innings pitched instead of pitches thrown (even considering warm up tosses). I suspect teams don't count that way.
Chuck - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 11:56 AM EDT (#321871) #
It would take a lot of creativity to disentangle the conflation of "best pitcher" with "the one suited to throw the most innings".

Yes, absolutely. And given Stroman's tenacity, he'd perceive anything shy of an 8-inning outing as evidence of unwarranted mollycoddling. And many fans might feel this way as well.

If Dickey can pitch well enough to warrant it, he should lead the team in (regular season) innings pitched.

I think Stroman's workload might eventually be lightened not by prescribed 6-inning outings, but by skipping starts altogether periodically during the season. He can then do his bulldog thing, but maybe 28-30 times rather than 32-34.

uglyone - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 11:57 AM EDT (#321872) #
don't dismiss stro's counting stats as just from pitching more starts. his efficiency is a real thing.

i can't find a handy ip/gs ranking but here's the pitches per inning leaders:

1.Arrieta 13.13 (4gs)
2.Kershaw 13.67 (4gs)
3.Cueto 13.84 (4gs)
4.Smyly 13.95 (4gs)
5.Strasburg 14.03 (4gs)
6.Stroman 14.05 (5gs)
Mike Green - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 12:04 PM EDT (#321874) #
That's the thing Mike. Bonifide aces go deep and strike out a batter per inning.

Greg Maddux was a piker.  Roy Halladay, no way.   Sonny Gray, close but no cigar. Adam Wainwright, nice try.  It is true that the best starting pitchers almost invariably strike out 7+ per 9 now and usually more. 
uglyone - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 12:04 PM EDT (#321875) #
eyeballing the IP/GS leaderboard:

1.Arrieta 7.8
2.Kershaw 7.5
2.Sale 7.5
4.Strasburg 7.3
5.Smyly 7.2
6.Cueto 7.1
7.Stroman 7.0

don't take for granted what stro is doing before he's even had 30 starts in this league.

if this is stroman struggling, then that's kinda awesome.
Chuck - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 12:11 PM EDT (#321877) #
on another note, i find it a bit baffling that we still refer to a pitcher's workload with innings pitched instead of pitches thrown

I would think that simplicity is the main reason, with the assumption (right or wrong) that pitches-per-inning average out over a season for a given pitcher well enough that innings can be used as a proxy.

Also, once you start throwing pitch counts into the mix, you should also take it a step further and weight the stress of those pitches. Pitches beyond 20, say, in a given inning might be deemed more harmful to a pitcher than pitches 1 to 20.

I think this subject matter is not always as sciencey (new adjective) as we like to pretend. Pitchers are different from each other. They are different from versions of themselves within a given season and from season to season. All of these things that we are counting are not provably linked to specific outcomes, except in the extreme. I think that the approach is for coaching staffs to (a) measure each pitcher individually, if possible and (b) to use logic that "feels" correct, even if it unfortunately only means doing what everyone else is doing.

Why 100 pitches as the time to take a starter out? Surely it's because we have 10 fingers and 10 toes (Alfonseca not included) and it "feels" about right. There's no actual science behind it. And even if there were, what would it look like? Now, there is plenty of evidence that supports pulling a starter after a couple of turns through the opposition lineup, because of diminished effectiveness, but that's different than doing so to prevent injury.

mathesond - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 12:13 PM EDT (#321878) #
Speaking of Stroman's efficiency, I happened to be at last night's game, and noted that he threw 25 pitches in the 1st inning. Over the next 5 innings he threw 53 pitches (which included a stretch of 3 consecutive K's). I too believe the walk after getting hit in the arm was the impetus behind Gibbons' decision to pull him, just a shame that Cecil and Floyd couldn't get an out before the lead vanished.
Chuck - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 12:15 PM EDT (#321880) #
don't dismiss stro's counting stats as just from pitching more starts. his efficiency is a real thing.

Just an observation: everyone on your list, save for Stroman, is simultaneously efficient and strikeout-inclined.

uglyone - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 12:30 PM EDT (#321882) #
yeah chuck that's true.

what might be the difference, and what might make stro's efficiency even more impressive, is that those other guys have been absolutely dominating this year, while stro has been a little more mediocre. i.e they haven't been letting any baserunners on at all.

whip

1.sale 0.67
2.arrieta 0.68
4.smyly 0.72
5.kershaw 0.77
10.Strasburg 0.93
21.stroman 1.03
27.cueto 1.09

stroman's been good but those guys have been unsustainably dominant so far in terms of how many batters they're facing, i think.

what's absolutely killing stro, of course, is his strand percentage, which is something killing some other good pitchers too.

Worst LOB%

1.Price 55.6%
4.Wainwright 59.1%
8.Stroman 61.0%
10.Kluber 62.0%
13.Greinke 63.2%
15.Harvey 63.6%


Mike Green - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 12:35 PM EDT (#321883) #
It should also be noted that Stroman is adapting pretty well to a major injury.  You can compare his 2014 starter splits with his splits post-injury and notice a difference.  He has a better opposition slash line in 2016 due to a much better BABIP and a much lower line drive rate.  Mat Latos is doing the same thing for the White Sox. 

As the injury recedes into the past and Stroman gains strength in May or June, he may change his pitching pattern.  He hasn't really had an incentive to do so, because he has been mostly successful (with the poor ERA resulting from extremely poor bullpen support). 
uglyone - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 12:40 PM EDT (#321884) #
good point.

and another note about the inherited runners scoring....

His current era is 4.37.

If the RP had come in and got 1 out right away his era would be 2.57.

IF he had been left in and managed to get the final out on the next batter his era would be 2.50.
uglyone - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 02:07 PM EDT (#321888) #
no surprise but dominguez called up.
Kasi - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 02:31 PM EDT (#321890) #
While inherited runners are killing his ERA, it's not affecting his FIP and xFIP. There his numbers are around 4 and unlike Estrada or Dickey, he's not pitching a style that outperforms his peripherals. And for the best of those aces like Kershaw and Sale and Strasbourg, those numbers aren't really outside their norms. Now I don't think he needs to be a K/inning guy, but even Halladay was a 7/9 guy career. There is a big difference between 5 and 7.
Mike Green - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 03:31 PM EDT (#321891) #
He is performing in a style that outperforms peripherals, Kasi.  Giving up a line-drive rate of 13% will do that.  See Latos, M.
Mike Green - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 04:26 PM EDT (#321896) #
Dominguez gets the start today at third base with Donaldson DHing and Encarnacion at first base.  It's funny- Colabello is suspended and yet Smoak gets less work because of Donaldson's injury. 

Pillar, Barney, Saunders and Thole (of course) are in the lineup with Carrera and Goins on the bench. 
uglyone - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 04:40 PM EDT (#321899) #
looks like barney has earned himself full platoon duties at least.
uglyone - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 04:44 PM EDT (#321901) #
shout out to what was our projected bench to start the season.

(WAR here of course is the usual fwar/bwar average paced out to 650pa which of course is ridiculous but I still like to do it)

UT Smoak 39pa, 122wrc+, 3.3war
OF Carrera 32pa, 156wrc+, 8.1war
IF Barney 28pa, 120wrc+, 7.0war
C Thole 23pa, 72wrc+, 5.7war
uglyone - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 04:48 PM EDT (#321903) #
oh and for the record from where i sit dominguez is terrible at baseball.
uglyone - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 04:49 PM EDT (#321904) #
Jon Heyman ✔ ‎@JonHeyman
jays believed willing to go 3 yrs (at $20M plus) for bautista (no confirm of official offer). he sought at least 5 for 150M

Jon Heyman ✔ ‎@JonHeyman
blue jays offer to encarnacion was for 2 yrs guaranteed plus vesting option(s). EE didn't counter, hopes to get 4/5 as FA

Jon Heyman ✔ ‎@JonHeyman
jays told encarnacion they may revisit contract talks at AS break. EE loves toronto but seems unlikely to eschew free agency

sounds about right. they'll only sign them if they take a big discount.

problem is they have to really, really trust the front office to take that kind of discount.
China fan - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 04:50 PM EDT (#321906) #
This is a great opportunity for Dominguez.  If he gets off to a hot start, he could be on the Jays roster for most of the season.  But if he gets off to a slow start, and if Donaldson is back to full health, the Jays could replace Dominguez with Montero or Pompey or someone else.  (A promotion for Pompey would probably require Bautista to spend some time at 1B or DH, but that could be feasible.  By the way, why is Pompey's latest injury still lingering, and is he in the Buffalo lineup tonight?  I haven't been able to find Buffalo's lineup for tonight's game.)
China fan - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 05:24 PM EDT (#321910) #
Ugly, I'm curious why you have such a low opinion of Dominguez.  If you're referring to his major-league stats, I would be willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, since he produced those stats from the age of 21 to the age of 24.  He was young for the league.  Most of his AAA stats were also produced when he was young for the league.   The only season when he wasn't young for the league was 2015, and it's true that his numbers weren't great in that season.  But given that he seems greatly improved this year (in a small sample of course), I wouldn't be confident of concluding that he's a bad player on the basis of a single age-appropriate year at the AAA level in 2015.  What am I missing?
uglyone - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 06:03 PM EDT (#321911) #
well I just can't find anything to like, unfortunately.

he's got a 77wrc+ in 1357pa in mlb, which isn't even bench bat worthy, and an 84wrc+ in 1386pa in AAA, which isn't even starting AAA player calibre. DRS thinks he's an average defender, UZR thinks he's terrible. He doesnít even have a platoon split to make him interesting.

obviously baseball people think he has talent which is why he was a first rounder and why he keeps getting chances but i don't think he's ever done anything to earn that respect.
China fan - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 06:16 PM EDT (#321912) #
"....i don't think he's ever done anything to earn that respect...."

To reach the majors at the age of 21, you've got to do more than just bamboozle a couple of people. 
scottt - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 08:08 PM EDT (#321921) #
16% strikeout rate isn't bad, but walk rates below 5% is bad.

2 years with a BABIP of .250? What does that tell us?

Mike Green - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 08:25 PM EDT (#321922) #
What's wrong with this Sale guy anyway?  Can't he strike out batters any more?
greenfrog - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 08:29 PM EDT (#321923) #
Guaranteed win night

Yes. Either Toronto or Chicago is guaranteed to win tonight's game.
Mike Green - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 08:30 PM EDT (#321924) #
I could swear that I heard Buck thinking "He's Sale-ing through 5" and then "nah I won't say that".  Now if it was later in the season, and they had some pictures of sailboats on Lake Ontario, it would have been inevitable...

Four Seamer - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 08:48 PM EDT (#321925) #
Not that it matters tonight, based on how Sale is exposing the Jays hitters, but a shame the Jays didn't send Dickey and Cecil to extended spring training until June.
uglyone - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 08:57 PM EDT (#321926) #
what a win for the raps.

but why oh why did i change over to a dickey-sale matchup now?
pubster - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 09:01 PM EDT (#321927) #
I can't wait Til dickey retires.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 09:03 PM EDT (#321928) #
Dickey has been a league average innings eater the last three years, and that has value, but I'd be lying if I said I'll miss him after this season. Do the Jays wait for him to right himself like he usually does in the 2nd half when they have Floyd and Chavez in the pen? Those two could easily be in the rotation right now.

Regardless, Sale against Dickey was a long shot for the Jays. They really should have won last night.
Magpie - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 09:06 PM EDT (#321929) #
I very carefully didn't say who was going to win.

Raptors!
uglyone - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 09:15 PM EDT (#321930) #
it's fun watching a dominant ace do his thing.

how on earth could we possibly get one of those guys?
Four Seamer - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 09:17 PM EDT (#321931) #
Not trade one for Dickey, would be my suggestion.
Mike Green - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 09:21 PM EDT (#321932) #
Steven Wright has been dominant for the Sox.  You gotta get your knuckleball pitchers before they reach their best-before dates.
uglyone - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 09:22 PM EDT (#321933) #
ok so we'll never trade a prospect ever again. can't wait until one of them turns into an ace! that'll be so awesome!

too bad there's no other way to get one. bad luck that.
Mike Green - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 09:27 PM EDT (#321935) #
It's true.  David Price has been great so far this year.
BlueJayWay - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 09:28 PM EDT (#321936) #
Storen....
greenfrog - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 09:30 PM EDT (#321937) #
Right now the Jays look like a .500 team. Maybe a mid-80s or a high-80s win team, depending on team health, how Travis and Pompey progress, etc. Shapiro is going to be in a real pickle if the 2016 Jays fail to launch.
Mike Green - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 09:30 PM EDT (#321938) #
...wasn't happy.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 09:32 PM EDT (#321939) #
There's only one guy at the level of Sale, if not higher, who we had and traded away. Roy Halladay. I would argue Halladay was the better pitcher in his prime just because he pitched in the AL East, but, Sale continues to get better every year.
uglyone - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 09:35 PM EDT (#321940) #
10-1 blow out to move to 10-12.

Shapiro's scapegoating eyes burning holes in the back of gibby's head now.
John Northey - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 09:48 PM EDT (#321941) #
I fully expect Gibby to be gone by November unless the Jays win the WS. If sub 500 by the ASG he might be gone by then.

If Gibby goes then expect a bloodbath in the clubhouse. I expect guys like Carrera, Thole, Smoak, Dickey, Cecil, Storen to be traded. If the Jays can make a charge as the injured guys come back (Travis & the relief pitchers) hopefully things get better.
greenfrog - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 09:58 PM EDT (#321942) #
The cheapest way to acquire an ace like Chris Sale would have been to draft Chris Sale at #11 overall in 2010. Instead, Anthopoulos opted for Deck McGuire. Sale was chosen by Chicago with the 13th pick.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 10:06 PM EDT (#321943) #
"Shapiro is going to be in a real pickle if the 2016 Jays fail to launch."


I actually think it's the opposite. This goes back to one of the many lengthy arguments in the off-season; the window period. This team was built to win in 2016. After 2016, regardless of how it ends up, there's going to be a period of uncertainty. The farm system coming into the season was universally ranked somewhere in the bottom 10 in baseball (depending on who does the ranking), and the Jays will have to replace their starting RF, LF, 1B, DH, in addition to finding SP depth, RP depth, etc, after the season. The 'pickle' was going to be there regardless.

If anything, failing in 2016 might make it easier to transition into 2017-beyond if he can sell the idea of trading Bautista, Edwin, Cecil, Saunders, etc, at the deadline to replenish the system and/or gain young/cheap/controllable MLB assets for 2017. In a best case scenario if they make the playoffs again, that would be the ideal situation, but the 2017 issue would still be there. Clearly they have no intention of re-signing Bautista and Encarnacion due to their ages. The window will end in 2016 whether they get another playoff appearance, a World Series title, or fail completely. That doesn't mean they can't win in 2017, it just means it will have to happen with a drastically overhauled roster.

Regardless, I still like this team. They have a run in them if they stay healthy. The pen, Cecil and Storen in particular, really need to step it up, though.
King Ryan - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 10:13 PM EDT (#321944) #
I am not that worried about Cecil. As you all say, we've seen this film before, and the .380 BABIP will come down.

But having said that, man does it burn seeing that Red Sox can throw out Tazawa/Uehera/Kimbrel and the Yankees can throw out Miller/Betances/Chapman while we are relying on Gavin freakin' Floyd.
Vulg - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 10:18 PM EDT (#321945) #
What a memorable night for the Raptors. An incredible 4th quarter comeback highlighted by a steal and breakaway dunk by a rookie in a key moment that will go down as an iconic playoff memory.

https://streamable.com/z847

The shot of Jurassic Park collectively losing its mind in the cold outside after the dunk gave me chills.

Kasi - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 10:24 PM EDT (#321946) #
Like others have said best way to get a guy like Sale is to draft him. Which they could have but didn't. But when you get a guy that looks like a generational talent you shouldn't trade him for a near 40 year old knuckleballer. Or make an ill advised all in on a bunch of old expensive contracts. I'm glad AA fleeced Oakland, since that and Estrada are the two trades that did work out.

Anyway those were some interesting quotes by Heyman. 5/150 is insane for a 35+ year old, and EE getting 4-5 years is not much better. Although EE I think would be the better choice.
uglyone - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 10:27 PM EDT (#321947) #
how do you put tazawa on that list?

and how do you not name osuna cecil storen ahead of floyd?
uglyone - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 10:29 PM EDT (#321948) #
and yeah it's clearly impossible to get an ace without drafting him.

so frustrating but I guess that's just the way it is.
uglyone - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 10:33 PM EDT (#321949) #
2014-16

Osuna 79.0ip, 65era-
Storen 118.2ip, 65era-
Cecil 116.1ip, 71era-

Kimbrel 131.0ip, 61era-
Uehara 114.0ip, 62era-
Tazawa 130.1ip, 81era-
King Ryan - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 10:36 PM EDT (#321950) #
I don't really care about ERA for relievers.

Storen is maybe better than I was thinking, and Tazawa worse, but aside from nitpicking you get my point.
uglyone - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 10:37 PM EDT (#321951) #
but yanks are in another league, that's true:

Betances 184.0ip, 36era-
Chapman 120.1ip, 46era-
Miller 133.0ip, 47era-
John Northey - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 10:39 PM EDT (#321952) #
The problem with EE is he is extremely limited defensively. No sane person wants him at 1B for more than 10 or 20 games a year and his 3B days are far behind him now (2013). I'd not sign either to more than 3 years unless the 4/5th years are major bargains (IE: under $5 mil per extra on the deal).

As to 2017...
Free agents: Hitters...
Bautista, Encarnacion, Smoak, Saunders
Pitchers...
Dickey, Storen, Chavez, Cecil, Morales, Floyd.

That is a lot of guys needing to be replaced, but also a ton of payroll. Those 10 players total $61,975,000 in salary this year, less about $2 mil of Storen's salary being paid by Washington.

Next year increases already factored in...
Happ: $3 mil
Martin: $5 mil
Donaldson: $5.35 mil
Estrada: $3 mil
Total: $16.35 mil
Leaving: $61.975-16.35 = $43.625 mil

Arbitration: Barney, Loup, Thole, Carrera, Colabello, Stroman, Hutchison

So the Jays should have around $30 mil available for 2017 free agents/trades.
uglyone - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 10:41 PM EDT (#321953) #
which stat do you like?

2014-16

Kimbrel 63fip-
uehara 74fip-
tazawa 78fip-

Cecil 62fip-
Osuna 72fip-
Storen 74fip-

p.s floyd as RP: 22.2ip, 61era-, 63fip-
King Ryan - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 10:45 PM EDT (#321954) #
I imagine it would look quite different if you did 2013-2015, but fair enough; maybe I am weighing 3 seasons ago too heavily in my mind.
Eephus - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 10:56 PM EDT (#321955) #
What a memorable night for the Raptors. An incredible 4th quarter comeback highlighted by a steal and breakaway dunk by a rookie in a key moment that will go down as an iconic playoff memory.

No kidding. Norm Powell has been so so good these past three/four months on both ends of the court, essentially forcing the veteran favouring Casey to play a second round rookie because that energetic tenacity is so infectious. He'd be crazy not to give this guy 15+ minutes a night from now until forever. Heck he guarded Paul George well despite a five inch disadvantage.

Wait... the Blue Jays played tonight? Right... of course. Um... it was Chris Sale against April R.A. Dickey. There are like 135ish games left. I'm only gonna be really really worried if they're stumbling around .500 in late June or they lose nine in a row at some point. Great teams rarely lose nine in a row, but plenty of great teams only win ten out of twenty-two games on occasion. It's too early for doom and his brother gloom: they'll have plenty of time for the spotlight in August if the season really does go badly south.
scottt - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 10:57 PM EDT (#321956) #
The pen looks really bad right now. High pressure, low pressure. I don't see the difference.

Contracts are rarely 3 years at 20M and then 2 at 5M.
That looks more like a player option and Shapiro doesn't seem to like those

Kasi - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 10:58 PM EDT (#321957) #
Yeah shocking enough teams have realized that the best way to get an ace is to keep their young studs. Well other than getting a vet, but then you have to pay 200 million for them. So take your pick on the two ways you want to get a stud ace, since getting lucky like the Cubs did with Arrieta is likely not going to happen.
uglyone - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 11:35 PM EDT (#321958) #
oh i "pick" the draft way! no more trading draft picks and we'll surely have an ace in no time!
uglyone - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 11:37 PM EDT (#321959) #
and let's make sure we save all our payroll for buying those crucial depth players instead - those guys are impossible to draft or get for cheap.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 11:38 PM EDT (#321960) #
The Bullpen is presently the Blue Jays biggest problem. No one else on the entire Team has much confidence in them, and it shows. Right now there's very little Gibbons can do to make it better. The people with options are pitching well.

Drew Storen is a puzzle, but I don't see enough to have any idea of what's actually wrong. He's a very good pitcher, so this cannot continue. Brett Cecil stole four games from the Team pitching badly. It's been a very long time since he's been this bad in 21 games.

The Jays should be 17-5, not 10-12. Starting pitching, other than R.A. Dickey has been surprisingly good. Defense has been as expected. Offense hasn't been as good as it should be, but it's usually good enough. The Blue Jays should be running away with the Division, not mired in the middle because of a stumbling Bullpen. Until they solve their issues, nothing will change.
Chuck - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 11:51 PM EDT (#321961) #
What a memorable night for the Raptors.

While the comeback was terrific, the bad news is that there even had to be a comeback. This is the first round against a weaker team, at home. This should have been a boring blow-out. If a Herculean effort is required to get past the first round, it's tough to be optimistic about the second.

Chuck - Tuesday, April 26 2016 @ 11:54 PM EDT (#321962) #
The Jays should be 17-5, not 10-12.

What, not 22-0?

SK in NJ - Wednesday, April 27 2016 @ 09:05 AM EDT (#321966) #
"Yeah shocking enough teams have realized that the best way to get an ace is to keep their young studs. Well other than getting a vet, but then you have to pay 200 million for them."


Plus in the scenario of trading for a vet 'ace', it involves giving up assets (potentially great ones) for what likely amounts to a very small window of control on the 'ace'. I put quotations on the word ace because those types don't get traded very often, and if they do, it's usually in the manner that Price was traded (two month rental or one year rental). The ones that are more likely to be traded are faux aces (Samardzija types), and even in scenarios like that it involves overpaying in prospect capital for a short window of control.

Anyone who argues that drafting/developing an ace isn't the best way to acquire one is fooling themselves. I'll even throw out the word ace completely and just go with SP's in general. Estrada and Happ are very good contracts in this current market, and that's $26M over two years and $36M over three years guaranteed respectively. It's not cheap to acquire pitching in general, never mind generational talent.
TangledUpInBlue - Wednesday, April 27 2016 @ 09:18 AM EDT (#321967) #
David Price has been great so far this year.

He really has.

FIP: 2.42
xFIP: 2.40
SIERA: 2.34

All career bests.
Mike Green - Wednesday, April 27 2016 @ 09:51 AM EDT (#321968) #
If you have a look at Price's batted ball profile, it shows 29.2% line drives and 4% pop-ups, more fly balls than ever in his career and more hard hit balls than ever by a mile (41%). FIP ignores his LD rate and pop-up rates,  xFIP treats his 12% HR/FB as a fluke.  I don't think it is at all.   

I don't what the deal with SIERA is, but if you can't figure out from Price's batted ball profile that the FIP and xFIP are way too low, what good is the stat?
uglyone - Wednesday, April 27 2016 @ 10:20 AM EDT (#321969) #
you're missing the huge spike in Ks.

percentage of total batters faced:

2016

130tbf
46k (35.4%)
8bb (6.2%)
26gb (20.0%)
25fb (19.2%)
21ld (16.2%)
1po (0.8%)
2ih (1.5%)
1bu (0.8%)

2015

888tbf
225k (25.3%)
47bb (5.3%)
243gb (27.4%)
219fb (24.7%)
139ld (15.7%)
24po (2.7%)
17ih (1.9%)
12bu (1.4%)

the line drive rate is actually the same as always, he's just striking more guys out so far a instead getting flyballs or grounders.
Magpie - Wednesday, April 27 2016 @ 11:29 AM EDT (#321972) #
It's too early for doom and his brother gloom

Word.
Mike Green - Wednesday, April 27 2016 @ 11:36 AM EDT (#321973) #
Nope, uglyone.   FIP and xFIP take into account K rate but not batted ball profile.  If the SIERA is lower than the FIP and the xFIP with Price's batted ball profile, it is doing something very wrong.
Mike Green - Wednesday, April 27 2016 @ 11:52 AM EDT (#321974) #
Or to look at it another way, Price is giving up lots of hard hit fly balls.  The line against him when he gives up a fly ball is .318/.304/.864.  Marco Estrada gives up lots of weakly hit fly balls.  Last year, the line against him when he gave up a fly ball was .121/.119/.362.  This year it is .105/.105/.158.  You can treat all of this as just bad luck by Price in 2016 (as FIP, xFIP and SIERA apparently do), but I'll assure you that Price doesn't do so.  He's going to be sacrificing something on the Ks to get some more ground balls and fewer line drives and hard hit fly balls any day soon.   So far, his home line against RHB is .305/.369/.576.  Some of that is not a fluke- David Price is a fine pitcher, but being a lefty not named Grove in Fenway is a challenge. 

The ERA is, of course, also not reflective of how he has pitched.  He has had hit bunching early in the season.  That will probably change as the season wears on. 

uglyone - Wednesday, April 27 2016 @ 12:12 PM EDT (#321975) #
siera actually thinks strikeouts are even more valuable than fip or xfip, partly because the numbers show that high K% usually results in lower babip too....and it sees walks as less hurtful (at least for low walk pitchers).

siera's also not linear - e.g. a groundball does not always have the same value, but actually has more value if you are already a high gb% pitcher (as a high gb% actually has lower expected babip on a gb than a low gb% pitcher does, and has a higher instance of double plays as well).
Mike Green - Wednesday, April 27 2016 @ 12:34 PM EDT (#321976) #
siera actually thinks strikeouts are even more valuable than fip or xfip, partly because the numbers show that high K% usually results in lower babip too

OK.  It is true that usually a pitcher with a much higher K rate will have fewer line drives on balls in play, more pop-ups and fewer hard-hit balls.  That has not been Price in 2016. 
Gerry - Wednesday, April 27 2016 @ 01:36 PM EDT (#321977) #
Ryan Tepera had a rough last outing for Buffalo. His reward? A promotion with Venditte going down.
Mike Green - Wednesday, April 27 2016 @ 02:09 PM EDT (#321978) #
I'm not surprised Venditte is going down.  Gibbons wasn't able to figure out a way to use him to his best advantage, facing more left-handed hitters than right-handed hitters and no switch-hitters.  He's not a great pitcher, but in the hands of a more capable bullpen manager, you could find a use for him.  Tepera isn't bad, but with Cecil struggling and Loup not yet on a rehab stint and Girodo still in the minors, the bullpen has a very noticeable list. 
uglyone - Wednesday, April 27 2016 @ 02:27 PM EDT (#321979) #
shoulda sent down venditte instead of girodo last time. now they gotta wait on girodo's 10 days.

not a venditte fan. even his looginess i doubt would work against good lefties.
Spifficus - Wednesday, April 27 2016 @ 02:46 PM EDT (#321980) #
I'll echo that - I saw more to like out of Girodo than out of Venditte, and given the usage is going to primarily be against lefties at this time, he would have been the one to keep around.

They're both amusing to look at from a pitch f/z standpoint, though. Venditte gets his lefty and righty pitches on the same chart, so he has two distinct clusters, where sinkers and sliders mingle harmoniously. Girodo's vertical 'rise' on everything is between 0 and 1. For points of reference, a good sinker would normally be in the 4-5 range and Estrada's fastball is about 12-13.
Mike Green - Wednesday, April 27 2016 @ 02:51 PM EDT (#321981) #
The best lefties he has faced are Prince Fielder, Kyle Seager, Robinson Cano, Adrian Gonzalez and Chris Davis.  They are a combined 1-15 with 6 strikeouts and 1 walk.  Chris Davis homered and walked, and the others have been completely neutralized. 
Mike Green - Wednesday, April 27 2016 @ 02:53 PM EDT (#321982) #
Further, in Venditte's 2016 turn, he faced 17 RHBs and 4LHBs.  If you give that kind of workload to Girodo, he'll fail too. 
uglyone - Wednesday, April 27 2016 @ 02:55 PM EDT (#321983) #
it was all the 82mph fastballs that killed me.
Mike Green - Wednesday, April 27 2016 @ 03:08 PM EDT (#321984) #
What did Quiz throw? 86 maybe?
uglyone - Wednesday, April 27 2016 @ 03:17 PM EDT (#321985) #
yeah and girodo doesn't throw all that much harder either. so maybe i'm wrong.
Alex Obal - Wednesday, April 27 2016 @ 03:29 PM EDT (#321986) #
Best contemporary example is Brad Ziegler, no? (I have no clue what to make of Venditte but hey, 21 BF, plenty of time to see something you couldn't see in spring training, the windsocracy has made its decision. Next man up.)
uglyone - Wednesday, April 27 2016 @ 05:39 PM EDT (#321989) #
Good news - Travis is set to play in live games in extended spring training on friday.

BlueJayWay - Wednesday, April 27 2016 @ 05:54 PM EDT (#321990) #
Awesome news on Travis. They'll probably leave him down there, what, three weeks at least? If things are going well by then he might be up.
scottt - Wednesday, April 27 2016 @ 06:38 PM EDT (#321991) #
Would he stay in extended rather than move to Buffalo?
scottt - Wednesday, April 27 2016 @ 06:51 PM EDT (#321992) #
I wonder if Smoak will play more without Colabello around.
It would be weird to have him as a defensive replacement today.

When travis comes back, they'll have to decide who rounds up the bench.
Keep Barney?

SK in NJ - Wednesday, April 27 2016 @ 08:21 PM EDT (#321993) #
I think it's clear Gibbons does not like Smoak. If Donaldson is good enough to play 3B, then there's no reason to start Dominguez at 1B. Even if Smoak has trouble against LHP, he's a better option out there than anyone else currently on the roster. Baffling that he can't get playing time even without Colabello around. Maybe that changes shortly, but Goins can find playing time against LHP despite being an awful offensive player all the way around and Barney actually being a solid platoon option. Strange decision making.
Magpie - Wednesday, April 27 2016 @ 09:13 PM EDT (#321994) #
Strong measures are called for, I think.

 photo jobuK.jpg
uglyone - Wednesday, April 27 2016 @ 09:13 PM EDT (#321995) #
lol
uglyone - Wednesday, April 27 2016 @ 09:18 PM EDT (#321996) #
good on gibby for letting estrada try to finish it.
scottt - Wednesday, April 27 2016 @ 09:35 PM EDT (#321997) #
Not so sure. That bullpen needs to practice getting outs.
Nothing scares me more than that bullpen when it's fully rested.

uglyone - Wednesday, April 27 2016 @ 09:45 PM EDT (#321998) #
welp, good job team. you've officially wasted the best few weeks of starting pitching to open a season in recent memory, and somehow managed to dig yourself into a hole anyways.

time to wake the hell up.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, April 27 2016 @ 10:00 PM EDT (#321999) #
OK, I am officially scared by the start Russell Martin is on. He now has 28 strike outs in 62 plate appearances. He came into this game with a -0.4 WAR and even his framing numbers won't bring his value up much anymore (probably a combination of teams now employing better framers in general and maybe umps catching on to it). This is beyond a bad start. He's K'ing nearly 50% of the time and he's not even drawing walks. He really needs to pick it up. If he's hurt, then call someone else up and put him on the DL.
Mike Green - Wednesday, April 27 2016 @ 10:01 PM EDT (#322000) #
I tuned in to the last 2 innings.  That was one dead ballclub. 
scottt - Wednesday, April 27 2016 @ 10:02 PM EDT (#322001) #
The way the pen is going, not bringing in a reliever until the starter has given a run is a lot like not jumping into incoming traffic.

This looks a lot like what Tepera was doing in Buffalo. Almost 2 baserunners per innings. Walks and strikeouts are not too bad, but he's getting shelled.

It's pretty sad when a team loaded with right handed batters strikes out 10 times in 6 innings against a lefty.  Obviously a good lefty faces a lot of right handed hitters, but still.

scottt - Wednesday, April 27 2016 @ 10:06 PM EDT (#322002) #
A day off and back to the Trop!  Yikes.

I try not to think of what the standings would be like if Floyd was starting and Sanchez was in the pen to pitch those 7/8 inning jams.  Hopefully Sanchez manages a win Friday to push those thoughts away.

SK in NJ - Wednesday, April 27 2016 @ 10:12 PM EDT (#322003) #
Yeah, Sanchez in the pen and Floyd in the rotation was the move to make if they wanted a better chance in 2016. They went with the upside move (smart in the long run) but you can tell it has hurt the pen a bit.
Four Seamer - Wednesday, April 27 2016 @ 10:16 PM EDT (#322004) #
I'm equally worried by Martin's start, and now starting to wonder which of his or Tulo's deal we are going to most lament in the coming years. Every team would like anchors up the middle, but preferably not contractual ones.
BlueJayWay - Wednesday, April 27 2016 @ 10:21 PM EDT (#322005) #
Ugly.
Mike D - Wednesday, April 27 2016 @ 10:24 PM EDT (#322006) #
Too early not to count on regression (the good kind), but definitely not too early to seriously worry.

I think it's time to call for a public accounting about why a cheap and conservative offseason was appropriate given last year's revenue boost, a one-year championship window, a lack of trade chips, and a total lack of near-term help in the system. There's no way out now of this other than patience. The opportunities to give the roster a shot in the arm have passed.
CeeBee - Wednesday, April 27 2016 @ 10:29 PM EDT (#322007) #
Speaking of anchors. Did the Titanic have anchors and not enough lifeboats?
ComebyDeanChance - Wednesday, April 27 2016 @ 10:39 PM EDT (#322008) #
Didn't hear much about David Price after Tampa Bay lit him up like a pinball machine in his last start. Or when Baltimore pounded him a couple of starts ago.

His good game last night was against Atlanta, which has scored the fewest runs in baseball and going into tonight had 15 straight games without hitting a home run.

To this point, Price has beaten Cleveland in his first start, which was playing without two starting outfielders; Toronto, which started 6 guys who couldn't hit water from a boat at the time, and Atlanta. He has a 5.76 era. Last year Toronto had a guy who has owned Price, but he is now in Oakland.

Toronto's roster problem isn't that they have Happ and Estrada instead of Price. Both of those guys have pitched better than Price so far this year on far better contracts. Toronto's roster problem is that the core of the lineup is two guys who have been allowed to acquire 10/5 and are thus unmoveable, and who are looking for their mega-contract of a lifetime in their mid-30's and won't take less until they've tested the market, and; two guys with very bad contracts acquired last year who aren't hitting anything and who look like they may each have a very ugly $20 million per year decline. And Donaldson. Along with that the farm system was badly depleted last year.

I can't imagine that the front office isn't wondering when the cut bait date is, and whether they will be unable to unload Tulowitzki and Martin without having to eat a lot of money.

There problem isn't the lack of another bad contract.
Magpie - Wednesday, April 27 2016 @ 10:42 PM EDT (#322009) #
Estrada on his shoulder (he looked like something was bothering him): "... it didn't feel very good... I don't want to talk about it."
Mike Green - Wednesday, April 27 2016 @ 10:52 PM EDT (#322010) #
When did he not look good, Magpie? I would generally be reluctant to have a starter throw 110 plus pitches in April, particularly one who had very little work in the spring.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, April 27 2016 @ 11:03 PM EDT (#322011) #
I think this start to the season validates Shapiro's (and ownership's) approach, if anything. I know that won't be a popular statement, but when the window for a roster is one season, it becomes very risky to go "all-in" and risk further long-term damage, even moreso in Toronto's case given the amount of prospects they've lost in trades since 2013.

This team is good enough, on paper, to win in 2016. I still believe that. However, the core of this team is in their 30's. You can anticipate decline, but some times it can hit when it is least expected. The Jays are not underperforming like last season. They have been outscored (-6) on the season. Some of their stars have started poorly, their bullpen has started off poorly, and some of their role players that were expected to carry forward their performance from last season (optimistically, IMO) have been disappointing (Cola, Goins). The issue would not have been fixed by signing David Price. Some times you just have to accept that maybe the previous GM went all in already, and what's left was going to decline regardless. I've been stressing that all winter. A core of expensive 30-somethings is not how you build a sustainable team because age related decline does not discriminate.

The top 3 pitchers in WAR right now are Estrada, Floyd, and Happ in that order (Stroman and Sanchez are tied with Happ), so the guys Shapiro brought in or back are actually doing their jobs. The stars need to play like stars, every single one of them, if this team has a shot at all of contending.

It's still too early to panic. It wouldn't shock me at all if the Jays go on an extended hot streak soon. But some of the stuff we have seen so far is a bit troubling.
Alex Obal - Wednesday, April 27 2016 @ 11:29 PM EDT (#322013) #
I could've done without the Sox piling on at the end but that was an entertaining duel for seven innings. Of course it was going to be Navarro. He'd guessed right a few times before the big hit..
Kasi - Wednesday, April 27 2016 @ 11:45 PM EDT (#322014) #
The popular moves this offseason were to sign Price and one of Estrada/Dickey (since they did need to fill depth too) which would have maxed out the budget. And then to sign Bautista and EE to long term contracts because they've been awesome and always will be awesome, age be damned. Of course the only players really performing now are the pitchers Shapiro went out and signed. Anyway AA is a smart guy. I'm sure he knew going into the offseason the troubles that would await this team in the next year or two, Well now Shapiro and Atkins have to deal with it.
King Ryan - Thursday, April 28 2016 @ 12:29 AM EDT (#322015) #
Bautista and Donaldson are hitting. Encarnacion never hits in April. Other than Martin, the offense is about as expected so far I'd say.
Kasi - Thursday, April 28 2016 @ 12:38 AM EDT (#322016) #
So as expected means a team WRC of 10 below what they did last March/April when they had no Tulo and no Saunders? I think others here have posted about runs/game being way down,
King Ryan - Thursday, April 28 2016 @ 12:46 AM EDT (#322017) #
I guess so?

They also had Devon Travis with a 1.000+ OPS let's not forget.
China fan - Thursday, April 28 2016 @ 06:07 AM EDT (#322020) #
"....Anyway AA is a smart guy. I'm sure he knew going into the offseason the troubles that would await this team in the next year or two...."

So you've written off the entire season in April and already blamed AA for a "troubled" season?  I recall last year when some of our members were writing off the season in July.  It was early then, and it's early now.   Even if someone is determined to do post-mortem analysis, it's usually best to wait for the body to be dead.

China fan - Thursday, April 28 2016 @ 06:13 AM EDT (#322021) #
"....A core of expensive 30-somethings is not how you build a sustainable team because age related decline does not discriminate. The top 3 pitchers in WAR right now are Estrada, Floyd, and Happ in that order (Stroman and Sanchez are tied with Happ), so the guys Shapiro brought in or back are actually doing their jobs...."

Don't forget that Shapiro could have traded Bautista and Encarnacion for prospects in the off-season if he agreed with your claim that the expensive 30-something players are the problem.  He could have traded Martin and Tulo for prospects too.  (Past GMs have managed to unload big contracts.)

I do expect a lot of post-facto criticism if the Jays do poorly this season, but let's not pretend that Shapiro has zero responsibility for the Jays this year.  If the Jays do poorly (which is not yet a foregone conclusion), people will rightly blame the expensive stars.  But it was ultimately Shapiro's decision to keep the core together, and most of us agreed with it.
scottt - Thursday, April 28 2016 @ 06:40 AM EDT (#322022) #
I wasn't expecting Cola or Goins to carry on from last year.
Sometimes hitting is contagious. When there's only a few weak bats in a lineup you throw them strikes.

I'm hoping Travis comes back and contribute. In a month.

scottt - Thursday, April 28 2016 @ 06:57 AM EDT (#322023) #
Nobody would dismantle a team that made it to the league championships.
Not if you don't want fans showing up at your house to throw rocks.

The logic that EE and Bautista are too old--they are not the problem--but that they could be traded for valuable prospects is also flawed. The majority of the fans don't care about prospects.
Hockey ratings are down. I don't see Rogers throwing the season away.

The team is doing well enough to dominate the division apart from the bullpen.
Gibbons has some problems to solve there and Tepera isn't it.

Mike D - Thursday, April 28 2016 @ 08:13 AM EDT (#322024) #
Beyond Smoak, the Jays entered the season with an entirely replacement level (or worse) bench despite having a thoroughly unpromising cast of position players in Buffalo other than the still-unready Pompey. They are an injury or slump away from disaster at every single position. What's the solution to the suggestion above to "call up somebody" and DL Martin?

Shapiro made a point of fortifying the Bisons rotation, but didn't do the same for position players. Not nearly a good enough bench considering how far away are the team's offensive prospects (such as they are).
Mike D - Thursday, April 28 2016 @ 08:16 AM EDT (#322025) #
To the Price point, while I think Boston signed him to a terrible contract that would not be worth matching or exceeding...it is far, far too early to crow about his performance.
Parker - Thursday, April 28 2016 @ 08:18 AM EDT (#322026) #
Don't forget that Shapiro could have traded Bautista and Encarnacion for prospects in the off-season if he agreed with your claim that the expensive 30-something players are the problem.

No, he couldn't have - both players achieved 10/5 status under Anthopoulos. Neither one can be traded without the player's consent.
uglyone - Thursday, April 28 2016 @ 08:57 AM EDT (#322028) #
"I think this start to the season validates Shapiro's (and ownership's) approach, if anything. "

lmao. of course.

Estrada, Dickey, Happ, Floyd, Chavez, Storen, Biagini, Venditte, Morales = 4.08era

AL Total ERA = 3.75

$50m+ on sub-mediocrity validated!!!

and arguably that group is overachieving their expectations.

meanwhile that crippled old underachieving slumping offense has been.....league average, with a 100wrc+.
jerjapan - Thursday, April 28 2016 @ 09:11 AM EDT (#322029) #
"Beyond Smoak, the Jays entered the season with an entirely replacement level (or worse) bench despite having a thoroughly unpromising cast of position players in Buffalo other than the still-unready Pompey."

Not sure I agree with this idea Mike D. Clearly Thole is a separate issue, but Barney is a solid backup and if Travis recovers we have great IF depth. Losing Cola hurts but Smoak covers that hole, and I assume the plan was always Pompey if an OF gets injured. There are plenty of solid vets in AAA who could play the stopgap role and the FO is continuing to add there with Michael Bourne and Alexi Castilla the recent examples - although clearly the upper minor prospect cupboard is pretty barren.
Dave Till - Thursday, April 28 2016 @ 09:13 AM EDT (#322030) #

Beyond Smoak, the Jays entered the season with an entirely replacement level (or worse) bench despite having a thoroughly unpromising cast of position players in Buffalo other than the still-unready Pompey. They are an injury or slump away from disaster at every single position.

I think this is true of almost every team (except for the Cubs, who have insane levels of depth everywhere). It's hard to find good bench players on the free agent market - if a player is any good, someone will sign him to start for them (for example, Navarro). The pennant race is often a health race - the team that is lucky enough not to lose starters to injury is the team that wins.

It's still too early to panic. It wouldn't shock me at all if the Jays go on an extended hot streak soon. But some of the stuff we have seen so far is a bit troubling.

The worrisome part is that the players who are struggling the most - Tulowitzki and Martin - are the ones who are signed long-term. They'll both bounce back - I think they're just trying too hard, and it's throwing off their timing - but I am concerned about it.

All of the other hitters are doing about as well as expected. Goins has turned back into a pumpkin, but I suppose that this was always going to be a possibility.

The bullpen has been horrible except for Osuna, but most of them are new, and Gibbons is still sorting out who can do what (assuming that some of them can do anything, which might be unrealistic). The troublesome part here is Cecil, who has gone from invincible to very very vincible. He's been charged with four losses already - it's possible to argue that he, by himself, is responsible for the unexpected slow start in 2016. The late-2015 Cecil might have been able to preserve all of those wins, and then the Jays would be 14-9 right now instead of 10-13.

As for last night's game: it was a trick of cruel Fate that the player who was up with the game on the line and Estrada starting to tire was the one man who knows Estrada's stuff better than any other human on the planet.

uglyone - Thursday, April 28 2016 @ 09:16 AM EDT (#322031) #
the bench has been a great strength so far. as good probably better than most any in baseball.

Carrera 146wrc+
Barney 116wrc+
Smoak 115wrc+
Thole 72wrc+

I'm not exactly sure why the first callup was Dominguez (-58wrc+), though.
uglyone - Thursday, April 28 2016 @ 09:30 AM EDT (#322033) #
a note on Tulo's "struggles" - his 87wrc+ with very good D at SS has him at 0.3fwar and 0.5bwar so far, which average has him on pace for a solid 3war season. And this with an unsustainably low .200babip.

even that underachieving 87wrc+ is better than 4 other starters, and worlds better than 3 of them.

what's making our offense mediocre so far is absolute black holes with Martin, goins, and cola. cola has taken care of one of those holes himself, though starting dominguez at 1B doesn't help things. Goins simply shouldn't be starting with barney producing, so hopefully that changes. A month from now Travis will be there to make it moot anyways.

Martin's been as bad as goins, which sucks, but likely won't last much longer.
SK in NJ - Thursday, April 28 2016 @ 09:41 AM EDT (#322034) #
First off, David Price's ERA is a shade below 6.00. For some reason, I think if anyone used ERA to say Price was having a bad season, you'd trip over your own feet in trying to rush to his defense. The fact that you're using ERA at all is laughable considering you were using advanced stats earlier in this very thread that were designed specifically because ERA in isolation is misleading.

Secondly, Dickey was acquired by AA. No amount of spinning is going to change that. All we have to do is watch a Mets game to remember that trade. He wasn't a free agent. The team option was picked up because it was affordable and they had no pitching depth at the time. To use that as a Shapiro acquisition is purposely misleading. Estrada was at least a FA, so while AA acquired him, Shapiro actually had to work out a contract with him to bring him back. Dickey is a separate issue.

Thirdly, the leaders on the team in pitching WAR are Estrada (0.6), Floyd (0.4), and a four way tie between Happ, Dickey, Stroman, and Sanchez (0.3). The top 5 in FIP on the team include one holdover from last season (Osuna). The other 4? Floyd, Estrada, Morales (SSS), and Biagini. If you really want to use ERA, then the combined ERA of Happ, Estrada, Floyd, Chavez, Storen, Biagini, Morales, and Leon sits at 3.10. Venditte was acquired by AA so not sure why he's credited to Shapiro.

The entire starting lineup was acquired by AA. The bench was acquired by AA. The rotation, with the exception of Happ replacing Buehrle, was acquired by AA. The pen is going to have turnover every season but it's a mix there. This is AA and Gibby's team. If the season goes well or goes in the toilet, it won't be on the backs of the players acquired by Shapiro. The core of this team was already established. Its success or failure in 2016 will fall on AA/Gibbons. All Shapiro did, or tried to do, was add depth around a roster that was already in place before he signed on.

This roster will sink or swim with the holdovers from 2015, especially the star players. To suggest otherwise and try to blame it on a Rule 5 pick and the bottom of the rotation starters (who are actually performing well so far) is not seeing the forest for the trees. As much as you want to avoid it, age is a factor with this roster. The upside is huge, but any sort of age related decline from its core pieces can damper that upside considerably.
SK in NJ - Thursday, April 28 2016 @ 09:51 AM EDT (#322035) #
ChinaFan, as someone else mentioned, trading Bautista and Encarnacion prior to the season was not going to happen due to 10/5 rights (Tulo also has a NTC), but more than that, I doubt there was any chance ownership would have allowed it coming off the 2015 season (and post season) that they had. Rightfully so. This roster long-term probably would have benefitted from a quasi-rebuild prior to this season, but short-term, the Jays have a real shot in 2016 to make the playoffs. As long as no prospects were moved, no picks were lost, and nothing was done to hurt the long-term financial flexibility of the team, then it made sense to take one more shot in 2016 before reassessing in 2017.

However, I don't think it's a reach to say that this was not Shapiro's idea when he was hired. I have my doubts that trying to win with AA's core was something he had any intention of doing. It was likely a completely different objective that had to be altered when the team succeeded in the 2nd half of 2015. I thought he managed the off-season very well. Whether the team makes the playoffs in 2016 or doesn't, they have enough flexibility to improvise their future direction regardless of what happens.
uglyone - Thursday, April 28 2016 @ 10:03 AM EDT (#322036) #
"The fact that you're using ERA at all is laughable considering you were using advanced stats earlier in this very thread that were designed specifically because ERA in isolation is misleading."

116.2ip, 4.09era (107-), 3.83fip (96-), 4.27xfip (109-), 4.15siera, 1.3fwar, 0.6ra9war
uglyone - Thursday, April 28 2016 @ 10:09 AM EDT (#322037) #
let's just thank our lucky stars that god stepped in and stopped shapiro from trading saunders for bruce, who unsurprisingly is already a -0.4 fwar and bwar player this year despite a hot start at the plate.

but shappy just loved that bruce was "controllable"!
BlueJayWay - Thursday, April 28 2016 @ 10:18 AM EDT (#322038) #
However, I don't think it's a reach to say that this was not Shapiro's idea when he was hired. I have my doubts that trying to win with AA's core was something he had any intention of doing. It was likely a completely different objective that had to be altered when the team succeeded in the 2nd half of 2015. I thought he managed the off-season very well. Whether the team makes the playoffs in 2016 or doesn't, they have enough flexibility to improvise their future direction regardless of what happens.

Agreed. I think in the middle of last summer when Shapiro knew he'd be coming to Toronto, he expected to initiate a rebuild. Then the team went on that crazy run and won the division almost the AL pennant...and he couldn't come in and tear it down after that. So he kept the core in place and supplemented it a bit for one more run in 2016.
uglyone - Thursday, April 28 2016 @ 10:33 AM EDT (#322039) #
"Agreed. I think in the middle of last summer when Shapiro knew he'd be coming to Toronto, he expected to initiate a rebuild. Then the team went on that crazy run and won the division almost the AL pennant...and he couldn't come in and tear it down after that. So he kept the core in place and supplemented it a bit for one more run in 2016."

yeah, don't let the playoffs get in the way of a good rebuild.
uglyone - Thursday, April 28 2016 @ 10:52 AM EDT (#322041) #
In addition to travis playing tommorrow in extended spring, schultz starts a rehab in dunedin today and loup throws his first bullpen on monday.
Gerry - Thursday, April 28 2016 @ 11:03 AM EDT (#322044) #
Travis is hitting only, his shoulder is not yet ready for defensive work. I still think it will be after the all-star break before he is ready.
uglyone - Thursday, April 28 2016 @ 11:12 AM EDT (#322045) #
It's his non throwing shoulder, which is under more stress during batting than fielding, so wouldn't that just be a regular easing a guy into his first live game in months?
Gerry - Thursday, April 28 2016 @ 11:57 AM EDT (#322049) #
I am repeating what I read in Shi Davidi's report today or yesterday.
Kasi - Thursday, April 28 2016 @ 12:03 PM EDT (#322050) #
Last year China the team was underperforming its peripherals. It was a .500 team that had a run differential of the best team in baseball. (although some of that run differential was based on sequencing luck that wasn't likely going to be repeated, the 15 Jays were amazing with runners on base) This year like SK said the team isn't underperforming. They're just a poor team outside their first 4 SP and Donaldson/Bautista. Also as has been mentioned EE and Jose could not be traded without their consent. I'll give it more time for sure, but it's my opinion that AA was a poor (but exciting! so many crazy moves!) GM and has left the team in a bad state on his departure. The one thing he did excel at was leveraging loopholes in international signing and draft rules to get a lot of players into the system to fuel his trades.

Like SK I believe they can make one more run this year, but come next year this team is in trouble. They can't sign Jose/EE to the crazy contracts those two seem to want. Tulo and Martin are aging fast. It's sad that our hope for now is that Travis comes up and plays like last year coming off two shoulder injuries. Our best minor league stud in Alford might have this year written off. The rest of the minors except Pompey are a while away. They really need to bring him up. Get Jose and EE on 1b more often and have Pompey play right field and don't play Smoak (or Dominguez) so much.

You can certainly blame ownership for not raising payroll, but those issues would have hit AA just as much as Shapiro. If AA was still around they would not have been able to sign Price either. (especially if Beeston and his 5 year rule stuck around)
King Ryan - Thursday, April 28 2016 @ 12:10 PM EDT (#322051) #
"Estrada, Dickey, Happ, Floyd, Chavez, Storen, Biagini, Venditte, Morales = 4.08era

AL Total ERA = 3.75

$50m+ on sub-mediocrity validated!!!"

David Price ERA = 5.76

Your agenda is getting tiresome.
mathesond - Thursday, April 28 2016 @ 12:19 PM EDT (#322052) #
So, anyone else think Gibbons should go?
uglyone - Thursday, April 28 2016 @ 12:33 PM EDT (#322053) #
"Your agenda is getting tiresome."

Sorry, budbud, but I didn't bring Shapiro's plan up this time.
uglyone - Thursday, April 28 2016 @ 12:35 PM EDT (#322055) #
p.s. Alford DH'd in an extended game yesterday. With a knee brace.
uglyone - Thursday, April 28 2016 @ 12:47 PM EDT (#322056) #
Firing Gibbons now would basically be firing him for using Cecil.
John Northey - Thursday, April 28 2016 @ 01:18 PM EDT (#322057) #
I didn't hear that Gibbons comment, that he didn't know anything was wrong with Estrada. If your pitcher is rubbing his shoulder then it is the managers job to find out why ASAP. This is a key pitcher for the team and if he was in pain you pull him as soon as you possibly can, I don't care if he has a perfect game going you just don't risk an asset like that. Pitchers are fragile and 'gutting it out' is something that is stupid to do with them. Even stupider though is if the manager wasn't watching the game. To not see what millions of TV viewers saw and pretty much everyone in the park saw is very bad and a fireable offense imo.

Generally I feel a manager makes little difference, the #1 thing they can do is put the right names into the lineup and bring in the right pitchers at the right times. Maybe it is time for Cito Act 3?
pubster - Thursday, April 28 2016 @ 02:04 PM EDT (#322059) #
"Estrada, Dickey, Happ, Floyd, Chavez, Storen, Biagini, Venditte, Morales = 4.08era"

Dickey was AA's aquisition. Same with Estrada.

I doubt they would be here if AA didn't acquire them.

I'm ok with the rest of the list.
pubster - Thursday, April 28 2016 @ 02:16 PM EDT (#322060) #
AA was a great drafter.

He was able to accumulate a lot of prospect capital because of this.

Like the Yankees, who can just throw money around, the Jays were able to just throw prospects around and bring in big names to their team.

However, it seems like they didnt really spend their prospect capital that well. Similar to teams that overpay for free agents.
John Northey - Thursday, April 28 2016 @ 02:30 PM EDT (#322061) #
AA's draft record...
2010: 8 guys reached, best is Kris Bryant (didn't sign, later signed with Cubs as a 1st round pick) of those who signed best is Noah Syndergaard. Ouch. So 2 very good pitchers drafted (Syndergaard/Sanchez) but first picked was Deck McGuire, two before Chris Sale went go figure. It isn't easy drafting - 3 others drafted before McGuire didn't reach as well.

2011: 5 guys reached, best is Pillar 6.9 WAR (DeSclafani, Norris also of note)

2012: Stroman the only one to reach 3.2 WAR

2013: Graveman/Boyd/Girodo reached

14/15 none reached yet.
pubster - Thursday, April 28 2016 @ 02:40 PM EDT (#322062) #
A lot of IFAs too. ie Osuna. I think the system was ranked top 5 and some people considered it the best in all of baseball.
uglyone - Thursday, April 28 2016 @ 03:16 PM EDT (#322064) #
AA drafts using bwar:

* = IFA signing

CF Pillar 6.9
SP Syndergaard '10 3.8
SP Sanchez '10 3.4
SP Stroman '12 3.2
RP Osuna* '11 1.7
RP Dyson '10 1.6
SP Graveman '13 1.5
SP Desclafani '11 1.0
CF Pompey '10 0.7
SP Nicolino '10 0.7
SP Norris '11 0.5
SS Hechavarria* '10 0.5
RP Castro* '12 -0.2
RP Woj '10 -0.4
SP Nolin '10 -0.6
RP Rollins '11 -0.6
SP Boyd '13 -1.1

(3B Bryant 6.5)
(SP Nola 1.9)


Prospects: CF Alford, SP Hoffman, SP Greene, SP Reid-Foley, SS Urena*, 1B Tellez, 1B Guerrero*, SS Barreto*, (SS Lugo*, SP Tinoco*, RP Labourt*, RP Tirado*, OF Becerra*, SP Perdomo*, SP Rios*)
uglyone - Thursday, April 28 2016 @ 03:19 PM EDT (#322065) #
I also like to keep track of all the guys he traded while young or youngish. Quite a few.

This one I use just fwar for.

Team Traded Kids

1. RF Gose (25): 1209pa, 80wrc+, 1.0war/650pa
2. 3B Lawrie (26): 2122pa, 102wrc+, 2.8war/650pa
3. C Gomes (28): 1404pa, 103wrc+, 4.1war/650pa
4. 1B D'Arnaud (27): 853pa, 104wrc+, 2.6war/650pa
5. DH Thames (29); 684pa, 96wrc+, -0.1war/650pa
6. LF Snider (28): 1971pa, 93wrc+, 1.0war/650pa
7. SS Hechavarria (27): 1856pa, 72wrc+, 0.3war/650pa
8. CF Marisnick (25): 738pa, 66wrc+, 1.9war/650pa
9. 2B Pastornicky (26): 268pa, 68wrc+, -3.4war/650pa

UT Wallace (29): 1214pa, 97wrc+, -0.3war/650pa
OF Becerra (21): A+ 114wrc+, A 118wrc+, Rk+ 133wrc+
IF Barreto (20): AA 66wrc+, A+ 122wrc+, A- 141wrc+
IF Lugo (21): A+ 63wrc+, A 91wrc+, A- 74wrc+
C Perez (25): 339pa, 71wrc+, 1.7war/650pa



SP Syndergaard (23): 28gs, 81era-, 5.3war/32gs
SP Alvarez (26): 92gs, 96era-, 1.9war/32gs
SP Desclafani (26): 36gs, 113era-, 2.8war/32gs
SP Graveman (25): 25gs, 105era-, 0.4war/32gs
SP Nolin (26): 7gs, 175era-, -0.9war/32gs, AAA 4.68fip

RP Dyson (28): 138.0ip, 83era-, 0.5war/65ip
RP Collins (26): 211.0ip, 87era-, 0.3war/65ip
RP Rzepczynski (30): 230.1ip, 94era-, 0.4war/65ip
RP Stewart (29): 103.0ip, 161era-, -0.3war/65ip
RP Rollins (26): 25.0ip, 196era-, -0.3war/65ip
RP Magnusson (30): 14.2ip, 155era-, -0.4war/65ip
RP Wojciechowski (27): 16.1ip 178era-, 0.8war/65ip
RP Molina (27): AAA 8.41fip


SP Norris (23): 14gs, 96era-, 1.1war/32gs, AAA 3.19fip
SP Nicolino (24): 13gs, 93era-, 0.5war/32gs, AAA 4.56fip
SP Boyd (25): 12gs, 185era-, -1.9war/32gs, AAA 3.29fip
SP Hoffman (23): AAA 5.11fip, AA 3.42fip, A+ 3.70fip
SP Tinoco (21): A+ 6.25fip, A 2.86fip, Rk+ 4.04fip
SP Wells (20): A 4.47fip, A- 2.66fip, Rk+ 4.24fip

RP Castro (21): 23.2ip, 113era-, -0.6war/65ip, AAA 5.02fip
RP Labourt (22): A+ 3.95fip, A 7.77fi, A- 3.41
RP DeJong (22): AA 4.37fip, A+ 4.22fip
RP Musgrove (23): AA 3.59fip, A+ 2.08fip
RP Cordero (24): AA 3.42fip, A+ 3.24fip
RP Comer (23): A+ 4.41fip, A 3.66fip
RP Tirado (21): A+ 4.25fip, A 5.53fip


Still don't miss any of them other than Noah.
Mike Green - Thursday, April 28 2016 @ 03:24 PM EDT (#322066) #
I went to look up Yan Gomes to see how he was doing in 2016, and found out that he is the son-in-law of Atlee Hammaker.  He isn't hitting much, but then again given Russell Martin's grief/injury, it would be nice to have him around.
SK in NJ - Thursday, April 28 2016 @ 03:51 PM EDT (#322068) #
"David Price ERA = 5.76
Your agenda is getting tiresome."


I think it's clear Ugly uses stats, time periods, etc, that suit whatever his argument is at that moment in time. He couldn't use WAR or FIP in this case because it would have made his argument worse, so he went right into ERA. Except, he used two struggling P's that Shapiro did not even acquire (Dickey and Venditte) to make the cumulative ERA look worse, so it was not only misleading but also incorrect.
uglyone - Thursday, April 28 2016 @ 03:57 PM EDT (#322070) #
I used ERA because i can calculate it in my head. sorry for not calculating fip and xfip by sight. but i did learn how to use fangraphs' custom player selection today for the first time so that's pretty cool.

but if you still need to attack my integrity, can you kindly explain how ERA was misleading in any way?

As a side question, wouldn't the person avoiding reality by attacking my integrity or the validity of that era number be the one who is actually disengenuously spinning?
uglyone - Thursday, April 28 2016 @ 04:00 PM EDT (#322071) #
And i don't know why we wouldn't say shapiro is responsible for players he chose to re-sign. So far he gets credit for smoak and barney, even if they were here before. he didn't have to re sign them.
SK in NJ - Thursday, April 28 2016 @ 04:09 PM EDT (#322072) #
My intent wasn't to attack your integrity, if anything I think you've clearly shown that you have a knowledge of advanced stats, so the use of ERA in this case was likely done intentionally on your part. As mentioned, if someone cited Price's ERA to slight his performance, you'd assuredly be there to mention how misleading it is, so why cite ERA here at all? Especially since Dickey and Venditte make the ERA look worse, and those guys were AA pick-ups.
uglyone - Thursday, April 28 2016 @ 04:12 PM EDT (#322073) #
do you even know how to get total fip and xfip for a select group of players?

I finally figured it out this morning for the first time.
jerjapan - Thursday, April 28 2016 @ 04:23 PM EDT (#322074) #
Your agenda is getting tiresome

Easy now.  There are a ton of posters here who bang their personal drums, including several who like to go at it with Ugly.  I love reading those debates, and I think if you are going to call out one of the parties involved you should be calling them all out - or none.   
pubster - Thursday, April 28 2016 @ 04:24 PM EDT (#322075) #
If you're going to say Shapiro acquired Dickey because he picked up his option, then I guess Shapiro acquired EE and Bautista too, right?
pubster - Thursday, April 28 2016 @ 04:30 PM EDT (#322076) #
Also, didn't Donaldson go to arbitration last offseason?

If so, should Shapiro be given credit for Donaldson?, since he could have opted not to sign Donaldson and then he wouldn't be a Jay.
Mike Green - Thursday, April 28 2016 @ 04:34 PM EDT (#322077) #
Yes, it is true that Shapiro "could" have non-tendered Donaldson.  If he did so, he would have likely faced the largest protest rally ever seen in Toronto.  It would have been fun to see 500,000 people with Donaldson haircuts walking down Yonge Street on their way to the RC. 
pubster - Thursday, April 28 2016 @ 04:40 PM EDT (#322079) #
Mike, this is true.

My point is that if you are going to say that Dickey is a Shapiro acquisition, then you can argue anyone that could have been let go last off season is a Shapiro acquisition.

jerjapan - Thursday, April 28 2016 @ 04:41 PM EDT (#322080) #
Agreed Mike - we would have collectively wrestled that Ted Rogers statue to the ground and thrown it into Lake Ontario. 

Oh wait, I should make it clear that I don't think that's possible to avoid the cops showing up at my house ...
Alex Obal - Thursday, April 28 2016 @ 04:44 PM EDT (#322081) #
The notion that the options on Bautista and Encarnacion and Donaldson represent surplus value for the team is not controversial and tells you nothing about how the new GM will operate. But whether Dickey at effectively $11 million is a bargain? That's as 50/50 polarizing as it gets...
Mike Green - Thursday, April 28 2016 @ 05:02 PM EDT (#322082) #
Definitely, Alex.  In my case, not polarizing but conflicted.  I would have probably not exercised the option with the pros being expected near league average RA/9 and probably 170-180 innings pitched and con being the reduced flexibility with catchers.  I'd rather have a back-up catcher who isn't tied to a specific game. 

I would have chosen Rich Hill instead!

jerjapan - Thursday, April 28 2016 @ 05:03 PM EDT (#322083) #
Alex, given his poor start so far, sure it is ... but I can't imagine a FO in the game that doesn't exercise Dickey's option after the finish to the season he had last year.

No such thing as a bad one year contract right? 

I think the more interesting question is if Dickey gets a QO this year, assuming he turns things around.

pubster - Thursday, April 28 2016 @ 05:23 PM EDT (#322084) #
Dickey had a 2.80 ERA after the all star break.

I think picking up his option was a given.
uglyone - Thursday, April 28 2016 @ 06:49 PM EDT (#322086) #
we were scared to even let dickey pitch in the playoffs.

Four Seamer - Thursday, April 28 2016 @ 07:03 PM EDT (#322087) #

we were scared to even let dickey pitch in the playoffs.

In defense of Dickey, at least he kept his spot in the rotation and wasn't relegated to relief duty.

scottt - Thursday, April 28 2016 @ 07:07 PM EDT (#322088) #
I don't think where Pillar hits matters, but I don't think Goins and Cola should have had so much playing time. I hate seeing the only 2 lefties in the batter order back to back. That keeps happening.

I don't agree with his bullpen roles. If Estrada is bothered by something I would throw Floyd in there for 2 innings. Heck, before an off day, I'd throw Osuna in there too.

I don't know about the manager, but if the pitcher looks uncomfortable, the pitching coach should go talk to him. Players might get banged up and talk about it in the clubhouse and there might be a competition going about who's tougher. The coach need to watch for that.

I don't care about the dresses comments. I care about having no strategy when you need a run other than watching 3 guys with extreme strikeouts rates make 3 outs.

SK in NJ - Thursday, April 28 2016 @ 07:29 PM EDT (#322089) #
The point was already made by pubster, but if Dickey is now considered a Shapiro acquisition because his option was picked up, then Bautista and Edwin should be as well. Smoak could have been non-tendered, but so could Donaldson, Cecil, etc. I think there is a substantial difference between having a team option/arbitration eligible player and bringing a free agent back. Asset management comes into play with the former, while the latter is a choice by both the organization and the player (ex. if Darwin Barney wanted to play elsewhere, he could have). Whether Dickey's option could have been declined, that would have been a huge gamble. The free agent market for SP's ended up being crazy expensive. Dickey was coming off his best season as a Jay (RA9-WAR of 3.6 and a big part of the team's 2nd half run). For $11M, that was a no brainer. Now, the question becomes could they have traded him after acquiring/bringing back Estrada, Happ, etc? That's a fair question. However, picking up the option was not even a discussion, IMO. Not when Stroman and Hutchison were the only SP's on the roster at the time (Sanchez spent half a season in the pen).

Looking at the roster, it's basically the 2015 team with Happ replacing Buehrle and some cosmetic changes to the bullpen. I think that was by design. Shapiro likely did not want to continue the path that AA was on (he's basically implied as much in interviews) and there would have been a public outrage if he did anything other than try to win in 2016. The end result was a compromise. Try to win in 2016 but maintain flexibility for 2017-beyond. We'll see if it works out.
electric carrot - Thursday, April 28 2016 @ 08:55 PM EDT (#322090) #
I, like many here am not happy with the current record.  But I am happy with the current team and I don't fault Gibbons for any of the losses so far.  I  think we're in aberrant moment for this team's season and for the moment I am choosing not to worry.  I'll be surprised if they are not in first in the AL at the end of the season. Although if pressed, I do have some concern about Estrada's shoulder.  Injury is my primary worry with this team.

eudaimon - Thursday, April 28 2016 @ 10:06 PM EDT (#322091) #
I disagree that picking up Bautista and Encarnacion's options should be considered a Shapiro move. That's just an obvious move, one that anyone with a lick of baseball knowledge would have done. Same with tendering Donaldson a contract, to the point where it seems silly to even point it out.

Picking up Dickey's option is more of a Shapiro move because it wasn't obvious. I'd still say most execs would have done it, but it was at least a debatable move and thus can be considered an actual decision. Same goes for signing Smoak and the other guys.
Michael - Friday, April 29 2016 @ 03:44 AM EDT (#322093) #
Picking up Dickey's option was an obvious move too. He's been way more valuable than the contract, and a 1 year contract for that rate is well under market ($11 million net, since the choice was $1 million to buyout or $12 million for this year). All the comparisons to Price don't make sense anyways because it isn't the cost this year for Price that is the issue. I'd wager no matter the corporate speak the Jays would have easily found the budget for Price if he were willing to sign a 1 year $31 million contract with us. It was the long term nature continual costs much more than the one year cost that matters for a reasonable comparison.

As for Gibbons, the Toronto bp article linked above seems crazy to me. Hating on Gibbons for the Toronto offense philosophy (too many strikeouts and swinging for the fences) is crazy two dozen games into a season after having led the majors in runs scored by 127. 2nd place team in the majors was closer to 26th team in runs scored than to the Jays! I agree that some of his player choices and lineups are not optimal, and that his bullpen management has been questionable at times last year, but this year he's mostly made quite reasonable bullpen decisions - the players just aren't performing. It would help to have a few more weapons (or even a GM who pushed up a few super-young "prospects" to at least pump up their trade value while they struggle), but I wouldn't blame this on Gibbons.
Michael - Friday, April 29 2016 @ 04:06 AM EDT (#322094) #
To expand on the no brainer point: The cost of a free agent win is ~$7 million, maybe $8 million. See http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2013/10/15/4818740/how-much-does-a-win-really-cost showing just over $7 million 2 years ago. A more recent article like http://www.thepointofpittsburgh.com/mlb-prospect-surplus-values-2016-updated-edition/ says the cost is now $8m.

So the $11 million net Dickey cost is more than 1 win above replacement, but a little under 2 wins above replacement. 11/8 = 1.375. If Dickey is worth more than 1.375 it is a good contract.

Over the past 6 years Dickey has averaged 3.3 WAR (using baseball reference war). That's a good sample, but his CY year in the NL might not really count. But over the past 3 years in the AL Dickey has still averaged 2.25 WAR and his worst year was 2.0 WAR (his first with the Jays, last year was 2.3 WAR). So likely you'd estimate Dickey would be expected to give the Jays about 2 WAR this year. 3-2-1 averaging would make it 2.32, straight average would say 2.25, expecting last year would be 2.3, so even counting for aging decline 2.0 would be a safe guess for average quality, and that would make accepting Dickey's option worth $5 million dollars or so of value. That's a no brainer.
Glevin - Friday, April 29 2016 @ 05:05 AM EDT (#322095) #
Picking up Dickey's option was a no-brainer. He was a slightly better than league average pitcher over 200+ innings the last two years. To get him for $11M for one year was well below market rate. Ian Kennedy who was a worse pitcher both the last two seasons got 5/70M and cost a draft pick. Mike Leake is an average pitcher and he got 5/80M.

This team is still very much AA's team with Shapiro and Atkins doing a little work around the edges. There are 14 hitters who have at least one AB with the Jays so far this season. All were on the team last year. 6 pitchers have made starts, 5 were on the team last season. If the team succeeds or fails it will because of the base AA built.
Dave Till - Friday, April 29 2016 @ 06:20 AM EDT (#322096) #
Brett Cecil is currently leading the league in losses. You can argue that the main reason why the Jays are 10-13 instead of 13-10 is that Cecil has failed in several close games. And you can't blame John Gibbons for going to him, given how well he pitched in the last half of 2015, and given that left-handed option #2, Aaron Loup, is not available.

I agree that picking up Dickey's option was a no-brainer. His biggest problem is that he is a knuckleballer - on a given day, he either has his stuff and his control, or he doesn't. Conventional pitchers who throw more than one pitch can work with what they have on a given day and sometimes win without their best stuff. When Dickey doesn't have his best stuff, the result is either a rash of walks and passed balls if the knuckler is moving too much, or an extra round of batting practice for the opposition hitters if the knuckler isn't moving. I like watching the knuckleball, but, sadly, this is why there aren't more knuckleball pitchers - they have trouble achieving consistency.

Dickey's second-biggest problem isn't his fault - Noah Syndergaard seems to be growing stronger with every start, like Popeye after eating multiple servings of extra-strength spinach, or Roger Ramjet after taking his proton energy pill. (You can now guess how old I am. :-)) Even if Dickey improves from his slow start, he will look bad by comparison.
ComebyDeanChance - Friday, April 29 2016 @ 07:17 AM EDT (#322097) #
SP Hoffman (23): AAA 5.11fip

Those are interesting numbers given that Hoffman has a 1.99 ERA in the PCL in Albuquerque. You may say you don't miss Jeff Hoffman today, but I think a trade proposal to send Tulo back to Colorado for Hoffman alone would draw a hearty laugh from the Rockies. They're no doubt happy to have moved a guy with a huge contract in pretty steep offensive decline and they got paid handsomely to do it.
SK in NJ - Friday, April 29 2016 @ 08:34 AM EDT (#322098) #
"Picking up Dickey's option is more of a Shapiro move because it wasn't obvious. I'd still say most execs would have done it, but it was at least a debatable move and thus can be considered an actual decision"


I don't see how Dickey's option was a debatable decision. Price, Buehrle, and Estrada were free agents. The existing SP's in MLB and AAA combined were Stroman and Hutchison. Dickey's RA9-WAR last season was 3.6 and his numbers from June-onwards were very good with no signs of major decline. For $11M/1 year, I don't see how that was a debatable decision. As mentioned, average FA SP's were getting 5-year deals at higher AAV's than Dickey's option. Even the Mets with their surplus of young SP's brought 43-year old Bartolo Colon back at around $8M. It was a no brainer.
Dave Till - Friday, April 29 2016 @ 09:38 AM EDT (#322100) #

They're no doubt happy to have moved a guy with a huge contract in pretty steep offensive decline and they got paid handsomely to do it.

And the Jays are no doubt happy to have Tulowitzki's defense at shortstop instead of Jose Reyes's.

We shouldn't be expecting that much from Tulo on offense anyway - his career road numbers are .272/.346/.459. That's pretty good, especially for a shortstop, but it's possibly not what some people are hoping for.

I'll be curious to see whether Hoffman can overcome the almost insurmountable obstacle of pitching in Colorado and become a quality pitcher. The Rockies have never been able to develop any.

uglyone - Friday, April 29 2016 @ 10:02 AM EDT (#322101) #
"This team is still very much AA's team with Shapiro and Atkins doing a little work around the edges. "

$50m is expensive edgework.
uglyone - Friday, April 29 2016 @ 10:16 AM EDT (#322102) #
"Those are interesting numbers given that Hoffman has a 1.99 ERA in the PCL in Albuquerque. You may say you don't miss Jeff Hoffman today, but I think a trade proposal to send Tulo back to Colorado for Hoffman alone would draw a hearty laugh from the Rockies. They're no doubt happy to have moved a guy with a huge contract in pretty steep offensive decline and they got paid handsomely to do it."

Don't think we'll end up missing hoffman in any way, given he's never put up impressive numbers at any level, pre or post draft, and that he's not all that young, either.

As for Tulo, he's at 1.7fwar and 2.0bwar since the trade, which is either a 4.0war or 4.8war caliber player. And with his patience and power already back this year it's only a matter of time until that babip bounces back to normal.

In fact, it may already have:

Last 10gms: 37pa, .300babip, 169wrc+

Good chance we're still looking at one of the very best players in baseball here. Doubt the rockies will be laughing much.
uglyone - Friday, April 29 2016 @ 10:23 AM EDT (#322103) #
As for dickey, obviously picking up the option on a 41yr old that we were scared to start in the playoffs and who needs his own caddy is debatable, in a way that it wasn't for guys like ee joey josh, or like it wasn't debatable to pick up Romero's option.

But my point was to stay away from the individual decisions and look big picture - Shapiro intentionally spent $50m this year on mediocrity, and that's what we've got from it so far. Seems to me teams like tampa are able to find mediocrity for much cheaper than that.
Alex Obal - Friday, April 29 2016 @ 10:28 AM EDT (#322104) #
(back to the smaller picture for a sec, ok...)

Why not pick up Dickey's option? Not that I had an opinion on it one way or the other, but sure. First there were the red flags. Dickeyís strikeout rate dropped from 18.9% to 14.3% last year, while the league as a whole continues to K more and more. Whatís that about? His success depends largely on velocity, and while he didnít drop off in 2015, at 41 heís unlikely to start throwing any harder -- as it turns out, thus far he's thrown less hard, and it wouldn't have been crazy to predict that, I think. His armís a good bet to stay healthy, but at his age he may be relatively likely to suffer injures like the nagging back and neck tightness that wrecked his 2013. Lots of variables here.

I donít know if those second-half stats from last year include the postseason.

Dickey requires you to carry a knuckleball catcher. Josh Thole as a backup C is fine by me, though some disagree. Unfortunately, when Dickey is matched up against a LHP you are also forced to start Thole and his career 48 wRC+ (.203/.261/.273) against LHP, over Martin, whoís a little better. Pause to pour one out for Drew Smyly. In a sane world Martin would face 100% of LHSPs except in DGANG situations or doubleheaders or case of injury, and Thole would face only RHSPs. The Jays live in an insane world to accommodate Dickey. It doesnít show up in his WAR. And it imposes transaction costs on a GM considering picking up the option to trade Dickey for value. The buyer has to find a suitable catcher (Thole?) and then live with this.

Obviously itís not like I was screaming any of this from the mountaintops last winter. I didnít care. Too busy being all-in on Happ and Price, and itís not like Dickey at a non-albatross salary figured to move the needle much one way or the other, and even now Iím content to ride out his first 20 starts expecting him to revive in the summertime as usual. That said, none of this was a secret. Someone could earnestly have penciled Dickey in for a 5.00 ERA before the season ó hey, old players can deteriorate suddenly, right? ó  and theyíd be looking pretty good right now. I wouldnít have gone that far. But blindly defaulting to WAR projections is a reductive, stupid one-way ticket to treadmill mediocrity. Your job is to beat that way of thinking. This may have been a chance to do so, and however it works out, that reflects on the GM. If Dickey wins his second Cy, Shapiro deserves credit.

(... carry on, and down with mediocrity)
Mike Green - Friday, April 29 2016 @ 10:31 AM EDT (#322105) #
I don't see how Dickey's option was a debatable decision. Price, Buehrle, and Estrada were free agents. The existing SP's in MLB and AAA combined were Stroman and Hutchison. Dickey's RA9-WAR last season was 3.6 and his numbers from June-onwards were very good with no signs of major decline. For $11M/1 year, I don't see how that was a debatable decision

I don't know what RA9-WAR means.  There is fWAR and bWAR.  BBReference (bWAR) puts emphasis on runs allowed rather than fielding independent pitching.  Dickey's bWAR last year was 2.3, and it was 2.5 the year before that and 2.0 the year before that.  He is 41 years old and you might expect some deterioration in performance because of age.  Phil Niekro was a great knuckleballer who lasted until age 48, but there was a noticeable modest slide between age 38-40 and ages 41-43 both in rate performance and innings pitched.  Second half performance has little to do with the situation.  Dickey has had good halves of seasons before and bad ones; at his age, there is no reason to believe that his second half surge reflected a long-term improvement in performance (and the team certainly didn't treat it as such in the playoffs). 

I'll happily concede that $11 million for 2 WAR (league average performance) is good value.  I think that the expectation has to be for a little less than that and in the zone where it is more of a 50-50 proposition. 

Can we return to the Gibbons/Walker/Estrada situation from Wednesday?  I did not watch the first 7 innings of the game, but multiple reports (including from Magpie) indicated that Estrada was repeatedly rubbing his shoulder and looked uncomfortable throughout the game.  Gibbons told the media that he didn't know anything about it and Estrada was tight-lipped.  It would be shocking if neither Gibbons nor Walker noticed this.  Walker's job at that point is simply to watch the pitcher.  He must notice something like that and surely say something to Gibbons (who normally would notice it himself). Let's go back to the 7th inning.  Before the inning, Estrada has thrown a 1 hitter, the game is scoreless and has 89 pitches under his belt.  It is late April and Estrada got a late start to the season due to injury.  I can easily understand why the brain trust decided to let him try to throw one more quick inning (even if I might not have given the shoulder rubbing).  , then the following ensued.  Frazier singled on the 6th pitch, and the Cabrera grounded into a forceout on the 4th pitch.  At this point, Estrada is up to 99 pitches and you've got to have a pitcher ready to go.  Lawrie then drew a 10 pitch walk.  Estrada had thrown 109 pitches.  You've got to get him out of there- for his own health and because he is not likely to be at this best (it would be a very different question in mid-June if he looked healthy). 

There is a balance between health concerns and motivational concerns.  I can understand why Gibbons (and Walker) decided to let Estrada pitch further into the game, as he was pitching a shutout.  I don't agree with the judgment at all though.  Gibbons sometimes gets caught up in the game particularly when the team is struggling.  It isn't one of his finer qualities.
SK in NJ - Friday, April 29 2016 @ 11:14 AM EDT (#322110) #
RA9-WAR uses runs allowed per 9 instead of FIP to determine a pitcher's WAR. Dickey being a knuckleballer is going to be undervalued with traditional FIP-based WAR. He is also a bit undervalued because he's good defensively and holding runners on. His 2015 was surprisingly very good, largely due to substantially better performance from June-onwards. Whether he could maintain that performance in 2016-beyond is definitely debatable due to his age, but there was no signs of decline in 2015 to indicate that the 2016 option was a major risk. Actually, 2015 was his 3rd best season since his breakout (behind 2010 and 2012).

I'm not a fan of Dickey's at all, especially since he forces the team to either carry Thole or force their starting C to catch him, but as far as his actual performance, for that price tag/term it was more than reasonable. Every GM in the league would have picked that option up, IMO. Worst case they could pick up the option and trade him.
pubster - Friday, April 29 2016 @ 11:26 AM EDT (#322111) #
"As for dickey, obviously picking up the option on a 41yr old that we were scared to start in the playoffs and who needs his own caddy is debatable"

Price isn't 41 yet and no idea if he needs his own caddy, but the Jays didn't seem too confident with him starting in the playoffs either.

I wonder now, would the Jays have been better off starting this season with a 6 man rotation? and dropping the player who performed the worst after a few turns (dickey)? A few posters didn't like this idea pre season becaused they wanted to maximize Stroman's chances at winning a Cy Young.
uglyone - Friday, April 29 2016 @ 11:38 AM EDT (#322112) #
bwar starts with ra9war than performs some maneouvres to factor in defense somehow.

fwar just uses fip.

so ra9war and fwar both ignore defense, but from opposite sides of the coin - ra9 blames the pitcher for everything that the hitters do, fwar ignores everything outside of the pitcher's control (i.e. balls in play). bwar tries to adjust a pitcher's perforamce based on defensive stats somehow.

i would use bwar regularly as well but b/r doesn't provide (or I can't find) SP / RP splits which ends up rendering it nearly useless for the way i like to look at the numbers.

i do use bwar for hitters though.
Mike Green - Friday, April 29 2016 @ 11:46 AM EDT (#322113) #
bWAR does adjust for pitcher role and defence.  I thought that the majority view was that the QO to Estrada was a debatable proposition. I don't see why the QO to Estrada was any more debatable than the option pick-up for Dickey.  Estrada had had very good seasons in 2012 and 2013 in a mixed role, and then turned it up a notch and threw 200 excellent innings (including the playoffs) in 2015.  He is 32 years old.  Like Dickey, he has thrived on balls in play.

It seems to me that people are confusing past performance with expected future performance.  Age matters.

uglyone - Friday, April 29 2016 @ 11:47 AM EDT (#322114) #
"Price isn't 41 yet and no idea if he needs his own caddy, but the Jays didn't seem too confident with him starting in the playoffs either."

quite the opposite - the jays tried everything to use price as much as possible.

price was used 4 times in 11 games, an average of 5.9ip per use. his 23.1ip led the team, with stro and estrada throwing 19.1 each. (or differently stated, each of price stro and estrada had 3 starts, with price throwing 20.1ip and the other 2 19.1ip. then price was squeezed into a 3ip relief appearnce on top of that.)

Dickey was used twice, an average of 3.1ip per use.
Kasi - Friday, April 29 2016 @ 02:13 PM EDT (#322121) #
Well considering their starting pitching at the end of the season who were signed for this year consisted of Stroman and a big maybe on Sanchez and Hutch most of that fifty million was going to go to SP. They just did the sensible thing of spreading it out between Happ, Dickey, Estrada and Chavez rather than going with your suggestion of Price plus one other. Not to mention 50 million is inaccurate. Those four pitchers add up to a 2016 contract value of 37.5 million. Ben Revere and Storen are a wash and the only questionable arbitration case was Smoak at 4. So let's round that and call it forty. (I think people would have been happy bringing Smoak back at 3 million, just not 4)

So they could spend that forty on those four pitchers or they could sign big playoff loser David Price and his 30 million salary and likely stretch a bit over forty to pick up one of the three pitchers. Given their lack of depth at starting pitching given AAs trades the option to get four pitchers was the fairly obvious choice,
Kasi - Friday, April 29 2016 @ 02:15 PM EDT (#322122) #
On the matter of Price they tried as much as possible to not have him start in big games, including bringing him in as a long reliever in a game they were up big. Another case of Gibbons strategy to protect the lead at all costs I guess, or just a total lack of trust in Price. Either way it was a total mismanagement of what is supposed to be their "ace".
pubster - Friday, April 29 2016 @ 02:41 PM EDT (#322123) #
The Jays brought Price into the 5th inning leading 7-1 in game 4 rather than have him start Game 5.

They let Stroman start game 5.

I think most Jays fans preferred this usage.

They could have easily brought in Stroman in game 4 and had Price pitch game 5, but they gave the lower leverage situation to Price.
pubster - Friday, April 29 2016 @ 02:48 PM EDT (#322124) #
Also, I'm not arguing that Dickey is better than Price. I think Price is a much better pitcher.

I'm just saying that there wasn't much confidence in Price last post season. At the end of it anyways.

Price's career era in the post season is above 5. Over 63 innings.
SK in NJ - Friday, April 29 2016 @ 03:45 PM EDT (#322125) #
Gibbons valued Price so highly that he let him pitch 3 innings in a blowout rather than save him for the biggest game of the series. Dickey pitched very well in Game 4 (4.2 IP, 5 singles, 0 walks, 3 strike outs), but was taken out in the 5th for no reason. Clearly, Gibbons wanted Stroman starting in Game 5, otherwise letting Price mop up a 7-1 game would have made no sense. If it was a 2-1 game and he went to Price, then you'd have a point.
Kasi - Friday, April 29 2016 @ 03:59 PM EDT (#322126) #
They clearly had to protect the lead at all costs. They should have used everyone. They almost did since they did use Price, Osuna and Sanchez in a game they were up 6. At some point someone will explain to Gibbons the idea of bullpen management, but I'm not expecting it anytime soon. That was a place where Hendriks would have been a great choice, but Gibbons decided to not use him at all pretty much.
uglyone - Friday, April 29 2016 @ 05:09 PM EDT (#322131) #
so if i have this straight...

....Price pitched the most starts and most innings and most innings per start....and a bullpen outing on top of that....


...and you guys are arguing that there was a lack of confidence in him because, in an elimination game, the manager used a quick hook on the starter in order to bring in Price and Osuna/Sanchez (his two most trusted relievers) to close it out.

Interesting theory.
John Northey - Friday, April 29 2016 @ 05:35 PM EDT (#322132) #
Not much of a theory. More a reality. No one, I mean no one brings in their ace in relief with a 6 run lead when the starter has only allowed 1 run and has just one guy on base in the 5th inning. That screamed 'I have zero faith in both Dickey and Price'.

Price furthered that view with 2 poor starts vs KC which if he won either would've led to a game 7 and if he was a true ace and won both the Jays would've had a shot at WS #3. He allowed 5 runs in his first ALCS game (1 via Sanchez) and 3 runs in game 6 (1 again via Sanchez). His game 6 was a good one but not a great one when we needed a great game. We needed Jack Morris 1991 not Jack Morris 1992.

If he had a great playoff I suspect the Jays would've been a lot more inclined to resign him. Quite honestly I'm surprised he got the deal he did given those playoff performances. For an example of what I'd like to see in an ace look at the Jays last real ace - Roy Halladay. 5 post season games, 3 have game scores over 70 the other 2 are in the 50's. Price has 8 post season starts and just one over 59, all 3 with the Jays were 50-59. His last post season game allowing fewer than 2 runs was 2008 (4 times, all in relief).

Price reminded me too much of the 1991 season when Candiotti was brought in to be the ace and he flopped in the post season with 2 games sub 40 for game score (ouch). IIRC he rarely threw knuckleballs, his #1 pitch, in the post season too.
ComebyDeanChance - Friday, April 29 2016 @ 05:44 PM EDT (#322133) #
And the Jays are no doubt happy to have Tulowitzki's defense at shortstop instead of Jose Reyes's.

Dave, I agree with you on that completely. Online fans (and I don't refer to you) it seemed would have defended Jose Reyes at all costs if Jerry Howarth said he wasn't a major league shortstop, then 180 and defend at all costs, no matter what the prospect price, any deal to replace him with a good defensive shortstop.

I think Tulowitzki, at the present at least, is a great defensive shortstop and that's important to have. Traditionally the Jays acquired great defensive shortstops on the cheap from either SPdM, or later Bordick or Johnny Mac. Tulo, at present at least, is still a way better hitter obviously than the last of these and obviously way better than Manny Lee was. The other upside of deal was that they were able to dump the terrible Reyes contract that had been obtained from the Marlins.

The very big, at least in my opinion, downside was that they took on the Rockies' bad contract, which would run years beyond the Reyes one, and paid a premium to do so. Tulowitzki's OPS since joining the Jays is around .685. Except for those who think we've got the still latent Tulowitzki of years gone by, or those to whom (other people's) money is no object, taking on $94 million for a defensive shortstop when that is the price you pay for great offensive shortstops, and along the way trading valuable minor league pitching (in particular Jeff Hoffman) for this exchange seems (to me at least) like a shortsighted deal.

Unlike some, I would never fault the previous front office for the Marlins deal in which Reyes was obtained. The front office had inherited shambles, at all of the major league level, the minor league level, and the organizational structure level. They had to field a major league team.

But to get it all off my chest, it was the 'go for it' trades, first when Toronto purported to 'go for it' in the 2012/2013 offseason when they added whatever the Mets wanted (Syndergaard) to d'Arnaud to get an aged trick pitcher with a very short career of success, that the Mets were unwilling to extend, and: second, when they traded virtually the entire minor league pitching staff to exchange Reyes' bad contract for Tulowitzki's, and get nine weeks of free agent rentals, that constituted bad management. In the first case, 2012/2013, the Jays were coming off a 73 win season and were in no position to pretend to be 'going for it'. They added one win with their offseason efforts and appear to have given up a once in a generation pitching talent for the effort. In the second case, they are now virtually bereft of minor league pitching talent and besides having a bad free agent contract for a 33 year old catcher, and two 10/5 mid-30s guys who want brass ring contracts, they also can now count a 32 year old shortstop having trouble getting around on high fastballs at $20 million per.
John Northey - Friday, April 29 2016 @ 05:53 PM EDT (#322135) #
One thing to remember with Reyes/Tulowitski deal is the money both ways... Reyes had 2 years at $22 per plus a $4 mil buyout left (lets ignore what was left for 2015 for simplicity) = $48 mil. Tulo has 5 years 4 @ $20 per and 1 @ 14 plus a $4 mil buyout = $98 mil. So if you assume Reyes was a write off the Jays are really paying $50 for 5 years of a premium defensive shortstop in his later years or $10 mil per which is a much more reasonable situation.
ComebyDeanChance - Friday, April 29 2016 @ 06:12 PM EDT (#322137) #
John I did factor in the Reyes contract. It was an exchange of bad contracts. Reyes' contract, in the short term, was worse as he was unplayable at short, but for fewer years, making as you said 22 per. The Jays added about 45 million in obligations in the deal.

And speaking of bad contracts, it would help my spirits if someone could tell me a precedent for a 33 year old who's about to be making 20 per for a while, and who has a 46 k%, a 6.3 bb% and a .018 ISO, at the end of April. I'm sure things will trend upward for Russell Martin but that may be because they couldn't get worse.
Kasi - Friday, April 29 2016 @ 06:41 PM EDT (#322138) #
Sorry uglyone you're in the vast minority on this one. Fully agree with everything John said and even though I like Price as his personality is fun, the guy just isn't worth that contract when it comes to delivering when it counts, and Gibbons clearly didn't believe in him during that playoff run.
Alex Obal - Friday, April 29 2016 @ 06:44 PM EDT (#322139) #
You guys have it backwards. There is no higher calling in Gibbons' bullpen than protecting a six-run lead.
Kasi - Friday, April 29 2016 @ 06:51 PM EDT (#322140) #
No no. What if it's a seven run lead? That has to be higher.
Alex Obal - Friday, April 29 2016 @ 07:17 PM EDT (#322141) #
Barry Zito struck out 36% of the time in 2013 while hitting .000 and within two years he was hitting .147 with two RBI.
Alex Obal - Friday, April 29 2016 @ 07:22 PM EDT (#322142) #
2011, that should read, when he was 33.
John Northey - Friday, April 29 2016 @ 08:43 PM EDT (#322145) #
Russell Martin looked like a bad contract at the time but we hoped for at least 2 or 3 good years out of the 5. So far we have 1 good year and 1 nightmare month (12 OPS+ going into tonight (0-2 with 2 K's so far). Now reaching the playoffs last year certainly was a ton of fun but one hoped for more than one big year. Still, as a long term Jay fan I think I'd exchange 5 years of 60 wins for that one playoff run given we just went through 20+ years of 10+ out at the end with one exception (2000 when the Jays didn't really feel like they were in it being 10 out on September 13th, then losing 8 of their last 10).
uglyone - Friday, April 29 2016 @ 08:47 PM EDT (#322146) #
silly me.

clearly price osuna and sanchez were used in an elimination game because we lacked confidence in them. clerly the three least respected pitchers used in garbage time.

and texas had had no big innings in previous games to make us feel no lead was safe.

John Northey - Friday, April 29 2016 @ 08:55 PM EDT (#322147) #
Uglyone - I can see you are determined to ignore reality here. Ask anyone who watched those games at the time, be they fans (like us) or media or pro athletes. I'm sure the vast, vast majority of each group would tell you that using Price with a 6 run lead in relief thus burning him for he next game was clearly a sign of no confidence. Sanchez & Osuna were used because Price started to stink at the end and forced that move (as I assume Gibbons wanted Price to pitch the rest of the game given a choice). If Texas had loaded the bases that inning against Dickey (a guy who has a Cy Young and was pitching well that day) or had started to score runs I could see it but the way it was done was extremely insulting to Dickey and Price. Both being told they weren't good enough for a key playoff game in different ways.
Alex Obal - Friday, April 29 2016 @ 09:30 PM EDT (#322148) #
Itís the playoffs. An elimination game in the playoffs. You must win. All hands are on deck. If youíre willing to use Price as your cheat code in a 7-4 game with two runners on, you should just use him when itís 7-1 to make sure the leverage never gets high in the first place. Lock it down.
pubster - Friday, April 29 2016 @ 10:00 PM EDT (#322151) #
If there was so much confidence in price then why only let him pitch 3 innings? Probably because he was pitching poorly. 3 innings 3 runs allowed 6 batters to reach base.

By pulling price for Sanchez does that mean the Jay's had more confidence in Sanchez than in price?
jerjapan - Saturday, April 30 2016 @ 02:03 AM EDT (#322154) #
Using Price out of the pen was stupid IMO, but never once did I think it showed a lack of confidence in him.  I don't even get that logic - you don't trust him, so you use him in 'low leverage' situations like a playoff elimination game because you manage the playoffs like a game in April?  Yes it was a big lead.  Don't trust him?  Leave him in the pen.  It's not like he was our only choice.

Martin was worth nearly $30 million of an $82 million dollar contract last year according to Fangraphs.  After this season, Tulo has $78 million more guaranteed through 2020 with a 2021 option that costs the team $11 million.  With the rapidly inflating cost of talent (even controllable, arb-eligible talent is becoming way more expensive) these contracts may be market value even if the naysayers are right about both players starting to decline precipitously. 

Way too early to be calling either contract bad value - it's April.  Why do we all agree about SSS except when it comes to the financial side of the game? 



uglyone - Saturday, April 30 2016 @ 10:54 AM EDT (#322163) #
I just can't agree John that the 5th inning of an elimination game is somehow garbage time. seems ludicrous to me, especially with a lead that was anything but safe based on all the other playoff games. Even more the insinuation that there was so little confidence in price that he had fallen all the way to the bottom of the pitching staff to be intentionally burned in garbage time just seems silly tbh.

Gibbons used price and his best 2 relievers to finish off an elimination game. that's going with your best.

For me it seems pretty simple - in gibbons' mind price and stroman were virtually interchangeable at that point, so he was going to use one of them to minimize Dickey's impact on game 4 and make sure he was limited at the most to two turns through the order no matter what.

the only guy confidence was lacking in was dickey.

gibbons had even gone on at length before the series about playoff strategy discussions he had had with other more experienced managers and how he learned that in the playoffs you never save your bullets. you use your weapons when you can.
ComebyDeanChance - Saturday, April 30 2016 @ 11:44 AM EDT (#322169) #
Barry Zito struck out 36% of the time in 2013 while hitting .000 and within two years he was hitting .147 with two RBI.

It's as I feared. Barry was never a great hitter again.
ComebyDeanChance - Saturday, April 30 2016 @ 11:55 AM EDT (#322170) #
They were all "elimination games" from Game 2 on. Calling Game 4 an "elimination game", as though the stakes were any different than they'd been the game before, and as though Game 5 may not be necessary, in my mind masks what the stakes were. The stakes were who was going to start Game 5. For the Jays to win, there had to be a Game 5, and given Gibbons' (and almost everyone else's) preference that it be Stroman instead of Price, Price was relegated to the bullpen. Price pitching out of the pen in Game 4 was not Randy Johnson coming out of the pen in the 2001 WS to save Shilling's game. Price could have been the starter instead for Game 5.
uglyone - Saturday, April 30 2016 @ 01:03 PM EDT (#322175) #
THU: Price 7.0ip
FRI: Stroman 7.0ip
SAT: ----
SUN: Estrada
MON: Dickey + Price 3dys rest (Stro on 2dys rest impossible)
TUE: -----
WED: Stroman 4dys rest or Price 5dys rest

there was no option to pitch stroman on 2 days rest in game 4, game 5 was the only other game stro could pitch in that series.

There also was no option to pitch Price in game 3 on 2 days rest. Saving him for game 5 was an option, but would have given him an extra days rest, which would have been a crazy thing to do when facing elimination in the meantime.

John Northey - Saturday, April 30 2016 @ 03:20 PM EDT (#322176) #
To me the 5th wasn't pure garbage - it was time to let Dickey eat a few innings so you could have a fresh pen for game 5. Pulling Dickey there was the biggest head shaker. The best 2 relievers were used after Price got into trouble and was in danger of losing the lead. Dickey was not in any such situation. Giving Dickey a few more PA's wasn't going to shift a 6 run lead into a 0 run lead. It was really a dumb move by most measures. Yeah, any lead is at risk in a do or die situation but I'd bet few managers (such as Bobby Cox or Cito Gaston) would have done that move at that time.
hypobole - Saturday, April 30 2016 @ 03:20 PM EDT (#322177) #
"(Stro on 2dys rest impossible)"

Huh?. Most starters throw their side sessions after 2 days rest. Managers occasionally have to use one of their starters in relief when the pen gets depleted in an extra inning game and most times it's the starter on 2 days rest that is used.
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