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The Dodgers are in town for a 3 game set. Jays have bad luck getting the 2 best starters the Dodgers have going this weekend in Kershaw & Maeda (both over 200 for ERA+) while missing the 2 weakest Wood & Kazmir both with ERA+'s under 80.

  • Marcus Stroman vs Kenta Maeda (279 ERA+ over 32 IP) - BR Preview
  • R.A. Dickey vs Clayton Kershaw (200 ERA+ over 46 IP, there is a reason he has 3 Cy's and 2 other top 3 finishes the past 5 years)
  • Marco Estrada vs Ross Stripling (91 ERA+ over 27 IP - one of these pitchers is not like the others)
Going into the series only Osuna is a bit tired, pitching in 2 of the last 3 days, 4 of the last 7. But only 5 to 19 pitches per game.
Floyd is the most rested with 3 days off and only 15 pitches (in games) over the last week. Chavez is due for a game as he has been on a 2 days off, into a game, 2 days off pattern lately. Cecil, in his year from hell, is well rested as well with just 4 pitches over the last 5 days. No pitcher on the Dodgers looks to be overused right now.

The Dodgers have a low team OPS+, just 88, with only Puig (140), Utley (126) and Adrian Gonzalez (111) over 100 as regulars with bench guys Yasmani Grandal (138) and Trayce Thompson (102) off to good starts also. Their nightmare is Carl Crawford, making $21+ mil a year for 2016/17 but just a 24 OPS+ so far, even his fielding is now a negative.
Dig those Dodgers | 116 comments | Create New Account
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uglyone - Friday, May 06 2016 @ 03:00 PM EDT (#322542) #
Burns up, Tepera down.

I am pleased.

Since a bad first week or two, burns has been legit hot so the callup is earned.
China fan - Friday, May 06 2016 @ 03:53 PM EDT (#322544) #
I had a hunch it would be Burns, especially since Michael Bourn is clearly not ready.  The Jays obviously gave Burns a very long look in the spring, and Gibbons said he was "major-league-ready" -- not just his defence, but his bat as well.  In Buffalo, he has been playing everywhere except CF and C.  That could be useful for the Jays -- he could replace almost anyone in case of injury or to spell them off.  In the spring, his hitting was great, and then he cooled off at the beginning of the season, but he's been hitting much better in recent games.  And as mentioned before, he hits LHP very well and can platoon with Smoak.
Jevant - Friday, May 06 2016 @ 03:56 PM EDT (#322545) #
I really struggle to see anything in Burns profile/career that suggests "legit hot" at any phase of his career, although I admittedly haven't really looked at the last couple weeks sample size.
Mike Green - Friday, May 06 2016 @ 04:04 PM EDT (#322546) #
Saunders is back hitting leadoff tonight with Pillar hitting sixth.  Tulowitzki gets the night off, so Goins and Barney are your middle infield for tonight.  The roof will (unfortunately) be closed.
uglyone - Friday, May 06 2016 @ 04:39 PM EDT (#322547) #
I wouldn't use hot and cold to describe "phases of careers", only streaks.

Burns had a solid above average year last year with a 111wrc+ in his first shot at AAA, and then tore it up in spring training this year.....but then struggled to start ths year. But he seems to have recovered and is legit hot at the moment, even if his overall line is middling.

Last 5gms: 241wrc+
Last 20gms: 133wrc+

all that just to say that imo this callup was an earned callup.
92-93 - Friday, May 06 2016 @ 06:22 PM EDT (#322549) #
Grandal is not a bench player, he's their starting C, and a good offensive one at that. Ellis does catch a fair bit, though.

Should be fun watching Maeda and Kershaw chuck. If I had to guess, they'll struggle vs. Maeda's array of pitches/junk, and "hammer" Kershaw, relatively speaking.

I like watching Joc Pederson play, he's got lots of talent. Brett Cecil will likely factor in heavily this series with all of LAD's strong lefties.
scottt - Friday, May 06 2016 @ 07:09 PM EDT (#322550) #
The Jays strikes out a ton but they don't chase that much and usually wear down a starting pitcher.
Thankfully, they're not playing in LA, so I'm not expecting the Dodgers to get all the calls.

With Burns on the bench, Tulo can get the night off and not have to get up.
That's more or less it. Burns could be a cheap bench option next year, so why not have a look now when Tulo is struggling?

Next week, the Jays will do 2 things they usually suck at. Play on the West Coast and play in the National League.

James W - Friday, May 06 2016 @ 07:56 PM EDT (#322551) #
Thankfully, they're not playing in LA, so I'm not expecting the Dodgers to get all the calls.

So much for that thinking. Bautista and Donaldson have each had a poor strike call against them.
Eephus - Friday, May 06 2016 @ 07:57 PM EDT (#322552) #
People might have to stop running on Yasiel Puig's arm. My oh my.
CeeBee - Friday, May 06 2016 @ 08:19 PM EDT (#322553) #
Looks like Stroman heard the talk about lack of strikeouts.
Chuck - Friday, May 06 2016 @ 08:41 PM EDT (#322554) #
Late to the game. What did I miss? Oh, one hit.
Spifficus - Friday, May 06 2016 @ 08:47 PM EDT (#322555) #
They were waiting for you to check in, Chuck.
Chuck - Friday, May 06 2016 @ 08:48 PM EDT (#322556) #
Happy I could help.
uglyone - Friday, May 06 2016 @ 08:51 PM EDT (#322558) #
Joey is an artiste.
John Northey - Friday, May 06 2016 @ 09:26 PM EDT (#322559) #
Guess thats what happens when you point out Crawford has been a horrid player this year. Sigh.

Donaldson popping up with bases loaded. Grrr.
SK in NJ - Friday, May 06 2016 @ 09:42 PM EDT (#322560) #
Kevin Pillar is having a very good season so far.
BlueJayWay - Friday, May 06 2016 @ 09:46 PM EDT (#322561) #
Pillar has been really good. He still absolutely refuses to take a walk, as if the very idea offends him, but everything else has been good.
uglyone - Friday, May 06 2016 @ 09:50 PM EDT (#322562) #
thanks to John's game precap, we know exactly why osuna's not in there, even though buck and dan are mystified.

but come on storen stop puking on yourself.
Vulg - Friday, May 06 2016 @ 09:56 PM EDT (#322563) #
Floyd threw 9 pitches, 7 for strikes.

Of course you pull him...
uglyone - Friday, May 06 2016 @ 10:02 PM EDT (#322564) #
storen's gotta feel good about that. good on gibby for not panicking.

and hey, we're over .500! let's stay there please.
SK in NJ - Friday, May 06 2016 @ 10:09 PM EDT (#322565) #
Yeah, I'm not sure why Gibbons just didn't keep Floyd in there. He can pitch more than an inning and he's been one of the better relievers on the team aside from Osuna. At least it was a 3 run game and not something closer. Storen got a bit unlucky (bloop and bunt single) but still doesn't look all that great. Might be better to try and fix him in lesser situations, especially when Floyd and Chavez have been good enough to warrant being the set-up guys.

As far as the rest of the game, his last two starts are indicative of what I think Stroman is capable of. He has the stuff to strike guys out and get GB's. He doesn't need to sacrifice one for the other. I like this Stroman way more than the one in April.
scottt - Friday, May 06 2016 @ 10:23 PM EDT (#322566) #
I'm not peculiar about the lineup. Just don't bunch all the lefties is all I ask.
Tonight is great LRRRLRRLR.
It's ridiculous when you let a LOOGY get an entire inning and you carry an 8th reliever.

Vulg - Friday, May 06 2016 @ 10:28 PM EDT (#322567) #
Gibbons citing Osuna's groin, which apparently flaired up, as the reason he didn't pitch.
Four Seamer - Friday, May 06 2016 @ 11:04 PM EDT (#322568) #
Osuna's groin, which apparently flaired up Luckily that will take care of itself in time. Groins show decreasing amounts of flair after age 21, even if you're the closer on a Major League Baseball team.
Vulg - Saturday, May 07 2016 @ 01:32 AM EDT (#322569) #
Well damn, my kingdom for an edit feature.
John Northey - Saturday, May 07 2016 @ 08:20 AM EDT (#322570) #
B-R preview for today
Osuna has 2 days off now so should be ready if needed, only Storen should not be available. Outside of groin injuries of course.

FYI: Ellis had more innings as a catcher than Grandal before yesterdays game. Thus why I listed Ellis as the regular (BR uses that as their way of saying who is the regular). Grandal only had one PA in the first 7 games for the Dodgers then missed 2 of the past 4 games for them.
China fan - Saturday, May 07 2016 @ 08:50 AM EDT (#322571) #
Dickey versus Kershaw.   Guaranteed win day.
Chuck - Saturday, May 07 2016 @ 09:24 AM EDT (#322572) #
Trayce Thompson (102)

Whose big brother Klay is splashing threes upstate.

hypobole - Saturday, May 07 2016 @ 09:39 AM EDT (#322574) #
Storen is bringing back memories of Francisco Cordero.
China fan - Saturday, May 07 2016 @ 10:41 AM EDT (#322575) #
Against the LHP today, Pillar is leading off, with Saunders hitting 7th.  

Pillar's career splits are relatively modest.  This might be more of a case of Gibbons riding the "hot hand" for a game or two.  Saunders still has that .373 OBP, which is hard to ignore.  Perhaps we'll see Pillar and Saunders rotating back and forth irregularly in the lead-off spot, at least until one of them definitively seizes the job.  Perhaps this will change if Travis returns at full strength later in the season. 

Tulo is back in the lineup today.  He has hit more against Kershaw than anyone else in the lineup, of course, and has hit 3 HRs against him.  Today would be a good day for Tulo to remember how to do that.

cybercavalier - Saturday, May 07 2016 @ 11:09 AM EDT (#322577) #
Perhaps we'll see Pillar and Saunders rotating back and forth irregularly in the lead-off spot, at least until one of them definitively seizes the job.  Perhaps this will change if Travis returns at full strength later in the season.

In Buffalo, David Adams in 2B is rising fast in walks: is Adams making a case for his probable call-up ?
Not to mention Carrera, his lack of .slg is suitable for top or bottom of the lineup: maybe a late inning pinch hitter against RH reliever or pinch runner as the leadoff hitting in an inning. Burns then substitutes in a position.
uglyone - Saturday, May 07 2016 @ 11:33 AM EDT (#322578) #
what more could Saunders do to "seize the job"?
uglyone - Saturday, May 07 2016 @ 11:35 AM EDT (#322579) #
personally i don't mind a lineup in constant flux. gibby can move them around all he wants for all i care. maddon is great at this part of the game.
jerjapan - Saturday, May 07 2016 @ 11:38 AM EDT (#322580) #
The AA interview was pretty standard but a couple of interesting nuggets - had anyone heard that he was pushing hard to land Zobrist before KC got him last year?  If we'd gotten Zobrist instead of Revere (clearly at a higher price) KC would've had to play the ghost of Omar Infante at 2b.  That's a very different series right there, although certainly KC could've upgraded elsewhere with the prospects used to land Zobrist.   
uglyone - Saturday, May 07 2016 @ 11:47 AM EDT (#322582) #
zobrist at leadoff would have given us a world series,imo.
China fan - Saturday, May 07 2016 @ 12:07 PM EDT (#322583) #
"....what more could Saunders do to "seize the job"?...."

What I was trying to say, not as clearly as I should have, was that Saunders should have the full-time lead-off job if the difference in their OBPs this season becomes bigger than it currently is.   As Mike pointed out earlier, the current difference in OBP is partially outweighed by Pillar's greater speed and base-running ability.  But if his OBP reverts to where it was in the past, the difference would be too great to overlook, and Saunders should have the job.  But as long as Pillar maintains the kind of OBP that he currently has, there's nothing wrong with platooning them at the lead-off spot.   Keep in mind, also, that Saunders seems to need more rest days than Pillar, presumably because of his injury last year, so that also figures into the lead-off calculation.
scottt - Saturday, May 07 2016 @ 12:45 PM EDT (#322584) #
Does Saunders want the lead-off job? I don't really think that has any value to him.

Saw that Cecil is upset with the Toronto fans booing him. He didn't have the thick skin needed to close, so this probably affects his performance.
Mike Green - Saturday, May 07 2016 @ 12:56 PM EDT (#322585) #
There's only one hitter who really has owned Kershaw.  That would be Albert Pujols, which isn't really a shock.  The best right-handed hitter of his generation owns the best left-handed pitcher.  Giancarlo Stanton has 2 homers and 2 doubles (to go with a single) in 18 PAs.  Good right-handed hitters mostly have been serviceable. 

Actually, Adam Dunn did even better than Pujols or Stanton in a small sample.  In 14 at-bats, he had 8 hits including 2 doubles and 4 homers.  You wouldn't have thought that a left-hand hitter could do that even in a small sample.

Chuck - Saturday, May 07 2016 @ 01:09 PM EDT (#322586) #
Does Saunders want the lead-off job? I don't really think that has any value to him.

A starting job in a major league outfield, with a key offensive responsibility, in a potential walk year? I'm guessing that has plenty of value to him.

uglyone - Saturday, May 07 2016 @ 01:53 PM EDT (#322587) #
I dislike Dickey.
BlueJayWay - Saturday, May 07 2016 @ 02:43 PM EDT (#322588) #
Just think of Dickey as the fifth starter.
jerjapan - Saturday, May 07 2016 @ 02:46 PM EDT (#322589) #
I'm starting to think of Dickey as the 6th or 7th starter, but with the pen struggling, I'm thinking Chavez stays in relief.  If Hutch can run off a few strong starts and Dickey keeps struggling though, I could see a change as early as June.

That said, I feel like Dickey will Dickey it out till the knuckle starts dancing in his favour.  Doesn;t this happen every year for him?  

hypobole - Saturday, May 07 2016 @ 02:52 PM EDT (#322590) #
Dickey today 7 IP 4 Runs
Price today 4 IP 4 Runs

Dickey 2016 5.18 ERA
Price 2016 6.42 ERA

So Dickey stinks, but at least he's been better than Price.
ComebyDeanChance - Saturday, May 07 2016 @ 03:06 PM EDT (#322591) #
Dickey taken out after 87 pitches having retired 7 in a row. Gibby 'had the bullpen set up' as is his pattern in games where he makes the unnecessary pitching change.
greenfrog - Saturday, May 07 2016 @ 03:11 PM EDT (#322592) #
I think there should be a rule that complaints about pitching changes should be made before they turn out badly. As in, "Gibbons is taking out Dickey and bringing in Girodo. I disagree with this move (for reasons A, B, C, etc.)."

Everyone looks brilliant in hindsight.
Chuck - Saturday, May 07 2016 @ 03:49 PM EDT (#322593) #
While the end results (2 R in 7 IP) weren't Kershaw-level "dominant", it took the Jays going for 8-for-16 off Kershaw on balls in play to make the hay they did (though this was partly neutralized by 3 GIDPs).

Give me 7 IP, 0 HR, 0 BB and 10 K as a starting point, and I'm happy to roll the dice with how that plays out. A more normal 5-for-16, with 0 GIDPs, will more often than not yield dominant results.

greenfrog - Saturday, May 07 2016 @ 04:02 PM EDT (#322594) #
Interestingly, Price's average FB velocity is down 2.2 MPH from last year and 2.1 MPH from his career average. This may or may not be meaningful over the long haul, but it does suggest the possibility of some health/decline issues. (The same thing happened to Halladay in 2012 and again in 2013). Price's line today is as follows:

4.2 7 6 6 0 3 4 (albeit with a FIP of 3.29)

His ERA now stands at 6.75 (although he has likely pitched better than his ERA suggests).

His performance so far this year, while not terrible, has done nothing to make me wish it was the Jays who gave him a 7/$217m contract.
John Northey - Saturday, May 07 2016 @ 05:18 PM EDT (#322595) #
The way things have gone for Price scream to me why you NEVER should give a 7 year deal to a pitcher, especially if they are 30 or older. Yeah, it might still work out and right now even a 1 year deal would look bad but the risk is so high with pitchers that I just don't see why anyone running a team would give out a deal like that. Yeah, you hope he takes the opt-out but that depends on the 'bigger idiot' rule.

Zack Greinke is a great example of that with his 86 ERA+ (5.15 ERA) in 7 starts and yeah he, like Price has a much better FIP (3.35) but that and $1 gets you a drink at McDonald's.
jerjapan - Saturday, May 07 2016 @ 05:43 PM EDT (#322596) #
It's WAY too early to be talking about Price as a bust ... his ERA is lousy, but come on guys ... his WHIP isn't far off his career norms, his bWAR and FIP are very good, and he's striking loads of guys out.  That BABIP of .362 will come down faster than Collabello's career trajectory, and in all likelihood, he opts out of his contract after three years, leaving the Sox with a big FA win. 

Seriously, seven starts and you think that's proof it was a bad contract for the Sox?  Let's talk in a few months at least. 
Kasi - Saturday, May 07 2016 @ 06:36 PM EDT (#322597) #
Results yes will stabilize. Fastball velocity? Not so much, he's down over 2mph as someone pointed out and while that occasionally gets an uptick as the season goes on, it's usually in the order of 1/2 a MPH. Price at 94 is a dominating pitcher, an ace. At 92 he's still good, but not quite the same. And that it's being seen so early on in his contract is not a good sign for his future. Unless he rediscovers velocity, this is a very bad sign for the Red Sox going forward.
greenfrog - Saturday, May 07 2016 @ 06:57 PM EDT (#322598) #
I think big contracts are fine if you're prepared to eat them if they go south (as they sometimes do). You don't want your franchise to be so fragile that it would be crippled by one contract that didn't work out.

Jason Heyward's contract is another one that's looking a bit iffy in the early going.
Kasi - Saturday, May 07 2016 @ 07:07 PM EDT (#322599) #
Big contracts if they work out is because you're signing an elite player and even though you know he's not going to be worth years 4-7 of the deal, they should supply surplus value in the first three years since they are 4+ win players then, and a win is somewhere in the 7-8 million range. If you sign a guy and they start declining in year one, well that's a big deal and that's when you get contracts that have crippled franchises.

Heyward is an odd one because a lot of his value is in his glove. He's been a solid bat, but never fully put together everything to be an outstanding hitter. Anyone signing him was hoping the hitting would blossom since he's still young and such.
scottt - Saturday, May 07 2016 @ 07:17 PM EDT (#322600) #
I'm fine with Dickey pitching as many innings as the team needs him to, be that 5 or 9.

Pulling Dickey to give the pen some work is fine. Getting a look at Girodo is fine--as long as you make him face left bats.

Mike Green - Saturday, May 07 2016 @ 09:44 PM EDT (#322601) #
I agree with Gibbons' decision to send out Girodo for the eighth and Biagini for the ninth, down 4-2.  He's got a 7 man pen, and his starters have recently been going 7 innings fairly consistently. You can't keep the pen fresh unless you normally pull your starter after 7.  Floyd and Storen went yesterday, Girodo and Biagini today, and Osuna, Cecil and Chavez could use some work tomorrow. 

Girodo will hopefully learn from today's experience.  After getting the 2 outs, the one thing he needed to avoid facing Turner was the long ball.  Situational pitching 101. 
uglyone - Saturday, May 07 2016 @ 10:54 PM EDT (#322602) #
And Dickey "retiring 7 of the previous 8" really is meaningless. You're never safe with the knuckler.
ComebyDeanChance - Sunday, May 08 2016 @ 12:24 PM EDT (#322603) #
Interesting article on Price's struggles. He's not getting swing and miss on the fastball, for one thing.
Eephus - Sunday, May 08 2016 @ 02:07 PM EDT (#322604) #
Estrada is some kinda fun to watch when he's rolling. Some of those pitches just carve the zone like it's a fresh roast.
pubster - Sunday, May 08 2016 @ 03:08 PM EDT (#322606) #
Please don't bring in storen
pubster - Sunday, May 08 2016 @ 03:09 PM EDT (#322607) #
I will put in my complaint about this pitching change before storen starts pitching. I hope I'm wrong.
Eephus - Sunday, May 08 2016 @ 03:11 PM EDT (#322608) #
This is a terrific opportunity for Storen to prove himself in a tight close game situation, he says while covering his eyes in terror.
pubster - Sunday, May 08 2016 @ 03:15 PM EDT (#322609) #
Do I have to be right ALL the time. Sigh.
uglyone - Sunday, May 08 2016 @ 03:18 PM EDT (#322610) #
storen and cecil are just gutting us this year.
greenfrog - Sunday, May 08 2016 @ 03:19 PM EDT (#322611) #
If you're going to bring in Osuna in a 2-1 game with two on and six outs to go, why not just bring him in to start the eighth?
pubster - Sunday, May 08 2016 @ 03:20 PM EDT (#322612) #
When Floyd was warming up in the 7th I was so excited that he was finally the set up guy.

But Gibby tricked me. He tricked me good.
uglyone - Sunday, May 08 2016 @ 03:28 PM EDT (#322613) #
it's so jays that when cecil and storen struggle they can't be just kinda crappy but have to be unplayably horrendous.
King Ryan - Sunday, May 08 2016 @ 03:30 PM EDT (#322614) #
National League relievers, I say it every time.
scottt - Sunday, May 08 2016 @ 03:31 PM EDT (#322615) #
This way, it's Osuna, not Storen that gets the busted save.
greenfrog - Sunday, May 08 2016 @ 03:31 PM EDT (#322616) #
Except in today's game it was an NL reliever against an NL team.
Kasi - Sunday, May 08 2016 @ 03:32 PM EDT (#322617) #
Would be nice if Gibbons would realize that and give those situations to Floyd and Chavez until Cecil and Storen prove they can be relied on in lower leverage situations.
Mike Green - Sunday, May 08 2016 @ 03:33 PM EDT (#322618) #
I came late to this one.  Is there some reason why Gibbons would have preferred Storen to Cecil to face Utley and Seager? Is Cecil hurt?
uglyone - Sunday, May 08 2016 @ 03:36 PM EDT (#322619) #
cecil hasn't gotten up since tuesday, apparently.
Four Seamer - Sunday, May 08 2016 @ 03:41 PM EDT (#322620) #
Don't know if he's hurt, but supposedly going home for birth of his child. Going to miss the entire San Fran series, according to Jamie Campbell. Not sure whether he's available today or not.
uglyone - Sunday, May 08 2016 @ 03:43 PM EDT (#322621) #
storen was coming into this one off of 3 scoreless outings in a row, with 3ks 1bb and 2 singles in those 3 innings. i get why gibbons thought he might be turning a corner.

after this one, though, if i know gibby at all i don't think we'll be seeing storen set up for a long while now.
Mike Green - Sunday, May 08 2016 @ 03:46 PM EDT (#322622) #
Barney pinch-running for Saunders on first base with two out?  Why?   Barney is perhaps a tiny bit faster but you lose Saunders' bat if it goes to extras.
Mike Green - Sunday, May 08 2016 @ 03:49 PM EDT (#322623) #
Thanks, FS.  That makes sense.  Storen did not look good at all on Friday night. 

SK in NJ - Sunday, May 08 2016 @ 03:52 PM EDT (#322624) #
Storen did not look good on Friday night. Some of the hits were lucky (a blooper and a bunt) but he didn't look back to normal to me. He was a very good reliever prior to this season, but a drop in velocity even by a few ticks makes a huge difference. He should not have been brought in during a 2-1 game. I realize why Gibbons brought him in, but Floyd or Chavez would have been the better call. If Storen's velocity is down and his performance has suffered because of it, then he isn't miraculously going to improve if you keep throwing him out there in high leverage spots. Relievers are volatile. Let Storen pitch in lower leverage spots until either his velocity improves or he proves he can compensate for the drop.

I liked bringing Osuna in to clean the mess, but that's a tough spot for any reliever to get out of without giving up a run.
uglyone - Sunday, May 08 2016 @ 03:54 PM EDT (#322625) #
chavez stinks it up here. and has blown a couple games already spectacularly. but gibbons is a dummy for not using him in high leverage.

and guess what happened last time floyd was used in high lev?
Mike Green - Sunday, May 08 2016 @ 04:01 PM EDT (#322626) #
The last time Floyd was brought into the game in a high leverage situation was Friday night.  He was a lot better than Storen.
Alex Obal - Sunday, May 08 2016 @ 04:02 PM EDT (#322627) #
Righty batters faced by Storen this weekend: 1
Lefty batters faced by Storen this weekend: 7

It's dissonant. You're the man. You own the 8th inning. We believe in you even though you're running cold. We'll use you against anyone, even a run of lefties that nerfs your slider. By the way our closer's throwing behind you to start the inning, and if anyone reaches base you're getting booed off the mound.
SK in NJ - Sunday, May 08 2016 @ 04:03 PM EDT (#322628) #
Yes, two singles = stinks it up. Completely erases the 13.5 K/9, 1.69 ERA/3.36 FIP he had coming into this game. Also, Floyd was brought in to a high leverage spot on Friday and threw a 9 pitch 1-2-3 inning.

Meanwhile, Storen's velocity drop and month+ of terrible performance can only be cured with more high leverage spots. Otherwise known as the Francisco Cordero 2012 model of bullpen usage.

Look, I liked acquiring Storen, but relievers are highly volatile year to year. He's not getting unlucky, his velocity is down, he's getting hit harder than he ever has in his career (by a huge margin), and he's been hurting the team all season. Some times you need to adjust accordingly. What he did in Washington, while very good, doesn't apply anymore.
uglyone - Sunday, May 08 2016 @ 04:11 PM EDT (#322629) #
and the outing before that, floyd lost us the game in high lev.

but yes, smart managers would definitely boot cecil and storen out of their roles based on 10ip.

Mike Green - Sunday, May 08 2016 @ 04:15 PM EDT (#322630) #
Cecil is up now?   This is weird.

Storen had an ERA of 5.82 in the second half of last year.  It's 32 stinky innings.  Cecil is a completely different story.

SK in NJ - Sunday, May 08 2016 @ 04:17 PM EDT (#322631) #
Floyd: 0.2 IP, 2 K's.

Thankfully that was a lower leverage spot, otherwise he would have blown it, apparently.

As far as 10 IP sample, are you suggesting that velocity drops, hard%, etc, should be ignored in favor of past performance? At what point do you start to taking it seriously? At least with Cecil there appears to be some bad luck involved, but it's the exact opposite for Storen. He's getting hit hard.
uglyone - Sunday, May 08 2016 @ 04:24 PM EDT (#322632) #
gibbons already gave storen some low lev innings, and he did well, and now gave him the opportunity at high lev again.

he's not doing this willy nilly.
pubster - Sunday, May 08 2016 @ 04:25 PM EDT (#322633) #
Maybe just let storen have a terrible season and the Jay's can make the adjustment next season. That way they'll do so with a larger sample size.
Kasi - Sunday, May 08 2016 @ 04:25 PM EDT (#322634) #
All the talk about the bullpen while nice is kinda distracting from the real issue. Which is the team still can't score runs reliably. If only we could play Derek Holland all the time that would be swell, but since we don't we need more than Donaldson, Pillar and Saunders to hit.

It's a shame though. Look at how many quality starts the team has wasted because of bullpen issues or inability to score more than three runs.
King Ryan - Sunday, May 08 2016 @ 04:27 PM EDT (#322635) #
"gibbons already gave storen some low lev innings, and he did well"

Which games were those?

When he came into a 7-1 game and made it 10-1?
When he came into a 6-0 game and promptly gave up a homer?
Kasi - Sunday, May 08 2016 @ 04:28 PM EDT (#322636) #

I don't see these low leverage games Storen got into anytime recently on his appearances. Seems like Gibbons just thinks Storen is his reliable late inning guy,
ComebyDeanChance - Sunday, May 08 2016 @ 04:36 PM EDT (#322637) #
Cecil was shown warming up in the bullpen in the 9th.
pubster - Sunday, May 08 2016 @ 04:51 PM EDT (#322638) #
I'd send storen and dickey to AAA. And thole too I guess.
China fan - Sunday, May 08 2016 @ 05:38 PM EDT (#322639) #
There's something odd with Cecil's situation, possibly a minor injury or something else going on.  When he finally appeared in the bullpen, with the Jays losing by two runs and no obvious need for another reliever, the broadcast crew was baffled.  They suggested he was perhaps loosening up to work on something, implying that he had a minor injury.  The fact that the Jays used Girodo, rather than Cecil, is also a pretty clear indication that Cecil wasn't available, for unspecified reasons.  And so far I don't see any explanation from the Jays in the post-game comments either.
pubster - Sunday, May 08 2016 @ 05:43 PM EDT (#322640) #
If Cecil had a minor injury, why would he be loosening up and working on something?
China fan - Sunday, May 08 2016 @ 05:54 PM EDT (#322641) #
"....Seems like Gibbons just thinks Storen is his reliable late inning guy...."

I don't think Gibbons sees anyone in the bullpen as "reliable" these days, except perhaps Osuna and Floyd.  Just because he puts a reliever into the game, doesn't mean that he sees him as "reliable."  But this bullpen is the only bullpen he has, and it's the bullpen that he must use, whether it is "reliable" or not.

One really hopes that Gibbons doesn't feel any pressure from the Front Office to justify the $8.4-million expenditure on Storen by using him in high-leverage situations.  Based on performance, Storen deserves to be the 6th or 7th man in the bullpen.  But can you demote a reliever so far down the bullpen after he's been acquired (at high cost) to be a closer or set-up man?  I don't think Gibbons has the power to dump Storen from the bullpen, or to use him only in low-leverage situations, after he's been acquired at a high cost.  It would almost certainly create conflict between him and Shapiro, and it would certainly cause embarrassment to those who traded for him,

Personally I agree with those who wanted Floyd instead of Storen in the 8th inning.  When I saw Floyd warming up in the 7th inning, I did hope that Floyd would get the call in the 8th inning.

The most inexcusable thing from Storen was the lead-off walk.  In that situation, with the bases empty and a one-run lead and the team needing only 6 outs to win, you have to throw strikes and make the hitter swing.  You don't give him a free pass.  No excuse for it.

In his previous three outings, Storen hadn't allowed any runs, and some people thought he was getting better.  Maybe he was.  But in his last outing, he allowed 2 hits and a walk in the 9th inning, allowing the winning run to come to the plate, despite a three-run lead. He allowed 3 of the 6 hitters to reach base, and he was lucky to escape without giving up a run.  That was another warning sign.  Gibbons should demote him to a lower-leverage role.  I hope he doesn't have to check with Shapiro first.
China fan - Sunday, May 08 2016 @ 05:56 PM EDT (#322642) #
"....If Cecil had a minor injury, why would he be loosening up and working on something?..."

I'm only quoting the broadcast crew.  They were baffled, and were trying to guess at an explanation.
scottt - Sunday, May 08 2016 @ 05:59 PM EDT (#322643) #
It's worse than that. They've wasted many starts good enough to win with only 2 runs.
They don't need a quality starts to win when they score 12 runs.

We're still 7 games short of the 40  marks at which you have to make changes.

If we're going to throw Storen out there, might as well let him throw until a run score.

Btw, Kevin Pillar is the new bWAR leader. Is that cool or what?

China fan - Sunday, May 08 2016 @ 06:01 PM EDT (#322644) #
"....gibbons already gave storen some low lev innings, and he did well, and now gave him the opportunity at high lev again...."

I think Uglyone here is referring to his previous 3 outings, when Storen didn't give up any runs.  In one of those outings (the last one), Storen was given a 3-run lead in the 9th inning.  I suppose that's somewhat lower leverage than a one-run lead or a tie game.  But even in that outing, Storen allowed 3 of the 6 batters to reach base.
China fan - Sunday, May 08 2016 @ 06:05 PM EDT (#322645) #
"....Lefty batters faced by Storen this weekend: 7...."

This is where the Cecil situation must be a factor.  Either Cecil is nursing some kind of injury, or he has a personal issue, or there's something else going on, but Gibbons clearly didn't want to use Cecil this weekend.  And he doesn't have a huge amount of faith in Girodo either, which is perhaps understandable, given his lack of major-league experience.  So he's using Storen and others to pitch against LHB in situations where he would probably prefer to have Cecil, if Cecil was available.
China fan - Sunday, May 08 2016 @ 06:09 PM EDT (#322646) #
"....we need more than Donaldson, Pillar and Saunders to hit....."

Fully agree with this.  The Jays weren't facing Kershaw today, and they needed to hit better.  They're not going to win many games if they score only 2 runs.  They did manage to score 5 runs against some good pitchers on Friday, so I wouldn't be too pessimistic about them, but it's remarkable how many games they have scored 3 or fewer runs this season.
scottt - Sunday, May 08 2016 @ 06:28 PM EDT (#322647) #
There's probably a simple explanation. What if Storen's mother was in attendance?
pubster - Sunday, May 08 2016 @ 06:43 PM EDT (#322648) #
Why would storens mom want to see her son unable to do his job.
King Ryan - Sunday, May 08 2016 @ 07:19 PM EDT (#322650) #
"Kids, tell me when your father has finished scratching himself."


"We'll tell you, mom!"
Chuck - Sunday, May 08 2016 @ 07:45 PM EDT (#322651) #
Bryce Harper is getting the Barry Bonds treatment. He was 0-for-0 today with 6 walks, during which time he saw 27 pitches (so 24 balls and 3 strikes in 6 plate appearances).

Joe Maddon knows his own mind.

Michael - Sunday, May 08 2016 @ 10:49 PM EDT (#322652) #
Jays are tied for first in baseball (with Washington) in QS with 22. But yet the Jays have just 16 wins.

The Jays are 11th best in the majors at counting stat preventing runs with 119 runs allowed (10th best at earned runs). But since they've played more games than most, at a rate state the Jays are 6th best in the majors with a team 3.46 ERA.

The Jays are 12th best in the majors at scoring runs in counting stats with 132 runs scored. But again they've played more games, so if you look at a rate stat like OPS Toronto is 16th.

But still middle of the pack offense, elite starting pitching, and overall strong pitching, should be better than 500.

Even if you just look at reliever ERA, the Jays are middle of the pack, with an ERA of 3.63 good for 15th best (but this doesn't track the inherited runners the bullpen has been allowing score). And it isn't like they are overworked, Toronto has the 3rd fewest IP by relievers, and the 2 teams with a hair fewer have 2 or 4 fewer games played.

The right components are there, would be nice to have the offense turn on and the relievers right themselves.
greenfrog - Monday, May 09 2016 @ 05:05 AM EDT (#322653) #
It's the losses in close games again. Entering yesterday's game, the Jays had a .500 winning percentage and a pythW-L% of .547.
China fan - Monday, May 09 2016 @ 01:25 PM EDT (#322658) #
"....but this doesn't track the inherited runners the bullpen has been allowing score...."

According to Baseball Reference, the Jays bullpen has allowed 44% of inherited runners to score.  The league average is 27%.
pubster - Monday, May 09 2016 @ 01:45 PM EDT (#322659) #
So I guess that means the starting pitching has been even better than their ERAs.
Mike Green - Monday, May 09 2016 @ 02:30 PM EDT (#322660) #
The Blue Jay bullpen has an opposition BABIP of .328 while the starters have a BABIP of .269.  The key victims have been Storen and Cecil.  Storen has given up a lot of hard hit balls and hasn't got pop-ups; Cecil not so much.  I wondered if the shifting has affected them more than others.  It may be so.  Storen has given up 6 hits in 10 PAs with the shift and Cecil 6 hits in 11 PAs.  Storen gave up 9 hits in 19 PAs with the shift last year.  Cecil was 8 for 20 last year and 12 for 33 the year before.  The wOBAs for Cecil the last 3 years were .368, .408 and .548.  It isn't working for him.  For Storen's career, the wOBA with the shift is .435.  It isn't working for him either.

China fan - Monday, May 09 2016 @ 02:46 PM EDT (#322661) #
"....So I guess that means the starting pitching has been even better than their ERAs....."

Yes, that would be my conclusion too.   But I think we already know that ERA is a fairly crude way of assessing a pitcher's performance.
uglyone - Monday, May 09 2016 @ 02:57 PM EDT (#322662) #
Starting Pitching

6.4ip/gs (#1 AL) (and #1mlb)
85era- (#2 AL)
95fip- (#5 AL)
99xfip- (#5 AL)

Relief Pitching

81.0ip (#15 AL)
99era- (#11 AL)
94fip- (#10 AL)
93xfip- (#6 AL)


4.06r/gm (#9 AL)
3.97br/gm (#9 AL)
99wrc+ (#8 AL)
-2.5bsr (#11 AL)
-0.5def (#7 AL)

SK in NJ - Monday, May 09 2016 @ 03:07 PM EDT (#322663) #
Kevin Pillar now leads the team in WAR (1.6, tied with Donaldson). Even if/when his offense regresses, his defense and base running remains excellent. His emergence last season was a huge boost for this team. Good call by the previous regime choosing him over Gose.

Unfortunately, Encarnacion (0.0), Tulowitzki (0.0), and Martin (-0.5) have not held up their end so far.
China fan - Monday, May 09 2016 @ 05:38 PM EDT (#322666) #
Cecil is now on paternity leave for this series, and Tepera is replacing him.   So, after Cecil's mysterious absence from game action over the past few days, this means an additional 3 more games when the Jays won't have an experienced LHP in the bullpen.  It's a little frustrating.  Of course this is largely due to the injuries to Loup and Morales, but it still seems that the Jays need a better LHP capacity in the bullpen than they currently have.  Let's hope they can survive until Cecil is back to form -- or perhaps until Loup is back.  (The Morales injury seems more mysterious and intractable.)

Meanwhile -- would you have Encarnacion starting at 1B for every game of the Giants series, or would you give a game to Smoak?  Smoak's OBP is far superior to that of Encarnacion, and EE's slugging hasn't returned to form yet.  Do you keep running Edwin out there every day, or do you give some playing time to Smoak, who at least can get on base?

Magpie - Monday, May 09 2016 @ 05:45 PM EDT (#322667) #
So I guess that means the starting pitching has been even better than their ERAs.

Just Stroman, actually. Poor Marcus has turned 7 baserunners over to the pen and all of them have scored. The other starters have had just 2 of 11 their leftover baserunners score.

The rest of it has been baserunners inherited from other relief pitchers - that amounts to 13 runs from 31 inherited baserunners. Which is also pretty bad. Pretty much everyone has been guilty - everyone's above league average except Floyd (2 of 9 scored) and Venditte (1 of 5). And Storen, I suppose, but only because he hasn't inherited any baserunners at all.
Four Seamer - Monday, May 09 2016 @ 05:53 PM EDT (#322668) #

Meanwhile -- would you have Encarnacion starting at 1B for every game of the Giants series, or would you give a game to Smoak? 

I'd plan to give Smoak a game, but I wouldn't be dogmatic about it - if EE has a good night at the plate I'd run him back out the next night, too, since they really need him to get rolling.

scottt - Monday, May 09 2016 @ 06:41 PM EDT (#322670) #
Last I heard Loup was aiming to be back before the end of this month.
Morales has shoulder fatigue and has pretty much disappeared.

I'd use EE as a pitch hitter since there aren't a lot of options on the bench.
I expect Gibby to start EE at 1B.

jerjapan - Monday, May 09 2016 @ 07:39 PM EDT (#322671) #
Stoeten mentioned a Jeff Blair tweet which says "he gets “the impression” that John Gibbons has “mentally pencilled in” Joe Biagini as a starter in 2017".

longshot, but an interesting thought about how Gibby sees the kid. 
Mike Green - Monday, May 09 2016 @ 08:34 PM EDT (#322672) #
Stroman has had over 5 runs a game of offensive support, so it works out about even.  He's 19-6 in his young career (31 starts) and headed for his first 200 inning season, I am pretty sure.  With typical bullpen support, he'd have an ERA of about 3.

I'd let Smoak face Peavy and Cain (but wouldn't hesitate to bring in Encarnacion in the middle of the game), and I'd have Encarnacion face Bumgarner. 

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