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The Blue Jays finish off their first half of the season with a four-game series against Detroit.




Series Schedule / Probable Starters

Thursday at 7:07 pm ET - Justin Verlander (8-6, 4.11) vs. Drew Hutchison (1-0, 5.40)
Friday at 7:07 pm ET -  Mike Pelfrey (2-7, 4.78) vs. J.A. Happ (11-3, 3.54)
Saturday at 1:07 pm ET -  TBA vs. Aaron Sanchez (9-1, 2.94)
Sunday at 1:07 pm ET - TBA vs. R.A. Dickey (6-9, 4.10)

The Tigers finally beat Cleveland for the first time in 12 tries this season to avoid a sweep in Ohio yesterday. Before their trip to Cleveland, they had won six a row. They swept Miami at home in a two-game series before sweeping the Rays in Tampa in a four-game set. Detroit is in second place in the Central, 6-1/2 games behind the Clevelanders with a 45-40 record.

Detroit will have to do without outfielder J.D. Martinez (broken elbow) and pitchers Jordan Zimmerman (neck strain), Drew VerHagen (shoulder), Warwick Saupold (groin strain) and former Jay Daniel Norris (oblique strain).

The Jays look to extend their five-game winning streak after sweeping the Royals. Their 48-39 record leaves them 2-1/2 games behind Baltimore in the AL East and they are four games back in the loss column. Toronto also holds down the first AL Wild Card spot.

Michael Saunders
has the lead for the AL Final Vote for Tuesday's All-Star Game in San Diego. You can #VoteCaptainCanada to send Saunders right here.

At the very least, don't vote for Ian Kinsler or Dustin Pedroia. Especially Kinsler. Never forget he put Toronto on his no-trade list. Do the right thing. Don't let the terrorists win!
Blue Jays vs. Tigers - July 7-10 | 271 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
uglyone - Thursday, July 07 2016 @ 06:39 PM EDT (#325945) #
our man Aaron Hill is now a detestable red sock. having a decent bounceback year.

likely to platoon at 3b i'd think.
vw_fan17 - Thursday, July 07 2016 @ 06:41 PM EDT (#325946) #
Voted 10 or 12 times..
#2JBrumfield - Thursday, July 07 2016 @ 06:59 PM EDT (#325947) #
Our man Aaron Hill is now a detestable red sock. having a decent bounceback year.

I'm gonna puke! Here's the gory details...of the trade, not my puke!
scottt - Thursday, July 07 2016 @ 07:45 PM EDT (#325948) #
Boston losing a couple of prospects is good news.
Let's see what Hill does as the replacement of a guy who came up with negative X-rays.

acepinball - Thursday, July 07 2016 @ 08:51 PM EDT (#325953) #
I recall a rather astute opinion on da baux RE: Hutch's inability to hold runners. It's nice to see him in that fifth inning allowing two base runners to start the inning and not allowing either to score. Changing his pace to hold Maybin at first while K-ing Miggy and having a nice AB vs. V-Mart.

Perhaps the seasoning at AAA has helped Hutch. Would be really nice to see him become a reliable option.
Four Seamer - Thursday, July 07 2016 @ 09:00 PM EDT (#325954) #
I know there are people around here (who have forgotten more about baseball than I'll ever learn) who think highly of Hutch, but all I see is a back-end starter on a mediocre team. I'm glad he's available to spot start, but heaven help us if we need more from him than that.
Chuck - Thursday, July 07 2016 @ 10:05 PM EDT (#325955) #
Maybe when the Jays are losing they could swap out the cheesy Hooked on a Feeling for Lux Aeterna, just to add to the drama.
SK in NJ - Thursday, July 07 2016 @ 10:39 PM EDT (#325956) #
You know the Jays are on a hot streak when they win a game like this. Didn't look promising towards the end with all the runners left on base, but they came through.
BlueJayWay - Thursday, July 07 2016 @ 10:43 PM EDT (#325957) #
One run win no less!

They ended 3-17 with RISP, and had 14 LOB

scottt - Thursday, July 07 2016 @ 10:48 PM EDT (#325958) #
Hutch gave up 3 runs in 6 innings. That's good enough to keep the team in the game.
It's unfortunate that Cecil gave that 4th runs but Grilli was better and picked himself a win.

Now the Jays have just won their 6th game in a row while putting a lot of work on the Detroit bullpen.
Right  not the Tiger starting rotation is Verlander and pray for rain and they just lost with Verlander.

hypobole - Thursday, July 07 2016 @ 10:51 PM EDT (#325959) #
Donaldson is MVPing again, Saunders continues to be excellent and Tulo has been terrific ever since the day I disparaged him here (saying Barney should play ahead of him).

Nothing wrong with Barney though - continues to pleasantly surprise.


Spifficus - Thursday, July 07 2016 @ 10:56 PM EDT (#325960) #

One run win no less! They ended 3-17 with RISP, and had 14 LOB

And that's why one run records are barely more than trivia - the offense underperformed vs their opportunities in this one, which allowed it to be a one run game.

#2JBrumfield - Thursday, July 07 2016 @ 11:08 PM EDT (#325961) #
Maybe when the Jays are losing they could swap out the cheesy Hooked on a Feeling for Lux Aeterna, just to add to the drama.

Speaking of musical ideas, let's rework Billy Squier's "The Stroke" and call it "The Stro"...

Stroman! Stroman!
Could be a winner boy you pitch mighty well
Stroman! Stroman! (Stro!)
Stroman! Stroman!
You got your number down
Stroman! Stroman!
Say you're a winner but babe, just throw a splitter now.

The missus suggested Clarence Carter's "Strokin'" be renamed "Stroman".

I be Stroman!
I be Stroman!
I be Stroman!
 
I think that's up there with Bad Medicine/Brad Wilkerson. :D

uglyone - Thursday, July 07 2016 @ 11:34 PM EDT (#325962) #
love seeing tulo be the hero, even if we shoulda won earlier.

and fantastic to see hutch sack up and get thru 6 despite some mistakes getting pounded.

sure hope cecil can be cecil again, though.
ComebyDeanChance - Thursday, July 07 2016 @ 11:39 PM EDT (#325963) #
I thought Verlander's performance tonight was the best pitching performance I've seen this year. His stuff was deadly. That they were able to battle back, even with Edwin having perhaps the weakest night at the plate I've ever seen him have (whatever he did after last night's game I hope he doesn't do it again), was terrific. However it ended that was a great game, and an especially great one to win.
scottt - Thursday, July 07 2016 @ 11:45 PM EDT (#325964) #
I was thinking more along the line of Hey man...

Do you know what it's like to fall on the floor
Cry your guts out 'til you got no more?
Stro-man, now you're really pitching.

Now you're really giving everything
And you're really throwing all you have
Now you're really pitching what this game is all about

Hodgie - Thursday, July 07 2016 @ 11:55 PM EDT (#325965) #
To be honest CBDC, I thought the exact opposite. It was the first time I had seen Verlander live and he is a shadow of his former self. His Houdini act not withstanding, he certainly does not appear to trust his fastball any longer and was basically junk balling it for the last three innings. The fact that the Jays were still sitting fastball despite seeing nothing but sliders, changes, and curveballs led more to his "successful" outing than anything else in my opinion.
scottt - Thursday, July 07 2016 @ 11:58 PM EDT (#325966) #
I thought Smoak was really ticked by that called check swing and was going to belt one.

Carrera keeps finding ways to contribute.  It's nice to win despite close calls going the other way.
Saunders keeps contributing at the plate, but he doesn't look comfortable defensively.
Bref tags him at -1.0 dWar.


Hodgie - Friday, July 08 2016 @ 12:01 AM EDT (#325967) #
"I thought Smoak was really ticked by that called check swing and was going to belt one."

I am not sure how appropriate it is for Country Joe West to be calling check swings from 100+ feet away. I get the feeling that he may not even be sure who the batter is from that distance now much less be able to determine whether said batter committed to the swing.

scottt - Friday, July 08 2016 @ 12:06 AM EDT (#325968) #
Also, Martin was at 2.5 and 2.0 dWar in Pittsburg, but has dropped to 0.7 last year and -0.3 so far this year.
That and he's behind Pillar and Barney in slugging.

scottt - Friday, July 08 2016 @ 06:51 AM EDT (#325970) #
It's nice to see Bo Schultz being reworded with a major league paycheck for his performance in the Canada Day game that set up this winning streak.
SK in NJ - Friday, July 08 2016 @ 07:50 AM EDT (#325974) #
Smoak now has a 94 wRC+ and 0.0 WAR in 79 games (234 PA). I thought he had some upside left given his skill set, but he is not taking advantage of his consistent playing time. I don't blame Gibbons for using DH as a revolving door and getting Barney more playing time. If there's one glaring hole on the Jays right now aside from needing another high leverage bullpen arm, it would be Smoak/first base. Moving Bautista to DH when he gets back and acquiring an OF at the deadline is probably the route they should be taking.
85bluejay - Friday, July 08 2016 @ 08:12 AM EDT (#325975) #
Impressed with size of thursday night crowd.
Jon Heyman is apparently reporting the jays have rekindled their interest in Jay Bruce - good idea - LHB,insurance for next year, when JB returns can cut Smoak and shouldn't be too expensive on the prospect front.
Mike Green - Friday, July 08 2016 @ 09:05 AM EDT (#325976) #
Pelfrey has been hit very hard this year, and could easily have an ERA of 5 and a half. He's given up 9 unearned runs already on top of plenty of earned runs, and has been full value for both.  Rock and roll, gentlemen.

As for 8th inning music, how about some suggestions?  You want something that the crowd can sing along to and has some Canadian content (Sweet Caroline is about Caroline Kennedy).  I'd love to hear 45,000 people singing "I could drink a case of you and still be on my feet", but it aint happening.  It would be nice to honour Gord Downie in some way, but I can't think of a Hip tune that would make it (Courage? Ahead by a Century?  Bobcaygeon?).  I can imagine "The Weight"- the building "ands" followed by "you put the load right on me"  would work when sung by a big crowd, I think.  Other ideas, Bauxites?  Does the song have to be cheesy?
CeeBee - Friday, July 08 2016 @ 09:51 AM EDT (#325977) #
How about BTO- "You ain't seen nothing yet" ? :)
Magpie - Friday, July 08 2016 @ 09:54 AM EDT (#325978) #
I think the obvious cheesy Can-Con selection would be BTO "Takin' Care of Business." Or Tom Cochrane's "Life is a Highway" or some Bryan Adams ditty.

An Ontario act might be preferable, but the Hip and Broken Social Scene do kind of resist sing-alongs. They often resist basic comprehension (which I say with all due respect, and adoration!)

I doubt you can sing along with it, but the sentiment is often fitting: Philosopher Kings "Hurts to Love You."

Screw it. Something by Pagliaro. Pretty much anything will do.
electric carrot - Friday, July 08 2016 @ 09:57 AM EDT (#325979) #
As for 8th inning music, how about some suggestions?

I love this idea.  A Case of You would be great but just not rockin enough.  (I just finished the Leonard Cohen bio and understood for the first time that that song is about him back when he and JM were an item. Incredible book btw.) 

Here are my ideas:

1. Go retro: The old Ca-na-da song from Expo 67.  It's so fun to sing and definitely hits the cheesy buttons.

2.  I'm Your Man (so easy to sing and hits some of those we're going to win this kind of ethos if you don't actually listen to the chorus that undercuts everything said in the verses.)

3. Down By the Henry Moore, Murray McGlauchlan.  Chorus is super fun, easy to sing and it's actually about TO.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJ1S7LE6vmY




Jevant - Friday, July 08 2016 @ 09:59 AM EDT (#325980) #
Am I insane to wonder if Carrera is enough in the OF?  Smoak to bench, EE/JB as 1B/DH, Pompey up as 4th OF?

Answer: probably, yes, I am insane.  Thought Carrera seems like a legitimate enough 4th OF that I wouldn't think between him, Pompey and Pillar that a 2017 OF acquisition is a must (on the assumption that one of Saunders/EE/JB is back next year).

Jevant - Friday, July 08 2016 @ 10:00 AM EDT (#325981) #
I thought Hooked on a Feeling was fine when it was used in a commercial briefly, but man, it's a weird one to force as the 8th inning song.

Anything Canadian, irrespective of how cheesy, is better than it, in my opinion.

Mike Green - Friday, July 08 2016 @ 10:08 AM EDT (#325982) #
The major league leaders in fWAR, 2013-16: Trout  32.8, Kershaw 28.9, Donaldson 28.1, McCutchen 21.4, Goldschmidt 20.9, Scherzer 19.9.

In the Hall Watch department for Donaldson, the name that springs to mind is Ralph Kiner.  Kiner had a 5 year run of greatness (and he wasn't as great as Donaldson is). It would be nice if Donaldson held on to his game for another 5-7 years and made it a no-brainer. And a propos of our discussions about the aging curve, what can you say about Adrian Beltre?  He was a very good player from ages 23-27, but has been better from 33-37.  That can happen for a DH, but for a third baseman? It's awfully impressive if the player can maintain 90% of his value.

uglyone - Friday, July 08 2016 @ 10:09 AM EDT (#325983) #
for some reason i'd like to hear Neil's Walk On, but it probably wouldn't work. The whole crowd singing Free World would be awesome, but not apropos maybe.

Maybe BTO's Ain't Seen Nothin Yet would work.
Mike Green - Friday, July 08 2016 @ 10:15 AM EDT (#325984) #
I'll cast my vote for BTO- "Takin' Care of Business" if the club is ahead and "You Aint Seen Nothing Yet"  if behind or tied. Heck, it's the 8th inning and you've just had Grilled Cheese on the mound...
grjas - Friday, July 08 2016 @ 11:58 AM EDT (#325985) #
I'd rather add another reliever than an OF. The BP's been better with Grilli moved up, but Cecil needs more innings to show he's back and there's no one I trust behind him except for mop up. And if Osuna or Grilli were to go down, watch out.
scottt - Friday, July 08 2016 @ 12:15 PM EDT (#325986) #
Grilli can close. Chavez is serviceable. It's too early to know where we stand with Cecil, Loup, Schultz, etc.
With Estada on the DL, the starting options are now limited, but Dickey and Stroman seems headed in the right direction.

pubster - Friday, July 08 2016 @ 03:08 PM EDT (#325987) #
I think Kluber won the Cy Young in 2014 and wasn't an all star. So he deserved one, although maybe a couple of years ago.

Was Jose Bautista not in the HR challenge the year he hit 54?
pubster - Friday, July 08 2016 @ 03:10 PM EDT (#325988) #
Whoops, that was in response to a post in another thread about Kluber getting Estrada's spot on the All Star Team.
Mike Green - Friday, July 08 2016 @ 03:41 PM EDT (#325989) #
Burns up, Hutchison down. 

The lineup remains the same tonight. 

92-93 - Friday, July 08 2016 @ 04:31 PM EDT (#325991) #
Burnsie again, eh? Pompey is coming off the concussion DL tonight, so hopefully he's ready to get back into the swing of things and hits the ground running. Jays are going to need the wheels eventually.
Mike Green - Friday, July 08 2016 @ 04:44 PM EDT (#325992) #
The timing of the major league All-Star break is fortuitous for Pompey.  He gets a chance to get back in the groove while the big boys are resting.

Things are coming together so that the club will have a pretty good idea where they stand by the end of July.  This should make deadline decision-making easier. 

uglyone - Friday, July 08 2016 @ 04:51 PM EDT (#325993) #
good news on Pompey. i was getting worried.

there's a spot for him now if he gets hot.
scottt - Friday, July 08 2016 @ 05:32 PM EDT (#325994) #
The AAA All-Star break in which they face the PCL is July 10-13, so Pompey won't be doing much baseball during that time.
Mike Green - Friday, July 08 2016 @ 09:41 PM EDT (#325995) #
Good time for a long save for Chavez.
China fan - Friday, July 08 2016 @ 10:16 PM EDT (#325996) #
All this excitement about Pompey, while Carrera quietly has another excellent game: hit, walk, sacrifice fly, RBI.    Carrera's OPS in the majors is 100 points BETTER than Pompey's OPS in Buffalo. 

Bautista, meanwhile, was hitting off a tee in Florida today, which suggests that he's on track to return to the Jays by the end of the month, as the Jays have already suggested.  And the Jays are also rumored to be chasing Jay Bruce again in trade talks.  It's hard to see where Pompey fits in, until he is hitting so well that he's banging down the doors to the roster.  Like last year, he could be a useful pinch-runner for the Jays after the Buffalo season has ended, but until then, he needs to be playing full-time.  He won't improve if he's sitting on the Toronto bench.

uglyone - Friday, July 08 2016 @ 10:21 PM EDT (#325997) #
Happ's getting better and better. Looks like he might try to go on another 2nd half tear.

Another convincing win for the whole team. Would be pretty sweet to slide into 1st place by the break.
uglyone - Friday, July 08 2016 @ 10:23 PM EDT (#325998) #
China

1. we all love what zeke is doing, just like we all loved what goins and cola did last year. doesn't mean we count on it to last.

2. some of us never want to see bautista in the outfield again. which means there's a OF slot ready to be taken by whoever can help the team the most.
grjas - Friday, July 08 2016 @ 10:28 PM EDT (#325999) #
I was shaking my head when they picked up Happ in the off season but he's now number 2 in wins in the AL and top 10-15 in IP, ERA and WHIP. With Stroman back and Estrada hopefully on the mend, this is one seriously good rotation.
Mike Green - Friday, July 08 2016 @ 10:28 PM EDT (#326000) #
Happ, Chavez and Schultz pitched well, the defence was good, and the bats came alive in time to give the high-leverage relief guys the night off.  Sweet. 
China fan - Friday, July 08 2016 @ 10:28 PM EDT (#326001) #
With 12 wins at the half-way mark, J.A. Happ has a feasible chance at 20 wins for the season, which would be very cool.

The two perfect innings from Schultz were impressive.  And Chavez was good too.  The bullpen is a lot stronger if those two become reliable in the late innings. 

Multi-hit games from Martin, Barney and Pillar.  The lineup is a lot deeper when those three are contributing.

Smoak is the guy that I worry about.  I can certainly see a scenario where Bautista plays some DH when he first returns, relegating Smoak to the bench.

Is there any word on Travis?  He was sitting for a second consecutive game, and only has 3 hits in July so far.  Not sure if he's nursing a minor injury.



uglyone - Friday, July 08 2016 @ 10:33 PM EDT (#326002) #
orioles get crushed, so we're one game back.

uehara almost choked up the game for the sox again but they just hold on to stay 1 game behind us.
China fan - Friday, July 08 2016 @ 10:34 PM EDT (#326003) #
".... some of us never want to see bautista in the outfield again. which means there's a OF slot ready to be taken by whoever can help the team the most....."

You might want that to happen, and it might even be the right move in an ideal world, but let's face it:  there's zero chance of that scenario happening, in a year when Bautista is heading into free agency.  It would sabotage his chances of a free-agent contract of the kind that he wants and deserves, and the Jays just won't do that to a long-time star of Bautista's calibre.  In the final months before he hits the free-agent market, you don't tell him that he has to learn to play 1B, and you don't take away his glove and turn him into a DH -- unless you want to damage the Jays chances of acquiring free agents in the future. 

I do think that the Jays need someone to spell off Saunders and Bautista in the outfield, since both have health issues.  That's a job for a veteran, like Carrera or Jay Bruce, not a rookie like Pompey. 
China fan - Friday, July 08 2016 @ 10:37 PM EDT (#326004) #
"....we all love what zeke is doing, just like we all loved what goins and cola did last year. doesn't mean we count on it to last....."

That's a cunningly phrased way of crapping on Carrera -- comparing him to the two worst hitters on the roster in 2016.   Do you really want to imply that he's as bad as those two guys were this year?  Seems rather pessimistic of you, especially when you're known for your optimism about the Jays.
scottt - Friday, July 08 2016 @ 10:38 PM EDT (#326005) #
It looks like Tampa will do everything to finish low and score a top draft pick next year.

Soon one game back and the Tigers will surprise us tomorrow with their starting pitcher.
I can't wait.

Mike Green - Friday, July 08 2016 @ 10:42 PM EDT (#326006) #
Bautista is 35, and is now missing 3 weeks plus with turf toe.  His defence in right field has been bad by objective and subjective measures even before the injury.  The size of his free agent contract at this point has nothing to do with whether he plays right field badly or first base well.  It depends on how his health and his bat.

His pride is another story.  Hopefully he recognizes that it is in his own best interest at his age to play a position that was appropriate for him 3 years ago before he suffered a couple of injuries.

Mike Green - Friday, July 08 2016 @ 10:43 PM EDT (#326007) #
Ack.  It isn't in his interest to play right field...
uglyone - Friday, July 08 2016 @ 10:52 PM EDT (#326009) #
man you get so worked up.

carrera is playing great and I love riding this wave and hope it lasts and hey it might last but it most likely won't given his history. there's nothing wrong with being realistic. goins and cola were great last year and then they weren't. this is common.

as for Joey- I think you're wrong. I think it's very likely that he is the primary DH when he comes back. Him playing crap D in RF won't help his value - what he needs to do is stay healthy and hit the crap out of the ball the rest of the way to get his next contract, and DH is his best avenue to achieve that. especially since his toe ligament injury is exactly the kind of lingering injury that could destroy his year if he's not smart.

and especially since carrera is playing so much better than smoak. i'd be surprised to see bautista play out there much.

uglyone - Friday, July 08 2016 @ 10:54 PM EDT (#326010) #
or what Mike said.
scottt - Friday, July 08 2016 @ 10:58 PM EDT (#326011) #
Good defense is solving the bullpen problems. The pitcher who throw strikes will continue to do well.

It's hard to predict the trade deadline talks. The Jays don't have any glaring holes that could be solved easily. They might be able to trade Storen plus cash for a player with a  huge contract
Classic Yankee type deal...

SK in NJ - Friday, July 08 2016 @ 11:15 PM EDT (#326012) #
Bautista being the primary DH down the stretch seems pretty realistic to me given his injury. When he had the shoulder injury last season, he DH'ed for a month. I could definitely see him accepting a DH spot in August/September if the team is in a pennant race and his toe issues make his defense worse than it already was since 2015.

If Bautista was 100% healthy and they told him to move to DH, then I'd agree there would be resistance from him. This scenario is a bit different.
BlueMonday - Friday, July 08 2016 @ 11:20 PM EDT (#326013) #
I'll cast my vote for BTO- "Takin' Care of Business" if the club is ahead and "You Aint Seen Nothing Yet" if behind or tied.

I agree with "Takin' Care of Business", but it's already taken as the Met's anthem after winning at Citi Field. So much more enjoyable than '"Start spreading the news" across town.

I love "You Aint Seen Nothing Yet" if behind or tied. How about Great Big Sea "When I'm Up" when we're ahead. Or the Hip's "Boots or Hearts" when the bullpen implodes ('When it starts to fall apart, it really falls apart..')
Magpie - Friday, July 08 2016 @ 11:57 PM EDT (#326014) #
It isn't in his interest to play right field...

I think he's still up to playing left field. In Fenway Park.
John Northey - Saturday, July 09 2016 @ 12:58 AM EDT (#326016) #
Tough choices coming up. Bautista, Saunders, Encarnation, Smoak. Who do you keep and at what price? Saunders has to be top choice right now but health a big concern. EE also high but how long for a DH? Backups are Cabrera, Pompey (combined good for RF or LF), Tellez (just in AA), and... hem. Ideally I think Saunders for 3/$60 (doubt he'd take that), EE for 4 $80 (expect him to be over $100/5 now). Bautista might be the bargain now after all the DL time.
Chuck - Saturday, July 09 2016 @ 08:54 AM EDT (#326017) #
Saunders has to be top choice right now

Is it as clear as all that? He's hitting like he never has before which is great, but how on earth do you project a guy like this? Isn't this the exact sort of season that results in a buyer's remorse overpay?

His abbreviated age-27 season, two years ago, hinted at good things to come, but this good? Really? He'll turn 30 before the calendar year is over, so do we just add him to the pantheon of late Blue Jay bloomers and assume this is now his new level?

I'd happily welcome this Saunders back for subsequent, lucrative seasons. But I have no confidence at all that his 2017 will look like his 2016. What if he loses 100 OPS points? How does that look paired up with his now wobbly defense?

If I'm the Jays, I offer him a QO and that's it. I'm rooting for him and happy for his success, but I see him as a high risk for anything long term.

uglyone - Saturday, July 09 2016 @ 09:03 AM EDT (#326018) #
yeah the estimates are getting a bit high for saunders i think.

he's put himself in line MAYBE for a deal like Bautista or ee got last time.
hypobole - Saturday, July 09 2016 @ 09:33 AM EDT (#326019) #
Dombrowski is Dombrowski-ing in Boston.

After trading a couple of minor leaguers for Aaron Hill, a couple more go to Zona for Brad Ziegler.
uglyone - Saturday, July 09 2016 @ 10:36 AM EDT (#326020) #
I smell a DL stint for 1 or 2 of kimbrel/uehara/tazawa coming.
Mike Green - Saturday, July 09 2016 @ 11:09 AM EDT (#326024) #
I think he's still up to playing left field. In Fenway Park.

Badly.  He's got to learn to play the wall, and he can't make the spin and throw to second to hold the batter to a long single.  Plus he's got to play left-field on the road too.  Stan Musial was a first baseman at age 36.  Yaz was a first baseman at age 33. Ted Williams played in left-field his entire career, and was apparently pretty good out there through age 38, so I guess that there's that.  I don't like Bautista's odds of being even passable.

The Sox have an opening at DH, and I'm pretty sure that they would be more interested in him there.
SK in NJ - Saturday, July 09 2016 @ 11:21 AM EDT (#326025) #
Give Saunders the QO. At that point, they can either work out a reasonable extension (like Estrada), take him back on an expensive one year deal if he accepts it, or get a draft pick if he declines/leaves. There's no downside there. I tend to agree that he's not going to be this good in 2017-beyond, and with his defense not looking as good as it did pre-injury, it puts that much more emphasis on his bat. When Edwin broke out in 2012, his BABIP was in the .260's. Bautista's was at .233 in 2010. Saunders is currently at .381. Bautista and Edwin also made adjustments to their swings prior to seeing changes in their performance. Not sure if Saunders is doing anything differently, but I haven't really followed him that closely.

I'm enjoying the hell out of what Saunders is doing, but he's not a slam dunk extension candidate to me. A lot of risk there. Even getting a pick for him would be a positive turn for the org given that few could have seen him as a realistic QO candidate prior to the season.
greenfrog - Saturday, July 09 2016 @ 11:51 AM EDT (#326026) #
In the "hindsight can be humbling" dept., some comments on the Box following the Happ signing:

Is this for real? This busher isn't worth ONE year at $12M. I'm sure not impressed with the Shaprio regime so far

WTF? I wouldn't want Happ on the team for one year at $5 million, let alone $36 million over 3 years. I was thrilled when we got rid of him last winter, and expect him to be our worst starting pitcher this year. Ugh

it's actually kinda funny how diametrically opposed this is to what i was hoping to see this offseason

Big Meh

Very limited upside in this rotation

Awful. When AA got pushed out I was mostly sad because I was a big AA fan, not because I expected the new regime to be lousy. The early results are not good. Happ comes with neither good value nor good upside.

Ugh. Why?

http://www.battersbox.ca/article.php?story=20151127202546163
Magpie - Saturday, July 09 2016 @ 12:03 PM EDT (#326027) #
The Sox have an opening at DH, and I'm pretty sure that they would be more interested in [Bautista] there.

Not if they sign Encarnacion as well. The Red Sox won a couple of titles with Manny being Manny out in LF, and this year they've been playing Brock Holt. Bautista's a smart player and a hard worker. I think he'll figure out how to play that little LF area pretty quick. It suits his skill set much better than... oh, Carl Crawford.

The Red Sox have lots of money, holes to fill, and a chance to really hurt a division rival. I'm just preparing myself psychologically for the Worst That Could Happen....
Magpie - Saturday, July 09 2016 @ 12:04 PM EDT (#326028) #
Italics?

Begone!
uglyone - Saturday, July 09 2016 @ 12:30 PM EDT (#326030) #
the red sox a) don't actually have much payroll room b) aren't really good enough to justify maxing out payroll on old players
ISLAND BOY - Saturday, July 09 2016 @ 12:35 PM EDT (#326031) #
And will the Red Sox actually have a hole at DH ? David Ortiz is having a darn good year so far, and he might face a lot of pressure to come back for another one. Of course,he might be content to go out in a blaze of glory,too.
uglyone - Saturday, July 09 2016 @ 12:44 PM EDT (#326032) #
they also still have to pay hanley and Panda who can only play the 1b/dh slots. not to mention shaw and travis are pretty much just 1B/dh types themselves. while moncada is likely to come up at 3b with pedroia blocking him.

with gigantic holes in their rotation, and not much in the system to fill them, and with them up at the luxury tax line already, i doubt they'll be spending big on a DH.
92-93 - Saturday, July 09 2016 @ 12:44 PM EDT (#326033) #
"Happ, Chavez and Schultz pitched well, the defence was good, and the bats came alive in time to give the high-leverage relief guys the night off. Sweet."

Come on Mike, you missed the most integral component of last night's victory - John Gibbons managed one hell of a game.

I too was hoping Chavez would be stretched out a bit coming off a 47 pitch outing, but Gibby probably has Chavez in his circle of trust right now and doesn't want to think of him as a longman.
92-93 - Saturday, July 09 2016 @ 12:56 PM EDT (#326034) #
"he's put himself in line MAYBE for a deal like Bautista or ee got last time."

That was my exact thought when I first heard this notion that Saunders could make more than Bautista this offseason. While I would entertain an extension between EE & JB's current contracts, these notions of 25m over a 5 year deal right now are a reach. Jose Bautista was coming off a .995 OPS, 54 HR season when he signed his extension, and he was still a capable defensive RF (perhaps a +) at the time and younger than Saunders will be this offseason.

If the market for Saunders is really anywhere close to the numbers floated then it's because he had a strong 2nd half and maintained elite offensive performance, so the Jays will be thrilled about that.
uglyone - Saturday, July 09 2016 @ 12:58 PM EDT (#326036) #
and most people thought Bautista was OVERPAID when he signed that deal!
uglyone - Saturday, July 09 2016 @ 01:55 PM EDT (#326037) #
kimbrel pulled a mariano and busted his knee shagging flies. going for surgery.

explains the ziegler move.
christaylor - Saturday, July 09 2016 @ 02:19 PM EDT (#326038) #
Sanchez looks like he could use a quick hook.
Chuck - Saturday, July 09 2016 @ 03:10 PM EDT (#326039) #
Iglesias may have been out of today's lineup because of yesterday's brain fart. Today Romine has a brain fart of his own so I guess we'll see Iglesias back tomorrow.
uglyone - Saturday, July 09 2016 @ 03:27 PM EDT (#326040) #
yeah nice quick hook from gibby even after the quick inning. right call.

and great work from biagini in the kind of role that probably suits him best.

and that's what's gonna make travis an above average player imo - that is legit power from a one handed emergency swing there.
uglyone - Saturday, July 09 2016 @ 03:36 PM EDT (#326041) #
hmm. i guess cecil will get a chance to get his 8th inning job back.
Mike Green - Saturday, July 09 2016 @ 03:53 PM EDT (#326042) #
It's nice to have Pillar, Saunders, Travis batting 6-7-8 with Barney 9th at times like this. 

With Salty catching, running is a possibility.

Mike Green - Saturday, July 09 2016 @ 03:59 PM EDT (#326044) #
Nevermind.  Anibal Sanchez tomorrow?
BlueJayWay - Saturday, July 09 2016 @ 04:01 PM EDT (#326045) #
Offense went MIA today against a terrible pitcher. Detroit gifted a run because the ump missed a clear strike 3. Unfortunate way to end a winning streak.
scottt - Saturday, July 09 2016 @ 05:57 PM EDT (#326046) #
Detroit won the strike calls today.  Martin's framing skill are still MIA and he got another passed ball.
Even if Grilli had pitched a clean 8th, the game would have been tied.
I'm more upset about leaving runners at 3rd with less than 2 outs.

Sanchez needs to start at bats with fastball strikes in the bottom of the zone instead of curves off the plate. That's the key to Happ success. Get ahead in the count and trust your defense.

I watched part of an inning of Rays vs Red Sox. Worse baseball I've seen all year.
A dropped ball at the warning track. A bad throw at first. A bad throw at the plate.
Pitches in the middle of the plate in a pitcher's count.
It's like all the Tampa players are afraid of being traded to a contender and are putting a show to scare off scouts and managers.


ComebyDeanChance - Saturday, July 09 2016 @ 06:10 PM EDT (#326047) #
What are the Jays now against LH starters this year? 11-14 or something similar?

It's nice to cite how other teams have hit Matt Boyd this year, but this team has problems vs. LH starters. Would be great to have Danny Valencia, who has a 1.057 OPS vs. lefties. Given that he'll be too expensive a trade target with another year of control left, maybe Steve Pearce?
BlueJayWay - Saturday, July 09 2016 @ 06:20 PM EDT (#326048) #
Checked the splits on bbref.

Coming into today, Jays have hit 261/341/460 against right handed starters, and 232/315/393 against lefty starters, almost a 100 point OPS difference.

SK in NJ - Saturday, July 09 2016 @ 06:41 PM EDT (#326049) #
The 2015 offense would have slaughtered Boyd. Disappointed they couldn't eek out 4 runs against the Tigers today, but bad days happen. This lineup is still without Bautista, and while they have been making up ground without him, they still ultimately need him this season.

Just have to win the series tomorrow.
scottt - Saturday, July 09 2016 @ 07:11 PM EDT (#326050) #
Sounds like Sanchez is an all-star after all.
That leaves another day  for a pitcher to get injured and find a spot for Happ.

Magpie - Saturday, July 09 2016 @ 11:36 PM EDT (#326051) #
The 2015 offense would have slaughtered Boyd.

In theory, sure, but.... Phillies LH and general ne'er-do-well Adam Morgan started two games against those very same 2015 Blue Jays and won them both (2-0, 2.77, 13 IP), doing a very credible imitation of a major league starter in the process. It was just an imitation - against the rest of the major league universe, he's gone 4-14, 7.59.

The wise word of Mr Andujar comes to mind, as it so often does.
scottt - Sunday, July 10 2016 @ 06:40 AM EDT (#326052) #
Baltimore and Boston both won and today they go with Tillman and Price.
Chuck - Sunday, July 10 2016 @ 09:05 AM EDT (#326053) #
This business about struggling vs LHP is very strange. The team OPS split is 763/776 (-13).

Here are some individual L/R OPS splits, sorted by L-favouring skew.

  • Carrera 1053/676 (+377)
  • Thole 481/320 (+161)
  • Encarnacion 997/867 (+130)
  • Donaldson 1063/987 (+76)
  • Saunders 986/911 (+75)
  • Martin 706/637 (+69)
  • Pillar 732/675 (+57)
  • Bautista 797/821 (-24)
  • Barney 707/765 (-58)
  • Smoak 640/753 (-113)
  • Tulowitzki 641/812 (-171)
  • Goins 348/571 (-423)
  • Travis 379/910 (-531)

Tulo has a career 943/846 split, so this year's struggles against LHP are very odd. Some regression would seem to be in order.

Travis hasn't played very much, so the impact of his bizarre skew can't be huge in the grand scheme of things. His split in 2015 was 974/817, so expect lots of regression.

Smoak has a career split of 659/720, so this year's split is in keeping with that. He now finds himself sitting against LHP and come Bautista's return, may well sit against RHP as well.

Junior Lake's (small sample) career split is 792/605, so a team that didn't seem to need a lefty-thumper at the start of the season may start giving more and more AB to one, platooning him with Smoak, though, not with Saunders as we all originally envisioned.

Save for his rookie year, Carrera has routinely put up a better OPS against LHP than RHP. This is very strange for a LHB. His career split is 752/663. He has been a tremendous 4th outfielder this season, one over whom I (and others) have had to eat crow. But the question of whether he should be starting against RHP is legitimate.

Many of us feel that Bautista may not be physically able to man RF upon his return, or at least not full-time. The organization may be looking to add an outfielder and I have read Jay Bruce's name mentioned again in rumours. This would seem to make some sense. Bruce fulltime in RF. Carrera back to 4th OF. Bautista/Encarnacion sharing 1B/DH. Smoak to the bench.

Chuck - Sunday, July 10 2016 @ 09:19 AM EDT (#326054) #
I should have mentioned that the 2015 team OPS split was 818/791 (+27). Even this skew felt low to me on a team with so many RHB.

To further contextualize matters, the AL overall OPS was 730 last year and is 751 this year. So since the league offense has being going up, the team's OPS drop of 55 points vs LHP is even worse than it looks on its face.

Mike Green - Sunday, July 10 2016 @ 09:29 AM EDT (#326055) #
Bruce's defence has taKen a major hit since his knee surgery. Carrera is probably a better player at this point.
scottt - Sunday, July 10 2016 @ 09:42 AM EDT (#326056) #
The weak positions have been Catcher (both Martin and Thole in negative WAR) and first base with Smoak not hitting enough for the spot.

The easy solution is to send Goins down for a 3rd catcher that can hit and to DH Bautista when he comes up.

Chuck - Sunday, July 10 2016 @ 09:42 AM EDT (#326057) #
Bruce's defence has taKen a major hit since his knee surgery.

Thanks. Wasn't aware. Both BR and FG share your observation. That certainly changes things, or at least makes Bruce much less desirable.

BlueJayWay - Sunday, July 10 2016 @ 09:53 AM EDT (#326058) #
It's not just what the Jays have done against lefties overall, but specifically left handed starters - a .702 OPS.
ComebyDeanChance - Sunday, July 10 2016 @ 11:12 AM EDT (#326059) #
It's not just what the Jays have done against lefties overall, but specifically left handed starters - a .702 OPS.

Yes, that is what I was referring to in my earlier posts. I believe their record is in the 11-14 area with LH starters. It's why Arizona started back-to-back lefties against us. It's why I was skeptical of the sanguine approach to facing Matt Boyd. He's started twice against the Jays and they've lost both times. Winning and losing those two games alone is a considerable difference in the standings.

ComebyDeanChance - Sunday, July 10 2016 @ 01:02 PM EDT (#326060) #
Watching the stock 'wasn't it great back when' pre-game show. Will there be a point where Toronto can move on from from 1985-1993? I was there and it was fun the first time, now it seems so sad that this is what gets served up endlessly. It's like a recognition that Blue Jays baseball is only something you remember from 20-30 years ago.
Gerry - Sunday, July 10 2016 @ 01:16 PM EDT (#326061) #
It wasn't all 92-93, Johnny Mc was there. It was a little odd though "Hey John, remember that time your father died?"

I think the issue is that traditionally the Blue Jay crowd was older, in particular the season ticket holders. Now that the Jays crowd is skewing younger, marketing needs to recognize that and adjust accordingly.
eudaimon - Sunday, July 10 2016 @ 01:51 PM EDT (#326062) #
Way to go Josh!
Magpie - Sunday, July 10 2016 @ 01:55 PM EDT (#326063) #
Will there be a point where Toronto can move on from from 1985-1993?

Sure. When the team does something worth remembering. Which hadn't happened - not even once - until last fall.

Could be worse. Consider the Leafs....
eudaimon - Sunday, July 10 2016 @ 02:09 PM EDT (#326064) #
I expected more excitement for Thole's first non-himself RBIs of the season.
hypobole - Sunday, July 10 2016 @ 02:54 PM EDT (#326065) #
Jays are already planning a Josh Thole bobble-bat day.

Anthony Gose may not be with the Tigers much longer. Bad in the majors, worse in the minors, then (per ESPN):

"Gose and McClendon got into a heated argument in the dugout during the first game of a doubleheader for the Toledo Mud Hens on Saturday. The argument seemed to have stemmed from Gose being removed from the lineup in the third inning and being replaced by pinch-hitter Jeff McVaney.

The 25-year-old outfielder, who began the season as the Tigers' starting center fielder, was not in the lineup for the second game of the day and his personal items were not in his locker room afterward, according to the Toledo Blade."
Gerry - Sunday, July 10 2016 @ 02:59 PM EDT (#326066) #
If the Jays have a day to remember the 2015 and 2016 teams, in say ten years time, and if RA Dickey is invited to come back, will Josh Thole have to come too?
eudaimon - Sunday, July 10 2016 @ 03:25 PM EDT (#326067) #
I think it's safe to say we won the Gose / Travis deal.

Call me crazy but I still don't think Thole is that bad at backup catcher. Limited ABs and a .150 BABIP will make anyone look worthless. He's not great obviously, but most backup catchers aren't anything to write home about.

Eephus - Sunday, July 10 2016 @ 03:43 PM EDT (#326068) #
Anyone else thinking that trying to bring Dickey back might at least be a good idea? He is what he is, but what "that" is, happens to be extremely useful, plus you can set your watch to how consistent the guy is (at least as far as end results for a season go).
Magpie - Sunday, July 10 2016 @ 03:44 PM EDT (#326069) #
If the team can hold this lead, Dickey will have gone 6-6, 3.10 since the beginning of May. In his 6 losses, the team scored a total of 8 runs. Not bad for an old man.
scottt - Sunday, July 10 2016 @ 04:17 PM EDT (#326070) #
I think it will be time to move away from Dickey, not because Dickey is done, but because Martin is aging and they could use a better backup than Thole and because they can save around 10M by using Hutch/Biagini/whoever and spend that money on LF/1B/DH bats.
SK in NJ - Sunday, July 10 2016 @ 04:39 PM EDT (#326071) #
With Shapiro's emphasis on depth, it wouldn't shock me if they try to bring Dickey back next season. In reality, as long as you can accept what he is, Dickey is fine. He'll eat up innings, have an ERA around 4.00, field his position well, have a bunch of stinkers when his knuckler isn't working, but ultimately will be able to start 35 games every year and give league average production. Eventually age will catch up to him, but so far he's been pretty consistent as a dependable bottom of the rotation innings eater since 2013. The main argument against bringing Dickey back is Thole. Today aside, I think I've had enough of using one roster spot on someone who is simply not an MLB talent and hasn't been since 2011. Find a solid back-up catcher who the manager can at least be comfortable starting more than once every five games, and it will probably make Dickey a little more palatable to have around.

Looks like the O's and Red Sox will both win today, so didn't gain any ground, but 11 games over .500 at the ASB is great considering where they were a month ago. The team doesn't even need big moves at the deadline, just a couple of small Grilli type moves to add a bit of depth to the roster (bullpen, OF/1B), coupled with Bautista coming back, and I think they'll be fine for the 2nd half.
eudaimon - Sunday, July 10 2016 @ 04:50 PM EDT (#326072) #
I think resigning Dickey might be a good move. He gets a lot of hate but keeps putting up seasons of over 200 IP with an ERA hovering around 4. That type of pitcher has a lot of value, especially considering he's not much of an injury risk (I don't think he's been on the DL since he came to Toronto). He's very consistent (including the fact that he consistently has a stretch early in the season where he is painful to watch) and I'd say he's a solid bet to put up a similar line next year. Plus, I wouldn't be surprised if he signs a team friendly deal. If we're lucky, someone younger and better will be able to catch the knuckleball and knock Thole out of the lineup.
hypobole - Sunday, July 10 2016 @ 05:04 PM EDT (#326073) #
Thole is 1 of 22 catchers that have had 40 PA's this season with negative WAR per FG.

Getting a "better hitting catcher" may or may not be very difficult, even though multiple teams seem to also be having issues doing so.

But getting an appreciably better hitting catcher?
greenfrog - Sunday, July 10 2016 @ 05:11 PM EDT (#326074) #
Incredible first half by Donaldson, who was at 5.2 fWAR entering today's game. Per Associated Press:

Donaldson is the sixth player in American League history to hit at least 20 home runs and score 80 runs or more before the All-Star break. The others were Lou Gehrig (1936), Ted Williams (1946), Reggie Jackson (1969), Frank Thomas (1994), and Alex Rodriguez (2000).

Donaldson is the first player to score 80 or more runs before the break since 2008, when Ian Kinsler (84) and Hanley Ramirez (80) both did it.
CeeBee - Sunday, July 10 2016 @ 05:13 PM EDT (#326075) #
Better hitting backup catchers usually end up being starters, at least till the hitting stops.
bpoz - Sunday, July 10 2016 @ 05:39 PM EDT (#326076) #
51-40 at the AS break is great. Cheers to everyone. Shatkins too,they have done a good job.
BlueJayWay - Sunday, July 10 2016 @ 05:40 PM EDT (#326077) #
Watching the stock 'wasn't it great back when' pre-game show. Will there be a point where Toronto can move on from from 1985-1993? I was there and it was fun the first time, now it seems so sad that this is what gets served up endlessly. It's like a recognition that Blue Jays baseball is only something you remember from 20-30 years ago.

Have this complaint as well. One of the reasons I wanted them so much to make the playoffs was to create new memories, which they finally did, especially the epic bat flip.

I've become so sick of the 92 and 93 teams. Before last year, it felt a bit like the franchise had ceased to exist after the strike.
uglyone - Sunday, July 10 2016 @ 06:13 PM EDT (#326078) #
well, woulda been nice to get into tbe break in 1st but didn't happen.

but with oak ari sd and sea up coming out of the break we better be in first by the next time we face the orioles.
scottt - Sunday, July 10 2016 @ 06:17 PM EDT (#326079) #
Better hitting backup catchers usually end up being starters, at least till the hitting stops.

Do you realize that Thole just had 2 hits to bring his average to .141?

Dickey has an ERA+ around 100, but that doesn't include all the unearned runs he gets.
Also, Thole has a lot to do with the poor run support Dickey has received this year.

180 innings of average pitching is very valuable if you need it.
It's completely worthless if you don't need it.

Dickey is now 7-9 for the year. He's trending upward, but he was very bad early on.
I wouldn't want to go through another April like that. Nope.
greenfrog - Sunday, July 10 2016 @ 06:30 PM EDT (#326081) #
The Jays have the fifth-best run differential in the majors (second-best in the AL). Pretty good, considering how the season began.

Would love to see the team make one or more acquisitions at the deadline: strong starting pitcher, competent late-inning reliever, extra bat (perhaps an outfielder like Bruce). Ideally, controllable beyond 2016.

The Jays have a very good team (and cash rolling in) - let's make it even better, and finish what we started in 2015. This opportunity may not come around again for a while.
jerjapan - Sunday, July 10 2016 @ 06:52 PM EDT (#326082) #
Dickey on a QO is a no-brainer, just like picking up his option last year was. 

Fangraphs has his at 45.4 million in value since we traded for him - contractually, he's surplus value of 4.4 million and counting.  Knucklers being so unpredictable, we signed him to a bargain deal after his Cy Young season - can we do that again?

He's been worth roughly $14 million / year since we got him, and the QO will be a bit higher than that.  we see guys like Estrada signing for more than one year at less than the QO rate, so no reason to think we can't either resign Dickey- 2 years - 28 million / 3 years, 36 million?  or get him to go year to year on the QO.  we retain the draft pick compensation - easy choice.

we have some guaranteed contracts, Hutch deserves to start, and Osuna might - but a Happ or Estrada could bring legit value in a trade without compromising the front end of our rotation. 

grjas - Sunday, July 10 2016 @ 07:07 PM EDT (#326083) #
The issue with Dickey is whether the money can be used elsewhere. Unless Rogers hits the up button on the budget- good luck with that- I suspect they'll need the money for outfielders and a DH- current or new ones.
Magpie - Sunday, July 10 2016 @ 07:08 PM EDT (#326084) #
I wouldn't want to go through another April like that.

Sure, but you just went through something that was even worse than Dickey's April. It was Marcus Stroman's June.

strong starting pitcher, competent late-inning reliever, extra bat (perhaps an outfielder like Bruce). Ideally, controllable beyond 2016.

If the Jays added a starter, that would also solve item two for you, as Someone (almost certainly Sanchez) would go to the pen. And hey - Colabello is eligible to return in a couple of weeks. But there are so many teams out there that need competent starting pitching more badly than Toronto does. It's a seller's market.

Happ or Estrada could bring legit value in a trade without compromising the front end of our rotation.

I kind of think Happ and Estrada are the front end of the rotation, and wouldn't want to trade one to clear a spot for Hutchison or re-signing Dickey, or the hope that Osuna or Biagini can step in.

Well, I suppose you might think about it if you need to replace the right fielder and the DH.
greenfrog - Sunday, July 10 2016 @ 07:28 PM EDT (#326086) #
I'm expecting Colabello's bat to be less fizzy than it was in 2015, and he doesn't really solve the problem of too many DHs and below-average fielding in RF.

What are the team's potential weaknesses red flags heading into the second half?

- Playoff-calibre starting pitching if Sanchez is bumped to the bullpen and/or Estrada gets injured/runs out of steam or other attrition/regression occurs

- RF defense

- Catching depth (esp. if Martin gets hurt/overused)

- 1B defense (if Smoak continues to sputter offensively)

- Late-inning relief (if Storen and Cecil continue to struggle)

Ideally any acquisitions would directly or indirectly address these areas.
Mike Green - Sunday, July 10 2016 @ 07:30 PM EDT (#326087) #
The Blue Jays are now 18-7 in blowouts this year, after last year's impressive 37-12.  The bullpen is in much better shape now than it was coming into the All-Star break last year; the one-run wins will come.

I am not sure what the club should be looking to add at the deadline.  A catcher, as insurance, wouldn't be a bad idea.  Another outfielder maybe.  If they don't make any moves, I won't complain at all.

And as for Dickey, it's too early to discuss it.  A lot can happen between now and November.  I repeat that using ERA to evaluate a knuckleball pitcher is a bad idea.  Dickey has allowed 9 unearned runs in 109 innings so far this year.  That is an awful lot.



BlueJayWay - Sunday, July 10 2016 @ 07:40 PM EDT (#326089) #
the one-run wins will come

Lol! I've been saying that for a decade+. I've given up waiting. The key for the Jays is to stay away from one run games entirely, then they should be fine.
dan gordon - Sunday, July 10 2016 @ 07:42 PM EDT (#326090) #
They were talking on the radio broadcast today about the Jays acquiring Joey Votto. After reviewing his career, season by season, and looking at that contract, I wouldn't want any part of that. He looks like a significantly declining asset who will turn 33 in a couple of months, and still has 7 years plus an option to go, for a total commitment of $179 million minimum.
BlueJayWay - Sunday, July 10 2016 @ 07:51 PM EDT (#326091) #
Yeah I would stay away from Votto.
greenfrog - Sunday, July 10 2016 @ 08:03 PM EDT (#326092) #
Sometimes it's the less-heralded acquisitions (players like Carrera, Barney and Grilli) that end up being the best value for the acquisition cost. If any moves are made, I would expect them to be changes at the margins, not blockbuster deals (unless the Jays can finagle some high-end controllable starting pitching talent). It's pretty clear that Shapiro is focused on sustainability, which means he's not going to deal the likes of Reid-Foley or Guerrero Jr. for a rental.
uglyone - Sunday, July 10 2016 @ 08:51 PM EDT (#326093) #
this yesr the jays have no overhyped prospects to sell, so that hurts. they might have some potential sell high pop up guys like maybe rios, though (like tinoco/wells/etc last year).

Carrera wasn't an acquistion, btw.
hypobole - Sunday, July 10 2016 @ 10:28 PM EDT (#326094) #
AA signed Carrera as a FA.

Atkins signed Barney as a FA.

How is only one an acquisition?
SK in NJ - Monday, July 11 2016 @ 07:56 AM EDT (#326097) #
I think I can say with confidence that there won't be any blockbuster trades happening with the Jays or any significant prospects leaving the org this time around. Someone mentioned Steve Pearce, and that's exactly the type of move I'd expect (short-term, older player, low cost, etc). Actually, Pearce makes a ton of sense given his versatility and ability to hit LHP. He can play 1B or the outfield depending on what they want to do with Bautista. Wouldn't mind seeing that happen depending on the cost.
ayjackson - Monday, July 11 2016 @ 08:12 AM EDT (#326098) #
After last year, I'm not sure I want to see any moves. Besides adding an ace (and I don't want to pay the cost for an ace), I don't think there's much else worthy of stripping more prospects.

I was very happy at the moves made last year and very happy to stand pat this year.
uglyone - Monday, July 11 2016 @ 08:20 AM EDT (#326099) #
agreed.

in fact, it would be best if we traded our FAs for some much needed prospects.

this whole trying to win thing is getting in the way of what's really important.
SK in NJ - Monday, July 11 2016 @ 09:15 AM EDT (#326100) #
So far this FO has balanced trying to win in 2016 and not hurting the farm system about as well as I could have hoped. They've made 3 player(s) for player(s) trades off the top of my head, and the only prospect that was dealt was Sean Ratcliffe (who I never even knew existed until he was traded for Grilli). The current team, now that their best players are playing like their best players, doesn't have many glaring weaknesses for 2016. Incremental improvements in areas of need (or areas that lack depth) are far less expensive to acquire and some times more beneficial to the team short and long-term. That's the route they should be going in this trade deadline, and I suspect that they will. Another Grilli trade or two would be fine with me.

Sonny Gray is the only rumored name available that I'd trade top prospects for, although I'd have to be confident that his current performance is not related to anything negative (he's giving up way more hard contact this year).
Jevant - Monday, July 11 2016 @ 09:45 AM EDT (#326101) #
It wasn't all bad:

"I find too many of the retrospective views on AA little more than hagiography. What do you think he would have done? Signed Price to a 3 year $10M contract? Traded for Sonny Gray while giving up nothing? His history of acquiring starting pitchers was not good which is why we started last year with Drew Hutchison as the opening day starter. The Jays were not going to commit to long-term expensive signings of pitchers which is the right move. Whether or not they could have done better than Happ is definitely a question worth asking, but inserting some other false option whereby the Jays get a top starter is not a real alternative. Indeed."

and...

(in the course of a conversation about Leake being a better signing than Happ)

"I'm not sure I'm all that interested in paying for a soft-tossing RHP who doesn't strike anyone out, and paying that person double what Happ is making.

Would I have liked Price back? Of course. Would I prefer to diversify a bit? Absolutely.

The Jays rotation when from "2 passable options" to "6 passable options" in a short window here in the offseason, and that's without using Sanchez/Osuna in the rotation, and not signing any pitcher for a contract longer than 3 years. I actually think that's pretty tidy work."

and...

"Let's wait until the offseason is over to decide who got great deals and who overpaid. My recollection of years past is that generally those that get their work done early end up looking better on the total at the end of the day."




Jevant - Monday, July 11 2016 @ 09:46 AM EDT (#326102) #
I haven't seen the numbers on this, but Martin's framing has looked pretty good to me recently. 
ayjackson - Monday, July 11 2016 @ 09:47 AM EDT (#326103) #
"in fact, it would be best if we traded our FAs for some much needed prospects."

I didn't say that. I see how you get in so many arguments on here.
Parker - Monday, July 11 2016 @ 09:51 AM EDT (#326104) #
I'd be happy if the Jays began to focus more on developing from within to build a team, rather than to simply develop tradeable assets. In theory, there's no need to trade for a Sonny Gray when one of Greene, Reid-Foley, or Harris could provide similar value without the acquisition cost (or the more limited years of control.) I know prospects are never a sure thing, but if you have enough of them and you develop them well, some are bound to make it. With the revenue the Jays have, they could instead use payroll to lock up Donaldson (as a rule I don't advocate for giving out big contracts to players over 30, but I think the Jays should be willing to eat some money in the case of the team's first MVP since 1987), fill a hole or two with middle-tier free agents, and never have to worry about not being able to afford to keep their home-grown talent, until it's time to let them become someone else's problem.

This is what Alex Anthopoulos seemed to be trying to do, at least until 2013.
bpoz - Monday, July 11 2016 @ 11:21 AM EDT (#326105) #
This is a nice time for discussion. Being calm and easy going because we should celebrate 8 wins in 9 games.

Therefore I calmly say that the Jays will not win 8 of 9 games this year again. They can prove me wrong by winning 7 or more in a row. 6W 1L 6W does not prove me wrong. That is just using numbers and stats and complicated math like winning % to win your arguments.

A 7 game win streak should be better than a 6 game win streak.
uglyone - Monday, July 11 2016 @ 11:33 AM EDT (#326107) #
http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/rpi/_/sort/sos

Always good to notice that according to espn's basic strength of schedule metric, the jays have had the toughest sked (.514) in mlb by a healthy margin so far.

Combined with our record their relative power index considers us to have had the 2nd best performance in mlb so far (.526) behind only texas (.527).

Now our SoS will stay tough all year thanks to being in the toughest division, but even then it should come down a solid bit - starting with 4 straight series against pretty weak teams coming out of the break.
bpoz - Monday, July 11 2016 @ 11:39 AM EDT (#326108) #
Parker, I am sorry if I have misunderstood you. I am also not attacking you. This is for everyone. Actually I thank you, if this opens up a nice discussion.

1) Are you suggesting that building a perennial contender is the objective?
2) If that was AA's objective, then he miscalculated an important factor or 2. IMO... Was management willing to wait another 2 or 3 years for results? Were the fans? The 2013 payroll was much higher than the 2012 payroll.With only 1 extra win.

Lastly 2012/13 is our recent history. 2015/16 is our present history. Is history the correct word to use?

Mike Green - Monday, July 11 2016 @ 12:11 PM EDT (#326110) #
Can we talk a little bit about Josh Thole?

His slash line is terrible, with a .182 Babip the major culprit.  His batted ball data for the year is however unexceptional. His line drive rate remains average at 20%.  He pops up rarely.  He is hitting the ball harder than ever with double the number of hard hit balls as softly hit ones.  Steamer projects him to hit .241/.297/.345 the rest of the year, and that looks to me to be about right.  It's actually a pretty good line for a backup catcher.

ISLAND BOY - Monday, July 11 2016 @ 12:23 PM EDT (#326111) #
I'll believe it when I see it although I realize it's tough playing 1 in 5 games on average, and Thole does save Russell Martin from getting beat up by the knuckleball.
Michael - Monday, July 11 2016 @ 12:28 PM EDT (#326112) #
I think the biggest need for the Jays is quality relief, and hopefully there's some available from an out of it team near the deadline for willing to pay the rest of year contract $ and some c-grade non-prospect.

With respect to developing prospects, it would be great if for every two or three "could be something" prospect you end up with one legit major league talent. But that can be done by developing the prospects with one of them making it or by trading them. I wouldn't complain if every group of three was traded for a Donaldson caliber player even if one in 10 go on to become Thor in the new org.
uglyone - Monday, July 11 2016 @ 01:13 PM EDT (#326113) #
We should trade Greene/Urena for Andrew Miller.
Jevant - Monday, July 11 2016 @ 01:18 PM EDT (#326114) #
Yankees can probably do better for a controlled superstar, no?  Like, at least a top 50 prospect, I'd imagine?
uglyone - Monday, July 11 2016 @ 01:21 PM EDT (#326115) #
could be. i was using the kimbrel deal as a comp. but i didn't look too deep.
Jevant - Monday, July 11 2016 @ 01:27 PM EDT (#326116) #
Right.  I think the question would be would you give up Alford as part of a package.  That's what I'd want from the Jays if I'm dealing Miller.
uglyone - Monday, July 11 2016 @ 01:48 PM EDT (#326117) #
seems rich but I wouldn't dismiss it out of hand.
hypobole - Monday, July 11 2016 @ 02:09 PM EDT (#326118) #
On the subject of backup catchers, here are the 3 current backups for the 3 AL East contenders. From FG.

Ryan Hannigan 80 PA, 25 wRC+, -0.3 WAR
Josh Thole 90 PA, 15 wRC+, -0.3 WAR
Caleb Joseph 81 PA, 7 wRC+, -0.4 WAR

Mike Green - Monday, July 11 2016 @ 02:46 PM EDT (#326120) #
For what it's worth, the Orioles acquired Andrew Miller at the deadline for Eduardo Rodriguez in 2014.  At that point, the Os were on the hook only for a pro-rated portion of his 1.475m salary.  He comes now with a contract for $9 million for 2016-18.  I don't know that this is a preferable situation to what existed in 2014.  Reliever variability is a thing (see Storen, D), and Miller is at an age where it might hit. 

If you were acquiring him, the key is that it is primarily a medium-term acquisition.  If you decide that Miller fills both a short-term and medium-term need and are willing to pay accordingly, I can see a deal like that happening. I'm not sure that the Yankees would be eager to trade him to a divisional rival.
uglyone - Monday, July 11 2016 @ 02:47 PM EDT (#326121) #
Here's how the players have done according to #fancystats:

hitters war = avg of fwar and bwar per 650pa
starters war = avg of fwar and ra9war per 32gs
relievers war = avg of fwar and ra9war per 65ip


3B Donaldson 405pa, 15.3bb%/16.8k%, .321babip, 167wrc+, 8.8war
2B Travis 158pa, 5.7bb%/19.0k%, .292babip, 94wrc+, 4.7war
SS Tulowitzki 279pa, 9.3bb%/22.6k%, .256babip, 101wrc+, 4.1war
RF Carrera 197pa, 10.2bb%/18.3k%, .336babip, 111wrc+, 4.1war
CF Pillar 366pa, 2.7bb%/16.4k%, .305babip, 83wrc+, 4.0war
LF Saunders 344pa, 9.3bb%/26.7k%, .377babip, 144wrc+, 3.9war
1B En'cion 387pa, 11.6bb%/19.6k%, .277babip, 135wrc+, 3.4war
DH Bautista 286pa, 16.8bb%/17.1k%, .239babip, 118wrc+, 1.6war
C Martin 284pa, 9.5bb%/29.6k%, .308babip, 76wrc+, -0.2war

UT Smoak 242pa, 12.0bb%/31.8k%, .317babip, 94wrc+, -0.1war
OF Lake 23pa, 17.4bb%/26.1k%, .333babip, 145wrc+, 4.2war
IF Barney 200pa, 6.5bb%/14.5k%, .338babip, 97wrc+, 4.7war
C Thole 90pa, 11.1bb%/24.4k%, .182babip, 15wrc+, -3.6war

UT Paredes 17pa, 11.8bb%/23.5k%, .300babip, 136wrc+, 0.0war
UT Burns 7pa, 0.0bb%/28.6k%, .000babip, -51wrc+, 0.0war
UT Goins 169pa, 4.1bb%/21.9k%, .210babip, 32wrc+, -1.7war
UT Colabello 32pa, 6.3bb%/28.1k%, .100babip, -39wrc+, -10.2war
UT Dominguez 12pa, 8.3bb%/25.0k%, .000babip, -82wrc+, -10.8war
UT Ceciliani 3pa, 0.0bb%/66.7k%, .000babip, -100wrc+, -32.5war


SP Sanchez 18gs, 6.6ip/gs, 68era-, 81fip-, 80xfip-, 5.4war
SP Estrada 16gs, 6.5ip/gs, 67era-, 95fip-, 105xfip-, 5.1war
SP Happ 18gs, 6.2ip/gs, 77era-, 92fip-, 100xfip-, 4.4war
SP Stroman 18gs, 6.5ip/gs, 112era-, 89fip-, 87xfip-, 2.5war
SP Dickey 19gs, 6.1ip/gs, 90era-, 116fip-, 107xfip-, 1.9war
SP Hutch: 2gs, 5.8ip/gs, 88era-, 157fip-, 93xfip-, 1.6war

RP Osuna 39gms, 39.2ip, 52era-, 55fip-, 76xfip-, 2.1war
RP Biagini 31gms, 34.0ip, 67era-, 57fip-, 95xfip-, 0.9war
RP Floyd 28gms, 31.0ip, 93era-, 91fip-, 100xfip-, 0.7war
RP Chavez 33gms, 34.1ip, 78era-, 100fip-, 90xfip-, 0.6war
RP Grilli 36gms, 30.2ip, 98era-, 92fip-, 98xfip-, 0.3war
RP Cecil 21gms, 14.0ip, 118era-, 96fip-, 101xfip-, 0.0war
RP Storen 36gms, 32.0ip, 129era-, 105fip-, 100xfip-, -0.3war

RP Schultz 5gms, 7.2ip, 54era-, 85fip-, 72xfip-, 1.3war
RP Morales 2gms, 0.2ip, 0era-, 73fip-, 132xfip-, 0.0war
RP Tepera 5gms, 4.2ip, 134era-, 92fip-, 119xfip-, 0.0war
RP Girodo 14gms, 10.1ip, 100era-, 157fip-, 90xfip-, -0.6war
RP Venditte 8gms, 8.2ip, 119era-, 110fip-, 140xfip-, -1.1war
RP Loup 9gms, 5.1ip, 155era-, 137fip-. 55xfip-, -1.2war
RP Antolin 1gms, 2.0ip, 309era-, 233fip-, 183xfip-, -3.3war
RP Diamond 1gms, 1.0ip, 618era-, 210fip-, 292xfip-, -3.3war
RP Leon 2gms, 2.1ip, 177era-, 191fip-, 114xfip-, -4.2war
RP Hutchison 1gms, 1.0ip, 412era-, 73fip-, 191xfip-, -6.5war






eudaimon - Monday, July 11 2016 @ 02:48 PM EDT (#326122) #
I think people forget sometimes how hard it is to find a catcher that can actually hit. Most backup catchers are just one step above the average NL pitcher in terms of their hitting ability, and I think the vast majority of teams are going to have trouble if their starting catcher hits the DL. That's why I'm not too worried about Thole. I don't think he's actually a .100 hitter, and I don't really think an obvious improvement is easily attainable. If Martin gets hurt we're moderately screwed regardless.
grjas - Monday, July 11 2016 @ 08:35 PM EDT (#326126) #
Even if the WAR numbers are prorated, how can Travis have a higher WAR than Saunders?
Parker - Monday, July 11 2016 @ 08:57 PM EDT (#326127) #
The same reason that Carerra and Lake are two of the top outfielders in all of baseball - an useless and unrealistic projection of small samples.
uglyone - Monday, July 11 2016 @ 09:09 PM EDT (#326128) #
actually a completely different reason than carrera and lake.

all the metrics - this year and last - love travis' fielding and baserunning. meanwhike saunders is all bat, and everything else rates terribly.

but any look at any in season stats are always small samples, so that's a strange complaint.

uglyone - Monday, July 11 2016 @ 09:17 PM EDT (#326129) #
I mean, it's not like we can't see that saunders has been terribly defensively and immobile in general.

if you don't think the stats measure it properly, that's fine. they're far from perfect.
uglyone - Monday, July 11 2016 @ 09:20 PM EDT (#326130) #
and for the record, that's exactly why i use an average of both war stats - specifically because each uses entirely different defensive evaluations. The hope is that kinda doubling up on the inputs gets rid of some of the noise in the numbers.
grjas - Monday, July 11 2016 @ 10:00 PM EDT (#326131) #
Makes me trust WAR even more.

Another arcane mathematical formula from the makers of weather forecasting, pension estimating, vote predicting and stock picking. May be they'll make a new movie about it... The big short...stop.
uglyone - Monday, July 11 2016 @ 10:29 PM EDT (#326132) #
I'd say war has long since proven its value as a stat. Doesn't do us any good to ignore it.

remember, I did this simple prorating for the last couple of years of data before the start of the season....ans it told us Saunders was really good, when nobody else thought so. Certain posters pointed out that Saunders' projecting to a 4war player this year was silly and useless abuse of flawed stats.

Would be funny to ignore it now based on you thinking it UNDERrates saunders.


none of the numbers say anything about the future or whether they can sustain that level of performance, they just approximate what calibre of play they've given us so far this year. The defensive numbers are always more questionable, but ignoring defense wouldn't be any good.

and hey - the offensive numbers are listed right there anyways. clearly saunders has been great offensively.
China fan - Monday, July 11 2016 @ 10:46 PM EDT (#326133) #
"....it told us Saunders was really good, when nobody else thought so...."

Nobody except you thought Saunders was really good?  Seriously?
grjas - Monday, July 11 2016 @ 10:53 PM EDT (#326134) #
I actually wasn't trying to pick on you or your calcs UO ... You actually provided a variety of stats which were helpful.

I just find the WAR metric frustrating because I've seen so many examples of numbers that don't make sense to me. And more and more sportswriters are basing whole articles on this one stat...Like they used to do for W-L records, ERA and the like.
scottt - Monday, July 11 2016 @ 11:33 PM EDT (#326135) #
Travis plays good defense. He turns the double plays very well.

Saunders, like Encarnation is pure offense at this point.
Saunders sits often, but he's still 4th in plate appearances because Bautista and Tulo  have been on the DL. Smoak and Martin also sit a lot. Travis missed 2 months.

It doesn't really matter how you compare Travis and Saunders.
They don't play the same position. Saunders is a free agent and Travis is not even arbitration eligible.

What matters is the comparison between Travis, Tulo, Barney and Goins.
It's crystal clear that Goins brings nothing to the team.

scottt - Monday, July 11 2016 @ 11:40 PM EDT (#326136) #
It's also interesting to note that Dickey averages the least innings per start.
If you combine Dickey and 30 games from Thole, the resulting WAR total isn't much.

uglyone - Monday, July 11 2016 @ 11:43 PM EDT (#326137) #
and here's what the new 2yr numbers look like (last year + this year):


3B Donaldson 1116pa, .316babip, 159wrc+, 8.2war/650pa
2B Travis 396pa, .325babip, 119wrc+, 5.8war
CF Pillar 994pa, .305babip, 89wrc+, 4.6war
1B En'cion 1011pa, .271babip, 144wrc+, 4.2war
DH Bautista 952pa, .238babip, 139wrc+, 3.8war
SS Tulowitzki 813pa, .307babip, 100wrc+, 3.5war
LF Saunders 380pa, .368babip, 135wrc+, 3.3war
C Martin 791pa, .277babip, 100wrc+, 2.7war
RF Carrera 389pa, .343babip, 101wrc+, 1.5war

UT Smoak 570pa, .279babip, 102wrc+, 1.1war
OF Pompey 103pa, .275babip, 81wrc+, 2.8war
IF Barney 230pa, .322babip, 100wrc+, 4.5war
C Thole 142pa, .211babip, 22wrc+, -3.9war

UT Colabello 392pa, .385babip, 127wrc+, 0.4war
OF Lake 107pa, .306babip, 70wrc+, -4.0war
IF Goins 597pa, .277babip, 70wrc+, 1.7war



SP Sanchez 29gs, 6.4ip/gs, 75era-, 97fip-, 93xfip-, 4.1war/32g
SP Estrada 44gs, 6.2ip/gs, 75era-, 103fip-, 116xfip-, 4.0war
SP Happ 49gs, 5.8ip/gs, 88era-, 90fip-, 96xfip-, 3.7war
SP Stroman 22gs, 6.5ip/gs, 98era-, 89fip-, 86xfip-, 3.4war
SP Dickey 52gs, 6.4ip/gs, 94era-, 112fip-, 112xfip-, 2.4war
SP Hutch: 30gs, 5.3ip/gs, 131era-, 110fip-, 102xfip-, 0.5war

RP Osuna 107gms, 109.1ip, 59era-, 67fip-, 82xfip-, 1.8war/65ip
RP Cecil 84gms, 68.1ip, 73era-, 65fip-, 68xfip-, 1.3war
RP Grilli 72gms, 64.1ip, 87era-, 74fip-, 89xfip-, 1.1war
RP Biagini 31gms, 34.0ip, 67era-, 57fip-, 95xfip-, 0.9war
RP Chavez 37gms, 41.0ip, 65era-, 89fip-, 88xfip-, 0.8war
RP Floyd 35gms, 44.1ip, 85era-, 88fip-, 105xfip-, 0.7war
RP Morales 69gms, 63.0ip, 77era-, 88fip-, 99xfip-, 0.6war
RP Storen 94gms, 87.0ip, 103era-, 85fip-, 89xfip-, 0.5war
RP Schultz 36gms, 50.2ip, 82era-, 113fip-, 99xfip-, 0.3war
RP Loup 69gms, 47.2ip, 114era-, 96fip-. 70xfip-, -0.1war
RP Tepera 37gms, 37.2ip, 87era-, 135fip-, 107xfip-, -0.2war

uglyone - Tuesday, July 12 2016 @ 12:26 AM EDT (#326138) #
and some team stats at the break:

Offense (no pitchers):

4.91rs/g (8th mlb, 5th al)
4.92brs/g (6th mlb, 3rd al)
9.9bb% (3rd mlb, 1st al)
21.4k% (20th mlb, 9th al)
.293babip (21st mlb, 12th al)
.189iso (5th mlb, 2nd al)
106wrc+ (8th mlb, 3rd al)
-6.2bsr (24th mlb, 10th al)
+11.8def (8th mlb, 4th al)
15.5fwar (5th mlb, 3rd al)

Very good offense, but not dominant yet.


SP

6.4ip/gs (1st mlb, 1st al)
11.9k-bb% (16th mlb, 8th al)
48.2gb% (5th mlb, 2nd al)
83era- (3rd mlb, 1st al)
96fip- (9th mlb, 2nd al)
95xfip- (9th mlb, 3rd al)
8.6fwar (7th mlb, 2nd al)
12.6ra9war (2nd mlb, 1st al)

I'd say that's the best rotation the AL so far this year.

RP

244.1ip (30th mlb, 15th al)
16.4k-bb% (7th mlb, 4th al)
45.3gb% (13th mlb, 7th al)
93era- (15th mlb, 9th al)
91fip- (11th mlb, 8th al)
93xfip- (7th mlb, 4th al)
-0.26wpa (21st mlb, 11th al)
2.2fwar (11th mlb, 8th al)
1.8ra9war (16th mlb, 9th al)

Bullpen has been....middling.

dalimon5 - Tuesday, July 12 2016 @ 01:28 AM EDT (#326139) #
Ugly relies on stats for a lot of his arguments but they're trusted numbers at this point in baseball history. WAR isn't everything but definitely a major barometer for baseball minds in my opinion. I do agree that it becomes very shady when defensive value is calculated, but, the major takeaway from WAR and defense is that baseball offices are valuing "complete 2 way" players more than they ever have before. I think teams will value a Urena or Alford more than a Tellez or a Vlad Guerrero because of defense. Players like Pillar and Kiermaier are really changing perceptions of value. Lake and Carrera you can throw out because of sample size, but Saunders looks terrible defensively and grades terribly defensively. That takes a lot away.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, July 12 2016 @ 07:47 AM EDT (#326141) #
WAR told us Saunders was good (~2 WAR player) because he rated positively in LF/RF defensively and was a plus base runner. The Mariners were playing him in CF, which was bringing his defensive metrics down, but playing him in the corners was going to increase his value. His offense, save for 2014, was about average every year. This season, he's -7 in DRS (awful) with a 144 wRC+ (great), which he's never come close to before. He's actually a different player now than he ever was before. He's a great offensive player with no defense or base running ability. Obviously, last year's injury likely played a big factor in his defense/base running decline, but I'm not sure anyone could have predicted his offensive improvement from his career trajectory. A wRC+ in the 120's was reasonable, but 144 is definitely on another level.

The chances of Saunders being a 4 WAR player with his current defense and base running is pretty slim. He'd have to hit like Bautista/Encarnacion to accomplish that. If he had his Seattle defense + his Jays offense, then he would have been a superstar (at least in 2016). Given the change in his game (all O/no D) plus his high BABIP, I'm fine with having him in 2016, but would be a bit reluctant to have him at big dollars in 2017-beyond.
scottt - Tuesday, July 12 2016 @ 07:58 AM EDT (#326142) #
I think teams will value a Urena or Alford more than a Tellez or a Vlad Guerrero because of defense.

A high OPS down the middle is more valuable than in the corners, provided you're getting good defense, of course.

A healthy Alford has had an OPS around .850, Urena has averaged .747.
Tellez is around .900 this year in AA. It's too soon to know about Guerrero.

I'm ready to try Tellez at first, spotting Donaldson at 3B. 

To me the divide is between the big prospects and guys like Travis and Pillar who were never high on anybody's list.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, July 12 2016 @ 08:20 AM EDT (#326144) #
Defense in general is valuable. It doesn't really matter which position it comes from as long as it's a surplus, although granted getting that defense up the middle is more appealing.

That is why I'm not really bothered with Pompey playing LF even though he's a CF. If he's a plus defensive player in left, then he'll provide value there even if he doesn't hit like a prototypical corner OF. That's where the game has changed the most as far as WAR and sabermetrics. The days of "who cares about his defense as long as he can hit/get on base" or "he doesn't hit enough to play position X" are slowly going away. Jarrod Dyson is one of my favorite examples of this. He's a below average offensive player (75 wRC+) but so elite defensively and on the bases that he's playing predominately LF/RF this season and yet still has a higher WAR than Bautista in 100 fewer plate appearances. Obviously, Bautista is the better player in a typical season, but with his rapidly declining defense, it makes his hitting have to be that much better to compensate.

The way to measure value has changed tremendously.
Jevant - Tuesday, July 12 2016 @ 09:19 AM EDT (#326145) #
The chances of Saunders being a 4 WAR player with his current defense and base running is pretty slim. He'd have to hit like Bautista/Encarnacion to accomplish that. If he had his Seattle defense + his Jays offense, then he would have been a superstar (at least in 2016). Given the change in his game (all O/no D) plus his high BABIP, I'm fine with having him in 2016, but would be a bit reluctant to have him at big dollars in 2017-beyond.

Completely agreed.  I'm loving this year's experience, but I wouldn't be counting on anything more than 1B/DH out of Saunders going forward.
uglyone - Tuesday, July 12 2016 @ 09:42 AM EDT (#326146) #
SK is exactly right Saunders' current performance level is arguably the most unsustainable on the team - arguably even moreso than carrera.

Unless Saunders' new babip level is an actual skill improvement, which is unlikely (though not impossible).
uglyone - Tuesday, July 12 2016 @ 10:01 AM EDT (#326148) #
"To me the divide is between the big prospects and guys like Travis and Pillar who were never high on anybody's list."

Not to single you out but I find this is a common misconception about Travis...

Travis was a top-100 prospect before missing a bunch of 2014 to injury, and was generally considered the tigers' top prospect when we traded for him. He's not some out of nowhere guy. In fact.....

A-

Travis (21): 136wrc+
Betts (19): 103wrc+

A

Travis (22): 160
Betts (20): 160

A+

Travis (22): 176
Betts (20): 166

AA

Travis (23): 126 (injured)
Betts (21): 177

MLB

Travis (24-25): 119
Betts (22-23): 122

and they're very similar in skillset and approach, too.

Age does matter of course and that gives Betts a solid edge but Travis is not some noname prospect. (And it's more of a 1.5yr than a 2yr gap.)


Mike Green - Tuesday, July 12 2016 @ 10:29 AM EDT (#326149) #
My theory has always been that good pitching and good defence have a synergistic effect.  The Rays of the late aughts were one data point supporting this view, and the 2016 Blue Jays are another.  With Donaldson, Tulowitzki, Barney, Travis and Goins anchoring the infield and Pillar anchoring the outfield, it's a good team defence.  The Blue Jays are second in the league in run prevention (4.09 R/G)- narrowly behind the Indians in the AL.    A low opposition BABIP has led to a healthy differential between FIP/xFIP (they are fourth in the league) and ERA.  Even the FIP/xFIP (4.12/4.08) numbers are better than most people and projections anticipated for the club, and that is the synergistic effect (or that is one way of looking at it). 

My major complaint with the fangraph projections for the Jays this year was the projected .305 opposition BABIP for the pitchers (it currently is .279).  I saw this figure as completely unreasonable then and at least on this point, I was right.. Incidentally, when you see the projected standings section of FG now, it shows a projected runs allowed for the Blue Jays of 4.62 per game over the remainder of the season.  I believe that there is the same problem- regressing opposition BABIP heavily instead of looking at the underlying defensive basis for the difference from average. 

ComebyDeanChance - Tuesday, July 12 2016 @ 10:45 AM EDT (#326151) #
If the Yankees are going to trade Andrew Miller within the division, then the Red Sox would seem to be far and away the best match. Their farm system is stocked with players more attractive than an outfielder in A+ with a .539 OPS and a shortstop who likely mirrors Didi. And the Red Sox are also anxious about their pen.
Mike Green - Tuesday, July 12 2016 @ 10:48 AM EDT (#326152) #
Here are some broadcast numbers for the first half. And very nice numbers they are.   Hopefully some of the bounty finds its way to the team's payroll.  
Mike Green - Tuesday, July 12 2016 @ 10:57 AM EDT (#326153) #
Urena is quite a bit ahead of Gregorius.  He's a better fielder and (at the same age) a better hitter.  At age 20, Gregorius was in the Midwest League and hitting .273/.327/.379. 

I wouldn't trade Urena now.  He's the kind of player (like Travis) who tends to get undervalued. 

SK in NJ - Tuesday, July 12 2016 @ 11:16 AM EDT (#326155) #
Travis was probably underrated because of his size and lack of standout tools. His performance was never an issue. He hit at every level and his defense graded out good enough. I recall Sickels being very high on him. Pillar also hit at every level but showed flaws in his offensive game that made it difficult to see him being that good of a hitter in the Majors (low BB%, lack of power), but his defense being other worldly makes up for that.

Travis really should not have been undervalued, but I'm glad he was (by the Tigers, at least).
uglyone - Tuesday, July 12 2016 @ 11:16 AM EDT (#326156) #
the red sox need starting pitching in the worst way. After giving up so much to add kimbrel smith ziegler I doubt they'll be adding more, especially since their depth pen guys have been excellent.
uglyone - Tuesday, July 12 2016 @ 11:21 AM EDT (#326157) #
Mike you've convinced me on that for sure - though I understand why the projections were hesitant to grant estrada and sanchez proven babip-beating talent.

still though we have to feel a bit fortunate - all of Sanchez, estrada, and happ are performing much better than reasonable projections had them (and no i'm not saying that's fluke - just a good result) and dickey has been better than the last few years too (though that might be the result ofnhim getting a quicker hook this year).

and of course they've been epically healthy so far for a change. that had to happen to us sooner or later though. it's not that uncommon throughout baseball but we've had epic health problems with our starters for a couple decades now.
Mike Green - Tuesday, July 12 2016 @ 11:28 AM EDT (#326158) #
He hit at every level and his defense graded out good enough

I never saw the phrase "fine defensive player" next to Travis' name.  That's what he is though.  Above average range and athleticism, including a very lovely turn on the DP and one of the fastest tags I have ever seen.  His arm is below average and he isn't great on the pop-up down the right-field line, but the total package is "fine defensive player".  If he plays 150 games in a season, he's probably an All-Star.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, July 12 2016 @ 11:38 AM EDT (#326159) #
I remember Sickels saying he was good (or good enough) defensively prior to the Jays acquiring him. That's what I was going off. I don't remember what Baseball America or other prospect sites were saying about him. In hindsight, when Keith Law called him a non-prospect, we should have known he'd blossom.
Chuck - Tuesday, July 12 2016 @ 11:42 AM EDT (#326160) #
My theory has always been that good pitching and good defence have a synergistic effect.

I agree with this and would add that despite advances in performance evaluation, to the point where even corner outfielder defense enters the equation, the type of player who figures to be overrated is still the bat-heavy guy at the left end of the defensive spectrum. Not by all organizations, but by some. If Saunders can keep his numbers up in the second half, someone will offer much more money than is reasonable.

When you see the projected standings section of FG now, it shows a projected runs allowed for the Blue Jays of 4.62 per game over the remainder of the season

I don't know what goes into the FG projection model. I accept the argument that just because 4 of the 5 starters are exceeding their FIP, that does not necessarily mean a regression is due since the team's strong defense is contributing to that "over achievement", and that defense is not about to suddenly go south.

However, subjectively, there is room for some concern with the starters. No? Sanchez and Stroman will be heading into new usage territory and will perhaps have to deal with fatigue. Hutchison may well replace Sanchez for a little while, which will be an obvious downgrade. Happ is on pace for about 30 more innings than last year. And Estrada has back issues.

I don't want to say for sure the sky is falling, but there is room for at least a little concern where the starting pitchers are concerned. Now, this could well be greatly mitigated by the resurgence of the offense. If the team scores 5.5 runs per game, and not the 4.5 they did early in the season, then that buys all kinds of breathing space.

Mike Green - Tuesday, July 12 2016 @ 11:42 AM EDT (#326161) #
Blue Jay run prevention for 2016 is almost exactly what it was in 2015, despite the absence of Price and Buehrle.  The FIP/xFIP/opposition BABIP/ERA have all barely moved.  Happ has pitched better than Buehrle did (on all measures); his 2016 season is perfectly consistent with his 2015 one.  Sanchez/Stroman in 2016 have been not quite as good as Price/Stroman/Norris/Sanchez in 2015. 
Mike Green - Tuesday, July 12 2016 @ 11:55 AM EDT (#326162) #
Chuck, I agree subjectively that the starting pitching is not likely to be quite as good in the second half.  However, I see the bullpen as a strength in the second half.  I anticipate positive regression from Cecil and Storen (who will likely be used against RHBs much more in the second half with the presence of Cecil, Loup and later Morales). 

I anticipate that we will see fewer IP/start from the rotation with a modest decline in effectiveness, but more innings and more effectiveness from the bullpen.  The club has played more games than any other team in the league.  They've got a lighter schedule in the rest of July and August which will allow more Gibbons to lean more on his pen. 

For the record, I anticipate that Sanchez will throw 200 innings this year in the regular season and be fine for 5 starts (hopefully) in the playoffs.  I don't buy the significant seasonal innings limit for him.  I have the world of faith in the Duke training team- Sanchez has a completely different physicality to him with the added weight.  It works.  I also anticipate subjectively that Stroman will be a lot better in the second half than in the first.  Chavez is also around to provide very good 6th/7th pitcher starts, if needed. 

ComebyDeanChance - Tuesday, July 12 2016 @ 02:12 PM EDT (#326163) #
Urena is quite a bit ahead of Gregorius. He's a better fielder and (at the same age) a better hitter. At age 20, Gregorius was in the Midwest League and hitting .273/.327/.379.

I wasn't suggesting that Urena should be traded as much as pouring cold water on the suggestion that, coupled with Alford who is having a terrible year in Dunedin, he'd bring back Andrew Miller. You may be right that Urena is better than Gregorius. Or not. My point was I doubt that the Yankees see them as sufficiently different to part with Miller.
uglyone - Tuesday, July 12 2016 @ 02:21 PM EDT (#326164) #
So make it SRF and Greene for Miller.
Mike Green - Tuesday, July 12 2016 @ 02:21 PM EDT (#326165) #
You are probably right about that, CBDC- there is an additional important factor.  Urena is probably two years away, and maybe three. That might make a lot of sense for the Yankees given the contracts coming off the books in 2018, but I don't see them as a patient bunch.

ComebyDeanChance - Tuesday, July 12 2016 @ 02:43 PM EDT (#326166) #
So make it SRF and Greene for Miller.

They're much too thin to make that kind of deal for a relief pitcher. In the BA mid-season prospect rankings, Toronto had no one in the top 80. They had SRF at 84, Alford at 86 and Greene at 90. In the BP top 50 rankings they have no one. They're much more likely to go with Osuna, Grilli, Cecil, Storen etc than to trade what little they have to bump Osuna et al one spot down.
Mike Green - Tuesday, July 12 2016 @ 03:04 PM EDT (#326167) #
SRF as the cornerstone for a deal for Miller is interesting.  Miller is not a rental.  He's under contract for another two years. 

Somehow I think that the Yankees wouldn't be interested (again because SRF is too far away), but I might be wrong about that. 

jerjapan - Tuesday, July 12 2016 @ 03:06 PM EDT (#326168) #
SRF and Greene for Miller is a fair deal.  Our farm is not nearly in as dire shape as some would argue.  The guys in charge of drafting and scouting had us a top 5-10 system before the big trades last year - but AFTER the big push in 2013. 

Tellez, Vlad Jr., a healthy Pentacost, Urena, Harris, Biggio and Bichette from this years draft- lots of talent having a good year.

But the real strength was and continues to be lower level prospects - Perdomo is going to be a top 100 guy, but I'd say it's Rios that is most telling about the org - unheralded IFA who suddenly has a dominant season.  We've got great scouting and great scouting produces guys like Rios.  Yorman Rodriguez, Lupe Chavez, etc ...

not to mention guys like Murphy, Anderson, Borucki finally healthy and getting a chance to show what they can do.

that said, Chapman is an easier get than Miller, and IMO the better choice- if you are willing to set aside his character. 

85bluejay - Tuesday, July 12 2016 @ 03:27 PM EDT (#326169) #
Because they are at the start of their tenure and very little pressure especially since they are Ed Rogers guy - I don't expect Shapkins to do any trades which involves giving up significant prospects & not to mention Shapiro's reported criticism of AA for trading away so many prospects last year - 2/3 years from now, Shapkins will need the SRF/Greene/Urena etc. to produce because they will be worrying about their next contract.
Mike Green - Tuesday, July 12 2016 @ 05:01 PM EDT (#326170) #
Today's birthday boy is George Zettlein, the pitcher of the 1871 Chicago White Stockings and frankly an All-Star if there ever was one.  He pitched for a team of unknowns, who conspired to make so many errors that 160 of his 233 runs he allowed were unearned.  Nonetheless, he finished 25 of the 28 games he pitched and ended up with an 18-9 record.  Wouldn't it be nice if the starting pitchers of the 21st century persevered in the face of such hardships!
uglyone - Tuesday, July 12 2016 @ 08:24 PM EDT (#326174) #
"They're much too thin to make that kind of deal for a relief pitcher"

would be nice to have the best rp in baseball, tho.
uglyone - Tuesday, July 12 2016 @ 08:27 PM EDT (#326175) #
not to mention would fill the gap nicely as osuna moves to the rotation next year.

jerjapan - Tuesday, July 12 2016 @ 09:25 PM EDT (#326176) #
they will be worrying about their next contract

I disagreed with this meme when it was raised about AA, and I disagree with it now.  85, is there ANY actual evidence that GMs make poor decisions based on their contract status? 
John Northey - Tuesday, July 12 2016 @ 10:58 PM EDT (#326180) #
I don't see Osuna ever starting again. He is a solid closer and that has a lot of value. Sanchez, Happ, Estrada, Stroman, are all locks for 2017 Dickey could be back too. Plus Hutchinson of course and any prospects who are ready in 2017.

Nah. This is a why change something that works for something that could be better but might just create two holes instead. Call me a nervous Nelly but I recall the Kelvim Escobar nightmare and have no desire to see it again.
uglyone - Tuesday, July 12 2016 @ 11:32 PM EDT (#326181) #
I think it's nuts to dream on sean reidfoley or any of our prospects being a starter but not osuna, who is world's better than all of them and still younger than most of them.

and escobar was no osuna. escobar had no command.

Here's how they did in the bullpen in their first 2yrs:

Escobar (21-22): 41.2ip, 24.4k%, 13.2bb%, 116era-, 87fip-, 0.5fwar, -0.2ra9war
Osuna (20-21): 109.1ip, 28.8k%, 5.6bb%, 59era-, 67fip-, 2.7fwar, 3.3ra9war


I think in general we aren't realizing exactly how amazing what osuna is doing is at his age.

And the kid clearly has a starter's repertoire.

It would be like keeping Sale in the bullpen because he did this:

Sale (21-22): 94.1ip, 29.2k%, 9.7bb%, 61era-, 71fip-, 1.8fwar, 3.1ra9war
electric carrot - Tuesday, July 12 2016 @ 11:40 PM EDT (#326182) #
You're right uglyone those numbers don't lie:

Sale needs to go back to the bullpen pronto!

John Northey - Wednesday, July 13 2016 @ 06:11 AM EDT (#326184) #
Let's check Sale. He relieved for the White Sox an 88 win team and a sub 500 team those two years. Not a World Series contender. They won 85 his first year as a starter. So a much different situation right off the bat. Mix in that the WSox had a disaster with their 5th slot the year he became a starter thus had only 3 good options for 5 rotation slots when Sale moved and had a kid ready to take over as closer which Sale wasn't yet (grand total of 12 saves in 1 and a half years relieving) and the comparison falls apart.

The Jay's are at the far end of the win cycle where each win is critical. The pen outside of Osuna has been a crap shoot. They already took out the kid who was setup and made him an ace in Sanchez.

If the Jay's rotation falls apart this winter or they get a solid closer I could imagine it happening but right now as presently configured he is worth more to the Jay's as a closer.
scottt - Wednesday, July 13 2016 @ 07:22 AM EDT (#326185) #
Time to re-jig the rotation.

I would got with:

Friday Happ (best chance at 20 wins)
Saturday Dickey (day game after night game, good time for Thole)
Sunday Stroman
Monday ---
Tuesday Sanchez (maximum rest)
Wednesday Happ (most experienced in NL and a decent hitter)

John Northey - Wednesday, July 13 2016 @ 08:52 AM EDT (#326186) #
Good point Scott about giving Sanchez as much rest as possible. Happ, Dickey, Stroman, day off, Sanchez, Happ, day off, Dickey, Stroman, Sanchez, Happ then hopefully Estrada read to go and hopefully the Jay's off to a strong 2nd half.
Mike Green - Wednesday, July 13 2016 @ 08:58 AM EDT (#326187) #
Personally, I'd be cautious about moving Osuna to the rotation because of his history.  He was pitching professionally at age 16 and had TJ surgery at age 18.  He is, of course, a hard thrower.  In my view, the adaptation to TJ for hard throwers is easier in the bullpen, but it can be done in the rotation (Tommy John himself was a hard thrower prior to his arm problems).  

I'd love if Osuna had more two inning outings.  He's had 3 appearances of more than an inning this year (and has not allowed a run in any of them).  It would require a re-jigging of roles.

bpoz - Wednesday, July 13 2016 @ 09:10 AM EDT (#326189) #
Osuna as a starter or closer is an interesting debate. It seems quite obvious that he can do both.

His team was forced to decide in which position he was most valuable. A contender needs a good closer as John N has said. He was forced to the Majors in 2015 due to the injury to Stroman, which made Sanchez a starter. I think that is how it happened.

When given the opportunity to close he excelled. So his 2015 & 16 contending Jays teams IMO have no choice but to keep him as the closer.

This off season will decide if the 2017 team is a contender or not.

uglyone - Wednesday, July 13 2016 @ 10:12 AM EDT (#326194) #
I don't think they had much choice before, actually. I doubt Osuna could have been used as a starter at age 20 coming off of TJ. The bullpen was the only way to realistically use him up to this point.

But imo it would be criminal malpractice, both for his career and the team's best interests, to condemn him to the bulllen forever.

The best closers in baseball are all failed starters. They are all 2 pitch pitchers. Osuna is not a failed starter, and has a full starter's repertoire - 3 clear plus pitches that he uses regularly and I'm pretty sure he has a cutter and sinker tucked away as well.

I am pretty sure, actually, that Osuna is the only closer in baseball that regularly uses more than 2 pitches.

If we need a closer, trade top sp prospects for a Miller, use our best sp prospect osuna as an sp, and pay miller less than we pay dickey.
Mike Green - Wednesday, July 13 2016 @ 10:29 AM EDT (#326196) #
Many closers have three pitches- fastball, cutter and curve is the most common combination.  Osuna is unusual in that he has the good change.  Osuna also is very well suited temperamentally to the closer role. He is unflappable.

There might be something to be said for "hypobole" in this situation.  The decision whether to make Osuna a starter or ace reliever in the long run is not an easy one.  I'd save "criminal" for a different area of disagreement. 

uglyone - Wednesday, July 13 2016 @ 10:37 AM EDT (#326198) #
Nah, i'm comfortable calling criminal a decision to condemn an elite arm to a career in the bullpen at age 21.
electric carrot - Wednesday, July 13 2016 @ 10:38 AM EDT (#326199) #
I'm with uglyone 100% on this. Osuna should start next year. He's got the repertoire and he'll be a few years removed from TJ.  The question for me is what if anything we do this year to ease him into that role.
uglyone - Wednesday, July 13 2016 @ 10:38 AM EDT (#326200) #
It's tantamount to stealing millions of dollars of income from osuna, and millions of dollars in value from the organization.
uglyone - Wednesday, July 13 2016 @ 10:40 AM EDT (#326201) #

Chris Cotillo @ChrisCotillo
Edwin Encarnacion on extension talks with Blue Jays: "Nothing. We don't talk anymore about that."
2:58 PM - 11 Jul 2016
John Northey - Wednesday, July 13 2016 @ 10:51 AM EDT (#326202) #
Millions from Osuna but not necessarily from the Jay's. Right now the Jay's have 4 locks for 2017 rotation set with a solid cheap and a decent $10-$15 mil backup in Dickey if they choose. Osuna might be an ace or he might need a year or so T-shirt back to starting. I don't see any way the Jay's would send him to the minors now (which would delay free agency a year for him). So any growing pains would be here. Remember Carpenter, Halladay, and many others struggled at first.

If the Jay's can get a closer in the winter (or mid season) and let Dickey go then give it a shot.
Chuck - Wednesday, July 13 2016 @ 10:52 AM EDT (#326203) #
What if Osuna says that his preference is to remain a closer indefinitely? Should this carry any weight when the organization makes its decision?
Spifficus - Wednesday, July 13 2016 @ 11:03 AM EDT (#326204) #
I'm in the "that ship has sailed" camp regarding Osuna. He is currently a good closer, whereas the hope is that he might become a good starter. To me there are simply too many things stacked against him at this point - it's not to say he can't be a starter, but his chances are reduced quite a bit by a confluence of events and organizational choices. His minor league high in innings is 43.2 (which makes his 69.2 last year his career high by 60%). He's 2 years removed from starting. He's only pitched 5 innings or more 8 times in his minor league career, the last of which came in 2013. He has the tools to turn a lineup over 3 times, but he hasn't proven the skills yet (we don't know how his command will play at a lower velocity with multiple in-game looks from hitters). That's a lot of doubt and development time required vs a known quality closer that the team has right now while they try to make a playoff push around their core over the next few years. Oh, and he apparently likes closing.
bpoz - Wednesday, July 13 2016 @ 11:33 AM EDT (#326205) #
Sanchez, Estrada and Happ are all pitching very well. IMO, by my standards like #1 SPs. On their way to 200 IP and ERA below 3.5.

Stroman has had a fair number of very good outings. Also bad outings. So he and Hutch count as ML SPs by my standards.
All these guys are locked up for next year. So we are deep in good SPs. But injuries and other negative stuff happens.

Is this years performance what they are or are some having career years?

I also think about what the budget is for next year and the next 2 years, and what performance by the team justifies the budget. I don't expect a straight answer on that. I don't think there is a straight answer.

Tulo and Martin will get expensive. Donaldson is unknown after 2017. Any of the young players that become/stay good will get paid bigger $.

This team gets younger and cheaper if the FAs leave. Can it get better? With a deep young very good rotation of Sanchez, Stroman and Osuna, I believe in Osuna. This team can win WSs. Win the 2nd WC. J Guzman...Jays, J Morris...Twins, but no WS, Madbum.
uglyone - Wednesday, July 13 2016 @ 11:47 AM EDT (#326206) #
"I'm in the "that ship has sailed" camp regarding Osuna."

the ship has sailed on an elite arm that's the same age as the guy we just drafted in the first round who's pitching in the gcl? and the same age as our best pitching prospect who we're excited is doing well in Dunedin?
uglyone - Wednesday, July 13 2016 @ 11:51 AM EDT (#326207) #
"What if Osuna says that his preference is to remain a closer indefinitely? Should this carry any weight when the organization makes its decision?"

speaking only for myself, i wouldn't listen for a second to a kid expressing a preference for the role that had him tasting mlb success (and salary) at age 20.
Spifficus - Wednesday, July 13 2016 @ 12:06 PM EDT (#326208) #
That ship has sailed for an arm that has used up 2 of 6 years of control, has a TJS, would need development time or lots of workload attention (this year's Sanchez debates would have nothing on it), has pitched 5 or more innings 8 times in his minor league career, and has an important role that he's already effective at that would need to be filled by someone else, all for the reduced hope that he develops as a starter in a quick enough timeframe to make it worthwhile given the risks? Yes. I can see masts of the ship as it sails over the horizon.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, July 13 2016 @ 12:06 PM EDT (#326209) #
I'm also 100% with ugly on this. If Osuna really has a personal issue with moving to the rotation then that could be a problem, but I think an extension (and security for him) would address that. If he's #3 or better pitcher in the rotation then he is very valuable. Having Osuna in the bullpen is special, just like Sanchez in the bullpen is special. Having them in the rotation and thriving is head and shoulders the ideal for management.
Spifficus - Wednesday, July 13 2016 @ 12:13 PM EDT (#326210) #
Oh, if he wanted to sign an extension with 2-3 years of control or options tacked on, that would change the math completely, especially if he were on-side with a few months in AAA while he got used to turning a lineup over a couple times a game. But that's not where things are currently at - he has 4 years of team control left, and it's now a question of how best to use that when risk is factored in.
grjas - Wednesday, July 13 2016 @ 12:25 PM EDT (#326211) #
Sanchez made the transition easily to SP so I wouldn't rule out Osuna. The Jays are going to need more back end BP arms next year regardless, so I'd go for an arm with closer capability, try out Osuna in spring training as an SP and make a call at the end of ST as to whether he starts.

Then hook up with Sanchez and Stroman to build his endurance over the winter.

I really hope they don't waste financial resources bringing back Dickey. I'm less worried about the starters next year than the outfield and the BP given pending FA's.
Mike Green - Wednesday, July 13 2016 @ 12:25 PM EDT (#326212) #
I would definitely listen to Osuna's opinion.  If he says that his arm doesn't feel good when he tries to lengthen, that matters.  If he says that (like Sanchez) he would really prefer to start, that too matters. The young man has a world of baseball savoir faire (which is one of his strengths as a pitcher).  Why wouldn't you take advantage of his wisdom?
uglyone - Wednesday, July 13 2016 @ 12:46 PM EDT (#326213) #
"That ship has sailed for an arm that has used up 2 of 6 years of control, has a TJS, would need development time or lots of workload attention (this year's Sanchez debates would have nothing on it), "

but 4yrs control is a lot of control, not a little.

and if we stuck every pitcher who had tjs in the bullpen, there wouldn't be any SP left.

and the Sanchez debates support moving Osuna to the rotation.
Mike Green - Wednesday, July 13 2016 @ 01:01 PM EDT (#326216) #
Smoltz is a good example.  He had been a great starter, had TJ, spent four years in the pen and then told the club he wanted to go back to starting and they obliged him.  Osuna doesn't have the record of success in the major league rotation that Smoltz had, but nonetheless, if he wants to, I do think that he has the physicality and stuff to support it. 

It is really unfortunate that the roles are so locked in.  I'd feel a lot more comfortable (if I were Osuna) about pitching 120-140 innings in 3-5 inning chunks.  There are creative ways to leverage talent in this way, but it requires a flexibility not seen in MLB for decades.

Spifficus - Wednesday, July 13 2016 @ 01:04 PM EDT (#326217) #
Four years of control to ramp up vs four years of control of a good closer. It's bird in the hand vs two in the bush - they have a 2-3 WAR reliever currently, but will spend a year, or probably two, to see if he can be a 3-5 WAR starter.

As for TJS, that's not a be-all end-all. It's just that it's one more thing that took away development time as a starter. It's all the various things that took away his development time as a starter in addition to that added injury risk that reduces the likelihood of him developing into a mid-rotation or better starter.

Sanchez is a different kettle of fish - he already had a 133 inning season, in 2014. He only has this one year of ramp-up, whereas a significant ramp-up for Osuna would still only see him at ~100-120 innings next year, meaning he'd have to undergo that second season of innings ramp-up. So that's two seasons of him as a full starter, if things go well. Sanchez has four years of control left as a full-fledged starter.
92-93 - Wednesday, July 13 2016 @ 01:26 PM EDT (#326219) #
Good post about your thoughts for the upcoming rotation, scottt; Seems like a reasonable plan.

I tend to prefer to discuss the terrific team we have on the field rather than what may or may not happen in the future with prospects and FAs. Those discussions are fun when your team is mired in mediocrity. We should agree to shelve all Osuna arguments until the winter and stay focused on the important stuff like Sanchie. It will be interesting watching management handle that one.
Spifficus - Wednesday, July 13 2016 @ 01:32 PM EDT (#326220) #
I'll second the notion of focusing on the awesome in front of our faces. I suspect things went off the rails due to All-Star Game idleness.
uglyone - Wednesday, July 13 2016 @ 01:38 PM EDT (#326221) #
remember, that discussion was a direct result of the discussion of what kind of deadline moves we should or should not make. Which imo is obviously something we should be discussing.
greenfrog - Wednesday, July 13 2016 @ 01:58 PM EDT (#326222) #
One thing I've noticed about this site is the tendency to tell other people what they should or shouldn't be talking about (this subject is inane, that one is uninteresting, this one is inappropriate, etc.). I'm not sure why this is. It seems easy enough to skip over posts or even entire discussions you're not interested in. I do it all the time.
vw_fan17 - Wednesday, July 13 2016 @ 02:39 PM EDT (#326223) #
speaking only for myself, i wouldn't listen for a second to a kid expressing a preference for the role that had him tasting mlb success (and salary) at age 20.

And I'm sure you would have insisted George Bell remain at DH, right? Sometimes there's more to people than JUST statistics.

If Osuna wants to remain a closer and you make him a starter.. 4 years of a 1-WAR starter is worth much less than 4 years of a 2-3 WAR closer..
Mike Green - Wednesday, July 13 2016 @ 02:46 PM EDT (#326224) #
I tend to prefer to discuss the terrific team we have on the field

Sure.  It's just that there is not much happening. 

Gibbons suggested that Stroman will get the 1st game in LA on Friday and the 2nd game in Arizona.   That makes sense to me.  He last threw 4 days prior to the All-Star break so getting the work in would be a good idea, and then having Sanchez and Stroman start in Arizona is a good plan because they are the two pitchers that are best suited to batting (plus it means extra time off for Sanchez). 
uglyone - Wednesday, July 13 2016 @ 02:48 PM EDT (#326225) #
DH was a demotion, not a promotion.

It boggles me a bit that people want to shackle maybe the top young talent in the organization at 21yrs old.
Dave Till - Wednesday, July 13 2016 @ 02:52 PM EDT (#326226) #
Osuna likes being the closer. He's very good at it. Why fix something that isn't broken?

Osuna could be the new Goose Gossage. Gossage actually spent 1976 as a starter, after having led the AL in saves in 1975. But Paul Richards subscribed to the notion that the team's best pitchers should always be in the starting rotation, so in Gossage went. He went 9-17 with a 3.94 ERA as a starter. He was then traded to Pittsburgh, where he went back to being an excellent closer again.
92-93 - Wednesday, July 13 2016 @ 03:04 PM EDT (#326228) #
Does Stroman really need the work? He's on pace for approximately 206 innings. While he did ramp up to 165 back in 2014, he's the one who was surrounded with concerns about his ability to hold up as a starter when he was a prospect, not Sanchez. The hoopla surrounding Sanchez's innings is intriguing when contrasted with Stroman's situation.
uglyone - Wednesday, July 13 2016 @ 03:17 PM EDT (#326230) #
To me that sounds like saying "this 21yr old is an excellent pinch hitter and likes it - why fix something that's not broken?".
Mike Green - Wednesday, July 13 2016 @ 03:19 PM EDT (#326231) #
At this point, I don't have huge concern about either of them.  I want both to end up at about 200 innings for the season and ready to deliver 5 post-season starts. 

Prior to this year, I doubted Sanchez' ability to succeed in the rotation (both because of his minor league record and his injuries/physicality).  The addition of 25 lbs in the off-season and his spring-training performance was enough to change my mind.  He is now 24 years old, and I think his best years are immediately in front of him (and we are in the middle of one of them). 

Spifficus - Wednesday, July 13 2016 @ 03:20 PM EDT (#326232) #
Weren't Stroman's concerns all short-man biases, though? I remember when I was reading his scouting reports that there were no complaints about his delivery having too much effort or being funky, and he held his velocity and command throughout games and throughout the year.
ComebyDeanChance - Wednesday, July 13 2016 @ 06:11 PM EDT (#326248) #
I think that how Sanchez is dealt with may very well tun on his performance in the next month. If he falters, or shows signs of regressing, those may be interpreted as signs that he's maxed out for this year as a starter.

If he continues to perform well, I suspect he will be left in the rotation.
eudaimon - Wednesday, July 13 2016 @ 07:37 PM EDT (#326250) #
Perhaps this is a boring statement to make but I think we don't have enough information as fans to truly make an decision re: Osuna. We certainly can't know enough to justify being "boggled" that someone might disagree with our idea of what should happen. There are good arguments for both sides but there's a lot we don't know. For instance, why exactly does Osuna prefer closing to starting? If it's a physical feeling thing, then that's a strong point to letting him stay a closer, especially considering he's already had TJ. I tend to think we should trust people's instincts regarding their physical abilities. If it's just an emotional thing, maybe he can be convinced of the pleasures of starting. That's just one thing we don't know. That doesn't mean we can't discuss the issue, but there's little reason to feel "boggled" that someone might hold an opposing viewpoint.
scottt - Wednesday, July 13 2016 @ 08:05 PM EDT (#326252) #
Smoltz is a good example.  He had been a great starter, had TJ, spent four years in the pen and then told the club he wanted to go back to starting and they obliged him.

Smoltz returned to the rotation in 2005 at the age of 38 and led his team with over 229 innings.
Horatio Ramirez threw 202 innings.
Tim Hudson, 192
John Thomson, 98.
Mike Hampton, 69.
Kyle Davies and Jorge Sosa alternated between the rotation and the pen totalling 87 and 137 innings, respectively.

Atlanta really needed an ace and got one, even though he only won 14 games.

Conclusion, we probably need to see how Happ, Estrada, Sanchez and Stroman complete the second half.
scottt - Wednesday, July 13 2016 @ 08:14 PM EDT (#326254) #
Oh, if he wanted to sign an extension with 2-3 years of control or options tacked on, that would change the math completely, especially if he were on-side with a few months in AAA while he got used to turning a lineup over a couple times a game.

Shapiro is not in charge of Osuna's finances. If there's any doubts about his arm, he's not getting an extension. Also, would they extend him to push him harder? Or on the contrary push him hard on the basis that he walks in 4 years. Do you remember a guy named Johan Santana? He threw 100 innings, then 150, than 5 seasons over 200 and his arm basically fell off.
scottt - Wednesday, July 13 2016 @ 08:21 PM EDT (#326255) #
Edwin Encarnacion on extension talks with Blue Jays: "Nothing. We don't talk anymore about that."

Yeah. They have 3 candidates for the DH/1B role, Encarnation, Bautista and Saunders.
The first step is to make 3 QOs and see if anyone accept.

Ortiz publicly asked the Red Sox to sign EE, but I don't know if they need another DH type.

Donaldson needs to be extended. I really don't know about Estrada. Maybe it's easier to wait for him to decline another QO.
vw_fan17 - Wednesday, July 13 2016 @ 09:07 PM EDT (#326258) #
To me that sounds like saying "this 21yr old is an excellent pinch hitter and likes it - why fix something that's not broken?".

If you can point me to any 2-3 WAR pinch-hitters (in one season) in the modern era, where, say, >75% of their ABs were pinch-hitting, I'll gladly retract my counter-argument. Osuna's not the position player equivalent of a 30-40 AB/season kind of guy. He's more the equivalent (IMHO) of a really good platoon player. IMHO, this isn't a case of "we bring him in late to steal bases because he's really fast, and because of the pinch-running, he's had 25 ABs and has an OPS of 2.400 in those 25 ABs - maybe we should try starting him?" type of situation. Osuna's already a vital cog in the machine, is clearly comfortable with what he's doing, and is delivering ~2 WAR, maybe a little more.

How many starting pitchers are on track to deliver more as a percentage of all full-time starters? I.e. how good of a starting pitcher would he have to become, in order to exceed his value as a reliever? Yes, if he's as good as Aaron Sanchez, maybe. Will Osuna be significantly better than Stroman, for example? Before this year, we would have said he has a slim chance of being BETTER than Stroman. Yet Stroman has a WAR of 0.1 this year (according to ESPN).
ISLAND BOY - Wednesday, July 13 2016 @ 09:25 PM EDT (#326259) #
Chris Colabello is starting a rehab assignment. I'd think he'd have to show a lot to be recalled before September, if even then.
I didn't watch much of the all-star game but I did catch Sanchez's inning. One of the commentator's was of the same opinion as many of us, that as long as Sanchez was maintaining good velocity and showing no sign of fatigue, that he should be left in the rotation.
Mike Green - Wednesday, July 13 2016 @ 10:28 PM EDT (#326260) #
Shi Davidi on the metabolite of Turabinol involved in the Colabello suspension. 
China fan - Wednesday, July 13 2016 @ 10:33 PM EDT (#326261) #
"...I'd think he'd have to show a lot to be recalled before September, if even then...."

I agree that he'll have to show a lot, if he wants any hope of being recalled to the majors.  He still has options, so the Jays can simply let him finish the season in Buffalo if they want.   But if Smoak continues to hit badly (his OPS is a miserable .590 since June 1), and if Colabello is crushing the ball in Buffalo (as he did at the beginning of last season), the Jays should at least consider the possibility of promoting Colabello to replace Smoak, or to platoon with him. 

Of course that becomes a moot question if the Jays decide to put Bautista at DH for the rest of the season, as some are advocating, or if the Jays decide that Colabello is too risky, or somehow needs to be punished for his misdeeds.  But if the Jays were able to give a second chance to Melky Cabrera, it's not inconceivable that they could forgive Colabello -- if he's the best hitter on the Buffalo roster over the next few weeks, which is obviously far from certain at this point.
ComebyDeanChance - Wednesday, July 13 2016 @ 11:39 PM EDT (#326263) #
Shi Davidi on the metabolite of Turabinol involved in the Colabello suspension.

A purported expert hired by the defence team of someone found with a turinabol metabolite, whose evidence was not persuasive in the appeal, and which is not accepted by recognized scientists, says the metabolite might come from a supplement given out by a random unauthorized supplier. Doesn't help Colabello who says he took no supplements provided by anyone but the team. Tbol will need to retract his story and say he took different supplements if this is to be of any assistance to him. Likely those who believe him thus far won't mind that shift in the narrative.
China fan - Thursday, July 14 2016 @ 12:32 AM EDT (#326264) #
"....A purported expert hired by the defence team...."

Here you make two insulting slurs on Dr. Don Catlin, and you don't provide any evidence for either of them.  First you claim that he was "hired by the defence team."  What's your source for this?  I've read Shi Davidi's article very carefully, and nowhere does he say that Catlin was "hired by the defence team."  In fact he appears to be independent and neutral, and there's no evidence of him being "hired" by one side in the process.  If you have such evidence, please provide it.  Otherwise we must conclude that you're just tossing around false insults.

Second, you call him a "purported" expert.  On what basis are you questioning his credentials?  His expertise seems vast, and you don't seem to have any evidence to question his credentials.  Shi Davidi's article says this about him:  "Dr. Don Catlin, the founder and former head of the UCLA Olympic Analytical Laboratory, the first anti-doping lab in the United States and one of only three North American sites accredited by the World Anti-Doping Agency.....  Catlin, who has overseen drug testing at multiple Olympics and years ago received a grant from Major League Baseball to help develop a test for HG...."

Similarly, the New York Times has also described Catlin as an authority on this subject, and it described him this way:  "Dr. Don Catlin, an antidoping pioneer in the United States who ran the drug testing lab at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics....."

If you're a better-qualified expert that Dr. Catlin, please enlighten us on your expertise.  Or tell us why we shouldn't accept Catlin's expertise.

And just for clarification:  I'm not an apologist for Colabello, and I'm not saying that he must be innocent.  I'm just remaining open-minded, because I think that's a more intellectually honest approach than tossing groundless insults at an expert.


scottt - Thursday, July 14 2016 @ 08:01 AM EDT (#326266) #
we are aware of dozens of nutritional supplements that are not NSF-certified that may cause a positive test result for DHCMT.

Colabello must know what he's taking. It's not a testing issue.

Even if Cola was to be raking in Buffalo, he's still not illegible for the post-season roster.
It would make a lot more sense to DH Bautista if Carrera keeps producing.
SK in NJ - Thursday, July 14 2016 @ 08:06 AM EDT (#326267) #
After seeing some of the Mets starters get hurt this season, I'm starting to lean towards just letting Sanchez throw 200+ IP and pitch into the playoffs if they get there as long as he's performing well, maintaining velocity, and obviously isn't hurt/tired. If these guys are going to get hurt, then they'll get hurt regardless of innings limits. Pitchers are so unpredictable and a lot depends on mechanics. I've always been a bit skeptical of Sanchez's mechanics ("inverted W", high velocity/stress throwing motion). I haven't watched many of his games this season, so I'm not sure if he's changed anything in that regard, but as long as they are monitoring how his mechanics look and how he's feeling, then they might as well just let him finish the season as a SP.

Don't get me wrong, I want the org to show caution with SP's when it comes to workload, but in situations like this, they might just have to go with the flow.
Mike Green - Thursday, July 14 2016 @ 09:26 AM EDT (#326270) #
The interesting part of the turabinol article for me was about Cody Stanley. 

Stanley has a positive test, says that he stops taking all non-NSF supplements, and then has another positive test.  If he's lying and has been intentionally taking t-bol shortly after a positive test and a suspension, he's a whole other level of stupid.  Conte's theory that contamination could come from trace amounts on glassware seems plausible enough to me.  I wonder if it is also possible to get it from drinking fountains etc. at gyms at sufficient levels to generate a positive test.  It's kind of like the Ross Rebagliati defence- I didn't smoke weed, I was in Whistler man.

The athletes involved ought to get together and pool resources for a more thorough investigation.  The response of puzzlement is not persuasive given how few athletes have simply acknowledged that they did something wrong and served their suspension.

China fan - Thursday, July 14 2016 @ 10:34 AM EDT (#326277) #
"....he's still not illegible for the post-season roster...."

Perhaps if he improved his handwriting, he would be more legible.
vw_fan17 - Thursday, July 14 2016 @ 06:40 PM EDT (#326304) #
And so it begins.. Red Sox just traded for Drew Pomeranz..
CeeBee - Thursday, July 14 2016 @ 06:47 PM EDT (#326306) #
Welcome to the AL East. Gave up their top prospect for him.
jerjapan - Thursday, July 14 2016 @ 07:38 PM EDT (#326308) #
Espinoza's a special talent - not many 18 year olds cranking mid 90s heat - but the kid is in A ball and Pomeranz has years of service time left and at the leaugue minimum - he is on his final pre-arb contract. 

seems like a strong move by the Sox, and a badly needed one given that rotation.

 

scottt - Thursday, July 14 2016 @ 08:01 PM EDT (#326311) #
Espinoza was widely regarded as the Red Sox's top pitching prospect and
third-best prospect overall behind second baseman Yoan Moncada and
center fielder Andrew Benintendi, both of whom are playing at the
Double-A level and could conceivably reach the big leagues later this
season before Ortiz exits the stage.
SK in NJ - Thursday, July 14 2016 @ 08:07 PM EDT (#326312) #
That is a pretty big move by the Red Sox. Espinoza is likely on the verge of being a top 10 prospect in baseball and he's only 18 (he was ranked #19 by BA this past winter). Pretty significant prospect to give up, but Pomeranz is a very good SP. Lefty, misses bats, good peripherals, hits low-90's on his FB. Can he maintain this performance in the AL East, or even stay healthy enough to do it? Time will tell. Espinoza is so young that flaming out is just as likely as panning out. He's a few years away and still in low-A. Gamble for the Padres but a worthwhile one given where they are. They want to rebuild and took quality over quantity. Any time you can get a prospect with front of the rotation potential for a starter you got for practically nothing in the winter, it's probably worth doing for a rebuilding team.
bpoz - Thursday, July 14 2016 @ 08:09 PM EDT (#326313) #
I agree with SK.
hypobole - Thursday, July 14 2016 @ 08:39 PM EDT (#326314) #
"Pomeranz has years of service time left and at the leaugue minimum - he is on his final pre-arb contract."

I believe he's on he's actually on his 1st year of arb this season, so 2 more years of control for the Sox after this.
hypobole - Thursday, July 14 2016 @ 08:45 PM EDT (#326316) #
BTW, BA has their updated Top 100.

I believe the 3 Sox prospects scottt named ranked #1, 9 and 15 for Espinoza.

3 Jays made it - SRF, Alford and Greene #'s 84, 86, 90 IIRC.
ComebyDeanChance - Thursday, July 14 2016 @ 10:43 PM EDT (#326324) #
I'm not an apologist for Colabello, and I'm not saying that he must be innocent. I'm just remaining open-minded, because I think that's a more intellectually honest approach than tossing groundless insults at an expert.

I assume that Catlin was contacted to support a player's appeal. I draw that conclusion from his quote in the article where he states ""The one (DHCMT) case where I looked at the laboratory data, I didnít think it was very good" I assume that it was one of the accused players who provided the player's laboratory data to him in order to further an appeal. In fact, I think that is the probable conclusion to be drawn. I am likely right in that regard or I may be wrong. You, of course, will want to remain open-minded.

His suggestion seems to be that the Montreal lab hasn't done a good job and that it should be done instead in Salt Lake City. The article goes on to quote the dismissal of that view by another scientist. These are points to be argued before a neutral arbitrator as is provided for in the appeal process. No arbitrator has set aside a finding of the Montreal lab in these cases that I am aware of, and said the testing should be done in Salt Lake City.

Your passionate post about the expert though, avoids the substantive points. As I pointed out, it matters not whether it is possible that some unidentified mystery supplement contains turinabol, because Colabello has stated clearly that the only supplements he ever took were ones provided by the team and are approved. Moreover, taking unapproved supplements is no defence. There is no 'innocence project' claim here for Colabello.

As your expert notes, turinabol doesn't just show up from thin air. As he says, there is a source point out there. Anyone who watches the excellent Al Jazeera program on youtube exposing a ring of PED dealers and their athlete customers, and who listens to the stock lies that come out afterward, can see how the PED dealers and the cheaters cover up for each other.

ComebyDeanChance - Thursday, July 14 2016 @ 10:56 PM EDT (#326325) #
That is a pretty big move by the Red Sox. Espinoza is likely on the verge of being a top 10 prospect in baseball and he's only 18 (he was ranked #19 by BA this past winter). Pretty significant prospect to give up, but Pomeranz is a very good SP.

Pomeranz is under team control through 2018. A wise use of prospect capital by the Red Sox. As you point out, he was obtained through another lopsided trade with Oakland.

I was interested to read on B-R that Drew is the great-grandson of Garland (Gob) Buckeye, also a left-handed pitcher, who having been born in Illinois and schooled in Indiana, gravitated to his namesake state and pitched for the Cleveland Indians.
China fan - Thursday, July 14 2016 @ 11:14 PM EDT (#326326) #
"....I assume that Catlin was contacted to support a player's appeal...."

You are purely speculating, without any evidence.  The quote that you've cited, in fact, doesn't indicate that Catlin was hired by the defence.  It merely says that he looked at the laboratory data in one case.  To leap from that statement to the conclusion that he was "hired" by the defence is a huge leap, and there is nothing to support it.   I can guarantee that Shi Davidi would have mentioned Catlin's role as a defence witness if Catlin had been hired by the defence.  Davidi did not mention it, and I think it's absolutely safe to conclude consequently that he hasn't been hired by the defence.  In fact, he was quoted by the NY Times two months ago, as an expert on this subject, and it's completely reasonable that he would be contacted by Shi Davidi for this article too.

In any event, I note that you've climbed down substantially.  You initially claimed that Catlin was "hired" by the defence.  Now you merely speculate that he was "contacted" by the defence.  He has probably been contacted by all sides on these issues, but that certainly doesn't prove that he was "hired" by the defence.
China fan - Thursday, July 14 2016 @ 11:21 PM EDT (#326327) #
Further to the Colabello story, Arden Zwelling (of Sportsnet magazine) tweeted these revelations in a series of tweets earlier today:

The MLB Commissioner's Office recently sent a memorandum to all players about DHCMT, the drug Colabello and others tested positive for.
The memorandum included a list of 42 products that the FDA and USADA have recently determined could cause a positive test for DHCMT.
These products are widely available over the counter and on the Internet. Many did not include DHCMT in their list of ingredients.
According to the memorandum, "players who have used these products have tested positive for DHCMT and have been suspended."
Still, none of those 42 products were NSF certified. Players who used them were taking a risk, despite the products being over the counter.
Just another wrinkle in a complex and ever evolving story.

ComebyDeanChance - Friday, July 15 2016 @ 12:14 AM EDT (#326331) #
You are purely speculating, without any evidence. The quote that you've cited, in fact, doesn't indicate that Catlin was hired by the defence. It merely says that he looked at the laboratory data in one case. To leap from that statement to the conclusion that he was "hired" by the defence is a huge leap, and there is nothing to support it.

A player's laboratory data is not public domain. It can only be shared either by the player or with the permission of the player. It is personal health information and private. Believing it came from the player, in the context of Catlin being retained by that player's defence as an expert is entirely logical, your spirited claim otherwise notwithstanding.

Just another wrinkle in a complex and ever evolving story.

But not complex where Colabello is concerned. While you continue to skirt the substantive issue, it is clear that Colabello can't claim that his turinabol consumption was through a mystery supplement. Unless of course, the Blue Jays are giving out non-approved supplements, because he has been clear that those were the only ones he used.
China fan - Friday, July 15 2016 @ 12:54 AM EDT (#326332) #
"....Believing it came from the player, in the context of Catlin being retained by that player's defence as an expert is entirely logical..."

Pure speculation.  And even if one player gave permission for Catlin to look at the data, it certainly doesn't prove that Catlin has been "hired" by the defence. You've backed down a long way from what you originally wrote.
scottt - Friday, July 15 2016 @ 07:59 AM EDT (#326335) #
Just another wrinkle in a complex and ever evolving story.

Not really, MLB does not distinguish between taking an unapproved supplement and taking PEDs.
It seems like many players took unapproved supplements during the off-season.

I think the key point here is that so far, only marginal players have tested positive, no All-Stars or established players.
Jonny German - Friday, July 15 2016 @ 08:07 AM EDT (#326336) #
Dee Gordon says Hi.
Mike Green - Friday, July 15 2016 @ 08:35 AM EDT (#326339) #
Here's a scholarly article on the topic.  The cross-contamination theory espoused by Conte has some support in the literature. Vitamin B capsules having steroids? Who knew. It does seem to be a minefield for players.
Mike Green - Friday, July 15 2016 @ 09:57 AM EDT (#326342) #
Rich Hill was scratched from today's start because of a blister.  There is speculation that he is trade bait.  Daniel Mangden gets the start for the A's.
scottt - Saturday, July 16 2016 @ 02:16 PM EDT (#326423) #
Dee Gordon tested positive to exogenous testosterone and Clostebol ( C19H27ClO2)  not Turinabol (C20H27ClO2).

He's not quite in the same boat as Colabello.
CeeBee - Saturday, July 16 2016 @ 03:55 PM EDT (#326441) #
just the same river.
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