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By the time we get to Phoenix...†

Hey, not many people know that song was written by Melania Trump.


The two teams split a pair of games at the RC last month, as I recklessly returned from my self-imposed exile to start a Game Thread. (Ohmigawd, he's doing it again! We're doomed! Doomed, I say!)† This is another two game set and as such gives me a chance to ease the burden so bravely borne by 2JBrumfield and Eephus. A split, and I can carry on, ya see.

The Snakes have recalled Zack Godley to start tonight's affair - he's a big RH who was acquired from the Cubs in the Miguel Montero deal. He made his ML debut last season and did very well (5-1, 3.19), but some injury woes set him back this spring. He's an unknown quantity to most of the Blue Jays, although Troy Tulowitzki did homer in his only AB against him. LH Patrick Corbin takes the ball tomorrow - the Jays saw him last month in Toronto, when he scattered 9 hits and 3 BB in 6.1 IP to beat Marco Estrada 4-2.

Chris Colabello, eligible to return to the major leagues on Saturday, went 2-4 with a HR in his first game for Buffalo. And the Blue Jays will definitely be making a roster move at some point to activate Marco Estrada.

Matchups!

Sanchez (9-1, 2.97) vs Godley (2-0, 5.28)
Estrada (5-3, 2.93) or Stroman (7-4, 5.15) vs Corbin (4-8, 5.25)

A sweep would be nice. But they are on the road. And I did start the thread. Be happy with a split.

Blue Jays at Arizona, 19-20 July | 155 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Mike Green - Tuesday, July 19 2016 @ 05:56 PM EDT (#326626) #
I thought that Stroman was scheduled to pitch Wednesday so that Estrada wouldn't have to bat.
Magpie - Tuesday, July 19 2016 @ 06:06 PM EDT (#326628) #
Really? Estrada still listed on the scehdule. But yeah, there was the off-day, it would make all kinds of sense. And Stroman's listed on the Preview. OK, let's go with both!
BlueJayWay - Tuesday, July 19 2016 @ 06:23 PM EDT (#326630) #
A sweep would be nice. But they are on the road.

Arizona has a huge reverse home/road split. 

Road 23-20,  +3 run diff
Home 17-33, -61 diff

Looking into the stats they've hit about the same, but pitching much worse at home.
Mike Green - Tuesday, July 19 2016 @ 06:36 PM EDT (#326631) #
Junior Lake gets the start again, this time agains a right-hander. He will probably also start against Corbin.

I wondered whether there was a split thing driving that decision. Lake is at .433/.433/.767 in 31 PAs at Chase Field.
Magpie - Tuesday, July 19 2016 @ 07:01 PM EDT (#326632) #
Arizona has a huge reverse home/road split.

Impressive! Impressive enough to overpower My Bad Mojo? Let's find out!
Magpie - Tuesday, July 19 2016 @ 07:06 PM EDT (#326633) #
NEWS, courtesy of Big Barry Davis.

Jose Bautista is playing for Dunedin tomorrow, and travelling to Buffalo the next day, where he should play Friday and Sunday. If all goes well, he'll be back next Monday.
uglyone - Tuesday, July 19 2016 @ 07:06 PM EDT (#326634) #
@SNBarryDavis
Bautista news: playing for Dunedin tomorrow, will travel to Buffalo Thurs and play w/Bisons Fri-Sun. If all goes well, could return Monday
Mike Green - Tuesday, July 19 2016 @ 07:13 PM EDT (#326635) #
Shi Davidi reports that Estrada threw a side today, felt fine and will be ready to go Friday.
Magpie - Tuesday, July 19 2016 @ 07:27 PM EDT (#326636) #
Great minds and all that, not-so-handsome one?
China fan - Tuesday, July 19 2016 @ 07:44 PM EDT (#326638) #
So in the next few days, the Jays have all of the following players ready for the major-league roster:  Bautista, Estrada, Goins, Morales and Colabello.   (And when I say "ready", of course I mean "theoretically ready and apparently recovered from health issues" -- not all of them are necessarily banging at the door for promotion.)   What moves will result?  How many will return and how many will not, and who will be demoted to make room for them.

Start with the easy ones:  Lake and Burns are virtually certain to be demoted.  Carrera becomes the fourth outfielder, but he might get some playing time if the Jays decide to ease Bautista into the lineup by putting him at DH at the beginning.  And the bullpen currently has 8 relievers, so one of those guys is likely to be demoted.  The Jays could leave Goins in the minors, as some here have proposed, but it's clear that Gibbons loves him and wants him on the roster, so I think he returns soon.  I'm guessing Loup or Schultz will be demoted, although Schultz has been pretty good lately, so maybe he stays. 

That leaves Morales and Colabello on the outside.  Colabello can easily stay in the minors as injury insurance.  Having committed $8.2-million in new money to Smoak, the Jays are unlikely to platoon him to make room for Colabello at this point.  As for Morales:  he might be a better LOOGY than Loup, but the Jays are clearly unimpressed with his lengthy rehab, so he might get released.  And I'm not sure how there's room for him in the current roster configuration, unless they demote both Loup and Schultz, which would seem unlikely and unwise.

Cracka - Tuesday, July 19 2016 @ 09:01 PM EDT (#326639) #
Another way to look at it? There's 39 games left before we can expand our active roster and have what's shaping up to be one of the deepest rosters in baseball for 29 games in September (and early October) - I actually think there's at least 40 guys who COULD play for us in September: The 25 current roster players PLUS Estrada, Bautista, Goins, Colabello, Morales, Pompey, Hutchison, Girodo, Venditte, and Tepera.

PLUS there's guys like Dominguez, Ceciliani, Antolin, and Rowen who are on the 40-man roster and having good enough AAA seasons to deserve a late-season call-up.

AND then there's non-roster guys like Jesus Montero, Danny Barnes, a 3rd catcher (Humberto Quintero?) and top prospects like Tellez and SRF (who both seem close, but probably not quite ready for big league action).

That's at least 40 players with a reasonable case to be on the September roster, although it will probably be less than that for practical and economic reasons.

SK in NJ - Tuesday, July 19 2016 @ 09:19 PM EDT (#326640) #
There are very few baseball-related Tweets that can frighten me, but "Chris Colabello playing LF" is an exception. I hope the Jays are not seriously considering that as an option. I'd rather just leave Colabello down in the minors than call him up and have him cost the team runs on defense in left, especially since chances are he won't be somewhat masking his defensive ineptitude with a Ted Williams-like BABIP this time around.

I think the Jays would benefit from trying to get Sean Rodriguez type (if the Pirates decide to sell), or someone in that mold. A utility player who can play all over the field and hit even a tiny bit would be an upgrade over Goins, and really strengthen the bench. A bench of Carrera/Barney/Rodriguez/Thole is pretty darn solid.

I really don't like the idea of Goins and Colabello back on the roster. Thanks for the 2015 performance guys, but the Jays need better players than that, and they might be out there in trades. Shouldn't take much to get a utility bench bat, at least in theory.
greenfrog - Tuesday, July 19 2016 @ 09:35 PM EDT (#326641) #
Colabello is essentially a 0 WAR player when he plays the field (and that was with possible PED use).
Mike Green - Tuesday, July 19 2016 @ 09:36 PM EDT (#326642) #
Another option is to continue with a Lake/Carrera platoon until Pompey is ready (he's been hot in the last few games and is now stealing bases).  Bautista can DH and Encarnacion can play first, and they can switch once Bautista is feeling a little better.  I am not keen to see Bautista in the outfield either. 
BlueJayWay - Tuesday, July 19 2016 @ 09:46 PM EDT (#326643) #
Maybe they see Colabello as the starting LF next year....
Mike Green - Tuesday, July 19 2016 @ 09:47 PM EDT (#326644) #
In which case I'll take a pass on going to games...
cybercavalier - Tuesday, July 19 2016 @ 10:32 PM EDT (#326645) #
In re Cracka's idea:

Canadian Jamie Romak was a D-back last season; he now plays in Japan. Former Jays Eric Thames is the reigning MVP for the South Korean KBO League. Are guys in those situations useful to the Jays now ?  If the Jays foresaw the need of 3B and corner OFs, Romak fit nicely because he can play all those three positions plus 1B. Striking out 143 times per 557 PA in the PCL and subsequently 6 SO in 16PA in MLB last season may not meant consistent offense output but he would have started as a backup to Saunders, Donaldson and JoeyBats anyway. At the beginning of this season, Saunders' situation to perform as he is now was uncertain...

At any rate, guys like Romak and Thames may not wanna play in Buffalo for one more season: they either make big splashes of performances or none...
greenfrog - Tuesday, July 19 2016 @ 10:36 PM EDT (#326646) #
I'm going to miss Edwing next year. #sustainability
DH - Tuesday, July 19 2016 @ 11:12 PM EDT (#326647) #
Let's hope to god they don't. Forget about his defense... I have a hard time believing he wants to spend the rest of the year in Buffalo, and I doubt management wants to dedicate a roster spot and the experience of the stretch drive to a guy who can't play in the playoffs. Trading CC is the easiest and likely best for all involved. Which non-playoff teams need a 1b/DH?
cybercavalier - Tuesday, July 19 2016 @ 11:17 PM EDT (#326648) #
Another way to look at it? There's 39 games left before we can expand our active roster and have what's shaping up to be one of the deepest rosters in baseball for 29 games in September (and early October)
In re SK in NJ:
If the Jays want to exhaust their Buffalo's option first, how about option or DFA both Goins and Colabello and bring veterans Domonic Brown and Kotchman up. The latter players are both performing in a way that they are not gonna be sought after. How good performances in Buffalo must mean the same in Toronto ? So bringing up veterans who know the MLB thru personal experiences and possibly know how to perform at certain or critical situations.

By September, minor leagues season end; as the players are not gonna play more; then bringing up the good performers to evaluate their possibilities to perform similarly in MLB.

cybercavalier - Tuesday, July 19 2016 @ 11:23 PM EDT (#326649) #
Trading Cola ? Do someone know which team want to pay for his cup of CokeCola this season ?
uglyone - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 12:18 AM EDT (#326650) #
I doubt they call up goins. There's literally no use for him. Gibby is doing his best to get barney playing time and even that's tough enough.

I expect to see Cola, though.
uglyone - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 12:28 AM EDT (#326651) #
and maybe i'm the only one who doesn't mind hearing cola taking reps in the OF....because it tells me they think they he's needed there more than 1B, which says they're leaning to Bautista at 1b/dh.
China fan - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 05:47 AM EDT (#326654) #
This is now the second thread in which people are freaking out about Colabello playing LF in his minor-league rehab.  Folks -- his minor-league position doesn't dictate where he might play in the majors!  He's an adequate 1B (as we saw in the playoffs last season) and the Jays know that.  They know he's not a LF.  But if he's in the majors, there's always the possibility that he might have to play LF for an inning or two, on an emergency basis, so why not give him some LF reps?  As someone noted already, if he comes into the game as a late-inning pinch-hitter, and if he can manage to play LF for an inning, that gives the Jays a little more flexibility in their late-inning moves.  Nothing wrong with that.

Another mundane explanation:  the Bisons had to bench somebody to make room for Colabello in his minor-league rehab, and it's probably better to bench Domonic Brown (OPS of .648), rather than Jesus Montero or Casey Kotchman, both of whom are hitting better.  (Although admittedly Kotchman has sunk to a .690 OPS recently).  Note also that Colabello did play 1B in his first Buffalo game on Monday, which forced Kotchman to sit. The Bisons probably don't want to bench Kotchman every day during Colabello's rehab.

In any event, I hope they keep Colabello playing for Buffalo for another few weeks.  If he hits strongly, and if there's room for him on the Toronto bench, he's a better pinch-hitter than Junior Lake or Andy Burns or most other options who have been available this season. 

China fan - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 05:57 AM EDT (#326655) #
"...it tells me they think they he's needed there more than 1B, which says they're leaning to Bautista at 1b/dh...."

Having just invested $8.2-million in a fresh contract for Smoak, the Jays are unlikely to bench Smoak now.   I can envision Bautista getting more time at DH as he returns to action, to protect his health a little, which might reduce Smoak's playing time as Edwin moves to 1B, but I think Smoak is going to get the majority of 1B playing time this year.  The Jays prefer Encarnacion as the DH, where he can focus on hitting. 

Also -- Bautista would need some minor-league playing time at 1B if he's going to play that position in the majors.  So we'll see pretty soon, during his rehab this weekend, whether the Jays want to switch Bautista to 1B or not.  If he doesn't get some reps at 1B soon, he won't be able to play it in Toronto.  He'd have to practice taking grounders etc.  When he switched briefly to 3B a few years ago, it was a big deal, requiring a lot of practice before the switch.  Of course 1B is easier than 3B but it still involves fielding sharp grounders etc. 

Finally, as I've argued before, it would damage Bautista's future earnings if the Jays suddenly signal that he can't play OF any more.  It seems to be a code of honor for most teams in the majors to avoid doing this to a player.  Perhaps the Jays would do it if they're desperate.  I don't think they're in a desperate situation yet.
85bluejay - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 06:20 AM EDT (#326656) #
I hope the Yankees keep winning and stay in the wild card race - that would mean they are not selling veterans such as Chapman & Beltran for young talent that could make them better in future years.
ISLAND BOY - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 06:26 AM EDT (#326657) #
No one has mentioned Aaron Sanchez's dominant start last night including 0 walks. It's hard to imagine now that he was battling for the last spot in the rotation in spring training.
Cracka - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 08:13 AM EDT (#326658) #
Now, it's hard to imagine him being moved to the bullpen.
I honest think that his "innings count", at this point in his career, is much ado about nothing. He's 24, in great physical shape, and it's his 7th professional season... and the team is in win-now mode. I say ride Sanchez as a starter straight to (and hopefully through) the playoffs

uglyone - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 08:43 AM EDT (#326659) #
i hate the contract and all, but $4m is a bench player's salary. expensive bench player, but still bench player.
uglyone - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 08:45 AM EDT (#326660) #
Sanchez might be the Cy favorite at the moment.

He's notnl going to the pen.
finch - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 09:30 AM EDT (#326662) #
I was reading a JP Morosi column on Sportsnet, citing that the Blue Jays are preparing for life sans Encarnacion, quoting: "The Jays do not have unlimited funds. They have a budget and have to stay within the budget. Unless they become the (Los Angeles) Dodgers all of a sudden.Ē

Is this "budget" idea still a thing? The Blue Jays are the richest team in baseball, the fans have shown they will come in droves when the team is good and judging with all the BJs jerseys on the road, fans all across the nation are buying Blue Jays gear. They are in the top 5 in average attendance for the year, where in 2014, they were 17th in the league with average attendance being 29,327. This year, their average is 39,374, an increase of 10,047/game. And I would expect the average to increase as the pennant race heats up.

The Blue Jays increased ticket pricing by 10% this year. Average ticket price is $31.01. From 2014 to present, they have seen an increase of $25,236,155.07 this season, on ticket revenue alone. Not to mention increases in sales of merchandise. I won't even touch increases in television reveneues, apparently that gets allocated to the Cable's ledger.

As fans, we were led to believe that payroll fluctuates with increased revenues. The revenues have increased and it seems like the Blue Jays, are preparing us for the loss of Encarnacion and others, via the media.
uglyone - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 09:50 AM EDT (#326663) #
yeah there's 2 issues there:

1.Do we have a budget? that speculation there is just an assumption that we're at our budget already, and that our busget won't increase - neither which are great assumptions imo.

2. This one is a bit more basic - even if this is our payro limit, we still have plenty of room to sign EE. Most of the roster is signed for next year at well under $100m. The choice to sign will be if we want to give him market value, not whether we can afford to.
Mike Green - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 10:07 AM EDT (#326664) #
Here is an interesting article on the relationship between launch angle/exit velocities and home run rates in the pre ASG period for 2015 and 2016.  The summary: home run rates are up considerably this year and are associated with an increase in exit velocity in the key exit angle for hitting home runs (25 to 30 degrees).  It is odd though because there is not the same increase in exit velocity for line drives.  Is there a slight league-wide change in swing path coincident with the Statcast era perhaps? Maybe the success of the Blue Jays' offence in 2015 had something to do with it!

I was wondering how a Latin-American player might feel about playing for a supporter of Trump.  I know they are all professionals, but the whole idea of wall between Mexico and America would make me feel unwelcome if I were a Latin American. There has been more talk about politics in clubhouses this election cycle apparently.
Mike Green - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 10:29 AM EDT (#326665) #
BBRef has the team's payroll with arb and pre-arb players at $123.4M.  The club has an option on Grilli with a net cost of 2.5m that they probably will want to exercise.  That gets you to $126M.   Now, you can subtract from that figure by non-tendering Hutch (not likely), Barney (not likely), Loup (perhaps), Thole (a definite possibility but not much money involved and you need a backup catcher who will cost the same anyway), Carrera (not likely) and Colabello (perhaps).   Even if you can knock the arb costs down from $24M to $8M, you've got $110M accounted for and you have need of at least one starting pitcher, a DH, at least one outfielder- assuming Pompey is ready, and some back end of the bullpen support for Osuna, Grilli and Schultz.  If there is no increase in the budget (currently $146M), it's hard to get everything you need if you spend $25M on a DH.

It's hard to justify a stance by Rogers that there ought to be no payroll increase.
PeterG - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 10:33 AM EDT (#326666) #
I think the issue with EE will be term not $$$.
Parker - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 10:45 AM EDT (#326667) #
Good game for John Gibson's boys last night. The Matt Devlin PbP, not so much. Durr.
uglyone - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 11:20 AM EDT (#326668) #
Good calcs mike but there is no need for another SP to be signed with Sanchez stroman estrada happ hutch and osuna.

So you're looking at $125m with a need to sign a 2-3 LF/DH/1B types.
Mike Green - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 11:29 AM EDT (#326669) #
In that case, the club would have substantial need in the bullpen with only Grilli, Schultz (and maybe Barnes) coming back.  I am not suggesting that it would be wrong to go with a bullpen like that, but merely that most managers wouldn't be happy if that was all you gave them to work with.  It would be a disaster with Gibbons who (whatever you think of him) has not made a career of making a silk purse out of a sow's ear when it comes to the bullpen.

How many clubs have spent $6 million or less on the pen?  Even Tampa usually spends considerably more than that.  
uglyone - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 11:35 AM EDT (#326670) #
cleveland?
China fan - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 11:39 AM EDT (#326671) #
Colabello is back at 1B in today's Buffalo game.
Dave Till - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 11:48 AM EDT (#326672) #
I've resigned myself to the idea that both Bautista and EE will be gone after 2016 - not because Rogers is cheap or prefers profits over success on the field (though both might be true), but because at least one owner will overpay for him.

Shapiro is likely to crunch his numbers and come up with a reasonable, market-price offer for one or both of them, though probably not for a long term given their age. But the free agent class for the 2016 offseason isn't large, and owners have been willing to overpay in the past for top-flight talent.

Even the Los Angeles Dodgers, who have more money than many governments, were outbid for a player last season: the Diamondbacks signed Zack Greinke for six years and over $200 million, committing to pay him until the end of the 2021 season.

The possibility that Rogers would be willing to spend big money on a free agent disappeared when David Price's ERA went north of 4.00 this year. (It currently stands at 4.36.)

To re-sign Edwin, the Jays would have to be willing to pay him $25 million in 2021 or maybe even 2023. And there's no way they're going to do that, as they don't want to risk what nearly happened to them with Vernon Wells. He was 35 when the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Angels paid him $21 million to not play baseball for them in 2014.
Mike Green - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 12:05 PM EDT (#326673) #
Cody Allen and Bryan Shaw were at $6.9 million by themselves this year. Cleveland will probably spend over $10 million this year. 
uglyone - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 12:17 PM EDT (#326674) #
what's an extra $4m between friends?

(don't say Smoak)
Chuck - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 12:22 PM EDT (#326676) #
I've resigned myself to the idea that both Bautista and EE will be gone after 2016

To my mind, the off-season decisions include not just these two, but Donaldson as well. If they can sign JD to an extension (basically a FA contract a year early), that will go a long way to appeasing a fanbase that seems poised to lose two of its favourites. If both EE and JB walk, and JD is not extended, how likely is JD to want to return after 2017?

No one here needs to be reminded how simple the math is. EE and JB (prorated) are on pace for 3-4 and 2-3 win seasons. JD is on pace for 8-9. These are apples and oranges we are talking about here. And of course JD is 3 years younger than EE who is 2 years younger than JB.

85bluejay - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 12:26 PM EDT (#326677) #
I agree with Dave Till post regarding a combination of term,age and willingness of another owner to pay resulting in both Bautista & EE playing elsewhere next year - in addition I expect Saunders & Dickey to play elsewhere - the key aspect for me will be how the FO replaces the departing players and how the freed up cash is allocated.

Perhaps B.J. Upton and Jay Bruce come as 1 year placeholders.

I wonder who would say no to a Bautista for Puig trade (assuming JB says yes to losing his QO status).

I think both Puig & Soler could be available this offseason for reasonable prices.
Mike Green - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 12:31 PM EDT (#326678) #
I forgot about Tommy Hunter.  Cleveland's bullpen salaries are probably over $12 million.  Sorry.  And most teams spend a lot more than that. 
Dave Till - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 12:42 PM EDT (#326680) #

If they can sign JD to an extension (basically a FA contract a year early), that will go a long way to appeasing a fanbase that seems poised to lose two of its favourites.

JD isn't a free agent until after 2018, if Baseball Reference has it right.

As for appeasing the fan base - it all depends on how the numbers crunch. If Rogers is likely to make more money with a full dome and increased TV viewership and merchandise sales, but extra salary expenses, that is what we will have. If the maximum profit point is lower than that, then that is what we will have instead.

Parker - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 12:43 PM EDT (#326681) #
I'm with Chuck. Make a reasonable offer to both Encarnacion and Bautista, then let them walk. Spend the money on Donaldson. Along with Tulo, this is his team now.
PeterG - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 12:44 PM EDT (#326682) #
I totally agree with Jon Morosi's contention that JD will be dealt before the start of the 2017 season if not signed to a long term extension.
uglyone - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 12:45 PM EDT (#326683) #
Can we revisit the idea of how insane it is that the team leading the league in attendance, with huge tv ratings, in one of the biggest and richest local markets in the league, with an entire country market beyond that, owned by one of the biggest corporations in the world, could actually talk about payroll parameters without bursting into laughter?
Dave Till - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 12:47 PM EDT (#326684) #
The point is that they are owned by a corporation. Very few teams in baseball are. For better or worse, they answer to shareholders.

This is a problem that the Jays have faced for years - they are competing with ownership groups who see baseball spending as a luxury hobby, like owning a string of polo ponies or a fleet of yachts.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 12:48 PM EDT (#326685) #
There will definitely be a defined payroll. That's how it's always been with Rogers. I'd be pretty disappointed if the payroll is not at least $150M next season, but I'd be surprised if it's much higher than that. Rogers is a corporation driven by non-baseball objectives and that's never going to change. You can't assume payroll will skyrocket because of the on-field success and financial success. It should, but it doesn't mean it will. The Jays are not run by a Mike Ilitch type.

Regardless, the issue with the Jays won't be the payroll (still should be plenty high enough); it will be whether they have enough money available to fill the holes they will have next season. Edwin or Bautista at $25M per is going to make it pretty difficult to fill the other holes on the roster, never mind the age/term related risks involved with signing either of those two. If they both had Ben Zobrist's defensive value, then I'd be more open to it, but we are talking about two DH's in their mid-30's. It's likely going to get worse from here (unless they age like David Ortiz.....and I'm not going to touch that one).

From a sentimental standpoint, it will suck to see both of them on different teams next season, but based on normal aging curves, we will probably look back on the decision to let them go and breathe a sigh of relief. Now, if both are willing to sign deals that are more team friendly, then that changes things. I don't expect them to, though.
Chuck - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 12:50 PM EDT (#326686) #
JD will be dealt before the start of the 2017 season if not signed to a long term extension.

Scenario: Bautista, Encarnacion and Saunders all QO'd, all leave. Donaldson traded for young players.

2017 opening day: crickets

uglyone - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 12:51 PM EDT (#326687) #
"Edwin or Bautista at $25M per is going to make it pretty difficult to fill the other holes on the roster,"

what other holes?
uglyone - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 12:53 PM EDT (#326688) #
"The point is that they are owned by a corporation."

you'd think a corporation would enjoy owning a product with sellout attendance and massive tv ratings.

but maybe not.
uglyone - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 12:55 PM EDT (#326689) #
"You can't assume payroll will skyrocket because of the on-field success and financial success."

we are owned by a corporation that isn't motivated by financial success?

how bizarre.
Mike Green - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 12:56 PM EDT (#326691) #
Darwin Barney will apparently play LF today.  He's never done that before in major or minor league ball, according to Mike Wilner.  I am nonetheless confident that he'll be much better than Colabello out there, and might even be pretty good.
uglyone - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 12:57 PM EDT (#326692) #
I'm sure he'll be good out there.

but dammit that sounds like goins is coming back.
Chuck - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 01:02 PM EDT (#326695) #
Could just be a case of giving Saunders an afternoon off after a night game, and Carrera not being ready to play yet.
Dave Till - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 01:07 PM EDT (#326696) #

we are owned by a corporation that isn't motivated by financial success?

But that's the question: does increased on-field success always lead to greater profits? Or does the increased salary cost more than wipe out the extra revenue?

I think there was some old-time baseball person who once said that the best thing to do was have a team that was competitive but did not win. This would be cheaper than having a team that won but was more expensive to field. This sounds like something Connie Mack or Branch Rickey might have said, but I'd have to look it up to be sure.

Parker - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 01:07 PM EDT (#326697) #
Why don't they put Lake in LF, then?

Gibbons is another organizational "asset" who could easily allowed to walk after this season. He can go back to never managing a MLB team ever again.
jerjapan - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 01:10 PM EDT (#326698) #
BBRef has the team's payroll with arb and pre-arb players at $123.4M.

They estimate over $24 million in arb-eligible salary for Hutch, Loup, Zeke, Cola, Barney and Thole, based on the average of players at the same place in arb-eligibility. 

That number is way too high - even half that is too high. 

Also BBRef has Thole and Barney as arb eligbible, cots has them as FA - anyone know which is correct? 

Barney has played so well he is pricing himself out of the role of backup if he is a FA.  We have a wealth of utility options in the high minors, lead by Goins, all under team control. 
Mike Green - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 01:11 PM EDT (#326699) #
I wouldn't assume anything.  It's a bit of a unique situation, facing a lefty in a National League park.  In an AL park, they can put Barney at third and DH Donaldson with Edwin at first base against a lefty.

I don't get the hate for Goins.  He's had a rough year, with a .210 BABIP contributing.  Over his career, he hasn't been much of a hitter but he has generated 3.8 bWAR in 910 PAs courtesy of Grade A defence.  That's a decent regular and a fine backup.  fWAR has him a merely good defender over his career, in which case he's been a typical sub.  The eye test and the Inside Edge data support the bWAR account of his defence.

China fan - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 01:13 PM EDT (#326700) #
"...He can go back to never managing a MLB team ever again...."

His complete failure in 2015 just confirms how terrible he is.
jerjapan - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 01:13 PM EDT (#326701) #
I totally agree with Jon Morosi's contention that JD will be dealt before the start of the 2017 season if not signed to a long term extension.

Stoeten views Morosi the same way many of us view Keith Law.  I don't always agree with the guy, but he takes down that idea pretty effectively here:

http://bluejaysnation.com/2016/7/18/jon-morosi-said-a-thing-about-the-blue-jays-trading-josh-donaldson
Parker - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 01:15 PM EDT (#326703) #
Who could easily BE allowed to walk after this season. My apologies.

What really drives me crazy is that Gibbons is supposed to be an organizational pet who'd always do what his boss tells him. I doubt his boss told him to put Darwin "never played the outfield in his entire pro career" Barney in LF.

I know Barney's a great middle infielder, but this reeks so bad of Chris "WTF, left fielder?!?" Colabello from last year, when he definitively wiped out any value he had as a hitter by being asked to field a position for which he was not even close to qualified.
PeterG - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 01:17 PM EDT (#326704) #
Morosi works for MLB. Law is a hack. No comparison.
Dave Till - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 01:18 PM EDT (#326705) #

I totally agree with Jon Morosi's contention that JD will be dealt before the start of the 2017 season if not signed to a long term extension.

Before the start of the 2018 season, maybe, since he will be a FA in 2019. But not 2017. He's signed for $17 million for 2017, which is dirt cheap for the reigning MVP. Unless Rogers is going to go the Full Montreal, he'll be here next year.

Why don't they put Lake in LF, then?

I assume that he will be in RF today.

Parker - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 01:18 PM EDT (#326706) #
His complete failure in 2015 just confirms how terrible he is.

It's funny how a team with a historically dominant offense could somehow be successful. Is there anyone in baseball who would've FAILED to "manage" that team to the playoffs last year? Are you attributing the Jays' offense exclusively to Gibbons' management?
Parker - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 01:21 PM EDT (#326708) #
The best anyone could say about Gibbons is that when given a roster of utter offensive dominance, he wasn't quite bad enough to prevent them from making the playoffs.

For an organization like the Blue Jays, who appear to be focused on maximizing wins vs. dollars spent, one would think they could do a little bit better than a guy who had no success as a manager until given an All-Star offensive roster to work with. Let's not pretend he's Joe Torre. Joe Torre WON several World Series titles.
pubster - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 01:23 PM EDT (#326709) #
I think the Jays would be better off if they fired Gibby and hire Parker.

Or maybe hire me.

Actually there are a lot of posters on this site who would be better managers than Gibby. Amirite?
Parker - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 01:25 PM EDT (#326710) #
I assume that he [Lake] will be in RF today.

My bad. Giving Saunders a day off is clearly more important than fielding an outfield that would make a Little League coach cringe.

Is Saunders injured?
Parker - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 01:27 PM EDT (#326712) #
Pubster, I'm not saying I'd be a better manager than Gibbons. I'm saying that SOMEONE with a pedigree of some kind would be a better manager than Gibbons.

If you think you're that guy, send your resume to the Jays front office. Best of luck with that!
Dave Till - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 01:28 PM EDT (#326713) #
(One last post - I am going to stop threadsitting now. :-))

The comments about Gibbons in 2015/2016 seem eerily similar to what people were saying about Cito in 1992/93. He's a push button manager; anyone can win with that talent; etc. etc.

Gibbons isn't especially good at in-game decisions; neither was Cito. But Cito was exceptionally good at player relations - at keeping his troops happy. George Bell had huge arguments with Jimy Williams about playing DH; Cito had no problems with him at all.

I suspect that Gibbons has similar strengths - I don't recall hearing complaints from his players, even when the team was losing. (Hillenbrand is the exception. Ted Lilly and Gibbons resolved their differences right away, from what I've read.) This counts for something, I think. And I still believe that he is noticeably better than Farrell.
pubster - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 01:28 PM EDT (#326714) #
Jays apparantly have the best attendance in the American League.

I didn't know that!

http://espn.go.com/mlb/attendance
China fan - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 01:28 PM EDT (#326715) #
"....Are you attributing the Jays' offense exclusively to Gibbons' management?...."

Of course not.  But you appear to be attributing none of it to Gibbons.  Which is an absurd proposition.  Your theory seems to be:  blame Gibbons if the team is doing badly, but give him zero credit when the team is doing well.
uglyone - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 01:30 PM EDT (#326716) #
I give gibby plenty of credit for maximing the contributioms of the likes of cola smoak goins last year, yes.
pubster - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 01:31 PM EDT (#326717) #
Parker, I don't think anyone thinks that Gibbons is the best manager on the planet.

We all think that SOMEONE out there is better than him.
uglyone - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 01:31 PM EDT (#326718) #
and i'm sure barney will be better defensively out there than Saunders. probably much better.

and saunders is ice cold at the plate anyways.
eudaimon - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 01:35 PM EDT (#326719) #
You can't compare Colabello in left to Barney in left. One is a large man who can't run and can barely play a passable 1B. Barney on the other hand has some semblance of athleticism and is a great fielder otherwise. I think he'll be fine in what is one of baseball's least challenging positions.
China fan - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 01:36 PM EDT (#326720) #
"...Is Saunders injured?...."

Have you not noticed that the Jays have been frequently resting Saunders this season and giving him games at DH, because of his poor defence and somewhat fragile health, caused partly by his major surgery last year?  He can't play every day.  And his defence is poor.   So they have been removing him from the outfield on regular occasions for the whole season this year.

You are hugely upset with Gibbons for using Barney in the outfield, but you haven't acknowledged that Carrera is injured, Bautista is injured, and Saunders has health issues that require him to have regular rest.  (And his outfield defence is so poor that he's probably no better than Barney anyway.)

You might have also been unaware that the Jays have been giving Goins practice time in LF this year, for the same reason:  the health and defense issues of all the other outfielders not named Pillar.

Feel free to attack Gibbons all you want -- fans routinely attack managers in every baseball city -- but don't use today's lineup as proof that he should be fired.


Parker - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 01:38 PM EDT (#326722) #
Of course not. But you appear to be attributing none of it to Gibbons. Which is an absurd proposition. Your theory seems to be: blame Gibbons if the team is doing badly, but give him zero credit when the team is doing well.

Actually, my theory is that the team's success has always been IN SPITE of Gibbons. I've never had any love for Cito Gaston (who has also somehow never held another job managing any other MLB team, despite winning two straight World Series titles) but at least Gaston wasn't bad enough to prevent them from winning. The hiring of any legitimate major-league manager (who would be far, far cheaper than any free agent or over-the-hill existing player retention/acquisition) would have made the team better. The organization is finally taking steps in that direction in the front office.

Unless Toronto wins the World Series this year, Gibbons is done as an MLB manager. And he should be.
eudaimon - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 01:38 PM EDT (#326723) #
I like Gibbons. I won't push it on anyone, but I definitely don't think he hurts the team. I suspect if we all followed other teams we'd realize that all managers make head scratching decisions sometimes. And he's definitely a couple tiers above Farrell.

Parker - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 01:50 PM EDT (#326724) #
You are hugely upset with Gibbons for using Barney in the outfield, but you haven't acknowledged that Carrera is injured, Bautista is injured, and Saunders has health issues that require him to have regular rest. (And his outfield defence is so poor that he's probably no better than Barney anyway.)

It's not just this one game. It's several seasons worth of Gibbons throwing random bench players with no OF experience into LF. If the guy doesn't hit like g**damn Paul Goldschmidt, you don't expose his defensive limitations in the outfield even for "just" one game. The possibilities of defensive miscues far outweigh whatever he might do at the plate. Why not Andy Burns in LF? At least he has some experience there and hasn't been an utter failure.
Hodgie - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 01:51 PM EDT (#326725) #
"Joe Torre WON several World Series titles."

I guess it is just a coincidence that Torre became a HOF manager right around the time he was given a team laden with future HOFs and allstars and supported by an unlimited budget in comparison to the league. If only he had been afforded the opportunity to manage other teams at some point during his career to demonstrate his championship level acumen.

SK in NJ - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 01:56 PM EDT (#326726) #
Saunders had to return home for personal reasons and Carrera has an achilles issue, so that's why neither of them are playing, per Chisholm.
China fan - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 01:57 PM EDT (#326727) #
And now Gregor Chisholm has tweeted this further explanation on the Barney decision:  "Saunders had to return home for personal reasons."

So the only other option for LF today was Andy Burns, who -- like Barney -- is primarily an infielder.  And of course Barney is a far better hitter than Burns, at least based on Barney's major-league success over the past two seasons.  Personally I would agree with Gibby's decision to put the far-better hitter into the lineup today, especially since Burns is probably not a better defensive outfielder than Barney, and has only slightly more OF experience than Barney.
Chuck - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 02:15 PM EDT (#326728) #
Lots of gnashing of teeth over this Barney business. It's one thing to deal with a situation in a pinch, which is what Gibbons is having to do today. It's quite another thing to endure a systemic problem (not enough OF in the organization) and having to start Colabello in the outfield for a third of a season.

I agree with those who say Barney should be fine, what with being quite athletic and all.

uglyone - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 02:17 PM EDT (#326729) #
I think gibby has smartly used one of the easiest defensive positions - LF - to try and get good bats like cola and valencia in the lineup.

I generally view this as good, creative managing. Yes Cola ended up being unplayably bad out there but it was definitely worth a try. Valencia on the other hand was fine out there - probably better than saunders or bautista.


We also have one of the few managers anywhere that would have the balls to bat Joey Josh EE 1-2-3 which imo is friggin awesome.

I think there are many managers who could have hurt our offense last year with more old school style managing.

now Bullpen mamagement is the easiest to second guess, and while he leans towards being overaggressive I really truly believe he's been unlucky in having established relievers blow up in spectacular ways for him.
85bluejay - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 02:20 PM EDT (#326730) #
I am not opposed to trading Donaldson or anyone else - I don't believe in untouchable players - it depends on the return. I read the Dodgers are "big game" hunting and I would certainly listen and be prepared to move Donaldson or anyone else.
Mike Green - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 02:55 PM EDT (#326731) #
Dalton Pompey is 2-3 today with a double.  I hope that he gets the call soon. 
85bluejay - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 03:01 PM EDT (#326733) #
With Bautista coming back (Atkins has said JB will be the RF when he returns), I don't see Pompey getting the call until September unless an outfielder injury occurs.
Parker - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 03:02 PM EDT (#326734) #
Fine. I'll stop comparing Gibbons to Joe Torre.
uglyone - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 03:07 PM EDT (#326735) #
I wish we could be the big game hunters.
Parker - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 03:41 PM EDT (#326736) #
John Gibbons has a guy with limited LF experience sitting on the bench.

He also has a guy with no outfield experience sitting on the bench.

While one of these guys has arguably held his own against MLB pitching in a fairly limited sample, he has never, in a single game of his nine-year professional career, ever played in the outfield. The other one of them is a young, unproven player who has struggled against MLB pitching so far, but in a limited sample has shown to be an average left fielder.

If it's just one game, shouldn't Gibbons, as the "player's manager" that he is inexplicably credited to be, give his starting pitcher the respect due to put the guy with outfield experience in left? Even ff it's just one game?

It boggles the mind how the Jays' terrible record in close games, despite their offensive dominance, is somehow still attributed to bad luck under Gibbons at this point.
Magpie - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 03:44 PM EDT (#326737) #
Bringing rain to the desert. A fine thing.
pubster - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 03:47 PM EDT (#326738) #
Hopefully we get good Stroman today!
pubster - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 03:49 PM EDT (#326739) #
Parker you make Gibbons sound like a guy who thinks out of the box.
Chuck - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 03:53 PM EDT (#326740) #
If it's just one game, shouldn't Gibbons, as the "player's manager" that he is inexplicably credited to be, give his starting pitcher the respect due to put the guy with outfield experience in left? Even ff it's just one game?

Do you honestly believe that Stroman is even a little miffed at the sight of Barney in LF?

Could you not be making a great deal more out of this than really warrants? Joe Maddon, no one's idea of a fool, turned lifetime 3B Kris Bryant into a very part-time outfielder in 2015 and a more frequent outfielder in 2016. Sometimes there should be room for a manager's judgement.

Parker - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 03:55 PM EDT (#326741) #
Parker you make Gibbons sound like a guy who thinks out of the box.

That's a really creative and interesting interpretation of lateral thinking, pubster. Maybe when Bautista comes back, you could advocate for Bautista in CF because he's hitting better than Pillar. Maybe Encarnacion should start at 2B because he hits better than Barney.

Outside the box is the way to go.
Parker - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 03:57 PM EDT (#326742) #
Could you not be making a great deal more out of this than really warrants? Joe Maddon, no one's idea of a fool, turned lifetime 3B Kris Bryant into a very part-time outfielder in 2015 and a more frequent outfielder in 2016. Sometimes there should be room for a manager's judgement.

None of us really know what the starter is thinking, Chuck.

Once John Gibbons has been pursued as a manager by multiple organizations, I would be willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.
Parker - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 04:02 PM EDT (#326743) #
The thing that really bothers me is the FACT that the Jays under Gibbons have been absolutely abysmal in close games, but the OPINION among rank amateurs is that Gibbons is a competent manager of a dominant baseball club that fails horribly in close games... far, far beyond the average dropoff that dominant teams have failed in general. Over the last 120 years.

pubster - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 04:04 PM EDT (#326744) #
For wins:
The Jays have won 9 of their 53 wins by one run. (17%)
The Orioles have won 11 of their 53 wins by one run. (21%)
The Red Sox have won 10 of their 52 wins by one run. (19%)

On the loss side:

The Jays have lost 17 times out of 42 by one run. (40%)
The Orioles have lost 9 times out of 39 by one run. (23%)
The Red Sox have lost 9 times out of 39 by one run. (23%)


So it seems like when the Jays lose they lose close games and when they win they win by more than a run.

I know its easy to say "The Jays should have more one run wins", but maybe they have the right amount of one run wins but just too many one run losses. Meaning that some of thier one run losses should actually be multiple run losses.
Spifficus - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 04:06 PM EDT (#326745) #
Anyone who remembers 2006 and Troy Glaus should already be well aware that Gibbbons isn't scared by the outside of the box.
Parker - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 04:08 PM EDT (#326746) #
Okay, look, I don't want to get into a big thing here, but the Jays under Gibbons have a very significant statistical underperformance in close games. Every good team loses more close games than they win, and win more blowouts than they lose. The John Gibbons Blue Jays lose far more close games than any other team with a similar overall record. There was even an article here on Batter's Box referencing this not too long ago!

Alright. I'm done on this subject. I'm just gonna go watch the game and pray they win by more than four runs. I'm sorry if I offended anyone.
pubster - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 04:08 PM EDT (#326747) #
From the numbers the difference between the Orioles, Sox, and Jays is that the Orioles and Red Sox lose more 2+ run games than the Jays and the Jays lose more 1 run games.

I think its a good thing (to lose a game by 1 run rather than 2+ runs).

pubster - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 04:12 PM EDT (#326748) #
"Every good team loses more close games than they win"

The Orioles are 11-9 in one run games this year. And the Red Sox are 10-9. Texas is 19-7. San Fran is 20-11.

So not really true.

And no offence taken! Maybe 1 run games are the BABIP of a teams win-loss record.
Parker - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 04:16 PM EDT (#326749) #
Are you a hedge fund broker, pubster? If so, I'd like to know who you're selling short on.
Spifficus - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 04:18 PM EDT (#326750) #
I think Barney's showing better reads and range than Saunders. I say that in jest (I think), but he is certainly showing viability out there.
uglyone - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 04:25 PM EDT (#326751) #
I donít get why anyone would think burns would be a better OF than barney, tbh.

it wouldn't surprise me if barney is our 2nd best defensive OF, really.
Mike Green - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 04:26 PM EDT (#326752) #
It's not really a shock.  Let's see.  Barney has pitched, played left, third base, shortstop and second base.  He's over halfway to a Tovar. If the Jays clinch the whole enchilada by the last week of September, I can see Gibbons giving him a shot at it.
jerjapan - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 04:30 PM EDT (#326753) #
Morosi works for MLB. Law is a hack. No comparison.

Thoughtful rebuttal.  Of course, Law worked for the Jays and BP.  And Joe Torre works for MLB. 

Stoeten does a nice job refuting Morosi's stance.  If you don't want to read it, fine, go ahead and assume that JD is gone in 2018. 
Eephus - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 04:40 PM EDT (#326754) #
Wow... Barry Davis is actually the most listenable of the three... lord have mercy on us all.
eudaimon - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 04:44 PM EDT (#326755) #
So far Barney is making the bellyaching about his LF defense look silly.
pubster - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 04:46 PM EDT (#326756) #
Parker, I'd short the Texas Rangers.

+5 run difference and 15 games above .500.

Its because of their BABIP, errr record in one run games lol

Magpie - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 05:53 PM EDT (#326757) #
Who's this new outfielder?
mathesond - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 05:55 PM EDT (#326758) #
That's no outfielder!
Mike Green - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 06:09 PM EDT (#326759) #
It makes a big difference having Travis and Tulo healthy.  The resting stop (such as it is)  is your cleanup hitter.
Parker - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 06:11 PM EDT (#326760) #
So, unless I'm mistaken, the same people defending Barney in left are the ones insisting that Bautista couldn't play 1B without some tuneup time in the minors?
Mike Green - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 06:16 PM EDT (#326761) #
Not me.  I defended Barney in left and think that Bautista would be much, much better defensively at first base than in right field.  In fact, I think it is a mistake to bring him back to play right field.  He struggled before there and it's not likely to be any better after the toe injury.  I am concerned that pounding the toe while running will affect his batting in the medium term. 
mathesond - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 06:18 PM EDT (#326762) #
I personally did not keep track of who said Bautista needed time in the minors to learn the vagaries of 1B, so I can neither confirm nor deny your statement. But yes, it totally is an apples to apples comparison.
CeeBee - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 06:21 PM EDT (#326763) #
That Gibbons fella..... what a genius :)
BlueJayWay - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 06:27 PM EDT (#326764) #
Might need another lefty reliever.
China fan - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 06:28 PM EDT (#326765) #
There's no logic in the attempted comparison between Barney and Bautista.  There are at least 3 major differences in their situations.   First of all, Barney is obviously a much more adaptable athlete than Bautista.  He's much faster and has good instincts, as we saw in his two excellent plays in LF already today.  That means it's easier for Barney to adjust to a new defensive position than it would be for Bautista to switch to a new position.

Second, it turns out that Barney has been playing outfield occasionally in practice -- enough to catch Gibby's eye, and enough to show that he can play outfield if necessary in a pinch.  There's no evidence of Bautista getting reps at 1B anywhere, in his rehab or in the majors or in daily practice.

Third, it's clear that today was an emergency situation, since Saunders and Carrera were both unavailable.  The Bautista situation is totally different.  If he switches to 1B, it wouldn't be an emergency situation.  The Jays already have two capable 1B, and one of them would have to be benched to make room for Bautista.  The only reason to put Bautista at 1B is because there's a better RF available who deserves to be in the daily lineup, which isn't at all clear at this point.

Mike Green - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 06:30 PM EDT (#326766) #
Patience, man.  With a 10-1 lead and being squeezed by DeMuth, Cecil rightfully threw clear strikes to the righties. 
China fan - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 06:35 PM EDT (#326767) #
By the way, there have been multiple reports this year about Ryan Goins taking groundballs at 1B, in case he is needed there.  If a superb infielder like Goins would need some reps at 1B before playing there, I think it's safe to say that an inferior defender like Bautista would definitely need some practice at 1B before playing there.
PeterG - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 06:40 PM EDT (#326768) #
Barney may be a better defensive OF than Saunders.
China fan - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 06:42 PM EDT (#326769) #
So just to recap Darwin Barney's day:  he had a single, a triple, a sacrifice fly and three RBIs, and he played flawless defense in the outfield.  I think it's safe to say that Barney had a much better game than Andy Burns would have had, and Gibbons made exactly the right call.  (Although people can fantasize about Andy Burns hitting for the cycle if they wish.)

From observing those two excellent defensive plays by Barney in the second inning, I can see why he's a perfectly adequate outfielder in an emergency.  They weren't easy plays, but he handled them without any problem at all.  The first play was a long fly to the warning track; the other was hit nearly as far, but in foul territory; so Barney had to cover a lot of territory to get to them.  He's one of the fastest runners on the team, and he took good routes to the balls.  He clearly has good instincts out there. 

China fan - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 06:50 PM EDT (#326770) #
Jose Bautista, incidentally, is playing RF for Dunedin tonight.  (And homered in his first at-bat.)
SK in NJ - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 07:00 PM EDT (#326772) #
Barney in LF made sense because Saunders and Carrera were unavailable, and the 4th OF as of now had to play RF (Lake). So that left Barney, Smoak, Thole, or Burns as the LF options for today's game. Barney was the best of the available option. Not ideal to play an infielder in the OF, but in an emergency situation, it was fine. Playing Smoak in LF would have been the equivalent of playing Colabello there last year; just be thankful that didn't happen.
eudaimon - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 07:02 PM EDT (#326773) #
I think Barney was a good fallback choice for LF, and I don't think Bautista needs much work to be a 1B. He might need a few days of practice tops to practice picks. Even then, his experience at 3B probably translates well enough to 1B. I personally wouldn't hesitate to throw him in there in a pinch.

In fact, looking back he already has spent some time at 1B. He started 11 games there in 2014.

uglyone - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 08:03 PM EDT (#326774) #
I think EE should play 1b, Joey/Saunders DH.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 09:18 PM EDT (#326776) #
I'm in the Bautista to DH camp as well. With Pompey hitting in the minors, they have an internal option they can use in the OF (along with Carrera) and put Bautista at DH even if they couldn't trade for a vet. That doesn't appear to be in their plans, though. Bautista is a veteran, and on the last year of his deal, so if he wants to play the outfield, then it's a lock that they'd listen to him. If he was too hurt to field, then that would have changed things.

Let's hope he stays healthy for the 2nd half. I'm not expecting much out of his defense regardless.
greenfrog - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 09:37 PM EDT (#326777) #
It might be that the enforced rest will do Bautista some good in the second half, as it did for Tulo in the first half. The recent talk about downsizing to a 154-game schedule is a reminder of what a grind the 162-game season is.
China fan - Wednesday, July 20 2016 @ 09:45 PM EDT (#326778) #
Assuming that the Yankees hang on to their 5-0 lead over the Orioles in the 9th inning tonight, the Jays have now pulled within 0.5 games of first place in the division.  That's a virtual tie for first place.  It will be an interesting second half of the season.
uglyone - Thursday, July 21 2016 @ 01:01 AM EDT (#326781) #
Division Win% & RunDiff/gm

ALE: .522 +0.22
ALW: .502 +0.03
ALC: .495 -0.09
NLE: .494 -0.17
NLC: .493 +0.06
NLW: .493 -0.06
Glevin - Thursday, July 21 2016 @ 08:22 AM EDT (#326783) #
"Assuming that the Yankees hang on to their 5-0 lead over the Orioles in the 9th inning tonight, the Jays have now pulled within 0.5 games of first place in the division. That's a virtual tie for first place. It will be an interesting second half of the season."

And I'm pretty optimistic. Don't think the O's have what it takes to stick around and the Red Sox have more wiggle room than the Jays and will be tough but they have traded a couple of excellent prospects for pretty marginal win upgrades.

Kimbrel is a great closer and Pomeranz may be a pretty good starter although already way over his innings high, but the Red Sox gave up enormous talent to get these guys. They traded what are now the #14, #39 and #87 prospects on the BA mid-season update. You'd think they could have gotten an ace at close to that price or at least a safer top starter.

Anyway, really looking forward to the last couple of months. Think it will be a fantastic and I think the Jays are actually in a very good position.
SK in NJ - Thursday, July 21 2016 @ 09:05 AM EDT (#326784) #
I agree that the Jays are in a good spot right now. They could still use some help at the deadline, but now that their best players are playing like they should be, and Bautista is close to coming back, it looks like the help is more of a depth issue than it is needing impact talent (ex. they could use another reliever, another bench bat, etc). Cecil reverting back to his 2nd half-2015 form would be huge. A RH bat to platoon with Smoak and cover multiple positions would also come in handy (Steve Pearce fits that mold perfectly).

It's going to be a dog fight. Usually one team will pull away but I get the sense that this will be close for the next two months. It will come down to those head to head games like last season with the Yankees. The Jays will need to handle their business in those games.
uglyone - Thursday, July 21 2016 @ 10:36 AM EDT (#326788) #
we should be making a tulo short and longterm move this year.

we should be trying to be the best team in baseball.
China fan - Thursday, July 21 2016 @ 10:51 AM EDT (#326792) #
I miscalculated.  The Jays are 0.5 games behind Baltimore, but the Orioles are now in 2nd place.  The Jays are a full game behind the Red Sox, who now have the division lead.   Still, it basically amounts to almost a three-way tie at the top of the division.  And the Jays have widened their wild-card lead -- they're now 2.5 games ahead of Houston and 4.5 games ahead of Detroit for the final wild card.  The Jays should be aiming for the pennant, and they've got as good of a chance as anybody. 
bpoz - Thursday, July 21 2016 @ 11:02 AM EDT (#326793) #
I enjoyed the speculation about next year. Most of the speculation should be answered by opening day next year.

There will be a lot of discussion and speculating in the off season.

Payroll, player acquisitions and losses. Especially the impact players EE, Bautista, Saunders....
If the above 3 are lost our offense suffers a lot. If the offense does not suffer, then some kind of miracle has happened.

I see our rotation being a strength if healthy and not traded because we have Sanchez, Stroman, Estrada and Happ. If we resign RA Dickey and add Osuna and/or Hutch to the rotation we are deep in SPs.
If Osuna is in the rotation, then the pen looks weak. I believe most people including Shatkins would agree that today's pen without Osuna is ... lets just say frightening.

I would like to see Osuna in the rotation next year. I will wait for opening day to find out.
I remember relievers got very expensive last off season. Shatkins may just spend a lot of money on relievers or not. I think we can increase our #4- #8 relievers easily and cheaply. For #1-#3 that is tough...good and cheap. So pay a big $ for/to someone like D Storen and hope for better results. Others that are not in high demand like Grilli and G Floyd. Also trade low prospects for someones payroll reduction... but they pay part of the salary.
Without Osuna we need a closer that can do a very good job. Who & how ????

DH - Thursday, July 21 2016 @ 11:29 AM EDT (#326796) #
So ... Brent Cecil... just a question of working out the kinks or has something dramatically changed?
Mike Green - Thursday, July 21 2016 @ 11:45 AM EDT (#326797) #
Nothing has dramatically changed.  He's still Brett.

He had Lamb completely befuddled, and then got the ninth inning hometown squeeze play by the umpire on the RHBs and had to throw clear strikes to get a call.  When he did, he got hit.  I am not worried.  He was able to throw good first pitches, unlike early in the season.
China fan - Thursday, July 21 2016 @ 12:14 PM EDT (#326800) #
To be honest, I'm not very confident in any of the Jays relievers, except Osuna and Grilli.  All of the others have been inconsistent, to put it charitably.  Several of them have looked good lately, but they also had patches of horribleness this season and/or last season.  Cecil had a brilliant half-season in 2015, but nobody should count on him repeating it.  He might, or he might not.  The others have been streaky too.  I suppose that's the nature of relievers, but it's somewhat disconcerting when most of the relievers have had such awful stretches of games.  Unless the Jays are planning to put Sanchez into the bullpen in August (and I hope they aren't), they could certainly use another reliable set-up guy in the bullpen.  And as the trade deadline approaches, there should be lots of bullpen options available, so that's probably the easiest way for the Jays to shore up their roster and reduce their second-half vulnerabilities.
greenfrog - Thursday, July 21 2016 @ 12:19 PM EDT (#326801) #
Uglyone, who do you see as a potential Tulo-like acquisition this year? Votto, maybe? McCutchen? A starting pitcher like Gray, Archer, Teheran?
Magpie - Thursday, July 21 2016 @ 12:19 PM EDT (#326802) #
He's still Brett.

Still, something looks wrong to me, as if something's gone askew in his delivery and he hasn't quite found it. He looks off balance and awkward, and one should never trust a LH who looks awkward!
uglyone - Thursday, July 21 2016 @ 12:23 PM EDT (#326804) #
those names all sound interesting, greenfrog.
grjas - Thursday, July 21 2016 @ 12:37 PM EDT (#326806) #
Yeah I agree CF with your comments on the BP. While it's nice to be optimists about Cecil, he's pitched as poorly as Storen - and at least Storen's RHB numbers are borderline ok. And no one on this site is predicting a Storen turn around.

I'd be surprised if they don't pick up a pitcher - either a BP later inning guy (my pref) or someone to replace Sanchez or backup Hutch in that role. Unless one of the two pumpkins transform into princes.
Mike Green - Thursday, July 21 2016 @ 01:54 PM EDT (#326814) #
Magpie, it was a bit of a joke.  DH referred to Brent Cecil. 

I hadn't noticed a delivery issue since he came back.  He looked very awkward in April, and wouldn't throw a fastball for a strike even to a LH hitter.  He's got that right now. 

China fan - Thursday, July 21 2016 @ 03:05 PM EDT (#326816) #
New report suggests that MLB is experiencing a surge in home runs in 2016 because the balls are juiced:

http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/are-juiced-balls-the-new-steroids/

CeeBee - Thursday, July 21 2016 @ 06:26 PM EDT (#326818) #
Any word on what's happening with Franklin Morales?
Paul D - Thursday, July 21 2016 @ 07:18 PM EDT (#326822) #
Rzepczynski is allegedly on the block in Oakland. Not a major move, but getting him would help shore up a weakness, particularly if there's not faith in Cecil.
Mike Green - Friday, July 22 2016 @ 11:09 AM EDT (#326831) #
I'd much rather have Cecil than Zep facing a LHB right now.

Speaking of LH relievers, the Mariners are a lefty-tilting lineup and curiously enough, the Jays have to make a decision on Morales today. 
SK in NJ - Friday, July 22 2016 @ 12:23 PM EDT (#326833) #
Unless Morales' velocity is way off, I'd be surprised if he wasn't called up and Loup optioned. It's a small sample, but Loup's been hit hard this season and his velocity is down, so that seems like a reasonable flip as long as Morales isn't suffering from the same issues.
Mike Green - Friday, July 22 2016 @ 12:28 PM EDT (#326834) #
Happy birthday to Dave Stieb and Heathcliff Johnson.  Good times!
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