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Figured it was time to start anew. Jays now 2nd or 3rd worst in the AL (depending how you count it) at 2-7. Yankees using up all their luck now at 10-3, while Boston & Baltimore are solidly mediocre at 5-6 and 6-5 respectively. Tampa a tiny bit better at 6-4.

Just for fun a few spring stats...
500+ batting average: Bautista, Morales, Ohlman
1000+ OPS: same 3 plus Dean, McBroom, Carrera, Pillar, Martin, and Palcios.
3 BB each: Berti, Martin, Tellez
Over 5 K's: Alford, Smoak (0 BB), Tellez
Somehow Pillar has 3 doubles, 3 singles, and a walk but hasn't scored


Battles...
CA: backup: 14 PA for McGuire 167/286/250 (getting chances but blowing it); 12 for Graterol (250/308/333); Saltalamacchia 9 PA 222/222/556; Ohlman has 8 PA 3 for 8 with a HR; Jansen, Monsalve 1 for 8 combined. Martin just 8 PA so far but he'll be good come April.

1B: Tellez most PA at 22 211/318/316 clearly the Jays are looking closely at him; Smoak 15 PA with 7 K's and just 2 H; 3 others with a total of 12 AB's and 3 hits (one each).

OF: Ceciliani most PA (20) in LF 263/300/368; Upton has sucked (1 for 9, 2 K's, 0 BB); Alford has played a lot in CF (20 PA 211/250/421); Pompey had 11 PA here before going to Team Canada and pounding his teammates; Carrera just has 9 PA but has done well in them (429/556/571). 16 guys have played in the OF for the Jays so far and more to come I'm sure.

Pitching
Casey Lawrence and Latos are the only ones up to 5 IP so stats are pretty much meaningless except for extremes here too.
6 K's each for Leone (3 runs in 3 1/3 IP); and Stroman (0 walks). Osuna has 5.
Walking away from the team are Bolsinger (4 BB in 2 2/3 IP) and Oberholtzer (4 BB in 2 IP)
Most runs at 7 goes to Greene and Oberholtzer in just 2 innings each. Ouch.
Hit around (6 hits each) Greene (2 IP), Latos (6 IP), Schultz (2 2/3 IP).
Most games at 4: Beliveau, Browning, Campos.

So a few interesting stats but could all flip with one more game. Right now the big thing is who is getting playing time. Tellez, McGuire, Ceciliani, and Alford are getting long looks early on.
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scottt - Wednesday, March 08 2017 @ 06:20 PM EST (#339403) #
For those who missed it, this article about the 1997 Blue Jays draft is pretty amazing.

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2017/03/inside-the-draft-room-the-1997-blue-jays.html

scottt - Wednesday, March 08 2017 @ 06:25 PM EST (#339404) #
Just consider that the 1st pick overall was bust, but the 3rd pick, Troy Glauss, the Fourth pick, Jason Grilli and the fifth pick, Vernon Wells were all important members of the Blue Jays as some point in time. I really would have liked to know who they would have picked in the second round.
jerjapan - Wednesday, March 08 2017 @ 06:39 PM EST (#339405) #
could someone please post a link to the 97 draft list?  I usually use the MLB Jays page for draft results, but they only go back to 2000.  Thanks!
scottt - Wednesday, March 08 2017 @ 06:43 PM EST (#339406) #
http://www.baseball-reference.com/draft/?year_ID=1997&draft_round=1&draft_type=junreg&query_type=year_round
jerjapan - Wednesday, March 08 2017 @ 07:10 PM EST (#339407) #
Thanks Scottt.  Tons of names on there I have no recollection of whatsoever, but you've gotta like the first name "Perfecto" for a pitcher. 
China fan - Thursday, March 09 2017 @ 10:30 AM EST (#339410) #
Latest on the LF situation:  some fans are freaking out because Gibbons today said this: "Right now we're looking at a Carrera-Upton platoon."

I would emphasize the words "right now."  There are rumors that the Jays are still interested in a trade, perhaps Granderson from the Mets.  And then there's the possibility that Pompey could force the issue by playing himself onto the team after a few weeks in Buffalo.  And then there's the scenario that either Upton or Smoak will play better than expected, which could help solve the LF issue. (In this scenario, either Upton would hit strongly enough to take the LF job full-time, or alternatively Pearce could switch to LF if Smoak is hitting well.)

So we shouldn't assume that Carrera-Upton is anything close to the final word on the subject. 
PeterG - Thursday, March 09 2017 @ 10:34 AM EST (#339411) #
now Arden Zwelling reporting that Pearce will start playing 1b on March 19. Maybe they are wavering on commitment to Smoak as he also reports that Gibbons has said that Upton has chance to play a lot in LF.
uglyone - Thursday, March 09 2017 @ 10:55 AM EST (#339412) #
i think people are overthinking this.

with everyome healthy the plan was always carrera/upton in LF and smoak on the bench.
PeterG - Thursday, March 09 2017 @ 11:41 AM EST (#339413) #
If Smoak is not going to start, it would be better to release him as better use can be made of a bench spot. I do agree to some extent that we may be over thinking this as it is almost certain that some combination of vets will start the season. By mid May, it is possible that non performers could be replaced by younger players or trades could be considered.
SK in NJ - Thursday, March 09 2017 @ 12:31 PM EST (#339414) #
Pearce at first base full-time is a no brainer, but there's really no right answer in LF. Neither Upton or Zeke figure to be useful offensively against RHP. Upton is more likely to do everything else better than Zeke (hit LHP, defense, base running), which is why he would be my choice for full-time LF given the roster as it is today, but the Jays really need a LF who can hit RHP.

I know it's a broken record, but Pagan is still out there. Last I read he apparently has turned down all of his minor league offers, and is seeking a MLB deal. Even with his age and health concerns, he's a tangible upgrade over Zeke against RHP and the cost doesn't appear to be much. I hope the hold up is Pagan's unwillingness to sign in Toronto (which is possible) rather than the team's unwillingness to add a couple of mil to the payroll. Pagan/Upton could be a 1+ win difference over Zeke/Upton. That's significant for such a low cost.
PeterG - Thursday, March 09 2017 @ 12:39 PM EST (#339415) #
I think some team will sign Pagan after Puerto Rico eliminated from WBC.

Morales starting at 1b today for Jays. Pearce starting at DH.
rpriske - Thursday, March 09 2017 @ 01:04 PM EST (#339416) #
Why would anyone be surprised that Gibbons said it would be an Upton/Carrera platoon? That is the obvious alignment with this roster.

It is a weakness, but not even the most glaring one. (How long is Travis going to be out?)

Glevin - Thursday, March 09 2017 @ 01:10 PM EST (#339417) #
These kinds of things have a way of working themselves out. The Jays are really only weak at one position and that's LF/1B (where Pearce isn't playing) What the Jays want is one of Smoak, Upton, Carrera, or Pompey to play well themselves and they will earn playing time. Upton had a 1.2 WAR last year, had a 0.7 WAR, Smoak had 0.5 WAR 2 seasons ago, and Pompey was a top prospect a couple of seasons ago. It's not unreasonable to expect one of these players to provide good value.
China fan - Thursday, March 09 2017 @ 01:16 PM EST (#339418) #
"...Why would anyone be surprised that Gibbons said it would be an Upton/Carrera platoon?...."

The surprise is partly due to the word "platoon."  Neither of them can hit RHP.  That's not exactly a platoon. 

It also implies that Pearce will be needed at 1B, after the Jays had earlier suggested that Smoak could be the full-time 1B.
uglyone - Thursday, March 09 2017 @ 01:40 PM EST (#339419) #
platoons aren't always about handedness. gibby worked the cola/Smoak platoon largely based on power pitchers vs breaking ball pitchers.

and sometimes "platoon" is just shorthand for "these two will battle for the spot".
PeterG - Thursday, March 09 2017 @ 01:51 PM EST (#339420) #
2 run triple from Goins

Long solo HR from Salty

two good innings from Liriano, striking out side in 2nd
PeterG - Thursday, March 09 2017 @ 02:06 PM EST (#339421) #
3 no hit innings from LIriano....1st Jays pitcher to go 3 innings this spring.
Dave Till - Thursday, March 09 2017 @ 02:12 PM EST (#339422) #

For those who missed it, this article about the 1997 Blue Jays draft is pretty amazing.

Thanks for the link - I enjoyed the article. I seem to recall that the Wells pick was criticized at the time: the Jays were accused of picking somebody who was easily signable for (relatively) less money.

I also recall that the Jays were accused of the same thing when they signed Alex Rios in the first round in 1999, and he had a good career at times. But then, they said the same thing about their 2000 signing, Miguel Negron, who washed out almost immediately. (The Jays did have a supplemental first round pick that year, which turned out to be Dustin McGowan, who is still around.)

The 1998 first-round pick was Felipe Lopez, who was widely accused of underachieving throughout his career.

(I enjoy looking up Baseball Reference's draft history pages. Where would we be without Baseball Reference?)

China fan - Thursday, March 09 2017 @ 02:23 PM EST (#339423) #
Good points on the LF question, Ugly.  One just hopes that Upton responds better to the competition than he did last year.

Meanwhile:  Saltalamacchia is having a great spring.  Looks like he'll be a good acquisition.  Definitely a big upgrade over Josh Thole, even if the back-up catcher isn't going to make or break a team's season.



rpriske - Thursday, March 09 2017 @ 02:30 PM EST (#339424) #
Pearce playing at 1B is good news.

Upton and Carrera playing instead of Smoak is good news.

And if Travis is not playing, neither LF or 1B is the biggest weakness on the roster. (Unless they insist on playing Smoak. THAT would be bad news.)
Nigel - Thursday, March 09 2017 @ 02:38 PM EST (#339425) #
If I were running this team I think the one relatively high risk/high reward move that I would be strongly considering right now is extending Liriano. If he could be extended for something that resembled the Happ contract I would do it. The stuff remains excellent and the strikeout numbers remain excellent. I think he remains a good gamble to be an above average (and potentially significantly above average) mid-rotation starter for the next 2-3 years. However, with budgetary issues likely to be an issue next year due to a falling dollar I am not optimistic that this would be considered. Too much risk for this FO (because, I accept, that Liriano's history of arm troubles and control problems put him at risk of implosion).
Parker - Thursday, March 09 2017 @ 02:38 PM EST (#339426) #
I'd be willing to take even odds on Barney hitting better than Smoak this year.
Mike Green - Thursday, March 09 2017 @ 02:41 PM EST (#339427) #
MLB.com indicates that Morales is playing first base and Pearce is DHing today.  If Pearce needs some more time before taking the field, this would be a good solution.

Parker - Thursday, March 09 2017 @ 02:49 PM EST (#339428) #
Morales is a solid 1B but he's been blocked by Hosmer, who is a great hitter and a slightly better fielder. Pearce is a much better 1B than Morales but the organization wants Pearce to man both corner outfield spots.

I really worry about Pearce on the turf, though. He's struggled to stay healthy on regular grass.
China fan - Thursday, March 09 2017 @ 02:49 PM EST (#339429) #
Gibbons said today that Pearce will make his first start in the field on March 19, and he'll be playing 1B that day. 

It's not expected that he'll be ready to start the season in LF, but he could be ready for LF within a couple weeks after opening day.

Mike Green - Thursday, March 09 2017 @ 02:53 PM EST (#339430) #
Even if Pearce is ready to play some first base at the start of the season, it's not a bad idea to work him back to it gently and use Morales at first base regularly at least at the outset. 
John Northey - Thursday, March 09 2017 @ 02:54 PM EST (#339431) #
The Jays drafts in the 90's were amazing after the disaster the 80's were for drafts (twice the #2 pick and neither reached the majors same for their only #3 overall). 1999: Rios 19th pick, 5th in WAR; 1998: Lopez 8th pick, 16th in WAR; 1997: Wells 5th overall, 5th in WAR (#1 pick had negative lifetime WAR); 1996: Koch 4th overall 11th in WAR, two other picks one negative WAR other never reached; 1995: Halladay #17 pick, #1 in WAR (by 3 over Todd Helton).

The Jays really sucked in the top 10 overall picks if you think about it. 12 times a top 10 pick, 2 cracked 10 WAR, none 30. Just 3 Jay 1st rounders have 30+ WAR. 2 5th rounders have done that (Stieb & Hentgen while Michael Young was in the 20's).
Parker - Thursday, March 09 2017 @ 02:59 PM EST (#339432) #
Gibbons says a lot of durr durr durr. Carrera/Upton platoon in LF? Carrera is a minor-leaguer who has never been able to hit RH pitchers. Upton has struggled to hit RH pitchers in a twelve-year MLB career.

Durr durr durr. He's gotta say something, right?
Parker - Thursday, March 09 2017 @ 03:08 PM EST (#339433) #
I almost miss John Ferrell's Idiocracy retard cop-doublespeak at this point.

It's funny how more than one organization thought Ferrell was good enough to hire as a manager, and Gibbons couldn't even get an MLB job anywhere other than for the Blue Jays.
uglyone - Thursday, March 09 2017 @ 03:08 PM EST (#339434) #
"And if Travis is not playing, neither LF or 1B is the biggest weakness on the roster"

I'm not even sure that's true. Barney has been a legt valuable player recently and for most of his career, to the tune of a 2-3war type player over a full season. Meanwhile the likes of Smoak/upton/carrera struggle to be much more than replacement level.
China fan - Thursday, March 09 2017 @ 03:39 PM EST (#339435) #
Parker, why do you resort to personal insults and personal attacks against so many people in so many of your posts? 

Most people on this forum prefer to use empirical arguments, data, evidence, facts.  We may disagree on the interpretation of that data, but we at least attempt to provide data for our opinions. We normally try to distinguish ourselves from the worst of the fan comment boards, where insults are routinely thrown around.

But in your case, you launch into personal attacks against people, in vitriolic posts that are remarkably free of evidence or data.  It's really a weird contrast to almost everyone else on this site, and I wonder why you do it.

PeterG - Thursday, March 09 2017 @ 03:40 PM EST (#339436) #
I would also consider extending Liriano if he is open to it.
PeterG - Thursday, March 09 2017 @ 03:58 PM EST (#339437) #
another hard hit ball by Gurriel...over OF's head for rbi double.
uglyone - Thursday, March 09 2017 @ 04:03 PM EST (#339438) #
gurriel's swing looks a little loopy to my inexpert eye but he's more impressive physically than I expected based on his measurements. reminds me a bit of rios physically. long and lanky.
Parker - Thursday, March 09 2017 @ 04:33 PM EST (#339439) #
Parker, why do you resort to personal insults and personal attacks against so many people in so many of your posts?

I wasn't aware that John Gibbons was a poster here.

While we're at it, though, read this. How does one quantify a manager's contributions to a team's success (or failure)?

Joe Torre won four World Series championships while managing the Yankees, and after he left he was praised by... none of his players. And he was a "players' manager", which is a nice way of saying he wasn't bad enough to prevent his players from winning.

Gibbons hasn't yet been enough of a players' manager to be not incompetent enough to prevent his team from winning it all. But he HAS been regarded as one of the worst managers in ways one can actually quantify. Some media types (mostly in Toronto) can praise his ability to keep a clubhouse happy, but not only has he not won anything, he's the only manager in the history of Major League Baseball to hold a job long enough to get into physical altercations with THREE of the players he does such a great job of managing. Unless you want to count Billy Martin. Furthermore, Gibbons has not been well-regarded enough among baseball professionals to have landed a job managing any other team, which sets him apart from Billy Martin, who managed for three different MLB franchises.

Cito Gaston is a similar case, except that his top-of-the league-payroll teams were such unbeliveable juggernauts that he couldn't stop them from winning, and despite back-to-back WS championships, once his teams couldn't win he was also unable to secure a job managing any other MLB team.

Apologies to any personal attacks I've levelled against John Gibbons or Cito Gaston, if they are posters here.
SK in NJ - Thursday, March 09 2017 @ 05:10 PM EST (#339440) #
Liriano would be an interesting extension candidate. His stuff is still there, and aside from his 2016 numbers with the Pirates, he's been very good since 2013. Estrada would be a decent extension candidate as well if not for his back issues which scares me a bit. I wonder if Liriano would take a two year extension. Without the QO from the previous CBA, I'm guessing more FA's will be open to testing the market, but for the short-term it would be nice to be able to bring back one of Liriano or Estrada for next season to avoid having to depend on a system that may not be ready to produce a big league SP yet.

dan gordon - Thursday, March 09 2017 @ 06:01 PM EST (#339441) #
I'd certainly like to see an extension for Estrada or Liriano. I think I'd want to see a few starts for Liriano this season before extending him, just to confirm he can perform at a level similar to his 2016 Blue Jays' stint. I don't see any of the Jays prospects as having a high likelihood of stepping into the rotation until 2019, unless Biagini is moved there, so a 1-year gap exists for 2 starter spots.
Hodgie - Thursday, March 09 2017 @ 06:12 PM EST (#339442) #
Apologies to any personal attacks I've levelled against John Gibbons or Cito Gaston, if they are posters here.

Well Parker, while I doubt they are posters there certain ground rules that posters are supposed to abide by, Rule 4 is the one you probably want to review. Regardless, the use of the word retard to describe anyone is loathsome and has no place in any discourse, intelligent or otherwise.

Parker - Thursday, March 09 2017 @ 06:34 PM EST (#339443) #
While I don't remember calling anyone a retard, I'm still happy to engage in discourse.

I might be guilty of contributing to "otherwise" but stupid is stupid, and that's never going to change. Being falsely accused of personal attacks doesn't constitute discourse, intelligent or "otherwise".
scottt - Thursday, March 09 2017 @ 06:55 PM EST (#339444) #
I'd extend Estrada because he's already established here and his  back history probably makes it manageable.
Like add an extra year or two based on the number of games started...

Liriano is a QO target. There's worst thing than getting a pick for losing a pitcher who might command  a big long risky contract.

James W - Thursday, March 09 2017 @ 07:02 PM EST (#339445) #
"I almost miss John Ferrell's Idiocracy retard cop-doublespeak at this point."

You also were not falsely accused. Those posts above are personal attacks against Gibbons and Farrell. Just because they aren't here to read them doesn't change that.
Parker - Thursday, March 09 2017 @ 07:26 PM EST (#339446) #
I never called anyone a retard. The comment was a comparison to the speech patterns exhibited by characters in a movie where everyone is mentally disabled.

I guess I shouldn't make such obscure references. My bad.
scottt - Thursday, March 09 2017 @ 07:29 PM EST (#339447) #

I seem to recall that the Wells pick was criticized at the time: the Jays were accused of picking somebody who was easily signable for (relatively) less money.

I also recall that the Jays were accused of the same thing when they signed Alex Rios in the first round in 1999, and he had a good career at times. But then, they said the same thing about their 2000 signing, Miguel Negron, who washed out almost immediately. (The Jays did have a supplemental first round pick that year, which turned out to be Dustin McGowan, who is still around.)


The amazing thing about that is that the guy in charge of the draft was scared that someone like Troy Glaus would fall down to him because he didn't have the money to sign him. That's quite something.

scottt - Thursday, March 09 2017 @ 07:37 PM EST (#339448) #
Latos is a feel type pitcher that throws what seems to work on a given day.
It would be better if Martin was in camp to work with him, but he's on his own pitching to prospects.
I'm not sure the early results are indicative of anything with him, but he's got to figure it out the last 2 weeks if he wants the job.

The 6th and 7th starters are a huge question mark.

The only question I have about the bullpen is has Grilli thrown a pitch yet?

scottt - Thursday, March 09 2017 @ 07:43 PM EST (#339449) #
Nevermind, I see Grilli had a shutdown inning today.
uglyone - Thursday, March 09 2017 @ 07:58 PM EST (#339450) #
Pompey with a clutcb alley double and a clutch relay in to help nab bautista at home. and a nice running catch at the track too.
Parker - Thursday, March 09 2017 @ 08:16 PM EST (#339451) #
That was a great throw by Pompey... right on the money to the cutoff man. Textbook defensive play, perfectly executed. You gotta love to see a play like that.
Bid - Thursday, March 09 2017 @ 08:34 PM EST (#339452) #
Pompey claims left field!
dan gordon - Thursday, March 09 2017 @ 10:44 PM EST (#339453) #
Pompey also had a double, an RBI and another SB. Don't forget he just turned 24 in December. Seems like he's been around for quite a while, but he's younger than NYY OF prospect A. Judge.

Bautista is in mid-season form, with another HR in a 3 for 4 day. I suspect he's going to have a very good season.
scottt - Thursday, March 09 2017 @ 10:44 PM EST (#339454) #
Salty and Franky used to be on the same Dominican League team 9 years ago.

John Northey - Thursday, March 09 2017 @ 11:12 PM EST (#339455) #
I expect a very good year from Bautista if healthy as he now has a fire lit under him to prove everyone wrong much like he had after some blasted the Jays for signing him too soon to his last deal.

Pompey is fun. I really hope he can make it as speed and strong defense ensures he is fun to watch even if he is slumping. With a Pompey/Pillar/Bautista outfield the pitchers should be very very happy.
StephenT - Friday, March 10 2017 @ 12:50 AM EST (#339456) #
Osuna pulled after 26 pitches with the bases loaded and 0 retired (partly but not entirely Mexico defense issues).

Not concerned though.  This was just a normal outing for Osuna in a "non-save" situation (the score was 9-5 when he started the 9th inning).
Vulg - Friday, March 10 2017 @ 01:16 AM EST (#339457) #
C'mon Dalton, I'm counting on you to spare me from another Upton 150+ strikeout season (he's had 8!).
bpoz - Friday, March 10 2017 @ 06:55 AM EST (#339458) #
Bautista has always played hard. I agree that the fire under him is hotter now. Lets hope that he stays healthy.

It seems Pompey too has a fire lit under him. He is showcasing all his abilities. A great spring so far.

Jordan Romano got the save for Italy against Mexico. He had a lot of success in Lansing last year.
scottt - Friday, March 10 2017 @ 08:29 AM EST (#339459) #
If you think that Osuna and the save situation is a "gods of baseball" thing, than yes, no worry.

If you think he does poorly in non-save situation because he doesn't give his all than it's a bit different.
You can still blame the outcome on his defense, his catcher or the fact it's still only March.
I'm certain he wanted to go out there and get 3 batters, 3 outs.

There's a 30 pitch count limit that brings in extra days of rest which is most likely why he was pulled.

Parker - Friday, March 10 2017 @ 08:38 AM EST (#339460) #
With a Pompey/Pillar/Bautista outfield the pitchers should be very very happy

Agreed. An added bonus is that with the superlative outfield range of Pompey and Pillar, they can shift to cover some of the ground in RF that Bautista might no longer be able to get to, which will not only improve OF defence as a whole, but also keep Bautista happy as he probably wants to keep playing RF as a matter of pride. If Pompey can put together close to league-average offence and plus-plus baserunning, then the only immediate OF concern is improving Pillar's approach at the plate. It's hardly going to cripple the team having an 85 OPS+ in the 9-hole as long as he keeps playing that kind of CF defence though.
SK in NJ - Friday, March 10 2017 @ 09:14 AM EST (#339461) #
I would be fine with Pompey winning the LF spot. Not only because him winning it would mean the club feels comfortable with his development, but he would also add some much needed youth and upside to the roster.

I'm not expecting it to happen, but as I said the last few months, if he pulls an Aaron Sanchez type of Spring, then it's not like he's being blocked by anyone. The spot is there for him.
uglyone - Friday, March 10 2017 @ 09:45 AM EST (#339462) #
i'm resigned to pompey starting in AAA. but he better get a chance this year, regardless of how he's doing down there.
Mike Green - Friday, March 10 2017 @ 10:36 AM EST (#339463) #
One of the joys of spring training is that it is a time of hope. Francisco Liriano recovering from a scary injury?  No problem, he'll be fine. Josh Donaldson?  It's just a calf strain, he'll be good to go.  Devon Travis?  Maybe a little longer, but he'll be fine.  Jose Bautista in the doldrums last year?  It was just a one year blip.  Dalton Pompey?  This will finally be his year. Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez?  Fully healthy and ready to give 220 innings apiece.  Marco Estrada's back?  Nothing that won't prevent him from giving them 180 good ones. J.A. Happ's 2016 a career season?  Maybe a bit, but he's found his control as lefties in their 30s sometimes do, and he's a 2 year wonder by the way.  Kevin Pillar?  He hit the ball harder last year and didn't get rewarded for it- this year, he'll add the extra few feet to turn outs into doubles and doubles into home runs.  Kendry Morales?  He's always had a lot of pop from the left side and in a tough environment- he'll flourish in Toronto with a RH- heavy lineup and the comfortable environs of the RC.

We know that it is unlikely that all of these things will come true, but we revel in the possibility that each of them might.  It sure beats winter.

Mike Green - Friday, March 10 2017 @ 10:38 AM EST (#339464) #
Sorry, Kendrys.  I'm still in spring training too.  I'll have the kinks worked out by Opening Day and "Kendry" will be gone.
PeterG - Friday, March 10 2017 @ 02:54 PM EST (#339465) #
Another excellent outing for Casey Lawrence.
Mike Green - Friday, March 10 2017 @ 03:43 PM EST (#339466) #
Mike Wilner tweeted that Anthony Alford has struck out in 11 of his 23 spring training at-bats.  He's still got quite a bit of work to do.  Contact ability is very, very important.  Last year, in Dunedin, even in the second half when he wasn't struggling, he struck out 66 times in 254 PAs.  That's an awful lot. 
PeterG - Friday, March 10 2017 @ 04:03 PM EST (#339467) #
Alford hit a loud opposite field double today. Gibbons reported to have said he has made great strides since this time last year.
BlueMonday - Friday, March 10 2017 @ 04:50 PM EST (#339468) #
A good discussion of "Catch Probability", a Statcast metric which MLB network is touting, see link.

Using yesterday's Canada - Dominican Republic WBC game:
- Dalton Pompey's double over Jose Batista's head in the 5th had a 79% probability of being caught (using the last 2 years of data at MLB level).
- Carlos Santana's double over Pompey's head in the bottom of the 5th, had a probability of only 7% of being caught
- Dalton's 'highlight reel' catch in the 6th had a probability of 86% of being caught.

Statcast doesn't differentiate by direction, so going back on a ball may actually be harder than they say. What have others read about this metric? It sounds really useful for evaluating outfielder's range.
dan gordon - Friday, March 10 2017 @ 05:02 PM EST (#339469) #
Lawrence may actually be putting himself on the radar for the 6th/7th starter role. A year ago I would have said his chance of ever appearing in a major league game was less than 1%. Heck, he might be Buffalo's best starter this year. Matt Dermody had another good appearance. He's another guy who could have a role for the Jays this season after a big move up the organizational ladder last year.
PeterG - Friday, March 10 2017 @ 05:20 PM EST (#339470) #
I agree Dan. The Jays are having a good look at Lawrence and apparently like what they are seeing. I can see Lawrence and Harrell as the top 2 starters in Buffalo barring any further acquisitions. I think I trust Dermody more than Loup but as both have remaining option years, it could be a back and forth.
Parker - Friday, March 10 2017 @ 05:25 PM EST (#339471) #
Pillar doesn't need to be worried about hitting the ball harder. He needs to be worried about not trying to get base hits from junkball pitches nowhere near the strike zone.
jerjapan - Friday, March 10 2017 @ 06:15 PM EST (#339472) #
Spot on Dan Gordon - less than 1% summed up Lawrence for me too -  the poor man's Scott Copeland.  His potential emergence has been a really fun storyline this Spring.

Sure hope TJ House is okay - that's a scary looking injury. 

uglyone - Friday, March 10 2017 @ 06:19 PM EST (#339473) #
bluemonday - statscast is awesome imo. and those numbers juve with what I saw i think.

not sure anyone called pompey's catch "highlight reel" though. his play on the double to help nail bautista at home was ore impressive.
lexomatic - Friday, March 10 2017 @ 06:44 PM EST (#339474) #
It will be really useful when they add direction (in/out) and whether a person is going to or away from their glove hand (instinctively, turning and attempting a backhand catch seems more difficult).
I don't know if I like the 1-5 star system though. Most of the plays are going to be in the 85+%, right? So I'd be interested in knowing what % of their overall plays are outside of the average, and then how they did on those plays.

It'll be useful in other aspects- like correcting scorer bias in errors. If someone drops a ball they had to run 100 feet for that was more likely a hit, that's a different drop than a little flare that most people would catch.

lexomatic - Friday, March 10 2017 @ 06:56 PM EST (#339475) #
Just looking at Inside Edge data on Fangraphs, which I guess is the closest publicly available stuff to the Statscast stuff there is?

It Amazes me that Pillar ATTEMPTED nearly 70 "impossible" catches last year. Billy Hamilton got 50+ last year, and over 60 the year before. They'd be about the same pro-rated over the same amount of playing time, though.
Last year Hamilton caught 14-27 plays that had in between 1-60% chance of being caught (8/15 in the 1-10%, 4/6 in 10-40%, and 2/6 in 40-60%) in 940 IP
Same year, Pillar caught 15-26 in the same range (1/7, 7/9 ,7/10) in nearly 1300 IP ... so 1.3 times the amount of playing time. They'd probably have a similar number of chances in the 10-60%$ range, but WOW, Hamilton's speed is crazy in the 1-10% chance of being caught range. He'd be expected to go maybe 3/5 at the current rate... so 3 times as many opportunities as Pillar.


PeterG - Friday, March 10 2017 @ 07:10 PM EST (#339476) #
Hear that Harold Ramirez is working hard, on track and may play soon. No sign of Jose Tabata however. Might he be injured or even have failled physical and not actually signed? Anyone know?
jerjapan - Friday, March 10 2017 @ 07:59 PM EST (#339477) #
I asked the guy who runs the Blue Jays From Away blog (good read), and he reached out to someone in the org who said Tabata had signed, but had no more info. 

BJFA has their annual roster predictions for the top four minor league clubs; for minor league geeks it's pretty interesting.

https://www.bluejaysfromaway.com/

jgadfly - Saturday, March 11 2017 @ 04:03 AM EST (#339478) #
8 minute video of Vlad Jr on youtube ... near the end he ties into a couple in batting practice

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Y5Nbjnm8M4
jgadfly - Saturday, March 11 2017 @ 04:15 AM EST (#339479) #
Another fun video on youtube ... Kris Bryant being pranked by Greg Maddux

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axkik-8oFTs
greenfrog - Saturday, March 11 2017 @ 08:02 AM EST (#339480) #
Keith Law's latest take on Tellez:

Brian: Iíd like to let you know that I appreciate the cold water you (aka reality) you throw on prospects. Blue Jays touting Tellez big timeÖbut he is having significant issues this spring catching up to the fastball. I appreciate your takes as a fan, because it helps my untrained eye focus on things Iíd miss.

Klaw: Youíre welcome. I know the Jays value Tellez more highly than I do. The required offensive threshold for a DH is just so high, however, and Tellez canít hit good velocity, so I donít see much probability for him to be more than an up and down guy.


http://meadowparty.com/blog/2017/03/09/klawchat-3917/
scottt - Saturday, March 11 2017 @ 09:44 AM EST (#339481) #
If that's true, Tellez will post some incredible numbers at Buffalo because the International League isn't known for its fastballs. Besides, Smoak can't hit off-speed pitches and has been sticking around for a long time.
Mike Green - Saturday, March 11 2017 @ 10:36 AM EST (#339482) #
We can see for ourselves now that Tellez has lost weight since he was drafted, and he moves decently well.  He is a long way removed from Willie Mays Aikens or Sam Horn.  There is every indication that he will be a capable defensive first baseman for a number of years. How much he will hit is really the question.  He's just turned 22.

I have been thinking about aging curves- in the context of musicians.  The occasion was the release of Laura Marling's 6th record, and it is great (as 3 of the last 4 have been).  She has just turned 27 and released her first having just turned 18.  She's the Robin Yount of the field.  Subjectively, it seems to me that most musicians do their best work in the period between ages 23 and 25.  There are some obvious exceptions, and some really tough ones (when was David Bowie's peak?; Ella's?).  It does appear to me that women tend to peak later (due to demands of pregnancy/motherhood, sexism or whatever).  Anyways, the funny thing for me is that when I looked up the male child prodigies of the 60s (Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson), I would have guessed that their peak was later than 23-25.  That turns out to have been wrong. 

whiterasta80 - Saturday, March 11 2017 @ 10:40 AM EST (#339483) #
Law cracks me up. He posts a cryptic criticism of a prospect or drops them in his rankings. Rarely is there a legitimate justification until months later when he highlights someone elses comments.

And if Rowdy was really having trouble with fastball velocity then it would have shown up in his k% by now regardless of league.

Hes just starting slowly as he has before. Its unfortunate because there is a job to be had but i am not worried.
uglyone - Saturday, March 11 2017 @ 11:43 AM EST (#339484) #
it's an easy game to play, since most prospects fail. if tellez fails he can say he was right, if he succeeds law will claim he fixed the problem law saw in him before.

but yeah there are lots of good fastballs in milb. it's the breaking stuff that really sets mlb pitching apart.
whiterasta80 - Saturday, March 11 2017 @ 11:48 AM EST (#339485) #
Exactly. And that's what impresses me most about tellez. That k% is extremely low for a power hitter. He has near elite contact skills for his profile.
Paul D - Saturday, March 11 2017 @ 12:34 PM EST (#339486) #
Is the threshold for DH and 1B actually all that high? I think the secret in mlb is that DH, 1B and LF are all filled by lots of guys who can't hit now.
PeterG - Saturday, March 11 2017 @ 01:02 PM EST (#339487) #
Tellez looks fine from what I have been able to see.

Jays now have 30 people working in the high performance department that was initiated by Mark Shapiro.
greenfrog - Saturday, March 11 2017 @ 01:02 PM EST (#339488) #
Law was high on Brandon Belt from very early on, so he has been right about the offensive potential of at least one LH first baseman.

On the other hand, he did have this to say about Justin Smoak:

http://sports.mynorthwest.com/1416/keith-law-expects-mariners-justin-smoak-to-improve/
Chuck - Saturday, March 11 2017 @ 01:15 PM EST (#339489) #
I think the secret in mlb is that DH, 1B and LF are all filled by lots of guys who can't hit now.

Per BBRef, 2016 OPS by position:

  • 1B 791
  • 3B 777
  • DH 775
  • 2B 771
  • RF 763
  • CF 745
  • LF 739
  • SS 725
  • CA 703

What the hell is going on with corner outfielders, especially LF? Perhaps this reflects the newfound emphasis on defense these past few years (and that defense is still cheaper than offense).

For interest's sake, here are the numbers from 10 years prior, in 2006. Note the more "normal" ordinals and, as an aside, the higher offensive context of the time.

  • 1B 851
  • LF 818
  • DH 811
  • RF 807
  • 3B 805
  • CF 761
  • CA 745
  • 2B 743
  • SS 740

Some may still be electing to see the game as it was a decade ago (with offense coming from the expected places), but a mental adjustment may be in order. Fewer teams are electing to punt defense in the outfield.

Glevin - Saturday, March 11 2017 @ 01:33 PM EST (#339490) #
Yes, the bar for DH is extremely high. Fangraphs lists 16 players with more than 400 PAs who count as DH. Half of those had wrc+ of 120 or higher. Only one was worse than 101. Averages get skewed by players cycling through positions. To be a regular DH, you have to be an excellent hitter. Not sure if Tellez will be there or not. I like him as a prospect but there are others apart from Law that have concerns.

A good piece from Jays journal

http://jaysjournal.com/2017/02/16/addressing-concerns-rowdy-tellez-bat/
Parker - Saturday, March 11 2017 @ 01:40 PM EST (#339491) #
For interest's sake, here are the numbers from 10 years prior, in 2006. Note the more "normal" ordinals and, as an aside, the higher offensive context of the time.

Steroids make you a better hitter, but not a better fielder.
uglyone - Saturday, March 11 2017 @ 02:00 PM EST (#339492) #
yeah, people still seem stuck on corner OF offense being a much higher bar than it actually is. both because corner OF usage has changed and because league offense has changed.

as i will repeat ad nauseum, it's always best to use league adjusted ops+ or wrc+ instead of the raw numbers to really get a feel for peformance levels.

here's how positions ranked last year offensively (only in PA actually played while at that position):

1B 110wrc+
DH 108wrc+
3B 107wrc+
2B 105wrc+
RF 103wrc+
CF 99wrc+
LF 97wrc+
SS 92wrc+
C 87wrc+

(the jays get an auto edge on most every team thanks to having an SS and C that are near locks to be 10-15% better than the average.)
Chuck - Saturday, March 11 2017 @ 03:39 PM EST (#339493) #
Here are the ordinals in OPS going back over several decades. Things were pretty consistent for a very long time until recent years. Strange times when 2B finds itself higher on the list than LF.

2016: 1B, 3B, DH, 2B, RF, CF, LF, SS, CA
2006: 1B, LF, DH, RF, 3B, CF, CA, 2B, SS
1996: 1B, DH, LF, RF, 3B, CF, CA, SS, 2B
1986: 1B, RF, DH, LF, 3B, CF, 2B, CA, SS
1976: 1B, LF, RF, CF, 3B, DH, 2B, CA, SS
1966: RF, 1B, CF, LF, 3B, CA, SS, 2B
1956: LF, 1B, RF, CF, CA, 3B, 2B, SS
1946: 1B, LF, RF, CF, CA, 2B, 3B, SS

PeterG - Saturday, March 11 2017 @ 06:41 PM EST (#339494) #
It appears that House will be fine. Has anyone heard an update on the injury to Pompey or was he pulled for precautionary reasons?
PeterG - Saturday, March 11 2017 @ 08:44 PM EST (#339495) #
concussion protocol - baseline test tomorrow
uglyone - Saturday, March 11 2017 @ 11:56 PM EST (#339496) #
stroman is awesome. made the best lineup in the world look silly.
bpoz - Sunday, March 12 2017 @ 09:43 AM EDT (#339497) #
Pompey's injury is likely not serious. Lets hope so.

Stroman sure looked good. With some of our depth players also looking good like Pompey and C Lawrence, I am gaining confidence in this team.
Mike Green - Sunday, March 12 2017 @ 12:55 PM EDT (#339498) #
There were 7 long-time outfielders born on this day.  Youngest to oldest they were: Raul Mondesi, Steve Finley, Darryl Strawberry, Dale Murphy, Ruppert Jones, Jimmy Wynn and Johnny Callison.  One of them had 1400 more PAs in his career than any of the others- any guesses which one?

The peak (best 3 seasons) and career bWAR top 3 is also interesting, but not really as surprising to me because of my old Hall Watch work.

lexomatic - Sunday, March 12 2017 @ 01:04 PM EDT (#339499) #
There were 7 long-time outfielders born on this day.  Youngest to oldest they were: Raul Mondesi, Steve Finley, Darryl Strawberry, Dale Murphy, Ruppert Jones, Jimmy Wynn and Johnny Callison.  One of them had 1400 more PAs in his career than any of the others- any guesses which one?

The peak (best 3 seasons) and career bWAR top 3 is also interesting, but not really as surprising to me because of my old Hall Watch work.


I'm guessing FInley because he played about 20 years.
PeterG - Sunday, March 12 2017 @ 02:24 PM EDT (#339500) #
Watching Tellez today, he is clearly not late on fastballs.
Mayza was very impressive in his inning.
uglyone - Sunday, March 12 2017 @ 04:19 PM EDT (#339501) #
And Bautista guns down the winning run in the bottom of the 9th at home plate. sweet.
Mike Green - Sunday, March 12 2017 @ 04:30 PM EDT (#339502) #
Correct, lexomatic.

The makeup of the Dominican team makes me wonder how many currently active third basemen will be Hall of Famers in 20 years. Plausibles include Beltre, Longoria, Donaldson, Wright, Machado and Arenado.
scottt - Sunday, March 12 2017 @ 06:18 PM EDT (#339503) #
Machado is really a shortstop. I'm not sure he sticks at 3rd once he hits free agency. Beltre stands apart right now because of the longevity. Wright could be done. If not Longoria, it could be a long time before a Rays gets in the Hall.
lexomatic - Sunday, March 12 2017 @ 07:34 PM EDT (#339504) #
The makeup of the Dominican team makes me wonder how many currently active third basemen will be Hall of Famers in 20 years. Plausibles include Beltre, Longoria, Donaldson, Wright, Machado and Arenado.

Machado is really a shortstop. I'm not sure he sticks at 3rd once he hits free agency. Beltre stands apart right now because of the longevity. Wright could be done. If not Longoria, it could be a long time before a Rays gets in the Hall.

I'm pretty sure the fact that there are so many candidates guarantees that there aren't many who will make it - though with the voter base changing that might also change.
Beltre has done enough already. HIm not getting voted in would be an upset.
Longoria has been good, but he may be deemed too steady and not exceptional enough. He has no Donaldson type seasons. I could see him getting the McGriff treatment.
Donaldson just has gotten too late a start to consider seriously until he has 10 seasons of experience (so the end of his first free agent contract?).
I agree that Wright is done, and probably gets considered the groups Garciaparra (or is that Tejada).
Machado is too early in his career - could conceivably play shortstop for a few seasons and never play 3b again (moving to a different position). He also has some bad injury history.
Arenado still has to overcome Coors - which nobody has, yet.

Regarding Tellez and that Jays Journal article. I get the feeling a lot of people still focus on his body, and while Ive never met the guy or read interviews to back it up, I get the feeling he's pretty determined to improve. He's got that intangible "makeup." We'll see, I guess, if he's a Paul Sorrento type or something more. It sounds like he could benefit from the coach who revamped Donaldson, Martinez, et al's swings. He might be a monster then.
Chuck - Sunday, March 12 2017 @ 07:43 PM EDT (#339505) #
Machado... He also has some bad injury history.

It's true he missed half of the 2014 season, but other than that, he has damn near been Cal Ripken.

2012: misses 0 games of 51 after being called up
2013: misses 6 games of 162
2015: misses 0 games of 162
2016: misses 5 games of 162

Mike Green - Sunday, March 12 2017 @ 07:52 PM EDT (#339506) #
I don't know, lexomatic.  It seems to me that the pool of third baseman is far better than for any other position right now.  Longoria has amassed 46 bWAR through age 30 and has 3 7+ bWAR seasons.  He's pretty much on a Rolen pace- which is better than the average Hall of Fame third baseman.  The most comparable player to Donaldson right now is Al Rosen; it's true that if Donaldson fizzles, he probably won't make it, but a few more good years and he'll make it.  He's easily been the second best position player in baseball over the last 5 years.  It is very early of course for Machado, but you'd have to say that he's way ahead of pace (it is funny that his best age comparable is Beltre- he's way, way ahead of Beltre so far). Wright may indeed be done and fall just short.  Three years ago, he was basically where Longoria is now.  I agree completely about Arenado.  He really has to take a step forward to make it. 

I think that three of this class will eventually make it- Beltre and two of Donaldson/Longoria/Machado. 
Magpie - Sunday, March 12 2017 @ 08:04 PM EDT (#339507) #
There's something about third basemen, though. Ten years ago a discussion of outstanding contemporary third basemen would have included the names of Beltre and Wright (who seems to be running on fumes at this point) - but it would also have included Eric Chavez, Troy Glaus, Hank Blalock, Ryan Zimmerman, and Aramis Ramirez, each of whom was really on a HoF track early in their careers, strange as that may seem now. Third basemen seem at least as prone as second basemen to breaking down along the way.
dan gordon - Sunday, March 12 2017 @ 08:11 PM EDT (#339508) #
Apparently, appearing for Canada in this year's WBC is not just a lark for Eric Gagne - he's serious about making a comeback, and has been hitting 95 on the radar gun. Some teams are interested. He hasn't pitched in a major league game since 2008. A 9 year gap after retirement and then a comeback would be truly remarkable.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, March 12 2017 @ 09:52 PM EDT (#339509) #
Sixth and Seventh Starters are likely to be Mat Latos and Casey Lawrence as I cannot see anyone pitching better than those two thus far. Joe Biagini is probably a last resort option for this. Latos is a very experienced Starter who's basically healthy. Lawrence changed his delivery (?) and is pitching better than ever before. Biagini only starts if bad things happen.

That said, I think it's still too early to determine who's most likely to fill the 8th, 9th and 10th Starter spots. Everybody's about the same, not very good.
Mike Green - Monday, March 13 2017 @ 10:06 AM EDT (#339512) #
Donaldson and Travis seeing game action in a couple of days as DH, according to Ben Nicholson-Smith on twitter. It is still uncertain whether Travis will be ready for opening day.
Mike Green - Monday, March 13 2017 @ 10:07 AM EDT (#339513) #
Correction:  that was from Arden Zwelling on twitter.
SK in NJ - Monday, March 13 2017 @ 10:25 AM EDT (#339514) #
Morales is probably going to end up playing a lot more 1B than people think he will. They will need DH open to rest Donaldson and Bautista from the field periodically throughout the season. It might also be a reason why Pearce is going get reps in LF so they can keep his bat in the lineup in those instances.
uglyone - Monday, March 13 2017 @ 11:02 AM EDT (#339515) #
yeah the stats mean nothing but what the hey.

Roster Competitions:

Starting LF / Bench OF / Bench UT

Gurriel: 7ab, 1bb/0k, 1.232ops
Pompey: 9ab, 2bb/2k, .919ops
Tellez: 24ab, 3bb/8k, .768ops
Carrera: 17ab, 2bb/3k, .610ops
Smoak: 20ab, 1bb/9k, .317ops
Upton: 15ab, 0bb/4k, .267ops

6th/7th RP

RP Mayza: 4.1ip, 1bb/7k, 0.00era
RP Leone: 5.1ip, 2bb/8k, 3.38era
RP Loup: 3.1ip, 2bb/4k, 2.70era
RP Tepera: 4.0ip, 0bb/3k, 4.50era
RP Girodo: 4.2ip, 0bb/3k, 3.86era
RP Campos: 5.0ip, 2bb/6k, 5.40era
RP Grube: 5.0ip, 1bb/5k, 5.40era
RP Smith: 4.2ip, 4bb/5k, 3.82era
RP Beliveau: 4.2ip, 3bb/4k, 3.86era

6th/7th SP

SP Harrell: 4.2ip, 1bb/5k, 3.86era
SP Lawrence: 8.0ip, 4bb/6k, 1.13era
SP Bolsinger: 4.0ip, 5bb/5k, 4.50era
SP Latos: 6.0ip, 4bb/4k, 9.00era



BlueJayWay - Monday, March 13 2017 @ 11:33 AM EDT (#339516) #
Interesting article by Jonah Keri here

http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/jonah-keris-spring-training-tour-blue-jays-fighting-war-to-compete-on-two-fronts/

uglyone - Monday, March 13 2017 @ 12:44 PM EDT (#339518) #
knock three names off that stats list - C.Smith, Borucki, and Grube all optioned today.
China fan - Monday, March 13 2017 @ 12:46 PM EDT (#339519) #
First cuts of the spring: Ryan Borucki and Chris Smith were optioned down today.

Borucki looked pretty good in yesterday's game against Tampa, aside from that loud HR that he surrendered in the 2nd inning. He's not yet 23 and has a good chance to make the majors at some point. But the best pitcher yesterday was Tim Mayza, who made a couple of major-leaguers look silly on strikeouts. Mayza probably won't make the team on opening day, but he is very close to being a useful major-leaguer.

There's a lot of speculation that the Jays want to keep two LHP in the bullpen, and Aaron Loup has reportedly been looking better this spring, so he might make the opening-day bullpen. He can be optioned, too, so he can make room for a rotating cast of other relievers later in the season.

Latos is still favored for the final bullpen spot, but he needs to improve on his last outing.
cybercavalier - Monday, March 13 2017 @ 01:29 PM EDT (#339520) #
About Canada this year's WBC, as Toronto's closer Robero Osuna is young, would the Jays consider bringing in Gagne? Buffalo may want a closer this season.

Secondly, I ask why the batting order was configured as it was. Would a 2 - DH Morneau (L) 3 - 1B Freeman (L), 4- LF Romak (R), 5 - C Kottaras middle of the order, with all the RHBs in the roster against Duffy? Say
SS Malo (R)
DH Morneau (L)
1B Freeman (L)
3B Romak (R)
RF O'Neill (R)
C Kottaras (L)
2B Wood (R)
CF Tosoni (L)
LF Crouse (R)

Bench players are either LHBs or too young to see enough MiLB or MLB pitching?
1B/LF Naylor (L)
2B Orr (L)
SS Pinero (R)
OF Pompey (S)
C Reeves (L)
C Deglan (L)
SK in NJ - Monday, March 13 2017 @ 01:57 PM EDT (#339521) #
My guess is that Bolsinger will make the team and Latos will either be in Buffalo or in another organization. I'm not as confident about Schultz's chances as Wilner seems to be. I think it will ultimately be Bolsinger's role (long relief/swing man) with Loup probably getting the other open spot.
uglyone - Monday, March 13 2017 @ 02:54 PM EDT (#339522) #
I donít recommend listening to Wilner.
Richard S.S. - Monday, March 13 2017 @ 03:26 PM EDT (#339523) #
Bo Schultz regularly throws a consistent high 90's (95-96) and easily pitches in the even higher 90's (97-99). He has been effective enough the last two years. http://m.mlb.com/player/544759/bo-schultz

Mike Bolsinger regularly throws in the very low 90's (90-91) and rarely throws much higher. He won't be missed if he's lost in waivers. http://m.mlb.com/player/502211/mike-bolsinger

I know which one of these "out of options" Pitchers I'm keeping.
China fan - Monday, March 13 2017 @ 03:28 PM EDT (#339524) #
Devon Travis will play in a minor-league game tomorrow, his first game of the spring, reports say.

That's good news.  But he needs to pass this test and keep improving.  I don't mind Darwin Barney at second base for the first week or two of the regular season, but the Jays need Travis to be their main 2B this season.

dan gordon - Monday, March 13 2017 @ 04:23 PM EDT (#339526) #
Latos was somewhat better today. Gave up a solo HR and a walk in 2 innings. Danny Barnes is another name for the list of RP candidates. Another HR for Morales today.
CeeBee - Monday, March 13 2017 @ 04:32 PM EDT (#339527) #
Smoak and Upton are not exactly making a case for thinking SSS Spring training stats matter much. Sure would be nice if one or both got hot by the time the real games begin.
Richard S.S. - Monday, March 13 2017 @ 04:36 PM EDT (#339528) #
I donít recommend listening to Wilner.

I do because he has Guests at times, the latest John Gibbons always, the latest Ross Atkins and Mark Shapiro when possible. I don't always agree with, but he always has current info on Jay stuff.
uglyone - Monday, March 13 2017 @ 04:40 PM EDT (#339529) #
it's his ability to discern management spin from reality that's the problem.

i mean, for what reason would the jays decide before spring training that Bo Shultz, a 31yr old never was, is their guy without having to earn it?

it makes no sense.
greenfrog - Monday, March 13 2017 @ 05:05 PM EDT (#339530) #
Travis has a history of declaring himself healthy enough to return to game action, then having to return to the DL in short order. Hopefully this time around the team is making a more rigorous assessment of his health.
Mike Green - Monday, March 13 2017 @ 05:18 PM EDT (#339531) #
Travis has been off for a long time after several injuries before.  I would hope that the club has carefully assessed whether he was ready to return.  He's an extremely valuable asset, and the club has a "high performance team" assessing whether a player is ready.  I remember that it was a collaborative process to assess readiness after Stroman's knee surgery, and I would anticipate that the same care would go into Travis' rehab. 
China fan - Monday, March 13 2017 @ 05:22 PM EDT (#339532) #
"....it's his ability to discern management spin from reality that's the problem...."

How is it "management spin" for Wilner to be predicting that Schultz, rather than Bolsinger or Latos, will get the final bullpen spot?

If Wilner was a propagandist who was merely spouting the management line, he would probably be touting the major-leaguer who was obtained by Shapiro and Atkins in a trade for Jesse Chavez, or he would be touting the veteran with the $1.5-million contract, rather than the obscure pitcher who was obtained by Anthopoulos on the waiver wire in 2014.

Also please note that Wilner never said that the Jays have definitively chosen Schultz at this stage of the spring.  Of course they haven't made the final bullpen decisions yet, and everyone knows that. Wilner is only playing the "predict the roster" game, which he does weekly.  I'm unsure if the prediction feature was his idea or SportsNet's idea, but it's just a prediction, nothing more than that.  He's forced to predict the entire roster, including the bullpen, and he is currently predicting Schultz and Loup rather than Latos or Bolsinger.  I think that's a fairly bold prediction, not mere spin.
uglyone - Monday, March 13 2017 @ 05:42 PM EDT (#339533) #
no, I think wilner hears boilerplate positivity stuff when talking to jays brass, thinks it is exclusive insider stuff, and just goes with it.

I'm guessing he heard them say nice things about schultz and now it's his thing.

but it makes no sense. Schultz is just a guy. He'll have to earn any chance he gets.
uglyone - Monday, March 13 2017 @ 05:47 PM EDT (#339534) #
though i guess it's equally plausible that it's just purely his own opinion. but in that case i'd give it even less weight.
Nigel - Monday, March 13 2017 @ 05:50 PM EDT (#339535) #
There is no properly calibrated radar gun known to man that shows Bolsinger at 90-91 regularly. He's 86-87 regularly. He has zero "stuff". He gets by on guile, guile and more guile. He extremely fun to watch, but in no scenario should he be in the pen. Emergency starter in Buffalo absolutely.
Nigel - Monday, March 13 2017 @ 05:58 PM EDT (#339536) #
I should say in no scenario should he be in a 7 man bullpen. Given Gibbons' propensity for 8 man pens I suppose he could be the 8th arm in the pen for designated mop up duty. Hopefully that form of roster inefficiency can be avoided this year.
scottt - Monday, March 13 2017 @ 06:55 PM EDT (#339537) #
There's no 8 man pen this year. There has to be 4 people on the bench. Salty, Barney, Upton and Pearce.
Well see down the line what happens to Sparkman, but they have months to make a decision there.

Richard S.S. - Monday, March 13 2017 @ 07:36 PM EDT (#339538) #
Shapiro had this to say: http://www.sportsnet.ca/baseball/mlb/mark-shapiro-committed-tellez-buffalo-pleased-mayza/

Mike Wilner's newest roster prediction: http://www.sportsnet.ca/baseball/mlb/wilners-25-goins-loup-gaining-momentum-blue-jays-roster-spots/
also Mike's latest article :http://www.sportsnet.ca/baseball/mlb/blue-jays-spring-training-takeaways-morales-stays-hot-plate/

Arden Zwelling's latest: http://www.sportsnet.ca/baseball/mlb/devon-travis-josh-donaldson-nearing-returns-blue-jays/
uglyone - Monday, March 13 2017 @ 07:38 PM EDT (#339539) #
scottt please stop putting pearce on the bench or i'll punch you.
Mike Green - Monday, March 13 2017 @ 07:53 PM EDT (#339540) #
scottt please stop putting pearce on the bench or i'll punch you.

ScottT is John Gibbons?  I would have never guessed.  Congratulations Scott, er John, on the two playoff appearances- I had no idea you were here.  And don't worry about virtual punches, they hardly hurt at all. 
bpoz - Monday, March 13 2017 @ 08:08 PM EDT (#339541) #
This chatter is getting funny. A very nice break.

Is anything interesting happening in the Minor league camp? Anything at all.

I would like to know guesses as to where the young guys will play. Dunedin and Lansing.
Chuck - Monday, March 13 2017 @ 08:39 PM EDT (#339542) #
scottt please stop putting pearce on the bench or i'll punch you.

Pretty sure he meant a bench of Smoak, Goins, Upton and Saltalamacchia with Travis on the DL and Barney in the starting lineup.

scottt - Tuesday, March 14 2017 @ 06:46 AM EDT (#339543) #

 Fewer teams are electing to punt defense in the outfield.

Baltimore comes to mind.

China fan - Tuesday, March 14 2017 @ 07:23 AM EDT (#339544) #
"....Schultz is just a guy. He'll have to earn any chance he gets..."

I began the spring by assuming that he'll be cut.  But now I think he's got a chance.  His stuff is better than last year, when he was still hampered by the lingering effects of his hip surgery.  If it turns out that Latos has lost it, Schultz could be the one that the Jays keep instead.  All of his rivals for the 7th spot in the bullpen (except Bolsinger and Latos) can be optioned to Buffalo.  If Schultz is clearly pitching better than Bolsinger and Latos, which is not inconceivable at this point, he certainly has a chance at the 7th spot.  His rivals, such as Tepera and Barnes, haven't blown anyone away so far, and they're good options to have available in Buffalo.

Aaron Loup will probably get the second LHP job, but Tim Mayza is the wildcard.  He could be in the majors by May or June. Loup can be optioned at that point, or earlier.

 
Chuck - Tuesday, March 14 2017 @ 07:28 AM EDT (#339545) #
Baltimore comes to mind.

Fewer teams. Not zero teams.

Parker - Tuesday, March 14 2017 @ 08:28 AM EDT (#339546) #
Wilner is the one who had that got into that exchange with Cito Gaston at a post-game press conference and got suspended by Rogers for a few days, right?

He's probably scared to do anything other than toe the company line nowadays, though I wish he would say something stupid again and get himself outright fired. He's arrogant, dismissive of opinions he doesn't agree with, and not particularly insightful. He's also a lousy softball player.
Parker - Tuesday, March 14 2017 @ 08:56 AM EDT (#339547) #
At MLBTradeRumors, Brewers pitcher Tim Dillard has a pretty entertaining inside look at Spring Training from the point of view of a veteran journeyman.
Mike Green - Tuesday, March 14 2017 @ 09:37 AM EDT (#339548) #
Let's suppose Gibbons decides to open the season with an OF of Carreira, Pillar and Bautista (presumably with Upton as the 4th outfielder).  I suspect that the common assumption would be that Bautista would play right field and Carreira left.  I am hoping that Bautista's experience in the WBC might lead to a flip of the corner positions.  His throw from left-field was pretty good, but nothing like what he used to be able to do.  It did not look like he was overthrowing, and that is a very good thing. 

Positive signs from the spring so far:  Bautista healthy and on the beam, Morales and LIriano looking very good, Pearce looking like he'll be ready to contribute Opening Day, Stroman dominating.  Negative signs from the spring: progress of injuries to Travis and Pompey.  On balance, the state of affairs is a little better than what one might have expected coming in. 

uglyone - Tuesday, March 14 2017 @ 10:02 AM EDT (#339549) #
"I began the spring by assuming that he'll be cut. But now I think he's got a chance. His stuff is better than last year."

according to who? wilner?

he's 31yrs old. his stuff is what it is - i.e. good enough to earn 67 unimpressive mlb innings of low leverage work in his career.

and the kicker is he hasn't even been good this spring.
uglyone - Tuesday, March 14 2017 @ 10:05 AM EDT (#339550) #
Mike I dunno - with his arm still being above average and the only real plus about his defense, that's still more valuable in RF to stop runners from advancing to 3rd.
Mike Green - Tuesday, March 14 2017 @ 10:45 AM EDT (#339551) #
I am of the view that keeping Bautista's bat in the lineup is more valuable than optimally using his arm (which at this point is only marginally better than Carrera's).  He can do this lob-tosses into third base much more often from left field and spare his arm and reduce the risk of recurrent shoulder injury. 
China fan - Tuesday, March 14 2017 @ 10:46 AM EDT (#339552) #
"....he hasn't even been good this spring...."

According to who?  You?  Or according to the tiny sample size of 4.2 innings? 

If we're going on spring stats (which you are presumably doing, because you love statistics and have shown little reliance on any other source except what you can see on your computer), the best reliever this spring has been Matt Dermody and the worst pitcher has been Aaron Sanchez.  Should we believe only the tiny sample-size stats?

If you don't think Schultz has any chance, please provide a better reason that what you've provided so far. 
uglyone - Tuesday, March 14 2017 @ 10:54 AM EDT (#339553) #
fair enough, Mike - LF would definitely lower his injury risk.

and come on China - what are we basing Schultz' being "better" on, exactly? a guy in his situation would have to have a pretty impressive spring to risk losing guys with better track records on waivers, and he's not having an impressive spring.
China fan - Tuesday, March 14 2017 @ 10:59 AM EDT (#339554) #
"....Wilner is the one who had that got into that exchange with Cito Gaston at a post-game press conference and got suspended by Rogers for a few days, right?...."

If you're going to resume hurling your relentless personal insults against people who aren't on this forum and aren't able to defend themselves, at least try to get your basic facts right.  You claimed that he "said something stupid" in his exchange with Gaston.  Wrong.  His sin was persisting with a question that Gaston wouldn't answer.  He repeated the question doggedly because Gaston wouldn't answer, and this resulted him him getting suspended by his team-affiliated employer because he was deemed impolite to the team manager.  The question itself wasn't stupid -- he was asking about Gaston's usage of a player, and his splits or career stats, which is the exact same type of question that people on this forum are often asking. 
China fan - Tuesday, March 14 2017 @ 11:08 AM EDT (#339555) #
"....what are we basing Schultz' being "better" on, exactly?..."

Commentators, not just Wilner, have said that Schultz is looking "better" than last year.  That's all.  I don't think anyone has said he's looking better than every other reliever in the competition.  But the point is:  unless one reliever is clearly better than the rest, the decision MIGHT be based on who can be optioned and who cannot.  Might be.  Nobody said it was guaranteed -- it's just a guess, and my point is only that it's not an absurd guess, it is a credible guess.

"....a guy in his situation would have to have a pretty impressive spring to risk losing guys with better track records on waivers..."

There's only one guy who could be lost on waivers:  Bolsinger.  So I assume you are referring to Bolsinger.  (Nobody else can be lost on waivers -- not even Latos, who has an "out" clause in his contract if he fails to make the team.)   So you seem to be saying that Bolsinger has a "better track record" than Schultz.  And you have to go back to 2015 to find any good statistics in Bolsinger's record.  Should the Jays give a major-league job to Bolsinger purely on the basis of his 2015 statistics?
Parker - Tuesday, March 14 2017 @ 11:15 AM EDT (#339556) #
He repeated the question doggedly because Gaston wouldn't answer, and this resulted him him getting suspended by his team-affiliated employer because he was deemed impolite to the team manager. The question itself wasn't stupid -- he was asking about Gaston's usage of a player, and his splits or career stats, which is the exact same type of question that people on this forum are often asking.

Wilner asked his question in a puling and whining antagonistic way. Gaston (who I don't think is a competent field manager, for the record) rightly responded to his blatant arrogance, and then Wilner tried to continue treating an MLB manager like he was a caller on that radio show that someone let him host. And Rogers rightly suspended him. Really, they could've just fired him on the spot, and they should have. A fat self-important douche who has never played baseball or ever provided any legitimate analysis really shouldn't get to make those kinds of comments.

When one of the people on this forum identify themselves as BBWAA members, I'd want to give them the benefit of the doubt. Except that somehow Wilner himself is one of those guys, somehow.
uglyone - Tuesday, March 14 2017 @ 11:16 AM EDT (#339557) #
If my info is correct, all these guys we risk losing if they don't make the team:

Schultz
Bolsinger
Sparkman
Floyd
Harrell
Latos
House
Oberholtzer
Beliveau
Parker - Tuesday, March 14 2017 @ 11:17 AM EDT (#339558) #
CF, are you related to Wilner somehow? Just asking.
PeterG - Tuesday, March 14 2017 @ 11:37 AM EDT (#339559) #
I don't think that Harrell, House. Oberholtzer and Beliveau have opt outs...at least not at beginning of season. I don't believe they need to be exposed to waivers unless added to 40 man and then removed. They were signed to pitch in Buffalo. I don't know about Floyd. Latos does have early opt out. Schultz and Bolsinger have no remaining options. Sparkman could be a complicated case if he goes on DL but it would be difficult to keep him unless there is a trade.
92-93 - Tuesday, March 14 2017 @ 11:39 AM EDT (#339560) #
I'll believe Bautista's arm is above average when I see it - the one bounce throw from shallow LF that the C did an excellent job of fielding in the WBC was not the type of toss uncorked from a top arm.

Shapiro was on with McCown yesterday and was asked about guys we may not know about who have a chance to make the roster and Shapiro responded about Tim Mayza and how lucky the Jays were that he wasn't claimed even though they didn't protect him. However, while Mayza's praises were being sung Shapiro made a point to say that the team was going to think about getting through the entire season, and that power arms that were out of options (he specifically mentioned Schultz) were likely to get a look.

"We've got to make decisions on Bo Schultz and not make mistakes on guys that are out of options that have power arms, I think you want to exhaust those with the guys where you don't have any options before you start rushing guys up here."
85bluejay - Tuesday, March 14 2017 @ 12:31 PM EDT (#339562) #
Every team has to think about the entire season, that's why teams rarely take the "best" 25 man roster to start the season - I think we fans put too much emphasis on the opening day 25 man roster - It's likely that Schultz makes the opening day roster because he's out of options - if he pitches poorly to start the season, the Jays can always try to sneak through waivers once the season starts when teams may be less likely to claim him and disrupt their 25 man roster - we see this every year with many teams.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, March 14 2017 @ 12:34 PM EDT (#339563) #
Bolsinger's 2014 and 2015 stints in the bigs were better than anything Schultz has ever done in the Majors by a pretty significant margin. The fact that Bolsinger can start games while Schultz is strictly a reliever gives the former a better chance, IMO. You don't give away SP depth, even if it's marginal, for a reliever who has never been good.

Now, if they think some type of adjustment can turn Schultz into something decent, then maybe he becomes more of an option, but he shouldn't be considered a top priority to keep as is. If you ask me which pitcher I'd expect to clear waivers between the two of them, it would be Schultz by a landslide.
bpoz - Tuesday, March 14 2017 @ 12:44 PM EDT (#339564) #
Thanks 92-93 for that info. So Schults is probably the only power arm that is out of options.

Most of us have known/guessed the Opening Day roster for a while now. The strongest roster from day #1 should be chosen since the FO has decided to compete this year. The questionable and weakest spots are most likely:-

Back up Catcher: Salty. IMO it is his. I would be shocked if he does not get it.
LF : Carrrera, Upton and/or anyone with a little ML experience that is dominating ST. Ceciliani, J Elmore and Pompey have the minimum necessary experience IMO. Pompey does seem to be very good this spring. The FO can gamble that he makes the team stronger and give him the job on Opening day or wait to see what he does in Buffalo. If he or anyone is good enough to make the team better, they come up.

The last spot or 3 in the pen: Osuna, Grilli, Biagini, Howell and J Smith have 5 of the 7 or 8 spots locked up based on past performance. Any injuries will open up additional spots. Another lefty is desirable but he has to be good enough to not hurt the team.
Sparkman's injury can be ridden for months...rehab etc...
The 6th, 7th and 8th spots may not get much work so they will be rusty IMO. We will need the pen to handle the 7-9th inning often enough. Based on the score and availability of the top 5 pen arms Gibbons will use the #6-8 arms available to him. Hopefully a big lead is safe from becoming a small lead.

Someone in Buffalo getting regular work may be better than #6-8. If #6-8 are hurting the team and for example D Barnes is dominating AAA then we risk nothing except losing the guy cut.
uglyone - Tuesday, March 14 2017 @ 01:05 PM EDT (#339565) #
a worrying report said that Travis wasn't playing today....but he just had his first at bat of the spring, and flew out.
uglyone - Tuesday, March 14 2017 @ 01:12 PM EDT (#339566) #
Upton destroys Pomeranz' for a massive no doubter to start today's game.

Which makes me happy because I'm betting on Pomeranz turning back into a pumpkin this year.
uglyone - Tuesday, March 14 2017 @ 02:13 PM EDT (#339569) #
Hazel Mae @thehazelmae
2m
Travis instructed not to run.. felt weird about not running to 1st so after single in his 3rd AB, he apologized to his teammates #BlueJays

Arden Zwelling @ArdenZwelling
1m
Devon Travis: "I feel really good. I'm so excited to put on a uniform again and come out here to compete. I'm pumped up. I felt great."




fingers crossed.
rpriske - Tuesday, March 14 2017 @ 02:21 PM EDT (#339570) #
Wilner wrote: "The silver lining in starting the season with Travis on the DL is that the Blue Jays get to keep both Darwin Barney and Ryan Goins, who are out of options, without exposing either one to the waiver wire at the end of March."

I think he misunderstands the idea of a silver lining.

"Good news everyone! We may have lost our solid second baseman, but in exchange we get to keep this borderline replacement level player!"
Paul D - Tuesday, March 14 2017 @ 02:51 PM EDT (#339572) #
Parker, please, enough with the insults and misogynistic language.
Parker - Tuesday, March 14 2017 @ 02:53 PM EDT (#339573) #
Upton destroys Pomeranz' for a massive no doubter to start today's game.

Which makes me happy because I'm betting on Pomeranz turning back into a pumpkin this year.


You've also spent 18 months crying about how Upton doesn't deserve a job in the Majors. Since when do you care if Pomeranz gets tagged by a guy who can't hit ML pitching?
jerjapan - Tuesday, March 14 2017 @ 03:03 PM EDT (#339574) #
Any of these spring performances starting to be vaguely predictive?  I know spring stats are only marginally predictive, but they are not totally meaningless and Ks are one of the more predictive stats - could Justin Smoak actually be worse than we expect this year?  Anyone else who's spring performance has stood out to anyone? 

This is a great read on the subject of spring training stats, for those that haven't already read it:

http://www.economist.com/blogs/gametheory/2015/03/baseball-statistics

Bolsinger's 2014 and 2015 stints in the bigs were better than anything Schultz has ever done in the Majors by a pretty significant margin.

That depends on how you value starting pitching vs. relievers - by WAR, Bolsinger has 1.4 fWAR career in around 190 IPs, whereas Schultz is a slight career negative.  Bolsinger strikes me as a Josh Towers - one big run of adequacy (2015), and then back into a pumpkin.  the man was truly terrible last year. 

Schultz at least has the big arm, and IMO that means he's more likely to have a run of adequacy, given the volatility of relievers.  I guess it's a ceiling vs. floor type argument.

I'm fine with losing either of them - I'd be more concerned about losing Ryan Goins, although that's a pretty harsh indictment of the lot of em.




uglyone - Tuesday, March 14 2017 @ 03:07 PM EDT (#339576) #
"You've also spent 18 months crying about how Upton doesn't deserve a job in the Majors. Since when do you care if Pomeranz gets tagged by a guy who can't hit ML pitching?"

read that again and give me the obvious answer.
dan gordon - Tuesday, March 14 2017 @ 03:50 PM EDT (#339582) #
Yes, those comments by Shapiro were rather interesting with regard to Schultz, and the whole idea of retaining players out of options and not rushing young guys. Schultz wasn't very good last year, but that could very well have been due to his hip surgery that he had after his terrific 2015 season. For those who have forgotten, in 2015 he had a WHIP of 1.03 and ERA of 1.69 in AAA, and with the Jays, a WHIP of 1.07 and ERA of 3.56, allowing only 32 hits in 43 IP. Is it possible the difference between 2015 and 2016 is just random variation about the mean, sure, but it's also possible that his 2016 numbers were as a result of his off season hip surgery and he has now regained his 2015 form. That's up to the Jays to determine based on how he looks. If he can pitch like he did in 2015, he'll be a fine addition to the bullpen.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, March 14 2017 @ 04:27 PM EDT (#339586) #
Almost every Team has a Ryan Goins type of player on their Roster or as someone who must clear waiver. If given a choice between keeping Darwin Barney and losing Ryan Goins is easy. Bye, bye Ryan.

Wilner's comment about how Travis might be on the DL and how good it was keeping both Barney and Goins - was kind of trashed. Someone forget that bad things might happen that you need both before Travis returns?

Every Bullpen in Baseball is looking for big Power Arms who can throw in the upper 90's consistently, so I can't see letting Bo Schultz go. There's almost three weeks left before decision like that are made. We shouldn't rush things.
China fan - Tuesday, March 14 2017 @ 04:59 PM EDT (#339587) #
".....I'll never post another political post again...."

Actually why don't you improve on that promise by never posting another baseball post again either.

All of your posts, no matter the subject, are filled with moronic insults.  You seem to be so insecure that the only thing that brings you joy is to launch verbal attacks on other people.  Please find a forum where people enjoy your insults. 



China fan - Tuesday, March 14 2017 @ 05:09 PM EDT (#339589) #
"....Parker, please, enough with the insults and misogynistic language...."

It's clear that he enjoys trolling us.  Appealing to his better instincts is a doomed exercise. (He only doubles-down by expanding his vitriol into the political realm, which is very unwelcome on a baseball site.) Instead I'm appealing to the Batters Box roster:  I remind you that you developed an entire system -- "unfeaturing" -- to allow these kinds of nasty personal posts to be unfeatured from the main threads.  This seems like a perfect time to invoke that clause.  Don't censor him, but unfeature him.  Then we have the option to adjust our settings so that we read only the featured posts, and we won't be subjected to his nasty trolling.  He can say whatever he wants, but please give us the option of skipping his posts.
China fan - Tuesday, March 14 2017 @ 05:25 PM EDT (#339590) #
"....If my info is correct, all these guys we risk losing if they don't make the team...."

Aside from Schultz, your list has 8 names, but virtually none of them are on the 40-man roster, so they can't be "lost" on waivers.  They're on minor-league contracts, and they don't have to be waived if they don't make the team.  The Jays just need to make a deal with them, to keep them in Buffalo or let them go.

You listed Sparkman on your list, but you know he'll open the season on the DL, so he won't be lost.  You listed Latos, but you know that Latos has an "out" in his contract and cannot be stashed in Buffalo (unless he agrees).  I assume Gavin Floyd has a similar "out" clause.  Historically the Jays have always allowed these players to leave the team if they don't make the roster at the end of the spring, so they're not "lost" -- they're simply not good enough. 

Bolsinger is the only one who might be lost on waivers if he doesn't make the team.  But his only real value is as a 6th starter, and yet the Jays aren't giving him any starts this spring, they are using him only in a relief role.  So to get a major-league job, he'll have to crack the bullpen, which seems unlikely. 
bpoz - Tuesday, March 14 2017 @ 06:51 PM EDT (#339591) #
I like our schedule. From Sept 1st no TB Rays.

Orioles, NYY and Red Sox. They should be our Competitors if we are good enough.
4 games with the Twins. Hopefully they are a weak team and we can take 3 of 4.
Tigers should be a WC contender. So they are competing against us. Royals may not be in the WC hunt so hopefully we play many of their Sept callups.
scottt - Tuesday, March 14 2017 @ 06:54 PM EDT (#339592) #
Shultz has a good 4-seamer but doesn't command it enough to to get by just with it. I think Walker was trying to teach him a splitter last year, but I haven't hear anything new about that.
Mylegacy - Tuesday, March 14 2017 @ 07:23 PM EDT (#339593) #
Parker says: "I'll never post another political post again."

To which Mylegacy replies: "Oh, thank you God!"
bpoz - Tuesday, March 14 2017 @ 08:53 PM EDT (#339594) #
ST is too long. Too much insignificant stuff being talked about. I am guilty of this.

So who thought/expected Osuna to become a dominant closer in ST 2015. How about Pillar?

2016...Sanchez becomes a stud.

2015 & 16 the Jays make the post season.

Can we 3peat the post season.
greenfrog - Tuesday, March 14 2017 @ 09:04 PM EDT (#339595) #
Solid or better performances from the following players would really help the team's chances in 2017:

Upton
Pompey
Smith/Howell
Tellez
One of the young relievers (Schultz, Mayza, or someone else - maybe Lawrence)
greenfrog - Tuesday, March 14 2017 @ 09:11 PM EDT (#339596) #
I would add Pearce to that list too.

My thinking is that the team has a nice core of star-level or very good players. If they can assemble a solid group of "glue" players, they should be in good shape to make a run at the postseason.
bpoz - Tuesday, March 14 2017 @ 09:23 PM EDT (#339597) #
Do we get to the post season with our stars. Halladay could not do it alone.We have stars...Sanchez+

Do we grind it out with the previously mentioned depth, lesser stars type players. Upton etc...

If we make it then NYY or Boston do not. NYY may not have enough veteran presence. Playoff, pennant race experience.
uglyone - Tuesday, March 14 2017 @ 10:52 PM EDT (#339600) #
China i'm not sure if i understand the distinction you're trying to make. How in your mind do Latos and Floyd having out clauses not confirm what I said about the risk of losing them?
John Northey - Tuesday, March 14 2017 @ 11:46 PM EDT (#339601) #
3 peating the post-season has only happened once in Jays history. 1991-1993. 1985, 1989, 2015, 2016 are the other times reaching.

For the AL East since the wild card was added we see...
Baltimore: 1996, 1997, 2012, 2014, 2016
Boston: 1995, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007,2008,2009, 2013, 2016
Yankees: 1995-2007, 2009-2012, 2015
Rays: 2008, 2010, 2011, 2013

So the Yankees did it non-stop for a crazy long time missing just once from 1995 to 2012 (they would've been there in 1994 if not for the strike). Boston only did 3 in a row twice 2003-5 and 2007-9. Baltimore hasn't done 3 straight yet outside of 1969-1971 (over 100 wins all 3 years). Tampa has only reached 4 times in their history and has yet to get 1.9 million fans outside of their first season.
John Northey - Wednesday, March 15 2017 @ 12:34 AM EDT (#339602) #
I see lost due to waivers and lost due to clauses that let them leave if not on the major league team as both being the same. The player is lost if he doesn't make the team.

In both cases the guy was probably no better than #8 in the pen or the 3rd best at a position so who really cares but its always nice to have as many stashed away as possible.
China fan - Wednesday, March 15 2017 @ 07:11 AM EDT (#339603) #
"....How in your mind do Latos and Floyd having out clauses not confirm what I said about the risk of losing them?...."

I think there is a distinction between waivers and "out" clauses.  If a player is on the 40-man roster and has to be waived, he is exposed to the entire league.  Anyone can take him.  By contrast, if a player has a minor-league contract and an "out" clause, and if the Jays want to keep him in the system, the Jays merely have to negotiate a solution with the player, offering him some likelihood that he'll be in the majors soon.  If they can make that kind of promise, they have a good chance of keeping that player.

Before the end of the spring, the Jays have to decide who can really help the organization, and who cannot.  They clearly cannot keep all of Bolsinger, Latos, Floyd and Schultz on the major-league roster, but they knew that before they offered those contracts to Latos and Floyd.  By the end of this month, the Jays will have 6 weeks of evaluation and data on the current performance of all four of those pitchers. If they honestly believe that two or three of those pitchers can be valuable to the Jays system this year, they have ways of keeping them, but it involves juggling the roster spots and doing deals with those who are on minor-league contracts.  More likely there will be some players who just aren't evaluated very well this spring, and the Jays will simply let them go.

I think 92-93 gave us some hint of the Jays thinking when he quoted the Shapiro comment about the value of trying to keep Schultz.  But of course they haven't made any decisions yet, and I'm not in the prediction business either.  We'll see.  It's quite possible that Schultz will be let go, but it's also very possible that the Jays will try to keep him.
China fan - Wednesday, March 15 2017 @ 07:17 AM EDT (#339604) #
On another front, here's some newly released data on outfield defense:

https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/catch_probability_leaderboard?min=100&year=2016

I'm not expert enough to evaluate what it means for every player, but some observers are suggesting that it shows that Bautista is very reliable on almost all of the relatively routine plays, but doesn't have enough range to get to the balls that Pillar thrives on.  I guess we knew that already, but perhaps it at least suggests that Bautista isn't going to hurt the team too much in RF.  And of course his 2016 numbers may have been affected by his injuries, so he could conceivably improve in 2017.

John Northey - Wednesday, March 15 2017 @ 08:38 AM EDT (#339606) #
An interesting chart.
For 5 star outs (super hard) Pillar is 5th but also in the top 10 at #9 is Upton (for those with 100+ chances at making any play). At 0% is Cespedes (the big fish last winter) and ex-Jay Melky Cabrera (among others). Heck, Mike Trout only caught 1.

Bautista didn't get 100 chances, but was at 0% for 5 star and just 1 of 8 for 4 star. He was over 90% for 1 or 2 star (easy plays) and 70+ for 3 star.

Saunders also was sub 100 his figures were (5-4-3-2-1 star) 3.8-27.3-40-100-84

Carrera was 0-50-63.6-80-100 (also sub 100 chances)

Basically the main RF/LF guys outside of Upton were terrible on the hard plays outside of Carrera handling a good number of 4 star plays. This years defense almost has to be better out there just by default. Pearce had just 7 opportunities catching 4 of them (0-2 on 5 star, 4-5 on 3/2/1, no 4 star chances).
scottt - Wednesday, March 15 2017 @ 08:41 AM EDT (#339607) #
By contrast, if a player has a minor-league contract and an "out" clause, and if the Jays want to keep him in the system, the Jays merely have to negotiate a solution with the player, offering him some likelihood that he'll be in the majors soon.  If they can make that kind of promise, they have a good chance of keeping that player.

Has this ever happen? This sounds ever less likely than Bautista's mutual option. If the player just wanted more money to play in AAA, he would have negotiated that rather than an out clause.
scottt - Wednesday, March 15 2017 @ 08:51 AM EDT (#339608) #
Kiermaier signs a 6 year extension with the Rays. If he's the next Upton, nobody will be fleeced for another 6 years.
Mike Green - Wednesday, March 15 2017 @ 09:10 AM EDT (#339610) #
The Statcast data has an unusual measuring stick.  The time is measured from when the ball leaves the pitcher's hand rather than when it leaves the batter's bat. It is common for centerfielders to read the catcher's sign and move after the pitch is delivered but uncommon for corner outfielders.  There is some variance there, and with the sample sizes being very small, it doesn't take much to throw things off.  Personally, I'd be more inclined to rely on 3 year consensus of UZR and DRS if one exists. Incidentally, the 2015 Statcast data for Kevin Pillar suggests that he was merely good defensively, making less than 10% of the difficult 5 star plays but being better than in 2016 on the easier plays. 

In Bautista's case, DRS and UZR are in agreement.  He's been about -10 runs/150G over the last 3 seasons in range.  His arm was good in 2014, but over 2015-16, his arm is -2 to -3 runs/150G.  He's relatively sure-handed and is 0 to +1 for that.  All told, he realistically is about -11/150G, or just over 1 win to the negative.  Fortunately, there's every indication that he can be 3 to 5 wins to the positive on offence.

China fan - Wednesday, March 15 2017 @ 10:09 AM EDT (#339612) #
"....Has this ever happen?...."

The statistical problem is that we don't know which pitchers have "out" clauses in their contracts.  We know about the clause in the Latos contract, but only because it was reported by blogging insiders, not officially by the clubs.  We don't know about Floyd and other players on minor-league contracts.  We do know that the Jays in the recent past have signed a number of veteran pitchers in the 6th or 7th starter category, stashed them in Buffalo for a few weeks or months, and eventually let them go to other major-league teams when they weren't needed.  Some examples: Wade Leblanc, Felix Doubront, Randy Wolf.   It's still unclear if Latos will be in a stronger bargaining position than those earlier examples at the end of the spring.  If he looks bad, he'll have to take whatever offer he gets, and Buffalo could be that offer.  If he looks good, there's a spot available in the Toronto bullpen for him.
jerjapan - Wednesday, March 15 2017 @ 12:05 PM EDT (#339613) #
I think it's pretty rare for a guy with an out clause to stay with the org - the player likely believes he can get a major league deal somewhere, likely for less than the 1.5 million guarantee for a guy like Latos.  But I'm sure he'd prefer the majors to the Buffalo shuttle.

Floyd was signed to a minor league deal and can be sent to Buffalo, no? 

Really interesting article at Fangraphs on the 'lineage' of the TB curveball, starting with James Shields, who taught it to Hellickson and Price, who taught to some of their younger guys. 

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-power-of-pitch-lineage/

an interesting quote:  "perhaps clubs should place a premium on pitchers who possess elite pitches and are able to share and articulate their grips and practices."

Has that ever happened with the Jays?

Mike Green - Wednesday, March 15 2017 @ 12:08 PM EDT (#339614) #
Marco Estrada advised that he really mastered the change-up under the tutelage of Mark Buehrle. 
uglyone - Wednesday, March 15 2017 @ 12:12 PM EDT (#339616) #
Stroman also worshipped Buehrle.
scottt - Wednesday, March 15 2017 @ 02:06 PM EDT (#339617) #
Parker says: "I'll never post another political post again."

To which Mylegacy replies: "Oh, thank you God!"


I'll try one then.

I was wondering about the effect of the Trump presidency on baseball and on the Jays who are the only team outside America made great again.

Turns out, apart for the travel ban impacting a handful of player families, there's little impact.
80% of the players vote Republicans. It makes sense, they make millions and worry about taxes more than anything else. They are concerned about their health, not their bills. The owners lean Democrat, but not by a large margin. The payouts are not at the federal level anyway.

I still think Dubbya should have been commissioner.

jerjapan - Wednesday, March 15 2017 @ 02:10 PM EDT (#339618) #
I wonder if that's a valuable enough resource to keep guys like Buehrle around. 

It certainly makes sense to have a veteran starter or two around in Buffalo - I think Jarret Grube fits that category - I couldn't understand why we signed a mediocre 35 year old starter with one big league appearance, but listening to the radio the other day the broadcast team was raving about his leadership and his likely future in the coaching ranks. 

Could we not sign a guy to a guaranteed, big-league calibre contract with the stipulation that he spends much of his time teaching the younger guys in Buffalo?  Essentially, a player coach?  Is there a limit to spending on minor league contracts? 

uglyone - Wednesday, March 15 2017 @ 02:13 PM EDT (#339619) #
Martin is also a great influence on the pitchers. nice article today somewhere regarding him and Osuna's friendship.
Mike Green - Wednesday, March 15 2017 @ 02:18 PM EDT (#339620) #
I was wondering about the effect of the Trump presidency on baseball and on the Jays who are the only team outside America made great again.

Movement into the States from Latin America, South America, Canada and Asia is likely to face more obstacles.  It might very well lead to less recruitment of minor league prospects. 

Has anyone seen the movie "Sugar"?
mathesond - Wednesday, March 15 2017 @ 02:45 PM EDT (#339621) #
I saw Sugar a couple of years ago - very good movie
Mike Green - Wednesday, March 15 2017 @ 02:48 PM EDT (#339622) #
The Rays have signed Kevin Kiermaier to an extension.  Andrew Stoeten makes the comparison between Kiermaier and Pillar in The Athletic (and suggests that Pillar is a less attractive extension candidate for a couple of good reasons).  I am more interested in the philosophy and about a player like Marcus Stroman (without any comment on whether Stroman is comparable in quality to Kiermaier or on the differences between position players and pitchers). 
pubster - Wednesday, March 15 2017 @ 02:52 PM EDT (#339623) #
"80% of the players vote Republicans"

Source?
Mike Green - Wednesday, March 15 2017 @ 03:30 PM EDT (#339624) #
scottt - Wednesday, March 15 2017 @ 05:27 PM EDT (#339625) #
Something I read, maybe following the Dexter Fowler twitter storm about the inconvenience to his Iranian wife.

I read a lot of stuff on my phone these days, I just flip through most of it, so it's impossible to just look it up.

Google found an interesting article from 2013:

https://sunlightfoundation.com/2013/03/29/politics-mlb-teams-are-heavy-hitters-republicans/

"Current players who donated to conservative candidate include White Sox  infielder Gordon Beckham, Yankees DH Travis Hoffner, Royals pitcher Jeremy Guthrie and Padres pitcher Houston Street. Tony Gwynn Jr was the only player we found donating to liberal causes."

And this other one from 2009:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/may/4/green-glover-talk-turns-to-pork/

"Joe  Beimel says that he is one of the few Democrats on the Nationals. Although he says that talking politics in the locker room is somewhat taboo, he has gathered that most baseball players are Republicans in general.
Why? Taxes."



Mike Green - Wednesday, March 15 2017 @ 05:41 PM EDT (#339626) #
Wealthy young white males voted pretty conclusively for Republicans (as they usually do).  I cannot find data on wealthy young minority males, but as two of the indicators (young and minority) favour Democrats quite conclusively, I would be surprised if the majority voted for Republicans. 

As the ballplayers cited as being Republican supporters are all white, I wouldn't treat the 80% comment as based on actual data.

Can we move back to baseball please?

China fan - Wednesday, March 15 2017 @ 06:14 PM EDT (#339628) #
Okay, here's a baseball subject to ignite some debate.  Kevin Pillar has 10 hits and 5 walks in 29 plate appearances this spring, and he has drastically reduced his strikes outside the zone. Does this have zero significance or does it have a non-trivial significance?   We have 3 years of data that tells us that Pillar is an aggressive free-swinging batter with a career OBP of just .303.  Is there any chance at all that his spring performance could be a foreshadowing of a higher OBP this year?  Or is that a doomed wish?
PeterG - Wednesday, March 15 2017 @ 06:28 PM EDT (#339629) #
I think it is very much indicative of improved plate discipline. This is not just random but something that Pillar had previously declared that he wanted to accomplish. He has changed his stance slightly, with a little less movement and is trying to drive the ball more up the middle. I would not simply trust statistics to come to this likely conclusion. The eye test, both mine and others, has seen that Pillar is no longer chasing pitches that are well out of the zone on the outside. This is real.

Will it carry into the regular season. Don't see any reason?why not. Pillar is a player who has been able to improve at every level and this is likely just another step in that process.
Magpie - Wednesday, March 15 2017 @ 06:38 PM EDT (#339630) #
It's quite likely that this really is something Pillar is trying to do, but don't be surprised if he gradually reverts to being Kevin Pillar after a few weeks. That's what usually happens. It's just hard to change what you are.
jerjapan - Wednesday, March 15 2017 @ 06:39 PM EDT (#339631) #
Strikeouts are one of the more predictive spring training stats.  If Pillar keeps this up, I think there is some significance, but it is marginal. 

A slightly improved at the plate Kevin Pillar is still a good thing, but I'm not ready to advocate he moves up in the lineup yet. 

I posted this elsewhere, but I think the most significant spring numbers thus far are telling us that Justin Smoak's elusive 'upside' is a myth. 

Bautista's crazy ISO is also a positive sign although it's a pretty darn SSS. 

PeterG - Wednesday, March 15 2017 @ 07:01 PM EDT (#339633) #
I agree that it is looking grim for Smoak. He is getting a lot of AB's as well, hopefully because they are attempting to make a decision before the season begins rather than 6 weeks into it. Unfortunately, the latter still seems a possibility.
China fan - Wednesday, March 15 2017 @ 08:30 PM EDT (#339635) #
Thanks for the interesting thoughts about Pillar. One additional point that hasn't been raised:  he had thumb surgery just 3 days after the end of last season.  The injury had affected him for most of August and September.  It's conceivable that better health could improve his performance this year.
 
But the change of attitude is still the biggest factor.  Gibbons makes it clear that the Jays have been urging Pillar to show more patience and discipline at the plate, and he thinks Pillar is showing signs of it: 

 ďHeís showing a lot more discipline at the plate Ö he really looks like a different guy.  We want him to take his walks when he gets them and heíll be a better hitter. Sometimes youíre too aggressive and you chase outside of the zone."

John Northey - Wednesday, March 15 2017 @ 10:46 PM EDT (#339636) #
My lord is Smoak sucking wind this spring.
154/207/192 10 K's in 26 AB's. Just 2 walks. Ouch.

Upton is no better at 143/143/286 but just 6 K's in 21 AB's (0 walks though).

Of course, Tulo is 0 for 11 but no one is worried about him.
uglyone - Wednesday, March 15 2017 @ 11:16 PM EDT (#339638) #
normally i would dismiss it but there's a bit more reason to believe a guy with as extreme an approach as pillar has always had could make a significant change than someone with a more typical approach.

but yeah i'll believe it when i see it happen for a long long time.
China fan - Thursday, March 16 2017 @ 09:00 AM EDT (#339641) #
Shapiro and Atkins are routinely praised for being more professional, modern and enlightened than the "amateurish" Anthopoulos, but you've got to wonder why they allow the Jays to be one of the few organizations that actually imposes the minimum salary on an elite player if he rejects an offered increase.  Why get into an unnecessary battle with a top player for the sake of a few thousand dollars?  If other teams don't have this policy, why do the Jays still have it?  The amount of money is minuscule, and other organizations apparently give the increase even if the player declines it.  I'm not a big fan of Scott Boras, but he does seem to have a point here, if this is true:

"Toronto is so rigid, they not only have a very antiquated or substandard policy compared to the other teams for extraordinary performance, but if you donít accept what that low standard is, they then have the poison pill of saying, you get paid the minimum. Itís the harshest treatment in baseball that any club could provide for a player. Thatís why few teams have such a policy."
uglyone - Thursday, March 16 2017 @ 09:04 AM EDT (#339642) #
yeah nickel and diming stro and sanchez especially grates when they hand out guaranteed millions to Justin Smoak.
Beyonder - Thursday, March 16 2017 @ 09:38 AM EDT (#339644) #
This is a strategy of commitment. Like all strategies of commitment, you notice individual cases when they don't work (i.e. nickel and diming some of your best talent for a few thousand), but not when they do (i.e. when players quietly accept the Jays' offer because they fear the alternative). There is a real value in bargaining to being able to say: "this is our policy, this is the way we treat everyone".
Dave Till - Thursday, March 16 2017 @ 09:49 AM EDT (#339645) #

I'm not a big fan of Scott Boras, but he does seem to have a point here, if this is true:

Just my $.02, but: Scott Boras is perhaps the best in the world at maximizing the dollars that teams pay to his clients. Loudly announcing that a team is cheap in an attempt to get it to loosen its purse strings is one way to do this.

I'd say that minor league prospects are treated far worse by all teams than even the youngest or most fringey of major leaguers. MLB's minimum salary in 2016 was $507,500, which is not exactly a pittance!

scottt - Thursday, March 16 2017 @ 09:52 AM EDT (#339646) #
Stroman won arbitration, so that doesn't apply. Sanchez and Carrera are the only Boras clients if I remember correctly and nobody cares about how much Carrera make.

What's the difference with Sanchez's salary now? Well, usually a team increases a player salary with the intent of signing the player to an extension. It seems very unlikely with Boras, so why waste the money? If Sanchez wants to make more money now, he has to sign a team friendly extension. I'm sure the Jays are open to that. The Jays don't have to reward performance if the player has opted to get that reward from the free agent market. Boras can say the Jays are cheap. I just miss not having to hear from him.

scottt - Thursday, March 16 2017 @ 09:55 AM EDT (#339647) #
Boras is like that car salesman that grumbles after I get him to bring the price down more than he wanted. That's alright. I'm almost sick to my stomach when my wife buys a car and the salesman congratulates her on her purchase.
CeeBee - Thursday, March 16 2017 @ 09:56 AM EDT (#339648) #
I would expect Sanchez to be gone before he hits free agency.
scottt - Thursday, March 16 2017 @ 10:05 AM EDT (#339649) #
As the ballplayers cited as being Republican supporters are all white, I wouldn't treat the 80% comment as based on actual data.

There are very few blacks in baseball. Between 10 and 20% of players are black.  Historically, Cubans has been Republican supporters. Fowler himself sounded very Republican in his declarations. Most of the other foreign born players don't immigrate and don't vote in US elections. The Nationals play in Democratic country. I'm sure it's worse for Texan teams. Most Americans don't think Climate Change is based on actual data.
jerjapan - Thursday, March 16 2017 @ 10:45 AM EDT (#339651) #
I would expect Sanchez to be gone before he hits free agency.

Why CeeBee?  As a Boras client, meaning he will be too expensive?
SK in NJ - Thursday, March 16 2017 @ 11:49 AM EDT (#339657) #
They Jays could have given Sanchez $1M in 2017 and chances are that would not have made a bit of difference to their relationship as far as signing long-term. Boras clients very rarely sign extensions, much less team friendly ones. The moment he changed agents, my hope became getting four more good years out of him and then moving on.

Boras is doing what he always does. IIRC, Boras criticized Rogers a few years ago for not spending enough when his client Stephen Drew was unsigned and the Jays were planning to run Ryan Goins at 2B everyday. This is what he does. I don't think it means much of anything in the long run. He's looking out for Sanchez's best interests, not the organizations. The org has the opposing viewpoint. Both sides are right.
CeeBee - Thursday, March 16 2017 @ 11:50 AM EDT (#339658) #
I think we'll have enough young pitchers coming through the system by then and yeah, the Boras factor IMO as well. I can see them keeping Stroman longer but hey, what do I know.
ComebyDeanChance - Thursday, March 16 2017 @ 11:59 AM EDT (#339659) #
Loudly announcing that a team is cheap in an attempt to get it to loosen its purse strings is one way to do this.

A couple of points. First, if you read what Boras actually said, he's not criticizing the club for not raising their offer to Sanchez. He's criticizing the club because once he turned down the club's offer, as he inevitably would, the club renewed Sanchez for the minimum rather than paying him their higher offer which he had rejected. It appears also that he clearly knew that would happen as he refers to their 'policy', which he had to know was in place.In fact if he didn't apprise himself in advance of the policy which he now states is in effect, that would have been obvious negligence.

What Boras is claiming to be 'angry' about is that Sanchez turned down the club's offer, likely on Boras' advice, and then got less as a result of following Boras' advice, as Boras knew would happen all along. The process is rather simple. A club can renew a player with less than three years' service time (except for a Super Two). In most cases beyond their first year, the club will try to freely negotiate a contract with a player based on service time comparables, and offer higher than the minimum. If the player rejects the offer the club has the ability to renew at league minimum, which is what happened here when the player rejected the offer.

So why does a player reject a higher offer? Sanchez is due for arbitration next year. One of the factors examined is the extent of the raise and the player's agent wants to be able to say that the previous year's salary was imposed, not voluntarily agreed. But Boras wants more than that. He wants to be able to tell an arbitrator next year that the 2017 salary was imposed not agreed, AND he wants it to be the higher salary that he rejected. Plus he wants to hold himself out to the player as his 'champion', the guy who always believed he was worth 'more'.

The club's policy, much like its 'file and trial' policy, is intended to encourage actual negotiation rather than pure posturing. With 'file and trial', if you posture in negotiation and wait for the filing numbers, you run the risk of getting stuck with your position and losing at arbitration. In contract renewals, if you ignore the service comparables and just say 'no', as Sanchez has apparently done, then you run the risk of being renewed at the minimum. And to echo Beyonder's point, a policy is intended to be applied uniformly, not ignored every time someone can say with a straight face that an 'exception' is merited. Both sides here apparently bargained in full knowledge of the renewal policy, and Boris is claiming to be upset because he didn't get a salary that he rejected when he apparently knew of the policy all along and knew that Sanchez would be renewed at the miniumu. He's complaining because he didn't get to 'have his cake' in the higher salary, and 'eat it too' by rejecting the higher salary, when he knew all along that this would happen.

The other question of course is why would Boras say anything at all? He apparently knew that he would get Sanchez renewed at a lower amount, because of a policy he had to know was in place. My guess is it's two-fold. He wants to vent mock rage as a show for the player, and for other players looking for a 'true champion'. And he also knows that just about the only fans in baseball who believe that Scott Boras speaks for them are found on Toronto fan boards. So he can hit back at the club through a contrived internet controversy among those who have little or no idea how the renewal process works, but are 'sure' that the club is in the wrong.
China fan - Thursday, March 16 2017 @ 12:24 PM EDT (#339662) #
"....to echo Beyonder's point, a policy is intended to be applied uniformly...."

Yes, but a policy can be changed too.  Nothing prevents Toronto from adopting the same policy that most other organizations have.  Rigid dogmatic positions can be useful, but they can become counter-productive in some cases too.

Of course there is a rationale for the Toronto policy.  There is also a rationale for the policies of the other teams.  Which policy is better for the Jays?  That can be debated, and clearly there are arguments on both sides.  (Personal dislike of Boras should be set aside, because it clouds the issues.)  

One issue here is the morale of the player.  We're just guessing here.  But it's worth noting that Sanchez took a pay cut for the benefit of the Jays last season when he was optioned to the minors for the team's benefit.  In all of the legal technicalities that I'm seeing the lawyers posting here, I'm not seeing anything about the costs of potentially alienating a player by paying him the minimum and unilaterally revoking an offer of a pay increase.  There's also the awkward symbolism of how the Jays are now paying a lower salary to Sanchez than what the Mets are paying Syndergaard, who rose through the system with Sanchez.

Is this some big "Internet controversy" by ignorant fans?  Not really.  It's merely a point that we can debate if we wish.  I never said it was a huge controversy.  I offered it up for discussion.
China fan - Thursday, March 16 2017 @ 12:26 PM EDT (#339663) #
"....if you read what Boras actually said, he's not criticizing the club for not raising their offer to Sanchez...."

Actually you're wrong there.  He criticized the "low" amount of the Jays offer too.
Beyonder - Thursday, March 16 2017 @ 12:37 PM EDT (#339664) #
CF. What do you think the costs are of potentially alienating Sanchez? Do you think he will try less hard? Do you think that a higher salary translates into better performance? Do you think Boras will bargain any more or less hard in the future when it comes time to negotiate for Sanchez? Maybe it is my own bias, but I see the point about it being a "only few thousand dollars" as cutting both ways (i.e. it's only a few thousand for Sanchez as well).
China fan - Thursday, March 16 2017 @ 12:48 PM EDT (#339665) #
Beyonder, yes, you're right, it's a relatively small amount of money for a big-leaguer.  Sanchez is getting $65,000 less than Syndergaard this season, purely due to the difference between the Toronto policy and the Mets policy.  (That would be a lot of money for you or me, but not much for a player over the course of his career.)  I don't feel particularly sorry for Sanchez, and I don't think he'll play less hard because of this.   The only potential cost, I think, is the potential long-term damage to the player's goodwill -- and the public-relations cost to the organization.  It hurts the organization's image, which is not good, but maybe not a big deal in the big picture.  As for the player's goodwill:  maybe it means nothing, but maybe it creates a bit of resentment that makes him a little less likely to sign with the Jays when he becomes a free agent.  If he already feels that he "took one for the team" last season (by being demoted to the minors when he didn't actually deserve it), perhaps it's not good to create more potential friction with him this season -- from a long-term standpoint.  Goodwill is an important thing to cultivate in a player, because sometimes the player will eventually agree to accept a smaller contract to stay with a team if he likes the organization.  (See the case of Bautista, J.)

Again, we're just guessing here, and maybe it's a totally insignificant issue, but I am a little puzzled that Toronto refuses to adopt the policy that most other teams have adopted.

uglyone - Thursday, March 16 2017 @ 12:55 PM EDT (#339666) #
Pompey officially concussed.

Atkins chattering about Pearce playing LF opening day.
Four Seamer - Thursday, March 16 2017 @ 12:57 PM EDT (#339667) #

unilaterally revoking an offer of a pay increase

At the risk of sounding like the lawyer that I am, the Jays (on the facts reported) did not revoke an offer of a pay increase.  Once an offer is rejected, it no longer exists, and the party which extended it has no need to revoke it, since it can no longer be held to the bargain. 

Four Seamer - Thursday, March 16 2017 @ 12:59 PM EDT (#339668) #

Pompey officially concussed.

Three cheers for the WBC!  Hopefully this is the last iteration of this pointless tournament.

uglyone - Thursday, March 16 2017 @ 01:04 PM EDT (#339669) #
eh, it could just as easily happen in a spring training game. or in practice.

the tourney's been amazing this year, imo.
Dave Till - Thursday, March 16 2017 @ 01:05 PM EDT (#339670) #
We're talking about the costs to the Jays of alienating Sanchez and his agent, but there's also a cost to Sanchez.

A pitcher who has Scott Boras for his agent has pretty much announced to the world that he plans to test the market at his first available opportunity. Given the Jays' history, it is unlikely that they would outbid potential competitors for his signature (see "Price, David" for an example of this). So the Jays know that they don't control his future.

Given this, is there any incentive to preserve Sanchez's future value? Should the Jays just go ahead and work Sanchez as hard as they need to in order to maximize short-term success? Besides the ethical concerns, I guess there is a practical concern: if an organization doesn't show enough concern for a player's future, other players won't want to play there.
China fan - Thursday, March 16 2017 @ 01:18 PM EDT (#339672) #
Just to argue against myself for a moment here: in the past, I used to assume that a player could be alienated or become resentful if a team went to arbitration against him and sought a lower salary than the player wanted, since this would require the team to introduce negative information about the player's performance at an arbitration hearing.  I was wrong about that.  There's plenty of evidence that most players see it as "just business" and don't care too much if they get caught in an arbitration hearing with their team.  So, that being the case, maybe the Sanchez dispute with the Jays is meaningless too.  I think the "just business" mentality is pretty widespread in baseball these days.
ComebyDeanChance - Thursday, March 16 2017 @ 01:27 PM EDT (#339673) #
Actually you're wrong there. He criticized the "low" amount of the Jays offer too.

You mean Scott Boras didn't say "Hey, the Jays made a generous and normative service-based offer to my client but we rejected it anyway"? To most, that doesn't come as a surprise. In my post, I addressed specifically the quotation of Scott Boras that you provided in large font, when you said you may agree with Boras' "point". The 'point' that you quoted below with apparent agreement clearly has to do with the 'policy'. As for what the various teams' policies are or aren't, or the reasons for those policies based on the teams' differing circumstances, if you 'know' this from some source other than an obviously mal-intended quote from Scott Boras it would be interesting to see that source.

And I echo Dave's point below. Fans in most markets, except for the players' preferred ones, recognize that signing with Scott Boras is a statement that you'll be testing the free agent market.

I would suspect that only in Toronto would fans misinterpret not paying a player at a salary he rejected as 'reneging'. As I said, there are few fan bases that are susceptible to Scott Boras' PR mischief, but this is one of them.
uglyone - Thursday, March 16 2017 @ 01:32 PM EDT (#339674) #
eh, I find the Jays bargain hard according to strict negotiating policies when it comes to their stars, but no so hard when it comes to their smoaks.
China fan - Thursday, March 16 2017 @ 01:44 PM EDT (#339675) #
"....there are few fan bases that are susceptible to Scott Boras' PR mischief, but this is one of them..."

What's your evidence for that?  Seems like a pretty random insult to toss at a fan base of several million people.  Do you have evidence that some fan bases are more intelligent than others?  You seem to be suggesting that Canadian fans are more naive and more easily manipulated than the fans of other teams.  Would love to see you provide any data at all for that.

Just guessing here, but you seem to be suggesting that the Jays fans should completely ignore anything Boras says.  But in reality, it's totally normal for both the media and the fans to be interested in strong statements that any agent makes -- and for it to generate some online discussion -- especially when it involves one of the best young players on the team, a player who led the entire league in ERA last season.  You're free to disagree with Boras, but I don't think you have any grounds for twisting this into a critique of an entire fan base.


jerjapan - Thursday, March 16 2017 @ 02:02 PM EDT (#339676) #
i've got no opinion particularly on this issue, but great discussion folks!
ComebyDeanChance - Thursday, March 16 2017 @ 02:34 PM EDT (#339678) #
CF, my 'evidenc'e of your susceptibility to Scott Boras' PR mischief is your posts. A few posts below, you tell us that a Front Office headed by Mark Shapiro, Ross Atkins, Ben Cherington and Tony LaCava, who all except for the fringe would regard as highly competent baseball executives, nonetheless has a policy that is out of step with the majority of teams, and takes dogmatic positions that are counter-productive. Your sole source for all of this rather extraordinary claim, is some PR mischief from Scott Boras' after his client got exactly what his client ought to have known he would get in declining the Blue Jay's offer.

' In a free agent market, Boras of course has the power to accept or reject, to demand to speak to owners only, and to generally conduct himself as though he has considerable bargaining power. The CBA does not give Boras that bargaining power in this situation however. Here, his only 'bargaining power', if you want to call it that, is the threat to try to damage the team's brand if it doesn't give him what he wants. That is what we are seeing today. The second bit of 'evidence', if you like, of the susceptibility of the Toronto fan base is the very fact that Boras pulls this stunt at all. If you think that this was a 'learning moment' for the Front Office, rather than a transparent attempt to damage the Blue Jays brand by a rather self-possessed agent who didn't get what he wants, then you part ways with most of the baseball world. And this is not a unique situation. As SK reminds us below, it was only a few years ago that Boras chose Toronto to lambaste for the absence of offers for his "Legacy Free Agent" Stephen Drew, who had foolishly turned down Boston's offer likely on Boras' advice. Boras was specific in choosing Toronto to blame for the lack of $100 million offers for Legacy Steve, and he did that I suspect because only in Toronto would he get the response that he did - i.e. the "We are being deprived!" response. The choice of Toronto by Boras was not accidental in my view. He knew this was about the only place his spiel would get other than a laughing response.

To be fair however, I don't think that your view is representative of an entire fan base. There are obviously others who understand business enough to know that rejected offers are not "unilaterally revoked" (whatever that could possibly mean. Does it mean that one can only withdraw an offer that another party expressly rejects with the consent of the party rejecting the offer?). There are others who are less willing to conclude from a media outburst by Boras that the club operates in an out-of-step, dogmatic, counter-productive way.

85bluejay - Thursday, March 16 2017 @ 02:39 PM EDT (#339679) #
If I were a MLB player, Scott Boras would be at the top of my list to interview as a potential agent - I think he does an excellent job of advocating for his clients - it's not his job to be fair or reasonable.
James W - Thursday, March 16 2017 @ 02:41 PM EDT (#339680) #
I'm not sure I agree that the fan base is any more susceptible to PR mischief. But I would posit that this is a fan base with less trust (more dislike? more outright hatred?) of ownership. I also assume Boras is aware of this, which helps him when he does what he does.
James W - Thursday, March 16 2017 @ 02:44 PM EDT (#339681) #
Whoops, left out a few words:

less trust of ownership *than the average fan base*
jerjapan - Thursday, March 16 2017 @ 03:20 PM EDT (#339682) #
That's probably true James- most teams have an actual owner rather than a corporation, which makes it easier to dislike because there is minimal sense of a person - I imagine a Detroit fan might have quite a liking for a deep-pocketed Mike Illitch type.

Add to that the frustrating relationship many people have with the quasi-monopolistic Rogers, throw in a couple of moments of bad timing - Shapiro and AA - and tone-deafness - the Ted Rogers statue, for example - and it's easier to dislike ownership here than in many places.

But I'm sure the internet fan bases are pretty similar in their engagement level in debating team minutia on forums such as this one. 

I would suspect that only in Toronto would fans misinterpret not paying a player at a salary he rejected as 'reneging'.

This strikes me as a claim that needs some evidence ....  have you ever looked at fan sites around the continent CBDC?  This particular forum is easily one of the most sophisticated, nuanced and erudite that I've ever encountered.
SK in NJ - Thursday, March 16 2017 @ 03:41 PM EDT (#339683) #
I can't comment on other teams fan bases since I don't follow them, but the Jays fan base does seem like the type who would side with Boras on this. I am referring to the more vocal social media types who respond to articles and Tweets. That obviously do not mean all the fan base does. Maybe the more vocal ones. The Jays having a large fan base, an entire country behind them, and a lot more bandwagon fans after the team's recent success likely contributes to that.

Rogers being "cheap" is an annual topic, and bashing the current FO has joined it (though it's more tame now than it was a year ago). Boras likely knew the fan base he was dealing with here, but again, I don't think it means much of anything.
China fan - Thursday, March 16 2017 @ 03:54 PM EDT (#339684) #
CBDC, let me get this straight: you make a generalization about the entire Toronto fan base on the basis of a single post by one person on one forum?  Astonishing.  And on top that, you've completely misread the single post that inspired your gross generalization.

I posted the Sanchez item -- along with several of my questions on the subject -- because I knew it would generate discussion, and this forum thrives on discussion.  Your own voluminous posts on the subject were proof that I was right.

China fan - Thursday, March 16 2017 @ 04:03 PM EDT (#339685) #
CBDC, having now struggled again to wade grimly through all of your verbose posts on the Boras issue, I can now see why I've touched a raw nerve for you:  I dared to raise a question about the current ownership of the Jays.  Well, excuse me!   I forgot that this was taboo for you.

But having now read every word that you've written on the subject, I can see that you've cleverly sidestepped the only real issue that I raised:  the simple fact that Jays have a different policy on pre-arb salaries than most other organizations.  The evidence that I cited was:  1) the statement by Boras;  2) the fact that the Mets voluntarily raised Syndergaard's salary to $600,000 while the Jays in miserly fashion insisted on saving themselves $65,000 by keeping Sanchez at $535,000;  3) the fact that nobody -- not even Atkins in his interview today -- has contradicted the basic point that Boras made about the Jays having a cheaper policy than the other teams. 

Instead of addressing this simple point, you wandered into the vast thickets of negotiation rules etc.  But do you have any evidence that Boras is wrong when he says that the Jays have a different policy from most other MLB teams?  If so, please provide it.

scottt - Thursday, March 16 2017 @ 05:47 PM EDT (#339686) #
If I were a MLB player, Scott Boras would be at the top of my list to interview as a potential agent - I think he does an excellent job of advocating for his clients - it's not his job to be fair or reasonable.

I'm guessing Boras takes a bigger cut, but I don't really know. He has the reputation of being unbending and of sacrificing one player here and there to make a point. How much does he takes of that 65K Sanchez is not getting?
The reason why you give a player a non negotiated increase is because you want to extend that player in a year or two but don't want to do it now, because that would be taking on too much risk for no reason.

Disclaimer, I haven't had a raise since 1999. At this point I just take my 6 weeks of vacations and the job security that comes with it, but I understand that management wouldn't mind if I decided to leave behind the year of salary they would have to pay me if they decided to let me go.  Unless you're working for the government, there's a finite pool of money to share between the employees. Shapiro prefers to spend it on things like a performance department that has Pearce raving.
bpoz - Thursday, March 16 2017 @ 06:47 PM EDT (#339687) #
CBDC and CF are in a discussion about team policies. This topic is over my head. But I honestly think that it is a very crucial part of how our Jays or any team operates.

Understanding as much as possible about these policies is crucial to our, da Box, present and future discussions.

By the way, I cannot defend what I just said. Sorry. I mean what is written in stone and what is the alternative of written in stone.

For example Yunel Escobar. Something happened regarding his eye black. He is still useful in the Majors, but team policy probably dictated something.

Note: I am not pushing for a discussion on Y Escobar. But everyone is free to open and extend this part of Jay's history.
China fan - Thursday, March 16 2017 @ 07:05 PM EDT (#339688) #
Arden Zwelling makes the following points on the Sanchez matter:

Sanchez, coming off one of the best seasons any starter in baseball achieved last year, will earn the same rate in 2017 as a rookie pitcher with zero major league experience....  Considering Sanchezís on-field performance, renowned commitment to conditioning and nutrition, positive representation of the franchise away from the ballpark, and the fact he accepted a brief minor league demotion last season to help the team out of a roster crunch, itís easy to see why Boras is upset at the marginal increase.

In recent years, other major league teams have rewarded high-achieving pre-arbitration players with more substantial raises even though they have no requirement to do so. New York Mets starter Noah Syndergaard was bumped up to $605,500 this season after earning $535,375 in his all-star campaign last year. Kris Bryant was rewarded with a $652,000 renewal in 2016 after he was named rookie of the year a season prior, and then $1.05 million this season after winning an MVP award.

Even the late Jose Fernandez of the notoriously tight-fisted Miami Marlins received raises to $635,000 in 2014 and $651,000 in 2015 after being named an all-star and rookie of the year while earning the league minimum in his first MLB season.

Jacob deGrom of the New York Mets is likely the closest comparison to Sanchez. In 2015, with nearly two years of service time, he pitched to a 2.54 ERA over 191 innings, making an all-star team and finishing seventh in Cy Young voting. The Mets renewed deGrom for $607,000 the next season.

In Sanchezís 2016, which brought him to just over two years of service time, he put up a 3.00 ERA in 192 innings, making an all-star team and finishing seventh in Cy Young voting. Yet, Sanchez was renewed for $72,000 less than deGrom.

scottt - Thursday, March 16 2017 @ 07:33 PM EDT (#339689) #
There's a policy in place and it has no bearing on performance of actual players, on the draft or on free agent signings. Boras should take it to the player associations if he cares, they are the one who agreed to this system. When it comes to baseball player compensation, shit ain't fair, and Boras, if anything, contributes largely to the unfairness.

Boras makes me recall Paxton, the player he advised, breaking the rules.
Paxton, turned down $874K and signed for $942.5K the following year.
With the Mariners, Paxton made, you guessed it, the league minimum until he became arbitration eligible.

Mylegacy - Thursday, March 16 2017 @ 07:39 PM EDT (#339690) #
Mylegacy suspects that when Mr. Boris negotiates Sanchez his first 100+ million dollar, multi year contract, that Aaron will have forgotten about the 35G`s he got stiffed up in Canada.

Also, Mylegacy is pining for the season to start. Good Grief Charlie Brown - PLEASE let the season start!!!
Chuck - Thursday, March 16 2017 @ 08:35 PM EDT (#339691) #
Has Mylegacy taken to talking in the third person? Is he channeling Bo Jackson? Or Jimmy from Seinfeld?
ComebyDeanChance - Thursday, March 16 2017 @ 09:26 PM EDT (#339692) #
It is of next to no interest to me whether the club policy on renewing players is the same as "the majority" of other clubs. What is of interest to me is whether it is a reasonable policy, and whether it is reasonably applied. As Atikins notes, they're not going to change a 10-year policy mid-stream this offseason, while negotiating 21 contracts when the rules have been known to everyone just because Sanchez walked away from money as a bargaining strategy, and Boras hands out talking points to blame the club. Nothing of interest to see there.

Two things i note. One is that this is the first complaint we've heard about a policy in place apparently for a decade, and outside of Scott Boras and those parroting his criticisms because he chose strategically to walk away from money, not a single other player has complained before that we've heard about. That seems like a policy that works well.

Second, I've not heard anyone identify what a better policy would look like. Apparently it involves the player rejecting club offers but getting the money anyway, which makes no sense of the negotiation process. Do you just keep offering more until no one can think of a higher number? Should there be no negotiation at all and the club just works out a formula and ignores the player and his agent? Other than Boras' "other teams do it" I've not read a single concrete suggestion for a supposedly 'better' policy.
Glevin - Friday, March 17 2017 @ 03:59 AM EDT (#339693) #
The idea that giving Sanchez an extra $50K now would have any effect on his future with the Jays is ridiculous. This is a complete non issue.
85bluejay - Friday, March 17 2017 @ 08:56 AM EDT (#339694) #
I guess that's why other teams are treating their pre-arb. breakout stars much better - the red sox give Betts a healthy raise as did the mets with Syndergaard - I don't think either signed their contracts. What's disappointing is that after a breakout year when he became the ace of the staff, Sanchez will be earning the same salary as a rookie with no service time (think Glenn Sparkman) - Scott Boras is right, other teams are treating their young stars much better.

As for no recent complaints about this policy from other players - that's probable because the Jays haven't had a young breakout star like Sanchez in a decade.
China fan - Friday, March 17 2017 @ 09:25 AM EDT (#339695) #
"....As Atikins notes, they're not going to change a 10-year policy mid-stream this offseason...."

It didn't have to be "mid-stream" or "off-season."  Atkins and Shapiro have had 16 months to review the policies that they inherited.  And in fact, Atkins said yesterday that the team will consider changing the policy, partly because of the Sanchez issue.  This suggests that it might, indeed, be appropriate for us to discuss the issue.
Glevin - Friday, March 17 2017 @ 09:29 AM EDT (#339696) #
"Jacob deGrom of the New York Mets is likely the closest comparison to Sanchez. In 2015, with nearly two years of service time, he pitched to a 2.54 ERA over 191 innings, making an all-star team and finishing seventh in Cy Young voting. The Mets renewed deGrom for $607,000 the next season.

In Sanchezís 2016, which brought him to just over two years of service time, he put up a 3.00 ERA in 192 innings, making an all-star team and finishing seventh in Cy Young voting. Yet, Sanchez was renewed for $72,000 less than deGrom."

You think Zwelling might do a bit of research. The NYT has an entire piece on how deGrom was unhappy with his raise and refused to sign his contract (as does ESPN) so the idea that had they done the same thing for Sanchez, Boras would have been happy is ridiculous. The system is rigged against young players and no matter what, Sanchez was going to be massively underpaid. What should the Jays do? Give him what he would get as a free agent? Boras will get every cent he can for Sanchez so why should the Jays give him money they don't have to.

Also, deGrom was better than Sanchez at the same point. Better ERA, better WHIP, better FIP, more innings, better K/IP, better K/BB ratio, just better. And he got 72K more than Sanchez which is like a bag of baseballs extra in MLB.

And yes, Jays fans are absurdly whiny and paranoid about ownership. Rogers are not Illitch as owners but they are pretty decent. According to Fangraphs, the Jays have the 8th highest payroll this year, 9th highest opening day payroll in the majors since 2014 and have the 4th biggest increase in salary this year
scottt - Friday, March 17 2017 @ 09:45 AM EDT (#339697) #
I don't follow other teams, but I've seen more than 1 Baltimore fans calling their DM Douchette.
uglyone - Friday, March 17 2017 @ 09:46 AM EDT (#339698) #
i just wish they took more of a smoakish approach with their key players.
pubster - Friday, March 17 2017 @ 10:37 AM EDT (#339699) #
I'd just like to point out that the Jays, Raptors, TFC, and Leafs (kinda - still in progress) have all turned it around after Rogers got involved in ownership.
uglyone - Friday, March 17 2017 @ 10:52 AM EDT (#339700) #
it's not really about ownership. the jays have a nice payroll and probably would have let them spend more.
jerjapan - Friday, March 17 2017 @ 11:13 AM EDT (#339701) #
And yes, Jays fans are absurdly whiny and paranoid about ownership

I don't feel strongly one way or the other on the topic, both sides have fair points, but I think this kind of statement needs proof - do you follow other fan bases?  I don't think it's Jays fans specifically, I think it's the age of internet fandom that leads to this type of micro-analysis.

And I certainly hope you aren't suggesting that the box is 'absurdly whiny'.  I could see agreeing with your statement (although I'd prefer a less inflamatory statement, frankly) if you are talking about a casual fan calling in to a radio show, but the concerns I've read here - or even raised myself - are IMO fair points for fans to debate.   Every ownership and management group has strengths and weaknesses that are valid topics to discuss. 
China fan - Friday, March 17 2017 @ 11:50 AM EDT (#339702) #
"....The NYT has an entire piece on how deGrom was unhappy with his raise and refused to sign his contract (as does ESPN)...."

So that's pretty similar to what Sanchez did, then.  Sanchez too was unhappy with his raise and refused to accept it. (He was reportedly offered a raise that put him just $15,000 over the league minimum.)  By the way, Syndergaard did a similar thing this year -- refused to sign the contract offer.

The difference is that the Mets -- like many teams -- have a policy of giving their players the increase anyway, even though they rejected it.  The Jays don't do that.

As for fans being "whiny" about ownership:  1) Atkins himself says that the Jays are thinking about changing their policy, so how is it "whiny" for fans to suggest the same thing that Atkins is considering?   2) The Jays do have a pretty good payroll, but there are legitimate grounds to argue that it should be higher.  We have rehashed those arguments, on both sides, many times in the past year or two, so I don't need to rehash it again.  But why dismiss fans as "whiny" if they think the Jays should invest in a higher payroll after the huge increase in team revenue over the past two seasons?  Why can't fans be frustrated that the Jays seem to be opting for the cheapest possible solution in LF, for example, when better options exist?
uglyone - Friday, March 17 2017 @ 11:53 AM EDT (#339703) #
The generalization that jays fans are "whiny about owership" seems bizarre to me given that the majority of fans online, including on this website, rush to defend management at every opportunity.
christaylor - Friday, March 17 2017 @ 12:15 PM EDT (#339704) #
The easy explanation is one that's been advanced since the early 00s. Management is not ownership -- people gave JP/AA a pass (and defense at times) and assigned the tight-fisted Roger's Corp are to blame for the team's woes.

Who was hated more Harold Ballard or Gord Stellick?

PeterG - Friday, March 17 2017 @ 12:59 PM EDT (#339705) #
According to a piece on MLBTR, Pagan is holding out for 5 mil guaranteed.
jerjapan - Friday, March 17 2017 @ 01:09 PM EDT (#339706) #
Why can't fans be frustrated that the Jays seem to be opting for the cheapest possible solution in LF, for example, when better options exist?

With the way Smoak has been 'batting' and Zeketon has been playing in left, I'm starting to come around to this idea, especially with Pompey dealing with a concussion - that's terrible news for a guy who's had a concussion before - it's not like this is football, the guy appears prone. 

Even depth options like Cecilliani and Dwight Smith have looked bad this spring.

Angel Pagan is still out there, but looking for a decent major league deal according to Steve Adams at MLB trade rumours:

"The Braves have made ďmultipleĒ attempts to sign free-agent outfielder Angel Pagan, but the veteran has been holding out for a big league deal worth around $5MM. Heyman notes that Pagan has received some guaranteed offers, but theyíve come with very low base salaries."
jerjapan - Friday, March 17 2017 @ 01:19 PM EDT (#339707) #
whoops, I owe you a coke PeterG.

The same MLB piece notes that Cleveland made a competitive offer to Jose - I would absolutely joined the ranks of whiny Jays fans had that come to fruition. 

John Northey - Friday, March 17 2017 @ 01:52 PM EDT (#339708) #
I can see why Pagan is still out there if he is demanding $5 mil. Someone might give in as injuries and the like happen but right now he is a 100 OPS+ hitter who is shifting from CF to LF as his CF defense is consistantly rated negative. He is projected as a 0.1 to 0.2 fWAR player, thus worth about $1 mil not $5 mil.
scottt - Friday, March 17 2017 @ 02:30 PM EDT (#339709) #
Pagan made 11M last year. Taking a pay cut can be hard on some egos.

The commotion takes Pompey out of competition to start with the club, but Pearce is very vocal about wanting to play left field. With a lefty I still want Upton there and Pearce at first. Hopefully they walk all over that Boston lefty rotation.

PeterG - Friday, March 17 2017 @ 02:43 PM EDT (#339710) #
Ceciliani with a grand slam today after having had a triple in his previous AB.
SK in NJ - Friday, March 17 2017 @ 03:35 PM EDT (#339711) #
When has Pearce mentioned a preference to the outfield? Not doubting you, just haven't seen it anywhere.

If they do intend to go with Pearce in LF and Smoak at 1B against RHP, and Pearce at 1B and Upton in LF against LHP, then that makes Zeke kind of pointless to keep around other than for injury depth. I guess with Pearce's injury history and Bautista getting older, having extra OF's will help, but Smoak's existence on the team is causing a weird roster configuration.
Dave Till - Friday, March 17 2017 @ 03:38 PM EDT (#339712) #

And yes, Jays fans are absurdly whiny and paranoid about ownership. Rogers are not Illitch as owners but they are pretty decent.

I think that people are suspicious of Rogers as baseball owners because of their experiences with Rogers as cable/internet providers. Also, Jays fans with longer memories are still recovering from the Interbrew years.

The Jays are one of the few teams in baseball that are owned by a corporation - most teams are owned by billionaires looking for a hobby and/or a carpetbagging opportunity. It could be much worse: Rogers aren't behaving like Harold Ballard, and they're not threatening to relocate unless they get a new baseball-only ballpark built with taxpayers' money.

scottt - Friday, March 17 2017 @ 04:04 PM EDT (#339713) #
The prevailing thought early on was that he would split first-base duties with Justin Smoak. Now, the smart money is on Pearce being a regular in left field assuming the surgically repaired arm has the strength.

That's the plan, Pearce confirmed. I'll play all over the diamond and that's where I feel I bring value. I'll take whatever and I'll do whatever's asked of me.

http://www.torontosun.com/2017/03/04/jays-pearce-eager-to-fulfill-his-potential-coming-out-of-injury


vw_fan17 - Friday, March 17 2017 @ 04:14 PM EDT (#339714) #
Any thoughts on dumping Salty and picking up Derek Norris for about the same amount?
scottt - Friday, March 17 2017 @ 04:15 PM EDT (#339715) #
Though Pearce has experience at second base, third base and right field, General Manager Ross Atkins expects most of his playing time will be at first base and left field.

http://www.thescore.com/mlb/news/1230720
scottt - Friday, March 17 2017 @ 04:28 PM EDT (#339716) #
It will still be some time before Pearce is cleared to really let his throws rip from left field, which is where the Blue Jays envision him playing a lot of innings in 2017. And because of that, Pearce is scheduled to begin playing at first base on March 19 and will likely stay at that position until a couple weeks into the regular season.

http://www.sportsnet.ca/baseball/mlb/blue-jays-approach-conditioning-revelation-steve-pearce/
scottt - Friday, March 17 2017 @ 04:32 PM EDT (#339717) #
I missed the quote I was looking for from that article...

I'm definitively holding back. There's no point in trying to rush anything. But, look, if we were in the playoffs right now, you can bet your butt I'm playing in the outfield today, Pearce says.

scottt - Friday, March 17 2017 @ 04:38 PM EDT (#339718) #
Nah. Liriano and Estrada have said nice thing about Salty and there's a many teams looking at Norris right now.

Ohlman looks like he can hit. I guess he's there because they'll try to fix his defense in AAA.

jerjapan - Friday, March 17 2017 @ 05:15 PM EDT (#339719) #
I should call Cecilianni out more often - big game for him today.

Fangraphs predicts Salty to be slightly less valuable than Norris, but at this point I'd assume the team is happy with Salty as the backup - not much time life for a new guy to build a rapport with the pitchers. 

Fans of the new FO will enjoy this:

http://mopupduty.com/the-toronto-blue-jays-culture-shift-031517/


PeterG - Friday, March 17 2017 @ 09:52 PM EDT (#339720) #
Players sent to minor league camp:

Gurriel
Alford
Urena
Ramirez
John Northey - Friday, March 17 2017 @ 11:39 PM EDT (#339721) #
No shocks there as to who went down today.

Gurriel left a good impression - 286/375/857 I suspect we'll see him by September if he can do anything near this in the minors.
Alford K'd too much (15 in 32 AB's) while hitting 188/212/406 - needs more time
Urena - impressed the brass I'm sure 320/393/360
Ramirez - 0 for 5 not enough to leave any impression.
uglyone - Saturday, March 18 2017 @ 01:34 PM EDT (#339722) #
yeah urena and gurriel made nice impressions. and gibbons was actually kinda raving about alford today.
PeterG - Saturday, March 18 2017 @ 02:09 PM EDT (#339723) #
It is reported by Arden Zwelling that Latos told Arash Madani that he would accept an assignment to Buffalo if he does not make team out of camp.
China fan - Saturday, March 18 2017 @ 03:19 PM EDT (#339724) #
The news about Latos being willing to accept a Buffalo assignment is very interesting.  So the Jays will have an interesting decision to make about Latos.  Do they want to keep him in Buffalo, stretched out as the 6th starter, ready to step into the rotation at any point, like Hutchison last year?  Advantages: rotation depth, injury protection, and it allows the Jays to retain another out-of-options reliever in the major-league bullpen.  Disadvantages:  unless they keep Bolsinger in the major-league bullpen, there would be nobody except Biagini who can do multiple innings.  And if they keep Biagini for the high-leverage situations, they won't have a classic long-man for mop-up situations or emergency starts (unless Bolsinger is kept, which seems unlikely). Also, while Latos would accept a Buffalo assignment at the start of the season, he might eventually opt out of his contract after a month or two, if he is still in Buffalo at that point.

Alternatively the Jays could keep Latos in the major-league bullpen, where he could be the long man and mop-up reliever.   But they would probably have to lose an out-of-options pitcher in order to keep Latos, and he wouldn't be fully stretched-out for emergency rotation duty.

It sounds like the other bullpen vacancy will be filled by Aaron Loup, since the Jays want a second LHP and since most reports suggest that Loup is looking stronger than last season. 

China fan - Saturday, March 18 2017 @ 03:32 PM EDT (#339725) #
By the way, has anyone heard anything about Gavin Floyd?  He still hasn't pitched a single inning this spring.  He was expected to be one of the finalists for the final spot in the bullpen, but at this rate it is unlikely that he'll be ready for the start of the season.  It sounds like he will be in Buffalo (or the DL) to open the season.
jerjapan - Saturday, March 18 2017 @ 05:25 PM EDT (#339726) #
China fan, I think the need for a long man who can go multiple innings is overstated in this era of the Buffalo shuttle ...

I don't see this as a positive or a negative in terms of the players, but there are two tiers of MLB talent in a way that has not been true previously.  Your Andy Burns / Chad Jenkins / Bo Schultz types are only ever going to get a few MLB weeks here and there, and the org isn't worried about their development in the way they would be with a first rounder (okay, Jenkins was a first rounder, but a terrible one). 

There are plenty of relief options in a seven man pen, and beyond.  If Travis is out, Goins can pitch an inning - and the marginal types like Goins are happy to fill multiple roles ...

MLB players make tons of money.  AAA / AAAA guys can make a valid career out of being on the 40 man for a few weeks at a time, while getting the best AAA salary available. 

I'd rather have Latos in AAA, which is clearly something he sees as necessary - I'd assumed he wanted to opt-out if he felt he was big league ready.

Side note - pay minor league players more money!!!!

SK in NJ - Saturday, March 18 2017 @ 09:13 PM EDT (#339727) #
If Floyd hasn't pitched yet, then it's likely he begins the season in AAA. Usually players opt out if they feel they can do better, and I doubt Floyd can at this point even if he did have the option to opt out (it's unclear if he does or doesn't).

Latos is a different story. A team with injuries to the rotation late in spring could look at him as an option. If he decides to begin in Buffalo, then that would be a nice break for the Jays. Of course, that doesn't mean he is any good as a SP anymore (especially if he's still hovering in the low-90's) but wouldn't hurt if he starts in the minors. I'm not convinced he's a lock to stay in the org if he doesn't make the team.
scottt - Saturday, March 18 2017 @ 10:52 PM EDT (#339728) #
There would probably be a deal with Latos that he gets the first call for a starter which is guaranteed to happen during the year. Floyd is likely a reliever at this point.

Girodo has been good, but will likely start in AAA. I think Loup has the edge so far.
Four Seamer - Saturday, March 18 2017 @ 11:38 PM EDT (#339729) #
When Loup is said to be looking stronger, does that mean his fastball might raise a bruise when it lands on the hip of an opposing batter, as it inevitably does?
scottt - Sunday, March 19 2017 @ 08:35 AM EDT (#339730) #
I prefer that to a walk signaled from the dugout.
scottt - Sunday, March 19 2017 @ 08:39 AM EDT (#339731) #
Nothing from Floyd since the threw a bullpen on Feb 24th. He gave an interview that day and was very emotional about Toronto being the team he wants to be in.
China fan - Sunday, March 19 2017 @ 09:22 AM EDT (#339732) #
Jose Tabata makes his debut in a Jays uniform today, playing LF.

Steve Pearce makes his Jays debut at 1B.

The start goes to Mike Bolsinger. Could be a key test for his future with the team. Latos had a similar test yesterday and passed it with flying colors. We'll see how Bolsinger does.

Mike Ohlman is catching today, instead of playing 1B. He's looked good as a hitter. Will be interesting to see how he looks as a catcher.

Donaldson and Travis are hitting in a minor-league game today. Not sure if they're allowed to run the bases yet, but both should be close to returning to full game action.
bpoz - Sunday, March 19 2017 @ 10:12 AM EDT (#339733) #
We need to know who are the SPs in Buffalo and NH, because that is where we will get our #6-8 SP depth. Hopefully we will not need a #6 to step in for a while.

Right now I don't know a #6 that I feel comfortable with. #7 C Lawrence. He has looked good in ST.
#8 is an unknown. Someone that can step up. I am thinking of a AA prospect that is not on the 40 man roster. We have to save the ML team from the cost of a weak #5. So I rush S Ried Foley, C Greene or even S Dawson. Just like Hutch was rushed.

uglyone - Sunday, March 19 2017 @ 10:27 AM EDT (#339734) #
I'm guessing the AAA rotation is something like:

Latos
Bolsinger
Harrell
Lawrence
House
Oberholtzer

and that's a lot of mlb experience for a AAA rotation.
bpoz - Sunday, March 19 2017 @ 10:47 AM EDT (#339735) #
L Harrell looks interesting. Looks like he did not pitch in 2015. Injuries probably.

Since ML baseball is a business, let me assume that players and owners "use" each other. This sounds bad, but many players don't tell about a little pain here and there.

What I am getting at is that Latos and Floyd look fragile to me. Latos was incredible in April last year. Horrible in May. Injuries, I would say.

So if Latos thinks he can start then he could be called up 1st. If his arm cannot handle it then it was his decision. Then go with the next guy. Maybe Lawrence as I suggested. But he has to look like the best available.
China fan - Sunday, March 19 2017 @ 01:57 PM EDT (#339736) #
Tabata hits a 2B in his first at-bat as a Jay, but tries to stretch it into a triple and is thrown out.

Bolsinger keeps the Pirates scoreless, but injures his ankle or foot while trying to cover 1B and is removed from game in 3rd inning.

Ohlman error on throw to 2B during a steal, allowing runner to reach third.

China fan - Sunday, March 19 2017 @ 02:01 PM EDT (#339737) #
Travis looking healthy in minor-league game today, running bases at full tilt.  Should be in full action at 2B in minor-league games this week, Gibbons says.
jerjapan - Sunday, March 19 2017 @ 04:29 PM EDT (#339738) #
A healthy Travis is about the best spring-training news we can hope for right now.

Tough outing for Casey Lawrence today - he's emergence as a possible emergency starter has been one of the more enjoyable storylines of the spring.  Props to Dan Gordon for having noted his improvements back in the summer. 

Dermody with another scoreless appearance, but 2nd lefty has to be Loup's job to lose right now?

Any news on Bolsinger's injury?

PeterG - Sunday, March 19 2017 @ 05:25 PM EDT (#339739) #
Bolsinger rolled his ankle but apparently did not sprain it as it was not iced or wrapped in clubhouse. It seems he will be fine.
China fan - Sunday, March 19 2017 @ 05:39 PM EDT (#339740) #
Not exactly scoreless for Dermody today. He came back out for the 9th inning and ended up being charged with 3 hits, a walk, and 3 earned runs.

I think Loup gets the second LHP job in the bullpen, and the final spot is between Bolsinger, Latos and Schultz.

I don't think the Jays will waste the options that are still held by Tepera, Barnes, Dermody etc. They'll be on the Buffalo shuffle, ready for a call-up and subsequent demotion as warranted by injuries or implosions among the bullpen regulars.

By the way, the Jays have several off-days in the first 3 weeks of April, which means Liriano could be in the bullpen, which means that Latos really won't be needed as a long-man, so he should probably be stashed in Buffalo in April.

Bolsinger put himself back in the picture with a nice outing today.
scottt - Sunday, March 19 2017 @ 06:46 PM EDT (#339741) #
I suppose they could do a tandem start after an off day, but the trends has been to just rest everybody. Last year, Estrada was late because of his back and the year before, Stroman's injury had left a hole in the rotation. I don't remember the Jays starting a year with 5 healthy starters.  This year, it's the position players that will need more rest, but the players have asked for more off days. I haven't thought about it, but it's possible that some starters wit try to get an extra start just to try to pad their win records.
jerjapan - Sunday, March 19 2017 @ 06:53 PM EDT (#339742) #
Good news about Bolsinger, and yeah, clearly I missed that 9th inning for Dermody. 

I was critical of the FO for not adding enough depth during the offseason but it seems their slow and steady approach has worked - I feel much better about our depth in Buffalo with guys like Latos, Salty, Tabata, Graterol and Elmore in the picture. 

SK in NJ - Monday, March 20 2017 @ 11:46 AM EDT (#339743) #
http://www.sportsnet.ca/baseball/mlb/big-read-inside-toronto-blue-jays-high-performance-department/

In case this wasn't posted, a look at the Jays high performance department. This is a great strategy to execute as an organization. The more resources put into it, the better.
uglyone - Monday, March 20 2017 @ 12:04 PM EDT (#339744) #
yep, that is excellent stuff.

even if injuries are still largely a matter of luck, every edge counts.
uglyone - Monday, March 20 2017 @ 01:52 PM EDT (#339745) #
Liriano is having a sexy spring.
Four Seamer - Monday, March 20 2017 @ 04:03 PM EDT (#339746) #
Ah, that's the Aaron Loup I remember.
dan gordon - Monday, March 20 2017 @ 04:34 PM EDT (#339747) #
I hope they don't keep Loup around just to have a 2nd lefty. I'd rather have another righty who is effective. To me, looking at the last 2 seasons in AAA and mlb, Tepera is one who stands out as deserving of a spot. Over that span he has an ERA of 1.92 and WHIP of 0.98 in AAA and an ERA of 3.16 and WHIP of 1.05 in mlb. There are loads of guys in mlb bullpens who aren't that good. I know I'd be pretty frustrated if I was Tepera, having pitched that well for 2 seasons and not gotten a spot when there is clearly one available.
China fan - Monday, March 20 2017 @ 05:11 PM EDT (#339748) #
"....that's the Aaron Loup I remember...."

If you set aside the 16 innings of last year, you only have to go back to 2015 to find Loup producing a 2.89 xFIP with a 9.78 K/9 and a 1.49 BB/9 and 0.2 WAR in 42 innings.  That's substantially better than anything Tepera has done in the majors. 

Loup was hit in the chest by the first batter he faced today.  Not sure if that had anything to do with his performance today, but I wouldn't count him out of the bullpen race.
dan gordon - Monday, March 20 2017 @ 05:41 PM EDT (#339749) #
Well, first of all, you can't just ignore last year. Second, even in 2015, Loup had an ERA of 4.50, a WHIP of 1.28 and gave up more hits than innings pitched, which to me isn't as good as Tepera. FIP doesn't account for all of those hits that Loup is allowing. Over the last 2 seasons, just looking at mlb numbers, Loup has given up 62 hits in 57.2 IP, and has a WHIP of 1.29. In his last 4 mlb seasons, Loup's WHIP has been higher than Tepera's career WHIP every year.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, March 21 2017 @ 07:57 AM EDT (#339750) #
Looks like Carrera, Upton, and Pompey are all injured. Not sure if it will lead to DL time for any of them. If all three of those players are not ready by the start of the season, and Pearce can't play the outfield yet, then I'm not sure what they will do. Maybe they will throw Ceciliani out there.

Rosenthal mentioned the Jays having interest in Kelly Johnson recently. At this rate, that might not be a bad idea as long as it is cheap. Pagan is still out there as well, but he apparently wants $5M guaranteed, which I don't see the Jays giving him.
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