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The Blue Jays make their second trip to Maryland and they hope it goes much better than their first.

Outfielder Anthony Alford has been called up from Double-A New Hampshire to join the Blue Jays in Baltimore. (Image from

Series Schedule/Probable Starters

Friday @ 7:05 pm ET - Aaron Sanchez (0-1, 2.95) vs. Chris Tillman (1-0, 2.89)
Saturday @ 7:35 pm ET - Mike Bolsinger (0-2, 6.10) vs. Kevin Gausman (2-3, 7.19)
Sunday @ 1:35 pm ET - Marco Estrada (2-2, 3.60) vs. Wade Miley (1-1, 3.02)

The Orioles are in second place in the American League East with a 23-16 record, 1-1/2 games back of the New York Yankees and 6-1/2 ahead of the last place Blue Jays. However, Baltimore dropped six of seven on a road trip by losing one in Washington, three in Kansas City and two of three in Detroit. In roster news, the O's have called up former Jay Miguel Castro from Double-A Bowie to help out in the bullpen. He has appeared in two games already, firing three scoreless innings despite three hit by pitches.

The 18-24 Jays nearly gave back all they gained from a four-game sweep against Seattle before salvaging the finale of a four-game home-and-home set against Atlanta. That 9-0 win in Atlanta may have been the most satisfying one in Georgia since Games 2 and 6 of the 1992 World Series. Jose Bautista was plunked in retaliation for his bat flip Wednesday in the first inning and scored the winning run. Luke Maile and Marcus Stroman homered and Dwight Smith Jr. walked in his first major league at-bat in his hometown no less. All good things!! Darrell Ceciliani was on his way to becoming the best clean-up hitter in franchise history with a double and a home run until he hurt his shoulder on his dinger. As a result, Anthony Alford gets the call to join the big club.

Burning Question - Can the Jays enjoy an injury-free weekend?

Hot Take - I realize Joe Smith is on the team but why was there the need for Dwight Smith Jr. to have 'D.Smith' on the back of the jersey. Aren't uniform numbers enough to differentiate the two? Actually, I was expecting 'Smith Jr.', just like Melvin 'Upton Jr.' last year.

On Deck - At Milwaukee May 23-24.
Blue Jays @ Orioles - May 19-21 | 77 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Petey Baseball - Friday, May 19 2017 @ 08:39 PM EDT (#342262) #
Another hot take: Jerry Meals is an awful judge of balls and strikes.

Justin Smoak has turned into Lyle Overbay
scottt - Friday, May 19 2017 @ 08:45 PM EDT (#342263) #
Gibby with the bunt again...  It was not a good idea because Tillman had been so wild.
Petey Baseball - Friday, May 19 2017 @ 08:46 PM EDT (#342264) #
Is Gibby trying to sabotage this team? Has he been watching Tillman this inning?
hypobole - Friday, May 19 2017 @ 08:48 PM EDT (#342265) #
Gibby is in the Monty Burns school of "playing the percentages".
greenfrog - Friday, May 19 2017 @ 08:54 PM EDT (#342266) #
A few comments from this site in March about Smoak:

"I don't think Smoak has any role on today's MLB roster"

"Upton and Carrera playing instead of Smoak is good news"

"I like Carrera, but I think we'll need to bring up another OF at some point. Perhaps when it becomes totally undeniable that Justin Smoak sucks?"

"Unless they insist on playing Smoak. THAT would be bad news."

It's official -- nobody knows anything.
Petey Baseball - Friday, May 19 2017 @ 08:55 PM EDT (#342267) #
Sanchez has shown maturity in this game. Command is off, home plate umpire is off, still dealing.
Gerry - Friday, May 19 2017 @ 09:20 PM EDT (#342268) #

It's official -- nobody knows anything.

Hey!! In the Blue Jays 2017 season preview I picked Smoakie to be the pleasant surprise player for the Jays this year. I also predicted Edwin would get off to a slow start and Travis would get injured.

I also predicted JA Happ to lead the team in innings, so there's that.

Petey Baseball - Friday, May 19 2017 @ 09:34 PM EDT (#342269) #
Alford looks like a pro.
Petey Baseball - Friday, May 19 2017 @ 09:36 PM EDT (#342270) #
What is Gibby doing? Chris Coghlan? What is going on?
Chuck - Friday, May 19 2017 @ 09:40 PM EDT (#342271) #
Wow. Is horrible a good word to describe that Maile at-bat?
King Ryan - Friday, May 19 2017 @ 10:02 PM EDT (#342272) #
I get a notification on my phone:

Justin Smoak strikes out swinging. Two runs score. The Jays lead the orioles 5-3.

Confused, I check on it and it says it's 4-3 Jays. Then I check again and it say it's 3-3.

Just what the hell is going on?
James W - Friday, May 19 2017 @ 10:16 PM EDT (#342273) #
He struck out, but the pitch hit him. It ended up in the Jays on-deck circle, so runners advanced (I have no idea why your phone would think 2 runs scored, but...) On review, they determined the pitch did hit Smoak, which makes it a dead ball and strike 3, which is why the run came off the board.

Also, stop being bad at bunting.
BlueJayWay - Friday, May 19 2017 @ 10:18 PM EDT (#342274) #
Just stop bunting.
Four Seamer - Friday, May 19 2017 @ 10:18 PM EDT (#342275) #
How many more of these god awful bunts does Gibby have to see before he comes to his bloody senses? Showalter must be killing himself laughing - I know I am at this ineptitude.
Petey Baseball - Friday, May 19 2017 @ 10:18 PM EDT (#342276) #
Stop asking them to bunt.
scottt - Friday, May 19 2017 @ 10:20 PM EDT (#342277) #
When the hitter bunts a first strike on a pitch that's not close to the strike zone, you should probably take the bunt off because the next pitch is  likely  to be another ball. Then when it's back to 1-1, you can put it back because the defense will be confused. Also, who keeps bunting with 2 strikes? 
Chuck - Friday, May 19 2017 @ 10:21 PM EDT (#342278) #
Gibbons is just loving the bunt. Bunt everyone, bunt. Safety squeeze? Naw, suicide squeeze. Should I continue attempting to bunt with two strikes? Yes, man, yes. And what about me, a sub-200 hitter? Bunt, my good man, bunt. On this team, everyone bunts.
dan gordon - Friday, May 19 2017 @ 10:24 PM EDT (#342279) #
What's with all the bunting all of a sudden? Stop trying to do something you can't do. Even if it works, it's usually bad strategy. Yikes, this offense is disadvantaged enough with all the injuries, now they're adopting strategies that make it even worse.
CeeBee - Friday, May 19 2017 @ 10:27 PM EDT (#342280) #
Home plate umping is as bad as the Jays bunting.
Four Seamer - Friday, May 19 2017 @ 10:27 PM EDT (#342281) #
We are in the golden age of terrible home plate umpiring.
Chuck - Friday, May 19 2017 @ 10:27 PM EDT (#342282) #
Gibby, what's your favourite cake? Bundt.
Chuck - Friday, May 19 2017 @ 10:30 PM EDT (#342283) #
Gibby, what's your favourite July the 4th decoration? Bunting.
CeeBee - Friday, May 19 2017 @ 10:33 PM EDT (#342284) #
Gibby, whats you're favorite winter pastime. Snow Bunting of course.
#2JBrumfield - Friday, May 19 2017 @ 10:35 PM EDT (#342285) #
Joe Smith should go Jon Rauch on that ump. Brutal!
Chuck - Friday, May 19 2017 @ 11:01 PM EDT (#342286) #
Snow Bunting

Can't be. Sounds too much like no bunting.

Petey Baseball - Friday, May 19 2017 @ 11:44 PM EDT (#342287) #
What's Gibby's favourite bird?
Definitely an indigo bunting.
Four Seamer - Saturday, May 20 2017 @ 12:00 AM EDT (#342289) #
Meals should check the prescription on those safety goggles he's wearing.
Four Seamer - Saturday, May 20 2017 @ 12:07 AM EDT (#342290) #
I'm glad I stayed up for that.
Petey Baseball - Saturday, May 20 2017 @ 12:18 AM EDT (#342291) #
4th walkoff loss of the year already. That game was lost in the 5th when the Jays only scored 3. Travis's ball just misses going out and then that silly squeeze play mess, when Tillman couldn't throw a strike. Gibbons deserves a lot of heat for a couple of losses lately.

I haven't followed as long a most on here but I can't remember a more frustrating season than this one. With the exception of the comeback against Cleveland and the Pillar walkoff it seems we've lost every close game this season. I need a break.

uglyone - Saturday, May 20 2017 @ 01:27 AM EDT (#342293) #
that should be about it for grilli.

and gibby is a genius - keep doing this and nobody will ever gripe about him never bunting again.
ISLAND BOY - Saturday, May 20 2017 @ 06:00 AM EDT (#342294) #
On the plus side, Anthony Alford looked good. Buck and Pat have been around the game a long time, and they both were impressed by the sound of the ball off his bat when he hit the line drive to the outfielder. I look forward to seeing some of our position prospects making the big club in the coming years.
scottt - Saturday, May 20 2017 @ 09:49 AM EDT (#342295) #
Tillman was wild and all those bunts helped him last an extra inning. That's what I hated the most about it.
You should always try to get to the other team's bullpen early in the first game of a series.

Is that it for Alford?

Gausman has a higher ERA than Bolsinger, but Gausman has done well against the Jays and Bolsinger has never faced Baltimore.
This could be a night for mop up duty. Holwell, Leone, Loup, etc..

The best relief pitcher in Buffalo has been Girodo, unfortunately, it's Dermody that's on the 40 roster and he's look a lot like Grilli, Chris Smith has only pitched 3 innings, but he's 2 for 2 on saves. That should really just leave Campos as a MLB pen option.

eudaimon - Saturday, May 20 2017 @ 10:13 AM EDT (#342297) #
Not the best week for Gibbons. However, Buckwalter can only laugh so much after his non-use of Britton in the Wild-Card game.
bpoz - Saturday, May 20 2017 @ 10:35 AM EDT (#342299) #
What exactly is the role of the bench coach. Gibbons and Showalter should have consulted with them.
SK in NJ - Saturday, May 20 2017 @ 02:24 PM EDT (#342307) #
Grilli coming in was basically Gibbons living to fight another day. You knew the game was over the moment Osuna couldn't come in and Grilli was the one on the mound. With his September struggles carrying over to 2017, and the fact that he's 40, it might be time to cut bait. Of course, when the Jays acquired him last year he was struggling badly as well, but they have better options internally, and I'd rather have a mop up guy (which Grilli basically is now) be someone who can eat some innings when a need arises.

The Jays are doing an admiral job without Donaldson, Tulo, Martin, Happ, Sanchez (for a bit), Liriano, Pearce, etc, but the roster is full of replacement level parts right now, and unless they are facing a team even more decimated by injuries (Seattle), it's going to be hard to consistently win.

Dropping 3/4 to the Braves really hurt.
jerjapan - Saturday, May 20 2017 @ 02:51 PM EDT (#342308) #
I'm with you on this SK ... the team is facing something of a roster crunch when players start coming off the DL, and I'd rather see Barnes and Tepera as regulars in the pen than riding the Buffalo shuttle - and that may mean cutting bait on a vet like Grilli. 
scottt - Saturday, May 20 2017 @ 03:31 PM EDT (#342310) #
It depends on how you look at it. In a tied game on the road, you still need Osuna to come and close if you get the lead, so there was no reason for him to have been up twice already. Even if Grilli hold, they would still have needed somebody to pitch the 11 and Osuna was already burned because he warmed up twice. They needed that 4th run and for all we know, Gibby might be thinking he made the right call on the suicide out of Travis at 3rd.
Gerry - Saturday, May 20 2017 @ 04:20 PM EDT (#342312) #
Per the beat writers Mike Ohlman is packing his bags, Russell to play tonight. Also Cesar Valdez is in the clubhouse, don't know the corresponding move.
scottt - Saturday, May 20 2017 @ 04:55 PM EDT (#342313) #
Sanchez back on the DL with a finger laceration.
BlueJayWay - Saturday, May 20 2017 @ 04:55 PM EDT (#342314) #
Sanchez back on the DL too, which probably everyone here knows already since it's been reported by Shi et al. Finger laceration.
scottt - Saturday, May 20 2017 @ 05:01 PM EDT (#342315) #
They didn't need Valdez to cover for Sanchez yet, so, I assume he's there as insurance in case they need to pull Bolsinger early.  I hope Alford starts every day that he's here.
jerjapan - Saturday, May 20 2017 @ 05:04 PM EDT (#342316) #
Gotta assume Ohlman's bat is too attractive to clear waivers, although his DFA certainly shows what the FO thinks of his glove.  Raffy Lopez continues to rake in Buffalo after his promotion from AA, and he has options, so not the biggest loss.

Who gets Sanchez's next start?  Valdez seems like a warm body for the pen who can go long, but we are getting into desperation time. 

Welcome back Russ!

PeterG - Saturday, May 20 2017 @ 05:19 PM EDT (#342317) #
Jays won't need a 5th starter till a week from Tuesday, so Sanchez could conceivably make that start. It could be a convenient use of DL to carry an extra long reliever till then. Next up for DFA will be Coghlan. Bolsinger becomes another possibility if he sucks tonight. Valdez is in an option year and can be moved back and forth at will (subject to 10 day recall rule)
Mike Green - Saturday, May 20 2017 @ 05:20 PM EDT (#342318) #
Maybe Liriano gets Sanchez' next start.
PeterG - Saturday, May 20 2017 @ 05:26 PM EDT (#342319) #
I am hoping that Liriano goes into the Bolsinger spot. I think it is more likely than not that the Sanchez DLing is bogus and at the very least not serious.
Gerry - Saturday, May 20 2017 @ 05:27 PM EDT (#342320) #
Valdez has been starting for Buffalo so he is one of the options.
Gerry - Saturday, May 20 2017 @ 08:15 PM EDT (#342321) #
Tulo played Thursday for Dunedin but there has been no sign of him on Friday or now Saturday. There have been some hints that his rehab has not been going well, this seems to confirm it.
rpriske - Saturday, May 20 2017 @ 08:32 PM EDT (#342322) #
I just turned on the game... what is with those butt-ugly Orioles uniforms?
Magpie - Saturday, May 20 2017 @ 09:29 PM EDT (#342323) #
Something about "Celebrate Maryland" - it's modelled on the state flag, which is remarkably hideous.

jerjapan - Saturday, May 20 2017 @ 10:18 PM EDT (#342324) #
I don't think I've ever been moved to comment on the opponent's uniform before, but this look Baltimore has presented us with tonight is an affront to human decency. 
uglyone - Saturday, May 20 2017 @ 10:25 PM EDT (#342325) #
jose in balty >>>
Four Seamer - Saturday, May 20 2017 @ 10:28 PM EDT (#342326) #
I just assumed they were meant to resemble jockey racing jerseys, given that they ran the Preakness Stakes in Baltimore today, but that flag idea is even worse.
Gerry - Saturday, May 20 2017 @ 10:34 PM EDT (#342327) #
Gibby brought Barnes in to pitch for the fourth time in five days. I don't think it worked. Barnes pitched Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and now Saturday.

Gibby has been riding Tepera, Smith and Barnes pretty hard.
uglyone - Saturday, May 20 2017 @ 10:45 PM EDT (#342328) #
argh. can we get remotely close to healthy already.
SK in NJ - Saturday, May 20 2017 @ 11:15 PM EDT (#342329) #
"Gibby has been riding Tepera, Smith and Barnes pretty hard."

I said it last year, but Sanchez staying in the rotation post trade deadline 2016 was better for his arm than being in Gibby's pen. His use of relievers is by far his biggest weakness.
John Northey - Sunday, May 21 2017 @ 09:01 AM EDT (#342330) #
Didn't notice that he had been leaning that hard on Barnes. His HR pitch was (based on gameday info) almost the exact same speed and location as the pitch before it. Something that should never happen. The Jays need a complete game or two soon. Sadly the next two games have a near zero chance of that happening with Marco Estrada, and Joe Biagini going. Monday being an off day is desperately needed. Hopefully Stroman is on his A game Wednesday and the pen can get 2 out of 3 days off.
greenfrog - Sunday, May 21 2017 @ 09:05 AM EDT (#342331) #
Smoak is now hitting .279/.342/.550 (wRC+ 139). Remarkably, he has been the best hitter on the team so far this year.
BlueJayWay - Sunday, May 21 2017 @ 09:08 AM EDT (#342332) #
Gibby brought Barnes in to pitch for the fourth time in five days.

Yeah that was a disaster waiting to happen. Using a reliever 4 times in 5 days usually doesn't work out.
greenfrog - Sunday, May 21 2017 @ 10:44 AM EDT (#342333) #
Checking the boxscores from yesterday's games, I noticed that Encarnacion is hitting .199/.333/.356 (fWAR -0.3). His K rate (28.1%) has really spiked from his career rate of 16.5%. A reminder that while Morales has had a tough start this year, EE's has been even worse, especially when you take their respective contracts into account.

Meanwhile, Bautista (wRC+ 181 this month) has quietly surpassed both of them in terms of overall value produced in 2017.
scottt - Sunday, May 21 2017 @ 11:36 AM EDT (#342334) #
The flag of Maryland is the banner of George Calvert, Lord Baltimore, which blends the black and gold of his family flag with the red and white of his wife's.
"Calvert" is profanity in Quebec and is the translation of  Calvary. He's said to have come from Flaunders.
Lord Baltimore founded a settlement for Catholics in Newfoundland called Avalon, but found it too cold.
He tried to move to Virginia but as they didn't want Catholics there he asked the King for a new colony which was granted after his death. One of his  13 children led the colony--named after the queen, Henriette Marie--and kept the family emblem.

After almost 400 years, they probably won't change it because of down votes on internet. Too bad.

eudaimon - Sunday, May 21 2017 @ 11:39 AM EDT (#342335) #
Yeah, I think Bautista's proved that he's still got it. It was a pretty ugly first month, but he's been great in May and has really cut down on the Ks recently (only four in the last seven games).

But we really need Donny back if we're going to get anywhere. Tulo would be good too, but he's more easily replaced.
scottt - Sunday, May 21 2017 @ 11:41 AM EDT (#342336) #
They need to figure out how to pitch to Castillo. He's just and average hitter with 20 HR power.
The league hasn't caught to him yet.

SK in NJ - Sunday, May 21 2017 @ 11:44 AM EDT (#342337) #
Smoak's hitting the ball harder than ever, drawing walks at a similar clip to his career, and not getting an unreasonable amount of BABIP luck (.290 BABIP). He hasn't been as helpless with off speed stuff so far, either. The biggest difference appears to be a huge drop in strike outs. If they made some sort of adjustment to his approach/swing, then it's working. The skill was always there, but he could never put it together.

I'm not going to get too excited until he proves this is for real over a full season. Atkins took a lot of grief for this extension, including from me, so if Smoak actually does turn into something solid/good, then it would certainly be a good sign for the future as far as trusting Atkins' judgment with hitters. Morales is another one who got a lot of grief, but he's been subpar so far.
greenfrog - Sunday, May 21 2017 @ 12:14 PM EDT (#342338) #
To me, it's interesting how much uncertainty there is around predicting future performance. For example, the following are some mainstream opinions that have been expressed over the last year and a half:

- Price: should have signed him as a free agent
- Encarnacion: should have signed him as a free agent
- Happ: bad signing
- Smoak extension: bad idea

And so on. The current front office is by no means perfect, but some of their initially-unpopular moves (or non-moves) have worked out quite well. With fewer injuries, this team would likely be right in the thick of contention.
uglyone - Sunday, May 21 2017 @ 12:23 PM EDT (#342339) #
the scary part of morales having a worse wrc+ than edwin right now is that morales underlying numbers look pretty much in line with his recent ones with slight deterioration across the board, while EE's struggles seem to be the result of specific K/power outliers which i'd wager sort themselves out eventually.

what's interesting about Smoak is that the difference this year seems almost entirely about his hitting from the right side. His hitting from the left side (107wrc+) is consistent with his last couple years (99, 105) and career (101). It's just that suddenly he's destroying lefties - 243wrc+ this year vs 82 previous 3yrs and 89 career.
eudaimon - Sunday, May 21 2017 @ 01:07 PM EDT (#342340) #
To me Smoak just looks less hopeless against curveballs / sliders. I've seen him take lots of great pitches this year that I think he would have struck out on last year. It's not often you can teach a 30 year old new tricks, but if he's legitimately learned something he could be a force to be reckoned with. The power was always there.
uglyone - Sunday, May 21 2017 @ 01:33 PM EDT (#342341) #
Trying to dive down into whether Smoak is different vs RHP so far this year:

2017: .286babip, 26.3ld%, 36.3gb%, 37.5fb%, 20.0hr/fb%, 10.0%soft, 42.5hard%
14-16: .267babip, 25.2ld%, 36.9gb%, 37.9fb%, 19.6hr/fb%, 13.9%soft, 38.6%hard

the underlying numbers look just as similar as the wrc+ does to recent performance. Slightly harder contact so far this year but nothing too notable for this sample size.

Looks to me like the difference this year is all in his performance as a RHB. But at only 36pa, it's hard to know what to make of that difference.
uglyone - Sunday, May 21 2017 @ 01:52 PM EDT (#342342) #
So nice to see Travis bounce back. Not going to admit I was legit concerned but I was starting to worry a bit.
uglyone - Sunday, May 21 2017 @ 04:13 PM EDT (#342343) #
Estrada is awesome, but in a whole new way this year. He's turned most of the weak contact into whiffs.
bpoz - Monday, May 22 2017 @ 08:37 AM EDT (#342345) #
This is a small sample of sluggers, Smoak, EE and Bautista. Both EE and Bautista had their best years starting at 29 or so. Those years were great.

Smoak is at that age. If he can get 500 ABs this year, the his current projection is 30 Hr. Also the BB numbers are possibly ok. The Ks seem better.
scottt - Monday, May 22 2017 @ 01:55 PM EDT (#342350) #
It looks like Happ is ready for  a re-hab start. I think Pompey and Sparkman will be back as soon as their 60 days run out. It doesn't seem like anyone will be returning this month.
Chuck - Monday, May 22 2017 @ 02:45 PM EDT (#342353) #
Smoak is at that age.

So was Saunders last year. And he was an all-star... for half a season. And he looks every bit the pumpkin this year that he looked in latter 2016.

Hopefully Smoak does have that late career bloom going, but I'll want a lot more evidence before I buy in.

scottt - Monday, May 22 2017 @ 03:33 PM EDT (#342355) #
There's really nothing to buy with Smoak. He's under contract for another year and the Jays have a first baseman waiting to replace him in AAA. Right now, Tellez is the only one holding Tellez.

Saunders is making 8M and has a 1M buyout on an 11M option, so he's making as much in a -0.2 WAR year than he's made in the first 6 years of his career (6WAR).  Things could look different in August.

Mike Green - Monday, May 22 2017 @ 03:41 PM EDT (#342356) #
The Dunedin Blue Jays tweeted that both Donaldson and Tulowitzki will be in the lineup tonight. 
uglyone - Monday, May 22 2017 @ 04:32 PM EDT (#342357) #
hopefully they can get through the 2gms in Milwaukee and then get most everyone back on the weekend.
92-93 - Monday, May 22 2017 @ 04:40 PM EDT (#342358) #
That is very welcome news, because the backups are starting to get exposed. It would be great to have JD & Tulo back Friday vs. Texas, but really any time on the homestand. Barney and Goins are > average fielders but there is still a noticeable defensive downgrade on the left side of the infield with them there. Obviously it would be nice to have a decent lineup again. Carrera could probably use some days off as well, he had a really bad week and always seems to tail off when he starts playing too often.

Justin Smoak 2017 through 159PA: 14bb 31k 6doubles 10hrs .278 .340 .542
Justin Smoak 2016 through 160PA: 21bb 47k 6doubles 5hrs .275 .375 .428

I remember being frustrated by Smoak around this time last year because it seemed that while he was drawing a lot of walks, it came from a passive approach where he was tentative at the plate and ended up getting caught looking at a lot of strike 3s right in the zone. He does seem to be having better ABs right now, but there's definitely a lot of baseball still to be played.
scottt - Monday, May 22 2017 @ 10:03 PM EDT (#342359) #
They kept Alford to give Carrera some time off.
There's no way to replace Donaldson. Tulo was on its way to another 3 WAR season, Donaldson another 7.
That's like 10 wins over Barney/Goins over the whole year and 2 or 3 of those already lost.

Blue Jays @ Orioles - May 19-21 | 77 comments | Create New Account
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