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The rematch, not of the punch but of the playoffs. Some of the Rangers prime time players have hit the skids recently. Rougned Odor is hitting .207 while up-keeper of the unwritten rules, Sam Dyson, has an 11.93 ERA. Mike Bolsinger takes on AJ Griffin with his 5+ ERA on Friday. Saturday sees a good pitching matchup, Yu Darvish vs Marco Estrada. On Sunday its Andrew Cashner and Joe Biagini.

Like the Jays the Rangers got off to a rough start. However they were able to run off a ten game win streak before getting swept by Boston over the last three games.

In addition to Odor's tough start, both Mike Napoli and Joey Gallo have batting averages under .200. Both of them have double figures in home runs. Gallo is playing because Adrian Beltre is on the DL.

Matt Bush leads the team with 5 saves. Dyson has a minuscule 3.14 K9.

Rangers at Blue Jays - May 26-28 | 123 comments | Create New Account
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Chuck - Friday, May 26 2017 @ 07:33 PM EDT (#342526) #
A little league game has broken out.
SK in NJ - Friday, May 26 2017 @ 07:35 PM EDT (#342527) #
A DP turned into an error followed by a brain fart by Zeke throwing to the wrong base. Can't really afford to give teams more chances with Bolsinger on the mound. He should have been out of his inning without allowing any runs.
sam - Friday, May 26 2017 @ 07:48 PM EDT (#342528) #
Zeke doesn't look like he's ready to play. There was the mental error in the second and now a three-pitch strikeout looking. Yikes.
greenfrog - Friday, May 26 2017 @ 08:16 PM EDT (#342529) #
Some stellar defense in the third inning by the Jays. The play to gun down Andrus (Bautista-Travis-Martin) was terrific, and Jose running down Odor's liner was a nice way to close out the inning.
uglyone - Friday, May 26 2017 @ 08:45 PM EDT (#342530) #
suddenly we feel dangerous every inning again.
Dr. Zarco - Friday, May 26 2017 @ 08:59 PM EDT (#342531) #
Bolsinger and his walks are brutal. 15 BB in 20 Inn. Tough way to try to survive. Hope Happ is near ready.
Gerry - Friday, May 26 2017 @ 09:25 PM EDT (#342532) #
Per Jamie Campbell, Dalton Pompey will be back with Dunedin next week as he works his way back from concussion.

Before tonights game Jeff Blair was suggesting that Liriano could go to the bullpen when he comes off the DL. It could depend on how long Sanchez is out. The Jays are considering Happ for Tuesdays start.
Shoeless Joe - Friday, May 26 2017 @ 10:00 PM EDT (#342533) #
This looks like a different team than in April already. The team looks healthier, the bullpen is stabilized and the veterans are hitting. I've been impressed with Danny Barnes.

I really think its time the Jays move on form Grilli and rotate in Girado, Dermody, Stilson at the end of the bullpen in low leverage situation to prep them for expanded use like they did with Tepera and Barnes over the last few years.
92-93 - Friday, May 26 2017 @ 10:45 PM EDT (#342534) #
Great win and start to the series with Bolsinger on the bump. I like that the Jays swapped Bolsinger and Estrada around, because it sets up Bolsinger's next start to be vs. CIN and Estrada will go the next day vs. NYY. It's fun watching a team with some length in the lineup again.

When Morales gets on base with 1 out in the bottom of the 7th and you're up 7-3, it should be a really easy decision to pinch run. It's unlikely his spot in the lineup comes up again, he isn't an elite hitter, and you need a guy who can score from first on a gap double, or from second on a single with two outs. Had the Jays done so they would've extended their lead to 8-3, and then Travis would've come up with 2 men on. At the very least you hold Morales on a line drive base hit right at the left-fielder.

Howell, Leone, or Grilli could've pitched the 9th instead of Smith and Osuna had they picked up that run or two in the 7th.

The Blue Jays are now 8-7 in one run games!
BlueJayWay - Friday, May 26 2017 @ 10:48 PM EDT (#342535) #
I believe they've won the last 6 one run games they've played. I don't want to jinx this.
uglyone - Friday, May 26 2017 @ 10:53 PM EDT (#342536) #
6.5gms out of 1st
4.5gms out of 2nd / both wildcards

NYY 6-9 in their last 15.
BAL 4-11 in their last 15.
Mike Green - Friday, May 26 2017 @ 10:55 PM EDT (#342537) #
Swapping Bolsinger and Estrada does have that plus.  The minus is the Tuesday-Wednesday starts are likely both going to be short, what with Happ/Valdez/Latos and Bolsinger getting consecutive starts.  I'm not crazy about wearing out the bullpen before the Yankees come in. 

Were all 3 Jay homers tonight JEs?  I thought so, but we'll see what Hit Tracker says tomorrow.  The Jays have not been particularly lucky up to now, but the worm might have turned. 
92-93 - Friday, May 26 2017 @ 11:28 PM EDT (#342538) #
If the bullpen looks rough heading into the Yankees series, they could just DFA Bolsinger to call up a fresh arm and carry an 8th (or 9th) RP. It's possible Liriano would take his next turn in the rotation anyway, and if he's not ready yet they just go with Valdez for a start. The difference between Bolsinger and Valdez for one start is minimal anyway.

Good discipline by the Jays to rest JD and Tulo tomorrow, but hopefully they can space that out a bit moving forward. When Pearce gets back, maybe Bautista can get some rest once in awhile too.
pubster - Saturday, May 27 2017 @ 12:05 AM EDT (#342539) #
Great job by Gibbons to get the 1 run win
scottt - Saturday, May 27 2017 @ 06:32 AM EDT (#342540) #
There's still Sparkman out there who could still turn into a commodity. Coghlan is still there because Barney is not 100%.
scottt - Saturday, May 27 2017 @ 06:49 AM EDT (#342541) #
Bibens-Dirks was impressive. Not shabby for a rookie year at 32. He's been playing minor leagues + winter leagues every year since he turned 25. I wonder what it's like to play in the Venezuelan League these days. 

B-D saved the Texas bullpen and now we have Darvish (2.83) and Cashner (3.18) with Bush (1.10) and Claudio (2.86) closing the games. Would be nice if they looked like the Jays that used to grind at bats and tear middle relievers apart.

Chuck - Saturday, May 27 2017 @ 08:02 AM EDT (#342542) #
I missed some parts of the game. Any mention made why Texas brought their closer into a game down 7-3, with none on, two outs and Pillar coming up?
China fan - Saturday, May 27 2017 @ 08:32 AM EDT (#342544) #
Before last night, Bush hadn't pitched in a week. Maybe they were just trying to give him some work to keep him sharp?
hypobole - Saturday, May 27 2017 @ 09:22 AM EDT (#342546) #
"Great job by Gibbons to get the 1 run win"

Not sure if this was sarcasm. Have to agree with 92-93. The decision not to pinch run for Morales was very questionable. Even if Barney isn't 100%, he still had Goins and Coghlan on the bench.

But then if Coghlan pinch ran and scored, it wouldn't have been a 1 run win.
John Northey - Saturday, May 27 2017 @ 09:26 AM EDT (#342547) #
Lets check then pen heading into today. Good Old Baseball Reference has the most recent 14 days usage for each reliever now.

Barnes: 17 pitches yesterday after 2 days off, 21 pitches the day before that, 2 days off before that, then we hit that crazy 4 games in 5 days stretch.

Grilli: 2 days off, 17 pitches, 4 days off, 15 pitches. Guess who is in the doghouse?

Howell: 9 days off - wonder if he remembers where the mound is?

Leon: 2 days off, 11 pitches, 3 days off, 8, 2 days off, 30, clearly not a favorite but not in the Grilli or Howell doghouses.

Loup: 10-0-16-0-0-0-4-0-0-7 gets used but not often on consecutive days so probably has the night off tonight

Osuna: 5 last night, 2 days off, 19, day off, 14, 4 days off, 10. He can go consecutive easily but no need to in awhile.

Smith: 17-0-0-11-0-6-0-16-15-0-6-0-0-19 a favorite right now and if the game is close will be in there again.

Tepera: 24-0-0-21-0-0-0-17-15 odds are he'll have today off and maybe tomorrow too before getting in again.

So very available tonight: Osuna, Leon, Howell, Grilli
No one really on the 'do not use' list tonight but I doubt Barnes or Tepera will be used outside of extra innings or one batter.
PeterG - Saturday, May 27 2017 @ 10:44 AM EDT (#342548) #
BA just released mock draft 3.5. They have Jays taking 2 college pitchers in round one:

#22 Tanner Houck, rhp Missouri

#28 Alex Lange, rhp Louisiana State
scottt - Saturday, May 27 2017 @ 10:57 AM EDT (#342549) #
Bush needed the work, but why bother with just 3 pitches to Pillar?

scottt - Saturday, May 27 2017 @ 11:03 AM EDT (#342551) #
I'd be surprised if they don't take at least one pitcher in the first round.
It really depends on what falls to them.

jerjapan - Saturday, May 27 2017 @ 11:53 AM EDT (#342552) #
If we get both Houck (who we drafted previously out of HS) and Lange, I'd be happy - both hard throwing college guys with mid rotation potential.  but both are projected as mid rounders, so they may be gone by the time we pick.

Super happy for Bibens-Dirx.  Dude is 32 and has pitched for 15 different minor league teams before his big league debut this year.  A nice testament to his perseverance. 

The bullpen has sorted itself well, I just hope we don't remain married to vets who are being outperformed by the young arms.  I'm all for rotating guys through the Buffalo shuttle as Shoeless Joe mentioned - the Barnes and Tepera treatment seems to have worked for those guys - but the arms I'd like to see are not Girodo, Dermody and Stilson.  I worry that the first two guys are too hittable and want to see Stilson get his walks down.  I don't see Sparkman fitting in - coming off a major injury with all of 8 games as high as AA, he'd need to be impressive immediately.  Campos, both the Smiths (although Murphy is not on the 40 man) and Jeff Beliveau - also not on the 40 man - are the guys I'd like to see.  Beliveau had a strong major league debut in 2014 before injuries wiped out his 2015.

I don't recall any conversation around Belliveau on the Box and Atkins didn't mention him as a top candidate during spring training, but he has been pitching long relief (including a spot start) for the Bisons, gets lefties out like a LOOGY and has a WHIP of under 1 in his last 10 games - 20 IPs, 30Ks. 

Gotta say, I'm starting to believe that Smoak has reached another level. 

China fan - Saturday, May 27 2017 @ 11:54 AM EDT (#342553) #
Looking ahead to tomorrow, I'll be very interested to see how Joe Biagini performs.  He was up to 77 pitches in his last start, so he is (arguably) just about fully stretched out.  He should be able to go 90 pitches tomorrow.  It could be a real test of whether he has the long-term potential to remain in the rotation.  The problem is that he still hasn't managed to last for longer than 5 innings, which raises questions about what role is best for him.  If he can go 6 or 7 innings tomorrow, I'll start to become increasingly confident that he has a future as a starter.

Biagini now has almost as many innings as a starter this year as he had in the bullpen.  (He has thrown 17.1 innings as a starter and 18.2 innings as a reliever.)  So we can perhaps take a peek at the numbers and begin to make some tentative early comparisons.  It's not too bad.  His numbers as a starter are slightly worse, but that's probably normal.  He has an xFIP of 3.01 as a reliever and 3.67 as a starter.  He has much better K numbers as a reliever, but that's to be expected.  More importantly, he is keeping the ball in the park in both roles. There's no indication that he's giving up more extra-base hits as a starter.  So I think there's still lots of room for optimism that he can make the transition to the rotation.  But first I want to see if he can go 6 or 7 innings.  A starter who cannot go past 5 innings would put too much strain on the bullpen.

With Liriano and Happ almost ready to return, the Jays might have to make a decision on Biagini soon.  Perhaps they can postpone the decision until Sanchez is back.  But at some point they will have to decide if his future is in the bullpen or the rotation.  Games such as tomorrow's game will be a key part of the data.

uglyone - Saturday, May 27 2017 @ 11:59 AM EDT (#342554) #
i hope happ starts Tuesday. a rehabbing happ should be better than the alternatives.
uglyone - Saturday, May 27 2017 @ 12:01 PM EDT (#342555) #
can't really judge biagini as an SP until gibby lets him face hitters a 3rd time thru the order imo.
China fan - Saturday, May 27 2017 @ 12:09 PM EDT (#342556) #
"....Howell: 9 days off - wonder if he remembers where the mound is?...."

On the mystery of JP Howell, there are two possible scenarios here:

1) Gibbons and the front office have totally lost confidence in him, and the Jays are just keeping him around to find the right trading partner, as they did with Storen and Chavez last year, and to use him in very low-leverage mop-up situations if at all.

2) Here's the more optimistic scenario, although I have no idea if it's correct:  perhaps Howell still had lingering injury issues for a while after he came back, his velocity was down, his command was off, or his mechanics needed some kind of adjustment, but the Jays thought they could fix him with side sessions and close coaching in Toronto.  Maybe they've been watching him closely and still believe that he can get it together.  But they want to fix him in Toronto because they think he is nearly there.  And they can't rehab him in the minors without putting him back on the DL again, so they're keeping him here.

Is this second scenario plausible?  No idea  But if it's not, they should probably cut bait and promote Girodo, Dermody or Chris Smith.  They can't afford to carry a rarely-used reliever who has thrown only 4.2 innings for the entire season so far.
PeterG - Saturday, May 27 2017 @ 12:10 PM EDT (#342557) #
I don't think we will really be able to judge Biagini as a starter till next season. It has been suggested that he may not be in shape to be a starter and that is not something that can be fixed mid season. It can be addressed in the off season. I expect him to start next season whatever transpires in 2017. It's anyone's guess what happens during the remainder of 2017.
scottt - Saturday, May 27 2017 @ 12:21 PM EDT (#342558) #
Girodo doesn't throw hard enough to face righties unless he finds another pitch, but he's a solid LOOGY.
Not being on the 40 roster is likely to keep him out of the loop this year. We already have Holwell and Loup anyway.
Chris Smith has been fantastic at AAA but they probably want him to pitch more.
As a  rule V pick, the role of Sparkman would be mop up duty. Who's in that role now? Grilli?
They can't keep him there all year. Makes no sense. 

92-93 - Saturday, May 27 2017 @ 01:08 PM EDT (#342560) #
Martin got the call at 3B in Estrada's last start as well. Estrada's GB% is the lowest of the SP at 36.1% so it makes sense with the day game after a night game and Donaldson being worked back into full-time action.

It'll be interesting to see how Gibby plays the late innings of today's game if they're tied or behind.
bpoz - Saturday, May 27 2017 @ 01:29 PM EDT (#342561) #
With F Rios on the DL, C Rowley is getting starting assignments for NH. I really like his results and that he has rocketed trough the minors. I would like to see him promoted to AAA later this year.

He was signed as an undrafted FA in 2013. He dominated the GCL that year. Missed 2014 and 2015 because of being in the army.

So I am wondering if he needs to be protected against the Rule 5 draft.
PeterG - Saturday, May 27 2017 @ 02:07 PM EDT (#342562) #
Yes, he does. In fact, he was rule 5 eligible in 2016. I too would like to see him promoted to Buffalo.
bpoz - Saturday, May 27 2017 @ 02:15 PM EDT (#342563) #
Thanks PeterG. I thought 2 years on the restricted list would not count.
jerjapan - Saturday, May 27 2017 @ 02:31 PM EDT (#342564) #
No room in Buffalo on the pitching staff for a kid with a WHIP of 1.55.  He's walking too many guys and not striking enough out.  There are literally 14 pitchers on the Buffalo roster ahead of Rios, and only Jarrett Grube, who at 35 years old appears to be something of a mentor type to the rotation, is pitching poorly.  Unless Grube is done I don't see a spot for Rios, and even if Grube IS done, Buffalo has 5 starters if you count Valdez.  Plus Taylor Cole and Lucas Harrell, both on the DL all year all year.  Anyone know their status? 

I hope Rios does pitch well enough to get protected from the rule v in AA.  He was too far from the bigs to get picked last year, but I could see him getting chosen this year if unprotected. 

jerjapan - Saturday, May 27 2017 @ 02:34 PM EDT (#342565) #
whoops, misread that, you guys were talking about promoting Rowley.  same issue applies, although Rowley is pitching great - and is a pretty fine story.  Not sure of any other players who stepped away from the game for the army and who look to be a potential big leaguer. 
bpoz - Saturday, May 27 2017 @ 03:24 PM EDT (#342566) #
If Borucki can get protected out of Lansing. I also wonder about Romano and Perdomo. C Greene is protected for sure IMO.
krose - Saturday, May 27 2017 @ 03:46 PM EDT (#342567) #
What happened to pitch tracker?
krose - Saturday, May 27 2017 @ 04:15 PM EDT (#342568) #
Pillar back to being Pillar.
greenfrog - Saturday, May 27 2017 @ 04:19 PM EDT (#342569) #
How was that 1-0 pitch to Travis called a strike? Pretty unprofessional umpiring, in my view.
scottt - Saturday, May 27 2017 @ 04:20 PM EDT (#342570) #
Joe West thinks we're back in the ALCS 2016.
Would you prefer they go down swinging or looking on those pitches a foot outside?

China fan - Saturday, May 27 2017 @ 04:28 PM EDT (#342571) #
There was at least twice in that game where I would have desperately called on Donaldson to pinch-hit. Gibbons played it cool, stuck to his game plan, gave a full day off to the recovering JD and Tulo to protect their health, and won the game anyway.
92-93 - Saturday, May 27 2017 @ 04:30 PM EDT (#342572) #
Tremendous pitching, fantastic defense, and a 3 run HR. Hell of a win vs. Darvish with Donaldson and Tulowitzki out.

scottt - Saturday, May 27 2017 @ 04:37 PM EDT (#342573) #
Odor making a throwing error, tripping running to first and getting thrown out diving at first was a lot of fun.
China fan - Saturday, May 27 2017 @ 04:41 PM EDT (#342574) #
For the sweep tomorrow, the Jays really need Biagini to show that he can go more than 5 innings. The bullpen is running on fumes. Aside from Barnes and Leone, everyone else in the bullpen has now pitched in two consecutive games (aside from Grilli and Howell of course). Osuna threw only 10 pitches tonight, after 5 pitches on Friday, so he should be available to close. Perhaps the Jays can get 2 innings from Barnes and an inning from Leone. But it could still be a tight situation for the bullpen, especially if the game is close.
hypobole - Saturday, May 27 2017 @ 04:45 PM EDT (#342575) #
"Not sure of any other players who stepped away from the game for the army and who look to be a potential big leaguer."

This guy wasn't a minor leaguer, but returned after missing 3 years for military service and slashed .342/.497/.667.
SK in NJ - Saturday, May 27 2017 @ 04:51 PM EDT (#342576) #
Going with Bolsinger last night and Estrada today worked perfectly, as did resting both Donaldson and Tulo against a tough SP and still getting the W. In addition to Tulo and Donaldson, the Jays really need Pearce to come back soon as well. Zeke is starting to (predictably) fade, and as bad as Pearce was to begin the season, he's typically a very good player so him coming back and hitting would be huge for the lineup.
China fan - Saturday, May 27 2017 @ 04:55 PM EDT (#342577) #
I agree on Carrera's annual fade from over-exposure. To make matters worse, the only other LF options on the current roster are Coghlan, Goins and Barney -- none of whom are very inspiring choices. I'd be almost tempted to promote Dwight Smith again.
jerjapan - Saturday, May 27 2017 @ 05:01 PM EDT (#342578) #
Estrada is a lot of fun to watch when he is making the hitters look foolish.  Love all the Ks.

Hypobole, that Ted Williams guy was pretty good, wasn't he?  My bad for not being clearer in my post, I meant in the modern era - those WW2 guys are pretty remarkable, but that's a bygone era.  Pat Tillman in the NFL and Chan Sung Jung from the UFC are the only comparable modern athletes I can come up with off the top of my head, and as a South Korean, Jung had no choice.   

PeterG - Saturday, May 27 2017 @ 05:29 PM EDT (#342579) #
I too would promote Smith to replace Carrera though I am not expecting it to happen now. I would also consider replacing Howell with Chris Smith though it is possible Howell will be DFA to make room for Happ.
Mike Green - Saturday, May 27 2017 @ 05:42 PM EDT (#342580) #
Terrific win. 

With Pearce, Pompey, Happ and Liriano all on the way back, there are reasonable internal solutions to the problems.  The club does need to figure out something in relation to Howell.  It looks like Grilli will be left to work things out in a low leverage role.  You really don't two one-inning low leverage relievers and so Howell isn't getting any work. 

hypobole - Saturday, May 27 2017 @ 05:58 PM EDT (#342581) #
NBA -David Robinson drafted in 1997, but had to fulfil his 2 year naval commitment.
scottt - Saturday, May 27 2017 @ 06:04 PM EDT (#342582) #
Maybe they're just putting pressure on him to agree to a trip to Buffalo.
scottt - Saturday, May 27 2017 @ 06:49 PM EDT (#342583) #
Shouldn't Hoying have come out of the game after hitting the wall?
Is it the manager who decide when to apply the concussion protocol?

92-93 - Saturday, May 27 2017 @ 06:56 PM EDT (#342584) #
I don't really get the big deal being made about Grilli and Howell here. This is what Gibbons does every year - ignore his last two relievers, unless the game is out of hand. It's why I advocate for the last RP spot to be a rotation between optionable pitchers. It doesn't matter how many RP he has around, he will always roll with his trusted closer, setup man, and then bridge guys, and right now that's Osuna, Smith, and Loup/Barnes/Tepera. He only uses #6-8 when the Jays are losing or up by 5 or more.

You can replace the older guys with whomever you please and they will be pinned to the bench as well. Might as well see if these guys can bounce back and provide any value for the $ you've already spent on them. Grilli has been good over his last 8 appearances, but the one bad outing stands out. Let's see what Howell can do the next time he's given a chance.
King Ryan - Saturday, May 27 2017 @ 07:23 PM EDT (#342585) #
I'd there anything more satisfying than beating the rangers? Oh yes, beating them on a homerun by Bautista. How beautiful.
scottt - Saturday, May 27 2017 @ 07:29 PM EDT (#342586) #
Beating them on a homerun by Bautista while Odor makes a fool of himself.
scottt - Saturday, May 27 2017 @ 07:38 PM EDT (#342587) #
You can replace the older guys with whomever you please and they will be pinned to the bench as well. Might as well see if these guys can bounce back and provide any value for the $ you've already spent on them.

I agree, but ultimately at some point there will come a time to cut bait and that might be when Sparkman is done with rehab--if he's still striking more than one hitter per inning. It's not like they will be flushed with depth starters next year.
uglyone - Saturday, May 27 2017 @ 08:41 PM EDT (#342588) #
as usual i think the gibby RP takes are overblown.

jays have needed the 3rd most RP IP this year yet only have 2 guys in the top 50 in RP IP and 4 in the top 100. And he's spread out the innings quite nicely imo:

1.Tepera 29.1 (3rd in mlb)
2.Smith 23.2 (T-28th)
3.Leone 21.2 (T-51st)
4.Barnes 19.1 (T-97th)
5.Loup 19.0 (T-104th)
6.Osuna 18.2 (T-111th)
7.Biagini 18.2 (T-111th)
8.Grilli 15.0 (T-171st)

Seems that he's given plenty of work to his #6/7/8 RP (Loup/Leone/Grilli).

uglyone - Saturday, May 27 2017 @ 08:43 PM EDT (#342589) #
"Pillar back to being Pillar."

sure is funny. as soon as everyone comes back he instantly starts hacking again.
electric carrot - Saturday, May 27 2017 @ 09:08 PM EDT (#342590) #
I think Pillar is legitimately better than he was as a hitter -- nonetheless I think a little trip to the bottom of the order would help the team at this point.  I'd like to see Travis on top at this point.

uglyone - Saturday, May 27 2017 @ 10:41 PM EDT (#342593) #
bpoz - Saturday, May 27 2017 @ 11:32 PM EDT (#342594) #
I am getting the feeling that the Rangers are Jay's fans least favorite team. I can understand that because we played them so often the last 2 years.

I like them because they were gracious opponents. I cannot think of a word to replace gracious. It sounds bad.
uglyone - Saturday, May 27 2017 @ 11:42 PM EDT (#342595) #
John Northey - Saturday, May 27 2017 @ 11:43 PM EDT (#342596) #
Seeing the same team twice in the playoffs and having so many memorable moments good and bad makes them a big rival. Makes baseball more fun. Especially when we normally pound them :)
King Ryan - Sunday, May 28 2017 @ 12:35 AM EDT (#342597) #
I don't hate the rangers but I know how much they hate the jays, and Bautista in particular, so I enjoy beating them, and the jays do seem to have their number.

What is the jays record against Texas since odor assaulted Bautista anyway? Including playoffs.
Magpie - Sunday, May 28 2017 @ 08:58 AM EDT (#342600) #
What is the jays record against Texas since odor assaulted Bautista anyway? Including playoffs.

Well, now it's 5-0 - last year's playoff sweep and the first two games this weekend. You'll recall that the Rangers were so upset about the bat flip in the 2015 playoffs that they wasted no time whatsoever... hang on. They waited until Bautista's very last plate appearance in the very last game between the two teams in 2016 before taking their revenge.
greenfrog - Sunday, May 28 2017 @ 09:15 AM EDT (#342601) #
Here's a question for a skilled researcher: has there ever been a pair of teammates (and full-time players) who were as bad offensively as Travis and Bautista were in April (wRC+ of 1 and 57, respectively), but who rebounded to perform as well as those two have in May (wRC+ 174 and 176)?
scottt - Sunday, May 28 2017 @ 09:33 AM EDT (#342602) #
Not sure Travis on top would be a good idea. Pillar gets more single. Travis is all extra bases and you don't want him to change anything.
uglyone - Sunday, May 28 2017 @ 10:05 AM EDT (#342603) #
yeah King Ryan - their obvious hatred of us makes it so fun, even if i don't particularly dislike their team.

and technically i want travis leading off....but he's got to relax up there....for whatever reason he seems to change when stuck up top the lineup.
uglyone - Sunday, May 28 2017 @ 12:14 PM EDT (#342608) #
liriano goes for buffalo tonight.
krose - Sunday, May 28 2017 @ 02:55 PM EDT (#342612) #
Is Biagini turning into a junkballer?
China fan - Sunday, May 28 2017 @ 03:06 PM EDT (#342613) #
Six innings from Biagini today -- exactly what I wanted to see.  And he held the Rangers to two runs, while giving some breathing room to the Jays bullpen.

The Jays are going to have a tough decision on the rotation when Sanchez comes back.
krose - Sunday, May 28 2017 @ 03:11 PM EDT (#342614) #
Stroman, Sanchez, Happ, Estrada, and Lariano will be the starting five. Biagini will likely get a few starts to rest the others. IF the starting five stays healthy.
scottt - Sunday, May 28 2017 @ 03:28 PM EDT (#342615) #
Liriano is on the same day as Biagini, so maybe a tandem start?
China fan - Sunday, May 28 2017 @ 03:37 PM EDT (#342616) #
Nice to see Grilli throwing a clean innings with a couple strikeouts.  Aside from the Baltimore loss, he's been doing better lately.  Maybe it's time to restore him to somewhat higher leverage situations? 
John Northey - Sunday, May 28 2017 @ 03:43 PM EDT (#342617) #
I suspect Liriano will have a short leash once he comes back. Biagini has shown he is effective in the pen so I expect a Sanchez 2015 situation - if someone is hurt he gets starts but when all is healthy he is in the pen. Biagini will have a full shot in 2018 probably with Liriano, Estrada both being free agents. Happ after 2018 will be too. that is a lot of starting pitching to replace and few options that appear likely to be ready.
China fan - Sunday, May 28 2017 @ 03:43 PM EDT (#342618) #
And wow, a rare sighting of the endangered Howell bird.
krose - Sunday, May 28 2017 @ 03:50 PM EDT (#342619) #
There are a number of free agent starting pictures available this off season who could fill a role for the Jays over the next years.
China fan - Sunday, May 28 2017 @ 04:04 PM EDT (#342620) #
This will be a good lineup when JD and Tulo get their timing back.   I hope that's soon.
BlueJayWay - Sunday, May 28 2017 @ 04:23 PM EDT (#342621) #
Tulo and JD haven't faced major league pitching in a month and a half. Might take week or two.
China fan - Sunday, May 28 2017 @ 04:26 PM EDT (#342622) #
Happ's back.  Spotted in the Jays clubhouse after today's game.  He's now presumed to be the starter on Tuesday.  And with Liriano also back soon, I really hope this is the end of the Mike Bolsinger Experiment.
PeterG - Sunday, May 28 2017 @ 05:26 PM EDT (#342623) #
The Jays should not be signing any FA pitchers to more than a one year contract if at all. And I don't think that they will.
scottt - Sunday, May 28 2017 @ 05:30 PM EDT (#342624) #
That makes sense. They saved the bullpen today so they have a full contingent on Tuesday if Happ can't go deep.
uglyone - Sunday, May 28 2017 @ 05:34 PM EDT (#342625) #
I like biagini but if we flip him and liriano then for me that just gives us both an unreliable SP and an unreliable RP. Stick Biagini back in the pen so we add a reliable RP and make do with one unreliable SP.

scottt - Sunday, May 28 2017 @ 06:01 PM EDT (#342626) #
That was a solid start from Biagini. Just a homerun on a pitch outside the strike zone and a bunch of single, 2 in the infield. 1 walk, 7 strikeouts, a WHIP of 1.07.

When you score only 1 run, the loss in on the offense.

I don't see Liriano going back to the pen, but Sanchez isn't ready yet anyway.

jerjapan - Sunday, May 28 2017 @ 06:08 PM EDT (#342627) #
The Jays should not be signing any FA pitchers to more than a one year contract if at all.

Why not?  This sort of blanket statement leaves me confused.  We should resign Estrada, IMO.  Just wish we signed him to a three year deal last chance we had ... he wanted a longer term deal. 

I'd love to see the Atkins FO making some value long-term signings.  Mike Green's been banging the drum for some extensions, and I agree with him100%. 
PeterG - Sunday, May 28 2017 @ 06:51 PM EDT (#342628) #
An extension for Estrada is ok if it is possible. Signing FA pitchers for longer term would block our own prospects on the way and eat up budget that will be needed to keep out own guys long term. Then there is the issue that most FA signings do not work out. U cannot build a team that way. I would bet anything that the Jays won't sign anyone long term the coming off season. It is the oldest team in MLB and MUST get younger or disaster awaits.
John Northey - Sunday, May 28 2017 @ 07:03 PM EDT (#342629) #
I wouldn't be shocked to see Donaldson extended this winter or Estrada getting another 2 year deal (maybe with a vesting 3rd year if healthy). Maybe a 2 or 3 year deal for Barney (also a FA)

Free Agents post 2017: Estrada, Liriano, Grilli, Howell, Barney, Coghlan

FA post 2018: Donaldson, Happ, Pearce, Loup

FA Post 2019: Martin, Morales, Carrera

FA post 2020: Stroman, Pillar, Osuana, Goins, Travis, Sanchez (this could be a nightmare for the GM at the time)

I figure that is useful for mapping out. Those post 2021 and beyond are secondary at this point to think about. The post 2020 group you might get a good deal on now but the risk is high. 2017 and 2018 are the big concerns in Estrada, Donaldson and Happ. If the scouts feel strongly about Donaldson then a 5 year $30 per deal could work. Scary but workable. Estrada I see as a total guesswork as he is really looking good again but I always feel like he could turn into a pumpkin again at any moment.
jerjapan - Sunday, May 28 2017 @ 07:09 PM EDT (#342630) #
I don't see this FO resigning either Estrada or JD - if that was there goal, they could have resigned them for longer than 2 years in the previous contracts.  It's a conservative approach, and I wish the current FO was less conservative. 
PeterG - Sunday, May 28 2017 @ 07:22 PM EDT (#342631) #
Who is to say that the Jays may not get more value from trading JD or Estrada than keeping them? I have a friend who always freaks at the idea of trading a good player as he does not fully realize that there is something coming back and that it might be better.
jerjapan - Sunday, May 28 2017 @ 07:56 PM EDT (#342632) #
We have a legit shot at the playoffs right now, and again next year and going forward.  Why talk about trading our best starter and our best position player?  If we are totally out, sure, but it's not like this is a FO that seems determined to compete. 

As a fan, I want us going for it this year.  If we are way out, sure, trade our top players. 
Mike Green - Sunday, May 28 2017 @ 08:04 PM EDT (#342633) #
My observations from 229 today.  Biagini looks very good.  He strikes out plenty, he gets ground balls and fields his position well, and he doesn't walk many.  He held it well the third time through the lineup today (and he's built solidly and has a varied repertoire).  The chances that all three of Happ, Liriano and Sanchez will be able to pitch regularly are pretty low, and Biagini is a big step ahead of the other options. I'm happy if the club hands him the ball every 5th day.

Today was a "good loss".  The club was unlucky- hitting as many or more balls hard with less to show for it, but showed fight until the end.  They got decent innings from Leone, Grilli and Howell, and saved the high-leverage guys for another day.  As for the experience in the park, the sun was shining, the roof was open and the fans were pretty mellow except when Odor came to the plate.  The only real downside was this strange "country" charge thing on a trumpet- Mark Knopfler sang "that aint working" about Hawaiian noises and banging on the bongos, and that was how I felt about it. 

Donaldson did not look fully recovered to me, either at the plate or on the basepaths.  He ran at a Morales-like pace on the slow grounder toward third base leading off an inning with the Jays down a run.  That's not him.  Tulo looks fine, and I expect him to start hitting within a few days. 

Side note from the minor leagues:  the Lugnuts prevailed over the Great Lakes Loons in 12 innings.  The Loons starter was Chris Mathewson.  Well done, parents.

PeterG - Sunday, May 28 2017 @ 08:10 PM EDT (#342634) #
Simply put, trading them is better than losing them for nothing which is a realistic possibility if they are not traded. I am not opposed to reasonable extensions but would be very upset to lose players of that caliber for nothing. The team does look better of late but they will be in for some very hard times if they don't get considerably younger and soon. How far do you really want to extend a 34 year old and a 32 year old (at time of would be extension) when your team is already far too old.
scottt - Sunday, May 28 2017 @ 08:14 PM EDT (#342635) #
It's pretty hard to trade Donaldson for something better.
Estrada could be traded if they're out of it at the deadline.
When Donaldson hits the market, there will be several player better than him available and the luxury tax is quite expensive now. I really don't want to think about the winter in May.

It would have been nice to have a strong April. They really need better production from left field and Pearce has been a dud so far. I'm not a fan of Coghlan.

ISLAND BOY - Sunday, May 28 2017 @ 08:32 PM EDT (#342636) #
I don't know if anybody saw it but on the Blue Jay's pregame show they mentioned that Baltimore, before today's loss was 3-12 over their last 15 games which matched the Jay's horrid start. If the Jay's only really bad stretch, which most teams experience at least once during the season,is limited to that first few weeks then they do have a chance to compete for the playoffs.
scottt - Sunday, May 28 2017 @ 08:49 PM EDT (#342637) #
Yeah, Donaldson looked like he was trying not to run too hard and that was after an extra day off.
Nigel - Sunday, May 28 2017 @ 09:52 PM EDT (#342638) #
Three random thoughts after the weekend. Biagini looks excellent to me. A marginal improvement in the consistency of his CH would be the only area of obvious improvement that I can see. Estrada is pitching himself out of the Jays budget. Assuming he carries on as he currently is, I can't see him getting less than 2/30 and 3/45 and above is definitely possible. The teams issues remain the same as we thought they were - they are one OF short; one (or more) players too many whose best position is 1B or DH. It still remains a team that has a chance at the WC if everything breaks right from here on out.
uglyone - Sunday, May 28 2017 @ 11:17 PM EDT (#342639) #

if our weakest spot is "one OF short" filled be Pearce/Carrera/Coghlan/Pompey/Alford/Smith i think we're alright.

Still look to me like a playoffs favorite, not a team that needs everything to go right to have a chance.

And i still say you get younger by bringing up prospects, not by dumping good veterans just because they're older.
cybercavalier - Sunday, May 28 2017 @ 11:36 PM EDT (#342640) #
I really hope this is the end of the Mike Bolsinger Experiment.

Mike Bolsinger == Scott Copeland ?

About experimentation, is it possible to sell their contract to leagues in where its level of batting is quite close to the MLB? Copeland spent a season in South Korea. Can Bolsinger be used as a reliever? If so, let him start and relieve in Buffalo.
Shoeless Joe - Monday, May 29 2017 @ 12:00 AM EDT (#342641) #
Osuna, Stroman, Sanchez, Biagini, Travis and Pillar is enough of a young core that I think a retool is probably a good option compared to a total overhaul. I think this team follows the Yankees model and not the Cubs/Astros way.

With few financial commitments long term I think it makes sense to keep Donaldson around. He can more across the diamond halfway through the contract, and his bat will still likely play.
John Northey - Monday, May 29 2017 @ 12:35 AM EDT (#342642) #
How many years in a row have people said 'time to retool or rebuild'?
Over 32 (in decline years)
Russell Martin (34), Jose Bautista (36), Kendrys Morales (34), Steve Pearce (34), Chris Coghlan (32), Troy Tulowitzki (32)

So if you want to get the offense younger who do you dump? Martin is a very hard to replace guy, Bautista they tried to dump for a draft pick but no luck, Morales and Pearce were just added, Coghlan is a bit player, Tulo is a potential HOF'er at the far end of his prime years (1000 hits and 100 HR from being in serious discussion or if you prefer about 15 WAR away).

The team this year is 31 on average for hitters in age, 29.3 for pitchers Last year was 30.3 hitters, 30.0 pitchers.
scottt - Monday, May 29 2017 @ 07:35 AM EDT (#342643) #
B-Ref has the entire team at 2.6 WAR so far which includes Carrera contributing -0.5, Pearce -0.4 and Coghlan -0.4.
Just stick an average bat in left field with plus defense and speed on the basepath  and you get 3-4 WAR if you factor in getting rid of the negatives.

Glevin - Monday, May 29 2017 @ 08:05 AM EDT (#342644) #
"Osuna, Stroman, Sanchez, Biagini, Travis and Pillar is enough of a young core that I think a retool is probably a good option compared to a total overhaul. I think this team follows the Yankees model and not the Cubs/Astros way."

1) The Yankees rebuild should have happened during 2013. They were out of it, finished 12 games back but held on to Cano who left for nothing.Since 2012, the Yankees have had one playoff appearance. The number one mistake teams make (now that all front offices are, for the first time in my life, relatively sane and competent) is holding on too long to a core that they need to move on from.
2) The Yankees have a couple of elite prospects close to the majors and a deep system overall. They were ranked #2 by BA coming into the year. The Jays were ranked #20.
3) The Yankees have Judge, Sanchez, Bird, and Severino who are all 25 and under and a few other key players who are in the 27 and 28 range. When you consider overall talent under 25 YO, Yankees are one of the best few teams in the majors. The Jays are not. (And no, Pillar and Travis is not an offensive core to build around)
4) The Yankees traded major league talent that teams wanted for these prospects. Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller got back Torres and Frazier. (both fantastic trades). The Jays are not going to get top prospects without trading in-demand assets. Ask yourselves, which Jays major league player would bring back a top-50 prospect? I'd say Donaldson, Osuna, Sanchez, or Stroman with Estrada also possibly getting something around the bottom of that range back.
5) What would the Jays lineup look like in 2 years if Donaldson leaves? (answer, very very bad). What would the Jays rotation look like if Estrada and Happ go? (Answer, bad). Any plan that involves relying on most of your prospects to make an impact is going to fail.

So the question is not should the Jays go the Yankees route, it is can they and I don't think it's possible to build a long-term winner without trading players like Donaldson and Osuna (or waiting a few more years).
uglyone - Monday, May 29 2017 @ 09:42 AM EDT (#342645) #
The Yanks have 3 significant contributors under the age of 27.
uglyone - Monday, May 29 2017 @ 10:08 AM EDT (#342646) #
Combined Steamer/Zips Rest of Season Projections:

C G.Sanchez (24): 116wrc+, 4.1war/650pa
RF A.Judge (25): 120wrc+, 3.3war/650pa
RH L.Severino (23): 4.02era, 3.1war/32gs
1B G.Bird (24): 101wrc+, 0.9war/650pa
(IF R.Torreyes (24): 79wrc+, 1.3war/650pa)

RH M.Stroman (26): 3.89era, 3.9war/32gs
RH A.Sanchez (24): 3.87era, 3.2war/32gs
2B D.Travis (26): 101wrc+, 2.7war/650pa
RH R.Osuna (22): 3.10era, 1.6war/65ip
(OF D.Pompey (24): 92wrc+, 1.4war/650pa)

hypobole - Monday, May 29 2017 @ 10:11 AM EDT (#342647) #
The 3 Yankees under 27 (Judge, Sanchez,Severino) have a combined 4.3 fWAR. But they also have 3 significant contributors exactly 27 (Hicks, Castro, Gregorius) with another 3.7 fWAR, so 8 fWAR from those 6 players.

Our entire team has 8.6 fWAR of which 5.8 is from our pitchers.
uglyone - Monday, May 29 2017 @ 10:22 AM EDT (#342648) #
yes, they have had a great start.
John Northey - Monday, May 29 2017 @ 10:34 AM EDT (#342649) #
Glevin - of course, this could be the argument for why the Jays should go for it this year. If the Yankees have a strong young core again then we know they will add to it this winter in an effort to be champs again. They will blow the Jays out of the water in bidding too. Thus if you know the Yankees are in that shape do you A) try to build for a future where the Yanks are young and strong or B) try to win now while you can.

Long term contention is nice but rare and hard to get. The Jays from 1983 to 1993 were one of those as was Atlanta in the 90's and the Yankees most of their history.

So, what to do? I lean towards signing Donaldson before the Yankees readjust top salary levels, Keep trying to build via draft/international, if the Jays fall out of it then trade Estrada and any other pending free agents. If Donaldson has no interest in a long term deal then trade him this winter or late in the season if the price is right and the Jays are out of it.

By 2020 we could see Vlad at 3B, Bichette at SS, Pompey in LF, Pillar in CF, Alford in RF, Tellez at 1B. Will that be enough to win?
uglyone - Monday, May 29 2017 @ 10:35 AM EDT (#342650) #
Top-5 Prospects Current Year Performance:

IF G.Torres (20, AA/AAA): 161pa, 138wrc+
OF C.Frazier (22, AAA): 200pa, 128wrc+
OF B.Rutherford (20, A): 179pa, 120wrc+
IF J.Mateo (22, A+): 206pa, 102wrc+
LH J.Sheffield (21, AA): 49.1ip, 3.28era, 4.30fip

1B V.Guerrero (18, A): 183pa, 169wrc+
IF B.Bichette (19, A): 178pa, 196wrc+
OF A.Alford (22, AA): 141pa, 145wrc+
1B R.Tellez (22, AAA): 175pa, 96wrc+
RH S.Reid-Foley (21, AA): 37.2ip, 5.26era, 4.32fip

SK in NJ - Monday, May 29 2017 @ 11:09 AM EDT (#342651) #
Estrada is an interesting case because I believe with the new CBA the Jays cannot offer him the QO again since he was already offered it two years ago. So essentially the Jays will lose him for nothing if they let him walk. From a pure asset standpoint, he is someone the team has to trade or sign to an extension. I am on board for signing him to an extension. I don't see the Jays system producing a legit SP for another couple of years (unless someone really fast tracks) and Estrada for three more years if nothing else would solve an organizational hole. If they can get him for something like 3/45-50, it has the potential to look bad if there's any sort of regression (or injury), but the Jays won't be getting a SP via free agency that's any good without overpaying, and at least with Estrada there's a history that might make him easier to sign.

With Donaldson, that seems more out of the team's control. He strikes me as someone who wants to test free agency to maximize his dollars. The moment he goes on the open market, he's likely a goner, but is he even open to an extension that buys out his free agent years?

The goal should be to maintain competitiveness perpetually, but there is a legit danger of being awful after 2018 if Donaldson leaves. The team's difference making prospects are teenagers. It would be asking a lot to expect them to come up by 2019 and contribute (possible but asking a lot). That's why the way this team performs over the next two months is going to be very important. If they fall out of it, then they pretty much have to trade any assets they can to get value back for the future. If they are still in it, then they have to keep chugging along because post-2018 might require a rebuild anyway so it's better to see if a WS can come out of this group if the opportunity is there.
John Northey - Monday, May 29 2017 @ 12:57 PM EDT (#342652) #
I think Donaldson is wanting to test the market but that is why I say try what would look like a 'blow him away' deal now which might be a bargain in a year.

$30 mil a year - only 5 players have ever averaged that but I suspect that number will skyrocket in the next few years.

5 years - hard to lock in that many years at his age as was shown last winter by pretty much everyone. $150 mil has been cracked 30 times (normally by much longer deals) but I'd expect he'd have to think a lot before saying 'no' to that. This is a guy whose career earnings are at $34 mil and he just had an injury this year. He is entering his age 32 season so injuries are a higher risk now. Unless he has somewhere he really wants to play and has no interest in staying here he almost would be foolish not to take this deal. The Jays, on the other hand, have a major asset in him and know that 7 WAR players don't show up often. Fangraphs has him worth $60+ mil each of the 2 years here so it wouldn't take long for him to be worth more than $150 mil. You could almost write off his final year already and have it make sense. Now does that mean add a 6th if he pushes? He could easily be worth it even if year 6 is a 'retirement bonus' but I'd hold off on doing that unless it was a deal breaker in which case I'd ask for a 7th and 8th year team option just in case he is worth it at that point.
92-93 - Monday, May 29 2017 @ 01:27 PM EDT (#342653) #
It's true that the Jays will get nothing if Estrada leaves as a FA, but it's important to remember that even if he was eligible to receive a qualifying offer the Jays wouldn't get back that much in return. The new CBA rules entitle the team that loses the FA to a draft pick after the 2nd round; only the small-market revenue-sharing teams will get a pick after the 1st round.

Last summer when the Yankees got Torres for Chapman it was because their alternative was to keep him and get back a pick in the 30s. Now they'd get back a pick in the #130-140 range as a luxury tax team. It still ticks me off that the Yankees were able to pick up Chapman from the Reds for next to nothing.

Impending FAs on this summer's trade market should be worth a lot less than we've grown accustomed to. Teams could be more willing than they would've in the past to identify a second-tier prospect/talent in another system and take that as their return as opposed to waiting a few years on a draft pick that was going to be in the #17-40 range.
Mike Green - Monday, May 29 2017 @ 02:43 PM EDT (#342656) #
Happy birthday, Joe Biagini.
dan gordon - Monday, May 29 2017 @ 05:03 PM EDT (#342659) #
I see that Happ is going to join the rotation on Tuesday and Liriano on the weekend, per Ben Nicholson-Smith on Rotoworld.
scottt - Monday, May 29 2017 @ 06:17 PM EDT (#342662) #
Extending Estrada would probably make it harder to trade him.
Now they can  trade him if they're out of it in July and still resign him in the off-season.
The price will be more or less the same. It could just be a matter of making a good offer early on.
I don't think Estrada will play it like Encarnation.

It's hard to say with Donaldson, but I expect him to be here next year.
Harper and Machado will command ludicrous contracts. Donaldson will want a large payout as well, but he'll have to settle for less. The Yankees will probably sign Harper and Machado will be the best 3rd baseman available.

PeterG - Monday, May 29 2017 @ 07:40 PM EDT (#342664) #
Why does everyone seem to think the Yankees will sign Harper. Good sources suggest that he will most likely sign with Philly or on the west coast. I think the Yankees would be more interested in Machado but will have stiff competition if Harper does not sign with Philly.

Again, reliable sources suggest that Philly will be the big player in 2018/19 free agency as they will only have about 50 mil in commitments and are said to be willing to spend big.

I think all this talk that the Yanks will be signing everyone is erroneous. There has been no indication that Hank is willing to go in that direction.
Gerry - Monday, May 29 2017 @ 07:50 PM EDT (#342665) #
I believe the Yankees are/were Harper's favourite team. At least they were when he was drafted.
John Northey - Monday, May 29 2017 @ 08:09 PM EDT (#342667) #
The Yankees have the ability to spend big as do the Phillies so bidding wars could get nuts. I'm sure every potential free agent sees that and drools over it.

The smart move for teams now is to sign their own free agents ahead of time. Take on the extra year or two risk in exchange for the certainty of keeping the player.

Now, if Vlad looks like he'll be a 3-6 WAR player out of the gate at 3B in 2019 then they could let Donaldson go but that is a crazy big risk. Donaldson being signed means either Donaldson or Vlad at some point has to move positions.
greenfrog - Monday, May 29 2017 @ 08:12 PM EDT (#342668) #
I think the Jays will let Donaldson walk, especially if Guerrero Jr. looks like he can play a passable third base.

No doubt Shapiro remembers the Robbie Alomar Jr. situation in Cleveland. Shapiro let Alomar depart via free agency after his age-33 season (in which the second baseman was worth about 7 WAR). Alomar rapidly declined after that and retired a few seasons later.
hypobole - Monday, May 29 2017 @ 08:48 PM EDT (#342670) #
Maybe Smoak's the guy who should be extended. :)
85bluejay - Monday, May 29 2017 @ 10:09 PM EDT (#342678) #
Just a minor quibble - The Indians traded Alomar to the Mets
greenfrog - Monday, May 29 2017 @ 10:55 PM EDT (#342684) #
Thanks for the correction, 85bluejay.
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