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The Blue Jays end the first half by hosting the best team in the American League, the Houston Astros, for a four-game set.

Series Schedule/Probable Starters

Thursday, 7:07 pm ET - Lance McCullers Jr. (7-1, 2.69) vs. Francisco Liriano (4-4, 5.66)
Friday, 7:07 pm ET - Charlie Morton (5-3, 4.06) vs. Aaron Sanchez (0-1, 3.33)
Saturday, 1:07 pm ET - Mike Fiers (5-3, 3.80) vs. Marcus Stroman (8-5, 3.42)
Sunday, 1:07 pm ET - TBA vs. J.A. Happ (3-5, 3.47)
Astros @ Blue Jays - July 6-9 | 185 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
cybercavalier - Thursday, July 06 2017 @ 07:10 PM EDT (#344989) #
Marwin Gonzalez has been hitting well. Can the Jays trade Darwin Barney for him? Correa and Altuve have secured their positions already so MJG become a surplus.
Chuck - Thursday, July 06 2017 @ 07:22 PM EDT (#344990) #
Name one reason the Astros would trade Gonzalez for Barney.
Magpie - Thursday, July 06 2017 @ 07:38 PM EDT (#344991) #
Can the Jays trade Darwin Barney for him?

No.

Could probably trade Stroman for him.
lexomatic - Thursday, July 06 2017 @ 07:39 PM EDT (#344992) #
1 reason: Barney is the throw-in with Vlad Jr.
Super Bluto - Thursday, July 06 2017 @ 08:10 PM EDT (#344993) #
I'd never heard of Marwin Gonzalez before this post but looking at his bbref stats he strikes me as one of those guys that every team who has a magical season seems to have. Good for the Astros.

Also, best uniforms in MLB? (excluding those teams like the NYY and Dodgers who haven't changed a thing in decades)
Magpie - Thursday, July 06 2017 @ 08:13 PM EDT (#344994) #
Blue Jays flashing the leather? That's a sentence one may use? Don't remember hearing it before...
Chuck - Thursday, July 06 2017 @ 08:24 PM EDT (#344995) #
Astros fielding like Blue Jays.
Super Bluto - Thursday, July 06 2017 @ 08:25 PM EDT (#344996) #
Also, rule change proposal: Ground rule doubles with two out and a guy on first scores the guy from first.
cybercavalier - Thursday, July 06 2017 @ 08:27 PM EDT (#344997) #
When the Astros acquired Marwin Gonzalez from the BoSox' rule 5 draft in December 2011, could teams envision in 2011 him to perform this well in 2017? He is spending his sixth season in Houston. Therefore I am wondering taking chance of past top draft pick make sense. 2B/LF Nick Franklin performed on average .771 OPS in 2016 Rays. He plays as a Brewer and an Angel in 2017. The Orioles just recalls Johnny Giavotella who some posters here thought has a chance to be an MLBer. Do we need a second baseman to step up his performance? I asked about Dustin Ackley but he was considered not as good as before... It is natural to get a good performer at second base while our Travis is injured.
BlueJayWay - Thursday, July 06 2017 @ 09:02 PM EDT (#344998) #
Vlad and Bichette are going to Dunedin.
Chuck - Thursday, July 06 2017 @ 09:03 PM EDT (#344999) #
Benny Hill time.
Chuck - Thursday, July 06 2017 @ 09:05 PM EDT (#345000) #
Benny Hill on the bases, too.
hypobole - Thursday, July 06 2017 @ 09:07 PM EDT (#345001) #
Even when we're good, we're bad.
Petey Baseball - Thursday, July 06 2017 @ 09:16 PM EDT (#345002) #
That's a terrible, terrible, baseball play by Pillar. The Astros broadcast rightly pointed out that he was running with his head down. Huge turn of events there, probably saves this game from becoming a laugher, which the team really needs right now.
Nigel - Thursday, July 06 2017 @ 09:30 PM EDT (#345003) #
I know Liriano is responsible for part of his woes due to crappy control but I'd like to see him in front of a good defence. As a high risk high reward move I wouldn't object to him returning next year
uglyone - Thursday, July 06 2017 @ 09:38 PM EDT (#345005) #
here come your bluebirds!
uglyone - Thursday, July 06 2017 @ 09:41 PM EDT (#345006) #
"Vlad and Bichette are going to Dunedin."

woot!
scottt - Thursday, July 06 2017 @ 10:39 PM EDT (#345008) #
Great game. A few miscues. Pearce missed barehanding  a rebound. Pillar missed a diving catch, but Bautista was backing up the play. Pearce was tagging on a ball that everybody else recognized as a double from the start.

The Stros were a lot worse defensively.

Great job by Liriano. I wonder if Gibby was desperate to squeeze another out from him or if he got him another earned run in exchange for leaving the game from the mount and getting a standing ovation.

When the hitters are patient and don't chase the breaking pitches off the plate, the offense is actually decent.

cybercavalier - Thursday, July 06 2017 @ 10:39 PM EDT (#345009) #
I meant the Cubs need starting pitching and someone to play either 2b or CF - depends what they do with Ian Happ. Which makes no sense, because they've got Baez. Oops. But starting pitching for sure. John Lackey got old. The Jays aren't going to be desperate sellers, but they will be sellers. The team needs pitching depth and middle infield depth in the minors.

How about trading Mike Bolsinger a for a few months of John Lackey, capitalizing on his 5.20 ERA and giving up 24 HRs. 2017 is Lackey's last year in his contract. Bolsinger is pitching out of the pen anyway if he starts a game, just as Lackey would. Can Lackey's experience influence positively on our pitchers -- Stroman, Biagini? I am looking at Lackey's intangibles -- experiences and whatnots. J.P. Howell is rehabing but he landed twice on the DL already... Lackey is more useful than Grilli...
VictoryFaust - Thursday, July 06 2017 @ 11:26 PM EDT (#345010) #
You can't be serious about Bolsinger. He has no trade value. None.
Thomas - Friday, July 07 2017 @ 02:19 AM EDT (#345011) #
I haven't seen a video replay of the Pillar/Pearce baserunning play. However, it was clearly a mistake by Pillar not to recognize Pearce was so close in front of him. However, it seems to me that everyone in the stadium recognized that Goins' hit was going to land well beyond the reach of the centre fielder other than Pearce.

Maybe it has something to do with watching the play from second base rather than at an angle, like the other runners. When I looked back towards the runners after seeing the ball hit the wall, I was shocked to see where Pearce was.
Nigel - Friday, July 07 2017 @ 02:25 AM EDT (#345012) #
Agreed. I thought it was Pearce's fault not Pillar's.
Nigel - Friday, July 07 2017 @ 02:42 AM EDT (#345013) #
In little league I was always taught that with one out in a situation like that the runner on second plays it half way. Pearce played that like there was none out where going back to the bag for a potential tag up to third is the right play. I think Pearce didn't know how many were out. With one out the runner on 1st's job is to get to third, with none out its to watch and follow what the runner on 2nd is doing.
Chuck - Friday, July 07 2017 @ 06:08 AM EDT (#345014) #
Pearce messed up but so did Pillar. The trailing runner's job is to watch what the guy ahead of him is doing, not to run with your head down. This isn't the first time Pillar has done this.
Chuck - Friday, July 07 2017 @ 06:37 AM EDT (#345015) #
How about trading Mike Bolsinger

Why do you believe teams would want to trade for players like Barney and Bolsinger? If they are looking at the Jays, they are looking at the good players, not the bad ones.

rpriske - Friday, July 07 2017 @ 08:50 AM EDT (#345016) #
While we are at it, why don't we trade Ryan Goins for Mike Trout? That would be a good trade, right?
scottt - Friday, July 07 2017 @ 09:01 AM EDT (#345017) #
With one out, tagging to third is not important, especially with a forced out a every base.  Pillar got a jump because he had a chance to score from first.

scottt - Friday, July 07 2017 @ 09:08 AM EDT (#345018) #
To be fair, the Jays traded Jack Murphy for Barney and Chavez for Bolsinger.

scottt - Friday, July 07 2017 @ 09:12 AM EDT (#345019) #
In the pre-game show, there was mention of Shapiro explaining the Smoak contract.
It's not just that Smoak was a talented top prospect, it's also that he's a teachable guy who actually do what the coaches tell him to do.

China fan - Friday, July 07 2017 @ 09:52 AM EDT (#345020) #
While I've been critical of some of the off-season decisions of Shapiro and Atkins, I have to give them full credit for being right about Smoak, for doing a good job in building the pitching staff (especially the bullpen), and for being correct in their assessment that there was still some value in Carrera and Goins.

By the way, the Jays now have recorded 41 hits over the past four games, playing against a couple of good teams.  Is the offense finally perking up? 

Chuck - Friday, July 07 2017 @ 10:33 AM EDT (#345021) #
it's also that he's a teachable guy

Odd thing to say about a 30-year old guy with close to 3000 plate appearances prior to this year. But he's clearly changed his approach in 2017, so he is listening to somebody.

CeeBee - Friday, July 07 2017 @ 10:47 AM EDT (#345022) #
"Odd thing to say about a 30-year old guy with close to 3000 plate appearances prior to this year. But he's clearly changed his approach in 2017, so he is listening to somebody."
Never too old to learn, as long as one is willing and it appears he was willing.

scottt - Friday, July 07 2017 @ 10:53 AM EDT (#345023) #
Quick look at the last 7 games.

Smoak crusing with an OPS over 1.000.
Bautista getting on base, OPS .762.
Martin heating up (2 HR, OBP almost .400)
Tulo hitting almost .300 and finally cashing a few runs.
Barney hitting over .300.

Pillar doing just OK. Hitting .250, OBP .290, 1 HR.

JD, Morales, Pearce, Goins, all struggling.
Monteno hasn't been better than Maile yet.

Morales, JD and Goins have 5/3/3 hits and 8/8/9 strikeouts.
JD has 5 BB, so still a good option at the top.
Pearce has hit .150 and got on base at a .217 clip. Only struck out 3 times but only walked once.
Sometimes he seems to have that weird launch angle and strongly hammer the ball into the ground for a batted  bunt.



scottt - Friday, July 07 2017 @ 10:59 AM EDT (#345024) #
Oh, and since coming back, Carrera hasn't been as good as before he got injuried.
Smith Jr was cruising with an .851 OPS in 9 games so Carrera should probably have rehabbed longer.
The idea was probably to give the ABs to Pearce anyway...

Gerry - Friday, July 07 2017 @ 02:24 PM EDT (#345031) #
Osuna has been added to the ASG roster.
uglyone - Friday, July 07 2017 @ 02:32 PM EDT (#345032) #
nice.

kid would be so damn hyped if he played in a NY or BOS.
hypobole - Friday, July 07 2017 @ 03:12 PM EDT (#345033) #
Between the time JD returned from injury till yesterday, he hit .221. Obviously should have been rehabbed an extra 6 weeks.
cybercavalier - Friday, July 07 2017 @ 03:14 PM EDT (#345034) #
Quick look at the last 7 games.

Shall the order be adjusted accordingly?
RF Bautisita C Martin 1B Smoak 3B Donaldson SS Tulo DH Morales 2B Barney CF Pillar LF Pearce

Sanchez is coming back... can we turn underused asset -- Bolsinger -- into someone more useful?
scottt - Friday, July 07 2017 @ 03:28 PM EDT (#345036) #
Nice. Googling that I saw that Correa was upset that Osuna took a long time to throw to first base on the final out.
I thought it was weird that Correa stopped before the ball was thrown.

Earlier on, the background noise was rising and somebody screamed "Get out of here".
My first thought was "Here comes another streaker."  but it was the ump ejecting an Astros still arguing about the strike zone from the previous at-bat.

They seem to have big egos on that team.

scottt - Friday, July 07 2017 @ 03:42 PM EDT (#345037) #
The difference is that we didn't have anyone better than JD playing third base.
China fan - Friday, July 07 2017 @ 03:51 PM EDT (#345038) #
Correa's complaint about Osuna is ridiculous. The real reason for Osuna's nonchalant handling of the play was the speed with which the ball reached him from Correa's bat.  He had it in his glove in a microsecond, and then he had to wait. Smoak was playing far off the first-base bag, and Osuna had to wait for him to get back in position for the throw.  Moreover, Correa was jogging at a slow and defeated pace.  If Correa wanted Osuna to take the play more seriously, he could have hustled down the line, but he didn't.
James W - Friday, July 07 2017 @ 03:58 PM EDT (#345039) #
He had to wait for Smoak to get there, but part of the complaint could be that Osuna didn't do what "you're supposed to do": jog over and underhand toss it.

On the scale of 1 to 10 of offensive things ever done on a baseball diamond, this was about a negative-four. Correa has promised to homer off next time though, so we can look forward to that.
greenfrog - Friday, July 07 2017 @ 06:30 PM EDT (#345042) #
I was thinking...it's really too bad the Jays didn't sign Reddick instead of Morales last off-season. The Jays could have used him in RF and installed Bautista as primary DH. This would have made the team around 2-4 wins better this year at a reasonable cost (and probably would have made them better in 2018 as well). It also would have allowed the team to go slow with Alford and Pompey; as things currently stand, I expect the team to start 2018 with Alford and/or Pompey on the roster, even if those players could still use some extra time in the minors to refine their game. To me, Alford looks very talented but still raw.
SK in NJ - Friday, July 07 2017 @ 07:52 PM EDT (#345045) #
Reddick would have been a great fit, but with free agents, you just never know what other factors play into their decisions. It takes two to tango.

The Astros lineup is insanely good. Build around good young position players. Hopefully in a few years the Jays are in that type of spot.
scottt - Friday, July 07 2017 @ 08:00 PM EDT (#345046) #
Alford has a very nice swing. He was hitting .325 in NH. I don't think the 8 AB in Toronto mean anything.
He looked very good to me defensively.

Turns out keeping Harrell and Bolsinger was the right move.

scottt - Friday, July 07 2017 @ 08:12 PM EDT (#345047) #
About that Astros lineup. The key piece is Altuve who is 27 and has been on that team since 2011.
He was on a 55, 51 wins team, signed  to a 6 year 13M contract with 2 team options for another 12.5M, which could have traded him for a bunch of prospects. Even a team that was drafting first overall didn't trade his good young player as part of their rebuild.

greenfrog - Friday, July 07 2017 @ 08:15 PM EDT (#345048) #
Alford is a .273 hitter in the minors (including the small sample of 141 PA in AA this year). He has a grand total of 1139 PA in the minors, spread out over six seasons. I just don't see the benefit of rushing him to the majors in 2018, apart from saving some cash in the short term (always a plus for Rogers).

The team tried to fast-track Pompey in 2015, with disastrous results. Some people like to learn things the hard way, I guess.
SK in NJ - Friday, July 07 2017 @ 08:41 PM EDT (#345049) #
I don't think Alford will start 2018 in the Majors. He was called up as an emergency fill in but got hurt and put on the DL. His service clock is still ticking because of that, so aside from not being ready yet, there's more benefits to keeping him in AAA to start 2018.

Pompey is out of options after this season (I think), so if he's not starting in one of the OF spots in 2018, then he'll likely be the 4th OF (barring a trade). This FO is not going to lose a young/cheap asset for nothing. They even valued Goins enough to avoid risking him going through waivers so they'll likely try to keep Pompey in the bigs unless they have completely soured on him.

As the season goes on, selling hard at the deadline (Donaldson, Happ) is starting to look way more appealing than house cleaning (Estrada, Liriano, Jose, etc). You look at the top teams around the league and they are filled with young high ceiling position players. The Jays simply do not have that. They could really expedite the transition period if they punt 2018 and get more pieces that will fit the 2020 timeline.
lexomatic - Friday, July 07 2017 @ 08:42 PM EDT (#345050) #
Games like today make me understand the blow it up  mentality.
Rough return from Sanchez.
I'm also fine with leaving Alford in the minors next season unless he earns his way back before September.
I'd give him a half season St AA - he has very little upper level experience. He did well this year, but he can still learn stuff. Then AAA.  depending how quickly he comes back that could mean AAA to start 2018.
With all the time on the mlb disabled list clocking service time, might as well make sure he's ready and try to avoid super2(if that's still a thing).


Spifficus - Friday, July 07 2017 @ 09:19 PM EDT (#345051) #
Pompey moved fast, but I wouldn't say he was rushed specifically in 2015. He was going to get added to the 40 man at the end of the year anyway, so his option years didn't start any sooner. Similarly, Alford was already on the 40 man roster. In situations like that, unless you're getting them in over their head to the point where they really aren't learning anything or are having a crisis of confidence, they aren't really losing any development over moving quickly.
scottt - Friday, July 07 2017 @ 09:23 PM EDT (#345052) #
Every team has pitchers who have bad outings.

I just see the blow up mentality as a loser mentality.
There's a half a dozen team in the NL that are playing that game and who will finish behind the Jays no matter what.
You're not getting a top 5 pick overall.
I'm expecting to see some guys up in September trying to win games, not an empty team trying to lose.

Vladimir Guerrero only played 3 years in the minors.This is year 2 for Junior.

Nigel - Saturday, July 08 2017 @ 01:37 PM EDT (#345055) #
Gibbons spot starts Carrera in LF with Stroman pitching? I'm not sure Gibbons really gets the idea of maximizing offensive/defensive value.
jerjapan - Saturday, July 08 2017 @ 01:38 PM EDT (#345056) #
No need to keep a prospect who's ready in the minors - Alford looks legit to me, and we need an infusion of speed and youth. 

What do you folks think about the extensions to the coaching staff?  Looks like a sign that the FO isn't looking to rebuild IMO. 

Chuck - Saturday, July 08 2017 @ 01:59 PM EDT (#345057) #
DPs keeping Stroman in this game. Not exactly a pitching clinic thus far.
lexomatic - Saturday, July 08 2017 @ 02:45 PM EDT (#345058) #
The reason to give Alford more time in the minors is to keep him cheaper when the team is more likely to be competitive. And ensure he doesn't bounce back and forth.
If the team retools and he's one of your top 3 OF, fine, but if the team isn't competitive there's more risked than putting him in a situation he might fail in. This is about maximizing his productive time with the jays and not as a potential FA when the jays aren't ready and NYY/BOS still have good young rosters.
The guy has 150 PA above A. I think he's good, but not an A-Rod level talent where you can keep promoting him with little experience.
I like the idea of him shaking off rust at AA where he's already excelled and giving him some time at AAa after just to give him more time making adjustments. It depends how much time he gets in September, I guess.
greenfrog - Saturday, July 08 2017 @ 02:59 PM EDT (#345059) #
It reminds me a bit of when Pompey hit a home run off King Felix in September 2014. This helped get everyone excited about him and reinforce the impression that he was ready to start in the majors im April 2015. Just because Alford put a nice swing on a ball in his very short stint in the majors doesn't mean he ready to graduate from the minors for good.

Alford is an unusual prospect because he has missed so much time due to his parallel football career and because of injuries. I would throttle it down a bit and give him a bit more time in the minors before exposing him to the pressures of being a touted rookie in the majors.
Chuck - Saturday, July 08 2017 @ 03:20 PM EDT (#345060) #
Nice recovery by (A)Stroman after a shaky start. Nice to see some old style Donaldson as well.

Echoing greenfrog, colour me cautious about Alford. Some ongoing success at AA would seem to me to be a requirement. I think it's because he just looks so damned athletic that we're assuming he'll naturally turn into a useful major leaguer. That's far from a given.

Mike Green - Saturday, July 08 2017 @ 03:57 PM EDT (#345061) #
I was only following on Gameday when Reddick was doubled off first on Correa''s liner to third. Was it an unusual hit and run or the more likely careless scamper of a good friend?

Nice to have Martin back behind the plate. I would rather have Maile backing him up than Montero.
TangledUpInBlue - Saturday, July 08 2017 @ 04:20 PM EDT (#345062) #
way more appealing than house cleaning (Estrada, Liriano, Jose, etc).

Is Bautista house-cleaning at this point? Are there really no Bautistists left?

I love the guy, think it'd be a shame to lose him, and would like to see the Jays do what they can to keep him. The Yankees could've let Jeter go about four years before they did... and they didn't. There's never really been a Blue Jays great (Stieb excepted, in a semi-kinda kinda way) who retired with the team. Bautista should be the first.

lexomatic - Saturday, July 08 2017 @ 04:25 PM EDT (#345063) #
Is that 2 good games from Tulo this week? Might be a little late but if he hears up that could be huge for the rest of the season. Did Donaldson have a good day or was he pitched around to challenge Smoak?
James W - Saturday, July 08 2017 @ 04:30 PM EDT (#345064) #
Reddick slipped when he tried to reverse course, and was doubled up easily.
PeterG - Saturday, July 08 2017 @ 04:34 PM EDT (#345065) #
I too would prefer Maile to Montero. As the latter is highly unlikely to return in 2018 and Maile should be 100% after surgery, I expect Luke will have 1st shot at the back up job next season.

As for Bautista, I would prefer to see him moved if it can bring back a worthwhile return. I feel that is possible if Jays eat the remaining salary.

FWIW, BP Toronto has an article up today stating that a source has told them that Jays had meetings yesterday to decide on July trade strategy. According to their source, team is open to trading Estrada, Lariano, Bautista, Joe Smith and will listen on Happ and Pearce though are not looking to trade either.

http://toronto.locals.baseballprospectus.com/2017/07/07/source-blue-jays-finalize-plans-for-july-trades/
Nigel - Saturday, July 08 2017 @ 06:40 PM EDT (#345068) #
For those not old enough to have watched him, there is a GIF on MLB.com of a slider from Stroman today that is identical to a pretty standard Dave Stieb slider.
Magpie - Saturday, July 08 2017 @ 07:10 PM EDT (#345069) #
Are there really no Bautistists left?

Let me repeat what I said in last Octob'er's Report Card.

I get the sense that everyone's just tired of him, the same way they were tired of George Bell by 1990. Well, I never got tired of George Bell and I'll never get tired of Jose Bautista either.

That's a promise.
scottt - Saturday, July 08 2017 @ 08:01 PM EDT (#345071) #
Sparkman has been returned to KC and Cleveland has given up on Colabello.
Chuck - Saturday, July 08 2017 @ 08:08 PM EDT (#345072) #
or the more likely careless scamper of a good friend?

He couldn't hear his first base coach, who was whispering.

Is that 2 good games from Tulo this week?

His OBP now starts with a 3 and his SLG now starts with a 4, so his slash line is over the embarrassment hurdle. Hopefully this is a sign of a strong upcoming second half.

scottt - Saturday, July 08 2017 @ 08:28 PM EDT (#345073) #
McGuire might be a better option than Maile long term. Offensively, the bar is pretty low.

I don't know if they can get to the post-season, but I'd like them to try because this is good baseball.
Either 3 months of meaningful baseball or 2 months plus a month to looks at some of the prospects?
I'll take that over a year and a half of futility to game the system.

Getting excited about a Pompey homerun is like getting excited over a Goins homer.
The best time to bring prospects up is when there are veterans around to lead them.

There is still a super 2, but that's just a money thing.
I'm not sure the current front office cares that much about that.

Nigel - Sunday, July 09 2017 @ 12:59 PM EDT (#345076) #
So Gibbons starts Pearce today in LF today against a guy who kills righties with Happ, a flyball pitcher,on the mound and he had Carrera in LF yesterday with Stroman on the mound?
Four Seamer - Sunday, July 09 2017 @ 03:34 PM EDT (#345077) #
The Blue Jays were informed that the All-Star break starts after this game, correct?
lexomatic - Sunday, July 09 2017 @ 04:00 PM EDT (#345078) #
4seams, the team really doesn't have the margin for that kind of performance at all in the 2nd half.
PeterG - Sunday, July 09 2017 @ 04:28 PM EDT (#345079) #
Are we now ready to send Biagini to Buffalo so that he can start regularly and work out his difficulties? He needs to lose some weight as well but that will have to wait for the off season.
jerjapan - Sunday, July 09 2017 @ 04:47 PM EDT (#345081) #
I get nervous when good relievers get converted ... it works sometimes, but than sometimes Daniel Bard happens.  Biagini is no Chris Sale - the rotation stint may be his problem.  I'd leave him in the pen going forward. 

Darn glad I missed that game,  ouch.
PeterG - Sunday, July 09 2017 @ 05:36 PM EDT (#345084) #
Biagini is a starter who was converted to a reliever, not the other way round. No doubt, the present indecision is playing with his mind and he may have lost some confidence. That's why I would option him to Buffalo. My sense is that Jays will need him more as a starter than a reliever in 2018 so I would exhaust that possibility first before settling on the other.
jerjapan - Sunday, July 09 2017 @ 07:24 PM EDT (#345086) #
Bard was a starter turned reliever as well - most legit pitching prospects start in the minors.  Hard to say if the indecision is the cause, or if he would have slumped had he stay in the pen, or if a demotion is good or bad for his issues - but like i said, Biagini the starter makes me nervous.  A lot of guys who are good enough to pitch out of a big league pen aren't good enough to start in the bigs - and I'm not just talking the two pitch guys who profile as relievers. 

Same worries with Tepera and Osuna, although I like Roberto's chances best to go all Chris Sale on us.

I keep wondering if the solution for Osuna is not the rotation, but the relief ace role - 177 big league games, 178 big league innings.  Why does he have to be limited to one inning appearances?

PeterG - Sunday, July 09 2017 @ 07:50 PM EDT (#345088) #
Well with Osuna, as has been said, he does not want to start. It is difficult to force a player to do something against his wlll as it is highly unlikely to be successful.

Tepera won't get to start. He throws almost 50% sliders and would break down as a starter.

Biagini has been rocked in consecutive games out of the pen so I would leave him as a starter for now and see what develops. The best place for that at the present time is in Buffalo imo. He is not helping in the pen. The FO should be thinking more about 2018 and beyond and trying to improve Joe as a starter would reflect that reality.
SK in NJ - Sunday, July 09 2017 @ 08:06 PM EDT (#345089) #
Biagini had a 3.83 FIP as a starter. He has a high ERA in that role, but it wasn't a big enough sample of starts to really form an opinion one way or another, and he spent the first month or so pitching A LOT out of the pen so it wasn't the ideal situation. Bouncing around in roles can't be easy. I wouldn't say his performance was that bad considering the type of pitcher he is. He's a bottom of the rotation starter.

Chances are if the FO does put Estrada, Liriano, and possibly Happ on the market, then Biagini will be starting during the 2nd half of the season. A little break in the pen might do him some good if he is relied on to start in the final two months, as long as he's not used often (no guarantee with Gibbons managing). They might want to limit his workload a bit given he spent all year in the pen last season.
uglyone - Sunday, July 09 2017 @ 09:16 PM EDT (#345094) #
biagini looked like a serviceable #5 but for me that puts the lie to the idea that #5sp-type is always more valuable than a high leverage RP.
PeterG - Sunday, July 09 2017 @ 09:29 PM EDT (#345095) #
I am not sure if Joe is a high leverage reliever and as it looks now, we might not need one. I also think there are more promising relievers than starters in the system and also ones that could be ready sooner. I like the possibility of Chris Rowley in the pen. If Tim Mayza looks ok in Buffalo, he will get an opportunity. His AA stats are skewed by 2 bad outings, one in the first game. Carlos Ramirez also bears watching. Inexpensive relievers can also be found in free agency.
uglyone - Sunday, July 09 2017 @ 10:01 PM EDT (#345096) #
well joe's been (an admittedly distant) 2nd behind osuna in rp leverage for the jays since he got here, and has thrived in that role.
dan gordon - Monday, July 10 2017 @ 12:58 AM EDT (#345098) #
Biagini made 11 starts. His numbers were excellent for the 1st 7, with an ERA in the low 3's and a WHIP just over 1. His last 4 starts were a different story, with 2 terrible starts and 2 that were not great Perhaps he was getting tired. I'm certainly not ready to write him off as a starter due to a run of 4 bad starts, especially after he looked so good for 7 starts. He seems to me to have a decent arsenal for a starter, and I still consider him a candidate for next year's rotation.
Chuck - Monday, July 10 2017 @ 09:34 AM EDT (#345101) #
This all-star break comes at a good time not just for the players, but for the fans as well. This season has not been terribly fun to watch. There has been very little to get excited about.
uglyone - Monday, July 10 2017 @ 11:38 AM EDT (#345103) #
Inherited controllable players fwar (fwar/ra9war avg for pitchers):

Stroman 2.6, Smoak 2.2, Osuna 1.6, Martin 1.6, Donaldson 1.5, Pillar 1.0, Barnes 1.0, Travis 0.6, Carrera 0.6, Tepera 0.5, Tulowitzki 0.4, Loup 0.0, Sanchez -0.2, Goins -0.6 = Total 12.3fwar, $67m

Added Players:

Estrada 1.2, Happ 1.0, Smith 0.8, Leone 0.6, Biagini 0.5, Liriano 0.4, Bautista 0.3, Beliveau 0.2, Howell -0.2, Latos -0.2, Pearce -0.4, Barney -0.4, Morales -0.5, Coghlan -0.6, Salty -0.6, Grilli -0.7, Maile -0.8 = Total 0.6fwar, $82m
uglyone - Monday, July 10 2017 @ 11:46 AM EDT (#345104) #
wait, maybe smoak wasn't under control for this season like i thought.

which would make it:

inherited: 10.1war, $63m
added: 2.8war, $86m
Nigel - Monday, July 10 2017 @ 12:14 PM EDT (#345105) #
Agreed uglyone, and its the point I continue to be confused by. Why is this front office getting such a pass? I remain very open minded about the Shapiro regime. They have done a number of things that make a lot of sense. But they've also done enough that don't make any sense for me to have questions about their leadership.
jerjapan - Monday, July 10 2017 @ 12:45 PM EDT (#345109) #
Nigel, the AA / Shapiro discussion among fans is pretty divisive a lot of the time and I feel that's the foundation for comments about the current regime.  Fortunately the shouters that used to hang out here at the Box have left off posting, but just check out Stoeten's site for the tone of much of the debate.  Pro-Shapiro posters round here are way more nuanced and informed, but some people still seem pretty intent on being 'right' in their predictions. 

I share your optimism for Shapiro and co., although I do miss how exciting AA was - hit or miss, he swung for the fences, while the new guys are pretty conservative, although the 2017 draft is looking pretty strong right now. 

My biggest fear is when Shapiro says things like we won't trade a superstar in JD to get better, or the fans demand a competitor, he really means, we aren't resigning JD.  Put me down with Dave Cameron when he says that the trade value of a player goes down with the years of control - we aren't likely to get more for JD in the offseason than we are now unless he has a monster finish.  Rightly or not, Shapiro is too cautious to do something this bold IMO.

uglyone - Monday, July 10 2017 @ 01:03 PM EDT (#345110) #
I think people are giving a pass to shapiro inc. mainly because they are still upset that AA traded their favorite prospects.
PeterG - Monday, July 10 2017 @ 01:11 PM EDT (#345111) #
Shapiro was never that cautious in the past. If anything, it might be ownership that could hold him back from making a bold move like trading JD. Donaldson's value could have more value now due to the length of control as you say, but there could be more potential suitors in the off season. I would say it is slightly better to move him now but not a necessity. They might want to take a run at re-signing him in the off season but I doubt that it happens and somewhat expect him to be dealt in November or December.

I agree that the present FO is much less exciting than the previous one but as far as the competence debate goes, put me down as in favour of the present guys. I think it will work out better in the long run. There have already been substantial developmental improvements at Shapiro's behest and Rogers has bought into his vision.
Nigel - Monday, July 10 2017 @ 01:27 PM EDT (#345113) #
If you want to give the front office a basis for a pass, I would start with my belief that they are hamstrung by an owner who has no interest in rebuilds or in going for it. That's a problem when you are in very specific parts of the success cycle.

Anyway, I think you judge front offices largely on strategy. Does the strategy that they are pursuing make sense at all? Does it make sense give the stage in the success cycle the team is at? etc. You also grade on execution but I always give a wider error bar on that because you are largely trafficking in human beings so unexpected outcomes are more likely (injuries, unexpected declines, miracle break outs etc.) and often involve luck. I am waiting to form an opinion on this front office's strategic direction. So far, the public pronouncements of the strategic direction haven't really matched what the team has done so I don't really have a clue what direction the team is going in or what this front office really values etc. However, as I have said before, my initial basis for concern is that they got this past offseason wrong strategically and not just in execution.
Dave Till - Monday, July 10 2017 @ 01:43 PM EDT (#345115) #
I'm not a huge fan of trading Donaldson because the short-term pain would be too great, and the prospect return would likely not be good enough.

The two examples I'm thinking of:

1) Roy Halladay to Philadelphia for Travis d'Arnaud, Kyle Drabek, and Michael Taylor. d'Arnaud is still catching in New York when he is healthy, which is about half the time. Drabek flamed out. Taylor did nothing, but the Jays did manage to trade him for Brett Wallace, trade Wallace for Anthony Gose, and trade Gose for Devon Travis. That's quite a run of trades, but I don't think this means that we get to include Travis as part of the haul for the Doctor.

2) Josh Donaldson from Oakland to Toronto for Brett Lawrie, Sean Nolin, Kendall Graveman, and Franklin Barreto. Lawrie is now out of baseball (will he ever return?), Nolin last pitched in 2015, and Graveman is a so-so starter for the A's (with 8 starts this year). Barreto just made the majors at 21, which is very impressive, but his strikeout totals are high, which is a bad sign.

The only advantage that trading their best players will bring the Jays is that their won-lost record will become so bad that they might land a top prospect in next year's draft, instead of drafting 27th in the first round or whatever. None of the Houston Astros' good young players were acquired in fire sales; they were all international signings or high draft picks obtained after awful seasons. (In particular, Carlos Correa was the first overall draft pick in 2012, and Alex Bregman was the second overall draft pick in 2015. George Springer and Lance McCullers were also first-round picks.)

The Jays are having problems because their farm system hasn't produced any hitters that are currently in the starting lineup (other than Pillar and Goins, who don't really count as they are in the lineup for their defense). There's talk in this thread of whether the Jays' regime should be given a free pass or not; my thought is that I don't know whether successful free-agent drafting is a result of luck or skill. Given that Mike Trout was a 25th overall pick, and that Bo Bichette made it to the second round of the draft, I'd say that good drafting is the result of good luck.
SK in NJ - Monday, July 10 2017 @ 01:55 PM EDT (#345116) #
How are they getting a pass, exactly? I think people just realize how flawed the long-term outlook for this team was after July 2015, and saw this as inevitable rather than something that could have been saved. I'm not sure what exactly you think a realistic alternative was. A group of young athletic players in their primes replacing the departing free agents?

As far as getting a free pass, the fact that they got a 7 WAR out of Estrada, Happ, and two months of Liriano for a combined $26M last season when the rotation was the main reason why they even made the playoffs might be one. Maybe because a move that was (rightfully) universally bashed turned out to be a steal (Smoak). I don't think you lose faith in a front office because they overpaid for a DH, or because a good FA signing got hurt (Pearce). It's too early to tell with their draft picks or development strategy because the team still doesn't have any real prospects above AA right now. The lack of depth is what it is. They don't have much/anything in the upper minors so if players get hurt, it will be the AAA vets to the rescue rather than actual prospects. That's why people talk about SP depth every year and why the FO always mentions the Buffalo rotation. Without prospects there, it's hard to keep a competitive team with injuries.

At this point you either agree that this roster had a short shelf-life and move forward, or you hold on to the idea that somehow they could have magically kept this train moving despite age, decline, etc, factoring in eventually. That's up to you. I'm just glad the Jays got another playoff appearance out of it and a FO that understood where the team actually was. If they doubled down and signed more expensive vets or traded more prospect capital, then the transition to the next step would have been a lot longer.

Ultimately, this FO will be defined by what they do with the next core group of players (Vlad, Bichette, etc). This run was always going to be short. It's the next run that has to be a lot longer and sustainable. If it isn't, then you can whine all you want, but it's going to take longer than a year and a half to bear fruit.
Cracka - Monday, July 10 2017 @ 01:57 PM EDT (#345117) #
the prospect return would likely not be good enough

But you don't know that, which is part of the allure of a big trade. 15 years ago, Shapiro pulled off one of the all time greatest trades -- acquiring nearly 100 in lifetime WAR -- for a rental of 29 year-old Bartolo Colon (who might start against us in late August... bonkers!). That's the dream when you make this big types of trade -- though I would agree with you that more often than not it doesn't work out. But when it does, it can be franchise changing.
uglyone - Monday, July 10 2017 @ 02:14 PM EDT (#345119) #
the idea that this team wasn't worth investing in in the short term - especially in terms of free agent dollars, which wouldn't matter to anyone other than the balance sheets during this ensuing epic longterm rebuild - was always strange to me, especially after going 25yrs without even sniffing the playoffs beforehand.

the idea that a rebuild would even give us as good a team as we already had, even 5-10yrs down the road, always sounded like rosy thinking to me.

and no, this FO will not only be judged by what their new young team looks like down the road, but also what they did with the team they inherited.
Chuck - Monday, July 10 2017 @ 02:15 PM EDT (#345120) #
I think Omar Minaya had his own agenda with the Colon trade. I'd be surprised if we see such a trade again any time soon.
SK in NJ - Monday, July 10 2017 @ 02:18 PM EDT (#345121) #
Dave Till, I don't think trading Donaldson has to do with getting a top pick in the following draft as much as it is maximizing an asset that likely will not fit with the team's timeline of contention. Donaldson could put up another 7 WAR season in 2018, but if the team finishes with 82 wins and JD bolts immediately after that, how much does it really help? Now it's possible that keeping the same group together next year and simply improving certain spots (LF, RF, the rotation, etc) will put the team in the position they should have been this year in terms of projections (a WC favorite) but if the team is in the same spot as they are now a year from now, then the return on Donaldson, Happ, etc, will be a lot less for two month rentals.

I think ownership does have a lot to do with not fully rebuilding, as from a business standpoint it would hurt them short-term, so my guess is they'll try to field a competitive team while rebuilding at the same time. They just need to find some young cost effective impact talent that can fill holes next season. Ideally those players would have come in return for Estrada, Liriano, Jose, etc, but the players have not performed, so the returns for them will likely be limited.
jerjapan - Monday, July 10 2017 @ 02:50 PM EDT (#345122) #
lots of impact youth on the way currently, even without trades. 

Dave Till, I've got to disagree with you on the failure to develop position players.  You don't look at one stock alone when thinking about your investments,  you look at your portfolio.  Take the Jays drafting on a whole and you have a pretty impressive run since JPR (and heck, even JPR's last draft in 2009 is really looking good all of a sudden).  Just look at the number of pitchers vs. hitters drafted during the AA regime.

http://toronto.bluejays.mlb.com/team/draft.jsp?c_id=tor&year=2010

The Jays didn't develop hitters because they didn't draft many, and many of the hitters they did draft - Pompey, Anderson, Dean, Pentacost - suffered from injuries.  I'm willing to assume that some orgs are better at preventing injuries than others, but the same logic suggests that some orgs are better at drafting than others, and the draft sample size is much larger than the positional health sample.  Compare JPR's drafting to AA's - large enough sample size to make it worthwhile, and the difference is night and day.  And I don't think you're referring to the JPR regime in your comments.  if you are, than agreed!

DJ Davis is the one huge bust, but you don't swing for the fences without the KO.  Alford was a HR chosen with the same aggressive approach.  Remaining on the horizon are Pompey, AA, Jansen, Tellez, Smith Jr., Leb and a few other fringey guys, plus the IFAs headed by Urena, Vlad and Olivares. 

FWIW, words like 'whine' shouldn't be a part of this discussion. 

Dave Till - Monday, July 10 2017 @ 03:28 PM EDT (#345125) #

Donaldson could put up another 7 WAR season in 2018, but if the team finishes with 82 wins and JD bolts immediately after that, how much does it really help?

It helps get me through the summer of 2018. That's gotta count for something. I'm not getting any younger.

More seriously: I would only trade him in 2018 if it was clear that he was not coming back, and if trading him was likely to gain more than the compensation the Jays would get for letting him go. (Looking up the latest CBA, this would be a first-round draft pick if JD signed a deal worth more than $50 million.) If the Jays trade him in 2017, they become immediately worse and lose fans, which means less money to sign players in the future.

Take the Jays drafting on a whole and you have a pretty impressive run since JPR

They drafted well enough to be able to land Donaldson, Tulowitzki, Price, Dickey, and most of the Miami Marlins roster in trades. They basically traded their way to the 2015 post-season. That's pretty good; you have a good point there.

The Jays didn't develop hitters because they didn't draft many, and many of the hitters they did draft - Pompey, Anderson, Dean, Pentacost - suffered from injuries.

The injuries part supports my thesis: that good drafting is really just good luck. If you draft somebody who gets injured a lot after having no pre-draft injury history, that's plain old misfortune.

But it is somewhat astonishing to see how much the Jays have focused on pitching in the draft. Going year by year:

  • 2009: first four draftees were pitchers (last year of JPR's reign)
  • 2010: first six were pitchers
  • 2011: 9 of the first 11 were pitchers (#1 was Tyler Beede, who did not sign)
  • 2012: a bit more normal - six pitchers and four hitters in the top 10 - only Stroman and Alford look likely to come out of this draft and do anything)
  • 2013: first nine were pitchers (!!)
  • 2014: even split between hitters and pitchers

I think this is fallout from losing so many young starters to injury, and from having a team that scored buckets of runs. And it might very well be the case that AA was planning to do all along exactly what he did: bundle bulk pitching prospects to land aging top players. It got the Jays to the post-season for the first time in 22 years, and that's a very good thing.

But it's still true that, by accident, design, or just bad luck, the Jays don't have any young hitters. And we're seeing exactly what happens when you don't have young hitters - gradual declines in performance, increasing quantities of injuries, station-to-station baseball, and boatloads of double plays. I'd do it all again if given the chance, but there was a price to pay, and we're paying it now.

Chuck - Monday, July 10 2017 @ 04:50 PM EDT (#345126) #
But it's still true that, by accident, design, or just bad luck, the Jays don't have any young hitters.

And especially painful when one team after another features so many young stars.

The Astros have Altuve, Springer and Correa, the oldest being 27. The Yankees have Judge and Sanchez (and now Frazier) and two 27-year old middle infield castoffs performing well. The Red Sox have their 3B outfield.

It truly is remarkable how little hitting talent this organization has developed in the past decade, maybe longer.

jerjapan - Monday, July 10 2017 @ 04:54 PM EDT (#345127) #
Dave, I recall AA talking about drafting and developing 'waves and waves' of prospects both for the Jays and as prospect capital.  I think he did exactly what he said he would - but you are totally right, the current roster would clearly benefit from an infusion of youth. 

The FO taking the middle road - short term FAs, retooling not rebuilding - has made sense (individual choices aside) - but the biggest reason I can see to move one or more of Smoak, Pearce, Bautista, Morales (likely impossible), Zeke, Goins or Barney (and for sure, I get that moving them may not yield much) is the chance to play some younger guys.  At this point, what's the harm in promoting Smith Jr. and Leb, with guys like Pompey, Alford and Jansen on the horizon?  Be nice to watch some athleticism in the field and on the base paths!

Glevin - Monday, July 10 2017 @ 04:56 PM EDT (#345128) #
"How are they getting a pass, exactly? I think people just realize how flawed the long-term outlook for this team was after July 2015, and saw this as inevitable rather than something that could have been saved. I'm not sure what exactly you think a realistic alternative was. A group of young athletic players in their primes replacing the departing free agents?"

Exactly. The moves suggested on here by people upset at the new regime were moves that would have made the Jays much worse long-term while not helping short-term (Extensions for Bautsita, Encarnacion, re-signing Price, etc...). This was a team on the edge of a decline and they had three options, either to rebuild before it happened which the market didn't allow, trade prospects for veterans to try to extend the window (which would likely have meant trading guys like Vlad, Stroman, etc.. and more-getting difference-making major league talent takes top prospects/young players) which would have been a disaster for about a decade, or doing what they did which was trying to ride the current core as long as possible while trying to build for the future.

There was no other way where the Jays could add talent and compete and also build up the system long-term. The Jays made two great go-for-it runs which created the most exciting baseball Toronto had seen in 25 years but there was a cost and that cost is being felt now.
jerjapan - Monday, July 10 2017 @ 05:13 PM EDT (#345129) #
The cost is indeed being felt now Glevin, but I disagree with your basic premise - you don't have to trade Stroman or Vlad to get talent, and the current FO could have done a better job riding the current core.  Age-related decline is not inevitable, and it seems curious to me to argue that this year is definitive proof (which seems to happen during every losing streak).  We could be simply unlucky.  Tulo could bounce back.  Too many variables to be so definitive IMO.

And an extension for EE would look great right now.  Nobody wanted Jose at his asking price, and he wasn't taking less during the season, so the 'extending the window' crowd would likely have Jose on a contract similar to the one he signed.  Price is a much better argument, and your argument only works if you are saying to NEVER extend a player to terms like he agreed to - given his age and health, he was as good a bet as any.  That said, there is value in arguing that terms like that should never be agreed to.  Next year will be interesting - I still see Price opting out. 

I am coming around to your time to deal JD point though, assuming there is a good trade to be had.  Mostly I fear what I said upthread - there's no chance of us resigning him IMO, given the FO's modus operandi.  I think we can all agree that 'competing for show' is the wrong approach. 

ISLAND BOY - Monday, July 10 2017 @ 06:03 PM EDT (#345131) #
I would argue that AA didn't do badly in the Halladay trade because if I remember correctly, Roy would only accept a trade to a very limited number of teams. Regardless of this, and I believe it's true in any sport, the team that gets the best player ( at the time ) in a trade is the one that usually wins the deal. I can see trading Donaldson for a really good package of young players, but I can also see keeping him as a leader for a younger team as older players are replaced. I guess I'm on the fence about it.
BlueJayWay - Monday, July 10 2017 @ 06:06 PM EDT (#345132) #
It truly is remarkable how little hitting talent this organization has developed in the past decade, maybe longer.

This is a drum I've been beating for a while. Without being able to develop any of your own hitting talent, you're forced to trade for or sign it, and that results in an older, expensive, declining group, like they have now.
BlueJayWay - Monday, July 10 2017 @ 06:13 PM EDT (#345133) #
I don't see them extending Donaldson. Either the Jays trade him before the end of next season, or he walks as a free agent and the Jays get a draft pick. The new CBA rules are more complicated than they were so I'm not sure what the Jays would get but I think it would be either like a sandwich pick or a 2nd rounder.
jerjapan - Monday, July 10 2017 @ 06:14 PM EDT (#345134) #
What do you attribute it to BJW?  I've articulated the case for the approach - AA's drafting way more pitching.  Do you see it as an error in drafting, development, health management?  What would you have done differently?
BlueJayWay - Monday, July 10 2017 @ 06:19 PM EDT (#345135) #
I just looked it up and the Jays would get a draft pick after the 'competitive balance picks', which is after the 2nd round. So not great.
BlueJayWay - Monday, July 10 2017 @ 06:24 PM EDT (#345136) #
What do you attribute it to BJW?  I've articulated the case for the approach - AA's drafting way more pitching.  Do you see it as an error in drafting, development, health management?  What would you have done differently?

It seems they've drafted a lot of pitchers, which is the opposite of what I'd do. I've said a few times before, and only half-unseriously, that I would only draft hitters in the first few rounds. Give me all the hitters.
uglyone - Monday, July 10 2017 @ 07:21 PM EDT (#345140) #
the idea that the FO deserves a pass because of the roster they inherited is, truthfully, laughable. they inherited as good a situation as any replacement FO ever could - a great roster with elite talent and good young talent with some damn good prospects as well.

especially frustrating to hear that from fans who destroyed AA for needing 5 whole years to make the playoffs when he inherited an awful team with zero prospects.
uglyone - Monday, July 10 2017 @ 07:24 PM EDT (#345141) #
"if I remember correctly, Roy would only accept a trade to a very limited number of teams."

only one, actually.
85bluejay - Monday, July 10 2017 @ 07:36 PM EDT (#345142) #
The Phillies dumped Cliff Lee for 3 suspects from the Mariners to accommodate Halladay's salary - I've always wondered if the Jays considered taking Lee & D'Arnaud instead and then auctioning off Lee who didn't have a no trade clause to the highest bidder.
scottt - Monday, July 10 2017 @ 07:46 PM EDT (#345143) #
It's a trade off. The Jays would only get a pick after the 2nd round if they lose Donaldson, but they would only lose a 3rd round pick if you they sign a qualified free agent. Maybe the system encourage teams to sell. I'm not sure. It does encourage teams to sign free agents if they can afford it.

Right now they can afford to trade Joe Smith for a decent prospect. Or maybe trade one of Loup or Howell for anything at all.
For Estrada, the return would have to be significant and for Happ, it would have to be top prospects, several of them.

McGuire and Ramirez were ranked prospects in the Pirates system.
Ramirez was 95 in BA's top 100 and 5th or 6th in Pittsburgh.
McGuire was in the Pirates' top 10.

jerjapan - Monday, July 10 2017 @ 08:17 PM EDT (#345145) #
BJW, right, I recall you saying that you would draft way more hitters now.  Just pitcher volatility behind that idea?  Clearly, AA did get some elite arms with the approach.  He seemed to be thinking that elite pitchers were the rarest commodity in the game, volatility be damned.  Too bad the best evidence of that is pitching for the Mets. 

I think AA did well in the Halladay trade given that he was only willing to go to Philly.  Sometimes prospects work out, sometimes they don't, sometimes trades work out, sometimes not.  You can't view them in a vacuum.  That'd be cherry picking.  
Chuck - Monday, July 10 2017 @ 08:41 PM EDT (#345146) #
I recall you saying that you would draft way more hitters now.

I'm no Pat Gillick fan boy, but I recall him saying that hitters were safer draft picks because they were more predictable than pitchers. He said that a team's core players should be position players, again because they were more predictable from year to year than pitchers. He said you should build around your core with pitching, reacting as required because of its volatility.

Now, if you've got Maddux, Glavine and Smoltz, maybe it's a different story.

dalimon5 - Monday, July 10 2017 @ 08:41 PM EDT (#345147) #
Ugly,

You're way out of your element. You lost your bragging rights (you do amazing stat digging for posts that I still miss) when you championed the resign Price strategy for what was it...3...4 months? Then you told us all that he's still elite. Then you compared all our young mlb players to Boston's, showing us that by using numbers our players were just as good if not better.

"the idea that the FO deserves a pass because of the roster they inherited is, truthfully, laughable."
-nobody is saying they deserve a pass. SK just took you to school and others who were asking why the new regime gets a pass (by some fans).

"they inherited as good a situation as any replacement FO ever could."
- Better than what Dombrowski (Red Sox), Friedman/Anthopolous (Dodgers) inherited, to name a few?

"a great roster with elite talent and good young talent with some damn good prospects as well."
- I don't know if you've noticed but our elite talent of Donaldson, Tulowitzki, Osuna, Sanchez, Stroman, Estrada, Bautista and Martin...it's kind of only been Osuna and Stroman, and only one of them is anywhere close to possibly being elite.

BTW, who are the "damn good prospects" that you say they inherited? Would that be Dalton Pompey, Anthony Alford, DJ Davis, Connor Greene, SRF? Or are you referring to Norris and Hoffman? STOP hating on this regime by pretending that they've been dropped into paradise with carte blanche. Your alternative suggestions for what they should do would have sunk this franchise already. Not to be offensive but damn dude can you get over the fact that Price/Eddy and AA are gone already?
dalimon5 - Monday, July 10 2017 @ 08:47 PM EDT (#345148) #
ALSO: AA never went for it until year 5 when Rogers effectively told him he was getting the boot and replaced by Shapiro. Then he said "well damn lets go all in." Talk about him swinging for the fences is overrated. He squeezed the system beautifully to get extra draft picks and he spent extra money where he could. "Swinging for the fences," would have meant signing Aroldis Chapman, signing Yu Darvish...get this...signing a free agent. I will say that he was a ninja though, that is for sure, as evidenced by his fleecing of the Angels and A's in the Donaldson/Wells trades...but that only neutralizes his flaws, whether they were because of Beeston's tight budget or not.
uglyone - Monday, July 10 2017 @ 09:37 PM EDT (#345151) #
Not sure you noticed but Price is pretty damn good.
uglyone - Monday, July 10 2017 @ 09:43 PM EDT (#345152) #
"BTW, who are the "damn good prospects" that you say they inherited?"

with their top BA or BP ranks:

Guerrero #2
Alford #25
Pompey #30
Reid-Foley #75
Urena #94
Tellez #95
Greene #100
jerjapan - Monday, July 10 2017 @ 10:19 PM EDT (#345153) #
Dalimon, chill out man. 

Nigel asked if the FO is getting a pass, not Ugly.  Nigel made some good points, so did Ugly.  So did SK, and so do you, usually.  Nobody schooled anybody. 

I feel like you are yelling at me, and you aren't even addressing me.  Civil discourse please.

Jimbag - Tuesday, July 11 2017 @ 01:56 AM EDT (#345159) #
AA didn't go for it until year 5? Yeah, he made more moves at the deadline, but I think the trades with the Marlins and the Mets were a swing for the fence.

As for whether to draft more pitchers or position players - draft whoever is the best available player at whatever slot you pick in, where they fit into the organization is secondary to how well they project - then use those properties to trade for what the organization needs. There is nothing wrong with minor league deals that address the future of the big league club - too many pitchers? Somewhere out there is a team with not enough pitching and a LF that would fit, right?
Petey Baseball - Tuesday, July 11 2017 @ 07:38 AM EDT (#345160) #
The majority of people of this blog are painfully subservient to prospect porn.

An awful first half full of injuries, and suddenly we're no better than the beginning of the Anthopolous era.

Let's hope Mark Shapiro realizes there's still a lot of talent on the big league team and excitement in the incredibly large fan base.


dalimon5 - Tuesday, July 11 2017 @ 08:32 AM EDT (#345161) #
Sorry guys I was hangry last night when I posted. I've since had a snickers and I'm feeling more like myself now.
scottt - Tuesday, July 11 2017 @ 08:46 AM EDT (#345163) #
Yeah, the Marlins/Mets trade was a strike out swinging for the fences.
They finished last in the division.

There's nothing wrong with trading prospects, especially if you can trade a good pitching prospect for a good hitting prospect. Trading 4 or 5 prospect for expensive declining players is absurd though. You only lose a single pick for signing guys like that during the winter. 

85bluejay - Tuesday, July 11 2017 @ 09:23 AM EDT (#345164) #
I see reports of the Jays interest in Dee Gordon - if the Jays take the entire contract he may come cheap in prospects term - would allow Jays to not rush back Travis, Gordon is a superior defender & Travis's bat can maybe allow him to play a corner outfield position or 3rd next year
85bluejay - Tuesday, July 11 2017 @ 09:28 AM EDT (#345165) #
I should say, I think that money can be better spent, so I don't think I would give a thumbs up to that trade.
BlueJayWay - Tuesday, July 11 2017 @ 09:46 AM EDT (#345166) #
I don't like the idea of Travis running around the outfield turf on those knees.


ISLAND BOY - Tuesday, July 11 2017 @ 11:16 AM EDT (#345168) #
He could always wear one of those Lifeline necklaces - " I've fallen and I can't get up !"
Jimbag - Tuesday, July 11 2017 @ 12:34 PM EDT (#345170) #
"Yeah, the Marlins/Mets trade was a strike out swinging for the fences.
They finished last in the division."

And that diminishes the attempt how, exactly?

As for trading prospects for "declining" vets, you misunderstood - I was advocating trading prospects for prospects, hence the "minor league deals" - meaning you draft the best available player regardless of position with the intent that you may later trade that surplus MiLB player for another minor-leaguer that addresses an anticipated future need for the big league club.

eudaimon - Tuesday, July 11 2017 @ 12:48 PM EDT (#345171) #
It'd be fun to have Dee Gordon on the team - he'd provide some of the speed we're currently lacking and a decent OBP. We can't really rely on Travis coming back this year, but it would be a shame to block the 2B spot for him in the future. It'd be nice to put Travis at DH, at least for this season and semi-regularly in the future, but as we all know that spot is pretty clogged up at the moment.
PeterG - Tuesday, July 11 2017 @ 12:56 PM EDT (#345172) #
I don't think a Gordon trade is happening but if it did, Travis would likely be going the other way. Jays should be entitled to a prospect along with Gordon for taking on that much salary. Florida won't get a trade if they are not prepared to do this.
uglyone - Tuesday, July 11 2017 @ 05:47 PM EDT (#345182) #
it would be trťs sad to sell low on travisnfor a worse, older, and more expensive player.
scottt - Tuesday, July 11 2017 @ 06:14 PM EDT (#345183) #
The Marlins offload payroll all the time. They also have compensation picks that they trade away to reduce their payroll.
A Gordon move would be picking up the entire salary and trying to trade him (while eating some salary) in the winter, similar to the Ben Revere trade of 2015. Gordon is more or less worth his contract but he carries a risk of losing value because he depends largely on speed. Next year, Gurriel should be able to backup Travis.

SK in NJ - Tuesday, July 11 2017 @ 09:25 PM EDT (#345187) #
I don't expect Gordon necessarily, but if the Jays are not selling off anyone that is signed through 2018, then I can see them making another Liriano type of move where they get someone who another team wants to dump and is controllable through at least '18 if not longer. The one advantage the Jays have is the ability to absorb contracts (that better be the case if they are not going to rebuild), and if that decreases the prospect capital they would have to trade (or negates it completely), then it's beneficial short and long-term at best, and inconsequential at worst.

Gordon is not the same as Revere because Revere was arbitration eligible, so it was basically a non guaranteed contract. They could have non-tendered him if they wanted to instead of trading him for Storen. With Gordon they'd be locking into a guaranteed contract for multiple years. It wouldn't really make sense unless they plan on playing Travis somewhere else from 2018-onwards. Someone like Martin Prado from the Marlins might make more sense, but that would be a lot of money for a utility IF.

A lot will depend on what direction the team takes. Shapiro is talking like he is going to retool instead of rebuild, but you can't really take anything said to the media at face value since it's all lip service at this point. I hope they seriously consider a Donaldson trade either this month or in the winter, because there is a strong/likely chance that they lose him for nothing if they hold on to him, and that would force a rebuild anyway. If they try again in '18, then the FO has to pull some rabbits out of their hat.
PeterG - Tuesday, July 11 2017 @ 09:43 PM EDT (#345188) #
I believe that failing to trade Donaldson before the start of 2018 season would be a huge mistake and probably the first sigificant error this FO will have made. And yes, what the President or GM says to the press means nothing. They all lie. That is part of the job. I find if interesting that neither the FO or JD will make any comments on trade possibilities or talk of a contract extension,
scottt - Tuesday, July 11 2017 @ 10:19 PM EDT (#345189) #
Now is really not the time for contract extension talks.
Besides, when JD becomes a free agent, the market will be saturated by better, younger players draining all the money.
Also, the TV rights are now edging downward fueled by the cable cutting trend and nobody wants to be over the luxury threshold.
I expect he'll sign somewhere for a lot less than you think. 


soupman - Tuesday, July 11 2017 @ 11:39 PM EDT (#345190) #
assuming he returns to form...what do you think donaldson gets in free agency?
uglyone - Tuesday, July 11 2017 @ 11:47 PM EDT (#345191) #
4x30?

5x25?
soupman - Wednesday, July 12 2017 @ 12:45 AM EDT (#345192) #
matt swartz ran a piece today on fan graphs projecting the $/war in 2019 to be about $12million.

the article is good and puts the current value over $10million/war this year.
Dave Till - Wednesday, July 12 2017 @ 01:32 PM EDT (#345199) #
Sorry, this is going to be long. Just for the heck of it, here's my half-season report card for the Jays. Hitters first.

Darwin Barney

Was holding a job primarily because he could hit better than Ryan Goins. But, after a horrible two-month slump this year, heís actually doing worse than Goins. He might snap out of it Ė his OBP so far in July is a slightly better .316 Ė but, at this point, heís part of the problem, especially since heís getting an extra-base hit about twice a month. And heís 31, so itís all downhill from here.

Grade: F

Jose Bautista

Joseís OPS by season, starting in 2014: .928, .913, .817, and now .749. Heís 36, and heís now producing at roughly the same level he did when he was in Pittsburgh in 2008:

Bautista 2008: .242 BA, .325 OBP, .404 SLG
Bautista 2017: .234 BA, .349 OBP, .400 SLG

He has retained most of his batting eye, he can still turn on an inside fastball and drive it Ė though less often than formerly Ė and his arm has come back to life in the outfield. But, at this point, he appears to be a shadow of the player who made six straight All-Star teams and brought a country to life with a single bat flip. Heís hard-working and analytical, so he will figure out a way of maximizing what ability he has left, but time appears to be rapidly running out.

Grade: B-

Ezequiel Carrera

His numbers have improved this year because he is no longer required to bat against left-handed pitchers: he is 1 for 21 against them this year (.048). He stands out on the Jays because he is a fast left-handed hitter who sometimes tries to bunt for base hits and stuff like that, instead of being a slow right-handed hitter who grounds into epic quantities of double plays. (Zeke, bless him, has only one GIDP this year.) Heís racked up a .351 on-base percentage so far, which is actually reasonably respectable. Heís still not a really good player, but heís helping the team.

Grade: B-

Darrell Ceciliani

Iím only mentioning him because I donít think Iíve heard of anyone else injuring themselves in the act of hitting a home run. Cecilianiís injury was bad for his career but good for his finances: while he is on the disabled list, he is earning major league money. That will help him pay the bills.

Grade: Incomplete

Chris Coghlan

No history of the Blue Jaysí 2017 season will be complete without footage of Coghlanís vaulting over the catcher to score a run. Itís too bad that his 88 plate appearances proved that he was below average both offensively and defensively. He seems to have been stashed on the disabled list indefinitely.

Grade: F

Josh Donaldson

Iím optimistic that the Bringer Of Rain will return to his dominant self soon. But this is the first time since he came to Toronto that he has been injured for a significant period of time, and this is the first time that he has been in a slump for a significant period of time. Heís now 31, and his body will continue to betray him if he attempts to play in his all-out style now that he is no longer young. Even the most severe of rainstorms eventually ends.

Grade: B+

Ryan Goins

Doing what he has always done: making wonderful plays in the infield, and not hitting worth a damn. His current batting line - .203 BA, .265 OBP, .325 SLG Ė is almost an exact match for his career totals. And a player with a .265 on-base percentage is not good enough to play regularly in the major leagues: if Goins had been given enough at-bats to be a regular, he would have the fourth-worst OBP in the majors. (Jays fans might enjoy the fact that Rougned Odorís .260 OBP is second-worst in baseball.)

When you give over 200 plate appearances to somebody who hits this badly, youíre well on the way to winding up with a team that is last in the league in runs scored. The Jays will have this dubious distinction if Kansas City manages to score four runs in their next six games.

Grade: F

Luke Maile

He is a wonderful defensive catcher Ė he really is. He exudes calm competence, and pitchers obviously love throwing to him. But he has an on-base percentage of .154. Thatís worse than many pitchers. You canít win games with somebody hitting that badly in your lineup. You just canít.

Grade: F

Russell Martin

The good news is that his hitting isnít showing signs of age-related decline. He hasnít hit much for average as a Blue Jay, but then heís only hit better than .250 once in the last nine years, so itís unrealistic to expect more from him. The good news is that his on-base percentage has gone up this year: heís at .378, as opposed to last yearís .335. This is quite good for a catcher.
The bad news is that his defense has dropped off after his outstanding 2015: heís only throwing out 18% of attempted base stealers, after stopping 44% of them in 2015. But, at this rate, heís likely to provide value for the remaining two years of his contract. (By the way, doesnít it seem like heís always been here?)

If youíre wondering about his defense at third base: itís below average. He gets to fewer balls than the average third baseman. But his range is roughly comparable to Chris Coghlanís, and he hasnít made any errors at third yet. So thereís that.

Grade: B+

Miguel Montero

The interesting thing about Montero is that he used to be very good at throwing out runners. In 2011, he led all of baseball in caught stealing percentage, throwing out 40% of runners attempting to steal. In 2012, he was even better, with a 42% CS rate. After that, his numbers have gone relentlessly downhill: 33% in 2013, 29% in 2014, 20% in 2015, 11% in 2016, and a mere 3% this year.

Itís too early to tell whether he will be able to help the Jays. If they could afford to carry three catchers, it might be useful to have both him and a better defensive catcher on the roster to back up Russell Martin. But teams now have to have 11 or 12 pitchers instead of 9 or 10, so thereís no room for such luxuries.

Grade: Incomplete

Kendrys Morales

In the 2015-16 offseason, the Blue Jays decided that it was better to spend money on two players than one. Instead of throwing a lot of money at David Price, why not spend less money and sign two pitchers? And you have to say that it worked: J.A. Happ and Marco Estrada had outstanding seasons in 2016, Price was something of a disappointment, and Rogers saved a chunk of money.

In the 2016-17 offseason, the Jays decided to pursue the same strategy. Instead of spending a lot of money to retain Edwin Encarnacion, they spent less money and signed two players: Kendrys Morales and Steve Pearce. The logic was presumably the same: fill two holes instead of one, save some bucks, and keep Rogersí shareholders happy. The problem with their reasoning was that starting pitching and the starting lineup are different. Having two average (or slightly above average) starting pitchers is a win for your team; having two average first basemen or outfielders propels your team to .500 at best.

On one level, Morales is delivering exactly what he was asked for. At the break, he has 32 extra-base hits, as compared to Edwinís 29. But Morales doesnít walk much, and is so slow that scoring from second base on a single is a risky proposition. The Jays would have been better off with Encarnacion.

But perhaps not much: EE is showing signs of decline. His OPS has dropped from .929 to .886 to .855, and his strikeout rate is rising. (He struck out 62 times all year in 2013; he has already struck out 82 times this year.) Itís probably true that the Jays had no good option; time marches relentlessly on.

Grade: C+

Steve Pearce

Like many incoming free agents, Pearce got off to a horrible start in his new uniform, possibly because he was trying too hard to make a good impression. And, like many other Jays, he is struggling to regain his timing after missing significant time with an injury. This should have been expected, of course Ė his career high in games played is 102, and he is now 34. I think he will help the Jays when he is healthy and on form, but how often will this be the case?

Grade: C

Kevin Pillar

For a while there, he was working hard at being a new and improved hitter: instead of swinging at everything within reach, he was actually trying to draw walks. He managed 10 walks in May, sending his on-base percentage up to a comparatively high .328. But, after a June slump, he has reverted to his former hacktastic ways, drawing only one walk in his first 31 July plate appearances.

And, sadly, his defense might now be slipping too. He hasnít made many of his famous Superman-style catches lately, he seems to sometimes have a poor first step, and his range factor is now all the way down to league average after being well above average in 2015. If Dalton Pompey can ever get healthy, he might find himself with an opportunity to earn a job after all.

Grade: C-

Justin Smoak

The lesson we can learn from this is that all major league baseball players, even the marginal ones, are exceptional athletes Ė the best of the very best. If someone at this level makes a significant adjustment, he can vault from being a fringe player to being a quality regular or even a star.

Smoakís adjustment is rather obvious to those who have watched him: he can now foul off breaking pitches when on a two-strike count. In 2016, his batting average with two strikes was .145, with 112 strikeouts in 187 plate appearances. In 2017, heís improved that all the way to .209 (which isnít bad with two strikes), with only 64 strikeouts in 160 plate appearances. This new-found selectivity has forced pitchers to put the ball where Smoak can hit it, and he hasnít been missing them. The result is a starting berth on the American League All-Star team, and a startling bargain for the Jaysí front office, which signed Smoak to a two-year extension with a 2019 team buyout for a total dollar figure of $14.5 million. Heís pretty much earned that already.

However, before we get too excited, compare Smoakís 2017 so far to Player Xís 2016 stats at the All-Star break:

Smoak 2017: .294 BA, .360 OBP, .575 SLG, 13 2B, 23 HR, 56 RBI
Player X 2016: .298 BA, .372 OBP .551 SLG, 25 2B, 16 HR, 42 RBI

Player X is Michael Saunders, who is now playing the outfield in Buffalo. Sometimes, when you make an adjustment, the league adjusts back. But, for now, letís enjoy the ride while it lasts.

Grade: A

Devon Travis

Once is unlucky; twice is very unlucky; three times is a pattern. When at the top of his game and fully healthy, Travis is an amazing player. After a horrible April, he whacked 16 doubles in May, batting .364 (with only one walk!), basically single-handedly propelling the Jaysí offense back into respectability. Itís no coincidence that they have stalled again now that he is gone. But if he canít stay in the lineup, he wonít be of any use. Itís no wonder that there are rumours that Dee Gordon might be coming to Toronto.

Grade: C+

Troy Tulowitzki

Itís the old story Ė never completely trust Colorado batting statistics. Tuloís career road numbers are .270 AVG/.339 OBP/.455 SLG, and injuries and age have cut into that. His career numbers as a Blue Jay are .250/.314/.421, which is not far off what he is hitting this year.

Heís had stretches when he has been significantly better than that, his defense is still okay (though now down to just league average), and heís hard-working and dedicated. But he seems to be spending most of his time in Toronto struggling to get his timing back after recovering from yet another injury. And the Jays are committed to him for three more years and $54 million. Still, theyíre probably okay with paying $114 million total to Tulowitzki starting in 2015, given that the alternative was paying $70 million to Jose Reyes.

Grade: C-
Dave Till - Wednesday, July 12 2017 @ 01:46 PM EDT (#345200) #
And the pitchers, part 1.

Danny Barnes

He's better than many of the other relief pitchers that the Jays have run out there. It looks like he needs more rest than some, though: he got clobbered on May 20th after appearing in games in three of the previous four days. He has only pitched on consecutive days twice since then. All of his other stats look pretty good, though.
Grade: B-

Jeff Beliveau

Now 30 years old, with parts of five years in the majors, Beliveau experienced a significant professional setback last year, spending most of the season pitching in relief for the Orioles' class-A Frederick Keys farm team. He didn't give up, though, and after starting the season in Buffalo, he was called up when the Jays' other left-handed options didn't pan out. He's been just okay so far, but okay is better than Aaron Loup, so he'll likely have a job for a while.
Grade: C

Joe Biagini

Everyone's favourite interview subject started the season as the seventh inning man in the bullpen, pitching approximately every other day as everything blew up around him. Moved into the starting rotation in May out of desperation, he responded with a few good starts before running out of gas in mid-June. At his best, he can throw several different pitches for strikes, but he still needs to prove that he has the endurance needed to be a consistent member of the starting rotation. This is very difficult; few pitchers can manage it. He seems like a really interesting person, so I will be rooting for him.
Grade: C
Dave Till - Wednesday, July 12 2017 @ 02:02 PM EDT (#345202) #

The rest of the pitchers. Sorry for flooding the thread.

Mike Bolsinger

Pretty much the working definition of a replacement-level pitcher: if you need one, you can find one by just making a phone call. Bolsinger's virtue is that he seemingly never gives up. When he gives up a walk or a home run Ė both of which are likely to happen - he just gets a new ball and tries yet again to get his high fastball and his curve over for strikes. He's gone deep into a couple of ballgames to take one for the team, so he's been better than any of the other emergency options. That's not saying much, though.

Grade: F

Marco Estrada

After a typically wonderful April and May, Estrada suddenly lost it in June. Seemingly, hitters weren't being fooled by his changeup. He's a smart enough pitcher that he was able to get many batters out without it Ė he's striking out more than a batter an inning Ė but his mistakes are getting absolutely plastered. He's 33 now, so perhaps he's just reached his limit. It would be too bad if this were the case Ė it has been an absolute joy to watch him when he was on form.

Grade: D

Jason Grilli

He lost control of his breaking pitch, which forced him to attempt to challenge hitters with his fastball. This would have worked better for him if he was not 40 years old. Before his release, his worst outing was against the Yankees at home on June 3rd, during which he surrendered four home runs. Cynics might suggest that his removal from the roster was delayed until after the scheduled ďFire Up the Grilli BBQĒ Father's Day promotional event on June 18th. It's a tragedy Ė he loved pitching in Toronto, and he was so much fun to watch.

Grade: F

J.A. Happ

His 195 innings pitched last year was a career high, and he's now 34, so it's not surprising that he had arm trouble for a while this year. When he returned, it took him two starts to get his mojo back, but he has been good every time out. He doesn't go deep into games, though, as his pitch per inning count is high Ė he has not yet made it out of the seventh in any of his starts since coming back. He's a very good pitcher, but he's always going to need some help.

Grade: B

Dominic Leone

Very similar to Ryan Tepera: excellent strikeout rate, a tendency towards wildness, and effective in about three-fourths of his appearances. Not a great pitcher, but he's better than Gavin Floyd and Drew Storen were last year. Admittedly, this is damning with faint praise.

Grade: C+

Francisco Liriano

He's the polar opposite of R.A. Dickey. When Dickey was here, he could be counted on to provide 6 or 7 mediocre innings. Liriano is never mediocre Ė at any given moment, he is either unhittable or terrible. There's not much you can do, other than cross your fingers and hope. He has managed five wins, and two of his losses have been tough losses, so thankfully there have been more good moments than bad ones.

Grade: C+

Aaron Loup

It's the same old problem: his sweeping sidearm delivery requires him to get his release point just right, or his pitches wind up out of the strike zone (or hitting unsuspecting batters). He's wilder this year than he has been in the past, and he has now plunked 27 batters in 256 2/3 career innings. One of this year's targets was the Braves' Freddie Freeman, who missed 44 games with a broken hand. Loup's future vacation plans should probably not include the state of Georgia.

Grade: F

Roberto Osuna

Osuna failed to convert in three of his first four save opportunities. The last of his blown saves was on April 27; since then, he has compiled 21 consecutive saves. He gave up two earned runs in May, one in June, and none so far in three opportunities in July. He was vulnerable to the home run at times last year, but has given up only two this year. He has a new weapon, a cut fastball, which makes him pretty much impossible to hit. Osuna Matata!

He now has 78 career saves, despite still being several months shy of his 23rd birthday. He'll have a bit of work to do to set a Blue Jays record for most saves in the first three seasons of his career, though Ė Billy Koch picked up exactly 100 saves between 1999 and 2001.

Grade: A+

Aaron Sanchez

The good thing about his blister troubles, if there is a good thing, is that his arm won't have been overworked this year. He's still only 24, and studies suggest that pitchers this young need to be used carefully. Unfortunately, it might take him a few starts to find his way back, which will cause more damage to an already mortally wounded 2017 season.

Grade: Incomplete

Joe Smith

Until he got hurt, he was fulfilling his role: he picked up 11 holds between April 27 and June 10, and had only two bad outings in May and one in June. His injury left a gaping hole in the Blue Jays bullpen that has yet to be filled. He's 33 and he's never pitched more than 74 2/3 innings in a season, so there isn't much in his gas tank. His strikeout per inning pitched figure is much higher this year than it's ever been before.

Grade: B

Marcus Stroman

It is not surprising that it has taken him a while to figure it all out, given that he has so many pitch options available to him. If you can throw only one pitch, it either works or it doesn't; if you can throw six, you have to decide each time whether to use or discard an available option. At this point, he looks like one of the three players who will be part of the next good Blue Jays team (Sanchez and Osuna are the others).

The only concern is that Stroman tends to give up more ground balls than fly balls; historically, ground-ball pitchers tend not to have long careers in the majors. But Stroman is exceptional in so many other ways, so he might be exceptional in this too.

Grade: A-

Ryan Tepera

For the most part, he's been good Ė he's picked up seven holds. But in about one out of every four appearances, he gets clobbered. This illustrates how difficult it is to assemble a championship team Ė there's a lot more pitchers who are good about three-fourths of the time than there are who are good in 90% or more of their appearances. And it's that difference that separates the good teams from the average ones. Could probably stand to improve his control a bit.

Grade: C+

Chuck - Wednesday, July 12 2017 @ 02:03 PM EDT (#345203) #
His numbers have improved this year because he is no longer required to bat against left-handed pitchers

Dave, enjoying your write-up, as usual.

Re Carrera, it's worth noting that in 4 of 5 seasons from 2012 to 2016, his OPS was actually better against LHP than RHP (in 2013, he was 0-for-2 against LHP).

It's only this year that he's finally exhibiting a more traditional L/R split. And so dramatic is that split that he's finally pushed his career split to something closer to normal (676/686).

Chuck - Wednesday, July 12 2017 @ 02:15 PM EDT (#345204) #
[re Stroman] It is not surprising that it has taken him a while to figure it all out

Stroman's a tough cat to figure out. His ERA has improved tremendously from 2016, 4.37 to 3.28. But his component stats are virtually identical:
2016 BB/SO/HR: 2.4, 7.3, 0.9
2017 BB/SO/HR: 2.3, 7.5, 1.0

Even his BABIPs are virtually the same: .310 vs .315.

His split for bases-empty/men-on-base has improved from 695/756 to 712/719, so that accounts for some of the drop in ERA. But what about the rest? Frankly, I can't help but think that his big "improvement" is an improvement in luck, from bad to good.

uglyone - Wednesday, July 12 2017 @ 02:39 PM EDT (#345205) #
but it's not so tough to figure out....the fippy numbers are very important. ignore them at your own risk.

it's one thing if a guy consistently over or underachieves his component numbers for years, but that was never true of stroman. that was just last year. more specifically, really just 10 starts in the middle of last year.
ISLAND BOY - Wednesday, July 12 2017 @ 02:47 PM EDT (#345206) #
J.A.Happ - " he's been good every time out."

Except that last game before the All-Star break. That was a stinker.
dan gordon - Wednesday, July 12 2017 @ 03:44 PM EDT (#345207) #
I think Barnes has been better than a B-. His numbers are pretty close to Osuna's, except for 9 more walks. ERA of 2.31, WHIP of 0.90, K/BB of 45/12, only 23 hits allowed in 39 IP. Tepera has been pretty good, and should be better than a C. Thanks for the report card, an interesting read.
Mike Green - Wednesday, July 12 2017 @ 04:17 PM EDT (#345208) #
My first half thoughts are a little different from, and not as comprehensive as, Dave's:

Jose Bautista, Steve Pearce, Kendrys Morales and Justin Smoak- despite Smoak's great leap forward, this group has been a disaster, providing mediocre batting, poor baserunning and atrocious defence out of the corner outfield, 1B and DH slots; the set-up has failed miserably and they need to get rid of one of them.  Don't get me wrong- I like Jose Bautista more than I did 2 years ago.  He's got more humility and a little less testosterone than he had.  He's running out ground balls and generally giving his all.  I think that if you made him your DH and let him stay there, he might adjust to his modestly diminished abilities at the plate by changing his approach- he is capable of defeating the shift by regularly going the other way.  Steve Pearce is a good hitter, but you don't want him playing left-field (and least of all when Jose Bautista is in right-field).  Kendrys Morales has not performed at a level that merits a full-time job for a number of years.  He'd be a nice part-time player if you had a spot for a bat-first player on your bench.  

The rotation- the team defence has been below average for the first time in years, with the outfield defence being particularly bad,  and it has not been good for any of the the pitchers, but especially for the starters.  More misplayed balls leading to longer innings leading to high pitch-counts early in games, leading to even worse pitching.  It's a vicious cycle. I don't hold the pitchers responsible for that.  In this tough context,  Marcus Stroman has been excellent (and easily the best player on the club)- for his career, Stroman has 8.8 bWAR in 474 innings and his ERA and FIP are within normal distance of each other.  He's a great fielder and helps himself that way.  J.A. Happ has been very good.  Marco Estrada? Now there is an interesting one.  He's obviously been affected by the decline in the defence more than most.  He has struck out many more than before, walked a few more, and given up more hard-hit balls.  It all adds up to a near-average pitcher in the context.  Normally a 5.56 ERA (which currently belongs to Liriano) would give a failing grade, but not this year.  He's been below average but nothing less than that. 

The bullpen- a team strength.  Osuna has been excellent, of course.  Danny Barnes and Joe Smith have been very good.  Leone and Tepera have been good. 

The core of the club- Donaldson, Tulo, Travis, Pillar and Martin- haven't been as healthy as one would have hoped, but really the number of games lost to injury is only modestly higher than one might reasonably have expected.  Russell Martin has hit the way you would expect and thrown a little better than last year.  The neck hasn't been as troublesome. Tulo had a bad first half but came on as the All-Star break neared, and I expect him to be at least an average offensive player for a few years more.  Pillar takes a lot of heat for his bat- it's not great but he's still an above-average player and the club has only 6 or 7 of them right now.  Devon Travis and Josh Donaldson were the two most important players for the club going into the season- both are 5 wins better than their replacements and the club needed to get 1000 PAs out of them.  It won't happen this year, but it might next year.

Barney/Goins-  Obviously their off-seasons have been a large contributor to the team's lack of success this year.  It is a mystery why the front office could not acquire a better second baseman before now.  As for Dee Gordon, he's obviously a better player than Barney/Goins but a lesser player than a healthy Travis.  Do you want to spend $10,8m, $13.3m and $13.8m for a 30-32 year old middle infield insurance/backup?  Maybe the answer to that is yes.  I'd sure rather have the money spent that way than on a less-than-great DH. 

uglyone - Wednesday, July 12 2017 @ 04:20 PM EDT (#345209) #

only the tiniest quibbles with your excellent list dave:

1.think you're a bit harsh on the middle relief, which has collectively smashed expectations this year. a few bad outings in blowouts this last series may have skewed some numbers, but for me the likes of barnes tepera loup deserve a bit more love.

2.You may be underselling Martin a bit. He's probably been a top 5 catcher in baseball this year. his receiving is still excellent and he's been throwing guys out again lately to boot.

3.i think you're too kind to morales who is closer to an F, really.
uglyone - Wednesday, July 12 2017 @ 04:22 PM EDT (#345210) #
oh and 4. Goins has been awful defensively and barney's edge over him was not just aupposed to be offense (which hasn't happened) but defense too (which bas happened).
cybercavalier - Wednesday, July 12 2017 @ 05:57 PM EDT (#345211) #
Barney F, Coghlan F, Goins F, Pillar C-, Maile F

Can we assume that a C grade is an league average performance of an MLBer? If so, the Jays need more assets to performance below grade C. That means postions CF, 2B, backup IF, backup C. As Maile is kept on the DL, time will well if Montero can put up a grade C performance or above.

To finish two problems by one stone, can the Jays trade Barney to a team lacking IF but abundant of OF? Meanwhile, given their grade F performance, Barney and Goins are more likely to slip pass waiver wire to go to Buffalo. If possible, can either one of them improve batting in Buffalo while promoting Saunders or some veteran batters. The assumption is that veteran batters are more conscious to pitchers adjusting to their batting, so these batters readjust.
scottt - Wednesday, July 12 2017 @ 08:28 PM EDT (#345212) #
Do you want to spend $10,8m, $13.3m and $13.8m for a 30-32 year old middle infield insurance/backup?  Maybe the answer to that is yes.  I'd sure rather have the money spent that way than on a less-than-great DH.

Kinsler is a better trade target and is probably available given the Detroit standings.
But Gordon is obviously available for very little, because of his contract.
Fangraphs was predicting he'd be worth 1.5WAR over 620 PAs, but he's been worth 1.7 over 325.
You'd have to be creative to make it work. He can play SS as well as 2B. He's a plus defender and an excellent pinch runner, but there wouldn't be enough AB for him. Possibly trade him for another somewhat overpaid player at a position of need over the winter for example.

 

SK in NJ - Wednesday, July 12 2017 @ 08:44 PM EDT (#345213) #
Bautista and Pearce in the outfield could have worked if they both hit. The defense would not have been good, but they were signed for overall value purposes, not for any specific defensive skills. The total value was supposed to compensate for the gloves. Pearce has been hurt, and he has a 158 wRC+ since May (150 since coming off the DL), but Bautista has played everyday and been about average offensively. That's not going to be enough. Factor in Morales not only struggling offensively but providing absolutely nothing else of any value, and it's going to add to the issues.

Whether the Jays go for it or rebuild in the next year and a half, they are going to have to move either Pearce or Morales (Bautista is probably gone after this season anyway). Preferably it would be Morales, but I can't think of any team that would take him. Putting Pearce in LF is not only undercutting the value he can bring to the team but it makes him more likely to get hurt. A Pearce/Smoak tandem at 1B/DH would be fine, but that means Kendrys will have to get moved. They won't bench a vet who they signed as a free agent. That's very rarely done even if it makes sense to do it.
scottt - Wednesday, July 12 2017 @ 10:00 PM EDT (#345214) #
I think Pearce was the safety net in case Smoak didn't figure it out.

Yeah, I think many players will see the revokable waivers.
Pearce would be highly valuable as a NL pinch hitter that takes the field a couple times a week.

Last year, Morales was bad in April, May, and July and good in June, August and September.
This year, he's been bad in April, June, July and good in May.

There's still a  50% chance that he's above average in August and/or September.
He's having problems with breaking balls, but that can't be a new thing. He's got over 4000 At-bats.

Chuck - Thursday, July 13 2017 @ 08:11 AM EDT (#345216) #
An informative site I just stumbled upon showing each team's salary commitments in a nice, orderly fashion.
bpoz - Thursday, July 13 2017 @ 11:14 AM EDT (#345222) #
I too think that Donaldson will be traded. There have to be at least 10 teams rich enough to afford him. The Jays are one of those teams that can afford him if they so choose.

So as the saying goes... He will get his money.

The Jays have 1 advantage. They can sign him before he becomes a FA.

Since the money will be there. As a FA he will choose a team that he believes can get him a WS ring. This probably eliminates the Jays.
cybercavalier - Thursday, July 13 2017 @ 12:29 PM EDT (#345230) #
I too think that Donaldson will be traded. There have to be at least 10 teams rich enough to afford him. The Jays are one of those teams that can afford him if they so choose. So as the saying goes... He will get his money.

Well AA worked hard to get good players at bargain values. By selling these values, the current Jays management may have undo the foundation by AA. The advantage is there but selling it is unwise. Given that we need 2B, declining defense and production from a few other position, and also but less urgently CF, can the current Jays management not trade away assets that easily. The transaction appears like a liquidation....
hypobole - Thursday, July 13 2017 @ 12:47 PM EDT (#345232) #
Has Pearson yet, or is he at extended or injured?

Has anyone ever hit as poorly as Rowdy in AAA and actually had a decent major league career?
hypobole - Thursday, July 13 2017 @ 12:50 PM EDT (#345233) #
Dang it, wrong thread.
Nigel - Thursday, July 13 2017 @ 02:40 PM EDT (#345238) #
What Mike Green said.

The Bautista/Pearce/Morales/Smoak thing could have worked if they had all hit at or very near the absolute top end of their reasonable expectations. The likelihood of that all happening was so small that it was just a poor plan. I'd like to see two of them gone next year but at least one would make a substantial improvement.
Nigel - Thursday, July 13 2017 @ 02:44 PM EDT (#345239) #
I would note that the guy most likely to be gone, Bautista, has a decent chance of being the most useful of the four next year if he was a full time DH/1B.
scottt - Thursday, July 13 2017 @ 08:16 PM EDT (#345255) #
The Jays were only paying 1M of Upton's salary.

I didn't think Gurriel's contract was back loaded like that.

Loup is a non-tender candidate. So is Carrera, really, since they have many players who can probably do at least as well for minimum salary.

It will be interesting to see how much Osuna, Sanchez, Pillar and Travis end up costing in arbitration.
Lots of factors at play there.

scottt - Thursday, July 13 2017 @ 08:31 PM EDT (#345256) #
Bautista is at replacement level offensively. He hasn't been an All-star player since 2 years ago. There's no reason to bet on him at a position where equivalent players are significantly less expensive. If there's that much money to spend, might as well go for broke and chase JD Martinez.

Fangraphs has positional Wins Over Average numbers for the team.
The only positions better than average are 1B at 1.0 WAR and CF at 0.7.
Corner outfields are at -1.4 and -1.7 and the other hole is at 2B, not DH.
3B is at -0.2 but will soon turn positive.
Going forward, SS should be close to average. Catcher too, hopefully.

Nigel - Thursday, July 13 2017 @ 08:41 PM EDT (#345257) #
I really wish that the Jays had many other options, but given that he's their only non replacement level OF other than Pillar, I don't see them just dumping Carrera.
soupman - Friday, July 14 2017 @ 01:28 AM EDT (#345264) #
i don't know whether the jays should or should not re-up with #20. it would be unprecedented, though. the jays have never signed, nor retained a player like donaldson. what does an extension look like today? would 7@$250 get it done?


scottt - Friday, July 14 2017 @ 06:53 AM EDT (#345266) #
Carrera is misleading. bWAR thinks the defense cancels the offense and has him at -0.1 fWAR is more generous and has him at 0.6. The thing to keep in mind is that the position matters. You need a bigger bat to carry that kind of defense in left field. 

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/2017-positional-power-rankings-left-field/

Conclusion "Carrera doesn't do anything well and shouldn't be starting more than once a week."

It's the Goins syndrome. Stop falling in love with mediocre players.

mathesond - Friday, July 14 2017 @ 07:18 AM EDT (#345267) #
the jays have never signed, nor retained a player like donaldson

I remember the Jays giving Delgado $68M over 4 years waaaay back when...doesn't that count?
jerjapan - Friday, July 14 2017 @ 09:11 AM EDT (#345269) #
I don't normally put much stock into trade deadline articles, but Hayhurst's latest is good - he writes bluntly and well as always, but also mentions specific destinations and scenarios.  Thoughts?

http://www.tsn.ca/who-should-the-blue-jays-sell-ahead-of-the-trade-deadline-1.803681

Soupman, last time I heard speculation round a JD extension, the numbers were more 5 years at 30 million per - he's just going to be too old in the opinion of some to command $250 million.


PeterG - Friday, July 14 2017 @ 10:05 AM EDT (#345270) #
No way I would ever give 7 years to JD. Even 5 would make me nervous.

As to a previous question as to whether the FO would have the cajones to trade JD against expected fan backlash, I would say yes they will but not now in July. If he is traded in the off season, the FO can say, probably truthfully, that they have talked with JD's agent about an extension and don't believe one is possible. There will be much less fan reaction in that case, not really more than in EE situation and if we get a good trade that is praised outside of TO, there may be next to no backlash at all.

An off season trade is the scenario that I expect.
Mike Green - Friday, July 14 2017 @ 10:39 AM EDT (#345272) #
There is a huge difference in the way UZR and DRS see Carrera's defence, and this has been true over the 2008-2010 period.  He's fast and can cover a lot of ground, but loses balls in the lights a lot, is hopeless when he leaves his feet....Damned if I know how it all adds up.  I'd be inclined to split the difference between the two. 

This year, he has hit right-handed pitchers well, got on base at a reasonable clip and run well once he is on base.  He's definitely not a good option but he's the best in-house corner outfielder they have against RHP (perhaps aside from Dwight Smith Jr.). Pearce and Bautista are at a whole other level of unsuitability for outfield play.  The metrics agree: they are 10 shades of terrible.  My eyes tell me the same thing. 

Obviously it would be better if the club had one capable full-time corner OF option.
Chuck - Friday, July 14 2017 @ 10:54 AM EDT (#345273) #
he's just going to be too old in the opinion of some to command $250 million.

I cited a link in this thread showing every team's spending commitments. An observation I made browsing that data, and which confirmed an opinion I already had, was how much presumed buyer's remorse so many long term deals invariably invited. Boston, for instance, can't keep from messing up. They cut bait on Carl Crawford. They just today cut bait on Sandoval. I imagine they'd like to undo the Hanley Ramirez deal. And maybe even the Price deal is now giving them pause.

I say this because the idea of keeping Donaldson around long term seems, on its face, to be warranted. If he is in decline (his first ever serious injury is a warning sign), then he's descending from a lofty 7/8-win perch. So even if he becomes "just" a 4/5-win player, that's still well worth the money. And if a WAR is going to soon cost 12M, a player will only need to deliver 2.5 WAR for a team to break even on 30M.

But I am rationalizing here. Signing guys in their 30s to long deals usually doesn't end well. It looks up front like it should be safe, but so often it just turns ugly.

So while my instinct is to prioritize keeping Donaldson, I don't know. There are reasons to be cautious. But Plan B can't be to take the 30M targetted for him and spend it on three 10M, 1-WAR players. If I have a choice between one Donaldson and three Morales, I'll take the former.

Nigel - Friday, July 14 2017 @ 10:56 AM EDT (#345274) #
scottt, I'm not remotely falling in love with Carrera. I'm not even sure he qualifies as mediocre. Just pointing out that, sadly, he's the Jays second best OF. Until the Jays have 3 or 4 better OFs than him, they shouldn't just be dumping him.
soupman - Friday, July 14 2017 @ 11:26 AM EDT (#345275) #
Delgado's was an extension like halladays that bought out a couple years of free agency, but he wasn't a free agent, iirc. also, delgado wasn't as good as donaldson. but, you're right - in that, the jays actually paid someone one time. they also paid wells, i guess.

i think a team goes to 6 years to sign him, and i think someone will go $30mil/year. i'm just asking what it takes to get a deal done today - and i think 7/250 does it. i don't think 5/150 does, and yet there are people who think he's not going to get paid because the O's maybe can't afford Machado. it won't matter. Machado might get 400. who knows? players like them rarely hit the market, and when they do, everyone is always shocked.

pujols got 10/250 at Donaldson's age now. hamilton got $190 with everything that surrounds him. MVPs don't hit free agency often in their prime, and when they do, they get paid.
PeterG - Friday, July 14 2017 @ 11:49 AM EDT (#345277) #
I think the FA contracts will be less than many expect. Surely, something has been learned from past experience. I don't think Yankees will be involved with any of them. If any team drives the prices up stupidly, it will likely be the Phillies.
Mike Green - Friday, July 14 2017 @ 12:03 PM EDT (#345278) #
Chuck's comment made me wonder how the great third basemen did from age 32 on.   I used all players who were third basemen between age 27 and 31 and amassed 50 career WAR, and threw in Al Rosen because he was (like Donaldson) great between 27 and 31, and Killebrew because he was as much a third baseman as anything during that period.  Here's the list with good being roughly a 3 WAR player and very good being a 4 WAR player:

Schmidt- great after 31 with very gentle decline
Mathews- very good at 32-33, serviceable at 34, nothing afterwards
Chipper- great through 36, serviceable 37-40
Brett- great at 32 (1985!) and very good 33-36, replacement level after that
Boggs-good to very good through 38
Beltre- great through 37
Brooks- very good though 37
Molitor- very good through 39
Santo- decent 32-33, out of baseball after that
Rolen- decent through 36
Nettles- very good 32-33, decent 34-40
Bando- very good 32-34, nothing after that
Boyer- MVP at age 33, marginally useful ages 34-36 and nothing after that
Killer- MVP at age 33, good from 34 to 36
Da. Evans- very good through 40
Perez- good through 36, poor after that
Elliott- very good through 35, two useful part seasons at 36-37
Cey- very good 32-34, somewhat useful after that
Rosen- severely dropped off at age 31, had similar season at age 32 and was out of baseball after that.

Donaldson fits neatly in this group of players from a skill perspective.  He's not as good a defender as Brooks or Nettles, nor as good a hitter as Schmidt or Brett. He's probably a slightly better hitter, and a slightly better fielder, and a slightly better base-runner on average than the group.  He has been somewhat more durable than the average player in the group. Elliott is interesting because he too made a position change (but from right field rather than from behind the plate). 
 
If I was to work on a contract for him, I'd anticipate very good performance at 33-34, good at age 35, average at 36-37.  That would be 15 WAR for 5 years- distributed 4, 4, 3, 2, 2.  I think that he can do quite a bit better than that if he is healthy the great majority of the time as some of these player were, but he obviously can do worse than that too. 


Mike Green - Friday, July 14 2017 @ 12:11 PM EDT (#345280) #
I haven't included Wright or Longoria.  Wright was already injured and out for the year in his age 32 season.  Longoria is in his age 31 season (boy, it seems like he is older than that). 
Chuck - Friday, July 14 2017 @ 01:15 PM EDT (#345284) #
I think that he can do quite a bit better than that if he is healthy the great majority of the time as some of these player were, but he obviously can do worse than that too.

My wishy-washy sentiments as well. So what would you offer?

Mike Green - Friday, July 14 2017 @ 01:49 PM EDT (#345285) #
At $10 million per WAR, $150 for 5 years (or perhaps a few million more because of the declining present value of future money and the way contracts are typically structured).  The notional values are $40, $40, $30, $20, $20 but a typical contract might run 31.5 or 32 X 5.

If he's looking for a 6 year contract, I wouldn't want to spend more than $10-$12 million for it notionally even if the structure would provide for a higher figure in that year.  So, for instance, $40, $40, $30, $20, $20, $12 notionally might equate to (roughly) 29 X 6.  That's a ballpark estimate. 
Mike Green - Friday, July 14 2017 @ 02:08 PM EDT (#345286) #
One other comment.  At this point, the Santo/Rosen nightmare outcome seems unlikely, but the Mathews' outcome is still well within possibility.  If Donaldson slumps, or is injured again in the second half, the dynamics change quite a bit.  On the other side, if he returns to MVP form in the second half of 2017, there isn't an equivalent upside (in my view). 

I have to say that the dynamics of the negotiation are not great.  Shapiro will typically be cautious and not want to discuss the matter until the off-season.  This timing will not be optimal for success of the negotiation.  If Donaldson rebounds and is an MVP quality player in the second-half, he will understandably take a view that he is essentially most like Schmidt and should get paid like it.  If he struggles, he will want the chance to rebuild his value in 2018.  Personally, I'd try to settle something now.  If I were running the club, I'd want to settle with Donaldson and Stroman on a long-term basis right now.  It would set the right tone for any moves that need to be made. 
Magpie - Friday, July 14 2017 @ 02:45 PM EDT (#345288) #
the Santo/Rosen nightmare outcome seems unlikely

Santo, of course, was a diabetic. This was a complication during his playing career (he was medicating himself with insulin by making his best guess as to the level of his blood sugar.) But his career skidded to a halt when he was traded to the White Sox, who in their wisdom moved the multiple Gold Glove winner at third to second base. Santo was still a fine player at this time, but he had a lousy year in the new league, playing a new position, and retired after one season.

Rosen had chronic back problems (originally caused by a car accident) and leg issues. After five great years, they started catching up with him. He was an average player for two years before ending his career at age 32.

I rather think both players would have aged much better if they'd been active today, rather than 40 or 60 years ago.
cybercavalier - Friday, July 14 2017 @ 02:57 PM EDT (#345289) #
I think teams should ignore received wisdom and maximize all outlets for value - AA had this approach and was great at signing value FA extensions, drafting aggressively and signing IFAs, but perhaps not as good at his big ticket acquisitions outside of JD (although he did dump Wells in a brilliant move).
Barney F, Coghlan F, Goins F, Pillar C-, Maile F

How can the current FO maximize all outlets to for value to fix the voids at 2B, and less so at CF and C?
1) Looking at BbRef minor league leader boards, OF Nick Buss and IF Ivan De Jesus are hitting well among players from the age 27 to 30. The Jays traded Jonathan Diaz away with ease so getting De Jesus shall be easy too.
2) Signing Michael Saunders and hoping that he recovers is maximize the outlet from his release of contract but the Bisons still need to wait for his recovery. At 2B, can the Jays cycle MLB veterans between the Jays bench players and the Bisons players?
3) If Michael Saunders can be trusted for his recovery, how trustworthy is 2B Brett Lawrie for his own case?
4) The Jays management hides Coghlan and Maile on the DL. For Maile, does letting him play in Buffalo make sense for improving his batting? If so, may the Jays promote an IF or C veteran and hide him on the DL.
Mike Green - Friday, July 14 2017 @ 03:18 PM EDT (#345290) #
Thanks, Magpie, for those insights.  I knew, of course, that Santo was a diabetic, but had forgotten about the self-medication.  I concur that he would likely do better now than 40  years ago. On a somewhat related note, the Darrell Evans example also is of some relevance.  The ability to convert to DH (provided the player is a good enough hitter) can extend careers by a year or three. 

soupman - Friday, July 14 2017 @ 03:35 PM EDT (#345292) #
i'd like to see the jays take a run at otani, and then let the chips with donaldson fall where they might after that.
Chuck - Friday, July 14 2017 @ 03:44 PM EDT (#345293) #
If Michael Saunders can be trusted for his recovery

He's not being trusted with nuttin'. The team is taking a cheapo flyer on him to see if he can find back his mojo. No sign of it yet.

Mike Green - Friday, July 14 2017 @ 04:30 PM EDT (#345294) #
It looks to me like Otani is going to go a team that is willing to go at least somewhat over the luxury tax threshold.   I don't know how the SP/DH thing will play, both from clubs' perspectives and his.  The consensus seems to be that he's a great pitcher now and much less than that as a hitter.  Mind you, at age 21, Babe Ruth wasn't a great hitter either. 

There is so much to like about Otani.  His numbers and his scouting report as a pitcher are better than Darvish's, and he hasn't been overworked. 
scottt - Saturday, July 15 2017 @ 08:02 AM EDT (#345300) #
No series thread?

Anyway, that was another enjoyable game.
This offense is at its best when it grinds at bat and wear pitchers out.
Sometimes, I feel like the book on the Jays says to throw off-speed stuff out of the strike zone all night.

Never seen anything like that outfield.

soupman - Saturday, July 15 2017 @ 10:39 AM EDT (#345303) #
i've heard the opposite. his bat is so good, why wouldn't you see if it plays before pitching him?
i don't see why he can't continue to do both
scottt - Saturday, July 15 2017 @ 11:27 AM EDT (#345305) #
I don't understand the Otani situation. He can sign now for 10M or wait a year and sign for 200M?
And he doesn't want to wait just because he wants to show everybody how good he is?

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