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The Blue Jays take on the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Series Schedule/Probable Starters

Monday at 8:10 pm ET - Marco Estrada (4-7, 5.42) vs. James Shields (2-3, 5.86)
Tuesday at 8:10 pm ET - Marcus Stroman (9-5, 3.08) vs. Mike Pelfrey (3-8, 4.73)
Wednesday at 2:10 pm ET - J.A. Happ (3-8, 4.15) vs. Derek Holland (5-10, 5.42)
Blue Jays @ White Sox - July 31-August 2 | 80 comments | Create New Account
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Richard S.S. - Monday, July 31 2017 @ 06:24 PM EDT (#346309) #
The Battle of the Underachievers.
Mike Green - Monday, July 31 2017 @ 08:06 PM EDT (#346319) #
Poor Marco.  He always gets the Wee Willie Keeler outfield behind him this year.  Waiting on Teoscar and Ezequiel patiently.
Nigel - Monday, July 31 2017 @ 08:29 PM EDT (#346324) #
Mike it's all a cunning front office plan to drive down the price of resigning Estrada:). Kidding aside. I would like to see Estrada back next year as a 4/5 starter if the Jays are willing to field capable OF defence next year.

Donaldson looks much better in the field in the last week or so.
Mike Green - Monday, July 31 2017 @ 09:00 PM EDT (#346330) #
Interesting comment that Estrada's changeup velocity is up 3 mph.  He certainly is throwing more strikes, and that is good. 
Chuck - Monday, July 31 2017 @ 09:00 PM EDT (#346331) #
Shields has yielded 55 HR this year and last, in just 235 innings. Looks like toast.
Nigel - Monday, July 31 2017 @ 09:12 PM EDT (#346333) #
Just to further the point about Estrada. His BABIP this year is .323 versus a career line of ,267. Yet his component stats are within spitting distance of career norms. A tick higher line drive rate but a career high high in FB% (which should produce a lower BABIP). Call it bad luck, call it terrible OF defence or both. His BB rate is too high, no doubt. Maybe that's related to the fact that his flyball's aren't getting caught? I don't know. I think he's a good gamble to bounce back.
Chuck - Monday, July 31 2017 @ 09:25 PM EDT (#346335) #
Estrada' s problem has been fastball command which has led to his highest BB and HR rates as a Jay. Add to that a karmic BABIP and you've got an ERA in the 5's. He's got a lot riding on his final 10-12 starts. Let's hope tonight's effort against an admittedly feeble lineup is a sign of things to come.
SK in NJ - Monday, July 31 2017 @ 09:35 PM EDT (#346338) #
It wouldn't surprise me if the Jays are planning to bring Estrada back next year. Of course a lot will depend on how he finishes the season and whether he's traded in August, but Shapiro has openly stated that he hates the free agent SP market and Estrada should be a short-term investment (age, coming off a down year) who is signable due to his history here. I guess we'll see in a few months. I agree that he is a bounce back candidate with a better defense behind him next year (it can't possibly be worse).
Chuck - Monday, July 31 2017 @ 09:46 PM EDT (#346339) #
For all the talk of Anderson's athleticism, he's looked shakey tonight
Nigel - Monday, July 31 2017 @ 10:13 PM EDT (#346341) #
When it comes to resigning Estrada one of the issues that I don't have good hadle on is what the public perception of this would be. I expect a significant focus of the front office's offseason plan will be to sell the public on the idea that the 2018 team will be competitive. I don't know how resigning Estrada would play with casual Jays fans.
Gerry - Monday, July 31 2017 @ 11:15 PM EDT (#346344) #
Osuna is in a slump right now.

Biagini hasn't been the same since he came back to the bullpen from starting.

Hopefully they figure it out soon.
Kasi - Tuesday, August 01 2017 @ 01:03 AM EDT (#346349) #
I wouldn't say that on Joe. Tonight's game broke a streak of 10.2 scoreless innings where he had pretty good peripherals. Osuna does seem to be in something, but he's been so good this season too. Maybe just a bit of fatigue on both?
uglyone - Tuesday, August 01 2017 @ 01:30 AM EDT (#346350) #
don't think the casual fan gives a poop about Estrada. or happ. or morales. or pearce. or liriano. or
hypobole - Tuesday, August 01 2017 @ 02:03 AM EDT (#346353) #
Yeah, Jays fans, casual or otherwise, have become inured to underwhelming Free Agent signings.

Outside of Russ Martin, who are the highest profile FA's we've signed since Burnett and Ryan in 2005?
scottt - Tuesday, August 01 2017 @ 06:30 AM EDT (#346356) #
Moncana looks like a stud. I'm guessing much of his prospect rating is due to looks rather than past performances.
Mike Green - Tuesday, August 01 2017 @ 08:47 AM EDT (#346358) #
With showcasing no longer a factor, I am hoping that we have seen the last of the Pearce/Bautista/Morales combination against RHPs.  Please rotate them through so that Carrera plays against RHPs.  Bautista still leads the league in games played.  It's really weird for a player who has been struggling as much as he has. 

Looking forward to 2018, the team's payroll now seems likely to be about $125-$130 million with Stroman, Sanchez, Happ, Osuna, Tepera, Barnes, Biagini, Leone and Loup as pitchers under control, and Martin, Maile, Smoak, Travis, Tulo, Donaldson, Hernandez, Pillar, Carrera, Pearce and Morales as position players under control.  They obviously need a middle infielder, two starters (perhaps one of Tepera and Biagini might rejoin the rotation), a reliever or two, and an outfielder.  They've got four or five players currently in double A who might be able to help out by mid-season 2018. 

An extension for Estrada makes sense to me.

AWeb - Tuesday, August 01 2017 @ 10:54 AM EDT (#346362) #
I know the Jays are a slow team, and are dying for some young OFs to be able to contribute, but the graphic here really drove it home for me:

Slowest RF (by a lot) and SS (by a lot), slowest 1B, slowest team in the majors I have to imagine (how could any team be slower?). The only starters with above average speed by position are Donaldson and Martin. Pillar is the only starter faster than an average player (including all positions) and he's a slower CF (wasn't two years ago, but he's slower now) than most. The Jays even acquired one of the slowest catchers in Montero. Carrera is the fastest guy on the team, and he's just regular speed for a MLB OFer.

Since these numbers have only existed for three years it's impossible to know, but I wonder if any team has ever been so relatively slow to the league.
lexomatic - Tuesday, August 01 2017 @ 11:43 AM EDT (#346367) #
I know the Jays are a slow team, and are dying for some young OFs to be able to contribute, but the graphic here really drove it home for me:

What really hit home for me was looking at the 2 previous years. 2016 had 2/3 of the team at above or average. 2015 had a few more below average, but they had a few that were at least close, and Smoak was second last with over 25 (2 better than Navarro). Poor Dionner Navarro was brutally slow the 2 years tracked.

Carerra at 28.7 in 2015 and Pillar 28.6 in 2015 are now at 27.8 in 2017.

It's an interesting tool, because some people are much faster than I'd imagine - Joey Gallo 27.4? It's painful how much slower Bautista is than the next slowest in RF 26.2
Mike Green - Tuesday, August 01 2017 @ 11:54 AM EDT (#346368) #
Worse that I thought.  Hunter Pence has been faster than any Blue Jay this year.  He's 34 years old.
Mike Green - Tuesday, August 01 2017 @ 11:57 AM EDT (#346370) #
Nori Aoki, by the way, is now the 3rd fastest Blue Jay.  It's a low bar.
PeterG - Tuesday, August 01 2017 @ 12:32 PM EDT (#346371) #
Is there any chance Jays keep Aoki as a lead off hitter and move out some other Of's. Maybe that will be determined during the next 2 months?
Chuck - Tuesday, August 01 2017 @ 12:42 PM EDT (#346372) #
Is there any chance Jays keep Aoki as a lead off hitter and move out some other Of's.

The obvious one, on paper, would be Bautista. But in a lost season, I don't think he will be subjected to the humiliation of being released or riding the pines to close out his Jays career, either to accommodate Aoki or Hernandez.

In fact, I can't even think of who Aoki squeezes out for a spot on the 25-man roster. With Carerra around, Aoki seems redundant.

bpoz - Tuesday, August 01 2017 @ 12:55 PM EDT (#346373) #
Good point about Bautista. No point in embarrassing a veteran. That makes the team look bad to other players.
Nigel - Tuesday, August 01 2017 @ 01:38 PM EDT (#346375) #
The numbers suggest that Bautista has been a better defender than Aoki this year (contemplate that for a moment) and they have been almost identical at the plate. Aoki has been a terrible defender for a while now. Aoki does appear to be slightly better than Bautista on the base paths. Aoki for Bautista is a lateral move at best. Aoki just needs to be cut.
Mike Green - Tuesday, August 01 2017 @ 02:21 PM EDT (#346376) #
The numbers on Aoki's defence are mixed.  UZR has him at -1.4 for the year; DRS has him at +1 for the year.  If you look at 3 year numbers, you end up with UZR -3 and DRS -3 over about 2,000 innings.  I'd treat him as -2/150G.  Bautista's 1 year numbers are -2.2 UZR, -10 DRS, and his 3 year numbers are -18 UZR and -21 DRS in 2600 innings.  I'd treat Bautista as -10/150G. 

Personally, I think that the best defensive configuration with present personnel has Aoki and Carrera in the corners.  It doesn't matter much. 

Nigel - Tuesday, August 01 2017 @ 03:02 PM EDT (#346377) #
Aoki loses ground to Bautista with his arm. He has a very poor arm. Having watched Aoki in Seattle I would take the under on his range.
China fan - Tuesday, August 01 2017 @ 03:49 PM EDT (#346380) #
Bautista got a day of rest on Sunday, as many fans had been suggesting, and it didn't help him at all. He was 0-for-5 again on Monday.

What keeps hope alive, of course, is his awesome month of May, when his slash line was .317/.422/.644. It's the only evidence from this season that suggests he might not have completely lost the plot. But it's increasingly looking like an anomaly.

The Jays strategy, I assume, has been to keep giving him regular playing time in the hopes that he will rediscover whatever made him good in May. That's why they're running him out there every day. In the past, he has thrived on daily playing time, and he has thrived at the top of the batting order. This year, none of those things are true.

Kudos to those Bauxites who had predicted, in the off-season, that Bautista is likely entering a permanent age-related decline. I wasn't sure if that was true, but now the evidence is overwhelming. His OPS has dropped by 100 points in each of the past two seasons.

Benching him would have been pointless, however. The only way that the Jays could contend in 2017 was if Bautista could return to his classic hitting form -- or at the very least the levels of 2016. If he couldn't do that, there weren't enough good hitters on the team to pick up the slack, especially after the Travis injury. So the Jays were always going to sink-or-swim on Bautista's performance. He sank, and the Jays couldn't swim.

At some point, I'm sure, the Jays will begin to give more playing time to some of the outfield prospects. But probably not until September. There's no obvious prospect who is knocking on the door at this point. All of the prospects (Dwight Smith, Hernandez, Fields, Alford) could benefit from more playing time on their minor-league teams. And in general the Jays have been generous to their aging stars in situations like this when the playoffs are out of reach. They allow them to preserve their dignity without being dumped to the bench.
China fan - Tuesday, August 01 2017 @ 03:58 PM EDT (#346381) #
"...Outside of Russ Martin, who are the highest profile FA's we've signed since Burnett and Ryan in 2005?..."

I'm not sure why we would use "high profile" as a criteria or a metric.  What matters is not the height of their profile but the success of their performance.  Estrada and Happ were brilliant in 2016, and for portions of 2017 as well.  They were excellent free-agent signings.  It doesn't really matter that they weren't "high profile" at the time -- they performed much better than other higher-profile players.

But the basic point remains:  the Jays don't easily attract free agents, because of all the biases against playing in Canada.  It's always a struggle to attract free agents.  That's why I think the Jays in the upcoming off-season should be looking to bring back players who have already enjoyed their time in Toronto -- including Estrada and Joe Smith.  It would allow the Jays to avoid the traditional anti-Canada prejudice.
Mike Green - Tuesday, August 01 2017 @ 04:14 PM EDT (#346382) #
Aoki fractured his fibula in late June, 2015 and later had a concussion.  Both UZR and DRS agree that he was worse defensively in Seattle in 2016 than before or after. 

Both DRS and UZR think that Aoki's arm is a positive, at about the same level that Bautista's is this year.  Damned if I know.  The only thing I do know is that Bautista is by a long ways the slowest right-fielder in the league.  It may be that Aoki's other failings are not sufficiently captured by either DRS or UZR.

I do know that neither outfielder should be playing much once Hernandez arrives. 

Nigel - Tuesday, August 01 2017 @ 04:54 PM EDT (#346385) #
I don't know either Mike. I think you're probably right that Aoki is better defensively than Bautista, particularly if he's in LF. But he's still going to be a below average to poor defender. I am probably being too harsh in suggesting that he should just be released. You could probably find worse 4th OF options out there. I guess I am just tired of watching poor defensive OF play. I need to get more zen about it for the remainder of the year.
hypobole - Tuesday, August 01 2017 @ 05:15 PM EDT (#346387) #
"I'm not sure why we would use "high profile" as a criteria or a metric."

The point was in respect to casual fans. As for success of performance, we don't know until they actually perform. I was one of the few who bought into the Happ signing - it was (rightly) pointed out by many that was a lot of money and term for a guy with a sizable career of less-than-successful performance.

Yeah, there is the anti-Canada with some, anti-turf with others. I can imagine how frustrating it must be for our GM's.
jerjapan - Tuesday, August 01 2017 @ 05:16 PM EDT (#346388) #
But the basic point remains:  the Jays don't easily attract free agents, because of all the biases against playing in Canada.

I have been saying this for a while and have yet to be right about it, but sooner or later, this fact will change.  All of our other major sports teams in Toronto are considered attractive destinations for FAs, and the same issues - taxes, patriotism, crossing the border - apply to them.  More and more Canadians are playing pro ball.  More and more people frankly prefer the Canadian lifestyle, I think, with our more multicultural, tolerant society. 

If I'm a young minority with lots of money and willingness to travel, I'm interested in super-cool, diverse Toronto.  And would anyone here, if given the chance to have a tax-friendly environment vs. a more socialist, egalitarian city, chose somewhere like Florida?
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, August 01 2017 @ 05:21 PM EDT (#346389) #
The biggest problem with this team is that you cannot predict what they will do from now to the end of the Season. Most of the luck they've had this year in bad, but luck always balances out. When does that happen? It's so easy to think they'll be barely average to slightly poor, but they could just as easily go 22-5. I think until they are officially eliminated from the Postseason, we can't say the Season is over yet.
hypobole - Tuesday, August 01 2017 @ 05:25 PM EDT (#346390) #
Most ball players aren't like us though. Few are socialist, and they have a lot of taxable income.
hypobole - Tuesday, August 01 2017 @ 05:30 PM EDT (#346391) #
I'n not going to say the season is over yet, but I will say I'm in the 5th stage of grief with this team.
jerjapan - Tuesday, August 01 2017 @ 05:30 PM EDT (#346392) #
but doesn't that apply to the soccer / basketball / hockey guys that are signing here?
Chuck - Tuesday, August 01 2017 @ 05:33 PM EDT (#346393) #
but sooner or later, this fact will change

I hope so, but did you see the interview Joe Smith gave after he was traded? He was talking about the uncertainty he and his wife felt coming to another country when he signed with Toronto. This is a white dude from Cleveland and he's talking like he'd be living on Mars.

I recall interviews with Pinball Clemons talking about coming to Toronto with Nanook of the North visions in his head. Perhaps young black Americans from the south are more worldly now and see Canada differently, but I'm not so sure. Once they get here, they're fine. It's just the getting them here that's the problem. Whenever I hear of teams on players' no-trade lists, Toronto always seems to be there.

hypobole - Tuesday, August 01 2017 @ 06:00 PM EDT (#346397) #
Less than 30% of NHL'ers are American. About half are Canadians.

When Pat Patterson flew into Toronto after being traded from Sacramento to the Raptors, the thought that crossed his mind was "I've been traded to the North Pole"
CeeBee - Tuesday, August 01 2017 @ 06:00 PM EDT (#346398) #
"I hope so, but did you see the interview Joe Smith gave after he was traded? He was talking about the uncertainty he and his wife felt coming to another country when he signed with Toronto. This is a white dude from Cleveland and he's talking like he'd be living on Mars."

That blew me away as well. Bad enough coming from a good old southern boy but an Ohio native?
BlueJayWay - Tuesday, August 01 2017 @ 06:09 PM EDT (#346400) #
Once they get here, they're fine. It's just the getting them here that's the problem. Whenever I hear of teams on players' no-trade lists, Toronto always seems to be there.

Yep. Once players are here, either drafted in or traded for, a lot of them seem to like it, and find it cool representing an entire country. Also the Jays haven't had much trouble extending players that are already here if the team wants to, it seems. There still seems to be a stigma among the American free agents about signing here though. Probably less among the Latin Americans because if they're here or in the U.S. it's a foreign country either way.

I posted sometime last off season asking who was the last significant American-born free agent the Jays had signed, who wasn't previously a Blue Jay. I was defining 'significant' somewhat subjectively, but I had in mind an everyday position player, one of the five starters, or maybe a closer. I think the answer turned out to be Kelly Johnson. Before him...I don't even know who. All the back to the BJ Ryan and AJ Burnett signings!?

China fan - Tuesday, August 01 2017 @ 06:12 PM EDT (#346401) #
Brett Oberholtzer, we hardly knew ye.

He has been DFA'd to make room for Aoki, who is with the Jays already tonight. Aoki is not in the starting lineup, so it will be interesting to see how the Jays use him. He appears to be the 5th OF and pinch-runner right now.
Nigel - Tuesday, August 01 2017 @ 08:49 PM EDT (#346404) #
I assume Carrera is injured?
SK in NJ - Tuesday, August 01 2017 @ 09:01 PM EDT (#346406) #
Any reason why Barney is playing over Refsynder? I get that Ref turning into a good 2B is a huge long shot, but at least there's some potential there based on his minor league track record to hit a little bit. Worst case he is what he is, and best case he turns into something useful. There's really no upside to playing Barney, unless it's at short with or instead Goins with Tulo out.

I hope August and September is not a lineup full of vets until the season ends. The first four months were boring enough.
hypobole - Tuesday, August 01 2017 @ 09:11 PM EDT (#346407) #
The Jays, after Pillar's GIDP, have 115 now. That puts us on pace for 174. The MLB record is held by the 1990 Red Sox - 174.

BTW, even without Morales, we were in the top 30% in MLB the past 4 seasons as well. 7th, 9th, 4th and 1st last year.

Nigel - Tuesday, August 01 2017 @ 09:23 PM EDT (#346408) #
I agree SK and would try Ref in place of either Barney or Goins.
Chuck - Tuesday, August 01 2017 @ 10:01 PM EDT (#346411) #
Just started watching tonight. Again, not impressed by Anderson. Athletic is great... if you can harness that athleticism.
hypobole - Tuesday, August 01 2017 @ 10:11 PM EDT (#346412) #
That was embarrassingly bad baserunning by Martin on JD's double.
CeeBee - Tuesday, August 01 2017 @ 10:21 PM EDT (#346413) #
Wow, Kendry was really motoring scoring from 1stt on a double. Well, if you can call it motoring.
hypobole - Tuesday, August 01 2017 @ 10:22 PM EDT (#346414) #
Morales teaching Martin how score from 1st on a double.
Chuck - Tuesday, August 01 2017 @ 10:38 PM EDT (#346416) #
Young men have such laughably short fuses.
85bluejay - Tuesday, August 01 2017 @ 10:48 PM EDT (#346417) #
Every Analyst kept saying the Orioles (Like the Jays) should be sellers, instead the Orioles were buyers saying that no team is running away with the division - the Orioles are now 31/2 games out the WC & 51/2 games out of the division - good on them, even if they don't make the playoffs, they're not giving up & I would love for them to make it - incidentally, if Osuna hadn't blown those 2 saves recently, the Jays would be inching back to WC contention.
ayjackson - Tuesday, August 01 2017 @ 10:52 PM EDT (#346418) #
I'm not sure Kendrys actually made it to home plate on that slide - had to pop up and step on the plate.
Petey Baseball - Wednesday, August 02 2017 @ 01:56 AM EDT (#346421) #
Donaldson is starting to move around and barrel up balls like his old self. It's a bit weird to me that his renaissance appears to be happening in the middle of a long stretch of games. It's not like he's had an extended break to rest (he's been banged up) or refocus.

Looking at the A.L. East standings, the Jays are amazingly only 8.5 games out of first. It's almost incomprehensible to imagine a hot couple of weeks getting them within 4-5 games, considering just how bad the offense has been, and how few innings the starting rotation has given to this point.
jerjapan - Wednesday, August 02 2017 @ 02:29 AM EDT (#346422) #
The Orioles window is closing way faster than ours though.  Like the Royals -they both should be going for it.  We can contend next year though, and moving forward.  Some times you just have to pack it in?  The beauty of baseball is anything can happen, for sure, but this team doesn't feel like 2015 or 1989 to me.  I honestly think we could put a better team on the field with some hungry AAAA guys from Buffalo. 
Petey Baseball - Wednesday, August 02 2017 @ 06:17 AM EDT (#346425) #
Just watching a random walk-off win video on Youtube. It's incredible the Royals have 3 walk-off losses, and a nine game winning streak in the past month. Baseball.
bpoz - Wednesday, August 02 2017 @ 09:07 AM EDT (#346428) #
I agree with Mike green's summary for 2018.

As stated payroll will drop. The Pen looks strong and deep on paper. As long as Osuna is in it.

The rotation has 3 reliable pitchers. Osuna could be a 4th. This has already been discussed. A good and healthy rotation will take you far.

Defense and offense have been exposed as a major area for needed improvement. Injuries play a big part.

I accept that our offense and defense has been terrible. Outfielders that cannot catch reasonable fly balls.

I would like to see the young outfielders given a position. Just learn on the job.

I think Goins is a fine backup IF.

What happens with Donaldson is a major factor.

Making the rotation good enough and deeper is another unknown. We had some great rotations in the past. I would like to build a team that can compete with the rich Bosox and NYY for a few years. IMO the only way is with a V good and cheap rotation.

hypobole - Wednesday, August 02 2017 @ 10:42 AM EDT (#346435) #
Announcing a huge increase in season ticket prices and claiming the team will try to contend in 2018 intuitively doesn't align with dropping the payroll.
Nigel - Wednesday, August 02 2017 @ 11:18 AM EDT (#346436) #
I agree hyperbole. I expect an optical appearance of contending. Estimates (assuming Bautista is let go) for the current roster for 2018 are approximately $125m. I would guess at the signing of two starters on short term "show me" deals (Estrada and ?) I would guess about $20m per year for those two contracts. I would guess at a reliever deal similar to the Smith/Howell deals so say $5m for that. I'd also guess at the signing of an outfielder of Pearce's caliber - something like $5-10m per year. That would put the payroll in the $155-160m range. That's probably a 78-84 win team. Then let the Rogers marketing machine go to work.
Mike Green - Wednesday, August 02 2017 @ 11:22 AM EDT (#346437) #
What would a 7-17% increase in payroll (to match the ticket price increase) look like? 

has the 2017 cap allocations at $170M.  BBRef has it 158.5M.  If the payroll is around $180M in 2018, I would be content.  I'm not holding my breath. 

bpoz - Wednesday, August 02 2017 @ 12:19 PM EDT (#346441) #
Let just do/solve these equations.

Nigel has set out a reasonable series of signings, with costs. 2 SPs, 1 reliever and 1 OF/IF which would bring the payroll to about $155 mil. The team would be capable of 5 games above or below .500. Then the communication dept would sell this as a team capable of contending.

I hope I have accurately described the proceedings. If not ... no malice intended.

I have some questions. I have given up on 2017. My new hope is to patiently wait for Vlad, Bo and Alford to hopefully form a new core. One day.

So what about Donaldson? Is he in the original $125 mil?

Why do we have to get a $5 mil reliever like Smith/Howell/Grilli. I believe that we have as good on hand Tepera/Barnes/ Leone.

The added OF/IF will take away a spot on the active roster from a young/inexperienced OF. I really want a young OF to be given a spot. A middle IF on the other hand at $5 mil makes sense. Like M Izturis.

I am fine with a cheap team that wins. I really don't want an expensive bad team.

Lastly I cannot understand or deal with marketing. Meaning that as long as you raise payroll then it is ok to raise ticket prices because we are spending the money to satisfy our fans.

hypobole - Wednesday, August 02 2017 @ 01:29 PM EDT (#346443) #
Dustin McGowan won his 7th game out of the pen last night, tied for the MLB lead. On the other hand, despite the 7 wins and 42 games pitched, he's been worth all of 0.3 fWAR.

Corey Knebel has pitched 50 games, 2.0 fWAR, and zero wins.

Among starters, John Lackey has 8 wins and been worth 0.0 fWAR, Julio Teheran 7 wins with -0.5 fWAR.
Chuck - Wednesday, August 02 2017 @ 01:41 PM EDT (#346445) #
Dustin McGowan won his 7th game...
Corey Knebel has ... zero wins

These stats make sense (and illustrate how meaningless a reliever win is). McGowan is a low-leverage reliever used in games the team is losing. If they come back, he gets the win. Knebel is brought into games the team is already winning so doesn't figure to get wins, just saves (and losses).

Mike Green - Wednesday, August 02 2017 @ 03:58 PM EDT (#346455) #
With the day off tomorrow, it's a very good game for Osuna particularly to get into. 
hypobole - Wednesday, August 02 2017 @ 05:47 PM EDT (#346461) #
After Smoak's 144 wRC+ prior to the AS game, some thought Smoak would tail off. Others thought he would keep it up.

Both were wrong. He's gotten even better. His wRC+ is over 200 since the break.
85bluejay - Thursday, August 03 2017 @ 06:45 AM EDT (#346464) #
Reverse those 2 Osuna blown saves and the jays are 3 games out of WC, Hmmm...
bpoz - Thursday, August 03 2017 @ 06:51 AM EDT (#346465) #
I have already said that IMO the Jays are out.

But with whatever is still wrong with the Jays that 5 gms out of the WC is interesting.

A very good August could put us really close. Then pennant race in Sept.

Unbelievable !!!!!!!!!!!!
hypobole - Thursday, August 03 2017 @ 09:39 AM EDT (#346467) #
Here's something different from Korea. More Americans will have to go over there to teach them how to "play the right way".
hypobole - Thursday, August 03 2017 @ 10:10 AM EDT (#346469) #
So Cashman and Dombrowski have compared each other's team to the Golden State Warriors. ESPN has a mostly silly story on which MLB team is most like GSW. However when talking about homegrown talent, this caught my eye:

"We can calculate homegrown talent simply by looking at homegrown WAR (via The 2017 rankings through Tuesday:

Astros: 21.7
Dodgers: 17.8
Yankees: 16.7
Nationals: 16.3
Red Sox: 14.7
Cubs: 9.3"

Not sure which was used, but I checked the Jays on FG (non-zero players only):

Batters: Pillar 1.3, Stroman 0.2, Smith jr 0.2, Alford -0.1, Parmley -0.1, Goins -0.9.

Pitchers: Stroman 2.4, Osuna 2.2, Tepera 0.8, Barnes 0.4, Loup 0.3, Lawrence -0.2, Dermody -0.3.

So 5.6 from the pitching side and (gulp) 0.6 from batting/fielding.
6.2 total homegrown WAR
bpoz - Thursday, August 03 2017 @ 10:23 AM EDT (#346471) #
Nice stat.
Chuck - Thursday, August 03 2017 @ 10:52 AM EDT (#346473) #
With exactly one third of the season remaining, the Jays find themselves a mere one run better than the worst offense in the AL.

The AL average OBP/SLG is 325/426. The Jays are at 317/411.

13 Jays have 100+ PA. Of which:

  • 4 clear both numbers: Smoak, Donaldson, Carerra, Pearce
  • 3 clear just one number: Martin, Travis, Morales
  • 6 clear neither number: Tulowitzki (20MM), Pillar, Bautista (18MM), Goins, Barney, Maile
jerjapan - Thursday, August 03 2017 @ 11:31 AM EDT (#346479) #
Awesome link Hypobole.

Asian fans are pretty incredible too.  I took a bunch of gaijin to their first ever baseball game in Tokyo, and I had no idea this was coming:

Spifficus - Thursday, August 03 2017 @ 12:42 PM EDT (#346485) #
Oh. My. God. Jer, that was unbelievable. And awesome. I would have injured myself in a bout of laughter of surprise or disbelief.
hypobole - Thursday, August 03 2017 @ 01:02 PM EDT (#346488) #
Were the Swallows fans singing their team song (like OK Blue Jays)?
Mike Green - Thursday, August 03 2017 @ 01:52 PM EDT (#346491) #
Here is Tony Blengino's mid-season park factor report.  The Trop has been a hitter's park so far in 2017, the RC has modestly favoured hitters and Yankee has modestly favoured pitchers. 
John Northey - Thursday, August 03 2017 @ 02:23 PM EDT (#346492) #
Love those 2 links today. The Korean fight that became a hug, and the Japanese umbrella song. I'm sure they would get a kick out of OK Blue Jays. Sadly I missed it when I went to a game with the kids recently as I went for a refill on my drink when the Jays ended the 6th and the other team was up and down crazy fast. Ah well. Jays won in the end and my daughter had a blast as did her best friend (my daughters 2nd game, her friends first).

FYI: If you can go very early as then you can see the roof closed during batting practice for the visitors and then it opens (if good weather) just before the game. The girls had a blast. FYI: there is one free refill for your $9 cup of pop now. And you thought prices were bad at movies.
jerjapan - Thursday, August 03 2017 @ 03:26 PM EDT (#346498) #
Crazy fun, glad you guys liked the clip.  Japanese fans are hugely entertaining, but the Swallows fans are the best of the bunch.  I think it's just an old folk song that they are singing but they shout some 'banzais' (like, 'let's go') in there too. 

Hanshin Tigers fans have the best 7th inning stretch celebration:

This was just in Fangraphs, Lars Anderson on playing indie ball in Japan.  He's got an awesome attitude about it:

Mike Green - Friday, August 04 2017 @ 03:31 PM EDT (#346537) #
The August 4 birthday team will play:

C-    B.J. Surhoff
1B- Jake Beckley
2B-  Sky Melillo
SS- Chick Galloway/Orlando Arcia
3B- Don Kolloway
LF- Cleon Jones
CF- Johnny Grubb
RF- Luke Easter/Troy O'Leary
5th OF- Cliff Lee, backup C- Joe Pignatano....Easter will also play first base...Cleon Jones can play centerfield also

SP- Roger Clemens
SP- Dolf Luque
SP- Bill Hallahan
SP- John Farrell
SP- George Caster

CL- Dennis Higgins
SU- Jim Coates
MI- Dallas Green
MI- Scott Linebrink
LO- Eric Milton
LO- Bob Keegan

The bullpen is unexciting and the lineup has a couple of  holes (Galloway and Surhoff can both play third base from time to time to help ameliorate one of them), but there is some nice top-end talent here and the infield defence would be good..  It's kind of fun to imagine what kind of career Luke Easter might have had, had he not spent 3 and 1/ prime years in the Army and had there not been the colour bar. 

Mike Green - Friday, August 04 2017 @ 04:48 PM EDT (#346542) #
Danny Barnes has been reinstated from the DL and Joe Biagini has been sent to Buffalo (presumably to be stretched out as a starter).
Mike Green - Friday, August 04 2017 @ 05:35 PM EDT (#346543) #
And as your song of the day, Basia Bulat doing a bit of OK Blue Jays followed by Glory Days on hammer dulcimer. 
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