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The Bronx Bombers are in town with their newest pitching acquisition.

Series Schedule/Probable Starters

Tuesday @ 7:07 pm ET - J.A. Happ (4-8, 3.92) vs. C.C. Sabathia (9-4, 3.81)
Wednesday @ 7:07 pm ET - Cesar Valdez (1-1, 7.63) vs. Masahiro Tanaka (8-10, 4.93)
Thursday @ 7:07 pm ET - Marco Estrada (4-7, 5.12) vs. Sonny Gray (6-6, 3.41)

Blue Jays vs. Yankees - August 8-10 | 145 comments | Create New Account
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jerjapan - Tuesday, August 08 2017 @ 05:23 PM EDT (#346636) #
I doubt the club would be this aggressive with him, but at this point in the season, I'd rather see Ryan Borucki take Valdez's start tomorrow than one of the AAAA guys.  It's his day to start, and Borucki is already on the 40 man.  he makes sense as a lefty reliever call-up in September either way. 
BlueJayWay - Tuesday, August 08 2017 @ 05:50 PM EDT (#346637) #
Valdez to the DL, so he's not starting to tomorrow.
Kasi - Tuesday, August 08 2017 @ 06:22 PM EDT (#346639) #
You can make the argument Borucki is the best pitching prospect the Jays have now. Especially since Greene is still inefficient and Reid-Foley seems to have lost some velocity this year. But even with that not sure they bring him up yet.
PeterG - Tuesday, August 08 2017 @ 06:45 PM EDT (#346640) #
Davidi is saying Tepesch tomorrow and Rowley on Friday.
Glevin - Wednesday, August 09 2017 @ 05:22 AM EDT (#346644) #
Really nice to see Donaldson back. Whether the Jays are going to go for it in 2018 or rebuild, a healthy and awesome Donaldson is key. Happ is also looking a lot better and is like a mini version of Donaldson in that he is probably the only other veteran who would fetch back something pretty good in a trade if he's pitching well.
Mike Green - Wednesday, August 09 2017 @ 08:54 AM EDT (#346648) #
It doesn't seem possible that the Jays could be 4 games out of a playoff spot. Closer to 14 is the way it feels. The numbers don't lie though.

Travis is pretty close to a rehab stint by all accounts. Youneverknow.
bpoz - Wednesday, August 09 2017 @ 09:01 AM EDT (#346649) #
I cannot figure it out too Mike. Donaldson is very hot. I always bet on Osuna.
Chuck - Wednesday, August 09 2017 @ 09:27 AM EDT (#346650) #
The numbers don't lie though.

This is MLB's wet dream. A bunch of mediocre teams all with a fighting chance for the second wild card. Time to get out the loonies and start buying relievers (although the $1 spent by the Mariners is actually 1.27 CAD, so Familia Rogers would have to dig a little deeper).

ayjackson - Wednesday, August 09 2017 @ 09:45 AM EDT (#346651) #
I don't feel like we can make a run without Sanchez.

I would like to see them do the same thing with Osuna that they have done this week with Biagini. Maybe Sanchez can finish the year out of the pen - hoping shorter appearances are better for his finger.
scottt - Wednesday, August 09 2017 @ 09:59 AM EDT (#346652) #
Last year, the second wild card took 89 wins. This year, the second wild card team is tracking to an 82-80 finish.
Somebody is bound to get hot at some point, and some teams have more or less folded.
I think it will take at least 85 wins. The Jays are 6 games under .500. That's a better thing to track than the 4 games behind the 2nd wild card. 

dalimon5 - Wednesday, August 09 2017 @ 10:55 AM EDT (#346653) #
Osuna has already had one Tommy John. If he hadn't I would agree to put him in rotation or hold onto him and let him be an elite closer. At this point, I would personally trade him for a kings ransom, similar to what Miller and Aroldis fetched and then some. That's a huge haul that can help accelerate and bridge the Blue Jays. If they do that, they should also sign a strong relief pitcher for the bullpen and hold onto Donaldson. The Tommy John scares me. Also, if Shapiro is serious about coming to Toronto to implant the Cleveland strategy but with the added benefit of bigger budget then resigning Donaldson or spending money on replacements from FA is one way to support younger crop coming in. I just want to trade Osuna because I consider a career ending arm injury for him to be around the corner. Another option is to trade Osuna and Donaldson for major league ready prospects and then sign relief pitchers and Moustakas.
Mike Green - Wednesday, August 09 2017 @ 11:16 AM EDT (#346654) #
I agree that it is likely that at least 85 wins will be required to make the playoffs.  Is this club capable of going 32-18 in its last 50 games?  My answer: sure.  I've seen stranger things.  I do not think that any of the clubs ahead of them- Seattle, Kansas City, Tampa, Baltimore, Minnesota, LAA and Texas- have significantly more or less talent on hand than they do.  All are about equally capable of going 32-18 or 33-17, in my view. 

It's likely that the club will load up on pitchers as of September 1.  It's definitely possible to run with 3 reliable six inning guys, Biagini and one tandem.  Perhaps Borucki will be part of a tandem. Obviously it would help if Sanchez were able to contribute in some way. 

hypobole - Wednesday, August 09 2017 @ 11:19 AM EDT (#346655) #
So 50 games left.

There are 7 teams 10 over .500. The only games the Jays play vs those teams are the 6 Red Sox games. That's the biggest positive.

There are 12 teams, besides the Jays, more than 1 game under .500. The 3 games vs the Tigers are all the Jays have left vs that group. That's the biggest negative.

So there are 41 games vs teams between 7 over and 1 under. The 8 Yankee and 3 Cubs games are the toughest of that group.

The other 30 games are all vs WC contenders/pretenders with records between 2 games over/1 game under .500.

SK in NJ - Wednesday, August 09 2017 @ 11:40 AM EDT (#346656) #
If the Jays can enter September two games back or less, having jumped over a few teams in the process, then I'd start to look at the standings. As is, with 2/5 of their rotation currently players who likely won't be big leaguers for much longer, it's going to be hard to string together the type of run they need to go on. Those blown leads by Osuna recently really hurt.

I'm not expecting anything, but heading into September with a real chance is better than the alternative of playing out the string in the most boring way possible. That early brutal start to the season was bound to cost them in the end, and that's what the scenario looks like now. If they started the season in typical John Gibbons April mediocrity rather than 6-17, then this season would look a lot different right now. Oh well.
Mike Green - Wednesday, August 09 2017 @ 11:46 AM EDT (#346657) #
Khris Davis on the mental side of throwing.
scottt - Wednesday, August 09 2017 @ 11:53 AM EDT (#346658) #
The new front office's track record with relief pitchers is not great at all. I'm actually relieved that the bullpen is already very good and all we need is a top lefty. They only have 3 starters for next year and the lack of death was felt hard.
Latos, Lawrence and Bolsinger started 10 games and went 0-7.
I think Donaldson could be a repeat of the Encarnation free agency. Toronto could be the best destination for him.

Chuck - Wednesday, August 09 2017 @ 11:56 AM EDT (#346659) #
Those blown leads by Osuna recently really hurt.

True, but he is human and those kind of games do happen. What hurts more is the 112 games of really crappy offense. Lots of finger-pointing can be done in that direction.

uglyone - Wednesday, August 09 2017 @ 12:10 PM EDT (#346660) #
"I just want to trade Osuna because I consider a career ending arm injury for him to be around the corner"

this is such a strange statement.
bpoz - Wednesday, August 09 2017 @ 12:15 PM EDT (#346661) #
Donaldson just hit his 14th and 15th Hrs last night. Bautista is healthy but not hitting well.

Morales is doing ok IMO. Smoak is having a great year. The missing Donaldson bat is dragging the offense down.
JohnL - Wednesday, August 09 2017 @ 12:17 PM EDT (#346662) #

Maybe Sanchez can finish the year out of the pen - hoping shorter appearances are better for his finger.

I remember something similar being done with Escobar. One year, working as a starter he started developing some puzzling numbness in his forearm(or somewhere) after a couple of innings and had to come out of games.

So he got switched back to closer, I think. He got bounced among roles so often, I can't remember what year or what switch it was. It worked, as I recall thought.

greenfrog - Wednesday, August 09 2017 @ 12:25 PM EDT (#346664) #
The fact that the Jays have the second-worst run differential in the league, and six teams to pass (seven if you count the team they're tied with), suggests that optimism about a WC spot should be tempered. A healthy Sanchez and Travis would help their chances somewhat.

It's too bad we don't have a position player prospect akin to Devers to help out at this point (I remember when one Bauxite said earlier this year that he would prefer Tellez over Devers -- a lot can change in a few months I guess).
uglyone - Wednesday, August 09 2017 @ 12:56 PM EDT (#346665) #
yeah let's examine eachothers' takes on the red sox youngin's and see who was closer.
Chuck - Wednesday, August 09 2017 @ 02:25 PM EDT (#346667) #
Tulo placed on the 60-day DL, effectively ending a miserable 2017 season.
rpriske - Wednesday, August 09 2017 @ 02:41 PM EDT (#346668) #

rpriske - Wednesday, August 09 2017 @ 03:13 PM EDT (#346669) #
That is odd. What happened to my comment?
Dr B - Wednesday, August 09 2017 @ 03:22 PM EDT (#346670) #
Disappearing comments happens to me. You have to be a bit careful after pressing the preview button. It will always copy your comment to the preview section, but not always to the edit box. When you press submit, it will then use the (empty) comment edit box. I now copy my comments to the clip-board before pressing preview so I can recover the comment if I need to. FWIW I use firefox.



JohnL - Wednesday, August 09 2017 @ 03:22 PM EDT (#346671) #

That is odd. What happened to my comment?

Went on 10 day DL with shoulder impingement.

hypobole - Wednesday, August 09 2017 @ 03:52 PM EDT (#346672) #
Who has the shoulder impingement?

I use chrome. Sometimes the box will empty when previewing, but only when I cut and paste, and even then not always. What I can't do is italicize.
hypobole - Wednesday, August 09 2017 @ 03:54 PM EDT (#346673) #
Who has the shoulder impingement?

Doh. The missing comment.
christaylor - Wednesday, August 09 2017 @ 04:14 PM EDT (#346674) #
"they only have 3 starters for next year and the lack of death was felt hard."

I am quite pleased with the lack of death. The lack of SP depth was a concern even at the beginning of the season it; didn't take much to see that in 2016 the stars aligned w/respect to SP health. That said, I'm reminded of Jose Fernandez and was recently pointed toward this article on drugs of abuse. I was surprised there is no random screening, especially given the scandals of the 80s when Raines was sliding head-first to avoid smashing his vials of cocaine.
Mike Green - Wednesday, August 09 2017 @ 04:21 PM EDT (#346675) #
Interesting lineup tonight.  Raffy Lopez catches Tepesch as Martin gets a day off.  Aok is in left-field and Pearce DHs while Morales gets the day off against Tanaka. 
ISLAND BOY - Wednesday, August 09 2017 @ 05:02 PM EDT (#346677) #
For some reason I was looking back at past Jays rosters and noticed that the 2012 roster has only 3 players that are on the present days team, which maybe highlights the lack of young players that have graduated from the minors and stayed with the major league squad. One of the three is,of course, Jose Bautista. Can everyone name the other two without looking?
uglyone - Wednesday, August 09 2017 @ 05:28 PM EDT (#346678) #
goins the permanent jay is one.

maybe pillar. no probably loup.
ISLAND BOY - Wednesday, August 09 2017 @ 06:12 PM EDT (#346680) #
Loup is right, Pillar and Goins are not.
hypobole - Wednesday, August 09 2017 @ 06:24 PM EDT (#346681) #
Happ is #3
Nigel - Wednesday, August 09 2017 @ 07:30 PM EDT (#346685) #
Serious question, no sarcasm intended. Is Carrera injured?
ISLAND BOY - Wednesday, August 09 2017 @ 08:01 PM EDT (#346687) #
Happ it is. Not a hard question, but it's interesting to see the turnover in the roster. I had forgotten about Kelly Johnson playing second base that year.
Chuck - Wednesday, August 09 2017 @ 09:02 PM EDT (#346688) #
No way Tanaka opts out being owed 67MM. Right?
scottt - Wednesday, August 09 2017 @ 11:20 PM EDT (#346689) #
I like Raffy Lopez better than Montero, but does anyone else thinks his framing his terrible?
He hardly ever offers a target and just swipes at the ball went it gets there. Kinda hard to get those borderline calls like that.

Tepesch reminds me of Bolsinger. Vladimir Tepesch would have been an awesome name.

I'm not sure about Cole. Tough debut.

Nigel - Wednesday, August 09 2017 @ 11:38 PM EDT (#346690) #
I'm on vacation without regular access to internet, so I apologize if I missed something. I'll take the lack of response to my question as a combination of no and the battersbox community having the same cosmic indifference to Carrera's existence as Gibbons:). Before the defences of Gibbons start, that's a poor attempt at humour.
hypobole - Wednesday, August 09 2017 @ 11:56 PM EDT (#346691) #
Sometimes lack of response just means "I don't know"
Nigel - Thursday, August 10 2017 @ 12:03 AM EDT (#346692) #
Hyperbole, I know that.
ISLAND BOY - Thursday, August 10 2017 @ 07:13 AM EDT (#346695) #
Nigel, Carrera pinch hit late in the game and was hit by a pitch. There didn't look to be anything wrong with him so I would guess it's a case of him being the odd man out with 5 outfielders available. Taylor Cole was really knocked around in his debut in relief also.
hypobole - Thursday, August 10 2017 @ 08:23 AM EDT (#346697) #
There were a few Taylor Cole fans here since his Vancouver days. Must be a bummer to finally see him make the show and last night happens.

I know how it is by following Pillar since his Appy league debut. After all the Jays hitting prospects who couldn't hit, here was a non-prospect who could! Hit all the way up the minors to the majors and ,,, he can't hit either.

Speaking of Pillar, his futility continues. A few days ago posted his 7 wRC+ was dead last of the 247 players who had 60 PA's with RISP. His wRC+ is now 0. Amazingly, he only has an 18 K%. It's his .111 BABIP that's killing him.
bpoz - Thursday, August 10 2017 @ 08:40 AM EDT (#346699) #
No young prospects have been brought up yet that are not on the 40 man roster. Like Greene. I know that Greene has struggled recently.

T Cole, Valdez and L Campos for example are getting an opportunity to show something/anything. Just an opinion of mine ... they will likely be DFA'd in early Sept or off season to make room for the young prospects that need protection and also look like they may be claimed in the rule 5 like Greene, Tellez and Jansen.

IMO many will be FAs for various reasons. Some could be claimed and others not claimed. The unclaimed would still be Jay's property. T Cole for example would become a FA if not on the 40 man roster. He could be convinced by the Jays to resign, because the opportunity to come back up would be there if he could earn it.

Just my imagination trying to be strategic.
hypobole - Thursday, August 10 2017 @ 09:09 AM EDT (#346701) #
bpoz, I can't see any team claiming Rowdy. Greene, maybe. As for Jansen, there's no way the Jays don't add him to the 40 man.
SK in NJ - Thursday, August 10 2017 @ 09:15 AM EDT (#346702) #
Carrera could be banged up, but if not, then it's likely just a numbers game. Since May 1, Pearce has a 1.2 WAR and 148 wRC+ in 188 PA. He needs to play everyday. Bautista won't be benched because of stuff unrelated to performance (basically, franchise icon on his last legs/don't want to embarrass him). Aoki is playing, I can only guess, in hopes that he is a trade candidate this month. I'm assuming he has already cleared waivers.

There needs to be a roster reshuffling of some sort, especially since it will benefit the team to give as much playing time as they can to Hernandez prior to the start of next season if they see him as a 2018 contributor. I can understand wanting to keep Jose just to give him some sort of farewell run in September but it's going to come at the expense of someone better (short and long term) getting playing time.
uglyone - Thursday, August 10 2017 @ 09:22 AM EDT (#346704) #
I think they're probably hoping Aoki hits so they can trade him for something.
bpoz - Thursday, August 10 2017 @ 09:42 AM EDT (#346706) #
For those of us that see Aoki and Carrera as 4th OF on a team hoping to contend. Does it not make sense to non tender 4th OF types so that they don't get the Arb amount, which could be an overpay?
Nigel - Thursday, August 10 2017 @ 09:58 AM EDT (#346707) #
Thanks ISLAND BOY, much appreciated.
China fan - Thursday, August 10 2017 @ 10:29 AM EDT (#346708) #
As an early perpetrator of the "Carrera must be injured" theory, I should weigh in here.  I think SK's speculation is probably the most likely explanation: it's a numbers game and the Jays are committed to playing Pearce full-time, and they also want to see what they've got in Aoki so that they can decide whether to keep him next year or not.  It's clear that Carrera has always done better as a part-timer (almost exclusively against RHP this year), and they want to keep him in that role.  In fact, as a part-timer over the past few weeks, his hitting numbers have remained strong, which I suppose does justify that kind of usage.  But having said that, I still find it a little odd that his usage in July and August has been less than usual, and I do wonder if there's a lingering minor injury of some kind.
Mike Green - Thursday, August 10 2017 @ 10:39 AM EDT (#346709) #
I've been advocating a greater role for Carrera for a long time.  It seems that there is some kind of principle that Bautista and Morales should be in RF and at DH almost every day, because of Bautista's history of greatness and Morales 3 year contract. I don't agree with the principle, but I don't want to carry on about it.  I'd love to see Bautista DHing or getting the occasional day off about 1/2 the time and Carrera in RF.  Ever the optimist, I took some solace in Morales having the day off yesterday while Pearce DHed.

Did I mention that Devon Travis is my favourite current Blue Jay?  John Lott has a fine interview with him over at the Athletic- Travis has some useful insights on the mental side of recovery from injury and very high praise for Nikki Huffman. 


uglyone - Thursday, August 10 2017 @ 10:41 AM EDT (#346710) #
I just take exception to people saying Gibbons has something against zeke, when everyone hated on gibbons the last 2yrs for playing "his guy" zeke over others.
Nigel - Thursday, August 10 2017 @ 10:58 AM EDT (#346711) #
I'm legitimately sorry I asked the question. I really wasn't trying to reopen this debate. I find the search for ulterior motives odd though. I believe managers try and win baseball games, Gibbons included. The idea that Bautista has to play because he's an icon or that the Jays have been showcasing Pearce and Bautista since early July and now Aoiki does a disservice to Gibbons. It suggests he's intentionally not putting his best lineup out on a daily basis. How about the more logical explanation? Gibbons believes that Bautista is his best OF, Pillar next, Pearce, next, Aoki next and Carrera last. It's not how I would order them but I hope this is the reason. If not, the Jays may have some bigger management (front office and manager) issues than just day to day lineup construction.
China fan - Thursday, August 10 2017 @ 11:01 AM EDT (#346712) #
A further thought on the Jays strategy on Aoki.  The Jays could do with Aoki what they did with Justin Smoak in the 2014-15 off-season: they could non-tender him and sign him to a cheaper contract.  Smoak would have received about $3-million in 2015 if he had gone to arbitration.  So the Jays non-tendered him and signed him for $1-million instead.  They saved themselves $2-million and still kept Smoak on the roster.  If they do the same with Aoki, the numbers would be different, but there could be substantial savings from that strategy.  But in order to do that, they need to have Aoki's agreement, so they need to treat him with some respect for the rest of this season -- and they need enough on-field information to decide whether to offer him a contract for 2018 as a 4th outfielder.

It wouldn't make sense to let Aoki go into arbitration and pay him a starting OF's salary, which could be $6-milion or more from arbitration.  But if he would accept $2-million to be a 4th outfielder and bench player, as a depth piece and injury insurance etc, he could be worth keeping.

uglyone - Thursday, August 10 2017 @ 11:14 AM EDT (#346713) #
Still don't get how you go from gibbons having irrational like for zeke to having irrational dislike for him.
China fan - Thursday, August 10 2017 @ 11:21 AM EDT (#346714) #
"....How about the more logical explanation? Gibbons believes that Bautista is his best OF, Pillar next, Pearce, next, Aoki next and Carrera last..."

But are the Jays really trying to use their best lineup at this stage of the season?  The Front Office has clearly sent a signal that they have given up on the 2017 season.  They traded one of their best relievers (Smith) and one of their five best starters (Liriano) in exchange for prospects.  If they hadn't made those trades, they would have had a much better chance to win games such as the Yankees game last night.  Because of those two trades, Gibbons was forced to use marginal pitchers like Tepesch and Cole last night.  (Okay, he might have needed Tepesch anyway because of the injuries to Sanchez and Valdez, but if he had Liriano he certainly wouldn't have had to use Rowley to start Saturday's game, which is currently the most likely scenario.)

So let's admit it:  the Jays are already looking ahead to 2018 and they are already beginning to experiment with a bunch of players who could be useful in 2018 but aren't as good as the players who were traded. So they're not necessarily running the best possible lineup now.  It makes sense that the Jays could be giving Aoki some playing time so that they can decide what to do with him.  Gibbons might feel that Carrera is better than Aoki, but the Front Office wants to see Aoki in the outfield to help them make a decision on him for 2018, regardless of what might be the best roster in August 2017.
hypobole - Thursday, August 10 2017 @ 11:26 AM EDT (#346715) #
So defensively challenged 4th OF type Carrera is controllable through 2020, defensively challenged 4th OF type Smith jr, is waiting in AAA and we want to sign defensively challenged 4th OF type Aoki next year? And we want to contend?

China fan - Thursday, August 10 2017 @ 11:30 AM EDT (#346716) #
Does the playoffs hinge on the defensive skills of the 4th outfielder?  Maybe the 4th outfielder is on the roster for other things (pinch-running, pinch-hitting), and not necessarily purely for defence. 

But if defence is the most important criteria for choosing a 4th outfielder, the Jays could always give the job to Fields or Hernandez in 2018. 

In any event, whether the 4th outfielder is Carrera or Aoki or Fields or Hernandez, all of the possible 4th outfielders have a mixture of strengths and weaknesses, and I don't think the playoffs will depend on who gets the job.
92-93 - Thursday, August 10 2017 @ 11:34 AM EDT (#346717) #
I've heard Buck Martinez on different outlets at different times say that Carrera doesn't have the body to be an everyday player. I doubt this is something he's made up on his own, he's probably picked up the sentiment from hanging around the batting cage. You're entitled to disagree with them, but the team likely believes that Carrera's solid production is a result of the manner in which he is used, and that if they tried to get more out of him it would be counter-productive. Combine that with the commitment to a franchise icon in Bautista this year and Pearce's solid bat and you're really left with nowhere for Carrera to play unless you're willing to roll with a horrific defensive OF or bench your biggest FA signing from this winter. Sure, you can argue Aoki should not be starting over Carrera, but you'd be ignoring their career data and focusing solely on 2017; from 2014-2016 Carrera hit .238/.305/.334 vs. RHP, compared to Aoki's .276/.340/.380 over the same timeframe. Basically you'd have to believe that Carrera's 211 PA this year represent a new level of production for him vs. RHP, because even in a subpar 2017 Aoki is hitting RHP better than Carrera has over his career.

If I were the GM this offseason I'd be looking for a way to trade Morales to open up the DH for Pearce, and I'd consider Pillar/Carrera as coverage for only one OF spot, requiring me to find 2 lefties, at least one of whom could handle CF competently. There has to be some mediocre SPs out there with similar financial commitments to Morales that a team would dump for an average hitter. Ideally Pillar becomes a 4th OF who starts vs. all LHP and becomes the everyday CF when somebody gets hurt. It's really a shame that the team couldn't find out in 2017 if Pompey could be one of those guys.
uglyone - Thursday, August 10 2017 @ 11:34 AM EDT (#346718) #
I think if Aoki hits we could flip him to another team for something. That's probably what the FO is hoping for.

Though I've been wrong before about their love of old players.
uglyone - Thursday, August 10 2017 @ 11:36 AM EDT (#346719) #
And if we're talking about Gibbons' preferences....I still say the Alford callup was mostly his idea. That's the direction he preferred.
SK in NJ - Thursday, August 10 2017 @ 12:17 PM EDT (#346720) #
Aoki was acquired to give the Astros incentive to include Hernandez in a deal for Liriano. I'd be surprised if the FO considers him an option for the 2018 roster, at least at the price it would cost in arbitration. My guess is they are holding on to him in hopes of trading him this month, or if they keep him into the winter then they view him as a fallback in case all their FA options bottom out (although I'd rather just roll with Hernandez for $500k in that case instead of Aoki for $6M). I'd consider the latter scenario a long shot.
jerjapan - Thursday, August 10 2017 @ 12:32 PM EDT (#346721) #
If we are showcasing Aoki, I'd be happy to let him go for a waiver claim, or to pay all his salary for a low level reliever.  His D is mediocre at best, his speed and bat have diminished - like SK says, he was a salary dump for Houston.  I don't even want to see him tendered a contract frankly, we could better use the roster spot.

But as for not protecting Tellez, I continue to think that has 0% chance of happening.  The upside is real, he was very highly ranked until this season, and he has been dealing with his mother's illness all year while in AAA at the age of 22.  It's guys like Cole, Chris Smith and Smith Jr. that are the bubble guys in terms of protection. 



uglyone - Thursday, August 10 2017 @ 12:37 PM EDT (#346722) #
of course it has 0% chance of happening.
scottt - Thursday, August 10 2017 @ 12:47 PM EDT (#346723) #
People expect Bautista to play and hope he gets hot at some point.
There would be more complaints if he was benched.
Carrera is having a career year, but even now, he ranks more like a replacement than a regular player.
BR has him at 0.6 WAR for the year.

There's not much of a market for bats. Everybody wants arms.
Jay Bruce was traded for Cleveland's 30th round pick of last year.
Declining a QO would have giving the Mets a possible 3d round pick, but only if he had signed for 50M or more.
They really missed the boat by not trading Granderson.

uglyone - Thursday, August 10 2017 @ 12:49 PM EDT (#346724) #
for the record the yanks offered the mets a couple of prospects for Bruce but the Mets wanted the money instead.
scottt - Thursday, August 10 2017 @ 01:00 PM EDT (#346725) #
I think Tellez will turn into some version of Adam Lind, a good left bat that needs to be platooned.
As long as he's limited to 1B/DH, I don't see the big deal. Benching him against lefties would open the DH to rest someone. Tellez has a .100 split between RHP and LHP.  He's also hitting .400 in August.

scottt - Thursday, August 10 2017 @ 01:04 PM EDT (#346726) #
That's kinda funny since the Mets exercised an option to retain Bruce and were shopping him as soon as they signed Cespedes. Sure it was an ill thought out insurance, but they could have traded him back for the money but they absolutely wanted prospects.
bpoz - Thursday, August 10 2017 @ 01:08 PM EDT (#346727) #
I go along with CF, about admitting that the 2017 playoffs is a long shot at best.

I would like to discuss the 2018 season.

I like 92-93's suggestion 2 LH bats.
Trading Morales is something I don't understand. His Avg, bb and power are about the same. The Rbi is a lot less but maybe less players are on base for him.
His slow running on a slow running team and his hitting into a lot of double plays is probably a fair criticism.

What youth can we add from the farm. I see mainly OF candidates. We have to go outside the organization for an extra IF. This IF plus Goins to back up Tulo and Travis in case of injury.

IMO the FO knows that we need a 4th SP for the rotation. Well I think we need one. I love our SP depth and also our pen depth.

Donaldson????????? Contending?????????



scottt - Thursday, August 10 2017 @ 01:23 PM EDT (#346728) #
They could add a proven homerun hitter in the outfield or just use some of the young guys they have.
I'm curious to see who gets to play in September.
At best, I think we'll see a couple of guys playing as defensive replacement. Not ideal.

I'd like them to bring Estrada back. A better outfield will help.
It's weird that Estrada's contract doesn't include a team option. He wanted more years for less AAV.

Refsnyder might be the replacement for Barney. Ultimately, Gurriel could be the super utility guy, but he's progressing slowly.

China fan - Thursday, August 10 2017 @ 01:42 PM EDT (#346729) #
I'm still surprised that everyone is assuming Aoki would cost $6-million in 2018. Of course he doesn't look like a good option at that price. But the Jays could get him a lot cheaper by non-tendering him and negotiating a cheaper deal. Then he becomes a 4th OF option and has some value in case of injuries etc.

I'd like to see Hernandez seize a starting OF job for 2018, but so far his hitting for Buffalo has been abysmal. Of course that's a small sample of just 8 games, but I do wonder if he'll be ready in 2018 or whether he'll need more minor-league time -- or whether he is perhaps fated to be a 4th OF type.
SK in NJ - Thursday, August 10 2017 @ 01:43 PM EDT (#346730) #
I am disappointed that Refsynder isn't getting everyday AB's at 2B with Travis out. He's not going to be a starting 2B in all likelihood due to his defense, but he's the type of shot in the dark teams with nothing to play for can get lucky on every once in a while. The minor league track record offensively is solid. I don't see why Goins and Barney should prevent him from getting playing time when the team is out of it. Neither one has any trade value. I think that's a more questionable playing time issue than Zeke at the moment.
hypobole - Thursday, August 10 2017 @ 02:07 PM EDT (#346731) #
CF- I don't understand why we'd bring Aoki back at any price. He's been declining, has negative value this year and will be 36 yrs old next year. There are multiple options for the Jays (Carrera, Smith, Teoscar, Pompey, Alford, Fields), at least 5 of whom will be cheaper.
92-93 - Thursday, August 10 2017 @ 02:13 PM EDT (#346732) #
"I'm still surprised that everyone is assuming Aoki would cost $6-million in 2018."

Literally no one has suggested this, unless you misread SK's comment.

Aoki will be lucky to get an MLB deal this offseason, and if he does it certainly shouldn't be coming from the Jays.
85bluejay - Thursday, August 10 2017 @ 02:15 PM EDT (#346733) #
Hopefully, Estrada makes it 3 quality starts in a row and the jays can ship him off to Seattle (king Felix out) or some other contender - I hope he's been put through waivers already
uglyone - Thursday, August 10 2017 @ 02:16 PM EDT (#346734) #
Controlled 2018 Roster using rest-of-2017-projections as proxy for 2018 projections:


C Martin (35): 103wrc+
3B Donaldson (32): 138wrc+
1B Smoak (31): 117wrc+
LF Pearce (35): 118wrc+
DH Morales (35): 110wrc+
SS Tulowitzki (33): 101wrc+
2B Travis (27): 101wrc+
RF Aoki (36): 92wrc+ / Carrera (31): 90wrc+
CF Pillar (29): 88wrc+

UT Refsnyder (27): 89wrc+ / Smith (25): 81wrc+
OF Pompey (25): 91wrc+ / Hernandez (25): 76wrc+
IF Goins (30): 65wrc+ / Gurriel (24): 75wrc+
C Lopez (30): 64wrc+ / Maile (27): 54wrc+

UT Tellez (23): 79wrc+ / Guerrero (19): 67wrc+
OF Alford (23): 69wrc+ / Ramirez (23): 73wrc+
IF Urena (22): 60wrc+ / Bichette (20): 74wrc+
C Jansen (23): 79wrc+ / McGuire (23): 63wrc+



SP Stroman (27): 3.99era
SP Sanchez (25): 4.11era
SP Happ (35): 4.33era
SP Valdez (33): 4.62era
SP Bolsinger (30): 4.96era / Tepesch (29): 5.26era

RP Osuna (23): 2.89era
RP Tepera (30): 3.95era
RP Loup (30): 3.96era
RP Barnes (28): 4.06era
RP Campos (30): 4.13era
RP Biagini (28): 4.25era
RP Leone (26): 4.26era

LH Borucki (24): 4.94era
RH Zeuch (22): 5.52era
RH Rios (23): 5.61era
RH Reid-Foley (22): 5.67era
RH Harris (24): 5.86era
RH Greene (23): 6.07era



I'd spend money on the rotation, myself.
China fan - Thursday, August 10 2017 @ 02:45 PM EDT (#346735) #
92-93, you seem to have misread my comment. I wasn't suggesting that anyone here SUPPORTED the idea of bringing back Aoki for $6-million. I was making a different point: that people seem to perceive the options as only twofold: either Aoki at $6-million or dumping Aoki for nothing. Those are literally the only choices that I have seen mentioned on this site in all the days since Aoki was acquired.

Given that simplistic choice, of course most people would dump him for nothing. But my point is that there's a third choice: finding Aoki's true value as a 4th outfielder (a much cheaper value) and signing him for that value. I doubt that Aoki will be able to command the salary of a starting outfielder in 2018. His performance in 2017 hasn't warranted it, and he will probably recognize that. So he would be available for a much lower salary. If the Jays can get him for $2-million, for example, they can easily dump him in the early months of the 2018 season without much financial cost if they decide that Hernandez or Pompey or Fields is ready to take his job. A cheap non-tender salary -- like the Smoak example in 2015 -- gives greater flexibility to the Jays and give them more options for their outfield, without hobbling them with a salary that has to be justified.

Aoki could be a nice buy-low option. For a couple million dollars, he would be a useful bargain if he returns to the .353 OBP that he consistently posted from 2012 to 2016. And if he doesn't, he can easily be released without much cost.
China fan - Thursday, August 10 2017 @ 03:02 PM EDT (#346736) #
Just using the projections that Uglyone has helpfully posted, we can see that Aoki has a higher projected wrc+ than any other outfield option who is currently controlled for 2018, except for Pearce.

Of course it's more exciting to dream on prospects or trades or free-agent signings. That's what I would prefer too. But I would be very surprised if the value-obsessed bean-counters in the Jays front office aren't already considering Aoki as an option for next year, at a reduced salary.

Don't forget that there's been an obvious LF hole on the Jays roster for the past 12 months, ever since Saunders went into decline. In that entire time, the Front Office has not bothered to acquire anyone, except Melvin Upton and Pearce. And it's probable that Pearce was seen primarily as a 1B option, not a LF option.

So if the Front Office didn't acquire a great LF over the past 12 months, and now they are going to have another hole in the outfield next season (RF after Bautista's departure), why do we assume that they won't use internal options such as Aoki to fill those holes next year? That's been their modus operandi all along. We don't know if Pompey or Alford or Fields will be ready next season, and we can't assume that the Jays will spend highly (in dollars or prospects) to acquire a new outfielder. I suspect they will be looking at Hernandez and Aoki (among others) as options for LF and RF and 4th outfielder next season.



pooks137 - Thursday, August 10 2017 @ 03:06 PM EDT (#346737) #

Controlled 2018 Roster using rest-of-2017-projections as proxy for 2018 projections:

Even with Bautista, J. Smith, Grilli, Liriano, Montero and Estrada off that 2018 projected roster, this is still a really old team without much young talent ready to step in from the rung below on the depth chart

scottt - Thursday, August 10 2017 @ 03:09 PM EDT (#346738) #
Remind me, what were the projections for Bautista and Smoak before the season started?

Mike Green - Thursday, August 10 2017 @ 04:39 PM EDT (#346739) #
Taylor Cole suffered a 5th toe fracture on a comebacker last night.  He was put on the DL and Chris Smith has been recalled.  I believe that is the first toe fracture of the year.  Brother. 

I know what an impinged comment looks like.  Not looking forward a fractured comment. 

ISLAND BOY - Thursday, August 10 2017 @ 04:53 PM EDT (#346741) #
Taylor Cole has 5 toes? Cool.
ISLAND BOY - Thursday, August 10 2017 @ 04:59 PM EDT (#346742) #
Sorry, thought he had 4 for some reason. Never mind, after this I'll toe the line.
scottt - Thursday, August 10 2017 @ 05:55 PM EDT (#346745) #
5th toe sounds like too much or not enough information. It's on the right foot, anyway and Smith is up to take his spot.
Mike Green - Thursday, August 10 2017 @ 06:23 PM EDT (#346747) #
The Cole information came from a Shi Davidi tweet.  Relax, Bauxites.
hypobole - Thursday, August 10 2017 @ 06:39 PM EDT (#346748) #
"It's on the right foot, anyway"

Is that better than the wrong foot?
bpoz - Thursday, August 10 2017 @ 08:33 PM EDT (#346753) #
I love the humor. Thanks.
greenfrog - Thursday, August 10 2017 @ 09:58 PM EDT (#346756) #
A contender that needs a mid-rotation SP would be wise to snap up Estrada. He could be a nice addition for a team in the thick of the playoff race, or one that could use a battle-tested starter for the postseason. Not sure if the Jays are (a) shopping him, (b) trying to extend him, or (c) standing pat.
scottt - Thursday, August 10 2017 @ 10:15 PM EDT (#346759) #
It's kinda hard to shop him. He has to go throw revocable waivers and I doubt he would clear.
Can you imagine Baltimore saying no to a starting pitcher that doesn't cost a prospect?

bpoz - Thursday, August 10 2017 @ 10:15 PM EDT (#346760) #
Great game by Estrada. He has value now. Teams will be asking about him.
SK in NJ - Thursday, August 10 2017 @ 10:21 PM EDT (#346761) #
Unless the Jays get a good offer for Estrada, I'd hold on to him if it helps in bringing him back. Really depends on what another team would offer for him. If it's a lottery ticket that is lower in the minors, then I'd pass. If it's a prospect closer to Hernandez's calibre (potential to be an average big league talent that is near ready), then go for it, and see if you can bring Estrada back in the winter.

With the Jays wanting to go for it in 2018, they will need SP's. The free agent SP market is rarely high in value (Jays did really well with Happ/Estrada), and Estrada should be a short-term commitment that has already stated he wants to stay. Might be an easier/more reasonable signing than anything they could try in free agency. Not to mention it will be the third year in a row where the Jays start the season with no SP prospects in AAA unless they put Borucki there, which is possible, but even then he's probably half a season away.

Now that Estrada has seemingly turned things around, he's an asset again. Don't have to get what you can for him. He might be an asset in 2018 as well depending on the type of deal they can give him. If this season has proven nothing else, it's that mediocrity that can eat up innings has value. A conventional throwing equivalent of RA Dickey in addition to re-signing Estrada is almost a necessity at this point if they want to avoid a rebuild/retool.
85bluejay - Thursday, August 10 2017 @ 10:22 PM EDT (#346762) #
Well done Marco - 3 consecutive quality starts - I hope the contenders were paying attention & the jays should eat the remainder of his salary (spent money) to improve prospect return. BTW, trading Estrada and then resigning him in the offseason is a win-win in my books.
Parker - Thursday, August 10 2017 @ 11:45 PM EDT (#346768) #
...higher projected wrc+ than any other outfield option who is currently controlled for 2018, except for Pearce.

Ugh. Projecting that Aoki is the Blue Jays' second-best outfielder is like projecting that Joe Burger-Flipper is McDonalds' second-best brain surgeon.

Man, Anthopoulos left this organization in a mess.
John Northey - Friday, August 11 2017 @ 01:17 AM EDT (#346770) #
Uh what? Anthopoulos left the team after it reached the playoffs for the first time in decades, it then proceeded to get to the ALCS again the next year and was expected to contend this year as well. As to the minors, the only real talent lost (IE: would still be a key piece today) was Noah Syndergaard who only got through 5 games before being DL'ed this year. Travis d'Arnaud and his 86 OPS+ (94 lifetime) would be OK as a backup at best. The Price trade trio - Daniel Norris has an 83 ERA+, Matt Boyd a 78, Jairo Labourt looks like he might be a good middle reliever someday. I can't imagine anyone regrets the Donaldson trade, Jeff Hoffman for Tulo is one that might look bad someday (99 ERA+ in 113 2/3 IP so far in his career).

Sorry don't see that AA gutted the system or left it in a mess. When he left Anthony Alford was the only major prospect left but that was largely due to rapid advancement by guys like Aaron Sanchez, Dalton Pompey, and Osuna. Only Pompey flopped of those 3 and might still develop. Vladimir Guerrero was signed by AA's team. Max Pentecost was signed by AA's team. Sean Reid-Foley was also. Don't forget Rowdy Tellez, DJ Davis, Dwight Smith - all still considered prospects who were drafted by AA.

If that is a mess I can only hope the current guys leave it in as bad of a mess. Want a real mess? Look at the disaster AA inherited from Ricciardi.
scottt - Friday, August 11 2017 @ 06:20 AM EDT (#346776) #
Yeah, the issue with AA was more drafting poorly than bad trades.
Yankees, Red Sox and Rays seems to have done better.

Free agent signing during AA's tenure was severely limited by payroll parameters.
That seems to have included international signings, so I think he did alright on that front.

 I still hate the Dickey trade. He paid for an ace and got an inning eater.
One of AA's best trade was shipping Vernon Wells out of town.

uglyone - Friday, August 11 2017 @ 07:41 AM EDT (#346778) #
AA's drafting was great, of course.

There is no "issue" with AA. He built one of the best teams in franchise history from nothing, in just 5yrs.
Mike Green - Friday, August 11 2017 @ 08:41 AM EDT (#346779) #
I liked last night's lineup, with Carrera in right-field, Bautista DHing and Refsnyder at second base.  Hopefully we'll see more of it. 
uglyone - Friday, August 11 2017 @ 09:02 AM EDT (#346783) #
and after AA's disastrous farm sellout, the jays already have a top 5/10 system again, and the key prospects dealt like norris and hoffman have eras north of 5.
Glevin - Friday, August 11 2017 @ 09:29 AM EDT (#346784) #
"and after AA's disastrous farm sellout, the jays already have a top 5/10 system again, and the key prospects dealt like norris and hoffman have eras north of 5."

Again, misses the point
1) Jays have a top-10 system because they haven't had a single prospect graduate off it in the last two years. The total WAR of rookies (apart from Sparkman and Biagini) for the Jays the last 2 years? -0.6 WAR. Yankees in that period? 13 WAR. The Red Sox have almost 3 WAR and used other prospects to get Drew Pomeranz and Chris Sale. So the Jays are only adding prospects while other teams have been subtracting them. This ranking is not a testament to a great system but rather a system that was very bottom heavy (also, according to MLB rankings, prospects 2, 4,5,6, 8, and 10 were added in the last 2 years).
2) The Jays don't have as single good young position player in the majors. Not one. And I'm not talking about 21 YOs either. The jays don't have any good 25 YO position players. You really want to build a team around Travis and Pillar? These are the only players under 30 that are even major league caliber.
3) What Norris and Hoffman do are almost irrelevant. If the Jays trade Vlad for Bartolo Colon and Vlad never makes the Majors and Colon gets 0.1 WAR was that a good trade? What is relevant is what their value was at the time of the trade and what the Jays have for it now. What do they Jays have for two top-30 prospects two years later? One of the worst contracts in baseball. That's it.
(Also, Hoffman, Boyd, and Norris have actually combined for 5 WAR this season)
uglyone - Friday, August 11 2017 @ 09:32 AM EDT (#346785) #
misses what point?

the Jays system is already at least top 10 again, in the first year that it looks like AA's core will miss the playoffs.

so much for the empty farm.
SK in NJ - Friday, August 11 2017 @ 09:57 AM EDT (#346786) #
The point being missed is that the Jays have not had a single prospect in the last two years that was ready to contribute in the Majors. The farm system improvement has come due to the Jays keeping all their prospects and adding more via drafting/trades/signings. Even today the team's best prospects are teenagers that haven't reached AA yet (Guerrero/Bichette). The upper minors don't have any pitching prospects, and the only top hitting prospect in AAA hasn't had a good season (Tellez). Meanwhile the big league team is trying to win despite not having any young talent to fill big league holes or to serve as depth in case of injuries.

The farm system has improved, and will continue to improve if the Jays keep doing what they are doing, but clearly the current regime inherited a roster with a one year window and then some uncertainty after that. Whether you want to call it a 'mess' is up for interpretation, but it certainly wasn't an excellent situation. The FO basically has to win and rebuild at the same time without any immediate help from the farm and with a roster whose best position players are on the wrong side of 30. That's not easy.
uglyone - Friday, August 11 2017 @ 10:04 AM EDT (#346788) #
yeah because who cares about making ALCS when real GMs are breaking in prospects.

If only the red sox had kept cherington they'd be gloriously breaking even more moncadas and margots instead of being stuck with Sale and Kimbrel and Pomeranz dragging them into the playoffs.
bpoz - Friday, August 11 2017 @ 10:14 AM EDT (#346789) #
To me it looks like we are all in agreement, but the noise is confusing the issue.

"AA left the organization in a mess".
Trading a lot of close to ML prospects does hurt and weaken the system. By weaken I mean it is not the same or stronger.
These trades led to 2 successful seasons. That was a long time coming. The scorching hot run after July 31, 2015 was not a guarantee. So my true feelings are that the loss of prospects really weakened the system and that the hot winning streak was lucky to be so good.

So AA bet a very heavy wager on a bit of a long shot, IMO. Why did he do that?

But he won this bet. The Jay's and fans reaped the rewards, thanks to AA. I too love the results.

It makes sense for a farm to get stronger if nobody graduates or is traded. Adding prospects in trades, draft and Intl signings should also increase the ranking of the farm. To me both AA and the current FO share the resurgence of the farm.
SK in NJ - Friday, August 11 2017 @ 10:24 AM EDT (#346791) #
Making the ALCS was great, but the way AA got there came with long-term consequences. He built a great team in 2015 (at least the 2nd half version), and the current FO was able to keep the train moving for one more season with smart FA signings (Happ/Estrada) to supplement the 2016 window that they inherited. However, the short-term mindset came at a price, and we are watching it unfold this season.

You can enjoy the playoff run and still see the team's current situation for what it is. If they won the World Series in 2015 or 2016, then I think it would have been easier to accept the fallback that was inevitable post-2016. The FO did their best to keep the team competitive beyond 2016, and maybe there's a WC possibility in '18 with some luck and a good off-season, but this was always going to be a short window with this core. Age does not discriminate.

For now, keep building the farm system up, and once a young core has been established at the big league level, then start trading prospects and signing free agents like the Cubs, Astros, Yankees, etc, have done. I don't know how long it will take to get to that point, at least a few years if things break right, but it is what it is. Trying anything short-sighted to expedite the process will only hurt in the long run.
uglyone - Friday, August 11 2017 @ 10:27 AM EDT (#346792) #
when the long-term consequences of making the ALCS back to back are Norris and Hoffman, it ain't so bad.
uglyone - Friday, August 11 2017 @ 10:32 AM EDT (#346793) #
It always seems weird to me that people are so willing to concede years of missing the playoffs in the hopes of maybe making the playoffs down the line, but are so unwilling to sacrifice maybe making the playoffs down the line for making them now.

AA arguably built 2 seperate top systems in 5yrs, and built the majority of this 3rd top system we have now. All while supposedly selling the farm.
Mike Green - Friday, August 11 2017 @ 10:49 AM EDT (#346794) #
Gentlemen, the whole "AA/Shapiro/Atkins are saints/bums" argument was old a year ago. 

If someone wants to attempt a look back at Anthopoulos' years in Toronto, perhaps comparing them with the Gillick, Ash and Ricciardi years, that would be worthwhile.  Anthopoulos had strengths and weaknesses, as all GMs do, but I suspect that he'd come out looking good in that company.  The Gillick comparison is, of course, not really fair to Anthopoulos because Gillick had such a long run. 

As for Shapiro/Atkins, how about giving them some time?  I liked their off-season work in 2015-16, and didn't like their off-season work in 2016-17.  I liked the 2016 draft better than the 2017 draft (and I could very well end up entirely wrong about both). 

christaylor - Friday, August 11 2017 @ 10:57 AM EDT (#346795) #
"He built a great team in 2015 (at least the 2nd half version)."

He also recognized that the first half version was pretty good too -- IIRC they were really underperforming their run differential.

I'm curious about what moves do you consider to be the cause of long-term consequences. Tulo is the only one that comes to mind and even as bad as he has been he has been better than Reyes or any reasonable alternative. The consequences of the 2015/2016 teams seem mostly financial and the trade deadline gave at least a hint that Rogers is loosening the purse strings.

Sure it would have been easier to accept the decline if there was a World Series in there, but yikes, 2015's bat flip, Edwin's WC walk-off, and the drubbing of the Rangers. I'll take it, especially after the Ash/JP years. The teams of 1998, 2000, 2003, 2008 were interesting to watch in various ways, but from 1994-2015 there were almost zero positive and memorable team moments, just individual performances and negative moments. Sinking ship.

AA's first push -- 2013 hurt a lot more than 2015 but even then more because of bad choices on the players he traded for than the players he gave up.
dalimon5 - Friday, August 11 2017 @ 10:59 AM EDT (#346796) #
Ugly, you keep missing THE POINT. It's been explained and highlighted at least three times this morning by various posters. You seem fixated on other, related though not as strong, talking points. Nobody, with the exception of Parker's one liner has argued that AA has left the system in shambles. The Point is that AA deviated from his plan in a last ditch effort on his way out. He took a very strong farm system that he built over time and he sold off the bulk of the upper minor prospects that would be helping now. You need to look at the trades at the time for value (not referencing high ERAs from traded prospects and ignoring their combined WAR.) You also need to acknowledge that The Point being made is that AA left a hole at the upper minors that has made it difficult to replenish the 25 man roster with young, controllable and athletic prospects ready for MLB. Nobody is saying that the two post season runs were not worth it (except one exaggerated comment about being stuck with "one of the worst contracts in baseball" which is clearly wrong). The Point is that we were supposed to get to a time where our GM could trade prospects for runs and still have a strong farm system in both the upper and lower minors. AA didn't do that (for various and debatable reasons). Shapiro is trying to do that. The run of the past year has to give some credit to both regimes.

What this new management team should get more heat for is spending of money. Take on Verlander, Bruce, anyone with a pulse and positive WAR that can help bridge the gap until the next Young core is ready. If you have lots of better options like the OF over Bautista, fine, cut bait and find your younger, cheaper and more athletic replacement. But for SP, take on those terrible contracts now to help you compete because you ain't gonna land the cream of the crop from the 2018 free agency and you ain't gonna get away with lowering payroll with fans while increasing ticket sales and watching record attendance and viewership numbers. If I see Shapiro doubling down and spending his money on talent then I wi be happy with the current regime. If he wants to let the bad contracts run out with holes in the field filled with one year tie overs then I'm not going to be happy. And no, spending millions upon millions to add hot dog hour and more "fan friendly" features to the park is not an acceptable replacement plan/legacy for him.
lexomatic - Friday, August 11 2017 @ 11:01 AM EDT (#346797) #
I agree with Mike, AA/Shapiro/Atkins is already tired. I definitely feel that this wouldn't be a constant source of argument if the season was going better, but it makes this site really unpleasant to visit.

So AA bet a very heavy wager on a bit of a long shot, IMO. Why did he do that?

He took a calculated risk, determined the window was "now". He wasn't wrong about that. Boston and New York have gotten younger, better, and still have tons of money. While a constant flow of prospects is the goal, it also makes sense to try and time a peak when both those teams are trending down for a few years.

Anyways, I don't really want to extend the above discussion.

Small report by Hulet on Rowley available at Fangraphs.

uglyone - Friday, August 11 2017 @ 11:05 AM EDT (#346798) #
dalimon, I understand the point that some people prefer breaking in prospects to making the playoffs, just fine.
bpoz - Friday, August 11 2017 @ 11:41 AM EDT (#346800) #
Lets discuss the concept that the Jays making the post season depends on the NYY and Boston being weak. I agree they have been weaker the last few seasons. Not weak is 93-95 wins IMO.

Their rotations are weak IMO. Sale is very good for sure. Severino also.

There are maybes like Price, Tanaka.

So a good time to take advantage is still there.
dalimon5 - Friday, August 11 2017 @ 11:49 AM EDT (#346801) #
"dalimon, I understand the point that some people prefer breaking in prospects to making the playoffs, just fine."

Well,

To be honest it seems like you're stubbornly belaboring a point, but not The Point that any of us are making and not the point that we are spelling out for you to read (again and again). Not to be rude, but how many posts do you need and statements from multiple posters explaining precisely their point, to you, only to have a response such as "I understand the point that ____(fill in blank with the worse possible interpretation of aforementioned Point we are trying to explain to you - while at the same time making the accusation that "some people prefer" as if in defiance, to support this distorted and misread view that you have. It's very similar to how you look up numbers, and sometimes take the best ones that will illustrate your point but leave out important ones, sometimes crucial ones that other posters will dig up and present to you...only for them to become the "some" of the posters that believe in false narratives. Please don't call posters out as if they're making ridiculous claims and then pretend like you understand their ignorance when in all likelihood you're probably missing (on purpose I hope?) what they are saying. I realize I am doing to you exactly what I am asking you not to do, but it's warranted when you go unchecked, like a one of those growling dogs. I like your posts, I do, it just irks me when you throw out these lazy one liners 5-10 times a day ... like you want to say things and have everyone agree and listen but you don't want to even listen or consider their points. If you could just try to be a little fair and respond to The Points rather than your revision of the point, it would be so much easier...but I can't let these pompous comments go unchecked. Same for Parker...put some thought behind your comment.
uglyone - Friday, August 11 2017 @ 12:03 PM EDT (#346802) #
I guess it just irks me when people say I'm the one "missing the point" when they are dismissing making the playoffs as meaningless, and stress breaking in prospects as the most important goal.
scottt - Friday, August 11 2017 @ 12:14 PM EDT (#346804) #
Verlander is on the decline and costs a ton. I wouldn't take him on a straight salary dump, but Detroit wants a prospect in return "When you trade an Icon you have to get something back.".  No way.
Same with Bruce. The Mets wanted a top prospect for him over the winter.
There's a reason no teams are going there.

SK in NJ - Friday, August 11 2017 @ 12:31 PM EDT (#346805) #
The long-term consequences was the totality of the prospects traded from 2012-15. Having an old big league core and a barren upper minors is fine when the best players are elite, which they were in 2015 and to some extent 2016 as well (noticeable drop off though). However, once they are no longer elite + they start to get older/more injured/decline, and combine that with no help in the farm system, and you will very quickly start to see see what the Jays are seeing in 2017. When you build for a 1-2 year run, most times that is all you are ever going to get in a best case. I think the Jays reached their best case already.

Considering Edwin is currently a 1 WAR player making $20M AAV, and Price is in the 2nd year of a record setting 7 year contract and is already seeing decline in performance plus injury, it's pretty clear there was really no way to extend the 2015 team's competitive window even if they kept everyone.

Enjoy 2015-16. They were great playoff runs. But short-term.
bpoz - Friday, August 11 2017 @ 12:33 PM EDT (#346806) #
2 things that I am wondering about because I find them interesting are the coming youth movement. How will this play out, fast or slow. Fast meaning many young players soon.

The other is that Tulo is traded, but we have to give money to the team getting him. How much?
We traded a 3B to Cincinnati in the EE trade. He left because of the turf. Planter F----. Can't spell.

On a gentler playing surface Tulo could be more durable.

I am trying to be imaginative and realistic. Just amusing myself.
Mike Green - Friday, August 11 2017 @ 12:34 PM EDT (#346807) #
Can we talk a bit about Ezequiel Carrera?  During the years 2011-14, he had 478 PAs and hit 2 home runs.  Since 2014, he has had 747 PAs and hit 17 home runs.  Each year since 2014, his HR/FB has been over 11%, peaking at 19% this year. 

What seems to have happened is two things- he has gotten stronger and he has learned to pull the inside pitch more effectively.  Here is his Hit Tracker chart for 2017.  All but one of his homers have been pulled; three of the eight were no-doubts and three were plenty.  When he gets it, he's pulling the ball and he is hitting it right around 400 feet.  That's a winning combination and doesn't count on luck, save for keeping the ball fair (and he definitely has had a few that have ended up on the wrong side of the pole).  He's done that while raising his LD rate to 24.4% this year.  That is impressive.  More line drives, fewer ground balls and well-struck, pulled fly balls.

I see a lot of benefit to discovering whether he can maintain his offensive improvement by giving him more work.   
uglyone - Friday, August 11 2017 @ 12:37 PM EDT (#346808) #
what playoff runs aren't short term? how many years have we made the playoffs in franchise history?

are the cubs making the playoffs this year?
scottt - Friday, August 11 2017 @ 12:39 PM EDT (#346809) #
There is more parity in the AL than in the NL.
Had Donaldson and Sanchez been healthy the standing  would probably look a lot different.

Price hasn't been healthy and the Boston depth starters have gone 7-11 (probably not just as starters though).
That's a lot better than the Jays (4-17).

There should be a few prospects pitching at AAA next year (Greene, SRF, Pannone, etc...)
It doesn't matter who it is, but those guys should be better than the waiver picks we saw starting this year.

Mr C Rowley is confirmed for Saturday. Let's hope the Pirates aren't too tough on him.

Nigel - Friday, August 11 2017 @ 12:41 PM EDT (#346810) #
Short term is all we get until Rogers changes its views on payroll. The strongest correlation to baseball winning is (by a country mile) size of payroll. There hasn't been a team in the modern age of baseball economics "beat the house" by producing a winning team, over the long term, on a mid-size or lower budget. The A's came the closest in the early 2000's, hence they wrote books about it. Of course you get teams like the Royals and Jays in the last couple of years, and it looks like Cleveland right now, that produce good teams that go on a run for a couple of years. There isn't a way to produce a long term winner without a top tier budget.
Nigel - Friday, August 11 2017 @ 12:47 PM EDT (#346811) #
Mike, if there's one thing that will incite a riot around here faster than AA v. Shapiro/Atkins its suggesting that Carrera should be playing more than he is:)
ISLAND BOY - Friday, August 11 2017 @ 12:48 PM EDT (#346812) #
As has been pointed out, the Jays have no young players at any position other than pitching which may be due to a more concentration to this position in the draft. Personally I think a minor league system's strength should be measured by the players that graduate, and perform well, at the major league level. It's great to look at minor league numbers and think we have a top ten system, but it means diddly if these players flame out or are merely replacement level performers. The real proof of our system strength will be in the coming years when these players come up. I find it disappointing that in a lost season like this year we haven't had a few young prospects that could gotten a fair amount of playing time with the big club and begun a core group for the years ahead.
Chuck - Friday, August 11 2017 @ 12:53 PM EDT (#346813) #
On a gentler playing surface Tulo could be more durable.

I dunno. He wasn't very durable playing on grass in his 20s. I imagine he wouldn't be very durable playing on an eiderdown field in his 30s.

Sal - Friday, August 11 2017 @ 12:57 PM EDT (#346814) #
In the 2015 trades, AA traded prospects who were considered top tier in the industry. However, even at the time, those prospects had many question marks and none were at a level where I felt we will surely regret losing them in the future. Personally, I felt those trades' rewards were worth the risk and were likely to provide a net positive value. Could we regret them in the future? sure, but it is more likely that I will not be saying I wish we still had X and did not make the trade. The Mets and Marlins trades are another story though.
dalimon5 - Friday, August 11 2017 @ 12:59 PM EDT (#346815) #
Are we really all ready to move on from Tulowitzki? He's the perfect player to help guide a young core. He's one season removed from a very productive year, and by one season, I mean roughly half a season's worth of at bats where he was probably playing through injury. If he comes back next year and gets his healthy at bats and still struggles then I will be happy to ship him out, but to write that guy off right now seems crazy to me. We complain that we don't get premier players and then complain when we get them if they aren't had on "good contracts." You're not getting Seager, Lindor, Machado, Correa...so who exactly is going to play short stop for the Jays in 2018 and be more valuable than Tulowitzki? For those pining for Tulo to be traded or dumped...where will management spend that extra saved money? Are you ready to have Guerriel or Urena at SS? Again, if he costs 20+ million and can't perform that's one thing, but to assume that he's done is premature. Old elite Tulo...he gone, but top 5-10 SS in the league Tulo from 2016 should not be written off.
greenfrog - Friday, August 11 2017 @ 01:05 PM EDT (#346816) #
Arguably the most questionable trade by the Jays in the summer of 2015 was Lugo for Pennington. Pennington had a .595 OPS for the D-Backs at the time. Lugo has since become a decent prospect with a chance to become a major-league regular.
scottt - Friday, August 11 2017 @ 01:09 PM EDT (#346817) #
There's a lot more home runs hit this year. It's also something that fluctuates at lot in a hitter's career.
Look at Pedroia for example. Carrera is probably not trying to hit home runs, just making good contact towards the aisles.
Teoscar Hernandez profiles as a 20/20 hitter with good defense and a strong arm in right. That's what I'd like to see more of.
Or Alford, who is hitting .343 in his last 10 games.

Morales and Aoki were scratched due to illness.


scottt - Friday, August 11 2017 @ 01:28 PM EDT (#346818) #
AA was great at accumulating picks and he took a lot of chances with most of those picks and a few of those turned out well.
I don't think his hit/miss record was particularly good. Deck McGuire, 11 pick overall?.

Parker - Friday, August 11 2017 @ 01:41 PM EDT (#346819) #
That comment of mine was indeed phrased poorly and ignorantly. Sorry, everyone.

Despite some pretty ingrained differences of opinion here, I actually really enjoyed the above discussion.
Mike Green - Friday, August 11 2017 @ 02:16 PM EDT (#346821) #
Here is Hit Tracker's listing of Carrera's HRs in 2017.  In 192 PAs, he didn't once hit one over 366 feet. 
scottt - Friday, August 11 2017 @ 03:21 PM EDT (#346824) #
I don't see where the 366 feet comes from. I see numbers from 355 to 413.
Exit velocity on those home runs mostly around 98-102 mph.
The double Alford hit had an exit velocity of 107 mph.

Mike Green - Friday, August 11 2017 @ 03:31 PM EDT (#346826) #
Sorry, scottt. The last link is to Carrera's 2015 home runs, which range up to 366 feet.  The 2017 home run picture is, as you have noted, very different. 
scottt - Friday, August 11 2017 @ 03:34 PM EDT (#346827) #
It's funny to mention Seager because, like Tulo, the Jays passed him to pick someone else.

We're not moving on from Tulo, but if anyone wanted to take on those 3 remaining years, it would be hard to say no.
There's only 2 option years left for Urena. I'd like to see him take over in case of injury.

scottt - Friday, August 11 2017 @ 03:36 PM EDT (#346828) #
Right, developing power or the 2017 juiced balls?
lexomatic - Friday, August 11 2017 @ 03:58 PM EDT (#346831) #
Juiced balls, and more efficient technique.
Mike Green - Friday, August 11 2017 @ 04:52 PM EDT (#346837) #
The juiced balls would explain some of Carrera's improvement in 2016 and 2017, but not most of it. 
Mike Green - Friday, August 11 2017 @ 04:55 PM EDT (#346838) #
It should be noted that none of the other Blue Jays have benefited as Carrera has.  Kevin Pillar has noted some improvement, but it has essentially been common late 20s stuff. 
scottt - Friday, August 11 2017 @ 05:41 PM EDT (#346847) #
Not even Smoak?
Chuck - Friday, August 11 2017 @ 06:20 PM EDT (#346852) #
Could Kevin Barker be more aptly named? Hey Hazel, where'd I leave my whittlin' knife? By the cement pond?
dan gordon - Friday, August 11 2017 @ 06:22 PM EDT (#346853) #
That's a great article about the juiced baseball, with the change occurring in the 2nd half of 2015. Reminds me of the kind of thing discussed in one of my favourite books, The Physics Of Baseball.
hypobole - Friday, August 11 2017 @ 07:46 PM EDT (#346864) #
So the reason we ground into so many double plays is because the ball is juiced!

In all seriousness, it would seem extreme ground ball pitchers would be hurt less than fly ball pitchers. Anything to back this up?
scottt - Sunday, August 13 2017 @ 08:16 AM EDT (#346934) #
Ground ball pitchers seem to be hurt mostly by the blisters.

The total number of home runs is up in both leagues.
Obviously ground balls aren't turning into home runs.
I'd be surprised if ifs the ground ball to fly ball ratio that's down versus the home run to fly ball ratio being up.
No idea on how to look that up.


James W - Sunday, August 13 2017 @ 09:31 PM EDT (#346991) #
It's on Fangraphs, scottt. It took a few clicks to find it though.

2017: GB/FB is 1.24. HR/FB is 13.7%
2016: GB/FB was 1.29. HR/FB was 12.8%
2015 (second half): GB/FB was 1.33. HR/FB was 12.1%
2015 (first half): GB/FB was 1.35. HR/FB was 10.7%
2014: GB/FB was 1.30. HR/FB was 9.5%
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