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Series Schedule/Probable Starters

Friday @ 7:07 pm ET - Jameson Taillon (6-5, 4.60) vs. Marcus Stroman (10-5, 3.17)
Saturday @ 1:07 pm ET - Trevor Williams (5-4, 4.17) vs. TBA
Sunday @ 1:07 pm ET - Chad Kuhl (5-7, 4.53) vs. J.A. Happ (5-8, 3.77)
Blue Jays vs. Pirates - August 11-13 | 111 comments | Create New Account
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CeeBee - Friday, August 11 2017 @ 07:33 PM EDT (#346857) #
Martin left the game with an apparent injury(back or hip?) speculated by Buck I think. If he needs the dl who gets the call?
scottt - Friday, August 11 2017 @ 07:35 PM EDT (#346859) #
Even if he's day to day, there's no other healthy catcher on the 40 roster.
Alex Obal - Friday, August 11 2017 @ 07:38 PM EDT (#346860) #
Gregg Zaun. And if something happens to him, Bobby Estalella.
CeeBee - Friday, August 11 2017 @ 07:38 PM EDT (#346861) #
I wouldn't mind seeing Jansen, but the FO may prefer to leave him in AAA till september.
Nigel - Friday, August 11 2017 @ 07:58 PM EDT (#346865) #
Not sure we'll be seeing Ref anywhere near 2B for a long time after this.
lexomatic - Friday, August 11 2017 @ 07:58 PM EDT (#346866) #
At this point, Jansen represents the best chance of winning. Might as well give him the chance to see what he needs to work on for the future
PeterG - Friday, August 11 2017 @ 08:23 PM EDT (#346867) #
I agree that Jansen is the best catcher available but suspect that Ohlman will get the call. I don't think that Monterro's eligible till Sunday but he is an embarrassment behind the plate imo.
Nigel - Friday, August 11 2017 @ 08:39 PM EDT (#346869) #
They haven't taken Jansen out of the game which would be the normal protocol for a call up.
SK in NJ - Friday, August 11 2017 @ 08:48 PM EDT (#346870) #
Refsynder is not a good defensive 2B. As much as I want him to play with Travis out to see if there's any potential there (mostly with the bat), it's probably not a good idea to start him with Stroman on the mound.
Nigel - Friday, August 11 2017 @ 09:10 PM EDT (#346872) #
SK, I'm with you 100% on Ref. I'd like to see him get some ABs. It's just another example of Gibbons' struggles this year on how to use players to their best advantage when they have clear offensive/defensive pros/cons and his starters have clear FB/GB tendencies.
scottt - Friday, August 11 2017 @ 09:55 PM EDT (#346873) #
They already outrighted Ohlman, so he'd become a free agent.

Looks like Cervelli has caught Catcher's Tourette. It's a bit distracting.

prospect - Friday, August 11 2017 @ 10:21 PM EDT (#346875) #
I cant believe someone is arguing for Tellez to be left off the 40 man roster. Seems like a nobrainer decision to me especially the way this front office handles these prospects. These 8th and 9th relievers are dime a dozen, you can get them for cheap or in the waivers unlike an arguably top 10 prospect who's close to being MLB ready.
Spifficus - Friday, August 11 2017 @ 10:39 PM EDT (#346876) #
Yeah. If he were in the midst of a second sub-par year, sure. Or if the vats were overflowing with ripe prospects, you might take your chances. But as it stands now, Tellez is pretty much a no-brainer - he's worth nothing off the roster, but has a decent chance of developing into a useful player if the team hangs on to him.

If they were haemorrhaging talent, the question might be different, but at this stage I don't see taking a chance on Tellez blocking anyone of substance.

The way thing seem to be lining up, though, he (and a few others) only have this year as a reprieve.
PeterG - Saturday, August 12 2017 @ 10:14 AM EDT (#346883) #
Ohlman is up.
PeterG - Saturday, August 12 2017 @ 11:01 AM EDT (#346884) #
Chris & Chris DFA....Smith and Coghlan. Long overdue for the latter.
China fan - Saturday, August 12 2017 @ 01:55 PM EDT (#346898) #
Rowley looks like a pitcher. He's getting hit a little, but he throws strikes and works aggressively.
Nigel - Saturday, August 12 2017 @ 02:14 PM EDT (#346899) #
Agreed CF. Everythng also has good movement. The SL against RH hitters looks like a real weapon so far.
Nigel - Saturday, August 12 2017 @ 02:16 PM EDT (#346900) #
As a member of the Chris Smith fan club I'm sorry to see him DFA'd but it's understandable. I remain of the view that he might be something more than just a fungible AAAA arm.
China fan - Saturday, August 12 2017 @ 02:18 PM EDT (#346901) #
He started missing the plate in the 4th inning and fell behind 3-0 to two hitters, but just kept fighting back and got those hitters out. Impressive.
China fan - Saturday, August 12 2017 @ 02:25 PM EDT (#346902) #
I don't understand why Chris Smith was DFA'd instead of simply being optioned. As far as I can figure out, he had options remaining.
PeterG - Saturday, August 12 2017 @ 02:31 PM EDT (#346904) #
2 players had to be removed from the 40 man. Optioning Smith would not have addressed that need although one can suggest that someone else could have been DFA instead.

And I too like what I am seeing from Rowley.
Nigel - Saturday, August 12 2017 @ 02:46 PM EDT (#346905) #
Excellent use of Morales there. Hi leverage pinch hitter is his highest and best use for 2018.

If he had options left then I don't really understand it but I don't want to bring the 40 man roster argument over into this thread.
PeterG - Saturday, August 12 2017 @ 02:53 PM EDT (#346906) #
I think the answer to that is that there was no-one else the team preferred to DFA as optioning Smith would have not brought the roster down to 40. It was a 40 man problem not a 25. Of course, it can be argued that a different player could have been DFA.

If Smith had been just optioned, another player would still need to have been removed from the 40.
Nigel - Saturday, August 12 2017 @ 02:57 PM EDT (#346907) #
Peter I understand that. I also understand that it means that Smith was management's least favourite member of the 40 man. It's this that I can't really fathom.
PeterG - Saturday, August 12 2017 @ 03:04 PM EDT (#346908) #
I can see your point there NIgel. There are others that could just have easily been DFA and perhaps should have. I think there is room for debate on Smith but none on Coghlan.
China fan - Saturday, August 12 2017 @ 03:16 PM EDT (#346909) #
The 40-man roster is unusually crowded at the moment because of all the guys on the 10-day DL. For example they are carrying 5 catchers on the 40-man at the moment and they only need a maximum of 3 (probably Martin, Maile and McGuire). Tepesch will be gone soon too. So the 40-man will soon open up. But if the Jays wanted to keep Chris Smith and needed to drop someone, they could have dropped Harold Ramirez, who is a marginal prospect at best. His main skill is hitting, and yet he has an OPS of just .687 at New Hampshire.
PeterG - Saturday, August 12 2017 @ 03:32 PM EDT (#346910) #
Good point CF. There is obviously something they don't like about Smith. However, I think Jansen would be the 3rd catcher on the 40, not McGuire.
uglyone - Saturday, August 12 2017 @ 03:33 PM EDT (#346911) #
storybook for Rowley there. his stuff is underwhelming but he attacks the zone with command. probably a RP in the end but hey who knows.
scottt - Saturday, August 12 2017 @ 03:46 PM EDT (#346912) #
Not enough velocity to work in the pen. He needs to command the zone with all his pitches to be effective be he seems able to do that.

Mr. C Rowley has plus-plus mojo.

That was a great game to watch. I say that because a storm cloud his now blocking my satellite reception.

uglyone - Saturday, August 12 2017 @ 03:53 PM EDT (#346913) #
eh his lack of stuff is more of a killer in the rotation than in the pen, but we'll see.
China fan - Saturday, August 12 2017 @ 04:16 PM EDT (#346915) #
"...I think Jansen would be the 3rd catcher on the 40, not McGuire....."

You're right.  For some reason I thought McGuire was already on the 40-man roster (maybe because Ramirez, obtained in the same trade, is on the 40).   It's clear that McGuire has already been overtaken by Jansen in the depth chart.  I wonder if Jansen will be on the expanded roster next month.  It could also depend on the extent of Martin's injury.  But if Martin returns by September, the expanded roster could be Martin, Maile and Jansen at catcher, with the Montero experiment terminated.
scottt - Saturday, August 12 2017 @ 04:29 PM EDT (#346917) #
I don't see McGuire getting picked. Defensive catchers who are not hitting are not hard to find.

For Jansen, I don't think they have to burn an option until next year.
I'd like to see Greene pitching out of the pen in September, though, along with a bunch of outfielders.
Refsnyder got 2 hits today, that's a start.

85bluejay - Saturday, August 12 2017 @ 05:38 PM EDT (#346919) #
I have to agree with uglyone's review of Rowley - underwhelming stuff but calm & plucky - probably a RP in the end but he's the kind of guy who may outperform his stuff.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, August 12 2017 @ 07:04 PM EDT (#346921) #
Chris Rowley doesn't need to be better than Marcus Stroman, J.A. Happ and Marco Estrada. He doesn't need to be better than Joe Biagini. He just needs to be better than the replacement-level fodder that's tried to do the job thus far. It might be only one start, but he's a success. What's the problem?
Mike Green - Saturday, August 12 2017 @ 07:22 PM EDT (#346922) #
Exactly right, Richard.  Can Rowley average 5 IP and 3 Rs allowed per start?  I think he can, and maybe a little better than that.  Liriano averaged under 5 IP and over 3 runs per start.  Rowley is the kind of pitcher who is going to be particularly sensitive to the defence behind him, as there will be many balls in play.

Marcus Stroman did the club a big favour by going 8 innings last night.  If he can go 7-8 and Rowley can go 5-6, that is sustainable.  Now, if Biagini can join the rotation and Sanchez can come back in the bullpen, the last 6 weeks of the season should be much more enjoyable for all concerned. 

And as for Morales in a pinch-hitting role, I wouldn't describe the situation he was brought in today as optimal for two reasons.  Runner on first and less than two out is not ideal (and it looked to me like he would have hit into a DP had the throw been on the mark).  Secondly, pinch-hitting for a catcher with Rowley still on the mound and working well with Lopez has a potential defensive cost, especially with Ohlman not being strong defensively.  The optimal situation is Morales' pinch-hitting for one of Goins/Barney while the other is on the bench (and able to pinch-run for Morales if he reaches base).  Anyways, it worked out. 

scottt - Saturday, August 12 2017 @ 09:23 PM EDT (#346924) #
I wonder who would have moved behind the plate had anything happened to Ohlman.
bpoz - Saturday, August 12 2017 @ 10:59 PM EDT (#346927) #
Well said Richard. Rowley would be a great depth piece at the least next year if he can keep this up.

Pitch in the Buffalo rotation, which gets him more AAA development. And easily called up for a pinch start now and then.

Underwhelming stuff ... S Marcum or T Castillo.
Shoeless Joe - Sunday, August 13 2017 @ 01:11 AM EDT (#346930) #
I am in agreement that Richard summed up Rowley nicely.
hypobole - Sunday, August 13 2017 @ 02:08 AM EDT (#346931) #
A couple of Vlad items in Jeff Sullivan's chat yesterday.

Q: In the Minors who you think will become closest thing to Trout in career WAR

Jeff Sullivan: So, basically, best career out of everyone in the minors, Feel like I have to go with Guerrero. And he still won’t be Trout. Probably not close

Q:Best player who will make MLB debut in 2018?

Jeff Sullivan: Guerrero
85bluejay - Sunday, August 13 2017 @ 09:11 AM EDT (#346935) #
everybody keeps backing up for the 2nd WC in the AL - Pity the Jays couldn't make a post all star run - those blown saves!!
BlueJayWay - Sunday, August 13 2017 @ 09:38 AM EDT (#346936) #
Yeah this was a bad year for the Jays to be bad. The AL is so bunched in the middle.

If only the Jays hadn't lost those five games this year they were one out away from winning...

eudaimon - Sunday, August 13 2017 @ 09:48 AM EDT (#346937) #
They're only 3.5 out believe it or not. Of course, there's a bunch of teams ahead of them, but if the Jays can just avoid losing for a while they have a chance.
Mike Green - Sunday, August 13 2017 @ 10:39 AM EDT (#346944) #
Leone to the DL, Dermody back. I wish that they had a look at Ramirez instead.
SK in NJ - Sunday, August 13 2017 @ 10:57 AM EDT (#346946) #
It is definitely frustrating to be on the outside looking in this season. It is looking like 85 wins will be enough to make the playoffs and practically all the teams in the 2nd WC race are not good this season. There's only one team in the AL outside of the division leaders and the Yankees that has a positive run differential, and that's the Rangers who are just barely ahead of the Jays. Hard to imagine making the playoffs will be this easy in the coming years, so would have been nice if the Jays took advantage of that.

If this Jays roster has one extended winning streak in them, then that's really their only hope. The Royals had a 8-9 game winning streak a little while ago and that's the only reason they are in the conversation. The Jays haven't really had one of those this season, largely because they've been running out below replacement SP's almost all season due to injuries. If the team has one 8-10 game winning streak in them, of all the seasons to have one in them, this is it. The 2nd WC team is going to be "8th seed in the NBA" levels of bad this season. Can't really do much after a 6-17 start though.
China fan - Sunday, August 13 2017 @ 11:01 AM EDT (#346947) #
"....Can Rowley average 5 IP and 3 Rs allowed per start?  I think he can, and maybe a little better than that...."

I'm optimistic about Rowley, but I'm going to wait until he has thrown a few more games before I make even a tentative prediction about his future.  This season alone, we've seen Valdez and Bolsinger and Latos throw some nice games for the Jays too.  (Recall the first starts by Valdez and Bolsinger and the second start by Latos.)  Weaknesses can get exposed quickly, even if a pitcher looks good in his first or second start.  And recall Mike's own words about the necessary amount of experience that a pitcher needs in the high minors.  Rowley has started barely a dozen games above the A leagues.  We might need to be patient.

85bluejay - Sunday, August 13 2017 @ 11:05 AM EDT (#346948) #
I agree calling up Ramirez would have been better, but that would require opening up a spot on the 40 man roster.
China fan - Sunday, August 13 2017 @ 11:10 AM EDT (#346949) #
"....I wish that they had a look at Ramirez instead...."

Ramirez threw 39 pitches over 2.2 innings for the Bisons last night.  He wouldn't be much use for the Jays today, which is why they probably chose Dermody, who has not pitched since Aug. 10.

But I have a feeling that we'll be seeing Ramirez soon -- by September if not earlier.   He now has 36 strikeouts (and just 8 walks) in 28 innings for New Hampshire and Buffalo this season.  He has held the opposition to a batting average of .115 in those games, and his WHIP is 0.67.   Those are superb numbers.
85bluejay - Sunday, August 13 2017 @ 11:24 AM EDT (#346950) #
One of the things that Gibbons does constantly, stick with a player when he has a bad run (Refsnyder brutal game Friday) and then sit him when he has a nice effort - Refsnyder yesterday - I always wonder about that psychology - I'd do the reverse.
China fan - Sunday, August 13 2017 @ 11:26 AM EDT (#346951) #
Also, it seems that Leone is on the bereavement list, not the DL.  His grandfather died. The bereavement list is a maximum of 72 hours. So there wouldn't be any point in promoting Ramirez for just 72 hours, especially when he had a heavy workload last night.  Dermody was a more logical choice for such a short period.
bpoz - Sunday, August 13 2017 @ 11:49 AM EDT (#346952) #
I don't know much about M Dermody. His stuff and ceiling.

That would have to be compared with Mayza and Pannone. After that consideration would be given to who gets his 40 man spot.
Everything is about 2018 now, as far as I am concerned.
PeterG - Sunday, August 13 2017 @ 12:16 PM EDT (#346953) #
Dermody is on the bubble and perhaps barely clinging to it. Mayza would appear to be the lefty specialist of the future.
92-93 - Sunday, August 13 2017 @ 12:27 PM EDT (#346955) #
Interesting batting order today with the lefties bunched at 5th, 6th, and 8th. If Gibbons wanted to break that up it would've been Carrera-Pillar-Goins-Barney-Lopez. He must value Goins' clutch "ability". He also could've gone with Carrera batting 2nd in front of Donaldson to break that up, or maybe even leading off with Bautista batting 4th.
Mike Green - Sunday, August 13 2017 @ 12:44 PM EDT (#346956) #
Yes, it does make sense to go with Dermody as an extra arm for 72 hours.

Rowley is a bit of a special case. He turns 27 tomorrow and seems to be very poised. I am comfortable with the amount of upper minors experience he has, especially since it is mid-August and the rosters will be expanding in just over 2 weeks.

China fan - Sunday, August 13 2017 @ 12:46 PM EDT (#346957) #
"...One of the things that Gibbons does constantly, stick with a player when he has a bad run (Refsnyder brutal game Friday) and then sit him when he has a nice effort..."

I think that's a good psychological strategy by Gibbons.  He's showing faith in his players.  You shouldn't bench a player after one bad game.  Anyone can have a bad game.  The player feels terrible enough after a poor game -- no need to compound it by benching him.  If he's a part-timer like Refsnyder, he's spending a lot of time on the bench anyway.  If he has a bad game, give him a chance to bounce back.  I'm sure the players appreciate the faith that Gibbons places in them.  It shows a maturity and respect for players that benefits the entire roster.
Hodgie - Sunday, August 13 2017 @ 12:49 PM EDT (#346958) #
"I always wonder about that psychology - I'd do the reverse."

The psychology is pretty simple. By not sitting a player after a poor performance Gibbons is demonstrating trust in the player and giving them an immediate opportunity to put the poor performance behind them. It is one of my favourite traits of Gibbons, the way he balances the individual needs of a player within the context of the success of the team.

uglyone - Sunday, August 13 2017 @ 12:53 PM EDT (#346959) #
I like it also because it shows that gibbons understands that "streaks" are largely just noise, and that trying to ride "hot" bats and sit "cold" bats is a sucker's play. Another hint that he understands modern analysis more than he lets on.
Nigel - Sunday, August 13 2017 @ 01:41 PM EDT (#346960) #
I think you guys are being slightly hard on Rowley's stuff. I agree that the FB velocity isn't impressive but there was a lot of sink and run on it. The SL had good bite and he threw a few good CH's (but also a few bad ones). Chinafan's comment about patience is absolutely true but I can visualize him succeeding as a 4/5 starter with that stuff.
Nigel - Sunday, August 13 2017 @ 01:45 PM EDT (#346961) #
That being said, the 2017 Jays are definitely not the best team for him to pitch for given the porous defence.
uglyone - Sunday, August 13 2017 @ 01:46 PM EDT (#346962) #
I think the pitch that worried me the most with rowley was the rbi single in the first when rowley elevated his fastball out of the zone for the K but the hitter easily got around on it for a solid single up the middle. the location and idea were good but the pitch was just way too easy to hit anyways.

but again who knows. impossible to tell after just one game.
Nigel - Sunday, August 13 2017 @ 01:50 PM EDT (#346963) #
Uglyone, I agree 100% with that comment but not many sinkerballers are able to execute on that particular pitch. A FB like Estrada's is much better for that high FB out of the zone.
Nigel - Sunday, August 13 2017 @ 01:54 PM EDT (#346964) #
Stroman gets hit quite hard when he pitches up in the zone like that. They've pretty much junked that pitch sequence (which, as you say is often a good one) when Stroman's on the mound. I think Rowley might have the same issues.
ISLAND BOY - Sunday, August 13 2017 @ 02:12 PM EDT (#346965) #
I was surprised to see Rowley called up just based on quotes a few weeks ago from his manager in Buffalo who thought he needed more time in the minors. Obviously management were of the opinion that he could handle it. I was happy to see someone get promoted and actually pitch well.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, August 13 2017 @ 02:43 PM EDT (#346966) #
IF, and I do mean a really big IF, the Jays can go 22-5 before season end, they are in the Postseason. It's really that simple. That's also what the problem is.

The Bullpen is good enough, if they aren't consistently overworked. You don't always need great. Aside from brain farts, the Defense is good enough. You don't always need great. The Offense is finally doing very well and is staying in most games. That's all you really need. The Rotation is pretty good with no 5th Starter until Biagini's back. Then it might be good enough.

Devon Travis is likely to be back before month's end. I think that makes this team better. Aaron Sanchez is likely back with about three, maybe four weeks left and most probably in the Bullpen. That should make this team better. Can they win 22-5 before season end? It's still to hard to tell. Should they win 22-5 before season end. Yes, most definitely. Will they win 22-5 before season end? I don't know.
krose - Sunday, August 13 2017 @ 03:53 PM EDT (#346970) #
Buck says, "It's getting late early."

And the comment was understandable!
hypobole - Sunday, August 13 2017 @ 04:03 PM EDT (#346971) #
Buck channelling his inner Yogi.
hypobole - Sunday, August 13 2017 @ 06:16 PM EDT (#346979) #
AP story on ESPN on Rowley's debut, including a Mike Ohlman quote:

"He throws a lot of strikes, fills up the zone, gets a lot of ground balls, and he's got two really good pitches he can throw at any time. The sinker is number one, and he just developed his cutter, a cutter/slider that he'll mix back and forth. It's a really good combination."
scottt - Sunday, August 13 2017 @ 06:35 PM EDT (#346980) #
It's interesting that Harper comes up with a "significant bone bruise" on a spectacular knee hyperextension and is predicted to come back before the year is over.

I still have no idea what caused Travis' bone bruise and it's taking a long time to heal.
Time will tell.

85bluejay - Sunday, August 13 2017 @ 06:52 PM EDT (#346983) #
It's amazing, the Twins who sold at the deadline are in the thick of the WC race with a win streak,as are the Angels who lost Mike Trout for an extended period - mediocrity does have it's benefit as the race will likely go down to the last day.
SK in NJ - Sunday, August 13 2017 @ 07:01 PM EDT (#346984) #
It's definitely a bad (or good?) year for the 2nd Wild Card. The Yankees sit at the 1st WC spot with a +111 run differential, and every other non-division leading team in the AL except the Rangers (+10) has a negative run differential. Whoever wins the 2nd WC will be gifted a 50/50 shot at the ALDS, which hardly seems fair given how bad all the teams vying for the spot are, but this was bound to happen at least one year. Hard to believe last season's WC teams both won 89 games, while this season's 2nd WC team might barely finish over .500.

The Jays are one really good hot streak away from being in the conversation, but all you have to do is look at tomorrow night's scheduled starter and any faint optimism dies right there. Sanchez practically missing the entire season with a blister is baffling. It doesn't appear he's anywhere close to coming back, so the Jays are stuck with praying when Tepesch and Rowley start games.
ISLAND BOY - Sunday, August 13 2017 @ 07:39 PM EDT (#346985) #
The Jays also sold at the deadline ( which they should have ) but Liriano would inspire more confidence than Tepesch. I'm not saying that Liriano shouldn't have been traded, just that it is hard to be a seller and contend at the same time like the Twins and Angels are doing.
John Northey - Sunday, August 13 2017 @ 10:44 PM EDT (#346993) #
Oddity of the day...
Dodgers could lose every game left this season and would still be over 500 as they have 83 wins already. Houston is the only other team with at least 70 wins (72).

Jays currently 4 games out of the playoffs. Angels hold that last slot with the Twins 1/2 a game out, KC 1 game, Seattle & Tampa 2 out, Baltimore 2 1/2, Texas 3 1/2. Yankees are 2 ahead of the Angels for the 1st wild card.

So 4 games isn't much, but 7 teams to jump over is a LOT. No one else is right there with Detroit next at 7 out, 3 behind the Jays. Oakland another 1 1/2 out, and the White Sox are planning their winter vacations at 14 games out of the Wild Card. Jays have a 4.7% chance at making the playoffs. White Sox and A's are the only AL teams with a 0% chance of making it. In the NL Atlanta, San Diego, Cincinnati, San Francisco, and Philadelphia are at 0% with the Mets at 0.2%. Dodgers and Washington are at 100% odds of making the playoffs. Houston is also at 100%.
China fan - Sunday, August 13 2017 @ 11:41 PM EDT (#346995) #
Can someone explain what's happening with Joe Biagini? The Jays are in desperate need of a starting pitcher who is better than Tepesch, so why does it seem that Biagini can't fulfill that role? He was able to step right into the rotation earlier in the season, without any "stretching out", and he did pretty well in May and early June. In his first 7 games as a starter, he posted a 3.38 ERA and he limited the opposition to a .554 OPS, with 31 strikeouts versus 9 walks. What happened to that guy? After his first 7 starts, he began to deteriorate, and today he's in Buffalo and struggling to pitch 3 innings. The organization is supposed to be "stretching him out" (again) but in his last Buffalo appearance he was able to go only 3.1 innings, allowing 3 hits and 3 walks. He threw only 38 strikes in his 65 pitches. The loss of command seems very worrisome. There's only a few weeks left in the season, and he's not helping the Jays if he's struggling in Buffalo and if he can't even replace a journeyman like Tepesch in the rotation.

Last year, and in the first month of this season, Biagini was a high-leverage reliever who could go multiple innings. That was a valuable commodity. Now his role is unclear and he has been thrown back and forth from the bullpen to the rotation to the bullpen to the minors. And all of this experimenting still hasn't produced a starter who can replace Tepesch when the Jays are in desperate need of a starter.

Personally I think the Jays should choose a clear role for Biagini and leave him there. He has proven that he can be a high-leverage multiple-inning reliever. Maybe that's his best role, and the Jays should keep him in that role. Give him some consistency and clear direction.

Of course I haven't seen him pitching in Buffalo. Maybe I am missing something here. Does anyone have any insight into his recent performance? Is he pitching better than his numbers suggest? Is there perhaps an injury issue? What's going on with this guy? He was once a valuable Jay and now he's stuck in Buffalo when the team could use him on the major-league roster.

prospect - Monday, August 14 2017 @ 12:20 AM EDT (#346997) #
Correct me if I'm wrong but optioning Biagini for about 2 weeks gives us an extra year of control. If that is a part of the reason he's down there, then expect to see him back up here soon.
Four Seamer - Monday, August 14 2017 @ 02:14 AM EDT (#346998) #
As I was driving from Ottawa to Toronto this afternoon, I had the rare opportunity to listen to the entire radio broadcast, and the upcoming players' weekend was much discussed. Early in the game Jerry explained the provenance of a number of the nicknames that will be worn; when he got to Pillar, he went to great lengths praising him for choosing "Pill" instead of "Superman", as while he appreciates the fans giving him that name it wouldn't be appropriate to style himself in that fashion, thereby speaking to his character, his humility, his refusal to draw attention to himself, his desire to play a team game, etc. A vintage Howarthian account that us older listeners are well familiar with, almost as fond in its regard for its subject as his paeans to Tony Fernandez over the years. Some several inning later during Wilner's turn in the booth, we listeners were shocked to learn that Pillar not only revels in the nickname but had every intention of wearing Superman on his back, and would certainly have done so but for the pesky application of copyright law. Joe, who was present for both of these diametrically opposed accounts, must surely have been as confused as I was but elected to remain silent.
lexomatic - Monday, August 14 2017 @ 08:30 AM EDT (#346999) #
I thought it was to give Biagini the chance to regroup, because he had struggled at the end of his time as a starter (not helped by defense, I'm sure) and couldn't regain his form in the pen. Gives him a bit of time away from the spotlight to work on things. Bonus if there's extra control. I expect him back soon too.
But if you've got a pitcher who's suddenly become less than reliable, and you have pitchers who are currently more reliable, do you keep the unreliable one up to work on things and potentially lose a few games where everything counts?

Mike Green - Monday, August 14 2017 @ 09:16 AM EDT (#347000) #
The Jays are now 5.5 games behind the Yankees, after two blowout wins on the weekend (they have only ten on the season).  There are reinforcements waiting in the high minors;  it sure would be nice to see them soon.
PeterG - Monday, August 14 2017 @ 09:31 AM EDT (#347001) #
I think Biagini is working on his wind up in Buffalo. I agree that his role needs to be determined but that may not happen till next season. I think he will start 2018 as a starter and prepare in the off season. He needs to lose a bit of weight and report in better shape. If he fails as a starter in 2018, he will likely become a permanent reliever.
Mike Green - Monday, August 14 2017 @ 09:42 AM EDT (#347003) #
John Lott has a wonderful article on Marcus Stroman in today's Athletic. 
John Northey - Monday, August 14 2017 @ 11:03 AM EDT (#347009) #
That sounds smart on the Jays part - odds are 2017 is a lost cause (so many to climb over) so changing a reliever to a starter (at least 2 open slots for 2018) makes a ton of sense to do now. Get him ready and his value in 2018/19/20 will be far higher than it would be as a middle man. In September you can use him as a long man/6th starter.
China fan - Monday, August 14 2017 @ 11:21 AM EDT (#347010) #
Thanks to several people for the comments on Biagini. The suggestion that he was sent to Buffalo to regroup and fix his mechanics -- rather than simply to be stretched out as a starter (the official explanation) -- does seem like a plausible theory to explain the oddity of his demotion. It's true that he struggled in the bullpen in July after he was removed from the rotation, so perhaps he needed to work on fixing stuff.

It's frustrating that Biagini was pitching so well in 2016 and in April of this year, and now he's a mess in Buffalo. It's tempting to wonder if the Jays jerked him around too much this year. Honestly I don't know -- maybe he would have struggled in the bullpen in mid-season regardless of what the Jays had done with him -- but he was doing absolutely fine before they began switching him back and forth from the bullpen to the rotation and back.
Dewey - Monday, August 14 2017 @ 11:22 AM EDT (#347011) #
I’ve been trapped in my car having to listen to Jerry on a few occasions, Four Seamer. He simply cannot resist his homilies. Parson Howarth, always preaching the good word. That Joe remained silent speaks volumes, because Joe never remains silent for long after Jerry speaks: he hops in at once to re-state whatever Jerry said, but in his own insider-speak terms. (Opening shoulders, hips, waiting long--that sort of stuff, the jargon that Warren Sawkiw patented.) What amazes me about Howarth is that so few people seem to notice his preaching habit; or maybe they just condone it because he’s such ‘a good guy’. Sheesh.

Notice, btw, how often Joe begins a statement with “That’s why . . . “? As if the ‘explanation’ that follows is the only possible reason for things. There’s a certitude about the formula that is incredibly presumptuous and off-putting.
92-93 - Monday, August 14 2017 @ 11:26 AM EDT (#347012) #
As somebody who listens to (at least parts of) every game that Dan Shulman isn't calling, I'll say this - I hope Jerry is okay on the health side. The mistakes and mixups are getting worse and worse.
85bluejay - Monday, August 14 2017 @ 12:23 PM EDT (#347019) #
If the blue Jays have a successful series against Tampa (a big IF considering the pitching matchups) and pick up some ground in the WC race - Curtis Granderson has cleared waivers and apparently didn't attract much interest at the trade deadline - Jays should make an offer - a fringe prospect and Aoki's contract for Granderson - the Mets would save money (prorated Granderson 15m vs Aoki 5.5m) as their chief benefit while also taking a look at Aoki who has a year of control left - Granderson has been playing well and can play all 3 outfield positions - would be great to sit pillar more often. After what the Mets accepted for Bruce,I think that offer is reasonable.
bpoz - Monday, August 14 2017 @ 12:24 PM EDT (#347020) #
The next 10 games have 7 TB and 3 Cubs. Less than 5 wins would, ie 4 would still keep us in the 2nd WC. Assuming everyone else is bad.

Estrada has good trading value now. It would take courage to trade him now, because we are still in the hunt due to the lack of decent competition.

He has to be on the roster on Aug 31 to be included in the playoffs.

hypobole - Monday, August 14 2017 @ 12:45 PM EDT (#347022) #
As far as making the post-season, why do I feel the Jays are Lucy with the football and I'm Charlie Brown?
James W - Monday, August 14 2017 @ 01:30 PM EDT (#347026) #
Depends... Does Lucy have a blister from lifting the football repeatedly?
vw_fan17 - Monday, August 14 2017 @ 03:09 PM EDT (#347029) #
IF, and I do mean a really big IF, the Jays can go 22-5 before season end, they are in the Postseason. It's really that simple. That's also what the problem is.

I'm not sure what you mean by "22-5". Do you mean a 27-game streak of 22-5, somewhere in the remaining 45 games? I.e. go 17 games over .500 the rest of the way? So, 31-14, to end up at 87-75? I would think 29-16 (+13) to end up at 85-75 is probably enough. Maybe even +11 (28-17) to end up at 84-76.
Chuck - Monday, August 14 2017 @ 03:22 PM EDT (#347030) #
Parson Howarth, always preaching the good word.

I'm with Dewey on this. Howarth's pollyanna shtick is tiresome. I hardly listen to the radio broadcasts but did coincidentally catch the Pillar/Superman explanation. Howarth stopped just short of deeming Pillar worthy of canonization. It was wretch-worthy.

Mike Green - Monday, August 14 2017 @ 03:31 PM EDT (#347031) #

Retch-worthy, Chuck?  If you're with Dewey, you've got to be a true man about it. 
uglyone - Monday, August 14 2017 @ 03:35 PM EDT (#347032) #
I think i'm blessed with the ability to tune out broadcasters. might be my superpower. otherwise i'd go (even more) crazy.
Chuck - Monday, August 14 2017 @ 03:39 PM EDT (#347034) #
If you're with Dewey, you've got to be a true man about it.

True dat. Hoisted on my own petard.

PeterG - Monday, August 14 2017 @ 04:01 PM EDT (#347037) #
Mayza up...Campos down.
Mike Green - Monday, August 14 2017 @ 04:07 PM EDT (#347038) #
Are you trying to get me back into high school literature, Chuck?  I had known the phrase as "hoisted by his own petard".  Apparently, the phrase comes from Hamlet, "for 'tis the sport to have the engineer hoist with his own petar"- with petar being a pun (petar being flatulence and petard being a bomb).  Witty guy was that Bard.
Dewey - Monday, August 14 2017 @ 04:18 PM EDT (#347039) #
Always glad to have Chuck in my corner; but that damned petard again.  A shame really.
Magpie - Monday, August 14 2017 @ 04:40 PM EDT (#347040) #
It was wretch-worthy.

Worthy of the wretch?
Mike Green - Monday, August 14 2017 @ 04:42 PM EDT (#347042) #
Speaking of nicknames, Russell Martin's preferred nickname is Muscle.   Lots of potential there.  Russell Muscle.  Muscles Martin, which I think I like better. 

Anyways, muscle is probably Martin's most superficial asset.  I can't think of anything that works with his name that captures his absolute control of his lair (the 65 feet or so between the pitcher and the umpire). 

Mike Green - Monday, August 14 2017 @ 04:44 PM EDT (#347043) #
Worthy of the wretch?

Perhaps if Jerry was in print journalism...
PeterG - Monday, August 14 2017 @ 04:50 PM EDT (#347044) #
Cole given unconditional release
Magpie - Monday, August 14 2017 @ 04:56 PM EDT (#347045) #
I always liked Jerry quite a bit, but it was mostly because he was always friendly and approachable in the press box. (Not everyone was. But hey, they were there to work. I'm not complaining.) Geez, I don't think I've listened to a radio broadcast in - oh, must be twenty-five years now.
Magpie - Monday, August 14 2017 @ 04:59 PM EDT (#347047) #
I must have heard some stray broadcasts along the way. Didn't Jack Morris work the games one year? And turned out to be much better than anyone expected?
Chuck - Monday, August 14 2017 @ 05:25 PM EDT (#347050) #
Didn't Jack Morris work the games one year? And turned out to be much better than anyone expected?

Yes, he was surprisingly not terrible. I heard him say something moderately blue in a broadcast, and then immediately apologize for it, and then suffer Jerry's sweet-but-dagger-filled reproval. It was probably a duo not meant to last. I think Jack would have preferred laughing with the sinners than crying with the saints.

hypobole - Monday, August 14 2017 @ 05:44 PM EDT (#347053) #
Per Shi Davidi, Jays have agreed to sign Brett Anderson.
jerjapan - Monday, August 14 2017 @ 06:15 PM EDT (#347055) #
Cole was on the DL right?  I hope the Jays still pay the guy?  Seems pretty mercenary otherwise.
dan gordon - Monday, August 14 2017 @ 06:28 PM EDT (#347056) #
Surprised Cole was simply released. He'd been pitching really well in the minors prior to the call up. Will be interesting to see if B.Anderson passes his physical, he's been having health problems on and off for many years.

The Biagini situation is a little odd. He was actually pitching quite well out of the bullpen after his stint as a starter, and had 8 straight scoreless appearances, allowing just 3 hits, and then had 1 bad game. They surely wouldn't have demoted him for that, so they are trying to stretch him out. The 2 bad starts in Buffalo are surprising, but I expect he'll turn that around. In his first run as a starter, his first 7 were good ones before a run of 4 bad starts and the move back to the pen. Those last 4 starts may be on his mind a bit, and maybe he's pressing, as I've heard him say he really wants to be a starter.
China fan - Monday, August 14 2017 @ 06:51 PM EDT (#347060) #
"....He was actually pitching quite well out of the bullpen after his stint as a starter...."

My concern was the sudden emergence of control problems.  Biagini allowed 9 walks in his last 12 bullpen innings.  Combined with the Buffalo problems and the poor quality of his last 4 starts in Toronto, I'm a little worried about him.
PeterG - Monday, August 14 2017 @ 07:00 PM EDT (#347061) #
Biagini wants to be a starter instead of a reliever and was willing to go to Buffalo. That might have something to do , as well,with the decision to send him there.
greenfrog - Monday, August 14 2017 @ 08:09 PM EDT (#347065) #
Once more unto the breach for this band of banged-up warriors? Entering tonight's game, Donaldson was hitting a scorching .324/.480/.784 in August. He's 1/2 so far with a two-run HR off Odorizzi.
scottt - Monday, August 14 2017 @ 11:25 PM EDT (#347067) #
Cole has a broken toe, so he's probably out for the season.
They can still resign him later if they still like him.

Before a player is released, he has to clear waivers.
I think the Jays are still responsible for his salary until someone else signs him.

China fan - Monday, August 14 2017 @ 11:27 PM EDT (#347068) #
Is anyone revising their opinion of Tepesch after his 6 innings of one-run baseball? On paper it looked like a strong performance, but the reality is that he allowed an awful lot of warning-track flies. So I'm still very cautious on him. Still, it would be great for the Jays if he was somehow able to replicate tonight's performance a couple more times this month.
scottt - Monday, August 14 2017 @ 11:30 PM EDT (#347069) #
Fly ball pitcher that doesn't strike anybody and walks or hits batters a ton. Pass.

Sometimes you just need to be lucky.

If they Jays win tomorrow, they could be 3rd in the division although still in last place.

scottt - Monday, August 14 2017 @ 11:34 PM EDT (#347070) #
Montero is ready to come back. I really don't miss him.
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