Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine

The Jays venture into one of their least favourite parks for three games. Can they end the slide? Can they play a good game of baseball? Will Joey Bats homer again? All this and more coming up.

Tonight it is the battle of the Chris's. This is a rematch of the August 12th game, won by the Jays 5-3. Neither of the Chris's won or lost. Justin Smoak homered off Tommy Hunter to win the game. Josh Donaldson and Jose Bautista will patrol the left side of the infield for game one. They should get more work with Rowley and his sinker as opposed to Marco Estrada. It could be an adventure.



Tuesday 7:10 - Chris Rowley vs. Chris Archer

Wednesday 7:10 - Marcus Stroman vs. Austin Pruitt

Thursday 1:10 - JA Happ vs. Alex Cobb - getaway day


Nick Tepesch is on paternity leave so Tim Mayza is back.

Blue Jays at Tampa Bay - August 22-24 | 164 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Alex Obal - Tuesday, August 22 2017 @ 07:42 PM EDT (#347481) #
Rays are LH-heavy (they start 5) and do strike out a lot. I still think it's insane to start playing Donaldson at short midseason when your playoff odds are this long, but if you're looking for a team to punt left side defense against, start with Tampa Bay. Personally, I'm sick of punting defense.

I don't know if it's "how do we replace specifically Barney/Refsnyder with Aoki" or "how do we keep Bautista/Morales in the RHP lineup at all costs" or "how do we get our nine best hitting position players all in the lineup at once" or maybe even "how do we paper over middle infield without placing Goins/Barney on the DL, if Goins/Barney is injured" - scratch that last one since Goins is at second tonight. If Donaldson at short is the answer, in my opinion you are asking the wrong question. Unless Josh himself literally tells you to do it at knifepoint. And maybe not even then.

One inning in, it looks great! You could hear that Aoki homer up in Dunedin.
uglyone - Tuesday, August 22 2017 @ 08:00 PM EDT (#347482) #
I think this is what they call "teeing off".
CeeBee - Tuesday, August 22 2017 @ 08:03 PM EDT (#347483) #
Guess Fairchild tee'd off as well.
Mike Green - Tuesday, August 22 2017 @ 09:14 PM EDT (#347485) #
Lucas Duda's walk-up music is All Along the Watchtower.  Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. 
Dr. Zarco - Tuesday, August 22 2017 @ 09:39 PM EDT (#347487) #
How on god's green earth is that Ramos pop up that Barney brutally misplayed a base hit? Mayza can't be thrilled about that.
Mike Green - Tuesday, August 22 2017 @ 10:06 PM EDT (#347490) #
It is probably a bad idea to pinch-hit for Carrera with Barney...
Four Seamer - Tuesday, August 22 2017 @ 10:22 PM EDT (#347491) #
MG, any time you can bring in a guy on a 0 for 29 slide, you got to do it. Zig when everyone else says...
Alex Obal - Tuesday, August 22 2017 @ 10:28 PM EDT (#347492) #
I'm so old I remember when people thought Carrera was a reverse splitter.
Nigel - Tuesday, August 22 2017 @ 10:44 PM EDT (#347493) #
I watch a lot of games this year with my 13 year old daughter. She is graduating to a more advanced understanding of the game and its strategies. She asks about 10 times a game "why are they doing that?" I've honestly lost track now of the number of times this year I have had to say to her (about a roster move, lineup or in game decision of the Jays) "I have no clue". It is disturbing. Although I happen to think that Gibbons isn't overly good at his job, I do understand that I don't know a scrap of what he knows about baseball. Most years when I have had to look at odd decisions I can at least see some logic to them. This year not so much. I put it down to thrashing about trying to find the lucky eight ball. Either that, or senility has finally taken hold of me.
Magpie - Tuesday, August 22 2017 @ 11:18 PM EDT (#347494) #
I admit I didn't quite understand Matt Dermody pitching to Evan Longoria in a one-run game, but I figured Gibbons has basically reached his "what the hell, let's see what happens" stage of the season.
Nigel - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 12:07 AM EDT (#347496) #
Magic eight ball = what the hell moment:). However, I'm not sure that that was even the biggest what the hell moment of the game.
92-93 - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 01:10 AM EDT (#347497) #
The Jays were losing. Dermody had just gotten them out of a jam in the 4th, and there were 2 lefties and a righty who isn't hitting lefties this year behind Longoria so it made sense to me to see what Gibbons could squeeze out of Dermody there. Leone would ultimately pitch for the 3rd time in 4 days, and Longoria was 3/7 with 2 doubles and 2 walks vs. Leone previously, and has had similar success vs. Loup in his career. Who exactly should Gibbons be using, Danny Barnes in the 5th inning of a game the Jays are losing, so that people can then complain about who he brings into the 6th or 7th should the game stay close or the Jays take a lead? I really hope Gibbons doesn't ultimately shoulder the blame for the front office's horrendous offseason of spending all their $ on 3 DHs and 3 relievers, 2 of which were awful and the other that got traded for 2 low-ranked prospects. At least the players haven't take their cues from upper management and mailed in the season as well.
uglyone - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 01:43 AM EDT (#347498) #
word!
ISLAND BOY - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 05:45 AM EDT (#347499) #
I think at this point that getting to .500 would be an accomplishment for the Jays, but there's 9 games left with the Red Sox so even that is probably out of reach.
Nigel - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 06:11 AM EDT (#347500) #
92-93, I agree. Gibbons is largely playing the bad hand he was dealt. He isn't the root cause of what ails this team. However, Gibbons hasn't had a good year either.
Chuck - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 06:47 AM EDT (#347501) #
how do we get our nine best hitting position players all in the lineup at once

With the caveat that in a lost season, Jose Bautista gets to end his Blue Jay career with dignity and play every day, even getting a "promotion" to cleanup despite his 320/387 OBP/SLG in a league that's hitting 325/428 (including catchers, and shortstops and backup players and humpty backed camels and chimpanzees).

Not trying to beat up on Bautista or Gibbons, but this is one sorry lineup being sent out night after night. I guess that rearranging the deck chairs gives you something to do as you keep taking on water and dodging ice floes.

ISLAND BOY - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 07:06 AM EDT (#347502) #
While the band plays " Take Me Out To The Ball Game " and Sanchez worries that rowing the lifeboat will aggravate his blisters.
snider - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 07:10 AM EDT (#347503) #
Trivia time: name the 6 hall of famers who played for the jays.

One is relatively tricky.
Magpie - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 07:46 AM EDT (#347504) #
One is relatively tricky.

The trickiest one would be Phil Niekro (here for three weeks) but I sometimes forget about Rickey Henderson (here for three months.)
mathesond - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 07:49 AM EDT (#347505) #
6, eh?

I'll take the easy ones: Molitor, Alomar, Henderson, Winfield. Is Phil Niekro in the Hall?

hypobole - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 08:11 AM EDT (#347506) #
Frank Thomas
John Northey - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 08:50 AM EDT (#347507) #
Saw Niekro's first start as a Jay in Toronto. 5 innings iirc. Then idiot Williams kept him on the bench for 10 days before another start - it is well known a knuckleballer needs to throw regularly to be effective.

1987 has so many examples of what not to do as a manager and how a manager can cost a team a playoff slot.
Glevin - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 08:52 AM EDT (#347508) #
" really hope Gibbons doesn't ultimately shoulder the blame for the front office's horrendous offseason of spending all their $ on 3 DHs and 3 relievers, 2 of which were awful and the other that got traded for 2 low-ranked prospects. At least the players haven't take their cues from upper management and mailed in the season as well."

I really hope this front office doesn't ultimately shoulder the blame for the previous managements inability to creeate s decent core, inability to build a system that produced regular talent, and inability to create tradable assets. I'm seriously sick of this issue being blamed on this front office especially because most of the people who are angriest would have signed Encarnacion.And Bautista to long term expensive deals. Pretty much all the whiners were willing to pony up four or five years at $25m per fror Bautista. All of them would have cut Smoak for Tellez to play everyday. Really, what realistic moves could this front office have made to make the Jays a contender this season? If you take away their worst signing morales and replace him with say Dexter Fowler, the Jays are still not contenders, are paying another $10m a year and don't have Warmoth in the system. What are these magic moves the front office could have made? Trading players with no trade value for stars? Signing free agents who didn't want to come to Toronto for below market value? The criticism this front office gets I think is the dumbest I've ever seen in baseball not to mention th most hypocritical. The people complaining about depth were the ones saying we don't need depth. They wanted to go all in with price and Bautista. Imagine that team right now. The Morales signing was terrible but aside from that, the front office has actually done mostly good work and they arbut certainly not blame for the mess that this team is in. The Jays do not have a single good hitter under 30. The Jays are bottom five in War at about five positions. Signing John Jay is not going to fix this.
Kasi - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 09:08 AM EDT (#347509) #
Very good post Glevin. Morales has sucked sure but replacing him with Fowler does nothing. The Jays still miss the playoffs. Fact is this FO has made far more good moves than bad. Biagini and Grilli also with Happ and Estrada both have worked out very well, as did what they did with Liriano. Without him they don't make the playoffs last year and now they got a breakout catcher in McGuire who is a stud defensively along with a likely starting OF next year in Hernandez. Then they followed it up with their resigning of Smoak that has been a huge success. The last offseason wasn't as stellar, but Pearce and Smith worked out very well while Howell and Morales didn't. That is still far more positive moves than not, even when throwing in resigning Bautista to the mix. (I'm sure we'd all rather have the comp pick at this point)

The reason like Glevin said for why this team missed has everything to do with underperformance from players like Tulo, Sanchez, Donaldson, Travis (along with Jose and Morales) There is enough blame to spread around. Regardless they need to fix the fact that the Jays haven't produced a quality major league hitter since Lind. And looking at some of the minor league results this year it's looking promising. If Donaldson can look like he has lately and Tulo/Travis/Morales can be a bit better next year I think we can compete.
Kasi - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 09:10 AM EDT (#347510) #
Oh yeah how could I forget the biggest underperformance. Sanchez and his gimpy finger, what a shame that this year we got virtually nothing out of him.
rpriske - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 09:11 AM EDT (#347511) #
I never would have gotten Niekro.

The rest were easy.

How do you forget Rickey? He helped the Jays win a World Series!

SK in NJ - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 09:25 AM EDT (#347512) #
Agreed Glevin. To take your point one step further, the combination of Estrada, Happ, Morales, and Pearce have a combined WAR of 3.5 right now, while Price, Encarnacion, and Fowler are at a combined 4.6. If you remove Morales from that comparison, it's a 4.3 cumulative WAR for Estrada/Happ/Pearce. From 2017-onwards, the Jays foursome is owed $86.1M while the other three are due $329.5M. In other words, if the Jays listened to many fans and signed the big names, then they'd have about one more win in 2017 and about $250M more in committed salary going forward (plus no Nate Pearson).

The Jays are 6 back of the 2nd WC, never mind the 1st WC and division. Coming into the season, the team's best prospects were in low-A, there was no depth in the upper minors, and the free agent market was incredibly weak. The FO clearly messed up with Morales, but other than that, what else could they have possibly done to make this a contender? Despite that, they were still projected to be the 1st WC team prior to the season, it's just that decline set in a lot harder than projections were forecasting and the team had too many injuries that exposed the lack of depth.

The FO is definitely getting undeserved flack here. They could have done certain things better, but this issue goes well beyond what they did in the off-season. The balancing act between trying to win and rebuilding the farm system looks like it will continue in 2018, maybe with some better luck and a good off-season the team can be a WC contender next year like they could have been this year, but winning beyond 2016 was always going to be difficult based on roster construction, age of existing talent, lack of minor league help, etc. It's not on Gibbons either. It's the situation.
mathesond - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 09:38 AM EDT (#347513) #
Argh, of course Frank Thomas. Here I am running through the 1B/DH types in my head (McGriff, Fielder, Delgado) and I leave out the Big Hurt.
BlueJayWay - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 09:41 AM EDT (#347514) #
Agreed as well. The Morales deal looked at best questionable at the time and looks quite bad now, but most of the other stuff is fine. As I've said a few times before, I think this coming off season is where we really begin to see what the new regime is going to do with this team. The last couple were mostly about trying to extend the window of the team they inherited from AA while trying to build up the system.
Mike Green - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 09:53 AM EDT (#347515) #
I don't agree with most of the above comments about the reasons for the team's performance this year.  In my view, ownership didn't spend what it ought to have spent this year given the tremendous support of fans during the previous two, the front office didn't optimize the usage of the money that they were given, the manager didn't optimize the usage of the players that he was given and the players (with a few exceptions) didn't perform individually as well as they ought to have done.  In short, this season was not inevitable, and the poor results are a shared responsibility.  None of this means that Darwin Barney or John Gibbons or Ross Atkins or Edward Rogers is a bum and should never play (manage, general manage, own) again.  I'm more than willing to give all of them a mulligan.
snider - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 09:59 AM EDT (#347516) #
Nicely done. Niekro was 48 on the jays! Years old!
uglyone - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 10:03 AM EDT (#347517) #
You know it's bad when the only way of defending the FO is to collectively add up every bad free agent contract ever mentioned in any context by fans without any acess to player medicals or multi million dollar scouting and analytics operations.

To expect a team to continue to be good for years after without adding any improvements is silly.

Again, here is how the new blood shapiro has brought in from outside the organization has fared this year

(averaging out both wars)

Happ 1.8war
Leone 1.3war
Smith 0.9war
Biagini 0.7war
Pearce 0.5war
Liriano 0.3war
Aoki 0.1war
Ohlman 0.0war
House 0.0war
Harell -0.1war
Campos -0.1war
Refsnyder -0.1war
Sparkman -0.2war
Valdez -0.2war
Lopez -0.2war
Latos -0.2war
Beliveau -0.3war
Tepesch -0.3war
Howell -0.3war
Maile -0.4war
Montero -0.4war
Bolsinger -0.5war
Morales -0.6war
Salty -0.6war
Coghlan -0.7war
Grilli -0.7war


Total -0.3war



That's on them.
ayjackson - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 10:35 AM EDT (#347518) #
There are a lot of good points and all sides (except the neonazi side) in the who's to blame argument and I would be compelled to agree with MG that each must shoulder some. One more factor to consider though is the unfortunate weak FA market last winter that coincided with the expiry of aging and productive contracts. There was little opportunity to effectively replace them. As SK indirectly points out, less would have been more and they should have sat out altogether on Morales, Bautista and EE.

That said, I think we have another middling year ahead before the likes of Vlad, Alford, Jansen, Maguire, Bichette and a bunch of wildcards arrive.

In the next twelve months, the only thing that matters for the FO (relatively speaking) is Josh Donaldson.
lexomatic - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 10:37 AM EDT (#347519) #
Unfortunately, Glevin, many of your points lose credibility because of the start of your post. Bold is my emphasis

I really hope this front office doesn't ultimately shoulder the blame for the previous managements inability to creeate s decent core, inability to build a system that produced regular talent, and inability to create tradable assets

Seeing as the playoff core Anthopoulos created was almost entirely done through trade of prospects for established veterans/stars - the big criticism being that too many prospects were traded. That is exactly what it means when a system creates tradable assets. You can't have it both ways - either they created tradable assets or they didn't.

A team that makes the playoffs in consecutive years could easily be argued as a decent core, though I'm guessing more that your point is that it wasn't designed to last longer?
A lack of good hitters under 30 on the major league roster can also be blamed on the current administration.

Anyway, I agree with others, there's a lot of shared responsibility for this season.

hypobole - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 11:13 AM EDT (#347520) #
There's bad process and bad results. How many moves were bad process? The Morales signing was a huge "bad process". Almost all the others were not.

Why did so many minor league signings turn out so badly? Because minor league signings who are forced to play a lot of games in the majors almost invariably turn out badly.



bpoz - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 11:20 AM EDT (#347521) #
1) Budgets exist.
2) Players produce differently or the same over 2-3 years. Sanchez, great last year VS practically no value this year. Bautista had a good run for a few years and healthy this year. But has not produced as well. Also Donaldson MVP caliber in 2015 & 2016. He will not get much consideration this year. But he is still capable, as we have seen lately.
3) You need a deep enough lineup or the pitcher has the luxury of pitching around certain hitters. I believe Smoke hit a HR recently after Donaldson was pitched around. Since Donaldson was killing them, he was pitched around. Injuries created less protection for Bautista and Morales, but Smoak managed fine.
4) Depth is a hard concept to agree on. If you believe you will need to use 8 SPs, you plan for it somehow. In 2016 The 6th SP was Hutch. He made 2 starts. When traded for Liriano we had 6 healthy pitchers for the rest of the season. Dickey was healthy and used sparingly. This year we have used 12 SPs already. #6 may have been Biagini. Latos was used the 1st time a SP was needed. I know Bolsinger was used and DFA'd a few times, and never claimed. I am not sure why he was not claimed. My guess is that our FO gave him more $ than the other teams wanted to take on.
You expect a few prospects to develop in 1-3 months to become depth pieces. Only Rowley was able to accomplish that. His 1st start was Aug 12.
We could have used a 2nd swing man. Biagini was stretched out in ST for this purpose. Could we have signed a FA to be a swing man? At the moment, I cannot figure it out. A decent FA would only sign if that was the best he could do. Trading for someone who has options and no bargaining power is a good way. Hutch or M Boyd are 2 names I can think of. There must be a dozen more. Both are experienced and not scrap heap guys like Latos. Actually Bolsinger was probably the guy.

The 2nd WC is very available and probably at a low win total. If Martin can come back, he, JD, JB, Smoak and Morales all have good hitting as a part or their repertoire.

The pen is good. Only 2 more starts for the rotation until Sept call ups. I hope we can win about 3 games more than we lose. I expect the Sept additions to provide a deeper pen. Also pinch running and defensive replacements, like a catcher that can catch.

Count me as not blaming this FO for 2017. Too much went wrong. Especially injuries.
greenfrog - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 11:51 AM EDT (#347522) #
Two things the front office should get credit for are (1) trading Hutchison for Liriano, McGuire, and Ramirez, and then (2) flipping Liriano for Hernandez.

The net result is that Hutchison was exchanged for about a year's worth of adequate major-league innings from Liriano plus three prospects, including two who look like they could end up being significant contributors to future Jays teams.
jerjapan - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 11:51 AM EDT (#347523) #
Glevin, once again I take strong issue with your trolling - calling criticism of the FO "the dumbest I've ever seen in baseball ... the most hypocritical" the use of the term 'whiners' - nobody on this thread is whining.  maybe you should post these comments in a community to which they apply.  nobody I recall on this forum wanted Bautista at his asking price prior to the season, and I doubt even Bautista expected it.  It was a starting point for negotiations. 

EE is a better question.  The comp pick was 28th, so Pearson, not Warmoth.  With the benefit of hindsight, Pearson looks great - but the FO didn't know that, so the fair comparison is the 28th pick and EE or Morales.  I would still take EE in that scenario. 

"All of them would have cut Smoak for Tellez to play everyday".  Again, 'all of them' must apply to some other online community, or the phone-in callers on Wilner's show.  I hated the Smoak deal and was dead wrong about it, but I didn't want to cut the guy before his deal even began to play a 22 year old rookie from AA. 

I would ask the posters that agree with you - and there are many good points worth discussion under the hyperbolic vitriol - to please insist that posters stop using insults.  Of course we can debate - discussions and disagreements make the Box great, but why do those on the anti-AA side get a pass on using ad hominems?  This has been going on for too long here.  Fortunately, many of those posters have toned down the rhetoric or stopped posting - and who doesn't prefer the discourse without the insults?    

In a nuanced discussion - basically, every other post in this thread, it's easy to fault the FO for a very poor offseason, along with the lack of depth left by AA in the upper minors, health and underperformance with the players, and even the odd curious decision by Gibby (Dermody recently being used twice for extended outings being my personal choice of frustration). 

I know I sometimes overstate my own points, so I hope I don't appear hypocritical, but I am trying hard to improve on that front and am simply asking Glevin to do the same.     
Nigel - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 11:54 AM EDT (#347524) #
Hyperbole, I agree completely about you distinction between bad process ( or plan) and poor execution. There's also good luck and bad luck. I just don't see how you can see the offseason process from this year as being good. They spent $37 million this year on 3 DH's, left themselves with 1 major league OF and essentially decided to punt on team defence. There isn't any way to defend this. They have also been unlucky in the sense that I don't think it was reasonably foreseeable that Bautista's offence would fall off a cliff rather than gradually decline.
Alex Obal - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 11:54 AM EDT (#347525) #
Your job as front office is not to be the chequebook-wielding avenger of undervalued free agents. It's to build a baseball team, and this 2017 team is clearly less than the sum of its parts. That's almost entirely due to the surfeit of 1B/DHs, a conscious choice by the current front office. It's August and nothing has changed, which suggests a second-wave-saberish disregard for defense, speed, diversity, the atmospheric things. That alone doesn't explain why the team has sucked, obviously.

I'm not into apportioning blame. The front office did inherit some expensive old guys. The injuries to Travis, Donaldson, Sanchez, Martin, and Maile would have been killers no matter how well-constructed the team was. However, I do adjust my future expectations for the front office based on their past behavior, and the prospect of singing this tune every August for a while has me slightly despondent.
PeterG - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 11:57 AM EDT (#347526) #
I am also in this camp. I do not blame the present FO for the problems in 2017. I agree that the most important decisions to be made in the off season concern the status of JD. I think he either needs to be signed to a contract with reasonable term or traded. I lean towards the latter, thinking that the former is unlikely but I won't complain if he is extended for no more than 3 or 4 years no matter the dollars.

It appears, as well, that Bo and Vlad are ahead of schedule and that should be taken into account in forward planning. About a month ago, Gerry posted that the Jays should punt 2018 with a focus on 19/20. That is a reasonable and sensible course. Making development the priority does not necessarily mean no chance of competing in 2018, just makes it harder. With some injury good luck instead of bad, and players performing closer to their norm, the Jays can still be a factor in 2018 even if building for the coming years is the priority.
uglyone - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 12:07 PM EDT (#347527) #
As for process, for me the process that always made most sense was that this short window of not having immediate milb talent on hand to step up was always the best time to pour money into top free agents.

It's when a young core is reaching its prime, and you have to worry about paying them long term, that large free agent contracts become a problem.
Alex Obal - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 12:09 PM EDT (#347528) #
Coke to Nigel. Speaks for me as usual.

I kind of suspect they kind of suspected Bautista might go splat. The story that he was imposed on them sounds realistic to me. Don't care. I'm thankful to have seen him play out the twilight of his career with the Blue Jays, and if that meant knocking 1 win off our projection heading into the season, so be it. He should've started 120 games at DH, not 158 in RF, but, you know.
uglyone - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 12:09 PM EDT (#347529) #
i.e. all the contracts that have been handed out to the top free agents that some of us have talked about here will have expired before the next gen like vlad/bo have to get paid.
China fan - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 12:25 PM EDT (#347530) #
"....In my view, ownership didn't spend what it ought to have spent this year given the tremendous support of fans during the previous two, the front office didn't optimize the usage of the money that they were given, the manager didn't optimize the usage of the players that he was given and the players (with a few exceptions) didn't perform individually as well as they ought to have done.  In short, this season was not inevitable, and the poor results are a shared responsibility...."

This sums it up very accurately.  A reasonable and sensible analysis.  But too many fans prefer to lay all the blame on just one of the above factors, without including the other factors.  All of these factors (to a greater or lesser extent) were responsible for the poor 2017 season.  And then there are the fifth and sixth factors:  injuries and luck. Don't forget to include those too.
hypobole - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 12:49 PM EDT (#347531) #
Whoa, when did Rogers become Mike Illich? Sure the FO could have spent a ton to prop up the team, but we don't know what budget they were given to work with. By budget, I mean the same thing that hamstrung the previous regime.

As for the multiple DH signings, the plan certainly didn't seem to be fielding the worst possible OF defence. Morales was signed too quickly (and for too much term). By all accounts Jays were in on Fowler, but didn't offer enough. FO choice or budgetary constraints not to offer more than the Cards? We really don't know one way or another. They waited out the market and what was left were Morales clones.



christaylor - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 12:52 PM EDT (#347532) #
I think there's a bit of revisionism in the surplus of 1B/DHs. This time last year I think most of us would have bet that Smoak would be off the team rather than having the season he has had. The comments here in Feb/March titled toward Bautista/Pearce being at 1B, if memory serves.

The Morales signing was a clear case of being too early to market -- the trouble is that someone has to be first through the door and sometimes they'll get first mover advantage and sometimes they'll be shot.
christaylor - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 01:09 PM EDT (#347533) #
Question - if you had to choose the spending that the Jays did on Bautista/Morales/Pearce or the team signing no position players in the off season which would you choose?

Everyone agrees that Morales was the big mistake, but I don't see any evidence that the other FA out there were clamoring to come to the Jays. EE said he wanted to be back, but he turned down a reasonable offer and there's no small chance that he just didn't want to come back, despite the public statements to the contrary. There were rumors about Gomez that seemed sensible, he would have been a fit and there was the budget. That's just off the top of my head and perhaps I'm missing a couple of targets. I agree that last winter would have been a good time to spend on FA, but I don't see a realistic path that was there at the time for the FO.

The team is old and not very fun to watch. The window to win the East has been shut (or bricked over). I'm OK with and fully expect the Jays FO to angle for small additions that could luck them into a 2nd WC. I'm hoping an OF prospect (or two) comes faster and is better than expected. This is OK. This season will end.
Kasi - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 01:18 PM EDT (#347534) #
A couple things here. There is little a team can do on the FA market to get younger. They could have chosen better than Morales sure, but it would not make the team substantially younger. There was no young FAs on the market the last two years when you take out Heyward. Most of uglyone's list can be boiled down to the simple fact that the Jays organization lacks depth of young players in the upper minors ready to contribute. It's not their fault that Greene, Reid-Foley and Harris aren't good enough.

On the matter of lacking young players that can step up at the majors you can't blame that on the current FO. It's not their fault the previous FO couldn't draft or develop good hitters or traded many prospects away so we lacked pitching depth in the case starters were hurt. The only way they were going to be able to get major league ready young talent was to trade established vets, something that would likely not be popular coming off an ALCS appearance.

Could they have made better decisions? Sure they could have signed someone other than Morales, their one bad signing they made. But given their budget and resources even if they did sign Fowler it just doesn't matter. The mathematical fact that Donaldson, Sanchez, Travis, Tulo and others dropped so many wins from this team from last year was going to sink the Jays no matter who they signed with the 40-45 million dollars they had available. (and even with that they had to get ownership to pony up extra money to keep Bautista around)

Lets say the Jays signed EE and Fowler instead of Bautista and Morales. They still would miss the playoffs. They'd be closer to the second wild card but that's about it. So yes they share some of the blame for what's going on but this team was in a very risky situation already being very vet heavy and with no young players ready to step up in starting roles.
whiterasta80 - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 01:22 PM EDT (#347535) #
Personally, I just view this year as the fallout of having 2 consecutive years of WS contenders. We didn't win it, but we gave it a shot. If you do that, then chances are your core will be aging (and by extension injury prone) and chances are your will have a depleted upper minors. I don't think you can realistically blame the front office that brought us the first playoff appearance in 25+ years for the current situation without simultaneously acknowledging that accomplishment.

Similarly, I don't think you can really blame current management for inheriting a team that had peaked. They did their best to extend the window, succeeded last year, and had some bad fortune this year.

It is, however, time to show the fans some hope for the future. There are at least 4 OFs and 2 Cs in the minors that I would prefer to current starters on the Jays.
uglyone - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 01:45 PM EDT (#347536) #
Don't get me wrong - the injuries thjs year would have likely stopped us no matter what.

But i don't think there's any way you can give the FO a passing grade.
Magpie - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 01:49 PM EDT (#347537) #
That's kind of the thing. The Blue Jays were one of the last four teams standing last October. You can't just blow that up. I think the front office was hoping to thread a needle of trying to continue the good times with one eye on the future, avoiding any expensive long-term commitments. Morales has two years and $23 million or so left? Not nearly as frightening as what remains on Tulowitzki's deal. Or Martin's, even.

They made a bunch of moves that could have worked out better but didn't work out at all. That's not going to do them any favours when the Report Card comes down, but it happens. The mid-season moves in 2016 worked out much better - but in 2016 they were bringing in guys who had been successful major leaguers (Grilli, Liriano, Benoit). Well, they were trying to get into the post-season. This year they were mainly bringing in AAA guys and hoping to get lucky. They didn't, as only one of them worked out, and even that guy (Leone) had put together a very fine rookie season three years earlier.

Despite the offense going from fifth best in the AL to the absolute worst, the fall-off on the pitching mound was even greater. The 2017 Jays are scoring .42 fewer runs per game, while allowing .82 more runs per game. The 2016 Jays had the best starting rotation in the AL (fifth time in their history.) This year - not so much.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 01:50 PM EDT (#347538) #
In most cases, a team looking to add free agents has to look at overall value before specific needs (defense, speed, left-handedness, youth, etc). Prior to the season, Bautista had a projection of around a 2.5-3.0 WAR and 130-ish wRC+. So even though he wasn't the left-handed hitting defensive OF the team probably needed, once they struck out on Fowler, what else was there that was going to beat bringing back a franchise icon for one year? The FO clearly moved on from Jose but once they got to January and both the player couldn't find a home and the team couldn't find an adequate OF, it became a match. Maybe Rogers had something to do with it as well, but either way, if it wasn't Bautista for one year, it would have been Zeke/Upton, or some other cheap free agent that may have had some redeeming qualities but ultimately wasn't going to make a huge difference.

Pearce looked like an undervalued free agent due to his hitting ability and good defense at first. They probably planned on him playing a bunch at first base, but then Smoak panned out, so the only position he could play with Morales glued to DH was left field. The hitting has been as expected but the defense in left is hurting his value.

The "focused too much on DH/1B types" narrative is definitely driven by hindsight. Giving Morales three years did not make sense at the time, much less now when he's a negative WAR player creating roster construction problems, but outside of that, I really don't see what else they could have done given what was available in free agency and the fact that they did not want to move prospects (nor did they have any prospects to fill holes). The goal in the off-season is to add as many wins as possible. Beggars can't be choosers when it comes to how the team gets those wins (via defense, base running, or whatever).

Fact is, free agents are typically in their late-20's at best, and 30's more likely. With the Jays having "payroll parameters", they need to focus more on value in free agency, so you're left with the guys in their early to mid 30's (Happ, Estrada, Pearce, Morales). The only way they will get younger is internal development. Whether they get faster, more athletic, and/or more left-handed is irrelevant since they just need to get younger and better regardless of the skill set.

People can blame who they want to blame. Certainly the FO could have signed someone better than Morales. Sure, Gibbons could have played with the lineup a bit more rather than play Jose and Kendrys everyday. Ultimately, it would not have made much of a difference. The team is old, too many important players either declined, got hurt, or both, and the only young player in the minors that might be ready to contribute this season was acquired three weeks ago in a trade. This wasn't the ideal situation.
hypobole - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 02:09 PM EDT (#347539) #
Changing the subject - from Dave Cameron chat today

Craig in CHI: What are your thoughts about Donaldson at SS?

Dave Cameron: Infield defense isnít as important as it used to be, so teams are pushing the envelope a bit. Rizzo, a left-hander, played third last night. Freeman played third for a month. The penalty for sacrificing IF defense isnít as large now that strikeouts and shifts are the name of the game.
uglyone - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 02:10 PM EDT (#347540) #
who are the inherited old guys that "declined", btw?

tulowitzki and.....?
uglyone - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 02:13 PM EDT (#347541) #
hypobole - oldskool gibbons once again seeing his "weird" roster decisions (hitting tulo/bautista/donaldson leadoff, using price out of the bullpen, and now this) flukily line up with cutting edge stats analysis.
jerjapan - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 02:52 PM EDT (#347542) #
Morales wasn't the only offseason mistake - Salty, Latos and Howell cost us about $6 million for less than replacement level contributions.  No way choosing better options for a depth starter, a lefty reliever and a backup catcher is enough for us to be a contender, but those were bad moves.
Hodgie - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 02:52 PM EDT (#347543) #
The "focused too much on DH/1B types" narrative is definitely driven by hindsight.

I don't understand how anyone can argue the team construction issues were simply a matter of circumstance. The team signed Smoak, Morales, and then Pearce in that order. Given Smoak and Morales were strictly 1B/DH types, please explain again how exactly adding another 1B to the mix is not focusing too much on the most roster limiting position in the defensive spectrum?

Hodgie - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 03:16 PM EDT (#347545) #
I am not sure how Pearce is included in the successful signings category. The signing was a reasonable gamble or would have been if Smoak and Morales were not already on the roster, but a gamble that has not paid dividends. His season has reflected the rest of his career as a whole, showcasing an inability to stay healthy and a better than average but otherwise unremarkable bat. This is no doubt shocking to those that didn't hesitate to scold me multiple times this season for evaluating Pearce on the totality of his career and not the two small samples of success he had demonstrated. Even had he played 1B this season, he would have needed to be the best defensive 1B in baseball to have provided value with his current hitting line.
Dewey - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 03:21 PM EDT (#347546) #
I remember a game at Exhibition Stadium in 1987 in which Phil Niekro started against Steve Carlton (Twins?). Two 300 game winners.  Or do I?  Anybody else remember that?
SK in NJ - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 03:35 PM EDT (#347547) #
Prior to 2017, no one pegged Smoak as an everyday 1B. Most people, myself included, expected Pearce to get a decent amount of playing time there. His versatility to "play" the outfield and also cover 1B in case of injury/Smoak flaming out/etc, combined with his above average offense is likely why they signed him. I realize you hate Pearce for some strange reason, but he hasn't been a problem with this team. Since May 1, after an absolutely horrible April (-3 wRC+ which is pretty hard to do even for the worst hitters in baseball), he has a 1.3 WAR and 143 wRC+ in 231 plate appearances, and that's despite playing bad defense in left. A slightly less horrible April and he's likely flirting with a wRC+ around 120 right now, which is slightly below Edwin, but obviously you can't subtract months out of a season, so it is what it is.

Morales is the problem signing, and a roster spot they will need to deal with in 2018. Pearce is not an issue. Not his salary and not his ability. It's not his fault he is playing left field when he is a 1B. Smoak panned out and Gibbons doesn't like benching Morales, so that's just the way it is until the FO (hopefully) moves Morales in the winter.
hypobole - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 04:06 PM EDT (#347549) #
jerjapan - the Salty, Latos and Howell signings were not all mistakes. You're conflating process and results.

Firstly, I not going to defend the Latos signing

I happened on Salty's Steamer projection:

J.Salty (32): 182pa, 78wrc+, 0.4war, 1.4war/650. (thanks uo)

Howell was worth 3.0 bWAR, 1.0 fWAR the prior 3 seasons, and positive WAR by both measures 4 years running.

Those 2 signings turned out terribly, but it wasn't a mistake to sign them to cheap 1 year deals.

Joe Smith was coming off a negative WAR season - why wasn't that a mistake signing?

Morales signing was almost universally panned at the time. That is a mistake signing.





Mike Green - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 04:27 PM EDT (#347551) #
Despite the offense going from fifth best in the AL to the absolute worst, the fall-off on the pitching mound was even greater. The 2017 Jays are scoring .42 fewer runs per game, while allowing .82 more runs per game. The 2016 Jays had the best starting rotation in the AL (fifth time in their history.) This year - not so much.

Run prevention is obviously off a lot.  How much of that is due to a decline in pitching and how much is due to a decline in defence can be debated.  The opposition BABIP went from .278 and .282 in 2015 and 2016 to .306 this year. 
Chuck - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 04:49 PM EDT (#347553) #
I remember a game at Exhibition Stadium in 1987 in which Phil Niekro started against Steve Carlton (Twins?). Two 300 game winners. Or do I?

Perhaps you are remembering this game. Niekro and Carlton, both with Cleveland, visited the Jays in April of 1987, earning a win and a save, respectively.

Five Cleveland players in that game would go on and play for the Jays. A sixth would eventually coach for them.

Mike Green - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 05:05 PM EDT (#347555) #
I still find it painful to look at 1987 boxscores.  It was such a great team, and they had such a lousy manager. 
Dewey - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 06:59 PM EDT (#347561) #
Many thanks, Chuck.  That quite probably is it.  But I still have this stubborn recollection of them starting against each other -- and what a rare occurrence that was.  Memory is treacherous, folks.  Beware.  (Hey, I passed my Seniors Driving Test though.  Nailed it.) 
Hodgie - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 07:13 PM EDT (#347562) #
I realize you hate Pearce for some strange reason

Please do better than this, at no time have I ever stated a hate for Pearce. Your post, however, is a typical "if you only look at this sample size he is great...." defense. As for your "most people" assertion, I highly doubt the front office is included in that group, given that they signed two (exclusively) 1B/DH types before him. As I have stated many times, the man himself is not the issue, there was just no point in signing him once Smoak and Morales had been signed to multi-year contracts. It was a misallocation of resources and roster space. You don't make 1B/DH depth signings at the MLB level.

Magpie - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 07:39 PM EDT (#347563) #
Whoa. I want to grab a bat and hit against this guy my own self.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 07:54 PM EDT (#347565) #
"Please do better than this, at no time have I ever stated a hate for Pearce. Your post, however, is a typical "if you only look at this sample size he is great...." defense. "


Well you always seem to make this argument the moment someone mentions Pearce being a good player, so I think my assertion, while clearly hyperbolic, was fair. The numbers have been presented ad nauseam and you don't want to accept that, which is fine, but the reality of how good Pearce is differs from your viewpoint. You want to focus on pre-2013 numbers, when he has clearly been a different offensive player since then. No one has cherry picked anything. Look at his numbers, as a whole, from 2013-onwards. He is a damn good player. I mentioned his bad April this season to illustrate how good he has been since coming off the DL, and I even mentioned in the post that you can't subtract months from a season, so I'm not trying to say he is a true talent 150 wRC+ player. But 120+? Highly possible.

Again, Pearce was signed before Smoak turned into what he is. If Smoak was still a replacement level bat, then Pearce would probably be playing a ton of first right now. It was a good value signing and a contingency plan. Instead, Smoak has become the best hitter on the team, and Morales can't play anywhere else, so Pearce is in LF. It's the best use of the current lineup if Morales has to be in it. Overall value is greater than specific value. If Pearce's offense makes up for his defense, and it has since coming off the DL, then he makes sense there. They just have to figure out a way to clear the log jam next season now that they know Smoak is a lot better than he was a year ago.
bpoz - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 08:04 PM EDT (#347566) #
Congratulations Dewey. You have probably forgotten much more than I know ...( not an insulting sentence to Dewey).

I enjoy comparing the opinions of the older, middle and younger Bauxites. The stories and memories are nice to share.

I am still hanging on to hope, but the record took a big hit with the 4 gm losing streak. I hope that losing streak ends tonight. Time for a laugher, in our favor.

Have the majority of Bauxites given up on 2017? At the moment I am close but not yet.

IMO this lousy team will be closer to the 2nd WC than some better Jays teams in the near future.

I see that as incredible.
scottt - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 08:20 PM EDT (#347567) #
They have 7 games left against the Twins, including 3 this weekend. That could be the last hurrahs.
Magpie - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 09:01 PM EDT (#347571) #
Quite the game going on in Pittsburgh tonight.
Magpie - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 09:08 PM EDT (#347572) #
Trevor Williams gets Forsythe to line out on the tenth pitch at the at bat, stranding two baserunners. That's probably it for Williams, still scoreless with the Pirates coming to the plate in the home half of the eighth. Bell, Freese, Rodriguez due up.
Magpie - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 09:15 PM EDT (#347573) #
Popout, lineout, and Hill gets Rodriguez looking on a 3-2 pitch. Through 8 he's thrown 87 pitches (67 strikes!).
Chuck - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 09:16 PM EDT (#347574) #
Quite the game going on in Pittsburgh tonight.

It'd be perfectly reasonable to want to check in.

Magpie - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 09:18 PM EDT (#347575) #
I got the Jays on the TV, GameDay on my left-side monitor and Da Box on my right-side monitor. I am nothing if not prepared for such eventualities!
Magpie - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 09:22 PM EDT (#347576) #
Taylor with a two-out single, but Seager grounds out to end the inning. To the bottom of the ninth we go, and the Dodgers will need at least 10 innings to win this one for their starter.
Magpie - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 09:24 PM EDT (#347577) #
And an error by Forsythe gives the Pirates their first baserunner of the night.
Chuck - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 09:29 PM EDT (#347578) #
Hill could be looking at a hell of a no-decision.
Chuck - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 09:31 PM EDT (#347579) #
Maybe he doesn't know how to win.
Magpie - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 09:32 PM EDT (#347580) #
Hill got lifted after 7 perfect innings last September (2nd start after a DL stint) but he did get the W that time.
Magpie - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 09:41 PM EDT (#347581) #
And Hill comes back out for the 10th, having thrown 95 pitches in two and a half hours.
Magpie - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 09:42 PM EDT (#347582) #
And Josh Harrison ends it with a walk-off homer. Wow.
Chuck - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 09:42 PM EDT (#347583) #
Loser.
Chuck - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 09:44 PM EDT (#347584) #
Jack Morris would have found a way to win that game 5-4.
Magpie - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 09:44 PM EDT (#347585) #
Some guys know how to win, and some don't.
Magpie - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 09:46 PM EDT (#347586) #
That was pay-back for Harvey Haddix, I guess. Should have done that to the Braves but you take your chances where you find them.
Magpie - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 09:54 PM EDT (#347587) #
Only two men in history have thrown 10 inning no-hitters: Fred Toney in 1917 (he walked 2, fanned 3 and probably threw 85 pitches).... and Jim Maloney in 1965. Maloney was a great pitcher for a few years, he threw very, very hard and that night he struck out 12 and walked 10. Must have thrown at least 175 pitches. He had another start that year when he struck out 18 in 11 innings (and lost 1-0.)
Magpie - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 09:56 PM EDT (#347588) #
Maloney's 11 inning game was a no-hitter through 10 - he gave up a leadoff homer in the 11th and a single later in the inning.
92-93 - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 09:59 PM EDT (#347589) #
I'd love to know what the systems say about the chances of that Utley play being made relative to Hill's miss in Morrow's epic.
uglyone - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 10:28 PM EDT (#347590) #
I kept wanting to turn the game back on but once we got the lead I was just too scared to.
Hodgie - Wednesday, August 23 2017 @ 10:52 PM EDT (#347591) #
Hyperbolic but fair, gotcha. Perhaps you are correct, maybe it is a (subconscious) hate if I can't see the great value in the 0.5-1.0 WAR that Pearce will contribute this season. Hmmm, maybe I should contact Szymborski, Ross, Davidson, and Rosenbloom and see if they would like to attend counseling with me considering ZIPS and Steamer seem to share my hate - what with the limited value they projected for Pearce this season it might be contagious.
uglyone - Thursday, August 24 2017 @ 12:12 AM EDT (#347592) #
p.s. maybe we were a bit hard on rowley. something must be up with the air in that dome, because balls are just flying against everyone.
Petey Baseball - Thursday, August 24 2017 @ 03:52 AM EDT (#347594) #
I've said it before, but I like Pearce as the full time DH next year. Keeping him off defense might keep his legs healthier. He certainly hits enough.
scottt - Thursday, August 24 2017 @ 07:06 AM EDT (#347596) #
Rowley left way too man balls up in the zone. He needs to live at the bottom or on the corners and it's easier to score a strike on the corners if you're ahead in the count and the safest way to get ahead is with low pitches.

So, Tepesch is still on the paternity  list and Tom Koehler is supposed to start today.
Mike Green - Thursday, August 24 2017 @ 10:21 AM EDT (#347602) #
This article from Eno Sarris on optimum contact point (forward and backward) for the batter is very interesting.  I suspect that the optimum contact point varies with height off the ground.  The batter absolutely has to catch the pitch on the upswing for a low pitch.  Not quite so much for the pitch at the letters. Presumably that means letting the pitch travel a little more. 
Gerry - Thursday, August 24 2017 @ 10:22 AM EDT (#347603) #
Rowley to AAA, Koehler up to start today.
jerjapan - Thursday, August 24 2017 @ 10:35 AM EDT (#347604) #
Hypobole, I appreciate the distinction you're making between process and results, but I still think all three signings indicate a problem with both.  I've complained about the FO's process when it comes to improving the bottom end of the roster for some time now, and thus far, the results seem to support my concerns. 

Salty was brought in on a minor league contract and theoretically needed to make the team out of spring training.  While he did hit 3 HRs, his 16 Ks in 36 ABs seemed a sign of things to come, and was.  Bringing him in wasn't necessarily a problem, what was a problem was that better backups were signed to similar deals and we waited till the cupboard was bare, and had no contingency if Salty struggled in spring - which he did.  I wanted Chris Ianetta, who makes the same money, and while his 1.2 fWAR this season represents a best-case scenario, he was likely to top Salty on defense alone.  This is an org than gave 99 ABs to Maille, so theoretically their process targets D behind the plate for a backup.  It's not like the backup catchers of the world say no to contract offers like some premium FAs might.  Heck, Juan Graterol and his 0 fWAR would have been better and cheaper than the -1.4 fWAR posted by Salty and Maille. 

Howell is the debatable signing IMO, and I could see calling this a results issue rather than process, but even this move had major red flags associated.  I would argue that Smith had the superior track record at the time of the signing, but it's close, and they are the same age.  Ultimately, I like the chances of the funk of a pitcher like Smith to age better than the 85mph fastball of Howell, who who too hittable in 2016 for me to feel comfortable.  But if you call it process, it's fair to say you win some (Smith) and you lose some (Howell) in singing these types of vets, so I'll agree on this one. 

Overall, I still think this FO is too focused on players with big league experience - they had a choice between Graterol and Salty, but I think they will go with the vet every time rather than take a risk with an unproven minor leaguer or a prospect.  Tom Koehler?  Nick Tepesch?  It should be Ryan Borucki starting - kids already on the 40 man.  Rob Refsnyder?  Heck, Goins and Barney are at -1.6fWAR - could J Leb have been worse?  Montero?  Jansen and McGuire both need to be added to the 40 man this offseason.

This screams of problematic process to me.  I think we might still be in the wildcard race had we embraced the Smith Jrs of our system instead of running retreads like Aoki out there.  Plus we'd be getting younger and more athletic, the stated goals of the FO. 

PeterG - Thursday, August 24 2017 @ 11:16 AM EDT (#347607) #
Going into the 2017 season the FO still had an eye to contention but more importantly did not want to rush young players and hurt their development. That is why we saw stopgaps instead of Borucki or Alford who still needed time in the minors and may need more for at least part of 2018. The previous FO ruined some young ones by moving them up too quickly. Hutchison and Pompey are prime examples of this, There may still be hope for Dalton, but Drew is pretty much done.

The FO reacted to the situation as it was and it was at rhe beginning of 2017, a situation that called for stop gaps as well as no expensive long term contracts which would have been in the way when the time came to pivot. As that time may now be upon us, you will see a different kind of process- one that will emphasize youth but only youth that is deemed major league ready as opposed to throwing in kids not yet fully prepared for the major leagues.
uglyone - Thursday, August 24 2017 @ 11:25 AM EDT (#347608) #
I still don't understand how spending on big contracts hurts the rebuild.
Mike Green - Thursday, August 24 2017 @ 11:42 AM EDT (#347611) #
It may very well be Biagini starting on Sunday. 

It sure would be nice to see Travis and Sanchez. I am also looking forward to September 1.  I am hoping that we will see an outfield with at least two acceptable defenders every game.  Anthony Alford and Teoscar Hernandez come on down.  And catchers- probably two of Jansen, McGuire and Maile. 



hypobole - Thursday, August 24 2017 @ 11:46 AM EDT (#347612) #
Spending 33 million over 3 years on a one dimensional groundball hitting slug certainly doesn't help the rebuild.
PeterG - Thursday, August 24 2017 @ 11:48 AM EDT (#347613) #
You don't think that the Tulo contract, and to a lesser extent Martin's contract is an albatross moving forward? Even the lesser Morales deal seems so now, but I imagine that one can be eaten without too much difficulty. Why add any more? You do a lot of good prospect work Ugly and seem to believe the system is strong. Be patient and let it evolve. The FO is on the right track. We should be looking to build around Bo and Vlady, not the names of the past or even the present. I think the FO will look at retaining JD if it can be for 4 years or less but will move him if the off season talks prove fruitless. It is possible though that they may prefer to move him regardless to set up the team better for 2019 and beyond. I am fine with it either way. What would upset me is a contract longer than 4 years (not going to happen imo) or he walks for nothing after 2018.
uglyone - Thursday, August 24 2017 @ 12:07 PM EDT (#347616) #
Can you explain to me how the tulo and martin's contracts hurt the rebuild?

because i can't figure it out.
SK in NJ - Thursday, August 24 2017 @ 12:26 PM EDT (#347617) #
I think the way Aaron Sanchez was handled is what we will see with young talent under this FO. The Jays traded for Chavez and signed Gavin Floyd with the expectation of him starting. Both of them were up for the 5th starter spot in 2016, but it ended up going to Sanchez when he came into ST a completely different pitcher. Putting Chavez/Floyd in the pen actually hurt the pen that season since one was never a good reliever (Chavez) while the other was never a reliever period (Floyd), but they went with the high upside young SP anyway. That's only one example because the FO hasn't had any other young talent to thrust into a big league spot, but my guess is, it will be the same process. Vet stop-gaps until a young player is ready to take the spot. No more extreme rushing of players unless they look elite (ex. Vlad will probably fly through the minors at the rate he is going).

Morales is hopefully an outlier. Not sure why they gave him three years in his mid-30's or committed to a DH in general, but I'm fine with more Happ, Estrada, Pearce, types in the absence of young talent. It is easy to move around players like Chavez, Morales, etc, when a young player can replace them, rather than someone way more expensive.
Magpie - Thursday, August 24 2017 @ 01:02 PM EDT (#347618) #
This is - what - Aaron Loup's sixth season here? And I honestly don't remember ever hearing him speak before now. Hey, he's got a bit of an accent! (Well, he's from Louisiana. I didn't even know that.) Anyway it seems like a long time to fly under the radar.
jerjapan - Thursday, August 24 2017 @ 01:09 PM EDT (#347619) #
I don't buy the idea that 'rushing' prospects necessarily harms their development, and I don't think giving a guy like Borucki or Jansen a shot is the same as sticking with a guy like Snider when he couldn't make adjustments.  Hutch had a mere two full seasons in the minors when promoted but it's quite possible that injuries, rather than his development path, short-circuited his career.  And he did deliver 4.3 fWAR for us in under 2.5 seasons.  Pomepy's struggles are injuries as well - you could argue that he actually earned the job in spring 2015. 

I could see the harm in sticking with a minor leaguer who is struggling in his debut, but not in giving them a shot. 

Tulo's contract could very well be an albatross, but as a proud, hard-working guy, formerly elite and still youngish at 32, I wouldn't rule out a comeback of sorts.  $58 million remaining after this year including the buyout in 2021.  But Martin is fine IMO.  He likely won't be worth the $40 million remaining, but his intangibles have value on a team that may be devoid of leadership following the decline of Tulo and the inevitable departure of Jose this year and JD next (I just don't see this FO resigning him, although this offseason is the time to do it).  He can mentor our young catchers and we can trade him in his final year if two of our catching prospects have emerged as big leaguers - entirely likely IMO.  He was worth $15.1 million last year and roughly the same this year at $13.7 with hopefully more to come.  His days of 3.5+ fWAR seem gone, but I think he generates enough value over the next two years to exceed the cost of his contract. 



Chuck - Thursday, August 24 2017 @ 01:09 PM EDT (#347620) #
And I honestly don't remember ever hearing him speak before now.

The team's Jared Kushner. Or Harpo Marx. They must speak, but who has ever heard them?

92-93 - Thursday, August 24 2017 @ 01:13 PM EDT (#347621) #
Did the previous FO ruin Osuna and Sanchez as well, or was it just Hutchison and Pompey? It's a good thing this FO was so careful in managing Sanchez's innings last year.
uglyone - Thursday, August 24 2017 @ 01:16 PM EDT (#347622) #
Don't forget the FOs of other teams who ruined Norris and Hoffman, as well.
christaylor - Thursday, August 24 2017 @ 01:16 PM EDT (#347623) #
Doesn't it only hurt if the resources could have been reasonably put into another FA?

About 20 years of evidence shows that the Jays will spend something to quite a lot on larger ticket FA. From Clemens to Morales it is hard to find a time when there wasn't at least one big contract on the team. I find it hard to swallow that there's been nothing but stupidity in the front office for two decades, they act as if putting a team that looks at least average in the pre-season has value in Toronto, and I'm inclined to agree.

Probably closest thing to stupidity coming out of the Jays FO was JP's whinging about the % of payroll that Delgado's contract took up at the time. Delgado was probably one of the few things holding fan interest and providing triage for a flight into alternatives for entertainment dollars.

Maybe the game has changed since the two playoff appearances, but I have my doubts.
uglyone - Thursday, August 24 2017 @ 01:17 PM EDT (#347624) #
It hurts in signing other FAs for sure, but that doesn't have anything to do with a patient rebuild.
Cracka - Thursday, August 24 2017 @ 02:10 PM EDT (#347628) #
Aaron Loup has pitched in 305 games as a Blue Jay (tied with Mike Timlin). If he stays healthy in September, he'll pass Wells, Halladay, and Key and move into the Top 10 in franchise games pitched. And I cannot recall ever hearing his voice before either...
John Northey - Thursday, August 24 2017 @ 02:29 PM EDT (#347629) #
Rushing prospects is always something people fear yet history shows it is a crapshoot.

Super rushed - ie: made majors with under 200 IP or 500 PA

Dave Stieb: 128 IP in minors over parts of 2 seasons, in majors at 21, the first season was an outfielder to start

John Olerud: 0 PA in minors before in the majors for a September call-up and was the left hand side of a platoon at DH the next season for a playoff team.

Marcus Stroman: 174 IP in minors total including 43 innings after first being called up. FYI: Sanchez over 300 innings in minors before first called up.

Osuna: 109 IP in minors before in majors all A+ or lower.

Castro: 171 IP in minors before called up with Osuna, now with Baltimore in AA.

Rushed - ie: under 3 full seasons in minors
Jimmy Key: 2 years 279 IP majors at 23 in pen, starter and all-star at 24

Travis Snider - 2 3/4 years in minors 1306 PA's so barely fits this definition.

Those are the Blue Jay examples I came up with quickly.

If you check HOF'ers you'll find most had very little time in the minors. Alomar was up at 20 (3 years + a few games in the minors), Trout up at 19, Andre Dawson at 21 (2 years in minors), Raines up at 19 (3rd pro season), etc. Yeah, there is the odd Phil Niekro who spent years in the minors but generally the very talented ones get to the majors quick. If you are going to be a big success you get to the ML fast, if not you sit in the minors with better players ahead of you.
Magpie - Thursday, August 24 2017 @ 02:41 PM EDT (#347630) #
No Blue Jay was ever rushed to the majors faster than Lloyd Moseby, drafted second overall in 1978. He played 67 games in rookie ball that year, spent 1979 in Dunedin (A ball) and after tearing AAA Syracuse apart for for six weeks in 1980 was in the majors to stay at age 20. Where he spent three years being just terrible, before emerging as an outstanding player in 1983. Any GM who did that today would be fired. For cause.
Magpie - Thursday, August 24 2017 @ 03:08 PM EDT (#347632) #
This Kiermaier fellow is getting really annoying.
hypobole - Thursday, August 24 2017 @ 03:11 PM EDT (#347633) #
Bah! Who needs outfield defence.
dalimon5 - Thursday, August 24 2017 @ 03:19 PM EDT (#347634) #
"Did the previous FO ruin Osuna and Sanchez as well, or was it just Hutchison and Pompey? It's a good thing this FO was so careful in managing Sanchez's innings last year."

Did you read the comment thoroughly? He was saying that the new regime won't rush prospects and cited Pompey and Hutchison as examples of rushed prospects that haven't yet panned out. Nowhere did he say that they ruined every single prospect. This type of re-reading or misreading of posts is what causes most arguments on this site that sometimes go on and on...and on...and on... The point made was that the new regime will wait as long as possible on all prospects in order to minimize the amount of "failed launches." And yes, Osuna and Sanchez are two examples against that strategy.
Chuck - Thursday, August 24 2017 @ 03:22 PM EDT (#347635) #
Checking the game on-line. The Jays were up 2-1. Now those 2 runs are gone. Zat real?
dalimon5 - Thursday, August 24 2017 @ 03:25 PM EDT (#347636) #
I'm with Ugly and Jer...Tulo and Martin are fine. You want to balance your spending as a big market team. We don't need to be as thrifty as the Rays or as extreme as the Astros. Of course, nobody wants to overspend like the Angels or Dodgers. But look at the Cubs, Yankees, Red Sox. We should be able to carry a Tulo, Martin and even a Morales so long as when they become truly useless (nowhere near that anytime soon for Martin or Tulo) you put them on the bench or get rid of them. See: Crawford, Carl, Sandoval, Pablo. Now is the time if you have the budget, to go get a Verlander/Stanton whomever that will only cost you money. That's the best way to bridge the gap from current core to new core coming in, that way you have a transition as opposed to a full rebuild or a brand new core. There are way to many guys that will be part of both cores. Now if Stanton/Verlander types will cost good prospects then forget it, but there's gotta be some big expensive names we can grab for next to nothing. Any suggestions on these guys that may be available as salary dumps that can be useful to us in 2018?
Mike Green - Thursday, August 24 2017 @ 03:27 PM EDT (#347637) #
No Blue Jay was ever rushed to the majors faster than Lloyd Moseby, drafted second overall in 1978. He played 67 games in rookie ball that year, spent 1979 in Dunedin (A ball) and after tearing AAA Syracuse apart for for six weeks in 1980 was in the majors to stay at age 20. Where he spent three years being just terrible, before emerging as an outstanding player in 1983. Any GM who did that today would be fired. For cause.

A number of position players (especially high drafts) have been called up with that kind of minor league experience, and the GM was not fired.  What is unusual about Moseby's case was that he was kept in the big leagues for 3 years despite being terrible.  He was getting better in the OF during those 3 years, which was a significant thing. 
Mike Green - Thursday, August 24 2017 @ 03:37 PM EDT (#347638) #
Chuck, it's real.  Donaldson's 2 run double down the left-field line was determined upon review to be foul.

Anybody have impressions of Koehler for those of us who cannot watch?

James W - Thursday, August 24 2017 @ 03:37 PM EDT (#347639) #
Somewhat Chuck. Donaldson doubled down the left-field line to score 2 runs. It was then overturned (correctly) to a foul ball, pulling the runs off the board.
Magpie - Thursday, August 24 2017 @ 03:44 PM EDT (#347641) #
What is unusual about Moseby's case was that he was kept in the big leagues for 3 years despite being terrible.

Well, that's the thing. Those three years accounted for fully half the time the team could be sure he belonged to them. And those were a couple of terrible, terrible teams. What was the point?
SK in NJ - Thursday, August 24 2017 @ 03:46 PM EDT (#347642) #
I liked the Martin signing at the time and nothing has changed in hindsight. Projections plus framing had him as a reasonable bet to be worth the contract by the end of it, even though he was likely to regress in the final two years. The only bad part about that deal was the way the contract was backloaded. Otherwise I was fine with it. The Tulo trade is a different story because it involved moving assets to get him. Signing an old free agent to free agent dollars and trading for an old player who makes free agent dollars are two entirely different things. If the Jays signed Reyes and Buehrle instead of trading for them, then we would probably look at those moves differently right now.

As far as salary dump players for next year, Verlander makes a ton of sense if it does not cost any real prospects. The Jays should be able to absorb $56M over two years. It is not like they have pitching prospects knocking on the door, and the length of the deal is short enough to not be a big issue. He's probably a long shot to be worth $28M per season at age 35 and 36, but if they aren't giving up any real assets, then it's worth a shot. If the Tigers expect a team to take his salary and give up players, then move on.
uglyone - Thursday, August 24 2017 @ 03:51 PM EDT (#347644) #
the assets we traded for tulo included a replacement player who has cost more than tulo since the trade, and a soon to be 25yr old milb pitcher.
Mike Green - Thursday, August 24 2017 @ 03:58 PM EDT (#347645) #

Well, that's the thing. Those three years accounted for fully half the time the team could be sure he belonged to them. And those were a couple of terrible, terrible teams. What was the point?

I don't know.  There may be lessons that the club felt that he was learning at the major league level that could not be learned elsewhere.  Still, if the Blue Jays decide (say) that Bo Bichette is their best available shortstop option (by a mile) after he tears up double A for 2 months in 2018, it wouldn't necessarily be the wrong thing to do to call him up. You give him 3 months to adjust.  If he does, great.  If not, you give him significant triple A time the following year. 

Obviously, the organization would prefer to bring its position players along deliberately. 
92-93 - Thursday, August 24 2017 @ 04:03 PM EDT (#347646) #
Koehler looked a hell of a lot better than Rowley and Tepesch, which at this point is all that really matters. Two of the hits were groundballs in the 5-6 hole that I was surprised Goins wasn't positioned to field, one grounder barely got by Barney, and another was a line drive over Bautista's head that a decent RF catches.

I don't think Goins is as good as people seem to think he is at SS (he's a fantastic 2B), so for me the defense would be better with Goins 4 Bautista 5 Donaldson 6 and somebody who could play RF (not Carrera or Aoki).

As for the replays, I have no idea how the important Donaldson double was overturned but the Carrera play at first was not.
Magpie - Thursday, August 24 2017 @ 04:06 PM EDT (#347647) #
Looks like both of the Yankees' catchers are getting suspended. Probably not at the same time, they'll juggle the appeals.
John Northey - Thursday, August 24 2017 @ 04:06 PM EDT (#347648) #
Moseby was easily the best option out of a batch of terrible choices in 1980-1982. The Jays came in last all 3 years. 1980 -0.7 WAR (229/281/365 at age 20 on a team that lost 95 games), 1981: +0.4 WAR (233/278/357 on a team that 16-42 in the first half, 21-27 in the second half - this was the first strike year), 1982: +0.6 WAR (236/294/370) for a team that finished tied for last. His Offensive WAR was negative all 3 years but on defense he was positive years 2 & 3. The next 2 year he was a 6 and 7 WAR player (ie: MVP contender) but would never go higher than 4.0 after that.
Magpie - Thursday, August 24 2017 @ 04:11 PM EDT (#347649) #
And in fact Moseby was probably the third best hitter on the 1981 squad.

With his .233/.278/.357 line.

John Northey - Thursday, August 24 2017 @ 05:36 PM EDT (#347650) #
The early Jays were very painful to watch. I suspect Moseby was exciting to fans as he was young and talented so at least there was hope there.

Also of note: back in the 80's teams rarely worried about free agency. They just figured they would always be able to sign players they wanted to keep.
jerjapan - Thursday, August 24 2017 @ 05:50 PM EDT (#347652) #
Koehler looked a hell of a lot better than Rowley and Tepesch

Agreed, although I don't think he actually looked good ... I lost track of the 3-2 counts, but the D did let him down a bit.  That liner past Bautista came right after Keirmaier made two great catches to make it look that much more obvious that Jose is a pylon.

Mayza looked good today, as did Leone, who hit 96 at one point.  I didn't realize he had that much velocity.  he's been the best offseason acquisition outside of maybe Smith. 
PeterG - Thursday, August 24 2017 @ 06:02 PM EDT (#347653) #
If Koehler continues to pitch as well as he did today, he will be brought back next year. A team could do a lot worse for a #5 starter or long man. I do agree that he needs to improve his control a bit. Hopefully, he can do that.

Rowley has been a reliever throughout his minor league career except for the last 2 months when he has been pressed into starting due to injuries. I think there is a good chance he can pitch in the majors out of the pen. Next season, we should have our own young guys on the shuttle (with options) so it won't be necessary to claim guys with options during the off season. Pitchers who could be on the shuttle include: Rowley, Mayza, Dermody, Ramirez and possibly Pannone or Greene. Tepesch will be long gone.
scottt - Thursday, August 24 2017 @ 08:04 PM EDT (#347655) #
The Blue Jays have lots of guys who could pitch out of the pen. The problem is still the rotation depth.
Ideally they get the best 4th starter they can find (could still be Estrada) and there's a competition for the 5th starter in the spring.

Rowley, Biagini and Pannone have options and should compete for starts.
Sean Reid Fowley, Greene and Borucki could also be in the mix.

Koehler has been  a decent 5th starter with 4 years of ERA+ around 90.
He's actually made more than 30 starts the last 3 years.
The knocks on him is that he'll be out of options next year, so he'd win the 5th spot by default, unless he's terrible again and he's on his last year of arbitration and already cost 5M.

I'd be surprised if Brett Anderson doesn't get at least 1 start this year.

Osuna, Tepera, Barnes and Leone are set for the pen.
Schultz could also figure out, maybe after a rehab assignment.
Loup is a non-tender in my book.
Cole, Mayza, Dermody, Ramirez, Chris Smith and Wil Browning are shuttle candidates.
Blake McFarland was looking really good in AA for about 2 weeks and has been on the DL since.

PeterG - Thursday, August 24 2017 @ 08:30 PM EDT (#347657) #
Agreed with you Scott until the last 3 lines. I don't see Loup as a non tender candidate. He does not cost much so why not keep him. As well, he has been effective of late. Chris Smith might get back on the 40 man but not unless there are injuries next season. Cole is in the same boat. Browning will be released imo. He has had a very poor year with Buffalo and has no upside.

I ahould also mention that I should have included Borucki in my list of shuttle candidates. There should be fewer minor league signings this off season. The starting depth will be better than it was this season but could still improve some and should be strong in 2019.
scottt - Friday, August 25 2017 @ 07:35 AM EDT (#347664) #
When I say candidates, I mean that they could figure things out and ear themselves a call up next year.
There's only 40 spots on that roster.

A lot of the pitching prospects have stagnated this year. Even Borucki mentioned figuring out his slider only a month ago.
The easiest way to the Toronto bullpen is with a plus fastball. Barnes did it with his changeup.

rpriske - Friday, August 25 2017 @ 09:21 AM EDT (#347668) #
I was trying to think about who I would like the Jays to sign int he off-season.

Of course I would like them to sign Darvish or Arrieta, but trying to be reasonable I think Lance Lynn and J.D. Martinez.

(Also keep Estrada and don't keep Bautista.)

Thoughts?

PeterG - Friday, August 25 2017 @ 09:37 AM EDT (#347670) #
I think the Jays will go with their own young guys and are unlikely to make more than a minor FA signing unless it is determined a stop gap is needed. Of course, a JD trade could change the construction of the roster and this will need to be re-examined. I do think Estrada will be returned if that counts as a FA signing.
uglyone - Friday, August 25 2017 @ 09:58 AM EDT (#347673) #
Negative War roster slots this year (offense)


RF Bautista -0.4war
DH Morales -0.8war

B-UT Coghlan/Refsnyder/Parmley -0.8war
(B-OF Carrera/Smith/Ceci/Aoki/Alford +1.5war)
B-IF Goins/Barney -1.4war
B-C Maile/Salty/Montero/ohlman/lopez -1.9war
whiterasta80 - Friday, August 25 2017 @ 10:03 AM EDT (#347674) #
Count me as someone who prefers to "rush prospects".

The truly good (Alomar) ones will adjust quickly and succeed. For the ones who will be bad regardless (I'd argue Snider but... debatable) you will get an answer. And for everyone in between (Aaron Sanchez the first time up in the bullpen) you get some productivity and have a better chance of extending them before they peak.

To extend this line of thought, if I was an owner (particularly one of a big market team like the Jays) I wouldn't let my decisions be influenced by service time (i.e. Kris Bryant). If a prospect can help the team then they'd be up.
John Northey - Friday, August 25 2017 @ 11:25 AM EDT (#347676) #
I wouldn't be shocked if Morales is traded with lots of cash for next to nothing this winter and Bautista ends up back here again in hopes of a dead cat bounce year ala what Frank Thomas did for the A's before the Jays signed him. At least Bautista can fill in at 3B and RF as well as DH and could mix and match with Pearce at DH while the other is in the outfield.

Odds are 2018 will be a rebuilding year with the team sub 500 all year as the vets keep the bench warm until kids like Vlad and Bichette are ready. The Jays hit a very, very hard choice with Donaldson - do you resign him long term for mega bucks, trade him, or let him play it out all knowing that Vlad might be ready in 2019 or even late 2018 to take over 3B.

Pitching is a dogs breakfast with Stroman the only lock, Happ likely to be traded if the team looks like it is rebuilding, Sanchez a crap shoot (could be an ace, could be DL'ed), Biagini fighting for a rotation slot as will others. Glad Stroman isn't a free agent until after 2020.

SK in NJ - Friday, August 25 2017 @ 11:42 AM EDT (#347678) #
Morales will be an interesting case this winter. If the FO bites the bullet and trades him for nothing, even if it means swallowing nearly all of his remaining salary, then that would be a very positive development. Morales will probably be better next season than he has been this season (I can't imagine he could be worse), but ultimately it is not worth clogging up the DH spot for the next two years for a 110 wRC+ or thereabouts (if he bounces back) with no defensive or base running value. Admit the mistake, swallow the salary, and move on. If they can get an actual asset in return, then even better.
John Northey - Friday, August 25 2017 @ 12:07 PM EDT (#347679) #
There is the challenge. A fairly new front office might have trouble admitting a mistake and swallowing the $23 million still owed. If they can mentally add it to Smoak's contract in order for it to be good overall that might help. IE: signed Smoak for very little, Morales for very much, got 3 bWAR so far from Smoak, -0.3 from Morales, net 2.7. Get rid of Morales for nothing and keep Smoak for the next 2 years and spend $23 mil (for nothing) plus $10.125 mil for Smoak = $33 mil for lets guess 3 more WAR is a reasonable deal, not great but not horrid. Keeping Morales around might make it horrid though if he keeps going negative while eating up DH PA's.
hypobole - Friday, August 25 2017 @ 12:21 PM EDT (#347680) #
If Morales can be traded while eating most of the salary, great. If not, simply release him.
hypobole - Friday, August 25 2017 @ 12:23 PM EDT (#347681) #
And in no way, shape, or form should Bautista be back either.
Mike Green - Friday, August 25 2017 @ 12:26 PM EDT (#347682) #
Morales will probably be better next season than he has been this season (I can't imagine he could be worse)

Many people, myself included, thought the same thing about Bautista this year.   Morales wRC+ the last 4 years has been 72, 130, 110, 93 and he will be turning 35 next June.  I can imagine him being worse, but a reasonable projection is for him to be slightly better (i.e. close to replacement level). 
uglyone - Friday, August 25 2017 @ 12:28 PM EDT (#347683) #
I guess the most dissappointing thing was that the idea of not spending on big names was that we would distribute the money and improve team depth, which was more important given the vagaries of individual player performance.

except that our depth has been horrific. some of the worst roster depth we've seen.
Hodgie - Friday, August 25 2017 @ 01:23 PM EDT (#347687) #
If the team is able to rid themselves of Morales, it would be great if they would focus on trying to add depth to the right side of the defensive spectrum and utilize the DH to give players active rest. Given how low the offensive bar is for the DH position in today's game unless an Ortiz or Thome falls into your lap I don't believe a regular DH is worth the associated roster constraints.
jerjapan - Friday, August 25 2017 @ 02:14 PM EDT (#347689) #
I'd be happy to dump Morales too, but there really aren't that many teams looking for a mediocre, expensive DH, even if we eat a lot of salary.  The KC for Kennedy deal makes sense, but they have the equally bad Brandon Moss for another year.  TB has Dickerson at DH and he's a FA, as are 1B Logan Morrison and Lucas Duda.  They do have a history of reclamation projects ...  otherwise, a lot of DHs are under team control for a while.  Perhaps the Yanks? Do NL teams even carry guys who are strictly pinch hitters any more?  I think we may be stuck with Morales for at least part of next year - I can't see the FO cutting bait this quickly.  Perhaps a bad contract for bad contract deal.

Starting depth is our biggest concern next year.  I'm reluctant to say that Koehler and Rowley are strong candidates, although I feel good about Biagini as the 5th starter.  Lance Lynn is indeed the type of guy we need.

the Buffalo shuttle will doubtless take a hit with the graduation of Barnes, Tepera and Leone.  Mayza and Ramirez are likely to get  long looks, but Chris Smith, Stilson, Campos, Cole, Dermody, Schultz, McFarland and Girodo are fringey at best.   Jackson and Snead in Dunedin should be in the conversation as lefties by the end of next season.  I see no reason at all to offer Loup a contract. 

I don't want to add any defensively-challenged players on offense, but I still think Zach Cozart might be a great add.  I doubt he gets the QO given that the market for him was tepid at the trade dealine, but his breakout season is worth a gamble IMO - even if the bat regresses significantly, he's a quality defender who could get close to full time ABs given the injury-prone nature of our middle IF and the possibility of Travis in LF.   3 years, 36 million?
uglyone - Friday, August 25 2017 @ 02:25 PM EDT (#347690) #
the other thing is that I expect this FO leans more towards selling guys off of good years, not bad years.
rpriske - Friday, August 25 2017 @ 02:25 PM EDT (#347691) #
Sure it would be great for them to cut bait on Morales, but I think there is close to 0% chance of that happening.

Same with Tulo, as much as it pains me to say it.

uglyone - Friday, August 25 2017 @ 02:29 PM EDT (#347692) #
but there's no reason to dump tulo. he's not blocking anyone from anything, and is a good bet to be a good SS again next year. this year is literally his first year ever not being a quality above average mlb starter.
Mike Green - Friday, August 25 2017 @ 05:17 PM EDT (#347696) #
Since August 12, Ezequiel Carrera has had starts on the 13th, 17th and 20th, and made appearances in 8 other games.  He is not in the lineup again tonight. 

Even if you believe that he's the worst defensive corner outfielder on the club (which I think is a tough argument), he's still a better DH than Kendrys Morales.  I don't know why he would be playing less often now than he was playing in June, but that is what has been happening. 

PeterG - Friday, August 25 2017 @ 05:24 PM EDT (#347697) #
Isn't it generally better to try and sell players off of good years than bad ? Donaldson comes to mind.

I disagree that the FO will not move Morales. The conditions that existed when they signed him don't exist now. They want to ne younger, speedier and more flexible. I can see him being put on waivers with salary eaten if necessary. This would be a dry run for what will need to be done with Tulo but not yet. Tulo will be here in 2018...2019 questionable and by 2020 he will not be in TO.
hypobole - Friday, August 25 2017 @ 05:51 PM EDT (#347698) #
Tulo does have a full no trade clause.
PeterG - Friday, August 25 2017 @ 05:57 PM EDT (#347699) #
If he is blocking other players and of little use, you just eat the contract. It is also possible he would agree to a trade if he knew he would only be a reserve player. I don't think the no trade would be a hindrance at all if the team wants to move him.
hypobole - Friday, August 25 2017 @ 06:08 PM EDT (#347701) #
You may not think it's a hindrance, but they almost always are.
92-93 - Friday, August 25 2017 @ 06:14 PM EDT (#347702) #
And even if Tulo doesn't regain some of his career form and is the same guy we saw this year, he's still a better player than Goins. If they want to invest in another middle infielder, there will be plenty of playing time for him if Tulowitzki and Travis are pencilled in as your starters for 2018.
92-93 - Friday, August 25 2017 @ 06:23 PM EDT (#347703) #
Pearce was injured in June, that's why Carrera was playing. When Pearce returned, Carrera's playing time dried up. You can't blame the manager of a team that's been to 2 straight ALCSs for writing Bautista and Morales on the lineup card each day; removing either one from everyday duty is a decision that has to be handled by Shapiro & Atkins, and I doubt they believe that the difference is big enough to be worth the mess of benching a franchise star or pulling the rug out of a free agent DH signing that has 2 seasons left on his deal. Maybe it would be if Carrera wasn't such a mess defensively.
PeterG - Friday, August 25 2017 @ 06:28 PM EDT (#347704) #
I guess the degree of hindrance would depend on how strong is the desire of the FO to make a move. The Red Sox recently waived Sandoval. Why can't the Jays do the same with Morales or Tulo ? For those commenting on Tulo, please note that I am not advocating this now. Maybe after next season but I think very likely after 2019 when there will be several other options at that position.
eldarion - Friday, August 25 2017 @ 09:33 PM EDT (#347708) #
I rather like the idea of having Tulo around as a mentor/player-coach for Bo Bichette for 2018 and 2019. There's so much that Bichette could learn from him and, let's face it, we're going to have to swallow most of Tulo's contract before anyone agrees to take him (no trade clause aside). So why not make the best of it? Even with deteriorating skills, Tulo is a great role model for the next generation of Jays.
Nigel - Friday, August 25 2017 @ 11:17 PM EDT (#347709) #
On the one hand, dumping Tulo and dumping Morales are apples and oranges in the sense that Tulo is still far better than all of the other current SS alternatives and Morales is better than, well, no one. On the other, Tulo was acquired by the previous regime and Morales by this one. There is zero chance that this regime will.dump Morales as it would be a public acknowledgment of how badly they handled this past offseason. Not going to happen.
Chuck - Saturday, August 26 2017 @ 08:39 AM EDT (#347719) #
I rather like the idea of having Tulo around as a mentor/player-coach for Bo Bichette

This kind of opinion is natural. You hear it all the time. And in Tulowitzki's case, it may well be true. He may well be the type to mentor a younger player. I have no idea one way or another.

I do recall that the much beloved Halladay was thought of in this regard by the public, a mentor to the younger pitchers on the team. But when those younger pitchers spoke, choosing their words very carefully so as not to offend, they suggested that this was not really the case. The younger pitchers certainly admired Halladay and his preparation regimen, but suggested that he was highly self-focused. And there are probably any number of players like that, who focus almost entirely on self-preparation that they are not suitable to be auxiliary coaches. And there's nothing wrong with that. Halladay wasn't signed to be a coach. He did what he needed to do to prepare for his job.

All of this is to say that while fans may romanticize the mentoring relationships that occur in clubhouses, we really have no idea. Do the older players have much to teach the younger players? Of course they do. Does this actually happen? We want to believe it does, but we can't possibly know, nor do we know for sure who is especially well-suited to serve as mentors.

Blue Jays at Tampa Bay - August 22-24 | 164 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.