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The minor league season is coming to an end. Several players who have had non-descript seasons have suddenly perked up their performances. DJ Davis, Reece McGuire and Josh Palacios have all been playing well recently. I thought I would take a deeper look at these players as well as some others who I noted in my trawl through the stats. But first a teaser....can you tell me when Rowdy Tellez hit his last home run?

On the field the pitchers had better performances than the hitters. Bo Bichette was back and picked up two hits. Riley Adams had three. Among the pitchers Thomas Pannone, Josh De Graaf, Francisco Rios, Turner Larkins and Felipe Castaneda all threw well.

There were a limited number of notable performances on Wednesday. Buffalo lost with just six hits. New Hampshire split a doubleheader. In game one Thomas Pannone pitched well but the bullpen took the loss in the tenth. Pannone's line was 6 6 1 1 1 6. Reece McGuire stayed hot with another 2-4. In game two Francisco Rios was back starting. He was excellent, four innings, one hit. Richard Urena had two hits. Bo Bichette was back for Dunedin and showed no signs of rust. Bo was 2-5. His partner Vlad Jr was 1-4. Josh De Graaf had another good start, 5 innings, two hits, six K's. All of these performances helped Dunedin to win. Lansing lost, Dalton Rodriguez made his first start and was the losing pitcher. Vancouver lost, Riley Adams was 3-4 with two doubles. Bluefield won again, they will be in the playoffs. Turner Larkins had a nice start. The GCL Jays lost a tight one 2-1. Felipe Castaneda continued to do well.

All of the analysis below was prepared before the Wednesday night games so if you look to verify my numbers they will likely have changed a little bit.

Rowdy Tellez

Many have noted Rowdy Tellez's better hitting this month. Rowdy is hitting .313 in August after two straight months under .200. But when you look at the details there is not much change. Tellez is walking and striking out at the same rate. Tellez has between 72 and 94 at-bats in each month, not too far apart to look at some trends. Tellez's walks per month are between 5 and 11. August has six so it is at the low end. His strikeouts have ranged from 14 to 23. August has 17, in the middle of the range. Tellez's extra base hits also tell a story, by month his EBH totals are 4, 9, 5, 9, 6. So even though Rowdy has been hitting better, its singles that are up, not his power.

So it's in BABIP that we see a change. From April through July Tellez's BABIP was .254. In August it is almost .400. Tellez last home run was hit on June 27th. He has six home runs this season.

Tellez does need another year in AAA. He is young for the league but he hasn't shown major league power or major league hitting for average. Don't count him in as a major league option for 2018. This late season surge might help his confidence going into the off-season and that is not a bad thing.

Conner Greene

Pre all-star break: 4.37 ERA, 1.52 WHIP, 1.98 GO/FO

Post all-star break: 8.48 ERA, 2.23 WHIP, 1.00 GO/FO

I don't know exactly what Greene is trying to do in the second half but it doesn;t seem to be working.

Reece McGuire

McGuire has only 121 at-bats this year and 22 of those were in the GCL. He would be a good candidate for the fall league. However McGuire has been hitting like a star in August, .389 average, 1200 OPS. Almost every part of his game is better than his April. This is a small sample but it shows potential.

Emilio Guerrero

I liked Guerrero when I saw him in Lansing several years ago and I have followed him since. Because he is tall and lanky, listed at 6'4" and 189 pounds, I did think that it could take a while to get his parts moving together in a good way. Guerrero is 25 now and time is running out. Like McGuire, Guerrero has been injured this year but in 78 at-bats since he came back he is hitting .333 with an 828 OPS. I don't think he could be a regular but he is versatile and can play a role as a major league utility player.

Andrew Guillotte

Guillotte dominated the early season. He hit well in Dunedin and then hit .481 in a few weeks in New Hampshire in May. He hit .291 in June but has collapsed since then. Guillotte is hitting around .125 in July and August with an OPS under .400.

Harold Ramirez

OPS by month: 548; 676; 629; 785; 659. None of those months are prospect worthy.

Jordan Romano

First half: 2.28 ERA, WHIP 1.28

Second half: 4.63 ERA, WHIP 1.60

The second half is not terrible but obviously a step down from the first.

Max Pentecost

OPS by month: 994; 839; 487; 714; 200.

The last (August) OPS number is just 20 at-bats. The most optimistic interpretation is that Pentecost's numbers declined as he caught more. He has also battled a couple of injuries but he has something to prove next year. Max would be another good Arizona fall league candidate.

Juan Kelly

Fist half: .243 BA; 690 OPS

Second half: .313 BA; 842 OPS

I am not sure if Kelly is a prospect or if he has a position but he does get overlooked behind Vlad, Bo and Max.

DJ Davis

OPS by month: 543; 640; 496; 708; 876.

First half / second half OPS: 572; 755

So what has happened? Lets look at strike zone control.

Strikeout rate AprMayJun vs. JulAug: 27%; 24%

Walk rate AMJ/JA: 9%; 12%

Davis seems to have had a turn around in performance in mid-July. His strikeout rate in the second half of July was 19% and in August it is 22%.

What about BABIP? First half: 393; second half: .402

Is there a conclusion? Davis has improved his strikeout rate and his walk rate while maintaining his BABIP. The negative on Davis was that his pitch recognition was poor. It seems to have improved. Is it good enough for AA? We don;t know but there are small signs of growth in his numbers.

Connor Panas

First half: .248 BA; 728 OPS

Second half: .303 BA; 907 OPS

Looks like he is on his way to AA next year.

Josh Palacios

First half: .195 BA; 540 OPS

Second half: .321 BA; 823 OPS

Palacios had some injuries in the first half that saw him in and out of the lineup. His second half has been more in line with pre-season expectations.

JB Woodman

Strikeout rate: 45% first half; 37% second half.

The rate has improved but is still very high.

Reggie Pruitt

OPS by month from June through August: 337; 656; 815

The samples sizes are small and his strikeout rate is still high (27% in August), but he looks good enough for Lansing to start 2018.

3 Stars

3rd star: Josh De Graaf

2nd star: Riley Adams

1st star: Thomas Pannone


Small Sample Sizes - Prospect Edition | 60 comments | Create New Account
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Mike Green - Thursday, August 24 2017 @ 08:59 AM EDT (#347598) #
There are some interesting nuggets there, Gerry.  Thanks. 
bpoz - Thursday, August 24 2017 @ 09:10 AM EDT (#347599) #
Thanks for the prospect analysis Gerry. I actually expect prospects to get hot all of a sudden. And cold the same way.
Then there are guys like Bo and Vlad.
hypobole - Thursday, August 24 2017 @ 10:13 AM EDT (#347601) #
Juan Kelly has had a brutal year with the glove. 21 errors. He's played about 2/3 of his time at 1B and had 15 of his errors there. That's really bad.
uglyone - Thursday, August 24 2017 @ 10:44 AM EDT (#347605) #
Vicuna had a not-awful stint in vancouver, while young for the level, and is off to a hot start in lansing now (though it's babip-aided).

In general he's had a solid offensive year for a defensive SS, with only his complete lack of power holding him down. If he finds any power at all in the next few years, he starts looking like a real prospect.
uglyone - Thursday, August 24 2017 @ 10:45 AM EDT (#347606) #
check that - at 19 he wasn't actually young for A-. But he is young for lansing.
lexomatic - Thursday, August 24 2017 @ 11:35 AM EDT (#347609) #
I think the big surprise for me re McGuire is the power. I seem to remember reading around the time of the trade that people felt there were good contact skills (strike zone control, etc) and that he had potential for a decent average and obp that would make him at least a good backup. The power is new, and if it's not due to a short porch, or getting lucky, that would be great to know. I'm not sure if that kind of detailed info is freely available for the minors.

I would be interested in seeing Pentecost catching in the AFL. I have a feeling he's still going to be babied by the team, so some sustained time behind the plate would be a good test. I would also love to seem him get some positional versatility - at least shagging flies, and maybe some basic drills at 3b. He isn't likely to make the Jays as a catcher now, and any flexibility to being a C/corners/PH is a good path. I'm not saying focus on the versatility, especially if it impacts the things that will be most important to him making it (Bat/C defense), I'm saying do drills, get familiar, make it an option. Someone who can handle 5 positions for short times, has a decent bat (for C, maybe league average overall) would be great on a short bench.
jerjapan - Thursday, August 24 2017 @ 11:41 AM EDT (#347610) #
Been an interesting year on the farm.  Win / loss records aren't that significant in the minors, but worth noting that the top two teams are 111-147, Dunedin and Lansing are 125-127, while the rest of the system is 151-93.  It doesn't look to me that those bottom four teams are laden with overage players, although the FO may be slower in promotions than the last one.  Even if a few of the late round draft picks are posting gaudy numbers and should get promoted, the bottom of the system has some exceptional performances and some guys to follow in the years to come. 

Nigel or anyone else, have you guys got a sense of Riley Adams?  Eric Longenhagen had his as our 'day 2 draft standout', noting he is "a volatile college prospect with rare power for a catcher. Hes not a lock to stay behind the plate, nor is he one to avoid excessive strikeouts. If he remedies both hes an impact regular."  The 22.3 K% and .419 BABIP are worrisome for a bat-first guy. 

Nice comments on Pentacost from his manager John Schneider - although I always take manager's comments with a grain of salt - When hes behind the plate hes a definite difference-maker, not in just that game but for an organization ... Were talking about a premium defensive spot, he can catch, he can throw, he can block. Hes got all the qualities you want in a catcher. And then we all know he can hit.

Schneider was a former Jay's minor league catcher (and at one time the youngest manager in the game) so this certainly sounds promising. 
Mike Green - Thursday, August 24 2017 @ 11:51 AM EDT (#347614) #
Pentecost is on the DL again (with an undisclosed injury) and hasn't  played since August 7.  He did catch some of the time in July, but given that he is 24 and has had arm injuries, you would think that the odds of him being a major league catcher are low.   It might be that he could be a part-time catcher/utility player.  He's a good defensive player and a good hitter when healthy.  He might have enough to speed to be an outfielder as well. 
uglyone - Thursday, August 24 2017 @ 12:06 PM EDT (#347615) #
I'm still not sure Pentecost has shown enough with the bat, given age and level, to even get too excited about him offensively.

Riley Adams is interesting Jer, and imo off to a better start in vancouver than Warmoth, at the same age.
Nigel - Thursday, August 24 2017 @ 01:20 PM EDT (#347625) #
Jerjapan, I wrote a little about Riley earlier this year. He's a big guy. One of the few C's who appear to be close to his listed height and weight (Warmoth, for example, isn't close to his listed size). He's extremely athletic though. He runs well for any C let alone one his size. He moves well behind the plate. He has the most angular (as opposed to square) receiving position I have ever seen. He may have to change that for framing and blocking balls in the dirt as he moves up. His arm is very accurate and at least average in strength if not better. At the plate he has a lot of power and some decent strike zone skills. His swing is a little long. I like him a lot. Hard to compare him as a prospect to Warmoth. There isn't much upside in Warmoth but he has a good chance of ultimately getting to the majors in some capacity. The range of outcomes for Riley is far wider. Lance Parrish is the guy I think of (in a perfect world) when I see Riley.
Nigel - Thursday, August 24 2017 @ 01:26 PM EDT (#347626) #
One other thing. I don't think he's quite Jason Werth athletically but that comparison isn't crazy. My only point being, that if he can hit then the idea that he can handle another position defensively isn't as much of a stretch as it would be for another C prospect.
Mike Green - Thursday, August 24 2017 @ 01:57 PM EDT (#347627) #
Thanks, Nigel.  That's a wonderful scouting report. 
Shoeless Joe - Thursday, August 24 2017 @ 03:02 PM EDT (#347631) #
Riley Adams will never tap into his power with a 49.6% GB%, and that's my main concern with him.

I like Riley Adams but I like Logan Warmoth more. He has hit for a little more contact, a little more power and his LD% is better.
Nigel - Thursday, August 24 2017 @ 03:38 PM EDT (#347640) #
Shoeless Joe, I can understand liking Warmoth more. His floor is definitely higher than Riley's. Two thoughts on Warmoth. I really have trouble seeing Warmoth as more than an average defender at SS. He also appears to have Pillar disease. His contact skills are outstanding, no question, but, because of that, he swings at everything in the strike zone. He doesn't chase a ton of bad balls, but I can see the potential for him to be a BA heavy guy as he moves up. ISO and ISP are going to be the critical offensive metrics for him as I think he projects to have a good BAIP. I'm not down on Warmoth at all. I just don't see a huge upside in his game. SSS applies to all of this. I've only seen 9-10 C's games this year.
Nigel - Thursday, August 24 2017 @ 03:47 PM EDT (#347643) #
Catalanotto disease may be the proper medical term:)
PeterG - Thursday, August 24 2017 @ 05:39 PM EDT (#347651) #
Nigel, I enjoy hearing first hand reports on Vancouver players. Have you seen Pearson yet? If so, is he as dominating as the stats indicate? Could he be expected to make it to the show within 2 years? Another pitcher that interests me is Zach Logue who I think is more about pitchability than power. Do you have any thoughts on him?
GabrielSyme - Thursday, August 24 2017 @ 06:19 PM EDT (#347654) #
Thinking about next year, what would a youth movement look like?

OF:Pillar/Alford/T. Hernandez/Fields/Smith
3B:Lawrie(or other FA) until Guerrero is ready.

Gurriel might be able to contribute if Tulo or Travis is injured again.

SP: Sanchez

RP: Osuna
C. Ramirez

This contemplates trading Donaldson, and the bullpen looks deep enough to trade Osuna too. I'm not convinced Martin doesn't have value for some team, and with Jansen looking ready to hit at the big league level, and McGuire looking much stronger, this is probably the off-season to do it.

I don't think there is a way to make 2018 a competitive year if Donaldson is traded, but there's actually some upside here - the outfield defence would be improved enough to more than make up for the decline in offense, and Jansen and McGuire could not be worse than our backup catchers this year.
Nigel - Thursday, August 24 2017 @ 08:27 PM EDT (#347656) #
Peter, I think you may have picked the two pitchers on the staff who I haven't seen. The C's have had an annoying habit of not announcing their starters until game day or the night before so I haven't been able plan my visits around starters. In truth, outside of Pearson there aren't any real prospects among the starters so it hasn't really mattered. I may have seen Logue but not realized it. The mid round college relievers tend to all blend together. If I had to pick one of the relievers who stands out it would be Chris Hall. He's a right hander with a 3/4 cross fire delivery like a less extreme Loup. He throw 90-93 with a decent SL. He's been tough on both RH and LH every time I've seen him. Pearson's velocity is legitimate though. The Nat BIley gun is notoriously not hot and he's hit 100 multiple times a game (listening to the broadcasts).
PeterG - Thursday, August 24 2017 @ 08:46 PM EDT (#347658) #
The reason I asked about Logue is because he is projected as a starter rather than a reliever unlike all the other college arms you mention. He is supposed to have control of 4 pitches though his velocity is not imposing. He has a WHIP of 0.91 in 21 IP. Post your thoughts if you get to see him. If you are planning to attend playoff games, you might see these two as they seem to be the C's most effective multi inning pitchers.
ISLAND BOY - Thursday, August 24 2017 @ 08:55 PM EDT (#347659) #
Max Pentecost's manager is very high on him a a catcher. He's only caught 19 games this year but doesn't have an error and has thrown out 7/15 runners. He did not have arm issues but his physical problem was with his shoulder and it took a third surgery to find a small tear in the muscle. The big difficulty now is making up for time lost and next year, if he can accumulate enough at bats and games as a catcher, will give the biggest indication if he can stay at the position. I wouldn't bet on him not making it there just yet.
Nigel - Thursday, August 24 2017 @ 10:05 PM EDT (#347660) #
Island Boy, I agree with you completely about Pentecost and his defence. However, my main scepticism with Pentecost right now is his bat.
Mike Green - Thursday, August 24 2017 @ 11:57 PM EDT (#347661) #
Nate Pearson threw another 4 shutout innings tonight with 1 walk and 5 Ks.
scottt - Friday, August 25 2017 @ 07:27 AM EDT (#347663) #
Great summary Gerry. Thanks.
Chuck - Friday, August 25 2017 @ 08:42 AM EDT (#347665) #
Peter, I think you may have picked the two pitchers on the staff who I haven't seen.

Give the ecstasy over scouting reports, everyone's making plans for Nigel.

jerjapan - Friday, August 25 2017 @ 09:04 AM EDT (#347666) #
we only want what's best for him.

nice reference Chuck, although perhaps Nigel has heard the XTC references a few times?

Chuck - Friday, August 25 2017 @ 09:07 AM EDT (#347667) #
although perhaps Nigel has heard the XTC references a few times?

Could be. All of us with names that invite certain references have no doubt heard them a jillion times.

Gerry - Friday, August 25 2017 @ 09:23 AM EDT (#347669) #
Ryan Noda is the Appy league player of the year. Randy Pondler is the pitcher of the year.
whiterasta80 - Friday, August 25 2017 @ 09:40 AM EDT (#347671) #
I only worry about Pentacost's bat if he has to move off C. As a C the bar is pretty low and he's shown some promise.
PeterG - Friday, August 25 2017 @ 09:50 AM EDT (#347672) #
Brett Anderson also impressed last night for the Bisons going 5 2/3 innings while allowing only one hit. We will surely see him in TO in September in order to make a better assessment.
Nigel - Friday, August 25 2017 @ 11:08 AM EDT (#347675) #
Very cleverly done Chuck. I am old enough to have been around when the song was released. For a while the references became slightly annoying. Now my only complaint is that when I hear the song it sounds pretty dated. It's at that point that I realize the implications of that for me personally:)
bpoz - Friday, August 25 2017 @ 11:31 AM EDT (#347677) #
A nice youth movement GabrielSyme.

A youth movement will definitely be talked about here in the off season.

Using your list as a starting point, we would need backups. Since you want your prospects to play everyday the backups would be veterans. Pearce could be kept or traded. He has value. Goins probably stays 2B,SS & 3B.

Another IF will be signed unless Barney returns. JD returning or not is the biggest factor. If he is still here, then I expect a few stop gap veterans. That will increase payroll a bit and the team will be slower, older and defense will be weaker.

Your OF is very young and inexperienced. But they have to learn sometime. I am not sure if the 4th OF should be young and rotated in regularly or a veteran.

Lastly add 3 SPs and 4 bullpen arms. All for backup, since we will need about 20 pitchers. We have plenty of young arms that pitched in AA this year and some that should move up like Zeuch, Perdomo and Romano.
Mike Green - Friday, August 25 2017 @ 12:31 PM EDT (#347684) #
Unfortunately, Nigel was a derogatory slang term in England at the time the song was written.  Urban Dictionary tells me that NIGEL is now a compliment. 

I still think Life Begins at the Hop is 3 minutes of pop magic.  But maybe I am dated too.
jerjapan - Friday, August 25 2017 @ 12:35 PM EDT (#347685) #
XTC sound a bit dated to me, but not "Making Plans for Nigel".  Definitive postpunk IMO - but Nigel, you've heard loads more than I have.  I tend to get "Joy to the World" by Three Dog Night ...

Huge year for Noda, but similar guys with similar years like Bradley Jones, David Jacob last year, have struggled with the promotions.  Noda's had the best season of the bunch though - a 20.6% K and BB percentage and a .228 ISO look great, although he is a level lower than Jones was in his breakout. 

Gabriel, I like your youth movement as well, although I think we'd still need a mid rotation starter and a veteran lefty for the pen.  I really, really want to see the last of Goins and Barney in September, so a quality backup SS would help.  Too bad we weren't in on Tim Beckham, he's starting to look like a 1st overall talent - all it took him was 725 ABs and a trade to the Os.  There's a prospect that took his time to develop. 

Chuck - Friday, August 25 2017 @ 02:48 PM EDT (#347695) #
For a while the references became slightly annoying.

I know from annoying. Thanks to Rickie Lee Jones, I spent much of my high school life answering the question about being in love. And later, when visiting the UK, being laughed at for effectively being named vomit.

Of course it could have been worse. We could've been named Lovie.

GabrielSyme - Friday, August 25 2017 @ 05:58 PM EDT (#347700) #
Jer, I'm perfectly happy with Loup as our veteran lefty option out of the pen. He's not amazing, but spending money on bullpen lefties in a rebuilding season seems like a poor idea. Besides, Mayza looks like he might well be better than any free agent lefty.

bpoz, I think Raffy Lopez or Maile could back up Martin if we keep Martin until midseason. McGuire and Jansen are both looking at the moment like possible starters, and McGuire isn't ready yet anyway, so unless we trade Martin and put Jansen in as the starter, I think a veteran is the right answer as the backup. For the outfield, I think Fields is a great option as a 4th outfielder - we need to find out whether he can hit in MLB, and even if he doesn't he provides defensive value and versatility, serve as a pinch-runner, and he hits left, which complements the rest of the proposed outfield.

I do think we need another starter, and I think the quality of starter we go after depends on how long and deep we anticipate the rebuild being. If we really go deep into a rebuild, we look to trade Smoak and Pearce this offseason along with Donaldson, Martin and possibly Osuna (don't trade Osuna if the FO thinks he's healthy and is willing to try to convert him to the starting rotation).

Ideally, one or two of these trades would yield a prospect ready to slide into the starting rotation or somewhere on the field. Our weakest area is definitely our starting pitching, and we only have Stroman and Sanchez under control beyond next year, so starting pitching should probably be what we seek out in trade.

I'll throw out one more crazy idea: resign Bautista to be our third baseman next year. His defence in RF has declined too far for him to continue playing the outfield, but speed isn't as necessary at third base, and he still looks to have the skills to be acceptable defensively there. I think he might have a bit of a bounce-back season in his bat, and even if not, it would be a good way to bridge the gap to Vladdy Jr.
ISLAND BOY - Friday, August 25 2017 @ 07:14 PM EDT (#347705) #
A bounce-back season from someone turning 37 this October? I think that's wishful thinking. The Jays have to get younger and I don't think the future includes Jose.
jerjapan - Friday, August 25 2017 @ 07:46 PM EDT (#347706) #
Loup will cost more than $2 million dollars in his final year of arbitration though, is out of options, and has been worth all of 0.8 fWAR over his last four seasons combined.  We can do better than that IMO.
GabrielSyme - Friday, August 25 2017 @ 08:58 PM EDT (#347707) #
If we trade Donaldson, there aren't any decent in-house options to bridge the gap to Guerrero at third base, so we'd probably have to sign a free agent for a single year, which reduces our options. Bautista's projections still put him at 110-120 wRC+, so I don't think a bounce-back season is an entirely unreasonable possibility.

Moving Bautista to 3rd base should significantly increase his defensive value; and it sounds like we will get a chance to see how he looks there occasionally over the next month.

Finally, Bautista is one of the great Blue Jays, and it looks like he won't have a lot of suitors this winter. If he wants to come back, I think it's a good idea to give him an opportunity, and 3rd base fits his declining skills and a hypothetical void on our roster.
jerjapan - Friday, August 25 2017 @ 11:32 PM EDT (#347710) #
I think there's a role for Bautista here next year too and would love him back as an all time great Jay, if we dump Morales, but it's a part time utility / pinch hitting role.  We had a chance to see Bautista at 3rd a few years back and there's a reason he ended up in RF.  He can no longer handle right, there's no way he can play 3rd every day.  
uglyone - Saturday, August 26 2017 @ 02:09 AM EDT (#347711) #
"Loup will cost more than $2 million dollars in his final year of arbitration though, is out of options, and has been worth all of 0.8 fWAR over his last four seasons combined. We can do better than that IMO."

like spending $3m on howell.
hypobole - Saturday, August 26 2017 @ 05:37 AM EDT (#347712) #
"like spending $3m on howell."

So in other words, why sign some FA who's been worth more than twice as much as Loup for about the same amount.
scottt - Saturday, August 26 2017 @ 07:29 AM EDT (#347716) #
I suppose at 2M, they can wait until he's lost of couple of games in April to release him.
If he can be replaced in-house, you wait. If you need to sign a FA, you do it early.
It's not about saving 1M or 2, it's about having a dependable lefty in the pen.

uglyone - Saturday, August 26 2017 @ 07:57 AM EDT (#347717) #
Career as RP

Loup (29): 273.0ip, 82era-, 86fip-, 88xfip-, 0.6awar/65ip
Howell (34): 453.2ip, 75era-, 92fip-, 90xfip-, 0.8awar/65ip

This Year:

Loup (29): 47.2ip, 94era-, 89fip-, 96xfip, 0.4awar/65ip
Howell (34): 11.0ip, 166era-, 142fip-, 120xfip-, -1.5awar/65ip
scottt - Saturday, August 26 2017 @ 08:23 AM EDT (#347718) #
The team can no longer be centered around Bautista, so they need to decline that option.
When everything else is taken care of early in 2018, they can pursue him with whatever money Rogers wants to poney up.
But frankly, he hasn't hit enough for a DH and he's supposed to be completely healthy.
He's more likely to be worse next year than to improve.

Chuck - Saturday, August 26 2017 @ 08:55 AM EDT (#347721) #
The team can no longer be centered around Bautista

I agree, and this is in full recognition of the icon he has been for so long. He was an accidental superstar with some terrific seasons. I have certainly enjoyed his career.

I believe it has served the current brass, from a PR perspective, to have brought him back for one more season, to bridge the old world with the new. But Bautista seems entirely spent, and the brass now has all the cover they need to move on from him, and start shaping the team in a new image, with new central figures. I fully expect that this is what they will do.

Aside: I have polled friends on whether Bautista is the type of player to extend his career as a role player, be it for the Jays or someone else. My guess was no, but many felt otherwise. I guess we'll see this off-season.

BlueJayWay - Saturday, August 26 2017 @ 09:12 AM EDT (#347722) #
I too think Bautista is done. He could very well this bad next year, or worse. The Jays are definitely declining their half of the mutual option. I don't think they're bringing him back in any capacity.
hypobole - Saturday, August 26 2017 @ 10:00 AM EDT (#347725) #
uglyone, you're awesome at posting disingenuous stats sometimes.

The 4 years prior to signing/potential signing,

Howell fWAR - 0.3, 0.4, 0.4, 0.8. - 1.9

Loup fWAR - 0.3, 0.0, 0.2, 0.3 - 0.8.

Career numbers prior to 4 years really aren't relative unless trying to build a false narrative.

And if Loup makes sense to sign, then Howell made at least as much sense to sign.

And all your last stat shows - signing a very mediocre reliever ( i.e. both Howell and Loup) has a good chance of not turning out well at all.

If one's point is Howell was a bad signing and therefore Loup will be a bad signing, or conversely, Howell was a reasonable signing and therefore Loup will be a reasonable signing, your argument would have some merit.

But to argue Loup should be brought back for similar money we gave Howell, who was a bad signing, makes little sense.

uglyone - Saturday, August 26 2017 @ 10:15 AM EDT (#347727) #
i think your arbitrary cutoffs are more disingenuous, tbh.
hypobole - Saturday, August 26 2017 @ 10:45 AM EDT (#347729) #
Projection systems have little use for career stats, they use recent years. You know that.

3 years is most common, but that just shows Howell and Loup being similar at time of signing/potential signing.

uglyone - Saturday, August 26 2017 @ 11:01 AM EDT (#347730) #
similar, except in age.

loup is fine. always has been. would have ended up fine last year if they had just let him pitch through it. crushed AAA when they sent him down.
hypobole - Saturday, August 26 2017 @ 12:19 PM EDT (#347731) #
Howell's recent track record was a bit better than Loup's, but yeah Loup is younger.

And TBH, I was OK with the Howell and Smith signings. I would prefer someone better than Loup, but if all the FO spends is around $3 million on this reliever, the chances of picking up someone who projects better than Loup is pretty slim.
bpoz - Saturday, August 26 2017 @ 12:28 PM EDT (#347732) #
The good/decent teams are on pace for the following # wins. Houston 98, Boston 92, Cleveland 90, NYY 86.

Currently the 2nd WC is Minnesota 83 wins. Lets say 82, wins it or is very close .51 winning %. To get to 82 the Jays have to go 22-12 or .647 winning %. Which makes them the hottest team in the league. A sub .500 record is looming for the Jays. They are 8 gms under .500. I expect the bar to be much higher in 2018.

Therefore the conversations about 2018 makes perfect sense.

I honestly think that the conversation has to make a distinction about 2018 with Donaldson and without him. Until we know the answer to Donaldson we are constructing 2 different teams.

My construction with Donaldson is a less young team, more veteran presence. Without him more youth and the growing pains that will come with that type of team.

Personally I see the rotation constructed basically the same in either case. Stroman, Sanchez, Happ, FA possibly Estrada and Biagini as the #5 until he loses it. Of course he could be good enough to keep his spot or not that good but availability of SP options lets him stay in the rotation. #6 could be anyone Rowley, he can pitch everyday in Buffalo and make a spot start when necessary. All the other close to ready SP prospects are also in play. A typical ML rotation will need about 8 members for the season. Very few if any rotations will have everyone being good. Porcello is a great example of a SP that stayed healthy and had vastly differently results from 2016-17. Aron Sanchez also, but due to injury.

Leave our pen the same except for maybe Osuna (becomes a SP, therefore no good closer) and Loup. The thing about Loup is that he can refuse to be optioned down. So I would not bring him back. Recently he has been mediocre or bad, but not good. Mayza, Pannone and Borucki may be able to handle the lefty role, hopefully better. Mayza will have growing pains (2 run HR) and the others probably also. Cecil was too expensive, a smart team decided he was worth the high price. Time will tell. This FO has not spent big $ on relievers so far.

With Donaldson here I cannot see 2 young OFs with Pillar, maybe 1. Also what is the thought process regarding OF defense by the FO. The lack of experience could be costly.
92-93 - Saturday, August 26 2017 @ 12:29 PM EDT (#347733) #
How about this - don't give guaranteed MLB contracts of any size to mediocre relievers if you're the type of team that needs to beat the market and lock down talents like Morales because you can't afford an Encarnacion. It leads to situations like Grilli this year, where you are hesitant to cut the guy until the end of June after he's already cost you a few games. If a reliever doesn't have options and isn't a stud, it hampers your ability to effectively manage the roster during the season.
uglyone - Saturday, August 26 2017 @ 01:16 PM EDT (#347734) #
i don't really mind signing guys like smith and Howell to cheap 1yr deals. 40yr old grilli for multiyears at $5m stretched that definition a bit too much, though - and outside of a shirt stretch right after the trade, he had been horrible for a while.

but i don't see the point of ditching loup to save $1m without any easy way to upgrade. and i think loup still has options anyways.
bpoz - Saturday, August 26 2017 @ 01:40 PM EDT (#347737) #
I believe that Loup has the right to refuse being optioned down because of length of service with the Jays. If he does refuse, then what happens?
hypobole - Saturday, August 26 2017 @ 01:55 PM EDT (#347739) #
What's this "can't afford Encarnacion."? They offered 4/80. He wanted more. No other team thought he was worth more, either.
92-93 - Saturday, August 26 2017 @ 02:42 PM EDT (#347744) #
I think you knew what I meant. Obviously the Jays could afford Encarnacion and Fowler, they made money hand over fist the last couple of seasons. They offered that knowing he wanted more, never thinking the market would come back the way it did making them look foolish. I don't believe for a second that the front office actually wanted Encarnacion for 4/80; they wanted the draft pick. I'm of the opinion that the Jays would likely be in a playoff spot right now if they signed Encarnacion & Fowler instead of Bautista & Morales. WAR might say the difference is only 3-4 wins, but for me that grossly understates the effect it would have had on the WARs of the rest of the roster.
92-93 - Saturday, August 26 2017 @ 02:48 PM EDT (#347746) #
The point of ditching Loup is because this front office has shown it's hesitant to cut bad relievers when they are guaranteed $. The need to carry Howell and Grilli is why the team was forced to run with a short bench and an 8 man bullpen. You can't option down players with 5 years of MLB service whether or not they have options.

I do agree though that Loup is going to be back.
scottt - Saturday, August 26 2017 @ 03:51 PM EDT (#347749) #
If Loup does not want to go down, he stays and the only option the team has is to release him.
There's only a few days to go before the rosters expend.

jerjapan - Saturday, August 26 2017 @ 06:47 PM EDT (#347757) #
I almost always agree with your analysis of players Ugly, but I fear you must owe Aaron Loup money.  79 baserunners in 47 2/3 IPs this year.  He's been worse each year since his debut, and will be at his most expensive next year.  I think the FO will keep him, but I wouldn't. 
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