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The Red Sox are in town, but Nori Aoki isnít anymore. Meanwhile, Brett Anderson is roaming the outfield. Another lefty who is trying to work his way back to being the pitcher he was prior to his injury, TJ House, was jettisoned as soon as he appeared. The hint of expanded rosters is just around the corner. Itís the end of the dog days of August.

On Monday, fans are treated to the best pitching matchup of the series as two of the top 5 pitchers in ERA in the AL face off. Marcus Stroman is looking for his 12th win of the year, which would set a career-high. Pomeranz, having already set a career-high in wins this year, is looking to improve to 14-4. Pomeranz is fifth in the AL in ERA at 3.18, while Stroman is narrowly ahead of him at 3.17.

On Tuesday, Chris Sale gets the call for Boston and Tom Koehler will make his second start for a team that isnít the Miami Marlins (assuming that Brett Anderson is just in town on a sightseeing trip). A Bronx native, Koehler has made one career start against Boston where he allowed five runs in 6 innings, although only one run was earned.

On Wednesday, Toronto sends JA Happ to the hill against Rick Porcello before heading to Baltimore for a four game set.

Red Sox at Blue Jays - August 28-30 | 66 comments | Create New Account
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jerjapan - Monday, August 28 2017 @ 05:30 PM EDT (#347847) #
Glad to see Aoki DFAed ... he was salary ballast and would have blocked some of our AAA OFers in Sept.  I'm sure he got a chance to see if someone wanted to make an August trade for him, but he was never going to be tendered a contract.  The 3 HRs were nice, but he's the same guy he always was ... a marginal at best LF who's speed is gone.  Zeke is better, and I imagine some / any of the Buffalo call-ups will be as well.  I just hope we don't see Saunders.
uglyone - Monday, August 28 2017 @ 05:50 PM EDT (#347848) #
aoki actually hit well for us overall. but glad to see they're not caring about playing the asset game here.


now come on jays give me one glimmer of joy this season and beat the damn red sox.
Magpie - Monday, August 28 2017 @ 08:08 PM EDT (#347849) #
Yes, John Gibbons did play in the majors! Very briefly, but we have photographic evidence!

 photo DHtom_ZVwAEWTuI.jpg
Chuck - Monday, August 28 2017 @ 09:31 PM EDT (#347850) #
What on earth is going on in that photo? Pete Rose trying his Ray Fosse special and Gibbons having no part of it?
Nigel - Monday, August 28 2017 @ 10:32 PM EDT (#347851) #
Thumbs up to bringing Anderson in and cutting Aoki. Better late than never to try something different. Exactly how the club should use its last month.
Magpie - Tuesday, August 29 2017 @ 08:32 AM EDT (#347852) #
What on earth is going on in that photo?

Someone should ask! Gibbons only played 18 games in the majors. I'm sure he remembers tagging Pete Rose out at home plate (trying to score from second base on a two-out single by Dawson.) Gibby went 0-2 with a BB, HBP and scored a run, all of which were major league firsts for him - he'd picked up his first H and RBI the day before, breaking an 0-13 start to his career.
Chuck - Tuesday, August 29 2017 @ 10:39 AM EDT (#347858) #
There's every chance I watched that game on TV as it was during my university exam period. One 21-year old watching another. Of course, neither 21-year old had the foreknowledge at the time that one of us, 30 years hence, would be earning millions. I was pretty sure it wouldn't be me. I probably would have been pretty confident it wouldn't have been him, either.
christaylor - Tuesday, August 29 2017 @ 07:47 PM EDT (#347888) #
Brett Anderson is singlehandedly getting me to keep the game on tonight. Reminiscent of Buehrle or Halladay in pace -- more of this would be nice.
CeeBee - Tuesday, August 29 2017 @ 07:50 PM EDT (#347889) #
Looks like the home plate ump is as befuddled by Sale's offerings as the batters.
Nigel - Tuesday, August 29 2017 @ 08:15 PM EDT (#347890) #
Boy Anderson sure looks good. I expect his arm to fly off his body on every pitch Monty Python style, but so far so good. He's been 90-91 on his FB which is generally consistent with his velocity when he's been healthy.
Nigel - Tuesday, August 29 2017 @ 08:29 PM EDT (#347892) #
Welcome to the Abominable Outfield, Brett. God was that effort by Bautista awful. I actually heard a few boos. So much for the end days of a Jays great.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, August 29 2017 @ 08:58 PM EDT (#347894) #
I hope the Jays bring Anderson back next year. I don't expect him to stay healthy long but pile up as many SP's as possible. I think I have seen enough below replacement level starters this season to last a lifetime. The more SP's, the better. Use him until his arm falls off, aka Gavin Floyd 2016.

I also can't wait to have an athletic OF again, hopefully by next season. It has been beaten to death but they really need to choose between Morales and Pearce. Replacing Bautista with Hernandez will almost certainly be an upgrade because even if his hitting takes time, the defense and base running alone will make a huge difference.
Gerry - Tuesday, August 29 2017 @ 09:07 PM EDT (#347896) #
Sloppy baseball.
uglyone - Tuesday, August 29 2017 @ 09:18 PM EDT (#347897) #
At least let us watch a Jansen all september instead of a Montero.
Nigel - Tuesday, August 29 2017 @ 09:23 PM EDT (#347898) #
SK, agreed on all fronts. Sloppy is charitable. The sooner Montero is gone the better.
scottt - Tuesday, August 29 2017 @ 09:41 PM EDT (#347899) #
Anderson looked good. That's the good news for the night I guess.

If the season ended today the Jays would be drafting 11th.
Given that they'll get no extra picks--the Royals as a revenue sharing team could get 3 extra first round picks--it's not exactly mind blowing.
ISLAND BOY - Tuesday, August 29 2017 @ 10:28 PM EDT (#347901) #
I never saw a catcher mess up a rundown worse than Montero did tonight. The attempted pick off at second base by Tepera was bad,too. The team needs to go through spring training again.
Nigel - Tuesday, August 29 2017 @ 10:29 PM EDT (#347902) #
Anderson's post game interview was pretty classic. His comment was that he felt pretty good until the 6th in which there were some balls hit with "unexpected results". Welcome to the defence of the 2017 Jays. The only thing missing was an actual rolling of the eyes. I still chuckle when I think of Atkins' interview at the All Star break in which he said that the team defence was unexpectedly bad. That was.a good one.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, August 29 2017 @ 10:57 PM EDT (#347906) #
I guess the bright spot for the defense going forward is that it will be pretty easy to upgrade it. Bautista is gone after this season, and hopefully the team trades one of Pearce/Morales to limit the amount of 1B/DH on the roster. I don't think there is a GM alive that will take Morales even if the Jays ate up half his remaining salary, much less give up any value for him, so Pearce is probably the guy to move. That would open up LF and RF. One spot for Hernandez if/when he wins a spot, and the other maybe in a trade or free agent signing.

As far as catcher, I think seeing Montero has made me OK with going with Maile next season and hoping his offense is at least passable for a back-up (the bar for that isn't very high to begin with).
Thomas - Wednesday, August 30 2017 @ 12:03 AM EDT (#347911) #
I don't think there is a GM alive that will take Morales even if the Jays ate up half his remaining salary, much less give up any value for him,

What team would want him if the Jays ate 75% of his contract and asked for the team's 26-year-old reliever in Low-A in return? I'm struggling to think of any.

92-93 - Wednesday, August 30 2017 @ 01:35 AM EDT (#347913) #
Amazingly there are only 4 AL teams that have a higher OPS from the DH than Morales' .747. Some of the teams that are below that, like Baltimore and Detroit, are locked in to pricey DHs of their own, but perhaps there's a team out there that doesn't view Morales the way we have come to see him this season, maybe one with a bad pitching contract they're looking to move. If not, I don't see what the issue would be with relegating him to one of your 4 bench spots, a backup plan to the inevitable Pearce injury and coverage for Smoak as well. The front office would just have to make it clear to Gibby that Pearce is an everyday 1B/DH, not an outfielder. A bench consisting of Maile, Goins, Morales, and Carrera/Alford/Pompey/Smith/Hernandez/Gurriel would be a heck of a lot better than what they've been carrying lately.
hypobole - Wednesday, August 30 2017 @ 02:04 AM EDT (#347914) #
Looks like Goins plus Barney are going to end up playing more than twice as many games than Tulo plus Travis.

The FO can almost guarantee 150 games to whoever they target as the backup MI next year.
85bluejay - Wednesday, August 30 2017 @ 09:02 AM EDT (#347916) #
Happy that Anderson had a good start, hope he's part of the rotation next year - Last winter when I advocated for trading Donaldson,Happ,Estrada & Osuna - Anderson & Charlie Morton were 2 of the replacement pitchers I wanted the Jays to sign - I know Anderson's season has been an injury bust but I like Groundball (& strikeout artist) pitchers in the small AL east ballparks.
Mike Green - Wednesday, August 30 2017 @ 09:07 AM EDT (#347917) #
As a fan, the team that I would like to see most often in September would have an outfield consisting of 3 of Pillar, Carrera, Hernandez and Alford, as much of Travis as his health will safely permit, Smoak and Pearce at first base, Martin, Maile and Jansen catching and Pearce/Bautista/Morales/Smoak all getting DH time.  I am sure that the club wishes to see more of Brett Anderson and Tom Koehler, and that is fine.  I'd also like to see Carlos Ramirez and Aaron Sanchez (health permitting) in the pen in September. 

I hope that we have seen the last game with Pearce and Bautista in the outfield. 

China fan - Wednesday, August 30 2017 @ 09:47 AM EDT (#347918) #
"....I never saw a catcher mess up a rundown worse than Montero did tonight..."

In addition to the blunders by the other players, Goins had a Red Sox runner trapped badly between 2nd and 3rd base in the first inning (the runner had fallen down), and he inexplicably threw to 1B to get the hitter, instead of tagging the runner.  He basically gave a free base to the Sox.  I can't imagine Tulowitzki doing something like that.

This is the time of year when out-of-contention teams can get sloppy because they know it doesn't matter.  That's not an excuse, but it's human reality. 

We would all like to see a boatload of interesting young prospects in the lineup in every game in September.  But as I recall from previous years, the Jays always feel some obligation to veterans who will be looking for new contracts in the off-season. Bautista will continue to get a lot of playing time in September, despite his appallingly horrific slash line of .181/.287/.330 since the beginning of June.  If he can suddenly hit strongly for his final few weeks of the season, he could get a decent contract somewhere in 2018, and the Jays will feel that they owe at least that much to one of their all-time greatest players. 
Nigel - Wednesday, August 30 2017 @ 09:49 AM EDT (#347919) #
92-93, I agree with every word of that. It's the obvious path going forward. Unfortunately, it's been the obvious path for a long time now but involves the front office publicly admitting a mistake. I don't see that happening any time soon.
Mike Green - Wednesday, August 30 2017 @ 09:58 AM EDT (#347920) #
We would all like to see a boatload of interesting young prospects in the lineup in every game in September.  But as I recall from previous years, the Jays always feel some obligation to veterans who will be looking for new contracts in the off-season. Bautista will continue to get a lot of playing time in September, despite his appallingly horrific slash line of .181/.287/.330 since the beginning of June.  If he can suddenly hit strongly for his final few weeks of the season, he could get a decent contract somewhere in 2018, and the Jays will feel that they owe at least that much to one of their all-time greatest players.

If they feel that way, give him the DH job 70% of the time.  Bautista is not helping his chances of getting a decent contract by playing the OF.  It's not in the club's interest, it's not in the player's interest and it's not in the fan's interest.  Lose-lose-lose. 
Mike Green - Wednesday, August 30 2017 @ 10:13 AM EDT (#347922) #
So, the Orioles are in the hunt again and the question always is how.  The starting pitching has been, as usual, awful.  Zach Britton has been hurt and much less effective than usual.  Darren O'Day has been hurt and much less effective than usual.  Mychal Givens and Brad Brach have been good, but not as good as last year.  Their position player stars have been uniformly disappointing- Machado, Jones, Davis and Trumbo have all produced less value than anticipated (a combined 4.7 fWAR). 

The answer- the development of Jonathan Schoop and Trey Mancini, value acquisitions and overperforming Pythagoras (again).  The value acquisitions: Wellington Castillo, Tim Beckham, and Seth Smith.  The funny thing about the latter two was they both could have helped the Blue Jays.  The O's signed traded for Smith in January, parting with Yovani Gallardo and cash.  A similar deal would have made sense for the Jays.  Beckham was acquired on July 31 for Tobias Myers, a 2016 6th round pick currently in the New York Penn League at age 18.  A similar deal would have made sense for the Blue Jays- August would have gone a lot better with Barney and Goins sharing second base duties. 

Nigel - Wednesday, August 30 2017 @ 10:14 AM EDT (#347923) #
Mike, agreed. I do wonder if we've reached a tipping point on the outfield issue. I heard boos last night after Bautista's play in the 6th. That is the first time I've heard him booed on a fielding play. Frankly, I've been astonished that the fans have watched the defence all year and reacted like sheep - almost no booing. Secondly, it was clear in his post-game comments that Anderson was not impressed. If he pitches well and the Jays are trying to convince him to come back in 2018, then I can't imagine them rolling with that OF when he's starting.
hypobole - Wednesday, August 30 2017 @ 10:31 AM EDT (#347924) #
As far as Bautista getting a decent contract in the offseason, I very much doubt it no matter how well he does. I'd be surprised if he even got a contract. Teams now seem much less inclined to hand out money to aging one-dimensional hitters, as we saw with EE, Pearce and Bautista this past offseason.

Add in Morales, Trumbo, etc and there are simply too many cautionary tales out there. And with 25 man spots on the positional side at a premium due to bullpen expansion there is no room for Smokey Burgess types anymore.
uglyone - Wednesday, August 30 2017 @ 10:44 AM EDT (#347925) #
"The answer- the development of Jonathan Schoop and Trey Mancini, value acquisitions and overperforming Pythagoras (again). The value acquisitions: Wellington Castillo, Tim Beckham, and Seth Smith. The funny thing about the latter two was they both could have helped the Blue Jays. The O's signed traded for Smith in January, parting with Yovani Gallardo and cash. A similar deal would have made sense for the Jays. Beckham was acquired on July 31 for Tobias Myers, a 2016 6th round pick currently in the New York Penn League at age 18. A similar deal would have made sense for the Blue Jays- August would have gone a lot better with Barney and Goins sharing second base duties. "



yep, a lot of cheap good not-old pickups by the orioles. similar to the yankees before them.

picking up guys in their mid-30s isn't the only way to add players.
Magpie - Wednesday, August 30 2017 @ 10:50 AM EDT (#347926) #
Welcome to the defence of the 2017 Jays.

Indeed. Bautista is certainly a below-average defensive outfielder at this stage of his career, but he's actually played better in the field than he did in 2016. The bigger problem has been the other eight positions in the field. Every single one of them has been worse than it was the year before. Particularly middle infield and behind the plate.
Magpie - Wednesday, August 30 2017 @ 10:52 AM EDT (#347927) #
Oh, first base might be a wash. But 2b, ss, 3b, cf, lf, c, and p have all been worse than 2016.
China fan - Wednesday, August 30 2017 @ 11:06 AM EDT (#347929) #
"....Bautista is not helping his chances of getting a decent contract by playing the OF.  It's not in the club's interest, it's not in the player's interest and it's not in the fan's interest.  Lose-lose-lose...."

You might see it that way, but I would be very surprised if Bautista sees it that way.  He still thinks he has a better chance at a 2018 contract if he can show that he can play the outfield, not merely DH.  (Or at least occasional outfield duties, in the vein of Steve Pearce, which might be agonizing to the spectators but might still seem acceptable to the player.)

And when a team is dealing with a sensitive former superstar and all-time team great, it is the player's perception that matters, not the fan's perception.
James W - Wednesday, August 30 2017 @ 11:20 AM EDT (#347930) #
Manny Machado had an awful start -- .205/.286/.405 at the end of May -- but since then he's hit .309/.342/.567. But still an underwhelming season for him.
jerjapan - Wednesday, August 30 2017 @ 12:56 PM EDT (#347933) #
I've been astonished that the fans have watched the defence all year and reacted like sheep

Nigel, that's my mom you are talking about their ... and my niece .... lots of people go to games and wouldn't think to boo, others remember the bat flip or the breakout season and choose not to.  We should be booing the front office for putting a roster together that exposes how limited Bautista is at this point in his career, and spend the next month enjoying the likely last hurrah of one of the all time great Jays.  And then enjoy actual good OF D next year.  

Anderson inspires slightly more confidence than the other soft-tossing retreads we've run out this season.  He was a genuinely solid starter until injuries in 2016.  But the real reason I want the guy to get a real look is how quickly he works .... I love watching a starter that just pitches like that. 
uglyone - Wednesday, August 30 2017 @ 12:58 PM EDT (#347935) #
The Story of the Worst Logo in Jays History: http://www.sportsnet.ca/baseball/mlb/big-read-origins-blue-jays-hated-jersey/


The corporatespeak still makes my skin crawl.
Nigel - Wednesday, August 30 2017 @ 01:07 PM EDT (#347936) #
Jerjapan, I completely understand that a good chunk of the fan base wouldn't think to boo. I'm 100% supportive of that. My point was that I'm surprised that the other portion of the fanbase hasn't spoken out against the defence yet. Around about the middle of July a smattering of boos started appearing when Bautista and Pillar (in particular) have gotten out in very high leverage situations.
Chuck - Wednesday, August 30 2017 @ 01:18 PM EDT (#347937) #
lots of people go to games and wouldn't think to boo

And wouldn't think to blame the defender for a play not made (unless it is a blatant screw-up). Just look at how enthusiastically fans cheer over the most routine of defensive plays. Mainstream fans are pretty easily dazzled.

hypobole - Wednesday, August 30 2017 @ 01:38 PM EDT (#347939) #
What exactly is the point of fans booing their own team's players? OK, a complete lack of hustle or daydreaming during play might warrant it.

Most of the time people who boo their own team are just jerks at a ballgame.

christaylor - Wednesday, August 30 2017 @ 01:46 PM EDT (#347940) #
When I saw the link I thought they were going to discuss that cartoon logo from the early 00s. That one is easily the worst logo. I don't mind the angry bird logo (but never liked the black jersey or the sparkles) but I remember hearing that the one thing the Jays lost out on by not going back to the original logo was option to include a ball on the as the original does -- I forget where I read/heard it but all logos that contain a ball on the hat have to be approved or grandfathered in by mlb. The Brewers ball/glove with an m and b logo immediately comes to mind -- one of the best an mlb team has ever done, I think.
rpriske - Wednesday, August 30 2017 @ 01:57 PM EDT (#347941) #
They think THAT is the most hated Jays uniform?

Nope. Muscle-Jay ruined everything.

Magpie - Wednesday, August 30 2017 @ 02:19 PM EDT (#347942) #
Muscle-Jay ruined everything.

Oh, indeed. An utter abomination.

I thought the black unis were okay in themselves - they just weren't the Jays. Some other team, they would have been fine. Never cared much for the actual beltless pajamas that they started with (neither did the players) - but it established a few things that must always be preserved: the basic shape of the logo, the split numerals. Which you can work with.
Mike Green - Wednesday, August 30 2017 @ 02:32 PM EDT (#347943) #
He still thinks he has a better chance at a 2018 contract if he can show that he can play the outfield, not merely DH.

That might be what Bautista thinks, and it might not.  It could easily be that he is accommodating to the front office's wish that Morales get a lot of playing time.  He said after last season that he'd play anywhere, and personally I believe that. 
eudaimon - Wednesday, August 30 2017 @ 04:10 PM EDT (#347946) #
Morales sure does look like our worst FA signing in quite some time. The money involved isn't terrible, but the commitment is unfortunate. He's been worth -0.6 WAR this year according to Fangraphs, and has made it harder to rest our aging veteran core which may have contributed to Bautista's steep decline and various injuries to position players. In the offseason I tried to be optimistic about his exit velocity and all that, but it always seemed like a bad idea to signed another old, slow guy, particularly one who would clog up the DH spot on a team of veterans. Here's hoping they can unload him this offseason.

Also, some worried about the FO being "cheap" and conservative. I think the cheapness comes through a bit in the Biagini starting experiment. They did good in getting a top-tier reliever for just about free in 2016, but now they want to get even more for their money by making him a starter. He sure hasn't looked like one so far, and why would he? The guy was just okay as a 25 year old starter in AA in 2015, with a K/9 in the 5s. He was great as a reliever, but most relievers were once bad starters. I think it was a poor decision to even try it, and I hope they didn't ruin him by doing so (his numbers post experiment have been poor, even as a reliever).

At least the Smoak signing worked out very well. So far, it's a mixed bag from this FO. Not really better or worse than AAs first years really, though AA can be forgiven for being a rookie GM at the time (and I think he got a lot better by the end). Shapiro is a veteran, so it's fair to wonder if this is it. We'll see how they draft I suppose, though Cleveland had a mostly less than impressive run of drafts while Shapiro was GM.

scottt - Wednesday, August 30 2017 @ 05:11 PM EDT (#347947) #
I would like to see ... in September ... as much of Travis as his health will safely permit.

It seems that you might not see Travis at all as he is experiencing a setback.
electric carrot - Wednesday, August 30 2017 @ 05:46 PM EDT (#347949) #
We are at the point in the season where the Jays would need to win every one of their last reg season games for me to consider the season a success. Sigh. Normally this point comes mid Sept.
lexomatic - Wednesday, August 30 2017 @ 09:31 PM EDT (#347955) #
I gotta say, resting Smoak AND Donaldson against the Red Sox is not trying to win. If you gotta rest em, you can't do it in the same game. The rest of the offence has been too bad.
I know it's irrational, but it really pisses me off. If you're not playing to win dump some of these guys and check out younger guys.

Magpie - Wednesday, August 30 2017 @ 09:36 PM EDT (#347956) #
Can't anybody here play this game?
92-93 - Wednesday, August 30 2017 @ 10:00 PM EDT (#347957) #
Depends what you mean by here; I did make a nice catch up in 500 last night.

Refsnyder has no business being anywhere near the infield.
PeterG - Wednesday, August 30 2017 @ 10:06 PM EDT (#347958) #
Agreed on Ref. I would consider designating him and adding Christian Lopes for September to see what he can do,
Magpie - Wednesday, August 30 2017 @ 10:32 PM EDT (#347959) #
Refsnyder has no business being anywhere near the infield.

I was thinking anywhere near a ballpark, but that's certainly a start.
scottt - Thursday, August 31 2017 @ 01:17 AM EDT (#347961) #
AA's first years were marked by not signing any free agents. You can only do so much with waiver claims.
On that front, Shapiro/Atkins have done a lot better, but I blame Beeston for the payroll, not AA.

AA's trade were more about acquiring cheap players than acquiring good players.
Some of those cheap players turned out to be very good. Some weren't.
Dickey was a former Cy Young on an affordable contract. He was around league average.
The Marlins trade was mostly a bust. Payroll parameters do not explain that trade.

If most relievers are failed starters, how can starting Biagini ruin him?
His secondary pitches are great. He's struggling with his fastball.
Sometimes fastball control comes and goes. Starting or relieving has little to do with that.
You can't have success out of the pen without fastball command.

Bautista looks done. Last year, he had several slumps. This year, he's only been productive in May.
He hit .178 in April, .200 in June, .162 in July and .172 in August. So long, Bats. I'll miss you.
The outfield should sort itself out once Hernandez and Alford arrives.
The infield is a mess. Barney and Goins are not good enough. Refsnyder is really an outfielder.
From what I've heard, Gurriel does not play well in the infield either.
They need to make a move there. I'm worried that Travis will need lots of off-time.
If Bichette continues to shadow Guerrero, he could be ready for a call-up late next year.
What until then? Experiment with Gurriel, Urena, anybody who looks good in spring training or sign an interim solution?

ayjackson - Thursday, August 31 2017 @ 08:12 AM EDT (#347964) #
Feels like we're tanking.

I agree that we should go with Stro-Sanchez-Happ-Estrada next hear with a young, fast and defensively sound lineup.

And as much as I could stomach a big extension for Josh, i don't see the point. Trade him for prospects.
scottt - Thursday, August 31 2017 @ 09:00 AM EDT (#347966) #
The point is to score runs. Donaldson is one of the big draw left. Smoak doesn't quite cut it.
Tulo and Martin are fading. Sanchez and Osuna had rocky years.
They need to improve at the corner outfield, both middle infield position and catching.
So of course, people suggest they instead trade the star players at the other positions away.

BlueJayWay - Thursday, August 31 2017 @ 09:43 AM EDT (#347967) #
They should do something with Donaldson this off season. Some kind of extension or trade him for 2 or 3 good prospects. I'd be fine with either. Probably what they'll do though is hang on to him and either trade him by the deadline next year if they're out of it (and not get as much if they did it this winter) or he walks in free agency and the Jays get only a draft pick.
85bluejay - Thursday, August 31 2017 @ 10:35 AM EDT (#347968) #
I think it's possible that the Jays may get more for Donaldson at the deadline because the acquiring team will definitely be in contention and will only be paying 1/3 of that expensive year - less if the jays eat some money which they are unlikely to do in the offseason.
Mike Green - Thursday, August 31 2017 @ 11:10 AM EDT (#347969) #
I ran a Play Index for Josh Donaldson- third basemen with over 2600 PAs and an OPS+ between 130 and 155 between ages 27 and 31 (Donaldson has 3100+ PAs and an OPS+ of 143).  I got 6 comparables- one of whom is not usable (Heine Groh).  The others are pretty good- Al Rosen (by far the closest 143 OPS+ and 1 more PA so far and a similar career path), Eddie Mathews, Scott Rolen, David Wright and Ron Cey.  The record is not good, to say the least.  I like Donaldson a little better than the comparables. 

Donaldson's age 33-37 seasons are a somewhat risky proposition.  He's been a 7 WAR/season player in his prime.  If he holds his value very well, he'll be a 4-5 WAR player on average over that time.  If he doesn't, his career might be over.  after age 33.  Personally, I'd prefer if they tried hard to extend him in the off-season and if this fails, sent him on. That does not seem like a likely approach from Rogers and Shapiro. 

SK in NJ - Thursday, August 31 2017 @ 11:22 AM EDT (#347970) #
I'm also in the extend him or trade him camp. With that said, I don't think 1) he wants to be extended, and 2) the Jays have any interest in extending him for 5-7 years. Given that the team is going to have a -100+ run differential by the end of the season and a last place finish, it seems like even public perception would understand the logic behind trading him, but whether they actually do it is a different story. A WC spot in '18 might be possible with some luck and a hell of an off-season, but I wouldn't want to bank on that at the risk of losing Donaldson for nothing. A team that is old and on the verge of losing around 90 games is not to magically get better without a significant youth/talent influx.
bpoz - Thursday, August 31 2017 @ 11:55 AM EDT (#347972) #
Today is the deadline to set your playoff roster. Anyone not on the 40 man roster cannot play in the playoffs.

I expect a few last minute trades.
eudaimon - Thursday, August 31 2017 @ 01:34 PM EDT (#347975) #
Daniel Bard comes to mind when thinking of ruined relievers. He was a pretty good reliever for a few years, then they tried him as a starter and now he's basically Ricky Romero.

Of course, that could be an extreme example, and maybe correlation doesn't equal causation. But Bard was also a mediocre minor league starter (higher than 6 ERAs in A ball at age 22, with a low K-rate) that probably should have stayed a reliever.

There's probably a few ways that starting can ruin a reliever. The decreased success could get to their head, or they might hurt themselves trying too hard to maintain the velocities that contributed to their success as a reliever.



hypobole - Thursday, August 31 2017 @ 02:01 PM EDT (#347976) #
Dave Cameron opined the other day infield defence isn't as important as it used to be:

"Defense in general is less important due to all the strikeouts and home runs these days, but range on the infield has been particularly devalued due to shifts. Now that everyone is positioned better than they used to be, donít have to have a lot of range to cover holes anymore."
Nigel - Thursday, August 31 2017 @ 02:15 PM EDT (#347978) #
Having watched Tulo and Goins try and play SS this year it sure doesn't feel like range isn't that important any more but that is an interesting idea.
PeterG - Thursday, August 31 2017 @ 02:50 PM EDT (#347980) #
from Stoeten on Twitter:

"The reality is that the way this team was built is going to cause some correction at some point" - Shapiro not exactly mincing words
Nigel - Thursday, August 31 2017 @ 03:12 PM EDT (#347981) #
That's an interesting quote given he built far more than half the current roster and payroll.
Mike Green - Thursday, August 31 2017 @ 03:15 PM EDT (#347982) #
I compared 2011 MLB (when shifting was much less common) with 2017 MLB.  Groundballs per game are down about 5%, but the slash line is worse (.246/.246/.268 instead of .237/.237/.256).  GIDPs are up about 10% (and the Blue Jays have contributed significantly to this unworthy cause).  Batters reaching on errors are down about 10% (more generous scoring for fielders?).

If infield defence is less significant than it was 6 years ago, it's hard to see it.  I guess the one argument for it is the success of the Astros.  Their team defensive numbers are bad, but really the worst players have been Yulieski Gurriel and Brian McCann (opponents are 45-7 stealing bases off McCann).  Bregman, Correa and Altuve are decent defensive players.   The other teams with poor defensive numbers- the Blue Jays, Athletics, Padres and White Sox- have pretty clearly paid a price for their lack of defensive performance. Semien and Lowrie is not much of double play combination.  Aybar, Spangenburg and Schimpf haven't worked for the Padres.  Anderson, Davidson and Moncada have struggled for the White Sox.  Most teams with good infield defence have been successful.  The exception is the Reds. 

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