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The Jays head into Baltimore for a four game set. The team is playing uninspired ball at the moment but playing the Orioles often brings out the best in the Jays. Can they win, or at least split, the series?

The Jays will announce some call-ups after todays game. There may be more call-ups on Monday once the Bisons season is finished.


Thursday: Estrada vs. Hellickson

Friday: Biagini vs. Gausman

Saturday: Stroman vs. Miley

Sunday: Anderson vs. Tillman

Blue Jays at Orioles - Aug 31 - Sept 3 | 146 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
hypobole - Thursday, August 31 2017 @ 09:29 PM EDT (#347987) #
After Morales grounded into the 1st inning DP, I started swearing at the TV. Since I hate getting to the point where I'm swearing at the TV, I resolved never to watch another Morales plate appearance as long as he's in a Jays uniform.

I should have thought of that months ago.

CeeBee - Thursday, August 31 2017 @ 09:35 PM EDT (#347988) #
didya miss the 2 home runs? :)
hypobole - Thursday, August 31 2017 @ 09:44 PM EDT (#347989) #
Missed both and the RBI single.
CeeBee - Thursday, August 31 2017 @ 09:48 PM EDT (#347990) #
At least being slow as molasses doesn't matter when he's doing the home run trot.
scottt - Thursday, August 31 2017 @ 09:57 PM EDT (#347991) #
LOL.  Make it 3.
hypobole - Thursday, August 31 2017 @ 09:58 PM EDT (#347992) #
Missed the 3rd one as well. My wife is laughing at me.
scottt - Thursday, August 31 2017 @ 10:01 PM EDT (#347993) #
She's not alone.

I wonder if Morales gets the night off tomorrow.

SK in NJ - Thursday, August 31 2017 @ 10:02 PM EDT (#347994) #
If hypobole never watches Morales ever again, Kendrys could win the MVP next year.
scottt - Thursday, August 31 2017 @ 10:07 PM EDT (#347995) #
He could win it this year. There's enough ABs left for a 100 homers and carrying the Jays into the playoffs now would definitively be worth the MVP.
scottt - Thursday, August 31 2017 @ 10:14 PM EDT (#347996) #
Games scores: Estrada 22, Hellickson 21.

I'm not sure I want Marco back.

As far as infielder range goes, the Jays starters induce more ground balls than most.
It doesn't matter what happens when other clubs play. 

Gerry - Thursday, August 31 2017 @ 10:57 PM EDT (#347997) #
Urena, Saunders, Maile, Carlos Ramirez, Teoscar Hernandez are being called up.
Nigel - Thursday, August 31 2017 @ 11:05 PM EDT (#347998) #
Christian Lopes must really not be in the future plans to be behind Urena in the call up cycle.
R Romero Vaughan - Thursday, August 31 2017 @ 11:28 PM EDT (#347999) #
Attendance for tonight's game - 13,802 - with the orioles in a playoff race

Jays average attendance this year - 39,996

TV viewing statistics are orders of magnitude different

Yet the payroll discrepancy is only c 15m USD

How on earth Rogers can get away with this is beyond me - we've had a middle infield of Darwin Barney and Ryan Goins for months. While other teams like the Orioles have been trying at least to stay in the race with incremental improvements.

How can the Jays not be spending up to the luxury tax threshold - it's a disgrace.



pooks137 - Thursday, August 31 2017 @ 11:31 PM EDT (#348000) #

Christian Lopes must really not be in the future plans to be behind Urena in the call up cycle.

Well Urena is already on the 40-man, making a call-up a lot easier. And calling up Saunders used up another 40-man spot, so it makes it harder to call up org guys like Lopes.

John Northey - Thursday, August 31 2017 @ 11:33 PM EDT (#348001) #
hypobole maybe you should stop watching Morales more often :)

More seriously I still am not a fan of Morales and hope he is traded somehow this winter.
Michael - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 02:07 AM EDT (#348002) #
The general attitude towards Morales from posters this year reminds me of the attitude we all had to Smoak post-extension last year. Here's hoping whatever voodoo magic Smoak found last off season Kendrys finds this off season.
uglyone - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 02:12 AM EDT (#348003) #
R Romero Vaughan.....

...EXACTLY.

it's embarrassing, really.
China fan - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 06:47 AM EDT (#348005) #
By my count, there are now 41 players on the 40-man roster, after the promotions last night, so somebody has to be dropped today.

I don't think Urena is a very big surprise. He has been getting a lot of major-league time in spring training, and it's clear that the Jays feel that his glove is major-league ready. His hitting is still a problem, but he's only 21 and he has lots of time to improve in that area. In the meantime, the major-league playing time in September can only be good for his development.

ISLAND BOY - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 07:00 AM EDT (#348006) #
There was a stat table during the game last night showing the Jays dead last in the majors hitting with runners in scoring position ( .220 ). They then proceed to go 5/10 in the game.
SK in NJ - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 08:04 AM EDT (#348007) #
"The general attitude towards Morales from posters this year reminds me of the attitude we all had to Smoak post-extension last year. Here's hoping whatever voodoo magic Smoak found last off season Kendrys finds this off season."


He is still hitting the ball hard, but his GB rate is over 50%, his walks have gone down, his LD and FB rate has gone down, and his K's have gone up. Nothing is really trending in the right direction and he's in his mid-30's. Hope you're right though. I don't see this FO getting rid of him. They signed him for three years for a reason. So just have to hope he bounces back. Smoak's batted ball profile and walk rate was always good, he just couldn't hit off speed stuff. Maybe a similar adjustment for Morales can help him.
scottt - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 08:04 AM EDT (#348008) #
Yeah, but there was a couple of home runs.
What if they hit poorly because they swing for the fences whenever someone's on base?

scottt - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 08:08 AM EDT (#348009) #
Urena should end up being the shortstop at Buffalo who gets called up when Tulo goes on the DL.
Lopes is probably an utility player at best.

scottt - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 08:12 AM EDT (#348010) #
Morales is being drowned in slow curveballs that he can't do anything with.
Can he adjust to that? I don't know but I sure hope the hiting coaches are working on that with him.

scottt - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 08:17 AM EDT (#348011) #
Spending is something you do during the off-season.
I don't want them to spend unless they get the returns.
I already have my wife who does that.
I want them to improve the team now without making the team worse later.
It does not matter how much they spend.

Notice the Verlander trade.
If you want prospects coming back later, invest in pitching.

dalimon5 - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 10:15 AM EDT (#348017) #
Verlander for Reid Foley, Alford and Mcguire and little salary relief, would you have done that trade? I don't think Detroit was interested in saving more money at the costs of less prospects. J.Upton was an outlier because they expected him to opt out so they effectively had 30 days playing time to work with in terms of value.
Mike Green - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 10:34 AM EDT (#348018) #
Have I misread the standings?  Did Bob Dylan's promise that the last shall be first come true?  No, on both counts unfortunately.  

It sure would be nice to have Verlander and Upton (Kate) in Toronto, but no. 

SK in NJ - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 11:08 AM EDT (#348020) #
I would have been fine with Verlander if the majority of the cost associated with trading for him was taking his salary. If actual prospects had to be sent over as well, then pass. Made sense for Houston, but not for the Jays.
uglyone - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 11:20 AM EDT (#348021) #
Once again one of those killer overpay anchor contracts turns out to be not so much that.
Nigel - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 11:34 AM EDT (#348022) #
Scott I understand that the Jays hope Urena is a potential SS replacement and Lopes is more likely a utility player. However, the Jays are in desperate need of a serviceable utility player. The last two years Lopes has posted some numbers that suggest a broad range of offensive skills (albeit without being eye popping). For me, he would be on the team ahead of Saunders every time. Anyway, it's not a big deal. Just like so so much of this year, it's inefficient. It's not like there aren't some opportunities at 2B in September on this roster.
hypobole - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 11:48 AM EDT (#348023) #
Lopes seems to be a Refsnyder type utility guy, probably better defensively at 2nd, but without the ability to play SS.

That said, still rather have him see what he can do here, rather than either Saunders (who I've already argued against calling up) or Refsnyder.
PeterG - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 11:48 AM EDT (#348024) #
I think Lopes could still be in the Jays plans as a future utility player. He will likely get a good look in ST and and be a call up possibility next year. The fact he was not on 40 man hurt his chances for this September. It is believed Saunders had been promised a call up. I would have been ok with releasing Ref in favour of Lopes but it appears the team wants to take a longer look at him. Lopes will still be there.

Urena can be used as a defensive replacement and pinch runner. If JD is going to play some SS as Gibby suggests, a defensive replacement when winning might be required.
Chuck - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 12:03 PM EDT (#348025) #
I don't see the point of Saunders being up, even with the team going nowhere. Whose playing time will he poach? And to what end? Say he hits .400 in 40 at-bats. So what?
Nigel - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 12:08 PM EDT (#348027) #
Over the years I have read that Lopes is a decent fielder. He has also been playing some 3rd. Hyperbole's right in that I don't think he can play SS. I do think he's a mile ahead of Ref in terms of being a potentially useful infield utility player. Bad teams shouldn't have this kind of 40 man roster problem. Anyway, the only loss here is the opportunity to give Lopes say 10 games to see what you might have for next year. It's not a big issue, just inefficient.
jerjapan - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 12:16 PM EDT (#348028) #
Three HRs and Morales' fWAR is up to -0.2, right behind Ian Parmley.  I'm happy for the guy, he seems like a good dude.  I wonder if the players think he is a liability?  Those old school counting stats may still impress someone other than Pat Tabler.

Aside from Urena, those call ups were totally expected, and while I disagree with this FO's focus on guys with MLB experience, I get the idea of taking longer looks at the likes of Refsnyder, Maille and Anderson.

But I continue to have no idea why Saunders got the call.  Lopes or pretty much any marginal prospect in Buffalo makes more sense to me, although I'm not much of a Lopes fan - what is he, our 50th best prospect?  I like my utility guys to be able to play SS, and he doesn't have enough bat to make up for that. 

I think Urena is auditioning for the depth IF role next year, but like R Romero Vaughn, I think it's disgraceful that the org is likely going to continue to count pennies and not reward the loyal fan base with increased spending - like they said they would if attendance continued to be strong.

Random question - should we have resigned Dickey last year as our sixth starter?   
Chuck - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 12:27 PM EDT (#348030) #
should we have resigned Dickey last year as our sixth starter?

How would such a job offer have been attractive when Atlanta gave him the chance to be a rotation regular?

Nigel - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 12:41 PM EDT (#348031) #
Jerjapan, I know this will sound like damning with faint praise (it isn't) but Lopes' offensive lines in AA and AAA in the last two years are almost identical to Russ Adams. Lopes was one year older at each level which is significant. I point this out only to say that 23-24 year olds who can hold their own defensively at 2B, add some value on the bases and put up 110-115 RC+ lines don't grow on trees at AA-AAA. I am not suggesting that he is a great prospect at all but if he's the Jays 50th best prospect then the Jays have one hell of a system. I also happen to think that he may well fall into a category of player that makes a useful utility guy. He appears to do almost everything adequately without having a standout skill.
92-93 - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 01:10 PM EDT (#348032) #
Basically just repeating what I said in the last thread, but seems like it's going to be a recurring topic here the next few months. There's nothing wrong with having Pearce, Smoak, and Morales as your 1B/DH for next season. The problem is that when all 3 of them are regulars you're basically guaranteeing below average defense at 2 positions (I don't think much of Smoak defensively, especially on balls hit to his right). As long as the front office doesn't force an 8 man bullpen by locking themselves into mediocre, one-inning-or-less relievers without options that they'll be hesitant to cut, a bat like Morales is actually an asset to have around as the 4th man on the bench.

With respect to players like Saunders and Anderson, there are conversations between the player's agent and the GM that we are not privy to. Otherwise, there wouldn't be much of a reason to be giving Anderson a look either, allowing him to showcase himself so he can get an MLB deal from an NL club for 2018. My assumption is that there's some sort of handshake agreement from the player's side that at the very least the Jays will be allowed to match whatever offer he is able to get on the open market.
dalimon5 - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 01:14 PM EDT (#348033) #
"Once again one of those killer overpay anchor contracts turns out to be not so much that."

Ugly, this sarcasm is scroll filler. Yes, out of hundreds of contracts given out to aging FA's there will be some like this one that are not anchors. So what? The majority of them are. Not to mention Verlander wasn't a FA signing but a long term sign by the Tigers and they've already gotten most of the value needed out of the contract. Your statement doesn't do anything to add value to your long standing view that FA contracts don't hurt the team..contracts for the likes of Bautista, Price, EE (you were advocating 5 years). I just don't see the point of using outliers as part of an argument.
uglyone - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 01:49 PM EDT (#348034) #
outlier? seems like the yanks managed to get value for a bunch of those contracts in recent years too.
Marc Hulet - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 01:54 PM EDT (#348035) #
Lopes was drafted in 2011 which makes him a minor league FA this winter... there's a good chance he's not a Jay next spring.
SK in NJ - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 01:55 PM EDT (#348036) #
The problem with Morales on the bench is that he provides no defensive or base running value. He is strictly a bat, and one that even after three home runs last night has been league average this season. If the Jays keep him, then they pretty much have to start him at DH everyday and hope his bat gets better. Pearce is likely a better fit for the bench, but I'd rather have him playing everyday than sitting for a less valuable player. Pearce at 1B and Smoak at DH is really the best positional structure they can have, with some more athleticism in the outfield, but ultimately I think choosing between Morales and Pearce is what they will have to do.

The bench ideally needs a very good utility infielder who can cover for when Travis/Tulo miss time, a 4th OF (Zeke/Teoscar), and obviously a back-up catcher. Goins will probably be a Jay until he retires from the game just because he annoys me that much, so that's pretty much the bench. If you keep Goins as the utility IF, and Morales as the pinch hitter, then it doesn't give the team much flexibility or depth.
Mike Green - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 01:58 PM EDT (#348037) #
Basically just repeating what I said in the last thread, but seems like it's going to be a recurring topic here the next few months. There's nothing wrong with having Pearce, Smoak, and Morales as your 1B/DH for next season. The problem is that when all 3 of them are regulars you're basically guaranteeing below average defense at 2 positions (I don't think much of Smoak defensively, especially on balls hit to his right). As long as the front office doesn't force an 8 man bullpen by locking themselves into mediocre, one-inning-or-less relievers without options that they'll be hesitant to cut, a bat like Morales is actually an asset to have around as the 4th man on the bench.

I agree, in theory. In practice, I think that it is highly unlikely that Morales would be used in this fashion.  If he's on the club, he'll be hitting home runs and grounding into double plays as a regular DH, more or less. 

Ducey - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 03:48 PM EDT (#348044) #
This chart says that Morales really isn't that bad:

https://www.baseball-reference.com/play-index/tiny.fcgi?id=ikroS
Mike Green - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 04:01 PM EDT (#348045) #
But this chart tells the story a different way.  If you want a full-time DH, and you don't want fork over a gazillion dollars, find a 4A player who can hit.  Better yet, don't bother trying to find a full-time DH, and use the role differently (and maybe have a 4A platoon player to DH and be an emergency catcher or something on your bench). 

The outfield today is Carrera, Pillar and Hernandez.  Thumbs up.  Now, if we could see Maile or Jansen behind the plate.  Someday soon.
Hodgie - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 04:15 PM EDT (#348046) #
The other elephant in the room is the likely decline of Morales and Pearce and how this season's performance might indicate what expectations should be going forward. Both players turn 35 next season and what we are observing now may very well be their new true talent level given normal age related decline. Whatever differences of opinion I may have with other Bauxites regarding Pearce, I would at least hope everyone can agree that he cannot reasonably be counted upon as a regular. So what the team is left with going forward is a part-time player that may or may not be an above average bat and is limited to 1B/DH, and another player that is reasonably durable but is a lineup sinkhole when not hitting home-runs. Not a combination that leaves a lot of flexibility or a high expectation of value.
jerjapan - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 04:15 PM EDT (#348047) #
listened to Shi Davidi on the Fan today and he was speculating that the Jays still like Morales, and feel that this was a down year for him.  I don't agree, but I think it's highly probable that he gets at least a half season more as the full-time DH before the FO is ready to move on.  Not sure who was interviewing Davidi, but he was beyond ready to dump Morales for moderate salary relief - interesting to hear that even the mainstream guys are aware of what an anchor Morales is on a roster. 

Nigel, I hear you on Lopes, but like Marc pointed out, he's a minor league FA.  Fortunately for those that like his skill set, his brother Tim is literally the exact same player, but one year younger.  I could see Christian moving on just to avoid having to compete with his brother for the same role.

FWIW, the time to give him a shot was when Tulo went down, but its pretty clear how the FO operates with prospect promotions.  I do think he's likely around 50th in our minors, and I agree- that's a good sign! 

Hodgie - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 04:20 PM EDT (#348049) #
Better yet, don't bother trying to find a full-time DH, and use the role differently..

My thoughts exactly Mike. My opinion would be different if the offensive bar for the position were higher, but that just isn't the case and the team would be better served by finding a league average bat that brought additional skills and/or positional flexibility to the position.

SK in NJ - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 04:30 PM EDT (#348051) #
I like Pearce but yes at his age there is definitely a strong possibility for decline combined with greater risk of injury. Same with Morales.

I've been saying since the Adam Lind days that the Jays should use DH as a revolving door in order to give players rest. Morales puts a huge road block in that strategy.
jerjapan - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 04:47 PM EDT (#348052) #
Chuck, Dickey may have wanted to play on a winner, and I believe he had said that he wanted to stay in Toronto.  With no real depth beyond the front five, he could have easily taken the role Tim Wakefield had in his last two seasons - long man / regular 6th starter.   Maybe Dickey wanted a regular turn, maybe the chance at a ring was more appealing.   At 59-73, Atlanta is lucky to be as good as they've been this year, and there was a good chance of Dickey being dealt at the deadline.  Not sure that uncertainty is more attractive than being the 6th starter in TO.  I imagine it was our FO that wanted to move on more than Dickey. 

I think the idea of having six big league starters makes real sense for a lot of teams with question marks in the rotation - that's the role I'd like for Estrada next year, if he's amenable.  We aren't the Dodgers, but they started the year with 7 or 8 legit starters. 
Chuck - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 04:57 PM EDT (#348054) #
This chart says that Morales really isn't that bad

I think it says that Morales is bad and that there are other designated hitters who are even worse and even more highly overpaid.

92-93 - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 05:05 PM EDT (#348055) #
It would be a great idea to sign a middle infielder who can actually hit to cover for the inevitable Travis/Tulo injuries, but if that happens then the last person you want as the 4th man on the bench is Goins; Morales would be far more valuable in that spot. In that scenario they can tender Goins a contract and if everybody is healthy in spring, he either clears waivers and goes to Buffalo or gets traded for sunflower seeds to another MLB club.
Chuck - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 05:08 PM EDT (#348056) #
Maybe Dickey wanted a regular turn, maybe the chance at a ring was more appealing.

You combine Atlanta's 8MM offer, a regular turn in the rotation and proximity to family (Nashville). Hard to weigh that against being starter #6 in Toronto.

Nigel - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 05:18 PM EDT (#348057) #
I'm with 92-93 that there is zero problem (and maybe a good thing) with having all of Morales, Pearce and Smoak on the roster next year provided that the plan is only to have 2 of them in the lineup on most days. I'm also with Mike that that isn't going to happen for reasons unrelated to performance. Unfortunately. The durability of 35 year olds may solve the problem though. The Jays have been unlucky in that Bautista, Pearce and Morales have been inordinately healthy this year.
92-93 - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 05:23 PM EDT (#348059) #
Dickey would get a lot of heat around here last year, but I always appreciated his ability to take the ball every 5 days and provide innings. In his 29 2016 starts he failed to go 5 innings only 4 times, and only once did he not pitch into the 5th inning before September (when the rosters expanded and the hook was much quicker). Liriano, on the other hand, made 18 starts this year and failed to go 5 innings in 6 of them and in 4 of those starts he couldn't even get out of the 3rd inning. That's a tremendous toll on the bullpen that will never be captured by an individual stat like WAR. The crazy thing is that even carrying Josh Thole would have helped this year's team considering the absolutely horrendous play of Saltalamacchia, Ohlman, Montero, and Lopez. People might be happy about the prospects that came out of the Liriano acquisition, but trading for his guaranteed 2017 salary was a part of this season's failure. At least he dominated in the wild card game.
vw_fan17 - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 06:13 PM EDT (#348061) #
Lest we all forget - Dickey could only be resigned along with Thole. I think THAT was the problem most people had with Dickey. If Martin/whoever could catch him without any issues, he would have been much more likely to be resigned..
Chuck - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 06:30 PM EDT (#348062) #
Dickey could only be resigned along with Thole

Not sure that's true. Atlanta didn't sign Thole.

Magpie - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 06:47 PM EDT (#348063) #
Atlanta didn't sign Thole.

Dickey (who would be, at a minimum, the third-best starter on the 2017 Jays) does require special handling - the knuckleball does beat the crap out of catchers, so you'd rather not have your 120 game a year guy working his games. But the Braves already split the catching duties between Tyler Flowers and Kurt Suzuki. Flowers has played a little more, but it's very much a 1 and 1a type arrangement. Suzuki caught Dickey's first 11 starts and it could have gone better (Dickey went 3-4, 5.10), so Flowers took over the Dickey starts in early June. He's caught all but one of Dickey's games since until he went on the DL this week, and the old fella's gone 6-4, 3.10. The real big difference when working with the two catchers has been the K-W ratio - much better with Flowers.
Magpie - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 07:05 PM EDT (#348064) #
Hey, remember when the Jays had these old pitchers who could actually field their position? And eliminate the opponents running game? (There were 2 SB against Dickey in his final season here, which isn't quite as good as the 0 SB against Buehrle in his final season here.) Biagini, Tepera, Barnes - the only way they could hold a baserunner is if they were allowed to attach a ball and chain.
lexomatic - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 07:08 PM EDT (#348066) #
Suzuki caught Dickey's first 11 starts and it could have gone better (Dickey went 3-4, 5.10), so Flowers took over the Dickey starts in early June. He's caught all but one of Dickey's games since until he went on the DL this week, and the old fella's gone 6-4, 3.10. The real big difference when working with the two catchers has been the K-W ratio - much better with Flowers.

I'm pretty sure Flowers is supposed to be an excellent framer, and Suzuki... has veteran moxie. http://www.statcorner.com/CatcherReport.php Suggests a 3-win difference this year, and 2 wins last year., again the year before... IN 2014 Flowers was -5.5 but Suzuki was -20! Suzuki was last "average in 2013 (0). Coincidentally, 2013 was his 2nd best season after 2008 (+9.3).

Also, apparently Martin is framing significantly worse this year? -8.5 runs. That's not gonna help the pitching.
greenfrog - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 07:13 PM EDT (#348067) #
Dickey might have averaged more innings per start, but was it worth the extra wear and tear on Martin?

Liriano contributed 1.5 fWAR to the Jays over about a season's worth of work (26 starts plus a couple of relief appearances) on essentially a one-year contract. That, plus prospects McGuire / Hernandez / Ramirez, all in exchange for Drew Hutchison (mostly a AAA pitcher over the last two years), is pretty nice work by the front office in my books.

I appreciated Dickey's innings too, but last year they weren't very good innings. With Buffalo now so close by to provide surplus innings, I can't say I find myself all that nostalgic for RA v. 2016.
jerjapan - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 07:27 PM EDT (#348068) #
But RA instead of Latos, Lawrence, Tepesch et al?  That's a couple of wins right there, and if we had his $7.5 million option for next year, I'd pick that up too. 

One of our biggest mistakes of the offseason was counting on Liriano, but it was still an excellent trade / subsequent trade, even if Ramirez has been a bust. 

Liriano the reliever has been dreadful for Houston.  Not sure what they were thinking, although I'm pulling for them to win it all this year. 

Magpie - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 07:28 PM EDT (#348069) #
I can't say I find myself all that nostalgic for RA v. 2016.

Oh, it was time to move on. While he would have helped in 2017 (Mat Latos! Mike Bolsinger! Casey Lawrence!), there wasn't much point in helping this year's team. And there's a reason knuckleballers generally end up on bad teams. (They're pretty much immune to the quality of their own team, whether the team's good or bad. It doesn't make much difference. And all managers hate knuckleballs, except the ones who are desperate for any kind of pitching.)
greenfrog - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 07:46 PM EDT (#348071) #
This is why I wanted Rich Hill in the off-season. I didn't think we had enough starting pitching for 2017, and I thought Hill would be potentially useful in 2018 as well. But at the time everyone seemed to be fixated (reasonably enough) on the corner OF question, under the assumption that the rotation was in great shape.
Nigel - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 08:07 PM EDT (#348073) #
Five GB singles tonight. Fate seems pretty desperate to keep Biagini a reliever.
uglyone - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 08:15 PM EDT (#348074) #
it wasn't that the rotation was perfect, but that we had 3 other $13m vets in the rotation already.
92-93 - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 08:24 PM EDT (#348075) #
Tim Wakefield spent pretty much his entire career pitching for excellent Red Sox teams.

Martin caught Dickey's first start in 2016 and then 2 more in late August; there was no extra wear and tear until the Jays got desperate for wins.

Spending around 16m (and a roster spot) for 0.7 bWAR and 3 mid-level prospects is a great idea for a rebuilding team, and a terrible one for a contender fresh off an ALCS. Hutchison is exactly the type of depth that the current front office laments not having around in the upper minors.

And this Rich Hill thing doesn't make much sense. They would've had to significantly beat the Dodgers' offer of 3/48, so you're looking at around a 3/60 deal for a 37 year old SP fresh off a 110ip season, his highest innings total in a decade. That's the type of luxury a team like LA can afford, not one that likes to pretend it can't compete on elite FAs with the other big market teams. If they have that kind of money to spend they can go after the Arrieta/Darvish (Tanaka/Cueto?) type of arms that will be available this winter.
92-93 - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 08:30 PM EDT (#348076) #
"Five GB singles tonight."

This relates back to the infield defense discussion from the other thread. I wonder if this is really bad luck, or if the Jays defensive positioning/shifting isn't as well done as other clubs. Maybe it's a coaching thing, and their advance preparation isn't as good as it can be. It does seem like the Jays hit the ball right at the other team all the damn time, and that tons of balls find holes against us, but that's probably just my observational bias talking.
Nigel - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 08:39 PM EDT (#348077) #
92-93, I think it's both. Smoak has zero range. Goins is good at 2B but poor at SS. Donaldson's defence has bounced back but I think his range has deteriorated. Tulo's clearly has. They have range problems around the diamond. But there's also a luck issue tonight at least.
CeeBee - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 08:39 PM EDT (#348078) #
Probably just the Wee Willie Keeler approach. Hit it where they ain't.
Nigel - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 08:41 PM EDT (#348079) #
I loved everything about that Hernandez double. A ray of sunshine.
Magpie - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 09:00 PM EDT (#348080) #
Martin caught Dickey's first start in 2016 and then 2 more in late August

Absolutely. They'd learned their lesson from 2015, when they learned that Martin could indeed catch the knuckleball, but that it just wasn't worth it.
92-93 - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 09:08 PM EDT (#348081) #
I like this new pre-pitch shimmy Biagini has much better than his previous tap-the-jersey move. It's like he's jumping without getting any air.
Nigel - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 09:15 PM EDT (#348082) #
I know I'm in the minority around here on this (maybe a minority of one) but I would have zero problem with Biagini being the 5th starter next year. Ditto for Brett Anderson.
PeterG - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 09:38 PM EDT (#348083) #
Don't know why you think you are in the minority. I would be ok with either one or both.
92-93 - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 09:42 PM EDT (#348084) #
This Biagini start is the best start of the year from a Jays pitcher, as far as I can remember.
greenfrog - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 09:45 PM EDT (#348085) #
Maybe the Jays haven't ruined Biagini after all.
SK in NJ - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 09:50 PM EDT (#348086) #
I'm fine with Biagini/Anderson as well. I want as many SP's on the roster/in the minors as possible. Bring Estrada and Anderson back next year. Keep Koehler (hopefully with a much cheaper salary) as the long man. Let Biagini earn the #5 spot.

Coming into tonight's start, Biagini had a 4.00 FIP, 7.7 K/9, and 3.1 BB/9 as a SP. Those numbers will look better after tonight. As a work-in-progress who is converting from a full season in the pen, he hasn't been awful. He's had some starts where he looked great and some where he looked awful. Relievers are easy to find. If Biagini can become even a bottom of the rotation option, he presents far more value to the team in that role.
Nigel - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 09:54 PM EDT (#348088) #
I've suggested it several times and each time I did, the response was "why do the Jays think Biagini can start?". I understand the results have been suboptimal but outside of the BB, the underlying stats suggest that Biagini can start.
Nigel - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 10:27 PM EDT (#348091) #
What a concept. OF defence saves a game.
92-93 - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 10:30 PM EDT (#348092) #
It looked like a great catch because we've been watching Bautista all year, but that should've been a lot more routine than it was. Great recovery from Hernandez, though.
Gerry - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 11:00 PM EDT (#348093) #
Congrats to Carlos Ramirez, that is a good major league debut.
uglyone - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 11:25 PM EDT (#348094) #
yeah that is great stufr from biagini. even early on when they were getting hits he looked sharp but unlucky.

and pearce seems to enjoy playing 1B.
uglyone - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 11:39 PM EDT (#348096) #
12 walkoff losses.
lexomatic - Friday, September 01 2017 @ 11:50 PM EDT (#348097) #
?That was a hard loss. I'd rather Urena than Goins for the rest of the season. Hernandez, Ramirez and Biagini all encouraging. Too bad they couldn't hit a single after any of the 3 doubles.
scottt - Saturday, September 02 2017 @ 12:17 AM EDT (#348098) #
Pearce has lots of friends on the Orioles. Must be more fun to chat with them than chase balls in the outfield.

Good results for the rookies on the first day.

scottt - Saturday, September 02 2017 @ 12:35 AM EDT (#348099) #
About the ground ball defense, the main thing is the shift.
If the shift is on and you're pitching outside, you're trying to get the hitter to put the ball on the side where there's no defender.

Today, it was more of a case of falling behind in the count.
In the first inning, Biagini didn't get early calls that seemed borderline.
He did get other calls later in the count though.
I like when he starts with a curve down the middle.
The hitters hardly swing at that, they they start hacking at corner pitches.
I didn't like when he threw 2 in a row with Montero the other day and the second one ended out of the park.

Ramirez looked good. He changes speed on the slider a lot.
That reminds me of Chris Sale.


ISLAND BOY - Saturday, September 02 2017 @ 04:59 AM EDT (#348100) #
I posted yesterday about the Jays having the worst batting average in the majors ( 30th ) with runners in scoring position and it was in full display this game.They just couldn't get that 2 out key hit or even 1 out fly ball with a man on third. Biagini and the relievers pitched a great game though.
China fan - Saturday, September 02 2017 @ 08:10 AM EDT (#348103) #
"....outside of the BB, the underlying stats suggest that Biagini can start..."

I was worried about Biagini in the first couple of innings, specifically because of the same control issues that he has shown in the past.  Of his first 10 pitches, 7 were balls. (And the strikes were getting hit.)  In the second inning, he did it again: 8 of his first 11 pitches missed the plate.  He was lucky to get out of those two innings without allowing a run, although full credit to him for coming back and getting the strikeouts that he needed. Of course he settled down after the second inning, but he seems to have those kinds of control issues often enough to be a little worrisome.

On the other hand, he wasn't missing by a lot, even when he was missing the plate.  And his overall BB numbers as a starter this year aren't bad.  So I'd be happy to add him to the rotation mix for 2018, if he continues to pitch well this month.  The real question is whether he can be an above-average starter, not just an average guy.  The Jays don't need another 5th starter.  Optimistically, if Sanchez returns to form, the Jays could be set at the top of the rotation, but they need good options for the 3rd and 4th spots in the rotation.
hypobole - Saturday, September 02 2017 @ 09:16 AM EDT (#348105) #
Still have Happ 1 more year for one of the 3/4 spots.
China fan - Saturday, September 02 2017 @ 10:26 AM EDT (#348106) #
"...Still have Happ 1 more year for one of the 3/4 spots...."

I hope he continues to pitch at that level.  And there could be Estrada and Anderson too, plus whomever else the Front Office can acquire.  But one key lesson from 2017 is the need for rotation depth, because of the significant risk of multiple injuries to top starters.  Next year, even if they get the top 4 rotation slots sorted out, there still has to be greater depth for the 5th and 6th and 7th spots in the depth chart.  Pitchers such as Koehler, Anderson, Rowley etc could be part of a stronger depth chart, perhaps stashed in Buffalo or the bullpen, but there definitely needs to be greater attention to the depth question.

bpoz - Saturday, September 02 2017 @ 11:36 AM EDT (#348107) #
We all expect more call ups on Tue 5th.

I don't know who may be added that needs a 40 man spot. But Alford, Smith Jr and H Ramirez are all on the 40 man. If Ramirez and Smith Jr are not called up then IMO they have very little future value to the FO. The OF seems crowded.
hypobole - Saturday, September 02 2017 @ 11:58 AM EDT (#348108) #
Just noticed the Tigers called up Jairo Labourt and Myles Jaye, so along with Norris and Boyd, their pitching staff now has 4 members signed by the AA regime.
PeterG - Saturday, September 02 2017 @ 12:08 PM EDT (#348109) #
I expect Smith to be the only OF called up. I am not expecting Alford. Rowley and Campos will be added and maybe one additional pitcher.
bpoz - Saturday, September 02 2017 @ 12:34 PM EDT (#348110) #
I was thinking a bigger youth movement would start with the 2nd wave of call ups.

We need to prepare for next year. Staying old will require more injury replacements. Going younger will require as much early ML experience as possible.

Borucki, Alford and maybe Jansen can use a taste of the majors.
greenfrog - Saturday, September 02 2017 @ 12:56 PM EDT (#348111) #
"Hutchison is exactly the type of depth that the current front office laments not having around in the upper minors"

Gosh, if only we still had Hutchison instead of McGuire and Hernandez for the next six-plus years.
bpoz - Saturday, September 02 2017 @ 01:37 PM EDT (#348113) #
I think you said that as humor greenfrog.

No sure thing as to how much value over the next 6 years Hutch VS McGuire and Hernandez will have. I can see Hutch winning this.

I do like the Liriano trade. I thought Hutch would do better.

Pittsburgh used only 6 SPs so far this year. Tyler Glasnow looks like #6. Hutch is good depth for Pittsburgh so they probably keep him.

Glasnow has used up 1 option and Hutch 2 options. No ML time for Hutch in 2017. 12 starts for Glasnow in 2017 and he struggled badly.

Everyone needs SP depth. Pittsburgh will keep both IMO. I expect both to get an opportunity next year. Also becoming a ML bull pen arm is not a bad thing.
ISLAND BOY - Saturday, September 02 2017 @ 02:58 PM EDT (#348115) #
I'd be surprised if Alford wasn't called up. I think management has higher hopes for him than Smith Jr. and would like to see him on the major league team even if he doesn't play much.
PeterG - Saturday, September 02 2017 @ 03:10 PM EDT (#348116) #
I have higher hopes for him as well but don't think this is the right time to call him up. As well , I think there is more chance Smith is on the major league team next year or at least on the shuttle. Alford will spend the majority of next season in Buffalo imo. Also take into account that he is not 100% after the hamate injury. It usually takes the better part of a year for power to fully return. In addition, Sportsnet types are suggesting that Alford is not likely to be called though no-one knows for sure.
scottt - Saturday, September 02 2017 @ 05:42 PM EDT (#348126) #
Anderson is a free agent. He signed with the Cubs for 3.5M for one year.
We'll see at the end of the year if Toronto likes him and if he likes Toronto.

There were guys like Bolsinger, Latos and Casey Lawrence for starting depth this year.
Hopefully, Rowley fares better than Lawrence, but the difference next year could be Borucki.
John Northey - Saturday, September 02 2017 @ 08:04 PM EDT (#348132) #
I just had to look up Hutchison to see what he did this year...
AAA only (no ML IP) 3.36 ERA 0.8 HR/9 3.1 BB/9 7.0 K/9 over 155 IP. Solid but not wow in AAA. No question the Jays won that trade at this point. Pittsburgh also had the honor or paying him $2.3 mil to do that in AAA. After he had a 5.56 ERA in 11 1/3 IP for Pittsburgh last year. Ick.

I suspect if the Jays want him he'll be a minor league free agent this winter as I can't imagine Pittsburgh will want to pay him another $2 mil to sit in AAA as insurance.
bpoz - Saturday, September 02 2017 @ 09:01 PM EDT (#348135) #
Thanks John. I thought that he was arb eligible, but was not sure. Non tender candidate and a reclamation project.
John Northey - Saturday, September 02 2017 @ 09:14 PM EDT (#348136) #
Agreed bpoz. If he is willing to sign for under $1 mil guaranteed and not needing a 40 man spot, just a spring invite I'd sign him as depth at AAA. He looked really good not that long ago.

Tonight showed how with pitchers anything can happen at any time. Hopefully Stroman is OK, he looked OK as he left, angry but OK. Love guys who just want to stay in there.
scottt - Sunday, September 03 2017 @ 09:13 AM EDT (#348139) #
That was a scary hit on Stroman. He said if telt like his arm had exploded.
Negative X-rays and he wants to come back on short rest Wednesday.

Power or no power is not a reason to sit Alford. He needs the ABs, especially against MLB more than anyone else.

Saunders should get some starts in left. That's still too many outfielders for my taste even without Alford or Smith.
China fan - Sunday, September 03 2017 @ 09:33 AM EDT (#348141) #
"....Anderson is a free agent. We'll see at the end of the year if Toronto likes him and if he likes Toronto...."

If Toronto wants him, Toronto certainly will have the inside track.  He could have signed anywhere last month, and he chose Toronto. The organization has treated him well and given him a quick path back to the majors.  I suppose the only thing that could make him go elsewhere in 2018 is if he decides that he wants a guaranteed rotation slot and the Jays are unable to provide him with that guarantee.

"....There were guys like Bolsinger, Latos and Casey Lawrence for starting depth this year...."


There are always AAAA guys floating around, but the Jays need a major upgrade over those guys for 2018. One of the team's significant problems in 2017 was that it gave too many starts to the likes of Lawrence, Latos and Bolsinger.  It's an area where an upgrade should be very feasible.

"....the difference next year could be Borucki...."


Good point.  I should have included him in the list.  Borucki and Rowley will have options next year, which makes them valuable as depth options.

China fan - Sunday, September 03 2017 @ 12:18 PM EDT (#348147) #
Hernandez and Urena are in the starting lineup today, with Hernandez in the lead-off spot and Urena starting at 2B.
85bluejay - Sunday, September 03 2017 @ 01:20 PM EDT (#348148) #
A tip of the cap to the O's FO - they acquired 2 players - Tim Beckham & Miguel Castro very cheaply & both look like they will be positive contributors going forward with lots of team control - I had wanted the Jays to make a play for both. With the injury history of Tulo/Travis, Beckham seemed a great get with upside & our old friend Castro, I'm always willing to give a talented pitcher who failed in Colorado a mulligan.
China fan - Sunday, September 03 2017 @ 02:16 PM EDT (#348149) #
....and Hernandez and Urena score two of the first three runs for the Jays. They don't look out-of-place out there.
hypobole - Sunday, September 03 2017 @ 04:30 PM EDT (#348155) #
Tip of the cap to Dave Laurila for this:

The 15 least valuable qualified hitters range from -0.3 to -1.5 fWAR. 8 of those 15 have hit 20 HR's. Only 3 have hit less than 10.
Mike Green - Sunday, September 03 2017 @ 05:01 PM EDT (#348159) #
I would not have sent Ramirez out for a second inning again. Too much work, in my opinion.
China fan - Sunday, September 03 2017 @ 05:15 PM EDT (#348160) #
On the other hand, Ramirez has shown that he can handle multiple innings, and he was certainly a better choice than the other options (Mayza, Loup, Dermody). There is the newly arrived Rowley, but he had thrown 3 innings for Buffalo on Friday. There is Santos, who threw 3.1 innings last night. And there are Barnes and Leone, who have been heavily over-worked recently. The bullpen has been heavily taxed in the past couple days because of the Stroman injury and the 12-inning game. There really aren't any easy options in the bullpen at this point.
China fan - Sunday, September 03 2017 @ 05:25 PM EDT (#348161) #
Danny Barnes is an example of a Jays reliever who has been worn down (or over-exposed) by his heavy workload. Since Aug. 23, he has been called upon in 7 games, and he has allowed 6 runs in just 5.1 innings. The rotation has been such a mess that the bullpen is suffering excessively -- even with the fresh September arms.
China fan - Sunday, September 03 2017 @ 05:28 PM EDT (#348162) #
The real culprit, of course, is the offence. Too often the pitchers are doing an incredible job of keeping the team in the game for inning after inning, yet the hitters never deliver the key hits.
scottt - Sunday, September 03 2017 @ 06:04 PM EDT (#348168) #
If you want to win in extra innings, you don't pinch hit Carrera with Pearce. You have him bunt the runner in scoring position for Donaldson and Smoak.  Pearce grounds into double plays a lot too.

On the other hand, this is a way to get more players in the game.

I like the way Schoop runs on everything. It's like he's sprinting while all the Jays are jogging on the basepaths.

Urena has more range than Goins and a better arm. He hasn't hit much from the right hand side, which is basically the only reason why he needs more time. I would not be shocked if Urena could produce 100 OPS points better than Goins against right handed pitching.

Osuna has to let go of the cutter. He throws it around 89-91 mph and it's too easy to hit unless it's in a hitter's cold spot.

greenfrog - Sunday, September 03 2017 @ 06:06 PM EDT (#348169) #
I'm hoping for a good September from players who are important to next year's club and/or potential trade chips in the off-season (including Donaldson, Hernandez, Urena, and Ramirez) but a mediocre W-L record that sees the Jays end up with a top-ten draft pick in 2018.
scottt - Sunday, September 03 2017 @ 06:21 PM EDT (#348171) #
They look to pick 11th, which might give them a reason for staying away from free agents with compensation picks attached.

Without Donaldson, the offense would be terrible.
I think the ownership sees all those empty seats in Baltimore and does not want to go there.

greenfrog - Sunday, September 03 2017 @ 07:00 PM EDT (#348172) #
Probably the front office will keep Donaldson through the end of 2018, then let him walk as a free agent, with a view to having Guerrero Jr. take over third base sometime in 2019. I don't see the front office signing Josh to a long-term deal for his age-33 to 38 seasons.
uglyone - Sunday, September 03 2017 @ 07:05 PM EDT (#348173) #
13 walkoff losses
Glevin - Sunday, September 03 2017 @ 07:59 PM EDT (#348178) #
"I'm hoping for a good September from players who are important to next year's club and/or potential trade chips in the off-season (including Donaldson, Hernandez, Urena, and Ramirez) but a mediocre W-L record that sees the Jays end up with a top-ten draft pick in 2018."

A top-10 pick is a big difference. From Fangraphs
"The 50 players selected in the top 10 picks from 2006-2010 combined for an average WAR of 6.236. While picks 11-32 (104 total players) combined for just a 1.84 average WAR across their first six seasons of service time." In fact, the difference between say the 5th pick and the 20th pick is on average, bigger than the 30th pick and 200th.

SK in NJ - Sunday, September 03 2017 @ 09:51 PM EDT (#348180) #
Guerrero being the starting 3B in 2019 is a real possibility. I don't know how his defense is at the position, but his bat will probably be ready at the rate he is going.
John Northey - Monday, September 04 2017 @ 12:42 AM EDT (#348183) #
Now 8 1/2 out of the 2nd wildcard the Jays might as well call it in for the rest of the year. Currently have the 10th worst record, San Diego is 1 game 'ahead' of the Jays in the race for the basement, Atlanta 2 games. Pittsburgh is 2 games 'behind' the Jays for 10th overall worst.

The Jays historically have sucked when given a top 10 pick. 3 never made the majors, 1 didn't sign and hasn't reached (Phil Bickford - good era in rookie ball this year in 6 games, his 3rd minor league season at age 21 but 10 walks in 17 IP), best first round pick (or any round pick really) was Roy Halladay (64 WAR) with a 17th overall pick. Next best pick ever was Jeff Kent in the 20th round (55 WAR). Then Dave Stieb (5th round, 57 WAR). Then David Wells (2nd round - 53 WAR).

Yes, higher picks equals higher odds. However, this is baseball so sometimes the best stuff comes later (Mike Piazza famously made the HOF after being picked in the 62nd round - the draft is now limited to 40 rounds iirc).
Michael - Monday, September 04 2017 @ 02:42 AM EDT (#348189) #
There isn't a huge cliff for just inside versus just outside the top 10 pick. I.e., the difference between 11 or 12 versus 8 or 9 or 10 is not that much. Always better to choose earlier, but the biggest changes in value are at the very top, the 1, 2, 3 picks. The study of top 10 versus 11-30 is having lots of the top 3 value count as "top 10" and lots of the high 20s count as 11-30, so it doesn't represent the break between pick 10 and pick 11.
Glevin - Monday, September 04 2017 @ 03:45 AM EDT (#348191) #
"There isn't a huge cliff for just inside versus just outside the top 10 pick. I.e., the difference between 11 or 12 versus 8 or 9 or 10 is not that much. Always better to choose earlier, but the biggest changes in value are at the very top, the 1, 2, 3 picks. The study of top 10 versus 11-30 is having lots of the top 3 value count as "top 10" and lots of the high 20s count as 11-30, so it doesn't represent the break between pick 10 and pick 11."

Yes, you're right that there isn't a massive cliff at 10 but the higher the pick the better they tend to be and the higher the pick the bigger the difference between picks. There are often groupings of top players where there is a dropoff. In 2014, Hardball times had the average WAR of picks 6-10 at 5.2 and 11-15 and 4.1 (1-5 was 9.2). Likely, the Jays will get a pick in the 9 to 11 range which is very little difference.
scottt - Monday, September 04 2017 @ 08:43 AM EDT (#348192) #
24 blown saves.

9 by Osuna, 4 by Leone, 3 by Barnes, 2 by Biagini, Tepera and Grilli, 1 by Howell and 1 by Smith.

Leone has one in the 7th, 2 in the 8th and 1 in the 9th.
Barnes, 2 in the 7th, 1 in the 9th.
Grilli, 1 in the 8th, 1 in the 9th.

So that's 12 saves blown in the 9th inning, which seems a lot when you consider all the games lost because of the lack of offense and all the questionable starting pitching.

bpoz - Monday, September 04 2017 @ 09:11 AM EDT (#348193) #
Very insightful scottt. For sure the offense and defense was bad this year.

I suppose that there were more games that we could not come back from a blown save than we were successful. Also how often did poor defense contribute to a blown save. Lastly how did we compare with everyone else? There may not be numbers available to check this.

Walk off losses? I don't know.

The pen pitching was probably taxed due to the rotation problems. Lastly again, it is easier to get a 3 run save than 1 run. How did Osuna fare there? There is an illusion possible.

I asked too many questions. Sorry that I cannot get the answers.


China fan - Monday, September 04 2017 @ 09:18 AM EDT (#348194) #
The most under-appreciated fact of last night's game was Brett Anderson needing only 59 pitches to get through 6 full innings. 59 pitches!! What a contrast to some of the pitchers in a Jays uniform this season.
SK in NJ - Monday, September 04 2017 @ 09:42 AM EDT (#348195) #
I hope the Jays can work out a deal with Anderson for 2018. He should come relatively cheaply due to his injury history (unless he goes Rich Hill 2015 in September), and the team needs as much depth as possible. A rotation of Stroman, Sanchez, Happ, Estrada, and Anderson, with Koehler in the pen, and then Biagini/Borucki in AAA might be able to put the team in a position where they won't have to count on sub replacement level scrubs to start big league games (unless injuries get out of control). Even if they decide to rebuild, which is doubtful given who owns the team, they could still run that rotation out there.
Ducey - Monday, September 04 2017 @ 09:58 AM EDT (#348196) #
It seems to me that looking at the Jays drafting history is not very instructive.

Traditionally, the Jays could not draft certain players as other teams (Yankees, etc.) would outbid them and they therefore had to worry about the player they wanted not signing. Drafting 11 didn't mean you would get the 11th best player.

Now with the slotting system, the Jays should be on a more even playing field.
China fan - Monday, September 04 2017 @ 10:02 AM EDT (#348197) #
"....A rotation of Stroman, Sanchez, Happ, Estrada, and Anderson, with Koehler in the pen, and then Biagini/Borucki in AAA might be able to put the team in a position where they won't have to count on sub replacement level scrubs to start big league games..."

That's a potentially excellent rotation, with better depth.  Much will depend on the health of Sanchez, and which version of Estrada we get.  (Assuming the Jays decide to sign Estrada.  They might decide that Biagini is a better option, even at the cost of Buffalo depth.)

But I also hope that the Front Office spends the off-season scouring for further upgrades and improved depth options -- not just in the hitting lineup but also in the pitching staff.


bpoz - Monday, September 04 2017 @ 10:35 AM EDT (#348198) #
We still have Sept to audition SPs. Stroman may miss his next start.

A 4th SP is needed. He should be a veteran, 2-3 year deal. With expectations comparable to Happ/Estrada. That could cost $15 mil/yr.

Biagini and very cheap veterans could be #5. If that group does badly April & May the season could be lost/set back.

That type of performance can be had by Rowley and any prospect that performs well in Sept and ST.

I am afraid that a sort of cheap vet like J Chavez will get beat up in the AL East. Taking him out of the rotation for a minor league SP that is doing well could be a problem.

Panonne and Borucki seem ready to me. Greene and Rios possibly too, but are finishing badly.
Chuck - Monday, September 04 2017 @ 10:48 AM EDT (#348199) #
Much will depend on the health of Sanchez

Glad to see this qualifier. Too many are eager to presume Sanchez is a given for next year's rotation but that would mean a solution to his blister woes had been discovered. Long stretches of rest this year haven't seemed to have made much difference. I'd be curious to hear what the off-season recovery was meant to look like, unless it's just more rest to let the finger heal, with the hope that it doesn't all come undone next spring.

Unrelated: RIP Walter Becker. You were a major dude.

jerjapan - Monday, September 04 2017 @ 11:48 AM EDT (#348202) #
The new compensation rules mean that a team signing a qualified FA gives up their first round pick unless it is in the top ten, in which case they give up their next pick.  If we stay in the top ten, this is actually a great time to sign a big FA in that the comp would only be a second rounder, or a second and a third if we signed two guys.  I keep talking about Zack Cosart, and if he does get the QO, his value goes down because of the compensation pick.  Perfect opportunity for a team like us to sign him.  I assume Shapiro has no interest in bigger ticket FAs though, for better or for worse.

Koehler is exactly the sort of guy I don't want in the mix next year, unless he signs for cheap. Tendering him a contract after this dreadful season would be as foolish as trading for Jesse Chavez.  Biagini, Borucki and Pannone are much more appealing depth than all these hittable / soft throwing AAAA guys, and I don't want Biagini in the minors under any circumstance ... he's a big leaguer, and that last started look great.  Pen or rotation, he belongs in Toronto. 

I love his story, but I don't hold a lot of hope out for Rowley as a starter.  I could see him making it in middle relief though. 
Ducey - Monday, September 04 2017 @ 12:22 PM EDT (#348206) #
Jerjapan

I thought the FA rules changed. There no longer is 1st round compensation. It's a third or a second and a fifth, depending upon whether the signing team is in the luxury tax. Isn't it?
92-93 - Monday, September 04 2017 @ 12:48 PM EDT (#348210) #
If they're looking to build a contender for 2018, the working assumption should be that Sanchez is NOT a part of the rotation. He should be thought of as a top prospect arm that may provide them with a huge talent boost, but one that can't be counted on. If the front office doesn't waste their $ on mediocre talent again, there's more than enough payroll room to sign a top of the rotation starter to slot in ahead of Happ with Stroman.

Zack Cozart should instantly accept an 18m qualifying offer if the Reds are crazy enough to offer him one in hopes of landing a 3rd round pick.
Mike Green - Monday, September 04 2017 @ 01:24 PM EDT (#348212) #
If they're looking to build a contender for 2018, the working assumption should be that Sanchez is NOT a part of the rotation

I agree.  We will find out soon enough whether they are attempting to compete in 2018.  My guess is that it will be a wishy-washy effort, giving them plausible deniability to the charge of punting the season. 

Speaking of wishy-washy, the handling of the bullpen yesterday was that too.  You've got an overworked bullpen, and your GM has not seen fit to provide you with a fresh arm. Brett Anderson has thrown 59 pitches through 6 innings.  It's a tie game, and the possibility of extras is pretty clearly there.  Why would your plan be take out Anderson, Koehler for 1, Tepera for 1, Osuna for 1?  The overload of Ramirez and Barnes was predictable and avoidable. 
greenfrog - Monday, September 04 2017 @ 01:29 PM EDT (#348213) #
"there's more than enough payroll room to sign a top of the rotation starter"

Why even waste time contemplating this possibility? Signing an expensive free agent starting pitcher just isn't going to happen under this front office. It's clear that Shapiro and Atkins are focused on building relentlessly from within, while looking for complementary pieces through trades and value plays in the free agent market. (In exceptional circumstances, they might go a bit beyond their comfort zone to sign a free agent, but if this occurs it will probably be for a position player, as those players are less likely to flame out with an injury.)
jerjapan - Monday, September 04 2017 @ 02:37 PM EDT (#348217) #
Shoot Ducey, you are right.  those rules I cited are done.  It's now your 2nd and a 5th highest picks and a 1 million reduction in international signing bonus money if you are in the luxury tax and sign a qualified player, a 3rd rounder (or third best pick remaining) if you are a team receiving revenue sharing, and your 2nd pick and half a million reduction in international signing money for everyone else.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/draft/new-cba-changes-draft/#cRYXLa4CpqD7L4dK.97

China fan - Monday, September 04 2017 @ 03:29 PM EDT (#348218) #
"....Why would your plan be take out Anderson, Koehler for 1, Tepera for 1, Osuna for 1?..."

Obviously it was because Anderson is still building up his arm strength, after a season plagued by injuries and layoffs.  He has only thrown 33 major-league innings in the whole year (plus 37 minor-league innings, mostly on a rehab stint).  If he was at full strength, of course he would have thrown another two or three innings.

The other choices were completely normal too.  Koehler and Tepera are standard middle-inning relievers.  Osuna is the closer.  It's not Gibby's fault if Osuna is failing to lock down games any more.

"....The overload of Ramirez and Barnes was predictable and avoidable...."

We discussed this last night.  Ramirez wasn't overloaded. He has been pitching in two-inning stints for the whole season.  Two innings is his normal workload.  And now he's done it twice in the majors, without any appreciable signs of fatigue at all.   As for Barnes:  of course he is overloaded, and ideally he shouldn't have pitched, but what do you expect in a 12-inning game?  The other alternatives were worse.
hypobole - Monday, September 04 2017 @ 03:36 PM EDT (#348219) #
Why even waste time contemplating this possibility? Signing an expensive free agent starting pitcher just isn't going to happen under this front office.

As opposed to the previous FO? It's Rogers that sets the budget and always has.
92-93 - Monday, September 04 2017 @ 03:47 PM EDT (#348220) #
Going from 71 pitches in your final rehab start to 85 pitches in your first MLB start and then getting yanked after 59 pitches sounds like over-managing to me, not building up arm strength, but I suppose it's possible Anderson relayed some fatigue to the coaching staff. And Gibby was not the manager yesterday.

"Itís crazy what happens when you arenít tinkered with and can just go out and pitch" - sounds like Anderson likes the Jays staff a little bit better than the one in Chicago.
SK in NJ - Monday, September 04 2017 @ 04:55 PM EDT (#348224) #
This front office will not sign a "top" free agent SP. The years, the money, and the risk is going to be too high for them. If anything we will probably see more Happ and Estrada type of signings until the team starts developing pitchers themselves, otherwise it will be lottery tickets like Anderson or maybe a struggling SP on another team that the FO might feel can improve under different circumstances (Liriano/Koehler). It's not the most exciting way to build a pitching staff, but the risk level is fairly low with that approach and for now the timeline for going after a top free agent isn't good (maybe that will change in a few years). The pressure will be in their pitching prospects turning into something. It wasn't a good season for the Jays pitching prospects other than a handful of Pearson appearances, but a lot can change in a year with prospects in general (good and bad).
Magpie - Monday, September 04 2017 @ 05:11 PM EDT (#348225) #
Koehler and Tepera are standard middle-inning relievers.

Tepera for sure, but Koehler's always been a starter and in fact his forst Toronto appearance just two weeks ago was a fairly decent start. It may be that the team believes he's best suited to a one-inning role.

RIP Walter Becker

Oh man. All night long, we sang that stupid song...
China fan - Monday, September 04 2017 @ 05:14 PM EDT (#348226) #
"....getting yanked after 59 pitches..."

It's also possible that Anderson was on some kind of informal limit that involved innings as well as pitches.  It was only 59 pitches, but it was 6 full innings, including the warm-up pitches that go into every inning.   He has never pitched more than 6 innings in the majors this season (and his previous 6-inning appearance was in April).  In the minors, he has only once reached the 6-inning mark this season.  Most of his games since June have been 4 or 5 innings.  Given his injury history, and given the meaninglessness of the games at this stage of the season, I'm sure the Jays are being careful with him.
Magpie - Monday, September 04 2017 @ 05:15 PM EDT (#348227) #
his forst Toronto appearance

New words generated here.
China fan - Monday, September 04 2017 @ 05:19 PM EDT (#348228) #
"...Koehler's always been a starter..."

Yes.  What I was trying to say is that his new role is middle-inning reliever.  The reporters on the Jays beat have noted that the Jays want to try him as a one-inning reliever to see if his stuff improves in that role.  That's been his role since he was removed from the rotation after that one start.

What this means for 2018 could be interesting.  If he thrives in a one-inning role, he's unlikely to be a depth starter for the Jays, so they will have to bolster their depth chart with other pitchers. 
PeterG - Monday, September 04 2017 @ 05:32 PM EDT (#348229) #
Sk, I agree that it has generally not been a banner year for pitching prospects, but I think that Borucki and Pannone have been looking good of late and could be depth starters for 2018 and more than that beyond. I also think that the 2nd half for SRF has been encouraging, I agree that performance levels vary from year to year and hope (and think) that he could be a positive surprise in 2018.
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