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Let's get a new one started before we hit 300 comments, OK? And while we're at it, let's think about the roster.

It sure looks to me like the 13 hitters and 5 starters might as well be carved in stone at this point. We're looking at:

C Martin
!b Smoak
2b Travis
3b Donaldson
ss Tulowitzki
lf Granderson
cf Pillar
rf Grichuk
dh Morales

c Maile
inf Diaz
inf Solarte
of Pearce

sp Stroman
sp Happ
sp Sanchez
sp Estrada
sp Garcia

Which leaves the bullpen. There will be seven relief pitchers, whether you like it or not, and three of them will be Osuna, Tepera, and Barnes. I don't think anyone else is a sure thing. There will probably be two lefties - I'm thinking Loup and Mayza, which leaves another two righties - I'm thinking Ramirez and Axford. If two pitchers as inexperienced as Mayza and Ramirez make the team, I'll bet the team will want the security blanket of some Veteran Experience (Loup and Axford) to season the pot. That's if a blanket can be said to season anything, this metaphor is completely out of my control at this point.

At any rate, it's surely going to be a revolving door all year long anyway.
Roster Speculation | 158 comments | Create New Account
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laketrout - Wednesday, February 21 2018 @ 12:00 PM EST (#354032) #
I agree that should be the 13 hitters. However I think the Jays will have Carrera on the 25 man with Diaz starting in AAA.
But in all likelihood someone will start the season on the DL and Carrera will just replace that player on the 25 man instead.
ISLAND BOY - Wednesday, February 21 2018 @ 12:09 PM EST (#354033) #
It might be Tulowitzki on the DL to start the season. The bottom of the bullpen will probably be determined by performance in the preseason so there might be a few surprises in that area.
Mike Green - Wednesday, February 21 2018 @ 12:09 PM EST (#354034) #
"carved in stone at this point"


You're saying definitely maybe
I'm saying probably no

I think Solarte definitely makes the team, and will step in for Travis or Donaldson if they are unable to play on Opening Day.  And as for Tulo's health and Diaz on the roster, who knows.    I also think that it is not written in stone that they will go with a Granderson/Pearce platoon in the outfield.  If Hernandez hits in the spring the way he did in September, it would not surprise me at all if the club works out some other way of using Granderson and Pearce.  I still hold out hope of a Morales salary dump trade with another club assuming an Upton-like chunk. 

Mike Green - Wednesday, February 21 2018 @ 12:12 PM EST (#354035) #
and will step in for Travis or Donaldson if they are unable to play on Opening Day

This is what happens when an old guy tries to get used to the modern version of pronouns.  Ack.  It should be "if either is unable to play on Opening Day".
China fan - Wednesday, February 21 2018 @ 12:15 PM EST (#354036) #
I don't know what the Jays will decide, but I think it's possible that they might opt for Carrera over Diaz for the 25th spot on the roster.

Diaz is still just 27, has an option year remaining, and struggled last season. He could potentially benefit from a month or two of full-time playing time in Buffalo. If he is kept on the Toronto roster, I'm not sure how much playing time he would get as the back-up to the back-up infielder. If he's going to be a bench player in Toronto, he would be better placed in Buffalo where he can work to resolve the issues that he had last year.

Carrera will be 31 in June and won't get any better in the minors (and can't be optioned anyway). He is ideally suited to a part-time job in the majors -- a role where he has thrived in the past. His OBP last season was .356, compared to Diaz whose OBP was .290 last season. In a part-time role, he can find ways to get on base, he can pinch-run, and he can take occasional stints in the outfield, where the Jays will be mixing and matching and using platoons to take advantage of the various skills of their new-look outfield team.

But of course it will depend on the health of various players during the spring, and it could depend on trade offers or other personnel changes over the next few weeks.
Mike Green - Wednesday, February 21 2018 @ 12:15 PM EST (#354038) #
Forrest Whitley suspended for 50 games for PED use. 
Gerry - Wednesday, February 21 2018 @ 12:17 PM EST (#354039) #
Don't forget Craig Breslow and John Axford who are competing for bullpen jobs.

Osuna, Tepera, Barnes are in. Loup and Breslow for lefties. Two of the remaining pack, Biagini, Ramirez, Axford, or Guerreiri perhaps.
uglyone - Wednesday, February 21 2018 @ 12:19 PM EST (#354040) #
I doubt they start the season with nobody on the bench that can play SS.
China fan - Wednesday, February 21 2018 @ 12:24 PM EST (#354041) #
There are no guarantees, but the Jays agreed to pay $1.8-million to Aaron Loup this year and $1.9-million to Carrera. That's another indication that both are likely to make the roster. Of course the Jays won't have to pay that much if they release them at the end of the spring, but I think those contract agreements are a pretty strong indication of how the Front Office is leaning. Loup is also a LHP reliever on a roster with no other major-league veterans in that role, so he is virtually certain to be on the opening-day roster.

I think the Jays will certainly acquire another free-agent reliever before the start of the season. Several good ones are still available, and the Jays have the payroll available to sign a reliever. When the new acquisition arrives, it means 5 of the 7 slots are filled. The last two can be filled by the best of Ramirez, Santos, Mayza, Dermody, Breslow, Axford, Alburquerque etc.
uglyone - Wednesday, February 21 2018 @ 12:28 PM EST (#354042) #
Loup and Carrera aren't in the same boat, though.

Loup is a good reliever, and the best LH reliever in camp. He's a no brainer keep.

Carrera is a replacement level player at a position of depth.

Even if Tulo is injured, I'd wager they would keep Ngoepe on the team ahead of Carrera, because they need a backup SS.
China fan - Wednesday, February 21 2018 @ 12:30 PM EST (#354043) #
"....I doubt they start the season with nobody on the bench that can play SS...."

Of course. So it's a good thing they have Solarte, who played 28 games at SS last season. He might not play SS at a calibre that meets your high expectations, but he can definitely fill in for a few innings if the starting SS is injured.

It would obviously be a different situation if Tulo opens the season on the DL, or if he's incapable of a full-time load at the beginning of the season. In that scenario, of course the Jays will put Diaz or Ngoepe on the roster.

But barring an injury to Tulo, why have two back-up SS on the roster? If he is injured during a game, Solarte can finish the game and the Jays can promote Diaz or Ngoepe for the next game.
uglyone - Wednesday, February 21 2018 @ 12:34 PM EST (#354044) #
And Russell Martin is the backup 2B/3B.
Glevin - Wednesday, February 21 2018 @ 12:45 PM EST (#354046) #
"Loup and Carrera aren't in the same boat, though.

Loup is a good reliever, and the best LH reliever in camp. He's a no brainer keep.

Carrera is a replacement level player at a position of depth."

Agree with this. I think it's best if they cut Carrera. He's really a DH who can't hit very well. I'd like Hernandez to have a great spring to force the Jays' hand but I think it's likely they start with him down. I think Diaz makes the team with a decent spring because Travis and Tulo are both not fully healthy going into the season. Last relievers will be an open competition but I think the Jays maybe bring in someone more experienced.
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, February 21 2018 @ 01:11 PM EST (#354047) #
Yangervis Solarte play 3B very well, a natural position. He can play 2B almost as well. All other positions he plays well enough. He can easily spell Devon Travis or Josh Donaldson at need. Aledmys Diaz plays SS very well, a natural position. All positions he plays (small sample) well enough. He can easily spell Troy Tulowitzki at need.

Ideally Russell Martin should play just two out every three games. It might not prevent injuries, but it should keep him fresher. Luke Maile fits well here. The same should be said about Troy Tulowitzki. He should never play more then three out of every four games. Aledmys Diaz fits well here. Devon Travis, Steve Pearce and Curtis Granderson could use an occasional extra day off. Josh Donaldson could D.H. every so offer while Kendrys Morales sits. Yangervis Solarte could do all this well.

What does Ezequiel Carrera do well?
He doesn't run well and has almost no speed. He doesn't throw well and his accuracy is not. His defense is questionable at best and he needs to get full-time work just to be barely mediocre offensively. He's not better than Yangervis Solarte in the Outfield. And that's everything he does well.

Steve Pearce platoons with Curtis Granderson.
Luke Maile is Russell Martin's Backup.
Yangervis Solarte covers everything but Short Stop.
Aledmys Diaz covers Short stop well and is strangely pre-arb (cheap) contract-wise.
Ezequiel Carrera cost more, but doesn't really have a place that isn't better served by calling up one of the kids at need.
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, February 21 2018 @ 01:39 PM EST (#354048) #
In years past, the Bench was primarily to cover for injuries because the options in the Minors were not that good - basically a last resort. Considering the Budget, this was not a priority need and it showed - cheap and barely adequate. This year, the Bench must be more active as they are needed to give more occasional days off and not taking much of an offensive hit when they play. If for longer, there is very good talent in the Minors if that option is needed. Ezequiel Carrera is no longer an asset and he can be released paying just 25% of his salary, making him a Free Agent.
christaylor - Wednesday, February 21 2018 @ 02:49 PM EST (#354050) #
Call me a pessimist but I'll predict one of Tulo, Travis, or Pillar will be on the DL come opening day. Optimistically, I think the team gets a whole season of good Smoak. Hm. There's a Canada legalizing pot this summer joke in there somewhere but I'm too old for that sort of thing, I guess.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, February 21 2018 @ 02:55 PM EST (#354051) #
I wouldn't be surprised if the Jays open the season with a starting middle infield of Solarte at 2B and Diaz at short. I just don't trust Travis/Tulo at all to stay healthy, especially since both ended last season on the DL and have extensive injury histories. Hope i am wrong.
Chuck - Wednesday, February 21 2018 @ 03:01 PM EST (#354052) #
a starting middle infield of Solarte at 2B and Diaz at short.

What is the likelihood that the Plan B middle infield logs more playing time than Plan A? My guess is about 75%.

Richard S.S. - Wednesday, February 21 2018 @ 03:18 PM EST (#354053) #
Roberto Osuna will be the Closer for as long as he can do the job. While Ryan Tepera may or may not be the best option for Set-Up Man, he's got nothing left to prove other than staying healthy. Both are locks to be in the Bullpen so the total is at two.

The Jays need two good or better LHP in the Bullpen, if not more. Currently we have Aaron Loup, Craig Breslow, Tim Mayza and Matt Dermody competing for basically two spots. No one makes the Bullpen unless they are the best options, despite Breslow having an early opt-out this Spring. With the Jays sure to be acquiring another Reliever (90% is sure enough for me), he will most likely make the Roster. Where this is significant is that the acquisition might be a good LHP. That brings the total up four for sure and possibly five.

That leaves two sure openings for RHP with possibly another opening available. Danny Barnes should not be guaranteed a spot in the Bullpen unless he's good enough - better than other options. Jake Petricka may very well be an option for later in the spring as he recovers from Offseason surgery. There are just too many options available to know which one is right.
ayjackson - Wednesday, February 21 2018 @ 05:14 PM EST (#354057) #
What is the likelihood that the Plan B middle infield logs more playing time than A? My guess is about 75%.

Great idea for a prediction contest:

Tulo/Travis - 15 (games started)
Tulo/Solarte - 31
Diaz/Travis - 39
Diaz/Solarte - 50
Other - 27
Mike Green - Wednesday, February 21 2018 @ 05:36 PM EST (#354059) #
I think that this is the year that Travis plays 140 games.  Tulo will get, I think, about 100.  So, Tulo-Travis 75 games and the B team 15 and some other games where one of Tulo and Travis play. 
85bluejay - Wednesday, February 21 2018 @ 06:27 PM EST (#354062) #
Actually, John Gibbons has been quoted as saying he intends to give Travis plenty of rest to try and get him through the season, so 140 games seems ambitious especially since the team has 2 quality reserves.
dan gordon - Wednesday, February 21 2018 @ 06:33 PM EST (#354063) #
I think Dermody has a good chance to make the team if they take 2 lefties. His numbers last year are distorted by his lone appearance in April, in which he gave up 5 runs in 1/3 of an inning. He was called up in late July and was excellent the rest of the season, with an ERA of 2.45, WHIP of 1.05, K:BB ratio of 15:4 and opponents' OPS of .659.

I expect they will sign a reliever, or a starter who will be used as a reliever, and if they don't, Biagini will be in the bullpen, so I figure Osuna, Tepera, Barnes, new guy/Biagini, Loup, Ramirez and a 7th guy, with Dermody having the edge for the 7th spot if they want a lefty, and one of Alburquerque/Axford/Petricka/Guerrieri if they want a righty.

I think Carrera makes the team, Hernandez starts in Buffalo, unless Hernandez is lights out in the spring, in which case, they can probably find a taker for Carrera. Tulo starts on the DL with Diaz at SS. When Tulo is back, Diaz goes to AAA, and is recalled if/when Tulo goes back on the DL. I think Travis plays most of the season in good health. I hope that if Morales doesn't improve, Solarte takes a lot of his AB's vs righties. I think Granderson and Pearce platoon in left, and Granderson is going to have a very good season, now that he's out of that ballpark that was killing him.
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, February 21 2018 @ 06:54 PM EST (#354065) #
Only two Players that I could expect to be the Reliever Ross Atkins might be after (90%) are:
1). The Jays maybe the only one to offer a Major League contract to him.
2). Lost a lot of time to injury last year and was losing effectiveness the year before.
scottt - Wednesday, February 21 2018 @ 07:49 PM EST (#354066) #
The last bullpen spot will probably go to the Buffalo shuttle with guys with options going up and down.
I don't think think it matters much who is on the roster for the opening day.

scottt - Wednesday, February 21 2018 @ 07:52 PM EST (#354067) #
Biagini gets the start on Friday.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, February 21 2018 @ 09:16 PM EST (#354071) #
If Travis actually is healthy (and that's a big if), it would definitely be smart to mix in rest days for him throughout the season to keep his body as healthy as possible. Solarte is a more than capable back-up so it's not like the Jays would be throwing out Goins when Travis doesn't play. If you get anywhere from 100-120 games out of Travis this season, you should be happy with that.

The Solarte and Diaz pick-ups were huge for this reason. The Jays are obviously a lot better if Travis/Tulo are healthy and productive, but having the back-ups be established starting calibre players (assuming Diaz bounces back) will make a huge difference.
jerjapan - Wednesday, February 21 2018 @ 09:24 PM EST (#354072) #
A Courtney Barnett reference?  Nice one Mike Green.  I want to make some sort of witty comment, but I fear it'd be pedestrian at best. 
John Northey - Wednesday, February 21 2018 @ 10:29 PM EST (#354073) #
Hmmm... I'd assume Lincecum would be pretty much a league minimum at this point with incentives if he does well. I'd consider it if the base is small enough (no more than $1 mil). He certainly fits the Jays definition this winter of small risk, high reward potential even if his last really good year was 2011. My gut says he gets no more than a spring invite/minor league deal with incentives.

Locke has never had a really good year (even his All Star season was way too wild for my tastes). I'd offer him a AAA deal at most.
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, February 21 2018 @ 11:06 PM EST (#354074) #
Are the Jays after Trevor Cahill?
GabrielSyme - Wednesday, February 21 2018 @ 11:20 PM EST (#354075) #
There are some low-likelihood possibilities even apart from injury. For one, it is obvious that one of Steve Pearce and Kendrys Morales is superfluous, and it's possible that Pearce could be traded or Morales released, the former being more likely. That would make room to carry both Carrera and Diaz.

Secondly, if Danny Jansen gives a strong showing in Spring Training (and looks respectable defensively) and Maile struggles, I wouldn't be shocked if Jansen breaks camp and Maile heads to Buffalo.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, February 22 2018 @ 12:27 AM EST (#354076) #
It’s possible Luke Maile was hurt enough to affect his hitting much more than his defense. I always thought that was a guess, but there might be some substance to it. I’d much rather give him the benefit of the doubt than say he can’t hit. Rushing to judgement could be a problem.

I think the Jays much rather get everything done as soon as possible to have maximum development and bonding with fellow Jays. They still want to add an impact arm to the Bullpen, but who’s left to sign?
Glevin - Thursday, February 22 2018 @ 07:54 AM EST (#354081) #
I find what the Rays are doing very interesting. They are trading players for prospects and then signing other players of similar value for cheap. So, they trading away Longoria, Oderizzi, and Souza for prospects and still are not a whole lot worse while saving money. (Maybe a win or three worse).
jerjapan - Thursday, February 22 2018 @ 08:01 AM EST (#354082) #
Richard, Maile has enough of a track record to not worry about a rush to judgement - he showed some decent on base skills in A ball, but that solitary offensive skill had evaporated by AAA, where he has a career OPS of .594.  Even that dreadful number drops about 100 points in the bigs.  Dude can't contribute offensively, and at 27, he's not likely to improve.

I can't see any position player surprises making the roster - I don't see the team as willing to walk away from Zeke's contract, flushing close to 2 million is just out of character for them.  Demoting guys with options isn't.  Similarly, I see them holding onto Pearce and Morales in the hope that they regain any value whatsoever.  I hope they consider a release for either guy by the all-star break though, if they can't rebuild any value.  Even with 1.5 years of mediocrity under his belt, I see a release as unlikely for Morales, so I hope he has at least a slight rebound to make him palatable to someone in an Upton-style trade. 

John Northey - Thursday, February 22 2018 @ 09:08 AM EST (#354083) #
Maile is what he is. A very poor hitting pure defense catcher. He might be a great manager someday, but today he is a pure backup who requires a good bat on the bench to hit for him late. He is useful in March and September but April-August you'd ideally have someone else around as backup. Hopefully one of the farm kids will impress in spring and make the Jays think twice about them.
uglyone - Thursday, February 22 2018 @ 09:42 AM EST (#354084) #
jer, it'll only cost them about $475k if they release carrera.
Mike Green - Thursday, February 22 2018 @ 09:45 AM EST (#354085) #
Maile is what he is. A very poor hitting pure defense catcher. He might be a great manager someday

True.  Speaking of that, I would love to see Russell Martin as a lifetime Blue Jay if he wishes to continue in baseball after his playing days are done.  The man knows the game very well and has the ideal demeanor, I think, for a manager. 

SK in NJ - Thursday, February 22 2018 @ 09:56 AM EST (#354086) #
The Jays have four catchers on the 40-man roster, so my guess is they are fine with Maile as a back-up because they can go with one of their two catching prospects (Jansen or McGuire) in the event that Martin has to miss time. If the Jays did not have that depth in the minors then the need for a better back-up would be more drastic.

Good catchers are usually starters so getting any half way decent catcher to sign with the Jays to back-up Martin is not very realistic.
Mike Green - Thursday, February 22 2018 @ 10:10 AM EST (#354087) #
Martin is 35 years old, and has said that he wants to play about 110 games behind the plate.  If the club gives Jansen regular work in April and part of May in Buffalo, and then has him playing one game in three in Toronto while backing up Martin, that is a pretty fine start to an apprenticeship if you ask me.  He'll end up with about 90 games behind the plate and an excellent education just watching and absorbing.  And the club will get the service time benefit. 

I don't think that is what the club is thinking, but youneverknow.

uglyone - Thursday, February 22 2018 @ 10:14 AM EST (#354088) #
we could just keep swapping Jansen and McGuire back and forth between starting in AAA and backing up in MLB all year.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, February 22 2018 @ 11:52 AM EST (#354091) #
All Arbitration players go through the same thing every Spring. When their non-guaranteed contract becomes guaranteed. Prior to that point in the Spring, Teams may release Players (for any reason) and they only have to pay 25% of the agreed upon arbitration number. Just read the CBA.

Releasing Ezequiel Carrera costs so very little, just $475 K. That’s all Toronto is allowed/required to pay him. The balance just goes back into the Jays’ coffers. Everyone designated as the Jays’ Starting Outfield are all much better than he is. The four most likely Outfield call-ups, Teoscar Hernandez, Anthony Alford, Dalton Pompey and Dwight Smith Jr are easily much better than he is. Luke Maile, Steve Pearce, Yangervis Solarte and Aledmys Diaz have significant roles to play on this Roster. Ezequiel Carrera is barely insurance in case of injury, barely replacement level and has zero trade value. I like him, but he doesn’t have a place on this Team.
bpoz - Thursday, February 22 2018 @ 11:52 AM EST (#354092) #
The guessing for the middle IF playing time is interesting. Tulo will play 2018 at age 33. So not really old. But he is beat up because of a long ML career so far. Coors field inflated his offense.

All 4 may be fairly close in ability if they all play close to expectations.

Regarding 650 WAR, would 300-350 AB/PA make this stat more representative of the value of the player? 200 or under AB/PA is too small a sample for me. This could have off season value.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, February 22 2018 @ 12:04 PM EST (#354093) #
This Offseason, the Rays have traded away/DFA’d their best OPS, their second best OPS and their fourth best OPS. Who hits for them? No one acquired or currently in-house has anything close to those numbers. The Rays will be lucky to just finish in the bottom of the Standings, they might be worse.
China fan - Thursday, February 22 2018 @ 12:10 PM EST (#354094) #
If either Jansen and McGuire (or both) are ready for a major-league roster position in April, why were they not given any playing time last September when rosters were expanded? That would have been the perfect time for them to begin their transition, if they were on the verge of the majors.

The fact that neither of them was promoted last September suggests to me that the Jays still evaluate them as needing another half-season or full season in the minors. With all the demands on major-league catchers and the complexity of the job, you don't want to rush them.

I suspect the Jays are content to have Maile as the back-up for two or three months at least. Barring injury, they'd prefer to give Jansen and McGuire the benefit of full-time play in the minors in the first half of this season at least.
GabrielSyme - Thursday, February 22 2018 @ 12:20 PM EST (#354095) #
I'm in agreement that Carrera doesn't have a role on this team barring injury, but I suspect that another team will take him in a trade - someone is going to have an injury, and the same logic that allowed the Jays to tender him a contract as insurance will induce another team to take him when they actually need someone. He actually had quite a nice year offensively last year, and lots of teams can and will do worse for a fourth outfielder.
uglyone - Thursday, February 22 2018 @ 12:24 PM EST (#354096) #
Ben Nicholson-Smith @bnicholsonsmith
Kevin Pillar worked on mobility & lost 15 Lbs. this off-season. Why? He wants to make harder, more consistent contact, become more of a threat on the bases, and even improve defensively… #BlueJays

bpoz - Thursday, February 22 2018 @ 12:34 PM EST (#354097) #
CF, I could not understand the Sept call ups. Urena and T Hernandez played. Injuries gave them playing time.

For C, maybe Martin was done for the year. For some reason Maile, Lopez and maybe another were catching but not Jansen. I don't see how Jansen coming up hurts anything.

Borucki coming up would not hurt anything either but maybe his arm had enough innings. B Anderson may have been promised some playing time so there was no room for Borucki.
dalimon5 - Thursday, February 22 2018 @ 12:56 PM EST (#354098) #
Major announcement at Prime Time Sports at 4PM.

Maldoff - Thursday, February 22 2018 @ 01:43 PM EST (#354100) #
dalimon5, where are you seeing this?
hypobole - Thursday, February 22 2018 @ 01:54 PM EST (#354101) #
My ideal would be Pompey showing enough in camp to take Zeke's job. He ticks a lot of boxes with his speed, defence, switch-hitting. He, like Travis, has an injury history and may be better suited to not playing every day.
Gerry - Thursday, February 22 2018 @ 01:59 PM EST (#354102) #
The announcement is probably the new voice of the Jays.
rpriske - Thursday, February 22 2018 @ 02:17 PM EST (#354104) #
I agree that Carrera has been squeezed out (and I LIKE him), but to me the bigger question is Teoscar Hernandez.

He also appears to be squeezed out, though with an option. I think having  him in the minors is kind of a waste. He should be playing in the bigs.

Pearce needs to be gone. (Well, Morales, really, with Pearce taking his spot, but that is never going to happen.)

dalimon5 - Thursday, February 22 2018 @ 02:22 PM EST (#354105) #
I heard it on the radio during the hockey show. I also think it will be to announce Justin Morneau or Dan Shulman as the new voice/TV of the Blue Jays. Struck me as odd that they announced it was a "major major announcement."
uglyone - Thursday, February 22 2018 @ 02:36 PM EST (#354106) #
CF Pompey 25
RF Alford 23
LF Hernandez 25
3B Leblebjibian 27
SS Urena 22
2B Gurriel 24
1B Tellez 23
DH Smith 25
C Jansen 23

UT Lopes 24
OF Fields 27
OF Davis 26
IF Ngoepe 28
C McGuire 23

Are all these guys in Buffalo to start?
Richard S.S. - Thursday, February 22 2018 @ 02:40 PM EST (#354107) #
The Jays need to replace both Greg Zaun on T.V. and Jerry Howarth on the Radio. It will be interesting to see who does what.
Glevin - Thursday, February 22 2018 @ 03:11 PM EST (#354108) #
"Are all these guys in Buffalo to start?"

Interesting to see what Jays do with Jansen and McGuire. Both need to play and for catcher that means reps behind the plate. I think either would be better than Maile right now but understand if the Jays want to wait a few weeks for control/money purposes. Also, not sure Urena starts at AAA. He got worse at AA and ideally, I'd like to see him do better than a WRC+ of 73 at AA before moving up. He's young enough for AA is still fine too. Also, if Jays see Alford as future CFer, I'd rather they develop him there and Pompey can play a corner.
Mike Green - Thursday, February 22 2018 @ 03:18 PM EST (#354109) #
Pearce does two things better than Morales- hit and field at first base (OK, he's probably a better baserunner too).  
PeterG - Thursday, February 22 2018 @ 03:48 PM EST (#354110) #
Unless injured, Maile will be here for the season. Apart from the fact that the Jays love him behind the plate, it does not make sense to rush any of the youngsters at such an important position.
jerjapan - Thursday, February 22 2018 @ 03:52 PM EST (#354111) #
Richard, thanks for explaining Zeke's contract, especially since the CBA is pretty low on my reading list - even reading my own is a dry haul.  

I had thought that because he had signed the contract before going through the arb process that it was guaranteed.  I do agree that this puts his status in question, but I wouldn't agree that Dwight Smith Jr. is easily better - I'd always thought a Zeke-type player was Smith's ceiling. 

Atkins isn't exaggerating when he touts our AAA roster depth this year.  I'd rather McGuire start in AA and get regular time behind the plate than seeing him split time with Jansen, who I assume has the edge on starting in Buffalo.  Just hoping that Maile is on a short leash.

Glevin - Thursday, February 22 2018 @ 04:09 PM EST (#354112) #
"Unless injured, Maile will be here for the season. Apart from the fact that the Jays love him behind the plate, it does not make sense to rush any of the youngsters at such an important position."

Who's being rushed? Jansen and McGuire will both be 23 with hundreds of ABs in the upper minors. I'm not saying that either is necessarily ready right now but they are very close and I think either would be fine in the majors. The problem with Maile is that he is useless offensively. There were 435 players with more than 100 PAs in baseball last year. Maile was the worst. His career WRC+ in almost 300 PAs is 27.
vw_fan17 - Thursday, February 22 2018 @ 04:23 PM EST (#354113) #
4:23 EST - what's the "major major" announcement? Nothing on their website..
fozzy - Thursday, February 22 2018 @ 04:35 PM EST (#354114) #
Bobcat is stepping away from the show and Brunt and someone else is taking over. I missed the name, someone from the US.
hypobole - Thursday, February 22 2018 @ 04:35 PM EST (#354115) #
"Sportsnet's Stephen Brunt joins Bob McCown to announce his return to Prime Time Sports as a co-host!"

Socks for Christmas level of excitement.
fozzy - Thursday, February 22 2018 @ 04:37 PM EST (#354116) #
Edit: Bobcat not stepping away, but sharing duties moving forward.
vw_fan17 - Thursday, February 22 2018 @ 04:52 PM EST (#354117) #
I guess a big deal for them? Nothing but a yawn for me..
dalimon5 - Thursday, February 22 2018 @ 05:06 PM EST (#354118) #
Talk about crying wolf.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, February 22 2018 @ 05:51 PM EST (#354119) #
The Show is bringing back the #1 Co-Host in ratings and popularity, a significant move. The Show is giving #1 Co-Host status to a regular guest and top NY Sport person, a very significant move.
dalimon5 - Thursday, February 22 2018 @ 06:02 PM EST (#354120) # Maybe if you're a journalist or aspiring sports writer. "Major major announcement," implies it's big news and hosts and co hosts, of a talk show nonetheless, is not major news. A Marcus Stroman or JD extension would be a "major major announcement."
vw_fan17 - Thursday, February 22 2018 @ 06:30 PM EST (#354121) #
Sure, it's a "major major" announcement FOR THEM and probably for lots of local fans. I do understand the concept - I LIVED for Sportsline on Global with Jim Tatti and Mark Hebscher when I was a youngster and there was no other coverage (we didn't have TSN - no cable).. "Yes guy!". The Hebzies. Etc.. AND the Jays in contention nearly every year. Good times!!

For nearly 14 years, I've lived 3600+ km (as the crow flies) from Toronto, and never really listened to any of the TO radio shows when I did live closer. Ergo, after expecting a major TEAM-related announcement, it's a big yawn for me. I mean, I could identify Bob McCown as a guy who does radio in TO because others have talked about him here, but that's about it. Zero impact on my life, or on my following of the Jays. I thought the "major major" phrasing would impact my life in some way (a trade, a signing, etc).

vw_fan17 - Thursday, February 22 2018 @ 06:37 PM EST (#354122) #
addendum: never heard of Stephen Brunt or Richard Deitsch. Is Bobcat a nickname for Bob McCown? If not, another name for the "never heard of 'em" list.

I'm sure the confession of my deep, dark secret has now triggered a review of my membership here on the basis of not being fanatic enough :-)

jerjapan - Thursday, February 22 2018 @ 07:37 PM EST (#354124) #
I LIVED for Sportsline on Global with Jim Tatti and Mark Hebscher

Oh man, me too.  Loved that they played the Cult's "Love Removal Machine" as the song to introduce a bunch of their clips ... as a kid, my visual knowledge of pretty much the whole NL was a result of that show.
Gerry - Thursday, February 22 2018 @ 07:45 PM EST (#354125) #
The Blue Jays are very unlikely to make a major announcement on the radio unless it is related to the station. TV is where the money is these days.

For those of you with PVR's, the Jays are on Sportsnet tomorrow at 1pm. Jays in 30 will be shown later for those with no PVR's.
whiterasta80 - Thursday, February 22 2018 @ 08:55 PM EST (#354127) #
Wow, that is pretty much the opposite of a major announcement.
Richard S.S. - Friday, February 23 2018 @ 01:07 AM EST (#354128) #
Trevor Cahill might be who Ross Atkins is after, someone who can pitch multiple innings or even Spot Start if necessary. He looks pretty good from that point of view, but he’s probably waiting for a better offer.
scottt - Friday, February 23 2018 @ 06:45 AM EST (#354129) #
With that Buffalo roster, this would be a great year to go catch a Bisons game, eat some wings, etc...
85bluejay - Friday, February 23 2018 @ 07:28 AM EST (#354130) #
Looks like Rowdy Tellez has packed on the pounds.
Chuck - Friday, February 23 2018 @ 08:19 AM EST (#354131) #
Looks like Rowdy Tellez has packed on the pounds.

Best shape of his life, a sphere.

scottt - Friday, February 23 2018 @ 08:55 AM EST (#354132) #
I read he stuck with the off-season training and fitness designed by the high-performance department.
scottt - Friday, February 23 2018 @ 08:57 AM EST (#354133) #
Torn UCL for the Rays top pitching prospect.
They are not immune to pitcher injuries after all.

lexomatic - Friday, February 23 2018 @ 09:06 AM EST (#354134) #
Looks like Rowdy Tellez has packed on the pounds.

Best shape of his life, a sphere.

It IS a historically successful body type for baseball. New inefficiency?

Seriously, though, any effect would likely be on defense and durability. Well, and obviously on the bases.

greenfrog - Friday, February 23 2018 @ 09:45 AM EST (#354135) #
Being rotund worked for Kirby Puckett.
Mike Green - Friday, February 23 2018 @ 10:14 AM EST (#354136) #
I did not know that John Danks was Ashley Monroe's spouse.  She's good.
hypobole - Friday, February 23 2018 @ 10:19 AM EST (#354137) #
The only silver lining for the Rays is that Honeywell wasn't on their 25 man.
uglyone - Friday, February 23 2018 @ 10:33 AM EST (#354138) #
uglyone - Friday, February 23 2018 @ 10:41 AM EST (#354139) #
don't be surprised to see grandy in the one spot a lot.
China fan - Friday, February 23 2018 @ 12:11 PM EST (#354140) #
For what it's worth, the media today asked Gibbons to name his possible lead-off hitters this season. He mentioned Travis and didn't mention any other names. He said Granderson is leading off today just to give him some hitting time before he's taken out of the game.

But I agree that Granderson will be considered for the lead-off spot in many games, especially given the question marks about Travis (who will be rested in many of the spring games to give him a better chance of lasting longer in the regular season).
Gerry - Friday, February 23 2018 @ 12:38 PM EST (#354141) #
Pitching today...Biagini, Breslow, Alburquerque, Mayza, Dermody, others?
christaylor - Friday, February 23 2018 @ 12:50 PM EST (#354142) #
Granderson takes his share of walks -- which wouldn't be terrible to see in the leadoff spot ahead of the 2-4 hitters.
uglyone - Friday, February 23 2018 @ 01:03 PM EST (#354143) #
Pearce would also work as a leadoff guy, imo.
Gerry - Friday, February 23 2018 @ 01:17 PM EST (#354144) #
Obligatory notice.....the pitch counts on or at-bat are not accurate for spring training games. All balls in play are recorded as one pitch, walks are four and strikeouts are 3. Ignore the official pitch count information.
uglyone - Friday, February 23 2018 @ 01:18 PM EST (#354145) #
And Grandy homers.

GabrielSyme - Friday, February 23 2018 @ 01:20 PM EST (#354146) #
Granderson could be a good fit for the leadoff spot against RHP, especially if his somewhat surprisingly low BABIP improves a little. Granderson also had a career-high contact rate last year, but saw his strikeouts increase - he might be in for some positive regression there too. All of which makes him a pretty decent candidate for the leadoff slot, given the lack of a prototypical leadoff hitter.
SK in NJ - Friday, February 23 2018 @ 01:24 PM EST (#354147) #
Granderson/Pearce leading off in their expected platoon would be fine with me. The Jays don't have a "traditional" lead-off hitter and Grandy/Pearce will probably get on base at a higher clip than most of the other hitters on the team, especially if platooned.
Richard S.S. - Friday, February 23 2018 @ 01:38 PM EST (#354148) #
Ideally verses RHP it could be:
Devon Travis (R)
Curtis Granderson (L)
Josh Donaldson (R)
Justin Smoak (SW)
Troy Tulowitzki (R) or Randal Grichuk (R)
Kendrys Morales (SW)
Randal Grichuk (R) or Troy Tulowitzki (R)
Russell Martin (R) or Luke Maile (R)
Kevin Pillar (R)
This may not be ideal unless Tulowitzki is back to his 2016 normal. This lineup will not be comfortable to pitch to.
uglyone - Friday, February 23 2018 @ 01:38 PM EST (#354149) #
Luke Maile batting 1.000. InfinityWar650
Gerry - Friday, February 23 2018 @ 01:38 PM EST (#354150) #
Luke Maile singles...our backup catcher worries were unfounded.
Gerry - Friday, February 23 2018 @ 01:42 PM EST (#354151) #
Granderson double play, bad signing.

OK I am done now with the hot takes.
CeeBee - Friday, February 23 2018 @ 01:46 PM EST (#354152) #
Biagini looked good... Our new #1

gawd I love spring training, especially since it's -12 here and 2 feet of snow on the ground.
China fan - Friday, February 23 2018 @ 03:30 PM EST (#354153) #
Nice outing for the Jays pitchers today: they didn't allow a single walk in 9 innings.

Tim Mayza was the one who impressed me. He looked overpowering.
Richard S.S. - Friday, February 23 2018 @ 05:15 PM EST (#354154) #
Nice article, has possibilities.
Dewey - Friday, February 23 2018 @ 05:52 PM EST (#354155) #
Ideally verses RHP it could be:

Richard, have pity on an old school-teacher.  The word that you have consistently been misusing of late is “versus”.   *Not* “verses”.  Versus is Latin .  (Means against, opposite.)  Verses are something else altogether.
Gerry - Friday, February 23 2018 @ 06:40 PM EST (#354156) #
Former Blue Jay Jairo Labourt has been DFA'd by the Tigers to make way for Francisco Liriano.
scottt - Friday, February 23 2018 @ 07:32 PM EST (#354157) #
Labourt hasn't done very well as a starter in the Tigers system.
They converted him to a reliever and he shot up from A+ to pitching 6 innings in Detroit.

He's the kind of guy who is claimed on waivers until someone manages to send him to AAA.

dan gordon - Friday, February 23 2018 @ 08:04 PM EST (#354158) #
Dewey, you would have loved this one from the Leaf game yesterday - the analyst on the crew, I forget which one it was, said "the puck bounced overneath his stick". I replayed it on the PVR to make sure that he actually said that. Amidst all the gross misuse of the English language you hear, that was a first for me.

Some pretty bad umpiring in the Blue Jay game today. Makes me really appreciate instant replay.
Dewey - Friday, February 23 2018 @ 08:24 PM EST (#354159) #
Wow, that's a beauty, Dan!  Covers most of the possibilities, I suppose.  "Overneath".  Amazing.  Certainly a first for me, too.
Shoeless Joe - Friday, February 23 2018 @ 09:55 PM EST (#354160) #
Oh, so it's not the young relievers Breslow and Axford who are in the best shape of their lives, but the young Kendry Morales! Spring training stories sometime crack me up, Morales is more done then the steak you over-cook for your folks because they don't like the sight of pink in it.
JohnL - Friday, February 23 2018 @ 10:47 PM EST (#354161) #
Dewey, I was hoping we'd hear from you after news of Jerry Howarth's retirement (and wasn't disappointed!), and also thought of you when I saw Richard SS's "poetic" batting order.

Perhaps someone could come up with a lineup made up of players (present or past) in a rhyming batting order.
scottt - Friday, February 23 2018 @ 11:04 PM EST (#354162) #
Morales is as likely to bounce back up as Ortiz was back after his bad year at age 33.
We don't even need another 7 year of all-start hitting. One single year of OPS+ 115 would do.

dan gordon - Friday, February 23 2018 @ 11:46 PM EST (#354163) #
There's also the fact that players signing big money contracts with new teams, on average, have poor first seasons with the new team. I wouldn't be surprised to see Morales have a better year than last year. Or, of course, 2017 could just be him getting old.
jerjapan - Saturday, February 24 2018 @ 12:31 AM EST (#354164) #
Morales is as likely to bounce back up as Ortiz was back after his bad year at age 33.

How does that make any sense?  Ortiz was worth about 29 fWAR by age 33, Morales is at about 8.  He's hit 2 fWAR - exactly 2 - once this decade. 

Ortiz and Morales are not good comps.
ISLAND BOY - Saturday, February 24 2018 @ 05:56 AM EST (#354167) #
I don't know who compares to Ortiz in his later years, especially his last year playing. With all the examples of players declining in their 30's, David Ortiz proved to be an exception to the rule.
scottt - Saturday, February 24 2018 @ 07:54 AM EST (#354168) #
They are both big DH.
I am just talking about the odds of bouncing back to career averages for a muscle bound DH at 33-34.

scottt - Saturday, February 24 2018 @ 08:00 AM EST (#354169) #
Last year, people didn't believe Smoak could figure it out and were looking at Tellez.

First spring game played. How did building up the outfield with a view on trading surplus outfielders for pitching work out for the Brewers? They still have 3 players for that 4th outfielder job.

I see a rotation of Chacin, Anderson, Davies, Gallardo and Wade Miley. Meh.

Chuck - Saturday, February 24 2018 @ 09:20 AM EST (#354170) #
I am just talking about the odds of bouncing back to career averages for a muscle bound DH at 33-34.

Isn't a more realistic forecast one that takes into account a normal ageing pattern rather than finding a favourable exception as a comp? Morales could perform an Ortiz-style bounce back (to his once lofty 2-3 WAR perch), because, well, anything is possible. But it's more likely he'll just continue ageing like a regular player. Those feel like the real odds.

85bluejay - Saturday, February 24 2018 @ 09:32 AM EST (#354171) #
Saw 1AB from Gurriel (hit into DP) & Tellez - Gurriel seems to have good bat speed, tellez not so much - may need to start swing earlier.
uglyone - Saturday, February 24 2018 @ 09:41 AM EST (#354172) #
i'd be happy if morales starting taking the same PEDs that Ortiz did.
christaylor - Saturday, February 24 2018 @ 09:56 AM EST (#354173) #
I'm less concerned about Morales not bouncing back to a 1+ WAR level than the situation where he doesn't bounce back and the Jays are contending/over-performing in late June/July and they don't part ways with Morales as a sunk cost. I would be mad at the FO if that happened. I suspect it won't but youneverknow.
bpoz - Saturday, February 24 2018 @ 10:48 AM EST (#354174) #
Morales hits Hrs and collects RBIs. His Ks are ok but BBs are too low. How does that compare to other DHs?

He runs slow and hits into a lot of DPs. That is obviously a problem.
ISLAND BOY - Saturday, February 24 2018 @ 12:14 PM EST (#354175) #
Looking into his past, David Ortiz was reportedly one of 100 players that tested positive for PED's in the spring of 2003.This list of players was never released publicly because PED's weren't illegal until the 2004 season. Would it really have been possible for him to continue using PED 's after this with the drug testing done by MLB ?

In his age 40 season he had a batting average of .315 and an OPS of 1.021 ! Wouldn't MLB officials look at this and say," Man ,this guy got to be on something " and test him stringently ? Jose Bautista said he was tested 8 times the year after he broke out with over 50 home runs. I'm not a big defender of Ortiz,just genuinely curious how he was able to perform at such a high level at his age when others usually can't.

Or... was the aura of Big Papi so big that MLB wouldn't want to catch him and put a black eye on the sport?
uglyone - Saturday, February 24 2018 @ 12:26 PM EST (#354176) #
Clearest case of PEDs ever, imo.
scottt - Saturday, February 24 2018 @ 12:31 PM EST (#354177) #
Morales has had up and down years during his entire career.
An up year now isn't impossible.  It's maybe 2-to-1 against him.

bpoz - Saturday, February 24 2018 @ 12:55 PM EST (#354178) #
So Morales is here for 2 more years. 2018 a contending year hopefully. 2019 a potential rebuilding year. Smoak and Martin as well.

Smoak great contract. Martin has given value already. $40 mil for the next 2 years is back loaded a common type of contract. We may not have had the 2015/16 success without him.
If we get into the playoffs in 2018 and/or 2019 he could be a positive playoff factor.

I firmly believe a poor defensive C is a huge negative in the playoffs. I always pick on NYYs G Sanchez because his D is weak. IMO also playoff teams need V good pitching to survive to the final 4. The C contributes to good pitching.

christaylor - Saturday, February 24 2018 @ 01:48 PM EST (#354179) #
There is pretty decent that he could have benefited from PEDs long after he stopped taking him. The PEDs he took built muscle and fought the normal aging curve. So he could have been clean and altered himself to prolong his career. Think Lasik for your muscles.
Gerry - Saturday, February 24 2018 @ 03:00 PM EST (#354180) #
Bradley Jones sighting in the Jays game today. Jones missed the second half of last season after getting to Dunedin.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, February 24 2018 @ 03:35 PM EST (#354181) #
Kendrys Morales was hurt in another over-indulged celebrations the Baseball Players occasionally have. To them it’s inconceivable that someone significant could get hurt. It took away his average defensive abilities and removed his ability to run (average-ish) because no one competent took care of his injury soon enough.

His last three years apply best because they cover the post-age-31 years. He’s been basically healthy having played 150-158 games each of the last three years with the low being in 2017. He was fairly consistent offensively in 2015 and 2016 with his numbers dipping just slightly this year. He was the reason Edwin Encarnacion wasn’t resigned and as a result expected to be much better than he was.

He’s trying to be better this year by dropping weight, getting “faster”, trying to be a “defensive presence” and he’s trying to be who he thinks he should be. If he can be anything close to his 2015 - 2016 numbers then we should be very happy. I just happen to think he might be better.
uglyone - Saturday, February 24 2018 @ 04:13 PM EST (#354182) #
Ortiz followed a delayed but fairly normal aging curve for most of his career...

Age 00-25: 1227pa, 103ops+, 0.6bwar650
Age 26-28: 1644pa, 138ops+, 3.5bwar650
Age 29-31: 2066pa, 163ops+, 5.5bwar650
Age 32-34: 1724pa, 120ops+, 2.0bwar650

a little bit of a late bloomer but still a pretty standard aging curve....until he hits age 35:

35-37: 1588pa, 160ops+, 4.7bwar650
38-40: 1842pa, 149ops+, 4.0bwar650

Or we can take his 6 prime years (26-31), skip his 3 typical decline years (32-34) completely, and compare them to his 6 old man years (35-40):

26-31: 3710pa, 152ops+, 4.6bwar650
35-40: 3430pa, 154ops+, 4.3bwar650

That's just silly. The only explanation is PEDs. And given that he got caught for PEDs, it's obvious.

SK in NJ - Saturday, February 24 2018 @ 05:32 PM EST (#354183) #
I think Morales can have a better 2018, but whether it's good enough to justify the roster inflexibility he creates is another story. We just have to hope he can have a bounce back year, and maybe Gibbons can be creative with the playing time by splitting DH between him, Pearce, and Donaldson (when he needs a rest).
Richard S.S. - Saturday, February 24 2018 @ 08:49 PM EST (#354184) #
Blue Jays are making a lot of changes everywhere. Blue Jays Talk is now with Rob Wong and Josh Goldberg replacing Mike Wilner. With Jerry Howarth retiring, Mike Wilner (47) is probably now full-time on the Radio with Joe Siddall (50). Scott Richmond (38) has been doing some Color commentary, but I'm not sure where he fits. Buck Martinez (69) and Pat Tabler (60) do the Television coverage, with Dan Shulman (51) calling some games also. At some point, Buck will retire or be replaced by Management. Jaime Campbell (50) needs someone to work with him doing the Pre- and Post- game shows. But I haven't heard what's happening.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, February 24 2018 @ 09:09 PM EST (#354185) #
If you haven't heard
scottt - Saturday, February 24 2018 @ 09:22 PM EST (#354186) #
So apparently, Baltimore offered a major league contract to Goins but ownership didn't approve it.

scottt - Saturday, February 24 2018 @ 09:29 PM EST (#354187) #
Roster inflexibility?
Donaldson is the only player that I'd like to see at DH here and there when there' s a bit of a stretch without day offs. There's more days off this year anyway.

Petey Baseball - Saturday, February 24 2018 @ 11:41 PM EST (#354188) #
Like Magpie, I don't see 'Zeke going north (or even staying in the organization after ST) unless there are injuries. There is enough outfield depth for Buffalo now where even Dwight Smith Jr. is squeezed for playing time.

John Northey - Sunday, February 25 2018 @ 12:50 AM EST (#354189) #
This is the biggest cost of PED's imo - that we can't enjoy a late career surprise like Ortiz without being sure it is PED based. Checking others...
Hank Aaron - PA and bWAR/650
20-25: 3866 6.5
26-28: 2002 8.4
29-31: 1987 7.8
32-34: 2033 7.4
35-37: 1810 7.3
38-40: 1392 5.0
41-end: 851 0.3

So no sudden jumps, just a peak that didn't end until he was 40 (3.6 WAR/650 that year).
Another guy who held on far longer than expected is Ted Williams....
20-25: 2613 8.5 WW2
26-28: 1364 9.9 WW2
29-31: 1784 7.9
32-34: 797 7.7 Korean war
35-37: 1445 9.3
38-40: 1395 6.3
41: 390 5.0 (his final season)

Geez, one wonders if he had wanted to if he could've gone until he was 50. Probably. That age 35-37 peak though would get people today going 'PEDs?'

As to the most famous case... Barry Bonds....
21-25: 3009 7.2
26-28: 1920 9.1
29-31: 1784 8.5
32-34: 1821 7.2
35-37: 1883 10.8
38-40: 1219 10.9
41-end: 970 5.0

Hmmm... something seems to jump out there doesn't it? By all reports he didn't start until age 34 which was a 5.7 WAR/650 or a weak year for him. The 8.2 at 35 was still in eyeshot of normal (by his standards) but at 36 it went nuts with an 11.6 then a 12.5 followed by 2 more in the 10's. Like Williams he still was hitting at the end and probably could've gone a few more years if MLB didn't blackball him. I remember hoping the Jays would sign him to DH but even though Bonds offered to do it for the ML minimum no one would sign him.
dan gordon - Sunday, February 25 2018 @ 02:00 AM EST (#354190) #
The thing about Aaron, though, is he played the first half of his career in a terrible hitters' park, and then played the last half of his career in a great hitters' park, and if you account for this, his ageing takes a normal path. Bill James wrote about this in his Historical Baseball Abstract" (great book, by the way), and said that Aaron would absolutely have hit more than 60 home runs in a season if he had played his prime years in Atlanta (the Launching Pad, they used to call Fulton County Stadium there).

As for Williams, he was an astonishingly good hitter. What a shame that he lost so much of his career to the 2 wars - 5 seasons gone. Who knows what he could have accomplished without the 2 long interruptions to his career. In the aforementioned Historical Abstract, James said it was between Ruth and Williams for the best hitter in the history of the game, and his "career offensive winning percentage" had Williams with a very slim edge. The book was written in the 1980's, so much has happened since then, of course.
BlueJayWay - Sunday, February 25 2018 @ 08:49 AM EST (#354191) #
Bill James published an updated edition, the New Historical Baseball Abstract, around 2000 or 2001. That could use another update though.
85bluejay - Sunday, February 25 2018 @ 09:23 AM EST (#354192) #
Life is funny - Last year the Jays FO trumpeted their new High Performance Department and of course endured an injury riddled season causing Josh Donaldson to revert to his old offseason regimen (interested to know how many veterans went back to their old programs) - this offseason the Seattle Mariners FO have been talking up their new high performance department and of course they are off to a rocky start in the injury department.It probably is just coincidence and the injuries are completely unrelated to the new training methods but it makes for bad optics and I could see superstitious players becoming suspicious of new methods.
China fan - Sunday, February 25 2018 @ 11:50 AM EST (#354193) #
Travis will be leading off for the Jays today, and Sanchez will be pitching at some point in the game. Will be very interesting to see how those two are looking, in terms of health and readiness. To my surprise, they seem to be ahead of schedule. It's a nice optimistic sign. They could be crucial to the team's chances this year.

Today's starting lineup is perhaps something close to the opening-day lineup, with most of the veterans in the lineup, with the exception of Morales, Tulo and Pearce. (And there are still legitimate doubts that Tulo will be ready for opening day.)

On the pitching side, Happ is the starter, Sanchez and Loup will get work, and we might see Thomas Pannone too.
ayjackson - Sunday, February 25 2018 @ 11:53 AM EST (#354194) #
New Blue Jay drinking game: every time Aaron Sanchez looks at his finger: drink!

OMG! Double colon usage. Dewey how do I fix this??
China fan - Sunday, February 25 2018 @ 01:47 PM EST (#354195) #
I was watching Sanchez as closely as I could, from the TV broadcast, and he didn't seem to be looking at his finger at all. Seemed very comfortable with it. He allowed a couple of runs, but he was pitching very fluidly and routinely hitting 96 mph on his fastball. So it's good news so far.

DavidtheDeuce - Sunday, February 25 2018 @ 02:03 PM EST (#354196) #
Some very hard hit balls today which is good to see.

Our record in one run games this season is 1 - 1 so far and today's game is on pace to fall within this category.
BlueMonday - Sunday, February 25 2018 @ 03:27 PM EST (#354197) #
I'm quite happy with Wilner as play-by-play guy. I like his plays on words. Dewey, hope you're ok with this one: "Ngoepe looked nonchalant there, hopefully next time he'll be more 'chalant'"
Dewey - Sunday, February 25 2018 @ 04:10 PM EST (#354198) #
OMG! Double colon usage. Dewey how do I fix this??

Dewey, hope you're ok with this one: "Ngoepe looked nonchalant there, hopefully next time he'll be more 'chalant'"

Ah, it does me good to see you guys caring about language.  That never hurts anybody, and very often helps. 

Yeah, I have no problem with Wilner doing play-by-play.  I’m not a fan of Joe Siddall though.  He could improve, of course; but I’m not very optimistic about that.
BlueMonday - Sunday, February 25 2018 @ 04:22 PM EST (#354199) #
3 games into spring training, and in our house we're already muting Buck and Pat and listening to Wilner.

It's good listening to a new voice, Scott Richmond (former BC right-hander who pitched on and off for the Jays). Maybe it's the novelty, but his insights have improved over the 3 radio broadcasts so far, and the banter between him and Wilner is already better than with Joe Siddall. I hope they can get Duane Ward back too.
PeterG - Sunday, February 25 2018 @ 11:15 PM EST (#354200) #
Sources: #BlueJays, RHP Seung-hwan Oh in agreement on deal, pending physical.
ayjackson - Sunday, February 25 2018 @ 11:23 PM EST (#354201) #
Interesting. I wonder which Oh we get, v2016 or v2017. Is the physical a concern; wasn't he close to signing elsewhere?
SK in NJ - Sunday, February 25 2018 @ 11:30 PM EST (#354202) #
I like the Oh signing. Good bounce back candidate. I had a feeling the Jays would be on him when the Texas deal fell through. Just have to hope he’s healthy.
PeterG - Sunday, February 25 2018 @ 11:49 PM EST (#354203) #
Oh deal is for 2 mil for 2018 with vesting option for 2019.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, February 25 2018 @ 11:55 PM EST (#354204) #
Didn’t he fail a medical thingy that had Texas bolting? Or don't the Jays read the news?
hypobole - Monday, February 26 2018 @ 01:00 AM EST (#354205) #
No, Jays don't read any news. They're locked in the Rogers Centre basement.


The contract is contingent on Oh passing a physical, which could still be a notable obstacle given that a deal between Oh and the Rangers fell through earlier this month. The Rangers’ deal with Oh called for a $2.75MM guarantee, plus a $4.5MM club option (with a $250K buyout) for 2019. As per Sung Min Kim of the Sporting News (via Twitter), however, Oh’s MRI revealed some inflammation in his throwing elbow that wasn’t considered serious enough to scuttle the deal altogether, though the Rangers tried three times to re-work the terms. Oh’s representation didn’t want to re-open talks, and thus no contract was finalized.
Richard S.S. - Monday, February 26 2018 @ 03:13 AM EST (#354206) #
Even if the Jays decides the issue is acceptable, Gibbons always overworks those he trusts.
dan gordon - Monday, February 26 2018 @ 04:15 AM EST (#354207) #
I think signing Oh is great. He's a good bounce back candidate. He had a few very bad outings last year, and maybe the league caught up to him a bit, in which case changing leagues should help. Outside of his 7 worst games last year, his ERA was 1.89. Obviously, that's cherry picking, but it shows that for the vast majority of his games last year he pitched very well, and his 2016 was outstanding. I feel a lot better about the bullpen now, and it enables them to send Biagini to Buffalo if they want. If Oh's elbow flares up, the cost is minimal, and the 2nd year won't vest, so there's not much risk.

The Buffalo rotation could be excellent, and gives the Jays some nice depth in case of injury: Biagini, Pannone, Borucki, Guerrieri, McGuire, Rowley, Santos all possibilities, with a couple of them having to pitch out of the bullpen. I have heard they are considering Guerrieri as a bullpen candidate, so he may be one of the two in the pen.
scottt - Monday, February 26 2018 @ 05:51 AM EST (#354208) #
If you look at his splits, you see that most of the damage against him was done by lefties.
Just keep him away from left handed power hitters and he could be amazing.
It helps that he doesn't have to pitch a particular inning.

China fan - Monday, February 26 2018 @ 06:02 AM EST (#354209) #
My guess is that Dwight Smith Jr. will be dropped from the 40-man roster to make room for Oh, unless there's a trade before then.

Oh is a good acquisition and certainly worth a gamble, but the fact that Texas rejected his deal after seeing his MRI results (elbow inflammation) is a bit of a red flag for me. He is 35 years old, his performance declined last year, and he has an elbow issue. I wouldn't entirely count on him yet.

Even after this acquisition, the bullpen still looks a little thin to me. I hope the Jays are still investigating other possible bullpen acquisitions, whether on minor-league or major-league contracts. Even if we assume Oh's health is okay, there are still two vacant spots in the bullpen. One will go to a pitcher with options, to allow the Buffalo shuffle. (The most likely relievers for this spot are Ramirez, Mayza or Dermody.) Barring another acquisition, the other spot is likely to be filled by a veteran on a minor-league contract, such as Breslow or Axford. But history suggests that the success rate of these kinds of marginal veterans is fairly low. Last season, most of these veteran acquisition pitchers provided marginal value or no value. Consider this list: Latos, Howell, Tepesch, Harrell, House, Valdez, Bolsinger. The only veteran acquisition pitchers who succeeded were Joe Smith and Leone. Of course Smith was signed on a $3-million contract, and Leone was 25 years old when the Jays signed him, so neither of them were actually in the Axford/Breslow category.

In the best-case scenario, Oh will replace the departed Leone. The Jays should still be shopping.
Petey Baseball - Monday, February 26 2018 @ 06:26 AM EST (#354210) #
I haven't read anything to suggest Tulo won't be ready for opening day. It appears the heel story has taken on a life of its own. My sense is he's following his own routine, rather than the team's and will let the Jays know when he's ready to start playing games.
scottt - Monday, February 26 2018 @ 07:07 AM EST (#354211) #
The 2 spots left are for another lefty and a middle relief guy  who can throw 2 or 3 innings when the team is trailing.

They should keep a eye on the waiver line and save the rest of the money for potential trade deadline upgrade.

scottt - Monday, February 26 2018 @ 08:11 AM EST (#354212) #
This follows the Liriano signing, who said he picked Detroit because of the opportunity to start.
Makes me wonder if they had an offer out to Liriano as a reliever.

BlueMonday - Monday, February 26 2018 @ 06:34 PM EST (#354235) #
Today's Wilnerism, on the Oh signing:

Hopefully, we'll see a lot of "Oh K's" this year.
ISLAND BOY - Monday, February 26 2018 @ 10:47 PM EST (#354248) #
And not a lot of " Oh no's."
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