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As you know, the Premier loves surprises.

Another spring training is upon us and the cruel baseball-less months of winter dwindle as we laugh cautiously at its departure. From the championship contenders to the sure fire basement dwellers, there's a universal excitement shared among every team, that childlike anticipation of knowing it's almost time to go out and play. We're here to talk about the Blue Jays, a team with so many variables it's tricky to get a feel of how dangerous, on a scale from cute puppy to angry bear, they're going to be.

Let's first acknowledge the elephant in the room, as it dances and occasionally trumpets into a nearby microphone (who leaves that lying around, seriously). This has been a strange offseason for MLB free agents, especially the many notable ones still unsigned by teams (the "why?" an entirely different but important issue of course). Would the Blue Jays be a better team if they added Jake Arrieta tomorrow? Or Alex Cobb? Absolutely. Likewise, Greg Holland could look real nice setting up Roberto Osuna, as would Jonathan Lucroy backing up 35 year old Russell Martin. These are good players, just on the tray for the taking, who could help any team in baseball get better. Thing is, to steal an analogy, free agency in sports doesn't work like a trip to the grocery store, even in a buyers market. It's more like speed dating: everyone gets the chance to meet each other and make their case, but if the mutual match (and yes in many cases the money) isn't there, it's not going to work out. (Not to mention, coming across as desperate is clearly more of a turnoff than ever).

All that considered, it's still frustrating to see moves your favourite team could still make to improve themselves, even marginally, when all it costs is money. But at least we can all agree that the Blue Jays have made moves to improve, unlike certain other teams *cough* *cough* Florida teams *cough*. By the way, the fact that the Florida/Miami/Whatever Marlins have won as many World Series championships as Toronto is your Official Annoying Thought of the 2018 season. But while the Bluebirds haven't sold away any superstars this winter, they haven't exactly added any either, unlike their rivals. Instead they've made a bunch of smaller moves, like forgoing an entree and just ordering a bunch of appetizers at a restaurant. Any of them by itself is extremely unsatisfying, but combined together you've assembled a filling meal of spare parts. A Frankendinner of sorts, without the revulsion. For instance:

Your best shortstop behind a brittle Troy Tulowitzki is Ryan Goins? Well that's not gonna be good for business (that's not gonna be good for anybody), so lets make an upside play on a young Cardinals infielder. He may not be nearly the defensive equal of Goins, but can by most accounts play the position decently and has an offensive floor matching Goins' ceiling.

Your second baseman is an exciting young player but he also can't stay healthy? And your previous depth behind him was a significantly worse hitter than Goins? Well frankly upgrading that at least a little wouldn't be too challenging, but the Blue Jays aimed higher and brought in Yangervis Solarte, a legitimate above average big-leaguer who can cover multiple positions, has power and is escaping a home park that snuffs home runs. Solarte, like Aledmys Diaz, is surely not the defensive equal of Goins/Barney, but that won't stop Buck and Tabby from raving about how "he's a ballplayer. Yeah he's been doin' this a long time". Dan Shulman, a nation turns it's desperate eyes to you.

To the outfield, say last year you got nothing defensively (excepting Pillar) or offensively (including Pillar?). Well ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Curtis Granderson! If you Jedi Mind Trick his stint with the Dodgers away, Granderson in 2017 was the player he's usually been, minus a tiny bit of batting average (You know I think someone may have written about it at the time). If Curtis has another nice season (entirely possible considering how he's moving from the cavernous Citi Field into the launching pads of the AL East) he'll be a nice trade chip if the Blue Jays are out of contention in July. But honestly, this guy has been here a month, hasn't played a meaningful game yet and I already want him to stay forever. Just save time and make him the 2022 Jays Care Ambassador right now.

Granderson seems like a great dude and all but as a player this age, his ability is limited. So go out and get a much younger outfielder who is a strong defender, has serious untapped power and years of cheap team control left. All you give up is a talented but struggling pitching prospect and a breakout reliever. Honestly though I'm not sold on Randal Grichuk, the plate discipline stuff worries me. But, I always love a high upside play when you're not giving up really anything that can't be quickly replaced. Unless Conner Greene turns into the next Wainwright (it's the Cardinals so yeah, totally possible) I'm cool with giving Grichuk a long rope and living through the whiffs.

Well now you're asking, "Hey Knuckler, these offense upgrades are all well and good, but what about the pitching staff? The rotation is seriously thin after the top four and two of those guys missed significant time last year. And a third has chronic back issues!" First of all, my moniker is Eephus but hey, it's cool we're all friends here. And second, your totally real question was an very valid concern a few weeks ago, so they went out and grabbed lefty Jaime Garcia. Garcia at this point is a fairly average-ish MLB starting pitcher, which is valuable, and it's a really good situation if he's A: your fifth starter and B: not Andrew Cashner guaranteed twice as much money.

There's the common thread of these winter additions for the Bluebirds really: a really good situation if they're not the marquee attraction. No superstar storming in to blow the doors off, just a number of smart depth moves with considerable individual upside that strengthen the specific areas the team needed help. Added all together, it's a tidy bit of quiet wheeling and dealing the front office has done this winter, and it continues even now with former closer Seung-Hwan Oh potentially on board (basically while I was writing this blasted article). And speaking of that, it's time I cut my ramblings short and let the hope and optimism of the spring take us away.

If this all works out and the team contends, I'd say GM Ross Atkins, Mark Shapiro and his team deserve some serious kudos. If it doesn't work out, well don't blame me I only voted for Kodos.

How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Blue Jays Offseason | 234 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
bpoz - Monday, February 26 2018 @ 08:55 AM EST (#354213) #
Well written Eephus. The FO had "their plan" and they followed it. The risks are minimal.

Our very good players like Donaldson, Stroman, Sanchez and Osuna have to be very good. They are certainly capable. The other players will produce something like catching the ball in the OF and hitting a little bit better.

Last year Grilli had to prove that he could not do the job. He did. The replacements had to prove that they could do the job. They did.

Injuries destroyed us last year. That potential is still there.
85bluejay - Monday, February 26 2018 @ 09:19 AM EST (#354214) #
Thumbs up on the Oh signing - a reasonable risk - interesting in that Oh likely moves into the spot vacated by Leone - Jays now have 4 ex-Cardinals - Grichuk,Diaz,Garcia and Oh.
rpriske - Monday, February 26 2018 @ 09:27 AM EST (#354215) #
Oh? K.
grjas - Monday, February 26 2018 @ 09:43 AM EST (#354216) #
Certainly a much better offseason for Atkins than last year. Filled the holes, with nary a dud in sight. Maybe like AA, he is learning on the job.

Still, a big name free agent signing would have been fun...maybe some year.
China fan - Monday, February 26 2018 @ 10:13 AM EST (#354217) #
This season will really be a fascinating test for the new Jays front office and their scouting and analytics departments. This is the first time that they've systematically sat down and targeted a large number of inexpensive players, aiming for bounce-back candidates, underrated players, and players who could perform better in Toronto than elsewhere. (They did this, too, with Happ and Estrada, but this is the first time they've done it with such a large number of players.) A lot of these players didn't have great seasons in 2017, yet the Front Office still targeted them, calculating that they can perform better than their last season suggested. It will really be a significant test for the executives and scouts who pursued these guys. I will be watching the season with great interest.
bpoz - Monday, February 26 2018 @ 10:42 AM EST (#354218) #
Agreed CF. Depth in case of injuries has been covered quite well. Of course no one can replace Donaldson, Osuna, Stroman and Sanchez. So if the go down the loss may be crippling.
uglyone - Monday, February 26 2018 @ 11:58 AM EST (#354219) #
much happier with this offseason. all the moves are for guys who have had legit big seasons recently, and are mostly prime age.

But i'm still dissappointed they didn't replace one of these good clever moves with one legit non-clever market value impact move.
Richard S.S. - Monday, February 26 2018 @ 12:07 PM EST (#354220) #
Seung-Hwan Ho: The level of "injury" was acceptable to Texas and apparently to the Jays.
Texas was signing Ho for $2.5 Million with a $4.5 Million Team Option with $250 K buyout. They tried three different times to rewrite the contract and failed.
The Jays are signing Seung-Hwan Ho to a $2.0 Million contract with a vesting option. As long as what the physical shows is acceptable, where's the problem?
whiterasta80 - Monday, February 26 2018 @ 12:33 PM EST (#354221) #
I am generally quite happy with this offseason.

The only exception is that I would have preferred us to cut bait on Morales and Pearce in favour of one of the below market deals (LoMo maybe?). But overall we have plugged a tonne of holes with what I consider to be minimal cost. This is a skill that this franchise (heck, this front office) hasn't always shown.

Next challenge- show the ability to flex our large market muscles in an intelligent fashion. One could argue that the Liriano trade already pointed to this ability.
uglyone - Monday, February 26 2018 @ 12:35 PM EST (#354222) #
John Ourand @Ourand_SBJ
Fox is nearing a long-term RSN deal with the Rays: 15-years at an average of around $82M. My story with @dkaplanSBJ.Ö

How much do we think the Jays' TV contract is worth for Rogers?
bpoz - Monday, February 26 2018 @ 01:10 PM EST (#354223) #
Lets see if the Rays use some of that money to improve the team. Miami also should get TV money. So Jays ownership is probably better than the Florida teams ownership.

How is total payroll calculated regarding the Luxury tax? When the season starts a figure is available. That figure changes as players are added and subtracted due to trades and bonuses being met and any other factor. When the season ends $ spent on payroll is available.

I ask this because teams like LAD, SF, NYY and Boston are or were over the threshold.
PeterG - Monday, February 26 2018 @ 01:10 PM EST (#354224) #
Seung-hwan Oh has passed his physical with #BlueJays per source
James W - Monday, February 26 2018 @ 01:28 PM EST (#354225) #
How much do we think the Jays' TV contract is worth for Rogers?

Somewhere between $150M and $400M.
Richard S.S. - Monday, February 26 2018 @ 01:45 PM EST (#354226) #
Rogers had on their books at one time about a $30.0 - $35.0-ish Million per year Television deal. The True Value for a Television deal in the Toronto/Canada Market is closer to about $100.0 - $104.0 Million, possibly even more. When the money paid for TV goes from the left pocket into the right pocket, how much is the real numbers.
Richard S.S. - Monday, February 26 2018 @ 01:59 PM EST (#354227) #
When calculating for Luxury Tax purposes, the Averaged Annual Value of each contract is used.

With a full 40-Man, the Jays need to clear a Roster space for before the Seung-Hwan Ho signing can be announced. The Jays will first look to make a Trade to clear the space, before DFA-ing anyone. The Player being shopped and the Player being DFA-ed might not always be the same person. Unless the Jays have preplanned this move, it might take a day or more.
uglyone - Monday, February 26 2018 @ 02:49 PM EST (#354228) #
Arden Zwelling @ArdenZwelling
Sixth inning in Port Charlotte ó a couple loud opposite field hits for the Blue Jays off Rays righty Andrew Kittredge. A Dalton Pompey double and a no-doubter Anthony Alford home run.

be still my beating heart.
Marc Hulet - Monday, February 26 2018 @ 04:03 PM EST (#354229) #
From a talent perspective, the player dropped should be Gift Ngoepe. His ceiling is Ryan Goins.
dan gordon - Monday, February 26 2018 @ 04:13 PM EST (#354230) #
I'm really pleased by the moves the Jays have made this offseason. I think they've added a lot without giving up much. No crazy contracts. No major prospects dealt away. The biggest adds for this year will be a healthy Sanchez and Travis, along with hopefully a full season from Donaldson. I think Granderson is going to be better than most people think, and I like Guerrieri's upside. Solarte is a solid player, and I think Diaz has a reasonable chance of being significantly better than last year.

Nice to see Pompey playing. I still regard him as a top prospect even though he's not eligible for the official lists. There may be enough outfield depth to turn Pillar into a trading chip later in the year.

I agree that Smith is the likely drop to make room for Oh, although I can see them dealing Carrera if somebody is interested.
China fan - Monday, February 26 2018 @ 04:22 PM EST (#354231) #
"....From a talent perspective, the player dropped should be Gift Ngoepe. His ceiling is Ryan Goins....."

That's probably true. But there's much greater surplus in the outfield at the moment, while the infield remains an area of health uncertainty.
Richard S.S. - Monday, February 26 2018 @ 04:30 PM EST (#354232) #
After Solarte and Diaz, who's the next closest MLB-Ready? John Gibbons really likes Gift Ngoeple. He is a bit ahead of Richard Urena and I'm still not sure where Lourdes Gurriel Jr is at this stage in his return to playing. Ross Atkins traded for Ngoepe and signed Gurriel Jr.

Teoscar Hernandez is a young very MLB-Ready Outfielder, who was acquired by Atkins. Anthony Alford is a top prospect and MLB-Ready, with more power, a Star. Dalton Pompey is close to being MLB-Ready, very talented and versatile. Dwight Smith Jr. is the fourth option. He's about MLB-Ready and more limited. Alford, Pompey and Smith Jr. were inherited by Atkins.
Richard S.S. - Monday, February 26 2018 @ 04:54 PM EST (#354233) #
One Player is Traded/DFA'd from the 40-Man to make room for Oh. If everyone is healthy-ish, Ezequiel Carrera is not making the Team and can be Traded or very inexpensively released creating an opening on the 40-Man. That allows for one more Non-Roster Reliever to make the Team. It become a lot more difficult if another Non-Roster Reliever must make the Team. As much as depth is needed, consideration has to be given to Players already on the 40-Man like Matt Dermody, Taylor Guerrieri, Tim Mayza and Carlos Ramirez. Besides, I don't think the Jays are really one.
jerjapan - Monday, February 26 2018 @ 04:56 PM EST (#354234) #
I'd cut Smith before Ngoepe too, but I've never really seen him as a prospect and Buffalo has a stacked OF.  Either of them or Zeke could be let go pretty easily - no roster crunch here.

And of course Smith hits a HR today to complicate the issue.

Gotta love the Oh signing, and that's without talking up his killer 'The Final Boss' nickname.  Apparently he also goes by "Stone Buddha" - not fair that one guy gets all the best nicknames. 

GabrielSyme - Monday, February 26 2018 @ 06:46 PM EST (#354236) #
I'd definitely cut Ngoepe first. He's really not much better than the kinds of guys you can get off the scrap heap. Smith has a very slight chance to break out - he's been a decent hitter at AAA, controls the zone and makes contact, and has a little bit of power.
PeterG - Monday, February 26 2018 @ 07:01 PM EST (#354237) #
Zeke DFA
China fan - Monday, February 26 2018 @ 07:02 PM EST (#354238) #
Well, the Jays have surprised me -- but they didn't surprise a lot of you guys. They have DFA'd Carrera to make room for Oh.

I thought they might keep him a little longer, or at least find a tiny amount of trade value for him. (They might still find a bit of trade value for him before the DFA period is over.) But the skeptics were right -- he is gone.
China fan - Monday, February 26 2018 @ 07:07 PM EST (#354239) #
A back-up outfielder with a .356 OBP should have a tiny bit of trade value. But we will see.

Meanwhile, the Oh contract is even cheaper than we thought: just $1.75-million this year, with an option for $2.5-million next year. Quite a bargain, unless those elbow issues are a sign of decline.
China fan - Monday, February 26 2018 @ 07:13 PM EST (#354240) #
And yes, this does pretty well guarantee that Aledmys Diaz will be on the opening day roster, which many people here were predicting anyway.

And if Tulo begins the season on the DL? Seems less likely that Ngoepe will be dropped from the 40-man roster now -- he becomes the next infielder on the depth chart in case of injury.
uglyone - Monday, February 26 2018 @ 07:29 PM EST (#354241) #
DFA of zeke was the only move that made sense. good.

and btw i still say pompey is a better prospect than Teoscar.
Richard S.S. - Monday, February 26 2018 @ 07:50 PM EST (#354242) #
...and btw i still say pompey is a better prospect than Teoscar.

You very well might be right. He need to prove he is this Spring and all year long because he's running out of options.
PeterG - Monday, February 26 2018 @ 08:36 PM EST (#354243) #
Teoscar needs to start recognizing and hitting the curve ball. As a switch hitter with speed, Pompey is potentially of more value if he hits.
Shoeless Joe - Monday, February 26 2018 @ 08:57 PM EST (#354244) #
I think the team really needed a right handed fastball/slider guy and they just signed that in Oh. The overall roster like one of the most complete rosters the Jays have put out in some time, but maybe lacking a little top end tales from years past.
scottt - Monday, February 26 2018 @ 09:54 PM EST (#354245) #
They have quite a few guys who could hit 20 HRs.
They still don't quite hit for average, but they have improved the defense and probably the on-base numbers.

They could have dropped Carrera last fall, but they kept him just in case.
Smith is younger, cheaper and has options.
Unfortunately for Carrera there's quite a few teams with surplus outfielder.
I hope he finds a spot somewhere.

Ngoepe is a glove first middle infielder and the Jays have 3 ground ball pitchers.
It's not hard to see the value. 

It's still likely that a NRI gets added to the pen and they need to drop another guy, but not until April when every other team does the same thing.

SK in NJ - Monday, February 26 2018 @ 09:56 PM EST (#354246) #
This was the logical move (DFA Zeke). I thought he was a non-tender candidate like Goins, but I guess the OF depth at the time was suspect enough to where the FO felt they had to keep him just in case. It is clear that $2M in this market has a ton of value, and could be used a lot better than on a projected replacement level 4th/5th outfielder. I doubt he has any real trade value, but we will see.
scottt - Monday, February 26 2018 @ 09:58 PM EST (#354247) #
I think they had 2 guys on the roster last year who could hit curveballs.
One was Donaldson. The other might have been Pearce.

Grichuk's plan this year is to lay off the sliders and chase the fastballs even if they're not in the strike zone.

85bluejay - Monday, February 26 2018 @ 10:48 PM EST (#354249) #
I expect 1 or 2 non-roster relievers to make the team, so players like Ngoepe/Smith are likely to get DFA at the end of spring when they have the best chance of sneaking through waivers as other teams are also dealing with roster issues.
Glevin - Tuesday, February 27 2018 @ 04:31 AM EST (#354250) #
Zeke was the right guy to go. overall, I'd rather have him than Smith but the Jays save a lot of money by letting him go and I'd worry about Gibby trying to play him too much. I don't see any trade value there but maybe someone will give up a D prospect or something.

I think Smith and Ngoepe are also likely off it before long as well. Smith is a corner OFer who doesn't really do anything (not much of a hitter, not great defender, not that fast). ZIPs gives him over 500 PAs and 0 WAR which is I think about right. He's the 8th OFer on the depth chart. Ngoepe has a little clearer path to some playing time but the Jays have six players who can potentially play SS on the 40-man so he's expendable as well. In the end, if you are finding players with value, you can find players to cut.

I like the Oh signing because it's so low risk. If he doesn't work out, it's OK, but if he does rebound, he can be the setup guy. The Jays now have Osuna, Oh, Barnes, Loup, Tepera, and then some other good options. It has the makings of a pretty decent pen but relievers are so unpredictable so you never know.
scottt - Tuesday, February 27 2018 @ 06:44 AM EST (#354251) #
I think someone will give Zeke a contract, probably minor leagues, but only after he's fallen through and became a free agent. Nobody's paying 2M.
lexomatic - Tuesday, February 27 2018 @ 07:18 AM EST (#354252) #
I like Zeke but he's a frustrating player. It would be great if he were as talented as Skates.

The Oh deal is great, because if he's good but the team isn't, he has the potential to return value with that friendly contract and the reliever circus.

China fan - Tuesday, February 27 2018 @ 07:27 AM EST (#354253) #
"...I expect 1 or 2 non-roster relievers to make the team..."

In my view, a maximum of one non-roster reliever will make the team. Otherwise the Jays will have nobody in the bullpen who can be easily optioned to Buffalo if they need a fresh arm. Any non-roster reliever could be lost on waivers if they are sent to the minors, so the Jays don't want more than one reliever in this category.

In fact, there's even a chance that both Ramirez and Mayza could make the starting bullpen. It might make sense to keep the non-roster relievers in the minors until they are needed, to maximize the team's pitching depth. (However, some of these veterans might have agreements with the Jays that they will be released if they don't make the opening-day roster. So it will depend on those agreements, and their spring performance.)
China fan - Tuesday, February 27 2018 @ 07:41 AM EST (#354254) #
"...the Jays have six players who can potentially play SS on the 40-man so he's expendable as well...."

Six? Are you including Donaldson and Russell Martin?

I presume you're including Gurriel and Urena, who shouldn't be on your list because they are much too raw to be considered for the majors at this point. We know that Solarte and Diaz will be on the opening-day roster, and Solarte shouldn't be at SS for more than a game or two of emergency duty. So what happens if Tulo is injured for a couple of months? You can't have Diaz playing every game for two months, you'll need someone else to be a reliable SS for every fourth or fifth game, to ensure that Diaz is not burned out. Solarte is not the right guy for a regular turn, and you don't want Urena or Gurriel to be sitting on the Toronto bench for two months. So who becomes the back-up SS if Tulo hits the DL? It's probably Ngoepe. That's why Ngoepe might still be needed. Unless the Jays decide that Urena is ready for the majors, but I think they want him to have at least another full season in the minors.
China fan - Tuesday, February 27 2018 @ 07:54 AM EST (#354255) #
And I didn't even mention the scenario in which both Tulo and Travis are injured at the same time, which isn't exactly far-fetched. (It happened last season.) In that case, Solarte is the starting 2B and Diaz is the starting SS, but who is the more appropriate back-up infielder in that scenariio: the 28-year-old Ngoepe, who won't get any better in the minors, or the 22-year-old Urena, who might get significantly better if he has another full season in the minors? I can see why the Jays want to keep Ngoepe around.
uglyone - Tuesday, February 27 2018 @ 08:17 AM EST (#354256) #
imo those non-roster RP better earn their spots, and not just be handed them.
Jonny German - Tuesday, February 27 2018 @ 08:23 AM EST (#354257) #
In my view, a maximum of one non-roster reliever will make the team. Otherwise the Jays will have nobody in the bullpen who can be easily optioned to Buffalo if they need a fresh arm.

The Buffalo shuttle will definitely be a thing, but I don't think it will steer the roster construction in April. Tepera & Barnes both have options, and as much as we all hope for them to be too good to consider sending down they're far from being established completely reliable relievers. (Not really a knock on them - a solid majority of major league relievers are not Completely Reliable).

And of course there's the issue of health. Write down any 12 names for the pitching staff right now and I'll make you a gentleman's wager that at least one of them will be on the 10-day DL to start the season.
Glevin - Tuesday, February 27 2018 @ 08:34 AM EST (#354258) #
"And I didn't even mention the scenario in which both Tulo and Travis are injured at the same time, which isn't exactly far-fetched. (It happened last season.) In that case, Solarte is the starting 2B and Diaz is the starting SS, but who is the more appropriate back-up infielder in that scenariio: the 28-year-old Ngoepe, who won't get any better in the minors, or the 22-year-old Urena, who might get significantly better if he has another full season in the minors? I can see why the Jays want to keep Ngoepe around."

As I said earlier in my post, I can see how Ngoepe has a path to some playing time, but keeping a backup of a backup who isn't very good is not the highest priority. Add to that that players like Ngoepe are pretty readily available and there's a very good chance he wouldn't even be taken on waivers. I'd probably keep him over Smith but if there was anyone who I thought could help the team, I'd have no problem removing him from the 40-man. People fret way too much over losing very replaceable players. If Tulo and Travis both went down for a long period and the Jays were things, I'm sure they'd trade for someone anyway.
Jonny German - Tuesday, February 27 2018 @ 08:36 AM EST (#354259) #
players like Ngoepe are pretty readily available

Like the old saying, Easy come easy Ngo.
rpriske - Tuesday, February 27 2018 @ 08:45 AM EST (#354260) #
I like Zeke but this was clearly the right choice.

Oh, and I would take Teoscar over Pompey every day of the week.

hypobole - Tuesday, February 27 2018 @ 09:07 AM EST (#354261) #
If the Jays carry 5 OF's, Pompey would be the better choice irrespective of which is the better prospect.
uglyone - Tuesday, February 27 2018 @ 09:10 AM EST (#354262) #
"If Tulo and Travis both went down for a long period and the Jays were things, I'm sure they'd trade for someone anyway."

or they could just keep throwing goins out there come hell or high water.
Glevin - Tuesday, February 27 2018 @ 09:24 AM EST (#354263) #
I also prefer Hernandez to Pompey. Pompey hasn't really done anything interesting as a prospect in 3 or 4 years. He now has 750 PAs in AAA with a .714 OPS and can't stay healthy. As a 25 YO pretty hard to be excited about that. Hernandez has a much better chance of being a major leaguer IMO.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, February 27 2018 @ 09:28 AM EST (#354264) #
Stroman has shoulder inflammation and won't pitch until it clears up, according to the media on Twitter. Hopefully nothing serious.
bpoz - Tuesday, February 27 2018 @ 09:54 AM EST (#354265) #
So Tulo, Travis, Solarte and Diaz on the ML team.
The minors would have Gift and T Lopes at AAA. With a few others.
AA seems crowded to me. Urena, Gurriel and Bichette. I expect Bichette and Vlad to be the regular SS and 3B. So Urena at 2B and Gurriel in LF for regular ABs.

I don't expect the unexpected. Bo and Vlad promoted to AAA after 2 months in AA.

Injuries happen and we will speculate on replacements. If Tulo is here for 3 more years, SS is probably his.

The prospects cannot sit on the ML bench. Actually "should" not sit on the ML bench.
christaylor - Tuesday, February 27 2018 @ 09:56 AM EST (#354266) #
I agree with the premise -- that the Jays punted on 2017 but they were about 10 games under .500 at the end of April.
uglyone - Tuesday, February 27 2018 @ 10:41 AM EST (#354267) #
Pompey's been largely dissappointing and injury riddled in AAA, but he hasn't actually been bad:

disappointing, sure, but not really bad, especially given the injuries.


Pompey (21-24): 751pa, 10.5b%/18.4k%, 109wrc+
Hernandez (23-24): 616pa, 9.7b%/20.6k%, 122wrc+


Pompey (21-22): 275pa, 9.1b%/14.9k%, 158wrc+
Hernandez (21-23): 934pa, 7.2b%/23.2k%, 102wrc+

And pompey most likely has a significant speed and defense edge.

If Pompey can get healthy for once, I'm betting on him.
Chuck - Tuesday, February 27 2018 @ 10:51 AM EST (#354268) #
I think Pompey stirs up sentimental feelings which cloud objective judgement. A local guy, very athletic, great speed, switch-hitter (though can't really hit)...

If this was a guy named Joe Smith in another organization, and he was from Des Moines, I doubt we'd notice him. In fact, there are probably lots of Joe Smiths that we're (rightfully) not noticing.

I am certainly rooting for him, but don't expect much any more. Too many derailments to be overly optimistic about how his career will play out.

uglyone - Tuesday, February 27 2018 @ 10:59 AM EST (#354269) #
I think it's the opposite, tbh.

A tendency to disrespect and eat our own makes us fail to appreciate what Pompey has done as a prospect.

because, objectively speaking, his track record is much more interesting than many guys we seem to think more highly of.
uglyone - Tuesday, February 27 2018 @ 11:12 AM EST (#354270) #
For example, even though Pompey has been pushed up the minor league ranks far faster than Teoscar (and Pompey started a year younger at 17), and had his last couple years savaged by injuries, Pompey still has the more impressive minor league hitting line, and has always graded better in speed and defense:


Pompey: 2288pa, 11.3b%/18.2k%, .337bip/.280avg, .124iso, 122wrc+
Teoscar: 3060pa, 8.7b%/23.0k%, .329bip/.269avg, .185iso, 120wrc+
SK in NJ - Tuesday, February 27 2018 @ 11:17 AM EST (#354271) #
I like Pompey's skill set a lot, but after his AAA performance (specifically the lack of power) and years of injuries, I am not sure what can be reasonably expected of him at this point. If he turns into a MLB 4th outfielder, then it would be a pretty solid outcome. An outfielder capable of playing CF with speed, switch hitter, gets on base, etc, that has the potential to be a valuable player. Health and putting it together on the field will be the test.
GabrielSyme - Tuesday, February 27 2018 @ 11:19 AM EST (#354272) #
I agree Pompey is getting a little underrated now - he has the tools, decent performance, but is coming back from a lost year. I think there is probably some rust, so I'd rather start the season with Teoscar as the 4th outfielder, but he fits the role better, and might well be able to raise his game to be worthy of a starting spot.

Ngoepe has a 30% career K-rate at AAA - he simply isn't going to hit enough at the major-league level to justify playing time. If you need an extra infielder, I'd rather call up Gurriel, who isn't liable to strike out in half his at-bats.
uglyone - Tuesday, February 27 2018 @ 11:23 AM EST (#354273) #
Gabriel I think they both start in AAA. the Bench will be Pearce/Solarte/Diaz/Catcher.

I just won't be surprised if Pompey looks better in AAA this year than Teoscar, and earns a callup first.

Of course, Alford might earn a callup before either of them.

Richard S.S. - Tuesday, February 27 2018 @ 11:36 AM EST (#354274) #
Best possible case scenario for Marcus Stroman is missing at most one Regular Season start.
Very, very good case scenario for Marcus Stroman has him out to late April.
Just very good case scenario for Marcus Stroman is out to early June.

Just very bad case scenario requires Season-ending Shoulder Surgery
Very,very bad case scenario is not recovering from Shoulder Surgery to Start anymore.
Worse case is career-ending.

I think the Jays need another Starter not named Biagini, the best possible they can find. Iíve seen this story too often. I can almost guarantee that Ross Atkins is thinking the same thing, but I donít think anything gets done. Thatís more to be expected. There, all done panicking.
uglyone - Tuesday, February 27 2018 @ 11:44 AM EST (#354275) #
Speaking of career MILB stats, I brought it up just because I was fiddling around with these numbers while watching the Leafs last night. I have no idea if this type of stats snapshot is any good or not but it was something I hadn't really looked at before.

So I'll share it, because why not?

Blue Jays All Prospect Team with Career MILB #s (Level is where I think they'll start this season, Age is their age this season):

RF Alford (23, AAA): 130wrc+
3B Bichette (20, AA): 189wrc+
1B Guerrero (19, AA): 148wrc+
C Jansen (23, AAA): 120wrc+
DH Tellez (23, AAA): 120wrc+
CF Pompey (25, AAA): 122wrc+
LF Hernandez (25, AAA): 120wrc+
SS Urena (22, AA): 106wrc+
2B Warmoth (22, A): 119wrc+

UT Smith (25, AAA): 112wrc+
OF Ramirez (23, AA): 118wrc+
IF Gurriel (24, AA): 65wrc+
C McGuire (23, AAA): 95wrc+

UT Taylor (19, A): 121wrc+
OF Palacios (22, A+): 120wrc+
IF Vicuna (20, A+): 98wrc+
C Adams (22, A): 132wrc+

(C Pentecost (25, AA): 131wrc+)

SP Pearson (21, A): 1.95fip
SP Borucki (24, AAA): 3.17fip
SP Maese (21, A+): 3.22fip
SP Zeuch (22, AA): 3.49fip
SP Pardinho (17, Rk): ---

RP Guerreri (25, AAA): 3.38fip
RP Pannone (24, AAA): 3.50fip
RP Rios (23, AAA): 3.65fip
RP Reid-Foley (22, AA): 3.69fip
RP Harris (24, AA): 3.91fip
RP Jackson (23, AA): 2.92fip
(RP Dermody (27, AAA): 2.99fip)
(RP Mayza (26, AAA): 3.39fip)
(RP Ramirez (27, AAA): 3.49fip)
Glevin - Tuesday, February 27 2018 @ 11:46 AM EST (#354276) #
"Pompey: 2288pa, 11.3b%/18.2k%, .337bip/.280avg, .124iso, 122wrc+
Teoscar: 3060pa, 8.7b%/23.0k%, .329bip/.269avg, .185iso, 120wrc+"

So, Pompey was better in A ball when he was 20? So what? These are 25 YOs in the upper minors. What they did years ago in A ball is literally meaningless. The big issue with Pompey is this: WRC+ by year in AAA:


Yes, lots of injuries and partial seasons but this is not the pattern or numbers of a good prospect. In 2014, Pompey was a great prospect. He showed on base skills, promise of power, and moved through the minors very quickly. He's gotten worse every single year since, getting hurt easily and playing worse when he's healthy. If you look at him, the last time he did anything interesting was 2015 in AA. Look at his last big chunk of playing time. 383 PAs in AAA in 2016. 106 WRC+ as a 23 YO. Does that stand out? I guess the question is, what would make someone think that Pompey is a good prospect? There is really nothing in the last 2.5 years to indicate anything close to resembling a regular major leaguer.

Maybe Pompey shows he's healthy this year and I can see him carving out a career as a speedy 4th Ofer type but his defense has been underwhelming for a guy with not much bat. I mean, find me examples of 85-90 WRC+ kind of regular OFers with non-elite defense. I guess Malex Smith and Gregor Blanco or maybe even Delino Deshields sort of thing which would be fantastic.
GabrielSyme - Tuesday, February 27 2018 @ 11:47 AM EST (#354277) #
Ugly, you're quite right. I was thinking we had another spot on the bench, but, of course, we don't - unless we go with a 6-man bullpen, which is highly unlikely.
uglyone - Tuesday, February 27 2018 @ 11:55 AM EST (#354278) #
I dunno, Glevin, Pompey's injury riddled 114 and 106 there don't look that bad to me compared to Teoscar's healthy 119 last year, especially considering Pompey likely has more speed and D, and was younger.
lexomatic - Tuesday, February 27 2018 @ 12:00 PM EST (#354279) #
I am off the opinion that Pompey needs to prove himself after injury and stagnation. He did a lot young, still has potential, but isn't as exciting.
I'm not sure Bichette and Vlad Jr start at AA. They have minimal time at A+ and while they could move fast management has been cautious. I'm also not sure that Urena starts at AA, or the Ngoepe blocks him as a starter. Especially if they want to get a better idea before Bichette supplants him. Gurriel really hasn't done anything. I don't see a block
I also see McGuire/Pentecost at AA. Give Jansen the time he's earned, give McGuire time to start. Pentecost can't catch even part-time I think, which also helps ease him into more work when McGuire gets promoted.
I wouldn't compromise both McGuire and Jansen'development  so they both split Aaa. Not to start anyway. Jansen earned a shot, doing something McGuire never did.

bpoz - Tuesday, February 27 2018 @ 12:27 PM EST (#354280) #
6-17 on April 28 was the low point of 2017. Final 76-86. Also many times 1 gm under .500. Baltimore was .667 early on. Great April for them. Then we met at the bottom.

Hernandez and Pompey burn their last option this year. Also Dermody and Guerrieri I believe. So time to step up.

I believe the DL is 10 days. I think the "day to day" type injuries could be a problem. I am not saying that we will spend the whole season 1 roster spot short, but maybe part of the season. Basically only Donaldson qualifies to stick around IMO. All the other position players go down, so that we are not short handed.

uglyone - Tuesday, February 27 2018 @ 12:35 PM EST (#354281) #
My mind always plays tricks on me this time of year but is just me or is Gibby getting his regulars in more than usual so far?


uglyone - Tuesday, February 27 2018 @ 02:22 PM EST (#354282) #
CBS Sports MLB

MLBPA files grievance against A's, Marlins, Pirates and Rays over lack of spending

hypobole - Tuesday, February 27 2018 @ 03:00 PM EST (#354283) #
One grievance or one per team??
uglyone - Tuesday, February 27 2018 @ 03:01 PM EST (#354284) #
Alford wants to play n the bigs this year.
Glevin - Tuesday, February 27 2018 @ 03:03 PM EST (#354285) #
"I dunno, Glevin, Pompey's injury riddled 114 and 106 there don't look that bad to me compared to Teoscar's healthy 119 last year, especially considering Pompey likely has more speed and D, and was younger."

You say injury-riddled as if it's a point for Pompey but it isn't. The ability to stay healthy is a skill and the inability to stay on the field is a huge detriment to development. Hernandez has WRC+ of 128 and 119 in the last 2 seasons of AAA. Pompey has a missed year and a WRC+ of 106. They are the same age. Hernandez has been a vastly superior prospect the last 2 years. Better in AA, better in AAA, and better in the majors. You are literally weighing stats from 3 and especially 4 years ago more than you are from the last 2 seasons. For anyone that is crazy, but for prospects? Recency is everything. What someone did 4 years ago in AA is like saying Joey Gallo is better than Lindor because he was better in AA 4 years ago.
Marlow - Tuesday, February 27 2018 @ 03:11 PM EST (#354286) #
Are the Blue Jays doing auditions to replace Jerry Howarth? Mike Wilner said that Rob Fai (Vancouver announcer) and Ben Wagner (Buffalo announcer) would be doing the next few games.
uglyone - Tuesday, February 27 2018 @ 03:18 PM EST (#354287) #
Are you suggesting it's impossible that injuries have hampered Pompey's on-field performance?

And do you think I was trying to trick you into believing Pompey's recent numbers are as good as Teoscar's?
rpriske - Tuesday, February 27 2018 @ 03:24 PM EST (#354288) #
"Alford wants to play n the bigs this year."

So do I.

Admittedly, the odds of his wish coming true are substantially higher.

It would involve two to three openings appearing, whether through injury, trades etc.

September counts as this year...
jerjapan - Tuesday, February 27 2018 @ 03:27 PM EST (#354289) #
The ability to stay healthy is arguably a skill, and like any skill, the measurements we have available to us of said skill, if it even exists, are imperfect.  Pompey has had 2 concussions - which are strange debilities, difficult to predict and understand.  Of course, each subsequent concussion increases the chances of another concussion, but we (or at least, certainly I) don't have any idea how healthy Pompey was able to stay prior to his pro career.  I can't see any relationship between the concussions and the knee injury.  During his minors career he seems to have been on the 7 day DL once, and the temporarily inactive list once, in addition to the injuries described above.  2012 he had a broken hand that limited him to 70 ABs but I don't see a DL stint on his MLB transactions entry.

I think it's entirely reasonable to look at Pompey like a younger player, and the kid only turned 25 in December anyway. 

Question for the Box - is health a skill?  How?  Are we talking proprioception?  Self-awareness?  Discipline - in terms of diet, conscientious rehab, etc?

I kindof assume that this idea is less common as players and their support staff are all pretty advanced in terms of understanding nutrition, training and recovery, etc.  I don't think this was as true even 5-10 years ago, which is when I first recall encountering the 'health is a skill' idea. 

5-4 Jays over the Yanks in the bottom of the 7th.  Spring doesn't count for much, but it'd be nice to get another win.

John Northey - Tuesday, February 27 2018 @ 03:30 PM EST (#354290) #
Pompey has a couple of advantages. 1) his speed - helped the Jays a lot in 2015 in the playoffs. Very good tool to have off the bench. 2) his defense - when he first came up he was viewed as superior to Pillar on defense, then the injuries and hitting issues took over. If his focus can return then with his speed he should be a solid if not well above average defender.

Even with a bad bat those 2 skills are extremely useful off the bench. In the days of a 5 man bullpen Pompey would be a lock to be on the team. Now not as much unless his bat can get a bit better (ie: 90 or better OPS+ being likely). I see him as an Otis Nixon, Rajai Davis type - lots of stolen bases, acceptable defense sometimes above average, cross your fingers bat.
uglyone - Tuesday, February 27 2018 @ 03:31 PM EST (#354291) #
There's a 3rd Advantage, John - Pompey has put up legit elite milb seasons for age and level, while Hernandez never has.

That for me is the biggest advantge, tbh.
uglyone - Tuesday, February 27 2018 @ 03:54 PM EST (#354292) #
SRF doesn't seem to have fixed anything.
China fan - Tuesday, February 27 2018 @ 05:01 PM EST (#354293) #
From the latest comments by Atkins, it really doesn't sound like Stroman will be ready for the opening of the season.

That's bad news for the Jays. But good news for Joe Biagini.
China fan - Tuesday, February 27 2018 @ 05:39 PM EST (#354294) #
A tweet by Arden Zwelling, who interviewed Atkins today:

Atkins says Blue Jays will likely carry two back-up infielders and seven relievers to start the season. If Tulowitzki's healthy, that would mean a bench of: Solarte, Diaz, Maile, Granderson/Pearce. If Tulo starts year on DL, could open a spot for Ngoepe or Urena.
grjas - Tuesday, February 27 2018 @ 06:32 PM EST (#354295) #
I think itís unfair to call Pompey injury prone as he lost most of last year from running his head into someoneís knee. Iíd love to see him playing here too, not just because heís Canadian but because I love to see speed in the game, something sorely lacking for a few years.

The interesting question for next year is how will potentially five ML ready outfielders be whittled down to 3 or 4 - Grichuk, Pillar, Pompey, Alford and Hernandez. At this point, ranking them 1 to 5 is a pure guessing game given they each have strengths and challenges. If weíre lucky enough to see them all playing well this year, who makes the list next year may come down at least partially to who has th best trade value.

Depth at a field position in the minors. Be still my beating heart.
scottt - Tuesday, February 27 2018 @ 08:25 PM EST (#354296) #
Pillar is not blocking anyone. Even if he holds defensively, that becomes moots with 2 center fielders playing in the corners.
scottt - Tuesday, February 27 2018 @ 08:28 PM EST (#354297) #
Pitchers fix themselves in the off-season?
dan gordon - Tuesday, February 27 2018 @ 11:09 PM EST (#354298) #
I'm not going to evaluate Pompey based on how he performs in injury shortened seasons any more than I'm going to evaluate Devon Travis based on how he performed in the games he played last year. It's very common for players to underperform in the games they play when they are dealing with injuries in season. At 21, Pompey blew right thought A+, AA, AAA and reached the majors. With normal progression from A+ in 2014, he would have started the next year in AA, and sure enough, he was terrific in AA in 2015. Since then, he hasn't been healthy. I want to see what he can do when he's healthy, and I still feel he can be a good mlb regular.

As far as the issue about staying healthy being a skill or not, I'd say that there is a great deal of variability in people's bodies. Some have stronger ligaments, tendons, bones, etc., and are better able to stand up to the rigours of professional sport. Some people also play the game in a way that leads to more injuries. Guys like Brett Lawrie for instance. Some people heal more slowly than others. So you've got a mixture of factors, some of which the player has some degree of control over, some not. One of the things I picked up from the great book, "The Arm", which I just read, is that the biggest predictor of arm injury for a pitcher is prior arm injury. I imagine the same is true to some extent, for position players as well. There certainly are "injury prone" players that I know to avoid in pools.

Speaking of injuries, it is concerning to see Stroman injured so soon. Last year, the problems started in spring training with Donaldson's injury. He tried to come back too soon, and reinjured himself and missed a bunch. Better not have a repeat of that.
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, February 28 2018 @ 12:05 AM EST (#354299) #
Unless the Jays do something more this Offseason, itís probable they are done. Taylor Guerrieri, Al Albuquerque, John Axford and Craig Breslow will fill the last two spots on the Roster - in the Bullpen. Breslow has an opt out around March 24th - 25th, but I donít know who else does. There are still three quality MLB-Capable Relievers available to call up in Matt Dermody, Tim Mayza and Carlos Ramirez when they are needed.

My only question is, ď Do the Jays plan to stretch out Taylor Guerrieri as a Starter now with the Stroman news?Ē The only other alternative is signing someone else to Start?
GabrielSyme - Wednesday, February 28 2018 @ 02:15 AM EST (#354300) #
I think the Taylor Guerrieri question ought to be - yes, he should be a starter. The plan to convert him to relief was always slightly odd, given that he definitely has the stuff to be a mid-rotation starter. The Jays don't actually have a lot of rotation depth, with their best options beyond Biagini being Borucki (1 AAA start) and Guerrieri (2 AAA starts). They aren't terrible options, but beyond them you have nobody with even a modicum of AAA experience. The only other starter even on the 40-man is Thomas Pannone, who hasn't gotten to AAA, and is definitely a step behind Borucki and Guerrieri in terms of projection.

In terms of the bullpen, it would be a surprise if the Jays opened the season with Loup as the only southpaw in the pen - leaving Dermody, Mayza and Breslow as the options for the 2nd spot. Breslow hasn't been good since 2013, and I don't see why the Jays would prefer him to either Dermody or Mayza. Mayza has looked good and Dermody has looked atrocious, but it's very early in Spring Training. The tightness of the 40-man roster probably means that those already on the 40-man roster will have a decided advantage.
China fan - Wednesday, February 28 2018 @ 05:16 AM EST (#354301) #
Alford is now 4-for-9 this spring, with a HR, triple and double among his hits.

It would be great if he could dominate the spring, make a case for a major-league job, complicate the OF decisions, and give us something to argue about. Otherwise the lineup seems set, and we will have nothing to discuss but the final two positions in the bullpen.
scottt - Wednesday, February 28 2018 @ 07:32 AM EST (#354302) #
They don't think Guerrieri's arm can hold as a starter. Neither did the Rays or anyone else who could have claimed him ahead of the Jays. He should be a great shuttle candidate.
bpoz - Wednesday, February 28 2018 @ 07:41 AM EST (#354303) #
ST results do not mean much. Veteran starters are working on getting ready so they will give up some loud hits. Getting hits or HRs against minor league pitchers also means little. But you can measure velocity and evaluate pitches based on location and movement.
Hitters have to show a good eye at the plate, recognizing pitches and location and get their timing refined.

Chuck - Wednesday, February 28 2018 @ 07:43 AM EST (#354304) #
It would be great if he could dominate the spring, make a case for a major-league job

I'd guess that the organization would like to see him dominate at AAA, and morph from a singles hitter to the power hitter his raw ingredients would suggest is possible.

John Northey - Wednesday, February 28 2018 @ 08:42 AM EST (#354305) #
Spring is a great time to see what the kids have. If Alford could dominate all spring (especially the final week when players are done fooling around and are focused on the season) he might force the Jays hand but odds are he'll end up in AAA for at least 69 days (thus giving the Jays an extra year of control) so expect a June call-up. BR projects a 258/330/440 line for 2018 from him in the majors if given a shot which would be good but if I was running the Jays I'd look for any excuse to give him those 70 days in AAA first.

FYI: Spring stats at BR now Still some bugs - everyone listed as an NRI for example. Love the opponent quality based on what level the pitcher/hitter they faced was at last year.
bpoz - Wednesday, February 28 2018 @ 08:46 AM EST (#354306) #
Some of the minor league SPS will have to be stretched out in minor league games when the SPS have to go 5,6,7 innings.

I would like to see someone like Pannone in the ML pen if needed this year. It should not slow down his development as a ML starter. J Key did it. The prospect if successful in the pen realizes that he can get ML hitters out. I big confidence boost. Then in the off season he prepares as a SP.
China fan - Wednesday, February 28 2018 @ 08:47 AM EST (#354307) #
"....I'd guess that the organization would like to see him dominate at AAA..."

Yes, probably. I suppose the real question is how long would Alford need to dominate at the AAA level? If he is dominant for a month or two in Buffalo, would the Jays accelerate his schedule?

I should have clarified that I don't seriously believe there is any realistic chance that he will be in a Jays uniform on opening day (barring injuries to the veterans). I meant that a dominant spring from Alford would open a lot of eyes, accelerate his schedule, create a lot of chatter and pressure from the fans (which shouldn't be a factor for the Front Office, of course), and trigger a discussion over how to open a spot for him at some point during the season.
bpoz - Wednesday, February 28 2018 @ 09:13 AM EST (#354308) #
Regarding Alford in the ML OF, so much depends on the results of the current ML OF. I expect Pillar if healthy to be Pillar. Pearce should hit well as long as he is healthy. But how long will that be. His D should be ok. I am expecting a lot from Granderson. We will see. Grichuck is an unknown, but will be given a long rope.

I expect Pearce to get time at DH and 1B.

Alford, Pompey and Hernandez are all equal to me at the moment. I know each has their issues. D Smith Jr and Fields have nothing left to prove in AAA IMO.
Gerry - Wednesday, February 28 2018 @ 11:08 AM EST (#354309) #
Joe Siddall is leaving the radio job for a studio job beside Jamie Campbell and replacing Gregg Zaun.

There are now two radio jobs open.
uglyone - Wednesday, February 28 2018 @ 11:36 AM EST (#354310) #
Ah the halcyon days when Spring Training meant that kids could earn a spot with some great play.

Good memories.

Of course, I want Alford starting in AAA this year regardless, too.
Four Seamer - Wednesday, February 28 2018 @ 11:38 AM EST (#354311) #

There are now two radio jobs open.

I hope that is true, and that they are not simply clearing the decks for a Wilner/Richmond combo.  Those two have been just dreadful to start the spring, to these ears at least.  Thankfully I listen to the radio mostly in the car, and can get the opposition broadcast on satellite radio.

GabrielSyme - Wednesday, February 28 2018 @ 11:39 AM EST (#354312) #
"D Smith Jr and Fields have nothing left to prove in AAA IMO."

Neither has demonstrated a skill level in AAA that should convert to being anything better than a replacement-level player at the major-league level, though. Those are useful guys to have in the organization, but they both need to take a step forward to be anything more than AAA depth.

Alford is a good enough prospect that you don't want to hamper his development by pushing him to the majors without first letting him conquer AAA. Even if he continues to tear it up in Spring Training, he should start in Buffalo.
Cracka - Wednesday, February 28 2018 @ 11:39 AM EST (#354313) #
JP Arencibia's name was floated around after Zaun was fired - recently, he has attended the Blue Jays Winter Fest and was the keynote guest at the Rogers sponsored "Conn Smythe" charity dinner. He's currently back at Tennessee completing his Communications degree and doing social media for the Vols baseball team. I wonder if he'll get some consideration for a shot at the radio job?

uglyone - Wednesday, February 28 2018 @ 11:42 AM EST (#354314) #
I would have phrased it "D.Smith and R.Fields have everything left to prove in AAA".
SK in NJ - Wednesday, February 28 2018 @ 12:15 PM EST (#354315) #
Alford replacing Pillar in CF in 2019 would be the ideal scenario. That would leave LF open (with Granderson/Pearce gone) for Hernandez. That seems to be the direction they are heading in, but a lot can happen in a year. I'd be perfectly fine with an outfield of Hernandez/Alford/Grichuk in 2019, barring a trade or signing for a better option.
bpoz - Wednesday, February 28 2018 @ 12:41 PM EST (#354316) #
My statement about D Smith and R Fields having nothing to prove in AAA was based mainly on stats. I thought the sample size 395 ABs D Smith, 347 ABs R Fields was borderline large enough. Perhaps 200-300 more ABs are needed.

I listened to a Buffalo broadcast in which Fields ran a long way from CF to RF caught the ball and made a strong, accurate throw to 1st. The announcer was impressed.

Alford has 245 AA ABs and 12 AAA ABs. I expect that he will play everyday in Buffalo. Pompey and Hernandez also.

With the left over AAA ABs Smith and Fields can state their cases.

I know that Smith and Fields occupy the 2 last spots on the OF depth chart. That is why IMO Smith did not get a Sept promotion. T Hernandez was going to get all the playing time, which I agree with as he is the higher ranked player.
Chuck - Wednesday, February 28 2018 @ 01:02 PM EST (#354317) #
Ah the halcyon days when Spring Training meant that kids could earn a spot with some great play.

Anthony, you've beaten the hell out of all the AAA pitching you've seen this spring. We'd like you to go to AAA and keep doing it.

uglyone - Wednesday, February 28 2018 @ 01:07 PM EST (#354318) #
interesting - box score says Alford is in RF today, Teoscar in CF.

Solarte getting a look at SS.
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, February 28 2018 @ 03:44 PM EST (#354319) #
Mike Wilner, to the dismay of the unappreciative, is one of the Radio Broadcast people going forward. I thoroughly approve the move, he's been good here. The rest of the options are being vetted for the Job.
ayjackson - Wednesday, February 28 2018 @ 03:44 PM EST (#354320) #
Deck McGuire? Am I reading this right? When did his carcass wash back ashore?
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, February 28 2018 @ 04:02 PM EST (#354321) #
... the 17th of November 2017.
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, February 28 2018 @ 04:07 PM EST (#354322) #
Keith Law said (something close) when Anthony Alford translates his batting practise power in to game-time power he'll be a Star.
christaylor - Wednesday, February 28 2018 @ 04:17 PM EST (#354323) #
"Where have you gone Gabe Gross?" just doesn't have the ring for a Simon & Garfunkel tune...
jerjapan - Wednesday, February 28 2018 @ 04:52 PM EST (#354324) #
Deck McGuire is actually my favourite minor league FA signing of the offseason by the FO - he had a genuinely excellent year in the minors last year (albeit in AA), plus 13 2/3 solid big league innings. 

MLB pipeline has their updated top 30 prospects up, and it's an interesting, surprising list.  They rank the system 9th overall, which is on the high side of most rankings, but nice to see.  They were impressed by the dynamic duo atop the list, and the up-the-middle talent, which I agree is reaching an impressive level. 

They clearly value youth, with Paradhino ranked 7th, Miguel Hiraldo a surprising 12th, Samad Taylor and McGregory Contreras, both 19, ranked  13th and 21st, 16 year old Leonardo Jimenez 22nd, and 18 year old Max Castillo 24th. 

Vladdy gets an 80 hit tool, with the next best tools being Alford at 70 for run, and Pearson at 70 for his FB. 

Ten of the prospects are listed with an ETA of 2018 - it could be a fun year for us prospect-watchers. 

J-Leb currently leading the team in Spring training ABs with 13.  Personally, I prefer him to Ngoepe as IF depth.

scottt - Wednesday, February 28 2018 @ 07:07 PM EST (#354325) #
Alford does not need to hit homeruns to be a star. The Red Sox have a whole outfield of star single hitters.
GabrielSyme - Wednesday, February 28 2018 @ 08:11 PM EST (#354326) #
"The Red Sox have a whole outfield of star single hitters."

Well, those outfielders (Betts, Bradley Jr. and Benintendi) hit 24, 17 and 20 home runs last year. I wouldn't consider them singles hitters. Alford has a ways to go to reach their power output.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, March 01 2018 @ 01:20 AM EST (#354327) #
Kevin Pillar managed 16 HR while Steve Pearce had just 13. New old guy, Curtis Granderson hit 26 while new younger guy hit 22. They are expected to be better and should be considered a good Outfield. If the new guys like Toronto, the Jays might compare well with everyone.
Glevin - Thursday, March 01 2018 @ 03:34 AM EST (#354328) #
"MLB pipeline has their updated top 30 prospects up, and it's an interesting, surprising list. They rank the system 9th overall, which is on the high side of most rankings, but nice to see. They were impressed by the dynamic duo atop the list, and the up-the-middle talent, which I agree is reaching an impressive level."

It's an interesting list. Way more long-shots than I would expect. Taylor at #13 and Hiraldo at #12 shows their liking upside guys lower more than OK in the upper minors (I usually agree). Tellez at #15 is high for me as is Ramirez at #17 (27 YO relief prospect). I'd have Pannone higher than #26 as well. Overall, an interesting list though.

What you see with the Jays is generally repeating itself though. Two super-elite prospects, two very good prospects, about five more good prospects, and then about 20 below that with not much separating them. I think (hope) some of those low minors guys this year will advance nicely and some of the 45s will be 50s. I really want Mc Gregory Contrares to succeed because that name is just amazing.
scottt - Thursday, March 01 2018 @ 06:50 AM EST (#354329) #
So, Atkins' best friends are Marco Scutaro and John McDonald? That's kind of funny.
whiterasta80 - Thursday, March 01 2018 @ 09:59 AM EST (#354330) #
Pannone at #26 is extremely low in my opinion. Perhaps they only watched his first two starts in the Jays system.
uglyone - Thursday, March 01 2018 @ 10:17 AM EST (#354331) #
I look at the few systems they rank just ahead of the Jays at 9 there and I still say I don't understand how they don't rank the jays system higher.
85bluejay - Thursday, March 01 2018 @ 10:47 AM EST (#354332) #
MLB pipeline consults heavily with each team's FO for their list, so the MLB top 30 is really a reflection of the FO
view of their prospects.
bpoz - Thursday, March 01 2018 @ 10:51 AM EST (#354333) #
Excellent analysis Glevin. Your super elite Vlad and Bo. Very good Alford and N Pearson I presume. My picks for top 4.

I can see Alford, Jansen, Borucki and Urena as easily losing prospect status because of too much ML playing time.

Dare I say they will have nothing to prove at AAA next year? Hahaha. Lets continue our discussion on this. Especially the hopefully elite SPs.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, March 01 2018 @ 12:30 PM EST (#354334) #
Marcus Stroman has/had shoulder inflammation which needs to be handled perfectly, but judgement might be rushed by both sides. The 10-Day D.L. will turn out to be the Jays most valuable tool. Pushing Stroman back from the Game 1 Start at Home on the 29th, the earliest Start he could make is on the 2nd of April still at home. His next possible Start could be on the 9th of April in Baltimore or the one after, the 16th of April back at home. Iím not saying this will happen just that it could, and might be worse.

TSN is reporting Randal Grichuk has a sprained wrist, while diving for a ball this week! How severe the injury might be is not known at this time. But itís very easy for two to three days to turn into two to three weeks or more. Iím not sure what type of injury he has. I think that just in case, we start paying attention to who might be his replacement. Nothing good happens in Spring Training - possible injuries abound. Thatís why the Spring Training record doesnít matter, just surviving to Opening Day is what counts. Come Monday we should know much more on both.
bpoz - Thursday, March 01 2018 @ 12:40 PM EST (#354335) #
M Stroman should take his time. I would be happy with 25 starts.
Gerry - Thursday, March 01 2018 @ 12:50 PM EST (#354336) #
Randall Grichuk is out for a few days with a wrist injury. Rowdy Tellez has gone home to be with his mother who is sick.
China fan - Thursday, March 01 2018 @ 02:13 PM EST (#354337) #
Craig Breslow has been pulled from today's game after facing one batter. Perhaps an injury?

Injury or not, I'd personally rather see the second LHP bullpen job go to Mayza or Dermody, who have more upside. (If the Jays decide to go with a second LHP reliever.)

Kevin Pillar, meanwhile, is rocking a .833 batting average this spring. Every spring, he seems to tease us with the "new and improved Pillar."
China fan - Thursday, March 01 2018 @ 02:45 PM EST (#354338) #
Pillar's batting average is now up to .857 for the spring.

Yep, no doubt about it, we're looking at MVP seasons from both Pillar and Alford this year.

And please, no Gabe Gross jokes.

PeterG - Thursday, March 01 2018 @ 02:50 PM EST (#354339) #
For those who are not aware of this already:
uglyone - Thursday, March 01 2018 @ 02:52 PM EST (#354340) #
Hopefully our depth this year allows us to keep Pillar at the bottom of the order all year, where maybe just maybe he can sustain a decent level of hitting in a more sheltered role (sheltered mentally at least, and maybe in terms of how opposing pitchers treat bottom of the order guys, too).
Chuck - Thursday, March 01 2018 @ 04:54 PM EST (#354341) #

How many shortstops named Martinez do you suppose live in the Dominican? A couple of phonebook pages' worth?

I imagine there is precisely one with the given name Orelvis.

christaylor - Thursday, March 01 2018 @ 04:57 PM EST (#354342) #
I haven't seen him hit yet, but I hope Smoak is working on something. We may yet see what many predicted would happen last year -- Smoak losing the 1B job. I hope not, it was good to watch him when he was on in 2017.
dan gordon - Thursday, March 01 2018 @ 06:02 PM EST (#354343) #
It will be interesting to see where the Blue Jays assign the various shortstops they have in the organization. Lots of bodies, not so many jobs available. Some are going to have to play 2B, 3B, maybe get some AB's at DH, etc. Behind Tulowitzki, you've got A.Diaz, Ngoepe, Urena, Gurriel, Bichette, Warmoth, Gudino, Vicuna, K.Smith, De Los Santos, all of whom should be getting regular work at Lansing or higher, with the possible exception of De Los Santos (maybe Smith?) who could be in Vancouver. Not to mention Hidalgo, who could move up quickly. Quite a logjam.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, March 01 2018 @ 06:41 PM EST (#354344) #
Top prospect trade assets are LHP, RHP, Short Stops, Center Fielders and Catchers. No one else is worth much unless he's a Stud/Star.
scottt - Thursday, March 01 2018 @ 08:05 PM EST (#354345) #
Carrera has been assigned to Buffalo and is back with the team.

Grichuk has a sprained wrist. 

GabrielSyme - Thursday, March 01 2018 @ 08:31 PM EST (#354346) #
The shortstop situation doesn't look that bad - I imagine it will sort out more or less as follows at the start of the season:

Diaz - Toronto
Gurriel, Ngoepe - Buffalo
Urena - New Hampshire
Bichette, Vicuna - Dunedin
Warmoth, Gudino, K. Smith - Lansing

de los Santos should start in extended, and probably ends up in Vancouver.

That leaves a small logjam in Lansing, but nothing else is really backed up, since just about everyone on this list should get playing time at 2B and, in some cases, 3B. Of course, Bichette could get assigned to New Hampshire either at the start of the season or fairly early on, and that will squeeze Urena's playing time at SS, but allow Warmoth to move up to Dunedin.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, March 01 2018 @ 09:10 PM EST (#354347) #
There is no problem at Short Stop. Bo Bichette stays at Short Stop as long as he's adequate at the position, that's why he signed with Toronto, assurances were given. That's something he talked about last year. As one of the two elite Studs in the system Bo Bichette plays where his ability earns his right to play. He defers to no one else at that position. When he gets promoted to the next level he plays Short Stop, the incumbent plays somewhere else.
ISLAND BOY - Thursday, March 01 2018 @ 09:56 PM EST (#354348) #
I thought the assurances from the Jays were that they wouldn't tamper with his swing.
John Northey - Friday, March 02 2018 @ 12:06 AM EST (#354349) #
I see Bo Bichette at New Hampshire with Vlad at 3B. Urena will be backup, playing a lot at 2B prepping for a super-utility role. Ngoepe and Gurriel will rotate around in Buffalo, maybe Urena there as well. All 3 are more utility guys who have to be ready for an injury at any position.

All others will be in A/A+/short season trying to prove themselves to be ready for the majors in 2021 and beyond should Bo flop and none of the others grab it.
dan gordon - Friday, March 02 2018 @ 01:20 AM EST (#354350) #
The problem isn't a major one, but they won't be able to properly evaluate several of the players' defensive ability at SS. It's one of the most important defensive positions on the field, and a player's value is greatly enhanced if he can play SS. It's not just a matter of who plays SS in Toronto, which will be Bichette if he can handle the position, but also in terms of trade value if a few of these guys develop into big leaguers. Nice problem to have, of course, it would be great if a few of these guys make it to the big leagues, and the organization will benefit tremendously if, say, Diaz, Bichette, Urena, Warmoth, and Gurriel all turn out to be big leaguers. In any event, the assignments will be interesting to see.
China fan - Friday, March 02 2018 @ 06:03 AM EST (#354351) #
So it seems that Carrera passed through waivers unclaimed because of his $1.9-million salary. That's probably what the Jays had calculated when they DFA'd him: that he was likely to remain with the Jays organization because his salary would deter any waiver claims.

The Jays can still drop him at the end of spring training for a cost of one-sixth of his salary, if I understand the rules correctly. Until then, it's useful to keep him around as injury insurance. It adds to the outfield surplus, but that's a problem that will eventually resolve itself.

While spring-training stats are meaningless, the evaluations from the scouts and coaches this spring will help the Jays resolve the outfield surplus. Alford is coming off a Mexican league stint, during the winter, in which he posted a .891 OPS in a league where he was six years younger than the average player. And he's been hitting the ball very well in spring training. Pompey seems to be completely healthy again, and Hernandez remains in the mix. Maybe all of that contributed to the decision by the Jays to drop Carrera at an early stage of the spring. They may have decided that Alford has a chance to reach the majors within the next few months, rather than in 2019. That, in turn, could factor into the trade discussions that they could still be having about Morales and Pearce.
scottt - Friday, March 02 2018 @ 07:58 AM EST (#354352) #
It's not clear what the plans are for Carrera. He's off the 40 roster and I don't see a path for him back on it.
Maybe this way, the Jays have more time to try to trade him without eating too much salary.
Carrera could have chosen to become a free agent and leave with his 300K severance.
There's not even room for him at AAA.
It's nice to have 3 good depth outfielders in AAA. No need to rush Grichuk's wrist for example.
Pompey was given the center field job many years ago and couldn't hold. it.
This front office does not seem likely to do anything like that, not while on the edge of contention, anyway.

Magpie - Friday, March 02 2018 @ 11:17 AM EST (#354353) #
Adam Lind has to settle for a minor league contract with a spring training invite? Dude hit .303/.362/.513 last year.

Hard times out there.
mathesond - Friday, March 02 2018 @ 12:18 PM EST (#354354) #
"Hard times out there."

Not to mention, he'll be scrounging for at-bats behind Greg Bird.
Richard S.S. - Friday, March 02 2018 @ 12:28 PM EST (#354355) #
...Pompey was given the center field job many years ago and couldn't hold it...

Not totally accurate, he talked to the Press before he said anything about it to the Manager. This was 2015 and he was one of Alex's many rookies. The Press ran with the story, slightly out of context, and made it a big thing. At that point the Jays really didn't have a choice if they wanted the story to go away, they sent him down. They thought enough of him to put him on the 2015 Postseason Roster as another Bench Outfielder/Pinch Runner when they could have used another Reliever more.
Richard S.S. - Friday, March 02 2018 @ 12:42 PM EST (#354356) #
Greg Bird

Tyler Austin

Adam Lind

Now why was Adam Lind signed?
uglyone - Friday, March 02 2018 @ 12:51 PM EST (#354357) #
2yr Stats:

Lind: 731pa, 104wrc+, 0.4war
Morales: 1226pa, 104wrc+, 0.1war
Austin: 136pa, 94wrc+, 0.0war
Bird: 170pa, 86wrc+, -0.4war
uglyone - Friday, March 02 2018 @ 12:57 PM EST (#354358) #
Sounds like Osuna didn't enjoy that little velocity lull last year:

Arden Zwelling @ArdenZwelling
Blue Jays pitching coach Pete Walker on a bulked-up Roberto Osuna: "His stuffís fantastic. Heís as good as Iíve ever seen him right now."
bpoz - Friday, March 02 2018 @ 01:09 PM EST (#354359) #
NYY payroll $162 mil for top 15 players. So $175 mil should be a good guess.

Looks like Cashman has done it. My source is Cot's Baseball.
uglyone - Friday, March 02 2018 @ 01:30 PM EST (#354360) #
Possible Bisons Opening Day Lineup out there today, save for Rowdy who's taking care of his sick mom:

1.LF Pompey
2.SS Urena
3.CF Alford
4.RF Hernandez
5.2B Gurriel
6.C Jansen
7.DH Smith
8.1B Leblibjian
9.3B Lopes

SP Pannone

China fan - Friday, March 02 2018 @ 01:31 PM EST (#354361) #
In case I misled anyone about Craig Breslow yesterday: he wasn't injured, he was simply pulled from the game after facing one LHB, because three RHB were scheduled next.

It was odd to see Gibbons playing the situational match-ups so early in the spring, and he got some ribbing from Pirates manager Clint Hurdle when he did it, but Gibbons defended it later by saying that he was being honest about Breslow's role as a lefty specialist.
Richard S.S. - Friday, March 02 2018 @ 04:09 PM EST (#354362) #
That was a decent showing from all the Kids today with nothing earth shaking happening. There was no more bad news on Stroman, Grichuk or anyone else currently, so it's a good day for the Jays.

I'm sure the Jays would have signed one of the Top 4 Starters this Offseason if the demands on AAV and Term weren't so outrageous. I'm happy they didn't.
jerjapan - Friday, March 02 2018 @ 04:27 PM EST (#354363) #
That's an encouraging quote on Osuna.

I'm not loving this 2-6 start, we seem a bit punchless on offense.  Has anyone been watching the games?  Anyone looking good to you guys?

Stoeten is moving to Vice Sports full time - hopefully this brings out the best in the guy - less invective, more analysis. 

jerjapan - Friday, March 02 2018 @ 04:29 PM EST (#354364) #
Brain cramp - that's the Athletic, not Vice sports. 
Richard S.S. - Friday, March 02 2018 @ 06:55 PM EST (#354365) #
I check MLB Trade Rumors regularly and realize how fragile Pitchers really are. Then I realize how healthy the Jays' Pitching was over the last three year. Prior to 2015, the Jays' Pitching injuries exceeded expectations. Since and including 2015, the Jays" Pitching health has exceeded expectations. As I said, I check MLB Trade Rumors regularly and Pitching is just falling like snow, injury after injury.

Winning is just surviving the longest and doing the best. As long as the Jays are healthy they have an exceptional Team. As long as the same Team that is able to play in April can still play as well in October, the Jays have done everything right. The Jays' alternatives are amongst the best they've had in a very long time.
hypobole - Friday, March 02 2018 @ 08:01 PM EST (#354366) #
Speaking of pitcher injuries, Tom Koehler, who a number of folks here wanted to bring back, was pulled mid-inning by the Dodgers and is getting an MRI on his shoulder.
scottt - Saturday, March 03 2018 @ 07:47 AM EST (#354367) #
We don't get to see his medicals. Is he a guy likely to bounce back from one bad season or someone who might need surgery before he gets better?

scottt - Saturday, March 03 2018 @ 07:59 AM EST (#354368) #
Axford and Alburquerque have looked good so far.
Gibby doesn't even want to watch Breslow facing right handed batters.
Ho doesn't have the paperwork to pitch in a game but looks good when he's throwing his sliders.

I wonder what kind of visa is needed here.
To go work as an engineer in the US, I need to bring with me official copies of my 30 year old diplomas and write a competency test under the watchful eyes of immigration enforcers.
You'd think an Einstein visa would work for a light out closer?
The Blue Jays don't exactly have a billionaire owner who can grease some paws, which seems to be the way the US goes these days.

hypobole - Saturday, March 03 2018 @ 09:49 AM EST (#354369) #
Players who need shoulder surgery almost never get better than they were in seasons prior.
christaylor - Saturday, March 03 2018 @ 11:17 AM EST (#354370) #
A P1 visa is relative;y cheap and easy for MLB players to obtain but this paperwork always takes time. Not for nothing but what information do you have that the US visa system is corrupt? I would like to hear it because it would be a massive story that anyone in the media here would love to run with...
Richard S.S. - Saturday, March 03 2018 @ 12:04 PM EST (#354371) #
Marcus Stroman has an inflammation that must recede before he should start pitching again. This is a regular occurrence amongst pitchers and should have been dealt with much earlier, but Stroman was reluctant to say anything then. More fool him. For as long as it takes to get him right, they should take that time. Done right, he should not need more.

On the other hand, Tom Koehler has a more significant injury, but he still has a few options. Rehabbing might take an extensive amount of time, be a success and still require surgery. Was it lucky the Jays didnít resign him? Did they pass on him because they knew something or was it because they wanted someone better?
China fan - Saturday, March 03 2018 @ 12:29 PM EST (#354372) #
"....A P1 visa is relatively cheap and easy for MLB players to obtain but this paperwork always takes time...."

Under the Trump administration, the immigration crackdown has extended beyond the Muslim issue -- it has generally made life more difficult for visitors in many categories. It has caused tougher screening and more delays for students, business visitors, conference visitors, and many others. (Not necessarily from Canada, but from many countries in Asia, Africa etc.) I haven't heard anything about the impact on visiting athletes, but it's not implausible that visas might take longer to obtain for athletes too. It's an issue that's worth monitoring.

vw_fan17 - Saturday, March 03 2018 @ 01:23 PM EST (#354373) #
I'm in the process of renewing my "permanent resident" card (aka green card) here in the US (Canadian citizen). Not getting approval for it, just getting a new 10-year card, much like renewing a passport or driver's license. Admittedly, it caught me a bit by surprise and I sent it in 2-3 months early, not 6 months like I could have. I got an appointment to do biometrics, etc, and they gave me a "extended by 1 year" sticker on the card, about 2 weeks before my expiration date (end of August 2017), so it's good until August 2018. So far, so good, I thought. Ever since, I've been getting "no updates" emails every 2 weeks. Starting to wonder a bit, and I looked into it this week, and everyone's having similar issues - as of Feb 2018, they're processing March 2017 applications - and it's been on March 2017 for a few months. I.e. I'll probably have to get ANOTHER 1-year extension. Hopefully they don't charge me all the fees again - that would suck. Or just not leave the country while waiting - my status doesn't expire, just the card..

Had a similar issue getting into the country - my "fiance visa" took about 11 months AFTER getting past the initial background checks, so we had a church-wedding and then 6 weeks later, a Vegas courthouse wedding. I talked to a friend of mine who had some connections through his dad's work, and he said for around $10k, he knew a lawyer who could have gotten it approved faster - I think he worked with athletes a lot. Depending on who you are, $10k to get your $5m paycheck isn't a big deal. $10k for a normal person isn't exactly chump change..

China fan - Saturday, March 03 2018 @ 01:36 PM EST (#354374) #
The Jays have signed Nick Tepesch to a minor-league deal. He had a very mediocre stint with the Jays last season: one good outing, two bad outings. He has bounced around everywhere for years. I wonder if his signing is an indication of a bit of worry about Stroman's health situation, which could have a trickle-down effect on the pitching rotation in Buffalo? If the Jays need Biagini in the major-league rotation to begin the season, the Buffalo rotation looks a little thinner, beyond the obvious candidates (Borucki, Pannone, Rowley). They might need a veteran like Tepesch to fill out the Buffalo rotation. (I might be missing a name or two of the probable Buffalo starters.)
China fan - Saturday, March 03 2018 @ 01:40 PM EST (#354375) #
Just to finish the point about the possible thinness of the Buffalo rotation: I'm assuming that Guerrieri and Santos are both relievers now. If they start the season in the Buffalo rotation, the rotation doesn't look as thin. But both of them seem to have more value to the Jays as potential relievers, so I'm guessing that they'll stay in that role. I'm basing this partly on other posters here who have noted that Guerrieri's health situation might require him to be a reliever, rather than a starter.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, March 03 2018 @ 02:02 PM EST (#354376) #
Taylor Guerrieri is a very good Pitcher who's been continually successful in the Minors, but often limited in innings due to injuries.
Elbow issues in 2017 after an extremely heavy workload in 2016 are a major concern for Starters. Being limited to short outings as a Reliever could very well give him a new career. It's possible he could be a multi-inning Reliever for the Jays.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, March 03 2018 @ 02:26 PM EST (#354377) #
Ryan Borucki, Sean Reid-Foley, Thomas Pannone, Jon Harris, Deck McGuire, Chris Rowley, Luis Santos all have a chance to be Staring with Joe Biagini in AAA. Joe Biagini might not be up very long if at all initially, but that totally depends on the health of the Starters. The success of the Buffalo Rotations depends on the ability to concentrate on the task at hand and not let the likelihood of a Call-up place pressure on performance. Example is easily Ryan Borucki's performance today, too much of one and not enough of another.
uglyone - Saturday, March 03 2018 @ 02:37 PM EST (#354378) #
why do we care how good buffalo's 4th and 5th SP are?
jerjapan - Saturday, March 03 2018 @ 02:43 PM EST (#354379) #
I see the Buffalo rotation as likely Biagini, Borucki, Pannone, McGuire and now Tepesch.   one of the org soldiers - Chris Rowley, Luis Santos, even Murphy Smith could take starts as needed.  The org soldiers aren't really prospects and I do see them in a totally different category - these guys tended to be prized more for their versatility and willingness to pitch where and when they are needed.  That's quality starting depth IMO, not even counting the chance of SRF or Harris earning a spot midseason and pushing a vet aside.

Don't forget the Buffalo pen has a number of viable arms as well - let's assume Alburquerque and Breslow win the last two spots in the Jay's pen - a fair guess given their preference for vets and development time for the younger / optionable players. 

That means lefty candidates are Mayza, Dermody, Girodo and Matt Tracy, with Ramirez, the org soldiers Rowley, Santos and Smith, and Axford / Petricka, if they don't opt out, from the right. 

scottt - Saturday, March 03 2018 @ 06:23 PM EST (#354380) #
Actually, this is probably a good year to try to make the playoffs in AAA.
Lots of prospects in Buffalo, they should get used to winning and having fun.

China fan - Saturday, March 03 2018 @ 06:28 PM EST (#354381) #
"....why do we care how good buffalo's 4th and 5th SP are?...."

If you had read my post accurately, I was linking the Tepesch acquisition to the trickle-down effect of the Stroman health situation. And I think we do care about Stroman's health. If he has health issues this year, it could easily destroy the Jays entire season, much as the Sanchez blister had a huge impact on the Jays last year. We shouldn't ignore any early warning signs that Stroman won't be ready for opening day. Of course it's okay if he misses only a start or two. But there's no guarantee of that.

As for the Buffalo rotation: I do recall some excited predictions from people in the off-season suggesting that the Buffalo rotation in 2018 would be entirely composed of top prospects or major-league ready pitchers like Biagini. That seems less likely now. I wasn't thrilled by Borucki's terrible outing today either.
scottt - Saturday, March 03 2018 @ 06:35 PM EST (#354382) #
I was actually reflecting on a story that the media have picked up. (Einstein visa)
It seems like all you need for a P-1 visa is a contract from a professional team.
The guy is already in the US, so it seems it should just need a quick rubber stamp.
I know several people who acquired US citizenship (not Canadians) and the determining factor was just finding the money for the lawyer. It's been like that for a long time.

If I have to go to a work meeting in the US, I have to choose my work very carefully with the border guards.
I can't say that I'll be doing anything like training people or participating in reviews because that's work and they won't let me through. So, I have to say that I'm going there to talk with some co-workers from the US to get to know them better or something like that.

Richard S.S. - Saturday, March 03 2018 @ 08:48 PM EST (#354383) #
Ryan Borucki knows heís in AAA Buffalo this year. He knows heís the #1 Call-up for the Jays in case of need. Joe Biagini is primarily filling in for Marcus Stroman until heís ready and should return unless needed for someone else. Like all young Starters, they put more pressure on themselves than is really necessary and usually forget that location triumphs stuff. Heíll figure it out, hopefully before he totally embrasses himself.

Marcus Stroman was push back another few days from the initial three to five days they planned on. That puts him back around mid-April at best, just missing two to three Starts. Another few days after this pushes him back to late April where he misses four or five Starts. Thatís where I really, really get concerned.

Once past Ryan Borucki, Thomas Pannone and Deck McGuire more questions start to arise. Nick Tepesch was signed because of concerns that Chris Rowley, Luis Santos, Sean Reid-Foley and others might not be ready to step up when needed.
John Northey - Saturday, March 03 2018 @ 10:50 PM EST (#354384) #
Part of the reason the Einstein visa is a story is that the media found out Mrs. Trump used it to get into the USA long term in the early 2000's after she started dating Trump.

If a middle of the road model can get it, then why not a batch of ballplayers. Btw, not an attempt to start any political discussion one way or the other on Trump, his wife, etc. Just explaining why it has been in the news - anything good or bad with that family is front page news. As to the Jays I remember a lot of times them having issues with various Dominican players and others from that area who didn't file early enough. Part of why the Jays had the old Medicine Hat franchise for so long - perfect place to send those players without US visas for home games at least, then have a few spare US players available for road trips.
scottt - Sunday, March 04 2018 @ 08:21 AM EST (#354385) #
Entirely composed of top prospects? More like mostly composed of middling prospects.

Biagini isn't a prospect and the others are not exactly top of anything.
Borucki, 12th?
Harris, 19th?
Pannone, 20th?
Deck McGuire
Chris Rowley
Luis Santos

China fan - Sunday, March 04 2018 @ 09:12 AM EST (#354386) #
Middling prospects might be more accurate. But the optimistic notion during the off-season was that the Buffalo rotation wouldn't be composed of the usual batch of marginal veterans from the waiver wire and minor-league contracts. Biagini would be an upgrade from last year's Buffalo starters because he was still relatively young and had potential upside. Borucki and Pannone were seen as being close to the majors. Rowley is still a prospect, although not highly rated. A rotation built around those four was seen as superior to the marginal vets of 2017.

I'm not arguing for any radical change to that perception. I'm just mildly noting that the acquisition of Nick Tepesch might suggest that the rotation isn't quite as strong as initially hoped, or alternatively it might suggest that Biagini will be needed in the majors. Or maybe it means nothing at all. It's just my mid-spring speculation. The five runs allowed by Borucki yesterday might be unfairly influencing my views.
China fan - Sunday, March 04 2018 @ 10:22 AM EST (#354387) #
Gibbons today confirmed that Tulo won't be ready for opening day. Which certainly explains why the Jays kept Ngoepe on the 40-man roster, rather than Carrera.

Gibbons has been praising Ngoepe lately. In a Sportsnet report, he said this about Ngoepe:

"I love him ó heís done a great job. Heís got great hands. He can play anywhere out there. You just watch him move around as an infielder, and something jumps out at you. Heís better than most."

He also claimed that Ngoepe is stronger than they expected and might still have untapped offensive potential, despite his relatively advanced age and his lack of hitting in the minors.

He didn't make this point, but I'll make it anyway: Ngoepe grew up in South Africa and didn't have the benefit of good coaching until he reached the Pirates system at the age of 19. He lacked the proper coaching and nutrition that American kids get from the beginning of their high school days. It's not implausible that he might be a late bloomer.

Or maybe I'm being over-optimistic. Feel free to make the Ryan Goins comparisons whenever you wish.

The Jays could also opt for Urena as the back-up infielder while Tulo is out. But I suspect they will prefer to have him playing full-time in Buffalo or New Hampshire.
Chuck - Sunday, March 04 2018 @ 12:28 PM EST (#354388) #
Or maybe I'm being over-optimistic.

With spring in the air? And a hop in your step? Nah. Couldn't be.

Richard S.S. - Sunday, March 04 2018 @ 12:42 PM EST (#354389) #
Joe Biagini turned into an exceptional MLB Reliever just from a Rule 5 Pick. He looks like he might be a good Starter from just that start. This spring he's pitching differently, perhaps better and it's working. That's a step in the right direction. Joe Biagini will Start in the Majors in 2018 when needed or in Buffalo when not. He will be a Starter for the Jays in the 2019 Rotation or he will be traded for someone who's much better. Of that I'm sure.

Of the Jays top 30 Prospects, 19 are Hitters with three being very MLB-Ready and five being very close. Four of the 11 Pitchers are farther away to much farther away and not a consideration this year. Only two Starters and one Reliever of the remaining seven Pitchers are very near MLB-Ready. Ryan Borucki and Thomas Pannone are the two best and closest MLB-Ready Starters the Jays have - that's top of something. The remaining 4 Pitchers just might be close.

Being a top prospect on a team or in all of Baseball, having a good minors system is basically for bragging rights and for creating interest in the Team. Being MLB-Ready or near MLB-Ready means making the Majors, whether as a Jay or for someone else and that means much, much more.
dan gordon - Sunday, March 04 2018 @ 04:28 PM EST (#354390) #
On the post game show on The Fan, they talked about it being either Ngoepe or Gurriel who would be the backup SS with Tulo out of the lineup and Diaz starting, and they figured it would be Ngoepe. They also said that Dermody has a good shot at the 2nd lefty reliever spot based on how good he was last year after his July call up, and that Maile would likely be the 2nd catcher, and McGuire would be his backup in case of injury, but Jansen would be Martin's backup if he got hurt.
China fan - Sunday, March 04 2018 @ 04:49 PM EST (#354391) #
Danny Jansen made a bullet of a throw to catch a runner attempting to steal in today's game. He opened some eyes, including mine.
scottt - Sunday, March 04 2018 @ 07:54 PM EST (#354392) #
If Tulo is out, the key will be how good Diaz will be, the best thing about Ngoepe is that he still has an option.

Donaldson has a barking shoulder that's "hanging a little bit" according to Gibby.
I'm sure he'll have great stretches, but I don't think he'll beat the aging curve.

Pearce has a sore calf. Hernandez is probably the backup if Pearce hits the DL.Solarte can play left field, but he's better batting left.

lexomatic - Sunday, March 04 2018 @ 11:19 PM EST (#354393) #
I don't understand the talk of Gurriel as backup to start the season. . He's done nothing to date and has so little experience. He needs to play. This is exactly the situation  Ngoepe was acquired for. There's no reason to bring up Gurriel unless you're giving up on his development and the season. Well, there's also contractual obligation, but that always works out well for both player and team, right?
85bluejay - Monday, March 05 2018 @ 10:09 AM EST (#354394) #
Apart from injuries, the most interesting aspect for the remainder of spring training is which non-roster relievers make the team - Al Alburquerque seems to be impressing and I think has a good shot - Jays may need to open 1 or 2 spots on 40 man roster, which is why I was advocating for guys like Dwight Smith & Rowdy Tellez to be left off the 40 man roster and exposed to the Rule v draft - it's much more difficult to keep a prospect on the active 25 man roster which is required of a Rule v pick than on the 40 man roster where you can option the player (if he has options). I bet a team like Seattle would select Tellez off waivers and option him - My hope is that the Jays can perhaps trade some prospects on the 40 man roster for other lottery picks that don't require a 40 man spot, similar to what the Yankees have done the past few years when facing a roster crunch.
uglyone - Monday, March 05 2018 @ 10:37 AM EST (#354395) #
I doubt the Jays group Smith and Tellez together, and I don't think they'd hesitate to drop Smith for a reliever.
christaylor - Monday, March 05 2018 @ 10:46 AM EST (#354396) #
I've been fortunate enough to be able to hit Spring Training next week (the game on the 12th in Dunedin and the game in Ft. Meyers a few days later).

It's my first time -- does anyone have any tips/tricks/advice?
bpoz - Monday, March 05 2018 @ 12:16 PM EST (#354397) #
Have a great time cristaylor.

Excellent point 85bluejay. I find roster manipulation fascinating. IMO this FO shows very good risk management understanding. Their obsession with depth is impressive.

I checked the sequence of transactions. Before the rule 5 draft Gift N, A Diaz and prospects were added to the 40 man. We were at 38 I believe.

D smith could have been taken off the 40 man DFA'd. But there was the risk of being claimed and lost.

The NRIs don't look very impressive to me. But you never know.
My 8 man SPs have the 5 expected and Biagini, Borucki and Pannone.

The pen has 5 locks Osuna, Oh, Tepera, Barnes and Loup. 2 left. Dermody and a bunch.
Richard S.S. - Monday, March 05 2018 @ 01:11 PM EST (#354398) #
The Blue Jays made just 5 Transactions adding Players before 01 January 2018. They did however make 13 more Transactions adding Players after 01 January 2018. This can be considered a most unusual Offseason for everyone, not just the Jays. The Blue Jays attention to detail was exceptional but surprising this Offseason. The Outfield has two new faces. The Rotation has a new face. The Bullpen has one new face, but could add two more. The Infield has a new face, at least for a while. The Bench has two new faces. In 2018 as many as nine new faces could be joining the Team, all considered upgrades on former incumbents.
China fan - Monday, March 05 2018 @ 01:25 PM EST (#354399) #
Here's a "You be the GM" question for anyone who follows the amateur draft and the amateur prospects. The Jays choose 12th in the June draft. Let's assume Tristan Pompey is ranked somewhere between 15th and 20th among all eligible prospects, which is quite possible. Should the Jays pick Tristan on the assumption that he'll perform better in an organization where his brother is already active, and that it might produce synergies for both of the brothers? Or should they just pick the best-rated available player, regardless of who it is?
greenfrog - Monday, March 05 2018 @ 01:32 PM EST (#354400) #
mathesond - Monday, March 05 2018 @ 01:33 PM EST (#354401) #
Yes, always BPA.
ISLAND BOY - Monday, March 05 2018 @ 01:37 PM EST (#354402) #
Yep, best player available, and listen to the scouts or you end up picking Ricky Romero over Troy Tulowitzki.
ComebyDeanChance - Monday, March 05 2018 @ 01:41 PM EST (#354403) #
I've been fortunate enough to be able to hit Spring Training next week (the game on the 12th in Dunedin and the game in Ft. Meyers a few days later).

It's my first time -- does anyone have any tips/tricks/advice?

1. Get your Red Sox tickets early. The stadium is considerably bigger than Dunedin but sells out. Don't worry about where your seats are, the parks are intimate enough that you're never far from the field.
2. It's a long drive to FM. Don't just rely on google maps as there are often delays on US 19 south and I75. Give yourself lots of extra time, a couple of hours extra, to get there and to park.
3. Careful with lodging. If you look for the cheapest hotels on Kayak or Expedia, they won't tell you if you're getting a 'welfare hotel'. Trust me, you don't want one. Spend some extra bucks and rent early.
4. If you're going to be in Dunedin for a bit, go to Ozona. It's close, the western part of Palm Harbor Try Molly's for drinks and the Pig for bbq. In Dunedin you can get bbq at Eli's on the weekend.
Richard S.S. - Monday, March 05 2018 @ 02:01 PM EST (#354404) #
To put it simply, the 40-Man Roster is a resource holding assets. The Minor Leagues are a resource holding assets. NRIs (Non-Roster Invitees) are a limited resource also holding assets. Assets have a multitude of uses, of which being traded and covering for injuries are just a few. Injuries have zero consideration for assets, they occur without reason. Up until the 25th of February the Jays didn't have a need for a 40-Man Roster spot. With Trade possibilities still at work and Injury possibilities lurking around, the Jays were keeping the assets close.

When the Jays signed Seung-Kwan Oh on the 25th of February they needed the 40-Man Roster spot. Ezequiel Carrera became the Jays' 5th or 6th or 7th best Outfielder making $1.9 Million. He was expendable, yet he's still with the Team as an NRI. I understand the Jays would like to add experienced arms to the Bullpen and send down anyone with options to preserve depth. It's still much too early to know who definitely makes the team. Another 20 Games need to occur before Opt-outs need be considered and too much can happen before then.
bpoz - Monday, March 05 2018 @ 02:40 PM EST (#354405) #
The value Pearce has is good offensive numbers but with a likely max of 300 ABs due to injuries that have consistently happened. His health should be safer spelling 1B and DH. Playing the OF has a higher chance of injury.

Last year Smoak and Morales did not get injured so he must have got most of his 313 ABs in LF. Unless his OF defense is very bad ie how many runs did he cost us, then we got pretty good value for the $ spent.
China fan - Monday, March 05 2018 @ 03:03 PM EST (#354406) #
"....the most interesting aspect for the remainder of spring training is which non-roster relievers make the team..."

In his analysis today, Arden Zwelling says the frontrunners for the final two bullpen positions are Axford and Albuerquerque, both of whom have impressed. But that would require two additional spots on the 40-man roster. Dwight Smith can be dropped from the 40-man, but then it gets tricky. I wouldn't be surprised if it's Axford and Mayza who get the final two spots, since Mayza is a leftie and is already on the 40-man roster. Ramirez would have been the other candidate, but he's had arm soreness and probably won't be ready. Luis Santos has been surprisingly good and has the advantage of being able to do multiple innings, but he too is not on the 40-man.
Mike Green - Monday, March 05 2018 @ 04:23 PM EST (#354407) #
Keegan Matheson has an excellent article with video on Bo Bichette's two swings. It is free on the baseballtoronto website. Bichette's regular  (non two-strike) swing reminds me of a golf swing in the lower body with the front knee bending around as part of the process that creates torque. I don't think he will be able to do that when he is 37 but I can see how he generates so much oomph now.
85bluejay - Monday, March 05 2018 @ 04:37 PM EST (#354408) #
BTW, Bo Bichette has left his teenage years behind - today he turns 20- happy Birthday Bo!!.
christaylor - Monday, March 05 2018 @ 04:46 PM EST (#354409) #
Thanks CBDC -- luckily, the lodging is being taken care of by in-laws in Ft Meyers. Our trip was planned last minute and I had to settle for (little?) Monster standing room at JetBlue Park, which is fine, because seeing the Jays is the real show. Shelled out for some decent seats from a ticket reseller. Good tips about the traffic and parking -- I'm always one to cut it close and rely on Google.
greenfrog - Monday, March 05 2018 @ 07:52 PM EST (#354410) #
Poll question. Against RHP, the Jays' best (highest WAR) starting outfield trio in April 2018 would be:

a) Granderson / Pillar / Grichuk
b) Granderson / Pillar / Alford
c) Granderson / Alford / Grichuk
d) Hernandez / Pillar / Grichuk
e) Hernandez / Pillar / Alford
f) Hernandez / Pillar / Granderson
g) Hernandez / Alford / Grichuk
h) Hernandez / Alford / Granderson
i) Other
rotorose - Monday, March 05 2018 @ 08:58 PM EST (#354411) #
I go to Spring Training every year. Try to get to both the Jays minor league complex and (even better) the Phillies' complex, since they play so many games against each other's minor league squads. There are nice free visitor stands at the Phillies' minor league complex, just down the road from the major league park. A great place to visit when the Phillies are on the road, because you can check out whether the Jays minor leaguers are playing that day without paying for parking or admission, and just leave if they aren't there. You can frequently look at two or more games and see major league pitchers come to build up their pitch counts.
grjas - Monday, March 05 2018 @ 09:54 PM EST (#354412) #
Poll question

(C) unless Pillar 3.0 of this yearís ST is somehow real.

Pillar really is a mystery considering his bat was stronger in the minors than his defence. If only he could combine the two good halfís of his career...
Richard S.S. - Monday, March 05 2018 @ 11:06 PM EST (#354413) #
Curtis Granderson hits RHP well, LHP not so much. Steve Pearce hits LHP well, RHP not so much. They should complement each other very well. Neither will play enough to overly tire them out.
Randal Grichuk is the Impact Bat Ross Atkins talked so much about early this offseason. He's been working hard to be better so I'm giving him he benefit of the doubt.
Kevin Pillar is no longer an elite Defender. I think he's realizing his Defense will soon no longer hide his bat. Will this endeavor to hit better continue, or will it fall by the wayside like so many other things he's tried?
There are no sure things with the Kids right now. They may be good enough, soon enough. But until they are needed just work on what you need to work on. I vote A).
scottt - Tuesday, March 06 2018 @ 07:44 AM EST (#354414) #
I'm just hoping we don't get a Pillar/Grichuk collision, but if we do, there is depth.

JD Martinez was commenting that his defense isn't really that bad, He was just taking it easy to avoid injuries.
What I get out of that is that  given his contract, he's going to play recklessly to try to get the numbers to opt out and if he injures himself in the process, he has that guaranteed money.

Too bad he's a DH now.

grjas - Tuesday, March 06 2018 @ 12:56 PM EST (#354415) #
Canít say I remember this but it is fascinating reading.
uglyone - Tuesday, March 06 2018 @ 01:12 PM EST (#354416) #
when trying to figure out which guys will play when and why, keep this in mind:

Over the last 2yrs:

best fastball hitters:

1.Donaldson +2.14
2.Smoak +1.04
3.Pearce +0.87
4.Granderson +0.85
5.Morales +0.76
6.Martin +0.39
7.Grichuk +0.38
8.Solarte +0.21
9.Travis +0.17
10.Tulowitzki -0.05
11.Diaz -0.35
12.Pillar -0.46
13.Maile -2.75

best slider hitters

1.Diaz +1.89
2.Maile +1.60
3.Donaldson 0.78
4.Morales +0.71
5.Travis +0.02
6.Martin -0.26
7.Solarte -0.27
8.Granderson -0.70
9.Tulowitzki -0.81
10.Pearce -0.87
11.Smoak -0.99
12.Pillar -1.13
13.Grichuk -2.06

best curveball hitters:

1.Diaz +1.71
2.Maile +1.38
3.Grichuk +0.77
4.Donaldson +0.56
5.Pearce -0.52
6.Pillar -0.54
7.Smoak -0.62
8.Granderson -0.71
9.Tulowitzki -0.98
10.Travis -1.13
11.Solarte -1.14
12.Morales -1.50
13.Martin -1.55

best changeup hitters

1.Smoak +1.33
2.Donaldson +1.32
3.Tulowitzki +1.25
4.Pearce +1.21
5.Diaz +1.11
6.Grichuk +0.46
7.Granderson +0.28
8.Martin +0.19
9.Solarte -0.12
10.Pillar -0.30
11.Morales -0.53
12.Travis -0.61
13.Maile -4.25
vw_fan17 - Tuesday, March 06 2018 @ 04:27 PM EST (#354417) #
So Diaz and Maile are the two best breaking ball hitters on the club. The difference is: Diaz does well with the changeup and only has a bit of trouble with the fastball. On the other hand, Maile is at AA levels for hitting the fastball (worst on the team by a mile) and if he's lucky, Rookie-ball levels for hitting the changeup. Question is: how many breaking balls did Maile get in this sample? Crossed-up signs? If I knew this info as the opposing pitcher, I'd throw him 60% changeups, 35% fastballs and 5% curveballs - I suspect SSS may be an issue here?

JoshD on the other hand, is right behind Diaz and Maile (3rd/4th) at hitting breaking balls, but is also #1 in fastballs, and more or less tied for #1 in changeups. Smoak is almost as good as JD at hitting changeups, #2 in fastballs, but has significant trouble with breaking pitches.

KMorales is decent against fastball/slider, but can't hit the curve or the changeup..

I'd say it passes the smell test for sure.. :-)

Chuck - Tuesday, March 06 2018 @ 04:33 PM EST (#354418) #
Over the last 2yrs: best fastball hitters:

What is the unit of measurement?

uglyone - Tuesday, March 06 2018 @ 05:26 PM EST (#354419) #
Linear Weights aka Run Value Expectancy per 100 pitches
jerjapan - Tuesday, March 06 2018 @ 05:43 PM EST (#354420) #
Do you guys subscribe to the 'spring training records don't matter whatsoever' school of thought?  3-8 is slightly worrisome, and the offense continues to look a bit punchless to me - although perhaps that's as simple as guys like Solarte and Hernandez having nearly 3 times as many ABs as JD.  Aside from a couple of rookie relievers and Stroman's health, the pitching has looked good to me, although I've only managed to catch a few innings of the games on TV. 
pubster - Tuesday, March 06 2018 @ 06:02 PM EST (#354421) #
Record obviously doesn't matter.

The team clearly isn't playing to win.

However, individual performance can matter. But its not really the performance. Its WHY the performance. If a pitcher is pitching well is it because they are pitching against AA hitters or because they are throwing harder or locating their pitches better.
scottt - Tuesday, March 06 2018 @ 09:08 PM EST (#354422) #
If Grichuk can just watch sliders and hope they're balls, he might do very well.
scottt - Tuesday, March 06 2018 @ 09:24 PM EST (#354423) #
The second half of spring training matters more. Also, the scores against division rivals are less representative because neither team wants to roll one of their starting pitcher.
John Northey - Tuesday, March 06 2018 @ 10:17 PM EST (#354424) #
I remember a study from years ago that showed teams that had some crazy jump in performance (like 300 points) in spring vs the year before full season record were going to see a real improvement but not a drastic one.

Too many variables in spring to take the record seriously. #1 thing is to keep everyone healthy, #2 is to see if they are working on something and it is or is not working (ie: pitchers using a new pitch, hitters trying to hit the other way, etc.) and #3 is to see what the kids do as you know they are doing everything they can to impress as this is their one shot to impress the manager of the major league team which can make a big difference in opportunities for call-ups.
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, March 07 2018 @ 01:56 AM EST (#354425) #
The view of most if not all Teams is that nothing good happens in Spring Training, but there is every chance of something bad happening.
scottt - Wednesday, March 07 2018 @ 07:39 AM EST (#354426) #
That's a good point. But, eventually, they'll want to win some of the last games, otherwise last year's terrible start will be in everybody's mind when things get real.
bpoz - Wednesday, March 07 2018 @ 09:08 AM EST (#354427) #
ST means nothing. This is a veteran team. Young vets and old. They know what to do to prepare.
bpoz - Wednesday, March 07 2018 @ 10:23 AM EST (#354428) #
I believe the Minor league camp starts practising today.
uglyone - Wednesday, March 07 2018 @ 10:59 AM EST (#354429) #
If you care about ST performance....

2B Travis 11ab, 2bb/1k, .657ops
3B Donaldson 6ab, 3bb/2k, .889ops
1B Smoak 15ab, 1bb/7k, .321ops
DH Pearce 10ab, 1bb/2k, 1.017ops
LF Granderson 12ab, 2bb/1k, 1.274ops
RF Grichuk 11ab, 1bb/3k, .962ops
C Martin 11ab, 2bb/4k, 1.035ops
SS Tulowitzki ---
CF Pillar 14ab, 1bb/0k, 1 319ops

UT Morales 15ab, 2bb/6k, .561ops
UT Solarte 17ab, 1bb/3k, .461ops
UT Diaz 15ab, 0b/1k, .400ops
C Maile 8ab, 1b/0k, .650ops

LF Pompey 10ab, 1bb/2k, .573ops
CF Alford 17ab, 0bb/5k, .925ops
RF Hernandez 16ab, 0bb/5k, .625ops
3B Leblebijan 19ab, 3bb/7k, .988ops
C Jansen 7ab, 1bb/1k, .375ops
1B Tellez 5ab, 0bb/2k, .400ops
DH Carrera 8ab, 0bb/2k, .250ops
SS Ngoepe 13ab, 5bb/7k, .774ops
2B Gurriel 15ab, 0bb/3k, .666ops

UT Smith 11ab, 1bb/4k, .705ops
OF Fields 11ab, 1bb/2k, .780ops
IF Lopes 12ab, 1bb/1k, .702ops
C McGuire 5ab, 1bb/0k, 1.771ops

IF Urena 12ab, 1bb/1k, .237ops
C Pentecost 12ab, 2bb/4k, .381ops

SP Stroman ----
SP Sanchez 4.0ip, 4k/0bb, 4.50era
SP Happ 3.0ip, 5k/0bb, 3.00era
SP Estrada 4.0ip, 4k/0bb, 0.00era
SP Garcia 1.0ip, 1k/0bb, 18.00era

SP Biagini 8.1ip, 10k/0bb, 4.32era
SP McGuire 4.0ip, 5k/1bb, 0.00era
SP Borucki 3.1ip, 1k/2bb, 13.50era
SP Pannone 3.0ip, 4k/0bb, 6.00era
SP Rowley 3.1ip, 2k/1bb, 10.80era

SP R-Foley 3.1ip, 1k/1bb, 10.80era
SP Harris 3.0ip, 3k/1bb, 0.00era

RP Osuna 2.0ip, 2k/0bb, 0.00era
RP Biagini 8.1ip, 10k/0bb, 4.32era
RP Tepera 3.0ip, 3k/1bb, 0.00era
RP Barnes 3.0ip, 4k/1bb, 9.00era
RP Loup 3.0ip, 4k/0bb, 0.00era
RP Mayza 4.0ip, 2k/0bb, 2.25era
RP Albuquerque 3.2ip, 6k/1bb, 2.45era

RP Ramirez 2.0ip, 1k/0bb, 13.50era
RP Guerreri 2.2ip, 0k/0bb, 0.00era
RP Axford 2.0ip, 0k/1bb, 0.00era
RP Dermody 3.0ip, 2k/1bb, 15.00era
RP Breslow 2.2ip, 4k/1bb, 10.12era
bpoz - Wednesday, March 07 2018 @ 11:24 AM EST (#354430) #
I am a little concerned that the C's have only totaled 31 ABs. Are the missing ABs walks and SFs and hit by pitch?
China fan - Wednesday, March 07 2018 @ 12:22 PM EST (#354431) #
I had a feeling that the Jays weren't finished with their bullpen shopping. Lots of good (or recently good) relievers are still out there. So they've just signed Tyler Clippard to a minor-league deal. Another potential option for the 6th or 7th slot in the bullpen. Certainly worth a look.
John Northey - Wednesday, March 07 2018 @ 12:56 PM EST (#354432) #
For fun I looked up a site that has old spring records from 1984 to 2006 -

Years Jays 600 win % or better : 2005, 2000, 1989, 1988, 1985
Years Jays 400 win % or worse : 2006, 1999, 1996 (290), 1994, 1993, 1991, 1990 (286)

So the worst year was inbetween two division titles and the Jays that year came darn close to winning as well, the next worst was in a no hope year. I don't see any real pattern.
grjas - Wednesday, March 07 2018 @ 01:10 PM EST (#354433) #
Given his reverse splits, I wonder if the Tyler Clippard signing reflects a concern with their lefty bullpen options. Certainly worth a flier though that fly ball/hr rate in the dome is a bit worrisome.
bpoz - Wednesday, March 07 2018 @ 01:21 PM EST (#354434) #
Thanks CF about T Clippard. I look forward to reading the Bauxite comments.

John N, I realized that a bad ST very/most often resulted in a good season. I don't know why.

Also somehow the previous years (real season) area of problem became the current years strength. I stressed about it in the off season and then was pleasantly surprised. Of course you provided evidence but I cannot.

BTW we did not have any bad teams from 1983 to 1993. The pen in 1983 and 1984 was a big weakness. Joey M and the others. Gillick traded away any reliever that was good for prospects. Dale Murray and Ken the brother of Billie Jean King. I forgot V Cruz.

IMO all of rotation, pen, offense and defense was bad last year due to injury. Injuries did not affect the pen but it would have been a lot better with Osuna and Grilli at their best.
rpriske - Wednesday, March 07 2018 @ 01:55 PM EST (#354435) #
Wilner thinks that Axford and Clippard will make the roster and Mayza and Alburqurque won't.
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, March 07 2018 @ 01:56 PM EST (#354436) #
Of everyone competing for a Bullpen position, the only certainty is a healthy Roberto Osuna is in the Bullpen. There are assumptions to be made for and about the others.
Ryan Tepera is about as good as it gets for what he can do. He should be in the Bullpen. Are the Jays concerned about his workload last year? That is possible.
Seung-Kwan Oh was signed to a Major League contract. Are the Jays concerned with the status of his work visa? Probably not, yet. He should be in the Bullpen.
The Jays still haven't found anyone better or as dependable as Aaron Loup as a lefty so he's in the Bullpen. And that makes four.

This is about small sample size for some mentioned or less than that for others. Danny Barnes, Tim Mayza, Matt Dermody, Carlos Ramirez, Taylor Guerrieri and others all basically have two things that anyone can say about them. They are quality Pitchers who can pitch in the Major Leagues. More importantly, they have at least one or more options left. As much as we the fan might want them in the Bullpen, the Jays should have other plans. That being said, it's still possible that one or more of these Pitchers might make the Roster/Bullpen. Too many games still remain to be played for decisions like that to be made.

Tyler Clippard has a better track record than most of the Pitchers competing open positions but that's about it. Like most of the other NRIs, they are effective Relievers except last year was not their best year. John Axford, Craig Breslow and Al Alburquerque are the other primary considerations for any opening. Any other Pitchers being considered are distant bells. With twenty more games to be played after today, it's still much too early to worry about much of anything. Of one things I'm sure of, the Jays are never done. It may take a while, but they keep working the phones.
bpoz - Wednesday, March 07 2018 @ 03:45 PM EST (#354437) #
Split squad games today. R Martin played 3B vs Pittsburg in Dunedin.
Marlow - Wednesday, March 07 2018 @ 04:15 PM EST (#354438) #
If Axford and Clippard make the roster, who do the Blue Jays drop off the 40 man?  My first guess would be Dwight Smith and Matt Dermody.  Too bad the Jays are stuck with Morales.
bpoz - Wednesday, March 07 2018 @ 04:26 PM EST (#354439) #
Agreed Marlow. 2 good candidates. Smith and Dermody are unlikely to become impact players. If Axford and Clippard fail they can be let go. We don't lose much for the present or future.
dan gordon - Wednesday, March 07 2018 @ 05:24 PM EST (#354440) #
Clippard is a nice signing. He should have little difficulty making the team. A righty who's very good against lefties. His numbers were hurt last year playing in some great hitters' parks. His road numbers were very good (31 IP with 38 K's and only 19 hits allowed, opponents' OPS of .630). I doubt they would want to drop 2 players from the 40 man, so I figure the 7th man is already on the roster. I wouldn't be in favour of dropping Dermody - he was excellent after being called up last year in late July (ERA 2.45, WHIP 1.05), although in only 22 innings, and he's not a guy with a great minor league track record. If they do keep 2 non-roster guys, I agree that Smith and Dermody are the most likely to be dropped, given Gibbons' glowing comments about Ngoepe.
grjas - Wednesday, March 07 2018 @ 06:26 PM EST (#354441) #
I hope one of the slots on the 40 man is freed up through trade- a 2 for 1 trade or a player who doesnít have to be protected
mendocino - Wednesday, March 07 2018 @ 07:10 PM EST (#354442) #
During broadcast Wilner mentioned talk of Tulo might go on 60 day DL to start season
Four Seamer - Wednesday, March 07 2018 @ 07:31 PM EST (#354443) #
Would Tulo be able to go back on the 60 day DL, since he ended last season on it, and be eligible for reinstatement at any time? Or would putting him on the 60 day DL keep him out of game action for the first 60 days of this season? Neat trick if the former, bad omen if the latter and Wilner is mooting the possibility publicly.
scottt - Wednesday, March 07 2018 @ 07:41 PM EST (#354444) #
Players are hitting the waiver line every day now.
Axford and Clippard would make sense if Tulo goes on the 60DL.

For what it's worth rosterResource has Axford and Clippard in the pen along with Carlos Ramirez and a 3 player bench.

Scott Downs coaching today. Now here's a guy Gibby could trust.

Cracka - Wednesday, March 07 2018 @ 08:28 PM EST (#354445) #
If Tulo goes on the 60 day DL, he cannot return until the 61st day of the regular season (~ May 29th). There is no advantage to placing him there today or due to the fact that ended the season on the 60 day DL.

I don't know his prognosis - but it's not a good sign if they're concedeing the first two months of his season.

dan gordon - Wednesday, March 07 2018 @ 08:47 PM EST (#354446) #
Given how Tulo played last year, I'm not too concerned if they DL him or not. They were talking about him on Prime Time today, and the opinion seemed to be that if he was a free agent right now, even if healthy, he'd be looking at a 1-year contract for maybe a few million, given how the free agent market has panned out. Basically saying he doesn't have much left. I was hoping he might rebound somewhat from last year, but I'm beginning to think even that's not going to happen. Do they get salary relief from insurance if he's done due to injury? Otherwise they might just have to eat $58 million.
greenfrog - Wednesday, March 07 2018 @ 09:07 PM EST (#354447) #
I would support the idea of getting Tulo fully healthy and having him available for the last 80-100 games of the season, rather than trying to extract a full season from him and have him limp his way through an unproductive season plagued by nagging injuries. It might also be better for Diaz to play everyday for a while.
John Northey - Wednesday, March 07 2018 @ 10:18 PM EST (#354451) #
Agreed greenfrog - #1 is getting Tulo to 100% and if that means missing all games until June or July then so be it. It'd be dumb to bring him back early just to get injured again or play poorly. This is why they signed all those depth players, so lets use them.
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