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Well, with this crazy offseason where free agents are now getting desperate the Jays just signed another reliever - RHP Tyler Clippard (a NRI). Wonder if the Jays will get a few more cheap bargains in the upcoming weeks.

Likely team, key future call-ups.

  • CA: Russell Martin / Luke Maile
  • 1B: Justin Smoak
  • 2B: Devon Travis
  • 3B: Josh Donaldson
  • SS: Aledmys Diaz (Troy Tulowitzki DL'ed)
  • LF: Curtis Granderson
  • CF: Kevin Pillar
  • RF: Randal Grichuk
  • DH: Kendrys Morales
  • IF: Yangervis Solarte
  • IF: Gift Ngoepe
  • OF: Steve Pearce
  • OF: Anthony Alford

  • SP: Marcus Stroman
  • SP: J.A. Happ (L)
  • SP: Marco Estrada
  • SP: Aaron Sanchez
  • SP: Jaime Garcia (L)
  • Cl: Roberto Osuna
  • RP: Ryan Tepera
  • RP: Seung hwan Oh
  • RP: Danny Barnes
  • RP: Tyler Clippard (NRI)
  • RP: John Axford (NRI)
  • RP: Carlos Ramirez
  • LP: Aaron Loup

    Likely Minor Leaguers
  • SP: Joe Biagini
  • SP: Ryan Borucki (L)
  • SP: Taylor Guerrieri
  • SP: Thomas Pannone (L)
  • RP: Deck McGuire (NRI)
  • RP: Jon Harris (NRI)
  • RP: Chris Rowley (NRI)
  • RP: Luis Santos (NRI)

Any issues? Additions, changes?
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JohnL - Wednesday, March 07 2018 @ 10:13 PM EST (#354448) #
A 27-man roster provides plenty of depth ;-)

Given Solarte can also cover OF if needed, I'd guess they'd want Alford playing every day in Buffalo.

On another topic, don't want to get in to the (probably) trivial incident today with Gibbons & Donaldson, but came across this tweet today from an old Blue Jay basher:

@MartyYork Rift brewing between Gibbons and Donaldson in Dunedin re: a boombox...this jays team is so dysfunctional...fighting over stereos...#whatsnext

(Someone RTd that; can't see York's tweets as he's protected them... probably for good reason.)
John Northey - Wednesday, March 07 2018 @ 10:13 PM EST (#354449) #
Note for ex-Jay watchers - Dustin McGowan just released by the Rays. He is going to be 36 before spring training is over (feeling old?). Wonder if he has enough gas left to be in the Jays pen? First round pick in 2000 as compensation for losing LH reliever Graeme Lloyd who the Jays got as part of the Roger Clemens trade. He probably is one of the last ties to the old Gord Ash era (brrr) out there.

That was one of the worst drafts ever by the Jays - just 5 players ever reached, 2 with positive WAR's who were the only 2 to get over 30 games in the majors. McGowan (1.8 WAR so far) and Vinnie Chulk (a half decent reliever who finished in 2012 with 1.4 WAR). Sigh, so much promise at one time for McGowan but he never got control of his pitches (over 3 BB/9 every year, just shy of 4 for his career) and had one good year as a starter in 2007 (2.4 WAR), a couple of 'meh' years here with positive but sub 1 WAR's, and a solid 2016 for the Marlins in the pen.

I hope someone signs him. Just like to see someone with (very loose) ties to the old Clemens days kicking around still.
John Northey - Wednesday, March 07 2018 @ 10:16 PM EST (#354450) #
Heh. Listed a few extras just to give space for extra IF and OF who will probably get time this year. Should've put them as minors like I did with the pitchers. AH well, could've would've should've.
JohnL - Wednesday, March 07 2018 @ 10:27 PM EST (#354452) #
Speaking of ex-Jays, Anthony Gose seems to be quite the "interesting" guy.
https://www.chron.com/sports/astros/article/Outfielder-turned-Astros-pitcher-Anthony-Gose-12724687.php

The story was originally written before his Astros pitching debut: 3 batters, 3 walks = 1 release on waivers.
GabrielSyme - Wednesday, March 07 2018 @ 11:35 PM EST (#354453) #
I suspect one of Mayza or Dermody will make the opening day roster (if not, they will be on the shuttle from Buffalo), along with one of the right-handed options. Ngoepe strikes me as the weak link on the 40-man roster, but the depth is at outfield, if they decide to roster one of the NRI options in the bullpen.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, March 08 2018 @ 01:01 AM EST (#354454) #
So Aledmys Diaz is to be the Jaysí starting Short Stop if and when Troy Tulowitzki can actually be put on the D.L. Any chance of this being a 60-Day D.L. Is remote to say the least, because Troyís recovery is still going slow but well. Gift Ngoepe is the ideal person to take Diazís position on the Bench. This letís Richard Urena and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. play full time keeping them ready if needed.

There are twenty-one games to play remaining in twenty days (two sets of split squad games). There are twenty-one days remain until the Season Starts. Usually a Teamís final decisions donít need to be made until 15-18 days from now. Thatís mainly because bad things can still happen which could change everything. Until then everything is tentative.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, March 08 2018 @ 02:01 AM EST (#354455) #
I wonder if the Jays are working the phones to try and clear space on the 40-Man. They could always be looking for an upgrade too.
bpoz - Thursday, March 08 2018 @ 08:04 AM EST (#354457) #
I had a lot of hope for Gose. Great speed and arm. But useless unless you can hit the ball and throw strikes.
Chuck - Thursday, March 08 2018 @ 08:43 AM EST (#354458) #
I had a lot of hope for Gose.

Baseball is a very difficult game, even if you come to the dance with physical talent.

Mike Green - Thursday, March 08 2018 @ 09:33 AM EST (#354461) #
Tip to anyone in Florida:  Guerrero Jr. is in the starting lineup for the game in Sarasota with Bichette on the bench.  Might be worth a look!
uglyone - Thursday, March 08 2018 @ 10:44 AM EST (#354468) #
Four Seamer - Thursday, March 08 2018 @ 10:57 AM EST (#354469) #
It would be something if one day Guerrieri took the hill with Guerrero, Gurriel and Guillotte behind him, and Girodo coming in for the save.
Mike Green - Thursday, March 08 2018 @ 11:22 AM EST (#354470) #
So that's what they meant when they said that 5G was coming to the RC.
uglyone - Thursday, March 08 2018 @ 01:24 PM EST (#354475) #
you know who's getting a lot of play this spring?

Leblebijian.
China fan - Thursday, March 08 2018 @ 01:38 PM EST (#354476) #
Guerrero hits a flare to right centre field for a single in his first AB. Here is a video clip of the historic moment:

https://twitter.com/thehazelmae/status/971816282596265984
mathesond - Thursday, March 08 2018 @ 01:40 PM EST (#354477) #
Bloop! There it is!
China fan - Thursday, March 08 2018 @ 02:09 PM EST (#354479) #
Better video of Guerrero's hit here:

https://twitter.com/Sportsnet/status/971823861439303687
uglyone - Thursday, March 08 2018 @ 03:03 PM EST (#354481) #
Alford really really really doesn't want to go back down to the minors.
Mike Green - Thursday, March 08 2018 @ 03:07 PM EST (#354483) #
Alford really really really doesn't want to go back down to the minors.

He is blocked by Kendrys Morales. 
/sarcasm
China fan - Thursday, March 08 2018 @ 03:42 PM EST (#354484) #
Guerrero has four hits tonight. That's a nice beginning to his Toronto career.
uglyone - Thursday, March 08 2018 @ 04:23 PM EST (#354485) #
would anyone really be upset to see us open the season with this?


4 hits for vladdy in his debut. 2 doubles and a triple for Alford as he keeps ripping it up.


CF Alford
RF Grichuk
LF Granderson
3B Donaldson
SS Tulowitzki
2B Travis
1B Smoak
DH Guerrero
C Martin

UT Solarte
OF Pillar
IF Diaz
C Jansen
Four Seamer - Thursday, March 08 2018 @ 04:40 PM EST (#354486) #
Since Tulo is apparently a prospect for the 60 day DL, I would be a bit upset to see him start at SS on Opening Day. The rest looks promising, however.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, March 08 2018 @ 04:48 PM EST (#354488) #
Sean Reid-Foley was not as his best once again. Has he been working on something new? Is he overdoing it (not succeeding) to prove he belongs in AAA or higher? Or has he reached a limit right now on how good he is? He failed in AA, so this year is his chance to prove he's the real thing again. Even with a good Season, is he a trade piece next Trade Deadline?
PeterG - Thursday, March 08 2018 @ 05:26 PM EST (#354489) #
Alford, Jansen and Guerrero will not begin the season in TO. Tulo will be on the DL. Morales will be the DH. Pillar will not be on the bench.
James W - Thursday, March 08 2018 @ 05:54 PM EST (#354492) #
Come on man... it wasn't at all a question of how likely it is (obviously it's not going to happen) - the question was, would you be upset by it?
bpoz - Thursday, March 08 2018 @ 06:15 PM EST (#354493) #
Baseball is strange. 19 year old Brett Saberhagen and Dwight Gooden dominating the league. I saw it happen.

So any line up that wins is ok by me. Be cautious or be bold .... just be right.
scottt - Thursday, March 08 2018 @ 08:17 PM EST (#354495) #
That could be a great lineup to start a playoff game.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, March 08 2018 @ 08:57 PM EST (#354496) #
Opening the Season if Marcus Stroman is ready, the Rotation is most likely:
Marcus Stroman, J.A. Happ, Marco Estrada, Aaron Sanchez and Jaime Garcia for as long as they are healthy. A word of caution, Marcus Stroman needs to be 100% ready to go or it starts overworking the Bullpen too soon.

Opening the Season if Marcus Stroman is not ready, the Rotation is most likely:
Marco Estrada, J.A. Happ, Aaron Sanchez, Jaime Garcia and Joe Biagini as long as they are healthy. When Marcus Stroman is 100% ready he will either replace Joe Biagini or pitch the next game. Joe Biagini would be going down after his Start, unless needed further.

Depending on which of the two, three of four game Series these two Rotations will face, they are of the most difficulty in adjusting to the Pitchers the Teams will face each game. Of course, John Gibbons/the Jays might have other ideas as to who pitches where.
GabrielSyme - Thursday, March 08 2018 @ 10:03 PM EST (#354498) #
I'd be pretty excited with that lineup on opening day - but I'd also be upset, because I think it would be a pretty criminal risk of harming Guerrero's development to skip him over AA and AAA right to the majors. That's setting up a kid for failure, and even if he succeeded, it would quite possibly kill his chance of being a 3B (that's a 2 WAR/year penalty). And it would mean we'd gain his age 19 season and lose two of his mid-twenty seasons.

I also disagree with starting the season with Jansen as an MLB backup, and with Alford being skipped through AAA with only 13 PA, but those are far less worrisome by comparison.

Thomas - Thursday, March 08 2018 @ 11:27 PM EST (#354499) #
Is there a more unexpected free agent contract (in terms of terms, not the team making the signing) in the last five years than Mike Moustakas?

I'm struggling to think of one. It was clear at this point that he would sign for a fair bit less than was expected at the beginning of the offseason, but.....I did not see this contract coming.
John Northey - Friday, March 09 2018 @ 01:52 AM EST (#354500) #
Thomas: That is a low deal for Moustakas - just $6.5 mil (no way both him and the team exercise the option). Basically no one would sign him and give up a draft pick. His choice to not take that QO was a very, very poor choice in the end and his agent is probably going to be fired over it for not reading the market. It cost him over $10 million (QO was $17.4 mil). Wonder if any free agents for next year are now debating signing early.
John Northey - Friday, March 09 2018 @ 01:54 AM EST (#354501) #
Yeah, while I'd love to see Vlad make the majors this year it won't be direct out of spring. AA doesn't run this team anymore so that won't happen again. These guys love flexibility and control so Vlad and Alford won't be seen until May & June respectively at the earliest in Toronto to ensure an extra year of team control.
Chuck - Friday, March 09 2018 @ 06:16 AM EST (#354503) #
I did not see this contract coming.

Lots of guys who pitch 60 innings will be making more than him this year. Hell of a year to be a free agent relief pitcher. Not so much to be a position player.

Thomas - Friday, March 09 2018 @ 06:42 AM EST (#354504) #
John, of course his decision not to take the Qualifying Offer was a poor one in the end, but can you blame him at the time? I mean, who out here thought Mike Moustakas would get less guaranteed money that Jarrod Dyson or only $1.5 million more than Granderson?

Moustakas is a plus defensive 3B who posted 4.4 WAR in 2015, 0.7 WAR in 2016 in 27 games and 1.8 WAR last year. He's 29, so he's still in the relative prime of his career.

Last year, in his final controllable year, he made $8.7 million and went out and hit .272/.314/.521 with 38 homers and strong defence at 3B.

Moustakas faced a bit of a logjam with so many contenders having answers at 3B, but I still never expected the market for him to collapse like this.

It's easy to sit here now and say that his agent misread the market, but who would have thought six months ago that a 29-year-old 3B with 6.9 WAR over the last three seasons (which was effectively two seasons and a month) would only get one guaranteed year at $6.5 million.
scottt - Friday, March 09 2018 @ 07:44 AM EST (#354506) #
Moose doesn't get on base, is a bad runner and his defense has not looked good lately.
I'm still curious to see what Cobb, Lynn and Arrieta get. Hopefully, no pick for the Rays.

I think the Jays will be able to make a QO to Happ, if he has another good year.


bpoz - Friday, March 09 2018 @ 08:06 AM EST (#354507) #
I listened to parts of the game, but missed all of Sanchez pitching. I was wondering about Pentecost's catching performance.
288 ABs in both 2016 and 2017. Good numbers, so he has earned a promotion to AA. He needs more ABs. I would give him that at C, 1B, OF and DH. Also get him to AAA if he can handle it.
Mike Green - Friday, March 09 2018 @ 09:07 AM EST (#354509) #
Whether Moustakas is still a plus defender may be in question.  He was -8 by DRS and -3 by UZR last year; these numbers are consistent with his uniform decline in Inside Edge numbers.  It is a small sample, but when combined with scouting opinions, may have resulted in a common view that his defence has slipped after the 2016 ACL tear.
Mike Green - Friday, March 09 2018 @ 10:09 AM EST (#354512) #
John Lott has a great series on catching over at the Athletic.  The most recent article is essentially an eavesdropped conversation between Russell Martin and Luke Maile on factors that lead borderline pitches being called strikes and catcher relations with umpires. 

I sure hope that Russell Martin is around here long after his playing days are over.  Smart man, with baseball common sense galore.  Bilingual, likes the Hip and jazz....

Mike Green - Friday, March 09 2018 @ 11:31 AM EST (#354513) #
Gibbons is testing out a batting order today.  Granderson leads off, followed by Travis, Donaldson, Smoak, Martin, Morales, Grichuk, Pillar and Diaz.  If you really are forced to put Morales' name into the lineup, the 6 spot is not a bad one for him.  You don't want Donaldson hitting 3rd- 2nd or 4th would be better.  I think that I would probably go Travis, Granderson, Grichuk, Donaldson, Smoak, Martin, Morales, Pillar, Diaz against RHP if someone made me put Morales' name in the lineup.   So far, it looks like Alford is the most ready of any of the outfield candidates.  If given a choice, I'd have him in LF on Opening Day and batting ninth, with Pillar and Solarte/Diaz moving up a spot. 
uglyone - Friday, March 09 2018 @ 11:50 AM EST (#354514) #
yeah, nice to see Morales getting shuffled down the lineup and not auto-picked into the cleanup spot, at least.

but I agree with you that Donaldson dropping out of the 2-hole is probably not optimal.
grjas - Friday, March 09 2018 @ 11:58 AM EST (#354515) #
It's easy to sit here now and say that his agent misread the market

Itís one more data point that Donaldson and his agent will have to struggle over. Sure thereís no comparison in talent level between him and Moustakas, but the market is getting very hard to predict. Donaldson will get his money but how much and how many years will be tough for any agent to predict for a player of his age in the current environment.
Richard S.S. - Friday, March 09 2018 @ 01:21 PM EST (#354518) #
The Jays might or might not be lacking in Offense this coming Season. The Jays' very best Batter/Offensive Force is Josh Donaldson. Ideally he needs to hit third to maximize the Jays' Offense. Justin Smoak hits fourth/Cleanup. Whichever Hitter of Russell Martin, Randal Grichuk or Troy Tulowitzki that's hitting best at the time hits fifth. Kendrys Morales will easily fit in sixth. The Jays should never let any of the Starters/Relievers get comfortable pitching to them.
jerjapan - Friday, March 09 2018 @ 02:23 PM EST (#354520) #
Ironic that given the increased recognition with FOs around the game that you likely shouldn't build a winner via FA, this is the year that you could build a decent team strictly via FAs.  So many great deals this offseason:

IF - 3B - Moose, 2B - Neil Walker (I assume he gets a Moose-type deal), SS - Cozart, 1B - Matt Adams, DH/Utility - Frazier, OF - Dyson, Cargo, Granderson, Austin Jackson, Lind, Rasmus, Saunders, C- Avila, Lucroy, SP - Smyly, Fister, Garcia, Lackey, Liriano, Minor, Santiago, Dickey
RP - Hector Rondo, Romo, Tony Watson, Oh, Abad, Alburquerque, Clippard, Benoit, Blanton, Axford

That's a super quick list, and I'm obviously ignoring player preference, but it's fun to consider.  while this team is winning zero world series, for $110-$115 million depending on NRI bonuses etc, that's pretty decent, with a ton of short term contracts that could be shed to add prospects.  It would be a good year to be an expansion team. 

uglyone - Friday, March 09 2018 @ 02:25 PM EST (#354521) #
if anyone is listening/watching, I'd love to hear if they mention any radar readings for Borucki.
uglyone - Friday, March 09 2018 @ 03:10 PM EST (#354522) #
Jeff Passan @JeffPassan
28s
There have been more 90s and 91s on scoutsí radar guns for Shohei Ohtaniís fastball today than 95s. He has allowed six runs in three innings to the Tijuana Toros.
jerjapan - Friday, March 09 2018 @ 03:32 PM EST (#354524) #
speaking of radar guns, just read that Axford was mid to high 90s.  Perhaps the favourite to make the team?  Is Clippard a candidate as a reverse-split lefty specialist?  They look like the faves to me right now, along with AA.  Certainly a fun competition - these bullpen vet NRIs are far more likely to add value than the likes of Salty and Latos last year. 

As for who gets dropped from the 40 man, I've read a few articles suggesting Guerrieri, which seems nuts to me.  I've gotta figure it's Smith Jr. first, and one of Dermody or Ngoepe second - both guys could contribute this year, but both guys are pretty replaceable as well, regardless of how much Gibby might sing their praises.  Guerrieri's upside is just so much higher.  Maile is actually my second pick to drop, but the org clearly wants to give the catching prospects some more time playing everyday.  I'd also cut one of Morales or Pearce before Guerrieri. 

Richard S.S. - Friday, March 09 2018 @ 03:53 PM EST (#354525) #
This site:
https://www.sportsnet.ca/590/jeff-blair-show/spring-training-check-ross-atkins/
has Ross Atkins saying they are probably taking two or three of Axford, Clippard, Breslow and Alburquerque for the Bullpen. That I find most interesting as apparently Osuna, Tepera and Oh might be the only sure spots with everyone else having to earn their way onto the Team.
PeterG - Friday, March 09 2018 @ 04:08 PM EST (#354527) #
No chance Guerrieri is dropped. With Tulo injured, no chance Ngoepe goes either nor Dermody. One spot can be opened by placing Tulo on 60 day DL. Another injury or trade of Pearce (hopefully) could open another. If someone needs to be DFA it will almost certainly be Smith.As a first outright, he would remain in org if not claimed.

I am not at all sure that either Axford or Alburquerque will be kept. They are on minor league deals and can be passed to Buffalo without consequences. Clippard will start the season in TO.
uglyone - Friday, March 09 2018 @ 04:15 PM EST (#354528) #
I like Albuquerque's chances.

I'm more skeptical of Axford and Clippard. And especailly skeptical of Breslow.

I'm also not sure there's much risk in waiving Dermody or Mayza. They probably clear.
PeterG - Friday, March 09 2018 @ 04:49 PM EST (#354529) #
Breslow won't make it.

Don't see why anyone is skeptical of Clippard...has a waaaay better track record than Alburquerque.

I don't think there is any chance Mayza or Dermody would clear waivers as teams are seeking lefty relievers and both of these will pitch in the majors, probably with Jays at some point this year and beyond.
Richard S.S. - Friday, March 09 2018 @ 04:55 PM EST (#354530) #
Tyler Clippard has figured out what he was doing wrong and spoke of it.
https://www.sportsnet.ca/baseball/mlb/tyler-clippard-blue-jays-hoping-adjustments-can-revitalize-career/
He and the Jays have been talking most of the Offseason about this. He has great reverse splits and is decent verses the others. If he's back he's really good.

John Axford has figured out what his problem was and contacted the Jays about playing and they agreed.
https://www.sportsnet.ca/baseball/mlb/john-axford-happy-blue-jays-taking-break-baseball/
He showing better stuff now than he's had in a long time. He's consistently doing well using his new found/re-found stuff.

Both pitchers are the best choices of all the NRI Relievers and most likely to make the Team. Yet Al Alburquerque is still pitching very well. As for options,Seung-Kwan Oh still hasn't received his Visa and might not be ready to go North when the time comes. Danny Barnes still has at least one option remaining and might be sent down to add more depth.

At the time 25-Man Roster/40-Man Roster moves need to be made, every Team is also making similar moves. A Gentleman's agreement exists here. Punitive measures for waiver claims can cause major problems (Like have a claim be put on every single move that it can be, then void the claim - repeat). Trades can still be inquired about/made.
uglyone - Friday, March 09 2018 @ 05:17 PM EST (#354531) #
I dunno, Clippard's extreme flyball profile kinda caught up with him last year and I don't know if the Dome will help him out in that department at all.

Albuquerque's been more injury plagued but his career rate stats are actually pretty comparable to Clippard's, and he seems to be trending better recently....and still has legit velo.

But sure, Clippard could easily be better.

As for Mayza/Dermody...sure teams are looking for lefties, but they're looking for good ones. I'm not sure Mayza/Dermody stand out from a host of other lefties that'll hit the wire this year....they're not young, they don't have great stuff, and their stats are middling to poor.
dan gordon - Friday, March 09 2018 @ 05:52 PM EST (#354532) #
I think Clippard is a virtual lock to make the team. That's an interesting article where he says he was tipping his pitches last year, and also had suboptimal pitch selection, both of which are fixable.

Axford had a great year in 2011, with lots of K's, far fewer hits allowed than IP, and a moderately high, but not unreasonable number of walks. In 2012 the K's were still there, but the hits per inning started to increase, and his walk rate soared. That was the last year he struck out well over a batter an inning, and from 2013 on, walks have been a significant problem, and he also has been giving up too many hits. I doubt he can be an effective big league pitcher. The article about him refers to him doing too much weight lifting last year, but that has nothing to do with his struggles since his excellent 2011 season.

I like Alburquerque a lot more than Axford. He has put up some good seasons recently, is younger, and does a better job of limiting hits. He walked way too many in 2013, and in 2015 he gave up more hits/inning than typical, but if his control looks OK, I'd be in favour of keeping him around, along with Clippard, if they're going to keep 2 of the non-roster guys.

I'm just concerned that they're going to lose a guy who's better than one of the non-roster guys they sign. Dropping Smith would be fine, but after that, it gets tough, unless you 60 day DL Tulo. I suppose Dermody is droppable if you don't believe his excellent performance after his July call up last year is repeatable. I'd drop Ngoepe, but it seems the organization likes him as a roster replacement for Tulo.
scottt - Friday, March 09 2018 @ 06:00 PM EST (#354533) #
There's no point in Dermody/Mayza clearing waivers if the team need them to pitch a few innings down the road. Loup will be gone next year. It would makes sense to rotate them.

jerjapan - Friday, March 09 2018 @ 06:03 PM EST (#354534) #
Mayza has a legit arm.  Dermody has, uhh, options remaining?  Dude is 27, turning 28 in July, drafted in the 28th round, career minor league reliever with a WHIP of 1.38 and fewer Ks than IPs.  2 pitches, average FB.  What do people like about this guy?  He wasn't even good in Buffalo last year. 
uglyone - Friday, March 09 2018 @ 06:22 PM EST (#354535) #
Dan, imo even dermody's 2nd half callup wasn't actually very good, despite the nice looking ERA.

I do hold out more hope for mayza but imo he's a 1 pitch pitcher at the moment (slider) and he's barely pitched above AA at 26.
SK in NJ - Friday, March 09 2018 @ 10:52 PM EST (#354539) #
I think Clippard is a lock as well. As far as the last pen spot, I am not very optimistic about Axford or Breslow. I am at least intrigued by Alburquerque, but it will depend on how he performs.

Guerrieri as a RP is interesting as well. He has options so they will likely take advantage of that, but given his health issues, the pen might be his best role, especially if he sees an uptick in velocity.
dan gordon - Friday, March 09 2018 @ 11:57 PM EST (#354540) #
Well, Dermody held opponents to a line of .232/.281/.378/.659 during his 2nd half call up. He doesn't strike out a ton, but his K/BB ratio was almost 4 to 1. With the great ERA and WHIP, it certainly qualifies as good in my books. The issue is the small sample size, and that he can't get righties out very well at all, so he's strictly a LOOGY. But if he can get results like he did from July on, he certainly can be a valuable guy in that specific role.
China fan - Saturday, March 10 2018 @ 10:07 AM EST (#354541) #
Judging by past history, the Jays might open the season with 8 relievers, while optioning Ngoepe to Buffalo to make room for the extra reliever. (The back-up SS would be Solarte, who can handle the position for a few innings if Diaz is injured.) The Jays have done this in the past. A temporary 8-man pen, for a week or two, would allow the Jays to keep all three of Clippard, Axford and Albuerquerque (or perhaps Luis Santos), if the Front Office wants to keep all of them. Technically any of those three non-roster players could be sent to Buffalo, but they might have opt-out clauses and the Jays might lose them if they don't make the opening-day roster. An 8-man bullpen would buy some time while the Front Office decides which of their veteran non-roster relievers are the best to keep. It would also be useful if some of the starters aren't fully stretched-out by the end of spring training, especially if Stroman is on the opening-day roster, which still seems possible.

Of course it would greatly complicate the 40-man roster if they try to keep three of the non-roster relievers, so it doesn't seem likely, but I just mention it as a possible scenario. A variation would be: keeping two of the non-roster relievers, plus a 40-man reliever such as Mayza or Dermody or Ramirez, who could be easily optioned within a week or two.
bpoz - Saturday, March 10 2018 @ 11:57 AM EST (#354543) #
I think regarding Clippard/Dermody etc ... we are talking about the 23rd - 29th spot on the 25 man roster. 26-29 is depth of some kind on the bench and in the pen.

Players that the FO probably considers as having value as non bench and non pen players, like T Hernandez and R Borucki need to play a lot. IMO Hernandez would only be up as a regular or a platoon player that will get a lot of ABs. Borucki will only be in the pen as a much used lefty reliever.

I look at St Louis as a team that believes in itself and has relatively recent success. They proved it by trading a lot of ML players that they considered surplus. 2 to us and Piscotty to the A's. The also added talent. Ozuna and D Leone.
My point is that I believe that they are relatively set. The 2 lefties in the pen are experienced Tyler Lyons and B Cecil. Neither is a bounce back hopeful. They also have NRIs who might make the bench or pen as little used parts. IMO they seem very likely to DFA a prospect to strengthen their playoff hopes. We will know when the season starts.

Our 23-29 players that are prospects or borderline players like Dermody/Mayza/Smith will be missed by me if they are DFA'd and lost only because I see them with a touch of fondness.



ComebyDeanChance - Saturday, March 10 2018 @ 12:13 PM EST (#354544) #
Guerrieri as a RP is interesting as well. He has options so they will likely take advantage of that, but given his health issues, the pen might be his best role, especially if he sees an uptick in velocity.

Part of the difficulty with pen pickups is they're almost always, or should frequently be at least, flyers. And the nature of flyers, guys like Clippard, Guerrieri, Albuquerque etc, is you don't really know what you're going to get until you've had it. I read this morning that Holland apparently turned down 3/51 from the Rockies. He should maybe call up Moustakas, who allegedly turned down 3/45 from the Angels en route to his 6.5 back in KC. Now it looks like Wade Davis made off like a bandit getting the money that Holland nixed. I've gotta wonder at two closers turning down 17.4 million QO's in the first place. Mariano never made that much.
greenfrog - Saturday, March 10 2018 @ 12:59 PM EST (#354546) #
"Mariano never made that much."

Actually, he did. The real (inflation-adjusted) value of the $15m salary Rivera earned in each of 2008 and 2009 is greater than the $17.4m QO for 2018.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, March 10 2018 @ 01:00 PM EST (#354547) #
The Toronto Blue Jays have a list of Players that they are interested in, IF/WHEN they become available. It is constantly revised to keep the list as current as possible. I think that's why they do some of the things they do.

Taylor Guerrieri is a young talented Pitcher who has trouble staying healthy. He's been successful, possibly even very successful everywhere he's pitched. With just 9.1 IP in 2017, it's too small a sample to fairly judge his abilities in pitching at a higher level. That being said, he could very well be up sometime in 2018 because the Jays need to see if he's a solution going forward or just another question. It's possible he was on the Jays' list, because he was their only waiver claim. I don't think he's an option for the Bullpen at this time.
uglyone - Saturday, March 10 2018 @ 01:30 PM EST (#354548) #
Fiers with no command loads the bases.....so Teoscar takes his first pitch get me over meatball deep to center for the grand salami.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, March 10 2018 @ 01:39 PM EST (#354549) #
Anyone know why Donaldson was replaced?
China fan - Saturday, March 10 2018 @ 01:51 PM EST (#354550) #
I didn't see it, but some of the writers say Donaldson looked in some discomfort when he left the field. He looked a little awkward on a throw from 3B in the first inning.

Donaldson has already been suffering a "sore shoulder" that has reduced his playing time at 3B this spring. Really gotta hope this doesn't become a recurring issue. Donaldson and Stroman are probably the two most crucial players on the team, and both have been having health issues this spring.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, March 10 2018 @ 02:00 PM EST (#354551) #
Thank You.
uglyone - Saturday, March 10 2018 @ 02:07 PM EST (#354552) #
Gibby says josh was dehydrated which i interpret as cramping.
China fan - Saturday, March 10 2018 @ 02:09 PM EST (#354553) #
Yep, Gibbons just said Donaldson was cramping from dehydration. If that's all it is, that's good news.
bpoz - Saturday, March 10 2018 @ 02:23 PM EST (#354554) #
Regarding Mayza: I read that he has a 97 mph FB. Jer thinks that he has a good arm. 97 FB. He has a slider according to UO. That is a common reliever combo.
As a lefty he can dominate. He has to improve his command IMO. In his call up great K and BB numbers but 24 H and 3 Hr in 17 IP. Therefore a work in progress.
uglyone - Saturday, March 10 2018 @ 02:24 PM EST (#354555) #
Axford looks......good.
China fan - Saturday, March 10 2018 @ 02:26 PM EST (#354556) #
John Axford just struck out the side with 96 mph fastballs and a couple of curveballs. He is looking great. If he keeps this up, he's gotta be in the Jays bullpen on opening day.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, March 10 2018 @ 02:35 PM EST (#354557) #
Doubts about John Axford are there? Apparently the changes he made are far-reaching and effective. Still not time to make decisions, but no reason not to put him on the Team.
Mike Green - Saturday, March 10 2018 @ 03:35 PM EST (#354558) #
The paper edition of today's Globe and Mail had an article on the Dodgers' philosophy for starting pitchers- they would prefer 150 dominant innings in a season to 200 serviceable ones.  They, of course, have Kershaw who will give them 180-220 dominant ones. 

The consequence, of course, is that it will be harder for most of the Dodger starting pitchers to amass wins.  It seems that Friedman/Zaidi have made clear that this is not important to them.

scottt - Saturday, March 10 2018 @ 04:42 PM EST (#354559) #
Rangers and Angels going with 6 man rotations, Rays with 4.


Richard S.S. - Saturday, March 10 2018 @ 04:50 PM EST (#354562) #
Twins signing Lance Lynn!
scottt - Saturday, March 10 2018 @ 07:26 PM EST (#354564) #
12M? Players will start taking those QOs!
Richard S.S. - Saturday, March 10 2018 @ 07:28 PM EST (#354565) #
Bo Bichette
https://www.milb.com/milb/news/toronto-blue-jays-bo-bichette-aiming-for-more-in-2018/c-268363058
The Money Quote
"...The 20-year-old got some time at second base in Lansing because of initial concerns about his range at shortstop. But Kim said Bichette worked with infield coordinator Danny Solano in the offseason explicitly to iron out those issues, and this spring, the organization isn't even thinking about another position for Bichette..."
John Northey - Saturday, March 10 2018 @ 08:16 PM EST (#354567) #
I love seeing some variation in staffs. It was fun in the 80's when there was debate between 4 and 5 man and now we will see one with 4, many with 5 and 2 with 6. I love it. The more variation in style the better and the more fun for fans.
ISLAND BOY - Saturday, March 10 2018 @ 10:00 PM EST (#354568) #
Pitching every sixth game with a few off days thrown in seems like a long time between games. i don't think I'd like a six man staff if I was a pitcher.
BlueMonday - Saturday, March 10 2018 @ 11:04 PM EST (#354569) #
"Gibby says josh was dehydrated which i interpret as cramping."

I'm concerned it's a more significant /chronic injury to his shoulder. How does JD get dehydrated shortly into a 1pm game on a cloudy day in Dunedin?
ComebyDeanChance - Saturday, March 10 2018 @ 11:10 PM EST (#354570) #
I'm concerned it's a more significant /chronic injury to his shoulder. How does JD get dehydrated shortly into a 1pm game on a cloudy day in Dunedin?

Could it have something to do with the night before? Just asking for a friend.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, March 10 2018 @ 11:23 PM EST (#354571) #
Evaluate each Starter you have.
How well do they do the first time they go through the lineup? Replace everyone who cannot be successful here consistently, or move them into the bullpen. They should never be a Starter if they can't handle this few hitters.
How well do they do the second time they go through the lineup? Replace everyone who cannot be successful here consistently, or move them into the bullpen. Anything less than five innings means you'll be continually pulling him before the end of the fifth. There is no future here and there is no value in keeping Starters this bad.
Gerry - Sunday, March 11 2018 @ 11:32 AM EDT (#354576) #
Jays have released Zeke Carrera. By releasing him today they only have to pay him 1/6th of his salary. The Jays have no room for him either with the parent or in AAA.

Given the current climate will he find another major league job?
uglyone - Sunday, March 11 2018 @ 12:02 PM EDT (#354578) #
Some fascinating/disturbing sunday reading...

http://www.espn.com/espn/feature/story/_/id/22624561/ichiro-suzuki-return-seattle-mariners-resolve-internal-battle?sf183894966=1
Gerry - Sunday, March 11 2018 @ 12:25 PM EDT (#354580) #
Pompey pulled from todays starting lineup.
Gerry - Sunday, March 11 2018 @ 01:38 PM EDT (#354585) #
Biagini's getting roughed up today. His command is poor, plenty of full counts.
China fan - Sunday, March 11 2018 @ 01:42 PM EDT (#354586) #
Biagini is really struggling in the 2nd inning today, and he only has himself to blame. He couldn't find the plate, and went to 3-2 counts to the first three hitters in the inning. Now he has allowed a triple and then back-to-back HRs and has been yanked from the game.

I'm really hoping Stroman will be ready for the start of the season.
greenfrog - Sunday, March 11 2018 @ 01:46 PM EDT (#354587) #
I kind of wish weíd found 1/12 for Lynn as a bargain #4. I know...no money and no real room in the rotation. But Iím not sold on Biagini as a starter and at least one of the current rotation members is going to get hurt or become ineffective. I always like to have a little extra quality rotation depth ó just my personal bias.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, March 11 2018 @ 01:47 PM EDT (#354588) #
Today's a reason why People see Joe Biagini as a Reliever and not as a Starter - runner on third and two are out, just one run has come in - incapable of getting that last out.
Gerry - Sunday, March 11 2018 @ 02:39 PM EDT (#354593) #
Pompey day to day with a sore wrist.
PeterG - Sunday, March 11 2018 @ 03:35 PM EDT (#354595) #
The first 3 outings previous to today are reasons why the Jays see Biagini as a starter and not a reliever. If a pitcher gives you 3 good starts out of 4 on a consistent basis, you are laughing. That said, I think he needs (and will get) a little more seasoning to work on said consistency.
uglyone - Sunday, March 11 2018 @ 03:42 PM EDT (#354596) #
well, Joe certainly isn't assuaging my concerns about him in the rotation so far.

hopefully they stretch out guerreri as well.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, March 11 2018 @ 05:00 PM EDT (#354600) #
Joe Biagini pitched four times.
23 Feb: 2.0 IP, 1 Hit, 2 K.
28 Feb: 3.0 IP, 2 Hits, 1 R/ER, 3K, 1 HR.
06 Mar: 3.1 IP, 4 Hits, 3 R/ER, 5K, 1 HR.
11 Mar: 1.2 IP, 4 Hits, 5 R/ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 2 HR.
Result:
2-2, 10.125 ERA, 4 GS, 8.0 IP, 11 Hits, 9 R/ER, 4 HR, 2 BB, 12 K.
The Strikeouts say Reliever, the other stats say not a Starter. He has just three more Starts/Appearances to show he's better. Until then, I'll hold my judgement.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, March 11 2018 @ 05:03 PM EDT (#354601) #
Phillies sign Jake Arrieta.
China fan - Sunday, March 11 2018 @ 05:27 PM EDT (#354602) #
I remember being quite surprised when the Jays decided to expose Luis Santos to the Rule 5 draft in the off-season, after he pitched so well last September. The Jays got lucky: nobody picked him. So far this spring, he hasn't allowed a hit in 6 innings. He has 6 strikeouts and only one walk. And he can pitch multiple innings, a valuable asset for a reliever. He'll be in a Jays uniform at some point this season -- maybe even on opening day. The Jays, too, have been extolling his virtues, and there is speculation among the Jays beat reporters that he could make the team as part of an 8-man bullpen on opening day.
PeterG - Sunday, March 11 2018 @ 05:29 PM EDT (#354603) #
It looks like the Jays are leaning to beginning the season with 8 man pen, not by design, but because there are too many relievers they wish to keep, at least for now.
uglyone - Sunday, March 11 2018 @ 05:33 PM EDT (#354604) #
Battle for the #6SP spot.


McGuire: 4gms, 6.0ip, 7k/1bb, 0.67whip, 0.00era
Guerreri: 4gms, 4.2ip, 3k/1bb, 0.43whip, 0.00era
Santos: 6gms, 6.0ip, 6k/1bb, 0.17whip, 0.00era
Biagini: 4gms, 10.0ip, 12k/2bb, 1.30era, 8.10era

Harris: 3gms, 4.0ip, 4k/0bb, 1.25era, 4.50era
Pannone: 3gms, 6.0ip, 4k/0bb, 1.00whip, 7.50era
Borucki: 3gms, 5.1ip, 2k/0bb, 1.50whip, 10.13era
R-Foley: 4gms, 5 0ip, 2k/0bb, 2.40whip, 10.80era
Rowley: 4gms, 4.0ip, 3k/0bb, 3.00whip, 13.50era
Richard S.S. - Sunday, March 11 2018 @ 05:36 PM EDT (#354605) #
Teams are very reluctant to take on almost 27 year-old Pitcher in the Rule 5, especially when his career minor league numbers are poor.
scottt - Sunday, March 11 2018 @ 06:10 PM EDT (#354607) #
I don't quite understand why a team that finished under 66/96 would sign 2 free agents with compensation and lose 2 draft picks and a million in international bonus. Big market with pressure to win now, I suppose.
Otherwise, it's not a bad deal.

scottt - Sunday, March 11 2018 @ 06:34 PM EDT (#354609) #
McGuire and Santos shouldn't be an option to start the season as they are not on the 40.
They likely roll the dice with Biagini and keep an extra reliever around if needed.
Maybe try to match him against Baltimore.

Dewey - Sunday, March 11 2018 @ 07:28 PM EDT (#354611) #
Thanks for the link to the ESPN Ichiro article, ugly.  Itís riveting;
and, as you say, both fascinating and disturbing.  Itís instructive as
well.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, March 11 2018 @ 09:35 PM EDT (#354618) #
Why do the Phillies do what they do? To be credible again? I don't know. The four people they signed this Offseason are their four highest earners! Nobody's making anything over there, mostly pre-arb and early arb guys. The Blogs think they're going after one of the big fish next year so they are a destination now.
uglyone - Monday, March 12 2018 @ 11:51 AM EDT (#354624) #
Ben Nicholson-Smith @bnicholsonsmith 3m
Marcus Stroman expected to throw another side session this week per #BlueJays PR. Would then pitch Saturday, either in a game or sim game/live BP


if he's starting next weekend, then he should be able to open the season on the roster, though he may be the 5th starter the first time through the rotation.
Richard S.S. - Monday, March 12 2018 @ 01:50 PM EDT (#354625) #
Or maybe not.
https://www.sportsnet.ca/baseball/mlb/blue-jays-confirm-marcus-stroman-wont-ready-opening-day/
As long as his regular progression has him ready without missing more than one Start, the Jays should be fine.
Richard S.S. - Monday, March 12 2018 @ 02:18 PM EDT (#354626) #
Did the Jays miss the boat of signing LHPs to NRIs or was Craig Breslow the only one who would? That's putting a lot of pressure on Mayza and Dermody to succeed.
scottt - Monday, March 12 2018 @ 02:58 PM EDT (#354627) #
There' s Loup for the complete innings and there aren't that many big left bats in the division.
Next year, when Loup is gone, they have to do better.
Unless one of Mayza or Dermody steps up this year. Which mean they need the opportunity.

scottt - Monday, March 12 2018 @ 03:10 PM EDT (#354628) #
Yankees signed Neil Walker for 1/5.
We won't wait long to see how that works out for them.

Richard S.S. - Monday, March 12 2018 @ 07:20 PM EDT (#354629) #
If Stroman is getting miffed or worse at not being the Opening Day Starter, he should hold himself responsible. In his own words he said he was unable to get loose/ready since early January because of his shoulder.
Richard S.S. - Monday, March 12 2018 @ 09:08 PM EDT (#354630) #
The Rotation should be:
Marcus Stroman, J.A. Happ, Marco Estrada, Aaron Sanchez and Jaime Garcia.
This will make switching between Starters the hardest for the Jays opposition.
Without Stroman (who tentatively might miss a Start):
J.A. Happ, Marco Estrada, Aaron Sanchez, Jaime Garcia and Joe Biagini.
When Marcus Stroman is 100% ready, he can replace Joe Biagini in the Rotation. In which case Joe goes to Buffalo to keep Starting. The other alternative is Marcus follows Joe in the Rotation. In which case Joe goes to Buffalo to keep Starting.
cybercavalier - Tuesday, March 13 2018 @ 11:22 PM EDT (#354673) #
Interesting (?) names from mlb.com transaction page:
Brandon Moss
C Brett Nichloas, DFA'ed by Texas (backup catching?)
Anibal Sanchez (starting pitching depth in Buffalo)
Thomas - Wednesday, March 14 2018 @ 10:50 AM EDT (#354676) #
Brett Nicholas has already resigned with Texas. And the Jays already have one DH in Kendrys Morales. There's no room for a second DH, nor do I think it makes much sense to use him for at-bats in Buffalo given the need to get Pompey, Alford and Hernandez playing time, which may involve giving each of them occasional days of no fielding.
cybercavalier - Wednesday, March 14 2018 @ 10:40 PM EDT (#354686) #
Could Steve Pearce or Brandon Moss play RF?
The Yankees recently release Adam Lind and Danny Espinosa. A team could pick Lind up later. Does Espinosa function similarly to Solarte for the Jays? 15-20 HRs potential, middle infielder, age 30 -- young enough to comeback.

ISLAND BOY - Thursday, March 15 2018 @ 06:49 AM EDT (#354687) #
For all the free agent season was slow, only Alex Cobb and Greg Holland remain as top pitchers, and even Holland is suspect as he had a ERA over 6 in the second half of 2017.

Franklin Barreto is hitting .333 this spring. Will he ever make the Donaldson trade look less one-sided ?
Mike Green - Thursday, March 15 2018 @ 09:05 AM EDT (#354688) #
Danny Espinosa, if healthy, can play shortstop competently and hit more than Gift Ngoepe, but he had a bad spring at the plate this year after a bad half-year last year.  It appears that he has not yet fully recovered from his various injuries.  You could certainly sign him and stow him in Buffalo to see if he gets it back.
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