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Play Ball!

The Yankees are in town for a four game set on this wet foggy day. My first prediction is that the roof will be closed!

The schedule looks like this:

Thursday: Luis Severino vs. JA Happ
Friday: Masahiro Tanaka vs. Aaron Sanchez
Saturday: CC Sabbathia vs. Marco Estrada
Sunday: Sonny Gray vs. Marcus Stroman

The roster has been sorted. Tulo is on the 60 day DL, Sam Mull is DFA'd. Teoscar Hernandez, Joe Biagini and Tim Mayza are the final spring cuts. Anthony Alford and Dalton Pompey start on the 10 day DL.

So, on opening day what are your expectations for this years Blue Jays? Will they break .500? Will they make the playoffs through the wild card game? Or even better, directly? Every team has an equal opportunity on opening day, optimism abounds! Travis is healthy, as is Sanchez, the sky is the limit. We won't think too much about Tulo, or Diaz's defense, or that Donaldson has been nursing ailments throughout spring training. Those topics are for other days, today we need a win to start on the right foot.

This is a season of expected super teams with a very strong consensus around most of the teams who will make the playoffs. In the AL the Red Sox, Yankees, Astros and Indians are expected to be there with one spot up for grabs. In the NL the Nationals, Cubs, and Dodgers are expected to win their divisions. A lot of teams are tanking, or re-building, or just building. What impact will that have on the season? Will the super teams run away and the season become a snooze fest? There are so many questions but six months to answer them.

Post your predictions below. How many games will the Jays win?

Opening Day and Predictions | 188 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Gerry - Thursday, March 29 2018 @ 12:07 PM EDT (#355120) #
I have to admit I am not that optimistic about the 2018 Blue Jays. You have several players on the wrong side of 30. You have uncertain defense up the middle of the infield with several ground ball pitchers. The Jays are counting on health for 2018, and that is a risky bet.

Its not all doom and gloom but I expect a close to 500 level performance with some July trades that will take the team down to a 78-84 finish.
Mike Green - Thursday, March 29 2018 @ 12:07 PM EDT (#355121) #
77 wins.  The club ends up selling at the deadline.  It is of course possible that Donaldson, Travis, Stroman and Sanchez carry the club for the first half and they end up adding rather than subtracting- the odds though are that the injury bug nabs at least one of them.  I said that they needed to get 140 games/30 starts out of 4 of their 5 key players, and one is already down. 
Mike Green - Thursday, March 29 2018 @ 12:09 PM EDT (#355122) #
Gerry and I did not collaborate on our comments!
Chuck - Thursday, March 29 2018 @ 12:13 PM EDT (#355124) #
Agree with the last two dudes. This is a 500ish team. A lot of things have to break right for a wild card or better.
uglyone - Thursday, March 29 2018 @ 12:19 PM EDT (#355125) #
Opening Day Lineups, with 2yr Stats - wRC+ for hitting, fangraphs' DF rating prorated to 650pa.

LH Happ 77era-, 89fip-, 95xfip- - RH Severino 94era-, 79fip-, 75xfip-

2B Travis 103wrc+, +5.3d650 --- LF Gardner 103wrc+, -0.8d650
3B Josh 153wrc+, +2.3d650 ---- RF Judge 159wrc+, -2.1d650
1B Smoak 118wrc+, -11.7d650 - DH Stanton 140wrc+, XXXXXX
LF Grandy 110wrc+, -5.5d650 - C Sanchez 142wrc+, +11.6d650
DH Morales 104wrc+, XXXXX --- CF Hicks 95wrc+, +7.1d650
RF Grichuk 98wrc+, +2.2d650 -- SS Didi 102wrc+, +8.4d650
C Martin 100wrc+, +7.0d650 ---- 3B Drury 97wrc+, -11.2d650
CF Pillar 83wrc+, +17.1d650 ---- 2B Walker 118wrc+, +7.4d650
SS Diaz 111wrc+, -1.3d650 ----- 1B Austin 94wrc+, -21.0d650
85bluejay - Thursday, March 29 2018 @ 12:27 PM EDT (#355127) #
The starting rotation, improvement in the outfield and quality AAA depth are reasons for optimism - the subpar infield defense with GB pitchers, too many old players,lack of confidence in Gibbons ability to adapt and playing in a tough division with no teams to beat up on are reasons for concern - I see an 81 win team, if the breaks go their way (good health,some breakout performances) maybe 86-87 wins and 2nd WC consideration - if the breaks go against them, coupled with a July selloff & playing the youngsters, then maybe 73 wins.
I'm really looking forward to seeing some of the AAA prospects winning roster spots in the 2nd half - also the Tulo's soap opera should be interesting.
uglyone - Thursday, March 29 2018 @ 12:30 PM EDT (#355128) #
I think we may still be underestimating how many things had to go disastrously wrong for us last year to finish as low as they did.

We basically got replacement level contributions from 6 of our 9 position slots. 6 slots - DH, C, 2B, SS, LF, RF - all finished with total contributions between -0.5 to +0.5war, and summed together equalled +0.1war.

That's hilarious, really. 2/3 of the lineup was replacement level. And only one position came in above expectations - 1B. the other 2 slots - 3B and CF - were good but below expectations as well.

And arguably our best pitcher missed the entire year.

I'd be surprised if we aren't substantially better than last year. In the 85 win range. Better than that if things break more right than wrong.
SK in NJ - Thursday, March 29 2018 @ 12:37 PM EDT (#355131) #
Anywhere from 75 to 87 wins would not surprise me. I know that's a cop out answer, but that's probably the team's range. Then again with the increased depth, the floor should be higher, so maybe 79-87 wins.

Like last year, I want one of the two extremes. Either be good enough for a playoff spot or bad enough to sell at the deadline. In between is the worst case.
uglyone - Thursday, March 29 2018 @ 12:40 PM EDT (#355133) #
"Like last year, I want one of the two extremes."

seems to be a roster built specifically to avoid extremes, tbh.
Eephus - Thursday, March 29 2018 @ 12:57 PM EDT (#355136) #
I tend to lean in the direction that this will be a good but not great team, similar to the 2006 outfit (one of my pre-2015 favourites as a watching fan). There are too many good players for them to be completely awful, but on paper they clearly seem a notch or two below the elite teams of the AL. So they'll need some surprises to have a real chance (baseball is a game of surprises of course). A full healthy season of Travis would really go a long way towards that...

Avoiding a 2-11 start would also help. I think some people forget that the 2017 team basically played .500 ball after that point, as uninspiring as that effort was.

China fan - Thursday, March 29 2018 @ 01:07 PM EDT (#355138) #
Personally I don't like the prediction game, because there are too many unpredictable factors like injuries etc. I don't begrudge anyone who enjoys the fun of indulging in the crystal ball, but I can only see a very wide range of possible outcomes.

However, I will say this: it's very important for the Jays to avoid another bad start to the season, and I'm actually somewhat worried about a few key players in the lineup in the early stages of the season, including Josh Donaldson -- did he get enough preparation in the spring? Is he still nursing some lingering health issues? I'm also worried about the SS position and the DH position, after seeing Diaz and Morales hit so poorly in the spring. And I'm worried that Smoak can't match his performance of last year and will regress to something closer to his career norms. And I'm even a little worried about the bullpen. One of their most reliable relievers, Dominic Leone, is gone from the roster, Barnes and Tepera are due for some regression, Clippard is hard to predict, and Oh didn't look ready for the season in his Montreal outing. So there's a lot of things that could go wrong. But there are things that could go right too, so I'm still optimistic.
dalimon5 - Thursday, March 29 2018 @ 01:10 PM EDT (#355139) #
Posting here because it's a new thread:

Without Tulo and Vlad this line up looks very unsexy. I will have a bigger focus on Gibby this year as he has the depth and balance to really stretch things out. If he does that and draws enough blood from stone he may very well get the team close to the contest in the summer and get some reinforcements in for a push either via trade or call up or return from injury.

It will be very interesting to see what Shapiro and Atkins do when they have more money next offseason because I'm telling you, everyone that's come to their defense...if they don't spend money and keep looking for upside only acquisitions...there's gonna be a lot of 'waking up' for them to do.

Also, for what it's worth, Bo looked out of place to me this spring compared to Vlad. Very interested to see how he does at AA.
85bluejay - Thursday, March 29 2018 @ 01:19 PM EDT (#355140) #
Can a Gibbons team have a big April?
Richard S.S. - Thursday, March 29 2018 @ 01:25 PM EDT (#355141) #
The A.L. East and every othe Division play 76 games in the Division. Making or not making the Post season starts here. Boston and New York will most likely feast on Tampa Bay and Baltimore. The Jays must do so as well. Hopefully Boston and New York will be basically even after beating up on each other (10-9 or 9-10). The Jays must do better than that. Just being average (38-38) or just winning one more game than each opponent (40-36) may not be enough to get the Jays into the PostSeason. Just being on game better (11-8) verses each Team (44-32) should. Anything better could very easily give the Jays the Division. Itís not so much about how many games you win, itís all about who you beat.
christaylor - Thursday, March 29 2018 @ 01:37 PM EDT (#355142) #
I agree with ugly's quote above -- so many things went bad last year, it will be easy for the team to get better.

I think it comes down to how the Jays are able to handle the Yankees/Sox and beat up on Tampa. If they can be slightly above .500 against the Yanks/Sox and really beat up Tampa, then 85ish wins with an outside shot at the 2nd doesn't seem implausible.

I'm confident that this team will be more fun to watch than in 2017 that was easily one of the least fun seasons since the season from hell.
electric carrot - Thursday, March 29 2018 @ 01:59 PM EDT (#355147) #
Feeling a bit optimistic. It's Spring after all. 86 wins and a finish just behind the Red Sox, and way behind the Yanks.
Mylegacy - Thursday, March 29 2018 @ 02:02 PM EDT (#355148) #
What Richard said. Plus...

HEALTH. With Sanchez, Donaldson and Travis healthy. We've added the best Free Agent Ace, a spectacular 3rd baseman for 100(ish) more games than last year and one of the Best 2nd basemen in the bigs for almost all the 161 games.

Granderson will prove a massive upgrade. Grichuk (whom I hate) will be an upgrade. Garcia is an actual 5th starter not a pretender. The pen is massively improved. We've got a SOLID selection of back-ups - offensively and defensively - compared to last year.

Here it comes: We will CRUSH them ALL!

Dream big or go home - an' me - I hate goin' home!!!
CeeBee - Thursday, March 29 2018 @ 02:29 PM EDT (#355151) #
85 wins +/- 5. I'm a glass half full guy but injuries/staying healthy will be the deciding factor.
eudaimon - Thursday, March 29 2018 @ 02:45 PM EDT (#355152) #
I'm betting on 93 wins and a World Series championship.
#2JBrumfield - Thursday, March 29 2018 @ 02:45 PM EDT (#355153) #
I'm bracing for the worst. It'll be another brutal April with 7 games against the Evil Empire, 3 against the other Evil Empire and 3 against Cleveland.
Predictions which I hope are dead wrong...

Calls for Gibby's head begin in mid-April and will get gassed before the All-Star break.
Smoak will be closer to his 2015 self and not 2017.
Stroman will get hurt and start a bench-clearing brawl.
Tulo will not be back by the All-Star break.
Oh will not be the eighth inning savior.
Axford will revert to his 2017 form.
Donaldson will miss more time in 2018.
The Jays will win 79 games.

The positive predictions...

Sanchez becomes the ace.
Travis will shatter his career high in games.
Roemon Fields will be the pleasant surprise of the year.
I just hope the organization delivers an 80-grade tribute to Roy Halladay. They have a lot to make up for after a tepid response to the news of his passing.
85bluejay - Thursday, March 29 2018 @ 03:43 PM EDT (#355156) #
Smoak will be even better than 2017
Granderson/Pearce will hit over 40 HR
Donaldson will be plagued by nagging injuries
OH will be more 2016 than 2017
Gibbons cannot resist overusing Travis, resulting in another DL
Tulo's decline will continue & bad relations with FO develops
Roemon Fields surprises & is 1st outfielder recalled
Barnes/Tepera pay the price for overuse last year
Jays infield defense will be cringe worhty
grjas - Thursday, March 29 2018 @ 03:47 PM EDT (#355157) #
I think the SP staff will keep them in it till late September then miss the WC by 2 games.
finch - Thursday, March 29 2018 @ 03:48 PM EDT (#355158) #
Jays win 88 games and get 2nd WC spot.
Magpie - Thursday, March 29 2018 @ 04:00 PM EDT (#355159) #
I'm always optimistic in March. I do think that if this club is going to enjoy the 2018 season, it's going to  be on the back of the starting pitching carrying an offense that would happily settle for being league average.

I do have a kind of mystical conviction that RH batters with some pop find a whole new level when they move into the RC, so I'm very curious to see how this plays out with Grichuk.
Shoeless Joe - Thursday, March 29 2018 @ 04:15 PM EDT (#355160) #
Well that didn't take long.....are lefties even playable against Judge, Stanton and Sanchez back to back to back?
SK in NJ - Thursday, March 29 2018 @ 04:17 PM EDT (#355161) #
Wow that swing was effortless by Stanton. Heís going to be a monster in the AL.

Bad time for an error by Granderson. He should have had that one.
China fan - Thursday, March 29 2018 @ 04:56 PM EDT (#355162) #
In Granderson's defence, it was the first time (as a Jay) that he's seen that bank of very bright lights in Rogers stadium, which often causes problems for left-fielders as they try to track fly balls. He'll need time to adjust it.

Happ has actually done pretty well so far, but he's already at 57 pitches in three innings.
China fan - Thursday, March 29 2018 @ 05:11 PM EDT (#355163) #
Two weak throws by Josh in two opportunities. What the heck is going on? I'm worried.
greenfrog - Thursday, March 29 2018 @ 05:16 PM EDT (#355164) #
78 wins, due to mediocrity at some positions and injuries.
lexomatic - Thursday, March 29 2018 @ 05:20 PM EDT (#355165) #
Nobody's talking about the ticket kickbacks?
Glevin - Thursday, March 29 2018 @ 05:29 PM EDT (#355166) #
What is wrong with Josh's arm? It looks terrible.
Eephus - Thursday, March 29 2018 @ 05:34 PM EDT (#355167) #
Goddamnit I hope the Marlins lose 145 games this year...
Petey Baseball - Thursday, March 29 2018 @ 05:49 PM EDT (#355168) #
Perhaps more disconcerting is that it's hard to imagine his swing being unaffected by shoulder pain. This is not good.
christaylor - Thursday, March 29 2018 @ 05:53 PM EDT (#355169) #
It's a case of sloppy journalism. 28 other teams have the same deal with StubHub and it allows for people who want single games to get tickets for cheaper than the box office.
dan gordon - Thursday, March 29 2018 @ 05:54 PM EDT (#355170) #
I think the Jays have a pretty strong team. With Sanchez healthy, and a bounce back season from Estrada, plus the addition of Garcia, the rotation looks solid. Osuna, Oh, Tepera, Barnes, and Clippard give then a strong bullpen from the right side. I'm not optimistic about Axford, but there are others, like Alburquerque and Ramirez, who can contribute. Loup might be OK from the left side, and there are other candidates like Dermody and Mayza if he isn't. Overall, I really like this pitching staff.

Donaldson clearly isn't ready for the season, but he should be fine in a couple of weeks. Travis looks like he's finally healthy. We'll see how Morales does in his 2nd year - maybe his new glasses will help. If not, I'm hoping they get Solarte in there at DH vs righties a fair bit. Not counting on anything from Tulo - hopefully Diaz, Solarte and Espinosa can provide decent coverage until Bichette is ready (some time next year?). I like the OF additions of Grichuk and Granderson. I think Granderson will be considerably better than people expect, now that he's out of that ballpark in NY. Maybe Hernandez or Alford joins the team part way through the season and gives a boost. They should score a lot more than last year, maybe middle of the pack in the AL. Picking a number of wins is a bit of a mug's game, because so much depends on health. The Jays have already lost Tulo, and the Yankees have lost Bird. Both teams have guys who have been injured a lot in the past. I expect the Jays to be contenders for the wild card. If they get a lot of injuries again, they won't be, and then they're probably sellers at the deadline, and we'll see what they get for Donaldson, and 1 or 2 of Happ, Estrada and Granderson.
Petey Baseball - Thursday, March 29 2018 @ 05:56 PM EDT (#355171) #
This is ridiculous to watch. Get him off the field.
China fan - Thursday, March 29 2018 @ 05:57 PM EDT (#355172) #
It's really irresponsible to have Donaldson at 3B when he can't throw. What happened to all the much-vaunted infield depth?
christaylor - Thursday, March 29 2018 @ 06:01 PM EDT (#355173) #
I hope they win enough to not get a top 3 pick.
Four Seamer - Thursday, March 29 2018 @ 06:06 PM EDT (#355174) #
I knew they should have traded Donaldson in the off-season! More seriously, I hope he's not at risk of exacerbating what is obviously a significant impairment - that is hard to watch.
85bluejay - Thursday, March 29 2018 @ 06:08 PM EDT (#355175) #
I would love a top 3 pick if they are not contenders - I just hated how the won games in the last few weeks last season to fall out of the top 10 picks.
CeeBee - Thursday, March 29 2018 @ 06:10 PM EDT (#355176) #
noodle bats and a noodle arm... Can I redo my prediction? ;)
China fan - Thursday, March 29 2018 @ 06:19 PM EDT (#355177) #
What also bothers me is seeing Gibbons trying to get information from Donaldson in the dugout, Donaldson clearly reassuring him that everything is okay, and Donaldson staying in the game. Yet the previous play was a completely routine grounder where JD had all the time in the world and a relatively short throw, and he still couldn't get it cleanly to 1B. (It almost cost the Jays a run, but they were saved by a charitable video replay call.) My question: why doesn't Gibbons trust the evidence of his own eyes? Why is he asking Donaldson to tell him what's going on, when the evidence is so clear? Donaldson has been having health issues for the entire spring, and yet the Jays seem to be allowing him to decide whether to play or not.
85bluejay - Thursday, March 29 2018 @ 06:26 PM EDT (#355178) #
The Good News- Shapiro has already said that if revenue declines this year (a certainty if noncontenders), the team will have to adjust payroll accordingly, so we wouldn't need to spend time next winter wondering if the jays will sign quality FA - they will be shopping in the garbage bin.
China fan - Thursday, March 29 2018 @ 06:34 PM EDT (#355179) #
I'm not impressed by the bullpen either....
Petey Baseball - Thursday, March 29 2018 @ 06:36 PM EDT (#355180) #
Agreed, CF. How is he even allowed to start the game in the field? That's borderline embarassing decision-making by the Jays.
Petey Baseball - Thursday, March 29 2018 @ 06:43 PM EDT (#355181) #
His swing looks off as well. Not good, folks.
85bluejay - Thursday, March 29 2018 @ 06:46 PM EDT (#355182) #
Jays came into season with very little buzz, wonder how fans and non-rogers media will react if jays are swept by yankees.
Chuck - Thursday, March 29 2018 @ 06:55 PM EDT (#355183) #
Rob Refsnyder (remember him?) is DHing today for TB... and batting 9th.
dalimon5 - Thursday, March 29 2018 @ 07:06 PM EDT (#355184) #
- Gibbons managing more aggressively
- Morales looks done and will likely be moved off soon enough
- That was our worst SP match up wise against NYY

- new Jays killer G. Stanton. Don't pitch to him...
- Axford junk straight pitches
- Clippard all smoke and mirrors
- without Tulo and Bautista Jays have no "edge" on the field
- 10+ strikeouts against them again...same song as last year
- Brian Cashman looks like a genius
- broadcast quality has gotten worse
- if revenue drop leads to payroll drop then ownership may as well pack it in and sell the team. I run a business and can't expect customers to come in without offering a quality service
dalimon5 - Thursday, March 29 2018 @ 07:11 PM EDT (#355185) #
This team is sorely lacking some table setters. If you're gonna strikeout 10+ times a game (this happened way to often last year)...then you may as well bring an Alford or Fields up and try to get some early inning runs.

If you're behind the Yankees after 4-5 innings you're probably not winning with current roster.
grjas - Thursday, March 29 2018 @ 07:15 PM EDT (#355186) #
Canít say I was surprised. Iíd predicted a 5-0loss with a lefty on the mound for us and Severino for the Yankees. But the next few days should be more entertaining...and revealing... given better pitching matchups
bpoz - Thursday, March 29 2018 @ 07:18 PM EDT (#355187) #
88 wins. Always have high hopes.
pooks137 - Thursday, March 29 2018 @ 07:18 PM EDT (#355188) #

I'm not impressed by the bullpen either....

I understand the bullpen construction based on options, opt-outs and players available, but it would be nice to have a true long man.

Who is the long man out of the 7? Danny Barnes? Gibbons uses him to frequently and with too high leverage to pitch multiple innings with any consistency

The bullpen is too-right handed, too many one-inning guys and too many mediocre middle relievers.

greenfrog - Thursday, March 29 2018 @ 07:26 PM EDT (#355189) #
It's important to remember that this is realistically a team that is competing for a WC spot, not a division title. They can lose 75-77 games and still attain that goal (I say that as someone who just predicted a 78-84 record). They just have to be respectable and a bit lucky with health, base runs, etc. It's to be expected that they will get exposed against top-shelf teams like the Yankees.
pooks137 - Thursday, March 29 2018 @ 07:28 PM EDT (#355190) #

This team is sorely lacking some table setters. If you're gonna strikeout 10+ times a game (this happened way to often last year)...then you may as well bring an Alford or Fields up and try to get some early inning runs.

Well, Alford is hurt and Fields lifetime minors OBP is .320, which is not great for a table-setter with 7 lifetime homeruns.

The Jays added more guys TTO players with lots of Ks like Granderson and Grichuk in the offseason. Getting guys on base is going to be hard to do even at a league-average rate because they don't have very many guys who excel at it, especially if Donaldson isn't healthy

I don't really see any high-OBP prospects ready to help. Pompey probably was once, but he's hurt again and I don't think Gibbons would play him over the vets. Smith and Hernandez don't seem likely to put up even league-average OBP rates either.

Richard S.S. - Thursday, March 29 2018 @ 08:08 PM EDT (#355192) #
Atkins needs to have a talk with Donaldson and ask what injury heís hiding. Tell him, if I get the truth you go on the 10-Day D.L., if not you get the 60-Day D.L. or the Restricted List - your choice. The Jays must have zero time for players trying to play hurt, especially this year.
China fan - Thursday, March 29 2018 @ 08:13 PM EDT (#355193) #
No need to worry! Gibbons has clarified everything. Donaldson's arm is not injured, it's merely "dead." Nothing to worry about at all.
SK in NJ - Thursday, March 29 2018 @ 08:38 PM EDT (#355194) #
If Donaldson isn't 100%, then not sure why they wouldn't just start him on the DL, especially since they actually have a pretty decent back-up in Solarte now.

I guess the good news is they might DH him a lot more, and I'm convinced that any lineup without Morales in it is probably to the Jays benefit, so at least there is a bright side.
dalimon5 - Thursday, March 29 2018 @ 08:38 PM EDT (#355195) #

So what you're saying is...Alford is our only realistic option as a potential table setter. Yeah...I agree with that. He's probably up here before June and whoever is sucking between Pilalr and Pearce and Morales is probably "handled" to make room for Teoscar.
stevieboy22 - Thursday, March 29 2018 @ 08:40 PM EDT (#355196) #
I'm perplexed by Buck's comments about how your back shoulder isn't important when swinging a bat.

I have never played professional baseball. Or managed professional baseball. But this cannot be true.

Also, I don't think JD has a case of "dead arm." His arm strength appears to be less than that of a pro-baseball player. There appears to be something very wrong. Hard to imagine he makes it through the weekend without landing on the DL.
pooks137 - Thursday, March 29 2018 @ 08:50 PM EDT (#355197) #

A healthy Alford is probably one of the few realistic options to add more guys that get on base/manufacture runs, but Alford also strikes out a lot

Tbh, if table-setting was such a big concern, the Jays probably should have just kept Carrera around. Although I was definitely okay with releasing him

scottt - Thursday, March 29 2018 @ 09:17 PM EDT (#355198) #
That's just one game. Oh looked terrible in Montreal, but looked pretty good here, except missing spring training didn't help his fielding.

I think that's it for Donaldson's 8 year contract aspiration.
EE didn't sign with the Jays and settled for less.
Bautista didn't sign an extension and is out of baseball (so far) after one year.
If Donaldson can't stay healthy this year, he's not getting what he was offered in February.

Does JD DH tomorrow or sit on the bench?
That gotta be the big question.
Donaldson has a .492 OPS in 28 AB against Tanaka. I'd bench him.

Chuck - Thursday, March 29 2018 @ 09:28 PM EDT (#355199) #
Also, I don't think JD has a case of "dead arm."

That does seem like a dubious diagnosis. Donaldson was gingerly short-arming his throws, seemingly unable to extend to his arm. A dead arm is lack of oomph, not lack of mobility.

Donaldson is a gamer and surely played hurt during stretches all those years he was playing almost every game. So his instinct is to downplay any issues and stay on the field. And Gibbons will give one of the game's best players lots of latitude.

But now, in his walk year, coming off a season where he missed lots of time, it is not unreasonable to speculate that Donaldson is further motivated to stay on the field, so as not to look like damaged goods to would-be suitors. Of course, to anyone watching today, he looked very damaged. So being on the field was counter-productive.

Maybe it really is a dead arm and will go away in a week or so. Hard to believe, though, based on how things looked today.

dalimon5 - Thursday, March 29 2018 @ 09:40 PM EDT (#355200) #
We have the most expensive 3B in baseball. It's a terrible contract. He's on the wrong side of 30 and can't stay healthy any more. He's fallen off a cliff. 23 million + down the drain.

Tulo and Donaldson, what a waste.
uglyone - Thursday, March 29 2018 @ 10:39 PM EDT (#355201) #
i would have enjoyed seeing pearce at dh tonight and biagini coming out of the pen. i.e. our best possible roster. ah well.
BlueMonday - Thursday, March 29 2018 @ 10:52 PM EDT (#355202) #
85 wins. Although maybe I should revise this optimistic pre-season prediction after seeing JD today.

'Dead arm', 'dehydrated'. I'm not sure I trust Gibby's diagnoses.
SK in NJ - Thursday, March 29 2018 @ 10:58 PM EDT (#355203) #
Solarte at 3B and Donaldson at DH should be the configuration until he's able to throw again, unless he has to go on the DL. No excuse to keep trotting him out there if he can't make a routine throw pain-free. I know he wants to be out there for contract reasons but he needs to be healthy first and foremost.
John Northey - Thursday, March 29 2018 @ 11:18 PM EDT (#355204) #
Uh dalimon5 - I hope you are joking there about Donaldson.  A 1 year deal for $23 million is nothing in the grand scheme of things.  If Donaldson can't come back this year we have a ML minimum wage guy ready to step in next year in Vlad Jr. so a 1 year deal for a MVP caliber player when healthy is a great thing.  Yeah, the Jays lose $23 million but as others like to say 'not my money' plus what would they have spent it on this past winter?
katman - Friday, March 30 2018 @ 12:12 AM EDT (#355205) #
If Donaldson is benched with a sinker ball pitcher on the mound, it will be very interesting to see who they roll out in the infield, and where.

I say Solarte 3B, Espinoza SS, Diaz 2B is best.

What do Bauxites think?
katman - Friday, March 30 2018 @ 12:29 AM EDT (#355206) #
I don't have Travis in the infield at 2B, on the assumption that they won't be playing him in back to back games.

If the decision is that Donaldson is out, how many Bauxites would take that risk with Travis early in the season, in order to shore up a potentially weak offense against the division rival?
Four Seamer - Friday, March 30 2018 @ 01:04 AM EDT (#355207) #
Given that there is hardly anybody in all of professional sports, let alone baseball, who is less honest than Gibby when it comes to discussing player injuries, by describing Donaldson's arm as "dead", I am going to assume he means it's gangrenous and on the verge of amputation.
#2JBrumfield - Friday, March 30 2018 @ 01:13 AM EDT (#355208) #
I think the Jays may need to switch back to their Grey Jay uniforms again for home openers. They've lost seven in a row since the Great Uniform Switch of 2012.

Great tribute to Doc today. That was the only positive.
Petey Baseball - Friday, March 30 2018 @ 03:47 AM EDT (#355209) #
The coaching staff/Gibby must have seen warmups.Why the hell was he out there in that condition at all? Did anyone ask point blank? I don't buy the "he's a star" notion; the guy looked awful, there's no way he should have been in the field. Period. Had a wild throw by Donaldson cost them the game, I don't think Gibby gets off as easy.
mathesond - Friday, March 30 2018 @ 09:15 AM EDT (#355212) #
I have to say, I love Jump To Conclusions day. This year's version is making for exceptionally entertaining reading.
rafael - Friday, March 30 2018 @ 09:29 AM EDT (#355213) #
"I say Solarte 3B, Espinoza SS, Diaz 2B is best."

My jump to conclusions; then we are headed for a high pick indeed.

Silver linings; we now get a clear sign of the Tulo contract as a sunk cost.
We did not extend Donaldson for the long contract he was seeking.
And the conditions for a sell off and rebuild may become quite clear - as opposed to a dreaded .500 no mans land at all star break.
We actually have a few quite marketable short term assets.
85bluejay - Friday, March 30 2018 @ 09:45 AM EDT (#355214) #
Loved the epic Red Sox bullpen meltdown - best thing about yesterday.
China fan - Friday, March 30 2018 @ 10:17 AM EDT (#355215) #
When I initially posted the Gibbons comment about Donaldson's dead arm, I found it linguistically amusing that a "dead arm" is deemed superior to an "injured arm." But I hadn't reckoned on the expertise of everyone here, who quickly noted that a dead arm can sometimes be a very temporary problem that clears up relatively soon.

So let me just say this instead: Gibbons thought he was reassuring everyone when he said it was merely a "dead arm" and "no big deal." But I find myself not reassured at all.
ComebyDeanChance - Friday, March 30 2018 @ 11:09 AM EDT (#355217) #
Solarte at 3B and Donaldson at DH should be the configuration until he's able to throw again, unless he has to go on the DL.

I suspect that's what we'll see, at least vs. right-handed pitching.

matheson's right of course about it being ridiculously early to jump to conclusions, but one thing that the past makes it pretty easy to suspect is that Donaldson is going to repeat the Bautista/Encarnacion strategy of trying to overplay his hand with the Blue Jays and end up with less than he could have gotten. Of course, it may well be that despite his claims to the contary he's not all that interested in staying.

I don't say that with any ill will toward Donaldson. I think one thing that's possibly necessary as an elite athlete, or in Donaldson's case at least, is to believe however unrealistically that your abilities are permanent and you're never near decline and your body will never let you down. That ego may be part of what's necessary to compete at that level. It may be what helps in stepping in, let alone hitting, 95 mph fastballs, Ali even getting into the ring with Foreman, or Roger Federer playing Djokovic during the latter's reign.
John Northey - Friday, March 30 2018 @ 11:17 AM EDT (#355218) #
Dead arm is something virtually all pitchers get mid-spring training.  They are zipping along then suddenly they throw like a knuckleball pitcher for a day or two, then back to normal.  I suspect everyday players get it too, ala Donaldson here, but never heard of it before.  I guess because most of the time it isn't noticed.  Not as big a deal as it is for a pitcher.
China fan - Friday, March 30 2018 @ 11:33 AM EDT (#355219) #
Looking back at the worst of Donaldson's throws yesterday, the one that should have been easiest because he had plenty of time: he pulled Smoak off the bag and the video replay showed pretty clearly that the runner was safe, allowing a run to score. For some reason the officials decided that it wasn't clear enough to overturn the ruling on the field. The Jays got a big break there. Donaldson's poor throwing cost them a run, but officially it didn't count. So it's a worrisome thing -- especially since we have corroborative evidence. We know he didn't play much at 3B during the spring because of his arm. We know that he admitted to the media -- five days ago -- that he wasn't feeling right. Those are clear indications that he knew about a continuing problem, a problem which has existed (on and off) for several weeks now. I don't think we should assume that it will quickly vanish or that it won't have consequences.
ISLAND BOY - Friday, March 30 2018 @ 12:05 PM EDT (#355220) #
I don't think the sky should be falling after one game. The rotation should be solid this year but I think scoring runs might be a problem. I pencil them in for 77 or 78 wins, and if there is a sell off at the trade deadline it could be lower. I don't see this team as finishing above .500 this year. ( Okay, my prediction might be at odds with my first sentence. I just mean that one game is one game, and you can't throw up your hands because of it. Over the long haul, though, this is what the Jays look like to me.)
jgadfly - Friday, March 30 2018 @ 12:37 PM EDT (#355221) #
RE: Tulowitzki Injury ... I just realized that one more 60-day DL visit after this present stay will take Tulowitzki up to the one year anniversary of his injury. This raises the question whether the Blue Jays have an insurance policy that could cover all or part of his $20M contract?
ComebyDeanChance - Friday, March 30 2018 @ 12:37 PM EDT (#355222) #
if revenue drop leads to payroll drop then ownership may as well pack it in and sell the team

dalimon, who exactly do you think they are going to sell the team to? Who do you think is going to buy it? Perhaps you're lucky enough (like many are) to be too young to remember when the Blue Jays were publicly up for sale from 1995 on when Interbrew bought the team through Labatt's, didn't want it at all, and couldn't unload it on anyone. Ted Rogers, who didn't know much about baseball bought the team to keep it in Toronto, when there was talk of contraction. If you believe in the 'Mystery Eccentric Billionaire' who is going to buy the team so that he can pay for every overpriced free agent that is celebrated that particular offseason, I think that's as likely as the Easter Bunny.

As a business man you'll know that the largest pools of capital in Canada are:
1. Public sector pension plans, but I can't see that happening. The largest, Teachers', owned a partial stake in the money-factory Maple Leafs (a team with a salary cap and a hard market, not a team that usually finishes in the last half of the attendance standings) for a while (and remember all the Stanley Cups the Leafs won from in the last two decades!), but only as an investment to eventually sell. Trust me when I say that Teachers is never going to risk the early retirement of a single Ontario teacher to make eccentric payments of 9 figures to risk-ridden baseball players as an 'investment' strategy. Nor should they, that's not their business. If you think Rogers are 'ruthless investors' wait til you see Teachers'. Or any of the other pension plans for that matter. And as I recall, the period of Teachers' involvement with the Maple Leafs didn't lead to all that many Stanley Cups, didi it?
2. Financial Institutions. It's good to be having this discussion with a business person. As you're no doubt aware, banks aren't in the business of running companies, their business is to lend money to them or buy bonds or shares for disposable investment.
3. Staple industries. The traditional ones in Canada like paper are just about gone but there still are breweries I suppose. Been there. There is the Bronfman family I suppose, which ditched the Expos a long time ago. The Bronfmans managed to oversee Seagrams' bankruptcy, and how on earth you bankrupt a distillery in Canada I don't know. Anyway, that's not on.
4. Another Telcom. The only other major one is also publicly traded, which is not wanted by MLB. And of course they have the same shareholder accounting and legal obligations. If Bell ever wanted the Blue Jays they had ample opportunity to buy them when Interbrew was trying to dump the team. They could buy a share though, which would make it a joint venture and change accounting legal obligations.
5. The "Mystery Eccentric Billionaire'. He/she is hiding out with the Easter Bunny.

Maybe you can think of someone chomping at the bit all of a sudden to buy the Jays, but I can't.

I think Rogers and the Rogers Centre are in the same stream. Toronto will in the not too distant future be the only team that is unable to afford a proper baseball stadium. No one in their right mind is going to sink their own money of an amount necessary to build a new stadium, like Miller Park in Milwaukee in this market. I'd love to have the new Yankee Stadium or Miller Park in downtown Toronto but it's not happening. We've got what we've got, and there's a reason, or more accurately, many reasons. I feel fortunate to have what we have, even though we got beat in the home opener by the best team in the league. A team by the way that has built from within, would love to dump its 'great free agent' mega-deal for Ellsbury, and had an opening day payroll only modestly greater than ours last year notwithstanding it's one of the top sports franchises in the world.
ComebyDeanChance - Friday, March 30 2018 @ 12:47 PM EDT (#355224) #
This raises the question whether the Blue Jays have an insurance policy that could cover all or part of his $20M contract?

Well given that Tulo missed a staggering 230 games in the three seasons preceding the trade and was one of the best-known injury cases in baseball, I suspect any insurance policy the Blue Jays could have taken out would be close to an ASO policy, i.e. they'd be self-insuring and paying his salary themselves and the insurer would only administer eligibility for claims. Unless they somehow inherited a policy that the Rockies took out before 2012, but that seem pretty unlikely.
greenfrog - Friday, March 30 2018 @ 01:09 PM EDT (#355225) #
A team by the way that has built from within

I would say that this is only partly true. The Yankees have done a very good job of developing players internally. But they've also used their financial clout to attract free agents like Miller, McCann, and Beltran, extract value from them in terms of on-field performance, and then later trade them for quality prospects.

Their financial resources also allowed them to trade a modest collection of young talent for Stanton, who may end up on the shortlist of MVP candidates this year. Even if Stanton would have approved a trade to Toronto, it seems highly unlikely that the Jays would have made that trade. Too expensive.

The Yankees have become dangerous because they have one of the highest payrolls in the game *and* they're now deploying their resources creatively and efficiently.
Richard S.S. - Friday, March 30 2018 @ 01:21 PM EDT (#355226) #
The reason for so much angst usually arises because itís the hated Yankees. The Jays cannot have a losing record against any Team in the A.L. East., they just cannot. Every game counts. The reason for so much bitterness was the Donaldson ďlieĒ. He should be able to say Iím not ready if his shoulderís not right.
China fan - Friday, March 30 2018 @ 01:24 PM EDT (#355227) #
Gibbons has announced that Donaldson will DH for a few days, with Solarte replacing him and Morales playing less. (A lot less, one would think, unless he is taking a game or two at 1B.)

This means Ngoepe is the sole back-up for 2B, 3B and SS if anyone needs a rest or has health issues. Espinosa is available in Buffalo, but that doesn't help if the injured player is not being placed on the DL, as with the Donaldson situation.

Injuries, again, are exposing the lack of infield depth on the Jays, even after an off-season of trying to build up infield depth.

dalimon5 - Friday, March 30 2018 @ 01:30 PM EDT (#355228) #
Sell / sell off is interchangeable. The point is they will find a way to get rid of the team because they won't make profit if they plan on cutting on field product.

If they did want to sell there are always buyers. It's not 1995 and baseball is one of if not the richest sport now.
uglyone - Friday, March 30 2018 @ 01:36 PM EDT (#355229) #
well, if donaldson is pooched then we're most definitely screwed.
vw_fan17 - Friday, March 30 2018 @ 01:41 PM EDT (#355230) #
1) I made a similar claim about the Teacher's pension fund on the Leafs forum based on my vague memories, only to have my claims solidly refuted. Based on articles, etc, the OTPP pretty much rubber-stamped ANY request the Leafs management had for more $$ when they "owned" the Leafs. The main problem was the guys at the top, and their useless/failing strategy for building a good team. Way too many wasted $$. If we'd had Shanahan/Lou/Babcock then, we'd probably have had a winner.

2) I honestly don't know what distinctions there are between MLSE (owned 50% by Rogers?) which owns the Leafs, Raptors, Argos, Toronto FC (not sure what the offical name is) etc, and Rogers Communications, which owns the Jays. MLSE seems willing to spend to build a contender - AFAIK, every MLSE team mentioned earlier either won recently and/or is considered a contender right now. Rogers, not so much. Would selling to MLSE change that? I mean, the $$ seem to be there. I'm sure Ontarians would love another winner to support, kind of like the early 90s when the Jays and the Leafs were good..

uglyone - Friday, March 30 2018 @ 01:42 PM EDT (#355231) #

but the funny thing is that this injury actually just improved our lineup with the solarte-morales swap.
rpriske - Friday, March 30 2018 @ 02:07 PM EDT (#355233) #
That's what I was thinking, ugly.

Taking Morales out of the lineup is a good thing.

Losing Donaldson's defense is bad, but losing Donaldson's defense yesterday's version, is a positive.
bpoz - Friday, March 30 2018 @ 02:36 PM EDT (#355234) #
The big trades before the 2013 season bumped the payroll from $90 mil to $130 mil I believe. Payroll continued to go up to $160 mil now. So an increase of $70 mil from 2012. Are my figures correct?

Some how the team won enough games to make the playoffs in 2015 and 2016. There are a couple of different opinions about how the team made the playoffs. That on field success generated very good revenues.

We know that payroll and win totals can go up and down from season to season.
grjas - Friday, March 30 2018 @ 03:29 PM EDT (#355235) #
If there are two injuries in the infield in the same game, Martin moves to third.
85bluejay - Friday, March 30 2018 @ 04:36 PM EDT (#355236) #
With Sanchez starting, I'd rather have Ngoepe starting because Diaz hasn't shown anything with the bat, might as well take the better defender with a GB starter.
dalimon5 - Friday, March 30 2018 @ 06:57 PM EDT (#355237) #
I'm relieved to see that Tulowitzki will undergo surgery to both of his heels which are both suffering from bone spurs. He is going to have them removed and will be back in 2-3 months.

When he comes back he will be 100% healthy (for his age). If he hits poorly for the 1/2 season he plays this year similar to last year then I will concede that he is done. I'm optimistic he will have his best stretch once he comes back just based on his pedigree, experience and the like.
greenfrog - Friday, March 30 2018 @ 07:36 PM EDT (#355239) #
The Jays continue to give away outs, leading to runs and higher pitch counts for their SP. Tonight it was Travis failing to stop McKinneyís hard grounder in the second inning with two outs. Itís not a recipe for success against the Yankees (or any team, really).
Chuck - Friday, March 30 2018 @ 07:37 PM EDT (#355240) #
Buck says that the Yankees' inning could have been worse had Gregorius not been thrown out at home. Except that Sanchez, who reached via the fielder's choice, scored in Gregorious's stead. So there was no difference.
John Northey - Friday, March 30 2018 @ 07:43 PM EDT (#355241) #
I much prefer Tulo go get 100% healthy as the Jays have him for another couple of years at a high cost - better to lose half a year and get him to 100% than to have him at half strength for 3 years.
Chuck - Friday, March 30 2018 @ 07:48 PM EDT (#355242) #
I much prefer Tulo go get 100% healthy

He wasn't 100% healthy in his 20s! I think healthy-ish is the most you can ask for from the man in his 30s.

Buck: "The Jays hit .229 as a team in 2017." Except they didn't. It was .240, which is still pretty miserable. (I don't think I have the energy to be fact-checking Buck all season.)

Shoeless Joe - Friday, March 30 2018 @ 07:59 PM EDT (#355243) #
I was excited as any fan to see Tulo come here, but he is basically David Wright now. I would assume we can never really count on him as a regular moving forward.
dan gordon - Friday, March 30 2018 @ 08:20 PM EDT (#355244) #
Yah, a very injury prone guy whose body has taken a beating, and who seems to be a very slow healer, having surgery on BOTH of his feet at age 33 - In my opinion he's probably finished as an effective major league player. If he returns this year, he'll have been out of the big leagues for a year or more. Hey, it would be great if he can come back and play well, but I would be very surprised.
Petey Baseball - Friday, March 30 2018 @ 08:23 PM EDT (#355245) #
We're seeing a similar April to last year parade of half swings, hanging breaking balls fouled off, and fenter cut pitches taken that should be crushed. There's also been managerial gaffes and poor defencr

This team is once again, flat and unprepared for the beginning of the season. Hopefully it turns around quickly, but someone will answer for it if it doesn't.

John Northey - Friday, March 30 2018 @ 08:39 PM EDT (#355246) #
The one good thing from this is Tulo might be able to be convinced to go play positions other than SS after this surgery.  1B/3B/OF/DH might make sense - make him a super-utility after being a superstar SS for a long time.  Let him focus more on his hitting, less on the stress of defense at SS.  I suspect he could learn 3B/1B/LF/RF very quickly.  Might be a hard sell but tell him it would help him last and he might be more inclined.  Makes room for Bo at SS next year and gives the Jays more flexibility.  See if you can get Robin Yount or Paul Molitor to talk with him.  Both HOF'ers who did position switches which extended their careers.  He needs a few years to make the HOF (44 WAR, 1389 hits - must get to 50+ WAR and 2000 hits to have a shot with both traditional and new age voters) .  If uninterested the Jays this winter will need to eat his contract and trade him to whoever will take him that he is willing to go to - but if the Jays tell him he is a utility guy otherwise then he might just accept any trade.  He is from California so a team out there might take him if the Jays take his contract or another bad one in return.
christaylor - Friday, March 30 2018 @ 09:39 PM EDT (#355247) #
I'm going to wait until the Jays play a team other than the Yankees before considering get down on them.

I am tired of Pillar. I have seen him hit but the notion of a good AB seems beyond him. Alford, Pompey or anyone can't take his job soon enough.
dalimon5 - Friday, March 30 2018 @ 09:49 PM EDT (#355248) #
Anyone know where I can catch the Yes network feed of the game? I'm looking for a broadcast team a little less Pro Yankees.
PeterG - Friday, March 30 2018 @ 09:56 PM EDT (#355249) #
Michael Kay said earlier on Yankees telecast that he talked to some Blue Jays people who said that Tulo might not ever play again
greenfrog - Friday, March 30 2018 @ 10:00 PM EDT (#355250) #
I tried to highlight the potential seriousness of Tuloís injury after it happened, but some people didnít want to hear it.
SK in NJ - Friday, March 30 2018 @ 10:06 PM EDT (#355251) #
I heard that too, PeterG. Eight weeks does seem optimistic, especially for Tulo who has had injury issues every year for 5+ years. I expect him to play again, but I don't think he will ever be even as good as he was in 2016 ever again. The defense will take a hit due to age/new injuries and his offense was already declining before he became a Jay (first half of 2015 with the Rockies was a 106 wRC+ and it's never been that high since). Great player in his prime, but the Jays got him at the twilight, unfortunately.

0-2 to start the year again. Can't afford a bad start like last year. Hopefully they can finish with a split.
dalimon5 - Friday, March 30 2018 @ 10:25 PM EDT (#355252) #

Great interview with Tulowitzki. Basically he admits to playing injured for the past 3 years since coming to Toronto. If you listen closely you can sense that he has a goal of just returning to the field to "finish strong." Interpret as you may.
pubster - Friday, March 30 2018 @ 10:28 PM EDT (#355253) #
"With Sanchez starting, I'd rather have Ngoepe starting because Diaz hasn't shown anything with the bat"

Except that he's somehow a .280 career hitter with a .795 OPS!
Thomas - Friday, March 30 2018 @ 11:15 PM EDT (#355254) #
"I'm going to wait until the Jays play a team other than the Yankees before considering get down on them.

I am tired of Pillar..."

Apparently, you don't apply the same standards to Pillar, as he has two of the team's seven hits, both of which went for extra bases.

Gerry - Friday, March 30 2018 @ 11:15 PM EDT (#355255) #
Some observations from the RC tonight:

Any team with Granderson batting fourth cannot be a playoff contender

Solarte is pretty solid, aka chunky. If he can play third then Vlad Jr should be able to play there too. Diaz is pretty solid as well.

The Yankees were shading Travis to right field, the left fielder was in left centre. Travis was trying to hit a lot to right field.

Pillar's approach doesn't seem to have changed. Grichuk seems to swing readily too.

Smoak looked to be "on" a lot of the pitches. His foul balls were loud too.

If Pillar or Grichuk need a day off then Granderson would have to go to right. You don't want that arm in right field.

Grichuk is shorter than I thought he would be. He is listed at 6'1", 1.85M, but he looked shorter than that (from the 200 level)
John Northey - Friday, March 30 2018 @ 11:49 PM EDT (#355256) #
The big takeaway I get is that the Jays might need to let Morales go sooner than planned.  Donaldson as DH and wanting to rest him regularly there this year along with Travis means Morales has to show a lot very, very quickly to make the slightest sense in keeping him.  The bench is short as is and having a pure DH as one of those on the bench kills options.  Plus, if the Jays put his salary for 2019 onto this years budget then it ends any trades coming in but also clears space next year.  If Tulo is done then that simplifies choices in 2019 too - comes down to Bo or Diaz basically at SS.  While we are all hoping for the best this year regardless, all this stuff makes it easier for the braintrust to sell ownership on a 'dump them all' method this summer to make room for the kids.  I'd expect Donaldson to be first traded, followed by Morales (if anyone would take him), Estrada, and Happ (with an eye to signing them in the winter), Garcia also would be trade bait if he has a strong first half.  Pearce has to be on the block too.  Others who have a 1 year deal like Granderson would be on the block too.

Everything depends on how the team does, and how the potential traded players do (if they suck, hard to trade, if they do well, easier).  Also helps how the minor leaguers do - the AAA staff has to be looking on hoping for a chance, Tellez needs to show a lot to get a shot, Pompey also has a shot if he can get it going.  This will be an interesting year.  I was hopeful for 90 wins and a shot at the playoffs but with Tulo out for 1/2 a year and maybe Donaldson out too things get a lot more difficult.

christaylor - Saturday, March 31 2018 @ 02:47 AM EDT (#355257) #
Nice selective quoting... what did I write after typing that? "I have seen him hit". He gets his hits even without knowing how not to swing at ball four. I don't need the Yankees to leave town to be annoyed and tired of this... this has been him, save for a few months last year, since he took over from Pompey.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, March 31 2018 @ 03:17 AM EDT (#355258) #
Mix up the lineup, there is no reason not to. Granderson bats left when in the lineup. Smoak has turned into a switch hitter. Morales is a switch hitter when in the lineup, Solarte is a switch hitter when in the lineup. It matters not who bats where, just make it tougher for the opposition.

Nobody on this Roster is having fun. This is a fun job to have. I understand itís a diifcult time until you get your ďfirstsĒ this season. But swinging at the Pitchers pitches, all the pitches, seems the wrong thing to do.

Do the opposing Pitchers know how to pitch to the Jays? Is it the lack of discipline by the hitters or is it more?
Thomas - Saturday, March 31 2018 @ 08:25 AM EDT (#355259) #
The section of your message that I didn't quote ("I have seen him hit) was the place where you acknowledged an objective fact, which is that Pillar has gotten hits. You followed "I have seen him hit" by saying "the notion of a good AB seems beyond him", which appeared to serve the purpose of denying Pillar any real credit for those hits.

As evidenced by your reply, the entire purpose of your post was to complain about Pillar. Apparently you can't wait for someone to take his job and are "tired" and "annoyed" by his play.

Pillar is not a particularly good hitter. His pitch recognition skills are not strong. Nobody is denying that or pretending otherwise. It would be great if he was a better hitter or had an approach that led to an OBP that was 30 points higher.

However, here is his rank in WAR, among Blue Jays, over the last three seasons:
2015: 2nd
2016: 6th
2017: 5th

It seems like you're losing the forest for the trees.
DiscoStu - Saturday, March 31 2018 @ 10:05 AM EDT (#355260) #

long time listener, first time caller...

I thought throughout the winter that Pillar was a good candidate to be traded as he and a prospect (like R. McGuire) should bring back someone interesting. I wonder if that will happen early this season given the outfield prospects the organization has.I was hopeful for someone like Rivero;that might be possible now since he had a rough spring and a tough start to the season (great nickname:Nightmare)although I'm not sure the Pirates need an outfielder now.

Chuck - Saturday, March 31 2018 @ 10:09 AM EDT (#355261) #
This weekend, I may be doubting a great many things but I won't be doubting Thomas. I agree with his take on Pillar.

After being paid a paltry 1.5M for 10 WAR over the past 3 seasons, Pillar will make 3M this year, likely for around 2 WAR. So even though he is likely to put up an OPS+ in the 80s, and continue to be the same frustrating hitter he always has been (despite Buck and Pat assuring us that this year will be different), and even though his defense seems to be regressing, though still good, he is still a huge bargain in 2018 and NOT one of the team's problems.

As he gets more expensive and as his defense regresses further, well, the story will certainly change and calling for his removal will be defensible. For now, we have no choice but to accept that he is what many on the team are: hacktastic. It's annoying to watch but I've been yelling at my TV for Blue Jay hitters to stop chasing that slider low and away since Rick Bosetti landed in Hog Town.

hypobole - Saturday, March 31 2018 @ 10:14 AM EDT (#355262) #
Yeah, Pillar is who he is, but it does seem an odd time to be ranting about him.

Four Jays position players (none named Pillar) comprise over 45% of the teams entire payroll. The only one of those four without both a negative wRC+ and negative fWAR thus far is Tulo.
dalimon5 - Saturday, March 31 2018 @ 10:23 AM EDT (#355263) #
Tulo and Pillar are not problems yet. They aren't perfect but definitely part of the solution.

There's a good article by Mike Schmidt in the Globe and Mail this weekend. He essentially argues that current players have it wrong to try and use an upper cut swing (Morales, JD, Stanton, Judge etc all) because his generation of superstars used normal swing planes to avoid outs and hit home runs.
Chuck - Saturday, March 31 2018 @ 10:34 AM EDT (#355264) #
Tulo and Pillar are not problems yet.

If I'm paying a guy 20M and he hasn't been to work since July 28, and I don't know when, if ever, he's coming back to work, and how useful he'd be if he does come back, I think I've got a problem.

greenfrog - Saturday, March 31 2018 @ 10:48 AM EDT (#355265) #
Texas GM Jon Daniels (in Crocodile Dundee accent): "That's not a problem. [He pulls out Prince Fielder's contract] Now THAT's a problem."
John Northey - Saturday, March 31 2018 @ 11:04 AM EDT (#355266) #
Mike Schmidt late in his career, I recall reading way back when, that he switched to a hack down swing that got him a home run the first time he used it in a game (used out of frustration during a slump).  He proceeded to win an MVP that year I think (I think it was 1986).  He was a scary good hitter who retired because he felt he was playing poorly (91 OPS+ but a 203 batting average - resulting in his only negative WAR season).

As to who to trade this year...
$20 mil plus...
  • Donaldson (very tradeable even with the injury I suspect)
  • Martin (signed through 2019 at $20 per) reasonably tradable but I don't see it happening
  • Tulo (untradable at the moment, owed $58 mil over the next 3 years option for 2021)

$10 mil to $14 mil (no one between 14 and 19 mil)

  • Estrada (free agent, can't be given a QO no matter what as he had one before thus easier to trade)
  • Happ (free agent after this year, I think can be offered a QO so might be worth more to the Jays than others)
  • Morales (owed $23 over 2 years - hard to trade without eating most of that)

Over $5 mil

  • Garcia ($8 plus $2 buyout of option year)
  • Pearce ($6.25 mil, then free agent)
  • Granderson ($5 on the dot)
  • These 3 are all needing to show something first before trading, but none are big budget items.  If they do well they might draw a B prospect, but more likely a C level.  Garcia has the highest value on the market with the reasonable option for next year if he does well.

Entering Arbitration 3 thus getting expensive and close to free agency

  • Stroman (1 more year of arbitration, free agent after 2020)

Arbitraiton 2 (free agent after 2020)

  • Osuna, Sanchez, Pillar, Grichuk

Everyone else is making too little or is too far from arbitration, or is just a backup so probably has too little value to even draw a C prospect.

Richard S.S. - Saturday, March 31 2018 @ 12:58 PM EDT (#355268) #
I listened to to the Tulowitzki interview with Hazel Mae. His confidence in his abilities is unshakeable. Everyone needs to come to terms with his contract, itís not going anywhere. He should be back by about mid-June if it goes well. Heís exactly the type of Player Shapiro and Atkins would add in mid-season and weíre getting him a 6-7 weeks early. Iím willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. I firmly believe, no Tulowitzki, no 2015 Postseason, no 2016 Postseason.
dalimon5 - Saturday, March 31 2018 @ 01:51 PM EDT (#355269) #
"If I'm paying a guy 20M and he hasn't been to work since July 28, and I don't know when, if ever, he's coming back to work, and how useful he'd be if he does come back, I think I've got a problem."

A more accurate analogy is if you were paying a guy $20 million who was injured on the job on July 28th working for you in a key position who you hired based on his impeccable standing in the industry.

It's unreasonable to call these issues "problems" when its just baseball business. If paying Tulo $20 million is a problem then paying everybody that we're paying undermarket value for is also a problem. You shouldn't expect to pay Tulo fair market and at the same time expect to underpay Stroman/Sanchez/Osuna/Vlad/Bo etc. That's ownership minded corporate thinking.

Would you rather have a $20 million short stop who is injured with the potential to come back and be a star and above average or even average player or would you prefer to see the Jays pay everybody undermarket value or market value with an emphasis on profits only? Did you watch the Dave Berg, Frank Menechino and Howie Clark's of the world playing for the Blue Jays before?

Shortstops playing for the Blue Jays before Tulowitzki:

John McDonald
Marco Scutaro
David Eckstein
Royce Clayton
Russ Adams
Mike Bordick
Scott Gomez
Chris Woodward

Somebody do the exercise of adding up the average WAR of these players, then adjust for inflation or a comparable to this type of player and how much it will guess is $8-$12 million in todays market.

Then someone should do the exercise to see how much salary and losses we had to take on just to trade for Reyes who was the most productive player of the bunch compared to Tulo.

Injuries happen. When players aren't playing it doesn't mean they're bad. It means they're not producing because they can't play. If you were paying someone and they got injured and you fired them or got rid of them, you would be the biggest loser in the end because a) you wouldn't have a capable replacement b) you'd be hammered with penalties

People use your heads on Tulo.
dalimon5 - Saturday, March 31 2018 @ 01:55 PM EDT (#355270) #
But at least if we have a Howie Clark/Scott Gomez comparable then everybody can say that we aren't overpaying for SS and we don't have any "problems." Man I hope these posters are playing the stocks because well, you can see why.
Parker - Saturday, March 31 2018 @ 02:59 PM EDT (#355272) #
Somebody do the exercise of adding up the average WAR of these players, then adjust for inflation or a comparable to this type of player and how much it will guess is $8-$12 million in todays market.

Alex Gonzalez (the second one) should be on your list as well. He created more value at short in half a season than Tulo has managed in his best FULL season for Toronto, and at a fraction of the price.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, March 31 2018 @ 04:58 PM EDT (#355276) #
I am starting to notice that on this site, when people have made a decision about a subject, they will no longer be objective or even reasonable about that subject. Thatís sad. A long term contract should always be evaluated near itís end, otherwise is premature. Until Troy Tulowitzki starts playing again, no one knows what weíll get. Discussion is always welcome, but none knows what the future brings.

China fan - Saturday, March 31 2018 @ 06:19 PM EDT (#355277) #
That's an excellent outing by Marco Estrada. Seven innings against a very powerful lineup, and he allowed only 3 runs.

With a seemingly weak offence, the Jays will need excellence from the rotation. So far Happ allowed his pitch count to get very high at an early stage, and Sanchez allowed 12 baserunners in 5.2 innings. But both had good stuff and should settle in.
China fan - Saturday, March 31 2018 @ 06:41 PM EDT (#355278) #
Great base-running by Kevin Pillar there, but I'm still disappointed that Gibbons did not choose to pinch-hit for Ngoepe. He had Morales and Travis and Martin available on the bench. I can only assume that this is connected to the Travis health regime -- Travis is not being permitted to play for even a single inning when he gets a day off, and he is being rested every third game. I hope this restriction gets loosened soon, because it is tying Gibby's hands in key situations.
China fan - Saturday, March 31 2018 @ 06:44 PM EDT (#355279) #
First time in history that a Blue Jay has stolen three bases in an inning.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, March 31 2018 @ 07:03 PM EDT (#355280) #
Too many times Sanchez started the batter with Ball One, then more often than not followed up with Ball Two. Game One was an absence of Offense that cost that game. Hitters are starting to put it together so games should turn in their favour, but having your Starter pitch an easy 7.0 innings sets that up.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, March 31 2018 @ 07:10 PM EDT (#355281) #
I donít think so China fan. Something I heard from John Gibbons from earlier indicates a day off will be a total day off. Besides with enough at bats even Ngoepe should hit enough.
BlueMonday - Saturday, March 31 2018 @ 07:12 PM EDT (#355282) #
First time in history that a Blue Jay has stolen three bases in an inning.

Pretty cool. And Ngoepe didn't give Pillar a Bautista type glare after.
Thomas - Saturday, March 31 2018 @ 07:13 PM EDT (#355283) #
Pillar finished the day getting on base twice in four plate appearances with three stolen bases in one inning.

I'm so sick and annoyed of this guy.
uglyone - Saturday, March 31 2018 @ 07:20 PM EDT (#355284) #
the speed on the basepaths was awesome but for me the most encouraging thing about Pillar's game today was how quick and decisive he looked in the OF.
China fan - Saturday, March 31 2018 @ 07:21 PM EDT (#355285) #
It was also the first time in 22 years that any MLB player has stolen three bases in an inning.

Pillar currently has the highest OPS of any player on the team. And that doesn't even factor in the base-running.

I'm sure he'll cool off, as he always does, but we have to enjoy the hot streaks when they happen.
China fan - Saturday, March 31 2018 @ 07:39 PM EDT (#355286) #
They are correcting that statistic now. Apparently the 3-stolen-bases-in-an-inning feat was accomplished by Wil Myers last year. Previous reports said it hadn't been done since 1996.
JohnL - Saturday, March 31 2018 @ 08:35 PM EDT (#355287) #

First time in history that a Blue Jay has stolen three bases in an inning.

Well, yes... and (sort of) no.

In the AL, the last 3 players to do this were all past or future Jays. Chris Stynes in 1996 with Royals (just a Jays minor leaguer, traded to KC for David Cone prior to 1995 season). Devon White (1989, Angels), and Paul Molitor (1987, Brewers). Before that, it was all before the Jays existed.

And in the NL, Jayson Werth also did it in 2009 with the Phillies. (Plus former Jays radio voice Dusty Baker in 1984/Giants.)

Full list:

Richard S.S. - Saturday, March 31 2018 @ 09:36 PM EDT (#355288) #
The Yankee Pitchers will never ignore Pillar again, ever. Thereís nothing better than a distracted Pitcher for a hitter. Nice for Pillar to send a message to those Yankee egos.
Vulg - Saturday, March 31 2018 @ 10:01 PM EDT (#355289) #
I'm perplexed by Buck's comments about how your back shoulder isn't important when swinging a bat.

You had me at "comments".
scottt - Saturday, March 31 2018 @ 10:04 PM EDT (#355290) #
Grichuk has one of the lowest crouch I've seen in quite a while. He also chokes on his bat, yet generates a lot of power.

Solarte is supposed to be better from the left side.
Maile looks better than last year.
Diaz doesn't look comfortable out there, like he's not focusing.

John Northey - Saturday, March 31 2018 @ 11:09 PM EDT (#355292) #
Very surprised the list of stealing 2nd/3rd/home in one inning doesn't have Rickey Henderson or Vince Coleman (3 times 100+ steals in a season) on it as both were certainly the types to try.  Funny how all 4 recent ones (since the Jays came into existence) had Jay ties (a Jay before or after or during it).
rpriske - Sunday, April 01 2018 @ 12:44 AM EDT (#355293) #
Sure, I watch the two crappy games and when I have to miss one, they have a super-fun game!
John Northey - Sunday, April 01 2018 @ 12:50 AM EDT (#355294) #
Interesting - the Diamondbacks are moving Yasmany Tomas off their 40 man roster.  He is owed $45.5 mil over 2018-2020 (age 27-28-29 seasons) then is a free agent.  Tulo is owed $58 mil over the same stretch (ages 33-35 seasons).  Might be a good bad contract for bad contract trade.  Arizona's current SS has a 64 lifetime OPS+ (off to a great start so far this year for what that is worth, 2 games).  That would certainly make the bean counters happy and would make it easier long term.  Tomas is more a DH than an OF but can play 3B as well.  Probably is like Bautista was at 3B, but still more useful off the bench than many. 

Big difference is that Tulo is thought of as a solid clubhouse guy who might help in the 2nd half but this might be a way to make things easier for the club.  Tomas already has had to play LF/RF/3B/1B while Tulo has indicated he will not go easily off SS (scared of a George Bell v2 - when told he would DH in 1988 he sat out a game and the drama all spring was insane).  Tomas has tons of power but has poor plate discipline (sounds familiar) so he'd fit right in here.

ISLAND BOY - Sunday, April 01 2018 @ 06:33 AM EDT (#355295) #
Better the devil you know ...
ComebyDeanChance - Sunday, April 01 2018 @ 09:42 AM EDT (#355296) #
In both of their games so far this year, the 2-0 Mets under new manager Mickey Callaway (previously Cleveland's pitching coach) have hit their starting pitcher 8th and the shortstop Ahmed Rosario 9th.
bpoz - Sunday, April 01 2018 @ 12:22 PM EDT (#355299) #
Thanks John N for the breakdown in financial commitment for the Jay's players. I know Gurriel has 6years left on his contract. How about Solarte and A Diaz?
John Northey - Sunday, April 01 2018 @ 01:22 PM EDT (#355301) #
For contracts I use - Cot's Contacts - great site for full contract details, well as full as we'll get to see.

Gurriel - $3M signing bonus, 17:$0.6M, 18:$1M, 19:$1.5M, 20:$2.5M, 21:$3.5M, 22:$4.5M, 23:$5.4M

Solarte - 18:$4M, 19:$5.5M club option ($0.75M buyout), 20:$8M

Diaz - 1 year $2 mil.
uglyone - Sunday, April 01 2018 @ 01:49 PM EDT (#355302) #
the yanks have shown off 2 world class throws for putouts this series. one from sanchez to catch grandy stealing and one from judge there to just nail russ at the plate.

absolutely perfect seeds inches off the ground on the frontside of the bag/plate.

either of those throws were 1% less perfect and they're both safe.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, April 01 2018 @ 02:01 PM EDT (#355303) #
Iím not sure of the wording or the actual facts, but with what I still remember it comes close. Diaz signied an MLB contract as his first contract. The Regular contract everyone else signs runs on ML Serice time. Diaz has 1.1 years of ML Service time. He might earn more, but I think he still needs a full 6.0 (4.9 more) years of ML Service time to become a Free Agent at age 32.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, April 01 2018 @ 02:13 PM EDT (#355304) #
Stromanís still a bit rusty, heís usually better at stopping the bleeding.
grjas - Sunday, April 01 2018 @ 02:23 PM EDT (#355305) #
Wow. 14 LOB in three innings. As this rate it'll be 42 by game's end.
christaylor - Sunday, April 01 2018 @ 02:39 PM EDT (#355307) #
It's a long season, don't rush to judgement.
uglyone - Sunday, April 01 2018 @ 02:41 PM EDT (#355308) #
LOB are frustrating, but i'm just happy to see us getting on base every inning. we weren't able to that much at all last year, and so far this year before today.
mathesond - Sunday, April 01 2018 @ 04:05 PM EDT (#355311) #
Nice AB for Smoak.
uglyone - Sunday, April 01 2018 @ 04:06 PM EDT (#355312) #
with all the baserunners we were getting it was only a matter of time.

and smoak being as good as past year would really help the jays beat my expectations.

and good job yankees sinking all that money into relievers.
rpriske - Sunday, April 01 2018 @ 04:11 PM EDT (#355313) #
No Osuna?
BlueJayWay - Sunday, April 01 2018 @ 04:16 PM EDT (#355314) #
Fun win. Nice to come back and get a split, with the way that series started.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, April 01 2018 @ 04:26 PM EDT (#355315) #
Nice to see my belief that the hitters were coming around is justified. Didnít expect this much, this fast, but beating New York is always fun.
Magpie - Sunday, April 01 2018 @ 04:27 PM EDT (#355316) #
No Osuna?

Gibbons has never liked using relievers three days in a row.
grjas - Sunday, April 01 2018 @ 04:28 PM EDT (#355317) #
but i'm just happy to see us getting on base every inning.

Oh yeah, and high 5ís on the gym treadmill now weíre smoaking
grjas - Sunday, April 01 2018 @ 04:33 PM EDT (#355318) #
Jays hit the vaunted Yankee bullpen pretty hard over the last few days, even in games they lost. Hopefully a trend others can continue
scottt - Sunday, April 01 2018 @ 04:39 PM EDT (#355319) #
Smoaking all the way! Nice to see Diaz get a hit. I like the power in his swing.
Welcome back to the American League Coach A. Boone.

I really like how Pillar is calling Granderson off. Nothing timid about it. The risk of collision is pretty high how, but if one guy goes for the ball and the other backs him off, the defense is going to be great.

It was frustrating for a while getting beat by the Yankees prospects.

.500 is something they never achieved last year.

Richard S.S. - Sunday, April 01 2018 @ 04:50 PM EDT (#355320) #
Attendance was down by close to 44,000 fans. Hopefully itís because itís Easter, otherwise payroll will be dropping next year if this is a trend that continues.
Media as usual pisses all over the Offseason accomplishments the Jays made and blogs take it up discouraging the Fans. Then the Media never promotes what might be a good game like todayís game.
The Jays now faces Chicago (for three) who arenít that good. No one expects them to be competitive this Season. Winning at least two is important. Then after a day off the Jays play three in Texas and three in Baltimore, neither Team is that good. Winning at least four is important.
dan gordon - Sunday, April 01 2018 @ 05:06 PM EDT (#355321) #
Great to come from behind against the best bullpen in baseball. That's a ridiculous group the Yankees have, with Chapman, Betances, Robertson, Kahnle, Greene and Warren all good enough to be closers.

What I had read about Smoak a couple of months ago is starting to look right - that he cut his swing down last year, and that's why he hit so much better, and that he had a knee problem in the 2nd half which resulted in the drop off. He was quoted on the TV this weekend as saying he stopped trying to hit home runs, which agrees with the earlier analysis. Quite possible that his 1st half last year was no fluke. If so, the Jays have a great contract with him for this year and next.

I like their batting order with Solarte in there instead of Morales against a right hander. The injury to Donaldson may have actually helped the batting order against righties. Hope to see more of it even after Donaldson returns to the field.

Oh looks good - I think he produces a year much more like his 2016 than his 2017.

I thought the umpire was rather erratic in his ball/strike calls today. Maybe just my bias, but it seemed like the Yankees were getting better calls than the Jays.

Judge looks like he did in the 2nd half of 2017. Hope that continues for a while. I mentioned a while back that the Yankees have a lot of guys who have significant injury history or other reasons for being question marks. They've already got Bird and Hicks on the shelf. Sure, they're a really good team, but I don't think they're the slam dunk some people make them out to be.
scottt - Sunday, April 01 2018 @ 05:48 PM EDT (#355322) #
The Yankees always gets the better call yet complain about the calls that don't go their way.
All of the 4 Yankees starters threw a lot of ball outside of the zone for strikes.
Tanaka mixes 5 different pitches to get ahead in the count and then throws sliders and splitters in the dirt which the Jays swing at. Often when they actually watch one of those it gets a borderline call.
CC and Gray haven't looked good, they just got lucky. 

Overall, Donaldson is still looking for his timing and his shoulder is probably sapping some of his strength, but he takes his walks.

The pen looks pretty good. There's no low leverage guy. Everybody takes a turn.
If they run out of arms, Barnes is the only guy who can go down. It works that he's usually the first guy out of the pen.

China fan - Sunday, April 01 2018 @ 07:42 PM EDT (#355323) #
A split against the Yankees is a pretty good result when the entire offence has consisted of two hitters, and the starting pitching has been patchy.

The offensive production will become a lot more balanced, the starters will improve, and this team has a decent chance of being quite good.

Earlier in this thread, I expressed concerns about several potential weaknesses on this team. Most of those concerns are still valid. But I am happy to admit that I was wrong to be worrying about Smoak. He doesn't seem like a candidate for regression. His big leap forward in 2017 now seems legit.

My other concern was the bullpen. It seems that I was probably wrong about that too. Lots of good performances already from Tepera, Oh, Clippard, Barnes, and of course Osuna. If there's a weak link, it might be Axford. It seems that Tim Mayza is very close to being ready for a major-league job, so reinforcements are available if needed.

Richard S.S. - Sunday, April 01 2018 @ 07:56 PM EDT (#355324) #
This was a very good game for the Jays, especially the new guys. They start believing they can come back in any game and thereís no stopping them.
Mike Green - Sunday, April 01 2018 @ 08:53 PM EDT (#355325) #
Gerry - Friday, March 30 2018 @ 11:15 PM EDT (#355255) #
Some observations from the RC tonight:

Smoak looked to be "on" a lot of the pitches. His foul balls were loud too.

One observation confirmed!
Nigel - Sunday, April 01 2018 @ 11:34 PM EDT (#355330) #
I'm late to this so this will repeat a number of the good comments above. I think this is a roster built to be average, so 78-84 wins (attracting decent attendance and keeping eyeballs on the screen through to August) is bang on. I think it most likely to achieve the low end of that - so mark me for 78 wins. I see a team that will be a below average offensive team (not greatly) but an average run prevention team (built on above average starters, average pen and below average defense). Some surprising performances in the pen or health from all 5 starters could make this an above average run prevention team and a fringe contender. In other words, contention, in my view, comes on the run prevention side of things. I don't see an easy path for this team to be a good offensive club.
uglyone - Monday, April 02 2018 @ 01:55 AM EDT (#355331) #
me i still see this as most likely an above average offense. one stud bat supported by likely around league average in all the other slots is a recipe for above average imo.
scottt - Monday, April 02 2018 @ 07:30 AM EDT (#355333) #
Travis, Donaldson, Smoak could be a good one-two-three once the first 2 get going.
scottt - Monday, April 02 2018 @ 07:48 AM EDT (#355334) #
The easy path to offense is to hit with runners in scoring position. They've been very bad at that last year, but that's mostly a random thing. They do strike out too much though.

With Solarte, they can rest the players who need it.

The rotation is looking good so far, but on paper they've allowed 13 runs and the bullpen 3.

ComebyDeanChance - Monday, April 02 2018 @ 08:10 AM EDT (#355335) #
I'm on the first base side, so I couldn't tell if fans on the third base side were unloading on Rivera for holding Martin in the 8th. But I suspected that Rivera might have been the happiest guy in the stadium after Smoak's grand slam. Particularly after Travis failed to bring the runner from third with less than 2 out, the 4th Jay to do so yesterday.
Richard S.S. - Monday, April 02 2018 @ 08:31 AM EDT (#355336) #
Game one: too many men left on base in scoring position. J.A. Happ actually pitched fairly well. The Curtis Granderson error and an allowed run by John Axford made his outing look worse.

Game Two: Aaron Sanchez started too, too many hitters with Ball One and immediately threw Ball Two to just too many hitters. Just pitching better, not even a lot better, just better, the Yankees might not win this game.

Game Three: Marco Estrada pitched well enough to win. Scoring against New Yorkís Bullpen is always sweet. The 8th Inning might start to be meaningful for the Jays. This is where legends are made.

Game Four: Marcus Stroman is usually good at stopping the bleeding, except today. Six runs verses the mighty N.Y. Bullpen is a pleasure to see, but the 8th inning heroics have started something.
hypobole - Monday, April 02 2018 @ 10:20 AM EDT (#355340) #
Not exactly a must-win series coming up against the White Sox, but definitely a should-win series. Took a couple of big games by JD and Smoak and a great start by Happ just to get a split with the Sox last year after we dropped 3 of the first 4 to a 95 loss team.

I've also had more than my fill of miserable Aprils. The past 8 seasons, we've come out of April with a winning record exactly once, back in 2012, and even that was a mediocre 12-11 mark.

So yeah, beating the Sox is kind of important, especially considering we'll play the next 9 (and 13 of 16) on the road.
85bluejay - Monday, April 02 2018 @ 11:09 AM EDT (#355345) #
Of the next 5 series the Jays play (15 games), only the Indians are projected contenders, so this is the "time to make hay while the sun shines".
bpoz - Monday, April 02 2018 @ 12:11 PM EDT (#355347) #
Bad Aprils. 2012 was the worst year from 2010 onwards with only 73 wins. So then 2015 and 2016 were losing Aprils also.

The pen could have been responsible for a lot of them.
Richard S.S. - Monday, April 02 2018 @ 01:03 PM EDT (#355350) #
The Bullpen has always been the very last thing the Jays take care of. As a result, they are seldom good enough for the job. This year, the Jays have an embarrassment of riches - good Relievers. Ryan Tepera, Daniel Barnes have both shown themselves to be effective Relievers. Tim Mayza and Carlos Ramirez have shown they are effective at this level. Both John Axford and Tyler Clippard have been talking to the Jays for a significant portion of the Offseason about their progress. They Jays were confident with what they would get and signed them, put them on the Team and here we are. They got lucky with acquiring Seung-Hawn Oh after the Other Team misread what was honourable - renegotiating a negotiated contract is not. The other NRIs that were under consideration are still with the Team in the Minors, giving the Jays a considerable depth to work with.
rpriske - Monday, April 02 2018 @ 03:26 PM EDT (#355361) #
I already love Solarte.

He has that kind of positive emotion that I loved in Price. He really looks like he loves playing ball.
ComebyDeanChance - Monday, April 02 2018 @ 04:03 PM EDT (#355364) #
renegotiating a negotiated contract is not.

Weird. You can't renegotiate based on a medical? #newrules
ComebyDeanChance - Monday, April 02 2018 @ 04:36 PM EDT (#355369) #
Justin Smoak. AL Player of the Week. Not a surprise.
christaylor - Monday, April 02 2018 @ 04:47 PM EDT (#355370) #
One can but like any negotiation, one risks ticking the other side off. It looks like that's what happened in Oh's case -- seems fair to me.

It is a totally different situation, but the Jays may have ticked Stroman off in arb this off-season. It would be completely understandable, at least to me, if he walks away from the team when he gets his chance.
Gerry - Monday, April 02 2018 @ 04:54 PM EDT (#355371) #
Francisco Liriano started and got the win today for the Tigers. He only allowed one run in six plus innings.
pooks137 - Monday, April 02 2018 @ 04:57 PM EDT (#355372) #

It is a totally different situation, but the Jays may have ticked Stroman off in arb this off-season. It would be completely understandable, at least to me, if he walks away from the team when he gets his chance.

Stroman is all ego. He's not going to give you one ounce of hometown discount. He's going to bet on himself everytime and negotiating any fair extension or free-agent deal for anything but full-market value is going to be pretty tough.

A few hurt feelings in an arb hearing aren't going to change that

It's like when last year when Boras and Aaron Sanchez were complaining about the Jays auto-renewing his pre-arb contract instead of negotiating whatever raise Boras thought he was worth when the Jays didn't have to. Sanchez sent a message loud-and-clear that his time as a Jay would end as soon as he was eligible the day he hired Boras as an agent. Quibbling over a few hundred thousand isn't going to change that

85bluejay - Monday, April 02 2018 @ 07:16 PM EDT (#355385) #
That's not necessarily true - almost every player whose contract is renewed (pre-arbit) gets annoyed but many then sign long term contracts with team - Trout was upset when the Angels renewed & he signed a great deal for LA - I think it's just a thing that players & Agents do.
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