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The Blue Jays head to Cleveland to wrap up a nine-game road trip.

Series Schedule

Friday at 7:10 pm ET - Marcus Stroman (0-1, 8.38) vs. Mike Clevinger (1-0, 0.71)
Saturday at 4:10 pm ET - Jaime Garcia (1-0, 3.18) vs. Corey Kluber (1-1, 1.57)
Sunday at 1:10 pm ET - J.A. Happ (2-1, 3.94) vs. Josh Tomlin (0-1, 9.00) at 1:10 p.m. * Jackie Robinson Day

After a 2-4 road trip to star the year, Cleveland has won six of seven on its current homestand. They downed Kansas City in a three-game set before sweeping Detroit in four straight to give them a five-game winning streak. Their 8-5 record leaves them in a tie for first place in the AL Central with 7-4 Minnesota.

The 8-5 Blue Jays-after winning two of three in Baltimore-are 2-1/2 games behind Boston in the AL East.

On Deck - A return home to Kansas City for three games starting Monday.

Blue Jays @ Cleveland - April 13-15 | 110 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
James W - Friday, April 13 2018 @ 05:29 PM EDT (#356169) #
A preview for the weekend series:

rafael - Friday, April 13 2018 @ 05:33 PM EDT (#356171) #
I guess someone different will have to bring it though ...for a few days
cybercavalier - Friday, April 13 2018 @ 05:53 PM EDT (#356173) #
Looking at fansgraph batting leader board for Triple-A, 2B Gordon Beckham is playing shortstop and hitting well. How about swaping D. Sweeney for Beckham in Buffalo? When Ngoepe was demoted, Beckham would be recalled to Toronto.
uglyone - Friday, April 13 2018 @ 07:00 PM EDT (#356176) #
So donaldson was hurting and the bullpen was rested and there was an offday upcoming....and they still called up an 8th reliever? Strange.
uglyone - Friday, April 13 2018 @ 07:05 PM EDT (#356177) #
I worry that expectations on teoscar are too the fans, by these announcers hyping him right now,and apparently by the manager who just stuck him in donaldson's spot.
Richard S.S. - Friday, April 13 2018 @ 08:05 PM EDT (#356178) #
With your Starting Pitcher is doing his best to reward his opponents blanking his Team each prior half-inning, people are asking why an eighth Reliever was called. It should be apparent right now. The Jays really have the work cut out for them to try and win this game with so very many opponents.
grjas - Friday, April 13 2018 @ 08:10 PM EDT (#356179) #
Hmmm. Is Stromanís issue rust or injury. Stroman thinks heís a quick healer and may be pushing the envelope a little.

They can certainly ill afford his shoulder and Estradaís back issues to linger.
Petey Baseball - Friday, April 13 2018 @ 08:33 PM EDT (#356180) #
Anyone still want Ryan Goins back?
GabrielSyme - Friday, April 13 2018 @ 09:27 PM EDT (#356181) #
Anyone still want Ryan Goins back?

Right now I'd prefer him to Ngoepe. But Goins wasn't an option as a infielder making the minimum with an option.

It would be nice if we had better depth options than Ngoepe, but our good depth are currently starting. But I am awfully glad we aren't running out Barney and Goins everyday this year.
uglyone - Friday, April 13 2018 @ 10:18 PM EDT (#356182) #
We've had some great games this year so far but i think this one is my favorite. IMO stro was more unlucky than bad (babip and iffy defense), and then the boys just started grinding and taking advantage of every mistake. Even the guys not hitting came through with defensive plays, stolen bases, and productive outs. And of course...welcome back, Teoscar.

And Diaz is starting to legit excite me. His power is real and he's hitting breaking balls too. And even his defensive woes seem to have been exaggerated.
uglyone - Friday, April 13 2018 @ 10:20 PM EDT (#356183) #
Gabriel....would you really prefer goins to ngoepe? Why?
grjas - Friday, April 13 2018 @ 10:41 PM EDT (#356184) #
Gotta love a team that finds a way to win.
ComebyDeanChance - Friday, April 13 2018 @ 10:52 PM EDT (#356185) #
Great game for the Jays. Diaz, Pearce, Teoscar, all big hits. And solid pen work.
greenfrog - Friday, April 13 2018 @ 11:00 PM EDT (#356186) #
Any word on whether Travis broke his hand/wrist?
AWeb - Friday, April 13 2018 @ 11:03 PM EDT (#356187) #
If you figure this team has to outpace last year by at least 10 wins to threaten the playoffs, they are already +6 through 14 games. Great win tonight! Thought it was funny buck and tabler danced around the reason they let Osuna pitch in a non save situation was likely Kluber on deck tomorrow.
Petey Baseball - Friday, April 13 2018 @ 11:21 PM EDT (#356188) #
Bullpen was also terrific again. The formula of good starting pitching, a few good relievers, a lights out closer, and a decent enough offence as well as defense has led to playoff sports in the past.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, April 14 2018 @ 12:14 AM EDT (#356189) #
Osuna pitched because he was loose and ready to go when it became a non-save situation. I believe thatís the same as actually pitching, just a shorter outing.
GabrielSyme - Saturday, April 14 2018 @ 12:32 AM EDT (#356190) #
would you really prefer goins to ngoepe?

Ngoepe used a .429 babip last year to generate a... 71 wRC+. That's an unsustainable babip; but from what I've seen, a 40% strikeout rate is completely sustainable. It takes a special talent to make Ryan Goins a clearly better offensive option, but Ngoepe does it.
Petey Baseball - Saturday, April 14 2018 @ 01:52 AM EDT (#356191) #
The crazy reality about this great start is that the everyday outfield by mid-season might have Hernandez/Pillar/Alford, and Bichette could be the second baseman.
dan gordon - Saturday, April 14 2018 @ 04:11 AM EDT (#356192) #
I don't think Granderson is going anywhere. He's a legit .800+ OPS guy against righties.

This Jays offense is better than most people give them credit for. Diaz, Solarte, Pearce and Granderson are all significantly underrated hitters IMO. The Jays are scoring a lot of runs despite getting nothing from Grichuk and Travis, and much less than expected from Donaldson, all of which has a reasonable chance of correcting, as long as Travis hasn't broken his hand. This is a good offense.

The bullpen is starting to take shape, with Osuna, Tepera, Barnes and Clippard all looking good, and the rest looking very replaceable, although I'm betting Oh is going to be fine. I'm thinking Carlos Ramirez is going to help this team a bunch this year.

Stroman is starting to concern me a bit. He's given up 18 hits and 10 walks in 14 2/3 innings for an ugly WHIP of just under 2.00. An article I read about him in the spring was quite negative about his future, with one of their big concerns being the fact that his FIP has risen steadily every year since he made the big leagues. I'm not a big FIP fan, but I recognize that it has its uses as a predictive tool, and his FIP going into tonight's game had risen again this year, small sample size and all. Anyway, he still seems to have good stuff, so hopefully he turns things around. Maybe his short spring training has been a bit of an issue.

All in all, health problems aside, this is looking like a very good team.
ComebyDeanChance - Saturday, April 14 2018 @ 05:14 AM EDT (#356194) #
I liked this Dan Shulman tweet about Grandson.

3 things you should know about Curtis Granderson @cgrand3
- he donated $5M to his alma mater, UIC, and the baseball stadium is named for him
- he'll be wearing cleats honoring Jackie Robinson and Larry Doby on Sunday, and
- he has an OPS of .995 #BlueJays

— Dan Shulman (@DShulman_ESPN) April 13, 2018
scottt - Saturday, April 14 2018 @ 08:18 AM EDT (#356195) #
Stroman was somewhat unlucky, but he kept leaving his breaking balls all over the top of the strike zone and missing his spots continuously. If the point is to get a ground ball, it shouldn't take 6 or 7 pitches in an at bat to do it.

Diaz, Solarte and Grichuk have all good arms and legit power.

Diaz was a .300 hitter with with a .210 isolated power in 2017.
Last year he was a .260 hitter with .130 iso.
Currently, in 12 games he's a .237 hitter with 368 iso.
In the long run he probably won't hit 40 bombs, but he could get on base more.

Hernandez fits right in. Maybe they' ll DH Pillar 1 game to gave him a rest and give Granderson some work on the field.
It's kinda hard to DH Grichuk.

hypobole - Saturday, April 14 2018 @ 08:18 AM EDT (#356196) #
If Aledmys Diaz season ended today, he'd be only the 2nd player in MLB history with at least 39 PA's , OBP under .260 and SLG over.600.
scottt - Saturday, April 14 2018 @ 08:30 AM EDT (#356197) #
I don't see Bichette at second. We likely see Tulo back at short though.

It might be really hard to send Hernandez back in a couple of weeks.
Grichuk is out of options, That just means that he would have to go on waivers on his way to AAA.
He can't refuse to go because he doesn't have 5 years of service.
At 2.6M, I don't think anyone would claim him, so he could work on his swing in Buffalo.

greenfrog - Saturday, April 14 2018 @ 08:59 AM EDT (#356198) #
Travis and Grichuk are now each at -0.5 fWAR, tied for second-lowest among all players in the majors (tied for lowest in the AL).

The fact that the Jays are 9-5 shows you how good the rest of the team has been. And no one player is head and shoulders above the rest. The highest WAR posted by a Blue Jay is 0.5 (Solarte and Smoak), which ranks them #50 and 51 among WAR leaders.
BlueJayWay - Saturday, April 14 2018 @ 09:15 AM EDT (#356199) #
I wonder if Stroman's still ramping up from having a short spring, or if the shoulder is an issue.
85bluejay - Saturday, April 14 2018 @ 09:52 AM EDT (#356200) #
If Travis hits the DL, I wonder what's the move - Espinosa/Leblebijian are not on the 4o man roster & I think anyone removed from the 40 man roster will be claimed - maybe if it's a short stay, Gurriel(40 man) comes up.I wonder if the Jays might consider Martin at 3rd and using a hot Maile as catcher.

Today is a tough test for the Jays offense - can't get much tougher than Kluber.
PeterG - Saturday, April 14 2018 @ 10:15 AM EDT (#356201) #
Hopefully Travis is ok but likely Gurriel comes up if he's not.
uglyone - Saturday, April 14 2018 @ 10:19 AM EDT (#356202) #
Grichuk would absolutely be claimed on waivers.

But morales would absolutely not be.
uglyone - Saturday, April 14 2018 @ 10:22 AM EDT (#356203) #
Stroman's fip is actually down from last year. Though not different enough from last year, or the year before, or his career, to really matter.
greenfrog - Saturday, April 14 2018 @ 10:35 AM EDT (#356204) #
But would Grichuk be claimed if he had the same contract that Morales has? It's an interesting question.
Chuck - Saturday, April 14 2018 @ 10:52 AM EDT (#356205) #
But would Grichuk be claimed if he had the same contract that Morales has?

The off-season was unkind to position players. Had he been a free agent, would a guy who totalled between 3 and 4 WAR the previous two seasons have received a 2/23 offer? It's hard to believe that this would be the case, particularly when the best the Cardinals could land for him was a middle reliever with a sketchy history.

Mike Green - Saturday, April 14 2018 @ 01:04 PM EDT (#356207) #
Same lineup today to face Kluber, weather permitting. Travis OK.
92-93 - Saturday, April 14 2018 @ 01:18 PM EDT (#356208) #
"So donaldson was hurting and the bullpen was rested and there was an offday upcoming....and they still called up an 8th reliever? Strange."

I can think of many better words to describe this poor roster management.

We were told here that Teoscar probably isn't quite ready yet, that the team had zero need for a 5th outfielder (even though that graciously turns Pearce into one), and that the bullpen's workload was heavy (it wasn't). Well, Mayza hasn't pitched since he was called up and Loup hasn't pitched since last Sunday, because that's just how Gibbons has always run his team.

Having a deeper bench might have allowed the manager to PH for Ngoepe in the 6th inning of a a 4-2 game with a runner on base that the Jays eventually lost, but that wasn't an option with just Travis and Martin available. The Jays may want to consider calling up McGuire or Jannsen, as having a 3rd C around would allow Gibby some flexibility with Martin's ability to play the infield.

China fan - Saturday, April 14 2018 @ 01:27 PM EDT (#356209) #
Apparently 92-93 believes in canceling his fire insurance if his house hasn't had any fires for a few days. It's such an unnecessary waste of money!
bpoz - Saturday, April 14 2018 @ 01:30 PM EDT (#356210) #
It could be circumstances or Gibby is not making the roster decisions. I don't know.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, April 14 2018 @ 01:30 PM EDT (#356211) #
Iím glad the X-Rays on Devon Travisí hand turned out negative. It might be a day or two before he returns to playing.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, April 14 2018 @ 01:40 PM EDT (#356212) #
The Jays would be playing a 9-Day, 9-Game, 3-Team series within a couple of days of Kendrys Morales D.L. stint. Calling up another Reliever should be a necessity. With no one needing full-time D.H. ABs, having an extra body on the bench wasnít a necessity. After this 9-Game set that might change.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, April 14 2018 @ 01:54 PM EDT (#356213) #
Itís been a while since Yangervis Solarte played regularly in the A.L. Randal Grichuk and Aledmys Diaz have faced more A.L. pitching this season than in years before. All three might need a while to catch up.
Chuck - Saturday, April 14 2018 @ 01:57 PM EDT (#356214) #
It could be circumstances or Gibby is not making the roster decisions.

Interesting statement.

Gibbons was interviewed yesterday about Hernandez and said "he belongs up here". I'm perhaps guilty of reading way too much into his tone, but it seemed like not having Hernandez up beforehand was not his decision and that the inevitable was finally done. He praised Hernandez's September (of course) and argued that Hernandez looked like an improved hitter yet this past spring.

Morales' injury couldn't come at a worse time for him. If Hernandez hits, and if Grichuk starts hitting (it's theoretically possible, right?), Morales may find playing time tough to come by when he returns.

uglyone - Saturday, April 14 2018 @ 02:15 PM EDT (#356215) #
I was looking at a number of stats splits today - this year, last year, last 2yrs, last calendar year, etc - and got to asking myself what would be my starting lineup right now, today, if everyone was 100% healthy.

After going back and forth a bunch of times I settled on this:

(I'll use their "Last 2 calendar years" stats for display purposes only - wrc+ and war650)

1.LF Granderson - 115 / +3.2
2.3B Donaldson -- 151 / +6.6
3.1B Smoak ------ 120 / +2.6
4.DH Pearce ----- 119 / +2.3
5.RF Hernandez -- 115 / +1.8
6.SS Diaz ------- 108 / +2.3
7.2B Solarte ---- 106 / +2.5
8.C Martin ------ 103 / +2.9
9.CF Pillar ----- 86 / +2.4

UT Travis 95 / +2.4
OF Grichuk 93 / +2.1
IF Tulowitzki 98 / +2.6
C Maile 40 / -0.2

X Morales 105 / 0.2

Now before overreacting to that lineup, note that that bench is ridiculously awesome. It's no insult to them to be on the bench for TODAY.

Also note that best lineup for TODAY is different than best lineup for THIS SEASON. E.g. i'm not sure that teoscar will always be the best option, but i think he definitely is right now.

Also note that most of the starters there aren't guys you can or should want to be playing every day, so bench duty here isn't exactly bench duty.

Not to mention that a truly healthy travis and tulo are probably much better than their recent stats suggest....but even then, Diaz and Solarte on the bench would be pretty awesome too. If it turns out that teoscar can't hit breaking balls either, then he and grichuk could be in a tight battle going forward....and another interesting possibility would be grichuk in CF if his and pillar's hitting regresses back to normal.

The funny thing is, even with a longterm injury to Tulo, i still don't think there's a spot for Kendrys. Only happens if we think Solarte can legit back up SS - otherwise a ngoepe/espinosa has to be on the roster instead. Though if Solarte can handle SS even a bit, then i would rather have morales on the bench than those guys.

Also, Jansen coming up midseason or sooner seems inevitable.

And the last thing to note is that, damn, that is a pretty good looking offensive team right there.
PeterG - Saturday, April 14 2018 @ 02:33 PM EDT (#356216) #
Barring injuries, Jansen will spend the entire year at AAA.
uglyone - Saturday, April 14 2018 @ 02:36 PM EDT (#356217) #
scottt - Saturday, April 14 2018 @ 02:45 PM EDT (#356218) #
Grichuk and Diaz were best in their rookie year. It's more a question of making adjustments, "having the right timing" and "seeing the ball well".

Coincidentally, Morales was saying that he's seeing the ball well and neither Hernandez nor Grichuk is going to spend the year DHing in Toronto.

Chuck - Saturday, April 14 2018 @ 03:01 PM EDT (#356219) #
neither Hernandez nor Grichuk is going to spend the year DHing in Toronto

No, but Granderson, Pearce and Solarte could.

uglyone - Saturday, April 14 2018 @ 03:05 PM EDT (#356220) #
and Donaldson. And Smoak. And Tulo. And vladdy.
JohnL - Saturday, April 14 2018 @ 03:06 PM EDT (#356221) #
In case the Jays' game is rained out today, you can drop in on the Yankees-Red Sox game... from 87 years ago today.

The guy that posted this has some other amazing old video on his channel.
greenfrog - Saturday, April 14 2018 @ 03:32 PM EDT (#356222) #
This summer will be fascinating if:

1. The Jays are in the mix for a postseason spot;
2. Due to injuries or underperformance, they have a need at 3B, SS, 2B or DH; and
3. Vlad and Bo are progressing well and performing at a high level at AA.
92-93 - Saturday, April 14 2018 @ 04:03 PM EDT (#356223) #
And because this has absolutely nothing to do with hindsight, the correct analogy would be hiring a security detail for an insured home while you're out of town on a road trip with your uninsured Lambo.

The 6th and 7th spot in the bullpen should be used on guys with flexibility because they have options and/or multi-inning capability. Limiting the bench because you're carrying too many one-inning guys you're scared to lose on waivers is sub-optimal.
christaylor - Saturday, April 14 2018 @ 04:16 PM EDT (#356224) #
I'm guessing the link is a mistake...
cybercavalier - Saturday, April 14 2018 @ 04:22 PM EDT (#356226) #
"2. Due to injuries or underperformance, they have a need at 3B, SS, 2B or DH; and" (Greenfrong April 14 2018 03:32 PM EDT)

When only Ngeope is not performing, shall the Jays trade for a MLB veteran infielder/outfielder whose age later 20s or early 30s and who is performing well in a Triple-A team? Espinosa can take his time improving or even he be traded for that veteran infielder? Then that infielder is recalled to Toronto.
JohnL - Saturday, April 14 2018 @ 04:28 PM EDT (#356227) #
What, that wasn't Babe Ruth?

Oops... too bad I can't take that link down. Problem with dealing with 2 different You Tube pages at the same time!

The Yankees-Red Soz Opening Day is here:
jerjapan - Saturday, April 14 2018 @ 04:34 PM EDT (#356228) #
The 6th and 7th spot in the bullpen should be used on guys with flexibility because they have options and/or multi-inning capability.

Tepera and Barnes both have multi-inning capability, and surprisingly, it appears Oh has options, although I wouldn't slot these guys at the bottom of the depth chart. 

I agree that carrying guys because they are at risk of being claimed on waivers is a bad approach for a team like us, with our razor-thin margin for the wildcard, but is that actually happening?  Axford is likely on thin ice but had a strong Spring - I expect him to either bounce back or get cut when / if Ramirez or Mayza can secure a job.   With so many big league teams running with an 8 man pen, it seems likely to me that they know something about pitcher injuries that we internet fans don't. 

The Buffalo shuttle is potentially a strong asset for this team.  No shortage of lefty options in Buffalo after Mayza - Demody is off to a good start, as is Moll.  From the right it's Alburquerque, Santos, Guerreri, the injured Cruz and Petricka, and any number of starters who likely profile as big league relievers (McGuire, Rowley, Gaviglio and Biagini). 
uglyone - Saturday, April 14 2018 @ 04:41 PM EDT (#356229) #
the thing is all this talk about waivers is unnecessary.

the bullpen has been very good. and are well rested.

there simply isn't any reason to have 8 relievers here.
jerjapan - Saturday, April 14 2018 @ 04:48 PM EDT (#356230) #
So why do so many teams do it?  Or at the very least, what do you think their logic is?  I can't see FOs doing something this 'dumb', according to the online consensus, unless it is not actually dumb. 
uglyone - Saturday, April 14 2018 @ 04:50 PM EDT (#356231) #
most teams don't have 5 good starters or 7 good relievers, and might need to do it.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, April 14 2018 @ 04:55 PM EDT (#356232) #
Cleveland Weather is terrible. They will be very lucky to play another game this weekend. There is maybe a two hour window to get a game in.
China fan - Saturday, April 14 2018 @ 05:20 PM EDT (#356233) #
"....most teams don't have 5 good starters or 7 good relievers, and might need to do it...."

This is literally the first time I've heard anyone say that the Jays have 7 good relievers.

Jerjapan, you should know better than to question the two loudest fans on this site. The team's president is dumb, the GM is dumb, the manager is dumb, but those two fans are always right.
China fan - Saturday, April 14 2018 @ 05:22 PM EDT (#356234) #
"...the online consensus..."

There is no consensus. Two or three fans have criticized the 8-man pen (regardless of who is in it). Two or three others have said Mayza's promotion was not a bad idea.
uglyone - Saturday, April 14 2018 @ 05:23 PM EDT (#356235) #
wait did you not count yourself in the top 2?

how humble of you.
CeeBee - Saturday, April 14 2018 @ 05:46 PM EDT (#356236) #
And whats even worse is those fans who like to spend most of their time on the soapbox.
92-93 - Saturday, April 14 2018 @ 05:50 PM EDT (#356237) #
The best teams in the AL have 4 man benches right now, unless there are specific players that allow them the flexibility to do otherwise. The Astros have Marwin Gonzalez who can cover every position, and their starting DH Evan Gattis can catch, so it's much easier for them to roll with a 3-man bench. The Angels have used a pitcher as the starting DH in half of their games, and he's available to PH in the others. Boston, Cleveland, Minnesota, and Seattle each carry 12 pitchers.
dan gordon - Saturday, April 14 2018 @ 06:19 PM EDT (#356238) #
"Stroman's fip is actually down from last year"

Now, this is interesting. Prior to Friday's game, Stroman's FIP was 4.58, substantially higher than last year. So he pitches a game where he gives up 9 hits, 2 walks and 4 earned runs in just 5 innings, and his FIP actually goes down to 3.90. The stat gives no weight to ability to induce weak contact and limit hits, as opposed to surrendering hard hit line drives. I don't buy the idea that everything aside from walks, strikeouts and home runs is largely due to luck.
ISLAND BOY - Saturday, April 14 2018 @ 07:19 PM EDT (#356239) #
Gibson probably had an eye on the weather when he brought Osuna in to mop up the ninth last night. He hadn't pitched in two days, and if he hadn't done so last night it would be 4 days by Sunday.By the way, Osuna looked awesome barely breaking a sweat getting 3 outs using just 12 pitches.
Mike Green - Saturday, April 14 2018 @ 09:33 PM EDT (#356242) #
Yes. Gibbons' decision to use Osuna with a 4 run lead last night was a good one.  in addition to Kluber and the poor weather, Osuna was brought in to face the top of Cleveland's lineup. It was a medium leverage situation and it's now fine if he doesn't pitch until Monday or Tuesday.
DavidtheDeuce - Saturday, April 14 2018 @ 09:50 PM EDT (#356243) #
Osuna's 3 pitch strikeout of Lindor was most impressive. Lindor raked in this game and Osuna dominated him.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, April 14 2018 @ 11:09 PM EDT (#356246) #
Looks like the Jays are in Cleveland on May 3rd for a doulble-header. Best news out of this has the Jays not losing a series thus far. All aches and pains should be rested and everyone should be fresh when the Jays play their next game in Toronto.
scottt - Sunday, April 15 2018 @ 08:02 AM EDT (#356249) #
A team never goes through a full year with only 8 relievers. Or only 5 starters.

Aprils numbers are just like spring training numbers.
The difference is that the wins count.

scottt - Sunday, April 15 2018 @ 08:04 AM EDT (#356250) #
Cleveland starters averages 8 innings. Other teams are using the AAA shuttle and the DL to run only 7 relievers or an easy schedule to run only 4 starters.
scottt - Sunday, April 15 2018 @ 08:09 AM EDT (#356251) #
Osuna was warmed up for a save situation. The question was do you bring him first or bring up someone else to put 1 or 2 guys on base and then bring Osuna to collect a save. That might have been better for Osuna, but worse for whoever starts the inning.

Gibbons knew like everyone else that the forecast called for rain the next 2 days.

scottt - Sunday, April 15 2018 @ 08:12 AM EDT (#356252) #
The 3rd pitch was a generous called strike on a backdoor cutter.
It was a perfect pitch as most of the time the 0-2 pitch is a waste pitch to see if the hitter is going to chase and the ump had been giving a generous outside corner all game.

ComebyDeanChance - Sunday, April 15 2018 @ 09:16 AM EDT (#356254) #
The 3rd pitch was a generous called strike

Indeed. It was a terrific pitch for that count, but you're not going to get it as a called strike often, particularly on the road.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, April 15 2018 @ 12:58 PM EDT (#356256) #
With two games postponed due to the weather, the Jays have 14 games remaining in April. They just have to go 6-8 to finish the month over .500. I think they will be better, possibly much better. These two unscheduled days off should help the Jays a lot.

Kansas City should not win much this year, so a sweep is possible, should be likely.
New York can be beaten, even the Jays have proved that. The Jays are much better than the Team that lost games one and two. The Yankees, not so much. Anything less than a 2-2 split is a disgrace.

Can they Jays go 5-2 - almost certainly? Can they go 7-0 - that sends a message?
Chuck - Sunday, April 15 2018 @ 01:11 PM EDT (#356258) #
Kansas City should not win much this year, so a sweep is possible, should be likely.

The math is not on your side.

If the Jays have a 70% chance of winning each game (which sounds generous), that gives them a 1 in 3 chance of a sweep.

For the Jays to have a better than 50-50 chance at a sweep (to say nothing of likely), they need to have an 80% chance of winning each game.

scottt - Sunday, April 15 2018 @ 01:43 PM EDT (#356262) #
KC is 3-10 which means that so far they're a .230 team.

Ironically, Moustakas is batting .327 with 3 HRs.
The scheduled starters Duffy, kennedy and Hammel have ERAS of 5.40, 1.00 and 3.86 after 3 games.
Herrera hasn't allowed a run. Keller and Hill have allowed only 1 each.

The odds of a sweep are less than 20%.

This will be the return of Ryan Goins who is 4 for 15 with a double.

jerjapan - Sunday, April 15 2018 @ 01:44 PM EDT (#356263) #
Ngoepe might not be better than Goins, but I still like J-Leb as a utility option.  Nice article on him in the Star today.  Laura Armstrong quotes Shapiro, who says ďHe doesnít have a strong positional fitĒ which I found a bit surprising - I'd thought he had a good defensive rep at SS on his climb to the bigs, but his been playing at 3B primarily so clearly the org doesn't see him as a strong shortstop.

As for the 8 man pen, still no compelling explanations as to why so many FOs today are rolling with one - in the AL, only BOS, TB, CLE, MIN, OAK and SEA have 7 man pens at the moment.  in the NL, it's WAS, NYM, SFG, ARI - and that's it.  10 teams.  There are good and bad teams, progressive and conservative FOs, good and bad starting rotations on both lists. 

So why is the internet consensus (referring to my impression of all the stats-minded / forward thinking sites in the Toronto area - not just the Box) so negative against a relatively recent strategy that doesn't appear to be going anywhere, and is currently being used by teams like Houston, St. Louis and the Cubs who are considered model organizations? 
uglyone - Sunday, April 15 2018 @ 02:00 PM EDT (#356266) #
The jays rank 25th in relief innings this year. Of the 5 teams with fewer relief IP, only one of them has fewer relief IP per game.

The jays rank 5th in reliever ERA-, and 1st in the AL. 6th in FIP- (3rd AL). 5th in xFIP- (3rd AL).

We don't have any starter we really have to worry about going less than 5-6ip in any given start.

What need do we have for 8 relievers?
cybercavalier - Sunday, April 15 2018 @ 02:07 PM EDT (#356267) #
At 2.6M, I don't think anyone would claim him, so he could work on his swing in Buffalo. (scottt April 14 2018 @ 08:30 AM)

Former Jays Moises Sierra has the second highest BB/K in Triple-A after Jays' Tim Lopes so far early into the season. According to fansgraph, only Solarte, Pearce, Aledmys Diaz, Maile, Pillar has less than 23K%. Pearce, Diaz and Pillar do not draw much walk or no walk at all. So I suggest the follow batting order

3B Solarte
C Maile
1B Smoak
RF Granderson
DH Pearce
CF Pillar
LF Hernandez
SS Diaz
2B Travis
grjas - Sunday, April 15 2018 @ 03:24 PM EDT (#356269) #
Two good things about this dreadful weather system- we miss Kluber and there are two less games without JD on the DL
Mike Green - Sunday, April 15 2018 @ 03:44 PM EDT (#356271) #
The club will have to play 14 games in 13 days between April 24 and May 6.  The doubleheader in Cleveland will take place between series in Minnesota and Tampa.  A game in Minnesota on the 2nd, followed by a doubleheader in Cleveland on the 3rd and a game in Tampa on the 4th is tough.  It wouldn't be a shock if you need an 8th reliever and a Biagini cameo for that stretch. 
92-93 - Sunday, April 15 2018 @ 04:18 PM EDT (#356273) #
Biagini doesn't line up well to start in the doubleheader, so they'll have to re-arrange his schedule if they want him to start.

Kluber is on tap to pitch one of the games, and I fear that JD won't be back by then.
Magpie - Sunday, April 15 2018 @ 04:21 PM EDT (#356275) #
Cleveland starters averages 8 innings.

They actually average 6.3 IP (88 IP in 14 games), which is still impressive.
whiterasta80 - Sunday, April 15 2018 @ 04:23 PM EDT (#356276) #
It's fine to look at need for an 8th reliever but management also had to look at need for an extra bat.

They concluded, as I would, that there was a better chance of needing a reliever than another bat. I don't know that innings pitched by the bullpen played a role in the decision.

To label this as a team committing to an 8 man pen seems to be excessively reductionist.
Thomas - Sunday, April 15 2018 @ 04:37 PM EDT (#356277) #
Anything less than a 2-2 split is a disgrace.

If they go 1-3, can we look into contracting the franchise?

Richard S.S. - Sunday, April 15 2018 @ 04:48 PM EDT (#356278) #
Wonderful thing, hindsight, but a terrible thing to base oneís defense on. At the time of the decision on who to call up, another Reliever seemed like the best decision. To be considered:
1) Eight innings by Sanchez hadnít happened yet.
2) The Jays hadnít played well enough to play extra innings, yet.
3) Jays were playing nine straight games without a day off.

Since then:
1) Sanchez.
2) Two weather cancellations.
3) Stroman not pitching well.
4) Estrada will possible back issue.
A more rested Bullpen, but still a good reason to have eight Relievers.
scottt - Sunday, April 15 2018 @ 05:50 PM EDT (#356280) #
The Jays sit at 28th in Quality Starts with only 4. The pen doesn't seem to have  pitched that many innings because other teams have played more innings.

The only reason to use an extra bench spot would have been for a day-to-day guy that they don't want to put on the DL.

uglyone - Sunday, April 15 2018 @ 06:00 PM EDT (#356281) #
SP IP/gm: 5.6 (6th mlb)
RP IP/gm: 3.2 (24th mlb)
hypobole - Sunday, April 15 2018 @ 06:21 PM EDT (#356282) #
"If they go 1-3, can we look into contracting the franchise?"

Going a little overboard? Going 1-3 isn't the end of the world. Just fire Gibbons and Atkins and trade JD, Estrada, Happ. No need for overreaction.
scottt - Sunday, April 15 2018 @ 06:22 PM EDT (#356283) #
BOS, TB, CLE, MIN, OAK and SEA have 7 man pens at the moment.

BOS has 2 backups with only 10 PAs each.

TB has 9 pitchers in their pen.  Kittredge has started 2 games but he's pitched only 8.2 innings in 4 games, so he's not a starter.

CLE has 1 infield backup with only 7 PAs and they run 2 platoons in the outfield.

MIN has a bunch of pitchers on the DL. They currently have 4 starters and 9 pitchers in their pen, none of which has started a game.

OAK has 2 backups with 7 and 8 PAs. They've sent their 5th starter down (ERA over 11) and have an 8 man pen.

scottt - Sunday, April 15 2018 @ 06:31 PM EDT (#356285) #
Yeah, but when Loup comes in, put 2 batters on and retires none, that counts as RP 0 IP/gm.
They go through 4 relievers almost every games. One bad starts, an extra inning games and they'd be in a tight spot.

ComebyDeanChance - Sunday, April 15 2018 @ 10:49 PM EDT (#356286) #
As long as John Gibbons is manager of the Bliue Jays he will want an 8 man pen. Heck, he may even want a 9 man pen. Gibby's schtick is platoon pitching moves. It's his managerial state of being. It's what he does. Every series if he is asked what he needs, it's an arm in the pen.

In 2018 this is somewhat magnified by the fact that all of his relievers are one-inning guys. And the elephant in the room is that to this point they haven't been stretched into extra inning games. Michael Givens against the Yankees went two in extras then came right back against the Jays. Gibby manages the one inning reliever, or less depending on platoon matchups, and burns through a pen more quickly. He wants relievers, and always will.
John Northey - Sunday, April 15 2018 @ 11:10 PM EDT (#356287) #
My bet for the double header will be the Jays having a starter called up for game 2 with a reliever sitting in the dugout during game one watching to see if they need to add him to the roster for game 2 or not, and after game 2 seeing if the pen is drained and putting said reliever onto the roster for the next series (maybe 2 called up for the pen after that, depending).  It'll be an interesting situation.  Hopefully the starters are going long during that stretch so it becomes a non-issue.
jerjapan - Sunday, April 15 2018 @ 11:27 PM EDT (#356288) #
In 2018 this is somewhat magnified by the fact that all of his relievers are one-inning guys

I keep pointing this out, but the narrative persists...Tepera and Barnes have frequently pitched multiple innings, as they were establishing themselves in the pen. 

The usage of the average reliever these days may be primarily one inning, but two of our better relievers have a clear recent history of pitching more than one inning. 

And if 20 teams are currently running with 8 man pens, does that mean 20 managers have  a schtick?  or is there, perhaps, a reason for this bullpen configuration to be happening regularly, that the internet is perhaps unaware of?

I'd prefer a 7 man pen myself, but I still haven't heard a compelling reason from anyone as to why it's objectively better.  Nothing but opinions. 
John Northey - Sunday, April 15 2018 @ 11:45 PM EDT (#356289) #
Easy to see why more in the pen is popular with managers.  Another bat on the bench is near useless unless you have a poor bat in the lineup and can sign a good bat cheap (not likely).  Few manager platoon anymore.  Defensive replacements are also rare now (pure defense guys either play everyday or are left in the minors).  More in the pen means your best can be dedicated to their roles leaving garbage innings for the weaker pitchers (ie: starter out early, extra innings, blowouts, etc.)
scottt - Monday, April 16 2018 @ 08:35 AM EDT (#356290) #
The Yankees also had to cancel 2 games (in Detroit?) and their make up doubleheaders would be just before a series against the Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre (June 4?). They're not happy about it.
John Northey - Monday, April 16 2018 @ 09:00 AM EDT (#356291) #
scottt great news for the Jays as that should wear down the Yankees bullpen at the very least, or make it so regulars are a bit sore coming into Toronto.  The Jays will take every advantage they can get.
Mike Green - Monday, April 16 2018 @ 09:24 AM EDT (#356292) #
Nothing would make me happier than to be 100% wrong about Aledmys Diaz.  His swing still seems awfully slow to me, but then so did Ernie Whitt's.  His career IsoP is now almost .190. At this point, that's a fair approximation of what he is likely to achieve by the end of the year.  Offensively, he looks a lot like Troy Tulowitzki, c. 2016. On defence, his range is below average but he does turn the double play well.  He and Travis are a nice DP combination. 

The rainouts on the weekend had another side benefit- two days of healing for Travis after the HBP.  Given his history, that is welcome. 
92-93 - Monday, April 16 2018 @ 10:29 AM EDT (#356294) #
"I keep pointing this out, but the narrative persists...Tepera and Barnes have frequently pitched multiple innings, as they were establishing themselves in the pen. "

The last part of your sentence is the key there - as they were establishing themselves. That is no longer the case.

Right now Tepera is Gibby's 8th inning setup man and hasn't recorded more than 3 outs once all year (though he did have one three-out appearance early that was across two innings). Barnes has one four-out appearance, but he's 4th or 5th on the totem pole alongside Oh.

The team hasn't really had any mop-up duty yet this season, but when it comes you want to be able to get more than 1 inning from guys like Axford and Loup. Carlos Ramirez had a few two-inning appearances last year and he did a great job, so if they like what they see in Buffalo he's a good guy to have at the back of the bullpen.

hypobole - Monday, April 16 2018 @ 11:06 AM EDT (#356296) #
The AL have's and have-not's have separated themselves pretty quickly. Looks to be an 8 team race for the playoffs, and all 8 are .500 or better. The other 7 are playing .375 ball or worse. Maybe one will climb out of that morass, but I don't see it.

I think it's going to take a lot closer to 90 wins to grab a WC spot than the 85 it took last season.
GabrielSyme - Monday, April 16 2018 @ 11:38 AM EDT (#356297) #
Gibby may want to use his relievers in one-inning stints - and the manager's usage preferences are a pretty good rationale for roster construction. But that doesn't mean Gibby is wise to use his relievers in such a limited fashion, or that the roster construction is best.

The one-inning bullpen doesn't have much to recommend to me. I haven't seen any evidence it reduces injuries, and I'm quite doubtful it increases the performance of the bullpen as a whole. It generally means that a greater proportion of bullpen innings will come from lesser pitchers in more important situations. What bothers me most is when a rested reliever comes in in a close game, is clearly on, and strikes out two in his inning of work, throwing 11 pitches and then is taken out, running the risk that the next guy won't have his best stuff. There's no need to force a second inning when a reliever throws 20-odd pitches in his first inning (even if effective), but there are plenty of opportunities to use guys in a more effective way. Loup is another example of a guy who is sometimes lights-out and should get a second inning - and has pitched two innings in the past effectively. With respect to Osuna, there's an oddity in that Gibbons has been willing to leave him in to face 6 or 7 batters fairly often (seven times last year), but has only rarely brought him in in the 8th inning. If you think he can face 6 hitters safely, I don't see the worry about bringing him in to get 4 or 5 outs.
Mike Green - Monday, April 16 2018 @ 11:42 AM EDT (#356298) #
It's too early to make that kind of judgment, particularly in the AL West.  The Astros are likely to be very good or great, and the Angels are probably going to be second but the differences between the other 3 teams are small.  They might all end up as decent and win 78-82 games, and drag down the Angels.  I attach very little weight to the Mariners current 8-5 record vs. the Athletics' 6-10 and the Rangers 6-11. 

FWIW, the Base Runs standings suggest that the Red Sox, Angels and Twins have been very good this year, the Rangers, Orioles, Rays and Royals have been bad and the rest of the clubs are within spitting distance of each other.  That's a pretty typical distribution, and injuries could easily drag the tipping card for the Wild Card spots up to 90+ or down to 85-.
scottt - Monday, April 16 2018 @ 12:03 PM EDT (#356299) #
Baltimore and Tampa being bad (wait until the trade deadline) might compensate for the Blue Jays having to play against 2 contenders while every other division has only 2.
Richard S.S. - Monday, April 16 2018 @ 01:47 PM EDT (#356300) #
Thus far:
The Pitching has been good enough to keep the Jays in games and should get better now that Sanchez has turned the corner. The others should follow.
The Hitting is good enough and timely enough to give the Jays a chance almost every game. Not surprisingly, they will get better.
Richard S.S. - Monday, April 16 2018 @ 01:55 PM EDT (#356301) #
So, is the Game being cancelled due to the hole in the Roof, or it the whole series affected?
scottt - Monday, April 16 2018 @ 02:04 PM EDT (#356303) #
What a miserable day. Sent home because there's no power at the office. I can hear ice falling every couple of minutes.
And no baseball?

jerjapan - Monday, April 16 2018 @ 02:26 PM EDT (#356305) #
That's a good point about Barnes and Tepera 92.  We've had plenty of talk about stretching out Biagini as a starter - how hard is it for a reliever to pitch multiple innings if he's only been pitching one?  Carlos Ramirez certainly might help in this regard, and I hope we see the kids pushing the vets aside sooner rather than later given the makeup of our team.  It does appear that most of the minor league relievers in the upper minors are being used to pitch multiple innings semi-regularly. 

And Gabriel, agreed 100% with your post - I'd love to see Osuna in the 8th more often, and for the hot reliever who got a quick inning to come back for a 2nd. 

FWIW, I'm not a fan of the 8 man pen either.  Is there actually any evidence that shorter outings / a larger pen reduces injuries?  I think back to Duane Ward - 5 dominant years over 100 IPs, a 6th at an elite level for 71 2/3 IPs, and then he was basically done by the age of 30. 

Of course there's always Mark Eichhorn, who's 1986 season remains one of my favourite stat lines of all time.  Amazingly, he earned $74,000 that year.  Aaron Sanchez currently earns more than that per start.

Mike Green - Monday, April 16 2018 @ 03:52 PM EDT (#356306) #
Shi Davidi tweets that the game will go on provided they can fix the hole in the roof in time.  Jays lineup against the lefty:
Pearce 0, Hernandez 7, Smoak 3, Solarte 5, Martin 2, Pillar 8, Diaz 6, Grichuk 9, Travis 4.

Mike Green - Monday, April 16 2018 @ 04:03 PM EDT (#356307) #
Kiermaier is out for 3 months with a broken thumb.  The Rays' pitching staff will notice. 
Chuck - Monday, April 16 2018 @ 04:07 PM EDT (#356308) #
provided they can fix the hole in the roof

Brings to mind the Beatles... fixing a hole where the rain gets in... now they know how many holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall... pretend Ringo with a hole in his pocket in the Sea of Green

Ice from the CN Tower? The hole thing is madness.

scottt - Monday, April 16 2018 @ 04:17 PM EDT (#356309) #
Maybe they already noticed something. Bref has Kiermaier at -0.3 dWAR so far this year.
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