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Tonight's game (Sanchez vs Sabathia), joined in progress.


Wait, there's more!

The Jays have had an enjoyable two weeks beating the crap out of bad baseball teams. No one expects the Yankees to be bad, but the arc of the universe is long, bends towards justice, and so forth

It's young Aaron Sanchez (1-1, 3.66) matching up with old, very old, very old indeed C.C. Sabathia (0-0, 4.00) tonight. And there's three more after this one:

Saturday 7:05 PM - Estrada (1-1, 4.24) vs Gray (1-1, 6.92)
Saturday 1:05 PM - Stroman (0-1, 7.98) vs Montgomery (1-0, 4.70)
Sunday 1:05 PM - Garcia (2-0, 3.86) vs Severino (3-1, 2.63)

I'm totally fine with making all their mothers cry.


Jays at Yankees | 187 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Magpie - Thursday, April 19 2018 @ 07:50 PM EDT (#356554) #
Luke Maile. You can not stop him. You can only hope to contain him.
whiterasta80 - Thursday, April 19 2018 @ 08:23 PM EDT (#356556) #
I would have sealed that first safe call.

And if Travis is going to field every grounder like that then he can sit on the bench in favor of gift.
uglyone - Thursday, April 19 2018 @ 08:55 PM EDT (#356557) #
I don't like this version of sanchez much.
greenfrog - Thursday, April 19 2018 @ 09:26 PM EDT (#356558) #
I don't know how much longer the Jays can stick with Grichuk as a starting outfielder. 0/4 tonight with 3 Ks (including in a critical situation with the bases loaded and one out in the eighth). Not only has Hernandez burst on the scene, but Alford and Pompey are working their way back into the picture as potential major-league options this year. It may not be long before Grichuk starts sliding down the OF depth chart.
Mike Green - Thursday, April 19 2018 @ 09:50 PM EDT (#356559) #
Maile has one of the fastest pop times in baseball.  You could see it on that strikeout/CS double play. Martin, by the way, is very far down the list now; he's better at the receiving part of the game.

Grichuk has been much better than his slash line would suggest.  Still, he's not the player you would like to see coming up to face Robertson in that situation when you want someone to hit the ball in the air- Granderson is, of course, pretty much ideal and Gibbons' move to have him pinch-hit for Diaz was, I thought, the right one. 

SK in NJ - Thursday, April 19 2018 @ 10:05 PM EDT (#356560) #
I was hoping Gibbons would have pinch hit Martin for Grichuk in that spot since Robertson was a very bad match-up for Grichuk, but once that didn't happen it was a predictable end result. Grichuk was not going to hit Robertson's off-speed stuff, but he was clearly going to swing at them out of the strike zone. Not a good match-up at all.

Gibbons has not been shy about his liking of Hernandez, so with Morales back tomorrow, we are probably going to see Teoscar take Grichuk's spot in the OF with Morales back at DH. I expect Grichuk to get hot eventually, but with the amount of depth on the roster, he is likely going to be squeezed out of playing time. Hard to argue with that given how bad he has looked. Would have been great if he had an option left.
Chuck - Thursday, April 19 2018 @ 10:06 PM EDT (#356561) #
I don't like this version of sanchez much.

His 15/13 K/BB rate is worrisome. And the low K rate means lots of balls in play, so lots of potential cheap hits like tonight. I wonder if this more subdued pitching style is a compromise to keep the blister problems at bay.

Petey Baseball - Thursday, April 19 2018 @ 10:07 PM EDT (#356562) #
Mike, what are you basing your analysis of Grichuk on?
85bluejay - Thursday, April 19 2018 @ 10:08 PM EDT (#356563) #
Slightly surprised that Gibbons didn't pinch run for Smoak when he reached 2B - also I would have had Diaz who at least makes contact hit & used Granderson to hit for Grichuk. With Martin getting the day off & Ngoepe useless with the bat, the jays really had only 1 pinch hitter - ridiculous.
SK in NJ - Thursday, April 19 2018 @ 10:09 PM EDT (#356564) #
Agreed about Sanchez. So far he looks more like the 2015 SP version, who I wasn't a big fan of. The 2016 version was excellent, but he might be changing things up due to the blister issues.
Chuck - Thursday, April 19 2018 @ 10:18 PM EDT (#356565) #
I would have had Diaz who at least makes contact hit & used Granderson to hit for Grichuk

I wonder if that wasn't Plan A, but with Chapman suddenly warming up in the pen, Gibbons may have had to quickly use Granderson when he could, before Chapman was ready, and then meant coming in one batter earlier.

Had Diaz faced Robertson and been retired, Chapman could have come in to face Granderson (pinch-hitting for Grichuk) for a 4-out save and Gibbons would have had no counter-move.

Petey Baseball - Thursday, April 19 2018 @ 10:28 PM EDT (#356566) #
That was a very winnable game. I agree that Ngoepe should have been running for Smoak as the tying run, and there's no way Diaz should have been hit for there, especially with Grichuk coming up (unless Diaz was injured). Martin must be day to day with some sort of ailment, otherwise, as mentioned what's the excuse for him not pinch hitting somewhere? Was Gibbons out all night last night? That's pretty brutal.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, April 19 2018 @ 10:51 PM EDT (#356567) #
Randal Grichuk has come up three times a runner on second base with less than one out. He made three outs, yet advanced the runner to third. Thatís better than all the other players combined. The Jays are anemic with a runner or runners on and no one out. They are even worse with a runner or runners in scoring position. Often it hasnít cost them a game, just six times it bit them in the ass and cost them the game. Donít blame this on Grichuk, it goes much deeper than that. They solve this problem, they are in the World Series.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, April 19 2018 @ 11:19 PM EDT (#356568) #
The Jays had the leadoff man reach bases in the 2nd, the 3rd, the 4th, the 5th and in the 8th. They had the next batter also reach base in the 3rd, 4th and the 8th. In the 5th, a passed ball put the leadoff hitter on 2B with no one out.

The Jays were 2-15 with the leadoff batter reaching base (.133). With runners in scoring position they were 2-12 (.167). Scoring runs with nobody on and one or two outs usually means you got lucky. Scoring run with no one out means you are good. With the Jays, leadoff batters reaching base usually rot there.
Chuck - Friday, April 20 2018 @ 06:47 AM EDT (#356570) #
Scoring runs with nobody on and one or two outs usually means you got lucky.

Doesn't it mean you hit a homerun?

With the Jays, leadoff batters reaching base usually rot there.

Surely you'll defend this assertion with numbers.

85bluejay - Friday, April 20 2018 @ 07:11 AM EDT (#356571) #
I don't know if the small parks in the AL East is the place for Tyler Clippard to solve his homer prone problems.
greenfrog - Friday, April 20 2018 @ 07:58 AM EDT (#356572) #
Grichuk is tied for third-worst WAR in all of baseball. Iím glad to hear heís secretly having a good season.
scottt - Friday, April 20 2018 @ 08:06 AM EDT (#356573) #
The last time the Jays had such a good start was in 2009 when they finished 75-87, but with a pythagorean 84-78.
That year they used as starting pitchers:
David Purcey, for 9 starts, ERA 6.19 went 1-3.
Casey Janssen for 5 starts, ERA 5.85 went 2-4.
Robert Ray for 4 starts, ERA 4.44 went 1-2.
Jesse Litsch for 2 starts, ERA 9.0 went 0-1.
Brad Mills for 2 starts, ERA 14.09 went 0-1.
Brian Burres for 2 starts, ERA 14.91 went 0-2.
The regular 3-5 starters had ERA between 5.30 and 5.52.

With the rotation and the depth they have this year, I'm hopeful this will be a good year, even if there's a tough loss here and there like last night.

I would have exchanged Mayza for Morales last night to pinch hit for Grichuk.


John Northey - Friday, April 20 2018 @ 09:03 AM EDT (#356574) #
Interesting team in 2009 - only Halladay, Ricky Romero, and Marc Rzepczynski had ERA+ over 100 (plus Robert Ray in 4 starts) The rest were under 85 - ick.  So far this year only Stroman and Loup have ERA+'s that bad on the entire staff, ev everyone else is over 95..  That 2009 team also only had 5 regulars with OPS+ over 100 and one bench guy over 100 (remember Randy Ruiz).  So how the heck did they get a pythag of 84 wins?
Mike Green - Friday, April 20 2018 @ 09:15 AM EDT (#356575) #
Grichuk wlll strike out a lot, and often look bad doing so. He's doing that a little more than previously.  This year, he's actually reached base by walk and HBP more than usual.  The big thing with him is quality of contact and luck after that.  He's been barrelling up the ball as well as just about anybody this year, but his luck has been atrocious.  Here's the Statcast chart of Blue Jay expected wOBA and the league quality of contact leaderboard.  He's hit the ball hard about 55% of the time.

The Sabathia/Green combination is pretty much an ideal tandem start.  Green often pitched on 4 days rest last year sometimes behind Jordan Montgomery and later behind Jaime Garcia.  As the Yankees usually leave the 7th, 8th and 9th to someone else and so Green is always throwing 2 innings max, you can throw Green more often once every 5 days on average.  Personally, I'd be interested to see how Green did if he went 3.  I am much happier when the Jays face Betances or Robertson in a close game than Chad Green. 
92-93 - Friday, April 20 2018 @ 09:29 AM EDT (#356576) #
Pinch running for your best hitter when he's the tying run on the road with no outs in the 8th inning is a bad idea, and a really bad one when you have a 3 man bench. A faster runner might make the same conservative read on Granderson's single with one out and not score, and there was a good chance Smoak's spot in the lineup would come up again.

It would have been great having another option there to PH for Grichuk. Even Morales, who would've been less likely to whiff.
uglyone - Friday, April 20 2018 @ 10:16 AM EDT (#356578) #
Gurriel is up, Gift is down.

I was wrong. they really were being serious about him coming up.

PeterG - Friday, April 20 2018 @ 10:16 AM EDT (#356579) #
Davidi is reporting that Hernandez staying and Gurriel being called up with Mayza and Ngoepe being sent down.
Mike Green - Friday, April 20 2018 @ 10:27 AM EDT (#356580) #
True, 92-93.  I'm not sure that Morales would be a better choice than Grichuk facing Robertson with one out and the bases loaded.  Less chance of a K, but a much higher chance of a DP. 

With the benefit of 20-20 hindsight, it would probably have worked out better if Gibbons had pinch-hit Granderson for Pillar.  Pillar is a better hitter than Diaz, but Diaz batting with a run in, the bases loaded and nobody out would have been a good situation for him.  Granderson could then be used defensively with Hernandez or Grichuk moving to centerfield.  It's not criticism of Gibbons- he called on Granderson earlier than most would have, and I certainly hadn't thought of pinch-hitting for Pillar at the time. 

uglyone - Friday, April 20 2018 @ 10:28 AM EDT (#356581) #
I don't think we can overanalyze the pinch hitting thing last night - we've had an extraordinary run of clutch hitting with runners on, and we were bound to not get hits there at some point.
Mike Green - Friday, April 20 2018 @ 10:29 AM EDT (#356582) #
Interesting.  I would have thought that they would give Gurriel a bit more time.  Anyways, I'll take it as a good sign that the FO is going to give it a serious effort at winning after the good start.  Next up: what to do when Donaldson returns. 
bpoz - Friday, April 20 2018 @ 10:31 AM EDT (#356583) #
The Jays have another move to make still. It could be Morales being activated. 2 off the 25 man. So 2 can be added.
Chuck - Friday, April 20 2018 @ 10:36 AM EDT (#356584) #
Next up: what to do when Donaldson returns.

Yep, that'll mean a position player gets bumped. And eventually I imagine they'll carry 8 relievers again, at which point another position player gets bumped.

If Donaldson is healthy enough to man 3B, that means 4 IF (Donaldson, Diaz, Travis, Solarte) for 3 positions so Gurriel can be bumped.

When reliever #8 arrives, who then?

ComebyDeanChance - Friday, April 20 2018 @ 10:40 AM EDT (#356585) #
Lourdes up, Gift and Mayza down, Morales activated. Interesting move on Gurriel. I like it.
ComebyDeanChance - Friday, April 20 2018 @ 10:41 AM EDT (#356586) #
Oops sorry for the old news.
rpriske - Friday, April 20 2018 @ 10:50 AM EDT (#356587) #
I don't think a reliever would bump Gurriel.

I think it more likely that a reliever would bump Grichuk. Solarte is great, but not much of a SS.

Hopefully the fear of losing Grichuk will stop them from going back to an 8-man bullpen.

As long as they don't send Hernandez down for a reliever, I am somewhat happy

rpriske - Friday, April 20 2018 @ 10:53 AM EDT (#356588) #
I think I need to correct myself already. It would be Grichuk for Donaldson.

If they want to go to an 8-man pen after that... well, just don't, damn it!

SK in NJ - Friday, April 20 2018 @ 10:55 AM EDT (#356589) #
Gurriel has been great so far in AA. Not sure I like the idea of him being a bench player at this point, as he should be getting everyday AB's somewhere, but Gift is so bad that they didn't really have much choice.
Richard S.S. - Friday, April 20 2018 @ 11:01 AM EDT (#356590) #
This is a good time to bring up Lourdes Gurriel Jr., since they are sending Gift Ngoepe down. He should get at least two weeks of playing time, probably more, and will learn what he needs to improve on for when he returns. Heís supposed to be a good, but not great defender. So what is considered good? He should get an AB in the first game and a start by game two.

Kendrys Morales returns with Tim Mayza going down. Iím puzzled that Mayza didnít pitch more. Morales will play less than we think, but more than we want, meaning Gibby has his work cut out for him finding ABs for everyone. Having another switch hitter with pop in the lineup is a good thing, whether or not anyone else agrees.
Mike Green - Friday, April 20 2018 @ 11:01 AM EDT (#356591) #
Sonny Gray has dominated the Blue Jays over his career.  He's pitched around Donaldson, totally neutralized Morales, and held Smoak at bay.  Solarte and Granderson do give the club a different cast than they have had.  Running out Granderson, Teoscar, Smoak and Solarte against a RHP in Yankee Stadium can make it a little tougher.  We saw a little bit of that in the eighth inning yesterday. 

Gray has pitched a lot better than his 6+ ERA would suggest- striking out plenty and getting a lot of ground balls.  The Yankee defence hasn't done him any favours- and we saw enough of that too last night. 
rafael - Friday, April 20 2018 @ 11:14 AM EDT (#356592) #
"Grichuk is tied for third-worst WAR in all of baseball. Iím glad to hear heís secretly having a good season."
I'll file that rumour with the "Loup is secretly having another good season""
In the Not-when-I-look folder. ..."Not" for short.
92-93 - Friday, April 20 2018 @ 11:15 AM EDT (#356593) #
Granderson for Pillar instead of Diaz is a tough move to make when Pillar is hitting so well. If he was doing his usual thing, that likely would've been the play.

I understood the logic to try and get Granderson in before Chapman gets hot, but the way these managers delay these days Boone could've got Chapman into the game there if that's what he really wanted. Even if Granderson has limited success vs. LHP I would've preferred Diaz vs. Robertson followed by Granderson vs. Chapman than to let Grichuk bat there. The added bonus would've been forcing Chapman to get hot and then sit for half an inning before coming in to close the 9th.

Gurriel should start at 2B tonight. Travis had a rough game in the field last night and a bit of an ankle injury.

The 2-0 strike call against Devon Travis was absolutely ridiculous, and completely changed the entire AB and inning. Clippard was also pretty pissed about a pitch called against him in the Judge AB that finished with a HR, but he needs to shake that off and move on.
Mike Green - Friday, April 20 2018 @ 11:30 AM EDT (#356594) #
David Cone suggested on the Yankee broadcast that positioning Travis behind the bag on a shift is suboptimal.  Tangotiger did the research and posted it on twitter- the evidence does suggest that teams convert fewer balls in play into outs with a RHH at the plate when the second baseman is behind the bag than in any other position.   It makes intuitive sense because of the fielding duplication between the pitcher and the second baseman behind the bag. 
Mike Green - Friday, April 20 2018 @ 11:32 AM EDT (#356595) #
And, by the way, I always enjoy Cone's commentary.
ComebyDeanChance - Friday, April 20 2018 @ 11:34 AM EDT (#356596) #
Interesting (and complimentary) article about John Gibbons in today's NYT.
Petey Baseball - Friday, April 20 2018 @ 11:34 AM EDT (#356597) #
Well Statcast must measure quality contact a bit different. I've seen almost every Grichuk at bat this season and he most certainly has not been barreling up balls.
I don't like piling on people, and I'm all for objective analysis, but that seems off to me.
uglyone - Friday, April 20 2018 @ 11:37 AM EDT (#356598) #
for the record, nobody is claiming grichuk has played well so far, overtly or secretly. everyone would agree that as of right now he should be playing behind pillar grandy and teoscar in the OF.

and petey - grichuk doesn't need to barrell the ball to get all sorts of exit velo. that's why he's had the success he's had.
92-93 - Friday, April 20 2018 @ 11:38 AM EDT (#356599) #
It has certainly felt like the Jays' opponents have had better defensive positioning than the good guys.

There was a hard hit ball Travis' way yesterday off a lefty's bat that seemed like a sure out, until you saw how shallow he was.
hypobole - Friday, April 20 2018 @ 11:45 AM EDT (#356600) #
Speaking of contact quality, during yesterday's Fisher Cats broadcast, it was mentioned the team tracks exit velocities and has a "100 mph club". Vlad leads the team with 13, Lourdes is second with 11.
Chuck - Friday, April 20 2018 @ 11:58 AM EDT (#356601) #
It has certainly felt like the Jays' opponents have had better defensive positioning than the good guys.

Ignoring the Ned Yost shift which cost the Royals, what, about 4 hits?

85bluejay - Friday, April 20 2018 @ 12:00 PM EDT (#356602) #
Ideally you want Gurriel to build on his early play but Ngoepe left them little choice - Gurriel has gotten poor marks for his defense especially at SS so it will be interesting - if he hits well, I wonder if he plays SS when Happ/Estrada are pitching.
92-93 - Friday, April 20 2018 @ 12:03 PM EDT (#356603) #
You've made that comment twice, Chuck, and all I can say is we must have watched a different series.

I was at all three games and thought the Royals infield positioning was very good.
mathesond - Friday, April 20 2018 @ 12:07 PM EDT (#356604) #
"I don't think we can overanalyze the pinch hitting thing last night"

You must be new to the internet. :)
hypobole - Friday, April 20 2018 @ 12:19 PM EDT (#356605) #
Mis-located pitches can make proper positioning look bad. How often do commenters actually check spray charts before blaming positioning?
Chuck - Friday, April 20 2018 @ 12:33 PM EDT (#356606) #
I was at all three games and thought the Royals infield positioning was very good.

Fair enough. I just jumped into and out of each game, so don't have a complete picture. From what I did see, it seemed that several RH hitters punched the ball to the vacated right side. Playing Travis like a dead pull hitter was just ridiculous.

Richard S.S. - Friday, April 20 2018 @ 12:33 PM EDT (#356607) #
Until we see the lineup for todayís game we donít know what John Gibbons is thinking. As for Sonny Gray, even great Pitchers have bad days. Great, Sonny Gray is not and I have doubts that heís even very good, OK, heís almost there. It was easier to pitch to the Jays with all their RHB in the lineup. Now Granderson hits left, Smoak, Solarte and Morales switch hit so itís not so easy any more.
Richard S.S. - Friday, April 20 2018 @ 12:43 PM EDT (#356610) #
The At Bat app officially announced the Blue Jay moves - as advertised.
Richard S.S. - Friday, April 20 2018 @ 01:02 PM EDT (#356612) #
Curtis Granderson leads off in RF or LF, Teoscar Hernandez hits second playing LF or RF and Justin Smoak at 1B hits third. Thatís all pretty standard for the Jays lately. Iíd try Lourdes Gurriel 2B next followed by Yangervis Solarte 3B, Aledmys Diaz SS and Kendrys Morales DH. Russel Martin C and Kevin Pillar CF finish up the lineup.

It breaks up the RHB and keeps the other apart, although it throws Gurriel into the deep end right away. Thatís not always a bad idea as it might have him up in the first inning and give him 5 ABs.
Gerry - Friday, April 20 2018 @ 01:56 PM EDT (#356614) #
Gibby has said Gurriel will start today, it will be an all Cuban middle infield combo.
budgell - Friday, April 20 2018 @ 01:57 PM EDT (#356615) #
Interesting (and complimentary) article about John Gibbons in today's NYT

Thanks for this CBDC. Here's another good one from NYT on Biggio/Guerrero/Bichette
https://mobile.nytimes.com/2018/04/20/sports/baseball/minor-leagues.html?action=click&module=MoreInSection&pgtype=Article&region=Footer&contentCollection=Baseball
Mike Green - Friday, April 20 2018 @ 02:52 PM EDT (#356616) #
Thanks, budgell.  There's a nice picture of Bo Bichette and Dante there. 
Mike Green - Friday, April 20 2018 @ 03:36 PM EDT (#356617) #
The lineup for today:
Granderson 9, Hernandez 7, Smoak 3, Solarte 5, Martin 2, Morales 0, Pillar 8, Diaz 6, Gurriel 4

They've mis-spelled "Pearce" as "Morales".  It could happen to anyone. 

SK in NJ - Friday, April 20 2018 @ 04:04 PM EDT (#356618) #
Morales will play over Pearce against RHP unfortunately. The key will be what happens when Donaldson gets back. There's already a roster crunch, but it's one thing to sit a struggling Grichuk, and another to sit Solarte (who'd be the victim of the roster crunch when Donaldson moves back to 3B). Morales' days are either numbered, or maybe they will demote Travis and put Solarte at 2B full-time when Donaldson returns.

I guess having too many options is never a bad thing, but they will have to get creative.
Mike Green - Friday, April 20 2018 @ 04:11 PM EDT (#356619) #
Morales' days are either numbered, or maybe they will demote Travis and put Solarte at 2B full-time when Donaldson returns

It's a shame if they choose the second one.  They were going so well with Morales out...
92-93 - Friday, April 20 2018 @ 05:29 PM EDT (#356620) #
Let's see how the current roster shakes out before worrying about playing time. If you try to play Pearce every day, you might as well book an extended stay on the DL for him. Back muscles can get strained just from a swing, and he pulled his calf muscle (which he again had problems with this spring) running the bases.
Mike Green - Friday, April 20 2018 @ 05:42 PM EDT (#356621) #
To be clear, I'm not advocating for Pearce to play every day.  Nor Granderson.  Nor Solarte.  However, if you believe that Morales has no real platoon splits, he should simply be released.  On the other hand, if you believe that he's discovered something as a right-handed hitter over the last couple of years, then it conceivably makes sense to give him some starts against LHPs. 

In fairness to Gibbons, I don't think that he has confidence in Morales and this is a compromise with people beyond his pay grade.  Batting Morales sixth (behind a struggling Martin) reflects that.  Hopefully the compromise involves playing time in no more than 1/3 of the games. 

92-93 - Friday, April 20 2018 @ 06:11 PM EDT (#356622) #
This talk of releasing Morales while Donaldson is on the DL, Travis is hurting, and Grichuk isn't hitting sounds very premature to me. It would be a completely unnecessary move, one predicated on the need for an 8 man bullpen. As long as Gibbons isn't loyal to Morales because of his salary, and I don't believe he is, I see little reason to get rid of him. Some people might be surprised to learn that Pearce and Morales posted pretty similar numbers in 2017.
Magpie - Friday, April 20 2018 @ 06:59 PM EDT (#356623) #
I'll confess to being somewhat curious to see if Morales starts tracking the ball better hitting left-handed now that he's gone and had his eyes checked. His work batting right-handed does indicate he can still damage major league pitching, and I find it unusual that a switch-hitter would lose his effectiveness from the side he bats from more often. It's usually the other way round.
hypobole - Friday, April 20 2018 @ 07:04 PM EDT (#356624) #
Nick Pollack at Rotographs really likes J. A. Happ - Strikeout King.

https://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy/pitcher-spotlight-j-a-happ-strikeout-king/
Richard S.S. - Friday, April 20 2018 @ 08:40 PM EDT (#356627) #
Estrada struggles again. The Jays woes with the bases loaded continue. Could Gurriel have scored on Smoakís fly ball or wasnít it hit far enough?
greenfrog - Friday, April 20 2018 @ 08:55 PM EDT (#356628) #
Suggested headline for tomorrow: ďFell in love with a Gurriel.Ē
Chuck - Friday, April 20 2018 @ 09:03 PM EDT (#356629) #
The Jays woes with the bases loaded continue.

Entering tonight's game, the Jays have gone 9/20 (.450) with 3 HR with the bases loaded.

mathesond - Friday, April 20 2018 @ 09:06 PM EDT (#356630) #
Hush, Chuck, you're spoiling Richard's narrative.
Petey Baseball - Friday, April 20 2018 @ 10:13 PM EDT (#356631) #
Listening to Michael Kay squirm on YES is terrific. I agree with MG about David Cone as well.

scottt - Friday, April 20 2018 @ 10:58 PM EDT (#356632) #
That was a lot o fun.

It's clear that Morales is a huge presence, on and off the field, to a couple of young Cubans.

The real value of Ngoepe is his option. Go work on your hitting Gift and you might get another look if someone hits the DL.

SK in NJ - Friday, April 20 2018 @ 10:59 PM EDT (#356633) #
Hernandez is really impressing me. The power was evident last season, but he's not swinging at junk anymore (SSS alert) and is showing much better plate discipline overall. Even his K tonight was on a borderline called strike 3 (could have been called a ball). If he can maintain a decent K% then he has a chance to be a good MLB player, especially now that his power has developed. I don't blame Gibbons for wanting him in the lineup.

Great timing to make the switch from Gift to Gurriel. Two big hits in situations where Gift surely would have K'd. That was the difference in the game.

Great night for the pen as well. Win at least one of the next two and leave NY happy.
ComebyDeanChance - Saturday, April 21 2018 @ 12:05 AM EDT (#356634) #
I think a more interesting discussion than Morales, is what happens to Devon Travis if Gurriel is successful at second. My own view is that the team is not going to move forward with a 27 year old who can't play baseball regularly, and requires a second roster spot to backfill every third day. I like Devon Travis and he seems like a great kid, but if someone at 27 needs every third day off then he doesn't strike me as much of a go forward option at second base. I doubt he'd have much in the way of trade value given his limitations, and I don't know if he has option years remaining.

While it seems to be assumed that Gurriel is a replacement for Ngoepe, I wonder more when he becomes the replacement for Travis.
Mike Green - Saturday, April 21 2018 @ 12:17 AM EDT (#356635) #
Gurriel did turn the DP well there.  I still think that Travis is the better player, but it is nice to have options. 

Teoscar Hernandez subjectively looks great to me; his homer and then getting pitched around afterwards set the tone for the game.  I did not think that he would turn into a beast, but that is exactly what I think we are seeing.  It's fun.  Dalton Pompey homered and walked again tonight; who knows- maybe the concussion symptoms have passed and he's ready to pick up where he left off a few years ago. 
dan gordon - Saturday, April 21 2018 @ 12:32 AM EDT (#356636) #
Good move taking Ngoepe off the roster, he never should have been there in the first place. As far as him working on his hitting is concerned, he's 28 years old, likely about to enter the downward phase of his career, and he has never been even a half decent hitter. The chance that he ever becomes an acceptable mlb hitter is very close to zero. I mentioned on the minors thread yesterday that they might bring Gurriel up, and I think it's a good move. Espinosa would have been the guy if Buffalo had been playing and he was doing OK, but why not see what Gurriel can do, given that he's already on the 40 man. If he isn't ready, you can then bring up Espinosa and drop Ngoepe from the 40 man.

I'm a bit concerned about Smoak. He got off to a great start, but then I saw him take a swing that looked awkward, and he really winced and hopped on one leg for a second a couple of weeks ago, and I thought, oh no, he's hurt his knee again, and he's struggled ever since. The reports I heard over the winter were that his poor last 2 months in 2017 were as a result of a knee injury, and I fear the same thing has happened.

What to make of Estrada - a little off due to the long time between starts? is his back bothering him? or is the league just on to his changeup, and this is what he is?

Gurriel looked good turning the DP. Maybe he has the makings of a super sub like Baez on the Cubs. I still think Travis is the guy the organization is looking at as the 2nd baseman. The 2 days on, 1 day off thing is a temporary measure while they see how he has recovered form the injury problems of the last couple of years. I imagine they will gradually ramp his playing time up if he remains healthy.
dan gordon - Saturday, April 21 2018 @ 12:39 AM EDT (#356637) #
Mike, I agree with you about Pompey. I know a lot of people have given up on him, but I still regard him as one of the best prospects in the organization. It will be interesting to see what happens if Pompey and Alford both start hitting up a storm in Buffalo, Hernandez continues to show off his power, Grichuk starts hitting like he has in the past, and Granderson/Pearce/Pillar continue to do their thing.
John Northey - Saturday, April 21 2018 @ 01:14 AM EDT (#356639) #
dan - that is the definition of a good problem to have.  Heck, even Morales looked decent tonight.  Wonder if anyone out there might take Smoak in a trade and give back something half decent, thus freeing up a slot to get all these guys in the lineup.  I don't trust last year's Smoak to be the real one.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, April 21 2018 @ 02:37 AM EDT (#356640) #
Leading off with one or two on and no out is rarely a success for the Jays. When they can turn this around and score runs here, they wonít be beat.

I have it 8-22 with two of the 0 for 1s being double play, so 8-24? Should be better, no?
uglyone - Saturday, April 21 2018 @ 06:57 AM EDT (#356641) #
8/22 = .364
8/24 = .333
BlueJayWay - Saturday, April 21 2018 @ 07:43 AM EDT (#356642) #
Hernandez is really impressing me. The power was evident last season, but he's not swinging at junk anymore (SSS alert) and is showing much better plate discipline overall.

His plate discipline has grown by leaps and bounds since just last September. There were some pitches he took for balls last night that he would've flailed away at in 2017.

If this improvement is real and sustainable, we really have something here.
scottt - Saturday, April 21 2018 @ 07:53 AM EDT (#356643) #
The 2009 team didn't have anyone that truly sucked. The lowest OPS+ was 71 for the catcher Barajas. Snider, Rios and Wells were pretty average 95, 94, 86. Lind finished with 35 HRs and 114 RBIs. Aaron Hill hit 36 HRs and had 108 RBIs.
They hit a total of 209 HRs  which might be better than the 222 they hit last year, if you normalize the numbers.

Had they had some pitching depth, they could have done enough to convince Scott Rolen to stick around and we might never have seen Encarnation in a Blue Jays uniform.

Current depth in the outfield, infield and behind the dish is not exactly a problem.
The starting pitching depth could be what makes or breaks this team between now and September.


BlueJayWay - Saturday, April 21 2018 @ 07:58 AM EDT (#356644) #
Aaron Hill hit 36 HRs

I did a double take when I read that. So I looked it up and you're right.

I have no recollection of Hill having a season like that.
Chuck - Saturday, April 21 2018 @ 08:07 AM EDT (#356645) #
Leading off with one or two on and no out is rarely a success for the Jays.

You know, BBRef actually publishes the numbers. It's not difficult to challenge wild assertions.

The Jays have come to the plate 74 times with 0 out and one or two men on base. Their slash line is 292/378/538, which is much better than their overall 244/333/431. In those 74 plate appearances, they have just 2 GIDP.

Not only are these situations not "rarely a success". The team has, in fact, risen to the occasion and highly leveraged these opportunities.

uglyone - Saturday, April 21 2018 @ 09:12 AM EDT (#356647) #
the funny thing is that the jays haven't just been good with men on base so far - they've been the best team in baseball with men on base so far, with a 154wrc+. also the best team in baseball with a 163wrc+ wRISP.

we've been so insanely good with runners on, that it's clearly unsustainable and means we're getting very fortunate with our run production so far, and should expect that to drop considerably.

bpoz - Saturday, April 21 2018 @ 09:15 AM EDT (#356648) #
Hill and Lind had career years. The 75 wins was a result of pitching injuries IMO.
Somehow B Tallet and S Richmond did ok in the rotation.
uglyone - Saturday, April 21 2018 @ 09:34 AM EDT (#356649) #
scott - I still get frustrated thinking about those JP teams.

I just don't get how we had all these legit talented guys - wells, hill, rios, lind - who were all very good prospects, with very good minor league careers, and very good starts to their major league careers breaking out into star years for all of them.....and then boom boom boom boom each one of them turns into an absolute pumpkin in their prime years. Add in Hinske and Phelps there too I guess.
bpoz - Saturday, April 21 2018 @ 09:34 AM EDT (#356650) #
Correct UO for RISP. I remember G Denbo.

However the line up may still produce good enough offense.

High success with RISP is 1 factor. Gift produced very little with the bat. Martin, Donaldson, Travis and Grichuk should improve. Some of the hot hitters should cool down.

I know my logic/analysis is simple. There could be some kind of balance that is good enough.
jerjapan - Saturday, April 21 2018 @ 09:41 AM EDT (#356651) #
I expected our team to be decent, perhaps above average, but this great start is looking less like a fluke every day.  I look around the roster, and there aren't many spots where I expect regression - aside from with RISP as Ugly points out.  Solarte and Grandy's great seasons are balanced out by dreadful starts for Grichuk, Martin and Travis, and the injuries to JD and Tulo.  Same on the pitching side - nobody screams fluke.  Perhaps one of the veteran scrap heap signings turns back into a pumpkin, but this team feels as likely to improve with health and a return to normal for Travis and Grich as they do to regress.  Perhaps it's the optimism of Spring talking, but with solid depth on the big league team and a number of upper level prospects looking strong, I'm thinking the WC is possible.  Too bad Boston is on fire - they look like runaway division winners to me already. 

I agree that Travis isn't that big of a concern - he's got options, and even as a part-timer, he's got a utility-player floor in my books.  Grichuk is the bigger concern, although the underlying stats point to success to come.  He doesn't have options and with his youth and controllable years remaining, at 2.8 million, no way does he clear waivers if demoted.   Perhaps a phantom injury gives him a chance to work on his approach a bit? 

Nothing premature about talk of releasing Morales - he was far worse than Pearce last year, with less upside if he rebounds.  my only real fear at this point of the season is that deserving young players get blocked.  I don't think we need to make a decision until the roster is healthy.  Until then, he's a dose of veteran-ness and a possible mentor for the Cuban players, who plays only against lefties?   Gray is a rightie, but hopefully Gibby just wanted him to get game action after the DL.  Even if he does get too much time against rigthies, I won't be too concerned unless we see a rookie who is performing well demoted to keep him on the roster, or to allow for that dreaded 8th reliever.  Not to mention, guys like Pompey and Alford could be knocking on the door soon. 

I read in the Athletic the other day that Gibby thinks both Axford and Barnes can work multiple innings.  Surprised Tepera didn't get mentioned, but hopefully once the weather improves (presumably lessening the injury risk) we see a 7 man pen for most of the season.  Too many deserving players might force the issue here.  Likely a deserving reliever gets a bit of time on the Buffalo shuttle following a blowout or an extra-innings game.  Surprisingly, Oh has options, along with Barnes and Tepera.  



PeterG - Saturday, April 21 2018 @ 09:42 AM EDT (#356652) #
To answer a question from above, I believe Travis does have options as he has never been optioned since being added to 40 man. There should not be any service time issue as he has 3 years. This thought has occurred to me as well and if Gurriel continues to hit, optioning Travis when JD returns is an option.
hypobole - Saturday, April 21 2018 @ 09:46 AM EDT (#356653) #
"we've been so insanely good with runners on, that it's clearly unsustainable and means we're getting very fortunate with our run production so far, and should expect that to drop considerably."

One other huge strength thus far with a potential of drop off is our bullpen. 2.15 ERA is the 2nd best in the majors, but with a much more pedestrian 3.60 FIP.
scottt - Saturday, April 21 2018 @ 10:00 AM EDT (#356654) #
They gave Wells too much money, same with Rios. And Ricky Romero. They just needed a cheap platoon mate for Lind.

What frustrated me was not spending  money on starting pitching to backup Roy Halladay other than Burnett.
Doc would have stayed if Rogers would have cared about winning. Just add back Doc and the 2010 team would have been something.

Those 85 wins teams with no pitching. Sigh.


Chuck - Saturday, April 21 2018 @ 10:02 AM EDT (#356655) #
I look around the roster, and there aren't many spots where I expect regression

It's easier to look at the macro level. The team is 2nd in scoring at 6.0 R/G. The AL average is 4.5. Do you honestly see them continuing to outperform the league by such a wide margin?

They are only 6th in OPS+ and this is an indicator of how clutchy they have been, and that can't be presumed to be sustainable.

What's the oft repeated adage? No team is as good as it looks when it is winning or as poor as looks when it is losing.

Chuck - Saturday, April 21 2018 @ 10:20 AM EDT (#356656) #
The maybe wobbly Travis and maybe wobbly Smoak get the day off. Luke Maile just texted his mother (I presume): Hey Ma, I'm batting 6th.
jerjapan - Saturday, April 21 2018 @ 10:26 AM EDT (#356657) #
For sure Chuck, I don't see them sustaining the clutchiness, nor do I see .684 winning percentage as sustainable -  but I also don't see them struggling either.  BP's adjusted hit list factor has us with a .562 winning percentage.  Works for me.  Clutchiness aside, more players are underperforming / injured than overperforming.
SK in NJ - Saturday, April 21 2018 @ 10:41 AM EDT (#356658) #
I like the off day for Smoak. He is struggling and there is enough depth to give him more days off this season.

I definitely see Travis being optioned when Donaldson gets back. I donít think there is any way Solarte becomes a bench player again after the start heís had. Travis doesnít look right to me, offensively or defensively, although he is likely still getting his legs under him after missing so much time.

The Jays have won 13 of their last 17. Regression is coming either way. The hope is that a good start will give them some room for error without hurting them later. Last year the bad April essentially killed their whole season even without factoring all their other issues.
whiterasta80 - Saturday, April 21 2018 @ 11:09 AM EDT (#356659) #
My issue was never that they gave too much money to Rios, Wells, Romero etc... It is that they gave them that money too early.

You don't pay the absolute maximum $$$ a year early. That's one thing I like about this regime. Only pay if they remain elite (and healthy) in their contract year.
uglyone - Saturday, April 21 2018 @ 11:13 AM EDT (#356660) #
"It's easier to look at the macro level. The team is 2nd in scoring at 6.0 R/G. The AL average is 4.5. Do you honestly see them continuing to outperform the league by such a wide margin?"

by baseruns we're a ~5r/g offense, which i think is reasonable.


grjas - Saturday, April 21 2018 @ 11:17 AM EDT (#356661) #
"we've been so insanely good with runners on, that it's clearly unsustainable and means we're getting very fortunate with our run production so far, and should expect that to drop considerably. One other huge strength thus far with a potential of drop off is our bullpen. 2.15 ERA is the 2nd best in the majors, but with a much more pedestrian 3.60 FIP."
These are valid concerns but on the flip side I don't think the starters have played up to expectations; arguably, only Garcia has contributed at his expected level to date. There is potential upside there to help offset the above risks.
uglyone - Saturday, April 21 2018 @ 11:23 AM EDT (#356662) #
I'm going to stop griping about Kendrys for now. Since the whole team looks refreshed after last year's utter disaster season, I'll go along with Kendrys getting one more legit chance to produce and justify his contract.

until we start losing, of course. then the whingefest will begin in earnest.
Mike Green - Saturday, April 21 2018 @ 12:12 PM EDT (#356664) #
The 10 day (rather than 15 day) DL adds to the incentive for depth in position players.  If a player has a minor injury that you figure will take more than a day (or two at the very most) to recover, you might as well place the player on the DL.  It makes it easier to get top performance more of the time.  This applies to Smoak, Travis, Donaldson, Morales, Gurriel, Hernandez, and indeed every player.  In past years, you'd often see a player injured and out 3 or 4 days before being put on the DL.  That shouldn't happen now. With this in mind, it probably doesn't make sense to worry too much about what happens when Donaldson comes back because there will probably be some other player who will end up on the 10 day DL.  It's not quite the deal that it was before. 

And as for Morales, I disagree with his usage but I don't want to beat a dead horse. 
scottt - Saturday, April 21 2018 @ 12:21 PM EDT (#356665) #
I think the production will depend on large part on the pitching on the other side, but it's perfectly reasonable to expect good hitters to continue to have good ABs and produce against the soft tossing guys whom the Jays have had trouble squaring in recent years.

Hot hitters see more balls and will walk more if they're good hitters.

I'm not expecting too much against guys like Sale which it seem we'll miss next week.

ISLAND BOY - Saturday, April 21 2018 @ 12:21 PM EDT (#356666) #
It was mentioned on the broadcast last night that Kevin Pillar had said that Thursday's game against the Yankees was the coldest he's ever played in, including any he's played in Buffalo. He also said that when he batted in the 8th inning of that game with the bases loaded, none out,that his hands felt like popsicles.
Nigel - Saturday, April 21 2018 @ 12:28 PM EDT (#356667) #
I am no fan of Morales but the idea of cutting him right now seems ill conceived to me. With a seven man pen, he can serve a perfectly useful role on this team as a high leverage pinch hitter and occasional DH. The other thing to note is that there is a chance that by late summer the discussion might be about the need to cut Smoak. If you take out his first 350-400 ABs of last season, there isn't any doubt that Smock's record suggests that he's the weakest hitter of the DH/1B options on the club. Other than walking at a slightly higher rate, what Smoak has done in the last two months of last season and the beginning of this is, well, exactly what he did in his first 2500 ABs.
uglyone - Saturday, April 21 2018 @ 12:43 PM EDT (#356669) #
Interesting, Nigel.

I wanted to check that out:


Career

Grandy: 7597pa, 117wrc+ (128 vRHP, 87 vLHP)
Morales: 4715pa, 112wrc+ (112 vRHP, 113 vLHP)
Pearce: 2251pa, 110wrc+ (101 vRHP, 127 vLHP)
Smoak: 3612pa, 102wrc+ (105 vRHP, 94 vLHP)

Last 5 years (including this year)

Pearce: 1404pa, 124wrc+ (119 vRHP, 136 vLHP)
Grandy: 2553pa, 116wrc+ (125 vRHP, 90 vLHP)
Smoak: 1670pa, 109wrc+ (108 vRHP, 110 vLHP)
Morales: 2296pa, 106wrc+ (96 vRHP, 126 vLHP)

Last 3 years (including this year)

Pearce: 696pa, 119wrc+ (110 vRHP, 138 vLHP)
Smoak: 1066pa, 117wrc+ (115 vRHP, 122 vLHP)
Grandy: 1217pa, 113wrc+ (121 vRHP, 89 vLHP)
Morales: 1256pa, 104wrc+ (84 vRHP, 155 vLHP)

Rest of Season Projection

Smoak 113wrc+
Pearce 109wrc+
Grandy 109wrc+
Morales 103wrc+



I still think Morales is clearly the worst option offensively, and given he has zero defensive use that makes any spot on the roster for him questionable.

But you're right to be at least a bit skeptical on Smoak I think.

My one strong belief in this situation is that Pearce should be playing every day when healthy (though given a good amount of rest to help him STAY healthy), and not be platooned in any sense of the word.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, April 21 2018 @ 12:51 PM EDT (#356670) #
The Bullpen has done everything needed, what more can be said or should be said?

Jaime Garcia is better than expected, possibly more than just a fifth Starter.
Every other Starter is underachieving expectations, yet the Jays are winning a lot. Career numbers suggest what a player will generally achieve each year, although outlier season can exist.. Sanchez and Stroman are young enough that they will be better. Happ and Estrada are old enough that they could be better. Cold to bitter cold and a three day layoff can throw any pitcher off.

Randal Grichuk, Devon Travis and Russel Martin are basically giving the Jays very little, yet career numbers suggest they will be better. I donít know what issue, if any, Justin Smoak has. Everyone else is hitting Career numbers, which says they will do this. Is this sustainable? It should be. I just think they should be better.

The Offense is for real and might get better. The Bullpen is special. Defense is good and should stay that way. Starting Pitching is kind of average and should be much better. Is this run sustainable? Of course, this is what this team is.

Why assume an off-year is the new norm, when career numbers suggest not?
Richard S.S. - Saturday, April 21 2018 @ 01:55 PM EDT (#356671) #
Bases loaded, one out: 0-2.
ComebyDeanChance - Saturday, April 21 2018 @ 02:01 PM EDT (#356672) #
7 straight balls by Stroman before he serves up lunch to Judge.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, April 21 2018 @ 02:35 PM EDT (#356673) #
Marcus Stroman will never throw a 6.0, 7.0, 8.0, 9.0 inning scoreless game. He tries too hard to not make a mistake/be perfect, pressuring himself needlessly. At times itís as if he doesnít trust his stuff. Sometimes heís better at this, just not often enough.
uglyone - Saturday, April 21 2018 @ 02:43 PM EDT (#356674) #
13 of Stroman's 92 starts (14%) he has given up 0 earned runs in 6+ ip. 3 of those he did give up earned runs in, though.

8 of them were 7+ ip. 2 of them were 8+ ip. 1 was 9ip.
ComebyDeanChance - Saturday, April 21 2018 @ 02:47 PM EDT (#356675) #
Very tough situation for Gibbons in the Yankee third. With two out, Stroman walks Gardner on 4 straight balls with 2 out, after being up 0-2 on him. Then he throws 3 straight balls to Judge. Judge owns Stroman, and if first base was open I think Gibbons would have put him on. But it wasn't and the best player on the field, Didi, was up next. So Gibby had Stroman pitch to Judge. That made Judge 7/16 vs. Stroman with 4 HR, 2 BB and 6 RBI's. Stroman owes Judge a present on Father's Day.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, April 21 2018 @ 03:10 PM EDT (#356676) #
Thatís before this year right? Heís looking butt-ugly this year. He should be better and could be better, but will he be better? I think he will.

Whoís the better Starter right now, Stroman or Biagini? I suggest itís closer than you think.
Spifficus - Saturday, April 21 2018 @ 03:17 PM EDT (#356677) #

Stroman owes Judge a present on Father's Day.

Damned coffee.. Nose... Everywhere.
Gerry - Saturday, April 21 2018 @ 03:52 PM EDT (#356678) #
Former Blue Jay Danny Farquhar collapsed in the dugout last night. He was diagnosed as having a brain aneurysm and is in critical condition in hospital.
#2JBrumfield - Saturday, April 21 2018 @ 04:41 PM EDT (#356679) #
Here is a story on what happened to Farquhar.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, April 21 2018 @ 08:46 PM EDT (#356682) #
Blue Jays are supposed to have a really good offense, said to be the second best - where - should it matter?
Theyíve put at least one runner on base in 112 of the 175 innings theyíve played (64%).
Theyíve scored at least one run in 53 of those 112 innings (46.9%)
The leadoff hitter has reached base in 57 innings (32.57% of 175 innings , but 50.89% in the 112 innings), with the Jays scoring at least one run just 30 times (17.14% of the 175 innings, 26.79% of the 112 innings, but 52.6% of the 57 innings).
The left on base is too scary to contemplate.
Mike Green - Sunday, April 22 2018 @ 09:12 AM EDT (#356685) #
Gleyber Torres is up for the Yankees for today's game. 

The service time callup delay is tiresome.  I wonder what would be a reasonable provision that the union could achieve in the next collective agreement.  Perhaps service time could be accumulated in 25 game increments rather than seasons, with minimums and arbitration eligibility flowing from the number of increments.  It would also be helpful if the CBA explicitly provided that performance quality rather than service time was the most important factor in salary arbitration- traditionally unions have preferred seniority based systems but it doesn't really make sense in the MLB context. 

Chuck - Sunday, April 22 2018 @ 09:22 AM EDT (#356686) #
The left on base is too scary to contemplate.

While fearful that I continue to do little more than tilting at windmills, I will once again enter the fray and attempt to champion the cause of reason.

Using published numbers at BBRef, and doing some quick cutting and pasting into Excel, I decided to explore the question: what percentage of baserunners do teams leave on base?

So, I examined the ratio LOB/MOB (left on base divided by men on base). I devised MOB as H+BB+HBP-HR intentionally removing HR from the mix since such players are not on base to be driven in by others. The results?

  • Boston is best at 55% (only 55% of their baserunners were stranded; 45% scored)
  • Toronto is 8th best at 60%
  • The MLB average is 63%
  • Cleveland is worst at 72%

Toronto is very close to MLB average not just in rate, but in numerator and denominator.

  • Toronto 135 LOB vs. 141 MLB average
  • Toronto 226 MOB vs. 223 MLB average
  • Toronto 60% stranded rate vs. 63% MLB average
Richard S.S. - Sunday, April 22 2018 @ 10:11 AM EDT (#356687) #
If ambitious, try tracking every AB. The At Bat app makes it easy. The summary section, all plays, helps if you write everything down. So far, I trust MLB .
Richard S.S. - Sunday, April 22 2018 @ 11:04 AM EDT (#356689) #
The Blue Jays were never in game one (29 March) or in game two (30 March) despite the game two score. Even better pitching might not help.
In game one, the Jays were 0-4 with a runner in scoring position, although they hit a leadoff HR in the 8th.
In game two, the Jays had a one out solo HR,but they were 1-4 with a runner in scoring position.

The Blue Jays were in game seven (04 April) and should have won it. Better pitching will help. They were 1-3 with lead off runners on 2nd and 3rd. They were 2-5 in the other innings.

The Jays werenít in game nine (07 April),although better pitching might help. They were 0-4 with a runner in scoring position, despite hitting a one out solo HR.

Better pitching could help the Blue Jays in game 13 (11 April). They were 2-5 with a runner in scoring position and a two out solo HR.

The Blue Jays were definitely in game 18 (19 April) and better pitching would help. They hit Two HRs driving in a third run. Counting the walks, they were 8-15 with a runner in scoring position.

Without the disaster of an inning in game 20 (21 April) the Blue Jays should win. Better pitching makes all the difference. They were 1-7 with a runner in scoring position, but had zero base-runners in the last four Innings.
uglyone - Sunday, April 22 2018 @ 11:10 AM EDT (#356690) #
richard, the numbers here really can't be argued. the jays have been absurdly good with men on base this year.
85bluejay - Sunday, April 22 2018 @ 11:13 AM EDT (#356691) #
Gurriel at SS today - will be interesting to observe his defense.
scottt - Sunday, April 22 2018 @ 11:21 AM EDT (#356692) #
Yesterday's game was one to forget. Stroman is still trying to find his control. It seems to come and go.
On the offense, there was some really bad swings like Pillar striking out on a ball over his head and Hernandez chasing a pitch that was a foot outside.

The Rangers and the Jays are leading in double plays.
The Rangers have also made a lot of errors.
As the Jays pitchers put lots of balls in play, there will be some bad bounces.

Diaz legged out an infield single on a ball straight to the 3rd baseman.
It's an easy out for most Blue Jays hitter.

jerjapan - Sunday, April 22 2018 @ 01:27 PM EDT (#356695) #
Pulling for Danny F right now.

The service time delays are tiresome for sure - what fan doesn't want to see the best young players in the bigs?

But I doubt the union cares much about it. Far more shameful is their willful obliviousness to the plight of minor leaguers - who can make a decent living in both hockey and basketball. Football players have the CFL. Baseball players get jack. I'm a union guy, but far too many unions operate out of far too much self interest these days, and MLBPU doesn't seem to have much integrity to me.
Cynicalguy - Sunday, April 22 2018 @ 02:09 PM EDT (#356697) #
Will be interesting see what the Jays end up doing when Donaldson comes back...and assuming no one else gets hurt.

Options are:
1. Send Gurriel Jr to AAA. This leaves the team with no true backup SS. Solarte can play there for a few games, but not sure if the Jays would be comfortable with that. This option allows the Jays to keep Hernandez and not lose any assets.

2. Send Travis to AAA. This option allows Travis to work out of the slump without losing any assets and Hernandez can stay.

3. Send Hernandez to AAA. This option gives Grichuk a chance to come out of his slump and avoids losing any assets.

4. Trade Grichuk. The return would be minimal since the Jays would be selling low. Hernandez and Grichuk are pretty similar players. Power potential, speed in the outfield, but high strikeouts and walks not high enough. If Hernandez doesn't keep hitting, the Jays can give Pompey or Alford a chance. In hindsight the trade looks bad considering the the multiple options available to replace him in the outfield. Seems like hanging onto Greene and Leone would've been better.

5. Trade Morales. This option would require eating about 20M of the remaining 33M salary. This also opens up roster flexibility, providing Solarte more at bats and allows more players to get a bit of a rest by DHing on certain days.

6. Trade Pearce. The Jays lose a lefty masher, but allows more at bats for Solarte and Grichuk.

The same considerations have to be made when Tulowitzki comes back.

With the addition of two more options:

7. Trade Diaz. This would mean you have to keep Gurriel since you need a backup SS. But the risk is if Tulo or Travis get hurt again, you have no depth which is the reason he was acquired. The Jays have to be confident Gurriel can be that depth.

8. Trade Tulowitzki. Would require him to look fully healthy and starts to hit, plus would require the Jays eating about 40M of remaining 58M salary. This type of trade would've have been easier 3-4 years ago when there was a shortage of SS who can hit. This would be a consideration for the next 3 years as the Jays look to open up a spot for Bichette or Gurriel Jr.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, April 22 2018 @ 02:37 PM EDT (#356698) #
After four innings, the Jays are 0-6 with a runner in scoring position, yet with two sac flys each inning a run scores - 3-2 game. Itís all about the mindset.
uglyone - Sunday, April 22 2018 @ 02:44 PM EDT (#356699) #
yes, as expected, the jays were never going to stay as red hot as they've been so far with runners on.
hypobole - Sunday, April 22 2018 @ 03:02 PM EDT (#356700) #
Rather shocking the Jays aren't pounding the best young starter in the AL.

Pathetic the Jays can't do better against a guy who wasn't even good enough to finish better than third behind Kluber and Sale in the Cy Young voting.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, April 22 2018 @ 03:55 PM EDT (#356703) #
I always expect cheap shots from the peanut gallery. Thank you, one and all. :)

April 9th, Justin Smaok had two hits again in the midst of a very decent start to the Season. Since then, baring a big comeback today in the 9th, heís 4-34, 4 Runs, 2 RBI, 9 BB, 12 K, 28 LOB. Is he hurt, or just in an ugly slump?
dan gordon - Sunday, April 22 2018 @ 04:22 PM EDT (#356705) #
Yes, I mentioned earlier in this thread that it looked to me like Smoak may have hurt his knee again on a swing a couple of weeks ago.

Morales doesn't have $33 million left on his contract. He's making $11 million this year and $12 million next year. There's about $10 million left for this year, so he's owed about $22 million.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, April 22 2018 @ 06:59 PM EDT (#356711) #
The matchup on Tuesday should be a little more even for the Blue Jays. Boston has just been beaten by Oakland in back-to-back games, with Sale and Price pitching
Shoeless Joe - Sunday, April 22 2018 @ 07:37 PM EDT (#356713) #
Teoscar now has his K rate at a very reasonable 23.7%, and if he stays in the #2 spot with Josh D hitting behind him that might keep going down with less stuff being thrown outside the zone. He is here to stay.

The easy move once Josh comes back is sending down Gurriel Jr. and Grichuk goes back to being a 4th outfield like he was as a red bird.
Petey Baseball - Sunday, April 22 2018 @ 10:24 PM EDT (#356720) #
Right now, I'd have to guess it's Travis going down upon Donaldson's return. We all know what kind of hitter he can be, but looking macro-level, outside of May 2017 and a couple of hot streaks here and there, there isn't really enough there to justify him blocking a good prospect in Guerriel.

What also isn't helping Devon (aside from the injury luck) is his occasional defense lapses. Right now, Guerriel has done nothing to prove he can't play second as well or better than Travis, and has the added versatility of being a decent shortstop.

Baseball is a cruel game, and while I love Guerriel and what he brings, I can't help feeling terrible for Travis.
John Northey - Sunday, April 22 2018 @ 11:42 PM EDT (#356721) #
It is impressive that the Jays are at 13-8 given ...
Travis: 140/218/160 over 50 AB
Ngoepe: 056/105/056 over 18 AB
Grichuk: 086/206/224 over 58 AB

Martin & Gurriel are also sub 600 for OPS while Morales is at 642 now.

Of course it helps when you get...
Maile: 414/485/552 over 29 AB's (could've made a lot of money betting on that)
Richard S.S. - Monday, April 23 2018 @ 12:21 AM EDT (#356722) #
If Josh Donaldson can really fire those baseballs over to first and his shoulder is 100%, then bring h8m up as soon as heís ready. If heís not 100% ready, keep him down until he is unquestionably ready.
scottt - Monday, April 23 2018 @ 07:52 AM EDT (#356725) #
Grichuk and Judge have the same type of stance and are both great low ball hitters.
The main difference, I think, is that Judge can extend his arms and power out the outside strikes.
However, Grichuk is being peppered with high fastballs while they continue to pitch Judge low.
If Grichuk could just hit a few high fastballs out of the park, his luck would improve dramatically.

Maybe in the National League, pitchers mainly pitch to their strength while in the AL, they're told to take advantage of the scouting reports.

scottt - Monday, April 23 2018 @ 08:03 AM EDT (#356726) #
They Jays haven hit their share of home runs and taken their walks.
Well, except Travis, only 2 walks and 1 extra base.

Chuck - Monday, April 23 2018 @ 08:36 AM EDT (#356727) #
while I love Guerriel and what he brings, I can't help feeling terrible for Travis.

Travis may never have that entirely healthy season where he puts it all together and may end up, ultimately, as a disappointment. And he is certainly struggling now.

All that said, the Gurriel love shown this weekend, particularly by the broadcast crew, felt a little over the top. Interestingly, Gleyber Torres made his debut the same weekend and if you didn't know better and based your impression solely on how they were received, you'd get the sense that they are of the same pedigree.

Mike Green - Monday, April 23 2018 @ 09:40 AM EDT (#356730) #
Ken Rosenthal has a good interview at The Athletic with Kevin Pillar on the aftermath of his suspension for the anti-gay slur. 

With the decline of the newspaper/magazine industry, I am making a conscious effort to support high quality online journalism.  The Athletic falls into that category. 

SK in NJ - Monday, April 23 2018 @ 09:56 AM EDT (#356733) #
A couple of days ago, someone in the Jays media (forgot who) tweeted that if the Jays released Morales right now, the remainder of his contract ($20M+) would be counted against the 2018 payroll, rather than split between 2018 and 2019. Not sure if that's true or not, but if it is, then it would explain why there is no chance of that happening.

The roster manipulation over the next few months will be interesting to watch.
Mike Green - Monday, April 23 2018 @ 10:16 AM EDT (#356735) #
What difference would it make whether it was counted against 2018 vs. 2019 payroll, SK?  The 2018 luxury tax threshold is $197 million and the Jays are a long ways from that. 
SK in NJ - Monday, April 23 2018 @ 10:21 AM EDT (#356736) #
Depends on how flexible Rogers is. If Shapiro was given a specific budget for 2018, and cutting Morales puts them over it, then it might not be feasible. It would essentially be adding $12M to the 2018 payroll for no reason. IIRC, Alex could not make any moves at the trade deadline in 2014 (when the team was in a WC spot) because he had already reached the payroll for the season. That seems to be how Rogers operates.
Mike Green - Monday, April 23 2018 @ 10:31 AM EDT (#356738) #
Is this for Rogers' internal accounting or for tax purposes?  Does anyone know?

If it's for internal accounting, it is beyond stupid.  If it is for tax purposes, there may be a reason that makes sense (although even that it questionable- normally companies do not attempt to delay expenses, they attempt to delay income)

92-93 - Monday, April 23 2018 @ 11:37 AM EDT (#356744) #
Chisholm: "For those clamoring for a decision on Morales. Two things to keep in mind, if you're suggesting a trade, to which team and why would that organization do it? Secondarily, remember what AA used to say buyouts? Rogers counts those payouts on current payroll, not the following year."
Mike Green - Monday, April 23 2018 @ 11:51 AM EDT (#356745) #
I am not clamouring for a trade.  I know that Morales has essentially no value on the open market. 

I am saying that the most he should be used is an occasional DH/pinch-hitter, and if that is not possible, he should be released.  If Rogers won't agree to that because they wish to count his entire 2018 and 2019 salary against 2018 payroll without any financial reason for doing so, they are a foolish organization- it's a pathetic excuse for avoiding the sunk cost principle.

I suspect that they hold on to faint hope that he will regain the magic that he had in 2015 when he was a decent player.  It's funny because for other purposes, they've given up on that kind of logic.  No long-term extension for Donaldson because we know that older players cannot be expected to hold their value.  Taking advantage of that principle to sign Granderson at a bargain rate for a year.

92-93 - Monday, April 23 2018 @ 12:03 PM EDT (#356746) #
I don't see the relevance of what AA used to say about buyouts to Morales' situation. I believe AA was referring to not picking up a player's option (a decision that must be made before free agency opens), not the repercussions of releasing a player while he still has another year on his contract.
Chuck - Monday, April 23 2018 @ 12:09 PM EDT (#356747) #
A factor working in Morales' favour to not be DFA'd is that Pearce, Granderson, Donaldson, and and and? will not be under contract next season.
SK in NJ - Monday, April 23 2018 @ 12:16 PM EDT (#356748) #
The quote 92-93 posted is the one I was referring to, but there also some follow ups by Chisholm:

"Correct, it was. But unless Rogers has changed its stance, the same logic would apply here. They based it strictly on money that needed to be paid out in that current fiscal year."

"We haven't had the current regime confirm that's still how things work, but yes, for years under Anthopoulos that's how it worked. Based on his explanation, it would count towards this year's payroll. Certainly something we'll need to follow up on."

Again, I have no idea if that's true or not. I was just going on the assumption that it was. Of course, another issue to consider is that Shapiro/Atkins signed him for three years in the first place, knowing the age and value deficiencies he came with. So I'm sure they will wait more than a few weeks to release him anyway, even if they wanted to/were able to.
92-93 - Monday, April 23 2018 @ 12:21 PM EDT (#356749) #
I saw the follow up tweets. Morales' 2019 salary wouldn't be paid out this year, so I don't understand Chisholm.

Was there a specific instance where AA released a player with over a year remaining on his contract that we learned it would effect the current year's budget?
Mike Green - Monday, April 23 2018 @ 12:24 PM EDT (#356750) #
Sorry, Chuck, but I don't see it.  Morales will be paid $12 million for 2019 regardless whether he is on the roster or not.  The question is whether he is worth the roster spot.   He has no value on the trade market because he isn't.  At that point, the club is better off filling the roster spot with a player who can hit better than Morales and perform a secondary role competently.  Someone like Granderson or Pearce. 

Things have changed.  With longer bullpens and shorter benches,  players like Morales aren't worth the roster spot.  It is worthwhile to have a full-time DH if the player can hit well enough.  Edwin Encarnacion has been a player of that type.  But a player, who can hit the long ball and is a decent but not good hitter (who might have found a role on Earl Weaver's clubs), is just not worth it. 

Chuck - Monday, April 23 2018 @ 12:30 PM EDT (#356751) #
The question is whether he is worth the roster spot.

Oh, I don't think he has any value now and nor will he a year hence. Worse than having no value, he is in the flipping way. I'm just trying to figure out the rationale for keeping him around from management's perspective.

hypobole - Monday, April 23 2018 @ 12:36 PM EDT (#356752) #
In a similar vein, Dan Szymborski has just posted the 15 worst contracts in terms of surplus wins -- that is, the difference between the number of wins the team is paying for and the number of wins it's projected to get for the remaining years of the contract.

The 15 range from a Blue Jay projected to be worth minus 4.2 wins to Pujols and Miggy, projected at minus 14.8 and 15.0 respectively.

However the Blue Jay isn't Morales, it's Tulo.

"I was among the analysts who liked the Blue Jays' trade for Tulo, so to be too mean would be hypocritical. But from a numbers standpoint, last year's groin and hamstring injuries, the first that really had an effect on his qualitative performance, combine with this year's injuries to give enough of a down arrow for Tulowitzki to make this list ahead of Yasmany Tomas. In the end, the Jays-Rockies Tulowitzki trade didn't really help anyone as much as they hoped."
SK in NJ - Monday, April 23 2018 @ 12:55 PM EDT (#356753) #
I remember one instance where Rajai Davis, after the 2012 season, had a $3M option for 2013 or a $500k buyout. AA decided to decline the option, thereby paying the $500k buyout, and then re-signing Davis for $2.5M. The reasoning given at the time was that the buyout counted against 2012 payroll, so AA essentially saved $500k in 2013 payroll by using the buyout (and Davis got paid $3M regardless).

That's a totally separate situation than releasing a player with a guaranteed salary for the following season, so if that Davis situation is the basis for Chisolm's conclusion on Morales, then that's pretty shoddy reporting on his part. Unless he knows that is how Rogers operates, or operated when AA was in charge.
uglyone - Monday, April 23 2018 @ 01:27 PM EDT (#356754) #
I will never understand the hoops people jump through to make excuses for the team deliberately not fielding its best lineup.

this weird story of rogers for some reason wanting to exacerbate the negative effects of a buyout in order to...what?.....force the GM to keep fielding a worse roster for some reason?... sounds fairly ludicrous to me.

If you want to make an argument that Morales has real value, or even enough value to not give up on him yet, that's a different thing....though still a pretty hard one to argue imo.
uglyone - Monday, April 23 2018 @ 01:28 PM EDT (#356755) #
"Dan Szymborski has just posted the 15 worst contracts in terms of surplus wins"

Can't wait for the list of contracts in terms of surplus playoff appearances.
Jevant - Monday, April 23 2018 @ 03:29 PM EDT (#356760) #
Considering the love that the broadcast crew traditionally shows Yankees, I am actually pretty content that they were not fawning all over Torres the way they historically have done whenever a Yankee prospect comes up.
scottt - Monday, April 23 2018 @ 08:01 PM EDT (#356772) #
You can argue that dropping Morales now is better than dropping him later as he's likely to make the team worst. However, it's not hard to understand the other position. Morales could still revert to the production that was expected of him when the contract was inked. The time to make that decision is not in April.
Gerry - Monday, April 23 2018 @ 08:30 PM EDT (#356773) #
Axford to bereavement list, Mayza up.
jerjapan - Monday, April 23 2018 @ 08:39 PM EDT (#356774) #
dunno about that Scottt ... the Morales deal sucked when it was signed, sucked all last year, sucks now.  that's plenty of evidence.  I'll bet you whatever we are allowed to bet online that he continues to suck. 

that said, I don't see the FO moving this fast. 

dalimon5 - Monday, April 23 2018 @ 08:53 PM EDT (#356775) #
It will be interesting to see Tulo's rating after he starts to play healthy. I don't think he's played a single game healthy in Toronto since he arrived here.

It admitted to media a few weeks ago that he has been playing through bone spurs in his feet since 2016.
greenfrog - Monday, April 23 2018 @ 09:19 PM EDT (#356776) #
Given his influence on players like Diaz and Gurriel and Hernandez, there may be an intangible benefit to having Morales on the roster.
jerjapan - Monday, April 23 2018 @ 09:39 PM EDT (#356777) #
Does Morales actually influence those guys?  I agree that might be true, but I know I don't like every Scottish person I meet ...
greenfrog - Monday, April 23 2018 @ 09:45 PM EDT (#356779) #
Gurriel and Morales were both asked about this in interviews during the Yankees series, and during one of the pre-game shows Wilner specifically referred to Morales taking Hernandez under his wing. For what itís worth.
ayjackson - Monday, April 23 2018 @ 11:28 PM EDT (#356780) #
So what is the prognosis on Tulo? Did he have the double-surgery? Is he out for the year?
Michael - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 02:50 AM EDT (#356781) #
When evaluating the trade for Tulo you can't just look at the surplus expected value from this point on (where it is understandable if that is one of the 15 worst current contracts remaining).

You have to consider both what Tulo was worth between when he arrived here and now (including both context-neutral value as well as the context he was in on cusp of playoff => playoff team) and also who they traded away and what contract there was on that (Reyes on a large contract).

Tulo wasn't signed as a free agent by the Jays, so you can't look at it in isolation. And I'm pretty sure that from the point of the trade Tulo's value - Tulo's salary is much more than Reyes's value - Reyes's salary. In fact:

Reyes's Salary from Col through end of this year:
2015 ~40% of $22 M
2016 $22M (released but all from COL?)
2017 $22M (released so 21.46 from Col, 0.54 from NYM)
2018 $4 M (released)
Total Col salary ~$56.3 M (and no more next year)

Reye's WAR for Col:
2015 -0.2 WAR.
If you figure a WAR is worth ~$8M then -0.2 WAR = -1.6 M

So that works out to about -$58 M of "value" which is minus 7.25 wins (again at ~$8M per WAR).

Tulo salary from Jays through end of this year:
2015 ~40% of $20 M
2016 $20 M
2017 $20 M
2018 $20 M
Total Tor salary ~$48 M through start of this year and ~$68 M through end of this year (and $38 over the next 3 years if buyout option - with 2 years more playing, $59 M if exercise option - with 3 years more playing)

Tulo value with Jays:
2015 1.3 WAR
2016 3.4 WAR
2017 0.1 WAR
2018 ??? WAR
So that is 4.8 WAR so far (plus whatever value may be delivered this year). 4.8 WAR at ~$8 M is $38.4 M. So if Tulo doesn't play this year/provides 0 WAR then even with the $68 M this is minus 30 M salary or minus 3.75 wins.

So to this point Tulo is -3.75 and Reyes is -7.25 so Tulo has been worth 3.5 wins more than Reyes. If Tulo can deliver 1.25 WAR total between the rest of this season and the next two then he'll have been worth more than Reyes overall even considering what is still owed to him (I'd bet he will be able to do that).

And that's before even considering that value in 2015 and 2016 was super important (because of playoffs) and hence the timing of the value was also worth it.

Of course there were more players since we also got LaTroy Hawkins (0.2 WAR for $0.88 M, which is small surplus value - that was ~40% of $2.2 M contract), but also gave up Tinoco (23 yr old currently in AA), Castro (negative WAR for COL for 2 years at maj min, then traded to BAL still at maj min but fractional WAR, now 0.9 post TOR WAR for 4 years of maj min ~$2.4 M TOT), and Hoffman (-0.4 career WAR for maj min over 2 years). So overall while the younger and controllable extra pieces did go to COL, they haven't to date been worth much and the three combined have combined for 0.5 WAR which barely clears the 0.2 WAR we got from Hawkins for the end of 2015, and done it at a greater cost of roster slots and salary.

So there is still some upside possible for COL in Hoffman (or sort of for Castro for Baltimore now which could have been COL if they hadn't traded him; or in theory for non-good-prospect Tinoco), and there is still some risk to Toronto about how well Tulo will play again ever (post surgery and all), but overall I think this still looks like a pretty clearly positive move for the Jays overall.
dan gordon - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 06:05 AM EDT (#356782) #
Szymborski isn't trying to evaluate trades or the entirety of a contract, he's looking at what remains on contracts now, and which are the least desirable. I would like to see his whole list. I had a list of 14 bad existing contracts and Tulo's was certainly in there, too. Many of them are obvious, of course.

As to what the Jays are going to get from Tulo for the rest of his contract, I don't think there is any way of knowing. He's 33 years old, coming off a poor season, has been very injury prone for years, and has just had major surgery on both of his feet. The range of possibilities starts at zero and goes up from there. Personally, I'm not optimistic.
scottt - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 06:13 AM EDT (#356783) #
If the balance on Tulo is negative, it doesn't really matter how we got there.
That's like a sunk cost.

Also, nobody pays 8M for a 1WAR guy by design. That's replacement value production and can be had for minimum cost. Just like nobody pays 64M for an 8 WAR guy.

dalimon5 - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 08:50 AM EDT (#356784) #
To me Tulo is like Donaldson. Imagine if JD was injured or playing injured for 2-3 years and he missed half a season and then everyone used that as his new standard as a huge drop off. Tulo is somewhere in between average and elite when healthy. He's a notch below JD when healthy. He's a year older than JD. Not much difference. Last year JD looked terrible and "done" when he was playing injured. I don't understand how people ignore that Tulo was injured and assume he has gone from hall of fame worthy to also ran in less than 600 days. If you factor in a realistic drop off from the trade and age and injuries then he's still above average at the position and that's using his non COL numbers as a benchmark.

UPDATE on TULO: he had surgery on both feet to completely remove bone spurs. He's had bone spurs he's been battling since 2016 and always tried to play through it on his new team. He also had pulled hamstring going into the season last year and played through it the whole year until he twisted his ankle. He actually fractured his ankle and decided to heal that and remove the bone spurs. Greg Bird had surgery on one bone spur to remove it recently. He's scheduled to be back after 6 weeks and if you watch him he was useless at the plate while he had a bone spur and awesome when healthy.

Of course, it's all on Tulo if he's been forcing himself to play injured because his hall of fame track is completely busted now. Too much pride?

If Tulo ages anything like players of his ilk with amazing OPS #s then in a worse case scenario he is a 1B/DH/slow3B who can hit. If he's battling hips/ ligaments/bone spurs then like ANY player he's going to be a sunk cost. This is just my opinion. Maybe Tulo's been avoiding surgery all along because he's been told he can't do any more surgery or his career is over. He's already had multiple surgeries on his hips and ligaments in COL.

Straight to the point: I'm glad he's been out almost a year because by the time he comes back we will either see real and close to vintage Tulo with realistic decline (awesome star) or washed up body Tulo who is done. What we won't see is in between guy who watches low outside pitches and wiffs on up and in too much...if we get one or the other of the extreme we will be better off then having this maddening player we've had.

Tulo is one of the many players that have tried to emulate Cal Ripken. His body didn't agree to the required terms.
hypobole - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 09:52 AM EDT (#356788) #
Dan, I mentioned the 2 worst contracts, plus Tulo.
Here's the rest:

14. Ian Kennedy (minus-5.0 wins)
13. Homer Bailey (minus-5.1 wins)
12. Pablo Sandoval (minus-5.5 wins)
11. David Wright (minus-6.1 wins)
10. Robinson Cano (minus-6.2 wins)
9. Shin-Soo Choo (minus-6.3 wins)
8. Jacoby Ellsbury (minus-6.4 wins)
7. Eric Hosmer (minus-6.9 wins)
6. Jordan Zimmermann (minus-7.0 wins)
5. Jason Heyward (minus-7.5 wins)
4. Ian Desmond (minus-7.9 wins)
3. Chris Davis (minus-11.9 wins)
lexomatic - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 09:55 AM EDT (#356789) #
Also, nobody pays 8M for a 1WAR guy by design. That's replacement value production

No, that's market value. Replacement is 0 WAR.
And I would say people DO pay 64m for 8 WAR. It's just not ideal or a goal. It's definitely not a disaster (unless that's a quarter of your team budget). 16m for 2 WAR over 4 season.
uglyone - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 10:24 AM EDT (#356792) #
Projected zips/steamer war for this year, and war650

Cano (35): 2.7war, 3.2war650 (signed until 2023)
Tulo (33): 1.1war, 2.6war650 (2020)
Cabrera (35): 2.1war, 2.5war650 (2023)
Heyward (28): 1.9war, 2.5war650 (2023)
Hosmer (28): 1.6war, 1.9war650 (2025)
Zimmermann (32): 1.3war, 1.6war650 (2020)
Kennedy (33): 1.2war, 1.4war650 (2020)
Davis (32): 0.9war, 1.2war650 (2022)
Choo (35): 0.9war, 1.1war650 (2020)
Bailey (32): 0.6war, 0.8war650 (2020)
Ellsbury (34): 0.2war, 0.8war650 (2020)
**(Morales (35): 0.3war, 0.4war650 (2019))**
Desmond (32): 0.1war, 0.1war650 (2021)
Pujols (38): -0.2war, -0.3war650 (2021)
Sandoval (31): -0.1war, -0.4war650 (2020)
Wright (35): 0.0war, -1.4war650 (2020)


Tulo is one of the handful of guys there who actually still projects to perform like a quality MLB starter when healthy, and he has the shortest contract of all of these guys, and way shorter than any of the other guys who actually still project to be good players.


whiterasta80 - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 10:25 AM EDT (#356793) #
Amazing that a contract from THIS WINTER can make that list. Usually it takes a year or two to look really bad.
scottt - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 11:00 AM EDT (#356794) #
Nobody makes 64M/year. It looks like teams have moved away from paying for past performances.

WAR is a counting stat. A replacement player is worth 0 or less WAR but would not be playing full time.
0-2 WAR is what is expected of a bench player or a bullpen pitcher.
A regular starter is supposed to be worth at least 2 WAR, an all-star 5 WAR and over.

Moustakas was worth 1.8 bWAR last  year and is making 5.5M this year.
Cain was a 5.3 bWAR player last year and is making 14M this year.
Hosmer was a 4.1bWAR player and is making 21M this year.

That is where the market value is, 3 to 5M per WAR.

The 8M/WAR is just a reflection of the extra years teams have offered to sign a player on the free agency market, along with the cost of players not performing to expectations. The real costs of mid-year acquisitions is usually not the $/WAR, but the lost prospects. Hopeless teams trade away expensive players to get worse and draft better the next year. It seems pointless to focus on the $/WAR in those types of transactions.


uglyone - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 11:02 AM EDT (#356795) #
Morales came off an 0.8war year, had averaged 0.8war over the previous 5yrs as well, and got handed $11m for 3yrs.
Glevin - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 11:17 AM EDT (#356796) #
WAR is not equal at all and the discussion of $/WAR tends to be way too simplistic and a little silly. People will pay way more for relievers because of the playoff value so the $/WAR will be higher. Teams will pay more for offense than for defense because it is still valued more. So you look at Tulo's 2016 (by far his best period as a Jay) and you see 103 WRC+ and pretty good defense. He was around 3 WAR. Would any team pay $24M for that? Not a chance in hell. He was the 13th most valuable SS in baseball. $24M a year is an elite salary. So, by the $/WAR he comes up as good value but in reality, being the highest paid SS and the 13th best is not good value.

And then you start to think, if Tulo were released right now, what kind of contract would he get? Someone would for sure take a chance on him but it would be low base, lots of incentives. Maybe...1/$2-3M with incentives maybe? Or, even look backwards from 2016 and for the production Tulo gave the Jays. Since then, he has been the 25th most valuable SS in baseball. That's less value than Jody Mercer or Freddy Galvis. For a guy making $20M a year. It is easily one of the worst contracts in baseball.
uglyone - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 11:19 AM EDT (#356797) #
"People will pay way more for relievers "

stupid people.
uglyone - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 11:47 AM EDT (#356798) #
So one of Grandy or Pearce was forced to sit the last two games thanks to morales, and our offense dried up.

whiterasta80 - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 11:50 AM EDT (#356799) #
Agree that the $$$/WAR discussion is useless.

In fact, the arbitration and free agency system is specifically arranged such that $$$/WAR is useless.

92-93 - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 12:50 PM EDT (#356802) #
In reality, Granderson sat because a lefty was on the mound on Saturday and he hit .205/.283/.370 from 2015-2017 against them, and Pearce sat on Sunday because Severino held righties to a .550 OPS last year and if you try playing Pearce too frequently he will breakdown before June.
John Northey - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 01:17 PM EDT (#356803) #
When it comes to dollars per WAR one also needs to consider playoff situation and what a team had as backups.  In 2015 the Jays had Reyes at SS who was making $20+ mil a year and was pretty much at replacement value in his performance after being a 2-3 WAR guy the past few years.  The next in place was Goins/Barney.  Not a good situation for a team hoping to make the playoffs.   Tulo added 1.3 WAR in 2015 and 3.4 in 2016.  I suspect without him the Jays don't make it in 2016.  That carries a lot of value.  In 2015 it looked like the Jays would, at best, be in a tight race at the time so the deal made tons of sense.  Yes, millions owed now, but that is a good hangover.  Imagine Reyes at SS in 2016 when he was arrested and the rest of the mess around him happening here instead of getting that fun playoff.

I'll take those 2 playoff appearances and let the Jays deal with $20+ mil a year in wasted payroll for the next few years gladly after 20 years of no playoffs.

uglyone - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 01:48 PM EDT (#356804) #
In 2015-2016, Tulo was the 6th best hitting SS in baseball, the 9th in total war, 6th in war rate.
whiterasta80 - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 03:03 PM EDT (#356805) #
I was fully in favour of the Tulo deal when it happened and still in favour of it now.

Flags fly forever... in the top left corner of the Battersbox banner!

He absolutely added something to the 2015 and 2016 teams (both in terms of performance and the message it sent existing players when we acquired him). Even now there is little evidence that his contract is preventing management from putting a winning team on the field.


dalimon5 - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 03:18 PM EDT (#356806) #
Glevin wrote:

"WAR is not equal at all and the discussion of $/WAR tends to be way too simplistic and a little silly. People will pay way more for relievers because of the playoff value so the $/WAR will be higher. Teams will pay more for offense than for defense because it is still valued more. So you look at Tulo's 2016 (by far his best period as a Jay) and you see 103 WRC+ and pretty good defense. He was around 3 WAR. Would any team pay $24M for that? Not a chance in hell. He was the 13th most valuable SS in baseball. $24M a year is an elite salary. So, by the $/WAR he comes up as good value but in reality, being the highest paid SS and the 13th best is not good value."

And then you start to think, if Tulo were released right now, what kind of contract would he get? Someone would for sure take a chance on him but it would be low base, lots of incentives. Maybe...1/$2-3M with incentives maybe? Or, even look backwards from 2016 and for the production Tulo gave the Jays. Since then, he has been the 25th most valuable SS in baseball. That's less value than Jody Mercer or Freddy Galvis. For a guy making $20M a year. It is easily one of the worst contracts in baseball."

Glevin,

You're arguing against simplistic and silly views but then you submit a very silly and one-sided simplistic view of Tulo. You use missed time and injury to compare him to ridiculously lower level players and then even worse use the same principles to grade his contract as if his value was determined today when in reality his value (and how it would be paid/distributed) was decided a long time ago independent of today's market. You're also dead wrong about offence being valued higher in MLB. Not only is there a shift to more defensively capable players for value with front offices, but also in WAR grading which is one of the reasons Tulo has a better chance to come back strong compared to 33 year olds with a bat and no or poor defence or a position with less value for defence.


There are 3 things everyone should consider if trying to illustrate the expensive cost of Tulo for the production he has provided:

1) his contract was designed to cover a 7 year period. He was underpaid for the first portion and overpaid for the latter portion, by design. You wouldn't look at Russel Martin's last 2 years of his contract and complain that he was overpaid without admitting he was underpaid handsomely when he was playing at a successful rate the first few years. If you want to complain that the end of Tulo's contract is expensive for his current production go ahead, but don't spin it like he is overpaid as if you can pretend that his contract was $20million a year over a 3 year period of sub 3WAR performance. This year is the first year he is getting paid full-bore (if the Jays are even paying while he rehabs).

2) Projections are dangerous in Tulo's case because they are using his past 3 year sample as if his performance during playing injured is normal. I could be wrong (as can the protestors and projection systems), but I anticipate a 3-4WAR player because of his position, defence and elite batting eye which I don't believe fell off a cliff but is due to injury. If he can't recover from his injuries then he' done. If we sign Aaron Sanchez to a 7 year deal and he blows his arm out in year 3 these same posters against Tulo would use their same logic to complain that we are overpaying Sanchez for crappy performance for the remainder of the contract, factoring in his missed time and injury into WAR projections. Regardless of whether Tulo recovers from injury or was playing injured, those complaining about his contract are ignoring the big picture.

3) Do you really want to run out Reyes or even worse some combination of a Royce Clayton/Chris Giminez type at SS from 2015-2017? Have you watched the games where Tulo was injured and seen the back up performance? Tulo is exactly the player I would be targeting if I was another team. I'll take the over on an injured and declining elite athlete playing through injury overcoming his injuries with the medicine and recovery methods available today.

If you actually watched Tulo play in his good days you would realize he has looked NOTHING like himself in the batters box since coming to Toronto. Same way JD looked nothing like himself during injury last year and beginning of this year. Maybe he can't recover from injury. Maybe he's done. At least treat the situation fairly and call it like you think it will end, which has nothing to do with his salary and contract. It helps to know the whole story before attempting to dumb down the discourse, especially when slapping labels like "silly" and "one sided" in the same post you present your views.

I may or may not be Troy Tulowitzki. Back to my barometric chamber...
SK in NJ - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 03:40 PM EDT (#356807) #
Pearce is the DH tonight with a RHP on the mound.

Gibbons adapting. Good to see.
uglyone - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 04:20 PM EDT (#356808) #
CF Pillar
RF Grandy
LF Teoscar
3B Solarte
SS Diaz
2B Travis
1B Smoak
C Martin
DH Pearce


can't complain about that lineup. gibby's on top of it.

Travis better pick it up soon or he'll be riding some pine when Donaldson gets back, too.



Chuck - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 04:58 PM EDT (#356810) #
I may or may not be Troy Tulowitzki. Back to my barometric chamber...

You're not Tulowitzki. He could afford a proper hyperbaric chamber.

Richard S.S. - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 05:03 PM EDT (#356811) #
When calculating whether or not a contract was/is any good, use Average Annual Value as the benchmark for all discussion. Too many people use the actual yearly cost to support their point of view. Russell Martinís AAV is $16.0 Million and I think heís easily earned every penny heís made. Itís possible heís actually underpaid.

I am amazed and appalled by the number of people, media, fans, posters on this site who have made the final decision on Troy Tulowitzkiís career.
He willl take the mandatory downtime for recovery from surgery, then follow the recovery plan that been set out for him.
When heís running freely again, heís about 75-80 ABs away from returning, probably around the All Star Break/Trade Deadline.
ISLAND BOY - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 05:23 PM EDT (#356812) #
Barometric chamber - you won't get healed but you'll always know what the weather is going to be.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 09:42 PM EDT (#356851) #
Hyperbaric/Barometric...its a chamber with a barometer inside of it to measure the air pressure to increase oxygen to the lungs. The terms are used interchangeably.
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