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The #BlueJays host Boston at the Dome for the first time in 2018. #TorontoStrong



Series Schedule

Tuesday at 7:07 pm ET - Rick Porcello (4-0, 1.40) vs. J.A. Happ (3-1, 4.50)
Wednesday at 7:07 pm ET - Eduardo Rodriguez (2-0, 3.45) vs.Aaron Sanchez (1-2, 3.86)
Thursday at 7:07 pm ET - Chris Sale (1-1, 1.86) vs. Marco Estrada (2-1, 5.32)

After sweeping the Los Angeles Angels to begin their road trip, the Red Sox extended their road trip to 4-0 before losing twice in Oakland. One of those losses included a no-hit effort by Sean Manaea. Still, the Beantowners lead the AL East with a 17-4 record to give them a four-game lead on Toronto. The Blue Jays got spanked by the New York Yankees in the Bronx by dropping three of four.

On Deck
- Three games against Texas at the Dome April 27-29.
Blue Jays vs. Red Sox - April 24-26 | 182 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 06:51 PM EDT (#356814) #
How comfortable are the Jays at home? How Boston lost the last two games doesnít matter, it just shows they can be beat. When did Boston last lose two straight? Success is just a matter of mind - just believe itís going to happen.
uglyone - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 07:04 PM EDT (#356815) #
I would quite like to win this series.
Shoeless Joe - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 07:34 PM EDT (#356816) #
It's so strange to see the Jays play small ball, but I love it.
uglyone - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 07:39 PM EDT (#356817) #
it helps that the sox are playing a dh at 3b for some reason.
James W - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 07:39 PM EDT (#356818) #
When did Boston last lose two straight?

Houston won games 1 and 2 of the ALDS against Boston last season.
James W - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 07:41 PM EDT (#356819) #
It is because their other designated hitters are playing 1B and DH.
greenfrog - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 07:42 PM EDT (#356820) #
Very nice (and somewhat lucky) second inning for the Jays tonight. Happ needs to have a shutdown top of the third here to protect the 3-0 lead.
uglyone - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 07:42 PM EDT (#356821) #
....for a cool ~$50m.
Shoeless Joe - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 07:58 PM EDT (#356822) #
Statistically Solarte is an even worse 3rd baseman than Devers from 2017 onwards. I don't think either are great defenders but they're playable.
greenfrog - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 08:02 PM EDT (#356823) #
Embarrassing defense from the Jays on that play (Diaz/Hernandez botch).
92-93 - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 08:58 PM EDT (#356824) #
With Happ cruising at 97 pitches and Barnes already warmed up, I'd prefer Tepera not automatically get the 8th here. Especially with the 8-9 hitters due up.
vw_fan17 - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 08:58 PM EDT (#356825) #
Don't really like Gibby taking Happ out here. Give him 1 batter..
greenfrog - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 09:03 PM EDT (#356826) #
This is a good test for Tepera - is he good enough to be a first-division setup man?
Petey Baseball - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 09:04 PM EDT (#356827) #
Every time Tepera is in there with a small lead in the 8th, one gopherball away from blowing it, I think of Biagini's ridiculously good ability not to give up home runs. He should be the 8th inning guy if the Jays are serious about winning as many games as possible.
Chuck - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 09:06 PM EDT (#356828) #
The Red Sox have been swinging wildly tonight. Betts has not looked like a guy with an 1100 OPS.
uglyone - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 09:08 PM EDT (#356829) #
that was perfect stuff from happ, especially in game one.

now stay perfect, roberto.
greenfrog - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 09:08 PM EDT (#356830) #
Good job.
Petey Baseball - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 09:10 PM EDT (#356831) #
To answer my own thought, I do think Biagini will be the primary set up once August/September hits, assuming the Jays are in playoff contention. By then, hopefully, his services as a starter aren't needed in Buffalo and the Jays have added an arm at the deadline.
uglyone - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 09:10 PM EDT (#356832) #
"The Red Sox have been swinging wildly tonight. Betts has not looked like a guy with an 1100 OPS."

apparently their new intentional appproach this year - super aggressive at the plate. the anti-2000s red sox.

it worked to start the year but pitchers may already be adjusting.
Petey Baseball - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 09:13 PM EDT (#356833) #
On the negative side, this season Justin Smoak looks like...well...Justin Smoak.
greenfrog - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 09:14 PM EDT (#356834) #
To be fair, the Jaysí approach at the plate hasnít been all that great tonight.
Chuck - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 09:16 PM EDT (#356835) #
This is old timey baseball. Two hours and change.
greenfrog - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 09:18 PM EDT (#356836) #
Not done yet, Chuck.
uglyone - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 09:25 PM EDT (#356837) #
don't shake him off again kid.
vw_fan17 - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 09:28 PM EDT (#356838) #
Wow, 98 mph from Osuna there..  Has he ever hit 100?
uglyone - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 09:28 PM EDT (#356839) #
osuna flashing 98s out there.
uglyone - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 09:32 PM EDT (#356840) #
that was a clear strike 3.
uglyone - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 09:34 PM EDT (#356841) #
dammit.
Chuck - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 09:34 PM EDT (#356842) #
Okay, so maybe the standard issue 4-hour game after all.
James W - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 09:34 PM EDT (#356843) #
Looked like Martin blocked out the umpire when he stood.
BlueJayWay - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 09:35 PM EDT (#356844) #
I love how when the Jays are at home, they still don't get the benefit of calls.
greenfrog - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 09:36 PM EDT (#356845) #
The Jays would be well advised to win this one now.
uglyone - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 09:38 PM EDT (#356846) #
why pinch hit
uglyone - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 09:39 PM EDT (#356847) #
2 of our best hitters now out of the game.
greenfrog - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 09:41 PM EDT (#356848) #
Now bring him home.
Chuck - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 09:41 PM EDT (#356849) #
9 curves in a row. Think Pillar was guessing curve?
Petey Baseball - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 09:42 PM EDT (#356850) #
Now steal 3rd and home Pillar, and we got this. Easy.
uglyone - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 09:43 PM EDT (#356852) #
top of their order coming up and we only have middle relievers left.

not looking good.
Chuck - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 09:45 PM EDT (#356853) #
Chad Jenkins still around? He should be good for 7.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 09:45 PM EDT (#356854) #
Not sure why Morales was pinch hitting for Pearce there. Not only has Pearce been one of the hottest hitters on the team, but Morales has pronounced splits over the last two seasons against RHP while Pearce can hit both sides. It was putting Morales in a position to fail. Now both Hernandez and Pearce are out of an extra inning game when they've been two of the best hitters on the team.
greenfrog - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 09:48 PM EDT (#356855) #
Leadoff walk to Betts...not to go all Sons of Sam Horn, but prepare to lose.
Petey Baseball - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 09:49 PM EDT (#356856) #
I wouldn't mind it if it wasn't for Pearce. Diaz hasn't hit much recently, and was due up 4th.
whiterasta80 - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 09:50 PM EDT (#356857) #
This may just be the voice of someone who has been spoiled with alomar, Hudson and hill over the years but good Lord I am fed up with watching Travis play mediocre 2b.
greenfrog - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 09:54 PM EDT (#356858) #
Youíre welcome, everyone.
Petey Baseball - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 09:54 PM EDT (#356859) #
It's true. Travis is not looking good at second.
uglyone - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 09:55 PM EDT (#356860) #
impressive escape by clippard. these vet rp sure don't seem to panic.
uglyone - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 09:56 PM EDT (#356861) #
grichuk walkoff.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 09:57 PM EDT (#356862) #
Agreed about Travis. Every part of his game looks bad right now. Not sure how much patience they will have with him once Donaldson gets back and they subsequently need a spot in the field for Solarte. Travis is likely the casualty.
uglyone - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 09:58 PM EDT (#356863) #
i love how shamelessly baseball media compare red sox kids to hall of famers.

Benintendi is just like fred lynn, my purple butt.
Petey Baseball - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 09:59 PM EDT (#356864) #
Was going to say that despite the walk, Clippard looks like he's throwing a heavy ball this season. The homers to Stanton and ? (he gave up one, against Baltimore I want to say). Nevertheless, I agree, you feel a bit more confident with veteran guys out there.
James W - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 10:00 PM EDT (#356865) #
Holy crap, that was a BOMB
uglyone - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 10:00 PM EDT (#356866) #
grandy is the steal of the offseason.

he's fricken amazing, in every way.
greenfrog - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 10:00 PM EDT (#356867) #
Love Granderson.
BlueJayWay - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 10:01 PM EDT (#356868) #
well
Petey Baseball - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 10:02 PM EDT (#356869) #
Nothing like a walk-off. I prefer that over Osuna closing it out.
greenfrog - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 10:04 PM EDT (#356870) #
Now beat E-Rod tomorrow.
Petey Baseball - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 10:06 PM EDT (#356871) #
Clippard now 3-0. On pace to be the next Mike Eichorn.
vw_fan17 - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 10:07 PM EDT (#356872) #
Nothing like a walk-off. I prefer that over Osuna closing it out.

This way Kimbrel had to work too..
uglyone - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 10:07 PM EDT (#356873) #
big shout out to the red sox' 3b coach for sending the runner home for the easy 3rd out in the 9th, with mookie coming up against a struggling osuna.
vw_fan17 - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 10:09 PM EDT (#356874) #
Clippard now 3-0. On pace to be the next Mike Eichorn.

Mark Eichhorn?
Mike Green - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 10:12 PM EDT (#356875) #
Came at about 98, left at about 115.
greenfrog - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 10:22 PM EDT (#356876) #
Now 14-8. Some players not currently on the roster who should be soon -- or could be this summer:

Donaldson
Tulo
Guerrero Jr.
Jansen
Alford
Pompey
Bichette
Biagini
Four Seamer - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 10:31 PM EDT (#356877) #
Maybe Devon Travis will be on the roster by then, too. Been missing that guy this year.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 10:31 PM EDT (#356878) #
If we can maintain this record through May then the team will be in a great position for a run with adds from the system and returning players.

Stromal and Estrada will be the keys to that.
scottt - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 10:44 PM EDT (#356879) #
Key things here.

Always bring Tepera for a clean inning. Don't let the starter put a runner on first and bring Tepera out of the stretch with the tying run at the plate. Happ still had velocity and movement but the control was iffy in his last inning.

Tough luck for Osuna. As a closer, you need to forget about it and do your thing again the next day.

Kelly throws really hard and Morales is a good fast ball hitter. It felt like they wanted to burn Kelly just before he serves his suspension. Of course, Morales saw 0 fastball from Kelly.

The batteries are worried about runners on second stealing signs. The catchers don't set themselves, or move just before the throws. It's difficult to blame the ump on some of those calls when the catcher gives a low target and stabs upwards to catch a high pitch.

Curious to see Granderson's WPA for this game.

scottt - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 10:52 PM EDT (#356880) #
What I find interesting with the calls is when a well traveled vet comes to Toronto and gets upset about the calls, like suddenly he's not getting the calls he's used to.

Cliffy's 4th ball was really low though.

greenfrog - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 10:58 PM EDT (#356881) #
What is Donaldson's current status? His 10-day DL stint is over, isn't it?
whiterasta80 - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 11:14 PM EDT (#356882) #
I actually thought that osuna looked ok. Just some chincy stuff for the most part.

Loved the grandy deal at the time. Love it more now.

We are rapidly approaching the moment when you stop waiting for guys to wake up and start replacing them with some of our minutes depth.

Richard S.S. - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 11:21 PM EDT (#356883) #
In his last four outings before today, Osuna pitched the 10th, the13th, the 17th, the 20th and not again until today. He has 6 saves so this result is so unlike him. Too much work, not enough work, need more regular work? Or just better defense?
dan gordon - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 11:42 PM EDT (#356884) #
Yah, when I looked at Granderson's splits the day the Jays signed him, I thought it was a great signing. The Mets' home park had been absolutely killing him since he went there. His road numbers were still fantastic. Last year, for example, he had a better road OPS than Paul Goldschmidt, Eric Hosmer, Mookie Betts, Robinson Cano, Charlie Blackmon, Manny Machado, J.D. Martinez, Anthony Rizzo, Adrian Beltre, Lorenzo Cain, and was within 1 point of Nolan Arenado.

To be fair to Travis, he made a great diving play to turn a hit into an out in today's game, and B-Ref shows him as a positive dWAR player each of the last 3 years. They also show him as above average in Total Zone and BIS for his career, and his career range factor is substantially above average. I've never regarded him as a below average defender.
Parker - Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 11:44 PM EDT (#356885) #
grandy is the steal of the offseason.

he's fricken amazing, in every way.


That's kind of an odd remark when this was your reaction to his signing:

"it's pretty funny really. just millions and millions of dollars handed to marginally over replacement players. year after year. they can't help themselves."

I mean, I find this funny too, but probably for a different reason.
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, April 25 2018 @ 12:00 AM EDT (#356886) #
The 10-Day D.L. Is no different than the last one. The 10 days is the earliest someone could return. It could take days or weeks more to be ready to come back ready to go. If, as reported, Josh Donaldson is throwing well then heís ready to start hitting sgain. It might take as many as 12 games just to get 50 ABs. So he might not return until the next home stand, any earlier he might not have his timing back.
uglyone - Wednesday, April 25 2018 @ 12:23 AM EDT (#356887) #
yep, parkie, your extensive uglyone journal notes are in order. i was dissappointed in the grandy signing when we signed him, and he's been phenomenal. and yes, i love it and enjoy it.

thanks for all your hard work.
Petey Baseball - Wednesday, April 25 2018 @ 12:41 AM EDT (#356888) #
Again, you look at the defensive metrics for Travis and it shows he's fine, but watching almost every one of his games
at second since 2015 (as many of us have), you have to wonder.

Memory does weird things, yes. I could be inflating the bad stretches defensively.

Regardless, with Donaldson returning soon and the emergence of Gurriel, unless Devon starts hitting he'll be back in the minors.
uglyone - Wednesday, April 25 2018 @ 12:45 AM EDT (#356889) #
what play were you annoyed with tonight? he made a great play early on, and i don't remember any bad ones.
John Northey - Wednesday, April 25 2018 @ 01:20 AM EDT (#356891) #
Does Travis have options still?  I think he is in his last year where they apply, although I could be wrong.  With a stint in AAA he'd be waiting an extra year for free agency as he is dead on 3 years of ML service time coming into 2018, so there is a significant value to the Jays sending him down - plus he clearly isn't playing well. 130/203/148 just doesn't cut it.  Only Ngoepe had a worse OPS on the team and he is in the minors now.  Of course, Gurriel isn't exactly burning down the house either with his 273/273/273 line.  The Jay hitters with a sub 700 OPS (a line I normally use to split 'live with it' from 'dump unless they are strong on defense') are (highest OPS to lowest) Diaz (SS), Morales (DH), Martin (C), Gurriel (2B/IF/OF), Grichuk (LF), Travis (2B) and Ngoepe (SS/IF).  Of that group Morales & Grichuk have no chance of providing enough in speed or defense to compensate for their bats. 

Smoak at 734 is on the edge and at 1B with no speed he needs an 800 to be worth keeping around.  When someone figures out how Maile is over 1000 for OPS (sold his soul last winter?) let these guys know his trick.
hypobole - Wednesday, April 25 2018 @ 01:52 AM EDT (#356892) #
Happ with arguably the best start by a Jays pitcher, right there with the Sanchez game vs the Orioles.

And yeah, very questionable decision by the Sox coach to send Nunez, but Grandy's throw was right on the mark.
Glevin - Wednesday, April 25 2018 @ 07:00 AM EDT (#356894) #
"it's pretty funny really. just millions and millions of dollars handed to marginally over replacement players. year after year. they can't help themselves."

I am hardly Ugly's biggest fan but I think it's perfectly reasonable to dislike a move at the time and like it later. I think a lot of people who were down on this front office have been much more open with this off-season. I always loved Granderson as a player and person and was suggesting him as a perfect signing for the team for a while, but the signing could also have not worked out.
whiterasta80 - Wednesday, April 25 2018 @ 07:14 AM EDT (#356895) #
I actually thought that he could have took a step back and made a play on the blooper in the 9th.

Even if that's unreasonable, his height was the limiting factor there and on many plays. Height is a variable in infielders that never really gets incorporated into our definition of range.

He's also looked brutal turning the DP all year.

And it's not like he's hitting like altuve or on an Ironman streak to make up for it.
whiterasta80 - Wednesday, April 25 2018 @ 07:17 AM EDT (#356896) #
Any yes. People are allowed to evolve their opinions. Provided they aren't misrepresenting what was previously said.

I didn't see UO do that.
scottt - Wednesday, April 25 2018 @ 07:33 AM EDT (#356897) #
Cora backed up the decision to challenge Granderson saying something like "You have to challenge him. You've been challenging him for 5 years. He just made a perfect throw.".

uglyone - Wednesday, April 25 2018 @ 07:35 AM EDT (#356898) #
In fact, that post was me gladly admitting I was wrong about him.

and anyways, i'm pretty sure i was as or more positive about this offseason overall in the end as anyone, even if I still maintain that this roster is good enough that we really should have replaced one of our many "good" offseason moves with a bigger, more expensive, legit impact move.

and hey, lorenzo cain is off to just as good a start as grandy, but without needing to be platooned.
scottt - Wednesday, April 25 2018 @ 07:50 AM EDT (#356899) #
II doesn't look like you burn options when you're on the DL, so Travis has still 3 option years left.

I don't think they make any types of moves until Donaldson is ready.
After this, they have a series against the Rangers without Andrus, Odor and possibly Beltre.

Now, if Donaldson become ready for the series in Minnesota...

Diaz can hit fastballs, but not the curveballs. Just like Morales.
He's like a fast Kendrys. (Apparently Morales has a good arm too.)

2 Lefties coming up, so Granderson sits until the 7th innings when the Jays usually scores most of their runs anyway.

scottt - Wednesday, April 25 2018 @ 07:56 AM EDT (#356900) #
Cain would have taken Grichuk's spot. I think they would  still have wanted a platoon partner for Pearce.

At this point, it makes sense to trade some prospects rather than sign free-agents on long deals.
They have many good looking outfielders coming up very soon. What do you do if those are blocked?

If they don't have elite catchers in the minors, they probably replace Maile.
It's funny how those things work out sometimes.

92-93 - Wednesday, April 25 2018 @ 09:02 AM EDT (#356901) #
I'm with Petey on Travis' D. It's not that Devon is making bad plays, it's that he is showing limited range (and jumping ability) and in a very small sample, Gurriel has looked better around the bag. With Travis bringing absolutely nothing with the bat thus far and Gurriel's ability to cover at SS, it's pretty obvious who would get ditched from the roster if a decision on Donaldson had to be made today. And no, it wouldn't make any sense for that to be Morales.

I hope Barnes not being used in the 8th wasn't because it's Tepera's inning when the Jays have the lead. Barnes started warming up in the 6th so Gibby may not have wanted him to get hot for a 3rd time, but the 7th was a very quick inning (six up and six down, few pitches thrown).
christaylor - Wednesday, April 25 2018 @ 09:39 AM EDT (#356902) #
10 wins in 1986 -- IIRC.
whiterasta80 - Wednesday, April 25 2018 @ 09:41 AM EDT (#356903) #
My general rule of thumb for giving up on a player (or sending them to AAA if they are a prospect) is 1 month for every year of established productivity up to year 8. After 8 years the clock reverses (i.e. 9 years of productivity = 7 months of time etc...).

So to me Travis is about 3 weeks away from buffalo.

In the meantime I fully support more opportunities for others.

How long does bichette (or biggio?) have to perform before we give him a shot in a contending year?

Obviously that would involve Lourdes failing, Travis continuing to fail, and tulo not coming back.

Unfortunately I think that all of those are likely.
bpoz - Wednesday, April 25 2018 @ 09:49 AM EDT (#356905) #
I liked this off season. Our going for it starting in 2013. Our players were going to hit the aging curve in 3-5 years. Also injuries are always a variable. A few players will under perform in any given year.

That window did not have Stroman, Sanchez and Osuna as big contributers. Martin and Donaldson were added for 2015.

The success since 2015 was with older players. As of now Buehrle, Dickey and Bautista have aged enough to be year to year. Therefore a youth movement or FAs was expected.

pubster - Wednesday, April 25 2018 @ 10:48 AM EDT (#356907) #
29 innings pitched
41 strikeouts
7 walks

Pretty damn good.

5 homeruns allowed though.
pubster - Wednesday, April 25 2018 @ 10:53 AM EDT (#356908) #
Nothing is wrong with making a mistake and realizing it afterwards.

The real question is do people learn from their mistakes and grow or do they keep making the same mistakes over and over again.
bpoz - Wednesday, April 25 2018 @ 11:09 AM EDT (#356909) #
Lets see what Stroman does after 7 games pitched. His first 4 games are a lot below his usual standard.

I really hope he is ok.
uglyone - Wednesday, April 25 2018 @ 11:24 AM EDT (#356910) #
"The real question is do people learn from their mistakes and grow or do they keep making the same mistakes over and over again."

So true, pubster.

Mistakes like thinking that the 2015 and 2016 jays weren't contenders worth investing in. Mistakes like thinking that the prospects AA traded away were invaluable assets. Mistakes like thinking it would take years to rebuild the system. Mistakes like thinking the team couldn't be good this year and wasn't worth making any significant investments in.

Couldn't agree more.
Parker - Wednesday, April 25 2018 @ 12:14 PM EDT (#356911) #
ugly, are you Damaso in the FanGraphs comments section?

His/her commentary there is very similar to yours, and appears to be even more well-respected there than yours is here.
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, April 25 2018 @ 12:33 PM EDT (#356912) #
When Devon Travis makes his annual visit to the D.L., he does so being on an MLB roster. Options do not apply. During his time on the D.L. he gets paid his regular MLB salary, although insurance might be involved. I think service time still accumulates.

How do you send Devon Travis down when there are others hitting just as poorly? Options change over the six years of the MLB contract. I think Devon Travis can still be sent down without risk this year. Devon Travis didnít hit much in Spring Training and couldnít hit while recovering from surgery. So the question I ask is, ďHow is Devon Travis supposed to hit well?Ē
uglyone - Wednesday, April 25 2018 @ 12:49 PM EDT (#356913) #
yes, parkie, i have fans everywhere.

and the red sox fans on fangraphs are still upset that i was right about swihart.
hypobole - Wednesday, April 25 2018 @ 12:50 PM EDT (#356914) #
ugly, are you Damaso in the FanGraphs comments section?

So I'm not the only one who's been thinking that. On the other hand I respect him here, even if it's respectfully disagreeing on more than a few occasions.
Parker - Wednesday, April 25 2018 @ 01:34 PM EDT (#356915) #
and the red sox fans on fangraphs are still upset that i was right about swihart.

With all due respect, if you constantly underrate other organizations' prospects while overrating Blue Jays prospects, you're bound to be right once in a while.
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, April 25 2018 @ 01:44 PM EDT (#356916) #
The Jays are playing an exciting brand of Baseball. Itís just so enjoyable watching Boston get beat. Life is good.

Boston played a lot of dogs early running up a big win total. The run cut down at home in the 9th is something Boston regularly tries. They regularly challenge their opponents to be 100% right every single time on every single play. Of course always having runners on base fosters this frame of mind.

If the Jays can control the bleeding and not let innings get out of hand they can beat Boston, easily.
uglyone - Wednesday, April 25 2018 @ 01:53 PM EDT (#356917) #
with all due respect, Parkie, I stand by my track record on prospects, jays or otherwise, wholeheartedly.
whiterasta80 - Wednesday, April 25 2018 @ 02:37 PM EDT (#356920) #
Richard, there's plenty of criticism to go around in terms of performance (especially for a winning team). That said, I would argue that Travis is at the bottom Grichuk may have a lower BA but he is still outperforming Travis overall. And we haven't even factored in fielding- which I have already said is my main beef with Travis.

On top of him being (to me) the worst performer on the Jays we still can only play him 2 out of every 3 games. This puts an unnecessary strain on the team and reduces the manager's flexibility. I'm willing to put up with that for someone who performs (i.e. 2009 Lind) but not here.

I'm particularly aggressive with prospects so if it were me I'd call up Vlad Jr. and move Solarte to 2B. I might even be inclined to call up Bo and put Diaz back on the bench but that one could wait. Even the most conservative of management teams should be thinking about Gurriel starting over Travis IMO.

I will say that I am encouraged with how quickly the moved on from Gift and the fact that they went to a legit prospect when they took action. I just hope that continues with the likes of Travis and Grichuk should they continue to underperform.

Richard S.S. - Wednesday, April 25 2018 @ 04:26 PM EDT (#356922) #
Generally doing well for a Team means not having a losing record in 1-run games nor in extra innings. The Jays have a respectable 3-2 record in 1-run games and a respectable 2-0 in extra innings. Thus far their 14-8 record bodes well for their first 40 games played.

Iím not worried about Boston as I donít think they are the runaway winners of the Division that others (media, fans, posters) think. Of more concern is New York, they arenít hitting as well as they should yet. The Jays are 3-5 verses New York with 11 games still to be played. Boston is 2-1 verses New York with 16 games left to be played.

Boston is 6-1 verses Tampa Bay winning 5 1-run games. Toronto deosnít play them until May 4th. Boston is 2-0 verses Miami, which Toronto plays 31st of August (3 games). Boston is 3-0 verses LAA, which Toronto plays 22nd of May. Boston is 1-2 verses Oakland, which Toronto plays the 22nd of May.

Can the Jays beat Boston? I think they can. Josh Donaldson isnít back yet. Can we beat New York? Itís possible, 9-10 or 10-9 is a very respectable showing against them.
scottt - Wednesday, April 25 2018 @ 06:01 PM EDT (#356923) #
Always be careful with April numbers. Encarnation is batting .154.

In April, I like to see the hot hitters.

Granderson (+0.546 WPA) last night.


With Sale scheduled for tomorrow, today feels like the rubber game.

1. Steve Pearce (R) LF
2. Teoscar Hernandez (R) RF
3. Justin Smoak (S) 1B
4. Yangervis Solarte (S) 3B
5. Kendrys Morales (S) DH
6. Russell Martin (R) C
7. Kevin Pillar (R) CF
8. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (R) 2B
9. Aledmys Diaz (R) SS

Is Morales rising in the batting order?
greenfrog - Wednesday, April 25 2018 @ 08:13 PM EDT (#356924) #
With some of the hitters cooling off, the Jays really need Donaldson to get healthy. The lineup looks anemic. Lots of quick easy outs for opposing pitchers.
Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, April 25 2018 @ 08:23 PM EDT (#356925) #
Where do people fall on Teoscar's defence? His minor league scouting reports a good fielder, his MLB numbers have him pegged below average. I think the tools are there, but it seems the focus is lacking? Does he need more time in the corners after playing mostly CF coming up through?
dalimon5 - Wednesday, April 25 2018 @ 09:00 PM EDT (#356926) #
Tulowitzki starting up baseball activities according to multiple sources...Will be reevaluated in 4 weeks by foot specialist and likely return to full strength in June.

Donaldson is scheduled to start rehab assignment next week.
Petey Baseball - Wednesday, April 25 2018 @ 09:05 PM EDT (#356927) #
That's a pretty quick turnaround for Tulo after surgery. One wonders why, if these bone spurs were there for 3-4 years, the hell he didn't have this surgery a long time ago. The vaunted high performance department might have missed the boat here, or more likely, Tulo is just stubborn and tried to play through it.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, April 25 2018 @ 09:09 PM EDT (#356928) #
He's stubborn and tried to play through it. He only had one bone spur since coming here. After the ankle injury he got a second bone spur in the ankle foot plus his original one.

You can play through bone spurs but sometimes it really throws your stance and pivot off. Some guys can compensate and some can't. I don't think bigger guys do well with it. Greg Bird turned around from same injury in same amount of time.
greenfrog - Wednesday, April 25 2018 @ 09:31 PM EDT (#356929) #
Grichuk got two good pitches to drive in that PA. He missed them both.
uglyone - Wednesday, April 25 2018 @ 10:53 PM EDT (#356932) #
bone spurs are not really a huge deal - it's the bone reacting to irritated tendons, usually.

so removing them isn't actually a major suegery and isn't any permanent solution - if his achilles still isn't working right, the bone spurs will come back.

hopefully at least it gives him some pain relief and the extra rest lets the rest of his body get sorted out a bit.
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, April 25 2018 @ 11:02 PM EDT (#356933) #
Unfortunate inning for Danny Barnes, they generally donít always cost games. Eventually everyone will start hitting better - tomorrow would be be best.

I am surprised that Tulowitzki is starting Baseball related activities so soon, but the Doctors know best. A periodic re-evaluation should give use a better idea of how far heís progressed.

If Josh Donaldson isnít 100% and canít rifle a throw to first or home, I donít want him back, because he wonít be hitting as well as he could. We have too many players not hitting as well as they could.
scottt - Thursday, April 26 2018 @ 06:48 AM EDT (#356935) #
That one hurts.

I love the hustle from Gurriel.

The metrics seem to indicate that it's Solarte, not Travis who is costing the Jays defensively.
Offensively, it's no contest.

hypobole - Thursday, April 26 2018 @ 10:21 AM EDT (#356936) #
"If Josh Donaldson isnít 100% and canít rifle a throw to first or home, I donít want him back, because he wonít be hitting as well as he could. We have too many players not hitting as well as they could."

Josh at less than 100% is still far better than Morales as a DH.

I remember last year a baseball writer who had joined a front office mentioned the thing that surprised him most was finding out just about every player is playing hurt. We don't feel their aches and pains and few players are complainers. Recent case in point was Tulo finally admitting he'd been playing with a bone spur for multiple seasons. So yeah, 100% is ideal, but not the norm, and elite players can and do still produce at less than 100%.
whiterasta80 - Thursday, April 26 2018 @ 11:18 AM EDT (#356939) #
Oh yes, Solarte is no peach on defense. But he is contributing offensively and he has been moved around the diamond a bit. Perhaps will more time at a single position he will improve.
Chuck - Thursday, April 26 2018 @ 11:54 AM EDT (#356940) #
Perhaps will more time at a single position he will improve.

At age 30 that would seem unlikely. I think Solarte's explosive debut, and his entrenchment in the 4-hole, have us forgetting who he really is. He's a nice 2-win type player who was brought in to play a support role. Pressed into more than that, he has performed well -- and flamboyantly so -- but may have set expectations overly high as a result.

92-93 - Thursday, April 26 2018 @ 12:01 PM EDT (#356941) #
Muni with pop.
Mike Green - Thursday, April 26 2018 @ 12:13 PM EDT (#356942) #
I was looking for a possible explanation for Morales' changing performance by handedness over his career.  It occurs to me that Morales might be the kind of hitter who has been particularly affected by the extreme shifts recently employed against LH power hitters- with the second baseman playing a short right field in the hole.  This type of shift was uncommon up until about 2012- the Blue Jays might have refined the positioning with Brett Lawrie, and other teams have followed suit.  For Morales, it's pretty devastating to his game.  He hits the ball hard, on the ground a lot, and is deadly slow,  and tends to pull the ball on the ground.  The shift against RH power hitters isn't quite the same.  You can't play the shortstop as deep as you would a second baseman because he simply cannot throw the batter out even if he you want to, and you also cannot play the first baseman as far off the bag as you would a third baseman in a shift against a LHB. 

If you look at Morales' spray charts from each side from 2014 to 2018, you do notice it. As a right handed batter, he has 10 hits through the hole on the ground.  As a left-handed batter, he has 5 hits through the hole on the ground (in many more opportunities).  Similarly, if you check the spray charts by hang-time from each side of the plate you notice more line drives caught by the shift against Morales from the left-side. 
uglyone - Thursday, April 26 2018 @ 12:30 PM EDT (#356943) #
yeah - morales has definitely been killed by the shift, like many pull happy lefty sluggers have been. and there's nothing he can really do about it.
Jevant - Thursday, April 26 2018 @ 01:43 PM EDT (#356945) #
I think this does a slight disservice to Solarte. Solarte has 3 individual years with more WAR than Muni had in every minute of his career.
whiterasta80 - Thursday, April 26 2018 @ 01:45 PM EDT (#356946) #
Poll time.

Who thinks that the shift should be made illegal?

Personally, I think it negatively impacts the game with no tangible benefit (in fact it lengthens games, albeit only slightly). I'd love to see it taken out, but I worry that its a slippery slope. You'd have to distinguish it from a centerfielder shading left or right depending on the hitter (which is perfectly acceptable in my opinion).

Overall I hate it. But don't know if I'd be ready to support a ban.
PeterG - Thursday, April 26 2018 @ 02:09 PM EDT (#356948) #
I agree that major shifting should be illegal. It has changed the game and not in a good way. It would be easy to police....2 infielders left of 2nd base and 2 to the right. No infielders on the outfield grass. Shifting within that space would be allowed.
uglyone - Thursday, April 26 2018 @ 02:28 PM EDT (#356949) #
imo shifting is the perfect antidote to the worst recent development in baseball - the dominance of the dead pull grip it and rip it bat-only player. and it rewards the more classic skills of bat control and balanced approach.
92-93 - Thursday, April 26 2018 @ 02:32 PM EDT (#356950) #
If someone wants to attempt to explain how it negatively impacts the game instead of just starting from that premise, I'm all ears; sounds like it can be an interesting discussion.

My instinct would be to say that we should be rewarding the teams taking an analytical approach to their defense, and punishing the hitters who refuse to adjust. Maybe it will help weed out the Moraleses around and bring the game back to a more athletic, contact-based affair.
Chuck - Thursday, April 26 2018 @ 02:32 PM EDT (#356951) #
I believe you should be allowed to shift any damn way you please. The pitcher is doing everything he can to get you out. No reason his fielders shouldn't be allowed to do the same.
whiterasta80 - Thursday, April 26 2018 @ 03:32 PM EDT (#356955) #
I didn't mean to "start from that premise".

I was soliciting opinions and provided my own. I tried to avoid providing my reasoning up front so as not to influence the discussion.

As for my reasons, I'm a fan of offence and this very clearly takes away from offence. It increases the chances of an out and/or double play, stalls rallys and reduces the chance of large swings in momentum.

While I agree that it rewards classic skills (ability to hit to all fields), I would say that this is countered by the fact that it masks poor range in the infield (and outfield) on those plays.

I can respect anyone who views it differently, I just personally hate it.
mathesond - Thursday, April 26 2018 @ 04:07 PM EDT (#356958) #
I'm with 92-93 on this one. If a batter can't hit the other way, they could at least try to bunt for a hit. Enough of those, and shift usage gets appreciably reduced. Illegal defence is for basketball, not baseball.
Mike Green - Thursday, April 26 2018 @ 04:11 PM EDT (#356959) #
I don't care where the defence plays.  Adapt!

Tonight's lineup is interesting.  Hernandez and Grichuk in the outfield corners, Gurriel and Travis as your DP combination, Maile catching and Pearce DHing. 

Chuck - Thursday, April 26 2018 @ 04:28 PM EDT (#356960) #
Morales sits against a lefty? Maybe Gibbons is leaning towards outfield defense with a flyball pitcher.

Everyone's favourite bowler is playing CF for Boston.

mathesond - Thursday, April 26 2018 @ 04:40 PM EDT (#356962) #
Everyone's favourite bowler is playing CF for Boston.

Jerome Bettis wears red socks?
Mike Green - Thursday, April 26 2018 @ 04:45 PM EDT (#356963) #
Everyone's favourite bowler is playing CF for Boston

Mookies gotta Mook.
hypobole - Thursday, April 26 2018 @ 04:55 PM EDT (#356965) #
I'd ban sliders before banning shifts. We'd strike out a whole lot less if pitchers couldn't throw sliders. :)
BlueJayWay - Thursday, April 26 2018 @ 05:02 PM EDT (#356966) #
On the topic of shifting, one thing I'll note is that league wide babip hasn't really gone down since teams began shifting aggressively and often.
rpriske - Thursday, April 26 2018 @ 05:26 PM EDT (#356971) #
Shifting will stop being so prevelent as more hitters develop while it is the norm. It is the transition that is tough for certain hitters.

So 'is punished by the shift' will be treated like 'can't hit the curve'. Fix that weakness in your game or find that your career tops out at AA or whatever.
92-93 - Thursday, April 26 2018 @ 05:31 PM EDT (#356972) #
"Maybe Gibbons is leaning towards outfield defense with a flyball pitcher."

After watching Pearce fall flat on his ass trying to catch a fly ball that must be exactly it, Chuck. Pearce was due up in the bottom half of the 7th but Gibbons still yanked him for Grichuk once the Jays took a 3-2 lead.

Morales is 10/34 with 3 HR and a .932 OPS vs. Sale, so I'm surprised Smoak (.581 OPS) isn't getting the day off with Pearce playing 1B.
dan gordon - Thursday, April 26 2018 @ 06:14 PM EDT (#356973) #
I don't see any reason to ban shifting. The defense is trying to get the batter out. Let them play where they want. The batter can react however he wants. There's still just 9 guys on the field. Frankly, more batters should be taking advantage of the gaps opened in the defense when players make extreme shifts, and if they have difficulty doing it, should be working on it in batting practice.
vw_fan17 - Thursday, April 26 2018 @ 06:16 PM EDT (#356974) #
Shifting to me feels like the ca. 1995 NJ Devils and the trap in the NHL. It was allowed under the rules (they've since enforced some of the interference rules a bit more, etc), and it fundamentally changed the game - and most teams hated the Devils for it at the time - and eventually, it caused everyone to play better defense. Not that they were the first - I believe it was called the "left wing lock" before that and used even by other teams in the 70s, or something.

Didn't the current "default" positions evolve due to "this is where to play to result in the most outs", based on human logic/observations? I mean, wouldn't you expect the "second baseman" to play within a few feet of the 2B bag? This is just the same thing, except using stats from more games, rather than just a few wizened expert's "rules of thumb".

I think it's interesting, and I welcome new/novel approaches to the game.

ComebyDeanChance - Thursday, April 26 2018 @ 06:52 PM EDT (#356976) #
I'm surprised Morales sits tonight vs. Sale.
hypobole - Thursday, April 26 2018 @ 07:10 PM EDT (#356977) #
Lou Boudreau had his Ted Williams shift in the 40's and apparently teams were shifting for Cy Williams in the 1920's.
scottt - Thursday, April 26 2018 @ 07:28 PM EDT (#356978) #
Grichuk is 3 for 4 against Sale with a double and a home run.
Teoscar is 1 for 3, a home run.

Morales has solid numbers, but they might be out of date...
He has 34 AB against Sale as they kinda of followed one another from the ALC to the ALE.

Mike Green - Thursday, April 26 2018 @ 07:45 PM EDT (#356979) #
Welcome back, Devon Travis.
Chuck - Thursday, April 26 2018 @ 07:58 PM EDT (#356980) #
Benintendi has not shown a great baseball IQ this series.
ComebyDeanChance - Thursday, April 26 2018 @ 07:58 PM EDT (#356981) #
Somehow I don't think the Blue Jays' pitching strategy of 'get ahead 0-2 then waste some pitches out of the strike zone' is going to amount to anything more than Estrada leaving the game after 5 or 6.
92-93 - Thursday, April 26 2018 @ 08:02 PM EDT (#356982) #
Gibby always knows best.
Mike Green - Thursday, April 26 2018 @ 09:28 PM EDT (#356983) #
The Martinez' homer was off a pretty decent pitch (it could have been more in), and the homer was definitely a JE. 

There's lots to like tonight, even if the team trails.  Some of the run scoring efficiency the club had earlier hasn't been there tonight, but the good at-bats from Pearce and Hernandez have set the tone for a good end-of-game situation.

92-93 - Thursday, April 26 2018 @ 09:36 PM EDT (#356984) #
Of course Martinez's clears the wall, but Gurriel's oppo drive with two men on in the first dies by the warning track at the 375 sign.

Bring that swing to Yankee Stadium, Lourdes.
92-93 - Thursday, April 26 2018 @ 09:49 PM EDT (#356985) #
Granderson for Gurriel here with one out, Pillar on first, and Grichuk on deck? I'm confused.
greenfrog - Thursday, April 26 2018 @ 09:51 PM EDT (#356986) #
This is your chance, Randal.
Four Seamer - Thursday, April 26 2018 @ 09:57 PM EDT (#356987) #
Even the replay ump has seen enough of Grichuk, apparently.
ComebyDeanChance - Thursday, April 26 2018 @ 09:59 PM EDT (#356988) #
I too thought taking the bat from Gurriel to have Grichuk hit wasn't the move. And they must really think Martin is done to not bother hitting him for Maile in the bottom of 8.
greenfrog - Thursday, April 26 2018 @ 10:03 PM EDT (#356989) #
I donít think itís that Martin is done. I think itís that management is serious about protecting his health with adequate days off.
SK in NJ - Thursday, April 26 2018 @ 10:03 PM EDT (#356990) #
Was there an injury reason for Morales pinch hitting for Pearce? If that's something that's going to happen going forward, then Morales even as a bench player is going to hurt the team. Putting Kendrys in against a righty when Pearce hits them a lot better nowadays makes absolutely no sense.

Pinch hitting Granderson there was the right call. Grichuk has to break out of this slump at some point. He's not this bad. Unfortunately it wasn't tonight, but the team really has no choice other than to keep putting him out there and hope he hits. Without any options left to send him to the minors, it's not like they have much leverage here.
greenfrog - Thursday, April 26 2018 @ 10:13 PM EDT (#356991) #
Hypothetical question: if Guerrero Jr. were promoted to the big-league roster for the rest of the season, how many Jays players would outhit him over the course of the rest of the season? Probably no more than four or five. Maybe no more than two or three.
ComebyDeanChance - Thursday, April 26 2018 @ 10:24 PM EDT (#356992) #
Three one-run games against the first place team. Not bad, though I don't know they'll do that in Boston. A couple of take-aways. Barnes isn't a high leverage guy and taking out Sanchez for Barnes was something they couldn't afford and cost a game. Buck emphasized the extra out from Travis' booting the double play, but while it obviously would have been better if he'd made the play it was early enough in the game and there was lots of time to make up for that. I didn't particularly like Gibbons' hitting choices (Morales for Pearce, Granderson for Gurriel). But overall, the better team won two of three close games. And that Mookie Betts is some ballplayer. And Sale doesn't look that invincible.
Petey Baseball - Thursday, April 26 2018 @ 10:27 PM EDT (#356993) #
Alford with a couple hits for Buffalo tonight. It won't be long before either Grichuk or Morales is turfed and we get this guy.
92-93 - Thursday, April 26 2018 @ 10:38 PM EDT (#356994) #
Sanchez had 3 Ks in the 6th and was throwing 95mph gas, but he was at 96 pitches so naturally he had to be pulled despite looking sharp.

Gurriel is having good ABs, and Grichuk looks lost at the plate. The choice of which one to PH for should have been obvious, especially because using Granderson for Gurriel takes him out of the game and costs you two bench players.

Nice to see the triple and HR from Travis, this lineup really needs him to get going.
Chuck - Thursday, April 26 2018 @ 10:43 PM EDT (#356995) #
Was there an injury reason for Morales pinch hitting for Pearce?

That was the second time this series Pearce was pulled. Even if Morales represented a slight upgrade over Pearce -- and I can't see that he does -- I don't get pinch-hitting for somebody who's actually hitting well.

Part of me thought that maybe Gibbons was souring a little on Morales. Does not appear to be the case.

Was it odd that Cora did not bring in his one LHP to face Granderson? Interesting note on Granderson: He had 18 hits in 112 AB for LA and he has 18 hits in exactly half the AB for Toronto.

Chuck - Thursday, April 26 2018 @ 10:46 PM EDT (#356996) #
Nice to see the triple and HR from Travis, this lineup really needs him to get going.

Indeed. He came into the game with 8 total bases. With 7, he almost matched that tonight alone.

greenfrog - Thursday, April 26 2018 @ 10:48 PM EDT (#356997) #
Going by wRC+, Grichuk (at 13) is currently the worst (or tied for worst) hitter in the league. If you prefer wOBA, he's somewhere around fifth-worst in the AL.

Travis may have got untracked tonight. Hopefully Randal can do the same soon. This is not a front office that cuts bait easily on its acquisitions.
BlueJayWay - Thursday, April 26 2018 @ 10:55 PM EDT (#356998) #
This is not a front office that cuts bait easily on its acquisitions.

Maybe not, but Travis they inherited.
BlueJayWay - Thursday, April 26 2018 @ 10:57 PM EDT (#356999) #
But maybe you were refering to just Grichuk.
hypobole - Thursday, April 26 2018 @ 10:59 PM EDT (#357000) #
How many front offices do cut bait easily?
GabrielSyme - Thursday, April 26 2018 @ 10:59 PM EDT (#357001) #
A few observations from Statcast's sprint speed.

Firstly, a couple guys have had tiny ticks up from their best last year: Solarte (25.2 ft/s up from 24.7), shockingly Morales (24.0 from 23.5), Pillar (28.0 from 27.8), Martin (25.6 from 25.5) and Granderson (27.0 from 26.9).

Smoak, Maile, Hernandez, and Diaz are all right on or just a fraction off of last year's bests.

Grichuk is down to 28.0 from 28.4 - but perhaps he hasn't had opportunities to have his best speed on the bases much. Pearce is at 25.7 from 26.9 (I'm surprised he was that high last year), Travis is down at 26.0 from 27.4 - perhaps his knees aren't quite where they need to be, but he hasn't been on base much either; and most concerning to me, Donaldson has topped out at 24.0, down from 26.4. I suspect it's more than just his shoulder that was troubling him early this season.
Petey Baseball - Thursday, April 26 2018 @ 11:27 PM EDT (#357002) #
Did we not learn last year the risk of running out a terrible everyday player who actually had a track record in the big leagues? How long did it take before we considered Bautista finished? I feel strongly a decision should be made on Grichuk.
uglyone - Thursday, April 26 2018 @ 11:42 PM EDT (#357003) #
bautista was 37. grichuk was the youngest hitter on the roster to start the season.

and grichuk isn't being run out there every day. he's already effectively the 4th outfielder.
SK in NJ - Thursday, April 26 2018 @ 11:55 PM EDT (#357004) #
Grichuk is young, cheap, and under control for two more years after this one. He can run and play defense, so he'll have a role as a 4th OF worst case, but they obviously saw something in his bat to acquire him in the first place, and a month should not change that. Plus, cutting bait now would be the wrong time. He has a track record that indicates he's a lot better than what we have seen, and if he turns things around he becomes an asset.

The one to cut bait on is Morales. He's declined, has no position, and is now pinch hitting for hitters that are better than him, so he's a liability in practically every facet of the game. Also, unlike Grichuk, if he does start hitting better, it won't matter because 1) he's still not as good as 3 or 4 other options on the team who could take his playing time, and 2) he will never be tradeable with his contract regardless of how he hits. He's the definition of sunk cost.

If this is the beginning of Travis turning things around, then it will make the roster decision that much harder when Donaldson gets back. I thought he was the logical one to send down given his performance, and he still might be, but we have seen how good he can be during his hot streaks.
Richard S.S. - Friday, April 27 2018 @ 12:35 AM EDT (#357005) #
With Teoscar Hernandez turning into one of the Jaysí best hitters, heís going nowhere. Justin Smoak might be turning his slump around, which makes Hernandez that more dangerous. Devon Travisí breakouts from slumps looks like this so Iím encouraged. At least now thereís a little bit more support for those who are hitting well which is very encouraging.

Attendance still sucks. After yesterdayís game there now officially more empty seats than paid admissions. After todayís game: 309,965 attending, 315,530 empty. If fans arenít encouraged by this Start to the Season, when are they going to show up? Will it even matter after a certain point? Basically after 1.2 Million empty seats, you can guarantee the budget goes down, despite anything else the Jays can do.

I will limit this part. Marco Estrada has been having trouble the third time through the lineup; gives up too many HRs; has trouble stopping the bleeding - big innings. Is he hurt?

uglyone - Friday, April 27 2018 @ 12:44 AM EDT (#357006) #
gurriel has always been the easy send down to me, despite his blip if good hitting in AA at 24.
cybercavalier - Friday, April 27 2018 @ 01:07 AM EDT (#357007) #
Team Old

CF Pillar 29
RF Granderson 37
LF Pearce 35
3B Donaldson 32
SS Tulowitzki 33
2B Solarte 30
1B Smoak 31
C Martin 35
DH Morales 35

UT Espinosa 31
OF Leblebijian 27

IF Ngoepe 28
C Maile 27


Team Young Prime

CF Alford 23
RF Grichuk 26
LF Pompey 25
3B Diaz 27
SS Gurriel 24
2B Travis 27
1B Tellez 23
C Jansen 23
DH Teoscar 25

UT Biggio 23
OF Smith 25
IF Lopes 24
C McGuire 23

(uglyone- Monday, April 23 2018 @ 10:36 AM EDT)

From Team old, Espinosa and
Leblebijian are still playing in Triple-A. Espinosa had been injured before spring training. Has he fully recovered now and play at full strength in Buffalo? If he is ok, bring him up to replace Gurriel Jr. and let Espinosa ride the bench. At least Espinosa is experienced to know what to do at different situation, and thus valuable for substitution. Now, Toronto knows how Gurriel Jr. has progressed so far in his career; it is about time to send him to the minor to improve performance.

Ngoepe was placed on the roster at the beginning of the season to test his capability; by the same token, how about bringing Leblebijian up. That means removing Ngoepe off 40-men and put Leblebijian on. Then bring him up to replace Gurriel Jr. Espinosa would be waiting on the wings. When the evaluation on Leblebijian is done, Donaldson would already be healthy ago and maybe Tulo too. Then decision shall be made based on the situation as it then is.
cybercavalier - Friday, April 27 2018 @ 01:10 AM EDT (#357008) #
*typo: Donaldson would already be healthy enough from the DL.
scottt - Friday, April 27 2018 @ 06:32 AM EDT (#357009) #
Those were close games that could have gone either way.
Travis produced 2 runs, but fumbled a double play that led to 1 run and hiked up Estrada's pitch count.

They really need to take advantage of the aching Rangers to get  back in it.
The Yankees have totally crushed the Twins. Logan Morrison has an OPS of 12.
The Twins are now 8-11 and have dropped their rule 5 reliever.

Mike Green - Friday, April 27 2018 @ 09:38 AM EDT (#357010) #
Teoscar Hernandez looks just great, delivering better and better at-bats.  What he is doing is a big step forward from his minor league performance, but there is nothing about it that is lucky.  At the plate, he reminds me a lot of Jesse Barfield, albeit with a little more upper body and a little less lower body.  Jesse had the same issues with plate control, and whipped them into shape in 1984 when he was 24.  Unfortunately, Teoscar does not have Jesse's skills in the outfield but he is improving and may end up as an average or slightly better corner outfielder.  It is a lot of fun to watch him develop.

Gibbons has done a fine job this year so far, in ways that I have not seen from him.  He's mixing and matching, and giving young players a chance, in the right way for the talent he has.  Obviously, I haven't agreed with every decision he has made but the broad strokes have been entirely right.  At this point, the club is 14-10 and basically value for that, or close to it, despite playing half their games against the Red Sox, Yankees and Indians, and missing Donaldson for 1/2 of their games.

Blue Jay pitchers by xFIP so far this season:
Happ         2.71
Osuna      2.91
Loup         2.97
Tepera     3.26
Garcia      3.93
Stroman  3.95
Barnes    4.16
Axford       4.47
Oh            4.65
Sanchez  5.03
Estrada   5.16
Clippard  5.38

Stroman's xFIP is generous to him- he's been giving up an awful lot of hard contact (50%), but most of it on the ground.  The same is true of Jaime Garcia.  The xFIP of Axford and Sanchez are the other way- very few line drives and a lot of soft contact.  Clippard has pitched about halfway between his xFIP and his ERA. 

The club does need some consistent good pitching from Stroman and Sanchez to go along with Happ.  The GM might also want to move some of the club's position player strength for pitching.

Chuck - Friday, April 27 2018 @ 10:26 AM EDT (#357011) #
The GM might also want to move some of the club's position player strength for pitching.

Who would you consider excess and thus movable? The roster seems crazily in flux at the moment, with much dust yet to be settled.

We have 5 players forming a 4-man OF: Hernandez, Pillar, Granderson/Pearce and Grichuk. It was hoped that Grichuk would have made this a crowded situation with him warranting fulltime play in RF, but not so. What kind of trade value would he have?

What is the story at 1B? Who and what is this Smoak? Is he old Smoak? A hybrid of good Smoak and old Smoak? An injured version of good Smoak?

And the rest of the infield is just crazy town. The starters are supposed to be Travis, Tulo and Donaldson. Travis sits 1 of 3 games and only just may be coming around. If Tulo comes back, he'll likely be in no position to play every day. And perhaps the same is true for Donaldson. So the team would have 3 creaky starters, all that could go kablooey at any time, and none of whom could be counted on for regular play. Surely none of them are movable in their current state.

The backups feature a useful Solarte, a question mark in Diaz and perhaps an even bigger question mark in Gurriel, the excessive love shown him notwithstanding. Even if the starting 3 are back in the lineup, the team will need to carry 2 of these guys to ensure healthy alternatives are available. Solarte would seem to have trade value. But the others? And what would the optics be on trading the one healthy, productive infielder on the team?

In the minors, Alford and Pompey are maybe, maybe going to be somethings, if they can ever stay healthy long enough. Do you see either having any trade value?

There do seem to be more players than spots for these players, but with few entirely reliable players, it's hard to know who can be considered excess. (And that's before even talking about the two young hot shots in AA).

uglyone - Friday, April 27 2018 @ 10:31 AM EDT (#357013) #
ah, the perils of using a deep depth roster instead of stars and scrubs - it gets tough to tell which players are the ones to keep, and tough to see or make any clear upgrades.
Mike Green - Friday, April 27 2018 @ 10:41 AM EDT (#357014) #
There is no one position player that I would offer up.  When Donaldson is ready, the club does have a surplus of players who can play second base, shortstop and third base (with Guerrero Jr. and Bichette lurking in the high minors and likely to be the medium and long-term plan at third base and shortstop). The club can convert some of that surplus into pitching, depending on how other teams see the talent and what they are prepared to offer. 

For what it's worth, I don't see a surplus in the outfield at this moment.  Pearce shouldn't set foot in the outfield- he's a 1B/DH at this point.  Granderson should be DHing a lot of the time, while the club works in one of the young players (Grichuk, Pompey, Alford) alongside Pillar and Hernandez.  Obviously, if Alford picks it up and looks like he can be an everyday centerfielder, you have a different situation. 

Chuck - Friday, April 27 2018 @ 10:49 AM EDT (#357015) #
My gut tells me the organization will just muddle through this season with bodies coming and going, healthy and unhealthy, productive and unproductive. The hope would presumably be to ultimately get a much clearer picture for 2019.

Honestly, at this point what positions do you see locked down for 2019? Martin at catcher. Anyone else you feel 100% sure about? Hernandez and Smoak seem likely. After that, I don't know.

BlueJayWay - Friday, April 27 2018 @ 11:07 AM EDT (#357016) #
My gut tells me the organization will just muddle through this season with bodies coming and going, healthy and unhealthy, productive and unproductive. The hope would presumably be to ultimately get a much clearer picture for 2019.

That's my thinking as well. They're going to throw people in there and see what happens with an eye toward a more stable roster next year.
Mike Green - Friday, April 27 2018 @ 11:37 AM EDT (#357017) #
Locked down?  I don't think there are any players who are certain to be in the lineup for 2019.  I am confident that three of the (six) youngish outfielders I have mentioned will be there in 2019.  I think that Guerrero Jr. will be the third baseman, Travis will be the second baseman (obviously some people think that it may be Gurriel or perhaps even Biggio) and Smoak the first baseman.  I think that Martin will get some significant time catching, but how much is a question mark.  I think that two of Diaz, Gurriel, Tulo and Bichette will get considerable time at shortstop.  There is, of course, also good depth behind the plate. 

You always have to make judgments about players.  It does seem to me though that the pitching staff as a whole needs a little more depth (and top end talent) than at the positions.  That is not only the case at the major league level but in the upper minors, and also at the lower levels in the organization.  I prefer it that way in general, but it does seem to me after Pannone's suspension that some re-balancing is needed.  Maybe all that can be achieved is a trade of a position player prospect in the upper minors for a pitching prospect in the upper minors. 

Chuck - Friday, April 27 2018 @ 11:46 AM EDT (#357018) #
It does seem to me though that the pitching staff as a whole needs a little more depth (and top end talent) than at the positions.

I agree. But the organization will have to make some decisions on its position players to figure out who they are most comfortable moving.

uglyone - Friday, April 27 2018 @ 11:49 AM EDT (#357019) #
next year's signed players with approx salary


CF Pillar 4.5
RF Grichuk 3.5
LF Hernandez 0.5
3B Solarte 5.5
SS Tulowitzki 20.0
2B Travis 2.5
1B Smoak 6.0
DH Morales 12.0
C Martin 20.0

UT Gurriel 3.0
OF Pompey 0.5
IF Diaz 2.0
C Jansen 0.5

1B/3B Vladdy
OF Alford
IF Bichette
C McGuire

so first thing to do is ditch kendrys. that gives us a slot where we can slide teoscar into and give alford a spot in the OF. or just stick vladdy at dh. or vladdy could slide in at 3rd and solarte back to super ute. or bichette can handle SS and tulo moves to 3b. or tulo is toast and that opens a spot for Bo directly.
uglyone - Friday, April 27 2018 @ 11:56 AM EDT (#357020) #
and i don't really think "roster stability" will ever be a hallmark of this FO's gameplan. interchanngeable moving parts will likely always be the focus imo.
Nigel - Friday, April 27 2018 @ 01:07 PM EDT (#357022) #
Mike - agreed with all of the above. Although I think it unlikely to happen, I am hopeful that by mid year the Jays have moved to a 1B platoon of Pearce and Granderson and have moved Alford or Pompey into one of the OF corners. With this, assuming they continue to run with an 8-man pen (something I think is, unfortunately, likely) you would ideally move on from whichever of Smoak or Morales appears more toasty than the other, while the other becomes the mostly full-time DH. That set up would give the team quite a bit more positional and bench flexibility. I would like to see a Pearce/Granderson 1B platoon rather than them platooning at DH so that they could, in a pinch, move into the OF inter-game without losing the DH.

To echo Mike's comment above. I am going to give credit where credit is due. Gibbons was awful last year at mixing and matching his personnel. This year I think he's been doing a pretty good job at that. It's actually the most surprising aspect of the season for me so far.
CeeBee - Friday, April 27 2018 @ 01:24 PM EDT (#357024) #
It all comes down to Morales then, doesn't it? Throws a monkey wrench into the works for sure.
Nigel - Friday, April 27 2018 @ 01:27 PM EDT (#357025) #
Or they could get crazy and run with a 7-man pen:)

That's a joke. I am not trying to restart that argument.
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