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The #BlueJays look to salvage some dignity in this homestand against the Los Angeles Angels.
The Blue Jays will not have to face Shohei Otani on the mound but they will have to deal with his bat.


Series Schedule / Probable Starters

Tuesday at 7:07 pm ET - Garrett Richards (4-2, 3.47) vs. J.A. Happ (5-3, 4.15)
Wednesday at 7:07 pm ET - Tyler Skaggs (3-3, 2.88) vs. Aaron Sanchez (2-4, 4.47)
Thursday at 12:37 pm ET - Nick Tropeano (1-3, 4.49) vs. Marco Estrada (2-4, 5.15)

The Angels put an end to a five-game losing streak after beating Tampa Bay to avert a four-game sweep by the Rays. The Angels are in third place in the American League West at 26-21, 3.5 games behind first place Houston.

The Jays were spanked by the A's in four straight at the Dome to drop their record to 22-25. That leaves them in fourth place in the AL East, 10.5 games off the pace.

On Deck - The Jays head to Philadelphia for a weekend series.
Blue Jays vs. Angels - May 22-24 | 99 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Shoeless Joe - Tuesday, May 22 2018 @ 07:07 PM EDT (#358332) #
Mike Scoscia is known as a good manager, but why the heck is Albert Pujols hitting above Ohtani? Also its looks like Simmons should be lead-off instead of Kinsler.
Gerry - Tuesday, May 22 2018 @ 08:18 PM EDT (#358336) #
Kendrys, we never doubted you.
cybercavalier - Tuesday, May 22 2018 @ 09:44 PM EDT (#358337) #
How is Travis hitting after the trip in Buffalo?
scottt - Tuesday, May 22 2018 @ 09:50 PM EDT (#358338) #
Very close game. Took a 3rd strike being called a ball against Smoak and a missed ball by the Angel right fielder to produce4 or the 5 Blue Jays runs. Morales' home run was a no-doubter.

Happ keeps on rolling.

Richard S.S. - Tuesday, May 22 2018 @ 10:40 PM EDT (#358340) #
What has happened to Aaron Sanchezí big power sinking fastball thatís presently sitting 3-4 mph slower than his best?
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, May 22 2018 @ 10:49 PM EDT (#358341) #
The Jays are being opportunistic in their scoring as usual, just a little more sucess today - 3 hits and a walk score 5 runs in just in inning. Over the remainder of the game, 3 hits and two walks got nothing. The win was very nice. They just need to get that consistency in their scoring back again.
jerjapan - Wednesday, May 23 2018 @ 07:54 AM EDT (#358345) #
Kendrys at..304 / .360 / .522 for his last 7 games.   I'm not optimistic, but it would certainly be great if he managed a turnaround.  Obviously a super difficult season for the guy, but he seems to be carrying himself with class during what must be a difficult time.  Mike's suggestion yesterday that he serve as a pinch hitter and blowout reliever made a lot of sense, but if he's going to have any role at all with the team, now's the time for a turnaround before the injured start to return. 

More puzzling to me are Jake Petricka and Gio Urshela - are these guys pure stopgaps?  I confess to not having seen much of either in action.  How does Urshela look at SS?



Jonny German - Wednesday, May 23 2018 @ 08:30 AM EDT (#358346) #
The Jays currently have 4 hitters on the DL that should be in Toronto when healthy: Tulowitzki, Grichuk, Pearce, and Diaz. Should 3 of them come back before any other injuries happen, I would expect them to push Smith Jr, Petricka, and Urshela to Buffalo (Urshela can elect FA). If all 4 come back without anyone else going on the DL, it gets tricky. Options then would be:

a. send Travis to Buffalo
b. send Diaz to Buffalo
c. send Teoscar to Buffalo
d. trade somebody
e. release Morales

As these things go it's unlikely to come down to this. Injuries will happen
bpoz - Wednesday, May 23 2018 @ 09:05 AM EDT (#358347) #
By the end of June it is possible that the Jays fairly strongly consider themselves sellers. Moves will be made then.

There could be moves on pitching. Gaviglio and Biagini may lose their spots in the rotation. They go back to Buffalo and could come back to replace traded relievers.

Without Osuna closing, save situations will be stressful.
hypobole - Wednesday, May 23 2018 @ 11:45 AM EDT (#358353) #
To add to the Vlad extension conversation, this from a Fangraphs chat Monday:

12:59
Jeremy: At what point does a Vlad Jr. contract make sense? 10/120?
12:59
Travis Sawchik: Seems in the right ballpark
greenfrog - Wednesday, May 23 2018 @ 12:45 PM EDT (#358354) #
I would be thrilled to see a Vlad Jr. contract announced along those lines.
PeterG - Wednesday, May 23 2018 @ 01:14 PM EDT (#358355) #
So would I. This seems like the right time for the Jays to commit to this kind of contract as budget is surely to be reduced next year due to the number of pending FA's that will not be re-signed. It is time to begin considering some longer term commitments.
uglyone - Wednesday, May 23 2018 @ 01:41 PM EDT (#358356) #
what contract wouldn't we be happy with for him, really?

what if we signed him for 20yrs/$500m?

I'd be happy.
greenfrog - Wednesday, May 23 2018 @ 01:47 PM EDT (#358357) #
I just donít see how a player who might be worth 4-8 WAR per year for the next decade would be willing to sign for 10 years at $12m per year, even with the discount for his early controllable years.
christaylor - Wednesday, May 23 2018 @ 01:53 PM EDT (#358358) #
I don't want to see the team sign Vlad to a long-term deal, yet. He's not got the worst body type in the world, but at 19 it looks like he still needs to work on his conditioning especially if he's going to play 3B on turf.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, May 23 2018 @ 02:08 PM EDT (#358359) #
I'd be fine with 10/150 if he was willing to sign it. Even if you question his body and conditioning (which might end up being an issue), that contract eats up all of his 20's, so the risk for the team is fairly small. Chances are Vlad's greatest years will fall right into those ten years (assuming he pans out like expected) and the Jays will easily get a huge amount of surplus value out of that deal well before year 10.

Will he take it? That's the main issue. Or more specifically, would he be open to the idea? I hope the FO is at least looking into it one way or the other. I just don't have any faith in Rogers ponying up the funds necessary to overpay Vlad if he hit the open market at 25/26. An extension well prior to that, even if it's longer and more expensive than most of these pre-arb deals usually are, would be ideal.
Mike Green - Wednesday, May 23 2018 @ 02:39 PM EDT (#358364) #
Arden Zwelling tweets that Vlad Jr. has put 45 balls into play this year at more than 100 mph, topping out at 119.6.  The highest exit velocities in the major leagues are Carlos Gonzalez (118.3), Aaron Judge (118.1) and Mike Trout (118). 
dan gordon - Wednesday, May 23 2018 @ 03:12 PM EDT (#358366) #
The Kingery contract with Philadelphia is an interesting comp to the TYPE of contract Vladdy might be offered. Kingery is not as good a prospect of course, but he is a shortstop, can play just about anywhere, and OPS'd .987 in AA last year. His contract pays him $23 million for his 1st 6 seasons, the pre-arb and arb years. Then the Phillies have 3 consecutive option years at $13, $14 and $15 million, with a buyout of $1 million. Certainly, if he develops into the player the Phillies hope, they are winners in the deal, he will be making less than he would otherwise. However, the contract removes a ton of risk for Kingery in case something goes wrong, be it injury, poorer performance than anticipated, or whatever. The option years protect the Phillies from making too big a commitment, as they can just buy him out to avoid the 3 expensive years at the end. This kind of setup might be something the Jays would be after. Guerrero, however, might be so good that he wouldn't be interested in this kind of deal, something we have no way of knowing.
Nigel - Wednesday, May 23 2018 @ 03:30 PM EDT (#358367) #
While fun to think about in the theoretical sense, I think there is zero chance that Rogers and Vladdy are currently thinking about a long term deal. I say that for a whole host of reasons:

-deals of the magnitude that would actually get a deal done involve a huge amount of risk from the team's perspective - I have almost zero clue about current ownership's and the FO's philosophy on running a team other than to say that every move in the past two years has suggested that they are very risk averse;
-deals like this are easier to do when both sides have a good sense of the market, up until this past offseason baseball inflation (not real inflation) had been pretty steady for 15-20 years, this past offseason hinted that maybe something different is happening and I suspect both sides would want to see how this offseason progresses on that front;
-Vladdy is going to get two real data points this offseason on how generational talents hitting free agency in the mid-20s get treated - why would he leap before getting that info?
-money, while a hugely important factor, usually isn't the only factor in a really long term deal. The opportunity to win and be relevent is often an important aspect for a player. I would imagine that Rogers' commitment to putting a winning team on the field consistently is an open issue. Vladdy would only have to look at Delgado's career to know that a decade of 78-84 win teams playing for 3rd place before the season even starts is a definite risk for him.

Those don't strike me as setting a good environment for striking a long term deal. Maybe after this offseason when some of the uncertainty is removed?
hypobole - Wednesday, May 23 2018 @ 03:44 PM EDT (#358368) #
I would guess there is a 100% chance the Jays have crunched long term deal numbers.
Four Seamer - Wednesday, May 23 2018 @ 06:51 PM EDT (#358375) #
Nigel, these are all good points. Another one I would add, from Guerrero Jr.'s perspective, is that he is already (presumably) starting from a position of relative financial security given the money his father made over his career. He is not, as many young (particularly young Dominican) players are, the ticket to lifting his family out of relative poverty. This may give him the luxury of time to find his true market value, in which case he would be in no hurry to sign a deal that takes all his risk off the table in exchange for limiting upside. Alternatively, it may lead him to accept just such a deal because the need to hit a home run with his income allowing for multi-generational wealth transfers over the next 15-20 years is less acute. Who knows? Too many variables for the casual fan to speculate over.
Chuck - Wednesday, May 23 2018 @ 09:24 PM EDT (#358377) #
Little league base running from Calhoun. Not a way to endear yourself to your manager when you're hitting like a pitcher.
uglyone - Wednesday, May 23 2018 @ 10:24 PM EDT (#358380) #
I miss osuna.
Gerry - Wednesday, May 23 2018 @ 10:26 PM EDT (#358381) #
So Clippard is not the closer, I would try Tepera there instead.
Chuck - Wednesday, May 23 2018 @ 10:31 PM EDT (#358382) #
3rd base ump having a rough night.
uglyone - Wednesday, May 23 2018 @ 10:34 PM EDT (#358383) #
actually thought we were gonna win a series.
Chuck - Wednesday, May 23 2018 @ 10:37 PM EDT (#358384) #
This has been 3.5 hours of ugly.
greenfrog - Wednesday, May 23 2018 @ 10:39 PM EDT (#358385) #
Clippardís body language signalled defeat after the walk to Pujols (when it was still 3-1 Jays).
uglyone - Wednesday, May 23 2018 @ 10:40 PM EDT (#358386) #
uglyone - Wednesday, May 23 2018 @ 10:49 PM EDT (#358387) #
egregious baserunning by the jays too.
Mike D - Wednesday, May 23 2018 @ 10:51 PM EDT (#358388) #
I cannot believe this sequence of events might not lead to two runs being scored. My goodness.
uglyone - Wednesday, May 23 2018 @ 10:53 PM EDT (#358389) #
why is Morales standing on 2nd still
John Northey - Wednesday, May 23 2018 @ 10:55 PM EDT (#358390) #
Horrid baserunning that 9th inning.  They should've had a tie game easily and maybe even the win.  Grrrrr.
Magpie - Wednesday, May 23 2018 @ 10:55 PM EDT (#358391) #
Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Ugh.
Chuck - Wednesday, May 23 2018 @ 10:59 PM EDT (#358392) #
Barker barking an explanation. Fitting end to this brutal affair.
Nigel - Wednesday, May 23 2018 @ 11:01 PM EDT (#358393) #
So much bad baseball tonight I don't even know where you would start to analyze it.

The President/GM, keeping their job playbook, calls for a managerial dismissal at some point. Funny thing is, I think this year has been Gibbons' best effort as a manager and isn't worthy of firing. A substantial improvement over his efforts in the previous two years. Bad teams play badly.
bpoz - Wednesday, May 23 2018 @ 11:01 PM EDT (#358394) #
Clippard is doing what Grilli did last year.
greenfrog - Wednesday, May 23 2018 @ 11:07 PM EDT (#358395) #
Although I understand the service time and developmental issues, it is striking that perhaps (likely? almost certainly?) the best hitter in the organization is currently in the minors while the team loses key games to its rivals in the WC race.
ComebyDeanChance - Wednesday, May 23 2018 @ 11:09 PM EDT (#358396) #
The only way the baserunning in the ninth could have been worse is if Jose Cruz Jr. returned to run the bases clockwise.
dan gordon - Wednesday, May 23 2018 @ 11:11 PM EDT (#358397) #
I hate getting a guy thrown out at home like that. You've still got just one out after the fly ball by Hernandez, and you've got Donaldson up next. Calhoun is leading the majors in outfield assists, you have barely a medium depth fly to right field, and a 37 year old runner at 3rd, and he tries to score? That's terrible baseball. I don't know if that was Granderson going on his own, or the coach told him to go, but the decision was inexcusable. Sure seems to me like the Jays get a lot of runners thrown out at home.

I think Clippard just pitched himself out of the closer's job.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, May 23 2018 @ 11:14 PM EDT (#358398) #
I donít know why I watched that bottom half of the 9th inning but I did. I regret it. I donít think the base running could have been worse even if they tried to intentionally run poorly. Morales only ending up on first seemed like the least offensive outcome in that inning despite Shulman harping on it for a bit.
BlueJayWay - Thursday, May 24 2018 @ 06:10 AM EDT (#358400) #
Somehow, they overcame the odds and found a way to not win that game. Impressive, in a way.
scottt - Thursday, May 24 2018 @ 06:19 AM EDT (#358401) #
I gave up after watching Clippard blow up the save.
A flyball closer shouldn't walk anybody.
Now, I'm happy I didn't watch the rest of the game.

First of all, against a lefty, Granderson shouldn't have started this game.
In 1 week, we probably have Grichuk there.
Somehow all the balls were hit to him and he missed a few.
So yeah, he was probably tired at the end.

Mike Green - Thursday, May 24 2018 @ 08:16 AM EDT (#358402) #
Ugly game all the way around- even from the fates.  Hard hit balls were caught- left, right and center.  Weakly hit balls fell in or found holes. The baserunners on both clubs, um, did not distinguish themselves.

There's no great way to run a pen when your starters, save for Happ, are going 5 innings.  I don't think the one inning (or less) approach per pitcher is a winner though, in the long run.  You can get creative, in the Tampa fashion, and have a reliever go an inning or two before your starter comes on.  I wish the club would do that with Sanchez at least- he succeeded in this role in the minor leagues and has been a reliever.   Another alternative is to stick with one or two relievers for two innings in the middle.

I love Curtis Granderson, but when he's starting in left-field against a LHP at age 37, you are doing something wrong.  It would help if you had a right-handed hitting outfielder on the bench. 
CeeBee - Thursday, May 24 2018 @ 08:17 AM EDT (#358403) #
9th looked like little league baseball or worse.
Chuck - Thursday, May 24 2018 @ 08:30 AM EDT (#358404) #
My eyes are still burning. That was a 4-hour textbook on what not to do.
Mike Green - Thursday, May 24 2018 @ 09:07 AM EDT (#358405) #
it is striking that perhaps (likely? almost certainly?) the best hitter in the organization is currently in the minors

Hmm.  The club leaders in wOBA (50 PA min) are Maile (.390), Granderson (.367), Solarte (.353).  Donaldson is still likely the best hitter on the club, but probably with a wOBA expectation of about .360.  Vladdy Jr.'s projection would probably be about that.  But there's no way that he is in Happ's league!
Nigel - Thursday, May 24 2018 @ 09:20 AM EDT (#358406) #
All good points Mike. The bullpen was also just due for some regression. Most of its members were pitching over their heads. Bullpen regressions are painful and ugly.

In addition to all of the other reasons that have been discussed, calling up Vladdy Jr right now would force the team to cut Morales (there simply isn't another body he could replace on the current roster). That isn't happening.
mathesond - Thursday, May 24 2018 @ 09:32 AM EDT (#358407) #
My wife and I were at last night's game - for us, it was out first game of the season, and we chose this game specifically as the replacement for the game that was cancelled when the icicle broke the roof of the dome.

I was really looking forward to finally getting to see Trout in person, and was also keen to see Ohtani. However, we left after the 7th, when it was still 3-1 Jays and the clock was reading around 9:30. Got home, turned on the TV to see that the Jays had men on 2nd and 3rd with nobody out, down by a pair. As we all know how the story ends, I'll leave the deceased equine in peace, but I just want to say that, as disappointing as the loss was, I was equally chagrined to learn that I missed Ohtani's only hit of the game. Also, it would have been nice if Sanchez could have gone another another inning or two, but that would have entailed him throwing more strikes earlier in the game.
Mike Green - Thursday, May 24 2018 @ 09:39 AM EDT (#358408) #
True, Nigel.  Axford has been a little unlucky/let down by his defence, and it continued last night.  He, Tepera, Oh and Loup have all pitched pretty well, but it is probably not a good idea to run the bullpen the same way without Osuna. 
Mike Green - Thursday, May 24 2018 @ 09:47 AM EDT (#358409) #
My wife and I were at last night's game - for us, it was out first game of the season, and we chose this game specifically as the replacement for the game that was cancelled when the icicle broke the roof of the dome.

Ouch.  As small consolation for the debacle, I offer (appropriately, I think), Neko Case's new record.  Many of the tunes have already been released, but there's something about the release of an entire album that still excites me.  Nostalgic late middle-aged man that I am. 

Icicles through a convertible roof would have been an appropriate image for the winter follow-up to Middle Cyclone. 
mathesond - Thursday, May 24 2018 @ 10:07 AM EDT (#358410) #
Love Neko Case, we saw her at Massey Hall about 8-10 years ago (I believe it was in support of Middle Cyclone, in fact). As I listen to KEXP every day at the office (and a fair bit at home), I have heard some of the enw record already - although as today they are focusing on Addiction & Recovery, I'm not expecting to hear much from her, at least off the new record anyway. On ther other heand, I wouldn't be surprised if one or more of her New Pornographers songs gets played.
Mike Green - Thursday, May 24 2018 @ 10:15 AM EDT (#358411) #
I remembered, mathesond.  We were at the same concert.  It was right about the same time as Joey Gathright was jumping over vehicles, and I remember thinking that Neko Case at Massey Hall was even better than that.
mathesond - Thursday, May 24 2018 @ 10:19 AM EDT (#358412) #
Very cool! It was my second ever show at Massey, after Sonic Youth (still my favourite band, so it was a great way to find out just why it's such a great venue)
Mike Green - Thursday, May 24 2018 @ 10:21 AM EDT (#358413) #
Today's lineup: Smith 7, Donaldson 0, Solarte 5, Hernandez 9, Pillar 8, Morales 3, Maile 2, Urshela 6, Travis 4. 

Smith hits lefties pretty decently, and it would probably have been better to have him start last night and Granderson this afternoon.  It's a small thing.  Giving Donaldson a DH day is definitely a good idea. 
Mike D - Thursday, May 24 2018 @ 10:25 AM EDT (#358414) #
Last comment from me about last night: Were this Strat-O-Matic or a video game, the Jays would have logged a single, triple and triple with no outs. And in real life, that led to one run.
hypobole - Thursday, May 24 2018 @ 10:37 AM EDT (#358415) #
Is there a good answer for "Who should be closing for the Jays?". I'm guessing even Gibby is coming around to the realisation it isn't "Mayday Malone" Clippard.

The Osuna situation has pretty we'll destroyed the last vestiges of Jays playoff hopes, to me at least.
uglyone - Thursday, May 24 2018 @ 10:43 AM EDT (#358416) #
Steamer Rest of Season Projection

Donaldson 130wrc+
**Guerrero 116wrc+**
Smoak 110wrc+
Grandy 105wrc+
Pearce 105wrc+
Solarte 104wrc+
Diaz 97wrc+
Tulowitzki 97wrc+
Martin 95wrc+
Hernandez 94wrc+
Grichuk 91wrc+
Pillar 89wrc+
**Jansen 89wrc+**
Travis 88wrc+
**Bichette 85wrc+**
**Pompey 81wrc+**
**Gurriel 80wrc+**
**Biggio 80wrc+**
**Alford 67wrc+**
Maile 66wrc+
**Urena 60wrc+**
uglyone - Thursday, May 24 2018 @ 10:45 AM EDT (#358417) #
and...

Urshela 75wrc+
Mike Green - Thursday, May 24 2018 @ 11:46 AM EDT (#358421) #
Last comment from me about last night: Were this Strat-O-Matic or a video game, the Jays would have logged a single, triple and triple with no outs. And in real life, that led to one run.

It looked to me like Trout had a play on the ball off Morales' bat, but took a bad route.  Once he gave up on it, it was pretty clear that Calhoun wasn't going to get there and Granderson should have taken off.  Given the speed or lack thereof of the players involved- single, double and double and two runs would have been the expectation, I think. 
Magpie - Thursday, May 24 2018 @ 02:24 PM EDT (#358429) #
If there had been one out he scores easily, of course. It's a funny game.

Is it possible that Dwight Smith thinks major league pitching is easier to hit than minor league pitching?
uglyone - Thursday, May 24 2018 @ 02:50 PM EDT (#358430) #
this team is unpleasant.
Magpie - Thursday, May 24 2018 @ 03:34 PM EDT (#358431) #
this team is unpleasant

Lollygaggers.
Magpie - Thursday, May 24 2018 @ 03:44 PM EDT (#358432) #
No team is as bad as they look when they're not playing well - but when a team looks this sloppy, heads turn towards the manager. I figured he was safe until the end of the season but you never know....
Nigel - Thursday, May 24 2018 @ 05:16 PM EDT (#358435) #
I agree on both points Magpie. I've never been a huge Gibbons fan but, as I said yesterday, I think this is one year where Gibbons doesn't deserve it. Today's line-up, with only a couple of exceptions, was comprised of players who are somewhere between mediocre and below average both offensively and defensively. As a whole, this was a mediocre team that is now trending to bad due to injury and poor performance from a couple of unexpected sources. What is a manager to do? Well over half of today's 25 man roster and its salary is comprised of signings/acquisitions made by this front office.
scottt - Thursday, May 24 2018 @ 06:43 PM EDT (#358436) #
Morales has been very bad, but the rest of the front office signings/acquisitions has not been bad.

Hernandez is good.
Maile is fine.
Smoak is good.
Solarte is fine.
Urshela is just a place holder while Diaz is on the shelf, after trying Urena and Gurriel.

Donaldson is not earning his salary.
Travis has been bad.
Pillar has been good, but has slowed down a lot.



scottt - Thursday, May 24 2018 @ 06:51 PM EDT (#358437) #
I've gotten used to Gibbons, but when you're reloading with young players is the perfect time to replace the manager. Wouldn't hurt to bring more development to the big club. I mean, just look at Yankees and Sox.
scottt - Thursday, May 24 2018 @ 06:54 PM EDT (#358438) #
I think they should not have a closer and manage the 9th like the other innings.
Tepera should face the top of the lineup, be it in the 8th or in the 9th.
Mix and match as appropriate. Bring Loup for a batter even in the 9th, etc...

scottt - Thursday, May 24 2018 @ 07:11 PM EDT (#358440) #
It's possible that there is very little scouting available on Dwight Smith, or that was is there is out of date.
hypobole - Thursday, May 24 2018 @ 08:29 PM EDT (#358441) #
"I think this is one year where Gibbons doesn't deserve it."

5 of our 6 best position players from the 2016 team are still here. They totalled 17.1 fWAR 2 years ago. Thus far, it's 1.3 fWAR with 30% of the season done. At that pace it will be 4.3 fWAR at seasons end.

All 5 of our best pitchers from 2016 are still here. They totalled 15.4 WAR. This year, 2.2 WAR. On pace for 7.3 WAR if Osuna (whose absence is a kick in the teeth for Gibby) returns tomorrow, 6.2 WAR if he's gone for the year.

Of all our minor leaguers in 2016, no graduate has provided more than 0.1 WAR this year.

And interestingly, 2 players who were maligned by this board as much as anyone over the years they've spent here, Pillar and Happ, are responsible for over 60% of the 2 groups' WAR this year. (2.3 of 3.5), not even counting Happ's 0.2 as a batter.




uglyone - Friday, May 25 2018 @ 02:50 AM EDT (#358447) #
excellent post hypo!
Glevin - Friday, May 25 2018 @ 03:55 AM EDT (#358448) #
"5 of our 6 best position players from the 2016 team are still here. They totalled 17.1 fWAR 2 years ago. Thus far, it's 1.3 fWAR with 30% of the season done. At that pace it will be 4.3 fWAR at seasons end.

Of all our minor leaguers in 2016, no graduate has provided more than 0.1 WAR this year."

This is exactly why the current management had no interest on building around this core of players and were right not to. Look at the core of hitters in 2015 and what has (predictably) happened to them since. (WAR by year, this year using real and ZIPS ROS)
Donaldson-8.7, 7.4, 5.1, 3.7
Bautista-5.2, 1.3, -0.5, -0.5
Encarnacion- 4.5, 3.8, 2.5, 1.2
Martin-3.5, 1.9, 1.8, 1.2
Tulo-2.5, 2.9, 0, 0.7
5 combined-24.4, 17.2, 8.3, 6.3

This was not a surprising development but fans were clamoring for massive long-term deals for Bautista, Encarnacion, and Donaldson. The front office, even under a lot of pressure from fans and media, has done what they feel is right for the team and in almost all major cases, they have been right.

What has been surprising, is Stroman and Sanchez being so awful. If your top players are not performing, you simply aren't going to win. Depth can keep you afloat for so long, but you need core talent to win and the Jays very clearly do not have the core talent to compete right now especially in a division with the Yankees and Red Sox. Adding Vlad isn't going to make the team suddenly competitive either. This is a team on the cusp of a change of eras. This period was delayed a year or two but it was inevitable.


Mike Green - Friday, May 25 2018 @ 07:36 AM EDT (#358450) #
That's an unusual rate of deterioration, Glevin.  If you take five very good to great players varying in age from 30 to 35 (as the 2016 Jays stars were) and of varying prior durability and of varying skills sets and positions, an average loss of 1/2 of value over 2 years would be a lot.  The typical loss would be about 0.5 WAR per year- or from 17 WAR to 12 WAR in 2 years.  To go from 17 to 4 would be well outside the norm.  

It might indeed be that playing on the hard surface at the Rogers Centre has something to do with it.  I think of the career paths of Josh Donaldson and Adrian Beltre, and how Ron Washington used to keep Beltre off the turf here. 

You are quite right about Stroman and Sanchez.  There has been a team-wide deterioration in control over the last 2 years (walk rate up by 1  per game).  The starter with the poorest walk rate from 2 years ago (Dickey) is gone and the other 4 remain.  For reference, league walk rates are up 0.2 per game.  It looks to me like there has been a noticeable change in the game (the flyball revolution) and the Jay pitchers as a whole have not adapted well.  Whether you want to lay some of that at the door of the pitching coach/manager is another question. 
Gerry - Friday, May 25 2018 @ 09:13 AM EDT (#358451) #
Deck McGuire has been optioned to Buffalo. A move to add a reliever should come today. Jamie Garcia will start this weekend, either Biagini or Gaviglio will likely be sent down to make room.
Mike Green - Friday, May 25 2018 @ 09:26 AM EDT (#358452) #
I am hoping that they will not continue with the 8 man pen. Garcia/Biagini would make a decent tandem of some sort. 

I understood that Gaviglio would get the start on Saturday and it would make no sense at all to send him down. 
hypobole - Friday, May 25 2018 @ 09:30 AM EDT (#358453) #
Isn't Gaviglio is starting today?

And FWIW, our FG playoff odds are at 8% now, and even that may be generous. Szymborski had us at 7.9% back when we were 21-20.

Mike Green - Friday, May 25 2018 @ 10:13 AM EDT (#358454) #
Correct, MLB.com has Gaviglio for today.  Good.
bpoz - Friday, May 25 2018 @ 10:25 AM EDT (#358455) #
Regarding the rotation. Stroman 204IP, 201IP in 2016 and 2017. I believe that affects a SP. Stieb alternated between great and good years. So did Saberhagen.

I think Halladay, Hentgen, Morris and Key were consistently good and healthy.

Memory is bad, so I am probably wrong on my facts.

Happ has been at his best for a few years. It should not last according to my theory above. Estrada had his best years in 2015 and 2016. A lot of IP and V good ERA.
Mike Green - Friday, May 25 2018 @ 10:50 AM EDT (#358456) #
Jeff Zimmerman thinks that Marco Estrada would be best as a long reliever now.  He may very well be right, but I don't think the reasoning is correct.  Estrada's stuff is what it was. However, since his back injury, he is unable to sustain control within the strike zone as the game wears on.
hypobole - Friday, May 25 2018 @ 11:15 AM EDT (#358458) #
Heyman on the Osuna situation. One thing he points out is that if Osuna is suspended more than 15 games, it will cause him an extra year of team control before he reaches free agency.

https://frsbaseball.com/mlb/blue-jays/heyman-blue-jays-closer-osuna-could-be-facing-significant-ban/
uglyone - Friday, May 25 2018 @ 11:35 AM EDT (#358459) #
"This is exactly why the current management had no interest on building around this core of players and were right not to."

ah yes, the fact that 3 players at the top of the roster have declined definitely excuses the fact that this FO has spent 3 years building the majority of this roster and payroll out of spare parts that are collectively barely above replacement level.
uglyone - Friday, May 25 2018 @ 11:59 AM EDT (#358460) #
Red Sox deservedly DFA Hanley. another team ditching their sunk cost.
hypobole - Friday, May 25 2018 @ 12:06 PM EDT (#358461) #
12 players have over 0.2 WAR this year. Only 4 (Pillar, Osuna, Josh and Loup) were true holdovers.
SK in NJ - Friday, May 25 2018 @ 01:00 PM EDT (#358465) #
Agreed Glevin. Having a FO that did not double down on the 2015-16 teams saved this org a lot of long-term damage. You can say what you want about how they tried to postpone the inevitable (likely due to ownership not wanting to hop off the money train yet) but they balanced the two objectives about as well as I hoped without sacrificing anything important.

Not sure you can blame the current FO for this season. The players who the Jays were counting on the most this season were Donaldson, Stroman, Sanchez, and Osuna. For varying reasons, those players have disappointed. There is enough depth to cover a lot of other spots, but not those four.
Magpie - Friday, May 25 2018 @ 01:25 PM EDT (#358466) #
Red Sox deservedly DFA Hanley. another team ditching their sunk cost.

I suspect this was really about avoiding costs. He's got a $22 million option for next year if he gets 497 plate appearances this year.
jerjapan - Friday, May 25 2018 @ 01:34 PM EDT (#358467) #
People were certainly clamoring for signing JD longterm, and EE - whose contract still has a chance of being better than the Morales' deal. 

But Bautista?  He publicly asked for $150 million and I don't recall a soul here on the Box arguing that we do that deal. 

I'm okay -happy even- with the job the FO did last offseason, assuming that we either turn it around and compete for the WC, or sell and get some value back at the deadline.  When I look at all the one year deals, I can't help but think this team was designed to have saleable parts if we weren't contending. 

But if that wasn't the plan - if the only goal was contending - well, they certainly do deserve some blame, going cheap for the 5th spot in the rotation, hanging onto Morales, targeting stopgaps to fill out the roster when there were plenty of FA bargains available. 
uglyone - Friday, May 25 2018 @ 01:43 PM EDT (#358468) #
the downside of those deals would have been....an inability to contend for a few years.....which is, er, exactly the plan you guys are on board for now.
CeeBee - Friday, May 25 2018 @ 02:01 PM EDT (#358469) #
"But Bautista? He publicly asked for $150 million and I don't recall a soul here on the Box arguing that we do that deal."

But it's all about the narrative and Bautista is essential to it ;)
hypobole - Friday, May 25 2018 @ 02:01 PM EDT (#358470) #
"going cheap for the 5th spot in the rotation"

Have you looked at what supposedly better (and more expensive) FA pitchers have done?

Arrieta has delivered but he's the only one - 2.45 ERA 1.2 fWAR 3 yrs/75 million

The others? These were the guys ranked above Garcia.

Darvish 4.95 ERA 0.1 fWAR 6/126
Lynn 6.34 ERA 0.1 fWAR 1/12
Cobb 7.32 ERA 0.0 fWAR 4/75
Cashner 4.72 ERA 0.1 fWAR 2/16
Chatwood 3.74 ERA 0.2 fWAR 3/38

Arrieta, Cobb and Lynn would also have cost us pick #52 and $500,000 International Pool money.


Mike Green - Friday, May 25 2018 @ 02:10 PM EDT (#358471) #
Shi Davidi reports that Pompey is on his way to Philly to join the club.  Two thumbs up from me.  Now if Granderson can move to the LH DH role, we have significant improvement.
hypobole - Friday, May 25 2018 @ 02:35 PM EDT (#358472) #
the downside of those deals would have been....an inability to contend for a few years.

That would have been the fans downside. The FO downside would have been pink slips, although to some here would have been a positive development.
ISLAND BOY - Friday, May 25 2018 @ 03:04 PM EDT (#358474) #
MLB has extended Osuna's administrative leave for 7 more days. Are they going to keep doing this until his court date on June 18 ? His removal has really thrown the bullpen out of whack in my opinion.
hypobole - Friday, May 25 2018 @ 03:18 PM EDT (#358476) #
Posted a link to Heymans story on the Osuna situation earlier today.. Certainly looks like it will be an extended leave.
uglyone - Friday, May 25 2018 @ 04:01 PM EDT (#358477) #
"The FO downside would have been pink slips, "

they're still spending all this money to still suck.
scottt - Friday, May 25 2018 @ 05:10 PM EDT (#358480) #
Vesting option and roster crunch.

Morales is already on the book for next year and the real crunch for him starts when Pearce comes off the DL.

BlueJayWay - Friday, May 25 2018 @ 05:11 PM EDT (#358481) #
Are they going to keep doing this until his court date on June 18 ? His removal has really thrown the bullpen out of whack in my opinion.

Well they'd better find a way to get back in whack because Osuna won't be walking out of that bullpen door for a while.
jerjapan - Friday, May 25 2018 @ 07:23 PM EDT (#358489) #
Hypobole, Arrieta was precisely the guy I was thinking of.  Darvish will be better than he's been so far, but he doesn't represent the sort of discount deal I was thinking of.  Cobb at 4 years was nuts, but that's the Orioles for you.
To be fair, I don't think the Garcia deal was a bad roll of the dice, and would also have felt the same for Lynn - again, based on my post, I'm fine with the team playing in the middle - provided they cut bait at the right time and deal their vets for value.  I know you don't think vets will yield value, but I'm talking Joe Smith value here, and I think that is eminently doable.  So does Jon Heyman.
https://frsbaseball.com/mlb/inside/inside-baseball-30-under-the-radar-trade-targets/
Happ and JD are 1st and 4th on his list, both worthy of a top 100 prospect in his estimation (assuming JD hasn't turned into a pumpkin).  He also lists Pillar (also worthy of a top 100 prospect), Stro, Solarte, Clippard, Oh and Axford.  Outside of Heyman's top 30, Grandy is plenty appealing to the right team in my book, and Loup, Maille, Pearce and Smoak also could be a fit for the right team.  

But if plan A -contending - and plan B - selling at the deadline - are fails, then yes, the offseason strategy of the FO is a fail. 
grjas - Friday, May 25 2018 @ 08:07 PM EDT (#358491) #
Yeah I donít Have a big issue with what the FO did in this offseason.

When you have all of Tulo, Donaldson, Sanchez, Stroman, Martin, Estrada, and Travis having crappy years, itís clear there wasnít much base to build on. Thatís half of the SP staff and the lineup combined. And all those guys first arrived before the current FO. Thatís not meant to be a diss of AA, itís just the reality of the current situation.
hypobole - Friday, May 25 2018 @ 09:39 PM EDT (#358495) #
Clippard shouldn't be anywhere near a close game.
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