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Tampa Bay, winner of 7 out of 9 against Toronto this season, make the first of two September visits to the RC.

Matchups? We don't need no stinking matchups.

But we have them, nevertheless.

Mon. 3 Sep - Stanek (2-3, 2.77) vs Stroman (4-8, 5.27)
Tue. 4 Sep - Player To Be Named Later vs Gaviglio (3-7, 5.02)
Wed. 5 Sep - Glasnow (0-2, 3.23) vs Borucki (3-3, 4.52)

The Jays are expected to add Jake Petricka, Justin Shafer, Mark Leiter Jr and Richard Urena to the active roster tomorrow.† And what is it with all these people named "Justin" anyway? When did that become the most common boy's name in North America?

In other news, Cleveland placed Josh Donaldson on the DL so he could play some more minor league games. He hit a grand slam and played third base for Columbus today, and can rejoin the Indians on September 11. Tito has already said that the plan is to make Ramirez to second base and Kipnis to centre field when JD is ready to go. Cleveland clinched their division right around St Patrick's Day, so moving two regulars to new positions with three weeks left is just their way of keeping everybody awake and interested.
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mendocino - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 07:30 PM EDT (#365025) #
Dwight Smith Jr off 40 man
uglyone - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 07:52 PM EDT (#365026) #
why is our high performance department letting stroman pitch?
dalimon5 - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 08:03 PM EDT (#365027) #
Because we want to trade him. Unfortunately it doesn't look like his stock has climbed.
hypobole - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 08:11 PM EDT (#365028) #
Should shut Stroman down until he reaches free agency.
Gerry - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 08:21 PM EDT (#365029) #
The Jays will have a 40 man roster crunch this off-season. Several marginal guys will get dropped with Smith being the first.

The Jays do have plenty of outfielders today, I wonder what that means for Alford and Pompey.
Gerry - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 08:36 PM EDT (#365030) #
Smith is 25, and will turn 26 in October. Smith passed through waivers to get to Buffalo and I believe he has been passed over in the rule 5 draft previously. So other teams don't believe Smith will turn into a player worth a roster spot.
Shoeless Joe - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 08:48 PM EDT (#365031) #
Once McKinney started to show off some major league skill DSJ didnít have much of a Locke on the roster.... despite ya know being the son of a former major leaguer.
CeeBee - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 08:57 PM EDT (#365032) #
Does Barnes stay on the 40 man? In other words, can he be fixed?
Magpie - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 09:06 PM EDT (#365033) #
I don't think Barnes can be fixed, I think this is who he is. He just got absurdly lucky on his Balls in Play in 2017.
hypobole - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 09:07 PM EDT (#365034) #
Smith jr has 7 minor league seasons - I believe he becomes a FA after the WS if not on the 40 man.
Gerry - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 09:07 PM EDT (#365035) #
Buck and Tabby continually talk about Barnes knee problem and how he needs the off-season to get it right. But given how relievers are fungible and Barnes 2018 numbers, he could be at risk of being dropped.
Gerry - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 09:09 PM EDT (#365036) #
The record has been corrected, Murphy Smith was sent to Buffalo today, Dwight Smith is still around. Someone became confused and made a mistake.
Richard S.S. - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 09:33 PM EDT (#365038) #
Billy McKinney is maybe/probably one of Ross Atkins' best trade acquisitions.

He was drafted by Oakland then signed June 11th, 2013. He played 55 games in 2013 - .326 .387 .437. He then played 75 games in 2014 - .241 .330 .400 - before being traded.

He was traded (in a larger trade) to Chicago Cubs July 11th, 2014. He played 51 games in 2014 - .301 .390. .432.
He played 106 games in 2015 - .300 .371 .454. He then played 88 games in 2016 - .252 .355 .322 - before being traded.

He was traded (in a larger trade) to N.Y.Y. July 25th, 2016. He played 35 games in 2016 - .2534 .310 .375. He played 124 games in 2017 - .277 .338 .483.

He was the Yankees' Starting OF in 2018. He crashed into the outfield wall his second, concussion protocol, D.L. and he was forgotten. He played 64 games in 2018 - approx. .226 .99 .495 - before being traded.

He was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays July 26, 2018. He played 25 games in 2018 - .203 .292 .470 - before being called up August 17th, 2018. The rest will be history.

hypobole - Monday, September 03 2018 @ 11:48 PM EDT (#365039) #
On the bright side, we only have 9 games left vs Tampa.
scottt - Tuesday, September 04 2018 @ 07:42 AM EDT (#365040) #
It's not like we need or want to win those games.

The focus now has to be on individual performances.

I read an article in the Globe and Mail that predict the final weeks will be about the "Jays farm system getting its head handed to it by mediocre players currently in the MLB". We're not calling anyone from the farm system that hasn't been here in August.

"Are we honestly supposed to believe that, barring a major infusion of expensive, experience talent, this team will be the equivalent of the Red Sox and Yankees 30 months from now?"

Apparently, it's now impossible to develop players in Toronto. You can only get good players here by trade or free agency.
I think AA has left a mark in the Toronto media who hate Atkins because they can't quote his convoluted answers.
And nobody remembers the 90s.

rpriske - Tuesday, September 04 2018 @ 08:46 AM EDT (#365041) #
Hey, Stroman lasted longer than the Rays' starter!


Mike Green - Tuesday, September 04 2018 @ 09:06 AM EDT (#365042) #
Here's my take on Atkins' comments about 2019-21:

1. I think that it is more likely now that the Blue Jays leave Guerrero Jr., Bichette and Biggio in Buffalo until the passage of the super 2 window in June 2019.  They'll have Schneider, who has been with them for each of the last two years, to guide them. 
2. I'm not worried at all about the "stars and scrubs" vs.  "bunch of grinders" issue.  Two and a half years is a long time for talented very young players. Guerrero Jr. might be 7-8 WAR player by then, as Thomas and Pujols were.  There are any number of young players who might be very good by then.  I'll think about that a little more seriously at the end of 2019.
3. The Red Sox have $70 million committed for 2021 for Price, J.D. Martinez, Pedroia and Vazquez.  Eduardo Rodriguez will be in his 3rd year of arb and Benintendi will be in his 2nd.  And that's pretty much it. 
4. The Yankees have $46 million committed for 2021 for Chapman and Stanton.  Judge, Sanchez, Severino, Montgomery and Green will all be in the 2nd year of arb and Torres will probably be a super 2.  And the Yankees have a pretty decent farm system.
5. The Jays will owe Tulo $4 million and they'll have a bunch of 1st year arb and pre-arb players. 
6. From points 3-5, Atkins' comments are reasonable.

Mike Green - Tuesday, September 04 2018 @ 09:38 AM EDT (#365043) #
And to answer Magpie's question, "Justin" hit a sharp peak as a boy's name around 1980 and it lasted until 1989 and it's been a slow decline since then.   Trudeau was ahead of the curve, Timberlake was right on it, and Smoak was near the end.  Timberlake's parents knew what they were doing if they wanted to raise a boy band wonder...
hypobole - Tuesday, September 04 2018 @ 09:50 AM EDT (#365044) #
I fully understand the Jays leaving Vlad in the minors 3 weeks to get the extra year of control. Chances of a long term extension one way or the other are slim at best. It can easily be spun as a pure baseball decision and that getting an extra year of Vlad in Toronto is best for the fans.

Leaving him down past the Super 2 would be nothing but disgusting cheapness on Rogers part. And as much as I believe Rogers is cheaper than they should be, I don't see them doing what would be a public relations nightmare, with no baseball upside.
AWeb - Tuesday, September 04 2018 @ 10:22 AM EDT (#365045) #
Hadn't checked in a few years, but for those who are morbidly curious, yes, Tampa has it's best all-time record against Toronto (193-169). For AL franchises (excluding recent arrive Houston), the only other teams Tampa is above .500 against are KC (awful for most of the time they existed), and Minnesota.

Even in Tampa's truly terrible opening years, the Jays never really ran up a great record against them, certainly nothing like the 61-29 record from 2008-2012 the Rays did. Or the 8-2 so far this year. Ugh. Nine more games to pad draft position against these guys I guess. Maybe playing in the sad dome (Tampa's home field always appears dark and unpleasant on TV, like playing a warehouse) makes the contrast better for Tampa players in Toronto, and worse for Toronto players in Tampa.
Mike Green - Tuesday, September 04 2018 @ 10:31 AM EDT (#365047) #
Leaving him down past the Super 2 would be nothing but disgusting cheapness on Rogers part. And as much as I believe Rogers is cheaper than they should be, I don't see them doing what would be a public relations nightmare, with no baseball upside.

There is a baseball upside.  Let's imagine that the club has a fixed payroll of $170 million for 2021.  If Vlad is a Super Two in 2021, the club may pay him $12 million that year (Kris Bryant got $10.85 as a Super Two last year).  If he's not, the club may him 500K.  The club can then spend $11.5 million on free agent/trade acquisitions geared at helping them win in 2021.  For that, they trade six weeks of Vlad Jr. in 2019, in a year where they do not expect to be competitive. 

Yep, it's cheap.  But within the world of Rogers, it makes sense.  Which is part of the reason that Guerrero Jr. is unlikely to sign an extension here. 
Nigel - Tuesday, September 04 2018 @ 10:36 AM EDT (#365048) #
I agree with you hypobole I think we see Vladdy on May 1. However, Iím not expecting to see Bichette at all in 2019 (other than a September call up) unless he goes Vladdy in AAA next year and canít optically be kept down. Biggio is a total wild card to me. Iím not sure what kind of a prospect he really is right now. The distribution of reasonable outcomes for him seems pretty wide.
Nigel - Tuesday, September 04 2018 @ 10:41 AM EDT (#365049) #
Mike, itís clear that dreaming on the future is the marketing plan next year. Itís going to be pretty thin gruel without Vladdy. Itís one of those near term benefits versus long term benefits kind of financial decisions for Rogers. Iím betting they elect on near term benefits.
Gerry - Tuesday, September 04 2018 @ 10:50 AM EDT (#365050) #
If you are going to rebuild then go all the way. Stop trying to do both be a 500 team and rebuild.
krose - Tuesday, September 04 2018 @ 10:51 AM EDT (#365051) #
If keeping VGJ down to avoid super 2 is unfair, how unfair would it be to expect Maile to spend most or all of next year in the minors. By my eye test he is the best catcher of the three right now.
85bluejay - Tuesday, September 04 2018 @ 11:09 AM EDT (#365052) #
I think Atkins' comments about 2019-21 were very reasonable and left some wiggle room because 2020 could be exciting if the prospects become productive faster especially if the development people are able to get the upside out of some of the prospects acquired this year.

I still expect Vlad to be promoted at the end of April but if Vlad is merely doing well in AAA, not dominating and Drury is off to a great start (and I think Drury will be a very productive player in 2019), then I can see the club holding off especially if whomever is playing 2B is also doing well.

Bichette I expect to stay in AAA past super 2 (unless injuries) and maybe the entire year - Bichette had a good but not great year in AA & there is the Tulo factor - does he even play and is he the Tulo of old or an old Tulo.

Biggio - didn't have a great 2nd half & I think needs to "show me" in AAA - definitely don't see him coming up before super 2, more likely 2020 especially since I think he mostly plays the outfield next year.

Mike Green - Tuesday, September 04 2018 @ 11:11 AM EDT (#365053) #
I thought that Atkins' comments were the start of that marketing (or you might call it "anti-marketing") campaign.  Which goes something like- "please be patient- we're not going to win the division in 2019".  If you are saying that you anticipate being competitive in 2021 after two years of improvement, what does that say about 2019 and what difference does it make in 2019 if VGJ arrives in May or June? 

Obviously the club has to adapt to changing circumstances.  If Borucki, Reid-Foley, Stroman and Sanchez are all healthy and performing well in the spring of 2019 and the club starts off 25-5 with a plus 40 run differential as of May 1, they presumably would revisit the possibilities for 2019.  It seems very unlikely. 
Jdog - Tuesday, September 04 2018 @ 11:19 AM EDT (#365054) #
Aka ....The Atlanta Braves of 2018....or the Philadelphia Phillies of 2018.
Nigel - Tuesday, September 04 2018 @ 11:25 AM EDT (#365055) #
Every plan has to be subject to adjustment based upon unexpected circumstances.

Mike, I agree that whether Vladdy is up on May 1 versus June 15 won't make any difference from a long term baseball perspective, I just don't think that's the lens through which the decision will be made.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, September 04 2018 @ 11:42 AM EDT (#365056) #
"Tulo factor - does he even play and is he the Tulo of old or an old Tulo."

This was hilarious. In early spit my coffee out.

Is it possible the PTBNL the Jays are receiving will be someone from the Major League roster from Cleveland? Someone with lots of character upside like Kipnis?

It's possible the front office takes Kipnis to get a better prospect than Merryweather.

I know there's a few posters here than can shoot this down if it's not possible via the MLB rules of the trade and waivers at the the time of trade. I just can't believe it's Merryweather if Atkins is spinning it as "significant" and "near term" help.
hypobole - Tuesday, September 04 2018 @ 12:09 PM EDT (#365059) #
Here's Jay Jaffe with another service time manipulation article, this time focusing on Byron Buxton (although Vlad is in there of course).

Did get one chuckle - Jaffe stole the Albert King reference I used in a post yesterday. Although, unlike me, he actually bothered to link it to the song.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, September 04 2018 @ 12:26 PM EDT (#365060) #
If Julian Merryweather is able to pitch at 100% effectiveness in 2018, I don't expect that to happen before late July or early August, at the earliest. Even at that time, I'm not sure how close he is/will be to the Majors. This is what I'd expect as the minimum possible return in the Donaldson trade, but then again, this might be it.
Mike Green - Tuesday, September 04 2018 @ 12:47 PM EDT (#365062) #
Thumbs up for Albert King rather than Eric Clapton reference, hypobole.  Neko Case's Bad Luck is a helluva song, but the lyric isn't quite right for the relentlessly injured ballplayer. 
Gerry - Tuesday, September 04 2018 @ 01:12 PM EDT (#365063) #
Twitter suggests Jonathan Davis has been called up.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, September 04 2018 @ 01:40 PM EDT (#365064) #
What Atkins was trying to say is that the Jays are not "going for it" this Offseason. They will only fill the holes that In-house can't. The rest of what he said about competing is subject to change.

If Troy Tulowitzki loses the Short Stop job, which might happen, he said he's going home. That means he's giving up $38.0 Million still owing. I can't see that happening.

uglyone - Tuesday, September 04 2018 @ 02:01 PM EDT (#365065) #
Combined Steamer/Zips projections for Rest of Season, which I assume will be similar to projections to start next year:

just wRC+ for now

CF Pillar 89 ------- Pompey 79 - Alford 71
RF Grichuk 108 -- Davis 81 ---- Fields 58
LF McKinney 97 - Teoscar 96 - Biggio 83
3B Solarte 100 -- Drury 86 ---- Urena 65
SS Tulo 101 ------ Diaz 97 ----- Bichette 90
2B Travis 98 ----- Guriel 85 --- Lopes 69
1B Smoak 119 ---- Tellez 88 -- Heidt 53
C Martin 100 ---- Jansen 95 -- Maile 64 - McGuire 65
DH Morales 111 -- Smith 88 -- Leblijian 64

and ERA

SP Stroman 3.89
SP Sanchez 4.42
SP Gaviglio 4.89
SP Borucki 4.91
SP Pannone 5.16
SP SRF 5.31

(not actually projected as SP but only RP usage if called up in september):

SP Paulino 4.54
SP Waguespack 5.08
SP Zeuch 5.18
SP Perez 5.54

hypobole - Tuesday, September 04 2018 @ 02:51 PM EDT (#365067) #
Rowdy coming up
uglyone - Tuesday, September 04 2018 @ 03:04 PM EDT (#365069) #
oops I should have pushed Bichette and Biggio into that 2nd lineup and pushed Drury and Davis to the 3rd.
Gerry - Tuesday, September 04 2018 @ 04:04 PM EDT (#365070) #
Smith Jr. and Urena recalled. Tellez and Davis up for the first time. No Pompey or Alford.
hypobole - Tuesday, September 04 2018 @ 04:20 PM EDT (#365071) #
Fun trip to Fenway next week. Jays dressing room gonna look like a clown car.
Gerry - Tuesday, September 04 2018 @ 04:33 PM EDT (#365072) #
Huaschild DFA to make room for Davis.

Gerry - Tuesday, September 04 2018 @ 04:35 PM EDT (#365073) #
I expected Petricka and Shafer to come back. No mention of them yet.
Shoeless Joe - Tuesday, September 04 2018 @ 04:39 PM EDT (#365074) #
I was convinced that Pompey was pretty much done with the franchise once he was suspended, and this pretty much confirms that. I am happy to see Rowdy get the call.
Gerry - Tuesday, September 04 2018 @ 05:08 PM EDT (#365077) #
Petricka is back. Biagini to the DL. I don't know why they bother.

Shafer cannot be recalled until ten days go by since his demotion, so he has three days left.
Thomas - Tuesday, September 04 2018 @ 05:10 PM EDT (#365078) #
I think Schaefer and Petricka might need to spend 10 days in the minors before being recalled, so it could be a few more days before we see them?
Shoeless Joe - Tuesday, September 04 2018 @ 05:19 PM EDT (#365079) #
You can be recalled right away if the minor league season ends for the team that you are assigned to. Think Josh Thole demotion to Bluefield a few years back as an example of that roster manipulation.
Gerry - Tuesday, September 04 2018 @ 05:20 PM EDT (#365080) #
Apparently there is now a Thole rule, so ten days for Shafer. Biagini probably went on the DL so that Petricka could be added.
Shoeless Joe - Tuesday, September 04 2018 @ 05:43 PM EDT (#365081) #
It looks like according to Ben Wagner that Rowdy's mother did pass away during during his second leave of  absence from the Bisons. My condolences to the Tellez family, and what a tough few years for the young fella. I will be rooting for him through September.
scottt - Tuesday, September 04 2018 @ 06:09 PM EDT (#365082) #
Tellez is still on pace to take over 1B by August next year.
Urena keeps being the AAA backup.
Davis is being rewarded and I expect will mostly pinch run.
Smith? I'm not quite sure, but he's hit OK so far.

Pompey is probably being disciplined (call ups earn money).
He's still taking a spot on the 40, though.
Will he stay there until the spring in case someone gets hurt?
I believe he's out of option.

bpoz - Tuesday, September 04 2018 @ 06:19 PM EDT (#365083) #
Pompey burned his last option this year.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, September 04 2018 @ 09:06 PM EDT (#365084) #
Jon Heyman on Twitter is confirming that the PTBNL is in fact Merryweather.
Nigel - Tuesday, September 04 2018 @ 10:25 PM EDT (#365087) #
Merryweather may not merit cracking the 40 man roster when heís healthy. Of course this depends somewhat on what the offseason moves are. The optics of waiving him when heís healthy are too awful for it to actually happen but I can see, at least the possibility of, him bumping a better prospect off the 40 man.
dan gordon - Wednesday, September 05 2018 @ 12:08 AM EDT (#365088) #
If Merryweather is the guy, then I think they really overstated the near term impact of the PTBNL. He's coming off arm surgery, and has only mastered AA ball in the past. He's got quite a way to go yet...probably at least a year away.

I'll take the "over" on Gurriel and the "under" on McKinney in those hitter projections if we're talking about next year. Similarly, I'll take the "over" on Stroman, Gaviglio and the "under" on SRF in those pitching ERA numbers for 2019.

I would be disappointed to see Pompey jettisoned. Still think he's going to be a pretty good, although injury-prone player.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, September 05 2018 @ 12:36 AM EDT (#365090) #
Merryweather had TJS in March of this year, so I wouldn't expect him to be a factor for the Jays at all in 2019 (assuming he comes back strong/healthy). He's more likely a 2020 option, best case. Considering the Jays were trading essentially a few weeks of an injured Donaldson, this was likely the best they could do.
Glevin - Wednesday, September 05 2018 @ 03:38 AM EDT (#365094) #
"I would be disappointed to see Pompey jettisoned. Still think he's going to be a pretty good, although injury-prone player."

Pompey's WRC+/K% by year in AAA (at least 150 PAs)

It's a sad case because he looked so amazing in 2014. A CFer with amazing speed who rose through the minors very quickly and showed a potential 5-tool player. Now, he looks like a below average offensive corner OF who can't stay healthy. ZIPs has him at a 73 WRC+ in the majors. I'd prefer him to sign a minor league deal with the Jays to try to see if he can bounce back but he's now way down on the OF depth chart (Grichuk, Pillar, Hernandez, McKinney, Smith, Alford, and maybe Ramirez and Davis as well).

"If Merryweather is the guy, then I think they really overstated the near term impact of the PTBNL. He's coming off arm surgery, and has only mastered AA ball in the past. He's got quite a way to go yet...probably at least a year away."

Agreed. Merryweather has some upside I guess and I don't care as much for age in pitchers as I do in hitters but I'd much prefer it if Atkins said something like "We are getting a player we think can help the team long-term" rather than very clearly overselling the return.
scottt - Wednesday, September 05 2018 @ 08:32 AM EDT (#365102) #
Merryweather ranked up to 12th on the Cleveland system before he got injured.
He's a big guy with a good fastball.

Paulino will likely be added once he's healthy. He's still rehabbing.

scottt - Wednesday, September 05 2018 @ 08:39 AM EDT (#365104) #
I guess the upside depends on weather Merrywheather's trouble at AAA had anything to do with his elbow.
He should start on the 60 DL, although that  doesn't help with respect to the rule V draft.

Certainly, he could reach Toronto years ahead of a comp pick, if that's the short term/long term options.

hypobole - Wednesday, September 05 2018 @ 08:54 AM EDT (#365106) #
I thought the reason for the long window to name the PTBNL was that Cleveland would have to Rule 5 protect him.
James W - Wednesday, September 05 2018 @ 09:04 AM EDT (#365108) #
The reason he was a PTBNL was because he would have to clear waivers to be traded in August, but he can't be placed on waivers because he's on the disabled list.
hypobole - Wednesday, September 05 2018 @ 09:18 AM EDT (#365111) #
We're talking to different things. Has to clear waivers during the season, yes. But not in December or January.
Gerry - Wednesday, September 05 2018 @ 09:18 AM EDT (#365112) #
Shi Davidi todays says that Anthony Alford and Reese McGuire will be called up later this month. And that David Paulino could be activated soon.
Mike Green - Wednesday, September 05 2018 @ 09:20 AM EDT (#365113) #
If it is Merryweather, that was gross overselling by Atkins.  He's turning 27 in October and has mastered the double A level, and is just coming off Tommy John.  He ought to be spending 2019 in triple A and if that goes well, he can have a go at the major league level at age 28. 
SK in NJ - Wednesday, September 05 2018 @ 09:32 AM EDT (#365114) #
I am really looking forward to seeing Paulino, but with his injury history, it's hard to know what you are going to get from him, if anything.
Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, September 05 2018 @ 10:39 AM EDT (#365125) #
I think you have to use Paulino as a reliever going forward now? His injury history is just too spotty to be counted on every 5 days.
Gerry - Wednesday, September 05 2018 @ 03:31 PM EDT (#365146) #
Paulino is active for tonights game.
dan gordon - Wednesday, September 05 2018 @ 03:45 PM EDT (#365147) #
Glevin, I agree that Pompey has not hit well in AAA since 2014. The thing that I keep in mind is that he has been hurt each of those years, and has not had a chance to really get in any kind of a groove - he's never played even 100 games in any of those years. It's tough to be at your best when you are in and out of the lineup, and likely battling some physical limitations as well as rustiness when playing. I would love to see him have a fully healthy season where he gets 500+ AB's, and see what he could do. That's the guy I think could be a good player. Unfortunately, we may not ever see that, as his body just doesn't seem able to withstand the rigors of a full pro baseball season.
James W - Wednesday, September 05 2018 @ 04:34 PM EDT (#365149) #
Ah, I skimmed the part about a long wait, sorry. He's still on Cleveland's 40-man roster, so if they do wait until after the Rule 5 draft, that would be the logical reason.
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, September 05 2018 @ 05:00 PM EDT (#365151) #
As Julian Merryweather is on the D.L. on the 40-Man, an Official Announcement will be made around October 1st - 3rd, after the end of the Season. At this time, he can be easily traded.
Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, September 05 2018 @ 05:50 PM EDT (#365153) #
Jonathan Davis gets the start in center tonight making his major league debut.

I was looking at the statcast line-up card for the game and this is a tale of team teams offensively for sure. Each team has 8 batters with statcast data and the Jays have 6 batters with average exit velocities above 90 mph and the Rays have just 1. The Jays have again 6 batters with launch angles above 10 degrees and again the Rays have just 1. Although I think hitting the ball harder and in the air will score more runs in the long haul, the Rays style offense does seem more reliable day in and day out.

Nigel - Wednesday, September 05 2018 @ 07:09 PM EDT (#365158) #
In my experience, all minor league managers describe all of their players glowingly when interviewed. However, if you listen closely you can usually distinguish which players their managers think are actually prospects. Davis was injured through much of his time in Vancouver however I remember several interviews in which it was clear that the Cís manager of the day considered him a prospect. Congratulations to Davis. I think itís been a question throughout his minor league career about whether he can really handle CF versus one of the corners. Itís interesting that heís starting in CF.
bpoz - Wednesday, September 05 2018 @ 07:13 PM EDT (#365159) #
Mike Hauschild DFA'd for Jonathan Davis.
ISLAND BOY - Wednesday, September 05 2018 @ 07:48 PM EDT (#365165) #
There's a good story on Sportsnet about Rowdy Tellez and the trials he went through dealing with his mother's illness and eventual death. I hope he gets a game in soon with the Jays - I'm looking forward to see him in action.
scottt - Wednesday, September 05 2018 @ 08:30 PM EDT (#365175) #
It's interesting. Atkins explained that they want all the young guys to learn from the vets, but are not necessary expected to play much. It's an extra 3K a day for all those guys. It's part of the rebuild.

Richard S.S. - Wednesday, September 05 2018 @ 08:47 PM EDT (#365180) #
The Jays Playoff run in 2015 ended because Gibbons trusted his Pitchers. That's always something you should never do in the Postseason.
The Jays 2016 playoff run ended because the Jays were too easy to pitch to. Something about being too right-handed, too willing to chase.
The disastrous 2017 ended only eight games out of a Playoff spot. Either a healthy Donaldson or a healthy Sanchez puts them in the Postseason.
This Season, 2018, was different. A Starter other than J.A. Happ needed to have a good year. Donaldson needed to be healthy. The Jays would still be in it.
Gerry - Wednesday, September 05 2018 @ 08:50 PM EDT (#365183) #
Rough first game for Davis, three K's so far.
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, September 05 2018 @ 08:51 PM EDT (#365184) #
An extra $3K per day could be $50,000.00 - $75,000.00 to be a September callup, more than I ever made in a year.
scottt - Wednesday, September 05 2018 @ 08:54 PM EDT (#365185) #
First one was chasing one of those curve balls that couldn't find the zone. He should have been sitting fastball.
Second one was a tough call on a borderline high heater. Welcome to the big league.
I missed the third one.

hypobole - Wednesday, September 05 2018 @ 09:12 PM EDT (#365189) #
Rowdy's first PA. RBI double.
Thomas - Wednesday, September 05 2018 @ 09:13 PM EDT (#365190) #
What a wonderful moment for Tellez. That was great to see.

Marred only slightly by the fact his father apparently ran into plane difficulty and is still in the process of getting to Toronto.
Chuck - Wednesday, September 05 2018 @ 09:19 PM EDT (#365193) #
Lots of callups this September. None for Guerrero, though, and it has nothing to do with business.

The mandatory lie has been launched into the ether. Before we beat up on Shapiro, the much beloved AA probably uttered the same bollocks about Acuna a year ago.

Gerry - Wednesday, September 05 2018 @ 09:43 PM EDT (#365197) #
Jansen needs to get more selective. He can get to a lot of pitches but it doesn't mean he should swing at them all.
Gerry - Wednesday, September 05 2018 @ 09:47 PM EDT (#365199) #
Bob Elliott is reporting that Honda will end their long time sponsorship deal with the Jays after this season. Honda have been with the Jays since as far back as I can remember.
scottt - Wednesday, September 05 2018 @ 10:27 PM EDT (#365206) #
I was lucky to catch Tellez's at-bat. Fantastic.
Made my day.

Pretty fun game all around.

Nigel - Wednesday, September 05 2018 @ 10:35 PM EDT (#365210) #
Shapiro on the radio today was setting out the gobbledygook for why Vladdy isnít up this September. Apparently, it has nothing to do with business!!!! he isnít ready defensively or on the base-paths. It will be the same in April. Itís like they asked the Cubs to borrow the identical script for why Bryant was held back. Shapiroís comment about defence is particularly amusing in the context of how management has approached team defence in the past two years.
hypobole - Thursday, September 06 2018 @ 12:03 AM EDT (#365219) #
Twins get swept, Mets take 2 of 3 at Dodger Stadium and now the Jays are in a 3 way tie for draft picks 10/11/12.

Twins are the worst of the 3, but have the easiest schedule by far. Mets have been riding great starting pitching. Both are projected to pass us.

Texas and Cinci are the next teams below us, but neither has made much of a move. Rangers starters have the highest ERA in the AL, Cinci's the highest in the NL. Be great if one of them passes us, because that's a 2 spot gain in draft position, but it's not looking like it's going to happen.
Thomas - Thursday, September 06 2018 @ 06:55 AM EDT (#365224) #
I'm not sure why people are so upset at Shapiro's comments. They're laughable, but it's been transparent what's going on with regards to Vlad's promotion to the majors since early 2017 (or at least since he suffered his knee injury, but I think the die was probably cast before then).

Obviously he was going to be asked about a possible promotion for Vlad and obviously he was going to say some nonsense in reply. That's what the Cubs did with Bryant and the Braves did with Acuna. Nothing about this is surprising at all.
Chuck - Thursday, September 06 2018 @ 08:12 AM EDT (#365227) #
Nothing about this is surprising at all.

Oh, I doubt anyone is surprised. A big part of an executive's job is PR which means essentially lying to the public (when you're not lying to your employees). We get it. Doesn't make it any less gross.

Glevin - Thursday, September 06 2018 @ 08:24 AM EDT (#365230) #
I'd much rather the young guys perform and the Jays win and give us something to be excited about next year than worry about the 8th versus 12th pick. If we had a shot picking first in an ARod/Harper/Correa kind of year it would be worth it to hope for top pick, but this kind of difference is pretty marginal.
mathesond - Thursday, September 06 2018 @ 08:48 AM EDT (#365232) #
I'm with Glevin. I'd much rather wish on the young guys who are getting the chance to play at this level (and be entertained in bargain), than wish on a draft pick that is likely several years away from getting the opportunity to contribute.
hypobole - Thursday, September 06 2018 @ 09:22 AM EDT (#365233) #
Oh, I'm still hoping we win, still watch the games and enjoy seeing the kids getting their chances to play.

The draft thing is much more dispassionate. Yeah, whoever they get will be several years away from contributing, but that several years away is when Vlad, Bo and whoever else among the kids ends up as the cream should be in their prime. No harm in looking beyond next year.
Jevant - Thursday, September 06 2018 @ 09:23 AM EDT (#365234) #
Special moment for Rowdy. It's moments like that that help us remember these guys are first and foremost people.
Jevant - Thursday, September 06 2018 @ 09:25 AM EDT (#365235) #
Agreed. MLB ain't NHL/NBA, where the difference between the top picks is definitively worth losing for. I would far prefer to see guys playing to win and making it count. Happy to see even guys like Grichuk going all out to make a play crashing into the fence as well. These guys should realize there are lots of jobs that could be available for next year's team - get your case made now.
Mike Green - Thursday, September 06 2018 @ 09:26 AM EDT (#365236) #
We've seen a lot of McKinney now and it's a good time to add to the objective information.  The projection systems have him at a 8% W rate, a 22-23%K rate, a .170-.180 IsoP and a .290-.300 BABIP all adding up to a 100 wRC+.  He's just about average in all areas, according to the projections. 

The obvious first.  He's a pretty good left-fielder and baserunner- good reads and instincts and average speed.  He's going to make all the routine plays and his share of the difficult ones.  At the plate, he works the count well and does not have a long stroke (but will swing and miss often enough).  It's easy to see where he can beat the current projections and turn into a good player- a 10-12% W rate and a .200 IsoP and a .310 BABIP all seem within reach.  So far, he's flattened out his swing- with an even GB/FB rate and an excellent line drive rate (32%) but with good exit velocity (91) and a wide distribution of balls around the field.  His current rate of production is over his head, but the underlying fundamentals are excellent both objectively and subjectively.

I have some comments about Danny Jansen.  I don't agree with Gerry (it doesn't happen often) that he needs to refine his plate discipline.  He looks to me exactly as advertised, a fine hitter with very good plate discipline.  He is going to have to address the shift though.  He pulls the ball a lot, and with medium range pop.  If they keep shifting him, he'll need to slap the ball to right-field from time to time (as Gurriel Jr. did last night). 
Nigel - Thursday, September 06 2018 @ 10:24 AM EDT (#365237) #
Mike I think if McKinney can play average defence then he can contribute enough at the plate and on the basepaths to be more than a 4th OF type that the projection systems have him pegged at. So far his defence looks promising. Hitting LH and having some on base skills is a major plus in his favour as well. With the team appearing to give up on Pompey there also isnít any near ready LH OF competition for next year.
Gerry - Thursday, September 06 2018 @ 10:40 AM EDT (#365239) #
Just to clarify my Jansen thought. I do think he is a very good hitter and because he is good he can bat to ball on a lot of pitches. However, he often gets bat to ball on a pitch that is not a good one to swing at. I think as he gets more experience he needs to look for more "hitters pitches" and swing at fewer "pitchers pitches".
Mike Green - Thursday, September 06 2018 @ 11:06 AM EDT (#365240) #
Marcell Ozuna has hit .277/.321/.418 this year for a wRC+ of 100.  He's a pretty good baserunner and a decent fielder.  That has been good for 1.9 WAR.  That is pretty much where the projections have McKinney now, and that is a typical regular.  It's very nice to have a player who just turned 24 with that kind of projection this year.  On balance, it's likely to be a little better next year and there are plenty of subjective reasons to see why the typical age improvement might apply in McKinney's case. 

bpoz - Thursday, September 06 2018 @ 11:16 AM EDT (#365241) #
The current strategy of the FO seems sound based on our current inventory of assets. We have quantity in OFs 8. 6 on the active roster.
Of the non regulars only Pompey has run out of options. 2 options left for Alford and Smith Jr.

4 OFs for next year means T Hernandez and R Grichuk on the corners as of now. Both capable of 25 Hrs but with flaws in their overall game.
Pillar seems very valuable to me due to his experience and good defense. He will not sit much.That would be a waste of an asset.
The other 5 need to play everyday to develop. Pompey cannot play everyday in the minors unless he gets through being DFA'd. But he can sit on the ML bench. Not ideal, but I don't know what is best for him as a baseball player trying to get to the Majors.

Of the 8 OFs only Hernandez has bad defense.

8 is also too many 40 man roster spots.
Jevant - Thursday, September 06 2018 @ 11:26 AM EDT (#365242) #
I'd personally be a little surprised if Pillar is on the team in the spring. I am thinking that Grichuk, McKinney and Hernandez are your starters, with an Alford/Smith/someone else 4th OF. Or maybe that's just what I would do. I think this is probably your last opportunity to extra something from Pillar trade-wise, and I don't think he'll be a starter-worthy player on the next good Jays team. If that's the case, and you can get something for him, now is the time.
rpriske - Thursday, September 06 2018 @ 12:19 PM EDT (#365243) #
Have we seen this yet?

rpriske - Thursday, September 06 2018 @ 12:21 PM EDT (#365244) #
Younger, ex-players?

Do you think Russell Martin wants to be a player/manager?

bpoz - Thursday, September 06 2018 @ 12:36 PM EDT (#365245) #
Jevant, I can see "giving" the CF job to Grichuk. Experienced and has proven that he can handle it.

In the past based on only belief in the player T Fernandez was given SS. Alfredo Griffin out. G Bell in D Collins out. K Gruber in and Iorge/Mulleniks to the bench. but those were different times.

Pillar could fetch something nice from A+/- ball.
Gerry - Thursday, September 06 2018 @ 12:40 PM EDT (#365246) #
The Sporting News article is a rehash of a John Heyman story that states that the Jays and Gibbons are likely to part ways after the season although "nothing is set in stone".

I don't think there is anything new there, the Jays and Gibby seem to be set for a relatively amicable parting of the ways after the season ends.
Chuck - Thursday, September 06 2018 @ 12:49 PM EDT (#365247) #
I don't think there is anything new there, the Jays and Gibby seem to be set for a relatively amicable parting of the ways after the season ends.

And that must have been pretty much a given from the start of the season, failing an unlikely playoff berth to scuttle those plans. Gibbons' departure has been handwriting on the wall since the new brass arrived and will now coincide with the official rebuild.

hypobole - Thursday, September 06 2018 @ 01:19 PM EDT (#365248) #
Odds of this happening with Buck and Pat?
Thomas - Thursday, September 06 2018 @ 01:29 PM EDT (#365249) #
Can you guess who is second on the 2018 Blue Jays in WAR, as calculated by Baseball-Reference? (You could, but you won't.)

No peeking.

Note: He's actually tied with the players listed third and fourth, but they are not listed in alphabetical order by first or last name. Accordingly, I'll classify him as second, on the assumption BR lists them according to a further degree of specificity than one decimal point.
hypobole - Thursday, September 06 2018 @ 01:54 PM EDT (#365250) #
No peeking.

I peeked.
Chuck - Thursday, September 06 2018 @ 02:00 PM EDT (#365251) #
I peeked.

Your curiosity was piqued. Has the player in question peaked?

rpriske - Thursday, September 06 2018 @ 02:10 PM EDT (#365252) #
Without peeking... someone surprising, obviously...

Teoscar Hernandez.

(I doubt it, but hey...)

rpriske - Thursday, September 06 2018 @ 02:12 PM EDT (#365253) #
Now I peeked.

As terrible as my guess was, it still feels more feasible than who it actually is...

Shoeless Joe - Thursday, September 06 2018 @ 02:15 PM EDT (#365254) #
I don't think I would entertain having Grichuk be the regular center fielder, as DRS and UZR both grade him as poor in center but pretty good in right this year. At this point I think the Jays will keep Pillar, as he doesn't have a whole lot of value and an outfield rotation of McKinney, Pillar, Grichuk and Hernandez is a pretty good mix.

However what I want the Jays to do would be to swing a deal for Byron Buxton if the price is reasonable. After trading away Escobar the Twins have a need at 3rd, and I wonder if a Pompey + Drury package could get it done.

Thomas - Thursday, September 06 2018 @ 02:51 PM EDT (#365255) #
Teoscar is not in the Top 12.

I guess I should have said, "No peeking and guessing." You can peek and be stunned, as long as you don't guess.
uglyone - Thursday, September 06 2018 @ 03:01 PM EDT (#365256) #
ok i'm a bit of a cheater here because I check BP's catcher defense metrics regularly, but I'm going to hazard a guess that good old Toasty Untradeable Russell Martin, with his still elite catcher defense (by BP) and slightly below average offense is up near the top.
Gerry - Thursday, September 06 2018 @ 03:35 PM EDT (#365257) #
Your starting catcher tonight is......Reese McGuire.
Thomas - Thursday, September 06 2018 @ 03:55 PM EDT (#365258) #
Russell is one of the players tied with Mystery Player, but is listed in fourth place, so he's not the Mystery Player.
Thomas - Thursday, September 06 2018 @ 03:58 PM EDT (#365259) #
If I recall correctly, McGuire's from Washington state. I hope he had advance notice of the starting gig, or he's another one who may make his MLB debut with his family in transit (or not in Toronto).
Gerry - Thursday, September 06 2018 @ 04:09 PM EDT (#365260) #
Justin Shafer is back up as well.
Glevin - Thursday, September 06 2018 @ 04:23 PM EDT (#365261) #
I like the way the Jays are working in a new guy or two into the lineup every night. Itís a good experience for them and also for the fans. Having Tellez or Davis play along with guys like McKinny and Gurriel give us a way to dream in the future. There are too many guys around to give full run to everyone but everyone can get some ABs. only guy Iíd rather they didnít bring up was Urena who I think is pretty clearly not ready for the majors (61 WRC+ in AAA )
dan gordon - Thursday, September 06 2018 @ 04:30 PM EDT (#365262) #
McKinney has displayed an odd pattern the last few seasons. You'll often see a player struggle when promoted to a higher level, but then perform much better the next season at that level, as they continue to develop and learn. McKinney has been the opposite. When he was first promoted to AA in 2015, he slashed .285/.346/.420/.766 in 274 AB's. He repeated AA the next year, but performed much worse, with a slash line of .246/.342/.338/.680 in 426 AB's for 2 teams. In 2017, he got his first promotion to AAA and had a very nice line of .306/.336/.541/.877 in 209 AB's. Then when he repeated AAA in 2018, he dropped to .222/.307/.470/.777 in 302 AB's for 2 teams. Now he has gotten a taste of the big leagues and has been amazing in 54 AB's at .352/.438/.667/1.104 for 2 teams. Obviously, he's not going to hit that well next year, but which year's AAA numbers are more indicative of what he can do? At 24, he could still have room to develop. On the other hand, his pattern may indicate he will have a poor year as pitchers adjust to him.

Frankly, I'm very surprised at how much people are reading into McKinney's hot start with the Jays in such a small sample size. We've all seen many cases of players looking terrific in their first month or so of big league ball, but as pitchers adjust to them, attack weaknesses, reality sets in. Brett Lawrie looked like one of the best hitters in baseball when he was called up in 2011, slashing .330/.403/.678/1.081 in his first 33 games. I'm still somewhat skeptical about McKinney due to his uneven minor league performance, but would be quite happy to be proven wrong. The Jays could really use a power hitting outfielder who doesn't kill them with his glove.
Mike Green - Thursday, September 06 2018 @ 04:32 PM EDT (#365263) #
Tellez gets the start today also. 
Mike Green - Thursday, September 06 2018 @ 04:48 PM EDT (#365264) #
Dan, I don't see McKinney as a power-hitting outfielder.  I see him as a solid outfielder with a variety of tools.  His strange minor league record seems to be mostly a function of fluctuating BABIP, and most projection systems will take a middle ground on that.  I agree with that. 
Shoeless Joe - Thursday, September 06 2018 @ 05:14 PM EDT (#365266) #
I honestly didn't think much of McKinney coming over as a .220 hitter from the Yanks. However now I believe in the power as he hits the ball hard and he hits the ball in the air. I imagine a lot of his strange minor league seasons have come with the many adjustments from teams as they acquired him, for example the Yanks changed his swing to hit more fly balls. He will likely go through long stretches of agonizing stretches of low BAIP similar to Grichuk, but I think his bat will profile similar to his with maybe a little better contact rate in the long run.
Thomas - Thursday, September 06 2018 @ 06:24 PM EDT (#365272) #
The answer to my guessing game is very good.

Rpriske and hypobole can verify.
scottt - Thursday, September 06 2018 @ 09:55 PM EDT (#365289) #
I don't know about Buck and Pat, but I can picture  Joe Siddall vs Kevin Barker.
There was some awkwardness to those discussions on shifting and how many prospects a team can call up.

scottt - Friday, September 07 2018 @ 07:29 AM EDT (#365303) #
McKinney hustles. He bats left. He has a solid swing. He runs fairly well. It's too early to have numbers on his defense but he passes the eye-test.
Chuck - Friday, September 07 2018 @ 09:12 AM EDT (#365312) #
The answer to my guessing game is very good.

Oh, some decimals have shifted. Oh, the alignment is different today. Oh, oh, oh.

Thomas - Friday, September 07 2018 @ 02:44 PM EDT (#365337) #
Oh, maybe some decimals have shifted.

Oh, so today I will claim that he is still in a three-way tie for second place.

Oh, it will be interesting to see if he finishes in the top five by the end of the season.
hypobole - Friday, September 07 2018 @ 02:51 PM EDT (#365338) #
Oh, so today I will claim that he is still in a three-way tie for second place.

Oh, wait, it's a four-way tie.
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