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That was better. The Jays got a terrible start from the 35 year old veteran who'll be a free agent in a few weeks (some pretty iffy defense didn't help, at a time when dear old Marco needs every bit of help he can get.) But they got a couple of strong starts from two of the youngsters who may indeed be part of the 2019 rotation. And messing with the Yankees... well, it just makes life worth living.

Thirteen games remain, and the Jays need to go at least 6-7 to avoid just their second 90 loss since the bad old Expansion Days. (That would be the notorious, not-to-be-forgotten Season From Hell. Ask your elders about it.) They also need to go 5-8 so John Gibbons can finish the season with a career record better than .500 as the Blue Jays manager. Something to play for! In seasons like this....

The Orioles haven't decided who they're sending to the mound tonight or Wednesday. It's Andrew Cashner's turn tonight, and Luis Ortiz followed Bundy last week in what had been David Hess' rotation spot. Buck's probably thinking of flipping a coin, or drawing a name from a hat. It seems like it could hardly produce anything worse than what he's seen this season.

Mon 7:05 - Borucki (3-4, 4.26) vs SOMEONE
Tue 7:05 - Sanchez (4-6, 4.90) vs Bundy (8-14, 5.48)
Wed 7:05 - Gaviglio (3-8, 5.25) vs SOMEONE
Blue Jays at Baltimore | 84 comments | Create New Account
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Richard S.S. - Monday, September 17 2018 @ 09:33 AM EDT (#365878) #
Ryan Bourucki and Aaron Sanchez should get two more Starts after today which are more significant than anyone would expect. Aaron (R) and Ryan (L) project to be the Jays' #1 and #2 Starters next year. Aaron needs to show he's back to being the #1 Stud. Ryan needs to add to his 9 very good Starts, not his 5 poor ones. Sam Gaviglio will also get three more Starts to show what he is, the #5 Starter or the #6 Starter or the #7 Starter or worse?
Mike Green - Monday, September 17 2018 @ 10:48 AM EDT (#365880) #
Shi Davidi says that Alford will join the club tomorrow and suggests that Super Two considerations influenced the timing of his callup.  It seems to me that it would be strange to take into account Super Two considerations for Alford this year and not for Guerrero Jr.  next year. 
AWeb - Monday, September 17 2018 @ 02:22 PM EDT (#365885) #
Playing those games for a 24-year old seems even more silly than for a teenager like Guerrero. If Alford has a MLB peak (first he has to play in MLB...), it's likely to be the next 3-4 years, which are basically unaffected by the super-2 status (first vs 2nd year arbitration timing is barely a drop in the bucket for an MLB team). Is this just playing service time games out of force of habit?

I think the union should go to the wall on just killing this terrible system. Young players are better and better, and they get paid almost nothing until most are pretty much disposable. I hate having to root for fiscal management...I do enough of that at work. I think I want restricted free agency to replace arbitration (matching rights for "home" team, but short-term, $ unlimited offers allowed to be made), pretty much at year 2 or 3. If nothing else we might actually get a read on how much a MLB would be willing to pay for a great player for, say, 2 years.
Chuck - Monday, September 17 2018 @ 02:29 PM EDT (#365886) #
Alford has far from proven himself an impending major league player. Playing games to minimize his year 3 salary seems a tad optimistic.
Mike Green - Monday, September 17 2018 @ 02:48 PM EDT (#365887) #
I agree, AWeb.  I'm not saying that Shi Davidi is correct in this case, although he usually is. 

The union has to start again, and this time from the ground up.  Baseball mirrors life, as it has so often in the past (gambling scandals, roaring twenties, the legacy of slavery and civil rights, cocaine...).  The MLBPA is not alone in having to change.
Richard S.S. - Monday, September 17 2018 @ 02:56 PM EDT (#365888) #
Alford was said to be as good a CF as Pillar defensively, with good speed and a better arm. I don't know of how much that applies still. Shouldn't lost that much offense either.
grjas - Monday, September 17 2018 @ 03:16 PM EDT (#365890) #
When has a union- any union- prioritized the income of young workers over those that run it?
hypobole - Monday, September 17 2018 @ 03:23 PM EDT (#365891) #
Listening to part of the FG prospect guy's latest podcast. Some interesting stuff about scouting, then around the 48 minute mark, they mention the Jays let go some scouts but then say the other reason they bring up Toronto is that there are tons of rumours that Mark Shapiro and "the control person" are not getting along and some people think Shapiro might be trying to get to the Mets.

So just a bit more fleshed out version of the previous mentions of discord.
SK in NJ - Monday, September 17 2018 @ 03:27 PM EDT (#365893) #
I'm willing to bet that if MLB can avoid a lockout when the next CBA is up, then the new CBA will be just as unfriendly to young players as the current one. Almost every rule change they make hurts young players (cap on draft spending, cap on international spending, minor league players still making peanuts, etc). Any change they make it usually designed to help the older players, but even tweaking the FA compensation system did not stop free agents from getting low balled this past winter.

Front offices will always find ways to game the system, and the younger players will suffer.
Chuck - Monday, September 17 2018 @ 03:56 PM EDT (#365894) #
Any change they make it usually designed to help the older players

The definition of old may need to change. If the big payday at 29 or 30, when free agency starts, is no longer a given (as owners rightfully decide paying a player in his 30s to repeat what he did in his 20s is often a losing formula), then more earnings are going to need to be squeezed into years 1 to 6 for players to get their share of the pie. Either fewer years of team control, or arb eligibility before year 4. Something. Right?

Richard S.S. - Monday, September 17 2018 @ 04:26 PM EDT (#365896) #
Baseball Teams do most things fast, whether minor or major they usually don't waste time. Corporations moves slower than a glacier most of the time. Two decisions, the Spring Training site and Rogers Centre renovations are where possible bones of contention lay.

Questions on/decisions to be made on the Spring Training site were brought to Rogers early 2013. Negotiation progressed slowly. Shapiro pushed and finally got it finished this year.

Rogers wants to separate the Team from the Media Division into it's own entity under the Rogers Corp umbrella. Common sense says the Rogers Center should be included with the Team. Renovations worth $300.00 Million - $600.00 Million need to be done/guaranteed to be done before that happens. I think Shapiro has pushed on these issues also.
Richard S.S. - Monday, September 17 2018 @ 04:34 PM EDT (#365897) #
The MLBPA has little or nothing to bargain with having given most significant things away already. Non-Guaranteed Contracts/Capping Term Length are the only big items left, if they want anything. They can go on strike, but that just makes Owners happy. everyone else not.
scottt - Monday, September 17 2018 @ 07:07 PM EDT (#365898) #
Every MLB team has a control person that  must answer to MLB about team operations and MLB rules.
For the Blue Jays, that person is Edward Rogers chairman of everything Rogers.
Magpie - Monday, September 17 2018 @ 08:08 PM EDT (#365899) #
I wonder what tonight's attendance is tonight. Baltimore's smallest crowd this year was the Blue Jays on a Monday night - that was back in April when 7,915 showed up. Tonight we have lousy weather and a team that's already lost 100 games.
Parker - Monday, September 17 2018 @ 08:13 PM EDT (#365900) #
"When has a union- any union- prioritized the income of young workers over those that run it?"

Careful, grjas. That sounds kinda anti-left-wing.
Magpie - Monday, September 17 2018 @ 08:14 PM EDT (#365901) #
what tonight's attendance is tonight.

A mind is a terrible thing to lose.
Mike Green - Monday, September 17 2018 @ 08:46 PM EDT (#365902) #
Lots of unions of all types have negotiated collective agreements that cover apprentices in a fair way.  It's not particularly a left-right thing, or at least it wasn't 30 years ago.  But then, 30 years ago, George Schultz, Reagan's Secretary of State, worried publicly about the effect of the declining power of unions on opportunity for young people.  Schultz is still alive at 97.
Mike Green - Monday, September 17 2018 @ 08:55 PM EDT (#365903) #
It's fun to watch Borucki pitch.  The game moves, and he knows what he is doing. 
Magpie - Monday, September 17 2018 @ 09:00 PM EDT (#365904) #
Borucki has a (slim) chance of working the team's first Complete Game of the season. The 2016 team also had 0 CGs.
Mike Green - Monday, September 17 2018 @ 09:06 PM EDT (#365905) #
The way Walker is watching him, I'd say that the chances are extremely low.  I think they might even take him out if he's 98 pitches after 8...
Magpie - Monday, September 17 2018 @ 09:22 PM EDT (#365906) #
Actually, I'll bet he's out after this inning...
Mike Green - Monday, September 17 2018 @ 09:24 PM EDT (#365907) #
Beautiful defensive plays by Borucki and Jansen.  Mark Buehrle would be smiling if he saw Borucki's and Russell Martin would be smiling if he saw Jansen's.  Who said watching the kids play in September did not have any pleasures?
hypobole - Monday, September 17 2018 @ 09:31 PM EDT (#365908) #
That almost triple play started by Gurriel was fun as well
hypobole - Monday, September 17 2018 @ 09:38 PM EDT (#365909) #
105 pitches after 8.
SK in NJ - Monday, September 17 2018 @ 09:41 PM EDT (#365910) #
I would assume (hope) he's done after 105 pitches in 8 innings.
John Northey - Monday, September 17 2018 @ 09:47 PM EDT (#365911) #
Back in the olden days of the 1990's he'd be out for the 9th without anyone warming.  In the 00's someone warming, in the 10's he is out.
John Northey - Monday, September 17 2018 @ 10:10 PM EDT (#365912) #
For comparison...
1990's: Pedro Martinez pulled after 8 shutout innings: 1994: 1 (122 pitches); 1995: none (over 120 pitches twice in shutouts), 1996: 2 times, once ahead by 11, the other by 3 but started the 9th and allowed a runner
I think we see that he got lots of chances but it took a TON of pitches (remember in 1994 he was just converted from a reliever and was thought of as too small and slight to endure).

2000's: Roy Halladay: 2002: pulled twice after 8 shutout innings, 100-109 pitches.  Also after 7 103 pitches; 2003: pulled after 7 with just 68 pitches (injury?  10-1 final); 2004: pulled after 7 low 100's again.

Huh.  Seems the 100 pitch then out rule was in effect even in the early 2000's. 
Glevin - Tuesday, September 18 2018 @ 04:47 AM EDT (#365913) #
What Mike said on other thread. The Jays are not going to be the Orioles. They have some actual talent on the roster and could be average or above at a bunch of positions. It would not surprise me if next year's team was actually better than this year's. The Jays lost Happ and Donaldson but Donaldson was useless this year and Happ could be replaced by an overall better rotation and better health from Stroman/Sanchez.
scottt - Tuesday, September 18 2018 @ 06:20 AM EDT (#365915) #
I don't know why anyone would talk about the control person instead of the owners.
Unless we're dealing with a US source that doesn't understand the Jays ownership structure.
The Mets have a terrible system and an owner who involves himself with decisions.
Probably one of the worse places for Shapiro to end up. And it's not like Rogers doesn't pay him.
The next move for the Mets is probably to trade away their starters. Something that's not going to be very popular. The size of the payroll is comparable, I guess.

scottt - Tuesday, September 18 2018 @ 06:48 AM EDT (#365917) #
It's one thing to say that the delayed call eliminated the minute chance that Alford was going to be a super two and another to say outright that it's the reason for it. Can we stop assuming every decision the front office makes is on bad faith?

Alford has accumulated most of his service time while on the DL, anyway.
He just had another bad year. He didn't deserved to be called up at all.
The remote possibility that Pillar is traded over the winter would be a great outcome.
I think Alford brings the Jays roster to 38 with only Pompey (in the doghouse) and Drury (kinda rehabbing, sorta trying to figure out his new glasses) missing. That's a lot of service time. Some of it just given out to reward good minor league performance, Davis in particular.
There's too many outfielders for Gibby to manage. He's not a guy who likes having people sitting on the bench. Players used to be called or not called. Now we have late call ups. It's not just just black or white, there's a lot of gray here.

ISLAND BOY - Tuesday, September 18 2018 @ 07:05 AM EDT (#365919) #
It was funny last night that, because the crowd size was so small, you could actually hear the group of Blue Jays's fans cheering behind their dugout when the Jays scored their first runs.
whiterasta80 - Tuesday, September 18 2018 @ 08:00 AM EDT (#365921) #
As much as I hate the Orioles, I don't think that there's anything funny about small crowds in a historically good MLB market (at least in Camden Yards which is a legitimately nice park). This should be a serious concern going forward. MLB needs to think about pace of game, the impact of fewer balls in play, competitive balance (after a brief period of actual competitive balance), and promotion- including service time manipulation. Otherwise they will face an aging and diminishing fan base. These are just the early signs.
Chuck - Tuesday, September 18 2018 @ 08:28 AM EDT (#365922) #
MLB needs to think about pace of game, the impact of fewer balls in play, competitive balance

Everything you are saying may well be true, but I'm not sure how much they pertain to last night.

The Orioles are a historically bad team currently fielding a AAA-caliber roster, playing on a wet September night against a team not in the playoff picture, presumably still pricing their tickets as if you are seeing a MLB-caliber team.

Maybe all that doesn't warrant a crowd smaller than you'd see at most Starbucks at 8:00 in the morning, but it doesn't seem symptomatic of the bigger ills in the game.

scottt - Tuesday, September 18 2018 @ 09:15 AM EDT (#365923) #
I don't think balls in play, the pace of the game or the competitive balance affects the crowds.
I mean, balls in play? Would you skip a home game because the Jays starter could get 15 Ks?
Service time manipulations are probably a positive, not a negative, a few thousands less now versus many thousands more later.

What impacts the size of the crowds are losing teams. There's too many teams tanking so many rebuilds will fail.
Baltimore doesn't even have MLB caliber prospects to replace their veterans.
I've read that the gap between Machado and Baltimore on a long extension contract was around 1M per year. Peter Angelo is getting pretty old and MLB does not seem to know which of his 2 sons is their "control person".

bpoz - Tuesday, September 18 2018 @ 09:35 AM EDT (#365926) #
I agree with Glevin. The 2019 team should be better. We got swept by Boston but all close games. We were definitely competitive. Also competitive against NYY.
hypobole - Tuesday, September 18 2018 @ 09:39 AM EDT (#365927) #
To flesh out Chuck's "The Orioles are a historically bad team" comment, their .287 Win % this year is the worst since the Browns moved to Baltimore in 1954.

In over 100 years the franchise has existed, only the 43-111 1939 St. Louis Browns team (.279 Win %) had a worse record. And they finish the season @ NY, @ Bos, vs Hou, so that record may not be safe.
hypobole - Tuesday, September 18 2018 @ 09:48 AM EDT (#365928) #
On the injury front, from ESPN:

3B Brandon Drury had the brace removed from his fractured left hand and is beginning a strengthening regimen, to be followed by hitting. Drury is likely done for the season. ... RHP Justin Shafer had an MRI, which revealed a flexor strain in his right elbow. He will be shut down until the team returns to Toronto, then re-evaluated.
scottt - Tuesday, September 18 2018 @ 09:55 AM EDT (#365929) #
There's nowhere to rehab for Drury, so he shouldn't play. He would probably like to be with the other 38 players. Can't be easy.

Shafer had looked good and I was wondering why he wasn't pitching more.

Petey Baseball - Tuesday, September 18 2018 @ 10:04 AM EDT (#365931) #
I will continue to beat the "trade Russell Martin" drum. While no team will take the entirety of his contract obviously (and having to eat the contract while trading a Canadian player will be yet another PR hit for the front office), it's just too costly to have a guy taking up a spot on the 40 (and the 25 man) whose offensive skills have diminished to a point where he's waiting for a walk every at bat. His remaining defensive skills (which, short of finding the fountain of youth in off-season will take another step back) are the only thing keeping him in baseball right now. How can the Jays justify taking at bats away from Drury, Diaz, Gurriel, Urena, etc in favor of Martin? I don't get it.
hypobole - Tuesday, September 18 2018 @ 10:12 AM EDT (#365932) #
64 catchers have had 100 PA's this year. 24 have hit better than Martin. 39 have hit worse. The offensive bar for catchers is pretty low.
hypobole - Tuesday, September 18 2018 @ 10:14 AM EDT (#365933) #
There's nowhere to rehab for Drury

In theory, he could go down to instructs.
Chuck - Tuesday, September 18 2018 @ 10:39 AM EDT (#365934) #
In theory, he could go down to instructs.

Yes, he could hit them with his rhythm stick.

hypobole - Tuesday, September 18 2018 @ 10:43 AM EDT (#365935) #
That was a Blockhead comment, Chuck.
John Northey - Tuesday, September 18 2018 @ 11:10 AM EDT (#365936) #
Martin being traded is a high possibility this winter I think.  Nice to have a Canadian who likes being here, but really with Jansen, McGuire, Maile there really isn't a need for Martin anymore.  Yeah, the kids might all flop next year but all are good defensively so it wouldn't be a disaster.  Jays would have to eat his contract in a deal to get anything back.  Signing a decent AAAA guy to fill in in AAA in case the kids have issues shouldn't be hard too.

This winter is going to be a tough but fun one.  We'll see some more vets vanish and maybe some kids but it is all to set up a stretch like the 1983-1993 one where the Jays were in contention every year (pre-wildcard) thanks to tons of home grown talent.
AWeb - Tuesday, September 18 2018 @ 01:21 PM EDT (#365939) #
The Jays currently have a roster which would be ideally constructed to deconstruct in a reality where more teams were trying to be good, or at least passable, instead of the current focus on all-or-nothing roster building. Need an average infielder? The Jays have 4 or 5 possibilities. Need a decent catcher - roll the dice on one of these 3-4 guys! Need a DH/1B type to fill a hole on your roster? How about a decent OF? Pitching aside, the Jays have an overwhelming number of possible guys to trade, even after having traded 3 of them (Donaldson, Granderson, Pearce) already. With modern huge pitching staffs, they simply have too many major league/major league ready position players to get much use out of the roster.

I'm also (morbidly?) curious who will end up leading the team in various stats. HR could be any of 4 guys (Smoak leading with 24), similar with Runs scored (Smoak leads with 64 - this has to be the lowest team-leading total right now, right?). BA will depend on whether you think a team leader must reach the 502 PA qualifying total. If so, Smoak and Pillar are "battling" at .248. Smoak could win the team triple crown with a .250/25/80 line, and the "sabermetric" triple crown at .250/.355/.466. Ugh.

This team somehow is about average on offense, which I suppose makes sense when the team line is .244/.313/.427 - without paying too close attention, that could be the hitting line for any of a dozen guys this year.

Unsurprisingly, fangraphs has the Jays as the worst baserunning team and second worst defensive team, combining for 7-8 wins below average. Kind of like their offensive averageness, this is a real team effort with almost everyone being slightly below to below average at running the bases and playing defense.

Mission in 2019 - get better at literally everything!
Chuck - Tuesday, September 18 2018 @ 01:27 PM EDT (#365940) #
Smoak leads with 64 - this has to be the lowest team-leading total right now, right?

1977: Bob Bailor 62

Richard S.S. - Tuesday, September 18 2018 @ 01:48 PM EDT (#365941) #
The Blue Jay "24/7/365" Facility at the Minor League site in Dunedin is/should be finished by now and fully staffed. Brandon Drury and others should be rehabbing there. This site can also be used to stay sharp and getting ready for next year.
Magpie - Tuesday, September 18 2018 @ 01:48 PM EDT (#365942) #
Smoak leads with 64 - this has to be the lowest team-leading total right now, right?

Unless you mean this year in the majors. Trey Mancini leads the Orioles with 63.
hypobole - Tuesday, September 18 2018 @ 01:58 PM EDT (#365944) #
Unsurprisingly, fangraphs has the Jays as the worst baserunning team

Gibby has to bear some responsibility. Kinda understand why he did this after we grounded into the 2nd most DP's last year, but lots of hit-and-runs ended up with a swinging strike/runner thrown out at 2nd.

And this might be the worst year for the strategy. Our GB% is actually 6th lowest in MLB, but only 2 teams have a higher Swinging Strike rate.
AWeb - Tuesday, September 18 2018 @ 02:00 PM EDT (#365945) #
I did mean this year, and it makes sense the Orioles are the team behind. With McCutcheon traded from the Giants, they are likely to wind up last in this category (current team leader has 58). Giants team RBI leader is also McCutcheon, with 55. Would that be a record low? Guys on the team might push it to 60 with a good week or two.

If I recall some basic research I did a few weeks ago, the Jays BA team lead will be an all-time low, barring a major hot streak in the next 10 games. This team is just boring, as I've noted before.
Magpie - Tuesday, September 18 2018 @ 02:05 PM EDT (#365946) #
Martin being traded is a high possibility this winter I think.

I don't share the general enthusiasm. I look at the likelihood of three green kids in the 2019 rotation and the prospect of heading into the season with two even greener catchers loses much of its charm. By the standards of AL catchers, Martin - even the 2018 version - is an average hitter, an above average defender, and still someone who gets results from his pitchers.
rpriske - Tuesday, September 18 2018 @ 03:00 PM EDT (#365947) #
I think the odds of Martin being traded in the off-season is quite low. Maile is more likely to be traded than Martin.

SHOULD the Jays trade him? Well, sure. They should trade Tulowitzki too.  But just because there was once a Vernon Wells trade doesn't mean there is ALWAYS a team willing to take on a player who jams up a roster with a below average player.

Lylemcr - Tuesday, September 18 2018 @ 03:15 PM EDT (#365948) #
I think Martin is more likely to retire than be traded. I wonder if his new found fatherhood will make him want to just be with his child.
Chuck - Tuesday, September 18 2018 @ 03:21 PM EDT (#365949) #
I wonder if his new found fatherhood will make him want to just be with his child.

I dunno, another 20M buys a lot of Pampers.

hypobole - Tuesday, September 18 2018 @ 03:47 PM EDT (#365950) #
Maybe the Jays can push Martin into pulling an Adam Laroche by removing the diaper change table from the dugout.
Magpie - Tuesday, September 18 2018 @ 05:15 PM EDT (#365951) #
I dunno, another 20M buys a lot of Pampers.

That it does. And a few months of waking up at 3:00 AM every night could have him looking forward to spring training.
bpoz - Tuesday, September 18 2018 @ 08:03 PM EDT (#365958) #
I love da Box. Always interesting. Don't spill the milk.
bpoz - Tuesday, September 18 2018 @ 08:38 PM EDT (#365962) #
Is Bundy a finesse pitcher and our young guys cannot handle him?
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, September 18 2018 @ 08:55 PM EDT (#365965) #
With Baltimore it's hard to tell if it's a Good Pitcher having a bad year or a Bad Pitcher having a good year.
Magpie - Tuesday, September 18 2018 @ 09:09 PM EDT (#365967) #
Is Bundy a finesse pitcher and our young guys cannot handle him?

He doesn't throw as hard as Sanchez but he misses more bats. He'd struck out 166 guys in 156 IP coming into tonight, which is more Ks/9 than any Toronto starter this year (now that Happ is a Yankee.)
Magpie - Tuesday, September 18 2018 @ 09:13 PM EDT (#365968) #
Bundy's big problem this year has been the Home Run - he's allowed 38 of them, which beggars all description, and leads the league. Tonight was the first time he'd managed to not allow a homer since 23 June against the Atlanta. He'd allowed 20 HRs in the intervening 12 starts.
Magpie - Tuesday, September 18 2018 @ 09:16 PM EDT (#365969) #
"So Mr Bundy.... which team gives you the most problems?"

"The Orioles."
SK in NJ - Tuesday, September 18 2018 @ 09:42 PM EDT (#365970) #
Happ with another good start for the Yankees, this time against the Red Sox. I think we might have to stop with the proposals of bringing Happ back. Not that he wouldn't be interested, but rather he's going to be in demand, and likely from contenders (if not the Yankees themselves). I was OK with offering him something like 2/30, but that might be on the low end of what he ends up with.

Of course, after last winter's free agency, that could be the high end, too. Who knows.
Nigel - Tuesday, September 18 2018 @ 10:44 PM EDT (#365972) #
I will admit to the appreciation of two types of players that is disproportionate to their actual value: LOOGYs (because doesn’t David Ortiz always seem to be up when bad things are going down?) and LHH catchers who can actually field their position (because don’t they seem to answer so many daily lineup questions?). In that vein, I will admit to an irrational liking for what I have seen so far from Fernandez and McGuire. LHH C’s are found gold.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, September 18 2018 @ 11:52 PM EDT (#365973) #
The difference between Pitching for New York Yankees and the Jays is immense for Happ. Better Offence, better Defense and a Solid Bullpen offer him much, much more. Yet he was a mid-Rotation type for the Jays this year and look at him now.

Now look at who's actually having a good year for the Jays' Pitchers this year. How good would they be pitching with better Offense, better Defense and a Solid Bullpen?

All of a sudden, I'm not worried about the Pitching as much. Good Pitching shows up no matter how bad your Team is, always has and always will. Better Offense, better Defense and a Solid Bullpen can make any Pitching, even poor Pitching better, sometimes much better. The Jays don't need great Pitching just better Defense and better Offense.

ISLAND BOY - Wednesday, September 19 2018 @ 08:00 AM EDT (#365976) #
I think you would have to have super defense to make Estrada and Gaviglio better this year. I agree that good defense will help a pitcher, and a solid offense will overcome some mediocre starts.( Outscoring the other team despite giving up several runs ). The Jays pitchers this year, though, just did not pitch well enough. The team needs to improve in every aspect of the game next year.

Off-topic but has anyone noticed the numbers Mike Trout is putting up this season ? 9.6 WAR, .319 batting avg., .466 OBP,.629 SLG., 1.095 OPS Wow.
AWeb - Wednesday, September 19 2018 @ 09:33 AM EDT (#365977) #
Throwing out his 40 game 19 year old season, Trout is now at 10.1 bWAR/162 games for the last 7 years. Babe Ruth managed 10.5/162 as a position player for his career, but only a few others have ever managed a stretch averaging above 10 WAR/162 over even 7 years, and it's only the greatest players of all time (Mays, Mantle, Bonds, Williams, Cobb, Wagner, Hornsby might be it, and that's a list that skews old...only 1 guy post-expansion). The Jays have never had a position player crack 9 WAR (Hi 1997 Clemens!). I hope Trout just keeps going for another decade, after the Jays trade for him of course. Guerrero Jr for Trout?
hypobole - Wednesday, September 19 2018 @ 02:39 PM EDT (#365988) #
Estrada tonight, Gaviglio vs Tampa tomorrow. Yacabonis going tonight for the O's.
uglyone - Wednesday, September 19 2018 @ 02:54 PM EDT (#365989) #
Laurila interviews Gibby:
grjas - Wednesday, September 19 2018 @ 03:03 PM EDT (#365990) #
Trout could be one of the best globally known sports figures with a bit more marketing and self promotion.

On the other hand, I respect him that much more because he just plays his game and supports his team. One of the truly good guys.
hypobole - Wednesday, September 19 2018 @ 05:10 PM EDT (#365996) #
Unsurprisingly, Gibby thinks Russ Martin would make a great manager.

Very surprisingly, one of the few other names he threw out there as manager material - J. P. Arencibia. Never would have guessed.
Nigel - Wednesday, September 19 2018 @ 07:25 PM EDT (#366003) #
In the grand scheme of things this doesn’t really matter for tonight’s game, but the decision to play Hernandez in RF when Estrada is on the mound is an example of something that Gibbons has really struggled with the past couple of seasons. The current starters have some GB/FB tendencies that Gibbons could exploit to use his subpar defenders to better effect. But no, ‘‘tis not to be.
ayjackson - Wednesday, September 19 2018 @ 09:16 PM EDT (#366004) #
Does Ruth's WAR stat have a defense component?
AWeb - Wednesday, September 19 2018 @ 10:05 PM EDT (#366005) #
Ruth's WAR does have a defensive component - he rates as above average for his career for his position (RField of 79, dWAR -2.3 after position adjustments). He obviously had a good arm, and was a gifted all around athlete, especially for his day. The old fat Ruth I picture comes from videos only being common later in his career, and of course having one of the biggest fattest faces in history. Even if you zero-out his defense though, that's still leaves his around 10 WAR/162 for his career as a position player. He also had a 13 year stretch averaging 11.8 WAR/162 games.
ayjackson - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 12:15 AM EDT (#366007) #
My thought was that Trout gets a lot more dWAR than Ruth and that's still likely true, though I am surprised that a) they have a way of calculating dWAR from 80 years ago and b) that Ruth was that strong a fielder.
dan gordon - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 12:45 AM EDT (#366008) #
Tampa won again tonight and closed to just 5 games behind Oakland for the 2nd wild card. The Rays have the best record in baseball since late July, 32-13. They have a lot of good hitters you might not be very familiar with like Adames, Duffy, Smith and Wendle, recently added Pham, and Cron has 27 HR's. As usual, the pitching looks quite good, with Snell looking like a strong Cy Young bet, Yarbrough, Glasnow pitching well since being acquired from Pittsburgh, and the usual assortment of no-name but effective relievers. That's with the trade of Archer, too.
Glevin - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 07:23 AM EDT (#366009) #
I think the Jays are more likely to trade Maile than Martin. Maile has a little value is pretty replaceable internally with McGuire or some other option long-term and Martin is untradable unless you eat almost his entire contract. I'd be fine with that. Martin still has some value with a young pitching staff and defensive versatility and I think a very good attitude. I'd much prefer they spend their buyout money shedding Tulo's salary. Tulo is probably the Jays' 3rd best SS right now and with Bichette coming up, I have no idea where he would even play. This is going to be a super interesting offseason because almost nobody is safe and the Jays will certainly get rid of a few players.
AWeb - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 07:53 AM EDT (#366010) #
dWAR from Ruth's day is based on stuff you can get out of play-by-play data (number of plays, number of chances, errors, etc.). The old dWAR methods can still be done in modern times, and have been checked to be sure they line up as expected. As I understand it, the older defensive data tends to be "flatter" than the modern defensive metrics which are able to take difficulty of plays into account, but will generally point you in the same directions. The older defensive stats have also usually matched up reputations, well enough to figure the discrepancies are likely due to faulty reputations, not faulty stats.

Keeping on Trout, one of the reasons his first full year had his best dWAR was because he stole 4 or 5 HRs that year, which gets you huge defensive credit in the modern system. In old systems, those plays are just catches on flyballs, but in new systems you get credit for -1 HR, essentially. Some years an OF might not get a chance to steal a HR at all, since it takes a flyball hit in a very narrow range within the fielding range, so seasons like that tend to be real, but not replicable. Overall Trout gets more dWAR because he plays an average CF (his DH time hurt him this year a bit), which includes a positive positional adjustment, compared to Ruth's above average corner OF which gets dinged a bit.
scottt - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 08:10 AM EDT (#366015) #
Ruth had also a couple of great pitching years. Assuming 8 WAR is good for a pitcher that throws 300 innings.
Glevin - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 08:15 AM EDT (#366016) #
One of the most interesting stories in baseball this year for me is the Rockies. The vast majority of MLB teams now are well run. They use analytics, they don't overspend on old free agents, etc...Colorado seems to be an exception. They are 1.5 GB in the WC and 2.5 GB in the West. They have two massive holes in the team at 1B (Desmond) and LF (Parra). What would infuriate me if I were a Rockies' fan is that these were not new holes. Parra was -1 WAR over the past 2 seasons. Desmond was almost -1 WAR in his first season in Colorado. Additionally, unlike say, elite starting pitching, these were extremely easy and cheap holes to fix. Here's what's even crazier
1) They spent tons of money in the offseason. Just on relievers Davis, McGee and Shaw. They have combined for 0.2 WAR this year.
2) They didn't need much to upgrade. Forget about Lorenzo Cain. Curtis Granderson and Matt Adams takes them into a playoff position.(1 year/$9M combined)
3) At the deadline, even when these weaknesses were even more obvious, they still did nothing. 1Bman and corner OFers were super cheap. Adams, Pearce, Bour, Duda, Voit all were traded for nothing or minimal cost. Plenty of other pieces were available and wouldn't have cost much. They only added another reliever (Oh) who has been replacement level.
4) In addition to these 2 black holes, the Rockies have given 131 PAs to Pat Valaika who has a WRC+ of 4 and they have given 151 PAs to Noel Cuevas who has a WRC+ of 42. They have given around 2,200 PAs to players who have WRC+ under 80. The Jays, by contrast, a rebuilding team, have given around 1/10th of those PAs to similar players. 7/13 Rockies hitters with over 100 PAs have a WAR under 0.1.

It is a level of mismanagement that is baffling.
uglyone - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 08:35 AM EDT (#366018) #
"The older defensive stats have also usually matched up reputations"

one interesting exception being one Roberto Alomar, who the stats say was a fairly mediocre defender overall.
Mike Green - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 08:38 AM EDT (#366019) #
Yes, Glevin.  And you'd think that Justin Smoak would have been a natural there if the Rockies had interest at the deadline.
Magpie - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 08:46 AM EDT (#366020) #
Roberto Alomar, who the stats say was a fairly mediocre defender overall.

Alomar spent what should have been his defensive prime (ages 23-27) playing half his games on turf. I always thought Alomar was a very good defender on grass and a very mediocre defender on turf. It was all about his positioning. He needed to back up at least 10 feet further on the turf than he ever did. It was as if he was still playing on grass. Many of those spectacular looking plays he made should have been fairly routine.
SK in NJ - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 09:01 AM EDT (#366021) #
I'm probably being unreasonable, but I want the Jays to trade for Jon Gray, and the way the Rockies are run is the only reason I think it's even a remote possibility that he would be moved.
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