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The last home stand of the season, beginning tonight.

The Jays went 4-5 on the road trip, which perhaps counts as a moral victory. Before it began, I thought 2-7 was definitely in prospect and 1-8 was very much a possibility. John Gibbons now needs just 3 wins in the team's last 10 to finish above .500 for his Jays career, and the team needs 4 of the 10 to avoid 90 losses. Unfortunately for all concerned, the remaining games are played against either a) the defending World Champs or b) the hottest team in the whole major leagues. Tampa was sitting at .500, 53-53 on the 29th of July.† They've gone 32-13 since and as you'll recall, their big moves at the deadline involved trading a couple of All-Stars (Wilson Ramos and Chris Archer) to the National League.

It's time for them to cool off a bit, no?

Thu 7:07 - Gaviglio (3-8, 5.25) vs Stanek (2-3, 2.49) et. al.
Fri 7:07 - Reid-Foley (2-3, 5.54) vs Guys Who Didn't Pitch on Thursday
Sat 4:07 - Pannone (3-1, 3.77) vs Glasnow (2-6, 4.06)
Sun 1:07 - Borucki (4-4, 3.86) vs Snell (20-5, 1.97)

Tampa is about to become the first team in the game's long history to assign more innings to relief pitchers (759.2 IPand counting) than to their starters (591 IP so far.) Naturally, they also have the only 20 game winner in the majors and the AL's probable Cy Young winner because nothing makes any sense, and expecting anything to make sense will only make you crazy. Tampa's starters have posted a 3.58 ERA so far, which is the third best figure in the AL, and slightly better than what they've received from their relievers (3.61).† Blake Snell is a starting pitcher, of course, and he also accounts for a much larger chunk of his team's total starter innings than any pitcher in the majors.

You will recall that the Blue Jays went into the 2018 expecting (well, hoping) that their starters would prove to be the team's strength. And that they were what would, if† anything could, make this season fun and successful. The starters gone 38-60, 5.17 and only two starting crews in the league have been worse (Texas and Baltimore.) And I thought the bullpen was bad. (Well, they are. But still...)
Rays at Toronto | 163 comments | Create New Account
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scottt - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 08:00 AM EDT (#366011) #
Still pondering the possibility of resigning Happ, I wonder how many players has had 3 separate stints with the Blue Jays. Who knows where to find the answer?

hypobole - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 08:04 AM EDT (#366012) #
"The Rays have the best record in baseball since late July, 32-13."

This comment was from from dan's post in the previous thread. And it's not like the Rays should be any worse next year. They only have 2 FA's of note - Carlos Gomez and Sergio Romo, who are a combined 0.5 WAR this year.

I know I'm not an optimist by nature, and people very much disagreed with my 90 loss prediction next season. But there will more than likely be 3 elite teams in our division next year that will comprise over 1/3 of our schedule. Can't see us being good (even if our record will be worse than our true talent level) or throwing money at short term assets, like Happ.

The only advantage we have over the Rays is money. How smartly our FO uses that advantage (with the usual Rogers caveat) in addition to properly following through on the 2021 plan will be crucial.
Magpie - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 08:07 AM EDT (#366013) #
Well, Tony Fernandez springs to mind. El Cabeza actually had four stints in Toronto: 1) the brilliant young shortstop (1983-1990) 2) the second World Series year (1993) 3) the third-baseman because he couldn't play 2b (1998-1999) 4) the last lap as a pinch-hitter deluxe (2001.)

But I'm sure there have been others...
hypobole - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 08:09 AM EDT (#366014) #
Magpie, might want to change your post - only 10, not 13, games left for Gibby - 4 vs Tampa, 3 vs Houston, 3 @ Tampa.
Magpie - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 08:15 AM EDT (#366017) #
I have lost the ability to count and add. SAD.
ISLAND BOY - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 09:11 AM EDT (#366022) #
I can't name anyone who played three times with the Jays and I even have trouble naming any who did so twice, although there must be several. The only ones I can think of off the top of my head are Edwin Encarnicion who was claimed on waivers by Oakland but never played with them, and Alfredo Griffin.
hypobole - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 09:17 AM EDT (#366023) #
Stieb was twice
Magpie - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 09:34 AM EDT (#366024) #
Lots and lots of guys with two tours. Besides Encarnacion, Stieb and Griffin, there's Pat Borders, Mark Eichhorn, Tony Castillo, Pat Hentgen, David Cone, Jim Acker, Rico Carty, Shannon Stewart, John McDonald, Cliff Johnson, Candy Maldonado. Bound to be more than that.
Magpie - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 09:35 AM EDT (#366025) #
I forgot Jacob Brumfield. I feel shame.
Magpie - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 09:36 AM EDT (#366026) #
Chris Woodward!
hypobole - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 09:36 AM EDT (#366027) #
Jason Frasor, Brad Mills twice.
hypobole - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 09:39 AM EDT (#366028) #
and this guy

hypobole - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 09:44 AM EDT (#366029) #
"Nate Snell is a starting pitcher, of course, and he also accounts for a much larger chunk of his team's total starter innings than any pitcher in the majors."

Pretty impressive for a 66 yr. old.:)
uglyone - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 09:48 AM EDT (#366030) #
did morrow get injured again?

can't even stay healthy as a reliever.
TA - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 09:48 AM EDT (#366031) #
Rob Ducey, Rob Butler, Paul Spoljaric are other "two timers."
Magpie - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 09:54 AM EDT (#366032) #
Pretty impressive for a 66 yr. old.:)

Details, details.
Magpie - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 09:56 AM EDT (#366033) #
I'm not a morning person?
hypobole - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 09:58 AM EDT (#366034) #
Your memory is too good, Magpie. How many of us can recall random relievers from 30 years ago?
Chuck - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 10:25 AM EDT (#366035) #
One minute to Wapner. Oh boy, definitely one minute to Wapner.
Mike Green - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 10:26 AM EDT (#366036) #
The worst numbers in the rotation (with any significant amount of work) belong to Estrada and Garcia.   The best (of course) belong to Happ. Aging has not been kind to the Blue Jays the last two years, but it does seem that we won't be worrying much about that over the next five years or so.

Everyone will be keeping a sharp eye on Nasty Nate Pearson in the AFL. 

Magpie - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 10:49 AM EDT (#366037) #
How many of us can recall random relievers from 30 years ago?

Tony Castillo was not a random reliever! One of my all-time favourites!
hypobole - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 11:01 AM EDT (#366038) #
Joey McLaughlin was not a random reliever either. He was definitely not one of my all time favourites, but I'll never be able to erase his name from my mind.
Mike Green - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 11:25 AM EDT (#366039) #
I done two tours of duty...
Chuck - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 11:28 AM EDT (#366040) #
Some random thoughts on Joey:
  • apparently his given name was Joey, not Joseph or Jedediah or anything
  • he was done playing by age 28
  • fans of a certain vintage all carry Joey scars
  • a quick perusal of his stats doesn't make obvious why those scars exist
mathesond - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 11:39 AM EDT (#366041) #
a quick perusal of his stats doesn't make obvious why those scars exist

Yeah, I remember some months ago looking him up on BBref (it must have been when we has on BBTF's birthday team), and thinking he was better than I remembered. BUt I do remember the crowd at the Ex lustily jeering "Jo-ey Jo-ey" after yet another blown lead. (Must have been '83). Of course, his mishaps eventually led to the Bill Caudill experience...
Mike Green - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 11:43 AM EDT (#366042) #
I'd suggest that the reason for the McLaughlin scars can be found in his WPA record.  He was with the Blue Jays from 1980-84.  In 1980-81, the club was terrible and in last place.  Joey  was a completely serviceable pitcher during those year.  In 1982, the club finished 78-84 in 6th place out of 7 and Joey was again serviceable.  The scars arise mostly from his 1983-84 (particularly 1983) performance.  The club was better, finishing 89-73 both years, and Joey was worse, a lot worse.  And he was in a key role.  In 1983, he had an ERA of 4.45, and pitched worse than that, with leverage of 2.02.  It all led to -3.23 WPA.  The club was one and a half games out in late August, and with better relief pitching, they might very well have been in the middle of a pennant race in September.  McLaughlin was not quite as bad in 1984 and there was no way that they were going to keep up with the Tigers anyways. 
ISLAND BOY - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 11:51 AM EDT (#366043) #
Acch, Joey McLaughlin ! I have watched the Jays since their inaugural game and he stands out as one of the worst relievers ever. He actually started 10 games when he first came to the Jays.

I knew there must have been numerous two-time Jays. I completely forgot David Cone was a Jay twice. I can add another double-stint name-- the immortal Deck McGuire !
hypobole - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 11:58 AM EDT (#366044) #
Same side batters absolutely tattooed him in '83. 275/364/500. And as Mike pointed out, his greatest attribute that year seems to have been not having "blown saves" as a stat back then.
John Northey - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 12:03 PM EDT (#366045) #
McLaughlin via BR in 1983 had 9 saves, 2 holds, and 11 blown saves.  Yes, 11 blown in 22 chances.  Ouch.  Now that is ugly.  3 times he vultured a win and twice he lost the game as well.  the other 6 he blew it but someone else got the decisions (team went 4-2) so in his 11 blown saves the team actually didn't do too bad - 7-4.  Bit of a surprise, still with Henke or Ward or many other closers who were good that would've been 9-2 or better.

Other relievers were...
After 1983 the Jays went and got Dennis Lamp to close which also wasn't too swift.
  • Dennis Lamp: 9 saves, 5 blown, 4 holds
  • Roy Lee Jackson: 10-7-6
  • Jimmy Key: 10-7-8 as a 23 year old rookie
  • Jim Gott: 2-3-1 - was a better starter than closer then at age 24, but someday would become a real closer for Pittsburgh  4 years later, then got hurt and missed nearly a full year.
  • Jim Acker: 1-2-1 still learning at this point
  • Ron Musselman: 1-0-1, always thought he deserved more of a chance, but only pitched in 1985 then 2 more years in the minors.
Then came the Caudill deal and the 'huh, what do you know' acquisition of Tom Henke and Jays history would be changed.
Magpie - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 12:06 PM EDT (#366046) #
One week in August 1983. The Jays, who had never managed a winning season, were actually leading the division at the All-Star Break and still holding onto first place near the end of July. Despite losing 8 of 9 in early August, they were still hanging in there in the midst of a 14 game road trip.

They won 6 of the first 9 and on 24 August Jim Clancy took a 3-1 lead into the 9th against Baltimore. He ran out of gas, Dave Geisel coughed up the lead but Joey escaped the jam and we went to extras. Cliff Johnson led off the 10th with a HR, the next 3 Jays all reached base, all eager to run on Orioles catcher Lenn Sakata (a backup infielder filling in behind the plate because Altobelli had used all his catchers.) Tippy Martinez picked each one off first base in succession. Well, the Jays were still up 4-3, but Joey instantly gave up a game tying HR to Ripken, a walk, an intentional walk and then Randy Moffit got tagged for a three-run walkoff by... Lenn Sakata? Yes.

The next night Dave Stieb pitched nine innings of four-hit shutout. The Jays took the lead in the 10th. Jackson came in to finish up, and after a pair of singles and a two-run double... it was finished.

The next night tied at 3-3 after nine but clearly too traumatized to go to the pen at all, Bobby Cox sent Jim Gott back out for the tenth and Trammell delivered a walkoff homer.

The next night, Joey relieved Dour Doyle in the 8th with a 5-3 lead. He gave up two singles, a walk, and a wild pitch but escaped with a 5-4 lead and the team wisely tagged on some insurance to break the mind-numbing streak of walk-off losses.

But there was one game left on the Road Trip from Hell. The Jays behind Luis Leal took a 2-1 lead to the ninth. Geisel got the first out, then walked Parrish. Moffitt got the secnd out. Joey came on, gave up a single to Leach and the three-run walkoff to Chet Lemon.

It's the type of thing that scars you for life.
ISLAND BOY - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 12:17 PM EDT (#366047) #
I remember watching the three baserunners getting picked off in succession. I couldn't believe it ! Has it ever happened before or since in MLB ?
Magpie - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 12:35 PM EDT (#366048) #
I don't know, but surely there's a record that will never be broken!
hypobole - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 12:37 PM EDT (#366049) #
John, I can't find either the Holds or Blown Saves on BR.
Magpie - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 12:47 PM EDT (#366050) #
Apparently the Tippy Martinez game (voted by Orioles fans as one of the five most memorable games in team history - geez, they've won multiple championships) is unique in the annals of the game. The first pick-off (Bonnell) was actually a POCS as Bonnell continued toward second, stopped, and was tagged out by Murray.

The other thing I remember about Tippy is how he and Lowenstein used to play head games with the visiting team's writers. They all just assumed that Lowenstein was Jewish (he isn't) and Martinez was Latino (he's from Colorado.) Lowenstein would talk seriously about the role of the Jewish athlete and Martinez would pretend he didn't speak English when he actually didn't speak Spanish.
Magpie - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 12:58 PM EDT (#366051) #
The concept of five most memorable games is a good one, especially if you leave out the post-season (because after the Carter HR, the bat flip, the Alomar HR, Nixon's bunt - you've pretty much filled the quota.)

But, yeah. The Tippy Martinez game would probably make the cut.
ISLAND BOY - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 01:21 PM EDT (#366052) #
I read recently that Alfredo Griffin was in the on-deck circle when Carter hit his famous homerun. It was his last appearance as a major league player.

I would say Dave Stieb's first no-hitter was a memorable game, especially after he came so close before that.
Glevin - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 01:27 PM EDT (#366053) #
Those Stieb near no hitters were ridiculous. A lucky bounce and a fluky flare over the iIF in back to back starts! Three no hitters lost with two outs in the ninth in two years. At least Roberto Kelly actually hit the ball hard.
Mike Green - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 01:28 PM EDT (#366054) #
In the glass-half full department, it should be noted that Lloyd Moseby and Willie Upshaw blossomed into stars in 1983 (and Bell, Barfield and Fernandez began their ascents in 1984).  The scars were worth it.
ISLAND BOY - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 01:30 PM EDT (#366055) #
Okay, I googled an old Bluebird Banter piece recounting the game. Apparently Martinez was one of 8 pitchers to ever have picked off three baserunners in a game, and the only one to get three in one inning.

As a side note, the three were Barry Bonnell, Dave Collins, and Willie Upshaw. When Upshaw was caught it was Buck Martinez who was at the plate.
Magpie - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 01:34 PM EDT (#366056) #
The Roberto Kelly was the most intense, gripping game I've ever attended, and I was there for the Carter HR in October. So it definitely makes my list.

Anyone else remember the Felix Escalona Game?
Chuck - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 02:19 PM EDT (#366057) #
1983 had 9 saves, 2 holds, and 11 blown saves. Yes, 11 blown in 22 chances

I wonder how many of the blown saves were really blown holds. Not defending Joey, but blown saves is a terrible stat for non-closers. If you are a middle reliever, you are almost never in position to get a save but often in position to blow a save, even in the 6th inning, say. And even in a game your team wins. (That's right, isn't it? You can get a blown save in a win if your team comes back and wins?)

Chuck - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 02:21 PM EDT (#366058) #
I can't find either the Holds or Blown Saves on BR.

If you hover over the save total, a pop-up will show the blown saves as well.

Chuck - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 02:28 PM EDT (#366059) #
Randy Moffitt, a name making the rounds in Magpie's breezy historical accounts. I'm sure many will know who his sister is. She's someone getting a little ink these days for a variety of reasons.
James W - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 02:33 PM EDT (#366060) #
You are correct Chuck. Further evidence at the uselessness of the save statistic.
hypobole - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 02:37 PM EDT (#366061) #
If you hover over the save total, a pop-up will show the blown saves as well.

Thanks, Chuck.
Mike Green - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 02:53 PM EDT (#366062) #
How bad was McLaughlin's -3.23 WPA in 1983?  Well, in 2018, among 797 pitchers, only Jason Hammel was worse at -3.57 and that was throwing 125 innings with a really bad defence behind him.  Nobody had a number below -3 in 2017. 

Joey had a hellacious 1983- there's no getting around it. 
Chuck - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 03:06 PM EDT (#366063) #
Thanks, Mike. I knew there was a reason the name Joey could still trigger a shudder even 35 years later. How YOU doin'? Not good, Joey, not good at all.
Magpie - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 04:10 PM EDT (#366064) #
You can get a blown save in a win if your team comes back and wins?

Just the other day, as I was scanning the box scores, I noticed some fellow had picked up a Hold while taking the Loss. Which is also a neat trick.
Magpie - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 04:14 PM EDT (#366065) #
If you hover over the save total, a pop-up will show the blown saves as well.

Never noticed that before. Nice. (I've always clicked through to the Detailed Stats.)
Magpie - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 04:21 PM EDT (#366066) #
I wonder how many of [Joey's] blown saves were really blown holds.

By staggering coincidence, I looked into that very question last September, whilst I was fretting about all of Osuna's Blown Saves. And discovered this:

McLaughlin had what we'd regard as 22 Save Opps, and just 3 of them were Modern Closer, starting the 9th inning with a lead. The team had a 1 run lead on all three occasions. McLaughlin closed the game successfully twice, and Blew the Save once. Of his other 7 saves, 6 times he came on in the 7th or 8th inning; once he came on with 2 out in the 9th, ahead by two runs, but with the bases loaded. McLaughlin also has 2 Holds - he came in the 8th inning with a lead, and passed that lead to another reliever.

Of McLaughlin's 11 Blown Saves, besides the 1 Modern Closer type just mentioned, he had 3 others when he entered in the 9th inning. On all three occasions, the tying run was already on base. Of his other 7 Blown Saves - twice he started the eighth inning clean with a 1 run lead; twice he came on in the eighth inning with the tying run on base; and three times he came on in the seventh inning with the tying run in scoring position. So yes, Joey blew 11 Saves in 1983, but the Degree of Difficulty was somewhat more challenging.

Fine. Joey still sucked.
hypobole - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 04:55 PM EDT (#366068) #
Francisco Cordero managed a-3.5 WPA in 2012. -1.7 with the Jays, -1.8 with the Astros. Amazingly, that Astros debacle was managed in 6 games. Traded July 20, last pitched Aug 1, released Sept 10.
dan gordon - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 05:00 PM EDT (#366069) #
That 3 pickoff game was one of my least favourite moments in watching baseball.

As a Giants' fan I'm quite familiar with Randy Moffitt, so I know who his sister is. For those still thinking it over, I won't give her name, but she's a very famous athlete.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 05:16 PM EDT (#366070) #
That 3 pickoff game was a disaster for the Jays. It went like this:
1st Out: Out at 3B on popup slide, bad call by umpire;
2nd Out: Pickoff at 1B after reaching on a Single;
3rd Out: Pickoff at 1B after reaching on a Single.

This inning cost the Jays the Game, the A.L.C.S. Series and a World Series Berth in 1985.
Thomas - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 05:22 PM EDT (#366071) #
It also resulted in Donald Trump's electoral victory.
Magpie - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 05:24 PM EDT (#366072) #
You're thinking of a different game, Richard. We've been remembering the Tippy Martinez two years earlier (August 24, 1983), and all three runners were picked off first base.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 07:40 PM EDT (#366073) #
Of Course. My game still hurts.

On another note, nice HR for Rowdy.
Magpie - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 07:49 PM EDT (#366074) #
Gaviglio recording an assist on four of the first five batters (how about that for defensive positioning?) naturally got me wondering what the record might be.

Most assists in a game by a pitcher is... 11. It's been done six times, none of them recent. Last time was by Rip (the original Eephus) Sewell of the Pirates in June 1941. Geez, my dad was still a toddler back then.
uglyone - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 10:22 PM EDT (#366076) #
sure feels nice to crush the Rays (faint) hopes for a change.
Super Bluto - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 10:23 PM EDT (#366077) #
Season's highlight? Pretty amazing.
dan gordon - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 10:24 PM EDT (#366078) #
That's got to be one of the biggest 9th inning come from behind wins in team history. You can say it doesn't matter, but it was a lot of fun watching it. You think these guys don't care about winning? Did you see the dugout? They were going nuts.
greenfrog - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 10:52 PM EDT (#366080) #
Itís funny ó I havenít watched baseball in quite a while, but I tuned in for the last few innings of this one. The comeback was fun to watch.

I wonder if Smoak might have enough trade value this off-season to net a decent return. He could be a useful player for a contender looking for a true first baseman for a year at a reasonable price. Heís not flashy, but he has been durable and fairly valuable for a couple of years now.
SK in NJ - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 11:09 PM EDT (#366081) #
What the FO does with Smoak and Pillar this winter will be interesting to see. My hunch is that they will hold on to both and trade them at the deadline, with the expectation of Tellez and Alford taking over 1B and CF respectively mid-season, but since Atkins effectively admitted that 2019 was going to be a down year (unlike 2018 when they clearly wanted to sneak into a WC spot), maybe they move both before the season starts.

Smoak (surprisingly) was not claimed off waivers in August, and he likely could have helped a playoff team or two. Not sure he has much trade value. His contract is very reasonable, so it might just be that first basemen in general simply don't have much value nowadays. Pillar is probably in the same spot value-wise, but for different reasons (all D/no bat players don't hold much value, especially in Pillar's case as his defense is declining and he's getting more expensive).
hypobole - Thursday, September 20 2018 @ 11:58 PM EDT (#366083) #
As a Giants' fan I'm quite familiar with Randy Moffitt, so I know who his sister is. For those still thinking it over, I won't give her name, but she's a very famous athlete.

Moffitt was a Giant on the field. She was a giant in her field. Now she's a Dodger.
hypobole - Friday, September 21 2018 @ 01:33 AM EDT (#366084) #
Funny the Rays would do that the same day we were reminiscing about Joey McLaughlin.
dan gordon - Friday, September 21 2018 @ 01:52 AM EDT (#366085) #
Tied the team's all time record for biggest 9th inning come from behind win, set last year.
Magpie - Friday, September 21 2018 @ 03:04 AM EDT (#366086) #
They won?

But... they'd given up. I saw Biagini come in and everything. I needed a nap.

I should have known. Baseball, eh.
ISLAND BOY - Friday, September 21 2018 @ 06:46 AM EDT (#366087) #
So how does using a relief pitcher in the first few innings look when you end up losing a game like the Rays did last night? I'm not being facetious, just wondering what people think of the Rays new strategy. They have a good record so is it working overall?
scottt - Friday, September 21 2018 @ 06:54 AM EDT (#366088) #
Yeah. I watched the first 4 innings, then I took a long break and when I came back it was only the 7th inning and they were down 8-2, so I called it a night.

In the only race that still matters in the AL, Oakland is 1.5 behind the Yankees for home advantage in their wild wild card game.

At 21-3, the Angels took quite a beating. The Red Sox have figured out that if you don't swing at Tanaka's low splitters, he'll eventually elevate something.

scottt - Friday, September 21 2018 @ 08:02 AM EDT (#366089) #
Classic Gatorade dodge by Smoak on Madani there.
Glevin - Friday, September 21 2018 @ 08:07 AM EDT (#366091) #
"I'm not being facetious, just wondering what people think of the Rays new strategy. They have a good record so is it working overall?"

I don't really see the advantage of the opener. I see the advantage of tandem starts for sure. Not having to go through the lineup a third time is huge but don't see the advantage of having a reliever open the game.

Game was highlight of the year. The looks on the faces of the guys, the jumping up and down in the bullpen and in the dugout shows exactly how much these guys care. This will be a game all these guys will always remember and so will anyone who stayed to watch ("Never leave early!").
hypobole - Friday, September 21 2018 @ 08:53 AM EDT (#366092) #
Starters are better pitchers than relievers, but relievers have better numbers because they can go all out for an inning or 2 without needing a full repertoire of pitches.

Teams load up on oppo side hitters vs starters, like the Rays did vs Gaviglio last night. Gaviglio is the type of starter that will probably never go the full 9. Will usually need multiple relievers anyway. If a lefty reliever had started, the Rays lefty hitter advantage would have been negated early on. Even a righty reliever would have been able to go all out vs the Rays best hitters, which all teams put at the top of the lineup, so Gaviglio would potentially face them less often in the game, and definitely less often during a season of having an opener for him.

These are all small advantages that may not impact an individual game, but add up over a season.
James W - Friday, September 21 2018 @ 09:03 AM EDT (#366093) #
Last season the Jays came back from 6 down in the 9th against the Angels.
scottt - Friday, September 21 2018 @ 09:06 AM EDT (#366094) #
Right. Loup had lost his edge against lefties the last few years.
I'm hopeful Mayza and Fernandez will be good next year.
Also, the Jays have a couple of lefties starters which reverses the equation.
I don't really like to see a soft tosser relieving Gaviglio. I think it's better to alternate either lefty/righty or hard thrower/soft tosser.

John Northey - Friday, September 21 2018 @ 09:41 AM EDT (#366095) #
I see the Rays doing it due to their tight budget constraints.  If you can avoid having too many starters (expensive, hard to replace) and load up on relievers instead you can be more cost effective.  2 innings each (once through the order at most) so you use 5 a game roughly and you can make it work, not easily but it can.  In theory they could have one guy start half their games that way and he'd have an 0-whatever record (hard to win in arbitration with that).  With a 13 man staff you could go 5 relievers two days in a row without any duplication.  Having a very solid 'real' starter helps too (rest day for most of the pen).  So yeah, it could work well with 2 5 man teams, the other 3 being inning eaters when needed and 1 real starter who those 3 are used in relief of (or you push one or two of the 10 others that day).  For a team with few resources it is probably the best use of those resources.  It is much like tandem starting but with fewer innings per pitcher.
AWeb - Friday, September 21 2018 @ 10:22 AM EDT (#366097) #
In most of the season with thin benches it wouldn't matter too much, but who has to "declare" their starters first? If the Rays stack the lineup with lefties to face a righty, can the Jays just decide to use an Opener after they see that? Is this a home team advantage, or do the lineups have to happen at the same time?

The whole thing seems a little unfair to position players, who may start facing the weird situation of facing worse hitting situations the better they get. If you deserve a top of the lineup spot, you end up facing tougher pitchers in the first inning...that's 20-25% of your PAs, and you already tend to face better relievers late in games. There might end up being a strategy of splitting up your best hitters to negate the disadvantage of the Opener? It's all fiddling around the edges, much like fine-tuning a batting order.

IMO, the Rays have been successful with the strategy because they have good pitching and defense, not because it gives them any great advantage.

Also, being the Opener seems like a terrible job. "Hey, we play 3 hour games every night, how would you like to play, for sure, in the first 15-30 minutes and never again, every night?" From a pro athlete, hyper-competitive standpoint, that seems like it would be torture. I can't think of another "position" in sports which would exclude a player from ever playing at the end of the game (although starting pitcher is trending that way). Opening leg of relay races isn't anyone's full-time track and field competition. Maybe one of those team members in cycling races that isn't supposed to try and win?
hypobole - Friday, September 21 2018 @ 10:26 AM EDT (#366098) #
Technically the "bulk guys" who follow the opener are starters, just not good starters. Lots of teams that run short of starters, because starters get injured a lot, run pure bullpen games.

I mentioned Gaviglio as a candidate. He's a starter, just not a good starter. Traditional splits vs RHH/LHH this year and decent numbers the first 2 times through the order, but brutal beyond that.

And yes the arb numbers are definitely a thing, since arb is still old timey stats wise. If I'm the GM, I'd talk to the player and his agent and guarantee any game he opened and the team won, the team would consider as a hold for arbitration purposes.
hypobole - Friday, September 21 2018 @ 10:42 AM EDT (#366099) #
Lots of things are unfair to hitters. People complain about shifting being unfair.

I joked a while ago about banning sliders. Hitters are awful against them, as a whole. Look at the stats this year in the link below. Yet no one would seriously consider that.,ss&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0

As for the players, they are human and humans are not cookie cut. Yes, it would be torture for some, but there have been pitchers who have gone to their managers and volunteered to do it if the manager wanted to try it.
uglyone - Friday, September 21 2018 @ 11:12 AM EDT (#366100) #
I always say that they should just get rid of the mound.

It's dangerous and doesn't really belong there in the first place.

It puts players on unequal footing from the get go - imagine the pitcher had to pitch off flatground, to a hitter that was standing on a mound?
christaylor - Friday, September 21 2018 @ 11:32 AM EDT (#366101) #
This is a funny image -- reminds me of the time when a good friend of mine said to me at a game, "Y'know this would be a lot more fun to watch if hurdles or trap doors randomly popped up on the basepaths."
ISLAND BOY - Friday, September 21 2018 @ 11:33 AM EDT (#366102) #
MLB has become highly strikeout/homerun rather than put the ball in play. Attendance is reportedly dropping and those in charge are noticing so maybe changes in the game will happen. Banning the shift might result in more hits that aren't homers.
uglyone - Friday, September 21 2018 @ 11:37 AM EDT (#366103) #
How about raising the outfield walls all by 10 feet.
Nigel - Friday, September 21 2018 @ 11:45 AM EDT (#366104) #
I like the opener concept. It allows you to use a high leverage reliever against the opposition's best hitters (usually 1 through 5) for one additional AB in the game. I acknowledge that the benefits of the idea are more marginal than the idea of tandem starters but I think it will gain some traction around the league. Because of the early reliever usage, I think it requires you to have more relievers who can go more than one inning and to have a manager who is less slavishly tied to lefty right matchups.

FWIW I think that you could do a lot worse than having Mayza (1+innings), Gaviglio (4+ innings), bullpen, go every five days in your rotation.
Magpie - Friday, September 21 2018 @ 12:12 PM EDT (#366105) #
Thicker bat handles. They won't break as often and we won't have everyone able to whip them through the strike zone.

Limits on mid-inning pitching changes. You get one, but whoever comes in stays in until he gives up a run.
bpoz - Friday, September 21 2018 @ 12:13 PM EDT (#366106) #
TB and the Jays play in the tough AL East. Since 2008 TB has had more overall success than the Jays. Their playoff appearances compare favorably with NYY and Boston. So I think we should copy TB.

Hope we are lucky.
1) Get a FO and manager like A Friedman and J Maddon.
2) Acquire talent in the June draft and Int'l signings and trades. TB gets extra picks and budget due to Small market team in both June draft and Int'l bonus pool.
3) Trade pending FAs like C Archer and others.
4) Never sign an expensive FA unless you have a great team.

5)Never trade for expensive players like Tulo and J Reyes if they have extra years left on their contracts.

We can still have a decent payroll. We should just not waste money.
Magpie - Friday, September 21 2018 @ 12:13 PM EDT (#366107) #
I want to discourage all this relief pitching. I've said it before, but it amounts to weaponizing mediocrity.
CeeBee - Friday, September 21 2018 @ 12:27 PM EDT (#366108) #
I'm with Magpie. I'd much prefer old time baseball (50's-70's) to this thing that masquerades as modern baseball.
Mike Green - Friday, September 21 2018 @ 12:36 PM EDT (#366109) #
Fangraphs' and Mike Green's scouting reports on Danny Jansen:
Hit- FG 50/60, MG 50/55
Game Power- FG 30/45, MG 50/60
Raw Power- FG 50/50, MG 55/55
Speed- FG 30/30, MG 55/45
Field- FG 45/50, MG 60/60
Throw- FG 55/55, MG 45/45

Jansen's skills will, I think, play at first base, second base or left-field, if you need him to make a move. His bat is going to be good enough that it might be a good idea, if not now then perhaps in a few years.  
Nigel - Friday, September 21 2018 @ 12:49 PM EDT (#366110) #
Mike, please don't encourage this front office to play Jansen in LF - they don't need that kind of encouragement:)

Kidding aside, I trust my eye test on catcher defence even less than I normally do for position player defence. However, Jansen's defence generally passes the eye test as a least average. He seems to frame well and has good technique to block balls (although he is somewhat inconsistent with it). His arm isn't strong but its accurate. With respect to his offence, he does look to have good power, but I kind of agree with a comment Gerry made a few games ago, Jansen is generally selective about not swinging at strikes but he doesn't seem very selective about swinging at pitches when he is ahead in the count. He has excellent contact skills so he can hit most pitches but that doesn't mean that he should.
Mike Green - Friday, September 21 2018 @ 12:57 PM EDT (#366111) #
What surprised me about Jansen is his size and speed.  He's a big man with very quick wrists who moves very well.  I think that he's going to be a 25-30 homer/80-90 walk guy in his prime. 

I'm not worried at all about his current tendency to swing at pitcher's pitches in the strike zone in hitting counts.  I am pretty sure that will get solved with a little more experience, with the advantage of a little more respect from umpires on borderline pitches. 
uglyone - Friday, September 21 2018 @ 01:01 PM EDT (#366112) #
BP's FRAA so far

McGuire: 301 chances, +0.8fraa (+13.3/5000)
Maile: 3785 chances, +9.6fraa (+12.7/5000)
Martin: 4648 chances, +7.9fraa (+8.5/5000)
Jansen: 1130 chances, +0.2fraa (+0.9/5000)

agrees with my eye test too.

Maile and McGuire look top notch behind the plate.

Martin is still very good too.

Jansen is solidly average.

in case you're wondering, the best defensive catcher by BP - by a country mile - is still our friend Jeff Mathis. Scioscia was right all along.
bpoz - Friday, September 21 2018 @ 01:15 PM EDT (#366113) #
As R Atkins said, 2019 could be a year when we may not contend. So Jansen can play C, 1B and DH to get ABs and improve his hitting against ML pitchers. So 3 catchers in 2019. R McGuire gets a lot of ABs in AAA playing C and DH like he did this year. For his injury plagued 2017 he had a good year at the plate. SSS, but 115 ABs in AA Avg .278. 16bb and 19K.

M Pentecost should join him in AAA next year.
Chuck - Friday, September 21 2018 @ 01:20 PM EDT (#366114) #
the best defensive catcher... is still our friend Jeff Mathis.

Given his career 52 OPS+ (199/259/307), he damn well better be!

ayjackson - Friday, September 21 2018 @ 01:22 PM EDT (#366115) #
It was nice to see Martin leading the charge out onto the field last night, despite not seeing any action for some time. Has there been any quotes out of him or hints of discontent with his role? It seems like he's been quite professional about it.

I wonder how that plays out in the offseason.
uglyone - Friday, September 21 2018 @ 01:22 PM EDT (#366116) #
the projection systems are slowly but surely starting to believe in Jansen's bat - Steamer is up to a 102wrc+ projection at this point, though Zips still lags at 90.

not shocking give that the projetions can't ignore the 4yrs prior to 2017, but still, the performance at the higest levels the last 2yrs should take over completely soon.

Looking closer, the one thing the projections really don't seem to believe in at all is Danny's power - they still peg him as a .150ish iso guy instead of the .200ish iso guy he's been the last couple years. I'm thinking that's their biggest mistake right now.
uglyone - Friday, September 21 2018 @ 01:24 PM EDT (#366117) #
Rowdy's projections are also on their way up. He was in the 80s before the callup and now he's in the high 90s. Given that his 2 seasons in AAA came in around 90 total, the current projetion really speaks to just how good Rowdy's numbers were before AAA.
John Northey - Friday, September 21 2018 @ 01:33 PM EDT (#366118) #
bpoz - without Tulo though 2015/16 might not have happened.  He was a key part of both teams.  Yeah, that contract sucks now but those 2 fun years still exist in our memories and let us move past the 1994-2014 stretch of ugliness.

The Jays advantage over Tampa is they CAN do a Tulo trade without crippling the team.  The Jays have the money, so when in contention taking a risk on a guy with a long term high cost contract isn't a stupid thing to do.  Not ideal, but if he is the missing link then it is well worth it. 

I like our current front office as they seem intent on future value, not today.  Spending on trainers/etc. in the minors so fewer kids fall apart before reaching the majors.  They seem to have done good in the draft and international free agent market.  Their signings, while not always ideal have worked overall, including the not signing (Bautista, Encarnacion long term, Price long term, etc).  They seem to understand that after 32 players start to fall aparat and blowing you cash (beyond a one or two year signing) is foolish.
bpoz - Friday, September 21 2018 @ 02:21 PM EDT (#366120) #
Thanks John Northey for your response.

The AL East is tough. Not as bad as before the 2 WCs. So we could have made the playoffs 1994-2014.

"While in contention" sounds good for acquiring costly players in terms of $ and prospect capital. I am sure many of us don't have the same "while in contention" bar.

Rogers was wrong IMO in having the low payroll prior to 2013. That had to be a major flaw in their plan to contend.

If we did contend in the Halladay years and R Clemons years we would have needed a good closer and decent bullpen help for him.
Chuck - Friday, September 21 2018 @ 03:21 PM EDT (#366121) #
That had to be a major flaw in their plan to contend.

Do we know that this was their plan? With a corporate owner, making money is always the goal, via whichever path that gets you there.

Mike Green - Friday, September 21 2018 @ 03:30 PM EDT (#366122) #
I want to discourage all this relief pitching. I've said it before, but it amounts to weaponizing mediocrity.

I don't see it quite that way.  I don't like the LOOGies and ROOGies, and the large number of rapid-fire pitching changes.  If MLB introduced a rule that a manager could make only three pitching changes during a 9 inning game (unless the last pitcher is injured and would mandatorily go on the 10 day DL),  I'd be OK with that- it would be one way to keep the games under 4 hours.  But, the opener and then the second guy (or the tandem start) is fine by me. 
Richard S.S. - Friday, September 21 2018 @ 03:30 PM EDT (#366123) #
So with bad Starting Pitching, indifferent Defense, sporadic Offense and an inconsistent Bullpen the Jays have won 70 games (9 games still to play) and could easily win more. Could they be better?

The Jays will have better Starting Pitching, perhaps even good Starting Pitching. It will be healthier at least.
The Defense should easily improve as familiarity breeds success. At least everyone will start out at their best position. Very few people who can't defend will stay with the team.
The Offense will actually be good if they keep the best hitters and add the best talent. Think about the possible move coming in the future.
The Bullpen will be a work in progress once again. I keep Ken Giles, it's hard to find Pitchers this good. I keep LHPs Jose Fernandez and Tim Mayza, they throw hard. The rest don't throw as hard or as well, but could stay if the Jays can't find better.
Richard S.S. - Friday, September 21 2018 @ 03:55 PM EDT (#366124) #
The American League had two dominant Teams, one overall and one in their Division. They had three very good Teams and eight very bad Teams with the rest in the muddling middle. It was not a normal year, too many bad Teams and not enough in the middle. The 2nd Wild Card this year starts with 92 wins. Normally the 2nd Wild Card starts with 85 wins and goes up according to the year. This is doable by the Jays in 2019.

The National League has no dominant Teams, but has just two very good teams. They have just five very bad Teams with more in the muddling middle.The 2nd Wild Card this year starts with 84 wins. Normally the 2nd Wild Card starts with 83 wins and goes up according to the year.
bpoz - Friday, September 21 2018 @ 03:58 PM EDT (#366125) #
What you say sounds good Richard SS. The SPs as a group will be a lot cheaper. $15 mil or less for Stroman, Sanchez, Borucki, SRF, Pannone and Gaviglio. Our conservative FO will have to deal with #7 and #8 if needed.
dan gordon - Friday, September 21 2018 @ 04:25 PM EDT (#366126) #
Tim Mayza's last 14 appearances - 13 2/3 IP, 5 hits, 4 walks, zero runs, 17 K's, ERA 0.00, WHIP 0.66. I heard him say he's changed his approach lately, and is attacking the hitters more, and he feels more confident in his ability. Looks like it's working.

Billy McKinney coming back down to earth - his September numbers, .200/.228/.327/.555, are more like what I expected from him.

Randal Grichuk's slash numbers this year are virtually identical to his career numbers:
2018 - .243/.299/.489/.788
Career - .247/.297/.488/.785
I guess the question is whether his performance since his June recall - .270/.318/.541/.859 represents some kind of new level he has reached, or is the full season line a true indicator of "water finding its level".
Mike Green - Friday, September 21 2018 @ 04:57 PM EDT (#366127) #
Addison Russell has been placed on administrative leave after abuse allegations by his ex-wife. 
Spifficus - Friday, September 21 2018 @ 05:12 PM EDT (#366128) #
I'm thinking the truth is somewhere in between for Grichuk. His K rates are notably down, even with him playing basically every day outside of injuries. Even with his recent spike post-cuncussion-scare, he's about 4 %-points below his career norms.
Spifficus - Friday, September 21 2018 @ 05:13 PM EDT (#366129) #
Sorry, 3 percentage points. I knew I should have double-checked.
John Northey - Friday, September 21 2018 @ 06:36 PM EDT (#366130) #
bpoz - I've looked at 1994-2014 a few times and I think the only time the Jays would've made the playoffs under the 2 WC method was 1998 (2nd WC, would've faced the Red Sox with Roger Clemens on the mound for the Jays on a triple crown year...damn that would've been fun). 1999 would've been 6th, 3 out of the playoffs.  2000 7th, well back.  2003 tied for 6th 7 back.  2006 would've been 6th again, 2 out.  2007 7th 5 games out.  2008 7th, 3 games out. 2010 7th 4 games out.  2011 7th again 9 games back.  And that covers the 500+ years in the 1 wild card era.  With an NHL/NBA system the Jays would regularly be in but so would pretty much everyone.
Richard S.S. - Friday, September 21 2018 @ 07:08 PM EDT (#366131) #
Randal Grichuk is playing his first year in the A.L. East, the toughest Division in Baseball. Prior to his acquisition by the Jays, he was a career N.L. Outfielder. To expect him to make a 100% adjustment in his first year is perhaps a little too demanding. I fully expect him to be better next year.
Richard S.S. - Friday, September 21 2018 @ 07:15 PM EDT (#366132) #
Yes John, but in 1999, 2006 and 2008 the Jays would be competing for the Playoffs and might have made it in.
John Northey - Friday, September 21 2018 @ 07:45 PM EDT (#366133) #
1998 would've been the big one though - Clemens demanded a trade as he didn't see a path to the playoffs as a Jay (and he was right).  If the Jays made the playoffs that year and beat the Red Sox in round 1 (imagine how that would've been, Fenway Park with Clemens on the mound for the Jays at his peak having won his 2nd pitching triple crown in a row vs Pedro who was ready to become #1.  For round 2 you could add in Chris Carpenter, Pat Hentgen (near his end), Woody WIlliams (then a good pitcher).  Wonder if they still would've dumped Randy Myers late in the season for nothing but salary relief?  Nice lineup with Delgado, Green, Fernandez (big comeback that year), Canseco and others.  Stieb in the bullpen, Halladay getting his feet wet that year too.  Yeah, that would've been a blast.  The other 3 years the Jays had a shot but 1998 was the one that could've changed a lot of things.
Magpie - Friday, September 21 2018 @ 07:48 PM EDT (#366134) #
in 1999, 2006 and 2008 the Jays would be competing for the Playoffs and might have made it in.

Let's step into the Way-Back machine then.

Well, the 2008 team went 16-10 to finish the season 3 games behind the Yankees (who were in turn 6 games out of the first Wild Card.) The Jays lost 2 of 3 to the Yankees at the Dome in late September, in what would have been a crucial series except both teams already knew they were playing for nothing.

The 2006 team went 18-10 down the stretch, including 7 of their last 9. You can't do a whole lot better. They finished 3 behind the White Sox for the imaginary second WC. Chicago didn't play well down the stretch - they were the defending World Champs, about to finish third in their own division - and they even skipped Mark Buehrle's rotation turn, for the only time in his career, to look at some kids. I think they're more likely to have had a better finish, had it mattered.

It's 1999 that's most interesting. Toronto was in the actual Wild Card hunt, period. On Sep. 4 they were just 2 games behind Boston and 1 game behind Oakland. They spit the bit and after losing 10 of their next 14 (while Boston was winning 13 of 15) they found themselves 11 behind the Red Sox and 7 behind Oakland with 11 games left. Which was all she wrote.
Magpie - Friday, September 21 2018 @ 08:00 PM EDT (#366135) #
Of course, if they had edged out Oakland in 1999 they would have played the Wild Card game in Fenway. Who would have had Pedro Martinez on the mound. The 1999 Pedro Martinez. Who pitched 17 post-season innings that year, in which he allowed 5 (five!) hits and 0 runs.
Magpie - Friday, September 21 2018 @ 08:18 PM EDT (#366136) #
Wonder if they still would've dumped Randy Myers late in the season for nothing but salary relief?

Well, Myers was toast anyway - getting someone (San Diego) to take him on waivers (they were afraid of Atlanta getting him, as I recall) was addition by subtraction. But we might not have seen the Robert Person, Closer experiment.

What happened in 1998 was the team gave up at the deadline and dumped everybody. And it was the kids who stepped into the lineup once Guzman and Stanley and Sprague and Phillips had been sent on their way who played them back into the hunt.
Richard S.S. - Friday, September 21 2018 @ 09:54 PM EDT (#366137) #
The Jays play well verses the East, but with 78 games played verses the East they need to play much better. The record here can determine whether or not Playoffs are possible.
The Jay seem to usually hold their own verses the Central, but with usual three or four badly underachieving Teams in this Division the Jays must do much better. Not a lot of games matter, but beating the bad Teams is a must.
They often roll over and wave the paws in the air when playing the West in the West and not much better when back at home. They must be very much better when playing the West, every game matters.
The Record for N.L. play is about average which is strange, A.L. East should always win. The Jays need to be this good.
John Northey - Friday, September 21 2018 @ 11:08 PM EDT (#366138) #
Yep, I remember it well Magpie.  The one smart stretch from Mr. Ash.  Dumping every vet he could to get kids into the lineup and the team went on a tear with the one year wonder manager.  1998 could've been a miracle year had they had the 2nd wildcard then.  Wonder if that managers lies would've mattered (he claimed to have fought in Vietnam but didn't) had they made the playoffs?  If they had made it, would Clemens have stuck around?  Would Ash have made better choices in the following years (not trading away Young for example) or would he have made worse ones (trading Halladay for temporary help)?  It is an interesting thought experiment.  I suspect all the pre-September moves would've been the same as the Jays were just 2 out of the 2nd wildcard on August 31st, but 28 behind the historic Yankee team (at 98 wins on August 31st) so even in the playoffs the Jays might have been doomed.

Sheesh was that a weird year.  Even on August 1st, after all the deals and the Jays being sub 500 they were just 4 games out of the 2nd wild card. I wonder if Ash would've kept the vets had that been the situation, leading to an even uglier period after that. 
dan gordon - Saturday, September 22 2018 @ 02:00 AM EDT (#366139) #
Two more records for Gurriel today. First Blue Jay rookie to hit HR's in 3 straight AB's - yesterday's game tying HR, and then the first 2 AB's today. Also, he and his brother became the first brothers in mlb history to hit 2 or more HR's in a game on the same day. He's on pace for close to 30 HR's for a full season. Same pace as Aledmys Diaz. If those 2 play 2B and SS next year, Smoak and Morales handle 1B and DH, Grichuk and Hernandez cover 2 of the OF positions, and Vladdy is at 3B starting mid-April, they'd have a shot at 7 guys with 25+ HR's if all were healthy.
dan gordon - Saturday, September 22 2018 @ 02:37 AM EDT (#366140) #
Ken Giles' splits between save situations and non-save situations this year are something truly astonishing. In save situations, he has an ERA of 0.40, WHIP of 0.662. In non-save situations, he has an ERA of 9.12, WHIP of 1.784. The former 2 numbers would be something you'd expect from the best reliever in baseball, the latter 2, something you'd see from the worst. To further illustrate the difference, in 22 2/3 innings he has allowed only 12 hits and 1 run in save situations. Non-save - almost the same number of innings, 24 2/3, he has allowed 41 hits and 27 runs. In almost the same number of innings, he's allowed roughly 3.5 times as many hits and 27 times as many runs when there is no save on the line.

Really, he's been excellent since the trade. He had 1 bad game against Boston where he gave up 5 runs in a non-save situation. Aside from that, he's pitched 16 innings, allowing 13 hits, 2 walks, and 4 earned runs, with 17 K's. ERA of 2.25 and WHIP of 0.94. No blown saves in 11 chances.
BlueJayWay - Saturday, September 22 2018 @ 08:12 AM EDT (#366141) #
Well, the fact that Giles has been pretty good since coming over shouldn't be that much of a surprise. He's always been good. Statistically, if you look at their career stats he's pretty similar to Osuna, actually.

The save/non-save splits this year are weird, but probably just a massive fluke.

hypobole - Saturday, September 22 2018 @ 09:39 AM EDT (#366142) #
I like quizzes seemingly more than most. Upthread, Chuck came up with one while we were reminiscing about the 1983 bullpen. Who is Randy Moffitt's sister?

Haven't seen anyone answer it so here it is - Billie Jean Moffitt King. She was in the news last year when Emma Stone played her in Battle of the Sexes, and again a few days ago as she and her partner are now part of the LA Dodgers ownership group
uglyone - Saturday, September 22 2018 @ 09:52 AM EDT (#366143) #
we were discussing aging curves the other day, and I mentioned the possibility that young players are simply better than they have been, as opposed to old players deteriorating more quickly.

here's an interesting article about 25yr olds being better than they ever have been before:
bpoz - Saturday, September 22 2018 @ 12:11 PM EDT (#366144) #
I like quizzes too. Just reading the answers. I knew right away Billie Jean King. I read about it when R Moffitt joined the team. Who did we trade him for? Dale Murry got us Fred McGriff and someone else.
Victor Cruz got us Alfredo Griffen. Damaso Garcia came from NYY but for what?

Also enjoyed the look back at the past. When winning I find myself more nervous.

Thanks Dan Gordon for showing us that our young team has a lot of power. I think that you have almost completed a lineup with practically no soft spots when it comes to offense. Pillar in CF is the only soft spot. The bench too could have decent offense. 2019 callups already on the 40 man also have power. Actually only Tellez.

Our Sept record is 9-11. I usually automatically blame the pen. Later on I will check if that is true.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, September 22 2018 @ 03:44 PM EDT (#366145) #
Why do Managers try to get extra outs from their veteran and rookie Starters late in a meaningless Season? Pitch limitations and tired arms all round can be an issue.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, September 22 2018 @ 04:41 PM EDT (#366146) #
About 6-7 of the 11 Blue Jay loses thus far are the sole responsibility of the Bullpen. Actual numbers can come from some one with more free time. Thank You.
Chuck - Saturday, September 22 2018 @ 04:59 PM EDT (#366147) #
Actual numbers can come from some one with more free time.

Another fiction writer you mean?

Richard S.S. - Saturday, September 22 2018 @ 06:38 PM EDT (#366148) #
Is everyone one this site a fiction of their imagination? it would explain some things. Due to things beyond my control I don't have as much free time as I'd like. So once again Thank You.
bpoz - Saturday, September 22 2018 @ 07:31 PM EDT (#366149) #
Richard SS, I was thinking just Sept. So we got swept by Boston. Game 1 & 2 Borucki and Sanchez were good. So blame the offense. It matters but also does not matter regarding the opposing pitchers. Losing 1-0 to Cy Young is on the offense not the pitchers. Game 3 Gaviglio was not good.

So to correct myself, it is not just the pen that is to blame.
Mike Green - Saturday, September 22 2018 @ 08:07 PM EDT (#366150) #
Notes from 229 last night:

  • SRF has a complicated wind-up and delivery, with a lot of parts.  After something goes wrong behind him, he tends to take a long time between pitches but then rushes through the various steps.  His control suffers. 
  • The Tampa outfield defence is awesome. 
  • Glad that the club bounced back today after last night's poor game.  Youth will be served.
uglyone - Saturday, September 22 2018 @ 08:17 PM EDT (#366151) #

A Rowdy Tellez

Rowdy, Rowdy, So Rowdy

Rowdy Tellez, eh
SK in NJ - Saturday, September 22 2018 @ 08:33 PM EDT (#366152) #
Tellez has spent two full seasons in AAA and will turn 24 before the start of the 2019 season. With 2019 being a transitional season, I wonder if the FO will trade Smoak in the winter and put Tellez at 1B. Granted, he has a .500 BABIP and 2% BB% in September, so clearly he's not as good as he's shown so far, but the FO seems to like him. While Smoak is a productive hitter on a reasonable contract, now might be the time to move on considering an internal replacement has presented itself. I'd expect Tellez to have some growing pains next season, but might as well get it out of the way in a season where the team doesn't plan to contend.

I've never been a fan of Tellez as a prospect (or 1B/DH prospects in general), but hope I'm wrong, especially since it would make Keith Law look bad, which is always a plus.
Mike Green - Saturday, September 22 2018 @ 08:57 PM EDT (#366153) #
Rowdy has a lot of work to do in the field.  He reminds me a lot of a young Ortiz.  You are probably better off to just make him a DH and see how far he can take it.

Gurriel Jr. didn't make any errors today, but he sure looks awkward out there.  On Friday, it was the same with his instincts carrying him in the wrong direction on a couple of occasions.  The young man can hit, however.  It would be nice if he took the occasional walk. 
Nigel - Saturday, September 22 2018 @ 10:02 PM EDT (#366154) #
Gurriel hasnít walked anywhere we have stats for, I donít think itís part of the package. Without a position and limited OBP, heís an awkward fit in a few senses but the bat looks like it will usefully play in a role similar to his brother in Houston (at least).
jerjapan - Saturday, September 22 2018 @ 10:32 PM EDT (#366155) #

A Rowdy Tellez

Rowdy, Rowdy, So Rowdy

Rowdy Tellez, eh

I dont think you fully  get the Haiku thing, Ugly.

although I do love rowdy. 
dalimon5 - Saturday, September 22 2018 @ 11:10 PM EDT (#366156) #
Front office should trade Gurriel for pitching. Ride Tulo until mid 2020 when Bichete and Smith are up.
Nigel - Saturday, September 22 2018 @ 11:29 PM EDT (#366157) #
I canít imagine that Gurriel has huge value. He was a mid range prospect who has delivered, in good and bad ways, about as those reports projected. I think his versatility is a plus for the Jays.
hypobole - Saturday, September 22 2018 @ 11:48 PM EDT (#366158) #
Last time Tampa lost twice in a series was Aug 17-18 in Fenway.
hypobole - Sunday, September 23 2018 @ 07:27 AM EDT (#366159) #
Took me about 1 minute to bring up these September bullpen stats at FG, another minute for other stats. Far less time than it took to write this post, for those who don't have time.

Our bullpen has blown 1 save this month. That is tied for best in baseball. Our bullpen is 3-2 in September. 2 other bullpens have 2 losses, 4 have 1 loss, 0 have no losses. The guys Gibby is expecting to do well in winnable games have done their jobs and have been better than many teams.

Our starters ERA in September is 5.11, 27th in MLB.

Our hitting has been about middle of the pack, with the usual bad baserunning and bad defense.

ISLAND BOY - Sunday, September 23 2018 @ 09:42 AM EDT (#366160) #
The Jays have more extra base hits than anyone in baseball since the first of August. ( heard this on sports highlights this morning )
Mike Green - Sunday, September 23 2018 @ 10:14 AM EDT (#366161) #
This Statcast pitcher data is interesting.  I thought that Clippard had lost it; he evidently has not.  Danny Barnes has similarly been not as bad as he has looked- it's almost all about the walk rate. 

Whether you look at the Statcast data or the conventional rates, it's pretty clear that the club may have had quite a few average-ish pitchers.  They just haven't had any good ones. 
bpoz - Sunday, September 23 2018 @ 10:49 AM EDT (#366162) #
Thanks hypobole for the bullpen performance. Our Sept record now 10W 11L so not bad. 5 games against weak teams. 2 Miami and 3 Baltimore. So we are having a good Sept.

Maybe the pen will be ok next year.
Thomas - Sunday, September 23 2018 @ 11:58 AM EDT (#366163) #
Interesting numbers Mike. For a while now I've advocated bringing Clippard back on a one-year deal if he can be had for the veteran's minimum or a little bit above it. Those numbers suggest it wouldn't be a bad idea.

If you drop the cutoff to 100 plate appearances, you incorporate two more relievers - Mayza and Leiter Jr. (it includes his numbers with Philadelphia) - who have had very different results.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, September 23 2018 @ 04:55 PM EDT (#366164) #
Yankee SS Didi Gregorius with torn cartilage in his right wrist. Done for the Season? Who gets home field advantage in WC game, NY or Oakland?
hypobole - Sunday, September 23 2018 @ 06:23 PM EDT (#366165) #
""Who gets home field advantage in WC game, NY or Oakland?

NY has the tougher sked, but unless the A's come back today, they'll be 2 back in the loss column and the Yankees have the tiebreaker. As much as I'd like to see the A's get the WC game, I'd put my money on the Yankees.
bpoz - Sunday, September 23 2018 @ 09:16 PM EDT (#366166) #
Borucki had a great game. Our rotation could be quite good.
John Northey - Sunday, September 23 2018 @ 11:13 PM EDT (#366167) #
Wonder if the O's could lose 120 next year?  With the Yankees, Red Sox both very good teams, the Rays and Jays both buried in good young players - what does that leave the poor O's?  A bloated payroll and no star prospects as far as I know?  2019 should be interesting... hopefully the Red Sox begin their decline as I've read their minors is weak now but they have so many good players it'll be a slow decline.  Guess we can hope the Yankees have bad luck ala their poor shortstop.  The Rays will be themselves - cheap to a fault which makes it hard for them to compete.

I keep hoping for an NHL style 8 team playoff but the wildcard game is so much fun now I doubt it'll change.
scottt - Sunday, September 23 2018 @ 11:20 PM EDT (#366168) #
Giles has been perfect. That counts for a lot.

The front office has to trade a couple of middle infielders, a catcher and an outfielder.
All before the rule V draft.

Last time I looked, Fangraphs had the Jays tied at 9th for offense.
Nothing wrong with keeping Smoak and Morales to start next year.
Remember that Morales played with Vladimir Guerrero from 2006 to 2009, or something like that.
He's like Vladdy's uncle.

dan gordon - Monday, September 24 2018 @ 03:31 AM EDT (#366169) #
I don't think Tellez is ready to start in the big leagues next year. His overall numbers in Buffalo don't say major leaguer yet, IMO. He should start in Buffalo, and if he has a very good first 2 months, then call him up. He needs to hit lefties better. Don't get caught up in the mlb SSS success.

I think Gurriel has a ton of value if they want to trade him. He's on a really cheap contract, a young guy who might be able to play a middle infield position and hit 25 HR's with a good average. I'd prefer they try him in the outfield, as I think they're thin there, and Diaz is fine at SS for now. Bichette probably takes over there in mid-April 2020. Diaz at SS and Gurriel in LF I think gives you a better team than Gurriel at SS and, say, Hernandez in LF.
Glevin - Monday, September 24 2018 @ 04:01 AM EDT (#366170) #
"I think Gurriel has a ton of value if they want to trade him."

When is the last time a non-elite position player got back a big prospect return? He'd bring back something for sure, but why would a rebuilding club look to be trading a 25 YO with tons of team control? Especially a versatile player who can be plugged into any number of spots.

Personally, I'd like to see Gurriel as everyday 2Bman. Travis just doesn't look like a major leaguer to me. (now a .678 OPS over the last 2 calendar years with bad defense including a 66 WRC+ in the second half of this year). Smoak, Gurriel, Diaz, Vlad, and Drury is the IF combo I'd like to see to start the year unless Smoak gets dealt. I see Tellez as ready for the majors but also not exactly demanding a starting spot the way Vlad is. I'll be fine if trades open up room for him but it's also fine if he has to spend more time in Buffalo.
SK in NJ - Monday, September 24 2018 @ 09:27 AM EDT (#366171) #
I don't think Tellez is a long-term piece, but if the FO thinks he is, then there is some value in having him start 2019 in the bigs. Unfortunately he plays a position that MLB teams no longer place a high value on (so trading him may not amount to much), and it's questionable whether he will hit enough to be a starting calibre player (even if he spent more time in AAA), so he's in a weird spot. Really depends on how high the FO is on him, and whether they think he is a player they want around during the 2020-25 years.
Mike Green - Monday, September 24 2018 @ 10:16 AM EDT (#366172) #
Tellez is a student of hitting and he pretty clearly has the tools to be a very good hitter.  Can you give him a mulligan for a year and a half, in the circumstances?  I would. I'd give plenty of chances to Tellez, Gurriel Jr., McKinney and quite a few others in 2019.  The key for me is to find positions where they can play comfortably.  For Tellez, that's DH.  For McKinney, that's a corner OF spot.  I have no clue about a position for Gurriel Jr, and maybe like Marwin Gonzalez, it's all over the field. 
SK in NJ - Monday, September 24 2018 @ 11:56 AM EDT (#366173) #
"I'd give plenty of chances to Tellez, Gurriel Jr., McKinney and quite a few others in 2019."

Agreed. If 2019 is a transitional season, then the team should absolutely be giving playing time to the younger big league ready talent on the 40-man roster, especially if they think those players have a future with the club long-term.
Shoeless Joe - Monday, September 24 2018 @ 12:00 PM EDT (#366174) #
The Jay should be trading for players like Gurriel, and not trading them away. Despite all of his current flaws he is still close to a 2 WAR player. If you find some of those flaws and find a defensive home for him he is a gem.
hypobole - Monday, September 24 2018 @ 12:56 PM EDT (#366175) #
2 guys that could/should be moved this offseason are Diaz and Grichuk, if the FO can get reasonable value.
Shoeless Joe - Monday, September 24 2018 @ 01:08 PM EDT (#366176) #
I would extend Grichuk and I would have to see real value for Diaz, which I don't think any team will offer. I don't see a power hitting, right handing outfielder who can field well in the pipeline to replace Grichuck.
hypobole - Monday, September 24 2018 @ 01:25 PM EDT (#366177) #
I would have to see real value for Diaz, which I don't think any team will offer.

Then maybe you are overvaluing Diaz.
Shoeless Joe - Monday, September 24 2018 @ 01:47 PM EDT (#366178) #
To this point Diaz has had a very uneven career, but his 0.342 wOBA is very valuable as a SS and has years of control. His lack of track record hurts his value and I'd give him more time to show more consistancy.
bpoz - Monday, September 24 2018 @ 02:30 PM EDT (#366179) #
hypobole can you say more about reasonable value? Diaz and Grichuk. One for one. K Giles? R Tepera? T Mayza? Borucki? SRF? T Panonne? Gaviglio? Zeuch,J Romano, P Murphy or Y Diaz?

The above have to be protected on the 40 man roster. But not M Castillo, Z Logue, K Smith, J Palacios.

Most of my selections seem that I am expecting too little. Diaz or Grichuk for M Castillo or Pannone but keep in mind that all 3 options are unused for Panonne and M Castillo does not yet need to be added to the 40 man roster.

So I am relieving the 40 man roster crunch.
CeeBee - Monday, September 24 2018 @ 02:54 PM EDT (#366180) #
I'd keep Grichuk and Diaz. Don't really have replacements ready for them and it won't hurt to let them build their value some more. Solarte, Pillar and Morales can go gone IMO though.
Mike Green - Monday, September 24 2018 @ 03:20 PM EDT (#366181) #
Aledmys Diaz is pre-arb next year, and not eligible for free agency until 2023.  It looks to me like he's a pretty good defensive third baseman and a below average shortstop.  He has a 107 wRC+ over his career.  He's a useful player, and it's not yet clear to me whether VGJ can stick at third base.  I don't know why you would be in a particular hurry to trade him, but obviously if another club wants him and is prepared to offer something that better fits the club's needs, they should do it.

Randal Grichuk is in his second year of arb next year and is FA eligible in 2021.  He's on a different time frame, but there are a lot of similarities otherwise with Diaz.  Grichuk's a pretty good defensive right-fielder and (probably) a below average defensive center-fielder.  He has a 108 wRC+ over his career, with the same strengths and weaknesses as Diaz (but he strikes out more and hits for more power).  The club isn't awash in outfielders, but you can see the case for trading him if another team is particularly interested.

Personally, I prefer looking at trade targets rather than who the team ought to be willing to trade. 
uglyone - Monday, September 24 2018 @ 03:50 PM EDT (#366182) #

CF Pompey 28 - Alford 26 ----- Young 23 ----- Contreras 22
RF Grichuk 29 - Wall 25 -------- Lopez 22 ----- (Palacios 25)
LF Smith 28 ---- McKinney 26 - Taylor 22 ---- Conine 23
3B Gurriel 27 -- Urena 25 ----- Groshans 21 -- Hiraldo 20
SS Diaz 30 ----- Espinal 26 ---- Smith 24 ----- Jimenez 20
2B Travis 30 --- Biggio 26 ----- Bichette 23 -- (Warmoth 25)
1B Drury 28 ---- Tellez 26 ---- Guerrero 22 -- (Adams 25)
C Maile 30 ------ McGuire 26 -- Moreno 21 --- Danner 22
DH Teoscar 28 - Jansen 26 --- Kirk 22 ------- (Spanberger 25)
hypobole - Monday, September 24 2018 @ 03:54 PM EDT (#366183) #
Devon Travis - dump or try give another year (on a team highly unlikely to contend)?
Tulo - untradeable contract Highly unlikely to be simply benched or dumped.
Drury - if he can stay healthy, he'll play somewhere in the infield probably as a backup.
Gurriel - team seems to want to play him as a MI. Should be learning SS in Buffalo, but that is Bo's spot.
Vlad - should be up late April. 3rd base will be his to lose.

Unless things change dramatically, playing time could be hard to come by for Diaz. He's also 28 yrs old - don't think he's going to be any better than he is now.

Grichuk doesn't have the competition, so yeah the team could hold on, but don't see his value increasing much if any. Might be a bit better next year, but less control value.

aarne13 - Monday, September 24 2018 @ 04:04 PM EDT (#366184) #
If Morales is gone this off-season I'd like to see Tellez take over 1B/DH. imo he deserves a shot to play F/T.
Diaz, Gurriel and Grichuk are keepers. I'm still not sold on McKinney but he is separating himself from the rest of the OFers in AAA.

I would think that Borucki and SRF should have locked up spots for next year.
CeeBee - Monday, September 24 2018 @ 05:40 PM EDT (#366185) #
I should have added Travis to my going gone list.
John Northey - Monday, September 24 2018 @ 07:18 PM EDT (#366186) #
To my thinking, the Jays should focus on who to get more than who to trade.  Only 1B/DH really needs a hole opened with Tellez/Morales/Smoak all needing full time work there.  Smoak and Morales are free agents post-2019 so it will clear up soon but if anyone has a decent offer for Smoak I'd take it (low contract, solid production, decent defense - someone in contention must need that).  Morales appears to be a leader behind the scenes with the Latin America players and probably will be a help in that respect for Vlad Jr next year. 

Now, there are too many infielders, Vlad/Diaz/Gurriel/Travis/Urena (only 22 this year) and more in the minors (Bo/Biggio/etc).  So if a decent deal comes along for one or more take it.

Outfield is also getting crowded with Hernandez/Pillar/Grichuk/McKinney/Smith Jr/Alford/Davis and more coming.  Pillar is the most likely for the Jays to trade (solid track record of great defense, meh offense - useful on a team with defensive issues like the Jays and just starting to get expensive).  However, I don't see any as untouchable for the right deal.

Catcher is also crowded with Martin/Maile/Jansen/McGuire but that normally clears itself out and if Smoak or Morales can be traded then 1B/DH time will be available to help.  Plus Martin could just go to backup everything while McGuire is in AAA.  I do expect someone from that group to be part of a trade package this winter.
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