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It is less than three weeks until pitchers and catchers report to the Jays spring training facility. With the last thread having over 300 responses, a new thread is warranted.

Most of the recent news has been about spring training. The first game Blue Jay game is Saturday February 23rd, just over four weeks away and that game will be on the radio.


There will be just four games on the TV, just two of them from Florida. The dates for those are March 3 and March 17. Sportsnet will also show the two games in Montreal. That schedule is way down from last season, or even previous seasons. Is it because they don't think fans will be interested? I wonder what Sportsnet execs are expecting ratings to be like this year as the Jays make no pretense of being competitive.


And related to fans interest I saw yesterday that you will have to pay $41 to sit in the 500 level on opening day. The Jays adopted dynamic pricing last season and there is a note to that effect on their ticketing page. I am sure that some fans, who only go to a limited number of games, might wait to buy until they know that Vlad Jr. will be playing. What will that mean for April crowds, will they be under 15,000? And how will that impact dynamic pricing in April? I don't know how season ticket sales have gone. It will be interesting to see this year what attendance is like and what steps the Jays take to boost attendance. How much will Vlad help attendance when he is called up? What will the Jays do to acknowledge Roy Halladay's election to the HOF? Will they do something on opening day or wait until it is closer to induction day?


The Jays had their winter caravan last weekend in Toronto and it seems to have been well organized and enjoyed by all who went. The Vancouver Canadians hold their hot stove lunch today, with our own #2JBrumfield in attendance. Ross Atkins, Cito Gaston and Robbie Alomar are all in BC for that.


I believe that is all the news for now. Many of our young players will be eager to get going so I expected many of them will be in Dunedin early. Expect to see some reports to that effect soon. What else is going on?


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dalimon5 - Friday, January 25 2019 @ 09:56 AM EST (#369769) #
Pollock is a better defender, baserunner and has more power than Puig.

Pollock is cheaper and has better character.

Pollock plays center field.

Pollock has more WAR/600.

Arizona wasn't the hitters park you think it was since they added the humidor.

Eno Sarris > fangraphs, zips et all
dalimon5 - Friday, January 25 2019 @ 10:01 AM EST (#369770) #
To counter...

Pollock has very weak hitting stats against power pitching and stacked stats against finesse pitching.

I think these are the types of things teams are looking at projecting more so than WAR.

Which sites have breakdown vs finesse or power pitching?
BlueJayWay - Friday, January 25 2019 @ 10:03 AM EST (#369771) #
How much will Vlad help attendance when he is called up?

I'd guess there'll be a big boost for his first home game, and then negligible after that. People will be excited to watch Vlad, but I think it's been proven that individual players don't help attendance; a winning team does.
Gerry - Friday, January 25 2019 @ 02:06 PM EST (#369774) #
Scott Mitchell over at TSN has ranked the top 50 Blue Jay Prospects. You can find the list here.
Gerry - Friday, January 25 2019 @ 03:00 PM EST (#369775) #
Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star has left the paper and is joining the Jays to be their head of PR. I believe he had a similar position with the Expos a long time ago.

Long time ESPN writer Jerry Crasnick announced today he is joining the communications wing of the Players Association.

There is more movement with those watching the players than with the players themselves!
Gerry - Friday, January 25 2019 @ 03:02 PM EST (#369776) #
And in more news, Marco Estrada seems to be headed to Oakland on a one year deal. That would be a good stadium for a flyball pitcher like Marco.
dalimon5 - Friday, January 25 2019 @ 03:06 PM EST (#369777) #
I also think Scott Mitchel is joining the radio after game team for the TBJ.
Mike Green - Friday, January 25 2019 @ 03:12 PM EST (#369778) #
Historically, the ball carried in Oakland during the day, but not at night.  There is a lot of foul territory which will be especially beneficial for Marco.  If they can get him 2/3 of his starts at home, and almost all of those at night, Marco might be decent in 2019.  I'd use him as a swingman, and try to get 20 starts out of him. 
jerjapan - Friday, January 25 2019 @ 04:38 PM EST (#369781) #
Good for Marco.  It's worrisome to see so many FAs still unsigned, and I think some teams are going to get some great bargains.  I sincerely hope we add some dealable vets on discount deals - we certainly added a bunch of low-end prospects as a result of our last deadline sell-off.
Brad Brach at $3 million and an option?  Sign me up for some of that action.
I like that prospect lists are going deeper, as with Scott Mitchell's top 50.  with the flourishing of prospect evaluations online, the lists seem more and more similar to my eye, but past the top ten or fifteen we get more variation, which I find interesting.  Mitchell has 17 year old catcher Javier O'razio 50th, and I've never even heard of the kid before.  Mitchell seems high on our young catching generally, with Kirk at 43 and Moreno at 37. 

Cal Stevenson at 32 was a bit of a surprise given his $1000 senior signing bonus, but he did put up monstrous numbers for a CF. 

And speaking of longshot prospects, J-Leb is now with Arizona on a minor league deal.  I have no idea how much those minor league deals are worth (anyone know a source?) but I continue to hope he gets a big league shot.  I think he could help a few teams as a versatile 25th man. 


dan gordon - Friday, January 25 2019 @ 10:01 PM EST (#369782) #
Interestingly enough, Estrada has been killed by right handed batters the last 2 seasons. Will be interesting if to see if he and the Oakland coaches can come up with something to counter that. He'll be 36 next summer, and time is running out for him. Brach is almost 3 years younger than Estrada, and is coming off only 1 bad season, after several good ones in a row. If he can bounce back, that's a good signing. These smaller deals looking for guys who can rebound seem to be much better deals for teams than the long term big money deals like Pollock's. There are probably going to be some really good bargains in the next few weeks.
Gerry - Friday, January 25 2019 @ 10:44 PM EST (#369783) #
The Future Blue Jays site has a good interview with Matt Young who was the hitting coach in Lansing last season. There were some good hitters on that team.
scottt - Saturday, January 26 2019 @ 06:46 AM EST (#369784) #
There is no denying that AA was great at collecting draft picks. Out of his 6 drafts, there are 11 prospects left in the Mitchell top 50.

1. Guerrero
3. Danny Jansen Drafted in the 16th round in 2013.
8. Sean Reid-Foley Drafted in the 2nd round in 2014.
9. Anthony Alford Drafted in the 3rd round in 2012.
24 Patrick Murphy Drafted in the 3rd round in 2013.
25. Yennsy Diaz Signed as a free agent in 2014
34. Jonathan Davis drafted in the 16 round in 2013
35. Rowdy Tellez drafted in the 30th round in 2013
39. Jon Harris Drafted in the 1st round in 2015.
40. Dwight Smith Jr. Drafted in the 1st round in 2011
48. Max Pentecost Drafted in the 1st round in 2014

I'm still hopeful for a lot of these guys. It think they'll all get a major league call up at some point.
Harris could just be a middle reliever and Pentecost a AAA catcher playing backup during an injury.

Shoeless Joe - Saturday, January 26 2019 @ 08:01 AM EST (#369785) #
I think Patrick Murphy is one of the prospects who will absolutely explode this year, and should be perhaps higher on most prospect lists. He slots in nicely with Zeuch, Perez and Kloffenstein the second tier of pitching prospects, and offers a great combination of results and upside compared to others in that tier.


greenfrog - Saturday, January 26 2019 @ 11:20 AM EST (#369786) #
Murphy was brilliant in the second half last year:

6-1, 2.00, 76.1 IP, 50 H, 4 HR, 22 BB, 75 K

His breakthrough season bodes well for 2019 and beyond. He has had some injury issues - a Fangraphs article last year noted he has "undergone Tommy John surgery, thoracic outlet syndrome surgery, and had a nerve moved in his elbow" - so perhaps optimism about him should be tempered a bit. But for now he seems to be healthy and thriving.
dalimon5 - Saturday, January 26 2019 @ 12:25 PM EST (#369787) #
Vlad wasn't drafted so take him out and that list looks average at best, not bad at best but average...meaning middle of the pack and not nearly as good as the Rays, Padres, Nationals, Cardinals etc.

We definitely have a strong "second wave" of prospects in pitching coming...

Zeuch, Kloffenstein, Pardinho, Pearson, plus any upside plays.
bpoz - Saturday, January 26 2019 @ 12:32 PM EST (#369788) #
I agree Shoeless and Scottt that our near ready SPs in AA and AAA look very promising.

Zeuch has decent stuff and had a dominant AA playoffs. Jon Harris has shown great health but his poor performance has dropped him down/off the prospect charts. AAA for Zeuch with a callup to the majors in 2019 I hope. I would like to see Harris start in AAA. He is probably blocking some prospects.

From AAA I see/hope for a quick ML promotion for SRF. Zeuch could move fast too.

AA should have P Murphy, H Perez, Y Diaz and Z Logue all starting the year there. Pearson could join them mid year, maybe sooner.

While I see V strong pitching in NH, I don't see much position player talent. K Smith only, but he has to master AA hitting. J Palacios, F Wall and S Espanial should have solid years in AA, hopefully. I think NH will have to succeed with pitching and defense. M Mordecai will have his work cut out for him.
Shoeless Joe - Saturday, January 26 2019 @ 12:49 PM EST (#369789) #
At this point I think Harris is a non-prospect.

I think the players who transition well from A/A+ to AA this year are Kevin Smith and I think eventually Chad Spanberger. His right handed power will play up at New Hampshire. I am also very high on Santiago Espinal putting up a good year whether that is in AA or AAA based on low contact rates and low groundball rates.

The hitters I am less enthusiastic about are Ryan Noda, Riley Adams, Brito, Jonathan Davis, Forrest Wall and to some extent Anthony Alford.
bpoz - Saturday, January 26 2019 @ 12:50 PM EST (#369790) #
I agree dalimon5 about Vlad.

Some prospects really excite everyone. Look at the top 10 lists that have been released over the week. So for us Vlad, Bo and maybe 3 others have have me and others gushing. But there are always disappointments. Failures actually.

I checked the top 100/50 lists for the past 10 years, preseason and season end. Not surprisingly there were many failures. Later that day Jonathan Mayo wrote a piece about the 2009 top 50 list. The successes and failures on the list and those that did not make the list at all.

J Donaldson and Kluber never made the list. I knew stuff like that happened.

Expectations are that we will have 7 players on the current Top 100 list. I expect that there will be some failures. I am hoping we get some huge unranked successes.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, January 26 2019 @ 02:43 PM EST (#369791) #
What is a sucess for a pre-MLB Pitcher? Just making the MLB Roster is a sucess, but staying is a triumph.

The Jays have a lot of options between their developed Pitchers and their pre-developed acquisitions. How many triumphs will we see? I suspect at least five arrive this year with as many or more next Season.
PeterG - Saturday, January 26 2019 @ 06:06 PM EST (#369795) #
I agree on praise for Patrick Murphy. I believe he is border line top 10 in Jays system, definitely in top 15.
scottt - Saturday, January 26 2019 @ 08:45 PM EST (#369797) #
I included international signings with the draft because I think they are as important and go together.
I was going after the 11 prospects left over by AA and excluding Vladdy makes the exercise pointless.
It was a bold move by AA. It lead to the Jays not being able to sign anyone the following year.
It's also worth noting that Yennsy Diaz wasn't drafted either.

Sadly, AA didn't do very well with his first rounders. I think he was often hedging his bets, going for underslot first rounders to finance later rounds. Basically more lottery tickets, less sure things. If you draft a highly ranked prospect, you should still be able to trade him for a near ready prospect, like what the Mariners just did with the Reds and Yankees. If you go for a high risk prospect that nobody has ranked, the guy might have little trade value. For example, I like the way Atkins was able to trade Woodman for some real value.

scottt - Saturday, January 26 2019 @ 08:48 PM EST (#369798) #
I noted that MLB Pipeline didn't have much to say about Bichette, but they have 2 nice paragraphs on his scouting report.

Bichette has a violent swing but controls it well, generating an abundance of hard, line-drive contact across the field through a combination of bat speed, bat-to-ball skills and a clean path through the zone. He does overswing sometimes, which leads to some off-balance whiffs, but the overall approach is mature, and he's comfortable shortening his swing with two strikes. Bichette is physically strong for his size, possessing plus raw power that should translate to above-average game power in the future. While not a burner, Bichette is an average runner with exceptional baserunning instincts, and he finished second in the Eastern League with 32 steals.

Bichette worked hard on improving his defense at shortstop last offseason and continued to make gains as the season unfolded, showing cleaner footwork and actions as well as a more consistent glove to his backhand. He has the requisite above-average arm strength for the position, though his arm stroke can at times be inconsistent, and some scouts peg him as a second baseman long term. Whether he ends up at shortstop or the keystone, Bichette is going to make an impact at the plate, with the potential to compete for batting titles in his prime.
Marc Hulet - Sunday, January 27 2019 @ 08:59 AM EST (#369800) #
Hidden in the spring invite list is a pretty interesting pitcher: Will Ortiz... moved along super-slow by the conservative Rays, he spent parts of four years in the DSL and then another in short-season ball and became a seven-year free agent at the age of 23. He was a starter with the Rays but everything about him screams reliever. His delivery definitely doesn't help his command/control and there are improvements that can be made there... He can dial it up to 98mph but has been triple-digit on stadium guns (notoriously hot). Doesn't have a reliable second or third pitch, but throws a slider and change, which is likely why the Rays declined to add him to their 40-man and let him go... too much depth in their system. The Jays' focus on conditioning could help him out, too.
Mike Green - Sunday, January 27 2019 @ 09:18 AM EST (#369801) #
Thanks for the Matt Young interview link, Gerry.  I don't know how much to credit Young's praise for Samad Taylor's defence, but it's something.  Young is positive throughout but not over-the-top- it's refreshing to read comments that don't have a corporate sheen on them.

I am interested to know the early-season answers to these questions:

1. which pitchers are in double A and which are in triple A- for instance, Zeuch had 21 good starts in double A, and is a 23 year old first rounder; in ordinary circumstances, he'd get the call to triple A, but it might be crowded there.
2. whether Chavez Young is primarily a centerfielder or rightfielder in Dunedin
3. which of the young catchers (Danner, Kirk, Moreno) are placed in full-season ball
4. what level and what position (primarily) for Otto Lopez- it wouldn't surprise me if he continues to be moved around


bpoz - Sunday, January 27 2019 @ 11:56 AM EST (#369802) #
The Top 100 prospect list is out. I checked all the pitchers. To me the list is ok.
85bluejay - Sunday, January 27 2019 @ 12:12 PM EST (#369804) #
Interesting, I read the Matt Young interview and thought, "same pablum I've heard from any organisational person" - I guess it's in the eye of the beholder.
85bluejay - Sunday, January 27 2019 @ 12:15 PM EST (#369805) #
Thanks Marc Hulet for the note on Ortiz - saw the invite and was unfamiliar - interesting guy and not too old.
dan gordon - Sunday, January 27 2019 @ 03:22 PM EST (#369806) #
Ortiz was pretty good in A+ ball last year, probably goes to N.H. for this year. They also invited Javy Guerra, who has appeared in 8 different mlb seasons, and has had some decent years, but that's pretty much behind him - he's 33 and the results haven't been great the last few seasons, although 2017 was OK. Doesn't strike out many, and walks more than you'd like. Some bullpen depth for the Bisons, I guess.
dalimon5 - Sunday, January 27 2019 @ 04:21 PM EST (#369807) #
While it's a slow off season and middle of a "rebuild" or "reset" of the TBJ, I am content to know that we will have the pleasure of watching the best prospects and major leaguers per division in our AL East for 2019. I don't think there's another division I would want to see more than this one. Only blah to watch is the Orioles.
dan gordon - Monday, January 28 2019 @ 01:45 AM EST (#369811) #
That top 50 Blue Jay prospect list at TSN is interesting. Biggest disagreement I have is that they seem to have a lot of guys that I consider to be fringe at best and non-prospect at worst in the mid to low 30's (Sopko, Waguespack, J. Davis, Merryweather) and guys who have some good upside and a more realistic shot about the same or much lower down, like C. Young, Taylor, Danner, Adams. I thought that I really liked Stevenson and have him at 48 on my list, so I was kind of surprised to see him all the way up at 32. I'd like to see what he does at Lansing before being that optimistic, although he was absolutely fantastic in rookie ball last year. I like cheering for guys like that who kind of come out of nowhere.
uglyone - Monday, January 28 2019 @ 11:36 AM EST (#369813) #
Nick Beeps @Nick_BPSS
Very much enjoying how teams are now vaguely referring to "analytics" supporting not paying anyone. What analytic are they talking about? Players aging? $/WAR? Obviously league minimum players are more "efficient" than free agents.

R.J. Anderson
@r_j_anderson
Replying to @Nick_BPSS
Entire point of being efficient is/was supposed to be so you'd have more budget space to add veterans through trade/free agency. They're leaving out the final/most important step.
James W - Monday, January 28 2019 @ 11:49 AM EST (#369814) #
Law's list comes out this, with the "Just Missed" portion released today. Danny Jansen comes in at 107, noting that he should have above average power - "probably 18 to 22 homers a year with a catcher's workload" - and he says that while defense is a weakness for Jansen (specifically receiving and framing, no comments about his throwing arm), the bigger concern is his durability. Two hand injuries and major knee surgery are a concern given the demands of the position.
Mike Green - Monday, January 28 2019 @ 12:02 PM EST (#369815) #
Jansen had a torn meniscus and a partial tear of the ACL years ago. I wouldn't attach the same weight to it as Keith Law appears to.
uglyone - Monday, January 28 2019 @ 01:17 PM EST (#369816) #
Keith Law is very bad at his job.
John Northey - Monday, January 28 2019 @ 01:18 PM EST (#369817) #
When it comes to teams money right now #1 is profit, #2 is building. No matter the team that is how it is. Some teams have bigger incentives to stay good - ones who own their own TV stations for example as a drop in wins = drop in advertising revenue (sometimes drastic drops). Others have fan bases that show up no matter what (ala the Leafs) but have now learned that winning = even higher revenues so have adjusted accordingly (Cubs). Still others have learned winning doesn't add much as their fan base is pretty static so they tend to go super-cheap (Tampa Bay).

I dug into the Jays awhile back and found their magic spot was around 90 wins. Over that and you see 3+ million fans, sky high TV ratings nationwide, thus tons of revenue but going to 95+ didn't push it any further. 75-89 wins was (iirc) pretty much a profitable window but not wildly so like 90+ is. Sub 75 (no hope) you saw sub 2 million fans, and horrid TV ratings (to the point where not all are on TV and they almost have to pay someone to broadcast them as poker got higher ratings). Thus why we see them determined to be at least mediocre and the incentive is there to push when they get close. Sadly the team made bad choices when close in the late 90's (best not to get into it, but Ash was fired with reason) and bad luck in the '06 to '10 era (end of JPR - runs for/against said they were better than their results but they just couldn't catch a break it seemed).

So expect the Jays to try to stay at 75+ wins for the next 2 years, then to try for a push to 90+ for 2021 and beyond. Should be interesting to see how they try to do it once the window opens again.
lexomatic - Monday, January 28 2019 @ 01:52 PM EST (#369818) #
Jansen has had 2 seasons with full workload, with the best results, at the highest levels he attained. Again, that seems like a more long-term concern (for longevity) unless it starts being an issue again.
Shoeless Joe - Monday, January 28 2019 @ 01:53 PM EST (#369819) #
Law has almost an opposite opinion of Jansen as I do, as I think he will have above average hitting ability with below average power.
Mike Green - Monday, January 28 2019 @ 03:10 PM EST (#369820) #
John Lott has a fine article over at the Athletic on Ken Giles, and his wife (former professional softball pitcher) Estela Pinon.  Partial spoiler: he does have a temper. 
bpoz - Monday, January 28 2019 @ 03:16 PM EST (#369821) #
Is k Law down on everyone's prospects or mainly the Jays?

If I was betting on who would make the playoffs last year, I would be right on 4 of 5. My winners NYY, Boston,Cleveland and Houston. I gave LAA a slight advantage over the Jays. Seattle surprised me with a great start. TB is TB,seem to over perform. I thought Oakland would be in the bottom 6-7 teams. But 97 wins.

When it comes to prospects there are very few powerhouse prospects. Not M Trout, because he lasted so long. Vlad maybe if he shows something in 2017 and 18. He did. He did as did R Acuna in the minors. F Tatis Jr looks like a V good bet, unless he gets injured.
The 1st overall pick does not always turn out to be the best player in his draft class.But he should be pretty good. So don't bet against him making it. Strasburg and M Appel look like V good bets. So bet on them. C Sale is a tall lefty that has a 97 mph FB. That is good but he will need more than that to succeed. BTW I don't have a scouting dept so I am at a huge disadvantage.

The Jay's picks of Warmoth and Pearson will prove the scouting depts worth. Pearson and J McLelland both throw 100+ mph. Depending on health we will find out the value of those 3 picks. Pearson and Warmoth lost 2018 to injuries. That is a part of the game. McLelland lost 1 month to injuries.

So K law is playing the odds V well by being negative. He does not have to say anything nice. G Kim and his staff "have" to say nice things. Mel Queen taught me that.
85bluejay - Monday, January 28 2019 @ 03:51 PM EST (#369822) #
It's a small thing but I hope the Jays claim Max Povse and take a chance that Danny Barnes (Older/Flyballer) slips through waivers - last year,Barnes looked like 2017 really took a toll on him.
Glevin - Tuesday, January 29 2019 @ 02:39 AM EST (#369825) #
"Jansen has had 2 seasons with full workload, with the best results, at the highest levels he attained. Again, that seems like a more long-term concern (for longevity) unless it starts being an issue again."

That's kind of what Law is saying.

"The bigger concern is his durability: He has never caught 100 games in any season, peaking the past two years at 98 and 85, and he has had two broken bones in his hand (one a hamate) and major knee surgery already. At some positions, this wouldn't be such a concern, but catching can wear down a lot of players who look durable, and Jansen might not be able to handle that workload."


I don't agree here but I also understand this view point (especially re: early knee surgery at catcher). People make too much of these lists when in reality there is very little difference between players the lower you get. For example, Fangraphs has a 50 FV grade from players 46-131 in their prospect rankings. That's not to say there aren't differences, just that if one person has a prospect at 70 and another has the same prospect at 100, there is actually very little difference there and personal biases tend to come in. Myself, I like hitting prospects much more than pitching prospects and I like guys who have hit in upper minors so would have Jansen pretty high.
scottt - Tuesday, January 29 2019 @ 08:22 AM EST (#369827) #
Salty retired.

For some reason, the Rays signed Bonifacio to a minor leagues contract and the Jays seem hesitant to do the same with Axford. There's nothing to lose here.

PeterG - Tuesday, January 29 2019 @ 09:50 AM EST (#369828) #
Jays may think there are not enough ST innings for more relievers.
Mike Green - Tuesday, January 29 2019 @ 10:00 AM EST (#369829) #
Jansen looks to me like he will hit well enough to be DH sometimes against LHP.  If he catches 110 games and DHs for 30, that will be a good workload for him. 

I couldn't find any record that they did a ligament repair on Jansen- I wouldn't characterize a meniscectomy as major knee surgery.  He runs very well (MLB Pipeline still has him as a 30 runner- that is a joke), but it is true that his prior knee injury makes it unlikely that he will be able to catch 1700 games in his career. 

Anyways, I love him as a hitter.  He's got all three elements- bat-to-ball ability (hand-eye), strike zone judgment and power.  It wouldn't shock me at all if he develops big-time power.  He's a big strong guy who pulls the ball, makes contact and gets the ball in the air. 


bpoz - Tuesday, January 29 2019 @ 11:01 AM EST (#369830) #
Minor league contract to Javy Guerra. He is healthy now. Used to close for LAD in 2011 and 2012.

Also invites to ST for many minor league players.
uglyone - Tuesday, January 29 2019 @ 11:10 AM EST (#369831) #
Any jansen take that doesn't explicitly refer to his astoundingly low swinging strike rate is a bad take.
rpriske - Tuesday, January 29 2019 @ 12:43 PM EST (#369832) #
Freddy Galvis is a Blue Jay.
rpriske - Tuesday, January 29 2019 @ 12:44 PM EST (#369833) #
one year plus a club option for 2020.
Danny Barnes DFA.
Gerry - Tuesday, January 29 2019 @ 12:53 PM EST (#369834) #
It is interesting that Barnes was the DFA and not Pompey. He hangs on!
Nigel - Tuesday, January 29 2019 @ 12:55 PM EST (#369836) #
The thing about Jansen (offensively) is that he has a broad range of skills (as Mike notes) so his margin for error is that much bigger than many prospects. Its also pretty unusual for a Catcher. Its actually what has made Russell Martin a useful offensive player for most of his career.
Mike Green - Tuesday, January 29 2019 @ 12:56 PM EST (#369837) #
I was trying to get a handle on Galvis' defence statistically.  He's been a shortstop the last 3 years, and if you look at UZR or DRS over that frame a pretty good one.  I was trying to figure out how as his Leading Edge numbers for all categories were below average except the routine play.  It turns out that he converts the routine play at short better than anyone and there are an awful lot of them.    He converted 98.8% of the plays (most of any qualifying shortsthop) and Xander Bogaerts (for instance) converted 97% of them.  It amounts to 20 plays over the 3 years, or 6-7 per year. 

Hopefully, this means that Gurriel Jr. will see most of his time at other positions than shortstop.

Two thumbs up for this signing. 
Nigel - Tuesday, January 29 2019 @ 01:02 PM EST (#369838) #
I've always thought that Galvis was far less interesting than he was hyped to be but he can play SS and, for no other reason than that, the move makes sense. It brings the number of SS's on the roster to 1. As I said the other day, a left side defense of Vladdy/3B, Gurriel/SS and Hernandez/LF just wasn't viable so it's immediately made the team more watchable if nothing else. He might also get flipped later this year.
Mike D - Tuesday, January 29 2019 @ 01:14 PM EST (#369839) #
To Gerry's question in the main article for this thread...I just checked out available tickets for Opening Day and there are many, many seats available (including those $41.50 500 level tickets, although to be fair that includes all service charges as far as I can tell).

Obviously, the game should eventually sell out or get close to it, but if the game started right now attendance would probably be around 23,000.
whiterasta80 - Tuesday, January 29 2019 @ 01:29 PM EST (#369840) #
I've wanted Galvis for a while and am happy to have him. Not a gamechanger by any stretch, but some skills that I like (particularly defensively) and a good price.

Two thumbs up.
Chuck - Tuesday, January 29 2019 @ 01:51 PM EST (#369841) #
It brings the number of SS's on the roster to 1.

Yep. Is Gurriel now in the mix to bump Travis (whom I liked very much at one time but who would seem to be on the thinnest of ice at this point in his career)? Or is Gurriel maybe now an outfield candidate (where his bat may be stretched a little too far)? I see no obvious position for Gurriel but the organization should have lots of latitude in 2019 to fart around with different experiments.

I am impressed with Galvis's health record. He's like the anti-Tulo. Of course, he hits like an anti-Tulo as well. His strikeouts and XBH seem to suggest a guy swinging from his heals, making a lot of outs on the warning track. Bet that will be frustrating to watch.

John Northey - Tuesday, January 29 2019 @ 01:51 PM EST (#369842) #
MLB.com's top 100 list is out (https://www.mlb.com/news/mlbs-top-100-prospects-list-for-2019/c-303182822) and the Jays are...
1. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 3B (ETA: 2019)
11. Bo Bichette, SS (2019)
65. Danny Jansen, C (2019)
76. Nate Pearson, RHP (2020)
98. Eric Pardinho, RHP (2021)

The O's have 3 (top is #64 Yusniel Diaz, OF)
Rays have 6 (top is #13. Wander Franco, SS)
Red Sox just 1 (#79. Michael Chavis, 3B/1B)
Yankees just 2 (top #57. Estevan Florial, OF)

FYI: Atlanta has 8 in the top 100 (AA will be happy with that...also makes them a team everyone will try to trade with). Padres though have 10 (wow). By Prospect Points (higher ranked the more points you get) the Jays are 7th in the majors, Rays 4th, Red Sox, O's and Yankees are all near the bottom from 24th (Yanks) to 28th (Red Sox). Marlins are the worst with only one player ranked #99 so basically a pity vote there - expect Miami to really, really suck for a long time.
85bluejay - Tuesday, January 29 2019 @ 02:04 PM EST (#369843) #
For a ground-ball pitching staff, Freddy Galvis should be a welcome addition & I suspect his offense will uptick in the small AL east parks, which is why he was my pick at the start of FA & he doesn't stand in the way if someone emerges - just a smart pickup and could bring back a lottery ticket in July.
Nigel - Tuesday, January 29 2019 @ 02:07 PM EST (#369844) #
I don't know what the plan for Gurriel will be. He doesn't look like a middle infielder to me, but of the two, SS seems a better fit than 2B as he does have a strong arm. Galvis doesn't have pronounced splits but he is a weaker batter hitting RH. I would vote for Gurriel to play 40 games at SS when the opposition starts a LH and then another 80-90 games as a 3B/OF/jack of all trades.
whiterasta80 - Tuesday, January 29 2019 @ 02:11 PM EST (#369845) #
Galvis' K% and SwStr% are not horrible so I'm inclined to agree that he is just swinging from his heels. That's the type of thing where a small mechanical adjustment can yield big dividends- hence my desire to bring him in.

His baserunning and fielding ability have always been pluses and he's being paid like a Bench bat.

Machado he is not, but he is a value signing IMO.

dalimon5 - Tuesday, January 29 2019 @ 02:18 PM EST (#369846) #
Travis, Drury and Gurriel will battle it out for super utility and Pompey, Alford, DJD will battle it out for 2 OF spots.

So the Front office has spend $10.5 million on Richard, Shoe and Galvis...a bit less that what Pollock signed for with LAD but with only 1 year commitment instead of 4 or 5. Of course that $12 million for Pollock probably becomes $14.5 to sign in Toronto just because of competitiveness.

To think that we have enough to sign Bryce Harper if we didn't have Smoak or Morales without going past the current budget is crazy. Too bad those markets have cratered.
rpriske - Tuesday, January 29 2019 @ 02:31 PM EST (#369847) #
My take on Gurriel is the opposite. He looks like he could be a great 2B or an average at best SS.
John Northey - Tuesday, January 29 2019 @ 02:40 PM EST (#369848) #
For 2019 Gurriel at 2B makes sense, but for 2020 he might move to 3B with Vlad going to 1B or the OF or DH. Bo goes to 2B, kids in minors fight to be the next SS once Galvis' contract runs out. Other guys fight for backup slots.

Should be a fun couple of years.
Mike Green - Tuesday, January 29 2019 @ 02:56 PM EST (#369849) #
It now looks to me like the club will have average defence.  That's a lot better for a young pitcher, particularly one who does not strike out that many (which applies to all of them). 
Glevin - Tuesday, January 29 2019 @ 03:11 PM EST (#369850) #
Hard to know what the Jays will do in the IF and donít think they know either yet but this gives them many more options, I think Travis is likely the odd man out at this point due to lack of versatility and poor performance and having options remaining but I am all for competition.
Nigel - Tuesday, January 29 2019 @ 03:13 PM EST (#369851) #
Mike, I agree that the defence looks to be improved from last year's club, which was awful, but I still don't see this as an average defensive team. They can expect average to above average defence at SS, CF (assuming Pillar's defence doesn't take another step back) and RF. The C tandem also has a chance to be average. After that, I see below average defenders everywhere else. I suppose on days where Drury is at 2B and McKinney is in LF then that's probably pretty close to averageish. Getting Vladdy, Hernandez and Gurriel into the lineup on a regular basis is likely to carve holes in the defence.
dan gordon - Tuesday, January 29 2019 @ 04:05 PM EST (#369852) #
The best things I can say about the Galvis signing are that it's cheap, and it's only 1 year plus an option. I'd rather have kept Aledmys Diaz, who is a much better hitter. I don't like seeing Barnes DFA'd, as I think he is a good bounce back candidate after pitching with a sore knee last year. If Galvis plays SS regularly, I suspect the team will play Gurriel at 2B, meaning no spot for Travis, who I also think is a good bounce back candidate given his long history of superior hitting prior to the injury problems the last couple of years. I still think Gurriel should be an outfielder, but the team seems to want him in the infield. I guess Galvis will be a candidate to be dealt at the deadline.
ayjackson - Tuesday, January 29 2019 @ 04:15 PM EST (#369853) #
Another head-scratcher move. Galvis looks replacement level from the projections. Just taking away from the development of youth. It should be interesting to see who has a better year, Galvis or Tulo. My money's on Tulo.
ayjackson - Tuesday, January 29 2019 @ 04:17 PM EST (#369854) #
I should say that Steamer projects 0.3 WAR, but only over 35+ games. I guess he'd be worth up to 1.5 WAR over a full season. Oh joy.
Gerry - Tuesday, January 29 2019 @ 04:18 PM EST (#369855) #
Galvis would be a flip candidate in July.
ayjackson - Tuesday, January 29 2019 @ 04:23 PM EST (#369856) #
I have become too cynical.
John Northey - Tuesday, January 29 2019 @ 04:34 PM EST (#369857) #
Galvis is a guy who is basically a safety backup - ie: if Gurriel or Bo isn't ready in April for full time SS duty then he covers in a lost year, not a bad thing for $4 mil to avoid having a big hole. If either is ready then he is a good backup for 2019 (a touch expensive but no biggie) and can be let go with minimal impact to the payroll.
Shoeless Joe - Tuesday, January 29 2019 @ 04:37 PM EST (#369858) #
At the very least now the Jays have someone on the roster who can play a great SS on the roster. I still think the front office wants to see a little more Gurriel at short before they move on, but hedging their bets is a good call.

My three week into the season team looks like this:

LF: Hernandez/McKinney
CF: Pillar
RF: Grichuk
3B: Vladdy
SS: Gurriel
2B: Drury
1B: Smoak
C: Jannsen
DH: Morales

BN: Hernandez/McKinney
BN: Maile
BN Pompey
BN Galvis

Biggest questions in this scenario: Can Pompey and Travis both play well enough so that one of Hernandez/McKinney gets optioned back to AAA to save both of them from DFA treatment?  Do the Jays only go with a three man bench to utilize more new-age pitching methods bumping out at least one of Pompey/Travis anyway?

Chuck - Tuesday, January 29 2019 @ 04:59 PM EST (#369859) #
I was wondering if the Machado/Harper stagnation is unprecedented. Then I looked up JD Martinez and saw the he didn't sign until Feb 26 last year. So we could be looking at another month of minimal activity on the FA front.
uglyone - Tuesday, January 29 2019 @ 05:14 PM EST (#369860) #
signings like this just depress me more, tbh.


and if the MLBPA doesn't strike next chance they get, they're idiots. they are getting screwed.
Glevin - Tuesday, January 29 2019 @ 05:28 PM EST (#369861) #
ďTravis, who I also think is a good bounce back candidate given his long history of superior hitting prior to the injury problems the last couple of years.Ē

You make it sound as if Travis were great for years and hit a small rough patch. He was good for two years and bad for two years-all partial seasons. Injuries certainly played a role but he was mostly healthy last year and was one of the worst players in baseball. Also, his good years were with a Babip in the .350 range which was never going to be sustainable. Itís quite possible he can rebound some which is why the Jays should let him compete but itís very hard to see where the optimism comes from. I think bouncing back, heís about a 90-100 WRC+ player with defense thatís probably below average at 2B who gets hurt a lot and can only play 2B. Some value there but pretty minimal even with a decent rebound on offense and defense.
Nigel - Tuesday, January 29 2019 @ 05:52 PM EST (#369862) #
Uglyone, context matters. Iíd agree that this would be a depressing move if the team were trying to be competitive because Glavis is mediocre at best. But the team isnít trying to be competitive so that doesnít really matter. He does offer good defence which will help a GB heavy pitching staff and he stands a decent chance of being flipped for an A-ball lottery ticket latter this summer. His signing doesnít move the needle but there isnít much to dislike with it. Iíll acknowledge itís lack of ambition, but that is consistent with the rest of the offseason.
vw_fan17 - Tuesday, January 29 2019 @ 06:02 PM EST (#369863) #
Sure, Galvis isn't horrible - but will he be worth $5M MORE than Tulo? I mean, that's 0.5 WAR, more or less, right? So he has to get 0.5 MORE WAR than Tulo, just to break even. For this to be a "win", he'd have to be probably a full WAR better..

dalimon5 - Tuesday, January 29 2019 @ 06:07 PM EST (#369864) #
"Galvis would be a flip candidate in July."

To which of the 30+ teams that watched him sit on the open market this offseason from Nov - Feb? Nobody wanted him as a starter and he signed for very cheap...I don't think people will be lining up to trade for him in July no matter how cheap his contract or good his numbers over 400 PA. If he is moved then expect a Granderson or Oh return...I don't know about you but how much more room does this roster have for Forrest Walls and Waguespack type players?

The idea that we can take marginal players with marginal track records and sell them off is a bit over the top. Not gonna happen. Someone like Diaz had a track record showing potential room for improvement which made him a much better candidate to acquire and trade for someone useful like Trent Thornton.
uglyone - Tuesday, January 29 2019 @ 06:11 PM EST (#369865) #
"Iíd agree that this would be a depressing move if the team were trying to be competitive because Glavis is mediocre at best."

eh, crying poor and then spending even $5m on bench players is always going to depress me.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, January 29 2019 @ 06:16 PM EST (#369866) #
Definitely would prefer Donaldson and Tulo on this team with upside plays like Shoemaker and someone like Charlie Morton.

I get that the FO wanted "no headaches" and nobody like Donaldson or Tulo running the clubhouse, but would it hurt to have past-their-prime-MVP vets on the decline running your clubhouse for 1 year while most of your prospects are still in AAA anyways? Seems odd to punt $45 million in salary to Tulo and Donaldson in 2019 in favour of signing Galvis, Richard and Shoemaker.

Looks to me like the FO wants to mimic Atlanta with finding lightning in a bottle similar to Anibal Sanchez. Yeah, I don't if it's sunk in to this front office that this is the AL East...not gonna be even average with "potential average plays" all over the diamond like Smoak, Drury, McKinney, Pillar, Hernandez, etc all.

Hernandez is very close to 40+ bombs...

McKinney has potential to be solid average OF...

Grichuk could figure it out and be 4 WAR player...

Jansen can be top 5 catcher...

Gurriel can be 3 WAR SS/infielder...

These are all gambles with little chance of coming to fruition and even if they do they won't amount to anything more than 10-15 more wins and the same 3rd or 4th place finish as before.

The only sure thing it would seem is Vlad who is being kept in the minors.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, January 29 2019 @ 06:19 PM EST (#369867) #
I have no problem with the front office's stated strategy and the reset/rebuild except that they are signing bench players for millions which makes no sense. Couldn't agree more with ugly's sentiment. I'd rather cut bait on all the bench players with 3 million+ salaries and funnel that into 1 quality MLB signing and then use AAAA players as bench players on the league minimum. Is it really that difficult to find fungible players for cheap while you wait for your prospects to come up?

"eh, crying poor and then spending even $5m on bench players is always going to depress me."
dalimon5 - Tuesday, January 29 2019 @ 06:32 PM EST (#369868) #
TORONTO BLUE JAYS SIGNINGS 2019
Clayton Richard $3 million
Freddy Galvis $4 million
Matt Shoemaker $3.5 million
------------------------------
$10.5 million total...

SIMILAR SALARY CONTRACTS SIGNED BY OTHER FREE AGENTS

Daniel Descalso $2.5 million
Asdrubal Cabrera $3.5 million
Avisail Garcia $3.5 million
Eduardo Escobar $7 million
Mike Fiars $7 million
Joakim Soria $7.5 million
Jonathan Schoop $7.5 million
Garret Richard $7.75 million
Cody Allen $8.5 million
Joe Kelly $8.5 million
Brian Dozier $9 million
Trevor Cahill $9 million
Kelvin Herrera $9 million
Adam Ottavino $9 million
Lancy Lynn $10 million
Jed Lowrie $10 million
Daniel Robertson $11.5 million
Daniel Murphy $12 million
DJ LeMahieu $12 million
Andrew Miller $12.5 million
Zach Britton $13 million

Shelby Miller, Hunter Strickland, Drew Pomeranz....when you go through the list it looks bad for Toronto...we are paying more money than other teams do for similar signings and the player's we are getting have no business being on the field.

QUANTITY over QUALITY is the new market efficiency #ClevelandRocks
scottt - Tuesday, January 29 2019 @ 06:33 PM EST (#369869) #
Galvis was a better shortstop than Diaz last year, once you include defense.
He was popular in both Philadephia and San Diego.
Heck, the Padres gave away De La Santos, who was the 9th prospect in the Phillies system at the end of they year, to get Galvis for just one year.

I think the league has figured out Travis, so he needs to make some major adjustments.

Galvis is another decent player who doesn't block anybody and can easily be traded for some return once a prospect shows he's ready to take over

dalimon5 - Tuesday, January 29 2019 @ 07:03 PM EST (#369870) #
The point isn't who Freddy Galvis is better than.

There are better players and value signings than Freddy Galvis and many other teams have demonstrated that this offseason.

Defensive ratings and metrics are highly suspect to say the least. Has there been a consistent way to measure it yet or does it still vary by who is determining the value? Some of these metrics remind me of competing art galleries. At some point a Van Gogh painting is recognized and prized at $4,000,000 but at the other gallery it isn't authentic and not worth more than $400.00...
scottt - Tuesday, January 29 2019 @ 07:17 PM EST (#369871) #
Galvis played 162 games last year and the same the year before. He's not sitting on the bench. He's going to be a regular.
He had 31 doubles and 15 homeruns last year.
Devon's best for doubles is 28 and for homeruns it's 11.

I'm sure Sanchez and Stroman are breathing easier.

greenfrog - Tuesday, January 29 2019 @ 07:21 PM EST (#369872) #
I was hoping for a galvanizing move like this. Good acquisition.
scottt - Tuesday, January 29 2019 @ 07:34 PM EST (#369873) #
Nobody is punting anything to Donaldson. They gave him 23M and he couldn't stay on the field.
They changed the coaching staff. They don't want any hard to manage vets. It's not like he was begging to come back.

Vlad is held back because this is a wasted year. That's the smart thing to do.

The big question is what will the pitching look like in April? in June? in August?



dalimon5 - Tuesday, January 29 2019 @ 07:53 PM EST (#369874) #
"Vlad is held back because this is a wasted year. That's the smart thing to do. "


That's what's wrong with the Blue Jays. It's like turning to your partner after deciding that you can't afford going to the nice restaurant and saying "let's just go to Olive Garden or Mandarin." Nothing against those places but if you're dressed up and expecting a 5 star meal then that doesn't make sense.

Most MLB teams either go out to the nice restaurant or stay home and cook and I was under the impression the Jays would be doing the latter. It seems they are happy to straddle the mid tier restaurants that offer poor service and food. Mediocre.
bpoz - Tuesday, January 29 2019 @ 07:55 PM EST (#369875) #
Agreed scottt. The overall plan is too complicated to understand.

I don't see us as a small market team. So $10 mil is not a significant hurdle to overcome.

Certain positions are getting overcrowded. There are a lot of vets that could take ABs away from kids. The plan was to play the kids and take our lumps. Montoyo positively compared this teams talent to Boston 5 years ago.

Atkins is young and modern so an old strategy of Gilick's does not apply. Trade Dave Collins so that the manager has to take his lumps with George Bell. Those types of gambles can no longer be utilized.

Dumping a decent vet and allowing the kid to struggle. Risky. Very risky. Could lose your job.


greenfrog - Tuesday, January 29 2019 @ 08:11 PM EST (#369876) #
The team is clearly taking a long-term approach to rebuilding in which they add as many quality prospects as possible, hold on to those prospects, add free agents who provide short-term stability (on offense or defense) and might have some trade value, maintain financial flexibility to help construct the next contender, and stick to this approach until it pays dividends. It's boring, but it might be more effective in the long run than Anthopoulos's swashbuckling moves. We shall see.
Shoeless Joe - Tuesday, January 29 2019 @ 08:20 PM EST (#369877) #
It is easy enough to say why bother spend any money on bench players, but for me watching Darwin Barney and Ryan Goins bat back to back in 2017 was absolutely painful. I really hope Galvis is at least a little better than that.
bpoz - Tuesday, January 29 2019 @ 08:20 PM EST (#369878) #
I see it that way also greenfrog.

But can the team lose and still provide job security? Reducing payroll should please ownership. The TB type model may even provide some decent competitiveness. If we compete enough to produce a pennant race then revenues will increase.

TB ends up losing prospects because of a strong/overcrowded farm. We could be heading that way.
PeterG - Tuesday, January 29 2019 @ 09:41 PM EST (#369879) #
Galvis has played all 162 games each of the last 2 seasons I believe. There is no scenerio where that could have ever happened with Goins or Barney. I think this was a good signing with no foreseeable downside and a reasonable possibility of upside.
uglyone - Tuesday, January 29 2019 @ 09:59 PM EST (#369880) #
"He's not sitting on the bench. He's going to be a regular"

I think you just depressed me even more.
uglyone - Tuesday, January 29 2019 @ 10:35 PM EST (#369881) #
gotta get rid of those expensive vets, because they're blocking the kids!

now let's sign these crappier vets to block the kids.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, January 29 2019 @ 11:00 PM EST (#369882) #
Galvis won't be blocking anyone. He's a below average/above replacement level infielder who provides some sort of insurance in case Gurriel looks hopeless at short. The only other option on the 40 man roster to fill that spot was Urena, and he's been awful for two and a half years now (.424 BABIP in the Majors aside). The cost ($5M) was pretty high considering his role and skill set, plus the market itself, but it's a one year deal with a team option, so practically no risk. I wouldn't say it's a good move, more meh than anything.

The only vet blocking the younger talent at this point is Morales, who they apparently do not want to add to the pile of sunk cost already built up this winter. Galvis isn't blocking anyone.
dan gordon - Wednesday, January 30 2019 @ 12:18 AM EST (#369883) #
"You make it sound as if Travis were great for years and hit a small rough patch. He was good for two years and bad for two years-all partial seasons"

OMG, you've got to be kidding me. You are completely ignoring the minor leagues. Travis had 3 excellent years of hitting in the minors, followed by 2 good seasons in mlb. How can you just ignore his first 3 pro seasons. sheesh
dan gordon - Wednesday, January 30 2019 @ 12:32 AM EST (#369884) #
"Galvis was a better shortstop than Diaz last year, once you include defense"

Over his career, Diaz has produced 4.2 WAR in roughly 1,200 plate appearances. Galvis has 5.4 WAR in 3,100. Diaz' rate is about double that of Galvis. If you only want to look at the last 3 years, the length of Diaz' career, he still has the advantage, with 4.2 WAR in 1,200 vs 4.8 WAR in about 1,950 for Galvis. Diaz is better, way cheaper, a year younger, and is under control for 4 more years.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, January 30 2019 @ 01:23 AM EST (#369885) #
Either way this signing is suspect.

If Galvis was signed as starting SS:
- blocking any combination of Gurriel and Bichette and if Gurriel goes to 2B or OF then he's blocking somebody out there.

If Galvis is signed as a back up then you just spent $5 million on a back up when you are below average at every position except 1B, 3B, and C and you're probably below average defensively at two of those non sinkhole positions anyway if you're being honest about Vlad and Jansen.

This is definitely not a good signing. Look at the list of alternative players that could have been signed. What's next, a veteran 2B with soft numbers to start/back up 2B for a year?
backscratcher - Wednesday, January 30 2019 @ 02:11 AM EST (#369886) #
I would have liked to have seen Diaz stick around but I think Galvis is a better defensive shortstop (also better D at SS than Lourdes). Better D at SS helps the 2 Vet starters they are looking to possibly trade for value this year (Stroman and Sanchez). It might also help out the hotshot 3B prospect who has some question marks around his D (when he comes up in April/May). I would have kept Diaz but I can understand the move.
Glevin - Wednesday, January 30 2019 @ 03:04 AM EST (#369887) #
"OMG, you've got to be kidding me. You are completely ignoring the minor leagues. Travis had 3 excellent years of hitting in the minors, followed by 2 good seasons in mlb. How can you just ignore his first 3 pro seasons. sheesh"

Because what someone did in AA 4 years ago is irrelevant when we have 4 major league seasons since. Anyway, I don't find stats of even four years ago in the majors particularly relevant. If I am looking at numbers, all other things being equal (obviously, there are breakouts and missed seasons, etc...), I will generally factor in roughly 90% last two years, 9% year before that, 1% before that. Minor league numbers are irrelevant to me except when the player doesn't have much major league experience (either early in career or never got a real shot).

Travis definitely got unlucky last year with BABIP but the underlying numbers show he actually wasn't that unlucky. Of 15 Jays hitters with over 100 PAs, he was 13/15 in hard contact and 2nd in groundball percentage so Travis was hitting a lot of soft grounders which are going to lead to low BABIP. This is what makes 2016 so surprising because Travis had very good numbers despite not hitting the ball well at all. He hit the ball on the ground and softly but somehow he had a .336 BABIP on groundballs which is insane. For reference, Dee Gordon who has blazing speed has a career .285 BABIP on groundballs. Even at the time, it was pretty obvious that Travis' 2015 and 2016 were not sustainable but we didn't know where he would settle. I thought he was a 105 WRC+ guy with pretty good defense which is a valuable player but I don't think he's there anymore.
dan gordon - Wednesday, January 30 2019 @ 04:19 AM EST (#369888) #
It's certainly not irrelevant, it actually happened. If he was a terrible hitter in the minors, he wouldn't have the same potential that he does. Too properly evaluate a player, you have to look at the progression of his career, including the minors, what he has accomplished, and understand reasons for changes in his performance level, often as a result of injury. Of course, Travis may have sustained some type of injury which has caused permanent damage to the extent that he can no longer be a good hitter. I have heard no medical report which indicates that, and the 5 good seasons of hitting immediately preceding the 2 injury plagued seasons give me reason for optimism that he can be an effective hitter again.
scottt - Wednesday, January 30 2019 @ 06:23 AM EST (#369889) #
Diaz is younger and had an all-star first half in his rookie year that he hasn't been able to duplicate.
Diaz is a better than average bat but a below average defender.
Galvis is  a below average bat with above average defense at shortstop.
There are 3 positions where defense might be more important than offense: shortstop, catcher and centerfield.
Galvis probably hits 9th, but Diaz was hitting 7th, 8th and 9th.
Galvis doesn't have good on base skills, but he has pops, so basically the same type of hitter, just not quite as good, but with more speed.

Galvis hit 20 HR 3 years ago, so he might be able to do that again in the small AL East parks.

scottt - Wednesday, January 30 2019 @ 06:27 AM EST (#369890) #
Going through the minors, there's little scouting of the hitters.
You can pitch around the biggest bats, but that's about it.
Pitchers are trying to get you out with their best stuff, when they are not working on something.
In the majors, it's totally different. Travis has good contact skills on outside fastballs and can totally crush inside breaking balls. He's just not seeing any of those pitches anymore.

scottt - Wednesday, January 30 2019 @ 06:37 AM EST (#369891) #
Nobody is blocking Bichette.
Where he plays this year depends on what he does and how good the pitching is in Toronto.

He's going to play most of they year in AAA.
They could bring him up at the deadline if the team is competing for a wild card spot. Very unlikely.
They could bring him up in September or send him to Arizona like they did with Guerrero.

What the signing does is push Drury to the bench once Guerrero is up, instead of having someone like Urena or Eric Sogard there.

What's next? They could trade Pillar or one of Stroman/Sanchez.
Maybe Pompey is still there because the Giants haven't closed the door on Pillar.

scottt - Wednesday, January 30 2019 @ 06:40 AM EST (#369892) #
You have to understand how he covers the plate and what adjustments he's able to make.
These days catchers have detailed scouting info taped to their forearms.
If they can get you out without throwing your pitch, they will.

ayjackson - Wednesday, January 30 2019 @ 09:07 AM EST (#369893) #
Looking forward to sub-300 wOBA Galvis being better at the plate than Barney and Goins may be foolhardy...unless you're in to splitting hairs.

People are willing to write off Gurriel at SS basen on very little data. I'd be willing to give him 90% of the starts until Bichette's ready to see if he can improve. If it's a disaster, defense is easy to find on the waiver wire.

My bet is that the Galvanizer gets the start behind Stroman and Sanchez and Gurriel starts the others.
Mike Green - Wednesday, January 30 2019 @ 09:31 AM EST (#369894) #
I was hoping for a galvanizing move like this

....but it won't help the Jays when the summer's heat waves turn nasty and brutish, and superbugs flourish and end the careers of every single ballplayer just before the club was ready to make a run for it.
uglyone - Wednesday, January 30 2019 @ 09:37 AM EST (#369895) #
D.Travis (27): 1245pa, .315babip, 102wrc+, 4.8fwar, 6.5bwar, 3.0war/650 - $1.93m + 2yrs arby
F.Galvis (29): 3096a, .288babip, 77wrc+, 7.2fwar, 5.4bwar, 1.3war/650 ---- $5.0m + $5.5option
L.Gurriel (25): 263pa, .326babip, 103wrc+, 0.4fwar, 0.1bwar, 0.6awar/650 -- $3.9m x 5yrs
B.Drury (26): 1124pa, .309babip, 92wrc+, 0.7fwar, 0.9bwar, 0.5awar/650 -- $1.3m + 3yrs arby


guess which guy is gonna be the first to go.
uglyone - Wednesday, January 30 2019 @ 09:39 AM EST (#369896) #
"Galvis won't be blocking anyone"

Sure, just like Morales isn't.

but Martin and Tulo were.
Cracka - Wednesday, January 30 2019 @ 10:13 AM EST (#369897) #
guess which guy is gonna be the first to go.

Travis... because defense matters and he's significantly less valuable than the others in that capacity. Travis was the worst defensive 2B last year in baseball according to Fangraphs combined metrics. And it's the only position he's played since high school, so he's not a reasonable candidate to change positions or to be a utility guy. He needs to hit well above average to be an asset for any team -- and he's a major liability as a bench player because of his lack of versatility.
Mike Green - Wednesday, January 30 2019 @ 10:14 AM EST (#369898) #
For what it's worth, ZiPS projections have the best current Blue Jays double play combination being Smith and Bichette.  I wonder if the club will give them some time working together in Buffalo if Smith passes the double A test. 

Here are the 13  position players I would take north, assuming good health, that Pompey performs well in the spring and that I am required to keep Morales and Gurriel Jr. and keep Guerrero Jr. in the minors:

C: Jansen, Maile
1B: Smoak
2B: Travis
SS; Galvis
3B: Drury
LF; McKinney
CF: Pillar
RF: Grichuk
4th OF: Pompey (platoons with McKinney and gives Pillar and Grichuk the occasional day off)
IF: Gurriel Jr. (plays three days per week giving days off for Travis, Galvis and Drury)
DH: Teoscar/Morales (I'd use Morales as a pinch-hitter mostly but give him one day a week DHing to keep him fresh- Morales pinch-hitting for Galvis when down and Gurriel Jr. coming in, works for me)

It's not a lineup that is likely to win 85 games, but with Guerrero Jr. coming up late in April, it should be decent and help the pitchers develop.
Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, January 30 2019 @ 10:33 AM EST (#369899) #
2018 xWOBA:

Gurriel: 0.320
Drury: 0.315
Travis: 0.306
Galvis: 0.270 (ouch)
Lg Avg: 0.314

Gurriel simply has more tools and upside than Travis or Drury, but a comparison between who is better between Drury and Travis moving forward is close. A lot of their advanced statistics are fairly close with Travis striking out less and hitting the ball on the ground more and Drury walking more and hitting the ball in the air more. I find it hard to squint with Drury and see much more than a league average player overall, but on the other side I think the surgeries have just added up on Travis.



uglyone - Wednesday, January 30 2019 @ 10:37 AM EST (#369900) #
"because defense matters"

to the front office that keeps adding Gurriels and Teoscars?
Nigel - Wednesday, January 30 2019 @ 10:45 AM EST (#369901) #
Mike that would be my lineup as well. If Travis looks toasty in spring I would move Drury to 2B and have Gurriel play a spell at 3B.
bpoz - Wednesday, January 30 2019 @ 12:03 PM EST (#369902) #
The 2019 team is getting the Shapiro and Atkins stamp on it.

Glevin - Wednesday, January 30 2019 @ 12:18 PM EST (#369903) #
"D.Travis (27): 1245pa, .315babip, 102wrc+, 4.8fwar, 6.5bwar, 3.0war/650 - $1.93m + 2yrs arby
F.Galvis (29): 3096a, .288babip, 77wrc+, 7.2fwar, 5.4bwar, 1.3war/650 ---- $5.0m + $5.5option
L.Gurriel (25): 263pa, .326babip, 103wrc+, 0.4fwar, 0.1bwar, 0.6awar/650 -- $3.9m x 5yrs
B.Drury (26): 1124pa, .309babip, 92wrc+, 0.7fwar, 0.9bwar, 0.5awar/650 -- $1.3m + 3yrs arby"

You never cease to amuse and find ways of arguing things that nobody on the planet believes. Almost every single comparison you ever made was "Last 2 years" but suddenly it doesn't fit what you want, so you move to lifetime numbers. Seriously, who compares current players by lifetime numbers? (answer, nobody). Otherwise, the Jays should go and sign Mcgriff. Great LT WAR. Great WAR/650 and super cheap!
I mean how about this simple measure?
FWAR last 2 seasons and opening day age and positions played:
Galvis-(29), 2.8, SS, 2B
Drury(26), 0.6, 2B, 3B,
Gurriel (25), 0.4, 2B, SS
Travis (28), 0.2, 2B

So Travis over the last 2 years has been the worst player, is the second oldest and is the least versatile but none of that matters because if you pro-rate his career numbers and complete ignore health or actual performance, they are better than the pro-rated career numbers of other players. Sure.
uglyone - Wednesday, January 30 2019 @ 12:35 PM EST (#369904) #
ok.

Last 2yrs:

F.Galvis (29): 1319pa, .298babip, 83wrc+, 2.8fwar, 3.7bwar, 1.6awar/650 ---- $5.0m + $5.5option
B.Drury (26): 566pa, .305babip, 85wrc+, 0.5fwar, 1.1bwar, 0.9awar/650 -- $1.3m + 3yrs arby
D.Travis (27): 575pa, .270babip, 81wrc+, 0.2fwar, 1.2bwar, 0.8awar/650 --- $1.93m + 2yrs arby
L.Gurriel (25): 263pa, .326babip, 103wrc+, 0.4fwar, 0.1bwar, 0.6awar/650 -- $3.9m x 5yrs
grjas - Wednesday, January 30 2019 @ 12:36 PM EST (#369905) #
I liked Diaz and was disappointed they traded him but clearly the net of all this is Diaz and some additional salary for Galvis and Thornton. So the real issue is how good will Thornton be.... per Atkins at the trade date-

ďTrent is someone that weíve targeted for some time, and are confident that his deep repertoire and strike-throwing ability allows him to be a factor for our major-league rotation in the near term.Ē

Hard to get excited by his numbers but weíll see how good their scouting is.
Mike Green - Wednesday, January 30 2019 @ 12:40 PM EST (#369906) #
It is possible to believe that Travis will return to form and be a better infielder than Gurriel Jr. or Drury or Galvis, while agreeing that career WAR/650 is, at best,  an indicator of talent when healthy. Travis' health has (of course) been a very big issue.

The Diaz' trade essentially amounts to Galvis and Thornton for Diaz.  That is a tolerable trade, given the presence of Guerrero Jr., Bichette and Smith, and the greater need for pitching.  I still wouldn't have made it, but I feel lot better about it with the Galvis acquisition.  Did you know that Aledmys Diaz' BBRef most similar hitter is....Devon Travis.  It takes a lot of work for two teammates to organize that. 

Mike Green - Wednesday, January 30 2019 @ 12:41 PM EST (#369907) #
Coke to grjas.
rpriske - Wednesday, January 30 2019 @ 12:58 PM EST (#369908) #
Keith Law claims that Fernando Tatis Jr. is a better prospect than Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

{shakes head}

85bluejay - Wednesday, January 30 2019 @ 01:17 PM EST (#369909) #
Guerrero is clearly the best hitting prospect but when you take into account the other aspects (defense,base running,weight issues etc.) of the game, I can see that some may prefer Tatis Jr. - it's no big deal.
bpoz - Wednesday, January 30 2019 @ 02:08 PM EST (#369910) #
On the 40 man roster there are about 5 players who at the moment are not ready to play in the Majors. Y Diaz, P Murphy and H Perez because they have no AAA experience. Add J Merryweather (injuries). E Luciano is not ready but will play in the Majors because of rule 5 guidelines. So 35 of the 40 are near ready and can be expected to have a shot in theory to be added to the 25 man roster.

At the moment the outsiders seem to be:

R McGuire C

Tellez and Urena IF

Alford, J Davis and D Smith Jr OF.

So some competition may exist.

I cannot see my outsiders winning an opening day roster spot. But you never know.

Somehow most writers are giving rotation spots to Shoemaker and Richard. Come May 31 Shoemaker and Richard could have very bad results.

I only have 4 people in the pen at the moment. Giles, Tepera and Phelps. Also Mayza as the lone lefty, and I am not too sure of him.

Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, January 30 2019 @ 02:14 PM EST (#369911) #
I think Thorton is still most likely a reliever, but likely a good one. The fastball/curveball combo to me might have Ryan Pressly upside, or Joe Biagini circa 2016. His spin rate on his curveball is reported as higher than Collin McHugh which puts it in the top 50.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, January 30 2019 @ 03:08 PM EST (#369912) #
"Keith Law claims that Fernando Tatis Jr. is a better prospect than Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

{shakes head}"


I would take Tatis over Guerrero. Plays SS, complete player vs a probably Hall of Famer elite off the charts bat-only prospect who likely will be at 1B in a few years if not sooner. When you look at WAR you will see Tatis will outperform Vlad easily on defence alone.

Unless you think Vlad will be above average defensively, stay at 3B for his career and steal 20+ bases a year...I don't see how you can compare the two.
pubster - Wednesday, January 30 2019 @ 03:15 PM EST (#369913) #
In 344 at bats in AA/AAA Guerrero Jr struck out 37 times and walked 36 times.

in 353 at bats in AA Tatis Jr struck out 109 times and walked 33 times.

Based on that I think Guerrero is a much safer bet.
Mike Green - Wednesday, January 30 2019 @ 03:24 PM EST (#369914) #
I don't really care how somebody ranks Player X vs. Player Y. 

Tatis Jr. did a fine job at double A at age 19.  He had a .370 BABIP though and if you let the air out of it, he just held his own.  Which is great for a 19 year old shortstop but nothing remotely like what Guerrero Jr. did.    If I were managing the Padres, I'd give him a full season at triple A. 
dalimon5 - Wednesday, January 30 2019 @ 03:45 PM EST (#369915) #
If you keep comparing hitting stats you will keep getting the same preference. That's not how front offices or scouts are valuing players anymore. Some may still do and some like Keith Law may not. It doesn't help that KLaw is purposely antagonistic to conjure up traffic/views, but his premise has merit to some.

The point is that Guerrero projects to be a one of a kind one dimensional player ala Miggy or Manny Ramirez. Sheffield is his upside defence wise. Bat wise he's out of this world but that's still one dimension so I can see why people (myself included) would prefer the toolsier better balanced player even if the steals, average, power, position and defence don't add up to outperform the ultimate one dimension of Vlad's offence.
dan gordon - Wednesday, January 30 2019 @ 03:54 PM EST (#369916) #
"clearly the net of all this is Diaz and some additional salary for Galvis and Thornton"

Well, really, it's Diaz and Barnes plus some additional salary for Galvis and Thornton. Keep in mind Diaz and Barnes both have 4 years of control, Galvis only 2. Not a deal I would make, especially if Thornton is a reliever (or a bust).
pubster - Wednesday, January 30 2019 @ 04:10 PM EST (#369917) #
dalimon, do you prefer Bichette over Guerrero?

Bichette OPS'd something like .888 over the second half of the season last year.
grjas - Wednesday, January 30 2019 @ 04:56 PM EST (#369918) #
LKeep in mind Diaz and Barnes both have 4 years of control, Galvis only 2ď

Yes thatís valid but Iím not fussed about losing Barnes, and I suspect they view whoever plays SS as a placeholder for now. Iíd be fine if Thornton turned out to be a late inning reliever, but less than that and the dealís likely a loss, though I doubt a big one.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, January 30 2019 @ 04:58 PM EST (#369919) #
No, I don't. the reason is because he doesn't project to have the same upside at Tatis or to stick at SS. I was really unimpressed with him over the telecasts I was watching. Now of course, by "unimpressed" I mean not a superstar prospect like Vlad or Tatis Jr. I see him like an Aaron Hill type which is probably a disappointment to most people expecting him to be the next Carlos Correa which is probably what Tatis will be.

But IF Bichette didn't hit in front of Vlad, played better defensively and projected to have a tiny bit more offence along with long term positioning at SS then yeah I think Vlad vs Bo is a lot closer than people think.


Vlad is out of this world simply because nobody has ever seen off the chart skills like his before. He reminds me a lot of Harper, Stanton and Strasburg who at their time were prospects doing things that were never done before. The power off of Harper's bat, the distance of Stanton's home runs and the speed and width of Strasburg's repertoire....all of these things at the time were unheard of. Kind of similar to Vlad. Trout is the obvious best prospect who had Micky Mantle comparisons in minor ball but never got the hype of the others because he didn't have the best tools in one category he was just best overall. I think Tatis Jr has the potential to be very good in all categories but ranking him #2 is all projection at this point as somebody else has pointed out. Vlad is very good at hitting, that's it, and that's half of baseball and it's probably the safest projection and bet anyone can make in 2019.
Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, January 30 2019 @ 05:09 PM EST (#369920) #
"If you keep comparing hitting stats you will keep getting the same preference. That's not how front offices or scouts are valuing players anymore."

Is it the complete evaluation? No, but it surely makes up a large part of the evaluation process. It isn't even a question about which teams heavily rely on statistics anymore, but which teams have the best source of stats and metrics to evaluate players and how they integrate the data with first hand scouting reports.

However, the point here is that Vladdy is so far in the stratosphere ahead of any peer in the minor leagues statistically I can't see where tools or defense can make up the ground. Although younger that Tatis Steamer projects Vladdy to have a 4.8 WAR in 129 games compared to Tatis who steamer projects to have 0.6 in 58 games. The big difference for me is that Tatis had a very concerning 27.7% K-rate in AA compared to Vladdy who struck out in less than 10% of his at bats in AA/AAA.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, January 30 2019 @ 06:27 PM EST (#369921) #
I can't go off projections when we have real numbers in front of us. Most rankings on Tatis are throwing out the first few months of last year which were terrible.

At the end of the day Vlad, AcuŮa, Shohei, Wander, Tatis Jr, Soto...these are all ridiculous talents and there's no point figuring out which one is best in an isolated ranking. The best player to me will be the one with the best surrounding talent.
vw_fan17 - Wednesday, January 30 2019 @ 07:52 PM EST (#369922) #
I look at Vlad vs. Tatis like this:
-if you had 8 players as good as Tatis and a decent catcher, it would just be a matter of flipping a coin as to where the 8 would play, and you would have a really good player at every position. Sure, the defense might be overkill for 1B-if you had 8 Vlads, you would be looking to make approximately 6-7 trades for players with more defensive capability and less hitting ability..

Now, would that 8-Vlad team put up insane hitting numbers? Sure. But they might also be the worst defensive team in a long, long time. Think Cecil/Prince Fielder at every position.. Add a bunch of SLG / OBP. Then picture them trying to track down a flyball in the outfield.. Or a groundball in the hole.
Now, 1 or 2 Vlads is great (and I'm really happy with have him!), but it does limit your defensive flexibility.. Wonder which of our pitchers will be his designated runner for later innings?
uglyone - Wednesday, January 30 2019 @ 08:22 PM EST (#369923) #
don't know why anyone listens to law. he's a troll, especially to jays fans.

tatis is a very nice prospect, albeit with only one legit plus tool (power) that comes with a lot of Ks.

Vladdy on the other hand may be the best hitting prospect of all time. He's the perfect hitter. A generational prospect.
scottt - Wednesday, January 30 2019 @ 08:37 PM EST (#369924) #
Barnes is a 2 pitch pitcher who doesn't have a lot of velocity.
He's 29 this year. He was really bad last year and his ceiling is limited.
Galvis might have 2 years of control, but they really only need him for one year.


scottt - Wednesday, January 30 2019 @ 08:54 PM EST (#369925) #
The Dodgers signed Ezequiel Carrera to a minor league contract.


bpoz - Wednesday, January 30 2019 @ 09:10 PM EST (#369926) #
There will be a lot of 40 man position players gone by the end of the year.

Morales & Smoak very likely. The IF will be thinned out by competition and the OF by competition and running out of options.

I don't know how the pitching will decrease. Available options is not a problem.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, January 30 2019 @ 09:56 PM EST (#369927) #
Travis' past is a lot less meaningful than his recent history. He hasn't hit the past two seasons, and his defense fell off significantly last season, both of those drop offs likely due to years of assorted injuries. I would put much more emphasis on '17-18 than I would anything that happened before that. Even if you're not a fan of Gurriel or Drury, at least they are younger and come with positional versatility and more offensive upside. I don't mind giving Travis a chance in 2019 to see if an offensive bounce back is possible, but he's hanging on by a thread, especially since he's pretty much a 2B only.

I'm still expecting a Pillar trade to happen before the start of the season (though I'm less certain of it now than I was previously). The FO seems willing to keep Hernandez in the OF, and sliding Grichuk to CF opens up RF for McKinney. That's not an ideal defensive alignment (possibly a really bad one) but getting the OF's playing time is more of a priority at this point. They can sort out the defense later with trades (Morales in particular) or using DH as a revolving door.
85bluejay - Thursday, January 31 2019 @ 07:27 AM EST (#369928) #
Yeah, I'm surprised that Pillar is still here, the Reds & Giants are still said to be looking for a CF - BTW, I'm still a believer (irrational?) in Dalton Pompey, I want an opportunity for more playing time for him.
scottt - Thursday, January 31 2019 @ 07:38 AM EST (#369929) #
Hernandez has effortless power. If he hits enough to play DH, he should still see the occasional start in LF for flexibility.

Moving Pillar would make sense, but the return would probably be meager.
Pillar's value seems to be dropping every year, so it shouldn't be a huge deal.
On the plus, you get to roll the dice a final time with Pompey and a new coaching staff.


AWeb - Thursday, January 31 2019 @ 08:41 AM EST (#369930) #
I see the occasional default assumption here that Guerrero will be bad at third base. Is there any reason to think this? He's shown improvement in the past few years already, according to most sources. I've read nothing negative about his willingness to put work in. He's not slow and his arm, by all reports I've seen, is good enough for third.

3rd base is also not a "young" position, like Centerfield and Shortstop tend to be, so there is no reason for him to get worse at it over the next few years. He's only 19 years old, he should be getting better at defense for a few years yet. I'm not expecting him to be a great fielder since he's only been playing there a couple of years, and it might take him some time to adjust to MLB-speed batted balls and the turf. But if he can manage to be average/slightly below average at 3rd, there's no reason to move him, or plan to move him. I mean, sure, the front office will probably cite defense as a reason to leave him in AAA for a month, in keeping with MLB tradition, but it'll be a lie.
Mike Green - Thursday, January 31 2019 @ 08:48 AM EST (#369931) #
I noticed that Ted Williams was born at the end of August.  He developed his power in the minor leagues in his "age 19 season"- i.e. the one where he turned 20 in August.  For Guerrero Jr., that would be the equivalent of a spring training power display.  Guerrero Jr.'s upside (for his 20s) is probably Ted Williams, without the war service.  He's a lot closer to Williams at this age than Tatis Jr. is to Alex Rodriguez, but obviously the odds are against either of them achieving that. 

Kaitlyn McGrath has a fine profile of John Schneider over at the Athletic.  Well worth reading.  It sounds like he will be a roving coach here, bringing with him an assortment of skills- catching expertise for Danny Jansen, soft skills for the young players (I'm hopeful that he is just the tonic for Pompey), and the ability to translate analytic data into usable pieces for players who need that.  Generally I am very pleased with the coaching hires this off-season, and am cautiously optimistic about talent development at the major league level over the next few years. 
rpriske - Thursday, January 31 2019 @ 09:27 AM EST (#369932) #
If we could trade Martin we can trade Pillar.

Both are very similar... defense first players whose days as a good hitter have passed and whose defense is also becoming less than it was.
(Pillar was never the hitter that Martin was, but they are both now replacement level or below overall.)

dalimon5 - Thursday, January 31 2019 @ 09:29 AM EST (#369933) #
The talk of Vlad not being great defensively is for his career not his first few years, at least for me.

His arm is actually very good but it's his size and conditioning that scouts are worried about over the long haul. On top of that he just doesn't have very good range or footwork even though it looks like he covers a lot of ground. If he can stay at 3B and not be negative WAR then there is no question who the #1 is.

If you look at Andrelton Simmons before 2018 his WAR are insane for a weak bat because of his defence.
Mike Green - Thursday, January 31 2019 @ 09:29 AM EST (#369934) #
I'm not paid by the Athletic, but John Lott has a great piece on Patrick Murphy there today, covering Murphy's injuries and the development of his stuff last year.  When he came back down to Dunedin after the emergency start in New Hampshire, he was absolutely lights out for 100 innings, thanks to a fastball that touched 100 (hot gun?) and a much-improved changeup. 

Murphy and Pearson are the ones I am watching who may be able to add to the pitching rotation at some point in 2020.  There are a bunch of others who could add, probably at a less dominating but still useful level.
Mike Green - Thursday, January 31 2019 @ 09:52 AM EST (#369935) #
Today is the 100th anniversary of Jackie Robinson's birth.  I realize that I know more about Jackie's early life than about Branch Rickey's.  Here's a brief SABR bio of Rickey, which just makes me want to read more.  Anybody have any suggestions?  And, of course, I should read more about Jackie's pre-baseball life and any suggestions there would be welcome. 
Chuck - Thursday, January 31 2019 @ 10:04 AM EST (#369936) #
Is Vlad the next Miguel Cabrera? RHB, age 20 start, big body, needlessly at positions other than 1B for too long, a defensive negative offset by a tremendous bat?

Would that kind of career be a greedy ask for Blue Jay fans? Is it not greedy enough?

mathesond - Thursday, January 31 2019 @ 10:09 AM EST (#369937) #
This is a pretty fun read on Bo Bichette winning a home run derby in the Bahamas.
dalimon5 - Thursday, January 31 2019 @ 10:15 AM EST (#369938) #
Chuck that's exactly the comp for Vlad and there isn't anybody out there that thinks he won't do better offensively. His minor numbers have been even better than Miggy with less strikeouts.
dalimon5 - Thursday, January 31 2019 @ 10:20 AM EST (#369939) #
I also still like Pompey and think he can give solid value...same as McKinney with upside. Seems like he will be DFA unless other players are moved. Here's a recent quote from him:

ďI'm pretty much still here, so that's all I know. I had a meeting with [Blue Jays GM] Ross [Atkins] during September, just talking about the year that I had, like all the stuff that happened and, you know, from my impression it was that, you know, they weren't going to DFA me unless they had an opportunity to get something back for me. He said that, you know, the team and himself and people in the organization still value me.Ē
uglyone - Thursday, January 31 2019 @ 10:31 AM EST (#369940) #
"Is Vlad the next Miguel Cabrera?"

vladdy is well ahead of where Cabrera was at the same point.

in fact, vladdy's 19yr old season AA/AAA is much better than even Miggy's breakout 20yr old season in AA, in both top line and underlying numbers.


defensively I would guess it's a very good comparison, though.
Mike Green - Thursday, January 31 2019 @ 10:44 AM EST (#369941) #
I don't know, UO.  It's open for debate how bad Cabrera was defensively at third base in his early 20s.  DRS had him as about -15/150 from 2006-08; UZR had him at -7/150.  If you take the mid-point (-11/150), he was bad but not unplayable given how good his bat was. 

Guerrero Jr. has a pretty good shot at being somewhat better than that.  ZiPS projects him at -4, and Clay Davenport's metric has him as above-average last year. 
uglyone - Thursday, January 31 2019 @ 10:47 AM EST (#369942) #
sure, it's just a guess.

i'm choosing to be pessimistic on his defense for now. I'll limit my hope there to him being a good defensive 1B longterm.
Mike Green - Thursday, January 31 2019 @ 12:01 PM EST (#369943) #
Chuck, Cabrera is a Hall of Famer.  You don't want to anticipate a Hall of Fame career from even the best prospect.  It is however true that the best hitting prospects of the last 80 years- Williams, Aaron, Mantle, Frank Thomas, Griffey Jr. and A-Rod- have made it.  The closest player to Guerrero Jr. I can think of who didn't develop (at least offensively) would be Jason Heyward.  The combination of bat-to-ball skills, plate discipline and power at a very young age is extremely rare, and those players who have all three succeed at a high rate. 
dalimon5 - Thursday, January 31 2019 @ 12:14 PM EST (#369944) #
Frank Thomas is the best comparable for me. Thomas, Manny, Miggy and Pujols...I expect terrible defense once the first 6 years of his career are averaged out but don't expect anyone to care with the numbers he puts up with his bat.

If he is even average at 3B for his first 6 years then he's top 5 player in MLB with the likes of Betts, Trout, Chapman, Acuna, Lindor.
uglyone - Thursday, January 31 2019 @ 12:16 PM EST (#369945) #
even heyward really only had that 1 ~200pa blip at AA where he was even in the same stratosphere as what vladdy has done pretty much at every level.
Spifficus - Thursday, January 31 2019 @ 12:17 PM EST (#369946) #
It'd be interesting to see what people think a peak year (not career year, but sustained, normal peak years) for the Juniors looks like (and Bo, while we're at it). That would probably give a better feel for what's being compared each time.

I look at Vlad as a .320/.400/.550 type with a -5 defense at 3B (or a +5 at 1B). Tatis is more a .270/.350/.500 guy and a little above average (+2 to 5) at SS. I'm pretty bullish on Bo, with a .300/.360/.500 and average SS defense, and bonus points on baserunning. I feel a bit conservative on the slugging for the first two.

So for me, I just look at Vlad as a half-tick above Tatis, who is maybe a half-tick above Bo. All damned fine prospects in their own rights, of course.
Chuck - Thursday, January 31 2019 @ 12:27 PM EST (#369947) #
Chuck, Cabrera is a Hall of Famer. You don't want to anticipate a Hall of Fame career from even the best prospect.

You're talking to a pessimist. The question I posed was not to myself, but to the mob. To me, asking for Cabrera's career from a 19-year old is very greedy. Sure, he could match Cabrera's career or even exceed it, but I concede it is far from a given.

Glevin - Thursday, January 31 2019 @ 02:32 PM EST (#369948) #
I would have Vlad 1st. Those hitting skills just NEVER come along. There is some logic going with Tatis 1st though (Sickles says he has Tatis A). For example, Lindor last year had a WAR of 7.6 with a 130 WRC+. Frank Thomas had 5 seasons with a WRC+ above 175 and never had a WAR that high. If you think Tatis is an solid defender at SS/elite defender at 3rd and Vlad is a 1Bman/DH type, that is a LOT of defensive value to catch up with hitting. Personally, there are enough people saying that Vlad might be OK at 3B for a while that his bat carries the day.
Shoeless Joe - Thursday, January 31 2019 @ 03:07 PM EST (#369949) #
"There is some logic going with Tatis 1st though (Sickles says he has Tatis A). For example, Lindor last year had a WAR of 7.6 with a 130 WRC+. Frank Thomas had 5 seasons with a WRC+ above 175 and never had a WAR that high."

I would agree with this if you think Tatis had Lindor upside, but Lindor strikes out HALF as often as Tatis does. If you take the 27.7% K% that Tatis had in AA and rank it in the majors only 6 qualified hitters would have a worse K%.
bpoz - Thursday, January 31 2019 @ 03:12 PM EST (#369950) #
Vlad needs a strong supporting cast.
dalimon5 - Thursday, January 31 2019 @ 03:21 PM EST (#369951) #
I think it's accurate to say that Vlad and Tatis are huge upside prospects which can be ranked either way 1/2 based on what the evaluator believes will be the outcome of their perceived potential weaknesses.

Vlad has questions about his durability/defence which can make him a lot less valuable in worse case or best MLB player in other cases (if he's average or above at 3B).

Tatis has questions about his plate discipline which can make him a lot less valuable in worse case if he turns into Snyder or top 5 MLB player if he overcomes strikeouts like many think he will.

That's as simple at this comparison gets.


I think the real question is actually if anybody will remember Vlad when Wander Franco comes up. That dude is scary.
85bluejay - Thursday, January 31 2019 @ 03:41 PM EST (#369952) #
It should be noted that prospects like Wade Boggs & Nolan Arenado were pegged as future 1B but have gone on to win GG at 3B - Vlad's weight issue is my biggest concern - I remember Atkins said at the time of Vlad's injury that the team was going to use that downtime as an opportunity to stress to Vlad the importance of health/fitness but so far it doesn't seem to have made an impression. Will be interested to see how he looks physically at spring training,
BlueJayWay - Thursday, January 31 2019 @ 06:28 PM EST (#369953) #
Forget about Law ranking Vlad #2, it seems crazy that he has Jansen at only 107. A big league ready catcher with a good bat, especially for a catcher? Catcher's a position where hardly anyone can actually hit. I don't know how you can say there are 106 better prospects right now.
greenfrog - Thursday, January 31 2019 @ 06:33 PM EST (#369954) #
From Eric Longenhagen's chat today:

2:09
Mark Shapiro: What do you think Chavez Youngís upside is?
2:09
Eric A Longenhagen: everyday CF


Wouldn't that be a great outcome for the young Bahamian.
John Northey - Thursday, January 31 2019 @ 10:17 PM EST (#369955) #
dalimon5 - funn, Wander Franco came up with 3 hits - all currently active players in the minors. 1 is a non-prospect (signed before the 2012 season, 30 lifetime HR in minors, 718 OPS, never above A+, third baseman), one has 5 years of pro ball, 24 HR, 725 OPS at 3B. The 3rd is the one you mentioned who plays for Tampa (grrr) at 17 last year hit 351/418/587 in rookie ball with 11 HR in 61 games and he plays SS.

How weird, 3 guys with an odd name, all active at the same time, 2 play 3B and the other SS. 2 crappy hitters who will probably never reach the majors and the 3rd a top propsect.
John Northey - Thursday, January 31 2019 @ 10:31 PM EST (#369956) #
Great hitter, at a position that he probably can't handle but will reach the majors to play at first before eventually moving to 1B probably. Seen as one of the best prospects around for a few seasons before getting a shot - fans thinking the team is being too slow with him.

No, not talking about Vlad although it matches - I'm talking about Carlos Delgado. 5 years in minors before reaching, then 2 more before sticking. 799 OPS at 18, 849 at 19, 982 at 20 (A+), 954 at 21 (AA) all while catching (!). Got 2 PA in 1993 thus got a WS ring, came out like gangbusters in 1994 but fell apart quick, then was left to rot for 1994/1995 before handed 1B in 1996 (after Molitor was gone, Olerud dumped mid-season). He still got 473 HR but one has to figure if a smarter GM was around he'd have gotten to 500 by being up for all of 1995 at least rather than having a 1000+ OPS in AAA.

For the Jays that is the closest comparison I can think of. More walks than K's in 1993 before being called up, but that was an exception.

Really, Vlad appears to be a better prospect than the best hitter the Jays ever produced. And Delgado was a near HOF'er who still might sneak in someday (after Baines who knows) as was Olerud for that matter (no minor league time so the opposite of what happened with Delgado & Vlad also not forced to play anywhere but DH/1B).

Hmm... Pedro Guerrero comes to mind but he didn't stick until age 24, however like Vlad he was at the wrong position as he seemed OK defensively to many at the time at 3B (a negative by most measures at all positions, but not horribly so). He wasn't hurt by it as he had a lifetime 137 OPS+, 4 times in the top 4 for MVP voting (never won) but we all hope for more from Vlad.
Chuck - Thursday, January 31 2019 @ 10:39 PM EST (#369957) #
Wouldn't that be a great outcome for the young Bahamian.

I'd sing a rhapsody.

bpoz - Thursday, January 31 2019 @ 11:05 PM EST (#369958) #
Thanks Chuck. I will dance a jig over and over. Cheers to all.
Glevin - Friday, February 01 2019 @ 03:24 AM EST (#369959) #
"I would agree with this if you think Tatis had Lindor upside, but Lindor strikes out HALF as often as Tatis does. If you take the 27.7% K% that Tatis had in AA and rank it in the majors only 6 qualified hitters would have a worse K%."

It was not a comp. of Lindor just showing what a big difference defensive value can make. Longenhagen answered this question on Fangraphs yesterday.

"Is there a case for Tatis Jr over Vlad Jr? Or is that a non-starter?"

EL: "Sure, if you think Vlad moves to 1B/DH sooner than later and also have strong eval of Tatis at SS, I get it."

dalimon5 - Friday, February 01 2019 @ 09:26 AM EST (#369960) #
Like I said, at the end of the day I'll take the player with the better support. It's still a team game. Vlad at 1B goes a long way if you have strong pitching and defence around him.

If Tatis is hitting in front of Harper and Machado next season it will be funny.
uglyone - Friday, February 01 2019 @ 09:35 AM EST (#369961) #
it's an interesting comp, though.

Lindor was always an elite glove prospect. But his hitting line was actually much more promising than Tatis' imo as a prospect - he had fantastic contact and patience as a prospect, to go along with his elite defense. the only question mark on Lindor was whether he would develop any power ....and the thing is it's always a decent bet that a teenage prospect will develop pop as he matures. and he did, and that one missing piece turned him into a superstar.


tatis is kind of the opposite prospect - a kid who doesn't project as an elite defender anywhere, and with significant contact issues. the one standout tool there is his power.

and lindor was never ranked a #1 prospect, let alone ahead of a kid like vladdy.

it's simply law trolling again. it's what he does. I don't know why anyone takes him seriously anymore.
uglyone - Friday, February 01 2019 @ 09:38 AM EST (#369962) #
"it seems crazy that he has Jansen at only 107."

it's not crazy, it's just dumb lazy trolling.
mathesond - Friday, February 01 2019 @ 09:45 AM EST (#369963) #
Naturally, Law has made it his life's ambition to troll Jays fans and only Jays fans.
dalimon5 - Friday, February 01 2019 @ 10:07 AM EST (#369964) #
Will the Jays be able to overtake SD and TB in farm rankings after Vlad and Bo graduate and how long will it take?

If they Jays follow SD and throw money at big free agents next year or the year after it could be 2016 again but with longevity.
uglyone - Friday, February 01 2019 @ 10:22 AM EST (#369965) #
law trolls everyone.

but yes, he does have a particular hard on for trolling jays fans. it started with his personal history with the team, and continues with jays fans having one of the more rabid online presences in the league.

his history is crystal clear on this subject.
greenfrog - Friday, February 01 2019 @ 10:51 AM EST (#369966) #
In the early going he liked Aaron Sanchez more than most if not all commentators, although he later soured on him because of changes the Jays made to his delivery.
uglyone - Friday, February 01 2019 @ 11:06 AM EST (#369967) #
he made up those "changes" in Sanchez' delivery whole cloth. they "shortened stride" never actually happened.


just like Thor didn't suddenly change from a relief prospect to a stud ace starter prospect the moment he was traded, like Law said.
bpoz - Friday, February 01 2019 @ 01:14 PM EST (#369968) #
No body knows how prospects will turn out. We have all been pleasantly surprised and disappointed.

Who on my personal Top 10 list would I trade even up for F Tatis Jr. As you read what I say you have to understand the meaning. I have 3 pitchers. I only give up Zeuch, lowest ceiling I guess. Not SRF, Pearson or Pardhino, even though I/none of you either "know" who will be the best.

For sure Alford because he has only 1 option left. I give up K Smith because he seems the lesser talent. However Tatis has to be added to the 40 man roster after 2019. Bo and K Smith have to be added after 2020. I like the odds on Bo and K Smith "earning" a promotion before the end of 2020. Bo starts 2019 in AAA and K Smith in AA.

Since Tatis had a hand injury July 19,2018 and was out the rest of the year, he probably starts 2019 in AA. We will see.

Tatis is the youngest and Smith the oldest and least experienced.

Lastly and most importantly if one traded prospect becomes a dud that team and GM look like a fool. So only do it because you are desperate.
dalimon5 - Friday, February 01 2019 @ 11:45 PM EST (#369969) #
Tatis will be up this year starting for SD. I don't think anybody will doubt that.
Spifficus - Saturday, February 02 2019 @ 12:20 AM EST (#369970) #
With a 27% K rate in ~400 AA at-bats, I don't think a 2019 ETA is a given - taking a bit of time to mature the approach wouldn't be unwarranted.
backscratcher - Saturday, February 02 2019 @ 04:21 AM EST (#369971) #
Might another comparison (mainly defense) for Vlad be Jim Thome? Bat was ready, played 3B but everyone considered him to be a 1B in waiting. Another HOF player so the comparisons like with Cabrera are exciting. If you hit, they will find you a spot.
Glevin - Saturday, February 02 2019 @ 06:14 AM EST (#369972) #
"With a 27% K rate in ~400 AA at-bats, I don't think a 2019 ETA is a given - taking a bit of time to mature the approach wouldn't be unwarranted."

It isn't a given by any stretch, and I don't see why the Padres rush him when they don't have to, but Tatis' numbers look much better once you realize he had a .560 OPS in April and about 1.000 OPS after that. He is an elite prospect for sure.
bpoz - Saturday, February 02 2019 @ 07:48 AM EST (#369973) #
Tatis could come up and be great or struggle like Jurickson Profar. #7 prospect in 2012 and #1 in 2013. Profar finally had a good ML year in 2018.

None of us knows how prospects will do. Tatis will get at least a Sept call up because he will be added to the 40 man roster.

IMO you only trade your Top prospect to get you over the top. Verlander is an example of taking that risk. The return to Detroit was good. Of course Detroit wanted to save money and start a rebuild. Houston wanted a WS and Verlander helped do that. I think his salary is $26 mil in 2018 and 2019. And they had him from Aug 31, 2017.

Houston still has a V good farm and are using it to make the big team better. For G Cole they gave up good talent as well.

In 2018 Verlander and Cole threw 200+ innings with ERAs under 3.00 Keuchel also threw 200+ innings but with a 3.74 ERA.

scottt - Saturday, February 02 2019 @ 08:19 AM EST (#369974) #
I don't know about good talent.

Musgrove was used as a 6th starter/middle reliever. In 3 year he's been an average starter with ERA+ close to 100.
None of Feliz, Moran , Martin were even in the Houston top 30 at the end of 2017, while David Paulino was 5th and Hector Perez was 7th.
Martin was left unprotected in the rule V draft. He struggled at AAA last year. He's a left bat with pronounced splits. Either a platoon player or a 4th outfielder.
Feliz was out of option. In 4 years as a middle reliever, he's been below average and below replacement value every year.
Colin Moran was a 6th overall draft pick. He's a left hitting thirdbasemen, but his defense is bad. So far he's combined an average bat with a below replacement value defense for a 1 WAR season. Houston has an all-star, almost an MVP at 3rd, so moving him while he still had 1 option was a priority.

bpoz - Saturday, February 02 2019 @ 10:42 AM EST (#369975) #
You are right scottt. A lot of mediocre, but Ml ready talent for a #1/2 pitcher. Cole had a great year in 2018 but 2017 was pretty good too IMO. 203 IP with a 4.26 ERA. Also Houston got 2 years of control over him.
dalimon5 - Saturday, February 02 2019 @ 07:16 PM EST (#369976) #
Astros definitely won both those trades. To see the Pirates get so little for Cole after selling low on him, then to turn around and pay such a premium for Archer...just looks bad if you're a Pirates fan.
Spifficus - Saturday, February 02 2019 @ 08:21 PM EST (#369977) #
Yeah. I just don't get why they went for filler-style players for Cole. They, especially, need to be turning up supporting players under rocks, not trading their star-level assets for them.
scottt - Sunday, February 03 2019 @ 07:11 AM EST (#369978) #
Maybe it's the result of having a great pitching coach. They undervalue their pitchers and overvalue other pitchers.
Neither Archer nor Musgrove  showed improvement pitching in the NL.

scottt - Sunday, February 03 2019 @ 07:19 AM EST (#369979) #
The Jays offered Harold Ramirez 32K, but he took 25K from the Marlins because he think he has a chance to make their team in spring training. Not only is the Jays outfield full, but there's no room for him in Buffalo either.

jerjapan - Sunday, February 03 2019 @ 11:57 AM EST (#369980) #
Scottt, I've often wondered about minor leage FA salaries - where did you find the info on Ramirez?
scottt - Sunday, February 03 2019 @ 02:14 PM EST (#369981) #
Walter Villa of Baseball America had a story on Ramirez.

It's behind a paywall, but the gist of it has made the rounds.

https://www.baseballamerica.com/stories/big-winter-has-harold-ramirez-primed-for-big-league-role/




scottt - Sunday, February 03 2019 @ 02:25 PM EST (#369982) #
You're mileage might vary. I'm not able to access it from my desktop but it's fine on my phone.

Ramirez said he had offers from 15 organizations.
Ramirez has a wife and a 2 year old son back in Columbia.
The Marlins have currently 7 outfielders on their 40 roster, but there is room in AAA for him, so he might be able to force his way as a corner outfielder.

jerjapan - Sunday, February 03 2019 @ 04:27 PM EST (#369983) #
32K vs. 25K is a pittance, and yet he gets offers from 15 teams?  I recall the Yanks spending 6 figures on some of the top minor league FAs a few years back (Solarte, maybe?) and thinking that was a market inefficiency then.  This strikes me as a good scenario for an opportunistic FO. 

I have so many thoughts on this topic, but first is that I hope MLB owners lose badly in the next round of labour negotiations.  I don't really understand why baseball manages to remain so exploitive, while other sports, or at least team sports (@#$% Dana White and the UFC), have better minor league compensation. 
dan gordon - Sunday, February 03 2019 @ 05:46 PM EST (#369984) #
I like Ramirez's chances, and don't like the Jays losing him. He had a great season in 2018 in AA at age 23. It will be interesting to see in 5 years or so how he compares with the 3rd/4th OF candidates the Jays retained - McKinney, T.Hernandez, J.Davis, Pompey, D.Smith, Alford. I think Ramirez will hold his own against that group.
scottt - Sunday, February 03 2019 @ 07:02 PM EST (#369985) #
It's probably not fair to consider him in center. So you got Grichuk,  Mckinney, Hernandez, and Smith.
Alford, Davis and Pompey can play center, which might be while Pompey is still here.
Then you got Palacio who might be the guy who takes over for Ramirez at AA this year.
greenfrog - Sunday, February 03 2019 @ 09:29 PM EST (#369986) #
I can see Ramirez as a useful fourth outfielder, maybe even a starting corner OF at times. Although he had solid numbers last year, his relatively low walk rate is a concern. And I'm not sure how fast he is, despite the 16 SB in 2018. On the other hand, the 23-year-old had an excellent winter ball season, outhitting former Jays prospects Franklin Barreto and Edward Olivares and posting a superior BB:K ratio of 19:20.

All in all, I would have preferred that the Jays keep him (and Bergen), especially during a rebuilding phase. We'll see if the organization's assessment of those players versus the minor-leaguers they opted to keep was the correct one.
grjas - Sunday, February 03 2019 @ 10:22 PM EST (#369987) #
MLB.com has some interesting comps for Vlad

https://www.mlb.com/news/vladimir-guerrero-jr-projections-10-years/c-303459710
greenfrog - Sunday, February 03 2019 @ 10:40 PM EST (#369988) #
I expect Guerrero Jr. to be very good over the next seven years. The question is, what is the organization going to do to make the most of his talent. That is, how far are ownership and the front office willing to go to leverage his individual talent to build a championship team?

As usual with Rogers, the answer is probably: halfway. But Iím more than willing to be proved wrong.
John Northey - Sunday, February 03 2019 @ 11:40 PM EST (#369989) #
grjas - to that projection for Vlad all I can say is WOW.

Optimistic: 68.5 WAR over 10 years - AKA: HOF first ballot lock

Average: 52.1 WAR over 10 years - aka: Likely first ballot HOF with any kind of play in his remaining years after age 30.

Pessimistic: 35.8 WAR over 10 years - aka: solid All-Star.

For comparison: best Jay hitter WAR all-time: Tony Fernandez 37.5 WAR - or barely better than the pessimistic next 10 years for Vlad. Delgado had 36.8 WAR here, 44.4 total, or about 8 WAR less than Vlad's average projection for the next decade. Halladay had 48.5 WAR over his 12 years here, 65.5 overall (in 16 seasons) or less than the optimistic projection for Vlad's next 10 years.

Damn. If he stays healthy this should be a LOT of fun to watch.
Glevin - Monday, February 04 2019 @ 02:56 AM EST (#369990) #
"I can see Ramirez as a useful fourth outfielder, maybe even a starting corner OF at times. Although he had solid numbers last year, his relatively low walk rate is a concern. And I'm not sure how fast he is, despite the 16 SB in 2018."

The last fangraphs article on him has a graph where his speed score is included and it's not good. So he's actually pretty slow. I would have preferred to keep Ramirez but he doesn't have power, doesn't walk, and doesn't field well from what I've read so his value is almost all going to be tied to batting average. He has the hitting ability to carve out a Melky Cabrera kind of career if things go well, it's just a very narrow path to value.
Glevin - Monday, February 04 2019 @ 07:52 AM EST (#369991) #
Law ranks Jays' system 9th which is probably lowest we'll see. I understand the general issue people have which is after top 4 prospects, system is not great but most systems are like that. No, it's clearly not Tampa or San Diego and lacks Atlanta's depth, but it's still a very good system. Fangraphs will have Jays top prospects sometime up this week which should be a good read.
uglyone - Monday, February 04 2019 @ 08:00 AM EST (#369992) #
I don't understand the "beyond the top-4" criticism.

Smith, Pardinho, Groshans, Kloff, SRF, are all damn good prospects. Could be top-100 prospects.

Biggio, Young, too.

and there's all sorts of depth beyond that too, including a number of older recent top-100 prospects.

dalimon5 - Monday, February 04 2019 @ 09:04 AM EST (#369993) #
90% of those players have potential to be on top 100 but are not there yet except SRF who fell off the list like Alford last year.

If all those names can have solid years in A ball and then AA next year then we will have another 5-7 players on the top 100 after the graduations and then we will be like SD and TB who both had a bunch of new prospects move up last year after conquering low ball.
grjas - Monday, February 04 2019 @ 09:17 AM EST (#369994) #
Damn. If he stays healthy this should be a LOT of fun to watch.

Yeah no kidding. My jaw dropped when I saw the comparisons. Hope he stays healthy.
grjas - Monday, February 04 2019 @ 09:20 AM EST (#369995) #
That is, how far are ownership and the front office willing to go to leverage his individual talent to build a championship team? As usual with Rogers, the answer is probably: halfway. But Iím more than willing to be proved wrong.

Well I think AA got them to pay up around JB and EE so you never know. But I worry about how much pitching theyíll need to buy. Thereís depth in the minors, but not convinced there is much in the way of top end starting talent. Hope Iím wrong.
uglyone - Monday, February 04 2019 @ 09:40 AM EST (#369996) #
"90% of those players have potential to be on top 100 but are not there yet except SRF who fell off the list like Alford last year"

SRF actually fell off the list the year before, and then had a top-100 calibre performance again last year.
SK in NJ - Monday, February 04 2019 @ 09:45 AM EST (#369997) #
I don't think Jonathan Davis has much of a big league future, but he is someone I would consider having a 4th OF skill set (speed, can play CF, hits lefties well, etc). Ramirez seems like someone who is either going to maximize his limited tools and start in LF somewhere, or be out of baseball in a few years. I don't think there is a middle ground for a player with one tool and no real defensive value. When the Jays acquired him he looked like a Jose Tabata type to me. Tabata was able to be a useful player for a couple of years but fell off the map very quickly.

The Jays org also values stat cast numbers like exit velocity and barrel %, and while Ramirez did improve in hitting more balls in the air last season, maybe the FO didn't see much upside in him improving in those areas. If he could play an above average CF, then he would have been a no brainer to protect, but as is, I could see the logic in not protecting him despite his AA numbers.
BlueJayWay - Monday, February 04 2019 @ 10:12 AM EST (#369998) #
grjas - to that projection for Vlad all I can say is WOW.

Optimistic: 68.5 WAR over 10 years - AKA: HOF first ballot lock

Average: 52.1 WAR over 10 years - aka: Likely first ballot HOF with any kind of play in his remaining years after age 30.

Pessimistic: 35.8 WAR over 10 years - aka: solid All-Star.

For comparison: best Jay hitter WAR all-time: Tony Fernandez 37.5 WAR - or barely better than the pessimistic next 10 years for Vlad. Delgado had 36.8 WAR here, 44.4 total, or about 8 WAR less than Vlad's average projection for the next decade. Halladay had 48.5 WAR over his 12 years here, 65.5 overall (in 16 seasons) or less than the optimistic projection for Vlad's next 10 years.

Damn. If he stays healthy this should be a LOT of fun to watch.

Yeah...although as the article points out, those numbers are assuming he stays at 3B and with average defense. By the sounds of it that might be an optimistic hope. However, even if he moves to 1B they have his average projection to be 41.1 WAR, comping him to Jeff Bagwell.
Mike Green - Monday, February 04 2019 @ 10:46 AM EST (#369999) #
Bear in mind that the "optimistic" is the 90% and the "pessimistic" is the 10%.  The 95% and the 5% would be Ted Williams and an average fielding Jason Heyward. 
bpoz - Monday, February 04 2019 @ 10:56 AM EST (#370000) #
My understanding of pitcher FB stats are a higher spin rate is better. Harder to hit I guess.
But a lower exit velocity is better. Means that the ball was not hit as hard. B Snell exit velocity 87.5 mph, SRF 88.2, M Kopech 91.9

Many other factors are in play too.
bpoz - Monday, February 04 2019 @ 11:28 AM EST (#370001) #
Pitching a lot of games against NYY and Boston is harder on the TB, Jays and Baltimore pitchers than any other teams pitchers.

So B Snell winning the Cy Young was fantastic.

Giving lower Top 100 rankings to AL East pitching prospects is a good strategy. When they make it to the Majors, they look bad compared to other teams pitchers.

SRF had a great 2016 in A ball. Poor 2017 in AA and then was great in 2018 AAA & AA.

The Jays and TB's FOs should give more minor league time to their pitchers to better prepare them to face NYY and Boston IMO.
ayjackson - Monday, February 04 2019 @ 11:53 AM EST (#370002) #
I'd like to see the WAR projections with replacement level or no contribution (DH) from defense. I think they'd be more appropriate over a 10 year projection.
85bluejay - Monday, February 04 2019 @ 12:14 PM EST (#370003) #
Hope the Rangers keep signing players, maybe pushing Jordan Romano off the roster or making it more difficult for him to make the opening day roster.
85bluejay - Monday, February 04 2019 @ 12:18 PM EST (#370004) #
The projections on Vlad are exciting - Here's hoping that Vlad doesn't become the next Panda!
Mike Green - Monday, February 04 2019 @ 01:19 PM EST (#370005) #
AYJ, the odds are that VGJ contributes the same amount or more defensively as Harmon Killebrew.    It's worth noting that Killebrew's best years were his age 31 and 33 seasons.
Richard S.S. - Monday, February 04 2019 @ 03:16 PM EST (#370006) #
If Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is half of what heís shown/we expect heís an average Baseball Player. If heís 100% of what heís shown/we expect heís 1st Ballot HOF. Itís in between where ROY, MVP and other awards exist. Where heartbreak and disappointment run rampant as well.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is as good as it gets and itís up to him be great.
uglyone - Monday, February 04 2019 @ 03:30 PM EST (#370007) #
armchair interweb psychoanalysis - vladdy has that calm, relaxed, utter confidence in his abilities that speak well of his ability to reach his potential going forward.

don't get much of a forced-cockiness-from-insecurity vibe from him at all. just a happy kid who knows he's great.
Mylegacy - Monday, February 04 2019 @ 04:03 PM EST (#370008) #
To my untrained, jaundiced, eye Vlad seems overweight - but -

1) When he runs he runs like a fast big man not a fat big man. 2) When he swings the bat you can see the muscles in his thighs bulging.

I suspect we may be pleasantly surprised and delighted by the joys we get watching 162 days a year of Vlad performing!
Mike Green - Monday, February 04 2019 @ 04:29 PM EST (#370009) #
Only 39 MLB players were born on February 5, but includes 2 Hall of Famers and a couple of other good players.  Meet the Thin Gruel of 0205:

C- Mike Heath
1B- Lee Thomas
2B- Roberto Alomar
SS- Roger Peckinpaugh
3B- Don Hoak
LF- Max Flack
CF- Chuck Diering
RF- Hank Aaron
Bench- Bill Rariden (C), Norm Miller (OF), Jack O'Brien (Utility IF/OF),

SPs- Jack Lynch, Al Worthington, Chris Brock, Roberto Rodriguez
RPs- Ryan Webb, Eric O'Flaherty, Cy Buker, Devern Hansack

Yeah, I know it's only 8 pitchers but it is a thin gruel club.  It surprised me that you could fill a club with starters who could play the position and together they would probably score enough runs to be quite competitive even with barely above replacement pitching.   
grjas - Monday, February 04 2019 @ 06:25 PM EST (#370010) #
armchair interweb psychoanalysis - vladdy has that calm, relaxed, utter confidence in his abilities that speak well of his ability to reach his potential going forward.

Yeah I really the kidís style, love of the game, and the fact that his teammates all speak highly of him. Used to enjoy watching Winfield come to the plate because you could tell he was loving every minute of it. Much as I liked JB, Iíd rather watch a Vlad or Winfield type.
John Northey - Monday, February 04 2019 @ 10:22 PM EST (#370011) #
Merge two things...
Vlad born on March 16, 1999, birthday team...
CA: Ken O'Dea 8.9 WAR
2B: Buddy Myer (46.9 WAR, played in Washington for 16 years thus why few know him)
2B: Don Blasingame (18.4 WAR)
3B: Jerry Denny (20.7 WAR in the 1800's)
SS: Stephen Drew (17.1 WAR, brother of JD)
CF: Curtis Granderson (leads with 332 HR, 903 RBI, 47.7 WAR)
CF: Lloyd Waner (HOF, but weak with 24.1 WAR)
RF: Patsy Donovan (18.4 WAR in 1800's)

SP: Bill Bernhard 116-81 3.04 ERA
SP: Bill Duggleby 93-102 3.18 ERA
SP: Tom Bradley 55-61 3.72 ERA
Closer: Brian Wilson 172 Saves
Relief: Brandon League 74 saves (ex-Jay)

Super-Utility: Blondie Purcell OF/3B/SS/CA/1B and pitcher (581 IP, over 8500 innings in OF)

An interesting team. I'd move one of the 2B to 1B to finish it off. Vlad should easily be the best ever born on that day if he reaches the 'worst case' listed above.
scottt - Tuesday, February 05 2019 @ 06:33 AM EST (#370012) #
The Rangers have signed a few minor leagues arms like Jason Hammel and David Carpenter, so I wouldn't be shocked if Romano doesn't make the team.

Sportsnet had a feature on Forrest Wall. He's a childhood friend of Bo Bichette. He grew up  training with the 4 Bichette brothers, using their batting cage. They both played on the same Florida team. Sean Reid Foley was their ace pitcher.

Wall, like Bichette, has an unconventional approach at the plate. Bichette has a violent swing. Wall has a twichy swing, an extremely whippy bat. The Jays have told both players to be themselves and not to change a thing.

Wall was drafted 34th overall, ahead of Bichette, but tore a labrum on a diving catch and missed a year. He also lost a lot of arm strength. He's a left bat with a 60 run rating and often bats leadoff.

bpoz - Tuesday, February 05 2019 @ 11:56 AM EST (#370013) #
ST starts soon. I have convinced myself that the Jays approach will be conservative.

E Luciano makes the team because they want to keep him. A bit like that for Pompey too. They get a long look at those 2 players.

SRF could play well enough to make the team but not be added so that a veteran gets a chance to prove what he can do.

2b,SS and 3b will be an ongoing contest until Vlad is promoted.

Poor defense is going to be a major factor IMO. I remember too many bad LFs and EE at 3b. They directly caused losses.

The pen if successful will be hard for me to understand how. I cannot be optimistic because D Storen and Grilli convinced me that things can go very wrong. I don't see any lefties in the pen that I have confidence in. Mayza still has to convince me. I like Pannone in the pen.

So I am looking forward to a very interesting 2019.
whiterasta80 - Tuesday, February 05 2019 @ 01:57 PM EST (#370014) #
Here is the optimistic Rasta's forecast for 2019.

1. The Jays surprise everyone and keep Vladdy on the team from the start. He wins ROY and looks like his father with plate discipline.

2. Full redemption for Aaron Sanchez who reclaims the #1 slot in the rotation

3. We finally get a new Centerfielder who takes a walk more often than I change my oil.

4. Rowdy Tellez forces a trade of Smoak or a cut of Morales (heck, both) with his play in Spring Training. He proceeds to strike out at a rate so small that '96 Olerud would be proud.

5. Grichuk replicates his second half numbers over a whole season.

6. One of Teoscar or McKinney hit 30 HRs and claim the DH spot for the next 10 years. The other goes to Oakland as a platoon bat.

7. Freddy Galvis gets the AL East bump and puts up .750 OPS. He wins another gold glove

8. Matt Shoemaker starts 25 games and is perfectly acceptable.

9. Bo Bichette arrives in May (as a 2B) and performs immediately. The rest of the season is a discussion of "who would have been rookie of the year if Bo and Vlad started at the same time?"

10. Luciano stays for the whole year and because of clever bullpen management by Montoyo never looks out of place.

Bonus: We still finish >10 games out of the first Wild Card. Sigh...
bpoz - Tuesday, February 05 2019 @ 02:09 PM EST (#370015) #
Very nice whiterasta80. I looked for the "conservative" in your post so I could compare it with my post.

Maybe this is it. 10 games under the 1st WC. We win 87 games. Another division's top 2 teams win 97 games. And have a playoff.

Or only 2 players hit 30 Hrs. T Hernandez/McKinney.
Gerry - Tuesday, February 05 2019 @ 02:42 PM EST (#370016) #
Danny Barnes has cleared waivers and is assigned to Buffalo. He will be with the major league team for spring training.

Curtis Granderson has signed with Miami.
hypobole - Tuesday, February 05 2019 @ 04:03 PM EST (#370017) #
Law posted his top Jays prospects. Some notes on some players ranked much differently than most in his usual unusual rankings.

Trent Thornton(13) throws four pitches, and the three that spin -- the fastball, slider and curve -- all have spin rates near the top of the ranges for those pitch types. Thornton has started so far but it's a high-effort delivery and his command and control are both short of average. He's still fascinating because of what he can make the ball do, even though the odds are he ends up in relief.

Catcher Gabriel Moreno (14) struck out just 20 times in 167 plate appearances last year between the GCL and the Appy League. He tore the GCL apart, going 38-for-92 there before the Jays promoted him. He's a strong kid who's very athletic behind the dish and projects to both stay there and have value on defense.

Panamanian shortstop Leonardo Jimenez (18) signed for $800,000 and is a premium defender with a clean body and contact-oriented swing; he struck out just 17 times in 150 PA in the GCL last year at age 17. He's unlikely to have any power even when he fills out, so his upside is a bit limited. But he's going to stay at short, and high-contact, low-power, plus-defensive shortstops can play a very long time and even end up with unwarranted Hall of Fame consideration.

Alejandro Kirk (19) is a fat catcher who can hit, and as Willians Astudillo has shown us, everybody loves a fat catcher who can hit. Kirk's size is concerning for a 19-year-old, but he catches pretty well and has both power and a good approach (33 BB to 21 K in the Appy League last year).
85bluejay - Tuesday, February 05 2019 @ 04:46 PM EST (#370018) #
Thanks for that post hypobole - I have to agree with Law in that all 4 of those prospects would be on my top 30 - I enjoy reading differing evaluations and not everyone singing from the same songbook. I also like that Law tends to be a tougher evaluator.
greenfrog - Tuesday, February 05 2019 @ 06:46 PM EST (#370019) #
The road to the postseason for the Jays over the next half-dozen years looks to be very tough. I expect that at least one or two of TB, New York, and Boston will be strong competitors in each of those years. It's not that the Jays won't make it to the postseason during that stretch; it's just that it will be a lot harder for them to do so than it will be for teams in some other divisions.
John Northey - Tuesday, February 05 2019 @ 06:48 PM EST (#370020) #
whiterasta80 - if all of that happens in 2019 and the Jays aren't at or near 90 wins there is something weird going on.

I'd love for Tellez to win a spot in spring and force the Jays to get rid of one of Smoak or Morales. Doubt it'll happen, but it'd be great.
BlueJayWay - Tuesday, February 05 2019 @ 07:38 PM EST (#370024) #
The Jays surprise everyone and keep Vladdy on the team from the start.

That has zero percent chance of happening.
scottt - Tuesday, February 05 2019 @ 08:07 PM EST (#370025) #
The 2018 Blue Jays made the other teams in the division look better than they really are.
It's impossible to know what the 2019 starting pitching will look like because Sanchez and Stroman are at the top.

The good news of the day is that Tommy Pham won his arbitration hearing and will be making 4.1M.
Look for the Rays to try and unload him as soon as they can.

soupman - Tuesday, February 05 2019 @ 08:07 PM EST (#370026) #
can someone help me understand why the jays don't sign machado or harper, other than the front office trying to continue their custom of making this team worse each year?
scottt - Tuesday, February 05 2019 @ 08:12 PM EST (#370027) #
Barnes clearing wavers does not surprise me at all. The next stop for him is to develop his slider in AAA.
That's a big ask.

Granderson signing with Miami is bad news for Harold Ramirez.
Granderson will try yet again to build some trade value until July which might be the next opportunity for Ramirez.

Thomas - Tuesday, February 05 2019 @ 08:27 PM EST (#370028) #
That has zero percent chance of happening.

In addition to that having zero percent chance of happening, I'm not sure how it's an optimistic forecast to have him on the opening day roster. You can debate the merits of Toronto's service time manipulation as it was occurring last year, but at this point I don't know what fan would rather see Vlad reach free agency a year earlier for an extra three weeks on the major league roster in a lost year.

I would have thought the optimistic forecast was that he comes up in the last week of April and still wins ROY.

greenfrog - Tuesday, February 05 2019 @ 09:46 PM EST (#370029) #
Since Machado and Harper are in their prime now, they probably make more sense for a team that is ready to win this year and in 2020. Not that signing one of those players wouldn't make some sense for the Jays, but it would make more sense for some other teams.

Other reasons for the Jays not to sign either player:

- Harper's questionable defence

- Machado's questionable attitude

- The players have had some injury issues, and health could be a significant factor for those two as they accumulate mileage, especially on the RC turf

- Machado is a good defensive third baseman, but the Jays probably have their third baseman for the next couple of years (Guerrero Jr.). Machado wants to play shortstop, but he's not a good defensive shortstop.

- The usual caveat: high-priced free agents often don't work out that well for the acquiring team, especially when the team is counting on significant value in years 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 of the contract
hypobole - Tuesday, February 05 2019 @ 10:31 PM EST (#370030) #
With all due respect for the city of Toronto, why would Machado or Harper want to sign with the Jays?
dalimon5 - Tuesday, February 05 2019 @ 11:30 PM EST (#370031) #
Maybe because they want to get paid the most possible to do a job kind of like 99.9% of the world? I could be wrong. Maybe because no team has offered them market value for a star? You make it sound like there's zero reason to sign with Toronto when in fact there's lots of reasons:

- Money
- years 3- end of contract likely competitive
- great city
dan gordon - Tuesday, February 05 2019 @ 11:39 PM EST (#370032) #
"In addition to that having zero percent chance of happening, I'm not sure how it's an optimistic forecast to have him on the opening day roster"

Yah, that would be an absolutely terrible development, and will not happen. Can you imagine the conversation it would require among management - "Let's see now, we can have one of the best hitters in baseball, maybe THE best hitter in baseball in our lineup for the next 6 years, or the next 7 years, our choice. Which should we choose? Hmmm, let's go with 6 years instead of 7".

For the same reason, I expect Bichette up with the Jays in mid April 2020.

Good to see Barnes stay with the Jays. Would be nice to get Romero back, too.
cybercavalier - Tuesday, February 05 2019 @ 11:55 PM EST (#370033) #
The following reasoning may not sound smart. Does inviting Jays older prospects who played at least in Double-A New Hamsphire level to spring training, provided that they had not signed on with other teams in North America or else? Invitation given to Patrick Cantwell gave me the thought.
hypobole - Wednesday, February 06 2019 @ 12:52 AM EST (#370034) #
Absolutely money, if the Jays offer much more than any other team. One or both may share your optimism about being likely contenders in 3 years, or maybe they don't. And is Toronto a greater city for a Mormon or Latino than cities in the US?
Glevin - Wednesday, February 06 2019 @ 03:15 AM EST (#370035) #
Some interesting discussions going on in MLB apparently.

Universal DH-Personally for it. Watching pitchers hit is silly and they can get hurt and the idea that it somehow creates fascinating tactical maneuvers is nonsense.

3 batter minimum for pitchers- Love this or something similar. Big issue with baseball now is the constant parade of relievers.

Expansion of roster to 26 with max 12 pitchers- Also like this. Benches are too short these days. More MLB jobs is good too.

20 second pitch clock- Don't like this because I think pitchers being slow to the plate is almost irrelevant to pace of play. Hitters stepping out is much bigger issue.

One single trade deadline (before all-star break)- I like one deadline. Having 2 is silly but before AS seems too early. Too many teams kind still in it but won't want to go all out.

Study to lower the mound-Sure. They need to reduce Ks and put more balls in play and if lowering the mound will do that, then they need to look into it.

Some thing about 2 sport athletes signing ML contracts- Don't care. It will happen once a decade.

scottt - Wednesday, February 06 2019 @ 06:59 AM EST (#370036) #
DH in the NL leagues? Hate it. Where are the stats that shows more NL pitchers are injured? Most young pitchers are 2 way players in college. The Angels have a player who DHs and pitches and the answer to that would be to keep all pitchers from hitting? This is just a move to try to carve more room for old, washed up players who can't field anymore.

3 batter minimum? That will not achieve anything. That will just complicate things for no reason. If a team has 13 relievers, they will try to use 13 relievers.  They added more off-days, so relievers are more rested and the starter can be pulled after 5 innings. This will reduce the number of relievers going longer than 1 innings. This will cause more intentional walks. This does nothing to make the game shorter, just more boring.

What's the point of having bench players if there's a DH? You play your 8 best fielders every day except when they need a rest. So what would be the extra bench guy? A base stealer who can't hit? Maybe a midget who can draw lots of walk? Maybe you can pinch hit more, but wouldn't that  make the game longer and how good are those pinch hitters who only play sparingly? Sometimes you sit the stars during a blowout--because the games are too long. We want more of that?

20 second pitch clock. Sure. Why not. Just throw the ball. But, yes, they need to stop the hitters from stepping out--especially if they're is a 20 second limit for the pitcher to hold the ball. The pitch clock should leads to the hitters not being allowed to step out.

One single trade deadline. Yeah, the waiver claim rule. Maybe there should just be a financial penalty for claiming players just to block a trade. However, these guys should just be traded earlier.

Not sure lowering the mound would work. You'd see more homeruns.

BlueJayWay - Wednesday, February 06 2019 @ 07:33 AM EST (#370037) #
I like all the proposed changes. Well, I'm somewhat indifferent to the universal DH. I mostly follow the AL anyway where there's already a DH so whatever. Pitch clock, another roster spot but that won't be used on a pitcher, minimum batter rule to reduce mid-inning pitching changes...all good.
scottt - Wednesday, February 06 2019 @ 07:53 AM EST (#370038) #
The thing I hate the most is limiting the September roster from 40 to 28.
They Jays had 39 guys up last year and it was a blast.
April and September were the 2 best months!
And the Jays were not tanking.

Somehow the players union is trying to limit the money going back to the AAA/AAAA guys.
It's pretty ridiculous. This year, all of the pitchers on the 40 rosters should be up.
Plus possibly everybody except Bichette who will probably go to the AFL.
If the roster is limited and the team not in contention, I'd just release all the old guys on their last year and really tank just to show them!

Now, I'm not sure why September call up are eligible for postseason play, but that's a different story.

scottt - Wednesday, February 06 2019 @ 08:02 AM EST (#370039) #
The extra bench player is an attempt at finding jobs for all those unsigned free agents.
The Jays will continue to use AAAA players like Ryan Goins and Ezequiel Carrera.
It's all nonsense.

The players union cannot dictate how teams will use their money or when they will promote their prospects.
Maybe the players union would like to appoint the GMs?


scottt - Wednesday, February 06 2019 @ 08:30 AM EST (#370040) #
I like the idea of teams being penalized in the draft for missing the playoffs.

Let's say first year missed, no penalty.
Second year the team slide down one spot, third year 2 spots, etc...
Now, that's probably a bit harsh given than only a third of the teams actually make the playoffs.
Maybe set the bar at a .500 record instead.


John Northey - Wednesday, February 06 2019 @ 08:36 AM EST (#370041) #
Scottt - hate unions much?

More players = more maneuvers in the game. I LOVE the idea of more players on the roster. In the 80's I enjoyed seeing pinch hitting, running, etc. all the time - didn't slow down the game like the 1001 pitching changes do but added more base stealing, more strategy (do you hit for player x with player y at this point or wait until later), more roster debates (keep a pure speed guy, a pure defense, or a pure hitter as the last man on the roster and why).

The union getting mad about teams not promoting kids so they can pay the kids less makes sense. That is kind of their job - to get the players more cash when possible. Doesn't affect you or me. I find the roster time crap annoying. Back in the 80's again Vlad would've been up in September to showcase his skills and prep for this year - get those early PA's out of the way in a lost year. Now, if I ran a team I'd have kept him down too as service time = major advantage for club but I'd also be working on a 10 year deal with him now (maybe up to 15 or 20 if he is open to a reasonable way of setting it, via automatic pay jumps with drops too if he isn't playing) so he can come up at the start of 2019 and not late April.

grjas - Wednesday, February 06 2019 @ 08:43 AM EST (#370042) #
In terms of Harper and Machado-

I doubt Harper would want to spend 10 years running around on our outfield turf, especially for a team thatís starting a rebuild. Why chance your knees when there are many ďgreener pasturesĒ

Machado of course is outstanding but with Bo and Vlad coming, I wouldnít blow tonnes of money on another infielder, even an outstanding one.

Now a 25 year old all star pitcher...roll out the palace gold..
John Northey - Wednesday, February 06 2019 @ 08:49 AM EST (#370043) #
For tanking teams the best solution is pretty simple - draft is changed. The team that does the best without making the playoffs gets #1, next best #2, and so on until all non-playoff teams have picked, then the playoff teams pick. No incentive to lose then. Since baseball isn't like hockey, football, or basketball the incentive to miss the playoffs so you can get a generational player isn't there as HOF'ers have come in the later rounds sometimes (Piazza after round 60, Pujols was a 10th rounder iirc, Halladay was 17th pick with 3 guys who never reached the majors picked before him).

So the ideal route to rebuild is to stay near the playoffs. Better for fans as watching a 100+ loss team sucks.
Gerry - Wednesday, February 06 2019 @ 08:51 AM EST (#370044) #
According to BA, the Jays have re-signed Andy Burns, now back from playing in Korea.
85bluejay - Wednesday, February 06 2019 @ 08:53 AM EST (#370045) #
An increase in roster size to 27 players is desperately needed - position players don't get enough rest and you can see it in the quality of play as the season goes on - also a limit on the number of pitchers else teams will just add more pitchers rather than position players - I also think that lack of rest is contributing to position players performance declining at a younger age - it's no big deal for owners as they just replace worn out parts but it's a big deal for the earning capacity of players.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, February 06 2019 @ 10:10 AM EST (#370046) #
The DH in the NL is long overdue. I can't think of a single reason why a pitcher hitting is fun to watch at all, even if they run into one on occasion.
rpriske - Wednesday, February 06 2019 @ 10:23 AM EST (#370047) #
FOR
Minimum number of batters per pitcher. The game isn't too slow, but COMMERCIAL BREAKS are not a good use of my time.Maximum number of pitchers on the roster.

AGAINST
Universal DH. I like the leagues being different. (But DH is better than no DH)
Pitch clock. The game is not too slow. Get over it.Extra roster spot. Cap the number of pitchers and it is unneeded.
christaylor - Wednesday, February 06 2019 @ 10:55 AM EST (#370048) #
Tanking teams don't tank because of the draft. They tank to save money. This is necessary for small- to mid-market and we even saw a "Yankees" version of it before Judge arrived when they scaled back the dollars spent in the 2014-2015 offseason (iirc). You're absolutely right about HOF in the late first round. It is so easy to miss on a top pick in baseball. Not just on talent but misjudgment of developmental trajectory (see: Hamilton, Josh who was a miss developmentally with all the baseball talent in the world which he showed for a brief spark).
christaylor - Wednesday, February 06 2019 @ 10:58 AM EST (#370049) #
"And is Toronto a greater city for a Mormon or Latino than cities in the US?"

Harper: "That's a clown question, bro."
Mike Green - Wednesday, February 06 2019 @ 11:01 AM EST (#370050) #
Minimum 3 batters- love it.
Lowering the mound- yep. (and move the fences back or raise them where possible...it's not really a pitcher/batter preference but a ball-in-play vs. TTO preference)

As for Keith Law's high ranking of Thornton, Gabriel Moreno and Kirk,  it's all in the area of reasonable differences.  I love Moreno but I'm not willing to give much weight to short-season results unless the scouting strongly supports it (and the best information I have is draft position and bonus amount).  Perhaps Keith Law has seen Moreno several times and has a reasonable basis for liking him as much as his statistics would suggest.  Same thing with Kirk, but at a lower level. Thornton is a different case- he's got a deceptive delivery and apparently can throw 3 pitches for strikes with good spin rates on his slider and curveball but he gives up a lot of line drives.  He looks like a swingman to me, but perhaps a very effective one and perhaps immediately.  Moreno is probably the one with the highest upside, and Thornton might be the best bet to achieve a modestly valuable major league career.  It's an odd mix, but I don't mind that at all.


AWeb - Wednesday, February 06 2019 @ 11:23 AM EST (#370051) #
Everyone gets a DH seems like a fine rule change. Interleague is year-round now, it's just odd to have the different lineup rules for two closely connected leagues.

3 batter minimum for pitchers - tack on a rider about "or records the last out of an inning", since between inning changes don't take more time anyway. I'd also change it to 3 batters or record 3 outs while in the game, to allow double and triple plays to not affect it.

To me roster size changes are unnecessary if you also limit pitchers, but I don't suspect I'd care that much. I'm fine with 28 in September, as long as it's done sort of like hockey, where you have a daily "active roster" and a bunch of healthy scratches who could play the next day (needs a rule to avoid "scratching" starting pitchers though). I love youngsters in September, but hate that there are too many pitchers available some games. Playoff races can get decided by teams able to use a "johnny wholestaff" approach several days in a row. Defining a pitcher vs position player is simple (most plate appearances in a role), so I don't see much problem there.

20 second pitch clock - already used in the minors, and there are penalties for both hitters and pitchers. The umps would actually have to enforce pace of play rules if you were explicitly timing them, right? Right? Being able to take an extra 10-15 seconds per pitch must be a contributing factor to the ever increasing velocities and K rates, so I want to see this happen for a few years before trying anything more drastic (ball, mound, bat, field changes).

I hate the second trade deadline (the non-playoff qualifying one), but pre-all star does seem too early. Mid August maybe?
bpoz - Wednesday, February 06 2019 @ 12:19 PM EST (#370052) #
So M Kopech had TJ surgery in Sept 2018. He will miss all of 2019 and of course be on the 60 day DL.

How does the lost year affect his service time regarding Arb and FA?

Stroman basically lost 2015 to an injury as well.
hypobole - Wednesday, February 06 2019 @ 12:30 PM EST (#370053) #
Mike, I think the reason Law rates Moreno and to a lesser extent Kirk well is much less to do with their stats, but something to which you and I have very little access. Easy for anyone to look at stats, but catchers defensive abilities are very much hidden from view, especially in the lower minors. If his reports on their defence are accurate, the rankings make much more sense.

hypobole - Wednesday, February 06 2019 @ 12:40 PM EST (#370054) #
In the vein of my last post. Few if any rate Rowdy as a Top 10 Jays prospect. Imagine him as a plus defensive catcher. Is it crazy to think that player might be a Top 10 prospect in all baseball?
uglyone - Wednesday, February 06 2019 @ 12:57 PM EST (#370055) #
IMO Moreno is a real good prospect.
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, February 06 2019 @ 12:59 PM EST (#370056) #
Two things affect length of game, commercials and egos. I expect neither to change. I am opposed to the 20 second clock unless itís evenly penalized for hitter and pitcher. Balls called for hitters if Pitcher is slow. Strikes called for pitchers if Hitter is slow.
Mike Green - Wednesday, February 06 2019 @ 01:53 PM EST (#370057) #
I know, hypobole.  I'm just not 100% sure that Keith Law has seen Moreno enough to make that kind of judgment.  I saw Otto Lopez once and I liked him quite a bit- even better than his statistics would suggest, but I'd be very reluctant to attach huge weight to that observation.  It's just a small piece. 

In the case of Moreno, the reports I read suggest that he could stick as a catcher, but not that he is presently a great defensive catcher like Ivan Rodriguez was at the same age, or even a much better than average one. 
bpoz - Wednesday, February 06 2019 @ 02:12 PM EST (#370058) #
hypopole, you are right by using the word prospect.

We drafted Dickie Joe Thon 5th round and Kris Briant in the 18th round of 2010. SS is better than 3B prospects. 1B is the lowest. Tellez 30th round 2013. Another good 3-400 ML bats and Tellez was a better pick than Thon IMO.

I do understand that you have to go after the highest upside using position. Thon & Warmoth are SS. DJ Davis a CF.
hypobole - Wednesday, February 06 2019 @ 02:19 PM EST (#370059) #
"In the case of Moreno, the reports I read suggest that he could stick as a catcher,"

The reports I've read suggest he not *could* but *should* stick as a catcher.

And if he was a young Pudge, I'd imagine he'd rank higher even at his age and level.
ayjackson - Wednesday, February 06 2019 @ 02:31 PM EST (#370060) #
I'm surprised that there isn't more support for neither pitchers hitting nor DH's and just going with an 8 man batting order.

I would think it would at least be in the conversation.
John Northey - Wednesday, February 06 2019 @ 02:44 PM EST (#370061) #
Ick. No to 8 man lineups. Baseball has been 9 forever and cutting it to 8 would be weird.

I like the pitchers hitting in the NL, DH in AL but DH all around makes a ton of sense. Then when a pitcher hits it'd be a real bit of entertainment due to the rarity it would be (blowouts, manager messes up lineup card, DH goes into field, etc.). Much like a position player pitching.

20 second clock would make a difference once a few hitters had strikes called on them when they weren't in the box in time (busy playing with their wrist bands, tapping every part of their body, etc.). I could see some pitchers just not leaving the rubber area in an effort to screw with the hitter - make the clock start quick. It'd be fun to see the reaction from some of those slow players. Same with the slow pitchers being caught by hitters who just stay in the box.
ayjackson - Wednesday, February 06 2019 @ 02:52 PM EST (#370062) #
well either way, we're talking about a fundamental and historical change...so 8-man lineups seems no different to me.
Mike Green - Wednesday, February 06 2019 @ 03:36 PM EST (#370063) #
Moreno turns 19 next week.  He has never caught more than 40 games in a season.  In order to be an everyday major league catcher- he's got to develop his hitting well, develop his defence well and demonstrate durability.  It's going to be a process that will take years with probably bumps along the way. 

Here's a comp for you.  In 2014, Danny Jansen was in Bluefield (he turned 19 at the start of that year).  He hit .282/.390/.484 with 16 walks and 17 strikeouts.  Could Moreno do that this year in Bluefield or Vancouver?  Sure, although I'm doubtful that his plate discipline is as good, but maybe his defence will be better than Jansen's was at that point. 
Mylegacy - Wednesday, February 06 2019 @ 05:08 PM EST (#370064) #
All sorts of shit & stuff on the "proposals" I'd like to comment on - but not gonna bother - 'cept one.

The DH. I LOVE it. Lets me say that another way: I. L.O.V.E. I.T!! Three BIG reasons (Big reasons need caps!)

1) A BIG reason is I really like the idea of having guys who are 4th outfielders, back up infielders etc. acting (often in a rotation) as DH. You keep the back-up's batting strokes from going too cold.

2) A BIGGER reason I LOVE IT is that I LOVE seeing old, over the hill, vets who can no longer run or even walk (remember the Hawk? - OK before your time) BUT can still HIT, still drive a pitcher crazy, still keep my attention even when the oldster is hitting .202 'cause I know that old sucker can launch one if the pitcher screws the pooch - AND the pitcher knows it too! To me - the DH is a homage to those who still have a great skill - AVE or OBP or SLG or any combination thereof but to whom Father Time has eroded their bodies, minds and bladders to the point where they can only still contribute at one aspect of the game.

3) The BIGGEREST (IF you're offended by the word "biggerest' - tough toe nails!) reason I like it is there are THREE dimensions to the game - Pitching, Hitting and Defense. Of these, Hitting is best suited to solve one of the ghastly abominations in the game. Namely the NL FARCE of having pitchers face, when the game is on the line, 7 hitters, an automatic walk and then an automatic out. It's a farcical joke. Period. Exclamation mark! Hash Tag# Dollar sign$

The oracle has spoken. Time for a wee dram. #singlemalt

scottt - Wednesday, February 06 2019 @ 05:47 PM EST (#370065) #
The whole point of the DH is not to make the game better.
The union wants to have a DH so that every team spend money signing homerun hitters to lucrative contracts.
Rotating the backups through the DH defeats that.

Morales is actually a pretty decent DH. He's exactly the kind of players the union wants on every team.

I wonder if making the pitcher hit has any impact on the length of the game. They are more likely to make an out, after all.
Do we have average game times NL vs AL? I'm curious.

scottt - Wednesday, February 06 2019 @ 05:49 PM EST (#370066) #
8 man lineups don't make teams spend money on slow, older free agents. That's the thing.
scottt - Wednesday, February 06 2019 @ 05:58 PM EST (#370067) #
Time spent on the DL counts as service time. Stroman accrued a full year in 2015.
scottt - Wednesday, February 06 2019 @ 06:01 PM EST (#370068) #
An other union proposition is to credit  players with service time for performance.
Let's say Guerrero wins the MVP. Let him walk a year early.
He wins the triple crown. Make that 2 years.

scottt - Wednesday, February 06 2019 @ 06:05 PM EST (#370069) #
The Twins have signed Tim Colins and Justin Nicolo to minor leagues contracts.
There are still a few old Blue Jays prospects out there. Maybe they are next.

Richard S.S. - Wednesday, February 06 2019 @ 06:13 PM EST (#370070) #
If Aaron Sanchez and Marcus Stroman can return to being top Pitchers (at least 80% effective) a lot of pressures are not placed on their teammates. I think this should happen. Of course the remainder of the Rotation determines whetherj the Postseason is reached.
Ho
The Defense will be better than last year, just not great. The Offense will be better next year, just not great. I donít see changes being made here. The Jays are trying to get the best possible Bullpen although I might question their choices. All in all, qualifying for the Playoffs is not as hard as it was last year, and possible for the Jays to accomplish.
bpoz - Wednesday, February 06 2019 @ 06:27 PM EST (#370071) #
Thanks scottt for the info on service time.

Happy to see the recent positive comments. 2019 will provide both positives and negatives. It will be an enjoyable year for me.

Our 40 man roster is loaded with ML ready mediocre players. I am looking forward to some gems being found.

To Mylegacy. Cheers!!! I have a beer.


ayjackson - Wednesday, February 06 2019 @ 08:00 PM EST (#370072) #
So if Vlad wins the triple crown in his forth year, boom...free agent!
ayjackson - Wednesday, February 06 2019 @ 08:01 PM EST (#370073) #
*fourth
scottt - Wednesday, February 06 2019 @ 08:05 PM EST (#370074) #
There's all sort of contradictory consequences to think about.
For example, If the number of call ups is limited, that's just another reason not to bring up the top prospects.
It's the fringe guys you need to look at so you can make a decision.

Part of the tepid free agency is Boras and agents imitating him who think they can get better deal by waiting as long as they can to sign.

I don't know if Harper cares about playing on turf or not, but Arizona's Chase field is switching to turf this year and the Rangers have announced that their new stadium will have turf, not grass. I find that very interesting. Is there a better grade of turf that what the Blue Jays are using?

Is Toronto the team about to sign Sergio Romo? I doubt it. So far, they haven't been able to keep anything under wrap since AA left.

scottt - Wednesday, February 06 2019 @ 09:14 PM EST (#370075) #
Officially, MLB has funded studies from the biomechanics lab at American Sports Medicine Institute to determine if lowering the mound from 10 inches to 6 would reduce injuries. I'm expecting to hear from that in more details.

The idea behind moving the trade deadline earlier is to push teams into signing more free agents instead of trading for guys that are available from losing teams. No, seriously.  There's a lot of teams who sign guys like Granderson or Joe Smith hoping to trade them at the deadline, but let's ignore that. Let's just tell those team to try to win instead. I suppose that's what the 26th roster spot would be for, some veteran free agent to cover a potential injury. Like anyone can guess before the season starts who will be hurt 4 months down the road.


scottt - Wednesday, February 06 2019 @ 09:17 PM EST (#370076) #
And they were.

The Cubs signed Carlos Ramirez.
The Pirates signed Tom Koehler.

Who else?

vw_fan17 - Wednesday, February 06 2019 @ 09:24 PM EST (#370077) #
Forget limiting the pitchers to 3 batters, or such. Just make a pitching change the same as pinch hitting. You have a 20-second / 30 second pitch clock. If you're making a pitching change, you get an extra 15 or 30 seconds for the guys to quickly run to/from the dugout, almost like a hockey line change. The reliever can meet the catcher at the plate to tell the umpire about the substitution and they can walk to the mound together to talk signs, and the catcher hustles back to the plate. Meantime, the other guy departs to the showers.

That eliminates the slower-than-molasses amble out to the mound by the manager, the symbolic "give me the ball and you better pretend you want to pitch more because it would be unmanly to admit you are tired" gesture, the obligatory "patting of the rump", the symbolic "gathering of the infielders and 1 or more outfielders around the mound to wait for the reliever to find his way out of the bullpen maze", the totally antiquated "throw 8 more pitches really slow, even though I just threw 30-40 in the bullpen", etc. Can cut out 4-5 minutes PER PITCHING CHANGE easily this way. 

With 4-6 pitching changes in the game, it could cut close to half an hour.
dan gordon - Wednesday, February 06 2019 @ 09:49 PM EST (#370078) #
I like a lot of those proposals. The DH absolutely should be used in both leagues. Having a pitcher hit makes no sense. They don't have any particular skill in that aspect of the game, and I have no interest whatsoever in watching their futility with the bat. What other major professional sport has a player attempting to perform during the game at something that they have little skill/training at doing? It would be like having teams be required to put a position player in to pitch for a couple of batters every game, or NHL teams having to play the backup goalie as a defenseman for 5 minutes every game, or NFL teams having to use their placekicker as the quarterback for 1 series of downs.

I don't really like the 3 batter minimum rule. You're starting to impact legitimate strategies too much there for my liking. It would eliminate jobs for the vast majority of LOOGYs in pro ball, as well.

I think it is way overdue that the rosters be increased to at least 26 and preferably 27 players. When I first started watching baseball, teams had 10 man pitching staffs, and the 25 man roster was perfect, providing teams with players who could pinch hit, pinch run, or come in as defensive replacements. Now with 12 and 13 man pitching staffs, there is little in the way of in game substitution, except for relievers. I think that takes away from the strategy in the game.

I'd be in agreement with the 20 second clock if there was a rule for batters as well, such as the batter not being allowed to step out of the batters' box unless he swung at the previous pitch.

One trade deadline - sure, and saw it off halfway at mid-August. Before the All-star break is way too early.

Lowering the mound would help provide more offense, which I like. I also like Mike's idea about raising the fences or some such thing to get the increased offense from more balls in play, not from an even further increase in home runs.

Limiting the September roster to 28 players makes a lot of sense. There are too many games where a seemingly endless series of players are paraded into the game, and this occurs when teams are in the middle of pennant races. It not only slows the game down, but changes the way teams can play the game. Seems wrong to be affecting the pennant races that way. Hockey teams can't dress 25 players near the end of the season - they have to stick with 20.


scottt - Thursday, February 07 2019 @ 06:43 AM EST (#370079) #
Having an opener face a single batter in a post season game might have a lot to do with the 3 hitters minimum.
It's worth nothing that once the inning is over you would be able to  change the pitcher no matter what. so a LOOGY can come in to try to end the inning, but if the batter reach, you have to face the next guy and possibly the one after. Maybe, not giving the second pitcher in the inning his 8 pitches unless the previous guy has faced 8 batters would have been enough.

The idea behind extending the DH rule is to have more Pujols style contract in the National League.
2 Red pitchers hit grand slam last year, it's not like pitchers have long tedious at-bat and they mostly only go to the plate twice per game. With a DH, there's no need for more position players than a second catcher, an extra infielder and an extra outfielder. Most team will use the extra position player to reward a AAAA guy. Smart team could use a pinch runner who cannot field or hit. Wealthy teams might add an extra DH who mostly hits in the 9th when the team is losing, but it's hard to find AB for bench players, so they don't actually hit that well. Defensive replacements, maybe?

Last's year's DH. (I'm not sure what KC did for DH, maybe nobody started 50 games.)

Martinez  OPS 1.032
Davis OPS .874
Stanton OPS .852
Cruz OPS .850
Cron .816
Choo .810
Encarnation .810
Morales .769
Grossman .751
Davidson .738
Gattis .736
Pujols .686
Victor Martinez .651

It's actually not bad, aside from ridiculous contracts that keep bad players in lineups.

Glevin - Thursday, February 07 2019 @ 08:43 AM EST (#370080) #
For me the DH accomplishes a few things.

1) Pitchers hitting is dumb and can lead to injury.
2) It keeps more hitters around in the game. Someone like Jose Martinez for the Cardinals could play everyday instead of just seeing another fungible 6th inning reliever.
3) The no-DH does not increase strategy unless intentional walking the 8th hitter to face the pitcher with 2 outs is exciting for you.
Mike Green - Thursday, February 07 2019 @ 09:47 AM EST (#370081) #
Forget limiting the pitchers to 3 batters, or such. Just make a pitching change the same as pinch hitting. You have a 20-second / 30 second pitch clock. If you're making a pitching change, you get an extra 15 or 30 seconds for the guys to quickly run to/from the dugout, almost like a hockey line change. The reliever can meet the catcher at the plate to tell the umpire about the substitution and they can walk to the mound together to talk signs, and the catcher hustles back to the plate. Meantime, the other guy departs to the showers.

Are you proposing that the 8 pitch warmup be eliminated?  Pitching isn't like anything in hockey, and the preparations to minimize risk of arm injury are considerable.  You might be able to do something like this, but I'd want a lot of input from pitching/bullpen coaches and pitchers around the league before doing it.

As for the elimination of the LOOGY role, I could not care less.  I support players in their battles with owners- much higher wages for minor leaguers and a greater share of the pie for MLB players.  But as a fan, I don't want to see reliever roulette again.
vw_fan17 - Thursday, February 07 2019 @ 10:57 AM EST (#370082) #
Are you proposing that the 8 pitch warmup be eliminated?  Pitching isn't like anything in hockey, and the preparations to minimize risk of arm injury are considerable.  You might be able to do something like this, but I'd want a lot of input from pitching/bullpen coaches and pitchers around the league before doing it.

If you plan ahead (other than injury, of course), you can let your relievers get all the warmup they need in the bullpen - isn't that what it's for? Now, I'm only half serious about it, because I don't want anymore pitchers to get hurt, but it seems like most times, they've already been warming up for 5 minutes - just warm up for another 2 minutes, rather than making the fans sit there?

Maybe the FIRST mid-inning reliever per team per game gets 8 pitches (no change to between innings), since it's unknown when the starter will tire, but after that, you don't (and 1 more for extra innings)? Might get rid of the "opener", since you'd then risk losing your 8-pitch timeout / warmup in the 1st inning if the opener can't get all 3 batters... Would quite likely eliminate the 1-batter opener move. Maybe if the current pitcher has faced 5 batters, you get your 8-pitch warmup back? That should get rid of the problem of "35+ pitches in the inning, need to pull the pitcher" situation - and no-pitch intentional walks count. And if you want to use a LOOGY, sure, but you don't get to stop the play 3 times in one inning to go LOOGY/ROOGY/LOOGY. That turns a 3-minute inning into a 20 minute inning. With only slight additional enjoyment for the fans, IMHO. I really am not a fan of constant match-up seeking. I understand why it's smart, and of course I want the Jays to win, but watching 1-pitch, 4-5 minute delay, 2 pitches, 4-5 minute delay, etc, to me, isn't exactly "fun". Now, in spring training, sure, do whatever you need..


Just throwing ideas out there. But, to me, 4-6 pitcher changes PER SIDE, 3-5 minutes each seems like a prime candidate for speeding up the game, since it's not like it's that interesting to watch. Sure, I get a goosebump or two thinking back to fans chanting "GET THE GOOSE" and the manager slowly walking to the mound, etc, back in the 80s. But, the atmosphere these days doesn't seem quite the same.. The fans aren't throwing stuff at opposition outfielders much anymore either.. :-) (not that I'm saying that should come back)

<boring rant about 1st world problems>
Now, mind, you, my life is very different from 35 years ago. These days, I usually watch games a day or two later while exercising, and with mlb.tv's removal of the really nice OLDER UIs they had, it's really annoying to jump between batters mid-inning. So I either have to fiddle with the mouse and jump back and forth and gauge where "2 minutes" are, which doesn't work all that well, go 2 minutes of "nothing", if I successfully blocked ads, or re-watch the same ad I already saw 17 times that game (mlb.tv ads during Jays games, watched in CA are VERY, VERY repetitive, no idea if it's like that live in TO - if so, I'm sorry), OR, just hope for the best/worst and skip to the next half inning. Most of the time, I just assume it works and skip ahead, and then sometimes get surprised when a big rally happened or whatever, and have to go back to try to find where it started. Making these changes 30 seconds would be watchable and not mind-numbing. However, I understand the realities of sponsorship and commercials - although they already get every half inning, etc.. In my current life, mid-inning LOOGY/ROOGY pitching change DELAYS are the most boring / annoying part of watching a game. Not the pitching change itself - knock yourself out - it's the huge delay in the flow of the game that's annoying.
</rant>
whiterasta80 - Thursday, February 07 2019 @ 11:02 AM EST (#370083) #
I support the universal DH, with the caveat that I'd like to see it be slightly more common to lose the DH (i.e. if you pinch hit or pinch run for the DH).

In terms of speeding up the game? The reality is that all of the measures being discussed are small potatoes and won't really move the chains. I personally believe that the best solution is to switch to 7 innings. Ever go to a minor league double header? The game feels like its over in a heartbeat. It'll never happen, but I think that it would be very impactful.
christaylor - Thursday, February 07 2019 @ 11:13 AM EST (#370084) #
I echo Northey's comment that 8 man lineups are deeply weird; 3, 9, 27 -- these are baseball numbers. If an 8 man line up is on the table, why not reduce innings to 2 outs, games to 8 innings? Because that's not baseball, some other game entirely, it could be a good game to watch for the fans, but not a baseball game.

Nothing MAKES a team spend on older players. The teams that sign them see value in those players. As bad as Morales and EE have been relative to their contract no one made either Jays or the Cleveland team sign them -- each FO saw value at the time of signing.
mathesond - Thursday, February 07 2019 @ 11:45 AM EST (#370085) #
Complettely unrelated, but Sporcle has a quiz of the 41 times baseball has been part of, if not the subject of, Final Jeopardy. I hit 39/41 (with some guessing that wouldn't cut it in real Jeopardy), although one of my misses was due to not knowing the proper spelling.
James W - Thursday, February 07 2019 @ 12:48 PM EST (#370086) #
The 8-pitch warmup isn't even about warming up. In all but the rarest of cases, the reliever is already sufficiently warmed up in the bullpen. It's mostly about acclimating to the mound and the landing areas. If you tried to change that, I'm guessing the player's union would cry "safety".

Does that really require 8 pitches? I don't know.
Mike Green - Thursday, February 07 2019 @ 02:44 PM EST (#370087) #
I agree, James W.  Which is why it's better to have a minimum requirement of batters faced (or the end of an inning).
whiterasta80 - Thursday, February 07 2019 @ 04:02 PM EST (#370089) #
Thank you for that mathesond. I got 27 and I was hard pressed to get there quite frankly.
vw_fan17 - Thursday, February 07 2019 @ 09:43 PM EST (#370101) #
To make you feel proud of your mastery of trivia: I got 10 in approx 7:30. Even if I factor in that I feel like I'm coming down with a cold and did it in a hurry, after looking at the answers, 15 would have been about the best I could have done. While I appreciate a good baseball story, I'm not a history fanatic..
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