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It's time for a fresh thread, and I want to alert one and all to Nate Silver's modest proposal to fix that which is broken. That thing being baseball, of course, which has been broken by an endless procession of ordinary pitchers wandering out of the bullpen to throw as hard as they can for no more than one inning. The result has been tedium, historic numbers of strikeouts (seldom the most exciting thing that can happen on a baseball diamond), and a game awash in mediocrity. Your modern dugout manager has found a way to actually weaponize mediocrity, and roughly a third of each team's active roster consists of these... mediocrities.

Yes, I'm an Old Fogey. And this isn't what I signed up for. You?

Silver's solution is quite simple - each team will be limited to 10 pitchers on the active roster. (Other players on the roster would be allowed to pitch, but they can't face more hitters than they themselves have had plate appearances. You know, if you were thinking of trying to disguise a relief pitcher as an outfielder.)

Simple, elegant, and probably too extreme for Day One. I'd settle for establishing a firm 12 pitcher limit for now, and cutting it back to 11 in two years.
A Modest Proposal | 37 comments | Create New Account
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AWeb - Saturday, March 02 2019 @ 09:05 AM EST (#370622) #
I mentioned in the last thread that if you limit strikeouts and the number of pitchers you may also need to find a way to limit hitters as a balance. Hitters aren't going to forget that the swing for the fences approach works better for them out of politeness. Deaden the ball a bit? Move out fences?
85bluejay - Saturday, March 02 2019 @ 10:41 AM EST (#370625) #
And in other news - the sun rose in the east this morning and Devon Travis is injured (inflammation in left knee)- I wonder how strongly the Jays considered non-tendering Travis in November.
85bluejay - Saturday, March 02 2019 @ 11:18 AM EST (#370630) #
For me, Shapiro/Atkins didn't really start until 2017 as 2016 was a caretaker of 2015 - This FO has made 1 glaring consequential blunder in failing to start the sell-off in July 2017 - Generally, I've a positive take in what they are doing but it's too early to see results - I really like the revamping of the development system and the confidence the FO seems to have in that system as they've acquired a bunch of borderline buy low prospects (understandably, given that top shelf prospects are so tough to acquire) - the success/failure of that development system will probably decide the future of the FO.

I am a contrarian (on this site) when it comes to prospect promotion - I want my prospects to force their way onto the major league roster, not be given a spot - I felt that Travis Snider,Brett Lawrie, 5 of the 6 opening day rookies in 2015 etc. were promoted too quickly - so I have no problems if Ryan Borucki starts the year in AAA - there will be plenty of opportunities for prospects (especially pitchers) starting the year in AAA to claim and hold a big league roster spot.
bpoz - Saturday, March 02 2019 @ 11:47 AM EST (#370632) #
85bluejay, how do you adjust/feel about running out of prospect options? Just your thoughts. Or other Bauxites.

Pompey has 0. Borucki has 1 left, he was added after 2016. However our farm was not overloaded at that time. P Murphy was exposed after the 2017 season. Both had to deal with injuries in their early development. Of course we don't know how good they will be in the Majors. Borucki gave us a significant sample. 97.2 IP.

Of course Devon White was a late bloomer. One of many I imagine.

2 options used by Urena, Alford and D Smith Jr. None seems to be wow!!
John Northey - Saturday, March 02 2019 @ 03:31 PM EST (#370636) #
I see options as being there to be used. If a player has them, use them until he has forced the teams hand or has run out of them. I suspect in the new agreement the owners will try to up the number of option years or make it so teams can shuffle guys majors to minors as long as they are signed with no issues. Can't imagine the players union would go for it, but with the wimp in control (he has done terrible for the players so far) I wouldn't be shocked.

Pompey should be on the roster unless he sucks in spring. Borucki looks like he should stick, but with that option the Jays might as well demote him and make 100% sure. Can't imagine he'd be down long enough to get another year of control but with the options here why not? He could shuttle between AAA and the majors as the 6th starter this year, and be a lock for a top 4 slot next year I suspect. Hernandez should be in AAA to work on defense (he is a disaster out there) or to learn a new position like 1B.
scottt - Saturday, March 02 2019 @ 05:17 PM EST (#370640) #
I  can't imagine the number of options going up. There are used to keep decent players in AAA.
Sometimes those pitchers reach at 27 with 2 options left. That's enough. Every team has out of options players and they sign minor league contracts for just a little bit more money. It's not a huge deal.

Borucki might not be in top shape.. Maybe he can use a month or two to tune up. We'll see in 4 weeks.
Travis still has an option. If he's injured he'll probably start in AAA. Hernandez hits too well to be in AAA.
You don't want a right bat at 1B, unless it's part of a platoon, but that could work here with Tellez.

uglyone - Saturday, March 02 2019 @ 08:55 PM EST (#370641) #
Jonah Birenbaum
@birenball
With Salvador Perez done for the year, Danny Jansen now projects to be the American League’s third-most valuable catcher in 2019, per ZiPS, behind Gary Sanchez and Willians Astudillo.




still somehow not the best catching prospect in baseball, though.
John Northey - Saturday, March 02 2019 @ 10:27 PM EST (#370642) #
Heck, Jansen didn't even make Keith Law's top 100 (ranked him #107). He is a top 50 by Baseball America and John Sickles though and the consensus 3rd best prospect for the Jays (Nate Pearson gets some love from Keith Law and Baseball Prospectus over Jansen who they both rank #4).

Steamer at FanGraphs has Jansen at 256/335/423 2.4 WAR, ZIPS has him 243/332/385 2.0 WAR Either would be fine but it is fun to dream of even more :)
scottt - Sunday, March 03 2019 @ 07:00 AM EST (#370643) #
With Salvator Perez done for the year, I wonder if Maile has any trade value. Maybe just use him to complete a trade for Luciano? It's not like the Royals have a lot of leverage there, all they can do is hope Luciano can't hold his spot.

Gary Sanchez is hard to predict. Defensive skills don't usually go up after 4 years and the better the NYY pitching staff gets, the harder his job gets.

85bluejay - Sunday, March 03 2019 @ 07:34 AM EST (#370644) #
Keegan Matheson tweets that Vlad's new official measurement is now 6'2" and 250 pounds - that a major concern IMO.
BlueJayWay - Sunday, March 03 2019 @ 07:46 AM EST (#370645) #
I guess Vlad didn't do a whole lot of dieting and exercising over the winter.
scottt - Sunday, March 03 2019 @ 08:03 AM EST (#370646) #
I saw a video of him exercising. It was a lot like Hillbilly Jim's routing in WWF when I was a kid.
Shoeless Joe - Sunday, March 03 2019 @ 08:31 AM EST (#370647) #
That gives Vladdy a BMI of 32.1 which is considered obese, and at this point he would have to lose 50 lbs to have a healthy weight.

He will probably play at a Miguel Sano level size, and the third base experiment might not last a very long time.


uglyone - Sunday, March 03 2019 @ 08:32 AM EST (#370648) #
250 seems low tbh.
dalimon5 - Sunday, March 03 2019 @ 09:16 AM EST (#370649) #
If he can't maintain a non obese weight you should consider trading him. Teams won't be taking Vlad from us in year 3 if he's injury prone or has bad fitness.
85bluejay - Sunday, March 03 2019 @ 09:41 AM EST (#370650) #
Since last year with the injury, Atkins has been taking about helping to educate Vlad about the importance of fitness - so far, the efforts of the development people have failed - I think the Jays should at least listen on Vlad if they don't think he can control his weight problem and while the hype is at maximum - the weight issue alone is a reason to keep him in AAA IMO - Brandon Drury I think is going to get an opportunity to hold that 3B job longer than expected.
bpoz - Sunday, March 03 2019 @ 10:06 AM EST (#370651) #
I like the positive comments from Montoyo and Stroman. They suggest that they are underdogs but will put in a strong effort.
scottt - Sunday, March 03 2019 @ 10:17 AM EST (#370652) #
Morales is listed at 6'1 225lbs.
Prince Fielder was 5'11"  275lbs.
Still lasted until age 32.

Vlad should still be fine over the years he'll spend in Toronto.


hypobole - Sunday, March 03 2019 @ 11:38 AM EST (#370653) #
Pablo Sandoval was good through his age 27 season.
bpoz - Sunday, March 03 2019 @ 12:28 PM EST (#370654) #
Kirby Puckett?
Glevin - Sunday, March 03 2019 @ 12:34 PM EST (#370655) #
You have to feel for Travis. He seems like a good guy and nobody wants to be injured but he just can't seem to stay healthy.
greenfrog - Sunday, March 03 2019 @ 12:43 PM EST (#370656) #
What's concerning is that Vlad seems to be adding weight at age 19, despite his recent knee injury. The combination of his injury history, his heavy weight, and the artificial turf in Toronto may not be a good one.
BlueJayWay - Sunday, March 03 2019 @ 01:00 PM EST (#370657) #
Vlad should still be fine over the years he'll spend in Toronto.

I would hope so. The way things are going, I don't know I'd want Vlad past his late twenties. Hopefully he'll mash at least up through his mid twenties while here in Toronto.
scottt - Sunday, March 03 2019 @ 07:31 PM EST (#370658) #
It could be worse. Travis's salary is guaranteed even if he spends the year between Buffalo and the DL.
Many of our great prospects will have short careers. It's a tough sport.

Vulg - Sunday, March 03 2019 @ 09:20 PM EST (#370661) #
What's concerning is that Vlad seems to be adding weight at age 19, despite his recent knee injury. The combination of his injury history, his heavy weight, and the artificial turf in Toronto may not be a good one.

I saw several clips of his effortless swing today, which resulted in a double. It was beautiful, but what you didn't see was him trying to score from 2nd later in the inning. Not pretty.

He's already had an issue with his left knee. I know the team needs to handle him with kid-gloves to some extent, but I really hope they take an aggressive stance with his fitness and diet.
Chuck - Sunday, March 03 2019 @ 10:13 PM EST (#370662) #
I really hope they take an aggressive stance with his fitness and diet.

You'd have thought that would have started this past off-season.

Michael - Sunday, March 03 2019 @ 11:04 PM EST (#370665) #
Using bmi to measure athletes is crazy. Muscle is dense. When Brad Pitt was at his peak shape in movies he had obese BMI too. Lots of Olympic athletes have high BMI too. This isn't to say Vlad is fine, just that BMI is a terrible metric for athletes.

Also, no one is perfect, but rather than worrying if Vlad will be elite for 3 years or 7 years or 15 years, maybe we should appreciate him for now? I mean I wish he also had a 100 mph fastball and sick slider and was the best pitching prospect as well as the best hitting prospect, but I guess we'll settle happily for what he is, rather than wishing for even more.
dan gordon - Monday, March 04 2019 @ 01:19 AM EST (#370667) #
What's really alarming about Vladdy is the rapid weight increase. What was he last year - 225, 230? If he puts on 20-25 pounds a year, he'll be over 300 in 2-3 years. He's got to make some changes to his diet/fitness very soon.
Glevin - Monday, March 04 2019 @ 02:20 AM EST (#370669) #
Not too worried about Vladdy. His calling card is his bat and there are plenty of big guys who have had long careers. David Ortiz put up a 163 WRC+ when he was 40. Miguel Cabrera has put up 70 career WAR. etc... Anyway, as Michael says, let's just enjoy a generational talent instead of worrying about what kind of player they will be in 2030.
Mike Green - Monday, March 04 2019 @ 08:32 AM EST (#370671) #
Interesting solution, Magpie.  There are different dynamics in the NL than in the AL- with this rule, a part-time OF/reliever (Brooks Kieschnick, Anthony Gose) would be a useful roster addition, especially in the NL.  I prefer the 3 batter/end the inning minimum- it's the multiple mid-inning changes that are most annoying. 

As for the decline in balls in play, it applies equally to starters and relievers.  Ergo, lower the mound and raise the walls. 


Mike Green - Monday, March 04 2019 @ 08:44 AM EST (#370675) #
For reference, Marc Normandin's article in fangraphs today has a picture of Vlad Jr. from his Lugnut period.  He looked a lot like his Dad in his mid-20s at that point.
Vulg - Monday, March 04 2019 @ 11:01 AM EST (#370681) #
For reference, Marc Normandin's article in fangraphs today has a picture of Vlad Jr. from his Lugnut period. He looked a lot like his Dad in his mid-20s at that point.

Thanks Mike, I was going to link to a similar picture.

To be clear, I'm not hung up on BMI or how Vlad Jr. may hold up 5-6 years from now. My point was that he looks, quite frankly, fat this Spring and much larger than even last season. Watching him run was an eye-opener.
Mike Green - Monday, March 04 2019 @ 11:21 AM EST (#370682) #
That's true.  He looked leaner in the AFL even. 
hypobole - Monday, March 04 2019 @ 02:03 PM EST (#370686) #
ESPN weighs in on Vlad's fitness

http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/26135364/blue-jays-vlad-jr-working-conditioning

scottt - Monday, March 04 2019 @ 06:23 PM EST (#370695) #
He sounds like he's been eating fast food while waiting for his grand mother to come over and cook.

Marlow - Tuesday, March 05 2019 @ 09:22 AM EST (#370707) #
At least Vlad Jr is aware that he has to improve his fitness. Hopefully the Jays can work with him throughout the year on this. Maybe at some point in the future, it will click with him.

TSN is reporting that the Clay Buchholz signing is official. Interestingly, Dwight Smith Jr is being DFA.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, March 05 2019 @ 06:58 PM EST (#370729) #
There are still a few decisions to be made on who makes the Team. More than just Dwight Smith Jr. will be DFAd. Maybe a few might go on the 60-Day DL to limit the number DFAd.
A Modest Proposal | 37 comments | Create New Account
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