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Whoa. More than 300 comments? Strike another match, go start anew...

In other news, Ichiro Suzuki has officially called it a career. He leaves with 4367 hits, between Japan and the majors. If he'd come to the majors when he was 20 years old (he was certainly good enough to do so) I think he would have blown past 4500 hits. Quite the run.
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Mike Green - Thursday, March 21 2019 @ 04:21 PM EDT (#371219) #
Apparently Bud Norris didn't feel right warming up today, so he was shut down.  Maybe the pen will have Clayton Richard and Sean Reid-Foley (or Thomas Pannone) in it once Clay Buchholz is ready.   That'll be fine.

Let's see- we have Giles, Mayza, Biagini, Luciano, Paulino, Thornton and Gaviglio, all of whom could potentially be in the big league bullpen on Opening Day if Norris can't make it. 
Magpie - Thursday, March 21 2019 @ 04:30 PM EDT (#371220) #
Let's see- we have Giles, Mayza, Biagini, Luciano, Paulino, Thornton and Gaviglio

Abandon all hope, ye who enter here?
Mike Green - Thursday, March 21 2019 @ 04:36 PM EDT (#371221) #
It's almost Passover, so I don't want to imagine what they might be dipping a bat into and putting on the gate of the bullpen to avoid further injuries.
greenfrog - Thursday, March 21 2019 @ 05:04 PM EDT (#371222) #
It sure would be nice to have a competent, overachieving, minimum-salary, young, healthy, interesting, major-league-ready LHP reliever (with high spin rates) right about now. If only the Jays had had access to one of those this off-season...
cascando - Thursday, March 21 2019 @ 06:11 PM EDT (#371223) #
Luciano to Paulino to Gaviglio...

Has more of a double play combination ring to it, but could possibly work as a middle relief corps.
85bluejay - Thursday, March 21 2019 @ 07:38 PM EDT (#371224) #
Awaiting the opt outs and DFA's. Maybe Jason Adam gets a chance.
scottt - Thursday, March 21 2019 @ 08:24 PM EDT (#371225) #
When you're building a contender, you don't focus on low velocity minor league relievers.
Or that's the theory anyway.

I'm not sure how the Norris issue works out.
They have until midnight to sign him or he can opt out.
Obviously you don't want to sign a one year deal to a player who might miss the whole year.
It does remind me of the Oh story, although that was based on a physical.

vw_fan17 - Friday, March 22 2019 @ 12:18 AM EDT (#371226) #
Luciano to Paulino to Gaviglio...

Gaviglio shoots, he scores! Another goal for the Mafioso line!
scottt - Friday, March 22 2019 @ 07:14 AM EDT (#371227) #
The Cards are giving Goldsmith 36M a year for the 5 years starting with his age 32 season.
So basically, 32 to 36.

It's not a bad deal for a first baseman. Teams are getting very careful with the late 30s.

Chuck - Friday, March 22 2019 @ 08:00 AM EDT (#371228) #
It's Goldschmidt. And it's 26M per year.
greenfrog - Friday, March 22 2019 @ 08:28 AM EDT (#371229) #
Good move by the Cards.
Jevant - Friday, March 22 2019 @ 08:56 AM EDT (#371230) #
Goldschmidt feels like one of the most underrated superstars in baseball (probably partially by virtue of playing in Arizona). Seems like a pretty good deal since I assume he'll age pretty gracefully.
scottt - Friday, March 22 2019 @ 09:29 AM EDT (#371231) #
Or maybe good move by Goldschmidt?

Had Encarnation accepted  4/80M for his age 34-37, would that have been a good move by the Jays?
Mike Green - Friday, March 22 2019 @ 10:29 AM EDT (#371232) #
Goldschmidt  for 5 years @26M per annum covering ages 31-35 is about par.  I ran a Play Index to find first basemen who between ages 28 and 30 had been durable (1800+ PAs) and an OPS+ between 130 and 146 (Goldschmidt's was 138).  I got 20 names other than Goldschmidt.  They are all names you know- Steve Garvey, Paul Konerko, Lee May, Mark Teixeira, Roy Sievers, Tony Perez, Dolph Camilli, Adrian Gonzalez, John Olerud, George Scott, Orlando Cepeda, Ripper Collins, Rafael Palmeiro, Gil Hodges, Jose Abreu, Jim Bottomley, Bill Terry, Kevin Youkilis, Nick Etten and Keith Hernandez. 

John Olerud, for instance, had a fairly graceful decline in his early 30s.  He had been a slightly better hitter than Goldschmdt and a slightly better fielder.  He put up OPS+ seasons of 136 and 140 at ages 32 and 33, was durable and remained a good fielder.  He was good for 17.5 WAR during the period, which would be par for Goldschmidt.  We think of Tony Perez' early 30s as great years with the Big Red Machine, but he only posted 16.4 WAR.  Bill Terry is the player who exploded in his early 30s and posted 30.4 WAR. Dolph Camilli similarly prospered with 27 WAR.  Most of the others were noticeably under 18 WAR for age 31-35-  Hernandez and Hodges at 16, Sievers at 15, Gonzalez and Konerko at 13,  Teixeira at 12, Collins at 11,  Scott, Cepeda and Garvey at 9, Bottomley at 6. 
AWeb - Friday, March 22 2019 @ 10:29 AM EDT (#371233) #
I think it's fair to both sides. I think Encarnacion is probably a good comparison for him, actually, because he's about the same as a hitter right now as Edwin was at the same age, but he brings better base-running and defensive value on top of it. I imagine if Goldschmidt hits like Edwin did ages 31-35 (135 OPS+, generally in the lineup), the Cardinals will be OK with that. That's basically exactly his last three years, hitting wise.

On another note, I am surprised every year to see how high Encarnacion is on the "active" leaderboards. 3rd in HRs right now with 380. Without a rebound this year it's hard to see a path to 500 HRs (Cleveland isn't picking up a $20 million option for 2020 unless he's seriously great this year), but he's had a hell of a run for a guy who was barely above replacement for his first 7 years.
Mike Green - Friday, March 22 2019 @ 10:34 AM EDT (#371234) #
Actually, I can't freaking multiply.  13 WAR would be par for Goldschmidt at that price, and I think that he's a good chance to beat that.  Or more to the point, I think that it's 50-50 whether he beats that but the high-end -the Terry/Camilli outcome is much more favourable than the reasonably likely floor- 9-10 WAR for the period. 
bpoz - Friday, March 22 2019 @ 10:45 AM EDT (#371235) #
IMO the FO's rebuild plan (part 1) is super cautious with an obsession on depth. I never expected too few bullpen candidates.

I am interested in seeing the 40 man roster on Wed 27th.
Gerry - Friday, March 22 2019 @ 10:49 AM EDT (#371236) #
Pompey has another concussion. I don't see another team picking him up once he comes off the DL because of the risk of more concussions.

Now he could now easily get a concussion from a diving play in the outfield or a collision with another player. I think a long career would be doubtful at this stage.
scottt - Friday, March 22 2019 @ 11:02 AM EDT (#371237) #
Encarnation is currently with the Mariners who will do everything to trade him for some return.
I'd don' t see the option being picked by anyone. There will be opportunities if he keep hitting, but the salary will take a big drop now.

scottt - Friday, March 22 2019 @ 11:16 AM EDT (#371238) #
That means they can probably send him down to AAA once he's cleared to play.
Unless he's on the shelf all year. 

Maybe just a few changes; slide feet first, don't dive after balls, don't put stuff on top of the locker, etc...

In a way, it's better this happens now than after they make a move.

bpoz - Friday, March 22 2019 @ 11:29 AM EDT (#371239) #
Regarding Goldschmidt. He is good enough for a smart?? team to give him a nice contract.

A Pujols has obviously had/is having a great career.

I am wondering about J Smoak. How does his last 2 years compare to Goldschmidt? It is not fair to bring Pujols into this comparison because he has declined but is still good.
AWeb - Friday, March 22 2019 @ 11:42 AM EDT (#371240) #
I hadn't noticed that the Jays default starting lineups are having a heck of a spring hitting so far. Grichuk, Smoak, and Gurriel have an OPS over 1.100, Hernandez is over 1.000 (with walks), Drury is at .974, and Pillar is at .781 (I'd take it). Aside from Jansen everyone who will be getting playing time has been hitting (note, I'm pretending that Morales won't be getting playing time because I'd prefer it that way). Spring training stats don't mean much, but I'd rather a guy do well than do poorly. Oh, and Bichette is the best hitting SS in spring training so far, among guys with 20 PAs or more.

The starters seem to have decent numbers too, for the most part, aside from the ERAs (WHIPs are mostly low). Sure, the bullpen is disintegrating and Guerrero Jr. is hurt, but otherwise, it's going great so far!
scottt - Friday, March 22 2019 @ 12:13 PM EDT (#371241) #
If you haven't heard, Mayza is taking ground balls at first in case Montoyo wants to use him for 2 lefties sandwiched by a right handed hitter.

I think Montoyo will try just about anything.

Chuck - Friday, March 22 2019 @ 12:18 PM EDT (#371242) #
It is not fair to bring Pujols into this comparison because he has declined but is still good.

I think that good is far too generous an assessment. Per FG, his WARs the past three years were: 0.8, -1.9, -0.2. That cost the Angels 78M and was worth league minimum.

Mike Green - Friday, March 22 2019 @ 12:26 PM EDT (#371243) #
Pujols isn't a fair comparison because he was a much better hitter than Goldschmidt  throughout his 20s- using the stated age.  Pujols OPS+ for ages 28-30 was 184; Goldschmidt's was 138. In other words, Goldschmidt is closer to Justin Smoak than to Albert Pujols. 

Pujols held on quite a bit of value for ages 31-35 posting 19 WAR. 
rpriske - Friday, March 22 2019 @ 12:41 PM EDT (#371244) #
I have often thought that the Pompey love on this site was misplaced. having said THAT, I really feel for the guy. Chronic concussions will not only derail any possibility of a substantial career, but will affect him for the rest of his life.
AWeb - Friday, March 22 2019 @ 01:01 PM EDT (#371245) #
I think the age "dispute" around Pujols is probably nonsense, since older players are disappearing everywhere from baseball. The oldest NL player last year was 39 years old, the first year since 1978 the oldest player in a league was under 40. With Ichiro retiring, I don't think there's a non-pitcher 40 or older in MLB. Players simply aren't lasting as long as they used to, as recently as ten years ago.

Aside from the steroids and similar muscle building drugs, and it often gets laughed off, but for decades (since the 40s at least), it was a given that players would take amphetamines (greenies) to keep them going during the season. I don't think it's a coincidence that older players have tailing off faster in the past 10 years, they simply don't have the resources they used to have. Diet and training is great, but a good old fashioned amphetamine to keep you going helped literally generations of players.

This is Pompey's 3rd or 4th diagnosed concussion? I'm glad Pompey made the majors, because now he has lifetime access to the MLB players health plan, IIRC. Sure, he's Canadian too, but he might stay in the US. 1st concussion from running into a wall, sure. 2nd, from sliding into 2nd base? worrisome. Now just hitting his head in his locker? Unless the "bumped his head on bats in his locker" story is BS, that's not a good sign. Taking a concussion from something so minor is a giant red flag, and as hard as it might be, he might have to retire sooner rather than later. If he makes the majors again, I'll have a hard time watching him play defense, or slide on the basepaths, without cringing a bit.
scottt - Friday, March 22 2019 @ 01:02 PM EDT (#371246) #
I would have preferred to have Pompey up in Toronto over Carrera.
scottt - Friday, March 22 2019 @ 01:08 PM EDT (#371247) #
The worse I've seen was a guy chasing an out of bound soccer ball and running full steam into a plank that was laying between 2 set of bleachers. From vertical to horizontal in no time at all.
We didn't have concussions back then, but his whole forehead was a huge bruise.

James W - Friday, March 22 2019 @ 02:00 PM EDT (#371248) #
I'm going to assume this guy did have a concussion. Concussions certainly did exist back then. You not knowing something doesn't mean they aren't real.
Mike Green - Friday, March 22 2019 @ 02:09 PM EDT (#371249) #
I deal with concussions (now usually called mild traumatic brain injuries or MTBI) regularly in my work.  The difference between the common understanding of the condition now and 30 years ago is huge. 
scottt - Friday, March 22 2019 @ 02:14 PM EDT (#371250) #
Yeah, no kidding.

I had 2 major concussions before age 6. My parents didn't even take me to see a doctor.
In one case, I was out for 24 hours. in the other case, I have a rather large scar as a souvenir.
I'm sure a few stitches would have helped.

Eh, it didn't keep me from kick-boxing when I grew up.

christaylor - Friday, March 22 2019 @ 02:38 PM EDT (#371251) #
"Diet and training are great, but a good old fashioned amphetamine to keep you going helped literally generations of players. "

An ADHD diagnosis and an Adderall prescription is the new market inefficiency.

Tongue out of cheek -- I think the shift to flame-throwing bullpens has selected out the older players who still have skills but are late on a good fastball.
scottt - Friday, March 22 2019 @ 02:40 PM EDT (#371252) #
Not sure, there are fewer fastballs, more sliders. Lots of spin.

I guess today is the first evening game.
Too bad it's only on the radio.

Magpie - Friday, March 22 2019 @ 03:18 PM EDT (#371253) #
On another note, I am surprised every year to see how high Encarnacion is on the "active" leaderboards.

I've been a little surprised lately to see how few active players are anywhere to be found on the all-time leader boards. (Been thinking of updating Chasing the Big Numbers.) There's Albert and Miguel and that's about it. Encarnacion, third among active players, is 71st all-time and he's never going to crack the top 25. I don't think he'll make it to 450 HRs, myself.

Well, give Mike Trout some time, right?
scottt - Friday, March 22 2019 @ 03:20 PM EDT (#371254) #
With all the injured arms, I'm expecting Elvis to make it at least for the first week.

Magpie - Friday, March 22 2019 @ 03:21 PM EDT (#371255) #
Despite playing organized hockey for more than ten years, I never had a concussion. (So there must be some other explanation, right?) I never broke a bone. I never even needed a stitch.

And then I started playing tennis, and all my troubles began...
Cracka - Friday, March 22 2019 @ 03:27 PM EDT (#371256) #
I'm glad Pompey made the majors, because now he has lifetime access to the MLB players health plan

I'm afraid this is no longer true. Players get free access to the plan once they are added to the 40-man roster and remain on it. Once removed from the 40-man roster, they are covered until the start of the next season. After that, they can remain on the plan but they have to pay the premiums themselves. If you have four years of service, you can stay on until Age 65 (then Medicare kicks in). If you have less than four years of services, you can only stay on with the MLB plan for up to 2 years (and there are certain conditions to this). I'm sure that it's a great plan and better than what's available commercially, but unfortunately, it's only "free" for active players. Of course, Pompey's a Canadian citizen so it doesn't really matter, although I believe he's been living in the US in the offseason for the past few years.
scottt - Friday, March 22 2019 @ 03:29 PM EDT (#371257) #
Tennis head injuries or leg/arm injuries?
Mike Green - Friday, March 22 2019 @ 03:33 PM EDT (#371258) #
Played hockey like Inge Hammarstrom and tennis like Bjorn Borg, Magpie?
Magpie - Friday, March 22 2019 @ 05:26 PM EDT (#371259) #
Hockey like Ken Dryden. I was the most well-protected guy out there!

But on the tennis court, it was one ruptured ankle ligament after another. And one stress fracture. By the time I was 30, I was literally afraid to play. Eeek, I have to move! I have to change direction! Oh no!
PeterG - Friday, March 22 2019 @ 05:48 PM EDT (#371260) #
Paulino has been sent to minor league camp.
Norris seems ok today and may pitch Sunday.
Atkins says that they will talk with Rangers about Romano but more likely that he returns to Jays.
Paul D - Friday, March 22 2019 @ 05:53 PM EDT (#371261) #
Pentacost has left camp and is contemplating retirement.
grjas - Friday, March 22 2019 @ 06:01 PM EDT (#371262) #
Boy Pentecost and Pompey. Two hard luck guys. Almost makes you forget about Travis’ luck.
Spifficus - Friday, March 22 2019 @ 06:23 PM EDT (#371263) #
Ugh. If Pentacost is considering retirement, its gotta be another shoulder issue. (That's not necessarily the case, but with the amount of times he's had to deal with it, that makes the most sense to me). I hope that's not the case, and that he doesn't.
Spifficus - Friday, March 22 2019 @ 06:44 PM EDT (#371264) #
And I would definitely be trying to do something with Vlad Jr based around the Jiminez extension, with maybe 7 guaranteed (still with 2 options to bring him to 29).
scottt - Friday, March 22 2019 @ 06:55 PM EDT (#371265) #
That might be why they play on grass and dirt.
scottt - Friday, March 22 2019 @ 07:21 PM EDT (#371266) #
He's 26 and seemingly blocked at AA. It's not like he's going to earn a lot of money there.
Maybe McGuire eventually replaces Maile in Toronto, but while he's waiting for that,  he's not showing on prospects list anymore.

GabrielSyme - Friday, March 22 2019 @ 07:49 PM EDT (#371267) #
Assuming Norris isn't ready to start the season, what does the bullpen look like on opening day? With Tepera and Axford already injured, who fills out the rest of the pen after Giles/Mayza/Biagini?
ayjackson - Friday, March 22 2019 @ 07:50 PM EDT (#371268) #
"Yeah, no kidding. 

I had 2 major concussions before age 6. My parents didn't even take me to see a doctor.
In one case, I was out for 24 hours. in the other case, I have a rather large scar as a souvenir. 
I'm sure a few stitches would have helped.

Eh, it didn't keep me from kick-boxing when I grew up."

Thanks for that, scottt....i will be more understanding of your posts now in the future.

dan gordon - Friday, March 22 2019 @ 11:53 PM EDT (#371269) #
Just reading that according to Shi Davidi, Clay Buchholz threw 30 pitches in a minor league game today and could be ready for the Blue Jays' rotation in early April. Davidi also also reported that Ryan Borucki has some elbow soreness from his game on Wednesday, but it is not considered serious at this point.
SK in NJ - Friday, March 22 2019 @ 11:58 PM EDT (#371270) #
Things like this are a reminder to why depth is so important. People were complaining about prospects not getting a chance, but this was bound to happen. Pitchers get hurt, or are ineffective, etc. The Jays rotation might have more combined starts from the projected AAA rotation by the end of the season.
bpoz - Saturday, March 23 2019 @ 12:37 AM EDT (#371271) #
Very good point SK. I agree. Atkins planned for this.
John Northey - Saturday, March 23 2019 @ 01:05 AM EDT (#371272) #
A shame if Pentacost does retire as he looked so good at times but really is falling back now.

Right now for catcher I'd say it is Jansen/Maile/McGuire/Pentacost then the others (in spring Cantwell [old vet who is backup in AA/AAA this year 386 OBP in AA last year, 244/324/324 lifetime in minors entering age 29 season] and Adams [good OBP, meh Slg in A+/A- the past 2 years probably in AA this year]). I'm guessing the Jays told Pentacost he is the backup in AAA this year behind McGuire with Cantwell and Adams sharing AA (mainly Adams). That Cantwell is after McGuire on the depth chart, and if Pentacost wants to be #1 on that he needs to tear the cover off the ball this year. Entering his age 26 season he knows he has little time left and at this point the best he can realistically hope for is a few years as a backup in the majors. There is that slim chance he could bloom late, but the best example that came to mind was Yan Gomes who emerged at 26, the age Pentacost is now. Ernie Whitt first was a regular at 28 but had been up twice by the age Pentacost is at and was up again at 26.

In truth if Pentacost has a backup plan he has to seriously consider it now. I see this as his final chance this year to reach and have any career.
ISLAND BOY - Saturday, March 23 2019 @ 07:39 AM EDT (#371273) #
Nobody mentioned it but Aaron Sanchez pitched six scoreless innings last night allowing just one hit. ( Yeah, it was against Baltimore but still ...) If he stays healthy I think he will be our ace this year, not Stroman. It remains to be seen if one or both are traded by mid-season.
scottt - Saturday, March 23 2019 @ 08:02 AM EDT (#371274) #
It looks like Norris will be OK.
Gaviglio, Pannone and Thornton are probably some of the leading options.

If he can go through waivers, Romano will likely end up in the Buffalo rotation.

One of the last decision will be Sogard or Urena as the infield bench.

bpoz - Saturday, March 23 2019 @ 09:47 AM EDT (#371275) #
The pen will have 7 or 8 pitchers on Opening day as everyone here has said.

Ross A was reasonably clear in his interview that an SP does not need to be in a rotation at the beginning of the year. Zeuch comes to mind as an example.

Therefore how does this sound? Pannone and SRF for example, begin the year in the Jays pen and go into Buffalo's rotation when the injured relievers return.

If Norris is able to pitch once this weekend and once in Montreal, I still think that he will not be ready.

Buchholz ETA end of April IMO.

D Phelps Mid June?

Tepera and Axford .... limbo??
scottt - Saturday, March 23 2019 @ 11:37 AM EDT (#371276) #
Without Pompey, there's little reason for a 7 man pen.

Guerra could replace Axford. He had a good spring.
They'll want to keep SRF as a starter.
Paulino is on his last option and should be in the bullpen at some point.

Gerry - Saturday, March 23 2019 @ 11:52 AM EDT (#371277) #
Borucki will start the season on the DL but the Jays hope he will miss just one start. He has some mild elbow soreness. Borucki had TJ back in 2013.
bpoz - Saturday, March 23 2019 @ 11:56 AM EDT (#371278) #
I too believe SRF as a starter is best. Mid May in the Jays pen, in the Buffalo rotation until just after the AS break would be 8 AAA starts. Then if ready he is called up and put into the Jay's rotation.

The negative to this is that he is needed in the Jay's rotation sooner because an opening is created due to injury, trade or non performance. He would not be ready because of the lost 6 week development time.

Also if all goes well Zeuch will only miss 1 month.

Stuff happens as SK pointed out.
uglyone - Saturday, March 23 2019 @ 12:17 PM EDT (#371279) #
"Things like this are a reminder to why depth is so important"

important for what? this team isn't going to be good anyways, but especially if they're relying on all their AAAA arms.
grjas - Saturday, March 23 2019 @ 12:28 PM EDT (#371280) #
It would Be nice to get Borucki and Clay fully healthy as this has the makings of a pretty good bunch of starters if health holds. Of course all 5 have health question marks so I’m not holding my breath
bpoz - Saturday, March 23 2019 @ 12:33 PM EDT (#371281) #
UO, when you say AAAA arms, are you talking about the pen? Did you mean 3A arms?

Shawn Morimando is possibly a 4A arm. He is a lefty and maybe still young enough to figure it out. He did have an impressive 2016 in the minors. Also in his favor is being an ex Cleveland farmhand. So this FO may have seen something in him that some of us did not.

Cleveland took our best catching prospect. Yan Gomes. Shapiro and Atkins added to their good track record with that trade.
GabrielSyme - Saturday, March 23 2019 @ 03:33 PM EDT (#371282) #
I can't really see Luciano not making the team after a pretty decent two innings today. If he was still on the bubble, this should put him over the top, and with all the injuries in the bullpen, there aren't a tonne of great options for the last guys in the pen anyway.
greenfrog - Saturday, March 23 2019 @ 03:46 PM EDT (#371283) #
Travis Bergen spring 2019 stats:

9.2 IP 3 H 0 HR 4 BB 11 K (admittedly with a 6.8 Opp Qual)

Combined with his stats last year, Bergen does seem like someone who should have been kept on the 40-man, in lieu of one of the mediocre FA relievers added by the front office.
GabrielSyme - Saturday, March 23 2019 @ 04:04 PM EDT (#371284) #
Hindsight is 20/20, but to be fair to the Jays, the only FA reliever they signed this offseason was David Phelps. The only obvious weak points on the 40-man are Merryweather and Waguespack.
scottt - Saturday, March 23 2019 @ 04:17 PM EDT (#371285) #
Elvis picked up the win. Gio Gonzales didn't look good, so I assume the Yankees will just stash him down in case they really need him. He has an early April opt out.

Thornton started today. It looks like he's going to be the 5th starter.

scottt - Saturday, March 23 2019 @ 04:22 PM EDT (#371286) #
Atkins was director of player development in Cleveland.
I don' t think he had much to do with Yan Gomes.
Shapiro was president of baseball operations, but less involved in everyday affairs there by that point.

greenfrog - Saturday, March 23 2019 @ 04:24 PM EDT (#371287) #
A few of us were quite vociferous in advocating for Bergen to be kept on the 40-man roster.

Between 2018 regular season and 2019 spring training, Bergen has allowed 6 ER in 66.1 IP, with 19 BB and 85 K.
scottt - Saturday, March 23 2019 @ 04:29 PM EDT (#371288) #
The Giants have released Cameron Maybin and rumored to be interested in Pillar.
It's too bad Pompey is out.
The last time I saw Maybin he was playing for Houston in the 2017 playoffs.
He played a ball on a hop that seemed quite catchable.

Gerry - Saturday, March 23 2019 @ 05:15 PM EDT (#371289) #
Axford has been released.
Gerry - Saturday, March 23 2019 @ 05:33 PM EDT (#371290) #
Apparently, the Jays have given Bud Norris some money to stick around without him being placed on the 40 man roster.
Thomas - Saturday, March 23 2019 @ 07:55 PM EDT (#371291) #
Greenfrog is right. I think a number of Bauxites thought Bergen should have been protected and the Batter's Box Minor League Crew ranked him 21th.

I have little doubt that he'd be on the opening day roster if he was still in the system and had pitched similarly well during spring training.
scottt - Saturday, March 23 2019 @ 08:13 PM EDT (#371292) #
The Giants are a funny team.
They are not expected to compete, but they are not tanking either.
They also have 2 Rule V players in Connor Joe--an utility infielder with a good eye at the plate, but with no pop--and Bergen.

Their rotation has 3 lefties, MadBum, Holland and Pomeranz. Bergen will be their 3rd lefty in the pen.

We'll see. It's a long season.

dan gordon - Sunday, March 24 2019 @ 12:32 AM EDT (#371293) #
Yah, I was very surprised and disappointed that Bergen wasn't put on the 40-man. The thing that really stood out to me is that 2018 was basically his 1st season in pro ball, aside from a few innings here and there, due to injury trouble. For a guy to totally dominate AA ball in what is basically his 1st pro season is truly remarkable. I think Bergen is going to be a really good mlb reliever, possibly a setup man or closer, for a long time. At least it was my other favourite team, the Giants, who got him.

Yes, the Giants are in an odd situation. They have a bunch of early 30's guys locked into long term high priced contracts who are, for the most part, still good players, but not good enough to be a strong playoff contender. They'll probably try to offload a few of those contracts in the next couple of seasons. They do need some help in the outfield, but I doubt Pillar is a guy who would really help them much.
Shoeless Joe - Sunday, March 24 2019 @ 06:39 AM EDT (#371294) #
The Jays should target Ian Happ, his situation is starting to looks a lot like Grichuk’s last year in St Louis.
Glevin - Sunday, March 24 2019 @ 06:49 AM EDT (#371295) #
"Greenfrog is right. I think a number of Bauxites thought Bergen should have been protected and the Batter's Box Minor League Crew ranked him 21th."

The Jays left Bergen off the 40 man because he does not have the stuff to be a backend bullpen guy or a starter. Maybe he'll be a good middle reliever and that has value but that's not something rebuilding teams take risks on nor should they. There are tons of these pitchers out there available for very little.
Gerry - Sunday, March 24 2019 @ 08:33 AM EDT (#371296) #
The Giants picked up an OF from the Twins last night, Michael Reed. That might take them out of the Pillar pursuit.
Thomas - Sunday, March 24 2019 @ 08:50 AM EDT (#371297) #
I'm not seeing what makes you think that Jacob Waguespack or Mark Leiter Jr. have the stuff to be major league starters or backend bullpen arms.
bpoz - Sunday, March 24 2019 @ 08:58 AM EDT (#371298) #
J Bautista and EE fell into our laps somehow. This happens for other teams as well. D Ortiz & A Hicks.

There is a chance that something shiny will develop from the large number of mediocre pickuos that are on our 40 man roster and not on the 40 man roster. C Copping for example.
greenfrog - Sunday, March 24 2019 @ 09:57 AM EDT (#371299) #
If Bergen can maintain his strong performance, I see no reason to label him as a mere middle reliever. His very low salary and full controllability add to his overall value. I think it was a mistake to let him go for nothing. For example. the Jays could simply have cut Tulo earlier and kept Bergen.
85bluejay - Sunday, March 24 2019 @ 10:25 AM EDT (#371300) #
We'll see how it all plays out but there's no question that not protecting Bergen looks like a poor decision as greenfrog smartly explains above. I hope Jason Hammel's decision to retire doesn't result in the Rangers keeping Romano.

Interesting that Grichuk starts in CF again - hope it's because of interest in Pillar - I won't mind using an outfield of Mckinney/Grichuk/Hernandez until Pompey returns from his concussion protocol.
Mike Green - Sunday, March 24 2019 @ 11:15 AM EDT (#371301) #
Rowdy Tellez was optioned to Buffalo. I am disappointed- I would rather see Morales in the PH/mentor role and Tellez up. We will see how it plays out.
Gerry - Sunday, March 24 2019 @ 12:19 PM EDT (#371302) #
Ryan Tepera has been given the all-clear to start throwing again. As a reliever he could make the opening day squad.
hypobole - Sunday, March 24 2019 @ 12:26 PM EDT (#371303) #
Montoyo seems to have changed his mind on the leadoff spot.

“Right now, today, it looks like I’m going to go Drury-Grichuk,” he said after Friday’s game. “I really like Grichuk there — the power that he’s got, how he ended last year, how he’s swinging the bat here in spring training. To me, he’s our two-hitter right now.”
bpoz - Sunday, March 24 2019 @ 12:36 PM EDT (#371304) #
Montoyo, Atkins and the Bauxites really stayed calm and composed during this rash of setbacks. All I can say is wow. I on the other hand was panicky.
Chuck - Sunday, March 24 2019 @ 12:41 PM EDT (#371305) #
I on the other hand was panicky.

Don't fret. Their 73-win season is not in peril.

Magpie - Sunday, March 24 2019 @ 12:46 PM EDT (#371306) #
Their 73-win season is not in peril.

Which is more games than the Raptors are going to win, right? That's entertainment!
Paul D - Sunday, March 24 2019 @ 01:10 PM EDT (#371307) #
Sportsnet says the Jays signed Daniel Hudson. Sure, why not.
bpoz - Sunday, March 24 2019 @ 01:51 PM EDT (#371308) #
If we are going to have a fun season this year. A humor contest is an idea.

The serious types can start on base at 2nd or 3rd. The best humorists has to hit a double to get on base. I have been keeping score. A high light for me.
scottt - Sunday, March 24 2019 @ 03:26 PM EDT (#371309) #
You never have too many silver sluggers.

Seems like they re-signed Axford as well.

John Northey - Sunday, March 24 2019 @ 03:28 PM EDT (#371310) #
I think a good question for this season is which position will have the most WAR, which the least? 3B is a wildcard depending on when Vlad comes up and if he can produce right away and if he will stay there all year. My current bet is for Catcher to be #1 (a new thing) as I like Jansen a lot.

2B might also be really good or really bad. Gurriel could produce a ton of offense there but who knows on defense, or Travis could come back and either suck or be an all-star. Who knows but I lean towards suck now.

Guess we'll see soon enough. Lots of individual battles to watch. Would be more fun if we were debating #7 reliever on a championship contender but trying to guess which kids will win and which will flop is fun too.
Gerry - Sunday, March 24 2019 @ 03:34 PM EDT (#371311) #
Jordan Romano is back with the Jays.
scottt - Sunday, March 24 2019 @ 03:43 PM EDT (#371312) #
Excluding pitching? If you add up all the starters, you could get a decent number.

scottt - Sunday, March 24 2019 @ 03:59 PM EDT (#371313) #
The Giants have a few pitchers on their 40 rosters who are out of options.

They have Smith/Melancon/Watson/Dyson who are MLB relief pitchers.
They have NIck Vincent on a minor contract.
They have Chris Stratton and Trevor Gott who are out of options.

Luciano needs to be just OK, so you can send him back to the minors for a year or 3.
Bergen needs to perform.

Shoeless Joe - Sunday, March 24 2019 @ 04:17 PM EDT (#371314) #
I won’t lose sleep over Bergen until he shows some ability in real games and not in the spring. I felt that the Jays were crazy to let Carlos Ramirez go last season, but he has not backed up his insane minor league numbers in the majors yet. Minor league relievers are hard to predict.

John, for fun predictions I think 3B will produce the highest war and the lowest war will be SS. The logical part of my brain says weak LF defense might limit WAR totals there, but I want to think McKinney and Hernández have big years.
dan gordon - Sunday, March 24 2019 @ 06:27 PM EDT (#371315) #
The WAR question probably comes down to 3B or C. I'd go with 3B, but Vladdy has to stay healthy, and get a reasonably early call up. With the oblique issue, I think both are question marks now.

Nice to get Romano back. Not a great prospect, but another guy with a chance to be decent.

Reed should help the Giants. To make room on the 40-man, they DFA'd a lefty reliever, Okert, which just cements Bergen's spot there a little more.

Hudson is interesting. When he first made the big leagues, he looked like he was going to be a force in the rotation. Had a terrific 33 start season for the D-Backs in 2011, but has now had 2 Tommy John surgeries. Has been an OK reliever, nothing special, for a few years now. They'll need to make a 40-man roster move for him, as he signed a big league contract.

Tepera starts throwing again on Tuesday. I would guess he'll be on the injured list for a couple of weeks. Norris is now looking like he'll be ready for opening day.

I'm getting pretty optimistic about Sanchez and Stroman for this season. I've added Sanchez in my 2 fantasy pools, Stroman in 1 of them.

I expect Thornton will get the call for the rotation until Borucki or Buchholz is back.

Chris Sale has agreed to a rather complex 5-year extension with the Red Sox, which includes possible escalators, an opt out, an option with a vesting provision and no trade protection. The base salary is $30 million/year for 3 years, then $27.5 million/year for 2 more. Sale is about to turn 30.
scottt - Sunday, March 24 2019 @ 06:51 PM EDT (#371316) #
Okert wasn't even on my radar.

Bergen is the 3rd lefty after Will Smith and Tony Watson who are both veterans and setup/closer.

Boston has put Sandy Leon on waivers so they can keep  Blake Swihart.
Also, the Rockies are sending Jeff Hoffman to AAA.

Thornton seems like the obvious option for now.

dan gordon - Sunday, March 24 2019 @ 08:06 PM EDT (#371317) #
Okert was a guy who could have beaten Bergen out for a 3rd lefty in the bullpen. He has pitched for the Giants on and off each of the last 3 seasons, with mixed results.
Mylegacy - Sunday, March 24 2019 @ 10:03 PM EDT (#371318) #
I'm putting my WAR bet on third. $500 on 26 (Garney Henley's number - Ya I know - WTF is he?) and $50 on RED.

I'm putting $5,000 that the Jays make the playoffs on the following:

By June 15th I see, with my little eye something like this killer line-up. As of end of play today they are...

Gurriel DH &or LF 417/477/861/1.338
Bichette SS 417/475/833/1.308
Smoak 1ST 371/463/800/1.263
Girchuk CF 269/424/769/1.193
Drury 3RD then 2ND 327/389/612/1.001
Hernandez LF or DH 348/444/500/944
McKinney RF 244/382/467/848
Jansen C 263/300/342/642
Guerrero 3RD 211/250/316/566

I'm putting $1,000,000.00 on "over" for Guerrero - the last (but most likely not least) guy on the above list.

Simply put we are going to mash! Bring it on!
scottt - Monday, March 25 2019 @ 07:07 AM EDT (#371319) #
With 3 lefties in the rotation they don' t really need a 3rd one in the pen.
They just signed Kratz to be the backup catcher, but they are still thinking about keeping Garcia as a 3rd catcher who also play first base while Posey is on the shelf.

The rest of the bench is Solarte, the 4th outfielder and the other rule V who can play anywhere.
So there's a bit of a crunch already.

They have only  one reliever with options and Moronta was pretty damn good the last 2 years. (ERA of 2.49 last year).

Of course, they might just try to trade Bergen.

scottt - Monday, March 25 2019 @ 07:19 AM EDT (#371320) #
The Yankees have traded Phillip Diehl, a lefty reliever for an outfielder who is out of options.
Tauchman has never hit in the bigs, even playing in Colorado, but has shown a lot of pop in the PCL.
They must like his defense. Or maybe just walking is good enough in NY.

CC will start the year on the 25, just to show that a 5 game suspension to a starter is a joke,
The Yankees have a day off after their opener, so they'll just use a 4 man rotation on normal rest.
They will be short one man on paper, but they'll still have all their relievers.

Thomas - Monday, March 25 2019 @ 11:21 AM EDT (#371321) #
With Hudson getting a contract (and more guaranteed money than I expected) and needing to be added to the 40-man, I think that adds to the likelihood that Urena makes the team over Sogard.
bpoz - Monday, March 25 2019 @ 11:30 AM EDT (#371322) #
I don't know how soon SRF will be promoted to the Majors this year. His ST was not good enough IMO.

He is competing with all the SPs in AAA and AA for a promotion when the opportunity arises.
hypobole - Monday, March 25 2019 @ 11:55 AM EDT (#371323) #
The FO has taken a lot of heat here regarding Travis Bergen, and I'll admit he should have been protected over some others. That said, I think we should pump the brakes a bit on his value, which I'd peg at 2016 Joe Biagini, a one-ish WAR middle reliever. That's still valuable, Biagini was a top 40 (per FG) MLB reliever that year.

And the only reason I'm even that optimistic is where he landed. Oracle(AT&T) Park suppresses HR's far more than any other stadium. Bergen's great ERA last year kind of hid his sub-40% GB rate. But that low GB rate and him only giving up one HR all season very much looks like regression is due. His FIP and especially xFIP were less pretty.

bpoz - Monday, March 25 2019 @ 12:20 PM EDT (#371324) #
Except for the pen, I think all the other positions are decided.
Mike Green - Monday, March 25 2019 @ 12:23 PM EDT (#371325) #
I would hope that the Hudson contract had little to do with the Urena/Sogard decision.  Sportrac has the team payroll at $111M, and Shapiro said earlier that they haven't spent the money allocated by ownership. 

I have no idea who I would choose from among the two.  Urena has had the better spring, but hasn't really done much in the high minors, Sogard has had a decent career as a backup infielder but was pretty bad with the bat last year. 
uglyone - Monday, March 25 2019 @ 12:27 PM EDT (#371326) #
fretting over mid to late 20s RP is probably a waste of time.
dalimon5 - Monday, March 25 2019 @ 12:43 PM EDT (#371327) #
SRF has a rep for coming to camp beginning of every year out of shape and unprepared. He was supposed to fix that this year.
Mike Green - Monday, March 25 2019 @ 12:46 PM EDT (#371328) #
Bergen is 25.  I have no idea how he will turn out, a solid plurality of the best relievers made their debut at age 25 or later.  Running down the players who were 25+ at the time of debut among the top 40 relievers in career WAR, you've got Rivera, Wilhelm, Hoffman, Tekulve, Quiz, McMahon, Doug Jones, Roy Face, Jeff Montgomery, Lavelle, Greg Harris, Timlin, Perranoski, and Roberto Hernandez.   Most of them did not have blazing fastballs. 
Mike Green - Monday, March 25 2019 @ 12:49 PM EDT (#371329) #

I have no idea how he will turn out, a solid plurality of the best relievers made their debut at age 25 or later

but a solid plurality of the best relievers made their debut at age 25 or older. 

Mike Green - Monday, March 25 2019 @ 01:05 PM EDT (#371330) #
Mike Puma of the New York Post reports on twitter that Roger Angell is at spring training at age 98 and getting around well.  A little bit of good news.
mathesond - Monday, March 25 2019 @ 01:32 PM EDT (#371331) #
Good to hear! I just re-read "The Summer Game", I do enjoy his writing.
uglyone - Monday, March 25 2019 @ 01:32 PM EDT (#371332) #
and a solid majority of those late-debut rp were sp on the way up.
SK in NJ - Monday, March 25 2019 @ 01:44 PM EDT (#371333) #
I didn't understand it at the time and still don't understand the obsession/anger with losing Bergen.
rpriske - Monday, March 25 2019 @ 01:46 PM EDT (#371334) #
"Mike Puma of the New York Post reports on twitter that Roger Angell is at spring training at age 98 and getting around well."

I new the Mets liked vets but c'mon!
Mike Green - Monday, March 25 2019 @ 02:21 PM EDT (#371335) #
I'm not obsessed or angry.  I judy think that the club made a mistake in not protecting him.  I also think that the club made a smart move in choosing Luciano.  Both moves are of roughly the same importance.  Bergen has a decent chance of having a noticeable to significant (for a reliever) major league career.  Luciano has less chance to be a major leaguer but a (quite) small possibility of having a top drawer starter career.  Upside isn't everything. 
hypobole - Monday, March 25 2019 @ 02:51 PM EDT (#371336) #
Don't think this has been posted, but 2080 baseball did their review of the Jays minors system a few weeks ago
bpoz - Monday, March 25 2019 @ 03:31 PM EDT (#371337) #
Thanks hypobole. I enjoyed that.
dan gordon - Monday, March 25 2019 @ 03:37 PM EDT (#371338) #
I would imagine that all of the above mentioned relievers who made their mlb debut at 25 had far more development experience in the minors than Bergen. He was basically in his first pro season last year due to injuries. It's not just age that determines where you are on the development curve. Players improve because they play, not just because they get older.
hypobole - Monday, March 25 2019 @ 04:11 PM EDT (#371339) #
Hudson officially signed. Devon Travis on 60 day IL.
Gerry - Monday, March 25 2019 @ 07:34 PM EDT (#371340) #
Trent Thornton's alma-mater is tweeting that he made the team.
Shoeless Joe - Monday, March 25 2019 @ 08:02 PM EDT (#371341) #
I watched Thorton's start against the Yankee's the other day his fastball had more life than I expected, but the thing that stuck out to me is that despite his curveball having a lot of depth it was the pitch that the Yankee's really hammered. His delivery did match up with the scouting reports of being a bit funky.
Gerry - Monday, March 25 2019 @ 09:56 PM EDT (#371342) #
Nice inning by Ty Tice.
JohnL - Monday, March 25 2019 @ 10:39 PM EDT (#371343) #

Mike Puma of the New York Post reports on twitter that Roger Angell is at spring training at age 98

I was expecting that sentence to continue "... and says he's in the best shape of his life."

scottt - Tuesday, March 26 2019 @ 07:04 AM EDT (#371344) #
We're looking at a bullpen of


Plus maybe one extra. Pannone as a second lefty?  Of course, Gaviglio could be in the pen and Thornton start.
Neither would be expected to last 5 innings.

Norris is not on the 40 roster. I think that pushes Sogard off in favour of Urena.
Thornton could be the first one down once a pitcher has recovered.

Mike D - Tuesday, March 26 2019 @ 01:08 PM EDT (#371345) #
Quick thought exercise about the Opening Day roster as it looks like it is shaping up.

Adonis Medina, in the Phillies organization, is the #77 prospect in MLB Pipeline. He is about to pitch his Age 22 season in AA after putting up a 4.12 ERA in High-A (FSL) with 36 BB and 123 K in 111.1 innings. His scouting grades are 60 fastball, 55 slider, 55 changeup, 50 control, 55 overall.

Nice prospect. Prototypical B+ guy.

Is there anybody at all on the Jays' Opening Day roster who you would not trade straight-up for Adonis Medina or an equivalent prospect today? For me, it's only Jansen. I would make such a one-for-one trade with anybody else on the big club. I thought twice about a couple of other players, but I think I would say yes to anybody but Jansen.
bpoz - Tuesday, March 26 2019 @ 01:35 PM EDT (#371346) #
Thornton has better stuff than Estrada I understand. Estrada had a fantastic 2015. 181 IP 3.13 ERA. Of course he was a very late bloomer.

So you never know.
pubster - Tuesday, March 26 2019 @ 01:36 PM EDT (#371347) #
I wouldn't make that trade for Aaron Sanchez, Gurriel, Jansen, and maybe Marcus Stroman as well.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, March 26 2019 @ 01:37 PM EDT (#371348) #
Sanchez, Stroman, possibly Hernandez. It's not that I wouldn't trade them, just that I wouldn't trade them straight up for that prospect. Hernandez is a wild card for me because he can be worth a ton by season's end or be useless. If he can make small adjustments against LHP and learn to his some RHP then he has big upside. His defense does not worry me as much as it used to.
85bluejay - Tuesday, March 26 2019 @ 01:59 PM EDT (#371349) #
Interesting question - if it were former Phillie top prospect Sixto Sanchez I would agree but I'm not as high on Adonis Medina, so I'd want a 2nd piece for Sanchez or Stroman.
Mike Green - Tuesday, March 26 2019 @ 02:25 PM EDT (#371350) #
I don't know about Adonis Medina.  He's a fine prospect, but I tend to rate a pitcher who hasn't succeeded at double A levels, less favourably than many people do, unless the pitcher has been utterly dominating in A ball.  Medina wasn't.  I'd make him a B prospect pending double A results. 

The underlying point- there aren't too many very valuable properties on the 25 man- is undoubtedly correct. However, for individuals, I don't know.   I like Billy McKinney more than most.  I like Randal Grichuk more than most, and wouldn't be surprised at all if he is an All-Star or even lesser MVP candidate this year or next.  Others like Lourdes Gurriel Jr. more than me, but still in light of his contract, I'd rather have him than Medina.  I think that he'll hit enough to be a valuable player in some role, but probably not as an everyday infielder,  for a number of years.  And as for Stroman and Sanchez, it depends very much on what they are looking at in terms of extensions.
bpoz - Tuesday, March 26 2019 @ 03:01 PM EDT (#371351) #
It looks to me that Yennsy Diaz and Adonis Medina are not that different in age and size. About equal results in 2018 with Diaz at 149 IP and Medina at111 IP. Same 60 fb. Medina 55 slider and change. Diaz 55 CB and 45 CH. So Medina at the moment is ahead.

They will both be in AA next year. So their results can be compared. At the moment good health is the most important factor IMO.
pubster - Tuesday, March 26 2019 @ 03:03 PM EDT (#371352) #
I probably wouldn't trade Grichuk or Smoak either for Medina.
Mike Green - Tuesday, March 26 2019 @ 03:16 PM EDT (#371353) #
I would trade Smoak for Medina.  It opens up a spot for Tellez/Guerrero Jr.  and Smoak is a free agent at the end of the year, anyways.  2019 is definitely a rebuilding year, but 2020 is another story and what shape it takes will depend on uncertain development paths of prospects who have already spent a year at double A or higher. 
hypobole - Tuesday, March 26 2019 @ 03:24 PM EDT (#371354) #
Just for context, Pipeline has Medina/Nate Pearson within one spot of each other on their top 100. FG has Medina rated higher than Pearson (55 FV vs 50 FV).

I'm with Mike D. Jansen is the only player I definitely wouldn't trade. Yeah, Medina or Pearson could bust. But they fit our window of contention - none of the other guys do. Our roster for the most part have only a couple of years of control remaining, as opposed to the 6 or 7 if the young pitchers actually do succeed.

Yeah, Stroman or Sanchez could return to their past success, but it's not a given either.

pubster - Tuesday, March 26 2019 @ 03:31 PM EDT (#371355) #
If Smoak is a FA then I re-consider and would trade him.

However, Medina doesnt seem as good as Pearson. I might be biased because I have a soft spot for guys who throw 103.
Nigel - Tuesday, March 26 2019 @ 03:49 PM EDT (#371356) #
I would trade Smoak for Medina and wouldn't let them hang up the phone.

I've said this before, I just don't understand the rush to get Sanchez and Stroman out the door. Where is the 2020 and 2021 pitching staff going to come from? Unless you want to punt the three cheapest years of Vladdy Jr., I wouldn't be rushing to make those deals. As Mike says, it is somewhat dependent on contract issues and management/player relations, but from a baseball perspective, I wouldn't be rushing those guys out the door.
Shoeless Joe - Tuesday, March 26 2019 @ 03:50 PM EDT (#371357) #
Pearson is a good comparison for value. I wouldn’t give up Borucki, Jansen or Gurriel.
hypobole - Tuesday, March 26 2019 @ 03:57 PM EDT (#371358) #
Unless they're extended, Sanchez and Stroman won't be around in 2021 - both FA's after 2020.
Gerry - Tuesday, March 26 2019 @ 04:00 PM EDT (#371359) #
Montoyo announces that Thornton will start in game 4 vs. Detroit. Gaviglio has also made the team.
uglyone - Tuesday, March 26 2019 @ 04:02 PM EDT (#371360) #
Thornton being a starter first time through the rotation kinda puts the lie to this whole "lookit all our pitching depth" thing, no?
Nigel - Tuesday, March 26 2019 @ 04:04 PM EDT (#371361) #
hypobole - I understand their contract status and if their contract demands are crazy or if Stroman's relationship with management is beyond repair then that's a different issue. But, from a baseball perspective the internal options at the Jays' upper levels aren't particularly appealing. Zeuch, SRF and Thornton are the next closest starting pitching help in the org. If any of them could give you a season, in 2021, like Stroman did in 2018 (1.5 WAR) I will be pleasantly surprised.
Mike D - Tuesday, March 26 2019 @ 04:06 PM EDT (#371362) #
I used Medina as a benchmark rather than as a specific player to target or as a specific player on the trade market. Everyone's response has been thoughtful.

As for Sanchez and Stroman, they are both capable of pitching their way well above the Medina Line this season, but given the question marks around their health, performance and signability, I think I would take either deal at this moment in time.

I do completely agree with Nigel that the team needs an infusion of pitching talent who can meaningfully contribute during the years while Vlad is inexpensive. But I am not convinced that Sanchez and Stroman will be around for very long, and I think [insert B+ prospect here] is a pretty solid return as of March 26, 2019 for either guy, all things considered.
Thomas - Tuesday, March 26 2019 @ 04:24 PM EDT (#371363) #
If Thornton takes Borucki's spot in the rotation and Gaviglio joins Giles, Tepera, Mayza, Norris, Hudson and Biagini in the bullpen, by my count that leaves one bullpen spot and one bench spot available. I assume Norris and Hudson will take the 40-man spots formerly occupied Travis and Pompey.

The one bullpen spot will presumably be Luciano's and the final bench spot will be Urena or Sogard, with the Jays needing to remove someone to add Sogard.
Nigel - Tuesday, March 26 2019 @ 04:27 PM EDT (#371364) #
Mike D, I agree that it has been, as usual, a thoughtful discussion. FWIW I think the baseball perspective on Sanchez and Stroman are somewhat different. The performance variability is so wide, and injury history so long, for Sanchez that I don’t think he’s a great bet to eat innings as a starter at an above average rate going forward. Of course, there’s a small chance he rebounds at an elite level. For Stroman, while he might not be the elite pitcher we hoped he might be based on his first two years, he still seems a reasonable bet to eat innings at an above average quality in the middle of the rotation. I can understand the idea of cashing in your chips on Sanchez far more than Stroman. But that’s just me.
pubster - Tuesday, March 26 2019 @ 04:38 PM EDT (#371365) #
"Thornton being a starter first time through the rotation kinda puts the lie to this whole "lookit all our pitching depth" thing, no?"

Depends on how he does.

Last year in AAA Thornton threw 124 innings. He struck out 122 and walked 31. He allowed 13 HRs and 118 hits. His era was 4.42.

A bit of a mixed bag. Solid ratios, but a high era in AAA. Can he maintain those ratios at the MLB level?

He also has 0 service time so the Jays have him until he's 31. Not a bad guy to add to the team for free in my opinion.
scottt - Tuesday, March 26 2019 @ 05:32 PM EDT (#371366) #
4.42. in the PCL isn't that bad, actually.
scottt - Tuesday, March 26 2019 @ 05:47 PM EDT (#371367) #
The Jays pitching prospects are, in order, Pearson, Pardinho, Kloffenstein, SRF, Thornton, Zeuch and Perez.

Foley hasn't found his groove yet. Zeuch has been shut down. I think Perez has spend the spring in the minor camp.

It looks like they want to stretch Buchholtz before they add him.
Borucki is hopefully back soon.
Until then the depth is Pannone and Gaviglio.
I don't think it's that bad. For now they just dodge a roster crunch.

Magpie - Tuesday, March 26 2019 @ 06:07 PM EDT (#371368) #
Adonis Medina, in the Phillies organization,

Philadelphia's lineup looks set to me, but they're bringing back the same five starters they went with last year and beyond Nola I'm not all that impressed. Either Sanchez or Stroman could represent an upgrade, so that's where the conversation starts.
scottt - Tuesday, March 26 2019 @ 06:53 PM EDT (#371369) #
Sanchez and Stroman are both at the same point in their career with 4 years in the books.
Sanchez is making 3.9M and Stroman is making 7.4M.
If the performance comes back for one of them, the main variable is health.
There are both extendable if you're willing to buy back the 2 arbitration years + 1 or 2 options.
The rest of the equation is what is  being offered. The Jays will want top prospects.

hypobole - Tuesday, March 26 2019 @ 07:03 PM EDT (#371370) #
Magpie, Stroman would probably be an upgrade on any Philly starter besides Nola, but the worst of the Philly starters, Zach Eflin, is projected to out-WAR Sanchez by all 3 systems on FG.
Nigel - Tuesday, March 26 2019 @ 08:32 PM EDT (#371371) #
Tonight’s lineup is probably the opening day lineup. I don’t know that I could come up with a better way to construct the lineup other than having Jansen bat lead off, but that’s probably not the best thing for his development. It’s just a lineup of players who make a ton of outs. If you had to guess, how many of tonight’s starters are likely to post an OBP greater than .315?
bpoz - Tuesday, March 26 2019 @ 09:06 PM EDT (#371372) #
The Mets have signed deGrom. 5 years.
Thomas - Tuesday, March 26 2019 @ 09:24 PM EDT (#371373) #
While many teams are manipulating the service time of their young players, it's interesting to note that this isn't happening with two of the top three prospects in baseball. Following his extension, Eloy Jimenez is going to make Chicago's opening day roster and the Padres are apparently going to promote Fernando Tatis Jr. for opening day, which is surprising news.

(And, yes, technically Vlad is hurt and wouldn't make the Jays opening day roster on that basis, but there was no doubt the Jays were going to send him to Buffalo for the first few weeks of the season.)
Spifficus - Tuesday, March 26 2019 @ 09:43 PM EDT (#371374) #
Jimenez doesn't make the roster if there is no extension. In fact, a week ago, just before the extension, he was optioned to AAA. So, they aren't manipulating service time to get an extra year of control, because they already have it thanks to the option.

Tatis Jr is surprising, I'll give you that, especially since he could probably legitimately use some more development time. Of course, they're opening their contention window this year, and Preller operates to the beat of his own drummer, so... *shrug*
grjas - Tuesday, March 26 2019 @ 10:00 PM EDT (#371375) #
“There are both extendable if you're willing to buy back the 2 arbitration years + 1 or 2 options.“

Highly unlikely for Sanchez given his agent. Stroman, maybe, but suspect it’s difficult to agree on a price given his gyrating performance. Certainly would like to see one of them get extended though, as I am not convinced the starting depth is there in the minors.
85bluejay - Tuesday, March 26 2019 @ 10:03 PM EDT (#371376) #
The big difference is that the Padres are hoping to contend this year (Paddock is also on their opening day roster), while the Jays know they are very unlikely to contend - have no problem with the Jays Vlad decision even if he was healthy.
Thomas - Tuesday, March 26 2019 @ 10:08 PM EDT (#371377) #
The Cubs hoped to contend when they manipulated Bryant's service time in 2015. The Braves hoped to contend when they manipulated Acunas service time in 2018. In fact, both clubs ended up making the playoffs, but easily could have missed out by a game or two.

The point isn't that the Jays are unusual (unfortunately); the point is that what the Padres are doing with Tatis and Paddack is unusual.
uglyone - Tuesday, March 26 2019 @ 10:45 PM EDT (#371378) #
Jimenez signed longterm, making service time irrelevant, demonstrating a commitment to him and to winning.

Tatis makes the team at 19 because he deserves it, demonstrating to the team that spots are won on merit, and winning is the only goal.

nice to see multiple, differing alternates to counter the "jays had no choice but to do it this way" narrative.
Gerry - Tuesday, March 26 2019 @ 10:49 PM EDT (#371379) #
Luciano, Pannone and Urena have made the team. There is still a bullpen job up for grabs.
JohnL - Tuesday, March 26 2019 @ 11:31 PM EDT (#371380) #
The Athletic published their second pre-season poll of MLB players on a few topics. About a third of players responded, though not all to every question. A few of note:

Who is the most intimidating hitter in the game?
Overwhelmingly, Trout.

But, "Who is the most underrated player?"
Somehow, Trout received at least 3 votes! (One player commented, "Can you be underrated after that contract? Probably still.”)

Who is the most overrated player?
Stroman was runner-up (to Harper... “It’s marketing. It’s star power. But what has he done besides have one year?”)

Galvis came third as best defensive player.

Dirtiest player? Machado in a landslide.

And I enjoyed this:
Pitchers were asked Who would you least like to see charging the mound?
Judge won. “He’s the biggest dude. He’s massive. But I think I could outrun him.”
SK in NJ - Tuesday, March 26 2019 @ 11:40 PM EDT (#371381) #
Teams are reluctant to trade prospects, and players are fearing a lockout, so extending Stroman and Sanchez should probably be considered, if possible. Extensions might be a lot more reasonable in the current market, even with the risk associated with both SP’s. However with Boras you can pretty much rule out Sanchez signing one.
hypobole - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 12:23 AM EDT (#371382) #
One positive in The Athletic's player poll is Toronto receiving multiple votes for "City you most enjoy visiting on road trips?" and not receiving multiple votes for "least enjoy".

On Toronto:
“Most diverse city in the world, over 200 cultures represented and very friendly.”
dan gordon - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 01:53 AM EDT (#371383) #
Medina is a decent prospect. ERA over 4.00 and WHIP of 1.25 in A+ ball at 21, almost 22, isn't exactly overwhelming. I'd take a bird in the hand, so to speak, and keep Borucki over Medina - a lot can go wrong between A+ ball and the majors. Jansen, of course. Sanchez and Stroman are both looking healthy and have pitched well in the spring. Don't forget how good Sanchez was in 2016 before the injuries hit. With both of them looking so good right now, there is no way I would trade either one for Medina. I think they fetch well more than that with a couple of months of good results. I'd prefer to keep one of them around as a piece of the future rotation. Don't think I would trade Giles for Medina. I think Giles is one of the better closers around, and would like to sign him for a few years. The Jays are going to need a closer, why not keep Giles. I'd keep Grichuk, too. I really like Gurriel, and love his contract, so he definitely stays. So that's 7. Maybe Teoscar Hernandez, depending on how his offseason work on his defense looks.
Glevin - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 05:23 AM EDT (#371384) #
"The point isn't that the Jays are unusual (unfortunately); the point is that what the Padres are doing with Tatis and Paddack is unusual."

And from a business sense, stupid. Waiting 2 weeks to secure another year of control is a business no-brainer. Padres also don't seem like a legitimate contender to me. Offense could be good enough but pitching is a crapshoot. I mean, Eric Lauer is their opening day starter. Fangraphs has them at 79 wins which is already a 13 win improvement from last year. They are way behind the Dodgers in talent and behind some other teams for wilcard (most AL East and Central). The issue is that teams are enormously incentivized to hold players down and that has to change in the next CBA.
scottt - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 06:37 AM EDT (#371385) #
The thing with Sanchez is because of past performance, his arbitration salary is lower, so I'm sure you can over pay him for the next 2 years and he'll happily give you an option for the 3rd year. It's not like that one year would kill his free agency market. One the contrary, it might give him more time to establish himself.

That doesn't mean that he will be healthy and you'll get your money worth.
I wouldn't bet long with him, and the window to do this will close relatively fast.
If he's really good, the QO could also become a real option before trading him for a low return.

scottt - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 06:46 AM EDT (#371386) #
Guerrero is young and immature. He's a hell of a hitter. He's got a good arm.
But if you've raised kids and know the difference between a teenager and a young man, well Guerrero has still his teenager personality. It's also not clear what the total package is actually worth.
So, at this point they already have him for 7 years at the lowest possible risk and they'll happily pay him if he delivers. I don't see what the problem his. I'm sure once he gets here someone will ask him about what he think of an extension.

He's going to be fun to watch. Bichette too.

scottt - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 07:45 AM EDT (#371387) #
The 2018 Jays were 21sth in OBP and 4th in home runs.
They were 19th in hitting average, and 27th in stolen bases.
They could improve in all of those categories, although for the long ball it will depends mostly on what other teams do.

The most important mark is that they were 17th in run scored.
Of course, what matters in the win/loss column is that they were 28th in starter ERA and 21 in reliever ERA.

The 25th spot is for Bud Norris, but he might not be quite ready to be added to the 25.
Or maybe they are pondering how to make space for him.

uglyone - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 09:10 AM EDT (#371388) #
setting a winning mentality from the very top of the org and a commitment to fielding the best team based on merit, all while demlnstrating that they have no intention of letting their elite talent leave or even hit free agency, is far more conducive to creating a winning baseball team than gaming the system for one extra year of service time.
Glevin - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 10:00 AM EDT (#371389) #
"setting a winning mentality from the very top of the org and a commitment to fielding the best team based on merit, all while demlnstrating that they have no intention of letting their elite talent leave or even hit free agency, is far more conducive to creating a winning baseball team than gaming the system for one extra year of service time."

No, it really isn't which is why teams keep and will keep on holding players down for short periods of time. What's the counter argument? That players see this and say "I'm not going to try because the club kept Kris Bryant down 2 weeks?" It sucks but it's the system. Keeping Tatis down for a month would have been extremely justifiable considering he never played above AA and bringing him up earlier will likely end up costing the Padres enormously. And every single team lets elite, even iconic players guys go in free agency. Yankees let Cano go. Red Sox let Ellsbury go. Dodgers let Grienke sign with a division rival. Nationals just let Harper go, also to a division rival, Cardinals let Pujols play elsewhere.
hypobole - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 10:51 AM EDT (#371390) #
Just because Tatis is on the opening roster now doesn't preclude him being sent back down later.
uglyone - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 10:56 AM EDT (#371391) #
"No, it really isn't "

Yes, it really is.
Nigel - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 11:23 AM EDT (#371392) #
Glevin, I understand your point about service time with Tatis and it’s business implications, but I don’t think that decision is so easy to call stupid. Having just been in San Diego over Spring Break, the team is currently building huge goodwill with local fans. There’s a sense of opportunity there with the Chargers leaving. They are all over local media saying that the rebuild is largely done and that with the Machado signing they are investing in winning. Promoting Tatis is consistent with that. That appears to be having a large positive impact on the brand. Is that more or less valuable than one extra year of Tatis? Who knows. It might be a very sensible dollars and cents move, even if it isn’t the best baseball move.
Nigel - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 11:32 AM EDT (#371393) #
Maybe just to add, I don’t think you can look at the Tatis situation as normal because I think the San Diego situation is a little unique right now.
bpoz - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 12:10 PM EDT (#371394) #
Agreed Nigel. Good PR move. If after 5 or 6 weeks if Tatis and is sent down for further development, due to struggling, how long a demotion would regain the year of service?

I can see him needing a full year in the minors since he has only 353 ABs in AA to date.
Magpie - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 12:14 PM EDT (#371395) #
Just because Tatis is on the opening roster now doesn't preclude him being sent back down later.

True, but he's probably going to be too good to send down.
bpoz - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 12:18 PM EDT (#371396) #
Tatis struck out 31% in AA. This is cherry picking. He still has great tools and is a SS.
bpoz - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 12:27 PM EDT (#371397) #
I read an article today in which the NYY are picked to win the AL East. They seemed to me to have enough old injury prone players to finish out of the playoffs.

hypobole - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 12:46 PM EDT (#371398) #
Keith Law kinda agrees with you, bpoz.

"The Yankees probably had the best team on paper coming into spring training, but their pitching staff already carried quite a bit of injury risk, and we've seen that begin to affect them already with injuries to Luis Severino and Dellin Betances."

Boston Red Sox 93 69
Tampa Bay Rays 90 72
New York Yankees 89 73
Toronto Blue Jays 76 86
Baltimore Orioles 56 106
John Northey - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 01:08 PM EDT (#371399) #
Out of curiosity - I'm debating cutting cable as I find I watch much more Netflix/Crave and CTV has their news for free once a day on their app. I have right now but noticed Sportsnet's package is $199 a year vs the $164 I paid for - does Sportsnet's app work well? Does it blackout any Jays games? Once my current subscription ends it might be worth switching over.
Marc Hulet - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 02:08 PM EDT (#371400) #
Hey John, what internet provider do you have? I've never had cable but could always see all Jays games on because I have Rogers internet.
bpoz - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 02:10 PM EDT (#371401) #
Wow!!! Keith Law and I think alike. I gave the Jays 82-86 wins just because I am a Jays fan.

Also IF the Jays rotation is great somehow we achieve that goal.
John Northey - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 02:37 PM EDT (#371402) #
I'm on Rogers but used to be up north using TBayTel and Shaw and never had an issue. I was more curious if you get it all with Sportsnet's app. For an extra $30 a year I'd get all their other programs too, as I mainly am a Jays fan but also enjoy hockey and other sports now and then. If I dump cable then I'm more limited.
cascando - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 03:00 PM EDT (#371403) #
Tulo looks like he's ready to go. He ends the spring with a .970 OPS. Will be interesting to see how well he holds up.
hypobole - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 03:15 PM EDT (#371404) #
Tulo also K'd 15 times in under 40 PA's. He's been letting it rip.
rpriske - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 03:17 PM EDT (#371405) #
I also have no cable but get all the Jays game via (over Apple TV).

Starting last year they have a cheaper price to just get one team.

christaylor - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 03:24 PM EDT (#371406) #
Your mileage may vary based on location but in my experience mlb has the games transmitted over the internet and blacks out other apps (both tv and radio).
Mike Green - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 03:24 PM EDT (#371407) #
Tulo has 4 homers in 38 PAs, but he trails other old friend Zach Zehner who has 3 homers in 19 PAs and 5 walks and 3 strikeouts.  Tulo will get there. 
hypobole - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 03:55 PM EDT (#371408) #
Yeah, I remember ZZ. We drafted him with our 7th or 8th pick a few years back without making sure he was going to sign. He didn't so we lost both the pick and the pool money. No friend of mine.
85bluejay - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 04:02 PM EDT (#371409) #
I wonder if ZZ regrets not signing with the Jays - his path to the show would have been much easier & he's likely trade bait in NY.
Mike Green - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 04:13 PM EDT (#371410) #
No friend of mine.

nothin' but a hound dog, crying all the time and never even freaking caught a rabbit.  
hypobole - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 04:58 PM EDT (#371411) #
nothin' but a hound dog

Thanks, Big Momma Mike
Joe - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 05:25 PM EDT (#371412) #
John, Sportsnet Now (which I get included due to some stupid internet + tv + home phone bundle, of which I use only the first) has no blackouts or other restrictions (if you're in Canada), and is basically a livestream of the Sportsnet channels. I had to upgrade my package to get Sportsnet 360 and Sportsnet One (I'm sorry, Coach Kent!), but now I get all the Blue Jays games that Sportsnet has the rights to (Facebook streams not included, sadly).
Mike Green - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 06:59 PM EDT (#371413) #
Big Mama to you. I still don't understand how someone named Zach Zahner can't catch a rabbit.  Happy Opening Day tomorrow, Bauxites.
rafael - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 07:08 PM EDT (#371414) #
"" ?? are we allowed to say Unlocator
for avoiding blackouts.
PeterG - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 08:04 PM EDT (#371415) #
An ESPN source says that Kendrys Morales has been traded to the Oakland A's according to Jeff Passan.
Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 08:05 PM EDT (#371416) #
I was not expecting a Morales trade!
Paul D - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 08:05 PM EDT (#371417) #
Whoa! Morales traded to the As. Exciting. I wonder if they bring up telez or give the dh job to Teoscar
BlueJayWay - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 08:07 PM EDT (#371418) #
Gregor Chisolm from his twitter:
#BlueJays make it official. They have traded Kendrys Morales to Oakland for infielder Jesus Lopez and international signing bonus pool space.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 08:11 PM EDT (#371419) #
Nicely done by Atkins. I think most people would have been happy releasing Morales, but the team actually got something back (a non-prospect and some international bonus pool least the latter will have some value).

Opens up playing time for both McKinney and Hernandez, and also opens up a 40 man roster spot for a bench player with more versatility. Good all around.
Mike Green - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 08:21 PM EDT (#371420) #
Nicely done. Presumably the Jays are sending some cash with Morales. If not, it's a real plus.
Gerry - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 08:21 PM EDT (#371421) #
It looks like Lopez is not much of a prospect. The Jays basically dump some salary to free up space for the kids.
Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 08:22 PM EDT (#371422) #
I wonder who takes the spot on the 25 man? Is the platoon in LF now broken up with Hernández the DH or does Rowdy DH/1B?
Gerry - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 08:27 PM EDT (#371423) #
The Jays picked up international bonus pool money in this deal and in the Dwight Smith deal. I believe the money needs to be spent by June 30th. I wonder what they will spend it on, late bloomers perhaps?
hypobole - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 08:29 PM EDT (#371424) #
Oh yeah, there's cash going to Oakland. Still a real plus trade. Nice for Kendrys going to a team that will at least somewhat try to contend this year.
bpoz - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 08:29 PM EDT (#371425) #
I am with you SK. Lets give Atkins some praise. We are rebuilding and want to give ABs to younger players. We definitely save money. The pool money lets you roll the dice more.

Does any think that a 2nd DSL team would be a benefit?

Oakland wins for sure as well. Power hitting insurance. Increased power for a power based team.
Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 08:31 PM EDT (#371426) #
I am sure getting rid of Morales will be what a lot of people wanted, but I wouldn’t really give any praise to Atkins for this move. I mean he did sign Morales to the deal which didn’t really turn out for the Jays.
uglyone - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 08:36 PM EDT (#371427) #
I am duly impressed.

at least we're done with all that "leadership" claptrap.
uglyone - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 08:39 PM EDT (#371428) #
makes it clearer that the only motivation for signing kendrys was him being cheaper than Edwin.
hypobole - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 08:41 PM EDT (#371429) #
Does any think that a 2nd DSL team would be a benefit?

Yes, bpoz, I very much believe the Jays should have a 2nd DSL team.
PeterG - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 08:48 PM EDT (#371430) #
Jays eating 10 mil out of 12 owed to Morales.

I don't think there will be any set DH. There is more flexibilty with a rotating DH which is the direction in which most teams are going.
John Northey - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 08:54 PM EDT (#371431) #
Morales' time here might have been a plus if his signing was a big help in getting Gurriel signed as has been rumored. $31 million for 2 years of a meh DH (0.9 WAR, appears the Jays are covering roughly $10 mil of his $12 mil salary this year) and maybe to get Gurriel signed isn't a bad deal. From what I'm reading the international bonus cash has to be at least $250k which is plenty with the $500k they got earlier to sign a half decent prospect (not Vlad level but decent). If Gurriel would've signed without Morales then it was a very poor deal.

Jesus Lopez is entering his age 22 season never playing above A ball (Midwest league). 221/278/311 lifetime 17-7 SB-CS 2B his main position (142 games), then 3B (96) and SS (76). Looks like a minor league utility player to me. IE: very little if any value. Probably in Dunedin (A+) or Lansing (A).
GabrielSyme - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 09:07 PM EDT (#371432) #
Jesus Lopez statistically looks like a sleeper. He showed enough power and contact skills last year to be at least a little interesting as a middle infielder. That's low value, but worth keeping an eye on.
Gerry - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 09:09 PM EDT (#371433) #
Davidi says Alford is the player coming up.
hypobole - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 09:13 PM EDT (#371434) #
Matt Borucki (Ryan's Brother) on twitter

"After a couple tough starts against the Red Sox, it was Kendrys Morales who discovered Ryan was tipping his change-up in his windup. Adjustment made, next start: 6.1 IP, 3 hits, 2 runs."

Pillar twitter

"Really sad to see KMo go.. never let our language barrier get in the way of giving me advice or pointers during games/practice. Doesn’t get any credit for being a leader but what he does behind the scenes for those young kids is unbelievable. Good luck kmo"
Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 09:28 PM EDT (#371435) #
I would think Alford only sticks until Vladdy is called-up as I think he needs regular at bats.
PeterG - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 09:29 PM EDT (#371436) #
Morales did not deserve much of the criticism he got on here but there is no doubt that there will be more flexibility in the lineup without him.
uglyone - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 09:37 PM EDT (#371437) #
Morales ($31m): 280gms, 102wrc+, 0.9bwar, -0.4fwar
SK in NJ - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 09:46 PM EDT (#371438) #
Morales in 2018 pretty much hit to his projections (after a bad 2017), so while the criticism falls more on Atkins for signing him than Morales himself, he was still not good over the last two years. This was a necessary move. The team benefits way more by seeing whether Hernandez, McKinney, and Alford are big league players going forward than they do having Morales block any one of those three from more playing time.

I thought no team would take Morales for free, but apparently the A's were willing to pay him $1-2M and give up some international money. I'm surprised the Jays even got this much back.
85bluejay - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 09:49 PM EDT (#371439) #
Good move by the Jays as it increases roster flexibility and can use DH spot to rest regulars - too bad Pompey is injured as he probably would have made the team with this trade - also was hoping Socrates Brito made it to the Jays - Damn Padres already with a boatload of outfielders - maybe they try to sneak him through waivers and the Jays get a shot at Brito - rather Alford get regular playing time in AAA.
hypobole - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 09:56 PM EDT (#371440) #
Yup, Morales was a terrible signing. Still better than Dexter Fowler.
85bluejay - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 10:04 PM EDT (#371441) #
The Jays have acquired minor league LHH Jordan Patterson (LF/RF/1B) from the Reds to play the outfield in AAA due to injuries - about 3 years ago I mentioned the Jays should try to acquire Patterson from the Rockies where he was stuck behind more highly regarded prospects - he's now a 27 y.o org. filler but I still like him a bit and the jays don't have much LHH in the system - the Jays are probably one of his best bets for a last chance for a ML career.
Waveburner - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 10:07 PM EDT (#371442) #
Does anyone know if the IFA money acquired for both Smith and Morales is for the current signing period, or the next one?
scottt - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 10:09 PM EDT (#371443) #
The A's lost their 1B recently to a hand injury.
It's weird to imaging Morales being the regular 1B on a contender, for the next 6 to 8 weeks.
Best of luck to him.

It feels like Montoyo wanted both the extra bench player and the extra bullpen arm.
This might be good with the roster going up to 26 next year.
McKinney probably gets the most AB here since Hernandez had won the LF job.

Morales didn't have a good spring and is usually a slow starter.
This clears both a 25 and a 40 spot.

scottt - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 10:11 PM EDT (#371444) #
It's kinda like the draft picks. You can't trade IFA money between the signing periods.
The money has to spent before the June deadline.

Waveburner - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 10:16 PM EDT (#371445) #
But we are still in the current signing period, so that isn't a definitive answer. Do you mean you cannot trade money for the next signing period, only the current one?
greenfrog - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 10:18 PM EDT (#371446) #
Morales was not a good signing, but $31m over two or three years is not a lot of money in MLB terms, he seems to have provided some useful mentoring, he might have helped the Jays land Gurriel (and maybe other Latino prospects?), and he brought back a bit of international pool money in the end. So, big picture, really not that big of a deal (at least, for the non-axe-grinders). Time to move on to other topics.
scottt - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 10:27 PM EDT (#371447) #
Yep. Everything wil reset in June and all unspent money will go just like unspent draft pool money.
Gerry - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 10:28 PM EDT (#371448) #
As far as I know all the international money has to be spent by June 15th or it's gone.
Chuck - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 10:30 PM EDT (#371449) #
Oakland opting to backfill an injured Olson with Morales at first base definitely speaks to the relatively weak position this has become. Wasn't long ago that it felt like everybody could scare up a passable first baseman.
scottt - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 10:35 PM EDT (#371450) #
Morales still hits the ball hard, unfortunately, he hits it on the ground.
They were looking for a couple of left bats and ended up with Morales and Bautista.

Just when the lineup appeared set, now I'm not sure who bats where and when.

dalimon5 - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 10:44 PM EDT (#371451) #
This could speak well to a Justin Smoak trade for a solid C level prospect or B if a team becomes desperate.
grjas - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 10:54 PM EDT (#371452) #
Now that Morales is gone, I’m fine with Pillar and Smoak. Some veteran presence is a nice to have and there’s lots of room for the kids now- 7 of 9 hitters.
scottt - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 11:06 PM EDT (#371453) #
Galvis is 29 and could be gone if Bichette is raking in Buffalo.
cybercavalier - Wednesday, March 27 2019 @ 11:37 PM EDT (#371454) #
Good observation but Patterson strikes out 27% of his 2018 Triple-A AB chance?
hypobole - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 12:04 AM EDT (#371455) #
Sounds like Pompey is going on the 60 day IL.
Nigel - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 12:09 AM EDT (#371456) #
The team is finally down to two 1B/DHs and will likely have four OFs who can field at a MLB caliber level. Thumbs up - a couple of seasons too late but better late than never. The team will be poor but so much more interesting/enjoyable to watch.
uglyone - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 12:30 AM EDT (#371457) #
So Tellez is up and in the starting lineup.

which means Alford came up for some other reason.....
SK in NJ - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 12:32 AM EDT (#371458) #
The team definitely looks more watchable this year. Lots of interesting young talent already up, and older players who might have a bit more in them than they have shown (Grichuk, Drury). The pitching is suspect, but hopefully Montoyo can be creative in working around some of the issues.

Even if the team’s win total will likely be somewhere in the 70’s (barring some quick development), it should be more entertaining to watch.
Eephus - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 12:35 AM EDT (#371459) #
I wonder if this had been in the works for a while, perhaps explaining the McKinney at 1B experiment during the spring. It's not like Smoak is going to or can play 162 games this year at 1B, so having McKinney as a capable replacement once-ish a week makes a lot more sense now (and works to get him more ABs).

I'm not exactly going to miss him, but Morales by all accounts sounds like a terrific teammate and someone really respected by his fellow players. There isn't really any use for him on the 2019 team, but his resurrection from being completely toast last season from mid-May onward was a storyline to cheer for in a dark, miserable year full of bad turns. 
uglyone - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 12:43 AM EDT (#371460) #
hmm may be a false tweet about Rowdy.
John Northey - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 01:22 AM EDT (#371461) #
Jordan Patterson acquired from Reds but it sounds like he is going to AAA. Price is probably cash it says at MLBTradeRumors

2 for 23 in spring (ugh), just 19 PA in 2016 for ML work (145 OPS+ for what its worth). Past 3 years in AAA hitting 282/363/516 but in Colorado Springs (a big time hitters park). Funny player - reached majors in just 4 seasons which is quick and suggested prospect but then left in AAA where he hit well but never got another shot. Now entering his age 27 season he is no more than depth. Basically to fill space in AAA I suspect.
uglyone - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 01:29 AM EDT (#371462) #
just let us have it.....

CF Alford 24
RF Grichuk 27
LF McKinney 24
3B Vladdy 20
SS Bichette 21
2B Gurriel 25
1B Tellez 24
DH Hernandez 26
C Jansen 24

UT Drury 26
OF Pompey 26
IF Urena 23
C McGuire 24

SP Stroman 28
SP Sanchez 26
SP Borucki 25
SP R-Foley 23
SP Thornton 25

SP Pannone 25
SP Paulino 25
SP Waguespack 25
SP Zeuch 23
SP Perez 23
John Northey - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 01:33 AM EDT (#371463) #
An interesting extra point on Morales - with him gone the Jays have 0 players making $10+ million on the roster. However, they are paying $10+ million each to 3 players no longer here (Martin, Morales, Tulo).

So a total of $25.858 million committed for 2020/2021 combined (Gurriel & Galvis plus money owed to Tulo) remove Tulo and it is just $7.858 in payroll. So for players still here the Jays after 2019 owe less than they are paying Oakland for taking Morales away.

Yeah, I'd say the Jays have opened up some payroll space for the future if they want to resign Stroman/Sanchez or get pretty much any free agent they want.
dan gordon - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 01:38 AM EDT (#371464) #
Nice move. Opens a spot on the 25-man, which makes it easier to keep Pompey around once/if he's healthy. Easier to keep Luciano if they're determined to do that. Opens up a spot on the 40 man, so really, the best player they got in the deal is the guy they won't have to expose to waivers when they put Norris, Guerrero, and anybody else they need on the 40-man. International spending money is not nothing, Oakland picks up a bit of the salary, and although Lopez is not a good prospect, he finally started to show some pop last year, with his extra base hits going from 12 in 2017, to 27 in 2018, and his SLG was over .400 for the 1st time.
uglyone - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 01:38 AM EDT (#371465) #
but they can't sign anyone until the fans come out and support the team.
Glevin - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 05:14 AM EDT (#371466) #
Surprised they were able to move Morales. Alford up gives the Jays a potential great defensive OF with Alford, Pillar, and Grichuk which is a huge change. I think McKinney and Hernandez will still get most LF time but it allows Jays to be very flexible and give younger players more PAs. Tellez will be up quickly if he rakes in AAA but no harm in starting him down for a month or two. Patterson is an interesting pickup and could probably be a decent platoon OFer (sort of like McKinney).
ISLAND BOY - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 07:44 AM EDT (#371467) #
The Jays opening day roster will feature only 4 players from their 2016 ALCS playoff roster - Stroman, Sanchez, Biagini and Pillar. Travis, Pompey and Tepera are injured and Smoak was dropped from the playoff roster. That's quite a turnover in a couple of years.

I'm looking forward to seeing regular season games and watching the youngsters this year, but I somehow don't have the same level of excitement for opening day knowing the Jays won't really be a contender.
scottt - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 07:59 AM EDT (#371468) #
There will be many occasions in which you might take Smoak out for a pinch runner.

Morales was always advertised as one of the best clubhouse guy. No question about that.

Fangraphs had Toronto 13th out of 15 at DH in their positional rankings, only beating out Baltimore and Detroit. So on the field, maybe the loss of left bat impacts the team for the one or 2 months he might get hot.
A lot of things will happen  before that.

The Globe and the National Post frame the trade as tanking.
There seems to be zero baseball knowledge there.

scottt - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 08:01 AM EDT (#371469) #
I'm sure that excitement wasn't long lived the last 2 years.
uglyone - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 08:21 AM EDT (#371470) #
Atkins stumbling through an interview on cbc right now.

great question: "why aren't the two best players - vlad and bo - on the team?"
Mike Green - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 08:37 AM EDT (#371471) #
It's Opening Day and I anticipate the Jays will win fewer than 80 games this year but I am excited about the season.  The biggest move of the off-season was bringing in Charlie Montoyo.  My impression is that he operates on several levels (game, season, development), like Whitey Herzog did.  I have confidence in his judgment and have gotten over my disappointment with the club's flip-flop on readiness of the young starters (Montoyo wasn't around when the decision was made to call them up last year in the summer). 

I have no idea who will be playing what positions when July rolls around.  With Guerrero Jr.'s oblique injury comes an opportunity to move him to first base.  I wonder what Montoyo thinks about that, and I'll be watching where VGJ plays in Buffalo.  That decision probably affects Drury and Gurriel Jr..  The outfield/DH situation is even more complicated, and also interacts with the first base situation. 

Watching a young team develop is a great pleasure.  We are at the the beginning- I can wait easily until July to see what shape it starts to looks like. 
Gerry - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 09:05 AM EDT (#371472) #
Jeff Blair just saw Rowdy Tellez in Toronto.
christaylor - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 09:10 AM EDT (#371473) #
Well, it would be an even greater stumble for him to tell the truth -- the CBA incentivizes keeping them (and others) down.
85bluejay - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 09:15 AM EDT (#371474) #
It may be that the jays go with both Alford & Tellez for a few days while awaiting Norris to be ready - it also leaves open a 40 man spot to claim someone off waivers if the opportunity presents itself - I hope the Padres put Socrates Brito on waivers as I'd like the Jays to take a chance on him.
uglyone - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 09:17 AM EDT (#371475) #
ok so I didn't even realize today was opening day.

what is our official injury list right now?


85bluejay - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 09:34 AM EDT (#371476) #
"Watching a young team develop is a great pleasure." - Absolutely!!! - I remember 1982//83 with Bobby Cox coming in and you could see that team building into the contender it became.
Mike Green - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 09:39 AM EDT (#371477) #
UO, it's completely reasonable to give Bichette some time in triple A (leaving aside service time considerations).  He struggled in the first half at double A and then put it together.  He's just turned 21.  As for VGJ, the club obviously wasn't going to call him up because of service time considerations.  As it happens, it now makes a lot of sense anyways for other reasons (fitness, position) that you wouldn't want to talk about.
mathesond - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 10:32 AM EDT (#371478) #
Congratulations (I guess?) to Dwight Smith, Jr., who will be batting 2nd for the Orioles today.
Nigel - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 10:43 AM EDT (#371479) #
If the short term plan becomes Vlad Jr 1B, I hope they work Gurriel in some at 3B at the beginning of the year. Nothing I saw in spring made me any more comfortable that Gurriel is a middle infielder. 3B and LF still seem like the best chance of him finding a defensive position he can play. You could flip Drury and Gurriel as needed.
hypobole - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 10:45 AM EDT (#371480) #
Jeff Blair just saw Rowdy Tellez in Toronto.

Yeah, John Lott seems to think the Alford call up isn't happening.
Gerry - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 10:48 AM EDT (#371481) #
Yep, no Alford on official roster although he is in Toronto. Javy Guerra also on the team.
Mike Green - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 10:48 AM EDT (#371482) #
Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that Tellez and Guerra claimed the last 2 roster spots.
Mike Green - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 10:55 AM EDT (#371483) #
The early-season schedule is a bit unusual.  The Blue Jays open up with 11 games without a day off, including the first seven at the Dome.  They then get two days off in three days.  With pitchers not fully stretched out, I can see why one might go with an 8 man pen until around April 7.  The Bisons don't open their season until April 4. 
Nigel - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 10:57 AM EDT (#371484) #
The Hernandez is an OF dream lives on!! Kidding aside, Pompey’s injury probably doomed us to the experience continuing.
Nigel - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 11:00 AM EDT (#371485) #
I love your optimism Mike but I see an 8 man pen in Toronto this year as the norm not the exception but we’ll see.
uglyone - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 11:09 AM EDT (#371486) #
Alford really shouldn't be up - I'm fine if he is, because at his age its time to poop or get off the pot - but if we're talking about "readiness", he's got to show more in AAA.
uglyone - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 11:11 AM EDT (#371487) #
I still say our multitude of fungible arms in the mlb bullpen and on the AAA/AA rosters should eliminate the need for an 8 man pen completely.
Mike Green - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 11:27 AM EDT (#371488) #
If the double A and triple A seasons have not started, those fungible arms are out of game action. I get the Buffalo Express theory, but you need an open station for it to work.   
Mike Green - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 11:34 AM EDT (#371489) #
Borucki, Phelps, Tepera, Buchholz and Jonathan Davis all begin the season on the 10 day DL. Pompey's on the 7 day concussion list. 
SK in NJ - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 11:36 AM EDT (#371490) #
The Alford/Tellez spot was probably supposed to go to Pompey, but he got hurt and plans changed. I'd be fine with both Alford and Tellez starting in the bigs since this is a rebuilding season (as long as they got consistent ABs), but both are probably better off with a bit more seasoning in AAA. I am guessing this is a short term thing until a roster spot needs to open up, or Pompey comes back, etc.

Alford seems to think he made the team, or at least he did earlier this morning, so maybe there is another move on the way.
bpoz - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 11:41 AM EDT (#371491) #
A lot of excitement and opinions on da Box. I love it.

The real games start today so the manager will now make "real" moves. Pinch hitting, reliever strategy and other.

With Morales gone 1) How many slow runners are on the team?
2) Lack of power are regular Pillar, semi regular Galvis and backup C Maile.

No Gift N means the pitcher will think twice about pitching around someone?? to get to Gift.
uglyone - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 11:46 AM EDT (#371492) #
they must have had a deal fall through for pillar.
uglyone - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 11:50 AM EDT (#371493) #
definitely some kind of deal fell through:

Shi Davidi

Rowdy Tellez and Javy Guerra, who was added to the 40-man roster in place of Kendrys Morales, make opening day #BlueJays roster. Anthony Alford, as I had suggested last night, is not. He was brought to Toronto in case for a scenario that didn't play out, said GM Ross Atkins
SK in NJ - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 11:58 AM EDT (#371494) #
According to Davidi the Jays are getting $1M in international bonus pool money for Morales. That's on top of the $500k they got for Smith Jr.
85bluejay - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 12:02 PM EDT (#371495) #
I heard Atkins differently - that Alford was brought up in case the Morales deal didn't go through - with the Morales deal, it opened up a position for Tellez and a 40 man roster spot for Guerra.

Apparently the jays got $1M IFA money from Oakland plus the money from the Orioles, that money is probably earmarked for a prospect of some significance (likely a Cuban prospect).
Shoeless Joe - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 12:11 PM EDT (#371496) #
I wonder if the Jays are eyeing someone in the Cuban league with the international money, as they no longer have to defect to sign with major league teams.

This does sounds like a deal fell through for Pillar, as much as I didn't think that was going to happen. I imagine it won't be long before something does happen if they had Alford in Toronto. I am sure Pillar and his agent will put the pieces together, and will want to move on.

Tellez is an interesting choice for a call-up, but I imagine it is temporary until Vlad Jr is called up. I do think Tellez can provide at least similar offense to Morales regardless and can beat his projections, as he hit much better in the second half than the first half last season.

Mike Green - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 12:13 PM EDT (#371497) #
Opening day lineup:
Drury 5
Grichuk 9
Hernandez 7
Smoak 3
Gurriel Jr. 4
Pillar 8
Tellez 0
Jansen 2
Galvis 6
ISLAND BOY - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 12:15 PM EDT (#371498) #
According to an article on Sportsnet, Pompey is on the 7-day concussion injured list, retroactive to March 25. Borucki, Bucholz, and Tepera are on the 10 day injured list, retroactive to March 25. There will have to be more moves by the first of next week.
christaylor - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 12:38 PM EDT (#371499) #
Too bad -- seems likely it would have been for Pillar.
hypobole - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 01:04 PM EDT (#371500) #
ESPN breaks down every opening game.

From the Tiger side: "As it stands now, Castellanos rates as the worst defensive player in history through age 26, by defensive runs saved. He ranked last among all outfielders in the Statcast-derived outs above average last year, and since 2016 he ranks 42nd in baseball at the plate (by OPS+, minimum 1,000 PA), but just 125th in total WAR." Hey Nigel, maybe you should should count yourself lucky you're not a Tiger fan :)

On the Jays side, concern about Vlad: "Now the Blue Jays must be careful with their prized prospect, as oblique injuries have recurrence issues."

And the Elvis watch: "Luciano is still in the mix, which gives us a fun experiment to watch: What happens when a pitcher in short-season ball jumps four levels and has to face major leaguers for a year?"

Thomas - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 01:15 PM EDT (#371501) #
Atkins' comments suggest that Alford was brought up due to 40-man roster considerations (presumably to avoid adding Guerra to the 40-man roster), as opposed to another deal falling through (although, they are somewhat ambiguous).

He said, "“There was a scenario had the (Morales) trade not gone through, we would potentially have had to burn a player off of our 40-man roster,” he continued. “We didn’t have to, so having a 40-man player here, it could have been short term or long term, was important to us.”"
Nigel - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 01:22 PM EDT (#371502) #
hypobole - I do, in more ways than one:) I consider it one of my personal triumphs to have mustered the goodwill to have cheered for Jack Morris while he was a Jay.
grjas - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 01:23 PM EDT (#371503) #
Glad Alford is down to get reps. Would have been odd as things panned out to have him up and Telez down. Also glad Guerrero made it given his solid spring.

Sportswriters have a lot of pessimism about the starters. Understandable but I’m feeling optimistic about the upside. Most important thatBorucki continues his good MLB start.
Shoeless Joe - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 01:48 PM EDT (#371504) #
None of the Jays starters have a projected ERA below 4.00 by any single projection system on Fangraphs, so there is plenty of reason to not be overly optimistic about the pitching staff. I think our best chance for improvement will come from Montoyo trying out different methods to get the most out of his pitching and defense.

However I am excited for a fresh Jays season, with the youthful roster bringing along its own form of optimism.
Dave Till - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 02:15 PM EDT (#371505) #
Hurray! It's Opening Day! It should really be a national holiday, as this is when life as we know it begins again.

The good news: this team will be more fun to watch than the Jays have been the last couple of years. They will feature lots of energetic and enthusiastic young people. And young players sometimes get better, and at least make interesting and unusual mistakes. It's more fun than watching a bunch of grumpy veterans trying to wring one last year out of their aging bodies (or, in the case of Tulo, failing to do so).

The bad news: they don't have a lot of actual good players yet - at least, not until Vlad is ready to play and has cleared the service time hurdle. Unless Stroman and Sanchez revert to past form, I don't see any Jay making the leader boards in anything this year. So it will be an entertaining 88 losses or so.

At least it won't be as bad as 1996, when we were forced to hope that, among other things, Erik Hanson could be a #1 starter. And there's always room for optimism, at least until mid-April. Let's do this!
PeterG - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 02:34 PM EDT (#371506) #
Keri saying Blair told him the other trade that almost happened yesterday involved Pillar
JB21 - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 02:39 PM EDT (#371507) #
hypobole - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 03:11 PM EDT (#371509) #
"Also glad Guerrero made it given his solid spring."

grjas, you made my eyes bug out for a moment. Assuming you meant Guerra.
grjas - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 04:15 PM EDT (#371522) #
Yeah sorry about that. Darn spell check.
dan gordon - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 06:07 PM EDT (#371529) #
I'd be surprised if none of the Jays' starters have an ERA below 4.00. I think Stroman, Sanchez and Buchholz all have a decent to good shot at doing that, and Borucki has a chance at it, too.

Kind of surprised to see that Teoscar is playing instead of McKinney vs the right hander today. Also surprising to see him hitting 3rd against a righty. On the TV broadcast they said Montoyo thinks he can be the regular #3 hitter. Can't say I agree with that.

After the season Tellez had in AAA last year, I'm somewhat skeptical about his chances in the big leagues this year. Yes, he performed well in September and in the spring, but small sample size considerations make me weigh the AAA numbers more heavily.

That must be quite a curve ball that Biagini has - Tabler says that it goes "straight down", LOL. Oh, hey, and now just before posting, Buck says that Giles' slider goes "straight down". These guys are just too funny. Somebody get them a physicist.

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