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The 2019 season begins for the Toronto #LetsGoBlueJays.

Series Schedule / Probable Starters

Thursday at 3:37 pm ET - Jordan Zimmermann vs. Marcus Stroman
Friday at 7:07 pm ET - Matt Boyd vs. Matt Shoemaker
Saturday at 3:07 pm ET - Spencer Turnbull vs. Aaron Sanchez
Sunday at 1:07 pm ET - Matt Moore vs. Trent Thornton

Biggest Surprise?

Anthony Alford will seize his opportunity thanks to a sooner than later Kevin Pillar trade and take over in center field. Rowdy Tellez leads the team in homers.

Biggest Disappointment?

Not getting to see Morales pitch in a Jays uniform ever again. The prospect of seeing Clayton Richard pitch in a Jays uniform. The sooner he's in the bullpen, the better, but I'm still not holding out much hope.

Win Prediction?

67 wins. This could be generous given the expected fire sale at the trade deadline.

Playoff Teams?

NYY, MIN, HOU, BOS, LAA (AL) - WSH, STL, LAD, CHC, PHI (NL) - World Series - LAD vs. HOU (LAD in 7).

Hot Takes or Predictions?

Elvis Luciano is going to pick up his first major league victory in an extra-innings marathon at some point. That will stop the Travis Bergen complaints for 15 seconds.

Clay Buchholz forgets to wear sunscreen when the roof is closed.

I hope I don't have to bring up the fact next season that the Jays have not won a home opener since 2011, the year before The Great Uniform Change or the last year of the Black Jays era.

Feel free to weigh in with your predictions for the Jays and MLB in 2019.

Blue Jays vs. Tigers - March 28-31 & Predictions Thread | 200 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
hypobole - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 03:06 PM EDT (#371508) #
Bold prediction: Jays will finish 4th in the AL East, no matter how many games we win or lose.

uglyone - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 03:11 PM EDT (#371510) #
Rowdy being on the team really raises my interest level.

Him and Jansen. prove the stats right, boys, prove them right.

and I'm really rooting even harder than usual for Stro this year. can't believe the heat/hate this guy gets. go stro go.
JB21 - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 03:16 PM EDT (#371511) #
Biggest Surprise? Anthony Alford will seize his opportunity thanks to the Kendrys Morales trade and take over in center field. Rowdy Tellez leads the team in homers.

Kevin Pillar trade?
#2JBrumfield - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 03:23 PM EDT (#371512) #
Kevin Pillar trade?

Easy to confuse Morales with Pillar! ;D

Fun Fact - Dwight Smith Jr. is 1-for-3 so far in his O's debut.
Mike Green - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 03:26 PM EDT (#371513) #
Bold predictions: Ken Giles is with the club the entire season and performs well.  The club plays over .500 ball after the All-Star break.
bpoz - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 03:28 PM EDT (#371514) #
My predictions:
No team wins 100 games.

NYM are in as a WC and win the WS. NYY don't make the playoffs. NY fans have mixed reactions.

Sanchez and Stroman sign extensions with the Jays.
uglyone - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 03:34 PM EDT (#371515) #
Opening Day Sleeve!! @Lesley_NOPE
Holy shit the digital payment system is down at the Dome. On #openingday. Cash only. The beer guy said ppl are losing their shit. They are gonna lose so much money.
85bluejay - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 03:34 PM EDT (#371516) #
- Brandon Drury will have a breakout season, delaying Vlad's arrival and maybe even hastening his move to 1B

-Good performances from veterans will allow the Jays to be strong sellers in the July trade market - the FO will be criticised by the usual suspects for selling and not trying to stay on the periphery of the WC race.

-Elvis Luciano will perform well enough that he wouldn't need a phantom injury to stick around.

-Dalton Pompey will eventually join the outfield rotation

85bluejay - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 03:38 PM EDT (#371517) #
And Zach Jackson will be closing out games in September.
rpriske - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 03:42 PM EDT (#371518) #
Hello... why isn't the game starting...
rpriske - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 04:06 PM EDT (#371519) #
Here we go.

I am excited, even though they are going to lose a lot of games. It is still Blue Jays baseball.
rpriske - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 04:09 PM EDT (#371520) #
Turns out I have been mispronouncing Galvis all this time.
hypobole - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 04:14 PM EDT (#371521) #
2 ground balls and we haven't booted one yet! 8 more innings to go!
grjas - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 04:25 PM EDT (#371523) #
Stro and Sanchez both finish top 10 in Cy Young voting and Jays chase the second wild card till mid August. Fans are mad when front office doesn’t double down at the deadline and trades vets for low A ballers
Nigel - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 05:10 PM EDT (#371524) #
Stroman looks fantastic. The offence not so much. Zimmermann might be able to go 12 innings today.
Eephus - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 05:21 PM EDT (#371525) #
So who gets the first hit of the year?
Nigel - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 05:28 PM EDT (#371526) #
An opening day perfect game against would be taking the whole “crappy OBP lineup” thing a bit too far.
DiscoStu - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 05:45 PM EDT (#371527) #

Matt Shoemaker wins 14 games and the Blue Jays claim the second wildcard spot. Dalton Pompey comes off the disabled list and is immediately put back on the disabled list with an in-grown toenail. He is then treated successfully by the Toe Bro and hits .260 with 20 steals as a 4th outfielder. Bo Bichette is called up on May 31 and hits .340 to win rookie of the year.

christaylor - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 05:56 PM EDT (#371528) #
Stro and Sanchez will return to the best versions of themselves -- unfortunately, the rest of the rotation, won't be good. Jays get hot in August and remain fringy 2nd WC contenders but limp to a finish of 83 wins. Vlad joins the team closer to Canada than Victoria day.
mathesond - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 06:07 PM EDT (#371530) #
6 Ks over 2 inningss for the bullpen so far.
uglyone - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 06:07 PM EDT (#371531) #
hot take - Biagini might be just fine as a leverage RP now that he no longer worries about starting.
#2JBrumfield - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 06:34 PM EDT (#371532) #
On the bright side, Stroman upped his trade value and the Jays are in the clubhouse with a share of the lead for the #1 pick in 2020.
greenfrog - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 06:36 PM EDT (#371533) #
Morales would have won it for the Jays in the 8th or 9th inning.
hypobole - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 06:43 PM EDT (#371534) #
"Morales would have won it for the Jays in the 8th or 9th inning."

Can't tank if you don't trade your star players.

Magpie - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 06:46 PM EDT (#371535) #
Jays BABiP today: 080.
uglyone - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 06:59 PM EDT (#371536) #
gonna count that as one win lost to keeping vladdy down.
85bluejay - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 07:02 PM EDT (#371537) #
"crappy OBP lineup" - the epithet of the 2019 Jays
Magpie - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 07:45 PM EDT (#371538) #
gonna count that as one win lost to keeping vladdy down.

But he's not healthy enough to play anyway, no? As opposed to being in the Buffalo lineup "working on his defense."
grjas - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 07:48 PM EDT (#371539) #
Met up with a hot pitcher.

Oh wait there was 4 of them!
Chuck - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 07:51 PM EDT (#371540) #
Pat Tabler, not terribly concerned about Zimmermann's 400+ innings of 5+ ERA while a Tiger: "He doesn't have the same stuff he had in Washington, but he knows how to pitch".

So there's that.

Gerry - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 08:05 PM EDT (#371541) #
My first thought was why bring in Hudson as your third pitcher out of the pen. Then I checked the roster. Luciano? No way. Pannone or Gaviglio are nominal long men. That leaves Mayza or Guerra. Given that Guerra was the last man on the roster he probably wouldn't be my first choice. So I guess the decision to go with Hudson is defensible. Mayza would be the other choice but its his first opening day and he hasn't been great his last time or two pitching.

Both hits allowed by Hudson in that tenth inning were on two strike pitches, one at a 2-2 count and the homer on an 0-2. In both cases Jansen set up down and in and in both cases Hudson hit the middle of the plate. You could debate whether it was better to go inside or away but Hudson missed his spot twice.
dalimon5 - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 09:02 PM EDT (#371542) #
I would have brought in Giles.
scottt - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 09:02 PM EDT (#371543) #
The cutter was never a good pitch for Biagini. He's got a good fastball and a great curve.

Hudson on the other hand, might have been cut for a reason.

hypobole - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 09:09 PM EDT (#371544) #
Bit early to be turning Giles into a multi-inning guy.
scottt - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 09:23 PM EDT (#371545) #
The Tigers kill left handed pitching, so you don't want to bring Mayza or Pannone in a tied game.
I would have gone with Gaviglio, given that it's extra innings and you don't know how long this will last.
I'm not a big fan of saving arms for the next day.

Turned out Hudson looked a lot like Luciano.

Hopefully they do better against left handed pitching because that's 2 of the next 3 starters.

It's not the strike outs who killed them. They just hit into the defense.
I'm curious to see how fast the 3 bench guys gets into the action.
The obvious spot for McKinney is on Saturday, but he should pinch hit here or there.
Maile should start Saturday as well, afternoon following night game.
I'd like Urena to play second against a lefty while Gurriel DH.
I would also like Tellez to get  a few start at first and sit against the lefties.

Eventually, I'd like Pillar to drop into the 8 spot.

The Yankees beat Baltimore, big deal.
The Mariners are killing Boston right now.
Houston defeated the Rays.
Tied for second place. I'll take that.

hypobole - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 10:19 PM EDT (#371546) #
Just looked at the Yankees schedule. By May 23rd, they'll have played Baltimore 13 times. Our first Yankee game isn't until June 4th. Their batters will have some nice padded stats by then.
rpriske - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 11:30 PM EDT (#371547) #
This game illustrated something I don't like about the current game.

Scoreless game. A 2-hitter vs a 1-hitter. Both starters pulled after 7.

vw_fan17 - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 11:43 PM EDT (#371548) #
Scoreless game. A 2-hitter vs a 1-hitter. Both starters pulled after 7.

Well, it IS opening day. In August, you'd probably see both of them go another inning or two..
uglyone - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 11:48 PM EDT (#371549) #
stro set a career high with 16 swinging strikes today.
SK in NJ - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 11:57 PM EDT (#371550) #
This season is all about growing pains at the big league level, watching the minor league system develop, and hoping for great performance from veteran assets so they could be moved at the deadline (nice first outings for Stroman and Giles in that regard).

It will be a long and frustrating season in all likelihood but that’s typically how rebuilds work.
uglyone - Friday, March 29 2019 @ 12:17 AM EDT (#371551) #
I think jays fans are all too familiar with how rebuilds work.
hypobole - Friday, March 29 2019 @ 01:36 AM EDT (#371552) #
Interesting Lott story at the Athletic on the Stro-Jansen tandem.

It was the Jansen part that really piqued my interest. I had real concerns about his ability to control the running game, as his 2.08 pop time last year was 62nd of 67 catchers and he only caught 5 of 33 runners. One item mentioned that Schneider has been working on with the catchers was brought up I believe by Buck today -focusing on throwing to the 1st base side of the bag.

"One day in spring training, Schneider ran a throwing drill in which he instructed defenders covering second base to ignore any catcher’s throw that went to the left side of the bag. Don’t even try for it, he told them. A throw like that should embarrass a catcher. Home in on throwing to the first-base side"

the other was getting rid of Danny's arm-bar.

"All spring, the two worked together on what Jansen calls a general “cleanup” – receiving, footwork, throwing, game-calling. And getting rid of that arm-bar.

Yes, Jansen said, he’d been “arm-barred” for much of his career, which is to say he tended to catch the ball with his left arm angled away from his body. That angle forced undesirable movement with his glove to receive the ball. It made him slower and less fluid behind the plate.

“Receiving was a big thing,” he said. “That translates to my throwing. If I’m arm-barred out and the ball’s to the left side of me, it’s a lot of space to cover. If my elbow’s out, I’m not really athletic.”

Now he focuses on keeping his elbow close to his body. And in the second inning, his compact mechanics helped him throw out Goodrum trying to steal second after a walk."
scottt - Friday, March 29 2019 @ 06:40 AM EDT (#371553) #
Don't look, but the AL East is the weakest division in baseball.
ISLAND BOY - Friday, March 29 2019 @ 06:55 AM EDT (#371554) #
I'm predicting the Jays win 71 games this year. Also Vlad Jr. will suffer a string of injuries and not win Rookie of the year. Bo Bichete will scorch AAA pitching and force the Jays to call him up by mid-season. Despite a lineup invigorated by younger players, injuries and deadline trades will result in a Bataan death march-like August and September. Things will look brighter in 2020.
85bluejay - Friday, March 29 2019 @ 07:38 AM EDT (#371555) #
Last time I may be able to say this - Jays are tied for 2nd place in AL east. Can't wait for the epic Jays-Orioles showdown.

Watching Gurriel play 2nd is going to be heartburn inducing - who is the Jays all time worst defensive 2nd baseman?
Glevin - Friday, March 29 2019 @ 07:39 AM EDT (#371556) #
I think Jays win 73 games. I am excited about this year though because there are so many players to watch develop.

Did anyone have a worse off-season that Cleveland? They won 91 games, have a number of players in their prime. Their lineup had Tyler Naquin third, Hanley Ramirez 5th. A minimal effort signing a couple of cheapish hitters would have made a massive difference. It's one thing being cheap when the team isn't in contention but to cut salaries when you are a top-5 team in baseball is unconscionable.
uglyone - Friday, March 29 2019 @ 08:01 AM EDT (#371557) #
"It's one thing being cheap when the team isn't in contention but to cut salaries when you are a top-5 team in baseball is unconscionable."

scottt - Friday, March 29 2019 @ 08:06 AM EDT (#371558) #
I guess they know what their revenues are.
As bad as Cleveland is Florida, Tampa and Oakland are worse.
They are trying to keep their window of contention open.
They had a plan to trade a starter for some offense but that didn't work out.
Also keep in mind that Shapiro was excited to come to Toronto to put a team together without being limited by payroll.

Mike Green - Friday, March 29 2019 @ 08:21 AM EDT (#371559) #
Jansen received very well yesterday, I thought.  It was interesting that he was picking all the balls in the dirt  off the plate (i.e. glove only) rather than getting out there and blocking them in the conventional Martin/Maile style.  He was quite smooth and successful at it.  Martinez and Tabler didn't say a word about it, perhaps because they disagree with the approach and want to give the rook a break.

Hudson's 0-2 slider was in a horrible location.  It's one thing to hang a slider but this one was a long way from any kind of reasonable spot given the count.  I wondered if he was worried about burying a slider and Jansen not being able to block it, with the pick approach.  With a runner on 2nd and nobody out in the 10th, that base would be a huge deal.

With the Tigers starting a LHP tonight and a RHP tomorrow afternoon, I would start Maile at catcher with Jansen DHing tonight.  I think that it's good for Jansen to get consistent at-bats early in the season and they don't have another RH bat to fill the role. 

greenfrog - Friday, March 29 2019 @ 08:24 AM EDT (#371560) #
My question on Fangraphs’ opening day chat got answered:

greenfrog: With the Dwight Smith Jr. and Kendrys Morales trades, the Jays have added $1.5m in international pool money that has to be spent before the June deadline. Who might they be able to acquire with that money?

Eric A Longenhagen: If they like Yolbert Sanchez that’s approaching the $2mil Kiley and I have been told he has on the table for 2019 period. Yennier Cano worked out in Miami this week, he throws pretty hard and doesn’t have enough foreign pro experience to be exempt from pool
Mike Green - Friday, March 29 2019 @ 08:31 AM EDT (#371561) #
Good question and interesting answer.  Thanks for posting, greenfrog.
uglyone - Friday, March 29 2019 @ 08:55 AM EDT (#371562) #
in keeping with the FOs approach I would guess they would spread that pool money over multiple players, not one big fish.
Mike Green - Friday, March 29 2019 @ 09:09 AM EDT (#371563) #
ZiPS projects the Blue Jays average draft position as 10th. Not that I care really.

Yolbert Sanchez is a 22 year old slick-fielding middle infielder with no pop and apparently lacking great speed. 
hypobole - Friday, March 29 2019 @ 09:44 AM EDT (#371564) #
they would spread that pool money over multiple players,

Except they've never had this much money left over this late. Are there even enough $300 K guys left over worth spending the money on? Maybe yes, but I'd guess no.
Mike Green - Friday, March 29 2019 @ 09:59 AM EDT (#371565) #
Yeinier (Yunier according to BBRef) Cano is a 25 year old Cuban who pitched in Argentina the last 2 years.
Mike Green - Friday, March 29 2019 @ 10:17 AM EDT (#371566) #
The Athletic's Marc Carig has a must-read article on MLB's role in the arbitration process.  Maybe I alone missed this.  MLB's labour relations department, in addition to providing comps and training, prepares "recommendations" as to salaries for arbitration-eligible players.  Teams are under a fair bit of pressure, apparently, to not settle above the recommended salary, and the team that does the best as compared with the recommendations gets recognition from the league in the form of a belt.

The rationale for baseball's anti-trust exemption continues to elude me. 
Jevant - Friday, March 29 2019 @ 10:40 AM EDT (#371567) #
Great first start for Stroman. Offence had a tough day, but I'm far more interested in seeing how the pitching develops this year. Let's hope that Strochez gets back to where we know they can be, and a couple of other guys pop up a bit.
hypobole - Friday, March 29 2019 @ 10:43 AM EDT (#371568) #
Maybe I alone missed this.

I can't even find it, Mike. How do I navigate to that article?
Mike Green - Friday, March 29 2019 @ 10:52 AM EDT (#371569) #
The link is here, hypobole:

The article is from today, but there is reference to earlier reports which I missed.
ayjackson - Friday, March 29 2019 @ 11:21 AM EDT (#371570) #

Are we back to combining two people into one? Is the censorship over?
Mike Green - Friday, March 29 2019 @ 11:29 AM EDT (#371571) #
I wondered about that, ayj.  It's a little different from the insulting Shapiro-Atkins abbreviations, but still it's strange to combine the two pitchers.  They are quite different as pitchers and had a spat a few years ago which seems to have mellowed.  I don't know why you wouldn't say "Stroman and Sanchez". It's just a few characters.
Chuck - Friday, March 29 2019 @ 11:33 AM EDT (#371572) #
Given their prior "conscious uncoupling" (to quote a ninny), best that a portmanteau for the two pitchers not be employed.
85bluejay - Friday, March 29 2019 @ 11:33 AM EDT (#371573) #
"Great first start for Stroman" - maybe we were watching different games (I watched 1st 5 innings), but I was not impressed - 4 walks, 94P only 53S - he pitches like that against patient,strong lineups like the Yankees & Red Sox, I think he's going to get lit up like a christmas tree.
hypobole - Friday, March 29 2019 @ 11:55 AM EDT (#371574) #
The link is here, hypobole:

Thanks, Mike. I did find it by searching the author. My question was more in the line of "how did you find it?" Blue Jays articles come up, but I can't find the home for general MLB articles, only cities.
mathesond - Friday, March 29 2019 @ 12:15 PM EDT (#371575) #
Hypobole, if you just click on the 'MLB' at the top (in amongst the other leagues), it takes you to here:
pubster - Friday, March 29 2019 @ 12:21 PM EDT (#371576) #
"He doesn't have the same stuff he had in Washington, but he knows how to pitch".

Seems like 2 true statements to me.
hypobole - Friday, March 29 2019 @ 12:25 PM EDT (#371577) #
Thanks, Mike, got it.
uglyone - Friday, March 29 2019 @ 12:25 PM EDT (#371578) #
"Strochez" is an insult to Stroman, methinks.

Career as SP

Stro: 108gs, 92era-, 86fip-, 83xfip-, 11.4awar, 3.4awar/32
Chez: 69gs, 88era-, 102fip-, 103xfip-, 5.4awar, 2.5awar/32
hypobole - Friday, March 29 2019 @ 12:29 PM EDT (#371579) #
Sorry, thanks mathesond.
bpoz - Friday, March 29 2019 @ 12:39 PM EDT (#371580) #
Combinations are great. A double play combo and a Hr hitting combo.

I may have this one wrong .....WAMCO???
Mike Green - Friday, March 29 2019 @ 12:49 PM EDT (#371581) #
I follow the Athletic on twitter and they linked to it, hypobole.
Magpie - Friday, March 29 2019 @ 01:05 PM EDT (#371582) #
who is the Jays all time worst defensive 2nd baseman?

Cecil Fielder, shurely?

Well, Tony Fernandez came back to Toronto to play 2b in 1998 and was just awful. Shockingly bad. So bad they moved him to 3b after three months and put Craig Grebeck in the lineup.
Mike Green - Friday, March 29 2019 @ 01:10 PM EDT (#371583) #
Steve Staggs was pretty bad in 1977.  Maybe it's not fair to consider that year for all-time worst purposes. 
uglyone - Friday, March 29 2019 @ 01:19 PM EDT (#371584) #
wasn't homer bush disastrous out there?
Jevant - Friday, March 29 2019 @ 01:33 PM EDT (#371585) #
Was trying to be funny and remember a happier time when the two of them were best buds and a fun story to follow throughout the year. That was all.
Magpie - Friday, March 29 2019 @ 01:37 PM EDT (#371586) #
wasn't homer bush disastrous out there?

Bush was a disaster at shortstop, but it was an emergency and the man never claimed to be a shortstop. He wasn't a good second baseman, but he was way better than Tony.
bpoz - Friday, March 29 2019 @ 02:00 PM EDT (#371587) #
So D Keuchel & CKimbrel still not signed. Weird.

I hope Stroman is good and resigns. Sanchez ... Boras ???
Thomas - Friday, March 29 2019 @ 03:18 PM EDT (#371588) #
The Blue Jays have traded minor league infielder Yeltsin Gudino to Baltimore for cash considerations.
braden - Friday, March 29 2019 @ 03:26 PM EDT (#371589) #
He'll start and bat cleanup for Baltimore tonight ;)
Magpie - Friday, March 29 2019 @ 03:54 PM EDT (#371590) #
He'll start and bat cleanup for Baltimore tonight ;)


Literally. I laughed out loud.
ayjackson - Friday, March 29 2019 @ 03:56 PM EDT (#371591) #
Yeltsin was a significant signee at the time iirc. Seven figure?
ayjackson - Friday, March 29 2019 @ 04:03 PM EDT (#371593) #
Gudino signed with the Jays for $1.2 million in 2013, apparently.
Mike Green - Friday, March 29 2019 @ 04:26 PM EDT (#371594) #
Lineup for today:
Drury 5
Grichuk 0
Smoak 3
Teoscar 7
Gurriel Jr. 4
Pillar 8
McKinney 9
Galvis 6
Maile 2

It's a bit strange to give McKinney the day off yesterday against a RHP and then have him playing against a LHP today.  I think that Montoyo wants to give Teoscar and Grichuk regular work at the start of the season.   
hypobole - Friday, March 29 2019 @ 04:39 PM EDT (#371596) #
"It's a bit strange to give McKinney the day off yesterday against a RHP"

In the spirit of hypothetical counting, I'm gonna count that as one win lost to sitting McKinney down.
Nigel - Friday, March 29 2019 @ 04:40 PM EDT (#371597) #
I really don't know why you wouldn't have Hernandez DHing but it is what it is.

Having been in the RF bleachers in Seattle the night that Cecil Fielder rotated back and forth between 2B and 3B (depending on whether it was a LH or RH hitting batter) I can safely suggest Fielder as the worst fielding 2B in Jays history. However, that night he made a fantastic (no joke) over the shoulder catch on a bloop into LF, so he might be the best fielding 3B in Jays history - lol.
Shoeless Joe - Friday, March 29 2019 @ 04:42 PM EDT (#371598) #
He'll start and bat cleanup for Baltimore tonight ;)

Thank-you for the chuckle!
Shoeless Joe - Friday, March 29 2019 @ 04:53 PM EDT (#371599) #
Gudino signed with the Jays for $1.2 million in 2013, apparently.

After some great success with international signings in 2011 and 2012, AA absolutely bombed in 2013 and 2014. The only players left form those two years who might pan out is Yensy Diaz and maybe Edward Olivares.
Mike Green - Friday, March 29 2019 @ 05:02 PM EDT (#371601) #
Oh no, hypobole.  I know you jest, but please no hypothetical counting.  It's especially silly because absolutely no one expects the Jays to win this year, or to even be close. 
scottt - Friday, March 29 2019 @ 05:17 PM EDT (#371603) #
I don't want to see Tellez against lefties, but there are no obvious platoon partner at DH.
Ideally, Gurriel is the DH and Urena plays 2b. I think Grichuk is still nursing some foot issue.
If you DH any of the regular outfielder, McKinney has to play.

As long as they don't DH Pillar, I won't complain much.

scottt - Friday, March 29 2019 @ 05:21 PM EDT (#371604) #
As things currently stand, Hernandez is the regular LF and McKinney is the 4th outfielder.
They couldn't start the 4th outfielder in the opener.

hypobole - Friday, March 29 2019 @ 05:22 PM EDT (#371605) #
It's not about winning, Mike, it's about the draft position you don't care about. When we pick 10th I can post "if we only had those hypothetical wins, we could have been picking 11th!"

However, I'll both cease and desist henceforth.

dan gordon - Friday, March 29 2019 @ 06:23 PM EDT (#371606) #
Montoyo seems to have a high opinion of Teoscar, installing him as the regular left fielder, and regular 3rd place hitter. First Montoyo move seems possibly questionable. We'll see if he's right as things progress. I guess it's a good idea to see what Hernandez can do with regular playing time. McKinney must be feeling a little strange - sitting vs a righty and playing vs a lefty.

A bit surprising about Gudino. I thought he was still a decent prospect. I guess the acquisition of Lopez left no room at the SS or 2B position for Gudino. There sure are a lot of middle infield types in the system. Gudino was very young - just 21 last year, in his 5th pro season. His batting averages in his 5 years show steady improvement - .145, .185, .226, .259, .276, and his OPS numbers are .386, .516, .596, .648, .653. He struggled in 160 AB's after being promoted to Dunedin last year. I saw some speculation on an Orioles website that the deal involves international bonus money again. If so, the Jays may have targeted somebody and need to reach a certain dollar level to sign the player.
Magpie - Friday, March 29 2019 @ 07:22 PM EDT (#371608) #
Hey! A runner in scoring position!

Baby steps. It's a long season.
Shoeless Joe - Friday, March 29 2019 @ 07:37 PM EDT (#371609) #
The Jays have a 71% strikeout rate through 2, yikes!

Shoemaker has looked good so far, throwing more strikes than what I saw in the spring.
Nigel - Friday, March 29 2019 @ 07:45 PM EDT (#371610) #
At some point will Buck and Pat acknowledge that neither of these offences are that good? The pitching has been sharp but it isn’t just good pitching we’re watching.
Nigel - Friday, March 29 2019 @ 08:17 PM EDT (#371611) #
Great base running all around on that Galvis hit.
christaylor - Friday, March 29 2019 @ 08:42 PM EDT (#371612) #
That was not a good read by Hernandez. Turned a double into a triple.
dalimon5 - Friday, March 29 2019 @ 08:53 PM EDT (#371613) #
I think the pitching has been pretty good Nigel. Plus the strike zone tonight is huge especially for Boyd.
greenfrog - Friday, March 29 2019 @ 09:42 PM EDT (#371614) #
Pretty good way for Shoemaker to start his career as a Jay (based on the boxscore; I didn’t see the game). Let’s hope he can stay healthy this year.
hypobole - Friday, March 29 2019 @ 09:42 PM EDT (#371615) #
Nigel did acknowledge the pitching has been good, butthese are not gopod offensive teams. And yeah, the strike zone is huge, but very little has to to with the umpire. Players on both sides are swinging at pitches 6 inches outside, inside, high and low.
uglyone - Friday, March 29 2019 @ 11:09 PM EDT (#371616) #
"That was not a good read by Hernandez. Turned a double into a triple."

looked like a fly out to me, tbh.
John Northey - Friday, March 29 2019 @ 11:14 PM EDT (#371617) #
So 2 games, 2 7 inning outings of shutout baseball from our starters. 19 innings 2 runs allowed. Sucks to be 1-1 after that, but that's life.

I suspect Sanchez is determined to go 8 tomorrow.
85bluejay - Saturday, March 30 2019 @ 12:31 AM EDT (#371618) #
So Justin Upton is out 8-12 weeks - the Angels could be buried by then - Grichuk and/or Pillar would be very helpful to the Angels outfield - Atkins should start dialing.
dan gordon - Saturday, March 30 2019 @ 12:38 AM EDT (#371619) #
Pitchers are typically a fair bit ahead of hitters the first couple of weeks of the season. Having said that, I think the Blue Jays starting pitching is quite underrated. There aren't more than maybe 5 or 6 starting rotations in the AL that I'd take over Stroman, Sanchez, Buchholz, Borucki and Shoemaker.
Shoeless Joe - Saturday, March 30 2019 @ 07:37 AM EDT (#371620) #
Using steamer projections the Jays pitching staff as a whole would rank 26th in WAR, ahead of only the Mariners, Royals, White Sox, Tigers and Orioles. I am hopeful that things do get turned around and the amount of uncertainty around Stroman, Sanchez and Shoemaker allow them to beat their projections, but at best this an average pitching staff. The  Indians, Mets, Astros, Yanks, Nationals, Dodgers, Rays, Red Sox, Cubs and Cardinals are way ahead of Jays starting rotation and another dozen teams are likely better.
scottt - Saturday, March 30 2019 @ 07:47 AM EDT (#371621) #
There were too many swings on balls outside of the zone to my liking and there was no excuse for stranding Drury at 3rd with none out. Baby steps. At least this is a feel good win.

Galvis is a vet who plays hard, runs well and puts the ball in play. There's a lot to like there.
Despite not costing any runs, Gurriel and Henderson still look bad defensively.

Despite going 3rd, Turnbull was the last pitcher to make the Detroit rotation beating out Norris.
I'd appreciate more offense today.

scottt - Saturday, March 30 2019 @ 07:56 AM EDT (#371622) #
To stay in the AL, the Yankees are missing 2 pitchers due to health issues.
The Red Sox just had their worst 2 first starts in their franchise history.
The Rays are still relying on the opener because their rotation is still missing major pieces.
Houston would have kept Morton had they not been worried about his health.

Cleveland and Houston are great, but not in the same division.

So far, so good.

85bluejay - Saturday, March 30 2019 @ 09:54 AM EDT (#371625) #
I like the Jays rotation but probably would overrate them because of my fandom - in the AL - New York, Tampa, Boston, Cleveland and Houston probably have the top 5 rotations - after those, it's a crapshoot, probably in the eye of the beholder.
Parker - Saturday, March 30 2019 @ 10:11 AM EDT (#371628) #
I like McKinney for a breakout this year. That combo of plate discipline and HR power is very enticing. I also like Grichuk more than most. He's got legit star power tools, just needs to put it all together.

I predict that Hernandez puts up better defensive numbers this year, because there's any way they could get any worse. Knock on wood.
dalimon5 - Saturday, March 30 2019 @ 10:12 AM EDT (#371629) #
If given the chance to augment the core/expand it...would you extend Stroman/Sanchez or trade them for prospects the calibre of Nate Pearson and likely 2-3 years away with no ceilings higher than Stroman or Sanchez?

I would have myself answered to trade them away before the offseason began. With all the extensions happening, however, I don't see many players the Jays can reinvest money in in '20 and '21. So I now prefer the Jays to extend them.
Parker - Saturday, March 30 2019 @ 10:14 AM EDT (#371630) #
Sorry, that should read, "There's NO way they could get any worse."
hypobole - Saturday, March 30 2019 @ 10:41 AM EDT (#371631) #
Boras client Strasburg signed an extension with the Nats, so it is possible with Sanchez, if he wants to be extended. The biggest sticking point might well be that Boras will want the Jays to pay for the 2016 ERA champ, the Jays more for an oft-injured, mostly ineffective 2017-8. Gulf may well be too wide to bridge.
Nigel - Saturday, March 30 2019 @ 10:52 AM EDT (#371632) #
In the grand scheme of 2019 I’m fine with continuing to try Hernandez in LF and Gurriel as a middle infielder, the team isn’t going to win so now is absolutely the time to experiment. The thing about Hernandez is that he isn’t young and his defence isn’t just below average. His defence is so bad it’s wiping out all the value in a perfectly functional hat. It’s Steve Pearce in LF all over again. Even if Hernandez does work hard and improve on defence, that probably moves the needle from terrible to bad. I’d feel like there was more point to the experiment if the starting point weren’t so far off the mark. The longer I watch baseball I’m just not sure that plays like last night’s “triple” are that correctable. I think some people just can’t judge the three dimensional flight path of balls very well.
greenfrog - Saturday, March 30 2019 @ 10:53 AM EDT (#371633) #
It would make sense for the Jays to wait and see how Stroman and Sanchez do over at least the first half of 2019. If they are healthy and effective, the team could look to extend them. On the other hand, if the team decides it wants to pursue more of a Padres- or Rays-type of ground-up rebuild, they could trade those two players (along with Smoak, Pillar, Shoemaker, Giles, and any other veterans with significant value) for prospects at the July deadline.
Nigel - Saturday, March 30 2019 @ 10:54 AM EDT (#371634) #
Geez, he may have a perfectly functional hat too:). Sorry
scottt - Saturday, March 30 2019 @ 10:56 AM EDT (#371635) #
An extension would be based on his market value, which right now is very low.
But so is the return you'd get in a trade.

Right now, if you offer Sanchez a QO, he'd be crazy not to take it.
Until that changes, there's no rush to extend him.
If his projection is an ERA+ of 105, or worse, nobody will give up a prospect and IFA money to sign him.
Now, if he's the AL ERA leader at the end of June, things get interesting.

Buchholz is the #1 trade target as he's on a 1-year contract.
Shoemaker has an arbitration year left.
We're going to see several young pitchers this summer, but for now, it's snowing outside.

Shoeless Joe - Saturday, March 30 2019 @ 11:07 AM EDT (#371636) #
The main sense of optimism for Hernandez in LF was this comment made in an article on jaysfromtheouch blog:

"Another reason to be hopeful is a change new manager Charlie Montoyo has discussed: moving his outfielders back a little bit. Last season, Hernandez generated -7 outs above average (OAA) when having to move back to catch a ball, but 2 OAA when having to move in. Put another way, he was 9 outs better when having to move in to make a catch than when having to move back. Among 87 outfielders with at least 150 catch attempts, only three had a wider gap between their OAA moving in and their OAA moving back."

uglyone - Saturday, March 30 2019 @ 11:13 AM EDT (#371637) #
last night's fly ball being a perfect example.

the I'm surprised they're bothering trying. Teoscar is 26. he's at his peak athleticism and he's still no good defensively. and it'll only get worse with his big body.

McKinney at least seems worth a try out there.
Gerry - Saturday, March 30 2019 @ 11:22 AM EDT (#371638) #
Grichuk gets another day off. Gurriel sits as Urena gets his first start.
perlhack - Saturday, March 30 2019 @ 11:35 AM EDT (#371639) #
There's an <a href="">excerpt</a> of the book "K: A History of Baseball In Ten Pitches" in the New York Times. It mentions Preacher Roe (<a href="">BBref</a><a>,
 </a><a href="">Wikipedia</a>),
 including this passage:<blockquote>Roe’s
 confession only confirmed his reputation. As Stan Musial wrote decades later, “I’d always be first-pitch hitting against Roe, because when he had two strikes on you, he’d usually load up, and I hated to get a shower.” Anticipation of the spitter helped Roe, and he knew how to destroy evidence. He was never caught in the act.</blockquote>
perlhack - Saturday, March 30 2019 @ 11:41 AM EDT (#371640) #
Well, I went to the trouble of previewing, replacing the void javascript links with correct ones, previewing again, fixing a blockquote issue and other HTML oddities, having it finally look OK, only to end up with the mess in my previous post.
Chuck - Saturday, March 30 2019 @ 11:43 AM EDT (#371641) #
Grichuk gets another day off. Gurriel sits as Urena gets his first start.

I use this site to see the day's lineups. It shows "expected lineups" and "confirmed lineups", presumably in keeping with the new MLB policy that MLB itself has to be the first to see a day's lineup (something to do with gambling) before it is "official". In any event, I have been wondering where the expected lineups come from. So far, they seem to the product of the staff at the site, who seemingly make them up from whole cloth. They keep projecting Pillar to bat 2nd though Montoya has been pretty consistent about having Pillar in the bottom third of the lineup.

greenfrog - Saturday, March 30 2019 @ 12:32 PM EDT (#371644) #
Paul Goldschmidt is hitting .500/.600/1.625 in the early going (0.5 WAR).

The Cardinals (11 straight winning seasons) would be a good organization for the Jays to emulate. With a higher payroll, of course!
greenfrog - Saturday, March 30 2019 @ 01:32 PM EDT (#371646) #
Congrats to Travis Bergen for having a scoreless outing (0.1 IP) in his first game with the Giants.
Magpie - Saturday, March 30 2019 @ 03:41 PM EDT (#371648) #
the mess in my previous post.

The site seems to respond to different browsers in different ways, especially when it comes to HTML code. I use Chrome for normal reading, but if I have to post something that uses any HTML markers I switch to Firefox. (I haven't tried Edge here, although I rather like lots of things about it.)
dan gordon - Saturday, March 30 2019 @ 03:42 PM EDT (#371649) #
"I like the Jays rotation but probably would overrate them because of my fandom - in the AL - New York, Tampa, Boston, Cleveland and Houston probably have the top 5 rotations - after those, it's a crapshoot, probably in the eye of the beholder"

Yes, that's about what I was thinking, too, when I said 5th or 6th. I'd slot the Jays in next, and if injuries keep cropping up for the Yankees, the Jays could be right there with them. So much depends on the health of the 4 Jays' starters who have battled injuries over the last 1-3 years.

D.Smith has a couple of hits today for the Orioles.
Nigel - Saturday, March 30 2019 @ 04:05 PM EDT (#371651) #
The Jays’s team OBP last year was .317 good for 17th in MLB. They have lost 4 of their top 5 OBP hitters (Martin, Donaldson, Granderson and Morales). This may well be a sub .300 OBP composite roster.
Magpie - Saturday, March 30 2019 @ 04:19 PM EDT (#371652) #
Luis Aparicio and Omar Vizquel are awfully similar players - both were outstanding defensive shortstops who didn't do much with the bat. Which didn't prevent either guy from batting at the top of the order for most of their careers. Go figure.

Vizquel's edge in the counting numbers is entirely because he hung around until we were all sick of him. Aparicio retired at age 39 with 2677 hits. Vizquel had 2472 hits at the same age, but he played another six years after turning 40. Vizquel was slightly more effective with the bat than Aparicio, mainly because he would actually take a walk now and then. Aparicio was often regarded as the best defensive shortstop ever until Ozzie Smith came along. I presume Luis is in the Hall for reasons a little like Mazeroski - he was a historically great defensive player who did one memorable thing on offense (Maz hit a famous HR, Luis led the league in SBs every year.)
Gerry - Saturday, March 30 2019 @ 06:11 PM EDT (#371653) #
Your first place TBJ. Enjoy it while it lasts.
85bluejay - Saturday, March 30 2019 @ 06:40 PM EDT (#371654) #
Hope the jays can find some way to claim Socrates Brito - Tellez really needs to be playing everyday in AAA and Brito would allow better rotation usage of the DH slot, not to mention Grichuk's planter fasciitis looks chronic.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, March 30 2019 @ 06:55 PM EDT (#371655) #
Teo is a better defender this year,at least average.
scottt - Saturday, March 30 2019 @ 06:59 PM EDT (#371656) #
First place, thanks to the Yankees committing 3 errors.
Gary Sanchez and Andujar are a lot like Teoscar Hernandez and Gurriel in my book.

It seems like the reason the Yankees acquired Drury is because he has power to the opposite field, the short porch in Yankees Stadium. It's the same thing for Voit.

Eventually, the Jays should have Bichette and Guerrero at the top of the lineup, that's going to improve the OBP.

3 well pitched games so far.

dan gordon - Saturday, March 30 2019 @ 07:08 PM EDT (#371657) #
So the starters have given up zero runs combined in 3 games. Sure, it's Detroit, but still, that's really amazing. No runs against at all, except for extra innings. I sure hope we don't see a lot of that strategy we saw in the 7th - leadoff double, then give up an out just to advance the runner one base. I hate that play. I suppose in this case, with the 9th place hitter up, it's not quite as bad.
scottt - Saturday, March 30 2019 @ 07:14 PM EDT (#371658) #
Tellez is a platoon player and should never be playing every day.
I think he's as ready as he's gonna get.
We'll hit some stretch without lefty starters at some point, I guess Cleveland next week,  but there a few in the division.

Castellanos is an interesting player. Great hitter, but a worse defender than Hernandez and Gurriel.
He's going to be a great DH at some point, but needs to be on a team with a lot of left bats.

electric carrot - Saturday, March 30 2019 @ 07:45 PM EDT (#371659) #
That looked like a good pitch that Smoak homered on.
hypobole - Saturday, March 30 2019 @ 08:14 PM EDT (#371660) #
I sure hope we don't see a lot of that strategy we saw in the 7th - leadoff double, then give up an out just to advance the runner one base.

dan, I just came here to comment on that exact decision and I totally agree with you.
scottt - Saturday, March 30 2019 @ 08:28 PM EDT (#371661) #
Drury missed scoring the runner, but that's not a bad play.
Urena can bunt. Galvis might do the same thing on occasion.
Up 3 runs, I have no problem. Walk off situation, it's also fine.

The top of the lineup is supposed to be able to hit a sac fly.
Personally, I was happy to see Giles pick up a save.
I wonder who would have pitched the 9th if there's a 4 run lead.
Do you send Luciano and bring Giles if he puts a couple of guys on?
I'd hate to send Giles out on a no-save. He's locked in.

Thomas - Saturday, March 30 2019 @ 08:39 PM EDT (#371662) #
Giles pitched in a non-save situation in the first game and struck out the side (although it was a higher-leverage situation than he pitched in today).
Shoeless Joe - Saturday, March 30 2019 @ 08:58 PM EDT (#371663) #
Today's game was brought to you by three pitchers who have three elite pitches....and Daniel Hudson. The spin rate on Sanchez's curve is in the 97th percentile, the spin rate of Biagini's curve is in the 96th percentile and Ken Giles fastball velocity is in the 97th percentile...and I suppose Danile Hudson does have his fastball spin rate in the 90th percentile.
hypobole - Saturday, March 30 2019 @ 11:00 PM EDT (#371664) #
"The top of the lineup is supposed to be able to hit a sac fly."

Doesn't work that way.
John Northey - Saturday, March 30 2019 @ 11:06 PM EDT (#371665) #
So the Jays are tied for first with Tampa Bay. Boston could catch up to them with a win vs Seattle (losing 6-2 as I type - yay!). This is something the Jays couldn't say in 2018, as they never were in first as they lost the first 2 games and never were closer than 1 game out. Same for 2017. Last time they were tied for the lead in the AL East was September 6th 2016 on their way to a Wild Card entry and ALCS finish.

Yeah, it means very little, but still nice to end that streak of not being in first. Last time they had a lead on the rest of the AL East was September 5th 2016 (1 game over Boston, Baltimore 2 back). Lets hope that streak ends tomorrow.

The 2 runs allowed is #1 in the majors tied with Minnesota (allowed 2, scored just 3). San Diego had allowed just 1 run before tonight but gave up 3 so far tonight.
dan gordon - Sunday, March 31 2019 @ 02:34 AM EDT (#371666) #
"Drury missed scoring the runner, but that's not a bad play.
Urena can bunt. Galvis might do the same thing on occasion.
Up 3 runs, I have no problem. Walk off situation, it's also fine"

Here is why it is a bad play - the average number of runs you will score with a runner on 2nd and nobody out is higher (1.07) than the average number of runs you will score with a runner on 3rd and 1 out (0.90). You are voluntarily reducing your offense. And that's if the bunt "works". If it doesn't work, you are hurting your offense even more, if say, the runner is thrown out at 3rd. A manager is supposed to use strategies that increase the number of runs you will score, not decrease them.

I suppose it might very slightly increase the % of times you will score exactly 1 run, so in a very specific situation where you absolutely know you need 1 run and only 1 run to win the game, it may be a viable strategy, depending on the batter, which batters are coming up next - like the bottom of the 9th in a tie game, runner on 2nd, a weak hitter who is a good bunter at bat, and 4 good hitters in a row coming up. You need 4, because the opposition can intentionally walk the first 2 of them. Bottom of the 7th in a 3-run game is absolutely not that.
Michael - Sunday, March 31 2019 @ 03:11 AM EDT (#371667) #
Some of the time up end up with no outs and runners on 1st and 3rd. If the bunter can be safe some of the time the play has more going for it. But in general, I agree small ball and bunting are rarely advisable.
ISLAND BOY - Sunday, March 31 2019 @ 07:39 AM EDT (#371668) #
It may be the first of the season but I really like the intensity of the coaches. Toward the end of the game a dugout shot showed 4 of them standing, intently watching the action even though Detroit was in no danger of scoring.

I also liked John Gibbons, but more because he is a good person, but sometimes he may have been too laid back and I wonder if his teams reflected that. I've read different things about this year's spring training where the outfielders had to practice catchings balls hit into the sun, infielders would have balls hit hard at them to simulate game action, and pitching machines would be placed closer to home plate so hitters would find real pitchers easier to face. There seems to be attention to detail that was missing other years which is something the young players on the team will really need.
scottt - Sunday, March 31 2019 @ 08:01 AM EDT (#371669) #
The aim of the bunt is not to score more runs. It's to help score 1 run.
Also, it was a good situation to practice something they might try later with the game tied.
Or maybe against the Yankees, with Gary Sanchez at the plate. I love having a runner on third with a good hitter at the plate and the pitcher afraid to throw anything in the dirt.

Of course, they're not going to get Gurriel or Pillar to bunt.
But if they move Pillar, Alford could be a good candidate. Or Pompey if he's ever back.

Baltimore beat the Yankees yesterday by using a double steal.
That's another strategy with a low success rate, but you have to take note of it.
They'll be playing Baltimore next.

Gibby was great a winning games by a large score and had trouble winning the close ones.
Montoyo has won a lot of games in the minors. Do we have his pythagorean record?

I'm happy with everything I have seen from Giles so far, so it felt good watching him rack up an easy save.

Mike Green - Sunday, March 31 2019 @ 08:28 AM EDT (#371670) #
Re the bunt.  If it's purely about winning the game, what you need to know is win expectancy rather than run expectancy.  Greg Stoll's database covers 1957-2018, and here's the information you need:

Bottom of 7th- home team up 3
runner on 2nd, nobody out- 97.17
runner on 3rd, 1 out- 97.18
runner on 1st and 3rd no out- 99.14 (failed attempt at third)
runner on 2nd, no out up 4- 98.9 (wild throw to third
runner on 2nd, one out- 95.98 (popped bunt)
runner on 1st, one out-96.32 (successful throw to third)

There's obviously an error bar in the win expectancies- the last two numbers (for instance) are based on samples of 1500 games or more but don't make sense.  Nonetheless, it's likely that a successful bunt very modestly improves chance of winning because of the outsized importance of the one extra run in this context.  And it is likely that if the bunt is down, the defence has to have at least a 50% shot at 3rd base to make it worthwhile and maybe more like 75%.  All in all, I'd say that the play (on a game level) is a tiny negative.

There is, on the other hand, the developmental level.  There will come a time in a season when it is desirable, or even necessary, for a player to be able to bunt well.  If he hasn't bunted at all in a game, the player will be at a disadvantage.  For a player like Urena, that's a significant thing.  And who knows, maybe he'll learn how to bunt well enough that he can add it to his repertoire to use on his own. 

I would have made the same decision Montoyo made. 
greenfrog - Sunday, March 31 2019 @ 08:32 AM EDT (#371671) #
I'm looking forward to the next few years of being a Jays fan. It was time to move on from the Gibbons/Bautista/EE/Martin/Tulo/Donaldson (and, unfortunately, Osuna) era, and the Jays have effectively turned the page. I agree with Mike Green that adding Montoyo was perhaps the most important transaction of the off-season.

My only real complaint about the way this transition was effected is that the front office missed opportunities to trade Donaldson, Osuna and Pillar (and possibly others) when their trade value was higher. And, of course, the team proceeded in an odd fashion regarding which players to leave on the 40-man roster this off-season, resulting in the unnecessary loss of an interesting bullpen arm (Bergen).

I'm disappointed that Rogers has backed off its commitment to overhaul the RC infrastructure, but that's a different issue.

I also think there is a good chance we will be disappointed when it comes time to ramp up spending on the next Jays contender. Shapiro and Atkins's promises of "the money will be there" may well prove to be somewhat hollow. But that doesn't mean the team can't be good for a few years (if less durably good than their higher-payroll competitors).
Gerry - Sunday, March 31 2019 @ 10:24 AM EDT (#371672) #
Sean Reid-Foley is in town, someone must be hurt.
Gerry - Sunday, March 31 2019 @ 10:25 AM EDT (#371673) #
Clayton Richard has some undisclosed injury.
bpoz - Sunday, March 31 2019 @ 10:31 AM EDT (#371674) #
IMO Shapiro & Atkins maybe KNOW the truth about "the money will be there" statement. I don't really care what they say because I am now one of the Bauxites that knows and expects statements to be made and covered up somehow.

If the payroll is $160 mil or $110 mil and $5 mil is spent on an addition then "the money was there" statement is true.
Expecting $15 mil to be added instead of only $5 mil added still makes the statement true.
dalimon5 - Sunday, March 31 2019 @ 10:38 AM EDT (#371675) #
Who cares if the money will be there? Will the free agents be there to be able to spend the money on something? How many players do you see reaching free agency that won't suck or be in their 30s past their prime?
bpoz - Sunday, March 31 2019 @ 10:44 AM EDT (#371676) #
Very good points dalimon5. Excellent questions. I too don't know the answers. I suppose nobody does.
bpoz - Sunday, March 31 2019 @ 10:54 AM EDT (#371677) #
The NYY and Redsox rotations have not been up to the challenge so far. As a result the Redsox are in last place in the AL East.
scottt - Sunday, March 31 2019 @ 11:00 AM EDT (#371678) #
Boston's does not have a great bullpen, so they might wear thin fast if they don't turn things around.
Opening the season on the west coast is not a great prospect. They'll bounce back as soon as they come back home. I like that we'll get an early series against Cleveland without Lindor.

Gerry - Sunday, March 31 2019 @ 11:03 AM EDT (#371679) #
Richard has a knee issue, out a couple of weeks at least.
perlhack - Sunday, March 31 2019 @ 11:06 AM EDT (#371680) #
The site seems to respond to different browsers in different ways, especially when it comes to HTML code.
I use Firefox exclusively (currently version 66) on FreeBSD. I've adjusted links in preview numerous times on this site. I think the cause of the problem is when I added an indented blockquote for the quotation, as it deleted my entire comment. When I went back to a previous screen, it presented me with the garbled mess; I fixed it as I usually do, but it seemed not to take despite what preview showed me. (I had to unescape numerous tags.)
Anyway, I don't want to derail from baseball discussion...
Bid - Sunday, March 31 2019 @ 11:08 AM EDT (#371681) #
Dan Gordon mentioned yesterday that Dwight Smith Jr had two hits for the Os. Last Monday in Sarasota we watched him drive it over the centre field fence in his first two at bats. Admittedly, the Mets’ starter appeared never to have seen a lefty hitter before..,

I don’t recall why DWJ was sent on his way.
hypobole - Sunday, March 31 2019 @ 11:10 AM EDT (#371682) #
Found this site with potential free agents in 2 years (when Stroman/Sanchez become FA's).

Mookie Betts - come on down! :)
scottt - Sunday, March 31 2019 @ 11:11 AM EDT (#371683) #
Do you look at acquiring Donaldson as a money move?
It was a great trade that Oakland made because they didn't have the money to pay him.
I don't know if there was a return on Morales. They might end up spending all that IFA money on a player who doesn't pan out. It was all about making room for Tellez.
I have the same optic with Pillar.

All I can say about Clayton Richard is that he interviews very well.
He might have a future in a front office somewhere.

Mike Green - Sunday, March 31 2019 @ 11:17 AM EDT (#371684) #
Jansen DHing and leading off today. Cool.
Nigel - Sunday, March 31 2019 @ 11:30 AM EDT (#371686) #
Very cool.

I hope Richard isn’t seriously hurt, but I really wasn’t looking forward to the Richard SP Experience.

Biagini’s new slider looks fantastic. Of course, the test with it will come after the league has seen it a time or two (which might take most of this year).
greenfrog - Sunday, March 31 2019 @ 11:31 AM EDT (#371687) #
Oakland's return for Donaldson is still uncertain, but at this point it looks disappointing. Donaldson was coming off 7.3 and 5.7 WAR seasons and he was controllable for four years. He would, of course, go on to win the MVP award the next season and finish 4th in MVP voting the year after that.

In return, the A's received:

- Barreto, who has yet to break through and who has been somewhat of a disappointment (he could still be a solid everyday second baseman or outfielder, but seems unlikely to become a star)

- Graveman, who was adequate in 2016 and 2017 but was ineffective last year (-0.3 WAR)

- Nolin, who has produced a total of -0.1 WAR in the majors

- Lawrie, who was dealt to the White Sox for a couple of minor-league arms
bpoz - Sunday, March 31 2019 @ 11:46 AM EDT (#371689) #
Donaldson overachieved. Oakland decided it was time to rebuild. 4 years of Donaldson should get you some good prospects. Of course none may develop.

So far this FO has done stuff like giving up 2 months of Happ, Liriano and Joe Smith. These were small expenditures for us. Mainly/only because we were not in contention.

Shoeless Joe - Sunday, March 31 2019 @ 01:21 PM EDT (#371697) #
Well that was a great opening inning by Thorton!
dalimon5 - Sunday, March 31 2019 @ 01:36 PM EDT (#371698) #
Matt Moore, the pitching equivalent of Tory Tulowitzki just with 1/3rd the track record.
Shoeless Joe - Sunday, March 31 2019 @ 03:09 PM EDT (#371700) #
That was a bold move to have Luciano make his debit with two runners on and against of the best Tiger hitters.
AWeb - Sunday, March 31 2019 @ 03:20 PM EDT (#371701) #
And if Buck and Pat could just stop talking him up for a g****** second,with the same tired old cliches over and over again, I might even learn to like him...
hypobole - Sunday, March 31 2019 @ 03:21 PM EDT (#371702) #
That was a bold move to have Luciano make his debit

Give Montoyo credit
92-93 - Sunday, March 31 2019 @ 03:28 PM EDT (#371704) #
The 8 pitches Gaviglio threw in the 6th must have been very taxing. Thankfully the Jays have an 8 man bullpen so Montoya can unnecessarily cycle through relievers.
Chuck - Sunday, March 31 2019 @ 03:42 PM EDT (#371705) #
I thought Buck and Pat were going to burst a blood vessel trying to figure out how to deal with foregoing the DH. I was curious where, exactly, they envisioned Tellez playing were he to stay in the game as they were speculating.

"Tellez has to stay in the game", stated Buck, alluding to a non-existent rule.

Not even April yet and I've had my fill of these clowns.

92-93 - Sunday, March 31 2019 @ 03:51 PM EDT (#371706) #
It sounded like they thought one of Smoak or Tellez would play an infield position other than 1B, which would've been a whole lot of fun.
Eephus - Sunday, March 31 2019 @ 03:54 PM EDT (#371707) #
The Tigers might have one of the saddest offenses in the AL this season, but damn Biagini has looked really good this year.
Nigel - Sunday, March 31 2019 @ 04:19 PM EDT (#371708) #
Not a fan of the Gaviglio pull in the 6th inning of a tie game.
85bluejay - Sunday, March 31 2019 @ 04:43 PM EDT (#371709) #
When offensively challenged teams like the Jays & Tigers play the Yankees/Red Sox/Astros should there be some sort of handicapping to make the game interesting - say the Jays/Tigers are given a 3 run lead to start the game.
scottt - Sunday, March 31 2019 @ 05:24 PM EDT (#371710) #
Rebuild was just one part of the equation. Eric Chavez 6/66M is the biggest contract in A's history.
They couldn't afford to pay arbitration for Donaldson.

scottt - Sunday, March 31 2019 @ 05:30 PM EDT (#371711) #
There was a number of factors at play.
It's the 4th game of the year and some relievers had not thrown a pitch yet.
Perhaps you want to have Gaviglio ready to go tomorrow in case Foley cannot go deep.
It was the best spot to use Mayza.
It's too early in the year to bring pitchers up and down as they are all still in Florida.

We need more offense. It will come. Baltimore is in town tomorrow.

So it turns out Richard will probably never throw a start for the Jays and all the drama was for nothing.

scottt - Sunday, March 31 2019 @ 05:34 PM EDT (#371712) #
Seattle 9-3 over Boston in the 3rd inning.

Nigel - Sunday, March 31 2019 @ 05:44 PM EDT (#371713) #
But they used both of their long men today. Why?

Three runs might not be enough, maybe if the Jays got the minor league extra inning treatment and started every inning with a man on second:)
scottt - Sunday, March 31 2019 @ 06:11 PM EDT (#371715) #
I don't know if the Tigers will ready be that bad offensively.

They dropped Martinez who was too old.
James McCann was terrible.
They have Cabrera back.
They'll have a full season of Goodrum and Stewart.

I think they'll be OK until they trade Castellanos.
Not sure that they'll get much for him.

scottt - Sunday, March 31 2019 @ 06:18 PM EDT (#371716) #
Happ was good for just 4 innings and gave up 4 runs to Baltimore.
Dwight Smith Jr keeps hitting.

dan gordon - Sunday, March 31 2019 @ 07:44 PM EDT (#371718) #
"I don’t recall why DWJ was sent on his way"

Bid - Dwight Smith Jr was moved off the 40-man roster to make room for Buchholz. He's an older "prospect", at 26, and his minor league numbers are OK, but nothing special. Spent 2 years in AA, then 2 years in AAA, never producing an OPS greater than .771. Doesn't have any 1 outstanding talent. I guess the best thing he's done is hit well in small sample sizes in the big leagues. He had 92 AB's in the big leagues prior to this season, and actually hit better than in the minors, but that's likely a small sample size aberration.

Great to see Thornton pitch so well today. The starters' scoreless streak is up to 24 innings to start the season. I thought Thornton had a good fastball, curve and change, and was in control throughout his 5 innings. Now let's see how he fares against a decent major league team. If he can keep looking this good, he's going to create a difficult decision when all are healthy. Richard, obviously, would be in the bullpen, but you've still got 6 starters. I guess Borucki would be the odd man out, until the inevitable injury or trade occurs.

Mike, the idea of win expectancy is interesting, although I must say, that chart has to be questionable given the problem you pointed out with the 1 out numbers in the last 2 rows, which clearly don't make sense. I have to wonder about the accuracy of the rest of the chart. The difference between their "runner at 2nd, none out" and "runner at 3rd, 1 out" expectancies is, of course, not statistically significant. I can see the possibility that in this situation, with the #9 hitter batting, it might not be a terrible idea, I just don't want to see it used with any degree of frequency. Gaston used to do that when Devon White would lead off the game with a double, and Alomar, one of the best hitters in the game, would then bunt him to 3rd. Used to drive me crazy.

"Not even April yet and I've had my fill of these clowns" Chuck, I couldn't agree more. I mentioned on the previous thread about both of them saying a breaking ball was moving "straight down" when it crossed the plate, which is not even remotely close to physically possible. The whole idea of Tellez staying in the game arose from the idea of doing a double switch to move the pitcher's spot in the batting order from the #9 spot to the #3 spot, which they could have tried if Smoak had come to bat and made the last out - they could have left Tellez in the game at 1st base, taken Smoak out, and had the pitcher hit in Smoak's spot, with Tellez staying in the #9 spot. That made sense, but then they started talking about where is Tellez going to play, and they clearly didn't get it.
scottt - Sunday, March 31 2019 @ 08:04 PM EDT (#371719) #
Urena is the same. Hits better in the bigs in small samples.
He said, it's easier to hit in MLB, the stadium are better, the balls are better, everything is better.
(That's from memory.)

They could have kept Tellez and have McKinney or Galvis hit for the pitcher in smoak's spot.
That would have led to Stroman possibly taking an AB and maybe taking over on the mound.

2 extra-inning games in the first 4 games. Might be a good idea to use a starter eventually.
Especially when Borucki and Buchholtz are poised to get activated.

scottt - Sunday, March 31 2019 @ 08:12 PM EDT (#371720) #
Sonny Gray was not good against the Pirates.
Porcello was not good, Boston is down 1-3.
Happ was not good, Yankees are down 1-2.

Chuck - Sunday, March 31 2019 @ 10:26 PM EDT (#371721) #
The whole idea of Tellez staying in the game arose from the idea of doing a double switch

When Drury was batting with two outs, the camera panned to Galvis, as if to cue Buck & Pat: "Pssst, here's the guy who can come into the 9th spot, where Tellez batted, and then the pitcher can go into Drury's spot since he'll likely the the final out." So the control room knew what was what.

uglyone - Sunday, March 31 2019 @ 11:21 PM EDT (#371722) #
Urena has still never actually been less than good in even one season where he's been age approx for his level.

even now, at 23, he's still age appropriate for AAA.
scottt - Monday, April 01 2019 @ 06:16 AM EDT (#371723) #
Bogaerts, an other Boras client, signs a 6/120M extension.
Mike Green - Monday, April 01 2019 @ 09:13 AM EDT (#371724) #
My thoughts on yesterday's game, with positives first:  Every position player has already played in at least two games- no splinters in the behind.  I was delighted when Montoyo brought Luciano in when he did.  It was the 4th game and a low leverage situation, as they were down 3 already late.  If he can get 30-40 appearances and 60-65 innings over a season, that would be great.  Thornton, of course, looked pretty good- some of it was deception from his delivery but there was also nice movement on the breaking stuff and enough velocity and fairly good control up in the zone.    And Rowdy, that wasn't a bad pitch that he hit out of the park.  Rowdy's 162 game average on his 79 major league PAs- 56 doubles, 31 homers, 19 walks and 137 strikeouts.  He walked a fair bit in the minor leagues, and it's easy to imagine the walks going up and the power coming down to earth a bit. 

Pannone had pretty bad luck- two bloops and a medium ground ball that found a hole did the damage. With a little luck the other way, Pannone could have ended up with the W instead of the L. 

The negatives.  Like others, I would have preferred if Gaviglio stayed in longer- with the 11 straight games and the extra-inning game on Opening Day and Reid-Foley coming up to start today, I don't think that it was a good time to play inning by inning matchups.  I would have had him go 2, 3 or even 4 innings unless he gave up a bunch of runs in which case you bring on  Luciano (as they did).  If he's throwing very well and the club puts up a bunch of runs, you can let him close out the game for the long save and give Giles a breather.  Urena's decision to run throw Rivera's stop sign in the bottom of the 10th was a very poor one- Rivera had a better view of where the ball was and the play was not close. 
85bluejay - Monday, April 01 2019 @ 09:23 AM EDT (#371725) #
Help - I would like to buy 2 baseball books for an upcoming birthday (Adult) - any recommendations - looking for books published with the last year - thanks.
mathesond - Monday, April 01 2019 @ 09:29 AM EDT (#371727) #
I haven't read this, although I do have it on order from the library, but Power Ball: Anatomy of a Modern Baseball Game, by Rob Neyer, has recevied good reviews from the Baseball Think Factory crowd.

I don't know if Roger Angell has published anything in the past year or so, but everythng he writes is literary gold.
Gerry - Monday, April 01 2019 @ 09:30 AM EDT (#371728) #
Mike, re: Urena running through the stop sign. Rivera waved him home then, when Urena's foot was on third base, he threw up the stop sign. I am not sure if Urena even saw it. I think Rivera's mixed messages are as much to blame as Urena's running.
Mike Green - Monday, April 01 2019 @ 09:31 AM EDT (#371729) #
If the person you are buying for is at least somewhat into analytics- Rob Neyer's Powerball and Tyler Kepner's K: A History of Baseball in Ten Pitches would be good choices.
Mike Green - Monday, April 01 2019 @ 09:37 AM EDT (#371730) #
Thanks, Gerry.  That's actually comforting to know- Urena had an issue with focus when I saw him in previous years, and if the problem was to a large extent Rivera's,  that's a better harbinger for the team. 
Gerry - Monday, April 01 2019 @ 09:50 AM EDT (#371731) #
On books, if the reader likes history, Jane Leavy has a new book out about Babe Ruth.

Astroball also has some good reviews although I have not read it.
Thomas - Monday, April 01 2019 @ 10:59 AM EDT (#371739) #
It looked to me like Urena saw Rivera waving him home and then put his head down and either didn't pick up Rivera throwing up his hands or just saw it late and decided to keep going rather than throwing on the brakes and trying to scramble back (and potentially risking Mercer throwing behind him).

I don't think Urena is blameless, he should be picking up the third base coach the entire way and not simply looking once, but it is understandable why he saw the wave and put his head down to run as hard as he could. I think Rivera did a poor job on recognizing how far away that ball was going to bounce from Mercer and simply started waving Urena as soon as he saw Mercer wasn't going to field it cleanly.
Magpie - Monday, April 01 2019 @ 11:01 AM EDT (#371740) #
I am not sure if Urena even saw it.

Well, he had his head down as he hit the bag and he didn't look up. So probably not. And that's on the runner. Attention must be paid. Coaches often wait until the guy rounds third before making a final decision.
Magpie - Monday, April 01 2019 @ 11:17 AM EDT (#371741) #
Russell Martin retiring the side in order to close out the Dodgers win - he was throwing as hard as Mark Buehrle! - is easily the most awesome thing in the history of March baseball. I say that with confidence.
Cracka - Monday, April 01 2019 @ 11:42 AM EDT (#371742) #
I just watched the play again a bunch of times... Urena looks up twice: First, towards Mercer as he is fielding the ball; and then at Rivera, who's giving the GO sign from the edge of the coach's box, as he's rounding third. Urena puts his head down just as he touches 3rd base in full flight. Rivera puts up the STOP sign from the edge of the coaches box when Urena is two steps towards home and facing the catcher, BUT at this point, Urena can't see Rivera unless he turns his head 90 degrees to the right. In this scenario, many coaches run out of the box and stand closer to the line and closer to the plate so that the runner can see them. Rivera didn't and Urena didn't look anyway. Both can improve.

I admire Urena's aggressiveness in that situation. It's worth going for home with 2 outs if you think you've got a 50/50 shot of scoring (or even 40/60). In the minors, most shortstops aren't going to be able to make that play from their knees. But in the majors, the majority will make that play. No harm in taking chances like these in a season like this.
hypobole - Monday, April 01 2019 @ 11:54 AM EDT (#371743) #
A few days ago I posted that Castellanos is the worst outfielder in the history of DRS. Of course, as soon as Buck and Pat saw Castellanos in the OF, they started praising his defence because "assists".

Now Castellanos did play well including that nice sliding catch in foul ground - his +1 makes him the only Tiger so far with a positive DRS. So maybe there is hope for Teoscar as well.

And as far as Teoscar's D, he apparently was +2 OAA last year on balls in front of him and -9 OAA (IIRC) on balls over his head. This is almost assuredly part of why the OF is playing further back this year.

Nigel - Monday, April 01 2019 @ 01:05 PM EDT (#371747) #
Thanks Cracka - my impression, at the moment, without rewatching it, was that the only thing really wrong with the entire play was where Rivera was standing. I thought Urena did look for the coach and the coach (as often happens) did rightly change his sign, I'm just not sure Rivera was in a great place for any runner to see that change in sign.

hypobole - I get really uncomfortable with using any of the defensive metrics in small sample sizes. Even the year and half (playing time) of data on Hernandez isn't a ton of information. Unfortunately, the data does match the eye test in this case. Hopefully, playing deeper does help Teoscar. Until Pompey gets healthy or someone else plays well in Buffalo, Hernandez needs to play in the OF anyway (unless they start playing Gurriel some in the OF).
Mike Green - Monday, April 01 2019 @ 04:07 PM EDT (#371756) #
Kevin Pillar sits tonight.  McKinney leads off and plays right, Grichuk cleans up and plays center, and Rowdy Tellez DHs and bats 5th.  There's a lot of home run pop in the lineup- we'll see if it shows up. 
Blue Jays vs. Tigers - March 28-31 & Predictions Thread | 200 comments | Create New Account
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