Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
The Toronto Blue Jays head to Cleveland to begin the road portion of their 2019 schedule. #LetsGoBlueJays




Series Schedule / Probable Starters

Thursday at 6:10 pm ET - Aaron Sanchez vs. Trevor Bauer
Friday at 7:10 pm ET - Trent Thornton vs. Shane Bieber
Saturday at 4:10 pm ET - TBA vs. Carlos Carrasco
Sunday at 1:10 pm ET - Marcus Stroman vs. Mike Clevenger

This series will mark the Blue Jays debuts of infielder Alen Hanson and outfielder Socrates Brito. Righthander Sean Reid-Foley and outfielder Anthony Alford were sent to Buffalo prior to the Bisons home opener.

The Blue Jays are 3-4 this season while C-Town is also a game below .500 at 2-3.


Blue Jays at Cleveland - April 4-7 | 154 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
PeterG - Thursday, April 04 2019 @ 05:31 PM EDT (#372039) #
Gurriel playing 1B tonight.
Mike Green - Thursday, April 04 2019 @ 05:45 PM EDT (#372040) #
Baseball Savant now has a link to a video of every pitch on player pages. Check out Daren Willman  on Twitter for the details.
christaylor - Thursday, April 04 2019 @ 06:00 PM EDT (#372041) #
Looking forward to getting a look at Sanchez facing a major league lineup.
hypobole - Thursday, April 04 2019 @ 06:41 PM EDT (#372043) #
A week today in Boston.
Nigel - Thursday, April 04 2019 @ 07:03 PM EDT (#372044) #
I really hope that Grichuk-CF is a temporary arrangement. Heís not going to be able to generate his 2+ WAR per year to support his new contract playing out of the corners.
Nigel - Thursday, April 04 2019 @ 07:50 PM EDT (#372046) #
The dedication with which the team has embraced this "no-hitter against every night" marketing campaign is pretty amazing! Kidding aside, being no-hit through 5 in 4 out of 8 games has to be some sort of team record.
Magpie - Thursday, April 04 2019 @ 07:56 PM EDT (#372047) #
 photo jobuK.jpg Bats are afraid. Desperte times, desperate measures...
Magpie - Thursday, April 04 2019 @ 07:59 PM EDT (#372048) #
I seem to have made up a word there...
hypobole - Thursday, April 04 2019 @ 08:00 PM EDT (#372049) #
Is Bauer going to join the list of pitchers removed with a no- intact?
hypobole - Thursday, April 04 2019 @ 08:15 PM EDT (#372050) #
Hey, what did Jobu do my "hitter"?
Magpie - Thursday, April 04 2019 @ 08:28 PM EDT (#372051) #
I missed the play. Why did everyone advance on the sac fly?
christaylor - Thursday, April 04 2019 @ 09:19 PM EDT (#372055) #
Fair enough... although with a stacked lefty lineup tonight it was a decent test, if not the best lineup one could face.
dan gordon - Thursday, April 04 2019 @ 09:38 PM EDT (#372056) #
They were saying on the broadcast that Smoak was available to pinch hit. If so, I really don't like leaving Tellez in to face a lefty with a nasty curveball, with 2 outs in the 9th inning, representing the potential tying run, when you can bring in Smoak to hit righty and have a big power bat with a chance to tie the game, instead of an unproven lefty hitter who struggles against lefties. Sure, you want to give Tellez opportunities and see what he can do, but you've got try to win a game here and there. It's the big leagues. If Smoak wasn't available, OK, but otherwise, I strongly disagree with the manager there.
Chuck - Thursday, April 04 2019 @ 10:01 PM EDT (#372057) #
Brito and Hanson should fit right in as low OBP, high K/BB players.
Chuck - Thursday, April 04 2019 @ 10:03 PM EDT (#372058) #
I seem to have made up a word there...

Oringe you glad no one called that out?

scottt - Thursday, April 04 2019 @ 10:04 PM EDT (#372059) #
It's one of those game where it wasn't clear where the strike zone was.
Mayza did not look good.
Gurriel looked bad at first as well.

Anybody has the attendance? It looked worse than the Rogers Centre, cold and all.

dan gordon - Thursday, April 04 2019 @ 10:10 PM EDT (#372060) #
Yes, neither Brito nor Hanson looked very good. Drury looks terrible. I didn't like his acquisition, and I see nothing that would make me think otherwise. I was quite surprised and impressed with Galvis' strike zone judgement today. He hasn't had a very high walk rate in his career, and hadn't walked yet this year, but he took a lot of close pitches for balls today and drew 3 walks. He looks better than his career numbers would suggest, but given the length of his career, it's probably just noise.
hypobole - Thursday, April 04 2019 @ 10:11 PM EDT (#372061) #
Hey, the Jays ended up with a .325 OBP ... not bad for being no-hit into the 9th.
85bluejay - Thursday, April 04 2019 @ 10:20 PM EDT (#372062) #
Here's the schedule for the rest of the series:
Friday - 81/3 no hit ball
Saturday - 82/3 no hit ball
Sunday - Finally a no-hitter!
Cracka - Thursday, April 04 2019 @ 10:37 PM EDT (#372063) #
It does feel like we will be no-hit at some point this season. Like, it seems almost guaranteed. Statistically, it's about a 1 in 1550 chance of seeing a no-hitter during a game. I think it's closer to 1 in 100 for this team.
Michael - Friday, April 05 2019 @ 01:33 AM EDT (#372066) #
I appreciate the "minor league update" logo on this thread. Nicely played.

There were only two players in the starting lineup 27 or older: Grichuck who is 27 and reasonable to good and Galvis who is 29 and was good this game.

Everyone who has been clamoring for rebuilding gets to test the claim that it is more fun to watch the young guys struggle than the old guys struggle. Of course to be fair, people probably meant more of the young guys that are still at AAA right now.
#2JBrumfield - Friday, April 05 2019 @ 01:47 AM EDT (#372067) #
I appreciate the "minor league update" logo on this thread. Nicely played.

Whoops! Noted and corrected but I think the minor leagues will be worth paying more attention to at this rate.
Magpie - Friday, April 05 2019 @ 01:48 AM EDT (#372068) #
Anybody has the attendance?

It was 10,375.
ayjackson - Friday, April 05 2019 @ 07:37 AM EDT (#372070) #
I think we have a AAAA offense this year. The general idea is that ine or two of them would emerge as MLB talent. I guess I will try to be more patient.
Mike Green - Friday, April 05 2019 @ 09:23 AM EDT (#372073) #
I am enjoying watching this unfold.  I can step outside each game and follow the players as they grow (or not).  I know that the results so far are distorted- the starting pitchers are not as good as they seem and the batters are not as poor.  So far, the home nine has scored 24 runs and allowed 21 against (very likely) below-average competition.  That's about what I expected that they would do. 

I was listening and following on Gameday at various points last night.  It seemed that Manny Gonzalez' strike zone was a moving target, and befuddled pitchers and batters on both sides.  Was that right?

Nigel - Friday, April 05 2019 @ 10:00 AM EDT (#372076) #
In the broad sense, Iím enjoying watching this unfold and am fairly zen with the poor outcomes. I will say the hacktastic batting approach is occasionally really hard to watch.
Mike Green - Friday, April 05 2019 @ 10:10 AM EDT (#372077) #
They're not a disciplined team, but a large part of it is just the conditions of the game.  Blue Jay batters have struck out 67 times so far, which is a lot, but their opponents have struck out 87 times. And it's not as though the Jays have run out a bunch of Nolan Ryans and Randy Johnsons.  If you're counting that's 19 strikeouts total per game.  That's 5-9 more strikeouts per game than what would be optimal for an average game. 


Nigel - Friday, April 05 2019 @ 10:18 AM EDT (#372078) #
Itís not really the strikeouts (although thatís part of it). Itís hacking at just everything and making weak contact. A lack of working counts and fighting to stay alive. It feels like almost every opposing starter has gotten the first 10-12 outs in something like 30 pitches.
uglyone - Friday, April 05 2019 @ 10:29 AM EDT (#372079) #
I think I figured out something that was bugging me.

I scratched my head at things like the Drury pickup, because no number says he's any good at anything.

But when you look at him, in the immortal words of buck and pat he "just LOOKS like a ballplayer". handsome, square jawed, athletic strong body, probably married the prom queen.

I didn't manage to see brito as i was channel hopping last night, but i did manage to see Hanson and I was struck by the same thing. And then I thought Gurriel fit that model as well.

sometimes I question whether the new FO actually cares about analytics at all. these all seem like totally old-school scouting darlings.
Mike Green - Friday, April 05 2019 @ 10:44 AM EDT (#372080) #
There have been a lot of line drives caught and fly balls at the wall.  The team's BABIP is .228- third worst in the majors- despite a pretty decent 21% line drive rate and a poor but not horrific IFFB rate of 14.5%.  Take Danny Jansen.  He has 2 singles, 2 walks and 5 strikeouts in 23 PAs, pretty close to the worst slash line on the club.  He has had dubious strike calls, hard hit balls at people...I've seen nothing that suggests to me that he won't be a good hitter.  Patience.
bpoz - Friday, April 05 2019 @ 10:47 AM EDT (#372081) #
Pat Gillick IMO had some of the best looking players.

D Steib had Tom Sellick good looks.

Alomar was the Latin good looker.

Boarders had the sexiest butt.

The women used to talk about that. So good looks was a factor for popularity. Cito also had his admirers.

It did seem weird sitting in the stands and hearing these comments. This is the strangest post I have made. I think.

K Gruber was popular with the teenage girls. Cute guys that are single. It is good that these players were not traded.

Mike Green - Friday, April 05 2019 @ 10:53 AM EDT (#372082) #
This is the strangest post I have made. I think.

Not to worry.  The Premier of Ontario must have spent a long time looking at the Trillium logo and saw something new and out of the ordinary.  By the way, it's Dave Stieb and Pat Borders. 
Nigel - Friday, April 05 2019 @ 10:59 AM EDT (#372083) #
Uglyone - I think there is a cause and effect issue with your comment. When you are dumpster diving you will be sifting through players who are generally getting a 2nd or a third try. Those players will tend to be more athletic or the archetype of a ball player. If youíre too small, overweight etc.and fail, the tendency in all sports is to blame the lack of success on the small size, weight issues etc. Often those players never get second chances. Itís true in every sport at every level. Now, I think your comment does apply to Gurriel. I understood that interest in him coming out of Cuba was largely the result of his athleticism and bloodlines, not performance. But the Jays werenít the only ones interested.
Shoeless Joe - Friday, April 05 2019 @ 11:09 AM EDT (#372084) #
From what stats are available to the public I see nothing exciting about Drury and Hansen is among the worst hitters in the league. However I do think the Jays have heavily invested in analytics and specifically statcast data.

Grichuk, Hernandez, Gurriel, Diaz, Pearce, Morales and Smoak are all player they either traded for or extended who are high on statcast leaderboards in barrel%, exit velocity and hard hit%.

Last season the Jays were third in average exit velocity, first in hard hit%, second in barrel%, third highest avg. launch angle and sixth in xwOBA. You simply don't get to the top or near the top of all those categories without focusing on them.

On the pitching they acquired elite curveball spin rates in Biagini, Thorton, Waguespack and Paulino which seems to be the latest trend amongst the analytics heavy teams such as Houston, Yankees, etc.
92-93 - Friday, April 05 2019 @ 11:14 AM EDT (#372085) #
The horrendous defense is more painful to watch than the flaccid offense. Mayza got the only error but Galvis, Hanson, and Gurriel made bad plays.

It wasn't just the 9th inning that Smoak could've been used to PH in a big spot; Gurriel had the bases loaded in the 8th with 2 outs. Sink or swim for the kids.
hypobole - Friday, April 05 2019 @ 11:55 AM EDT (#372086) #
Wasn't Smoak unavailable for precautionary measures due to a stiff neck?
uglyone - Friday, April 05 2019 @ 12:05 PM EDT (#372087) #
yeah shoeless they do seem to be invested in those analytics. problem is I've seen much less evidence that those stats as currently used are a better predictive tool than what we have.

and it probably has something to with launch angle (i.e. is higher launch angle actually better?), and predictability (i.e. can a defense know where the guy's going to hit the ball regardless of how hard he hits it?).

when they added a 25yr old Grichuk, i'm sure he had nice statcast data, but what made him different than the Drury/Gurrie/Brito/Teoscar set is that he instantly showed clear value in all the saber data - from age 22-25 he was a well above league average bat (despite a low avg), and was a plus defender, making him a ~3war/650pa guy over a 1000+ pa when we got him at age 25.

maybe the newer set all have similar statcast data as he did, but they definitely don't have the results that he did, and i'm still leaning towards that being more important.
uglyone - Friday, April 05 2019 @ 12:07 PM EDT (#372088) #
Nigel - yeah that makes sense. The guys getting endless chances are usually those toolsy scouting darlings. But I guess that still bugs me - I don't really want to be the team that keeps giving fruitless chances to these types.

not that it really matters at this point - might as well try and see if we get lucky.
Cracka - Friday, April 05 2019 @ 12:25 PM EDT (#372089) #
Hazel Mae said that Smoak was available to pinch-hit, but the camera showed him in the dugout in the 9th inning and he certainly didn't look like it (he was fully bundled up in warm clothes). He could have hit for Gurriel in the 8th and should have hit for Tellez in the 9th, so I'm guessing that Montoyo didn't want him to play with a sniff neck on a cold night. Tellez is .091/.160/.136 in 25 PA against MLB lefties. Only 7 of his 68 career HRs (incl minors) have come against LHP. If he's ever going to become a full-time player, Tellez is going to need to improve significantly against them.
hypobole - Friday, April 05 2019 @ 12:33 PM EDT (#372090) #
From the *more things change, the more they stay the same department* here's a comment from 2010:

"So, the Jays have settled for a 1B/DH who never managed more than a .306 OBP in a season and a half with the team. So much for improving the team's OBP skills, as the new manager had allegedly hoped to do. The basic message from Anthopolous is: forget about 2011, it's another "rebuilding" year, we'll fight with Baltimore for 4th place, maybe we'll make an effort in 2012 or 2013 if everything works out okay. In the meantime, try to get excited about our prospects in New Hampshire."


grjas - Friday, April 05 2019 @ 12:47 PM EDT (#372091) #
ďThe team's BABIP is .228- third worst in the majorsĒ.

Well that makes me feel a bit better. A bit anyway.
uglyone - Friday, April 05 2019 @ 01:02 PM EDT (#372092) #
hypo - that was AA's first year on the job, though.
Shoeless Joe - Friday, April 05 2019 @ 01:02 PM EDT (#372093) #
Ugly, I agree that focusing too much on launch angle can have some negative effects on your offense. While I do think by hitting the ball harder and in the air you will score more runs, the trade off it that the offense will become less reliable in its ability to produce runs. This is because the team will produce high impact events with low frequency instead of a low impact events with high frequency.

I think similar to the season Grichuk had last year, as a team the Jays will see stretches of absolutely no production and then stretches on tremendous output. The overall value of an offense like that is yet to be seen, and I think the team has to find where the balance is.

Nigel - Friday, April 05 2019 @ 01:26 PM EDT (#372094) #
Mike's right - patience is important and the worm will turn on the BABIP. But there's no amount of patience that will turn the current line-up into anything other than one that makes a ton of outs. I'd take the under on the current line-up having a group .300 OBP. So, I'm just looking for little signs of development as we move along. Signs that key youngsters are having better ABs etc. As 92/93 said though, team defence is also a huge issue right now.
hypobole - Friday, April 05 2019 @ 01:36 PM EDT (#372095) #
hypo - that was AA's first year on the job, though.

Yup, year 1 of his rebuild and there was derision, much like now. There was also derision for the signing, complete with "number scouting", much like now.

BTW that player averaged 144 games and slashed 273/363/531 over the next 6 seasons.
dalimon5 - Friday, April 05 2019 @ 01:54 PM EDT (#372096) #
What's the advantage of fielding players that are more athletic if they can't play defense or are being played out of position?

If this player development program is supposed to work...i don't see it affecting the ML players that have gone through it.
hypobole - Friday, April 05 2019 @ 02:27 PM EDT (#372097) #
I remember after we acquired Brett Lawrie, he was labelled "a bat without a position". Jays moved him to 3rd base and he was brutal, but they stuck with it. Now this happened in Las Vegas, not Toronto and Lawrie is more the exception.

Brewers seem to be doing this, playing 1B/3B Shaw at 2B 39 games last year then signing 3B Moose and playing him at 2nd this season.

Nigel - Friday, April 05 2019 @ 03:33 PM EDT (#372100) #
Although you hope that it gets figured out in the minors, I can get behind the notion that sometimes you need to play a prospect with a good bat at a position where the defensive results are suboptimal in order to try and find that player a position. We are about to go through that experiment with Vladdy Jr. You can view the Gurriel situation in that light, although his age and his bat make that a bit of a stretch. It doesn't make any sense to keep forcing veteran players up the defensive spectrum with the net effect of wiping out their offensive value. In terms of development, I'd like management to develop as well and stop doing that.
bpoz - Friday, April 05 2019 @ 03:44 PM EDT (#372102) #
This is going to be a hard year for us fans. I agree that we have to have patience and also be polite to each other because some of us are having stress.

Regarding "players playing out of position", could it be a platooning strategy? So 12 position players with 2 being for defense only. Defense and versatility is Urena, who maybe is nothing great with the bat. From the 10 others, Tellez, McKinney, Biggio and eventually another good lefty bat, so 4. Mckinney, Biggio and the mystery lefty bat can move around defensively so that you can do hitting match ups. This is just a thought. If that turns out to be the plan then I expect some of the Bauxites will understand how it is supposed to work and try to explain it.

UO is right. We are definitely going to give a lot of ABs to guys that are 90% probability AAAA players. S Brito and A Hansen could get 300 ABs to confirm their AAAA status. Definitely a source of pain.

How did Gillick manage to hide those rule 5 picks and avoid the pain. I see a similarity, just barely.
hypobole - Friday, April 05 2019 @ 03:53 PM EDT (#372103) #
Lots of negativity, as can be expected. Looking at FG:

Our batters are middle of the pack in both K% and BB%
Only 4 teams hitting a lower % of ground balls than the Jays.

Jansen/Maille are 3rd in framing

DRS has us in 5th place at +6.
Middle of the pack in errors with 4. Mariners were at 13 before Beckham's 3 errors already today.

scottt - Friday, April 05 2019 @ 04:51 PM EDT (#372104) #
There were a few balls called strikes and a few strikes called balls.
If an outside ball is a called a strike early on, it's hard to blame the hitter for chasing those the rest of the game. There was a bad call on a low strike from Sanchez that got the ump yelling at the Jays bench.
Might have been in the inning in which Sanchez gave up 2 runs. Not sure.
Mayza had a bad outing by throwing everything in the same location, making it easy for the hitter.

Will things look radically different against a good team like the 2-6 Red Sox or the Yankees AAA lineup?
It's April. Anything can happen.

scottt - Friday, April 05 2019 @ 04:58 PM EDT (#372105) #
The way I see it, the right handed hitters need to be able to hit right handed pitchers.
If you have a guy with large splits, better be a left handed hitter who doesn't contribute much on defense.
If Tellez turns into Lind, I'd be very happy.

cascando - Friday, April 05 2019 @ 05:21 PM EDT (#372106) #
Tellez is the type of player that will really benefit from the expanded roster starting next year.
hypobole - Friday, April 05 2019 @ 07:04 PM EDT (#372107) #
Pillar with his 1st hit as a Giant, Bergen charged with his 1st ER.
Mike Green - Friday, April 05 2019 @ 07:19 PM EDT (#372108) #
105 mph ground ball, an 8 pitch at bat, and a 107 mph fly ball. Just another routine 3 up, 3 down in the first for the Blue Jays.

hypobole - Friday, April 05 2019 @ 07:22 PM EDT (#372109) #
Brito doing a Pillar impersonation .
Magpie - Friday, April 05 2019 @ 07:24 PM EDT (#372110) #
How did Gillick manage to hide those rule 5 picks and avoid the pain.

He wasn't avoiding the pain. He was inflicting it on his unfortunate manager.

It was much easier in the beginning, of course. The team was going to lose 100 games anyway. So you could carry Willie Upshaw all year in 1978 and George Bell all year in 1981. What difference did it make? But the 1982 team started to flirt with competence, and the teams after that were genuine contenders. Bobby Cox's first team had a Rule 5 pick in the starting rotation (Jim Gott, he went 5-10); his 1983 team had another (Jim Acker) in the bullpen. Gillick's pick for 1984 was Kelly Gruber, and the Jays definitely worked out some kind of deal with Cleveland regarding Gruber after the season started. The details of the transaction are now lost to the Mists of Time (or at least unmentioned on bb-ref). After opening the season in the majors Gruber did spend most of the year in Syracuse.

But in 1985, in the knife-fight that was the AL East in the 1980s, Gillick made Cox carry two Rule 5 (Lou Thornton and Manuel Lee) guys on the roster. All year long. With what was effectively a 23 man roster, Cox won 99 games anyway, but jumped ship to Atlanta as soon as the year was over.

With the team an established contender, Gillick mostly stopped making his managers play with minor leaguers all year long. The Jays did carry Jose Nunez in 1987, using him mostly in long relief. Gillick picked Willie Canate and Billy Taylor in the 1992 draft, and kept the wrong guy. They returned Taylor to Atlanta (he emerged in 1994 as a solid major league pitcher) and carried Canate on the 1993 champs. Gaston used him as seldom as possible, and he never played in the majors again once the season was over.

Gord Ash largely put an end to all this. The only Rule 5 pick I remember sticking with one of his teams was Tomas Perez in 1995.
Shoeless Joe - Friday, April 05 2019 @ 08:38 PM EDT (#372111) #
Brito cannot hit a breaking ball at all, I don't think there is much there.
BlueJayWay - Friday, April 05 2019 @ 09:37 PM EDT (#372112) #
I don't think so either. Doesn't look like a big leaguer to me.
dan gordon - Friday, April 05 2019 @ 09:58 PM EDT (#372114) #
Back in 1985, though, teams didn't carry as many pitchers on the roster, often going with a 4-man rotation when there were off days, and a total staff of usually 11 pitchers, so carrying 2 rule 5 picks wasn't nearly such a big deal. It's very hard to carry even 1 position player rule 5 pick now, unless the guy can actually play.

I thought Ramirez was out at 2B and the challenge should have been won. Of course, Galvis should have kept the tag on longer, too. Again with the bunting after a leadoff double. Again, it doesn't work, as Maile couldn't bunt.

Thornton looks like a good acquisition - I might change my mind on that trade. Guerra looks better than I expected him to be - very nice curveball.
SK in NJ - Friday, April 05 2019 @ 10:02 PM EDT (#372115) #
Not a great 8th inning for Montoyo. It was just bad decision after bad decision. It's still early but not a good sign if the analytical manager is pinch hitting Hanson against a LHP. I don't know what numbers he was looking at to think that was a good idea.

On the bright side, Thornton looks good so far.
Magpie - Friday, April 05 2019 @ 10:28 PM EDT (#372117) #
Back in 1985... carrying 2 rule 5 picks wasn't nearly such a big deal.

The thing is, the other teams in the division weren't playing short-handed. Manuel Lee would eventually be the starting shortstop on a WS champ, but in 1985 he was on the roster all year long and he was in the starting lineup exactly 5 times. And keeping Lou Thornton - who never amounted to anything - forced the team to bury Rick Leach in Syracuse until September. They got away with it, but just barely.
Shoeless Joe - Saturday, April 06 2019 @ 07:08 AM EDT (#372118) #
The early statcast numbers have started to roll out over the last few days. Teoscar Hernandez has had improved plate discipline by cutting down on his swinging strike % and strikeout rate, but his contact quality has fallen off a cliff. His average exit velocity, barrel percentage and hard hit percentage have all dropped off significantly. On the other side Brandon Drury has improved his contact quality with a higher exit velocity, barrel percentage and hard hit percentage, but his plate discipline has fallen all a cliff with a 36.7% k rate.

I think both of these players need to find some more middle ground in regards to their aggressiveness as a hitter.



ISLAND BOY - Saturday, April 06 2019 @ 07:39 AM EDT (#372119) #
As one poster said, Brito cannot hit or seemingly even recognize curveballs. Swinging at balls that are ankle-level, he looks like Vlad Guerrero Sr. except that Vlad Sr. usually made contact.
scottt - Saturday, April 06 2019 @ 09:00 AM EDT (#372120) #
It wasn't Hanson against a LHP, it was a pinch hitter against any possible pitcher.
The only good choice was Smoak and he wasn't really available.

Thornton will make it difficult whenever Borucki is ready.
I'd take Thornton in the pen, but I don't know if that's a good idea long term.

Galvis has looked good. Tulo is on the DL,so Atkins wins this one.
Brito was hitting .167 .190 .204 in spring training.
We're not getting a hitter riding a hot streak.
It's up to Alford to challenge for the position over time.

That was a close one that could have gone either way.
I didn't like what I saw from Hudson.
Mid 90s fastballs down the middle or off the plate.
Buchholz should be ready to take Pannone's spot  following the one game series in Boston sandwiched by 2 days off.


bpoz - Saturday, April 06 2019 @ 09:07 AM EDT (#372121) #
The rule 5 picks was asset acquisition strategy.

Gillick also turned veteran players into prospects. Victor Cruz Tom Underwood, Dale Murray and Billie Jean King's brother into some very good young talent.

AA had Dana Eveland and JoJo Reyes as asset acquisitions.

R Atkins trades recently is the same strategy.

He must be trying to create a long window like we had in the 80s.
hypobole - Saturday, April 06 2019 @ 10:12 AM EDT (#372122) #
Our pitching staff's 2.82 FIP ranks 5th thus far, we're tied for 3rd with 1.7 WAR. Yeah, I know the offences we've faced, just trying to be positive.
bpoz - Saturday, April 06 2019 @ 10:43 AM EDT (#372123) #
Buffalo has an afternoon game. 1pm. SRF pitching.The others are around 6pm.

SRF has difficulty with 1st games. Last year on his promotion to Buffalo and this year Toronto. Nerves I suppose. As far as I know he has never pitched in playoff games.

Zeuch was fantastic last year in NH's playoffs.
Nigel - Saturday, April 06 2019 @ 11:32 AM EDT (#372124) #
I think there are quite a few positives on the pitching side of things. Frankly, the person who had the toughest night was the manager. Heís a rookie too so he gets a few mulligans. Iím just going to assume that everyone else on the bench other than Hanson had food poisoning and wasnít available:)
John Northey - Saturday, April 06 2019 @ 01:38 PM EDT (#372125) #
I suspect the manager is busy testing out guys, seeing who can handle what right now. Gaston used to do that too a lot - you'd see odd moves which made people mad but it was all to figure out how guys reacted to situations so when September/October came around he'd be ready with the best.

Hanson is a bench guy and given all the kids coming he has a short shelf life here although being just 26 this year and not a free agent until after 2022 so he might be a long term backup here. If he can pinch hit, pinch run, play multiple positions then he has a spot. Last year he played 2B/3B/SS/LF/RF and has played CF before too. I'm sure he'll get a few innings at 1B at some point and if willing will be taught how to catch for emergencies (IE: all catchers used up, only one left gets hurt - every team has a guy trained for that purpose).

When your 1-5 slots all go hitless it is hard to win. 3 hits, 3 walks = 2 runs is decent. Counting on your 80 OPS+ lifetime shortstop to hit a 2 run home run for all the offence though is not good.

The big news is the rotation doing very well so far. Other than SRF the rotation all has ERA+'s over 200 and FIP's well below 3. We all were so worried about the rotation but so far so good (now I just cursed them).
dan gordon - Saturday, April 06 2019 @ 01:59 PM EDT (#372126) #
Every pitcher on the Blue Jays' 25 man roster has an ERA under 2.00, except Hudson and Mayza. Not something you hear every day.

On the other hand, they have 9 hitters on the 25-man with a batting average of .200 or lower.

I know that pitchers have the edge early in the season but this is ridiculous. Makes you wonder if the ball has been monkeyed with again, this time to make it less lively.
Chuck - Saturday, April 06 2019 @ 02:32 PM EDT (#372128) #
Makes you wonder if the ball has been monkeyed with

I think the opposition batting lineups have been monkeyed with. Detroit, Baltimore and Cleveland (sans Lindor) have been pretty anemic challenges.

grjas - Saturday, April 06 2019 @ 03:27 PM EDT (#372134) #
Continuing the trend of weird data, the 51 runs scored in the first 9 games is the lowest in Jays history while they have the third most strike outs in the first 9 games of a season, in MLB history.

As posted earlier, I actually thought the starters might be pretty good if healthy, just not this good, particularly when missing Borucki and Clay. Long way to go in the season, but one of the wackiest starts. Ever.
Kelekin - Saturday, April 06 2019 @ 03:28 PM EDT (#372135) #
I wouldn't say it's "ridiculous", I'd say we're barely over 5% through the season and we have a team very susceptible to this type of cold streak.
Magpie - Saturday, April 06 2019 @ 04:23 PM EDT (#372137) #
Victor Cruz, Tom Underwood, Dale Murray, and Billie Jean King's brother... into some very good young talent.

Three out of four. Cruz (Alfredo Griffin), Underwood (Damaso Garcia and indirectly Barry Bonnell and Joey McLaughlin), and Murray (Fred McGriff) were all part of deals that brought back young talent. But not Randy Moffitt - he was a free agent after his year in Toronto.
hypobole - Saturday, April 06 2019 @ 04:30 PM EDT (#372138) #
Magpie, do you remember Cruz complaining of being traded to "Stinktown" when he was dealt to Cleveland?
Magpie - Saturday, April 06 2019 @ 05:23 PM EDT (#372140) #
Don't remember that. I didn't even know Cruz had died, just 46 years old, back in 2004.
dan gordon - Saturday, April 06 2019 @ 05:44 PM EDT (#372142) #
"I wouldn't say it's "ridiculous", I'd say we're barely over 5% through the season and we have a team very susceptible to this type of cold streak"

I think you kind of missed what I was getting at. It's not that the Jays have been bad, on the contrary, the pitching has been fantastic. It's the fact that both the Jays and their opponents have totally shut down the hitters. Several other teams' stats show similar dominance by pitching over hitting, much more so than you usually see at this time of the year.
hypobole - Saturday, April 06 2019 @ 07:15 PM EDT (#372145) #
ESPN covered this somewhat in the "5. Team Mendoza" section of the link at bottom. Couple of relevant passages

"After a week, five teams are hitting under .200. Four of those were under .180 through Wednesday's games. Is it too early to wonder if, in a league where the aggregate average is .233, we could have a team that hits under .200? As in for the entire season?"

"At this point last season, there were five teams hitting under .200. In last place were the Indians ... at .161. Cleveland ended up hitting .259 as a team."

http://www.espn.com/mlb/insider/story/_/id/26442474/ringing-alarm-five-early-season-mlb-trends
Kelekin - Saturday, April 06 2019 @ 08:20 PM EDT (#372149) #
For sure Dan, there is clearly some early pitching dominance, unless you're the Red Sox. But I think it's pretty unlikely anything has been "monkeyed" with - baseball is more popular when people hit the ball and hit it hard. I'm sure we'll see things go back to relatively normal fairly soon...for teams that aren't the Jays, that is.
dan gordon - Sunday, April 07 2019 @ 12:07 AM EDT (#372151) #
Sure, I don't actually think the ball's been tinkered with, I was just trying to point out how odd the early season pitching/hitting imbalance was. Back to normal today - there were 11 games with at least 9 combined runs.
vw_fan17 - Sunday, April 07 2019 @ 01:44 AM EDT (#372153) #
I wouldn't say it's "ridiculous", I'd say we're barely over 5% through the season and we have a team very susceptible to this type of cold streak.
I'm afraid though, that the only kinds of streaks they're susceptible to, are of the cold, colder and coldest variety.

Man, it's gonna be a long season...
scottt - Sunday, April 07 2019 @ 08:30 AM EDT (#372154) #
We're seeing a lot of breaking balls. As long as we have hitters who will not take a walk, this will continue.
The good news is that it got rid of the starting pitcher after 5 and the Jays managed 10 hits, but that didn't translate into runs and the pitching on our side wasn't that good, so a 7-2 loss.

Hanson might be a legit backup, but Urena has been very good both offensively and defensively.
It's hard to sen him to AAA when he's been one of the best player on the team.
Can't do that while he's hitting .400.  They'll have to drop one infielder when Gerrero is ready.

It would be a bad idea to trade Smoak now. They really need his bat.

hypobole - Sunday, April 07 2019 @ 10:25 AM EDT (#372155) #
"It would be a bad idea to trade Smoak now. They really need his bat."

I would say it's a bad idea to try to time trades for less-than-elite players, especially at positions that don't have much trade value.

If a good offer suddenly presents itself, the FO has to make the move. The probability of getting a better offer would be remote. I do agree it would be a bad idea to simply dump Smoak now for "whatever-we-can-get".

Agree with you on Urena - IMO, Gurriel should go down when Vlad arrives if the team is set on holding onto Hansen. Also would lend a tiny bit of credence to that "working on defence in the minors" excuse.
uglyone - Sunday, April 07 2019 @ 10:40 AM EDT (#372156) #
"They really need his bat. "

For what?
Nigel - Sunday, April 07 2019 @ 11:14 AM EDT (#372157) #
Why would the team want to hold onto Hansen? All of Drury, Gurriel and Urena seem to occupy the AAAA/utility infielder (with the hope that they might develop into something more useful) oxygen in the room. Iím skeptical of the utility of any of those three, but they seem better bets than Hansen. I donít understand what Hansen is doing on the roster in the first place. Iím not against sending Gurriel down when Vladdy arrives though.
Shoeless Joe - Sunday, April 07 2019 @ 11:52 AM EDT (#372158) #
Hansen is not really a MLB player.
bpoz - Sunday, April 07 2019 @ 12:30 PM EDT (#372159) #
So far the season is SSS.

Atkins clearly said that most likely we would not compete until 2021.
So far we are competing/playing with a healthy roster of position players. Except for Vlad. By mid June the sample size should be sufficient to grade the hitters. Those who fail can possibly be replaced by players with better, equal or worse potential. Or given more time. Atkins has good patience.

The pitching is also SSS and also quite injured. Patience is probably not necessary at the moment. There is plenty of young pitching on the ML team. You cannot anticipate injury so one of Buchholz, Boricki and Thornton could become #6.

Some pitching and position players in the minors should develop at some point this year. Lets say Aug 1. If so changes will be made.
Chuck - Sunday, April 07 2019 @ 12:32 PM EDT (#372160) #
Hanson and Gurriel profiled very similarly as offensive players in 2018. This led to SF getting sour on Hanson and Toronto getting enthused by Gurriel. Gurriel is a year younger and is owed 18M after this season.

BB%, SO%, ISO, BABIP
Gurriel: 3.4, 22.4, .165, .326
Hanson: 2.9, 22.9, .174, .303

grjas - Sunday, April 07 2019 @ 12:44 PM EDT (#372161) #
https://www.sportsnet.ca/baseball/mlb/art-steal-place-mlbs-data-revolution/

Interesting article on how the focus on metrics has impacted base stealing, OBP, strikeouts, HR rates etc. I get the math, but personally I think the game has really deteriorated for the fans into strikeouts and Waiting for the home run while the announcers drone on.

I donít blame the teams or managers who are looking for the best way to win, but at the end of the day, the game is simply entertainment. Hockey changed the rules to deal with the sleep inducing neutral zone trap, and to my eyes, that game is much more entertaining than it was before.

Baseball IMO has gone the other way, and I have a hard time watching the game drone on for 3 hours, even when the Jays are hot.
uglyone - Sunday, April 07 2019 @ 12:58 PM EDT (#372163) #
"Why would the team want to hold onto Hansen? All of Drury, Gurriel and Urena seem to occupy the AAAA/utility infielder (with the hope that they might develop into something more useful) oxygen in the room. Iím skeptical of the utility of any of those three, but they seem better bets than Hansen. I donít understand what Hansen is doing on the roster in the first place. Iím not against sending Gurriel down when Vladdy arrives though."

I mean by now it's pretty clear that they just like these types of guys, no?

hansen gurriel brito drury teoscar all positionless but athletic toolsy prime aged guys with no real track record (not to mention all the 25-27yr old borderline pitchers).

they clearly don't care about this year - i actually think they might be intentionally trying to tank and field as bad a roster as possible - but they must feel that these types have a higher chance of exploding than I do. I mean, even one of them turning out right would make it worth it, I guess.
uglyone - Sunday, April 07 2019 @ 01:04 PM EDT (#372164) #
grjas - there's no doubt about that.

more action is always more exciting - that means balls in play - which means exciting plays on the bases, which means exciting plays in the field - and it also means stealing bases, hitting and running, bunting, etc etc.

if it's just balls, strikes, and home runs...yeah, it's boring.
Nigel - Sunday, April 07 2019 @ 01:14 PM EDT (#372165) #
My objection to Hansen isnít so much that he isnít a major league player (he isnít), itís the redundancy. Combined with being the least appealing option in that lane. I get frustrated by roster redundancy.
vw_fan17 - Sunday, April 07 2019 @ 01:19 PM EDT (#372166) #
Balls, Strikes, HR - if that's 90% of the game, then isn't it essentially a Home Run Derby, except with pitchers who are not on your team and the odd error by the opposing stats analysis crew that they didn't shift you properly?

I mean, in one way, sports has gotten way more "professional" than in the past. I didn't live through that much of it, but I have seen clips of Eddie Shack (IIRC) clowning around at times, etc. And the team mascots used to have a lot more fun with fans, IIRC. Ozzie Smith used to be pretty acrobatic, etc. Wasn't there a reliever who used to fire up the BBQ in the bullpen?

Sure, the players are often BETTER, but, as was stated - are they as entertaining? Maybe for all the Pro-Line people betting on them, and maybe that's the point - it's now MORE of a business. Back in the day (oh, here we go :-) when we got a newspaper stat line and that was it, every game we actually got to see televised on CTV was "an event". Now? Not so much. Maybe I didn't pick up on it back then - I moved to Canada in 1979, started picking up on Leafs/Jays around 1980/81. But back then, "tanking" seemed to be almost an indefensible motive. You were always trying to win. Now? We already know the team isn't planning to even TRY for 2-3 years. 
Or, I'm not the same kid I was 30-40 years ago, I've been dulled by the plethora of entertainment options, I expect non-stop action and doing "almost nothing" for 3 hours feels like a waste of time.
Nigel - Sunday, April 07 2019 @ 01:21 PM EDT (#372167) #
Uglyone, as I said the other day, there may be a cause and effect issue with those players. However, the thing that troubles me in that list is that defence seems to play little if any role in who they take a flyer on. I have seen little evidence (other than the Galvis signing) that this management group puts much value in defence.
uglyone - Sunday, April 07 2019 @ 01:30 PM EDT (#372168) #
you know I agree with you!
Shoeless Joe - Sunday, April 07 2019 @ 01:38 PM EDT (#372169) #
Hanson and Gurriel profiled very similarly as offensive players in 2018. This led to SF getting sour on Hanson and Toronto getting enthused by Gurriel. Gurriel is a year younger and is owed 18M after this season.

BB%, SO%, ISO, BABIP
Gurriel: 3.4, 22.4, .165, .326
Hanson: 2.9, 22.9, .174, .303

They may have had similar plate discipline, but contact quality was a non contest.

Exit Velocity / Barrel % / Hard Hit % / xwOBA (Rank Min 250 PA)

Gurriel: 90.2 mph/ 7.8%/ 45.15%/ 0.334 (115 of 313)

Hanson: 82.8 mph/ 3.9%/ 21.5%/ 0.264 (311 of 313)

The only hitters with worse expected stats than Hanson in all of the ML in 2018 was Orlando Arcia and Sandy Leon.
BlueJayWay - Sunday, April 07 2019 @ 01:50 PM EDT (#372170) #
https://www.sportsnet.ca/baseball/mlb/art-steal-place-mlbs-data-revolution/

Interesting article on how the focus on metrics has impacted base stealing, OBP, strikeouts, HR rates etc. I get the math, but personally I think the game has really deteriorated for the fans into strikeouts and Waiting for the home run while the announcers drone on.

I think that's largely what's happened. The game has been 'hacked', in the sense that through metrics we've figured out that base stealing and hit & running and having starters throw complete games etc is not efficient. The game has evolved toward three true outcomes - an ever-rising strikeout rate, coupled with walks and homeruns. And also toward starters being replaced by one flame thrower reliever after another. This might be what the math says is best to do, but it makes for a duller game, imo, especially when a lot of pitchers and hitters slow the pace down deliberately. Baseball's best when hitters stay in the box and swing the bat, put the ball in play, fielders get to run around, baserunners on the bases.

How to fix this? I hoped Manfred would institute a pitch clock like he was threatening to do, but that didn't happen. Limiting the number of pitchers on the roster is a good idea. Lowering the mound again might be needed.
uglyone - Sunday, April 07 2019 @ 02:17 PM EDT (#372171) #
Still say they should just get rid of the mound.
Shoeless Joe - Sunday, April 07 2019 @ 02:38 PM EDT (#372172) #
I actually think a pitch clock is going to make pitcher better by throwing hitters off balance. Houston throws a tonne of breaking balls and they pitch quickly, and I think that's a large part of their success.
uglyone - Sunday, April 07 2019 @ 02:55 PM EDT (#372173) #
Uh oh Buck is starting to get ornery already.

(Of course he rants against strikeouts and modern day analyticss instead of ranting against the team's aversion to the staple of modern day analytics - OBP).
Chuck - Sunday, April 07 2019 @ 03:16 PM EDT (#372174) #
How to fix this? [the modern HR/BB/SO game]

I would think that unless viewership drops and revenue streams are threatened, MLB won't see that there is a problem that needs fixing.

uglyone - Sunday, April 07 2019 @ 03:17 PM EDT (#372175) #
Stroman is still waiting to receive his first supporting run this season.
uglyone - Sunday, April 07 2019 @ 03:18 PM EDT (#372176) #
Career

DH Tellez (24): 73pa, .391babip, 151wrc+, -23.2df650, +4.5war650
C Jansen (24): 95pa, .274babip, 115wrc+, +22.6df650, +6.2war650
RF McKinney (24): 132pa, .296babip, 112wrc+, -24.2df650, +0.0war650
CF Grichuk (27): 1848pa, .305babip, 109wrc+, +0.5df650, +3.1war650
LF Teoscar (26): 730pa, .309babip, 109wrc+, -19.0df650, +0.7war650
1B Smoak (32): 4118pa, .271babip, 105wrc+, -11.3df650, +1.0war650
2B Gurriel (25): 263pa, .326babip, 103wrc+, -12.1df650, +1.0war650
3B Drury (26): 1124pa, .309babip, 92wrc+, -6.9df650, +0.4war650
SS Galvis (29): 3096pa, .288babip, 88wrc+, +11.2df650, +1.5war650

UT Hanson (26): 577pa, .287babip, 72wrc+, -9.5df650, -0.6war650
OF Brito (26): 175pa, .232babip, 46wrc+, +11.5df650, -0.8war650
IF Urena (23): 183pa, .390babip, 79wrc+, -1.8df650, +0.4war650
C Maile (28): 528pa, .281babip, 57wrc+, +33.1df650, 2.1war650

INJ Travis (28): 1245pa, .315babip, 102wrc+, -0.6df650, +2.5war650
INJ Pompey (26): 159pa, .290babip, 83wrc+, -9.0df650, +0.8war650
Chuck - Sunday, April 07 2019 @ 03:21 PM EDT (#372177) #
Stroman is still waiting to receive his first supporting run this season.

Maybe it's his fault that he doesn't know how to win? Buck, Pat, what do you think?

uglyone - Sunday, April 07 2019 @ 03:33 PM EDT (#372178) #
Danny and Rowdy

Danny and Rowdy

Danny and Rowdy

(and vladdy)

that's my mantra this season.
Magpie - Sunday, April 07 2019 @ 03:34 PM EDT (#372179) #
I would think that unless viewership drops and revenue streams are threatened, MLB won't see that there is a problem that needs fixing.

True dat. But if and when that day comes, I want a limit on the number of pitchers allowed on the active roster and a minimum thickness for bat handles. I want!
mathesond - Sunday, April 07 2019 @ 03:48 PM EDT (#372180) #
I just heard Tabler reference "those empty at-bats where nothing happens", and I thought, well, this season is turning him emo.
uglyone - Sunday, April 07 2019 @ 03:55 PM EDT (#372181) #
heheh.

grjas - Sunday, April 07 2019 @ 06:31 PM EDT (#372185) #
Danny and Rowdy(and vladdy)

Yup, my thought too, but Iíd add Grichuk to the watch list and may be Hernandez. Doubt many of the others will be around in a few years or they will be playing supporting roles.
JohnL - Sunday, April 07 2019 @ 09:35 PM EDT (#372187) #
For those who want more entertaining... bring back Rick Bosetti.

Wikipedia:
"In 1979, Bosetti played in all 162 games for the Blue Jays, and in the same season led all AL outfielders in putouts, assists, and errors. Despite a relatively short career in the big leagues, he has the odd distinction of having urinated in the outfield of every major league baseball stadium of his era. A goal he claims to have accomplished by playing in both the American and National League."
Michael - Sunday, April 07 2019 @ 10:21 PM EDT (#372188) #
Well the rule change that might be coming about the pitchers needing to face 3 batters might change the amount that one can rely on lots of relievers to end the game. The other change that way which might help with this is to say that a mid-inning pitching change is like a balk (if runners are on base) or an IBB (if no one is on) so that it always has a cost. That would help cut down on that, improve the pace of play, but still make it part of the strategy. But no more new pitcher for each batter in key parts of the game.
ISLAND BOY - Monday, April 08 2019 @ 07:48 AM EDT (#372189) #
The "code" of baseball reared its stupid head in the Pittsburgh/Cincinnati game yesterday. A Cincinnati batter ( I forget his name) hit a long homerun off Chris Archer, the Pirates pitcher, and stood a few seconds admiring it before rounding the bases. The next time he came to bat, Archer plunked him on the hip triggering a bench-clearing dance party.

This is another thing wrong with baseball to go with things mentioned above. The batter didn't point at the pitcher and laugh, even look his way, but just watching his homerun too long (Or if he flipped his bat), and he becomes target practice for the pitcher. Hockey players throw their arms in the air and celebrate with team-mates after a goal, football players gyrate in the end zone after a touchdown, and even basketball players strut and slap hands after a thunderous dunk. I'm not advocating truly showing up the opposition in baseball, but let the players show some emotion when hitting a homerun, not run around the bases like a robot because it might hurt the pitcher's feelings otherwise.
Glevin - Monday, April 08 2019 @ 08:06 AM EDT (#372190) #
"The "code" of baseball reared its stupid head in the Pittsburgh/Cincinnati game yesterday. A Cincinnati batter ( I forget his name) hit a long homerun off Chris Archer, the Pirates pitcher, and stood a few seconds admiring it before rounding the bases. The next time he came to bat, Archer plunked him on the hip triggering a bench-clearing dance party."

The code is ridiculous and the price for admiring a HR is getting a 95 MPH fastball thrown at you? Fans want more passion not less.
bpoz - Monday, April 08 2019 @ 08:44 AM EDT (#372191) #
The Cleveland rotation was traded for under Shapiro except for S Bieber who was drafted by them in 2016.

T Bauer, C Kluber, M Clevinger all traded for. C Carrasco was also traded for I believe. July 30,2009 Leigh Valley Iron Pigs (Philadelphia?) traded C Carrasco to Columbus Clippers.

So Shapiro was either V lucky or makes good trades.

uglyone - Monday, April 08 2019 @ 09:18 AM EDT (#372196) #
Buck's comment re that brawl was something like:

"well that's the only way you'll stop this cadillac-ing and bat flipping"
Cracka - Monday, April 08 2019 @ 10:32 AM EDT (#372199) #
Many people believe the way "they did it" is the way "others should do it". When Buck Martinez started playing professional baseball in 1967, many fans still wore formal suits & hats to games. This was two years BEFORE man visited the moon. To say that he's from a different era is an understatement - he's from several eras ago!

I'm of the opinion that MLB could learn a lot from the NFL. Each offseason, NFL coaches and executives have a "competition committee" that proposes & modifies rules based on a variety of factors (player safety, game speed, fan interest, etc.). In recent years, there have been two major focus areas: 1) Protecting the health of star players (i.e Quarterback). 2) Increasing scoring (mostly by making it easier for pass receivers and harder for defenders through the application of penalties). The NFL has identified these factors as being critical to maintaining and growing fan interest, both in terms of gate revenues and more importantly for television viewership. The most recent Super Bowl was one of the lowest scoring in history and not coincidently had the lowest TV ratings in the last decade. But otherwise, the NFL is thriving: Teams are scoring at record levels, while fan interest & league revenues are at all-time highs. The league has figured out that it's better to optimize for today's audiences rather than to pander to historical legacies... sooner or later, MLB is going to have to start thinking like this.

ISLAND BOY - Monday, April 08 2019 @ 11:25 AM EDT (#372200) #
MLB attendance was down 4% last year, and marked the fifth year in the last six that attendance has dropped. The 2018 World Series viewership was down 23% from 2017. Of course, World Series interest may depend on the teams playing in it.
uglyone - Monday, April 08 2019 @ 11:26 AM EDT (#372201) #
what's really amusing about how bad this team is is that it most certainly will get worse, as we trade away Stroman, Sanchez, Shoemaker, Giles, Smoak, Galvis.
AWeb - Monday, April 08 2019 @ 11:43 AM EDT (#372202) #
I'm not sure actual attendance numbers are that meaningful as teams go to the "flex" pricing models for various games. Teams are trying to maximize total revenue rather than total attendees, which suppresses attendance. I would guess total revenue from ballpark attendees is up, not down, regardless of attendance.

Baseball's on-field skirmishes/brawls are dumb. The NBA apparently used to have player brawls a lot, until someone (Rudy Tomjanovich) was almost killed and they cracked down. They cracked down again a few decades later after a few high profile incidents. auto-ejecting and suspending players who leave the bench. The NHL used to have fairly common "line-brawls", and those are almost unheard of now. In fact, the entire "enforcer" role from the 70s and 80s is basically gone. Fights almost never happen in the NFL, or at least that's my impression.

If coming off the bench/bullpen or leaving your position to fight (mostly pretend to fight) was an automatic ejection/suspension in baseball, this nonsense would stop pretty quick. Nothing stupider to watch than parallel lines of relievers running in to posture at each other in the infield, rather than actually fighting in the OF (I mean, if you want to fight, you don't take a jog first). If a team runs out of players due to too many ejections, they forfeit. Baseball does not lack for umpires on the field to break up two guys, but 50 is obviously undoable. Stronger penalties on pitchers/coaches for intentional beanballs need to happen too.
Hodgie - Monday, April 08 2019 @ 12:43 PM EDT (#372203) #
As I look to distract myself from the misery that is the 2019 Blue Jays, I am watching Mike Trout more often and I find myself wondering if he isn't already the best player I have ever seen play. He is certainly on track to potentially become the GOAT, something that seems absurd to say for a player that won't turn 28 until August. Up until this point, I would have said that peak Griffey Jr. was the best I had ever seen, with (pre-steroids) Bonds a close second, but the more I watch Trout the more I lean in his direction. Since the start of the 2012 season when he became a full-time player, he has amassed 20 more fWar than the next closest player (Buster Posey). He is already 89th in lifetime fWar, with a healthy 2019 can conceivably crack the top 50 and will be a first ballot HOFer, and as ridiculous as it sounds he appears to be getting better.

So what say you Bauxites, where does Trout rank in your respective lists? I am not old enough to have seen the like of Mays/Mantle/Aaron/Williams etc. so I acknowledge my opinion does suffer from some recency bias.

SK in NJ - Monday, April 08 2019 @ 12:52 PM EDT (#372204) #
"MLB attendance was down 4% last year, and marked the fifth year in the last six that attendance has dropped. The 2018 World Series viewership was down 23% from 2017. Of course, World Series interest may depend on the teams playing in it."


Baseball is not even a glimmer in anyone's eye in the States. It barely gets any coverage, even from the networks that have their rights (ESPN, Fox, etc). I can't imagine the current version of the game which is basically nothing but strike outs is going to attract younger fans. It is not fun to watch most games unless you are already a fan. From a visual standpoint, seeing a game played with 10k in attendance is not fun either, and that's a league wide issue.

Manfred has a long road ahead of him in fixing the game. Not sure there is a solution.
Mike Green - Monday, April 08 2019 @ 01:54 PM EDT (#372205) #
To Hodgie's question,  my answer is "I don't know yet".  Trout could end up as the GOAT.  He had his best (on a rate basis) season last year, and might be as good or better over a full season in 2019.  So far this season, he has 5 homers, 11 walks and 3 strikeouts in 43 PAs.  He might be better than Barry Bonds at 27-28, but I don't even know the answer to that yet. 
AWeb - Monday, April 08 2019 @ 02:12 PM EDT (#372206) #
I think Trout has had the best peak of anyone I've been around for and remember, which starts in the mid-80s, at least for hitters. The Maddux/Clemens/Johnson/MArtinez pitching peaks were pretty amazing too. Trout's basically been Albert Pujols except a good CF instead of good 1B. He keeps improving as a hitter, though, and seems like a .320/.450/.620 line is pretty much the projection now? If anyone in MLB is putting up a .350/.550/.750 (late peak Bonds) season, it's him, and it might be this year.

Aside from Pujols, Trout is likely to be second in career WAR among active players at the end of the year, at the age of 28. He won the MVP in what has been to date his worst season (2014). More HBP that DP is pretty rare and weirdly impressive. I hope someone else on his team starts hitting...20 times on base and 1 run is almost impossible for a slow baserunner, let alone Trout.
uglyone - Monday, April 08 2019 @ 02:13 PM EDT (#372207) #
Pillar joins the long list of recent ex-jays pooping all over our org.

#feelgoodman
hypobole - Monday, April 08 2019 @ 02:43 PM EDT (#372208) #
ďIt was the most fun Iíve had on a baseball field this year and coming in after a win to see this environment was something I havenít experienced in all my years in the big leagues" Pillar said. ďSo thatís extra motivation to keep winning some games.Ē

Also the lights and fog machine.

They've won 1 of 5 games he's played, but it's better than the 2 playoff runs. Ok, Kevin, whatever you say.

Mike Green - Monday, April 08 2019 @ 03:17 PM EDT (#372212) #
In fairness to Kevin Pillar, here's his instagram statement.  Peace and love all around. 
hypobole - Monday, April 08 2019 @ 03:23 PM EDT (#372213) #
Yeah, I imagine Pillar would do some damage control, because the shots he took in the interview were not directed at the org (other than lights & fog), but at ex-teammates.
rpriske - Monday, April 08 2019 @ 03:26 PM EDT (#372214) #
The best player I ever saw play is Barry Bonds, with a nod towards Roger Clemens and Ken Griffey Jr.

Will Trout supplant them? Probably.

(Willie Mays is also before my time and is my pick as the greatest player ever.)

dan gordon - Monday, April 08 2019 @ 05:28 PM EDT (#372218) #
It's hard to compare players from different eras because the game has changed so much. The best player I actually saw play was Barry Bonds from 2001 to 2004, but most people don't count those years. If you consider the amount by which a player was better than his peers, it's hard to not pick Babe Ruth, who was one of the best pitchers in baseball, and then became by far the best hitter in the game. Hitting 54 HR's in 1920 when the all time record (his own) was 29 is crazy. Like Gretzky when he was scoring over 200 points a season.
hypobole - Monday, April 08 2019 @ 06:00 PM EDT (#372219) #
Don't know if anyone checked this blog link posted on MLBTR Sunday.

https://www.patreon.com/posts/blue-jays-are-be-25827428

He wishes the Tigers follow the Jays rebuild methods. Careful what you wish for.
Gerry - Monday, April 08 2019 @ 07:21 PM EDT (#372222) #
According to John Lott, Clay Buchholz has been told he will be starting on Saturday versus Tampa. He might not be ready but according to Lott's story today in the Athletic Buchholz thought he was ready despite giving up four home runs yesterday.
vw_fan17 - Monday, April 08 2019 @ 08:13 PM EDT (#372224) #
Over / under on number of times the Jays strike out 15 times in a game this year? 20 times?
John Northey - Monday, April 08 2019 @ 09:25 PM EDT (#372225) #
Guess they figure Buchholz can't do worse than SRF and Pannone did (4 2/3 IP over 2 starts, 9 hits, 9 runs 7 earned, 4 BB 9 SO).

It'll be interesting to see if anyone grabs that last slot and runs with it. In theory Buchholz should but we'll see. Shoemaker with a 0 ERA, 1.64 for Sanchez, 1.69 for Thornton all over 2 starts. Stroman sucks with a 2.41 ERA (ha) in 3 starts - what a slacker.
hypobole - Monday, April 08 2019 @ 10:11 PM EDT (#372226) #
People are already "thinking" the Jays should replace the hitting coach because of all the K'ing. One poster at BBB even believes Martinez should turn our batters into contact hitters.

Over and above the impossibility of doing so, it got me wondering if low K rates are really that much better than high K rates. Of the 140 qualified hitters last year, i looked at the 30 highest and lowest K rates.

Interestingly, despite the low K% page having a lot of elite hitters (5 guys 140 wRC+ or higher, vs 2 on the high K page), there were 7 below 90 wRC+ on the low K page vs only 3 on the high K.
Nigel - Monday, April 08 2019 @ 11:16 PM EDT (#372227) #
Itís ridiculous to blame the hitting coach. This was always going to be a line up that couldnít get on base and kíd a lot. Guys like Gurriel arenít suddenly going to be something other than a total hacker,
uglyone - Monday, April 08 2019 @ 11:18 PM EDT (#372228) #
Ks are not a problem.

Hacking at everything is a problem. Not taking any pitches is a problem. Not getting on base is a problem.

Strikeouts? No.
SK in NJ - Monday, April 08 2019 @ 11:53 PM EDT (#372229) #
An important thing to remember is most of the lineup is either young players with fringey upside (Hernandez, McKinney, Gurriel), players who havenít shown consistent ability to hit yet (Drury), rookies getting their first taste of the league (Jansen, Tellez), or extreme longshots (Brito). With young teams come a lot of volatility in performance. We simply donít know what anyone aside from Smoak, Grichuk, and Galvis will be providing this year. It just so happens the first two weeks have been the worst case scenario.

The teamís best hitting prospects aside from Jansen are in AAA. Once the real prospects come up, thatís when hopefully we start to see some positive development. The roster at the moment is basically the definition of throwing stuff at a wall and hoping something sticks.
Magpie - Tuesday, April 09 2019 @ 05:04 AM EDT (#372231) #
number of times the Jays strike out 15 times in a game this year? 20 times?

They struck out 12 times in a game 20 times last year. (There were 6 games with 15 or more Ks.)

So... possible but unlikely?
scottt - Tuesday, April 09 2019 @ 08:59 AM EDT (#372233) #
You treat an MLB pitcher rehab start differently that a prospect start.
Buchholz missed spring training and that's usually not good for a pitcher.
Ultimately, he's on a major contract with performance bonuses and it's up to him to figure things out.
Not sure who's coming down, probably Pannone.

Chuck - Tuesday, April 09 2019 @ 09:13 AM EDT (#372234) #
In his career, Buchholz has shown wide swings in HR rate. His xFIPs have been quite consistent over the years, so maybe much of that variability can be chalked up to random chance.

Still, the HR thing will be interesting to watch. When he's good, he's miserly. When he ain't, he ain't.

vw_fan17 - Tuesday, April 09 2019 @ 10:09 AM EDT (#372236) #
If you take Galvis (who is, AFAIK, considered a stop-gap signing because Tulo can't stay healthy) out of the lineup, based on a quick look at what BBREF considers the starting 9, every other hitter is at or below the Mendoza line.

Galvis has an OPS+ of 187 - if he keeps this up for any length of time, we could trade him for something.. Tellez is at 127 (which is surprising to me - I haven't watched every AB, and aside from the PH-HR, I just remember seeing him make outs). Grichuk's at 103, and it just goes down from there. Urena (not listed as a starter) is at 193.
hypobole - Tuesday, April 09 2019 @ 10:11 AM EDT (#372237) #
Edwin raking yesterday. From ESPN:

"Edwin Encarnacion homered twice in the sixth inning against the Kansas City Royals on Monday night, becoming the fifth player to do it twice in a career.

Encarnacion also accomplished the feat with the Blue Jays against the Astros on July 26, 2013. The only other players to homer in the same inning twice are Alex Rodriguez, Jeff King, Andre Dawson and Willie McCovey, per STATS data."

Edwin Encarnacion homered twice in the sixth inning against the Kansas City Royals on Monday night, becoming the fifth player to do it twice in a career.

Encarnacion also accomplished the feat with the Blue Jays against the Astros on July 26, 2013. The only other players to homer in the same inning twice are Alex Rodriguez, Jeff King, Andre Dawson and Willie McCovey, per STATS data.

A few days ago I posted a 2010 comment deriding a player AA had just resigned. If anyone didn't pick up on who the comment was about, it was Edwin.
hypobole - Tuesday, April 09 2019 @ 10:14 AM EDT (#372238) #
whoops, double posted the ESPN cut and paste.
Chuck - Tuesday, April 09 2019 @ 10:27 AM EDT (#372239) #
if he keeps this up for any length of time, we could trade him [Galvis] for something.

Perhaps to the team that thought Tulowitzki was a cheap answer to a problem.

hypobole - Tuesday, April 09 2019 @ 10:42 AM EDT (#372240) #
Teoscar's plate discipline numbers so far make it seem he should be a lot better than the actual results.
Mike Green - Tuesday, April 09 2019 @ 10:44 AM EDT (#372241) #
Here's Tellez' statcast card.  Short story- he's hit the ball better in 2019 than in 2018.  Exit velocity and launch angle are both very good.  When the weather picks up, he'll probably hit quite a few home runs. 

When David Ortiz was 24 in 2000, he was a fringy defensive first baseman for Minnesota and put up a 103 wRC+.  He didn't make it over 120 until the Red Sox acquired him for his age 27 season. They didn't have Statcast in 2000, but I'll venture a guess that Ortiz' numbers were no better than Tellez' at this point in his career. 
Chuck - Tuesday, April 09 2019 @ 10:55 AM EDT (#372242) #
Teoscar's plate discipline numbers so far make it seem he should be a lot better than the actual results.

All hitters probably have an equilibrium point between patience and aggressiveness that works for them. Maybe Hernandez is currently too passive? Maybe he can't simultaneously be a guy who slugs and a guy who walks? (Not saying that this is the case. Just speculating.)

mathesond - Tuesday, April 09 2019 @ 10:59 AM EDT (#372243) #
Reading the comments on BBTF about Edwin's feat:

" There have been 3 Mariners who hit 2 HRs in the same inning - Mike Cameron, Bret Boone, and Encarnacion. All 3 were former Reds."

"The current Reds have one guy who has hit two homers all year."

Mike Green - Tuesday, April 09 2019 @ 11:07 AM EDT (#372244) #
Alen Hanson gets the start today at first base.  Maybe he's got good career numbers against Chris Sale!

Checks calendar...not April 1. 
Mike Green - Tuesday, April 09 2019 @ 11:18 AM EDT (#372246) #
Here's Teoscar's statcast card.  He is not barrelling the ball in 2019 the way he did in 2018 (and 2017).  Interestingly, he's in the 96th percentile for sprint speed.  There's probably a really good hitter there.  He reminds me (at the plate) quite a bit of Jesse Barfield. 
hypobole - Tuesday, April 09 2019 @ 11:42 AM EDT (#372248) #
Hansen at 1st is defensible.

Smoak injured.

Rowdy has been prime Ortiz vs RHP's, Gift Ngoepe vs LHP's.

Hansen is awful, vs LHP's, but 40 wRC+ vs Rowdy's -20.

Mike Green - Tuesday, April 09 2019 @ 12:01 PM EDT (#372251) #
I wasn't criticizing Charlie Montoyo about the lineup choice.  Merely pointing out how bad things are.
85bluejay - Tuesday, April 09 2019 @ 12:03 PM EDT (#372252) #
Mike Clevenger's injury probably means the Indians are less likely to trade a starter in the next few months - good news for the Jays potential sale.
Blue Jays at Cleveland - April 4-7 | 154 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.