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Jackie Robinson Day sees Toronto visit the Minnesota Twins for a four-game set. #LetsGoBlueJays

Monday @ 7:40 pm ET - Matt Shoemaker vs. Martin Perez
Tuesday @ 7:40 pm ET - Aaron Sanchez vs. Kyle Gibson
Wednesday @ 7:40 pm ET - Trent Thornton vs. Jake Odorizzi
Thursday @ 1:10 pm ET - Coppertone vs. Joel Pineda

The Twins lead Cleveland and Detroit by 1-1/2 games in the AL Central with an 8-4 record after two home wins against the Tigers.

The Jays dropped two of three to the Rays. They're 5-11 to give them the worst record in the American League. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. has been sent to Buffalo for remedial defensive work. Eric Sogard has been brought up. I'm so pumped!
Blue Jays @ Twins - April 15-17 | 148 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
scottt - Monday, April 15 2019 @ 07:06 PM EDT (#372629) #
The Twins have been decent except for their starting pitching.
The Jays have not been able to hit any starters.

Shoeless Joe - Monday, April 15 2019 @ 07:46 PM EDT (#372631) #
Buxton robbed McKinney on that play, statcast had it as a base hit 81% of the time.
uglyone - Monday, April 15 2019 @ 08:20 PM EDT (#372632) #
Not the first bad out at 3rd base this year.
Magpie - Monday, April 15 2019 @ 08:24 PM EDT (#372633) #
Thou shalt not make the third out of the inning at third base. That's on a stone tablet somewhere.

Chris Davis now has more RBIs than any Blue Jay not named Galvis.
Petey Baseball - Monday, April 15 2019 @ 08:35 PM EDT (#372634) #
Jonathan Scoop would have been a nice offseason pickup for the Jays.

Looking around the league, there are similar players that have upside on one year deals. What would have been the garn in trying out a few more? Impactful kids are still in the minors.
dalimon5 - Monday, April 15 2019 @ 09:55 PM EDT (#372635) #
The only thing that has disappointed me about this office is the fact that the young players they have helped to develop look over-matched and unbalanced. Jansen, SRF, McKinney, Teoscar, Grichuk, Drury... these players are not good enough to feature in MLB never mind compete against their counterparts in Boston and NY. It makes me wonder what all the noise is about concerning the special "player development."
grjas - Monday, April 15 2019 @ 10:19 PM EDT (#372636) #
Well their player development is focused on the minor leagues and 4 of those 6 players didnít come up through the system, while the other two are just starting or close to starting in the majors. Too early to tell if their development approach is working but we should have a pretty good idea in the next couple of years.
Magpie - Monday, April 15 2019 @ 10:25 PM EDT (#372637) #
I don't know what Grichuk is doing in that group anyway. He's 27 years old, and he's already had three 20+ HR seasons in the majors. He's an established player already.
SK in NJ - Monday, April 15 2019 @ 10:35 PM EDT (#372638) #
Grichuk is an established big leaguer already so he should not be grouped in with the others you listed. Also, other than Jansen and SRF, the Jays did not have a hand in developing any of those players at the minor league level outside of a cup of coffee in AAA after being acquired in a trade. It is too early to draw any real conclusions from Jansen anyway. He's struggling offensively in his first month as a big league regular, that's not uncommon. I've always believed SRF is a RP long-term anyway so anything he provides as a SP is gravy. Obviously letting him fail as a SP before making the move makes the most sense.

The Jays are taking a long look at 'shots in the dark' this year. Usually the FO would sign veteran stop gaps to play positions that prospects cannot fill, but this year they decided to give those spots to young(er) players to see if maybe one of them could turn into something (Tellez, Hernandez, Gurriel, McKinney, Drury, Brito, etc). If any of those players becomes a long-term piece I'd be pretty surprised, but no harm in giving them a look in a season the team has clearly have been prepared to punt for months now.
scottt - Monday, April 15 2019 @ 10:41 PM EDT (#372639) #
They got 7 hits against the starter and managed only 1 run.
Shoemaker had that one bad luck inning and gave out 3 runs on 4 hits

I don't know the state of the Twins bullpen but a lefty reliever after a lefty starter is usually not a good idea.

Schoop hasn' t recovered from leaving Baltimore. He's their 8th hitter.

Gerry - Monday, April 15 2019 @ 10:45 PM EDT (#372640) #
Two base running blunders. Two fielders bumping into each other. And yet, a win! The hitting is coming back.
bpoz - Monday, April 15 2019 @ 10:55 PM EDT (#372641) #
Ok Gerry. I will complain tomorrow!!!
dalimon5 - Monday, April 15 2019 @ 11:10 PM EDT (#372642) #
My point is merely that Gurriel is one of multiple players failing to perform basic baseball skills and IQ, and to fix that, he needs to go to AAA for further development. Most of the hoopla of this regime's MO was based on athletic players with high IQ and character. What I see are athletic players with basic skills missing:

Drury - can he track a baseball? How many pitches does he need to see and why is his swing plane widely off the mark nearly every time?

Teoscar - where on the field does this guy not hurt his own team and can he hit a pitch in the strikezone high or away? He looks to be pull happy

Jansen - looks overwhelmed but his defence and catching is trending right

The only guy who has spent time with this regime to be developed or fixed who looks good so far is Biagini.

Having Vlad on this team would help the rest of these players develop.
Mylegacy - Tuesday, April 16 2019 @ 12:22 AM EDT (#372643) #
D5 says: "Having Vlad on this team would help the rest of these players develop."

Biggio is 24. Not a kid. His stats are now in 33 AB's: 394/500/667/1.167 bring him up - NOW!

Alford is 24. Not a kid - but as a two sport guy he is younger in total at bats than some of these guys who are just 20 years old. His stats are now in 33 AB's a meh: 212/278/485/763. He is however showing power and good outfield defense. I suspect if he was up playing CF, Girchuk could return to his better position (RF) and so far this year in 61 AB's his stats are: 230/299/475/774

Bo is 21. His stats in 41 AB's: 220/256/341/597 These are trending up after a very cold start, in a very cold town, during a very cold spring. Bo will be ready soon.

Vlad is 20. His stats in 25 AB's: 360/448/560/1.008. Vlad was ready when he was three years old. Bring him up - NOW!

Personally, I want all FOUR up now. Together. To struggle together, to learn together and eventually to succeed together. To begin a 5 to 10 year era of Blue Jay's dominance.

3rd base, SS, 2nd and both CF and RF all set on the correct path for a baseball length generation.

Gentlemen, make it happen!
hypobole - Tuesday, April 16 2019 @ 02:04 AM EDT (#372644) #
Per Gregor Chisholm - Tepera..Likely tomorrow for a return, Wednesday at latest.
scottt - Tuesday, April 16 2019 @ 07:05 AM EDT (#372645) #
Probably best to give him an extra day off.

I wonder if there's something wrong with Drury still or if it's just the pressure or trying to hold on to third base when Guerrero comes up. He seems to have an option and to be in need of regular playing time.

Urena went 2 for 5 with a triple in his first game down. I hope he's not a future Dwight Smith Jr.

The pitching at Buffalo isn't great. Waguespack is the best starter with an ERA of 5.23.

whiterasta80 - Tuesday, April 16 2019 @ 07:11 AM EDT (#372646) #
Preach Mylegacy. The "rushed" story is overblown. By the numbers Griffey Jr. Was "rushed". He still belonged in the majors and still developed.

By contrast, delaying delgado probably cost him 500 HRs. I also dont think that development time is the reason for travis Snider.

Play the kids basically.
Mike Green - Tuesday, April 16 2019 @ 10:11 AM EDT (#372649) #
I missed the end of the game.  Was there an explanation why Giles did not come on to pitch the ninth?

Grichuk's baserunning error was worse than simply being thrown out at 3rd with two outs.  He had slowed up coming in to second and had a good look at the play.  As the play unfolded, I could tell that the chance of success was less than 90-95% - i.e. that perfect throws from the defence were required and a bang-bang play at third.  It was 50-50, at the very best. Grichuk's decision would have been a poor one with one out. 

Nice to see Teoscar Hernandez hit a long ball.  So far this season, he's got his W and K rates into a serviceable place, and he continues to hit the ball hard with a decent launch angle.  There have been fewer defensive mistakes.  He's 26, so youneverknow.

The club has faced reasonable competition so far this season and with their best player sitting in Buffalo.  Despite the ugly 6-11 record, they have scored 61 runs and given up 69.  It's about what I would have expected, maybe a little better than expected.
greenfrog - Tuesday, April 16 2019 @ 10:23 AM EDT (#372650) #
Smith Jr. (also 26 years old) may well end up having a better career than that of Hernandez. He is currently performing better than any of the Jays outfielders.
Mike Green - Tuesday, April 16 2019 @ 10:28 AM EDT (#372651) #
Maybe.  Smith Jr. has hit for more power in the major leagues so far than he showed in the high minors.  It might be a fluke or it might be just an age-related thing.  He was 25 years old in Buffalo last year, and he looked like, at best, a role player. 
uglyone - Tuesday, April 16 2019 @ 10:46 AM EDT (#372653) #
(or steroids)
dan gordon - Tuesday, April 16 2019 @ 10:54 AM EDT (#372655) #
As I mentioned on an earlier thread, Smith Jr. OPS'd in the low to mid .700's for 4 years in AA/AAA. The chance that he now becomes a good major league hitter at age 26 after that weak and extensive minor league record is negligible.
greenfrog - Tuesday, April 16 2019 @ 11:03 AM EDT (#372656) #
Power is often the last component of a position playerís game to appear. If he is experiencing an uptick in power, characterizing him as a ďlow to mid 700 OPSĒ player may no longer be accurate. And his defense has been better this year as well (small sample of course). 0.5 WAR total so far in 2019, better than any Jays OF including Hernandez (zero WAR).
hypobole - Tuesday, April 16 2019 @ 11:14 AM EDT (#372657) #
Agree about the power, the defence is massive SSS. All projection systems have him as below average,
Mike Green - Tuesday, April 16 2019 @ 11:17 AM EDT (#372658) #
I checked Statcast.  Smith's xwOBA currently is .305 and his xSLG is .409.  It's probably luck.

For reference, Hernandez's xwOBA for 2017, 2018 and 2019 have been .338, .340 and .334.  I'll put my money on Teoscar.  I think he's got a focus issue which affects baserunning and fielding, but he has enough other talents to be a decent to good everyday player for a few years. 
Cracka - Tuesday, April 16 2019 @ 11:47 AM EDT (#372660) #
Re: Giles. He was unavailable last night due to an "illness", but was still dressed and in uniform. Seemingly nothing to worry about.

Re: Grichuk. Totally agree that his baserunning blunder last night was an unacceptable risk. It wasn't a "hustle play"; he slowed down and tried to goad Byron Buxton (a former Platinum Gold Glove winner) into a lazy throw to the cutoff man, which he, of course, didn't fall for (Buxton wasn't even looking at Grichuk - there was no chance of this working).

This is harsh, but I would have liked to see Montoyo pull Grichuk from the game for this (like he did with Gurriel). By virtue of his extension, Grichuk is one of management's chosen veteran leaders, and this wasn't his finest moment as a Jay.
Thomas - Tuesday, April 16 2019 @ 12:05 PM EDT (#372661) #
Cracka, it seems to me that Gurriel was pulled from the game in order to protect him. I think Montoyo thought any further groundballs hit to Gurriel could result in more poor throws, which could exacerbate the issue. I don't think Gurriel was being punished for his bad throw, which is why he wasn't removed from Saturday's game after a similar error. It was about preventing further issues with Gurriel, as opposed to punishing him (which is the same reason why Gurriel wasn't pulled mid-inning, as that would have been embarrassing to Gurriel and potentially seemed punitive).

I don't disagree with your or Mike Green's assessment of Grichuk's decision to run. It was ill-advised. However, it's something that hopefully Grichuk recognized as soon as he had a moment to reflect on it and that Montoyo could address with a quick word to him in the dugout. There's no need to pull him from the game and turn into a larger issue unnecessarily.

I disagree entirely with the thought he should have been pulled. In my view, that's reserved for something whether a player is not trying their hardest - and thus you can argue warrants a situation where the player should be pulled in favour of players who will try their hardest - or for when a player deliberately disobeys managerial instruction. Players make boneheaded plays, but you don't need to blow them out of proportion.

By the same logic, Montoyo should have pulled Drury and Hernandez when they both made a more fundamental mistake of not keeping track of the count (Hernandez initially headed back to the bag, but wasn't confident enough to stay there after Drury took a couple of steps towards second). And that would have potentially left the Jays with Brito in CF, presumably Tellez in LF and Sogard at 3B.
John Northey - Tuesday, April 16 2019 @ 12:10 PM EDT (#372662) #
As to calling up the kids - I like the slow and steady approach. Wait until April is done before going nuts. May 1st do a series of moves if needed. Maybe wait until June 1st. The Jays aren't contenders so no need to rush anything.

Offense nightmares with current OPS+ via B-R
CA: Jansen 14
2B: Gurriel 46
3B: Drury 9
UT: Hansen 11
Negative OPS+ under 20 PA: Brito, Alford, Pillar (long gone)

Offensively Weak
RF: McKinney 70

Hernandez at 95 is poor with his defense. Tellez needs to be higher than his current 111 to stick.

Gurriel is down, Hansen getting more time, Travis recovering hoping to take it back. Drury will be replaced very soon by Vlad. Jansen should get tons of time this year although he better watch out as Maile could take it over if he doesn't hit soon.

Really, outside of Vlad only Biggio has a clear slot at 2B (assuming Travis doesn't come back soon at 100%) and even that would be a short term chance with Gurriel and Drury and Hansen all fighting for that slot once Vlad is up.

Alford in the OF would probably not hit as well as McKinney or Hernandez. I'd leave him in AAA most of this year unless his bat comes to life strongly.
bpoz - Tuesday, April 16 2019 @ 12:13 PM EDT (#372663) #
I will accept that the For & Against runs scored is a pleasant surprise. But IMO we may be making more mental errors than normal. That is probably just because of youth and we should grow out of this.

As always patience.
Shoeless Joe - Tuesday, April 16 2019 @ 12:32 PM EDT (#372664) #
Using early season defensive metrics present sample size problems, statcast outs above average stats aren't even released yet.

Dwight Smith Jr. currently has a 25.4 UZR/150 against a career -14.6 UZR/150, and he currently has a -1 DRS against a career -6 DRS.

Teoscar Hernandez currently has a -19.8 UZR/150 against a career -12.8 UZR/150 in left field, but on the opposite end has a +1 DRS against a career -10 DRS.

So what are the conclusions? UZR suggests DSJ is better and Hernandez is worse, DRS says DSJ is worse and Hernandez is better? I think it's too early to tell.
hypobole - Tuesday, April 16 2019 @ 12:47 PM EDT (#372665) #
If Grichuk had been thrown out at 1st on that play, he definitely should have been pulled. :)
James W - Tuesday, April 16 2019 @ 01:44 PM EDT (#372666) #
Re: more power at the major league level versus AAA - I've read enough to conclude that the MLB baseball leads to more power than expected based on minor league results.
bpoz - Tuesday, April 16 2019 @ 02:41 PM EDT (#372668) #
I have been trying to figure out this rebuild. I feel Atkins has been quite truthful except that he hides a lot.

He handled Vlad's service time issue as well as he could. ie not badly.

When he said that we were not going to compete this year, he said nothing about giving a good try out to long shots like S Brito and A Hanson. No outfielder is being held back. Urena was playing v well and should have been kept up to further his ML progress.

Winning 88-92 games consistently satisfies the "we will contend" statement. We should be in a race for the 2nd WC always with that record. Minnesota's 85 wins, TB's 90 wins and our 2016 89 wins proves that.

To win 88-92 games we need the "waves of ML ready prospects". We have this. This FO stresses depth so a 3 man bench of backup catcher and 2 of Drury, McKinney, T Hernandez and Gurriel at all times is quite strong in talent. Playing multiple positions (well enough) adds strategic management. If making numerous mental errors is considered a weakness then not making them would be a strength. There is other stuff I am sure.

The TB way of doing things (low payroll) is successful. This, in the AL East.
Cracka - Tuesday, April 16 2019 @ 02:52 PM EDT (#372669) #
By the same logic, Montoyo should have pulled Drury and Hernandez when they both made a more fundamental mistake of not keeping track of the count

Solid counter-argument and obviously you are right... we would run out of bench players if everyone who made a mistake last night was benched. Like I said, I see Grichuk as being one of the "chosen" veteran leaders of the team and think there should be high expectations of him. I've basically written off Drury as a placeholder at this point, but yeah, that was a more fundamental mistake for sure.
Mike Green - Tuesday, April 16 2019 @ 03:08 PM EDT (#372670) #
Re: more power at the major league level versus AAA - I've read enough to conclude that the MLB baseball leads to more power than expected based on minor league results.

It's strange though that none of the projection systems that I have seen work this way.  All of them project less power in MLB than displayed in the high minors.  So, Vlad Jr. is projected for IsoP of .195 by ZiPS, .207 by Steamer after posting marks of .269 and .227 in AA and AAA.  Maybe they're wrong (I personally would take the over on Vlad's IsoP of .207). 
hypobole - Tuesday, April 16 2019 @ 03:11 PM EDT (#372671) #
"I feel Atkins has been quite truthful except that he hides a lot."

Dan ZIPS FG chat yesterday:

Q: Is a 100% honest GM something that people say they really want, but would regret immediately?
Dan Szymborski: Yes

And while I was looking for that, found this for any GOT fans

Q: Who is the Cersei of baseball?
Dan Szymborski: After the Albies contract, maybe Alex Anthopoulos!
uglyone - Tuesday, April 16 2019 @ 03:36 PM EDT (#372673) #
while we're stuck with littlefinger.
hypobole - Tuesday, April 16 2019 @ 03:48 PM EDT (#372674) #
Sam Miller at ESPN with an interesting look at 3 April stats and whether they continue, or are just anomalies: Fewer triples, more pitcher wildness, starters ERA's lower than relievers.
Mike Green - Tuesday, April 16 2019 @ 03:56 PM EDT (#372675) #
Thanks for the Sam Miller link, hypobole.  It is a thoughtful piece.
hypobole - Tuesday, April 16 2019 @ 03:59 PM EDT (#372676) #
while we're stuck with littlefinger.

Maybe he'll pick up the DFA'd Swihart just to tick you off even more (if that's possible) :)
uglyone - Tuesday, April 16 2019 @ 04:01 PM EDT (#372677) #
Oh dear god it's gonna happen for sure isn't it.

Nigel - Tuesday, April 16 2019 @ 04:10 PM EDT (#372678) #
I think we can all agree that Swihart would play 2B, 3B, and the corner OF spots badly, so he would fit right in on this roster:). (Joke)
Magpie - Tuesday, April 16 2019 @ 04:12 PM EDT (#372679) #
The organization does seem to believe in Drury - he hasn't shown me anything, but who cares - and the good news for Drury is he's probably going to get a good bit of run at second base in the near future. Sooner or later, though, he's got to hit.
85bluejay - Tuesday, April 16 2019 @ 04:35 PM EDT (#372680) #
Brito in CF today, Grichuk in RF - make sense with more room to cover in CF - Drury sitting - he's really been a disappointment - I don't like his very upright batting stance - does Drury have options?
Mike Green - Tuesday, April 16 2019 @ 04:41 PM EDT (#372681) #
I've seen enough of Brito.  Not a fan of McKinney sitting against a RHP so that Brito can play. 
Chuck - Tuesday, April 16 2019 @ 04:42 PM EDT (#372682) #
Last year and this, Drury is a combined 21 for 134, for a .157 average. And it's been a quiet .157 with just 8 XBH and just 10 walks. Not sure where else he'd get the opportunity he's getting now.
85bluejay - Tuesday, April 16 2019 @ 04:44 PM EDT (#372683) #
I don't know if it's that the organization has faith in Drury but imagine the heat they'd take if they gave up on one of the return for Happ this quickly - The FO already took a lot of heat for that trade with most fans giving a big thumbs down - wouldn't surprise me if they try to move him in July by using the Vlad is here excuse.
mathesond - Tuesday, April 16 2019 @ 04:55 PM EDT (#372684) #
Yes, because a well-known hallmark of successful franchises is letting fan opinion guide their moves.
85bluejay - Tuesday, April 16 2019 @ 05:11 PM EDT (#372685) #
Yes it is.
scottt - Tuesday, April 16 2019 @ 05:15 PM EDT (#372686) #
Best fit for Swihart might be with the Yankees, but they're not trading for him.

First Red Sox/Yankees series are both teams have been bad with Boston tied with the Jays and New York just one game ahead.

At least, we are not expected to win.

dan gordon - Tuesday, April 16 2019 @ 05:29 PM EDT (#372688) #
I didn't like the Drury acquisition at the time, and I like it even less now. He's not a major league talent, and neither are Brito or Hanson. The only success Drury ever had in the major leagues was when playing home games in Arizona. Hanson has some pop batting left and some speed, but is likely just a good AAA player or mlb injury replacement. I would be amazed if any of those 3 guys are on the major league team 3 months from now.

I see Gurriel is DH'ing in game 1 of the double header for Buffalo today. Hoping to see them try him in the OF. Biggio is playing 1B with Urena at 2B.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, April 16 2019 @ 06:26 PM EDT (#372692) #
Dalton Pompey bullied as a Blue Jay in the club house during "the years" per Prime Time Sports, a "deer in the headlights" who was taken advantage of by peers.
Shoeless Joe - Tuesday, April 16 2019 @ 06:53 PM EDT (#372697) #
Among 194 qualified hitters Drury has the worst strikeout rate at 41%. There are 307 batters with at least 25 PA, and Drury has a 0.202 xwOBA which ranks 291st. Not to be outdone Allan Hanson's 0.162 xwOBA ranks 303rd.

I simply don't want Hanson on the roster, and at some point something has to change for Drury. His strikeout rate has never been even remotely bad before, so at least there is some hope he can turn it around.
uglyone - Tuesday, April 16 2019 @ 07:01 PM EDT (#372698) #
Tbh there's not a piece of jays property over the age of 24 that I actually care about at this point. They're all just placeholders.

And even many of the 24yr olds are only borderline interesting.
scottt - Tuesday, April 16 2019 @ 07:49 PM EDT (#372699) #
I wonder if Hernandez's glasses are prescription.
When he dropped that ball in Boston, he was acting like he just lost a contact.

Next year, there's an extra position player on the roster, a speedy type would be most useful.
That make fringe players like Brito and Hanson more interesting but still not very valuable and you only need one.

It's going to take a while for the pitching picture to come into focus.
Shoemaker is good, but old and fragile. Bucholtz is older still and with low velocity.
They could extend one of Stroman/Sanchez and it would still leave a bunch of holes.
Guys you are supposed to take a step forward get hurt or struggle.

Magpie - Tuesday, April 16 2019 @ 10:16 PM EDT (#372702) #
Socrates Brito... think I'll head on down to the Dome when the team is back in town. See if they'll give me a tryout.
92-93 - Tuesday, April 16 2019 @ 10:31 PM EDT (#372703) #
"It doesn't sound like much but when Grichuk can recognize the difference between balls and strikes that's going to be a step in the right direction."

Buck is a treasure.
Chuck - Tuesday, April 16 2019 @ 10:38 PM EDT (#372704) #
Brito and I remain tied in hits this year. That damn Chris Davis recently pulled ahead of me.
uglyone - Tuesday, April 16 2019 @ 10:45 PM EDT (#372706) #
nice ending.
92-93 - Tuesday, April 16 2019 @ 10:45 PM EDT (#372707) #
Great relay. Nice win.
dan gordon - Tuesday, April 16 2019 @ 10:45 PM EDT (#372708) #
Awesome way to win a game.
uglyone - Tuesday, April 16 2019 @ 10:48 PM EDT (#372709) #
didn't think we had any chance at that off the bat. pretty sweet.

first back to back wins this year.
hypobole - Tuesday, April 16 2019 @ 10:48 PM EDT (#372710) #
wow 2 assist game for teoscar. Gold Glove here I come!
dalimon5 - Tuesday, April 16 2019 @ 10:54 PM EDT (#372711) #
Twins actually look worse than the Jays and Baldelli has a super laid back style that doesn't seem to match well with his roster.

CJ Cron looked mighty fast avoiding the DP down the 1st base line. He looks very slow rounding the bases during the relay.

Jays 2 games back from playoffs without Vlad.
Gerry - Tuesday, April 16 2019 @ 11:00 PM EDT (#372712) #
Excellent throw from Teoscar, he hit Galvis on the glove side so Galvis could just step and throw home. It made all the difference in a close play.
greenfrog - Tuesday, April 16 2019 @ 11:27 PM EDT (#372714) #
Add VGJ, Biggio, Borucki, Tepera, Phelps, Bichette (maybe), and other reinforcements ... despite everything, could the Jays actually become somewhat good in 2019 and sneak into contention?
SK in NJ - Tuesday, April 16 2019 @ 11:54 PM EDT (#372715) #
I was not a fan of the Happ deal at the time, and hindsight hasn't made it any better. Drury has never been this bad, so maybe there is hope for a bounce back, but if he has options left, then at some point they will have to consider using it. Although there isn't much competition for the 2B spot at the moment so once Vlad comes up they will probably move Drury to 2B and hope his bat turns around.

I have said before, Brian Cashman simply does not lose trades. Maybe you'll find one or two bad ones out of 20, but I would rather never trade with him again if possible.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, April 17 2019 @ 12:12 AM EDT (#372716) #
So Cashman didn't lose the Happ trade. Does that mean the Yankees win the Happ trade? The Jays didn't win the Happ trade. Did they lose the Happ trade?

Just because you don't lose a trade, does not mean you won the trade. Happ is terrible right now. Mckinney and Drury have two things right now - upside and control.

Cashman does things that people include as part of the trade. Happ getting signed in the offseason is an example of this. That is a separate move by Cashman. He traded for 2 months of Happ who delivered little in the playoffs when it mattered.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, April 17 2019 @ 12:28 AM EDT (#372717) #
Drury is already in his arb years and his upside is questionable. He did some work on improving his launch angle prior to 2018 but it hasnít reflected in his results, if anything heís gotten worse (granted in a small sample size). It made no sense to target someone like that, especially if months later they were going to go fully into a rebuild. Cashman trading that plus an expendable OF prospect with limited upside for two months of the best SP on the market at the time was a no brainer. I donít want to beat a dead horse, the move happened and it is what is, but hindsight hasnít been any nicer to the deal than what most thought at the time.

Iím not ruling out improvement from Drury, as the team clearly saw potential in him, but itís not something Iím going to expect unless I start seeing some positive development in his underlying numbers.
Spifficus - Wednesday, April 17 2019 @ 12:51 AM EDT (#372718) #
I will only say I was not a fan at the time of the deal, to say the least, but am still hoping to be proven wrong... for obvious reasons.
scottt - Wednesday, April 17 2019 @ 06:53 AM EDT (#372720) #
Lots of Drury talk for a game in which he didn't actually play.

Going forward, only one of Drury/Brito in each game would help.

Sogard is 3/5 and Drury is 8/57.

Dury was acquired by the Yankees because he fits their stadium, a right handed batter with power the other way. He was not healthy. I don't know if he is. His condition was kinda like a concussion. Double vision? He certainly isn't seeing the ball well. He takes pitches down the middle and chases outside pitches.

Out of Arizona Drury worked with JD Martinez's private coach to revamp his swing and changed his launch angle from 7.4 to 13.8 degree.  This year he has a babip of .250. ZIPS and streamer have him around .630-.650 OPS. Meh. For now, he's striking out a 41.7%. 

He's swinging at 34% of the pitches outside the strike zone. That's about 3% more than his career line, but he's missing 49% of the time. With his Arizona swing he was missing only 40% of the time.

Bottom line, if you wanna go all launch angle, better find your eye at the plate.

hypobole - Wednesday, April 17 2019 @ 08:37 AM EDT (#372721) #
Outside observers thought the Happ trade was fair value. Here are Fangraphs rankings of the prospects traded at the deadline - note Drury's position on the list.

Rightly or wrongly (but probably wrongly),many GM's have a recency bias when making deadline deals. And Happ had a miserable July, 4 GS, 17 IP, 7.41 ERA, .924 OPS. We'll never know what other offers were on the table but highly doubtful as good as "best pitcher on the market" would suggest.

A reasonable argument could be made (asa number of posters did), that the FO should have insisted on non-40 man lower level prospects, in which case the value would almost assuredly been lower.
Mike Green - Wednesday, April 17 2019 @ 09:06 AM EDT (#372722) #
Cashman has lost plenty of trades over his career, but does have a good trading record.  The Happ deal was a nice try for him, but may very well end up as a negative (courtesy of McKinney more likely than Drury). 

Teoscar had a good game in many ways, save for the baserunning blooper after the 2 RBI single (he should have been following Smoak's lead when the left-fielder overthrew the cutoff man).  The throw to get Kepler was right on the money.  His decision to advance on Tellez' fly to the wall in left was also good.  He dug out a pretty decent pitch for the line single and drew a walk. 

Jansen looks much better defensively.  I am confident in his offensive abilities even if he hasn't shown much so far this season.

hypobole - Wednesday, April 17 2019 @ 10:32 AM EDT (#372725) #
Pre-season we were expected to win 73-76 games. Started cold and around the time of the Cleveland sweep, someone posted top 3 pick. Now we've won a couple, holding our own against contenders and the word playoffs has cropped up.

FG still has us as a 74 win team, and that's close to where I see it. Our cold hitting has been showing signs of life, Vlad will be here in a week and maybe Biggio and a couple of others come up/get healthy to remove the Brito's from the roster.

But we have a very, very brittle starter group, with no seemingly ready depth in the upper minors. SRF and Paulino have been awful, Borucki is gone till mid-June at the earliest. Waguespack has been the best Bison starter and that's not cause for optimism.
hypobole - Wednesday, April 17 2019 @ 11:34 AM EDT (#372729) #
Another interesting piece on the current state of baseball, from The Ringer, echoing some of Sam Miller's ESPN piece yesterday, but also other trends including this:

"Last year was the first full season in history in which strikeouts outnumbered hits, and only by 189. Through Monday, the league was batting only .244, and strikeouts were already ahead of hits by 305."
Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, April 17 2019 @ 11:42 AM EDT (#372730) #
Hernandez still lacks overall focus, but has seemed to have made some all around improvements to his game. Here are his April stats:

0.293/0.375/0.463 wRC+ 124
12.5% BB%, 25% K%, 0.171 ISO%

I think if he continues to trade off a little power for a little more plate discipline he will be a much better overall hitter.
BlueJayWay - Wednesday, April 17 2019 @ 11:54 AM EDT (#372732) #
Pre-season we were expected to win 73-76 games. Started cold and around the time of the Cleveland sweep, someone posted top 3 pick. Now we've won a couple, holding our own against contenders and the word playoffs has cropped up.

Must be April...

Another interesting piece on the current state of baseball, from The Ringer, echoing some of Sam Miller's ESPN piece yesterday, but also other trends including this:

"Last year was the first full season in history in which strikeouts outnumbered hits, and only by 189. Through Monday, the league was batting only .244, and strikeouts were already ahead of hits by 305."

There's a Simpsons episode where Homer gets a job wirting fortune cookie fortunes. One that he comes up with off the cuff is "The price of stamps will climb ever higher." In baseball we can say "The rate of strikeouts will climb ever higher."
When there are more Ks than hits it feels like a line has been crossed. Lower the mound...

greenfrog - Wednesday, April 17 2019 @ 12:09 PM EDT (#372734) #
"But we have a very, very brittle starter group, with no seemingly ready depth"

Keuchel is reportedly available on a one-year contract.
bpoz - Wednesday, April 17 2019 @ 12:33 PM EDT (#372735) #
SPs certainly are fragile. In the off season I looked at longevity of Jays pitchers since 2010. #3 & 4 types, not #1. Era 3.5-4.5 and about 150 IP/Season. S Marcum 5 years, R Romero 3 years. Litsch under 2 years. B Cecil, Morrow, Zep and C Janssen has maybe 1 good year as a SP but continued on as good relievers.

Shapiro has made it clear that developing SPs is V important and I think he said that is the hardest thing to do.

So I guess expecting failure in SP development is a big part of building a competitive team. To combat this quantity is crucial. Having Stroman and Sanchez and then adding to the rotation with young SPs like Borucki & SRF. About 5 of these young guys would be a good accomplishment. 2-4 cheap veterans like Buchholz, Shoemaker and C Richard is another good strategy. Giving a Biagini type a shot in the rotation is another strategy.

So Pearson & Pardhino would project as possible #1 like Stroman, Sanchez, Thor.
John Northey - Wednesday, April 17 2019 @ 12:52 PM EDT (#372736) #
I suspect once the draft is done he'll get it very quickly.
Crazy how valuable people have made draft picks. Keuchel over a 5 year contract would help a team win far more than the average first round pick (outside of top 10) with little doubt. But that lottery chance (Halladay was picked 16th iirc) keeps teams hording picks now. Keuchel though isn't too useful for the Jays right now unless the team finds itself in contention by some miracle. Maybe Biggio at 2B and Vlad at 3B... :)
John Northey - Wednesday, April 17 2019 @ 01:03 PM EDT (#372737) #
AA had a good plan with pitchers - draft a crapload of good arms and hope to get a few up here, use others as trade chips as teams always need pitching. 12 slots, if a guy doesn't make it as a starter he might be a closer. If not a closer, might be a setup, etc. Hitters though either hit so well position doesn't matter or need to be strong in the field at a position to deal with their bat (IE: good bat for 2B won't work well at 1B as you need a much better bat there, thus why the Jays did that bizarre attempt to get Cecil Fielder to play 3B - man was that an ugly spring - as they had McGriff at 1B too and Willie Upshaw).

I hope the current GM is good at finding strong arms. Just because there are a few up here or close doesn't mean the Jays should slow down efforts to get more. More! MORE!!!
hypobole - Wednesday, April 17 2019 @ 01:07 PM EDT (#372738) #
From FG:

" In his contract year, Dallas Keuchel was able to prove he could hit the 200 inning plateau once again but did so with his second-worst ERA since 2013. A 3.74 mark isn't inherentlybad, though he took steps back in notable areas that should bring concern in 2019 and beyond. A successful Keuchel sits at the bottom edge of the zone with his sinker, changeup, and slider, toying with batters and baiting them to swing as pitches often tumble just at the last moment. However, Keuchel struggled to find this rhythm last year, showcasing a dip in O-Swing that forced him to throw pitches in the zone at a 42.5% mark. It led to his highest allowed contact rate since his rookie season and a thirteen point drop in groundball rate. His slider was the biggest detriment, dropping massively in chases off the plate and swings-and-misses while raising its BAA nearly one hundred points, and without that breaker, Keuchel doesn't have enough in his changeup and sinker to hint at the ace of old. Keep an eye out for the pitch to return early for Keuchel or it will be more slightly above average production - if not worse - in 2019."

The above shows reasons beyond the draft pick (in our case 2nd rounder plus $500 K IFA money next year) that are giving teams pause. He's better than anything else out the, I'm sure, but is he a difference maker anymore?
greenfrog - Wednesday, April 17 2019 @ 01:10 PM EDT (#372739) #
It would take a few things to break right (health, first and foremost), but the Jays could be a better-than-expected team in a few months.

SP: Stroman, Sanchez, Shoemaker, Buchholz, Thornton (Borucki, SRF, Richard, Pannone)

RP: Giles, Biagini, Tepera, Phelps, Hudson, Pannone, Mayza, Luciano

IF: VGJ, Galvis, Biggio, Smoak (Tellez, Bichette, Gurriel, Sogard, ???)

C: Jansen, Maile

OF: Grichuk, Teoscar, McKinney (Biggio, Alford, ???)

It doesnít look like a championship-calibre roster, but with some health and luck and continued effective pitching, it could conceivably hang around the WC race.
Mike Green - Wednesday, April 17 2019 @ 01:31 PM EDT (#372740) #
There are 19 players with 50 bWAR by the age of 27.  In order, they are Cobb, Mantle, Trout, Hornsby, Rodriguez, Foxx, Griffey Jr., Ott, Aaron, Speaker, Collins, Pujols, Mathews, Vaughan, Mays, F. Robby, Ruth and Bonds.  There are a few notable omissions from anyone's list of the greatest position players ever- Honus Wagner would be the first- but they're just about all there. 

Interestingly, if you look at pitchers with bWAR greater than 50 by the age of 27, you get a bunch of pitchers from before the turn of the century, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, and Bert Blyleven.  And that's it.  No Clemens, no Seaver, no Gooden.  Bert Blyleven!  Who knew?
hypobole - Wednesday, April 17 2019 @ 01:34 PM EDT (#372742) #
Crazy schedule for the Jays the next 30 days.

After the Twins, fly to Oakland for 3.
Fly home for 5 games, then a 2nd trip to the west coast to play the Angels, then to Texas.
Fly home for 6 games, then a 3rd west coast trip to play 2 games with the Giants, then to Chicago.
bpoz - Wednesday, April 17 2019 @ 01:54 PM EDT (#372745) #
I admire your optimism greenfrog. We should have won that 2nd game in Boston.
The Gurriel throwing error forced Stroman to throw an extra 15 pitches I think. This wears down a pitching staff. The pen gets used up.

We want to protect our players from injury and other stuff. The other stuff would be Gurriel losing his confidence in his throwing to 1st. T Hernandez must become confident in his defensive game.
85bluejay - Wednesday, April 17 2019 @ 04:07 PM EDT (#372747) #
For PR/attendance purposes I'd expect the Jays to promote Vlad on a homestand & when he's hitting well.

I expected Drury to slide over to 2nd when Vlad arrived but given his struggles if Drury has options I'd option him to AAA - Sogard is probably the backup SS.
85bluejay - Wednesday, April 17 2019 @ 04:44 PM EDT (#372749) #
I know people are going to hate this but I'd DFA Brito (good chance Jays still keep him in AAA) and claim Blake Swihart - can always DFA him later - my guess is the Red Sox will trade him to an NL club. Cycling through has-beens hoping to find a nugget is what rebuilding teams should do.
85bluejay - Wednesday, April 17 2019 @ 05:50 PM EDT (#372750) #
Vizcaino is out for the year, Minter is struggling mightily & Kimbrel is probably too expensive - in a tough 4 team race, can the Braves really wait until July to make a move & the Jays have showed they are willing to trade at any time. Ken Giles to Atlanta makes so much sense.
scottt - Wednesday, April 17 2019 @ 07:55 PM EDT (#372754) #
Speaking of attendance, it seems like the first 2 games of this series have broken records.

Tuesday's game drew 13,365 fans, the second-fewest in Target Field history. Monday's game against Toronto had a smaller crowd, with an announced attendance of 11,727.

With a rain delay, we might be able to do ever better

Thomas - Wednesday, April 17 2019 @ 08:01 PM EDT (#372755) #
I think Swihart makes more sense if the Jays are replacing Maile with him (and I've not seen anything that suggest they aren't happy with Maile as a backup). Jansen's early season struggles aside, he's the leading contender to be the organization's long-term catcher of the future. I have no interest in taking at-bats away from him by turning catcher into a three-way job share.

I know that Swihart has experience in the corner outfield positions and elsewhere, but I've seen nothing in the last few years that suggests he can hit well enough to hold down one of those positions. I think Swihart's primary value is as a backup catcher, not as a corner outfielder who can also play catcher. Then again, I've seen nothing that suggest Brito is a major league outfielder, so it may be worth taking a look at Swihart for a couple of weeks.
scottt - Wednesday, April 17 2019 @ 08:06 PM EDT (#372757) #
The A's have just put Estrada on the IL with back issues.
Sounds familiar. We're going to miss him, which is too bad because he has not been good.

uglyone - Wednesday, April 17 2019 @ 08:48 PM EDT (#372758) #
Swihart can't catch.

Arguably passable in LF. In Fenway at least.

And he definitely can't hit.

Sounds like the perfect Jay.
Cracka - Wednesday, April 17 2019 @ 08:59 PM EDT (#372759) #
Swihart is an interesting reclamation project, but I don't think he's major league catcher (or at least, I'm sure the Red Sox don't think that). He was never known for his defense and has only started ~90 games at catcher in the last 3+ years (minors includes). There only are a few teams that would consider an "offense-first" back-up catcher, and Swihart hasn't hit well enough since 2015 to make anyone interested. Yet he fits the profile of a very late bloomer: Highly athletic, high pick/pedigree, BUT injuries & playing the wrong position in mid 20's (Bautista, Donaldson, and Encarnacion all fit this profiel to some degree). He needs a defensive position -- he's not an ideal utility guy, as he has very little experience other than at Catcher (18 starts in OF + 1 at 1B). Will be interesting to see if a non-contender gives him a shot playing in the field on a regular basis, or if he's just a 25th man, utility guy at this point.
uglyone - Wednesday, April 17 2019 @ 09:21 PM EDT (#372760) #
Swihart is 27yrs old.

He has a career .615ops in AAA. A career .726ops in all MILB.

his career .679ops in MLB is inflated by a .340babip.

he can't hit.

also, he can't defend.

hypobole - Wednesday, April 17 2019 @ 10:14 PM EDT (#372761) #
Elvis Luciano now has a lower ERA than Travis Bergen.
rabbit - Wednesday, April 17 2019 @ 11:01 PM EDT (#372762) #
ďElvis Luciano now has a lower ERA than Travis Bergen.Ē

My favourite Batterís Box post, ever.
PeterG - Wednesday, April 17 2019 @ 11:07 PM EDT (#372763) #
How about giving Roemon Fields an opportunity in place of Socrates.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, April 17 2019 @ 11:19 PM EDT (#372764) #
Luciano's changeup looked really good in his 1.1 innings of work. He's only 19 and has no business in the big leagues, so I'm not concerned about the numbers necessarily, but you can see why the Jays like him. Hopefully he can get through this season in one shape, and continue to develop in the minors from 2020-onwards.
Spifficus - Wednesday, April 17 2019 @ 11:58 PM EDT (#372765) #
The main thing for me with Luciano is that he doesn't look like a deer in the headlights with any frequency, and I haven't noticed any signs of that at this point. He's doing something in the range of what I'd expect (well, a bit better after tonight's game), which is show occasional bouts of wildness, but not pitch balls to the backstop.

As for Swihart, it really comes down to a couple things - is there some clay left to work with (especially on defense), and do you think you'd have a reasonable shot at passing him through waivers in about 10 days. I mean, the Brito experiment pretty much has to be over at this point, so there's an opportunity to do a bit of asset collection. If they think they have enough OFs for the week, why not carry him as a 3rd C / LF / DH for a week or so? For all the reasons ugly mentioned, though, I'm not giving the idea a full-throated endorsement, but it'd be something I'd mull over if I were the front office.
dan gordon - Thursday, April 18 2019 @ 12:24 AM EDT (#372766) #
Swihart is one of those switch hitters who really can only hit one way. He's a terrible right handed batter, with a career OPS of .523, with no power at all. Batting lefty, he's not bad, with an OPS of .734. He had a couple of very nice minor league seasons in 2013/2014, and then his 1st 2 mlb seasons weren't bad, but he's dropped off dramatically since then. Doesn't hit well enough to be an OF or 1B, so he'd have to make it as a catcher, and as the lefty side of a platoon, would have plenty of offense if he hit like in 2015/2016. Just how bad is his defense, and is it fixable? He probably should have tried forgetting about switch-hitting a few years ago, but he's kind of old to do that now.
dalimon5 - Thursday, April 18 2019 @ 12:27 AM EDT (#372767) #
"Elvis Luciano now has a lower ERA than Travis Bergen.Ē

My favourite Batterís Box post, ever."

- Seconded
Magpie - Thursday, April 18 2019 @ 02:09 AM EDT (#372768) #
I missed the game, so I'm looking at the box score - and it's very, very weird. All three pitchers Toronto used in the game wound up with the same ERA - 5.40. When does that ever happen? (once we get past any opening week shutouts.)
Shoeless Joe - Thursday, April 18 2019 @ 07:37 AM EDT (#372771) #
I am a little worried about Thorton's splits, he has a 0.293 wOBA against righties and a 0.416 wOBA against lefties. This kind of mirrors his minor league splits and if he doesn't improve against lefties I think he is looking at a career in the bullpen.
Chuck - Thursday, April 18 2019 @ 08:04 AM EDT (#372773) #
All three pitchers Toronto used in the game wound up with the same ERA - 5.40

Number 9, number 9, number 9... I believe this portends the imminence of end times and the four Norsemen of the Acropolis and all that. Or something. I am not strong in mythology.

scottt - Thursday, April 18 2019 @ 08:07 AM EDT (#372774) #
Tepera was on hand, ready to be activated, but they waited in case of a double header the next day.
I'm guessing Guerra would be the odd man out here, since he pitched 2 mop up innings at the end.

dalimon5 - Thursday, April 18 2019 @ 08:49 AM EDT (#372776) #
We traded Aldemys Diaz for Thornton precisely because the Astros didn't view him as starting material. Jays brass is just trying to get lucky. Thornton looks like a mediocre reliever/mop up man to me.
Shoeless Joe - Thursday, April 18 2019 @ 09:53 AM EDT (#372777) #
Thorton has an elite curveball and I think that plays up in the bullpen, and worst case could be a set-up man such as Ryan Pressly if his change-up doesn't improve. Sanchez had similar issues earlier in his career and won an ERA title afterwards, Thorton has only 4 starts with his new franchise there are adjustments to make and time to see if they work. Despite my worries, his curveball is a great building block for a team lacking elite tools and pitches.
uglyone - Thursday, April 18 2019 @ 09:59 AM EDT (#372778) #
that's probably closer to best-case than worst-case.
Mike Green - Thursday, April 18 2019 @ 10:05 AM EDT (#372779) #
Three pitchers ending the game with the same ERA has probably happened very occasionally, with 4.50 the most likely number after the first appearance or two.

Last night's game illustrated an unintended consequence of the limitations on mound visits.  The Twins had a runner on second.  First pitch was supposed to be a fastball and Thornton threw a slider in the dirt.  Maile blocked it awkwardly.  He stood up, obviously thinking about whether he should go talk to Thornton about signs and decided not to.  Next pitch Maile called for a slider and Thornton threw a 94 mph heater right into Maile's rather thin chest protector.  Maile then went out for an (undoubtedly breathless) conversation with Thornton about signs. 

Thornton has usually walked about 2 batters per 9 in his minor league career, but so far his control has been less than optimal and his stuff isn't good enough that he can get to a lot of 3-2 counts.  With him, if the opponents are just spoiling at 2 strike counts, you need to have him throwing pitches in the zone but not aiming for a K always.  I think that he can be a decent 5th starter, but it will take some tweaking of the approach. 

PeterG - Thursday, April 18 2019 @ 10:24 AM EDT (#372783) #
Thornton was available from the Astros because they had 40 man problems, not because they didn't think he could start. I think he still has promise as a starter...are we dismissing his first 2 outings in that regard? At the very least, he should be an impact reliever, not a medicocre mop up. That comment was off the mark imo.
hypobole - Thursday, April 18 2019 @ 10:28 AM EDT (#372784) #
"Thornton precisely because the Astros didn't view him as starting material".

Where did you hear this, since you seem to be stating it as fact?

uglyone - Thursday, April 18 2019 @ 10:28 AM EDT (#372785) #
Looks like a one pitch pitcher to me, with good command.
uglyone - Thursday, April 18 2019 @ 10:33 AM EDT (#372787) #
AAA (23-24): 239.1ip, 20.7k%, 5.3b%, 4.74era, 4.14fip, 4.08fip

Very pedestrian numbers, and pretty pedestrian stuff other than the curve.

Turning into an effective mlb starter is a stretch imo. Probably more of a Biagini.
Mike Green - Thursday, April 18 2019 @ 11:10 AM EDT (#372791) #
Birthdays today include Miguel Cabrera and Wahoo Sam Crawford.  But also Henderson Alvarez III (aka The Entertainer). How did I not know that he had the comical III after his name and the nickname to go with it?  And knowing this, how could the Blue Jays have traded him away?
Gerry - Thursday, April 18 2019 @ 11:15 AM EDT (#372792) #
I thought there was an exception to the mound visit count if there was an obvious cross-up. Maybe Maile didn't know or maybe that exception was taken away for this year.
rpriske - Thursday, April 18 2019 @ 11:32 AM EDT (#372794) #
Tepera is back. Javy got the DFA.
dan gordon - Thursday, April 18 2019 @ 11:55 AM EDT (#372797) #
Just heard on 590 that they have determined Thornton has been tipping his pitches.
Mike Green - Thursday, April 18 2019 @ 11:57 AM EDT (#372798) #
If you sub in VGJ for Drury and Biggio for Sogard (who moves to a utility role), today's lineup looks pretty decent to me.    If you look at xwOBA for the year, you have Smoak .384, Hernandez .341, Galvis .339, Tellez .335, Grichuk .332, McKinney .327, Jansen .270, Guerrero and Biggio.  That looks like an above-average offence.  If you look back at 2018 numbers and adjust, Smoak is probably 30-40 points lower and Jansen 30-40 points higher and everyone else very close. 
Shoeless Joe - Thursday, April 18 2019 @ 12:47 PM EDT (#372800) #
Speaking of curveballs and the Jays I noticed something interesting, as the Jays entered todays game with the 5th best starter ERA in the majors. In the offseason I lamented that the Jays were a fastball heavy pitching staff while the elite pitching staffs were moving to more off-speed usage.

However now in 2019 they have dropped their fastball percentage to 49.5% (21st) from 59.0% (4th) in 2018 . The major difference, in 2019 their curve ball usage increased to 20.9% (3rd) from 7.5% (27th) in 2018.
bpoz - Thursday, April 18 2019 @ 01:08 PM EDT (#372801) #
Very nice lineup M Green. Vlad is coming up because the FO says so. They are just waiting for him to recover. Biggio needs to be rule 5 protected. If he continues to dominate AAA, I would like him up for 200-250 ABs this year. That way he is not new to the Majors next year. If Bo also dominates AAA I am thinking about him the same way. 200-250 ABs.
bpoz - Thursday, April 18 2019 @ 01:11 PM EDT (#372802) #
Hanson and Brito are not in the lineup today.
bpoz - Thursday, April 18 2019 @ 01:16 PM EDT (#372803) #
Solo Hr by Grichuk.
uglyone - Thursday, April 18 2019 @ 01:17 PM EDT (#372804) #
"They are just waiting for him to recover"

spoiler: he's recovered
James W - Thursday, April 18 2019 @ 02:04 PM EDT (#372806) #
Maybe if they keep waiting, he'll get hurt again, and then they'll get to claim they're waiting for him to be healthy...
Magpie - Thursday, April 18 2019 @ 02:23 PM EDT (#372807) #
Word. We're clearly well past the point where... well, put it this way. Every at bat Guerrero takes in the minor leagues is a waste of who he is.
dalimon5 - Thursday, April 18 2019 @ 02:49 PM EDT (#372808) #
The rumour out there is for a Vlad debut against Oak in Toronto, with a smaller chance he debuts earlier against the SFG in Toronto and an even smaller chance he debuts this weekend away in Oakland. Weather in Buffalo will be a factor in the decision according to reports.

My thoughts on Trent Thornton are not facts. I think he is more Biagini than Sanchez relief, just like Ugly has said. He wasn't going to be protected on their 40 man because Houston didn't see him as a starter...look at the organization...they will trade for a SP before taking a prospect like Trent Thornton to be a SP.

Also, his curve all is one of the best only if you put that much weight in spin rate.

Finally, on the radio there was a disagreement about tipping pitches. Pete Walker suspected he was tipping pitches based simply on how bad TB hit him. Barker chalks it up to other things.
Nigel - Thursday, April 18 2019 @ 03:20 PM EDT (#372809) #
Thornton should continue to get his starts but he sure looks like a reliever to me. He seems at least one pitch short of having a staterís arsenal. Time will tell.
bpoz - Thursday, April 18 2019 @ 03:21 PM EDT (#372810) #
I think you are right dalimon5. Rumors make the most sense because he is coming up once not 3 times. I think the media is doing this rumor thing. Sort of an unofficial pool on his debut.

I spend some time trying to figure out Atkin's rebuild strategy. Especially Brito and A Hanson. Both are 26 years old with good tools and have pretty good minor league numbers. Therefore they are hoped for/expected to develop into regulars. Part time bench players would be a ridiculous goal because A Diaz, Solarte and E Sogard are cheap bench/depth pieces to acquire. Brito and Hanson were traded for. Ok, we also traded for Diaz and Solarte. Diaz did turn out v well. Thornton is good too, only Stroman, Sanchez and Shoemaker are clearly ahead of him. The quality of Buchholz is to be determined and he has not blocked SRF, Borucki Or C Richard
pubster - Thursday, April 18 2019 @ 03:35 PM EDT (#372811) #
I think the FO prefers quantity vs quality and are hoping that if they get enough guys some will have big seasons.

I think the same thing also applies with veterans. Get a lot of cheap veterans and the ones that have good/great seasons you can trade at the deadline.

Galvis/Shoemaker/Buccholz are playing very well right now. If they can somehow keep this up the FO has the option to flip them for prospects.
bpoz - Thursday, April 18 2019 @ 03:39 PM EDT (#372812) #
I liked the comment of Magpie that if you go through enough relievers you are bound to find one who does not have it that day.

I hope we are not heading in that direction today.
Mike Green - Thursday, April 18 2019 @ 04:28 PM EDT (#372814) #
The defence with Galvis and Sogard in the middle has been pretty solid this series.  The Blue Jays as a whole so far this season (prior to today's game) have been slightly positive according to DRS and almost exactly even according to UZR.  It's easy to see the difference.
grjas - Thursday, April 18 2019 @ 04:58 PM EDT (#372815) #
Wish they had sent Pannone down to get innings in as a starter. Buffalo SP so far are frightening and it would be nice to have some other options next year. They may also need to replace Thorton at some point so it would be nice if his arm was ready.
hypobole - Thursday, April 18 2019 @ 05:27 PM EDT (#372817) #
"The defence with Galvis and Sogard in the middle has been pretty solid this series".

Yeah, I figured the pitching staff would be a lot more enthused about the Sogard call-up than the fan base. It must feel great to have "solid" behind them than the blooper reels they had almost become accustomed to the past year.

As far as DRS and UZR, they both have anomalies with SSS. The team DRS leader at +3 is Teoscar. And per UZR/150, our best 2nd baseman this year has been Gurriel.

scottt - Thursday, April 18 2019 @ 06:04 PM EDT (#372818) #
It's hard to get quality starting pitching.
They've been opened to trade Stroman for some, but nobody was really interested.
San Diego has a lot of pitching, but they seem determined to keep them.
They'll change their mind only when they run into 40 roster limitations.

The position players have looked much better when facing bad pitching.
Detroit and Baltimore had better starters than Minnesota.
The Twins bolstered their lineup, but they didn't find starting pitchers.
They probably plan to use what they have and make a trade later if they're in contention.

Thorton won the 5th starter job in the spring, once Borucki went on the shelf.
He's right on the prospect list between Reid-Foley (who is still trying to get going) and Zeuch (who is injured). He has great K/B numbers. His FIP is down because he gives up too many homeruns. He has a plus fastball but he didn't have command in the cold. Buck said that one of his old coach who is now with Tampa told him straight up that they had "something on him".

I would have kept Urena at second. It's where Drury will end up shortly, anyway.
Do they keep Sogard or Hanson on the bench? Does it matter?

hypobole - Thursday, April 18 2019 @ 06:51 PM EDT (#372819) #
"They've been opened to trade Stroman for some, but nobody was really interested."

Teams were interested:

"The Astros were one of the teams that showed interest in trading for Marcus Stroman over the winter, The Athleticís
Ken Rosenthal reports (subscription required). The Reds and Padres were also linked to Stroman in reports."

Just wouldn't cough up what the FO was asking:

"While right-hander Marcus Stroman has frequented trade rumors in recent months, Nicholson-Smith suggests nobody has approached Torontoís asking price yet."
scottt - Thursday, April 18 2019 @ 07:25 PM EDT (#372820) #
Yeah, not interested in trading quality pitching prospects.
That's what the "some" was standing for.

vw_fan17 - Thursday, April 18 2019 @ 09:05 PM EDT (#372824) #
A little behind (still watching Wednesday's game), but just wanted to mention my new favorite "Buckism". I think it even made the condensed game: "He hits it high and deep.. but not deep...". LOL.
scottt - Thursday, April 18 2019 @ 09:37 PM EDT (#372825) #
So, I guess Pannone's 1 out appearance was judged "brief and ineffective" and the official scorer instead gave the win to Biagini who pitched the 8th.  We don't see that often.
scottt - Friday, April 19 2019 @ 05:56 AM EDT (#372835) #
I wonder if Harold Ramirez would have had a chance instead of Brito had he taken the more lucrative Jays offer.

His spring line was : .324 .351 .441.

BR has Socrates with  -.6 WAR in just 23 AB.
Hanson is at -.5 and Drury at -.4.
I feel sorry for Buffalo where many were hoping this was the year.

85bluejay - Friday, April 19 2019 @ 07:39 AM EDT (#372836) #
When the Jays signed Sogard I mentioned that it could be a nice add especially if Sogard could win the backup MI job and allow Urena to get more developmental time in AAA - someone posted rather derisively that Sogard's signing was not news or forum discussion worthy - well it's only one series, but I think a slice of humble pie is on the menu.
hypobole - Friday, April 19 2019 @ 08:56 AM EDT (#372838) #
Sogard's hitting will regress, hopefully more to his 2017 level than 2018. But I don't think that's why he's here. As Mike pointed out, he and Galvis are giving the Jays solid defence, and he's been consistently solid for years, no matter how well or poorly he's hit.

And our starters really need solid. They are one of 4 MLB rotations with a GB% between 46.3% and 46.5%. Only 2 other rotations have a higher GB%.
scottt - Friday, April 19 2019 @ 11:58 AM EDT (#372840) #
I'm not sure if that's going to stand.
Stroman is a ground ball machine.
Sanchez is around 50% the last 3 years, down from his early days.
Shoemaker is currently at 51%, but his career number is 40%.

I figure Sogard was signed in the spring in case of injury.
I'd  have kept Urena rather than Hanson.
I think Montoyo was expecting Urena to be a better bunter and Urena was just trying to show he can hit.
If anything, Urena is back in Buffalo learning the selfless life of a role player.
He's earned an other shot, but there are other prospects waiting for those MLB opportunities.

uglyone - Friday, April 19 2019 @ 02:46 PM EDT (#372842) #
Vladdy officially up for Tuesday.

Wonder who they send down. Drury?
bpoz - Friday, April 19 2019 @ 03:10 PM EDT (#372843) #
Wonderful news UO!!
Gerry - Friday, April 19 2019 @ 03:30 PM EDT (#372844) #
As far as I know the "official" word has come from a Spanish language journalist who seems to be well connected. It is likely true just not necessarily official.
85bluejay - Friday, April 19 2019 @ 03:42 PM EDT (#372845) #
I think the Jays will want Vladdy to play some home games in Buffalo as a goodwill gesture - if the games this wknd. are rained out, then Vladdy may have to wait maybe until the Jays next homestand
AWeb - Friday, April 19 2019 @ 03:53 PM EDT (#372846) #
Drury, Brito, and Hansen (who I barely knew was on the team) are a combined 14-110 (.127). None are notable on defense. There's no such thing as a roster crunch with these three around.
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