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The Blue Jays are in Anaheim for the start of a three-game series. #LetsGoBlueJays




Series Schedule / Probable Starters

Tuesday at 10:07 pm ET - Coppertone vs. Griffin Canning
Wednesday at 10:07 pm ET - Marcus Stroman vs. Felix Pena
Thursday at 10:07 pm ET - Aaron Sanchez vs. Tyler Skaggs

The Halos are 12-17 which puts them in the basement of the AL West. They are coming off a 2-1 series victory in Kansas City over the weekend. Mike Trout and company get a rare Friday off after this series as they head down to Mexico to play Houston on the weekend.

The Blue Jays began the Vladdy era with a three-game sweep of Oakland to pull even at .500 with a 14-14 record. They are five games back of Tampa Bay in the AL East.

Up Next - three games in Arlington May 3-5.
Blue Jays @ Angels - April 30-May 2 | 113 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Magpie - Tuesday, April 30 2019 @ 10:18 PM EDT (#373406) #
C.C. Sabathia just became the 17th pitcher ever to strike out 3,000 hitters. Not bad. I foresee a Hall of Fame debate in the future. He's got a pretty impressive 7 year peak and some 8 other seasons as an above average starter, and with his early start and long career his counting numbers can stand up to pretty well any other pitcher of his generation.
Gerry - Tuesday, April 30 2019 @ 10:34 PM EDT (#373407) #
Vlad was swinging at bad pitches in that at-bat. He didn't see a strike but swung at four of the pitches.
Thomas - Tuesday, April 30 2019 @ 11:13 PM EDT (#373409) #
Sogard can truly do no wrong.

Even when he makes an ill-advised throw, it turns into the Jays catching Mike Trout out on the bases.
John Northey - Tuesday, April 30 2019 @ 11:58 PM EDT (#373410) #
Seems all Drury needed was for Vlad to kick him off third to get his bat going. Weird, but whatever works.
hypobole - Wednesday, May 01 2019 @ 12:02 AM EDT (#373411) #
Almost time to buy a Drury jersey.
Glevin - Wednesday, May 01 2019 @ 01:37 AM EDT (#373412) #
Really donít like the bunting and pinch running Montoyo seems to love. There is a time for it but itís being done way too frequently. Analytics department needs to have a sit down with the manager,
dan gordon - Wednesday, May 01 2019 @ 02:55 AM EDT (#373414) #
Agree about Montoya. He's much, much more "old school" than new.

In the first couple of AB's Vladdy had in his first mlb game, he got a couple of called strikes against him on low outside breaking balls that looked out of the zone. It seemed to get in his head a bit, and since then he has been swinging at a lot more pitches, many of them out of the zone. In his last couple of AB's today, he seemed to rediscover his vaunted patience, and drew a couple of walks.
Magpie - Wednesday, May 01 2019 @ 07:24 AM EDT (#373419) #
Really donít like the bunting and pinch running Montoyo seems to love.

I hope some of this is just your standard early season stuff where you show your players that it's something they will be called on to do, they need to know how, it's for the good of the team, we're all in this together. It's also possible that Montoya's looking around and thinking - this is a lousy offence, if we can scratch out a single run, let's try.

I hate sending in a pinch runner for a guy on first base, just on general principle. It's too easy to burn up a big chunk of your bench if the next guy hits a grounder to an infielder. I think you have to wait until he's in scoring position.
scottt - Wednesday, May 01 2019 @ 07:30 AM EDT (#373420) #
I don't really have a problem with bunting, unless down by several runs.
It's not like the team is full of .300 hitters.

It's great that Drury is forcing Brito/Hanson out of the lineup.

Canning looked pretty good. He's on a massive inning limit and he will probably get shut down early.
They could do something like that with Pearson.


Glevin - Wednesday, May 01 2019 @ 07:43 AM EDT (#373421) #
I don't mind bunting or pinch running but only when it makes sense. You in a tie game in the 9th with runner at 2B and 0 out and a poor hitter up? Lay down that bunt. Runner at 3B with less than two outs tie game late innings and slow runner on base? Sure, punch run. Montoyo is bunting all the time and punch running with runners on first. I really hope this doesn't last.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, May 01 2019 @ 08:12 AM EDT (#373422) #
I hope the pinch running for Vlad is related to "load management" or some other reason that involves not pushing him beyond 9 innings so early in the season. If Montoyo truly believes it increases their chances of scoring a run or winning a game, then that's a bad sign.
Gerry - Wednesday, May 01 2019 @ 08:58 AM EDT (#373423) #
Vlad saw three strikes in his four at-bats yesterday. Hopefully his walks in his last two at-bats show he is adjusting.
Chuck - Wednesday, May 01 2019 @ 09:14 AM EDT (#373424) #
Don't look now, but Drury's OPS+ of 88 is now in line with his career 91 (for what that's worth). He's striking out a third of the time, however, and that alone would seem to make a return to his 2016 level of output a Sisyphean task.

Still, it will be interesting to see where this recent power surge goes. Opposition pitchers are sure to start adjusting.

Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, May 01 2019 @ 09:21 AM EDT (#373425) #
I really don't know where Drury levels off, currently his overall performance is fairly extreme and unpredictable at this point. His wrc+ and xwOBA are near his historical levels, but who he is getting there is anything but normal for him.
Chuck - Wednesday, May 01 2019 @ 09:24 AM EDT (#373426) #
Right now, Drury is an exaggerated version of himself. He's walking less and striking out more. His isolated OBP is lower than usual (though not by much) and his isolated SLG is higher than usual.

To me, even a return to 2016 seems terribly optimistic. But we'll see. He's young and will be given chances.

Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, May 01 2019 @ 09:38 AM EDT (#373427) #
I guess the hope would be that he can combine the new-found contact quality with at least the average-ish plate discipline he had in years past. However I am not sure that's possible as I think he is trading off for the power.
Glevin - Wednesday, May 01 2019 @ 09:46 AM EDT (#373428) #
Drury seems to have improved his defense so he is probably around a 1.5 WAR player as is. Slight improvement and you're taking about a 2 win player. Hernandez defense seems to have improved enormously and he is walking much more which means if it holds and he can find his power stroke again,, you're talking about a very good player. Big Ifs there but the possibility is there now.
hypobole - Wednesday, May 01 2019 @ 09:57 AM EDT (#373429) #
"However I am not sure that's possible as I think he is trading off for the power."

He showed little power with a horrific K rate early on. The past few weeks, the power has arrived, but that's also coincided with a drop in his K rate. Put that together with the steady infield defence he's shown, and all it means is he should be given every opportunity to play and see where it goes in a larger sample.
85bluejay - Wednesday, May 01 2019 @ 10:13 AM EDT (#373431) #
Drury's improved play is encouraging but I wonder if it's not best for all involved if the Jays can find a trade partner with an infield need (3B would be best) and maybe an outfield surplus of a young/near ready player.
Mike Green - Wednesday, May 01 2019 @ 10:30 AM EDT (#373434) #
Drury and Gurriel Jr. would be the two players that I would be most willing to move if I were the GM.  Targets: pitching (duh!) and a young true centerfielder with a balance of skills
Mike Green - Wednesday, May 01 2019 @ 10:39 AM EDT (#373435) #
Happy birthday, Marcus Stroman.  Perhaps the team can gift him a bunch of runs to work with tonight!
hypobole - Wednesday, May 01 2019 @ 11:00 AM EDT (#373437) #
ESPN with a birthday present.

2 of 4 voters for April AL Cy Young:

Matz: Stroman hasn't allowed a home run yet and has been generally brilliant, so he gets my AL vote.

Passan: Cheers to Marcus Stroman, who in a season that could well see 7,000 home runs has spent an entire month without allowing one. His 1.43 ERA reflects that and illustrates how the not-definitively-but-definitely-kinda-maybe-probably-is-juiced ball penalizes pitchers.

http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/26632891/the-biggest-mlb-winners-losers-april
SK in NJ - Wednesday, May 01 2019 @ 11:10 AM EDT (#373438) #
Drury's batted ball profile looks very good, but the BB/K is really bad, even during his hot streak. If his defensive improvement is legit and he can get back to being around league average with the bat then he's a solid player (as mentioned, probably a 1-2 WAR type). If the power really takes off then he becomes a bit more interesting.

I'd be OK with trading him if he looks promising. He has three years of control left after this one, but the Jays have organizational needs far greater than infield (SP and OF in particular).
uglyone - Wednesday, May 01 2019 @ 11:34 AM EDT (#373442) #
yeah gerry - vladdy's last 2 walks hopefully are him realizing that they're just throwing him junk. take the walks, kiddo, we can wait for the fireworks.
85bluejay - Wednesday, May 01 2019 @ 11:35 AM EDT (#373443) #
It would be interesting know how many scouts are at a Stroman start.
vw_fan17 - Wednesday, May 01 2019 @ 01:27 PM EDT (#373454) #
So, Sogard removed for "illness" and is day-to-day, according to one report.
That's somewhat good news - at the time I was worried he was injured. Or wondering if there was some ninja-trade in the works..
Chuck - Wednesday, May 01 2019 @ 01:38 PM EDT (#373456) #
Such a conspiracy theorist! Sogard was nobody two weeks ago and today his physical state warrants quotes because it can't entirely be trusted!
hypobole - Wednesday, May 01 2019 @ 01:49 PM EDT (#373457) #
We loves our SSS'es.
Mike Green - Wednesday, May 01 2019 @ 02:48 PM EDT (#373459) #
Reports said that he was vomiting and that he was given hydration.  That level of specificity is, in the case of baseball clubs, enough to soothe my skeptical soul.  No pictures required!
vw_fan17 - Wednesday, May 01 2019 @ 02:52 PM EDT (#373461) #
I only put "illness" in quotes, because that's all the article I found said, which I found a little strange.
Magpie - Wednesday, May 01 2019 @ 04:56 PM EDT (#373467) #
Drury and Gurriel Jr. would be the two players that I would be most willing to move if I were the GM.

I definitely take your point - neither one of those guys has yet convinced me that he's a major league regular. On the other hand, both of them may be capable of playing passably at multiple spots on the field. Which seems awfully useful in the days of the 8 or 9 man bullpen.
Magpie - Wednesday, May 01 2019 @ 04:58 PM EDT (#373468) #
That said, you probably don't need two of those guys.
Nigel - Wednesday, May 01 2019 @ 05:52 PM EDT (#373471) #
You definitely don't need two of them and, based upon current usage, Biggio is similarly being groomed to be a super utility guy. What gives Drury some more wiggle room is that he appears to be at least average defensively in the INF and he may be better than that. Having both a RH and a LH super utility player on the roster really would give you some day to day match up advantage possibilities. Hard to do with a 25 man roster and 8 and 9 man pens but it will be easier next year.
scottt - Wednesday, May 01 2019 @ 06:07 PM EDT (#373472) #
I don't really see Drury and Gurriel as similar. There's a glove first guy who might be able to hit more and a bat first guy who might not be able to field anywhere.

Seeing Profar struggle at 2B makes me doubt Gurriel's ability to play there.

There's that 26th roster spot next year. I'd like to see a defensive specialist who can steal bases.
Part of the depth is to be able to manage injuries.

Stroman is throwing his slider more this year. It's been very effective.
That changes things. Right now a lot of scouts still see him as a mid rotation guy.

In the pre-show they discussed Pannone getting a start.
That's fine, but they need to replace him in the bullpen if they do that.
That only works for me once Richard is activated.

The Angels only have 2 decent starters. Not only we do the Jays face them both, but they had to activate their top prospect for the other spot. I think the Jays will fare better against Texas who only has Mike Minor and a bunch of meh.

dalimon5 - Wednesday, May 01 2019 @ 09:36 PM EDT (#373479) #
Quantrill looked very good in his start tonight. Overthrew his fastball a bunch but his speed and change up were very good.

I'd definitely take him as one half of a return for Stroshow or straight up for Sanchez because of injury.
Thomas - Wednesday, May 01 2019 @ 10:04 PM EDT (#373480) #
Sadly, it appears that John Lott's stepson, who was also a sportswriter, has died unexpectedly at the age of 48.
Magpie - Wednesday, May 01 2019 @ 10:24 PM EDT (#373481) #
That's Jason Botchford, who covered hockey for the Vancouver newspapers and at The Athletic for the last year or so. I would have read his work when I was checking in on the Canucks. I didn't really do that on a regular basis, them being the Canucks and all. But I do remember seeing some interesting work, on a team I wasn't much interested in. And of course 48 is far, far too young.
Magpie - Wednesday, May 01 2019 @ 10:34 PM EDT (#373483) #
A suggestion: if Mike Trout thinks he can advance to the next base... believe him. He's Mike Trout. Throw the ball somewhere else.
sam - Wednesday, May 01 2019 @ 10:37 PM EDT (#373484) #
Finally have a moment to watch a Jays' game and a bit shocked at the mental errors still being committed by fringe players. Thought that was something that was supposed to be a focus of the team. Drury obviously has to go to first there on that ground ball. Double play was not on and wouldn't be even if he gets Trout given there would be two outs. That's a run there with Pujols sac fly. Grichuk's play in center was another one. That ball has to come in to second base. There's no play with his arm on the runner at third. Simmons advances and the Jays get lucky.
Nigel - Wednesday, May 01 2019 @ 10:38 PM EDT (#373485) #
Vancouver has almost no sportswriters who will actually call out Canucks ownership or management (notwithstanding the never ending supply of material to do so) because of how narrow the sports reporting market is. Botchford is one of the few who would. Itís very sad.

The defence in that inning was a hot mess.
Nigel - Wednesday, May 01 2019 @ 10:44 PM EDT (#373486) #
After a few games in a row of really quality ABs, Tellez has now had a couple of games of terrible ABs. The pendulum seems to swing particularly hard in his case.
James W - Thursday, May 02 2019 @ 12:07 AM EDT (#373488) #
A suggestion: if Mike Trout thinks he can advance to the next base... believe him. He's Mike Trout. Throw the ball somewhere else.

They got him out on the bases last night, though that probably wasn't all Trout's fault. Bour was really passive on that play.
hypobole - Thursday, May 02 2019 @ 12:20 AM EDT (#373489) #
Should have waited until after the game, instead of before, to have Stroman's birthday bash.

Discombobulation up and down the lineup, combined with Stroman really fighting the strike zone.

hypobole - Thursday, May 02 2019 @ 12:36 AM EDT (#373490) #
When the 3rd base coach held Calhoun on the fly to left, thought momentarily they didn't want to test Teoscar's arm, Then I realized it was going to be Trout vs Elvis with the bases loaded.
DH - Thursday, May 02 2019 @ 12:52 AM EDT (#373491) #
I'll give Elvis credit - Trout, Pujols, Simmons... not a bad test for a 19 year old!
scottt - Thursday, May 02 2019 @ 02:21 AM EDT (#373492) #
The Angels are now 10-7 at home and 4-10 on the road.

Baltimore is 3-10 at home and 8-11 on the road.
They are not a fan pleasing team.

hypobole - Thursday, May 02 2019 @ 07:38 AM EDT (#373494) #
"Finally have a moment to watch a Jays' game and a bit shocked at the mental errors still being committed by fringe players. Thought that was something that was supposed to be a focus of the team."

Takes under a minute to check Fangraphs and see the team is much improved defensively, even if one can't be bothered to watch any Jays baseball till game #30.

And no, Drury does not obviously have to go to 1st on that play. With most runners you get the force at 2nd to prevent the runner being in scoring position. He misjudged the combination of Trout's speed and how sharply the ball was hit. Yeah if there's any chance he wouldn't get the lead runner, you get the sure out at 1st, but it's not as obvious as you make it seem.
Mike Green - Thursday, May 02 2019 @ 08:20 AM EDT (#373496) #
I watched the condensed game.  That was a stinker.  The club made 3 errors according to the boxscore, but there were are bunch of dubious plays beyond those 3.  The pitcher gets the L, but the team was full value for it.

There is an obvious difference between Sogard and Drury in the field.
Mike Green - Thursday, May 02 2019 @ 09:22 AM EDT (#373497) #
Elvis Luciano is unlikely to end up the season with a 3.50 ERA, but he has done everything you could ask so far.  He's thrown 12.2 innings and been a perfectly typical last man in the bullpen.  Statcast has him with an expected wOBA of 3.55, about the same as Trent Thornton and ahead of Mayza, Biagini and Aaron Sanchez. 

Luciano is on pace to throw about 65 innings this year.  That would be great.  If the club is out of it in September (as seems likely), they might give him a start or two against a non-contender to get him up to about 80 innings.  Charlie Montoyo has done a really nice job of picking spots for Luciano. 
hypobole - Thursday, May 02 2019 @ 09:32 AM EDT (#373498) #
Dan Szymborski knows projection systems. But he seems to be out of his element in other ways. He came up with this nugget in January:

"Torontoís not that bad yet. But I think weíre a few months from the team dropping the pretense of contending-while-rebuilding, and even more aggressively shopping their veterans."

That was well after Atkins basically said there would be no pretense of contending this year.

Today at ESPN, in his "One quick fix for all 30 teams" here's his Blue Jays fix (behind a paywall):

"While I felt coming into 2019 that Lourdes Gurriel Jr. was playing over his head in 2018, it was a bit ridiculous to commit to him as the starter only to throw in the towel 30 games into the season. Bo Bichette is eventually coming and there's not a lot of point to letting Gurriel and Richard Urena beat up Triple-A pitchers while the team has a limited window to evaluate everyone in the majors. So let Gurriel play."

Uh, Dan, might help if you actually watched some Jays games.
Mike Green - Thursday, May 02 2019 @ 09:46 AM EDT (#373499) #
It's hard to cover all 30 teams, and for evaluating defence, you really have to look.  A lot.

I wouldn't have any issue if the club decided that Gurriel Jr. was a better corner outfielder prospect than Teoscar or McKinney and brought him up to play so that he can face major league pitching.  They seem fixated on him becoming a middle infielder, and if so, he obviously needs quite a bit more work- and you don't want to inflict that on your pitching staff. 
hypobole - Thursday, May 02 2019 @ 09:58 AM EDT (#373500) #
"It's hard to cover all 30 teams, and for evaluating defence, you really have to look. A lot."

Baseball writers, if they don't watch, talk to people who do. Dan isn't some unpaid blogger. I cancelled my ESPN E+ renewal when I signed up for The Athletic. I think I made the right choice.
Mike Green - Thursday, May 02 2019 @ 10:06 AM EDT (#373501) #
I like The Athletic too, but they actually have people on the ground everywhere (now).  ESPN doesn't have anyone like John Lott or Kaitlyn McGrath covering the Blue Jays. 

Talking to the right people is hard if you haven't built up relationships- and that still is mostly local (I think).  Gerry on this very website has done a wonderful job of that as you can see from the interviews.
uglyone - Thursday, May 02 2019 @ 10:13 AM EDT (#373502) #
I think the less time we spend hoping/stressing over the likes of gurriel/teoscar/drury/hansen/brito the better.

The chances of them ever becoming important players for us are slim.
Mike Green - Thursday, May 02 2019 @ 10:26 AM EDT (#373504) #
Stressing?  Not me.  Personally, I think the club has a bunch of players who might be decent to good contributors (which winning clubs need) but the odds are modestly against each of them at some level.  They do need to sort things out, and hopefully put players in the best position to succeed. 

Gurriel Jr. has a higher wRC+ in Buffalo than Biggio, but Biggio's overall stat line and what I have seen is much more impressive.  At this point, I'm of the view that if Biggio was given an everyday job at second base (or third base or right field or first base), he would likely be a better than average player.   I'm not sure that the club sees things the same way. 
hypobole - Thursday, May 02 2019 @ 10:39 AM EDT (#373506) #
Teams are getting more reluctant to take HS pitchers with their top draft picks. Texas took 3 with their first 4 picks last year. 2 of the 3 are already getting TJ surgery.
hypobole - Thursday, May 02 2019 @ 01:43 PM EDT (#373513) #
Speaking of drafting HS pitchers, we took Travis Hosterman in the 11th round back in 2016. Gave him 400K (300K over slot). Pitched 18 innings that year and then seemed to disappear. Even about a month back he showed active on the Vancouver roster. Now shows released.
hypobole - Thursday, May 02 2019 @ 01:55 PM EDT (#373517) #
And as far as our meh players, yeah, it's stupid to stress. That said Edwin spent years as a yearly sub-2 WAR guy until his age 29 season. Similar for Jose. Smoak will never reach their heights, but his extension has provided far more value than the mocking posts thought it would at the time.

I guess there should be an approved list of players we should have any hope for whatsoever.
Nigel - Thursday, May 02 2019 @ 02:06 PM EDT (#373525) #
I wonder how long the rope is going to be for McKinney? He offers none of the positional flexibility of the likes of Gurriel and Drury. The defensive numbers are all over the map for him but I think he's going to have difficulty (although its not impossible) playing a corner OF position to a draw. He is a LH OF which makes him a unicorn in the Jays system - that probably saves him for a time. He might be more at risk of being swapped out for someone like Biggio (or Gurriel) than any of the other meh players.
uglyone - Thursday, May 02 2019 @ 02:12 PM EDT (#373527) #

Baltimore is 3-10 at home and 8-11 on the road. They are not a fan pleasing team.

you ain't kidding!

pic taken right before the first pitch.

hypobole - Thursday, May 02 2019 @ 02:15 PM EDT (#373528) #
Yeah, Nigel, I was just checking this morning how many options McKinney has - all 3 apparently.
Mike Green - Thursday, May 02 2019 @ 02:53 PM EDT (#373532) #
Jonathan Davis reached base four times in game 1 of the doubleheader.  In 33 PAs this season, he has 3 doubles, 2 homers, 9 walks and 7 strikeouts, and unsurprisingly his slash line is video-game quality in the early going.  I'd much rather see him on the big club than Brito. 

Biggio has walked twice so far today, in addition to homering.  He is at 22/16  W/K in 97 PAs.  He's been the best hitter in the IL. 
Chuck - Thursday, May 02 2019 @ 03:19 PM EDT (#373533) #
pic taken right before the first pitch.

The night Chicago died indeed.

Nigel - Thursday, May 02 2019 @ 03:38 PM EDT (#373534) #
I like the chances of getting a league average (2 WARish) corner OF out of a Davis/Biggio platoon than I do of getting that out of McKinney (and, of course far more than out of Brito). Plus, Davis gives you more positional flexibility given he can play CF.
GabrielSyme - Thursday, May 02 2019 @ 04:04 PM EDT (#373535) #
Brito's AAA numbers are full of reasonable hope, but it's hard to see how he is going to help the team in the immediate future. I'm not sure he's failed enough to get through waivers, but it would be nice to keep him in the organization.

I'm not sure I understand the eagerness of many to push Gurriel Jr. and Biggio down the defensive spectrum. Ultimately, we may not have room for everyone at 2B (Biggio, Gurriel Jr., Drury, Sogard, Travis), but I wouldn't assume we are going to have more than one guy from that group who is going to succeed as a hitter over a larger sample.
Nigel - Thursday, May 02 2019 @ 05:00 PM EDT (#373536) #
Where to put players on the defensive spectrum is an interesting question with this management team. One significant criticism that I have of this group is that they have unsuccessfully pushed players up the defensive spectrum at a significant cost to the team's defence over the past several seasons.

I'm not in any rush to see the FO push Gurriel or Biggio unnecessarily down the defensive spectrum, but I actually don't understand the FO's approach to those two players in particular. The FO seems bound and determined to make Gurriel a middle infielder. Yet the defensive data and the eye test at the major league level suggest that's misguided. I can't remember many if any prospect evaluators who felt that Gurriel had a future as a middle infielder either. I watched Biggio for a full season in Vancouver, albeit several seasons ago. The eye test suggested that he was about average defensively (not great range or arm strength but good hands, good quickness and an accurate arm). The minor league defensive metrics (I know about their limitations) suggest something similar for Biggio. I don't know if Biggio would be an adequate defender at 2B at the MLB level but I do feel quite confident he is a better defender at 2B than Gurriel. However, all the evidence suggests that the FO is pretty determined to make Biggio something other than a 2B. If it were me, I would try Gurriel in the OF and I would give Biggio a run at 2B in the majors. That appears to be the opposite of the current thinking in the FO. I would genuinely like to know what they see in both to lead them to that conclusion.
Mike Green - Thursday, May 02 2019 @ 05:17 PM EDT (#373537) #
That's the way I feel about it, Nigel. 
Magpie - Thursday, May 02 2019 @ 05:27 PM EDT (#373538) #
Very cool what Noah Syndergaard did this afternoon. The complete game 1-0 shutout has become rare enough. But the one-run was his own homer. Last guy to win a game that way - like, all by himself - was Bob Welch in 1983.
uglyone - Thursday, May 02 2019 @ 06:02 PM EDT (#373542) #
Looking at BP's milb defense stats I'm interested to see that they mostly like Biggio's defense just fine (the only real bad year defensively was ironically in vancouver), while gurriel's has been subpar at most stops.

Sorta falls in line with what I was saying yesterday about the FO seeming to favor raw athleticism over actual defensive skill and/or performance.

Gerry - Thursday, May 02 2019 @ 07:36 PM EDT (#373547) #
Day off from Vlad tonight.
scottt - Thursday, May 02 2019 @ 08:00 PM EDT (#373549) #
I'm pretty confident on Gurriel as a hitter.
I don't think he can play 2B.

I'm pretty sure Biggio can be an average defender as 2B.
I'd like to see him get a few hundred ABs.
Maybe Travis gets in the mix. I think not.

Sogard is on a one year contract.
I don't think the magic will last there anyway.

I really don't know what to think about Drury, but I really don' t like Brito's swing.




scottt - Thursday, May 02 2019 @ 08:01 PM EDT (#373550) #
Cool. I can go to be early.
Shoeless Joe - Thursday, May 02 2019 @ 09:46 PM EDT (#373556) #
Tellez is starting to show he can hold his own against left handers. His strikeout rate against lefties is actually lower than against righties now for the season, and that is a very encouraging sign.
Nigel - Thursday, May 02 2019 @ 10:44 PM EDT (#373557) #
Hernandez doing Hernandez things in the OF again. And really, Hansen has no business being in RF in the first place.
Gerry - Thursday, May 02 2019 @ 10:49 PM EDT (#373558) #
Agreed Nigel, and both hitters could have been thrown out, after the botched plays, but the Jays could not execute.
Nigel - Thursday, May 02 2019 @ 11:00 PM EDT (#373559) #
I know that the SSS defence stats suggest a sea change in Hernandezís defence. I donít see it. I still see the same number of botched plays (along with some good plays as he always has). But the eye test is often wrong.
uglyone - Thursday, May 02 2019 @ 11:35 PM EDT (#373564) #
having 26yr olds who can't hit or field all through the lineup might not be a recipe for success.
hypobole - Thursday, May 02 2019 @ 11:44 PM EDT (#373566) #
Hansen's one skill seems to be that he can misplay multiple positions.
Nigel - Thursday, May 02 2019 @ 11:52 PM EDT (#373567) #
Montoyo seems set on playing with all the toys at his disposal. Iím not sure that that is a good or a bad thing - itís just a thing. But the FO has to adjust accordingly to their managerís style. In this case, that means taking all the broken toys away from Montoyo before heís tempted to use them.
hypobole - Thursday, May 02 2019 @ 11:58 PM EDT (#373569) #
Nigel, Teoscar has 4 assists already (only 3 OF's have more) and has used his speed to run down a couple of balls. UZR does have him as negative in the error department, as usual.
uglyone - Thursday, May 02 2019 @ 11:58 PM EDT (#373570) #
But that's what the FO wants. A team of interchangeable super-utes.
dan gordon - Friday, May 03 2019 @ 12:00 AM EDT (#373571) #
"I would try Gurriel in the OF and I would give Biggio a run at 2B in the majors. That appears to be the opposite of the current thinking in the FO. I would genuinely like to know what they see in both to lead them to that conclusion"

Exactly. It doesn't make sense to me at all. Gurriel is pretty obviously not a middle infielder, but he can hit. The team needs outfielders. Biggio's minor league numbers indicate he should be adequate at 2B. How much better would the team be right now if they replaced Brito and Hanson on the 25 man roster with Biggio and played him at 2B every day, and Gurriel and played him in the OF. In the case of Gurriel, you'd want to give him some games in the OF in Buffalo first. Each game, 2 of Hernandez, Tellez and McKinney are in the game at DH and 1 OF position. You can spot Drury, Sogard in from time to time. I think that's a decent lineup, especially once Vladdy makes the adjustments to the big leagues.
Nigel - Friday, May 03 2019 @ 12:09 AM EDT (#373573) #
Hypobole-Iím aware of the assists. You often see assist leaderboards filled with poor defenders because teams run on them believing that the poor defenders wonít be able to make a play. Hernandez didnít get an error tonight but it was deserved. However, as I said, the eye test is often wrong on OF defence.
Nigel - Friday, May 03 2019 @ 12:15 AM EDT (#373574) #
Hernandez, Schwarber and Castellanos (three of the worst OFs in baseball last year) all finished in the top 10 in the MLB in assists in 2018.
dan gordon - Friday, May 03 2019 @ 12:24 AM EDT (#373575) #
There's another ball that Hernandez should/could have caught.
hypobole - Friday, May 03 2019 @ 12:28 AM EDT (#373576) #
I'm not saying Hernandez is a good outfielder - he isn't. But he does have a legit good arm and has made accurate throws to cut down runners this year. And he has had longer stretches of not screwing up this year than last year, although tonight he's been bad again.
John Northey - Friday, May 03 2019 @ 12:32 AM EDT (#373578) #
Hernandez' defense makes me think of George Bell way back when. He was fast early on and had a good arm (few noticed thanks to Barfield) but as time went by his speed went down and his arm was too well known by teams for that to save him anymore on defense. I suspect we are going to see the same here. In 2020 I suspect Tellez will move to first with Hernandez at DH with a few games in the OF here and there (maybe 20-40 games).
uglyone - Friday, May 03 2019 @ 12:34 AM EDT (#373579) #
Will Teoscar freak out about moving to DH like Bell did? That would be fun. Kiss my purple butt.
uglyone - Friday, May 03 2019 @ 12:36 AM EDT (#373580) #
Two solid hits by Rowdy vs a tough lefty. Pretty good.
hypobole - Friday, May 03 2019 @ 01:00 AM EDT (#373581) #
Don't think Teoscar is a good enough hitter to DH. Twins got Cron after a 123 OPS+ season off the waiver wire.
Glevin - Friday, May 03 2019 @ 02:26 AM EDT (#373582) #
Hansen needs to go. I'm OK with some people to plug holes but Montoyo just can't stop giving Hansen PAs and it's a waste. Call up Biggio, recall Gurriel, recall a pitcher and just don't sit the other guys so much. I don't care. I'd much rather watch McKinney struggle or Biggio take his lumps than watch Hansen being given regular PAs.
scottt - Friday, May 03 2019 @ 06:10 AM EDT (#373584) #
Guerrero and Bichette are not going to move around.
Tellez can only field first base.
They want the backups to be regular who move around and hopefully no real DH.

The lineup of the future should shape up relatively fast.
The real question is still the rotation.

I wasn't expecting much in LA.
They should hit better in Texas.

Mike Green - Friday, May 03 2019 @ 09:19 AM EDT (#373590) #
Yep, the fielding was bad but Sanchez is not going to be successful walking as many as he has.  If you compare his great 2016 season to the year so far, the K rate is comparable (7.55 vs. 7.46), the HR rate is comparable (0.7 to 0.77), the BABIP is fairly comparable (.267 to .278) but the walk rate has gone from 2.95 to 5.66.  And his HR rate and BABIP increases are consistent with harder hit balls- Statcast has xBA at .256 in 2016 and .265 in 2019 and xSLG at .405 in 2016 and ..452 in 2019. 

All told, Sanchez has thrown 180 mediocre innings from 2017-19, and has often benefited from good defence and ball-in-play luck to post a considerably better ERA than what one could expect.

In that context, I found Sanchez' comments about last night's game  in this article  annoying.  He pitched very badly and the team played very badly behind him.  He ought to be saying- "I can't keep on walking so many batters", "it's on me" "the guys behind me had an off-day but they've usually been very good- I can only control what I do on any night".  Crash Davis, where are you?  Someone needs a remedial lesson.
mathesond - Friday, May 03 2019 @ 09:40 AM EDT (#373592) #
Devil's advocate - maybe he's walking so many hitters because he doesn't trust his defence on balls in play.

(Yeah, not the wisest course of action. But it's early, and I haven't had coffeee since 1988)
Glevin - Friday, May 03 2019 @ 09:49 AM EDT (#373593) #
Agree Mike. Sanchez is walking tons of guys and getting hit hard. Bad defense is not his issue. It seems like blaming he's his teammates.
Mike Green - Friday, May 03 2019 @ 09:54 AM EDT (#373594) #
I haven't had coffeee since 1988

The 1988 election was indeed dispiriting, but I think that you might have taken it a bit too hard.  May I suggest a cup of dark roast with a couple of pieces of really good dark chocolate?
SK in NJ - Friday, May 03 2019 @ 10:23 AM EDT (#373596) #
That Sanchez quote is infuriating considering the amount of hard contact and walks he gives up. He hasn't been a good pitcher in his entire career aside from 2016 so I'm not sure where the entitlement comes from or why he feels he can throw his own teammates under the bus.
mathesond - Friday, May 03 2019 @ 10:26 AM EDT (#373597) #
My wife is a dark chocolate addict, so there's always plenty of that around the house (bonus - it got me off milk chocolate, but I still treasure the occasional piece of white).

In the colder months I will sample dark beers with 'hints' of coffee. But now it's approaching weissbeer season, and my purchases will shift accordingly.
Gerry - Friday, May 03 2019 @ 10:36 AM EDT (#373598) #
Two of the misplays were balls that hit the wall. Maybe they could have been caught but the ball HIT THE WALL. Plus the home run was on Sanchez.

I too felt that Sanchez showed a lack of self awareness.
hypobole - Friday, May 03 2019 @ 10:56 AM EDT (#373601) #
As far as Sanchez, here's my feeling. Sanchez' 2 seamer was his primary weapon in 2016, I'm guessing one of the most effective pitches in baseball.

The ball was changed, with tighter, lower seams and he developed severe blister issues. Could his 2 seam grip with the new ball have caused the blistering? Played around with different grips to avoid the blistering, but also massively reduced the effectiveness of the pitch.

Add in the fact that 2 seamers in general are vanishing; they too often end up barreled with the launch angle changes hitters have made.

Sanchez is in the process of re-inventing himself, with the results so far being mediocre. The biggest thing in his favour is that he has a live arm with no history of injury issues.
Nigel - Friday, May 03 2019 @ 11:08 AM EDT (#373602) #
Sanchez hasn't had a FIP or an xFIP lower than 4.50 since 2016 - sometimes its a duck.

Cracka - Friday, May 03 2019 @ 11:18 AM EDT (#373603) #
The Sanchez quotes were quite shocking. I wonder if he thinks that he's about to be traded and therefore he's just going to say whatever is on his mind. It's just very rare for a pitcher (or any player) to call out his teammates while not using the word "We". This is Leadership 101. If the team sucks, you say "we suck", not "they suck". But Sanchez made sure to point out that he was not at all to blame: "I felt like I had good stuff all night. I went back and watched the game inside after I came out and I felt like I did everything I wanted to do.". Really???

I have no idea what goes on in the clubhouse, but Sanchez does not appear to be a leader on the pitching staff (Stroman does) and it will be interesting to see how his comments are perceived by others. Maybe it's not big deal (because it's mostly true), but it's just exceedingly rare to see a mediocre player like Sanchez call out his teammates.

uglyone - Friday, May 03 2019 @ 11:43 AM EDT (#373605) #
Sanchez has always struck me as lazy. Literally hasn't made any improvements in any area since he was a prospect. Just a golden arm and nothing else.

Had his one good year after the off-season stroman finally motivated him to get his ass in shape.
AWeb - Friday, May 03 2019 @ 11:44 AM EDT (#373606) #
I agree with the Sanchez doubters. In modern MLB, his K rate is well below average (for starters or relievers) and always has been. His impressive fastball speed doesn't stand out from a lot of other guys hitters see all the time, and except for one blip (2016), he's always walked way too many (worst in the league right now for >30 IP). His last walk-free appearance was in July 2016 (46 games ago), and he's had quite a few short outings since then. Free runners plus few free outs generally equals bad results.

I find the wildness the most frustrating because, at least when I watch, he seems to have no particular wildness issue like balls in the dirt, or a fastball that gets up too much. He just misses the zone all the time, everywhere, by a bit too much. fangraphs heatmaps (https://www.fangraphs.com/zonegrid.aspx?playerid=11490&position=P) bear this out. He misses up 8.8% of the time, low 12.6% of the time, on his right 10.0% of the time, on his left 9.1% of the time. Contrast that with Yu DArvish, who is also walking everyone this year, but is doing it by missing low a lot more often.
92-93 - Friday, May 03 2019 @ 11:51 AM EDT (#373608) #
Sanchez also had some quotes after his last game that could be perceived as shots at the previous coaching staff.

"To me, that's baseball. You're finally watching baseball being played the way baseball has always been played...it'll be fun for us to do some things that you haven't really seen done here in the past."

For a guy who has made 30 starts once in his career and can't pitch through some boo-boos, he sure has gotten chatty over the last week.
Mike Green - Friday, May 03 2019 @ 11:53 AM EDT (#373609) #
Sanchez was awfully effective as a reliever- with a much better walk rate.  I still believe that he could be.  Of course, he wants to be a starter and it's not as though the club has a bunch of better options.  At some point, if he's still walking 5.5 batters per 9, you've got to move him out of the rotation.  I am sure that they will give him more chances. 
Mike Green - Friday, May 03 2019 @ 12:06 PM EDT (#373612) #
Incidentally, Kaitlyn McGrath's article in the Athletic has comments both from Sanchez and from Charlie Montoyo.  The differences between the two were pretty notable, with Montoyo emphasizing Sanchez' difficulty yesterday in getting his off-speed stuff over the plate allowing the Angels to sit on the fastball. 
SK in NJ - Friday, May 03 2019 @ 12:11 PM EDT (#373613) #
I think if he continues on this path and there are no takers at the deadline, then move him to the closer role in August (after trading Giles) and market him as a RP either in the winter or next trade deadline. Teams trade for SP's at the deadline who they anticipate making playoff starts for them. I can't imagine any contending team viewing Sanchez as that guy. Maybe Atlanta due to the AA connection, but that's it. As a RP, it likely boosts his performance, and puts the team in a much more favorable trade position since RP's are always in demand.

He was a bad starter even in the minors. Other than 2016 there has been no evidence to suggest he's better than what he's showing now. Maybe a misleadingly low ERA makes him movable, but teams all look at the same metrics now, and ERA probably isn't one of them, so unless teams view him as a reliable FIP beater, this story probably ends in not getting much back for him.
ayjackson - Friday, May 03 2019 @ 05:08 PM EDT (#373632) #
Sanchez hasn't been great as a starte but he's not going to the bullpen unless he wants too. As a starter, his career FIP/xFIP is around 4.40 and that's good enough to stay as a starter if that's what he wants.
Mike Green - Friday, May 03 2019 @ 05:29 PM EDT (#373634) #
If he keeps walking 5.5 per 9, he'll end up doing a lot worse than his career line. The career line includes 2016 which is rapidly receding into history. In some ways, that may be a good thing.
BlueJayWay - Friday, May 03 2019 @ 07:11 PM EDT (#373642) #
I find the wildness the most frustrating because, at least when I watch, he seems to have no particular wildness issue like balls in the dirt, or a fastball that gets up too much. He just misses the zone all the time, everywhere, by a bit too much. fangraphs heatmaps (https://www.fangraphs.com/zonegrid.aspx?playerid=11490&position=P) bear this out. He misses up 8.8% of the time, low 12.6% of the time, on his right 10.0% of the time, on his left 9.1% of the time. Contrast that with Yu DArvish, who is also walking everyone this year, but is doing it by missing low a lot more often.

That's very interesting data. I've noticed that about Sanchez too. He walks a lot of guys yet somehow isn't what I'd call crazy wild. He just doesn't quite throw enough strikes. He's wild in a general way, not specific, which makes it seem less blatant. But the walks are real.
He's only had that one good year as a starter, and that includes his minor league career. He was really good as a reliever when he first debuted in the majors. That might ultimately be where he ends up.
Gerry - Friday, May 03 2019 @ 07:20 PM EDT (#373644) #
Hansen DFA. Derek Law called up. Likely means Pannone or Gaviglio starts this weekend.
Craig B - Friday, May 03 2019 @ 07:23 PM EDT (#373645) #
It's great to see this place still going strong. OK Blue Jays.
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