Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
The Jekyl and Hyde Jays head into Tampa for a three game set. Today is memorial day in the US so the game is a 1pm start. There is a flu bug going through the clubhouse so it remains unknown who will be effected, other than Cavan Biggio who was moved from 2B to DH because he has been ill.

The schedule is as follows:

Monday, 1.10 pm - Aaron Sanchez vs. Yonny Chirinos

Tuesday, 7.10 pm - Clayton Richard vs. A.N. Opener

Wednesday, 7:10 pm - Trent Thornton vs. Blake Snell

Can the kids keep producing?

Blue Jays at Rays, May 27-29 | 79 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
mathesond - Monday, May 27 2019 @ 01:51 PM EDT (#374556) #
I had no idea Travis D'Arnaud was now plying his trade for Tampa.
hypobole - Monday, May 27 2019 @ 01:59 PM EDT (#374557) #
Even with Glasnow's injury, the Archer trade just keeps looking more and more awful on the Pirates side.
Magpie - Monday, May 27 2019 @ 02:08 PM EDT (#374558) #
Sad news: Bill Buckner passed away today. He was just 69 years old but he had been suffering Lewy Body Dementia, which is an awful thing.

He'll always be remembered the same way Fred Snodgrass and Ernie Lombardi are remembered - for one bad play in a big game. He had a nice career, though. He came up as a speedy outfielder with the Dodgers, but a series of anhle issues forced him to first base. He was traded to the Cubs, where he had his best years, winning the batting title in 1980. He moved on to Boston, where he found his moment of infamy in the 1986 World Series. But Red Sox fans, not the most forgiving bunch, also remember him for carrying the team to that pennant with the hot streak of his career that September. He played until he was 40 and accumulated more than 2700 hits. Which is a lot.He was obviously not a Hall of Fame quality player. But at his best, he was pretty good.
Mike Green - Monday, May 27 2019 @ 02:25 PM EDT (#374559) #
Buckner was a good sport about the play later on, and did the Curb Your Enthusiasm bit.  He was a fine player for many, many years, although the high-average hitter, lesser secondary skills player got a little more attention than he deserved back then.

Lewy Body Dementia is awful. 
Mike Green - Monday, May 27 2019 @ 02:26 PM EDT (#374560) #
The Rays' team defence is somewhat better than the Jays'.
Chuck - Monday, May 27 2019 @ 02:30 PM EDT (#374561) #
A couple of other things about Buckner.

He figures prominently in a Curb Your Enthusiasm episode, redeeming himself with a great catch, if I recall correctly.

I remember arguing with friends in 1986 about his season. And remember this is over 30 years ago. I dared to suggest that despite his 100 RBI, he wasn't actually much good, and I got a lot of resistance for that position. Years later, some would be brave enough to suggest the same about Joe Carter. It seems laughable now, but there was a strong concern from the mathematically minded that Carter would be given serious HoF consideration.

Chuck - Monday, May 27 2019 @ 02:31 PM EDT (#374562) #
Mike Green, master of the terse sneak-in. I was busy composing my rambling note when Mike apparently posted his.
Mylegacy - Monday, May 27 2019 @ 02:38 PM EDT (#374563) #
Bill Buckner. I love the guy.

The guy couldn't walk, could hardly stand, but his team felt HE was the guy they needed in there. He put it all on the line for the team. Shit happens. To history he's a goat.

To ME he's a hero. 100%!

Bill, I miss you. Don't worry about your reputation. Every time I see it raised in any negative sense I'll chip in my 5 cents worth and defend you. You are one of the good guys, the guys who, injured or not, answered your teams call. It`s a team sport. You gave your all for your team.

To me you`re a hero. 100%!

All Dementia`s diseases are awful. They begin with you forgetting. As you (and your brain) die, who you are ceases to exist. Your brain doesn`t know when and how to tell your body when to defecate, urinate, breath in, breath out...

Dementia is terrible. Lewy Body Dementia, and all your ilk - I hate you!
Magpie - Monday, May 27 2019 @ 02:58 PM EDT (#374564) #
Buckner was normally pulled for a defensive replacement at the end of the game, but his sentimental manager (John McNamara) likely wanted him on the field to celebrate with everyone else when the Red Sox finally won it all. Whoops. But it was Calvin Schiraldi who came on close out a 5-3 lead and gave up three straight hits after getting the first two guys out. It was Bob Stanley who came on, with the tying run on third base, and threw the wild pitch that let the Mets tie the game and moved Ray Knight up to second base. It was Rich Gedman, set up on the outside corner, who just reached for Stanley's pitch that ran inside past a jacknifing Mookie Wilson. Stanley missed his spot by at least two feet, but Gedman's lazy reach, with the tying run on third... just dreadful.

And Mookie fouled off pitch after pitch after pitch - was it five or six? - before hitting his grounder right down the first base line. Bad ankles or not, Buckner got to the ball. But even if he fields it cleanly, he's not going to beat Wilson to the bag. No way, no how. You'd have runners first and third, tie game, two out, Howard Johnson batting.
Magpie - Monday, May 27 2019 @ 03:16 PM EDT (#374565) #
I remember arguing with friends in 1986 about his season.

Buckner was 36 that year, and while he had been okay in 1985, by 1986 he appeared to have gone right off the cliff. Through August, he was hitting .257/.300/.390. This while playing first base every day, in Fenway Park, hitting third in the order. He was just terrible. He'd driven in 80 runs, but hitting behind Wade Boggs in Fenway every day? Socrates Brito could drive in some runs. Meanwhile, after an awful start, the Blue Jays had finally turned their season and closed to 3.5 games behind the Red Sox.

But Buckner had one last hot streak in him. He hit .340/.387/.629 in September with 8 HRs and 22 RBI, driving the Red Sox to 11 straight wins and leaving Toronto in their dust.
Magpie - Monday, May 27 2019 @ 03:24 PM EDT (#374566) #
Aaron Sanchez needs to find a new way to grip a baseball. Or consider a career in the bullpen.
Gerry - Monday, May 27 2019 @ 03:26 PM EDT (#374567) #
The Jimmy Cordero era is over, off to the Mariners.
Magpie - Monday, May 27 2019 @ 03:34 PM EDT (#374568) #
Jonathan Davis needed a hit, and he needed it right now. Anthony Alford is finally starting to hit in Buffalo (.333/.396/.395 since May 10).
Magpie - Monday, May 27 2019 @ 03:59 PM EDT (#374570) #
More bad news. Dustin Pedroia is shutting it down and doesn't know if he'll ever play again. I didn't exactly like Rat Boy, but that was mostly because of the uniform he wore. But I really don't like the doctors ending a career before it's time.
dalimon5 - Monday, May 27 2019 @ 04:23 PM EDT (#374571) #
Pedroia, Longoria and Tulowitzki...the phenoms that faded. Can add Posey to that list pretty soon.
hypobole - Monday, May 27 2019 @ 06:00 PM EDT (#374572) #
Sanchez extension might not be the wisest move. Good luck with this one Scotty B.
scottt - Monday, May 27 2019 @ 06:31 PM EDT (#374573) #
A broken nail is different from a blister.
Sanchez has both issues, so maybe he's continuously tweaking his grip.

In the last homestand, the worse players were Urena, McKinney, Jenssen (2 for 20, 0 walks 6 Ks.), Sogard and Davis. Grichuk managed to reach the Mendosa line, but with 12 strike outs in 20 ABs.

Stroman is starting to stand out as the guy who should represent the Jays at the All-Star game.
Still early though.

Sanchez is not bad. Just not durable.

Rosscup, Jackson and Feierabend have not impressed.
Pannone and Gaviglio were great earlier on, but are both struggling now.
Which is less than ideal when the starters are struggling to provide innings.
Waguespack should get another look for sure.

PeterG - Monday, May 27 2019 @ 07:06 PM EDT (#374575) #
ASG: Giles
SK in NJ - Monday, May 27 2019 @ 08:47 PM EDT (#374579) #
Gurriel being given a chance as an outfielder is a great decision. He's clearly not a middle infielder, and the Jays are so bad as far as capable outfielders in the upper minors that Gurriel turning into even an average OF would be a pretty decent outcome short-term. His statcast numbers in the big leagues so far are pretty good. I think I like his chances of turning into a long-term piece more than McKinney and Hernandez, and now he's playing a position he might be able to stick.

The Jays are slowly starting to get to a lineup that looks potentially appealing with Vlad, Biggio, Jansen, Gurriel, and Tellez. As you can see with Jansen, being a top prospect doesn't guarantee instant success, so it will be a huge test for their player development to get these guys to reach their potential, but as the team starts to incorporate more real prospects, the likelihood for panning out increases.
greenfrog - Monday, May 27 2019 @ 08:56 PM EDT (#374580) #
Grichukís OPS is now under .700 and his K rate is up to 29.7% (7.3 BB%). Still lots of time to turn it around, but two months into his new five-year contract, in a prime-age season (27), this probably isnít what the Jays were hoping to see from him.
dan gordon - Monday, May 27 2019 @ 11:14 PM EDT (#374583) #
It's about time they moved Gurriel to the OF - it seemed obvious to me that's where he belonged. I think he's going to be an excellent long term piece of the puzzle for the Jays. Sure, he doesn't walk, but he's going to hit for average and power.
Jonny German - Tuesday, May 28 2019 @ 03:03 AM EDT (#374586) #
Jonathan Davis needed a hit, and he needed it right now. Anthony Alford is finally starting to hit in Buffalo (.333/.396/.395 since May 10).

This is actually under-selling Alford's turnaround. Since May 1 he's at .286/.375/.442 (20 games, 88 PA).
Mike Green - Tuesday, May 28 2019 @ 04:35 PM EDT (#374592) #
VGJ at third base, Drury at shortstop and Sogard at second tonight.  Whatever.
Chuck - Tuesday, May 28 2019 @ 04:45 PM EDT (#374593) #
Serenity now, Mike. Serenity now. It's Charlie's world and everybody gets to play.
Gerry - Tuesday, May 28 2019 @ 05:07 PM EDT (#374594) #
Justin Shafer is in uniform. There was a story that Jacob Waguespack came out of yesterdays game with a stiff shoulder. It is likely that either he, or Sanchez go on the DL.
Gerry - Tuesday, May 28 2019 @ 05:17 PM EDT (#374595) #
Biggio is still sick, has been sent to the hotel to recover.
bpoz - Tuesday, May 28 2019 @ 05:54 PM EDT (#374596) #
Agree with SK. We have a good group of young position players.
With 4 months to still play this season I am expecting some progress. We will know the power results at the end of the season.
Gerry - Tuesday, May 28 2019 @ 06:27 PM EDT (#374597) #
Zach Rosscup DFA for Shafer.
bpoz - Tuesday, May 28 2019 @ 06:44 PM EDT (#374598) #
Quite the musical chairs. Atkins is collecting a lot of players of all sorts.
Four Seamer - Tuesday, May 28 2019 @ 07:01 PM EDT (#374599) #
At least there will be plenty of game worn jerseys in stock at the Jays Store this year, and many of them at a good price.
greenfrog - Tuesday, May 28 2019 @ 08:38 PM EDT (#374604) #
Matt Boyd really is having a very fine season. He's pitching a shutout so far tonight (5 4 0 0 0 8). He might end up getting some Cy Young consideration.
John Northey - Tuesday, May 28 2019 @ 09:30 PM EDT (#374606) #
Boyd was the one who worried me the most at the time of the Price trade. He always seemed to need a year to get adjusted to a level then he would dominate. Ah well. The 'flags fly forever' aspect applies here. An ALCS appearance isn't as nice as a World Series but still darn nice.
Kelekin - Wednesday, May 29 2019 @ 02:01 AM EDT (#374609) #
Boyd, Syndergaard, Stroman, Sanchez...Musgrove?

An ALCS is great, but most won't remember. I mean, unless they spend a lot of time looking at the Batter's Box banner. ;)
scottt - Wednesday, May 29 2019 @ 07:03 AM EDT (#374611) #
Grichuk the latest to find out about the House of Horrors.

Smallest attendance at the Trop for a Rays game. Ever. Not even 6K.

This year, I don't mind losing to the Rays as I hope they win the division.
However, I expect better against the Yankees' AAA team which we'll finally see pretty soon now.

hypobole - Wednesday, May 29 2019 @ 07:32 AM EDT (#374614) #
In the last 20 games vs sub-.500 teams, that AAA Yankees team is 18-2.
hypobole - Wednesday, May 29 2019 @ 10:07 AM EDT (#374616) #
I know uo wasn't joshing when he posted his admittedly very witty "We don't like our team Barry" comment about a week ago.

I still watch, but I also watched too many Leafs games the year they tanked for Matthews :) and far too many Raptors games the year they tanked for Bargs :(.

A lot of people really hate what's happening this year; the only thing I truly hate are the injuries. Still, this year is far less painful to me than 2013 when my high hopes were destroyed almost immediately, rejuvenated by that June 11 game win streak, and then destroyed all over again.

hypobole - Wednesday, May 29 2019 @ 02:40 PM EDT (#374623) #
I think part of the reason Jays fans are so shocked by how bad a bad team can be is they simply don't know or remember.

The last Jays team to lose 95 games was back in 1980, although a rainout in 2004 (maybe) and a strike in 1995 (definitely) prevented those teams from sinking into that abyss.

Just in the past 10 years, 20 of the 30 clubs have 95 loss seasons. The Twins four times, Orioles, Astros, White Sox and Royals three times. Nine others twice.

3 of the remaining 10 lost 95+ this century, Tampa 2007, Mets 2003 and Brewers 2002. Surprisingly (to me at least) it was 1997 for Oakland. Two big boys are next - Dodgers in 1992 and Yankees in 1990.

The Angels had their last 95 loss season the same year we did in 1980. That leaves 2 teams - Boston and St. Louis.

For the Red Sox, it was over 50 years ago in 1965. And there's probably no one left alive who watched the last truly awful Cardinals team, way back in 1913.
bpoz - Wednesday, May 29 2019 @ 02:54 PM EDT (#374625) #
Shocked!!! Yes!! I did not expect it to happen again.

D Hudson losing games early reminded me of Grilli and Clippard.
Magpie - Wednesday, May 29 2019 @ 04:17 PM EDT (#374627) #
far too many Raptors games the year they tanked for Bargs

Ah, that wasn't a true tank. They were just a lousy team who got lucky in the lottery (five other teams had worse records). And winning the lottery that particular year... ouch.
hypobole - Wednesday, May 29 2019 @ 06:51 PM EDT (#374632) #
Ah, that wasn't a true tank.

Thanks for pointing that out, Magpie. Yeah it wasn't a true tank, though in some ways worse, because the team was actually trying to (barely) make the playoffs. And yeah, the draft..that was the year they changed the rules making kids go to college for a year. If they had waited 1 year, we could have had Durant, although I'm sure we would have taken Oden.

Oh, and I was going to mention you in conjunction with the 1913 Cards, but decided against it.
hypobole - Wednesday, May 29 2019 @ 07:41 PM EDT (#374633) #
That was a terrific catch by Davis to end the 1st. Shades of Superman Pillar.
Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, May 29 2019 @ 07:46 PM EDT (#374634) #
I didnít like Gurrielís heading into 2018 and he had a great year. This year I had very high hopes for him and he initially let me down. I always believed in his bat and hopefully left field works out for him, as he is crushing the ball.

Also I agree Jonathan Davis made a Pillar-esque catch.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, May 29 2019 @ 09:39 PM EDT (#374637) #
I found Dave's catch as impressive if not more impressive than most of Miller's catches on the turf. Pillar scaling the wall is something else but on the grass that catch was incredible.
Gerry - Wednesday, May 29 2019 @ 10:03 PM EDT (#374641) #
Bases loaded, nobody out, three fielders on the right side for Freddy Galvis. There is a big gap on the left side. A hit to the left or a fly ball puts the Jays ahead. But Galvis hits into the shift for a home to first double play. That was extremely frustrating.
Gerry - Wednesday, May 29 2019 @ 10:21 PM EDT (#374642) #
Next inning, runner on third, one out. No run scored.
Gerry - Wednesday, May 29 2019 @ 10:23 PM EDT (#374643) #
Jays 2-13 with RISP tonight through nine.
Gerry - Wednesday, May 29 2019 @ 11:05 PM EDT (#374644) #
Top 11, runner on second no outs, three more at-bats without moving the runner.

Time for bed.
John Northey - Thursday, May 30 2019 @ 12:05 AM EDT (#374645) #
Frustrating series as always in Tampa - great team with no fan support. Way past time for that team to move somewhere, anywhere, else. In Toronto there would be sellouts nearly every game, even with the Raptors doing so well. Even in Montreal (right now the most likely landing spot) there would be 30k+ a game most days.

The Jays look very, very likely to have their 3rd straight sub 500 season.

3+ years sub 500....
1994-1997 - post World Series to the first year of Roger Clemens (12 WAR for him that year...yes, really and the team still won only 76 games)
1977-1982 - expansion up to the first year they weren't dead last (tied for last in 82) followed by 11 years of 500+ ball, 2 World Series wins, and 5 playoff appearances.

That is it for 3+ years of sub 500 ball here in Toronto. So yeah, fans here are really not used to it from the Jays.

On the other hand, the Raptors 2008/9 to 2012/13 were sub 500, 2002/03 to 2005/06 also, 1995/96 to 1998/99 (expansion years).

The Leafs...a bit surprised how far back I had to go - 1995/96 to 1997/98 was the last 3+ year stretch, then the 1979/80 to 1988/89 stretch (when I was a fan...geez, how did I cheer them on back then and how did they win all the games when I saw them play live during that stretch). Worst was probably their 20-52 season which got them the first overall pick that was used on Wendell Clark. FYI: last playoff series won by the Leafs was 2003/04 round 1 (Pat Quinn the coach, Mats Sundin the captain and points leader, Tie Domi led in penalties, Ed Belfour the #1 goalie)

Lets hope the Jays can stop the losing years at 3.
ISLAND BOY - Thursday, May 30 2019 @ 03:21 AM EDT (#374647) #
Uh, I dunno, John. Their pitching and hitting will have to improve. Their defense hasn't been too bad.

I agree about the attendance.It looked like only friends and relatives are showing up.It kind of reminds me of ... Montreal in their final few years ? Remember the shared games with Puerto Rico ?
BlueJayWay - Thursday, May 30 2019 @ 05:55 AM EDT (#374651) #
The Leafs...a bit surprised how far back I had to go - 1995/96 to 1997/98 was the last 3+ year stretch, then the 1979/80 to 1988/89 stretch (when I was a fan...geez, how did I cheer them on back then and how did they win all the games when I saw them play live during that stretch). Worst was probably their 20-52 season which got them the first overall pick that was used on Wendell Clark. FYI: last playoff series won by the Leafs was 2003/04 round 1 (Pat Quinn the coach, Mats Sundin the captain and points leader, Tie Domi led in penalties, Ed Belfour the #1 goalie)

That's not true for the Maple Leafs...they were under .500 from 2013/14 to 2016/17, which is four years. Also had a six year stretch from 2006/7 to 2011/12. The year just prior to that were exactly .500
scottt - Thursday, May 30 2019 @ 06:21 AM EDT (#374652) #
That was a pretty good game overall. Too many pop ups by the hitters with runners on. It's very frustrating to have those deep fly balls only after 2 outs, but they matched the Rays for 10 innings.

Guerrero pinched hit for Davis (who was 1 for 2) in the 7th and came to the plate 3 times.
I'll take 12 hits any day.

Mike Green - Thursday, May 30 2019 @ 07:55 AM EDT (#374654) #
With Giles having last pitched on May 26 and today's day off, I would have had him in the game in the 9th unless he was unavailable for some reason (the clubhouse flu?).  I hope that it wasn't a slave to the save situation. Ultra high leverage and avoiding rust were two good reasons to bring him in.
hypobole - Thursday, May 30 2019 @ 09:57 AM EDT (#374656) #
Fangraphs has our batters worth a total of 0.1 WAR this season. But of the 12 current position players, only Maile and Davis have negative WAR.

On the other hand only Smoak, Sogard, Galvis and Gurriel have positive WAR. The other 6 - Grichuk, Jansen, Drury, Vlad, Biggio and Tellez, with a combined 867 PA's each sit at 0 WAR.
dalimon5 - Thursday, May 30 2019 @ 10:43 AM EDT (#374658) #
Dad's swing is loooong. Is it possible scouts overlooked this component of his game getting exposed?
Mike Green - Thursday, May 30 2019 @ 10:50 AM EDT (#374659) #
Dad's swing is loooong

Grade A typo.  Father's Day ad from the 50s: If Dad's swing is loooong, get him the Golf Short-A-Matic.  After he strikes the ball, a concrete wall descends behind him and if he goes too far, he'll be reminded to not do that again.  Forcefully.  But he'll thank you for it. 
Nigel - Thursday, May 30 2019 @ 11:29 AM EDT (#374663) #
Agreed Mike - I really thought Giles should have been in the game. Giles did warm up.

That raises the one growing disappointment for me with this season- the manager. Iím actually pretty zen with the team and how itís playing. Part of that is expectations, I thought the team would be really bad before the year started. However, I can see positive signs in various players/places from a development perspective. What I havenít really been impressed with is Montoyo. I know bad teams make their managers look bad. I also know that there are many important things (personnel management, clubhouse management) that we canít see, that Montoyo is responsible for. But I was under the impression that we were getting a modern, innovative, at least stats aware manager. I donít see that. Heís making me yearn for Gibbons in that respect. Part of this is expectations, Maybe what management told the world they were looking for in a manager was different than what they were actually looking for? Of course, itís also early.
hypobole - Thursday, May 30 2019 @ 12:35 PM EDT (#374664) #
To me, Montoyo's main focus isn't winning, it's development. I made this point earlier, but the Jays early on had Hartsfield and their development guy Mattick run the team - guys used to working with kids. Just like Gibbons, Showalter was replaced when Baltimore went rebuild. San Fran won't go rebuild while Bochy is around.

Maybe Montoyo will flip a switch when the team is ready to contend, but I believe he will be replaced by someone whose prime focus isn't developing kids, but winning ballgames.
Nigel - Thursday, May 30 2019 @ 02:08 PM EDT (#374666) #
hypobole - I can accept that Montoyo's most important task right now is development. I don't take any issue with that. Maybe skills in that area are the basis upon which he was hired. I will say that that is certainly different, at least in part, from what Atkins suggested were the key things that they were looking for in a manager.
hypobole - Thursday, May 30 2019 @ 03:00 PM EDT (#374667) #
This is Shi Davidi quoting Atkins:

"Tough, smart and passionate," Atkins said of the traits heíll be looking for. "Those are the overarching themes as I think about what it means to lead an environment in here to sustain championship-level expectations, understanding what it takes for communication to keep not just 25-man roster, but also the 40-man roster, the 200 minor-league players, the 100-plus scouts, the 100-plus coaches and medical staff people pulling in one direction and feeling connected. That person has to be an organizational leader and spokesperson, not just a leader of the 25-man clubhouse."

It's pretty vague, so open to personal interpretation, not sure which of these things he isn't. He may be a poor tactician, but I can't find Atkins naming that as part of his criteria.
Mike Green - Thursday, May 30 2019 @ 03:12 PM EDT (#374668) #
I accept that this season is primarily about development.  But Giles is here, and the club surely wishes to get him work every 3 or 4 days.  Unfortunately,  there aren't many opportunities to get him into games in high leverage situations because the club isn't in that many of them.  So use him.  If, by chance, the club is shopping Giles around at the deadline, it will help if he continues his pattern of performance in high leverage situations.  And letting rust accumulate won't help with that. 

Giles hasn't given up a run in 13 appearances since April 16. He has allowed 8 hits and no walks in 13.2 innings with 22 strikeouts.  Dominating.  It seems to me that now is a good time to either extend him or trade him.  A contending team can surely use him even more now than in July. 
Mike Green - Thursday, May 30 2019 @ 04:14 PM EDT (#374669) #
Courtesy of Jeremy Frank:

Most WAR by first name, MLB history: 1882.6 Mike     1837.8 Joe      1765.5 Jim      1729.5 Bill      1583.3 Bob     1436.2 George    1269.4 John      1116.0 Jack     1074.7 Johnny      1031.1 Frank

Seeing George and John there together made me wonder about Paul and Ringo. And as for the MLB leader, let it be an inspiration for parents when choosing a name!
John Northey - Thursday, May 30 2019 @ 04:47 PM EDT (#374670) #
I figure they are being extra careful with anyone who is a trade part - don't want a repeat of the Donaldson situation. 1.2 WAR so far in 2019, last run allowed was April 16th, back then they were using him every other day and sometimes back to back days. From April 7th to the 21st he had 8 appearances, no more than 2 days off, 7 2/3 IP 10 H 3 ER, 5 BB, 10 SO. Since then (1 month) 10 games, 10 1/3 IP 4 H 0 R 0 BB 17 SO. Only once back to back. Lots of rest and very, very effective when used.

Yeah, I'd have had him pitch in the 9th or 10th last night. But I can see why you'd hold back and try to only use when the Jays get a lead.

No question he is being marketed right now. The Jays have to hope to get a couple of good pitching prospects for him from a team desperate for bullpen depth going into the playoffs or to help them get there.
Mike Green - Thursday, May 30 2019 @ 04:59 PM EDT (#374671) #
To be clear, the leverage index for a tie game in the bottom of the ninth is greater than  the LI for a 2 run lead or (of course) for a 3 run lead. 
scottt - Thursday, May 30 2019 @ 06:13 PM EDT (#374673) #
Saving the closer in a tie game on the road is more about trying to win than anything else.
Giles would have been used in the 9th if the Jays were losing or winning.

Wasn't Giles traded by Houston because he got upset when the manager was using him in non-save situations? It's not like Houston was in any danger of not winning their division.
Let's see, Osuna this year has pitched in 25 games and has finished 25 games. I think that includes 3 walk offs, because he has 3 Ws. Giles has pitched in 22 games but has finished only 18 of those.

In theory, now that the negative WAR guys are off the roster, the Jays should be scoring more Runs in June, but the pitching could use some help.

greenfrog - Thursday, May 30 2019 @ 06:46 PM EDT (#374674) #
It's interesting that the last two extremely good Toronto sports teams -- the 2015 Jays and the 2019 Raptors -- were put over the top by creative, daring trades (e.g. Donaldson; Kawhi). Those kinds of trades seem to run counter to the current Jays front office's DNA, which seems to be more about safe, steady, incremental change. Time will tell whether the front office will find a path to championship-calibre team excellence.
Shoeless Joe - Thursday, May 30 2019 @ 08:45 PM EDT (#374685) #
I don't want to get too off-topic but the Raptors franchise was built on the strength of steady improvement, strong developing and excellent drafting culminating in the Kawhi trade. If Urjiiri doesn't draft/develop Poertl, OG, Delon, Pascal, FVV or resist the full on tank by keeping Kyle and Demar, there is no Kawhi trade. Overall that team was simply built on building a strong organization top to bottom.
scottt - Thursday, May 30 2019 @ 09:41 PM EDT (#374688) #
I'm not sure Donaldson was such a daring trade.
The A's traded him because they didn't want to pay him.
AA gave up Lawrie who had gotten progressively worse after his first full year.
They were both set to reach arbitration for the first time. Donaldson got 4.3M and Lawrie got 2M.
The A's had a top prospect ready to fill 3rd and flipped Lawrie the first chance they got.
Sean Nolin was a small throw up which we can ignore.
Barreto was supposed to be the big piece, but has yet to produce at the majors level.
He was expendable because AA already had Reyes under contract, which turned into another trade which wasn't so daring either, mostly just a huge salary dump from Colorado.
Graveman was a weird case. He had pitched 40 innings in A ball in 2013, but managed to throw 170 innings in 2014 across 5 levels, all the way to 4 innings in Toronto. AA sold high here.
Most of the dare in the trade was on Oakland's side.

Trading for just one year of Lenard who had not been healthy in recent years was a much bigger dare.

greenfrog - Thursday, May 30 2019 @ 10:46 PM EDT (#374691) #
If you accept AAís version of events, what was impressive about the Donaldson trade was how tenacious the Jays GM was in relentlessly pursuing JD until the deal happened.

The lesson over all seems to be, build extensively and patiently and then brilliantly execute a few key trades/acquisitions to put you over the top. AA did this in 2015 (Donaldson, Martin, Smoak, Travis, Price, Tulo, etc.) but it seems he actually didnít go quite far enough, as he apparently had a Tellez (-plus?) package lined up for Zobrist in the summer of 2015, which likely would have propelled the team into the World Series, but he didnít pull the trigger on it.
scottt - Friday, May 31 2019 @ 07:10 AM EDT (#374693) #
I just don't see what preceded the Miami trade as "build extensively and patiently".
There were constant trades and many positions were revolving doors.

greenfrog - Friday, May 31 2019 @ 07:45 AM EDT (#374694) #
The Miami and Mets trades were available because AA had accumulated such a large pool of prospects. And he continued to do so after those trades. He was so good at talent acquisition that he could go all-in twice in trades (once prematurely).

Consider Syndergaard, Stroman, Osuna, Guerrero Jr., Boyd. AA acquired as prospects some of the very best players in the game (and did so without any high draft picks). He was also good at flipping lesser talent for key pieces (most notably, Donaldson).
dalimon5 - Friday, May 31 2019 @ 09:31 AM EDT (#374695) #
I think this is Rose coloured glasses syndrome greenfrog. The only thing AA did was leverage the loopholes that existed at the time to gain more picks which allowed him to draft more risky players that most teams couldn't or wouldn't. It's a strategy that was easy for him to employ because he didn't sign any free agents almost ever and he was a bigger market team than the small teams that would use that strategy like the Rays or Pirates.

If those loopholes still existed I'm sure this management team would be doing the same thing. Though the first few years of drafting, the Shapiro era has a better track record than the AA era and that's with much less picks and money spent.

AA did very little to improve the Jays overall from Ricciardi. They both did some great things but both failed in their hail mary attempts to contend in the end. The failure is in their decision to go for it without a solid plan in place to support the team by skipping a rebuild. If Shapiro can contend consistently for 5-10 years then he will have superseded his predecessors.

Regardless, all three regimes have been limited it would seem by Rogers.

Ricciardi - forced to cut budget and payroll until he was finally given money but did not invest it wisely in final years (Ryan, Burnett, Thomas, Koskie) and it cost him

Anthopolous - forced to skip free agents of significance, build from within but he wasn't able to do that better than other teams and Rogers pulled the plug. He went All in after he found out he wasn't being renewed and saw the success, albeit temporary.

Shapiro - forced to increase budget! So far results are bad and it's still too early to tell if they will be able to translate prospects into good major League players. AA had about 5 years until the owner pulled the plug. That gives Shapiro a few more years to turn things around. They have cutting edge everything as they try to emulate the Rays with a budget, except Shapiro himself who is the complete opposite of risk and "edge."

I like Shapiro's chances of either being the best or worst of the bunch. They will either outsmart/outmuscle everybody or will fail miserably in my opinion. No in between for this management group.

One more thing...if Shapiro has someone else other than Ross Atkins as the face of the front would make his job easier.
hypobole - Friday, May 31 2019 @ 09:38 AM EDT (#374696) #
AA did build extensively through the draft, by being maybe the best at accumulating extra picks. Over and above the 1 year deals to guys to get comp picks, he paid the Rockies for Miguel Olivo, then paid Olivo's $500K buyout all just to get a pick. Took a lot of heat here and elsewhere for sending Napoli to Texas for Francisco, because Fransisco would yield a pick at season's end and Napoli wouldn't.
bpoz - Friday, May 31 2019 @ 10:00 AM EDT (#374697) #
Gillick was great. We had a long window.
Ash could not duplicate maybe because of the NYY and Boston presence in our division. Since they are still there any Toronto or TB GM that can consistently compete with them would have accomplished a great deal in my books.
IMO Richardi was a failure. He drafted badly and his FA signings were old declining players. Burnett was good he had a very strong and healthy arm. Solid #3 I think.

Ash and Richardi had a miserably poor payroll. AA got us a competitive payroll in 2013. But his results were bad to mediocre until 2015 when he paid with extra prospects to stay within the payroll parameters. So increasing costs and still losing badly means that you get fired.

Both AA and Shapiro have brought in good prospects using the draft and Int'l signings.

It seems trades for great prospects may not happen much anymore. Example Heathcliff Slocumb for J Variteck and the V good SP. Michael Young for a pitcher. But I don't know if those were great prospects at the time of those trades.
hypobole - Friday, May 31 2019 @ 10:16 AM EDT (#374699) #
One other strategy of AA that only semi-worked was by seemingly underpaying for pure talent by taking on bad makeup guys. Escobar, Rasmus, Lawrie, Gose, Clinton Hollon.

Lawrie did end up as the tipping point in the Donaldson trade, Gose did yield Travis and Escobar and Rasmus had some decent seasons here. But it's also noteworthy that the team didn't win until they all left.
John Northey - Friday, May 31 2019 @ 11:23 AM EDT (#374700) #
One thing about JPR whose reign was a mess though was he had the worst luck.
start to 2005: develop years after the Ash mess.
2006: 87 wins, 2nd place, but who knows if Hill had hit that year, or Russ Adams hadn't turned into a pumpkin.
2007: 83 wins, Overbay at 1B had a 85 OPS+, Lind 77, Wells 85, Reed Johnson 66 - all of whom were counted on to be well above average hitters (110+) based on their previous season.

2008: the big one, 86 wins vs Pythagorean 93, Hill lost tons of time, Stairs was DH with a 98 OPS+ - this team should've made the playoffs or at least been super-close to it instead of 9 games out. A horrid start under Gibbons killed them. This was Cito's return.

2009: 75 wins vs pythag 84, all 3 starters in OF sub 100 for OPS+ (Snider, Wells, Rios), Bautista starting to figure it out but was still sub 100 for OPS+, as was EE. 3 of the 5 starters with 20+ starts had ERA+'s in the 80's. That was the swansong for Halladay, JPR, and Cito.

With luck the Jays could've been in the playoffs in 2008 and maybe even 07 and 06. But instead nothing went right. In 2008 the Rays had a pythag of 92 wins but had 97 - flip that luck and the Jays would've won the division instead and Cito might have had a 3rd WS ring and Halladay might have wanted to stay here for his entire career. Sigh.
Mike Green - Friday, May 31 2019 @ 11:57 AM EDT (#374701) #
The Blue Jays had the 13th highest payroll in MLB in 2008, and were shedding salary early on (see Frank Thomas).  There really wasn't a concerted effort to go for it. 

Gibbons had a bullpen issue at the start of the season.  He had lefties in the pen who were pitching well.  Accardo had been the closer the previous year, but blew out his shoulder early in the year and went on to have surgery.  He was ineffective.  Gibbons didn't trust Jason Frasor after problems the previous year, and so used him in low leverage situations and sometimes let him rust. In the end result, he had effectively a rotation composed of right-handers and a bullpen composed of left-handers.  That's far from ideal and didn't help the club.  They could have spent a few dollars on a right-handed relief pitcher, and it would have been money well spent. 
christaylor - Friday, May 31 2019 @ 12:27 PM EDT (#374703) #
I'm glad my brain read "Escobar" as Kelvim Escobar as for the reasons one might expect, I'm very glad it has forgotten about the other Escobar's existence.
Nigel - Friday, May 31 2019 @ 12:31 PM EDT (#374704) #
Lost in this discussion is the huge impact on the Jays "going for it" or "not" caused by the FX rate. The Jays budget in CDN dollars is much more consistent (not completely consistent) and much more consistently upper mid market than the US dollar payroll appears. One of the huge drivers for AA's first attempt at going for it with the Miami deal was the massive change in FX at the time.
grjas - Friday, May 31 2019 @ 06:21 PM EDT (#374726) #
One thing lost in this discussion is that without the unbelievable luck of having two journeyman players - Bautista and EE- turning into superstars there was no chance AA would have given us the play off run. Thatís not to say that he didnít make some brilliant moves- the JD pursuit was one for the ages, not to mention Price, selling management on increased payroll etc. etc.

But without this incredible good fortune, weíd be having a different conversation about his success. As far as winning because he ďbuilt extensively and patiently", no.
Blue Jays at Rays, May 27-29 | 79 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.