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The 23-42 Blue Jays take on the 20-45 Orioles. The Orioles will be hoping for a sweep to get themselves out of being alone in last place in the division because, as we all know, misery loves company. Misery loves company could be the sub-heading for this series with both teams tanking 2019. This is the start of a 16 game stretch without an off-day for the Jays. After this three gamer, they play 13 against the Astros, Angels, Red Sox and Yankees so make hay against the Orioles guys.

The schedule looks like this:

Tuesday, 7:05, Trent Thornton vs. John Means

Wednesday, 7:05, Edwin Jackson vs. David Hess

Thursday, 7:05, Marcus Stroman vs. Gabriel Ynoa


The Orioles, like the Blue Jays, are cycling through players, seeing who might stick. You probably won't see Dwight Smith jr. who took on a wall last week and lost. He is on the IL.

Means, the Tuesday starter, is a lefty so Biggio sits and Vlad is the DH. Drury gets another game at 3B to build up his confidence, maybe? Speaking of building up confidence, Edwin Jackson gets a start against the Orioles to try and guarantee his pay check for another week or ten days. If he can't pitch well against the Orioles, the "we don't have anyone else" line might be retired so they can, you know, find someone else.

And remember all, they play these games for entertainment purposes, no wagering!

Blue Jays at Orioles - June 11-13 | 129 comments | Create New Account
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85bluejay - Tuesday, June 11 2019 @ 06:22 PM EDT (#375419) #
The battle for the #1 pick - should be epic - come on Orioles, you had the top pick this year, let the Jays have their first #1 pick next year.
uglyone - Tuesday, June 11 2019 @ 08:45 PM EDT (#375422) #
Emerson Hancock? Crow-Armstrong? Torkelson?
Kelekin - Tuesday, June 11 2019 @ 11:04 PM EDT (#375426) #
Torkelson on name alone.

Though his stats are pretty great.
BlueJayWay - Wednesday, June 12 2019 @ 06:06 AM EDT (#375433) #
Apparently on the radio broadcast last night, Wagner said he thinks Bichette will be up to MLB in a few weeks, and that Davidi also thinks he'll be up sometime this year.
ISLAND BOY - Wednesday, June 12 2019 @ 06:55 AM EDT (#375434) #
You would think Bichette wouldn't be called up until September after missing time with his injury, but in this lost season for the Jays, they might get him on the big club sooner to to get him major league at bats.
rpriske - Wednesday, June 12 2019 @ 08:46 AM EDT (#375435) #
There is someone named Crow-Armstrong and you choose Torkelson based on his name?



Cracka - Wednesday, June 12 2019 @ 09:10 AM EDT (#375437) #
Biggio was called up after playing 43 games in AAA.
Guerrero after playing 39 games in AAA ('18 + '19). Bichette has played 15. So I guess it's reasonable to expect him here in another month or so, assuming his performance merits it. And maybe Galvis gets traded around the same time, assuming we can find a taker.
uglyone - Wednesday, June 12 2019 @ 09:21 AM EDT (#375439) #
Bo coming up would obviously go against all the arguments for keeping vlad down last year.

Maybe management is starting to feel a little pressure?
Mike Green - Wednesday, June 12 2019 @ 09:46 AM EDT (#375440) #
Tonight the Blue Jays resume their battle for the first overall pick and they aren't holding back in the least with Edwin Jackson toeing the rubber.  Luke Maile batting leadoff and playing centerfield- sure, positional versatility.  Rowdy Tellez at short- why not? 

Seriously I was thinking about the MLB draft order rules and Pete Rose.  Don't see the connection?  Here's what I was thinking.  The prohibition against betting on games is primarily based on avoiding creating an incentive for a player or manager to lose the game, going back to a series of events now a century ago.  That's the reason for the rule that (rightly or wrongly) Pete Rose ran afoul of.  But, what about the MLB draft order rules- those rules create a powerful incentive for clubs to lose as many games as possible.  For consistency's sake, those have to be changed.  There are a pool of clubs that by mid-season or so aren't competing for a playoff berth- the sellers.  That's fine.  But, as between the sellers, you don't want to create an incentive to lose. 

The rules should provide something like this:

1.  The bottom six clubs are in a pool, and draw lots for draft order (and that order is the reverse in every round other than the first so the team that draws 1 has the first overall pick and picks 6th every other round, for instance)
2.  A team with a top 5 payroll cannot be among the bottom six (if they are, use the bottom 5 for the pool and the team with the top 5 payroll and finishes with the 6th worst record or worse drafts 6th).  Alternatively, you could provide that in the case where a top 5 payroll team finishes among the bottom six, the team with a below median payroll that finishes closes to the playoffs but out enters the pool in place of the top 5 payroll team who takes their place.  This would create a positive incentive to try to win all season long. 
hypobole - Wednesday, June 12 2019 @ 09:52 AM EDT (#375441) #
Remember Gurriel at SS? Not that anyone who actually watched him could forget. Bo is not much better at this point in time. Giving the SS position to Bo would both somewhat placate some fans and help him get acclimated to Major league pitching. But will also help the tank.
hypobole - Wednesday, June 12 2019 @ 10:01 AM EDT (#375442) #
Mike, if I were a member of the MLBPA committee, there is no way I'd agree a top 5 payroll team couldn't be part of that bottom 6 pool in your scenario. That would just be one more reason for teams to disincentivize spending.
Mike Green - Wednesday, June 12 2019 @ 10:19 AM EDT (#375443) #
That's fair, hypobole.  How would you structure it to avoid the "one losing season" for a high payroll team leading to a possible first overall pick?

It's pretty amazing that the team with the lowest payroll in baseball might be the best (or at least in the conversation).  And still with the lowest attendance in the league. 
hypobole - Wednesday, June 12 2019 @ 11:22 AM EDT (#375446) #
Tbh, I'd just leave the draft the way it is. Or if anything, punish teams that don't spend on major league players year after year, suck year after year, and still potentially make profit through revenue sharing. I'm looking at you Miami.

That's far more criminal than the Blue Jays tanking for the 1st time in ages.
85bluejay - Wednesday, June 12 2019 @ 11:24 AM EDT (#375447) #
There's an old saying "The smarter the government,the wiser the population" - I think we have to be careful in trying to solve every perceivable problem - while acquiring a high pick and the accompanying pool money is one goal of a "tank' in baseball, I don't think the #1 pick is such a high value (except in the few years with an exceptional talent like A-Rod) that teams go all out for the #1 pick - unlike other sports, the #1 pick is less likely to be a player to build your team around (though it happens) & often teams don't select the top rated talent for a variety of reasons - I just don't see a glaring problem that needs to be addressed and anyhow smart executives will find ways around new rules.
Mike Green - Wednesday, June 12 2019 @ 11:48 AM EDT (#375449) #
Well, I guess that I am in a minority who hate tanking.  Rebuilding is fine for me, but Edwin Jackson is not. 
cascando - Wednesday, June 12 2019 @ 12:19 PM EDT (#375450) #
"Well, I guess that I am in a minority who hate tanking. Rebuilding is fine for me, but Edwin Jackson is not. "

I agree, I don't see the point of giving a single start to the likes of Edwin Jackson this year. It would be one thing if he was some kind of veteran workhorse who could save the bullpen once every five nights. Then you could at least argue that he is helping the development of the team overall by giving the bullpen the occasional break. But he does the opposite.

They could easily make a trade for a guy who is underutilized in a team with a deeper rotation, or a young-ish guy in need of another chance, or someone who needs a change of scenery. I don't have any names in mind at the moment, but the league is full of guys like this. Happ and Estrada were at one point higher-end versions of that type of player. Or someone like Drew Hutchison when the Pirates traded for him. Even if the odds are they never amount to anything, it's worth a shot.
Cracka - Wednesday, June 12 2019 @ 12:27 PM EDT (#375451) #
I don't like "tanking" but I don't see a reasonable proposal to eliminate it. I'm not sure the Jays would have acted any differently this season under your "Bottom 6" proposal. Sports with draft lotteries still give the worst teams the best odds, so the incentive still exists.

I think the best option is to take steps to increase parity, so that bad teams can become competitive more quickly. But there are always going to be bad teams, relatively speaking.
Mike D - Wednesday, June 12 2019 @ 12:43 PM EDT (#375454) #
I don't think it matters so much in baseball because of the unpredictability of the MLB Draft. But in general, my view on all major league drafts is that the top three spots should be determined by a lottery, with the bottom three teams ineligible for it. Lock the three bottom teams into the 4-5-6 picks so that they still get a promising pick, but have no incentive for teams to truly bottom out.
Mike Green - Wednesday, June 12 2019 @ 12:56 PM EDT (#375456) #
Here's a Fangraphs' article on the value of each pick in $.  The first pick is worth about twice the 10th pick (i.e. an additional $22 million), and 1.5 times the fifth pick (an additional $14 million). 

For the Blue Jays, they are better off financially not tanking because of the attendance hit.  Although for Tampa, in an off-year, they are definitely better off tanking form a financial perspective. 
SK in NJ - Wednesday, June 12 2019 @ 01:02 PM EDT (#375457) #
I'm not a fan of tanking in baseball either. It's unnecessary. Maybe you get lucky one year and A-Rod or Bryce Harper is available #1 overall, but otherwise you can still draft good players in mid to later rounds. Plus unlike basketball, one player does not change the fortunes of a franchise in MLB. It takes an army. Obviously having an elite player helps a lot, but ideally you'd want a lineup full of very good players. I think the FO could have done the "middle ground" approach a lot better than they did.

As far as Bichette, I'd be pretty surprised if they called him up this season, unless the FO has some pressure on them and want to bring the best prospects up ASAP. If they went through all those hoops to get an extra year for Vlad, I don't see why they wouldn't do the same for Bichette. He may not be in Vlad's prospect category, but having him locked through 2026 seems more enticing than bringing him up for a month in 2019.
Gerry - Wednesday, June 12 2019 @ 01:06 PM EDT (#375458) #
Stories abound that Jordan Romano will join the Jays in Baltimore. Romano had a very slow start to his season in Buffalo but has been excellent as the Buffalo closer for the past month to six weeks.
rabbit - Wednesday, June 12 2019 @ 01:08 PM EDT (#375459) #
ďRemember Gurriel at SS? Not that anyone who actually watched him could forget. Bo is not much better at this point in time.Ē

I donít agree. I saw 4 AA games last summer - Bichette was clearly the most advanced defensively between him, Vlad & Biggio. He looked fluid, athletic and skilled ... like a decent to good shortstop, not a hitter hiding in the infield. I think heíll be Torontoís regular ss once heís up for good.
greenfrog - Wednesday, June 12 2019 @ 01:22 PM EDT (#375463) #
You could argue that the short-term financial hit from loss of attendance is outweighed by the long-term financial boost from having a better team, and better attendance, down the road.
85bluejay - Wednesday, June 12 2019 @ 01:29 PM EDT (#375464) #
If Giles gets traded as expected, Romano could be Johnny-on-the-spot.
Glevin - Wednesday, June 12 2019 @ 01:30 PM EDT (#375465) #
Nobody really tanks in baseball. They just decide to rebuild and play a bunch of scrubs hoping to strike gold. All creating anti tanking rules would do is make teams sign mediocre veterans instead of taking risks on players. It's a problem in basketball for sure but not in baseball. That said getting a top-5 pick is a pretty big difference from even picking 10th. I don't really care about the Jays' record this year. What's depressing is how poorly the young guys are doing. Janssen, Tellez, Hernandez, Mckinney, etc.. All pretty much suck so far.
uglyone - Wednesday, June 12 2019 @ 01:47 PM EDT (#375467) #
small market teams play a team of scrubs.

big market teams just spend a bunch of money until the kids arrive.
hypobole - Wednesday, June 12 2019 @ 03:06 PM EDT (#375469) #
Thanks, rabbit. Of the games 7-8 games I saw, about half didn't go as well. I do agree with the athleticism; in that did show very nice range to get to balls. At least twice though, he tried to make plays where he should have just held it.
PeterG - Wednesday, June 12 2019 @ 03:14 PM EDT (#375470) #
Derek Law will start tonight in Baltimore.
Michael - Wednesday, June 12 2019 @ 03:33 PM EDT (#375471) #
If I were czar I'd make the draft a lottery with all teams eligible but the team with the most balls/tickets (highest chance of first pick) would be the top team that didn't make the playoffs, with the chances going down from there. I'd make the teams knocked out of the one-game playoffs about half way down the list of non-playoff teams, and the teams knocked out in the next round about equal with the worst teams in baseball, and the top playoff teams eligible but still worse than that (maybe the world series winner with about half the chance of the worst non-playoff team).

The randomness means you lessen the impact of the order, and make it so no one can guarantee a spot, but favoring winning for the non-playoff teams is a soft punish for tanking, but doesn't leave anyone stuck forever bad.

You could give the non-playoff teams one ticket for each win, and then slot the playoff teams in based on that distribution.

There should be similar incentives with revenue sharing where if you are eligible you get more shared revenue when you win than when you lose, to help align the incentives the right way. Very small payroll and winning team? No problem. Very small payroll and terrible team? You shouldn't be pocketing a profit from the revenue sharing.
mathesond - Wednesday, June 12 2019 @ 03:45 PM EDT (#375472) #
I would prefer if the draft was done away with entirely.
Mike Green - Wednesday, June 12 2019 @ 03:46 PM EDT (#375473) #
Derek Law will start tonight.  OK.  Perhaps an opener for Pannone. 
PeterG - Wednesday, June 12 2019 @ 03:55 PM EDT (#375475) #
Law will be opener for Jackson.

Giles on IL with elbow inflammation.
hypobole - Wednesday, June 12 2019 @ 04:19 PM EDT (#375476) #
The Giants are and have been in a similar situation as the Jays the past 2 seasons. As opposed to the Jays, though, they've given another half-hearted attempt to contend. As per Spotrac Giants are 5th in overall payroll, 8th in 25 man payroll. Jays are 22nd in overall payroll, 27th in 25 man payroll.

Jays are 20 games under .500, Giants are 11 under. Per FG, Jays have 0.0% playoff chance, Giants 0.1%.

Jays attendance has dropped this year by about 8400 fans per game. Giants only by about 6400. But look at the change from 2017-2018, when both teams made half-hearted attempts to contend, after losing seasons the year prior and the Jays finishing with a better record than the Giants both the year prior and last year. Giants dropped less than 2000 fans per game, Jays dropped over 10,000.
bpoz - Wednesday, June 12 2019 @ 04:58 PM EDT (#375478) #
Thanks hypobole. That is valuable information.

I know you understand it better than me. I would think that the pain is bad for both the team's fans. But SF seems willing to support their team more than Jays fans. Maybe the Raptors are hurting Jays attendance.

If the Jays are improved next year even with the loss of Stroman, Giles and possibly Sanchez and SF is worse compared to this year because of Madbum and others gone. Then fan attendance should reflect this in a way that can be calculated.

I will leave that calculation to the Bauxites to explain this because I trust and value your explanations.
scottt - Wednesday, June 12 2019 @ 06:15 PM EDT (#375481) #
Giles to the 10 day IL.
Romano up to replace him.
Buchholz to the 60 IL to create a spot for Romano.

scottt - Wednesday, June 12 2019 @ 06:22 PM EDT (#375482) #
I'd take the NHL with no draft. No reason to tank. If you want that top draft pick, just trade all you expensive players to make some payroll room.

It wouldn't work in baseball though. The rich teams would just get all the highly ranked prospects and the poor ones would have a lineup of Pillars and Goins.

hypobole - Wednesday, June 12 2019 @ 06:33 PM EDT (#375483) #
"Giles on IL with elbow inflammation."

Trade deadline must be getting close.
scottt - Wednesday, June 12 2019 @ 06:42 PM EDT (#375484) #
That explains why he wasn't throwing more lately.
Montoyo wasn't doing anything wrong.

Is it too early to blame the front office for not getting enough for Giles?

uglyone - Wednesday, June 12 2019 @ 07:07 PM EDT (#375485) #
Nope.
Nigel - Wednesday, June 12 2019 @ 08:37 PM EDT (#375486) #
Without Giles and Stroman (hurt or traded) and the 109 mark (the franchise ďrecordĒ in losses) is at some danger of falling. Some nights I wonder if it isnít at risk even with those players.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, June 12 2019 @ 09:09 PM EDT (#375488) #
Not trading players at optimal times is certainly starting to become a trend here. Hopefully Giles is back after the 10 days and pitching like he was the first two months of the season. It can't be emphasized enough how important the returns will be for Giles and Stroman (if they are in fact traded).
hypobole - Wednesday, June 12 2019 @ 09:58 PM EDT (#375490) #
Some impressive velo on Romano's FB.
Gerry - Wednesday, June 12 2019 @ 10:07 PM EDT (#375492) #
Great to see Romano make it finally. It was fun to see him talking to himself on the mound.

It was interesting to hear today that he felt he tired in later innings when he started. Being a reliever seems to allow him to let it rip, as we saw tonight.
Gerry - Wednesday, June 12 2019 @ 10:53 PM EDT (#375493) #
Romano may not be long with the Jays, David Phelps should be called up by Saturday and Romano is the last man in.
Gerry - Wednesday, June 12 2019 @ 10:55 PM EDT (#375494) #
Joe Biagini celebrates being named temporary closer by looking terrible and letting in two runs while getting one out.
uglyone - Wednesday, June 12 2019 @ 11:08 PM EDT (#375495) #
This is going swimmingly.
Gerry - Wednesday, June 12 2019 @ 11:08 PM EDT (#375496) #
I started watching a Blue Jay game and somewhere along the way it turned into a disaster movie.
uglyone - Wednesday, June 12 2019 @ 11:12 PM EDT (#375497) #
Hudson with a manly strikeout of Mancini. That was impressive.
Gerry - Wednesday, June 12 2019 @ 11:13 PM EDT (#375498) #
And just like most disaster movies, the good guys come through to save the day.
bpoz - Wednesday, June 12 2019 @ 11:26 PM EDT (#375499) #
Whew!!!
dan gordon - Thursday, June 13 2019 @ 01:23 AM EDT (#375500) #
I see why Romano was so dominating lately with Buffalo - he looked terrific, hitting 99 on the radar gun and with a wicked slider. The Jays may have gotten a lucky break that he was returned.
scottt - Thursday, June 13 2019 @ 07:30 AM EDT (#375501) #
Law was adequate. Barely. Faced 5 hitters.
The opener helped Jackson, but he seemed to lose it after 80 pitches.
Tellez was due.
No massive defensive failure, but there was a ball against the fence that Grichuk misplayed.
Romano was excellent. Good velo, good location. Nice drop on the slider and he throws it a the knee.
Luciano struggled in the rain and Biagini was no better.
It was a weird time to bring Biagini. I guess he was ready for the 9th.
Mayza gave up a hit on his 1 batter but it was a good pitch.
Hudson had no control. He walked the 9th hitter and hit the leadoff guy.
Then he decided to throw everything down the middle and somehow nobody could catch up to it.
If Maile can pitch, why can't Thorton catch?

Is Romano on the bubble when Phelps comes up?
I would hope not, but Law is out of option and has been OK lately.
Pannone has also been pretty decent this week.
It might be a case of getting Pannone to throw 3 innings before shipping him down.
After all, this is a 16 game stretch without break.

rpriske - Thursday, June 13 2019 @ 08:37 AM EDT (#375503) #
All right, I don't get it. If Jackson isn't good enough to start (and he isn't), what makes him good enough to start pitching in the 2nd?

If they were using an opener to AVOID using Jackson, I would get it. But this? Bah.

James W - Thursday, June 13 2019 @ 09:04 AM EDT (#375505) #
All right, I don't get it. If Jackson isn't good enough to start (and he isn't), what makes him good enough to start pitching in the 2nd?

He doesn't have to face the top of the order right away, and when he sees them in the third inning, it's only the first time through for him, not the second. (I don't think his results have been because of times-through-the-order, he just got the benefit of facing a much worse team this time.)
Mike Green - Thursday, June 13 2019 @ 09:06 AM EDT (#375506) #
Powerful incentive for Stroman to throw a Maddux tonight with the Rsptors on at 9.
Shoeless Joe - Thursday, June 13 2019 @ 12:30 PM EDT (#375513) #
I always figured Jordan Romano would make a good reliever with his fastball/slider combo. Trent Thortonís splits are also starting to scare me, and he also needs a better changeup.
Nigel - Thursday, June 13 2019 @ 02:33 PM EDT (#375515) #
I haven't seen anything from Thornton to suggest that he's anything better (or worse) than Biagini. He might make a slightly better reliever than Biagini due to the higher k%. Like Biagini, he's a two pitch pitcher.
dalimon5 - Thursday, June 13 2019 @ 04:23 PM EDT (#375517) #
Nick Kingham acquired from PIT for cash. The Athletic's Eno Sarris had him as a break out candidate.

In other news, Fangraphs has an article on the value of Marcus Stroman as the best available starting pitcher.
Gerry - Thursday, June 13 2019 @ 04:55 PM EDT (#375518) #
So Kingham in, Romano out? I am not sure that's a good swap.
hypobole - Thursday, June 13 2019 @ 05:00 PM EDT (#375519) #
Or maybe Kingham in, Edwin Jackson out. That would be good.
dalimon5 - Thursday, June 13 2019 @ 05:16 PM EDT (#375521) #
Kingham was once part of the trio of prospects considered to turn PIT around along with Cole and Taillon.

He's lost about 3mph off his fastball and has little separation between that and his change up. I think Stroman and Sanchez along with Pete Walker is a good a spot as any for him to bring down his HR rate and try ro regain some of that differentiation of speeds.
Magpie - Thursday, June 13 2019 @ 07:12 PM EDT (#375527) #
Kingham in, Romano out?

Kingham in, Luciano to the 10-day IL with a right elbow sprain.
Magpie - Thursday, June 13 2019 @ 07:18 PM EDT (#375529) #
Except Kingham's not there tonight. Shafer is back in the house. Another roster move after the game then.
scottt - Thursday, June 13 2019 @ 07:20 PM EDT (#375531) #
I heard Kingham is going to join in Houston.
Cracka - Thursday, June 13 2019 @ 07:52 PM EDT (#375532) #
Luciano only needs to spend about two more weeks on the active roster to be optionable to the minors in 2020 ('21, and '22). He can also spend 30 days on a minor league rehab assignment, which means he can continue his development in the minors for a month once he recovers (there's no indication that it's a severe injury) and then rejoin the team in August or September to fulfill the 90-days active roster requirement. We'll need to keep him on the 40 man roster though, and that will be the big question in December when we have to protect a bunch of prospects from the next Rule V draft.
scottt - Thursday, June 13 2019 @ 09:04 PM EDT (#375534) #
Generally, you take a gamble by not protecting someone rather than expose someone else to waivers.

I actually don't see a pile of guys that needs protection in 2019.
Zeuch, Kirby Snead, Palacios, McGregory Contreras (not really), Vicuna, Jackson McClelland, etc.

As always, some relievers could be lost.

They'll have to clear guys who are out of options as well.

scottt - Thursday, June 13 2019 @ 09:12 PM EDT (#375535) #
Last night Grichuk missed 1B. That's not something you see often.
The runner has to let the fielder go for the ball. I don't think that applies to a guy trying to catch a throw.
The runner is supposed to keep accelerating through the bag, so should he have made contact with the first baseman?

Mylegacy - Thursday, June 13 2019 @ 09:49 PM EDT (#375536) #
In the top of the 6th Guerrero just got a single. His batting average rose to .268.

.260 is the Rubicon of batting averages and Jr. just crossed it. Once you go past .260 you enter the "good" level (IM{H}O) and for Guerrero the die has been cast as he is NOW on his way to the stars!

Look out Hall here comes Jr.
hypobole - Thursday, June 13 2019 @ 09:55 PM EDT (#375537) #
For me, .280 was the "good hitter" number when I was a kid and batting averages really mattered. Remember going through the Saturday Star checking the team stats.
Mylegacy - Thursday, June 13 2019 @ 10:21 PM EDT (#375538) #
Hypo my minimum "good" levels are: .260/.350/.450/.800
BlueJayWay - Thursday, June 13 2019 @ 10:48 PM EDT (#375539) #
Pretty good night for Vlad, Gurriel, Biggio, Jansen
85bluejay - Friday, June 14 2019 @ 01:19 AM EDT (#375541) #
offtopic - congratulations to the Toronto Raptors - Kings of the North.
raptorsaddict - congratulations, hope you enjoy the sweet smell of success - championships are hard to win (except for Boston teams), so saviour the moment.
scottt - Friday, June 14 2019 @ 08:35 AM EDT (#375543) #
So, yeah. They're not quite as bad as Baltimore.
I'm glad that's sorted out.

hypobole - Friday, June 14 2019 @ 09:01 AM EDT (#375544) #
Have a feeling the Jays batters are circling the next Orioles series on their calendars. Or whatever people do on their electronic devices. Who has an actual calendar anymore?

As for batting averages, compared this year to 1969, the year after the mound was lowered. (yeah, I'm a geezer). Rather surprised that even with the skyrocketing K rates, shifting, and massive changes in starter/reliever usage, league average BA is almost the same. .248 in 1969 vs .249 this year, .248 last year.
Mike Green - Friday, June 14 2019 @ 09:42 AM EDT (#375547) #
Can we just review the players currently in the organization who may reasonably be helpful in 2020 (previous competence in MLB, or double A or higher success) and under control:

Pitchers- Stroman, Sanchez, Shoemaker, Borucki, Thornton, Pearson, Kingham, Giles, Phelps, Biagini, Romano, Pannone, Gaviglio, Paulino, Reid-Foley, Sopko, Tice
Catchers- Jansen, Maile, McGuire, Adams
Other (likely) infielders- Tellez, Guerrero Jr., Biggio, Galvis, Bichette, Drury, Urena
Outfielders- Gurriel Jr., Grichuk, Teoscar, Alford, Forrest Wall (?), McKinney

They have $100 million committed for 2020.
bpoz - Friday, June 14 2019 @ 11:01 AM EDT (#375548) #
Good idea to review the roster.

I suspect the $100 mil includes Tulo.

We currently have a number of players on the 60 day IL earning full pay like Phelps and Shoemaker. Also 10 day IL players earning full pay are Giles and Luciano. I just mentioned that because it counts as payroll costs.

Atkins previously stated that we will compete in 2021 so I am kind of hoping he does not say anything about 2020. But someone will ask and he will be forced to answer. Same for Shapiro.

Our young players are struggling as they adjust to the ML environment.So next year I would categorize them into 2 categories. Those with close to 500 PAs and those that are not close. Mosby, Barfield and Bell said that losing a lot was a part of building their successful team.
The pitching probably looks bad on paper. Stroman, Sanchez and Giles I am counting as gone. So they will be replaced by cheap veterans like Richard and Phelps. We have 47 players on the 40 man roster currently. On the ML roster only Thornton is an inexperienced SP. Next year he will still only have 30 starts on his resume if he manages to stay healthy. So pitching most likely will look "bad to worse".
bpoz - Friday, June 14 2019 @ 11:41 AM EDT (#375549) #
That was a very negative post of mine. Sorry.

To be positive we have a large quantity of players working their way to 500 PAs and higher. Bichette will join that group later. Some others too like McGuire. Some will stick due to good performance or the correct set of tools but the performance is lacking. T Hernandez has the power tool and so he could be getting the PAs. Urena and DSJ were performing quite well but not getting the PAs because the tools were not valued enough is my guess.

I hope the pitching does something to create a positive impression on me. However I can see more negatives. The rotation will have a combination of vets and youngsters. No young SP will be in the rotation unless management feels that he is ready.

To be extremely over optimistic lets say we have 7 young SPs pitching well. I know 5 man rotation. Great results would be 3 or less runs given up in 6-7 innings. It is the pen that could let the team down like in the Joey M years. The pen will be cheap very likely not like what the NYY do.
John Northey - Friday, June 14 2019 @ 05:05 PM EDT (#375551) #
Long term I expect the failed starters from the kids to end up in the pen. That is what normally happens and often gets solid results. Heck, Mariano Rivera was a failed starter (his first ML season he started, sucked, then became setup, then super-closer).

Pitching is always the biggest crap shoot - guys can skyrocket from A to the majors in a single season and succeed, others can be in AAA for years and never make it. TINSTAAPP really is true. Heck, look at Halladay for why you can't trust a pitcher - he had an ERA over 10 early in his career and looked done like dinner, then rebuilt and came back to become a true HOF pitcher.

My main concern this year is for the Jays to find out who is a starting player and who isn't. Vlad, Jansen, Hernandez, Tellez, Gurriel, Biggio are the big ones right now. I think we know Drury is no more than a backup. I hope Urena and Alford get more ML time at some point so we can see if they belong or not (gut/stats so far says no).
dalimon5 - Friday, June 14 2019 @ 05:39 PM EDT (#375553) #
I wonder if the success of the Raptors and increase revenue from playoffs and championship will have any effect on Rogers level of commitment to the Blue Jays.
grjas - Friday, June 14 2019 @ 05:50 PM EDT (#375554) #
Agree re Alford and Urena. We need a clearer view of their capabilities.

Feeling a bit better about the outfield. Gurriel is looking like heís found a home and is hitting very well, and I still think Grichuk will turn it around. Centrefield though is a black box. May be they can package a pitcher with Alford or Teoscar and bring back a solid CF option, if Alford canít do it.

I like Urena and think he would be a good bench player but we need to see him more.

Biggio is such and interesting player. Until yesterday he couldnít buy a hit yet still has a good OBP. Once he gets rolling, watch out, but where do you play him? Super sub, second, first or find room in the outfield? Will be interesting to watch where he ends up.
grjas - Friday, June 14 2019 @ 05:51 PM EDT (#375555) #
I wonder if the success of the Raptors and increase revenue from playoffs and championship will have any effect on Rogers level of commitment to the Blue Jays

I wish MLSE would buy them out.
uglyone - Friday, June 14 2019 @ 06:25 PM EDT (#375557) #
I wouldn't mind seeing gurriel get a shot in CF.
grjas - Friday, June 14 2019 @ 07:16 PM EDT (#375560) #
Yeah itís worth a shot. Heís certainly got the speed.
dalimon5 - Friday, June 14 2019 @ 08:19 PM EDT (#375564) #
Steve Philips and Jim Bowden propose on MLB network following trade:

Giles, Stroman and Biagini

Inciarte, Newcomb, Wright and Touissant
dan gordon - Friday, June 14 2019 @ 09:00 PM EDT (#375568) #
A "no" from me on that trade. Toussaint and Newcomb have significant control issues. Toussaint has walked 262 in 542 minor league innings, and 32 in 56 mlb innings, and he has a career minor league ERA of 4.15. Newcomb has walked 190 in 367 minor league innings, and 148 in 295 mlb innings. Wright has started to develop control issues as he has moved up the ladder. He has walked 16 in 20 mlb innings, his career minor league K/BB ratio is pretty good, but not outstanding, at 181/70, with a career minor league ERA of 4.14. Inciarte is a mediocre hitter and a very good defender in CF, with little power, a poor SB %, and not many walks. His OPS the last 3 years (.759, .705, .623) is trending in the wrong direction, and he'll be 29 in a few months. His first couple of years were aided by hitting in Arizona, and his career road OPS in under .700. He doesn't hit lefties very well. At 29 next season, there's probably not a lot left in the tank there.
dalimon5 - Friday, June 14 2019 @ 09:21 PM EDT (#375572) #
Yeah i agree i hope they just trade for quality over quantity of prospects.
dan gordon - Saturday, June 15 2019 @ 01:21 AM EDT (#375576) #
Mike, I'm wondering where you get the $100 million commitment figure for 2020. I only see Grichuk at 12, Gurriel at about 3, and Galvis at either 5.5 or 1.0 if they buy him out. Even adding Tulo at 14, plus his 4 buyout gets me nowhere close to 100. Are you including estimates for the guys still under team control?

Looking at your list of controllable guys who might reasonably be helpful next year, I would say that if are including pitchers like Sopko, Paulino and Tice, then I would also add Mayza, Tepera, Shafer, Z.Jackson, and Snead.
scottt - Saturday, June 15 2019 @ 07:06 AM EDT (#375578) #
Stroman, Giles and Biagini should bring back at least 6 bodies, more if they include a salary dump on the other side.
There's no need to pick up bullpen guys. The Jays already have guys that can be thrown into that role.
The Yankees gave up Sheffield, Swanson and a AA outfielder for Paxton.


Mike Green - Saturday, June 15 2019 @ 11:25 AM EDT (#375580) #
Yes, Dan, I am including arbitration estimates. Certainly you could argue that the figure should be lower.  I also agree about your additions to the list.

As of this moment, I would be planning on an infield of Bichette, Galvis, Biggio and VGJ for next year. I would be looking for to add a centerfielder who can play defense and contribute a little with the bat and a starting pitcher (Gerrit Cole would be ideal). Atkins' contract is up next year so he has an incentive to go for it.

grjas - Saturday, June 15 2019 @ 12:02 PM EDT (#375581) #
I find it surprising that some fans say this FO is too conservative and not willing to take risks. Gutting the team of veterans, turning it over to rookies, and trending to a 108 loss year is a huge risk for a couple of guys whose contracts are running out soon. It may not work out, but itís a lot more gutsy then signing 3+ year contracts for average players to hover near 500 and keep more bums in seats, which I think has happened too often in the last 20 years.

Iím far from sold on this FO, but I sure donít think theyíre afraid to take risks.
bpoz - Saturday, June 15 2019 @ 12:22 PM EDT (#375582) #
Excellent job security would be TB's A Friedman, J Maddon and K Cash.Friedman and Maddon moved up.

I accept that Atkins and Shapiro may not have much job security.

The "go for it time" has to be timed well rather than perfectly, I would think. 2017 was a good time to go for it and they did.

I am unsure that 2020 is a good time to go for it. 2019 looks very bad to date. Only Stroman and Giles are proven "go for it types". Sanchez is a maybe.

If Atkins successfully goes for it in 2020 then that is a miracle IMO.
jerjapan - Saturday, June 15 2019 @ 12:57 PM EDT (#375583) #
grjas, i see the tank effort you describe as the opposite of a risk - it's the conventional wisdom in baseball.  How many 100 loss seasons will we see this year?  The Jays, Orioles, KC, Detroit and Florida are all well on their way, and likely to get worse as they dump vets by the trade deadline.  That is a lot of teams tanking.  all of them are talking up their farm systems, their player development programs.  conventional stuff. 

I certainly agree with you that aiming for .500 is the wrong way to go, but I don't buy the idea that our FO, or any modern FO really, is going to attempt to gain job security by resorting to poorly-conceived / short-term asset management.  I have heard that idea countless times in reference to AA, without a shred of evidence being produced.  The industry is too smart right now to judge a tank job by the results on the field mid-tank. 

As for their other 'conservative' moves, just take a look at all their trades and FA signings.  Not one was a legit HR, but neither were any swings for the fence.  Even the clear trade 'wins' have been diminished by subsequent asset management - the Grichuk trade by the ultimate conservative contract extension.  2 win corner OF?  lock him up long-term!  mercurial mid-rotation starter?  deal him!   The Hutch deal was a good one, but we blocked one fringey OF prospect in Ramirez with other fringey OF prospects in Herndandez and McKinney, and then lost the prospect for nothing.  Woodman for Diaz for Thornton has turned out well, but it's emblematic of the problem - low risk, low reward moves. 

Osuna for Giles and some big, wild arms was a strong deal, but I think the best move they have pulled off might be the Gurriel signing.  If I'm remembering correctly, the other clear FA wins of the Shapiro era - Estrada and Happ - were completed by Lacava. 

Ironically, when I googled 'Ross Atkins acquisitions' one of the first hits was about how Atkins was 'really excited' about getting Juan De Paula for Pillar.  Juan De Paula.  That kind of says it all. 
bpoz - Saturday, June 15 2019 @ 01:31 PM EDT (#375584) #
I agree with grjas.

jerjapan unless I am misunderstanding you ... you are slightly negative on Juan DePaula.

That was a nothing deal. He could not get a B Drury or B McKinney and maybe he did not want that type of player. He had enough. Except A Hanson is close to that. De Paula gives you a big arm that is a very long shot.

The record stinks so far but the payroll now and going forward looks very good.

A talented farm that can stay healthy will get you potential good results.
jerjapan - Saturday, June 15 2019 @ 02:15 PM EDT (#375589) #
Not mistaken at all bpoz, I just don't see how a GM can talk about being 'very excited' about a kid who turns 22 in September, in his fifth year of pro ball, still without a taste of high A.  I'm a fan of upside, so De Paula is better than Law and Hanson, and Pillar's value was declining steeply, but if this adds up to exciting, I'm nervous about what the next 'exciting' move will be. 

My point isn't to pick on De Paula but rather to note that most of Atkins' moves have been 'nothing' deals.  That being said, I do like the drafts we've had since Shapiro took over, and the move to raise minor league pay was outstanding leadership for the entire industry. 
grjas - Saturday, June 15 2019 @ 02:19 PM EDT (#375590) #
It doesnít really bother me that they havenít done any risky trades at this point as Iím not convinced itís the right time. Also, given the lack, in my view of any sort of core to this team In the last two years, I donít think they had much option but to tank. (Which I guess you could then argue wasnít a risky choice....but with a media company owner who wants viewership, I think it was).

On Grichuk, yeah a conservative deal but they were so weak in the outfield I think they had to extend him.....as I think they should also extend Stroman if trade offers are weak.

Anyway, as I have said before Iím not yet convinced about this front office. The trades this summer may be telling. Itíll be even more interesting to see how aggressive they are once, hopefully, the core develops over the next couple of years, provided the current FO is still here, which is questionable given Atkins ďweakĒ extension.
grjas - Saturday, June 15 2019 @ 02:21 PM EDT (#375591) #
(Kind of depressing to realize that my last post had three references to the word weak. )
greenfrog - Saturday, June 15 2019 @ 02:31 PM EDT (#375592) #
In almost half a season this year, Grichuk has posted a negative WAR. I remain comfortable with my position that his five-year extension was a misstep on the FOís part. And Iím unconvinced that heís pretty much a guaranteed 2-3 WAR player with 4 WAR upside, as some have suggested.
jerjapan - Saturday, June 15 2019 @ 03:06 PM EDT (#375593) #
Ha, well the one year extension for Atkins definitely does feel weak.  I believe it's timed to coincide with the end of Shapiro's deal?    I'd actually be sad if Shapiro moved on, simply because I think it would be evidence that he isn't getting the support ownership promised him.  Like him or not, he doesn't seem the sort to jump ship when the going gets tough - he knew the job he signed up for.
Hopefully I'm wrong in my axiom that conservative leadership is the wrong fit for our current team.  Perhaps the sexy moves come when our prospects start turning into quality major leaguers, but thus far, there isn't anything to point to as evidence of this in Atkins' history. 

The Grichuk deal wasn't terrible, but there wasn't much to be gained by signing it so early in the year.  There was every chance of a down season, given his up and down career thus far.

This is a pretty critical year for the future of the franchise though - I'd prefer to keep Giles and Stro (unless the returns are massive) and try to contend for the WC next year, but if the FO deals our best pitchers, a quality prospect return would still be a success.  Not extending them / getting value in return likely spells the beginning of the end for Atkins. 
Mike Green - Saturday, June 15 2019 @ 03:33 PM EDT (#375594) #
Grichuk has been an extreme slow starter. Career 1st half OPS .710; second half .865. Patience.
grjas - Saturday, June 15 2019 @ 03:35 PM EDT (#375595) #
Well said jerjapan.
uglyone - Saturday, June 15 2019 @ 04:58 PM EDT (#375596) #
"Gutting the team of veterans, turning it over to rookies, and trending to a 108 loss year is a huge risk for a couple of guys whose contracts are running out soon"

"Don't spend any money and we'll rebuild around all these awesome cheap kids and I promise we'll be good in 5-10yrs" has long been the safest managing strategy ever devised. FOs have lasted years upon years of losing using that sales pitch.
bpoz - Saturday, June 15 2019 @ 05:21 PM EDT (#375597) #
Hopefully good for 10 years. The prospects are starting to arrive in waves.
Nigel - Saturday, June 15 2019 @ 05:22 PM EDT (#375598) #
I can see both sides of almost every argument but I canít see any argument in favour of the idea that this FO has taken risks. Theyíve done almost nothing. Theyíve let almost every valuable asset whither before dealing it. There are legitimate arguments that can support all of that behaviour- but taking on risks isnít one of them. This is the most risk averse FO in the history of the franchise- for better or for worse.
Nigel - Saturday, June 15 2019 @ 05:31 PM EDT (#375599) #
In almost every transaction in the last few years you can see an element of risk aversion. They have avoided qualifying offers where there was any risk of accepting. Avoided extensions, etc. They have traded for AAAA types rather than A ball lottery tickets. There are pluses and minuses to risk aversion - to me it isnít necessarily a criticism- but itís been prevalent.
greenfrog - Saturday, June 15 2019 @ 08:12 PM EDT (#375602) #
Fortunately the teamís drafting and IFA acquisitions do not seem to be unduly constrained by risk aversion.
scottt - Saturday, June 15 2019 @ 08:15 PM EDT (#375603) #
Usually  you want the build the position players before the rotation. The bullpen isn't really a factor.
For what it's worth, Guerrero, Gurriel and Biggio are starting to look like the best players on the team.
Tellez and Jansen are taking longer, but they look good at times.

It's only June, we still want to see Bichette and some outfielders and see where Borucki, Zeuch, Merryweather, SRF and all the other pitchers on the 40 are at.



greenfrog - Saturday, June 15 2019 @ 08:23 PM EDT (#375604) #
Were the Indians under Shapiro similarly prone to making ďrisk aversionĒ moves? You could argue that the FA contracts they gave to players like Swisher and Bourn ó second-tier ďvalueĒ acquisitions that didnít work out ó fall into this category. But Iím not sure if this was a thing for them more generally.
hypobole - Saturday, June 15 2019 @ 08:46 PM EDT (#375606) #
They have avoided qualifying offers where there was any risk of accepting.

Gave QO's to EE and Jose, traded JD instead of QO. Who were the others?
hypobole - Saturday, June 15 2019 @ 09:01 PM EDT (#375607) #
Speaking of EE, he's now a Yankee. Good for EE and I will still like him, even in pinstripes.
scottt - Saturday, June 15 2019 @ 09:02 PM EDT (#375608) #
I like him, but I still hope he slumps.
scottt - Saturday, June 15 2019 @ 09:08 PM EDT (#375609) #
FA  signing are risky moves only if you don't have the money.



Nigel - Saturday, June 15 2019 @ 09:17 PM EDT (#375610) #
Traded Happ like JD. The QO to Bautista might be the only risky move the FO has made. There was zero risk attached to the EE offer.
scottt - Saturday, June 15 2019 @ 09:18 PM EDT (#375611) #
It sounds like the Mariners are paying all of EE's salary plus his 5M option waiver in exchange for Juan Then, an 18 year old Dominican pitcher in Rookie ball.

Meh. He'd a grade 40 pitcher ranked 27th in the Yankees system by MLB pipeline.
The De Paula return for Pillar is starting to look good.

scottt - Saturday, June 15 2019 @ 09:42 PM EDT (#375612) #
Well, maybe just half of EE's salary minus 5M that the Rays are covering. Kinda ironic.
Also EE will likely replace Morales and force Stanton in the outfield.
Frazier for a pitcher next?  I would pass on that.

Mike D - Saturday, June 15 2019 @ 10:23 PM EDT (#375613) #
It's so sad that the Jays' goal for 2019 is to be sellers, and now it is manifestly an extreme buyers' market.
hypobole - Saturday, June 15 2019 @ 10:45 PM EDT (#375614) #
Keeping Happ simply to give him a QO would have been sheer stupidity, which yeah, qualifies as risk averse.
uglyone - Saturday, June 15 2019 @ 10:51 PM EDT (#375615) #
Mlb is in a pretty sorry state right now.

They need a cap AND a cap floor asap.
John Northey - Saturday, June 15 2019 @ 11:03 PM EDT (#375616) #
Nah, cap and cap floor just locks in profits for everyone. Better is to adjust things like the draft which award poor play. I say reverse it. Picks go to the best non-playoff record. So #1 goes to the team closest to the playoffs without making it, #2 to the next closest, and so on. So sucking hard doesn't get you a good draft pick, it just gets the one before the playoff teams get to go. This would speed up the rebuild process for teams as they'd be getting great picks when they are on the edge of the playoffs thus have new quality guys arrive in the majors as they end their success cycle. Teams that suck year in year out would feel a need to sign quality free agents to get back up in the standings to get decent players.

Could have another penalty for those who stay at the bottom - IE: 3+ years of 100 losses and you lose your first round pick until you get back under 100 losses in a season. Yeah, sucking teams would hurt for a long time this way but it sure would stop the incentive to tank.
uglyone - Saturday, June 15 2019 @ 11:27 PM EDT (#375618) #
I don't see it locking in profits.

Teams at the top finally pay in the standings for their bad contracts, team's at the bottom have to win to stay afloat.
Nigel - Saturday, June 15 2019 @ 11:31 PM EDT (#375619) #
I guess Iím stupid then. Holding on to JD and Happ and potentially offering them QOs seemed a viable option rather than simply trading them for nothing as they were.
dan gordon - Sunday, June 16 2019 @ 12:31 AM EDT (#375620) #
A cap would be fantastic, as it would remove the enormous advantage teams like the Red Sox, Yankees, Dodgers, etc. have over everybody else, but baseball is a very old school sport, and is slow to adopt to new rules that other sports have been using for years. I don't think we'll get the cap for quite a while yet.
hypobole - Sunday, June 16 2019 @ 12:33 AM EDT (#375621) #
I'm not calling you stupid, but non-contending teams, especially non-revenue sharing recipients, don't hold on to players worth a QO except in the most extreme cases, such as ownership not allowing Rizzo to trade Harper last year.

Our pick would have been 78th, players in this range average about 2 bWAR their entire careers. He also could have ended up with Keuchel and Kimbrel. Or yeah, a team with basically no chance at contention would be paying over 17 million for a declining 36 yr old pitcher if accepted.
Nigel - Sunday, June 16 2019 @ 12:51 AM EDT (#375622) #
I wasnít suggesting that you were calling me stupid. Iím saying that holding onto JD and Happ and offering them a QO wasnít a stupid idea. It had risks but that was my point. Iím not suggesting that it was stupid to have gone the route that they did either.
hypobole - Sunday, June 16 2019 @ 06:59 AM EDT (#375623) #
OK, both Happ and JD were risk averse, but in very different ways. In terms of risk/reward holding onto JD did negate the the very real chance of reward if they held onto him, he accepted, stayed healthy and returned close to his previous levels.
Happ, on the other hand, had very little chance of reward if they had done the same - what Atkins should have gotten in trade was greater than a mid-70's pick, and as a 36 yr old pitcher on the decline, chances were almost nil he would have increased his value.
scottt - Sunday, June 16 2019 @ 07:25 AM EDT (#375624) #
The Mariners traded 2 low level prospects for a so-so pitcher which the Yankees needed off the 40.
Now the Mariners sent back EE and money to get one of those guys back.
The whole things looks pretty bad to me. The Mariners are a team close to contention making risky moves just to stay afloat. I sure would not like that type of front office.

I don't see Galvis, Sogard or even Smoak having much trade value in this market.
Injuries happen though.
Anything they can get will be a bonus.


bpoz - Sunday, June 16 2019 @ 10:07 AM EDT (#375628) #
I can see Galvis, Sogard and Smoak being moved, if anyone wants them, to free up playing time for Bichette, Urena and an OF on the 40 man roster. Urena and J Davis could use the ABs. Galvis has value to us as a durable defensive IF that is cheap for this year and next.

The return would be not much. Atkins probably gets to choose from A) T Hernandez, B McKinney and J Waguespack types that are close to being ML ready and need to be put on the 40 roster right away or in Nov for Rule 5 protection. OR B) Juan DePaula types that have a big arm and are very far away in development.

Nigel - Sunday, June 16 2019 @ 12:54 PM EDT (#375631) #
Hypobole, thatís generally fair, although I would have weighted the risk of Happ accepting the QO as lower than you (and in the event of acceptance, him pitching well enough to flip for the equivalent or better as being non zero (not high, I agree)). But pick 76 is something like a (good) A ball lottery pick. They chose 40 man roster castoffs rather than take that risk.
John Northey - Sunday, June 16 2019 @ 01:05 PM EDT (#375632) #
Seattle is out of it. 10 games out of the 2nd wildcard, 19 1/2 out of their division lead. That isn't a contender, and is pretty much into full rebuild mode I suspect.
scottt - Monday, June 17 2019 @ 07:58 AM EDT (#375640) #
If the Mariners were planning to go into rebuild mode, they'd have wanted the best possible return for EE. The Rays, the Astros and the Rockies made offers, but apparently what Seattle wanted was dumping as much salary as possible. The plan appears to retool and try to contend next year.
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