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Your Blue Jays head into Boston with one thing on their minds....can we win one game in this series? That's how things have been going recently. Boston have had an up and down season so far, and many would say they have disappointed, but their record is 41-35 and they would be in the playoffs if the season ended now. The Red Sox have won seven of their last eight games and their only loss in that spell came in 17 innings. As it happens, the Red Sox throw out three starters against the Jays with none of them having a winning record. But don't get your hopes up. Chris Sale is 3-7, Rick Porcello 5-6, and Saturday's starter, Brian Johnson, is 1-1.


Friday, 7:10 - Trent Thornton vs. Chris Sale

Saturday, 4:05 - Bullpen vs. Brian Johnson

Sunday, 1:05 - Marcus Stroman vs. Rick Porcello

Blue Jays @ Red Sox - June 21-23 | 121 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Mike Green - Friday, June 21 2019 @ 04:15 PM EDT (#375922) #
I am eager to see whether Cavan Biggio (and Rowdy Tellez and even Eric Sogard) can take advantage of the wall.  It's a fascinating environment for a left-handed hitter. 
hypobole - Friday, June 21 2019 @ 04:50 PM EDT (#375924) #
Dan Zips at FG with his updated projections. They have our losses staying at double-digits, but only because 99 losses is still technically double-digits. Our playoff chances are 0.00%, which would lead one to believe our chances of winning the World Series this year are also 0.00%

Our average draft position is 4th, with only a 1.9% chance at picking first.
Shoeless Joe - Friday, June 21 2019 @ 04:54 PM EDT (#375925) #
It looks like Julian Merryweather will be making his first official rehab appearance on Monday, and has hit 100 mph during his rehab.
bpoz - Friday, June 21 2019 @ 06:54 PM EDT (#375927) #
For a long time I have been thinking about multi inning relievers. What are you guys thinking? How many in a 13 man pitching staff? 3,4,5 innings and pitch counts.
mathesond - Friday, June 21 2019 @ 06:58 PM EDT (#375929) #
I wonder if they will find Pesky's Pole more tempting - I could at least see Tellez getting a bit pull-heavy.
Kelekin - Friday, June 21 2019 @ 09:49 PM EDT (#375935) #
I've never really loved the idea of relievers that face 1 or 2 batters. I'll be more than happy if they institute the 3 batter minimum rule. But I think traditional bullpen roles are one of the most outdated parts of the modern game. Put the best pitchers on your team, and if a pitcher that you think is good enough to go 1 inning is good enough to go 3, then do it.
SK in NJ - Friday, June 21 2019 @ 10:10 PM EDT (#375936) #
I haven't watched many games this year for varying reasons, but was surprised Thornton was allowed to face Betts in the 7th inning. He was at 99 pitches, it was going to be the 4th time through the order, and he was about to face Boston's best hitters. I don't know much about Montoyo's managing tendencies other than he likes to bunt (a lot), but that was right out of the "keep a starter in until he gives up a base runner" playbook that Gibbons used to have, and I thought the Jays were going to hire someone who did things differently.

That's probably a minor nitpick on my part, like I said I haven't watched much of the team this year aside from reading the box scores, but that stood out to me.

Great start from Thornton nonetheless. He's looking like a capable big league SP so far.
Kelekin - Friday, June 21 2019 @ 10:40 PM EDT (#375937) #
I see it as an attempt to bolster confidence in a young player. I did think he'd be pulled after facing the #9 though.
scottt - Friday, June 21 2019 @ 10:59 PM EDT (#375938) #
Stroman/Thornton/Bullpen are the Jays best 3 starters.

Shoeless Joe - Saturday, June 22 2019 @ 06:37 AM EDT (#375939) #
Statcast has Thorton throwing a split finger instead of a change-up, while Pitch Info has him throwing mostly change-ups as his off-speed offering. Regardless his off-speed pitches haven't been as bad as I was expecting and I now firmly believe he sticks as a mid-rotation starter. 
scottt - Saturday, June 22 2019 @ 06:55 AM EDT (#375940) #
It looks like he wanted Mayza to fade Benintendi but didn't want him against Mookie.

On the positive side, the last 6 games they scored 12-5-1-6-7-5 runs.
Too bad Stroman was on the mound for the 1 run game.

scottt - Saturday, June 22 2019 @ 08:16 AM EDT (#375941) #
That 80 games suspension to Montas probably moves the A's from buyer fighting for a wild card spot to outright seller.

Guy was 9-2 with an ERA of 2.7 good for a 160 ERA+.
That is probably the worse thing that can happen to a contending team.
Not even arbitration eligible this fall.

dalimon5 - Saturday, June 22 2019 @ 10:04 AM EDT (#375944) #
If it means they become sellers then surely another team will move from seller to buyer at the same time.
bpoz - Saturday, June 22 2019 @ 10:45 AM EDT (#375947) #
I agree with you scottt, especially since you used the word "probably". I am assuming that you expect Oakland to lose more and fall back.

Oakland is only 2 games back of the 2nd WC. They also happen to be a sensibly run org with a winning history.

They may or may not lose more now. Also Cleveland and Boston are only 1 & 2 games ahead of them. Both Cleveland and Boston were favored preseason. So either could get very hot and put Oakland 6 games back of the 2WC.

6 games back is seller and 2 games back is buyer IMO. Still 1 month to go before the trade deadline.

scottt - Saturday, June 22 2019 @ 11:10 AM EDT (#375950) #
Cleveland has a very favorable schedule.

Toronto might have a lot to do with where Boston ends up.

They have another series in Toronto after Canada Day facing Stroman/Sanchez/Richard as it stands.

mathesond - Saturday, June 22 2019 @ 11:18 AM EDT (#375951) #
"If it means they become sellers then surely another team will move from seller to buyer at the same time."

bpoz - Saturday, June 22 2019 @ 11:19 AM EDT (#375952) #
Easy and hard schedule does factor into the equation. 1 month to trade deadline. I look forward to finding the oddball factor that I feel strongly will happen. 75% in favor or oddball IMO.
scottt - Saturday, June 22 2019 @ 11:55 AM EDT (#375955) #
In that case, it probably just means one less contender.

Even if they manage too keep afloat, it's a dicey proposition to trade any prospect to improve their odds in the wild cards race knowing that their ace is not eligible to pitch.

hypobole - Saturday, June 22 2019 @ 12:01 PM EDT (#375956) #
Aren't as bunch of injured A's starters due back around the AS break?
John Northey - Saturday, June 22 2019 @ 01:33 PM EDT (#375958) #
Tough year for pitching here...
As starter ERA: 5.13
Under 3 = Law (2 IP in 2 G), Shoemaker (1.57 ERA in 5 starts)
3 to 5 = Stroman, Thornton
5's: Sanchez
6-10: Buchholtz, Richard, Feierabend, Hudson
Over 10: Jackson, SRF, Pannone

Ugh. The pen is at 4.48, ugly. Even with 10 who have better than a K per IP. Only 3 are sub 7 K/9 IP.

Total of 20 relievers used so far this year. Yikes. Safe to say more will be used before all is said and done.
hypobole - Saturday, June 22 2019 @ 01:46 PM EDT (#375959) #
"Total of 20 relievers used so far this year. Yikes."

Mariners: "We'll see your 20 and raise you 8"
John Northey - Saturday, June 22 2019 @ 02:15 PM EDT (#375961) #
18 times the Jays have used over 20 pitchers in a season (starters and relievers). Only one was pre-2000, in 1999. 2001 and 2008 saw under 21 used, 20 in 2001, 19 in 2008. For comparison, in 1982 and 1984 only 13 pitchers were used all year. In 1984 4 starters had 35+ starts each. In 1982 3 had 38+ starts each (Stieb/Clancy/Leal). Stieb at 24 threw 288 innings that year. His arm did eventually blow out in 1991 at age 33, then a comeback at 40 for one year. Makes one long for a team to say 'screw it' and go back to the no pitch limit days with a 4 man rotation from low minors up just to see if it blows out more arms or less. Of course, that would be a major risk for the pitchers and team. Still, would be interesting to see as guys did survive it a lot back then - although the game was different as Stieb never K'd 7 per 9 IP and was an all-star a year he K'd just 4 per 9 IP. Sadly no pitch counts pre-1988 for Stieb, but in 88 he had 3 games of 120+ pitches, peaking at 129. Yeah, a different time.
Chuck - Saturday, June 22 2019 @ 02:32 PM EDT (#375962) #
Even with 10 who have better than a K per IP.

The average AL pitcher is at 8.7 K/9 (8.4 for SP, 9.1 for relievers). Imagine. If you are not striking out a batter an inning, you are below average. How the game has changed!

AL K/9 over the years:

  • 2019: 8.7
  • 2009: 6.9
  • 1999: 6.2
  • 1989: 5.5
  • 1979: 4.5

What will happen to this trend? Can it continue to rise? Will it plateau? Will it reverse course?

Is this K rate good for the game? I simultaneously celebrate the eggheads who have determined that a TTO strategy is the most efficient while bemoaning the, admittedly subjective, diminished aesthetic appeal resulting from this culture. (Similarly in basketball, that teams sometimes shoot more 3's than 2's in a game just seems an inevitable outcome when quants have their say. I don't know enough about advanced hockey metrics, but I know the propeller heads have influenced the game.)

I would guess that the only push back to TTO will be as a result of diminished viewership. If the game starts losing fans, baseball will have to figure out why and then tailor the game to deliver what the fans really want.

Chuck - Saturday, June 22 2019 @ 02:34 PM EDT (#375963) #
"If it means they become sellers then surely another team will move from seller to buyer at the same time."


Newton's first law of thermodynamics.

Magpie - Saturday, June 22 2019 @ 04:10 PM EDT (#375966) #
Well, I've done enough moaning about what analytical wisdom has done to the aesthetics of the actual game on the field. I don't think it's had as big an effect on basketball and hockey (bearing in mind that I never played basketball in my life and never even watched a game on television before the Raptors came to town.) I think the reason is because chaos is pretty well baked into both basketball and hockey, and there's only so much you can do about it. (Especially hockey.)

Coaches, in all sports, are doing everything they can to impose some kind of order and control on the game. I think hockey resists the effort better than the other games. And the other extreme is baseball, which resets after every friggin' pitch.
Magpie - Saturday, June 22 2019 @ 04:18 PM EDT (#375968) #
Newton's first law of thermodynamics.

I dunno, I was thinking Newton's third law might be more applicable. Of course it's always been my favourite.
John Northey - Saturday, June 22 2019 @ 05:10 PM EDT (#375969) #
I keep hoping they look at options that would put more balls in play - I'd hate it from a traditionalist POV but moving the mound back a foot would probably do wonders for getting more in play. I think I read they are looking at doing something like that in an independent league as a way to give that league some cash in exchange for seeing if it helps.

Ah found the article -
grjas - Saturday, June 22 2019 @ 05:27 PM EDT (#375970) #
i think itís a double whammy between pitchers firing more smoke than ever and the ubiquitous shifting. May be the batters will find a solution like tennis players did for Becker style serving that almost destroyed tennis (in my mind anyway).

On the other hand hockey made the changes to offset the sleep inducing neutral zone trap and what a difference in the game. Not sure I have much faith in baseball given the puritans that think pitchers hitting is a good idea, because it was always done that way. At the end of the day itís just entertainment, and Iím feeling less and less entertained.
hypobole - Saturday, June 22 2019 @ 05:43 PM EDT (#375971) #
Here's a radical idea if you want more non-HR scoring in baseball. Do away with the shortstop.
AWeb - Saturday, June 22 2019 @ 05:53 PM EDT (#375972) #
Thing is, the hitters have already figured it out and total scoring is quite high right now. If you make it harder to strike out, you have to offset the extra balls in play with fewer homers. Longer distance plus deader ball (where deader can just mean kess aerodynamic which is the issue these days) in the right balance.
uglyone - Saturday, June 22 2019 @ 06:16 PM EDT (#375973) #
I'll say it again - get rid of the mound. It's an unnecessary advantage.
greenfrog - Saturday, June 22 2019 @ 07:15 PM EDT (#375974) #
Tellez is on pace to hit about 35 HR this year and have a negative WAR. This seems to be a thing with the current front office (Morales, Grichuk, Teoscar) -- lots of power, marginal value. Hopefully Biggio and VGJ and Bichette and Groshans and others will prove that this isn't actually a thing.
hypobole - Saturday, June 22 2019 @ 07:49 PM EDT (#375976) #
Tellez is as much this front office as Vladdy is this front office.

Anyway, the Jays hitters were an even 100 wRC+ the past 14 days and over 90 the past 30. Baby steps.
Shoeless Joe - Saturday, June 22 2019 @ 07:51 PM EDT (#375977) #
So do the Ref Sox trade for Giles tomorrow? Do they even have a good enough farm to get him? Their bullpen is a mess.
Kelekin - Saturday, June 22 2019 @ 08:34 PM EDT (#375978) #
Worse farm system than the Yankees, in my opinion. Yankees at least have some intriguing international prospects that are 4+ years away.
Shoeless Joe - Saturday, June 22 2019 @ 08:41 PM EDT (#375979) #
I agree Kelekin, speaking of the Yankees I really am not interested in Clint Frazier. His hot start is not sustainable and his AAA numbers arenít that different than Billy McKinney.
hypobole - Saturday, June 22 2019 @ 08:57 PM EDT (#375980) #
After Betts stole second, was kinda hoping Giles would have used the intentional balk.

Loved the Jays win today, made all the sweeter by the Red Sox implosion.
scottt - Saturday, June 22 2019 @ 09:12 PM EDT (#375981) #
Frazier is a lot like Castellanos whom the Tigers haven't found a taker for on his walk year.
A right handed outfielder who hits well but who is a bad defender.

With Grichuk in right and Gurriel in left, I'd rather the Jays keep trying the guys they have in center and as a 4th outfielder. It might be different if Frazier was clearly an upgrade

Also, Frazier has had some friction with the New York media and I think this front office does not gamble with players who have make up issues.

hypobole - Saturday, June 22 2019 @ 09:31 PM EDT (#375982) #
Wonder if there is a way to get Cristian Pache from Atlanta.
dan gordon - Sunday, June 23 2019 @ 12:01 AM EDT (#375984) #
Ken Giles is awesome. Great close out there despite the pop fly that fell in. Best player on the team, relative to other players at his position. I loved the trade when they got him - his career numbers were about identical to Osuna's at the time of the trade, and they got the 2 prospects as well. Really hope they can sign him to an extension. If they trade him, they'd better get something very good.

Nice to see most of the young bats coming around. Gurriel is developing into a fantastic player. Now we need to see Jansen get going.
dan gordon - Sunday, June 23 2019 @ 12:55 AM EDT (#375985) #
Just had a look at Clint Frazier's stats. His minor league performance, given his age and level, looks really good. He's going to be a good hitter in the big leagues. Probably has a few 30 HR seasons in the future. Walks a bit, but not a lot. His defense looks very bad according the BB-Ref stats, and that's as a corner OF. He's certainly no CF. So the question is what do the Jays do if they trade for him. You either put up with a weak defensive CF in Grichuk, or DH one of Gurriel, Grichuk and Frazier. I would certainly hope they wouldn't even think of putting Gurriel back in the infield, unless it's at 1B.
scottt - Sunday, June 23 2019 @ 12:57 AM EDT (#375986) #
Relievers are unpredictable. Even the top ones.
There are a lot of teams out there who could use Giles. Just not Houston and NYY.
If they can get a top prospect for Giles, they should absolutely move him.

The hustle from Gurriel, Hernandez and Biggio is fun to watch.
That has been missing for a long time.

It's kinda interesting to see the team finally scoring runs now that Smoak is out of action.
Tellez and Grichuk could hit 30 home runs this year while sporting OPS below the league average.
There's 2 things to remember about that.
The balls are extra juiced this year.
Many guys like Smoak and Bautista took a long time to put everything together.
Grichuk hits the ball very hard and Tellez has natural power.

Glevin - Sunday, June 23 2019 @ 06:10 AM EDT (#375988) #
Not interested in Frazier either for the reasons Dan outlined. I think he'll have a pretty decent career, but the Jays have Teoscar, Grichuk, Biggio, and Gurriel who are all corner OFers. If trading Giles and Stroman, I'd prioritize starting pitching but would also happily take an impact hitter almost anywhere.
dalimon5 - Sunday, June 23 2019 @ 10:10 AM EDT (#375989) #
The most radical idea i've heard for making the game exciting again, to increase offense, it came from an old time baseball fan (I consider myself a young fan having the 92/93 Jays images implanted into my brain at a young age.)

This guy said the best way is to increase the si2 of the strike zone which i thought was crazy and counter productive. He explained that hitters will go after more pitches if the zone is bigger and that pitchers will adjust and throw more variety. Right now, (generalizing here), you need to learn to throw one way like up in the zone and learn to hit that one pitch as a hitter. If pitchers could attack different ways then hitters that dont hit the high baseball could have a chance and you'd get less power/walk/pop approaches.

I thought it was pretty interesting and in line with the increased strikeouts and home runs. I definitely miss watching the Catalanotto/Tulowitzki (COL) type player.
dalimon5 - Sunday, June 23 2019 @ 10:11 AM EDT (#375990) #
Gerry - Sunday, June 23 2019 @ 11:09 AM EDT (#375992) #
Sean Reid-Foley is up, Jordan Romano is headed back to Buffalo.
bpoz - Sunday, June 23 2019 @ 11:36 AM EDT (#375993) #
Maybe I said it. Can't remember. SRF seems to always throw 100+ pitches per game. So a very durable arm. Results this year have been bad. I am always hoping that he can figure it out.

I hope he is used out of the pen in a short outing so that he can get the usual 1st game nerves done with.

I am quite willing to be wrong and have SRF just be good all the time. 15 ML innings left for him to no longer be a prospect.
hypobole - Sunday, June 23 2019 @ 11:48 AM EDT (#375995) #
There's some heat off SRF , because no matter how badly he pitches, people can say "Hey, at least he's better than Edwin Jackson".
Mike Green - Sunday, June 23 2019 @ 12:44 PM EDT (#375997) #
Today was SRF's scheduled start. I am guessing that he is here for a bullpen outing or three. That would be fine with me.
Magpie - Sunday, June 23 2019 @ 01:06 PM EDT (#375999) #
Right now, (generalizing here), you need to learn to throw one way like up in the zone and learn to hit that one pitch as a hitter.

I dunno. I'm seeing something else. The pitchers are all trying to work down in the zone, and the hitters have all learned (or are trying to learn!) to golf the low pitch into the air. Launch angle! A few pitchers are starting to figure out that you can't do that with a pitch at the top of the strike zone, but pitchers have been told for generations that you have to keep the ball down, down, down unless you throw like Roger Clemens or someone like that.

Anyway, messing with the strike zone... it's been tried before. What happened? Strikeouts went through the roof, and power pitchers who had been fighting their control mutated into all-stars. Offense plummeted, bottoming out at 3.4 runs per game by 1968.

The problem today isn't lack of offense. Plenty of runs are being scored. The problem is the way they're being scored. The problem is that the number of balls put in play keeps falling. And falling.
hypobole - Sunday, June 23 2019 @ 01:34 PM EDT (#376000) #
Both up and down in the zone seems to be a thing now. Yes down is what was taught in the past and why a good 2 seamer was such a valuable pitch. But I've seen a few articles over the past year showing that pitchers are throwing fewer and fewer 2 seamers and some have abandoned it altogether. I've heard even 4 seam usage is down, although top of the zone 4 seamers are more prevalent.

Slider usage especially has increased, and to a lesser extent cutters, curves and changes. Sliders are down in the zone, but much more a swing and miss pitch than a down in the zone 2 seamer.

Magpie - Sunday, June 23 2019 @ 01:59 PM EDT (#376001) #
I think the way to get more balls in play is by establishing a minimum thickness for bat handle size (there's currently a maximum thickness for the fat part, but nothing else.) I think we'd see fewer swings dedicated to the proposition that one whips the bat through the zone as hard as one can in order to lift the ball out of play and more swings dedicated to simply making hard contact. (As a bonus, we'd certainly see fewer bats snapping off and sending dangerous missiles flying who-knows-where.) The other step would be to establish a maximum for the number of pitchers on the active roster. Enough of this endless parade of mediocrities trudging out of the pen to throw 15 pitches as hard as they can!

You'd probably have to do each of those measures in incremental steps over several seasons. I think it's worth a try before we move on to truly desperate measures, like moving the mound back.
Magpie - Sunday, June 23 2019 @ 02:00 PM EDT (#376002) #
Correction - "both of those measures."

Just in case!
dalimon5 - Sunday, June 23 2019 @ 02:45 PM EDT (#376003) #

I like both of your propositions better than my friends. They make perfect sense to me, especially bat thickness/weight limit or minimum.

Limiting endless parade of max effort short stint pitchers seems like another very simple rule to implement.
dalimon5 - Sunday, June 23 2019 @ 02:50 PM EDT (#376004) #
Do Jeff Hoffman or Drew Smyly interest anyone in this front office as a fix up project?
Shoeless Joe - Sunday, June 23 2019 @ 03:02 PM EDT (#376005) #
I think Hoffman has some potential as a fastball/curveball reliever if he ditches his change-up, but I am not convinced he will ever be a good starter in the majors at this point....still better than Edwin Jackson I guess.
Magpie - Sunday, June 23 2019 @ 03:15 PM EDT (#376007) #
Hoffman's spent the last few years splitting time between the PCL and Coors, so I'm a little curious about what he could do in more reasonable conditions. The Rockies are very much in the wild card hunt, their shortstop just went on the DL, and their first basemen (Murphy and Reynolds) are hitting .224/.293/.405 - Murphy has been bad, Reynolds has been wretched.
Kelekin - Sunday, June 23 2019 @ 04:21 PM EDT (#376014) #
Hoffman's numbers are so strange and his trend lines also would indicate a player who could be much better in different circumstances. The problem is Colorado mostly needs starting pitching for their wild card run, something we can't exactly offer them (unless it is Stroman in a bigger package).
scottt - Sunday, June 23 2019 @ 05:30 PM EDT (#376016) #
In the pre-show they talked about Jansen being sent down sooner than later.
He does not walk a lot. He does not strike out a lot.
He consistently pulls the ball on the ground for a low BABIP easy out.

They came very close to sweeping Boston.
Another 6 runs scored.

uglyone - Sunday, June 23 2019 @ 05:31 PM EDT (#376017) #
Hoffman has never struck out enough batters at any level to get excited about.
John Northey - Sunday, June 23 2019 @ 05:38 PM EDT (#376018) #
Colorado looks like a potential big trading partner...
Weakness: 1B: 81 OPS+, 2B: 82 OPS+, and no one on the bench appears to be much of a replacement either. Meanwhile we have Eric Sogard with a 135 OPS+ going into today at 2B with Biggio needing the playing time. Justin Smoak's 114 OPS+ isn't much, but would be an improvement for Colorado. Of course, Colorado needs pitching as always so they'd love Stroman & Giles. So 4 quality ML players who'd fill their worst holes fast. Brendan Rodgers is their top prospect, top 10 in MLB (6th) a 2B/SS he'd be nice here. Force Biggio to the OF or 1B. That'd be a heck of a trade package - 4 pieces to put Colorado solidly in the hunt this year for a top flight prospect. No idea if they are desperate enough to go for it, or if the Jays would take the risk of 4 quality ML players for one prospect but I'd consider it on both sides. Their next top 100 is #57 Colton Welker, a third baseman, then comes 2 pitchers not in the top 100 - Ryan Rolison (LHP) and Peter Lambert (RHP).

Colorado is an interesting one to debate a trade with that is for sure. Getting Jeff Hoffman back would be nice, but not a priority imo.
greenfrog - Sunday, June 23 2019 @ 06:01 PM EDT (#376019) #
After today's performance by Stroman, I'm sure the front office would love to move him as soon as possible. They're no doubt afraid of a repeat of what happened last year, when Happ had a few bad starts in a row prior to the deadline and interest in him fell off. But I predict that a Stroman trade (if it happens) won't be until the last week or two of July.
dalimon5 - Sunday, June 23 2019 @ 06:19 PM EDT (#376020) #
It would be nice if he could pitch 7 innings instead of 6 because he puts him in the "get on my back" territory.
Kelekin - Sunday, June 23 2019 @ 06:20 PM EDT (#376021) #
I don't really see the purpose in sending Jansen down. Maile isn't any better, and McGuire isn't impressing anyone at AAA. Jansen is doing terrible offensively but I've seen a lot of at bats this year that would've been hits if he hadn't been robbed, or lots of very deep fly balls. I think patience is required.
dalimon5 - Sunday, June 23 2019 @ 07:08 PM EDT (#376022) #
It would be nice to have Jansen and McGuire up here. McGuire is supposed to be a very good game caller and he was impressive in his taste of the show last year.
scottt - Sunday, June 23 2019 @ 07:20 PM EDT (#376023) #
The short answer is that it worked for Gurriel and Hernandez.
There would be nothing wrong in getting McGuire a few ABs while Jansen works on going the other way and/or hitting balls in the air. Other catching prospects will come knocking before too long.
Jansen is hitting .171 and is dead last among starting catchers by OPS.

Also, McGuire is more familiar with AAA pitchers than Jansen.

Adams could be ready for a cup of coffee next year.
Kirk in 2021 and Moreno in 2022.

greenfrog - Sunday, June 23 2019 @ 07:51 PM EDT (#376024) #
Iíll be very disappointed if the Jays make any trades with the Yankees this season. Just...donít do it.
PeterG - Sunday, June 23 2019 @ 07:56 PM EDT (#376025) #
I think it would help Jansen to be sent down for a bit as it did for others. It also presents an opportunity to have a look at McGuire who might surprise. When they were up in September, I liked McGuire better behind the plate and is a lefty hitter as well.

I think a flip would be a good idea and then we'll see from there.
Dewey - Sunday, June 23 2019 @ 09:19 PM EDT (#376026) #
Correction - "both of those measures."

Just in case!


Well done, Magpie! Way to keep your eye on the ball.
lexomatic - Sunday, June 23 2019 @ 10:50 PM EDT (#376028) #
From what I've read Jansen has been significantly unlucky in May, and if that's the case, there is nothing to gain from sending him down, because McGuire has not earned a call-up.
Let him work it out here. If he legit struggled in May as well, then maybe. If he's acting like he's lost confidence and needs to get it back, then maybe. I don't see any positives and plenty of negatives for sending him down based on what limited knowledge I have.
Kelekin - Sunday, June 23 2019 @ 11:13 PM EDT (#376029) #
His strikeout rate % has gone down each month (28-23-20), his walk rate has gone up, he is hitting more fly balls and less ground balls...every supporting statistic shows a person who is on the up.
uglyone - Sunday, June 23 2019 @ 11:36 PM EDT (#376030) #
Watching game in 30...and that gun is exactly why I wanted to see gurriel in the OF. What a toss. Still would like to see if he can figure out CF.
scottt - Monday, June 24 2019 @ 06:30 AM EDT (#376031) #
Jansen is a slow runner and he consistently pulls ground balls into the shift.
That is not being unlucky.
Yesterday's hit would have been an out if not for Holt pulling his hamstring and being replaced at 3B.
Nunez is a terrible defender and should be limited to 2B, but Devers also has a pulled hamstring.

Over the last 7 games, Jansen is hitting 0.077 with an OPS of .277.
Not really the sign of a hitter figuring out something.

He really needs to hit it in the air against the Yankees who will play a gold glove caliber third baseman.
Because of the pull tendencies, he's been better against lefties.
The Yankees will start 2 of those.

Magpie - Monday, June 24 2019 @ 07:38 AM EDT (#376032) #
Marcus Stroman is having himself a helluva year, ugly W-L notwithstanding (not his fault, heaven knows), and I got to wondering - has anything really changed. Stroman is a finesse guy who strikes out a below-average number of hitters, and as such is always going to be at the mercy of Stuff That Happens. He isn't striking out more hitters. He isn't allowing fewer HRs. He's not walking as many guys as last year, but he's still walking more than his career average. But the opposition is hitting .289 on their Balls in Play so far this season. They've hit .310, .310, and .328 on Balls in Play against Stroman the last three seasons, .307 over his career (including this season.)

Mystery solved, right? Random good luck on his Balls in Play. Yes but. Here's what's really different about Stroman this year. He's throwing far fewer groundballs. His GB/FB ratio the last three seasons has been tending to more and more groundballs: 1.58, 1.68, 1.73 - but this year it's down to 1.34.

I don't know why this has happened, if it represents a deliberate change in approach, or if it's just One of Those Things. But as a longtime advocate of the flyball, naturally I totally approve. Flyballs are not as likely to find a hole between the fielders; they're more likely to hang up in the air so a fielder can run underneath it.
scottt - Monday, June 24 2019 @ 07:43 AM EDT (#376033) #
The NL seems less competitive this year. The Dodgers are cruising to another division title. Atlanta has a comfy  6 game lead on the imploding Phillies (signing big free agents does not always work). The Cubs and the Brewers are fighting over the the central with the loser likely to take the first wild card. That leaves only the Cards, the Rockies and possibly the Phillies chasing that last wild card.

It's going to be interesting in August when players get hurt and teams are unable to make trades.

scottt - Monday, June 24 2019 @ 07:54 AM EDT (#376034) #
He's throwing more high fastballs. Hitters are set to uppercut a low sinker and can't level their swing on those, so they pop up. Except Mike Trout and such.

He's using all his pitches and working both sides of the plate.
There are some defensive swings.
He's still a great fielder.

Chuck - Monday, June 24 2019 @ 08:14 AM EDT (#376035) #
Re Stroman: where his seasonal ERAs have found a home in a broad, 2.5 run range (3.04 to 5.54), Fangraphs has his xFIPs landing in a much tighter range (3.17 to 4.10) as does BP with his FIPs (2.84 to 3.91).

Per xFIP and FIP he seems quite a consistent and predictable pitcher making a good One of Those Things argument for all the variability we've seen.

uglyone - Monday, June 24 2019 @ 08:33 AM EDT (#376036) #
Chuck I'd use the adjusted ERA-, FIP-, XFIP- stats and you'll see even more consistency with his fips.

Magpie - I remember stroman talking about a distinct change in repertoire at the start of the year.....and both pitch classification systems on fangraphs show a significant change there so it's true...but the two systems completely disagree on what that change has been.
Shoeless Joe - Monday, June 24 2019 @ 09:32 AM EDT (#376037) #
Marcus Stroman:

Fastball / Breaking Ball / Offspeed Usage:

2017: 66.0% / 28.0% / 6.0%
2018: 64.3% / 31.1% / 4.6%
2019: 60.5% / 34.1% / 5.3%

Fastball / Breaking Ball / Offspeed xWOBA:

2017: 0.367 / 0.216 / 0.293
2018: 0.360 / 0.245 / 0.340
2019: 0.323 / 0.238 / 0.168

I think the biggest jump for Stroman is that he is using his breaking pitches a little bit more, which are generally tougher on hitters. He also seems to be getting better results with his fastball this season and his hard hit% is down overall. From 2016 to 2018 Stroman was in the bottom 8% of the league for giving up hard hit balls.

uglyone - Monday, June 24 2019 @ 09:55 AM EDT (#376038) #
Yeah Pitch Info seems to think he's cut out 4 seamers pretty much completely, and lessened his 2 seamers a bit too (his key GB pitch).

The cutter usage has gone up but that's almost a breaking pitch too.
Parker - Monday, June 24 2019 @ 10:36 AM EDT (#376039) #
I don't know why this has happened, if it represents a deliberate change in approach, or if it's just One of Those Things.

After last year's clown-shoe infield defence, maybe Stroman actually DID make an adjustment to try to avoid giving up grounders...

But as a longtime advocate of the flyball, naturally I totally approve. Flyballs are not as likely to find a hole between the fielders; they're more likely to hang up in the air so a fielder can run underneath it.

Very true, but the tradeoff is the old "nobody ever hit a ground ball over the fence" wisdom.

Of course, if a guy can consistently keep the ball in the yard, then yeah - the more flies, the better.
AWeb - Monday, June 24 2019 @ 11:13 AM EDT (#376040) #
We're at the almost half way point, where you can just double a season's stats to get a decent full-year projection. Right now the Jays have no one on pace for 80 runs or 80 RBIs, no one steals bases, no one hits a lot of homers (14 HR doesn't crack the top 50 right now), and they have no above average defenders (except Jansen? And catcher defense doesn't exactly wow). Sogard is hitting .300, via an old school put the ball in play all the time method. I guess he could put together the "Greg Myers 2003 never before or again" season, there's always a few out there.

At least this terrible team has some youngsters to check up on and follow. Gurriel is on a hot streak - how about another one for Guerrero, soon, or Jansen, ever? Excitement please!?!?
bpoz - Monday, June 24 2019 @ 12:02 PM EDT (#376041) #
Too many players got demoted and promoted back up.

For the pen (example) I would want to see Romano and Shafer play a lot more to be properly evaluated.

Tellez is seeing the league and the league (scouts and his own coaches) are seeing him. What exactly will be the results.
PeterG - Monday, June 24 2019 @ 01:03 PM EDT (#376045) #
We will see more young players in August after some vets are moved out.
Shoeless Joe - Monday, June 24 2019 @ 01:15 PM EDT (#376048) #
Is Cavan Biggio the epitome of the modern day player? He lives in the strike zone, only hits the ball hard, only hits the ball in the air, plays average at best defense and has serious bloodlines.
Gerry - Monday, June 24 2019 @ 01:38 PM EDT (#376049) #
Biggio is the three true outcomes hitter. Its either a walk, a strikeout, or a home run/hard hit ball.
uglyone - Monday, June 24 2019 @ 02:07 PM EDT (#376051) #
Last Calendar Year, Hitters:

2B Sogard (32): 227pa, 9.3b%/13.7k%, .313bip/.296avg, .191iso, 126wrc+, 4.6war650
RF Gurriel (25): 349pa, 4.9b%/22.9k%, .343bip/.296avg, .219iso, 126wrc+, 3.0war650
1B Smoak (32): 561pa, 14.3b%/23.0k%, .272bip/.242avg, .225iso, 123wrc+, 2.2war650
LF Biggio (24): 97pa, 18.6b%/27.8k%, .255bip/.218avg, .231iso, 118wrc+, 2.7war650
CF Grichuk (27): 638pa, 6.0b%/28.1k%, .295bip/.244avg, .227iso, 104wrc+, 1.7war650
DH Tellez (24): 315pa, 5.7b%/27.9k%, .287bip/.247avg, .250iso, 105wrc+, 0.6war650
3B Vladdy (20): 203pa, 8.9b%/19.2k%, .275bip/.246avg, .164iso, 94wrc+, 0.6war650
SS Galvis (29): 643pa, 5.8b%/23.8k%, .313bip/.257avg, .159iso, 91wrc+, 1.8war650
C Jansen (24): 290pa, 9.7b%/21.7k%, .234bip/.193avg, .106iso, 61wrc+, 2.0war650

UT McKinney (24): 288pa, 7.3b%/24.3k%, .280bip/.235avg, .185iso, 91wrc+, -0.5war650
OF Teoscar (26): 474pa, 9.7b%/33.5k%, .298bip/.216avg, .179iso, 84wrc+, -0.3war650
IF Travis* (28): 235pa, 4.3b%/14.0k%, .246bip/.233avg, .143iso, 75wrc+, -1.1war650
C Maile (28): 202pa, 8.4b%/24.8k%, .282bip/.215avg, .083iso, 59wrc+, 2.6war650

CF Davis (27): 78pa, 3.8b%/24.4k%, .204bip/.162avg, .054iso, 11wrc+, -5.0war650
RF Alford (24): 8pa, 0.0b%/50.0k%, .000bip/.000avg, .000iso, -100wrc+, -16.3war650
LF Pompey* (26): ---
3B Drury (26): 293pa, 5.1b%/28.3k%, .258bip/.198avg, .128iso, 50wrc+, -1.8war650
SS Bichette (21): ----
2B Urena (23): 132pa, 6.1b%/28.8k%, .410bip/.281avg, .058iso, 83wrc+, 1.5war650
1B Hanson (26): 258pa, 2.7b%/27.5k%, .291bip/.217avg, .090iso, 46wrc+, -2.5war650
DH Brito (26): 70pa, 10.0b%/32.9k%, .179bip/.129avg, .081iso, 15wrc+, -6.5war650
C McGuire (24): 33pa, 6.1b%/27.3k%, .350bip/.290avg, .290iso, 146wrc+, 7.9war650
Mike Green - Monday, June 24 2019 @ 03:06 PM EDT (#376054) #
The modern pitcher mostly lives on the edges of the zone (or off it) even with the batter ahead.  Biggio will not swing at a ball, so the result is a version of TTO.  If pitchers come after him, he will swing. 
Chuck - Monday, June 24 2019 @ 03:09 PM EDT (#376055) #
Biggio is the three true outcomes hitter.

Indeed! TTO rates:

  • Biggio 515
  • Herandez 418
  • Grichuk 404
  • Tellez 401
  • ...
  • Guerrero 315
  • Sogard 259
jerjapan - Monday, June 24 2019 @ 04:26 PM EDT (#376058) #
Great Jonah Keri quote on Stro in the Athletic today, "reason No. 7,805 Marcus Stroman should be considered for a contract extension, rather than automatically earmarking him for a trade: He doesnít take anyoneís guff. Especially not when itís a former Hall of Famer calling out Stroman for his on-field excitement, apparently unaware that irony exists".  The Eck criticism of Stroman's 'antics' is really hard to fathom.
So we have a front office that delayed their rebuild because the 'fans demanded it'.  Sure seems like BS when fans clearly seem to be 'demanding' that Stro stay in Toronto. 
PeterG - Monday, June 24 2019 @ 04:31 PM EDT (#376059) #
Rebuild wasn't delayed because fans demanded it but because ownership likley demanded it.

Rightly or wrongly, I think the FO feels that the feud between Stroman and Sanchez does not fit the kind of clubhouse they are trying to build, so both will go.
Mike Green - Monday, June 24 2019 @ 04:52 PM EDT (#376060) #
PeterG, as I recall it, the disagreement between Stroman and Sanchez began when Sanchez hired Boras.  The disagreementt has lately been smoothed over.  The club has its own concerns with Boras, of course. 

If ownership doesn't want to extend Stroman for that reason, they deserve our scorn.  Players get into disputes of this kind and worse all the time.  And Stroman generally is a good teammate.  He furiously applauds his defence when they make good plays behind him, brushes off errors behind him, and roots for the club with effervescence when he's not pitching.  And he mostly sets a good example with his work ethic and determination. 

Management may be pissed off because he has publicly questioned (usually correctly) some of their decisions.  Management may also have future performance concerns, which are entirely a judgment issue.  Good management would put aside their irritation with all of the other stuff and focus purely on future performance. 
krose - Monday, June 24 2019 @ 04:59 PM EDT (#376061) #
In regard to the extension for Stroman, Atkins did an interview on the Athletic last Friday. In that interview he stated that the extension is not off the table.
pubster - Monday, June 24 2019 @ 05:01 PM EDT (#376062) #
"So we have a front office that delayed their rebuild because the 'fans demanded it'"

uglyone - Monday, June 24 2019 @ 05:05 PM EDT (#376063) #
Sanchez is the lazy one who signed with the team killing agent and is pretty much a nonentity on and off the field.

If there's a feud between this bum and our hardworking team-leader best pitcher, then you just dump the bum.
85bluejay - Monday, June 24 2019 @ 05:07 PM EDT (#376064) #
The Cardinals just lost their closer Jordan Hicks likely for the season - 100 miles Giles to the rescue?
85bluejay - Monday, June 24 2019 @ 05:09 PM EDT (#376065) #
Regardless of what the FO says, I'd be shocked if Stroman is extended.
Gerry - Monday, June 24 2019 @ 05:18 PM EDT (#376067) #
The interviewer never asked if Atkins had talked to Stro's agent. Atkins made it sound like an internal discussion.
PeterG - Monday, June 24 2019 @ 05:20 PM EDT (#376068) #
Mike, I agree with some of what you say but I see no evidence that the feud has been resolved. I have never seen the 2 talking or sitting next to each other on the bench or offering any kind of support. In fact, they seem to avoid each other as much as possible.
scottt - Monday, June 24 2019 @ 05:23 PM EDT (#376069) #
He might be using a 2-seamer rather than a 4-seamer up in the zone.
I'm not sure that's the difference.

I haven't been bothered by Stro working the outside corner with 2 strikes and his defense shifted this year, like I was in 17-18. That might just be me.

Mike Green - Monday, June 24 2019 @ 05:25 PM EDT (#376070) #
Here's a link, PeterG.  They are not best friends, but they are not sniping at each other either. That works for a club. 
PeterG - Monday, June 24 2019 @ 05:37 PM EDT (#376071) #
I read the article and it sounds good, but as I said I have seen no actual evidence that it is true despite what is said. If I actually see them talking or sitting together, I will be then be persuaded.

In any case, Sanchez won't be around long whether it is a trade or a possible release in the off season. I think it highly likely that Stroman will be traded but don't believe it is a foregone conclusion. It hasn't happened till it happens. I do think, however, it would be a mistake not to deal him without an extension being done before July 31.
jerjapan - Monday, June 24 2019 @ 06:27 PM EDT (#376073) #
Shapiro on the rebuild,

ďIíve said all along, if we were just running our team without fans and it was an intellectual exercise, we probably wouldíve hit a reset over a year ago,Ē he (Shapiro) said.

That quote was from Dec. 2017, quoted here:
PeterG - Monday, June 24 2019 @ 06:33 PM EDT (#376074) #
What that means is that ownership wanted to sustain good attendance for as long as possible.
greenfrog - Monday, June 24 2019 @ 06:53 PM EDT (#376075) #
I find that excuse pretty weak. Because when you prioritize short-term adequacy over longer-term excellence, all youíre doing is (sort of) putting an emphasis on the interest of current fans over future fans. Shapiro could have said, ďwe know that building a consistently stronger team in the future will ultimately attract more fans, and so weíve decided to start the rebuild now, instead of delaying it to a time when we can no longer take advantage of the trade assets we still have.Ē
85bluejay - Monday, June 24 2019 @ 07:17 PM EDT (#376077) #
Problem is that it was likely not Shapiro's decision but ownership and with the horrible NHL contract hemorrhaging money not surprised that Rogers wanted the revenue even if it was penny wise pound foolish logic - likely the reason Rogers also put the kibosh on Shapiro's ambitious stadium renovation plans and also why Rogers may not open the purse strings soon - it's that damn disastrous NHL contract and every other Rogers sports property is paying the price.
greenfrog - Monday, June 24 2019 @ 07:47 PM EDT (#376078) #
I suspect itís going to be a gradual rebuild on a low budget for a while. No top-five or top-ten payrolls for a long time.
SK in NJ - Monday, June 24 2019 @ 08:17 PM EDT (#376079) #
Shapiro rebuilt multiple times in Cleveland and is well aware of win curves based on his interviews from the past. That quote from two years ago is spin. He likely wanted to rebuild at the time (and may have been hired to initially until the team took off in the 2nd half of 2015 which changed plans), but Rogers did not want to derail the money train. You could argue Shapiro could have convinced them to rebuild, but it's quite possible (if not likely) that he tried and it didn't work. He works for them, not the other way around.
greenfrog - Monday, June 24 2019 @ 09:37 PM EDT (#376083) #
I imagine AA is a bit wistful about having left Toronto, but Iím pretty sure he doesnít miss working for Rogers one iota. He just wasnít a company man.
Kelekin - Monday, June 24 2019 @ 10:16 PM EDT (#376084) #
He traded a cell phone company for Captain Planet. Nothing wrong with that.

On a serious note he inherited a really good situation. Atlanta had one of the most amazing farm systems before he took over plus so much young talent. Pretty rare to get an opportunity where you inherit that good of a club these days.
pubster - Monday, June 24 2019 @ 10:22 PM EDT (#376085) #
"ďIíve said all along, if we were just running our team without fans and it was an intellectual exercise, we probably wouldíve hit a reset over a year ago,Ē he (Shapiro) said."

That doesn't really provide evidence that the FO delayed a rebuild because the fans demanded it.
greenfrog - Monday, June 24 2019 @ 10:41 PM EDT (#376086) #
Meanwhile, the Rays took their rebuild very seriously as an analytical/intellectual exercise, and have quickly surpassed the Jays in terms of performance and farm system strength.

The thing is, now that Shapiro has shown himself willing to compromise himself once (if not more than once) on a key issue such as when to start a rebuild, how long will it be before he does it again?
PeterG - Monday, June 24 2019 @ 11:05 PM EDT (#376088) #
Shapiro has not compromised himself. What did u expect him to do? Resign? Ownership will do what he wants now, knowing that his take was correct.
Spifficus - Monday, June 24 2019 @ 11:10 PM EDT (#376090) #
And the Rays are running their team without fans, so they're really taking Shapiro's hypothetical to an extreme.

As for compromise, why is this such a damned dirty word? Would you rather they continuously cut a cycle short like the Marlins? Or go through perpetual churn and empty houses like the Rays? They tried to ride a contention window an extra year, even though the core was starting to wane. They weren't the first, and won't be the last. It's not some sign of moral fragility - its the realization that you're offering an entertainment product, and you're balancing Future vs Now. A thought exercise doesn't have to worry about pesky things like reality (or fans).
scottt - Monday, June 24 2019 @ 11:11 PM EDT (#376091) #
Kinda like Dombrowski in Boston.
SK in NJ - Monday, June 24 2019 @ 11:26 PM EDT (#376092) #
Clearly the time to seriously start the rebuild was at the 2017 trade deadline. Trying to field a contender to start 2017 made sense considering they were coming off two straight ALCS appearances, but trying to stretch it out to 2018 was what ended up hurting in the end. If they traded Donaldson, Osuna, and Happ a year before they eventually did, then the talent coming back would have likely been substantially better. It is what it is. Rogers wanted to give it one last shot with Donaldson and it went about as bad as anyone could have dreamed of. We will see if they are patient enough to let Shapiro and Atkins see this through or not. My hunch is no, and the FO will be forced to contend sooner than they want to, but that's corporate ownership in a nutshell.

The returns for Stroman and Giles will actually be very telling, regardless of whether they are "good" or not. Will they be traded for players at or near the big leagues, or players further away with higher (perceived) upside? The latter could mean the FO has been given the green light to rebuild for a bit longer. The former, and it could be a sign that they will try to speed it up.
greenfrog - Monday, June 24 2019 @ 11:28 PM EDT (#376093) #
The bar is pretty low in Toronto. If Shapiro can achieve contention a few times in the next decade, with one or two postseason appearances, heíll have hit the implicit quota for the Blue Jays franchise.
jerjapan - Tuesday, June 25 2019 @ 11:52 AM EDT (#376100) #
its the realization that you're offering an entertainment product
That was exactly my point in the original post about fans delaying the rebuild.  If Shapiro is willing to think about entertainment over results, than he should be willing to extend Stroman.  Same logic, but it is only trotted out when it is a convenient justification of the FO's actions.  Greenfrog posted a perfectly reasonable, and yet also honest, alternative for Shapiro a few minutes after I posted the quote.
I continue to fear that the FO is doing things that are expedient rather than pursuing a clear, bold vision.  If the trade return for Giles or Stro is indeed based on timing of the rebuild rather than the best player available philosophy, that's a bad sign. 

And I would like to see some sign of flexibility in approach.  It feels as if the decision to trade Stro was made months ago, likely when he was openly critical of their passive approach during the offseason, and nothing could possibly change that goal - not a buyer's market, not a desperate need for the 'hard to come by' reliable starting pitchers that Stro represents.  I hope to be wrong, but I assume that we are soon to be discussing the mediocre return for Stroman that we 'had to take'. 
Spifficus - Tuesday, June 25 2019 @ 06:39 PM EDT (#376116) #
Well, I did say it was a balancing act. Just because someone else is balancing it differently than I would (I was on Team Earlier Rebuild, but I get what they saw in 2018) doesn't mean someone else with a different balance is morally vacuous or something.

I just find the notion that compromise is something to sneer at to be particularly frustrating. It's not 'compromising yourself' to try to strike a balance between multiple competing interests. It's called dealing with reality.

And if they Happify a Stroman deal again this year, collecting spare parts, I'll lose my mind for a day again. Maybe two. Ugh, I was not pleased with that return. Bleh. There is no need to trade him for a crappy return - he can always pitch another 200 innings and then get a crappy return at the next deadline.
Spifficus - Tuesday, June 25 2019 @ 06:44 PM EDT (#376117) #
Oh, and I'd be quite happy with a reasonable Stroman extension as well, if the return isn't out there. I mean, it's probably a bit of a waste, since they probably won't have enough core to make anything more than an outside shot at competition in 2020... due to the volume of pitching holes.
scottt - Friday, June 28 2019 @ 09:10 AM EDT (#376266) #
There seems to be more and more teams on Stroman now, including Houston.
Pretty much every team in the playoffs picture would be better with Stroman.
Exception being the Dodgers. And he has that big game reputation.

So, the Canada Day game will be Clayton Richard against ex-Jays Glenn Sparkman?

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