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It was a mixed night on the farm. The best performances came in Dunedin where Joey Murray dominated and the hitters were feeling it. New Hampshire split a doubleheader with Jon Harris pitching well. The GCL and DSL Jays also won, although the GCL Jays had a couple of ringers on the mound.

The title is adapted from a 1990's song. I hope you get it

Buffalo 1 Scranton/WB 10

New Hampshire 7 Portland 1 - game 1

New Hampshire 2 Portland 3 - game 2

Dunedin 3 St Lucie 1

Lake County 6 Lansing 3

Vancouver 6 Everett 7

Danville 4 Bluefield 2

GCL Yankees 7 GCL Blue Jays 10

DSL White Sox 1 DSL Blue Jays 2

This is what I noted from yesterday's games.

It has been noted that Ryan Borucki started for the GCL Jays. Borucki threw three very good, hitless innings. I would expect Borucki to throw 4 innings for Dunedin next week, then 2-3 more starts to build himself up. That has him back with the Jays just before the trade deadline.

Eric Pardinho also pitched, four shutout innings with five K's. The unknown is what the plan is for Pardinho. He should be pitching in Vancouver or Lansing but obviously the Jays are keeping him close to the Florida based rehab team. If Pardinho can be well enough to pitch then send him to a higher level. If he is still hurting, and if its the elbow, then opting for Tommy John before the end of the season would see him miss all of 2020 but be back for 2021. But remember, the team cannot force a player to have surgery, the player decides and many players want to see if the injury gets better without surgery.

The hottest hitter in the GCL is Jhon Solarte, an 18 year old who played in the DSL last season. Solarte played well last year and this start is promising. Orelvis Martinez is also off to a good start, hitting .400.

Jon Harris threw five shutout innings to win game one for NH. What to do with Harris? He really should be starting in AAA, Buffalo needs starters. Or he should be moved to the bullpen. However I am not sure if Harris has the good enough fastball to be a reliever.

There are a lot of players in AA who are playing OK, not good enough to force a promotion and not bad enough to lose hope. Forrest Wall, Riley Adams, Brock Lundquist and Santiago Espinal have all had periods that looked like they were breaking out, only to resume normal hitting. There are still two months left to show they have conquered the level.

Dunedin out-hit St. Lucie 15-2 but only won 3-1. Norberto Obeso was 4-4 and Demi Orimoloye was 3-4. Orimoloye has been hitting well recently. But the star of the night was pitcher Joey Murray who had 12 K's in six innings. Murray's ERA is 1.71 in Dunedin and he has picked up more than a strikeout per inning everywhere he has pitched. Jackson Rees pitched two innings in relief. Rees had a 0.36 ERA in Lansing and now he has a zero ERA in a small sample in Dunedin.

David Garner, a veteran minor leaguer wh was signed by the Bisons in the off season, made his first appearance for the Bisons.

Bo Bichette was 2-3 with a walk, he has been hitting well since coming off the IL. I don't think we will see Bo in Toronto until the end of July when the Jays will try and trade Freddy Galvis.

Adam Kloffenstein started for Vancouver. He hit the first batter and shortly thereafter was taken deep for a two run home run. He settled down but in the fourth a lead off walk came around to score. His final line was 4.1 4 3 3 1 5. His numbers look fine so far.

Three Stars

Third Star - Demi Orimoloye

Second Star - Norberto Obeso

First Star - Joey Murray


Joey's Not Hurting and Neither am I | 37 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
hypobole - Thursday, June 27 2019 @ 11:05 AM EDT (#376237) #
If Pardinho's elbow issues aren't structural, I would advise against TJ surgery.
Nigel - Thursday, June 27 2019 @ 11:23 AM EDT (#376238) #
Harris can throw pretty hard. I would guess he could throw 94-95 in short stints. His problem, whether starting or relieving, is that his FB is arrow straight and his delivery has zero deception. The other problem is that all of his secondaries (SL, CV and CH) are just “meh”. I’ve said for years now that the Jays best hope for salvaging anything out of that selection was to turn him into a reliever and let him throw as hard as he can for one inning. Junk all but one of the secondaries - keeping whichever works best with his FB in a short stint. It still probably won’t work but they’ve tried the other route for years now without success. Try something different.
hypobole - Thursday, June 27 2019 @ 11:24 AM EDT (#376239) #
Orimoloye OPS by month - .583, ,439, .980.

April - AB 67 BB 10 K 27
May - AB 83 BB 0 K 29
June - AB 69 BB 2 K 14

Higher BA vs LHP's. Higher BB% vs RHP's. SLG% basically the same vs LH or RH.
bpoz - Thursday, June 27 2019 @ 01:52 PM EDT (#376240) #
As mentioned Bichette is hot now. Stealing a lot of bases too.
mendocino - Thursday, June 27 2019 @ 02:23 PM EDT (#376241) #
Hopefully Joey's not somewhere drunk and passed out on the floor
Gerry - Thursday, June 27 2019 @ 02:56 PM EDT (#376243) #
Got it Mendocino.
GabrielSyme - Thursday, June 27 2019 @ 03:24 PM EDT (#376245) #
Bo Bichette definitely looks close to, but not quite ready. He's hitting well since coming back, but his K/BB ratio hasn't improved, and his line is goosed by a .420 BABIP.

There's a lot to like about what he's doing, but I think on balance he's not knocking down the door. Another week like this past week, and I might reconsider, though.
Mike Green - Thursday, June 27 2019 @ 04:03 PM EDT (#376246) #
GabrielSyme, Fangraphs has Bichette's BABIP at triple A at .351.  He has a 26% line drive rate, a 5% pop-rate (1 pop-up so far in triple A), and a 26% fly-ball rate- his HR/FB is almost 15%.  He's hitting the ball hard, mostly on a line and on the ground.  He hits it all over the diamond and he runs well.  That .351 BABIP looks to me to be sustainable.  His batting profile is Jeterish.

I verified the Fangraphs' BABIP calculation for Bichette's triple A work. 

I think he's ready but the club may want to give him a few more reps.  At this point, it makes no difference for salary purposes whether he is called up now or in three weeks.
GabrielSyme - Thursday, June 27 2019 @ 04:47 PM EDT (#376247) #
Mike, I was looking at his BABIP since he returned from injury, not for the full season.

There are a lot of things to like about Bichette in AAA, but I'm not sure a .351 BABIP is sustainable - there are very few players who have sustained a BABIP that high, even when they've been young (and faster than their older selves). It's possible, but unlikely that Bichette's true talent major-league BABIP is in that zone.

At any rate, I think he should be able to grow beyond a 119 wRC+ in AAA. There's room for him to keep developing.
Mike Green - Thursday, June 27 2019 @ 05:00 PM EDT (#376248) #
Sure, Gabriel.  He has only had 48 PAs where he has been dominant, and another 50-100 would be reasonable. 
Mike Green - Thursday, June 27 2019 @ 05:07 PM EDT (#376249) #
Zeuch makes his second triple A start today.  There are, needless to say, spots available for Zeuch and Borucki, once they are ready. 
jerjapan - Thursday, June 27 2019 @ 06:59 PM EDT (#376250) #
I think it was John Northey who commented a few seasons back that he doesn't pay attention to minor league relievers without dominating stats, and I think that's solid advice.  I tend to be skeptical of low pedigree guys and career minor league relievers, but Jackson Rees has been utterly unhitable this year.
He was a ranked prospect for BA last year and signed with us when he went undrafted.  Last year he seemed like your typical overage undrafted FA, but this year, man, 56 Ks vs 7 BBs in 35 IP, and an era of 0.25.  the promotion to Dunedin hasn't slowed him down. 

Stuff is the other reason to take note of a relief prospect, and along with Jackson McLelland, who famously has hit 101, Bryan Baker can hit 100.  Brad Wilson is also reported to be a hard thrower, and sports a WHIP of 0.78 for his 2 year pro career so far. Dany Jiminez can apparently touch 95 and had a 44K% before getting promoted to NH.  Anyone think any of these guys have a chance?

I'm officially excited about both Joey Murray and Jhon Solarte, and stoked to see Orelvis Martinez showing off his hit tool in the first 4 games of his pro career. 
scottt - Thursday, June 27 2019 @ 07:13 PM EDT (#376251) #
Any hard thrower should at least get a try in the bullpen but might also become trade fodder.

At the lower levels, a straight fastball in the bottom of the zone is usually enough to thrive.
At the higher level, it usually requires more.

scottt - Thursday, June 27 2019 @ 07:58 PM EDT (#376252) #
Bichette is ranked 8th overall for a reason and it isn't his defense.
He produces line drives and he cuts his swings with 2 strikes.

Bichette only gets here after they trade one of Sogard or Galvis, in about a month.

This last week has shown that Smoak can be traded without impacting the team.
He should bring back at least a 40 grade prospect.
And then, there's Drury. 

John Northey - Thursday, June 27 2019 @ 09:37 PM EDT (#376253) #
jerjapan - thanks for the tip on Jackson Rees. In college he was nothing special - 3.9 BB/9 5.4 K/9 - looked like a 'meh, we need arms to keep the good ones safe' guy.

At 23 in rookie ball (2 teams) he had 3.0 BB/9 vs 9.7 K/9. Nice but old for that level so no one noticed. But enough to justify keeping him around.

Now, at 24 in A/A+ he has 1.8 BB/9 vs 14.3 K/9. In 35 1/3 IP. 10 IP in A+ (3 BB 12 K). I'd give him a few weeks in A+, maybe until mid-July, if he keeps this up move him to AA for the rest of the year. Then invite to spring if he keeps going for 2020, most likely goes back to AA / AAA for 2020 but who knows? Guys suddenly 'getting it' as a reliever has happened before.
John Northey - Thursday, June 27 2019 @ 09:43 PM EDT (#376254) #
Short term one to look out for is Buddy Boshers - 31 years old, but in AAA has 2.8 BB/9 vs 11 K/9 and is a leftie. 2.20 ERA. Should get a shot at some point. I say why not? If he can do it in the majors that'd be another LHP in the pen who is ML minimum for probably the rest of his career (3+ years).
bpoz - Thursday, June 27 2019 @ 10:21 PM EDT (#376255) #
Y Diaz had a good game tonight.
PeterG - Thursday, June 27 2019 @ 10:42 PM EDT (#376256) #
Y Diaz has had many good games this season.
dan gordon - Thursday, June 27 2019 @ 11:54 PM EDT (#376257) #
Yes, I mentioned the great seasons Rees, Wilson and Murray are having in yesterday's minor league thread, and they all look interesting. The issue with Rees is that he will be 25 next month, and he wasn't very good last year. You'd want to know what has changed for him this year, but really, he's got to show what he can do at a higher level, and continue to perform well next year before I'd take him seriously as a prospect. Murray and Wilson are each more than 2 years younger than Rees and had very good seasons last year as well, so are more realist prospects.

I don't think of Baker as a prospect - he's 24, and has had significant control problems during his pro career. Boshers has pitched parts of 3 seasons in the big leagues, with limited success, career ERA of 4.59, WHIP 1.27, pretty good K/BB of 78/25. Fares much better vs lefties than righties. Might make a decent LOOGY, but that role is basically finished when the new 3 batter rule comes in.
dan gordon - Thursday, June 27 2019 @ 11:57 PM EDT (#376258) #
And if Joey keeps pitching like has this year, the team will be saying, Joey, honey, I got the money. Absolutely great song BTW. One of my favourites.
dan gordon - Friday, June 28 2019 @ 12:22 AM EDT (#376259) #
The great start by Diaz was nice to see. Maybe he gets a few in Buffalo later this year, depending on trades, injuries, etc. In the same game, Logan Warmoth continued to hit well after a very brief stumble when first promoted to NH - he was 3 for 4, now 9 for his last 23, and is hitting cleanup for the Fisher Cats. Kevin Smith also had a good game, with a double and HR. Smith played SS and Warmoth was at 2B.

On the other hand, Zeuch had a terrible 2nd game in AAA, allowing 7 hits and 6 walks while striking out 1.
Kelekin - Friday, June 28 2019 @ 12:24 AM EDT (#376260) #
Kevin Smith finally records his first 5-game hit streak! Unfortunately, he also now has a 29 game strikeout streak.
Jonny German - Friday, June 28 2019 @ 06:37 AM EDT (#376261) #
The Lansing radio broadcaster Jesse Goldberg-Strassler was on Artificial Turf Wars this week, he says Jackson Rees made major mechanical changes in the offseason. His whole segment was very entertaining and informative, his enthusiasm for prospects is infectious.

As long as we're talking reliever prospects (apply scare quotes), Ty Tice is starting to get my attention. He's just 22 and has been dominant in AA (25 innings) and now AAA (7 innings).
Glevin - Friday, June 28 2019 @ 07:21 AM EDT (#376262) #
I have almost no interest in relief prospects and zero in relief prospects in the low minors. If there is someone dominating the upper minors with great stuff, they can become worth a look. In general, pitcher's numbers, especially in lower minors, are pretty meaningless without scouting to back them up because you can dominate the minors with stuff that will never play up in the majors. Joey Murray has great numbers but he throws 87-90. How many successful starters have fastballs that slow? Of 81 qualified major league pitchers, there are 4 with fastballs that average 89 MPH or less. It's not impossible Murray beats the odds and he apparently gets great spin, just that it's a real longshot.
scottt - Friday, June 28 2019 @ 07:22 AM EDT (#376263) #
The 7 hits might not be a concern. He's a ground ball pitcher. He's at 2.7 ground out for each one made in the air.  6 walks is never good though, but he's just starting.
scottt - Friday, June 28 2019 @ 07:27 AM EDT (#376264) #
Keuchel is currently 86-88 mph.

bpoz - Friday, June 28 2019 @ 09:09 AM EDT (#376265) #
I suppose pitchers like Gaviglio and Pannone ( 2-3 decent innings out of the pen) have value. Tepera, Mayza and Biagini 1 inning pitchers with the upside of a setup man. All have some value. Pitching against an offensive powerhouse is hard as well as pitching when the pen has been overused like the Jays pen due to a quick exit by the starter.

The make up of the pen is difficult to know what is best. The whole staff works as a unit.

Gerry - Friday, June 28 2019 @ 09:21 AM EDT (#376268) #
We all know that pitchers are throwing harder than ever before with 95 being an average FB now. In that environment I wonder if there is value in a much slower pitcher, in that his unusual speed makes him valuable.

Pannone was throwing 89 last season and had some success. He made some tweaks in the off-season and got his FB up to 91 and had less success. Co-incidence?

I remember Mark Buehrle and Jamie Moyer, their unusual speed helped them succeed. If you have control and good off-speed pitches, you can sucker hitters who just want to hit a fastball.
dalimon5 - Friday, June 28 2019 @ 09:52 AM EDT (#376270) #
Gerry i think you answered your own question. If you have control.
Mike Green - Friday, June 28 2019 @ 10:16 AM EDT (#376272) #
FB velocity is nice to have.  The career bWAR leaders among pitchers of the last 50 years are: Clemens, Seaver, Maddux, Randy Johnson, Niekro (part of career), Blyleven, Pedro, Carlton, Ryan, Mussina, Jenkins, Gibson, Schilling, Glavine, Sutton, Kevin Brown and Reuschel.  The majority did have a good fastball, but quite a number of them did not throw hard at all.  Murray currently tops out at 90 mph, but it's common for a pitcher to add 1 or 2 mph. 

What did Shaun Marcum throw, anyway?  86-87?
hypobole - Friday, June 28 2019 @ 10:34 AM EDT (#376273) #
I would say command is far more important than control for a low velo pitcher to succeed, with at least one + or ++ offspeed.
Mike Green - Friday, June 28 2019 @ 10:55 AM EDT (#376274) #
There are all kinds of ways to succeed for pitchers.  Buehrle had the change-up, and was a fine fielder and had a great move. 

Low velocity pitchers usually allow more BIP, and their performance generally is affected more by the quality of the defence behind them.  They can help themselves in other ways, as Buehrle and Marcum did. 
greenfrog - Friday, June 28 2019 @ 11:10 AM EDT (#376275) #
Stroman is a good-fielding pitcher, which is another reason the Jays should want to keep him (or insist on a hefty return for him).
Glevin - Friday, June 28 2019 @ 11:38 AM EDT (#376278) #
"FB velocity is nice to have. The career bWAR leaders..."

The game has changed drastically in regards to fastball velocity. Since 2008, the average fastball velocity has gone from 91.5 to 93. Additionally, in 2008, around 9% of all pitchers averaged at least 95. In 2018, it was around 20%. When I was growing up, plenty of pitchers could throw 90 or 91 and have success. Now, it's rare. It was always hard to have success throwing much below that and its gotten even harder. I'm not going to get excited over a prospect who throws 87-88 mph. Fastball speed isn't evrything by a long shot but throwing under 90 mph is going to make it very hard to have major league success.
jerjapan - Friday, June 28 2019 @ 12:04 PM EDT (#376279) #
I don't know any of our minor league announcers, aside from Jesse Goldberg-Strassler, who I pay plenty of attention to - he really does seem to be a dynamic minor league observer - his Q and A with Jay Blue for his annual minor-league handbook is always informative (although I don't have this years' edition yet). He certainly does have insights that I don't see elsewhere, like Rees' mechanical change. 

Ty Tice is another guy who can hit mid 90s, with dominant minor league numbers so far.  I'd like to see a higher K% than the 22.8 he posted in AA, but otherwise he looks like at least a quality arm to add to the Buffalo shuttle.
I've long heard the idea that there is no such thing as a relief prospect, but the idea that these guys aren't interesting at all seems odd to me - reliable relievers have more value than ever for teams with playoff aspirations, so if a guy has potential for high leverage innings, he's worth discussing.  Even middle relievers have value - we traded Leone after one of his two strong years, with a prospect who seemed destined for the pen at best, for Grichuk.   The years of affordable control have more value than ever as well - I see the ideal pen as having a few elite, and likely well-paid, vets with a cast of effective, cheap, optionable relievers filling out the back half. 

SSS is an issue, but the guys we are discussing, aside from Rees, have several seasons of results, or that huge heat that is easy to dream on - Jackson McLelland's numbers don't dazzle, but he gets plenty of attention for a minor league reliever.   And short pitchers like Tice often get placed in the pen due to size rather than potential - Tice was primarily a reliever even in college and has zero pro starts.  Drafting guys like him in the teen rounds seems smart too me. 

Plenty of guys have had good MLB careers primarily as relievers in both the minors and the bigs - Ken Giles, Will Harris, Sean Doolittle and Greg Holland stand out, but even if we are just talking about Kirby Yates, Brandon Kintzler, Emilio Pagan or Pedro Baez, there is value there, and countless more examples.  
AWeb - Friday, June 28 2019 @ 12:21 PM EDT (#376281) #
There is an important measurement change built into the increased fastball velocities in 2017, where everything went up by a mph or so, as tracking switched to measure the speed almost out of the hand. This was just the latest switch to show the highest speed possible over the past few decades - the speeds shown on broadcasts in the 80s, when they existed, were almost measuring the speed over the plate. There's a fun documentary on Netflix (Fastball) about the change in measurement over time and the actual relative speeds of fastballs.

There is definitely a decrease in the number of junkballers out there, but I think some of that is selection bias. A young guy throwing 88 might not be an all-time great, but if you can get 2-3 good seasons out of them, that's a win, and a franchise should be chasing those 2-3 WAR starter seasons all the time. Hell, look at the best WAR for Blue Jays pitchers all-time on fangraphs. Romero, Marcum, Alexander, Leal, Wells, Estrada, these are all top-25 guys. Key and Clancy are 3rd and 4th. None were hard throwers (I barely remember Leal, so maybe I'm wrong there). Also, looking at a list like that gives me a new appreciation for a guy like Stroman, who is one of the 10 best starters in Jays history. That's not a harsh indictment on the Jays either, every team I looked at is similar, ~10 career WAR since 1977 makes you a franchise top 10-15 guy.

It's so hard to develop a useful pitcher, I'd keep pushing slow throwers aggressively up the system if the results merit it.
dan gordon - Friday, June 28 2019 @ 07:55 PM EDT (#376295) #
AWeb, that's an extremely important point about the way that pitch velocity is measured. There was a very interesting movie in 2016 called "Fastball" which was about comparing the hardest throwers from various eras in baseball. There was some good analysis late in the movie showing how early attempts to measure pitch velocity had a couple of pitchers throw through a measuring device set up behind the plate. Recently, there were devices that took the average velocity from the hand to the plate, and now right out of the hand. In the movie they estimated the decline in speed from the hand to the plate at somewhere around 7 or 8 mph, and I recently read a very scientific paper on the subject which said the velocity drop for a 100 mph fastball from hand to the plate is 12 mph, and for a 90 mph fastball, it is 10 mph, so the point of measurement makes a huge difference. A Chapman fastball might be 102 out of the hand, but would be 96 if averaged out, and only 90 when it crosses the plate. The movie was pointing out that the difference between modern pitchers and guys from many decades ago is not nearly as great as the modern measurements indicate, because of the difference in how the velocity is measured. I believe they concluded that Nolan Ryan probably threw harder than Chapman or any other modern pitcher, he was just measured differently. This analysis is for roughly sea level - the drop in velocity from hand to plate at Coors Field would be slightly less due to the thin air.

One of the big advantages to hard throwers is longevity. On average, hard throwers can last longer, because as they age, and lose some velocity, they still throw reasonably hard. If you throw, say, 96 and lose 5 mph, you can make some adjustments and still be effective at 91 mph. If you throw 91 and lose 5 mph, you're going to find it tough to still be effective.
Joey's Not Hurting and Neither am I | 37 comments | Create New Account
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