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The new and dis-improved Jays head into Baltimore for another battle of the de-fledged birds. The newest Jay, and Ross Atkins fanboy, Derek Fisher will be on hand as will Trent Thornton and Jason Adam. Adam, who was in the majors with kansas City last season, has pitched in eight games for Buffalo.

SCHEDULE

Thursday, 7:05, Trent Thornton vs. Asher Wojciechowski

Friday, 7:05, Undecided vs. Aaron Brooks

Saturday, 7:05, Thomas Pannone vs. Dylan Bundy

Sunday, 7:05, Sean Reid-Foley vs. Undecided


Its a big series for undecided with two starts. Expect a big emphasis on Bo Bichette and the kids this series, that's all there is to sell. I wonder if 42 years of control will get an at-bat? (Yes, I am still a bit cranky from yesterdays trade)

Blue Jays at Orioles - August 1-4 | 276 comments | Create New Account
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Mike Green - Thursday, August 01 2019 @ 03:41 PM EDT (#378734) #
Scott Mitchell tweeted that, at his age, he had 42 years of control left.  You want it darker...
scottt - Thursday, August 01 2019 @ 03:46 PM EDT (#378735) #
The Jays are 5-5 in their last 10. Baltimore is 6-4.

They haven't done much at the deadline. They traded Dan Straily to the Phillies for something. Possibly.
In any case, it probably makes them better by subtraction.

Nigel - Thursday, August 01 2019 @ 03:56 PM EDT (#378739) #
The Jays messed up the last series in KC. Hopefully they can get things back on track in Baltimore, but itís going to be extremely tough sledding against these Oís:).
Mike Green - Thursday, August 01 2019 @ 04:19 PM EDT (#378741) #
The Blue Jays are in the midst of their longest stretch without a day off running from July 26-August 14.  Zeuch threw 7 decent innings last time out on July 29- the club could use the length during this stretch.  Zeuch turned 24 today, so it's a reasonable time to give him a shot. 
cascando - Thursday, August 01 2019 @ 04:46 PM EDT (#378742) #
The mlb.com depth chart has been updated to:

1. Trent Thornton
2. Waguespack
3. Pannone
4. SRF

Iíd also like to see Zeuch in Toronto.

Itís the weakest rotation I can remember.

Darkest before the dawn...
Nigel - Thursday, August 01 2019 @ 04:47 PM EDT (#378743) #
I hold out very little hope for Zeuch but these are exactly the circumstances to get him 8-10 starts in the majors to see what you have.

My only other hope for this series is that they forego the seemingly obligatory, post deadline day, in game interview with the GM to talk about their deadline deals. Buck, Pat and Atkins together talking up the awesomeness that is Fisher might make my head explode.
pooks137 - Thursday, August 01 2019 @ 05:12 PM EDT (#378749) #

I'm not necessarily complaining, but I'm curious as to the choices of pen additions of Boshers and Adam.

I get it that the pen desperately needs arms and innings with Giles being out, the rotation depleted and Phelps/Hudson/Biagini gone, but they specifically seem to be adding org guys that can easily be DFAed.

Are they trying to keep potential 40-man spots for waiver claims? Don't want to add any more prospects long term to the 40-man before the Rule V like Jackson? Or is there just no one else playing well enough/not injured in Buffalo? Rewarding good performances by org guys? Trying not to deplete Buffalo's bullpen duringtheir second half comeback?

Magpie - Thursday, August 01 2019 @ 05:18 PM EDT (#378750) #
Scott Mitchell tweeted that, at his age, he had 42 years of control left. You want it darker...

I've got 42 years of control behind me. More. Dark enough?
hypobole - Thursday, August 01 2019 @ 06:12 PM EDT (#378755) #
Actually looking forward to tonight's game. Asher Wojciechowski is coming off 2 very good starts, including an outstanding one against the Red Sox.
Magpie - Thursday, August 01 2019 @ 06:48 PM EDT (#378759) #
I have some Data Tables!

You see, yesterday greenfrog commented that the smart organizations were taking advantage of the Blue Jays. However, the immediate context was the trade of Olivares for Solarte, which prompted a bit of snark on my part ("San Diego?") The Padres seldom come to mind as a particularly smart organization.

I immediately felt two things: a) bad, for being snarky, and b) motivated to confirm that the Padres are, have been, and will likely continue to be as dumb as I think they are. I've had a lovely afternoon over at bb-ref. I have no life, as you all know.

We can start here:

						                WS 
W L Pct Playoffs Pennants Titles
New York Yankees 10,343 7,820 .569 54 40 27
San Francisco 11,143 9,655 .536 26 23 8
Los Angeles Dodgers 10,939 9,801 .527 32 24 6
St.Louis 10,884 10,042 .520 28 23 11
Boston 9,577 8,880 .519 24 14 9
Chicago Cubs 10,955 10,376 .514 20 17 3
Cleveland 9,447 9,012 .512 14 6 2
Cincinnati 10,574 10,362 .505 15 10 5
Detroit 9,331 9,149 .505 16 11 4
Pittsburgh 10,523 10,373 .504 17 9 5
Chicago White Sox 9,257 9,185 .502 9 6 3
Atlanta 10,664 10,639 .501 24 17 3
Los Angeles Angels 4,693 4,683 .501 10 1 1
Houston 4,563 4,651 .495 12 2 1
Toronto 3,359 3,430 .495 7 2 2
Arizona 1,732 1,779 .493 6 1 1
Washington 3,941 4,131 .488 5 0 0
Oakland 8,992 9,435 .488 27 15 9
Kansas City 3,882 4,189 .481 9 4 2
Minnesota 8,868 9,583 .481 15 6 3
Milwaukee 3,881 4,196 .481 5 1 0
New York Mets 4,414 4,787 .480 9 5 2
Texas 4,476 4,882 .478 8 2 0
Baltimore 8,750 9,691 .474 14 7 3
Colorado 2,012 2,248 .472 5 1 0
Philadelphia 9,800 10,970 .472 14 7 2
Seattle 3,198 3,592 .471 4 0 0
Tampa Bay 1,652 1,858 .471 4 1 0
Miami 1,974 2,274 .465 2 2 2
San Diego 3,727 4,354 .461 5 2 0
Well, that was certainly reassuring. But I had all these pages open, and while I was there I started to wonder: how many winning seasons has each franchise had? How many winning seasons in a row? How many losing seasons? And I just had to find out...

As everybody knows, the Giants of New York and San Francisco have had more winning seasons than anyone (although if they slip below .500 before this year is done, the Yankees will catch them.) But the Giants have played an extra 20 seasons. No fair! cry Yankees fans everywhere. Agreed. So here's everybody ranked by percentage of seasons that have ended with a winning record.

	         Winning  Losing    .500	
Seasons Seasons Seasons Pct.Winning
New York Yankees 94 22 1 0.803
San Francisco 95 42 0 0.693
Los Angeles Dodgers 88 47 1 0.647
St.Louis 89 48 1 0.645
Boston 76 40 3 0.639
Detroit 69 48 2 0.580
Pittsburgh 76 60 2 0.551
Cleveland 64 52 3 0.538
Atlanta 76 65 3 0.528
Chicago Cubs 75 66 3 0.521
Chicago White Sox 61 54 4 0.513
Toronto 22 20 1 0.512
Cincinnati 69 66 3 0.500
Houston 29 24 5 0.500
Oakland 55 63 1 0.462
Arizona 10 10 2 0.455
Los Angeles Angels 26 31 2 0.441
New York Mets 25 33 0 0.431
Washington 21 27 3 0.412
Kansas City 21 29 1 0.412
Philadelphia 55 78 4 0.401
Texas 23 35 1 0.390
Baltimore 46 71 2 0.387
Minnesota 45 70 4 0.378
Tampa Bay 8 14 0 0.364
Milwaukee 18 32 1 0.353
Colorado 9 18 0 0.333
Seattle 14 29 0 0.326
San Diego 14 35 2 0.275
Miami 6 21 0 0.222
Good news for San Diego fans! There exists a team that is even less likely to post a winning season. In news that must be irritating, the Marlins have scooped up a pair of WS titles in those years when they weren't matching the Padres in general ineptitude. And whoaa... the Giants have never had a .500 season, in 137 years? Houston's done it five times. Still... this could be the year, Giants fans!

Finally, I was interested in sustained success or failure: consecutive winning or losing seasons. Everybody knows the Yankees run of 39 straight winning seasons in a row stands alone, but here it is for everyone.

	         Consecutive   Consecutive 	
Winning Losing
Seasons Seasons
New York Yankees 39 4
Baltimore 18 14
Chicago White Sox 17 9
Boston 16 15
Atlanta 15 11
St.Louis 15 9
Pittsburgh 15 20
Chicago Cubs 14 10
San Francisco 14 4
Los Angeles Dodgers 13 11
Detroit 11 12
Toronto 11 6
Cincinnati 10 11
Cleveland 10 7
Philadelphia 9 16
Oakland 9 15
Washington 8 10
Houston 7 7
New York Mets 7 7
Minnesota 6 11
Los Angeles Angels 6 7
Kansas City 6 9
Milwaukee 6 11
Tampa Bay 6 10
Texas 5 8
Arizona 5 3
San Diego 4 9
Seattle 4 14
Colorado 3 6
Miami 3 10


A few random notes...

Baltimore ... those are the Weaver years. Most of the franchise's historical ineptitude is because they were the St.Louis Browns for more than 50 years and the Browns never posted three winning seasons in a row.

The White Sox? Really? Yup. Their 17 season run began the year after Joe Jackson died. (Cue spooky organ music.) They only made it to the World Series once in all these years and lost to the Dodgers. Al Lopez was the manager for most of this run and Lopez was also the manager for the second half of Cleveland's best run as well...

St. Louis... those would be the Musial Years...

Giants... those would be the Willie Mays Years. I actually thought it would have been during McGraw's long run. He ran off 12 winning seasons in a row, slipped under .500 for one year, and then posted another 10 winning seasons. Well, 22 out of 23 ain't bad...

Atlanta... the Bobby Cox Years

Pittsburgh... the Honus Wagner Years

Cubs... it turned out to be the Joe McCarthy Years. Cap Anson and Frank Chance both came very close. But Marse Joe was the greatest of them all.

Cincinnati... the Sparky years, natch. Sparky's also the biggest part of Detroit's longest run (which actually began with Ralph Houk.) But Sparky's also in at the beginning of Detroit's longest run of losing seasons...

The Pirates 20 year run from 1993-2012 is the longest consecutive stretch of losing seasons ever. Not even the Phillies could match that. And many of the expansion teams posted their longest such streak of badness in the very first years of their existence: Blue Jays, Astros, Expos/Nationals, Mariners...

And Arizona's worst stretch is just three losing seasons in a row? Fie upon them. They have yet to learn the meaning of suffering.
JB21 - Thursday, August 01 2019 @ 08:39 PM EDT (#378763) #
The Jays being exactly 15th in W/L record is very unsurprising.
Lefty - Thursday, August 01 2019 @ 08:51 PM EDT (#378764) #
I thought the Batters Box was the best place to leave this question.

For me Biggio plays terrible defense. Am I right or wrong?
Mylegacy - Thursday, August 01 2019 @ 08:54 PM EDT (#378765) #
JB21 you say: "The Jays being exactly 15th in W/L record is very unsurprising."

If you were an optimist you'd say the glass is half full! If you were a pessimist you'd say the glass is half empty! If you were drinking well aged single malt you'd say the glass is soon to be empty.

Just sayin'...
Gerry - Thursday, August 01 2019 @ 09:03 PM EDT (#378766) #
Lefty:

Biggio's defense is subpar but not terrible. Look at the Royals series thread, look for Wednesday at noon, there are several comments about it there.
Magpie - Thursday, August 01 2019 @ 09:06 PM EDT (#378767) #
The Jays being exactly 15th in W/L record is very unsurprising.

Coming into this year, the Jays were actually in 14th place with a .496 pct, with Houston at .493. The Astros are having a slightly better season.

I mentioned the Astros five 81-81 seasons, most of anyone. They've also gone 82-80 four times and 80-82 twice. What they're doing now is completely out of character.
pooks137 - Thursday, August 01 2019 @ 09:47 PM EDT (#378768) #

For me Biggio plays terrible defense. Am I right or wrong?

Standard SSS warning. 40 starts at 2B, 349 innings. DRS -2, UZR -9

Defensive metrics seem to believe he is comfortably below average, likely due to lack of range as opposed to errors committed

Eye test to me seems as though a lot of ill-timed balls he's missed have been absolute rockets he couldn't knock down

hypobole - Thursday, August 01 2019 @ 09:54 PM EDT (#378769) #
Vladdy having having himself a game. Double, 2 HR's.

Biggio, -2 DRS.

In just a few more innings at 2B, Sogard, who was called an excellent defender in 2 recent stories (Bowden, Stoeten) was at-5 DRS.
JB21 - Thursday, August 01 2019 @ 09:56 PM EDT (#378770) #
Magpie, I think about this post often.

Magpie - Sunday, July 26 2015 @ 07:30 PM EDT (#305944) #

(Jays) After 100 games:

2015 50-50
2014 51-49
2013 45-55
2012 51-49
2011 50-50
2010 51-49
2009 49-51
2008 49-51
2007 50-50

Gotta admire the consistency.
JB21 - Thursday, August 01 2019 @ 09:58 PM EDT (#378771) #
To add to this, July 26, 2015 was the day that they acquired Tulo and promptly went 43-19 to finish the season.
Magpie - Thursday, August 01 2019 @ 10:18 PM EDT (#378772) #
It sounded like Buck was saying something about McKinney hitting better since coming back from the minors? (Briefly lost the Sportsnet feed while he was talking?)

Anyway - he hasn't. He's been sent down and called back twice. First time back he went 1-9; coming into tonight, he'd gone 6-31 on his second recall. Half the hits have been HRs, if he was just talking about more power.
JB21 - Thursday, August 01 2019 @ 10:19 PM EDT (#378773) #
Has anybody read this?

https://ca.sports.yahoo.com/news/like-it-or-not-mark-shapiro-has-unwavering-belief-in-blue-jays-vision-172820904.html

Interesting read, that's for sure.
pubster - Thursday, August 01 2019 @ 10:23 PM EDT (#378774) #
"Has anybody read this?

https://ca.sports.yahoo.com/news/like-it-or-not-mark-shapiro-has-unwavering-belief-in-blue-jays-vision-172820904.html

Interesting read, that's for sure."

Amazing, my buddy wrote that article!
Magpie - Thursday, August 01 2019 @ 10:30 PM EDT (#378775) #
The old 3-5-3 DP to close it.

I've been just a little harsh on Derek Law, so I should note that in his last 14 outings he's allowed just 4 ER (all solo HRs, oddly enough) with 19 Ks in 12.2 IP. It's not impossible that he's not quite as utterly and completely useless as I had come to believe.
Magpie - Thursday, August 01 2019 @ 10:45 PM EDT (#378776) #
Here's a link you can click on for the Shapiro article. I have crazy HTML skills, folks.

Shapiro's the son of a civil rights lawyer who wrote his thesis on segregation and Baltimore housing?  Someone should tell him what Keith Law says about his organization..
Cracka - Thursday, August 01 2019 @ 11:00 PM EDT (#378777) #
Derek Fisher made his debut tonight as a Pinch Hitter and struck out in the 9th inning but the record books will say otherwise -- the AB and K were credited to Grichuk, because he left the game with a 0-2 count after fouling a pitch off his face (the rulebook covers scenarios like these). So Fisher will get a re-do of his first AB as a Jays, likely tomorrow in Grichuk's place.
scottt - Thursday, August 01 2019 @ 11:42 PM EDT (#378778) #
It's hard to visualize who' s in the pen.

Can they do a bullpen game? If they blow the pen the only guy on the 40s they can call up are Romano and Brock Stewart. Zeuch is not on the 40. Is Paulino pitching? He' s only started 7 games in Buffalo.

I say Font opens for Gaviglio.

Magpie - Thursday, August 01 2019 @ 11:46 PM EDT (#378779) #
Is Paulino pitching?

He's on the 7 day IL. Last pitched on 16 June.
hypobole - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 12:03 AM EDT (#378780) #
Romano on the 7 day IL also.
Magpie - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 12:10 AM EDT (#378781) #
This modest little win streak against the dregs of the AL (you take 'em where you can get 'em) has the Jays on a 64-98 pace.

This matters to me! I don't want my hometown team to lose 100 games! I know Houston did it three years in a row in this very decade and now they're on top of the world. I still don't care. It's been 40 years since the Jays lost 100 games, and only 7 of the 30 teams have played more seasons since their last 100 loss season. And those teams would be:

Texas (1973)
Boston (1965)
Philadelphia (1961)
LA Angels (never, started play in 1961)
NY Yankees (1912)
LA Dodgers (1908)
St. Louis (1908)

Colorado has also never lost 100 games, but their streak only goes back to 1993.

The franchise with the most of these awful seasons would be the A's of Philadelphia (10), Kansas City (5), and Oakland (1). The only other AL franchise in double digits is St.Louis (8)/Baltimore (3).

And while it's been almost 60 years since the Phillies lost 100 games, they've done it 14 times, most of any NL team. You know, in case you were wondering why Philadelphia sports fans are a little ill-tempered sometimes. The Phillies are also the only major league team to have 5 100 loss seasons in a row (1938-1942). Not even the Browns could do that.

The Braves are also in double digits with 13 of these seasons, but 11 of them came when they were still in Boston. They've had 2 of these seasons in Atlanta after having none in Milwaukee.

The Reds and the Giants, who've both been around since the 1880s have each had just one such season, and they came almost at the same time: 1982 (Reds) and 1985 (Giants.) I always thought the 1980s were just plain weird.
Kelekin - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 01:38 AM EDT (#378782) #
If I were to extrapolate the current sample size of 'undefeated in August' through the rest of the season, then I can say with 100% confidence that the Jays won't lose another game this season.
Magpie - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 02:04 AM EDT (#378783) #
As far as I can tell, only six managers have suffered through three 100 loss seasons. As you can imagine, managers who lose 100 games in a season tend not to remain major league managers. Even so, two of those six men are in the Hall of Fame, as managers, and you can probably figure out who they are. (One of them actually lost 100 or more games 10 times, and the other one did win 7 World Series titles.)

The other four three-time 100 losers - Fred Haney eventually won a couple of pennants and a World Series in Milwaukee. Fred Tenney managed Boston's NL team for four years more than a century ago, and his best team went 58-90. The other two men each managed three seasons, lost 100 games each year, and never managed in the majors again. One of them was Doc Prothro of the 1939-41 Phillies. The other was Roy Hartsfield.
scottt - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 06:57 AM EDT (#378787) #
The Dodgers tried moving Joc Pederson to first base.
That led to 6 errors in 149 innings and -3 Defensive runs save in just over 2 weeks worth of games.

Chuck - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 08:16 AM EDT (#378788) #
Don't look now but Guerrero's OPS+ is up to 112 and he's at 1.5 WAR for half a season of play. Maybe he should stay up.
ISLAND BOY - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 08:51 AM EDT (#378789) #
Yeah, and maybe we shouldn't trade him which a few people were suggesting after he struggled a bit as a 20 year old batting against pitchers who were giving him nothing to hit.
ayjackson - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 08:52 AM EDT (#378790) #
What's the over/under on Vlad's OPS at year end? I'm thinking .805.
Mike Green - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 09:07 AM EDT (#378791) #
Since game 81, the Blue Jays are 15-15 with a 161/128 RS/RA.  During that time, they have faced the Royals 7 times, the Orioles 4, the Red Sox 7, the Yankees 3, the Tigers 3, the Rays 3 and the Indians 3.  They're scoring over 5 runs a game, and I think that they can keep that up.  There should be a lot of high-scoring games down in the RC for the rest of the summer, and if Ken Giles comes back strong, they might sneak over the .500 mark for the second half of the season despite the absence of Stroman and Sanchez. 


Jevant - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 09:14 AM EDT (#378792) #
I find it very hard to take what Keith Law says about the Jays organization seriously. I think he's objective when it comes to prospect analysis. When it comes to his implications on the fact the Jays FO is racist? That just seems completely unfounded in reality.
Chuck - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 09:19 AM EDT (#378793) #
They're scoring over 5 runs a game

Which segues nicely into an ayj-like question: what is the over/under on runs allowed per game for the rest of the season? The team is currently at 5.06 and has jettisoned Stroman, Sanchez (which should theoretically help), Hudson, Biagini and Phelps. One solid performer, Shoemaker is long gone, but so are a number of poor performers: Jackson, Buchholz, Luciano (funny how those rule 5 players tend to be so fragile).

Baltimore is the worst in the AL at 6.1 RA per game. Is the current Jays pitching staff as bad as that? Are we going to see a bunch of 6-5 losses over the next two months (in games not played against KC)?

Mike Green - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 09:27 AM EDT (#378794) #
Keith Law did not say that the Blue Jay front office is racist.  He suggested that the unnamed member of the Jay front office made a racist comment.  The comment, about Stroman fitting into a clubhouse better with Syndergaard and deGrom present, was certainly offensive and probably racist- I say "probably" rather than "certainly" because members of FO often run down their former players clubhouse compatibility (and clutchiness) after a much-criticized trade.  This is common for white players, African-American players and Hispanic players. 
ISLAND BOY - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 09:31 AM EDT (#378796) #
A little over 9700 people in attendance at Baltimore last night. I guess the tickets were selling as sitting-room-only.
Mike Green - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 09:32 AM EDT (#378797) #
I would take the over on 5.25 and the under on 5.5 from here on out.  Fangraphs has them at 4.8 RS/G and 5.3 RA/G.  I would take the over on the run scored for sure, and probably the over on the runs allowed.
Jevant - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 09:38 AM EDT (#378798) #
I'm not sure why we'd assume the comments have anything to do with race. I just assumed it had everything to do with Stroman's personality. I would assume the exact same thing could have been said about Trevor Bauer, for example.

Maybe Law knows something we all don't (a strong possibility, admittedly), but it's been clear that he lacks objectivity when it comes to the Jays (and I don't even necessarily fault him for that, considering how it ended with the Jays).

I just couldn't see the rationale for the jump to turning it into a race issue.
bpoz - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 09:53 AM EDT (#378799) #
Jevant you made the 42nd comment. Love math. Don't understand it.
Mike Green - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 10:04 AM EDT (#378800) #
If you turn the quote around, I can't imagine an unnamed FO saying about a 28 year old white pitcher that he'd fit in better with a clubhouse led by a 26 year old African-American pitcher.  Did anybody ever say that about a pitcher who joined Bob Gibson on the Cardinal staff?  I am pretty sure that the answer is no.  Has anyone ever said that about a pitcher who joined David Price or Chris Archer?  I am pretty sure that the answer is no.  In fact, I am pretty sure that if you asked Gibson or Price or Archer about it, they'd give you an earful. 
uglyone - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 10:05 AM EDT (#378801) #
shelley duncan was fired over this, no?
Thomas - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 10:14 AM EDT (#378802) #
Shelley Duncan was reassigned, not fired, and I've not read anything that suggests he made this comment or that this comment was the reason why he was reassigned.

I'm in complete agreement with Mike Green on this. It's very hard to imagine this comment being made about a white pitcher and the idea of black people being told to "know their place" has long been a racist trope and it reads, in substance, to me, pretty much identically to "being told to fit right in like he's supposed to" in relation to white peers.
uglyone - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 10:15 AM EDT (#378803) #
i'm pretty sure duncan was involved.
BlueJayWay - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 10:23 AM EDT (#378805) #
What's the over/under on Vlad's OPS at year end? I'm thinking .805.

Well, he's nearly there right now (.797). If the Vlad we've seen since the ASB is more like the real Vlad going forward, then he'll surpass that easily.
bpoz - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 10:23 AM EDT (#378806) #
Sorry to say the following ... Lets be careful posting on this subject. Distasteful.
scottt - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 10:48 AM EDT (#378808) #
There isn't a lot of African American in baseball.
That doesn't mean it's dominated by white players.
Guerrero is neither white nor African American.
Is Bo white? I think his mother is half Brazilian, half Chinese.
The FO might be white--or not, Shapiro is Jewish, right?--but the coach isn't white, neither is the hitting coach, nor the third base coach.

I'm reminded of Bouton's view on the question in Ball Four.
Elite players will succeed regardless of race.
It's the fringe players who might benefit, or suffer from discrimination. Or something like that.

I think people critic what Stroman does, not who he is.
I've seen an article yesterday that described Sanchez as the most loved guy in the Jays clubhouse and it didn't ring true to me at all. However, there clearly was a divide between the 2 pitchers and it must have affected the other players to some degree.

Well, It's all in the past now, anyway.

bpoz - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 10:55 AM EDT (#378810) #
Good post scottt.

No SiFi fans here??? #42???
Chuck - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 10:57 AM EDT (#378811) #
No SiFi fans here??? #42???

Already posted this in the trade thread.

PeterG - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 11:04 AM EDT (#378813) #
Good chance Nick Kingham is starter tonight as he was scratched from Bison start last night.
bpoz - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 11:04 AM EDT (#378814) #
Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy!!

Old but famous.
Nigel - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 11:06 AM EDT (#378815) #
The offence is obviously vastly improved since the start of the year. However, the extent of that improvement is being over emphasized in the past 30 games by playing half of them against the other 3 worst teams in baseball. There's also been some crazy reversions to the mean for a few hitters during this stretch, namely Jansen and Hernandez (even Drury to some extent). The Fangraphs 4.8 number may be a tad light but it feels in the ballpark. As for the run prevention number going forward? Who knows? I have no doubt that over 162 games this pitching staff would get obliterated in the AL East, but over a shorter stretch? We're going to see a lot of experiments over the next 50 games - some of those work for a while. This team still feels much closer to a 100 loss team than a .500 team to me.
bpoz - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 11:14 AM EDT (#378817) #
161/128 RS/RA. Pythagoras knows.

Playing NYY soon. Hope we can overpower their rotation.

Playing Boston. Hope we can overpower their pen.
jerjapan - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 11:25 AM EDT (#378818) #
Bpoz, you always live up to your name and are as respectful a poster as I know, so I would like to disagree with you with the utmost respect - I don't feel this is a 'distasteful' topic.
The 'shut up and play' trope is frequently trotted out to silence players who attempt to speak out about social justice.  Colin Kaepernick was blackballed.
Often comments like 'respect the game' are leveled against black and latino players who are too 'hot-headed' or emotional in celebrating or competition.  This seems to apply to the Stroman situation.
I recall this topic being discussed here on the Box years back when Barry Bonds was still a deadly hitter but went unsigned - because nobody wanted an elite cheap bat?  Or because he was an outspoken, angry black dude? 

It's all just speculation, and I agree, we should be careful in stating anything with certainty. 


Mike Green - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 11:27 AM EDT (#378819) #
In the 16 games they've played against the league's best pitching staffs (aside from Houston), they have scored 4.4 runs per game.  Positive regression is still due from McKinney, Grichuk and VGJ.  In all cases, we have seen recent evidence of return to career norms with appropriate age adjustments, and in VGJ's case, return to reasonable projection from minor league performance. 

The rest-of-season wOBA projection from Fangraphs:

VGJ- .355
Smoak- .339
Grichuk- .321
Gurriel- .319
Bichette- .311
Jansen- .310
Fisher- .308
Teoscar- .307
Biggio- .305
McKinney- .303
Galvis- .293
Drury- .293
McGuire- .279

I wouldn't take the under on any of these projections, and I would definitely take the over on Gurriel and VGJ.  And if pushed to make a decision, I would also take it for Biggio, Bichette, Grichuk and Jansen. 


Jevant - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 11:27 AM EDT (#378820) #
When I saw the comment, I simply interpreted it as "fit in better with a clubhouse where he's not the best pitcher, or the only good one." It was poorly worded, but that's what I saw. Law implied race was a factor, and Stroman jumped on that as well. I hope that's not the case, but I suppose it certainly could be, and that would be tremendously unfortunate on many levels. I'd suggest that's inconsistent with what we do know about Shapiro and Atkins, as has been noted, which is why I struggled with Law heading that way.

I also suppose I hope Law's completely wrong because the world would be a better place if race had nothing to do with it. It's awful to me that this is something we are still talking about in 2019, and yet we seem to be having to talk about it more and more.

Best case, I think it was a stupidly worded comment by whomever made it, and presume that whomever made it has been encouraged to think through how they say things. Worst case? Ugh. Awful. Obviously if it was racially motivated that must be dealt with.

I'm sure we are all on same side here on the big issue here, so I'm sorry (and a little distraught) if my comments are the ones being labelled "distasteful". My hope is that we are eventually going to be able to create a world where we don't have to think about this sort of thing.

JB21 - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 11:37 AM EDT (#378821) #
Agreed jerjapan. It is certainly possible that the person who made those comments was being unintentionally racist, so I think it should be discussed. Another example of this is when Sam Dyson said that Jose Bautista needs to "respect the game a little". I enjoyed Jose's response here.
Nigel - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 11:40 AM EDT (#378822) #
Vladdy has a .405 wOBA since the ASG. Exactly how much more positive regression are you expecting? I like the possibilities though:)
JB21 - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 11:43 AM EDT (#378823) #
I believe he was basing the positive regression on Vladdy's season YTD wOBA (.339).
uglyone - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 11:49 AM EDT (#378825) #
At least we can hammer another nail into the "HR Derby screws up your swing" theory.
Mike Green - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 11:52 AM EDT (#378826) #
Correct, JB21.  For what it's worth, a .405 wOBA would be third in the AL behind Trout (.439) and Bogaerts (.407).  Vladdy Jr. is certainly capable of sustaining that or even beating it, although I am not suggesting that positive regression on that scale is due!
Chuck - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 11:54 AM EDT (#378827) #
Another example of this is when Sam Dyson said that Jose Bautista needs to "respect the game a little". I enjoyed Jose's response here.

Dyson blew his first save opportunity as a Twin last night. No word if any Marlins flipped their bats.

Thomas - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 11:55 AM EDT (#378828) #
Uglyone, do you have any information on which to back up that assertion? I ask that honestly, because what I have heard suggested that Duncan's removal was something that had been in the works for a while.
bpoz - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 11:56 AM EDT (#378829) #
Thanks for your response jerjapan. I respect you too.

When I saw the pictures of the "tweets" my stomach turned. Saw the tweets on another another thread I was horrified. Stroman responded with class if I remember correctly. He did not fight back. If he did I have not seen it.

Hopefully the bloggers/writers let it go. I don't know and don't have many sources. Stuff like this causes unnecessary pain.

To be absolutely clear on my opinion:- I think society and baseball has defeated racism and other discriminations. But maybe not completely. And of course I definitely disagree with it.

In the heat of the moment stuff happens. Human nature. You cannot take it back. That was the actual meaning of my "be careful". Da Box members all have good hearts IMO.
Chuck - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 11:56 AM EDT (#378830) #
At least we can hammer another nail into the "HR Derby screws up your swing" theory.

More than that, the narrative has flipped. The homerun derby has indeed led to Guerrero's transmogrification. Post hoc ergo proper hoc.

uglyone - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 12:06 PM EDT (#378832) #
APR: .292babip, .152iso, 79wrc+
MAY: .242babip, .167iso, 71wrc+
JUN: .281babip, .200iso, 99wrc+
JUL: .286babip, .197iso, 101wrc+
2nd Half: .284babip, .192iso, 99wrc+
Last 30d: .279babip, .202iso, 99wrc+

yeah I'd lean towards tossing out those first two months (far too much crap on the roster, and some bad babip luck) and go with the Jays having at least an average offense the rest of the way. But better than average if Vladdy keeps turning into the elite hitter he's now looking like and was expected to be. Bo should be a nice add too but we also should factor in the loss of sogard's production and probably regression from gurriel.



Last Calendar Year:

2B Bichette (21): 20pa, 10.0b%/15.0k%, .500bip/.444avg, .278iso, 224wrc+, 13.0war650
LF Gurriel (25): 406pa, 5.9b%/24.1k%, .309bip/.272avg, .242iso, 117wrc+, 2.4war650
3B Vladdy (20): 331pa, 10.0b%/17.5k%, .292bip/.267avg, .189iso, 112wrc+, 1.4war650
1B Smoak (32): 548pa, 15.7b%/23.2k%, .237bip/.215avg, .202iso, 108wrc+, 1.0war650
RF Grichuk (27): 626pa, 6.1b%/27.8k%, .303bip/.248avg, .216iso, 101wrc+, 1.5war650
DH Biggio (24): 230pa, 17.0b%/28.7k%, .284bip/.217avg, .164iso, 100wrc+, 1.7war650
SS Galvis (29): 656pa, 5.2b%/23.0k%, .313bip/.265avg, .179iso, 96wrc+, 2.3war650
CF Teoscar (26): 459pa, 9.4b%/33.6k%, .296bip/.223avg, .208iso, 92wrc+, 0.7war650
C Jansen (24): 390pa, 8.2b%/20.3k%, .248bip/.219avg, .159iso, 81wrc+, 3.8war650

UT Tellez (24): 359pa, 5.3b%/29.0k%, .298bip/.246avg, .228iso, 96wrc+, 0.4war650
OF Fisher (25): 65pa, 10.8b%/29.2k%, .289bip/.207avg, .121iso, 72wrc+, 1.0war650
IF Drury (26): 330pa, 6.1b%/27.0k%, .263bip/.216avg, .167iso, 67wrc+, -0.6war650
C Maile (28): 171pa, 7.6b%/22.2k%, .243bip/.194avg, .097iso, 48wrc+, 1.5war650


CF Davis (27): 79pa, 3.8b%/24.1k%, .200bip/.160avg, .053iso, 9wrc+, -4.1war650
RF Alford (24): 8pa, 0.0b%/50.0k%, .000bip/.000avg, .000iso, -100wrc+, -16.3war650
LF Pompey* (26): ---
3B Hanson (26): 160pa, 2.5b%/32.5k%, .273bip/.192avg, .099iso, 33wrc+, -3.7war650
SS Urena (23): 132pa, 6.1b%/28.8k%, .410bip/.281avg, .058iso, 82wrc+, 1.5war650
2B Travis* (28): 152pa, 3.3b%/12.5k%, .228bip/.224avg, .156iso, 68wrc+, -1.7war650
1B McKinney (24): 330pa, 7.0b%/25.2k%, .268bip/.230avg, .207iso, 92wrc+, -0.4war650
DH Brito (26): 70pa, 10.0b%/32.9k%, .179bip/.129avg, .081iso, 14wrc+, -6.5war650
C McGuire (24): 42pa, 4.8b%/28.6k%, .346bip/.275avg, .225iso, 117wrc+, 6.2war650
uglyone - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 12:08 PM EDT (#378833) #
Thomas - you're probably right.
Nigel - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 12:20 PM EDT (#378835) #
What uo's number continue to highlight is that the OF continues to be the issue for this club. We should run a competition to guess the names of the starting 3 OF's and the 4th OF for the start of the 2021 season. While Gurriel's recent play and Grichuk's contract make them the strong clubhouse leaders to be manning the two corners, I still think that that is far from certain.
Nigel - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 12:27 PM EDT (#378836) #
I should probably add that my best guess today would be Gurriel LF; unknown (not in the org) CF; unknown (not in the org) RF; and Grichuk (4th OF). Picking only from existing personnel in the organization, I would probably guess Fisher LF, Grichuk CF, Gurriel RF and McKinney 4th OF.
Mike Green - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 12:27 PM EDT (#378837) #
Gurriel should be  the starting left-fielder and Grichuk should be the starting right-fielder.  McKinney, if he has a job, will presumably be a outfielder/first-baseman/PH.  The only significant issue is who plays centerfield.  One presumes that the remainder of the season will be auditions for Teoscar and Derek Fisher.  At this point, I think they have a centerfield question and that's it. 
ISLAND BOY - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 12:27 PM EDT (#378838) #
" Duncan's removal was in the works for a while "

Probably ever since he recommended giving Socrates Brito a tryout.

" I think society and baseball has defeated racism and other discriminations.But maybe not completely."

For sure, bpoz, we have come a long way in fighting racism and discrimination. However, I look to the country south of us and cannot believe the racist stuff that comes out of Trump's mouth, and even worse are the zealots who support him in this. Sorry to bring it up on a baseball blog, but I fear racism and discrimination will never be dead as long as there are mouthpieces to promote it and followers to propagate it.
rpriske - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 12:47 PM EDT (#378839) #
I almost didn't comment because I couldn't think of a way to comment while staying respectful.

Maybe I shouldn't.

But still, this statement ' I think society and baseball has defeated racism and other discriminations.' is just so... trying to find the right word... naive? Blind? Ignorant? (using the actual definition, not the added connotation.)

Racism has not been 'defeated' in baseball and certainly not in society. Things have gotten better over the past fifty years or so. And they have gotten worse over the last ten.

hypobole - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 01:00 PM EDT (#378840) #
"There should be a lot of high-scoring games down in the RC for the rest of the summer, and if Ken Giles comes back strong, they might sneak over the .500 mark for the second half of the season despite the absence of Stroman and Sanchez."

Mike, there seems to be 3 stretches left in the season:

Next 22 games: 6 Mariners, 4 Yankees, 3 Orioles, 3 Rays, 3 Dodgers, 3 Rangers. Mixed bag, but possible.

Then 17 games: 4 Braves, 4 Rays, 3 Astros, 3 Yankees, 3 Red Sox. Abandon hope all ye who enter this stretch.

Final 12: 6 Orioles, 3 Rays, 3 Yankees. Another possible .500 segment.

Good luck to those plucky BGs. They'll need a massive amount of it.



Magpie - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 01:07 PM EDT (#378841) #
I think it might actually be a little easier for American-Americans and Latinos to emerge as leaders, clubhouse glue guys, that everyone admires and looks up to than it is in the rest of society. It's been happening as soon as they were allowed to play with everyone else because performance on the field is the greatest equalizer of all. Some things you can pretty much count on - everyone in the room will look up to and admire and follow the best players (and the players who make the most money.) This probably matters more than anything else. In Toronto, we've seen big personality types like George Bell and Carlos Delgado, and much quieter guys (if only by comparison) like Vernon Wells and Jose Bautista all emerge as team leaders, admired and often loved by their teammates. We've also seen minority players embraced by their teammates even if they weren't stars, simply on the grounds on personality and - gosh - team spirit.

It ought to be possible to criticize African-American and Latino players for what we might think of as non-baseball issues - how they carry themselves in the room, how they relate to their teammates - without the criticism being grounded in racism. (As opposed to ripping Manny Machado for dogging it all the time, which is a) about stuff on the field, and b) not being levelled at him because of his Dominican background and name. There have been guys who don't hustle, and were criticized for it, forever. Roger Maris was from Fargo, ND.) Much of the concern about Tony Fernandez during his first tour wasn't because he was Dominican but because baseball didn't always seem to be all that large on his list of priorities.

But the subject of the criticism, whether it's Marcus Stroman or Cito Gaston, isn't always going to see it that way. Because life has taught him something else.
Magpie - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 01:16 PM EDT (#378842) #
Because it's sensitive subject matter, I drafted the post very, very carefully and edited it with care and a wee bit of trepidation - and somehow cut a crucial clause in the very first sentence. It's a little easier for minorities to emerge and be accepted and embraced in baseball than in the rest of society. Sheesh.
bpoz - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 01:23 PM EDT (#378844) #
Nobody has disrespected me.

My honest opinion (right or wrong):-

1) To me the topic is distasteful.
2) None of the comments on Batter's Box were distasteful or disrespectful.

Some players "behavior" is the "heat of the moment" that was explained very well by Jose Bautista. Bat flip. Latin baseball culture is very animated with dancing etc ...

Society has made progress. Little or a lot is up to each person to decide.

This may sound confusing but I am really happy/thrilled that Cito came back to us. He is a part of the Jay's family and the team treated him to a very nice farewell. I wish I knew how many baseball trophies and rings he has.



85bluejay - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 01:37 PM EDT (#378845) #
That Grichuk contract is not looking good and makes him tough to move if the other younger outfielders start to outproduce him.
vw_fan17 - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 01:47 PM EDT (#378846) #
I've got 42 years of control behind me. More. Dark enough?
So, you're coming up on your golden anniversary?
85bluejay - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 02:15 PM EDT (#378851) #
LuiZ Gohara has been released by the Braves - hope the Jays can sign him and help him through his off the field problems - Rowdy lost his mother (Gohara lost father & ill mother) - and Luiz, Rowdy & Vlad can work together on fitness in the offseason. Gohara just turned 23.
PeterG - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 02:40 PM EDT (#378854) #
Going to have to find a couple of pitchers somewhere to get through August.
Mike Green - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 02:42 PM EDT (#378856) #
When I read Scott Mitchell's original tweet (that he has 42 years of control ahead of him), I immediately assumed that he was referring to control of bodily functions.  Yes, even darker. 

In reply to Magpie's comments about race and leadership roles in baseball, I have some additional thoughts.  There is perhaps an arc over time to the issue.  At the outset, black baseball players from Jackie Robinson to Willie Mays and Hank Aaron to Frank Robinson faced racism and in particular, an unwillingness by white players and baseball as a whole to accept black players in leadership roles.  As their numbers grew in the game (up to 19% in 1981), there was perhaps more willingness in baseball to accept black players in leadership roles than in society generally.  As the numbers have declined (to 7% in 2017), it may be true that there is less acceptance than before.  Conversely, with the explosion of Latin American players in the game (27% in 2017), it may be that there is more acceptance of their leadership. 

I would love to hear an interview with a group of experienced major leaguers recently or still in the game on the topic- maybe Ichiro Suzuki, C.C. Sabathia, Justin Verlander, Curtis Granderson, Russell Martin and Jose Bautista (my Blue Jay bias might be showing). 
bpoz - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 02:45 PM EDT (#378857) #
Cuttle fish to Mike Green.
Mike Green - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 02:50 PM EDT (#378858) #
Hypobole, I agree that the club will need some luck to sneak over .500 especially with the strength of schedule they face.  Fangraphs has them projected at 23-28 for the remainder of the season; I'd probably have them at 24-27.   
Gerry - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 03:33 PM EDT (#378860) #
Nick Kingham up, Billy McKinney optioned.
Mike Green - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 03:52 PM EDT (#378862) #
Wilmer Font gets the start tonight.  Biggio in RF for Grichuk (who is apparently fine), Galvis at 2B and Fisher in CF. 
Nigel - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 03:57 PM EDT (#378863) #
Thumbs up on Font starting - he may well be the ace of the staff right now. Thumbs down on the Biggio to RF alignment. If you worry about his defence at 2B you should really really worry about Biggio as an OF.
85bluejay - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 04:02 PM EDT (#378864) #
I am hoping for Wilmer Font to get a good run in the rotation.
Mike Green - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 04:05 PM EDT (#378865) #
I'd leave Biggio at second also.  It appears that Montoyo is trying to give everybody a fair bit of work, including Galvis and Drury, and perhaps doesn't want to move Hernandez around because of his defensive struggles.  Personally, I'd attach more weight to giving Bichette and Biggio working together as much as possible. 
Nigel - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 04:16 PM EDT (#378866) #
That's exactly my thought. Frankly, if they couldn't find a taker for Galvis and he isn't keen on being benched (and I could understand his reluctance) then they should just release Galvis. Roll with Drury as the utility INF.
Mike Green - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 04:29 PM EDT (#378867) #
My plan would be different.  I would give Drury work about twice a week and Galvis maybe four or five days.  My plan for 2020 with the current personnel on hand would be to use Galvis and Drury in a third base platoon with VGJ/Tellez sharing the first base and DH roles.  Can you tell that "I have a plan for that" works for me? 
Nigel - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 04:38 PM EDT (#378869) #
Ah well - that's a different kettle of fish. That's a good plan if you were willing to bite the bullet and move Vladdy. I just don't see them doing that yet. Assuming I'm right, then I would release Galvis. I see them giving each of Vladdy, Bichette and Biggio 5 or 6 games off over the next 50. Have Drury fill in those games plus another 10-15 at first and he's playing 30 or so games in the field. Have he, the 4th OF and Smoak rotate through the DH. That would be my plan for the remainder of the year. Tellez might hit his way back to Toronto at some point this year as well. Releasing Galvis is tough given he's had a career year, but there's no point in only burning 90% of the house down. A Galvis/Drury platoon at 3B would make a ton of sense though.
ayjackson - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 04:44 PM EDT (#378870) #
That's a solid plan, MG.

C Jansen/McGuire
1B Tellez/Vlad
2B Biggio
SS Bichette
3B Drury/Galvis
LF Gurriel
CF Hernandez/Fisher ??
RF Grichuk
DH Vlad/Tellez

With room for one more bat.
PeterG - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 04:51 PM EDT (#378872) #
I may be in a minority, but I don't think Vlad will be moved to 1b.
jerjapan - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 04:56 PM EDT (#378873) #
William Font, staff ace.... wow, that might be true.
I'm not so sure they couldn't find a taker for Galvis - he's been worth 1.2 fWAR, his D is a plus at short, he seems to have leadership qualities and is on a great deal, in particular with that option.  I assume they wanted to keep him, and that they could move him fairly easily in the offseason.  No offense Nigel, but releasing him would be an Atkins type move, in that it is tone-deaf.  They keep talking about culture - you don't release overachieving team leaders if you are trying to build a team concept, unless you want to start alienating the new core.

JB21, thanks for the Bautista link, I hadn't read that before and it's an important statement on the topic. 

The Shapiro article is a great read.  For a guy who claims he doesn't care about being liked, he sure says a lot of stuff to get the interviewer to like him.  This line made me laugh out loud, but to be fair, it also made me like Shapiro a bit more:
'A self-proclaimed old school hip-hop head whose favourite rapper is Eminem'.  Self proclaimed seems the key phrase there, as there isn't a legit 'old school hip-hop head' alive whose favourite rapper is Eminem ...
Overall, I like that Shapiro likes what I like about living in TO, I like that he chose to come here, I appreciate that his employees like him, according to him, I appreciate that he has a vision, and he still totally rubs me the wrong way.
Shapiro reminds me of the principal at my last school, someone who was liked by some of his employees, was generally well respected by his management peers, relentlessly spoke in progressive buzzwords, talked often about culture, and utterly failed to embody the culture he insisted that we have.  Like Shapiro, he got rid of the veterans who had independent thoughts, seemed to have a thin skin and a lack of self-awareness, and couldn't resist taking shots at people who disagreed with him.  Four years in, Shapiro still takes shots at AA and the team he assembled.  He actually said in the article that "in my experience, to find a group of guys who care more, work harder, are tougher, believe in each other more and want to win more, thatís attainable. It takes time".
If that's not an unfair dis at the team assembled by AA, I don't know what is - those guys cared a lot, worked hard, were totally tough (look at Stro's injury comeback), believed in each other tons and ACTUALLY WON.  I don't have the slightest idea how Shapiro can say that Vladdy 'wants to win more' than, say Bautista. 

Once again, it's all just transparent BS, but what continues to bother me is that Shapiro doesn't appear to be able to see that. 
Mike Green - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 04:59 PM EDT (#378874) #
PeterG, I am not attempting to predict what the organization will do.  I am suggesting what I think they ought to do. 

Magpie makes the fair point that VGJ's hands don't seem so good and worries about him at first base.  I'd like to see him put on the first baseman's glove and see how that goes. 
Nigel - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 05:15 PM EDT (#378875) #
Maybe Galvis is content to become a backup. Who knows. But if not, I would view releasing him a favour to Galvis to allow him to go find somewhere where he can play more or on a contender, not as a tone deaf move.
jerjapan - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 05:32 PM EDT (#378876) #
Galvis knew he was going to be bumped for playing time, and the issue is not so much him as his teammates - honestly, how do you think a rookie in their early 20s is going to feel about a move like that?
Dewey - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 05:36 PM EDT (#378877) #
Race is a notoriously incendiary topic; but I am unable to sit back quietly and seem to condone the notion that there is *any* subject that shouldnít be talked about because itís ďdistastefulĒ. Daily living can be in many respects distasteful. And looking at it through rose-coloured glasses is even more distasteful. To pretend otherwise is hopelessly Pollyanna-ish. (There are a few Pollyannaís here. And I do not refer to My Legacy saying heís a ďcontrarian PolyannaĒ).

Not for the first time, I find some of the views about Ďsocial justiceí on Da Box to be exceedingly simplistic and specious examples of feel-good virtue-signalling. We need a Mark Twain, an Ambrose Bierce, an H.L. Mencken to skewer them for what they are.
vw_fan17 - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 06:02 PM EDT (#378878) #
Once again, it's all just transparent BS, but what continues to bother me is that Shapiro doesn't appear to be able to see that. 

Yeah, I agree. Most/all his quotes seemed to be about "living your best life", or "being your best self". I.e. being 100% committed, WANTING to win more. It sounds a LOT like the drivel our CEO has started spewing now that he thinks he's an expert about culture/values. "Vitality". What other words come to mind when I say "Vitality"? Let's share them.

I can tell you right now, there are at least a million people in the world who want to win more - MUCH more - every day of their lives than any player that has ever played for the Toronto Blue Jays. And maybe 1 or 2 of them have the hand-eye co-ordination to play at the MLB level and/or the opportunity to try. If that.

He sounds like he's trying to build a culture / pseudo-cult - the group of players that most buy into his system, NOT the best PERFORMING group of players possible. There IS a difference. Believing in yourself and trying hard is NOT how you win the world series. You don't overachieve your way into a world series with a roster filled with 1 WAR players. You win by getting players whose "average day" performance is better than the other team's "average day" performance. Performance doesn't seem to be mentioned in there - it's all about attitude, trying, wanting to win, etc. As if you can WILL yourself to win. Sure, attitude can maybe add 10% to your ability, but a team of pissed off Barry Bonds in their prime DESTROYS a team of Munemori Kawasakis (on the baseball field), even if they bring along 10,000 cheerleaders..

After reading that article, I agree that he seems like he's been shoveling drek so long, he's started to think it smells sweet.. And if that's the way he's ACTUALLY trying to build a team, I'm really hoping the NEXT front office we get has some idea of how to run a baseball team..

I'm sure Ross Atkins really WANTS to win every trade and REALLY WANTS every player he acquires to turn into Jose Bautista too.
uglyone - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 06:08 PM EDT (#378879) #
I applaud you guys who have the tenacity and willpower to read through full Shapiro or Atkins interviews. Seems to me a whole lotta effort and a whole lotta frustration for not a whole lotta edification.
BlueJayWay - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 06:09 PM EDT (#378880) #
He sounds like he's trying to build a culture / pseudo-cult - the group of players that most buy into his system, NOT the best PERFORMING group of players possible. There IS a difference. Believing in yourself and trying hard is NOT how you win the world series. You don't overachieve your way into a world series with a roster filled with 1 WAR players. You win by getting players whose "average day" performance is better than the other team's "average day" performance. Performance doesn't seem to be mentioned in there - it's all about attitude, trying, wanting to win, etc. As if you can WILL yourself to win. Sure, attitude can maybe add 10% to your ability, but a team of pissed off Barry Bonds in their prime DESTROYS a team of Munemori Kawasakis (on the baseball field), even if they bring along 10,000 cheerleaders..

After reading that article, I agree that he seems like he's been shoveling drek so long, he's started to think it smells sweet.. And if that's the way he's ACTUALLY trying to build a team, I'm really hoping the NEXT front office we get has some idea of how to run a baseball team..

I agree. It was scary to read. I hope it's just window dressing - stuff that sounds good so he says it, and it's not actually the real philosophy behind his team building.
Nigel - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 06:14 PM EDT (#378881) #
Iíll go back to something I said the other day - a) there are lots of GMs in lots of sports who spout similar stuff, and b) media conglomerates love this kind of stuff. It is slightly cynical because it suggests that the Jays have a secret sauce to their rebuild strategy which currently consists of draft and develop. And if they didnít have this special sauce how would you differentiate the Jays from 20+ other franchises whose current strategy is to draft and develop?
uglyone - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 06:31 PM EDT (#378883) #
What's interesting to me is trying to figure if three of the crown jewels - vladdy, bo, gurriel - actually even fit the character mold Shapiro is talking about theren
scottt - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 06:33 PM EDT (#378884) #
There were no contenders interested in returning anything for Galvis or Smoak once  the dust settled.
I mean, Tampa Bay picked Sogard instead.
The Clevelanders got their bats somewhere else.
The Yankees decided to pout because they didn't get Stroman for Frazier.

Those are the breaks.
Smoak is a free agent, but a favourite of everyone.
They have an option on Galvis, maybe they pick it and trade him somewhere for something over the winter.
Tellez and Urena will probably spend August in Buffalo.

uglyone - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 06:38 PM EDT (#378886) #
Find it hard to believe a player like Galvis had no interest tbh.
bpoz - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 06:39 PM EDT (#378887) #
I am with Mike Green that we have a small chance to compete next year. I prefer to not give up until it looks like we are out.

The position player core looks very good regarding power. We have control of extra power guys like Tellez and McKinney who have a little over 300 ML ABs and also options. I would prefer to play them so they get their 600th AB by next years AS game.

If we are not out of it by the AS game then maybe be are buyers. We don't have to buy Galvis because we have him. Of course I don't know what happens to Urena. We have OFs with no more options. That will be sorted out by opening day if not before.
scottt - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 06:40 PM EDT (#378888) #
In Fantasy Baseball, you move Guerrero to first.
In real life it's more complicated. If you send him to first and he fails he'll have to return to 3rd.
There's zero motivation for him to succeed there. That's not how my 20 years old kids behaved.
You have to build the team around Guerrero. He'll only move from 3rd once he feels he's failed there.

scottt - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 06:44 PM EDT (#378889) #
What contender does not have a good shortstop?
Galvis has not played much at other positions and he's not really what you want in a DH either.

scottt - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 06:51 PM EDT (#378890) #
I'll say that I didn't like it when Grichuk attacked Tim Anderson on twitter over homerun celebrations.
I mean, it's one thing if someone on you team starts stuff that gets you beaned.
Why do hitters care if hitters on other teams celebrate homeruns? I don't get that.
I think a pitcher should just look where the ball is landing to see if he needs to back up someone.


bpoz - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 07:00 PM EDT (#378892) #
With about 55 games left in the season I wonder if the NYM can make the 2WC.
uglyone - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 07:13 PM EDT (#378894) #
"Fantasy Baseball, you move Guerrero to first."

Isn't it the opposite? In fantasy, you play him at the hardest defensive position possible, given defense doesn't matter.
uglyone - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 07:14 PM EDT (#378895) #
"What contender does not have a good shortstop?"

A utility piece that can play a great SS and hit near league average seems to me to be a piece every contender would want.
Magpie - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 07:18 PM EDT (#378896) #
He actually said in the article that "in my experience, to find a group of guys who care more, work harder, are tougher, believe in each other more and want to win more, thatís attainable. It takes time". If that's not an unfair dis at the team assembled by AA, I don't know what is

No doubt I'm a simple trusting soul, but I have no idea how you got from there to where you ended up. I suppose it's easy if you already know that Shapiro is a lying phony and everything he says is a dig at the previous regime. Otherwise it's a little tricky. I think it's got nothing to do with the previous regime. I think he's talking about what he needs to do and what he needs to build:

But to compete in the AL East, where you have to overcome market challenges, somethingís gotta be special. You need a group of players who care more, work harder and are tougher. All of those things. In my experience, to find a group of guys who care more, work harder, are tougher, believe in each other more and want to win more, thatís attainable. It takes time.
pooks137 - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 07:21 PM EDT (#378900) #

I am with Mike Green that we have a small chance to compete next year. I prefer to not give up until it looks like we are out.

I think the last week vs. the Royals and Orioles have made us forget we are still a true talent .380 team right now.

Another two months of getting our teeth kicked in by the Yankees, Orioles and Astros will soon remind us who we really are for the near future

The back of our bullpen depth chart currently has Justin Shafer #1 and Tim Mayza #2 and our most experienced starter is Trent Thornton who debuted in April

I like this team's process and potential too, but we are currently the Marlins and will be for a while

hypobole - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 07:26 PM EDT (#378901) #
What contender does not have a good shortstop?

Brewers only one I can think of where Galvis would be a definite upgrade.
christaylor - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 07:34 PM EDT (#378902) #
"we are still a true talent .380 team right now." I don't know what team you're on but the Jays winning percentage today or yesterday or six days ago has nothing to do with the team they're fielding now. I've always been skeptical of the idea of true talent from sabermetrics but, if you buy in, it could be an interesting exercise to calculate the true talent in the lineup right now... here is one blogger's method.
Spifficus - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 07:52 PM EDT (#378904) #
I'll take the over on .805, AY
uglyone - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 08:08 PM EDT (#378906) #
Just a reminder on vladdy....

Top 20yr old or younger rookie season wRC+, minimum 300pa, since 1970:

1.Trout '12: 167 (.383babip)
2.Tatis '19: 157 (.429babip)
3.Soto '18: 146 (.338babip)
4.Acuna '18: 143 (.352babip)
5.Correa '15: 136 (.296babip)
6.Heyward '10: 134 (.335babip)
7.Horner '78: 124 (.236babip)
8.Harper '12: 121 (.310babip)
9.Stanton '10: 118 (.330babip)
10.Vladdy '19: 113 (.295babip)

And he has plenty of time to catch a bunch of those guys yet.
uglyone - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 08:10 PM EDT (#378907) #
longleysunsport

Marcus Stroman on his relationship with #Bluejays GM Ross Atkins: ďIíve made the all star game. I had a gold glove. I threw back-to-back (seasons) of 200 innings and I never heard a word from any of those guys (in the front office).Ē #Bluejays
jerjapan - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 08:19 PM EDT (#378908) #
Hey Magpie, thanks for the response.  I know that Shapiro isn't the only prez who has to carefully guard his words.  I hope it's obvious that I don't know Shapiro is a lying phony, but I think you are right -  Shapiro is doing what he thinks he needs to do ....

That said, I don't buy his vision.  I think character comes from the top, and whether or not he thinks the old crew had character, I don't think his regime is exemplifying character the way they could.  And when leaders impose their expectations from above without holding themselves to the same standards, that's where I have a problem. 

On a personal level, he just reminds me so strongly of my previous boss, who was a duplicitous type, that I find him insincere in pretty much everything he says.  Except about Eminem.  That part I love.  
bpoz - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 08:21 PM EDT (#378909) #
.380 is 62 wins, 100 losses. Our pitching will be a major force towards that outcome.

We also lost games to poor defense. Errors.

We won games recently with great offense.

Currently we have a very deep pen. No starters ( sorry Trent T and Jacob W). The #1 SP spot in the rotation is available. Just stay healthy. You could/should be in a playoff race in 2020 if you do.
jerjapan - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 08:25 PM EDT (#378910) #
and I never heard a word from any of those guys (in the front office)
Yup, that's exactly it.  Talk about character is BS until you exemplify character, and it doesn't matter how many books Shapiro and Atkins have read about leadership, real leadership involves talking to the people you 'lead'.
jerjapan - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 08:28 PM EDT (#378911) #
I know that listening to Doug Smith on the topic of baseball is fraught, but this is pretty spot on.
https://www.thestar.com/sports/doug_smiths_sports_blog/2019/08/02/franchise-leadership-must-inspire-confidence--does-the-jays-.html
christaylor - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 08:28 PM EDT (#378912) #
I'll take the under on 100 losses. I don't think this team does that the rest of the way even with the many question marks in the starting staff. It isn't a stretch to say that whatever the team cobbles together and puts in Sanchez's slot will improve on Sanchez's results.
Magpie - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 08:30 PM EDT (#378913) #
I never heard a word from any of those guys (in the front office).

Atkins said he spoke to Stroman's agent and quickly formed the impression that what the player was looking for did not match what the team wanted to do. That works for me. I didn't think an extension made much sense.

if it's about anything else, the words of Chris Rock come instantly to mind. You did your job, and they gave you $15 million dollars for it. What do you you want, a cookie?

Probably. Stroman's had to overcome an awful lot to get where he is.
Paul D - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 08:34 PM EDT (#378914) #
Jays to consult dr James Andrews on Borucki
mathesond - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 08:35 PM EDT (#378915) #
Maybe the culture change the FO is trying to make involves replacing the players who need their hands held as they collect their participation ribbons?

Nah, that can't be it.
Magpie - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 08:42 PM EDT (#378917) #
That said, I don't buy [Shapiro's] vision.

Yeah, I don't give a damn about his vision. That's stuff he tells himself to figure out what he wants to do, or stuff he feeds the media beast. I don't care all that much. The job is to build a successful team, and my judgement on that is going to be reserved until this time next year at the very, very earliest.

Atkins doesn't have a track record. Shapiro himself took over a team that had won 90 games and gone to the post-season and immediately dismantled it. (It was a really, really old team.) He let free agents walk, he traded his starting pitchers, he traded Roberto Alomar. Three losing seasons followed, and by Year 4 they were good again.

Shapiro's not making the moves this time, of course. And the Jays spent at least two years of the new regime trying to stretch out the good times they'd inherited.
Magpie - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 08:53 PM EDT (#378918) #
This team looks pretty good when they're playing Baltimore and Kansas City.
uglyone - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 08:59 PM EDT (#378919) #
I dunno christaylor.

The starters that have contributed so far that likely won't the rest of the way - stroman, Sanchez, shoemaker, buchholz, Jackson, Borucki, richard - combined for this:

71gs, 5.1ip/gs, 5.07era (110-), 4.86fip (106-), 4.83xfip (105-)

Which looks bad, except when you look at everyone else - Thornton, SRF, wagu, pannone, font (not including tonight):

36gs, 4.6ip/gs, 5.65era (124-), 4.98fip (109-), 5.45xfip (119-)
Magpie - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 08:59 PM EDT (#378920) #
Anyone have any thoughts on why the Blue Jays do so badly (.273, second worst in the league) on the Balls In Play. (League average is .298) I can see Smoak is getting killed by the shift, but it seems to be the whole team.
uglyone - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 09:04 PM EDT (#378921) #
First things I look at for that Magpie....

39.1fb% (#3 mlb)
11.3iffb% (#6)
20.5ld% (#24)

42.7pull% (#3)
23.2oppo% (#27)

18.6soft% (#5)


Unfortunately it looks fairly deserved.
Marc Hulet - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 09:07 PM EDT (#378922) #
If you understand people and treat people well (those who report to you as well as your peers), you can be a good leader. You have to be humble, be willing to admit when you're wrong and also recognize that others - including your employees - can be more knowledgeable and more capable than you... you need to lean on their expertise and allow them to grow while learning from them. A lot of leadership is inherent and doesn't come from books or sayings... books can help you sharpen your skills but they're not going to make a person a leader... I work for a very large corporation and have worked in many roles, including leadership. I've seen and had a lot of managers... good and bad. I've never had a good one that took self help courses, quoted sayings or had a desk full of books (and I've experienced all of these). It was the people that treated others well, were humble and embraced the strengths of others... revelling in teamwork.

With that said, Shapiro has done some good things (such as increasing pay to minor leaguers) but I'd love to hear what those around him really have to say about him to their spouses over dinner or in a pub on a Friday night.
bpoz - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 09:12 PM EDT (#378923) #
La Cava likes something about the Jays. Tinnish also stayed.
JB21 - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 09:18 PM EDT (#378924) #
I thought that this quote was more of a dig against the previously regime... you could argue that it was a dig against both AA and Beeston.

ďThere was a lot of resources, tools, skill sets that were missing that needed to be modernized,Ē Shapiro says. ďI felt like we needed to modernize leadership to compete in the modern sports landscape, or at least be an organization that I felt comfortable being a part of, which is not anecdotal decision making, more data-informed decision making. It was a combination of building out infrastructure on both the business and baseball side equally, adding people, and clarifying values, and aligning a culture behind those values.Ē
Magpie - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 09:20 PM EDT (#378925) #
Unfortunately it looks fairly deserved.

It turns out that it's not this year's team, though. I give you a Data Table!
Year  BABiP  League  Rank
2010  .269   .295    14th
2011  .283   .294    12th
2012  .281   .293    13th 
2013  .284   .298    14th
2014  .295   .298    11th
2015  .298   .296     7th
2016  .289   .298    14th
2017  .276   .298    15th
2018  .286   .294    13th
2019  .273   .298    14th

Just to be clear, the columns are Toronto BABiP, the league BABiP, and the Jays ranking in the league. I would have suspected a Park Effect of some kind, but the pitchers are all over the map. These last few years AL hitters have a BABiP against Toronto pitchers better than the league average. (Lousy pitchers, lots of line drives?) But over the same period AL hitters have ranked 3rd, 5th (twice) , 6th, 8th (twice), 9th, 11th, and 15th (twice).

I have the Puzzlement.
uglyone - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 09:24 PM EDT (#378926) #
The complete and utter scorn for what they inherited has always been crystal clear, despite it including a better roster than they have ever created in their decades in mlb.
Magpie - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 09:25 PM EDT (#378927) #
I thought that this quote was more of a dig against the previously regime

You can take it that way if you want. I just have trouble believing that Shapiro even thinks about the previous regime. They were good times, but it's over. It's 2019.
Magpie - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 09:35 PM EDT (#378928) #
The complete and utter scorn

seems just a little over-stated to me. Shapiro has certainly suggested that he didn't think what he inherited was sustainable. Was he wrong? He's suggested that it might have been a good idea to do what he did in Cleveland and tear it down right away. We'll never know because it didn't happen. They took what they inherited and ran it back. Past its Expiry Date, in fact.
Nigel - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 09:36 PM EDT (#378929) #
Hmm. Hernandez comes in as a defensive replacement and takes over in CF over Fisher. Ouch
Magpie - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 09:37 PM EDT (#378930) #
Now tell me what the hell is happening on the Balls in Play!? The whole roster's turned over, four different managers have been involved. What's going on?
bpoz - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 09:52 PM EDT (#378931) #
Good point Magpie. Shapiro better think about HIS team and its performance. He is NOT getting fired because of someone else's team.
bpoz - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 09:56 PM EDT (#378932) #
Time for the offense to explode. I believe.
christaylor - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 09:56 PM EDT (#378933) #
Sure, no one on the staff can replace what Stroman did. Sanchez, yes. Buchholz, yes. Borucki, yes (just be able to throw w/o pain). Shoemaker, probably not, but he only started 5 games. Richard and his 6.29 FIP, someone will step up. Finally, no Edwin Jackson 8.95 FIP, it is hard to do worse than that...

Call me optimistic, because I am optimistic, but aside from every 5th day, things seem a push on the pitching. Throw some luck onto the fire and season liberally with what promises to be an improved offense... I don't see 100 losses, but that's why they play the games.
Magpie - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 09:57 PM EDT (#378934) #
Hey, I'm hedging my bets! There's a multitude of ways to build a successful team. What if this one works? I've already felt obliged to humbly offer an abject apology to a Toronto GM on this very site. Crow doesn't taste that great.
JB21 - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 10:25 PM EDT (#378935) #
Technically Fisher took over for Biggio and Hernandez for Fisher but still ouch.
dan gordon - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 11:10 PM EDT (#378936) #
They wanted Hernandez in the OF instead of Biggio. Hernandez has been much better in CF this year than as a corner OF and I'm sure they want to have him stay there if possible, since it seems to be the only place he's comfortable. Fisher, on the other hand, has the versatility to play any of the OF positions, so it makes sense to shift him to RF, and put Hernandez in CF. I highly doubt they think Hernandez is a better CF than Fisher. If so, they wouldn't have made the trade they did.
AWeb - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 11:17 PM EDT (#378937) #
I don't think there's much mystery to the low BABIP values, year after year. The Jays have been 3rd, 7th, 3rd, 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 5th, and 1st in homers from 2018 - 2010. The team has been full of homerun hitters, but that actually depresses BABIP unless hitters are really great (i.e., they can hit homers with a high average). Mostly the lineups have been full of guys who hit just enough homers to be useful, sort of.  Aside from a random Melky Cabrera and Devon Travis season, the Jays just haven't had hitters who excel by racking up lots of hits. Their Runs/game ranking has always been lower than their HRs/game, except when it was the same a couple of years. Hitters that hit a lot of flyballs, too many popups, and not enough line drives result in this sort of thing. The amazing part is that they've managed to be consistent with fresh sets of players over time. Oh, and I've mentioned it before, but the Jays have been a very slow team for a very long time.
dan gordon - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 11:25 PM EDT (#378938) #
"seems just a little over-stated to me"

No kidding. It's getting pretty tiresome reading all of the venom being directed toward the Blue Jay management by a few of the posters here. Much/most of it seems distorted and misguided. It seems that some people will take anything Atkins or Shapiro say and/or do and spin it to be something negative, and revealing of how incompetent, dishonest, or lacking in character they both are.
dan gordon - Friday, August 02 2019 @ 11:38 PM EDT (#378939) #
"the Jays just haven't had hitters who excel by racking up lots of hits"

Absolutely. Not enough guys who get on base. It minimizes the value of hitting those HR's. That's one of the main reasons why I was really rooting for Stevenson and why I was so disappointed that he was traded. He's exactly the player this offense needs - a guy who hits for a high average, walks a ton, and plays good defense at a premium position. The Jays must have felt he wouldn't develop into a good big league player, but to me, he looks like he could be a poor man's Brett Butler, who was maybe the 3rd best leadoff hitter in baseball for much of his career, next to Rickey Henderson and Tim Raines, and produced 50 WAR despite having no power. Unlikely Stevenson will be as good as Butler, but even if he only has a career 50% as good, he'll be a heck of an asset.
Kelekin - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 12:43 AM EDT (#378940) #
100% with you Dan. It drives me crazy that the focus on the 'newest' sabermetrics means the devaluing of any other statistics. To me, power is currently over-valued immensely considering players that used to be 10 HR types can hit 20 no problem. It is not hard to find a hitter who can hit a home run, but it is more difficult to find players that are still getting on base. Home runs are certainly more viable when they can generate more than one run. The only arguments I have seen against Stevenson were he didn't have power...so what? I don't care how hard someone can hit the ball, I care about how many times they can successfully hit it where it needs to go, or know when NOT to hit it.
Magpie - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 02:52 AM EDT (#378941) #
Unlikely Stevenson will be as good as Butler

I'm not much interested in the minors, and I'm especially not interested in the lower levels, so take everything I say with a Huge, Jumbo-Sized Pinch of Salty Stuff. I never even heard of Cal Stevenson before the trade. That said...

Brett Butler was a good centre fielder but most of his value came from his ability to get on base. That skill didn't become elite at the major league level until he'd turned 30 and been in the league for a few years. Anyway, here's the issue: just how much of Stevenson's ability to get on base at a .388 clip is likely to survive the trip from A ball to the majors? Because I would think he'd need to maintain pretty much all of it to be more than a fourth or fifth outfielder. The major leagues are a little harder than the Florida State League so Stevenson needs to get quite a bit better than he is right now.

It was 40 years ago, of course, and the comparison may not be all that useful but Butler's minor league OBPs will surely take your breath away. He finished up in A ball with a .513 OBP, which is... well it's .513! Mercy! While Butler was trying to establish himself in the majors and going back and forth between Atlanta and AAA Richmond, his minor league OBPs were .456 and .442. I think this is what Stevenson would need to become. It's certainly not impossible by any means, but it seems like there's a lot of growth required. He's obviously nowhere near that now.

Man, I would love, love love to see another Brett Butler. I miss you, Brett! I have been baying at the moon, calling your name! I think the game desperately, desperately needs some players like you! But they need to be as good as you were. I don't think a poor man's Brett Butler would really be all that useful.

Atlanta traded Butler after his first full season - he was 26, he'd just hit .281/.344/.393 with 39 SB. And if Butler had stayed at that level, the trade wouldn't look quite as stupid as it does now (besides the sheer bone-headedness of being the Atlanta Braves, having a player named Brett Butler and trading him away. How can you blow that?) Butler was a much, much better player in his 30s than in his 20s. He was an unusual player and that's another unusual thing about him.
dan gordon - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 04:55 AM EDT (#378942) #
Magpie, I have a few comments about Stevenson/Butler. Firstly, yes, Stevenson would need to get a lot better than he is right now, but that's what good prospects do - they get better as they learn the various aspects of hitting and how to translate that into production on the field. Stevenson is only 22, and a player doesn't typically reach his peak until about 26 or 27. As you pointed out, Butler had his peak even later. Stevenson SHOULD get a lot better over the next few years. Butler had his best seasons by WAR between ages 28 and 35. He really wasn't a very good defensive player, his career dWAR is -6. You talk about Butler's minor league OBP, well, Stevenson had an OBP last season of .511, OPS of 1.034. He was skipped right past 2 levels prior to this season (Van + Lansing) and not surprisingly struggled right out of the gate, but has been fantastic since the first month of the season, and could probably be promoted to AA any day now. It's this kind of outstanding performance combined with a very fast rise through the minors that indicates very strongly that he is going to be a good big league ball player. As far as not having much value, if he can play a good defensive CF, steal bases at a good clip, hit for a high average and walk a lot, he will have a ton of value. Somebody posted a question on another thread about who would have the highest WAR from 2021 to 2026 or some such time frame, Stevenson, Hernandez, Fisher, Grichuk, Alford or McKinney, I believe it was, and said they felt it would be Stevenson. I'm inclined to agree, and wouldn't have traded Stevenson even up for Fisher, let alone thrown in Sanchez and Biagini, but the Jays obviously know more than I do. I will say this - if they turn out to be wrong about Fisher and I turn out to be right about Stevenson, I'm going to be royally ticked about this trade. Aside from this trade, I think the group has been doing a pretty good job of rebuilding the farm system and putting the Jays in a good position to have a long term winning team, but this move surprised and disappointed me.
bpoz - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 07:33 AM EDT (#378943) #
Good digging into history as always Magpie. Nice writing style too.

Thanks Dan Gordon for your comment on Stevenson. You and a few others keep me up to date on the progress of the prospects throughout the system.

I suppose/hope you have a top 50 Jays prospect list. I made my 1st in this past off season. I enjoy the positive progress and the bumps on the way up I deal with being patient.
bpoz - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 07:51 AM EDT (#378944) #
T Hernandez, D Fisher and Gurriel are all V fast and have good power. Maybe they become a decent OF for us. We need a strong arm.

T Hernandez made a nice catch in CF yesterday.
Glevin - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 08:07 AM EDT (#378945) #
This Jays team is a lot more fun to watch. I saw a stat. Since beginning of June, they have scored 7th most runs in baseball and that's something I expect to carry into next year as young hitters improve. Pitching... Well that's another story. Future success of the team seems to hinge on getting a couple of top line starters out of the big group of pitching prospects coming up in a year or three.
Thomas - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 08:17 AM EDT (#378946) #
Atkins said he spoke to Stroman's agent and quickly formed the impression that what the player was looking for did not match what the team wanted to do. That works for me. I didn't think an extension made much sense.

That does not work for me at all. In my opinion, that's just another example of this front office's missteps.

BlueJayWay - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 08:29 AM EDT (#378947) #
Yeah. Now that Vlad, Jansen, Gurriel are hitting more, and Bichette is up to the majors, it's a much more fun team to watch. Nice refreshing change from the first couple months of the season.

Saw a stat that, since I believe June 16th, the Jays have hit the most homeruns in MLB. Really, ever since that series in Houston the offence has been quite good. With all the position player prospect talent, the hitting side of the equation was never in much doubt. Pitching might be aother issue...

Mike Green - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 08:32 AM EDT (#378948) #
I have just a little to add to Dan's comment about Stevenson. He has a couple of ways to become better- offensively or defensively. At this stage of his career, he's considerably ahead of where Kevin Pillar was. Pillar didn't take  a leap forward with the bat, but did with the glove.  My gut tells me that Stevenson's improvement, if it comes will be with the bat, but youneverknow.
grjas - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 08:41 AM EDT (#378949) #
Yeah I think the level of critique of the FO is overblown. I donít like their external communication style or the trading approach but I donít think theyíre dishonest, and we have little real information on their leadership qualities or culture (and neither do I care.)

As far as the Stroman extension, I suspect Atkins comments are exactly what happened as Iíve said all along I expected a huge gulf between the expectations of management and Stromanís agent in the off-season given his down 2018. However, I think the Jays gave up too quickly, given the year he is having.

Iím also surprised of postersí reaction to the Hernandez and Fisher bait and switch last night. I didnít read this at all as Montoyo having a poor view of Fisherís CF abilities...he hasnít been here long enough. I suspect they donít want Hernandez anywhere in the outfield except CF.
Mike Green - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 09:06 AM EDT (#378950) #
One more thought arising from last night's game. If a club wanted to introduce a new way of dividing pitching roles- opener, tandem or something else, now would be a good time to do it for the Blue Jays. They have no established starters with roles they wish to maintain.
hypobole - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 09:16 AM EDT (#378951) #
Shapiro has done some good things. Jays were far behind other teams in their player development. They still are behind some, but are moving in the right direction. I've liked their drafts and the IFA signings seem to be less hit and whiff. From the human aspect, the real feather in his cap has little to do with on-field product - the raises he unilaterally gave the minor leaguers.

Atkins is another story. He's done well on the smaller moves for the most part, but the bigger the deal, the less successful he's been so far. His PR with most of the fanbase has hit rock bottom. He may not even last out his contract.
dalimon5 - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 09:49 AM EDT (#378952) #
The FO developed Bo, Biggio and Gurriel... they should be highlighting that more than "42 years of control" garbage.
uglyone - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 09:54 AM EDT (#378953) #
If you guys think we're critical of this FO I sure hope you don't go reading what the rest of the baseball world is saying.
Magpie - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 09:59 AM EDT (#378954) #
Thomas, to be clear - you'd have wanted to extend Stroman? What are you thinking? Three years? (Because that's too long for me.) Five years? (Absolutely out of the question.) Or do you think Stroman and his camp would put off free agency for less term than that?
grjas - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 10:03 AM EDT (#378955) #
The negative comments from ďindustryĒ sources at least that Iíve seen, relate to their trading ability and I donít think there are many (any?) here that dispute that concern. And at this point, Iíd have little concern at showing Atkins the door, though Iíd rather he try to sort out his own mess. I think attacking their personal integrity, however, is a bridge too far based on the little info we have.

What else are you hearing?
hypobole - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 10:06 AM EDT (#378956) #
Yeah that 42 years of control has its importance, but what Atkins doesn't seem to comprehend is that the majority of the fanbase doesn't care whatsoever about that. And that fanbase is what drives ticket sales and viewership. Don't tell them crap they don't care about. It just makes him seem more and more out of touch with the very people who buy tickets and drive viewership.

bpoz - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 10:11 AM EDT (#378957) #
If we win I think the fans will show more interest. I hope so.
Magpie - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 10:16 AM EDT (#378958) #
The great (and fictitious!) Toby Ziegler once said, "They'll like us when we win."

And maybe they will!

It also occurs to me that Toby had lost all perspective and was generally thinking and talking like a lunatic when he said that. Well, never mind.
dalimon5 - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 10:39 AM EDT (#378959) #
SHapiro-Atkins vs Previous FO (Strikethrough and Plea for Sanity)

Some posters here myself included don't think AA was all that. He was overrated. I think these same posters still recognize that AA, although overrated, was far and away the best gm since Gilick. He is often over praised for creating a winner when in reality he only took the risk once notified he was losing his job. Still, he got the job done and even before the end of his tenure he still would have been the best since Giliick for his creative use of asset accumulation and high upside targets.

Most posters defend the new front office because they see a vision that makes sense. At the same time, there are a lot of missteps that nobody can deny. So far most of the trades look so so at best. The waiver pick ups look trashy and the communication to the fan base is absolute junk. That is all undeniable. I believe the bulk of fans and posters here defend the new FO...with the caveat IF their trades work out down the road and IF they some how make this team competitive in the next 24 months. I don' think anybody is standing up for this FO saying "they're brilliant and better than AA or any other office," we're just saying they aren't out to screw over the fans or the team...they don't wake up thinking "how can we screw this up," ...even though it may seem like that especially with Atkins.

For the sake of sanity on this forum I think it's best to recognize that this FO needs time before being run out of town by some posters. Similarly, posters such as myself who want to criticize the old regime under AA or defend this new regime best heed the warning of "don't bring a knife to a gun fight."

I learn so much from this site about prospects, player values, baseball and more...whenever we aren't busy bullying each other about which FO is stronger.

I'll be following the thread more closely than usual...have been bitten by an Otter in Restoule Provincial Park after seeing Moose and Wolf and Black Bear...it's the River Otter that got me... 6 needles and rabies vaccine later...i'm sore and resting up. Also...super pumped to see the Astros with that new look rotation and the Mets make a charge.
grjas - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 10:49 AM EDT (#378960) #
I'll be following the thread more closely than usual...have been bitten by an Otter in Restoule Provincial Park after seeing Moose and Wolf and Black Bear...it's the River Otter that got me... 6 needles and rabies vaccine later...i'm sore and resting up

Yikes. And I thought it was just Lyme ridden ticks we had to worry about these days. Hope everything works out ok.
Magpie - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 11:00 AM EDT (#378961) #
Same here. I just googled "otters bite people?"  and I'm never leaving the safety of the city again.
Nigel - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 11:05 AM EDT (#378962) #
To clarify, my comment about Montoyo choosing Hernandez as the CF was just an attempt at humour given Hernandezís defensive challenges not a grand comment on Montoyoís assessment of Fisherís defensive ability. Iíll try to be more clear next time.

AA was good at some things and not at others, as were his predecessors. The same can be said about this front office. I come to this site for interesting perspectives on the good and the bad. Regardless of whether I agree with them, the wonderful thing about this group of posters is that they generally have some interesting to say and they say it articulately. Weíve had a run of criticism of the FO because, well, in my view, theyíve just done a couple of things that arenít very good. Thatís what happens. The good news is that the on field product is so much more interesting than 3 months ago.
grjas - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 11:13 AM EDT (#378963) #
To clarify, my comment about Montoyo choosing Hernandez as the CF was just an attempt at humour given Hernandezís defensive challenges not a grand comment on Montoyoís assessment of Fisherís defensive ability.

Oh ok got it. No worries.

I come to this site for interesting perspectives on the good and the bad. Regardless of whether I agree with them, the wonderful thing about this group of posters is that they generally have some interesting to say and they say it articulately.

Well said. My view as well. One of the better sites on the web because of this and how posters are usually quite respectful, despite differing opinions.
dalimon5 - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 11:15 AM EDT (#378964) #
Last post about non baseball...was also bit by a tick last year...20 days of doxycycline antibiotics. It's much easier avoiding them now...i just wear pants and tuck my socks in or just check my skin when showering. Unfortunately you can't avoid them...i got bitten ar the Rogers centre!
Nigel - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 11:23 AM EDT (#378965) #
Iíll also echo something hypobole sort of said above. I think the FO needs to get off the airwaves right now. Burning the house down is an extraordinarily hard thing for any FO to explain and sell to fans. That being said, this FO is doing an extraordinarily bad job of selling it and Iím actually a bit in shock at that part. Most of whatís been said sounds so tone deaf. Sell hope guys - thereís a basis for it based on your drafting.
dalimon5 - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 11:24 AM EDT (#378966) #
Kevin Smith, Jordan Groshans, Espinal, Orelvis! Bichete...if some pundits are correct and the FO goes out this offseason to acquire a #1 or #2...who do beauxites think will be traded out of those 5 named above?

Judging by the returns this trade deadline...those types of prospects can get you a real stud like Bauer, Greinke or Stroman+.
SK in NJ - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 11:49 AM EDT (#378967) #
The FO has been disappointing in trades, but very good with drafting and international signings. I think if it was the opposite, the fan base might have been more forgiving since trades will typically stay in people's minds, but it is harder to get fans excited about draft picks and international talent that could be years away. The Jays have been pretty aggressive with their promotions of more higher rated talent, so I'd expect Groshans, Pearson, Manoah, SWR, etc, to get fast tracked as much as their performance merits. That will certainly help speed up the process and get fans excited, much like the first wave of Vlad, Bo, Biggio, and Jansen did (Gurriel did not come with as much hype but he's part of that core now).

I think fans will embrace a rebuild if they see some results mixed with hope. I think it's there already, but clearly the casual fan base has a dislike for the FO's public personas, so that likely does not help. Ultimately, when the team is good again, those same fans will be buying tickets. The FO just has to deliver.
krose - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 11:51 AM EDT (#378968) #
Dalimon: Quite the bizarre wilderness experience. Escape all the big ferocious animals only to be bitten by an ... otter! And then, ďtickedĒ in Rogers Centre! How do you protect yourself from that.

Liked your assessment of the previous and present management teams. Iíd just add that at some point in the tenure of each administration it became clear to me there was a fatal flaw in practice that would likely prevent the development of ongoing championship teams. With the present management team it came with the recognition they did not value the talent level exhibited by Stroman and Sanchez; and further did not apply their culture beliefs to the processes in dealing with fans or traded players.
jerjapan - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 12:06 PM EDT (#378969) #
No kidding. It's getting pretty tiresome reading all of the venom being directed toward the Blue Jay management by a few of the posters here
Nah.  Dan, I respect almost everything you post, but I couldn't disagree with you more here - i don't see venom, I see nuanced criticism.  I assume you recall the venomous tenor of some of the conversations here even just a year or two ago - we are much better than we were, and I strongly feel that the conversation on the box is as good as it gets in Jays land.  In my posts, I try to acknowledge both the strengths of our FO - Shapiro's track record, Atkins results in drafting and IFAs - and the weaknesses - that corporate babble rubs people the wrong way isn't surprising, and many of us have to deal with it in our personal lives at work, so it's pretty easy to empathize with the reaction it provokes.   I certainly don't feel any venom towards Shapiro or Atkins, as one of the FO's regular critics, but the reality is that we are all here because we are emotionally invested in this team, and when your FO appears to have a legit flaw - trading - that lessens your experience viewing the team.  When they diminish the players that we are attached to with their comments, that simply feels unnecessary. 

I like to believe in my leaders as leaders - not just asset managers.  I don't think I would dislike Atkins or Shapiro if I knew them personally, but I also don't think I'd like them very much.
And I see good things on the horizon - I assume even the most pointed critics of the org are optimistic about the future.  We might not get to that point as soon as I or others might believe is possible, but overall, things are looking good. 

I think Nigel said it better than I could: 'the wonderful thing about this group of posters is that they generally have some interesting to say and they say it articulately'. 
hypobole - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 12:06 PM EDT (#378970) #
Alford 3 for 3 so far in his GCL rehab game. Single, double, triple.
hypobole - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 12:16 PM EDT (#378971) #
I agree with Dan. One example was the reasoning Shapiro gave for sorta kinda trying last year instead of starting the rebuild then, when he said it was for the fans. It can be taken a number of ways. One way is they really wanted to win for the fanbase. Another is that after drawing 3 million, they had to at least make a half-hearted attempt to compete rather than rebuild to not totally tick off the fanbase..

But calling what he said blaming the fans certainly sounds venomous.
uglyone - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 12:19 PM EDT (#378972) #
that's likely the crux of it.

every word he's said from the very start has seemed to have the purpose of subtly shifting the blame for anything bad off of himself.
jerjapan - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 12:32 PM EDT (#378973) #
Maybe hypo, but I don't see anything in his words or actions that shows he is genuinely 'for the fans'. 

Additionally, I don't recall the guy saying 'and we were wrong about that' or anything of that sort.
And frankly, this is a fan site.  Calling emotionally invested fans 'venomous' could be construed as kind of venomous.   Now I definitively do not think either you or Dan are being venomous, but I do think comments that call other posters / posts tiresome, or foolish, or anything of that nature are not kind or constructive, as long as we are communicating respectfully.  If you don't like what someone is saying, don't read it. 
hypobole - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 12:40 PM EDT (#378974) #
You don't remember calling one of my comments insipid, do you?
uglyone - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 12:50 PM EDT (#378975) #
I like to think I save my venom for the front office, not other posters, at least.
Magpie - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 01:00 PM EDT (#378976) #
venom

Well, I once quoted Oliver Freaking Cromwell with respect to J.P. Ricciardi.

Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!

I know a thing or two about bringing the venom. But it was at least Year 7. Now? Too soon.
jerjapan - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 01:01 PM EDT (#378977) #
Hypo, I don't, and while I hope there was some context that makes that seem less bad, I'd still like to apologize for it. 

You clearly do remember the tenor of conversations around here from a while back, and I therefore assume you saw me improve at not being hostile. 

And I frankly don't see how my 'insipid' comment is relevant to this present conversation, even though I cringed reading your post. 
Spifficus - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 01:11 PM EDT (#378978) #

No one who puts themselves out there publicly, whether as the GM of the team, or the fan criticizing or agreeing with them in a public forum is beyond reproach. You can understand where one side is coming from, sure. It can be frustrating to watch a 100 loss team and people express that in-artfully at times. Alternately, when the GM says what 29 other GMs would say ("Vlad has to work on his defense" instead of "Vlad has to not earn enough service time for this to be a full year), it makes no sense to bash him repeatedly as though he's uniquely dishonest - he has to say that for the good of the franchise.

There are reasonable limits, though, so if someone is acting mean-spirited, or alternately willfully blind, why not call that out? If someone's acting like they want to pulverize the fossilized remains of the horse into dust? It can be called out. Of course, how we do it is as important as what, and nobody's going to be perfect. I just don't agree with the 'don't read it' stance that comes up a lot (not specifically you, jerjapan - that refrain comes up a lot). We don't get the option to not read things retroactively, especially when they're tied into a conversation. Putting that burden entirely on the reader leads to complete disengagement.

hypobole - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 01:36 PM EDT (#378979) #
but I do think comments that call other posters / posts tiresome, or foolish, or anything of that nature are not kind or constructive, as long as we are communicating respectfully.

In reference to the above. I'll drop it.

And I'm going to blame Atkins for the irritability that seems to be enveloping the fanbase. :)
jerjapan - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 01:45 PM EDT (#378980) #
That's a great post Spifficus, and I get you on the 'don't read it' comment.  I too often read something and retroactively wish that I hadn't - not here that much, but generally.  

I don't think we are 'pulverizing' the topic though - it just is particularly relevant right now after the trade deadline, with so many significant events happening that will impact the experience of fans.  I do try to be considerate of the FO's strengths, which ultimately will likely prove valuable enough to the fan experience to make up for their shortcomings - I do see a consistent, winning team on the horizon, one that may be more sustainable than the one AA built.  I love comments like those Magpie's been making about how quickly we forget how irritating previous GMs have been.  

You are of course right about how many of public statements made by our FO are similar to what other FOs would say.  But I don't think other FOs would necessarily run down their departed veterans like ours does at times, or blatantly misrepresent things like the discussions around extending Stroman. 

I will admit to being the type of fan who watches loads of games when we are winning, and focuses on the FO and the future when the games aren't as fun to watch.  And this young team we've got is getting fun to watch, even when we face the inevitable losing streaks. 

Ultimately, I'd rather we had a range of discussions including the play on the field, the history of the game, the future of the franchise, and the role sports play in society as a whole - the diversity of topics discussed here is a real strength in my opinion. 
jerjapan - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 01:48 PM EDT (#378981) #
Ha, love it Hypo!
I'm sure Magpie has a better historical sense of the ups and downs of fan fervor, but it does seem like the losing gets on people's nerves.
bpoz - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 01:51 PM EDT (#378982) #
You guys are great. Cheers!!!

I defend Atkins a lot because I don't think he has done anything really bad. The biggest mistake he made was saying that Vlad was not a Major League player. Mistake for sure but he was being asked that question very often. He should have stalled. Vlad got hurt anyway, then had to heal and rehab which took care of the late call up.

His trades are not wow. Time will tell how good/bad they really turned out. Solarte and A Diaz are ML players. Woodman and Olivares don't have to produce much to have more value than Diaz and Solarte. The Happ trade needs more time for evaluation. NYY got a nice asset for surplus players. All the recent trades look weak I agree. Time will probably show that the ML pitchers traded are good/decent and most likely half or more of the prospects coming back will bust. It looks like he is using the quantity strategy. So A Kay, SWR, Kyle Johnston and any others have to beat out what we already had in AAA & AA. SWR is in the M Castillo, Pardinho, Wink group. Manoah, Kloff and maybe lower down K Williams, M Dominguez maybe others are looking good. If SWR gets injured or performs poorly then Atkins lost his high stakes gamble.

The number 42 should never have been mentioned. Don't tell the media anything. I hope he does not reveal the Stroman extension details.
Spifficus - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 02:08 PM EDT (#378984) #
Oh, no jer, I didn't mean that this topic was necessarily being pulverized (I'm sure elements are taking a good whooping, but I didn't have anything in mind). I just think that's another common thing that happens here that's ok to get called out. The trade deadline brings things back to relevance that aren't on say a Tuesday afternoon in May. I was trying to be generic in my push-back against the mentality that pushes sole responsibility back to the reader (not exclusive to you - heck, I've thought the same from time to time).

As for the team itself, it looks like a good 5 man core. 6, if Grichuk can rebound. The lineup really has looked different with Bichette lengthening it out its quality. Win or lose, there's lots of interesting and fun things to watch in the waning days of the season for those willing to watch for them.
jerjapan - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 02:37 PM EDT (#378986) #
Gotcha Spiff, and I agree the core looks good.  I saw Bichette play in Buffalo a few days back, and he's just a fun guy to watch.  The entire core feels fun, and with Rowdy mashing in Buffalo and a bunch of OFers who could be good, I could see it growing. 

I do think that a bunch of them might need to be shifted down the defensive spectrum though. 
Spifficus - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 02:46 PM EDT (#378987) #
I've liked what I've seen defensively from Bo. I'd still like to see what Vlad can do if he can drop some weight over the offseason. I'm not sure if Biggio's a 2B, but if not, his hands should be fine enough to be a super-sub "DH". If Guriel improves his reads with times, I think he'll be a plus in left, and Grichuk's good in right.

I'm less sanguine about Tellez on either side of the ball, but I'd be happy to be pleasantly surprised. Either way, I'm less worried, since the cost of decent 1Bs seems to be pretty low. The current main things are finding arms, finding out where people can and can't hack it defensively, and seeing if there's an internal answer to the CF question.
Magpie - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 03:03 PM EDT (#378988) #
the losing gets on people's nerves.

It sure does, and it's compunded by the fact that we've never gone through losing like this. We've ridden the Treadmill of Mediocrity often enough, but we've never gone through a complete tear-down and build it all up again.

Starting from the bottom and we nowhere....
hypobole - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 03:04 PM EDT (#378989) #
Stroman starting tonight vs the Pirates, Sanchez vs the Mariners.

rtcaino - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 03:33 PM EDT (#378991) #
"Starting from the bottom and we nowhere..."

Meanwhile, in the media, The Talking Heads are saying We're on a Road to Nowhere.

We'll take that ride - so long as it leads somewhere afterward. Hopefully, Shapiro and Atkins indeed know where we're going.
Magpie - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 03:39 PM EDT (#378992) #
Evidently RH pitcher Yennsy Diaz has been promoted from AA. Roster move to come.
Jonny German - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 03:53 PM EDT (#378994) #
Congrats to Diaz for making it to the bigs. Heís the first Yennsy to make it, and the only Yennsy in the entire Baseball-Reference database.

He doesnít look at all ready, but does look like the best starting pitcher bet of those on the 40-man roster that arenít already in the rotation. And if the plan is to use him in relief... who knows?
Nigel - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 04:06 PM EDT (#378995) #
In the circumstances, Iím against pushing actual prospects like Diaz onto the major league roster before they are ready. Thereís no need and there are a number of AAAA types at Buffalo that could be cycled through. And please, the team does not have a 40 man roster crunch which requires this. Anyway, congrats and letís hope it works out.
krose - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 04:18 PM EDT (#378997) #
Hmmm! We have a shortage of starting pitching on the 40 man. But didnít we just trade away our best and probably second best starters? Couldnít we have kept them, at least for another few months?
PeterG - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 04:35 PM EDT (#378998) #
Sanchez our second best starter? Surely you jest? Stats showed him to be the worst regular starter in the AL?
mathesond - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 04:43 PM EDT (#378999) #
"Stats showed him to be the worst regular starter in the AL?"

Sure, if you include everything before the All-Star Break.
PeterG - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 04:54 PM EDT (#379000) #
I also include the eye test. He was painful to watch. Even the last game when he struck out 1st 6, the FB velocity was down as was his sink. And of course, the inevitable bad inning was coming. Did you read Zwelling's article on SN. If not, should give it a look.
krose - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 05:22 PM EDT (#379001) #
Not what my eye test saw. Good command of his curve ball and better fastball command than in previous starts. Will be interested to see how successful he is going forward with Houston. Sanchez, for my part, has too much pitching talent to just be dumped; especially when one considers the alternatives.
PeterG - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 05:37 PM EDT (#379002) #
We will have to agree to disagree. He might have some future use as a reliever but only sees himself as a starter. Did you read the Zwelling article? It suggests that Statcast numbers show he was actually declining further even though superficially he may have seemed better. He may have some use to another team like Houston but had none to the Jays except in pen. Better to give those available innings to someone you might actually want to keep. I am sure there are many who agree with your position but I am not one of them.
krose - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 06:13 PM EDT (#379003) #
Yes PG, letís agree to disagree. Your point of view is appreciated and understandable. The rebuilding approach used by this administration still might work. This fan has had questions for some time and the concerns were not alleviated with the recent trades and comments.
JB21 - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 06:19 PM EDT (#379005) #
It sure does, and it's compunded by the fact that we've never gone through losing like this. We've ridden the Treadmill of Mediocrity often enough, but we've never gone through a complete tear-down and build it all up again.

I'd much rather watch an entertaining young team lose 90+ games than some of the 81-81(ish) teams that the Jays were running out each year for years.

You either have to sell wins, or hope.
Kelekin - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 06:33 PM EDT (#379007) #
If you only include the first four innings, then I would say Sanchez was our 2nd best starter. ;)

My gut feeling is that Diaz will only be up briefly. They used a lot of pitchers yesterday, and there's no way he is major league ready. It will be nice to get a look at him though, I haven't managed to catch any of his starts so far this year.

I hope they soon consider giving some MLB time to the relievers that are killing it in AAA. This is exactly the time to find out, 40-man be damned.
bpoz - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 06:36 PM EDT (#379008) #
I agree with Nigel. Y Diaz does not look ready.

I like the very conservative approach of this FO. Often it seems that the promotions are slow to me. The managed workload of Pearson is also conservative and smart. I don't know if Pardinho was actually hurt (probably was), if so he is dominating now. In his last 5 of 7 starts this year he has gone 5 innings each time and been pulled so possible workload management.
Nigel - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 06:36 PM EDT (#379009) #
Two games into the post deadline period and Biggio is the one being impacted by the decision to retain Galvis. It will be interesting to see if this continues.
krose - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 06:37 PM EDT (#379010) #
We discuss small matters while El Paso weeps.
Kelekin - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 06:41 PM EDT (#379011) #
It is safe to say that America could use a pretty solid long-term rebuild plan, but I'll leave my opinion there.

It's a terrible event...I know I look forward to discussions here as a way to distract from the rest of reality.
krose - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 07:22 PM EDT (#379012) #
Sanchez through one. 1 hbp. Curveball continues to look good. Good command of FB.
Magpie - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 07:24 PM EDT (#379013) #
There's something you don't see every day.
Kelekin - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 07:27 PM EDT (#379014) #
I'm not sure defensive plays like that bode well for his future as our "everyday center fielder".
rtcaino - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 07:31 PM EDT (#379015) #
Wilner called it 'the sun field'. Hopefully, between that and nerves it was just a one time yip.

Gotta feel for the guy, such a great opportunity he has been given. Hopefully, no serious injury suffered.
Magpie - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 07:33 PM EDT (#379016) #
Might have been distracted by a thing. Maybe a rat, I hear the town's just infested with them.
uglyone - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 07:42 PM EDT (#379017) #
Poetic?
Kelekin - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 07:49 PM EDT (#379018) #
Stroman gave up 4 hits to start the 1st inning, but got out of it giving up only 2 runs thanks to an amazing bare handed defensive play. His defense is definitely one thing I'll miss, and certainly something over-looked in conversations about his value.
Magpie - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 07:59 PM EDT (#379019) #
I see Marcus is wearing #7 for the Mets. A bit of Blue Jay lore there - it was also worn by Jose Reyes, Travis d'Arnaud, Jason Phillips, and John Gibbons. Reyes and Hubie Brooks were the best players but Ed Kranepool wore it longest.

Sanchez has #18 which was Joe Morgan's number in Houston. The Colt 45s (as they were at the time) brought little Joe, Rusty Staub, and and Jimmy Wynn to the majors together in 1963. The franchise didn't have their first winning season until 1972.

Well, that's depressing.
Magpie - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 08:09 PM EDT (#379020) #
Just a tremendous defensive play by Stroman with the bases loaded and one out. The video's worth finding.
Marc Hulet - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 08:12 PM EDT (#379021) #
Fisher is.. well... Meanwhile, Sanchez is off to a stellar start.
krose - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 08:38 PM EDT (#379022) #
3 unearned runs?
Magpie - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 08:39 PM EDT (#379023) #
Should be, but won't be.
krose - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 09:02 PM EDT (#379024) #
Sanchez improves again. Looks like he might be changing his approach.
Magpie - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 09:17 PM EDT (#379025) #
Apparently he's throwing curveballs instead of sinkers.

Might have tagged Bo in the hair there.
Kelekin - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 09:23 PM EDT (#379026) #
Six innings of a no-hitter...going to be a lot of hot takes tomorrow.
krose - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 09:24 PM EDT (#379027) #
Yes. Sanchezís approach reminds me of Doc after he stopped throwing 97 mph fastballs. Donít expect heíll be as successful as Doc, but Sanchez, in a small sample, appears to be able to throw his curveball for a strike at will.
greenfrog - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 09:25 PM EDT (#379028) #
Itís not a good look for the Jays, on several levels. That was a loathsome trade, in my view.
dalimon5 - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 09:30 PM EDT (#379029) #
42 years of control
greenfrog - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 09:35 PM EDT (#379031) #
No doubt Houston will be happy to take Bichette and VGJ off the Jaysí hands after a half-dozen years of playoff-less years of frugal baseball in Toronto. The front office will be happy to receive some more of Houstonís controllable bullshit players in return.
Magpie - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 09:36 PM EDT (#379032) #
Oooh. Venom!
Nigel - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 09:49 PM EDT (#379033) #
The guy who is most at risk with the Sanchez deal is Pete Walker.
greenfrog - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 09:55 PM EDT (#379034) #
Fisher for Sanchez-Biagini-Stevenson was awful enough. Then Fisher proceeds to get hit in the face by a fly ball, and Sanchez and Biagini throw seven innings of no-hit ball for Houston (with a good BB:K ratio to boot)? Suddenly Tony Reaginsís legacy is looking a lot stronger by comparison.
dalimon5 - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 09:57 PM EDT (#379035) #
New top 100 by MLB up...

#14 Nate Pearson

#73 Jordan Groshans

Magpie - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 10:01 PM EDT (#379037) #
On the other hand, Stroman couldn't make it through five inings against the freaking Pittsburgh Pirates. So that's gotta be a win, right? Certainly if we're all determined to judge this week's transactions this week, anyway.
greenfrog - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 10:02 PM EDT (#379038) #
The front office knows theyíll never be fired as long as (going forward) they keep payroll low and the team around .500. Itís the Blue Jays way.
Magpie - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 10:05 PM EDT (#379039) #
They'll just retire and walk into the sunset like Gord Ash and J.P. Ricciardi before them.
greenfrog - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 10:06 PM EDT (#379040) #
Stromanís first start as a Met was actually more effective than SWRís for the Jays.
Kelekin - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 10:06 PM EDT (#379041) #
Not surprised to see (personal favourite) Corbin Carroll make the top 100. After a shaky first couple weeks, he now has a .421 OBP, 12 SB, and 23 BB to 25 K. For all the commentary on how this past year's draft was less exciting, there have been a ton of good early performances. San Diego's 1st rounder C.J. Abrams is hitting .399/.441/.652 after over 150 plate appearances, and only 13 strikeouts.
Spifficus - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 10:13 PM EDT (#379042) #
I'm going out on a limb and guessing that Magpie's point wasn't that the Jays won the Stroman trade because of one day. I'm thinking it was that judging a trade based on one day might not be quite the right timeline. I've been known to miss the point before, though...
Thomas - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 10:18 PM EDT (#379043) #
The counter-narrative to Stroman's first start is that, after he put aside the first start jitters where he allowed 2 runs and got one out, he only allowed 1 run over the next four innings and made an absolute defensive gem.

Let's not forget Sogard hit 2 homers tonight and added 5 RBI.
Spifficus - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 10:23 PM EDT (#379045) #
Ok, at first I thought you were kidding, Thomas. Ok, I think that brings it to ridiculously absurd level.

As for Sanchez, it seems they bumped his curveball usage. I'm not sure if that's the best plan for long-term success (well, availability) for a pitcher with 2 years of finger issues (and still suffering from hotspots this year).
dalimon5 - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 10:26 PM EDT (#379046) #
And that Fisher caught a ball with his face. Greenfrog the floor is yours.
krose - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 10:28 PM EDT (#379047) #
There is always risk when trading established players for prospects. If the Jays masterminds made the decision to tear the team down and give lots of playing time to young guys, that could be a justifiable approach to rebuilding. But I just donít get why the Sanchez trade was made. Can anyone explain the upside of that move?
Spifficus - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 10:34 PM EDT (#379048) #
Something I've been wondering over the past couple days is whether Sanchez would be tendered a contract in the coming off-season. If not, he had even less value internally. The upside bet comes on Fisher, but obviously it remains to be seen how that one will play out.
Gerry - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 10:34 PM EDT (#379049) #
Ross Atkins "We wish Aaron Sanchez all the best in Houston and we hope he plays well."

Also Ross Atkins "Not that well"
SK in NJ - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 10:50 PM EDT (#379051) #
I haven't seen greenfrog this heated at the FO since Travis Bergen threw a shutout inning in relief a few months ago.

But yes, the Sanchez deal was not good, regardless of what he does with the Astros. Pete Walker surviving the coaching purge last year baffled me at the time, but I'm going to assume that won't happen again this winter.
Nigel - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 11:05 PM EDT (#379052) #
Fisher catching a ball with his face may become a meme for the 2019 trade deadline Iím afraid. I legitimately feel sorry for him. As Iíve said so often over the past few years about different players, I wish they would shift him down the defensive spectrum to give him the best chance for success. Hard to imagine a worse night to be the FO. Thankfully a good chunk of the regular coverage of the team are Rogers employees.
SK in NJ - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 11:22 PM EDT (#379053) #
The Astros had no use for Fisher and in a couple of months he would have been completely out of options. The Jays could have simply waited until the off-season and probably got him for less.

Fisher catching the ball with his face is definitely the best (and cruelest) way to sum that deal up.
dan gordon - Saturday, August 03 2019 @ 11:25 PM EDT (#379054) #
That's so funny that Sanchez and Biagini combined with 2 other pitchers for a no-hitter in their 1st games with Houston. Throw in the 2 HR's by Sogard for good measure, and I imagine their was some venom unleashed by the callers to Jays' talk after the game.

With the Jays' offense really getting it in gear now, and further progression possible next year from the young guys, it will be interesting to see how they address the pitching situation in the offseason. Presumably, there will be some guys who could be signed for 1 or 2 seasons while the prospects hone their craft. Last year, they added Shoemaker and Buchholz for the rotation as well as the usual additions to the bullpen. Presumably Shoemaker will be back next year. Would be nice if they could grab a decent arm or 2 to help the rotation out.
Glevin - Sunday, August 04 2019 @ 01:28 AM EDT (#379055) #
The trade for Fisher was terrible at the time and didn't make any sense to begin with. Like a completely baffling trade where you just can't even comprehend where one team is coming from and there aren't many of those in baseball every year. Trading Sogard made complete sense so no comparison there.
uglyone - Sunday, August 04 2019 @ 03:12 AM EDT (#379056) #
"Fisher catching a ball with his face may become a meme for the 2019 trade deadline Iím afraid."

that's pretty modest.

i'm thinking it could be a meme for an entire jays era.
uglyone - Sunday, August 04 2019 @ 03:24 AM EDT (#379057) #

uglyone - Sunday, August 04 2019 @ 03:25 AM EDT (#379058) #
Tampa Bay Rays
@RaysBaseball
.@EricSogard is the 7th player since 2000 to homer in their first two home plate appearances with a team.

That's #NerdPower.

greenfrog - Sunday, August 04 2019 @ 04:40 AM EDT (#379059) #
Keep in mind that Iíve defended the FOís moves on some occasions, and have argued for allowing time for their tenure to be properly evaluated.

I may have been wrong about Bergen (outcome), but not wrong about the Jays nonsensical decision to wait to release Tulo until after letting Bergen go in the Rule 5 draft (process). That was half of my complaint about líaffaire Bergen.

As for Fisher for Sanchez-Biagini-Stevenson, of course itís early to evaluate that trade. It could still work out, which would give the FO apologists something to crow about. In the meantime, the above meme must be causing them at least some slight cognitive dissonance.

Olivares-for-Solarte might end up having a similar effect; weíll see.
ISLAND BOY - Sunday, August 04 2019 @ 08:33 AM EDT (#379060) #
I was watching the game last night and it seemed like Fisher was over eager to catch the ball and was in Hernandez's territory. Hopefully he won't be out long and will get a fair shot at proving himself.

I'm not at all surprised that Sanchez's result last night. His last two starts were much better and his pitches had a lot of movement.

I don't get the criticism of Pete Walker. He hasn't exactly had a staff of Cy Young winners, there have been injuries, and several relief pitchers were good enough that other teams wanted them in trades. You can't make a silk purse out of pig manure, or something like that.
85bluejay - Sunday, August 04 2019 @ 08:52 AM EDT (#379061) #
While you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, the evidence that you can't make a silk purse out of pig manure is a little more fuzzy (as the Astros pitching instructors are proving).
ISLAND BOY - Sunday, August 04 2019 @ 09:06 AM EDT (#379062) #
Well, pig manure may have been a bit harsh except for Edwin Jackson, Clay Buchholz, and Clayton Richard. I actually think Walker has done a decent job with the young pitchers like Waguepack. Thornton and Pannone. I also thought he had Aaron Sanchez on the right track and I doubt the Houston instructors had time enough to be the difference in his game last night.
bpoz - Sunday, August 04 2019 @ 09:18 AM EDT (#379063) #
ISLAND BOY is right. Fairly accurate description for the raw material/results we have witnessed this year.

The hitting at the beginning of the season was ??????. Now it is !!!!!!!!

The manager can change from a genius to ????? very quickly. Especially in Boston. Francona and Farell come to mind decently. Cannot remember going back a few years how they were.

Currently A Cora is getting his team rolling.

dalimon5 - Sunday, August 04 2019 @ 10:13 AM EDT (#379064) #
Greenfrog,

Is someone who doesn't jump on the band wagon of your rants what you consider 'apologists' for the front office? Or is it just posters that don't criticize the FO? If it's the former then you should reconsider throwing the label around. If the latter you should find the actual posters that haven't criticized. Hint: there aren't any.

grjas - Sunday, August 04 2019 @ 10:21 AM EDT (#379065) #
The upside bet comes on Fisher, but obviously it remains to be seen how that one will play out.

Atkins seems to have bright, shiny object syndrome. He seems something he likes and pulls out all the stops to get it, you know, like a four year old.

The Fisher and Sanchez scenarios from last night are so bad, theyíre funny - a Hollywood script if ever Iíve seen one; hopefully it has a happy ending, but itís more likely to be a horror show.

dalimon5 - Sunday, August 04 2019 @ 10:21 AM EDT (#379066) #
I didn't realize Fisher had the highest exit velocity in the majors behind Aaron Judge or that his ground ball tendency was so bad orr that he profiles similarly to Yelich in his Marlins days without the same contact.

Looks like the Jays are taking on a project of their own with Fisher:

https://bluejaysnation.com/2019/08/04/unlocking-derek-fishers-potential/

Nigel - Sunday, August 04 2019 @ 10:32 AM EDT (#379067) #
When I suggested that Walker was most at risk with the Sanchez trade, I wasnít criticizing him at all. I was merely pointing out that if Houston goes on to ďfixĒ Sanchez then some hard questions will need to be asked of why that didnít happen in Toronto. One start doesnít suggest that Houston has fixed him. Iíve always thought Walker was pretty nondescript as a pitching coach. I canít really think of many successes or failures tied to Walker. The players seem to like him. He hasnít had much talent to work with this year. I think itís fair to question what role (if any) he has played in some of the recurring injury issues with the pitchers. Maybe thatís just bad luck, or the vaunted development program, or something else.
lexomatic - Sunday, August 04 2019 @ 11:40 AM EDT (#379074) #
I would argue that the last few starts Sanchez had here were proof of fixing or ship righting. I got the impression that Sanchez was not the best at taking instruction, and that may have delayed. Or there might have been lots of trying.That said bumping offspeed usage has worked for the astros before. Who knows of Sanchez has figured out his blister situation to deal with that.
uglyone - Sunday, August 04 2019 @ 02:47 PM EDT (#379091) #
Apparently Sanchez threw a bunch of curves and was fussing about his finger towards the end of the start.
PeterG - Sunday, August 04 2019 @ 05:34 PM EDT (#379098) #
He won't last long if they want him to keep throwing that amount of curve balls.
vw_fan17 - Sunday, August 04 2019 @ 08:24 PM EDT (#379107) #
I didn't realize Fisher had the highest exit velocity in the majors behind Aaron Judge or that his ground ball tendency was so bad orr that he profiles similarly to Yelich in his Marlins days without the same contact.
Except he doesn't hit it at a good angle often enough.. Sounds like we got the son of Rob Deer.. (or maybe Chris Davis?)
scottt - Sunday, August 04 2019 @ 11:42 PM EDT (#379108) #
I've heard that Walker is good with young pitchers and helps them clean up their delivery and that he's good at spotting tipping.  He doesn't have the reputation of fixing broken pitchers. I don't think you can blame the pitching coaches for injuries. The one thing that can be controlled is overused and the Jays are fairly conservative with pitch limits and consecutive outings.

Sanchez throwing more curve is fine. You'd think he would have done that already if it was that simple.
I think the Astros had him throw a 4 seamer.
With the Jays he worked on his change up instead.



scottt - Sunday, August 04 2019 @ 11:47 PM EDT (#379109) #
Houston is the best possible place for Biagini and Sanchez to be.
Hopefully they get a ring.

We're far away from Sanchez signing a mega contract before the 2021 season.

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