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The Jays' expansion cousins are here for the weekend.


The Mariners took stock after their 89-73 campaign a year ago and, remarkably, came to the correct conclusion. Which was: we're not that good. I find that unusual. Teams often let themselves be persuaded by the W-L record, even if it was built mainly on Random Good Luck. The 2018 Mariners allowed more runs than they scored, and had no business finishing above .500 at all, never mind 16 games over. But they played a ton of close games and won considerably more than their share (36-21 in one-run games.)

But Jerry DiPoto wasn't fooled and set about dismantling the entire team. He let LF Denard Span and DH Nelson Cruz walk as free agents. And he started trading... pretty much everybody.

November 8 - Traded C Mike Zunino and CF Guillermo Heredia to Tampa Bay
November 15 - Traded 1B Ryon Healy to Oakland
November 19 - Traded LH James Paxton to the Yankees
November 30 - Traded RH Alex Colome to the White Sox
December 3 - Traded SS Jean Segura, LH James Pazos, RH Juan Nicasio to Philadelphia.
December 3 - Traded 2B Robinson Cano and RH Edwin Diaz to the Mets
December 13 - Traded 1B Carlos Santana (obtained in the Segura deal) to Cleveland
December 21 - Traded OF Ben Gamel to Milwaukee

That was the off-season. In June, he traded Jay Bruce (obtained in the Cano deal) to Philadelphia and Edwin Encarnacion (obtained in the Santana deal) to the Yankees. At the deadline, he sent Mike Leake, one of his best starting pitchers, to Arizona.

So yeah, you're gonna need a program. Kyle Seager is still the third baseman. Dee Gordon, who filled last year while Cano was suspended, is at second base. That's about it from last year's team.

Several bodies obtained in the trades have been playing more or less regularly: C Omar Narvaez came over in the Colome trade, SS J.P. Crawford came from the Phillies in the Segura deal. LF Domingo Santana came from Milwaukee in the Gamel trade and CF Mallex Smith came from Tampa in the Zunino deal.

Matchups! For what it's worth, anyway. Seattle is using an Opener tonight (he'll be followed by LH Wade LeBlanc) and who knows what the plan is tomorrow. On Sunday, the Jays will presumably be going with the Font-Panone tandem.

Fri 16 Aug - Wisler (2-2, 4.35) vs Waguespack (3-1, 4.30)
Sat 17 Aug -† TBD vs Thornton (4-8, 5.34)
Sun 18 Aug - Kikuchi (4-8) vs Font (1-0, 2.20)
Seattle at Toronto, 16-18 August | 82 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Mike Green - Friday, August 16 2019 @ 01:41 PM EDT (#379949) #
Font has opened for Waguespack, and it's the third day so...
Magpie - Friday, August 16 2019 @ 01:49 PM EDT (#379950) #
Could be. Just going with the listing at the Jays' website.

Gosh, gamblers must absolutely hate all this.
Mike Green - Friday, August 16 2019 @ 01:58 PM EDT (#379951) #
Yeah, I can imagine the talk in Vegas- "I had 150 on Waguespack, but now that they've got Font opening for him, I'll double down on that one".  Don't tell me that there isn't a place in Vegas  where you can hear this kind of stuff- all the colour is taken out of it online. 
hypobole - Friday, August 16 2019 @ 02:42 PM EDT (#379952) #
At the deadline, he sent Mike Leake, one of his best starting pitchers, to Arizona.

That's like saying "Trent Thornton, one of the Jays best starting pitchers". Oh wait.. Thornton IS the Jay's best starting pitcher. :(

Mike Green - Friday, August 16 2019 @ 02:47 PM EDT (#379953) #
He's a starting pitcher today, but as far I am concerned, he has "main event" written all over him!
Cracka - Friday, August 16 2019 @ 02:47 PM EDT (#379954) #
The Jays have claimed Beau Taylor on waivers - a 29-year-old minor league catcher in his 9th season. This must mean that Maile is out for an extended period and that they want a veteran 3rd catcher available without having to add anyone of significance from within to the 40-man roster. Otherwise, I don't know what to make of this.

Mike Green - Friday, August 16 2019 @ 03:42 PM EDT (#379955) #
I guess that they want to have third catcher ready and don't want to call up Riley Adams, or to promote Kirk/Moreno.  It's a good idea on the part of the FO- don't get forced into promotions by catcher injuries (which sometimes come in bunches unfortunately). 
Marc Hulet - Friday, August 16 2019 @ 03:44 PM EDT (#379956) #
This could be a move for 2020. After this year, Taylor will still have two options. Both of the existing AAA catchers will be minor league free agents as year's end. If you don't think Riley Adams is ready for AAA (I currently have him starting 2020 at AA) then this is a good move as they have no one else. Taylor is not a great defender but he's cheaper than Maile and much better offensively... he has good on base numbers, better power recently and room to improve if the Jays can get him to hit more balls in the air. I see this as a vote of confidence in McGuire.
Mike Green - Friday, August 16 2019 @ 03:56 PM EDT (#379957) #
Facing a RH today, Brandon Drury is your DH and Rowdy Tellez sits while Justin Smoak plays first base.   Drury played the 4 games before the break and went 3-15 with a homer and a strikeout.  He's not hot and he had plenty of work. 

I'm not sure why you would do this if Drury is auditioning for a utility role and Tellez is auditioning for a starting role.  Perhaps the club does plan to move Guerrero Jr. in the off-season and Drury is auditioning for a larger role. 
Mike Green - Friday, August 16 2019 @ 03:58 PM EDT (#379958) #
Surely they intend to promote Kirk for 2020.  I suppose it's possible to promote him to double A and have him job-share with Adams, with lots of DH time for both.  Or they could try to move Kirk to third base!
Mike Green - Friday, August 16 2019 @ 05:05 PM EDT (#379960) #
Ben Nicholson-Smith confirms on twitter that Font will be opening for Pannone.  It's not yet clear whether SRF will have an opener on Tuesday.
hypobole - Friday, August 16 2019 @ 05:28 PM EDT (#379961) #
FG has a piece up about the dismal Tigers. In addition to the awesome video clip that encapsulates their season, there is a graph showing what % of each teams PA's were given to players with
hypobole - Friday, August 16 2019 @ 05:34 PM EDT (#379962) #
FG has a piece up about the dismal Tigers. In addition to the awesome video clip that encapsulates their season, there is a graph showing what % of each teams PA's were given to players with under 90 wRC+, using 100 PA's as the cutoff.

Tigers have the most at 50% of their PA's. Jays somewhat surprisingly are middle of the pack at just under 30%, and fewer than contending Cards, Phillies, Cleveland and Brewers.

hypobole - Friday, August 16 2019 @ 05:39 PM EDT (#379963) #
My original post used the less-than symbol which caused that and everything after it not to post. Changed the symbol to "under" and it worked fine. Weird.
Nigel - Friday, August 16 2019 @ 05:54 PM EDT (#379964) #
The continued (over) usage of Drury is one of the more interesting/confusing things about how this team is being managed. Again, I can see a role for Drury next year as a utility player, but I donít understand the near full time ABs given to him over players like Tellez or even Fisher who are theoretically prospects. Iím not sure either of Tellez or Fisher have much of a future but this is exactly the time to figure that out.
Magpie - Friday, August 16 2019 @ 06:03 PM EDT (#379965) #
The "less than" symbol opens a bracket for HTML code - anything that follows is assumed to be HTML. The "greater than" symbol closes the HTML bracket, and returns us to our regularly scheduled programming. So "less than symbol" followed by "the letter b" followed by "greater than symbol" triggers bold print. But without that "greater than" symbol which closes the HTML bracket, nothing following the "greater than" symbol even exists. It's literally unfinished HTML code that makes no sense and cannot be displayed.

So once you open the HTML bracket, you have to follow through, with some HTML code - like the letter "b" for bold or "i" for italic. And then you have to close the HTML bracket with the "greater than" symbol.

And of course, once you trigger the HTML to put something in bold or italic, you have to remember to turn it off when it's supposed to stop. This is done by repeating the code that started it all with the addition of the forward slash. If you've triggered the code that puts your text in italic, you turn it off with this sequence:

Less than symbol
Forward slash
i
Greater than symbol

We have now pretty much exhaused my knwledge of HTML.
hypobole - Friday, August 16 2019 @ 06:06 PM EDT (#379966) #
Thanks Magpie.
Magpie - Friday, August 16 2019 @ 06:08 PM EDT (#379967) #
Typo!

...nothing following the "greater than" symbol even exists

should read

nothing following the "less than" symbol even exists.

As if all this wasn't confusing enough.
Magpie - Friday, August 16 2019 @ 06:09 PM EDT (#379968) #
By the way, when I say "forward slash" I mean the guys we use when we write .255/.292/.406. Is that forward slash or back slash? I can never remember.
Spifficus - Friday, August 16 2019 @ 06:11 PM EDT (#379969) #

And of course, once you trigger the HTML to put something in bold or italic, you have to remember to turn it off when it's supposed to stop. This is done by repeating the code that started it all with the addition of the forward slash. If you've triggered the code that puts your text in italic, you turn it off with this sequence:

Less than symbol
Forward slash
i
Greater than symbol

I thought you were supposed to reply with italics begone! over and over again, and the italics got scared and ran away.

Magpie - Friday, August 16 2019 @ 06:17 PM EDT (#379970) #
Well, I have these powers.

By the way, The Box seems to behave differently under different browsers. I use Google Chrome for everyday browsing, and in Chrome you need to type those brackets and bring out the HTML. I think that's how it works in Microsoft Edge as well.

If you're using Firefox though, you can just highlight what you've typed and put it in bold or italic. There's a lot of flexibility and it just seems easier. For this one single place on the Intertubes. Anyway, I always use Firefox when I'm creating an article.
Magpie - Friday, August 16 2019 @ 06:20 PM EDT (#379971) #
Firefox is also the only browser where I know how to insert an actual link, rather than just copying and pasting the web address. (Although you do have to outsmart the browser to insert a link that actually goes where you want it to go.)
Spifficus - Friday, August 16 2019 @ 06:33 PM EDT (#379972) #
less-than a href=http://web.site.here greater-than blue clicky link less-than forward-slash a greater-than

I think that'll do it. Writing the symbols out like that is very disorienting.
Magpie - Friday, August 16 2019 @ 06:40 PM EDT (#379973) #
Firefox - which is where I'm at now! - lets you toggle back and forth between formattable text and HTML source code. So you can type <i> -without actually triggering the italics. Do that in Chrome or Edge and you've just put everything in italics.

Luckily, you can turn off the italics in Chrome and Edge by typing </i> and yelling Italics Begone.

It probably works without the yelling.
92-93 - Friday, August 16 2019 @ 06:54 PM EDT (#379974) #
The issue (if one chooses to quibble) should be with Smoak playing, not Drury. There will be plenty of time to figure out what Tellez and Fisher (who is playing tonight) are capable of next season. The team has a decision to make about keeping Drury around for 1.5-2MM and it's well worth seeing what he can do with regular ABs the rest of the season.
scottt - Friday, August 16 2019 @ 06:55 PM EDT (#379975) #
It's not just about promotion. Adams doesn't need to be added to the 40 until December 2020. With the current rules, not adding him does not just save an option, it also makes him tradeable after the deadline. Also, might as well have a third catcher on the 40 that can be called up if needed.

I agree that McGuire would catch most of the time if Jansen was injured.

scottt - Friday, August 16 2019 @ 07:10 PM EDT (#379976) #
Dipoto does not dismantle. He just likes to churn things around.

They added Kikuchi at the deadline at a cost of 43M for 3 years with a bunch of options.
That let them trade Paxton, mostly for J. Sheffield who has struggled mightily in AAA. (A common thing, Deivi Garcia too BTW)
Trading Cano who was busted for PEDs and still had over 100M owed was too good to pass.
They bundled him with their closer--relievers are fungible and got a top outfield prospect and a decent pitching prospect.

He could have stopped there.
Narvaez is about the same age as Zunino.
Mallex Smith is not that controllable either.
Crawford is young, but Gamel for Santana is a bit of a win now move.

They still have Mitch Haniger in right field, but he ruptured a testicle when fouling a ball in June and hasn't returned. Ouch.
They still have Gonzales in the rotation.
They signed Time Beckham but he was busted for PEDS. I guess you can't  blame Cano for that.


Magpie - Friday, August 16 2019 @ 07:13 PM EDT (#379977) #
I assume Drury is in the lineup instead of Tellez is because by the time that spot in the order comes around there's going to be a LH on the mound.
Mike Green - Friday, August 16 2019 @ 07:47 PM EDT (#379978) #
I was entirely wrong. I should have known that they were using an opener.
Magpie - Friday, August 16 2019 @ 08:03 PM EDT (#379979) #
Oh my.
Magpie - Friday, August 16 2019 @ 08:05 PM EDT (#379980) #
He looked like his dad on that one.
Thomas - Friday, August 16 2019 @ 08:06 PM EDT (#379981) #
Was that Vlad Sr. batting?
Magpie - Friday, August 16 2019 @ 09:31 PM EDT (#379982) #
Sorry, Buck. LeBlanc has given up 7 runs. He has not pitched well.
Nigel - Friday, August 16 2019 @ 09:56 PM EDT (#379983) #
92-93 - the way I look at it, signing Drury for next year as the 24-25th man on the roster as the utility INF for $2m seems like a no brainer for a team with no payroll for next year. He seems serviceable in that role. I think they actually have to decide who will play 1B next year. Iíd rather see them start to sort that out this year rather than waiting until next year.
SK in NJ - Saturday, August 17 2019 @ 12:04 AM EDT (#379984) #
There is a good chance the Jays feel Drury is better than his line suggests, or has more upside that he hasn't tapped into yet. A much better front office with an actual track record of identifying talent had the same idea (Yankees), but Drury didn't stay healthy or in the Majors long enough for them to do anything with him. So either the Yankees tried, realized he was a lost cause, and moved him (possible), or the Jays bought low (also possible). I think I'd rather have Drury getting the playing time over Tellez, who I don't see having much of a big league future, plus I think Vlad to 1B is so inevitable that they shouldn't wait (whether they do is another story).
dan gordon - Saturday, August 17 2019 @ 02:25 AM EDT (#379985) #
If Tellez was in another organization, and they offered me Tellez for Drury, I'd be very happy to take Tellez off their hands. I want to see Tellez play a lot the next 6 weeks, to see if the adjustments he made in Buffalo translate to the big leagues.

Waguespack keeps pitching well. Doesn't seem to realize he's not supposed to be a good prospect. He may be pitching himself into a job for next year.

Four more HR's today. The Jays have a decent chance to finish 5th in all of mlb in HR's behind the Twins, Yankees, Astros and Dodgers.

13-7 in last 20 games.
scottt - Saturday, August 17 2019 @ 07:35 AM EDT (#379987) #
Tellez will play most of 1B, Drury might play there against a lefty, but otherwise I guess Biggio and maybe McKinney will back him up. This leaves the DH open to rest Vlad and rotate the outfielders.
scottt - Saturday, August 17 2019 @ 07:42 AM EDT (#379988) #
The Mariners started the year 12-2 and then pffft.
The Jays are now ahead of them drafting 6th is this was the final standings.
The next teams ahead is the Pirates who have more games to play, but who are 3-7 in their last 10.

I don't think the Jays can reach .500, but they might be able to get their run differential into the black.

scottt - Saturday, August 17 2019 @ 07:49 AM EDT (#379989) #
It's hard to attribute Guerrero's homerun to a bad pitch.

I do love a team that can beat up on a soft tossing lefty.

SK in NJ - Saturday, August 17 2019 @ 11:41 AM EDT (#379997) #
Tellez should be playing over Smoak, not Drury. Although everyone on the roster should be playing over Smoak. Not sure why he wasnít put on waivers/let go when Galvis was.
hypobole - Saturday, August 17 2019 @ 12:16 PM EDT (#379999) #
I think Bucky last night alluded to why Smoak is still around. He's taken the kids under his wing and even went to the Latinos after Galvis left to let them know he's available to them as well.

MLBTR just posted this about a clubhouse without a veteran leader.

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2019/08/pirates-season-marked-by-conflict-on-field-and-off.html
Mike Green - Saturday, August 17 2019 @ 12:42 PM EDT (#380000) #
Bucky? :)

I don't have a problem with them sharing playing time among Smoak, Tellez and Drury.

I wonder if Montoyo/Walker will continue the Thornton/Gaviglio pattern today. It remins me of an adaptation of one of Felipe Alou's ideas, scheduled relief. In the original, Alou used a reliever for a scheduled inning. This time, it's usually for several innings.  I can easily imagine a different kind of tandem- the starter goes 4-6 ordinarily and the second goes 2-4.  So, let's say Thornton is pitching well and goes 6 innings. Gaviglio might go 2 or 3 innings depending on the game situation with the ace coming on for a high leverage 9th.  If Thornton  gets through 4, Gaviglio would ordinarily go 4 unless he doesn't have it that day. And he might finish the game in a low leverage situation.  If Thornton gets knocked out early, you do have the option of bringing in Gaviglio for 5 innings also.

The concept is you have two pitchers who will on average throw 8 innings per outing or 256 innings per season. It might up being divided 150 and 106 say. It amounts to the same number of innings as a conventional 195 inning starter and 60 inning reliever.

To mix and match that with a Font/Pannone opener division would be innovative. It occurs to me that you might work Nate Pearson in, using a third arrangement. A hybrid where he goes 2 innings one start and 6 the next. That's basically what he did this year.
Magpie - Saturday, August 17 2019 @ 03:36 PM EDT (#380001) #
I don't think the Jays can reach .500

You don't think they can go 29-8 the rest of the way? Oh ye of little faith!

I don't like their chances of going 21-16 myself, and thereby avoiding the 90 loss season. 26 of the 37 games left come against teams with better records. They've got 12 games left with the monstrously great teams: Astros (3), Dodgers (3), and Yankees (6). They've got 14 games with your run-of-the-mill better teams: Tampa Bay (7), Atlanta (4), and Boston (3). The rest are against Baltimore (6) and Seattle (5).
pubster - Saturday, August 17 2019 @ 06:00 PM EDT (#380002) #
Only 3 runs tdy despite opsing .879
christaylor - Saturday, August 17 2019 @ 06:25 PM EDT (#380003) #
On the one hand, I think the Jays right now match up decently against the Yankees/Boston, given that both of those teams have questionable starters. They could do 5-4 or 6-3 in those games. On the other hand, I don't like their chances against the Astros and Tampa they could go 2-8. On the third hand, youneverknow.
Magpie - Saturday, August 17 2019 @ 06:33 PM EDT (#380004) #
Vlad will have an MRI tomorrow. Gulp.
hypobole - Saturday, August 17 2019 @ 08:36 PM EDT (#380005) #
Tepera pitched a rehab inning for Dunedin today.
Michael - Monday, August 19 2019 @ 01:45 AM EDT (#380025) #
Did we all just forget Sunday because of the fast big loss?

The 6 innings 1 start, 2 innings the next tandem/scheduled relief/pairing is one possible innovation. With the headliner and opener another possibility is to schedule some of the starters to pitch mid-starts in their throw days.

People have toyed with that in playoff or stretch drives, but if pitchers often throw something like 12-25 pitches side sessions in the middle of their rotation as part of staying fresh (which I understand many do), then you could imagine that turning in to an inning (or maybe 2) as part of an opener or maybe more relief innings.

If you do that with your "good" starters (I.e., the ones who are so good you don't want to use an opener) it might mean they start 40-50+ games, but about half the times just pitch 1 inning as an opener as opposed to the normal starts. Still gets more innings from your best players.

If you do this with your "less good" starters that you are doing your tandems with, they should be more able to do this because they aren't pitching as much (the 2 innings one time, 5 innings the next sort of thing), and then what you are optimizing for is roster space and avoiding the need to go to your 8th or 9th best starter.

I think there is a lot of room for innovation here, both for extracting value from different types of pitchers as well as keeping pitchers healthy. If teams have other methods of telling early who is fresh/healthy/top form and who is at warning for injury/fatigue/over use and can adapt the role more to the current health/performance of the player (some of whom might be better suited to traditional starting, some of whom might benefit from the tandem/opener/converted role) there may well be a fair bit of value available here.

And if enough teams are doing it that it gives you cover to do it with the players themselves (who otherwise might worry that the change in their role/stats may impact their future $ too much).
bpoz - Monday, August 19 2019 @ 06:22 AM EDT (#380026) #
Excellent points Michael. Nice philosophy to figure out a method to get the best from the staff.

We often have a big issue with our pen being overused and thereby pitching badly.
scottt - Monday, August 19 2019 @ 07:39 AM EDT (#380027) #
https://www.freep.com/story/sports/mlb/tigers/2019/08/04/detroit-tigers-trade-deadline-al-avila-rebuild/1913091001/?fbclid=IwAR08gQMpRCq57d4Aqu5D914Vvh-WzVZwoXDfehLMMIqcSBsfVuqsBrG84yk

Interesting article on the (failed?) Tigers rebuild.

It's mostly about trade returns and the current market.
Chuck - Monday, August 19 2019 @ 11:15 AM EDT (#380030) #
Quiz: Do the Jays have a "type" when it comes to hitters?
Hint: Yes, they do.

OBP/SLG

  • Hernandez: 298, 451
  • Grichuk: 295, 449
  • Tellez: 283, 429
  • Drury: 270, 412
  • McKinney: 270, 421
  • Jansen: 284, 383
  • Fisher (minimal AB): 262, 405
  • Galvis (departed): 299, 444

Team OBP is 2nd worst in the AL. While SLG is tied for 10th best, their ISO is tied for 7th best.

Mike Green - Monday, August 19 2019 @ 11:28 AM EDT (#380031) #
I don't know, Chuck.  Biggio, Bichette and VGJ don't fit the narrative and I think neither Jansen nor Tellez will in the end.  The team batting average has been rising as the season goes along, and slowly the monthly OBPs are rising to near league average.  Patience.
bpoz - Monday, August 19 2019 @ 11:51 AM EDT (#380032) #
I am gaining more confidence in our hitters being able to score a lot of runs.

However at the moment I have lost faith in Pannone.
hypobole - Monday, August 19 2019 @ 12:36 PM EDT (#380033) #
For anyone with The Atletic and interest in robo-umps:

https://theathletic.com/1137822/2019/08/14/stark-the-robots-are-coming-examining-big-leaguers-biggest-fears-about-their-future-electronic-overlords/

It's been a month since implementation. The huge difference is the strike zone between Trackman and real umps. Real umps give extra strikes left and right, but miss strikes at the top and bottom. The end results are pretty similar though, with one cancelling out the other.

Another issue is the "bad strike". Sullivan used to post these at FG, where the pitch catches plenty of the plate, but the catcher was set up nowhere near where the ball ended up, and has to stab at the pitch. Without slow motion, they look like balls, are invariably called balls but TrackMan registers them as strikes every time.


uglyone - Monday, August 19 2019 @ 12:54 PM EDT (#380034) #
hooray for that.

A bit sad to lose some of the art of catching, but that's probably a bit overblown, as good catcher should be able to help pitchers execute better regardless.

interesting to see whether that tendency to call more high and low and less in and out helps certain types of hitters and hurts other. i.e. are guys who flail at outside sliders going to be helped ? are guys who have trouble with high heat going to get screwed?

of course, this opens up an interesting avenue for the league - designer strike zones. Based on data they may want to adjust the strike zone definition for better gameplay, and all it takes is changing the programming parameters.
AWeb - Monday, August 19 2019 @ 01:10 PM EDT (#380035) #
The whole designed strike zone thing already happened in the Atlantic League - the automated zone called pitches at the top of the zone strikes that umps rarely called (they were strikes by rule), so they actually changed the definition of a strike in the automated zone a bit in order to stop that from happening. High strikes consistently called appears to me to be the biggest change to likely occur with an automated zone. Umps have actually corrected a lot of this over time anyway (the 90's zone was consistently wide well past the outside corners, but not very high), but it might finalize the current pitching change towards high fastballs if even more of them were called strikes.

I'm still curious what effect not having to "frame" will have on long-term catcher positioning. Might end up being more upright, and harder on the back instead of the knees? Home plate umps might use a different vantage point as well.
pubster - Monday, August 19 2019 @ 01:16 PM EDT (#380036) #
"Team OBP is 2nd worst in the AL. While SLG is tied for 10th best, their ISO is tied for 7th best."

I think it's more likely that the FO believes that power is something that can't be coached whereas OBP can be improved over time.
scottt - Monday, August 19 2019 @ 07:15 PM EDT (#380037) #
I think it's the other way around. The young guys who have good power and poor on base skills are likely to develop even more power than to improve their on base skills significantly.


Bichette, Biggio, Guerrero, Gurriel is 4 guys with good OBP at the top of the lineup.
After that, you can afford to have 5 guys with are more power oriented in the bottom.


Nigel - Monday, August 19 2019 @ 07:19 PM EDT (#380038) #
I will say after almost 50 years of watching baseball I just donít believe that (other than the odd exception) OBP can be coached. In my lifetime Iím on my umpteenth million version of Pillarís 2017 Season Training story about changing his approach and counting. I think coaching hitters to be more selective about which pitches are ones that they hit well is possible but that isnít the same as OBP.
SK in NJ - Monday, August 19 2019 @ 07:31 PM EDT (#380039) #
The Jays have acquired players from other orgs with power profiles, but developed players internally who have better plate discipline (Vlad, Biggio, Bo, Jansen). Maybe the low OBP players are easier to acquire in trades and developing power can offset some of the lack of OBP. On the flip side, Hernandez has nearly a 10% walk rate this season after looking like he couldnít draw a walk to save his life after the trade to Toronto. I think some players, especially those with a minor league track record, can improve with some adjustments/tinkering/coaching. It is the players like Grichuk who will always be who they are.
uglyone - Monday, August 19 2019 @ 08:05 PM EDT (#380041) #
Vlad and jansen's hitting profiles were established before this FO took over though.
John Northey - Monday, August 19 2019 @ 08:07 PM EDT (#380042) #
Very true Nigel. The Jays have tried that so often, but generally a guy who won't walk just won't.

The best early example I can think of is Kelly Gruber. The Jays early in 1988 (his breakout year) had him stand at home plate without a bat and had pitches tossed in and he had to call what they were. This was to teach him the strike zone. He improved drastically but didn't take any more walks - OBP-BA 1987 48 points, 1988 50 points, in 1990 & 1991 he peaked at 56 points for the spread. From 1988 to 1991 he had an OPS+ of 117, but before that was just 65. In 1992 and beyond he had a neck issue that ended his career (everyone thought it was BS but then he finally found a doctor who could diagnose it and solved it I think - too late for his career as he played in AAA in 1997 at age 35 and had a 709 OPS).

So improved strike zone judgement helped his offense (swinging at good pitches instead of anything near the plate) but didn't improve his walk totals. I am surprised I haven't heard of more guys being given the Gruber treatment though of standing at the plate watching pitches go by until they start getting it right. I'm sure it happens but maybe it is seen as too humiliating to report on or something.
uglyone - Monday, August 19 2019 @ 09:00 PM EDT (#380047) #
Last Calendar Year

SS Bichette (21): 94pa, 7.4b%/24.5k%, .407bip/.333avg, .310iso, 166wrc+, 5.5war650
3B Vladdy (20): 386pa, 9.6b%/17.1k%, .302bip/.274avg, .190iso, 113wrc+, 1.0war650
LF Gurriel (25): 437pa, 5.9b%/24.9k%, .305bip/.265avg, .235iso, 111wrc+, 2.2war650
RF Grichuk (27): 620pa, 6.3b%/28.1k%, .306bip/.253avg, .239iso, 108wrc+, 2.5war650
DH Tellez (24): 370pa, 5.4b%/28.1k%, .295bip/.245avg, .222iso, 95wrc+, 0.4war650
CF Teoscar (26): 453pa, 9.5b%/32.2k%, .288bip/.225avg, .213iso, 94wrc+, 1.2war650
2B Biggio (24): 292pa, 15.8b%/29.1k%, .273bip/.209avg, .164iso, 92wrc+, 1.3war650
1B McKinney (24): 341pa, 7.0b%/24.9k%, .264bip/.229avg, .210iso, 91wrc+, 0.0war650
C Jansen (24): 413pa, 8.2b%/20.6k%, .244bip/.217avg, .168iso, 81wrc+, 3.3war650

UT Drury (26): 363pa, 5.2b%/25.3k%, .270bip/.229avg, .182iso, 75wrc+, 0.2war650
OF Fisher (25): 102pa, 11.8b%/28.4k%, .246bip/.200avg, .178iso, 80wrc+, 0.6war650
IF Urena (23): 116pa, 6.0b%/29.3k%, .431bip/.292avg, .057iso, 88wrc+, 2.2war650
C McGuire (24): 67pa, 3.0b%/23.9k%, .295bip/.277avg, .308iso, 130wrc+, 7.8war650

1B Smoak (32): 532pa, 16.0b%/23.3k%, .223bip/.206avg, .209iso, 104wrc+, 0.6war650

OF Alford (24): 8pa, 0.0b%/50.0k%, .000bip/.000avg, .000iso, -100wrc+, -16.3war650
OF Pompey* (26): --
OF Davis (27): 79pa, 3.8b%/24.1k%, .200bip/.160avg, .053iso, 9wrc+, -4.1war650
OF Brito (26): 70pa, 10.0b%/32.9k%, .179bip/.129avg, .081iso, 14wrc+, -7.4war650
IF Travis* (28): 92pa, 3.3b%/13.0k%, .200bip/.191avg, .146iso, 46wrc+, -3.5war650
C Maile (28): 148pa, 6.8b%/22.3k%, .240bip/.193avg, .096iso, 44wrc+, 0.9war650
uglyone - Monday, August 19 2019 @ 09:01 PM EDT (#380048) #
Man those K rates.
John Northey - Tuesday, August 20 2019 @ 01:32 AM EDT (#380065) #
Interesting stats uglyone. Love the WAR totals, although Bichette looks low for the way he has been playing, is his defense rated poorly? Same for Vlad. Smoak is basically replacement level thus I have zero problem with releasing him at any time. Tellez and McKinney might improve so give them those PA's.
dan gordon - Tuesday, August 20 2019 @ 01:56 AM EDT (#380067) #
Bichette's bWAR so far is 1.2 in 20 games. That would be 8.6 for 160 games. His defense looks good so far according to B-Ref stats. Way too early, but his Total Zone per 1,200 innings (roughly 135 games) is plus 17 runs, his defensive runs saved per 1,200 innings is 25, and his dWAR is 0.4 for the 20 games he's played. His range factor per 9 innings is 4.53 compared to a league average of 3.92. He has 4 errors, which is a bit high for 20 games. All too small a sample size to be very meaningful.
scottt - Tuesday, August 20 2019 @ 07:27 AM EDT (#380069) #
What's worrying about K rates is sustainability. If the samples are large enough and hitters are succeeding with large K rates than it's not a huge problem. Over a small sample, it's a real concern.
AWeb - Tuesday, August 20 2019 @ 09:11 AM EDT (#380074) #
How about a little check in with the recently traded/released players:
Sanchez of course participated in a no-hitter his first start in Houston - he's fixed! Last two starts, 10.1 innings, 10 hits, 5 walks, 9 Ks, 4 HRs, 7 Runs. That looks very similar to his seasonal lines. I don't think he's going to be fixed, but I'm not rooting against him exactly.

Stroman - 3 starts (all Mets wins, although just one for him), 15.2 innings, 20 hits, 9 walks, 17 Ks, 3 HRs, 9 runs, 5.17 ERA. Not so great either.

Edwin Jackson is the one who got away, obviously, 3 starts, 16.1 innings, 15 hits, 7 walks, 14 Ks, 3 HRs, 8 runs (7 ER), 3.86 ERA.

So the three departed starters have all been almost exactly the same pitcher, give or take. Just like we all figured?

Sogard has been tearing it up in Tampa - .340/.426/.638.
Galvis has been great for Cincinnati in 6 games - .429/.409/.571.
Pillar (remember him?) has been exactly Pillar-like - .268/.298/.459, slightly above average defense.

No conclusions to make on any of this, aside from Edwin Jackson's player pages being a sight to behold (6 seasons split between multiple teams and a random sprinkling of minor league stops).
ISLAND BOY - Tuesday, August 20 2019 @ 11:44 AM EDT (#380089) #
So, would there be a stipulation in the Sogard deal that the Jays wait until the end of the minor league season to pick their two players in return ? Or did the Jays just want to take a longer look at the potential players in return before deciding on them ?
Magpie - Tuesday, August 20 2019 @ 12:44 PM EDT (#380095) #
Pillar (remember him?) has been exactly Pillar-like

One thing is slightly weird - his emergence as an RBI guy. Pillar's career high was 59 RBI with the 2018 Jays. He's already got 67 for the Giants, which leads them by a mile (and it would lead the 2019 Jays as well.) He's been batting 6th or 7th most of the time, and he's not hitting that much better with men on base.

Let's see. Randal Grichuk, the Jays RBI leader is hitting .266 with 9 HR and 44 RBI in 207 AB with men on base. Pillar is hitting .265 with 8 HR and 59 RBI in 200 AB with men on base. Go figure.

It's just One of Those Things, I guess. And while RBI have surely been historically over-rated, I would still submit than driving in runs is better than not driving in runs.
Magpie - Tuesday, August 20 2019 @ 12:47 PM EDT (#380096) #
Oh, this is it. Grichuk is 0-8 with the bases loaded, 0 RBI. And Pillar turns into Pat Tabler - he's 7-14 with 16 RBI.
hypobole - Tuesday, August 20 2019 @ 02:13 PM EDT (#380102) #
On yesterdays topic of power and K's, just found this.

Only 10 times has a player hit 40 HR's with fewer K's than HR's. 3 of those 10 belong to Ted Kluszewski and he did it in consecutive seasons.

1953: 40 home runs, 34 strikeouts
1954: 49 home runs, 35 strikeouts
1955: 47 home runs, 40 strikeouts

Only Barry Bonds in 2004 has done it since.
AWeb - Tuesday, August 20 2019 @ 04:05 PM EDT (#380108) #
Bellinger is "closest" this year, with only 85 Ks to go with 42 HRs. So if he can homer in his next 43 ABs, he's almost there. Yuri Gurriel has 25hrs and 53 K. David Fletcher has the lowest K% of a qualified hitter right now, and he'll end up near 60 Ks.

Random "I hope any of our young guys are half as good" news - Mike Trout has pushed his career OPS above 1.000 this month, joining Barry Bonds as the only guy entirely post-integration to do so. Since his "true talent" OPS appears to be around 1.100 right now, he could push it up high enough to withstand a late career fall.
dan gordon - Wednesday, August 21 2019 @ 01:13 AM EDT (#380130) #
Bonds had 14 years in a row with an OPS over 1.000, then had a year at .999, then another over 1.000 and that was his last season. His 73 HR season was only his 3rd best in OPS at 1.379. In 2004, at the age of 39, he had a slash line of .362/.609/.812/1.422. That's right, an on base % over .600. He walked 232 times - and struck out just 41 times.
John Northey - Wednesday, August 21 2019 @ 02:06 AM EDT (#380132) #
While that stage of Bonds career will always carry an * boy was it fun to watch (on tv). He was playing at a level no one could approach, much like Gretzky in the 80's in hockey (2 points a game - screw that, 2 assists a game one year to go with 52 goals, only 3 players have 100 assists in a season, Lemieux did it once, as did Bobby Orr, Gretzky 11 times, 4 of the top 10 for goals are Gretzky including the top 2) So basically Bonds on drugs was in baseball like Gretzky at his peak in hockey (no drugs). Both amazing to watch at the time and despite their many detractors who come up with excuses for their performances no one else was close to either even though many in baseball did drugs in the early 00's, and everyone else played on the same ice vs the same goalies with the same rules as Gretzky did.

The only other modern athlete who I can put in that category is Tiger Woods. From 1999 to 2003 he won 5 or more tournaments a year. He is now 1 win short of Sam Snead's record for total wins even though the eras are drastically different. His peak was 9, with 2 more 8 win seasons (Byron Nelson won 18 during WWII [1945] against what I'd assume was poor competition).

It is rare to see someone totally dominate a sport. And boy did those 3 do it.

FYI: checked Serena Williams as I thought she might but for single titles Margaret Court won 192 times, Martina Navratilova 167, with Serena down at 8th with 72 titles. She is high on a lot of lists, but did not dominate like the 3 guys I list above. Navratilova was crazy for career length winning from age 17 to age 49 (doubles at a major 2 months shy of 50) last singles at 37. She is up there, but didn't dominate to the same degree, more a Cy Young type who just kept playing at a very high level and winning forever.
ISLAND BOY - Wednesday, August 21 2019 @ 08:45 AM EDT (#380141) #
John, much as I dislike him and his team, I would add Tom Brady to your list. In 14 seasons he has 3 league MVP's, 6 Super Bowl wins, and 4 Super bowl MVP's. He also has the 3rd highest career passing record of any quarterback who ever played.
James W - Wednesday, August 21 2019 @ 09:03 AM EDT (#380144) #
And comparing Brady to Bonds, both have had allegations of cheating against them.

Of course, that football franchise actually did get caught cheating that one time (Spygate). And got punished another time, even though it maybe wasn't entirely proven (Deflategate).
vw_fan17 - Wednesday, August 21 2019 @ 03:52 PM EDT (#380175) #
We've already covered hockey, baseball and football..

I know next to nothing about basketball - Raptors came long way too late for me to be interested (I was 24). How "dominant" are/were players like Chamberlain, Bird, Jordan, Lebron, etc? I'm just tossing out a few top-of-my-head names..
Mike Green - Wednesday, August 21 2019 @ 04:14 PM EDT (#380177) #
Jordan is a lot like Brady, but even more dominant at both ends of the court during his prime.  Chamberlain and Kareem didn't have the team success that Jordan did but both more obviously controlled the game. 
hypobole - Wednesday, August 21 2019 @ 04:29 PM EDT (#380180) #
Wilt was on "only" 2 NBA championship teams, but Kareem was on 6, the same as Jordan.
Mike Green - Wednesday, August 21 2019 @ 04:56 PM EDT (#380184) #
Kareem played for 20 years and spread out the championships over that period.  Jordan reached his peak, won 3 championships, took a 2 year break and then won another 3 championships.  I guess Kareem is more like Brady....
dan gordon - Wednesday, August 21 2019 @ 05:28 PM EDT (#380188) #
Not really a basketball fan, although I loved watching the Raptors in the playoffs this year, but the thing I immediately think of when Chamberlain is mentioned is the fact that he actually scored 100 points in a game once. That was in 1962, and Wilt averaged more than 50 points a game that year. Interestingly, in his 100 point game, his team only won by 22 points.
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