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Someone brought the rain.

The Jays will see Atlanta's ace tonight. Mike Soroka is a big right-hander from Calgary, home of the Flames. He turned 22 just three weeks ago. After losing his first start of the year, he ran off 10 straight victories before finally† losing for a second time on 14 July. He hasn't won since, strangely enough. He's made six starts since then and has six no-decisions. It's not his fault. He's pitched to a 2.29 ERA in those six starts, worked into the seventh inning in five of them, and given up more than three runs just once (and just four that time). But his bullpen has coughed up a few leads and his team hasn't been scoring while he's in the game. He's a groundball machine who doesn't walk people and doesn't give up home runs.

For years and years, Freddie Freeman was about the only good player on this team. Freeman's still really good and still on the right side of 30, but now he's got some help, mainly from the 21 year old in CF (that would be Ronald Acuna) and from the old Bringer of Rain himself. The Braves have what should be a comfortable enough lead on the Nationals in the NL East.

They're not the Dodgers. But they're good.


Tue 27 Aug - Soroka (10-2, 2.41) vs Font (3-3, 4.48)
Wed 28 Aug - Foltynewicz (4-5, 5.68) vs Waguespack (4-1, 3.63)
Braves at Blue Jays, 27-28 August | 102 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
scottt - Tuesday, August 27 2019 @ 05:48 PM EDT (#380492) #
Here's hoping Donaldson stay healthy for the whole 2 games.

He'll be 34 next year and he probably gets a QO.
He's going to be interesting to see where he ends up.
He could be a difference maker for a lot of those NL teams that are contending right now.

Shoeless Joe - Tuesday, August 27 2019 @ 07:06 PM EDT (#380501) #
Watching Donaldson in a Braves uniform and watching the highlights from 2015-2016 was a little emotional.
Magpie - Tuesday, August 27 2019 @ 08:29 PM EDT (#380507) #
Soroka doesn't look a day over 15. Except for being 6 foot 5.
Thomas - Tuesday, August 27 2019 @ 08:37 PM EDT (#380508) #
The Jays appeared to do a fairly good job with the video retrospective for Donaldson.

Now, if only they had applied that same thought and care to whether and when to trade him....
hypobole - Tuesday, August 27 2019 @ 08:41 PM EDT (#380510) #
Maybe if Donaldson had bothered to stay healthy last year, as he seems to have no trouble doing for the Braves this year, we wouldn't be whining about the return.
scottt - Tuesday, August 27 2019 @ 10:22 PM EDT (#380512) #
Not a bad game. Could use more timely hitting, but not a bad game
hypobole - Tuesday, August 27 2019 @ 10:50 PM EDT (#380513) #
Acuna, Albies, Freeman and Donaldson reach base a total of 3 times.

But Billy freaking Hamilton reached base 4 times. Has he ever reached base 4 times in one game?
hypobole - Tuesday, August 27 2019 @ 11:02 PM EDT (#380514) #
To answer my own question, 1st time for Hamilton this year, but he did it twice lat year.
Magpie - Wednesday, August 28 2019 @ 01:16 AM EDT (#380519) #
Russell Martin is on to try to close out a shutout for the Dodgers. I wonder who was the last position player to do that?

And he does it. A leadoff double, but he stranded the guy.
John Northey - Wednesday, August 28 2019 @ 01:42 AM EDT (#380520) #
Weird. Martin becoming the ultimate utility guy. Catcher, 3B, 2B, LF, RF, SS, and pitcher (up to 4 IP) He needs 20 in total to qualify as a two-way player for next year (meaning allowed to pitch in games closer than 6 runs during innings 1-9).
Glevin - Wednesday, August 28 2019 @ 02:42 AM EDT (#380522) #
One of the interesting things about the Jays going into next year is that it doesn't feel like there are tons of spots open which is odd for a rebuilding club. C, backup C SS, 3B, LF, CF, RF all seem set with plenty of 4th/5th OFer/DH types as well. Biggio should probably get a crack at 2B fulltime as well. What does that leave? Replacing Smoak? Upgrading over Tellez? Jays might just want to use those spots to give guys (including Tellez) longer looks.

Even with the rotation which is a weakness, going into next year, it looks like it could be something like

And that's without the opener guys like Font and the AA guys like Murphy, Diaz, and Perez who are also not that far away. There is certainly room to improve here and the Jays should probably pick up another starter and guys will get hurt, but we're at the point where you don't want to start blocking guys because you need to see what you have.
scottt - Wednesday, August 28 2019 @ 06:06 AM EDT (#380523) #
Merryweather has resumed throwing on a flat surface.
I don't know if he could make his debut this year, there's going to be nowhere left to rehab.
Maybe they just have him in the pen for one inning?

And there's no telling how Luciano will turn out in a couple of years.
He's got really good stuff and he's still a teenager.

Jonny German - Wednesday, August 28 2019 @ 06:13 AM EDT (#380524) #
You've left Sean Reid-Foley off your starting depth list Glevin. Which may be appropriate, but he serves as a cautionary tale for our expectations of Kay and Zeuch. His performance last year at AA and AAA was similar what Kay has done at those levels this year, but Reid-Foley was 2 years younger. Zeuch at AAA this year has gotten similar results to Reid-Foley there last year, but with Reid-Foley being a year younger and striking out twice as many batters.

In both cases it should be noted that offense is up severely in AAA this year with the switch to the major league ball.

I imagine the Jays also count Godley among the starting depth at the moment. September should determine if he's worth a 40-man spot over the winter.
scottt - Wednesday, August 28 2019 @ 08:57 AM EDT (#380525) #
It's hard to figure anything out in September.
Still, right now the Rays are just out of the last wild card and the Yankees are doing everything they can to get home advantage in the playoffs. So, that's 2 teams that will play competitively.
The next 2 series will be against Houston and then in Atlanta.

In the last 30 days, Jansen as been in 15 games with an OPS of .847 and McGuire in 12 games with an OPS of .803.
Very encouraging.

I don't know about Godley, but Adam has been solid as a balky one inning guy.
Font has been very solid as an opener. He might be a guy who can work 2 innings in the bullpen but only on 2 days rest.
Not sure how easy it is to accommodate that.

PeterG - Wednesday, August 28 2019 @ 09:14 AM EDT (#380526) #
Adam has been good in both TO and Buffalo and should be in the pen. I like Stewart more than Godley as a possible depth starter but each should have a few more auditions to come.
Jonny German - Wednesday, August 28 2019 @ 09:22 AM EDT (#380528) #
I think it's unlikely either of them is worth keeping but I like Godley's chances better than Stewart's. It is likely the Jays will be losing someone in the Rule 5 draft even if they're aggressive about cutting the veteran journeymen. These are all eligible this year and not currently on the 40-man:

Anthony Kay
TJ Zeuch
Maximo Castillo
Thomas Hatch
Forrest Wall

Kirby Snead
Travis Bergen
Jackson McClelland
Bryan Baker
Zach Jackson
Kevin Vicuna
Santiago Espinal
Josh Palacios
uglyone - Wednesday, August 28 2019 @ 09:23 AM EDT (#380529) #
"One of the interesting things about the Jays going into next year is that it doesn't feel like there are tons of spots open which is odd for a rebuilding club."

Odd, maybe, but also expected based on the gameplan.
rpriske - Wednesday, August 28 2019 @ 09:27 AM EDT (#380530) #
There are a lot of spots that could use an upgrade.

However, they are all pitchers.

(Well, and 1B, I guess...)

bpoz - Wednesday, August 28 2019 @ 09:30 AM EDT (#380531) #
Max Castillo may not need protection. I could be wrong.

Signed Sept 25, 2015. I am counting Sept 25 as too late for season 2015. So year 1 would be 2016. We will find out.
hypobole - Wednesday, August 28 2019 @ 09:37 AM EDT (#380532) #
bpoz, Fangraphs has Rule 5 eligibility on each players page, if you want to check. They have Maximo as Dec 2020.
bpoz - Wednesday, August 28 2019 @ 09:57 AM EDT (#380533) #
Thanks hypobole. It took a long time but I found it. I need the challenge now and then. You are correct and so am I apparently. Dec 2020 is next year.

What is important to me is doing the calculation based on what the formula is. I need to know that formula. That is easier for me than searching websites. I am now thinking that since the DSL season is over or will be when playoffs are finished ... all the players signed after the season ends start their time clock in 2020.

Thanks again.
Nigel - Wednesday, August 28 2019 @ 10:24 AM EDT (#380535) #
This team may well finish the year without a single position player having a 2 WAR season. Unsurprisingly for a 90+ loss team whose run prevention has actually been averagish. Obviously, there are service time and rookie development issues for some but I hope the FO isnít of the view that there are no upgrades to be found in the field. What the team has is bodies to fill all of the positions for next year, the quality of which (in many cases) is still TBD.
Mike Green - Wednesday, August 28 2019 @ 10:32 AM EDT (#380537) #
Today's pitching match-up is a nice warm-up for announcers, although less fun than the Spoonerific Buck Farmer v Tommy Milone one.

What I'd like to see is the pitching shape up like this at the beginning of next season:

Free agent acquisition

with Thornton, Waguespack fighting it out in spring training and available in case of injury, and Pearson coming up in May.  SRF's control issues are very serious, and of long duration.  I'd try him as an opener, in Buffalo to begin.

Mike Green - Wednesday, August 28 2019 @ 11:25 AM EDT (#380538) #
Here are some interesting comments on adjustments to xwOBA for pulled fly ball percentage and slow guys who are shifted a lot.  Tango described the piece on twitter as "terrific", and that's enough to get me reading. 
92-93 - Wednesday, August 28 2019 @ 12:07 PM EDT (#380540) #
That rotation to start 2020 would be a huge disappointment, unless that FA is Cole. The money saved in 2019 and 2020 will not be spent on future teams, it will only line Rogers' deep pockets. There should be 3 names above Shoemaker on the list.
hypobole - Wednesday, August 28 2019 @ 12:11 PM EDT (#380541) #
Vlad talks approach and preparation, and Guillermo Martinez explains part of Vlad's early struggles and how Vlad now works "smart".
hypobole - Wednesday, August 28 2019 @ 12:12 PM EDT (#380542) #
And here's the link
SK in NJ - Wednesday, August 28 2019 @ 12:31 PM EDT (#380543) #
Shoemaker and Borucki will finish 2019 having pitched in a combined 7 big league games, and both have significant injury history prior to that. I wouldn't feel comfortable counting on them for 2020.

I think the Jays either need to add one big ticket SP (Cole) or at least two mid tier types. I understand they may want to keep some spots flexible for Pearson, and possibly Kay and Zeuch during the season, and that's fine, but SP is one area where the team needs to add more stability. Pitching prospects are very high risk, even the top ones.

With that said, I do like Pearson/Kay/Zeuch/Merryweather (if healthy) better than this year's cast of SRF/Pannone/Thornton/Waguespack, so that might make signing someone like Cole more appealing as it would only take up one spot and would leave a lot of room for the cream of the existing internal options to rise to the top.
uglyone - Wednesday, August 28 2019 @ 12:43 PM EDT (#380544) #
Yeah I don't think you'll be seeing any free agent acquisition.

I think the FO is still very much in wait and see mode, and have a whole lot of arms that need seeing.
jerjapan - Wednesday, August 28 2019 @ 12:50 PM EDT (#380545) #
we wouldn't be whining about the return.
Calling it whining is pretty unkind, whether or not the FO blew it with JD - which they pretty clearly did. 

JD himself even talked about the hurt feelings.  This FO has alienated quite a few vets, along with fans like myself that dislike their rhetoric.  The return for him was crazy light, and the 'fear' they cited in not extending the QO was either silly or problematic timidity.  None of that means the org isn't headed in the right direction, and that their moves, on the aggregate, haven't helped.   We should be good, at least, for years, and possibly elite, if Rogers ponies up - and I think they will. 

cascando - Wednesday, August 28 2019 @ 12:51 PM EDT (#380546) #
Free agent acquisition

I like this as a tentative starting point for 2020. There's a good chance that at least one of those pitchers will not be ready out of spring training. More likely than not two of them will need extra time. The Jays should also consider signing a second FA signing in the Buccholz tier (someone with a strong finish the last season). I also hope they're open to letting a real prospect like Pearson make the MLB team.

I think that Waguespack has earned an opportunity to compete for a spot. Thornton looks like a potential bullpen piece, but I think he's been given more than enough rope as a starter for lack of any other options. SRF is another candidate for high-leverage innings -- perhaps his control issues will be less of an issue in relief.
bpoz - Wednesday, August 28 2019 @ 12:52 PM EDT (#380547) #
Agreed UO. No big signings this off season.

The FO said that they would not expect to contend in 2019 and 2020.
Mike Green - Wednesday, August 28 2019 @ 01:06 PM EDT (#380548) #
If ownership/the FO follows through on that and doesn't spend the money (whether it be on Cole or on a couple of lesser arms), they deserve every bit of our scorn and non-attendance. 
hypobole - Wednesday, August 28 2019 @ 01:47 PM EDT (#380550) #
The FO did not screw up with Donaldson. Donaldson's big beef was with Huffman and/or her staff.
GabrielSyme - Wednesday, August 28 2019 @ 01:51 PM EDT (#380551) #
Wheeler would also be a good FA acquisition to shore up the rotation.

There's a huge amount of variance with the rotation next year, even if we do sign a reliable starter like Cole or Wheeler. None of Shoemaker, Borucki, Kay, SRF, Zeuch, Thornton, Waguespack strike me as being good bets to have full season of anything better than 4th/5th starter-types.

The question is really how many rotation spots Atkins thinks he needs to give opportunities to the pack of 2nd-tier starting candidates - and they're all second-tier after Pearson right now. 3 spots seems more than adequate to me, which leaves room for one free-agent signee.
uglyone - Wednesday, August 28 2019 @ 02:04 PM EDT (#380552) #
Next Year

Borucki 26
Thornton 26
Waguespack 26
Pannone 26
Kay 25
SRF 24
Zeuch 24
Perez 24
Pearson 23
ISLAND BOY - Wednesday, August 28 2019 @ 02:07 PM EDT (#380553) #
" I think that Waguespack has earned an opportunity to compete for a spot."

Jacob Waguespack must be the Rodney Dangerfield of the Jay's staff right now. His Buffalo stats weren't all that great but his major league stats include 46 hits in 52 innings, 15 walks against 40 strikeouts and a 1.173 WHIP.

He seems to have figured something out and if he maintains this through the remainder of the year I don't see why he should be rated below Zeuch and Kay who haven't actually pitched in the majors, or for that matter, Shoemaker and Borucki who have to prove they can stay healthy.
Nigel - Wednesday, August 28 2019 @ 02:19 PM EDT (#380554) #
While I suspect that the FO fully intends to sign one or two Richard/Buchholz types in the offseason, I really won't understand the point in that. As uo highlights, this team is awash in 23-27 year olds who profile best as 5th starter/bulk inning following a starter types. Either go get quality or don't bother.

I'm 100% with 92-93 on the payroll issue for 2019-20. The Jays' greatest asset right now is a complete absence of payroll in the next two years. If Rogers/FO fails to make use of that asset (by front loading/overpaying on a contract to an elite talent or taking back a terrible contract for prospects, etc.), then it isn't really serious in trying to compete.
hypobole - Wednesday, August 28 2019 @ 02:36 PM EDT (#380555) #
Signing any QO'd FA costs our 2nd round pick plus a half million dollars IFA money. The 5th pick in the second round last year was #46, with a $1.62 million slot.

As Nigel pointed out, we may not have any 2 WAR position player this year. The Red Sox have 6 already and 3 pitchers as well. And they probably won't even make the playoffs. 7% chance per FG, 4% per 538.

Taking back a contract(s) for prospects would be a much better use of Rogers money next year.
jerjapan - Wednesday, August 28 2019 @ 03:01 PM EDT (#380556) #
The FO did not screw up with Donaldson. Donaldson's big beef was with Huffman and/or her staff.

Perhaps, but it's a subjective difference of opinion, and calling it 'whining' is inflammatory. 
Thomas - Wednesday, August 28 2019 @ 03:25 PM EDT (#380557) #
In the front office's defence, I think that as teams continue to place increased value on prospects, I think the opportunities to take bad contracts in conjunction with prospects are becoming increasingly limited to the point where they are close to non-existent.

I'm quite skeptical Gerrit Cole would sign in Toronto. However, if the Jays do not make a concerted effort to try to sign him, it'll be disappointing (I expect to be disappointed). If the team does make a genuine good-faith effort and falls short, that's all you can ask for.
Nigel - Wednesday, August 28 2019 @ 03:26 PM EDT (#380558) #
That's fair Hypobole - provided that the goal isn't to compete in the short term. The refusal to sign a premium FA for those reasons would signal to me that the FO views the contention window as being 2-3 years down the road, at the earliest. They might be right, but I can see this being a competitive club as early as 2021.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, August 28 2019 @ 03:59 PM EDT (#380560) #
Taking a bad contract or absorbing money in a trade might net a decent prospect like a Teoscar or McGuire, but it is very unlikely to yield a difference maker. It made sense to make deals like that the past couple of years but now itís becoming more sensible to buy actual big leaguers. The competitive window might not be there yet but itís getting close. A 2015 Lester type of signing could make a huge difference.
ayjackson - Wednesday, August 28 2019 @ 04:00 PM EDT (#380561) #
Toronto, with the ability to front load, may have a significant advantage in the market for Gerritt Cole. Imagine putting $80m in the first 15 months of a contract and then another $70m over the final 4 years of a contract. That's $25m per year over 6 years, but present valued is a lot stronger than a typical structure.

Rogers shouldn't blink at the cash budget of that first 2 years.
85bluejay - Wednesday, August 28 2019 @ 04:31 PM EDT (#380564) #
I don't think the FO will sign anyone of significance this winter and I don't have a problem with that - to sign a player especially a pitcher in anticipation of contending in 2021 is a poor use of resources imo - let the team show it's about ready to contend with maybe a .500 season, then spend money to help put them over the top - what if you sign a pitcher to an expensive 5 year contract and the team doesn't become contenders until his 4th year when he's probably already in decline - development is rarely a straight line and I want to see tangible proof of an emerging contender before spending big.
hypobole - Wednesday, August 28 2019 @ 04:49 PM EDT (#380566) #
Cole's going to sign for a lot closer to $250-$300 million than $150 million. His platform isn't quite what David Price had, but he'll also be a full year younger (29 vs 30) than Price when he signed his megadeal. Can't see Cole wanting to re-enter free agency at age 35.
PeterG - Wednesday, August 28 2019 @ 04:55 PM EDT (#380567) #
Overpaying a FA like Gerrit Cole will come back to bite hard when it comes time to try and extend Bichette, Vlad and others in time as they would then expect huge over payments as well. Just because you have the money is not good cause to spend it.Thankfully, we have a sensible FO that will not make any such signings. No big ticket FA's will be signed, not should they be imo. I expect trades...possibly Giles...probably a catching prospect for young pitching.

It should be pointed out as well that most FA signings do not work out well with up to 80% of them (just an estimate) being a disappointment.
dan gordon - Wednesday, August 28 2019 @ 05:38 PM EDT (#380569) #
I agree with ISLAND BOY's above opinion about Waguespack. Barring a September collapse, he's in the rotation at least to begin next year. Pearson will get called up sometime after the team gets the extra year of control. I expect they will sign somebody, but not Cole. I'd say it's Shoemaker, Borucki, Waguespack and the new guy, with a large group battling for 1 spot (2 or 3 spots if there are 1 or 2 injuries), including Godley, Thornton, Kay, Zeuch, SRF and Merryweather. If Buchholz continues to pitch like he did in his return from injury, I wouldn't completely rule him out.
Nigel - Wednesday, August 28 2019 @ 05:49 PM EDT (#380570) #
The suggestion wasnít to overpay premium talent in years 2026 or later in a contract, merely to frontload or overpay someone in 2020 and 2021 of a longer term deal. Anyway, it isnít going to happen so itís a moot point.

dan gordon - I suspect youíre correct in that summary of the starters for next year. If thatís the case, it will almost certainly be a bottom 3 in all of MLB rotation.
greenfrog - Wednesday, August 28 2019 @ 05:49 PM EDT (#380571) #
Itís worth monitoring the market for Cole to see whether he becomes available at a reasonable price. But generally I agree with PeterG: Cole likely will be too expensive for the risk and FA signings often donít work out.

Besides, the current model of drafting and otherwise acquiring prospects and undervalued veterans (like, most recently, Galvis and Shoemaker and Sogard) has worked out pretty well for the organization. Arguably, it would be better to stick with that approach and keep the influx of young talent flowing.

One development that could dent the Jaysí talent-acquisition approach is the implementation of an IFA draft, possibly as soon as 2020. Currently, the team seems to have good connections in Latin America, resulting in a number of excellent signings in recent years. An IFA draft might put a stop to that competitive advantage.
scottt - Wednesday, August 28 2019 @ 05:50 PM EDT (#380572) #
I don't think the FO signs a QO eligible player because that would be dumb.
After he was traded, the Arizona President said about signing Greinke "if you're going to make that kind of commitment, you have to sure that it's going to push you over the top."
We're not quite there yet,
Ideally, they find someone willing to sign a reasonable short contract.
After all, the CBA expires soon and some players might be wiling to bet on better terms for free agents.
It would be a good time to front load a contract as well.

One of the wild cards is that both Shapiro and Atkins are only signed to the end of next year.
It would help to have something shiny to put bums in the seats in April.
And yet, there are still too many guys in the system and soon on the 40 roster who will need a chance.

scottt - Wednesday, August 28 2019 @ 06:09 PM EDT (#380575) #
There's Cole and there's everybody else.
It could be the next Harper/Machado chase.
He's going to pick where he wants to play and get them to match whoever is offering  the most money.
Basically the Encarnation strategy, but with a dozen GMs at the table.

scottt - Wednesday, August 28 2019 @ 06:12 PM EDT (#380576) #
I would completely rule out Buchholz. It's basically his spot that needs to be filled for next year.
electric carrot - Wednesday, August 28 2019 @ 06:21 PM EDT (#380577) #
I don't know what you all are thinking. Of course you throw money at Gerrit Cole. He's a machine. He's going to be near his prime. A pitcher like that is never going to sign for 3-4 years. If you get him for 6 or so years you have him for more or less the same timeline as Guerrero/Bichette/Biggio/Jansen/Gurriel. Just throw whatever money it takes. You may compete next year (who knows) you may not compete till year 4, you may never compete, but damn stamp your ticket and take a risk, you're never going to have a core of hitters like this again. You get as many Gerrit Coles as you can. Lord knows we have the money. And finally, finally, finally we have the hitters. Baseball has a lot contingencies and if you play it too cute -- just get good free agents when everything looks perfect -- you're going to miss out. Get Gerritt Cole and whoever else you can who can pitch next year and have them for near as long as we'll have those hitters and I'll tell you right now -- there's going to be playoff baseball in one of them -- probably more.
Magpie - Wednesday, August 28 2019 @ 06:24 PM EDT (#380579) #
The Angels desperately need starting pitching, they have more money than God, and Cole is from and lives in Los Angeles.

Come on, people.
ayjackson - Wednesday, August 28 2019 @ 06:25 PM EDT (#380580) #
I can't see anyone ponying up $300m for a pitcher anytime soon. I see Cole's max as 7 or 8 years at $27-28m per. And I'm not really seeing what team will be even going that far.
PeterG - Wednesday, August 28 2019 @ 06:32 PM EDT (#380581) #
Cheat on a rebuild and it will fail. There are many examples of that, one right in TO with the Leafs whom I suspect have already peaked. If you want sustained contention, rather than a one and done, you stay the course. Greenfrog put it very well in a previous post. Signing Cole (would never happen) would be total insanity.

As far as FO goes, I expect Shapiro to get another 5 year deal if he wants one. He was a little pissed at the slow pace of RC renovation but there is a major announcement on that coming after the season and it will likely appease Shapiro who loves it in TO. He will then decide on Atkins and I foresee a lengthy extension there as well.
scottt - Wednesday, August 28 2019 @ 06:37 PM EDT (#380582) #
Here's the list of starting pitchers who are free agents this winter. (Stolen from MLB trade rumors)

I removed Estrada who has retired, Archer, Arrieta, Darvish, Quintana, Strasburg and Teheran.

Brett Anderson (32)
Homer Bailey (34)
Clay Buchholz (35)
Madison Bumgarner (30)
Trevor Cahill (32)
Andrew Cashner (33) 
Jhoulys Chacin (32)
Gerrit Cole (29)
Kyle Gibson (32)
Gio Gonzalez (34)
Cole Hamels (36)
Matt Harvey (31)
Jeremy Hellickson (33)
Felix Hernandez (34)
Rich Hill (40)
Derek Holland (33)
Dallas Keuchel (32)
Corey Kluber (34)
Wade LeBlanc (35)
Wade Miley (33)
Shelby Miller (29)
Matt Moore (31)
Ivan Nova (33)
Jake Odorizzi (30)
Martin Perez (29)
Michael Pineda (30)
Drew Pomeranz (31)
Rick Porcello (31)
Clayton Richard (36)
Tanner Roark (33)
Tyson Ross (33)
Hyun-Jin Ryu (33)
Ervin Santana (37)
Drew Smyly (29)
Jason Vargas (37)
Edinson Volquez (36)
Michael Wacha (28)
Adam Wainwright (38)
Zack Wheeler (30)
Alex Wood (29)

electric carrot - Wednesday, August 28 2019 @ 06:53 PM EDT (#380583) #
The Angels desperately need starting pitching, they have more money than God, and Cole is from and lives in Los Angeles.
Well you make him say no (or maybe yes) to your great offer. If nothing else you force the Angels to pay more.
hypobole - Wednesday, August 28 2019 @ 07:08 PM EDT (#380584) #
10 years, $400 million. Don't think any team would top that.
dan gordon - Wednesday, August 28 2019 @ 07:14 PM EDT (#380585) #
Sure, they should explore the possibility of signing Cole, but I can't imagine why he would choose the Blue Jays. He basically can go anywhere he wants. I think the 2020 rotation could actually be pretty good. Certainly nowhere near bottom 3 in mlb, with Pearson coming up in late April/early May to go with a mid tier free agent, Shoemaker, Borucki and Waguespack or whichever of the many others is pitching best. I would be surprised of none of those other candidates took a step forward next year.
PeterG - Wednesday, August 28 2019 @ 07:17 PM EDT (#380586) #
I agree Dan except that I would attempt to trade for a young controllable starting pitcher rather than a mid tier FA as the pickings are rather slim.
Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, August 28 2019 @ 07:21 PM EDT (#380587) #
Waguespack doesn't really seem to have great command or have great stuff. His best attributes really seem to be that he's tall, has a funky delivery and throws a lot of different pitches. Im not sure he keeps this up long term.
ayjackson - Wednesday, August 28 2019 @ 07:41 PM EDT (#380588) #
All this Waguespack talk here today is apparently not without consequence.
Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, August 28 2019 @ 07:44 PM EDT (#380589) #
I am going through some stat cast numbers today and I found something absurd.

Giles has a 60.5 K% and 2.5 BB% on his slider this season for 0.119 xWOBA. It might just might be the best single pitch in Blue Jays history.
PeterG - Wednesday, August 28 2019 @ 08:02 PM EDT (#380590) #
Giles has been closer in MLB this season imo. Waguespack is off tonight but this is really his first bad appearance out of 8. Syndegaard has give up 6 runs in the 1st inning in his start. In today's game, you are treated rudely if off even a little.
bpoz - Wednesday, August 28 2019 @ 08:47 PM EDT (#380592) #
Our position players have adequate defense at best. Playing multiple positions is some form of strategy. Power is really prized. It seems you must have it. The shift helps defense is what I understand. Biggio is our SB leader with 9 in 264 ABs. This could be the new way to play the game.

Currently everyone in our rotation is bad. Sorry. Even with this, our pitching seems to somehow work on some days. We do have a V good closer in Giles whenever he is available. I think Giles may be shopped in the off season. If traded then everyone on the pitching staff is bad. Most of us understand that the Pitching staff is a work in progress.

I see this work in progress continuing next year to sort out who is good. Someone like Pannone can give you 4 good innings and 70 pitches or 2 bad innings and 60 pitches. The good Pannone followed by a few other pitchers that somehow were good that day will win you the game.
Bad Pannone followed by bad pitching will most likely lose the game or at least put it in the hands of an offense that hits 4-6 Hrs. Or maybe scores enough runs another way.

greenfrog - Wednesday, August 28 2019 @ 09:36 PM EDT (#380593) #
As great as Giles has been, his acquisition (along with Perez and Paulino) hasn't really worked out that well for the Jays. His performance is lost on the team because the Jays are in a rebuilding phase -- peak performance from a closer has added nothing to the team (except a lower draft pick in 2020).

If the team can get a decent prospect for Giles in the off-season, then the Osuna trade will still have some salvage value. But I'm not expecting the return for one season of Giles (coming off an injury that cost him part of the 2019 season) to be all that great. Maybe something like the return for Joe Smith.
ISLAND BOY - Wednesday, August 28 2019 @ 09:47 PM EDT (#380595) #
I shouldn't have given Waguespack the kiss of death by backing him, I guess. He has looked decent in his last number of starts, though, and every pitcher has an off night. I think the pitching staff next year will be like the position players this year - start off mediocre to poor and then be invigorated by talented young blood coming up from the minors.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, August 28 2019 @ 10:06 PM EDT (#380597) #
Cole would definitely be a risk from a money standpoint, so I don't mind an approach where the Jays are acquiring multiple mid-tier SPs in trade and/or free agency rather than throwing $240M on Cole. I just don't want to see a scenario where the Jays acquire another Shoemaker and Richard, and call it a day. The team now has six years to do something with the Vlad/Bo core. Even if 2020 is a long shot, they can continue the rebuild and still field a palatable big league rotation with what should be a decent amount of payroll room.

Being a buyer in today's market is an advantage. Teams can sign/trade for good players at reasonable AAV and low term. The Jays should be in that market. The only player they have left to move is Giles, which I'm guessing they will as long as he's healthy. You no longer have to trade top prospects to get good players. Teams are trading 40-45 FV types and getting 2-3 win big leaguers. That's where the Jays have to find some opportunities on the pitching side.
scottt - Thursday, August 29 2019 @ 06:50 AM EDT (#380599) #
Waguespack has had great command, just not today.
He got squeezed on a couple of pitches early on and then he went completely wild.
He's only good when he can hit the corners at will.

The thing with the AAA depth is that you can't tell who will win a job next spring and who will come up later.
If they have 8 pitchers fighting out for 3 spots, it should work out.

scottt - Thursday, August 29 2019 @ 07:18 AM EDT (#380600) #
A single mid-tier SP is all that's needed. There's been some good pitching lately in Buffalo.
The Bisons lost yesterday, their elimination number is now 3 and they're 3.5 games back.

The return for Giles would have to be significant.
Once they are trying to win, a good closer becomes important.
And it's not like getting a top catching or middle infield prospect would move the needle.
Would anyone trade a guy who could become an ace for one year of a closer?
What kind of established starting pitcher do you get for one year of a closer?
A contending team would need to keep the starter unless he's too expensive.
I could see Cleveland moving Kluber, but I'm afraid to think of the return.
In the winter, it's easier to just sign a closer.
There should be more save opportunities next year.
They'll still be able to give him a QO or sign him to a 2 year extension or something like that.
He might genuinely likes it here. He had really rough spots in Philadelphia and Houston.
He's got injury concern that will limit him from guaranteed money.
I could see a contract with bonuses for inning pitches or something like that.

It makes sense to drop Smoak next year and rotates guys through the DH.
That's part of developing the team, even though that will limit the offense a bit.
Back in 2021, they can add a real DH back depending on how things turned out.

scottt - Thursday, August 29 2019 @ 08:16 AM EDT (#380602) #
Also, trades don't happen in a vacuum. Maybe the possible return for Giles included a top outfielder.
Maybe they traded Sanchez because that was one way to get a viable 4th outfielder.
Regardless, that probably raised the bar on outfield prospects. They already have Fisher, McKinney and Alford.
All were top 100 prospects.

I think we'll hear that the Jays are listening on offers for Giles and that the Jays are demanding too much in return.
Would you do a Frazier/Giles deal?

grjas - Thursday, August 29 2019 @ 08:19 AM EDT (#380603) #
Why are we still talking about Gerritt Cole? Step in his shoes for a minute..a dozen clubs (at least) pounding on your door and youíre going to head for the frigid north to a team with a mediocre track record, almost no proven starters and only two maybe three somewhat proven star players?

Not gonna happen.

Let this team prove something next year, show they have even the beginnings of a viable rotation then maybe, just maybe we can attract a stud next year.
scottt - Thursday, August 29 2019 @ 08:26 AM EDT (#380605) #
It's all about the money. Which is actually another reason why Cole is not happening. Bad exchange rate, bad taxes, huge commitment required...  To get a guy that good, they'd have to trade, which is what Houston did and it's also too early for that.
bpoz - Thursday, August 29 2019 @ 08:56 AM EDT (#380606) #
A big thing the Jays are going to have to do throughout the rebuild is respect their veterans. I think they are very good at that.

Keven Barker suggested that Gibby would ask Donaldson where he wanted to bat in the lineup and then fill up around that. Barker never said anything about if Bautista or EE wanted that spot. So this is some kind of example.

Other examples:- G Bell to DH. Tulo become part time and move off SS.

Other examples:- C Janssen lost his closer job to A Sanchez. He complained. Madbum saying that if an opener was used in any of his starts he was walking out of the stadium.

More examples:- Galvis kept getting ABs at 2B and DH rather than sit for Bo. Then DFA'd. Currently Smoak is getting his ABs. We will see what happens when rosters expand.

I know that my post is sort of vague. But to continue. Pinch running for Donaldson is probably troublesome, but you can do that to Vlad.
scottt - Thursday, August 29 2019 @ 09:23 AM EDT (#380607) #
Vlad is not as slow as Smoak and Durry is not significantly faster.
There are vets and there are leaders.
Grichuk is the only vet left on the position side and he's no leader.
The leaders are Bichette, Guerrero, Biggio and Jansen.
These are the guys who will push others to give more efforts.

On the pitching side, Shoemaker and Giles are the vet.
Borucki, Shoemaker and Giles looks like leaders.
Which reminds me, does anyone have the story on Paulino?

Cracka - Thursday, August 29 2019 @ 11:39 AM EDT (#380610) #
Paulino has no options remaining after this season and I think the FO just ran out of patience. He's now recovering from elbow surgery; he was called out by a teammate in spring training for an obvious lack of effort; a PED suspension; previous TJ surgery, etc. There are other guys more deserving of 40-man roster spots, both now and in December.

Mike Green - Thursday, August 29 2019 @ 11:55 AM EDT (#380611) #
I couldn't find online a helpful long-term salary picture for the Blue Jays, so I made my own:

Player 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024
Grichuk  13 10.3 10.3 10.3  10.3
 2.9  3.9  4.9  5.8  
 14  4      
 .6 .6
 Arb2?  Arb3?
 .6  .6 Arb1?
 Arb2?  Arb3?
 .6 Arb1?
 .6  .6 Arb1?
 Arb2? Arb3?
 .6  .6  Arb1?  Arb2?  Arb3?
Jansen  .6  .6  Arb1  Arb2?  Arb3?
 .6  .6 Arb1?
 Arb2?  Arb3?
 Luciano  -  -  -  .6  .6
 Thornton  .6  .6  Arb1?  Arb2?  Arb3?
 McGuire  .6  .6  Arb1?  Arb2?  Arb3?
 Vladdy  .6  .6  Arb1  Arb2  Arb3
 Bichette  .6  .6  .6  Arb1  Arb2
 Biggio  .6  .6  .6/Arb1  Arb1/2  Arb2/3
 Pearson  .6  .6  .6 .6/Arb1
 Manoah  -  .6  .6  .6 .6/Arb1
 Kloff  -  -  .6  .6  .6
 Kay  .6  .6  .6 Arb1?
 Groshans  -  -  .6  .6  .6
 Moreno  -  -  .6  .6  .6
 Zeuch .6
 .6  .6 Arb1?
 Waguespack  .6  .6  .6  Arb1?  Arb2?
 SWR  -  -  .6  .6  .6

Please feel free to copy and edit.  Here are some notes on the listing.  I have generally assumed that 1st year arbs will be tendered unless it's a couple of years off.  I assumed that Jansen would be here in 2022 and tendered first year because of his performance to date, but whether Tellez, McKinney and others are here will depend on how they perform. I am assuming that Vladdy will be a Super Two, but I'm not sure whether Biggio will be.  I have made some assumptions about minor leaguers (Moreno/Kirk, Kay and Zeuch making the Opening Day 2020 roster, Groshans/Martinez/Hiraldo/Jimenez and so on); not all players are listed and undoubtedly some who are listed won't make it and some who are listed won't make it.  The particular players don't matter, but the time frames do. 

What the chart shows me is for 2024 (for instance), the club is likely to have a bunch of pitchers from a large group (Borucki, Pearson, Manoah, SWR, Pardinho, Kloffenstein, Zeuch, Kay), a couple of catchers, VGJ, Bichette,  Biggio and another infielder.  The payroll for those players is likely to low, unless Ryan Borucki turns into Tom Glavine or Mark Buehrle and Danny Jansen turns into Carlton Fisk.  Those are the kind of contingencies one can live with.  I imagine that the club will be drafting a centerfielder this year or next, or converting some of their pitching prospect depth into centerfield depth, or both. 
Mike Green - Thursday, August 29 2019 @ 11:57 AM EDT (#380612) #
Ack.  Grichuk is only signed through 2023- delete the 2024 figure for him. 
Chuck - Thursday, August 29 2019 @ 12:48 PM EDT (#380616) #
a helpful long-term salary picture for the Blue Jays


Mike Green - Thursday, August 29 2019 @ 01:12 PM EDT (#380620) #
I didn't find the Sportrac chart very helpful at least for what I was thinking of, Chuck.  Ryan Feierbrand?  The Ryan Borucki notations are incorrect.  The "Matt Shoemaker- team control" and "Danny Jansen-team control" for 2020 mean completely different things.  Finally, the 2022 and later figures and names aren't really helpful at all.  I don't need to know that Buddy Boshers will an Arb3 in 2022, but I do need to know about Nate Pearson and Jacob Waguespack and a bunch of others...
In 2022, for instance, the club will have 15.2 for Grichuk and Gurriel, 1st year arb for VGJ (Kris Bryant got  a record $11M his first year), Borucki and Jansen will be 1st year arbs and Biggio might be, Teoscar will be a 2nd year, and there will be a whole whack of pre-arb 600K players including Bichette.  The Sportrac figure of 15.2 isn't helpful, and the TC notation doesn't really give you a clue about how many dollars are involved for players without a number attached, which is almost all of them.  
Chuck - Thursday, August 29 2019 @ 02:02 PM EDT (#380621) #
So Greentrac it is!
Mike Green - Thursday, August 29 2019 @ 02:59 PM EDT (#380622) #
Nah, Chuck, not a brander.  I am hoping that others will run with this, and that here at BB, we have a better chart over time.
Thomas - Thursday, August 29 2019 @ 04:04 PM EDT (#380624) #
The crowd has spoken:

Greentrac! Greentrac!
uglyone - Thursday, August 29 2019 @ 04:28 PM EDT (#380625) #
Greentrac has always been my go-to source.
Mike Green - Thursday, August 29 2019 @ 04:49 PM EDT (#380627) #
Thank you.  In your honour, I've updated the list and saved it on my computer. 
budgell - Thursday, August 29 2019 @ 05:38 PM EDT (#380629) #
"Greentrac" is my second favourite go to source.
BlueJayWay - Thursday, August 29 2019 @ 05:39 PM EDT (#380630) #
dan gordon - Thursday, August 29 2019 @ 07:00 PM EDT (#380631) #
Thanks, Mike. I've maintained an Excel spreadsheet with the Jays' future contract commitments for about 20 years now, but I've never included the arb years, only signed contracts. That's a really useful extra detail, especially for such a young club. There's going to be lots of cheap talent on this team, and you've gotta love that Gurriel contract.
Magpie - Thursday, August 29 2019 @ 07:02 PM EDT (#380632) #
Molly Knight has an interesting piece at The Athletic on the baseballs being used these days and how long they're lasting. She figures that if some 13 or so dozen balls are used for each game, the average life of a game ball is about 1.5 pitches. I actually tracked this as best I could at the ballpark about fifteen years ago. That night I saw about 100 baseballs used in the game. Which already seems an absurdly large figure, but every time a ball is hit foul or brushes the dirt before someone catches it, out it goes. Knight's work suggests that number has almost doubled.
scottt - Thursday, August 29 2019 @ 07:06 PM EDT (#380633) #
The guy who rubs the mud on the balls before the game would know.
Is it still the umps doing that?

scottt - Thursday, August 29 2019 @ 07:09 PM EDT (#380635) #
That reminds me, SI had an article on the guy who collects the mud.
I think he basically said that the team uses twice as many balls as they did when his dad was running the business.

hypobole - Thursday, August 29 2019 @ 07:10 PM EDT (#380636) #
Ben Clemens at FG with the worst swinging strikes of the year. He's confined it to fastballs, so no Socrates flailing at a slider, in fact no Blue Jays at all.

There is a link (the second one) to Jeff Sullivan's take on the "ball" right down the middle to Josh Donaldson back in 2016.
Magpie - Thursday, August 29 2019 @ 07:47 PM EDT (#380638) #
Is it still the umps [rubbing up the baseballs before use?]

Apparently not. Knight reports that one of the home team's clubhouse personnel has that job.
Mike Green - Friday, August 30 2019 @ 10:15 AM EDT (#380654) #
Two little historical tidbits for a Friday.  I'm just finishing Baseball in the Garden of Eden by John Thorn.  It's a fine history of the early game and contains this tidbit from a club in New York in 1856:

"The ball we used...was made of yarn, tightly wound around a round of cork or Indian rubber and covered with smooth calf skin in quarters...the seams closed tightly, and not raised, lest they blister the hand of the thrower and the catcher"

I thought, of course, about Sanchez and Stroman.

I was wondering about Anthony Rendon's value and his comparables.  I ran a Play Index using third basemen who in the age 27-29 period, had an OPS+ between 137 and 149 (Rendon's is 143) with 1600 PAs or more and fewer than 300 strikeouts.  I got Scott Rolen, Edgar Martinez, Heine Groh and Whitey Kurowski.  Groh faded in his early 30s fairly quickly, and did not really adapt to the lively ball (his age 29 season was 1919).  Kurowski completely dropped off the map at age 30- I didn't know the story and it's an interesting one.  It's really remarkable what he was able to do in his 20s. 
Dewey - Friday, August 30 2019 @ 12:09 PM EDT (#380660) #
Thanks for the Kurowski item, Mike. I actually saw him play at Wrigley in the late 1940's, but didn't know anything of his story. Fascinating.
AWeb - Friday, August 30 2019 @ 12:12 PM EDT (#380661) #
The Jays, kind of randomly, have a chance to set the all-time record for players with 10+ homers. Already at 11, and Bichette and McKinney pretty likely. Fisher could have a hot September and hit 6 more too. With a hot-hitting month, the franchise record of 257, currently 6th all-time, could actually be in play without a single player hitting 30. The current pace is for 244.

The 2018 Yankees set the record for 10+ players with 12, and the 2019 Yankees are likely to break it even further, with a shot 15 or 16. Homers are, of course, crazy this year. The average team in the AL will hit ~233 homers this year, which means the average AL team would rank in the top 20 all-time. The average NL team is on pace for ~222 homers per game, which puts it in the top 40 all-time.
Mike Green - Friday, August 30 2019 @ 04:01 PM EDT (#380668) #
The opioid crisis hits baseball too.  Epidemiologists ascribe the decline in life expectancy in the US, and now in Canada, to opioids.
dan gordon - Friday, August 30 2019 @ 08:48 PM EDT (#380681) #
Thanks so much for linking the story about what they have found out about Tyler Scaggs' death. I was very curious to find out what happened to him. Oxycodone, fentanyl and alcohol, and somebody in the Angels' organization may be involved. It will be interesting to follow this and see what the investigation uncovers.

Some of the programs I have seen on TV about the number of people who have become addicted to these opioid painkillers, and the number of pills that some doctors have been prescribing, is truly alarming. There was one doctor I saw interviewed recently who had prescribed something like 17,000 pills to one patient in a span of 9 months. It worked out to 60 pills a day.
scottt - Friday, August 30 2019 @ 09:55 PM EDT (#380683) #
Fentanyl can be lethal in relatively small doses to those who haven't develop a resistance to oxcycontin.
Mixed up with alcohol the results seems fairly predictable.

Not sure what the Blake Bivens tragedy was about.
Still shaking my head.

scottt - Friday, August 30 2019 @ 10:04 PM EDT (#380684) #
Oxycodone is not approved for use under the MLB/players rules.
A lot of people got addicted by their dentists when they took out their wisdom tooth.
The rest are mostly older people.

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