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The Yankees haven't quite clinched the division - technically, they haven't even clinched a post-season berth - but we're in Magic Number territory and there's a pretty good chance they'll make all these things official this weekend.

The Bombers have won 97 games (and counting!) despite a run of injuries that should have been crippling and could not possibly have been anticipated. It hasn't happened because they were running out a bunch of guys in their mid 30s. The players who did fit that description - Sabathia, Encarnacion, and now Happ - have indeed missed time, even if Brett Gardner somehow goes through life untouched, banging his bat on dugout roofs. And pitchers can get hurt at any time, whether they're old like Sabathia and Happ, or young like German and Severino. It's been the blizzard of injuries to position players that has been weird. Sanchez, Bird, Tauchman, Gregorius, Andujar, Hicks, Judge, Stanton are all position players in their 20s and all have missed (or are about to miss) significant time.

You see, this should be karma catching up with them, divine retribution for their general air of entitlement and general commitment to evil. It ought to be. But instead they're 97-51. I no longer understand the world I live in, assuming that I ever did.

Anyway. I thought I'd take a quick peek at how the Jays have run the bases this season. I'm pretty sure that a single season is a pretty small sample, but whatever happened... happened. So what happened?

The Jays have made 42 outs on the bases this season. The league average is 44 and the Jays should be below the league average because they don't get very many people on base. I estimate that the Jays have had 1,476 base runners this season and they've lost 2.84% of them. The average AL team has had 1,652 base runners - quite a few more, as it turns out - so they've lost around 2.66% of them. This is very possibly too small a thing to be significant, or even interesting.

Here's what I did find interesting. The average distribution of outs on the bases goes like this: 13.6% at first base, 31.8% at second base, 22.7% at third base, and 31.8% at home plate. That's not what Toronto has done. The Jays have had just 7 men thrown out at home this season, 16.7% of their total, fewest in the league. (Luis Rivera, take a bow?) They're close enough to the league average in outs at first base (14.3%). They've had a couple more guys thrown at third base (26.2%) and a lot more guys thrown out at second (42.9%). So the biggest issue - not that it's really much of an issue - seems to involve players coming out of the batter's box and being a little over-ambitious. Or being not quite as fast as they think they are. Anyway, that sort of thing and players getting doubled off first base accounts for more than half of the baserunners lost. Once they're actually on base, they're not running into a lot of outs.

Justin Smoak, who is just godawful slow, and Vlad Guerrero, who is not quite as quick as he thinks he is, have made the most outs on the bases (5 apiece), but that's mostly because Freddy Galvis has been playing for another team for the last six weeks. You might expect Smoak to be the least likely to take an extra base, and you'd be right, but Brandon Drury is equally cautious on the bases. In fact, the team as a whole has been pretty conservative on the base paths once they get there. Considering how seldom they get there, this does seem prudent. Lourdes Gurriel and Billy McKinney are the only guys who've really been aggressive in taking the extra base. Hernandez and Grichuk have been around the league average or just over. Everybody else has been proceeding with caution.

What, nothing to see here? Hey, I was curious, I took a look, and having invested the energy I'm telling you about it!

Matchups? What do we have...

Fri 13 Sep - Tanaka (10-8, 4.53) vs Kay (0-0, 3.18)
Sat 14 Sep - Paxton (13-6, 3.96) vs Waguespack (4-4, 4.55)
Sun 15 Sep - ??? vs ???

Fifteen games left, six wins needed to avoid the 100 losses.
New York at Toronto, 13-15 September | 103 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Dewey - Friday, September 13 2019 @ 10:11 AM EDT (#381322) #
Hey, curiosity is a very good thing, Magpie. And so is energy; and so even is telling us about what you found.

Iíve seen Vlady chugging into outs too many times already; then hopping up to demand a replay. Ah, youth.
AWeb - Friday, September 13 2019 @ 10:58 AM EDT (#381324) #
fangraphs has the Jays as 23rd in the majors for baserunning, about 7 runs worse than average on the year. Seems about right. A weakness, but not so bad. Last year they were rated last, at -27 runs. 2017 they were 29th. So progress is being made! Much like his defensive issues (at least in my opinion), Guerrero's misadventures on the basepaths could improve, especially if he gets himself into better shape. But much like the minors when everyone gets to steal bases until they can't any more, figuring out his limitations through failure is probably a good way to go.

The best baserunner on the team seems to be Biggio, who has 11 steals to lead the team (no one else has more than 6). HE might end up being the best player on the team some years. Heck, with a strong finish he might end up being the best player on the team this year - who else would it be?
hypobole - Friday, September 13 2019 @ 11:04 AM EDT (#381325) #
With Lourdes injured, Stroman and Sogard traded, FG's WAR leaders on the Jays are Biggio, Giles and Trent Thornton.
AWeb - Friday, September 13 2019 @ 01:31 PM EDT (#381331) #
I realized once I asked the question that Biggio might be the answer already almost by default. He and Guerrero are tied for the BBref WAR lead as well, and with Bichette slowing down, either could end up in front.

So far in September no one is pulling the "2009 Bautista" and really making a good case for more playing time in 2020, but even for Bautista is was only really the last 9 games (6 HRs, 1.050 OPS) that really kicked it up a notch. Hopefully one or two of the guys has a great few weeks, better to end with hopeful results.

One challenge for the off-season - do MLB front-offices get any information from MLB about the baseball in advance? A less homer-prone ball could radically affect the appraisal of a lot of the pitchers, as well as the large pool of interchangeable OFers.

Anyway, I'm always hoping for Jays wins over the Yankees, draft position be damned. The top 15 (in plate appearances) Yankees somehow all are above average hitters this year (except 98 OPS+ Didi), despite all their injuries. Hopefully the devil magic runs out this series and they stumble through a short playoff trip.
Magpie - Friday, September 13 2019 @ 02:35 PM EDT (#381333) #
He and Guerrero are tied for the BBref WAR lead as well

I tell you, it is downright discouraging to open the Jays BB-Ref page and see this year's WAR leaders and gaze one more time upon Matt Shoemaker's bearded mug. Matt Shoemaker, who suffered a season-ending injury on April 20. Ouch.
Mike Green - Friday, September 13 2019 @ 03:47 PM EDT (#381334) #
How about looking at it another way?  The club got 4 WAR from their regular second basemen (Sogard and Biggio) and would have done quite well had they not given PAs to Alen Hanson.  They got 3.5 WAR from their regular shortstops (Galvis and Bichette).  When the club's two best position players and best pitcher were gone at the deadline, it's not really a surprise that the individual WAR totals aren't much. 

Biggio has a positive DRS at second base, but negative at all other positions. 
Nigel - Friday, September 13 2019 @ 05:36 PM EDT (#381336) #
Iíll go one step further and say that any year in which you identify long term solutions at SS, 2B and C (with the Jansen/McGuire duo) has to have some element of success to it. Now about the other 6 positions and those Pís ......
Magpie - Friday, September 13 2019 @ 05:38 PM EDT (#381337) #
You guy are trying to cheer me up! That's so sweet.
PeterG - Friday, September 13 2019 @ 05:44 PM EDT (#381338) #
Arden Zwelling just on PTS repeated what Shulman said 2 days ago that Santiago Espinal will be on team next year. Seems to me that someone in the know must have told these guys something. Zwelling went as far as to say it was a guarantee. That appears a bit much though I did mention a couple of weeks back that I did expect him to be here.
scottt - Friday, September 13 2019 @ 05:45 PM EDT (#381339) #
Tanaka is coming off a poor outing. As usual here, it will mostly depends on how far down the strike zone extend below the knees.
Paxton has been on a roll for a while now.
Not much to say about the bullpen day other than the Yankees are currently carrying a 14 man bullpen.

One the position side of things, Encarnation is day to day with an oblique injury. (No point in putting guys on the 10IL right now)
Gary Sanchez has pulled his groin again. Romine has been hot lately. Of course.
Tauchman is gone for the year.
Hicks too, probably. So old man, Brett Gardner in center.
Today it's Maybin in right and Frazier in left. Voit is the DH, so no Judge.
Only 2 lefties against Kay, Didi and Gardner.
Tomorrow, we'll probably see Taylor Wade in left and Mike Ford could play first base.

scottt - Friday, September 13 2019 @ 05:55 PM EDT (#381340) #
I don't know. Maybe they try to trade Urena over the winter, but it would be weird if Espinal beat him before spring training.
Urena will probably play winter ball. Last year he took the winter off to work on conditioning.

Espinal played 11 games at short in Buffalo, only 9 put out and 3 double plays.
He played only 22 games at short in AA, 5 errors and 6 double plays.

I'd take him over Drury for sure, but if he's backing Bichette, he should probably be playing everyday in Buffalo for a while.
Or it could get ugly really fast on the turf.

uglyone - Friday, September 13 2019 @ 06:00 PM EDT (#381341) #
I'm trying to process both the idea of a 25yr old middling milb hitter being guaranteed a roster spot next year, and the even stranger idea that this seems to being pushed out to the media as newsworthy in a good way, not a sad way.
PeterG - Friday, September 13 2019 @ 06:34 PM EDT (#381343) #
Actually Espinal is a very good player who has been steadily improving, finishing quite strongly at AAA. He is extremely versatile, playing almost every position including SS. How would we feel if he is seen by the FO as a replacement for Drury? He has certainly moved ahead of Urena in the pecking order but could a larger role be in the cards?
SK in NJ - Friday, September 13 2019 @ 07:39 PM EDT (#381344) #
Espinal making the team out of ST would only make sense if the Jays non-tendered Drury. I know there is an extra roster spot next year, but Espinal has limited AAA experience so being on the end of the big league bench would not help him. If he is the primary utility IF instead of Drury, then that would be different. I don't think Atkins would let go of Drury that easily, especially since he thought highly enough of him to trade for him in the first place, but maybe they realized if Brian Cashman's player development team couldn't fix him then no one can.
Shoeless Joe - Friday, September 13 2019 @ 07:49 PM EDT (#381345) #
None of the comments stated that he would make the team out of spring training, and as he is likely to make the 40 man roster he will spend some time with the Jays next season.

Given Kay's walks in Buffalo I was expecting him to be completely wild, but his command is actually impressive.
SK in NJ - Friday, September 13 2019 @ 08:24 PM EDT (#381346) #
Espinal making the team at some point next year is more of a no brainer than a bold prediction by Shulman/others. He will be added to the 40 man roster this winter, and will be the closest infielder to the big leagues on the 40 man assuming Urena is no longer in the org (he's out of options I believe). Espinal will most certainly be in the big leagues next season. If they were predicting he'd make the team out of ST, then it would be more of a surprising statement.
Nigel - Friday, September 13 2019 @ 08:27 PM EDT (#381347) #
Every thing about McGuireís minor league history suggests that he canít hit but man he sure looks like he can.
bpoz - Friday, September 13 2019 @ 08:29 PM EDT (#381348) #
I did not expect Espinal to be added to the 40 man roster before the rule 5 draft.
uglyone - Friday, September 13 2019 @ 09:29 PM EDT (#381349) #
McGuire's hitting profile has always been solid actually, Nigel. Just missing power. But he's showing plenty of power now.

As for Espinal - I don't know why a 25yr old with a career 112wrc+ in milb, with barely any time in AAA, would be a guy you would count on for mlb performance in any way shape or form.....let alone proudly project.
Magpie - Friday, September 13 2019 @ 09:44 PM EDT (#381350) #
[Espinal] has certainly moved ahead of Urena in the pecking order

I notice that Espinal hit about as well in AA as Urena did in AAA, and I'm pretty sure Urena is still 16 months younger, so if Espinal has indeed moved ahead of him I don't really understand why.
Magpie - Friday, September 13 2019 @ 09:49 PM EDT (#381351) #
I think we're always forgetting how young Urena is, probably because we've been seeing him in the majors every September. Thirty guys suited up for Buffalo this year, and only four of them were younger than Urena: Forrest Wall (14 games), Kevin Vicuna (3 games), Vlad, and Bo.
Magpie - Friday, September 13 2019 @ 10:02 PM EDT (#381352) #
Vlad got away with one there, and I think Gardner saw it.
SK in NJ - Friday, September 13 2019 @ 10:57 PM EDT (#381353) #
"I notice that Espinal hit about as well in AA as Urena did in AAA"

Urena had a 78 wRC+ in 403 plate appearances in AAA this season, and hasn't had a good offensive season in the minors since 2016 in A+.

Espinal had a 115 wRC+ in AA and 105 in AAA this season. His K% shot up in AAA, probably not surprising given it was his first exposure to AAA, but other than that he's consistently shown good plate discipline with low K%'s.

Urena has always been young for his level the past few years, but he simply hasn't been good for years now. Espinal isn't a top prospect or anything but he looks like a potentially useful utility player, and I think it's looking unlikely for Urena. Maybe a change of scenery would help him.
bpoz - Friday, September 13 2019 @ 11:18 PM EDT (#381354) #
Hr Bichette. Jays walk off.
dan gordon - Friday, September 13 2019 @ 11:25 PM EDT (#381355) #
I heard the Shulman interview as well. He mentioned Espinal twice. The first time he said something about thinking Espinal had a good shot at making the team in 2020, and then near the end of the interview he said he expected Espinal and Urena to be in a battle for a backup spot on the roster next spring training. I think they're pretty close, with a slight edge to Espinal.

Looks like the team may have just suffered its first major injury of 2020. Should be an update on Mayza's elbow in the next couple of days, here's hoping it's not as bad as it looked.

Another good appearance by Font. Looks like he is really cementing his spot in the 2020 bullpen. Nice acquisition for cash.
85bluejay - Saturday, September 14 2019 @ 06:31 AM EDT (#381356) #
I expect it to be a battle between Urena and Espinal in spring training to be the backup and Urena being out of options probably gives him the slight edge to start the season with the big league club.
scottt - Saturday, September 14 2019 @ 07:33 AM EDT (#381357) #
McGuire is not supposed to hit enough to be a primary catcher, but he plays really well and the left bat is very useful.

Urena had a solid game yesterday. Good plays, like the way he blocked second base on a throw that was off target.
Couple of hits. Scored an important run.

Kay was pretty good. The defense didn't help him in the 5th and the Yanks blooped up a couple of hits.
Adam let all the inherited runners score.

Mayza's exit looked really bad. TJ and out for a year would probably be a good outcome here.
Any type of fracture could be real trouble. Wishing him the best.
All of a sudden holding on to Boshers looks like a good move.

And Bichette walks it off with a homerun. Nice. They really soaked that hair.

Shoeless Joe - Saturday, September 14 2019 @ 07:57 AM EDT (#381359) #
For his career in the majors Urena has not shown good contact quality, has a high strikeout rate, does not walk much and has a -1 DRS at both middle infield positions. In his minor league career you have to go back years to find some reason for optimism, and at 23 hes not that young anymore.
scottt - Saturday, September 14 2019 @ 08:37 AM EDT (#381360) #
I want Bichette, Biggio and Guerrero to play as much as possible. That doesn't leave that many AB for 2 or 3 UT infielders.
I would vastly prefer the 26th player to be  a 5th outfielder who can steal bases and play excellent late innings defense.

Also, Font looked really good against the top of the Yankees lineup.
They need to keep him as a guy who goes 2 innings against the top of the lineup every 3 days, does not have to be an opener.

scottt - Saturday, September 14 2019 @ 08:42 AM EDT (#381361) #
You could find out that Espinal is worse defensively and we have yet to see how he will hit a the MLB level as a bench player.

Magpie - Saturday, September 14 2019 @ 09:00 AM EDT (#381362) #
at 23 [Urenas] not that young anymore.

I'll accept that only so long as we're all clear that McGuire, Tellez, Alford, Biggio, Jansen, and Espinal aren't that young anymore either and shouldn't be referred to as such.
bpoz - Saturday, September 14 2019 @ 10:41 AM EDT (#381363) #
Looks like we have a good chance to not lose 100 games.
uglyone - Saturday, September 14 2019 @ 10:45 AM EDT (#381364) #
23 is young enough. That's legit prospect age appropriate for AAA imo. Not a disappointment to not have made an MLB impact by age 23, even for a good prospect.

Especially considering this FO is asking us to believe 24 and 25yr olds in AA are still prospects.
John Northey - Saturday, September 14 2019 @ 11:23 AM EDT (#381365) #
58-90 now so 4-10 is needed to lose 100 games. With 6 vs the O's and 5 vs Yankees and 3 vs Rays I like the Jays odds of not losing 100.

Reverse Standings with games ahead/behind Jays for everyone who they technically could reach...
Tigers: 43-103 14.0
O's: 48-99 9.5
Miami: 51-96 6.5
KC: 55-93 3.0
Jays: 58-90 ---
Seattle: 60-88 2.0
Rockies: 63-85 5.0
Pirates: 65-83 7.0
ChiSox: 65-82 7.5
Angels: 67-81 9.0
Padres: 68-79 10.5
Reds: 69-79 11.0
Giants: 71-77 13.0

If the Tigers win every game and Jays lose every game the Jays could tie for the worst record. If Jays win everything and Giants lose the rest the Jays could catch them. I'd say neither is likely to happen. FYI: The Rangers are just out of reach as is the rest of the majors.

So 4th worst and 6th are both in easy range. 7th, 8th, 9th and 3rd are both a bit too far imo. I'd say a top 10 pick is a lock and the top 2 picks are too far out of reach.
John Northey - Saturday, September 14 2019 @ 11:25 AM EDT (#381366) #
Crap, that came out unreadable...
Tigers:  43-103 14.0 
O's:     48-99   9.5
Miami:   51-96   6.5
KC:      55-93   3.0
Jays:    58-90   ---
Seattle: 60-88   2.0
Rockies: 63-85   5.0
Pirates: 65-83   7.0
ChiSox:  65-82   7.5
Angels:  67-81   9.0
Padres:  68-79  10.5
Reds:    69-79  11.0
Giants:  71-77  13.0
scottt - Saturday, September 14 2019 @ 11:40 AM EDT (#381367) #
KC might not win another game this year. ( Astros-As-Twins-Braves-Twins).
Mariners are doing everything to lose (They went 1-3 against the Reds. Lost the first game against the White Sox. Then they play the Pirates and Baltimore before  finishing against Houston and Oakland where they'll probably drop 6 straight.

Seems like Toronto will end up at 6th or higher if other teams go full tank.

Magpie - Saturday, September 14 2019 @ 11:50 AM EDT (#381368) #
See, my first thought on Espinal was - he's almost a year and a half older than Urena and he's just now getting to AAA?

That's not intended as snark. I really think like that! It's possible that I'm something of a simpleton. I admit it freely.

I'm not a complete idiot. I realize that unless Urena takes a step forward with the bat, he's unlikely to ever be more than a backup utility infielder. But he's still young enough that it's possible. Don't be fooled by the beard! Urena's only seven months older than Cal Stevenson, who lots of people still have pretty high hopes for.
scottt - Saturday, September 14 2019 @ 11:55 AM EDT (#381369) #
For the year, Urena is at -1 DRS at 2B and +2 DRS at SS.

Samples are obviously tiny.

I still say they need a middle infielder on the 40 roster next year who plays in Buffalo.
There's no reason to add Kevin Smith or Logan Warmoth.

AWeb - Saturday, September 14 2019 @ 12:09 PM EDT (#381370) #
Seems like Urena has been playing at too high a level for 3 years now, sometimes due to organizational need instead of performance. This has been known to set back prospects, sometimes permanently. But when your apparent upside is good utility player it's not shocking when your a not so good utility player at age 23.
Magpie - Saturday, September 14 2019 @ 12:09 PM EDT (#381371) #
Going forward, though, backup infielder on this team is not a job for a kid. It's a job for a veteran who's already Become What He Is (obscure Nietzsche reference there, if anyone's interested), someone who understands the role, who won't grumble about playing time, and who can maybe even be a mentor role model type of person. Stuff like that. I'm with Cito all the way on this one - if I have young guys, they're not sitting around watching. They're in the lineup.

You know... John McDonald! He's rested, he's ready, he won't be 45 til next month...
Nigel - Saturday, September 14 2019 @ 12:20 PM EDT (#381372) #
.... who gets on base and is LH. I wonder where you could find a player like that? Hmmmm
scottt - Saturday, September 14 2019 @ 12:20 PM EDT (#381373) #
Veterans wants to play.

The Yanks will try to rest more players in the day game following an extra inning game following a double header.

LeMahieu at DH.
Judge in Right
Torres at short (didn't play well yesterday, but...)
Voit at First
Urshela at Third (Might as well ride him while it lasts)
Gardner in center. (no choice there)
Maybin  in Left (They really don't like Frazier)
Higashioka behind the plate
Estrada at Second base

The Yankees 40 roster might get interesting. Especially in the winter.

uglyone - Saturday, September 14 2019 @ 12:31 PM EDT (#381374) #
So far in his young career (approx 1/3 of one season total) urena has been a tick above replacement by both FG and BR.

He's needed lots of babip to do it, but on the other hand probably has significantly more power than he's shown so far too.

He also has huge splits - he's been league average vs lefties, awful vs righties.

Small sample defensive numbers don't love him so far but don't hate him either.
Gerry - Saturday, September 14 2019 @ 12:33 PM EDT (#381375) #
Mayza needs Tommy John.
Magpie - Saturday, September 14 2019 @ 12:37 PM EDT (#381376) #
... who gets on base and is LH. I wonder where you could find a player like that?

Let me guess... his initials are E.S.

If it's who I think you're thinking of... well, he's a free agent again this winter. Just like last year. This time I imagine he'll look at the Toronto roster, see Biggio, Bichette, Guerrero and think... "I'll play once a week. If I'm lucky. Next!"
PeterG - Saturday, September 14 2019 @ 12:41 PM EDT (#381377) #
It is quite possible that both Espinal and Urena will be kept for 2020.

Regarding Mayza, I would put him on waivers in off season as I am sure he would clear. This would not waste a 40 man spot for over a year. He could then be signed to a minor league deal with the club covering his rehab.
Magpie - Saturday, September 14 2019 @ 12:41 PM EDT (#381378) #
Mayza needs Tommy John.

Not too surprising after the way he was grabbing his forearm. Kind of told us all that's what had happened.
Glevin - Saturday, September 14 2019 @ 12:57 PM EDT (#381379) #
Urena has a 72 WRC+ with a. 384 Babip. He's probably a 55-60 WRC+ kind of player right now. He's young enough to still improve but he's a long way to being a useful major leaguer. He can't really hit, doesn't have much power, doesn't walk much, and is probably only an adaquate defender. I'd keep him for one more year, start him in Buffalo and see if he can improve his game. I'd certainly take a chance on him over the Travis Bergen types.
Nigel - Saturday, September 14 2019 @ 01:05 PM EDT (#381380) #
Sogard might think that thereís no opportunity in Toronto next year. However, based on the current Vladdy plan for playing time at 3B thereís 40 games a year, at least, right there. Thereís easily 350 ABs next year for someone of Sogardís ilk and thatís not factoring injuries. Anyway, heís been so good this year that I expect him to resign in TB.
cascando - Saturday, September 14 2019 @ 01:49 PM EDT (#381381) #
I think Tampa is probably more likely to sign the next Eric Sogard than to resign Eric Sogard.
bpoz - Saturday, September 14 2019 @ 02:19 PM EDT (#381382) #
Urena has no options left. If/when removed from the 40 man roster he can choose FA I believe.

He provides good IF defense and has not had a chance to show what he can do at the ML level. ABs went to A Hanson to find out what was there.

If he is lost it will not hurt the Jays. You can always find back up players.

He could go to TB or NYY. He may thrive there.

Better yet trade him for Int'l cap room.
scottt - Saturday, September 14 2019 @ 02:44 PM EDT (#381383) #
Biggio sits. Grichuk hits second. I don't like it because Grichuk does not get on base.

Gurriel is the DH. It should take a week to get going if we're lucky, so probably not great.

Hernandez in center. Davis in left. Not great either.

Good luck Waguespack, you will need it.
Magpie - Saturday, September 14 2019 @ 02:54 PM EDT (#381384) #
Hernandez in center. Davis in left. Not great either.

It's hard to know how to line that up. Do you go with the good centre fielder and the god-awful left fielder? Or the poor centre fielder and the good left fielder?

Every way you look at it you lose
Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio...
scottt - Saturday, September 14 2019 @ 02:58 PM EDT (#381385) #
Mayza looked like he either fractured a bone or ruptured a tendon.
Yesterday, they clarified that it was the elbow, so it's what I think everyone was  expecting.

I don't think you can put someone on waivers when they are injured.
You can't ouright him either. You can just non-tender them.
He probably wants to have the procedure done ASAP.

Also, there' some talk about non-tendering Shoemaker to resign him at a discount.
I don't really see the point since he only makes 3M and the payroll is so low to begin with.

scottt - Saturday, September 14 2019 @ 03:00 PM EDT (#381386) #
Maybe with Waguespack, they don't hit the ball as much to left field as with a lefty?
Let see how that plays.

PeterG - Saturday, September 14 2019 @ 03:05 PM EDT (#381387) #
One way or the other, I expect Mayza to be taken off roster and signed to minor league deal. Thinking back to Carpenter, was he waived or non tendered?

Regarding Shoemaker, I think a deal will have been worked out even if non tendered. He says they have spoken but that nothing will happen till off season. I fully expect him to be back in 2020.
hypobole - Saturday, September 14 2019 @ 03:11 PM EDT (#381388) #
Teoscar was actually competent in LF this year, so they moved him to CF where he's not.
Magpie - Saturday, September 14 2019 @ 03:12 PM EDT (#381389) #
Hernandez in center. Davis in left.

Looks like Charlie decided to do it the other way - the good centre fielders, the godawful left fielder.
Chuck - Saturday, September 14 2019 @ 03:39 PM EDT (#381390) #
Looks like Charlie decided to do it the other way

I can't imagine any argument for Davis playing anywhere other than CF. Nice to see Charlie come around to this conclusion.

99BlueJaysWay - Saturday, September 14 2019 @ 04:36 PM EDT (#381391) #
I thought that was an early pull by Montoyo. I get that it was the third time through and he had been hit hard by the middle of the order the last time through, but itís only the 4th and he had only thrown 74 pitches. Itís September. Isnít it better to challenge some of the young pitchers and see what happens?
Chuck - Saturday, September 14 2019 @ 04:51 PM EDT (#381392) #
The 2019 Yankees hold the record for most HR in a season, basically resetting the record every day (the Twins might have something to say about who holds the record at the end of the year).

There is every possibility that no Yankee reaches 100 RBI this season. There is a decent shot that only two have as many as 80.

Magpie - Saturday, September 14 2019 @ 06:55 PM EDT (#381394) #
It's the ninth inning, it's 13-3. Everything close is a strike, Derek.
scottt - Saturday, September 14 2019 @ 08:55 PM EDT (#381395) #
Good to hear Tellez was benched for not hustling to first.
That was starting to annoy me.

He had some good ABs yesterday. Took one too many, but didn't chase.

He was asked if he's working on being more selective and he answered that he didn't think it was something you can work on. You have one split second to make a decision. It might improve over time as one plays more, but it's not something that can be worked on. He's just working on hitting the ball hard. Something like that.

At first, that sounded to me like a guy who isn't listening to the coaches, but on second thought, it's fair description of batting practice. They're practicing by hitting balls over the plate. They don't practice taking pitches, holding their swings or making contact on bad pitches. 

Magpie - Saturday, September 14 2019 @ 09:20 PM EDT (#381396) #
They don't practice taking pitches, holding their swings or making contact on bad pitches.

Generally true, but that was all Eddie Murray ever used to do in BP. Eddie was quite unusual that way. He called it "working on my emergency swings, for when I'm totally fooled."

Montoyo did say that the reason Tellez wasn't in the lineup today was because of Paxton, not because of what happened yesterday.
scottt - Saturday, September 14 2019 @ 09:49 PM EDT (#381397) #
True. I was commenting on what happened yesterday. Tellez hustles when he hits a ball in the gap that has a chance for 2 but he barely jogs to first on infield ground balls and pop ups and it has been getting worse. When you coach little leaguers, that's obscene stuff.

I really want to like Tellez and I think his defense looks good so far.
He's the type of guys that needs to come to the plate with a strategy and for the most part, I think he understands that.
When you screw up, run hard to first and give the other team a chance to screw up back.

hypobole - Saturday, September 14 2019 @ 11:01 PM EDT (#381398) #
Stanton, when he was with the Marlins, set the pitching machine to throw off-the-plate sliders, with just a few that would be strikes to help him recognize which to take or swing at.
Magpie - Sunday, September 15 2019 @ 12:45 AM EDT (#381399) #

Manny Ramirez did the same thing. Said he picked it up from Albert Belle.
Shoeless Joe - Sunday, September 15 2019 @ 06:18 AM EDT (#381400) #
Its interesting that Rowdy is focusing on hitting the ball hard, as he already has the best contact quality on the team this year ahead of Biggio and Hernandez. What always made him interesting to me was not the power, but the low strikeout rate in the minors. He needs to get back to that if he wants to stick around long term.
scottt - Sunday, September 15 2019 @ 08:18 AM EDT (#381401) #
Not chasing is all we're looking for. 
He shouldn't worry about striking out on pitches in the zone at this stage.
He's known for chasing, so they throw him a lot of balls.

Bichettte swings on a lot of balls with 2 strikes, but he fouls most of them off. like
I prefer a guy like Grichuk to be aggressive on first pitch strikes and hit lower in the order.

Thomas - Sunday, September 15 2019 @ 08:41 AM EDT (#381402) #
I haven't seen either of the last two games, so I'm just wondering based on the above, was Tellez pulled from a game/benched for not hustling/running to first? If so, it hasn't been a media story, which I would have expected.
Magpie - Sunday, September 15 2019 @ 08:51 AM EDT (#381403) #
It happened in the Friday night game, and the story may have been lost in the shuffle after Mayza blew out his elbow later in the game. Tellez has been in the habit of gliding to a stop at first base instead of running it out.
Gerry - Sunday, September 15 2019 @ 09:26 AM EDT (#381404) #
I did see it in the media and they showed the at bat in yesterdays broadcast. He jogged half way to first and then stopped, he never got to first base.
scottt - Sunday, September 15 2019 @ 09:45 AM EDT (#381405) #
Yeah, I was watching first base and he never reached.
I didn't see him stopped.
Later Smoak replaced him and I was wondering if he was injured.

Magpie - Sunday, September 15 2019 @ 11:16 AM EDT (#381406) #
I saw a video a couple of weeks back of Mike Trout hitting a fairly routine groundball to short. And he put his head down and ran and somehow beat out the damn thing. The Angels are almost 30 games back.
John Northey - Sunday, September 15 2019 @ 11:34 AM EDT (#381407) #
There is a reason Trout is the best in the game. Hustle is part of it - the attitude that makes one hustle also is shown in the weight room, video room, etc. When a player doesn't hustle to first odds are they are cutting corners elsewhere too.

Tellez could be a very good player - he has power up the ying yang, decent judgement of the strike zone too. However, if he doesn't put in the effort we see from guys like Trout, or as mentioned above ManRam, Albert Belle, and Stanton, then he is in danger of never reaching the peaks he could reach.

I see the current kiddie core as having crazy potential - All-Star or MVP's are possible for Vlad, Bo, Biggio, Tellez, Gurriel. Biggio is probably the lowest raw talent of the group but has crazy good strike zone control which helps a lot, Tellez is next lowest but his power is up there - mix Biggio's strike zone knowledge with Tellez' power and you'd have a superstar. Sadly real life doesn't work like that.

I look at Tellez and I see Cecil Fielder 1987. A guy who was showing mad power but kept being put behind others - Fielder was stuck behind Cliff Johnson (86), Willie Upshaw (87), then Rance Mulliniks (88). Fred McGriff came up at the same time roughly and got the first base job for 88. In 88 Kelly Gruber took over 3B pushing Mulliniks to DH. Sadly we had the idiot running the team (in '88 he tried to force MVP Bell from LF to DH in order to play a rookie Sil Campusano who ended up doing nothing in the majors, in '87 he kept playing Upshaw in a pennant race despite his having no power at 1B by then with a pair of guys with 40 HR ability McGriff/Fielder platooning at DH, and a disaster at 2B all season which I blame the GM for as well). I really hope we don't grumble about losing Tellez for nothing in a few years like we did with Fielder.
Shoeless Joe - Sunday, September 15 2019 @ 11:45 AM EDT (#381408) #
"mix Biggio's strike zone knowledge with Tellez' power and you'd have a superstar. Sadly real life doesn't work like that."

Actually, Biggio really isn't that far off power wise. Biggio's hard hit percentage is slightly higher and if you focus on contact quality with xwOBACON Biggio has a 0.422 mark compared to Tellez at 0.434. This isn't really a slight on Tellez just that Biggio by all means does have superstar potential.
hypobole - Sunday, September 15 2019 @ 11:54 AM EDT (#381409) #
There is very little to be impressed about with McKinney. But I've never seen him not hustle up the line.

Alford beat out a seemingly sure out on that ball to third.
bpoz - Sunday, September 15 2019 @ 12:12 PM EDT (#381410) #
Thanks for the history lesson John N. Too bad there was no Batter's Box at that time.

I see Bichette as someone who has high expectations for himself. I read that Biggio is pushing Vlad to work harder. Concentrate while doing drills.

I see/hope Shapiro and Atkins are as smart as I believe they are. There have been many failures on the ML team this year that were experimental or testing performances of players that we picked up for little or nothing. Shapiro did not complain in public, which means that he was not against it and probably approved. This testing has not stopped as we see in the pen.

Everyone should be playing hard. The new Blue Jay culture. If leg problems to Gurriel or Donaldson are present then not going full out is understandable.
Mike Green - Sunday, September 15 2019 @ 12:23 PM EDT (#381411) #
My perspective.  Tellez is not Alford and he's not Trout.  He's not going to beat out a routine ground ball that is fielded and thrown reasonably well.  He still has to run hard to first because 3-15% of the time the ball will not be fielded or thrown reasonably well, and it will matter.  Pop-ups are a different story.  I have no issue with big guy lumbering down to first base on a pop-up as long as he ensures that he will make it there safely if the pop-up is dropped.  I don't care whether the big guy participates (Pete Rose style) in the show of hustle. 

Running hard on ground balls is a baseline of effort, and managers should in some way discipline those who don't. 
Magpie - Sunday, September 15 2019 @ 12:43 PM EDT (#381412) #
Agreed. There's something slightly phony about running hard on a popup to Andrelton Simmons. But groundballs? That's non-negotiable.
bpoz - Sunday, September 15 2019 @ 12:53 PM EDT (#381413) #
Most of the players should get about 35-40 ABs before the season is over. Bo maybe 48.

I look forward to the discussions in the off season. Approaching fast.
Nigel - Sunday, September 15 2019 @ 01:01 PM EDT (#381414) #
The other issue is consistency of the discipline. Vladdyís effort on ground balls are, to be charitable, inconsistent.
Magpie - Sunday, September 15 2019 @ 01:06 PM EDT (#381415) #
I look forward to the discussions in the off season.

As always, there will be a Report Card.

Geez, 43 guys have already made the playing time minimums, and three more might before we're done. Gulp. I may need to hire some help. I'll offer a percentage...

I guess I could get started with Tim Mayza, and then the twelve guys who aren't on the team anymore.
Magpie - Sunday, September 15 2019 @ 01:12 PM EDT (#381416) #
Vladdyís effort on ground balls are, to be charitable, inconsistent.

Do you mean fielding them or running them out? Or both?

While his defense, to the naked eye, actually seems to be improving as the season grinds on he still looks tired and out of gas to me. He's never played this many games in a season - the closest he's come before was when he was 18 years old, and probably 30 pounds lighter. He hasn't hit a homer in about three weeks, and he's hit .167/.217/.238 since the calendar flipped to September. So yeah, like pretty much everyone, I think the young man needs to work on his conditioning.
Nigel - Sunday, September 15 2019 @ 01:26 PM EDT (#381417) #
I meant running them out. I agree its a long year for them but some inconsistent effort was present from day one.
bpoz - Sunday, September 15 2019 @ 02:21 PM EDT (#381418) #
I have faith in the human spirit. K Pillar cannot be accused of not having spirit. He worked hard at getting the most out of his talent.

Vlad may figure it out himself or at least be given hints that physical conditioning is very important to making himself the best he can be. Also the mental part in improving his defense and readiness.

He needs to lose weight.

There are ways to get better agility. Maybe ballet. Please don't take this as discrimination and I don't even know if it works. In the Rocky movies he chased a chicken.
scottt - Sunday, September 15 2019 @ 03:13 PM EDT (#381419) #
Great Zeuch today. 2 ER on 5.1 innings against a nasty team.
Shoeless Joe - Sunday, September 15 2019 @ 04:16 PM EDT (#381420) #
Zeuch gave up a lot of weak contact with only 3 hard hit balls compared to 11 in his last start.
Mike Green - Sunday, September 15 2019 @ 04:19 PM EDT (#381421) #
I love the bottom of the 5th sequence. Tie game. Bichette bunts for a hit, Biggio walks and Grichuk hits a  3 run homer.

All three of them appear to be in good shape and energetic. Bichette showed me something with the timing there. Smart.
hypobole - Sunday, September 15 2019 @ 04:21 PM EDT (#381422) #
The 17 game Atl-Hou-Atl-TB-Bos-NYY death march is finally over, ending with a not unexpected 6 W-11 L record. Started OK and finished well. The 7 L's in the middle were brutally painful though.

hypobole - Sunday, September 15 2019 @ 04:52 PM EDT (#381423) #
Jays have used 20 different starting pitchers this year.

Per Ben Wagner, only Connie Mack's 1915 Philadelphia Athletics (24) have used more starters in a single season in MLB history.

Don't remember anything about that Athletics team (they didn't seem to televise many of their games) but they finished 43-109 a year after going to the WS.

Shoeless Joe - Sunday, September 15 2019 @ 05:06 PM EDT (#381424) #
I think at this point even if Zeuch, Waguespack, Thorton or Kay aren't long term starters at least there is some hope compared to Richard, Jackson, Bucholz or a bullpen day. The floor for starters seems at least a little higher. I am quite impressed with Kay so far, and I still like Thorton.
Magpie - Sunday, September 15 2019 @ 05:23 PM EDT (#381425) #
Jays have used 20 different starting pitchers this year.

Technically, but six of them were relief pitchers who just happened to start the first inning: Font, Law, Hudson, Phelps, Boshers, and Ramirez. Still, 14 is too damn many if you're asking me. What, you're not?

And you don't remember the 1915 Athletics? Good thing I'm here. Connie Mack, the A's owner, general manager, and field manager couldn't afford to keep the team together. This would happen to him again during the Depression. The arrival of the Federal League in 1914 just made things worse, as for one brief shining moment the players actually had an option. Two of Mack's 1914 starters, Hall of Famers Eddie Plank and Chief Bender (a combined 32-10 in 1914) jumped to the new league. Mack had two all-time great players in infielders Eddie Collins and Frank Baker. He couldn't afford to pay Collins, who he sold to the White Sox. Baker wanted to renegotiate his contract - Mack refused, and Baker simply sat out the 1915 season. Mack replaced them by moving his catcher to 3b to replace Baker and signing 40 year old Nap Lajoie to play second instead of Collins. It didn't work.

I don't know what made him try 24 different starters. Desperation, I suppose. Ten guys started exactly one game, and three of them would never pitch in the majors again after their single 1915 start.
Magpie - Sunday, September 15 2019 @ 05:32 PM EDT (#381426) #
Incidentally, Mack's 1916 Athletics were even worse and are universally regarded as one of the contenders for Worst Team of All Time. They weren't - nothing will ever surpass the non-performance of the 1899 Cleveland Spiders (20-134) - but certainly since the advent of the AL in 1901, the 1916 A's are probably one of the two best (or least) qualified, along with the 1942 Phillies.
scottt - Sunday, September 15 2019 @ 05:39 PM EDT (#381427) #
Zeuch looks like a long term starter. Maybe just a back of the rotation guy or a 6th or 7th guy burning options at Buffalo, but the potential is there to make starts and give the team innings. I don't see him throwing out of the pen on short rest.

Kay has 3 good pitches and is going to be good when all 3 are working. The key thing for him is to survive when one of his pitch isn't working. Could be a decent starter or good bullpen arm. He has lots of upside.

Thornton has been the Jays #1 starter. 28 starts, 139 innings. 134 Ks and 56 BBs. ERA over 5.
He needs to command his fastball more and sort out which secondary pitch to use. Could end up in the pen.

Waguespack is probably a long man down the road. Surprisingly effective. Has a simple delivery.

hypobole - Sunday, September 15 2019 @ 06:21 PM EDT (#381428) #
20 different starters seems a massive amount, and yeah, it is. But the Jays aren't totally unique in that regard. The Rangers, Mariners and the Angels are all at 18.

At the other end of the spectrum, only 4 teams have used fewer than 10. Mets (9), Cubs and Reds (8), and the Cards (7).
scottt - Sunday, September 15 2019 @ 07:21 PM EDT (#381429) #
Interesting to hear that Tellez trains with McGriff in Florida in the winter.
scottt - Sunday, September 15 2019 @ 07:41 PM EDT (#381430) #
White Sox-Mariners tied 10-10 in the 8th.

Astros easly swept KC to tie the Yankees.
They both have 3 games against the Angels and 2 games against the Rangers left.
NYY has 1 extra game against the Rangers, 2 against Tampa and 3 against the Jays.
Houston has 3 extra games against the Angels and 3 against the Mariners.

Houston has the tiebreaker.

dan gordon - Sunday, September 15 2019 @ 08:43 PM EDT (#381431) #
Tellez has produced a -0.4 WAR season at age 24. At his age he should improve somewhat over the next couple of years, but that still likely makes him just a marginal big leaguer. The gap between where he is now and even a decent big league player is huge. I don't see any kind of star potential in him, and would like to see the Jays pick up a guy to either DH or play 1B in the offseason. I was hoping the improvement he showed in Buffalo this summer might be indicative of something significant, but his post-recall OPS is about the same as before the demotion.

To be a big star, you need the talent and the desire, like Trout. We know Vladdy has the talent, next year will go a long way to see if he has the desire as well. He needs to come in to spring training significantly lighter than he is now.
Magpie - Sunday, September 15 2019 @ 09:36 PM EDT (#381432) #
So I'm starting to beaver away at The Report Card, and I'm looking at all these rows of numbers, and I thought I'd share one. Two different players:
Tm	Lg	Lev  G  PA    AB   R   H   2B  3B  HR  RBI  SB  CS  BB  SO  BAVG  OBP   SLG   OPS    TB  GDP  HBP  SH  SF  IBB 
Dunedin FLOR A+ 97 431 394 52 120 18 7 8 41 9 6 25 64 .305 .351 .447 .797 176 15 4 6 2 2
Dunedin FLOR A+ 90 390 336 59 100 9 4 5 50 11 6 50 52 .298 .388 .393 .780 132 6 0 3 1 0

Who are we?
John Northey - Sunday, September 15 2019 @ 10:05 PM EDT (#381433) #
The starters for Jays by year...
2015: 12, 4 over 25, 6 10+, 7 with 5+
2016: 7, 5 over 25, Other 2 were 8 and 2.
2017: 14, 3 over 25, 5 10+, 8 with 5+
2018: 14, 1 over 25, 7 10+, 9 with 5+
2019: 20, 1 over 25, 6 10+, 11 with 5+

No one else will crack 25 starts, Buchholz next is #10, Law is at 4, Kay at 2. 6 have just 1 start each.

This year has been an anomaly. However, 3 of the 4 seasons before had 10+ so it shouldn't be a shocker. Sanchez and Stroman probably would've got to 25 had they stayed.

ERA+ over 100 for starters...
Stroman, SRF, Shoemaker
100+ Openers...
Font, Hudson, Phelps

Right there that might help explain the issue. SRF was playing on thin ice (6.0 BB/9) but was getting away with it mostly. Shoemaker injured early on, Stroman traded. None are on the active list right now. The 3 openers, 2 were traded 1 still here. So of the 6 guys who started and had a 100+ ERA+ only 1 is on the team right now, 3 are still property of the Jays. Pretty sad.
hypobole - Sunday, September 15 2019 @ 11:56 PM EDT (#381434) #
Who are we?

One is the best player in a 4 player trade. The other is 6 months older, but put up that line years ago.
Magpie - Monday, September 16 2019 @ 12:47 AM EDT (#381435) #
You got it. AWeb's comment up the page on one of them has got me thinking, but I'm saving it for the Report Card.
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