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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 | 152 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.
scottt - Monday, September 16 2019 @ 07:52 AM EDT (#381436) #
The offseason looks like this:

Jose Abreu (33) 2.5 WAR
Matt Adams (31) 0.2 WAR
Yonder Alonso (33) -0.9 WAR
Lucas Duda (34) -0.8 WAR
David Freese (37) 1.4 WAR
Brad Miller (30) 0.3 WAR
Mitch Moreland (34) 0.9 WAR
Steve Pearce (37) -0.6 WAR
Mark Reynolds (36 -1.1 WAR
Justin Smoak (33) 0.6 WAR
Neil Walker (34) 0.3 WAR
Ryan Zimmerman (35)  -0.2 WAR

Abreu will cost a ton and the Jays will not want to block Guerrero from 1B long term.
Tellez costs nothing and will hit 30+ homers if playing every day. He's just not going to get on base.
This is the time to see what you have in Tellez. Eric Thames was struggling at the same age and turned it around.
You need to keep the DH open to rest Vladdy, and to take some outfielders off their feet (Henderson, Gurriel, Fisher).
They might start giving Vladdy some time at first.
They should spend on a starting pitcher and a reliever.

Shoeless Joe - Monday, September 16 2019 @ 08:15 AM EDT (#381437) #
I personally think if you snag Nick Castellanos and put him at first you get yourself a heck of a batting line-up.
Glevin - Monday, September 16 2019 @ 08:36 AM EDT (#381438) #
"This is the time to see what you have in Tellez. Eric Thames was struggling at the same age and turned it around."

Eric Thames is almost 33 and has 4.5 career WAR. The issue with Tellez is that he needs be much much better to be valuable. There were around a dozen 1Bmen this year between 1-2 WAR. Tellez has an 80 WRC+. Eric Thames has a 115 WRC+ and is at 1.6 WAR. It's nice but not super valuable. It's easy and not expensive to find. I hope the Jays keep playing the young guys, but I'd like them to start raising the bar on getting playing time. No playing McKinney or Drury or Tellez etc...just because maybe they will figure something out. No playing Alford or Fisher just because they were great prospects a couple of years ago.
SK in NJ - Monday, September 16 2019 @ 09:43 AM EDT (#381439) #
Tellez is a 40 man roster bubble player to me. First basemen are the least valuable position players on the market nowadays (unless they are elite hitters) and the easiest to find on the cheap. Playing him everyday only makes sense if you feel he has tremendous offensive potential, and I just don't see it with him. Clearly he is not going to provide anything defensively or on the base paths.

Outside of the logical decision to move Vlad to first (which might be delayed a few years), I'd probably just sign a 1B in free agency for next to nothing as a short term stop gap, or maybe give one of the DH's parading as OF's on the roster (Hernandez, Fisher, etc) a first basemen's glove and see if there's anything there. I'd try a lot of things before settling on Tellez playing everyday.
Cracka - Monday, September 16 2019 @ 10:00 AM EDT (#381440) #
I think Tellez will be around for one more season, his final year with options. I could see him starting in Buffalo next year and riding the shuttle a few times, especially with an extra roster spot available and presumably 4 bench players most games. But I don't see a path for him to ever become a regular player. A slow, below-average defender needs to be an elite, "can't keep him out of the lineup" type of hitter. And Rowdy has never been that elite offensively over a long stretch of time. I wouldn't be upset if they did cut bait on him this off-season, but I think this FO really values pre-arb players with options.
bpoz - Monday, September 16 2019 @ 10:21 AM EDT (#381441) #
Dan Shulman is a sensible, intelligent man to me. Not sensational. He spoke about Phase 1 and 2. I never heard his explanation/details of this, but I would expect it to be reasonable.

My belief is that 2020 is still a trial year. Atkins said 2021 to be competitive. So further ML playing time for the young position players development seems most reasonable to me.

The pitching will still have the "throw a lot at the wall and see what sticks" strategy. Thornton, Borucki, Zeuch, Kay and Waguespack are the young pitchers in the group. Pearson will be promoted fairly soon in 2020 I hope.

I still count SRF as a serious candidate. His ability to throw 90-105 pitches in a game shows a very durable arm. Sub par results however.
He could make it out of ST if he has a good ST, except there is a philosophy that ST means nothing. That the roster is basically set before ST. So I formed the opinion that the rotation could be veterans that had guaranteed spots in 2019. Stroman, Sanchez, Shoemaker, Richard and I thought there was a 5 th veteran. Maybe Buchholz. That left Burucki in the minors. Injuries before opening day took care of that problem. As the season wore on injuries continued to take away any fears I had about the kids being blocked.
Chuck - Monday, September 16 2019 @ 11:24 AM EDT (#381442) #
I personally think if you snag Nick Castellanos and put him at first you get yourself a heck of a batting line-up.

Castellanos feels like an overpay waiting to happen. He gives a ton back defensively, putting him in the 2-3 WAR category. He figures to be paid like a 4-5 WAR player.

bpoz - Monday, September 16 2019 @ 11:42 AM EDT (#381443) #
I think we can win 5 or 6 of our remaining 12 games.
Magpie - Monday, September 16 2019 @ 12:27 PM EDT (#381444) #
I'd probably just sign a 1B in free agency for next to nothing as a short term stop gap

There are bigger problems than first base, of course, and I suppose what might be grounds for encouragement is that some of those bigger problems are starting to recede. It's always much harder to find a shortstop than a first baseman and it looks like they got one.

Okay, centre field clearly needs some work. Starting pitchers, sure. But solutions at first base and DH are generally the easiest ones to find.
grjas - Monday, September 16 2019 @ 12:44 PM EDT (#381445) #
I wouldnít waste effort on a FA first baseman next year. The team is not going to be competitive until at least 2021 so you may as well give Tellez a chance. Itís a low risk decision since VG will likely be ensconced at first by the time they are competitive, and Tellez can either be cut, DH or come off the bench.
grjas - Monday, September 16 2019 @ 12:51 PM EDT (#381446) #
Not sure how they get a half decent CF. Giles plus Hernandez plus money? Hard to believe thatís enough.
PeterG - Monday, September 16 2019 @ 01:10 PM EDT (#381447) #
Giles could have value to a team that thinks it's a contender and needs a closer. Only one blown save. Hard to beat that.
bpoz - Monday, September 16 2019 @ 01:33 PM EDT (#381448) #
I think Houston is the most balanced team in the AL. That division like the other 2 has 1 other good team. Oakland.

If you look at the great Houston team and compare it to the Jays for strength down the middle I am hoping we can equal them at catcher. I guess Springer is the CF and Marisnick is the 4th OF. So they beat us every where. Looks like it will take further development for Vlad to equal/beat A Bregman.

I thought we were doing well. More playing time will bring some improvement.
bpoz - Monday, September 16 2019 @ 01:40 PM EDT (#381449) #
Actually my point was that we don't have to be good at every position. A young K Pillar would be ok I think.

I almost always forget my point by the time I am ready to submit. Checking spelling etc ...
John Northey - Monday, September 16 2019 @ 01:55 PM EDT (#381450) #
For 2020 I see no reason not to keep Tellez at 1B. No one else is beating down the door for the job. Tellez' 803 AAA/majors OPS is about as good as it gets right now in the Jays system for guys in AAA/AA or the majors.

800+ OPS AA/AAA/Majors
Bo (21, SS, 888 A+/AAA/majors)
Patrick Kivlehan (29, 3B, 871 AA/AAA)
Gurriel Jr (25, LF, 859 AAA/majors)
Andy Burns (28, 3B, 833 AAA)
Fisher (25, LF, 830 AAA/majors)
Michael De La Cruz (26 CA 823 AAA)
Biggio (24, 2B, 820 AAA/majors)
Riley Adams (23 CA 809 A+/AA)
Vlad (20, 3B, 801 A+/AAA/majors)

So given Bo, Gurriel, Fisher, Biggio, and Vlad all have ML jobs, Kivlehan, Burns are both minor league free agents, and DeLaCruz did that in limited time and never hit anywhere near that before who do you see who is ready to take over 1B?

No one is forcing the issue so for now, give Tellez a full time shot until someone else forces the issue or he does. No need to sign anyone for 1B, just rotate the outfielders and if Tellez flops I'm sure one of the 1001 options in the OF could move to 1B full time.
prospect - Monday, September 16 2019 @ 02:03 PM EDT (#381451) #
We already have our 1B of the future. That is Vlad.
grjas - Monday, September 16 2019 @ 04:02 PM EDT (#381452) #
Giles could have value to a team that thinks it's a contender and needs a closer. Only one blown save. Hard to beat that

For sure but heís only got a year left on his contract; getting a younger CF with multi years of control wonít be cheap, especially in todayís market
Shoeless Joe - Monday, September 16 2019 @ 04:19 PM EDT (#381453) #
As proven with SWR I think the new way to acquire higher end prospects is to target prospects at A ball or below who haven't yet broken out in a big way.
SK in NJ - Monday, September 16 2019 @ 04:58 PM EDT (#381454) #
Agreed. The best way to acquire prospects from other teams nowadays is either to get them pre-breakout (meaning when they are in the lower minors) or acquire a "change of scenery" type who used to be a prospect but has fallen off. Trying to get a prospect that has already broken out is next to impossible these days. I don't think it's fair to expect a good young big league ready CF for one year of Giles, but a couple of low minors lottery tickets with one having the potential to turn into a long-term starting CF might be feasible. Teams are going to be less desperate in the off-season so the Jays may have missed their chance to really cash out on Giles two months ago (due to injury). Hopefully there will still be some value there.
Mike Green - Monday, September 16 2019 @ 05:09 PM EDT (#381455) #
Why would you trade Giles for a lottery ticket?  Better to draft lottery tickets in the 10th round (not thinking of anyone in particular). :) 

They should be trying to win in 2020, not pushing these things off further.  And Giles is part of that. 
scottt - Monday, September 16 2019 @ 05:24 PM EDT (#381456) #
Well, yes and no.

SWR hasn't won an MLB game yet, so we'll have to wait and see how that turns out.

The Yankees plugged their holes with Urshella, Voit and Tauchman. Aren't those the types of guys one should go after?

Voit and Tauchman were good hitters in the minors who were not able to transition to MLB successfully.
They're basically Socrates Brito types. Urshella was never an OBP guy in the minor and he has only 22 walks this year.
He's probably going to see less balls over the plate and could come crashing down.

Some teams have a surplus of outfield prospects and a shortage of other types. Moreno could be traded to a team that needs a catcher. I feels it's still too early for that as he's not a top 100 prospect at this point.

There's a couple of centerfelder in the Nippon Baseball League who might get posted.
That could be an interesting gamble, if the outfield wasn't already crowded with cheap guys who haven't completely failed yet.

scottt - Monday, September 16 2019 @ 05:38 PM EDT (#381457) #
It's pretty easy and cheap to acquire a bat at the trade deadline if you're in it.
I'm hopefully that Bichette, Biggio, Guerrero will be off to a good start in April. And having Mcguire to back up Jansen could help him break out with the bat.

Spring training is more about finding out who's healthy enough to play in April than who should win a job.
Except there's going to be a lot of good arms who could potentially make the team this time around and pitching depth at AAA the like of which I haven't seen before.

Personally, I feel that trading Sanchez/Biagini cleared room to keep Giles who could be an interesting trade chip if things don't go well. It would be crazy for someone to trade a top prospect for one year of Giles when there are so many other options.
The Jays are past the point where they need quantity.

Shoeless Joe - Monday, September 16 2019 @ 08:00 PM EDT (#381458) #
From time to time those lottery ticket deals turn out to be Yordan Alvarez for Josh Fields, Jesus Luzardo for Ryan Madson, Felipe Vasquez for Mark Melancon, or Fernando Tatis Jr. for James Shield. The Jays are at the point still were you take the upside on these deals, as the pitching is still not ready in 2020.
hypobole - Monday, September 16 2019 @ 08:12 PM EDT (#381459) #
How many teams have made the playoffs the year after losing over 95 games?
John Northey - Monday, September 16 2019 @ 08:25 PM EDT (#381460) #
Good question...
Houston came close 92 losses in 2014, playoffs in 2015
Twins did it, 103 losses in 2016, playoffs in 2017
Atlanta nearly did it, 90 losses in 2017, playoffs 2018; and did do it way back in 1992 after losing 97 or more for each of the 3 years before that.
Mike Green - Monday, September 16 2019 @ 08:35 PM EDT (#381461) #
Things have changed. A 95 loss season does not mean what it used to. This club was not trying to win for much of the first half and then had a fire sale at the deadline. The complete ranking is a relatively new phenomenon.

With the club's youth, Pythagorean underperformance, second half improvement, and budget room, the club's prospects ought to be assessed on their own merits.  You might still come to the conclusion that there is no hope of competing in 2020. My view is that this is not a fair reading of the situation. It's more of a routine somewhat uphill battle. But after 3 years of losing,, and with the stars up, it's time for the FO to commit instead of focusing on long-term asset accumulation.
85bluejay - Monday, September 16 2019 @ 08:46 PM EDT (#381462) #
Before this season started I felt like 2021 was a reasonable timeframe for the Jays to be playing .500 or better and now after this season I think that's being optimistic - I'd definitely trade Giles if a decent offer is made -oh well, let's see what the FO can do this winter.
hypobole - Monday, September 16 2019 @ 08:49 PM EDT (#381463) #
and with the stars up

Who's a star? Bo and???
SK in NJ - Monday, September 16 2019 @ 09:04 PM EDT (#381464) #
"Why would you trade Giles for a lottery ticket? Better to draft lottery tickets in the 10th round (not thinking of anyone in particular). :) They should be trying to win in 2020, not pushing these things off further. And Giles is part of that."

Keeping Giles only makes sense if they intend to compete in 2020 and/or plan on keeping him beyond 2020. I'd say both of those scenarios are unlikely. Trading Giles for a player(s) close to the Majors only makes sense if that player(s) is any good. The Jays don't need anymore depth pieces. They have plenty. They need high upside talent, and those types are not being traded very often anymore. Players in the lower minors present a lot more risk since they are so far away from the bigs, but that distance from the bigs might make them more attainable to a team with more of a short-term focus. That's where the Jays need to focus on. It's fine to focus on older prospects that other teams do not want to protect when trading the likes of Hudson or Phelps, but not Giles.

If there is one thing Atkins has succeeded in, or at least his regime has, is being able to scout amateur and international talent. I'd almost rather he acquire more Luciano types than rely on his track record with players closer to the big leagues (Teoscar, McKinney, Fisher, Drury, etc).
Mike Green - Monday, September 16 2019 @ 09:11 PM EDT (#381465) #
Bo may or may not be a star in 2020.  You don't know. The point is that the club has 5 young players who could be very good in 2020. That's not enough by itself, but that's where the budget room comes in. If you believe that the club is better off to wait for the arrival of Jordan Groshans in 2022, more power to you. The chances will probably be a little better then, but there may not be there to support the budget.
Mike Green - Monday, September 16 2019 @ 09:12 PM EDT (#381466) #
Ack. The fan base might not be there in 2022.
SK in NJ - Monday, September 16 2019 @ 09:40 PM EDT (#381467) #
The Jays can trade Giles for low minors prospects (for example) and still try to improve the 2020 team. The post-2017 free agent market has made signing free agents a lot more reasonable than before. The elite free agents will still get paid, but the 2-3 WAR types are getting less expensive in dollars and term. There's no reason why the Jays couldn't maximize Giles' value and still try to field a roster that might actually be watchable by adding free agents where needed.
John Northey - Monday, September 16 2019 @ 11:53 PM EDT (#381468) #
Stars are clearly Bo & Vlad with Gurriel close. Biggio has shown he should be a solid regular and Tellez could be decent I think (yeah I know, group think disagrees with me). The 2 catchers are sweet - McGuire & Jansen both have bats and defense that should work well for a starting catcher - having both (one R, one L) is a luxury not many have.

2020 will have its success decided by the pitching (or lack thereof). Kay, Zeuch, SRF (who is a year younger than Kay), Waguespack, Thornton will all get shots. All are 25 or less this season. Pearson will be up by mid-season I suspect. Patrick Murphy, Hector Perez, Diaz, Joey Murray, and Thomas Hatch could be up next year too. Manoah, Kloffenstein, Pardinho, and Kyle Johnston are all another year away at least more likely not until 2022 or 2023, SWR & Kendall Williams are a few years away.

That covers everyone on the top 30 list and all 25 and under pitchers in the majors who are reasonable starting prospects. OK, Thomas Pannone, and Ryan Borucki will also get shots depending on health and effectiveness but both moved way down the depth chart this year.

That is a lot of 25 and under pitchers the Jays have who have talent. It'll be interesting to see if any of them can take off - pitchers often go from zero to hero fast (most extreme example being Halladay of course 10.64 ERA at 23, all-star at 25, Cy Young at 26 - and no I don't expect any of these guys to do that, but dang would it be nice). You also get rapid rises - Osuna went from Dunedin to closer from age 19 to 20, Stieb from A ball outfielder to ML starter in one year (signed at 20, played OF and pitched, at 21 he went A+, AAA, majors, all-star at 22, should've won Cy at 24).

Pitchers are weird and hard to predict. All the Jays can do is bulk up on good arms and work them and hope a few take off.
vw_fan17 - Monday, September 16 2019 @ 11:59 PM EDT (#381469) #
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.
Aaaaand... He's out for the season with a foot injury..
hypobole - Tuesday, September 17 2019 @ 01:05 AM EDT (#381470) #
Is Vlad a star though? 114 games, 473 PA's. He's been worth 0.4 fWAR despite a 107 wRC+, because he's been bad defensively and has been one of the worst baserunners in baseball. BRef is much more generous, because it ignores all the outs he's creating on the basepaths, but even 1.9 bWAR is not star material.

Not saying he won't improve, hopefully a lot, but he's not a star in my books going into next season.
Glevin - Tuesday, September 17 2019 @ 02:31 AM EDT (#381471) #
"Why would you trade Giles for a lottery ticket? Better to draft lottery tickets in the 10th round (not thinking of anyone in particular). :) They should be trying to win in 2020, not pushing these things off further. And Giles is part of that."

Majorly disagree here. I expect the Jays to improve next year but they are still way behind Yankees, Red Sox, and Rays in their own division. Keeping Giles might make the difference between say 76 wins and 79 wins if he has a great year and the Jays improve. I would never turn down getting actual prospects (and Giles should bring back more than just a flier on a guy) to potentially be a little closer to .500. That's not even getting into how fragile and fluky relievers are or how not valuable they are to non winning teams.
AWeb - Tuesday, September 17 2019 @ 07:29 AM EDT (#381472) #
I've never understood why good relievers are uniquely less useful to losing teams. I know relievers are less predictable than other top players, but I would guess that is because they aren't actually top players, value-wise. Top relievers are in the 1.5-3.5 WAR range most years. Those closest to 2.0 last year have all been good again this year, although most not quite as good. There's very little "upside" for a 2 WAR reliever though, depending on leverage usage, it's almost as good as you can be throwing 60-80 innings.

The starters bunched around 2 WAR in 2018 (using fangraphs for convenience) were Matt Boyd (better this year), Luis Castillo (great this year), John Lester (about the same), Sean Newcomb (mediocre reliver), Jake Arrieta (worse), Tyler Anderson (bad, then injured). So about 50/50.

5 batters were at 2.0 WAR last year - Jason Kipnis has been worse, Tim Anderson is doing very well, Kevin Pillar is who he has ever been, except slightly worse on defense, Johnathan Villar has been very good, and Brandon Crawford has been awful. Again about 50/50.

I'm really coming around on hating the "sell everything not nailed down" attitude for teams that don't expect to win the championship. As noted above, almost every team that is terrible has to spend a few years getting better. It's hard to do that if you keep picking apart the supporting cast. Giles can help the team be better, unless a really good offer comes along (but that applies to literally everyone). A different way to think about it - everyone here wants Guerrero Jr. to bust his butt and get in great shape for next year, to see how good he can get, how quickly. Be professional and try as hard as he can to be good (same for other players too of course). Meanwhile, the front office is explicitly not taking this approach. "We're trying our best to win...well not actually our best, but at some point we will, trust us", is the front office message.
scottt - Tuesday, September 17 2019 @ 07:52 AM EDT (#381473) #
Most prospects don't amount to anything.

The next Jays top prospects will come from the next draft in which they'll pick 5th or 6th or some free agents who turns out well.

The Yankees are impossible to predict right now.
Judge is a monster. Lemahieu and Torres are quite good.
Severino, Paxton, Happ and Tanaka should return to the rotation.
I wouldn't bet money on anything else.

Boston might trade Betts, The owner does not want half the payroll tied to 3 guys for the next 6 years.
They have the worst farm system in baseball and the highest payroll.
The April Jays were way behind Boston, but the current lineup is not.

The Rays are hard to predict as well. They have an amazing farm system.
On paper they have a really good rotation, but health has not been there.

Pearson could be up in May--they can shut him down early if they're not in it.
So, where the team is largely depends on how good the starting pitching will be.

If the Jays had a good setup guy ready to move to the 9th, it would be easy to move Giles.
Right now, they don't have a setup guy. They traded both Hudson and Phelps.
If I was the coach, I would not want to start the year with a bullpen that is worse than the current one.

Magpie - Tuesday, September 17 2019 @ 08:05 AM EDT (#381475) #
Giles can help the team be better, unless a really good offer comes along (but that applies to literally everyone).

I would agree that they at least need to kick the tires on what sort of deal Giles will be looking for in free agency. He's going to want to get paid, but he can't be expecting Chapman-Jansen money - his track record isn't as extensive, and Jansen might even be something of a cautionary tale. There aren't that many other Proven Closers suitable for comparison. Sean Doolittle? Anyway, if Giles has another year like this next year, he'll certainly have earned a big raise. So what ... $10-12 million a year, term for at least three years? Would that be the ballpark?
hypobole - Tuesday, September 17 2019 @ 08:50 AM EDT (#381477) #
Why was Giles available last year for a toxic Osuna, with 2 somewhat interesting prospects at the time also in the deal. He wasn't very good. Why wasn't Giles traded at the deadline this year? Injured.

As for selling everything not nailed down, no. Players the FO believes are part of the next contending core are not traded, unless it's for a definite upgrade to the core. The FO shouldn't trade Bo, Vlad, Lourdes, Pearson, Biggio, Danny and Reese if the FO believes they will be part of the 2021 core.

Glevin - Tuesday, September 17 2019 @ 08:54 AM EDT (#381479) #
"I've never understood why good relievers are uniquely less useful to losing teams. I know relievers are less predictable than other top players, but I would guess that is because they aren't actually top players, value-wise. Top relievers are in the 1.5-3.5 WAR range most years. Those closest to 2.0 last year have all been good again this year, although most not quite as good."

The top 5 relievers last year combined for 14.5 WAR. This year, they've combined for 3.3 WAR. The best 2 relievers last year have combined for negative WAR this year. Easily, the the top 2 relievers this year is made up of one guy who was DFAd last year and available for nothing and another guy who was claimed on waivers for nothing. Over the last 5 years, there is exactly one reliever with over 10 WAR (2 WAR a year/per year). There are 6 averaging at least 1.5 WAR a year over that period. There have been 41 starters and 95 position players as valuable as the best reliever over the last 5 years. You can't count on relievers long term. You don't build teams around relievers. You trade relievers and you find relievers elsewhere. When you are ready to contend, then you can add bullpen pieces if needed. This is not selling everything not nailed down, it's sacrificing short-term value for long-term value which is something a 95 loss team should be doing. Desperately trying to scratch your way to 75 wins and sacrificing the future to do that is pointless. Will Giles be good in the future? The five BR comps at 27 YO are Cody Allen (washed up at 29), Familia (washed up at 29), and Chad Cordero (career over at 26), Frieri (done at 28), Rosenthal (looks done at 28). Giles is 28. Maybe he bucks the trend but the averages are against him.
dan gordon - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 12:30 AM EDT (#381517) #
I don't think WAR fully accounts for the crucial nature of the innings a closer pitches. The best closers in the game - Chapman, Giles, Jansen, etc, have save %'s of around 89-90%. If you have a real problem with your closer, you could be at around 80%. If there are 45 save opportunities for your closer during the season, that 10% difference is 4-5 wins a year. Obviously, the point the people who want to support the idea of signing Giles are making isn't to try to win an extra few games next year, so I don't know why that is being mentioned as a reason not to sign him. If they sign him now to a 4 year contract, they have him through the 2023 season, and hopefully this is a strong team for the majority of that period. They have one of the best closers in the game. Who else on the team is one of the best in the game at his position? Nobody. If they trade Giles, they will eventually have to go out and get a closer, probably within a year or so of trading him. The guy they get will likely not be as good as Giles, and will cost them a lot in prospects or money. The likelihood you are going to be able to pick up a guy on waivers and have him be one of the 2 best relievers in the game is virtually zero. If they can sign him to a reasonable contract, they should do it, unless they can get a good young player who is likely to be ready to play in the big leagues by 2021. If you get a high upside kid in rookie ball, he is not going to be around for the hopefully contending years in 2021-2023.

Why was Giles available last year? Because he had the only real rough patch of his career for a couple of months prior to the trade, and you know how many saves he blew even in that rough patch? None. And the injury that prevented him from being traded this year lasted what, 3 weeks? And he pitched the last time before the deadline on July 27th, then was able to pitch again on August 4th and 7th, before taking another 6 days off. He has pitched in at least 44 games every year since he came into the big leagues in 2014.

Another thing about those WAR numbers for closers. Take 2 teams. Each of them has 45 save opportunities for their closer during the season. One has Giles to bring in for the 9th. The other has some mediocre guy as their closer. You think the team with Giles is only going to have 1, maybe 2 more wins in those 45 games? I sure don't.
AWeb - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 06:58 AM EDT (#381522) #
WAR fully builds in leverage indexes of one form or another, which I actually disagree with (but I'm a weird one on that topic), so you are saying it should be built in even more. Even great closer blows 10% of their opportunities. On fangraphs during years where blown saves are tracked, Mariano Rivera had 437 saves and 46 blown saves. In the regular season during this period he was a standard use closer, and he was infuriatingly great, so I think it's fair to say 10% is basically the best you can expect. 4-5 extra blown saves by a terrible closer (likely multiple closers or 2017 Osuna are required to get 10 BS) are not 4-5 extra losses, since a lot of blown save appearances end in a tie game, not an outright loss. And a mediocre closer only gets 2-3 more blown saves in a year, if a team is willing to let a mediocre guy be the closer at all.

Sure, a Giles who almost never blows a save like the last two years seems far better, but just this year he's given up runs and gotten a save 3 different times, and his WHIP in his actual converted saves is 1.258. When teams have a terrible bullpen, it's almost always a team effort and that can certainly add up to a lot more over the year than a few wins. But a great closer versus an average closer (so a slightly above average reliever I guess), I totally believe it's just a few wins a year difference, usually.
scottt - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 07:58 AM EDT (#381524) #
WAR for pitcher is always problematic.

A closer with 1 blown save is not worth 5 WAR more than a closer with 6 blown saves.
Teams probably don't have great records in games in which the closer blow a save and that often leads to extra innings which probably impacts the team by overworking the bullpen.

With a good closer, the Red Sox would probably have won a wild card spot.

They Yankees have shown that you can win a lot of games by using closer/setup guys in the middle innings.
By bWAR, Britton and Ottavino are 2.2 each and Chapman is only at 1.4.

Apparently, Betences has suffered a partial tear of his Achilles' tendon while recording those 2 outs in Toronto on Sunday.
I didn't notice anything.

I don't like this version of Tepera much.
The good Tepera gets through 1 inning with only 2 pitches and everything is hard.

I think trading Giles over the winter would be mostly a cost cutting measure as they would have to sign a replacement who would probably earn less.

scottt - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 08:17 AM EDT (#381525) #
Giles had several rough patches in his career.
In 2015 and 2016, he blew 25% of his save opportunities. That's not great.
From 2017, his playoffs record is 0W 2L, 2 Saves, 10 earned run in 7 games.
In 2018 he did not blow a single save, but he screamed at his manager and got sent to the minors.

GMs are very worried of losing assets for volatile relievers.

AWeb - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 10:01 AM EDT (#381530) #
"With a good closer, the Red Sox would probably have won a wild card spot" - I respectfully disagree. The Red Sox have 25 blown saves this year (all those blown "holds" count as blown saves too), which is pretty standard. Oakland has 29, NYY have 24, Tampa has 21, Minnesota have 20. The Red Sox 'pen is 12th in ERA, fangraphs has them top 5 in WAR. That has not cost them 9 games (currently behind Tampa) in the standings. The 2018 Red Sox had 20 Blown Saves, and they won almost every game.

Now the Jays, there's a great bullpen. Only 10 blown saves this year. I guess when your starters suck early and often, you can't "blow" a game.
bpoz - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 10:29 AM EDT (#381532) #
Thanks AWeb. That is good to know. Blown saves and holds.

Just a question if anyone knows. The opener Font/anyone leaves with a 1-5 run lead after 2 innings. The next pitcher 1)Immediately coughs up the lead 2) Some other pitcher gives up the lead in another inning later on. Are they all considered blown holds? Even so early in the game?
AWeb - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 10:54 AM EDT (#381534) #
I don't think you can blow a save or a hold if you are potentially the winning pitching of record before you enter the game. That makes sense to me at least...
bpoz - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 11:39 AM EDT (#381539) #
Thanks again AWeb. I understand now. Only 2 IP for the opener so not enough IP to qualify for the win.

Age is having an effect on my mind.
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