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The Jays head out on the final road trip of the season, having kept their unspoken commitment to losing more than 90 games for the first time in more than 20 years. As a very, very great man once said, "it's too late to stop now."

But there's no need to actually lose 100 games, surely. That hasn't happened to a Toronto team since the Carter administration. John Lennon and John Bonham were alive to witness it. So were Alfred Hitchcock and Jean-Paul Sartre. That was a long time ago, it was.

So let's not go there. And with that objective in mind - hey, bring on the Orioles. Please. They've already lost 100 games. What's left to lose?

But hang on, me hearties. What's all this then? There are only two teams in all of baseball that the Orioles have a winning record against, one of them being Mike Trout's Angels who dropped 4 of 7 to these bad birds. And the other? Your Toronto Blue Jays. The Orioles have beaten Toronto 7 times in 13 meetings. They've pulled this off despite being outscored 66-53 by the Jays in those games. How did that happen? It was two Toronto blowouts, by scores of 12-3 and 11-2, that tilted those numbers. Camden Yards was the scene of the crime each time.

Andrew Cashner beat the Jays twice this year, but he won't be a concern this time around. The Jays have also seen Dylan Bundy twice this season - he beat them 4-1 at the Dome back in July, and pitched well in a no decision last month. He's on the mound tonight, matched up with Trent Thornton who has faced the Orioles three times himself this season. He's done quite nicely ( 2-1, 2.12), too. And that means Thornton's picked up 40% of his career victories against the Orioles, which is a little weird.

So tonight will the Battle of the Aces.

After that it'll be desperate and ugly work. Because these are the matchups:

Tue 17 Sep - Thornton (5-9, 5.04) vs Bundy (6-14, 4.99)
Wed 18 Sep - Buchholz (1-5, 5.63) vs Brooks (3-5, 7.11)
Thu 19 Sep - Kay (0-0, 6.30) vs SOME GUY

Jays at Orioles, 17-19 September | 177 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
ISLAND BOY - Tuesday, September 17 2019 @ 07:53 AM EDT (#381474) #
That pitcher on Thursday for the Orioles is actually named Sum Goy. He is from North Korea and is very good at following coach's instructions.
scottt - Tuesday, September 17 2019 @ 08:16 AM EDT (#381476) #
Buccholz has not pitched that well for the Jays.
The Orioles haven't seen him this year and maybe not in a long time.

Baltimore is fresh off a fight with Detroit for the #1 draft pick.
They usually go with 2 switch hitters and 4 left bats. One of the right handed bat is Trey Mancini. One of the left bat is Dwight Smith Jr. Renato Nunez has a sore hand and might sit out.

They currently have 8 position players on the bench.
One of them is Chris Davis.
Another one is Mark Trumbo who has 19 AB for the year and he's currently day-to-day with a barking trapezius.
Another one is Richie Martin their Rule 5 infielder.

Their other 3 starters are Means, Ynoa and Asher W.

scottt - Tuesday, September 17 2019 @ 08:52 AM EDT (#381478) #
Global is saying that Chandler Shepherd will be the Orioles starter tonight.
hypobole - Tuesday, September 17 2019 @ 09:27 AM EDT (#381480) #
ESPN schedule is showing Shepherd tonight, Bundy tomorrow.
bpoz - Tuesday, September 17 2019 @ 10:02 AM EDT (#381481) #
Thank you Magpie. Your writing is creative, entertaining and amusing. I really enjoy it.

I look forward to your report card because it will set the stage for a good discussion. Definitely worth the wait.
Mike Green - Tuesday, September 17 2019 @ 10:04 AM EDT (#381482) #

I wonder if Mr. Guy has a better ERA than any of the other starters in the series.  Strange first name though.
Chuck - Tuesday, September 17 2019 @ 10:06 AM EDT (#381483) #
When will the Orioles ever be good again? This feels a trick question because the answer feels like "uh, never?".

In 2016, they signed 30-year old Chris Davis to a 7/161 contract. He had had two very good years in his career to that point, and a bunch of meh otherwise. Four years and 92M in, he has been worth -0.8 WAR. And he's got 3/69 left after this year. Do they release him? I'm sure they want to, but will that just bring further negative attention upon this sad sack organization? Or do they cling to the sunk cost fallacy just a little longer, maybe one more year?

In 2017, they signed a 31-year old Mark Trumbo for 3/38, fresh off a 47-HR season (though barely 2 WAR). Trumbo's contract is soon to expire. He gave them -0.3 WAR for the cost.

The downside of chasing old sluggers is a lesson that most of baseball has now long learned. It cost the Orioles almost 200M to learn this lesson. Professional men in professional suits drawing professional paycheques were the masterminds behind these moves. It boggles the mind.

As an aside, I see the name Dylan Bundy and I think "weighted ball exercises". Am I remembering correctly? Was he one of the names associated with this training practise you no longer hear about? Is it still even a thing?

Magpie - Tuesday, September 17 2019 @ 10:35 AM EDT (#381484) #
ESPN schedule is showing Shepherd tonight, Bundy tomorrow.

They've updated it since I looked at it last night. Devious swine.

For a brief moment, I was thinking - I better check out what Sum Goy did in Norfolk. You got me good, ISLAND BOY.

The fact that I know the Orioles AAA team plays in Norfolk is kind of a giveaway, right?
hypobole - Tuesday, September 17 2019 @ 10:38 AM EDT (#381485) #
Davis was a case of a meddling owner not wanting to look cheap to fans. Trumbo was on Duquette, AKA, the guy Rogers wanted to hire to replace Beeston.
bpoz - Tuesday, September 17 2019 @ 10:39 AM EDT (#381486) #
I did check to O's 40 man roster. Hahaha.
hypobole - Tuesday, September 17 2019 @ 10:47 AM EDT (#381487) #
They've updated it since I looked at it last night. Devious swine.

ESPN should decide who starts for each team at least a day in advance.
Magpie - Tuesday, September 17 2019 @ 10:53 AM EDT (#381488) #
ESPN should decide who starts for each team at least a day in advance.

I suppose they can only go with what the teams are telling them. The Orioles own website lists tonight's starter as TBD. It's their local radio station that's reporting that Shepherd is starting tonight.
hypobole - Tuesday, September 17 2019 @ 10:56 AM EDT (#381489) #
I suppose they can only go with what the teams are telling them.

So you're saying it isn't ESPN's decision? Do you have any proof?
Magpie - Tuesday, September 17 2019 @ 11:06 AM EDT (#381490) #
When will the Orioles ever be good again? This feels a trick question

it's a little weird because it sure feels like the Orioles have been awful for decades. When in fact they quite recently had a five year run of competence that included three appearances in the post-season. I suppose that's what happens when you dive into new and unexplored depths of awfulness. The evil takes on a life of its own, all good is interred with the bones.
AWeb - Tuesday, September 17 2019 @ 11:41 AM EDT (#381491) #
Ex-Jay watch - Dwight Smith Junior! Hitting .235/.292/.411 (OPS+ of 84), plus bbref hates his fielding too. He'd fit right in at the bottom of the pile of OFers on the team now, I guess, but any early-season hand-wringing about his performance is long since done. Huh, I think that's it for ex-Jays. Am I missing one of the nearly infinite pile of unrecognizable names on Baltimore's roster? Even from inside the glass house of Blue Jays fandom in 2019, Baltimore has a dreaful roster.

If McKinney can get 1 more HR, that would give 13 Jays double digits this year, tying the 2019 Yankees who might be stuck on 13 themselves.
bpoz - Tuesday, September 17 2019 @ 01:02 PM EDT (#381492) #
DSJ was no real loss to the Jays. We got Int'l cap room for him and used it on a pitching prospect.

DSJ does not have a strong arm I believe. Bad defense I realize. I don't know if he gets to many balls that he should get to. If they are hit to him hopefully he catches them. Regarding speed he only has 5 SBs.

Just a 4th OF type. If given a list I am relieved the Os chose him over our other OF prospects. I have always considered luck as a major factor in success.
85bluejay - Tuesday, September 17 2019 @ 01:02 PM EDT (#381493) #
I bet the Pirates wished they had moved Felipe Vazquez last July - only bad things seem to happen when you hold onto diminishing assets.
bpoz - Tuesday, September 17 2019 @ 01:15 PM EDT (#381494) #
The outfielder poll is finished. I finally made a choice. D Fisher. I hope he is able to catch balls hit to him. Execute better reads and routes. I hear his arm is very weak which is why I chose him. A weak fly ball to him with a runner at 3b would probably score.
Spifficus - Tuesday, September 17 2019 @ 01:16 PM EDT (#381495) #
They don't make 10 foot poles long enough to not touch Vazquez with.
Cracka - Tuesday, September 17 2019 @ 01:34 PM EDT (#381496) #
If any part of the allegations against Vazquez are true, I think his career is over. This is unlike any other type of crime - I can't possibly see anyone giving a second chance to a convicted child sex predator. Even if he had murdered someone in cold blood, he'd have a better chance at playing again.
hypobole - Tuesday, September 17 2019 @ 01:37 PM EDT (#381497) #
Yeah, this seems the end of Vazquez' MLB career. Wouldn't be surprised if Huntington is canned as collateral damage.
mathesond - Tuesday, September 17 2019 @ 02:05 PM EDT (#381498) #
We'll see how much times have changed - Luis Polonia was convicted in 1989 of having sex with an underage girl, but played in MLB as late as 2000.
hypobole - Tuesday, September 17 2019 @ 03:33 PM EDT (#381499) #
Times have changed. Luke Heimlich was a Top 100 draft prospect, even winning NCAA's National Pitcher of the Year. Had a child molestation conviction when he was 16. Got passed over in both the 2017 and 2018 drafts. Dayton Moore publicly discussed potentially signing him, but after massive backlash decided against it. He's pitching in Mexico now.
Spifficus - Tuesday, September 17 2019 @ 03:46 PM EDT (#381500) #
If it's Heimlichian, Vazquez may as well retire now, just to save us all the details.
hypobole - Tuesday, September 17 2019 @ 05:23 PM EDT (#381501) #
The best season of anyone who wore the Jays uni this year is Stroman currently at 3.4 WAR total for Jays and Mets (by both systems). Sogard has totalled 2.6 WAR.

There is an Oriole at 3.7 f/3.8 b WAR. Wonder how many of us know who without looking it up. I had to look it up.
vw_fan17 - Tuesday, September 17 2019 @ 05:42 PM EDT (#381502) #
There is an Oriole at 3.7 f/3.8 b WAR. Wonder how many of us know who without looking it up. I had to look it up.
Purely as a guess, Mancini?
hypobole - Tuesday, September 17 2019 @ 05:47 PM EDT (#381503) #
Mancini is #2 on the team.

The #1 guy's batting line is almost the same as Vladdy's, but gets a huge boost by being MLB's baserunning leader on FG.
scottt - Tuesday, September 17 2019 @ 06:07 PM EDT (#381504) #
It's pretty easy. They don't have that many good players.

It's a bit surprising that they haven't traded Villar. He's a free agent at the end of next year.
Maybe they just want to avoid setting a new loss record?

They're going to build a sold farm system the Astros way and they'll have money to spend once some of top prospects starts to reach.

scottt - Tuesday, September 17 2019 @ 06:16 PM EDT (#381505) #
Felipe Rivero changed his name to Felipe Vasquez last year.
That's the name of his sister with whom he lives in Florida.
She decided on the name change, what agent he has, what number he wears...

His MLB career is over.
I expect he does some time, gets sued by the victim's mother for all the money he's got left and then get deported back to Venezuela.  He made 3M last year and over 4 this year. The Pirates will owe him another 13.5M no matter what.

Magpie - Tuesday, September 17 2019 @ 06:21 PM EDT (#381506) #
If it's Heimlichian

Sounds more Polanskian.
Magpie - Tuesday, September 17 2019 @ 07:29 PM EDT (#381507) #
I could have sworn I saw Vlad look at the dugout and shake his head. Which I interpreted as "I didn't get him."
Shoeless Joe - Tuesday, September 17 2019 @ 07:59 PM EDT (#381508) #
Oh man I think Biggio is going to be a superstar.
ayjackson - Tuesday, September 17 2019 @ 08:10 PM EDT (#381509) #
I loved the Killer Bees in Houston years ago...but think I'll love the Killer BeeGees even more.
Magpie - Tuesday, September 17 2019 @ 08:29 PM EDT (#381510) #
Yastrzemski hitting a home run at Fenway Park is pretty cool.
Magpie - Tuesday, September 17 2019 @ 08:39 PM EDT (#381511) #
Tabler sounded a little overly awestruck talking about the original Yaz, who was an old man of 43 going on 44 by the time Tabler played against him in 1983. So I checked, and Yaz hit .441/.525/.706 in his 11 games against Tabler's Indians. OK, fair enough!
Shoeless Joe - Tuesday, September 17 2019 @ 09:57 PM EDT (#381512) #
Stoeten had a great article about Vladdy and his disappointing season over at the athletic. There are some bad habits that Vladdy really needs to break, and his conditioning needs to improve obviously.
Magpie - Tuesday, September 17 2019 @ 10:06 PM EDT (#381513) #
Here's a link to Stoeten's piece, which I agree is well worth reading.
Gerry - Tuesday, September 17 2019 @ 10:16 PM EDT (#381514) #
Cycle! There was no way Biggio was stopping at second base.
Magpie - Tuesday, September 17 2019 @ 10:21 PM EDT (#381515) #
Very nice. Didn't finish his the way Gruber and Frye did (each kind of unstretched a double into a single their last time up.)

The double, triple and home run were the last of each in Frye's career.
scottt - Tuesday, September 17 2019 @ 10:50 PM EDT (#381516) #
Pretty awesome. All with 2 outs, in the 9th, against the closer and the 2 hitters in front of him had to get on.

Too bad about the left fielder who ran into the wall though.

dan gordon - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 01:39 AM EDT (#381518) #
That's great that Biggio got the cycle. He had to push the umpire out of the way as he was approaching 2nd base on the 9th inning triple - you don't see that too often. Wonder how many guys have gotten the cycle after striking out in their 1st AB like Biggio did. Also, Biggio had 2 SB's - how many have done that along with a cycle?

Wilner had an interesting comment on the radio broadcast about the replay rules. The Blue Jays made another incorrect challenge early in the game, and so could not challenge the call at the plate in the 5th. Wilner said there was a replay which clearly showed Jansen tagged the runner before he scored. Wilner said that the whole point of replay is to get the call right - it shouldn't be left for a challenge by the manager. Somebody in NY should be able to contact the umpires and say, wait a second, we need to have a quick look. I'd be in favour of that. If there is one thing I hate about watching team sports it is when the outcome of a game is affected by a bad call by the umpire/referee. Sure, this time it didn't matter, but what if that happened in a World Series game. It put a run up on the board for the Orioles that shouldn't have scored. How would you like to be watching an important game and they announced before the game that at some point they were simply going to award a run to one of the teams at random? Get the call right.
hypobole - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 02:03 AM EDT (#381519) #
Also, Biggio had 2 SB's - how many have done that along with a cycle?

from ESPN:
Biggio is just the second player over the last 100 years to hit for the cycle and have multiple stolen bases in the same game, joining Charlie Moore in 1980.
Glevin - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 02:46 AM EDT (#381520) #
I've never really cared about the cycle because I think it's so fluky and random. I mean, Kelly Gruber could have made it to second and actually had a better game but stayed at first to get a cycle. Happy for Biggio though who looks really good so far. Vlad is frustrating because it feels like he could and should be better but he's still only 20 which is exceptionally young. When Cavan Biggio was 20, he was at Notre Dame. I just hope Vlad works hard this offseason on his conditioning and learns lessons (I.E. stop hitting so many grounders).
Michael - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 02:47 AM EDT (#381521) #
I agree the challenge rules are stupid. It is trying to ape the NFL where timeouts are involved, but in baseball time isn't really the same degree of an issue - you don't need to let your defensive line rest or whatever so you shouldn't get fake challenges.

But the purpose is to get the plays correct, so check the close plays. Also don't have these silly false starts where the possibly challenging team is checking with their own replay before deciding if they should challenge or not. Just start the challenge if the play was close.

If you really want to limit possible false challenges and have to have a penalty, rather than one and done, do something like a free strike/ball in the next at bat to make up for the time used if the challenge is clearly unnecessary (where challenges can be unnecessary with the play standing, too close to overturn - but not unnecessary then because it was so close, and overturning the ruling which again is a fine challenge).

Besides an automatic robot ball/strike umpire, the automatic challenge of close plays is what is most needed next.
Magpie - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 07:45 AM EDT (#381523) #
Somebody in NY should be able to contact the umpires

I wonder how practical that would be. You would need to have all games, as many as 15 at a given moment, monitored in real time. You would need a way to communicate with the umpires, who aren't normally wearing headsets, to tell them "hold up, I want to look at this again.... oh never mind. Carry on." It could be managed, I suppose.

The cycle obviously isn't important, or as useful as hitting four home runs. It's just neat. Hitting for the cycle along with two stolen bases has been done once before, by Charlie Moore of the Brewers in October 1980. That came up in the broadcast, because Buck Martinez was on the bench watching. Just as Tabler was on the KC bench watching when Gruber hit his. And in fairness to Gruber and Frye - it's true both guys settled for a single in their final at bat. But both times the Jays had a huge lead and not busting it out for an extra base used to be seen as professional courtesy in those situations.

And finally, in other news! It took 15 innings, but the Giants beat the Red Sox, the first time the Giants have won a game in Fenway Park since June 1915. I know what you're thinking. June?
scottt - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 08:21 AM EDT (#381526) #
It's not about getting all the close calls right.
It's about making sure all the calls that are not close are right.

There was no evidence that Guerrero tagged the runner at third. Guerrero himself didn't think he made the tag.
That was a pure gamble made because the game could have gotten out of reach early.

John Northey - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 08:21 AM EDT (#381527) #
Ah Magpie, you got me. I had to check and I looked at the Red Sox first, which was useless. Then I checked the Giants (in New York at the time) and saw BSN on their schedule - Boston Braves, yes, the Atlanta Braves used to play in Boston and in 1915 they shared Fenway Park with the Red Sox.

The faithful games box score.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 09:21 AM EDT (#381528) #
It's possible Vlad isn't the guy everybody thinks he is. Immensely talented? Check. Generational talent? Check. He doesn't have the defense, conditioning or discipline and I don't think those are things that you acquire in an off season. Juan Soto and and Acuna have those things.

VLad reminds me a lot of Bryce Harper with his attitude early on. He brings Delmon young to mind with his conditioning and ethic. He brings Miguel Sano to mind as a comparable in terms of turning bad habits around.

As I mentioned before the season opened, i'd take Tatis in a heartbeat over Vlad. In an ideal world the Jays trade him to a team that wants to give up two amazing players like Bichette + and then we turn around and sign someone like Rendon.

Vlad is still really good and still likely our best player, but man the hype machine seems like a mirage...I see more Delmon Young than Miguel Cabrera prime right now and that's a huge difference.
Jonny German - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 09:37 AM EDT (#381529) #
I see more Delmon Young than Miguel Cabrera prime right now and that's a huge difference.

Miguel Cabrera didn't look like Miguel Cabrera prime at age 20 either. He tore up AA for half a season, then hit OK in the majors - a little worse than Vlad has done this year. Cabrera ramped up very quickly from there.

As for Delmon Young, the similarity between him and Vlad is... that they were extremely highly rated prospects? That's not much to have in common.
Magpie - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 10:07 AM EDT (#381531) #
I looked at the Red Sox first, which was useless. Then I checked the Giants

Which means that to find the last the Giants beat the Red Sox in Fenway Park we have to go all the way back to the year Fenway opened for business: Game 7 of the 1912 World Series. Which, as it happens was a very famous game. Which as it happens, I've already written about. At my usual wildly excessive length. And if you're wondering - if the Giants won Game 7, why did they not win the Series? Well, it's complicated.
bpoz - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 10:44 AM EDT (#381533) #
I am with Shoeless Joe. Biggio is going to become a good player. If healthy maybe an All Star.

Yesterday on Prime Time Sports it was said that Vlad, Bo and Lourdes were good players. Almost everyone else except a veteran like Grichuk had to show more next year. I suppose that is correct. It is not really wrong. Most of those players do have flaws and need to fix them.
Magpie - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 11:01 AM EDT (#381535) #
[Cabrera] tore up AA for half a season

Yeah, no kidding. Cabrera hit .365/.429/.602 in the Southern League and the Marlins brought him up and stuck him in left field although he'd never played a single professional game in the outfield. He got to play 3b that September when Mike Lowell was hurt. The Marlins still didn't trade Lowell to Boston for another two years.

Well, Mike Lowell was pretty good, wasn't he? Not one of Cashman's better trades.
Mike Green - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 11:03 AM EDT (#381536) #
I think dalimon5 is suggesting that the X factors (motivation, perseverance, discipline, self-control) is the way in which VGJ is more similar to Delmon Young than to Miguel Cabrera. 

Delmon Young was an extreme case.  He threw a bat at an umpire in the minor leagues, and later was involved in a hate crime while intoxicated and then another assault with a racist element.  On the field, he had an issue with plate discipline as a minor leaguer and rarely walked, but was exquisitely talented in other regards.

VGJ had worked hard as a minor leaguer, and there was no suggestion of any anger issues whatsoever.  In fact, he tends to be jolly with a smile on his face most of the time.  He came to camp this year out of shape, and at a couple of points during the year, he has been obviously frustrated.  Personally, I'd see it as routine growing pains rather than anything more.  By contrast, when the Rays made Young the centerpiece of their trade with the Twins for Bartlett and Garza, I publicly praised the trade and felt that the X factor in Young's case made him a poor risk.  It's very different with VGJ.

I don't think that the club is helping VGJ by playing him at third base.  He's struggling with the fielding and he's more susceptible to injury.  Just stick him at first base or DH and let the young man do what he does best- hit the baseball.  If you do, he'll be fine. 
Mike Green - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 11:06 AM EDT (#381537) #
Cabrera did tear up AA for a half-season at age 20, but VGJ annihilated it to the tune of .402/.449/.671 at age 19.  I think he's a better hitter if you just let him focus on that. 
Chuck - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 11:38 AM EDT (#381538) #
Ex-Jay watch - Dwight Smith Junior...I think that's it for ex-Jays.

Not so fast! Ryan Goins has an OPS+ of 88, his highest ever. He has learned to be Mr. Patient, drawing walks to the tune of a 340 OBP. Who would have bet on seeing him in the majors again? Not me.

ISLAND BOY - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 11:42 AM EDT (#381540) #
I think this offseason and next year's season will give us a better idea of what Vlad will become. If we can see that he needs to be in better condition then you know the front office does,too, and hopefully have a plan for him to follow.

What I like about the three young stars is their fierce desire to win. I also liked that after the game Biggio didn't dwell on his accomplishments but said it was a team effort to win the game.

Totally unrelated but Mike Trout has slightly more WAR than Derek Jeter had in his entire career. I bet Trout wishes he had Jeter's post-season appearances, or maybe any post-seasons, for that matter.
grjas - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 11:52 AM EDT (#381541) #
I agree that Vlad doesnít currently have the discipline, focus and weight that he needs or self-actualize, but at only 20 years old, Iím not going to hold it against him ..yet. Plus he hasnít shown any arrogance, malice or disrespect on the field so I donít think he has major character flaws (which I wonder about it terms of Harper).

Other than weight, I can remember having similar issues as a 20 year old, as did many of my friends. Things have come easy to Vlad so heís had no significant motivation to hunker down.

Iíd love to know what messages Vlad senior gives him in the off-season, as I expect those will resonate. Hopefully heís also reading the papers and using some of the negativity as motivation.

He might never reach his potential, but itís way too early to paint him with the lperpetual underachieverĒ brush.
hypobole - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 11:55 AM EDT (#381542) #
I'm sure Vlad had a plan to follow this past offseason as well. There may be a "plan", but whether the plan is actually followed is 100% up to the individual.

I don't see the "fierce desire to win" in Vlad that seems to be there with Cavan and Bo. Vlad just seems overly happy-go-lucky.
grjas - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 11:56 AM EDT (#381543) #
Typo again...Ēneeds to self-actualizeĒ
Magpie - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 12:06 PM EDT (#381544) #
I agree that Vlad doesnít currently have the discipline, focus and weight that he needs or self-actualize, but at only 20 years old, Iím not going to hold it against him ..yet.

True. And he's never needed it. Til now.

He doesn't actually need it, he's good enough to hold a job as things stand right now. But I do suspect he wants to do better than that.
Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 12:06 PM EDT (#381545) #
I will give Dalimon credit for saying that Tatis Jr. would have a better rookie year than Vladdy.

I also think that it is true to say we will know more about Vladdy's future when he shows up in spring training next spring. He absolutely has to commit to better conditioning and actually spending time preparing for games.

I am glad the Jays did not hand out a very expensive deal for Vladdy yet.

Nigel - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 12:11 PM EDT (#381546) #
Moving Vladdy to 1B seems an obvious fix to a variety of roster/performance issues in much the same way as finding a LH CF with some OBP skills. However, moving Vladdy isn't easy. Potential generational talents often have far more influence on how and where they play than other prospects. Optically and situationally I suspect that Vladdy moving to 1B will need to coincide with acquiring a "name" 3B. Whether that's an elite 3B prospect or signing a FA. If you move Vladdy to 1B this offseason it appears like you've moved Vladdy for Drury. I doubt that's saleable in the Guerrero household.
Magpie - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 12:25 PM EDT (#381547) #
I've been skeptical of Guerrero's chances of staying at third base, but no, I certainly wouldn't move him to 1b this off-season. For Brandon Drury? The team needs a better excuse than that. And who knows? Vlad could show up in Florida next spring 25 pounds lighter. Players his age have been known to improve defensively. Certainly, there has been any number of accomplished third basemen who started their careers as nightmares defensively.
GabrielSyme - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 12:40 PM EDT (#381548) #
Guerrero strikes me as having a pretty good chance of staying at third for the next 4-6 years.

While his range is below-average, the real problem is the number of errors. That's something that can be improved on.

He doesn't have to be average to stay at third - he just has to be non-disastrous. That's well within reach - and if you look at DRS or DRA, he's already there.
Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 12:42 PM EDT (#381549) #
Personally I wouldn't be against taking on the contract of Kyle Seager as a bridge to Groshans/Orelivis/Hiraldo, and really tighten the defense on the infield. I totally understand however that the team is going to let this play out at least another year.
Mike Green - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 01:02 PM EDT (#381550) #
VGJ hasn't sounded particularly wedded to third base.  He describes himself as an outfielder (still).  I think he just wants to hit.

Eric Sogard can play third base and has done well at it.  The key thing is to get VGJ in a position for him to thrive.
bpoz - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 01:33 PM EDT (#381551) #
Last year TB won 90 games and did not even get the 2WC. It looks like 95 wins this year could get you nothing.
Nigel - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 02:24 PM EDT (#381552) #
Seager would be a fantastic addition to this roster in many ways (LH, defence, OBP). In April, you might have done a deal which represented "taking on" his contract. But, as his health has come back to form as the year has gone on, he's returned to being the 3-4 WAR player he's always been. At $14m per for two more years plus a team option, Seager would cost a great deal in prospects to acquire.
Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 02:37 PM EDT (#381553) #
Seager is actually due 38 million over the next two seasons, and despite his bounce back he is a huge injury risk. Baseball trade values has him at -22 million of future value. Seattle has been dumping salary in Edwin and Cano, so I think you could basically have him for a Juan De Paula type.
hypobole - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 02:51 PM EDT (#381554) #
Seager From Cot's

20:$19M, 21:$18M, 22:$15M club option
2022 option may increase by $5M to $20M based on award and plate appearances, with buyout ranging from none to $3M

with trade, 2022 becomes player option
Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 02:58 PM EDT (#381555) #
Ouch, count me out for a 60 million guarantee
GabrielSyme - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 03:41 PM EDT (#381556) #
That option is a poison pill that basically operates as a no-trade clause. It's hard to see under what circumstances the Mariners could possibly get value for Seager with that contract structure.
PeterG - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 03:42 PM EDT (#381557) #
Jays claim rhp Ryan Dull off waivers from Yankees and place Tim Mayza on 60 day IL.
bpoz - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 03:51 PM EDT (#381558) #
R Dull is a RH reliever. 5'9" 185 lb.
vw_fan17 - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 04:04 PM EDT (#381559) #
R Dull is a RH reliever. 5'9" 185 lb.
Seems like Atkins was bored...
Mike Green - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 04:26 PM EDT (#381560) #
The Blue Jays were 29-52 in the first half of the year.  So far, they are 31-39 (with a 280/286 RS/RA) in the second with 5 games left against Baltimore, 3 against the Yankees and 3 against the Rays.  In my view, the second-half performance is much more reflective of the club that they have than the full-season record.   I might add that the first-half schedule was much easier than the second-half- they had 4 games against Atlanta, 3 in Dodger Stadium and the majority of their games against the Yankees, Tampa and Boston in the second half.  It's a very different club than the one they opened the season with.  They might even end up with a positive run differential in the second half despite the tough schedule. 
dalimon5 - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 04:29 PM EDT (#381561) #
New top 100 is up from Jonathan Mayo at

He has Nate Pearson #10 overall and Groshans #68 overall even with his limited playing time.

I think taking on contracts like Seager is the fastest way to accelerate the rebuild. If the alternative is sitting below the Rays in budget for 2020 then count me in for taking on bad contracts. We can waive the player at any point outright ala Tulo.

With regards to Vlad, if it were me and I didn't plan on having him at 3B long term then I would just move him now. What's the benefit to keeping him at 3B if you don't plan on having him there long term? Will he learn to play a 2nd position in our first real year of contention?
dan gordon - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 04:37 PM EDT (#381562) #
Dull had some terrific years in the minors, with big strikeout numbers, and was excellent in the big leagues with Oakland in 2016, with an ERA of 2.42, WHIP of 0.87, opponents' BA of .186, and a 73:15 K:BB ratio in 74 IP. he did have a bit of a HR problem, with 10 allowed in those 74 innings. Since then he hasn't been as effective. Career minor league numbers are excellent, with a 355:73 K:BB ratio in 290 IP, 2.73 ERA. He'll be 30 in October.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 04:38 PM EDT (#381563) #
Moustakas would be a good short-term signing (assuming it comes with a reasonable term/AAV). Above average LH hitter with power, can handle 3B defensively, seems to be a good teammate, and may not require much of a commitment. He and the Brewers have a mutual option for 2020 at $11M, but those are typically not picked up. If the Jays could get him on a two year deal, there would be very little downside. Gives the team two years to develop a 3B internally (Groshans or someone else) while having a projected 2-3 WAR player in the infield, allowing them to move Vlad to 1B/DH. He might look for three years though.

I don't see it happening, but he would be a player I would pursue if looking for a 3B in the winter. Of course I don't know what's realistically available in a trade. There might be a better option available going that route.
Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 04:40 PM EDT (#381564) #
I really don't understand Royce Lewis at #9, or on most top prospect lists. He's an athlete and he's young, but he didn't hit at all this year. Taylor Trammel as well seems a little over-hyped to me at #29.
grjas - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 04:43 PM EDT (#381565) #
He has Nate Pearson #10 overall.

Hope the kid stays healthy. Iíve got visions of Doc 2 and the team sure needs it.
GabrielSyme - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 04:56 PM EDT (#381566) #
I was surprised to see both Manoah and Woods Richardson left off the top 100. Both are very much back-end guys, but it's a little confounding to see both left off. Woods Richardson compares very well to a number of RHP on the list, and Manoah didn't do anything but dominate, so it's hard to see why fellow first-rounders Langliers and Stott made the list but Manoah was left off.
dan gordon - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 04:56 PM EDT (#381567) #
Yah, Lewis has never really hit much, except for his 2nd try at low-A in 2018. Career OPS of .740 in pro ball, just .661 this year. Is he the 2nd coming of Ozzie Smith in the field? Otherwise, I don't get it.
dan gordon - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 05:14 PM EDT (#381568) #
Biggio's last 15 games: .365/.507/.769/1.277, 4 SB, 0 CS.
Mike Green - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 05:14 PM EDT (#381569) #
Cavan Biggio didn't make any top 100 lists either, even after last year.  Whether any player is considered on some evaluator's list as  the #75 or the #125 best prospect in baseball doesn't matter in the least. 
grjas - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 05:28 PM EDT (#381570) #
Drury, McKinney, Fisher, Alford were all top 100 at some point, so yes, hard to put too much emphasis on it. However top 10 are often special, and this is the Jays third player in two years to hit those heights.
Mike Green - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 05:38 PM EDT (#381571) #
Oh yes, there's usually a big difference between a top 10-15 prospect and a prospect in the 50-75 range. 

FWIW, I haven't read anything to suggest that Lewis is an exceptional fielder.  He's more likely to be capable in the Bo Bichette way if he works at it and improves.  He's not hitting anything like Bichette did, though, and his ranking, in my view, reflects his #1 draft status and widely regarded good tools. 
hypobole - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 05:56 PM EDT (#381572) #
Saw this after the discussion about Vlad getting an offseason plan:

Do teams have programs to incentivize players working out in off-season and eating healthy and taking care of themselves? This seems like it would be one of the easier things to do yet.

Kiley McDaniel: Generally, players get an offseason plan but itís kinda up to them how much they follow it

Kiley McDaniel: maybe smart teams are making apps and gamifying it?
scottt - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 06:03 PM EDT (#381573) #
Dull has an ERA of 13.5, so there will never be a dull moment.

Except maybe in a blow out, to save Maile's arm.

scottt - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 06:12 PM EDT (#381574) #
Some players spend the winter in Florida, close to Dunedin.
Others go home. I'm sure Vlad plays winter ball in the Dominican Republic.

ayjackson - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 06:16 PM EDT (#381575) #
Smith (3B) and Large (DH) going tonight for Scottsdale.
scottt - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 06:23 PM EDT (#381576) #
95 wins might get you nothing this year, but I don't think it matters.
This is actually a great year for the wild card race.
All the teams in second place in their division are fighting for one of the wild card spots and Tampa and Cleveland are within a half game of the last one.

The Jays and Orioles grabbed both spots in 2016 with 89 and 88 wins because the second place winners in the other divisions topped at 86. That was Detroit ans Seattle. The Twins were the only 100 games loser.

Magpie - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 07:19 PM EDT (#381577) #
Probably no one anticipated Vlad being the team's third best rookie, which is grounds for some optimism in itself.
Magpie - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 07:30 PM EDT (#381578) #
Did Derek Fisher just make a great defensive play or have I stumbled into some weird parallel universe?
Spifficus - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 07:35 PM EDT (#381579) #
Don't worry, he still looked awkward doing it (he misjudged where the wall was, and hit it going up, as opposed to at the apex). He caught it, though, so that's definitely improvement.
Magpie - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 07:44 PM EDT (#381580) #
Baby steps, right? Odd scene in Fenway. A guy from the opposing team catching the certemonial first pitch.
Magpie - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 07:53 PM EDT (#381581) #
Yikes. Mayza didn't just tear his UCL. He also tore the flexor tendon that attaches to his upper arm. No wonder it hurt so much. The recovery is going to take longer than your regular TJ surgery.

Vlad didn't play winter ball last year, after the Arizona Fall League. He played two years ago. Scuffled, too.
Magpie - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 08:19 PM EDT (#381582) #
What are you waiting for, Charlie? If Gaviglio isn't warm yet, why not?
Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 08:26 PM EDT (#381583) #
I don't think anybody though Vladdy would be the 6th best Jays rookie by WAR, and tied with Jacob Waguespack, and being Reese McGuire.

01. Biggio 1.9
02. Bichette 1.8
03. Thorton 1.8
04. Jansen 1.4
05. McGuire 0.9
06. Vladdy 0.5
06. Waguespack 0.5
08. Anthony Kay 0.3
Magpie - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 09:02 PM EDT (#381584) #
FanGraphs really hates his defense.
John Northey - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 09:40 PM EDT (#381585) #
A valid question for the Jays is do you take Mayza off the 40 man this winter - he clearly can't play next year and if it is as bad as advertised he might miss a chunk of 2021 as well and won't really be solid until 2022. The fact he has so little service time is a plus for the Jays holding on, no arbitration until the 2021 season, free agency isn't until 2024/5 winter so if they hold on and worst case of no real value until 2022 happens they'd still get 3 years of value from him. I'd put him on the bubble, if you have 40 others who have real promise then you cut him but you have to be certain.
scottt - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 09:44 PM EDT (#381586) #
This is all good. Motivation to work harder.

Vlad has a great eye at the plate. He can hit the ball harder than anyone else on the team.
He has the highest bat speed. He has great contact skills.

I'm not worried about him at the plate. He's hitting .270 and has the best walk/strike ratio.

scottt - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 09:57 PM EDT (#381587) #
You certainly outright him until he's ready to come back, yes.
Maybe you wait until the last moment in November, to put him through waivers so anyone putting in a claim would have to keep him on the 40 though the rule 5 draft? Maybe you don't bother. He's going to burn an option year and cost some money and who knows how good he'll be when he comes back. 

Mayza leads the team in appearances with 63. They probably used him a bit too much there.

GabrielSyme - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 10:33 PM EDT (#381588) #
Mayza leads the team in appearances with 63. They probably used him a bit too much there.

He would have gotten to about 70, with many of those appearances being less than an inning. I think the Jays have been pretty conservative in pitcher usage, and Mayza's use has been nothing out of the ordinary either historically or in the present day. It's unfortunate, and I hope he makes a full recovery, but his elbow flying apart can't be blamed on anything but him trying to throw a ball really hard for a long time.
Magpie - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 10:50 PM EDT (#381589) #
Mayza leads the team in appearances with 63.

It was actually 68 appearances. Not very many innings, but he still has to get up and get hot every time. I've always suspected (with no real evidence) that guys who throw as hard as they can can't pitch quite as often.

I just noticed that Clayton Kershaw has squeaked past Whitey Ford for the all-time best winning percentage for a pitcher, .693 to Ford's .690 (I don't count Al Spalding and Spud Chandler and neither should you.) All-time best, no matter what the category, is pretty cool. Of course, most pitcher's careers end with a couple of 4-7 seasons (Ford himself went 20-22 after age 35), so Clayton might want to enjoy the distinction while it lasts.
Magpie - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 11:20 PM EDT (#381590) #
Brock Stewart is an awful pitcher but a helluva good luck charm.
scottt - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 11:24 PM EDT (#381591) #
Yeah, except I was hoping to lose this one. It's going to be hard to beat the Yankees and keep that 5th draft pick.
hypobole - Wednesday, September 18 2019 @ 11:26 PM EDT (#381592) #
Huge win for the Jays. 11 up on the O's with only 10 games left. Who called it? Yours truly.

hypobole - Thursday, March 28 2019 @ 03:06 PM EDT (#371508) #
Bold prediction: Jays will finish 4th in the AL East, no matter how many games we win or lose.
John Northey - Thursday, September 19 2019 @ 01:49 AM EDT (#381593) #
Heh. You really went out on a limb there hypobole.

Still a 3 game gap between the 5th worst Jays and 6th worst Mariners. 4 games away from 7th Pittsburgh, 4 1/2 from Colorado in 8th. 5 away from the 9th place White Sox.

KC is 5 1/2 away in 4th, Miami 8 away in 3rd. O's and Detroit playing in their own little sucky world with Detroit still under 300 for winning percentage. The worst winning percentage ever for the Jays was 327. This year is 401, the times sub 400 for the Jays are 1995 and the 77-81 stretch (except for 1980).
Dr B - Thursday, September 19 2019 @ 02:27 AM EDT (#381594) #
Dull has an ERA of 13.5, so there will never be a dull moment.

He's been better than that previously (see Dan Gordon's comment). But I think the main reason they acquired him is, as you alluded, as a token of gratitude to all those hardworking, baseball headline writers. Hey, even Baseball Reference is getting in on the act.
(middle of the first page)
scottt - Thursday, September 19 2019 @ 07:59 AM EDT (#381595) #
Thankfully, there's still that 3 game gap, but I don't trust Seattle to win any of their last 6 games against Houston and the Twins. Although, hopefully, the Twins will have clenched before that and take it easy.

So Houston is ahead of NYY by one game now.
They just lost to the Angels. At home. No Trout. No Ohtani. No Upton. No La Stella.
The Angels will have to retool their rotation over the winter. Big time.

Glevin - Thursday, September 19 2019 @ 08:01 AM EDT (#381596) #
"Still a 3 game gap between the 5th worst Jays and 6th worst Mariners. 4 games away from 7th Pittsburgh, 4 1/2 from Colorado in 8th. 5 away from the 9th place White Sox"

The Jays have the tie-breaker against the Mariners, Pirates, and Rockies by being worse in 2018 so these teams can't tie the Jays, they have to be actually worse which makes the lead even more. Jays have 6 games against Yankees and Rays and 4 against Baltimore. Let's say they manage to go 6-4 and end up 67-95. So Seattle would have to go 2-8 to get a better pick, Rockies would have to go 0-9 and Pirates 1-9. If the Jays go 9-1 or 10-0, they'll probably move down a spot or 2 but that seems pretty unlikely. When you only have 10 games to go, 4 games is a very big lead.
scottt - Thursday, September 19 2019 @ 08:03 AM EDT (#381597) #
Pujols has finally brought his career hitting average under .300. It took 8 years with the Angels to do that.
scottt - Thursday, September 19 2019 @ 08:16 AM EDT (#381598) #
Another solid day at the plate for McGuire. I think the book on him is a blank page at this point.
I really like having this 50-50 platoon going forward.

A huge pinch hit by Urena in the 9th.

Second half Grichuk is worth his contract.

Teoscar made 2 of the outs in the 9th.

Baltimore is not afraid to bunt against the shift.
That makes sense, no ego to get in the way.

AWeb - Thursday, September 19 2019 @ 08:17 AM EDT (#381599) #
Always glad when the JAys win, draft position be damned. Woo! Looks like Grichuk gets the "hot finish, maybe he's figured it out" 2009 Bautista award for the second year running. It's mostly playing time, but he's going to lead the team in HR, RBI, RUns, doubles, triples, total bases, strikeouts, GDP, and ABs and PAs. Not that he's been good, mind you, but for a team who has been out of it all year, I'd rather see a guy finish strongly than poorly.

Without looking it up, anyone want to guess who leads the teams in intentional walks?
scottt - Thursday, September 19 2019 @ 08:38 AM EDT (#381600) #
No pitch intentional walks? I can't say I remember any of those this year.

I guessed Smoak and I wasn't far off.

Jonny German - Thursday, September 19 2019 @ 08:46 AM EDT (#381601) #
I'd love to believe Grichuk has figured something out, but it seems very unlikely. He's been better in the 2nd half every year of his 6-year career, and generally significantly so. And this year he's done it in spite of his OBP getting even worse in the second half than the bad rate he put up in the first half - .273 vs .291.

By month:
April	119	.245	.303	.418	   
May	114	.214	.281	.398	   
June	108	.220	.278	.440	   
July	85	.238	.282	.375	   
August	108	.255	.296	.529	   
Sept	58	.232	.241	.696	 
dalimon5 - Thursday, September 19 2019 @ 09:01 AM EDT (#381602) #
In other news, Vlad was removed after injury his ribs from a slide in the 9th inning.
bpoz - Thursday, September 19 2019 @ 09:13 AM EDT (#381603) #
On that play by Vlad, he jogged to 1B and turned on the speed after the error.
Magpie - Thursday, September 19 2019 @ 09:34 AM EDT (#381604) #
No pitch intentional walks? I can't say I remember any of those this year.

It's not like there's anything to remember. What a stupid idea that was.
James W - Thursday, September 19 2019 @ 09:35 AM EDT (#381605) #
Alen Hanson has one of the eight intentional walks the Jays have received this year. That had to have been a National League, but even so... why?

I was too curious and had to look it up - it was Tampa Bay who did it. The Jays cut an 8-0 deficit down to 8-7 in the 8th, and had runners on 2nd and 3rd with 2 out. Tampa walked Hanson to load the bases for Luke Maile, who struck out.
uglyone - Thursday, September 19 2019 @ 10:16 AM EDT (#381606) #
Read something like that only 3 players have ever had a 9th inning 2 out down 3 runs grand slam on the road in recent memory (or maybe ever?)...and all 3 have been Jays.

Winfield was the first. Grichuk the last. I forget the one on the middle but maybe BBox remembers?
Mike Green - Thursday, September 19 2019 @ 10:34 AM EDT (#381607) #
Nice to have the win, draft pick implications be damned.

Grichuk definitely appears to be the same player.  His BABIP fell from .282 to .269 so he's a little off his numbers- the arc of his batted balls would actually tend to an increase in his BABIP, but he's not hitting the ball as hard (fewer barrels, lower exit velocity).  When you look at the numbers, he's probably the club's best in-house centerfield option.  He's been about average there over the last 3 years, according to both DRS and UZR. 
Mike Green - Thursday, September 19 2019 @ 10:44 AM EDT (#381608) #
Dan Szymborski thinks the White Sox should go all-in on the top end free-agents like Cole, Rendon (and possibly Strasburg), thanks to the development of Giolito, Jimenez and Moncada, but not the third tier guys.  I agree.  They are in a similar payroll position as the Blue Jays....
bpoz - Thursday, September 19 2019 @ 10:46 AM EDT (#381609) #
I too love it when the Jays win.

The comeback was due to our good offense and the O's bad pen. 50/50 I guess.

If our pen is not up to the task, then good offensive teams will be making big comebacks against us next year. Joey Mac!!!
cascando - Thursday, September 19 2019 @ 11:21 AM EDT (#381610) #
Kind of sad that for all the guys the Jays have tried in CF this year, they still haven't found anyone better than Kevin Pillar.

Gurriel (1.9) is the Jays' only OF with a higher WAR than Pillar (1..5) this year. Next year could very well be the same.
Spifficus - Thursday, September 19 2019 @ 11:22 AM EDT (#381611) #
My guess for the remaining 9th inning 2 out 3 run down grand slam is either Ernie Witt or Junior Felix in one of the 1989 games against the Red Sox, maybe the one they were down 10 after 7. The memory's quite fuzzy on that, though, as I had only started watching the Jays that year.
Spifficus - Thursday, September 19 2019 @ 11:26 AM EDT (#381612) #
BAH! Whitt's checked all the boxes but one - it was with 1 out, not 2.
Spifficus - Thursday, September 19 2019 @ 11:28 AM EDT (#381613) #
And 2 days before (June 2nd), saw Felix hit a grand slam with 2 out in the 9th... to go ahead 7-2.
Spifficus - Thursday, September 19 2019 @ 11:33 AM EDT (#381614) #
Ok, found it. I was not going to guess that...
Magpie - Thursday, September 19 2019 @ 12:05 PM EDT (#381615) #
I forget the one on the middle but maybe BBox remembers?

Wasn't it Smoak?

Anyway, I have a wonderfully Stupid Data Table. As you all know, Brock Stewart is a liusy pitcher with a 4-0 record. I thought I'd check what each Jays pitcher's ERA was in the games he won.

Pitcher	    W	ERA  
Stroman 6 0.95
Thornton 5 0.92
Waguespack 4 2.42
Gaviglio 4 0.00
Stewart 4 3.52
Sanchez 3 2.25
Biagini 3 0.00
Pannone 3 0.00
Shoemaker 3 0.92
Kingham 3 0.00
Yeah, one of those things is not like the others. Here's what it looks like on a good team, like the 2015 Jays:

Pitcher	    W	ERA 
Buehrle 15 2.74
Estrada 13 2.41
Hutchison 13 1.86
Dickey 11 2.40
Price 9 1.80
Sanchez 7 1.82
Hendriks 5 0.00
Cecil 5 0.00 S
troman 4 1.67
Hey, I said it was stupid!
Magpie - Thursday, September 19 2019 @ 12:08 PM EDT (#381616) #
Brock Stewart is so bad I may be inventing new words to describe his badness, although I do notice that the "o" key is right next to the "i" key.
Mike Green - Thursday, September 19 2019 @ 12:25 PM EDT (#381617) #
Bad initials too.
hypobole - Thursday, September 19 2019 @ 12:26 PM EDT (#381618) #
That was quite the implosion by the Jays 2015 opening day closer.
2015 Jays -0.1
2015 Rockies -0.1
2016 Rockies -0.1
2017 Orioles -0.1
2018 Orioles -0.2
2019 Orioles +0.4

I do remember him being rushed, but I was still surprised looking at his page and seeing Miguel Castro is still only 24 yrs old.
bpoz - Thursday, September 19 2019 @ 12:30 PM EDT (#381619) #
Next year our pen may be made up of ... If you go through enough pitchers you will find some bad ones and some good ones.

The latest find looks to be Font. I am pulling for Dull.
Spifficus - Thursday, September 19 2019 @ 06:18 PM EDT (#381620) #
You're right, Magpie, it was Smoak on August 31st last year against in Miami.

I must need glasses, because I thought the second of Steve Pearce's walk-off slams was down 3 with 2 out, but apparently not.
scottt - Thursday, September 19 2019 @ 06:48 PM EDT (#381621) #
Wins in September against bad teams don't really count for anything.
Wins in April count and they are valuable. Wins in September also count, negatively once you're eliminated.
The point is to see what the players can do, although results in September are just preliminary for young players.
For example, the playing time McGuire got last year has helped him continue to develop.
Now, if the difference in the win/lose column is Buchholz's performance, that does not matter to me.

I will celebrate every victory against the Yankees.

I'm expecting Kay to have another good game.

The White Sox's core is starting to perform.
They've had losing records in each of the last 7 seasons.
So, yeah, they should start to fill the holes, but there's a lot of them.
Kopech should be back next year. They also have the top outfield prospect and the top 1B prospect ready to start next year.
They will not have enough pitching.

Magpie - Thursday, September 19 2019 @ 08:34 PM EDT (#381622) #
Be still, my beating heart.
Gerry - Thursday, September 19 2019 @ 08:53 PM EDT (#381623) #
Thanks Bill. Bill of the helmet, that is.
hypobole - Thursday, September 19 2019 @ 08:56 PM EDT (#381624) #
Yeah, that was scary, Gerry.
Magpie - Thursday, September 19 2019 @ 10:05 PM EDT (#381625) #
Magic Number: ONE.

Even a rainout counts.
scottt - Thursday, September 19 2019 @ 10:30 PM EDT (#381626) #
A whole season with all the kids at the top of the lineup will be a lot of fun.

An easy W for Kay, as I imagined. Still fighting with his curveball.
That worked pretty well. He might have trouble with the tough lefties, but we'll see next year as his last start will be against this bunch.

Very impressed with Gurriel, coming off the DL without missing a beat.
Huge improvement over last year.

Can Grichuk be the veteran bat on this team?
Is Biggio mature enough to fill that role?
I'm not sold on getting a vet.
With the 26 roster, better have good role players.

Mariners sweep the Pirates, so now there's 2 teams 3 games ahead of the Jays.

Gerry - Thursday, September 19 2019 @ 10:59 PM EDT (#381627) #
Apparently Bo developed some concussion type symptoms during the game and was removed. He will be re-evaluated tomorrow.
dan gordon - Friday, September 20 2019 @ 12:29 AM EDT (#381628) #
In Biggio's last AB today, he had a 3-1 count. The pitcher threw a routine fastball right down the middle about mid-thigh height and Biggio just looked at it. The next pitch was also a fastball right down the middle, but at the knees. Biggio took that one as well, and was called out looking. I like guys who get lots of walks as well as anybody, but he needs to be more aggressive than that. Hopefully, he will become a little more aggressive at he plate next year and not get called out on strikes as often.
John Northey - Friday, September 20 2019 @ 01:07 AM EDT (#381629) #
Biggio's K was on a ball based on the graphic used - the ball was below the box even if Tabler thought it was a strike. Checking Blue Jays website you can see the pitch tracker and 2 of the 3 called strikes that final AB were just outside of the strike zone including strike 3. He should've had a walk before the one that was a real strike (5th pitch). Ah well, didn't affect the game.

It'd be interesting to see a shot of Biggio's PA's and taken pitches to see where they have been. Especially taken strike 3's. Wouldn't be surprised if he leads the league in called strike 3's and in number of those where the pitch was a ball. I think a lot of umps are telling him (indirectly) that he is a rookie and doesn't know the zone as well as he thinks he does, even though he does.

Should be fun in 2020 with Bo/Biggio/Vlad as the top 3 in the lineup everyday from day one. Gurriel 4th and Grichuk 5th probably. 6/7/8/9 is a crapshoot with CA being the platoon (more or less) and 1B/DH/CF being unclaimed (Tellez if he hits well would be 6th, if not he could be as low as 8th).
GabrielSyme - Friday, September 20 2019 @ 03:05 AM EDT (#381630) #
We need to recognize that a great plate approach isn't going to be perfect. Because Biggio only swings at "his pitch" in 3-1 counts, he's going to occasionally not swing at hittable pitches. And at 3-2, he's going to get some borderline pitches wrong - if he swung at them all he'd strike out even more and walk far less.
ISLAND BOY - Friday, September 20 2019 @ 07:29 AM EDT (#381631) #
In an earlier at-bat in the game Biggio looked at a called third strike that was clearly inside according to the pitch tracker. I think once he becomes an established player, especially a good one, umpires will give him more calls.

I'm glad Bo didn't get seriously hurt. It looked bad when it happened.
BlueJayWay - Friday, September 20 2019 @ 08:01 AM EDT (#381632) #
I can't recall ever seeing a player K so often looking on pitches that are outside the zone.
scottt - Friday, September 20 2019 @ 08:10 AM EDT (#381633) #
In the earlier AB, he took an 0-2 ball that was just on the corner and then struck out on a third strike that was almost in the batter's box.

The Jays rookies have been piling up the WAR on this trip so far.

I'm glad they wear these guards on their helmet now.

Chuck - Friday, September 20 2019 @ 08:13 AM EDT (#381634) #
I can't recall ever seeing a player K so often looking on pitches that are outside the zone.

Agreed. I caught little of the game but believe I saw Biggio's second last (?) AB. He was called out on a pitch 4-6 inches inside. The incredulous look he had spoke volumes. The robot umps can't come soon enough. Humans simply cannot do that job effectively.

Mike Green - Friday, September 20 2019 @ 09:06 AM EDT (#381635) #
Agreed.  Biggio has extremely good strike zone control.  If he takes a two strike pitch, the odds are extremely high that it is in fact a ball. 

I ran a Play Index on him to find a comparable player- a second baseman who came up at age 24 with good plate discipline and an OPS+ in the 100-125 range (Biggio's is 112).  I used 50 walks as a bare minimum.  I ended up with 4 comps, one of whom was a wartime player named Lou Klein and not relevant.  The other 3 were Junior Gilliam, Bump Wills and Quilvio Veras.  Biggio has had a better rookie year than all of them, with much more power and less on the BA side.  Gilliam had comparable plate control, but struck out less even for the time and had much less power. Offensively, Biggio reminds me more of Joe Morgan (who was a good hitter at age 21) and Chase Utley (who did not come into his own until age 26). Biggio is an average defender and a smart but not exceptionally fast baserunner.

At this point, I'd love to see the Jays have the same double play combination for the next 8-9 years. 
Magpie - Friday, September 20 2019 @ 09:25 AM EDT (#381637) #
A quick check - Biggio's struck out 112 times and 40 of those (35.7) he was caught looking. That is indeed quite high (league average is 22.7% of Ks are looking). It doesn't lead the league - it doesn't even lead the Blue Jays - but yeah, it's a lot.
hypobole - Friday, September 20 2019 @ 09:48 AM EDT (#381641) #
The robot umps can't come soon enough. Humans simply cannot do that job effectively.

That's because robots never "just want to get the game over with"
hypobole - Friday, September 20 2019 @ 09:55 AM EDT (#381642) #
"Biggio is an average defender"

Was just looking at his fielding at FG, because he's shown as a negative on defence, despite not looking like a negative. He's actually been a small positive at 2nd by both DRS and UZR, despite his range issue, and the negative numbers are all from the OF and 1B.

Mike Green - Friday, September 20 2019 @ 10:01 AM EDT (#381643) #
That's exactly right, hypobole.  The UZR/DRS numbers on Biggio at second are consistent with the eye test (for me, anyways).  He could get a little better too.  He's got good hands, and decent enough speed, but he's not exceptionally quick at reading the bat.  It's the kind of thing that you can learn.
hypobole - Friday, September 20 2019 @ 10:17 AM EDT (#381644) #
Yeah, maybe it's not reading the bat or maybe lack of fast twitch muscles or some combination of both. But his focus is what really impresses me. He's like a 10 year vet.
Mike Green - Friday, September 20 2019 @ 10:30 AM EDT (#381645) #

This article on Danny Duffy is a must-read.  It's a useful reminder that ballplayers are human beings.  And Duffy's willingness to speak so candidly about mental illness makes me hopeful that we will see progress on other issues where the traditional culture is challenged- the first openly gay ballplayer, for instance.  It's wonderful that Duffy got support from Perez, Hosmer and Dyson, crossing cultural divides, and makes me want Dyson on this club all the more. 
hypobole - Friday, September 20 2019 @ 10:33 AM EDT (#381646) #
One last thought on this series.

1st inning of game 1, Tepera gave up 2 runs. That was the last time any Jays bullpen guy gave up more than 1 run in any of the 3 games.

Meanwhile the O's had bullpen implosions in all 3. Givens, their "best" reliever in game 1. Our former wunderkind closer Castro (who turned out to be 100% kind and almost 0% wunder) in game 2. And then 2015 #4 overall draft pick Tate in game 3.
hypobole - Friday, September 20 2019 @ 11:00 AM EDT (#381648) #
Thanks for sharing the Duffy article, Mike.
GabrielSyme - Friday, September 20 2019 @ 11:50 AM EDT (#381650) #
I took a look at Biggio's non-swings in two-strike counts on an earlier thread. The upshot was that Biggio has a far higher ratio of called third strikes to actual pitches in the strike zone than comparable players. Part of that might be an anti-rookie bias by umps, partly it might be that he takes more pitches just outside the zone, but I bet a big part of it is just bad luck.
Nigel - Friday, September 20 2019 @ 11:57 AM EDT (#381651) #
Not to blow my own horn, but I thought Biggio looked like an averageish defender in Vancouver (however, I thought that his bat, outside of phenomenal plate discipline, was decidedly uninteresting:)). That also was what the minor league defensive statistics suggested. I was surprised by the prospect reports who crapped on his defence. I think this is another example of being skeptical of prospect reports on defence. At first glance, Biggio looks a bit more rigid and less nimble than a typically good defensive 2B. Its only after watching him for many games that the whole defensive package becomes evident. Range is always going to be an issue, but he does many other things extremely well. Utley is the player that he really reminds me of. Joe Morgan may be my all time favourite player so I just can't go there (plus, its crazy how little Morgan K'd given the walks and power).
Mike Green - Friday, September 20 2019 @ 12:00 PM EDT (#381652) #
I'd put my money on the anti-rookie bias, Gabriel.  VGJ had it when he arrived initially, and I think that it threw him off.  I'd bet dollars to doughnuts that somebody told the umpires to knock it off (maybe by showing Questec charts for his early PAs).  Jansen has had the same issue, but to a lesser extent.  Bichette has not had the issue because he swings at all kinds of, um, pitches.

It works the other way too.  I remember Russ Martin (who I admire greatly) getting a ton of called balls on high strikes clearly in the zone. 
hypobole - Friday, September 20 2019 @ 12:01 PM EDT (#381653) #
re:umpiring, an edited Dan Zips chat exchange:

I think that we should keep the ban on PEDs for players but enforce mandatory PEDs for umps.

Dan Szymborski: Well, we KNOW Angel Hernandez isnít use a performance-enhancing drug
Mike Green - Friday, September 20 2019 @ 12:11 PM EDT (#381654) #
Obviously Morgan and Utley are slightly ridiculous names for a 24 year old rookie coming off a very good but not outstanding first season.  Utley's career path does remind us though of what is possible offensively (Biggio is extremely unlikely to become the defender that Utley was). 
dan gordon - Friday, September 20 2019 @ 03:28 PM EDT (#381661) #
I heard Biggio interviewed recently and he talked about getting bad strike calls compared to what is technically a strike according to the zone you see drawn on the screen, and perhaps surprisingly, he said that a strike is what the umpire says is a strike, not what the zone box says is a strike, and that he has to adjust to what umpires are calling. Perhaps he just didn't want to ruffle any feathers. In any event, the saying is "to close to take" when you have 2 strikes, and I think Biggio might be better served by expanding his view of what is a strike just a little when he's got 2 strikes. I know he has recently talked about making some adjustments to his swing and it's great to see the big spike in his results lately. I'm a lot more optimistic about his future than I was a month ago.

The chance that the team is going to end up with 20+ HR's from every position on the field is still alive, but Vladdy needs to rediscover his power stroke. They need 3 more from 3B and 1 more from C and 2B.
Mike Green - Friday, September 20 2019 @ 03:38 PM EDT (#381665) #
That's true.  But you don't want to be swinging at the pitch 4-6 inches inside.  Most umpires will get it right even for a rookie, and you're better off taking that one 3-2 than popping it up. 
hypobole - Friday, September 20 2019 @ 04:31 PM EDT (#381669) #
One thing I've never hear mentioned. Teams have scouting reports on opposing pitchers and players, but what about umpires? I'm guessing most veterans know a certain ump gives extra strikes outside, or does or doesn't call high or low strikes, but do teams actually have a report they pass along?
Mike Green - Friday, September 20 2019 @ 05:20 PM EDT (#381672) #
Clubs ought to have umpire charts routinely available by now.  However, you need to know both averages and variance from day to day. Some umpires are remarkably consistent; others are not. 

dan gordon - Friday, September 20 2019 @ 10:44 PM EDT (#381689) #
Absolutely, Mike. Biggio is so good at judging strikes, that he should almost never swing at a pitch 4-6 inches inside. But he should be able to swing at stuff that's within an inch or two, especially if it's a pedestrian fastball that doesn't do much, like the one he was caught looking on yesterday.
scottt - Saturday, September 21 2019 @ 12:17 AM EDT (#381691) #
You have a split second to react. Biggio is 24 and has spent most of his life not reacting on pitches outside the plate.
I don't think it's something you can change overnight. Being more aggressive on strikes early on is easier to do, but you need to pick your spot. It's generally a good idea for a number 2 hitter to see lots of pitches.

dan gordon - Saturday, September 21 2019 @ 12:32 AM EDT (#381693) #
Expanding the strike zone a little when you have 2 strikes is pretty standard and shouldn't be tough for a guy with such good baseball instincts. These guys make adjustments all the time.
scottt - Saturday, September 21 2019 @ 09:43 AM EDT (#381695) #
He has to decide where the ball will end up  before it gets there.
Most of the players adjust to the outside call by moving closer to the plate.
He'll swing back and forth between being aggressive or passive on the first strike.
That part is easy.
Starting his swing in time against pitches outside and having a good contract rate on those pitches?
That's harder than controlling where the ball will be hit.
The problem is that the umps have trouble with the outside pitches.
Those are not easy for the hitters either.
Remember Devon Travis hitting .300. or .200 depending on how close he was to the plate?

hypobole - Saturday, September 21 2019 @ 09:49 AM EDT (#381696) #
Drury seems to put his bat on the ball on pitches just outside the strike zone. They almost invariably end up as weak dribblers to the shortstop.
scottt - Saturday, September 21 2019 @ 10:00 AM EDT (#381699) #
That's another thing. Biggio has a great power swing.
Bichette just fouls off borderline pitches until he gets a good one.
That's not Biggio's game. Biggio pulls the ball a lot.

Biggio has an OPS of 793 for the year.
Over 1 in the last 30 days.
We're good with the current adjustments.
We can live with some bad umps call.

Drury is an opposite field hitter. He likes the ball outside, so he'll chase those.

hypobole - Saturday, September 21 2019 @ 10:13 AM EDT (#381703) #
Drury is an opposite field hitter.

No.Especially ground balls. Look it up.
dan gordon - Saturday, September 21 2019 @ 03:36 PM EDT (#381724) #
The point is not for Biggio to swing at outside pitches. The one he took for strike 3 the other day was right over the middle of the plate. Right at the knees, maybe low by 1 inch. No reason he shouldn't swing at a pitch like that when he has 2 strikes.
scottt - Saturday, September 21 2019 @ 07:05 PM EDT (#381731) #
There are 2 things that looks really bad. A hitter taking a strike right over the middle of the plate and a hitter not being able to check his swing on a pitch that missed the plate by a mile. They are both the product of the hitter anticipating a different pitch. It's hard to cover the entire plate with every pitch. If the hitter does not react fast enough, it's too late to do anything. Which is where the check swings come from. The hitter starts his swing before he knows what kind of pitch is coming. Again, Biggio is having terrific results overall.

The failed check swings bother me more than freezing on a pitch.
I don't see why they can't practice that.
Either check properly or swing.

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