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If you havenít already, grab yourself a cup of coffee and settle in to read Magpieís thorough and excellent Blue Jays report card. Once youíve relived the 2019 Jays season once again, itís time to turn your attention to the thrill of playoff baseball.

Old friend Daniel Hudson earned the save as Washington advanced to play the Dodgers after a thrilling 8th inning that culminated in a bloop Ryan Zimmerman pinch-hit single, a well-earned Anthony Rendon walk and a clutch hit from 20-year-old Juan Soto, that was compounded by an aggressively terrible fielding play by Trent Grisham, who was only playing due to Christian Yelichís injury.

Nerd Power legend and old friend Eric Sogard didnít make Tampa Bayís Wild Card roster due, likely, in part to a combination of Oakland stacking up on left-handed pitchers and Sogardís injury issues at the end of September. Hopefully tonightís game lives up to the excitement of last nightís.

Tomorrow the playoffs kick into full gear with the Cardinals and Braves starting their LDS series before the Nationals try to end their LDS losing streak against Cody Bellinger and the Los Angeles Dodgers. I suspect Bellinger wonít be platooned by Dave Roberts in this yearís playoffs.

If that isnít enough, Friday is the annual day of wall-to-wall playoff baseball with all eight playoff teams in action that day.

Who are you rooting for in this yearís playoffs? Which World Series matchup do you most want to see? Who will be this yearís October hero?

Wild Card and LDS Chatter | 171 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
scottt - Wednesday, October 02 2019 @ 06:44 PM EDT (#382209) #
Kinda sad that Sogard is sitting this one out.
Glevin - Thursday, October 03 2019 @ 02:07 AM EDT (#382214) #
Houston and Dodgers obvious favourites but I think Nats are a great team for playoffs too. (Scherzer, Strasbourg, and Corbin is amazing).
scottt - Thursday, October 03 2019 @ 07:13 AM EDT (#382215) #
Scherzer hasn't been the same since August.
This was the first time a Washington based team has eliminated another team since a long time. The 30s?

Glevin - Thursday, October 03 2019 @ 07:35 AM EDT (#382217) #
"Scherzer hasn't been the same since August."

Second half 3.02 XFIP and 12.98 K/9 is pretty damn amazing and pretty much exactly the same as his total EOY numbers (2.88 XFIP and 12.69 K/9).
scottt - Thursday, October 03 2019 @ 07:39 AM EDT (#382218) #
Curious to see the attendance in Tampa.

Would love to see the Twins slay the Dragon.

Mike Green - Thursday, October 03 2019 @ 09:04 AM EDT (#382220) #
I am rooting for a Tampa-Atlanta WS with the Rays winning.  I anticipate that it will be Houston v. Washington (although I expect the Dodgers will give the Nats a good fight).  And yes, Twins over Yankees would be nice.
My pick for the World Series heroes are Anthony Rendon and Stephen Strasburg.
hypobole - Thursday, October 03 2019 @ 09:42 AM EDT (#382222) #
It would be good to see the Cards or Yankees win for once.

My playoff prediction is that I will hope the Jays are in the playoffs soon.
SK in NJ - Thursday, October 03 2019 @ 09:52 AM EDT (#382223) #
I would like the World Series to have a must-see, mainstream type of appeal to it. A Yankees-Dodgers World Series would be fun to watch for that reason.

It is interesting that the two best teams in the each league will end up with much more dangerous DS matchups facing the Wild Card teams. I'd rather face the Twins and Cardinals than the Rays and Nationals.
John Northey - Thursday, October 03 2019 @ 04:36 PM EDT (#382242) #
I'm an anyone but the ()*%^%)( Yankees fans in the playoffs. Also want Washington out ASAP - if the Expos couldn't win in Montreal I don't want them winning in Washington either. Atlanta with AA isn't terrible, Minnesota I used to live near and has a beautiful ballpark so that'd be nice to see win too. Tampa just for the fun of seeing all 10 fans of theirs celebrate before they move away. St Louis is a 'meh' team to me. Houston I'd like to cheer on as I used to years ago but Osuna and his beating of his girlfriend disgusts me and I'd hate to see him rewarded in any way.

So Atlanta or the Dodgers vs the Twins or Tampa is what I want to see in the end.
85bluejay - Thursday, October 03 2019 @ 04:49 PM EDT (#382244) #
Someone should interview John Coppolella - he built that Braves team that looks like it could be good for years.
hypobole - Thursday, October 03 2019 @ 05:16 PM EDT (#382246) #
Coppolella is banned for life. Or do you mean just do a TV interview?
Magpie - Thursday, October 03 2019 @ 05:35 PM EDT (#382247) #
If Tampa wins, it'll be an excuse for every GM to say "We don't need to spend any money."

I think I want to see a 1965 rematch. I won't know for sure what I want until I start watching.
scottt - Thursday, October 03 2019 @ 06:10 PM EDT (#382249) #
They did sign Morton and they have good players everywhere, except the rotation.

They other thing of significance with the Rays, is that kept trading their good players for younger ones.
The only guys who were drafted by Tampa are Brandon Lowe, Kevin Kiermaier, Michael Brosseau, Diego Castillo and Blake Snell.

mathesond - Thursday, October 03 2019 @ 07:13 PM EDT (#382252) #
I just turned the STL/ATL game on - has it really taken 3 hours to play less than 6 innings of 1-1 ball?
#2JBrumfield - Thursday, October 03 2019 @ 07:27 PM EDT (#382253) #
In terms of preference to win it - Nats, Cards, Dodgers, Twinkies, Astros, Rays, Barves, Yanks.

Looking ahead to the 2020 draft, Baseball America's Too Early Mock has the Jays taking left-hander Asa Lacy out of Texas A&M.
scottt - Thursday, October 03 2019 @ 08:33 PM EDT (#382254) #
Postseason is slower and nobody cares. More ads. Extra replay reviews. Whatever.

Acuna might have cost his team the win by not running on that long ball.

scottt - Thursday, October 03 2019 @ 08:47 PM EDT (#382255) #
I don't really see them taking a pitcher.  Especially not a "pichability" guy with low velo.
At 5th, the slot value is over 6M. I'd expect they'd go for a guy with a big hit tool.

Thomas - Thursday, October 03 2019 @ 08:50 PM EDT (#382256) #
Atlanta could use Ken Giles.
Chuck - Thursday, October 03 2019 @ 10:15 PM EDT (#382257) #
I won't know for sure what I want until I start watching.

Same. My subconscious has to inform my conscious self or else I'd have no idea.

Glevin - Friday, October 04 2019 @ 03:49 AM EDT (#382258) #
"Looking ahead to the 2020 draft, Baseball America's Too Early Mock has the Jays taking left-hander Asa Lacy out of Texas A&M."

Really hope they don't take a pitcher. Jays have excellent pitching depth in the minors and hitters are much easier to project. There are also 3 CF types (Veen, Hassel, Crow-Armstrong) who project to go in the 4-10 range right now and the Jays system is pretty barren there.
scottt - Friday, October 04 2019 @ 07:42 AM EDT (#382259) #
The Nats too.

I don't see the point in trading him unless you get at least a guy the Jays can use now plus a top prospect.
The risk is that he breaks down and they can't get anything for him which is also why other teams are reluctant to make a move.
There's always risks with pitchers, so short terms are ideal.
They do have the money to extend him, and they can wait until after they offered a QO.

It's hard to go with young pitchers if you don't have a top bullpen.
Sometimes these things sort themselves out by themselves--with all he pitchers on the 40 roster--and sometimes they don't.

ISLAND BOY - Friday, October 04 2019 @ 08:39 AM EDT (#382260) #
Pat Gillick said he gave preference to position players rather than pitchers when drafting high. I hope the Jays go after an outfielder who is good on both sides of the ball - that's the biggest need right now.
Mike Green - Friday, October 04 2019 @ 09:33 AM EDT (#382261) #
There are also 3 CF types (Veen, Hassel, Crow-Armstrong) who project to go in the 4-10 range right now and the Jays system is pretty barren there.

I'm generally in favour of taking the best player available, but if you have two equally good choices and an obvious system need (all the way up to the major league level), it's a reasonable tiebreaker. 
John Northey - Friday, October 04 2019 @ 10:30 AM EDT (#382262) #
The general rule is to go for the best player you can in a draft - you can shift positions later if needed as a SS/3B/2B can move to CF far easier than an OF can move to the infield. Todays needs shouldn't factor into draft day as anyone taken won't be ready most likely (with rare exceptions) until 2024 or 2025 by which time who knows what the Jays needs will be. Vlad could've moved to 1B by then, Bo to CF, Biggio to RF, making the infield a core need. Stranger things have happened.
Mike Green - Friday, October 04 2019 @ 10:37 AM EDT (#382263) #
Centerfield is one of the positions where you want to be backed up, and the organization is very far from that.  Yes, Bo Bichette could make the Yount transition to centerfield if he develops a shoulder problem.  But there are very few players who can.  Corner OF is different. 
John Northey - Friday, October 04 2019 @ 10:55 AM EDT (#382265) #
For comparison.... 2 most recent picks to play 100 games...

Drafted #1: Dansby Swanson 2015, Carlos Correa 2012
Drafted #2: Nick Senzel 2016, Alex Bregman 2015
Drafted #3: Jon Gray 2013, Mike Zunino 2012
Drafted #4: Kyle Schwarber 2014, Kevin Gausman 2012
Drafted #5: Clint Frazier 2013, Drew Pomeranz 2010
Drafted #6: Colin Moran 2013, Albert Almora 2012
Drafted #7: Andrew Benintendi 2015, Aaron Nola 2014
Drafted #8: Hunter Dozier 2013, Francisco Lindor 2011
Drafted #9: Austin Meadows 2015, Javier Baez 2011
Drafted #10: Michael Conforto 2014, David Dahl 2012

So none have 100+ games who were drafted in 2019, 2018, 2017. One from 2016, 2 from 2015. 3-4 years is the minimum for a player to reach, with 5+ more likely. And this is with the best of the best, top 10 picks each year. Few starters appeared on the list that I could see who didn't get 100 games yet but did start 30+ - Jeff Hoffman 2014 9th round, Kyle Freeland 8th round 2014, Carlos Rodon 2014 3rd round. Doesn't change anything.

So for the draft don't expect any help until the team is well into the 'competitive window' so drafting the best available is the smartest move - trying to guess what position will be in need in 2023/24 is a waste of time as there are too many variables. Unless you find some kid who is a rare talent who can skip the minors like Jim Abbott, Dave Winfield, and John Olerud did, or who can spend just 1 or 2 seasons down there like Frank Thomas did. We are talking HOF or nearly HOF quality players. Those are hard to find - Thomas was a 7th overall pick, Winfield a 4th overall, Abbott 8th overall, Olerud 3rd round (79th pick).

Btw, that 1989 draft was an odd one - 3rd round had Olerud (58.2 WAR), Tim Salmon (40.6 WAR), and Denny Neagle (22.4 WAR) among others. First had Frank Thomas (73.9 WAR), Chuck Knoblauch (44.8 WAR), 3 guys in the 20's. The rest wouldn't be the 4th best pick in the 3rd round. The 2nd round didn't see a single guy reach 8 WAR. Go figure.

MLB drafts are far different than other sports. First overall picks sometimes don't reach the majors - ever. Mark Appel from 2013 has stalled out in AAA with an ERA over 5, Brady Aiken from 2014 has yet to get past A ball. Brien Taylor from 1991 got crazy money for the time from the Yankees and maxed out at AA before blowing his arm out then never passed A ball again. The odd one like Bryan Bullington had a lifetime negative WAR.

Higher picks do increase the odds of getting a good player. However, there are no guarantees. Just go for the best you can find.
ISLAND BOY - Friday, October 04 2019 @ 12:18 PM EDT (#382266) #
Baseball definitely seems more of a crapshoot than other sports when it comes to drafting. You just have to look at Mike Trout being picked 26th and Mike Piazza in the last round.

I also agree that the Best Player Available should be chosen, but if it's a tossup this year between a pitcher and position player, I'd go with the position player, hopefully an outfielder. I know things change in 3 to 4 years but it seems like the organization is really lacking in that area when you look at the top prospects list.
hypobole - Friday, October 04 2019 @ 12:36 PM EDT (#382267) #
Baseball is more of a crapshoot, because so much development is needed and so many injuries may occur. However teams now have much more info than years prior. The big time programs all have Statcast cameras now. A couple of teams have proprietary cameras at JC's (San Jacinto is one I believe).
hypobole - Friday, October 04 2019 @ 01:19 PM EDT (#382268) #
The other thing in baseball drafts is that you don't necessarily have to take the BPA. Groshans wasn't thought of as BPA by anyone other than maybe the Jays, but he signed under slot to free up money for Kloff. So if the Jays see a CF they really like more than most, they could agree to pick him 5th, save some pool money and draft an overslot later.
vw_fan17 - Friday, October 04 2019 @ 02:07 PM EDT (#382269) #
I only have time to watch the "condensed" games. I kinda defaulted to cheering for the Braves, but after seeing Acuna not run out that easy double that would have had him at 3rd, not get doubled off, and maybe score, I changed my mind and now want the Cardinals to win..
Also kinda cheering for the Nats, but the Dodgers just seem to have insane talent everywhere..
bpoz - Friday, October 04 2019 @ 02:15 PM EDT (#382270) #
Playoff baseball is different. Not as easy to slug your way to victory.
hypobole - Friday, October 04 2019 @ 02:22 PM EDT (#382271) #
I know Martinez was upset at Acuna's hot dogging in the 9th, telling him to respect the game etc, but really he should be telling Acuna just to keep doing what he's doing - don't listen to the Braves no-fun team mates and coaching staff.
greenfrog - Friday, October 04 2019 @ 02:23 PM EDT (#382272) #
Groshans/Kloff was a BPA strategy, executed in an unusual way. Combined, the two players were the best talent the team perceived it could draft at those two slot positions.
Dr B - Friday, October 04 2019 @ 02:23 PM EDT (#382273) #
The other thing in baseball drafts is that you don't necessarily have to take the BPA. Groshans wasn't thought of as BPA by anyone other than maybe the Jays, but he signed under slot to free up money for Kloff.

True, but presumably they were going for best players (plural) available. That is, they were still trying to maximise their return; they were just spreading it over more players. I don't know there is any evidence they were picking based on positional need.
bpoz - Friday, October 04 2019 @ 02:30 PM EDT (#382274) #
V Wells was picked #5?
hypobole - Friday, October 04 2019 @ 02:55 PM EDT (#382275) #
That's kinda what I was saying. You can't just look at BPA in a vacuum. Which is why the hot takes after the 1st round can be wrong without knowledge of the strategy.
Cracka - Friday, October 04 2019 @ 04:15 PM EDT (#382276) #
The 2013 draft is a great example. Without looking at the strategy and dollars, Rowdy Tellez is a great 30th round pick. But he got an $850k bonus, which was low 2nd round slot money. And that was possible because everyone else signed under slot (led by Clinton Hollon at $700k + everyone else by $100k-$200k). This allowed the Jays to target Jacob Brentz ($700k, 11th round) and Tellez.

Other than the top pick (Bickford, who didn't sign), I don't think any of these guys were BPA.
Magpie - Friday, October 04 2019 @ 04:34 PM EDT (#382277) #
V Wells was picked #5?

There were indeed four guys taken ahead of him, and there were four guys taken in the first round who ended up with more career WAR than Vernon. So far so good?

Not really. It was not the same four guys. And the two players who ended up having the best careers didn't even go in the first round.
Magpie - Friday, October 04 2019 @ 04:58 PM EDT (#382278) #
Fun fact? We all know starting pitchers, even an all-time great like Verlander, aren't used the way they used to be. Verlander has just 9 career shutouts. Dave Stieb had 30. Pat Hentgen and Jim Clancy both pitched more shutouts than Verlander. None of them made as many starts as Verlander.

So I scrolled quickly through Verlander's Game Logs and besides the 9 shutouts, he has 52 additional starts where he didn't allow a run: 12 times he went 8 innings, 23 times he went 7 innings. Just 5 times was he removed in the middle of an inning.
Mike Green - Friday, October 04 2019 @ 05:21 PM EDT (#382279) #
Sogard at third in a playoff game...I know that the club is deeply committed to VGJ there, but it would be nice to have Sogard around in 2020. 
Magpie - Friday, October 04 2019 @ 05:42 PM EDT (#382280) #
Kevin Cash: "We got Verlander'd"

Welcome to the club. We got jackets and everything.
Mike Green - Friday, October 04 2019 @ 06:01 PM EDT (#382281) #
Careful there, Kevin. Wouldn't want to get a nasty tweet from Upton, K.
scottt - Friday, October 04 2019 @ 06:48 PM EDT (#382282) #
Best player is very subjective. Every team scouts players independently and often don't consider players they haven't scouted. The process starts early on and guys go up and down in the "rankings" continuously.

Also, pitchers and position players are hard to grade against one another.

There is a lot of projectability in the draft.
There is always a lot of risk with the pitchers.
The best players usually play shortstop. The catchers are a bit different.
Connine was an interesting outfielder with lots of power, a good arm but limited speed and strike out issues.
I'd be quite happy with a Vernon Wells, he did reach the major quickly but still took 5 years to mature.
A guy with a top hit tool with enough speed to play center would be my best player available.

scottt - Saturday, October 05 2019 @ 06:26 PM EDT (#382288) #
Just painful to watch.
hypobole - Saturday, October 05 2019 @ 06:54 PM EDT (#382289) #
Our FO knows we have to upgrade our pitching.
Our pitching seems an upgrade over Twins pitching.
StephenT - Sunday, October 06 2019 @ 02:00 AM EDT (#382290) #
"has it really taken 3 hours to play less than 6 innings of 1-1 ball?"

No, that Thursday STL@ATL game started at 5:02pm as per https://www.espn.com/mlb/game?gameId=401169074 , so it was just over 2 hours when you posted at 7:13pm.
Thomas - Sunday, October 06 2019 @ 10:24 AM EDT (#382294) #
I put the odds of him signing here as miniscule, but last night was the perfect illustration of why the Blue Jays should (although they won't) be legitimate bidders on Cole.
mathesond - Sunday, October 06 2019 @ 10:35 AM EDT (#382295) #
Ah ok, for some reason I thought it began at 4.
scottt - Sunday, October 06 2019 @ 10:52 AM EDT (#382297) #
Everybody should be bidders on Cole. Especially teams like the Yankees, the Cubs, the Dodgers, who just need that one guy to put them over.
scottt - Sunday, October 06 2019 @ 11:26 AM EDT (#382298) #
The Astros can't afford Cole because they doubled down on Verlander.
The thing they did is acquire him in a trade deal that didn't cost them a lot.
That too is difficult for the Jays to do because they don't want to trade their top prospects at this point in time.
They just dropped Stroman for a couple of guys. They don't have anybody of worth blocked at AAA.
Quite the contrary.

hypobole - Sunday, October 06 2019 @ 12:55 PM EDT (#382300) #
Everybody should be bidders on Cole.

Huh?
scottt - Sunday, October 06 2019 @ 01:08 PM EDT (#382301) #
Scherzer has given up 9 homeruns in 18 starts to start the year but  6 in his last 5 starts.
So, 2 in his first postseason start wasn't exactly a surprise.


85bluejay - Sunday, October 06 2019 @ 01:13 PM EDT (#382302) #
Teams that expect to be contenders in 2020 should be willing to bid for Cole - I don't think the Jays qualify on that front - they may surprise (like the Braves in 2018 for example) but I think few expect them to contend in 2020.
85bluejay - Sunday, October 06 2019 @ 01:25 PM EDT (#382303) #
I've read some posts that the Red Sox will get a boatload for Mookie Betts - I'd be surprised - Betts is almost certain to bet on himself and go to FA regardless of the acquiring team and I don't see a contender being reckless in trading much quality for Betts for only 1 year.
PeterG - Sunday, October 06 2019 @ 02:33 PM EDT (#382304) #
There will be no boatload for Betts.
hypobole - Sunday, October 06 2019 @ 07:20 PM EDT (#382308) #
Cards may be looking for a closer this offseason.
Chuck - Sunday, October 06 2019 @ 07:51 PM EDT (#382309) #
Cards may be looking for a closer this offseason.

Or before game 4.

hypobole - Sunday, October 06 2019 @ 09:04 PM EDT (#382310) #
Anibal Sanchez has been a model of inconsistency in his career.
Magpie - Sunday, October 06 2019 @ 09:51 PM EDT (#382311) #
Russell the Muscle!
Vulg - Sunday, October 06 2019 @ 09:53 PM EDT (#382312) #
Love seeing Russell coming through in the clutch.
Magpie - Sunday, October 06 2019 @ 10:02 PM EDT (#382313) #
This is the tenth time Martin's team has made it to the post-season. He's still never played in a World Series and the clock is ticking. Although he may yet have a future in the St.Louis bullpen.
Magpie - Monday, October 07 2019 @ 01:41 AM EDT (#382314) #
Something a little poetic about a guy from Montreal driving in four runs against the Nationals in a pivotal playoff game.
Glevin - Monday, October 07 2019 @ 03:19 AM EDT (#382315) #
Betts would absolutely bring back a lot. He's averaging something like 7.5 WAR a season over the last 4 years and has been easily the second best player in baseball over that period. He can put a team over the top all on his own. There is a massive difference between the excellent players and the super elite. (Closer to Trout than to Yelich) If you're a team like Cleveland or Atlanta, adding Betts would give you about 6-7 more wins on the season. Would you give up the farm for that? No, but you'd give up a lot.
scottt - Monday, October 07 2019 @ 07:53 AM EDT (#382316) #
I think it depends on Boston eating up some salary which is a bit complicated since the owner wants to go back under the salary tax. The first variable is Martinez. If he opts out Boston has some money to play with.
rpriske - Monday, October 07 2019 @ 10:16 AM EDT (#382317) #
My pre-season World Series prediction was Dodgers over Yankees.

It is still intact. (If I was to bet TODAY it would be Dodgers over Astros.)

DH - Monday, October 07 2019 @ 01:52 PM EDT (#382321) #
Watching the Dodgers reminds me that they have Alex Verdugo waiting for a shot at their outfield. With Pollack, Pederson and Bellinger they've already got a rather formidable OF. Verdugo is a controllable, + defense, spark that would like fantastic between Gurriel and Grichuk.

And if the Cardinals think that Giles might do a better job than Martinez after their series with the Braves, Dylan Carlson would line up well as a return. Drew Watters in AA/AAA with the Braves would do the same.
scottt - Monday, October 07 2019 @ 05:14 PM EDT (#382323) #
It's nice to dream, but the Braves have a thirdbaseman in left and Nick Markakis is 35 and hasn't been that great.

For the Cardinals, Carlson is more of a corner outfielder, he's kinda slow and Ozuna is a free agent and he hasn't done as well as they hoped.

If the Dodgers want to unload an outfielder to improve for next year, Betts seems like a better target than Giles.

Now, maybe the Twins would consider moving Byron Buxton, since he can't stay healty and he's hitting arbitration.
The Jays could do some load management with him.

Otherwise, I'd be OK with taking a flyer on Randy Arozarena (14th prospect with St-Louis) or someone similar.
He's got nice on base numbers, runs really well and would be a nice fit in the 9th slot.
Not sure he can actually field the ball, but I'm not a pro.

DH - Monday, October 07 2019 @ 07:31 PM EDT (#382325) #
Agreed that Watters is a dream but they likely line up Acuna and Pache next year to begin the season. I suppose a lot their offseason rests on Donaldson. Resign him and Riley sticks in LF.

As for Carlson, he's split his career between CF and RF. AA was in RF, AAA was in CF, where there was praise for his defense.

I hope there's someone out there!
scottt - Monday, October 07 2019 @ 11:44 PM EDT (#382326) #
Some GMs managed to get key players for relievers, but those guys were usually farther away and not their team's top prospects. Kinda like what they did with Stroman.

4 teams face elimination and only the Yankees advance? Argh.

scottt - Tuesday, October 08 2019 @ 07:39 AM EDT (#382327) #
The Giles approach should be to set a floor for him, a guy who would be a regular on the Jays.
If no team meet that, you keep him until the next deadline.
Again, if not team offers much, you can give him a QO.
There's a good chance that you can get him back on a decent contract if nobody wants to lose a pick.

It's not an exciting process.

Many outsiders see Giles gone because the Jays are rebuilding, but the teardown part of the rebuild is over.
There's no point in trading Giles unless you get something back that moves the needle.
They already got enough lottery tickets for Sogard, Hudson and Phelps.
Would have been nice to get something for Smoak and Galvis, but maybe that just underscores how hard it is to get value back from these trades.

vw_fan17 - Tuesday, October 08 2019 @ 02:21 PM EDT (#382328) #
Agree with scottt - no need to throw Giles away, just because. How many years in the 80s did we wish we had a closer and kept trading away good pieces to get one.. It's hard to build confidence in winning, IMHO, if every game is a nailbiter down to the end. 
Personally, I would think that even on a not-yet-great team, being pretty sure you're not going to blow yet another 9th inning lead is good for team morale. It's hard to build an atmosphere of winning, when you just keep losing in dramatic fashion..
GabrielSyme - Tuesday, October 08 2019 @ 03:20 PM EDT (#382329) #
I don't have any difficulty holding onto Giles and offering him a QO if we can't get a strong return on the trade market. There's no necessity to trade him, and I should hope the FO has learned from the debacle of trading Donaldson for loose change that they shouldn't feel pushed into a trade. That said, I don't agree that a closer is either essential for a contender. There's a lot of year-to-year variation for relievers, including closers. And a closer is just a strong reliever, and while there aren't any guarantees, if you have a bunch of credible relievers, one of them is likely to be a reasonably closing option. We traded a post-season closer, Daniel Hudson, at the deadline.
dan gordon - Tuesday, October 08 2019 @ 07:52 PM EDT (#382332) #
Really surprised that a smart organization like Houston would try starting Verlander on 3 days rest in the playoff game today. Just look at the results over the years - pitchers don't pitch nearly as well on 3 days rest when they're used to 4 days (or 5). Plus, Verlander has NEVER started a game in the big leagues on 3 days rest after a regular start. Not surprisingly, the Rays were all over him in the 1st inning.
Magpie - Tuesday, October 08 2019 @ 08:04 PM EDT (#382333) #
Well, what better time to find out whether a guy who's never done something is able to do that thing than in the post-season?
Gerry - Tuesday, October 08 2019 @ 08:48 PM EDT (#382334) #
Fantastic relay by the Rays there to get Altuve.
Gerry - Tuesday, October 08 2019 @ 09:06 PM EDT (#382335) #
Scott Mitchell reports that Julian Merryweather is headed to the fall league to get some innings in.
scottt - Tuesday, October 08 2019 @ 09:35 PM EDT (#382336) #
Olympic team lineup next month will include Dalton Pompey, Tristan Pompey, Connor Panas and Michael Saunders in the outfield. Looks like Justin Morneau will play first. Adam Loewen and Scott Richmond are still pitching.
StephenT - Tuesday, October 08 2019 @ 11:11 PM EDT (#382337) #
Cole threw 118 pitches in Game 2.  4 days rest may not be enough to recover.

Verlander threw 100 pitches in Game 1.  Would have been nice for the Astros to have had him on 5 days rest in Game 5.
Glevin - Wednesday, October 09 2019 @ 02:37 AM EDT (#382339) #
A few interesting tidbits on Hiraldo from the BA Appy league chat.

"He'll have to grow into that power and improve his overall approach to get to those grades, but he's pretty polished for his age at the moment and has quick hands. He's going to have to get better at driving the ball to the opposite field and dealing with pitches on the outer half as he continues to progress up the minor league ladder though. He tends to get pull-happy at the moment."




scottt - Wednesday, October 09 2019 @ 08:09 AM EDT (#382341) #
Everybody is pull happy these days. He hit .300 with a good OBP and only 7 homeruns--which is fine at 19--but if he's hitting ground balls on the pull side, he'll struggle later.

There's lots of time. His immediate adjustment is more a matter of how high a ranking he gets (trade value) than his ultimate development.

Groshans is the same age and only played 23 games in Lansing, so there's a bit of a competition here for 3rd between the two.

scottt - Wednesday, October 09 2019 @ 08:24 AM EDT (#382343) #
This is where Cole can show that he's worth 300M.
No pressure. None at all.

hypobole - Wednesday, October 09 2019 @ 12:38 PM EDT (#382344) #
Been doin' some thinkin'.

I felt the Jays should go after the mid-tier guys with no QO's attached. I still do, with one exception. That would be Gerrit Cole. And there are 2 parts to this.

First is the on-field value. He's good enough, young enough and healthy enough to have a real possibility of ending up with a Scherzer-like career. That would have him as a central piece when the young core actually has matured to contention.

Secondly, and probably as importantly, is the off-field value. Cole to the Yankees or other contenders may move the needle from strong contenders to WS favourites. But how much more revenue would he generate for those teams?

The Jays on the other hand have a fanbase that's very divided. Some understand the rebuild, but a good part don't. Add in the fact Rogers has a reputation, deserved or otherwise, as cheap and penny pinching. The FO is looked upon by a sizable group as either incompetent, unlikable or both.

Being the highest bidder for Cole would send a pretty clear message to the fanbase that Rogers is willing to spend and the FO really does care about the fans. And with the volatile Toronto market the addition of a Cole would directly impact attendance and viewership, and not just in games he pitches. Because changing the overall perception of the franchise is crucial to regaining the vast amounts of fans they've lost or are in danger of losing..

And if Cole decides to take less money to play on the Yankees or with Trout in LA, so be it. It would at least show fans the Jays did what they could and are committed to put a winning product on the field sooner than later.



bpoz - Wednesday, October 09 2019 @ 02:19 PM EDT (#382345) #
What you say about G Cole makes sense Hypobole.

In the TB at Toronto thread Michael gave a good description of pitchers ranked Ace - #5. What number are mid tier SPs? #3? In 2016 Happ was a #1, Estrada #2 and Dickey #3.

I also agree with scottt that we have plenty of end of rotation SPs. We don't want any injury prone veterans or veterans who are #4/5. Atkins respects them enough to play them which would block any kids that looked ready.

In 2018 it was Borucki that looked good/ok and in 2019 Thornton. So at least 1 #3 SP needs to be acquired. That would be a 3 year deal at about $16 mil/yr, my guess.

Vulg - Wednesday, October 09 2019 @ 02:34 PM EDT (#382346) #
I like that line of thinking, quite a bit.

To add to this, it is easier to trade players in MLB than it is in any other of the major sports. There is no hard cap. There are no matching salary requirements. Teams are even able to subsidize salaries. If the Jays sign a Cole and team success doesn't follow as quickly as anticipated, then the team could reasonably convert that to solid prospect capital.

Of course, this is provided that the Jays offer isn't completely out of whack with what the market demanded (even so, subsidizing is a way to flex some financial muscle) and that the team isn't too slow on pulling the trigger.

There was a nice write-up by Ben Nicholson Smith about the Jays' offseason roadmap and he touches on some of the names that were tossed around here last offseason as possible FA targets (Mike Minor, Charlie Morton, Lance Lynn). I wonder what kind of market Morton would have commanded had the Rays not been in contention. I don't see the downside of chasing somebody like Cole.

The article for those interested:

https://www.sportsnet.ca/baseball/mlb/early-projections-tell-us-blue-jays-off-season-roadmap/
hypobole - Wednesday, October 09 2019 @ 03:00 PM EDT (#382347) #
To add to my rare instance of thinking. Mentioned Cole may take less to play in SoCal with Trout or with a contender. If the Jays did actually make the highest bid, this would be one of the rare instances a team would actually be glad the player's agent is Scott Boras. Because we all know what Boras' advice to Cole would be.

And because the Jays payroll commitments for the next few years aren't even in the same galaxy as the luxury tax threshold the contract could be made even more attractive to Boras and better for the future Jays teams by front-loading.
rpriske - Wednesday, October 09 2019 @ 03:28 PM EDT (#382348) #
I just read a column on MLB Trade Rumours that suggested the Blue Jays might be a good match for Starling Marte.

I think they are right! He could be a nice fit.

GabrielSyme - Wednesday, October 09 2019 @ 03:32 PM EDT (#382349) #
Hypo, you make an excellent argument for going after Cole.

It's hard to know exactly what the bidding is going to look like for Cole, but it should surpass the Greinke contract - which would, I think, be quite reasonable for Cole.

If he ends up with $280/8, that would look pretty reasonable imho. The recent history of right-handed power pitchers actually has a lot of strong performances into their 30s. Since 1990, you have Pedro, Clemens, Schilling, Arrieta, Kluber, Verlander, Lincecum, Prior and Scherzer who have put up seasons like Cole's past two years. I'll include include Halladay, Hernandez, Mussina and Greinke, relaxing the "power pitcher" criterion a little.

Lincecum and Prior had clearly physically declined before they hit 30 - I'll throw them out. I'll also throw out Pedro and Clemens since they are arguably the two greatest pitchers in history (peak and career), and one shouldn't compare to massive outliers.

Anyway age 29-36 bWAR for the remaining guys:
Schilling: 50.8
Arrieta: 17.8 (3 seasons left)
Kluber: 23.8 (3 seasons left)
Verlander: 43.2
Scherzer: 40.6 (2 seasons left)
Hernandez: 4.8 (probably done)
Mussina: 39.0
Halladay: 39.0
Greinke: 38.4 (1 season left)

There are a lot of imperfect analogues here - Greinke was coming off of 3 very unimpressive seasons, before he re-established himself at 29 as a premier pitcher; Arrieta actually had his Cy Young season at 29 - he only had one good season before that; Schilling had been injured his age 27 & 28 seasons. Kluber had his first great season at 28. Felix looks the worst here, and while he'd been great through his 20s, his age-28 season saw him slip significantly in all his peripherals (and his fastball was down from his early years).

I think Cole's best comps are probably Verlander and Scherzer, but even if you look more broadly, there's a lot of good comps there for Cole, and the two least favourable don't line up very closely with his record.
85bluejay - Wednesday, October 09 2019 @ 04:23 PM EDT (#382350) #
I'd be happy if the win now Phillies ended up with Starling Marte and the Jays ended up with Adam Haseley in a 3 way trade.
hypobole - Wednesday, October 09 2019 @ 04:48 PM EDT (#382351) #
Marte still hits well, but he's 31 and is he/should he be a CF anymore? DRS and UZR certainly say no.
hypobole - Wednesday, October 09 2019 @ 05:30 PM EDT (#382352) #
Gotta feel for the Braves fans having to sit through that 1st inning.
Magpie - Wednesday, October 09 2019 @ 05:39 PM EDT (#382353) #
Let's see them do the chop now.
hypobole - Wednesday, October 09 2019 @ 06:22 PM EDT (#382354) #
Let's see them do the chop now.

Funny, ESPN has this headline:
"Braves to reduce Tomahawk Chop in Game 5"

I would say the Cards reduced it for them.
hypobole - Wednesday, October 09 2019 @ 06:26 PM EDT (#382355) #
In hindsight, the Braves decision to only start Soroka once seems a huge misstep.
Magpie - Wednesday, October 09 2019 @ 06:48 PM EDT (#382356) #
Flaherty scored a run before he threw a pitch. I'll bet that doesn't happen too often.
scottt - Wednesday, October 09 2019 @ 07:15 PM EDT (#382357) #
Marte is interesting. It depends on what the Pirates want and what other teams are willing to give.
I wouldn't build a package on a top prospect, but if the Pirates see someone they like in the Jays system, it's a discussion worth having.

scottt - Wednesday, October 09 2019 @ 07:23 PM EDT (#382358) #
Worse blow out in playoffs history?
Given than it happened in the very first inning, a home. It seems likely.

I usually think that firing a manager after a series lost is pretty silly, but this would be one case where it would be warranted.
Acuna basically lost a game by not running on a double.
The players played very poorly today.

mathesond - Wednesday, October 09 2019 @ 07:26 PM EDT (#382359) #
"Acuna basically lost a game by not running on a double."

Interesting - would his run have ended the game? Or would it have been worth 2 runs?
mathesond - Wednesday, October 09 2019 @ 07:30 PM EDT (#382360) #
How nice of them to not do anything chop related while the one Cherokee player isn't in the game. I expect he can't see or hear it while in the bullpen.
dan gordon - Wednesday, October 09 2019 @ 07:30 PM EDT (#382361) #
The problem with Marte is that he isn't a CF. He's played the majority of his big league career in LF and he's very good at it. Pittsburgh shifted him to CF in 2018 - he had played there occasionally prior to that, but not all that often. His defensive numbers as a CF are not good at all. Even back in 2014 when he played about 18 games worth of innings in CF, his numbers were poor. Still a very good hitter, though. In fact, in 2019 he had his highest OPS ever. If the Jays were to trade for Marte, they'd either have to shift Gurriel or Grichuk to CF, or put up with Marte's bad defense in CF, which is the problem they already have. Doesn't really solve the problem. They need a true CF.
scottt - Wednesday, October 09 2019 @ 08:04 PM EDT (#382362) #
If not Marte, Tommy Pham could be the best center fielder available in trades.
He's got 2 years left and project 8M in arbitration. That's usually when the Rays trade their vets.

scottt - Wednesday, October 09 2019 @ 08:08 PM EDT (#382363) #
Acuna' s mishap happened  before the 9th inning, so assuming he can score from second with no out, it would have ended the game before it went into extra innings.

Still, it's the postseason and the manager will probably get Manager of he year votes just for getting there.
Also, who knows who set the rotation the way they did.

scottt - Wednesday, October 09 2019 @ 08:20 PM EDT (#382365) #
Also Mookie Betts could probably play center well.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, October 09 2019 @ 09:03 PM EDT (#382366) #
I don't think the Jays will be trading prospects this winter unless it's for starting pitching (and even that is debatable). Not that Marte is going to cost a bunch of top prospects in a trade, but he might cost more than the Jays are willing to give up with an extra year of control. Then again the Pirates have made some bad trades recently so maybe the Jays could get him cheaply. Someone like Jackie Bradley Jr which was suggested here recently as a non-tender candidate is more along the lines of what I would expect.

As mentioned before, free agency has been an increasingly reasonable method of adding wins to a team the past two off-seasons. The Jays have a ton of financial flexibility. Seems like an opportunity to do something resembling the 2013 Red Sox and find a bunch of value-driven free agents to fill multiple spots. Ironically, Ben Cherington is in the organization now. I would prefer a run at Cole as well, but that's not going to happen with this FO. Not sure Rogers would get behind a $250M (give or take) contract being given out either.
greenfrog - Wednesday, October 09 2019 @ 10:00 PM EDT (#382367) #
Gregor Chisholm (now of the Toronto Star) tells it to us straight:

"Top-tier talent like Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg, who can opt out of his deal at the end of the postseason, wonít be within the Blue Jaysí price range. Other top options like Madison Bumgarner, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Cole Hamels probably wonít be either but after that thereís still a long list of guys available including: Jake Odorizzi, Zack Wheeler, Kyle Gibson, Wade Miley, Michael Pineda and Rick Porcello."
hypobole - Wednesday, October 09 2019 @ 10:31 PM EDT (#382368) #
Not sure why Chisholm would place Hamels a tier above Wheeler and Odorizzi. They've been at least as good as Hamels the past couple of years and are 6 years younger.
greenfrog - Wednesday, October 09 2019 @ 10:39 PM EDT (#382369) #
Agreed, but the larger point remains valid. There isn't any point fantasizing about Cole in a Jays uniform. Not gonna happen.
GabrielSyme - Wednesday, October 09 2019 @ 10:41 PM EDT (#382370) #
"Top-tier talent like Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg, who can opt out of his deal at the end of the postseason, wonít be within the Blue Jaysí price range."

If so, the Jays brass and ownership needs to be taken to the woodshed. We have massive payroll flexibility, we are a big market, the higher-end guys are the ones who can accelerate our ability to contend and still contribute even if contention is a year or two away.

As hypobole said, even if we go after Cole (or Strasburg) it's probably unlikely we'll get him, but there's no good reason to restrict ourselves to the kiddy pool unless you really want to time your FA spending for next offseason.
greenfrog - Wednesday, October 09 2019 @ 10:49 PM EDT (#382371) #
Disagree. The best teams in the league (Yankees, Rays, Astros, A's, Indians, Twins) have been successful while avoiding those types of moves. The one big-money move the Yankees did make, Stanton, appears to be one of the few missteps by Cashman in recent years.

It's better to be good at acquiring prospect talent, developing those players, and making deft (but not enormous splashy) moves in free agency and trades. That's how the Yankees and Rays have been winning, and it's what the Jays need to keep doubling down on. Throwing a huge sum of money at a free agent isn't going to fix what ails the Blue Jays.
hypobole - Wednesday, October 09 2019 @ 10:51 PM EDT (#382372) #
It wasn't fantasy, it was an opinion.

If the Jays were smart, they'd listen to me. They don't. If they did, they'd have Flaherty instead of Merryweather and Grichuk would have been traded instead of extended.
hypobole - Wednesday, October 09 2019 @ 11:03 PM EDT (#382373) #
Strasburg is a year and a half older, more injury prone and his velocity is trending downward. Cole is the only one who fits the timeline of our young core and is worth giving up the QO penalties.
dan gordon - Wednesday, October 09 2019 @ 11:21 PM EDT (#382374) #
I would be quite happy if they acquired Odorizzi, a quality reliever, a 1B/DH type who can be a #5 or 6 hitter, and a CF better than Bradley Jr.
Glevin - Thursday, October 10 2019 @ 03:14 AM EDT (#382375) #
Some awful managing in the games last night. Cardinals up 10-0. The Cards could either save Flaherty for game one or throw him a couple of innings and then have him go for game two. Instead, he threw 100+ pitches and won't be ready until game 3. And no idea what Roberts was doing. Kershaw didn't need to come out in that situation and Joe Kelly ahead of Jansen...why? Also, a real loss for the teams that should have put more into the trade deadline. This is the cost of being so stingy with prospects. Dodgers needed a reliever and didn't get one despite an amazing system they could have traded from. Braves won 97 games and have a top-5 system and still just pushed a little around the edges at the deadline adding a couple of decent relievers. Teams are just too afraid to give up prospects.

Also, has there been a series where either team was so unlikable (aside from Yanks/Red Sox)? The Cards kept treating AcuŮa like they were 87 YO grumpy men and he was running through their flower bed. Flaherty said of him "He's been having his antics all series" as if celebrating homers is some awful thing. And the Braves reaction to the stupid Chop was as bad as could possibly be. Helsley called it disrespectful so the Braves said they wouldn't play it when he was around which is pretty much saying "it's fine, but he's really sensitive so we won't hurt his feelings."
greenfrog - Thursday, October 10 2019 @ 07:43 AM EDT (#382376) #
Hereís an interesting article on how Odorizzi achieved his velo increase this year:

https://blogs.fangraphs.com/jake-odorizzi-explains-his-velocity-jump-and-career-year/
scottt - Thursday, October 10 2019 @ 07:44 AM EDT (#382377) #
Cole is probably so good that the lost draft pick shouldn't factor for him.
That's a valid point.

However, like Harper and Machado last year, Cole requires such a huge contract that the FO does not factor in.
It's entirely an ownership decision. You all saw the strange courtships involving Harper and Machado.
We saw a bit of that with Kawhi Leonard this summer.
I don't expect Rogers to be in on any of that. There was a huge fan movement behind Kawhi.
There's nothing for Cole. It's just in the mind of a select few.
It will gain no traction at Rogers.
There could be a huge fan movement in Houston though, especially if they win today.

I don't see Ryu wanting to come to Canada, but it's worth checking out, There's not draft pick there.
I expect Toronto to be a place that Hamels does not like. He was with the Rangers when the Jays rolled over them, but maybe the FO can smooth it out.
I see MadBum staying in the west coast.

Odorizzi and Wheeler might still get QOs. We'll see. I don't like Odorizzi's fly ball/long ball results and how it could play in the RC, but it's still worth a gamble if there's no string attached.
Porcello wasn't good this year. I don't know if he'll rebound.
Wade Miley did it all with smoke and mirrors. I don't think it would work in Toronto.
Gibson had a 95 ERA+, that's just not good enough.
Pineda was OK, but he's coming off a PED suspension.

I'd keep an eye on Alex Wood.
I see him as a huge rebound candidate.
The Reds have a 3M option for him with loads of incentives, but they also have 5 starters ahead of him.

Given the other choices, I kinda like Keuchel.
We got decent heat with Pearson and Kay and we could have the best 2 beards in the rotation.
That's always something.


scottt - Thursday, October 10 2019 @ 08:13 AM EDT (#382378) #
Pitching on short rest, Verlander was not Verlander.
In a best of 7 series, the cards chose not to throw their young ace out of his established routine.
If he gives them 2 good starts, that's 2 games they should win and that's all you should ask him for.
The Cards have a solid bullpen.

The Rays use openers and bullpens. They've done it all season.
That doesn't mean other teams should emulate them.
I don't have any kind thoughts for the Dodgers coach, Jansen only pitched once with a 6 run lead.

Right or wrong, the Cards used Acuna's attitude to energize their teams.
Baustista had that kind of effect in Texas.
Arozarena live streamed their coach speech which wasn't mean to be shared.

DH - Thursday, October 10 2019 @ 09:01 AM EDT (#382379) #
Scottt, any rationale as to why Ryu wouldn't want to come to TO?
rpriske - Thursday, October 10 2019 @ 09:20 AM EDT (#382380) #
So the AL has to be heavily favoured in the World Series now.

I suppose if the Rays manage to sneak in, it might be more competitive...

Mike Green - Thursday, October 10 2019 @ 09:42 AM EDT (#382381) #
I am rooting for a Tampa-Atlanta WS with the Rays winning.  I anticipate that it will be Houston v. Washington (although I expect the Dodgers will give the Nats a good fight).  And yes, Twins over Yankees would be nice.
My pick for the World Series heroes are Anthony Rendon and Stephen Strasburg.

Me one week ago.  Tampa vs. Washington would be a nice World Series, and yes the Dodgers did give the Nats a good fight.

The Nats are a good club, and one that is well set up for playoff baseball.  They would be a betting underdog against the Astros for sure, and likely against the Yankees as well.  I'd take them as an underdog in both cases, but there is more baseball to be played before we get there.
mathesond - Thursday, October 10 2019 @ 11:15 AM EDT (#382382) #
While I am not thrilled that the Expos no longer exist (for which I blame both MLB and Jeffrey Loria, not so much the Nationals ownership group), I have to admit I did get a thrill watching the highlights of Strasburg's first ever MLB game (and not just because I had him on my fantasy team). I wouldn't be disappointed if he got a ring. And heck, Howie Kendrick comes off as a decent fellow.
hypobole - Thursday, October 10 2019 @ 01:07 PM EDT (#382383) #
any rationale as to why Ryu wouldn't want to come to TO?

Don't think it's Toronto per se. Pacific Rim players coming over to MLB seem to usually choose to play on the west coast. Those playing on the west coast that reach free agency almost always stay on the west coast.
GabrielSyme - Thursday, October 10 2019 @ 01:10 PM EDT (#382384) #
I like Gibson quite a bit more than you - a groundball guy with increasingly strong swing-and-miss is a good fit for the Jays, and while his ERA has bounced around the past two years, his FIPs and xFIPs have been consistently strong, if not amazing.

I think I've mentioned Alex Wood before as a good candidate for the Jays to sign - and, as far as I can see, the Reds don't have an option on him this offseason.
SK in NJ - Thursday, October 10 2019 @ 01:42 PM EDT (#382385) #
I think Kyle Gibson will be a legitimate target for the Jays. He will be 32, but as mentioned good GB rate, K% + SwStr% + velocity trending upwards, and likely will not command many years on a contract. Downside is he ended 2019 badly.

Unless the lame duck status causes the FO to act differently, my guess is they will shop in the Gibson/Porcello/Keuchel/Miley aisle rather than anyone who will or could potentially have a QO attached.
hypobole - Thursday, October 10 2019 @ 02:11 PM EDT (#382386) #
"There's nothing for Cole. It's just in the mind of a select few."

Except that select few includes all the members of the media. Yeah, Joe Jaysfan who doesn't know much about MLB may not realize it, but I would guess not one member of the Toronto media will see it as anything but a huge positive PR move for both the Jays and Rogers.

They can't just keep allowing the fanbase to bleed away. Well they can, and almost assuredly will, but that's not what they should do.
bpoz - Thursday, October 10 2019 @ 02:18 PM EDT (#382387) #
Counting both leagues we have 4 teams with 100+ wins and 6 with 90+ wins plus 89 Milwaukee 2WC. So a lot of wins for 10 teams.

However in 2019 we had 6 AL teams rebuilding. 8 if you count LAA and Texas which I don't really. So for 2020 about the same number of teams rebuilding but I prefer not to count LAA (Trout) and Texas 78 wins.

So beating up on KC, Detroit and CWS would help The Twins and Cleveland win 100+ and 90+ games.

In 2-4 years the rebuilds should be complete. If done correctly then there would be less 100+ win teams and the WC winners should qualify with less wins.

In 2021 hopefully the Jays win 88 games and get a WC spot.
Mike Green - Thursday, October 10 2019 @ 02:42 PM EDT (#382388) #
The October 10th birthday team is pretty solid, and maybe the best club without a Hall of Famer:

C: Sean Murphy/Bill Killefer
1B: Gene Tenace
2B: Kolten Wong
SS: Troy Tulowitzki
3B: Placido Polanco
LF: Wally Berger
CF: Andrew McCutchen
RF: Pat Burrell

bench: Shorty Fuller (IF), Floyd Baker (IF) Roger Metzger (middle IF), Lourdes Gurriel Jr.  and John Stone(OF)

SP: Ad Gumpert, Noah Lowry, Otto Hess, Les Straker, Shelby Miller
RP: Brad Ziegler, Jeurys Familia, Harry Eisenstat, Bobby Tiefenauer, Genesis Cabrera

McCutchen, Berger, Tulo, Polanco and Tenace all have more than 40 career WAR.  It would be a solid offensive and defensive club, with very thin pitching. 


bpoz - Thursday, October 10 2019 @ 02:46 PM EDT (#382389) #
Alex Wood is injury prone. If he has no options left then he makes the team most likely as a reliever.

Some Reds fans were saying that they lack power. That is true, especially if some of their power hitters are FAs. Y Puig.

T Hernandez and B Drury are proven ML veterans with power that are healthier than A Woods. Everyone should be cheap. The Reds may have to throw in a mediocre prospect as well.
85bluejay - Thursday, October 10 2019 @ 02:46 PM EDT (#382390) #
Alex Wood is probably in this FO wheelhouse but I wonder with the gamble on oft injured pitchers Shoemaker,Buchholz & Richard not paying off and likely having Shoemaker & Borucki in the rotation coming off injured seasons, the team may opt to after a less injury prone pitcher.
Nigel - Thursday, October 10 2019 @ 03:31 PM EDT (#382391) #
I agree that Shapiro has basically outlined that the Jays will be shopping in the mid-range/discount aisles this offseason. On that basis, Gibson and Wood would make perfectly sensible choices. They would help the team avoid being terrible next year (as they were this year). However, I'm not sure a strategy of "avoiding being terrible" helps either from a baseball or a revenue perspective this offseason.
Vulg - Thursday, October 10 2019 @ 05:27 PM EDT (#382392) #
Except that select few includes all the members of the media. Yeah, Joe Jaysfan who doesn't know much about MLB may not realize it, but I would guess not one member of the Toronto media will see it as anything but a huge positive PR move for both the Jays and Rogers.

They can't just keep allowing the fanbase to bleed away. Well they can, and almost assuredly will, but that's not what they should do.

It amazes me how successful this ownership has been in beating the Jays fanbase into submission when it comes to expectations regarding their investment in the team. It's just truly unique in this market, when one looks across town at the Raptors (3rd in NBA payroll; ~$13.5M over the tax threshold), the Leafs (you could write a book) and even TFC (a top spender on international transfers).

I guess when you own and deliver both the media rights and a good chunk of the content that gets generated about the team, this kind of brainwashing is possible.
scottt - Thursday, October 10 2019 @ 05:47 PM EDT (#382393) #
The Twins won their division with a rotation that was pretty average.
The Rays are bullpening more than they have to.
We need to see those pitching prospects swim or sink eventually.
The results will depend a lot on Pearson.

In the AFL, Merryweather hasn't thrown yet.
Jackson Rees has been great in his 3 games, 4innings, 7 Ks. 0 BBs. O runs.
Warmoth and Large are at least getting on bases, both  with OBP over .350 but in the .750 OPS zone.
Kevin Smith is hitting .200 with a .389 OPS. Still nothing going there.

Mike Green - Thursday, October 10 2019 @ 05:57 PM EDT (#382394) #
Eric Sogard bats 5th tonight for Tampa. I am rooting for him.
hypobole - Thursday, October 10 2019 @ 06:30 PM EDT (#382395) #
Actually Rees at 5 games, 6.1 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 10 K.
Ellenbest 5 G, 7.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K.

Both Buffo and Spraker have been rocked with ERA's over 8.

And Smith leads the AFL with 25 K's. He's walked 3 times.
bpoz - Thursday, October 10 2019 @ 07:07 PM EDT (#382396) #
Many managers heads are rolling.
Mike Green - Thursday, October 10 2019 @ 07:43 PM EDT (#382397) #
Nerd Powrr!
bpoz - Thursday, October 10 2019 @ 09:13 PM EDT (#382398) #
G Cole is doing well tonight. So far!!!
AWeb - Thursday, October 10 2019 @ 09:47 PM EDT (#382399) #
Actually watching the game and all these @$^%@#$% pitching changes makes me want immediate and huge rule changes, mid-game. How about 5 pitchers on the active roster for each game? 7 relievers to get 4 scoreless innings is just unbearable. Looks like 4 guys wouldn't be allowed to be pulled by the "3 batters or finish an inning" rule, which is supposed to go into effect next year, I hope. I guess that fixes most of this nonsense.

The announcers are talking about Cole being put out of rhythm, but I think he might be fully rested and ready to start the game again.
AWeb - Thursday, October 10 2019 @ 09:55 PM EDT (#382400) #
Meanwhile, Wendle, KierMaier, and Adames, three below-to-well-below average hitters put up almost no fight at all in the 8th inning at the plate. I'm going full grumpy old man right now - imagine if a team carried an extra player who significantly improved your chances at the plate instead of more relievers who pitch to literally one guy.
bpoz - Thursday, October 10 2019 @ 09:56 PM EDT (#382401) #
Cole is good!!
scottt - Thursday, October 10 2019 @ 10:31 PM EDT (#382402) #
Cole is going to get record money.

I'm pleased the Astros gets another crack are beating the Yankees.
I hope the time off messed with them too.
It's too bad Cole will have to go 3rd and 7th.
Still, they will have to beat Cole or Verlander at least once.

Very happy for Sogard to put up that homerun.
He should get a decent contract this winter.

dan gordon - Friday, October 11 2019 @ 03:53 AM EDT (#382403) #
Not many have paid much attention, but Jackson Rees has had quite a remarkable season. He was undrafted in 2018, shortly before his 24th birthday, and signed with the Jays for $1,000. His 2018 season was not very good, but he made an astonishing improvement in the offseason, and was utterly dominant at Lansing, then almost as good with Dunedin, and now this terrific performance in the AFL, which got him an All-Star nod. Sportsnet had an interesting article about him yesterday:

https://www.sportsnet.ca/baseball/mlb/unlikely-breakout-suddenly-non-drafted-rees-blue-jays-radar/

Gil Kim says the team is very excited about Rees, who has a 91-94 mph sinker, a slider that can be unhittable, and an occasional curve and change up. His delivery is deceptive and Rees says everything he throws moves. Anyway, give the article a read if you're interested in the Jays' farm system - I found it quite interesting. I wasn't paying much attention to him because of his age, but pitchers sometimes develop late. He probably starts off in New Hampshire next year, and if he keeps pitching well, will likely move up to Buffalo during the summer.
ISLAND BOY - Friday, October 11 2019 @ 07:01 AM EDT (#382404) #
I read the article yesterday. He's got good size at 6 ft 4 and might be a valuable bullpen piece in the near future.
hypobole - Friday, October 11 2019 @ 07:07 AM EDT (#382405) #
"I wasn't paying much attention to him because of his age, but pitchers sometimes develop late."

This is something the Fangraphs' prospect guys keep mentioning. Pitchers development is much less linear than hitters. Thanks for the link, Dan.
Magpie - Friday, October 11 2019 @ 07:15 AM EDT (#382406) #
Actually watching the game and all these @$^%@#$% pitching changes makes me want immediate and huge rule changes, mid-game.

Amen.

Six Tampa pitchers threw 8 pitches or less. Every one of them first threw 8 pitches on the mound preparing for it.
Chuck - Friday, October 11 2019 @ 07:43 AM EDT (#382407) #
I'm going full grumpy old man right now - imagine if a team carried an extra player who significantly improved your chances at the plate instead of more relievers who pitch to literally one guy.

Not an unfair sentiment, but it's worth bearing in mind that this TB team ranks 30th in payroll, a good piece behind no. 29 Miami, and yet won 96 games with this particular act.

Their 4/5 hitters last night were two guys who started the season basically given up for dead. This was not a standard issue playoff team.

BlueJayWay - Friday, October 11 2019 @ 07:51 AM EDT (#382408) #
It amazes me how successful this ownership has been in beating the Jays fanbase into submission when it comes to expectations regarding their investment in the team. It's just truly unique in this market, when one looks across town at the Raptors (3rd in NBA payroll; ~$13.5M over the tax threshold), the Leafs (you could write a book) and even TFC (a top spender on international transfers).

Well yeah, but it also doesn't cost nearly as much money to be at those levels in those leagues. The NHL salary cap is, what, 80 something million? The luxury tax in the NBA I think is about 100 million. Those would be small payrolls in MLB. For the Jays payroll to be at the same relative level (cap, or 3rd in MLB or whatever) would cost well over 200 mill. Hell, just a couple years ago the Jays were north of 160 million, which isn't much less than the Leafs and Raptors combined. I wish Rogers would spend more on the team too but it's apples to oranges when you compare dollar for dollar.
BlueJayWay - Friday, October 11 2019 @ 07:57 AM EDT (#382409) #
Actually watching the game and all these @$^%@#$% pitching changes makes me want immediate and huge rule changes, mid-game. How about 5 pitchers on the active roster for each game? 7 relievers to get 4 scoreless innings is just unbearable. Looks like 4 guys wouldn't be allowed to be pulled by the "3 batters or finish an inning" rule, which is supposed to go into effect next year, I hope. I guess that fixes most of this nonsense.

The three batter rule can't come in soon enough. I hope they actually implement it. A pitch clock (another needed change) was supposed to come in this year but didn't.
hypobole - Friday, October 11 2019 @ 08:42 AM EDT (#382410) #
The Raptors went well into luxury tax territory and ended up spending about 160 million in payroll plus luxury tax penalties.
rpriske - Friday, October 11 2019 @ 09:43 AM EDT (#382411) #
I continue to be opposed to a pitch clock, but I am all in on the three batter (or end of an inning) minimum.

Put the actual strategy back into strategic play.

bpoz - Friday, October 11 2019 @ 11:27 AM EDT (#382412) #
I agree with Nigel about shopping in the mid range/discount aisle.

The strategy of "avoiding being terrible", I am not sure about. That strategy was not used in 2019 probably because it was mainly unavoidable. Being terrible that is. But this year we have pitching prospects that are ready to show how they can perform in 2020. Zeuch, Kay, Pearson, SRF have to pass the AAA test. Borucki, Thornton and Waguespack still have to get comfortable at the ML level but have done well enough to believe in themselves.

My definition of not terrible in 2020 is a 78-84 record. This hopefully will be achieved by some bright spots on the roster. I was disappointed with Vlad. But Bichette, Biggio and Gurriel qualify as bright spots. All 3 took until the 2nd half to shine so we had to rely on Galvis, Sogard and Drury until they arrived.

Similarly we use the mid range/discount shopping isle until the prospects arrive.
Nigel - Friday, October 11 2019 @ 11:48 AM EDT (#382413) #
Bluejayway - the baseball season is also twice as long with twice as many home dates. There are revenue implications to that to mean that the Jays should be spending far more than the salary caps for NHL and NBA teams. The revenue streams arenít linear to games played so it isnít completely straight forward, but itís apples and oranges to me. My only point was that Iím not sure spending $25-30 million (annualized) this offseason just to help the team win 75-80 games next year makes any sense. I would support either the use of the massive payroll flexibility they have this year (and next) to try and buy really good assets this offseason or try to get another top 5-10 pick next year (then make an actual effort to compete in 2021). This team is where it is now, in part, through strategic planning that did neither rebuilding nor making a serious effort to compete in the 16 and 17 offseasons.
PeterG - Friday, October 11 2019 @ 12:35 PM EDT (#382414) #
BA has just come out with it's top 20 prospects in the Gulf Coast League. Orelvis Martinez is ranked #1 while Alberto Rodriguez and Dasan Brown are also in the top 20. Kendall Williams is mentioned as one who might have made the list had he pitched more innings.
Magpie - Friday, October 11 2019 @ 01:06 PM EDT (#382415) #
I went crawling through the replays looking for the tip - apparently Glasnow's glove was lower when he was throwing his curveball. It is visible if you know that's what you're looking for. On his fastball, the tip of his glove reached around the top of the letters, on the curve it was - at most - two inches lower. "Obvious" said Glasnow, and apparently it was to the Houston hitters. Maybe not to the rest of us.
bpoz - Friday, October 11 2019 @ 01:29 PM EDT (#382416) #
Thanks Peter G.

I checked the GCL stats for our prospects in 2015 and compared them to the 2019 stats. Similar results.

In 2015 we had mainly June draft picks. Now it is the Int'l signings.

Not sure but in 2015 the GCL was more of a league for older players it seems. So our 2019 prospects would have most likely been over matched back in 2015. I mean playing at their current age 16/17/18 not 13/14 years old.

I prefer the 2019 way.
hypobole - Friday, October 11 2019 @ 03:18 PM EDT (#382417) #
GCL Batters Age
2015 19.5
2019 19.4
GCL Pitchers Age
2015 20.3
2019 20.3



ayjackson - Friday, October 11 2019 @ 06:25 PM EDT (#382418) #
ouch. that hurt.

Is that the first of the BA Top 20 lists? Haven't seen any others posted.
bpoz - Friday, October 11 2019 @ 08:36 PM EDT (#382419) #
Thanks hypobole. I did a sloppy job of analysis. Most ABs on the team (small sample) Lance Jones, Kalik May, Jake Thomas and B Lizardo. I just assumed that they were older players.

I will try to recalculate before ST. None of them are on my prospect list. Maybe I will not bother.
John Northey - Friday, October 11 2019 @ 09:05 PM EDT (#382420) #
Sweet to see a Jay ranked #1 in any league for prospects. Especially now that we can't expect to have #1 overall.

Orelvis Martinez: SS (26 G)/3B (11 G), 275/352/549 in 163 PA, age 17
Alberto Rodriguez: RF, 301/364/422 in 195 PA, age 18
Dasan Brown: CF, 222/444/356 in 63 PA, age 17 3rd round pick
Kendall Williams: RHP, 1.13 ERA, 16 IP 6 H 4 R 2 ER 7 BB 19 SO 0 HR - last 2 games had his longest outings, just 4 IP each time. Starts went 1 IP, 2, 2, 3, 4, 4. 2nd round pick.

Interesting set. At least 2-3 years away if all goes right but interesting.
dan gordon - Saturday, October 12 2019 @ 12:43 AM EDT (#382424) #
The losses in the playoffs by the Braves and Dodgers highlight something that I think a lot of people don't fully understand about winning a championship. Any playoff series is difficult to win, even if you are the better team "on paper", or based on regular season record, as the Braves and Dodgers were. To win the World Series, you need to beat either 3 or 4 teams, depending on whether you are a division winner or a wild card team. If your chance of winning a series is 50%, then your chance of winning the World Series is only .50 x .50 x .50 = 12.5% if you are a division winner, or 6.25% if you are a wild card team. Even if you are a very strong team, your chance of winning a series is probably not more than 60%, because don't forget, you are playing against a strong team. A 60% chance of winning, or, in other words, a .600 team, means your opponents are playing at a .400 pace. Hard to hold a strong team to even that low a level, but let's say you can. That would give you only about a 21% chance of winning the World Series if you are a 1st place team, or 13% if you are a wild card. The chance of winning in any 1 year is very small, so the idea of loading up for 1 run at it is flawed. You want to develop a team that can make the post season several times over an extended period if you want to have a good shot at winning the World Series. Hopefully, with a core of good young players the Blue Jays are on the right path to achieve that. I think they are at a stage now where they can begin adding components that will add to that strong core for the next several years. They certainly have the payroll flexibility to do it.
scottt - Saturday, October 12 2019 @ 08:48 AM EDT (#382425) #
Playoffs teams need good pitching.
Good hitting can take you there but you can't win the postseason without pitching.
The Twins didn't have the pitching.
The Nationals have excellent starting pitching but their pen is horrible, worse then every team except Baltimore.
So the Nats used their starters as relievers to give themselves a chance and the Dodgers manager, stupidly did the same.

In a best of 5 series, we see starters on short rest and starters in the pen.
Starters on short rest are not as good.
Starters in the pen are like any relievers, unreliable.

In the playoffs, it's all about the best 3 starters for each team. 
For the bullpen, it's the other way around. You can make use of every good reliever you have.

bpoz - Saturday, October 12 2019 @ 12:32 PM EDT (#382427) #
Very good points dan gordon.

I would like to see NYM in the playoffs next year. They have a strong and deep rotation. I want to see what De Grom can do.
scottt - Saturday, October 12 2019 @ 01:38 PM EDT (#382428) #
The Twins have lost what 14, 15, playoffs game in a row to the Yankees?
What do you think the odds of that are?

Chuck - Saturday, October 12 2019 @ 02:12 PM EDT (#382429) #
What do you think the odds of that are?

If you model this as 15 coin flips where the odds are the same for each flip, then the odds of the Yankees getting 15 straight heads are:

  • if NY has a 70% chance of winning each game, 0.7^15 (1 in 210)
  • if NY has a 60% chance of winning each game, 0.6^15 (1 in 2126)
  • if NY has a 50% chance of winning each game, 0.5^15 (1 in 32768)
scottt - Saturday, October 12 2019 @ 07:19 PM EDT (#382435) #
It's weird to give a team with 100 wins a 30% chance to win each game, but given the obvious differences in pitching, I feel it's generous.

vw_fan17 - Saturday, October 12 2019 @ 07:46 PM EDT (#382437) #
The chance of winning in any 1 year is very small, so the idea of loading up for 1 run at it is flawed.
Keep in mind though, that until recently, this was VERY different. Like for 1992/1993 - win the AL East, beat the AL West team, you're in the WS. 4 teams make the playoffs. If you're the best team, probably a 30% chance to win, maybe more. Back then, loading up WAS a good strategy. Like most things in sports, "rules of thumb" change slowly.. Now, 10 teams make the playoffs. More exciting, more revenues for the owners, but less expected reward for loading up for 1-2 years..
dan gordon - Sunday, October 13 2019 @ 02:38 AM EDT (#382441) #
Although, back then, there were more teams in your division, and you might be in a race with several other teams to win the division. You might try loading up, and then not make the playoffs at all. Now, a lot of teams pretty much have a playoff spot sewn up before the trade deadline.
bpoz - Sunday, October 13 2019 @ 10:37 AM EDT (#382444) #
Strategies have changed over the last few decades.

Gillick knew that he had a strong team in the early 90's, but it was getting old and so he loaded up.

I believe we transitioned from "old" Ace Stieb and some others I guess ( failing memory) to young Guzman, Hentgen and Timlin. We loaded up with Winfield, Morris and Cone in 1992.

My failing memory is going to produce wrong facts. Sorry. However the concepts of Transitioning and Loading Up and Flags Fly Forever are still valid IMO. I approve!!!

I also approve the Loading Up by AA of Donaldson & Martin and the Trade deadline acquisitions of Price, Tulo etc...

I also approve of Shapiro/Atkins/LaCava extending the 2015/2016 window with some "smart but modest" moves. Happ, Estrada, A Diaz, Solatre and Morales.
scottt - Sunday, October 13 2019 @ 11:32 AM EDT (#382445) #
It's hard to replace all-star players with prospects.

Houston gave away 4 guys, including their first rounders from the last 2 years and a second rounder to get Greinke.
A side effect of that is that they don't have the payroll room to fit Cole.

Springer projects to make 21M in his last year.
Correa 7M in his second year of arbitration.
Osuna 10M in his last year.
Oh and Altuve has 5 years at 29M each left on his contract.

So they'll give Tucker and Whittley all the chances they can to break out.


bpoz - Sunday, October 13 2019 @ 12:56 PM EDT (#382447) #
Agreed scottt. Unless you are TB.

Alfredo Griffin I don't think was an AS before Tony F replaced him.

IF Tulo could have stayed healthy and become a Jay's AS, would Bichette have been able to replace him?? I don't expect any responses. I just like to post stuff.
scottt - Monday, October 14 2019 @ 07:58 AM EDT (#382451) #
A healthy Tulo might have brought something back in a trade, but he would have been going regardless.
bpoz - Monday, October 14 2019 @ 10:22 AM EDT (#382455) #
The luxury tax is a barrier that does not scare 3 teams. LAD, NYY and Boston. Others may go over now and then. Only SF I think has done that so far.

So the Houston/Cole luxury tax situation will resolve itself this off season.

Just saying that payroll is a factor.

I am very fascinated by TB because they always want to operate with a low payroll. Before the Miami trade the Jays operated with a lower payroll. I personally expect a Jay's lower payroll (right or wrong) pretty much always. Range $120-150 mil when contending.

So getting back to TB and a deck of playing cards. Aces and Kings are #1 & #2 pitchers. I don't know the equivalent for position players. Houston probably has some. So TB will trade their Aces & Kings for prospects unless they can be signed long term like B Snell. That strategy produces both successes and failures. The failures would be a PR nightmare in any city except TB. I think the Miami fans are upset when this is done.
scottt - Monday, October 14 2019 @ 11:12 AM EDT (#382457) #
I believe the Yankees are under the tax this year.
The Red Sox wants to be under next year.

You can compete without a strong rotation, but you need at least a couple of good starters and a strong bullpen.
I think the Jays can put together a decent bullpen. The floor for starters is starting to rise as well.

The Rays have the #1 prospect in Wander Franco, but he hasn't made it to AA.
They have signed many top free agents like that.
That's an area where the Jays have been stepping up but we haven't see the results yet.
Guerrero and Urena are  the only international signing on the team.
You can talk about payroll all you want, but drafting and signing top international free agents is more important than throwing money at free agents. You get very little for your money there.

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