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Finally, let the games begin! Its full steam ahead with baseball games from today until the end of October, eight and a half months of action. Let's get excited about some fringe player who hits the cover off the ball in the first week. Just remember, the hitters will see a lot of fastballs in the first week, so performance in that week is not necessarily predictive.


The Jays start with two road games, tomorrow is against the Yankees. The first home game in the new ballpark is Monday. Tuesday is doubleheader day.


This weekend games are on Sportsnet. Your first chance to see the new ballpark on TV is the 29th.



One player to watch is Anthony Alford who will get plenty of at-bats in the first half of spring training. Is there any change in him? It's getting to his last chance.


Saturdays game will have the following pitchers: RHP Trent Thornton; RHP Sam Gaviglio; RHP AJ Cole; RHP Yennsy Diaz; LHP Brian Moran; RHP Phillippe Aumont.


Starting pitchers for the next five days, according to Shi Davidi, are: Trent Thornton, Anthony Kay, Shun Yamaguchi, Chase Anderson, Trent Thornton, Hyun-Jin Ryu.


Tanner Roark and Matt Shoemaker are out for a while with the flu. Ryan Borucki has a sore arm but he is scheduled to throw on Monday.

Grapefruit League Action...Catch It! | 241 comments | Create New Account
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John Northey - Saturday, February 22 2020 @ 01:10 AM EST (#385944) #
Time for the silly fun of baseball with over 50% minor league content!  Always tons of fun to see someone we've never heard of suddenly appear out of nowhere to do something that looks impressive until you remember he was facing A ballers.  Remember not to worry too much if a pitcher gets lit up as they tend to be a bit behind at this stage (at least the guys locked in for a slot).
scottt - Saturday, February 22 2020 @ 07:26 AM EST (#385945) #
It's supposed to be Happ vs Thorton at George M Steinbrenner Field with tickets starting at $68. Kinda pricey if you ask me.

If I was the Jays I would have all the kids in this game. For the 2 innings, anyway.

The Astros signs stealing was driven by Carlos Beltran who told them that they were behind the times with signs stealing.
The times being all those new camera feeds going into a video room so the manager can know to ask for a review.
And being behind was in comparison to the Yankees, the team Beltran came from.

Obviously the Yankees have been doing something.
Nearly all their hitters had career years last year, especially newcomers.
The only guys with bad numbers were vets who would have benefited from whatever scheme they have in place before.

Btw, the Yankees themselves were at the top of signs obfuscation.
All their pitchers had cheat sheets in their hats to help manage the complexity of their signs.

Sadly, that's probably an area the Jays need to focus on and change their signs every few pitches.
85bluejay - Saturday, February 22 2020 @ 10:06 AM EST (#385946) #
Saw a clip of Vlad facing Pearson - Vald pretty much looked like the Vlad from last season - a guy whom I expect will run out of gas in the 2nd half - very disappointed but not surprised.
Magpie - Saturday, February 22 2020 @ 12:24 PM EST (#385949) #
The Astros signs stealing was driven by Carlos Beltran

The hierarchy of Power in any major league clubhouse goes something like this:

1. Hall of Fame bound veteran
2. Superstar
3. Star Regular
4. Everyday Player
5. Proven Veteran
6. Hotshot Prospect
7. Manager
8. Fringe Player
9. Coach
10. Kids

The manager is the most mobile. He once stood above them all, but those days are long, long gone. If Montoyo went to the Blue Jays tomorrow and said "It's me or Guerrero" he'd immediately be told "See ya, Charlie."

He can move up a couple of positions, if he's got a long successful record or if he just won a championship. But no further.
Parker - Saturday, February 22 2020 @ 12:48 PM EST (#385951) #
What if the manager is also a HoF-bound veteran, though?

I mean, I doubt anyone is going to defer to Steve Tarpley over Carlos Beltran.
Magpie - Saturday, February 22 2020 @ 01:21 PM EST (#385952) #
Well, Tarpley's hardly a hot prospect. He's got to look up to the coaches. Beltran's not going to be a manager, but even if he were, he'd have discovered - like Ryne Sandberg before him - that most of his mojo had gone up in smoke once he hung up his glove.
Parker - Saturday, February 22 2020 @ 01:41 PM EST (#385953) #
Sorry, I misread and lumped the manager and coaches in together. Combo of hockey on the brain and poor reading comprehension.
Parker - Saturday, February 22 2020 @ 01:48 PM EST (#385954) #
Sucks that I go so quickly from "OMG, baseball on TV!" to "@$%#!&* YES broadcast!"
Parker - Saturday, February 22 2020 @ 01:56 PM EST (#385955) #
I wish the Jays had about 12 hitters like Cavan Biggio.
Magpie - Saturday, February 22 2020 @ 02:40 PM EST (#385956) #
I didn't bother thinking it through, but ideally the Hierarchy of Power would be a perfectly inverted pyramid, with just a few people on top and lots and lots of people at the bottom. Like the right edge of a bell curve, which is how baseball talent is distributed anyway.

The Jays, having been a lousy team, don't have anyone in the first two categories. And while Ryu and Giles might be a 3 (Star player), pitchers (especially relievers) are something of their own species. Grichuk is somewhere between 4 and 5. Vladdy, Bo, Biggio, and maybe Jansen would be your hot prospects. There's only one actual manager but there's no shortage whatsoever of people who could be the manager. And so on.

Anyway, the guys who would fit in the first category - Hall-bound veterans, as Beltran was at the end of his career - could probably be counted on one hand - Cabrera and Pujols for sure. Maybe Molina and Votto. A few pitchers, of course - Verlander, Kershaw, Greinke, Scherzer - but pitchers are different. Superstars really are more common.
Parker - Saturday, February 22 2020 @ 02:50 PM EST (#385957) #
"Like the right edge of a bell curve."
Gerry - Saturday, February 22 2020 @ 03:01 PM EST (#385958) #
Jays first run of the spring came through a single by Alejandro Kirk, a wild pitch/passed ball, and a double by Andy Burns.

Kirk has not slimmed down this off-season, he is definitely rolly-polly, or big boned if you prefer.
Gerry - Saturday, February 22 2020 @ 03:07 PM EST (#385959) #
Alford singled in his first at-bat. It wasn't hit hard but just got past the second baseman in the air. It landed just past the infield.
Gerry - Saturday, February 22 2020 @ 03:13 PM EST (#385961) #
Alford stole second, third and then home. The steal of home was part of a double steal.

Kirk is listed at 5'9" and 265 pounds. Yikes!
Parker - Saturday, February 22 2020 @ 03:20 PM EST (#385962) #
The new Moneyball!
Gerry - Saturday, February 22 2020 @ 04:11 PM EST (#385963) #
Jays win game one, 2-1.
scottt - Saturday, February 22 2020 @ 04:15 PM EST (#385964) #
Petricka recovered but had a rough outing.
dan gordon - Saturday, February 22 2020 @ 06:02 PM EST (#385965) #
Some excellent pitching all around - 9 IP, 3 H, 3 BB, 8 K, 1 ER. Of course, the pitchers are generally ahead of the hitters at this point, but still, nice to see. No injuries!!

MILB and MLB list Kirk as 5'9" 220, and I've heard 225 elsewhere. 265 doesn't make sense to me - he would have a tough time just getting up and down to catch 100+ pitches in a game if he was that obese.

I think Alford makes the team to start the season.
SK in NJ - Saturday, February 22 2020 @ 07:36 PM EST (#385966) #
This FO is big on depth so I also think Alford makes the team. Whether he will be any good is a different story. A former top 60 prospect two years ago could conceivably be a tweak or two away from being fixed. It’s a long shot but as a 4th OF it seems like a no brainer to keep him. If he fails then you move on.
StephenT - Saturday, February 22 2020 @ 09:19 PM EST (#385967) #
I believe the "first chance to see the new ballpark on TV" is March 14 actually (not Feb 29) based on the broadcast schedules posted at https://www.sportsnet.ca/baseball/mlb/blue-jays-spring-training-schedule-sportsnet/ and https://www.mlb.com/network/shows/spring-training-games .
Parker - Saturday, February 22 2020 @ 10:38 PM EST (#385968) #
Pitchers are different. But superstars are more common? Man, I love the narrative, but isn't Sweet Lou not getting his just deserts somewhere? ;)
clark - Sunday, February 23 2020 @ 07:06 AM EST (#385969) #
Was anyone still watching in the seventh? Kind of hard to stick with the ST games. Because it was the first one, I was still watching. Yennsy Diaz was pumping 97 mph fastballs in the zone. Not that long ago, news like that would have caused quite a stir. He’s a pretty lightly regarded prospect, ranked #27 in the Jays system by BA. Probably back to repeat at New Hampshire this season I would think. BA cites weak secondary pitches and some control issues as limiting factors. He certainly caught my eye today, I’ll be keeping an eye on him to see how he fares this season.
ayjackson - Sunday, February 23 2020 @ 10:27 AM EST (#385970) #
Shouldn't the title be "Catch The Taste"?
bpoz - Sunday, February 23 2020 @ 11:29 AM EST (#385971) #
I agree with your statement clark about Diaz.

He will be 23 years old for the full season. I expect 10-12 AA starts this year and about 14 starts in AAA. I also expect many pitchers to struggle with the juiced AAA ball.

I am a bit upset that H Danner as a catcher is progressing slowly. I don't know how/why he cannot pitch a bit as well as catch.
Magpie - Sunday, February 23 2020 @ 12:06 PM EST (#385972) #
But superstars are more common?

A little counter-intuitive, I know! And many (if not most) of them will eventually achieve Hall-Bound-Veteran status. But as a general rule, now and probably most of the time, the game's greatest players - Trout, Bellinger, Yelich, Cole, Rendon, de Grom - aren't even Hall-eligible yet.
Magpie - Sunday, February 23 2020 @ 12:15 PM EST (#385973) #
Those pesky Raptors may have raised the bar for all the local sports teams. Luckily, the Leafs are around to lower it. The Zamboni driver? That's going to go on these guys' resumes forever.
John Northey - Sunday, February 23 2020 @ 09:08 PM EST (#385974) #
So 2 games in.  1-1 record.  5 PA the most anyone has so far (Alford & Fisher & Tellez).  3 guys with 2 hits each (Burns, Fisher, Tellez).  3 with a double (Burns, Espinal, Fisher), none with a triple or HR yet.    7 with a walk, but none with 2 walks yet.  3 K's for Alford, 2 each for Kivlehan, McGuire, and Palacios.  3 SB for Alford, 1 for Wall.  Kivlehan was caught stealing.  So not too much yet.

I'd say Alford helped his cause with those 3 SB but hurt it with the 3 K's in 5 AB's.  Fisher is off to a good start with the double, Tellez doing good too.  Clearly the Jays want to see a lot of those 3 this spring.  Should be a good battle between them to either win a ML job or to get enough attention to get a shot later in the year.
John Northey - Sunday, February 23 2020 @ 10:58 PM EST (#385975) #
Doh - 1-0-1 record, 7 for 6 against.  Guess a tie felt like a loss even with that sweet play to end it.
ISLAND BOY - Monday, February 24 2020 @ 06:50 AM EST (#385976) #
Yesterday was the first time I saw Alejandro Kirk play. He has a chunky build to say the least.
scottt - Monday, February 24 2020 @ 07:38 AM EST (#385977) #
Conversely, Gil Kim is now one of the coaches and has to wear a uniform.
He's a skinny coach to say the least.

scottt - Monday, February 24 2020 @ 07:44 AM EST (#385978) #
So MadBum has been competing in rodeos under the alias Mason Saunders? Really?

It's not a big deal because he hogties with is right hand? What?

uglyone - Monday, February 24 2020 @ 08:34 AM EST (#385979) #
Yeah people say vladdy is fat when he's actually solid, but Kirk legit has a belly.
ramone - Monday, February 24 2020 @ 08:57 AM EST (#385980) #
Law's Top 100 prospect list is out for the Athletic:

11 Pearson, 73 Groshans, 76 Manoah and Orelvis Martinez 89
Gerry - Monday, February 24 2020 @ 10:30 AM EST (#385981) #
Marc Repczynski has been brought into camp by the Jays.
bpoz - Monday, February 24 2020 @ 10:47 AM EST (#385982) #
Great to hear that Zep is back.
bpoz - Monday, February 24 2020 @ 11:31 AM EST (#385983) #
Vlad definitely ran out of gas last year. However he did make it to the Majors very fast and hit quite well. He did not live up to his hype but 2020 is a new year. The 464 ABs will have taught him a few things.

Kirk does have issues with his weight and build. He has shown a very high baseball IQ. His hitting is very good. Avg, bb and Ks. On Sat he may have stolen a base. Definitely good base running skills. Tagged up from 3b and scored on a ball not hit that deep.Threw out a base runner which ended the game yesterday.

Vlad and Kirk may have short careers due to weight. But a few million $ and benefits in their pockets will make for a comfortable life.
hypobole - Monday, February 24 2020 @ 11:58 AM EST (#385984) #
With Alford, not only did he not look good at the plate, he also muffed a lazy fly ball in the 5th after a poor decision in the 2nd when he overthrew the cutoff man.

Thinking of Vlad last year and Kirk in a Dr. Strangelove voice: "The whole point of dietitians is lost... If you don't follow the diet!"








dalimon5 - Monday, February 24 2020 @ 12:01 PM EST (#385985) #
"Law's Top 100 prospect list is out for the Athletic:

11 Pearson, 73 Groshans, 76 Manoah and Orelvis Martinez 89"

Where did Caesy Mize and Mackenzie Gore land?
mathesond - Monday, February 24 2020 @ 12:06 PM EST (#385986) #
Gore #3, Mize #20
Mylegacy - Monday, February 24 2020 @ 02:38 PM EST (#385987) #
I was watching, my hero, my forever friend, Captain Kirk or "La Molina mas pequena" (The smallest Molina) as our Spanish friends might say (assuming Google Translation has not tricked me and "pequena" is Spanish for something breathtakingly rude). As a hitter I predict he'll be a pleasant, intriguing, enjoyable anomaly. He has tiny, short, very short - did I mention the length of his - arms? He can't swing at a ball outside 'cause his arms couldn't reach that far even if he wanted to have a go at it. I believe he'll be a hitting machine. Seriously. I predict he could become a seriously entertaining productive bat. Perhaps even "a must have in the line-up" quality bat.

As a catcher he's got only one flaw. Did I mention he has short arms? Watching Jansen and McGuire catch (I thought both were in mid-season catching form) you can see the one incurable weakness Kirk will have. While I predict he will catch or block nearly anything he can reach there is no question in my mind that he'll miss too many wide sweeping pitches. I think he'll have too many passed balls - balls he just can't reach - and that will be a problem. Pity. Seriously, a pity. Because the guy can catch and block anything he can get to.

I still want him to change his name to Alejandro Molina - cause as we ALL know - you can never have too many Molina's!
Gerry - Monday, February 24 2020 @ 04:43 PM EST (#385989) #
The juggernaut Jays won again today, 4-3 and used ten pitchers in the process. Shun Yamaguchi gave up all three runs in the first inning.
dan gordon - Monday, February 24 2020 @ 04:59 PM EST (#385990) #
Interesting article on Jays Journal that points out it wasn't Rogers who decided to have the MLBTV blackout of their games, it was MLB. The Jays were the last team that didn't have a local blackout.

https://jaysjournal.com/2020/02/24/blue-jays-rogers-media-wasnt-blame/
scottt - Monday, February 24 2020 @ 05:13 PM EST (#385991) #
Drury hit into an inning ending double play to end a rally.

Yamaguchi's splitter looked good, but he'll have to make an adjustment with his fastball.

dan gordon - Monday, February 24 2020 @ 05:23 PM EST (#385992) #
That's disappointing about Yamaguchi, who is a bit of an unknown in terms of what he can do at the mlb level. He didn't even get out of the 1st inning, allowing 3 hits, a walk and a hit batter. The rest of the pitchers were great - 8 1/3 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 10 K, 0 ER.
scottt - Monday, February 24 2020 @ 06:08 PM EST (#385993) #
Scrabble is a LOOGY and they're of limited value now.
I suppose he's a back up for Pannone.

bpoz - Monday, February 24 2020 @ 06:28 PM EST (#385994) #
A Kirk can be a valuable 3rd catcher.Maybe he will be a hitting machine.
vw_fan17 - Monday, February 24 2020 @ 06:58 PM EST (#385995) #
A Kirk is a valuable commodity when facing hitters like K. Maru. :-)
bpoz - Tuesday, February 25 2020 @ 12:35 PM EST (#386003) #
Double header today. I would think all healthy 40 man pitchers should have got into a game by the end of today.

Ryu is probably managing his own schedule. Zeuch has not yet pitched.
bpoz - Tuesday, February 25 2020 @ 12:52 PM EST (#386004) #
Ryu was signed Dec 2012 by LAD. Did Very well since then. Was he highly touted?

Tanaka, Darvish and Ryu have all done about the same in the ML. Ohtani so far has been injured too much to say that he has done well.

Yamaguchi has not arrived with much fanfare or a big price tag. Still all the Oriental pitchers have to show and earn their status on the field. Good health counts in my books.

Gerry - Tuesday, February 25 2020 @ 01:28 PM EST (#386006) #
Nate Pearson struck out the side in his first spring inning. In the other game Rowdy Tellez hit a three run home run off Jake Arrieta.

Meanwhile Chase Anderson is off to a rough start, back to back doubles.
Gerry - Tuesday, February 25 2020 @ 01:41 PM EST (#386007) #
Anderson got out of trouble with one run allowed.

Pearson just went one inning. He was followed by the elusive Julian Merryweather. He struck out the first two hitters but then a couple of ground balls led to a run.
Gerry - Tuesday, February 25 2020 @ 01:54 PM EST (#386008) #
Patrick Murphy followed Merryweather. Pearson, Merryweather and Murphy, that could be a preview of 2021 in Toronto.

Murphy struck out the first two hitters before Miguel Andujar grounded out. That's seven K's in three innings for the three young pitchers.
GabrielSyme - Tuesday, February 25 2020 @ 01:59 PM EST (#386009) #
The showing from Pearson, Merryweather and Murphy is a pretty nice ray of light for our best prospect, and a couple guys with some pretty significant questions.
hypobole - Tuesday, February 25 2020 @ 02:41 PM EST (#386010) #
Shout out to Rowdy, who's had a very nice start to the spring.
hypobole - Tuesday, February 25 2020 @ 03:29 PM EST (#386011) #
TJ is the recommendation for Severino. Gut punch for the Yankees.
85bluejay - Tuesday, February 25 2020 @ 04:19 PM EST (#386012) #
Calling 28 y.o Merryweather young is very generous - I wonder if the Jays might just put Merryweather in the pen and let him go, maybe as Giles eventual replacement.
cascando - Tuesday, February 25 2020 @ 04:54 PM EST (#386013) #
I'm really interested to see what Merryweather offers that makes the organization have faith in him, and fans have hope that he can be not only a MLBer, but a useful one. I understand he may have decent stuff, but what exactly sets him apart from the many other pitchers who have decent stuff but poor results, other than that he was the return for Donaldson?

I find it hard not to believe that the Jays could have dropped Merryweather from the 40-man this winter and still have him in camp trying to show he deserves a spot in the AA or AAA bullpen.
scottt - Tuesday, February 25 2020 @ 06:15 PM EST (#386014) #
He throws upper 90s and he has one option left.
There are a lot of teams out there who could fit him on the 26, nevermind the 40 roster.

scottt - Tuesday, February 25 2020 @ 06:22 PM EST (#386015) #
It's interesting. The Yankees look brittle. The Red Sox have moved their MVP.
Baltimore will likely be worst than last year. The Rays are shuffling their lineup around.

I'm expecting more than 81 wins, but whatever happens, it should be interesting.

bpoz - Tuesday, February 25 2020 @ 10:18 PM EST (#386017) #
Would like to see the Jays beat up on NYY this year.
scottt - Wednesday, February 26 2020 @ 07:19 AM EST (#386020) #
I like to see the Jays beat up on NYY every year.

It looks like Happ is the #3 starter in NY and will hopefully throw enough to make his option year vest.
I'm hoping for an ERA+ around 95. Too low and they could boot him.

Those 7/70 and 5/50 extensions to Hicks and Severino are  cautionary tales.

bpoz - Wednesday, February 26 2020 @ 11:01 AM EST (#386025) #
P Murphy is a ground ball pitcher that has low bb and high Ks. Throws V hard. Also improved his hits. 152.2 IP. All in 2018. But probably old for the FSL. It seemed he was doing ok in NH 2019 until the toe tap issue.

He needs 3 or 4 good pitches and has to master the juiced ball. He may have everything he needs.
Mike Green - Wednesday, February 26 2020 @ 11:27 AM EST (#386026) #
Joe Panik is at shortstop and Derek Fisher in centerfield for today's game.  Fisher certainly did not look like a centerfielder last year, but hope springs eternal.
Lylemcr - Wednesday, February 26 2020 @ 11:56 AM EST (#386027) #
Can we say good bye to Drury soon? Just call it done.

ISLAND BOY - Wednesday, February 26 2020 @ 12:01 PM EST (#386029) #
Well, if the decision was up to us ...
Mike Green - Wednesday, February 26 2020 @ 01:26 PM EST (#386032) #
This Pearson video should be added to the archives for posterity. 
Glevin - Wednesday, February 26 2020 @ 01:28 PM EST (#386033) #
The Jays are expanding netting almost all the way down the lines (which is good) but because of this, they are also reducing the foul territory which will benefit hitters. Just something to watch.
DavidtheDeuce - Wednesday, February 26 2020 @ 02:22 PM EST (#386035) #
I fully support any measures to improve the safety of everyone at the ballpark.

With exit velocities skyrocketing it would seem reasonable to begin to gradually phase in a pitcher's helmet.
uglyone - Wednesday, February 26 2020 @ 05:47 PM EST (#386039) #
Manfred's fault:

https://twitter.com/ekoreen/status/1232795421745065985
scottt - Wednesday, February 26 2020 @ 05:55 PM EST (#386041) #
One of the 7 hits was Aldemys Diaz.

I don't mind, but hit the right guys.

GabrielSyme - Wednesday, February 26 2020 @ 07:02 PM EST (#386042) #
Well, some guys are going to get hit just by accident too, Diaz might be an accidental HBP.

I wonder if pitchers are going to actually alter their approach to Astros hitters and pitch a lot more inside just to give themselves a little more plausible deniability when they pop Bregman in the ribs.
scottt - Wednesday, February 26 2020 @ 07:56 PM EST (#386043) #
Pompey took a minor deal with Arizona. Best of luck there.
Magpie - Wednesday, February 26 2020 @ 09:18 PM EST (#386046) #
I haven't seen the others, but Bregman was hit by a breaking ball that didn't break. That's just baseball. No offense intended, and none taken.
bpoz - Wednesday, February 26 2020 @ 10:14 PM EST (#386047) #
Maybe Boston will be found guilty of cheating too.

I am expecting a verdict by March 15th.

2020 is going to be a historic year.
John Northey - Wednesday, February 26 2020 @ 11:19 PM EST (#386048) #
That is baseball in spring especially - pitchers tend to be very, very wild at this point.  Trying new pitches, trying to get their #4 pitch to do good stuff vs real hitters, etc.  Often good pitchers really do poor in spring, at least in the past.  I checked Verlander and Kershaw but both are solid in spring.  Really not up to digging hard.  I just recall Stieb and others sucking every spring and people starting to panic then the season begins and they were killer again.  Could be a faulty memory though.  Logically though this is the time for pitchers to try something different.  If it doesn't work, who cares as long as you have a slot on the team locked in.  Heck, I remember the Jays regularly putting outfielders and 1B/DH's in the infield in the 80's during spring just to see if it could work (it didn't).  One spring I recall them keeping Cecil Fielder at 3B most of spring just to try (desperately) to find a new position for him with McGriff at 1B - and only Jimy Williams would be dumb enough to do it in the season (actually had him at 2B for one game, flip flopping with Kelly Gruber 3B/2B multiple times trying to keep Fielder from fielding anything).

Remember, spring is when even TV/movie stars get into games sometimes (Billy Crystal, Will Ferrell, Tom Selleck, Bruce Hornsby, Garth Brooks, and Tom Verducci [a sports writer] for the Jays).  I'd love for one of the teams to put a woman on the mound or at bat sometime (one from an Olympic team or something - IE: one who can play) just for the fun of it.
scottt - Thursday, February 27 2020 @ 07:42 AM EST (#386050) #
Let me put it this way.
If you're pitching against the Astros this spring and you're going to miss, you want to miss inside.

scottt - Thursday, February 27 2020 @ 07:49 AM EST (#386051) #
Historic as in record breaking?

The Jays were out of it in 18 due to injuries.
It's really NYY and maybe Tampa who could get upset.

Boyd and Archer look like trade deadline targets.
Just hoping Giles isn't one.

bpoz - Thursday, February 27 2020 @ 10:53 AM EST (#386052) #
By historic I meant the aftermath of the cheating. More guilty hitters being hit. Pitching inside. Umps putting in their 2 cents. No arguing balls and strikes. Serious payback to be collected.

So far it has all been words. Athletes are not politicians IMO. Not at the same time. Right Gov Arnold!!!
hypobole - Thursday, February 27 2020 @ 12:39 PM EST (#386054) #
Interesting Fan Post at BB Banter on the value generated by IFA's signed by each team over the past 30 years. There seem to be a few minor errors, but the gist is bang on. The Jays have been awful since the end of the Eppy/Gillick era.

https://www.bluebirdbanter.com/2020/2/26/21155454/value-generated-by-international-free-agents-blue-jays
Glevin - Thursday, February 27 2020 @ 01:50 PM EST (#386055) #
"Interesting Fan Post at BB Banter on the value generated by IFA's signed by each team over the past 30 years. There seem to be a few minor errors, but the gist is bang on. The Jays have been awful since the end of the Eppy/Gillick era."

Interesting. I do think that this is going to change pretty quickly. Vlad and Gurriel are both in the majors and look to have long-term value. The system is filled with international signings. On BA's list for example, I count I think 10/30 from international signings (Excluding Yamaguchi) including 4/10 top prospects.
Gerry - Thursday, February 27 2020 @ 03:35 PM EST (#386056) #
Some ninth inning heroics earned the Jays a tie today. Alejandro Kirk and Kevin Smith delivered the key hits.
scottt - Thursday, February 27 2020 @ 03:42 PM EST (#386057) #
Yeah, I was looking at that too and I was wondering where did Vladdy go.
If they go with fwAR he's only been worth o.4, but still.

It's still too early to see the benefits but the current front office has been pretty decent with the IFAs.
Yamaguchi counts? Does Dolis?

bpoz - Thursday, February 27 2020 @ 08:41 PM EST (#386063) #
Tinnish is running the Int'l signings. I believe he is Canadian. Still in his 30s I think. He does not speak much about his staff but he must have a good sized staff. He himself sees many of the players signed.

On Future Blue Jays he talks about what he has seen. Talks about the Tricky League. Dahain Santos is a small RHP that Tinnish is raving about.

Checking out D Santos as a case study. He turned 16 on Feb 26, 2019 and signed July 2, 2019. He is from Venezuela. I am guessing the following: When he is a 15 years old and you see something you like. So convince/offer to train him "proper nutrition, training in the gym and on the field with professional coaches".If he checks all the boxes you sign him on July 2. If not take your time and sign him as a 17,18 or even 19 year old. The Jays are financing his development unofficially.
Parker - Friday, February 28 2020 @ 01:09 PM EST (#386064) #
Wow, that's some hardcore Little League defense by the Tigers.
AWeb - Friday, February 28 2020 @ 01:27 PM EST (#386065) #
As one does, I was looking at baseball reference, and the Toronto franchise home page has pictures of the top 24 WAR earners in franchise history. Currently it takes 17.1 to make it. That means no one on the Jays will make the top 24 in the next two years either, barring consecutive MVP level years. Unless I'm missing someone (I often am), or the Jays sign someone with some franchise history, I think the current leader is Cavan Biggio, with 2.8. Ken Giles is at 2.5, which I think leads the pitchers. Note that the 2020 Jays currently have 10 guys in camp who hit 10 HRs for them just last year, but not a single one amassed much WAR.

I have to imagine these are the lowest active franchise leading totals since 1977/78. I’m wondering if they are the lowest franchise leaders for position and pitching, total WAR, for any team not in its first and second year post expansion. When Houston burned it to the ground in 2011/12, I think they managed to stay above this level. The Marlins seem to have stayed above this level as well. It takes almost nothing – a three-year average reliever can accumulate 2-3 WAR, and I certainly can’t look at non-Jays rosters and spot those kind of players easily, especially going back to some older teams. Anyone know how to figure out if the 2020 Jays are “leading” this dubious stat?
Parker - Friday, February 28 2020 @ 02:42 PM EST (#386066) #
I really liked that Alford AB. He got beat, as the best hitters do 60%. He fought off a LOT of good pitches.
rpriske - Friday, February 28 2020 @ 03:17 PM EST (#386068) #
I just read an article speculating that the Red Sox could trade for Randal Grichuk.

(Please note, I think the article is full of it, but hey.)
Parker - Friday, February 28 2020 @ 04:19 PM EST (#386069) #
rpriske, quote?
hypobole - Friday, February 28 2020 @ 04:38 PM EST (#386070) #
Doesn't seem Alford's future plans include "defensive replacement".
GabrielSyme - Friday, February 28 2020 @ 05:33 PM EST (#386072) #
I'm more worried about the strikeouts. I'd trust the scouting reports on his defence over one week at the outset of Spring Training.

I think Alford only really has to look healthy and not a complete liability in order to make the team. So far he's only one for two.
hypobole - Friday, February 28 2020 @ 06:10 PM EST (#386073) #
Clay Davenport's site is far from perfect, but it has the best available minor league defensive stats. Fields, 51 games in CF, +7. Davis, 48 games in CF, +1. Alford 24 games in CF, -5. Alford does shows as +4 in his 25 games in RF. I also remember Teoscar being labelled as a good defender in minor league scouting reports.
Mike Green - Friday, February 28 2020 @ 06:30 PM EST (#386074) #
There is no reason to believe that Alford is ready to assume the 4th outfielder role.  The only reason to keep him on the 26 man roster ahead of Jonathan Davis is that he is out of options, and is younger. Davis is likely to be a tolerable 4th outfielder, and of course Jarrod Dyson would like be better still. 

It's not ideal for a player like Alford to be a 5th outfielder/pinch-runner, but if you really like him, that is probably what the club should do. 
uglyone - Friday, February 28 2020 @ 06:39 PM EST (#386075) #
There really is very very little position player depth beyond the starting lineup.

Only position with any depth is catcher.
scottt - Friday, February 28 2020 @ 07:37 PM EST (#386077) #
It's relative,  Espinal, Panik, Smith could cover the middle infield, but losing Bichette/Biggio would probably hurt more than losing an outfielder and having Fisher/McKinney cover up.
Tellez can back up first.

The third catcher is Joseph and he's not on the roster.
Having to bring him up would hurt.

The real depth is on the pitching side. 

scottt - Friday, February 28 2020 @ 07:41 PM EST (#386078) #
I don't expect Alford to clear waivers regardless of how poorly he plays this spring.
He's still rated too high on most prospects list.

Carrying too many infielders would be problematic.
We'd see Drury or Biggio in the outfield.

SK in NJ - Friday, February 28 2020 @ 08:56 PM EST (#386080) #
If Alford is not a plus defender in CF, then I see no reason to hold on to him. You could live with the below average bat if the glove compensates for it, but if it doesn't, then it greatly diminishes whatever upside he still has. In that case, I would agree that Davis is the better player to carry as the 5th OF since he can play CF, is a good base runner, and has historically hit LHP well in the minors. You could squint and see a 4th OF in him. I still think Alford makes the team, but hopefully the defense and base running is plus, because the bat hasn't looked good in two years (+ SSS this spring).
rpriske - Saturday, February 29 2020 @ 08:41 AM EST (#386081) #
https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2020/02/who-else-could-the-red-sox-target-in-trades.html
bpoz - Saturday, February 29 2020 @ 09:22 AM EST (#386082) #
If the Red Sox trade for any expensive piece, like Grichuk,then it is clear that they loathe any kind of severe rebuild.
Mike Green - Saturday, February 29 2020 @ 10:44 AM EST (#386083) #
Biggio gets the start in CF today, with Drury at second base. It's still early.
ISLAND BOY - Saturday, February 29 2020 @ 11:54 AM EST (#386084) #
Interesting article on Vladimir Guerrero at Sportsnet. He has lost 15-20 pounds over the winter and put in a pile of work on conditioning, weights and fielding. He volunteered to play in the spring training game yesterday even though it meant a long bus ride, and got to play with his first cousin, Gabby Guerrero. I found it to be an encouraging read.
scottt - Saturday, February 29 2020 @ 12:55 PM EST (#386085) #
Boston has enough money to be close to the tax ceiling every year.
Yet they don't want to be above and pay penalties.
They are not going to do a bare done rebuilt and a full tank.
'Bogaerts is extended until 2025 with an option for 26.
They'll just back fill with free agents.


Gerry - Saturday, February 29 2020 @ 04:28 PM EST (#386086) #
Even though the Jays have been winning, a lot of the hitters haven't found their form yet. Bo is hitting .077; Shaw zero; Gurriel zero; Grichuk .200; and Drury .125.

Good job there are three weeks left.
dan gordon - Saturday, February 29 2020 @ 05:48 PM EST (#386087) #
Articles on Jays Journal and Blue Jays Nation both say there is significant interest in bringing Colin McHugh in as a late inning reliever for the Jays' bullpen. He won't be ready for the start of the year. McHugh could even be a closer option if the Jays trade Giles, so it's an attractive situation for him as he tries to rebuild his value post-injury, perhaps on a 1-year, incentive-heavy contract.

That article about Guerrero is a good one. It seems he is taking his career a lot more seriously, in terms of what he needs to do to fulfil his potential, than he did last year.

Early results for hitters are pretty meaningless. Pitchers are already throwing hard, and it takes a while to get your timing at the plate. You sometimes see the players who play in the winter are well ahead of the ones who don't. Less rust to shake off.
GabrielSyme - Saturday, February 29 2020 @ 06:41 PM EST (#386088) #
Jansen, Biggio & Teoscar are starting out well. It's a pretty normal distribution of production so early, I think.
John Northey - Saturday, February 29 2020 @ 10:54 PM EST (#386089) #
For fun I checked B-R for spring stats - https://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/TOR/2020.shtml - and they are there.  Yay.  
For quality of opponent (normally means they are starting the game and seen as serious)... 8+ is AAA or major league

Interesting to see who has been given the tougher challenges so far.  Very few games so not a ton of meaning but interesting none the less.
BlueJayWay - Sunday, March 01 2020 @ 03:00 PM EST (#386090) #
Pearson with two innings today against the Pirates, 6 up 6 down with 3 Ks. According to Keegan Matheson who's there, his fastballs were all 98-99, with one at 100.
StephenT - Sunday, March 01 2020 @ 04:24 PM EST (#386091) #
The Pirates' broadcast had the camera in almost straightaway centre field so you could really see Pearson locating his pitches on the corners.  (If only Sportsnet would put the camera in centre field; the Rays and Red Sox broadcasts do but the Jays' home broadcasts just give us skew.)
John Northey - Sunday, March 01 2020 @ 06:04 PM EST (#386092) #
Doesn't that put Pearson at 9 batters faced, 6 K's, all outs.  Sheesh, kid is determined to make a good impression.  Wondering if he'll get the Vlad treatment, down for April, up in May to gain a year of control.
perlhack - Sunday, March 01 2020 @ 08:16 PM EST (#386093) #
A tangentially Jays-related item: John Olerud's 19-year old daughter Jordan has died as a result of a rare chromosome disorder.
John Northey - Sunday, March 01 2020 @ 10:59 PM EST (#386094) #
How terrible.  As a parent I can only imagine the pain he and his wife and their other children are going through.  Just 19.  So sad and wrong.  It was nice to see he has used his post playing career as a way to help other families dealing with special needs.  Hopefully the Jays do something in his families honor - including a big donation to his charity.
dan gordon - Monday, March 02 2020 @ 01:03 AM EST (#386095) #
Heard part of the pre-game show today on the radio, and they had spoken with some of the Blue Jay staff who were absolutely gushing about 2 of the relievers. Gaviglio is looking terrific, and they are thinking of him for a late inning role. Remember last year how good he was for the first few weeks and then he tired as he was overused. After 12 appearances, he had an ERA of 1.13, and had allowed only 11 hits and 2 walks in 24 innings, with 24 K's. After being used 7 times in 14 days, totalling 13 innings, from April 27 to May 10, he was never the same. He has done a lot of work on his conditioning, and they are expecting a really big season from him. The other one was Romano, who has added 10 pounds of muscle, improved his conditioning, and is also looking terrific. I really liked what I saw of Romano last year, and if he can improve his control a little, I think he can be a good late inning guy too. With those 2, plus Giles, Yamaguchi, Dolis, Font and Bass, the bullpen could be a strength.

They also had a very good report on Patrick Murphy, who has apparently figured out his new legal delivery and has his good fastball and curve back to where they were prior to the news that he was pitching illegally.
ISLAND BOY - Monday, March 02 2020 @ 06:59 AM EST (#386096) #
I watched a lot of the game yesterday just to see Pearson pitch and his stuff is electric. It's one thing to put away minor leaguers but he started off Josh Bell with an 89 MPH change-up that Bell was way in front of, then finished him off with a high heater that Bell just waved at. I don't think it's a question of whether Pearson is ready for the big leagues but more of when the front office wants to start his service time.

On the other hand, T.J. Zeuck looked shaky. The Pittsburgh announcers talked more about him than most of the Jays because he went to college in Pittsburgh. It was comical to hear them wondering which of his pitches was his fastballs as they expected a big guy like him to throw a lot harder. Being a Pittsburgh broadcast, they concentrated on the Pirates, naturally, but different times it was hard to tell who was batting for the Jays. I could not believe that I found myself longing to hear Buck and Pat.
Mike Green - Monday, March 02 2020 @ 07:54 AM EST (#386097) #
Pearson and service time.  Delaying entry to gain an extra year of control is understandable. Delaying to avoid Super Two is cheap. Pearson seems to be as ready, if not more so, than Guerrero Jr. was last year.

The pitching looks to be in pretty good shape.
uglyone - Monday, March 02 2020 @ 08:55 AM EST (#386098) #
Pearson will be 24 halfway through the year. He is not overly young, and for many pitchers, especially power pitchers, their best years are in their young to mid 20s.

Very little reason to delay him much.
Jonny German - Monday, March 02 2020 @ 09:15 AM EST (#386099) #
The Ryu signing was enough for me to believe that ownership isn't going to go cheap on everything. Getting the extra year of control on Pearson is a sensible move under the rules tho.

A nice nickname I saw suggested: Terminal 3
Mike Green - Monday, March 02 2020 @ 09:24 AM EST (#386100) #
Terminal 3 is good, but will be obscure outside of TO. 

I like "Flight Cancelled" or "Zero Exit Velocity" but I do lean to the unconventional. 
uglyone - Monday, March 02 2020 @ 10:10 AM EST (#386102) #
Sign him up:

https://twitter.com/JeffPassan/status/1234487546022940673
Mike Green - Monday, March 02 2020 @ 10:39 AM EST (#386103) #
Just a reminder that John Olerud's playing career was most notable for his time in Toronto. 

Unfortunately, there was no mention of his daughter's passing in any of the Toronto newspapers today.  Hopefully that is fixed tomorrow. It would also be nice if the organization did something to honour him. 
hypobole - Monday, March 02 2020 @ 10:51 AM EST (#386104) #
Uo - we could bring back both Jose and Russ. The 2001 Chipola battery revived.
bpoz - Monday, March 02 2020 @ 10:53 AM EST (#386105) #
Thanks ISLAND BOY. I listened to the game. Pearson threw a lot of strikes. So he can pitch in the strike zone. Alford made an out on a line drive given up by Pearson. Vlad made an out on a hard hit ball to 3rd, after a slight bobble the batter was thrown out at 1st. Of course I did not see Alford and Vlad recording the outs.

Hopefully this year Pearson will be matched up against G Cole, C Sale etc. Cole & Sale may go 7/8 innings and Pearson only 6 due to innings limit. I would not want to see poor OF defense causing any runs against Pearson.

Mike Green - Monday, March 02 2020 @ 01:50 PM EST (#386109) #
Shoemaker had an excellent first outing today.  Another homer from Jansen is also a good sign. 
christaylor - Monday, March 02 2020 @ 02:30 PM EST (#386111) #
Sad news. The chromosomal disorder his daughter had is discussed a bit at this link. Suffice to say, it's one of an expecting parent's darkest nightmares. It is disappointing to read that no Toronto papers mentioned her death. Olerud was a delight to watch on the field and by many accounts an excellent human being.
Mike Green - Monday, March 02 2020 @ 02:44 PM EST (#386112) #
One of my favourite spring memories is watching Robin Yount (then a first base coach for the opposing team) talking with John Olerud (who was with the Mariners at the time).  Both were smiling and laughing.  I imagined that they were talking about hitting, but it could have been any number of things really.
uglyone - Monday, March 02 2020 @ 03:34 PM EST (#386114) #
Speaking of ex Jays hitters turning to pitching...

https://twitter.com/DrewGROF/status/1234577526435000321
dan gordon - Monday, March 02 2020 @ 04:18 PM EST (#386117) #
Great pitching today in the shutout of the Pirates - as Mike noted, Shoemaker was terrific, with 5 K's, 0 BB's, 1 H in 2 2/3 IP. Thornton pitched 3 innings and didn't allow a hit. If the Jays get early 2019 Shoemaker, and 2nd half 2019 Thornton, the rotation is going to be very good, and could be a big plus once Pearson arrives. If everyone is healthy, it could be Anderson who gets shunted to the bullpen when Nate arrives.

Dolis struck out 2 in a clean inning, and SRF pitched an inning and didn't walk anybody. Seeing SRF get a 1 inning stint makes me think they are finally considering him a bullpen guy, which a lot of us think is his best role. Of course, it was only the Pirates, and they didn't exactly have a big league lineup in there today.
ISLAND BOY - Tuesday, March 03 2020 @ 08:08 AM EST (#386123) #
I was watching a sports highlights show this morning and it was mentioned that Jay's management was really impressed by Anthony Kay's performance this spring. Should Thornton seize the 5th spot in the rotation, Kay will join a talented group of young pitchers at Buffalo --Nate Pearson, Ryan Borucki, Jacob Waguespack, Sean Reid-Foley and T.J.Zeuch. This is assuming the other 4 of Ryu, Shoemaker, Roarke and Anderson are all ready to start the season.

This year's starting pitching looks night and day from last year when injuries left the Jays using washed up retreads like Edwin Jackson. I'm tempering my optimism that this 67 win team from a year ago can climb to contender status this season, but with the starting pitching looking a whole lot better, who knows ?
bpoz - Tuesday, March 03 2020 @ 08:17 AM EST (#386124) #
I am hoping for the playoff teams being in the 90s win total with 1 WC in the 80s.
hypobole - Tuesday, March 03 2020 @ 10:11 AM EST (#386127) #
Jeff Passan at ESPN on pine tar and spin rates, and a bunch of other stuff (the Rockies owner trying to prop up attendance by appealing to fans lack of both math skills and logical thought is my favourite), but his best take for Jays fans is this:

"Who's Nate Pearson?

Only the most impressive player in baseball this spring. The 23-year-old right-hander is a frightening presence (6-foot-6, 250 pounds) with a frightening fastball (his velocity sits at 96 to 98 mph and tops out at 102) and frightening secondary pitches (slider, curveball and changeup). In three innings, he hasn't allowed a baserunner and has struck out six hitters.

And ... he is going to start the year in Triple-A. The Toronto Blue Jays haven't said as much, but general manager Ross Atkins said Monday the team is "entirely focused on his development," which is code for: We are going to manipulate his service time. Which is what pretty much every other team in baseball would do too. (See: Earlier conversation about competitive integrity.) It's just frustrating to know that one of the most talented pitchers in the world -- and on pure stuff alone, Pearson already is that, before logging a single major league inning -- will be in the minor leagues to start the season not for "development" reasons but because the Blue Jays want to keep him under control for nearly seven full seasons instead of six."

https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/28820609/passan-20-questions-mlb-cracks-pine-tar-spring-surprises-more
Mike Green - Tuesday, March 03 2020 @ 10:37 AM EST (#386128) #
FWIW, Atkins' development issue is not with Pearson's stuff, but his durability as a starter within games and over the season.  He says that he has a plan for that (to borrow a phrase from a Super Tuesday candidate).  Which leads me to my song of the day.
bpoz - Tuesday, March 03 2020 @ 10:42 AM EST (#386129) #
Pearson is very good. The 2021 pitching staff could be very good. Deep and talented.
uglyone - Tuesday, March 03 2020 @ 12:30 PM EST (#386130) #
"Atkins' development issue is not with Pearson's stuff, but his durability as a starter within games and over the season"

For the record I still don't understand how this type of development can't happen at the MLB level just as well as at the MILB level, while getting the benefit of having one of your better pitchers helping your mlb team instead of wasting pitches in milb.
bpoz - Tuesday, March 03 2020 @ 12:48 PM EST (#386131) #
I am ok with "holding back" Pearson in the minors if we do not contend (93 wins) this year. Some teams do hold back prospects for service time. Others do not. I understand this concept and reasoning but many do not. Especially in the media. Atkins should never talk about this.
snowman - Tuesday, March 03 2020 @ 12:51 PM EST (#386132) #
What I can't understand is how people can't see that it would be staggeringly poor asset management to lose an extra year of control in exchange for an extra month of MLB time. We can debate whether or not the rule is fair, but it is the current rule, so it needs to be taken into account.

In Pearson's case, it would be doubly foolish to have him up for opening day. He's obviously going to be on some kind of innings limit this year. What's the point of having him start the season in the majors, then sit on the bench for all of September (not to mention the possibility of October games, given how the Yankees and Red Sox are looking weaker)?

If I was calling the shots, he would only be starting spring training right now, spend all of April in Dunedin getting ready, then start in Buffalo in May, and after getting slowly ramped up, a call up in July, so he could pitch right to the end of the year. If they're fortunate enough to be in a pennant race, I want him pitching, not sitting on the bench burning service time.
hypobole - Tuesday, March 03 2020 @ 01:36 PM EST (#386133) #
What I can't understand is how people can't see that it would be staggeringly poor asset management to lose an extra year of control in exchange for an extra month of MLB time.

Some see it, they just don't care about 6-7 years down the road. Instant gratification is a hallmark of our society.
85bluejay - Tuesday, March 03 2020 @ 01:37 PM EST (#386134) #
I applaud the manner in which the FO is handling Nate Pearson.
mathesond - Tuesday, March 03 2020 @ 01:45 PM EST (#386135) #
I am impressed by the confidence a lot of posters have that Pearson will be as healthy & dominant 7 years from now as he is today. Personally, when it comes to pitchers, I am less concerned about that elusive 7th year of control. I am more concerned about figuring out which level of pro ball is best for him. Is 18 AAA innings plus 3 more (so far) vs. early ST competition enough to base a promotion? Is 23 too old to start in AAA?
aarne13 - Tuesday, March 03 2020 @ 01:59 PM EST (#386136) #
I'm perfectly fine with Pearson in AAA to start. It's a long season. If the starting 5 is doing well there is no rush to bring him up.

I wonder how long a leash Drury/Fisher will have this season....
snowman - Tuesday, March 03 2020 @ 02:32 PM EST (#386137) #
I agree wholeheartedly about the instant-gratification aspect of our society.

mathesond's comment about the 7th year of control maybe not being that important is interesting, as Pearson isn't young. He would be 31 in that 7th year. But I think there are players worth taking early-30s risks on. I'm personally hoping the Jays will lock up a couple free-agent years for Pearson, Vlad, and Bo, and maybe try to get team options on some others, like Biggio, Jansen, Gurriel.

I'm of the belief that having players who are here long-term, if not for their entire careers, helps build a loyal fan base. I would have a very hard time being a fan of the Oakland A's, for example. Even when they're having a good season, you don't know any of the players. And when you do get to know a good young player, he's traded shortly after. I think it's hard to be a fan of just a team logo, rather than the players on the team.

John Northey sometimes posts all-time leaderboards for Jays players. This shows how fans appreciate when players play a significant part of their career with one team. So when you manage to develop some special players, as the Jays have now, I think it's very much a good thing to try sign them longer-term. And given that they're typically younger players, it should work out better than signing older free-agents.
Chuck - Tuesday, March 03 2020 @ 02:57 PM EST (#386138) #
What I can't understand is how people can't see that it would be staggeringly poor asset management to lose an extra year of control in exchange for an extra month of MLB time.

I don't know if that is the issue so much as the lie-o-rama that fans are forced to endure. The GM knows he is lying. He knows he has to lie. We know we are being lied to. And of course we are offended since the lie is so blatant. And so we refuse to play along. And the media, the same one that owns the team doing the lying, usually (but not always) plays along with the lie, further infuriating the fans.

Now, in the case of Pearson, it may not actually be a lie. But the trouble is, when you spend a lot of time lying, people are going to have trouble believing the few times you tell the truth. And that's where Atkins is right now. I give no credence to anything that comes out of his mouth.

snowman - Tuesday, March 03 2020 @ 03:29 PM EST (#386139) #
Yes, it's a valid point about the lying. But I wouldn't go so far as to say that it makes Atkins completely untrustworthy. I think we can recognize that it's a game he has to play. It's definitely in a team's best interest to preserve that extra year of control on a young star, but you can't just admit that's what you're doing, or there would be an instant grievance filed by the union. On this issue, he has to come up with a somewhat plausible justification to keep the player down (I think the innings cap for Pearson would work here), but in general, I've found Atkins to be pretty good in interviews. He obviously has to be vague on some matters, and give the usual boilerplate non-answers. He can't come right out and say "we're going after Ryu, and willing to give him 4 years at $20m". Everybody wants info, but he can't give us all the details we might want. It makes it look like he's waffling or lying all the time, but I suspect every other team's fans feel the same way about their GM.
John Northey - Tuesday, March 03 2020 @ 03:29 PM EST (#386140) #
snowman - those leaderboards really scream how important long term thinking is.  Many of the players are from that 83-93 stretch when the Jays were over 500 every year and contending most. 

Who was there in 1983 and made it to 1992 or 1993?
Dave Stieb (barely), Tony Fernandez (returned), Alfredo Griffin (returned),
Just missed: George Bell (left after 1990), Jim Acker (1991 was his last year here, after a few in Atlanta mid-career)
1984 saw Kelly Gruber (1992), and Jimmy Key (1992), both arrive (key parts of the 1992 team)
1985 brought in Manuel Lee, and Tom Henke, arrive both key parts of the 1992 team.
1986 saw Duane Ward, and Mark Eichhorn (left, came back).

So for the 1992/93 teams you had  9 players who were important arrive more than 6 years before the titles.  No wonder they had 4+ million fans filling the park - we were cheering on guys we'd been watching play for a long time.  Even with 3 of them leaving and coming back.  The 90/00's saw the Jays try to do that again with Delgado/Wells/Halladay/Rios but there just weren't the parts to make it work around them and then the Jays decided to cut back drastically and say goodbye to Delgado, then take anything for Wells and Rios and got what seemed half decent at the time for Halladay.

Now for wave 3.  Vlad/Biggio/Bo all coming at once, like the outfield of the 80's, this is the infield of the 20's.  With Tellez hoping to be part of it.  Gurriel/Grichuk/Hernandez all want to be part of the next great team too.  Now we hopefully can add Pearson and other young pitchers to the mix.  Lets hope the Jays are thinking of holding as many together for as long as possible.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, March 03 2020 @ 03:31 PM EST (#386141) #
Until the CBA changes, the Jays are definitely doing the right thing by keeping Pearson in AAA to start the season. Imagine losing Vlad's 2025 season just to get an extra month of his 2019 season (0.4 WAR, 105 wRC+). If the Jays were contenders heading into 2020 then you could make the case for starting Pearson in MLB, but as is, it is a no brainer to hold him down temporarily. He missed all of 2018 which stunted his development from an innings standpoint, so innings will be an issue for him in 2020 regardless of what level he is in.

Pearson throws 100 mph so he's going to be an injury risk even if they wrap him in bubble wrap. However, if you ask me which I prefer between an extra month of Pearson in 2020 or the entire 2026 season, I'll pick the latter. They can call him up in late-April like they did Vlad so he'd still get a lot of MLB work in 2020 if they chose to do that. He's also not on the 40 man roster, and the Jays have internal rotation options to begin the season so it's not a pressing need at the moment either.
Magpie - Tuesday, March 03 2020 @ 03:39 PM EST (#386142) #
I am OK with holding back anyone who's pitched exactly 123 professional innings.
hypobole - Tuesday, March 03 2020 @ 03:40 PM EST (#386143) #
Yeah, it was a real lie last year that Vladdy had to work on his defense and baserunning.
hypobole - Tuesday, March 03 2020 @ 04:57 PM EST (#386144) #
I hope we don't have to go through this argument every year whether or not the Jays should hold back MLB's best Triple A prospect.
Parker - Tuesday, March 03 2020 @ 05:04 PM EST (#386145) #
I see the whole "holding the guy down for development reasons" statement to be a baseball cliche of the same eye-rolling level as "he's in the best shape of his life." No fans are SUPPOSED to take it seriously.

I agree that it's a broken system. I also agree that it's something every team HAS to do, with the very rare exception of a young superstar being called up to a team that is ready to contend and also needs to upgrade at the position he plays. That's not the case with Pearson, just as it wasn't the case with Guerrero.
AWeb - Tuesday, March 03 2020 @ 05:38 PM EST (#386146) #
I get why you hold Pearson down in AAA, but any idea of innings limits can't be it. If he's in AAA, he's pitching. If he's in MLB, he's pitching. You can shut him down early in the year, but you can't give him breaks, or a significant gap in his outings during the year. Then he's not really prepping for full-time use, and he's constantly getting back into shape. Seems like a surefire injury waiting to happen that way. All of the pitches count against his theoretical yearly total, , whether they are in spring training, AAA, MLB, or in some weird extended simulated game training. I'm in favour of using the bullets at MLB right now, but sure, keep him in AAA for a while. My guess is that the plan is to use him as a AAA starter, and call him up (assuming all goes well) to use as a 2-3 Inning relief weapon late in the year. Target 120 innings? Keep him available for the world series of course...
scottt - Tuesday, March 03 2020 @ 05:56 PM EST (#386147) #
It's just a silly thing for the media to hog about.

Pearson is not on the the reserve roster.
They could keep him off the roster until next year and then not even promote him to MLB until 2024 when he'd be out of options. So, no, the Jays aren't manipulating anything.
The Red Sox have an outfielder who's good enough to make the team but  is on a contract that would count towards the luxury tax if they'd add him to the roster, so he's going to play in AAA until he becomes a free agent.
That is certainly a manipulation, but the player makes million anyway, so nobody cares.

Guerrero was not in a great shape and didn't really play full time when he was up.
He clearly ran out of gas in September.
Does it really matter that he played 13 games in Buffalo ?
Most of those were rehab games anyway.
It's perfectly understandable that the team does not give much details on negative aspects of its top prospects.
That's the media's job to speculate and criticize.

Back to Pearson, not only is he on an inning limit, he's probably on a pitch per game limit as well.
It's not something the team should discuss publicly. It's a moving target anyway.
Any pitcher could get injured at any point.

Last year, the pitching was lights out in April.
It could be the same this year without Pearson.
They certainly have a lot of pitchers to audition in the pen.
Maybe guys on the bench as well.
I'll be disappointed if Pearson isn't up in May, when they start to make adjustment.

I think it's wrong to say that the Jays are a team that hold players down for service time reasons.
It depends on the team's need. Maybe Manoah or Groshans get an early call. There are teams that hold players down to avoid super 2 status and the Jays are not one of those.

With the new 28 roster limit in September, we'll see fewer prospects.
If you have guys that you can't bring  up in September, there might be more temptation to keep then down in April as well.
That's something to watch down the line.

uglyone - Tuesday, March 03 2020 @ 08:33 PM EST (#386148) #
For the record my comment was very specific.

1. I am fine with them leaving prospects to develop skills.

2. I am fine with them leaving prospects down to manipulate service time - to a point.

3. I dont at all understand why development of something like "stamina", though, couldn't take place in the majors as well as the minors. In fact, if innings limits are a concern, wasting innings in the minors actually seems counterproductive.


John Northey - Tuesday, March 03 2020 @ 11:33 PM EST (#386149) #
hypobole - I'd be extremely happy if the Jays have the argument about holding back MLB's best AAA prospect annually.  Because, of course, that would mean the Jays HAVE that prospect every year.  A team of Vlad & Pearson quality players would be sweet.
hypobole - Wednesday, March 04 2020 @ 01:27 AM EST (#386150) #
John - I'm glad you caught that. Yeah, even though this argument is getting tedious, the reasons for the argument are rather exciting. Hope it happens again next year.
scottt - Wednesday, March 04 2020 @ 07:35 AM EST (#386151) #
If Pearson is not going to throw a lot of innings in April, it's difficult to trade that one month for a full year when he could be able to throw 150+ elite innings.

He's thrown 18 innings in AAA and with AA and lower levels not using the juiced balls, it's hard to say that he doesn't have anything to work on at that level.

At AAA, they can focus on Pearson's needs first and winning the game second.
Maybe there are specifics he needs to work on, maybe they aren't, but  he's going to be hard to send him down once he's up.

In April everybody is still trying to get to speed. They have tons of pitching options.
When Pearson is added a pitcher gets kicked out of the active roster and somebody gets kicked out of the reserve roster.
That give them a 4-6 weeks to get a better look at someone and maybe avoid losing someone they could need if there's an injury.

Of course, the first reason might be the biggest one and they can't talk about that or any specifics.

scottt - Wednesday, March 04 2020 @ 07:39 AM EST (#386152) #
Also, if they need to shut him down in August or September, they'll have to take him off the active roster.
They can only have 13/14 active pitchers...
We'll see how close to a complete year he get.

Hodgie - Wednesday, March 04 2020 @ 09:45 AM EST (#386153) #
Service time manipulation of position players is understandable within the context of the current system. It is not something I enjoy as a fan as I would prefer to see the best players playing in MLB.

Manipulating service time for pitchers is short-sighted and implies a certainty of health that does not exist. IF a pitcher is ready for MLB, then an organization is more than likely wasting service time rather than saving it for a hypothetical opportunity 6-7 years down the road. Pitchers have a finite number of bullets in the clip, why you would want to waste them in MiLB is beyond me.

Mike Green - Wednesday, March 04 2020 @ 09:54 AM EST (#386154) #
Take a dominant pitcher like Roger Clemens.  Clemens was drafted at age 20 and made 11 starts that year, 4 in the FSL and 7 in the EL.  The Red Sox started him out the following year in Pawtucket and gave him 7 outings for 46 innings the following year and then called him up.  Pearson had 3 outings for 18 innings in Buffalo last year.  If you give him 5 starts, 35 innings in Buffalo to start the season, and he dominates the way Clemens did, the club will have given him a reasonable apprenticeship. 

Here's Clemens' record. 
hypobole - Wednesday, March 04 2020 @ 10:24 AM EST (#386155) #
"Pitchers have a finite number of bullets in the clip"

Except what basis of fact is there the clip would be spent by age 30? And the Jays are extreme longshots for the playoffs this season whether or not Nate makes 6 starts for the Jays or 4 in Buffalo.

I'm OK if Nate does start the season with the Jays, despite losing the extra year of control, but the only reason is that it would be doing right for Nate Pearson.
Mike Green - Wednesday, March 04 2020 @ 10:38 AM EST (#386157) #
The Jays face the Rays today.  The Rays send out Tyler Glasnow, an outfield of Meadows, Kiermaier and Margot, and an infield of Tsutsugo (at third), Robertson, Lowe and Choi with Michael Perez catching.  Jonathan Davis makes his first appearance for the Jays, leading off in centerfield, and Travis Shaw is at third base.  Anthony Kay gets the start.  Interesting game.
hypobole - Wednesday, March 04 2020 @ 11:13 AM EST (#386158) #
Just want to add, from everything I've heard about Pearson, work ethic, honesty with training staff, drive to improve, he deserves to be up opening day. As we saw with Vlad last year, he did not deserve to be up, even if he had been healthy.
bpoz - Wednesday, March 04 2020 @ 12:12 PM EST (#386159) #
T Glasnow has only pitched 1 innings so far this spring.

I like the TB rotation. Snell, Morton and Glasnow.
bpoz - Wednesday, March 04 2020 @ 12:58 PM EST (#386160) #
The minor league season opens April 9th. Some demotions should happen soon. The AAA & AA pitchers need to be stretched out.
Mike Green - Wednesday, March 04 2020 @ 03:33 PM EST (#386161) #
Alejandro Kirk did have an older brother who was a catcher.  I guess his nickname has to be Captain, doesn't it?

The link does have some new information about the way he plays the position.  I had no idea that he did the Tony Pena one leg positioning. 
dan gordon - Thursday, March 05 2020 @ 02:35 AM EST (#386162) #
The Giants' catcher was raving about how good Dany Jimenez' curve ball has been. Jimenez has yet to give up an earned run in 3 spring appearances, although the manager says his fastball command could be better. He's got a decent shot at making the Giants' bullpen, at least to start the year.
mathesond - Thursday, March 05 2020 @ 07:54 AM EST (#386163) #
For all sad words of tongue and pen, The saddest are these, 'It might have been'.
Mike Green - Thursday, March 05 2020 @ 08:33 AM EST (#386164) #
Or, "it is but hadn't ought to be".  The grass seems to be greener in Fenway, but it's an illusion.
Mike Green - Thursday, March 05 2020 @ 10:09 AM EST (#386165) #
Tanner Roark makes his first start for the Blue Jays today.  Alford gets another start- they're certainly giving him a long look. 
Mike Green - Thursday, March 05 2020 @ 10:39 AM EST (#386166) #
Eno Sarris has a wonderful technical article over at the Athletic on the Blue Jay rotation, with emphasis on spin efficiency and grips for off-speed stuff. 
dan gordon - Thursday, March 05 2020 @ 06:02 PM EST (#386167) #
Looks like Dolis probably misses the start of the season due to his appendectomy today. Opens up a brief chance for somebody.

I see the Red Sox grabbed McHugh, so cross him off the list of possible Jays. Sale might need TJ surgery as his elbow continues to give him trouble, so McHugh may have a chance to step into their rotation.

The younger brother of Yoenis Cespedis will be declared a free agent as of March 18. Yoelkis is a 22 year old OF with a wide range of skills, including a great arm. Teams would need international free agent spending room to sign him before July 2, when the next year kicks in.

With some talk lately about possible extensions for some of the young Blue Jays, it is interesting to see the contract extension that Yoan Moncada just signed - he gets $70 million over 5 years with a $25 million option/$5 million buyout. A few posters here were doubtful of Moncada's potential due to all the strikeouts, but he had a great year in 2019, with 4.6 bWAR despite missing 30 games, and a .915 OPS. If Kopech can bounce back from TJ, that Sale trade may work out quite well for the White Sox.

Disappointing to see Yamaguchi give up 3 HR's today. It's very early, but he's having some troubles adjusting to the move from Japan.
scottt - Thursday, March 05 2020 @ 06:18 PM EST (#386168) #
The move from Japan is huge. It's going to take some time.

The Sale extension could turn out badly for Boston.

Shaw is striking out a ton.
Drury is hardly  playing.

Magpie - Friday, March 06 2020 @ 04:59 AM EST (#386171) #
Pitchers have a finite number of bullets in the clip

Of course no one has the faintest idea just how many that might be for any individual pitcher. If you look at the list of people who had the most substantial clips (to persist with the metaphor), you do notice that the majority of them - the guys who made the most starts - are hard throwing right-handers. The occasional southpaw who for one reason or another missed a lot of playing time in his 20s is mixed in, but most of them are big hard throwing righties.

But in the modern baseball world, a team only has six years of control. So that's not really an issue anyway. I don't think you keep a pitcher in the minors over service time concerns. He's a pitcher. Chances are pretty good that he'd going to broken by the time his free agency comes around anyway. That's just what happens. You keep the guy in the minors because he's still green as grass, however big his arm might be. Or because he's never carried anything remotely close to a major league starter's workload and you want to build him up to it. But not over service time. That makes no sense.
Mike Green - Friday, March 06 2020 @ 10:10 AM EST (#386172) #
Jayson Stark has a fine article over at the Athletic on changes to managerial strategy in the era of the three batter minimum.  The most useful comment came from (surprise!) Kevin Cash of the Rays.  He points out that the leverage late in the game is with the offence, and that they are going to pinch-hit a lot.  There is, of course, a pinch-hitter's penalty, so you better have some good hitters from both side on your bench.  Strangely, you might want a shorter pitching staff with your relievers averaging out at 5-6 batters per appearance.
bpoz - Friday, March 06 2020 @ 12:37 PM EST (#386173) #
TB used their pitching staff in a unique way.

Starters, openers and main event pitchers. Yarbrough, Chirinos B McKay and J Beeks pitched 5+ innings per outing if they were good. They started fairly often. They got 4 or 5 days rest in between outings.

C Morton was good enough and healthy enough to start all 33 games and go 195 innings.

B McKay was picked Round 1 #4 in 2017 and progressed well in the minors. Got to the Majors in June 2019. In 2019 he was dominant in the minors but mediocre in the Majors.

Zeuch had better mediocre numbers in the Majors. McKay and Zeuch are about the same age. I doubt that both will be on their Opening day rotations. But by the end of 2020 if both are healthy and pitch equal ML innings then an accurate numerical evaluation would be possible using baseball math.
GabrielSyme - Friday, March 06 2020 @ 12:44 PM EST (#386174) #
Pitchers have a finite number of bullets in the clip

Of course, and I think you're getting at this Magpie, some pitchers never run out of bullets - they get too old, but never injure their arms. We are very aware of the number of guys who get injured, but there's a substantial number who never have TJ/labrum surgeries or other major issues.
bpoz - Friday, March 06 2020 @ 01:09 PM EST (#386175) #
AJ Burnett had a long healthy career.
Mike Green - Friday, March 06 2020 @ 02:28 PM EST (#386176) #
When was the last time a hot pitching prospect made his first appearance in April straight out of spring training?  I am sure it's happened recently, but I just can't think of it. 
mathesond - Friday, March 06 2020 @ 02:36 PM EST (#386177) #
Chris Paddack, perhaps? I'm pretty sure he broke camp with the Padres last year, and hadn't pitched in the majors prior to that. I drafted him in my money fantasy league, so there must ahve been some hype around him (although perhaps more in fantasy circles than in general fandom).
Mike Green - Friday, March 06 2020 @ 02:53 PM EST (#386178) #
Thanks, mathesond.  The Padres do things a little differently than most clubs.  The usual thing is the David Price treatment (aka the Mike Trout treatment but for a pitcher). 
GabrielSyme - Friday, March 06 2020 @ 03:32 PM EST (#386179) #
Paddock was a good prospect, but hardly a universally-heralded guy. He was #66 on the BA pre-season top 100 last year, which is really good, but not really the same as a top-10 type.

I'm drawing a blank on top-10 or even top-20 pitching prospects who have debuted at the start of a season.
hypobole - Friday, March 06 2020 @ 07:05 PM EST (#386180) #
Eric L. at FG was supposed to have the Jays list up, but looks like it will be next week. He did a chat today though and there were 4 items I thought I'd pass along.

#1 Looking forward to the Jays list! What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned after making calls about the system?

That aside from Pearson, Roither Hernandez is the hardest-throwing dude in the system.

#2 Can you describe what you mean by “pitchability”?

Locating stuff with intent, in places where it makes sense to locate it. Lots to do with breaking ball command.

#3 Do spring training games where MLB teams play college teams ever amount to more than just reps? Are guys discovered/scouted in those matchups?

College teams tend to throw inconsequential pitchers in those games since they don’t count, so they’re not often great to scout. The Canadian Jr. National Team vs Toronto is a good look, though.

#4 What kind of info do scouts/teams get on a player’s vision? I remember reading that most position players are better than 20/20, but will teams recommend Lasik for someone who is an average performer with the hopes that better vision will translate to pitch recognition or the hit tool?

Gaze tracking and VR stuff is growing but I know very little about it right now

#2JBrumfield - Friday, March 06 2020 @ 08:43 PM EST (#386181) #
Dunedin Blue Jays pitchers will have robo umps to deal with in 2020.

https://www.baseballamerica.com/stories/fsls-switch-to-robo-umpires-could-cause-issues/
ISLAND BOY - Saturday, March 07 2020 @ 07:40 AM EST (#386182) #
If the Jays had gotten a touchdown in the last inning yesterday they would have won the game, providing they got the convert.

( Tongue-in-cheek comment for those who didn't see the score. They lost 19-13.)
bpoz - Saturday, March 07 2020 @ 10:30 AM EST (#386183) #
Today we play @ the Red Sox. A lot of 1st string players are not going. C Joseph at catcher. We will see him in the Majors with the Jays this year IMO.
bpoz - Saturday, March 07 2020 @ 11:59 AM EST (#386184) #
I like the quality of our depth pieces this year.

T Shaw, C Joseph and J Panik are cheap and ok in case of injuries.

Tellez would go to AAA if there is a problem getting him ABs. I see him as an impact bat.

Shoemaker, Roark and C Anderson should be a lot better than C Buchholz. It is unlikely but possible they could have #3 (ERA 4-4.5) seasons.

Other than Gaviglio and Giles no 2019 Opening day bullpen pitchers.

The prospects are 1 year closer and have more minor league AAA and AA experience.
John Northey - Saturday, March 07 2020 @ 12:25 PM EST (#386185) #
Glad to hear robo umps are spreading.  More accurate calls, especially in the lower minors, should help development of ball-strike judgement for hitters.  They won't be trying to understand an ump's zone, but instead the real zone.  Also should be good for pitchers as a robo ump doesn't care if you are wild or pin point.  Some umps reward guys who can hit the zone regularly by slowly expanding that zone, whereas a wild child might finally hit the zone and gets nothing for it as the ump doesn't believe it was a strike.  Just better all around.  As to the ump issue they talk about that should be a non issue quickly as I expect it to expand to AA and more lower minors next year, then AAA in 2022 and majors in 2023.  Assuming minimal issues.
krose - Saturday, March 07 2020 @ 01:46 PM EST (#386186) #
Interesting to watch the spring training developments. On paper it was apparent that a strong fielding, good hitting outfielder would upgrade the team substantially. In the last days, Alford, Gurriell and now Fisher have all misplayed catchable balls in the outfield.
krose - Saturday, March 07 2020 @ 01:52 PM EST (#386187) #
Might we suffer with team defence this season, the same way we suffered with pitching last season?
Hodgie - Saturday, March 07 2020 @ 01:56 PM EST (#386188) #
Except what basis of fact is there the clip would be spent by age 30?

None, which is exactly the point. When it comes to pitchers there is no reasonable expectation for health or longevity so any decision to mitigate potential contract implications 6-7 years down the road is ill-considered.

Nigel - Saturday, March 07 2020 @ 01:59 PM EST (#386189) #
Poor OF defence has been a thing for this team for a few years now and there’s no reason to expect significant improvement this year unless someone like Davis makes the team. A season of slightly below average OF defence (collectively, given the likely players) would be a considerable success.
krose - Saturday, March 07 2020 @ 02:09 PM EST (#386190) #
Who’s on first!? Maybe a first and third switch could help.
krose - Saturday, March 07 2020 @ 02:19 PM EST (#386191) #
Oh boy! That new lean body!
krose - Saturday, March 07 2020 @ 02:22 PM EST (#386192) #
Great poke by Shaw! Did anyone hear the fan in the stands yell, “Why can’t we get players like that”?
raptorsaddict - Saturday, March 07 2020 @ 02:24 PM EST (#386193) #
First time I turned on a spring training game this year, and just saw Vladdy get thrown out at 2nd. His body looks almost WORSE than it did last year, and watching his jog back to the bench he looks every bit as stiff and awkward as he always has. I can't see how anyone could claim with a straight face that he worked hard to improve his conditioning all offseason. If he looks like this at his age, we need to put to rest any idea that he'll ever be nimble or fit enough to be anything other than a 1B or DH. He's a pure bat, let's just have him focus on that and hope it turns into an amazing one.
krose - Saturday, March 07 2020 @ 02:26 PM EST (#386194) #
When Fisher turned to play that ball off the wall it landed on the warning track almost hitting him on the back of the head.
krose - Saturday, March 07 2020 @ 02:34 PM EST (#386195) #
Guerrero would have been an exception if he could have trimmed down and become a nimble and effective 3B. People just don’t turn around weight problems without a huge effort and a lot of help. If the Jays could have acquired a really good outfielder for Guerrero last year, the team would have been better going forward.
greenfrog - Saturday, March 07 2020 @ 02:57 PM EST (#386196) #
Interesting mixed reaction to the Moncada trade at the time:

"good on the Sox to sell high on Moncada. He's good but not nearly as good as hyped imo."

"Definitely a steep price to pay, as Moncada is one of the best prospects in the game (if not the best)."

"I don't think that highly of Moncada."

"Maybe I'm in the minority here, but I think Moncada is a terrific prospect."

https://www.battersbox.ca/article.php?story=20161205094434939
krose - Saturday, March 07 2020 @ 03:14 PM EST (#386197) #
Panda as the upside for Guerrero is looking more likely. Still, that’s something! At best he might be a 1B/DH who can really hit. For this season Shaw might be the regular 1B, opening a spot for Tellez.
krose - Saturday, March 07 2020 @ 03:16 PM EST (#386198) #
Shaw regular 3B.
raptorsaddict - Saturday, March 07 2020 @ 03:30 PM EST (#386199) #
Merryweather looks not bad, like someone who should at least have a few years as a good reliever, with potential for more. And as I'm typing that someone cranks a double off him. But the point remains.
krose - Saturday, March 07 2020 @ 03:33 PM EST (#386200) #
If he can develop a secondary pitch, he’s looking like a very good RP. In fact, I like his curveball.
raptorsaddict - Saturday, March 07 2020 @ 03:36 PM EST (#386201) #
I agree, and I'd like to see him slow down the max effort for heat and locate better (at least on what I'm seeing today), as he seems to be leaving stuff up in the zone.
dan gordon - Saturday, March 07 2020 @ 10:07 PM EST (#386202) #
Guerrero certainly hasn't improved his baserunning in the offseason - he was thrown out easily at 2nd, trying to stretch that hit into a double. Disappointing outing for Thornton with 5 hits and 2 walks allowed in 2 2/3 IP.
John Northey - Saturday, March 07 2020 @ 11:36 PM EST (#386203) #
Moncada's contract seems a bit premature imo.  Yeah, his 2019 was great but even then he didn't reach 5 WAR (B-R)..  Is he good?  Oh yeah.  But $70+ mil guaranteed and just buying out 1 free agent year seems to not be the greatest decision - I couldn't imagine the Jays would've done that.  I could see a team like the Rays who have limited cash doing it but a team like the White Sox should be in a situation where if a player does well they could afford a $200+ million contract if needed.  Especially with the 217 K's in 2018 vs 67 BB's.  As an FYI 154 K's last year vs 40 BB's.

I could be way off though as I haven't dug into any advanced stats, but a 24 year old who K's like that  wouldn't catch me as a guy you need to sign long term yet.

For comparison, Vlad was sub 100 K's, prorate to 600 PA and you'd only be up to 106 which Moncada could do by the All-Star break.
ISLAND BOY - Sunday, March 08 2020 @ 07:22 AM EDT (#386204) #
Anthony Alford didn't help his cause yesterday with a couple of strikeouts. I had hoped a few years ago that he might be a star outfielder but I don't see that now. I doubt that he will make the team.

After Vlad Jr. made the headfirst slide well short of the base, the Red Sox announcer said, " Look at the mawk on the ground !"
bpoz - Sunday, March 08 2020 @ 09:46 AM EDT (#386205) #
This is just ST but I suppose all we can expect is about .500 baseball for 2020. So lots of trades and player shuffling.
christaylor - Sunday, March 08 2020 @ 10:03 AM EDT (#386206) #
This is only a kind of silly comp, but still quite silly. This team would do well if Vlad emulates Panda for his 21-24 seasons. That said, I only saw the old Panda live, but iirc he never showed the raw power of Vlad. Yesterday's baserunning mishap was from his high belief he hit a home run. I don't know if you've been to jetBlue park but the "Green Monster there is taller than the one in Fenway and when the wind blows in it really blows in given the location. Not for nothing here are the comps that BP provides for Vlad: Rafael Devers, Ronald Acuńa Jr., Carlos Correa, Mike Trout, Ozzie Albies, Manny Machado, Jim Thome, Justin Upton, Jesus Montero, Rougned Odor. Shaw would be a terrible choice to hand the 3B job to at this point. It wouldn't be surprising in the least if the 2019 Shaw showed up this year in Toronto. His "I adjusted my swing and I couldn't adjust back" rationale for his poor performance is more concerning than comforting, MLB players should "always be changing" to succeed. Those that don't tend to fail and for fans are painful to watch (see Kevin Pillar at the plate for his entire time with the Jays).
greenfrog - Sunday, March 08 2020 @ 11:02 AM EDT (#386207) #
John, Moncada cut his K rate from 33.4% to 27.5% last year and produced 5.7 fWAR in 132 games. Promising, even with the high BABIP. The extension would potentially buy out two FA years. Seems like a team-friendly deal. Moncada seems like the kind of player who could be very good in his 20s, less so in his 30s.
John Northey - Sunday, March 08 2020 @ 12:15 PM EDT (#386209) #
Moncada has K's more than 1 per game played with the only exception being a 5 game rehab in AAA last year (3 K's in 22 PA).  Maybe last year is his real level and maybe he made a real adjustment that will stick.  If so then that is a very solid deal for the White Sox.  If not then it is a 'meh' deal at best.  He looks more likely to be closer to his 2018 than his 2019 imo - a 451 average on balls in play is not going to be easy to keep up (what he did last year)  For example, when Ted Williams hit 406 his average on balls in play was "just" 431 (he only K'd 27 times).  Barry Bonds when he hit 370 "only" hit 419 on balls in play (hits divided by AB-SO).  So Moncada is very unlikely to come close to a 300 average again, far more likely to be around 250 imo (requires a 350 average for balls in play based on his K's last year).  His walks going down last year is a big warning sign imo.  He basically appears to have been swinging earlier in the count which with his high K's makes sense. 

We'll see how it goes for him.  I'm much happier with Vlad even with the poor defense and ugly baserunning.
greenfrog - Sunday, March 08 2020 @ 01:21 PM EDT (#386211) #
It's all about value, as the White Sox aren't paying Moncada to be Mike Trout or Anthony Rendon. Rather, they are paying him to be a 2 WAR player.

Would you rather have, say, Moncada at 6/90 through his 20s, or Grichuk at 5/52 into his early 30s? I know which contract I would choose.
vw_fan17 - Sunday, March 08 2020 @ 03:08 PM EDT (#386212) #
I agree with the announcers that in this case, the wind really fooled VGJ and he tried to panic-stretch that single into a double. Never a good idea for a man with his baserunning profile. I don't think he will be THIS bad in the regular season in normal conditions.. Wind that strong has made MANY good players look foolish.
uglyone - Sunday, March 08 2020 @ 04:06 PM EDT (#386213) #
The VGJ comps have got a bit out of hand imo.

He's not Panda.

krose - Sunday, March 08 2020 @ 04:36 PM EDT (#386214) #
Good chance he reaches the Panda Pouch at a younger age.
krose - Sunday, March 08 2020 @ 04:48 PM EDT (#386215) #
Seriously! I wish Vlad the best. I hope he can get his conditioning difficulties under control. All major league scouts saw a lot of potential in this young man. At this point there seems to be some agreement that he’s unlikely to stay at 3B. He is too young to be dismissed as a failed prospect, but he is trending in that direction.
hypobole - Sunday, March 08 2020 @ 05:19 PM EDT (#386216) #
I'm not a football fan anymore, but anyone who knows football well knows offensive linemen are a combination of weight and conditioning. They need the bulk, but also the cardio. They are intertwined but separate.
Both were an issue with Vlad last year. Easy to see he still has bulk, but hard to tell conditioning by eye-test. That said, he's not an NFL OL, and has no use for the bulk. If he worked out as much as claimed over the offseason, he has an eating issue.
uglyone - Sunday, March 08 2020 @ 05:42 PM EDT (#386217) #
What makes this all funny of course is that vladdy is hitting very well this spring and, of course, hit very well for a 20yr old as a rookie, too.
hypobole - Sunday, March 08 2020 @ 06:35 PM EDT (#386218) #
David Ortiz was a great hitter (even if PED driven). 11 seasons of 3 or more fWAR but only 1 season over 5.3 because of his baserunning and lack of positional value.

Josh Donaldson has 4 seasons of at least 5.7 fWAR. Only 2 of those 4 seasons did Donaldson have a wRC+ over 150. Ortiz did it 7 times.

Yeah, no matter how trim he becomes he'll never be JD with the glove. But ideally Vlad would end up with years of production more similar to prime JD. Right now Ortiz seems best case for Vlad.
uglyone - Sunday, March 08 2020 @ 07:46 PM EDT (#386220) #
Or Pujols or Ramirez or Delgado or McGwire or
krose - Sunday, March 08 2020 @ 09:30 PM EDT (#386221) #
We’ll see what baseball value Vlad brings to the Jays. Because he will add little or no value defensively, he will have to be an elite hitter to contribute substantially. That’s already a step down from his prospect predictions. He can no longer be viewed as a generational player. Let’s not be too shocked if the hit tool is better than average but not enough to make him a star.
bpoz - Sunday, March 08 2020 @ 10:44 PM EDT (#386222) #
The Jays have a nice polite and respectful FO. Atkins and just about everyone say something positive even as the player is not progressing as expected.

If you can get away with saying nothing to the media that is good too. Atkins cracked under the pressure of holding Vlad back last year and said 1 or 2 negative things. This year it could be Pearson that is similarly managed regarding service time. From what I understand Pearson is not breaking camp with the Jays and it has been said quite clearly.This year Pearson's workload probably has to be managed to protect his arm. We will see.

Back to Vlad's weight and defense issues. The next few seasons will provide a good sample size about his weight and quality of play. That sample size will be a major factor in determining the size of any extension/long term contract IMO. Hopefully it will be handled in private rather than in a media circus.
christaylor - Monday, March 09 2020 @ 06:55 AM EDT (#386223) #
I don't think anyone will be shocked. There ought to be no shock when a prospect fails or becomes very good instead of great. I don't know what prospect projections or evaluations you've been reading for the last few years, but I can't remember a single one that had him adding much value defensively. As for being a "star", it is a funny word to use... Stanton and Judge are stars, but it may well turn out that Vlad contributes more in 2019 and 2020 than both of them combined.
Mike Green - Monday, March 09 2020 @ 09:02 AM EDT (#386225) #
Best case for Vlad Jr. is Frank Thomas.  At age 20, David Ortiz was in the Midwest League and hit .322/.390/.511 with 52 walks and 108 strikeouts.

The problem is not statistical, but scouting.  Frank Thomas and David Ortiz were both big men at that age, but nothing like Vlad Jr. in girth.  In the winter, it looked to me from the pictures like he had had some success with the battle of the bulge, but it seemed that he relapsed before reporting for the spring.  At this point, it seems more likely that Bo Bichette will be the candidate for the long extension.
dalimon5 - Monday, March 09 2020 @ 09:21 AM EDT (#386226) #
Id rather trade Vlad (our best offensive player) for Arenado and mark down money + prospects next offseason. Solves a lot of issues.

Prince Fielder is a comp I see for Vlad.
Mike Green - Monday, March 09 2020 @ 09:38 AM EDT (#386227) #
Prince Fielder and Mo Vaughn are the body type comps, but Vlad Jr. is 2 years ahead of them.  The club would really be a lot better off making him a DH in my view.  They could do it this year, and have Shaw at third (platooning with Drury) and Tellez at first. 
krose - Monday, March 09 2020 @ 09:58 AM EDT (#386228) #
I agree MG. Vlad is not a failed prospect yet. The team needs to find out what they have for strengths at several positions. But, there seems to be several DHs. Maybe Vlad is the best of them. Maybe he could be sent to Buffalo and given intensive support for his weight problem.
Mike Green - Monday, March 09 2020 @ 11:00 AM EDT (#386229) #
Nick Madrigal: "my job is to get on base".  Preach. 

It really is everyone's job, but how you do it depends on your strengths.
bpoz - Monday, March 09 2020 @ 12:24 PM EDT (#386230) #
I feel that TB, Miami and Oakland are the only cheap teams.

J Donaldson Minnesota, Ryu Toronto and Rendon CWS signed expensive FAs so I don't consider them cheap.

If you are not cheap then you will spend $ to win the WS when your window opens IMO but reasonable spending.

LAD and NYY currently are desperate to win a WS. Just making the playoffs is not good enough for them IMO. LAD do get a lot of help from their farm.

In the WS round the SPs will be Aces and #1s in many cases. A hot SP can always happen. These SPs will handle just about all the good hitters IMO. So an exceptional or hot hitter is the only kind that can do damage. Reggie Jackson, G Brett, duo of Manny & Ortiz, NYY's group of hitters and the WAMCO group.

Poor defense can give the WS to the other team. Manny Lee had good defense but poor offense IMO. Jonathan Davis and J Marisnick have great value in protecting a lead in a WS game. Great defense with poor offense.
greenfrog - Monday, March 09 2020 @ 12:40 PM EDT (#386231) #
Objectively, how much would the Jays have to add to a package starting with VGJ to acquire Wander Franco? Maybe VGJ plus Bichette?
krose - Monday, March 09 2020 @ 01:53 PM EDT (#386232) #
Not sure how trading Bichette would help. I’ve been suggesting a trade of Vladdy for some time; half with tongue-in-cheek. On this site we are seeing Vlad’s limitations and the expanding risk that he might not reach the skill level originally hoped. For me, the first big red flag was his conditioning. I also saw him play in the Arizona Fall League. Generally, people with conditioning problems do not easily get past that. Also, he did not stand out in the AFL. I wasn’t ever hopeful management would trade Vladdy. That would take a level of political courage that gets managers fired. Vlad has not looked like a viable 3B prospect for a while. My suggestions for a trade were put out there with an eye to filling that centre field hole with good defence and good offence.
SK in NJ - Monday, March 09 2020 @ 01:57 PM EDT (#386233) #
My expectation is that Vlad will be a superstar with the bat but will have no defensive value and will likely have a shorter prime than others in the same age group currently in the bigs (Tatis, Soto, Acuna, etc). Being out of shape is one thing, but it doesn't appear he cares about getting the most out of his body. He's still young, so maybe a light switch turns on as he gets older, but at this point, I think I'd take my chances just getting the next six years out of him and then letting him sign the monster contract with someone else. Never thought I'd type that 12 months ago, but he has to show some sort of dedication to his body before I'd want to commit longer than I had to if I were the Jays. That body type is not going to age well at all.
uglyone - Monday, March 09 2020 @ 02:17 PM EDT (#386234) #
"Vlad is not a failed prospect yet"

christ.
krose - Monday, March 09 2020 @ 02:34 PM EDT (#386235) #
Personal issues and their expressions are consummate.
bpoz - Monday, March 09 2020 @ 02:59 PM EDT (#386236) #
UO, Your dedicated defense and protection of Vladdy makes him one of your boys in my eyes. So Danny J, Rowdy and Vlad.

Any pitchers you like? Like a lot. Maybe SWR?
christaylor - Monday, March 09 2020 @ 03:01 PM EDT (#386237) #
Indeed uglyone. Some folks enjoy fixating on the lowest decile project, myself, I'd rather focus on the highest until its clear. It's certainly not as clear that Vlad cannot play 3B regularly as it was when EE was moved off the position. Even Panda was passable at 3B until 27... so... if folks want to talk/type they can do them, but truly no one knows and no place on the internet is going to prove anything.
Mike Green - Monday, March 09 2020 @ 03:16 PM EDT (#386238) #
Sandoval began his minor league career as a catcher.  He always had a much better glove than VGJ, though his range was never very good.  VGJ has both things (glove and quickness) working against him. 

The problem with VGJ at third base is that it does seem that working on his defence has affected his offensive development.  We'll see if that pattern continues in 2020. 


Mike Green - Monday, March 09 2020 @ 03:26 PM EDT (#386239) #
Three words from a PA announcer to bring cheer:
Pinch-hitting Alejandro Kirk.
uglyone - Monday, March 09 2020 @ 03:32 PM EDT (#386240) #
I've always said the 3B experiment was a waste of time.

I think there's enough athleticism there to dream on him being an above average defensive 1B, but that's about it.

But there are plenty of awesome players that gave no defensive value.
uglyone - Monday, March 09 2020 @ 03:33 PM EDT (#386241) #
Alejandro Kirk - now there's a prospect comparable to Pablo Sandoval.
krose - Monday, March 09 2020 @ 03:55 PM EDT (#386242) #
I've always said the 3B experiment was a waste of time.

Agree with this UO.

I think there's enough athleticism there to dream on him being an above average defensive 1B, but that's about it.

Dream is the key verb there. But I’d agree with this as well. We probably disagree most on where his hitting ends up. But we’ll see. He has some time.
Mike Green - Monday, March 09 2020 @ 04:51 PM EDT (#386243) #
There's a fine defensive play from today's game against Pittsburgh you can see on twitter.  Bases loaded, one out, Oneil Jones slams a ball on a line off the centerfield wall- Jonathan Davis plays it smoothly on one hop off the wall and fires a strike to the cut-off man Kevin Smith who in turn fires a strike to catcher Patrick Cantwell to get the runner from second.  The runner from first has been climbing up the other runner's back, turns tail but Cantwell tags him out. 

Very impressive on all counts.
krose - Monday, March 09 2020 @ 06:57 PM EDT (#386244) #
Very well executed play all around. Ben Cherington was in the booth to see it.
dalimon5 - Monday, March 09 2020 @ 11:43 PM EDT (#386245) #
I believe people are overreacting to Vlad's offense. He will be stellar offensively, I think the really issue (and diminishment of value) in in the shift in the game to balanced players (grading on offense and defense).

10 years ago Vlad would be a superstar, now without defense and baserunning he will never be more than an EE type...just a "bat in the order."

Trade him for Arenado and sign Cruz and there's a huge improvement.



DavidtheDeuce - Tuesday, March 10 2020 @ 09:40 AM EDT (#386251) #
Thanks for alerting me to the great defensive play yesterday Mike - that was fun to watch.

I think that Chavez Young was playing CF at the time and not Jonathan Davis?
Mike Green - Tuesday, March 10 2020 @ 04:01 PM EDT (#386262) #
You're right.  It was Chavez Young in CF.  He does have a good arm and you could see it there. 
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