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Back at it after a COVID enforced break. The Jays are in Atlanta tonight for a three game series. They will end the week with three games in Boston before going home to Buffalo for next week.

We still don't know if the Jays will be close to full strength. I assume Bo Bichette's tricky hammy will be OK. It's uncertain whether Grichuk will be back. Travis Shaw left the team for personal reasons, will he be back? We know Ken Giles will not be back. It seems that Giles doesn't want to be traded, he is always injured around the trade deadline. One person who could be back is Chase Anderson, the Jays say they expect him to be activated in the next few days. Will he be a starter? Can he bump Thornton, the other four starters seem to be guaranteed spots.


The Braves are playing well although their starting pitchers are in some disarray. Canadian Mike Soroka left yesterdays game with a torn Achilles tendon. And the Braves designates Mike Foltynewicz last week. Their best pitches has been Max Fried who goes against the Jays tonight. Matt Shoemaker counters for the Jays. The Jays starters for the final two games are Ryu and Pearson.


Following their Atlanta series, the Jays go to Boston to face the last place Red Sox. The Sox have had some pitching problems. Nate Eovaldi has the only quality start on the roster. Plus JD Martinez, Andrew Benintendi and Rafael Devers are not hitting, as of this writing.


The Jays have played pretty well even though they have a losing record. A 3-3 week on the road would be the minimum to keep optimism up, a 4-2 week would be good.


2020 Week Three, Atlanta and Boston | 107 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
hypobole - Tuesday, August 04 2020 @ 12:04 PM EDT (#388702) #
When Soroka went down, my mind flashed back to AA's 2015 "major announcement" informing us of Marcus Stroman's seemingly season ending knee injury.

Also worth mentioning is another part of the Brave's pitching disarray. AA gave Cole Hamel's $18 million for this year. He's on the 45 day IL.
85bluejay - Tuesday, August 04 2020 @ 12:59 PM EDT (#388704) #
If Shoemaker pitches well this month, he could be an attractive trade target for a team like Atlanta.
scottt - Tuesday, August 04 2020 @ 03:06 PM EDT (#388709) #
The Jays are in a pretty good position to make the playoffs this year.
Wild card spot is 3 games, not 1.
The Angels and the Red Sox are not looking good in the pitching department and Texas has been horrible.

8 of 15 AL teams are in.
Baltimore, KC, Seattle and Detroit are nowhere near .500 teams.
So, one of Toronto, Boston, Texas and LA has to be in.

Gerry - Tuesday, August 04 2020 @ 04:12 PM EDT (#388711) #
Grichuk back tonight. Shaw is also back but not in the lineup. Teoscar goes into the three spot, Vladdy down to five.
scottt - Tuesday, August 04 2020 @ 04:39 PM EDT (#388712) #
We're seeing 2 lefties back to back, so it makes sense to hold Shaw.
Today's starter, Max Fried has been good in his first 2 starts.
Newcomb was knocked out in the fifth against the Mets.
Toussaint was used in long relief against Tampa and gave up 6 ER in less than 3 innings, but was able to hold the Mets scoreless in 4 innings.

bpoz - Tuesday, August 04 2020 @ 05:26 PM EDT (#388713) #
Our young team will be learning how to do the little things like get the runner home with less than 2 outs. Other stuff too.
scottt - Wednesday, August 05 2020 @ 10:24 AM EDT (#388718) #
That was a tough lefty. Now it's Biggio who is in a slump, but things will look better after they face Boston and Baltimore.
Cracka - Wednesday, August 05 2020 @ 11:28 AM EDT (#388719) #
Tough Lefties have been the story of the season so far for the Jays hitters:

vs RHP: .245/.292/.458 (209 PA)
vs LHP: .196/.262/.214 (61 PA)
MLB Avg: .232/.314/.394

Notably, they've seen less LHPs so far this season - only ~23% of PAs. Last year, it was ~32%, and the team actually hit slightly better against LHP than RHP, so there's hope!
Chuck - Wednesday, August 05 2020 @ 11:38 AM EDT (#388720) #
Toronto is scoring 3.25 R/G (27th; MLB is 4.44). An alarm clock in the dugout wouldn't be the worst idea.

They are allowing 4.50 R/G (15th). The bad has been heavily focused in a few spots. Montoyo is getting very high quality work from a number of surprising sources.

hypobole - Wednesday, August 05 2020 @ 12:51 PM EDT (#388721) #
Dan Szymborski at Fangraphs takes a look at Sahlen Fields park factors. Conclusion is that it will slightly favour pitchers, most similar to Busch Stadium.

https://blogs.fangraphs.com/assessing-the-blue-jays-fancy-new-digs/
VictoryFaust - Wednesday, August 05 2020 @ 09:10 PM EDT (#388722) #
Does anyone else think Thomas Hatch looks like John Snow? King in the North?
Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, August 05 2020 @ 10:03 PM EDT (#388723) #
I can kind of see that.

Either way Hatch, Borucki, Kay and Romano have looked great out of the pen this year.
hypobole - Wednesday, August 05 2020 @ 10:50 PM EDT (#388724) #
Rosters get cut down tomorrow. 2 players plus 1 more if Chase Anderson is activated. Both Espinal and Wags are optionable, so I'm guessing they're sent down. Not sure who goes down for Anderson though. I'm sure the fanbase would vote Drury, but that would leave us thin on the infield. McKinney maybe?
John Northey - Wednesday, August 05 2020 @ 11:04 PM EDT (#388725) #
McKinney or Alford would be one, probably a pitcher but no idea who offhand. Only pitchers hit hard are Font & Yamaguchi but with his contract Yamaguchi won't go down yet and Font was solid last year. Still a 10 man bullpen is a bit nutty imo so someone has to be cut from there.
hypobole - Wednesday, August 05 2020 @ 11:13 PM EDT (#388726) #
Can't send Alford down, he's out of options. Jays would have to put him on waivers.

FG shows Yamaguchi with 3 options, but can he be optioned? Not sure of the rules on that one.
John Northey - Wednesday, August 05 2020 @ 11:34 PM EDT (#388727) #
Options just mean risking losing him. Right now Alford is just a speed guy. Good on the bases, good on defense, horrid on offense. Normally there are lots of those guys around. Might be worth risking sending him down depending on if the Marlins need an OF or not.
scottt - Thursday, August 06 2020 @ 05:59 AM EDT (#388729) #
It would seem like one of Panic or Espinal would go down. Too many infielders.
Instead of going down, players can be sent to the taxi squad.
I think there's 1 free spot on the taxi squad after Moran was lost to Miami.

Dany Jimenez was returned to Toronto, but not to the 60 as there was no room.
So, the season is done for him? Funny year.
If that's the case, I would have released someone like Petricka to make room.

Cracka - Thursday, August 06 2020 @ 09:51 AM EDT (#388732) #
Yamaguchi's contract allows him to declare free agency if he's sent to the minors, so he's unlikely to be dropped with another year left on his deal. I expect that they'll option one of the young arms (Kay, Waguespack, Hatch) to the taxi squad and stretch them out as the #6 starter in simulated games.

I also don't think they can risk losing Alford now; he's a valuable bench player and the team is thin at OF depth, especially with Fisher on the IL. The easiest moves would be to option Espinal & McKinney; I don't love Drury, but he's been excellent at 3B.

Overall, I expect the team to stay the course and continue to prioritize controllability; I think they'll option 3 players (adding Chase Anderson) and not waive anyone yet.
scottt - Thursday, August 06 2020 @ 10:38 AM EDT (#388733) #
It seems the taxi squad will increase to 5, so they could just shuffle some pitchers.

I wonder how things are going at the "alternate camp". By my count they have 2 catchers, 5 infielders and 4 outfielders.


uglyone - Thursday, August 06 2020 @ 11:10 AM EDT (#388734) #
all that concern about vladdy.....

Guerrero (21): 84wrc+
Bichette (22): 75wrc+
Biggio (25): 72wrc+


and in other news, if you're going to carry these kinds of players on your team, you better be leaning on your starters, not treating these guys as semi-regulars....

Alford (25): -24wrc+ (7wrc+ career, 117wrc+ milb)
Drury (27): -34wrc+ (83wrc+ career)
Espinal (25): -56wrc+ (112wrc+ milb)
SK in NJ - Thursday, August 06 2020 @ 11:39 AM EDT (#388735) #
Drury is not a MLB hitter, and chances are neither is Alford. It's hard to hit LHP when your two RH bats on the bench can't hit anyone. I'm not sure what Jonathan Davis' status is, but he might be a better fit as a platoon player than Alford since he's historically hit lefties at every level. Unfortunately, Alford is out of options, and right now every player available on the waiver wire is likely to get scooped up by Miami or St. Louis. With how uncertain the health situation will be this season (from Covid and just in general), the Jays will need as many bodies as possible, so I think Alford's spot is safe.

However, if the Jays want to seriously contend for one of the last playoff spots this season, then they'll need to figure out a way to replace Drury/Alford with players who can hit lefties. Right now, Alford is a pinch runner/defensive replacement at best, and I don't even know what Drury is.
ISLAND BOY - Thursday, August 06 2020 @ 11:59 AM EDT (#388736) #
I'm no fan of Drury but I'll admit he has played well in the field.You really need more production from a third baseman, though. I wonder if Jordan Groshans had played a full year last season if he would have gotten a chance this year with the big club.
bpoz - Thursday, August 06 2020 @ 12:19 PM EDT (#388737) #
I do think the Jays want to contend.

Their roster is made up of:

1) Young core players like BBGG who will play if at all possible. If slumping we have seen Vlad drop to 5th in the batting order. If injured we have seen Bo take a few days off to heal.

2) Older/experienced players like Grichuk. Who they think is good.

3) Bench players like Drury, Panik, Shaw that they hope can contribute. They are cheap.

4) Project players that are improving a lot (Vlad or none), players like T Hernandez that are slightly flawed (lacking adequate defense).

5) Longshot project players like Alford & Fisher that give a high projected value. They have to prove that they belong.

The pitching has a lot of quantity. Only Ryu and Pearson are guaranteed projected value. Everyone else has to earn their innings.

Good results have come from Shoemaker and other veteran pitchers. Not good results from veteran Gaviglio, but in a SSS.

Good results from unproven kids like Romano, Borucki and Hatch. They will be given some rope to prove that they belong in the Majors.

ISLAND BOY - Thursday, August 06 2020 @ 12:52 PM EDT (#388738) #
Espinal and Waguespack have been optioned. That's pretty much who it had to be without losing a player to waivers. Billy McKinney will probably be next when Chase Anderson is activated.
tercet - Thursday, August 06 2020 @ 12:53 PM EDT (#388739) #
I'm not sure why they kept Alford, he can't hit fastballs to save his life, he can only occasionally hit some breaking balls. At this point the odds of ever figuring it out are pretty much nill, hence the Jays should move on from him long time ago.
I have been very vocal over the last few years re my dislike forLourdes Gurriel. He has had some insane hot streaks which most fans still remember and think that he is a good hitter due these insane hot streaks. He has hit 246/296/433 over his last 190~ PA, with a career walk rate of 4.7%. He is clearly not good enough offensively to be anything besides a 4th / AAAA outfielder at this point, why is he our cleanup hitter?
Why does this FO give every crappy player they acquire so much rope?
scottt - Thursday, August 06 2020 @ 02:01 PM EDT (#388740) #
Espinal and  Waguespack have been moved to the taxi squad, so they stay with the team.

The Jays have faced some good pitching.  They are almost .500 against some of the best teams.
They have barely played and Gurriel, Grichuk and Fisher have all missed games.

The standings at this early point:
Yankees up by 4
Orioles 5-6
Blue Jays 4-5
Rays 5-7
Red Sox 4-8

It's looking pretty good.

Baltimore just got swept by the Marlins after winning series against Boston and Tampa.
And there's nobody actually hitting on the Marlins.

hypobole - Thursday, August 06 2020 @ 04:22 PM EDT (#388741) #
It never dawned on me, but my wife pointed out one thing we're missing this season. That would be Jays fans reaching into the field of play and proudly showing off the live balls they've managed to snag.
Gerry - Thursday, August 06 2020 @ 05:13 PM EDT (#388742) #
Trent Thornton to the IL with elbow inflammation. Waguespack is promoted.
hypobole - Thursday, August 06 2020 @ 05:59 PM EDT (#388743) #
Thinking about the past 3 Jays-Astros trades. 8 players with major league experience traded and not one is on a current roster. Sanchez non-tendered and Paulino released. Biagini, Diaz, Osuna for Astros, Giles, Fisher, Thornton for Jays are all on the IL.
vw_fan17 - Thursday, August 06 2020 @ 06:05 PM EDT (#388744) #
I have been very vocal over the last few years re my dislike forLourdes Gurriel. He has had some insane hot streaks which most fans still remember and think that he is a good hitter due these insane hot streaks. He has hit 246/296/433 over his last 190~ PA, with a career walk rate of 4.7%. He is clearly not good enough offensively to be anything besides a 4th / AAAA outfielder at this point, why is he our cleanup hitter?
He does have the 2nd highest OPS of the current roster, if you specify minimum 10 AB this season (Shaw with 8 is at 1000, and McGuire with 9 is at 778) and not currently injured (Fischer with 15 AB, 900 OPS is on the 10-day IL). The past few games (Shaw on leave, Fischer injured), the only other available outfielders were Biggio (OPS 601) and Alford (OPS 238). I guess we could have DHed McGuire, but you probably don't want to do that against tough lefties like the last 2 games.

As "bad" as he is (OPS+ 111 this year, suggests a bit above average), he's been our 2nd best hitter (of those currently available/qualified), and Teoscar (the only available player with better stats) is already hitting 3rd. Who would you suggest from the current roster would have been better suited for hitting cleanup the last 2 games? Bichette and Biggio seem entrenched as #1/#2. Vladdy was moved down because he's struggling. Grichuk, just back from injury, hitting cleanup?

All his "insane hot streaks" have averaged out to a 118 OPS+ batter over 637 PAs (592 ABs). Last year in just over half a season (343 PA), he had an overall WAR of 1.7. That works out to maybe a 2.5-3 WAR player over a full season, maybe a bit more. This year, in 8 games, he's at 0.3 WAR - that's ~6 WAR over a full 160 game season. Not exactly the worst choice (especially from the current roster) for hitting cleanup, IMHO.
Shoeless Joe - Thursday, August 06 2020 @ 08:36 PM EDT (#388745) #
I think those stats for Gurriel were cherry picked for disdain.
John Northey - Thursday, August 06 2020 @ 08:50 PM EDT (#388746) #
Frustratingly sloppy issue there - Waguespack in the game, but not due to a lineup card issue. Dumb, dumb, dumb. Wonder what caused that mistake outside of the silly he is down, he is up thing today. Guessing someone didn't update the card before sending it to the umps.
Four Seamer - Thursday, August 06 2020 @ 08:56 PM EDT (#388747) #
What a ridiculous error by the coaching staff. Not sure who fills out the lineup card but ultimately the responsibility rests with Montoyo. This teamís not ready for prime time yet, obviously, but it would be nice to have a fully competent crew managing them once the time comes.
Magpie - Thursday, August 06 2020 @ 09:03 PM EDT (#388748) #
Just tuned in. Where's Teoscar? Something happen?
BlueJayWay - Thursday, August 06 2020 @ 09:08 PM EDT (#388749) #
In all my years, I don't think I've ever seen that happen.
hypobole - Thursday, August 06 2020 @ 09:28 PM EDT (#388750) #
Montoyo did that just so people would make a few posts here.
Magpie - Thursday, August 06 2020 @ 09:29 PM EDT (#388751) #
What a ridiculous error by the coaching staff.

Sooner or later every manager gets at least one of these on their resume, but it appears the error this time was made by the umpiring crew. The lineup card can list potential substitute players "as a courtesy" but the failure to list a potential substitute does not make the player ineligible to play.

And Montoyo was clearly saving Hernandez for a high leverage at bat. And now I see a replay of a diving catch in RF by... Biggio? Geez, the man's a genius.
Cracka - Thursday, August 06 2020 @ 10:01 PM EDT (#388752) #
According to AP, Waguespack was not on the 28-man roster; the Thornton IL transaction & recall were not processed in time. So this was NOT a lineup card error by either Montoyo or the umpires, but rather an eligibility issue. Still very dumb. Also, I've seen enough of Wilmer Font.
SK in NJ - Thursday, August 06 2020 @ 11:13 PM EDT (#388753) #
I didn't see the Waguespack situation, so not sure what happened there, but benching a healthy Teoscar in favor of Joe Panik is more egregious than anything else Montoyo did tonight.

The Montoyo hire has been a disaster.
John Northey - Friday, August 07 2020 @ 12:53 AM EDT (#388754) #
Montoyo wasn't hired to be an in-game strategy guy, but as someone to help train the kids and get them ready to be solid major leaguers. Sometimes that means playing guys in odd positions or having a guy sit when we all want to see him play. Frustrating, but also necessary right now. This team might sneak into the massive playoffs this year but in truth it is being built up for 2021/22 and beyond.

Remember, this years team is the youngest team of hitters ever in Jays history by over 1/2 a year - average age of 25.3 for hitters vs previous record of 25.8 in 1980 and 1981 (also run by a teacher rather than a strategy guy in Bobby Mattick). Only Shaw is 30. Pitchers, on the other hand, are among the oldest ever - 5th oldest pitching staff ever at 29.7, but slowly going down with Pearson now being the only one under 25 with Kay and Hatch in their age 25 season. More kid pitchers will be mixed in next year I'm sure and in upcoming years too.
Jonny German - Friday, August 07 2020 @ 07:06 AM EDT (#388755) #
Sooner or later every manager gets at least one of these on their resume, but it appears the error this time was made by the umpiring crew. The lineup card can list potential substitute players "as a courtesy" but the failure to list a potential substitute does not make the player ineligible to play.

Generous. Sure, the umpires screwed up as well - but why wasn't Montoyo out there pointing out the rule that says Waguespack was eligible?

Besides that, and the absurdity of benching his best hitter in favour of Joe Panik, Charlie was once again clapping himself on the back for being "right there until the end against one of the best teams in baseball". It's not the Try league Charlie.
Chuck - Friday, August 07 2020 @ 08:09 AM EDT (#388756) #
Montoyo wasn't hired to be an in-game strategy guy, but as someone to help train the kids and get them ready to be solid major leaguers.

I know there was much debate about Montoyo's role back when he was hired. Some, like me (and John, it would seem), saw him as someone asked to tend to a young team, to be able to speak to his players in their native language, and to groom them to become major league ready. If and when the team was to become truly competitive, the thought was that they could then transition to a different type of manager, one more skilled with a highly functioning team.

I still maintain that these are generally two different types of managers and that Montoyo is still performing his intended role, like it or not. Of course, to those that see this short season as a potential back door to the playoffs, or who see the Jays as other than a mere middling team, people are expecting to see Montoyo be that other manager, that a good team needs.

Some will argue that a manager can be both groomer of young talent and high-level decision-maker. And I am sure some managers can be both. I'm not sure that Montoyo can.

scottt - Friday, August 07 2020 @ 08:31 AM EDT (#388757) #
The AP thing sounds like BS. The umps were brandishing the lineup cards. I don't know that they have access to the official rosters in real-time and that you have to call an 800 number and wait 30 minutes in line to make a roster change.
A roster change would literally take 1 second to process. Computers and databases are real things.

The delay is that the lineup cards are  not handed up to the umps by the coaches because of Covid and have to be printed before the game and that would be the reason they were not up to date. Which again, is not the correct ruling, but that is something that never comes up and the coaching staff is not allowed to read the rule book during the game.

The pitch by Font wasn't terrible. It was just a bad decision.
Right handed pitcher against left handed batter, the off-speed stuff might be very hittable.

I don't expect to win extra-inning games on the road. The one thing the Jays have struggled with is cashing the runners in scoring position. It wasn't a blown save. It was a decent game.

Now back to serious thing. The record against Boston is probably what will decide the season.
The Jays are heading there and the match up will be:
Roark (on a long rest) against Ryan Weber (0-2 ERA 11.57)
TBD (Borucki, Hatch, Kay?) against Zack Godley (0-1 ERA 6.14)
Shoemaker (back on normal rest) against Eovaldi (1-1 ERA 3.94)



hypobole - Friday, August 07 2020 @ 08:43 AM EDT (#388758) #
"Generous. Sure, the umpires screwed up as well - but why wasn't Montoyo out there pointing out the rule that says Waguespack was eligible?"

As Cracka pointed out, it wasn't a Montoyo screwup or umpire decision. Wags hadn't officially been added to the 28 man for whatever reason.



Cracka - Friday, August 07 2020 @ 10:47 AM EDT (#388759) #
I haven't seen a full explanation yet, but here's what I think happened. Lineups are submitted digitally to the umpires this year. Bench coach Dave Hudgens is responsible for this and he submitted a lineup card with Waguespack on it. Both the Blue Jays & Braves used this submitted version and both managers thought that Waguespack was available.

My theory: The lineup card that is submitted digitally to the umpires is cross-checked against the MLB database of active players before the official card is created for the plate umpire. Yesterday, when the card was submitted, Waguespack was still listed as "Inactive" on the MLB database and therefore didn't appear on the umpire's card. The transaction was processed late in the day and there was a timing issue or lag that prevented Waguespack from listed as "active", at least until the point that the lineup card was submitted.

This doesn't mean that Montoyo is blameless. I think he should have protested the game. Winning a protest is difficult, but I think you could argue that there was a "misapplication of the rules" that "adversely affected the chances of winning", which are the two essential elements in a successful protest:

4.03 (c): "failure to list a potential substitute player shall not make such potential substitute player ineligible to enter the game."

4.03 (d): "The umpire-in-chief shall make certain that the original and copies of the respective batting orders are identical, and then tender a copy of each batting order to the opposing manager"

Despite all of this, I do think it's very unlikely MLB would have ordered the game to be replayed, it's been 34 years since that has happened! However, this certainly does warrant a good look at the digital line-up submission process. This is a mistake that simply should not have happened, regardless of who is to blame.
hypobole - Friday, August 07 2020 @ 11:42 AM EDT (#388760) #
I think Chuck and John pretty well nailed it with Montoyo.

I don't understand blaming Montoyo for not placing a pointless protest.
I do understand blaming Montoyo for sitting his hottest (only hot) hitter when the team is having a massive struggle to generate offence.

I also want to hear Atkins explain what happened with Wags last night, since roster moves are his responsibility.
scottt - Friday, August 07 2020 @ 12:46 PM EDT (#388761) #
I, don't really wish for Atkins to explain anything. I don't see that casting any light on anything.

I also don't see the whole thing changing much. At best the Blue Jays go into extra innings and likely lose there.
Maybe Wags blows the game and the high leverage bullpen arms get more rest. Kinda hard to wish for that.

If there is a cross check against "active" player when the lineup cards are printed, then it's the guy who implemented the scheme who is at fault.
At best, there should just be an asterisk next to the player name.
The printing of the lineup card and the taxi squad which makes it possible to do last minute changes are both Covid exceptions to the normal rules. And obviously guys on the taxi squad are not "active".

Glevin - Friday, August 07 2020 @ 01:06 PM EDT (#388762) #
"I do understand blaming Montoyo for sitting his hottest (only hot) hitter when the team is having a massive struggle to generate offence."

This is, by far, my biggest beef with Montoyo. He wants to rotate everyone. in 162 game season, it's a bit annoying, in a 60 (at most) game season, it's criminal.
ISLAND BOY - Friday, August 07 2020 @ 01:33 PM EDT (#388763) #
" I also want to hear Atkins explain what happened with Wags last night"

I don't. Atkins can talk a lot without really saying anything leaving a person none the wiser.
Nigel - Friday, August 07 2020 @ 02:26 PM EDT (#388767) #
I'll start by saying that I have watched exactly 2 innings of baseball so far so I appreciate that I'm in no position to comment (although that isn't stopping me:)). But, to the point above about Montoyo as a caretaker manager - I can accept that notion. So, my expectations of him successfully navigating in game strategy are low. I do think though that part of the caretaker role is to try and understand what your players' strengths and weaknesses are and develop them. Last year, Montoyo seemed to have little understanding of who his best high leverage relievers were (other than his closer). So far, the box scores and highlights suggest something similar but perhaps I'm wrong.
Chuck - Friday, August 07 2020 @ 03:22 PM EDT (#388768) #
Montoyo seemed to have little understanding of who his best high leverage relievers were

I have watched only a few innings more than you, so am also not well positioned to comment. But try and stop me!

During one of the first few games, Shulman and Martinez were talking about the raft of decisions involved in staffing the bullpen, especially given all the new faces. They echoed Montoyo's position that the bullpen started with Giles and Gaviglio and after that, nothing was certain.

Gaviglio is the exact type of pitcher that can be overly romanticized. He logged a ton of relief innings by modern standards (96) and was able to give multiple innings at a time in a world of one-inning pitchers. But he really wasn't that great and shouldn't be asked to do much beyond that thankless role. The transition from useful garbageman to setup man is not a clear and obvious path, though Montoyo seemed to behave as if it were.

scottt - Friday, August 07 2020 @ 03:41 PM EDT (#388769) #
I've only missed the innings in which my grandson is playing at the park.

Gaviglio was never the setup guy. He was always going to be a dependable long relief guy. He was really great in that role during the first half of last season. After a couple of months last year, Gaviglio was one of the WAR leader on the team. He wasn't as effective in the second half, but maybe fatigue and overuse played a part, given the lack of starting options.

Two weeks in and neither Giles nor Gaviglio are in the pen. That's how it is.

Jordano struggled last year. Bass is a new face. So is Hatch. So is Dolis. So is Cole. So is Yamaguchi.
Waguespack was pretty good last year, but he's not at the top of the pen.
Font is a puzzle. He can be really good, in a limited role, at times, but it's hard to trust him in high leverage.
Kay and Borucki are starters in the pen.

So, yeah. Nothing is certain.

scottt - Friday, August 07 2020 @ 03:50 PM EDT (#388770) #
It was good to be able to compare Guerrero and Acuna during the last series.

Guerrero is hitting .200. Acuna is hitting .220. Slugging is very similar.
The main difference is that Acuna has 10 walks and Vlad has 2.
Acuna is hitting at the top and trying to get on base and steal bases.
Guerrero is hitting clean up--or a bit after that--and trying to cash runs.
That alone might explain why Vlad is more aggressive and  not taking his walks.

I can't wait to get Drury's bat out of the lineup.
Other than that, I still think they are doing OK, but they need a good series in Boston.

John Northey - Friday, August 07 2020 @ 04:28 PM EDT (#388771) #
One thing we all are forgetting is this is April really. When a manager experiments and sees who can do what, especially in the pen where performance is so insanely variable.

A quick way to see how the pen is managed is to look at Leverage Index - the leverage when the pitcher comes into the game: IE: how tough is the situation. Over 1 is above average.
  • Moran 5.51 (2 games, now in Miami, blew a save)
  • Yamaguchi 2.75 (3 games, used twice in extras mainly because everyone else was used)
  • Romano 2.13 (6 games, very effective, only once faced more than the minimum needed to get the outs he got)
  • Bass 1.94 (5 games, 2 saves, 2 holds, very effective)
  • Giles 1.93 (IL - closer when healthy)
  • Gaviglio 1.69 (minors after just 2 games)
  • Borucki 1.28 (2 games)
  • Cole 1.15 (4 games)
  • Dolis 1.06 (5 games 3 holds)
  • Hatch 1.06 (3 games, 2 relief)
  • Waguespack 0.95
  • Font 0.9
  • Kay 0.67
No surprises really beyond Moran. Mega high pressure, then dumped. Yamaguchi is more a function of who was available and logically a guy who has been a closer in Japan should've done better. Romano & Bass established themselves as #1/2 in the pen other than Giles very fast and have been used that way. Really, digging in here I'd say the pen has been used surprisingly well so far given how many are first time Jays. Just keep Font away from pressure and same with Yamaguchi and I'll be happy.
Shoeless Joe - Friday, August 07 2020 @ 07:34 PM EDT (#388772) #
HernŠndez should not be hitting 8th in this lineup right now.
Shoeless Joe - Friday, August 07 2020 @ 07:38 PM EDT (#388773) #
Iím going to predict that the Jays batting lineup will have healthier slash lines after feasting on the Red Sox pitching this series.
christaylor - Friday, August 07 2020 @ 10:22 PM EDT (#388774) #
Boy o' boy. Vlad plays 1B like a DH.
Gerry - Friday, August 07 2020 @ 10:26 PM EDT (#388775) #
Three outs on the bases tonight. I believe two of the outs were followed by a double.

Combined with Vladdy's adventures at first base, this is looking like a team of kids.
hypobole - Friday, August 07 2020 @ 11:40 PM EDT (#388776) #
Weber had faced 44 batters this season without striking out any of them. Grichuk at 1st, Shaw with a 3-2 count. Perfect time for a hit and run? Nope. Perfect time for a strike 'em out, throw 'em out.
ISLAND BOY - Saturday, August 08 2020 @ 08:56 AM EDT (#388778) #
The Jays shot themselves in the foot numerous times last night and this play was just one instance. Maybe it's easier to judge in hindsight, but Grichuk isn't that fast a baserunner, the Boston catcher is proficient at throwing out runners, and you have your best hitter coming up.
Bichette and Guerrero both made bad base running plays that turned into outs which I hope is just youthful eagerness and not lack of baseball smarts. This team has had a chance to win most of the games they've played so far and they have the talent to grab a playoff spot but they're also young. I'm afraid this youth and lack of major league experience might derail their chances this year. You have to play hard but you also have to play smart.
bpoz - Saturday, August 08 2020 @ 10:09 AM EDT (#388779) #
This is a team of kids. They have to learn.
hypobole - Saturday, August 08 2020 @ 11:59 AM EDT (#388780) #
Yeah, Grichuk isn't the fastest baserunner, that's why it wasn't a straight steal, it was a hit-and-run. My comment wasn't meant as a criticism of the play itself, more as a microcosm of our offensive woes.

If anyone remembers a poster complaining about hit-and-runs the past few years, that was me. I ordinarily really dislike the play when a team is littered with strikeout prone players.

But Shaw was facing a guy who had pitched to 44 batters this year and had struck out exactly zero. With Weber on the hill, no outs, a 3-2 count and a man on 1st, if ever there was a good time to hit and run, this was it. So I agreed with the process. It was the result that encapsulated both the luck and ineptitude we've had on offence.


scottt - Saturday, August 08 2020 @ 01:39 PM EDT (#388781) #
The Jays looked like the better team, but the result says otherwise.

Roark was impacted by the long layoff. Tough luck.
They made a lot of outs on the base path. That's growing pain.

I was wondering what would be the most difficult part of playing first base for Vlad.
Turns out it's chasing tumbling foul pop ups. That's not too bad.
It's hard to work on that. You don't get the movement in fielding practices.
There was some fielding where the pitcher didn't get to first base in time in other games.
I don't think those are his fault. It's normal to go for the ball if it's hit to you.
However, in the shift, you need to know if anyone is playing behind you.
And of course, he's not on the field every day.

Nigel - Saturday, August 08 2020 @ 07:42 PM EDT (#388782) #
Hypobole, it does sound like this particular situation was tinged with bad luck. But the reality is, with this roster (more than most), the hit and run is generally a bad tactical choice. With a small number of exceptions, the FO has leaned hard into a low OPB, low contact rate, launch angle/hard contact lineup. That may or may not be a good overall strategy, but you have to manage to the strengths of the team youíre given and hit and run ainít it for this team. When your team OBP is as thin as this one will be, you almost have to be station to station.
hypobole - Saturday, August 08 2020 @ 07:59 PM EDT (#388783) #
Nigel, that's exactly why I've been complaining about hit-and-runs the past few years.
Shoeless Joe - Saturday, August 08 2020 @ 08:25 PM EDT (#388784) #
I thought to this point the Jays had just faced tough pitching, but seeing the efforts against Godly and Weber have not been encouraging.
John Northey - Saturday, August 08 2020 @ 08:38 PM EDT (#388785) #
After Tellez's baserunning mistake it might be time to start pulling kids from the game when they make a painfully obvious baserunning mistake like that. Make them sit the rest of the game after doing that. Since nothing else seems to be sinking in.
Shoeless Joe - Saturday, August 08 2020 @ 09:32 PM EDT (#388786) #
This might be the worst base running team in the league.
Shoeless Joe - Saturday, August 08 2020 @ 09:41 PM EDT (#388787) #
As unimpressive as the lineup has been I keep repeating myself
in saying how impressive the young pitching in the bullpen has been. The stock on Kay is way way up.
Gerry - Saturday, August 08 2020 @ 10:18 PM EDT (#388788) #
Through seven innings its three bad fielding plays and two outs on the bases.

After each one the camera pans to Montoyo. The bottom half of his face is covered by his mask and all you can see are his eyes darting around. He looks shell-shocked.
John Northey - Sunday, August 09 2020 @ 01:00 AM EDT (#388789) #
Yay, a miracle - they won! Ground ball to drive in a run - go figure. Boy did they need that one. Now lets hope they come to life tomorrow and go nuts with a 10 run+ game.
scottt - Sunday, August 09 2020 @ 09:52 AM EDT (#388790) #
I'm not fond of hit-and-runs or "starting the runner".
Technically, it should be called run-and-hit.
The number one reason to use it is to stay out of the double play.
But you don't want to use it to force the hitter to go after a bad pitch or if there's a good chance that the hitter will strike out.
So, basically, you have to guess the next pitch right or you're probably screwed.

Still, there are times when it seems like the best option.

scottt - Sunday, August 09 2020 @ 10:13 AM EDT (#388791) #
Vlad is up to a 98 OPS+.
Better than Grichuk who is hitting .296 without an extra base hit.
Jansen is back down to hitting .138 .278 .241.
Of course, Drury is the worst of the bunch with a line of .095 .136 .095.
The team will really take off, when they finally  graduate one of the many possible 3B prospects.
Tellez has had some bad luck with a line of .161 .270 .290 despite many hard hit balls.

In the rotation, Thornton is the ERA leader with 2.25. Yeah, it's early.
Roark and Ryu have each one win and one loss. Shoemaker should be the same but the pen lost his win.
Romano, Kay and Borucki have each one well deserved win.
Yamaguchi has 2 losses and will probably not pitch if the game is on the line.
He's been a complete bust while Bass has been a huge win with 3 saves.



bpoz - Sunday, August 09 2020 @ 10:49 AM EDT (#388792) #
Some teams have played 14-16 games. We have played 12. We are still in the playoff hunt.

No winning or losing streaks yet. We are out hitting the opposition a little but losing due to poor judgement.

Chuck - Sunday, August 09 2020 @ 11:37 AM EDT (#388793) #
We are out hitting the opposition a little

Actually, the opponents are out-hitting the Jays, though neither are hitting well.

Jays: 222/283/365, OPS 648
Opponents: 210/312/370, OPS 683
MLB: 231/311/396, OPS 707

John Northey - Sunday, August 09 2020 @ 12:22 PM EDT (#388794) #
How young are these guys? Not just the youngest hitters in Jays history, but also the youngest in the AL by 1.2 years (2nd is Baltimore), 0.9 years younger than San Diego (youngest in the NL). Of course, the Jays also have the lowest R/G in the AL and tied with Washington for lowest in MLB. Difference is the Jays are super-young so hope for growth, but Washington is the oldest lineup at 30.1 so a lot less hope (tied with SF for oldest).

So where is the problem? Lets compare to the league using sOPS+ (split OPS+, vs others at same position only)
  • CA: 70 - 22nd in majors, Cleveland is the worst at -35 (!)
  • 1B: 21st 82 - last is Milwuakee at -1 (111/163/200)
  • 2B: 19th 87 - last is Philly at -26 (071/161/071)
  • 3B: 30th 11 - just 154/214/179 - Drury dragging it down big time
  • SS: 22nd 79 - last is NYY at 11 (bring Jeter out of retirement!) 145/203/200
  • LF: 18th 101 - yay, above average production - last is Cleveland at -1 (093/183/148)
  • CF: 3rd 176 - WOW! LAA with Trout is #7. This is mainly thanks to Hernandez while Grichuk is at 100
  • RF: 24th 52 - Hernandez hits far worse in RF than CF 222/214/333 vs 389/450/1.056 in CF - SSS
  • DH: 19th 81 - Texas dead last at -8 (128/157/149)
So things could be a LOT worse looking at individual positions, also should be a lot better as I doubt Bo, Vlad, Biggio will all continue to be bottom 1/3rd of the league. CF is nice - wonder if Teoscar focuses better when in CF or something? Probably not, just a dumb luck thing over 12 games. Our pinch runners only scored once but stole 3 bases (thank you Telford for 2 and Espinal who is the one who scored and stole a base). In this the first year of a universal DH only 1 pitcher has hit - a guy with Pittsburgh John Ryan Murphy (was out).
bpoz - Sunday, August 09 2020 @ 12:53 PM EDT (#388795) #
I too expected the young position core to lead us.

The pitching was an unknown to me. Only Giles and Gaviglio in the pen had a decent/good history. The rotation was not a sure thing.

So far the pitching is showing depth. Nothing elite except from a few young pen arms.

Montoyo has mentioned the pen. Borucki, Kay Hatch. Bass and Romano have also been very good to date.
bpoz - Sunday, August 09 2020 @ 01:08 PM EDT (#388796) #
Montoyo said that he loves bringing in the hard throwing 95+ arms from the pen.
hypobole - Sunday, August 09 2020 @ 01:28 PM EDT (#388797) #
A. J. Cole has been surprisingly good. I remember him being a hot prospect once so I checked. Was a Top 100 prospect 4 years at both MLB and BP. He was the 116th overall pick in 2010 but got a $2 million bonus to keep him from going to college. That's exactly what Deck McGuire got as #10 overall. #13 Chris Sale got $1.656 million that year.
Mike Green - Sunday, August 09 2020 @ 04:11 PM EDT (#388798) #
The clubs tosay have mastered two of the two three outcomes. That ain't bad.
scottt - Sunday, August 09 2020 @ 05:02 PM EDT (#388799) #
Pitching is always ahead of hitting early on.
There's always a few exceptions, but you can't bank on that.

That one really hurts.
Shoemaker looked done in the 6th. With the upcoming rest days, I thought they'd have pulled him at that point.

Now we get to see if home is any good.

hypobole - Sunday, August 09 2020 @ 08:44 PM EDT (#388800) #
The Monday to Wednesday Cards series postponed. Even if they are good to go on the 13th as hoped, the Cards will be playing their 6th game while other teams are playing their 19th or 20th.

Indians have sent Zach Plesac home after he went out with friends in Chicago on Saturday in violation of team rules.

And as embarrassing as some of our youngsters blunders have been, they can't top Angels rookie Jo Adell paying homage to Jose Canseco.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuH6EL61LF4
bpoz - Sunday, August 09 2020 @ 09:22 PM EDT (#388801) #
To me Moreland seems like a "professional" hitter. A lefty bat. So Hatch or any other pen option that was right handed was going to most likely lose the battle.
ISLAND BOY - Sunday, August 09 2020 @ 11:23 PM EDT (#388802) #
On the plus side, Jordan Romano has yet to surrender a hit in 7 innings of work. Ryan Borucki looked really good today and he, Anthony Kay, and Thomas Hatch all look like they could be starters some day.
John Northey - Monday, August 10 2020 @ 03:39 AM EDT (#388804) #
Poor Jo Adell. No matter what he does from now on that will be the highlight played when he is mentioned.
hypobole - Monday, August 10 2020 @ 03:24 PM EDT (#388809) #
Mets just announced Marcus Stroman is opting out of the remainder of this season.
Glevin - Monday, August 10 2020 @ 04:01 PM EDT (#388813) #
"Mets just announced Marcus Stroman is opting out of the remainder of this season."

Man, this is turning out to be a fantastic trade for the Jays. Kay looks likely to play some sort of major league roll and SWR is a top-100 prospect. Stroman pitched 11 mediocre starts for the Mets. The Mets have been so horribly run since, for some silly reason, they hired a player agent to be their GM. The Stroman trade was awful. (And remember, the Mets weren't even contending when they made the trade). Trading Kelenic for Cano and Diaz. Horrendous. Kelenic is a top-10 prospect now and all they got was a closer and a bloated contract. But even the smaller moves, like a side deal to get Jake Marisnick. They gave up a Blake Taylor who has been great so far. Or trading their#21 prospect to get Billy Hamilton. Why give up assets for guys who are extremely marginal?
Mike Green - Monday, August 10 2020 @ 04:03 PM EDT (#388814) #
As you can imagine, Mets' fans are not happy campers.  It does seem unfair to blame management for not projecting a pandemic when making a trade.
scottt - Monday, August 10 2020 @ 04:23 PM EDT (#388815) #
Well, Stroman needed 24 days to become a free agent, so about 9 days this current year.
He's been on the IL since opening day.

Will he get a QO?
Not sure what kind of offers he will get.

PeterG - Monday, August 10 2020 @ 04:28 PM EDT (#388816) #
This was a good trade for the Jays from the get go, even if Stroman was still pitching for the Mets.
Glevin - Monday, August 10 2020 @ 04:48 PM EDT (#388819) #
"As you can imagine, Mets' fans are not happy campers. It does seem unfair to blame management for not projecting a pandemic when making a trade."

That's not their fault but giving up a big haul for one year of a good but not elite pitcher on top of all the other silly moves, would make anyone mad. In the end, this is on the owners who wanted to push for quick results when the team would have been much better off doing a quick retooling. They were in an ideal place to do so with hugely valuable pieces in Syndergard and especially DeGrom and tons of young talent and some great prospects. This is a team that won 77 games and finished 4th in their division. They could have also tried to go for it around DeGrom and traded Syndergard (and not traded for Rios). They had options and they chose the worst road by hiring a GM with no FO experience who has been predictably awful.
Mike Green - Monday, August 10 2020 @ 05:03 PM EDT (#388820) #
I don't know, glevin.  The Mets have quite a bit of prime age talent.  I can see the argument for trying to compete in 2019 and 2020, and as a fan, I would prefer that the owner erred on that side of the equation.  They did give up a lot for Stroman though.
Magpie - Monday, August 10 2020 @ 11:59 PM EDT (#388822) #
My mind is boggled, and Zach Plesac and Mike Clevinger did the boggling. Tito Francona, their manager, and fellow starter Carlos Carrasco both have to be regarded as high risk individuals in these circumstances. And they didn't care.
Shoeless Joe - Tuesday, August 11 2020 @ 06:46 AM EDT (#388823) #
At the time of the trade I didn't really like Kay and I honestly hadn't looked into SWR so I was unimpressed. However I have fully reversed course on that trade. Kay to me looks like a mid rotation starter and SWR could be a playoff starter.
ISLAND BOY - Tuesday, August 11 2020 @ 07:27 AM EDT (#388824) #
There were some negative opinions on here at the time of the Stroman trade, most feeling the Jays should have gotten more for him. Marcus might have several decent years left, but it looks like the Jays traded him at the right time, unlike Josh Donaldson.
Shoeless Joe - Tuesday, August 11 2020 @ 08:02 AM EDT (#388825) #
At this point in the trade Stroman provided the Mets with 0.9 WAR in 59.2 innings and Kay has provided the Jays 0.5 in 22.0 innings. It won't be long before the Jays really run away with this trade.
bpoz - Tuesday, August 11 2020 @ 09:11 AM EDT (#388826) #
I think that this is the trade when Atkins talked about getting 42 years of control. Some in the media ridiculed him.

IMO Stroman is good. In 2016 & 2017 he gave you 200+ innings. 184 in 2019. That is a pretty good #2 maybe a #1. Prospect capital is a risk. See F Whitley and M Kopech. Whitley is on the 60 squad for development. Kopech opted out of 2020. Both Whitley and Kopech probably will still work out for their teams.
scottt - Tuesday, August 11 2020 @ 09:20 AM EDT (#388827) #
Donaldson is on the shelf again with a calf injury after 7 games.

Atlanta got 6 WAR on a 1 year contract.
Josh is a man of mystery.
Had he been healthy, the Jays could have simply extended him.
5-6 WAR at third base would play really well with the Jays right now.

scottt - Tuesday, August 11 2020 @ 09:24 AM EDT (#388828) #
So far, most of the Mets fans feel like they gave up nothing.
Kay was struggling to throw a strike when they traded him and SWR was just a teenager in A ball.

hypobole - Tuesday, August 11 2020 @ 09:31 AM EDT (#388829) #
Most fans are short term thinkers with limited knowledge.
hypobole - Tuesday, August 11 2020 @ 10:06 AM EDT (#388830) #
Once he hit his 30's only George Poulis (aka the calf whisperer) has managed to keep Donaldson healthy. Once Poulis left, Huffman didn't. The trainer Josh hired the following offseason didn't. I remember when he signed with Atlanta, he said he was looking forward to re-uniting with Poulis. Now he's away from Poulis again. Good luck, Twinkies.
ISLAND BOY - Tuesday, August 11 2020 @ 10:22 AM EDT (#388831) #
" The Calf Whisperer ", coming soon to a theater near you !
bpoz - Tuesday, August 11 2020 @ 11:47 AM EDT (#388832) #
I like Atkins "throw it at the wall" strategy. Hatch for D Phelps was a possible something for nothing. This one seems to be working.

Bass on waivers is also good.

S Brito and A Hanson did not work.
scottt - Tuesday, August 11 2020 @ 01:12 PM EDT (#388833) #
Liberty Media has released some financial numbers for the Braves.

Revenues from April to June are down from 208M last year to 11M this year.

The next quarter will be more interesting.

85bluejay - Tuesday, August 11 2020 @ 02:01 PM EDT (#388834) #
With teams like the Braves & Mets ( trade with Brodie please) badly needing starting pitching, I am hoping the Jays veterans like Shoemaker/Anderson/Roark have good runs this month and the Jays cash in at the deadline - Also I'd like to see the young pitchers like Kay/Hatch/Borucki/Thornton etc get starts in September to prepare for next season.
scottt - Tuesday, August 11 2020 @ 02:31 PM EDT (#388835) #
This isn't the usual trade deadline.

There won't be that many teams automatically eliminated. Teams like the Marlins, Tigers and Orioles are doing quite well so far.

Only players in the 60-men player pools can be traded. That will complicated things further.

Also, they're not trading Roark. They are counting on him next year.
Anderson has a 9.5M option. If he's good, they're probably picking it up.




John Northey - Wednesday, August 12 2020 @ 02:53 AM EDT (#388847) #
Good point scottt - in the AL right now everyone is within 5 1/2 games of each other (Oakland the best at 12-6, Red Sox the worst at 6-11) Jays just 1 game out of the playoffs right now. The NL is a bit more spread out with the Cubs at 11-3 down to Pittsburgh at 3-13 (9 games back) but 8th place is 7-8 right now (Milwaukee), while 2nd last is 7-11 (Mets & Arizona). So right now only Pittsburgh could say for sure they are sellers. Of course, this is a year due to the no fans in the stands mess that a team could get away with waving the white flag despite being in contention if the reward was big enough. For example, for a big offer (say a top 10 prospect) would you trade Teoscar Hernandez? This looks a LOT like a career year for him (age 27, 162 OPS+ vs career of 111) but is just entering arbitration years and isn't a free agent until after 2023. Hmm...maybe not even for a top 10 but multiple high quality prospects maybe? Depends if you think he is the next coming of Bautista or if this is an illusion like so many other players at that age have had.

Really, there aren't many good trade options. Matt Shoemaker would be a good one if he can be solid & healthy until trade deadline day. Chase Anderson too. Bass is a free agent after this season so he is a good candidate too. Really hard to say and the season is so short that with the kids it might be worth risking losing Shoemaker and Bass for nothing this winter in order to sneak into the playoffs and give the kid core the playoff experience. TV ratings would be big for Rogers too.
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