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Because it's 17 games in 17 days to wrap up this very weird season.

The Jays three best hitters by OPS+ (if we leave out, yes, Derek Fisher, on grounds of too small a sample) are all on the IL although young Bo Bichette's return does seem imminent. This does not seem to have discouraged them unduly. Someone else always seems to get hot and pick up the slack - for a while it was Grichuk, lately it's been Gurriel, and Biggio has been steady and productive all along. No less than nine relief pitchers have been pitching very well indeed, and I promise that's a sentence I've never written before and neither have you.

Next up: Jacob deGrom. Bring it on.
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Mike Green - Thursday, September 10 2020 @ 05:15 PM EDT (#390240) #
Exactly right about the relief pitchers.  Even accounting for the relief pitcher situation advantage, the Blue Jays 11 best pitchers have been Ryu, Walker and the 9 relievers. Chase Anderson has pitched about as well as Jacob Waguespack. 
Cracka - Thursday, September 10 2020 @ 08:04 PM EDT (#390242) #
Further to Roark's comments about what "computers are saying", here are the splits by PA this year:

Starters, 1st PA: .805 OPS (378 PA)
Starters, 2nd PA: .697 OPS (321 PA)
Starters, 3rd PA: .1047 OPS (102 PA)
Relievers, 1st PA: .658 OPS (679 PA)
Relievers, 2nd PA: .776 OPS (37 PA)

Simply put, when our pitchers are facing a batter for the third time, that batter hits like Mike Trout. When our relievers face someone for the first time, that batter hits like a below average catcher. It's not a new or novel trend, but the difference is incredibly profound.
scottt - Thursday, September 10 2020 @ 10:41 PM EDT (#390243) #
Yankees are rained out in Baltimore, but that doesn't really change anything for the Jays.
John Northey - Thursday, September 10 2020 @ 11:20 PM EDT (#390244) #
A good question is is it normal to have that big a split?

Lets check starting pitchers for a couple of seasons... Not worrying about relievers as it is safe to bet they do well first time through and rarely get a 2nd or 3rd.
  • 2019 Starters 1st PA: 733 OPS 1391 PA
  • 2019 Starters 2nd PA: 881 OPS 1181 PA
  • 2019 Starters 3rd PA: 851 OPS 565 PA
  • 2019 Starters 4th PA: 1.083 OPS 12 PA

  • 2016 Starters 1st PA: 666 OPS 1458 PA
  • 2016 Starters 2nd PA: 644 OPS 1449 PA
  • 2016 Starters 3rd PA: 757 OPS 1156 PA
  • 2016 Starters 4th PA: 889 OPS 71 PA

  • 2006 Starters 1st PA: 719 OPS 1453 PA
  • 2006 Starters 2nd PA: 814 OPS 1362 PA
  • 2006 Starters 3rd PA: 805 OPS 937 PA
  • 2016 Starters 4th PA: 782 OPS 135 PA

  • 1998 Starters 1st PA: 679 OPS 1455 PA
  • 1998 Starters 2nd PA: 745 OPS 1443 PA
  • 1998 Starters 3rd PA: 765 OPS 1289 PA
  • 1998 Starters 4th PA: 800 OPS 375 PA

  • 1993 Starters 1st PA: 694 OPS 1457 PA
  • 1993 Starters 2nd PA: 798 OPS 1422 PA
  • 1993 Starters 3rd PA: 733 OPS 1165 PA
  • 1993 Starters 4th PA: 783 OPS 330 PA

  • 1982 Starters 1st PA: 742 OPS 1453 PA
  • 1982 Starters 2nd PA: 699 OPS 1367 PA
  • 1982 Starters 3rd PA: 722 OPS 1094 PA
  • 1982 Starters 4th PA: 672 OPS 487 PA

  • 1977 Starters 1st PA: 705 OPS 1443 PA
  • 1977 Starters 2nd PA: 770 OPS 1356 PA
  • 1977 Starters 3rd PA: 836 OPS 1134 PA
  • 1977 Starters 4th PA: 810 OPS 687 PA
Years picked: last year, last time Jays in playoffs, 2006 was 2nd place season, 1998 was highest win total between playoff seasons, 1993 last WS year, 1982 first year of being decent (tied for last, base for great teams up as rookies), 1977 first season. Very different time in '82 (4 man rotation, only 13 pitchers used total, 3 guys with 38+ starts each, all 3 had 10+ complete games) so more a fun comparison.

Of course a big issue is guys who are terrible only see opposing teams once or twice, especially in the earlier years. You don't let a 9 ERA guy face the other team 3+ times, but you do let Roger Clemens (98), Roy Halladay (06), and Dave Stieb (82) do that. '77 is probably a good comparison point as that team was crappy and you an see how the OPS jumped 2nd and 3rd time around before working down a bit on the 4th (thanks in part to Jesse Jefferson who had a 684 OPS against 4th time through over 136 PA - guess when he was on he was really on - 97 ERA+ that year). 1982 saw the OPS against be lower 3rd time than 1st - go figure. The spread has become bigger as time goes by though it seems.

Looking at this I think it isn't a lock that you pull guys 3rd time through, but judgement must be used. Risk jumps on that 3rd time as if they get in trouble odds are that is it for them, but let them do it in cases like Roark's last game. He hasn't been allowed to face more than 24 batters in a game yet, but has seen 16 every game - just 17 last game over 68 pitches. One more inning would've made sense imo as that was his lowest pitch count and 2nd lowest batter count of the season. His 1st time through has a 1.100 OPS against, 2nd 856, 3rd 1.009 over 19 PA so hardly enough to judge anything on. Career for him is 690/707/752/894 for 1/2/3/4+ time through with over 1000 PA in 1st,2nd,3rd times. I say push him and the other starters a bit - see if any can do 100 pitches as by now they gotta be as stretched out as it gets. Once in 3rd time through get someone ready in the pen just in case and give them a limit to work with (ie: 2 guys get on you are out). Then they can accept it more and will be focused on the game and not be looking over their shoulder.
hypobole - Thursday, September 10 2020 @ 11:46 PM EDT (#390245) #
Last years starters were so bad 2nd time through the order was like 3rd or 4th time through for most average or better starters. Stroman accounted for just under 13% of the team's starts, but over 34% of the 3rd time through PA's.
bpoz - Friday, September 11 2020 @ 08:13 AM EDT (#390246) #
The 3rd time through the order is definitely hard as the stats show.

Ryu has left shoulder surgery in May 2016 and managed to regain his value by showing he was healthy. Walker, TJ in May 2018 and is in the process of regaining his value which means he has to prove he is healthy.

The Jays had to cross their fingers with Ryu. Seattle risked nothing to sign Walker at $2 mil.

Roark, Anderson and Ray have not broken down health wise yet. 2 years or 2+ an option will not hurt long term. That is a sensible contract to give out. They would be considered #3/4 I suppose. If they are getting beat up in the 3rd time through the order then going to the pen will prevent that. So not coming out for the 6th? The SP will not like it and the pen will be destroyed/overused in a 162 game season.

In a 60 game season everything has changed. Our 1 inning relievers are having great success. 17 games in 17 days with a double header in there is a factor. All the teams have to face that.
hypobole - Friday, September 11 2020 @ 10:13 AM EDT (#390247) #
Don't know if it's been mentioned, but Orelvis is in Rochester. So all of FG's top 10 Jays prospects are either in the majors or the pool now.
PeterG - Friday, September 11 2020 @ 12:34 PM EDT (#390248) #
Here is the link to an interview with Joe Sclafani, Jays Assistant Director of Player Development, about what is happening in Rochester, Dunedin and on plans for an expanded instructional league.
hypobole - Friday, September 11 2020 @ 01:39 PM EDT (#390249) #
Thanks, Peter. Palacios being singled out was interesting. He's always seemed a no big tool, no real flaw type.
Nigel - Friday, September 11 2020 @ 03:57 PM EDT (#390250) #
I've probably been higher than most on Palacios over the years (Vancouver bias based:)), but that's probably a fair comment hypobole. He does offer two useful aspects from the current Jays perspective, LHH and some defence. Based upon what I saw (dated of course) he would be an above average corner OF and could play CF at about the Grichuk level. I think that he could have a 4th OF role at some point - but he's 25 already.
Mike Green - Friday, September 11 2020 @ 04:35 PM EDT (#390251) #
I had a quick look at Palacios' numbers.  Last year in New Hampshire, he did change his approach at the plate.  After being a hitter who put the ball on the ground twice as often or more as in the air, he joined the flyball revolution last year.  His IsoP did go up significantly and he struck out at about the same rate.  Maybe he's one of those late bloomers referred to in the MVP Machine- one of the things about the cancellation of the minor league season is that we really have no clue how a player is developing.
Glevin - Friday, September 11 2020 @ 04:58 PM EDT (#390252) #
Most interesting thing for me in interview was Murray who apparently was up to 94. He had excellent numbers but fastball was averaging around 87-89 which is usually too slow to have major league success. If he can get that up to 92-94, his chances get much better.
Mike Green - Friday, September 11 2020 @ 05:15 PM EDT (#390253) #
The news about Murray was also interesting.  But, we've got next to nothing to go on.

I am sure that there's a good reason that the clubs can't broadcast games from the training camp, but it sure would be cool to see Austin Martin, Jordan Groshans, Alek Manoah, Simeon Woods Richardson and the rest playing 9 innings.  Having an audience on Youtube (or Sportsnet) might help a little in giving the players more of an actual game feeling. 
Kasi - Friday, September 11 2020 @ 05:32 PM EDT (#390254) # NYM Minor League Pitching Coach Josh Towers told Baseball Central that Simeon Woods Richardson has the best stuff he's ever seen. Called his fastball 'elite', says SWR has 'probably the best changeup he's ever seen.' He also raved about SWR's curveball. Nice praise here. Look forward to seeing him in the coming years.
Magpie - Friday, September 11 2020 @ 05:32 PM EDT (#390255) #
A whole bunch of roster moves, kids:

Alejandro Kirk is coming to the Show! And Jacob Waguespack is coming back. Ken Giles has been activated from the IL.

Sean Reid-Foley has been optioned, Caleb Joseph and Billy McKinney get the DFA.
PeterG - Friday, September 11 2020 @ 05:34 PM EDT (#390256) #
activated - Giles, Waguespack, Kirk

optioned - SRF

DFA - Joseph, McKinney
Mike Green - Friday, September 11 2020 @ 05:39 PM EDT (#390257) #
Alejandro Kirk!

The club means business.  Atkins and Shapiro have done a very good job this year, and I think it comes from having a clear and straightforward purpose.   They are aiming to win- it may not happen (scratch that, it probably won't happen) but if you do not try, it will not happen. 
Kasi - Friday, September 11 2020 @ 05:39 PM EDT (#390258) #
Kirk and Giles and Wageuespack up, Joseph and SRF down. McKinney DFA'd.
greenfrog - Friday, September 11 2020 @ 05:52 PM EDT (#390259) #
Letís hope that Kirk boldly goes where no 5í8Ē catcher has gone before.
SK in NJ - Friday, September 11 2020 @ 06:19 PM EDT (#390260) #
Thumbs up on the Kirk promotion.
Mike Green - Friday, September 11 2020 @ 06:19 PM EDT (#390261) #
Yogi Berra was 5' 7" according to BR. That's a good target for Alejandro in many ways. Might as well aim, um, high.
rtcaino - Friday, September 11 2020 @ 06:30 PM EDT (#390262) #
Letís hope that Kirk boldly goes where no 5í8Ē catcher has gone before.

Yogi Berra was 5' 7" according to BR.

And William Shatner is 5' 10" according to Google.

85bluejay - Friday, September 11 2020 @ 06:48 PM EDT (#390263) #
With the DFA of McKinney,along with the previous DFA of Drury, it's nice to see that the FO isn't stubborn about holding on to the returns from the Happ trade disaster.
Chuck - Friday, September 11 2020 @ 07:45 PM EDT (#390264) #
Porcello has not pitched well with an ERA of 6.07. But his FIP is 2.88, his xFIP is 4.46 and his BABIP is .390.

Taijuan Walker has pitched well with an ERA of 2.95. But his FIP is 4.80, his xFIP is 5.08 and his BABIP is .233.

Broadcasters need to offer some manner of insight when evaluating how pitchers have performed. Luck has played an incredible role in the Porcello's and Walker's seasons. Even a hint of a mention in that direction is warranted even without citing FIP, xFIP or BABIP.

John Northey - Friday, September 11 2020 @ 08:54 PM EDT (#390265) #
Ugh. 14-1 and just the 5th inning. Wonder if they have a hitter designated as the spare pitcher?
Parker - Friday, September 11 2020 @ 10:48 PM EDT (#390266) #
And William Shatner is 5' 10" according to Google.

Only if you've never heard of confirmation bias. In real life, his height is listed (and shown empirically) on the third result.

If you don't look too hard, you can make a case that Tom Cruise is taller than Yogi Berra.
christaylor - Saturday, September 12 2020 @ 05:11 AM EDT (#390267) #
Espinal looked OK in that role. A fastball and a slow and slower change-up. Lacked command and pitched up in the zone. It'd be fun to read scouting reports of position players who've pitched (save the boring example out in LA and not the interesting 1B/RP currently supplanting Pujols'). I truly hope we don't see the implementation of the rule that they were going to implement of designating players as either hitters, pitchers, or two-way. I'd enjoy the game more, if, let's say, an older (i.e., not the 54 HR cannon in RF version) Jose Bautista getting an inning of low-leverage RP in a week. Low-leverage innings are common. Gassing pens for a 5% probability outcome of a comeback is probably not the greatest idea. I like this approach. The winning probabilities change if you throw a position play on the mound, sure, but they're often not that great sooner than one thinks.
scottt - Saturday, September 12 2020 @ 08:36 AM EDT (#390268) #
Walker has walked a ton.
Porcello has given up 4 hits per 3 innings but most of them have stayed in the park.
He's given up 31 runs but only 2 home runs, so many hits with runners in scoring positions.

scottt - Saturday, September 12 2020 @ 08:42 AM EDT (#390269) #
The Two-way player is to prevent teams from loading the roster with pitchers.
Only so many pitchers and the position players cannot pitch.

It's also to avoid moves make by Cash in which a Loogy was moved to first for one AB.

bpoz - Saturday, September 12 2020 @ 10:05 AM EDT (#390270) #
Tim and Sid interviewed Atkins and Shapiro (separately). I have not listened yet.

The movement of kids is interesting. At the alternate site we have K Smith (DOB 7/96), A Martin 3/99, Groshans 11/99 and O Martinez 11/2001. All getting the best coaching.

ISLAND BOY - Saturday, September 12 2020 @ 11:05 AM EDT (#390271) #
I would say deGrom is the pitcher that Nate Pearson should aspire to be.
rtcaino - Saturday, September 12 2020 @ 11:12 AM EDT (#390272) #
Only if you've never heard of confirmation bias.

I actually have heard of Confirmation Bias. However, from the start, I didn't believe it could be true. Since then, I've done extensive research on the subject. And just as I suspected, I have mainly come across information that suggests confirmation bias doesn't exist after all!

scottt - Saturday, September 12 2020 @ 11:56 AM EDT (#390273) #
I would say deGrom is the one pitcher I wouldn't want the Yankees to sign.
ISLAND BOY - Saturday, September 12 2020 @ 12:09 PM EDT (#390274) #
That, too!
bpoz - Saturday, September 12 2020 @ 12:12 PM EDT (#390275) #
deGrom turned 32 this past June. He is at his peak IMO. Cannot last more than 3-5 years. He will get his money and sign with an every year playoff contender. Boston, NYY, LAD and St Louis sounds good.
scottt - Saturday, September 12 2020 @ 01:00 PM EDT (#390276) #
He makes 71M over the next 2 years, than he has an opt-out or he gets another year at 32.5M and then the Mets have an option for the same.

This is a lot like the Cespedes contract.
If he's still healthy, he opts out after 2022.

Normally, the Mets never trade him to the Yankees, but they are getting new owners, so you-never-know.

And Bo Bichette is in the lineup tonight.
I guess they didn't want him to hurt himself against deGrom.

vw_fan17 - Saturday, September 12 2020 @ 04:19 PM EDT (#390277) #
So, McGuire is now the catcher on the taxi squad, and it's Jansen and Kirk with the team?

Unless Kirk has been tearing the cover off the ball at camp, what is the purpose here? Is he going to help? He doesn't know any of the pitchers, AFAIK - he's only played A ball, IIRC? Earlier, I suggested signing Realmuto in the off-season, dumping Jansen and McGuire and letting Kirk apprentice for a few years.. Can he hit enough to make up for no experience, and then bring in Jansen in the later innings "defensively"?

What happens if Jansen gets hurt? We basically have a black hole at C, both offensively and defensively? At least Joseph would have been (IMHO) steadily "below average" not "horrible". McGuire has an OPS+ of -42 (yes, minus 42) and a bWAR of -0.5 in 19 games.. Essentially, he helps the other team win, when he's in the game (this year, at least)..
Plus, Joseph was said to be an awesome clubhouse presence, participating in the 7th inning stretch enthusiastically, etc..

I'll probably end up wrong, like I usually am - but right now, I don't see this as a move that helps the team.
vw_fan17 - Saturday, September 12 2020 @ 04:22 PM EDT (#390278) #
I will say this - if the pitchers WERE going to "throw" a stinker out there, like yesterday, they picked the right game to do it in. Odds of beating deGrom were pretty low to begin with. Win the next 2, and who cares about getting blown out...
scottt - Saturday, September 12 2020 @ 05:06 PM EDT (#390279) #
It's mandatory to have a catcher in the taxi squad. I think Joseph will be back once he's passed through waivers and McGuire will go back to the alternate site. I don't know if it matters but there's room since they DFAed McKinney.

Nobody knows Robbie Ray. That's why he doesn't catch Ryu. It shouldn't make a difference. He would have caught a few guys when they were down, like Wag, SRF, Merryweather, etc... It's usually easier with the relievers because they mostly throw 2 pitches. No need to bring Jansen up defensively. We might actually see the opposite. Kirk coming in once the starter is done.

If Kirk is like Bichette, he might just be alright.

Cracka - Saturday, September 12 2020 @ 05:11 PM EDT (#390280) #
Unless Kirk has been tearing the cover off the ball at camp, what is the purpose here?

I think you answered your own question. There are many, many reasons why you shouldn't promote a 21-year old catcher from A-ball, who has less than 1000 innings of professional experience, and who is still practicing his English and learning to communicate with pitchers, while DFA'ing a veteran backup who is loved in the clubhouse.

You would only ever do this in an extraordinary circumstance. Kirk is the most MLB-ready hitting prospect that we have and it might not even be close. I think he has, as you suggested, torn the cover off the ball so much this year (spring, alt site) and convinced everyone who matters that he's ready to play in the big leagues now. We will see tonight, and he will be the first Blue Jay to ever wear #85.
hypobole - Saturday, September 12 2020 @ 05:33 PM EDT (#390281) #
One other note. The month and a half or so Kirk was in Rochester the pitchers in sim games were either better or far better than almost all pitchers he'd have faced if he'd been playing AA.
Magpie - Saturday, September 12 2020 @ 05:49 PM EDT (#390282) #
I guess they didn't want [Bichette] to hurt himself against deGrom.

On the one hand, deGrom hasn't actually hit any batters this season. On the other hand, he will hurt your feelings.
Shoeless Joe - Saturday, September 12 2020 @ 08:57 PM EDT (#390283) #
Kirk looks impressive as a hitter, he had effortless power in the foul ball in the 8th inning. He does look huge though.
John Northey - Saturday, September 12 2020 @ 09:29 PM EDT (#390284) #
Good for both Bichette and Kirk to get hits tonight - get that first one out of the way so they can focus on everything else. Nice job by Kirk behind the plate too. This should be a fun guy to watch over the next few years.
hypobole - Saturday, September 12 2020 @ 10:14 PM EDT (#390285) #
Have to give some acknowledgement of the job Dolis has done. He's been really good when the team has needed him most.
scottt - Saturday, September 12 2020 @ 10:17 PM EDT (#390286) #
Great game. Kirk was even backing up the throw at first by running behind the runner.
Much better form from Villar as well. Knocked the winning run in, stole a couple of bases.
It was Ray's best pitched game so far. Pretty impressive.

Huge win shares from Kirk and Bichette.
Good fielding by Guerrero tonight. Tag for the last out. Several nice plays.

It's all about keeping it a one-run-game.

scottt - Saturday, September 12 2020 @ 10:19 PM EDT (#390287) #
Have to give some to Bass as well. Mowed down the middle of the order in the 8th.
scottt - Saturday, September 12 2020 @ 10:23 PM EDT (#390288) #
I would have been pretty upset had Bichette not scored after that ball got caught under the wall.
If it doesn't stick there it rolls around and it probably takes Marisnick longer to get it.

No homers. They need to play Davis and Fisher more.

hypobole - Saturday, September 12 2020 @ 10:27 PM EDT (#390289) #
Jays playoff odds at 538 just climbed to a season high 96%
uglyone - Saturday, September 12 2020 @ 10:35 PM EDT (#390290) #
Funny that we wouldn't even need the expanded playoffs thisyear.
uglyone - Saturday, September 12 2020 @ 10:38 PM EDT (#390291) #
Who knew the High Performers Department would unlock the secret power of the belly?
John Northey - Saturday, September 12 2020 @ 10:45 PM EDT (#390292) #
Right now the Jays are 2nd in the AL East, 4 1/2 back of the Rays, 1/2 a game ahead of the Yankees. 1 game back of Cleveland who holds the top wild card slot. 3 ahead of Houston so in solid for 2nd best 2nd place team, 2 1/2 back of the Twins for best 2nd place team. For Wild Card the best teams not in place are Detroit & Baltimore both 5 back with just 15 games left. I'd say the Jays odds are pretty darn good to make the playoffs, and with a little luck should have an opponent not from Tampa in round one. Under the system pre-2020 the Jays would be 1 game back of a playoff slot with Cleveland being the target. Of course, in a normal season there would be 117 games to go so we would be just going 'lets hope things hold up' instead of 'woohoo, playoffs here we come'.
Kasi - Sunday, September 13 2020 @ 12:30 AM EDT (#390293) #
I donít think it will take long for Kirk to take over as the starting catcher. Jansen just hasnít shown enough yet.
ISLAND BOY - Sunday, September 13 2020 @ 06:13 AM EDT (#390294) #
I think the front office has done well during this weird season, picking up useful players at the deadline and demoting players like Drury and McGuire who weren't contributing. Promoting Kirk was a gutsy move but looks like a smart one.
BlueJayWay - Sunday, September 13 2020 @ 09:44 AM EDT (#390295) #
Funny that we wouldn't even need the expanded playoffs thisyear.

The Jays would be a half game out of the last playoff spot under the old system...
greenfrog - Sunday, September 13 2020 @ 09:54 AM EDT (#390296) #
It sounds as if Teoscar may be able to make it back this season. If so, the Jays could assemble an interesting lineup, with Kirk filling in for Tellez. Maybe something like:

Bichette SS
Biggio 2B
Hernandez RF
Guerrero Jr. 1B
Gurriel Jr. LF
Shaw 3B
Grichuk CF
Kirk DH
Jansen C

With Panik, Villar, Davis available as useful bench players.

Also, do we know for sure that Tellez is out for the season and postseason? There was a recent report that heís been riding a stationary bike.
bpoz - Sunday, September 13 2020 @ 10:37 AM EDT (#390297) #
Very nice lineup greenfrog. I only see Shaw and Jansen as players that could be pinch hit for. Unless they get hot. Panik and Villar can PH.

We will find out if both Jansen and Kirk will be in the everyday lineup to start the games. Kirk may have the bat to both catch and DH it seems.

Lastly only Shaw is a FA at the end of the year. Maybe he is back for 2021. Not back is what I think.
pubster - Sunday, September 13 2020 @ 11:00 AM EDT (#390298) #
"Lastly only Shaw is a FA at the end of the year."

Shaw isnt a FA unti 2022.
bpoz - Sunday, September 13 2020 @ 11:11 AM EDT (#390299) #
Thanks pubster. Makes it more interesting regarding being offered Arb? The positive is that he is a veteran LHH, very good depth if he cannot win a regular job. K Smith is a very long shot to be better than him unless Shaw lowers the bar. Injuries are injuries.
uglyone - Sunday, September 13 2020 @ 11:23 AM EDT (#390300) #
They said Rowdy could be back before the playoffs.
hypobole - Sunday, September 13 2020 @ 11:42 AM EDT (#390301) #
Teoscar is hitting off a tee and Rowdy riding a stationary bike, both bode well barring any setbacks.

ISLAND BOY - Sunday, September 13 2020 @ 12:15 PM EDT (#390302) #
Great news on Rowdy! They showed him hobbling along on crutches the day after he got hurt and I thought there was no way he'd be back this season.
bpoz - Sunday, September 13 2020 @ 12:16 PM EDT (#390303) #
As Magpie said 9 relief pitchers pitching very well. Some are doing multiple innings now and then and others are 1 inning guys.

Yamaguchi is a potential SP for next year. Romano a possible 1 inning closer/setup pitcher. Both are examples.

Next year we can get by with SP/long relief 2-5 innings from our large quantity of unproven/SSS SP/long guys. Hatch, Kay are not complaining. Next year they can be given a chance at 5-7 innings by competing for that privilege. Montoyo/Walker will have to figure that out from the 13 man pitching staff. There will be another 3-4 pitchers in AAA if that league is playing.
Thomas - Sunday, September 13 2020 @ 01:08 PM EDT (#390304) #
Yesterday, Cavan Biggio drew his 100th walk. He's the 9th quickest player to reach that milestone in MLB history.
bpoz - Sunday, September 13 2020 @ 01:19 PM EDT (#390305) #
Robo umps maybe gets it faster.

3b, 1 K makes you a better hitter on the next pitches? Robo umps could do that.
scottt - Sunday, September 13 2020 @ 01:24 PM EDT (#390306) #
I see that Brian Harkins, who was fired as an Angels clubhouse employee on March 3, is suing the Angels and  MLB for defamation and labor code violations. He claims 38 years of seniority despite being only 44 years old. He was dismissed after an MLB investigation concluded that he was selling "Go-Go Juice" to visiting pitchers. He counters that he was providing free "Sticky Stuff" to visiting pitchers which he was making from pine tar as he was taught by a former Angels pitcher (Troy Percival) and for which he accepted an optional gratuity. He claims a bottle of the substance has been available in the Angels bullpen for many years. He also complains that despite providing lists of teams, coaches and players using the stuff, nobody else has been disciplined.  The case is scheduled to go before a jury on May 2022.

Mike Green - Sunday, September 13 2020 @ 01:30 PM EDT (#390307) #
It's a very good offence if everyone is healthy.

Jansen gets the start today catching Ryu, and then there's  a day off tomorrow before the stretch drive which includes a doubleheader and no days off. Kirk will get some work.
hypobole - Sunday, September 13 2020 @ 02:23 PM EDT (#390308) #
That Harkins will be interesting. Over half the pitchers in MLB use it and hitters for the most part don't care. In fact, a lot of hitters prefer the opposing pitcher use it in cold dry weather so they don't get plunked.
hypobole - Sunday, September 13 2020 @ 02:27 PM EDT (#390309) #
Wonder how Vladdy feels now being the 2nd best 21 yr old on the Jays.
grjas - Sunday, September 13 2020 @ 03:05 PM EDT (#390310) #
Iím not going to get overly excited about Kirk after one game. Arencibiaís first game was one for the ages, and it look where he landed...
Mike Green - Sunday, September 13 2020 @ 03:06 PM EDT (#390311) #
2nd highest BMI, 2nd highest wRC+ of the 21 year olds.
hypobole - Sunday, September 13 2020 @ 03:48 PM EDT (#390312) #
If only Jansen could have popped up a bunt there, it would have joined my Tippy Martinez memories.
scottt - Sunday, September 13 2020 @ 06:59 PM EDT (#390313) #
Quietly, Villar has improved.  A missed dive, but a great jump later. Another run scored.

The next 3 series will be tough.
The Yankees have the easier schedule. They play 3 against Boston and 3 against Miami.
Boston flat out hates them and Miami might still be fighting to stay alive though.

The Jays have to play 4 in Philadelphia in 3 days and then 3 against Baltimore (minus Santander).

This is great September baseball. Regardless of what happens in October.

scottt - Sunday, September 13 2020 @ 07:08 PM EDT (#390314) #
Looking at he Yankees bWAR leaders is very interesting.

1. LeMahieu (despite missing some games)
2. Voit
3. Cole
4. Frazier (Despite not making the team. Not sure what kind of future he has in NY once he's out of options next year.)
5. Urshela (despite missing a lot of games)
6. Judge (Only played 18 games)
7. Holder (Really?)
8. Tanaka (Free agent. Might come back.)
9. Happ (Free agent. Doesn't sound like they want him back)
10. Stanton (Only played 14 games)

Should be an interesting off season.

hypobole - Sunday, September 13 2020 @ 07:29 PM EDT (#390315) #
Jays didn't win any of their 1st 6 series. They didn't lose any of their next 9.

Keeping that streak going will be tough. Garcia-Cole-Tanaka for the Yankees.
John Northey - Sunday, September 13 2020 @ 07:37 PM EDT (#390316) #
This playoff race is great for the kids. Kirk coming up for it is smart for the Jays - lose a bit of control over him but the experience could be extremely valuable going forward. Kirk & Vlad both 21, Bo 22, Espinal/Biggio/Jansen all 25. For those kids this should help them for 2021 and beyond. They all will have the hunger for more of it. They all will have some idea of what it takes to win in high pressure now. This is only a good thing.

2020 is fun, 2021 could be more fun if they get a full season in - the pen reduction could be a nightmare for the Jays with shuffling kids and vets to maximize the value. Figuring out which 5 guys are best to have start as you'll need 5+ innings a game to survive with an 8 man instead of a 10 man pen.

Starting to wonder about who do you put on the roster for the playoffs? Just a best of 3 to start - If Hernandez and Tellez are back who do you drop? Fisher & Davis are the obvious first choices, but Davis could be valuable in a short series with his speed so do you keep him and drop a pitcher? If so which pitcher? You only need 3 starters - literally - so Ryu, Walker, Ray (?) at this point? Do you put Anderson and/or Roark on the roster? What about Stripling? Giles, Dolis, Bass, Cole, Hatch, Borucki, and Merryweather are my first choices for the pen, if Romano is ready he has to be there. Yamaguchi should be a lock too. Kay? Shoemaker (if healthy), Pearson? Lots to debate when the time comes.
hypobole - Sunday, September 13 2020 @ 07:54 PM EDT (#390317) #
uo was only a day early (prophetic?). With our win and Cleveland's loss Jays would be the 2nd WC under the old system.

The best record in the AL? Chicago White Sox.

And we're not the only surprise. Miami swept a pair from Philly today and now sit #5 in the NL.
scottt - Sunday, September 13 2020 @ 08:07 PM EDT (#390318) #
There are no extra games this year. Every tie will be resolved through tie-breakers.

Can't see why they'd move Roark and Anderson to the pen for the playoffs.
It's all about seeing what Walker and Ray do in the next couple of weeks.
Stripling too.

The roster will depend on who's healthy. 14 games to go.

John Northey - Sunday, September 13 2020 @ 11:22 PM EDT (#390319) #
14 to go... 9th is Seattle at the moment 5 games back of the Jays. In playoff years with 14 to go (148 games down) how far back/up in division and vs top non-wildcard team. No Wildcards 1993 and earlier.
  • 2016: 81-67, 3 back of division, 3 up on Seattle, 8-6 after
  • 2015: 85-63, 3 1/2 up in division, LAA 9 back, 8-6 after
  • 1993: 85-63, 3 up in division (Yankees) 10-4 after.
  • 1992: 86-62, 3 1/2 up in division (O's), 10-4 after.
  • 1991: 82-66, 1 1/2 up in division (Red Sox), 9-5 after.
  • 1985: 81-67, 1 1/2 up in division (O's), 8-6 after.
  • Years they didn't quite make it...
  • 1987: 89-59, 1 1/2 back in division (Tigers), 7-7 after (lost by 2 games in the painful end)
  • 1988: 76-72, 7 1/2 back in division (Red Sox), 11-3 after (lost by 2 games)
  • 1990: 80-68, 1 back in division (Red Sox), 6-8 after (lost by 2 games)
  • 2000: 77-71, 9 back in division (Yankees), 6-8 after (lost by 4 1/2, Yankees went 2-13), far back of wildcard.
And that covers every season the Jays were closer than 9 games at the end. There are 2 times they were under 10 back of the division - 1983 and 1986 but neither appeared close at any time in September iirc. 1990 most of us forget about being close as it was more Boston collapsing than the Jays charging at the end. 1988 was more a super-late charge that was too little too late. Both being in that crazy stretch when the Jays were 500+ for 11 years and a favorite most of those years, ending with the 2 WS wins followed by the strike. I wonder how this year will be remembered in 10-20 years? The start of something great or a blip on the radar due to COVID.

No massive collapses despite the way 1987 is remembered (they won 7 straight, then lost 7 straight those last 14) over the final 14. 3 strong finishes with 10+ wins, but never fewer than 6 wins down the final 14 game stretch. 6-8 would lock up a playoff slot almost no matter what (Seattle would need to go 12-2 to avoid tie breakers), while 10-4 would be a dead on lock.

Ties are broken by head-to-head record, followed by better record within a team's division (Jays are 17-13 in division, tied with Yankees - those 7 games between the two are vital, plus the 3 vs O's) and record in the last 20 games within the division. If there is still a tie, the standard would be last 21 games within a division, then 22, etc. Seattle is 15-16 in their division btw with 9 left (6 vs A's including 2 double headers, rest vs Astros). Not getting into all the other potentials (Astros being WC team vs Jays with tie breakers, Tigers sneaking in, etc.) at this time.
scottt - Monday, September 14 2020 @ 06:54 AM EDT (#390320) #
The last tie-breaker is the record in the last 20 games.
Assuming they tie, the Yankees would probably have the advantage there, since they're coming from behind.

Cracka - Monday, September 14 2020 @ 10:02 AM EDT (#390321) #
A couple of thoughts about the post-season roster:

1. Only players on the 40-man roster (incl IL) as of tomorrow (9/15) are eligible. No concerns here.

2. Playoffs will use traditional extra-inning rules - no runners starting on 2B, so there's a greater potential for longer games.

3. There will almost certainly be off days during each round - and it's possible that teams will play every other day during the 1st Round (WCS) in order to maximize television viewership. There are 8 series and typically 4 postseason time slots per day. Here are the potential timeframes for each series (my estimates only, except World Series):

- WCS (3 games), Sept. 29th to Oct. 4th (6 days)
- DS (5 games), Oct. 5th to Oct. 12th (8 days)
- LCS (7 games), Oct. 13th to Oct 22nd (10 days)
- World Series -- these dates have already been announced. It starts on Oct 23rd and ends no later than Oct. 31st (9 days).
Jonny German - Monday, September 14 2020 @ 11:06 AM EDT (#390322) #
Will playoff rosters also have 28 players? If so I think the Jays wonít have many tough decisions, even if healthier than expected - hurt feelings for Roark and Anderson aside.
hypobole - Monday, September 14 2020 @ 12:12 PM EDT (#390323) #
Vladdy stole his first career base last week. A few days later Miggy Cabrera thought "If he can do it I can do it" and stole his first base in over 5 years.

That was Miggy's 39th career SB (and may be Magpie or someone can explain this) which is 9 more than Joe DiMaggio's career total. Surprised the great Yankee CF only had 30. Didn't everybody steal bases back then? Heck, Lou Gehrig had over 100.
Mike Green - Monday, September 14 2020 @ 12:20 PM EDT (#390324) #
Not much base-stealing in DiMaggio's time.  In DiMaggio's rookie year, 1936, he led the league in triples with 15 and stole 4 bases.  The average team stole 70 bases- you would have thought that DiMaggio might have stolen 10-20.  He also wasn't on first base that often, as he didn't walk that much and had many extra-base hits. 
Mike Green - Monday, September 14 2020 @ 12:36 PM EDT (#390325) #
How would you set up the pitching after Ryu, Jonny?  Let's assume Pearson isn't ready for significant work come the beginning of the playoffs.

Personally, I'd give Walker one slot and Merryweather/Ray another one.  I really don't know what I would do with the 4th slot, which you probably wouldn't need until the LCS because of the days off in the 2-2-1 format of LDS.
scottt - Monday, September 14 2020 @ 12:40 PM EDT (#390326) #
DiMaggio hitting  clean up 72% of the time and 3rd 17.9% of the time.
Those are not the base stealing spots.
scottt - Monday, September 14 2020 @ 12:43 PM EDT (#390327) #
The key is to know when to switch the pitcher.
Also, it might depend on the opponent.

bpoz - Monday, September 14 2020 @ 01:26 PM EDT (#390328) #
Most likely no playoffs for Boston and LAA. Those 2 teams had high hopes. Also Texas I think. They will complain bitterly if they have the equal of a 100 loss season. I see them being forced to make moves for the present each season and getting fleeced.
85bluejay - Monday, September 14 2020 @ 02:27 PM EDT (#390329) #
After Ryu, I'd say probably go by match-ups and which starter had the best last start - I wouldn't be opposed to a bullpen type approach - I myself am partial to Walker and Merryweather, though Walker's base on balls problem since coming to the Jays is worrying - I'd like to see Kirk catch Walker's next start to see if it makes a difference.
Mike Green - Monday, September 14 2020 @ 02:39 PM EDT (#390330) #
Mays and Mantle stole 10-30 bases in the 50s batting out of the 3-4 slots in the order when the average club was stealing even fewer than 70 bases a year. 

Earl Averill was probably the most comparable player to DiMaggio in the league when he came up, except that Averill was 13 years older.  Averill batted 3rd and 4th in the order and was stealing bases at the same rate as DiMaggio.  The big difference was that Averill was caught stealing a lot more often.  I'd guess that DiMaggio as a young player was cautious as a basestealer anyways; his first step may also not have been his greatest asset (his speed came from long loping strides rather than an explosive break). 
hypobole - Monday, September 14 2020 @ 03:56 PM EDT (#390331) #
Yeah, the Averil thing. I mentioned Gehrig stole over 100 base (also Ruth). But they were caught stealing as often (Gehrig) or more often (Ruth) than they were successful.

Also noticed the first few years of Ruths career, they didn't even seem to keep track of caught stealing.
hypobole - Monday, September 14 2020 @ 04:04 PM EDT (#390332) #
McKinney claimed by the Brewers.
scottt - Monday, September 14 2020 @ 05:02 PM EDT (#390333) #
So, that means the Pirates, Red, Diamondbacks, Nationals, Mets, Red Sox, Orioles, Royals, Tigers. Rangers and Angels passed on him, even though he still has an option for now. Right?
scottt - Monday, September 14 2020 @ 05:27 PM EDT (#390334) #
Mays batted 1st or second in 202 games and stole 25 bases in those games.
He's actually 5 for 10 stealing bases when leading off.

DiMaggio stole 8 bases when batting 3rd and only 22 when batting clean up.
Mays stole 253 bases when batting 3rd and only 37 when batting clean up.
Mays was mostly hitting 3rd and DiMaggio mostly hitting clean up.
That does seem to make a difference.

Well, the other thing you need to steal is an empty second base.

Let see. DiMaggio had 3455 PAs with bases empty and 4047 with men on bases.
May had 6622 PAs with bases empty and 5688 with men on.

Mays had a 76.6% success rate.
DiMaggio had a 76.9% success rate.

DiMaggio was a heavy smoker who died of lung cancer.
I don't think Mays smoke.

hypobole - Monday, September 14 2020 @ 07:01 PM EDT (#390335) #
From Jay Jaffe at Fangraphs today:
Here itís worth noting that after so much talk about the dissipation of home-field advantage through the absence of crowds, home teams thus far have a .544 winning percentage this year, higher than itís been since 2009 (.549); last year, it was .529.
John Northey - Monday, September 14 2020 @ 08:15 PM EDT (#390336) #
Good point hypobole. Jays are 12-7 at 'home' in Buffalo, vs 14-13 on the road. The Jays should have the smallest home field advantage as they didn't even play there until a few weeks in and shouldn't have the same advantages others have at their home parks (family there, etc.). Go figure.
Chuck - Monday, September 14 2020 @ 09:45 PM EDT (#390337) #
Alejandro Kirk has me thinking of Willians Astudillo. Both seem about 5'6" to these eyes and packing similar weight. Interestingly, one is eager to take a walk while the other downright refuses and while one has exhibited a good K rate in the minors, the other is other-wordly in that regard.

Some ad agency should pair these two up.

John Northey - Tuesday, September 15 2020 @ 12:03 AM EDT (#390338) #
This team is going to be fun for awhile.

Think about the lineup...
  • CA: Jansen/Kirk (might flip in a year) - both have years of control left
  • 1B/DH: Vlad & Tellez - 5 & 4 years of control
  • 2B: Biggio - 5 years left
  • 3B: Shaw - just 1 year left, then multiple kids could move here
  • SS: Bichette - 5 years left
  • LF: Gurriel - signed for 4 more years
  • CF: Grichuk - signed for 3 more years
  • RF: Hernandez - 3 years of control left
  • SP: Ryu - signed for 3 more years
  • SP: Stripling - 2 years of control
  • SP: Anderson & Roark - 1 more year each
  • SP: Ray & Walker & Shoemaker- just this year
  • SP: Pearson - 6 years left
  • SP: Thornton - 4 years left
  • RP: Bass, Giles - free agent after this year
  • RP: Merryweather, 6 years of control
  • RP: Kay, Hatch, Romano - 5 years of control
  • RP: Yamaguchi - signed for 2021, theoretically under control for 5 more years
  • RP: Dolis - 4 years of control left
  • RP: Cole - 3 years left
Many others I'm not listing who aren't on the roster thus most are 6 full years or 6+ 90% of 1 more (ala Pearson). This is a very, very good situation. Starting is the only area not with years of control over potential stars depending how you rank the kids (Simeon Woods Richardson, Alek Manoah, others). The Jays have budget space so if a starter is available they like they can get him without fear of screwing up the budget. Should be interesting to see what they do and how these kids all do in 2020's playoff chase and playoffs, and 2021 and beyond.
bpoz - Tuesday, September 15 2020 @ 09:03 AM EDT (#390339) #
By mid Nov it will be time to get flu shots and whatever else. The teams will have an idea by the Dec meetings about the # games to be played in 2021. QOs also have to be offered by the Dec meetings I think. I will assume that the rules have not changed about draft pick comp, so the player accepting QO could play a partial season at full pay and cost the team a pick (sorry rules have changed, so I don't know).

FAs could be cheap.

Mike Green - Tuesday, September 15 2020 @ 10:05 AM EDT (#390340) #
Kirk also hits the ball harder than Astudillo, perhaps because he's more selective.  Kirk's offensive profile is very good; we'll see how he does with more work.

I can see Jansen being a better defender- quicker and better able to pounce on balls in the dirt.  I can imagine a split of the job- with Jansen coming on for Kirk after a late PA in most games Kirk starts, perhaps with a pinch-runner if Kirk has reached base. 
John Northey - Tuesday, September 15 2020 @ 10:38 AM EDT (#390341) #
Other than starting pitching, where should the Jays focus this winter? 3B is the weakest outside of starting pitching, but there you only want a stopgap which Shaw probably covers nicely. Top starters listed on are... Corey Kluber (club option for $18 mil but has pitched just 1 inning this year so might be available), Trevor Bauer (having a wow year in Cincinnati 282 ERA+ in 8 starts 12.4 K/9 2.3 BB/9 had 5 years in a row of 175+ IP before this year), Robbie Ray (we know him), James Paxton (Canadian with killer arm who the Jays failed to sign in the 1st round years ago, having a bad year, 65 ERA+ vs career 114), Masahiro Tanaka (136 ERA+ this year, 114 career, very solid starter), Jake Arrieta (club option for $22 mil, 84 ERA+, going into age 35 season, zero interest), Marcus Stroman (taking 2020 off, we all know him), Jose Quintana (only 6 IP this year, 110 ERA+ lifetime, last time improved that was in 2016 so a 'nah').

This winter is the year to go for the gold in Trevor Bauer if he is willing to come here without a massive 'Canadian bonus', Kluber if healthy would be sweet. Maybe Paxton or Tanaka if the price is right. Otherwise just try to keep Walker and/or Ray. Stroman is best elsewhere as his attitude was going downhill at the end iirc, Arrieta and Quintana I have zero interest in except on an incentive laden contract, but right now the Jays need certainty not cheapness.

So nice to dream big dreams. Next year the rotation will need to eat a lot more innings. No more 4 inning starts. I'm expecting a 100+ game schedule.
earlweaverfan - Tuesday, September 15 2020 @ 10:45 AM EDT (#390342) #
I am just as excited as you, John, by the current and emerging, long-term roster. I look forward to the arrival of several others not mentioned, as well. I foresee a breakthrough from a couple of other starters like Pardinho, Robberse, Murray or Murphy, Where do you see Borucki ending up - SP or RP?

Regrettably, I donít think your Cole detail is correct. According to Cotís, he will be a FA at the end of this year. I do think he should be re-signed, if a reasonable deal is available.

If he doesnít return, and Bass and Giles are also gone, and assuming orucki ends up as a starter, Reid-Foley looks hopeful, Rees is a high-potential, and maybe one of the flawed starters like Perez...

Lots and lots of future to conjure with...
uglyone - Tuesday, September 15 2020 @ 10:56 AM EDT (#390343) #
A bit of a self-fulfilling result of the Depth style roster building is that it becomes harder to see where spending big money in any one spot gives us a commensurate upgrade.

That being said - as a result of roster depth, I would let the market dictate who we sign as a free agent - I wouldnt bother with anyone that doesn't project for a reasonable chance at elite performance, so whenever that kind of player comes available I would pounce no matter the position, as we could always move parts around him.

Don't even necessarily mind the Ryu strategy - legit elite level projection but with significant risk factors that keep the price down.
scottt - Tuesday, September 15 2020 @ 10:59 AM EDT (#390344) #
Cole should still have 3 years of arbitration. He debuted in 2018.

I think Borucki is stuck to the bullpen because of past injuries.
Hatch should be given a chance to start.

How about Tim Mayza? If the Jays still have him on the payrolls in the minors he becomes eligible for arbitration this fall.

earlweaverfan - Tuesday, September 15 2020 @ 11:07 AM EDT (#390345) #
Here, the issue is at least three blockers whose capability is not up to the rest of the team.

I feel like Roark, Anderson and maybe Stripling are not able to step up to contribute sufficiently to the teamís competitive standard - actually, I donít want any of them starting in this yearís playoffs. If we could move at least the first two, I would be happy.

I see the three strongest SPs to count on in 2021 would be Ryu, Pearson and Borucki. Is Thornton better as a long reliever - I think so.

We will undoubtedly need three more starters, to deal with injuries and to ensure we give Ryu sufficient rest. My first nominees would be Yamaguchi, who seems to have made his adjustment well and Hatch, who seems just excellent.

As for your FA guy, yes to Trevor Bauer. Rather than a Canada premium, we may be seen as an attractive haven of health and safety, assuming we can avoid the Buffalo situation next year.
scottt - Tuesday, September 15 2020 @ 11:08 AM EDT (#390346) #
They would have to overpay to get a top starter.
I think they talk to everybody but don't spend money they can't afford to lose.

Paxton could be interesting. Walker if he has a positive experience this year.
Same with Ray.

scottt - Tuesday, September 15 2020 @ 11:15 AM EDT (#390347) #
The postseason bubble in neutral sites have been agreed to by MLBPA.

AL would play in Dodger Stadium/Petco. Those are massive pitcher's parks.
Maybe Davis finds a spot in the outfield.

John Northey - Tuesday, September 15 2020 @ 11:23 AM EDT (#390348) #
For status - Cot's has a nice chart here. Cole under team control through 2023 (yay!). Free agents are Giles, Ray, Villar, Shoemaker, Panik, Walker, Bass, with Dolis having an option. Only outstanding dead cash is the final $4 mil to Tulo next year. Otherwise under $50 mil locked in for 2021.

As to rotation, I'd say Ryu, one of Stripling, Anderson or Roark (A or R used in a trade even if Jays eat cash), Pearson, Free Agent, Free Agent. Thornton/Borucki/Yamaguchi/Hatch all fight for two rotation slots with Pearson and Stripling/Anderson/Roark and kids fight to grab one also - Simeon Woods Richardson, Alek Manoah, Adam Kloffenstein all have shots by May to make it depending how they did in camp this summer (2 were there, Kloffenstein pitched in indy leagues - but not that well, 4.64 ERA 8.4 K/9 vs 5.1 BB/9 in 64 IP). Given the Jays team's desire for stability I could see another Anderson/Roark type signed or just keeping them around. This winter will be a big challenge for the GM.
johnny was - Tuesday, September 15 2020 @ 11:32 AM EDT (#390349) #
Trevor Bauer, the toxic MAGA guy?
Mike Green - Tuesday, September 15 2020 @ 11:50 AM EDT (#390350) #
Bauer has distanced himself from that.  He describes himself as a socially liberal free market type- more of the libertarian ilk than the MAGA.  He has however engaged in targeted harassment on Twitter and can definitely be prickly to say the least

I find it weird for a person as scientific as Bauer is to be a climate skeptic.  But he's a very good pitcher with a good work ethic who is not afraid to shake things up, and will help a teammate who is willing and able to learn from him.  Who knows, maybe like the guys in Rush, he could mature politically as he ages?  That would be cool.  Maybe if they sign him, Geddy Lee can have a chat!
85bluejay - Tuesday, September 15 2020 @ 11:52 AM EDT (#390351) #
I don't see Trevor Bauer wanting to come to a "Socialist" country with gun control - He's staying in Trumpland.

Ryu & Roark have 2 spots - jays traded for Stripling to be in the rotation so I think he will have to pitch himself out of the rotation - at least 1 spot for a youngster (they may start Pearson in minors) and maybe add an experienced starter (could be Walker/Ray)
85bluejay - Tuesday, September 15 2020 @ 11:59 AM EDT (#390352) #
I wonder who draws the short straw when/if Pearson & Romano return this season - I guess the youngsters with options - Also I don't think Wilmer Font recovers from his "injury" before the offseason begins.
Cynicalguy - Tuesday, September 15 2020 @ 12:31 PM EDT (#390353) #
For next year's starters, I would go with Ryu, Pearson, Roark, Free Agent and winner in spring training between Borucki/Hatch/Kay/Merryweather.

Put Borucki/Hatch/Kay/Merryweather in AAA and whoever is doing well would get a rotation spot of Pearson/Roark or spring training starting winner if they happen to falter.

Put Stripling and Yamaguchi in the bullpen as the swing guys, do occasional starts or takeover a starting spot if all the above options aren't doing well.

Hopefully by year's end Pearson and one of the other young starters have a breakout year giving us a couple of good starters with years of control, and filling the rest with free agent signings, hopefully making the Jays one of the best teams in baseball for 2022 and 2023.
pubster - Tuesday, September 15 2020 @ 12:36 PM EDT (#390354) #
Here's a list of unrestricted free agents at the end of the season. If anyone is interested.
Shoeless Joe - Tuesday, September 15 2020 @ 12:38 PM EDT (#390355) #
Ryu, Pearson and Bauer looks like a real playoff rotation to me. Then Stripling is the 4th guy, with Roark battling the other younger pitching for slots. The traded a lot for Stripling and I think he will have a rotation slot next year.
bpoz - Tuesday, September 15 2020 @ 01:00 PM EDT (#390356) #
The young players have to earn their playing time except for Vlad and Bo it seems. Tellez is a good example. Shaw was signed to replace Tellez. Atkins said nothing, which was good. The media said that Shaw was going to replace Tellez (Dec meetings). Montoyo did not deny that. Just said that he is a big Rowdy fan. Many expected Tellez to start off in AAA.

For 2021 I would be shocked of Tellez has to earn a spot on the team.

John Northey - Tuesday, September 15 2020 @ 01:11 PM EDT (#390357) #
I wonder if Tellez had a problem with incentive to push to the next level or something. Signing Shaw was basically a 'do it or else' situation for Tellez. He isn't an idiot - he knew Shaw was a sign that he could be out quickly. Vlad going to 1B also made it so we had a crowd at 1B/DH so Hernandez couldn't go there. 2 of the 3 kids have done well, Vlad isn't bad but isn't the star everyone dreamed of - still to hit 241/321/412 at 21 isn't nothing. Bo has done nothing to lose his slot outside of being hurt.
scottt - Tuesday, September 15 2020 @ 01:14 PM EDT (#390358) #
There are no restricted free agents.
I'm not sure if there is a penalty for signing a fee agent who has declined a QO this year.

Of course, next year is the end of the collective bargaining agreement.

uglyone - Tuesday, September 15 2020 @ 01:47 PM EDT (#390359) #
This year's (small sample) stats:

* = injured / demoted


SS Bichette 158wrc+
2B Biggio 124
RF Teoscar 164*
1B Tellez 135*
LF Gurriel 121
CF Grichuk 113
DH Guerrero 99
3B Shaw 95
C Jansen 69

UT Panik 94 ---- Drury -7*
OF Fisher 147 - Davis 179
IF Villar 75 ------ Espinal 60
C Kirk 153 --- McGuire -55*

I've had to figure out new ways to categorize pitchers given the prolific use of openers and tandems, so I'm going with this for now - separated into general categories by ip PER GAME. The performance number is the average of all 3 of era-, fip-, and xfip-:


Ryu 5.4ip/gm, 69avg-
Walker 5.3ip, 96
Shoemaker 5.1ip, 112*
Anderson 3.8ip, 115
Stripling 4.6ip, 132
Roark 4.4ip, 134
Ray 4.3ip, 144
Pearson 4.1ip, 153*

"Tandem Guys"

Merryweather 1.7ip, 56
Hatch 1.6ip, 83
SRF 1.3ip, 83*
Yamaguchi 1.9ip, 97
Waguespack 1.6ip, 107*
Kay 1.6ip, 124
Thornton 1.9ip, 145*

"One inning Relievers"

Romano 1.0ip, 50*
Dolis 1.0ip, 68
Borucki 0.8ip, 74
Bass 1.0ip, 79
Cole 1.0ip, 87
Font 0.8ip, 132*
Giles 0.9ip, 186*
Glevin - Tuesday, September 15 2020 @ 01:49 PM EDT (#390360) #
"Ryu, Pearson and Bauer looks like a real playoff rotation to me."

Not sure the Jays would be interested in Bauer. He comes with a fair bit of baggage which the Jays try to avoid. Paxton makes sense to me but lots of good pitchers available.
bpoz - Tuesday, September 15 2020 @ 02:17 PM EDT (#390361) #
Anyone can get injured.

1 bad outing affects the numbers a lot. Shoemaker had the 1 bad outing. Anderson 2 bad outings.

I like the suggestion of 2021 having a 100 game season. I will use 110 games as a base for strategy regarding SP usage and acquisitions.

So 3-5 IP for SPs and 1 IP for 5 relievers will not cut it. It will have to be different.
bpoz - Tuesday, September 15 2020 @ 02:34 PM EDT (#390362) #
I think Roark and Anderson were signed as better quality depth than Buchholz.

Buchholz and the others got playing time because Borucki was injured. For 2020 I think the goal was to not be as bad as 2019. We had a good young position core to play all the time and they would need support in case the young pitchers were not very good. Kay, Waguespack, Thornton, Zeuch, SRF and Hatch. None of these kids got to prove that they could handle 5+ innings. Next year they may get the chance to compete with Anderson, Roark etc... They have to be given the chance eventually. Thornton was given the chance in 2019.
scottt - Tuesday, September 15 2020 @ 02:40 PM EDT (#390363) #
There was an attempt at reducing the number of relievers, presumably to speed up the game.
This was suspended for this year. I don't know about next year.

The real issue is that some teams were bullpenning games and using openers.
I haven't seen that or heard about it this year.

hypobole - Tuesday, September 15 2020 @ 03:16 PM EDT (#390364) #
As for libertarian Bauer not wanting to play here:

1. Isn't being the highest bidder pretty well the epitome of free market libertarianism?

2. What libertarian wouldn't love playing in a park that features a statue of an entrepreneur rather than a ballplayer?
uglyone - Tuesday, September 15 2020 @ 03:17 PM EDT (#390365) #
Jenn Smith @Baseball_Jenn
Cavan Biggio has the lowest swing percentage on pitches outside the zone at 15.9%. Mike Trout is second at 16.5%. #BlueJays

Mike Green - Tuesday, September 15 2020 @ 03:39 PM EDT (#390366) #
Whatever his politics, Bauer might enjoy playing in front of a fine core of position player talent and the likelihood of some playoff appearances.  I wonder how he'd get along with Ryu; it wouldn't surprise me at all if they got along swimmingly.  Ryu seems quite cerebral.
Mike Green - Tuesday, September 15 2020 @ 03:44 PM EDT (#390367) #
Over 2019-20, the data is even starker.  Biggio has swung at 15.8% of pitches outside the zone.  Next up is Bregman at 19.4% of pitches followed by Trout at 19.6% of pitches outside the zone.  His contact rate inside the zone is not as good as these guys (surprise!), but still decent. 
85bluejay - Tuesday, September 15 2020 @ 03:55 PM EDT (#390368) #
Fairly or unfairly, given Bauer's public profile and the Jays corporate ownership, I'd be willing to bet the farm that the Jays don't go after Bauer.

For me, Biggio is too passive at the plate.
Mike Green - Tuesday, September 15 2020 @ 04:06 PM EDT (#390369) #
Biggio over his young career has swung at 62.4% of pitches in the zone.  That is on the low end ranking 26th in the majors.  He's behind players like Sogard, Gardner, Bregman, Bogaerts, Gary Sanchez, Trout, Betts, Jose Martinez, Markakis, Verdugo. 

I think he's doing just fine.  When pitchers start throwing him more strikes, he'll have to attack them and make them pay.  He's a very smart player- he's 19-0 stealing bases to start his career and I suspect that is unprecedented.
scottt - Tuesday, September 15 2020 @ 04:09 PM EDT (#390370) #
Biggio at 3rd
Shaw at 1st
Vladdy DH
Panik at 2B
Kirk C
Fisher RF


Stanton DH
Frazier RF
Gardner LF
Wade SS

hypobole - Tuesday, September 15 2020 @ 04:13 PM EDT (#390371) #
I think there are instances where Biggio should swing more. 2 strikes, ducks on the pond, he should at least try to be fighting off close pitches, if not putting them in play.
Michael - Tuesday, September 15 2020 @ 04:14 PM EDT (#390372) #
No off days for the first 3 playoff rounds. In general, this is something I like as I think teams should be forced to play more "real" baseball in the playoffs and not have the many off days that let some teams go with 2.5 or 3 starters. The playoffs all being at the same location with no travel helps make that happen.

Of course, I'm not sure if that helps us or hurts us as a team more this year. We don't exactly have the strongest back of the rotation, but many playoff teams might have as big a drop or bigger from their #1 or #2 pitcher to their weaker back end. And that may also make the relievers be more important which is obviously a strength of this team so far.
Mike Green - Tuesday, September 15 2020 @ 04:26 PM EDT (#390373) #
Kirk gets another start today against Deivi Garcia.  It's a good test for him.

There will be no off-days in the wild-card, LDS and LCS series.  There's 4 days off between the wild-card and LDS series and one day off between the LDS and the LCS. As the LDS is going to be played on 5 consecutive days, it's not likely that the club would try to have Ryu pitch in Game 1 and 5.  You actually might prefer that Ryu start Game 2 of the wild card then throw Game 1 of the LDS (on five days rest) and then Game 1 of the LCS (on five days rest). 
85bluejay - Tuesday, September 15 2020 @ 04:28 PM EDT (#390374) #
What Hypobole posted is actually what I meant to say regarding Biggio - thanks.
Glevin - Tuesday, September 15 2020 @ 04:35 PM EDT (#390375) #
Whatever his politics, Bauer might enjoy playing in front of a fine core of position player talent and the likelihood of some playoff appearances."

The issue is not Bauer, it's the Jays and I don't blame them. Bauer is someone who is always spouting off and getting into twitter arguments and look at this paragraph from Wikipedia:

"Bauer has voiced his opposition to the theory of anthropogenic global warming,[46] and has made positive reference to the birther movement associated with Barack Obama.[47] On May 22, 2018, Bauer was accused of carving BD 911 into the pitcher's mound, a reference to a conspiracy theory that indicated "Bush did 9/11". Bauer later wrote on Twitter that he wrote BD 91.1 and that the numbers and letters were meaningful to him personally and completely unrelated to the September 11 attacks.[48]"
Magpie - Tuesday, September 15 2020 @ 04:42 PM EDT (#390376) #
I think [Biggio]'s doing just fine.

Me too. I think he's actually maximizing what he does best. People used to say McGriff should be more aggressive and swing at some of those pitches instead of taking the walk. (And before McGriff, they said it about Mantle, and before him about Ted Williams.) I can see the argument in those cases, even if I don't agree with it - McGriff, Mantle, and Williams were great hitters.

But Biggio isn't. He's a pretty average offensive player, with the exception of this one absolutely elite skill - his strike zone judgement. He's still not getting anywhere near the respect he deserves from the umpires, which takes time. He's got less than a full season';s worth of games, and there are a lot of umpires to educate. But eventually, they will be telling catchers and pitchers that if the pitch was a strike, Biggio would have swung at it.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, September 15 2020 @ 04:44 PM EDT (#390377) #
Ryu and Stripling are definitely in the 2021 rotation. Roark is signed through 2021 at $12 million, so for better or worse, barring a trade, he likely has a spot as well. If the Jays are serious about contending, then they shouldn't have Roark and Anderson in the rotation together. Pick one or the other. If they decide to pick up Anderson's option, then they should consider flipping Roark for an equally bad contract. With (hopefully) an existing minor league season in '21, the Jays can put Pearson, Merryweather, Hatch, Kay, Zeuch, etc, in the AAA rotation, which should be more than adequate depth in case of injury. Focus should be on improving the quality of the rotation, not the quantity. With Covid dropping revenue across the league, it might have a trickle down impact to free agents and arbitration eligible players who will be non-tendered. There might be a lot of players available this winter. A team like financial wiggle room, which the Jays should have, could benefit.
Mike Green - Tuesday, September 15 2020 @ 04:54 PM EDT (#390378) #
I wonder what Biggio's swing rate is for pitches in the zone with 2 strikes.  I'm guessing that it's about 90 per cent.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, September 15 2020 @ 05:07 PM EDT (#390379) #
Bauer has a reputation in the game for being one of the smartest and respected players in the league. Rebellious and passionate, yes, but if you listen to him or what other players say about him instead of public generated wikipedia entries I think you will agree that many teams will be after him.
Jonny German - Wednesday, September 16 2020 @ 07:27 AM EDT (#390435) #
An interesting angle with Bauer is that he's said he's only going to sign 1-year deals in free agency. If he sticks to that it really makes him low-risk from the team's perspective.
Mike Green - Wednesday, September 16 2020 @ 10:01 AM EDT (#390444) #
Trevor Bauer and Walter Alston.  Who knew that they might share something?

Shapiro, of course, was GM of Cleveland when they acquired Bauer from Arizona.  He was known to be prickly then, but didn't have the public profile.  A one-year deal would work out very well for the Blue Jays given where their pitching talent is.
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