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4 vs the Phillies this weekend, including 2 today. Time to buckle down for the stretch drive!

Game #1: Robbie Ray vs Zach Effin with Kirk catching, Villar at 2B, Biggio DH, otherwise pretty much normal (Shaw at 3B).
Game #2: Stripling vs ??? odds are Jansen starts this one. The rest is up in the air, but I'd bet on Hernandez being a DH for this one to give him a bit of a break.

Phillies are 1 game under 500 at the moment, fighting for their playoff lives. Like the Jays they are in the 8th slot, but St Louis is just 1/2 a game back, Milwaukee 1 game behind, Mets 1 1/2, Colorado 2 games back. Now that is a race! Miami is 1 1/2 ahead of the Phillies for 2nd in the NL East. San Francisco 1 game ahead for the top wild card slot. Crazy stuff. Every game matters a LOT for them. 63.4% odd of reaching the playoffs right now for the Phillies (via FanGraphs) vs the Jays at 97%.

So which pitchers are the keys to the Jays? Ryu is obvious, Walker is probably #2 in the rotation, then a lot of question marks. Ray could earn a slot with a good start tonight. The pen has been very good, but mostly smoke and mirrors - their xwFIP isn't suggesting they are anywhere as near as good as they have been. Lets hope the pixie dust keeps going for them after the NYY massacre.

As to hitting, 3 of the last 4 games they scored 6+ runs (sadly lost 3 of those 4). For September the Jays are hitting, as a team, 262/339/427. Over 1000 OPS for Davis (12 PA), Gurriel, Tellez (sigh). 900's for Fisher and Panik, 800's for Hernandez & Shaw, 700's for Jansen, Joseph, Espinal, 600's for Biggio, Vlad, 599 and down for Kirk, Villar, Bichette, Grichuk (203/242/237 in September), and McGuire. We need Grichuk to come to life, I expect Bichette to hit as he is hitting it hard but getting bad luck it seems.

Team ERA in September is 6.67 - ugh. 10+ ERA's for Anderson, Waguespack, Kay, Perez, and Yamaguchi. The good news is it has to get better after those horrid last 3 days. Please, let it get better this weekend.
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hypobole - Friday, September 18 2020 @ 02:37 PM EDT (#390594) #
Gotta get back on track this series, especially because we're going to miss both Wheeler and Nola.
Parker - Friday, September 18 2020 @ 03:02 PM EDT (#390595) #
Agreed. If they can bounce back and play some competitive and (mostly) solid fundamental baseball, I'll retract my criticism of Montoyo.
scottt - Friday, September 18 2020 @ 03:05 PM EDT (#390596) #
First game is actually  Zack Eflin vs Robbie Ray as it is a home game for the Jays.

  1. McChutchen (R) DH
  2. Harper (L) RF
  3. Bohm (R) 3B
  4. Gregorius (L) SS
  5. Gosselin (R) 1B
  6. Kingery (R) 2B
  7. Knapp (S) C
  8. Monjak (L) LF
  9. Quinn (S) CF
  1. Biggio (L) DH
  2. Bichette (R) SS
  3. Gurriel (R) LF
  4. Hernandez (R) RF
  5. Grichuk (R) CF
  6. Vladdy (R) 1B
  7. Shaw (L) 3B
  8. Villar (S) 2B
  9. Kirk (R) C

By popular demand, Gurriel is hitting 3rd. Biggio is DH. That looks like a pretty decent lineup.

By Comparison, the Phillies are down Realmuto, their best position player and Hoskins who is on the DL.

Kingery hasn't hit at all this year but Knapp is actually hitting .306 with a .884 OPS.

Moniak has only 5 AB and is still looking for his first hit.

#2JBrumfield - Friday, September 18 2020 @ 03:06 PM EDT (#390597) #
Patrick Murphy has been called up for the twinbill today.
Cracka - Friday, September 18 2020 @ 03:29 PM EDT (#390598) #
When Murphy makes his debut (today?), it will mean that everyone on the 40-man roster will have major league experience and that 39 of 40 will have played this season for the team (Elvis Luciano did not). That's a deep playoff roster pool for sure.
uglyone - Friday, September 18 2020 @ 05:56 PM EDT (#390601) #
another aced trade deadline by shapkins.
mathesond - Friday, September 18 2020 @ 06:16 PM EDT (#390602) #
You're right. I can't believe they didn't add Shane Bieber and Aroldis Chapman to the roster. On the other hand, they left the mighty offense untouched.
greenfrog - Friday, September 18 2020 @ 06:17 PM EDT (#390603) #
Trading Hutchison for Teoscar (in two steps) was a good, if not great, deadline deal for the front office.
Magpie - Friday, September 18 2020 @ 06:23 PM EDT (#390604) #

I gotta say, this irritates the hell out of me. There are two men with two quite different full-time jobs. I was there and I don't remember anyone saying Beestillick or Godciardi or Beestopoulos. The GM runs the on-field operation, his name is Atkins, and a whole lot of people may be lining up to apologize to him pretty soon.

Probably not this week, I grant you.
uglyone - Friday, September 18 2020 @ 06:25 PM EDT (#390605) #
rolls off the tongue tho.
Nigel - Friday, September 18 2020 @ 06:29 PM EDT (#390606) #
Recent events have everyone on edge. I'm not actually sure what people expected of the deadline acquisitions. Not much was expended to get them, not much should have been expected of them. Now, whether they should have used additional assets to acquire better players is worth debating but complaining that what they acquired isn't very useful seems odd given it was the most likely outcome.

More troubling, for the longer term, is that notwithstanding the great start, Grichuk has returned to being, well, Grichuk minus a few k's. If Hernandez goes back to being Hernandez then the line-up is still significantly short of that of a contending team.
Magpie - Friday, September 18 2020 @ 06:33 PM EDT (#390607) #
Hey, it's been an irritating week. A guy gets grouchy.
rtcaino - Friday, September 18 2020 @ 06:43 PM EDT (#390608) #
I actually don't mind Shatkins as a portmanteau super-couple name. Sure it's not as catchy as the all-time greats, Bennifer and Brangelina. But probably the best I am aware of in a Toronto sports context.

Shanaplan and WAMCO are basically the only catchy name associations that I can recall. Da Box may have some additional recollections?

EDITORS NOTE: Edwin's Edwing, was alright as well.
uglyone - Friday, September 18 2020 @ 06:46 PM EDT (#390609) #
editor's note: I took care to say Shapkins, not Shatkins.

uglyone - Friday, September 18 2020 @ 06:51 PM EDT (#390610) #
eh Nigel I think it's fine to be annoyed by a red-hot team arguably not getting the deadline performance they deserved. but I won't belabor it here. we've got some nice young talent a real shot at the playoffs and this year is the lottery of all lotteries so I'll limit myself to mild snark this year.
greenfrog - Friday, September 18 2020 @ 06:56 PM EDT (#390611) #
Why stop at last names? Combining both their first and last names yields...Moss Shapkins.

Yep, there's a new sheriff in town. Moss. Moss Shapkins. And he won't be trading no JA Happ for the likes of Billy McKinney and Brandon Drury.
Magpie - Friday, September 18 2020 @ 07:03 PM EDT (#390612) #
I suppose that Shapiro and Atkins, unlike their predecessors, get lumped together because Shapiro, unlike Beeston or Godfrey, actually worked as a major league general manager. But that was a long time ago and there's simply no way he's in a position now to do much more than what Beeston and Godfrey did. He can't make trades or decide on draft picks. He's simply not well enough informed to be in on that. He just doesn't have the kind of time that's required. He will get consulted when the GM wants or needs to spend a lot of money. Beeston and Godfrey certainly did. And because he's done the job, Atkins can ask him for general guidance and advice. But that's about it. This is Ross Atkins' team.

I suppose, if he really wanted, that Shapiro could veto a trade as Peter Bavasi famously did when Gillick wanted to trade the Past of Bill Singer for the Future of Ron Guidry. Good thing for Guidry that the team prez stepped in.
Nigel - Friday, September 18 2020 @ 07:16 PM EDT (#390613) #
uglyone - I can understand the frustration. I guess I'm in a different place with this team. There's a lot of good things going on in the big picture with the team but I still don't think that there are that many good players on it (yet). Over a 162 game regular season I still think that this is a sub 500 team - so this is all gravy.
Kelekin - Friday, September 18 2020 @ 07:19 PM EDT (#390614) #
This seems like the appropriate thread to copy and paste, from the FAQs, a primary ground rule of posting here:

"1. Batter's Box is a site for intelligent baseball discussion and your posts should show evidence of intelligence. Try to advance the discussion with relevant observations or opinions. Before posting ask yourself: 'Is this post contributing to the thread?' If the answer is 'No' or 'I'm not sure', do not post your comment to the thread. At Batter's Box we value quality over quantity."

I don't believe those of us who have been for years should be any less immune to the rules.
bpoz - Friday, September 18 2020 @ 07:37 PM EDT (#390616) #
For me this has been a great season. I did expect more from Vlad and Jansen. McGuire should have been better than he was.

I expected good surprises from the huge quantity of pitching. We got great results pretty much. I did not think veterans like Roark would be that great. They have actually been a disappointment. But we will most likely be in the playoffs.

We should be in a p[layoff position where upsets and success is a surprise. Hope we baffle the experts. They usually are baffled.
uglyone - Friday, September 18 2020 @ 07:55 PM EDT (#390617) #
annoying juvenile snark notwithstanding, kelekin, mocking the trade deadline additions is neither unintelligent nor off topic.
Kelekin - Friday, September 18 2020 @ 08:07 PM EDT (#390618) #
I will do my best to not get into an e-fight about it, as you seem to have "moments" like this every now and then so this is nothing new, and ultimately this will just be another fleeting thread. I have plenty of interest in your thoughtful posts, of which there are many. When you turn into a twitter feed, I don't. It's pretty clear I wasn't the only person who thought your post was low quality or questionable, so just registering my opinion on it and will move on.

On the given topic, I am fairly disappointed the trade deadline plays are not working out as well. I didn't think they were the types of plays that would get us significantly better performance in the long run, although the costs were about right for what we got. On paper this should've worked out better, and Walker might still do fine. But Ray is a project right now. Our rotation really has just been a problem all season - I would be curious to know if this was historically bad for us. I never thought I'd yearn for Josh Towers!
uglyone - Friday, September 18 2020 @ 08:30 PM EDT (#390619) #
disappointed is not the word I'd use. maybe "bemused" works better. I thought the Ryu signing and the great first half might change the FO's modus operandi this trade deadline but I'm not shocked it didnot.
Kasi - Friday, September 18 2020 @ 08:33 PM EDT (#390620) #
Agreed Kelekin.

To me it was one trade too far. I was happy with Walker, Villar and Ray. Walker and Ray despite their warts are our number 2-3 pitchers. Problem is none of the young guys have stepped up or been healthy enough. Maybe next year will be the year for Pearson, Borucki, Thornton, Hatch, etc but they're not reliable starters now.

I however didn't like the Stripling trade because to me it was the only one we gave up a real asset. Sure we have 2 years of control after this, but he better start showing he can at least look decent some of the time for this to be reasonable. Right now is Stripling any better than Sam G who we DFA'd? I don't know. But he better have a good year next year for me to feel happy at all about this trade. Right now I don't trust him to do more than give up a couple ER over 3 ip, which isn't good.
uglyone - Friday, September 18 2020 @ 08:55 PM EDT (#390621) #
ballsy bunt call by Montoya...and it paid off handsomely.
John Northey - Friday, September 18 2020 @ 09:09 PM EDT (#390622) #
Ah for crying out loud. Game 1 he pulls the starter too late, game 2 too soon. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.
uglyone - Friday, September 18 2020 @ 09:09 PM EDT (#390623) #
oh geez. that was quick.
Nigel - Friday, September 18 2020 @ 09:21 PM EDT (#390624) #
Regression for the scrap heap relievers has been swift and vengeful.
John Northey - Friday, September 18 2020 @ 09:35 PM EDT (#390625) #
For transactions this year since COVID I think they did pretty good - didn't give up much future for some help today.
Using Baseball Reference's Transactions post Februrary.
  • July 1, 2020: Selected Breyvic Valera off waivers from the San Diego Padres.
  • August 2, 2020: The San Francisco Giants returned Dany Jimenez (earlier draft pick).
  • Brian Moran selected by the Miami Marlins off waivers.
  • August 16, 2020: Released Patrick Kivlehan.
  • August 24, 2020: Purchased Daniel Vogelbach from the Seattle Mariners.
  • August 27, 2020: Traded a player to be named later to the Seattle Mariners. Received Taijuan Walker. The Toronto Blue Jays sent Alberto Rodriguez (minors) (September 1, 2020) to the Seattle Mariners to complete the trade.
  • Anthony Alford selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates off waivers.
  • August 31, 2020: Released Ruben Tejada.
  • Traded Travis Bergen to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Received Robbie Ray and cash.
  • Traded a player to be named later and player to be named to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Received Ross Stripling. The Toronto Blue Jays sent Kendall Williams (minors) (September 1, 2020) to the Los Angeles Dodgers to complete the trade.
  • Traded player to be named to the Miami Marlins (Griffin Conine). Received Jonathan Villar.
  • September 3, 2020: Daniel Vogelbach selected by the Milwaukee Brewers off waivers.
  • September 4, 2020: Released Sam Gaviglio.
  • September 9, 2020: Released Jake Petricka.
  • September 14, 2020: Billy McKinney selected by the Milwaukee Brewers off waivers.
  • September 16, 2020: Traded Justin Miller to the Cincinnati Reds. Received future considerations.
So added: Breyvic Valera, Dany Jimenez, Taijuan Walker, Robbie Ray, Ross Stripling, Jonathan Villar,
Lost: Brian Moran, Patrick Kivlehan, Alberto Rodriguez, Anthony Alford, Ruben Tejada, Travis Bergen, Kendall Williams, Sam Gaviglio, Jake Petricka, Billy McKinney, Justin Miller, Griffin Conine
Added & Lost: Daniel Vogelbach

Moran (3 2/3 IP for Miami 6 walks), Patrick Kivlehan is a AAAA OF, Alberto Rodriguez makes me a bit nervous (just 19, only up to rookie ball, 747 OPS, lifetime in RF - ranked around 20th in Jays prospects), Anthony Alford (injured now), Ruben Tejada (poor hitting infielder 30 years old), Travis Bergen (3 2/3 IP for Arizona walking 6), Kendall Williams is another nervous one (19, only rookie ball so far, a top 15 level prospect for the Jays), Sam Gaviglio (89 ERA+ here lifetime), Jake Petricka (meh, middle man who wasn't good enough in his 30's), Billy McKinney (many here were happy to see him go), Justin Miller (see Petricka - 30's middle man not good enough), Griffin Conine (around 15 on prospect lists pre-season, high K, high power but old for level).

So given all of that I'd say the only ones I hate to see go are Kendall Williams, Alberto Rodriguez, and to a small degree Griffin Conine (might not have made the 40 man this winter). In order to gain some pitching help it was well worth it imo.
Eephus - Friday, September 18 2020 @ 10:31 PM EDT (#390626) #
This team is something else, man.
uglyone - Friday, September 18 2020 @ 10:32 PM EDT (#390627) #
I blame all of this on Fisher.
Magpie - Friday, September 18 2020 @ 10:41 PM EDT (#390628) #
Vlad is playing first base like a third baseman. If the ball is hit in your general direction, you go after it. Automatically. He probably needed more than two weeks before the games started to make the adjustment.
John Northey - Friday, September 18 2020 @ 10:49 PM EDT (#390629) #
Argh. What else can go wrong? At least it was close. Well, at least Seattle is losing (1-0 at the moment), the O's lost as did the Tigers. Seems like no one wants that last playoff slot.
Eephus - Friday, September 18 2020 @ 11:05 PM EDT (#390630) #
Vlad is playing first base like a third baseman. If the ball is hit in your general direction, you go after it. Automatically. He probably needed more than two weeks before the games started to make the adjustment.

Never actually thought of it that way, but I would definitely agree. As a first baseman that ball hit between you and the second baseman is a split second judgement call off the bat to either go for it (and hope your pitcher is aware and gets there in time, which Dolis didn't... because this team man) or rush to the bag. I do think that is the type of thing you gain a better feel for after enough actual game action (not infield reps) at that position: having a sense of where the second baseman is, the speed of the runner and also knowing your own range. Experience playing there, basically... which as we know young Vlad has little.

He might eventually be okay, but it definitely won't be this season.
Kelekin - Friday, September 18 2020 @ 11:56 PM EDT (#390631) #
The real issue with trading Williams for Stripling is that Williams is the type of asset you can use in a multi-prospect deal for a bigger fish. Although 100 Williams won't catch a Trout.

It's been hard to watch the team this week. The poor decision making due to inexperience has cost us games time and time again this year.
John Northey - Saturday, September 19 2020 @ 12:25 AM EDT (#390632) #
Yeah, I'd rather not see the Jays spend 3-4 real assets in a trade unless it is for a very high end type. After trading prospects for a Cy Young winner didn't work as well as hoped (although they did get to 2 playoff appearances) I'm a bit gun shy. The Darwin Cubillan and Michael Young for Esteban Loaiza is about as bad as it ever got for the Jays on trades (outside of the obvious mess David Wells for Mike Sirotka one was - funny both by the same GM). Getting David Cone for Ryan Thompson and Jeff Kent was not good for long term but great short term (a WS is worth a near HOF'er at the start of their career).

Lets hope Tellez is at 1B next year with Vlad at DH most of the time. Or Vlad gets a ton of practice in spring so he stops going for everything. Offensively/defensively some upgrades would be nice but hard to do with so many locked in (Bo, Vlad, Tellez, Biggio, Gurriel, Hernandez, and Grichuk are pretty much locked in and Jansen is probably at catcher too unless a big upgrade can be found without costing prospects - J.T. Realmuto qualifies with his 111 lifetime OPS+, 133 this year, positive defensive WAR, but is turning 30 in March so I'd be careful about long term especially with Jansen & Kirk & McGuire & Gabriel Moreno & Riley Adams all on the Jays top 30 list or in the majors). So not easy to up the defense without losing someone useful. Davis & Espinal are solid on defense and cover pretty much everything but catcher and are young and cheap so they should be the backups in 2021. Panik is a free agent (crap). Don't be shocked if the Jays do something big this winter by trading one or more of the kids in the majors for an upgrade on defense without losing too much offense (Grichuk would be the top choice to trade, Hernandez & Gurriel probably most chased after since Bo/Biggio/Vlad aren't going anywhere unless it is a super-blockbuster) with Tellez an option but has to be part of a bigger deal, not the key piece.
Kelekin - Saturday, September 19 2020 @ 03:50 AM EDT (#390633) #
John, I don't blame you. It seems clear at this point that trading a large amount of potential assets (even if they're only "potential") for half a year or one year of a player is just an outright poor choice. It took me a long time to get over the R.A. Dickey trade. I know some still argue it was a good trade at the time, but it wasn't.
Kelekin - Saturday, September 19 2020 @ 04:18 AM EDT (#390634) #
Out of the starters who have pitched at least 20 innings, here is their current FIP as well as their rank out of 152 qualified starters. Listed their current FIP with the Jays only, and the ranking is combined.

Ryu 3.25 (26th)
Anderson 5.28 (114th)
Ray 5.53 (137th)
Walker 5.68 (113th)
Shoemaker 6.12 (126th)
Stripling 6.23 (136th)
Roark 7.72 (147th)

Dead last in FIP? Madison Bumgarner at 8.94.
dalimon5 - Saturday, September 19 2020 @ 07:48 AM EDT (#390635) #
I've always maintained that we should be trading one of our top prospects in hitting for a pitching prospect of similar value. Something like Bichete for Mize or Whitley. Problem is they have all bombed. Maybe trading Vlad would have been the better choice considering his limitations.

I'm officially scared of pitching prospects now and have no idea how this team will get strong pitching. I wouldn't bet the world on Pearson, SWR or Manoah.

Mike Green - Saturday, September 19 2020 @ 08:32 AM EDT (#390636) #
Durability of pitchers is a big question mark, and it won't get easier to figure out in the next few years because of COVID-related disruptions.

At the outset, I thought that there was a decent chance that the club would get 12 fair or better starts from Ryu, Shoemaker and Pearson. They got them only from  Ryu. The remaining starters have been a little worse than I expected with control a bigger issue than I anticipated.

85bluejay - Saturday, September 19 2020 @ 10:19 AM EDT (#390637) #
John Northey - Saturday, September 19 2020 @ 10:30 AM EDT (#390638) #
1987 was a very different situation. Those Jays were expected to win pre season and had a lot of quality vets and a horrid manager. This one has all kids with zero expectations pre season. That one was behind late September then had a great streak to take a lead then fell apart. This one has been in playoff position for awhile now.
Magpie - Saturday, September 19 2020 @ 10:55 AM EDT (#390639) #
I'm officially scared of pitching prospects now and have no idea how this team will get strong pitching.

Well, TINSTAAPP. My own theory has always been get as many of them as you can, and one of them might pan out. Sufficient Quantity improves the chances of finding Quality.

Or, to use another analogy I tried out once before: when we want to make a human being, we sent a million sperm out in search of the egg, even though just one is required to get the job done. My theory of developing pitching is kinda like that.
uglyone - Saturday, September 19 2020 @ 11:02 AM EDT (#390640) #
there's also the thing where we have rich owners and a great fan base and we can buy good pitchers.

or even trade a bunch of those risky prospects for proven prime pitchers.
Nigel - Saturday, September 19 2020 @ 11:49 AM EDT (#390641) #
There was a chance that Shoemaker and Pearson could provide useful starts this year but counting on that was always unlikely (for different reasons) in my view. And any plan that also depended on Roark and Anderson had significant risk of implosion. Having said that, most of the starting bets going against them was more that offset for 45 games by even more unlikely fantastic performances by almost everyone in the pen. Unfortunately the heater appears to have run out on that front. In sum, the pitching been about what you could hope for, just not delivered in the most likely of ways.
grjas - Saturday, September 19 2020 @ 11:54 AM EDT (#390642) #
In terms of pitching prospects, thinking of the Lansing 3. One’s a dud, another’s perpetually injured, and the third one is getting there. You need a tonne.

In terms of the offseason, I don’t blame the FO for the starters they acquired. Both Anderson and Roark have been league average till this year, neither dropping below 90+ era in any season. And league average is all they needed to acquire at this point in the development cycle.

At some point we have to stop blaming management and blame the guys that are actually playing.

uglyone - Saturday, September 19 2020 @ 12:06 PM EDT (#390643) #
Nigel - that's a perfect description.
uglyone - Saturday, September 19 2020 @ 12:14 PM EDT (#390644) #
I was pleasantly surprisedd by the excellent Ryu signing. but my feeling at that point was that we clearly needed one more solid frontline SP addition to be a plausible contender (an established middle of the order bat was also a need but at least there was many more avenues of upside amongst the hitters). But one more frontline SP seemed to be a minimum requirement to me - Pearson/Shoemaker/Borucki/Wague/Thornton/etc was far from a lock to fill out the rest of the rotation adequately, but with 2 dependable lynchpins up top it would have been a reasonable gamble....with the ability to add a 3rd SP at the deadline if merited.

But Ryu + lottery tickets never seemed close to enough for me, especially since Ryu had a number of risk factors himself.

as for the deadline adds - I think I said at the time that none of them were even clear upgrades on what we were already throwing out there.
Chuck - Saturday, September 19 2020 @ 12:59 PM EDT (#390645) #
when we want to make a human being, we sent a million sperm out in search of the egg, even though just one is required to get the job done. My theory of developing pitching is kinda like that.

Who's going to clean all that sperm off the field? Or am I misunderstanding the analogy?

Nigel - Saturday, September 19 2020 @ 01:29 PM EDT (#390646) #
I, for one, wasn’t blaming management. My point was only that outside of Ryu, they invested little in prospects or cash in the pitching staff. So, people shouldn’t be surprised at the outcomes. All of which was defensible in the context of the team’s development cycle. I don’t think they were trying to contend this year. And then the world went upside down and... oddly, one of the weird upsides of that is that a sub 500 team will likely make the playoffs this year. Clouds and silver linings and all that.
John Northey - Saturday, September 19 2020 @ 01:30 PM EDT (#390647) #
Looking at the staff what would be the situation if trades were not made? No Walker, Stripling, Ray, so Merryweather, Hatch (probably stretched out), and Borucki might be used instead as starters/long men, thus needing 3 more in the pne - Kay, Waguespack, and SRF I'd assume. Might have had Zeuch starting instead of one of the others. I suspect that would've been a mess.

Yeah, at the time Thornton, Pearson were healthy and Giles was on his way back with Romano looking hopeful according to team officials (who now look like they were lying about him). If this was a non-contending year (ie: they stuck with the 2 wild card format) then the trades wouldn't have made sense. But in the end all that was lost was 2 rookie ball pitchers who were good prospects and an outfielder who was still viewed as having a shot, plus a lot of 'who cares'. In 2021 we will still have Stripling who was a solid starter/reliever in LA.

If you aren't willing to get spare parts in a year where you have a shot when will you? Especially with the cost being no one in the top 10 prospects. Yeah, I'd have loved an actual ace but were any available and what would it have cost?

2021 should be interesting. This winter will be a real challenge for the front office with a tight 40 man and a desperate need for more pitching after Ryu. By xFIP (best for predicting the future) Ryu (3.10), Merryweather (3.76), Stripling (4.33) are the big 3 with Anderson much better than he seems (4.39 xFIP). Pearson did poorly but was hurt so we'll discount it a lot as a mix of injuries and rookie crap. Roark is a problem as he is signed for 2021 (5.86 xFIP not a lot better than his 6.41 ERA) and unlike Pearson has no rookie jitters or injuries to use as an excuse. The pen is scary with Romano the only one with 10+ IP who has an xFIP under 4. Merryweather is 3.04 in 8 1/3 IP. All we can do is hope that the Jays get lucky in 2021 and beyond in the pen and don't fall for this years illusions. I hope those illusions can last a week+ so the Jays can get into the playoffs and do something (even 1 win would be nice).
John Northey - Saturday, September 19 2020 @ 01:32 PM EDT (#390648) #
Y'know, the biggest fun thing would be if the Jays play Tampa in a 3 game set and by some miracle knock them off. After the nightmares Tampa has given the Jays over the years that would only be fitting.
Mike Green - Saturday, September 19 2020 @ 01:34 PM EDT (#390649) #

I prefer comparing developing pitchers to throwing stuff at a wall to see if it sticks. The odds are a little better than for sperm, but I agree with the concept. Development has been slower than usual this year making the whole process a real crapshoot.
Magpie - Saturday, September 19 2020 @ 02:46 PM EDT (#390650) #
Throwing stuff at a wall is also a good analogy. But it can be hard to throw a whole lot of things at once. Which means my analogy is better, NYAH-NYAH!
Mike Green - Saturday, September 19 2020 @ 02:52 PM EDT (#390651) #
You win. As Brittany Howard sang, I don't wanna fight no more.

FWIW, I really like Manoah, but even if he works out, that's only one.
scottt - Saturday, September 19 2020 @ 03:05 PM EDT (#390652) #
Trading Vlad was not possible. He was the #1 prospect. They got a high pitching prospect for Stroman and Peason was the second pitching prospect behind Mize. Mize is 0-2 with an ERA over 6 after 6 starts.
scottt - Saturday, September 19 2020 @ 03:07 PM EDT (#390653) #
With the new playoffs format, I suspect a proven prime pitcher will cost a bunch of top prospects.
scottt - Saturday, September 19 2020 @ 03:15 PM EDT (#390654) #
Outside of Ryu they invested in innings eaters, but Ryu was the  second largest free agent signing of this franchise.

The Angels spent their money on a proven hitter instead of the pitching they needed and that completely sunk them.

They did trade some guys this year, but they'll recover most of that in next summer's draft.
At some point you have to clear quantity for quality, but it's not easy either.
That approach got us Fisher.

scottt - Saturday, September 19 2020 @ 03:23 PM EDT (#390655) #
Maybe they just tried too hard to rest the pen.
All of this is happening after they got a couple of days off.

Many starting pitchers like to go every 5 innings.
They rested all the high leverage arms during the Yankees disaster and none of them was throwing well yesterday.
Except maybe Dolis, who is probably done for the year.

I'd go with Pearson as the highest leverage reliever and use Bass to close.
Really need Ryu and Walker to step up now.

Also, can Merryweather go back to throwing heat and lay off the breaking balls?

hypobole - Saturday, September 19 2020 @ 04:44 PM EDT (#390656) #
MLBTR 12 Best FA pitchers: bWAR/fWAR

Cole: 1.6/1.3
Strasburg: -0.2/0.0
Wheeler: 2.8/1.6
Bumgarner: -0.7/-0.8
Ryu: 2.1/1.4
Keuchel: 1.7/1.5
Hamels: -0.1/0.1
Gibson: 0.1/0.2
Roark: 0.0/-0.6
Teheran: -0.6/-0.6
Miley: -0.2//0.1
Porcello: 0.1/1.5

Who's been worth the money? 4 of 12?
Magpie - Saturday, September 19 2020 @ 05:13 PM EDT (#390657) #
Dolis, who is probably done for the year.

The news is a little better. He's day-to-day, probably not available tonight.
hypobole - Saturday, September 19 2020 @ 05:35 PM EDT (#390658) #
Being the closer for the Jays is becoming like a drummer for Spinal Tap.
hypobole - Saturday, September 19 2020 @ 06:05 PM EDT (#390659) #
Stoeten at The Athletic expanded on my argument that many fans would like the expanded field so they don't have to go a decade or decades without watching their team in the playoffs.

However there was this for Chuck et al. who hate the idea:

"Now there is talk of expanding the field again, keeping 2020’s 16-team format, and many of the smartest commentators in the sport are aghast at the possibility."

vw_fan17 - Saturday, September 19 2020 @ 06:23 PM EDT (#390660) #
Feels more like 1982 - 1983 timeframe to me, less like 1987. Upstart team finally getting enough talent to make some noise. Actually making the playoffs is a bonus. If Rowdy can come back for the playoffs, and we get one of Romano, Pearson or Giles (unlikely, I realize) and ONE of our starters like Ray / Walker / Stripling / Anderson / Roark has a couple of good games, we could make some more noise. Where's Winfield when you need him? :-)

I'm generally ok with all the deadline acquisitions - Stripling, before this year, had an ERA+ of over 110 for his career, never below 100 in any season. 2020 is strange in many ways, so you can't judge by this year, I would say. It's obvious we've needed ALL the pitching. Ray is a "may get hot" kind of guy - again, worth taking a shot with, IMHO.

I do think that maybe we need to do SOMETHING different, like Buck said - throw fastballs in the 1st inning to get the pitcher settled / dialed in. Have we averaged like 5+ more pitches thrown by our pitchers in the 1st inning compared to everyone else? Sure feels like it. I can't recall the last time we had a 7-8 pitch inning (on defense) - it seems like EVERY (*@&#$ INNING takes our pitchers 25-30 pitches.. WHY?

I think the problem really is - lack of veteran catching. We REALLY should have kept Joseph on the roster and / or maybe brought Martin back (if he was interested) for one more year. It seems to me that Jansen / Kirk don't know how to call a game yet..
Magpie - Saturday, September 19 2020 @ 06:25 PM EDT (#390661) #
talk of expanding the field again, keeping 2020’s 16-team format

This will never happen, but it's still something I'd insist upon: all playoff teams must win more games than they lost. So if you have #1 scheduled to play #8, but the eighth place team went 80-82... sorry. The top team gets a bye into the next round, gets to rest their regulars and set up their rotation.

I actually don't object all that much to teams with 84-78 records getting in - some divisions are simply far more competitive than others. But winning more often than you lost is the minimum. And you know, if your team went 79-83 you know they don't belong in the post-season. Even if you're a fan. It's a little embarrassing even showing up.
Magpie - Saturday, September 19 2020 @ 06:44 PM EDT (#390662) #
Historically, though, baseball has always kind of skimped on the playoffs. Even now, with a Wild Card game, an LDS and an LCS before the World Series a team plays a 162 game schedule followed by - at most - 20 playoff games. In hockey and basketball, a team's schedules of about 80 games can be followed by as many as 28 playoff games. That would be like a baseball team playing 55 or 60 playoff games after the season. They'd get done just in time for Christmas.

And of course, it used be even more extreme - 162 games followed by, at most, 7. There's always been a little nostalgia for the purity of only first place teams advancing, because there's always nostalgia for The Way Things Used To Be. But it also meant that truly great teams simply went home when the season was over. Can you imagine playing .675 ball for six months (104-49) and not getting to advance at all? Because that's happened.
John Northey - Saturday, September 19 2020 @ 07:47 PM EDT (#390663) #
I've felt this is a lot like 1983 - the Jays that year after 60 games were 33-27,3rd in the AL East, just 3 behind a great O's team. 4th best in the AL. As late as July 25th they were tied for 1st - with Detroit (won WS the next year) and Baltimore (won it all in 83). Just 1 1/2 behind August 23rd - the next day was the infamous 3 pickoffs in one inning game (O's had a non-catcher catching, the Jay runners were too anxious and 3 in a row reached and all 3 picked off by Tippy Martinez). The first of 3 straight walk off losses. By September 19th the Jays were 11 1/2 out but did end up with 89 wins (by far their best season to that date). That year they had Bell/Moseby/Barfield at age 23 in the outfield, a 21 year old Tony Fernandez breaking in. The starting rotation was under 28 (Stieb/Clancy/Leal/Gott/Acker/Mike Morgan/Matt Williams plus they had old vet Doyle Alexander who the Yankees released and were paying for). A 23 year old Jimmy Key joined the ML team the next year. It was the first year of 11 in a row of 500+ baseball for the Jays. In 1983 they finished 4th in the AL East, 5th overall (thus would make the playoffs under the 2 wild card/3 division system of 2019).
John Northey - Saturday, September 19 2020 @ 07:48 PM EDT (#390664) #
For those who want to see this years team isn't the worst baserunning Jays ever - here it is
grjas - Saturday, September 19 2020 @ 07:56 PM EDT (#390665) #
That’s hilarious John Northey. Thx for posting. Pitcher had a good move to first too, though being a lefty of course helped.
Magpie - Saturday, September 19 2020 @ 08:12 PM EDT (#390666) #
The World Series champ with the worst regular season record ever was the 2006 Cardinals, who won the NL Central with an 83-78. That was a weird year in the NL - only one team, the Mets, won 90 games. I seem to remember Adam Wainwright striking out Carlos Beltran...

In the league championship series era (1969-1993) the worst World Series champ was the 1987 Twins, who won the AL West by going 85-77. The worst World Series participant was Yogi Berra's 1973 Mets, who came out on top in the NL East at 82-79. That's still the worst regular season record of any team that's played in a World Series. They took the A's to 7 games, too. A couple of big HRs from Campaneris and some guy named Reggie sent them home.

And in the more than half a century preceding, when only first place teams were allowed to take part, the worst participant was the 1959 Dodgers (88-68) who promptly went out and won the World Series as well.
Magpie - Saturday, September 19 2020 @ 08:18 PM EDT (#390667) #
Pitcher had a good move to first too, though being a lefty of course helped.

He wasn't exactly famous for it, though. Tippy Martinez - he was from Colorado and spoke no Spanish at all, but he liked to mess with the writers and pretend he was Latino - appeared in 546 games over 14 seasons and he picked off exactly 12 baserunners, including the three unfortunate Jays. He wasn't exactly Mark Buehrle out there.
Nigel - Saturday, September 19 2020 @ 08:20 PM EDT (#390668) #
I said above that I wasn’t critical of management’s deadline pitching moves. I am very critical of the Villar deal if it’s intended purpose was to produce lineups like tonight’s. Making Biggio a semi regular OF/UTL so Villar can play 2B is just bad on multiple levels.
Magpie - Saturday, September 19 2020 @ 08:25 PM EDT (#390669) #
John, if you're going to talk about strange baserunning by Blue Jays - surely the adventures of Kenny Williams come to mind?

He was a ball player before he became the GM who built the 2005 White Sox. Was he a good player? Well....
grjas - Saturday, September 19 2020 @ 09:34 PM EDT (#390670) #
This team is starting to feel like the 2011 Red Sox...without the Fried chicken. Seriously though, they couldn’t have had a much better pitching match up, and yet...
Dewey - Saturday, September 19 2020 @ 09:35 PM EDT (#390671) #
Don't forget Lloyd Moseby 'stealing' second twice on the same play. Any film of that?
uglyone - Saturday, September 19 2020 @ 09:38 PM EDT (#390672) #
John Northey - Saturday, September 19 2020 @ 11:45 PM EDT (#390673) #
Here is Lloyd Moseby stealing 2nd, then 1st, then 2nd. Yep, the Jays have had a lot of fun baserunning gaffs over the years.
John Northey - Sunday, September 20 2020 @ 12:04 AM EDT (#390674) #
Don't forget the fun times at home plate and other oddities... I'm sure everyone here has their favorite oddities. Fun to go through these while the Jays are in their current slump to remember silly things. I'm sure the current team and future ones will give us lots more fun moments. Anyone else have video or memories of other ones?
SK in NJ - Sunday, September 20 2020 @ 12:22 AM EDT (#390675) #
The Jays are 3 up on the Mariners with 8 to play, and 3.5 up on the Angels and Tigers with 7 left to play for those two teams. I guess a full collapse out of the post season entirely is possible, but very improbable.

The positive about this regression is that no one should be delusional about where the team is heading into 2021. They are likely around .500 in terms of true talent (maybe a little less) so more work has to be done next season and beyond, especially on the SP side of things.
scottt - Sunday, September 20 2020 @ 07:58 AM EDT (#390676) #
It's often a matter of health and Cole is young. Still a huge price tab.

Wheeler is a surprise for me, but we'll see if he stays healthy.

I always liked Keuchel because he doesn't throw hard, so I figure he'll age well.

scottt - Sunday, September 20 2020 @ 08:21 AM EDT (#390677) #
I think the problem really is - lack of veteran catching.

The Phillies seem to be doing fine with rookie catchers.
The guys struggling most are veteran starters who call their own shots.

What I don't like is the fleeting framing. The catcher briefly gives a target, move the glove out, then brings it back as he catches the ball to "frame the pitch". Of course, that doesn't work if the pitch is not in the intended location. Maybe stop doing that with pitchers who have great stuff and no command. 

Also, too many balls. It don't think the catchers are calling for balls on all of those pitches.
The strike zone is supposed to expend as the strikes accumulate.
Maybe try to hit the corner on the first pitch, but don't throw a ball looking for a chase.
They just work themselves into hitters count.

Kinda like boxing. You figure out how the opponent respond to your feints first because if he doesn't you just open yourself up.

Now in the second game in which the Jays actually scored some runs, Jansen dropped  3 balls and I think everyone of those moved a runner in scoring position and all 3 scored.
dalimon5 - Sunday, September 20 2020 @ 09:41 AM EDT (#390678) #
What I am realizing is that outside of the premium arms, which are near impossible to land or trade for, should management be looking for a different type of pitcher to acquire?

The trend is to a) develop/sign a pitcher with an enormous fastball and then add as many good secondary pitches around that.


Trade for a pitcher who has demonstrated success at the MLB level.

What I am wondering is, would management be better served looking for "AL East battle tested," pitchers? Would a pitcher out of Coors field, a similar equivalent imho, perform better than Roark who's numbers are based on a ton of innings against the Marlins, Mets etc pitching in the NL East?

Ryu is the exception to the rule, no big fastball and signed for his craft, control and proven pedigree.

* I haven't looked up any stats, I am sure Roark has pitched strong opposition teams etc versus "battle tested pitchers" but it is my general point I would like to get feedback on. Is it possible that we need pitchers who have faced a ton of adversity to succeed in our rotation? Example...Dylan Bundy...not battle tested in the AL East. Good but not great. In the AL West he is great. Tanaka, Price, Stroman...these were AL East battle tested pitchers, before they became elite or near elite in their best years.
bpoz - Sunday, September 20 2020 @ 09:43 AM EDT (#390679) #
If we don't make the playoffs it is probably the biggest Jays collapse in their history. I will call it growing pains for a young team.

My real analysis is that this short season is all about long winning and losing streaks by teams. Individual players too.

Just a few examples for teams are NYY probably had a losing streak to drop below the Jays and are now in a long winning streak. Oakland/Houston had to do the streak dance to get where they are. Cleveland/CWS too.

For players Grichuk had an incredible hot streak with timely Hrs that won games for us. Gurriel got hot as I thought but did not post. Biggio has not surprised me by being consistent in his hitting. Vlad has not yet had a hot streak which has surprised me. Same with Jansen.

I really like what Borucki has done. I cannot be negative or even judge SRF, Zeuch and Murphy. For SRF I don't know how he did with inherited runners. 1 outing each for Zeuch and Murphy is too small to give them any sort of grade.
greenfrog - Sunday, September 20 2020 @ 10:41 AM EDT (#390680) #
How many quality innings can the team realistically expect from Ryu over the next three years? His age and injury risk suggest that the team needs to acquire significantly more good pitching before it can be considered a serious WS contender. Pearson, SWR, and Manoah should help, but one more durable front-rotation arm would improve the situation quite a bit. You can see why San Diego ponied up for Clevinger.
bpoz - Sunday, September 20 2020 @ 11:06 AM EDT (#390681) #
Agreed greenfrog.

I think the 95 loss 2019 season caused the Jays FO to get weak (lose patience) and sign Ryu. Any big contract is a financial risk. The Stripling acquisition cost a decent prospect (but longshot) which put us deeper by spending prospect capital. This is a repeat of 2018 when Donaldson was not traded because the team was not considered bad. To please the fans.

We will see what this off season brings. We all know that this team is probably not ready to compete in 2021. So expensive FAs if acquired or traded for is probably more bad than good. Should be interesting.

Personally I would choose to go heavy on our young unproven pitchers like Merryweather, Romano, SRF, Hatch, Kay etc for 2021. Rather than Roark, Anderson who are not going to suddenly become solid because they have a track record
scottt - Sunday, September 20 2020 @ 11:30 AM EDT (#390682) #
With strong winds blowing in, the Jays hit a lot of fly balls out while the Phillies hit a lot of grounders and bloop singles.

The Yankees are trying to win 11 in a row  today before going to Buffalo.
They will give Cole and Tanaka an extra day of rest each, so Monday will be a bullpen day.

The Mariners have to play Houston next, but they'll face the toned down A's over the next weekend.
The Jays will probably have to burn their best pitchers just to try to make the playoffs.

Baltimore will play Boston next and could make some ground before the last series. 

scottt - Sunday, September 20 2020 @ 11:35 AM EDT (#390683) #
Sand Diego ponied up for a lot, but they tanked for most of a decade to be in a position to do it.
I wonder how long their window will remain open.
It's not a team to use as a comparison, except to point out failure.

This is going to be a weird off-season. The NHL might not start until January.
We'll see how the NFL and NBA do.
The extra playoffs might bring in more revenues, but not enough to offset the lack of attendance.

scottt - Sunday, September 20 2020 @ 11:44 AM EDT (#390684) #
So far the Ryu signing has been fantastic.
They could have lost patience and gotten an outfielder. Or a third baseman.

Really need some minor league baseball next year.

Eephus - Sunday, September 20 2020 @ 11:52 AM EDT (#390685) #
Anyone else have video or memories of other ones?

I've always been rather fond of this one:
greenfrog - Sunday, September 20 2020 @ 12:12 PM EDT (#390686) #
“It's not a team to use as a comparison”

Thanks for sharing your opinion.
John Northey - Sunday, September 20 2020 @ 12:26 PM EDT (#390687) #
Considering the Jays never really tanked I think they did a nice rebuild so far - only 2 hitters this year were 30+ (Shaw dead on 30, Joseph the #4 catcher is 34). So as many 21 year olds (Kirk & Vlad) as 30+ year olds on the team this year (hitter wise). A rare thing.

Now pitching is the big deal - top 4 in innings pitched are all 30+. Pearson is 23, Perez, Zeuch, and SRF are 24, Murphy, Kay, Hatch are 25. Merryweather is actually older than Walker by a year (28 vs 27) and the same age as Ray & Cole. But we do have a batch coming up who hopefully got good training this summer at camp and will fight hard for slots in 2021/22.

The tanking here was 3 years sorta (they tried in 2017/18 sorta) with 3 years of 4th out of 5 finishes in the AL East. Just one year of 90+ losses. 6 of the hitters here were drafted (None in the first round - Bichette 2nd, Alford 3rd, Biggio 5th, Davis 15th, Jansen 16th, and Tellez 30th), 3 amateur free agents (Vlad/Gurriel/Kirk), 3 free agents (Shaw, Panik, Joseph), with the rest being trades other than the 1 week of Volgelbach (purchased). Shows tanking isn't needed, good scouting is. Tanking in 2019 got us Austin Martin but that was a lot of luck too with him falling from expected #2 to #5.
John Northey - Sunday, September 20 2020 @ 12:34 PM EDT (#390688) #
Just checked - yeah, SD did 9 years of sub 500 ball to get where they are, but it is mostly trades.

Hitters: 3 drafted (2 not on 40 man now, 1 on IL, 0.4 WAR net)
Pitchers: 3 drafted (1 off 40 man, 1 in minors, 1 on team, 0.2 WAR net, best was Cal Quantrill who they traded due to his being a COVIDiot.

Reminds me of what AA used to do - prospects were trading chips to be cashed in when needed.

What about Tampa Bay?
Hitters: 3 drafted - all on team, 3.6 WAR (Nate Lowe, Brandon Lowe, Kevin Kiermaier - the Lowe's are unrelated)
Pitchers: 2 drafted - both on team, 1.5 WAR (Snell & Fleming)

Huh. So much for building through the draft. Probably used a lot as trade chips.
uglyone - Sunday, September 20 2020 @ 12:58 PM EDT (#390689) #
this is very good and important news...if true...

Matt Shoemaker “looks great” per Walker, both stuff and velocity. Stretched out to 60 pitches. Could start or help #BlueJays out of bullpen. Sounds like he’s getting close to returning. “He’s pretty much ready to go,” Walker said.

— Ben Nicholson-Smith (@bnicholsonsmith) September 20, 2020
dalimon5 - Sunday, September 20 2020 @ 12:59 PM EDT (#390690) #
I've been a lot more impressed with Mize's starts than Pearson's. He's faced better line ups and is learning/struggling 2nd times through the line up. I think his command and arsenal is better suited for longevity and stardom in MLB.
greenfrog - Sunday, September 20 2020 @ 01:00 PM EDT (#390691) #
I think we can all agree that Ryu has been a great signing so far.

However, “so far” is a pretty big qualification. He’s 11 starts into a four-year contract, and he’s 33 years old with a history of injuries. So it seems premature to make any definitive pronouncements about the signing. After all, BJ Ryan was pretty incredible in his first year with the Jays (2.7 WAR). He posted a total of 0.1 WAR over the rest of his career.
uglyone - Sunday, September 20 2020 @ 01:02 PM EDT (#390692) #
"How many quality innings can the team realistically expect from Ryu over the next three years? His age and injury risk suggest that the team needs to acquire significantly more good pitching before it can be considered a serious WS contender. Pearson, SWR, and Manoah should help, but one more durable front-rotation arm would improve the situation quite a bit. You can see why San Diego ponied up for Clevinger."


a dependable 1-2 punch at the top of the rotation would make it much much easier to fill the other spots with a bunch of question marks.

but Ryu's clock is ticking fast and this year with the hot start and the general weirdness sure seemed like an opportunity.
scottt - Sunday, September 20 2020 @ 01:34 PM EDT (#390693) #
Pearson had game scores of 66 and 53 in his 2 first starts.

Mize's game scores have been 44, 36, 49, 41, 61 and 35.
That 61 is the only time he pitched more than 4 innings.

John Northey - Sunday, September 20 2020 @ 02:15 PM EDT (#390694) #
Neither Mize nor Pearson have impressed at the ML level yet. Yet being the keyword. Anytime a rookie has issues I just say 'remember Roy Halladay and the 10.64 ERA'. He had a 130 ERA+ in his first season and a bit (163 IP), then allowed at least 1 run in 15 of his first 16 games in 2000, his 3 September games weren't good either - 5 IP, 12 H 13 R 6 ER, 2 BB 4 SO. Of course, after that he had a 138 ERA+ in his career including 2 Cy Youngs, 5 more top 5 Cy finishes, first ballot HOF.

Bottom line? Even the best can start weak. Not everyone starts like Dwight Gooden did (all-star each of his first 3 years, Cy his 2nd, 200+ IP each of his first 3 at ages 19/20/21) who the Jays didn't take (instead took the Augie Schmidt), or Dave Stieb (All-Star years 2,3,5 of his ML career)
grjas - Sunday, September 20 2020 @ 02:30 PM EDT (#390695) #
Even the best can start weak.

I agree. Pearson looked so dominant in the first game, the talent is definitely there, depending on health. 99 inside at the knees on full count...that made me drool. That first start reminded me of Halladay’s one hitter in his first partial year.. Big strong guys with effortless delivery.

Bring it on.
BlueJayWay - Sunday, September 20 2020 @ 02:37 PM EDT (#390696) #
Yeah Pearson looked special that first game, and not as good after. Then went on the DL with the flexor strain. Probably he was pitching a bit hurt those last few starts. If the Pearson we saw the first game is the healthy, "real" Pearson, we're in for a treat.
greenfrog - Sunday, September 20 2020 @ 02:47 PM EDT (#390697) #
I have no concerns about Pearson’s ability to perform well as a SP in the majors — if he can stay healthy.
Petey Baseball - Sunday, September 20 2020 @ 03:38 PM EDT (#390698) #
If Anderson and Roark are Josh Towers, Taijuan Walker is A.J. Burnett. As a Jay, it was all too common to see A.J. run up his pitch count by getting two strikes on a hitter, spiking his off-speed pitches, then either walking guys or poorly locating a fastball where it would be hit hard.

uglyone - Sunday, September 20 2020 @ 04:27 PM EDT (#390699) #
I'd actually love to know spinrates for guys like towers and chacin.
ISLAND BOY - Sunday, September 20 2020 @ 04:56 PM EDT (#390700) #
Teoscar just makes a very unFisher-like catch. ( For those not watching, he didn't drop it or shy away from the fence) He came away limping but hopefully is okay.
Thomas - Sunday, September 20 2020 @ 05:00 PM EDT (#390701) #
"Cal Quantrill who they traded due to his being a COVIDiot."

I'm sure it's what you meant, but to clear, Quantrill didn't do anything wrong in relation to COVID protocols. Clevinger did.
Kasi - Sunday, September 20 2020 @ 05:12 PM EDT (#390702) #
I’d be happy if Jansen was demoted to our backup catcher.

Vlad and his ground ball rates continue to annoy me.

Tbh other than Tellez it looks like the last wave of AA signings are going to go out with a whimper.
hypobole - Sunday, September 20 2020 @ 05:18 PM EDT (#390703) #
Tbh other than Tellez it looks like the last wave of AA signings are going to go out with a whimper.

You're obviously forgetting Jonathan Davis. :)
John Northey - Sunday, September 20 2020 @ 05:26 PM EDT (#390704) #
Ooops, wrong guy on the COVIDiot thing. Guess since they were both part of that trade I got it mixed up and failed to check before posting. Doh!
Kasi - Sunday, September 20 2020 @ 05:40 PM EDT (#390705) #
Yeah Davis I think could be a real solid 4OF. Romano could be our future closer. There is obv some players out there but it’s hard to not be disappointed by Vlad, Borucki, Jansen, etc.
grjas - Sunday, September 20 2020 @ 05:47 PM EDT (#390706) #
Vlad and his ground ball rates continue to annoy me.

It seems so bizarre. First prospect with an 80 batting rating, home run derby for the ages, extensive coaching on launch angles and nothing but worm burners. Weird.
Magpie - Sunday, September 20 2020 @ 06:00 PM EDT (#390707) #
I've always been rather fond of this one

It's just like this one. Wearing number 19 confers certain powers....
Shoeless Joe - Sunday, September 20 2020 @ 06:29 PM EDT (#390708) #
I bought in heavy to Vladdy, but it was a mistake. He just isn’t athletic enough, and seemingly lacks the commitment to turn this around.
BlueJayWay - Sunday, September 20 2020 @ 06:39 PM EDT (#390709) #
Then again, in Vlad's last AB he hit a rope 116 mph, the eighth hardest hit ball in MLB. He doesn't strike out much, walks at a decent rate, and can hit the ball as hard as Stanton and Judge, and is only 21. It's hard to give up on that.

I don't know what the answer is. Slimming down and better conditioning? A change in swing mechanics?
Kasi - Sunday, September 20 2020 @ 06:40 PM EDT (#390710) #
It’s odd how his body is completely different than his fathers. I guess he got more of the genetics from mom or something. Vlad Sr has speed and was an athletic great OF until his knees went. Jr since he was a teenager has been out of shape and pudgy and those things generally do not improve with age. What he does have is daddy’s bat speed, but that will go too if he keeps up his build.
Mike Green - Sunday, September 20 2020 @ 06:44 PM EDT (#390711) #
Tellez has been fine at first base. Vladdy will make a very good DH sometime soon, and maybe in time for the playoffs this year.

Nice to get the win under the belt and to come home for the rest of the season.
Petey Baseball - Sunday, September 20 2020 @ 06:57 PM EDT (#390712) #
I think with a bit better conditioning, and a shortstop with good range, Vladdy would be fine at third. He has the arm, and he has good hands and instincts. I wonder if they have completely given up on him at that position. He is still so young, and he has plate discipline. As Dan Shulman aptly pointed out during the broadcast today, it appears Vladdy just needs a bit of a fresh start, where knows what position he's playing, and he gets a full off-season and spring training to get ready.
grjas - Sunday, September 20 2020 @ 07:27 PM EDT (#390713) #
I remember Guerrero last year saying that he didn’t try to hit home runs, he just tries to hit the ball hard. Well may be that’s the wrong strategy for the kid. May he needs to think home run, and visualize the ball going over the fence similar to what coaches tell high jumpers.

While he was obviously being served meat balls at the homer derby, he could easily have hit them on the ground as well. Instead he focused on the fence and lofted hit after hit in the air.

Worth a try. What he’s trying now isn’t working too well.
scottt - Sunday, September 20 2020 @ 07:45 PM EDT (#390714) #
A 60 game season doesn't answer anything about Vladdy.
I believe Dante is encouraging him to return to the swing that worked for him in the minor, not to switch to a high launch angle swing. 
I wanna see line drives to the fences.

uglyone - Sunday, September 20 2020 @ 08:26 PM EDT (#390715) #
vladdy has the 2nd highest max exit velo in the league.

but of course his launch angle is bottom 10 in basbeall.

what's interesting to me is that his K% is so much lower than the other guys with elite max exit value - he's at 17% while the others are all around 30%. so there is an idea that maybe he should grip it an rip it a bit more instead of going for a contact approach. but the again, i'd rather he didn't give up and turn himself into a hacker at age 21.
scottt - Sunday, September 20 2020 @ 10:10 PM EDT (#390719) #
Jansen should stick until a catcher demolishes AAA.
Moreno possibly.
John Northey - Sunday, September 20 2020 @ 10:59 PM EDT (#390720) #
Got to figure the Jays know the launch angle as well as anyone - get Vlad to improve that just a tiny bit and boom he'd be an elite hitter with that exit velocity. But tinkering with his swing could screw it all up. I'd probably call Cito in and see if he can help as he was always good at getting guys to hit for more power.
vw_fan17 - Tuesday, September 22 2020 @ 02:02 PM EDT (#390783) #
Ooops, wrong guy on the COVIDiot thing. Guess since they were both part of that trade I got it mixed up and failed to check before posting. Doh!
Maybe you were thinking of Clevinger's partner in crime, also a son of a former Jays reliever - Zach Plesac?
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