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The Jays finished off the "road" portion of their 2020 schedule by breaking off their six-game losing streak. In fact, the whole season has been made of road games, but they went 15-19 when playing† in some other team's home field. They will finish the regular season playing four with the Yankees and three with the Orioles in their temporary pandemic home south of the border.

Back in mid-summer 2010, when we were all fretting endlessly about young Travis Snider's development, I thought it might be useful to compare young Snider's path to the big leagues with that of some other young Jays hitters of note. Being an extremely simple fellow, I used an extremely simple method. Snider happened to be 22 years and 7 months old at the time - I compared his career numbers to those of ten other Jays hitting prospects when they were the exact same age. I discussed each player's particular development path, at what, remarkably, was not -† not - excessive length, and I speculated further on what young Snider needed to do going forward. With what passes for wit around my house, I called the ensuing piece Bringing Up Babies, which is where you'll find the actual discussion of how these youngsters became major leaguers.

Years have passed since I wrote my note, and there were some good times along the way. Those good times, however, came courtesy of a few veteran sluggers, arriving from other organizations and turning into world-beating monsters in Toronto blue. The only interesting young hitter to emerge from the system in those years was Brett Lawrie, and that was a tale that did not end well.

Today's Blue Jays, however, generally have not one, not two, but five young hitters in their lineup most days. Sometimes more. It's true that none of Biggio, Gurriel, or Tellez had appeared in the major leagues at the age in question, but the other two - Bichette and Guerrero - are so young† that technically they're still† too young to even qualify for the Bringing Up Babies table. Which is pretty cool if you ask me. Granted, young Bo Bichette is so close to the age marker that he might as well be there already (he's only going to play another 7 games before he's there) and for that reason I think we can safely pretend he belongs already..

But Vlad Guerrero is a different case entirely. Young Vlad won't have reached the same age as the rest of this group of young Jays until next season is over. We're looking at how they Jays bring up babies. Vlad isn't even one of the babies yet. He's... an infant?

And so... here are your Blue Jay Babies, listed in order of Major League Plate Appearances at the age of 22 years, 7 months. I've added a few guys I skipped first time around: Willie Upshaw, Kelly Gruber, and Shannon Stewart. They had all had a chance to play by this age. Truthfully though, Upshaw and Gruber were both Rule 5 picks who really shouldn't have been in the majors at all. And while Shannon Stewart really was ready, in my opinion, to take a regular job in the outfield at age 22 his kindly GM had gone out and signed Otis Nixon as a free agent and sent Stewart to the minors for two more years instead.

The date in parentheses is simply the date when each player reached this rather randomly chosen Magic Month:

Bringing Up Babies, Part 2

Player††††††††††††††††††††††† G†† PA††† AB†† R†† H†† 2B 3B† HR† RBI† SB† CS† BB†† SO† BAVG†† OBP†† SLG†† OPS
Lloyd Moseby (May 1982)†††† 358† 1407 1284† 126 296† 64† 7† 28† 142† 27† 26† 84† 280† .231† .279† .357† .636
Vlad Guerrero (Oct 2021) 175†† 725† 654†† 79 172† 36† 3† 22†† 94†† 1†† 1† 65† 127† .263† .332† .428† .761
Brett Lawrie (Jul 2012)†††† 139†† 584† 533†† 85 153† 27† 7† 18†† 63† 20†† 9† 38†† 91† .287† .343† .465† .808
Travis Snider (Aug 2010)††† 153†† 556† 496†† 66 124† 33† 1† 19†† 63†† 4†† 3† 52† 152† .250† .323† .435† .759
Alex Gonzalez (Nov 1995)††† 126†† 484† 420†† 58† 97† 22† 5† 10†† 43†† 7†† 4† 48† 131† .231† .310† .379† .689

John Olerud† (Feb 1991)†††† 117†† 429† 366†† 45† 98† 15† 1† 14†† 48†† 0†† 2† 57†† 76† .268† .364† .429† .793
Bo Bichette (Oct 2020)†††††† 68†† 308† 289†† 44† 89† 18† 0† 16†† 38†† 8†† 4† 17†† 68† .308† .347† .557† .904
Tony Fernandez (Feb 1985)†† 103†† 292† 267†† 34† 72†† 6† 4†† 3†† 21†† 5†† 8† 19†† 17† .270† .318† .356† .674
Willie Upshaw (Oct 1979) 95 250 224 26 53 8 2 1 17 4 6 21 35 .237 .298 .304 .602
Jesse Barfield (May 1982)††† 68†† 236† 215†† 26† 54†† 8† 4†† 5†† 28†† 5†† 5† 17†† 46† .251† .312† .395† .707

George Bell† (May 1982)††††† 60†† 168† 163†† 19† 38†† 2† 1†† 5†† 12†† 3†† 2†† 5†† 27† .233† .256† .350† .606
Carlos Delgado† (Feb 1995)†† 45†† 161† 131†† 17† 28†† 2† 0†† 9†† 24†† 1†† 1† 26†† 46† .214† .354† .435† .789
Shawn Green† (May 1995)††††† 44†† 127† 120†† 16† 26†† 5† 0†† 5†† 15†† 1†† 2†† 5†† 25† .217† .260† .383† .643
Vernon Wells† (Jun 2001)†††† 35†† 125† 120†† 14† 31†† 6† 0†† 2†† 10†† 3†† 1†† 5†† 24† .258† .288† .358† .646

Shannon Stewart (Sep 1996)†† 19††† 62†† 55††† 4† 11†† 1† 0†† 0††† 3†† 3†† 0†† 6††† 9† .200† .290† .218† .509
Kelly Gruber (Sep 1984) 15 16 161 1 1 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 5 .063 .063 .250 .313
Fred McGriff (May 1986)†††††† 3†††† 5††† 5††† 1†† 1†† 0† 0†† 0††† 0†† 0†† 0†† 0††† 2† .200† .200† .200† .400

Where, you might wonder, are Alex Rios? Derek Bell? Aaron Hill? Glenallen Hill? Kevin Pillar? Adam Lind?

They're nowhere. None of them had played in the major leagues at this age. Josh Phelps had exactly one major league plate appearance (he struck out.)

And once more, I'd like to mention that young Guerrero is still more than a year away from truly belonging to this group of Babies. I strongly, strongly suggest that you remember that little factoid before you draw any conclusions about him. How's he doing compared to... well, Fred McGriff had a pretty nice career. Came this close to belting 500 HRs, was a better player than lots of guys enshrined at Cooperstown. How's Vlad doing compared with him, or with Carlos or Vernon?

Patience, Grasshopper. Patience.

Moving on. The Jays are going to have to deal one more time with that Yankees outfit that did such a nasty job on them last week.† Definitely harshed somebody's mellow. The Yankees, as ever,† remain the focus of evil in the modern world. It's just who they are.

We have some tentative matchups:

Mon 6:30 - TBD vs Roark (2-2, 6.41)
Tue 6:30 - Cole (6-3, 3.00) vs Anderson (0-2, 7.45)
Wed 6:30 - Tanaka (3-2, 3.27) vs Ray (1-1, 5.94)
Thu 6:30 - Happ (2-2, 3.25) vs Ryu (4-2, 3.00)
The Last Home Stand / Bringing Up Babies pt. 2 | 211 comments | Create New Account
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uglyone - Sunday, September 20 2020 @ 09:30 PM EDT (#390716) #
Lineup Stats update (still crazy how good these numbers look)

1. 2B Biggio .312babip, .371obp, 120wrc+, 3.3war650
2. SS Bichette .342babip, .327obp, 133wrc+, 5.3war650
3. LF Gurriel .336babip, .348obp, 136wrc+, 3.9war50
4. RF Teoscar .361babip, .356obp, 165wrc+, 6.5war650
5. 1B Tellez .276babip, .346obp, 136wrc+, 2.1war650
6. DH Guerrero .258babip, .312obp, 96wrc+, -0.6war650
7. CF Grichuk .288babip, .296obp, 97wrc+, 0.6war650
8. 3B Shaw .296babip, .307obp, 92wrc+, 0.8war650
9. C Jansen .173babip, .297obp, 69wrc+, 0.5war650

B. UT Panik .313babip, .363obp, 101wrc+, 2.1war650
B. OF Fisher .300babip, .359obp, 121wrc+, 0.0war650
B. IF Villar .325babip, .310obp, 73wrc+, -1.4war650
B. C Kirk .222babip, .274obp, 36wrc+, -5.9war650

B. UT Drury .184babip, .184obp, -6wrc+, -6.6war650
B. OF Davis .500babip, .500obp, 232wrc+, 12.2war650
B. IF Espinal .356babip, .308obp, 76wrc+, 2.0war650
B. C Joseph .000babip, .222obp, 86wrc+, 0.0war650
B. C McGuire .069babip, .073obp, -55wrc+, -10.1war650

Magpie - Sunday, September 20 2020 @ 09:33 PM EDT (#390717) #
I've gone back and looked at the original piece from 2010 and one of the things that strikes me is how desperately I was trying to be optimistic about Snider, who I never really believed in. (He didn't look like a player to me. He just didn't.)

One of the things I was really focused on, as young hitters turned from minor leaguers into major leaguers, was what happpened to their strikeouts. There were, I asserted, three pretty distinct paths: Adam Dunn, Carlos Delgado, and Fred McGriff. The path Snider followed would determine what kind of career he would have.

Adam Dunn (I was fond of contrasting Snider with Dunn, it became a thing with me )was one of those guys who was fully formed as a hitter by age 20. It's odd, but it happens. Dunn never developed - not a teeny, tiny bit- from where he was then. And so his strikeouts exploded when he hit the majors, from 22% of his ABs to about 32%. Luckily for Dunn, he had awesome raw power and tremendous plate discipline and was able to have a fine career anyway.

Delgado's development looks pretty normal - in fact, he doesn't lose quite as much going from the minors to the majors as you might expect. His K rate and HR rate did increase in the major leagues, but not all that much. In his case, being relieved of the duties of catching may have been the biggest factor in his development as well. But all it really means is that he would have been a much better minor league hitter if he hadn't been catching for all those years. The dropoff from the minors to the majors would be a little more visible in that cae.

Fred McGriff was the really unusual one. McGriff was a much, much better hitter as a major leaguer than he ever was in the minors. McGriff's growth is truly remarkable. He struck out more than 30% of the time in the minors - as a major leaguer, he cut that down to about 21%. His lifetime BAVG in the majors was over .284 - he never hit that well in the minors except for 30 games in the Sally League when he was 19.

So it was pretty simple. If Snider followed the McGriff path, which basically never happens, he'd be going to the Hall of Fame. But if he followed Delgado's he'd be a solid major leaguer. Alas, if he followed Dunn - he'd be like the next Rob Deer and probably out of the game by the time he was 30.

Guerrero, of course, is a completely different type of hitter from those guys. He's right-handed. His Ks have increased significantly in the majors but he still doesn't strike out nearly as often as any of those other guys did. He doesn't have the elite plate discipline Dunn, Delgado, and McGriff had (neither did Snider).

And he's still a baby.
Magpie - Sunday, September 20 2020 @ 09:35 PM EDT (#390718) #
still crazy how good these numbers look

The craziest thing of all happens when you look at Danny Jansen BABiP and then look at Teoscar's.
John Northey - Sunday, September 20 2020 @ 11:14 PM EDT (#390721) #

McGriff at 21: AAA = just 51 games (guessing he was hurt) 227/330/381.
Delgado at 21: AA: 303/430/524 then 0-1 with a walk in the majors, didn't get 50+ games in a season until age 24.
Green at 21: AAA: 109 games 344/401/510, 6 PA at 20 in majors (0-6), 3 for 33 at 21 (1 walk 8 K's), then had a good year at 22, sub 100 OPS+ at 23, at 26 he finally did what everyone was waiting for (144 OPS+, GG, SS, all-star)
Vernon Wells at 21: 0-2 in majors after a 64 OPS+ in 92 PA the year before, in AAA 243/313/432.

So those 4 were not at the level Vlad has shown at 21. 2 are near HOF quality, 2 other were regular All-Stars. Lets not panic. I expect good things in 2021 from Vlad as he has a chance to settle in at 1B/DH then and will have been through his first real struggles in baseball.
Jonny German - Monday, September 21 2020 @ 07:31 AM EDT (#390722) #
We have some tentative matchups:

Those are out of date already! Matt Shoemaker will make a much welcome return today. As low as expectations should be, it does line him up to pitch on the 26th against Baltimore and... October 1st in the 3rd game of a Wild Card series.
scottt - Monday, September 21 2020 @ 07:46 AM EDT (#390723) #
Jansen is an extreme pull hitter who hits a lot of ground balls.
Maybe if he wasn't catching and hitting everyday you'd get some numbers similar to Vladdy's.

To me it looks like the Jays MVP is Ryu by a decent margin.

Mike Green - Monday, September 21 2020 @ 07:47 AM EDT (#390724) #
FWIW, Statcast doesn't think that Teoscar has been lucky at all.  His xBA is 14 points higher than his actual batting average (league average is 11) and his xSLG is 51 points higher (league average is 23).  In the result, he has actually hit the ball better than his slash line would suggest- which fits with a guy who has a line drive rate of 28%, an infield fly rate of 7%, an average exit velocity of 94 mph and above average speed.  His ball-in-play numbers are actually a little better than Mike Trout's in an admittedly small sample.

The Astros are going to have collapse in the last week in order for me to collect on my cuttlefish bet with hypobole.  Obviously it would be better if both the Yankees and Astros had fallen apart, but I'll take one of them.  Please.

Mike Green - Monday, September 21 2020 @ 07:55 AM EDT (#390725) #
Jansen's ground ball rate is 33%, below average, and his pull rate is 30%, also below average.  He hits line drives (23%) and he doesn't pop up much (6%).  What he hasn't done this year is hit the ball hard.  The problem has been too many lazy fly balls to centerfield and right-field.    Even with that, he has been unlucky.  His BA is .160, and his xBA is a still low .226.  With the walks and the medium range power (when he pulls the ball in the air, he tends to hit it hard enough), he'd be a pretty productive hitter at .220.

That's great news about Shoemaker.  The bar is low for him to be the 3rd best starter on the club. 
scottt - Monday, September 21 2020 @ 09:22 AM EDT (#390726) #
20 walks vs 25 strike outs for Jansen isn't bad.
He's got 3 sac bunts and only 1 sac fly.
He's got 9 PA with a runner on 3rd and less than 2 outs, 4 hits, 1 sac fly, 1 home run, 0 strikeout and possibly safe once on an error. That's pretty good.

Another thing to think about, he hits 9th.
First time facing a starter: .129 .200 .226
Second time facing a starter .200 .310 .360
He almost never faces a starter 3 times.

Against relievers: .186 .375 .349

Now, let's see.
34 balls hit in the infield vs 47 hit to the outfield.
Total: 25 ground balls, 29 fly balls, 23 line drives, 4 bunts.
4 hits on ground balls, 2 hits on fly balls (1 homer) and 11 hits on line drives
He's hitting .478 on line drives. (Biggio is hitting .622 on line drives. )

So yeah, his flyballs are worse than his grounders to 3rd.
Half of Biggio's hits on fly balls are homeruns. Jansen does not hit his fly balls far enough.
He's too slow to reach on ground balls and not enough get through. 
He does suffer from not facing starters a 3rd time.

For comparison, Biggio:
first time .191 .240 .319
second  .256 .408 . 359
third       .385 . 500 .692

Kinda explain why the Jays score their runs late.

Super Bluto - Monday, September 21 2020 @ 10:14 AM EDT (#390727) #
Which brings up something I've been wondering: Is the 3rd time through the order thing because pitchers are tiring or more because batters are figuring them out?

I wonder if anyone has looked at how PHs do before and after the starter has gone through 18ABs.
Mike Green - Monday, September 21 2020 @ 10:25 AM EDT (#390728) #
Good question, Super Bluto.  It is relatively unusual for a pinch-hitter to come in to face a starter in his first two times through the order.  You'd have to go look at a few decades worth of data. 
uglyone - Monday, September 21 2020 @ 10:29 AM EDT (#390729) #
tbh I'd say Jansen's line is actually super encouraging.

the walks are at elite levels now and while he may never be a league average babip guy I'd say he's almost certainly gonna be much much better than a .175babip guy. heck just take him from that horrendous .175 up to just really really bad .225 and he's instantly a league average hitter with the rest of his current line intact.
johnny was - Monday, September 21 2020 @ 11:06 AM EDT (#390730) #
Patience, grasshoppers, though I understand everyone who feels disappointed with Vladdy thus far. Our expectations were that his offensive peers would be guys like Ronald Acuna Jr., Juan Soto, and Fernando Tatis Jr., not Lloyd Moseby or Willie Upshaw. This wasn't necessarily realistic or fair, but I wouldn't compare it to the willful optimism surrounding Snider and Lawrie.
hypobole - Monday, September 21 2020 @ 11:20 AM EDT (#390731) #
On the subject of exit velocities, Tangotiger sent out this tweet a few weeks ago, that bunts have been removed. Made no sense to have had them included in the first place. Don't know if Fangraphs has updated to match the new statcast numbers.
hypobole - Monday, September 21 2020 @ 11:26 AM EDT (#390732) #
Don't disagree with patience for Vlad, but I find it ironic that some of the same people preaching patience were making derisive comments about the FO for not having him in the majors 2 years ago. Also not hearing of the extension talk that was so prevalent back then.
hypobole - Monday, September 21 2020 @ 11:35 AM EDT (#390733) #
As for Jansen, maybe he's the guy who really deserves patience. I rarely read Rotographs, but one article about a month ago linked to a study that found late blooming catcher offence was a real thing. I didn't go the linked article and tried unsuccessfully to search for it later. Has anyone seen this?
uglyone - Monday, September 21 2020 @ 11:39 AM EDT (#390734) #
While Vladdy being a mediocre (not bad) hitter at ages 20-21 is dissappointing, what's adding fuel to that fire is his defense.

But tbh I blame management for wasting all that time letting him play 3B, when he was never going to be a good defensive 3B. They should have been drilling him on the fundamentals of first base for years now. But now he's learning that unique position on the fly for the first time this year - the switch wasn't even made until training camp.
bpoz - Monday, September 21 2020 @ 11:40 AM EDT (#390735) #
We have some great young hitters with a few more on the way. Groshans, A Martin and O Martinez.

There are also late bloomers Bautista, EE and Donaldson. Hope we get a few or even 1 soon.
scottt - Monday, September 21 2020 @ 11:52 AM EDT (#390736) #
About the extension talks. Could be the time to lock up Hernandez.
It doesn't look like they'll have a replacement in the farm or a better option through the FA market.
I think it would make a lot of sense to sign him over the 3 remaining arb years + a couple of options.
Or something like that.

Next up is Gurriel. It's likely that he eventually finds more consistency and his defence is just a little negative.
They have him for another 3 years at 4M, 5M and 6M.

Or they could wait another year to be sure.

85bluejay - Monday, September 21 2020 @ 12:00 PM EDT (#390737) #
Exactly what hypobole said - my main criticism with the Vladdy episode is when he was brought up - as a fan of the team more than the individual I want the Jays to get the best use of those 61/2 years of team control - Teams should avoid as much as possible on the job training especially for top of line prospects as took place in the days of Moseby etc. - The jays will have used up 11/2 years of Vladdy without getting quality production - could have moved him to 1B and let him get comfortable in AAA last year and also demand that he get in better shape before he is called up - after "free Snider","free Lawrie","free Vladdy" experience, can we just put that type of silliness to bed.
scottt - Monday, September 21 2020 @ 12:05 PM EDT (#390738) #
Grichuk is 28, Hernandez 27, Gurriel 26.

Hernandez is on track for a 5 WAR season, Gurriel 3 WAR and Grichuk 0.
Davis is good for 0.3 WAR in just 12 ABs.
It's impossible to know what he could do over a full year. He's already 28.
He probably figures as the 5th outfielder for another year than he's out of options.

Despite some early successes this year, Grichuk looks like a sunk cost and an obvious spot for upgrade.
31M over the next 3 years. 

hypobole - Monday, September 21 2020 @ 12:32 PM EDT (#390739) #
When Vlad was called up last year, people were surprised by how much weight he had gained. He admitted he'd been eating too much junk food and had his grandmother come up and cook for him. Vlad had wanted to stay at 3rd and leaving him there was the dangling carrot to maintain his conditioning. He reported to spring training in much better shape.

Then Covid hit and by the second training camp he looked like a wannabe contestant for My 600 Pound Life. Now maybe the FO should have known that his eating disorder would override his commitment to baseball and should have moved him much earlier. But there was a reason he wasn't moved until then.

SK in NJ - Monday, September 21 2020 @ 02:53 PM EDT (#390740) #
Agreed about Grichuk being sunk cost at this point. He has significantly improved his K% and whiff %, but he's done so by regressing in the areas that made him an intriguing bat in the first place (exit velocity, hard hit rate, barrels, launch angle, etc).The 2018 Grichuk in CF is at least an average MLB player, but the current version likely isn't good anywhere. This will be his 2nd straight replacement level season (SSS in 2020 obviously), and CF is the one area the Jays can significantly upgrade considering Gurriel and Hernandez are performing well in the corners. Not sure how they fix this issue aside from trying to move Grichuk in a trade, which will be hard enough as it is, and then finding a better CF via free agency/trade (which will also be tough). They need to find the next Trent Grisham that they can trade for before he blows up. Either that or splurge for George Springer.
Paul D - Monday, September 21 2020 @ 03:25 PM EDT (#390741) #
Gilles to have Tommy John. Tough break for him.
Mike Green - Monday, September 21 2020 @ 03:33 PM EDT (#390742) #
I wouldn't describe Grichuk as sunk cost.  He might be a serviceable outfielder at a more or less fair price, but you don't really want him to be an everyday centerfielder.  As a 4th outfielder and part of a platoon in centerfield, he'd probably be fine.  Jackie Bradley Jr. would be an interesting free agent. 
scottt - Monday, September 21 2020 @ 04:53 PM EDT (#390743) #
If next year was an option for 10M, would the Jays pick it?
The Jays have better options in the corners. Grichuk is probably a small positive in Right Field, but so what?
Even if Teoscar or Lourdes is injured, they'll keep him in center.

The Reds have Castellanos in right field, which is even worse, I guess.
The Marlins have Matthew Joyce, -0.3 WAR.
The Nationals have Adam Eaton -0.9 WAR this year. He only makes a fraction of 9.5M this year and they have an option for 10M next year. Let see if they pick that.
The Cards have Dexter Fowler, 0.2 WAR, who makes another 16.5M next year.
The Brewers have Ben Gamel, -0.5 WAR, second year of arbitration coming up.
The Pirates have Gregory Polanco, -1.3 WAR, almost 12M next year.
The White Sox have Nomar Mazara, -0.2 WAR, last year of arbitration coming up.
The Indians have Tyler Naquin, -0.3 WAR, second year of arbitration coming up.
The Astros have Josh Reddick, -0.7 WAR, makes a fraction of 13M and a free agent.
The Angels have Jo Adell, -1.6 WAR, a top prospect.

SK in NJ - Monday, September 21 2020 @ 05:43 PM EDT (#390744) #
If Grichuk were arbitration eligible on any other team after 2019, he would have been non-tendered, and if he were a free agent after 2020 (which he would have been without the extension), then I don't think he gets more than a one year deal even without Covid impacting revenue. I find it very difficult to see a team trading for him and absorbing $30M for a player that is easily replaceable in free agency or trade. I don't think the contract, while bad, is anything that should hinder the team from making improvements, but it could definitely be an issue if the team wants to seriously take the next step. CF continues to be the area where the team has the greatest room for improvement, and Grichuk's contract might prevent that if they continue to throw him out there to justify the contract. A Jackie Bradley Jr./Jonathan Davis platoon in CF would be an upgrade, and you could probably get JBJ on a one year deal.
Mike Green - Monday, September 21 2020 @ 06:06 PM EDT (#390745) #
I haven't understood player usage since Tellez was injured.  I don't know why you wouldn't leave Shaw at first base and Guerrero Jr. at DH, rather than flipping various players through the DH slot.  Tonight, it's Gurriel Jr's turn. 

Defence has been a particular problem on this club.  I don't know why you would want to work Guerrero Jr. in as a replacement only for so long as Tellez is out. 
hypobole - Monday, September 21 2020 @ 06:14 PM EDT (#390746) #
Sad news about Ken Giles, right when he's entering free agency. I know there was a poster here who argued a few times that Giles should have been extended. He was right on a lot of things, but extending a relief pitcher, no matter how good at the time, rarely would work out well for the team.
Michael - Monday, September 21 2020 @ 06:48 PM EDT (#390747) #
If the contract value being asked for by Vlad has come down due to his lack of MLB star to date, I'd definitely be in favor of an extension now as a "buy low (hopefully)". I could understand if the front office is worried that Vlad would react badly to an extension (less effort on weight/defense) and/or if the price hasn't actually gone down because Vlad and his advisor team still view him as a serious asset/star. But locking in an extra year of FA or a bit lower in the arbitration years salary doesn't seem like a bad idea. He's still young enough and hitting well enough that the most likely outcomes for him are very good, even if the bad outcomes are more likely now than they were a year ago.
electric carrot - Monday, September 21 2020 @ 08:21 PM EDT (#390748) #
Guerrero hits for the cycle tonight. Got a feeling.
uglyone - Monday, September 21 2020 @ 08:33 PM EDT (#390749) #
come on boys payback these cheating sonsabitches.
bpoz - Monday, September 21 2020 @ 08:44 PM EDT (#390750) #
Only 12 pitches for Zeuch. He has been sitting a long time. Maybe he is done for the night.
uglyone - Monday, September 21 2020 @ 08:56 PM EDT (#390751) #
Round Mound of Pound
hypobole - Monday, September 21 2020 @ 09:08 PM EDT (#390752) #
Round Mound of Pound

hypobole - Monday, September 21 2020 @ 09:19 PM EDT (#390753) #
Zeuch hasn't gotten much hype because of his unsexy profile. I do remember uo as one of his few believers, maybe one or two others. But he's about the only Jays prospect I've seen this year with plus command. And it actually seems to work.
grjas - Monday, September 21 2020 @ 09:22 PM EDT (#390754) #
Maybe Vlad reads this site!
Petey Baseball - Monday, September 21 2020 @ 09:27 PM EDT (#390755) #
Off of Mike Green's point, I just B Ref'ed Jackie Bradley Jr. Not sure he would even warrant a multi-year contract with a .729 career OPS, even with elite defense. He'd be an excellent fit with the Jays. It's too bad Gurriel can't play 3rd.
uglyone - Monday, September 21 2020 @ 09:39 PM EDT (#390756) #

Pillar (31): 3454pa, 87wrc+, +6.1uzr150, 2.7awar650
Bradley (30): 3252pa, 92wrc+, +6.0uzr150, 3.1awar650

and yeah I liked zeuch more than a bunch of higher rated (and older) prospects. solid topline numbers and imo the lack of Ks well compensated by an elite gb rate.
Petey Baseball - Monday, September 21 2020 @ 09:39 PM EDT (#390757) #
Kevin Barker had an interesting point on the radio today. He thought perhaps giving Vladdy a non-guaranteed roster spot for next year. (basically a competition with Rowdy for first base). It might be a smart move; it would certainly be incentive for him to take conditioning seriously and work hard on the holes in his swing.
Petey Baseball - Monday, September 21 2020 @ 09:45 PM EDT (#390758) #
It's too bad they gave Josh Towers #1 (Roark) a two year deal, or we'd be seeing Zeuch tomorrow.

uglyone - Monday, September 21 2020 @ 09:47 PM EDT (#390759) #
Round Mound of Pound
grjas - Monday, September 21 2020 @ 09:50 PM EDT (#390760) #
7 hits and a walk between the two 21 year olds. Awesome
uglyone - Monday, September 21 2020 @ 09:51 PM EDT (#390761) #

#BlueJays†Alejandro Kirk HR(1) is the first catcher, age 21 or younger, to record a 4-hit game since Pudge Rodriguez - July 2, 1991 vs. Aís per @therodbot

— Hazel Mae (@thehazelmae) September 22, 2020
hypobole - Monday, September 21 2020 @ 09:52 PM EDT (#390762) #
No shame in being the 2nd best 21 yr old on the team when the best hits like this.
grjas - Monday, September 21 2020 @ 10:41 PM EDT (#390763) #
Great win all around other than Fontís customary soiling of the linen. (Does he have something on Atkins?)

Nice confidence builder for Zeuch and Murphy facing that line up. And for Captain Kirk..not that he needs much confidence building.

This certainly is a streaky team, which I suppose is not unusual given their average age. Hopefully the streak continues for a couple of weeks.
Thomas - Monday, September 21 2020 @ 10:56 PM EDT (#390764) #
I had read he was the first catcher to do it since Mauer in 2004.

Either way, he's fun.
hypobole - Tuesday, September 22 2020 @ 12:24 AM EDT (#390765) #
Thomas is right. Mauer had a 4 for 5 game July 7 2004.
scottt - Tuesday, September 22 2020 @ 08:50 AM EDT (#390766) #
Looks more and more like they'll be stuck with the Rays in the House of Horrors.
grjas - Tuesday, September 22 2020 @ 09:03 AM EDT (#390767) #
I've been hard on the front office over the years, but I have to say, they have assembled the best group of young talented players since the Gillick years.  And there is lots more on the way. Some smart signings and/or trades to fill the gaps and this could be a highly competitive team for years to come.
AWeb - Tuesday, September 22 2020 @ 09:19 AM EDT (#390768) #
Arencibia had a 4 hit debut at catcher in 2010, followed by a scintillating 1-32 stretch to close the year. So the 4 hit trivia about Mauer is wrong, unless it's somehow hyperspecific on some other criteria.

I'll take the 'over' on the rest of Kirk's career compared to Arencibia, which is better than I remember. It was less than 10 years ago when JP gave the Jays 2 perfectly fine catcher seasons, even though he seems like someone from 15 years ago to me, and it seemed disappointing at the time.
AWeb - Tuesday, September 22 2020 @ 09:20 AM EDT (#390769) #
*Oh, Mauer was also 21...nevermind that bit.
85bluejay - Tuesday, September 22 2020 @ 10:16 AM EDT (#390770) #
Nice outing by Zeuch - I heard Ben Wagner mention in a radio segment last week that Zeuch had made some adjustments and was impressing at the alternate camp site.
85bluejay - Tuesday, September 22 2020 @ 10:22 AM EDT (#390771) #
Happy to see all the young arms having opportunities this year like the hitters last year - was hoping to see Josh Palacios in the outfield - with McKinney gone, I think the Jays will protect Palacios or Wall for the rule V draft.
hypobole - Tuesday, September 22 2020 @ 10:27 AM EDT (#390772) #
One more Kirk "comp" from ESPN:

Rookie Alejandro Kirk became the first catcher 21 or younger since Johnny Bench with at least four hits that included two for extra bases
Mike Green - Tuesday, September 22 2020 @ 11:18 AM EDT (#390773) #
The Blue Jays of 2020 illustrate an issue with Pythagorean W/L.  They have gone 6-6 in blowouts (games decided by 5 runs or more- this is BBRef's definition of a blowout).  In those games they have been outscored 94-68.  This has led to them being outscored on the season-  they have scored 5 more runs in non-blowouts.  How significant is it that a team is defeated 18-1 in one game and has an 11-2 lead in another and gives up a 3 run double with two outs in the ninth?  My view is that it is not.

Alejandro Kirk has 13 balls in play so far, with an average exit velocity of 97.5 mph.  Let's see- catcher who hits the ball very hard, very slow and rotund, very good plate control.  Sounds to me like a short version of Ernie Lombardi. 
uglyone - Tuesday, September 22 2020 @ 12:04 PM EDT (#390774) #
most of the modern NBA stats sites use or include "Non-Garbage Time" stats to filter out that kind of noise. it does seem important to.
AWeb - Tuesday, September 22 2020 @ 12:17 PM EDT (#390775) #
Watching him run, I'm not sure Kirk is actually slow right now. Statcast thinks he is but based on only 5 runs. I guess visually, a 5'8'' guy can look like he's moving a lot faster than he really is...I'll be curious if he is currently slow for a catcher (so among the slowest guys around), or just regular slow like Guerrero.
Petey Baseball - Tuesday, September 22 2020 @ 12:17 PM EDT (#390776) #
Arencibia's first pitch as a big leaguer was a home run, which almost never happens. However, what I remember most from it was that Sam Cosentino was calling the game for some reason, and didn't seem to grasp the concept. Luckily Pat Tabler stepped in, something we don't say around here often.
Shoeless Joe - Tuesday, September 22 2020 @ 12:43 PM EDT (#390777) #
I still think Zeuch is a reliever long term, with a best case outcome of Aaron Bummer. I also concede that while Trent Thorton throws a lot of pitches, he has too many release points and tips his pitches, if he paired them down in the bullpen and focused on his breaking ball he could be a Seth Lugo/Ryan Pressly setup man.

The best near term starting pitching a prospect are to me Thomas Hatch, Julian Merryweather and Anthony Kay.
ISLAND BOY - Tuesday, September 22 2020 @ 12:57 PM EDT (#390778) #
I was impressed by the way Seth Lugo pitched in the game he started against the Jays. I didn't realize he pitched more out of the bullpen.
Shoeless Joe - Tuesday, September 22 2020 @ 01:09 PM EDT (#390779) #
Randall Grichuk and Jackie Bradley Jr. through 2019-2020 are very comparable players by OOA and xWOBA.
uglyone - Tuesday, September 22 2020 @ 01:27 PM EDT (#390780) #


Zeuch (23-24): 7gm, 4.1ip/gm, 18.3k%/11.9b%/55.0gb%, .271bip, 70.7lob%, 4.35era, 4.52fip, 4.68xfip
Merry (28-28): 8gm, 1.6ip/gm, 27.3k%/10.9b%/45.5gb%, .324bip, 64.7lob%, 4.15era, 2.26fip, 3.30xfip
Kay (24-25): 16gm, 2.2ip/gm, 21.7k%/11.8b%/43.4gb%, .330bip, 66.3lob%, 5.40era, 4.03fip, 4.85xfip
Hatch (25-25): 15gm, 1.6ip/gm, 22.4k%/12.2b%/39.3gb%, .233bip, 73.5lob%, 2.66era, 4.20fip, 5.13xfip


Zeuch (23-23): 13gm, 6.0ip/gm, 11.6k%/9.6b%/57.1gb%, .256bip, 73.8lob%, 3.69era, 5.16fip, 5.38xfip
Kay (24-24): 14gm, 4.8ip/gm, 21.8k%/11.1b%/35.4gb%, .338bip, 69.1lob%, 4.40era, 5.31fip, 5.61xfip
Merry (25-25): 16gm, 4.9ip/gm, 21.3k%/7.0b%/44.9gb%, .388bip, 66.2lob%, 6.58era, 4.75fip, 3.89xfip
Hatch (-----): ---


Kay (24-24): 12gs, 5.5ip/gm, 26.7k%/8.8b%/35.2gb%, .222bip, 83.9lob%, 1.49era, 2.72fip, 3.47xfip
Zeuch (22-22): 21gm, 5.7ip/gm, 16.1k%/6.2b%/55.2gb%, .298bip, 73.7lob%, 3.08era, 3.61fip, 3.84xfip
Merry (24-25): 22gm, 5.7ip/gm, 21.7k%/5.1b%/44.2gb%, .272bip, 62.7lob%, 3.68era, 3.27fip, 3.39xfip
Hatch (23-24): 53gm, 5.3ip/gm, 21.0k%/8.6b%/40.8gb%, .292bip, 74.2lob%, 3.97era, 4.47fip, 4.09xfip

I know the lack of pure stuff and velo is a huge caveat, but Zeuch has just been plain better than all these guys, and younger, with a real ground ball skill that not only counters his lack of Ks but seems to make him a much more efficient pitcher and the only one of these guys that's shown the ability to consistently eat innings at every level.

And as much as Zeuch's lack of Ks might be worrying, it's not as if any of these guys are K machines either. And Merry in particular seems to have a persistent anti-skill of giving up way more runs than his peripherals suggest.
Nigel - Tuesday, September 22 2020 @ 01:49 PM EDT (#390781) #
Unless they've decided that his arm can't handle it, I can't really understand why Borucki isn't the best near term bulk innings/SP candidate. In his current role, he is throwing much more of what was traditionally his third best pitch (SL) and very few of his best pitch (CH). It looks like he's lowered his arm slot to get better action on his SL which likely has some negative impact on his CH, so maybe he's permanently changed his repitoire. Anyway, he seems like the ideal 3-4 inning pitcher in the Yarborough role.
bpoz - Tuesday, September 22 2020 @ 01:50 PM EDT (#390782) #
It seems to me that all the veterans got a fair shot.

Pitching: Ryu, Roark, Shoemaker, Anderson, Giles, Bass, Gaviglio and Cole.

Position: Grichuk, Drury, Shaw and Panik. I did not consider Teoscar a veteran but a work in progress that the FO was hoping would develop/workout.

The FO was going to sink/swim with the position kids because they believed in them.

The young pitchers were not given much of a chance especially the potential SPs Kay, Hatch, SRF, Zeuch, Borucki and Murphy. Kay got 2 outings that were 3 innings, Hatch 0. Zeuch has pitched 2 games and both 3 innings. I will use the excuse that the FO did not think that they were ready yet. So the #3/4 type veteran SPs were given a free ride for reasons of respect I suspect.

Font is getting a good long look for some reason.

Next year has to be different IMO. The young SPs have to be given more of a fair chance.
Shoeless Joe - Tuesday, September 22 2020 @ 02:57 PM EDT (#390784) #
Iím confused to how Zeuch has been just plain better when Merryweather has better numbers at every stop, and very clearly the better pure stuff.

In the majors to me Hatch has shown an elite fastball and a good change up to build off, and Kay has a better three pitch mix than Zeuch.
uglyone - Tuesday, September 22 2020 @ 03:23 PM EDT (#390785) #
well, I include the IP/gm there because imo it's a big deal. So Zeuch putting up a deserved 4.35era in 4.1ip/gm is imo better than Merryweather putting up a 4.15 in 1.6ip/gs. I guess we could argue the underlying numbers but like I said Merry seems to consistently underachieving his peripherals.

and then his 6.58era in a large sample in AAA is just too big to dismiss based on the peripherals at all imo. the AA numbers are comparable tho.

and then of course I have to consider the age difference at every level too.
Shoeless Joe - Tuesday, September 22 2020 @ 03:31 PM EDT (#390786) #
Are you forgetting about xFIP?
uglyone - Tuesday, September 22 2020 @ 03:36 PM EDT (#390787) #
no, just not assuming that a 28yr old with track record of underperforming his xfip (even with low ip/gm) will suddenly see that change.
scottt - Tuesday, September 22 2020 @ 03:36 PM EDT (#390788) #
Borucki is used against lefties. As a starter, he mostly faced righties.
His best pitch is the change up but he doesn't use it against lefties.
I'm guessing that because he's not throwing it enough, he doesn't have the feel for it.

scottt - Tuesday, September 22 2020 @ 03:57 PM EDT (#390789) #
Nobody wants a reliever who doesn't strike anybody out.
For Zeuch it's starting or maybe mop up duties.
He seemed to have lost the command by his 4th inning, but he once threw a no-hitter, so that's probably not his MO.

Murphy, though, looks like a reliever.
Hight heat, but little command and his third pitch is reportedly not great.

Thorton has that extreme leg kick which makes it hard to repeat his delivery.
Just cutting the number of pitches isn't going to change that.

Merryweather is injured again, so I think he'll have to stick in the pen.
Might explain whey he was throwing so few fastballs.

They'll need some depth starters in AAA. Maybe rotate a few guys and then send them back down to work on something. Eventually they'll be limited to 8 relievers in the pen.
Romano, Dolis, Cole, Borucki, Yamaguchi, Merryweather, Stripling if he doesn't start, maybe Waguespack if he does.
Something like that.

scottt - Tuesday, September 22 2020 @ 04:00 PM EDT (#390790) #
A lot of guys with options will be 6th, 7th, 8th starters and in Buffalo in May.
Mike Green - Tuesday, September 22 2020 @ 04:08 PM EDT (#390791) #
Randall Grichuk and Jackie Bradley Jr. through 2019-2020 are very comparable players by OOA and xWOBA.

Over his career, JBJ is a 97 wRC+ hitter against RHP and 82 wRC+ against LHP.  Grichuk is a 102 wRC+ against RHP and a 110 wRC+ against LHP.  The red flag is JBJ's poorish Statcast numbers in 2020. 

JBJ is quite a bit better with the glove now- the OAA for Grichuk includes his time as a right fielder.  If you look at DRS and UZR in centerfield for 2018-2020 for both, Grichuk is -5 in 1000 innings by both UZR and DRS whereas Bradley Jr. is  +6 by UZR and +1 by DRS.  They would make a nice platoon with Grichuk also able to fill in on the corners to get 350-400 PAs.  If JBJ struggles offensively, you can use him as the 4th OFer and give Grichuk most of the work in centerfield. 

greenfrog - Tuesday, September 22 2020 @ 04:27 PM EDT (#390792) #
When the Jays traded for Grichuk, Keith Law described him as a fourth outfielder. That assessment has held up over time. Grichuk could be a useful fourth outfielder for the Jays if they can find a true center fielder (Martin, maybe?).
Mike Green - Tuesday, September 22 2020 @ 04:42 PM EDT (#390793) #
Martin has openings at third base and centerfield.  Wherever he fits best defensively is where he should play. 
85bluejay - Tuesday, September 22 2020 @ 04:54 PM EDT (#390794) #
I think Jordan Groshans is/was at the alternate site and his development (lack of) I think will impact how the jays develop Martin.
99BlueJaysWay - Tuesday, September 22 2020 @ 05:08 PM EDT (#390795) #
On the Baseball today podcast they speculated that the Rockies will look to move Arenado this off-season to get out from under the contract. What do people think about us targeting him in trade? And what would you expect the cost to be?
John Northey - Tuesday, September 22 2020 @ 05:24 PM EDT (#390796) #
Arenado really has had a bad 2020, so I'd want to hear from scouts and people who dig deep into stats before touching him. 122 OPS+ lifetime before his 84 this year. A gold glover at 3B and holding that end up nicely this year. But he is owed an insane amount - $35 mil per year 2021-2024, then $32 mil in 2025, and $27 mil in 2026 at age 35. He can opt out after 2021 so big downside and if he has a great 2021 he could walk. A year ago he would not have been available for anything, but now the Rockies might be happy to just dump the contract. He is entering his age 30 season with massive money coming.

He could be the solution for 3B for a long time, or he could be a stone on the budget. Major risk and I doubt the Jays would take it.
Shoeless Joe - Tuesday, September 22 2020 @ 05:38 PM EDT (#390797) #
OOA doesnt compensate for any outfield position, where as UZR or DRS gives more credit to better outfielders who play weaker outfield positions. Really OOA just likes Grichuk a lot more than DRS or UZR. Either way I agree a left handed outfielder would help this (#3 ranked) group. The team may like Frisher, others JBJ, but I like Joc Pederson.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, September 22 2020 @ 05:38 PM EDT (#390798) #
I asked this same question not once but twice, and the Beauxites spoke up... We collectively felt that cost would be lower than many think, but trade would be unlikely to happen with this FO. In a nutshell, although that was the prevailing response to my question from what I can remember, that view was still broken up into "we don't want him," and "he's an elite superstar after factoring defense, so worth it" responses.

I don't think the Rockies move him without at least one of Kirk, Pearson or Martin in the return. I also don't think the Jays take him without significant salary retention by the Rockies which why I think we have a good match here.

Rockies send Arenado, Dahl and 50% of the Nolan's salary to the Blue Jays in exchange for Nate Pearson, Alek Manoa and a high B prospect and high lottery A ball prospect.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, September 22 2020 @ 05:40 PM EDT (#390799) #
Arsenal's been playing injured this year.
Shoeless Joe - Tuesday, September 22 2020 @ 05:45 PM EDT (#390800) #
The horrid year and opt out after 2021 makes Arenado untradeable really. I would rather sign DJ Lemaheiu and wait for Groshans/Martin. FWIW, his future excess value is -40 million, so if the Rockies want a blue chip prospect back they would have to pick up ~80 million in salary at least.
uglyone - Tuesday, September 22 2020 @ 05:54 PM EDT (#390801) #


As a Jay: 101wrc+, 1.6war650
This Year: 104wrc+, 1.3war650

imo that's not a 4th OF.
Mike Green - Tuesday, September 22 2020 @ 05:55 PM EDT (#390802) #
Groshans was at the alternative site, but reading between the lines, he struggled at the plate.  It's understandable because he hasn't played in well over a year.  In any event, he's quite a bit behind Martin from a development perspective (and he's correspondingly younger). 
uglyone - Tuesday, September 22 2020 @ 06:00 PM EDT (#390803) #

No Derek Fisher. That was one rough HBP.

— Boo-ffalo Blue Jays (@JoshuaHowsam) September 22, 2020
99BlueJaysWay - Tuesday, September 22 2020 @ 06:03 PM EDT (#390804) #
I too am a big fan of Joc, and would love to see him in a Jays uni
uglyone - Tuesday, September 22 2020 @ 06:06 PM EDT (#390805) #

Injured Blue Jays Julian Merryweather (elbow tendinitis), Jordan Romano (finger strain), and Rowdy Tellez (knee strain) all included, suggesting club believes they could be ready to play at some point during postseason.

— Arden Zwelling (@ArdenZwelling) September 22, 2020
99BlueJaysWay - Tuesday, September 22 2020 @ 06:10 PM EDT (#390806) #
UO, thanks for sharing. Iím happy to see Tellez on there. Hopefully heís close to a return. That would significantly deepen our lineup if he can return to form
scottt - Tuesday, September 22 2020 @ 06:20 PM EDT (#390807) #
Yeah, with the opt out you can't even bet on him rebounding.
Also, there's the Tulo experience.
I'd rather give 40M to Bauer. For one year.
He made 34 starts the last 2 years and topped 210 innings both times.

LeMahieu will go back to NY, but I'd certainly try to raise the bids.

Fisher has had reverse split every single year. Including this year.
I guess you put him in front of 2 other lefties and you hope they make a pitching change in late innings.

Magpie - Tuesday, September 22 2020 @ 06:27 PM EDT (#390808) #
Zeuch is kind of Stroman-lite. These guys succeed by keeping the ball in the park, throwing ground balls, and not walking people. They will give up hits, but you have to string a few together to beat them. Lots of people have succeeded exactly this way.
Nigel - Tuesday, September 22 2020 @ 06:31 PM EDT (#390809) #
Part of Grichuk's value (or lack thereof) is tied to his ability to play a corner OF level at an average or slightly above average level and an inability to do the same in CF. If he's a CF he's a 4th OF - if he's in a corner, then he's the infamous 2nd division regular.
hypobole - Tuesday, September 22 2020 @ 06:36 PM EDT (#390810) #
OOA is definitely the best metric for fly ball catching, but nothing more. Bobbles and other fielding errors on ground balls to the outfield, good or bad throws etc are the areas where UZR or DRS capture information.
PeterG - Tuesday, September 22 2020 @ 06:38 PM EDT (#390811) #
That is true Magpie. I don't think Zeuch has been given a fair shake at the major league level. Perhaps it will happen in 2021 if there is a season. K's can be over emphasized for SP's as they can also lead to higher pitch counts.
Thomas - Tuesday, September 22 2020 @ 06:54 PM EDT (#390812) #
UO, I agree the inclusion of those three suggests there is some possibility they'll be healthy this postseason, but it could be a minuscule chance.

After all, Brandon Drury and Thomas Pannone made the postseason player pool.
greenfrog - Tuesday, September 22 2020 @ 07:03 PM EDT (#390813) #
Labels aside, I think it's pretty clear that something like LGJ/Martin/Teoscar (Grichuk) would be superior to something like LGJ/Grichuk/Teoscar (Davis).

Might as well aim high.

Substitute another player for Martin if you like. With Groshans, Orelvis, Hiraldo, Lopez and other infield prospects in the pipeline, and few outfield prospects of note in the system, it might make sense to try Martin in center field, assuming his skill level at that position isn't much different than his skill level at third base.
Shoeless Joe - Tuesday, September 22 2020 @ 07:04 PM EDT (#390814) #
If you add up his AAA and MLB numbers, Zeuch has walked more than he has struck out against left handed hitters. The lack of a quality offspeed pitch is going to be hard to keep him in an MLB rotation, as he has to nibble with his fastball against lefties.
greenfrog - Tuesday, September 22 2020 @ 07:18 PM EDT (#390815) #
Roark might be past his best before date.
uglyone - Tuesday, September 22 2020 @ 07:27 PM EDT (#390816) #

Gurriel (26): 812pa, 119wrc+, 2.6war650
Grichuk (28): 2864pa, 105wrc+, 2.4war650
Teoscar (27): 1379pa, 114wrc+, 1.9war650


Gurriel (26): 113wrc+ vRHP, 133wrc+ vLHP
Grichuk (28): 102wrc+ vRHP, 110wrc+ vLHP
Teoscar (27): 112wrc+ vRHP, 117wrc+ vLHP


Grichuk (28): -2.6 @CF, +4.3 @RF, +8.8 @LF
Gurriel (26): ------ @CF, ------ @RF, +2.8 @LF
Teoscar (27): -10.0 @CF, -8.3 @RF, -6.2 @LF
uglyone - Tuesday, September 22 2020 @ 08:07 PM EDT (#390817) #
good job that 3rd time through the order, Tanner.
greenfrog - Tuesday, September 22 2020 @ 08:23 PM EDT (#390818) #
Jose Bautista's career WAR/650 through his age-27 season was probably around zero. Sometimes circumstances change.
uglyone - Tuesday, September 22 2020 @ 08:34 PM EDT (#390819) #
round mound of rookie mistakes
Shoeless Joe - Tuesday, September 22 2020 @ 08:36 PM EDT (#390820) #
Honestly a trade that could make sense this offseason would be Roark for David Price. The Dodgers have a full rotation and donít need Price, but this would significantly cut down their tax bill. With the 32 million Boston is retaining for Price he has a -10.8 surplus value and Roark is -12. The Jays could add a low level prospect or extra 40 man player.
Magpie - Tuesday, September 22 2020 @ 08:41 PM EDT (#390821) #
You can see how Anderson is starting his delivery with his glove right up by his face. Chris Black demonstrated on Twitter last week how Anderson was tipping his pitches against the Yankees with his glove position. Good to see that's been fixed.
hypobole - Tuesday, September 22 2020 @ 09:31 PM EDT (#390822) #
Wilmer Font has become the guy who pitches when Santiago Espinal is unavailable.

grjas - Tuesday, September 22 2020 @ 09:37 PM EDT (#390823) #
Iíd rather have Espinal.

Anyway, no one would have bet on the Jays tonight given the pitching matchup. Would have been nice, though, if Anderson had finished off on a positive note.
Magpie - Tuesday, September 22 2020 @ 09:38 PM EDT (#390824) #
As you surely know, Biggio and Hernandez are the individual leaders in almost every team hitting category. There are just a couple of exceptions.

Gurriel leads the team in Hits and GDPs.

And Guerrero leads the team in 3bs. Because baseball in 2020 is so, so weird.
John Northey - Tuesday, September 22 2020 @ 09:58 PM EDT (#390825) #
Don't forget Reese McGuire leads in sac bunts (4). In 2018 the team had a total of 5. In 2019 no one had 4 sac bunts. Go figure.
hypobole - Tuesday, September 22 2020 @ 10:38 PM EDT (#390826) #
In McGuire's case, if you hit like a pitcher, you end up sacrifice bunting. Kershaw was the leader with 15, Ryu had 12.

And Reese actually hit worse than a pitcher. 56 pitchers had 40 PA's last year. Only 9 of those hit worse than Reese's -54 wRC+.
John Northey - Tuesday, September 22 2020 @ 11:29 PM EDT (#390827) #
Heh. Very true. Just nice that he will lead the team in something. When you hit that badly you gotta be proud of doing anything right - even if it is just bunting runners along. Magic number is 3 (Seattle closest)

O's are now 5 back with 5 to play. Jays are 6-1 with 3 to go, so the Jays have the first tie breaker (record vs each other). They are eliminated.

Detroit is 5 out after losing to the Twins tonight. 2nd tiebreak is vs division Jays 18-17 with 5 to go, Tigers 11-23. Jays have that tie breaker locked up, so the Tigers are eliminated.

Seattle is losing 6-1 right now to Houston, 3 1/2 back before that game, probably 4 back once done. So they are still able to catch up. 17-17 vs division before tonight. If they make the comeback their tragic number is 3, if not it is 2.

Angels are 4 back at the moment, winning 3-1 vs Padres, another risky one. 19-21 vs division so far. Their tragic number is 2 I think.

So nothing is in stone yet. Jays are in a great spot still despite the Yankees with the Angels and Mariners needing to nearly sweep everything left to have a chance. And even then Houston is 1/2 a game back of the Jays (depending on the game vs Seattle) and if the Jays finish ahead of 2 of those 3 they are in. Of course, then they likely play the Rays in round 1 (best of 3) which is asking a lot but what could be better than beating the (#&! Rays in round 1?
hypobole - Wednesday, September 23 2020 @ 12:52 AM EDT (#390828) #
Houston beats Seattle, our magic number down to 2. And even more importantly my cuttlefish is a bit more secure.

Just looking at Fangraphs team batting. The 13 worst hitting teams are all from the Central and West divisions.
Kasi - Wednesday, September 23 2020 @ 01:29 AM EDT (#390829) #
Seattle finishes their series with Houston and then is at Oakland.

Angels is in the middle of at Padres and then finishes at Dodgers.

I mean sure anything can happen, but I don't see either of those two teams not losing multiple more games this week.
bpoz - Wednesday, September 23 2020 @ 09:00 AM EDT (#390830) #
Good to see Fisher not on the player pool.
bpoz - Wednesday, September 23 2020 @ 09:34 AM EDT (#390831) #
Neither A Martin nor J Groshans have been added to the playoff player pool.
Mike Green - Wednesday, September 23 2020 @ 09:46 AM EDT (#390832) #
Statcast suggests that the Blue Jays have had five pitchers reach the gold level of suckitude (above 6.00 ERA and expected ERA)- Font, Ray, Roark, Anderson and Stripling.  Ray has a chance to get out of that hole today.

It sure would be nice to get Pearson and Romano back. 
Chuck - Wednesday, September 23 2020 @ 10:51 AM EDT (#390833) #
Good to see Fisher not on the player pool.

I wonder if he has played his last game as a Jay. The team was "brave" enough to finally rid themselves of Drury, McKinney and Alford. Might as well complete the job.

Mike Green - Wednesday, September 23 2020 @ 11:34 AM EDT (#390834) #
Brandon Drury made the post-season pool as did "Josh Palacious". I guess he's a big house kind of guy. 

I feel the same as Magpie about Fisher.  He might be a valuable DH for somebody, some day, but he's not going to get the opportunity in Toronto. 
uglyone - Wednesday, September 23 2020 @ 12:01 PM EDT (#390835) #

'palacious' is a word I think I'm going to start using.
85bluejay - Wednesday, September 23 2020 @ 12:04 PM EDT (#390836) #
With Giles done, the Jays should put him on the 45 day DL and with the open 40 man spot bring up Josh Palacios to get acclimated.
John Northey - Wednesday, September 23 2020 @ 12:17 PM EDT (#390837) #
Josh Palacios was the surprise on the list (no U). He is 24 and has never played about AA. In 2019 he hit 266/371/416 in AA in 82 games. Over 100 innings at each of the 3 outfield positions. 15-5 for SB-CS. Lifetime 50-25 SB-CS. So good speed but not 'wow'. I'd put him and Drury under the 'only on roster if absolutely necessary'.

The OF is set with Gurriel, Grichuk, Hernandez. Davis is the 4th. Biggio would play there when needed, followed by Villar I suspect. Then and only then would Palacios get mixed in.

IF is Vlad/Biggio/Bo/Shaw with Espinal/Panik/Villar as the backups and if healthy Tellez will play 1B most I suspect with Vlad at DH. Drury only shows up if injuries happen.

CA is obviously Jansen/Kirk with Joseph the likely #3 guy and McGuire the emergency guy.

Rotation is Ryu/Walker/Shoemaker/???? Only need 3 for round 1. Pen is going to be massive. Anderson after his good pen game will be there, Bass, Borucki, Cole, Dolis, Hatch, Kay, Murphy, Ray, Stripling, Yamaguchi, Zeuch. 12 guys for the pen.
SRF is next up, Font only if needed same with Pannone. Romano, Merryweather, Pearson are all there if healthy (replacing Zeuch, Murphy, and a not sure). Roark is probably not going to round 1, or later even. I know I wouldn't trust him vs a good team right now.

I'd probably reduce the pen and take extra utility guys who might make a difference in a single game - Davis is the designated runner, Espinal should be there too as the backup runner, which is also probably the best role for Villar. A third catcher would be nice so the team has maximum flexibility late in games. So 4 OF, 8 IF (if Tellez healthy), 3 CA, 3 starters, 8 relievers (Bass, Cole, Dolis, Hatch, Ray, Yamaguchi, Borucki, and Anderson) If only Romano and Merryweather were ready to go I'd cut Borucki and Anderson - guys who can be killer for 1 or 2 innings are very useful in a short series. Lets hope for the best!

LAA now closest at 3 1/2 back with 5 to go for the Jays, 4 for Angels. Spread of 4 in loss column so 1 win gets to a tie breaker situation, 2 clinches no matter what. Seattle is 4 back with 5 to go (4 in loss column). Tigers also 4 back in loss column but have 7 games left (some only played if they matter).

Playoff route is a tough one - first Tampa, then the Yankees or Twins, then the ALCS would be vs a much weaker team from the west or central.
Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, September 23 2020 @ 12:27 PM EDT (#390838) #
Palacios is just a player who kept getting better, and has lowered his GB% from 60+ in the lower minors to 42.9% last year in AA. He has maintained a healthy walk rate and being left handed with experience in all the OF slots won't hurt his chances of getting a taste next year. He might have a shot as a 4th outfielder.
bpoz - Wednesday, September 23 2020 @ 12:38 PM EDT (#390839) #
If the WS winner has every series go the distance that is 22 games in total.

Unlikely this will happen so it is an exercise in strategic planning and line up planning.

The playoff lineup should be strong if mostly healthy. Probably unable to escape minor unhealthy.

Jansen: Catcher.
Kirk: Catcher/DH
Vlad 1B/DH
Tellez: 1B/DH
Biggio: 2B/3B/OF
Shaw: 3B/1B
Grichuk, Gurriel/ Hernandez: OF Potential DH if in need of rest. PH if hurt but able to play.

So far 10 players, 1 starts on the bench. 4 more (1 on the taxi) are Panik, Espinal, Davis and an extra catcher (Joseph just in case).

I want to avoid easy outs like Drury who has had a long tryout. McGuire could get hot.

Vlad and Kirk may be pinch run for. That may or may not be smart. Davis seems like the best PR.

bpoz - Wednesday, September 23 2020 @ 12:44 PM EDT (#390840) #
Forgot Villar. PH and PR. His errors are a huge danger IMO because our 1st round will be against a very good team. TB, NYY or Oakland maybe a AL Central team. Cleveland scares me the most in the Central.
Mike Green - Wednesday, September 23 2020 @ 12:53 PM EDT (#390841) #
A query- if Tellez is out for the wild card round, who would people want to see DHing?  I can definitely see the argument for Kirk as a DH with Jansen catching against a left-hand pitcher at a minimum.  If so, would you carry a 3rd catcher?
85bluejay - Wednesday, September 23 2020 @ 12:53 PM EDT (#390842) #
I liked Forrest Wall coming out of the draft but injuries have diminished him - Wall and Palacios are of the same age and had similar offensive years last year but Palacios improved more and had better BB:K numbers - I think both spent time on the 60 man roster but seems Palacios has been getting more buzz including that some teams considered him for the rule V draft last year.
85bluejay - Wednesday, September 23 2020 @ 01:00 PM EDT (#390843) #
I might want Kirk on the bench when not starting to pinch-hit as he has a great approach - I'd probably go for Shaw at 1B and Vlad DH against RHS and Davis in RF and Teo at DH against LHS - but in this season , a day is a lifetime so I may change my mind if Kirk is still raking come Sunday - I'd lean against carrying a 3rd catcher.
uglyone - Wednesday, September 23 2020 @ 01:28 PM EDT (#390844) #
without tellez I'd probably want both shaw and panik in the lineup I think.

3B Biggio
SS Bichette
LF Gurriel
RF Teoscar
DH Guerrero
1B Shaw
CF Grichuk
2B Panik
C Jansen

but Kirk definitely has time to change my mind there.
bpoz - Wednesday, September 23 2020 @ 01:43 PM EDT (#390845) #
The playoffs would have roster rules. I am not sure about these rules.

1)I think 13 man pitching staff. We have 22 eligible (9 cuts) but Romano, Person and Dolis? are injured.

2) After each series we can pick the 13 for the next series. Don't know.

3) I don't think it is allowed to for example send Hatch down because he was used and is not available for the next game because it is the last in the series. Then add him to the next series if we are in it still.

I like Yamaguchi as the top 3-4 inning guy that can throw up to 70 pitches. Then Zeuch/Murphy. So 2 on my 13 man pitching staff. Yam + Z/M.

If we clinch before the last game. I start Zeuch/Murphy (the one who is not on the playoff 13) for 3 or 4 innings. Then 1 inning each for anyone that needs work and has made the 13. Like Borucki/Hatch/Kay. I may have SRF pitch 1-2 innings just to get through the game. Then send him down. Waguespack is not in the Playoff pool, I just realized (injured).

I pick 1 of Zeuch/Murphy in case we are blown out early. I would like to send him down after the game and bring up the other. But I don't know if that is allowed.

Many hard choices to make. If any of Anderson, Roark or Stripling are not in the 13 man I would be shocked but not upset.

hypobole - Wednesday, September 23 2020 @ 01:54 PM EDT (#390846) #
Drury making the pool surprised me, Palacios did not. Can't remember who posted the link to the Sclafani interview, but the Rochester staff were very impressed with his AB's at the alternate camp.

As for Drury, I have a theory. He has worked to change his approach from when he first arrived. His K's were down, low SwStr%, and hitting the ball to all fields. He had a very good LD%, low GB%, and zero IFFB's. But his exit velocity cratered, and here's my theory why.

He had a mystery injury early in camp. I think it was Covid. Some players recovered completely like Freddie Freeman, whose EV this year is the highest since it's been measured, but others are still reporting lingering weakness. If that was the case, maybe Drury is getting his strength back , which may explain his pool placement.
Thomas - Wednesday, September 23 2020 @ 02:09 PM EDT (#390847) #
Mike, I'd definitely carry a third catcher in the first round. Probably in any subsequent rounds, if the Jays qualified, but certainly in the first round. With a 12-man pitching staff, and only three starters (a fourth starter may be part of the bullpen), there are 14 spots for position players.

With three catchers, that still leaves 11 spots for position players. That leaves 4 spots for the outfielders and 7 for the outfielders, which covers all four outfielders, as well as Epspinal, Panik and Villar, in addition to Biggio, Bichette, Vlad and Shaw.

Obviously this may have to be tweaked the next round for a Best of Five series, depending on whether the team wants an 8 or 9 man bullpen, and would have to be tweaked if Tellez was healthy, but I'd consider dropping Espinal over the third catcher (unless Montoyo is clearly refusing to DH Kirk).
Thomas - Wednesday, September 23 2020 @ 02:10 PM EDT (#390848) #
*7 for the infielders....
Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, September 23 2020 @ 02:21 PM EDT (#390849) #
I think I would sit Panik and have Kirk at DH.
Mike Green - Wednesday, September 23 2020 @ 02:55 PM EDT (#390850) #
Interesting comments from everyone.  I confess that if it were me, I would have been running out a platoon of Panik/Espinal at third base, Shaw at first base and Guerrero Jr. DHing all along. It has the virtue of simplicity and letting Bichette and Biggio work together every day after Bichette's absence.  But that's water under the bridge and I'd keep Kirk and a third catcher on the roster for the Wild Card series, for the reasons Thomas has given. 
Cracka - Wednesday, September 23 2020 @ 03:16 PM EDT (#390851) #
The 28-man roster stays in place throughout the playoffs, but I still think you will see teams with 13-14 pitchers. I don't think we will carry 3 catchers - we haven't yet this season and there's no compelling reason to start in the playoffs. Even if Kirk is the DH and Jansen were to get hurt, I'd rather just lose the DH spot and use pinch hitters or let Roark or Ray (both decent hitters) bat. It might be different if we were adding a 3rd catcher with a plus skill - defense, position versatility, hitting, etc... but neither McGuire nor Joseph add anything more than replacement-level talent.

uglyone - Wednesday, September 23 2020 @ 03:41 PM EDT (#390852) #
that brings up my question - with panik/biggio/shaw all in the lineup, how do you choose which plays 2B/3B/1B to maximize defense?

I'm pretty sure Shaw is the best defensively at both 3B and 1B. Panik might be better at 2B than Biggio, but I'm not sure which js better at 3B, or if either is comfortable at 1B.
greenfrog - Wednesday, September 23 2020 @ 03:43 PM EDT (#390853) #
Roarkís pitch velocity is down this year (per Fangraphs). Not sure why this is. The drop in velocity is significant and it seems to be affecting all his pitches.
uglyone - Wednesday, September 23 2020 @ 03:50 PM EDT (#390854) #
Career UZR150 @ 2B

Panik 2.2 (5560.1inn)
Biggio 1.8 (1007.2inn)
Shaw -8.5 (270.2inn)


Shaw 2.1 (3775.0inn)
Panik -24.3 (64.1inn)
Biggio ---- (54.0inn)


Shaw 10.4 (879.0inn)
Panik 0.0 (9.2inn)
Biggio -80.1 (33.0inn)

so shaw plays one corner, and one of panik/biggio plays 2B.

the other plays which corner?
Nigel - Wednesday, September 23 2020 @ 04:15 PM EDT (#390855) #
I'll admit that, because I find the notion of this Jays team (likely a sub .500 team) "making the playoffs" a bit silly, I'd be prioritizing development and playing Biggio at 2B. Biggio should be the everyday 2B going forward for the next few years and they should take his 3B glove and allow him to bring it out only to be used in emergency and take his OF's glove away from him and bury it. If Tellez is out, I'd park Panik at 3B, Shaw at 1B and Vladdy at DH. Given Montoyo, that's likely the farthest away from actual usage, but youneverknow.
Kasi - Wednesday, September 23 2020 @ 04:27 PM EDT (#390856) #
They value keeping the DH open for rotating players through more than they value keeping the players at the exact positions. Whether that is the right move I don't know but I don't mind them trying to keep players fresh and healthy.
hypobole - Wednesday, September 23 2020 @ 04:32 PM EDT (#390857) #
I find the notion of this Jays team (likely a sub .500 team)

Jays have 28 wins. Have 5 games left, including 3 with the O's and you think they'll likely win one at the most?
uglyone - Wednesday, September 23 2020 @ 04:46 PM EDT (#390858) #
I mean playoffs are playoffs. it would be fairly insane to prioritize development over fielding the best team in actual playoffs, imo.
Nigel - Wednesday, September 23 2020 @ 04:47 PM EDT (#390859) #
Sorry - should have been more clear - true talent sub .500 team. Minus 32 runs RF/RA may have an element of "running up the score" but that's only part of the story.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, September 23 2020 @ 04:55 PM EDT (#390860) #
The playoffs are likely going to be expanded, in some form, moving forward. So there will be average/below average teams making it every year from here on out. The Jays should prioritize the playoffs this season as much as they would being the 8th seed during a 162 game season. Once the owners and players see how much money is involved in simply adding a round to the post season, they won't go back to the usual.

With that said, I do agree that Biggio should be playing 2B as much as possible if the alternative is sticking Villar or Panik into the lineup. Let the veterans who won't factor into the long-term core play out of position, rather than placating to them and moving a core piece around.
Nigel - Wednesday, September 23 2020 @ 05:07 PM EDT (#390861) #
I don't think I was suggesting fielding a sub optimal line-up. I think that you can field the best batting line-up and meet development goals by putting Biggio at 2B and Panik at 3B (for example).
hypobole - Wednesday, September 23 2020 @ 05:23 PM EDT (#390862) #
Don't know if any East teams are as bad as their records indicate. Marlins are the worst hitting East team at 97 wRC+. 12 teams our pitching staff (or any East staff) have not faced are worse, including the awful Rangers 64 wRC+ and Pirates 68 wRC+. 4 others under 90 wRC+.
Thomas - Wednesday, September 23 2020 @ 06:59 PM EDT (#390863) #
Cracka, you are right about the postseason roster size. I was operating under the pre-COVID rules of 26.

That's another reason why I'd add a third catcher for the Wild Card round and make decisions from there. While the Jays haven't carried 3 catchers all year, they have also have needed 5 starters all year and they'll need 3 in the Wild Card round.

I would prefer to mitigate against the possibility of losing the DH, given that our bench (and pinch-hitting options) may well otherwise consist of Davis, Espinal, Panik and Villar.

Plus, I think there may be a psychological factor that may make Montoyo more comfortable DHing Kirk if he knows that Joseph or McGuire is on the bench.
John Northey - Wednesday, September 23 2020 @ 07:47 PM EDT (#390864) #
Such a confusing season. I tend to believe things only after they happen at this point - that is how nuts it is. Still, in round 1 with just 3 games max to play thus 3 starters are all that is needed. Going with a 15 man staff would be silly as 12 relievers would mean 4 different ones each game (possible to need that many, but no way you'd use 4 different ones each game). Only 1 blowout worth of pitchers needed as if you get blown out twice it is over.

The thing about playoffs is the strategy changes a lot. Bobby Cox never seemed to figure that out, while Cito Gaston did thus Cito has 2 rings and Cox just 1 despite Cito getting to just 4 playoffs vs Cox getting to 16 playoffs. Random odds for 16 with the old 8 going to playoffs was 2 wins and he had teams that should've been ideal for it (super strong front 3 for rotation - 3 HOF'ers at that). Biggest memory for me with Cito was how in the season bunts, pinch hitting, both rarely if ever used. Post-season in 92/93 (after the 89/91 headaches) using Derek Bell and Ed Sprague (rookies) as pinch hitters. Putting the leagues batting champ on the bench for a game, putting a DH at 3B for a game (Molitor), pulling starters early (Jack Morris) even when they are vets with a rep for playoffs. Using relievers and starters in whatever role was needed - ego be damned. All season he'd seem to be super-nice to everyone, trying not to pull them early unless he was mad about something (David Wells was a good example of that - I'm sure the two of them had some ugly situations).

Basically I say manage like Bobby Cox during the season, and like Billy Martin in the playoffs (don't worry about tomorrow as it may never come).
BlueMonday - Wednesday, September 23 2020 @ 09:05 PM EDT (#390865) #
Jansen is a triple away from a cycle. Take that Alejandro!
uglyone - Wednesday, September 23 2020 @ 09:36 PM EDT (#390866) #
pound'em, boys, pound'em
hypobole - Wednesday, September 23 2020 @ 09:40 PM EDT (#390867) #
Wild guess. Ain't gonna see Font tonight.
grjas - Wednesday, September 23 2020 @ 09:49 PM EDT (#390868) #
Wildest series in a while. Like two heavyweight boxers pounding each other
on alternating nights.
uglyone - Wednesday, September 23 2020 @ 10:08 PM EDT (#390869) #
oh Danny boy.....🎶
uglyone - Wednesday, September 23 2020 @ 10:13 PM EDT (#390870) #
and just like that, Danny up to a 98wrc+....I.e. league average....even though his babip is still stuck way down at .196!
bpoz - Wednesday, September 23 2020 @ 10:25 PM EDT (#390871) #
Great UO. You stuck by your boys.
John Northey - Wednesday, September 23 2020 @ 10:26 PM EDT (#390872) #
Gotta love it - if the Jays win tomorrow with Ryu on the mound they split the season series with the Yankees - 4-5 right now vs the Yankees. Net score including tonight is 57-76 - a reminder than a 2-1 win (Sept 8) counts the same as a 14-1 win (tonight). Same with a 20-6 loss vs a 10-7 loss. I'm sure the Jays would've been very happy with a 5-5 record vs NYY this season at pretty much any point, but especially after that massacre earlier.

Gotta think that having Kirk around with his bat is pushing Jansen a bit with the bat now. If Tellez isn't ready for the playoffs I'd add Joseph to the roster and use Kirk at DH. Heck, I'd add Joseph anyways as in a super short series a 3rd catcher should be more valuable than a 12th reliever.
greenfrog - Wednesday, September 23 2020 @ 10:32 PM EDT (#390873) #
So are we back on the trade deadline bandwagon?

Nice tandem sandwich tonight (Ray 4 IP / Cole 1 IP / Stripling 4 IP).
uglyone - Wednesday, September 23 2020 @ 10:35 PM EDT (#390874) #
2B Biggio .375obp, 125wrc+, +3.6war650
SS Bichette .336obp, 133wrc+, +5.0war650
RF Teoscar .347obp, 156wrc+, +6.0war650
LF Gurriel .341obp, 130wrc+, +3.3war650
1B Tellez .346obp, 136wrc+, +2.1war650
DH Guerrero .326obp, 109wrc+, +0.3war650
CF Grichuk .306obp, 104wrc+, +1.2war650
C Jansen .323obp, 98wrc+, +2.9war650
3B Shaw .304obp, 90wrc+, +0.8war650

UT Panik .348obp, 92wrc+, +1.5war650
OF Davis .409obp, 165wrc+, +5.7war650
IF Espinal .308obp, 77wrc+, +2.0war650
C Kirk .444obp, 201wrc+, +10.8war650

scottt - Wednesday, September 23 2020 @ 10:40 PM EDT (#390875) #
I was wondering if the Yankees starters would be affected by the 5 days of rest.
Cole wasn't quite as sharp as in NY--made a few mistakes that nobody was able to take advantage of--but still amazingly good.
Tanaka was really not sharp.
That's the last regular season game for both.
I guess they'll throw their AAA rotation in their last series.
Seems they waited too long to fix up their playoffs rotation.

The Jays have a shot at evening the series tomorrow. Currently 5-4 and the Rays won their series only because Giles blew his elbow. Not bad. Overall, they could have done better against Boston but they were still recovering from the Marlins days offs.

Clevinger is out for the season. Suddenly a huge blow to the Padres who aren't playing that well.

Boston and Baltimore have no pitching but their hitting isn't bad.

scottt - Wednesday, September 23 2020 @ 10:49 PM EDT (#390876) #
I wouldn't worry about a 3rd catcher.
It's only necessary if you hit the DH up in the lineup.
If the DH is hitting 8th and you lose him, his turn to hit probably only comes once while the starter is still there.
The other concern is that you can't pitch hit for him, which is no concern at all with Kirk.

Joseph is not on the 40 roster. McGuire hasn't hit better than a pitcher all year.

Thomas - Wednesday, September 23 2020 @ 11:18 PM EDT (#390877) #
I must admit, I'm confused by people who don't want a third catcher on the Wild Card Round roster. I don't see any good alternative being proposed.

Are you proposing that the Jays carry 11 relievers this round (14 position players +3+11=28)? Are you proposing that the Jays roster Tanner Roark for that series? Or are you proposing they roster Brandon Drury or Josh Palacios instead?

The 11th reliever would presumably be someone like...Wilmer Font or TJ Zeuch. Obviously there would be some debate about the last couple of spots on the bullpen, but I'm operating on the scenario that at most one of Pearson, Merryweather or Romano is available this round. In this scenario you'd already have at least one, probably two of Stripling, Kay and Anderson in the pen, so a further long man seems redundant, and I don't want Font on my playoff bullpen.

In terms of position player options, I don't want Brandon Drury on the playoff roster. I can see a case for Palacios, I suppose, if the Jays really like what he's doing at the alternate traing site (or maybe taxi squad?), but, if that was the case, I would have thought they might have tried to add him to the roster for a few games now to give him some big league experience prior to the playoffs.
uglyone - Thursday, September 24 2020 @ 12:03 AM EDT (#390878) #
I get your point but now that I think about it maybe we will need 11 relievers. heck I would probably describe it as going with 1 SP and 13 RP.

but yeah, besides the 13-hitter roster I posted below, I expect only Villar (utility/pinch runner) and Joseph (3rd C) to also come along.

15 hitters
3 starters
10 relievers
AWeb - Thursday, September 24 2020 @ 12:09 AM EDT (#390879) #
For me, the worst (best?) part about playing the Rays is that players on the team basically don't exist to me. They have the best record in the league and their best player is Brandon Lowe, who has about 1 full season's worth of ABs, and is obviously very good, but exactly the type who doesn't stand out. Their best pitcher is Blake Snell, who is very good and won the Cy Young, but after that? The entire roster is just very good defenders who are a bit better than league average at the plate. The pitching staff is similar, just waves of interchangeable parts that are all good.  Team defense is of course great, but despite all the frustration playing them I can barely remember who they are. They are kinda young, but only because they don't employ older players (oldest guy is 32, and he's the 3rd catcher).

They take walks (2nd % in the league), hit doubles (2nd), strike out a lot (2nd). The pitching staff strikes guys out (3rd) and limits walks (3rd), although weirdly for a team who uses relievers so much, the starters strike out a lot more guys. I don't think they lead the league in anything except wins and saves. Oh, and they don't really have a closer either - somehow 12 different people have saves for them this year, which seems like they must be trying to do. It's the most efficient and least marketable team money can('t) buy.  I might have to skip round 1, I just hate watching the Jays play them so much.
scottt - Thursday, September 24 2020 @ 08:17 AM EDT (#390880) #
The Rays run a lot of platoons. That's the main thing.
They know how to play small ball at the end of a close game.
Also, their ballpark is a terrible place to play.
You can't count on them to make mistakes like the Yankees.

They have 6 or 7 left bats in their lineup and their bench is all right bats.

Right now Meadows (L), Yandy Diaz (R) and Choi (R) are injuried.

I think Walker has brutal splits. I plan for him to get knocked out early and Ray to take over.
Shoemaker is a much better choice here.

Ryu vs Snell.

Borucki should come out as early as possible and be working on his changeup.

Really need a couple of Jays hitters to get hot.

Mike Green - Thursday, September 24 2020 @ 08:55 AM EDT (#390881) #
For his career, Walker vs RHB: .250/.310/.401 and Walker vs. LHB: .240/.310/.424.  Not brutal splits.

Blue Jay batters with 50+ PAs by xwOBA:
Teoscar .410
Tellez .387
Bichette .380
Gurriel Jr. .365
Jansen .359
Guerrero Jr. .347
Panik .340
Grichuk .339
Shaw .327
Biggio .326
Espinal .294
Villar .267

All of the numbers are pretty good for the role, save for Villar's.  You can safely add 15-20 points to Biggio's numbers for the ability to hit it where they aint and subtract 15-20 points from Jansen's. 

Blue Jay pitchers with 50+PAs by opposition xwOBA:

Bass .244
Cole  .254
Romano .269
Merryweather .274
Ryu .287
Dolis .288
Borucki .296
Yamaguchi .313
Pearson .341
Hatch .344
Shoemaker .346
Waguespack .349
Walker .352
Kay .365
Ray .387
Font .387
Roark .399
Stripling .402
Anderson .404

It doesn't seem like rocket science to try to get the first 7 guys (or however many of those are healthy) to throw as many high leverage innings as possible, and to use Shoemaker and Walker to get some bulk medium leverage work.  In a short series with days off after, it shouldn't be too hard provided Ryu gives you a good start.
Mike Green - Thursday, September 24 2020 @ 09:38 AM EDT (#390882) #
Incidentally, there's a lot of merit to throwing Ryu in the second game of the wild card series  and of the ALDS if you get that far.  You keep him on 5 days rest early on (he pitches tonight on the 24th, the 2nd game of the wild card series is on the 30th and the 2nd game of the ALDS is on October 6th), and you divide up the bulkier bullpen work.  In the wild card series, you can go inning by inning in the first and third games without blowing through your bullpen. 
ISLAND BOY - Thursday, September 24 2020 @ 11:33 AM EDT (#390883) #
I think the Jay's batters have proven susceptible to 95+MPH fastballs. I expect they'll see a lot of them when the playoffs start.
uglyone - Thursday, September 24 2020 @ 12:03 PM EDT (#390884) #
unfortunately the rays seem to have a nice lefty-mashing lineup which sucks given that Ryu is our only real SP.
scottt - Thursday, September 24 2020 @ 12:28 PM EDT (#390885) #
Without Diaz and Choi, it's actually not that bad.

This year, Walker 's splits are .186 .262 .274 vs .278 .367 .544.  Brutal.
2 HR over 126 batters vs 6 HR over  90 batters.

He pitched in 1 game last year. 3 the year before.
I don't think he throws the same as he did in 2017, so it's kinda moot.
The changeup he's using now is like a 2-seamer that moves inside to a right handed batter.

He throws a lot more sliders now, up to 20%.
He's dropped the cutter.
With the Mariners, his fastball was averaging 95mph, vs 93.5 now.

It's not like the Yankees Stadium meltdown had much to do with it either since the Yankees are almost all right handed batters.

scottt - Thursday, September 24 2020 @ 12:56 PM EDT (#390886) #
The White Sox play one more against Cleveland tonight and then they finish with 3 against the Cubs.
That's a tough ending. All of those teams have already clinched but the Yankees could still make it to the 4th spot to win home advantage and the White Sox could fall all the way to 7th while Cleveland plays the Pirates.

A bunch of meaningful games with the bottom of each team's rotation.

pubster - Thursday, September 24 2020 @ 03:39 PM EDT (#390887) #
Jays part ways with Pat Hentgen, Paull Quantrill and Ken Huckaby.
Mike Green - Thursday, September 24 2020 @ 03:50 PM EDT (#390888) #
Alejandro Kirk gets the start at DH tonight against the lefty.  Villar plays at second base. 
scottt - Thursday, September 24 2020 @ 03:59 PM EDT (#390889) #
Biggio at 3rd.

Biggio and 8 right bats.

RHB are .281 .317 .491 against Montgomery this year.

John Northey - Thursday, September 24 2020 @ 04:14 PM EDT (#390890) #
Funny, last pitch Hentgen threw was in 2004, Quantrill 2001 as a Jay (2005 as a pro), Huckaby 2005 as a Jay, 2006 as a ML, 2008 as a pro (2 years in AAA after done in the majors) - hard to believe he had 6 years in the majors - 161 games 451 PA with his 41 OPS+. Love Huckaby's last line as a Jay in B-R "October 1, 2005: Sent from the Toronto Blue Jays to ??? in an unknown transaction. (Date given is approximate. Exact date is uncertain.)" What is super-bizarre is he was used as a pinch runner twice including once in his final season at age 35 (ran for Jason Varitek).

Yeah, I know you mean as coaches. Just fun to dig into those guys careers again. A shame the Jays didn't get Paul Quantrill's kid but he was taken 8th overall, Jays had the 21st pick (used on T.J. Zeuch (9 guys drafted before Zeuch haven't reached yet) - Anthony Kay taken 31st overall that year, Bo Bichette in 2nd round, Cavan Biggio 5th round - dang, that was a good draft for the Jays. Josh Palacios also taken before Biggio, J.B. Woodman in 2nd round (was traded for Aledmys Diaz who the Jays later traded to get Trent Thornton. Considering that draft the Jays were pretty low in the order (it was based on 2015's standing where the Jays won the east). The Rays only have 2 guys who've reached, net value under 0 WAR, Yankees picks deep below 0, Boston has had a lot reach but the 2nd best is Santiago Espinal (10th round, 0.2 WAR) net well under 0 too. Baltimore despite having 2 picks before the Jays got their first have just 2 reach with a net of 1.1 WAR (Austin Hays & Keegan Akin). Post season it might be fun to dig into recent drafts and see how the Jays did, but the first one by Ross Atkins looks like a good one.
John Northey - Thursday, September 24 2020 @ 04:28 PM EDT (#390891) #
Font down, Pearson back! Big improvement.
Mike Green - Thursday, September 24 2020 @ 04:36 PM EDT (#390892) #
Font down, Pearson up

There'll be swinging, swaying and records playing
Dancing in the street

scottt - Thursday, September 24 2020 @ 04:37 PM EDT (#390893) #
Font is probably DFAed, he's on the playoffs roster.
I can't imagine anyone claiming him but  you never know.

hypobole - Thursday, September 24 2020 @ 05:10 PM EDT (#390894) #
Jays part ways with Pat Hentgen, Paull Quantrill and Ken Huckaby.

Jays Care Auction 3 Days ago:

2: Virtual Viewing Party with Blue Jays Alumni

Join Pat Hentgen or Jesse Barfield for a virtual viewing party you and your friends will never forget!

Nigel - Thursday, September 24 2020 @ 05:19 PM EDT (#390895) #
Pearson just locked up ROY.
John Northey - Thursday, September 24 2020 @ 06:48 PM EDT (#390896) #
So whats left?
  • Jays have a magic number of 1 to make the playoffs.
  • The Angels are 2 1/2 behind Houston for 2nd in the West, Seattle 4 out.
  • Cincinnati & SF are tied for the 2 WC slots in the NL where the race is nuts still. Phillies are 1 back of them and 1/2 a game behind Miami for 2nd in the NL East. Milwaukee is 1 back of the 2 WC teams, 1 back of St Louis for 2nd in the NL Central, Mets (3 back of 2nd in the East, 3 1/2 WC) and Rockies (4 out of WC) both are mathematically alive but there really isn't a route for them to leapfrog all those teams without a miracle. Giants play the Padres, Cincinnati plays the Twins so both have a tough final weekend. Philly vs Rays (also tough), Miami @ the Yankees (ouch), Mets @ Nationals, Rockies @ Arizona. Huh. Mets & Rockies have the easiest finishing kick so who knows?
3 Jays have 10+ HR (Hernandez, Gurriel, Grichuk) with Tellez at 8, Vlad & Biggio at 7 each. Dancing around 300 (298-305) are Bo, Hernandez, Gurriel. Ryu could be sub 3 for ERA if he has a good game tonight. Hernandez could lead in Slg with a big weekend (4th at 609 vs leader Abreu 644). Biggio leads in PA by 3 and is 6 back of the lead in runs scored. Biggio is 3 doubles back of the lead in that category. Biggio is 2nd in walks (6 back), 1 back of times on base (94 vs leader at 95 Rendon). Ryu is 5th in WAR overall, 3rd for pitchers only, Roark 'leads' in HR given up with 14.

So come on Hernandez lets see more HR's to push that Slg% up for the end. Biggio keep coming up and getting on base.
Shoeless Joe - Thursday, September 24 2020 @ 07:08 PM EDT (#390897) #
Font to Pearson is a massive upgrade!
#2JBrumfield - Thursday, September 24 2020 @ 07:15 PM EDT (#390898) #
Should the Jays emerge victorious, I'd like to see Lourdes Gurriel Jr. make the final catch and drop to his knees in celebration with Bo Bichette the first to greet him.

The Jays also let go David Aardsman and Darold Knowles along with Hentgenm, Huckaby and Quantrill. Shapkins are so classy!
Magpie - Thursday, September 24 2020 @ 07:17 PM EDT (#390899) #
Officially, Junior Felix was 21 years old when he broke in with the Jays in 1989. Unofficially, he was at least five - and possibly as much as ten - years older. He was never really a Blue Jays baby.
uglyone - Thursday, September 24 2020 @ 08:17 PM EDT (#390900) #
vladdy is beginning to believe.
greenfrog - Thursday, September 24 2020 @ 08:22 PM EDT (#390901) #
His wRC+ is now up to 115. If you remove July, he has had a pretty respectable sophomore season with the bat.
uglyone - Thursday, September 24 2020 @ 08:31 PM EDT (#390902) #
or even if you don't remove July.

uglyone - Thursday, September 24 2020 @ 08:37 PM EDT (#390903) #
so if we can hold on and win this one we head into the final series 2 games back of the yanks.

we play dead in the water orioles, while the yanks play a marlins team in the thick of a playoff race.
Shoeless Joe - Thursday, September 24 2020 @ 08:43 PM EDT (#390904) #
Not much respectable about 0.1 WAR.
greenfrog - Thursday, September 24 2020 @ 08:43 PM EDT (#390905) #
UO, agreed. And his wRC+ is now 117 on the season.
uglyone - Thursday, September 24 2020 @ 08:54 PM EDT (#390906) #
at 0.4fwar now (1.2war pace).

of course playing 1B for the first time ever doesn't help the dwar much.

edit: Round Mound of Pound
uglyone - Thursday, September 24 2020 @ 09:52 PM EDT (#390907) #
Congrats-ish, Boys!
BlueJayWay - Thursday, September 24 2020 @ 09:53 PM EDT (#390908) #
hypobole - Thursday, September 24 2020 @ 10:02 PM EDT (#390909) #
Congratulations to players, the manager and the Front Office. Bold move for a 95 loss team signing Ryu, and it's paid off fantastically.
uglyone - Thursday, September 24 2020 @ 10:11 PM EDT (#390910) #
2gms back of NYY.
Gerry - Thursday, September 24 2020 @ 10:11 PM EDT (#390911) #
Great achievement and a good base for the next few years.
SK in NJ - Thursday, September 24 2020 @ 10:15 PM EDT (#390912) #
Say what you want about this being due to expanded playoffs in a truncated season during a pandemic, but still a pretty cool accomplishment for a very young team that couldn't play in their home ball park all season.
scottt - Thursday, September 24 2020 @ 10:33 PM EDT (#390913) #
It's part of the reduction of minor league clubs.
Hentgen and Quatrill's position have been made part-time jobs.
They've been given time to decide if they still want the jobs.

Huckabee and they others are affected by the elimination of rookie balls.
People are getting notified ahead of time. It could be less classy.
We'll never know about the decision process around who gets promoted and who gets dropped.

Some of the lost franchises might end up in the Independent leagues and they'll still need coaches there.

I hope they give some work to Bass, Cole and company against Baltimore.
They don't pitch well with too much rest.

grjas - Thursday, September 24 2020 @ 10:36 PM EDT (#390914) #
ďstill a pretty cool accomplishment for a very young team that couldn't play in their home ball park all season.ď

One of the things to love about this team is itís resilience. Not only remarkable comebacks with in games but between games. After the Bronx slaughter last week, a young team could easily be intimidated by the Yankees. Instead, they won this series in commanding fashion.

Fitting that Ryu won this game. Heís the focused veteran influence they needed, calmly soldiering through a ďfive outĒ inning, blaming himself for a 2-1 loss, and giving much relief to the bullpen. Our best pitcher since Halliday.
Thomas - Thursday, September 24 2020 @ 11:29 PM EDT (#390915) #
It's clear, in my opinion, that Huckaby's was less influenced by the elimination of rookie ball and more that the front office didn't like the job he was doing or wanted to move in a different direction in some capacity and didn't feel like he was the person to do it.

He was slated to manage Triple-A and he ran the alternate training site in 2020. That person doesn't lose their job because there's no rookie ball any more. That person loses their job because the front office wants someone else in that role.
dalimon5 - Friday, September 25 2020 @ 07:42 AM EDT (#390916) #
Huckaby's main. Job was to train and work with McGuire and Jansen as the roving instructor in the past. Jansen wasn't polished defensively once he got to MLB and Reese has had some bad approaches during games. Neither has hit.

Ken Huckaby was given a2 year extension last week by the front office before being let go. Many people are losing their jobs right now not just in baseball. I wouldn't consider the FO as being "classy," sarcastically. If they FO wanted their own people they would have done so long ago.
Mike Green - Friday, September 25 2020 @ 08:16 AM EDT (#390917) #
Solid abbreviated season by the home nine.  The playoffs should be fun.

From 2018-20, Hyun-Jin Ryu is 26-10 with a 2.32 ERA (179 ERA+) in 332 innings. He has 56 walks and 324 strikeouts in those innings.  He had labrum repair surgery in 2015 and an elbow debridement in 2016; once he made a recovery from those surgeries, he has become a better pitcher.  An assist to the medical profession in this case. 
uglyone - Friday, September 25 2020 @ 08:31 AM EDT (#390918) #
so we'd be 4gms out of the WC with the regular format, right?

On pace to finish 10-11gms out?

not bad, actually.
Cracka - Friday, September 25 2020 @ 08:58 AM EDT (#390919) #
It would not surprise me at all to see Caleb Joseph added to the playoff roster for the wildcard round. With Font's DFA, we have a spot on the 40-man roster open for him, and it sounds like Rowdy is unlikely to be ready by Tuesday. Other than Espinal, there are no other obvious non-pitchers to add to the playoff roster. And while I'm not in favour of having 3 catchers, I now think it's possible that we could see Kirk as the EVERYDAY DH in the wildcard round, not just against LH starters. And if you're going to add a 3rd catcher, Joseph is the obvious candidate. I think he adds value in the dugout even if he isn't playing.
chris_jays - Friday, September 25 2020 @ 09:01 AM EDT (#390920) #
Right now we are 2 games out under the regular format. Yankees would have the second wild card.
Mike Green - Friday, September 25 2020 @ 09:43 AM EDT (#390921) #
Cavan Biggio has now played almost exactly a season (157 games).  He has 4.4 bWAR.  I ran a Play Index to find second baseman who had between 550 and 820 PAs in their age 24 and 25 seasons (Biggio has 686) and posted between 3.9 and 4.9 bWAR.  I got 5 other post-War second basemen- Devon Travis, Orlando Hudson, Tim Teufel, Frank White and Ron Oester. 

None of them were quite like Biggio- Teufel was probably the closest.  I forgot that Teufel had an insane offensive part-time year during the hitter's paradise that was 1987 (at age 29).  He posted a .308/.398/.545 that year- his line would fit into Chase Utley's career.  Utley, by the way, came up at age 24 and had 439 PAs in his age 24 and 25 seasons with a 2.6 total WAR.  He could easily have been a comp for Biggio (he batted only .257 by the way). 
greenfrog - Friday, September 25 2020 @ 10:20 AM EDT (#390922) #
The postseason appearance this year, coupled with the perception across baseball that the Jays are a talented young team on the rise, may help the Jays attract the players they need in free agency this off-season.
uglyone - Friday, September 25 2020 @ 10:21 AM EDT (#390923) #
wouldn't Cleveland have the 2nd wild card?
uglyone - Friday, September 25 2020 @ 10:23 AM EDT (#390924) #
you bring up some bad memories with Devon Travis, Mike. That kid coulda been something.
Mike Green - Friday, September 25 2020 @ 10:32 AM EDT (#390925) #
The nature of the abbreviated schedule in 2020 makes projecting out to 162 games problematic.  We really have no information on how the Easts as a whole compare to the Centrals and the Wests.  The Easts, the Centrals and the Wests are all playing .500 baseball this year because of the schedule- that won't happen in an ordinary year. 

It may indeed be that Cleveland, Minnesota and Chicago were a lot better than the Yankees and the Blue Jays, but somehow I doubt it. 
chris_jays - Friday, September 25 2020 @ 10:43 AM EDT (#390926) #
Sorry, yes the Indians would and the Jays would be 3 back. In a long season, you never know...
Mike Green - Friday, September 25 2020 @ 10:56 AM EDT (#390927) #
UO, Biggio and Travis and Hudson are all favourites of mine.  I guess I like second basemen- I never thought of myself as the anti-Dick Williams but there you go.
uglyone - Friday, September 25 2020 @ 11:53 AM EDT (#390929) #
yeah 2B always seem like lovable underdogs for some reason.
bpoz - Friday, September 25 2020 @ 11:57 AM EDT (#390930) #
R Alomar and J Kent were 2B.
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