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Final 3 vs Baltimore before the playoffs. Ah, so sweet to think about playoff baseball even if it is a watered down one.

Jays are now 2 behind the Yankees for 2nd place so a sweep of the O's and the Yankees losing 2 of 3 to Miami and the Jays get a higher seed. However, the team seemed not to care one iota about that last night as they seem extremely happy to just be in the playoffs. As well they should - The only Jay teams with a younger lineup was the 1980 and 1981 teams which finished dead last 3 times in 2 seasons (1981 was the split season) and in 2019 they were the same age as this season. A thing to remember about those horrid 1980/81 teams is they were the groundwork for the 1983-1993 above 500 and contending every year teams.

1980: Ernie Whitt, Damaso Garcia, Lloyd Moseby, Garth Iorg, Willie Upshaw all played and were part of the 1985 team that won 99 games. Plus Alfredo Griffin who'd return for the WS years
1981: George Bell, Buck Martinez, and Jesse Barfield all joined. All also key parts of that 1985 team.

Those 2 years also saw lots of kids who never became anything in baseball - Danny Ainge, Fred Manrique (just 19 in 1981 who had a decent career), Paul Hodgson (just 20 in 1980 and never had another shot), Domingo Ramos (22, a backup IF who lasted into his 30's)

A big plus those teams had was a very young pitching staff - Dave Stieb, Jim Clancy, Jerry Garvin, Joey McLaughlin, Luis Leal all were under 25 in 1980. This years team is the 5th oldest ever for the Jays at 29.6 but sub 25's Nate Pearson, Hector Perez, T.J. Zeuch, Sean Reid-Foley all give some hope for the future. Now up to 11 starters and 23 relievers (!). 2016 had 25 relievers and 7 starters. 2015 22 relievers vs 12 starters. But both those years were 162 games vs the 60 this one has.

However, this is a playoff team - that is all that matters right now. Most likely vs Tampa Bay next week on Tuesday afternoon (announcers were predicting all games will be afternoon ones so the US networks can put Yankees, Dodgers, and others like that in prime time). Baltimore has nothing to play for - they can't finish dead last, heck it'd be hard for them to be in the bottom 5 now even if the Jays sweep. FYI: Boston cannot finish dead last either - that 'honor' goes to Pittsburgh or Texas (which gets the World Series while also having what might be the worst team in baseball).
Its the Final Weekend (of the regular season) | 83 comments | Create New Account
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bpoz - Friday, September 25 2020 @ 11:45 AM EDT (#390928) #
I thought of Stieb as a #1 and Clancy as a solid #3.

Winning started in 1983,84 and 85 with 89,89 and 99 wins. Our current playoff qualification system (5-8 teams) would have helped the 80s team.

The 2020 format and variations going forward have to factor in building a team and extending the window.

The covid reality will be established by year end. 1) No ST1 and ST2 I expect. So less injuries because of a longer ST. The season starts on time so that summer is not wasted. Maybe 162 games. 2) Fans in the stadium or not. 3) Revenue is strictly TV based with no fans. So more playoff teams make more viewership.

ISLAND BOY - Friday, September 25 2020 @ 12:03 PM EDT (#390931) #
" The covid reality will be established by year end."

I don't know, bpoz. One of the leading doctors in the U.S. said the roll-out of a vaccine might not occur until next summer. Will border restrictions be relaxed enough by next spring for teams to be allowed across the border from the States? What will happen to minor league ball that is dependant upon gate receipts? Will a certain amount of fans be allowed in MLB stadiums?

There's a lot of questions, many more than these, about next year. I guess we better just enjoy the Jays being in the playoffs this year.
bpoz - Friday, September 25 2020 @ 12:18 PM EDT (#390932) #
Totally agree with you ISLAND BOY about covid.

I sort of expect it to be worse. Opening schools favors the virus. Having a known presence for flu season and Christmas will test our protocols. I know the topic is playoff baseball but I have not forgotten the horror of Quebec nursing homes.

Baseball wise I expect expanded playoffs and no fans in the stadium.
SK in NJ - Friday, September 25 2020 @ 12:51 PM EDT (#390933) #
No doubt in my mind that the Jays playoff games will be given the worst time slots this year. A Canadian team versus a team that can't even attract fans in their own state is not going to be good ratings in the US, so whatever the earliest time slot is (noon? 1 pm?), that's likely when the games will be. The prime time slots will definitely be reserved for the Dodgers, Yankees, Astros, etc, and I don't blame MLB or the TV networks for that.
John Northey - Friday, September 25 2020 @ 01:03 PM EDT (#390934) #
Agreed SK in NJ. I'm happy with afternoon games as I have Sportsnet Now - dumped cable a few months ago - so I can watch it easily live or later. The older of us here can remember the 80's when the Cubs put lights in for the '84 playoffs and people went nuts as purists loved having one park without lights. Heck, I loved it in high school as I could turn on Expo games at home on TSN in the afternoon when sick sometimes. Loved that. People used to complain a LOT back then about losing kids due to few afternoon playoff games existing and none in the World Series.
John Northey - Friday, September 25 2020 @ 01:10 PM EDT (#390935) #
Huh, the starting lineup on BR has only 2 with a sub 100 OPS+ - Shaw at 90 and Jansen at 89.

By position Jay catchers offense (by OPS+) is up to 11th now, 6th at 1B, 6th at 2B, 15th (last) at 3B, 7th at SS, 3rd in LF, 2nd in CF (!), 3rd in RF, 3rd at DH. Not bad. Much better than last time I checked. 3B the only black hole now - OPS+ in the 80's for Shaw & Biggio there, while Panik has a 37 and Drury a nightmare -41 in 33 PA. Espinal was 0-2 there.
uglyone - Friday, September 25 2020 @ 01:15 PM EDT (#390936) #
the funny thing is we might actually want to put vladdy back at 3B in order to get Kirk in the lineup.

2B Biggio
SS Bichette
LF Gurriel
RF Teoscar
1B Tellez
3B Vladdy
CF Grichuk
DH Kirk
C Jansen

and hey, does anyone have a good breakdown as to what the Rays' effective lineup/roster actually looks like heading into this series? I wouldn't mind doing some stats breakdowns but their roster is in so much flux it's near impossible.
Jonny German - Friday, September 25 2020 @ 01:40 PM EDT (#390937) #
I'm normally the first guy to say "defence schmefence", but is the difference on offence of Kirk vs Shaw really bigger than the defensive difference between Vlad and Shaw at 3rd?

I think a rusty Tellez is the guy I'd bump if I was convinced I needed to get Kirk in the lineup every day.
Mike Green - Friday, September 25 2020 @ 01:51 PM EDT (#390938) #
And then there are L/R issues.  Shaw over his career has a large platoon split (but a reverse split in a small sample this year).  Against a RH starter, I'd rather have Shaw at third base. 
hypobole - Friday, September 25 2020 @ 01:56 PM EDT (#390939) #
From Dan Shulman:
Jays/Yankees - if Jays sweep BAL and Yanks lose at least 2 of 3 to MIA, Jays are 5 seed. 1st tiebreaker is head to head (5-5). Next is record vs division, which would be 23-17 for both (why Jays need sweep). Next is last 20 vs div. and Jays would win that 12-8/11-9. Simple!

Also, when Ryu came out for the 7th, Shulman pointed out the last time a Jays starter threw a pitch in the 7th inning was August 22, 2019. What's truly bizarre is who - Jacob Waguespack with 7 shutout innings of 1 hit ball vs the Dodgers.
Mike Green - Friday, September 25 2020 @ 02:54 PM EDT (#390940) #
FWIW, the Rays dominated the Yankees during the season, winning 8 of 10 and outscoring them 47-34.  The Blue Jays won 4 of the 10 games and actually outscored the Rays 48-44, despite playing seven of the ten games in the house of horrors. 
John Northey - Friday, September 25 2020 @ 03:07 PM EDT (#390941) #
Thanks hypobole - was going to dig into that but figured why bother as odds are low of it happening. Jays are going to focus on getting set for round 1, Yankees will be wanting to pound the crap out of someone after that series. Still, it is baseball. My favorite point about a 3 game series is in 1899 the Cleveland Spiders - easily the worst ML team ever, went 20-134 overall but won 2 of 4 against the Boston Beaneaters (who'd eventually become the Atlanta Braves) who were 95-57 that year (2nd in the NL). It went 7-2 Spiders, 1-3 Boston, 10-9 Spiders, then Boston decided enough was enough and won 0-14 - the first loss of a 14 game losing streak. They later had a 24 game losing streak. Now that was a bad team, yet somehow they won 2 of 3 at the start of a series vs a very good team that was fighting for 1st. Go figure. Only once all year did that team win 2 in a row in the midst of their hot streak going 4-2 in May - then they went 1-16 after that hot streak. Ugh. 6,088 was their season attendance. I suspect if they let fans in for just 1 game all year the Jays would easily beat that even playing in Buffalo.

So never fear, there is always a chance. And you know these kids will feel like they can win it all - which is possible if unlikely.
vw_fan17 - Friday, September 25 2020 @ 03:11 PM EDT (#390942) #
So many close losses feeling huge right now, like the Giles blown save against Tampa early on.
Tampa would be less likely to be #1 overall, we'd be only 1 game behind the Yanks, 2 up on Houston, etc.
Who holds the tie breaker between us and Houston? They're currently #8, so we'd face the Twins with the current standings, right? If we win 2/3 against the Os, are we guaranteed #7?

Houston is 9-20 on the road, Texas 13-14 at home - based on that, I would imagine the Rangers would win at least one? Or are they going to roll over and lay down for the Astros, just to spite the Jays and/or help a fellow Texan team?
Kasi - Friday, September 25 2020 @ 03:22 PM EDT (#390943) #
Astros are automatically over Toronto because theyíre number 2 in their division. Their comparative records only matter if Toronto passes NY. If Toronto does theyíll very likely be fifth seed behind the ALC #2.
Mike Green - Friday, September 25 2020 @ 03:25 PM EDT (#390944) #
I ran a BBRef search for comparables for Bo Bichette.  I used a shortstop who through age 22 had a batting average over .280 and an IsoP over .200.  I got six names- ARod, Correa, Tatis Jr., Seager, Bo and Juan Uribe (who played in Colorado).  Seager is a pretty good comp.

When I did the same for VGJ, the closest comparison I got was Boog Powell.  Boog had the same OPS+ through age 21 as VGJ, and was a big first baseman.  Boog had a big year at age 22, came second in the MVP race at age 27 and then won it at age 28. 
Mike Green - Friday, September 25 2020 @ 03:41 PM EDT (#390945) #
I did a search for Teoscar Hernandez and the list of comparables brought a smile to my face.  I used an outfielder with more than 1100 PAs between ages 25 and 27 who had a batting average between .230 and .265 and an IsoP between .225 and .265.  The results: Ron Kittle, Hunter Renfroe, Bo Jackson, Bryce Harper, Carlos Quentin, Jose Cruz Jr., Randal Grichuk, Kyle Schwarber, Joc Pederson and Khris Davis.  Grichuk might be the best comp (but Teoscar has put up better numbers in his age 27 year than Grichuk did).

It's harder to find good search criteria for Lourdes Gurriel Jr.  One that I tried ended up with George Bell as arguably the best comp. 
grjas - Friday, September 25 2020 @ 03:53 PM EDT (#390946) #
Joey McLaughlin.  Now that's a name that makes my head spin.  Ahhhhhhh. Redrum!!!
John Northey - Friday, September 25 2020 @ 04:04 PM EDT (#390947) #
Glad we have real games and not the simulated ones BR did - they have the Jays at 66-94 4th in the AL East, 33 games back of the Yankees. Vlad & Teoscar both have 856 OPS. Tellez hitting just 218/284/456. Ryu has a 5.06 ERA, Pearson got 33 starts with a 3.96 ERA and 199 K's, Giles had a bad simulated year with just 19 saves and a 6.47 ERA in 38 games. Tanner Roark with 12 quality starts. Someone called Deolis Guerra has 14 holds (with the Phillies in real life, just pitched in 9 games).

Ugh. Reminds me of why I enjoyed playing those games but never cared about simulated seasons. Too many variables.
vw_fan17 - Friday, September 25 2020 @ 04:18 PM EDT (#390948) #
Thanks Kasi.. Totally missed that Astros are only #2 in their division - based on record, I assumed they were #3..
BlueJayWay - Friday, September 25 2020 @ 06:03 PM EDT (#390949) #
If it's Jays-Rays, which seems likely, then get ready for games starting at noon or something. It'll be awful.

If they somehow get through that round and to the bubble in California, then they might get some better times.
uglyone - Friday, September 25 2020 @ 07:21 PM EDT (#390950) #
jays up 6 early, yanks down 3 early.

2nd place is alive.
grjas - Friday, September 25 2020 @ 08:02 PM EDT (#390951) #
If I was Tampa, Iíd be worried.
clark - Friday, September 25 2020 @ 08:31 PM EDT (#390952) #
Such an exciting young team. I hadnít realized until I saw above just how poor the 3B production had been this season. Improvement has begun already through the subtraction of Drury. The FAís at the position are not too promising. Justin Turner is a stud, but is 35 years old and hard to see why he leaves LA, unless maybe heís good friends with Ryu :)LaStella at 32 is a solid player. I would be ok with running back Travis Shaw next season. Solid defender, lefty bat, and still some hope of recapturing the 30 HR, 800+ OPS of 17 and 18.

I was looking at Jonathan Davisí minor league stats. Kind of reminded me a bit of Reed Johnson. Short compact righty bat with some speed, good D, moderate power and an ability to get on base.

Itís time for Fisher to go the way of the Drury and McKinney. A couple of seasons ago, in an environment with little in terms of expectations, I would have had no problem with the Jays running him out on a regular basis and see what happens. Thankfully that ship has sailed. On a good team, the skills J. Davis brings to the table are actually pretty useful. Time to commit to him as a roster player and see if he can channel his inner Reed Johnson for a few inexpensive seasons!!
uglyone - Friday, September 25 2020 @ 10:46 PM EDT (#390953) #
yanks lose. 1 more yanks loss and we can sweep into 2nd.
cascando - Friday, September 25 2020 @ 11:07 PM EDT (#390954) #
Not sure Iíd want the Jays to end up in 5th, which will probably mean facing Cleveland. That team is red hot and their SP would be formidable in a best of 3.
scottt - Saturday, September 26 2020 @ 10:14 AM EDT (#390955) #
Cleveland is hosting the Pirates. That would make anyone look red hot.

The East has been the strongest division  in both leagues.
Bieber is the best pitcher there is at the moment, so the strategy would be different.

Against Tampa you try to take the first game and hope to split one of the other game.
Against Cleveland, you probably need to win game 2 and 3.
Charlie hasn't announced anything.

Not ready to lose on purpose to go to the Trop.
Passing the Yanks could mean the new playoff format is here to stay.
Although if Tampa takes them out in the first round, there will be some second thoughts.

dalimon5 - Saturday, September 26 2020 @ 10:51 AM EDT (#390956) #
The success of this team in my opinion will lie on the differences that Ryu, Pearson, Youngbloods and team depth will bring. This is essentially what this FO has brought to the table:

* signing Ryu (signing no other GM would do besides Ricciardi)
* aggressively pursuing Youngblood (Bichette, Biggio)
* depth on bench and in bullpen
* "waves" of prospects for future

I don't include Vlad in my difference argument because he is not a product of this regime and because he's just a solid player right now and not a difference maker in the playoffs like the others can be imho. Still as. Important but he won't carry or lead this team, at least not yet.
bpoz - Saturday, September 26 2020 @ 11:50 AM EDT (#390957) #
For 1992/93 Gillick stacked the team I firmly believe. Only LF, SS Manny Lee and C were not awesome players IMO. The big last moves were Winfield/Molitor and Morris as FAs. I think these FAs saw a chance to get a WS ring. He traded for Cone.

The above mentioned FAs had something left in the tank short term. Maybe Trout will sign as a FA one day with us or someone if LAA cannot get him his WS ring. Speculation by me of course. Yelich, Machado, B Harper may also not have WS rings.

John Northey - Saturday, September 26 2020 @ 11:56 AM EDT (#390958) #
I think the mid-season trades helped this year more than they appear to - Walker is our #2 starter now, plus the players had to feel good seeing the GM bring in reinforcements. I remember the frustration of the 80's when Gillick was 'stand Pat' and seemed afraid of making trades at times. You need to trade mid-season to show the team you believe in them, even if it is more cosmetic than real. Robbie Ray (hot and cold, need to keep a very close eye on him as he can lose it fast 94 ERA+ so far), Ross Stripling (84 ERA+, but a big 4 innings to save the pen vs the Yankees his only game without allowing a run all year) both have shown they can help, even if they haven't exactly been good so far. Jonathan Villar seems like a frustration more than a help (39 OPS+ with poor defense). The pitchers were very, very important as we've seen a lot of injuries and kids this year. With Shoemaker and Pearson back it helps though.
Mike Green - Saturday, September 26 2020 @ 12:21 PM EDT (#390959) #
My thoughts on the post-season.  The club has a nice opportunity being in the American League in 2020- I don't see a single team that scares me.  How far the club goes will depend on the continued development of young players, luck and the return to health of Rowdy Tellez (he's important for the R/L balance of the lineup generally and in the late innings particularly).   Whatever happens, the overall effect of this weird season for the players has got to be better than any reasonable expectation at the outset.  It certainly beat mine (although I did say that if they played the complete season, I thought that the club would win 36 games and the division).  I am delighted for the players that the season has been completed almost. 

I don't agree with the suggestion that Vlad Jr. is incapable of carrying the team on his back for 10-20 games at this point.  I think he is exactly ready to do that now, but whether he or another player takes a step forward is entirely unpredictable.  They've got plenty of candidates for that. 
Mike Green - Saturday, September 26 2020 @ 12:57 PM EDT (#390960) #
And with the Astros' backing into a playoff spot last night, I owe hypobole a plate of cuttlefish.  Enjoy:

Shoeless Joe - Saturday, September 26 2020 @ 12:58 PM EDT (#390961) #
In the Atheltic today there is an article ranking the best pitches in baseball this year based on metric called QOS+. Some interesting Jays notes were that Taijuan Walker was ranked as having the top 4 seamer in baseball, and Tanner Roark was ranked as having the second best slider.
bpoz - Saturday, September 26 2020 @ 12:58 PM EDT (#390962) #
I too give Atkins a lot of credit for the trade deadline acquisitions this year. He said he was looking for SPs and defense. I thought that he was just "all talk". Everyone wants/looking for SPs. I did not think he would succeed. I figured no Clevinger. Walker, Ray and Stripling gave 3 SPs that are just depth IMO. That is a little harsh I know but without them Kay, Hatch, Borucki, Zeuch and Murphy would have been given the opportunity. The results only show Walker as being definitely good. Ray and Stripling have not yet shown that they are good enough. Villar was not a defensive acquisition IMO. But I will give him more time to prove that he has good defense. I will also give him time to show his good offense. SSS may work against him. He is a veteran from the DR. I am guessing that Montoyo had a heart to heart private conversation with him in Spanish. Mental errors are unacceptable. Especially for a veteran.
dalimon5 - Saturday, September 26 2020 @ 01:02 PM EDT (#390963) #
"I don't agree with the suggestion that Vlad Jr. is incapable of carrying the team on his back for 10-20 games at this point."

How many players can carry teams who cannot field, cannot run and are learning a new position? Not to mention not reaching their hitting potential?
hypobole - Saturday, September 26 2020 @ 01:32 PM EDT (#390964) #
Thank you for the cuttlefish, Mike. I don't feel good about the Astros making the playoffs. They did prove your point about at least one of the near-lock teams having the ability to fall out of the playoffs. However, the Angels were the only team with comparable talent (and might well have passed them with a longer season) but they had dug themselves too deep a hole early on.
Kasi - Saturday, September 26 2020 @ 01:34 PM EDT (#390965) #
He's a lot like Grichuk. Both are players who are quite inconsistent in their batting, but when they're on can carry the team for stretches. However when they're cold they're both very painful to watch. Grichuk at that point at least gives a bit of defense, even though Vlad's bat is better. Gurriel is sort of a player who combines the best of both in that he brings some defense and an overall better bat.

I don't mind these streaky sorts of players which is why I'm happy we have Teoscar, Bo and Biggio for consistency. Heck Panik is quite good for consistent OBP. It just hurts a lot when the streaky side of our lineup (you can add Jansen to that as well) go cold.
bpoz - Saturday, September 26 2020 @ 01:35 PM EDT (#390966) #
I think dalimon5 will win the Vlad argument. It is best to bet against extraordinary success.

For example lets say Ryu, G Cole, S Bieber and B Snell are all playing as #1s or maybe Aces even. This argument has flaws because these pitchers may play against each other in the WC series. All go 6-7 good innings.

Vlad, Donaldson, Betts and others could carry their teams. Betts should have the most help from his teammates carrying the LAD.
uglyone - Saturday, September 26 2020 @ 01:54 PM EDT (#390967) #
vladdy has been so great the last couple weeks that nobody seems to have even noticed that teoscar and bichette are ice cold.
uglyone - Saturday, September 26 2020 @ 01:58 PM EDT (#390968) #
and vladdy hasn't even needed a bunch of luck to dominate - his babip is in a perfectly normal range, and its actually more likely that his meh early season performance contained a whole lotta bad babip luck.
grjas - Saturday, September 26 2020 @ 02:00 PM EDT (#390969) #
"I don't agree with the suggestion that Vlad Jr. is incapable of carrying the team on his back for 10-20 games at this point."
I agree with you. He is a very streaky hitter so far in the majors, but he is on a roll right how with an OPS of 1.3 over the last 7 games and .940 over the last 30.  If he can keep that up, he could be a big difference maker despite the marginal defence.

Or if course, he could once again start to hit like a croquet player.
uglyone - Saturday, September 26 2020 @ 02:03 PM EDT (#390970) #
it would probably be wise for Montoya to build his playoffs lineups around the fact that vladdy is clearly our best hitter.
Mike Green - Saturday, September 26 2020 @ 02:07 PM EDT (#390971) #
Glad you enjoyed the cuttlefish, hypobole. 

Vlad hasn't struck out and has 5 extra base hits during the last week.  That's what a dominant stretch will look like for him- he seems to be more comfortable at first base also (to my surprise) and that may have something to do with it.  Anyways, he's 21 years old and has a full season's worth of PAs behind him. 
Kasi - Saturday, September 26 2020 @ 02:11 PM EDT (#390972) #
Both Bo and Teoscar have recently come off of injuries. It's no surprise its been taking them a while to get their timing back.
Kasi - Saturday, September 26 2020 @ 02:14 PM EDT (#390973) #
I think it is also a bit of a stretch to call Vlad the best hitter on the team after results driven from primarily the last series against the Yankees. He's hot now sure but he could go cold again. He is still no better than the 5th best hitter on this team. (after Teoscar, Bo, Biggio and Gurriel)
uglyone - Saturday, September 26 2020 @ 02:36 PM EDT (#390974) #
Last 2yrs

Bichette (22): 337pa, 5.6b%/22.6k%, .364babip, 138wrc+
Gurriel (26): 561pa, 6.1b%/23.5k%, .326babip, 126wrc+
Biggio (25): 676pa, 16.0b%/26.5k%, .310babip, 118wrc+
Teoscar (27): 667pa, 8.8b%/32.1k%, .311babip, 116wrc+
Vladdy (21): 749pa, 8.8b%/17.0k%, .302babip, 109wrc+

- only bichette stands out from the rest, but with an unsustainable babip in by far the smallest sample
- vladdy has the best underlying numbers (biggio the only oje even close there), and is the youngest

Last 30 days:

Gurriel (26): 106pa, .389babip, 156wrc+
Teoscar (27): 84pa, .391babip, 131wrc+
Vladdy (21): 112pa, .309babip, 120wrc+
Biggio (25): 124pa, .314babip, 96wrc+
Bichette (22): 61pa, .341babip, 75wrc+

- only Gurriel and Teoscar rank ahead of Vladdy, but with extremely unsustainable babip

Fangraphs Combined Projections going forward this year:

Vladdy (21): 120wrc+
Bichette (22): 110
Teoscar (27): 109
Biggio (25): 104
Gurriel (26): 104
Kasi - Saturday, September 26 2020 @ 02:50 PM EDT (#390975) #
Fangraphs projections are pointless because theyíre still hung up on Vlads minor league numbers, not the batter with a 50%+ ground ball rate.

.350+ babip are non unsustainable for young fast players. Itís not like Bo or Teoscars numbers are out of what other young stars are doing.

I am happy Vlad isnít striking out lately, but he still has a long way to go to being the best hitter on this team.
dalimon5 - Saturday, September 26 2020 @ 02:55 PM EDT (#390976) #
Just remember WRC and WAR are not a scientific measurement agreed by everyone so your numbers may not land with some posters. Also, you're numbers are always trimmed or elongated to strengthen the point you're trying to make. What's the WRC+ equivalent measurement for errors leading to blown leads or wins?

Last time I bought into your numbers for projection you had me believing that Jansen was going to be a top 3 hitter for us at the MLB level.

Sometimes it's good to use real world stats and project. Sometimes it's good to just use your eyes.
bpoz - Saturday, September 26 2020 @ 03:03 PM EDT (#390977) #
Biggio, Bo, Pearson and others have talked in terms of "never give up" and believing in themselves and their teammates. Their whole careers are SSS. Even Teoscar is a sort of SSS. Defensively the was quite bad before this year. When Montoyo took over he visited Teoscar about improving his defense. He was optioned to Buffalo last year to work on something. This year he was very angry at himself for a misplayed ball when fielding. I believe that he considered/knew he was better than that. Then he became good. I listen rather than watch the games. Teoscar has done well defensively since that day I think.

With Vlad same thing happened to him. But when batting. He popped up a ball that he believed he should have crushed. He was angry with himself. Then he got very hot with the bat.

Always the next day I see high light video of the game. I saw Teoscar seething and Vlad very disappointed in himself. As usual everything is SSS. We will see in the playoffs.

I believe in all the young guys. Even Kirk who has the smallest SSS.

Lastly the Mtl QB Sonny Wade could raise his game in the playoffs. Others do the opposite. Lets see what happens this year.
PeterG - Saturday, September 26 2020 @ 03:06 PM EDT (#390978) #
Zeuch starts tonight. BIchette, Grichuk and Jansen are being rested.
bpoz - Saturday, September 26 2020 @ 03:10 PM EDT (#390979) #
I have not heard from T Walker, Atkins, Montoyo or P Walker why T Walker was pulled after 3 innings. He did not seem to be struggling.

If he was unhappy he has not said anything to anyone. Which is good IMO.
bpoz - Saturday, September 26 2020 @ 03:23 PM EDT (#390980) #
Thanks PeterG. Zeuch is more groundballs than Ks. He has had 4 days off which is normal rest. Both Kirk and Jansen have caught him. McGuire too.
Shoeless Joe - Saturday, September 26 2020 @ 03:27 PM EDT (#390981) #
There are more underlying numbers that just BB% and K%. Teoscar has easily been the Jays best hitter this season, and by xwOBA Vladdy is the 5th best batter on the team after Teoscar, Tellez, Bo, and Gurriel.
Jonny German - Saturday, September 26 2020 @ 03:52 PM EDT (#390982) #
I have not heard from T Walker, Atkins, Montoyo or P Walker why T Walker was pulled after 3 innings. He did not seem to be struggling.

9 up 9 down with 4 Ks. You could say he wasn't struggling. I don't know that I saw anyone say it explicitly but it's widely understood/assumed that Walker was just out there for a final tune-up before the playoffs.

Interesting quirk of Walker's Toronto stats: 4 earned runs against 6 unearned.
uglyone - Saturday, September 26 2020 @ 03:58 PM EDT (#390983) #
- there are untrimmed numbers (last 2yrs and projecions), and trimmed numbers (last month).

- getting into a wrc+ is, well, silly. and there is no war here

- the "useless" vladdy projections have him hitting slightly better than his career 109wrc+, and right in line with his most recent month's 120wrc+, which is eminently reasonable - even conservative.

- what you're actually complaining about is the projections all expecting less from the other 4 than they've put up so far.
grjas - Saturday, September 26 2020 @ 04:09 PM EDT (#390984) #
ďVladdy is the 5th best batter on the team after Teoscar, Tellez, Bo, and Gurriel.Ē

Whatever. More importantly, itís been 30 years since we could have had this type of argument about 5 young Blue Jays. Bring on Tampa...or whoever.
Kasi - Saturday, September 26 2020 @ 04:13 PM EDT (#390985) #
The projections similar to the future value project him very much factored on his minor league numbers. The other players donít have those numbers to prop them up. Which is why someone like Josť Bautista even after his breakout year didnít have good projections. So they have Vlad projected as a 120 WRC player. That is still fifth best on the team and since that is the only thing he brings he better be better than that.
Kasi - Saturday, September 26 2020 @ 04:18 PM EDT (#390986) #
I also don't think you want to optimize the lineup to move Vlad up. He is considerably worse both this season and career hitting up in the lineup. By far his most success has been batting 5th or 6th and that is where he should stay.

It is nice to be able to have this argument. If Groshans and Martin and Kirk can make a splash and maybe we can get 1-2 other surprise players from the minors (Oreldis, Josh P, etc) this lineup could be loaded for years to come.
scottt - Saturday, September 26 2020 @ 04:19 PM EDT (#390987) #
Walker was on a low pitch limit to make sure he's tuned for his playoff start.
He was laughing on the bench after he was pulled out, so I assume he's mature enough to deal with it.

uglyone - Saturday, September 26 2020 @ 04:22 PM EDT (#390988) #
yes, we all know the story of jose Bautista, and how safe an example that is to use for all our players when they get hot for a month (even when they've already fallen off their highs).

anyways, Vladdy is at a 130wrc+ over his last 50gms. With a .304babip - and yes that's even with his super low launch angle.

maybe just maybe jays fans have been a bit ridiculous in their analysis of this 21yr old.
Kasi - Saturday, September 26 2020 @ 04:58 PM EDT (#390990) #
Yay he's okay? I'd rather have Acuna or Tatis or Turner or Soto or a dozen or two other young players who have a way better bat and can field and run. That's the thing uo. We were promised greatness and since Vlad has already at a young age thrown away fielding and running there just isn't much of a path to it left. Maybe he can turn into Migeul Cabrera 2.0 but even he early career was a passable defender.
uglyone - Saturday, September 26 2020 @ 05:09 PM EDT (#390991) #
actually miggy's defensive numbers were worse than vladdy's at this age.

I don't even know why you bring up names like turner who were still in the minors at this age.

anyways, pretending vladdy is worse than he just because a tiny number of guys have come out guns ablazing at the same age is silly.
Kasi - Saturday, September 26 2020 @ 05:18 PM EDT (#390992) #
It really doesn't matter that he's 3 years younger. What matters is years of control and whether that starts at 21 or 24 is fairly meaningless.

Miguel was good enough to stay at 3b for a number of years and even had a few decent seasons in there. Discussions have already begun on making Vlad a full time DH.

I don't need to pretend he is worse. He is worse than those players. And because of his base running and his fielding he will never be a superstar. What I can hope at this point is that he can one day become Nelson Cruz or David Ortiz or that type of bat.
Magpie - Saturday, September 26 2020 @ 05:19 PM EDT (#390993) #
Interesting quirk of Walker's Toronto stats: 4 earned runs against 6 unearned.

Derek Fisher, ladies and gentlemen.
uglyone - Saturday, September 26 2020 @ 05:23 PM EDT (#390996) #
yeah it really does matter, and yeah you're doing your damnest to pretend he's worse.

and miggy was a disaster at 3b.
Kasi - Saturday, September 26 2020 @ 05:30 PM EDT (#390997) #
Not much to do to pretend here. All the stats show he's not the best hitter on our team and nowhere near other young stars in the league. And hitting is the only thing he brings to the table. That's not to say he's a bad player, but he's going to have to improve quite a bit to live up to his hype. A career .7 war in 180 games just isn't that good. I do hope your faith in him proves right, it is just that most fans have given up on our dreams of what he'd be from his minor league numbers a couple years ago.
uglyone - Saturday, September 26 2020 @ 05:37 PM EDT (#390998) #
yes, you have given up your dreams on a 21yr old so much so that you need to pretend he is worse than he is. I get it.

but the numbers are what they are regardless.
uglyone - Saturday, September 26 2020 @ 05:39 PM EDT (#390999) #
evidence of you pretending he is worse than he is:

- dismissing perfectly reasonable projections out of hand
- dismissing miggy's defensive numbers out of hand
- dismissing other players' question marks our of hand
bpoz - Saturday, September 26 2020 @ 06:34 PM EDT (#391003) #
Vlad: Hard hit balls (unlikely to improve), bb/k ratio, BA (hope will improve). I believe in him.

So this year he is not the best hitter on the team to date and there is no time for him to catch up and pass the others. I give him marks for a strong character because he has adjusted.

Parker - Saturday, September 26 2020 @ 07:34 PM EDT (#391005) #
the "useless" vladdy projections have him hitting slightly better than his career 109wrc+, and right in line with his most recent month's 120wrc+

I don't know if I'd say that 120 wRC+ is only "slightly" better than 109. That's the difference between hitting like Nolan Arenado and hitting like Howie Kendrick.
John Northey - Saturday, September 26 2020 @ 11:31 PM EDT (#391011) #
Funny as Vlad heats up we get the 'but he isn't Ted Williams yet with the bat'. He is freaking 21. For comparison...
  • Carlos Delgado at 21: 0-1 in the majors with a walk, he'd be 24 before he got 100 PA in the majors.
  • John Olerud at 21: first season in majors, hit 117 OPS+ at DH/1B - 3 years until he had his first 'wow' year winning a batting title/OPS title, etc.
  • Roberto Alomar at 21: 2nd ML season, 107 OPS+ 0.5 dWAR, had another year before coming here and getting over 110 for OPS+
  • Vernon Wells at 21: 2 PA in majors after a 64 OPS+ in 92 the year before. Hype sky high but was 23 before playing a full season in the majors and 24 before having a good year.
  • Lloyd Moseby at 21: 2nd full season in majors, 78 OPS+, had a 75 the next year then broke out with a 134 followed by a 127 - he never again was at that level.
  • Travis Snider at 21 - the warning sign, a 95 OPS+ in 276 PA, at 26 had a 117 OPS+ for Pittsburgh in 359 PA but just 87 games the next year and his ML career was done. Last year at 31 he hit well for Arizona's AAA team (294/402/497) but Miami had him at their summer camp until late August when they dumped him.
  • Cecil Fielder at 21 - came up to help the '85 team win the division with a 135 OPS+ in 81 PA, but lost his playing time when Cliff Johnson was brought back for lord knows what reason. His age 22 season saw him on the bench for Johnson again, 23/24 again limited playing time due to old guys getting playing time ahead of him then the Jays sold him to Japan and he came back and hit 50 HR for Detroit at 26. Ouch.
  • Fred McGriff at 21 - just 204 PA in AAA with a 711 OPS, 1 for 5 at 22 in the majors, 130 OPS+ at 23 - he was 31 before his OPS+ was that "low" again.
Those are the guys who played at 21 here or were here shortly after (Alomar) that I can recall offhand. There were others, but none really hyped up. Sil Campusano (super-hyped up for no reason) was 22, Manny Lee was 20 when rule 5 drafted here but no one expected anything from his bat ever (his only time over 100 for OPS+ was his final year, 1-1 with St Louis got him a 436 OPS+).

Yeah, I'd have loved him to hit 20+ HR this year but that was very unlikely to happen. If he adjusts his swing slightly to get the launch angle up a tiny bit he could be a monster HR king quickly. And if I had wings I could fly. Lets enjoy what he brings - a decent bat which scares the crap out of pitchers that could become amazing if things fall right. At the moment he matches up nicely to John Olerud at the same age and is well ahead of near HOF bats McGriff & Fielder (limited playing time) and pretty much everyone developed by the Jays ever at this age.
krose - Sunday, September 27 2020 @ 10:27 AM EDT (#391021) #
Agree John, letís enjoy Vlad for who he is and for the skills he brings to the team. He will not be the high WAR player many of us hoped for because of his defensive limitation. I guess there never really was a chance for a Vlad trade. My history of advocating for that goes back to watching him in the Arizona Fall League two years ago. Still, his bat could really help contribute to the teamís offense.
Magpie - Sunday, September 27 2020 @ 10:29 AM EDT (#391022) #
Clearly my exhortation of "Patience, Grasshopper" and accompanying Data Table has fallen on deaf ears. Alas.
krose - Sunday, September 27 2020 @ 10:49 AM EDT (#391023) #
Not at all Mags. I love data more than most. And data tells me that Vlad will not be a big contributor on the defensive side. Your chart compares Vladís offence with other young, high potential Jays. Most of whom never developed that high potential. I have learned patience, and even in my senior years wake up every morning and stretch my grasshopper wings.
John Northey - Sunday, September 27 2020 @ 11:13 AM EDT (#391025) #
For never a high WAR player check another guy who was defensively challenged on my list above - Carlos Delgado - never in contention for a gold glove, was used as a catcher for years in the minors due to ... hmm ... don't know ... a determination that an all hit catcher could work? Then put in LF for a month due to the Jays having John Olerud and Paul Molitor. His peak for dWAR was 0.0 done 3 times (at 21 as a catcher in 2 games, as well as at 26 and at 31). Twice he was a -2 or worse in dWAR. Did it hurt? Oh yeah, his peak was just 7.3 WAR (-1.6 on defense) and 5.9 (-1.4 dWAR) which only allowed him to be in the top 5 MVP vote.

Vlad's total dWAR is -1.4 over 182 games where a full season was spent at 3B and this year at 1B with very little prep time. Pretty ugly but if his bat can grow to Delgado levels he can still be an MVP level player. FanGraphs has Vlad as -10.6 runs last year and -6.8 this year, Delgado as -209.1 lifetime, never positive or even 0, 'peak' of -25.6 in his year with Miami. A peak of 7.4 fWAR despite poor defense (-21 runs on defense in his peak year of 2000).

So yeah, that is a high bar to reach on offense, but it is still possible (as I mentioned above, at 21 Delgado got his first 2 PA in the majors and had 2 more years in the minors before getting a real full-time shot. Give it time. Remember, Rogers can afford anyone if they want to - the Jays have a bigger cash flow than pretty much anyone (although it'll never show in the books due to it being better financially for the Jays to cry poor to other teams) thanks to Rogers owning the team, TV network, and stadium. It'll be interesting in 5-6 years as all these kids reach free agency to see how the Jays handle it. Hernandez begins in winter 23/24, Tellez & Jansen in winter 24/25, the big 3 in 25/26 I think. Still a few years away.
bpoz - Sunday, September 27 2020 @ 12:01 PM EDT (#391029) #
I would like us to open a competitive window and win a WS soon. I liked Atkins saying the team must develop into expecting to win every day.

There have been some small windows. Jays 2015/16, KC 2015 WS. Don't know about Washington's window.

Hope the jays have a long window. Our 80s team had Stieb, Key, #3. Henke & Ward. All those position player parts. Mosby, Barfield and Bell got old but somehow became Carter and D White.

For this team I see potential at this time. Potential power Vlad and Tellez (not much defense there). Biggio, Bo provide a good IF part. Teoscar and Gurriel provide an OF part. The catcher has to develop into an all round catcher if possible. He has to make the pitching staff reach their potential.

We need time to learn how to play the game properly. I think the whole minor system is going to teach that. Hope it is successful.

John Northey - Sunday, September 27 2020 @ 01:11 PM EDT (#391031) #
One thing about the World Series - there are 30 teams in MLB which means if you are equal with all others you win once every 30 years - so one win between 1990 and 2020. The Jays got 2 wins in the 90's as we all know so that covers 60 years of 'random luck'. 1977 to 2020 is 44 seasons of baseball - 1 1/2 WS titles by blind luck would be expected. A bit more due to it being just 26 teams for part of that time frame and 28 for another chunk. Still, at 26 that would need 52 years for the dumb luck principle to get 2 titles. The 100+ year drought the Cubs went through will become common.

Basically - enjoy each playoff run and if the Jays get to the WS really sit back and enjoy as it could be the only time they get there for the rest of your life. Baltimore's last time there was 1983, that franchise (originally the St Louis Browns) started in 1901, first made the series in 1944, won their first title in 1966, made it there 3 years in a row (69-71) winning one more title, then lost in 1979 and won in 83. That's it. So from 1966-1983 they made the WS 6 times with 3 titles, but in the 37 seasons since haven't got there or even been within 1 game of getting there (4-2 loss in ALCS the closest in 1997).

Or you could look at the Jays expansion cousins, the Seattle Mariners - 4 playoff appearances, have yet to win 3 in the ALCS. No playoff appearances since 2001 when they won 116 games (with Olerud, Sprague, and Borders) but lost in the ALCS 4-1. 19 years out of the playoffs. Before the 4 playoffs in 7 year stretch they went 18 years without reaching. Ugh.

Milwuakee, the Expos expansion cousins from 1969, have 1 WS appearance in 1982. Went 7 games but they lost. Just 6 playoff appearances ever but could still sneak in today if they win (hold the final slot in the NL).

You get the idea - a 50+ year streak of no WS wins isn't just possible, but probable now. Thus why I like expanded playoffs so teams have something to play for, and fans something to cheer on - might become like the NHL where as a Leaf fan as a kid their making the semi-finals was exciting in the 90's (5 times since they last won it all in '67). I thought the Raptors would be the same, making round 2 the highlight until last year. So I've been lucky enough to enjoy 2 teams winning championships in my lifetime. Lets hope the Jays can do it again someday, but for now I'm going to enjoy the playoffs which fans in Baltimore can only dream of.
AWeb - Sunday, September 27 2020 @ 02:41 PM EDT (#391032) #
As a kid with limited viewing options in Atlantic Canada, the teams that were on tv were the Jays and Expos for baseball, the Patriots for football, and the leafs and habs for weekly hockey. Some spillover of Red Sox games. I adopted the nordiques when the minor league team was local, and stayed with then after the Colorado move. Then the Jays, Avalanche, and Patriots all won titles. The red sox did too. The Expos of course didn't...but since they deliberately ran the franchise into the ground for a decade or more they mattered a lot less by the time they moved.

I was incredibly lucky to have followed teams that actually won titles when I was young, now as an adult I am a lot less invested (football fandom is basically gone, for example). Any other Jays title in my lifetime is gravy, and I usually remember that.
Magpie - Sunday, September 27 2020 @ 03:49 PM EDT (#391033) #
data tells me that Vlad will not be a big contributor on the defensive side.

Sure, but Delgado and McGriff weren't exactly big contributors with the glove either and it was still worth having them around. And Vlad - at this point - is well, well ahead of them as a young hitter.
scottt - Sunday, September 27 2020 @ 04:14 PM EDT (#391036) #
Meanwhile the Yankees are decimating the Marlins.

Marte came out after taking a 2-seamer on the brim on his helmet.
He really looked dazed.

The pitcher, Urena, came out after taking a 104mph LeMahieu line drive on his pitching wrist.
He was doing the bacon on the mound for a while. 

AWeb - Sunday, September 27 2020 @ 04:19 PM EDT (#391037) #
Have not seen Roark much, but he seems like someone who should not be throwing his fastball much. Straight and not notably hard, no swings and misses.

Davis's catch earlier was incredible, for anyone who missed it.
Michael - Sunday, September 27 2020 @ 06:08 PM EDT (#391045) #
Davis's catch was good. Gurriel was really good. Cole's 9th inning looked like he was on another level just dominating. Murphy looked ok. Yamaguchi not so good, and Grichuk seemed not that great in CF on several plays.

But the big thing is a winning season and playoffs! Let's go Jays!
greenfrog - Sunday, September 27 2020 @ 07:50 PM EDT (#391050) #
According to Fangraphs, Roarkís fastball averaged 92.1 MPH in 2019. This year, it has averaged 90.7 MPH. Thatís a pretty big drop. The velocity of his other pitches has fallen off as well.
scottt - Monday, September 28 2020 @ 08:03 AM EDT (#391064) #
Urena broke his ulna. Marte has an ear contusion which doesn't mean he doesn't have a concussion as well.
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