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Itís time to start thinking about the Blue Jays playoff roster.

A couple of days ago, I had a debate with several posters about whether it was worth it to roster a third catcher for the Wild Card round. I donít think either side convinced the other, but, in any case, I figured I would post my playoff roster for the first round and everyone can feel free to pick it apart.

In what is likely no surprise, I am selecting all position players on the playoff roster, except for Reese McGuire, Rowdy Tellez and Josh Palacios.

Iím operating on the assumption that Tellez is unavailable for this round, which aligns with the latest reporting Iíve read from Ben Nicholson-Smith and other sources. If he was available, I would probably slide him into the roster in place of Espinal, who has a little less utility with everyone healthy, as Davis would be on the bench to act as a pinch-runner and Panik and Villar presumably both serve backup infielders.

With all three starting outfielders healthy, Iím listing both Cavan Biggio and Jonathan Villar as infielders, as that seems to be where they will most likely get the most of their at-bats, although they can play the outfield, to varying degrees, as well.

Also, this means I will have to open a 40-man roster spot for Caleb Joseph (who I think is preferable to Reese McGuire at this current moment), I hope the Jays would be able to put either Fisher or Waguespack on the 60-day DL and open the roster spot. If this wasnít possible, it might push the needle towards McGuire.

In my mind, the argument for the third catcher is pretty simple. If the Jays plan to DH Kirk at all, rostering Joseph protects them against losing the DH. This doesnít just apply to injuries to Jansen, but also applies to situations where you may want to pinch-run for Jansen or Kirk.

While some posters pointed out that losing the DH isnít catastrophic, which I agree with, considering that the Jays would then be pinch-hitting with the likes of Panik or Villar, and would also have that hole in the lineup influencing their reliever options, I think itís something that should be avoided if possible, particularly when the cost is, potentially, not rostering Chase Anderson this round (see below).

With regards to pitchers, for the Wild Card round the team needs three starters, so Iím operating on the assumption it will Ryu, Walker and either Ray or Shoemaker, in some order. Iím also assuming Romano and Merryweather are unavailable, due to injury.

I have selected all of the primary late-inning relief options (Dolis, Bass, Peason, Cole, Borucki).

Iíve also selected several pitchers who can go multiple innings in Stripling, Hatch, Yamaguchi and one of Chase Anderson, TJ Zeuch or Anthony Kay. The choice of which one of those three to take would probably depend on the opponent, as well as potentially Zeuchís performance and pitch count tonight.

Iím actually not convinced the Jays need any of Anderson/Kay/Zeuch in the Wild Card round, as if they are burning through all of these multi-inning relievers in the first two games, it will not have been good news for, presumably, Ryu and Walker and the series is probably in trouble already. However, given the next roster choice of healthy position players is Palacios, and I have a hard time seeing him getting any playing time, Iíve taken the more conservative choice.

For the last bullpen spot Iíve selected Patrick Murphy, as I like what heís shown in short stints and seems to have a good ability to generate ground balls.

If Romano or Merryweather was healthy, either Murphy or Anderson/Kay/Zeuch would probably be removed, although I do wonder about maybe Yamaguchi, as his implosion in his last outing was not encouraging.

Position Players: 14
C: Danny Jansen
C: Alejandro Kirk
C: Caleb Joseph
IF: Bo Bichette
IF: Cavan Biggio
IF: Santiago Espinal
IF: Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
IF: Joe Panik
IF: Travis Shaw
IF: Jonathan Villar
OF: Jonathan Davis
OF: Randall Grichuk
OF: Lourdes Gurriel Jr.
OF: Teoscar Hernandez

Pitchers: 14
SP: Hyun Jin Ryu
SP: Taijuan Walker
SP: Matt Shoemaker
SP/RP: Robbie Ray
RP: Rafael Dolis
RP: Anthony Bass
RP: Nate Pearson
RP: AJ Cole
RP: Ryan Borucki
RP: Ross Stripling
RP: Shun Yamaguchi
RP: Thomas Hatch
RP: Patrick Murphy
RP: Chase Anderson or Anthony Kay or TJ Zeuch

Select the Blue Jays Wild-Card Round Playoff Roster | 122 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
hypobole - Saturday, September 26 2020 @ 04:57 PM EDT (#390989) #
After last night and assuming Tampa is our opponent, I'd definitely rather have LHRP Kay than RHRP Yamaguchi.
John Northey - Saturday, September 26 2020 @ 05:21 PM EDT (#390994) #
My thinking is the Jays need to plan for 3 games max - if the team is blown out once then that is all the blowouts they can afford. Odds are low of having long extra inning games no matter what rules are in place.
  • 1985: 1 extra inning game out of 7, 10 innings, won 6-5
  • 1989: 5 games, none went extra
  • 1991: 1 extra inning game out of 5, 10 innings, lost 3-2
  • 1992: 2 extra inning games out of 12 games, both 11 innings, 4-3 win in final WS game, 7-6 ALCS game
  • 1993: 12 games, none went extra
  • 2015: 1 extra inng game out of 11, 14 innings, lost 6-4
  • 2016: 2 extra inning games out of 9, 1 10 innings, 1 11 innings, won both (deciding games)
So out of the 61 post season games the Jays have played just 7 went extras, 1 went 14 innigns, 3 11 innings, 3 10 innings. Net of 14 extra innings over all those years. So I'd say it is important to have enough pitchers ready to go for 10 or 11 innings but odds are low of going more than that. Especially with just 3 to play (just 1 out of 61 post season games the Jays have ever played went more than 11). Now this year has been different. In 58 games so far 11 went extras (one was 8 innings as it was part of a double header). So this years team has been slightly more likely to go extras than past ones, but still barely over 1 in 6 games have done that. Of course, 4 out of 10 vs Tampa did that, suggesting we should expect at least one of these 3 to go extras.

So all of that said, given they cannot lose 2 games out of 3 without being out means a ton of pressure in game 1 where we have Ryu going for as long as possible. Followed by Walker who twice went 6 as a Jay (out of 6 starts) then Shoemaker who is just back from injuries. I'd expect a need for a long man after each of Walker and Shoemaker, plus 2-3 one or two inning guys to finish each game.

Starters (need 3): Ryu/Walker/Shoemaker
Long men (3 max): Anderson/Ray/Sterling (Zeuch and Roark are possibles)
2 inning (3 ideal): Pearson/Hatch/Kay (Yamaguchi possible, Merryweather when healthy)
1 inning (4 ideal): Bass/Dolis/Cole/Boruki (Romano when healthy, SRF/Murphy/etc. are possible)

10 man pen plus 3 starters. If worried I'd add Zeuch and Yamaguchi - not a Roark fan.

For the lineup I'd go with the current roster (12) plus Espinal and Joseph.

That gets us up to 25 so 3 slots left for playoffs. So I'd add Zeuch, Yamaguchi, Murphy with no plan to use them. 18 hitters are on the 40 man list with me skipping Reese McGuire, Tellez (IL), Drury (why?), and Palacios (has any player made their ML debut in the playoffs?). If Tellez is healthy he is a no brainer to add. McGuire is there in case one of the 3 catchers gets hurt, Drury is a swiss army knife player (can play anywhere) and is only to be added if desperate. Palacios must have had a killer summer camp.

Pitchers skipped out of the 22 possible are Injured: Merryweather/Romano; Not used much: Murphy, Pannone (never up); Ineffective: Font (ugh), Sean Reid-Foley (best of the meh guys), Roark (not effective)
John Northey - Saturday, September 26 2020 @ 05:23 PM EDT (#390995) #
Ugh, miscounted - one of Zeuch or Yamaguchi needed to fill it out, probably go with Zeuch if based on recent performance. Yamaguchi if felt he could handle the pressure better.
Thomas - Saturday, September 26 2020 @ 05:40 PM EDT (#391000) #
So all of that to say, John, your roster is basically the same as mine. :)
Magpie - Saturday, September 26 2020 @ 05:45 PM EDT (#391001) #
Yamaguchi if felt he could handle the pressure better.

I'm not sure handling the pressure is Yamaguchi's issue. It might be boredom. He's given up 22 runs in his 16 appearances but 11 of them came in just two outings - once when the team was trailing by 6 and once when the team was ahead by 10.
jz6pwc - Saturday, September 26 2020 @ 06:11 PM EDT (#391002) #
I thought there was a limit of 13 pitchers for this year.
Mike Green - Saturday, September 26 2020 @ 06:37 PM EDT (#391004) #
I am with hypobole. Facing the Rays particularly, I would like to have 2 left handed long men available.
Thomas - Saturday, September 26 2020 @ 08:45 PM EDT (#391006) #
JZ, I believe that rule was eliminated for this season, since postseason rosters were expanded from 26 to 28 due to COVID. I could be wrong, as I'm speaking from memory.

It would be particularly strange to keep it given not only the expanded roster size, but the condensed schedule.

When I wrote this, Miami was beating New York, so the chance of not playing Tampa was significantly higher than it is now, so I put "depending on opponent." I agree, I'd take Kay if Tampa was the opponent.

In that case, if the Jays started Ray, but team felt compelled to take a true longman and wanted Shoemaker to potentially tandem behind Ray (although I would be inclined to go short guys or Pearson for a couple if they are available), then I'd drop Murphy for Anderson or Zeuch, who both looked fine today.
John Northey - Saturday, September 26 2020 @ 09:46 PM EDT (#391007) #
Thomas - heh. I thought mine was going to be different then I typed out the logic as I worked on it and damn if it didn't match up nicely. Go figure.
uglyone - Saturday, September 26 2020 @ 09:48 PM EDT (#391008) #
2nd place still alive.

getting 2nd could mean playing any of MIN, CWS, CLE still.
bpoz - Saturday, September 26 2020 @ 09:59 PM EDT (#391009) #
Zeuch seemed Ok to me. 75 pitches, no bb or Ks. I guess his zero Ks was kind of bad. Also this was against Baltimore. Still good right?
PeterG - Saturday, September 26 2020 @ 10:17 PM EDT (#391010) #
Zero K's is fine when combined with zero walks and weak ground balls. Zeuch is making a case for inclusion in next season's roration.
BlueJayWay - Sunday, September 27 2020 @ 08:26 AM EDT (#391012) #
That's the problem with Zeuch and why I've never been high on him. Not being able to strike at least a certain amount of hitters out is a real issue. I don't know if he's going to be able to miss enough bats at the MLB level.

There's literally no example of an effective starting pitcher who doesn't K batters. This is Bill James 101.

scottt - Sunday, September 27 2020 @ 08:47 AM EDT (#391014) #
At some point you let the results speak for themselves.
Keuch still has an option, so might be part of the depth for at least another year.
He could still develop an out pitch. There's a lot of possibilities.
Heck, Chapman just added a splitter.
Too early to think about Thornton. Murphy looks like a reliever.
Hatch should get a chance, but he still got some things to figure out.

It looks like Ryu will be pushed to game 2.
I would think Walker starts game 1, but it could be Shoemaker.

Jonny German - Sunday, September 27 2020 @ 08:47 AM EDT (#391015) #
Literally is a strong word. Mark Buehrle is a Hall of the Very Good pitcher with a career K/9 of 5.1 over 3280 IP. For his professional career Zeuchís at 6.4 K/9, and has never been old for his level.
Parker - Sunday, September 27 2020 @ 09:10 AM EDT (#391016) #
Someone better tell the Barves to cut Mike Soroka, too.
earlweaverfan - Sunday, September 27 2020 @ 09:37 AM EDT (#391017) #
Is the plural of Barf, Barves?

I didnít think Atlanta had been that bad!
uglyone - Sunday, September 27 2020 @ 09:39 AM EDT (#391018) #
zeuch's at 15.8k% so far in his career.

some guys with successful careers at that level:

D.Fister 1422.1ip, 16.2k%, 92era-, 96fip-, 98xfip-
B.Anderson 1042.1ip, 16.1k%, 98era-, 95fip-, 91xfip-
M.Leake 1829.0ip, 16.0k%, 101era-, 104fip-, 98xfip-
M.Perez 988.2ip, 14.9k%, 104era-, 103fip-, 107xfip-
M.Buehrle 3283.1ip, 13.6k%, 87era-, 93fip-, 99xfip-
H.Alvarez 577.2ip, 12.5k%, 97era-, 106fip-, 102xfip-
Parker - Sunday, September 27 2020 @ 09:57 AM EDT (#391019) #
Is the plural of Barf, Barves?

I didnít think Atlanta had been that bad!

Yeah you're right, I guess that nickname should really be retired. Like "Human Rain Delay" and "Ruin Tomorrow, Jr.", it's just so much fun to say that I find myself making excuses to use it in conversation.
hypobole - Sunday, September 27 2020 @ 10:21 AM EDT (#391020) #
I think it was one of the FG guys who had Doug Fister as Zeuch's best case comp last year.

From FG's Sunday Notes:"On Monday, Torontoís Cavan Biggio became the second player ever to reach 100 runs, 100 walks, and 20 stolen bases within his first 154 career games, The first was Jim Giliam with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1953."

greenfrog - Sunday, September 27 2020 @ 11:10 AM EDT (#391024) #
As I've suggested previously, despite his age and defensive limitations, Biggio has a chance to become one of the all-time best Jays players (maybe outer circle elite, top 30 or so).
hypobole - Sunday, September 27 2020 @ 11:56 AM EDT (#391026) #
On bbref, Aaron Hill is 24th all time Jay with 17.1 WAR. Thought Vlad would be the 1st of this group to supplant him, then Bo. Maybe with Vlad's defence and Bo's injuries, it might well be Biggio.
85bluejay - Sunday, September 27 2020 @ 11:57 AM EDT (#391027) #
Would love to Zeuch pitching behind a top-notch infield defense - A team with a good infield defense should target Zeuch this winter.
Shoeless Joe - Sunday, September 27 2020 @ 12:00 PM EDT (#391028) #
Zeuchís left/right splits scream reliever to me.
hypobole - Sunday, September 27 2020 @ 12:42 PM EDT (#391030) #
Kiley McDaniel wrote a rather lengthy piece for ESPN+ on how each GM operates. I let my subscription expire a few months ago and this was one of the few articles that really piqued my curiosity. He tweeted out a chart:

Just wonder if anyone who has read the piece could explain a bit about why Atkins was placed where he was.
Magpie - Sunday, September 27 2020 @ 04:07 PM EDT (#391034) #
He was using a sliding eight point scale to assess each GM (as favouring scouting or analytics, as being inclined to take risks or proceed cautiously) and he didn't say anything specifically about Atkins. He did mention though that Shapiro's success in Cleveland using what we might think of as a risk-averse analytical approach, and that this was significant because Shapiro's success has placed other former former Cleveland executives in positions of power. Atkins obviously is one of those guys.

He also noted that Anthopoulos was very much a high-risk guy in Toronto and has been much more conservative in Atlanta.
Magpie - Sunday, September 27 2020 @ 04:12 PM EDT (#391035) #
They just renew me without asking. I can never remember when the renewal date is coming up, so I never get the chance to think about it. They just take my money!
scottt - Sunday, September 27 2020 @ 04:20 PM EDT (#391038) #
Nobody wants relievers with huge splits. Every team will have extra pitch hitters next year.
The only thing that screams reliever now is high velocity and lots of missed bats.

Zeuch will pitch around lefties and get double play ground balls.
It's all a question of lasting 5+ inning without getting tired.

John Northey - Sunday, September 27 2020 @ 04:30 PM EDT (#391039) #
WAR for Jays...can current kids climb this list? WAR as a Jay only...
#1) Dave Stieb 56.8
#3) Jose Bautista 38.2 (top hitter)
#5) Carlos Delgado 36.8
#10) Lloyd Moseby 26.0
#15) Devon White 22.3
#20) Fred McGriff 19.4
#24) Aaron Hill 17.1 (last of the ranked players on BR)
...Tom Henke 16.8 top reliever

Note: most of those are home grown

By Primary Position...
CA) Ernie Whitt 19.3
1B) Delgado 36.8
2B) Roberto Alomar 22.3
3B) Josh Donaldson 19.2
SS) Tony Fernandez 37.5
LF) George Bell 21.3
CF) Vernon Wells 28.7
RF) Jose Bautista 38.2 (Barfield at 29.5 beats all OF other than Bautista)
DH) Edwin Encarnacion 25.2

Current Jays are too young to be high on this - Hernandez is at 3.6, Biggio 4.6, Vlad 1.8, Bo 3.1, Gurriel 2.2. It'll be a long time till any make the lists short of a 10 WAR HOF level season (only Clemens has done that here in his first year [pre-drugs by all accounts], no one else has a 9 WAR season as a Jay).
John Northey - Sunday, September 27 2020 @ 04:32 PM EDT (#391040) #
Magpie - is that I cancelled it mid-winter last year well before the renewal date. Was very glad I did when they decided to block Jay games to Canadians. Signed up for Sportsnet Now instead - watching the game on that right now. Enjoyed watching half the Raptors games too (annoying when they were on TSN).
Magpie - Sunday, September 27 2020 @ 04:34 PM EDT (#391041) #
Nah, ESPN Insider.
Mike Green - Sunday, September 27 2020 @ 04:44 PM EDT (#391042) #
Shun Yamaguchi is making a pretty good case for a wild card series rest, at a minimum.
Magpie - Sunday, September 27 2020 @ 04:48 PM EDT (#391043) #
I was just thinking that the look on Yamaguchi's face was "So much for me making the post-season roster."
hypobole - Sunday, September 27 2020 @ 05:03 PM EDT (#391044) #
Thanks, Magpie on the ESPN story.
Shoeless Joe - Sunday, September 27 2020 @ 06:09 PM EDT (#391046) #
Great season, lots of progress and bring on Tampa!
Magpie - Sunday, September 27 2020 @ 06:37 PM EDT (#391047) #
Montoyo pretty obviously didn't give a damn but it's hard not to think that a chance to avoid the team with the best record in the league was a bit of a missed opportunity. But he's the guy there on the spot and I will assume has a better idea of what the team needs in the moment than I do.
Thomas - Sunday, September 27 2020 @ 06:46 PM EDT (#391048) #
I agree Magpie. I do see today as a missed opportunity at a very winnable game. However, I assume Montoyo (and the front office) managed it as designed. I'm speculating, but I think there may have been some slightly alternate strategy for the 7th-9th innings if Toronto had a narrow lead and Miami was winning (it still may have involved Murphy and Cole, but maybe Dolis and/or Bass and/or Borucki were involved as well for short stints).

However, I assume they wanted to get through the first five or six innings with Roark and Yamaguchi, if necessary, regardless and, unfortunately, by that time they were in a losing position. But that's just speculation.

If I am making the playoff roster tonight, Yamaguchi's not on it. So presumably that opens up a spot for Zeuch or Anderson, as I'd take Kay given that Tampa are the opponents.
85bluejay - Sunday, September 27 2020 @ 06:48 PM EDT (#391049) #
Does MLB reseed after 1st round?
Michael - Sunday, September 27 2020 @ 08:10 PM EDT (#391051) #
I'm fairly sure they don't re-seed in terms of who you place, but they do re-seed for virtual "home" field I think.

I would have probably gone as my preferred opponents CWS > TBA > CLE. So early in the game when it looked like the White Sox would have been the Jays opponents if they won, I thought that was an upgrade. I'm not so sure Cleveland in a 3 game series with their starters rested are "easier" than Tampa, so by the late parts of the game it didn't seem as big a deal that the Jays were semi-punting this one with their pitching choices.

It is really hard to tell this year with the different divisions not playing each other as in theory one could be quite a bit stronger than another without us knowning. Usually you'd default to the Central is the weakest division, but who knows. But with small sample sizes there's no real way to know anyways, and every team has decent chances. Most series will be 60/40 splits and it is hard to imagine that even the worst playoff teams on the road against the best playoff teams aren't that much worse than a 2:1 dog on winning their short series.
Magpie - Sunday, September 27 2020 @ 08:19 PM EDT (#391052) #
I began to form this vague notion in my mind that teams were hiring slightly older yet less experienced people to manage major league teams. Montoyo is an obvious example, but so is Mike Shildt, Derek Shelton - and so were Dave Martinez and Torey Lovullo just a few years ago. So I laboriously figured out the average age and MLB managerial experience of all 30 managers and compared it to the same data in 2015.

Average age in 2020: 52.7 years.
Average age in 2015: 52.7 years.

Average MLB experience in 2020: 6.7 seasons
Average MLB experience in 2015: 6.9 seasons

There's 45 minutes of my life I'll never get back.
Magpie - Sunday, September 27 2020 @ 08:23 PM EDT (#391053) #
Yes, I thought of checking the median as well as the mean. The median age was 52.5 both seasons, essentially the same as the average age. Median experience was 5 seasons both years. There's always one or two guys around with 20 seasons to pull up that overall average.
John Northey - Sunday, September 27 2020 @ 09:37 PM EDT (#391054) #
Magpie - thanks for doing this year. I used the Lahman database to check all past years from 1871 to 2019 and saw that ages are tending higher.
  • Oldest: 2017: 55.1 years old
  • Youngest: 1871: 26.7 years old (most player/mangers)
  • 7 of the 8 oldest manager years are in the 2010's with the exception being 1950 54.7 years old (oldest was Connie Mack who was 87)
  • the last 80+ year old was Jack McKeon in 2011 (3rd manager for the Marlins that year)
  • Youngest ever was John Ward in 1880 who was just 20 (Providence Grays) who started 76 games and completed 59 of them. Different era to put it mildly.
  • Youngest in the 2000's were A. J. Hinch (35 in 2009) and Eric Wedge (35 in 2003)
  • Guys in their 70's to manage in the 2000's are Felipe Alou, Frank Robinson, Joe Torre, Davey Johnson, and of course Jack McKeon (3 full seasons plus that short one).
  • Before 2000 only 3 guys managed in their 70s - Chuck Dressen (70 & 71 in the 1960's), Casey Stengel (up to age 75 thanks to the Mets), and Connie Mack who owned his team thus managing until his age 87 season.
  • by decade you get 1870 28.9, 1880 33.0, 1890 35.0, 1900 37.0, 1910 39.8, 1920 44.1, 1930 43.3, 1940 47.8, 1950 48.2, 1960 47.5, 1970 48.0, 1980 49.0, 1990 49.4, 2000 52.5, 2010 53.7
So while it seems like managers are getting younger they really aren't. It has been a steady increase in age over the decades, getting slower now but still increasing. Goes against the popular mantra given but it is the GM's who are getting younger I think. Sadly their figures would be a lot harder to get so I'm not going to do it ... at least not right now :)
uglyone - Sunday, September 27 2020 @ 09:59 PM EDT (#391055) #
ach can't believe they didn't finish it off right. what a huge difference in odds that makes. dammit.

welp, let's hope Walker/whoever can hold down the fort for a short series cuz there's gonna be plenty of upseta this year imo.
John Northey - Sunday, September 27 2020 @ 10:46 PM EDT (#391056) #
A best of 3 is a crapshoot. Best to make sure everyone is 100% for it who you plan to use. Could've used Merryweather instead of Roark and might have won but then we'd have had to use Roark in the playoffs. Ugh. Could've used other guys than Yamaguchi too but again which would you rather use in a 3 game must win series? I think the decision made sense although I would've left Bo in the game myself.

It was going to be Tampa Bay (hot but has trouble vs LHP) or Cleveland (hot, but a bit better vs LHP than RHP). Both are 8-2 in their last 10. Rays have been a slightly better team but not drastically so. I think the keeping pitchers lined up as good as possible was far more important.

The Rays also have some injury problems - on the IL are Ji-Man Choi (out since Sept 12 - hamstring, day to day), Yandy DŪaz (hasn't played since August - hamstring, day to day), and Austin Meadows (out since September 17 - Oblique out until WS at least). They have 5 pitchers on the 60 day IL as well (none critical to this season but does affect their depth).
Magpie - Sunday, September 27 2020 @ 11:51 PM EDT (#391057) #
And of course Dusty Baker became the sixth 70+ aged manager of the millennium this season.
Cracka - Monday, September 28 2020 @ 12:03 AM EDT (#391058) #
Start times have been posted - 5 pm on Tuesday & 4 pm on Wednesday - in both cases it's the 3rd game of the day with the NY/CLE game in prime time (7 pm). Much better than I expected (not the early game).

I think Tellez is going to make the playoff roster. I'm not sure that he will play in the field or even if he'll serve as the DH (almost certainly not in Game 1). But he's a left-handed power bat and anyone that watched Kirk Gibson do his thing in 1988 would understand why he should be on the roster.
hypobole - Monday, September 28 2020 @ 01:39 AM EDT (#391059) #
Finally got a chance to watch the Davis catch. It was awesome.
SK in NJ - Monday, September 28 2020 @ 07:16 AM EDT (#391060) #
Looks like the Jays series is on TBS while every other Wild Card series is on ESPN/ESPN2/ABC. That might explain the surprisingly good time slot.
Thomas - Monday, September 28 2020 @ 07:32 AM EDT (#391061) #
There's 45 minutes of my life I'll never get back.

But NOW you know!

scottt - Monday, September 28 2020 @ 07:36 AM EDT (#391062) #
I'm mostly worried about relievers on excessive rest having no control out of the pen.
Other than that, it looks pretty good.

scottt - Monday, September 28 2020 @ 07:41 AM EDT (#391063) #
They didn't wait long to fire Eppler.
A better Angel team will make it easier to finish higher.
I hope Detroit spends some money as well, because the Royals are far from the cusps.

dalimon5 - Monday, September 28 2020 @ 10:05 AM EDT (#391065) #
Drew Smyly has quietly returned this season with dominant stuff. I would look to lock him up in free agency this off season considering the depth we have.
bpoz - Monday, September 28 2020 @ 10:23 AM EDT (#391066) #
Shane Bieber was a 2016 4th round #122 University RHP. We had a good 2016 draft as well. I know the crap shoot theory about the draft.

Ned Coletti spoke about the prospect list makers playing favorites with certain teams prospects. From #1-50 may be quite accurate but between #51-70 there can be a lot in interchangeability. He explained very well on the Jeff Blair show.

Bieber and Kluber were successful 4th rounders. Stieb and Hentgen 5th round for us. This explains a lot to me about where a player is picked in the draft and how high he climbed on the prospect list. So my faith in these factors is basically weak.

T Walker, B McKinney and D Fisher are all 1st rounders. It looks like none will have a stellar career.

The Donaldson and D Price were great trades. The best pieces turned out to be throw ins not the main parts. Graveman and Boyd. The players that hurt me the most were Daniel Norris and B Lawrie and F Barreto. So my evaluation was very wrong.

99BlueJaysWay - Monday, September 28 2020 @ 10:49 AM EDT (#391067) #
This article was just pushed out by and it stuck in my craw:

I would say itís almost like Mr. Justice hasnít watched any Jays games at all. 9th best offense and 14th best bullpen?
scottt - Monday, September 28 2020 @ 11:18 AM EDT (#391068) #
The rankings don't matter. The Jays rotation isn't great. The bullpen can be underestimated. Romano is missing. Font has sucked all year. Yamaguchi hasn't been reliable. Merryweather wasn't as good before he hit the DL. Hatch has not looked great in September. Bass and Cole are not supposed to be top relievers. Dolis is just some guy who went to Japan because he wasn't good enough. 

None of this matters, unless you want to bet against the Jays and get better odds.

It's good to be the underdogs.

ISLAND BOY - Monday, September 28 2020 @ 11:21 AM EDT (#391069) #
I think that 3 game slaughter in New York really hurt the bullpen's numbers, plus there was a high-scoring game against the Mets just before that. Overall they have been very good this year but were worn down by the long stretch of games without a day off and the starters inability to go deep in games.

I echo hyperbole, Jonathan Davis's catch was fantastic considering the amount of ground he covered before reaching over the wall to rob a home run.

A poster said on here during spring training that Lourdes Gurriel Jr. was " not a good ballplayer". I begged to differ then and I think his stats this year proved he is a good ballplayer. After going 4/4 yesterday he has .308 batting average and .882 OPS for the season, provided decent defense and at age 26, having played just over 200 MLB games, he is just entering his prime years.

scottt - Monday, September 28 2020 @ 11:30 AM EDT (#391070) #
Some people like Arenado, but I find Matt Chapman more interesting.
He's 27, still has 3 years of control but I don't think Oakland will pay his last year's salary.
Would cost a ton, obviously.

dalimon5 - Monday, September 28 2020 @ 12:50 PM EDT (#391071) #
I am confident in saying there is no way on earth that Matt Chapman gets moved. He's more valuable to that team than Donaldson was and now they have perspective from that trade. He's very clearly top 5 material overall in the league. Reminds me a lot of vintage Tulo in COL in his prime.
uglyone - Monday, September 28 2020 @ 12:59 PM EDT (#391072) #
Final 2020 Hitting Stats

2B Biggio (25): 265pa, .311babip, .375obp, 127wrc+, 3.4war650
SS Bichette (22): 128pa, .352babip, .328obp, 125wrc+, 4.1war650
LF Gurriel (26): 224pa, .351babip, .348obp, 138wrc+, 3.8war650
RF Teoscar (27): 207pa, .348babip, .340obp, 146wrc+, 5.0war650
1B Tellez (25): 127pa, .276babip, .346obp, 136wrc+, 2.1war650
DH Guerrero (21): 243pa, .282babip, .329obp, 115wrc+, 0.5war650
CF Grichuk (28): 231pa, .299babip, .312obp, 112wrc+, 2.3war650
3B Shaw (30): 180pa, .306babip, .306obp, 95wrc+, +1.1war650
C Jansen (25): 147pa, .190babip, .313obp, 89wrc+, +2.2war650

UT Panik (29): 141pa, .283babip, .340obp, 86wrc+, +1.4war650
OF Davis (28): 34pa, .375babip, .364obp, 123wrc+, +3.8war650
IF Villar (29): 207pa, .313babip, .301obp, 66wrc+, -0.9war650
C Kirk (21): 25pa, .421babip, .400obp, 169wrc+, +5.2war650

UT Drury (28): 49pa, .184babip, .184obp, -6wrc+, -6.6war650
OF Fisher (27): 39pa, .300babip, .359obp, 121wrc+, -1.7war650
IF Espinal (25): 66pa, .356babip, .308obp, 76wrc+, +2.0war650
C McGuire (25): 45pa, .069babip, .073obp, -54wrc+, -10.1war650
C Joseph (34): 9pa, .000babip, .222obp, 87wrc+, +0.0war650

2 year stats

2B Biggio (25): 695pa, .310babip, .368obp, 119wrc+, 3.6war650
SS Bichette (22): 340pa, .361babip, .347obp, 136wrc+, 5.0war650
LF Gurriel (26): 567pa, .331babip, .336obp, 130wrc+, 3.6war650
RF Teoscar (27): 671pa, .311babip, .316obp, 115wrc+, 2.7war650
DH Guerrero (21): 757pa, .300babip, .336obp, 108wrc+, 0.5war650
1B Tellez (25): 536pa, .269babip, .306obp, 101wrc+, 0.6war650
3B Villar (29): 921pa, .334babip, .330obp, 98wrc+, 2.6war650
CF Grichuk (28): 859pa, .276babip, .289obp, 96wrc+, 1.0war650
C Jansen (25): 531pa, .221babip, .288obp, 74wrc+, 2.3war650

UT Shaw (30): 450pa, .256babip, .291obp, 66wrc+, -0.7war650
OF Davis (28): 120pa, .257babip, .291obp, 65wrc+, 0.5war650
IF Panik (29): 632pa, .266babip, .321obp, 78wrc+, 0.5war650
C Kirk (21): 25pa, .421babip, .400obp, 169wrc+, +5.2war650

UT Drury (28): 496pa, .251babip, .254obp, 58wrc+, -1.4war650
OF Fisher (27): 206pa, .255babip, .301obp, 84wrc+, -0.3war650
IF Espinal (25): 66pa, .356babip, .308obp, 76wrc+, +2.0war650
C McGuire (25): 150pa, .252babip, .269obp, 74wrc+, 2.2war650
C Joseph (34): 9pa, .000babip, .222obp, 87wrc+, +0.0war650
John Northey - Monday, September 28 2020 @ 02:59 PM EDT (#391073) #
99BlueJaysWay - that is a funny article at - they point out that the Jays in September were 2nd only to the Yankees for offense while putting the Rays higher while saying how their lineup has struggled in September. #13 for rotation makes sense - the 3 man rotation for round 1 helps the Jays as going further only hurts the Jays. #16 of 16 for defense makes sense given what we've all seen at times. Seems odd to have the Cubs bench ranked higher than the Jays when the guy they talk about for the Cubs is Billy Hamilton who is a pure pinch runner - I'd take Davis over Hamilton.

In the end rankings only help the Jays - they will love the underdog label and will go in feeling like it is time to show they are better than anyone thinks. I can easily imagine them beating the Rays, especially in a 3 game set. I can see using Merryweather game 1 - if Snell is on you are wasting Ryu in game 1, if he is off then Merryweather should be fine. Games 2 and 3 having the big 2 go vs the Rays 2/3 guys makes a ton of sense as you only need to win 2 not 3 games. This is the type of thinking I'd expect from Tampa, not the Jays but I'm not complaining.
Paul D - Monday, September 28 2020 @ 03:30 PM EDT (#391074) #
I wonder if a year of Kris Bryant would be cheap in terms of prospects.

More importantly, when it comes to the playoffs, doesn't it really come down to whether or not they can get 5 to 7 strong innings out of Walker? Hard to see them winning without that. I suppose Shoemaker could be strong in game 3.
scottt - Monday, September 28 2020 @ 03:37 PM EDT (#391075) #
Yeah, but did you not see Clevinger and Betts get moved?
Betts is probably #1 in all of baseball. 3.4 WAR in just 2 months?
Trout gets extended and produces only 1.6 WAR and they end up in 4th behind the Mariners.
No way they go that route.
The A's are 25th in payroll at 36.7M. And they don' t make money.
Marcus Semien is a free agent.
Hendriks is a free agent.
Grossman is a free agent.
Petit is a free agent.
Bassitt is making 2.2M and is going back to arbitration.
Canha is making 4.8M and is going back to arbitration.
Olson is going to arbitration.

uglyone - Monday, September 28 2020 @ 03:37 PM EDT (#391076) #
I think the key is getting 7 strong from Ryu in game 1.

I wouldnt want to count on Walker or anyone else for much more than once through the order.
uglyone - Monday, September 28 2020 @ 03:42 PM EDT (#391077) #
I mean since we have fungible depth at SP as a strategy, then imo it makes total sense to try to tandem start all non-ryu starts so that nobody faces anyone a second time unless they're kicking ass.
John Northey - Monday, September 28 2020 @ 04:01 PM EDT (#391078) #
Yep, Shoemaker starting today. I guessed right - the Jays are saving their ace for game 2 - figuring game 1 can be risked with their #3 then they have the advantage in games 2 & 3.
85bluejay - Monday, September 28 2020 @ 04:09 PM EDT (#391079) #
I would have gone Walker - Ryu - Shoemaker.
85bluejay - Monday, September 28 2020 @ 04:15 PM EDT (#391080) #
I guess Walker's splits against LHB isn't too exciting.
BlueJayWay - Monday, September 28 2020 @ 04:49 PM EDT (#391081) #
I would have gone Walker - Ryu - Shoemaker.

Same here. Now we run the risk of getting eliminated without using Walker at all.
scottt - Monday, September 28 2020 @ 04:57 PM EDT (#391082) #
I already mentioned Walker's issue with lefties this year.

They could have gone with Walker as an opener for Ray.
Pretty risky.

If you go with Shoemaker and he gets hits, it's less of a hit on the morale.
If you get to game 3, you take it one inning at a time.

scottt - Monday, September 28 2020 @ 05:09 PM EDT (#391083) #
It's not much of a risk. We already know Walker struggles to put lefties away and Tampa can put 7 or 8 in their lineup.
Odds of winning when Ryu starts are over 50% but significantly down for the other 2 starts.
If they don't win Ryu's game, winning the first one with Walker puts them down in the same spot anyway.

I'd rather the Walker start don't happen, but if it does, and they stack the lineup, Walker is out right away for Ray with lefties hitting .207 .281 .379 against him all year.

scottt - Monday, September 28 2020 @ 05:12 PM EDT (#391084) #
Shoemaker has no split this year and he has been better the second time through a lineup.
greenfrog - Monday, September 28 2020 @ 05:15 PM EDT (#391085) #
Good decision to start Ryu in game 2. He should do better with the extra day of rest.
Michael - Monday, September 28 2020 @ 05:26 PM EDT (#391086) #
ITYM Shoemaker starting tomorrow. No one is starting today.

I'm not sure if you only give the tandem starters once through the order, but agree that it is a very short leash if it isn't already into blow out. And certainly not a third time in a non-blow out.

The 60 game season was a short enough sample size that lots of weird things could happen and true talent may not have come up to the surface. A 3 game series is definitely a SSS so anything could happen. Ryu could pitch terribly and the Jays could still win. Shoemaker could pitch a shut out. You wouldn't bet on either, but in a 3 game series there is a lot of luck.
John Northey - Monday, September 28 2020 @ 05:28 PM EDT (#391087) #
I've always thought there was a problem with teams not optimizing their starting pitching in playoffs. Back in '85 the Royals manager was smart and took advantage of Bobby Cox being set on platoons. In game 7 had a RH pitcher start, go 3 (the Cy Young winner that year) then pulled him for a LH pitcher which caused Cox to flip the lineup. So in the 9th when a RH pitcher came on to finish it the LH bats were gone already. Game 6 was a RH for 5, LH for 3, RH closer. Very effective counter moves. But since I've rarely seen this done, probably because few managers are as addicted to platoons as Cox was. The Jays trick here - shifting your #1 starter to game 2 I can't think of anyone doing offhand. I'm sure someone has at some point as there is a TON of logic to it. In the old days your #1 would do games 1/4/7 with offdays in there to ensure they had reasonable rest. Today your #1 in a 7 game series would get just 2 starts so who cares if it is games 1/5 or 2/6? Either way you gotta win games with other starters. By shifting slightly you have an advantage - the other team gets a plus in game 1, you get it in 2/3/4, they get 5, you get 6/7 assuming your #1 is better than their #2, your #2 is better than their 3, etc. and in the playoffs that is often the case. This wouldn't work in the regular season due to offdays not matching up, injuries, etc. but in short series I think it could make a big difference. The Jays are after a round 1 victory, as they are already playing on dealers money for all intents and purposes. Getting to round 1 was a bonus this year, round 2 would be a major bonus so who cares if Ryu is lined up for games 1/5 in that round or not? Round 2 is October 5-9 while round 1 ends Oct 1st so that is 3 days off no matter what thus lining up Ryu for game 1 if desired (4 days rest) and Walker game 2 (same rest).

The more I look at it the more I like how the Jays are doing this. Plus another advantage is anyone used game 1 when Merryweather might go short will be available possibly in game 3 when Walker might. I love it.
rpriske - Monday, September 28 2020 @ 05:50 PM EDT (#391088) #
There are times when I disagree with decisions made. No big deal. Then there is this.
This decision actually makes me angry. This is not a team trying to win and advance. This is a team saying that they are not good enough to compete and hoping to get lucky.

I guess they realize that this year's playoffs are bullshit and that they don't deserve to be in the post season.
85bluejay - Monday, September 28 2020 @ 06:02 PM EDT (#391089) #
I take the opposite view, the Rays are the more talented team and to win the Jays need to take some risk - I have no problems with Ryu in game 2 as he will start only one game in the series and he'd still be ready for game 1 if the Jays make the next round - though I like Walker more than Shoemaker, I understand that Walker's splits against LHB probably resulted in Shoemaker in game 1 - Thumbs up.
John Northey - Monday, September 28 2020 @ 07:01 PM EDT (#391090) #
rpriske - you feel putting Ryu against their ace would be the way to maximize the odds of winning? I don't. If this was a 7 game series in the old days it would make sense but it isn't. Just 3 games, then 3 days off to let everyone get back to 100% before the next round. There is zero advantage to starting Ryu game 1 other than to marginally up the odds of winning game 1 at the expense of games 2 & 3. Odds are Merryweather & Walker would both need lots of relief help while Ryu will need minimal help so splitting them up makes a ton of sense. Ryu vs Tyler Glasnow (who has a 4.08 ERA this year and never faced the Jays) seems a better way to lock in a win. Losing 3-2 or 10-1 makes no difference, but winning game 2 is critical. Snell has 7 2/3 IP vs the Jays, 2 runs. Only once all season has he allowed more than 3 runs. Odds are against the Jays game 1 so loading up for games 2 & 3 makes the most sense. Yeah, if the Jays were a strong team we might think differently but they aren't. They are lucky to be in the playoffs at all. So they need to be like the Rays - ie: creative - in order to win. Doing what everyone else does isn't going to work.
99BlueJaysWay - Monday, September 28 2020 @ 07:07 PM EDT (#391091) #
Put another way, if game 1 goes well itís nice to have Ryu to hopefully close it out. If they lose game 1, game 2 is a must win and having your best starter gives you the best chance. An additional benefit is that Ryu is expected to pitch deeper, giving you more rest between 1 and 3 if needed.

I also didnít like this at first, but the more I thought about it the more itís grown on me. Plus, there has been mention in the broadcast that Ryu prefers the extra dayís rest if possible, and if I recall correctly he pitches much better with the extra rest
rpriske - Monday, September 28 2020 @ 07:08 PM EDT (#391092) #
Yes I do. Your best chance to win a game is to play your best players. Game 1 is the most important game always, and even more so in a three game series.
They are planning to lose game one. This is bad.
dalimon5 - Monday, September 28 2020 @ 08:00 PM EDT (#391093) #
Shoemaker to start. As soon as he gets into trouble you pivot to Pearson. Sounds good to me.

Last year Shoemaker had great starts against TB. Rpriske I predict you will be pleasantly surprised.
Mike Green - Monday, September 28 2020 @ 08:18 PM EDT (#391094) #
I am pleased with the rotation alignment. Everyone on 5 days rest. Good planning by Montoyo and Wslker.

I am also delighted that Yom Kippur fell on an off-day this year. We were talking about playoffs and Yom Kippur- my spouse asked how many players were Jewish.  I knew about Bregman, Pillar and Braun, and guessed that Max Fried was too. So, I googled it. Ten were listed and #10 was Rowdy Tellez. I had no idea.
bpoz - Monday, September 28 2020 @ 08:51 PM EDT (#391095) #
Snell, Glasnow and Morton are good pitchers. The Jays offense or anyones offense would have a hard time. You expect #1 type pitchers to be good. Glasnow and Morton are #2 or 3 type. After Ryu we have #4 or 3 type pitchers.
John Northey - Monday, September 28 2020 @ 09:44 PM EDT (#391096) #
To be successful this playoff season the Jays just need 1 win. Being in the playoffs is a bonus, getting a win would be great and show they belong. Winning round 1 would be heaven. Lets think about round 2 after 1 is over. If the Jays win game 1 then the Rays will be in total panic mode. If the Jays lose game 1 they'll be feeling OK as they know their ace goes game 2. Remember, this is playing with dealers money - these games are a massive bonus for the players and fans. Few expected it, projection systems had them out of it pre-season and well into the season. August 16th they were 7-11 behind Baltimore. After that the Jays went 25-17 - 5 1/2 games better than the Yankees, only the Rays played better in the East, Rays & White Sox in the AL. That is pretty darn good. On September 18th they finished their horrid stretch at 26-26 but luckily the potential contenders for the 8th slot had fallen off also (Seattle 3 back, Detroit 3 1/2). Then the Jays went 6-2 to finish it off. Only Cleveland played better (7-1) in that stretch in the majors.

This was a very successful year even if the Jays play the next two like they did vs NYY in NY (net score of 43-15 over 3 games). Hopefully they play better than that, but like I said this is all bonus. Outside of a miracle run for a WS title, getting any wins or just being within a run in each game would be great. Blowouts would suck.

Also don't forget Shoemaker and Walker are playing for their contracts - both are free agents after the season so both will be very focused. Hopefully that works in the Jays favor, and the kids should be relaxed knowing that this is a bonus - go out and have fun. I figure Montoyo and Joseph will get them relaxed for this while Tampa knows their whole team could be dismantled as always in the post-season. Tampa is looking at a near $100 mil payroll in 2021 if they don't dump some salary so it is safe to say they will be dumping. Charlie Morton is at $15 mil, Kiermaier at $11 mil, Snell $11 mil, Yoshi Tsutsugo $7 mil, a dozen in arbitration, so people will be traded to save money the question is who. With the Jays resources that wouldn't be question but with the Rays it is a big one especially since none of the contracts are naturally leaving. They make it work year in year out but at some point the weight of non-stop turnover has to hit one would think. Since 2008 they've been sub 500 just 3 times, so it isn't high draft picks saving them it is just amazing talent management. In that time frame the Yankees have been sub 500 3 times as well, Boston 4 times - both have had very smart management and TONS of money yet have been sub 500 the same number of times. I don't see how Tampa can keep this going, and I figure the players have to wonder about gravity hitting at some point too.
cascando - Monday, September 28 2020 @ 10:17 PM EDT (#391097) #
I think this alignment makes the most sense. In a three game series, a team with only one starting pitcher needs to be creative and figure out how to avoid overtaxing the bullpen. This is a smart move, imo.
uglyone - Tuesday, September 29 2020 @ 12:25 AM EDT (#391098) #
"This decision actually makes me angry. This is not a team trying to win and advance. This is a team saying that they are not good enough to compete and hoping to get lucky."

couldnt agree more. this is a cowardly approach, and upsets me.

maybe they luck out and it works out but virtually conceding game 1 is both embarassing and too cute by many halves.
hypobole - Tuesday, September 29 2020 @ 01:40 AM EDT (#391099) #
If the Jays are conceding game 1 by not starting Ryu, then why are the Jays not conceding game 2 if Ryu starts game 1?? I fail to see the logic
StephenT - Tuesday, September 29 2020 @ 02:53 AM EDT (#391100) #
fyi, in Canada, the announcers are BMartinez and JSiddall on Sportsnet TV, and BWagner and MWilner on Sportsnet Radio.

In the U.S., it's Rich Waltz and Jimmy Rollins on TBS, and DShulman with a Chris Burke on ESPN Radio.

Apparently the ESPN announcers at least are working from home because some of them are calling 2 games on Wednesday.

StephenT - Tuesday, September 29 2020 @ 03:18 AM EDT (#391101) #
The games could be even longer than I thought - no runner starting on 2nd-base rule in the postseason:

DShulman has 6 hours between start times for his Wednesday games (Jays 4pm Wednesday, Dodgers 10pm).
Magpie - Tuesday, September 29 2020 @ 03:49 AM EDT (#391102) #
Lots of angst over the way the starters are aligned. I think there are two factors myself - the one cascando just mentioned. They split up the starters they don't trust to pitch deep into the game.

The other factor is Ryu reported feeling some soreness after his final start, and while he didn't ask for the extra day, it's not a bad idea to give him one.
Jonny German - Tuesday, September 29 2020 @ 04:33 AM EDT (#391103) #
I'm fine with the starter arrangement. Shoemaker over Walker in game 1 is a bit odd, but it's not like one expects Walker to pitch 7 effective innings vs 3 for Shoemaker.

I hope to see Kirk at DH today.I'm worried that Villar's career 3-for-4 against Snell might win him the assignment.
Thomas - Tuesday, September 29 2020 @ 05:08 AM EDT (#391104) #
Count me as among those who is fine with the rotation setup. The goal is to win 2 of 3. Game 1 is important, but so are Games 2 and 3.

If the Jays feel like Shomaker-Ray-Bullpen sets them up with a fighting chance and optimizes their ability to leverage their best relievers in Games 1 and 3, I understand that thinking.
ISLAND BOY - Tuesday, September 29 2020 @ 07:21 AM EDT (#391105) #
I guess the worst that could happen is that Tampa wins 2-0 and Walker, who looked pretty good in his last game tuneup, won't pitch at all. We're not the favorites so why not try something different? I have a lot of bad memories of Jay's games played (and lost) at the Trop though.
85bluejay - Tuesday, September 29 2020 @ 08:37 AM EDT (#391106) #
It would be hilarious if the Jays lost the Ryu game but won the other 2.
scottt - Tuesday, September 29 2020 @ 08:46 AM EDT (#391107) #
In his last 40 starts, Ryu had an extra day of rest in 20 of them. That's his normal.

All the Tampa starters will be on 5 days of rest. All 3 of them.

Also this way, they can use the bullpen in game 1 and 3 and have Ryu go deep in between.

scottt - Tuesday, September 29 2020 @ 08:56 AM EDT (#391108) #
No Kevin Pillar?
Mike Green - Tuesday, September 29 2020 @ 09:31 AM EDT (#391109) #
The other factor is Ryu reported feeling some soreness after his final start, and while he didn't ask for the extra day, it's not a bad idea to give him one.

I fully approve of a minor degree of dishonesty in this case.  The goal here is to win a World Series, and Ryu is not going to let phony pride over being the Game 1 starter interfere with his ability to provide the innings the club needs should they advance.  Splitting up the RH starters allows Montoyo to go R-L-R-Borucki-R if required in Games 1 and 3. Maximizing options is a good thing. 

We'll find out this morning whether Romano and Tellez are on the wild card roster.  That's interesting. 
Cracka - Tuesday, September 29 2020 @ 10:36 AM EDT (#391110) #
Roster posted: Tellez, Espinal, and Reese McGuire added. Roark, Yamaguchi, Perez, Zeuch off.
Cracka - Tuesday, September 29 2020 @ 10:37 AM EDT (#391111) #
Also, Anthony Kay added. No Romano or Merryweather.
bpoz - Tuesday, September 29 2020 @ 10:49 AM EDT (#391112) #
Did McGuire burn an option?

Cracka - Tuesday, September 29 2020 @ 10:57 AM EDT (#391113) #
Yes - McGuire spent more than 20 days on optional assignment, which is his 3rd and final option. Not sure what's next for him - perhaps he is DFA'ed in the off-season and outrighted to the minors if he clears waivers. It is a bit of a shock to see him on the playoff roster over Joseph, but I'm sure there is a reason.

scottt - Tuesday, September 29 2020 @ 11:03 AM EDT (#391114) #
Pen is

Hopefully, Kay is healthy.

Kirk might be the DH for most of the games.
Tellez might be mostly there to make Kevin Cash sweat.
McGuire might let you pinch hit or pinch run for Jansen.
Davis is a solid defensive replacement.
Villar should be limited to 2B, pinch hitting and pinch running.
We might see Panik at some point. He's cooled down and doesn't run well, but he's a steady hand at 2B.
I don't expect to see Espinal in a game.

Mike Green - Tuesday, September 29 2020 @ 11:08 AM EDT (#391115) #
I am pretty sure that Romano and Merryweather aren't there for health reasons.  I hope that they are both able to see post-season action later.
It's wonderful news that Rowdy is back.

I fully approve of the roster decisions.  I am pretty sure that we will see Kirk as the DH today.  Reese McGuire is an emergency catcher and I understand completely the decision to choose him over Joseph in that role.  I wouldn't send him out to pinch-hit to gain a platoon advantage- I'd rather that Jonathan Davis face a tough right-hander than McGuire. 

Charlie Montoyo took some heat for his game-managing decisions earlier in the season.  I see evidence in his work leading up to the playoffs of a manager who is able to take care of that part of the job as well.  I hope he's here for a long time. 

scottt - Tuesday, September 29 2020 @ 11:17 AM EDT (#391116) #
Font cleared waivers and elected free agency.

Tampa has added lefty Shane McClanahan, their 2018 first rounder.

So far, Yandy  Diaz, Choi and Meadows are still on the IL.

Rays lineup looks like 6 left bats and besides Brosseau the bench isn't amazing.

uglyone - Tuesday, September 29 2020 @ 11:20 AM EDT (#391117) #
well, i guess we're geniuses for coming up with this "don't use your best players (by far) until later" strategy, because game 1 in a 3gm series isn't important at all.

anyways, I digress.

as for 3rd string C:


Joseph (34): 1367pa, 66wrc+, 1.9war/650 (AAA: ~80wrc+)
McGuire (25): 183pa, 87wrc+, 3.2war/650 (AAA: ~80wrc+)
Thomas - Tuesday, September 29 2020 @ 11:41 AM EDT (#391118) #
The roster decisions all make sense to me. Yamaguchi probably pitched himself off the roster with his last few outings. Kay makes all the sense in the world with Tampa's lefthanders.

There's no need for multiple longmen given the arms who can pitch multiple innings, so removing Roark and Zeuch makes sense. If Tellez is healthy enough to pinch-hit, I fully agree with the decision to carry him.

I'd have preferred Joseph to McGuire, but Joseph needed a 40 man spot and McGuire didn't, so that may have been the deciding factor. In any event, as Mike pointed out, presumably McGuire's only going to see the field if Kirk is DHing and there's a need to lift Jansen late in the game for a pinch-hitter or, perhaps more likely, a pinch-runner.
hypobole - Tuesday, September 29 2020 @ 11:54 AM EDT (#391119) #
"because game 1 in a 3gm series isn't important at all."

So game 2 of a 3 game series isn't important at all?
bpoz - Tuesday, September 29 2020 @ 12:19 PM EDT (#391120) #
I get bothered when an option is burned unnecessarily. But in the case of McGuire he is no longer the #2 catcher so it may not matter.

40 man roster space needs to be made.

This team got into the playoffs despite what Vlad did and did not do. The FO stuck with him as the stats are saying that he played in all 60 games. 1B and DH so he got his rest. Biggio 59 games. So if availably the whole young core got to play full time including McGuire. For development purposes.

The young pitchers were only allowed to show what they could do in 1 inning or a bit less than 3. Except Zeuch and maybe Waguespack. So they are all relievers. Preserving their arms I suppose.

So this is our playoff pitching staff. 1 reliable SP in Ryu. Maybe Walker would be the 2nd and Shoemaker the 3rd. Both not that reliable. Everyone else is a reliever.
John Northey - Tuesday, September 29 2020 @ 12:38 PM EDT (#391121) #
McGuire is the #3 catcher for 2021, and pure defense catchers are generally a dime a dozen. If his bat in 2019 was for real then he'd be very valuable, but as he was in 2020 he isn't.

The big questions are who catches each game (I expect Jansen to), who DH's (I expect if Tellez is doing well in BP that he will, if not then Kirk). I'd be surprised if they start Villar, Espinal, Panik, or Davis - all are bench guys for these 3 games. Kirk might catch a game, but not betting on it. I expect late to see Jansen pinch hit for, Jansen, Vlad, Tellez, Kirk all to be run for if close and late, maybe defensive replacements used as well. This is win or die so shuffle things as much as needed.
scottt - Tuesday, September 29 2020 @ 12:50 PM EDT (#391122) #
The Rays have DFAed Gilmartin to open up a spot.

Shoemaker has 26 Ks and 9 walks in less than 29 innings.
The 8 homeruns is what hurts him.

His best game this year was #2 against Tampa Bay, 1 run in 6 innings. Game score 64. That was at the Trop.
He got touched some in game #18, 3 runs in 4 innings in Buffalo. That's the game in which he was ejected after he gave up a homerun following a 3rd strike not called.
In his second start at the Trop, he gave 2 runs in 5 innings, game score 54. He came out lame of that one.

scottt - Tuesday, September 29 2020 @ 01:07 PM EDT (#391123) #
Against the lefty, Shaw should be on the bench and Villar at second. Villar hits .750 vs Snell.
Kirk should be the DH also. Certainly against Snell. Against Glasnow, Tellez could be very tempting.
Is Panik a better match up than Shaw against one of those pitchers? Not Snell, not Glasnow. Shaw has only 2 PA against Morton. K and BB. Davis has a 2 hit game against Morton. Maybe they could DH Panik vs Morton.

I don't think Kirk catches a game. He has not thrown out a runner and the Rays would be running wild.

Mike Green - Tuesday, September 29 2020 @ 01:59 PM EDT (#391124) #
Villar is at second and Kirk is DHing in today's lineup.  Snell is murder on lefties- Cavan Biggio is 2-7 against him with 5 Ks. 
uglyone - Tuesday, September 29 2020 @ 02:01 PM EDT (#391125) #
scottt - Tuesday, September 29 2020 @ 02:02 PM EDT (#391126) #
All good.

uglyone - Tuesday, September 29 2020 @ 02:05 PM EDT (#391127) #
I like seeing vladdy up in the lineup and Teoscar down, at least for now. Teoscar has been pretty cold since he came back.
uglyone - Tuesday, September 29 2020 @ 02:15 PM EDT (#391128) #

3B Biggio: 127wrc+ (161vLH) --- 2yr: 119wrc+ (126vLH)
SS Bichette: 125wrc+ (126vLH) - 2yr: 136wrc+ (162vLH)
CF Grichuk: 112wrc+ (157vLH) -- 2yr: 96wrc+ (116vLH)
1B Vladdy: 115wrc+ (132vLH) --- 2yr: 108wrc+ (91vLH)
LF Gurriel: 138wrc+ (122vLH) -- 2yr: 130wrc+ (143vLH)
RF Teoscar: 146wrc+ (149vLH) -- 2yr: 115wrc+ (125vLH)
2B Villar: 66wrc+ (60vLH) ----- 2yr: 98wrc+ (85vLH)
DH Kirk: 169wrc+ (-30vLH) ----- 2yr: 169wrc+ (-30vLH)
C Jansen: 89wrc+ (20vLH) ------ 2yr: 74wrc+ (70vLH)
StephenT - Tuesday, September 29 2020 @ 02:16 PM EDT (#391129) #
The "2pm" game today actually started at 2:10pm.
Jonny German - Tuesday, September 29 2020 @ 02:39 PM EDT (#391130) #
I like this lineup.
hypobole - Tuesday, September 29 2020 @ 03:11 PM EDT (#391133) #
No Donaldson for the Twins?
Magpie - Tuesday, September 29 2020 @ 03:15 PM EDT (#391134) #
No Donaldson for the Twins?

Not on the roster. It's - you'll never guess - his calf.
Chuck - Tuesday, September 29 2020 @ 03:34 PM EDT (#391136) #
I'm sure there's something clever to be said about a golden calf and false idols. Won't be by me, though.
Michael - Tuesday, September 29 2020 @ 04:30 PM EDT (#391150) #
For all the talk about game 1 and game 2 pitchers and their importance there was an ESPN piece talking about the importance of game 1 and they made that point with:

In the last decade teams that win game 1 of a 3 game series with 75.5% of the series.

They left it there and didn't think it through. If anything that statistic shows that game 1 is not extra important in a 3 game series. If you modelled each game as equally likely to be won by each team (likely not a good assumption, you'd assume sometimes a team would be favored and generally the team that is favored will win the first game more than the underdog) then each game would be a coin flip and if you lose 1 in a best of 3 you need to win the next two. In the fair coin flip world the probability of that is 25%. So they have 24.5% of the time it happening in the past.

To me, especially when you consider the fact the "better" team should win game 1 more and be more favored than a 50/50 coin flip, that suggests that game 1 is not magic in anyway, and that the odds are about the same.

Winning game 1 is important because game 1 is 1 of 3 games. But winning game 2 is just as important.
John Northey - Wednesday, September 30 2020 @ 12:29 AM EDT (#391240) #
Well random odds...
Win game one - you only need to win 50% of the rest (1-2) to win the series.
Lose game one - you need to win the other 2 (100%)

Assume 1/2 of teams win game one. Random odds then say that half of those will win game 2. Same thing for game 3 (1/2 of those who lost game 2 will win game 3) so 50% + 50%/2 = 75% or almost dead on their 75.5%, easily within any margin of error. So I'd put zero weight on ESPN's study.
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