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Today is the first day of spring training. Pitchers and catchers are in camp and they are working out. The Canadian based reporters are not there so we are still relying on zoom updates. And there were some updates today.

Patrick Murphy arrived in camp with a sore shoulder and is being held out of normal work right now.

Ross Stripling has not arrived as his wife is about to deliver (a baby).

Everyone is competing for a starting pitcher spot. Ross Stripling, Steven Matz, Tyler Chatwood, Trent Thornton, Anthony Kay, and T.J. Zeuch are lined up behind Ryu, Pearson, Ray and Roark.

Jansen, McGuire and Kirk are competing for two catcher spots.

Vlad will get reps at third base.

Lourdes Gurriel will also get reps at third and first.

Teoscar will get reps in left field.

That is todays news. Each day will likely bring more updates.

Pitchers and Catchers Report | 139 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
John Northey - Thursday, February 18 2021 @ 09:40 PM EST (#394632) #
Yay! Baseball is in progress. Glad to hear they are working on flexibility for everyone possible. Wonder how many gloves Biggio is bringing with him (wouldn't be shocked if he has a catchers mitt as well, more for fun than actually catching in a game).

It'll be interesting to see how Montoyo handles all the pitchers who want to start but obviously only 5 will at first. Stripling will be the biggest pain over it as I suspect he thought 'finally a chance to start day one' after last season ended.

I see the stories being pitching role battles, will Vlad play 3B decently enough to get a lot of time there, the catchers situation (Kirk gets lots of time or will he be sent to AAA for experience), and will a trade happen. Fun!
ISLAND BOY - Thursday, February 18 2021 @ 10:10 PM EST (#394633) #
Ian Nicholson-Smith was on Tim and Sid tonight. From what he could gather from a Mark Shapiro interview today, the Jays will play in Dunedin until the first of June and then move to Buffalo if border restrictions haven't changed. The AAA Bisons would then play their home games in Rochester. He also noted that Buffalo and Rochester don't have any home games on the same date so this looked like a bit of advanced planning. The Jays, of course want to be back in Toronto as soon as they are allowed, hopefully sometime this season.
scottt - Friday, February 19 2021 @ 07:08 AM EST (#394634) #
That doesn't sound great for player families.
Arguably, Florida in the summer is not great, but moving every 2 months also sucks.

scottt - Friday, February 19 2021 @ 07:32 AM EST (#394635) #
The Cards have 2 of the 10 oldest players in Molina and Wainwright, the rest are in the AL.

1. Pujols,
2. Rich Hill
3. Nelson Cruz
4. Oliver Perez
5. Wainwright
6. Molina
7. Happ
8. Darren O'Day
9. Erwin Santana
10. Verlander

85bluejay - Friday, February 19 2021 @ 08:21 AM EST (#394636) #
Most pitchers Taijuan Walker's age and potential upside are willing to bet on themselves on a one year pillow contract to demonstrate health - that Walker and his agent seem determined to hold out for a multi-year deal is telling about their confidence in his health IMO.
bpoz - Friday, February 19 2021 @ 08:21 AM EST (#394637) #
Monyoyo compared to La Lussa to Billy Martin. I am trying to style/type cast a manager. Feisty!!

As pointed out by many our pitching staff is basically "unproven or proven". C Anderson was quite terrible last year. How will a specific manager deal with vet and young pitchers. So quick hook!! Snell did not like it.

Montoyo will probably be judged by his pitcher usage. You got the media, fans, the pitching coaches and the player all having input and reactions.
Gerry - Friday, February 19 2021 @ 08:25 AM EST (#394638) #
Reports out of New York say Walker has a deal with the Mets.
Thomas - Friday, February 19 2021 @ 08:28 AM EST (#394639) #
Taijuan Walker to the Mets, apparently. Pending knowledge of the terms, that's disappointing. I would have liked to see him back here, even if it was a two year deal.
grjas - Friday, February 19 2021 @ 08:50 AM EST (#394640) #
Well thatís disappointing. Clearly the Jays have a lot more confidence in their starters than I do. I hope they are right.
Gerry - Friday, February 19 2021 @ 09:16 AM EST (#394641) #
Two year deal, $20M, with a player option for a third year, assuming he passes a physical.

So its close to a three year deal.
bpoz - Friday, February 19 2021 @ 09:22 AM EST (#394642) #
The Mets are desperate to make the playoffs and advance a fair bit. The Jays are not desperate at all IMO.
85bluejay - Friday, February 19 2021 @ 09:23 AM EST (#394643) #
Three year guarantee from the Mets side - I'll pass - would have overpaid on a one year deal.
Mike Green - Friday, February 19 2021 @ 09:39 AM EST (#394644) #
ZiPS top 100 prospects are out.  Pearson 9, Martin 24, Kirk 26, SWR 32, Groshans 80, Martinez 99.  ZiPS projects SWR as a slightly better starter than Roark right now;  I'm not quite as high on him, but subjectively this list is probably as close to my view of the situation as the scouting-based lists.  I like Gabriel Moreno more than just about anybody; we'll see whether my view is shared more widely by mid-season.

Thomas - Friday, February 19 2021 @ 09:52 AM EST (#394645) #
It looks like the 3rd year is a $6 million player option with a $3 million buyout.

If I understand correctly, if Walker does well, it's a $20 million/2 year deal, as he will opt out. If he doesn't do well, he'll take the option and it will be $23 million/3 years. So the third year hit isn't another $10 million or anything quite like.
Mike Green - Friday, February 19 2021 @ 09:53 AM EST (#394646) #
As for Taijuan Walker, he was very lucky last year according to Statcast. The projection systems have him as a player who you can expect to give you 100-160 innings with an ERA in the 4.5-5 range.  I don't have any strong feelings one way or the other about the fact that the club didn't sign him given the scale of the commitment.  

Of course, Walker might do better than the projection but so might Anthony Kay or Thomas Hatch or Patrick Murphy or Julian Merryweather or somebody else.  None of them, including Walker, are players you want to think about (at this moment) as one of your 3 top starters in the playoffs. 
dalimon5 - Friday, February 19 2021 @ 09:59 AM EST (#394647) #
Is it perhaps time for us to acknowledge that the Jays "2nd wave" farm system is stronger than the 1st wave which was headlined by Vladimir Guerrero, Bo Bichette, Lourdes Gurriel Jr, Danny Jansen and Rowdy Tellez? Biggio I guess you can include there.

Looks to me like there's more upside and better positions with this new wave of Martinez, Martin, Groshans, SWR, Moreno, Kirk with Zuluetta, Kloffenstein and Manoah all likely on the fringes. And that's not counting Pearson.
bpoz - Friday, February 19 2021 @ 10:01 AM EST (#394648) #
Another catcher with upside is P Clarke. Clarke, Moreno and Adams all bring different talents. Adams will play in AAA/AA while Moreno and Clarke will start in Vancouver most likely. In 2019 in Vancouver Clarke has equal bb/k rates but he was a college age player. Clarke hits left.
rpriske - Friday, February 19 2021 @ 10:03 AM EST (#394649) #
So now it is Odorizzi or nobody.

It looks like the Jays are happy with Ryu and hoping enough of the other guys don't suck.

Very disappointing after such a good offseason on the other side of the field.
scottt - Friday, February 19 2021 @ 10:13 AM EST (#394650) #
I like Clarke quite a bit.
I think he'll grind a career somehow.
You don' t need to hit that much to be a backup and the left bat is nice.

scottt - Friday, February 19 2021 @ 10:20 AM EST (#394652) #
Ray is not nothing.
Matz is basically a lefty version of Walker.
It's all about buying low.

Stripling and Chatwood can start.
The whole AAA rotation is MLB ready.

Parker - Friday, February 19 2021 @ 10:25 AM EST (#394653) #
Yeah, you don't have to squint too hard at Clarke to see a something like a lefty version of Erik Kratz.
scottt - Friday, February 19 2021 @ 10:30 AM EST (#394654) #
Semien is an Alternative Association Player Representative, one of only 8 guys on the Players Association Executive Subcommittee. I hope he gets interviewed about what the players are looking for in the next CBA.
Glevin - Friday, February 19 2021 @ 11:15 AM EST (#394656) #
I think the Jays just don't feel like the starters out there are particularly better than what they have now and maybe they're right. How much better is Odorizzi or Walker then say, Stripling? I think it's likely all of these guys have ERAs in the 4.50-4.75 range. As of now, Jays project as a playoff team. The goal is to be competing every year. You don't need to make all of your moves in the same season. If pitching needs a boost, they can make a trade during the season. They have the prospect capital to do so. They had a fantastic off-season. Springer, Semien, and Yates are all huge additions. Matz, Phelps, and Chatwood all help as well. They should also have room next off-season if they want to go big again.
bpoz - Friday, February 19 2021 @ 11:18 AM EST (#394657) #
The 1st wave featured Vlad and Bo destroying Lansing and Dunedin in 2017. AA in 2016 Rowdy, Cavan 2018. Jansen's whole minor league career had V good bb/k ration. So an incredible group of prospects in the minors.

Kirk's performance is as good. So elite. To be considered as minor league prospects I add the pitchers. Pearson lost a lot of time to injuries. Zeuch and Kay also but not as much. Pardinho dominated Lansing as an 18 year old. SWR and Kloff are V good but SWR was promoted aggressively but not Kloff.

Kay and Zeuch are 2016 draft picks as are Bo and Biggio. Maybe all 4 establish themselves more in the Majors in 2021.

I still like the (2019) 1st wave better but want to give 2021 to the 2nd wave.

I don't care much about prospect lists. My choice. The 3rd wave (my choice) arrives in 2023 or partway 2022. Martin, Groshans, Manoah, SWR etc...
dalimon5 - Friday, February 19 2021 @ 11:19 AM EST (#394658) #
From Jays from the Couch (

During the 2017-2020 period, Walker was not a strike-thrower, as demonstrated by his 25th percentile slot in Strike%.

He was very good at limiting home runs (80% percentile in HR/9).

In terms of ERA, Walker slotted in at the 88th percentile, but his FIP was less impressive (62nd).

Walkerís innings ranked in the 3rd percentile during the 2019-2020 segment. Accordingly, there is little value in looking at his other data points.

In 2020, his ERA was impressive (85th percentile), but his FIP was 35th, and his Strike% was 19th.

The expected stats for the 2017-2020 segment, which remove the impact of defence and luck from batted balls, describe a below-median pitcher.

His xBA, xSLG%, and xwOBA rank near or in the bottom-third of starters.
Walkerís BA, SLG%, and wOBA were no worse than the 84th percentile during the 2019-2020 period.

However, his relative ranking in xBA, xSLG%, and xwOBA is no better than the 54th percentile.
Mike Green - Friday, February 19 2021 @ 12:42 PM EST (#394659) #
It looks like the 3rd year is a $6 million player option with a $3 million buyout.

If I understand correctly, if Walker does well, it's a $20 million/2 year deal, as he will opt out. If he doesn't do well, he'll take the option and it will be $23 million/3 years. So the third year hit isn't another $10 million or anything quite like.

If he doesn't do well, won't it be $23 million/2 years after a buyout?  Which is a lot.  It really turns on how likely you think it is that he will do well.  I'm agnostic on that one. 
mathesond - Friday, February 19 2021 @ 12:52 PM EST (#394660) #
Mike, I believe it's $10M for the 1st year, and $7M for year 2 with the $3M buyout for year 3.
Thomas - Friday, February 19 2021 @ 01:23 PM EST (#394661) #
Yes, I understand it's only $17 million if you discount the buyout/option of the third year.
Mike Green - Friday, February 19 2021 @ 01:35 PM EST (#394662) #
OK. I'm going to check contracts before posting. I read here that it was 2/20 plus a buyout which is the more typical contract than the front end loaded one.

Thanks, Matheson's and Thomas.
grjas - Friday, February 19 2021 @ 02:08 PM EST (#394663) #
I do like the depth and quality of the SP 4 and 5 slot and the bullpen. Where I believe they have no depth this year is in the 1-3 slot. They need all of Ryu, Pearson and Ray to perform as IMHO I think itís unlikely anyone else will rise to that level this year, especially since the likes of Manoah and SWR had limited experience in 2020.

Having said that, itís hard to complain as a Jays fan. They went from a 95 loss season to a playoff, snagged the best position player in the offseason and had other strong additions. And the top 10 prospects in the system look pretty exciting.

So now letís see how this year goes.
John Northey - Friday, February 19 2021 @ 02:36 PM EST (#394664) #
Sucks to lose Walker, but it does show the Jays are digging into the deeper stats to ensure they aren't signing a guy who was lucky. A decade ago he'd probably have gotten a massive 5 year deal after his low ERA here. Now teams have figured out ERA is nice but is only showing what happened, not what will happen.

Ryu/Pearson/Ray/Roark/Matz is a decent starting 5 with lots of potential each way (health could kill it, but if a couple step up this could be a sweet rotation).
Stripling/Kay/Thornton/Zeuch/Chatwood are a decent 5 as backups
Simeon Woods Richardson/Alek Manoah/CJ Van Eyk/Adam Kloffenstein/Eric Pardinho are nice prospects charging up the ladder

and that isn't touching guys like Julian Merryweather (low endurance)/Elvis Luciano (little minors experience) and others who could be in a rotation but have assorted issues.

Yeah, I like the looks of the Jays going forward. Lets hope for a full season (majors and minors) so they can progress and we can see it.
Eephus - Friday, February 19 2021 @ 03:20 PM EST (#394665) #
Disappointing to see Walker go elsewhere, as I do think there may be something untapped there if he stays healthy for a full season. Yeah... I'd be wary of committing multiple years too. Best of luck to him with the Mets, I wonder if he'll continue wearing "00" or switch back to "99". That's the real important question.

Unless they pull an Odorizzi out their hat on a one year deal (unlikely), I think this is the rotation we've got. Lots of intriguing options beyond Ryu, lots of uncertainty. Should be fun. Still a darn great offseason for the club.
85bluejay - Friday, February 19 2021 @ 03:27 PM EST (#394666) #
"OK. I'm going to check contracts before posting." Good advice for myself also, thanks.
Mike Green - Friday, February 19 2021 @ 03:30 PM EST (#394667) #
Apparently there are escalator clauses for the option year in Walker's contract.  It could end up being 3/25.5. 
85bluejay - Friday, February 19 2021 @ 04:01 PM EST (#394668) #
Given his age, I think if Walker stayed HEALTHY and was productive this year, he would probably be able to get a 4-5 year deal north of 15M per year - that he wasn't willing to bet on himself (unlike say Paxton or Ray), then I'm ok with the Jays not betting on him - I wish him well, have always liked him since his draft year.
Glevin - Friday, February 19 2021 @ 04:05 PM EST (#394669) #
Why I don't care much about these signings.
Projected ERAs (ZIPS)

Player A- 4.44
Player B- 4.41
Player C- 4.65
Player D- 4.15
Player E- 4.38
Player F- 4.93
Player G- 4.91
Player H- 4.62

They are Odorizzi, Walker, Stripling, Ray, Matz, Roark, Chatwood, and Thornton. Kay and Hatch not far behind either with more upside perhaps. Getting another #4 starter doesn't seem like it's the best use of money at this point. Would much rather take on a salary of a needed player in a couple of months or save for one of the big starters next season.
mathesond - Friday, February 19 2021 @ 04:21 PM EST (#394670) #
Glevin, I agree that the projected ERAs are all pretty close, and relatively uninspiring at $10M+/year. Just curious, are the IP projections for those pitchers all within the same range?
Mike Green - Friday, February 19 2021 @ 04:35 PM EST (#394671) #
ZiPS has Walker 100 innings.  That's less than Ray (151), SWR (141), Matz (122), Thornton (117) and slightly higher than Stripling (98). 

FWIW, Steamer has Walker throwing 162 innings but with an ERA of 5. 
SK in NJ - Friday, February 19 2021 @ 04:41 PM EST (#394672) #
Seems like the FO has reached the ceiling of what they were comfortable spending this winter, which isn't surprising given they have added over $70 million in guaranteed 2021 salary already (Springer, Semien, Yates, Ray, Matz, Chatwood). You're not going to fix every issue in one off-season, and this FO has been able to blend short and long-term focus very nicely. I don't mind going with the current rotation options if the team doesn't feel the available FA's are big enough upgrades and/or they want to avoid contracts running beyond 2021 to said players. Between Paxton, Walker, Odorizzi, Ray, Stripling, Matz, and Roark, it's hard to say which ones will end up having the better seasons. There's a lot of risk, and a noticeable lack of certainty, with everyone involved.

Last trade deadline the Jays were able to trade for Striping, Walker, and Ray quite easily. With no expanded playoffs there will be a lot of teams out of it by mid-season, so there's no reason why the Jays couldn't make the same type of deals at that point. The FO has shown that they are aiming a lot higher in talent acquisition (Springer, Semien, and Yates specifically), so patience could yield a similar type of high impact arm mid-season rather than another SP to slot in the 4-5 spot now.
John Northey - Friday, February 19 2021 @ 06:05 PM EST (#394673) #
Via BR we get the Marcel system which is considered the most basic available. ERA/IP for pitchers.
  • Ryu: 3.11 168
  • Roark: 4.89 140
  • Ray: 4.75 146
  • Kay: 4.66 58
  • Pearson: 4.68 77
  • Waguespack: 4.82 71
  • Stripling: 4.31 121
  • Zeuch: 4.12 59
  • Thornton: 4.84 80
  • Walker: 3.82 132
  • Shoemaker: 4.28 101
  • Anderson: 4.74 114
I think we all get the idea. Marcel is based on raw results, no checking underlying conditions, thus Walker looks very solid. But Zeuch also looks really good but in limited innings. It'll be interesting to see what each guy actually does though. If Walker does that for the Mets then they are getting a bargain.
GabrielSyme - Friday, February 19 2021 @ 07:31 PM EST (#394674) #
I'm with Glevin - someone like Walker doesn't add significantly to the Jays' rotation.

I do think that the sheer number of potential rotation arms means we are likely to have better production than a depth chart projection will give us credit for: with so many alternatives for the back end of the rotation, those who don't pitch well will end up losing their place to whoever is looking great in the bullpen or AAA.

Magpie - Friday, February 19 2021 @ 08:33 PM EST (#394675) #
What have they done to our geeky GM? Who's this guy? And how did he not say Vlad is in the best shape of his life?
Michael - Saturday, February 20 2021 @ 12:55 AM EST (#394676) #
A quite good media session from Mark Shapiro primarily on the logistic setup this year of where the team plays:

earlweaverfan - Saturday, February 20 2021 @ 11:56 AM EST (#394680) #
ď But Zeuch also looks really good but in limited innings.Ē Iíve been thinking about how to get Pearson to build up to a good number of innings but not have to take him out before the playoffs. Suppose you piggyback him with Zeuch, where one goes for 4 innings and the other 2-3 and vice versa the next time. The contrast between their pitching styles would be pretty profound, amirite? That might cause batters to struggle with their timing. This would mean a 6-man rotation, which could work.
Mike Green - Saturday, February 20 2021 @ 12:49 PM EST (#394683) #
That's interesting, EWF.  I've thought about piggybacking R/L in the way you describe, but not Power/Finesse.  Another way of splitting innings (which the club did try in the minors a number of years ago) is changing roles in mid-season.  So for instance, Zeuch starts out in the rotation and throws 4-5 innings a start with Pearson following for 2-3 until mid-season and then they switch so that Pearson hopefully is ready to make a contribution in the playoffs. 
vw_fan17 - Saturday, February 20 2021 @ 12:53 PM EST (#394684) #
Giants have signed Shun Yamaguchi to what is probably a league-minimum major/minor league deal. Watch him have an all-star season with the new baseball..
scottt - Saturday, February 20 2021 @ 09:18 PM EST (#394699) #
If he makes the MLB team, the Jays save about 600K.
I don't know if the Giants are looking for someone to flip at the deadline or just trying to tank.
I don't mind if he has a good year in San Francisco.

scottt - Saturday, February 20 2021 @ 09:37 PM EST (#394700) #
There's different ways to look at it.
Some teams like the Yankees are mostly right handed.
Others like the Rays can field 6, 7 or 8 lefties.
Both of these teams don't chase a lot, so they have to start throwing more strikes and maybe get an extra inning out of each starter.
Also, it's not a good idea to show every pitch, especially if they are balls.
Just throwing more strikes would go a long way.

Glevin - Saturday, February 20 2021 @ 10:31 PM EST (#394701) #
"That's interesting, EWF. I've thought about piggybacking R/L in the way you describe, but not Power/Finesse"

R/L makes the most sense because it's a built in advantage but I think there are a lot of ways to piggyback. Even very different deliveries can create difficulties for hitters.
scottt - Sunday, February 21 2021 @ 06:49 AM EST (#394702) #
Pardinho has been rehabing in Dunedin since his TJ surgery.
He threw a bullpen on Friday and he's on track to start in 2 months.

Have we heard where the not-Vancouver Canadians will be playing?

scottt - Sunday, February 21 2021 @ 01:35 PM EST (#394708) #
The Giants continue their strategy of targeting Blue Jays draftees with the signing of Aaron Sanchez.
Interesting that Odorizzi is still without a home. He must have a bunch of 1-year offers.

scottt - Sunday, February 21 2021 @ 01:38 PM EST (#394709) #
Ian Desmond opted out of 2021--for now at least.

Who else will opt out this year?

ISLAND BOY - Monday, February 22 2021 @ 12:21 PM EST (#394713) #
A writer, Jayson Stark, for The Athletic conducted a survey with 32 MLB executives and the Jays were voted the A.L.'s most improved team over the winter by all 32.

There was a revealing quote about Trevor Bauer. " It will be interesting to see what he does to a world championship clubhouse," said one voter. " He always was a "me" rather than a "team" guy ... always has been."
bpoz - Monday, February 22 2021 @ 01:07 PM EST (#394714) #
The prospects are getting good writeups in ST.

Groshans sounds V confident. Not being humble. He could not advance much in 2019 due to the foot injury. He worked hard over the next 2 years and has gained weight and strength. If healthy he could get to AA this year.
scottt - Monday, February 22 2021 @ 01:08 PM EST (#394715) #
Right now he's in a twitter war with the Mets pitching which seems nonsensical.
bpoz - Monday, February 22 2021 @ 02:13 PM EST (#394716) #
Unless something changes, always a possibility, the Jays have a shot at the ALE and 2 WC spots.

I am thinking that there are 8 teams with a decent chance at the playoffs. This means 6 teams compete with the Jays for 3 spots. Always hard I suppose.
scottt - Monday, February 22 2021 @ 04:41 PM EST (#394717) #
Groshans has beefed up considerably.

The Jays tried to pass Payamps through waivers and he got claimed back by Boston.
So, I guess there's a spot on the 40 right now.
They might try to claim someone else as there is no rush to promote anyone on a minor league contract.

scottt - Tuesday, February 23 2021 @ 10:33 AM EST (#394727) #
I'm not seeing a whole lot of coverage on Sportsnet.
The first game against the Yankees on Feb 28... and that's about it.

John Northey - Tuesday, February 23 2021 @ 10:39 AM EST (#394728) #
Spring games haven't been covered much in years. In the early 90's they had most on but since it cut back and never recovered. One a week is about all I'd expect now. Sucks that we won't have games in Montreal again this year. I'd love the Jays to end spring in Vancouver one year, Montreal another, just to spread it out a bit.
scottt - Tuesday, February 23 2021 @ 10:41 AM EST (#394729) #
In a few years, we should have Montreal Rays games on a regular basis.
Cynicalguy - Tuesday, February 23 2021 @ 11:07 AM EST (#394730) #
Not too many questions left to answer during spring training in terms of roster spot battles.

Remaining questions:
1. Who is the number 5 starter, Matz/Stripling/Thornton/Hatch/Kay/Merryweather/Zeuch?
2. Who is the backup catcher, Kirk or McGuire?
3. Do they go with a 8 man or 9 man bullpen (Seems they are strongly leaning towards a 9 man bullpen)?
4. Who is the backup infielder, Panik or Espinal?
5. Does Liriano or Cole make the team or do they use one of Hatch/Kay/Merryweather/Thornton/Zeuch for the last bullpen spot
John Northey - Tuesday, February 23 2021 @ 11:27 AM EST (#394731) #
The Rays are stuck until after the 2027 season. So the Montreal Rays could be in 2028 (I suspect they'd retake the Expos name and leave Rays for a future team in Tampa should someone be crazy enough to try there again).

Once over 1.9 mil, twice under 1.1 mil. Pretty stable low crowd team. Win or lose. 90+ wins got under 1.2 mil twice, 90+ wins got 1.8 twice, the other 3 90 win seasons were 1.5 to 1.6 range. 90+ losses 11 times - twice under 1.1 mil, once over 1.8 (their first year 2.5 mil), others between 1.2 and 1.6 mil. Ugh.

Montreal on the other hand...
Their last 90 win season was 1993: 1.6 mil (on pace for 1.8 in 1994 when the strike hit). 1.8 in 1987 when they won 91 (and traded Randy Johnson...grrr...). 2.2 in 1980 for 90 wins, pace of 90 wins in 1981 and pace for 2.2 mil again. 2.1 mil in 1979 for 95 wins. Clearly Montreal was far more likely to fill a park for a winner than Tampa even back when 2 mil was hard to get vs today when it is more common. Sadly 6 of their last 7 years were sub 1 mil but that was largely due to being told year in year out that the team was moving and useless to watch. Plus the 70 ton piece of the park falling. The 1 mil was the year their GM sold off everything in a desperate effort to win - although MLB knee-caped them nicely by not letting them call up anyone in September.
scottt - Tuesday, February 23 2021 @ 01:35 PM EST (#394732) #
Most Spring Training battles are more imagined than real with the decisions mostly already taken.

Roark is probably the 5th starter--just to split the right handed starter.
Pearson could go before Ray, but it would make sense to send Ray first, as a show of respect and confidence. Game 4-5-6 are in Texas, but after that you got starters 2-to-5  in a 4 game set against the Angels.

McGuire probably gets a chance to rebound with the bat while Kirk refines his catching skills in camp/AAA.

9 man bullpen seems very likely with the rotation having question marks.
Yates/Romano/Dolis/Chatwood/Borucki/Phelps/Stripling/Merryweather and the 9th spot being up for grab. Merryweather, Borucki and Romano have options but don't seem like guys you'd want to bounce up and down.

Panik costs a roster spot.
So, it could be a fight between Panic/Liriano/Cole or even Mayza/Castro/Tice.

scottt - Tuesday, February 23 2021 @ 01:47 PM EST (#394733) #
They Yankees have signed Wilson and Gardner to 4M/one year contracts with a structure that reduces the tax hit to 2.575M apiece.
Gerry - Tuesday, February 23 2021 @ 02:01 PM EST (#394734) #

Arden Zwelling has a long article about Simeon Woods Richardson up at Sportsnet.

It's a good and interesting read.

ISLAND BOY - Tuesday, February 23 2021 @ 02:32 PM EST (#394735) #
I just read it a little while ago, Gerry. I love SWR's competitiveness and I have higher hopes for him than Nate Pearson, mainly because I don't know if Nate can stay healthy.
Mike Green - Tuesday, February 23 2021 @ 03:33 PM EST (#394736) #
Thanks, Gerry.  I agree that there's lots to like there- it sounds like he's in the Buehrle/Kaat vein.  He's a very quick worker with a fine changeup.  I wonder how he is holding runners and fielding his position; he seems to be a good athlete so that's a plus.

And he's got the high spin rates so he'll probably strike out his share. 

Keith Law mentioned that his delivery puts him at "reliever risk".  I guess we'll see how his arm holds up.
scottt - Tuesday, February 23 2021 @ 05:08 PM EST (#394737) #
It's interesting that they were planning to draft him and then ended up with Griffin Connine.
He's a bit like Martin, a fast riser.
Incidentally, that could have factored in Baltimore passing over Martin.
They didn't want a guy who'd be ready too early.

There's about zero chances SWR make the team.
September? Tough with the roster limited to 28, but maybe if they release a vet or two.
That seems to be what the PA wants.

John Northey - Tuesday, February 23 2021 @ 07:21 PM EST (#394738) #
Spring is more about 2 battles imo...
1) not to lose your job by playing badly/getting hurt
2) for kids/AAAA guys to impress the coaching staff so they are kept in mind for future injuries and the like.

An example I remember in 1984 at the end of spring the job for LHP in the pen was going to Stan Clarke but something happened so Jimmy Key got the chance instead and the rest is history. Forget if it was an injury of he just pitched really, really badly at the end, but regardless of the reason that final slot was his to lose and he lost it.
mendocino - Tuesday, February 23 2021 @ 08:01 PM EST (#394739) #
Ryan Noda to the Dodgers to complete the Ross Stripling trade
Waveburner - Tuesday, February 23 2021 @ 08:52 PM EST (#394741) #
Wow that took a long time to announce. Was today basically the deadline? Noda is no real loss, but still don't like giving up a high upside arm like Williams. Hopefully Stripling makes the rotation and pitches well. I think I like him as much as Matz, and definitely more than Roark.
Glevin - Tuesday, February 23 2021 @ 09:31 PM EST (#394742) #
Meh on Noda. Love his eye but he'll be 25 in March and hasn't played above A+ and Kd a ton. I can see a major leaguer but looks more like Daniel Palka sort of player. Williams was a lot to give up though.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, February 24 2021 @ 05:11 AM EST (#394745) #
Tyler Chatwood to pitch in late relief for Blue Jays this season.

Looking more and more like this:

Toiling in minor league purgatory while getting stretched out for injury reserve/long relief:MerryweatherKayColeBoruckiHatchWaguespack

dalimon5 - Wednesday, February 24 2021 @ 05:13 AM EST (#394746) #
This just in... the Batter's Box no longer works as intended with MAC OS El Capitan. I'm using a 2008 Macbook and the posts just aren't formatting correctly.
My new computer is arriving in about a week...
scottt - Wednesday, February 24 2021 @ 06:02 AM EST (#394747) #
Noda was just out of the top 30.
He wasn't invited to the alternate training site, so didn't play last year.
would not have been protected from the rule 5 and Guerrero/Tellez have the 1B/DH spot locked for years to come.

Still think they overpaid with Willams though.

scottt - Wednesday, February 24 2021 @ 06:05 AM EST (#394748) #
The plan for Chatwood was announced right off the bat.
Which doesn't mean he doesn't get stretched.
We'll see.

I think he wants to become a late inning guy as there is little money in middle relief.

dalimon5 - Wednesday, February 24 2021 @ 08:35 AM EST (#394749) #
Hobie Harris has taken the spot of Joel Payamps. He throws 101 MPH.
Cynicalguy - Wednesday, February 24 2021 @ 08:54 AM EST (#394750) #
Sucks that there isn't going to be too many spring training games televised this year:

Best thing about spring training is getting to see some of the prospects in action. Was looking forward to seeing Woods Richardson, Martinez, Martin, Groshans, Monoah, Kloffenstein, Zuleta and Moreno.
Jonny German - Wednesday, February 24 2021 @ 09:08 AM EST (#394751) #
Seems most see Stripling as the one getting bumped from the rotation if everyone is healthy, but I'm not so sure - he's been a better pitcher than Matz in every season since 2016, and it feels like a better balance to me to have 3 RH starters than 3 LH.
Mike Green - Wednesday, February 24 2021 @ 09:19 AM EST (#394752) #
If you believe the ZiPS projections, the odd man out (if everyone is healthy) ought to be Roark and it isn't close.  He's got a projected ERA about 1/2 run per game higher than all the others. I take the projections with a grain of salt, but it makes no sense to me that he would be guaranteed a job in the rotation at least in the conventional sense (where you hope for him to give you 32 starts and 160-180 innings).
Chuck - Wednesday, February 24 2021 @ 09:22 AM EST (#394753) #
Tyler Chatwood to pitch in late relief for Blue Jays this season.

Wouldn't it be more accurate to say that Chatwood wants to pitch in late relief (given that he is not under consideration to be a potential starter)? I see precious little in his track record that warrants the guarantee of high leverage innings. He looks all the world like a fungible middle reliever to me.

SK in NJ - Wednesday, February 24 2021 @ 09:47 AM EST (#394754) #
Stripling's numbers as a SP pre-2020 are very good. My preference would be him and Matz as the final two starters, and Roark in the pen as a depth SP, but I'm guessing they'll give Roark every chance to win a rotation spot.
85bluejay - Wednesday, February 24 2021 @ 10:17 AM EST (#394755) #
Hurrah! Breyvic Valera is in Dunedin and I'm rooting for him to win the backup infielder position - I was disappointed that the Jays abandoned the Gio Urshela experiment so quickly.
scottt - Wednesday, February 24 2021 @ 11:19 AM EST (#394756) #
Roark's value is in throwing near 200 inning of average pitching.
He's got little value in the pen.

This is a year in which every team is expected to run out of pitching.
You don't make changes based on ZiPS, you make changes based on results in May or June.

From what I saw of Stripling last year, everything he threw seems flat and hittable.
He's got an ERA of 4.01 as a starter and 3.26 as a reliever.
He has never thrown more than 122 innings in MLB and he topped under 128 innings in the minors back in 2013 when he got TJ surgery in camp the next year. Guys are better in relief most of the time.
They Jays have him for 2 years. If he's good this year than they can push him until his arm falls off next year.

I'd take Valera over Panic.

I don't remember an Urshela experiment.
Wasn't he always a third baseman?
He never hit until he got to the Yankees where they are better at guessing what pitches are coming and where the umps are less likely to call you out on balls off the plate.

bpoz - Wednesday, February 24 2021 @ 12:09 PM EST (#394757) #
V early to tell on the Stripling/Williams trade. Williams is far away but has a potential high upside and 3 more years until rule 5 protection. Stripling could be a #3-#6 SP in 2021. A #3/4 would help the 2021 Jays. Thornton looks fairly similar to me in potential. I figure 8 SPs trying to be good enough to pitch 110 innings. Very unlikely. So that would mean the slow starters lose their high status.

Baseball wisdom says that "you can never have enough pitching". LAD did not follow this thinking. Any team contending will/should be reluctant to give up an experienced ML arm, mid season. They are a good organization so they knew what they were doing.

#3/4 type Stripling can be traded in the off season if the Jays have extra 4s.

dalimon5 - Wednesday, February 24 2021 @ 12:38 PM EST (#394758) #
What Scottt said
SK in NJ - Wednesday, February 24 2021 @ 12:56 PM EST (#394759) #
Roark lost 2 mph on his FB in 2020, and had an awful end to his 2019 season. I wouldn't bet on any projections that have him closer to his 2014-18 performance. I'm not sure if at age 34 in the AL he's going to get those ticks of velocity back and/or be an effective innings eater anymore even if he does. He'd have to have a great Spring to justify a rotation spot. I can deal with bad 2020 numbers in isolation. It was a small sample and a very unique situation, but velocity drop is significant. He'd have to prove that was just a blip. Keeping in the pen as a long/swing man isn't to maximize performance, it's because at $12M he needs a place to exist on the 26 man roster. If injuries happen, then you have him fill in and hope the performance is passable.
bpoz - Wednesday, February 24 2021 @ 01:03 PM EST (#394760) #
Our current rebuild required none or V few good off season trades. Trades in ST count as off season for me.

Nothing big for Martin or Morales. Getting Grichuk and Matz is a little big. 3 prospects for Matz and a bit of value for Grichuk. Grichuk was a gamble that became a huge win.

I liked C Greene more than Williams. But I did not get a chance to like Williams.
ISLAND BOY - Wednesday, February 24 2021 @ 03:35 PM EST (#394761) #
Sunday's spring training game that the Yays have with the Yankees will be on Sportsnet via the Yankees Yes network. There might be a few more through the spring telecast the same way I'm guessing. I know, spring training but it will still be nice to see baseball in some form.

In other news, Vlad says he lost 42 pounds over the winter. He should be more agile at least.
hypobole - Wednesday, February 24 2021 @ 04:44 PM EST (#394763) #
The 42 lbs Vlad lost is since last July.
85bluejay - Wednesday, February 24 2021 @ 05:50 PM EST (#394764) #
That means Vlad is probably in the 240-245 range and I think he needs to be in the 220-225 range.
John Northey - Wednesday, February 24 2021 @ 09:21 PM EST (#394766) #
Well, that is a big drop in weight. Lets see how he does and if he does well, maybe he'll keep it up next winter and get to his ideal size in time for his second year of arbitration. Big financial incentive to keep going.
Mike Green - Thursday, February 25 2021 @ 11:18 AM EST (#394772) #
Kaitlyn McGrath reports in today's Athletic that Guerrero Jr. will be playing mostly at first base this year, and the objective per Montoyo and Atkins is for him to become a Gold Glove quality first baseman (see Pujols, A).  That's a fine approach by management.
bpoz - Thursday, February 25 2021 @ 11:35 AM EST (#394773) #
Hope Vlad is ok with losing the 3B job.
John Northey - Thursday, February 25 2021 @ 12:00 PM EST (#394774) #
I think the Jays approached it well - giving Vlad a clear goal to get back to 3B - prove you can field 1B at a top level and we'll give you another shot at 3B, plus keep working out there as a backup so you won't be completely out of it. Ball is now in Vlad's court - will he be an adult and work his tail off to become a star or will he mope and end up being traded eventually as a failure? His choice.
85bluejay - Thursday, February 25 2021 @ 12:06 PM EST (#394775) #
Vlad's future is in his bat, anything else is gravy.
greenfrog - Thursday, February 25 2021 @ 12:20 PM EST (#394776) #
I agree that VGJ's value will come primarily from his bat. But I think he should also strive to become a good fielder (and baserunner). Value is value, whether it comes from offense or another area, and incremental gains add up. If Guerrero Jr. could upgrade his defense at first base from below-average to average (or better), this would be a nontrivial gain for the team.
Mike Green - Thursday, February 25 2021 @ 03:54 PM EST (#394777) #
Absolutely, greenfrog.  Carlos Delgado and Fred McGriff were pretty close to the best hitter in baseball at their peak and had long careers, but their career value ended up a little less than I thought it would be due to poor defence.  Hall of Fame hitters and poor defence at first base can leave a player on the outside looking in. 

The other possibility is the David Ortiz path.  That didn't work out so well for Minnesota.
Chuck - Thursday, February 25 2021 @ 05:53 PM EST (#394778) #
prove you can field 1B at a top level and we'll give you another shot at 3B

I missed this. Who delivered this message?

rpriske - Thursday, February 25 2021 @ 06:52 PM EST (#394779) #
Tommy Milone signed to a minor league deal
hypobole - Thursday, February 25 2021 @ 06:57 PM EST (#394780) #
ďMy conversation with him today, (GM) Ross (Atkins) and I talked to him today, ĎBecome a Gold Glove first baseman,í Ē Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said. ďI havenít seen him play third since two years ago. We donít want to close the door there, (weíll) see what he looks like and, if he plays well, itís going to be good for our team Ö But our main message was become a Gold Glove first baseman and then weíll move you to third, see how it goes.Ē
85bluejay - Thursday, February 25 2021 @ 09:07 PM EST (#394781) #
Reading all the encouraging news about Vladdy's weight loss and then I saw a video clip of him on picture day and my initial reaction - that guy is still a big boy.
bpoz - Thursday, February 25 2021 @ 10:32 PM EST (#394782) #
I believe in Vlad. I expect a great year from him.
John Northey - Thursday, February 25 2021 @ 10:40 PM EST (#394783) #
Nice to get Milone on a minor league deal. His numbers look to have potential - the HR/9 has always been his issue so you'd think he'd try to go to a place with a pitchers park (say, Oakland where he was very effective) but hey, if the Jays think they can help him get that down to sub 1 per 9 IP (instead of the 2.1 he had last year) then great. Minor league deals rarely are bad deals.
scottt - Friday, February 26 2021 @ 06:33 AM EST (#394784) #
It's not just Vladdy. Kirk has also lost some weight. Manoah also looks better.
dalimon5 - Friday, February 26 2021 @ 08:56 AM EST (#394785) #
I'm starting to really think there is a trade on the horizon for a top 3 starter which will have to include some of our pitching going back. How else can you explain the insane depth they are accumulating?

Mike Green - Friday, February 26 2021 @ 11:04 AM EST (#394787) #
It's not a typical season.  Last year the Blue Jays had one pitcher (Ryu) who threw more than 50 innings, and no one would count on Ryu to throw 180 innings in 2021 given his history.  It is totally understandable that the organization would want more depth than usual after such an abbreviated season. 
Gerry - Friday, February 26 2021 @ 11:15 AM EST (#394788) #
The Jays have announced that ten spring training games will be shown on Sportsnet.

Once the season starts, the radio broadcast will be a simulcast of the TV broadcast. That doesn't sound ideal, they are blaming COVID, so hopefully its a 2021 only decision.
Glevin - Friday, February 26 2021 @ 11:30 AM EST (#394789) #
"It's not a typical season. Last year the Blue Jays had one pitcher (Ryu) who threw more than 50 innings, and no one would count on Ryu to throw 180 innings in 2021 given his history. It is totally understandable that the organization would want more depth than usual after such an abbreviated season. "

Ray actually through more than 50 innings too although split between two teams. Your point is correct though. Every team is planning on having more starters.
bpoz - Friday, February 26 2021 @ 11:38 AM EST (#394790) #
LAD have the best quality of depth IMO. Kershaw, Buehler and Bauer are #1s. Out of respect I call D Price good. Add J Urias. If healthy they should perform. Their kids like D May and T Gonsolin are as good as anyone else's but don't "have" to be in their rotation until injury.

For the Jays Ryu is good and Pearson is ready to show that he is V good. Our veterans like Ray, Roark, Matz and Stripling are #3-6 type SPs. Our kids like Hatch, Kay and Zeuch should get opportunities to unseat any struggling veteran SP. I hope April and May is a long enough audition for a struggling vet.
scottt - Friday, February 26 2021 @ 12:16 PM EST (#394791) #
The Diamondbacks have DFAed Travis Bergen to make room for Tyler Clippard.
Ouch. Curious to see if he gets claimed.

dalimon5 - Friday, February 26 2021 @ 12:19 PM EST (#394792) #

You have 22 pitchers there who will be ready at some point to contribute. You don't need that many. Plus you have to add the rest of the prospects and filler players.

Just way to many pitchers for an MLB roster and multiple minor league deals. Why are guys like Liriano and Milone signing minor league deals with Toronto unless they see an opportunity to be at the MLB level? Why sign these guys when you have so many other arms for those positions?

scottt - Friday, February 26 2021 @ 12:22 PM EST (#394793) #
The Radio is not a huge deal for me, I didn't spend that much time driving last year.
Just to and and back from the grandson's games.

The schedule itself has the Yankees game this Sunday.
Then, a road game against the Pirates on the 12th.
Another road game against Detroit on the 15th.
Then, it picks up with games on the 20, 21, 22, 23, 27, 28 and 29.

So. I guess I'll wait until the 19th to re-subscribe.

Cynicalguy - Friday, February 26 2021 @ 12:38 PM EST (#394794) #
Great to hear there will be at least 10 spring training games on TV.

Would prefer to see more games earlier in the schedule when more prospects get to play as opposed to later in the schedule when people are sick of the long spring training. Still good news overall.
hypobole - Friday, February 26 2021 @ 12:59 PM EST (#394795) #
Travis Bergen has options, so I would guess some team claims him.

Also, Gammons has an article at The Athletic about the need for greater pitching depth this year.
bpoz - Friday, February 26 2021 @ 01:03 PM EST (#394796) #
Excellent list of pitchers dalimon5. Like you said there are still more like Tice and Cole.

I too keep wondering what the plan/strategy is. Depth is a valuable thing to have. Anyone pitching like 2019 Edwin Jackson probably runs out of rope by 10 innings I would think. After Toronto released Jackson he was picked up by Detroit. So any SP vet with a guaranteed 1 year contract like Matz, Ray and Roark (only3) can be put in the pen, traded or released. Maybe put on the taxi squad. Horrible pitching will not get us into the playoffs if it happens for a long time.

But I also thinks there will be some good performances.

I think the trade deadline is Aug 31. Playoff expectations should be quite clear for teams out of it and those clearly in a good position. From Sept 1 to Oct 3 there are 30 games left for the Jays and most teams I presume. Any 1 year veteran cut by any team costs only 1 month of salary.
Michael - Friday, February 26 2021 @ 03:15 PM EST (#394797) #
In addition to people in the majors pitching fewer innings last year, with the minors having been shut down, the farm/AAAA/filler pitchers around the league also have less innings, and the farm teams also need pitchers. So you can imagine the need for more pitchers is systemic (even if there are farm system contraction).

Although there may be a trade off that less pitching means less wear-and-tear and maybe healthier pitchers; however, less stretched out.

With respect to Vlad and the weight, while he's lost a lot of weight, and while he's much slimmer and fitter than I am, he still looks a little too heavy for his age and elite athlete status. I'd guess he's about 2/3 of the way there in weight loss to what would be a more ideal target.
John Northey - Friday, February 26 2021 @ 06:22 PM EST (#394798) #
Trade deadline back to normal - July 31st (via a Cincinnati paper) October 5th/6th are the wild card games, World Series starts October 26th. All-Star game is in Atlanta on July 13th. Today was the mandatory date for all players to be in Spring Training.
Super Bluto - Friday, February 26 2021 @ 06:38 PM EST (#394799) #
This is a terrible decision. Even with Shulman in the booth, I expect I will flip over to the other team's radio broadcast. I wonder if this is why Wilner was canned?
dalimon5 - Friday, February 26 2021 @ 06:48 PM EST (#394800) #
Opposite for me. Listening to the broadcast on the radio reminded me of story time before bed.

Ben Wagner can't describe what is happening without going into over the top stories that just end up detracting from the game. This is the style Jerry Howarth perfected. Study opposing players before the game, come up with 10-15 stories or tid bits and use them when that player makes a play in the field or comes up to bat. What happens is the story almost never ends and often times goes past the entire inning and commercial break before the co host comments on the story, relates to it then moves on to repeat the entire process again. Often times I'm left wondering, "great, now I know everything about random subject relating to random player, but what is the score and who is up to bat?"

If they would narrate the play and let the listener imagine the rest, it would be magical. Instead they all try to do the imagining for us with additional useless and sometimes interesting facts not relating to the game or play. Ok when Buck or Scully did it since we could see the play and their commentary added colour to the broadcast. On the radio I think it alienates the viewer.
John Northey - Friday, February 26 2021 @ 08:39 PM EST (#394801) #
Not an unusual thing - I think most teams use one team for both radio & TV.  Still, there is a difference in how to do them - TV can let the image tell the story in some cases.  Radio cannot.  Every pitch must be called on radio, on TV you can just yak about whatever when a pitch comes if it is ball 2 or something.  Especially in a blowout.  I have Sirius XM so I can listen in the car (I go up north to Thunder Bay in the summer and there are long stretches where satellite is all that could work, no cell service even in spots still and no one up there broadcasts the Jays on radio) and when the Jays are on the road I hear the other teams broadcasters.

If the Jays have a great year and make the playoffs, and the dome is opened up for fans by September then they might feel the demand is high enough to justify a separate team for radio vs TV but sadly I suspect this is how it will be from now on.  Generally once a corporation finds a way to save a few bucks they don't let go of that savings unless forced.
Super Bluto - Friday, February 26 2021 @ 10:49 PM EST (#394802) #
John Northey: "Not an unusual thing - I think most teams use one team for both radio & TV."

Really? I'm not sure this is true at all. I listen to quite a bit of radio (via and I can't think of a single team that simulcasts. Perhaps I've missed it?

Good thing Rogers doesn't own any newspapers or the only game reports we'd have would be transcripts of the play by play.

Super Bluto - Friday, February 26 2021 @ 10:58 PM EST (#394803) #
Dailmon5 - The quality of the current broadcasters is hardly the point. Radio and TV are different media, something we'll all realize over and over again this season. Every time a team calls for a video review, radio listeners will get zilch while TV viewers get to make up their own minds about a call. The TV guys may even say "You be the judge" OF WHAT??? Can't see it, man!!!

(And for the record, the only thing Jerry Howarth perfected was telling the same g-d stories 50 times a season.)
Super Bluto - Friday, February 26 2021 @ 11:04 PM EST (#394804) #
Rob Longley in The Sun:

Several broadcasters we contacted on Friday with experience across multiple sports emphasized the distinction between the two mediums and how difficult it is to make a game call work for radio and television. It has the potential to be awkward and unwieldy with a cost in quality on both platforms.
Eephus - Friday, February 26 2021 @ 11:35 PM EST (#394805) #
Baseball on the radio is such a different creature than baseball on television that I can't definitively say I like one over the other. Given the choice I'd certainly prefer to see the action, but baseball truly is perfect for radio. The sounds of the crowd rising and crashing like waves on a shore depending on the particular action... it's a more intimate experience, like you can close your eyes and you're right there in that crowd... the scent of hotdogs, popcorn (or whatever the Dome smells like, it's been so long) almost right there along side with it.

A simulcast puts a lot more responsibility on the TV announcers, no doubt, since calling every single pitch is an obsessive attention to detail when you're used to your audience being able to see the exact same thing. Vin Scully would, but I think some of his TV innings would be broadcast on the radio also... plus he's Vin freaking Scully. Shulman is such a pro (with tons of radio experience) that he probably won't miss a beat, but any just Buck and Tabler games will be unlistenable by the second inning.

I really do hope this is a temporary change and not another case of The Corporation consolidating media roles, which seems rather in vogue these days. Whether or not you like the radio option being different, it is at least good to have the option.    
StephenT - Saturday, February 27 2021 @ 02:59 AM EST (#394806) #
I recall that Dan Shulman and Buck Martinez got rave reviews in the US when they called playoff baseball together on ESPN radio 1998-2000.  Ref:

The first 3 innings of Vin Scully's (solo) baseball broadcasts for the Dodgers were simulcast on radio and television (the remaining innings were just on television).  Ref:

It might be okay.  I'll reserve judgement until I've heard some broadcasts.

I'm curious where the announcers will be calling the games from.  I think Shulman is currently in the US (Charlotte NC) to call college basketball from a studio.  Ref:
scottt - Saturday, February 27 2021 @ 07:02 AM EST (#394807) #
Springer does not play in spring games until he feels ready.
That's fine. There's enough outfielders now.
It will be a bit different for Semien who is on another contract year and at a new position.
Same for Biggio and Vladdy who will want to play as much 3B as they can, I bet.
Hopefully, the Jays have enough pitchers to give innings to that we won't have too many 5 innings games.

Parker - Saturday, February 27 2021 @ 09:00 AM EST (#394808) #
I'm used to watching games with the volume muted anyway.
Super Bluto - Saturday, February 27 2021 @ 09:07 AM EST (#394809) #
I keep thinking of specific scenarios where television or radio are superior. Like a manager coming out to argue a call. It works better on TV where they can just let the picture tell the story while on radio they have to describe everything. So many little situations like that.

If this was a good idea, more clubs would have done it years ago.
Magpie - Saturday, February 27 2021 @ 10:29 AM EST (#394810) #
I think most teams use one team for both radio & TV.

Well, it looks like Wikipedia has just updated their page listing each team's local broadcast crews. It appears that twenty-nine of the thirty teams have separate crews for radio and television.  Everyone but Toronto.
John Northey - Saturday, February 27 2021 @ 10:42 AM EST (#394811) #
Huh funny. Could've sworn a few did it - LA Dodgers as mentioned above did it for Vin Scully, I thought the Tigers did it years ago (when Ernie Harwell did it) and just assumed other clubs (who are often super-cheap) would've as well. But most teams aren't owned by their broadcast partner (or own their broadcast) so I can see why as rights could be with different groups for radio vs TV. The Jays though own radio, TV, etc. so there is a cost savings for them (probably $500k a year I'm guessing) which in baseball terms is minor but for an executive trying to earn a bonus it is significant. No matter what company you are with, be it Walmart or a local 2 person company, if you can save $500k a year with out affecting revenue your boss will be happy with you.
Super Bluto - Saturday, February 27 2021 @ 04:18 PM EST (#394812) #
I don't know how common this was, but Ernie Harwell was actually an employee of the Tigers, not WJR or any of the other broadcasters. Recall that it was Bo Schembechler (sp?) who, in one of his first moves as president of the club, fired Ernie in the early 90s and caused an uproar that eventually led to Ernie's return.

As to the savings, who knows? Though maybe lower ratings for the afterthought of a radio broadcast lead to lower advertising revenue, wiping out any savings. They will certainly lose revenue on all the in-game sponsorship radio had, like when the Honda Out of Town Scoreboard was read or the Sokoloff Injury Report, etc. Though, I'm sure Rogers accounted for this.
John Northey - Saturday, February 27 2021 @ 05:28 PM EST (#394813) #
I like Tellez's attitude this year...
Super Bluto - Saturday, February 27 2021 @ 10:29 PM EST (#394814) #
Does Tellez know about what Rogers is doing to radio!?!
Eephus - Saturday, February 27 2021 @ 11:41 PM EST (#394815) #
I doubt when asked that few MLBers would answer: "we're going hard for that third place finish this year. That's our goal and we're gonna surprise some people."

Wait, that sounds like the Riccardi years! Anyway I definitely agree... the high confidence of this young core is reassuring. The true test is how they handle the slumps of a long season that every team, great and terrible, is doomed to endure. The front office has invested in veterans like Springer, Semien and Ryu partially for this very intangible reason. We shall see!
Cynicalguy - Sunday, February 28 2021 @ 12:15 AM EST (#394816) #
Kloffenstein was on a podcast I just discovered called the Walkoff podcast for 1 hour and it was really insightful and interesting:

I would also recommend the interview with Joey Murray on the same channel...seems like he made a mechanical change and upped his velocity to 94mph. Very good baseball and prospect talk.
Super Bluto - Sunday, February 28 2021 @ 02:23 AM EST (#394817) #
You know what? Maybe I should give Rogers some benefit of the doubt. Here's my glass-is-half-full scenario

Let's say Wilner was fired for whatever reason not related to budget. Then let's say that The Fan started searching for his replacement, perhaps a former MLBer. Let's say they found him but he's based in the US and wasn't willing to join the crew if it meant not being able to visit the family from time to time by being stuck in Toronto. So he asked for a deferral. Rogers, thinking there might be a work stoppage next season anyway, said, Sure! Take your time.

Magpie - Sunday, February 28 2021 @ 02:36 AM EST (#394818) #
My link to the list of broadcasters went to one of those Internet dark holes? I actually mastered this issue. Just careless, I guess.

Incidentally, the team's website still lists Ben Wagner on The Sportsnet Radio Network. Maybe the glass is just half-empty. For the moment. While the corporation waits to see what happens.
bpoz - Sunday, February 28 2021 @ 11:39 AM EST (#394821) #
Gurriel made a V good point by saying that our lineup is scary. Not just 1-9 but 10 and 11.

So I tried to count it out. I get 5 IF Tellez, Vlad, Biggio, Bichette and Semien. 4 OF Gurriel, T Hernandez, Springer and Grichuk. Since the catchers have not bashed enough I count 0. So 9 V good which can cover injuries and PH/substitutions.

For the catchers I hope Jansen can hit well. Based on 120 ABs 21bb and 31Ks for 2020. His bb/k ratio is fantastic. Kirk's sss works against him.

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