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Today is February 28th and it is also the first day for spring training games. The Jays take on the Yankees at 1pm in a 7 inning game. This year MLB allows shorter games in the first half of spring training. MLB will also allow a team to declare an inning over if the pitcher has throws 20 pitches, irrespective of the number of outs. You can see today's Yankee game on Sportsnet, or on the MLB Network. On Monday and Tuesday the Jays face the Pirates and Phillies.

Todays lineup is as follows:

  • Biggio 3B
  • Semien 2B
  • Bo SS
  • Gurriel Jr LF
  • Vladdy 1B
  • Tellez DH
  • Jansen C
  • Palacios RF
  • Davis CF

The scheduled pitchers are:

Anthony Kay, TJ Zeuch, Jacob Waguespack, Bryan Baker, Joey Murray.

The roster is pretty much set but it will be interesting to see which of the younger players show well in spring. We haven't seen some of these players for over a year so getting to see them now will be good.

Robbie Ray starts Monday with Nate Pearson and Yosver Zulueta following. Steven Matz starts on Tuesday.

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ISLAND BOY - Sunday, February 28 2021 @ 09:22 AM EST (#394819) #
I wish tomorrow's pitchers were going today. I would like to see Zuleta in action, not to mention how Nate Pearson is throwing.
Gerry - Sunday, February 28 2021 @ 10:58 AM EST (#394820) #
Jordan Groshans and Austin Martin have travelled to Tampa today so we should see them at some point. Riley Adams is also in the squad.
85bluejay - Sunday, February 28 2021 @ 12:39 PM EST (#394822) #
Let's go Breyvic Valera - hope you win the utility infielder spot.
Shoeless Joe - Sunday, February 28 2021 @ 01:21 PM EST (#394823) #
Rowdy rips a double down the line, as if to say donít forget about me.

Gerry - Sunday, February 28 2021 @ 03:45 PM EST (#394824) #
Jays win, The hitting star was the forgotten man, Logan Warmoth, who had a double and a home run.

On the pitching side Anthony Castro looked good, although he seemed to throw a lot of breaking pitches.

Joey Murray had a clean inning, albeit against AAA hitters. His fastball didn't look special but he did get some good results with it. His curve was very good.
Gerry - Sunday, February 28 2021 @ 03:48 PM EST (#394825) #
Should also mention Rowdy Tellez who had two hits and possibly the two hardest hit balls of the game.
Gerry - Sunday, February 28 2021 @ 03:53 PM EST (#394826) #
From Keegan Matheson who is in Dunedin:

The average spin rate on a Major League fastball is 2,308 rpm.

Joey Murray averaged 2,742 rpm over seven fastballs that inning, topping out at 2,973 rpm.

A high-spin fastball creates that "rising fastball" effect, which is especially valuable on high fastballs. One like Murray's allows him to create lots of swings-and-misses up in the zone.
hypobole - Sunday, February 28 2021 @ 03:54 PM EST (#394827) #
One more - Kay did a lot of nibbling with JDL and Judge, but then he started throwing strikes and looked good.
BlueJayWay - Sunday, February 28 2021 @ 04:01 PM EST (#394828) #
Joey Murray had a clean inning, albeit against AAA hitters. His fastball didn't look special but he did get some good results with it.

That's been his calling card so far. He's one of those high spin rate, "invisiball" guys.
Mike Green - Sunday, February 28 2021 @ 04:05 PM EST (#394829) #
Nibbling with LeMahieu and Judge as your first two batters in live baseball of the season Is understandable. Glad that Kay did well.
Mike Green - Sunday, February 28 2021 @ 04:10 PM EST (#394830) #
I wonder who will bat eighth Opening Day when the Jays face Gerrit Cole. I figure Jansen bats ninth, but who exactly bats eighth? Semien? Teoscar? Someone else?
Eephus - Sunday, February 28 2021 @ 04:27 PM EST (#394831) #
Random First Spring Game Thoughts:

-- I don't know if Vlad's lost weight will give him the innings at 3B he desires, but it sure has made him quicker around the bases. No way 2020 Vlad scores on that hit.

-- Not a great outing for mirror universe Jacob Waguespack.

-- Naturally, the first Blue Jay to hit a home run in 2021 is Logan Warmoth. He's still got a chance! It's Spring!

-- The YES broadcast does too many in-game interviews. Obviously it's not my team but you're interrupting an inning for Tyler Wade? With his Goins-ian career 56 OPS+? Blech.

-- Joey Murray is very, very interesting. I like the deception.

-- With all the innings restrictions etc, we'll probably be seeing a lot more T.J. Zeuch this year. I don't care if he gets strikeouts, as long as they're outs. First inning looked good, second inning seems like they squared him up more.

-- Woo baseball!
scottt - Sunday, February 28 2021 @ 04:44 PM EST (#394832) #
Those 5 Yankees games at the end of Spring training will be interesting.
It's going to be hard to hide all the pitchers all the time.
It looks like Tellez has slimmed down as well.

Cynicalguy - Sunday, February 28 2021 @ 05:23 PM EST (#394833) #
I highly recommend this Joey Murray Interview on the Walk Off Podcast to get some insight on his analysis of his spin rate, and a velocity bump from a mechanical adjustment last year.
Gerry - Sunday, February 28 2021 @ 05:40 PM EST (#394834) #
The Jays have returned Travis Bergen to the nest. Patrick Murphy has been placed on the 60 day DL to make room.
PeterG - Sunday, February 28 2021 @ 05:43 PM EST (#394835) #
I was impressed with Kay and Murray as well as Baker. I have always maintained that it is far too soon to write off Logan Warmoth. Due to the absence of a minor league season in 2020, there are going to be some surprises (positive and negative) among prospects.
85bluejay - Sunday, February 28 2021 @ 06:04 PM EST (#394836) #
Man, Patrick Murphy can't catch a break!
Cynicalguy - Sunday, February 28 2021 @ 06:59 PM EST (#394838) #
Does the 60 day IL include spring training days....meaning the earliest Murphy can be activated is May 1st?
Cynicalguy - Sunday, February 28 2021 @ 07:00 PM EST (#394839) #
Would love to see 3 lefties in the bullpen...Borucki, Bergen, Mayza/Liriano.
James W - Sunday, February 28 2021 @ 08:05 PM EST (#394840) #
Does the 60 day IL include spring training days....meaning the earliest Murphy can be activated is May 1st?

It does not count spring training days. Murphy would be eligible to return on the 61st day of the regular season.
John Northey - Sunday, February 28 2021 @ 09:03 PM EST (#394841) #
James - that doesn't sound right to me. IL time in the past did count spring days as well. Can't find proof of it anywhere though. In the end it might not matter.
scottt - Sunday, February 28 2021 @ 09:21 PM EST (#394842) #
A player who is placed on the MLB 60-day Injured List during Spring Training must spend at least the first 60 days of the MLB regular season on the Injured List (the player cannot be reinstated any earlier than the 61st day of the MLB regular season).
scottt - Sunday, February 28 2021 @ 09:30 PM EST (#394843) #
So, the Jays got Ray for Bergen and most of Ray's remaining 2020 salary and now they're getting Bergen back in exchange for a bit more money if he makes the team.
Gerry - Sunday, February 28 2021 @ 10:32 PM EST (#394844) #
Austin Martin starts at shortstop tomorrow. Alejandro Kirk also starts.
Jonny German - Monday, March 01 2021 @ 03:47 AM EST (#394845) #
Scott Mitchell reported that Murray was "pumping some 92s and a 93 with the four-seamer", after being 89-91 at the alt site last year and 87-89 in 2019. Exciting to see from a guy who had great results in the minors with that lower velocity.

Eno Sarris posted a slow-mo video showing how Murray throws his invisi-ball.
Jonny German - Monday, March 01 2021 @ 04:01 AM EST (#394846) #
I wonder who will bat eighth Opening Day when the Jays face Gerrit Cole.

I'd go with this:

CF Springer
SS Bichette
1B Guerrero
RF Hernandez
DH Tellez
LF Gurriel
2B Semien
C Jansen
3B Biggio

I could buy an argument for paying more deference to Semien and batting him higher. But not for sitting Rowdy in favour of Grichuk against a right-hander.
Jonny German - Monday, March 01 2021 @ 08:52 AM EST (#394847) #
Breyvic Valera in centre field today, which raises the question: Breyvic Valera plays outfield? Turns out yes, he's done it a decent amount over his 10 years in the minors. Also: 10 years!

Pos GS
2B 488
SS 165
3B 99
LF 104
RF 35
CF 8

Perhaps more relevant, Centre Field was his primary position in Venezuelan winter ball this year, with 26 games started there vs 11 at 3B/2B/LF.

Won't be long until we're laughing about how the Yankees scooped Gio Urshela and turned him into a star. "Yeah, but we got Breyvic Valera!".
Mike Green - Monday, March 01 2021 @ 08:59 AM EST (#394848) #
You could do that, Jonny.  Biggio might be the best ninth place hitter of all time if you did, and the Blue Jays might score more runs in the third inning than the first.  This isn't necessarily a bad thing.  The more important thing is that Tellez plays, and for what it's worth, the five slot is as good a place as any for him.

Austin Martin playing shortstop makes sense- getting him the maximum number of  infield reps this season and then he can slide left or right as the club sees fit.  

Mike Green - Monday, March 01 2021 @ 09:58 AM EST (#394849) #
Ben Wagner reports that the Jays are sending out the following pitchers today:
Ray, Pearson, Romano, Borucki, Liriano, Zulueta

The Pirates have sent only 5 pitchers so it may be a very short game.
Glevin - Monday, March 01 2021 @ 10:14 AM EST (#394850) #
People are way too worried about Tellez getting PAs. The Jays have one extra player for lots of spots. Guys will get hurt, guys will need days off. Everyone will play a lot. Will Tellez occasionally sit? Yes, probably but if he hits, he will play a lot. There is way too much overreaction to individual lineups. Especially, in April, there will be a lot of rotating lineups.

I am a lot more interested in Murray if he is throwing 92-93 than if he's at 87-88. Can really see a major leaguer with his spin rate. As someone mentioned, there will be a lot of surprises with prospects both positive and negative because there has been so much time off. There will be way more "out of nowhere" guys and also way more disappointments. Very excited to watch every level of the Jays this year though. Major league team is exciting and so are the prospects. Really looking forward to seeing a lot of baseball!
85bluejay - Monday, March 01 2021 @ 10:32 AM EST (#394851) #
Breyvic Valera is probably going to get a lot of run early in camp to see if he can challenge for a utility spot - team already knows Panik well. Here's hoping Valera capitalizes on his opportunity.
85bluejay - Monday, March 01 2021 @ 10:34 AM EST (#394852) #
Travis Bergen has options, so he's probably going to be on the shuttle.
Jonny German - Monday, March 01 2021 @ 10:34 AM EST (#394853) #
ďYou could do that, Jonny. Biggio might be the best ninth place hitter of all time if you didĒ

That may be true, but itís also conceivable that heíll be the 2nd-weakest hitter of the regulars.

I wonder if itís useful to think of all 12 hitters together. Something like this:





On a given day pick the 9 names from the list, in order.

The theoretical opening day lineup I suggested earlier does not fit this pattern, of course. Shifting Biggio to #9 is something Iíd do only on days when all the regulars are playing (and of course adjustments along the way will be appropriate if one or more of the regulars isnít playing up to expectations).
Mike Green - Monday, March 01 2021 @ 11:01 AM EST (#394854) #
Something like that.  The point of the exercise is that the lineup will likely be uncharacteristically strong at 7-9 in the order no matter how Montoyo arranges the lineup.  I remember Jesse Barfield hitting 8th in 1985- it was an odd place to put the best hitter on the club but they did OK anyway.
bpoz - Monday, March 01 2021 @ 11:23 AM EST (#394855) #
I too am very interested in how prospects do this year.

For pitchers I want to see good results from a decent sample size in AA+. M Castillo, J Murray. So So Hatch, Kay etc... would only count if they pitched enough in AAA/ML.

For position players I am looking at impact players in AA+ or higher. That is players that have decent offensive results, which would project to higher offense. Groshans/Martin may not play enough in AA+. Palacios/Adams/K Smith in AA+ for example. These count as impact players because they are CF/C/SS/3B and are capable of 20 Hr in 500 ML ABs. O Lopez, S Taylor are bench players and I don't see them as becoming impact bats. They have value but can be replaced by many. Panik, Valera, Urena, Espinal etc...

I would
ISLAND BOY - Monday, March 01 2021 @ 12:51 PM EST (#394856) #
It was annoying listening to the Yankee announcers doing the game yesterday, especially before the game started. They all but anointed the Yankees as the best team in the A.L. and predicted they would score the most runs this coming season.
Yeah, they have a lot of good players but many of them are injury-prone. When you look at the Jays batting order, it might be them that score the most runs this year. When it comes to preventing them, I'm hoping for the best.
Gerry - Monday, March 01 2021 @ 01:52 PM EST (#394857) #
Two errors in the first three innings by Austin Martin.
Mike Green - Monday, March 01 2021 @ 02:13 PM EST (#394858) #
...and a walk and a stolen base.  He'll get there.
hypobole - Monday, March 01 2021 @ 03:09 PM EST (#394859) #
But where is there?
Mike Green - Monday, March 01 2021 @ 03:44 PM EST (#394860) #
What?  I don't know. 
Mike Green - Monday, March 01 2021 @ 03:52 PM EST (#394861) #
The previous comment ought to have had a smiley.  I sometimes worry that a joke might be too obscure and taken for a snarky reply. 
Shoeless Joe - Monday, March 01 2021 @ 04:02 PM EST (#394862) #
Ray threw 24 of his 26 pitches for stikes, good early signs.
85bluejay - Monday, March 01 2021 @ 04:18 PM EST (#394863) #
I have confidence that Austin Martin will eventually get to CF.
hypobole - Monday, March 01 2021 @ 04:36 PM EST (#394864) #
My comment was meant as an honest question about Martin's eventual position. His fall to the Jays was at least in part due to throwing issues from the SS position.The 2 errors, including the bad throw, certainly doesn't help answer that question.
Mike Green - Monday, March 01 2021 @ 04:39 PM EST (#394865) #
It's funny.  I can't think of a player who went from third base to centerfield during their career.  Yount went from SS to CF and Mickey Stanley played both positions during the same season in 1968.  Craig Biggio went from C to 2B to CF.  Darin Erstad went from centerfield to first base to centerfield. 
Mike Green - Monday, March 01 2021 @ 04:42 PM EST (#394866) #
Seriously, I have no idea what position he'll end up playing.  The young man can hit enough that it won't matter.  Paul Molitor started out as a shortstop...
85bluejay - Monday, March 01 2021 @ 05:08 PM EST (#394867) #
I too have no idea where Martin will end up but my hope is Martin in CF, Groshans at 3B and maybe somebody not named Bichette (maybe Chris Taylor next year on a 3 year deal) until one of the IFA prospects arrives.
Magpie - Monday, March 01 2021 @ 05:51 PM EST (#394868) #
I can't think of a player who went from third base to centerfield during their career.

Neither can I, but isn't Martin still supposed to be a shortstop? Even if no one believes that's where he'll end up? You young 'uns might not know it, but Mickey Mantle himself was a shortstop when he started his pro career (and made 47 errors in 89 games.) It's not quite true to say that everybody starts out as a shortstop, but only because some people throw left-handed.
85bluejay - Monday, March 01 2021 @ 05:58 PM EST (#394869) #
I'm sure that I read that Martin played SS/2B/CF at the alternate site last year and that as an amateur most analyst projected him as a future 2B in the ML. We'll see.
Shoeless Joe - Monday, March 01 2021 @ 05:59 PM EST (#394870) #
Martin has hardly played SS, even in college before his injury he played around the diamond.
scottt - Monday, March 01 2021 @ 06:37 PM EST (#394871) #
I thought they moved him to 3rd and from there to centerfield after a couple of week.

Regardless, I'm projecting Groshans to take over at 3B and Martin to play a lot of CF.
The Jays have several prospects who could, potentially, displace Bichette, but I don't see Martin as one of those.

John Northey - Monday, March 01 2021 @ 07:58 PM EST (#394872) #
I suspect the Jays are doing the old 'keep them at the toughest position possible as long as possible' rule. To play SS you need to be nimble and quick - skills very useful no matter what. So having Martin play there even for just this year should help regardless. SS this year in A+ or AA. 3B or CF in AAA in 2022, maybe majors in 2023 or mid 2022 depending on situation. Groshans hopefully will take over 3B in 2022 at some point in the majors, thus forcing Martin to CF. Then in 2023 Springer will probably have lost a step and move to RF so Martin can take over CF that year (Hernandez will be in his walk year so the Jays might trade him for prospects and create room that way).
Shoeless Joe - Monday, March 01 2021 @ 09:14 PM EST (#394873) #
I actually have a little more confidence Groshans sticks at SS over Martin.
Shoeless Joe - Monday, March 01 2021 @ 09:39 PM EST (#394874) #
If you look at old scouting reports of Corey Seager, they line up with Groshans all around.
John Northey - Monday, March 01 2021 @ 09:40 PM EST (#394875) #
Main reason I don't see either sticking at SS is Bo. His UZR/150 is 0.3 (-5.2 in 2019, +5.9 in 2020 so trending the right way). No way you move him now unless you are getting an MVP guy coming in. You don't move a star level player (which Bo certainly looks like if he can get a full season in - he was on pace for over 5 WAR in 150 games despite injuries in 2020 and being a rookie in 2019). I hope the Jays have institutional memory of the disaster in 1988 when they tried to move George Bell to DH and Lloyd Moseby to LF despite Bell getting an MVP the year before and Moseby being a 4.7 WAR guy (who was an all-star in '86) to make room for a rookie (who flopped in the end, the added pressure of being asked to force those 2 to move around couldn't have helped).

Groshans & Martin I'd be looking at if they can handle 2B or 3B better by mid-season depending on Biggio's adjustment to 3B. The rule of letting them stay at the hardest position they can handle applies here.
dalimon5 - Monday, March 01 2021 @ 10:03 PM EST (#394876) #
Bichette has less than 75 games. Small sample size alert.
Chuck - Monday, March 01 2021 @ 10:57 PM EST (#394877) #
I can't think of a player who went from third base to centerfield during their career.

BJ Upton? Sort of?

Cynicalguy - Monday, March 01 2021 @ 11:00 PM EST (#394878) #
Jays have plenty of starting pitching depth this year. There should be at least a few starts for Hatch/Merrweather/Kay. Hopefully one of them cements themselves as a legitimate starter for next year.


Non-40 man roster players
Woods Richardson
Shoeless Joe - Tuesday, March 02 2021 @ 08:31 AM EST (#394879) #
The pitching will be the key to the season to me. Iím always excited to see young arms.
Glevin - Tuesday, March 02 2021 @ 09:22 AM EST (#394880) #
Orelvis will play today. Best part of spring is getting to see some kids you don't otherwise get to see.
Mike Green - Tuesday, March 02 2021 @ 09:35 AM EST (#394881) #
I wasn't sure if B.J. Upton was still Melvin Jr.  He is.   And yes, he was sort of a third base to centerfield conversion.  He went from being a career shortstop to brief stops at third base and second base before moving to centerfield- and he was pretty good there defensively for a few years.

I misread an article title on Fangraphs as "Albert Pujols Arrives On Jupiter".  I'm thinking that this takes Fantasy Baseball way too far. 
scottt - Tuesday, March 02 2021 @ 10:28 AM EST (#394882) #
It's a matter of time before they trade away a catcher.
Same with the outfielders, to a point. It becomes crowded when Springer has to move from center in 2 or 3 years.

The real shortstop prospects, Orelvis Martinez and Leonardo Jimenez should be in A ball this year.
Martin and Groshans could spend some time there at AA, but otherwise the third basemen are Cullen Large in AAA, Johnny Aiello in AA and Nick Podkul, Angel Camacho and Yhon Perez in the low minors.
So, I think there's some ABs to be had there. Otherwise, the Jays have Espinal, Urena, Kevin Smith, Martin, Groshans, Otto Lopez and Tanner Morris fighting for some innings at shortstop.

The outfield is never really that crowded because every team needs 4 outfielders.

Magpie - Tuesday, March 02 2021 @ 12:34 PM EST (#394883) #
I do believe Shapiro and Atkins are going to have to answer some questions about Mickey Callaway. They'd left Cleveland before he went to New York (and picked up the charming nickname "Dick Pic Mick") but guys like this don't get that way overnight.
85bluejay - Tuesday, March 02 2021 @ 01:04 PM EST (#394884) #
Perhaps Magpie, though from what I've read so far Callaway's conduct came to the attention of the Indians Front Office with Chris Antonetti as President (after Shapiro left) - maybe evidence will come out that complaints were made during Shapiro's time but I haven't read any yet.
Magpie - Tuesday, March 02 2021 @ 03:06 PM EST (#394885) #
Hey, Richard Urena is back! I missed that. Two strange things: 1) he's playing RF; 2) he's still one of the youngest guys in camp.
bpoz - Tuesday, March 02 2021 @ 03:16 PM EST (#394886) #
Tice throws strikes. 4 & 2 seam FB, slider.
scottt - Tuesday, March 02 2021 @ 03:40 PM EST (#394887) #
Matz, 2 innings 0 walks, 3K.
Chatwood 1, 0 BB, 1 K
Mayza, 1, 1 BB, 0K
Cole, 1, 3 hits, 2 runs, 1 BB, 2 K.
Tice, 1, 1 hit, 0 BB, 0 K.

Jays finished with 7 walks, 5 K, 1 HR (Gurriel) and 4 runs on the hitting side.

As I was saying there are more spots in the outfield, especially with Springer DHing.
Martin played one inning in CF, got one walk and scored.

scottt - Tuesday, March 02 2021 @ 03:42 PM EST (#394888) #
Also, I believe the Phillies are the team that really shelled him last year.
Cynicalguy - Tuesday, March 02 2021 @ 04:49 PM EST (#394889) #
"It's a matter of time before they trade away a catcher.
Same with the outfielders, to a point. It becomes crowded when Springer has to move from center in 2 or 3 years."

I prefer to see McGuire moved. As for outfielders, would be a good idea to keep all 4 this year and trade Grichuk next year. That would mean next year the guaranteed payroll would be around $55 million instead of $65 million, leaving plenty of room to make 1 or 2 impact free agent signings.
scottt - Tuesday, March 02 2021 @ 05:56 PM EST (#394890) #
I don't know that you can save that much money by trading Grichuk.
A lot will depend on the numbers he puts out this year but he probably won't be worth 10M/year.
We'll see how things work out.
Springer averages about 140 games per year.
Both Gurriel and Hernandez have been on the IL in the last 2 years (only 222 games).
Grichuk too and Tellez as well.
Of course, this year, more depth is required because of Covid-19.
It's only a problem if an outfielder is terrorizing AAA.

John Northey - Tuesday, March 02 2021 @ 08:01 PM EST (#394891) #
Depth is rarely a problem to have. Not having it is a much bigger issue. Right now the Jays have a 4th OF who should be a regular, which is a good problem. The big question is what if Bo or Seimen or Biggio goes down - their backups aren't as good (Joe Panik, Santiago Espinal, Richard UreŮa are all decent utility guys but none should be everyday for a few weeks or longer).

So the question becomes which minor leaguers are almost ready to help in the infield?

Infield (Shortstop really)...
  • Logan Warmoth should be at SS in AA or AAA to start, maybe in AAA depending how he shows now. He is next after Smith in experience and in his age 25 season so he needs to show now if he wants to become a ML regular. He will also get 2B time (he has a fair amount of that in the minors). Lifetime 255/332/346 over 3 minor league seasons (Rk/A-/A+/AA) Jordan Groshans (SS/3B) should be in A+ to start and quickly to AA (was due for A+ in 2020 after being in A in 2019) and will probably be put at SS until he shows he cannot handle it. Lifetime 309/376/457 in Rk and A over 2 years.
  • I don't see Austin Martin getting a shot at the majors until May 2022 unless he hits 400 with power wherever he plays.

    Geez, just looking at SS we see a full system Warmoth AAA, Smith AA, Groshans A+, Martin A and that is every teams shortstop for the minors. Obviously Martin isn't going to be at A for long if at all, nor Groshans in A+ or Smith AA. So some movement is obviously coming quickly - be it shared time at positions (start at SS one day, 2B the next), changing positions (Groshans at 3B, Martin CF, whatever) or trades or whatever. Mix in Urena and Espinal who both might be in AAA and things get very crowded before even factoring in other guys who are at 2B/3B. A nice problem, but one the Jays need to figure out.
Gerry - Tuesday, March 02 2021 @ 08:53 PM EST (#394892) #
The AAA season has been delayed by a month. It will now start in May, the same time as the other minor leagues.
Shoeless Joe - Tuesday, March 02 2021 @ 08:59 PM EST (#394893) #
I am absolutely devastated by the delay to the minor league season.
Mike Green - Tuesday, March 02 2021 @ 09:15 PM EST (#394894) #
I am almost positive that Martin will start the season higher in the developmental ladder than A ball, John. Aaron Hill and Russ Adams started the year after the draft in A+; neither was advanced as a hitter as Martin.
John Northey - Tuesday, March 02 2021 @ 09:31 PM EST (#394895) #
Agreed Mike - so what do you do with the other 3? Logan Warmoth, Mike Smith, and Jordan Groshans all need to play everyday as well. My bet is the Jays figure out positions beyond SS for at least 2 of them. Groshans to 3B probably and Smith to 2B, so Smith/Warmoth in AAA and Groshans/Martin in AA. Maybe both cases seeing the guys alternate positions (play a week at SS, a week at 2B/3B, back to SS for a week or something like that). Not sure who pays the price for that though.
bpoz - Tuesday, March 02 2021 @ 09:57 PM EST (#394896) #
There is talk and theories that personalized training/instruction for your most talented players has more value than playing games. But games are good too.

With all the minor leaguers and the ML players not on the 26 man roster there are a lot of good players that will all be in Dunedin. This can help with impromptu games rosters.
Jonny German - Wednesday, March 03 2021 @ 04:01 AM EST (#394897) #
Lots of bodies is not the same as lots of prospects, and lots of shortstops in the minors is not the same as lots of guys who will play shortstop in the bigs.

The guys with the best shot to one day displace Bichette are still teenagers - Leonardo Jimenez, Estivien Machado, Manuel Beltre, Rikelvin de Castro.
scottt - Wednesday, March 03 2021 @ 07:45 AM EST (#394898) #
It sounds like the games missed in April will be played in September.
They should be able to get everybody vaccinated with the Janssen vaccine--except possibly anti-abortion militants--before the start of the minor league season.
Not a  bad plan.
This opens the door for vaccinated players to be allowed to play in Toronto.
Curious to see how many antivaxxers in the 40 roster.  

85bluejay - Wednesday, March 03 2021 @ 09:43 AM EST (#394899) #
I agree Jonny German, unless Kevin Smith rediscovers his hit tool, the most likely internal guys to move Bichette off of shortstop are all IFA teenagers - which is why I think that Chris Taylor on a short-term contract next year may be the best bet as the big time guys will be wanting 7-10 year deals and the Jays may prefer to spend that money on pitching. Of course, if Smith's bat comes around then he may be ready.
bpoz - Wednesday, March 03 2021 @ 10:05 AM EST (#394900) #
I agree Jonny German about lots of bodies ... However I think that a pitching prospect has to practice off the field/game to develop what he needs. For example Hagan Danner is now a pitching prospect who tweeted that he wants advice on developing a changeup to go with what ever he has. Same for hitting and defense development.

I am quite sure that ST2 for 2020 was short in time. Looking at stats for 2020 Zeuch, SRF & Murphy all played in less than 5 games and excelled. SSS & low leverage situations is not their fault.

I know that I am picking situations that prove my point but that is not intentional. I was trying to provide my logic which may be wrong.

More logic. I don't know if J Davis will ever hit well but I have some hope for K Smith and J Palacios. In Dunedin they can face tall pitchers that throw downhill like Zeuch and Waguespack. Someone with a good slider or 100mph FB.
Jonny German - Wednesday, March 03 2021 @ 10:41 AM EST (#394901) #
Um... Iím not sure weíre on the same page 85. My point was that some of the names being thrown around are not prospects (particularly Warmoth), and some are unlikely to be shortstops (Groshans, Martin). I didnít mean to imply that I think Bichette needs replacing - his bat buys him lots of time to get better on defence.

As for Kevin Smith, itíll be a really nice success story if he can get his prospect shine back enough to be a solid bench player. And as for Chris Taylor, if his 2021 looks like the rest of his career in LA heís going to get PAID.
Michael - Wednesday, March 03 2021 @ 11:41 AM EST (#394902) #
I have no idea why you'd want to replace Bo at SS. His bat is great and is glove has been fine to date. He has very slightly more errors than league average but has greater range than league average. You see that with things like his UZR and fielding component of fWAR being basically 0 over the past 2 years in the majors (all of 68 games sample size). That's not the markers of a player that you'd be trying to move off SS.
85bluejay - Wednesday, March 03 2021 @ 11:52 AM EST (#394903) #
Perhaps Jonny, but my point was simply that the upper level shortstop prospects are unlikely plat that position at the ML level - Also I don't think that you have to get rid of Bichette but I would prefer a better defensive shortstop.
Mike Green - Wednesday, March 03 2021 @ 12:44 PM EST (#394904) #
SWR starts tonight against the Yankees. It's only the spring but that is fun.
John Northey - Wednesday, March 03 2021 @ 12:54 PM EST (#394905) #
The general rule is not to annoy the better players by forcing them to move. All of us who were here in 1988 remember 'kiss my purple behind' and stuff like that when the Jays tried to force George Bell to DH and Lloyd Moseby to LF to make room for a rookie in CF (Sil Campusano). What a mess that was. Given the Jays finished just 2 games out that easily could've made the difference - both poor defense and poor management of the team. Of course so did having Todd Stottlemyre thrown nearly 100 innings of 69 ERA+ ball.
scottt - Wednesday, March 03 2021 @ 04:27 PM EST (#394906) #
It's an away game. Teoscar's first game, at DH. Tellez at 1B and Jansen catching.
That's it for the regulars.
Pitchers tonight. SWR, Manoah, Allgeyer, Castro and Snead.

It doesn't look like there is any TV coverage anywhere.

Boone is away being fitting with a Pacemaker.

Matz hit 95.9 mph and Mayza was averaging 94.2 mph on his 2-seamer which is as good as it was.
Ryu seems to be penciled for Friday.

GabrielSyme - Wednesday, March 03 2021 @ 06:02 PM EST (#394907) #
I was around in 1988, but not old enough to remember Campusano. That's just crazy - the best outfield in the majors the year before, and they try to shove in Campusano, who was a decent prospect, but who certainly hadn't blown the doors off AAA.
Nigel - Wednesday, March 03 2021 @ 06:49 PM EST (#394908) #
Without trying to fully defend it (who could defend much of what Jimy Williams did?), there was some method to the madness of the decisions made in 1988. Bell had started his career as an above average to average defender in LF, but his defence had really started to crater in 1986-87. Moseby's defence in CF was also declining, albeit in a more gradual way. I agree that more skepticism should have been had as to Campusano's value as a prospect though.
christaylor - Wednesday, March 03 2021 @ 06:49 PM EST (#394909) #
I know everyone knows this but between today and March 12th there are two and only two Tigers radio broadcasts of the Jays. Is it just me but I don't remember the first two weeks of ST being this off the radar since... ever. Personally, I'd take a random person sitting in the stands describing the games doing a condensed podcast of each game at the moment. I'm willing to give Rogers a mulligan for 2021 but I hope this is not the new normal. Hopefully next year there is at least a radio crew and a reporter in FL. If not, I'd be tempted to be that random guy in FL with a podcast.
Magpie - Wednesday, March 03 2021 @ 07:10 PM EST (#394910) #
Of course so did having Todd Stottlemyre thrown nearly 100 innings of 69 ERA+ ball.

Ah, Todd's rookie year! He wasn't ready for prime time but he must have had a helluva spring, because he beat out Cerutti for the fifth starter job. He went 1-6, 5.54 before they sent him to the pen. Alas, Key had gone down in mid-April and missed two and a half months. So Todd got some more starts. Key came back at the end of June and Jeff Musselman returned from his injury (which had kept him out for the first half) two weeks later. Todd finally went down to Syracuse in August, pitched brilliantly there (5-0, 2.05) and came back up to pitch out of the pen in September.

Hey, did you know Nolan Arenado had the league in HRs more often than Barry Bonds? Fun facts, for your amusement!
Kasi - Wednesday, March 03 2021 @ 07:15 PM EST (#394911) #
As someone who works during most spring training games and wasn't able to watch or listen anyway I do find that the site coverages of the games are much more accurate now. We can see pitches, radar gun, etc just like a regular season game. In previous years I remember plenty of times where all we got at the end of a day was a box score. (and sometimes not even that)
Kasi - Wednesday, March 03 2021 @ 07:44 PM EST (#394912) #
Manoah struck out the side in the 4th (Hicks, Stanton and Torres) Not too bad there. Looks like he had to go pretty deep into pitch counts to do it, but glad he put them away. Also doesn't seem he's worked in his change up yet this early into spring training.
scottt - Wednesday, March 03 2021 @ 07:49 PM EST (#394913) #
He started the inning by plunking Judge.
The pinch runner stole 2B and advanced to 3B on a wild pitch.
Manoah was throwing his 2-seamer 95-96, his 4-seamer 96-97 and his slider 83-35 mph.
The stuff is encouraging.

scottt - Wednesday, March 03 2021 @ 07:58 PM EST (#394914) #
The glass half full means 7 spring games in the end of March.
It's not all bad.

scottt - Wednesday, March 03 2021 @ 08:04 PM EST (#394915) #
Valera pinched hit for Kevin Smith in his first AB of the spring and singled Palacios home against Cessa. Sanchez homered against Allgeyer who isn't making the team.
That's probably it for the MLB players except maybe a Yankee reliever.  
John Northey - Wednesday, March 03 2021 @ 09:02 PM EST (#394916) #
Barry Bonds didn't lead often - just one more time than Jesse Barfield did.  Mostly because of his 688 intentional walks I suspect (amazing he drove in anyone but himself from 2002 on (set the single season HR record in 2001).  Bonds is the only guy with 50+ intentional walks in a season and he had it done to him 3 times (61, 68, and 120 in 2004 when he hit 362/609/812 for a 263 OPS+, he had 112 non-intentional walks that year and still drove in 101 off 45 HR's somehow)

In 1988 the Jays won 87 but Pythagorean record was 90-72 which would've put them into the playoffs.  Sigh.  Funny how a guy who'd win 250+ games in his career, in his rookie season, was only given 64 innings (David Wells) but Stottlemyre was the golden boy who had a decent career in the end (100 ERA+, 138 wins, played until he was 37) and was eventually lost as a free agent (post 1994 - good ol' Gord Ash and his inability to read a market)
GabrielSyme - Wednesday, March 03 2021 @ 10:05 PM EST (#394917) #
Judging only by Gameday, but SWR didn't look terribly sharp. 91-93, topping out at 94, and while he got some swings-and-misses on the curveball, he didn't have any command, throwing only 14 of 28 pitches for strikes. Gameday was picking up some low-90s "sliders", which I assume are cutters. Only one changeup, but he got a swing-and-miss on it.
Spifficus - Wednesday, March 03 2021 @ 10:55 PM EST (#394918) #
Barry had 26 Non-Bonds RBIs off his HRs. He had 2 bases loaded walks and a HBP. I was kinda hoping the BLBB count was higher.
#2JBrumfield - Wednesday, March 03 2021 @ 11:32 PM EST (#394919) #
Good to see Sportsnet's Ken Reid nail the pronunciations of Alek Manoah (MAH-no-ah, when it's mah-NO-ah) and Josh Palacios (pal-ah-SEE-os, when it's Paw-LAH-see-os) on the Jays highlights. I'm sure if they were hockey players, he'd get them right. Brutal!

Under the not brutal category, TSN's Scott Mitchell has been churning out some good stuff. He has a story on Orelvis Martinez today.

He also has features on Joey Murray, Austin Martin and Yosver Zulueta.
Magpie - Thursday, March 04 2021 @ 01:13 AM EST (#394920) #
Funny how a guy who'd win 250+ games in his career, in his rookie season, was only given 64 innings (David Wells)

1988 was Wells' first full season, but he'd pitched well out of the pen the previous September, after a couple of bad mid-season starts. It started out OK - Boomer had a couple rough outings in April, but overall was pitching pretty well. So Jimy Williams pitched him lot. I mean, a lot. Wells appeared in 25 of the first 49 games, working 35.1 IP. And wouldn't you know it - he started to scuffle. And then he started to hurt. The team had to shut him down at the beginning of July, and he made just 4 appearances over the entire second half.

Two more organizations hired Jimy to manage their teams after the Jays cashiered his butt. As I've noted many times, baseball people just always have to see things for themselves.
scottt - Thursday, March 04 2021 @ 07:52 AM EST (#394921) #
Is primary/secondary stress important in non-English names?
A palacio is a hotel or a mansion.
I know Spanish speakers would pronounce "people" as PAY-0H-PLAY.

scottt - Thursday, March 04 2021 @ 08:05 AM EST (#394922) #
Hard to say. Yankees don't swing at borderline pitches.
He walked 1 and got one K, so I wouldn't say he didn't have command.
Maybe he was trying for the corners. The Yankees don't usually get themselves out against pitcher with no command.

85bluejay - Thursday, March 04 2021 @ 08:12 AM EST (#394923) #
Reports mention that SWR threw 14 strikes of 28 pitches and his velocity was down as was reported by some at the alternate site last year - disappointing.
scottt - Thursday, March 04 2021 @ 08:21 AM EST (#394924) #
Seems like they agreed to not agree on the expended playoffs and the NL DH.

So far, I'm happy.
I think I'd like the DH to be tied to the starting pitcher.
That would put a damper on the opener and that would be a way to find an extra bench spot for a veteran who can still hit a bit.

ISLAND BOY - Thursday, March 04 2021 @ 09:37 AM EST (#394925) #
Having pitchers hit is senseless. Most don't hit while playing in college now and some don't even hit in high school. At a time where the game of baseball is trying to attract new fans, what can be more boring than watching a pitcher swing feebly at 3 pitches? That's not even mentioning the danger of breaking a finger bunting or pulling a muscle running the bases.

I don't know if anybody mentioned it but Robbie Ray threw 24 of 26 pitches for strikes in his first outing.

Cavan Biggio had the second highest percentage of called strikeouts versus total strikeouts in MLB last season, ( 29/61 47.5%) Based on times I saw them , I bet that at least half of these called third strikes were balls. ( The highest percentage was Anthony Rendon at 15/31 48.4%)
scottt - Thursday, March 04 2021 @ 10:51 AM EST (#394926) #
I think there are lot of 2-way players in high schools. A guy can play shortstop or outfield when he's not starting.

It's also worth noting that most of the best pitchers are currently in the NL and don't seem to care that much about it. When's the last time you heard a FA say that he'll only sign with an AL team?

As for fans, it seems to be around 50/50. 

For this year, though, I'd be especially happy if the NL teams who planned on a DH are left with too many 1B/LF types.

Gerry - Thursday, March 04 2021 @ 11:19 AM EST (#394927) #
Nate Pearson suffered a groin strain in his outing this week. He will be shut down for a week or two.

Bryan Baker has a sore elbow. The Jays hope/think its minor.
dalimon5 - Thursday, March 04 2021 @ 12:02 PM EST (#394928) #
Shi Davidi with an article at Baseball America?
GabrielSyme - Thursday, March 04 2021 @ 12:05 PM EST (#394929) #
Island Boy, where did you find the called K stats? I'm not aware of where they're easily accessible.

I spent a bunch of time looking at Cavan versus other similarly patient hitters - and Cavan did get significantly more called third strikes on pitches as a proportion of all called Ks. Summary: he's been hosed.
Mike Green - Thursday, March 04 2021 @ 12:23 PM EST (#394930) #
Today's lineup: Biggio 5, Semien 4, Bichette 6, Guerrero 3, Kirk 2, Davis 8, McGuire 0 (!), Wall 7, Otto Lopez 9. 

In yesterday's game, Gabriel Moreno had his first appearance in a Blue Jay uniform.  It resulted in a lineout to RF at 105 mph.  Nice to see.
Kasi - Thursday, March 04 2021 @ 03:10 PM EST (#394931) #
Jansen better figure out something soon or Kirk and Moreno are just going to pass him. Like the guy, think he has some potential, but his inability to make contact is continuing to be a problem.
mathesond - Thursday, March 04 2021 @ 03:26 PM EST (#394932) #
Apparently Shapiro's still a fan. I got this from Stoeten's notes on Shapiro's appearance on Bob McCown's podcast:

"For what you're talking about, I'll put Danny Jansen up against anyone. What he hasn't done is hit, but maybe what's been most impressive to me, and what is not characteristic of a young player, is that despite the fact that he's had disappointing offensive performance, man, he bleeds for the pitchers. And he studies attacking hitters, and he goes in with a game plan, and those guys love him. He is a difference-maker in his receiving, throws well, and his game-calling is really good. So, the defensive side of the game, Danny Jansen ó he does not catch or receive or lead a staff like his age or like his year. He is beyond his years.

I guess we're confident based on track record in the minor leagues that the offence will get better. And then we've got some combination of him and Kirk and, obviously, guys like Moreno and Riley Adams coming. So, yeah, it's an area of depth. But you're right, we did flirt with Realmuto and talk to him some, because it's just such a difference-making ó if you have offence from that position ó it's such a difference-making position on the field."
scottt - Thursday, March 04 2021 @ 04:00 PM EST (#394933) #
Cashman must also think offensive from the catcher is a difference maker or Sanchez would have been long gone.
Gerry - Thursday, March 04 2021 @ 04:00 PM EST (#394934) #
It was a rough day for some of the young pitchers. Joey Murray was wild, three walks and a wild pitch in his inning. He threw 10 strikes in his 27 pitches.

Elvis Luciano was also somewhat wild, 11 balls and 11 strikes in his inning.

Yosver Zulueta walked a couple and like Luciano split 24 pitches evenly between balls and strikes.

scottt - Thursday, March 04 2021 @ 05:06 PM EST (#394935) #
Zeuch pitched 2 scoreless innings, 1 walk, no strikeout.
Waguespack had another rough inning, 1 walk, 2 hits, 1 earned run.
Murray gave up 2 hits with his 3 walks and allowed 3 earned runs.
Luciano gave up no hits, walked nobody and got one K.
Zulueta gave up one hit, walked a couple and got one K, but 2 of the baserunners scored.

John Northey - Thursday, March 04 2021 @ 05:40 PM EST (#394936) #
I like checking BR for spring stats as they have opponents quality (higher the number the closer to ML quality they face). For example, in his two innings Alek Manoah only faced a high end quality of player (9.0 - half ML, half AAA quality) with 1 hit, 0 walks, 4 K's - extremely impressive. But before today Waguespack had 0.1 IP 3H 3R 2ER vs 6.7 quality (close to AA quality) which is pretty ugly. Now, as spring move along these start meaning a lot more, but I find it interesting to check if a guy is doing well or poorly is it due to quality of opponent or just the guy is good or bad.
raptorsaddict - Thursday, March 04 2021 @ 06:34 PM EST (#394937) #
I'm starting to think that Pearson is more of a Thoroughbred than a workhorse. I know he's had some bad luck with injuries, but some guys just seem more injury prone. I wonder if there is a bit of a trade-off physiologically - do the extreme fast twitch muscles that allow him to be so explosive also make him more susceptible to things likes pulled muscles? I have no idea, and I hope I'm wrong, but it's not very encouraging.
vw_fan17 - Thursday, March 04 2021 @ 07:10 PM EST (#394938) #
Agree raptorsaddict - I'm sadly starting to wonder if Nate is Dustin McGowan 2.0....
dalimon5 - Thursday, March 04 2021 @ 07:17 PM EST (#394939) #
For the record, Shapiro first started by telling the host that the Catching position is the one position which metrics do not fully capture. It's not completely measurable and relies on coaching and eye test to fully understand the contribution any given catcher makes. In this regard he says Jansen is a stand out.

Me, I think he's just pumping the tires before including Jansen in a trade package for Syndergaard in the summer.

85bluejay - Thursday, March 04 2021 @ 07:33 PM EST (#394940) #
Don't sleep on the forgotten man Zeuch as he may win that 5th spot especially since Dunedin is expected to yield many homeruns and a groundball pitcher might be valuable.
Shoeless Joe - Thursday, March 04 2021 @ 07:48 PM EST (#394941) #
Zuech does not have the splits to be a starter.
Chuck - Thursday, March 04 2021 @ 08:36 PM EST (#394942) #
I don't pretend to know much about Zeuch, but my expectation of a low K rate gives me pause. It's interesting to see two forecasts portray him in very different lights.

3.4 BB/9, 5.4 K/9, 1.6 HR/9, 5.64 ERA (ZIPS)
3.7 BB/9, 8.5 K/9, 1.2 HR/9, 4.12 ERA (BBRef)

BBref sees more Ks and thus fewer balls in play and thus fewer HR allowed. I'm not sure what in his track record warrants that optimistic K forecast.

Buehrle survived his low K rate with low BB and HR rates (and by controlling the running game). It's a thin line to walk.

Mike Green - Thursday, March 04 2021 @ 08:47 PM EST (#394943) #
Zeuch is going to have to get his W rate well under 3 in order to succeed. The HR rates in both projections seem quite high- I think he will do better than that. You would think that he is the kind of pitcher who would benefit from the change to the ball.
scottt - Friday, March 05 2021 @ 05:53 AM EST (#394944) #
If he can control the running game, the walk can be erased by a ground ball.
That might be more the key than the strike out rate.

The new ball could help him a lot. Uppercut swings have neutralized sinkers, but it's not clear if those results in long bombs or wall scrappers.

scottt - Friday, March 05 2021 @ 06:03 AM EST (#394945) #
The Yankees lineup had 1 AAA player hitting 9 and Jay Bruce hitting 8. Bruce has been hitting well trying to win a spot. Is he considered AAA quality? Manoah faced 8 hitters, so that was a lot more than Half ML, Half AAA quality. Heck, it was probably better than what the regular Yankees lineup will look like assuming their normal attrition rate.

So Far, Waguespack comes in in the 5th when the MLB hitters are gone.
Soon, we'll see the top relievers getting the 3rd/4th inning to face the better hitters
Although, maybe not against the Yankees.

Mike Green - Friday, March 05 2021 @ 07:39 AM EST (#394946) #
Magpie was right that Ross Atkins would have to be answer questions about the Callaway situation.  He said of his part in the hiring of Callaway and the harassment issue (and described it as a failure):

ďAs a leader itís our responsibility to ensure that our staff feels safe, supported, and I deeply apologize to anyone who ever faced harassment or didnít feel comfortable to come forward,Ē he said.

ďThis is the type of behaviour that should not be tolerated and something that we need to work harder on in the game and the industry and this world to ensure that it doesnít happen.Ē

He also said that the organization didn't do a proper job of vetting.  And he talked about "values-based organization" and other phrases that pushed things well into the TL:DR territory.

On another front, JBJ signed with the Brewers for 2 years @12M per, with an opt-out after the first year.  That's a good deal for the Brewers.  It's not clear whether he would have signed that deal with the Blue Jays two to three months ago if it were offered.  The Blue Jays do have a better chance of winning it all in 2021 and 2022 with Springer than they would have had with JBJ. 

ISLAND BOY - Friday, March 05 2021 @ 08:20 AM EST (#394947) #
GabrielSyme - I saw Robbie Ray's outing ( 26 pitches/24 strikes) mentioned in an article by Andrew Stoeten and then again in an article on The Athletic about pitching coach Pete Walker that described some of Walker's work with Ray. Part of the reason that Ray signed early with the Jays was a desire to continue working with Walker, and also the Jays must have felt that Ray could be a good pitcher again. Early results indicate that Ray might be a valuable part of the rotation this year.
bpoz - Friday, March 05 2021 @ 08:31 AM EST (#394948) #
Our 3 top young SS prospects are A Martin, Groshans and O Martinez. They all made throwing errors so far in ST games. All prospects coming up to the Majors say that the game defensively is much faster. They are forced to adjust once they see for themselves.

Gurriel still feels he can handle the Major league IF defensively. I am not yet worried about the 3 IF prospects defensively.
Chuck - Friday, March 05 2021 @ 08:48 AM EST (#394949) #
Gurriel still feels he can handle the Major league IF defensively.

Of course he does. He may not be aware that we who served witness to his last attempts are still alive and remember otherwise.

Chuck - Friday, March 05 2021 @ 08:52 AM EST (#394950) #
Magpie was right that Ross Atkins would have to be answer questions about the Callaway situation.

I knew I recognized Atkins' "answers".

scottt - Friday, March 05 2021 @ 10:10 AM EST (#394951) #
Ray spent the winter working on his mechanics and has returned to the 3/4 arm slot he used prior to 2020.
Last winter, he moved his release point to come over the top in an effort to reduce his walks.
In 2017-19, he posted a 3.72 ERA, with a 1.28 WHIP and 12.1 K/9 over 460 innings.
Glevin - Friday, March 05 2021 @ 10:12 AM EST (#394952) #
"On another front, JBJ signed with the Brewers for 2 years @12M per, with an opt-out after the first year."

Pretty good deal for the Brewers probably but I don't like Bradley that much. He was a great defensive CFer but is declining and this is around the age a lot of CFers decline significantly (Andruw and Griffey went from elite to bad in the 30-31 age range). Bradley is not a good hitter so if he's not an elite fielder, his value is pretty limited.
Parker - Friday, March 05 2021 @ 10:26 AM EST (#394953) #
There's a chance Shapiro's and Atkins' jobs are in jeopardy over this, I think.
ISLAND BOY - Friday, March 05 2021 @ 11:21 AM EST (#394954) #
Atkins denied any knowledge of Calloway's actions in a zoom conference yesterday. I don't view him or Shapiro as being deceitful but you'd think they would have heard rumours.
John Northey - Friday, March 05 2021 @ 11:40 AM EST (#394955) #
Safe to say his 'answers' were run though a lawyer and PR executive beforehand. A better question to ask is 'what steps are you taking to ensure another situation like that doesn't happen again'. Then when he gives feel good answers but nothing real, ask if he is actually checking with women potential hires have worked with to see if they are predator's or not.
James W - Friday, March 05 2021 @ 12:23 PM EST (#394956) #
I googled "Ross Atkins" to find out his age, perhaps wondering if young Mr. Atkins watched this Cheers scene and found inspiration for his future career. The largest picture on the google search for "Ross Atkins" is, of course, a picture of Mark Shapiro.
Glevin - Friday, March 05 2021 @ 12:44 PM EST (#394957) #
"There's a chance Shapiro's and Atkins' jobs are in jeopardy over this, I think."

Unless some specific information comes out about a coverup, I highly doubt it. It feels like the stuff probably mostly came out once Antonetti was in charge. The only report I saw was that in 2017, the team for sure was made aware of the issue. A few people may have known something in 2015 but who knew, what they knew and when is not clear.
Kasi - Friday, March 05 2021 @ 12:59 PM EST (#394958) #
If some smoking gun to Atkins is discovered I could see him going since he was the one who hired him. Shapiro though I highly doubt anything happens. He went to President in 2011 and likely had no direct involvement past that time with the running of the team or hiring.
dalimon5 - Friday, March 05 2021 @ 01:01 PM EST (#394959) #
It's a joke that front office personnel is expected to resign over allegations of being part of a team that had a manager doing the things Calloway was doing when players like Osuna and Chapman get a free pass and can continue to make millions in MLB. Seems like a double standard to me.
John Northey - Friday, March 05 2021 @ 01:38 PM EST (#394960) #
No double standard - basically - do you make the team more money than you cost it? Fans have shown they will come cheer on a team of wife beaters in the past for most clubs. The media will let it die off too. Just the way it works. Executives though are much easier to replace as a rule, and more likely to be held as a grudge by the media than a player is. Ugly imo, but the way it is. I'm just glad Toronto got rid of Osuna and before him Escobar (eye black with homophobic statements) even if the team defended him at first - to get an idea of the difference across the boarder, the US sites tended to be more 'so what' while Canadian were 'disgusting'. Very different markets indeed.
jerjapan - Friday, March 05 2021 @ 02:23 PM EST (#394961) #
Dalimon, is someone 'expected to resign' though?  I haven't heard anything, but I've been wrong plenty. 

To my limited knowledge, Calloway is degrees worse than Osuna and Chapman in terms of frequency - we are talking multiple women, who he does not know personally but professionally vs. individual domestic violence reports against chapman and osuna. 

Women who were being targeted by someone operating as a representative for an organization, women who rely on access to baseball insiders such as Calloway for their livelihoods.  I am not diminishing domestic violence in any way - it's a massively under-reported problem - but  we have a public system in place for domestic offenders, and, as often the case in these types of incidents, the victims did not wish to go further in the legal process - an important consideration.  .  In a sense, with the suspensions and the legal process, society has 'dealt' with Chapman and Osuna, but not Calloway. 

Anyone reading Posnaski's "Letters from Spring" at the Athletic?  Great stuff if you like your windy lore, especially with no baseball on the radio. 

Hope people are signing this petition if they want radio back!

scottt - Friday, March 05 2021 @ 02:53 PM EST (#394962) #
What Osuna and Chapman did was criminal and they could have spent some time in jail had that no be against the victim's interests, financial and others. What Calloway did is more in line with what Greg Zaun was accused of.
I don't think management is expected to sit with every player/staff member and ask them to rat out any improper behavior they've observed from other employees. My expectation is that proper rules are explained to everyone including a process for reporting improper behavior and if there are no such reports filed, it's everyone in the Cleveland clubhouse that bears the blame, not the front office.
Calling something "The worst kept secret" is not the same as saying "I have discussed this with so and so.".

hypobole - Friday, March 05 2021 @ 03:29 PM EST (#394963) #
Anyone following Keegan Matheson on twitter? Lot's of interesting stuff from the games. Couple from today.

"Chavez Young is having a fantastic camp defensively.
He just made a catch in centre and fired home to nail the runner who tagged up. Put the throw in the perfect spot."

"Josh Palacios just ripped a deep double over the head of the centre fielder.
Jonathan Davis is probably still ahead of him on the depth chart because of his glove, but Palacios is getting a lot of love from people in the #BlueJays org lately..."
hypobole - Friday, March 05 2021 @ 04:07 PM EST (#394964) #
Palacios was one of the hitting stars at the alternate camp last year. Followed up his double today with a deep triple and a 3 run HR, which may have invoked the mercy rule.
bpoz - Saturday, March 06 2021 @ 08:59 AM EST (#394965) #
Roark is pitching today. Still early to make any conclusions.
ISLAND BOY - Saturday, March 06 2021 @ 09:37 AM EST (#394966) #
I conclude that he'll pitch worse once the game starts.
bpoz - Saturday, March 06 2021 @ 10:20 AM EST (#394967) #
Maybe ISLAND BOY. Most likely some pitchers will pitch terribly during the season. Will be interesting to see when/if the Jays are reasonably "out of it" and due to what reasons.

Anyone remember 1984. Detroit got off to an insanely great start. Catching them was practically impossible. Back then there was not 5 playoff spots.
John Northey - Saturday, March 06 2021 @ 12:08 PM EST (#394968) #
Oh I remember 1984 - so much fun in June when the Jays got close - within 3 games iirc (checked, 3 1/2 out June 6th after a 6-3 win vs Detroit, lost the next 5 games and were out of it). Fun year that made me a big baseball fan. I was a light fan before it, found a few Bill James Baseball Abstracts at the local library that summer and that was it for me.
ISLAND BOY - Saturday, March 06 2021 @ 12:11 PM EST (#394969) #
Roark may pitch better this year, bpoz. His era was always in the 4's until last year's atrocious 6.80. If he could lower that he could be a decent pitcher, but I sure didn't enjoy watching him last summer.
hypobole - Saturday, March 06 2021 @ 12:30 PM EST (#394970) #
Was 1984 the Tigers 35-5 year?
hypobole - Saturday, March 06 2021 @ 01:06 PM EST (#394971) #
Odorizzi to the Astros. 2 years plus player option for a 3rd.
Spifficus - Saturday, March 06 2021 @ 01:12 PM EST (#394972) #
It was. That along with the Mike Witt No-No. I have no idea why I remember that, even ahead of Morris's during that Detriot run. I didn't even start watching baseball until 88'. I blame Topps, and that it seemed like the most noteworthy thing for Witt's career on his card.
Mike Green - Saturday, March 06 2021 @ 01:39 PM EST (#394973) #
The Tigers won their first 13 games of 1984. Great club- Whitaker, Trammell, Kirk Gibson, Chet Lemon...Ir remember that they got a big year from Dave Bergman off the bench.

raptorsaddict - Saturday, March 06 2021 @ 02:53 PM EST (#394974) #
"Agree raptorsaddict - I'm sadly starting to wonder if Nate is Dustin McGowan 2.0...."

That's exactly who I was thinking of vw_fan17. I sure hope he manages to avoid the same fate.
Chuck - Saturday, March 06 2021 @ 02:53 PM EST (#394975) #
1984 was the perfect name for that year. Orwell would have been proud. 2+2 definitely equalled 5. Cal Ripken put up 10 WAR (both FG and BBref agree) and finished 27th in MVP voting. Let that sink in.

He had won the MVP in 1983, but had the good sense that year to register 100 RBI, the unofficial bar one had to clear in those days. Think this is an exaggeration? By 2008 and 2009, the world had clearly changed. Pedroia and Mauer won AL MVPs without 100 RBI. But from 1965 to 2007, here is the entire list of AL non-pitcher MVPs who logged fewer than 100 RBI:

  • 1965: Zoilo Versalles
  • 1990: Rickey Henderson
  • 2001: Ichiro Suzuki

Further, for many of those years, when there was a smorgasbord of 100-RBI options to choose from, the voting was often plain terrible.

  • 1995: Mo Vaughn not even in top 10 in WAR
  • 1996: Juan Gonzalez not even in top 15 in WAR
  • 1998: Juan Gonzalez not even in top 15 in WAR

WAR did not exist as a metric back then, but didn't need to. Most anyone doing any kind of analysis in those days could see that the voters were way off.

PeterG - Saturday, March 06 2021 @ 04:35 PM EST (#394976) #
Jays have claimed RHP Joel Payamps off waivers from the Red Sox, for the second time.

RHP Jacob Waguespack has been designated for assignment.
Magpie - Saturday, March 06 2021 @ 04:59 PM EST (#394977) #
Cal Ripken put up 10 WAR (both FG and BBref agree) and finished 27th in MVP voting.

This was probably in large part because the Orioles went from 1st place to 5th. Which in turn was mainly because they lost roughly 100 runs of offense. Murray and Ripken basically duplicated their outstanding 1983 seasons, but three 36 year old outfielders - Lowenstein, Shelby, and Singleton - all turned 37 in 1984, surprise surprise. In 1984 they all plunged off a cliff together.
John Northey - Saturday, March 06 2021 @ 06:42 PM EST (#394978) #
Ugh. Old MVP voting was a joke. 1987 was the most obvious. All Jay and Tiger fans felt it would be Trammell if the Tigers won (which they did) as he had a much better year than Bell. Using traditional stats Bell: 308/352/605 47 HR 134 RBI (fine year) 5.0 bWAR, Trammell: 343/402/551 28 HR 105 RBI 8.2 bWAR (top defensive SS vs a poor LF). Blew my mind when Bell got the award anyways (16 1st vs 12 for Trammell). By WAR Wade Boggs was a bit better than Trammell (8.3 vs 8.2) and Roger Clemens was 'wow' at 9.4. But that was great voting vs the NL.

NL 1987: Andre Dawson won with 4.0 WAR for a last place team. Yup, great 'leadership' getting the Cubs into last. 287/328/568 49 HR 137 RBI - outside of HR/RBI there was no case, but he had a great story (gave the Cubs a blank contract saying to pick the dollar amount). Meanwhile Tony Gwynn had more than double his WAR (8.6) but only 54 RBI (leadoff hitter in the NL) thus his 370/447/511 and 56 SB was ignored. Dawson had the same WAR as Milt Thompson (17th in MVP voting). What a joke.
Shoeless Joe - Saturday, March 06 2021 @ 09:27 PM EST (#394979) #
Roarkís fastball velocity was on the lower end today. Iím not hopeful of a bounce back season.
bpoz - Sunday, March 07 2021 @ 09:41 AM EST (#394980) #
The Jays have a lot of money tied up in 1 year contracts to pitchers. Roark, Ray, maybe Matz, Yates and Chatwood for example. The 1 year vets probably make up a big portion of the 1st 17 pitching options. 17 is probably wrong. 3 NRI like Cole, Liriano and Milone may be near the end of the list. Some veteran 1 year contract gets injured before Apr 1.

If ST means nothing then the 13/14 pitchers on the staff should be guessable near the end of ST. I count 7 1 year vets plus Ryu and Stripling.
ISLAND BOY - Sunday, March 07 2021 @ 11:10 AM EST (#394981) #
I saw a report that two men broke into the home of the late Tony Fernandez, trashed the place and stole some valuables including his World Series and All-star rings.
hypobole - Sunday, March 07 2021 @ 12:03 PM EST (#394982) #
Trevor Bauer has been much criticised and (mostly) rightly so. But here is the story of his agent, who happens to be very smart, very young and very female.
She also seems much like him in that if told they shouldn't do something, they take it less as advice and more as a challenge.
scottt - Sunday, March 07 2021 @ 12:18 PM EST (#394983) #
If it's a 1-year contract, then it's not tied up.

Roark used to throw a lot of 2-seamers and that was his worst pitch last year.
So, while he's trying to get more movement on it, he's now throwing more 4-seamers and perfecting his slider.
He's also hit the gym, lost some weight and added some muscle.
Will he rebound? I can't say but he sure is trying hard.

christaylor - Sunday, March 07 2021 @ 02:39 PM EST (#394984) #
She is impressive. She uses a business model of flat fee + billable hours. I don't know if she's unique in using this fee structure but it could be enticing to many players. Thanks for sharing this hypobole.
scottt - Sunday, March 07 2021 @ 07:52 PM EST (#394985) #
Ray was sitting 96-97 mph and got 6 of his 7 outs by strikeouts.
Luciano had no control, faced 5 batters and didn't record an out. He hit one guy in the head.
Tomorrow is an off day.

hypobole - Sunday, March 07 2021 @ 08:15 PM EST (#394986) #
A couple of positives from KM twitter.

"Kevin Smith just hit a deep double into the right-center gap with a 109-mph exit velo.
Heís coming off a rough 2019 in both the Minors and AFL, but #BlueJays think he can get back to who he was in his breakout 2018 (25 HR, .886 OPS). Lots to like about his defence."

"Nate Pearson threw some long toss today. Treatment tomorrow, then more long toss Tuesday.
Expecting there will be a little more clarity after that."
scottt - Monday, March 08 2021 @ 07:53 AM EST (#394987) #
In a perfect world, Smith is a guy who could play 3B next year while Biggio returns to 2B.
Thus, the money could be focused on pitching.

Jonny German - Monday, March 08 2021 @ 08:07 AM EST (#394988) #
In a perfect world, Jordan Groshans and Austin Martin win co-Rookie of the Year in 2022 as the Blue Jays 3rd and 2nd basemen, while Cavan Biggio gets 500 PA playing 6 different positions :).

But even falling short of that, I do expect the next off-season to be very focused on pitching.
scottt - Monday, March 08 2021 @ 08:57 AM EST (#394989) #
I think 2023 is more realistic for Groshans and Martin might be best suited to super utility role or CF.
Having too many good prospects and having to sell high on some of them wouldn't be a tragedy.

bpoz - Monday, March 08 2021 @ 09:00 AM EST (#394990) #
K Smith has shown speed and power always. His BA was good until he got to AA in 2019. I read that he thinks too much and made changes that did not work. 2021's results will reveal much.
Magpie - Monday, March 08 2021 @ 10:08 AM EST (#394991) #
Ugh. Old MVP voting was a joke. 1987 was the most obvious.

Oh, John. Now I feel like I have to go wandering through 90 years of voting records and try to find out what really was the most awful MVP vote of all time. As bad as Dawson (and Bell) were, I'm confident they've done even worse!
mathesond - Monday, March 08 2021 @ 10:23 AM EST (#394992) #
Heck, just three years prior, Willie Hernandez won MVP. Must have been those 32 saves...
85bluejay - Monday, March 08 2021 @ 10:30 AM EST (#394993) #
In the unlikely event that Kevin Smith becomes a regular on the Jays, he is a better defensive shortstop than Bo Bichette.
hypobole - Monday, March 08 2021 @ 10:49 AM EST (#394994) #
Don't know if anyone saw this, but how many pitchers have thrown a shutout in their 1st major start, yet never started another game in the majors?
earlweaverfan - Monday, March 08 2021 @ 11:32 AM EST (#394995) #
ďHaving too many good prospects and having to sell high on some of them wouldn't be a tragedyĒ. We do seem on track for that, as long as several of them rise to the occasion during 2021.

Start with our pipeline of infielders, e.g., Smith, Warmoth, Groshans, Martinez, Hiraldo, Jimenez, Machado, Beltre, de Castro (+ Martin if not OF)

Next our near term catcher options, e.g., Kirk, Adams, Moreno

Next, our short-to-medium-term, high-calibre SP candidates, e.g., Woods Richardson, Manoah, Pearson, Kloffenstein, Pardinho, Van Eyk, and my dark horse favourites, Robberse and Edison Gonzalez

Donít ignore our prospective near-future BP roster, e.g., Merryweather, Tice, Rees, Castro, Kay, Hatch, Mayza (and could Bergen be the next Romano in the Lazarus sense?)

I would have said until recently, but where are the outfielders? But I do think the evidence is mounting that 2021ís AAA outfield could be pretty potent on offence and defence: Palacios, Martin, Wall and Young. Still, this is where they could deepen the pool in any early swap of prospects.

My only major concern (aside from injuries, about which, fingers crossed), is how soon the young star starters will emerge. But the Shapiro/Atkins model of high-upside reclamation projects (Ray and Matz) is a great approach and if either take off, they may be extendable if needed.

If the timing for emergence of any category is not working well, there are many trading options in the pipeline, not to mention Grichuk and McGuire (or even Jansen next off-season)

I donít ever recall so much of a pipeline to be excited by!
ISLAND BOY - Monday, March 08 2021 @ 11:47 AM EST (#394996) #
You left out the top 5 ranked infielder, Orelvis Martinez who has real star potential.

That's a tough question, hyperbole. I wouldn't even hazard a guess.
hypobole - Monday, March 08 2021 @ 11:56 AM EST (#394997) #
Hint: The answer is at least 1, because 1 has a Blue Jays connection.
Mike Green - Monday, March 08 2021 @ 12:11 PM EST (#394998) #
I did a scan of the MVP winners.  The one that stands out among position players is Roger Peckinpaugh 1925.  He had 2.6 WAR that year- in other words, he was a slightly above average player (a pretty good defensive shortstop at age 34, but a below average hitter).  Way ahead of him that year in the AL were Al Simmons (6.6), Heilmann (6.9), Coveleski (5.2) and Rommel (5.5).  The Senators did win the pennant that year, but Coveleski would have been a much better choice than Peckinpaugh.

There have been 3 relievers who won the MVP- Konstanty 1950, Fingers 1981 and Hernandez 1984.  All had between 4 and 5 WAR, which is an excellent total for a reliever in a season. And the Whiz Kids of 1950 and the 1984 Tigers both won the pennant.  Fingers had 4.2 WAR in 1982- better choices were Rickey (6.7) and Dwight Evans (6.7).  It is true that the disparity between Ripken's 10 WAR and Hernandez's 4.8 in 1984 might be the highest of any club.  It's amazing that Ripken finished 27th in the voting; he basically duplicated his great 1983 season with the only difference being that the club did not win. 
dalimon5 - Monday, March 08 2021 @ 12:15 PM EST (#394999) #
Aside from Thor, I don't see any free agents who will be an upgrade on existing options other than Kershaw, Verlander and Scherzer who all likely don't come to Toronto.
bpoz - Monday, March 08 2021 @ 01:15 PM EST (#395000) #
Regarding the improvements by Palacios, Keegan Matheson explained it very well. At the Alt site D White helped him with his defense. KM also said that if a player wanted to develop SB skills he could just do repetitions.

Hope C Young can develop.
John Northey - Monday, March 08 2021 @ 01:25 PM EST (#395001) #
To sign a top free agent starter the starting bid is now $40 mil per year thanks to Bauer and his smart way of handling it. He has a $85 mil 2 year deal (or $102 over 3) if I read it right. So if he is any good that 3rd year worth $17 mil will be written off and he'll go for a new contract (technically year 3 is worth $32 mil but he gets a $15 mil buyout of his player option year should he choose not to take it). I'm sure Kershaw, Verlander, and Scherzer are all thanking Bauer & his agent for waiting it out and pushing the limits. You might get a lower dollar per year if you lock in 5-10 years, but that is a massive risk for any team.

The smart move for the Jays next offseason will be to look at their holes and if more pitching is needed (as it always seems to be) then trades or bargain hunting are best unless one of those 3 are wanting a 2-3 year deal instead and the Jays feel they have $40+ mil available those 2-3 years.
Magpie - Monday, March 08 2021 @ 01:45 PM EST (#395002) #
The one that stands out among position players is Roger Peckinpaugh 1925.

I just finished looking at this stuff for three hours - I'll post my findings shortly! - but I didn't bother looking at anything before 1931 because the voting rules, especially in the AL, were pretty strange. Walter Johnson would have been an even better choice than Coveleski in 1925 (mainly because of his bat - a 163 OPS+ being better than minus 37) but as a previous winner he wasn't eligible.
bpoz - Monday, March 08 2021 @ 02:20 PM EST (#395003) #
LAD with the Bauer deal are deep in luxury tax penalty area. Very interested in seeing how they manage this situation.
johnny was - Monday, March 08 2021 @ 02:39 PM EST (#395004) #
So, in another one of my random dispatches from Kirk Rueter's alma mater in small town western Kentucky, vaccinations are getting done here hundreds per day and it seems likely that most of us will get an opportunity to receive one by the end of the month. I nipped into Walgreen's and got the first one done last Monday. If we rural smallfolk are getting taken care of at this speed and volume (God bless you, St. Joseph Biden), I'd be quite shocked if every member of the Blue Jays organization currently in Dunedin isn't vaccinated before spring training wraps.

I can understand holding the team back in Dunedin for a few weeks or maybe as long as a month, but sending vaccinated players to a second temporary home in Buffalo where they'll played vaccinated opponents is what doesn't make any sense at all. If it means playing in an empty park, so be it, but let the Jays come home!
vw_fan17 - Monday, March 08 2021 @ 02:55 PM EST (#395005) #
Happy for you, johnny was. My wife got her 1st jab 2 weeks ago (elementary teacher), 2nd round next week, no idea when I'll get mine - probably at least another month. I guess CA's got a lot more essential / older people to get through...
Paul D - Monday, March 08 2021 @ 03:52 PM EST (#395006) #
Dunedin and Buffalo might be more likely to allow paying fans than Toronto.
scottt - Monday, March 08 2021 @ 04:10 PM EST (#395007) #
Dunedin is very hot and rainy in summer.
Maybe they make a bit more money by playing in Buffalo for a couple of month even if they need to make further renovation to the stadium, but the clubhouse would still be a downgrade from Toronto and the players families would be stuck in hotels.

Playing in Toronto makes sense if the players are vaccinated and there is some some sort of vaccine passport implemented. There's going to be some bickering there.

It sounds like MLB will borrow money to give teams that are expected to receive money from large market team half of their 2021 dues. It's not clear if and when this will be repaid but this sounds like this will be a big ticket item in the next CBA negotiations.

Chuck - Monday, March 08 2021 @ 05:17 PM EST (#395009) #
There have been 3 relievers who won the MVP- Konstanty 1950, Fingers 1981 and Hernandez 1984.

Don't forget Eckersley in 1992.

scottt - Monday, March 08 2021 @ 09:53 PM EST (#395013) #
2021 managers
Buffalo, Casey Candaele
New Hampshire, Cesar Martin
Vancouver, Donnie Murphy
Dunedin, Luis Hurtado
Golf Coast, Brent Lavallee
Dominican Summer League, Dane Fujinaka

Mike Green - Tuesday, March 09 2021 @ 09:09 AM EST (#395015) #
Don't forget Eckersley in 1992.

The short-term memory is the first to go!
Paul D - Tuesday, March 09 2021 @ 09:43 AM EST (#395016) #
Sportsnet tells me that Shapiro just said that Pearson won't be ready to start the season.
grjas - Tuesday, March 09 2021 @ 10:09 AM EST (#395017) #
Happy for you, johnny was.

I donít think the pharmaceutical industry is getting enough kudos for the incredible job they have done globally over the last year. At least 4 working solutions, 2 more from Russia and China that probably work and more in the pipeline. Given the typical time to market for new drugs, this is stunning. I hope ball players as well as citizens are sticking their arm out as quickly as the vaccines arrive, like Johnny was, as we might then be in ballparks, restaurants and theatres some time this summer in both countries.

Weíre lucky Covid didnít hit 25 years ago before these quick time to market...and the internet and Zoom.
hypobole - Tuesday, March 09 2021 @ 10:09 AM EST (#395018) #
On the subject of memory, I've asked 2 quizzes I never answered. How many pitchers threw a shutout their 1st ever start, yet never started another game? Four times. Twice on the final game of a season, and twice as emergency starters (one of which was rain-shorted).
The Blue Jay involved never actually pitched for us. In 1976 the Jays acquired Phil Roof from the White Sox for a PTBNL. Blue Jays took Larry Anderson in the expansion draft, then a few months later sent him to Chicago as the PTBNL.
Here's their stories if anyone interested.

hypobole - Tuesday, March 09 2021 @ 10:23 AM EST (#395019) #
The other quiz from a while back. Well over 100 players have hit a HR their 1st MLB at bat. Which of those has the most career HR's? Gary Gaetti with 360, 2 more than Carlos Lee.

The 3 Jays who've done it? Alvis Woods hit a PH 2 run shot opening day 1977. Saw it, but no memory of it. Junior Felix in 1989. And the game I do sorta remember, JPA off James Shields in 2010. Think he had another HR and a double as well that day.
Mike Green - Tuesday, March 09 2021 @ 10:42 AM EST (#395021) #
Grjas, while the vaccines are wonderful, it's very unlikely that indoor dining will be safe in most of the world this summer because of the limited effectiveness of the current vaccines against the variants and the time necessary to develop and distribute new vaccines which are more effective. They are reopening restaurants In NYC and that is going to turn out very badly unfortunately.
Chuck - Tuesday, March 09 2021 @ 10:51 AM EST (#395022) #
The short-term memory is the first to go!

Hay, I had to look this up to be sure. I was quite sure I recalled Eckersley winning the Cy. I thought he also won the MVP, but would not have been prepared to bet money on it.

Glevin - Tuesday, March 09 2021 @ 10:51 AM EST (#395023) #
"Sportsnet tells me that Shapiro just said that Pearson won't be ready to start the season."

I'm fine with that since he will have very limited innings anyway.
scottt - Tuesday, March 09 2021 @ 11:09 AM EST (#395025) #
Not sure. They seem to be doing fine in Israel.
The vaccines used in the US are mostly Pfizer and Moderna, which are effective against all  variants.
I'm expecting infection rates to drop down in the summer anyway.
There is some questions regarding the South African variant and Astrazeneca.

Most of the world won't be vaccinated this summer, but the US will be soon and after that, I would expect the US to be offering their expensive vaccines to other countries.

John Northey - Tuesday, March 09 2021 @ 11:33 AM EST (#395026) #
scott - Isreal not doing that well - 3600 cases yesterday, with less than a third of our population (9 million). Canada was under 3000 cases (barely). All vaccines have been nearly 100% effective at stopping death and hospitalization from COVID - the 2 things we all care most about. If you get flu like symptoms who cares? Sucks, but endurable. It is the so sick you need to be hospitalized or die that matter. If they can stop that then once vaccinated things will quickly get back to normal. The biggest risk is those who refuse the vaccine - if too many do that then the virus will keep spreading and mutating.
Cracka - Tuesday, March 09 2021 @ 11:50 AM EST (#395027) #
Blue Jays "Field Cam" is going live today at for all remaining non-televised Spring Training games - no audio, but includes a few options for video feeds of the games. Looks like no subscription is required.

scottt - Tuesday, March 09 2021 @ 12:07 PM EST (#395028) #
It's not flu like.
Burning fever, extreme body pain, shortness of breath, no runny nose, maybe a bit of dry cough.
Maybe pneumonia like?

hypobole - Tuesday, March 09 2021 @ 12:21 PM EST (#395029) #
Merryweather lower back tightness. Day-to-day, but shut down for this week.
Springer abdominal tightness. Scratched today as a precaution.
Kasi - Tuesday, March 09 2021 @ 02:03 PM EST (#395030) #
Since I feel Pearson will be oft injured this year again, I think the big part of the rotation is based on 3 tiers.

1. Ryu and Pearson's health (for the elite pitchers)
2. Ray and Matz curbing their wild tendencies.
3. Kay or Thornton stepping up (as I think they're the guys with the next best stuff)

I think group 2 has a chance to really impress us.
scottt - Tuesday, March 09 2021 @ 02:48 PM EST (#395031) #
Matz had 10 walks in 30 innings last year. That was not his problem.
He gave up 12.3 hits per 9 innings and 4.1 HR per 9 innings.

Mike Green - Tuesday, March 09 2021 @ 02:58 PM EST (#395032) #
The peer-reviewed literature is far less optimistic, scottt, about the effectiveness of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines against the Brazilian and South African variants.  And the anecdotal reports from Manaus, Brazil and South Africa are extremely worrisome.

We've both down this road already.  It's one thing to re-open outdoor cafes in a distanced fashion, and quite another to anticipate that we'll be able to go back to eating indoors with casual friends in a restaurant this summer.  
greenfrog - Tuesday, March 09 2021 @ 03:17 PM EST (#395033) #
Iím trying to keep an open mind about the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of the current vaccines against the new variants. I expect this is an area where the research will evolve considerably over time.

Hereís an excerpt from an article in todayís Washington Post:

ďThe Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine appears to be highly effective against a more contagious variant first discovered in Brazil, according to a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, raising hopes that ongoing vaccination efforts will help curb its spread.Ē
scottt - Tuesday, March 09 2021 @ 04:22 PM EST (#395035) #
3 shutout innings by Matz against the Phillies. 1 hit, 0 BB, 3K.
Encouraging. This was in Dunedin with 3 Phillies regular + the backup catcher and one bench guy hitting DH.

scottt - Tuesday, March 09 2021 @ 04:27 PM EST (#395036) #
I'll take my shot when my time comes and keep following the rules.
I'm optimistic that the situation is improving in the US, although I'm not following the numbers.

Mike Green - Tuesday, March 09 2021 @ 05:04 PM EST (#395038) #
Greenfrog, it's good to be open-minded.  It may be that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines offer protection against the Brazilian variant.  Maybe.  FYI, the Washington Post piece would make you think that it was a peer-reviewed study in the NEJM.  It's just a letter about a study in the lab and a qualified one suggesting that real world evidence is needed.

The mistake that has been made repeatedly is to fail to apply the precautionary principle that was urged on us in Ontario by Justice Campbell who wrote a report after the SARS epidemic here.  Enough COVID...back to Steven Matz.  Glad to see that he's throwing strikes and moving the ball up and down quite well.  I'm optimistic.
scottt - Tuesday, March 09 2021 @ 05:31 PM EST (#395039) #
Britton down with the same thing that ending Thornton's year last summer.

It sure feels like it will take a lot of arms to go through this year.

vw_fan17 - Tuesday, March 09 2021 @ 05:45 PM EST (#395040) #
Is there a specific link to this "Field Cam"? Is it only live during the game? Sadly, being in PST, it's generally too early for me to watch live..
John Northey - Tuesday, March 09 2021 @ 06:31 PM EST (#395041) #
The Jays had the field cam on their front page today. It was also in Facebook in the Jays feed. I watched via Facebook, then found it on the Jays site when I opened the box score so I could tell who was up to bat. I'll take what I can get for spring but jeez, you'd never know the Jays are owned by a media empire with the low tech used. A camera from CF to show the batter/pitcher and a behind the plate up high shot to show the field. The scoreboard had replays and stuff you could see from the behind the plate camera. No crowd noise as it is well known that crowds and players often get a bit profane during the game. A shame they didn't have a visitors feed to use (I have Sirius XM and they haven't had a Jays game yet I think this spring).
hypobole - Tuesday, March 09 2021 @ 10:21 PM EST (#395044) #
The one great thing about the camera in CF is it's low and directly behind the pitcher. You can see the actual shape/break of pitches. As for audio, Pat Tabler long ago taught me how to watch Jays games with no sound.
Cracka - Tuesday, March 09 2021 @ 11:37 PM EST (#395045) #
Exactly how I feel. It was tough to watch the game on Field Cam because you couldn't really see what happened to balls in play. But it gave a nice focused view of the pitchers... and Steven Matz looks very sharp indeed.
bpoz - Wednesday, March 10 2021 @ 08:34 AM EST (#395047) #
This team probably scores a lot of runs because it is constructed that was. However being young and still inexperienced, offensive (base running, pickoff) mistakes and defensive errors need improvement. This should improve with experience. Some defense has been sacrificed for more offense in the construction because it seems that offense is valued more.

Very few pitchers have reached their potential. Ryu, Yates and maybe Romano. All the others are working towards improving so that they stay in the ML. Vets like Matz, Ray, Stripling and maybe Chatwood. All the kids are working on improvement so as to gain confidence that they belong in the ML.
Thomas - Wednesday, March 10 2021 @ 11:01 AM EST (#395050) #
I wasn't a huge fan of the Matz deal, but if he pitches like he did yesterday for 5 or 6 innings, I'll have to revise my opinion shortly!

I haven't seen a lot of literature on the effectiveness of the vaccines on long-COVID. John referred above to hospitalizations and death, but I know people, and have read anecdotal accounts, of people who never required hospitalization who are suffering significant lingering effects of COVID months after they were infected.
Mike Green - Wednesday, March 10 2021 @ 11:20 AM EST (#395051) #
Gabriel Moreno earned a Statcast mention for the fastest throw from behind the plate in the first week of the spring.  His pop time is only average, and that needs some work.  He's also on Keith Law's list of prospects he wishes to see for his overall athleticism.  I've loved him since he was in the GCL and banging out line drive after line drive as a converted shortstop. 
Mike Green - Wednesday, March 10 2021 @ 11:36 AM EST (#395052) #
Fangraphs' R.J. McDaniel has a fine and thoughtful article on Baseball on the Radio and the Blue Jays' decision to end indepedent radio broadcasts.Accommodation for disability is part of my work but I stupidly had not thought of the importance of radio broadcasts for the blind.
hypobole - Wednesday, March 10 2021 @ 11:43 AM EST (#395053) #
Milb TV has free 2019 archives.

All 2019 Buffalo and NH games should be there and maybe all Lansing games as well. Only the Pirates affiliate had TV in High A. Not sure about Vancouver. IIRC a couple of NWL teams broadcast their home games.

If anyone interested:
Mike Green - Wednesday, March 10 2021 @ 11:53 AM EST (#395054) #
Thanks, hypobole. 
GabrielSyme - Wednesday, March 10 2021 @ 03:02 PM EST (#395055) #
There was much chatter about Palacios' near-cycle a week ago, but Jonathan Davis had another good game today, and is rocking a .571 OBP in his

He's a personal favourite, and I hope he gets a chance to be the 4th outfielder this season.
scottt - Wednesday, March 10 2021 @ 06:18 PM EST (#395057) #
Waguespack has cleared waivers and should now be back in camp as a AAA pitcher.

The Jays rotation now looks like:

The depth options are Kay, Hatch, Thornton, Zeuch, Murray, Milone and Waguespack.
Pearson will displace Stripling or whoever, whenever he's ready.

Stripling got a couple of innings against Baltimore today.
It's hard to figure strength of opposition when facing the Orioles.
Our friend Galvis got 3 hits. It looks like Bergen lost the game on a throwing error by Tyler White.

John Northey - Wednesday, March 10 2021 @ 06:56 PM EST (#395058) #
Funny how the Jays had no depth in the OF coming in it seemed beyond the big 4, but now Davis, Palacios, and Wall (364/417/727 in 11 AB's) are doing well to start off the spring. Nice to see. Could mix in Cullen Large (1-4 with a HR to get a 1.250 OPS) as well. So between Warmoth, Palacios, Large, Wall, Davis you get 47 AB's, 19 H, 5 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 5 BB, 9 SO, 2 SB 0 CS - 404/462/808 between those 5 guys fighting for the 5th OF slot or to get the Jays attention in case of injury or trade. Nice! Not likely to keep that up, but sure beats, say, a 10 for 47 line.
scottt - Wednesday, March 10 2021 @ 10:17 PM EST (#395063) #
Rangers are planning to allow 100% occupancy during their home opener.
Jays are the visiting team.

Shoeless Joe - Thursday, March 11 2021 @ 07:11 AM EST (#395065) #
I was just reading an article on stat cast standouts from spring training and Joey Murrayís spin rates are even better than I thought. I knew he had the fastball spin, but I had no idea on the curve.
Mike Green - Thursday, March 11 2021 @ 09:13 AM EST (#395067) #
Rangers are planning to allow 100% occupancy during their home opener.
Jays are the visiting team.

And it will be pouring buckets on that day so the roof will be closed, just to maximize the superspreader potential.  A Champions Cup Match in Italy in February 2020 led to the catastrophe in Bergamo.  In the US, COVID victims have been disproportionately Black and Brown; their lives matter and are at great risk from public decisions.  MLB and the players union should speak, and speak now. 
scottt - Thursday, March 11 2021 @ 09:33 AM EST (#395068) #
Only 14 AB, but Kim's line so far is .143 .250 .143.

In line with what Valera has done.

That's going to be interesting to follow, for me anyway.

electric carrot - Thursday, March 11 2021 @ 10:25 AM EST (#395069) #
It's outrageous that they are opening this game up to 40 thousand fans. The union, Ranger and Blue Jay players and the Blue Jay front office all need to make unambiguous pronouncements asap. I think the Blue Jays should refuse to play. It's absurd what is being proposed.
Mike Green - Thursday, March 11 2021 @ 10:34 AM EST (#395070) #
I agree that a work refusal is in order, but hopefully the league steps in before that is necessary.

There is no mask mandate in Texas which means that any spread from the game itself is likely to spread more quickly in the community and elsewhere. Here's a BBC article on the Texas picture- both in incidence of the disease and vaccination rate.
Mike Green - Thursday, March 11 2021 @ 11:00 AM EST (#395072) #
Kirby Yates is scheduled to make his debut today.  Kaitlyn McGrath has an interesting story on him over at the Athletic, with a quote from Matt Moore- "know what you're good at and get really good at it".  Had in me mind of Mariano Rivera's cutter. 
bpoz - Thursday, March 11 2021 @ 11:22 AM EST (#395073) #
By Apr 1 we will know who made the Opening day roster and who is on the IR. Who is on the 5 man taxi squad.

All the others, eg possible Zeuch and Palacios are in some kind of Extended ST due to AAA etc... opening in May.

I think significant developmental strides will take place before the minors open. Right now everyone is half way or so to Opening day readiness.
hypobole - Thursday, March 11 2021 @ 12:01 PM EST (#395074) #
Article at The Athletic ostensibly about which teams are best at increasing their pitchers' velocity. Jays are near the bottom, but the whole exercise has a bunch of caveat. However this:
"Take the Blue Jays, who donít show well on the list above. Since the end of the 2018 season, Toronto:

-Made sure all affiliates and complexes had the best tech available
-Updated their throwing programs and began tracking them centrally
-Updated the relationship between research and development analysts and coaches
-Began a specific velocity camp in October
-Debuted a totally revamped $100 million player development complex
-Hired their first player development specific analyst, Evan Short
-Hired Matt Buschmann as their first director of pitching development
-Hired Cory Popham (now pitching programs coordinator) and Matt Tracy (now pitching analysis coordinator) to new roles

A pitcher to watch who could be a product of the Blue Jaysí new system ó though he was drafted by the Cubs ó is Thomas Hatch, who sat 89 to 94 in college with a slider as his primary out pitch and sat 96 last year (as a reliever) with a changeup he used more than any other secondary offering. He, as well as the hard-throwing Nate Pearson and Julian Merryweather, would at least be more relevant to the current state of velocity development within the organization than those who came before."
85bluejay - Thursday, March 11 2021 @ 12:28 PM EST (#395075) #
I know that velocity is all the rage in MLB (understandably given the results) but I'm concerned that FO's are encouraging pumping up the volume on velocity and not too worried about injuries and shorter careers of pitchers - players are disposable products - I'm still in the develop pitchers rather than just velocity driven throwers camp so if the jays are better at developing pitchers than just hard throwers I'm ok with that - of course, the jays have to actually develop successful pitchers first.
ISLAND BOY - Thursday, March 11 2021 @ 12:49 PM EST (#395076) #
I agree that it seems idiotic for Texas to open to full capacity at this point. Most teams are having some fans at their games starting off except for Washington who, at this time, aren't having any. Baltimore has the next most with 50% capacity, but the majority are in the 20-39% range. The two New York teams are at 10% capacity, the Jays at 15%, and Tampa is at 16% (7000) and are just hoping that many show up. Detroit is just opening their park to 1000 fans.
hypobole - Thursday, March 11 2021 @ 02:08 PM EST (#395078) #
The Onion with a takeoff on Musk's decision to move Tesla operations:

"Covid Announces Plan To Move Operations To Texas Full-Time To Escape Burdensome Regulations"
hypobole - Thursday, March 11 2021 @ 02:24 PM EST (#395079) #
!0-0 Jays after 4. Springer, Vlad, Kirk and Grichuk all with their 1st ST HR's.
Hodgie - Thursday, March 11 2021 @ 02:48 PM EST (#395080) #
Guerrero's homerun was a 412ft, 111.2mph rope to centerfield. Considering his next at-bat ended with a 111.4mph single back up the middle, fair to say the young man is feeling it today.
Mike Green - Thursday, March 11 2021 @ 03:28 PM EST (#395081) #
Today's lineup against Fullmer was one that you might see some days during the regular season.  It's tough on pitchers both from a short sequence and long sequence perspective- Alejandro Kirk is an awfully good 9 hitter.

Tanner Roark has now thrown 5 shutout innings.  I'd love for him to prove me wrong. 
Kasi - Thursday, March 11 2021 @ 05:03 PM EST (#395082) #
If Roark could give us about 5-6 innings and 3-4 ER in that while it wouldn't be great I'd be happy enough if he did it consistently to take some heat off the bullpen. Matz and Ray will probably have more variation in their innings per start.
hypobole - Thursday, March 11 2021 @ 06:22 PM EST (#395083) #
Whole bunch of changes will be trialed in the minors, from base sizes, shifting rules, pickoff changes, timers and robo-umps.
grjas - Thursday, March 11 2021 @ 06:23 PM EST (#395084) #
I agree that it seems idiotic for Texas to open to full capacity at this point.

Hopefully the ball players can stay well enough away from the fans to prevent infection. I am sure the teams will be actively monitoring the situation.

In terms of the fans, I care as much about their health as those who ride without seat belts or motorcycle helmets.
scottt - Thursday, March 11 2021 @ 07:17 PM EST (#395086) #
As long as the players are protected from the crowd.

The Rangers will return to "pods" after the opener. That is just moronic.

grjas - Thursday, March 11 2021 @ 07:42 PM EST (#395087) #
Interesting article on Jonathan Davis on Sportsnet. You have to feel for the guy after seeing one outfielder after another cycle through Toronto.

His minor league numbers are better than Devon Whiteís- especially his OBP- and his defence and base running may well be on par. Born in the wrong generation I guess. The Jays donít seem to put a premium on defence any more.
SK in NJ - Thursday, March 11 2021 @ 08:39 PM EST (#395088) #
Agreed about Davis. With one option remaining, they are almost certainly going to use him as minor league depth until there's an injury/need, but his defense and BsR alone is worth a spot on some team's big league roster. Even though I am glad he is in the org, I'd almost prefer he get traded just to get more of an opportunity somewhere else. At his age the clock is ticking for any sort of career, even as a bench player.
Jonny German - Friday, March 12 2021 @ 04:01 AM EST (#395089) #
"In terms of the fans, I care as much about their health as those who ride without seat belts or motorcycle helmets."

"As long as the players are protected from the crowd."

You're both vey much missing the point. Those fans infecting each other will go on to infect thousands of others who didn't do anything irresponsible.
scottt - Friday, March 12 2021 @ 06:42 AM EST (#395090) #
This is Texas which is the second worst state at vaccinating and where people are free to wear a mask if they so choose and can handle the bullying from their fellow citizens.

If you're not doing anything irresponsible in Texas, you are locked down in your house and getting your food delivered.

mathesond - Friday, March 12 2021 @ 08:32 AM EST (#395091) #
Interesting. What part of Texas do you live in, scottt?
scottt - Friday, March 12 2021 @ 08:52 AM EST (#395092) #
I don't live there, but I work there, when the infrastructure allows it.
Let's just say it's not been a productive year so far.

85bluejay - Friday, March 12 2021 @ 08:56 AM EST (#395093) #
Such is life - Davis has shown enough ability especially with his defense and speed to be kept around without being given opportunities with the big league team - while his brother-in-law Alford, Billy McKinney and Derek Fisher have all failed into better opportunities elsewhere.
Mike Green - Friday, March 12 2021 @ 09:55 AM EST (#395094) #
You're both very much missing the point. Those fans infecting each other will go on to infect thousands of others who didn't do anything irresponsible.

Exactly.  We in Ontario are ultimately at risk too.  Truck drivers regularly bring up produce from and through Texas, and they're not quarantining at the border. 
scottt - Friday, March 12 2021 @ 10:06 AM EST (#395095) #
The big picture is that the opening day crowd is a drop in the bucket to everything else happening in Texas.

People have been exposed to the virus because of their job for over a year now.
The infection rate in the US is down from its peak even if it's rebounding for a February low.

So, I'll only worry about he Jays escaping the longhorn state safe and sound.

grjas - Friday, March 12 2021 @ 10:22 AM EST (#395096) #
You're both very much missing the point. Those fans infecting each other will go on to infect thousands of others who didn't do anything irresponsible.
No I'm not missing the point at all. I am simply commenting on the people who are actually in the park. Of course I know they will affect others and I feel for those people, provided of course they didn't vote for the governor who allows this to happen in the first place.
snowman - Friday, March 12 2021 @ 01:19 PM EST (#395098) #
I'm no expert on the virus by any stretch, but my understanding is that there's been little difference in results between states that locked down versus those that didn't, and states with mask mandates versus those with none. If that's true (I have no citations handy), it seems those wanting lockdowns and mask mandates are making decisions on flawed information - ironically, much like the sportswriters in the worst-MVP thread. I have to say, the most hilarious post in that regard was the fellow thanking Joe Biden for the vaccine! I literally burst out laughing! I guess we could also credit Biden with building the transcontinental railway, since that exists too. And all in just a month-and-a-half, mostly spent hiding from everyone! Well done Joe!
scottt - Friday, March 12 2021 @ 01:37 PM EST (#395099) #
Biden's predecessor was running about 3 superspreader events a day and encouraging people to take no precaution while getting vaccinated secretly.  That's the real joke.

Texas last numbers are 2.7 million cases and over 46226 death.
Canada with a higher population has 900k cases and 22371 death.

It's true that California has more cases and New York has more death.
However, those states were hit earlier and see more international travel.
It's also true that Asian countries that took mask mandates and lockdowns to the extreme barely registered any cases. 

snowman - Friday, March 12 2021 @ 01:51 PM EST (#395100) #
Could the same point about international travel be made in your comparison between Texas and Canada? Not to mention the number of New Yorkers and Californians being able to travel to Texas, versus not being able to travel to Canada? Seems like there are a lot more variables in play than people acknowledge. California and New York were also among the strictest in masking and lockdowns, but fared worse.

Hard to say, because like I said, lots of variables. It does seem like many of the people who push hardest for lockdowns are those who don't lose anything from them.

It was also my understanding that while political rallies were being described as superspreader events before they occurred, there wasn't much evidence that they resulted in any more infections than anything else. But I could be wrong. If there's one thing I know I'm not wrong about though, it's how laughable it is to credit Biden with something he had nothing to do with. It's amazing how people's hatred blinds them to reality.
christaylor - Friday, March 12 2021 @ 02:23 PM EST (#395101) #
"If there's one thing I know I'm not wrong about though, it's how laughable it is to credit Biden with something he had nothing to do with. It's amazing how people's hatred blinds them to reality."

The confirmation "party" for Amy Coney Barrett was a super-spreader event. Herman Cain died because of a rally.

Why the obsession with credit? There's nothing laughable here. The Trump administration deserves credit for spurring vaccine development with Operation Warp speed. The Biden admin (and by extension various governors) getting it into arms. All the scientists who developed the vaccines and the volunteers who signed up for trials deserve credit. Trump's own campaign team tried to get him to take the virus seriously and went on record that it's a major reason why he lost the election. Why would someone assign credit to Biden? Because he and his admin have been compassionately and quietly getting the work done. He just secured millions of doses of single shot J&J which will benefit those in largely rural "Red" states.

I don't know where you're located snowman, if you're here in the US, you're more than entitled to your political beliefs about US politics. If you're not, perhaps the fact that there is *finally* a Jays game being broadcast is a better topic.

From what I've seen the Jays hitters don't look great today, but with two regulars in an away game there's no reason to expect much and it's not Biden's or 45's fault.
85bluejay - Friday, March 12 2021 @ 02:35 PM EST (#395102) #
I'd like to give credit where it's due - well done scientist all over the world.
John Northey - Friday, March 12 2021 @ 02:36 PM EST (#395103) #
Nice - Jays game is on Sportsnet. Yeah, it is the Pittsburgh feed but I'll take it.
John Northey - Friday, March 12 2021 @ 03:15 PM EST (#395104) #
Austin Martin in CF now. Looks good so far.
Michael - Friday, March 12 2021 @ 06:49 PM EST (#395106) #
That was a weird play with the error in LF and the "little league HR". Very little effort by Gurriel it appeared based on the highlight video. Not sure if he was confused on the play and thought he'd caught it?
dalimon5 - Saturday, March 13 2021 @ 11:38 AM EST (#395108) #
The snowman is melting.
vw_fan17 - Saturday, March 13 2021 @ 01:56 PM EST (#395110) #
Anyone else think Tyler White looks a bit like Rowdy's mirror image twin (bats right instead of left, etc)?
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