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This is the last full week of spring training. The Jays play through Monday of next week, before travelling to New York for an April fool start to the season.

Four of the last eight games are night games to get the players used to night games. Three of those games are in Dunedin where the plyers have to get used to the upgraded lights in the new stadium. Tonight's game is a 6.37pm start and is available on Sportsnet.

The likely starters should see most of the action this week. Roster decisions might come later this week or early next week. Twenty Five players were dispatched last week but the tougher decisions remain, mostly at catcher and in the bullpen. Some of the pitching decisions have become easier over the last few days with Kirby Yates joining Nate Pearson on the IL to start the season.

I just looked at the early schedule. The Jays play the Yankees on April 1st, and then have the 2nd off as a rain date in case the home opener is rained out. The Jays then play 16 straight days which is quite unusual for the start of the season. That could persuade the Jays to take an extra reliever on the opening day roster. It could also mean the Buffalo shuttle will get an early season workout.

Eight Spring Games To Go | 178 comments | Create New Account
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scottt - Monday, March 22 2021 @ 03:15 PM EDT (#395351) #
Kirby Yates to miss multiple weeks.
If he goes to the 60IL, that makes it easier to find a spot for Liriano, Mayza or whoever.
Still not great.
Better than having him blow up during a game at least.
grjas - Monday, March 22 2021 @ 05:41 PM EDT (#395354) #
Definitely a year of attrition coming. I hope the Yanks donít get lucky with their plethora of SP recovery projects.
Kasi - Monday, March 22 2021 @ 06:02 PM EDT (#395355) #
They already lost Britton. Hopefully our stream of pitching injuries slow down. I would guess we'll see a bunch across baseball at the start as people who ramped up from last year got hurt doing so. I hope once players have some innings under their belt that injury rates drop somewhat.
85bluejay - Monday, March 22 2021 @ 06:31 PM EDT (#395356) #
I will be surprised if Kirby Yates pitches for the Jays this year - more likely he has TJ surgery than pitch for the Jays this year.
krose - Monday, March 22 2021 @ 07:30 PM EDT (#395358) #
UZR/150 from Fangraphs:

Bichette SS -5.1
Biggio 3B -13.4
Semien 2B -4.4
John Northey - Monday, March 22 2021 @ 09:01 PM EDT (#395359) #
krose - where on FanGraphs did you see those figures? Bo is +0.3 lifetime (-5.2 in 2019, +5.9 in 2020)? Biggio matches up (-13.4 over 81 innings so very small sample size although I haven't seen anything to make that look wrong). Semien hasn't played 2B since 2014 (-4.4 was his lifetime figure over 236 2/3 innings) but I'd look at his 4.8 at SS last year, -0.3 lifetime at SS where he has put in a lot of time and effort (6787 innings) to go from negative UZR for 3 years, followed by positive the past 3 years. I'd assume from that he is a hard worker and SS is seen as a more difficult position than 2B so I'd expect a positive UZR from him in 2021.

Biggio is the only one of those 3 I'd worry about. Vlad at 1B is a potential disaster but he seems determined to prove to everyone he can play at the top level so we'll see but I don't hold out hope for a positive UZR from him either. Tellez is a +2.2 UZR/150 at 1B so hopefully the Jays put him in the field as much as possible.
Cracka - Monday, March 22 2021 @ 09:33 PM EDT (#395361) #
If I had to guess right now, I think that Liriano, Mayza, and Cole are all going to make the team, as well as Joe Panik. That's four non-roster guys who all need spots on the 40. Seems reasonable to assume that Hatch & Yates could go to the 60 day IL, with Valera & McGuire DFA'ed.
John Northey - Monday, March 22 2021 @ 09:52 PM EDT (#395362) #
Yeah, at this point I'd expect McGuire to be a DFA. Off the 40 man unless Kirk or Jansen gets hurt/traded. Riley Adams is probably the next in line (and is on the 40 man). I expect if McGuire is taken the Jays will then go sign a 30 something backup who is debating retirement to a AAA deal with a promise of a promotion if/when an injury happens, and time on the travel squad while it is in use.

Valera I don't see much use for at this stage. Of the 6 projection systems used at FanGraphs the highest wRC+ for him is from ZiPS at 91. I suspect he could be demoted off the 40 man without too much fear of being grabbed. If she was taken not a big loss (29 years old, no options left, just a 62 wRC+ in the majors over 54 games). I see him as a replacement level player, no more, no less.

I agree with Hatch & Yates going on the 60 day IL depending how bad their injuries are. Pearson doesn't appear to be that bad but we'll see.

I wouldn't be surprised if the Jays do a roster trade - dumping a few 40 man guys for a non-40 man guy(s) or cash from a team with real chum on their roster who need a few ML ready guys to keep the team from looking like the 1899 Cleveland Spiders.
scottt - Monday, March 22 2021 @ 10:09 PM EDT (#395363) #
Cole can't opt out until mid-May, so I'd wait on him.
He wasn't sharp when I saw him.

Semien has looked good with the bat lately.
That was better stuff from Stripling that what we saw last year.
Those breaking balls in the dirt with runners on bases will be trouble though.

Apparently, what ails Kirby is a common thing for cricket players and normally heals with a few weeks of rest.

krose - Monday, March 22 2021 @ 11:29 PM EDT (#395364) #
John, you have identified the sources of my data. What I would include as an analysis is that my data suggests there could be problems for all three players at their present positions. Bichette does not look sure handed or possessing of good range by my eye test. Biggio looks like a rookie at third. Semien air mailed a throw for a two run error today. He also does not look to have great range. Went to Fangraphs after eye test concerns. Granted, your expectations could become correct for this year but that data does exist, and combined with ye old eye test, Iím concerned about infield defence.
Eephus - Monday, March 22 2021 @ 11:52 PM EDT (#395365) #
I'm not particularly worried about Semien's glove. He hasn't played a major league game at 2B since 2014, so these games are a good time to shake off the rust. Nobody is going to mistake Biggio for Scott Rolen over at 3B either, but I think he can be ok-solid over there with time.

Bichette though... I agree he's looked rather shaky. He's got the athleticism to be a good shortstop, but his footwork and reactions haven't quite reached the same level yet. If it is a running problem during the season I now could see him and Semien swapping at some point (possible the FO mentioned this when negotiating with him to sign here), then in the winter you see where the cards lay.

I'm optimistic that Bichette will be fine though because it's still spring, gosh darn it!
Jonny German - Tuesday, March 23 2021 @ 04:02 AM EDT (#395366) #
If I had to guess right now, I think that Liriano, Mayza, and Cole are all going to make the team, as well as Joe Panik.

If there's a 40-man crunch I think Mayza is going to get trumped by Bergen, who is already on the 40-man. Cole could suffer the same fate, losing out to Payamps or Tice. Tho I imagine Tice is on the bubble himself to be DFA'd.

Patrick Murphy is another guy who could potentially be moved to the 60-day IL.

I wonder if we'll see 3 catchers on the opening day roster, with the intention to try sneaking McGuire through waivers a couple days into the season.
Jonny German - Tuesday, March 23 2021 @ 07:32 AM EDT (#395367) #
One scenario for managing the early-season schedule (opening the season with 3 catchers and 8 relievers):
Thu Apr 1 @ NYY - Ryu
Fri Apr 2 Off day  
Sat Apr 3 @ NYY - Ray
Sun Apr 4 @ NYY - Matz
Mon Apr 5 @ TEX - Roark
Tue Apr 6 @ TEX - Stripling
Wed Apr 7 @ TEX - Ryu
Thu Apr 8 v LAA - Kay spot start, DFA McGuire. After game recall Payamps.
Fri Apr 9 v LAA - Ray
Sat Apr 10 v LAA - Matz
Sun Apr 11 v LAA - Roark
Mon Apr 12 v NYY - Stripling
Tue Apr 13 v NYY - Ryu
Wed Apr 14 v NYY - Ray
Thu Apr 15 @ KC - Thornton spot start, Payamps back to AAA.
Fri Apr 16 @ KC - Matz
Sat Apr 17 @ KC - Roark
Sun Apr 18 @ KC - Stripling
Mon Apr 19 Off day   

The goals here are:

1) Keep Ryu on 5 days rest early in the season
2) Keep the other starters mostly on 5 days rest
3) Increase the odds of McGuire passing through waivers
4) Line up Ryu and Ray for both series vs NYY
5) Keep Roark away from NYY
scottt - Tuesday, March 23 2021 @ 08:48 AM EDT (#395368) #
I don't see much point in sending McGuire to AAA.
If they decide to go with Kirk, they should just start working on a trade.

Also, I wouldn't plan the pitching too far ahead.
Things will change day to day.

The Yankees have lost Britton and Wilson seems to be on the fringe.
It's too bad the Jays don't really have those scary left bats to take advantage.
The Dunedin opener is sandwiched between 2 Yankees-Rays series.

Mike Green - Tuesday, March 23 2021 @ 08:49 AM EDT (#395369) #
Very interesting, Jonny.  Subjectively, I like Matz against the Yankees best of all.  But that is based on nothing that I could demonstrate- it's a feeling that his stuff and in particular his ability to locate up and in and hard to right-handed hitters (combined with his other pitches) will work. 

I am going to see how Thornton does in his next couple outings.  I think that he's a better pitcher than Roark at this point, but I don't think that it matters that much which goes into long relief at the start of the season. 
bpoz - Tuesday, March 23 2021 @ 10:16 AM EDT (#395370) #
Stripling looked good in the 3rd. Runners on 2nd & 3rd no outs. Got 3 Ks. Detroit not NYY. Kirk handled the pitches quite well IMO.
Cracka - Tuesday, March 23 2021 @ 10:31 AM EDT (#395371) #
I think the ideal scenario would be for McGuire to be outrighted off the 40-man roster and to split the year between the taxi squad (on road trips) and AAA, with the ability to be re-added if either Jansen or Kirk miss an extended period of time. At least for this season, he's clearly our best "#3 catcher". I think the problem is that there are at least a dozen other teams that have a guy similar to McGuire (
Cracka - Tuesday, March 23 2021 @ 10:35 AM EDT (#395372) #
(last post was cut off)

At least a dozen teams have backups like McGuire: inexperienced, on rookie contracts, not established hitters. I think it's unlikely that McGuire makes it through waivers.
scottt - Tuesday, March 23 2021 @ 11:29 AM EDT (#395373) #
McGuire is valuable because he lacks experience. Once he's arb eligible, he's not as cheap.
Also, he bats left.
He had OPS of .914, .872 and .220.
So far, this spring: .873.

Worse case scenario, the Jays tries to slip him through waivers, the Yankees pick him up and he hits 20 HR over the short porch every year for the rest of the decade.

ISLAND BOY - Tuesday, March 23 2021 @ 11:45 AM EDT (#395374) #
And bats .385 when playing against the Jays.
Paul D - Tuesday, March 23 2021 @ 04:53 PM EDT (#395375) #
TSN is reporting that Yates might be out for the year.
Gerry - Tuesday, March 23 2021 @ 04:54 PM EDT (#395376) #
Yates likely to have Tommy John and Springer has an oblique strain.
BlueJayWay - Tuesday, March 23 2021 @ 04:58 PM EDT (#395377) #
Davidi just dropped a bunch of info
Yates likely out for the year, Ray has a bruised elbow, and Springer has an oblique strain.
On the other hand, Hatch's issue doesn't involve ligaments and might be minor.
Gerry - Tuesday, March 23 2021 @ 05:03 PM EDT (#395378) #
Springer "might" be ready for opening day.
Kasi - Tuesday, March 23 2021 @ 05:06 PM EDT (#395379) #
Slipped on stairs? Really? Thatís some Pompey level skills there.
Kasi - Tuesday, March 23 2021 @ 05:15 PM EDT (#395380) #
Sometimes it just makes me wonder if we got football and baseball wrong. You generally don't see hockey, soccer or basketball players just fall down like they've been shot or blow out a body part randomly. Yet with these 2 sports pushing so much for maxes (whether its strength/speed in football or velocity/bat speed in baseball) that they're on this edge of what their body can do. So then you have these waves of players getting injured in non contact situations.
uglyone - Tuesday, March 23 2021 @ 05:16 PM EDT (#395381) #
I hadnt heard any injury news but I have to admit I burst our in laughter when this tweet hit my timeline:

Now, #BlueJays have interest in adding to their pitching staff. Starters or relievers in play.

Atkins said Jays like what they have but are always open to additions & will ďrevisit that in a more assertive way.Ē

ďNot just to raise the floor but potentially to raise the ceilingĒ

— Ben Nicholson-Smith (@bnicholsonsmith) March 23, 2021
hypobole - Tuesday, March 23 2021 @ 05:28 PM EDT (#395382) #
Shane Greene market just heated up a bit.
Kasi - Tuesday, March 23 2021 @ 05:29 PM EDT (#395383) #
Well I don't think anything has really changed with that. Players are being hurt all around the league. Just because the Jays passed on a couple average starters doesn't mean that they were not going to add at the trade deadline or such.
uglyone - Tuesday, March 23 2021 @ 05:32 PM EDT (#395384) #
I'm just glad they're now gonna be "more assertive".

Kasi - Tuesday, March 23 2021 @ 05:32 PM EDT (#395385) #
And at least we got good news with Pearson and Hatch. Pearson apparently is having a session soon and Hatch's injury wasn't to anything serious. So hope we see those both back by week 1-2 of the season.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, March 23 2021 @ 07:10 PM EDT (#395386) #
Cynicalguy - Tuesday, March 23 2021 @ 07:42 PM EDT (#395387) #
I rather see McGuire lost on waivers or traded, with Riley Adams getting some playing time if there's an injury to Jansen or Kirk. I am sure the coaching and pitching staff would love to see that, two rookie catchers :p
greenfrog - Tuesday, March 23 2021 @ 08:13 PM EDT (#395388) #
Maybe the Jays should have looked at Yates's medicals a bit more closely? $5.5m seems like a lot for a pitcher who never managed to throw a pitch for the team.
scottt - Tuesday, March 23 2021 @ 08:25 PM EDT (#395389) #
As I was saying, it's pointless to try to draft the rotation for the first 18 games.

Kirby Yates is a tough loss.
Too early to say about the rest.

Meanwhile, the Jays really took it to Wheeler tonight.

bpoz - Tuesday, March 23 2021 @ 08:48 PM EDT (#395390) #
I am with UO. Yates probably never recovered from his injury with SD in 2020. If so someone messed up in the Jays FO.

60 day IL opens up a 40 man spot.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, March 23 2021 @ 09:17 PM EDT (#395391) #
AIN'T IT COOL: CWS will play the NYY at the Field of Dreams baseball field used in the film, Field of Dreams. It's located behind a farm in Iowa I believe. Game scheduled for August.

Super cool.
Gerry - Wednesday, March 24 2021 @ 08:48 AM EDT (#395392) #
Ken Rosenthal at the Athletic has in interesting story about Kirby Yates. Both the Braves and the Jays were interested in Yates during the off-season, but both teams were concerned about the medical tests on Yates' elbow.

The Braves withdrew their $9M offer and instead wanted Yates to sign for a much lower base with incentives.

The Jays had been offering $8.5M, but that was reduced to $5.5M with $4.5M in incentives. Yates obviously took the Jays offer.

It seems like the Jays gambled and lost.
hypobole - Wednesday, March 24 2021 @ 09:01 AM EDT (#395393) #
Yates was a gamble that ended up badly. But the Jays and their medical staff knew what they were getting into.

Remember how the Jays acquired Seunghwan Oh? Texas had agreed to sign him but backed out after his physical. Jays were more willing to gamble and that one ended up as a win.

The Braves agreed with Yates for $9 million but backed out after his physical. The Jays original offer was $8.5 million plus $1.5 million in incentives. Due to Yates physical, the base salary went to $5.5 million, with an increase in incentives.
scottt - Wednesday, March 24 2021 @ 09:08 AM EDT (#395394) #
I wonder if the Jays took some insurance on that or if it was just a pure gamble.
At any rate, the Jays' payroll is not maxed out.

But yes, the Jays' gamble on Yates must be seen in the light of other teams bidding against them.
There is no bad 1-year contract, and all that.

bpoz - Wednesday, March 24 2021 @ 09:24 AM EDT (#395395) #
Our best closers of 2020 was Bass 7/9, Dolis 5/6 and Romano 2/3 who pitched a partial season due to injury. Giles was lost for the whole season basically. For this year only Dolis and Romano are back and available. Chatwood is a possible candidate.

Opportunity for some of the kids to claim set up and closer.
Mike Green - Wednesday, March 24 2021 @ 09:38 AM EDT (#395396) #
The Yates signing was a classic big market team gamble.  You win some of those, you lose some.  It's what you do when you figure you have a reasonable chance to win a World Series because there is extra value if the player can perform in the post-season.  That goes double for a high-leverage reliever who can get more use proportionately in the post-season because of the off-days.

Everybody knew there was risk, but the extent of it was very much within reasonable differences of opinion. 
Mike Green - Wednesday, March 24 2021 @ 09:46 AM EDT (#395397) #
Thornton gets the start today against the Yankees.  If all goes well for him, he could make the last spring start on the 29th, and be in a position to compete for the 5th spot in the rotation.  It's a little tight and I can easily see them using Stripling and Roark in the 4th and 5th slots by default. 
bpoz - Wednesday, March 24 2021 @ 09:47 AM EDT (#395398) #
True Mike Green. Lets see how NYY do with Kluber.
Glevin - Wednesday, March 24 2021 @ 09:59 AM EDT (#395399) #
"The Yates signing was a classic big market team gamble. You win some of those, you lose some."

Exactly. I'd rather the Jays take this sort of risk then sign another swingman type for the same cost.
hypobole - Wednesday, March 24 2021 @ 11:30 AM EDT (#395400) #
Will be interesting to see where this goes. From ESPN:

"In an attempt to crack down on the use of foreign substances on baseballs for the upcoming season, Major League Baseball will inspect balls taken out of play, analyze spin rate data and increase monitoring of dugouts and clubhouses."
cascando - Wednesday, March 24 2021 @ 12:03 PM EDT (#395401) #
Giles got 2/7 knowing that he'll miss the entire year. In retrospect, that would have been a better way for the Jays to spend their money. Yates will probably miss all or part of 2022 as well and he's 3.5 years older than Giles. His career might be over.

Teams take this kind of risk every year and I don't mind that the Jays signed Yates, assuming there was even a decent chance that he would be healthy. Atkins saying they will now be more "assertive" is hilarious, but that's par for the course with these guys.
bpoz - Wednesday, March 24 2021 @ 12:20 PM EDT (#395402) #
Giles 2 year deal is basically 1 year. 2022. For luxury tax $3.5 mil/yr would be helpful to high spending teams.

Yates was a 1 year, 2021 gamble. They will do something like this again next year. The signing is embarrassing (unlikely based in comments here). Some blown saves will get a public outcry I am sure.

Our vast depth should be able to produce every pitching role except #1s possibly 2s. IMO there are still high expectations for Pearson.
Glevin - Wednesday, March 24 2021 @ 12:35 PM EDT (#395403) #
"Atkins saying they will now be more "assertive" is hilarious, but that's par for the course with these guys."

I don't understand this at all. This is a team that signed big name free agents two years in a row including the biggest name this winter. They spent more in free agency I believe than any other team in baseball. They have been assertive when needed. The Jays didn't find a need to be assertive with pitching when there wasn't a need earlier (or when available pitchers weren't really upgrades at all) but will likely be more so now. Why is this amusing to people?
mathesond - Wednesday, March 24 2021 @ 01:09 PM EDT (#395404) #
"Why is this amusing to people?"

My guess is some people like to make fun of those who speak differently from them.
bpoz - Wednesday, March 24 2021 @ 01:21 PM EDT (#395405) #
Atkins and Montoyo are the main spokespeople for the Jays with P Walker saying a few things about individual pitchers.

They have a nice policy of only saying positive things about all the players. With Ray it was easy until he fell. Hatch showed promise until he got a sore arm. P Walker was the positive one on Hatch from last year.

Other positive and well handled speaking are Vlad's defensive position. Praise for Kirk and say nothing about McGuire. Be optimistic about hopefully temporary injuries to Pearson, Ray and Springer. Members of the media are doing ok. They are not being told much.

Yates was an important signing, so Atkins had to talk about it. Atkins said TJ and then rehashed about "always looking to improve the team". Expected and nicely done. I don't know who strongly believe the Jays are a contender. How much faith in the Jays success was lost with Yates out?
cascando - Wednesday, March 24 2021 @ 01:32 PM EDT (#395406) #
"My guess is some people like to make fun of those who speak differently from them."

Your guess is wrong, not to mention a bit condescending.

For me, I find this type of language funny because this administration uses adjectives in an amusing way. It isn't quite corporate speak, and it isn't quite the parochial language we associate with ex-players--it is a hybrid of those two things, combined in a way that I have never heard before.

Atkins says things like "we are aggressively trying to understand every opportunity". He regularly talks about how "incredibly excited" they are with fairly mundane things. I believe one time he said that the Jays were "very intrigued" by Derek Fisher's "handedness". Just yesterday, in the context of revealing that George Springer would miss a few days, he said that Springer's "symptoms" were "incredibly encouraging". What? Now they will be "assertive" in their pursuit of free agent pitchers. Was the problem before that they weren't "assertive" enough? Or that they didn't really feel that they had the need?

I might suggest that anyone who doesn't find that at least mildly amusing is taking things a little too seriously... but to each their own.
hypobole - Wednesday, March 24 2021 @ 02:59 PM EDT (#395407) #
"Bluntness and honesty should be requisite baseball parlance" - Kevin Mather, sometime before late February, but definitely not after.
Kasi - Wednesday, March 24 2021 @ 03:07 PM EDT (#395408) #
I think anyone who thought that Yates is what pushed them into being a contender was being somewhat over optimistic about what a player coming off a serious injury could deliver. I would be much more concerned about the oblique injury Springer has. Remember 2-3 years ago with Josh in that he was hurt in spring and then was hurt again and again and basically lost the season? That could happen with Springer here. A grade 2 strain is not nothing. I'm pretty discouraged that Springer can't seem to take care of himself and constantly suffers from soft tissue injuries.

Back to the bullpen I'm really not concerned. Say Yates was a 1-1.5 WAR player (and that to me is optimistic.) We have Dolis, Romano, Merryweather, Phelps, Mayza, Boruki all capable of throwing with heat from the bullpen. We also have people like Chatwood, Kay, Hatch, Liriano and others who are capable back there. Then add in the non zero possibility of using Manoah as a reliever or Pearson turning into a reliever and we have plenty of gas in the bullpen, even with Yates out.
bpoz - Wednesday, March 24 2021 @ 03:19 PM EDT (#395409) #
My question about Yates injury affecting us contending was a question that was badly phrased.

Best to be blunt. Who thinks we will contend? Will we get 90+ wins? Maybe a poll?
Kasi - Wednesday, March 24 2021 @ 03:30 PM EDT (#395410) #
Depending on how things break I see anywhere between say 82-92. While I think the Yankees are a step above they have their own injury risks. (Judge, Stanton, a bunch of their pitchers) Rays and Sox are solid as usual but I'm not really scared of them either. My thinking is Jays right now are set to realistically try for the play in game. Division title for me is not realistic yet. 90+ wins I'd say would happen 20% of the time. If I had to choose a number now it would be like 87.
scottt - Wednesday, March 24 2021 @ 04:12 PM EDT (#395411) #
Offensively, they should be very good.
Defensively, they should be better than last year.
The pitching is harder to predict because it's based on depth.
If the Yankees are all healthy, they're better, but that seems very unlikely.

Thornton was pretty good for 3 innings against the Yankees starting lineup.
Wood Richardson followed and he threw a ton of curveballs.
Gameday--I was on the road--had him throwing 92 mph 4-seamers and 94 mph sliders.

2 HR for Bichette.

Mike Green - Wednesday, March 24 2021 @ 05:37 PM EDT (#395412) #
That's a nice late spring training win. Happy to see 3 good innings from Thornton; if he can throw 4 good ones on the 29th, that would put him in shape to go 4-5 innings in the 4th or 5th game of the year.
John Northey - Wednesday, March 24 2021 @ 06:00 PM EDT (#395413) #
Surprise of the game - Vlad playing well at 3B - sweet DP from him. If he can play like that regularly then he deserves a shot at 3B.

Best thing: SWR looking great on the mound vs a real contender - his pitches looked like they sped up as they got close to the plate which was nice to see. I really like him the more I see him. Plus this is just his age 20 season. He looks like he could handle the majors if given a shot and I wouldn't be shocked to see him in July, although I suspect the Jays want him to have a full year in the minors (I see him in A+ or AA to start, then AAA before the end of the season with a real shot to be in the rotation in 2022).
grjas - Wednesday, March 24 2021 @ 06:13 PM EDT (#395414) #
Why do the injuries never hit the likes of McGuire or Roark? Yikes.

Yankees starters are still looking a bit sketchy. So May be there will be company in misery.
grjas - Wednesday, March 24 2021 @ 06:21 PM EDT (#395415) #
90+ wins I'd say would happen 20% of the time. If I had to choose a number now it would be like 87.

I think thatís fair though Iíd probably guess 85 as configured with high 80s possible. A big SP pickup at the deadline could move them into the 90+ range.

Health is such a crap shoot this year, I think many teams have a Wide potential range, even the Yanks.
Kasi - Wednesday, March 24 2021 @ 06:37 PM EDT (#395416) #
I just think we'll have streaks where out pitching will muddle through but we'll win a few games 8-6 or 10-7 because our hitting if hot will just score runs in bursts.
earlweaverfan - Wednesday, March 24 2021 @ 07:53 PM EDT (#395417) #
I am trying to not get too anxious about the injuries, aside from trying to invest in bubble wrap futures!

The way I look at things, I totally agree with Shapiroís focus on building a competitive era vs. stretching to go deep in the playoffs this year.

To me, that means:
A) stacking up contracts that end after the 2021 season, which includes Semien, Roark, Chatwood, Dolis, Ray, Matz, Phelps and, if they make the club, Liriano, Cole or Milone;
B) becoming part of the reclamation story for both Ray and Matz, so that if the Jays want to re-sign either, they will be in the running at a decent price
C) having three genuine top-of-the-rotation starter prospects further developed to be able to join Ryu next year (SWR, Pearson, Manoah)
D) having a cohort of potentially excellent bottom-of-the-rotation starters further developed to compete for that last slot (Hatch, Thornton, Kay, Stripling, Luciano or Murray) - surely one or two will break out this year
E) having a young, dynamite set of relievers who can supply the pen for the next few years (from Romano, Borucki, Mayza, Castro, Rees, Tice, Snead, Bergen, Merryweather, and any extras from the 5th starter rivals)
F) having a strong, deep, settled OF contingent (the current 4 plus the 5 from AAA (Palacios, Davis, Wall, Young and Martin)
G) having 4 current and imminent catcher candidates, with Kirk, Adams and Moreno all potential replacements for our current #1 catcher
H) having a long steam of potential star infielders on their way in 2-3 years, in support of four high caliber current incumbents
I) with only Ryu, Springer and Grichuk taking big bites out of the budget over the next 2-3 years (plus Jansen if extended)
J) having, therefore, the financial scope to extend several young stars early (VGJ, Bichette, Hernandez)
K) having, as well, the financial and prospect capital room to trade to deepen the AA / A+ Rising stars in areas that need it, such as OF, 1B and maybe RP

Whar else could the Jays have reasonably done to set up their competitive era than they have done so far?
Cynicalguy - Wednesday, March 24 2021 @ 08:50 PM EDT (#395418) #
"Whar else could the Jays have reasonably done to set up their competitive era than they have done so far?"

I tend to agree with this approach. I don't see 2021 as a must win year for the Jays, but more of a transition year (but competitive) where they give some of the younger players space to show what they are capable of, and then using that info to address the needs during the trade deadline and the offseason. That's why I believe they weren't willing to give any of the available mediocre pitchers more than a 1 year contract this year, as they are planning to use the payroll flexibility to spend big in the offseason. I believe the must win window for the Jays are between 2022-2025.
scottt - Thursday, March 25 2021 @ 07:59 AM EDT (#395421) #
What does assertive mean?

I believe it means paying market value for long term contracts.
The Springer contract was assertive.
The Semien deal was not.

The Yankees gambled on Kluber and got Taillon for a few negligible prospects.
They've looked good so far, but how many starts can these 2 guys make when they combined for 14 in 2019 and 1 in 2020?

Atkins saw nobody he wanted to ink to a long term contract.
And, presumably, he wasn't ready to trade the prospects needed to get somebody he liked on a trade.
That's fine for starting pitching but there were some decent relievers out there that he could have gone after.
Maybe he'll now trade for a reliever if one is really needed.
At any rate, a closer shouldn't cost a top prospect.

I think that given the Springer situation, another outfielder starts on the roster until a pitcher is needed.
You can even alternate Davis and Palacios since both had good camps.

bpoz - Thursday, March 25 2021 @ 09:23 AM EDT (#395422) #
If 2 star hitters are out for a few games then Kirk and Rowdy fill in to keep the offense dangerous. We are still good if one star hitter is out for a long time depending on defensive position.

I would be very happy if some of our young pitchers became Marcum/Litsch calibre. When healthy they were solid #2/3 IMO. Definitely would like a few #1s.
Cracka - Thursday, March 25 2021 @ 10:03 AM EDT (#395425) #
I'm expecting to see roster moves today, as this is the opt-out date for Panik & Liriano, and I think both have earned spots. Valera is likely DFA'ed and Yates will go to the 60-day IL. Santiago Espinal probably deserves the spot over Panik based on his performance this spring, but I think they will try to keep both around, with Espinal on the taxi squad as the next guy up if required.
scottt - Thursday, March 25 2021 @ 01:14 PM EDT (#395429) #
It's the same with pitching. Maiza has been better than Liriano over thougher opposition, but they can keep him in reserve.
85bluejay - Thursday, March 25 2021 @ 02:11 PM EDT (#395430) #
Eloy Jimenez is out for most of the season - Randal Grichuk would be a nice replacement.
bpoz - Thursday, March 25 2021 @ 08:51 PM EDT (#395434) #
Bergen fb at 94 mph.
Shoeless Joe - Friday, March 26 2021 @ 07:31 AM EDT (#395435) #
Manoah is having a special spring, itís a matter of time before he makes his major league debut this year.
John Northey - Friday, March 26 2021 @ 07:57 AM EDT (#395436) #
No roster moves I can find anywhere so I'm guessing Panik and Liriano decided to stick around and see if they make it. Neither added to the 40 man yet either.
scottt - Friday, March 26 2021 @ 08:27 AM EDT (#395437) #
Tigers fans were elated that Mize got so many Ks even though he gave 5 hits and 2 earned runs.

Lots of positive.
The Jays lineup is raising the opponent's pitch counts.
Guerrero has not been terrible at 3B.
The pen has been strong.
Wood Richardson has shown pinpoint accuracy with his pitches. He's locating the curve while changing speed on it.
Manoah has looked like an all-star closer every inning he's thrown.
Zeuch has improved velocity.
Davis/Palacios have both looked like fine center field options.
Matz and Ray have thrown strikes. 
85bluejay - Friday, March 26 2021 @ 09:58 AM EDT (#395439) #
My guess is that Panik and Liriano have been told unofficially they have made the team and the Jays just need to open up roster spots.
bpoz - Friday, March 26 2021 @ 10:35 AM EDT (#395440) #
Panik/Valera are pretty much equal and both are finished products. Only one is needed. Urena, Smith and Warmoth are still developing but have limited upside it seems to date.

Liriano is a lefty pen arm behind Borucki. His importance is necessary depth. Ryu, Ray & Matz are lefty SPs so V hard for Kay to break in as a SP. I see him replacing Borucki if Borucki gets injured. Kay also has a lot of value as a 2-4 inning reliever.

Liriano and Milone are relievers at best. The AL East is probably not so tough this year. Bergen, Mayza and Snead have questionable recent ML track records. But they are depth.
scottt - Friday, March 26 2021 @ 12:03 PM EDT (#395441) #
3 lefties or 4 lefties doesn't change a  whole lot.
As a starter, Kay is used to facing mostly right handed batters anyway.
The Yankees lean right, so there is limited use for a second or 3rd lefty there.
Tice hasn't looked that great in spring training.
Bergen is on the roster, Mayza and Snead are not.

The AAA rotation is down to Zeuch, Payamps, Kay, Thornton, Milone, maybe Castro or Waguespack.
A couple of these guys could be in the pen, but then won't be stretched.

Texas is loaded with left bats, however and the Jays will probably start Stripling and Roark there.
The Angels are also leaning right, but it's a 4-game series.

Still not sure if Ray will make his Saturday start in 8 days or not.

Gerry - Friday, March 26 2021 @ 12:16 PM EDT (#395442) #
The Jays say Panik has made the team but he won't get added until opening day.
bpoz - Friday, March 26 2021 @ 12:58 PM EDT (#395443) #
A lot of injuries throughout the leagues. This was predicted by many Bauxites.
pooks137 - Friday, March 26 2021 @ 03:23 PM EDT (#395445) #
I'm disappointed again with management's infatuation with a mediocre veteran 2B in Panik who provides neither upside nor versatility.

I suppose one shouldn't stress too much on who gets the 26th spot on the roster. But in addition to Panik being unexciting and inflexible, he also gums up the back end of your roster as he can't be optioned down to AAA without cutting him completely, which will make your 3-man bench even shorter when the team will be running a 9-man bullpen to start the year.
Nigel - Friday, March 26 2021 @ 04:01 PM EDT (#395446) #
I think the choice of Panik was pretty much inevitable given the handedness of the roster in general and the bench options in particular.
Glevin - Friday, March 26 2021 @ 04:07 PM EDT (#395447) #
"I think the choice of Panik was pretty much inevitable given the handedness of the roster in general and the bench options in particular."

Exactly. He's pretty clearly the best choice there. And the depth of the offense. Espinal probably second. Hopefully, Jays don't use Panik very often but if Panik fails, backup infielder isn't the hardest thing to find on the market.
cascando - Friday, March 26 2021 @ 04:14 PM EDT (#395448) #
They might believe that Panik still has the potential to be that guy he was at times in SF. Valera and Espinal will never be that good.

Kasi - Friday, March 26 2021 @ 04:18 PM EDT (#395449) #
I don't think Valera amounts to much right now so it's really just Espinal. I think he does have some development left in him and starting one day a week in the majors is not going to cut it versus playing every day in Buffalo. If someone gets injured Espinal can come up and Panik will continue to be the backup.
GabrielSyme - Friday, March 26 2021 @ 06:09 PM EDT (#395450) #
I don't have any objection to giving Espinal more time in AAA, but Panik is utterly underwhelming as a backup infielder. He's only shown defensive competence at 2B (where Biggio could already fill in), he's been replacement level over 1000 plate appearances over the past three years and whose one major skill - contact - took a big step backwards last year.

I'd really have to be convinced he has greater upside than Valera, who isn't exactly exciting, but it's not hard to be more interesting than Panik.
pooks137 - Saturday, March 27 2021 @ 01:09 AM EDT (#395451) #
GabrielSyme's take largely reflects my own.

It's not so much that the Jays are losing any better options in Valera or Espinal, its more that they chose to bring Panik back to camp instead of bringing in other NRIs who can actually pick it at SS.

I'm not convinced that Panik can even fake it as a MLB SS.

Panik suffers the Devon Travis problem in that if you aren't good enough to start at 2B but can't play anywhere else, there really isn't a MLB role for you.
Chuck - Saturday, March 27 2021 @ 07:22 AM EDT (#395452) #
Having Semien on the roster means that Panik will likely not even have to play any shortstop.
scottt - Saturday, March 27 2021 @ 09:06 AM EDT (#395454) #
Last year, Panik was backing up Shaw and Biggio, both left handed. Meh.
This year, he's backing up Biggio and Semien.
In practice,  I never want to see Panik over Biggio, Semien or Bichette, but I accept that everybody needs a day off here and there.

Ryu wasn't sharp yesterday.
Chatwood's good curve wasn't breaking.
Merryweather actually threw in a game. Is he ready for the opening roster? Maybe, but only as a one inning guy who might not be able to go back to back.

The offense wasn't doing much against Chase Anderson, except walk and elevate his pitch count.

Is Warmoth really an outfielder now?

Nigel - Saturday, March 27 2021 @ 10:46 AM EDT (#395457) #
Based on what I saw in Vancouver, Warmoth was never really a SS.
PeterG - Saturday, March 27 2021 @ 10:57 AM EDT (#395458) #
I think Espinal is under valued on here. He is a capable major league player. Given the roster construction I can see the team going with Panik even though Espinal is better. There is a shortage of left handed hitters and choosing Panik addresses that problem.

I think that Thornton will be on the major league roster. Zeuch should be but not sure that he will. He is another player that is under valued.
bpoz - Saturday, March 27 2021 @ 11:06 AM EDT (#395459) #
I am ready for the real season to start. I am not thinking about the last 2 position player additions. The huge number of pitchers are impossible for me to rank. Just happy that we have a huge number and enough candidates for each role except closer.

Just read the article on 7 tiers of 2021 baseball. In the top tier LAD and SD. NYY was included in the top tier most likely because they have the best chances of making the playoffs.

I have a list of 10 candidates for the 5 playoff spots. My non contenders are Baltimore, Detroit, KC, Texas and Seattle.

The Jays have a shot IMO at a spot in the playoffs. The July 31 trade deadline will be interesting. If in danger of not making the playoffs the NYY will make a strong move. Most likely take on a short term bad contract if they have to. The Jays also because they have a lot of payroll. LAA too because at the moment they are doing patch work for Mike Trout.
bpoz - Saturday, March 27 2021 @ 11:33 AM EDT (#395460) #
Looks like our potential starters (7) are built up for 90 pitches.
John Northey - Saturday, March 27 2021 @ 11:43 AM EDT (#395461) #
Should be a fun season - Jays are set pretty much everywhere with lots of potential openings in the rotation but tons of kids hammering on that door now in Woods Richardson, Manoah, Zeuch, Kay, and of course Pearson who will be starting once healthy. CJ Van Eyk didn't do so well in his one game, but we knew he'd be in the minors all year - this was just a 'here is what you need to learn' game for him. So a full rotation of potential plus. Sweet to see. Like many here I remember the bad old days of JPR when the top prospect for the Jays, not just pitching, was Zach Stewart (got 103 IP in majors, 64 ERA+) with Kyle Drabek #2. Ugh.
bpoz - Saturday, March 27 2021 @ 12:02 PM EDT (#395462) #
I remember a few decent young pitchers from a while ago but not that long ago. Marcum, Litsch, C Janssen, Cecil and Zep. All college draft picks. Hoping from 2019-2021/22 we get a handful of that level. Thornton and Romano are on their way.
Cynicalguy - Saturday, March 27 2021 @ 12:43 PM EDT (#395464) #
Pretty much everything on the opening day roster has been decided, except maybe the last 3 bullpen spots and maybe decision on 9 spots in the bullpen vs extra bench spot.

My guess for the 26 man opening day roster.

CF Springer
2B Semien
SS Bicette
RF Hernandez
1B Guererro Jr.
DH Tellez
LF Gurriel Jr.
3B Biggio
C Janssen

Bench: C Kirk /IF Panik /OF Grichuk

Starters: Ryu /Stripling /Ray /Roark /Matz

Bullpen: Romano /Dolis /Borucki /Phelps /Chatwood
Liriano /Cole /Thornton /Merryweather

40 Man roster spots created for Panik, Liriano and Cole by DFAing/trading McGuire, Valera and moving Yates to the 60 Day IL
cascando - Saturday, March 27 2021 @ 12:49 PM EDT (#395465) #
"Based on what I saw in Vancouver, Warmoth was never really a SS."

Agreed. I watched Warmoth play SS alongside Samad Taylor at 2B a couple of times, and the difference in defensive ability was remarkable. It was obvious then then Taylor was the better IF.

I still haven't completely given up on Warmoth as a utility guy that can cover at corner OF or 2B.
Magpie - Saturday, March 27 2021 @ 01:03 PM EDT (#395466) #
Official Roster Moves!

Espinal, Palacios, Adams, Payamps optioned; Urena, Jimenez, Smith, Snead, Wall, White reassigned. "All players remain eligible to play in spring training games as needed."
John Northey - Saturday, March 27 2021 @ 01:12 PM EDT (#395467) #
Looks reasonable Cynicalguy. If Springer isn't fully ready opening day then Davis makes the team for a week or two with 1 less reliever I suspect - Merryweather down. In truth I don't see Merryweather on the team (he has an option). Anthony Castro I see as having a real shot. Kay has a chance. Tommy Milone I think has a good shot too. Thornton I see as a bubble candidate. However that is the 8th/9th reliever slots so guys who won't get much play when games are in doubt (outside of extra innings of course).

It is nice to not be going 'which of these terrible options will be playing'. I don't miss the lost years (1994-2014).
John Northey - Saturday, March 27 2021 @ 01:16 PM EDT (#395468) #
Geez, watching the Jays game I'm croaking looking in the stands - so many without masks or with them down. You'd never know the virus is going through like mad - over 5700 cases yesterday and climbing. 159 dead. Canada as a whole had 5094 yesterday, 36 dead. I can see why Health Canada is telling the Jays 'no' to playing here.
uglyone - Saturday, March 27 2021 @ 01:23 PM EDT (#395469) #
So now there's 16 hitters left in camp?

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

OF Grichuk
OF Davis

IF Panik
IF Valera

C Kirk
C McGuire

I think I'm missing one?
Cynicalguy - Saturday, March 27 2021 @ 02:13 PM EDT (#395470) #
I can't figure out the last player who's still with the major league camp that's accounted for. According to media reports there still 37 players still with the team.

Other than the 26 I posted above there's still these 10 players with the major league camp, that leaves 1 more I can't figure out.

Davis /Valera /McGuire
Bergen /Mayza /Hatch /Kay /Zeuch /Castro /Millone
cascando - Saturday, March 27 2021 @ 03:18 PM EDT (#395472) #
Have to admit, Iím a bit dismayed that MLB added a roster spot, instituted the minimum 3 batter rule for RP and the Jays are probably still going with a 3-man bench. Nine relievers. It makes sense since they donít really have a starting rotation. Like last year, I suspect that there will be a lot of games where the starter is out of the game before or during the 4th inning.

I wonder how many teams are going to have this roster construction?
scottt - Saturday, March 27 2021 @ 04:00 PM EDT (#395473) #
They should start the season with a 4 man bench, so Springer can get some rest.
The active roster should remain fluid, especially with no AAA yet.
Have Davis or Palacios up until they need a pitcher, then have a few guys yo-yo back and forth.

The plan was for teams to have no more than 13 pitchers, but the pandemic got in the way.

Not a very interesting game. Only 8 innings, lots of regulars missing from both sides.

Gerry - Saturday, March 27 2021 @ 04:03 PM EDT (#395474) #
Jonathan Davis will start on the major league roster.

Robbie Ray will miss his first start.
Cynicalguy - Saturday, March 27 2021 @ 07:33 PM EDT (#395476) #
"Have to admit, Iím a bit dismayed that MLB added a roster spot, instituted the minimum 3 batter rule for RP and the Jays are probably still going with a 3-man bench. Nine relievers. It makes sense since they donít really have a starting rotation. Like last year, I suspect that there will be a lot of games where the starter is out of the game before or during the 4th inning."

Yup, more than a third of the roster is made up of relievers. Expanding the roster from 25 to 26 just created another spot for a reliever. Hope they go back to restricting it to 13 pitchers next year or even better 12. Like to see more room for defensive specialists and pinch runners on the bench.

Looks like Jays will start with 8 relievers and then expand to 9 when Springer gets healthy.

The yo-yo relievers this year would include the below with the first 5 likely to get spot starts or actual shots at starting if there's injuries or if/when Roark flames out:
Hatch /Kay /Zeuch /Thornton /Merryweather
Bergen /Payamps /Mayza /Murphy
scottt - Sunday, March 28 2021 @ 09:23 AM EDT (#395478) #
It's pretty obvious that Valera will give his roster spot to Panik.
I think Liriano takes Yates' spot.
McGuire will open a spot whenever Kirk takes the backup job.

Looks like Matz will start the 3rd game and either Thornton or Zeuch will start the second game, or maybe follow an opener. Merryweather could stay behind a week or two to complete his camp.

Merryweather is not likely to start except as an opener.
Murphy is going straight to the pen as well.

It's worth noting that Nick Anderson has a partially torn elbow tendon and won't pitch much this year.
The Rays also traded away Jose Alvarado to the Phillies.

Glevin - Sunday, March 28 2021 @ 12:54 PM EDT (#395481) #
"Have to admit, Iím a bit dismayed that MLB added a roster spot, instituted the minimum 3 batter rule for RP and the Jays are probably still going with a 3-man bench. Nine relievers. It makes sense since they donít really have a starting rotation. Like last year, I suspect that there will be a lot of games where the starter is out of the game before or during the 4th inning.

I wonder how many teams are going to have this roster construction?"

Most, I would say. Teams are going to need a lot of pitchers this year. Nobody threw very many innings last year so nobody will throw that many this year either. Going to have to be careful with workloads for almost everyone.
uglyone - Sunday, March 28 2021 @ 04:19 PM EDT (#395483) #

Alejandro Kirk will be on the Blue Jays opening day roster, per manager Charlie Montoyo.

What that means for Reese McGuire remains to be seen. Decision to be made in coming days. Montoyo says there's a possibility club could carry three catchers on opening day.

— Arden Zwelling (@ArdenZwelling) March 28, 2021
BlueJayWay - Sunday, March 28 2021 @ 04:34 PM EDT (#395484) #
Kirk, Thornton, Mayza, and Tellez all make the team according to the reporters.
scottt - Sunday, March 28 2021 @ 05:29 PM EDT (#395485) #
I guess it's Mayza who gets Yates' spot.
He's been better than Liriano, but they've both been good.
Maybe McGuire is on the team until he's traded. He's only 26. Someone should bite. He's outhit Jansen this spring.

The Yankees series looks like this:
Ryu vs. Cole
Thornton or Kay vs. Kluber
Matz vs. German
The Jays might be missing Springer--he's day-to-day--while the Yankees have lost Voit for 2 months.

Thomas - Sunday, March 28 2021 @ 05:45 PM EDT (#395486) #
I think this means that the Jays have Valera and McGuire in camp and in limbo. I assume Valera won't make it, but, as noted above, McGuire is a TBD.

At the present time, there is a four-man bench of Grichuk, Davis, Kirk and Panik if Springer doesn't start on the IL. I presume whether Springer goes to the IL will play a big role in whether McGuire comes north (figuratively, anyway).

The seven certain bullpen arms are Romano, Dolis, Chatwood, Borucki, Mayza, Merryweather and Phelps.

With Ray presumably heading to the IL, the rotation is Ryu, Striping, Matz, Roark and, I'm guessing, Thornton is the fifth starter.

I haven't heard confirmation Cole made the club, but I'm guessing he likely will. I haven't heard anything that suggests he's been poor this spring. That formulation would create a 26 man roster, if Springer doesn't go to the IL, with an eight man bullpen and four bench spots.

If Springer does go to the IL, then presumably it will come down to Liriano or McGuire to take his spot, unless the Jays want to take advantage of Cole's later opt-out date and add both Liriano and McGuire in his place.

I'm sure i have forgotten something, but that's how it looks to me.
Mike Green - Sunday, March 28 2021 @ 06:52 PM EDT (#395487) #
It looks to me like they need at least one guy in the pen, and ideally two who can give you 3-4 innings during that 16 game stretch at the start of the season.  They might use Kay and Zeuch in that role (one at a time using the fact that both have options). 
scottt - Sunday, March 28 2021 @ 06:52 PM EDT (#395488) #
Cole would need a 40 roster spot and his contract has an opt out but not before mid-May.
So, they could hang on to him until someone else gets hurt.

I think Payamps has only pitched one inning. 0 hit, 0 BB, 2 K.
Castro has pitched 8 innings, he's got 15K, 1 BB and 4 hits (1 homerun). (He's not on the roster.)
Tice has not looked good, 5 innings, 4 hits, 4 walks, 6 K. 5 earned runs.
Bergen is, 5.2 innings, 6 hits, 2 walks, 11 K, 1 homer and 2 earned runs.

scottt - Sunday, March 28 2021 @ 06:54 PM EDT (#395489) #
Yeah, I don't think Davis stays with the club too long.
Gerry - Sunday, March 28 2021 @ 07:32 PM EDT (#395490) #
Scuttlebutt among the writers is that Zeuch will get the fifth starter spot, at least for one start, and Thornton will be the long reliever.
John Northey - Sunday, March 28 2021 @ 07:50 PM EDT (#395492) #
I wonder if the Jays are working on a trade - to clear out one of Grichuk, Hernandez, or Gurriel. Once one is traded then Davis becomes an ideal 4th OF - speed and defense. Wall, Warmoth, and Palacios hitting well this spring makes it easier to do a trade as the Jays can feel safe that one of those guys should step up enough to justify a call up in the event of an injury. Espinal also hit well so if an OF gets hurt we might see a domino - Biggio to the OF, Espinal up for the infield or even Vlad to 3B. So many options that trading an OF should be a no brainer if the Jays can get a pitcher as part of a package.
bpoz - Sunday, March 28 2021 @ 08:46 PM EDT (#395493) #
Kirk on the Opening day roster is a good move IMO even if it means losing McGuire. It shows that the FO wants to win ahead of saving assets.
All other moves except the pen are injury related. Cole not making the team is most likely to preserve depth.

Zeuch is on the Opening day roster because he is valuable as a healthy arm. Other than that he has not been mentioned. Personally I would like to see him pitch multiple innings in NY just to see if he can do well. The 16 games in a row starts on April 3 so I see that as an opportunity for Zeuch to impress in that stretch.
scottt - Sunday, March 28 2021 @ 09:46 PM EDT (#395494) #
Davis is a defensive center field. Maybe you can project him for 1 WAR.
This is comparable to what Grichuk produces in center.
Grichuk might be worth 2+ WAR as a regular in a corner, but that's a downgrade from other options.
He's an expensive 4th outfielder, but that's mostly sunk money, so no problem with that.
If he wants more playing time, he needs to produce more.
Hernandez and Gurriel are big parts of what makes the Jays able to contend.

Kirk can be worth 2 WAR more than McGuire. That part makes sense.
Espinal is like Panik. He's a bench player. Biggio is a possible All-Star.

Tanking teams have already traded their pitchers for prospects.
Trading a part of the Jays core for a fungible pitcher would be a no-brainer indeed.
Some good pitchers might become available at the deadline if some teams falter.
At this point though, all that's available are pitchers on minor league contracts.
Ray might miss only one start. Pearson should be back before too long.
Most of all, nobody makes moves in April because any pitcher can be successful in April.
This is just the continuation of spring baseball.

scottt - Sunday, March 28 2021 @ 09:53 PM EDT (#395495) #
Montoyo has said that they are very happy to see that Zeuch is throwing harder and that his sinker is... sinking very well, or something like that.
bpoz - Monday, March 29 2021 @ 08:40 AM EDT (#395496) #
Zeuch pitching today. Hope to see him throw 70 pitches.
uglyone - Monday, March 29 2021 @ 11:46 AM EDT (#395497) #
I sure hope they're not trading any hitters John Northey - it's pretty dang nice having 2 legit bats on the bench for once imo.

uglyone - Monday, March 29 2021 @ 11:47 AM EDT (#395498) #
Happy if zeuch gets a spot. I've always thought his numbers were legit good enough despite the lack of strikeouts.
krose - Monday, March 29 2021 @ 01:28 PM EDT (#395499) #
To my eye the lack of range in the infield will be a huge issue. Perhaps the whole infield defence is really weak.
krose - Monday, March 29 2021 @ 01:42 PM EDT (#395500) #
Zeuch looking good. Ground ball after ground ball...through the infield.
Kasi - Monday, March 29 2021 @ 01:49 PM EDT (#395501) #
Zeuch is pretty useless if this is what he's doing. He's basically an inferior version of Stroman. Stroman after his first year or two when his K rate dipped had some issues with bad innings because of all the singles/etc he gave up. Zeuch is just that magnified. We don't have the defense to support that type of pitcher and I don't think many teams really do with a pitcher with like a 2-3K/9 rate like he has. If he doesn't get at least up to 5-7 he's pretty much a AAAA guy.
krose - Monday, March 29 2021 @ 02:10 PM EDT (#395502) #
OMG Frightening defence.
scottt - Monday, March 29 2021 @ 02:46 PM EDT (#395503) #
Sometimes the shift can play against you.
The Phillies were told to slap it the other way and that's what they did.
Gurriel made a bad play that should have been an out.

9 hits through 3 innings isn't good, but some of it is because of extra outs.
Elfin looked pretty good with 8 hits in 5 innings.
The interference on the stolen third base helped him a bit.

scottt - Monday, March 29 2021 @ 02:52 PM EDT (#395504) #
They Jay  will start against the Yankees who are going with a 6-man rotation.
Then it's off to see the Rangers and a couple of tandems filling their 4th and 5th rotation spots.

hypobole - Monday, March 29 2021 @ 03:45 PM EDT (#395506) #
The minor league hitting prospects have had a rather impressive spring.
scottt - Monday, March 29 2021 @ 04:08 PM EDT (#395507) #
The Phillies bullpen, not so much.
John Northey - Monday, March 29 2021 @ 04:37 PM EDT (#395508) #
Crazy game - missed most of it but wow. When Espinal gets 5 RBI's you know the other team has pitching issues :)

Orelvis Martinez had a heck of a spring - 364/417/727 over 12 PA. For a kid who has only played in rookie ball that is sweet to see. Safe to say we'll be seeing him next spring.
scottt - Monday, March 29 2021 @ 04:52 PM EDT (#395509) #
5 RBI's in one inning.

SK in NJ - Monday, March 29 2021 @ 05:06 PM EDT (#395510) #
I'd rather Thornton get the rotation spot than Zeuch, although there might be an issue of whether Thornton is stretched out enough. The lack of K's for Zeuch is a big problem. It's a shame that Hatch got hurt because he's a much more intriguing arm as a SP and likely would have gotten this spot if he were healthy.
scottt - Monday, March 29 2021 @ 05:18 PM EDT (#395511) #
Zeuch might be OK against a lineup who leans right.
Thornton might not be stretchable right now.

PeterG - Monday, March 29 2021 @ 07:58 PM EDT (#395512) #
Liriano has been granted his release
PeterG - Monday, March 29 2021 @ 08:00 PM EDT (#395513) #
I like Thornton and think he can be gradually built up. He should be good for 4 innings now if he can keep pitch count down.
John Northey - Monday, March 29 2021 @ 08:51 PM EDT (#395514) #
With an 8 or 9 man pen they should be able to work with a starter going just 3 or 4 innings.
Glevin - Monday, March 29 2021 @ 08:56 PM EDT (#395515) #
"The minor league hitting prospects have had a rather impressive spring."

Pitchers weren't too bad either. Happy to see Liriano let go. They probably wanted to keep him but Mayza is better now and you need to put your best team out there.
scottt - Monday, March 29 2021 @ 09:08 PM EDT (#395516) #
Thornton pitched about 130 innings in 17, 140 innings in 18, 150 in 19 and only 5.2 in 2020.
They may not want to push him too hard.
For now, I see him as covering for Stripling.

Chuck - Tuesday, March 30 2021 @ 09:40 AM EDT (#395524) #
With an 8 or 9 man pen they should be able to work with a starter going just 3 or 4 innings.

Last year, this very strategy was explained away as sustainable only in a shortened season and a byproduct of the pandemic and the lack of suitable preparation.

This year, the rationale of the absence of minor league play and lowered usage rates in MLB in 2020 will "justify" these ultra-short outings by starting pitchers. But I wonder if this isn't the start of a seismic shift in the game? How many starters, even while seemingly pitching smoothly, will be given the chance for a third look at the opposition's lineup?

Only six pitchers in 2020 logged 74 innings, the equivalent of 200 in a full season. And there's no telling that they would have continued that pace. How many will log 200 innings in 2021? How many will average even 6 innings per start?

I don't think these huge bullpens are going away any time soon.

scottt - Tuesday, March 30 2021 @ 12:04 PM EDT (#395529) #
All those non-roster invited pitchers who got cut will do well to stay in shape this year.

Cracka - Tuesday, March 30 2021 @ 12:15 PM EDT (#395530) #
I think a bunch of non-roster invitees will end up on taxi squads - up to 5 players per team (1 must be a catcher). You don't have to be on the 40-man roster to be on the taxi squad, so it seems like a good way to stash veteran players without taking playing time away from prospects in AA/AAA.

Reese McGuire would be a perfect taxi squad catcher, but I don't think he'll clear waivers first.
bpoz - Tuesday, March 30 2021 @ 12:29 PM EDT (#395531) #
It seems that NYY is considered the strongest contender in the AL. Then there are the 5 non contenders.

The Jays are considered one of the stronger teams of the other 8 to make the playoffs. The AL East has 1 V bad team. The AL Central and AL West have 2 v bad teams each. This means TB and the Jays are at a disadvantage.

Many variables as far as I am concerned for the Jays. However IMO the Jays have 1 very strong constant factor. If our young core of Bo, Biggio, Vlad and Tellez are healthy enough to get 500 ABs, 350 ABs for Teoscar, Gurriel, Jansen and Kirk then that ML experience will make the playoff team a lot stronger if we get in. My theory.

scottt - Tuesday, March 30 2021 @ 01:37 PM EDT (#395533) #
Yeah, but Baltimore is the worse team in the American League.

Ji-Man Choi is having knee surgery. Nick Anderson might be gone for the year.
The Rays rotation is
Glasnow, Yarbrough, Archer, Hill, Wacha.
Like the Jays, they play 6 against the Yankees in April.

scottt - Tuesday, March 30 2021 @ 01:58 PM EDT (#395535) #
Lindor is asking for 385M/12.
Mets should extend Conforto and deal with the shortstop situation in free agency.
Too many expensive shortstops, not enough crazy rich teams.

hypobole - Tuesday, March 30 2021 @ 03:35 PM EDT (#395538) #
If the Jays can't get anything for McGuire in a trade, is he a loss if he gets claimed on waivers? There will be experienced catchers available - Joseph and Mathis are 2 who are FA's now. Whether they want to sign with the Jays as taxi-squad guys is another matter, but there should be options.
hypobole - Tuesday, March 30 2021 @ 04:09 PM EDT (#395539) #
Or not Jeff Mathis. AA just snagged him on a minor-league deal.
Cracka - Tuesday, March 30 2021 @ 04:33 PM EDT (#395540) #
McGuire is not a huge loss on waivers, but I would argue that he's preferable to just about every other available catcher because he knows the pitching staff and is still on his rookie contract (if outrighted). He might be an LH bat, but he's still a "good glove, no hit" backup catcher in my mind.

John Northey - Tuesday, March 30 2021 @ 04:38 PM EDT (#395541) #
Figured Mathis wouldn't be out there long. Ideal for taxi squad. Veteran all-defense guy who is a backup coach basically. Joseph is just listed as cut from Mets but might still be there on their taxi squad - again an ideal guy for that. McGuire lands in the same territory but without as much ML time under his belt so won't be chased as much. These guys are a dime a dozen it seems so if lost it isn't a major loss.

As to Lindor - this is why teams are stocking up on young talent. He was offered 10-year, $325MM, he countered with $385 over 10. So $35 mil a year is probably what it will take over 10 years. Ouch. No way I'd go that far for his age 27-36 seasons as odds are low you'll get the 38+ WAR for that (his lifetime totals are 28.8 over 6) which I figure you'd need for it to be a decent deal. 40+ for it to be a good one. Now, he has cracked 4 WAR every year he played 99+ games (missed last year and wasn't on pace for it) but to count on production of that level in his 30's is foolish. $300 over 10 would've been my limit. I think the Jays did good not to trade for him.
GabrielSyme - Tuesday, March 30 2021 @ 05:11 PM EDT (#395542) #
I don't agree that good backup catchers are a dime-a-dozen. Scrap-heap backups like Joseph are fairly fungible, but McGuire's significantly better than Joseph.

I think there's a pretty good chance that the Jays will regret letting McGuire go. I'd say there's at least a 20% chance McGuire settles in as a 80-90 wRC+ hitter with above-average defence - in other words, a league-average starting catcher.

I don't understand the Lindor trade. Seems like the Mets gave up quite a lot of talent to have the opportunity to overpay him for an extension.
scottt - Tuesday, March 30 2021 @ 09:28 PM EDT (#395543) #
Actually, the Mets didn't gave up a lot for Lindor. They gave up their 2 middle infielders, who were redundant.
The 2 pitching prospects were in exchange for Carrasco. It's too bad he hurt his hamstring.
I hope he gets vaccinated before he hits the road.
Worse case scenario, the Mets can wait in the offseason and bid on Lindor then.
It's clear that he'll take the best offer. Is any other team in line to offer more? Seems doubtful.

scottt - Tuesday, March 30 2021 @ 09:33 PM EDT (#395544) #
Semien was a much better fit for the Jays.
Didn't cost any prospect. Didn't impact Bichette.
I imagine that unless they announce a new CBA, the old one is still in place and they can offer him a QO.
The Jays have prospects who can replace Semien sooner than later, so they'll be looking for pitching only.

bpoz - Tuesday, March 30 2021 @ 11:21 PM EDT (#395545) #
IMO Atkins needs to think of every possibility. 1) The Jays are great. 2) the Jays are terrible. 3) In between.

Then make moves based on this.
scottt - Wednesday, March 31 2021 @ 08:39 AM EDT (#395546) #
The Jays are at the beginning of a long window.
They have Ryu for 2 more years, so they need to handle him carefully.
Next year, Atkins will focus on finding another good starting pitcher to re-invest Roark's salary and then some.
Hopefully, one of Groshans/Martin can step in to replace Semien, which will also save a lot of money.
The rest of the equation is to develop some pitchers the way Cleveland did.
Manoah and Woods Richardson have looked very good in the Spring.
Maybe Luciano and Pardinho can continue to develop.
The positional depth is strong.
As the drafting takes a back seat, they should focus on international signings.

No need to make panic moves this year.

Thomas - Wednesday, March 31 2021 @ 09:17 AM EDT (#395548) #
He was offered 10-year, $325MM, he countered with $385 over 10.

Interesting. I had read that he asked for $385 over 12 years, not 10.

bpoz - Wednesday, March 31 2021 @ 10:24 AM EDT (#395551) #
Keegan Matheson gave a nice talk about the Jays goal of sustainable success. A good farm and wise use of money.
scottt - Wednesday, March 31 2021 @ 10:32 AM EDT (#395552) #
Trying to set a new record.
Does it matter much if it's for 10 or 12 years? Maybe 14 or 16 would be better?
The end of that will not look good.
Astros, Dodgers, Mets, Rockies and Cubs will see their All-Star shortstop hit free agency.
Add Semien to the mix.
How many teams will have crazy money to spend?
The Yankees could upgrade but they already locked LeMahieu at second and will need pitching.
Red Sox are set.

The thing with the Mets is that trading and not extending looks like a bad move, which isn't, but the NY Media will spin it that way.
It's like the Price Jays Reunion story I see here and there.
Who is left in Toronto from the last time Price was here?
Pete Walker?

scottt - Wednesday, March 31 2021 @ 10:36 AM EDT (#395553) #
It's hard to maintain the good farm once you start winning.
One way to do it is to trade established guys for prospects to clear the way for guys who are demolishing AAA.
Those type of moves are often unpopular.

earlweaverfan - Wednesday, March 31 2021 @ 12:56 PM EDT (#395555) #
Scottt, I agree, how about this as an example? The Jays are 7-8 deep on players who could contribute well to their outfield today: Springer, Gurriel, Hernandez, Grichuk, Davis, Wall, Palacios. All three AAA players have had outstanding springs and have built confidence with Jays management. Plus, if you see Martin as an OF prospect, it gets even better.

However, I can only think of a couple of OF names below that tier with MLB potential (Taylor and Brown).

If, say, Palacios enters the trade deadline season pounding on the door, could you swap Grichuk for a couple of genuine A-level prospects, either both OF names or one being a pitching prospect?
hypobole - Wednesday, March 31 2021 @ 01:15 PM EDT (#395556) #
(Taylor and Brown)

Young and Brown?
Mike Green - Wednesday, March 31 2021 @ 02:18 PM EDT (#395560) #
It sounds like an investment firm either way.
earlweaverfan - Wednesday, March 31 2021 @ 02:23 PM EDT (#395561) #
Correct - Young and Brown is what I meant

Samad Taylor is an IF I believe, albeit he plays CF a little, but is not an MLB likely prospect
hypobole - Wednesday, March 31 2021 @ 06:15 PM EDT (#395567) #
Posted this elsewhere, but belongs here:
Springer on the IL for a undetermined time and Ray as well because he'll miss 2 starts.
hypobole - Wednesday, March 31 2021 @ 06:20 PM EDT (#395568) #
Angel Hernandez lost his racial discrimination suit against MLB
Gerry - Wednesday, March 31 2021 @ 06:51 PM EDT (#395570) #
The Jays have acquired catcher Juan Graterol for cash and assigned him to the alternate site. Did you not expect the Jays to trade FOR a catcher?

There are likely two implications.....

Reese McGuire is going, going, gone

Right now Riley Adams is with the Jays and on the taxi squad. He needs to play and the Jays need a more experienced guy who they can park on the taxi squad. Graterol will likely move to the taxi squad and Adams to the alternate site within a week. Adams would then start for Buffalo.
scottt - Wednesday, March 31 2021 @ 06:55 PM EDT (#395571) #
Springer will miss a minimum of 6 games.
Ray could still miss only one start, but that seems unlikely.

Stripling has been announced to start the second game facing Kluber.
3rd game is probably Zeuch, but maybe not for very long if he's not getting outs.

So, I guess they are going with 3 catchers.

scottt - Wednesday, March 31 2021 @ 07:10 PM EDT (#395572) #
Maybe it means they don't think McGuire can clear waivers.
Adams is definitively tagged to play in AAA, but I don't know if they'll be in Buffalo at all.
The Bisons first game is on May 4th.

The Taxi squad needs to have a catcher at all time.
The rest are probably pitchers on the 40 roster that didn't make the team.
Like Bergen.

They haven't added Panik and Mayza yet.

hypobole - Wednesday, March 31 2021 @ 07:25 PM EDT (#395574) #
Thought the Jays would sign a released catcher, but Mathis and Wolters were snapped up pretty quickly. Still Caleb Joseph and Lucroy around, but buying Graterol gives the Jays certainty.

And on the subject of catchers, Goldstein in his chat the other day had some very interesting comments. After stating the gap between public tools/data and those teams have is surprisingly small, the one position public info doesn't really work is for catchers.

Little Dom Smith: Do orgs rank catchers differently than is public?

Kevin Goldstein: Absolutely.

"I think things like game calling, and game management in general are INCREDIBLY important and something that itís hard to just put some kind of number on in terms of war. Itís why I was always such a massive fan of Martin Maldanado."

"things like game management, pitch calling, working with pitchers, all of that stuff is INSANELY important and nearly impossible to measure without being close to the team."
Thomas - Wednesday, March 31 2021 @ 07:45 PM EDT (#395575) #
Welcome back, Juan Graterol! I'm sure we all fondly remember January 23-April 18, 2017.

It's obviously not a straight-up decision, but it's clear that Graterol is not intended to replace McGuire if the latter sticks around somehow. He has 27 quite uninspiring plate appearances over the past three years.
John Northey - Wednesday, March 31 2021 @ 08:41 PM EDT (#395576) #
Wow, weird to get another catcher, but I figured the Jays would grab one to be their travel team catcher/catching coach. Gastrol has to know his career isn't for long. A 32 OPS+ doesn't do much for keeping you going no matter how good your defense is. But it does make him ideal for a taxi squad - work with pitchers and the other catchers, prepare for his post-playing career. He could be in a few games here and there but mostly on the bench just in case. A September call-up to ensure if pinch running happens he is there to catch a few innings. McGuire is too young for that and so are the others on the roster.
hypobole - Wednesday, March 31 2021 @ 11:35 PM EDT (#395578) #
Lindor extended. 10 yrs/about $340 million.
GabrielSyme - Thursday, April 01 2021 @ 01:28 AM EDT (#395579) #
If we're putting our best team on the field - and that seems to be what's driving the McGuire/Kirk decision - why on earth give Zeuch a start? Kay seems like a clearly better option and Manoah is probably the best option (although he'd need a 40-man spot).
scottt - Thursday, April 01 2021 @ 07:34 AM EDT (#395580) #
Manoah has pitched 17 innings of pro ball.
Maybe he'll breeze through the minors but he won't skip them.
Kay was hit pretty hard by the Yankees during spring training.
He still has a bruise to prove it.
If Zeuch starts, he probably only goes through the lineup once.
So, it's more like a bullpen game.

bpoz - Thursday, April 01 2021 @ 08:50 AM EDT (#395584) #
I agree with people that say pitching depth will be an important factor this season.

Due to injuries there are about 5 pitchers that are unavailable to open the season. Ray, Yates, Pearson, Murphy and Hatch.

If Zeuch is asked to pitch 2-4 innings, he needs to perform or there will be consequences. Demotion.

F Liriano was lefty bullpen depth. I hope his loss will not be felt. It seems he was behind Kay, Borucki and Mayze in the pen. The Jays could not ask him to stay even though he was ahead of Milone and Snead. Next lefty is probably Z Logue.
Cracka - Thursday, April 01 2021 @ 10:34 AM EDT (#395591) #
Opening Roster announced:
- Payamps and Merryweather are on it.
- Panik and Mayze are too, and both have been added to 40-man roster.
- Valera & McGuire are both DFA'ed.
Gerry - Thursday, April 01 2021 @ 10:35 AM EDT (#395593) #
Merryweather and Payamps get the last two roster spots.

McGuire and Valera are DFA'd.
Cracka - Thursday, April 01 2021 @ 10:39 AM EDT (#395594) #
The only other notable thing is that Kirby Yates was placed on the 10-day IL (along with Springer, Ray, Pearson, and Hatch); this technically leaves room for one more player on the 40-man roster, because Yates can go on 60-day IL.
Cracka - Thursday, April 01 2021 @ 10:42 AM EDT (#395595) #
And here's the taxi squad, with Riley Adams as the 3rd catcher:

ē C Riley Adams
ē LHP Travis Bergen
ē LHP Tommy Milone
ē RHP A.J. Cole
ē INF Santiago Espinal
Thomas - Thursday, April 01 2021 @ 11:23 AM EDT (#395596) #
I expect Graterol will replace Adams as soon as the minor league season starts. Maybe McGuire will replace Adams if he clears waivers, but I don't expect that.
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