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No more fooling around as the Blue Jays open their 2021 season in the Bronx. #BlueJays

Schedule/Probable Starters

Thursday at 1:05 pm EDT - Hyun-Jin Ryu vs. Gerrit Cole
Saturday at 1:05 pm EDT - Ross Stripling vs. Corey Kluber
Sunday at 1:05 pm EDT - TBA (could be TJZ - T.J. Zeuch) vs. Domingo German

Anyone who missed the glorious Juan Graterol era during Spring Training in 2017 when he donned #69 may see him again in Blue Jay blue. The Jays acquired the 32 year-old Venezuelan from the Los Angeles Angels for cash after hitting .300 over nine games this spring. Toronto plucked Graterol off waivers early in 2017 before sending him back to the Halos. Graterol is a career .218 hitter over 124 at-bats in his major league career that has seen him play for the Angels, Twins and Reds from 2016-2019. He began his pro career back in 2005 when he signed as a free agent with Kansas City.

Will there be any baseball at the Dome in 2021?

#2JB - I predict they'll be back August 20 against Detroit but the fan attendance turnstile will be stuck at zero until 2022.

Magpie - I think that's a little optimistic, sorry to say.

Eephus - The little kid in me wants to imagine September baseball at the Dome (at limited capacity) with the team in the heat of a division race. The realist in me though thinks it's exceedingly unlikely we see this team in Canada until 2022, sadly.

Gerry - I think there will be baseball but sure about the fan attendance. I will say baseball will be back in late July with the majority of players vaccinated. Fans might get back in late August or September but thats a 50/50 proposition.

Are expectations too high for this team after making the playoffs in 2020?

#2JB - I think this team played over its head in 2020 and I'd be shocked if they return to the postseason in 2021. They were so sloppy with their defence and base running last season. They were playing at an 86-win pace last year but I think if the season was longer, they would have missed the playoffs.

Magpie - Probably, but I think those expectations are mostly held by the players themselves. And that's OK. I don't think fans are particularly engaged, at this point.

Eephus - I think it depends what you expect. If you're thinking "playoffs or bust" then you might be disappointed. They've got a shot, but seeing the young players continue to make positive strides even on an 84 win team certainly wouldn't be a disaster. 

Gerry - I think that often after a step forward teams take a breather the next year. That could happen with the Jays, plus the starting rotation does not look playoff worthy right now. Most expectations I see are for around 88 wins and a wild card spot. I don't think that is too ambitious, I see it as realistic.

Will George Springer live up to the mega contract he was given?

#2JB - The Springer era is off to a tough start already with his oblique injury putting him on the DL. Given the controversy surrounding him during his time with the *s when they cheated their way to a World Series title in 2017, he'll need to prove himself with his new club. At least Springer has made amends with his current teammate Ross Stripling, who was a member of the 2017 Los Angeles Dodgers who lost the World Series. Still, it sticks in my craw that Springer got richly rewarded for cheating.

Magpie - I think he'll have at least a couple of outstanding seasons in Toronto, and be no worse than playable by the end of his deal. Which is probably the cost of doing business.

Eephus - It'll be an overpay near the end, as most big free agent contracts are. As long as he's healthy, though, he'll be fine for a while. He's a top 8 MLB outfielder and elite players are the kind you spend big on.

Will Slim Daddy Vladdy reach 100 RBI?

#2JB - He showed up to spring training in shape and mashed the ball this spring. Sure, why not?

Magpie - I have a message for AL infielders. Be afraid. Be very afraid. You might want to think about backing up a little.

Eephus - I'm way more encouraged by his mobility. He looks quicker around the bases, even made some nice athletic plays at third and first (maybe he can actually be the backup 3B). It seems popular to predict a monster year with the bat but man, like Magpie said I wouldn't wanna play third base when he comes up.

Will Robbie Ray and Steven Matz extend their strong springs into the season?

#2JB - I can see Ray having a decent enough season but I'm wary of Matz. I'm usually concerned about acquiring pitchers from the National League because they are not as familiar with facing the beasts of the AL East. I've had this affliction since Joey Hamilton (thanks Dave Stewart!). Ray was the first pitcher to sign a free-agent deal in the off-season and his comfort level with pitching coach Pete Walker may lead to good things.

Magpie - Whereas I've always liked Matz, probably for no good reason, and I'm wary of Ray, I think both of them can extend their fine spring work into the season. Whether they actually will... do I look like Nostradamus to you? (Let me get my hair cut before you answer that.)

Will Nate Pearson pitch 100 innings this season?

#2JB - The good news is he is out with a groin injury instead of an arm-related one. Still, staying healthy is a skill as he did miss time after his MLB call-up last year with a flexor strain in his right elbow. He did reach the 100 inning mark in 2019 when he split the season in Dunedin, New Hampshire and Buffalo so he has done it before. If the Jays have any hope of contending, he'll need to reach the century mark in IP this year and I say he will reach it.

Magpie - Probably, but I'm reluctant to bet any of the money in your pockets on that proposition.

Eephus - I'm beginning to have concerns. Granted they mostly haven't been arm injuries, but guys who get hurt a lot tend to continue getting hurt a lot. If he gets to 100 innings though that would be a good counter-argument. Prove me wrong, Big Nate!

With Kirby Yates out for the year, who will lead the Jays in saves?

#2JB - I think it will be Jordan Romano. He did whiff nearly 13 batters every nine innings last year but so did David Phelps, who split last year with Philly and Milwaukee. I'd say Dolis would have a shot but he has a bad back right now.

Magpie - I would have expected Dolis to get first crack at the job - managers, and players, do like the idea of a Designated Closer. And I think Dolis would be good enough to hold keep the role. Romano may be 28 in three weeks, but he's effectively a rookie and I don't know if Montoyo is comfortable with going there. But making a rookie into The Closer has repeatedly worked out pretty well for this franchise, from Victor Cruz to Roberto Osuna, with people like Hall, Escobar, Koch, and Frasor along the way. 

Eephus - It might be a mishmash of guys at first (Dolis, Phelps, Chatwood, my sleeper pick Borucki) but eventually I think Romano claims the job. That or they trade for somebody in June.

Who will be the first player to get traded by the Blue Jays during the season?

#2JB - Tanner Roark for cash considerations.

Magpie - Randal Grichuk to the White Sox!

Who gets to the majors first? Alek Manoah or Simeon Woods Richardson?

#2JB - Manoah will be up after the trade deadline July 31. SWR will be up in September.

Magpie - Large Alek. He's not big, he's large.

Eephus - Mountain Manoah! Crazy take: Manoah closing games in September. Ah? Ah? It worked for Adam Wainwright.

Who gets to the majors first? Forrest Wall or Logan Warmoth?

#2JB - Warmoth. Don't discount the fact he was the Jays first pick of 2017.

Magpie - Why would anyone ask me? You think Warmoth? OK, I'll go with that.

Eephus - We could see Wall first if Springer is injured and Jon Davis just can't hack major league pitching. Unless it's September it's probably a bad sign if we see either.

How many wins will the Blue Jays get?

#2JB - I'm thinking between 78-82 wins.

Magpie - The franchise has had four 89 win seasons and four 86 win seasons. The tie must be broken, so I say 86.

Eephus - I think I said 89 in the other thing, so I'll stick with that. Health permitting, of course.

Playoff Predictions?

#2JB - AL - Yankees, White Sox, A's, Rays, Twins NL - Atlanta, Cards, Dodgers, Padres, Mets World Series - Dodgers over Yankees in 6.

Magpie - Like I have a clue. AL: Yankees, Twins, Angels, Astros, Rays. NL: Mets, Cardinals, Dodgers, Padres, Braves.  The AL playoff teams merge and form an All-Star squad to play the Dodgers. They get whipped anyway.

Biggest disappointment of offseason? No dedicated radio broadcast, the Jays inability to acquire starting pitching or other?

#2JB - Tie. Also disappointed the Jays' so-called High Performance department can't keep anybody healthy.

Magpie - I should be disappointed in the radio business, but I haven't actually had a working radio around the house for at least ten years. It's a little hard for me to honestly say I'm disappointed. So I merely disapprove. I'm more disappointed that chronic government impatience is likely going to screw up the chance of having any live baseball here in 2021.

Eephus - The radio stuff is very discouraging, kind of a middle finger to a big portion of the fan base for no legitimate reason. I'll echo the government impatience stuff Mags said as well.
Blue Jays @ Yankees - April 1, 3-4 | 209 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Magpie - Thursday, April 01 2021 @ 12:50 PM EDT (#395599) #
They're playing Darth Vader's music for the visiting team? Have they always done that at Yankee Stadium?
Chuck - Thursday, April 01 2021 @ 01:00 PM EDT (#395600) #
That was going to be one of my comments. The visitors get that music? The unmitigated gall. Have they no mirrors?

Question: What percentage of the Yankees' games will see Judge/Hicks/Stanton all in the line-up?

Question: Will Gardner end up with more AB than Judge? Than Hicks? Than Stanton?

Question: How many teams bat their 1B and LF 8/9? (yes, back-up 1B, I know)

Chuck - Thursday, April 01 2021 @ 01:02 PM EDT (#395601) #
I'm more disappointed that chronic government impatience is likely going to screw up the chance of having any live baseball here in 2021.

A selfish, undisciplined citizenry shares in the blame.

92-93 - Thursday, April 01 2021 @ 01:03 PM EDT (#395602) #
It's fantastic to have baseball back. Let's Go BlueJays!!!

Interesting to see Semien over Biggio in the leadoff spot, especially when they plan on going Springer-Semien during the season. Perhaps it's to maximize the distance between the two lefty bats, but they won't be caring about that with a healthy roster and Tellez and Biggio slotted near each other.

Luke Voit is a big boy.
rpriske - Thursday, April 01 2021 @ 01:08 PM EDT (#395603) #
Why were they booing Luke Bout.
rpriske - Thursday, April 01 2021 @ 01:09 PM EDT (#395604) #
Magpie - Thursday, April 01 2021 @ 01:17 PM EDT (#395605) #
Pretty sure that was "LUUUUUK"
Magpie - Thursday, April 01 2021 @ 01:18 PM EDT (#395606) #
Luke Bout

Let me guess - posted on a phone? Something without an actual keyboard?
Magpie - Thursday, April 01 2021 @ 01:25 PM EDT (#395607) #
I don't know how it sounds on the radio, but Dan and Buck are clearly working pretty hard to avoid any Dead Air.
92-93 - Thursday, April 01 2021 @ 01:27 PM EDT (#395608) #
Pasta divin Torres.
Magpie - Thursday, April 01 2021 @ 01:29 PM EDT (#395609) #
Damn. They have to move the mound back. Vlad is going to kill a pitcher one of these days.
Eephus - Thursday, April 01 2021 @ 01:30 PM EDT (#395610) #
Geez Vlad almost killed Cole and LeMahieu with that hit. My oh my.
Chuck - Thursday, April 01 2021 @ 01:44 PM EDT (#395611) #
I don't know how it sounds on the radio, but Dan and Buck are clearly working pretty hard to avoid any Dead Air.

Part of that is attributable to Buck's nature and part, likely, to the dynamics of two people sitting in different cities. Hopefully they find a comfort level with this since radio listeners likely won't be using the mute button like I am.

blu-j - Thursday, April 01 2021 @ 01:52 PM EDT (#395612) #
Textbook example of "bloop and a blast" -- Sigh, I really hate the Yankees.
Hodgie - Thursday, April 01 2021 @ 02:47 PM EDT (#395613) #
The exit velocity on young Vladdy's single, 114.1 mph. Waiting for the first hazard pay clause to be negotiated by an AL East rival infielder.
Eephus - Thursday, April 01 2021 @ 02:53 PM EDT (#395614) #
grjas - Thursday, April 01 2021 @ 02:54 PM EDT (#395615) #
Infield defence has looked pretty good. Vlad was a bit unlucky with his foot off the bag. But overall they’ve been pretty solid.
scottt - Thursday, April 01 2021 @ 03:02 PM EDT (#395616) #
Better defense this year.
92-93 - Thursday, April 01 2021 @ 03:42 PM EDT (#395617) #
One call can change a game. Jansen took what looked like Ball 4 for Strike 3 to end the top of the 2nd with two men on and Cole on the ropes a bit. The walk would have loaded the bases and turned the lineup over, further driving his pitch count up. Cole settled in after that before getting yanked in the 6th.

Vlad loves telling the bench to challenge calls with enthusiasm, and he is almost never right. It's cute. He's been scoopin em nicely all day.

The arm hasn't been good, but Biggio looks kinda comfortable at 3B this afternoon. There aren't too many competent 3B that hit from the left side.
Eephus - Thursday, April 01 2021 @ 04:36 PM EDT (#395618) #
Heck of a ballgame, eh?

I agree Biggio’s arm isn’t ideal for a third baseman, but he’s looked pretty smooth and sharp over there all afternoon.
Nigel - Thursday, April 01 2021 @ 04:41 PM EDT (#395619) #
We should have a pool to guess an over/under on how many of the 19 games against the Yankees O'Day is going to get into this year - I'd bet over 13, maybe 14.
Magpie - Thursday, April 01 2021 @ 04:51 PM EDT (#395620) #
Biggio’s arm isn’t ideal for a third baseman

No, but he gets rid of it very quickly which helps a lot. And he knew he was coming home with that last grounder before it had bounced twice. He's just one of those guys who processes the game better and faster than most people. It's something you often notice in basketball players (Kyle Lowry!) and hockey players (Wayne Gretzky, duh.) Not so much in baseball, where the action is generally far more structured.
blu-j - Thursday, April 01 2021 @ 04:55 PM EDT (#395621) #
Heck of save by Merryweather!  Can't ask for much more than 3 Ks!!!!
Glevin - Thursday, April 01 2021 @ 04:55 PM EDT (#395622) #
That was some inning by Merryweather. Super impressive.
Magpie - Thursday, April 01 2021 @ 04:55 PM EDT (#395623) #
Jays win the Donaldson trade!
grjas - Thursday, April 01 2021 @ 04:56 PM EDT (#395624) #
Well I guess we know now what Merryweather can do. Now can he stay healthy ?
Eephus - Thursday, April 01 2021 @ 04:57 PM EDT (#395625) #
I’d like to change my pick for the Blue Jays saves leader. That was an electric inning.
hypobole - Thursday, April 01 2021 @ 05:03 PM EDT (#395626) #
That was great, although I'm still fuming at Montoyo for that Jansen bunt. Merryweather is going to be real weapon if, and that's a big if, he can stay healthy.

On the subject of health, the guy we traded for Merryweather lasted a half inning today. Hobbled into 2nd on a 1st inning double and was replaced in the bottom of the inning.
bpoz - Thursday, April 01 2021 @ 05:04 PM EDT (#395627) #
Feels great to beat the NYY.
Gerry - Thursday, April 01 2021 @ 05:12 PM EDT (#395628) #
Some thoughts....

It is great to win this game with Stripling and Zeuch starting the next two games.

Romano needs to do a better job with holding runners, especially at second. He was predictable with his cursory looks. Romano is very intense and I think that hurts him sometimes.

As others have noted, Merryweather looked great.

Dolis also was sharp.

Should you ask a hitter to bunt when he is not comfortable or good at it (Jansen)

Biggio, who rarely strikes out, did so three times today. He was victimized by some good pitches right on or just outside the edge of the zone.
scottt - Thursday, April 01 2021 @ 05:27 PM EDT (#395629) #
There were some bad things, but there were more good things.
I think Jansen, batting 9th, is expected to bunt late in games, when a single run is valuable.
I imagine that's something he's been told to practice, so I can't fault the manager if he can't do it.

Lead off walks suck, especially when coming from the pen, but it's the first game and guys are nervous.

It's obvious that the Yankees have scouted the Jays well and know when Romano is going to the plate.
He's going to have to work on that.

Phelps didn't have control. 2 hits, 1 walks, 0 strikeout is not a good line for a reliever.
Here's hoping he finds it fast.

Keeping Grichuk pays off immediately, but I would have liked him to score as well.
Also, the outfielders produced all 3 runs.

The strike zone was not very consistent, but not terribly bad either.

Awesome game to watch.

hypobole - Thursday, April 01 2021 @ 05:29 PM EDT (#395630) #
Did anyone listen to the game on radio? I had to run an errand in the middle innings and had no issues with Buck and Dan.

Nice piece of hitting by "nobody's favourite Blue Jay" in the 10th to drive in the winning run.

Oh, and an early Bucky moment. Rails about managers who say they're not going to steal bases, and moments later Grichuk tries to steal 2nd and gets thrown out.
SK in NJ - Thursday, April 01 2021 @ 05:32 PM EDT (#395631) #
Merryweather was filthy in that inning. Nice win. The Jansen bunt with 2 strikes defies any sort of baseball logic, but Montoyo has done it before and will probably keep doing it, unfortunately. Not sure what point he is trying to make with it, though. He's not managing the 2019 team anymore. This team is expected to win. He has to adjust accordingly.
scottt - Thursday, April 01 2021 @ 05:38 PM EDT (#395632) #
It shouldn't matter if the hitter likes bunting or if he's good at it.
If you don't want to bunt, better start hitting over .260.
It's a case where a walk doesn't help because it sets up a double play.
Otherwise you could bring Kirk in instead.

Bunting is a lot easier than hitting.
That's why they ask pitchers to bunt.

scottt - Thursday, April 01 2021 @ 05:40 PM EDT (#395633) #
I think just before that he said that the Jays were going to steal more bases this year and that they have maybe 6 guys who can steal, but none that are real basestealers.
scottt - Thursday, April 01 2021 @ 05:42 PM EDT (#395634) #
Fist day, first covid-19 postponed game.
Gerry - Thursday, April 01 2021 @ 05:45 PM EDT (#395635) #
I have a copy of "The Book" by Tom Tango and others.

On page 30 there is a run expectancy chart for 5 runs per game per team.

With a runner on second on no outs, the expected runs is 1.192. With a runner on third and one out the expected runs is .999. The bunt makes you less likely to score.

The numbers are worse if you consider that the success of the batter is less than 50% at getting the runner over. If you had confidence in the hitter being successful it might be a close play in run expectancy if you consider the likelihood of an error, but the Jays dont have a good bunter as far as I know.

This front office prides itself on being analytically focused but still lets Montoya go with the bunt.
Gerry - Thursday, April 01 2021 @ 05:47 PM EDT (#395636) #
One other point. I assume someone has analyzed last years extra innings games and compared the scores of teams that attempted to bunt with those that didn't. I haven't seen it.
Super Bluto - Thursday, April 01 2021 @ 05:53 PM EDT (#395637) #
I listened on the radio and was pleasantly surprised. Only a few times did one or the other of them say "As you can see..." And even during the Vlad requested video replay I didn't feel like I was missing anything. Shulman is great. I'm not as sure that Buck will be able to juggle like he does.
GabrielSyme - Thursday, April 01 2021 @ 06:28 PM EDT (#395638) #
Should you ask a hitter to bunt when he is not comfortable or good at it (Jansen) No. Absolutely not.
grjas - Thursday, April 01 2021 @ 06:35 PM EDT (#395639) #
I loved the looks on Yankee hitters faces after Merryweather followed up a 99mph fastball with an 80mph change. This guy could be quite the starter if his body ever allowed it. But I’ll take him as is in the late innings.
Mike Green - Thursday, April 01 2021 @ 06:41 PM EDT (#395640) #
Totally satisfying win. The infield defence was a lot better.

Again, I like this club better than the consensus- 92 wins and a playoff spot of some kind, and deeper into the playoffs than last year. Alek Manoah and SWR will both play significant roles in the postseason.
Magpie - Thursday, April 01 2021 @ 07:02 PM EDT (#395641) #
With a runner on second on no outs, the expected runs is 1.192.

OK, but I would assume there's going to be some variance on how many runs to expect when Mike Trout is hitting and how many to expect when Danny Jansen is hitting. I don't know (or care) how comfortable Jansen is bunting, but coming into today's game he'd attempted 5 sac bunts as a major leaguer and been successful 4 times.
greenfrog - Thursday, April 01 2021 @ 07:28 PM EDT (#395642) #
When Yates got hurt, I thought: “Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold...” But the ‘pen is looking promising.
Magpie - Thursday, April 01 2021 @ 07:34 PM EDT (#395643) #
Merryweather is loosed upon the world?
scottt - Thursday, April 01 2021 @ 07:37 PM EDT (#395644) #
Mostly, I've seen discussions on bunting to score the first run.
Normally, it's assumed that the visiting team will not bunt to score the first run or that the home team will not bunt unless the visiting team failed to score. 
Obviously, it depends on where you are in the lineup.
I can easily imagine the Rays bunting with Zunnino to put the game away.

Magpie - Thursday, April 01 2021 @ 07:39 PM EDT (#395645) #
still lets Montoya go with the bunt.

Way, way too much is being made of this (I plead guilty, too.) Let's remember that last year's team had 8 sac bunts and all but one of of them came from Jansen (.183 hitter) and McGuire (.073 hitter.) Montoyo's not asking actual hitters to bunt.

I also think it's worthwhile to make the other team believe they have to defend against it. And if you don't bunt late in a tie game with a man on second and your number 9 hitter (who hit .183 last year) at the plate - you've effectively announced that you're never, never going to bunt under any circumstances whatsoever and the other team doesn't even have to think about it.
earlweaverfan - Thursday, April 01 2021 @ 08:18 PM EDT (#395646) #
I would say that the best - Dolis, Romano and Merryweather, in ascending order - retained all conviction!
John Northey - Thursday, April 01 2021 @ 11:01 PM EDT (#395647) #
Argh - got distracted so I never posted to this. Fun game and after seeing Merryweather I wouldn't be shocked if he ends up the #1 closer (but never 2 days in a row) with Romero getting a lot too on the alternate days. Much like the old Henke/Ward combo back in the early 90's. Both would get lots of saves with Henke getting the most. A shame the Jays didn't resign Henke but it made sense at the time. Who knew Ward had 1 year left on his arm while Henke had years before he'd retire with some miles left? If Merryweather goes for a decade I'd be shocked, but it could happen. That heater is nasty.

I'd hope the Jays are back this year, but with the on again off again crap we're seeing with the 'mockdown' (so much still open I wouldn't call it a lockdown) and the horrid mess of distributing vaccine (700k+ in freezers here in Ontario now with more in freezers everyday than the day before). If I was at a press conference where someone claimed there isn't enough vaccine while freezers are full I'd slap him with a stick. From 6 feet away of course.

Slim Vladdy looked really good out there today on offense and defense. I'm hopeful for more than 30 HR 100 RBI's - I'm thinking 40/120 is more likely. Lets hope I'm right.

Springer...I hope he isn't a flop in the end. He should be good. One can't help but worry when he starts injured though.

If Pearson gets 100 IP this year I'll be happy. I'm not betting on it though. I expect whenever he returns that it'll be 3 inning starts, maybe 5 by years end. The guy who piggybacks with him will get lots of chances for cheap wins if he can go 3 innings and hold a lead.
Cynicalguy - Friday, April 02 2021 @ 12:05 AM EDT (#395648) #
When Pearson is healthy, I would try to get him to ramp up as many innings as possible as quickly as possible for the year, so the 3 inning starts are a bad idea. What if he gets hurt again after making like 15 three inning starts? It would be another lost year in the goal of making him a starter capable of throwing 170+ innings in a year. He needs to throw like 100-125 innings this year to be able to reach 150+ next year. Pearson almost needs to be a stud starter if the Jays have hopes of a winning a world series in the next few years...him being a high leverage reliever would be a huge disappointment.
vw_fan17 - Friday, April 02 2021 @ 12:13 AM EDT (#395649) #
Honestly, when I saw Merryweather coming in for the 10th, I felt it was like Joey McLaughlin of old - we had run out of good pitchers, and a 2-run HR was about to happen. WOW, was I wrong!
John Northey - Friday, April 02 2021 @ 01:08 AM EDT (#395650) #
And I can't resist this one...
bpoz - Friday, April 02 2021 @ 08:26 AM EDT (#395651) #
Merryweather's outing will certainly boost his confidence. Hope he can stay healthy.
dalimon5 - Friday, April 02 2021 @ 08:45 AM EDT (#395652) #
I predict Pearson will fall behind Manoah and SWR by year's end.
Mike Green - Friday, April 02 2021 @ 09:08 AM EDT (#395653) #
I am a big fan of Montoyo, but I disagreed with the decision to have Jansen bunt and strongly disagreed with the decision to continue having him bunt with two strikes.

My reasoning:

1. This does not cut either way, but run expectancy is not the relevant factor but win expectancy.  A successful bunt may not increase run expectancy but may increase win expectancy- three chances of one additional run are better than one chance of four additional runs in the situation.

And we don't really have sufficient data for win expectancy in the 10th with the runner on second rule.

2. Jansen is a better hitter than his batting average during the regular season in 2020 shows. 

3. He looked very good in his at-bats earlier in the game- fighting off 99 mph fastballs from Cole with a 3-2 count in a tough situation and taking a pitch that was called a strike but was outside, among other things

4. Most importantly, he looked very awkward on his first two attempts to bunt.

5. The decision to have him bunt with two strikes was likely both a poor percentage play and would not help him build his confidence. 

I do believe that the bunt has a place, but Jansen is a heady player and I would give him the option to bunt.  Maybe he feels much more comfortable with his ability to hit the ball on the ground on the right side than to get down a bunt.  He's smart enough to know the importance of one additional run in that situation and I wouldn't at all be worried about him swinging for the fences. 
scottt - Friday, April 02 2021 @ 09:47 AM EDT (#395654) #
Hopefully, Person will lose his prospect eligibility so the point will be moot.

Realistically, SWR and Manoah need to keep developing as starting pitchers all year.
I'm not sure about Luciano. I think he could be promoted late if he makes the grades.
Less reason to hold him. He does have a good fastball. Just need to work on the secondary pitches.
Sure, if Manoah gets to AA and keeps mowing hitters through 5 or 6 innings, we could see him.
That's a huge if and he'd probably start in the pen.
SWR has probably more in the tank and could make a few starts if he dominates the minors.
Joe Murray, pitching at AAA with a faster invisiball, is the guy on the threshold.
Interestingly, I see Yates still on the 10-IL as they designated McGuire to make room for Mayza.
So, there is a 40 roster spot available if needed.
I'm hopeful there is some deal being worked out for McGuire.
Hatch could start later in the year, if he gets healthy and does well in AAA.
Murphy would be nice to have in the bullpen eventually too.

Worth noting, the minimum for an optional assignment to the minors is only 10 days this year.
Do we know who's on the taxi squad? Must be at least 3 players, no more than 5 and include a catcher.
Maybe Kay, Bergen and Graterol?
Will Panik start in one of the games? I hope not.
Kinda hard to start Davis when all the outfielders are hitting and Guerrero is on the ball.
I guess they could sit Tellez for one game and DH an outfielder, but do you really need outfield defense at Yankees Stadium? I expect to see Mayza and Borucki if they start Gardner. No expectation for Payamps.

scottt - Friday, April 02 2021 @ 10:01 AM EDT (#395655) #
It's situational. If you're more confident in holding the Yankees to 1 run in the next inning than in further innings, that's what you do.

I'll go with Montoyo, who has decades of players development experience on building confidence.

Jansen is expected to bunt and knows how to do it.
If he's not looking good, it's probably because he's not seeing the ball well with this particular pitcher and swinging isn't likely to go any better.

When asked about what to expect of the Jays lineup this year, Jansen said I know one thing, I'm batting 9th.

The Jays are 1-0 in extra inning games and in 1 run games.
That is a very good start.

I chuckled when I saw all the whining about the man on second rule, all about the Yankees-Jays game, none about the other extra inning games.

bpoz - Friday, April 02 2021 @ 10:12 AM EDT (#395656) #
5.1 IP for both Cole and Ryu which is ok considering the lineups they were facing. Jansen may have been the the weakest hitter of both starting lineups but he did have 1 long AB against Cole.
bpoz - Friday, April 02 2021 @ 10:33 AM EDT (#395657) #
Thanks scottt for explaining the rules for promoting and demoting players. There are many more situations that I don't understand.

J Payamps & T Bergen (RH/LH) can be exchanged after a not important usage. Payamps cannot come back for 10 days which is not much of a loss. Both need regular work in the minors to sharpen for ML use. Sorry this is not a good example.
Nigel - Friday, April 02 2021 @ 11:29 AM EDT (#395658) #
Although I generally don’t think very highly of Montero’s in game strategic decision making, I actually thought the initial decision to have Jansen bunt was at least defensible - for a number of the reasons Magpie mentioned. Psychologically, a second run in that situation (against the Yankees with the heart of their lineup due up) seemed important. The decision to keep the bunt on with two strikes has no defence that I can think of.
electric carrot - Friday, April 02 2021 @ 11:29 AM EDT (#395659) #
Personally, as a long time fan, I do not recall a better start to the season than yesterday. Let's hope it continues and we win the series.
scottt - Friday, April 02 2021 @ 12:16 PM EDT (#395660) #
The hardest thing about bunting is that the pitcher might throw a ball and it's hard to recognize that and get out of the way and not be charged with an attempted bunt.
However, in this scenario, you want to make contact and bunt even if the pitch is not a strike, especially on a low ball just below the knees. On a high ball, it's easy to pop up and make an out.
So, Jansen who can't hit for .200, can't  bunt for 1.000.
That's OK. Nobody's perfect. He still had a great game and that tag in the 8th inning was perfect.

There are a couple of interesting things about the schedule.
The Jays go to Texas, and then back to host the Angels and Yankees then off to Kansas City (better in April than in August) before their fist day off.
The Yankees play Baltimore next and then get a day off before hitting the road.

The Yankees play 3 games in Tampa, 3 in Dunedin and then get another day off before hosting the Rays.
So, while well rested, the Yankees can't focus on the Jays as the Rays had their number last year.

The Jays have days off on the road between KC and Boston, between Boston and Tampa, between Tampa and Dunedin and then between 2 home series.

It's also worth taking note that Dunedin is a hitter's park, so the home stretch in April/May could be challenging.
Or we could see many late inning rallies.
They host the Angels, the Yankees, the Nats, the Braves, the Phillies (they totally owned them in the Spring), Boston and the Rays.

Magpie - Friday, April 02 2021 @ 12:37 PM EDT (#395661) #
This does not cut either way, but run expectancy is not the relevant factor but win expectancy.

This is being discussed, as game strategy decisions tend to get discussed, entirely on its impact on this particular game. But there's its relevance to the season as well. In other words, I foresee Jansen driving in a run because he got a grounder past a third baseman who knew he had to come in even with the bag, it being established that Jansen can, and the Blue Jays will, occasionally bunt in this situation.

I have these visions, you see.

News! I just received a text message inviting me to a pharmacy in my neighbourhood on Monday next to get an injection of some vaccine. Think I'll go.
uglyone - Friday, April 02 2021 @ 12:41 PM EDT (#395662) #
So now is the test - can we beat the yanks without Ryu on the mound?
scottt - Friday, April 02 2021 @ 01:32 PM EDT (#395663) #
In a way, we just did, but can the other starters get to the 6th with no more than 2 runs?
It would be nice to have a big offensive day in one of the 2 games.
I don't think Kluber gets 100 pitches. German might, he's going to be their whipping boy.
I think Chapman is back on Sunday.

Cole didn't want to throw anything to Vladdy after that first inning, but Semien, Biggio and Bichette have gone 0-for-14.

In other news, Donaldson hit a double and then got pulled because of a hamstring injury.

92-93 - Friday, April 02 2021 @ 02:58 PM EDT (#395664) #
In fairness to Montoyo, Wilner claims that the manager "had said many times in the past that when he asks a hitter to sacrifice, he’s going to keep the sign on through the at-bat, giving the hitter three chances to get a bunt down. So this is just something we’re going to have to get used to."

Is it really that much better to call off the bunt with two strikes? Anti-bunters love to hate the bunt precisely because it gives the hitter little chance at a successful PA if he misses on his first two attempts. Perhaps letting the hitter know he has three chances mitigates that a bit.

Magpie is correct that keeping the defense honest is an important factor. Most people here might prefer letting Jansen swing away from the start, but keeping the bunt on with two strikes does make some sense if you thought it was appropriate to begin with.

It's a bit discouraging having Stripling and Zeuch on the bump after such a nice opener, but Kluber and German aint exactly Spahn and Sain. Hopefully they can at least slap German around.

Hearing Yankees fans booing Stanton after he struck out in the bottom of the 10th is delightful music to these ears.

It's a pleasure watching Cole pitch. He's a fast, efficient pitcher.
Magpie - Friday, April 02 2021 @ 03:17 PM EDT (#395665) #
Whoa. MLB is pulling the All-Star game and the draft out of Atlanta.
Magpie - Friday, April 02 2021 @ 03:25 PM EDT (#395666) #
I am informed that, technically, the game is being pulled out of Cobb County rather than Atlanta, which is on the east side of the Chattahoochee River. The ballpark, in Cobb County, is on the west side. Today's geography exercise. Why have I never heard the name of the river before? That's a great name!
Mike Green - Friday, April 02 2021 @ 03:28 PM EDT (#395667) #
Magpie, I had the first shot of the Astra Zeneca a few weeks ago, courtesy of being in the 60-64 age group. I lived to tell the tale and I do feel better about my chances of survival. Still taking every possible precaution to avoid infecting others (AZ apparently does not help with transmission but does help in preventing serious illness and death in those who get it).  I have moved to grocery delivery, which pains me, but is necessary in my circumstances.

The way Jansen prepared to bunt means that the future value of the effort in sowing the seed in the opposition's mind is negligible.  He squared to bunt so early and with such obvious commitment to it that a third baseman could play back comfortably until he squares. 

For what it's worth, I like the bunt more with runners on 1st and 2nd and no out than with a runner just on second, because of the risk of the DP if you swing away. 


Magpie - Friday, April 02 2021 @ 03:54 PM EDT (#395668) #
Me too. And I wouldn't like it if the team hadn't already taken the lead.
Nigel - Friday, April 02 2021 @ 04:40 PM EDT (#395669) #
I’ll say this as a member of the anti-bunt league - runners on first and second, 8th inning or later, with a pitcher and/or hitter prone to a DP - a bunt is often the right call.
scottt - Friday, April 02 2021 @ 04:56 PM EDT (#395670) #
That's good. I heard of some actors boycotting moving filming out of Georgia.
John Northey - Friday, April 02 2021 @ 05:25 PM EDT (#395671) #
Not a fan of bunts myself but I do miss the mid 80's when we had teams doing all kinds of things. The Angels bunted non-stop back then, the Jays never did, the Cardinals stole non-stop, Red Sox were station to station. Whatever theory of baseball you believed in was happening somewhere. Now too many are thinking the same. I'm glad the Rays do crazy things.
GabrielSyme - Friday, April 02 2021 @ 05:40 PM EDT (#395672) #
It's a little absurd. Georgia's voting laws look an awful lot like Canada's, and I am not inclined to think that we are "Jim Crow on Steroids."
GabrielSyme - Friday, April 02 2021 @ 05:56 PM EDT (#395673) #
Excellent point on Jansen, Mike.

It's not the worst call to bunt in that situation, but if you want to keep the opposition honest, you need to make all those bunts non-obvious. Instruct the batters not to square around until the pitcher's well into his motion; call for a bunt on the 2nd pitch of the at-bat, or the 1st and 3rd - not every pitch. Do that, and defences might have to take the threat of a bunt seriously.

I'm not entirely sold on the value or efficacy of keeping the defence honest. If it is valuable, maybe we should bunt in more situations, and with more players? But I'm inclined to think that the gain in getting the third baseman to play in a little isn't worth the losses involved in bunting in sub-optimal situations. It would be nice to see more players who've really worked on the art of bunting for a hit, though.
scottt - Friday, April 02 2021 @ 06:02 PM EDT (#395674) #
Well, Tampa vs Miami was a 1-0 affair.
Boyd over Bieber. Brewers over Twins. Pirates over Cubs. Phillies over Braves. Rockies over Dodgers. Angels over White Sox.

Glad I'm not betting on games, but you still see anything in April.
Including a 2-run homerun turning into an RBI single.

Baltimore 3-0 over Boston who only managed 2 hits.

The Yankees have a 4 man bench of Tauchman/Higashioka/wade/Gardner, which means that with Chapman's suspension, they only have a 7-man bullpen. Tampa has a 9-man pen, so maybe it's the Yankees who are doing things differently.

John Northey - Friday, April 02 2021 @ 06:44 PM EDT (#395675) #
Unlike Georgia we don't limit voting stations and force massive lineups to vote in certain areas, nor do we see political parties manipulate riding boundaries so they have a shot at more seats than they should get - FPTP does that badly enough as is. After record turnout they decided to cut the advance ballot time by more than 50%, made it illegal to send out ballots to people unsolicited, there were 94 drop boxes for advance ballots in the Atlanta area last election, next will be just 23, plus they will be indoors thus limiting hours and making it more uncomfortable for non-white's to go vote. They also banned mobile voting (which we've had available here in Ontario for a long time). Expanded early voting in small counties (more likely to be Republican) while not doing so in larger areas (more likely to be Democratic). Illegal to offer food or water to people stuck in hours long lineups to vote - a disgusting attempt to make it impossible for some to vote when they've already cut down ballot boxes and the rest.

I could go on but there is not a similarity between the one sided disgusting mess in Georgia and here in Ontario - thank god. I'm sure Ford would like to do that and is tinkering where he can get away with it (jumping how much individuals can donate for example knowing that the richest will donate to his party most likely) but our culture doesn't let him go whole hog like the racists in Georgia are doing.

Now, should MLB be the vehicle for forcing change? Probably not, but the US is set up for rich people to decide most stuff so given how rich MLB is they have the power (thus the responsibility) to push for change.
dalimon5 - Friday, April 02 2021 @ 07:00 PM EDT (#395676) #
After a game like that I am a little shocked that the biggest talking point is the bunt. Merriweather was God-esque, Teoscar and Vlad are turning into stars and Biggio/Bo continue to show they can't hit good pitching when it counts.

jerjapan - Friday, April 02 2021 @ 07:02 PM EDT (#395677) #
what John Northey said.
Now, should MLB be the vehicle for forcing change? Probably not
John, I disagree with you here.  The NBA is such proof that social justice can align with popular culture.  Yes, MLB should be an agent for positive social change.
the US is set up for rich people to decide most stuff so given how rich MLB is they have the power (thus the responsibility) to push for change.
For real.
John Northey - or anyone else - read Dave Zirin at the Nation?  or if you don't subscribe, at the link below?
Best commentary on the intersection between sports and politics that I know. 

Gerry - Friday, April 02 2021 @ 07:41 PM EDT (#395678) #

Georgia's voting laws look an awful lot like Canada's

Is it a crime in Canada anywhere to give water or food to someone waiting in line to vote? That law is not really necessary in Canada because we generally don't have two to four hour lineups to vote.

In regard to the taxi squad, I believe I saw its Tommy Millone as starter insurance, AJ Cole and Travis Bergen as bullpen insurance, Riley Adams for Catcher, and Santiago Espinal as infield insurance.

raptorsaddict - Friday, April 02 2021 @ 08:09 PM EDT (#395679) #
"The NBA is such proof that social justice can align with popular culture."

Yes, thank you for bringing this up jerjapan. I mean, who could possibly forget what incredible bravery the league and its stars showed in standing up to China when Daryl Morey tweeted his support for the protestors fighting for democracy in Hong Kong?

For those of you not familiar with the situation, here is the press release they put out when China responded by rescinding sponsorships:

“We recognize that the views expressed by Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey have deeply offended many of our friends and fans in China, which is regrettable.”

When a CNN reporter tried to ask the Rockets players about the controversy:

"Excuse me, we're taking basketball questions only," a team representative responded.

And then the great Lebron James, who personally makes millions of dollars off the countless number of human beings suffering in sweatshop labor conditions in China to make products with his name on them, explained that the real problem was Morey (the guy with a computer science degree from Northwestern and an MBA from MIT, and the man who basically brought the analytics revolution to basketball) didn't really understand free speech and wasn't educated on the situation in Hong Kong:

"Yes, we all do have freedom of speech," he said, "but at times, there are ramifications for the negative that can happen when you're not thinking about others, and you're only thinking about yourself. I don't want to get in a word sentence feud with Daryl Morey, but I believe he wasn't educated on the situation at hand, and he spoke. And so many people could have been harmed, not only financially, but physically, emotionally, spiritually."

In conclusion, it's obvious and undeniable that the NBA and its players are to be held up as a beacon of hope and a shining example of moral fortitude and principle in these trying times. They are true social justice warriors!

"Best commentary on the intersection between sports and politics that I know."

I don't want to get into a "word sentence feud" with jerjapan or John Northey, but personally I much preferred Da Box comment section when it focussed on the Jays instead of the latest Covid hysteria or rote recitation of leftist talking points on the political outrage du jour. There are a million places on the internet to have such discussions, but only one place to have in-depth, multi-comment back-and-forths on whether Danny Jansen should be made to bunt with two strikes.
scottt - Friday, April 02 2021 @ 08:36 PM EDT (#395680) #
I think you're thinking of the Fair Elections Act introduced by Harper/Poilievre in 2014.
Most of that was canceled right away by the Elections Modernization Act in as soon as the Liberals took power.

I go vote whenever I feel like. I walk in, cast my vote and walk out. Never waited a minute.

The First Past The Post system actually reduces the opportunity for suppression.
There's no point in suppressing voting in one riding if the winner stays the same.
You'd have to attack it one polling station at a time. Good luck with that.
One thing you do see, is political parties showing up in retirement homes to help folks who don't know what month we're in vote.

raptorsaddict - Friday, April 02 2021 @ 08:59 PM EDT (#395681) #
"Is it a crime in Canada anywhere to give water or food to someone waiting in line to vote? That law is not really necessary in Canada because we generally don't have two to four hour lineups to vote."

Here is what the Georgia law says:

"No person shall solicit votes in any manner or by any means or method, nor shall any person distribute or display any campaign material, nor shall any person give, offer to give, or participate in the giving of any money or gifts, including, but not limited to, food and drink, to an elector, nor shall any person solicit signatures for any petition, nor shall any person, other than election officials discharging their duties, establish or set up any tables or booths on any day in which ballots are being cast: (1) Within 150 feet of the outer edge of any building within which a polling place is established; (2) Within any polling place; or (3) Within 25 feet of any voter standing in line to vote at any polling place."

So while the focus in on those people who are supposedly going to die of dehydration waiting to vote, it's actually a general rule against inducement or influence at the polling station, and is very comparable to section 165 of the Canada Election Act:

"Prohibition — use of loudspeakers on polling day

165 No person shall use a loudspeaking device within hearing distance of a polling station on polling day for the purpose of promoting or opposing a political party that is listed on the ballot under the name of a candidate or the election of a candidate.

Prohibitions — emblems, etc., in polling station

166 (1) No person shall

(a) post or display in, or on the exterior surface of, a polling place any campaign literature or other material that could be taken as an indication of support for or opposition to a political party that is listed on the ballot under the name of a candidate or the election of a candidate; and

(b) while in a polling station, wear any emblem, flag, banner or other thing that indicates that the person supports or opposes any candidate or political party that is listed on the ballot under the name of a candidate, or the political or other opinions entertained, or supposed to be entertained, by the candidate or party."

As for some of the other objections raised, such as "After record turnout they decided to cut the advance ballot time by more than 50%,". Yes they did cut it by "more than 50%" - to 78 days. Which is longer than most entire election campaigns in Canada:

"Page 38: Not m̶o̶r̶e̶ earlier than 1̶8̶0̶ 78 days or less than 11 days prior to the date of the primary or election, or runoff of either, in which the elector desires to vote, any absentee elector may make, either by mail, by facsimile transmission, by electronic transmission, or in person in the registrar’s or absentee ballot clerk’s office, an application for an official ballot of the elector’s precinct to be voted at such primary, election, or runoff."

Another complaint was that they "made it illegal to send out ballots to people unsolicited". Here is what section 233(1) of the CEA requires to get a mail-in ballot:

"233 (1) The application for registration and special ballot shall be in the prescribed form and shall include the following information:
(a) the elector’s name and the address of his or her place of ordinary residence;
(b) the elector’s date of birth;
(c) satisfactory proof of the elector’s identity and residence;
(d) the elector’s mailing address; and
(e) any other information that the Chief Electoral Officer considers necessary to determine the elector’s entitlement to vote or the electoral district in which he or she may vote."

And here is what you need to vote if you show up on Election Day and aren't a registered elector in that district (this is relevant to the argument often made that merely requiring ANY picture ID for those who want to vote is somehow "a disgusting attempt to make it impossible for some to vote"):

161 (1) An elector whose name is not on the list of electors may register in person on polling day before an election officer if the elector

(a) provides as proof of his or her identity and residence the piece or pieces of identification referred to in paragraph 143(2)(a) or (b), respectively, the piece or one of those pieces containing an address that proves his or her residence; or
(b) proves his or her identity and residence by making the solemn declaration referred to in subsection 549.1(1) in writing and is accompanied by another elector whose name appears on the list of electors for the same polling station and who
(i) provides the piece or pieces of identification referred to in paragraph 143(2)(a) or (b), respectively, the piece or one of those pieces containing either an address that proves that other elector’s residence or an address that is consistent with information related to that other elector that appears on the list of electors, and
(ii) vouches for the elector by making the solemn declaration referred to in subsection 549.1(2) in writing.

So Canada makes in infinitely harder than Georgia to vote in many ways, and yet nary a peep from the outraged about it. Funny that.

Perhaps it's because this is one of those deeply partisan issues where reality and facts are completely irrelevant. Nothing I say here will change anyones pre-formed opinion. The Dem's will argue that any voting laws (such as those in Canada requiring voter ID) are "voter suppression" founded in racism, and the GOP will argue that the Dem's are guilty of "election fraud". And basically no one, save for legal geeks like me, is going to bother going read what the legislation actually says (except for Lebron, who has no doubt studied it in-depth before forming his opinion on the matter).
scottt - Friday, April 02 2021 @ 09:05 PM EDT (#395682) #
As far as I know, the NBA does not play in Hong Kong.
Obviously, I think it's OK for any Chinese player to express any opinion they have about the situation in China/Hong Kong/Taiwan and the like, but I'm not sure it's a good idea for the NBA to take a stance on what is going on in other country. MLB is certainly not getting involved in the situation in Cuba or in Venezuela where many players come from. For example, a player's family could be negatively affected by a stance taken by the league.

Hollywood is a better place for this, but the cost can be huge and the benefit minimal.

No cost was spared in trying to find fraudulent voting in Georgia. Practically none was found.
The Georgia demographics have change from 71% white, 29% black in 1990, to 60% white, 30% black in 2010.
Thanks to Trump, with don't really have 2020 numbers.
Flash back of Harper canceling the long survey.

scottt - Friday, April 02 2021 @ 09:16 PM EDT (#395683) #
So Canada makes in infinitely harder than Georgia to vote in many ways, and yet nary a peep from the outraged about it. Funny that.

That's ridiculous. I get a card in the mail before the election.
On election day I go to the place listed on that card and hand them the card.
They give me a ballot. I fill it behind a screen. Done.

No waiting. No ID. I don't have to wait 5 hours in line outside after rushing from work and before the polls close.
I usually vote in a school gym. I walk by tables, food vending machines, painted murals, etc.
raptorsaddict - Friday, April 02 2021 @ 09:29 PM EDT (#395684) #
"As far as I know, the NBA does not play in Hong Kong."

There is a massive relationship between the NBA and China that they've been building for a few decades. They play exhibition games in China regularly, and have a 1.5$ billion dollar deal with Tencent to stream games there, and the vast majority of their merchandise (shoes, apparel, etc.) are manufactured there.

"Obviously, I think it's OK for any Chinese player to express any opinion they have about the situation in China/Hong Kong/Taiwan and the like....."

Ummmmm......China is a totalitarian state where the rule of law and free speech does not exist. So no, it would be extremely not-OK for any Chinese player to express even the slightest bit of dissent, without risking serious danger to his family and friends. Which is what makes their attempts to claim any moral high ground on political issues so hypocritical.

".....I'm not sure it's a good idea for the NBA to take a stance on what is going on in other country. "

But I thought they cared about "democracy" and "social justice"?

"MLB is certainly not getting involved in the situation in Cuba or in Venezuela where many players come from. For example, a player's family could be negatively affected by a stance taken by the league."

In my opinion, the fact that they don't say anything about Cuba or Venezuela has everything to do with how it might effect their ability to stock their teams with players from those countries, and very little to do with how it might negatively effect the player's families.

Moreover, this point re: Cuba and Venezuela only further illustrates my point that MLB and the NBA don't ACTUALLY give a damn about anything other than their bottom line (see: Chinese slave labor making their products). Which, again, is precisely why I find their attempts at signalling their faux-virtue so galling and hypocritical.
Gerry - Friday, April 02 2021 @ 09:46 PM EDT (#395685) #
AS has been requested I am going to stick to baseball, except for this biblical quote which I often think of in these situations.

"There are none so blind as those that will not see."
bpoz - Friday, April 02 2021 @ 09:48 PM EDT (#395686) #
Big test for Kluber and Stripling against very dangerous lineups.

"Pitching around someone". I think Jansen is the only easy player but he can have long ABs because of his good eye. Not sure about how many easy players NYY has.

Don't know what to say about either pen.
raptorsaddict - Friday, April 02 2021 @ 09:53 PM EDT (#395687) #
"That's ridiculous. I get a card in the mail before the election."

That's because you're already on the "preliminary list of electors" (s. 93 of the act).

"On election day I go to the place listed on that card and hand them the card.
They give me a ballot. No waiting. No ID. "

Oh really? I guess wherever you live they don't actually follow section 143(1) and 143(2)(a) of the Canada Election Act, which requires:

"Each elector, in order to receive a ballot, shall give his or her name and address to an election officer who is assigned to the polling station, and..... one piece of identification issued by a Canadian government, whether federal, provincial or local, or an agency of such a government, that contains a photograph of the elector and his or her name and address".

"I don't have to wait 5 hours in line outside after rushing from work and before the polls close."

I agree that elections in Canada are infinitely more well-run than the debacles in the US where it takes weeks to actually count the votes.

If you go back and read my comment, you'll see that I was replying to the comment/complaint that Georgia "made it illegal to send out ballots to people unsolicited", and I did so by referring to the Canadian requirements to get an advance ballot or register to vote at the polling station on the day of if you're not on the preliminary lists.

Both of which are downright draconian compared to the US, where you don't even need to show picture ID when you show up to vote (because that requirement is apparently racist and suppresses votes). Which again highlights my point that complaining about the Georgia election law when we have stricter ones in Canada is rather rich.

Just as I think this exchange probably highlights for anyone bothering to read it precisely the point I made in my original post, namely that it's much more fun at Da Box to talk Jays than politics or current events.
grjas - Friday, April 02 2021 @ 09:54 PM EDT (#395688) #
Is there no escape anywhere from discussions of American politics? They’re a bloody disgrace. Let’s move on.
raptorsaddict - Friday, April 02 2021 @ 09:57 PM EDT (#395689) #
AS has been requested I am going to stick to baseball, except for this biblical quote which I often think of in these situations.

"There are none so blind as those that will not see."

Seeing as how I"m the now who requested it, so will I Gerry, except for this quote that didn't actually come from Mark Twain but which I often think of in these situations:

"It's easier to fool people than to convince them they've been fooled."
scottt - Friday, April 02 2021 @ 10:14 PM EDT (#395690) #
Just listening to Atkins.

Vaccination opens to anyone over 18 in Florida on Monday.
The Jays are back there on Thursday and they are trying to convince the players that getting vaccinated is the best thing for them and their families.
Springer is close to 100% and is doing baseball activities with no restrictions this weekend.
Robby Ray is pitching off a mound, pain free and "free and easy".
Hatch is throwing again and symptom free.
Pearson threw off a mound today and feels good and they're considering adjustment he can make to help insure this doesn't happen again.

Regarding extensions, "Our philosophy is to try hard to share risk with the players and if that doesn't line up, we totally understand."

Gerry - Friday, April 02 2021 @ 10:34 PM EDT (#395691) #
Ex Blue Jay Anthony Bass came in to close the game for the Marlins tonight and gave up a three run home run to Joey Wendle. He took the loss. Bass had seven saves for the Jays in 2020.

As regards the vaccines, teams are trying to get to the 85% vaccinated level as that gets them more freedoms from the MLB Covid restrictions. If we include the taxi squad, coaches and trainers, there are probably 40 team members. So just six of them can opt not to get the vaccine to preserve the 85%. It will be interesting to see how many teams get to 85%.
Eephus - Friday, April 02 2021 @ 10:43 PM EDT (#395692) #
...anyway. Dunno how many folks on here listen to At The Letters with Arden Zwelling and Ben Nicholson-Smith, but they had a terrific interview with tomorrow's starter Ross Stripling a couple of weeks back. Stripling comes across as a thoughtful, articulate fella (he's a licensed stock broker? Wild stuff) with interesting insights into the mental aspect of the game and the art of pitching. It remains to be seen how effective he can be moving from Dodger Stadium into the cruncher that is the AL East, but I'll be pulling for him. 
scottt - Friday, April 02 2021 @ 10:48 PM EDT (#395693) #
Players can say what the want and assume the consequences.
Cuban players have to defect to be allowed to play and that's not in the hand of MLB.
I imagine most of them settle in the large Florida communities, but they seem to stay far away from politics.
I find it a bit strange that Venezuelan players go back home during the winter given the state of the country and the relation with the US. I'm not familiar with the details, I imagine the government gets some money in the process.  Any statement by MLB would probably be detrimental to those players.

Anything related to China is about money.
China is seen as either a huge market or a source of cheap labour and products.
As far as baseball go, I think it's only played in Taiwan.

It seems that a number of prominent players have told MLB that they would not go to an All-Star game in Atlanta.
So, naturally, Manfred chose to move the game.

Looks like Bass blew his first save opportunity against the Rays.
4 hits, 1 K, 4 earned runs. Ouch.

Gerry - Friday, April 02 2021 @ 10:54 PM EDT (#395694) #
The MLBPA said today that they did not lobby for the game to be moved. Some reporters suggested that corporate sponsors of the game put pressure on MLB to move the game.
John Northey - Friday, April 02 2021 @ 11:12 PM EDT (#395695) #
Blows my mind when people refuse to get vaccinated - it is so bloody logical to get it as the risk of problems is far less than the risk of the disease.

I really hope the Jays players get it done. If they want to come back up here they will need to I'd think. A good rule would be that for baseball to return all players and other personnel coming must be vaccinated. Limit them to living at the dome if you must as well.
jerjapan - Friday, April 02 2021 @ 11:22 PM EDT (#395696) #
@Raptorsaddict, Insisting on political neutrality is not a neutral stance, especially in this day and age of corporate dominance, to the point where a state / province / country can't even enforce, say, worker protection / environmental rights without suffering consequences. 

And 'the truth is in the middle' is a convenient stance for the extreme right, who have stopped believing in science and statistics.  surely a baseball fan can appreciate that?
'stick to sports' is, often a racist / classist stance.  not calling you - or anyone else here - racist, to be very clear!  but look at the pushback, really, anywhere in the sporting realm when athletes express their opinion.  It's a rich history - Tommie Smith, John Carlos, Ali, Curt Flood, Colin K, etc. 

that said, I'll drop the subject in favour of baseball.  so great to listen to the Jays on the radio ... oh, er, I guess that fits my definition of political too :)
sorry.  I'm done.  RA, I'm happy to can chat - civilly, I promise - via PM if you want, but I'll spare the rest of you guys my politics further than this post. 

Unlike JN, I've never run for office.  I figure running for office gives you a mulligan on expressing political ideas in a non-political forum. 
scottt - Saturday, April 03 2021 @ 06:45 AM EDT (#395698) #
Certainly not the MLBPA, but maybe a few key players.
After all, this is not a majority black sport like football and basketball. 
scottt - Saturday, April 03 2021 @ 06:58 AM EDT (#395699) #
Miami gave Bass 2/4M to be their closer. (The Jays picked him up off waivers and agreed to 1.5M in 2020).
Maybe the Jays didn't try to retain him because he would have had a lesser role here in 2021.

Of course, with respect to playing in Toronto, getting vaccinated could possibly lead to some players avoiding quarantine. Maybe any non-vaccinated players could go to the IL whenever they play home.
It would possibly give them an advantage over visiting teams.

scottt - Saturday, April 03 2021 @ 07:06 AM EDT (#395700) #
Maybe I caught a bit of the Stripling interview.
That or it was another interview.
He said that his fastball was getting hammered so it was decided that he would throw fewer of those.
That is basically the philosophy the Yankees took with all their players the last couple of years.
Imagine signing Happ and asking him to throw fewer fastballs.
I hope they can get Kluber out of there early--his pitch limit can't be 97--and get to that shortened pen.
It's weird to say that about the Yankees.

Spifficus - Saturday, April 03 2021 @ 07:25 AM EDT (#395702) #
With the season underway, vaccination poses some interesting questions to consider.

We hear a lot about the vaccine knocking some normal people on their ass for a day or two. How long until a professional athlete could perform safely (ie without abnormal fatigue that might lead to excess injuries)? How would that impact players recovering from injuries, or starters recovering from a start? Are there any special provisions in the covid protocols for time off for the vaccine? The team would have to handle the scheduling logistics, I assume, to mitigate matters like these. Also, they'd presumably be biased towards the J&J one-shot, especially with their current transient home situation. Also, I wonder how much of an advantage it'd be to be an early team to get back to normalish.
Thomas - Saturday, April 03 2021 @ 07:47 AM EDT (#395703) #
Spifficus, I'm not sure if this is what you're getting at, but I believe most MLB teams, including the Jays, have announced they will be staggering their vaccinations over a few weeks in order to ensure that a team does not end up with a significant part of the roster sidelined for a few days due to side effects/fatigue from the vaccine.
grjas - Saturday, April 03 2021 @ 08:40 AM EDT (#395704) #
That’s certainly prudent as my wife and I felt off for a couple of days after the AZ vaccine. Apparently about 40% of people do on the first dose of AZ and often it’s younger people who have he worst side effects due to a more effective immunity system. Supposedly AZ dose 1 is worse and for the mRNA it’s dose 2. Small price to pay but a good idea to stagger.

The next two games should be interesting. Frankly it would be a big boost to win one of them given the uncertainty around our starters.
grjas - Saturday, April 03 2021 @ 08:42 AM EDT (#395705) #
Typo. Should read “immune system”.
Gerry - Saturday, April 03 2021 @ 09:09 AM EDT (#395706) #

There is an article on The Athletic analysing why the All-Star game was moved. There seems to be a host of reasons but the article summarized the main two.

Others, including people who had been briefed on conversations Manfred has held, pointed to two strong concerns: One, that players could eventually decide to boycott the All-Star Game if it remained in Georgia, which would be a disaster for the sport; and two, that major corporate sponsors could be reticent to continue to support the game if it remained in Atlanta. Coca-Cola and Delta, both major Atlanta-based companies and partners of the Braves, had previously criticized the law.

bpoz - Saturday, April 03 2021 @ 09:59 AM EDT (#395707) #
Long season but I am still excited for game 2.
92-93 - Saturday, April 03 2021 @ 12:12 PM EDT (#395708) #
Thanks for your contributions, raptorsaddict. Fascinating how the media's narrative wields power.

MLB will likely have a hard time getting to an 85% vaccination rate without mandating the vaccine. Israel has had widespread access to the vaccine and a semi-open economy that demands a covid passport to live life, and the country is still only around a vaccination rate of 70% of the eligible population. It's going to take a lot of peer pressure within the clubhouse to achieve the desired rate so that the covid protocols can be relaxed.
GabrielSyme - Saturday, April 03 2021 @ 12:57 PM EDT (#395709) #
The biggest problem with US elections (and those in Georgia) seems to be the long lines at some polling places. The decisions about how many polling stations are actually open is a decision made by local counties (often controlled by the Democratic party, especially where long lines have been the biggest problem) - not the Georgia state government. So the claim that the Georgia state government has "cut down ballot boxes" is simply inaccurate.

As for mail (aka absentee) ballots, Canada doesn't send them out unsolicited either, and we don't have any drop boxes: we send them back by mail (which you can also do in Georgia, of course). As for expanded early voting - well, Georgia somewhat standardized the early voting hours, they didn't reduce them. If some rural counties now have "expanded early voting" it's because they offered less before. No county is going to have less early voting because of the new law. And every county will have at least 4x more early voting days than in Canada.

As for the food and water thing: we have laws against voter solicitation too. I think the Georgia law is overbroad here, but as Gerry points out, this is less an issue of preventing guys in MAGA hats (or Biden hats) handing out water and power bars to people standing in line, as it is a problem with having excessive lines in general. Perhaps the state should take a larger role in requiring counties to offer more polling stations.

As for scottt's suggestion that you don't need to present ID to vote in Canada... that simply isn't the case, with a very limited exception.

There's a reasonable debate to be had over what kind of a voting system we should have, what is necessary to ensure voting is easily available and secure from fraud, and so forth. One of my favourite questions is whether expanding early voting may actually depress turnout.

Well, I'll get back to baseball now, and my apologies for fuelling this off-topic discussion.
Spifficus - Saturday, April 03 2021 @ 01:28 PM EDT (#395710) #
Thanks Thomas. I had missed that.

As for the voicings of concerns about keeping things to baseball, the way I look at it is that MLB made the voting law in Georgia baseball-related by pulling the ASG.

On that topic, Raptorsaddict, I'm not sure if your comparisons on to Canadian law are accurate. The food and water part of the Georgia law is a linguistic mess and it seems insanely broad especially when in conjunction with the notoriously long lines in Fulton Co.

On ID, you're wrong by omission. There are 3 options to ID yourself, and you identified option 1. Option 2 is 2 pieces of identification that is loosely defined enough to be the voter information card and another piece of mail, though the code itself makes it sound like you could have 2 pieces of paper with your name scrawled in crayon. Option 3 is a solemn declaration by you endorsed by another ID'd elector.

Now, having said that about the ID, the thing I did like about that law is it appears that it will be provided free to registered voters, so it shouldn't be a poll tax. The cautionary tale, however, is Wisconsin, which then reduced the number of DMVs in the Milwakee area, making it a long and onerous process to get the ID, to then go a different day and make it a long and onerous process to vote.

All this talk about IDs and stuff just reminded me that my driver's license expired. Ugh. Good thing I don't drive. C'mon 40-49 vaccine group!

And I forgot what time it is. Why am I not watching the baseball game now?
raptorsaddict - Saturday, April 03 2021 @ 02:55 PM EDT (#395711) #
I don't recall watching Stripling pitch last year, but his "stuff" appears to be quite underwhelming. As a starter, it would seem he'd have to have everything go perfect just to make it through 5 innings.

While he might be no better, I'd like to see Thornton get a chance to start.
Spifficus - Saturday, April 03 2021 @ 02:57 PM EDT (#395712) #
I know it didn't work out perfectly this time, but I like this usage of Chatwood as early-game fireman.
Spifficus - Saturday, April 03 2021 @ 03:02 PM EDT (#395713) #
Stripling seems to be about what I'd expect for a swingman. The yankees challenge the ability to go deep in a game of every pitcher, though, and he's no exception.
bpoz - Saturday, April 03 2021 @ 03:08 PM EDT (#395714) #
Kluber escaped with early double plays.
grjas - Saturday, April 03 2021 @ 03:16 PM EDT (#395715) #
I’d also like to see Thornton given a chance as I could see him become a serviceable 4 or 5 guys. But he needs to be stretched out first in the bullpen and I would have thought this game would be the ideal chance. Or may be tomorrow.
pooks137 - Saturday, April 03 2021 @ 03:21 PM EDT (#395716) #
As for the voicings of concerns about keeping things to baseball, the way I look at it is that MLB made the voting law in Georgia baseball-related by pulling the ASG.

This definitely seems like circular reasoning to me, as it was political agents and MLBPA representatives who initiated the entire connection between Georgia politics and the ASG in the first place.

dalimon5 - Saturday, April 03 2021 @ 03:23 PM EDT (#395717) #
Bo Bichette looks like an undersized 23 year old short stop with limited playing time at the major League level. Is he still the leader of this team, as Sports has tried so hard to make us believe?

bpoz - Saturday, April 03 2021 @ 03:25 PM EDT (#395718) #
I was hoping Borucki would come out for a 2nd inning.
grjas - Saturday, April 03 2021 @ 03:29 PM EDT (#395719) #
Yeah no kidding. If he keeps using relievers for one inning only he’s going to have a weary bullpen pretty quickly given the SP challenge.
Spifficus - Saturday, April 03 2021 @ 03:39 PM EDT (#395720) #
I meant as a matter of discourse on the site.

Of course, in the US, corporations are perfectly entitled to engage in political topics, and can be held accountable in various ways for their choices (including remaining on the sidelines) by their consumers, employees, and shareholders/owners.
bpoz - Saturday, April 03 2021 @ 03:43 PM EDT (#395721) #
Dolis threw mainly sinkers. Probably his best pitch.
Spifficus - Saturday, April 03 2021 @ 03:51 PM EDT (#395722) #
Bichette's a perfectly normal SS height (listed at 6ft, but even +/- a couple inches, whatever). The main thing is he is very aggressive, especially early, and it's going to get ugly from time to time, just like those pitches just off the black Biggio takes for a third strike.

The leadership dig seems a bit gratuitous. Is there something in particular that you're thinking of, dalimon5, or is that just a lash-out for him not executing?
grjas - Saturday, April 03 2021 @ 04:16 PM EDT (#395723) #
Interesting to see the Yankees use defensive replacements in the outfield late in the game. I wonder if Montoya will use a similar strategy once Springer is back, by replacing Hernandez with Grichuk off the bench when the game is close.
bpoz - Saturday, April 03 2021 @ 04:34 PM EDT (#395724) #
Good to see Payamps back out. Needs to be tested, I hope he passes.
grjas - Saturday, April 03 2021 @ 04:40 PM EDT (#395725) #
He looked pretty impressive. 15mph difference between FB and change up and hitting his spots. The one walk should have been a strikeout.
scottt - Saturday, April 03 2021 @ 05:37 PM EDT (#395726) #
I had the same comments about Stripling every time I watched him.
However, he wasn't too bad today.

It felt like Kluber had a much bigger strike zone than anyone else.
Kluber tried to hit junk on the corner and was close enough to get the call most of the time but he looked as hittable as Stripling. Less velo. Turn some strikeouts into walks and it's probably a different game.

Semien has looked great so far.
If Tellez doesn't heat up, he could lose some DH time to Grichuk once Springer is activated.

Well, Sanchez has been the biggest Yankee hitter in both games and should be sitting tomorrow.
There's that.

scottt - Saturday, April 03 2021 @ 05:39 PM EDT (#395727) #
Dolis throws a splitter, a slider and a fastball with all sort of movement.
scottt - Saturday, April 03 2021 @ 05:40 PM EDT (#395728) #
There was a statement from Grichuk endorsing the move of the ASG out of Georgia and Montoyo was said to be supportive of the move.
Spifficus - Saturday, April 03 2021 @ 06:06 PM EDT (#395729) #
Yeah. For Dolis, this was just a "Die by the sword" day. The movement is what sets him apart, but his command is his weakness.
Waveburner - Saturday, April 03 2021 @ 08:52 PM EDT (#395730) #
So what does everyone think happens when Springer returns?
1-Reduce to 8 relievers and send someone like Payamps down
2-Option Jonathan Davis
3-Release Joe Panik

I know there's no backup IF otherwise, but I still almost prefer 3. As is I'm guessing Davis goes down.
pooks137 - Sunday, April 04 2021 @ 12:02 AM EDT (#395731) #
So what does everyone think happens when Springer returns?

3-Release Joe Panik

The Jays just committed 1.85 million to Panik last week when they decided to put him on the roster instead of Breyvic Valera's minimum salary.

Panik isn't going to to be the first cut off this team because of this, especially after the front office had to eat 8-9 million or so cutting Yamaguchi and betting wrong on Yates.

Panik's spot isn't guaranteed all season, but he is going to have to play himself off this team. They didn't green light 2 million dollars to him last week to jettison him a week or two later.

GabrielSyme - Sunday, April 04 2021 @ 12:39 AM EDT (#395732) #
I made the case for going without a backup infielder before the season started, based on the idea that Panik doesn't really have a role.

That said, pooks is absolutely right: he's sticking until he plays his way off this club.

As much as I like Davis, and think 9 relievers is silly, as long as Montoyo refuses to use a reliever for more than three outs, we're going to need a bunch of them.
scottt - Sunday, April 04 2021 @ 07:28 AM EDT (#395733) #
Shulman thought they were going to bring in Thornton.
Obviously they need Thornton to be the bulk pitcher if Zeuch can't go more than once through the lineup.
Today we should get the Sunday lineup with Kirk adding length.
Davis might get a start against a lefty in Texas, but should be kept on the bench for extra innings.

bpoz - Sunday, April 04 2021 @ 08:22 AM EDT (#395734) #
TB lost to Miami. Hill, Archer and McHugh got hammered.
Glevin - Sunday, April 04 2021 @ 09:03 AM EDT (#395735) #
Jays aren't keeping Panik because they are afraid of losing out on $2m. They are keeping him because they need a backup IFer and he's their best one. The idea that the Jays could go with no extra cover in the If so they could have five OFers or 3 catchers is silly. Going without someone like Panik means that every single day to day injury means that the player has to go on the IL because you can't go without cover for four positions for even one game. Having no backup Ifer isn't a real option.
earlweaverfan - Sunday, April 04 2021 @ 09:37 AM EDT (#395736) #
Glevin, please help me with something I genuinely want to know. What is it about Espinal that makes him less accomplished than Panik (“their best one”)?

I recognize it’s hard to know how much Espinal has really progressed from the 2019 version of him we have good data on, but I think we may find that a number of players who spent last year at the alternate site took a big step forward, Espinal included. Of course, in the last two STs, he has just torn the cover off the ball.

Is the problem that he can’t field as well or handle all three IF positions as well as Panik?

Is it his RH bat? Frankly, I would rather have a more productive RH hitter as a PH than a weak LH hitter.

Would be glad to learn more
scottt - Sunday, April 04 2021 @ 09:39 AM EDT (#395737) #
Positional depth.

DH Tellez/Kirk
1B Guerrero/Tellez/Gurriel/Biggio
2B Semien/Panik
3B Biggio/Panik/Guerrero
SS Bichette/Semien/Panik

If Guerrero is out, Tellez becomes the first baseman and you rotate players through the DH. Kirk could get More ABs.
If Semien is out, Panik becomes the second baseman as they don't want to move Biggio this year.
If Biggio is out, Guerrero could get some games and Panik some.
If Bichette is out, Semien plays short and Panik takes second.

Panik could be replaced by Espinal or Otto Lopez but you still need someone.
All considered, I think Panik is the guy even though he mostly just play second base, because you want the regular to play most of the time and Espinal/Lopez to get regular ABs.

During the 16 games without a day off stretch, it makes sense to trade Davis for a reliever as soon as they need a fresh arm. No point in making the trade too early because Davis is more useful than a guy who never pitches.
Without the runner on second rule, they might have decided to get the extra arm just in case.
In the second half of April, they get rest between every series and it would make sense to get Davis back for that stretch.
They could switch Payamps for Bergen once they're done with the Yankees.

I was happy to see Davis in the "How Big" promo.

bpoz - Sunday, April 04 2021 @ 09:58 AM EDT (#395738) #
Over the 16 game stretch I want to figure out Montoyo's strategy/thinking on how he uses his pen. The movement of healthy/injured pitchers is also interesting to me. Payamps surprised me by being quite good, but it is only 1 outing. Dolis I expect will have his good and bad days in his current role as an important pen piece.
scottt - Sunday, April 04 2021 @ 09:59 AM EDT (#395739) #
It's not that Espinal is worse than Panik. It's more like they don't want to use Panik much and let Espinal get regular ABs. Semien/Biggio/Guerrero/Bichette all need to start almost every day.
scottt - Sunday, April 04 2021 @ 10:37 AM EDT (#395740) #
It's April. Some hitters are hot, most are cold.
I see Dolis more as an 8th or 9th inning guy than as someone who can deal with the middle of the order.
Normally, that would have been Phelps inning but he didn't look good in the opener.
Mayza couldn't get the lefty but then took down 3 right handed hitter.

Gerry - Sunday, April 04 2021 @ 11:23 AM EDT (#395741) #
Jays have called up Tommy Milone and optioned Joel Payamps.

It seems like a move just for today to add some length in case Zeuch gets bombed.
Gerry - Sunday, April 04 2021 @ 11:25 AM EDT (#395742) #
Kirk and Panik in todays lineup for Tellez and Jansen.
grjas - Sunday, April 04 2021 @ 11:51 AM EDT (#395743) #
Montoya seems in love with Panik if he is DH’ing him. Would have liked to see what Davis could do in that role, especially since he’ll be sent down shortly.
uglyone - Sunday, April 04 2021 @ 12:03 PM EDT (#395744) #
So all that talk about having to trade away bench bats and here we are in game 3 of the season and panik is DH.
Nigel - Sunday, April 04 2021 @ 12:12 PM EDT (#395745) #
How Montoyo handles the bullpen will be interesting. There are likely to be many starts like yesterday from the non-Ryu starters. They won’t be able to use their one inning high leverage relievers in innings 4-9 in every game. Montoyo is going to have to get comfortable using someone or multiple someones for 2-3 innings out of the pen.
bpoz - Sunday, April 04 2021 @ 12:19 PM EDT (#395746) #
I am considering 3 outcomes for Zeuch today. 1) He gets bombed 4 runs in 2 IP. 2) He does not get bombed 1 run in 5 IP. 3) Other 2 runs in 5 IP.

In 2 games Tellez has not done anything so Panik is probably ok. Only 1 AB for Panik so far.
jerjapan - Sunday, April 04 2021 @ 12:59 PM EDT (#395747) #
In finally understood why we signed Tommy Milone when I saw he was first man up.  There are going to be a silly amount of transactions to the pen this year.
I don't get the vitriol around Panik.  It's entirely possible he is a net positive by midseason, and he can be cut if someone else looks a better fit  Scoff at 'intangibles' if you want, be he seems a sort of platonic ideal bench guy for Montoyo, so we're gonna have to get used to him again. 
Jonny German - Sunday, April 04 2021 @ 01:07 PM EDT (#395748) #
Tommy Milone is terrible and I’m surprised to see him called up, but it shouldn’t matter right away as he should only be pitching if they’re already getting blown out. But it’ll be extremely frustrating if his presence keeps a better arm down when they need one.

Joe Panik DH is also a bad move but unlikely to amount to anything. I would have preferred to see Davis in CF and Teoscar DHing today.
Paul D - Sunday, April 04 2021 @ 01:31 PM EDT (#395749) #
I know I'm overreacting , but I'd rather rotate the ofs through DH and demote Telez than any ether other suggestions I've seen
Shoeless Joe - Sunday, April 04 2021 @ 01:36 PM EDT (#395750) #
I am really not a fan of Panik at DH over Tellez.

I also think Zeuch is going to get shelled today.
bpoz - Sunday, April 04 2021 @ 01:50 PM EDT (#395751) #
Zeuch struck out C Frazier to end the 2nd inning.
uglyone - Sunday, April 04 2021 @ 02:08 PM EDT (#395752) #
Here's gonna be the test of zeuch all year - can he get through an order the 2nd time through.

So far only solid contact has been that his by batting champ lemahieu.
uglyone - Sunday, April 04 2021 @ 02:10 PM EDT (#395753) #
Paul D - even as the biggest rowdy fan here i don't think he's at the point where he's guaranteed a full time starting spot in this order. Not when Teoscar and Kirk are there to DH too.
uglyone - Sunday, April 04 2021 @ 02:41 PM EDT (#395754) #
Classic montoyo here - zeuch cruising no runs low pitch count bottom of the order coming up but yank him for no reason anyways.
Jonny German - Sunday, April 04 2021 @ 02:42 PM EDT (#395755) #
I also think Zeuch is going to get shelled today.

How\d that work out for ya?
Magpie - Sunday, April 04 2021 @ 02:47 PM EDT (#395756) #
I was a bit surprised by the hook - managers often like to give the starter a chance at the fifth inning if the W is in play - but I suspect they think Zeuch didn't really got stretched out this spring (he faced 47 batters in 4 appearances than I know about.) And we're definitely going to see a great deal of caution with pitchers of all types this season, simply because 2020 was so strange.
uglyone - Sunday, April 04 2021 @ 02:50 PM EDT (#395757) #
Our manager makes strange choices.
bpoz - Sunday, April 04 2021 @ 02:50 PM EDT (#395758) #
I too was hoping Zeuch would continue.
Mike Green - Sunday, April 04 2021 @ 02:57 PM EDT (#395759) #
I completely agree with the decision to take out Zeuch, and to bring in Thornton. It sure would be nice if the offence tracks on a run or three.
Magpie - Sunday, April 04 2021 @ 02:59 PM EDT (#395760) #
Having checked, Zeuch's longest outing this spring was the 3 innings he worked last Monday. So I think today's game was always going to be one of Mike Green's beloved tandem starts.
Magpie - Sunday, April 04 2021 @ 03:02 PM EDT (#395761) #
Zeuch, of course, is the largest pitcher on the staff. And Thornton is the smallest. That should confuse the other guys, no?
uglyone - Sunday, April 04 2021 @ 03:11 PM EDT (#395762) #
Survived a totally unnecessary 1.1ip of hairiness from Thornton, with no need to force his debut against the yanks of all teams.

Not much margin left for the late inning guys for a full 3 innings now.
bpoz - Sunday, April 04 2021 @ 03:20 PM EDT (#395763) #
I expected Borucki to be pulled. Only 8 pitches but I still knew.

Spifficus - Sunday, April 04 2021 @ 03:52 PM EDT (#395764) #
Did Merryweather just grab hold of the closer's role? Yowza.
uglyone - Sunday, April 04 2021 @ 03:55 PM EDT (#395765) #
In some ways it's nice not having an older injured big money "closer" that you feel you have to use in that role.
Spifficus - Sunday, April 04 2021 @ 04:02 PM EDT (#395766) #
Yeah. Also, it's nice having an option like Romano as well, so you don't need to pitch Merryweather's arm off.
Eephus - Sunday, April 04 2021 @ 04:06 PM EDT (#395767) #
If you’d told me the team would score a total of 9 runs in a three game series at Yankee Stadium, I’d have been pretty darn nervous. Instead it’s so far so good for the pitching staff, especially everybody today (with the exception of Thornton, who looked like he didn’t have his best curveball command).

Late inning Merryweather really looks like a big, big weapon.
Mike Green - Sunday, April 04 2021 @ 04:09 PM EDT (#395768) #
It wasn't a tandem start- if so, you'd leave Thornton in longer.  It was 4 innings and then a bullpen. Which is fine
Magpie - Sunday, April 04 2021 @ 04:20 PM EDT (#395769) #
Well, if Thornton had been a little sharper....

Once more, just for fun ... Jays win the Donaldson trade! Merryweather is loosed upon the world!

On a somewhat more somber note, I'm curious to see how many people show up in Arlington tomorrow. There will be no limits on attendance, because this is Texas and we're not afraid of no invisible little thingies. They drew a little more than 10,000 for the two exhibition games with unlimited attendance.
greenfrog - Sunday, April 04 2021 @ 05:29 PM EDT (#395770) #
Credit to PeterG, who (if I recall correctly) supported the Merryweather acquisition early on.
grjas - Sunday, April 04 2021 @ 05:36 PM EDT (#395771) #
Missed the game today. Zeuch’s numbers are good, how did he look?
PeterG - Sunday, April 04 2021 @ 05:41 PM EDT (#395772) #
Thank you greenfrog. It was as much wanting Donaldson out (bad influence) as liking Merryweather who was a good gamble.

A question for the Box. Has anyone seen a list of players at the alternate site which I assume is in Dunedin?
uglyone - Sunday, April 04 2021 @ 05:52 PM EDT (#395773) #
Disagree Mike- it was a tandem start but Thornton stunk.
Cracka - Sunday, April 04 2021 @ 06:04 PM EDT (#395774) #
Zeuch was a little better than expected. I think he had 5 or 6 swing & miss strikes and I thought he did a good job of keeping the ball down in the zone, consistently near the plate. His only walk was to the lefty Bruce with 2 outs in the 4th - but also went 3-1 on the next batter, which ended up being his last one. There were some hard-hit outs on pitches over the middle of the plate and only one strikeout.

His stuff doesn't leave much margin for error but his command was quite impressive today.
scottt - Sunday, April 04 2021 @ 06:05 PM EDT (#395775) #
Thornton gave up a couple of hits, walked one and didn't strike out any.
So, even though he pitched 1.1 innings, Borucki got the win for getting 2 clean outs (no strikeout either).
I am happy with the outcome. They treated it like a playoff game.

Really weird that they got Milone to replace Payamps.
Doesn't show a lot of confidence in the next 2 starters.
I suppose at some point they'll drop Milone and get A.J. Cole back.

grjas - Sunday, April 04 2021 @ 06:08 PM EDT (#395776) #
Thx Cracka. Great test for him, and hopefully continues to build his confidence.
Gerry - Sunday, April 04 2021 @ 06:10 PM EDT (#395777) #

I posted the taxi squad members on Friday.

In regard to the taxi squad, I believe I saw its Tommy Millone as starter insurance, AJ Cole and Travis Bergen as bullpen insurance, Riley Adams for Catcher, and Santiago Espinal as infield insurance.

Swap Payamps for Milone and thats it.

Magpie - Sunday, April 04 2021 @ 06:15 PM EDT (#395778) #
Zeuch’s numbers are good, how did he look?

Like Stroman? I guess he did what he needs to do. Faced 15 batters, walked only one. There were 13 balls in play, and 7 of them were grounders. I'd have liked to have seen a couple more grounders but I do think the Yankees try to uppercut everything.

Thornton didn't really stink. He's been better but Frazier's double was really just a popup that no one could reach.

This is one green pitching staff. Exactly one guy (Roark) has pitched 1,000 innings in the major leagues. None of Thornton, Borucki, Mayza, Dolis, Kay, Zeuch, Romano, Hatch, Pearson, Merryweather or Payamps have enough IPs in their careers to qualify for the single season ERA.
scottt - Sunday, April 04 2021 @ 06:23 PM EDT (#395779) #
Panik DHed because they have to get him in there sometimes.
Consider, the Yankees sat Stanton to get Brett Gardner in today.
Once Springer is back, I expect the outfielders to steal some DH time because they are all hot and the infielders are cold.

Tellez should play tomorrow because Panik is 1 for 12 against Folty.

Boston starts the season 0-3 vs Baltimore and the Rays are coming to town.

GabrielSyme - Sunday, April 04 2021 @ 07:01 PM EDT (#395780) #
Panik DHed because they have to get him in there sometimes.

I rather think they don't ever need to get him in there, barring injury, and would prefer they didn't.
Nigel - Sunday, April 04 2021 @ 07:20 PM EDT (#395781) #
Saying that Zeuch looked like Stroman is slightly uncharitable to Stroman. Zeuch’s FB certainly looks like Stroman’s - it was 92-94 today with some pretty decent arm side run into RH batters. What Zeuch doesn’t have is a breaking ball that is nearly as good or as consistent as Stroman’s. Zeuch looked like a guy who could competently work his way through a lineup and give you 4-5 reasonable innings. I think the Jays could do a lot worse. But he’s not going to K anyone and some days they’re going to hit it where they ain’t against Zeuch and you just have to live with that.
PeterG - Sunday, April 04 2021 @ 07:22 PM EDT (#395782) #
McGuire and Valera both cleared waivers and assigned to alternate site. Good to retain McGuire in case of injuries. By May, he he will be on taxi and Adams starting in AAA.
scottt - Sunday, April 04 2021 @ 07:22 PM EDT (#395783) #
Thornton wasn't sharp and got into deep counts.
He was pitching from behind.

Texas got their first tandem start today.
I guess they decided to save Folty for their opener.
Lyles pitched 5.2 innings and Benjamin only 2.1 innings.

scottt - Sunday, April 04 2021 @ 07:28 PM EDT (#395784) #
Bruce got on every time against Zeuch.
It looks like the shift does not help him at all against some lefties.
A pitch inside can get hammered and a pitch outside is an easy infield single.
That part does remind me of Stroman.
I imagine they would have given him the chance to get the win if the offense had not looked so lost against King.

scottt - Sunday, April 04 2021 @ 07:30 PM EDT (#395785) #
Surprised. His stock has really fallen.
92-93 - Sunday, April 04 2021 @ 07:38 PM EDT (#395786) #
If Panik is in the starting lineup because the manager wants to keep him game-ready (meh), he should be giving one of the infielders a day off defensively.

It was weird to see Hernandez shifted to LF and Gurriel removed from the game. Why didn't Montoyo just stick Grichuk in LF and keep Hernandez in his position? If Davis is truly a better defensive CF than Grichuk he should have started instead of Panik. At least then you improve your outfield defense in two spots and give a regular you expect to start most of your games a bit of a rest by being the DH.
Magpie - Sunday, April 04 2021 @ 07:47 PM EDT (#395787) #
Zeuch is the same general type of pitcher as Stroman. Which I think is pretty cool, because one of them's a little black guy and the other is an enormous white guy. These guys pitch to contact, get groundballs, and strike out fewer hitters than the average pitcher. They have to avoid the home run and base on balls to be effective, and even then they remain at the mercy of things they can't control: the umpires, their defense, the unpredictable whims of the Ball in Play. Zeuch's obviously not as good as Stroman, or at least not yet (not that I think he's likely to be as good as Stroman.) But they're members of the same species.
Magpie - Sunday, April 04 2021 @ 07:52 PM EDT (#395788) #
It was weird to see Hernandez shifted to LF and Gurriel removed from the game.

I thought the same thing, and immediately assumed that Gurriel had tweaked something. But I haven't heard anything to that effect.
bpoz - Sunday, April 04 2021 @ 07:52 PM EDT (#395789) #
I felt the same 92-93. The whole OF changed positions. Teoscar is always spoken of as weak defensively and he was the only OF that had to make a play. He did it too.
bpoz - Sunday, April 04 2021 @ 07:57 PM EDT (#395790) #
You have to figure the Jays had the toughest 1st series other than whomever faced LAD and SD. Great 1st series.
Gerry - Sunday, April 04 2021 @ 07:59 PM EDT (#395791) #
Merryweather got the save today but Romano faced the 1-2-3 hitters in the eighth. So I am not sure if the closers job has been switched.

Montoyo has done well to get everyone some playing time. Among the pitchers Matz is the only one of the opening day roster not to pitch yet. For the hitters, Jonathan Davis has gotten into a couple of games but doesn't have an at-bat yet.
hypobole - Sunday, April 04 2021 @ 08:26 PM EDT (#395792) #
AA has hired Devon Travis for Atlanta's GCL team coaching staff.
And on that subject, noticed another name from years ago has made the majors this year. Jake Brenz is on the Royals.
Got me thinking, how many guys drafted and signed by the Jays are on current MLB active rosters? So not counting IL guys either.

4 still around from JPR, all 2009 draft - Marisnik, Loup, Gomes and Tepera.

3 from Atkins, all taken 1st 5 rounds 2016 - Zeuch, Bichette, Biggio.

AA Fewest to most:
2015 (0) - the draft from hell
2010 (1) - Sanchez.
2012 (3) - Stroman, Alford, Borucki.
2014 (3) - Hoffman, Romano, McBroom.
2011 (5) - Musgrove, Norris, DeSclafani, Berti, Pillar.
And the winner is ... 2013 (8),with amazingly none from the 1st 5 rounds - Boyd, Graveman, Brenz, Mayza, Locastro, Davis, Jansen, Tellez.

Spifficus - Sunday, April 04 2021 @ 08:56 PM EDT (#395793) #
So, I just turned on the Angels game (a little late for the start) to watch Ohtani pitch and bat second. The stream started just in time to see him swing at the first pitch.. and hear the crack of the bat on a 115mph, 450ft HR. I wonder if I should keep watching, or stop the stream fully satisfied.
Spifficus - Sunday, April 04 2021 @ 09:30 PM EDT (#395794) #
I'm really regretting not stopping the feed on the high note. The announcers are horrid. As an example, they fawned over the defense of Iglacias his whole AB, talking about how he was going to help the pitching staff out so much, and "he's made some dazzling plays... to up some eyeballs over there with the Angels." I mean, I know Simmonds was hurting last year, but come the fudge on.

Maybe I'll call it after the Ohtani, Trout, Rendon third inning.
grjas - Sunday, April 04 2021 @ 10:15 PM EDT (#395795) #
Hard to find a better baseball announcer than Dan Shulman.
Kasi - Sunday, April 04 2021 @ 10:18 PM EDT (#395796) #
Considering Ohtani a half inning before threw a pitch at 101 thats damn impressive. We’ll see if he can manage to stay healthy this year. Not that I think they’ll do much again the team has too many holes. Great star power sure but lacks depth.
Kasi - Sunday, April 04 2021 @ 10:23 PM EDT (#395797) #
Also is it possible to knock yourself out of the playoffs opening weekend? Oakland seems to be saying yes to that.
Thomas - Sunday, April 04 2021 @ 10:58 PM EDT (#395798) #
Montoyo has done well to get everyone some playing time. Among the pitchers Matz is the only one of the opening day roster not to pitch yet. For the hitters, Jonathan Davis has gotten into a couple of games but doesn't have an at-bat yet

I'd like to forget Tanner Roark too......

John Northey - Monday, April 05 2021 @ 01:43 AM EDT (#395799) #
Nice opening - now to Texas where they've been giving up a LOT of runs - 28 in 3 games. If the Jays score 9 it will be an improvement for the Rangers. Now that is off to a rough start. Vs the Royals of all teams - 14-10 loss, 11-4 loss, and a 7-3 win. Hope the Jay bats are ready for tomorrow. Last year the Royals scored the 2nd fewest runs, the Rangers were the only team that did worse. Time for some Jay hitters to fatten up their stats it sounds like. Lets just hope they don't go get shut out now.
Spifficus - Monday, April 05 2021 @ 06:26 AM EDT (#395800) #
Jeez, John. You wanna tempt the wrath of the whatever from high atop the thing? Now go outside, turn around three times, and spit.
scottt - Monday, April 05 2021 @ 07:13 AM EDT (#395801) #
Gleyber Torres looked like a second baseman trying to play shortstop.
I don't see how the Yankees go through next winter without signing an established shortstop.
Several of them will be on the market. I'm sure Cashman can arrange a  trade of Torres for a starter.

It came pretty close to a sweep. That run where Frazier got a double on a bloop, moved to third on a shallow flyball and scored on a ground out changed the game.

Thornton was expected to pitch longer or they would not have added Milone to back up Roark.
A 2 run lead, at Yankees Stadium, can melt away quickly, so brought the big arms.

Here's hoping the Baltimore bats stay hot.

hypobole - Monday, April 05 2021 @ 08:35 AM EDT (#395802) #
On the subject shortstops with early season fielding issues, saw this note in his team's 4th game of the season:

"E: Tatis Jr. 2 (5, fielding, throw)"
Jonny German - Monday, April 05 2021 @ 08:59 AM EDT (#395803) #
I think the bullpen management has been quite good so far. It’s not ideal to go through so many arms right out of the gate, but it is appropriate to do it against the Yankees.

I expect the general game plan today is Matz for 5, Chatwood 2, Mayza 1, Dolis 1. Would be nice for Matz to be good enough to go 6, and for the Jays to properly torch the Rangers so Milone could mop up for 3, but that’s likely asking too much.
scottt - Monday, April 05 2021 @ 10:07 AM EDT (#395804) #
On the contrary, you don't want to have guys waiting for their first outing too long.
Now, avoiding back to back outings is great. I could see Dolis getting another chance today.

Over 200 posts. Maybe we can open the Texas thread early, it's a 4PM game.

bpoz - Monday, April 05 2021 @ 10:16 AM EDT (#395805) #
I wonder if Montoyo thinks Borucki is available today. I inning max 20 pitches. I would like to know how a short reliever is going to be used. Games in a row, and days off due to that factor.
scottt - Monday, April 05 2021 @ 11:57 AM EDT (#395806) #
Atlanta is off to a 0-3 start. They have removed the MLB patches from their uniforms in protest of losing the ASG and draft.
Because the Nationals are experiencing a Covid outbreak, they get to sit on their mitts until Thursday.
Must be a great time to be a fan in the <censored> city.

Magpie - Monday, April 05 2021 @ 12:24 PM EDT (#395807) #
I am so down with the Toby Ziegler shout-out. Possibly the greatest line in television history. Well played, Spifficus!
Chuck - Monday, April 05 2021 @ 01:37 PM EDT (#395812) #
The Spifficus reference.
Magpie - Monday, April 05 2021 @ 02:33 PM EDT (#395815) #
It's the peerless Richard Schiff's delivery that truly sells it for me!
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