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Coming to you from deep in the heart of Texas....


Steven Matz makes his Jays debut this afternoon, with Tanner Roark working tomorrow night and staff ace Hyun-Jin Ryu on Wednsday afternoon. The Rangers have bid farewell to Elvis Andrus, whom Jays fans remember fondly, and Rough Ned Odor, remembered not so fondly.

There are no limits on game attendance. Pandemic? What pandemic?

Oh well. Gotta play 'em, might as well win 'em.
Blue Jays at Rangers, April 5-7 | 133 comments | Create New Account
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Gerry - Monday, April 05 2021 @ 12:44 PM EDT (#395808) #
Gurriel not in the lineup today, Davis gets his first start of the year.
Chuck - Monday, April 05 2021 @ 12:51 PM EDT (#395809) #
Brock Holt, a lefty hitting utility player, will DH against the lefty Matz. Seems odd.
85bluejay - Monday, April 05 2021 @ 12:51 PM EDT (#395810) #
I wonder if Gurriel is fully healthy - the box score says he was removed late yesterday and the assumption was for defensive purposes but maybe he has a nagging injury.
scottt - Monday, April 05 2021 @ 01:30 PM EDT (#395811) #
Davis deserves to get a start in this series. This might just be a good time for it.

Folty was an All-Star in 2018, but had a Jekyll and Hyde season the following year in which he fought elbow problems but had a strong second-half. Following an ugly game against the Rays in 2020, he was DFAed and outrighted.

Bref  and RosterResourse both think Guzman and Culberson are UT and Holt the starting 3B.
Outfielder Willie Callhoun is on the IL.
I think the answer is that they don't have a regular DH and are just rotating guys.

The Rangers are back from a series in KC where they got hit a lot.
They will likely pitch better in their home park.
I checked the Park Factor for this thing and the limited data doesn't show bias either way, but the outfield seems vast.

The initial plan was supposed to throw 2 tandems in game 4 and 5 but one of the tandem guy was needed in the first game and the other tandem was used early to save Folty for this full capacity game. The guy who opens tomorrow is basically the return for Lance Lynn and could be half-decent.

bpoz - Monday, April 05 2021 @ 01:49 PM EDT (#395813) #
So far this year Texas is one of the highest scoring teams.
Jays pitching will have a good test.
scottt - Monday, April 05 2021 @ 02:07 PM EDT (#395814) #
They do have a lot of left bats which could make things interesting for Roark.
Matz will see 4 lefties and it will probably be the same for Ryu.

Magpie - Monday, April 05 2021 @ 02:38 PM EDT (#395816) #
And I'm home after getting my first Astra-Zeneca injection. No side effects to report. Good, because I've been looking forward to today. Jays at 4:00, Raptors at 7:00, Leafs at 9:30. And then possibly divorce proceedings tomorrow, so this had better be worth it.
scottt - Monday, April 05 2021 @ 03:29 PM EDT (#395817) #
Unless you had Covid-19 already, the second dose is the one that hits the hardest.
Also, the odds of serious side effects seem to be lower than the error bars; in the one in a million ballpark.
People are getting themselves sick with worries over nothing.

scottt - Monday, April 05 2021 @ 03:48 PM EDT (#395818) #
I believe this is Romano's return to Texas.
Mayza, Chatwood and Dolis are your rested bullpen.

StephenT - Monday, April 05 2021 @ 04:06 PM EDT (#395819) #
Noticeably windy at the Texas park.  Good for ventilation one hopes.
Chuck - Monday, April 05 2021 @ 04:27 PM EDT (#395820) #
Everything about this broadcast looks wrong. Where are the cameras mounted? The moon? Everything is a long shot.

And good to know that the rugged individualism best exemplified by Texans makes one impervious to COVID. I've got more masks in my car than I'm seeing in the stands.

Michael - Monday, April 05 2021 @ 04:49 PM EDT (#395821) #
Well this is a good start to the game. 4-0 by the middle of the second with the bullpen already being up for the starter who is over 60 pitches. Tough lineup to face for the Texas pitchers.
Magpie - Monday, April 05 2021 @ 05:20 PM EDT (#395822) #
Well, if you simply must make a dumb play it's better to do it with a four run lead.
bpoz - Monday, April 05 2021 @ 06:14 PM EDT (#395823) #
I was about to say that I hope Bo survives this AB. Cody is hitting guys. Was an 81 mph slider. Bo should be ok.
hypobole - Monday, April 05 2021 @ 06:19 PM EDT (#395824) #
Yeah, the 40 command FG gave Cody seems a bit generous.
christaylor - Monday, April 05 2021 @ 06:24 PM EDT (#395825) #
Matz was good today. Baby steps, but I don't think it's controversial to say Matz/Ray performing well and eating innings will be key for the team to succeed.
earlweaverfan - Monday, April 05 2021 @ 06:48 PM EDT (#395826) #
Did anyone else notice that the winning starting pitcher for Minnesota was our old friend Shoemaker. I do so much want him to succeed (except when he plays us!)

Oh and the extraordinary season continues for Akil Baddoo who had never played above A level until the Tigers snagged him from the Twins. When he looked like he was becoming available, I was sooo hoping the Jays could do a deal for him. Sigh...
scottt - Monday, April 05 2021 @ 06:59 PM EDT (#395827) #
Shoemaker is good, but you can't trust him to stay on the field.

Akil Baddoo is a great story, but the Jays are OK in the outfield now.

I keep thinking of Matz as a lefty version of Taijuan Walker.
96 mph moving fastball. Uses a change as his out pitch.
Can throw a couple of other things to mix thing out.
Walker had trouble staying in the strike zone.
Matz has had troubles staying in the park at times.

Michael - Monday, April 05 2021 @ 07:23 PM EDT (#395828) #
I have both Matz and Shoemaker in a fantasy baseball league (played with mostly non-Jays fans) that uses QS instead of W, so I was very aware of the good pitching by Shoemaker today, as the combined line for those two is:

12.1 IP / 5 H / 1 BB / 2 ER / 14 K / 2 QS / 1.46 ERA / 0.49 WHIP

Considering it was an auction draft where I spent 90+% on hitting, I was quite pleased from this line from my staff. Matz was a $1 bid in the original auction. Shoemaker was undrafted and I picked up from waivers in our weekly auction (we get $100 for the year, you get the player for $1 above second place claim) for $1 with no other attempts. When you add my other waiver wire pickup of Merryweather for $2 (there was someone else who tried $1) and I'm having a very successful start of the season. I'm 100% sure it will not last, but it is a nice way to start the season.
hypobole - Monday, April 05 2021 @ 07:32 PM EDT (#395829) #
Yeah, checked in on the Twins game a few times, which was over early. Mid 2nd inning, the Tiger starter was around 65 pitches, including the Cruz slam. Shoe had thrown 9. And Dobnak with the 3 inning 5 ER "save"(including the Baddoo 3 run shot). I guess he saved the bullpen a bit but what a crappy stat.

The de Gues kid who had the Jays pounding the ball into the ground was the pick right before Baddoo. Was not pleased by a Rule 5 reliever completely shutting down our offence after King's 5 straight 3-up, 3-downs yesterday.
uglyone - Monday, April 05 2021 @ 07:36 PM EDT (#395830) #
That's the way to make your FO look good. Helluva debut for matz.

Nice to throw a wrench in the Rangers storyline today in particular too.
greenfrog - Monday, April 05 2021 @ 07:42 PM EDT (#395831) #
Have the Jays players and coaches been vaccinated yet? I certainly hope so.

Good to see Matz and the other pitchers do well today, along with stronf performances from Semien, Grichuk, and Biggio. With Springer, Pearson, Ray, and Hatch working their way back, reinforcements are on the way. And possibly Manoah as an additional power arm later in the season. Not sure whether Martin and SWR might get promoted at some point as well.
Chuck - Monday, April 05 2021 @ 07:45 PM EDT (#395832) #
Nice to throw a wrench in the Rangers storyline today in particular too.

Yep. Definite schadenfreude enjoyed by me as well.

Magpie - Monday, April 05 2021 @ 08:05 PM EDT (#395833) #
There were 38,238 people in the house this afternoon, and I'm wondering how many of them were aware of what followed the Atalanta-Valencia Champions League match in Milan last February.
scottt - Monday, April 05 2021 @ 08:32 PM EDT (#395834) #
Coaches should have been eligible by now but it looks like they won't talk about it.

Players can now be vaccinated in Florida starting today.
They don't have a day off for a while, so I'm not too hopeful.
They had a mini feature on Bichette testing positive for antibodies and not needing a vaccine.
That's not totally accurate I think. With the variants going around, it would make sense to get a single dose to boost immunity.

Marlow - Monday, April 05 2021 @ 08:35 PM EDT (#395835) #
That large crowd makes you want to shake your head.

The two things that the state of Texas has going for them is that 1) they do not have variant outbreak yet and 2) ample supply of vaccines. 28% of the state have had their first shot of the vaccine, compared to 14% here in Ontario due to vaccine procurement issues. Hopefully most of that crowd have had their first vaccine shot.
hypobole - Monday, April 05 2021 @ 08:37 PM EDT (#395836) #
Trump also called for a boycott of MLB, and I'm guessing a good size part of the crowd are Trumpers.
They like baseball and opening day. No deadly pandemic or cult-leader politician is going to ruin their fun.
scottt - Monday, April 05 2021 @ 08:38 PM EDT (#395837) #
The Texas governor walked out of throwing the first pitch in protest of what happened with Atlanta.
That's not a very smart look, but then he vowed not to host any MLB event in Texas.
Yeah, sure. That's from the guy behind today's full stadium.

Semien talked positively about playing in front of a full stadium.
He seemed taken back when told to stay safe.
It is what it is.

scottt - Monday, April 05 2021 @ 08:43 PM EDT (#395838) #
I still believe that those southern states are not as affected by the winter waves as New York and Michigan can be.
They did get a week of cold weather, but without electricity, people mostly stayed home anyway.

It's going to be interesting to see what happen with a vaccine passport and if the players are willing to abide by that.
Latest data shows no transmission through vaccinated people.

Kasi - Monday, April 05 2021 @ 09:00 PM EDT (#395839) #
Fully agree with Ray/Matz being key. They are both very high upside pitchers that if managed well can be very strong. I'd love to see a Pearson or Manoah break in but not seeing that too much this year. To me a successful year from starting pitching looks like:

Ryu is Ryu and avoids any DL more than 10 days.
Matz/Ryu stay healthy/effective (sub 4 era)
Mix and match 5-10+ other pitchers to fill in the last two spots. I can see us using Pearson, Hatch, Stripling, Thornton, Zeuch, Kay, Roark, etc at SP this year.
Magpie - Monday, April 05 2021 @ 09:54 PM EDT (#395840) #
The Texas governor walked out of throwing the first pitch

I suppose we shouldn't say "walked out" when we're referring to Greg Abbott. But "threw a hissy fit and declined to participate" works for me.
scottt - Monday, April 05 2021 @ 09:56 PM EDT (#395841) #
Hill, Archer and Wacha had rough starts the first time through.
Boston up 7-0 right now.

Let see if Roark can keep them in the game tomorrow.
He probably has a short leach and Milone gets in if needed as the Texas rotation could have 5 or 6 lefties.

hypobole - Monday, April 05 2021 @ 10:10 PM EDT (#395842) #
1st game for the Mets. Nursing a 2-0 in the bottom of the 8th. 1 out, bases loaded. In comes Aaron Loup. You'll never guess what happens to the next batter.
Cracka - Monday, April 05 2021 @ 11:29 PM EDT (#395843) #
RBI with sore ribs.

Loup might have had the worst debut in Mets history.
1st pitch: Foul ball.
2nd pitch: Hit batter, 1 run scores.
3rd pitch: Single, 1 run scores.
4th pitch: Ground ball, 2 runs score on throwing error.
5th pitch: Fly ball, 1 run scores on sac fly.

5 pitches, 5 runs scored, Mets lose 5-3. Welcome to New York!
StephenT - Tuesday, April 06 2021 @ 12:04 AM EDT (#395844) #
Montoyo "received a COVID-19 vaccine in recent days after scrambling to a standby availability" (in Florida presumably) and believed "other coaches ... had received shots" said Shi Davidi Mar 31 at https://www.sportsnet.ca/mlb/article/blue-jays-george-springer-begin-season-injured-list/ .
hypobole - Tuesday, April 06 2021 @ 12:11 AM EDT (#395845) #
"Jays at 4:00, Raptors at 7:00, Leafs at 9:30. And then possibly divorce proceedings tomorrow, so this had better be worth it."

Magpie hits a triple, drains a 3 and gets a hat trick.

As for the other thing, I'll see if you can sleep on our couch if need be. As long as your OK with a cat sleeping on top of you.
Magpie - Tuesday, April 06 2021 @ 12:23 AM EDT (#395846) #
Won't be necessary - I surrendered the TV for the hockey, and watched it on the computer. This was an awful lot of winning for Toronto sports teams. I wouldn't care to guess the last time the teams went 3-0 on the same day.
hypobole - Tuesday, April 06 2021 @ 01:25 AM EDT (#395847) #
Hey who were the people wanting to trade for David Price this off-season?
His Dodgers line so far:
2 G, 3.2 IP, 9 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 3 HR. Yeah he's already given up more HR's than our entire staff has in 4 games.
ISLAND BOY - Tuesday, April 06 2021 @ 06:47 AM EDT (#395848) #
Gotta admit I had an " Oh,crap !" moment when Vlad got hit on the hand. Thankfully he escaped with no injury.

Tatis Jr. has a partially dislocated shoulder for San Diego,
scottt - Tuesday, April 06 2021 @ 07:13 AM EDT (#395849) #
All of a sudden the Kim contract makes a lot of sense.
Prior to today, they had found 6 ABs for him.

Paul D - Tuesday, April 06 2021 @ 09:11 AM EDT (#395850) #
Assuming the price is low, I would still like to trade for David Price.
scottt - Tuesday, April 06 2021 @ 09:42 AM EDT (#395851) #
ERA of 4.28 in 2019. Didn't pitch in 2020.
He would be interesting just for his payroll, but Boston already pays half of it each year.
Certainly, I'd take him over Roark.

With the playoffs limited to 10 teams, there should be some decent pitchers available at the deadline.

John Northey - Tuesday, April 06 2021 @ 10:10 AM EDT (#395852) #
Ouch on Price - and yes, I wanted him. Still would take him as the Dodgers are making him one of the most expensive long relievers ever. Funny - of the 5 starters used, Kershaw had the shortest outing at 5 2/3 - 7 runs allowed by the other 4, 6 (5 earned) by Kershaw. What a bum. :)

Kim is 2 for 9 so far. Semien who the Jays signed instead (can't imagine he'd have been signed if Kim was) has an 819 OPS so far with 2 home runs. This will be fun to watch all year. Semien should out produce Kim this year, but Kim is signed for a 3 more years while Semien could leave after 2021.
bpoz - Tuesday, April 06 2021 @ 10:16 AM EDT (#395853) #
1 year contracts are the safest. Happ for 3 years worked out very well. Yates 1 year not working out but affordable.
scottt - Tuesday, April 06 2021 @ 10:37 AM EDT (#395854) #
Semien is totally gone. Hopefully, the Jays can get a draft pick out of it.
Groshans and Martin should be knocking on the door next year.
They'll have a lot of pitchers to replace next year.

bpoz - Tuesday, April 06 2021 @ 10:43 AM EDT (#395855) #
Everything is SSS for now. The hitting can probably be considered weak to date. The pitching overall has been very good.

Multi inning pitcher Zeuch is a pleasant surprise. SP Matz also pleasant. Hope it lasts. Zeuch faced the tougher lineup. Merryweather has been absolutely dominant. 1 inning relievers have been mostly dominant.

I don't know what Montoyo is doing with regard to pen usage. We should find out eventually.

I agree that there will be a wanting for pitchers at the deadline. Atkins should be able to trade from our surplus.
hypobole - Tuesday, April 06 2021 @ 10:49 AM EDT (#395856) #
Sucks for Tatis and the Padres. Remember Norm Powell of the Raptors having shoulder subluxations in consecutive years. Missed 6 weeks the 1st time,about 4 weeks the 2nd.
johnny was - Tuesday, April 06 2021 @ 11:11 AM EDT (#395857) #
Agreed, but that's the only courtesy worth extending to covid's greatest political ally in North America.

Incidentally, there is film from 1933 on YouTube of FDR throwing out the first pitch at Griffith Park seated in the front row, but it appears that in subsequent Opening Days he did the honour while standing. He did a solid job of it for years, but he has the distinction of being the first president to throw a ceremonial wild pitch in 1940, when an errant toss struck the White House photographer's camera. Full points for always turning out, though.

ISLAND BOY - Tuesday, April 06 2021 @ 11:41 AM EDT (#395858) #
FDR was paralyzed from the waist down, acquiring the symptoms while on a trip in 1921. Doctors now believe he had Guillain-Barre disease. Despite his paralysis he often wore iron braces and tried to walk with them for short distances, He was first elected president in 1932 so while he threw out the first pitch sitting in 1933, he probably did it standing from then on so as to not appear weak to the American people.
scottt - Tuesday, April 06 2021 @ 11:42 AM EDT (#395859) #
Arguably, Yates would have been better on a 2-year contract.
On the other hand, it would have been worse if he had to be pulled out of a game after blowing a save.

Kirk should get the start today and let's hope Jansen is OK for his battery with Ryu tomorrow.
Tellez is 0-12. The ump yesterday had a very wide strike zone on breaking balls at times.

Roark will have to deal with many lefties and I expect many of them to try to go the other way against the shift.

earlweaverfan - Tuesday, April 06 2021 @ 11:51 AM EDT (#395860) #
Scottt, do you think there is any chance they extend either Ray or Matz if Pete Walkerís magic with them continues all year long?

I am guessing not, if Pearson, Manoah, SWR and Hatch all have a strong year, but Ray or Matz may well feel awfully warmly towards the club that (may have) helped resurrect their careers...
ISLAND BOY - Tuesday, April 06 2021 @ 12:28 PM EDT (#395861) #
Ray agreed quickly to come back to the Jays last fall and his success with pitching coach Pete Walker had a lot to do with it, Walker is gaining a reputation as one of the best pitching coaches in MLB so if Ray continues to do well I wouldn't be surprised to see him back next year again.
Kasi - Tuesday, April 06 2021 @ 12:31 PM EDT (#395862) #
Unless we got Price for nothing (technically should be less than nothing because we'd be assuming part of that contract) I have no interest in him. I'd be concerned with any trade with the Dodgers that even some 35th ranked prospect would be someone we'd regret trading later and at this point in his career Price is not better than people we could have gotten for money alone. Aka if you weren't going to sign Walker or Ordozzi than why would you have any interest in Price?
Cracka - Tuesday, April 06 2021 @ 12:43 PM EDT (#395863) #
Here's my working theory on bullpen usage:

1. There will be 7-8 BAOIGs (Big Arm, One Inning Guys) that will see most of the high leverage innings. The expectation is high velocity and/or movement, resulting in strikeouts or groundouts.

2. As suggested, BAOIGs will pitch for only 1 inning and rarely longer. This means they will be available for back-to-back games, but not for 3 days in a row UNLESS you are over 30 years old.

3. Chatwood & Phelps will be used without very many restrictions or until their arms fall off.

4. Pitching changes are ideally made between innings, avoiding the need for BAOIGs to sit in the dugout between innings.

5. Left-handed BAOIGs are prioritized for innings with left-handed batters but are not exclusively used in these situations.

6. There will only be 1-2 non-BAOIGS in the bullpen, capable of going multiple innings when required. They will be disposable (optioned or DFA'ed) for a fresh arm after working more than 1 inning.

That's my working theory, at least after 4 games. Basically, everyone is a "short reliever" except for a 1-2 interchangeable innings eaters (currently Milone and probably Thornton).
Kasi - Tuesday, April 06 2021 @ 12:53 PM EDT (#395864) #
I agree with that. And I think a similar approach will go to our starters too. I expect us to have a clear top 3 of Ryu/Ray/Matz (disregarding injuries ofc since those can't be predicted) and then a group of people that will be cycled through. I can see as much as 10 other starters cycling through those 2 spots. There is going to be a ton of promotions/demotions on pitchers this year and don't expect us to have more than a 3 man bench at almost anytime.
bpoz - Tuesday, April 06 2021 @ 01:26 PM EDT (#395865) #
Thanks Cracka for the BAOIG analysis. What about housekeeping (demotions/promotions). Currently we are playing in Texas. Multi inning Payamps is in Texas on the taxi squad with Cole and Bergen? With Milone promoted. Apr 8th everyone is in Dunedin.

BAOIG is a good strategy I suppose. 8 very good 1 inning guys to protect a lead or keep the game close until our fearsome offense takes over the game. I case we are behind 5 runs after 3 innings or less a good long man/men pitches. How many innings? This offense may still win the day.
scottt - Tuesday, April 06 2021 @ 01:34 PM EDT (#395866) #
Honestly, if Ray returns to his 2017 production, he'll sign a big contract in free agency and the Yankees could be one of the interested clubs. He's just 29, same as Merryweather who is under control for at least another 5 years.

Similar thing with Matz.

Wanting to be with one team/coach for a contract year is not the same as wanting to spend the foreseeable future there.

Walker had bad peripherals because his control wasn't great and he walked too many guys.
Odorizzi was asking too much.
Paxton was another lefty with too much injury risk to sign long term.

scottt - Tuesday, April 06 2021 @ 01:43 PM EDT (#395867) #
They have off days on April 19, 22 and 26. That would be a good stretch to have a 4-men bench.

Out of nowhere, Lucroy makes the Nats opening roster.

Gerry - Tuesday, April 06 2021 @ 01:56 PM EDT (#395868) #

If you are interested in what makes one pitchers fastball better than others, then read this Kevin Goldstein article in The Athletic. It's well worth a read.

Stay for the bonus Marco Estrada analysis.

Chuck - Tuesday, April 06 2021 @ 01:57 PM EDT (#395869) #
Out of nowhere, Lucroy makes the Nats opening roster.

Well, not entirely out of nowhere. COVID played a role.

Glevin - Tuesday, April 06 2021 @ 02:25 PM EDT (#395870) #
If anyone has BA membership, they have scouting reports for the Jays' international signings up.
hypobole - Tuesday, April 06 2021 @ 02:29 PM EDT (#395871) #
Thanks for the link, Gerry. However, the article is at Fangraphs, so no paywall.
John Northey - Tuesday, April 06 2021 @ 02:39 PM EDT (#395872) #
Fangraphs has projections of where the IFA will start 2021 in some areas. For example, Yosver Zululeta (signed June 2019) they expect to play in AA this year. Not many listed looking through but it is a free resource so at least we can look at it. Someday I might get a BA membership. Someday.
scottt - Tuesday, April 06 2021 @ 02:57 PM EDT (#395873) #
The Rays are falling apart faster than the Yankees this year.

Chaz Roe out for at least half the year.
Kiermaier on the IL.

scottt - Tuesday, April 06 2021 @ 03:04 PM EDT (#395874) #
The Yankees just traded for Odor!
You tell me that one is not out of nowhere.

Chuck - Tuesday, April 06 2021 @ 03:21 PM EDT (#395875) #
You tell me that one is not out of nowhere.

That one I will concede. I wonder if this reflects a lack of faith in Jay Bruce and a concern that Voigt, a man last seen on crutches, may not be back anytime soon. And perhaps they are drunk on thoughts of Odor pulling homeruns into the short porch.

Instead of contemplating moving Lemahieu to first base, they should just be sniffing out other first basemen. That's how they found Voigt in the first place.

Gerry - Tuesday, April 06 2021 @ 03:44 PM EDT (#395876) #
The Yankees are short of left handed bats and we know they play well in Yankee Stadium.
scottt - Tuesday, April 06 2021 @ 03:52 PM EDT (#395877) #
Odor sucks defensively and if you swap Bruce for Odor, you don't really gain a left bat.
When your shortstop struggles, is it wise to downgrade his double play partner?
I guess we'll find out.

They give up a couple of CF prospects to get him. Lottery tickets.

Odor will have to shave that hillbilly beard.

rpriske - Tuesday, April 06 2021 @ 05:04 PM EDT (#395878) #
What is worse than Rougned Odor?

Yankee Rougned Odor.
grjas - Tuesday, April 06 2021 @ 05:17 PM EDT (#395879) #
Ha. One more reason to hate the Yankees.
Spifficus - Tuesday, April 06 2021 @ 08:20 PM EDT (#395880) #
I gotta say, these are some very, umm, old school home-field scoring decisions.
Eephus - Tuesday, April 06 2021 @ 08:41 PM EDT (#395881) #
2020 Roark seems to still be in the building.
Kasi - Tuesday, April 06 2021 @ 08:42 PM EDT (#395882) #
Roark isn't inspiring confidence with the home runs here. Problem is his newfound workout experience doesn't seem to have regained his velocity, which I think losing hurt his performance the most.
Mike Green - Tuesday, April 06 2021 @ 08:43 PM EDT (#395883) #
I repeat. I would rather be wrong about Tanner Roark.
uglyone - Tuesday, April 06 2021 @ 08:45 PM EDT (#395884) #
Man just start Borucki instead of this slop.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, April 06 2021 @ 08:55 PM EDT (#395885) #
Roark looked toast in 2020 and tonight has just been an extension of that. I said before the season started he shouldn't have made the rotation, although with injuries to Pearson and Ray they may not have had a choice. He's throwing low-90's BP out there. Since it's the Rangers maybe he can piece together 5 innings and keep the team in the game, but I don't even want to think about what happens when he faces a good lineup.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, April 06 2021 @ 09:02 PM EDT (#395886) #
Odds he is still with the team after tonight? Sometimes better to rip the band aid off.
Eephus - Tuesday, April 06 2021 @ 09:04 PM EDT (#395887) #
This is... not great. Heís throwing so many meatballs the local Dallas restaurants are complaining.
SK in NJ - Tuesday, April 06 2021 @ 09:08 PM EDT (#395888) #
Trying to salvage a bad contract in a season you want to contend, without expanded playoffs to increase the odds, is a very bad idea. Piggyback Thornton with someone until he's stretched out. Call up Kay. There are options. If the Jays are willing to throw away 4 or 5 games in April (by letting Roark start) just to prolong the inevitable, then it's on them if it hurts them down the line.
Magpie - Tuesday, April 06 2021 @ 09:10 PM EDT (#395889) #
Odds he is still with the team after tonight?

I would be shocked if they cut him loose after one lousy start. But he certainly doesn't get a long leash. Ray will be coming back, and presumably Pearson after that. Trent Thornton and Anthony Kay are both walking around. The team will have some options. (But not Ryan Borucki, who's unlikely to ever start a game in the majors again, unless he's being used as the Opener.)
bpoz - Tuesday, April 06 2021 @ 09:22 PM EDT (#395890) #
Lets see what this offense can do.
Nigel - Tuesday, April 06 2021 @ 09:26 PM EDT (#395891) #
With Roark thereís always going to be an ACME anvil around the corner. Some games it will miss you, some not. Iím not sure he is materially worse than the other 5th starter options but Iíd try a few others first
Eephus - Tuesday, April 06 2021 @ 09:39 PM EDT (#395892) #
Another nice play by Biggio at third for the DP. Still not convinced he has the arm to be a plus defender over there, but as many others have said his instincts are surely top notch. He knew exactly what and how to do it once the ball left the bat.
Eephus - Tuesday, April 06 2021 @ 10:05 PM EDT (#395893) #
Itís super early of course but Tellez just looks super in between with his timing right now. Late on fastballs, pulling off on breaking balls. Gotta think, at the moment, that when Springer comes in itíll be Rowdy losing ABs, not Grichuk.
Kasi - Tuesday, April 06 2021 @ 10:07 PM EDT (#395894) #
Yeah I like that Tellez is a leftie but heís a black hole right now. He shouldnít be playing much til he gets out of this, especially when Grichuk is hot.
Magpie - Tuesday, April 06 2021 @ 10:08 PM EDT (#395895) #
Vlad is positively nimble on the base paths, certainly as compared with the last two years.

With Springer probably coming back this week and it being pretty much impossible to take Grichuk out of the lineup right now when he's one of two guys (him and Vlad) carrying the offense, the big Rowdy fella really needs to get off the schneid or he's going to be sitting around watching for a while.
Magpie - Tuesday, April 06 2021 @ 10:10 PM EDT (#395896) #
Three minds, one moment, the same thought.
uglyone - Tuesday, April 06 2021 @ 10:12 PM EDT (#395897) #
#StartBorucki
Magpie - Tuesday, April 06 2021 @ 11:56 PM EDT (#395898) #
#StartBorucki

Oh, I wish it could be. But you have to figure that a guy who's basically lost three whole seasons to injury wasn't made to be a starting pitcher.
hypobole - Wednesday, April 07 2021 @ 12:19 AM EDT (#395899) #
So start him, and when he's inevitably injured, we can blame the High Performance Department. We like to do that.
Waveburner - Wednesday, April 07 2021 @ 12:42 AM EDT (#395900) #
Looking through the hitting stats through 5 games is just not fun at all. They have 2 doubles as a team through 5 games. Striking out way too much. I wonder if they are feeling pressure of the hype or it's just a random bad start by too many players. Probably the latter.

Even Kirk looks like a player who never hit above A ball.

Obviously Roark will get at least one more start, but I hope they don't wait long. He's clearly put a lot of effort into trying to remake himself but he doesn't look like a pitcher who has the kind of command required to make his current approach viable at the MLB level. Sucks, but sometimes players just can't afford to lose any velocity whatsoever. Hopefully he can prove me wrong. I think Stripling can handle his spot when Ray and Pearson are back.
hypobole - Wednesday, April 07 2021 @ 12:54 AM EDT (#395901) #
Yeah, pretty well the entire offence. Grich and Vlad the only players with an OBP above .300 so far. The guy we face tomorrow has been the Rangers' Roark. Hopefully it will get at least a few bats going.
scottt - Wednesday, April 07 2021 @ 05:19 AM EDT (#395902) #
Yeah, the umps have called a lot of third strikes on balls.
Force the pitchers to throw strikes and the results might be different.

Roark threw a lot of non competitive pitches. Lots of 90-91 mph fastball over the strike zone.
Just pitching around Lowe might have changed the results.

ISLAND BOY - Wednesday, April 07 2021 @ 07:29 AM EDT (#395903) #
Aaron Sanchez went 5 innings in his Giants debut allowing 1 run and 6 hits with 4 strikeouts and no walks.

Another ex-Jay, Marcus Stroman, went 6 innings and gave up just 1 run and 3 hits.

James Paxton left his game after just 24 pitches after experiencing elbow discomfort. Uh-oh.
bpoz - Wednesday, April 07 2021 @ 07:45 AM EDT (#395904) #
Hope Sanchez can have a good season.
bpoz - Wednesday, April 07 2021 @ 09:01 AM EDT (#395905) #
This year plus 2 more for Grichuk. I think he is earning his money. Can probably even be traded without sending money and still receive a decent prospect (reliever). Avg .240, good power and about 27% K rate.
scottt - Wednesday, April 07 2021 @ 09:21 AM EDT (#395906) #
Hope Sanchez can string together at least a few good seasons.
I don't see neither Stroman nor Sanchez signing with the Jays in the future.

Neither seemed to trust the Jays coaching which is something I haven't seen with neither later prospects nor added vets.
Sanchez and Stroman didn't seem to like one another either.
Both had talents, though.

Roark said that "Nothing was working".
Still his fastball was up a tick, around 91 mph and he missed 4 bats on 6 curves.
However, I really don't want to see him against the Angels on Sunday.

bpoz - Wednesday, April 07 2021 @ 09:46 AM EDT (#395907) #
If Roark falls out of favor, there are too many other pitchers that also have to fail for him to be given another chance.

In the recent past Drew Storen and Jason Grilli were/became bad enough that the FO had to do something. They went to other teams. Grilli never improved but Storen was able to get another year of pitching.

F Liriano is still getting chances.
hypobole - Wednesday, April 07 2021 @ 09:52 AM EDT (#395908) #
Noticed there were 3 extra inning games last night including 1 that went 12 and another 13. Out of curiosity, I checked to see if any other team used the sacrifice bunt and found 2.

'Zona SS Perdomo bunts leading off the top of the 10th. Catcher fields it and throws out runner at 3rd. Torey Lovullo.

After a leadoff double puts Rays up 1 top of the 11th, Rays DH Mejia sacrifices runner to 3rd. Next 2 batters strike out. Kevin Cash.

So we can believe Montoyo used bad strategy to bunt, but it's obviously not uniquely bad strategy. Keeping the bunt on after 2 strikes though??? That's a Charlie.
bpoz - Wednesday, April 07 2021 @ 09:58 AM EDT (#395909) #
Atkins extended 5 years. I like it.
Mike Green - Wednesday, April 07 2021 @ 10:04 AM EDT (#395910) #
Rowdy Tellez started off the spring very hot, and then Charlie Montoyo started him almost exclusively against left-handed pitchers (presumably to find out if Rowdy should play every day).  Rowdy got cold in a hurry during the spring and the experience appears to have messed with his timing and approach.  I am convinced that he's a better hitter than Grichuk, but he does need something.  Personally I'd just keep throwing him out there but I certainly understand the other approach of just giving him some time off entirely.  Hopefully it works itself out before Springer returns. 
85bluejay - Wednesday, April 07 2021 @ 10:29 AM EDT (#395911) #
It's easier to keep a struggling hitter in the lineup if the team is hitting well overall but the Jays are not and Tellez is not viewed as a core player with a longer leash.
Chuck - Wednesday, April 07 2021 @ 10:43 AM EDT (#395912) #
If Roark falls out of favor, there are too many other pitchers that also have to fail for him to be given another chance.

I think that if and when Roark gets pulled from the rotation, he would be immediately released thereafter. I can't see that he'd be given a chance to pitch in relief to earn his way back into the rotation. He did some grumbling last year to suggest that his struggles were at least due in part to being pulled early. I would think the fear of further grumbling would hasten his departure.

scottt - Wednesday, April 07 2021 @ 10:58 AM EDT (#395913) #
Right now, there's no reason for Grichuk to sit more than anybody else.
I'd wait for the day after an 0-for.
Everybody should get a day off during the 16 game stretch.
Guerrero already plays a lot of DH. Will he get some time at 3B to open the DH while Tellez is at first or do they just sit Tellez?

Davis will certainly go down tomorrow. 

scottt - Wednesday, April 07 2021 @ 11:08 AM EDT (#395914) #
Tellez can get hot and cold. It has happened several times before.
Early in camp, the opposition wasn't throwing to him with a scouting report.

Dunedin will likely be a hitters park. He could find it there.

Regarding Roark, you don't have to go back to Grilli and and Storen.
McGuire and Yamaguchi got passed for better options recently.
He probably gets a chance in the pen before being released, but maybe he's just an opener for Kay right now.
When Ray gets activated they can send back one of Thornton or Zeuch, or just release Milone.
But he needs to get some innings against the Angels or he's just dead weight.

scottt - Wednesday, April 07 2021 @ 11:40 AM EDT (#395915) #
Here we go:

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

Mike Green - Wednesday, April 07 2021 @ 12:12 PM EDT (#395916) #
Giving Bo Bichette a DH day in the middle of a string of games makes a lot of sense.

scottt - Wednesday, April 07 2021 @ 12:22 PM EDT (#395917) #
Especially  following a day in which he missed a double play ball that would have saved a couple of runs.
Gerry - Wednesday, April 07 2021 @ 12:47 PM EDT (#395918) #
Springer now has a tight quad after running the bases yesterday. He is being evaluated but it doesn't look like he will come off the IL tomorrow.
Kasi - Wednesday, April 07 2021 @ 01:17 PM EDT (#395919) #
I still feel baseball and football just aren't sustainable sports. It's just too much violence in the motions. Look at Tatis injuring himself with a swing, or Springer with his issues in staying healthy. Or all the pitching injuries from throwing at max effort. Football is the same with how fast they have to go from 0 to 100% speed. We see open field injuries there all the time just from running.

Compare that to hockey and basketball where most of the injuries happens from contact. You don't see a skater just moving over the ice and falling over from an injury very often. Bigger, stronger, faster is a cool concept but when pushed to this extreme it leads to so many injuries. I'm not sure if there is a good way to fix it though.
99BlueJaysWay - Wednesday, April 07 2021 @ 02:45 PM EDT (#395920) #
That really sucks. We haven't had much success on the offensive side and I was really hoping he could help give the team a spark
Chuck - Wednesday, April 07 2021 @ 03:02 PM EDT (#395921) #
Bigger, stronger, faster is a cool concept but when pushed to this extreme it leads to so many injuries. I'm not sure if there is a good way to fix it though.

Not when the barrier to entry for most sports is now bigger, stronger, faster. Ease up on any of those to reduce your chance of injury and maybe you're not good enough to play the sport professionally.

99BlueJaysWay - Wednesday, April 07 2021 @ 03:04 PM EDT (#395922) #
Yeah, pretty well the entire offence. Grich and Vlad the only players with an OBP above .300 so far. The guy we face tomorrow has been the Rangers' Roark. Hopefully it will get at least a few bats going. Or we could make Gibson could look like Scherzer
85bluejay - Wednesday, April 07 2021 @ 03:05 PM EDT (#395923) #
It is going to be interesting to Compare Semien's play at SS vs Bo's - so far Bo hasn't dissuaded me from hoping the Jays have enough money in their budget go after one the free agent shortstop next winter.
scottt - Wednesday, April 07 2021 @ 03:23 PM EDT (#395924) #
I'm not crazy about the first pitch swinging Biggio.


Kasi - Wednesday, April 07 2021 @ 03:47 PM EDT (#395925) #
I don't think we were thinking the main issue with the team at this point is the offense. Right now its just Grichuk and Vlad going and to a lesser extent Simien. Everyone else has like 1 good game and a bunch of bad ones.
Eephus - Wednesday, April 07 2021 @ 03:51 PM EDT (#395926) #
The guy we face tomorrow has been the Rangers' Roark. Hopefully it will get at least a few bats going.

It would seem all of us are in early season "don't jinx it" mode.
scottt - Wednesday, April 07 2021 @ 05:53 PM EDT (#395927) #
April. Hitters behind pitchers. Same thing every year.

Tampa is now 2-4.
Judge is out with "soreness in his side".

2 close games. Can't have Roark pitching like that for long, that is for sure.
Semien has an OPS of .896. Bichette .822.

Angels have been about the same only 4 guys hitting.
Should see Griffin Canning the 6th starter and Andrew Heaney the 5th starter to begin the next series.

bpoz - Wednesday, April 07 2021 @ 06:16 PM EDT (#395928) #
We could have a stretch where the bats get hot and the pitching is cold.
hypobole - Thursday, April 08 2021 @ 02:48 AM EDT (#395929) #
Bunting the runner on 2nd in extras was done twice more last night, by Orioles (Galvis) and Yankees (Gardner) in the 11th.
scottt - Thursday, April 08 2021 @ 07:30 AM EDT (#395930) #
Gardner is a lefty who can bunt for a hit. Galvis hasn't hit a lick lately.

There are a lot of strategies attached to the runner on second.
There are many reasons why the visiting team might decide to go for only 1 run.
Maybe they think they have the strikeout pitching to shut it down the next inning.
Maybe they are using the bottom of the order and just want to stay alive one more inning to turn the lineup around.

The Yankees fans must hate the 2-runner rule by now.

John Northey - Thursday, April 08 2021 @ 08:40 AM EDT (#395931) #
Interesting. Early season stats always are nutty to look at. Aaron Hicks for the Yanks has a -5 OPS+. 5 regulars for the Yankees are sub 100. But just one guy in their pen has given up an earned run but their pen is 1-2 due to 2 unearned runs (the 2 extra inning losses). Not easy to be 500 with a sub 2 ERA for your pitching staff.

Jays have a 3.12 ERA so far, but just an 83 team OPS+. Tellez has a -81 OPS+ (hope he didn't lock into a lease again). While Gurriel is at 15. Kirk at -61. Lots of ugly numbers. But Grichuk is at 206 so if Springer needed time off this was the right time as we are getting good Grichuk. Hernandez (52) and Gurriel and Tellez should all be getting a bit nervous if they don't find their bats soon. Someone has to sit once Springer is back and right now it ain't gonna be Grichuk.
scottt - Thursday, April 08 2021 @ 09:09 AM EDT (#395932) #
2 of the 3 losses went to Stripling and Roark who had bad starts.
Yet, it looks like Stripling is getting his second start tonight.
I hope we see Ray soon.

Chuck - Thursday, April 08 2021 @ 09:53 AM EDT (#395933) #
Early season stats always are nutty to look at.

The NL slash line: 226/309/391
The AL slash line: 237/318/386

The Cubs have 8 singles in 6 games. Any game that they hit two singles exceeds their average. They are averaging fewer than 4 hits per game.

The Reds' corner outfielders, Naquin and Castellanos, have each hit 4 HR.

The tin can gang in Houston is hitting up a storm, particularly the most noted infractors.

I am tied with George Springer in most offensive categories.

mathesond - Thursday, April 08 2021 @ 10:15 AM EDT (#395934) #
I am tied with George Springer in most offensive categories.

Including nose hair?
bpoz - Thursday, April 08 2021 @ 10:16 AM EDT (#395935) #
The offense is basically set. 2 catchers, set regular IF with backup Panik, 4 OF with Davis the 5th. Poor performance of the regulars will be adjusted for with pinch hitting/running and a bit of time off. We live with this offense if healthy. We have as much as possible injury replacements.

The pitching is a contest. Ryu has been healthy and good. The pen has been very good basically. Stripling and Roark have to pitch well to keep their jobs. So far their 1st outing is a mark against them both. Matz has a longish leash. After 1 outing Zeuch has only managed to "not damage" his starter role. How many good outings does he need to "become" safe? Ray will be given a longish leash. Pearson when healthy will need to "not be bad" to continue in his ML role what ever it is. Hatch needs to wait for an opportunity to present itself and currently he is in competition with Kay and others to receive that opportunity. We expected this type of uncertain pitching.
ISLAND BOY - Thursday, April 08 2021 @ 11:45 AM EDT (#395936) #
It's always fun to look at early season stats and see hot starts by relative unknowns. Rule 5 pickup Akil Baddoo ( Great name! ) leads Detroit after 4 games with a .455 batting avg. and an eye-popping 1.636 OPS.

Yermin Mercedes of the White Sox, who recorded 8 straight hits at one point, has a batting avg. of .565 and an OPS of 1.409.

Fernando Tatis Jr., on the other hand, had a batting avg. of .167 before he got hurt.
Chuck - Thursday, April 08 2021 @ 12:36 PM EDT (#395937) #
Including nose hair?

Keeping the terrain well mowed for the Zoom calls.

Cracka - Thursday, April 08 2021 @ 12:47 PM EDT (#395938) #
Rowdy Tellez is in a massive slump over the past month. Over his last 61 plate appearances (incl spring training), he has just 5 hits (1 HR), 1 BB, and 20 strikeouts.

Since the regular season has started, he has seen 66 pitches:
- 23 balls (incl two 3-0 counts)
- 12 swinging strikes
- 11 called strikes
- 9 foul balls
- 10 balls in plays (all outs)
- 1 HBP (his only time on base)

It's too early to make any big decisions but it's not easy to keep a guy like this on a 3-man bench. Tellez still has an option remaining, and it wouldn't surprise me to see him spend time at the alt. site or in AAA if he can't find his timing soon. There aren't many options available, but Josh Palacios did have a phenomenal spring training and also hits from the left side. I would not be surprised to see him on the roster soon if Springer is unable to return in the near future.
John Northey - Thursday, April 08 2021 @ 12:56 PM EDT (#395939) #
Imagine what a nightmare for SD's GM if Tatis ends up being unable to reach the level he showed up to now (shoulder keeps popping out or something). I hope that doesn't happen, but it could. That would hurt those crazy 10+ year contracts.

IMO Tatis was a risk worth taking on it, but guys in their late 20's or older are not. Pick any year and take the top 10 players 25 or older. I'll guarantee you won't find more than half who'd be a 3 WAR player a decade later. For example, 1980 (randomly picked - was going to use 2001 but you get PED issues there). Top WAR by guys 30 and under for the next decade (only 1 of the top 10 was over 30 - Steve Carlton who was 35).
  • George Brett age 27 - in 1990 4.5 WAR then was done with 0.7 over the next 4 while chasing 3000 hits (42.3 over 10 years)
  • Mike Schmidt age 30 - in 1990 retired. 47.7 WAR over the 9 years he played after 1980.
  • Rickey Henderson age 21 - probably the best case situation for Tatis and other kids, 72.2 WAR over the decade after, and 30 over the next 10 years. And he had 3 more ML seasons in him (1.1 WAR) and 2 more in indy leagues (over 800 OPS in them each year). Dang he was good and fun to boo.
  • Willie Wilson age 24 - 26.3 WAR, only once cracking 5 WAR again.
  • Robin Yount age 24 - 50.7 WAR, 2 MVP's, despite needing to switch from SS to CF.
  • Britt Burns age 21 - 11.6 WAR - boy did he drop fast. Pitchers are not as good a bet as hitters obviously. His best year after 1980 was his final one.
  • Dwayne Murphy age 25 - 25.8 WAR, only 9 seasons left then retired. Gold Glove CF.
  • Andre Dawson age 25 - 42.8 WAR and an MVP in his 5th best year of the next 10.
  • Cecil Cooper age 30 - 14.5 WAR over 7 seasons then retired.
So lots of HOF'ers there, quite a few 25 and under. Cooper and Schmidt were the only 30's, both were retired before a 10 year contract would've been done. Only Rickey and Yount kept 5+ WAR on average for the decade (7.2 for Rickey!). Yount's 5.1 was dang impressive too. The only sub 30 pitcher, Burns, didn't last too long and would've been a very bad signing. If you gave a 10 year $300 mil deal to these guys, based on $9 mil per WAR (a normal figure to use right now) you'd need 33 WAR to get value (just over 3 WAR a year). Of the 4 guys sub 25, 2 were really worth it (Rickey & Yount) 1 close (Wilson) and 1 not remotely (Burns). The 25's (2 guys) were split but not a disaster (Murphy 25.8 is not ideal, but not a massive loss, Dawson would've been a win). The over 25's (3) had 2 inner circle HOF'ers (Brett & Schmidt) who were easily worth it, and a flop in Cooper.

Looking at this I can see why teams would hesitate to do 10 year deals. You get of these 9 you get 5 worth it, 4 not. 1 'wow' big win vs 2 'oh crap' big losses. If your job relied on getting this right would you risk it (say doing those deals for Bo & Vlad) or would you wait and see? Me, I'd wait and see.
scottt - Thursday, April 08 2021 @ 02:11 PM EDT (#395940) #
It would be awkward to have Palacios up and Davis down just because he is a lefty.
A left bat in the outfield would be nice but Springer/Hernandez/Gurriel are big bats and Hernandez/Gurriel/Guerrero are great buddies. Martin and Groshans are right bats.
The left bat at DH is pretty optimal. Some guys take a month or 2 to get going.

scottt - Thursday, April 08 2021 @ 04:08 PM EDT (#395941) #
Right now, everybody getting a "day off" takes a turn at DH.
Panik is 3 for 9.
Semien is hitting .240 but he leads the team in HR, tied in RBI and leads in SB.

Magpie - Thursday, April 08 2021 @ 07:18 PM EDT (#395943) #
Britt Burns age 21

Hmm. A talented White Sox LH, traded to an AL East team after some very fine seasons in the Chicago rotation who .. never pitched in the majors again. Gosh, that rings some bells.

In Burns' case it was a degenerative hip that ended his career, and the Yankees who lost out on the trade. (They gave up Joe Cowley and Ron Hassey. Not that big a deal, I suppose.)
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