Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
The Bronx Bombers are coming to town! Okay, not this town, but a town.


The Jays and Yankees are momentarily locked in a four way tie for second (fifth) place in the AL East behind the mighty Boston Red Sox, because nothing makes sense any more. Lourdes Gurriel is back from the COVID list, Santiago Espinal has been optioned to the Alternate Training Site to make room. Robbie Ray makes his season debut tonight. Joel Payamps has been optioned and Tanner Roark has been banished to the bullpen, for the moment. Josh Palacios gets another start in RF while Alejandro Kirk and Rowdy Tellez continue their quest for the First Hit of 2021. They'll be doing this against Gerrit Cole. I will be taking wagers.

Matchups? Of course...

Mon 12 Apr. - Cole (1-0, 1.46) vs Ray (---)
Tue 13 Apr - Taillon (0-0, 3.86) vs Ryu (0-1, 2.92)
Wed 14 Apr - (Kluber (0-1, 5.68) vs Stripling (0-1, 7.56)


Yankees at Blue Jays, Apr. 12-14 | 133 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Gerry - Monday, April 12 2021 @ 05:17 PM EDT (#396095) #
Kluber vs. Stripling on a getaway day. Don't warm up the plane's engines too soon.
krose - Monday, April 12 2021 @ 08:46 PM EDT (#396096) #
How much better is this team with Ray in the starting rotation? Good game so far.
Kasi - Monday, April 12 2021 @ 08:47 PM EDT (#396097) #
Just a rough matchup with the best or second best pitcher in all of baseball. (I think its just him and deGrom really)
krose - Monday, April 12 2021 @ 08:50 PM EDT (#396098) #
Nice to have a starter who can keep the team in the game against Cole.
Eephus - Monday, April 12 2021 @ 09:28 PM EDT (#396099) #
Kyle Higashioka is becoming to the Blue Jays, what Gerald Henderson was to the Raptors.

If they keep not giving up constant home runs to anybody not a starting catcher for the Yanks, they might be ok.
Eephus - Monday, April 12 2021 @ 09:48 PM EDT (#396100) #
Darren OíDay must be the least likable submariner pitcher I can remember, and I love these increasingly rare successful dudes like that who throw from weird angles. (Obvious AL East bias applies.)

Ah whatever letís just light up Chapman. Thatís even better.
Chuck - Monday, April 12 2021 @ 09:56 PM EDT (#396101) #
The Yankees are stockpiling Jose Bautista's enemies.
Eephus - Monday, April 12 2021 @ 10:12 PM EDT (#396102) #
Didnít like Rowdyís chances regardless, but that strike 3.... flimsy
Four Seamer - Monday, April 12 2021 @ 10:16 PM EDT (#396103) #
Iím not sure how much more of this god-awful umpiring I can willingly subject myself to. Bring on the robot umps, pronto.
uglyone - Monday, April 12 2021 @ 10:16 PM EDT (#396104) #
92-93 - Monday, April 12 2021 @ 10:18 PM EDT (#396105) #
Always easy to blame the ump, but Tellez took a 2-0 fastball right down the pipe and then missed a slider that also hung over the middle.

Good game, gotta play better.
uglyone - Monday, April 12 2021 @ 10:21 PM EDT (#396106) #
Ah yes because tellez made 2 strikes against that elite pitcher he deserved to be struck out on that call.
Kasi - Monday, April 12 2021 @ 10:28 PM EDT (#396107) #
Seems like Ks are even more up this year which isnít helping our high K players. Biggio, Hernandez, Tellez, Simien and Gurriel are all struggling. Need a bit more contact in the lineup which is why I donít mind Panik that much with this lineup. Espinal and Palacios too. Shame Kirk has come out of the gate so flat. Weíre getting almost nothing offensive wise from our catchers. Anyway you donít expect to win many games against Cole, but we did have a shot and kept it close. Odd that our pitching has been fine so far.
Nigel - Monday, April 12 2021 @ 10:32 PM EDT (#396108) #
My over/under on OíDay appearances looks like a lock. Tellezís struggles are exacerbating the existing L/R lineup imbalance. Tough RHís are going to be a matchup issue for a while. Good game though.
Eephus - Tuesday, April 13 2021 @ 02:33 AM EDT (#396109) #
This feels like the right moment to debate how against the concept of Robo-umpires I am. One second please, while I gather my refreshment.

I think my biggest argument against it would be that I simply prefer the fallible work of professionals, who are incapable of ever being 100 percent correct, over the rigidness of an automated system. I've played a lot of baseball and been called out looking many times on pitches well out of the zone (you can tell, heh)... but there is a variance to that aspect of the game I would regret losing. Perhaps an automated strikezone would be consistently more accurate, and tighter accuracy would be the goal, but how would hitters argue against it? Even the Trouts will still get called out looking... and they won't like it no matter if it's a human ump or a robot back there.

I like accuracy, I like the correct call being made. Yes, some calls are historically bad (that wasn't strike 3 on Revere in 2015... Galaragga's perfect game that never was... etc) but you lose a type of flavour the game has, an imperfect humanity to it... which to me feels so precise to how the game of baseball itself is. It is imperfect... flawed... a rugged history not quite as welcoming as Rob Manfred would like you to believe.

I'm probably on a losing soapbox with this one regardless, seeing how they're testing roboumps in the minors soon. Maybe you can program a robot to have a certain type of strikezone? Now there's a very different level of hell... I bet Cavan Biggio would hack it and learn all its secrets.  




scottt - Tuesday, April 13 2021 @ 07:25 AM EDT (#396110) #
Taking a 2-0 fastball is good baseball.
Taking a 0-2 fastball is not so good.

Cole threw breaking stuff to everyone the first time around and got hit a bit .
He then went primarily with the fastball and make quick work of everybody as they were timing the breaking balls.
Then, he seemed to read bats and throw what they didn't want to hit.

Still, I think I saw that movie before, the one that stars Higashioka.
Gotta get a better scouting report on him.

Sad that Kirk is cast off in McGuire's role of the backup catcher who can't hit at all.

Ray looked good and maybe they win that match up the next time around.
He didn't get the corners and many times had to come in the middle of the plates to avoid walking guys.
Dolis is coming around nicely.
Thornton was standing side by side with Stripling, two guys who could be switching spots before too long.

I would have liked to see Palacios try to bunt his way in, but they played the corners in on him.
Obviously, they have people watching every games.


scottt - Tuesday, April 13 2021 @ 07:31 AM EDT (#396111) #
The imperfect humanity here feels too much like losing an olympic boxing match because 2 of the 3 judges are allied with Russia and China.

An other thing, there's way too many Yankees fans in Dunedin.
That doesn't feel like home at all. I liked it better without attendance.
I hope they overcharge them.

92-93 - Tuesday, April 13 2021 @ 08:16 AM EDT (#396112) #
Revere (and Navarro) struck out swinging in the ALCS. Pompey should've been a legend grabbing those two bags.



Paul D - Tuesday, April 13 2021 @ 08:32 AM EDT (#396113) #
I'm still haunted by those strike calls to Navaro and Revere in the ALCS. (And obviously if they'd gone the other way, the Jays win game 6, Wolverine pitches them to the win on game 7, then they beat the Mets). I have not reviewed the calls against the Royals in that game to see if they'd benefit.
rpriske - Tuesday, April 13 2021 @ 09:24 AM EDT (#396114) #
I don't see bad calls ever making the game better.

Just as Tennis was unwatchable before they went digital, getting the calls right is always the right choice.

I even support replays. They still have issues (I will readily admit) but they are on the right track.
Glevin - Tuesday, April 13 2021 @ 09:36 AM EDT (#396115) #
I am pro robot umps. I don't mind that different umps might have slightly different zones as long as those zones are consistent. They aren't though. I don't even mind people being given close calls. I don't think anyone cares much though. If it were just veterans getting an extra few CMs of strike zone, this wouldn't be a discussion. The issue is that so many calls are awful and it changes the game completely. Replay obviously needs to be overhauled as well after a week where two obviously awful calls were upheld. (Also, it shouldn't take that long to make calls! When the Jays had that trapped ball replay earlier in the week, the replay showed it was trapped in about 1 second. Why should that take 4 minutes?)
Chuck - Tuesday, April 13 2021 @ 10:16 AM EDT (#396116) #
I don't see bad calls ever making the game better.

I am entirely in this camp as well. You want zest? You want fallible humanity? The players are there to offer that up by the bucketload. I want no humanity from the arbiters. I want perfection.

Chuck - Tuesday, April 13 2021 @ 10:21 AM EDT (#396117) #
Replay obviously needs to be overhauled.

Agreed. If you're going to use replay, use it to get the call right. That means ignoring entirely the call on the field and starting from scratch to assess what occurred. This business about overturning the call on the field means that poor calls that are most likely incorrect, but not incontrovertibly so, do not get overturned. What purpose does this serve? Assuaging the umpires' feelings?

Chuck - Tuesday, April 13 2021 @ 10:28 AM EDT (#396118) #
Per Umpire Scorecards (thanks Gerry), Hunter Wendelstedt did not have a banner game behind the plate last night. The data visualization does not specifically note which incorrect calls favoured which team other than via a team-level affect represented in runs. Cole seemed to be on the receiving end of a disproportion of the charitable calls, an advantage he hardly requires. Chapman's strike three to Tellez was an embarrassment and entirely zest-free.
uglyone - Tuesday, April 13 2021 @ 10:44 AM EDT (#396119) #
Yep I agree Chuck - the PLAYERS are the "human element", the umps have always been our best attempt to inject objective infallibility into the sport. And now we have a better way to do that.
scottt - Tuesday, April 13 2021 @ 11:28 AM EDT (#396120) #
+0.61 runs in favour NY. It's great to have the home advantage.

Worse 3 calls, Chapman to Tellez, O'Day to Panik, Cole to Bichette.
It looks more like a team bias than a pitcher bias.

The Diamondbacks vs Atletics game favoured the A's by 1.78 runs. That's huge.
-0.77 against Arizona and 1.01 for Oakland.

scottt - Tuesday, April 13 2021 @ 11:40 AM EDT (#396121) #
That we're even talking about the umps is an indication that things are wrong.
Let's talk about the ones doing things right.

Pat Hoberg and Todd Tichenor had a 99% consistency last night.
Jim Wolf, Greg Gibson, Andy Fletcher,  and Jerry Meals, 98%.
Even Angel Hernandez had a 97% consistency and only impacted his game by only 0.29 runs.
ISLAND BOY - Tuesday, April 13 2021 @ 12:03 PM EDT (#396122) #
I'll pile on and agree that I'd rather see the right call even if it is by a machine. The Jays looked stunned in the dugout after that last call to Tellez. The thing is, a bad call can affect an entire at bat. If the hitter is ahead 2 and one and the next pitch is 4 inches outside and called a strike, then suddenly instead of having a hitters count, he has to swing at anything close to the zone.

As Scottt pointed out, there are good and consistent umpires, but the human element means you're going to have some bad ones, too.
bpoz - Tuesday, April 13 2021 @ 12:36 PM EDT (#396123) #
Ryu, Ray and Matz have pitched as well as can be hoped. We should see progress/success from a few of the young pitchers like Thornton, Kay, Hatch and Zeuch. The pen also has a few very good young pitchers emerging like Merryweather, Borucki, Romano and Mayza. Pearson is also out there.
Chuck - Tuesday, April 13 2021 @ 02:24 PM EDT (#396124) #
Just checking out tonight's MLB dance card I see a lot of ex-Blue Jay pitchers slated to go: Happ, Anderson, Walker, Stroman, Boyd. I guess Aaron Sanchez didn't get the memo.
Mike Green - Tuesday, April 13 2021 @ 03:14 PM EDT (#396125) #
I agree with the consensus on robo-umps. I am glad that I missed the Chapman pitch to Tellez as a spike in my blood pressure is the last thing I need.

The Blue Jay infield defence looks better than it has in years.  With the three left-handers in the rotation, Biggio and Semien are getting a lot of in-game practice on the 5-4-3 and they both seem to be quick learners.  And Vladdy's improvement in catching (along with baserunning and hitting) is plain to see.
Magpie - Tuesday, April 13 2021 @ 05:03 PM EDT (#396126) #
Tennis was unwatchable before they went digital

I watched lots of it anyway, but it's so much better now. For sure. I do not miss the tantrums of McEnroe and Nastase.

But tennis is easy. The lines are drawn on the court. They don't move and they don't change. The strike zone isn't just flexible - it's subjective. It's entirely reasonable for two individuals to stand behind the catcher and see a two different strike zones.

... the upper limit of which is a horizontal line at the midpoint between the top of the shoulders and the top of the uniform pants and the lower level is a line at the hollow beneath the kneecap.

It changes from batter to batter, and sometimes from pitch to pitch - because it is "determined from the batter's stance" and batters can and do change their stances in mid at bat. If we really have the technology, fine. But it's much more complicated than tennis.
uglyone - Tuesday, April 13 2021 @ 05:21 PM EDT (#396127) #
It wasn't even a spike in blood pressure, Mike, but just shocked disappointment.

Not only did the call screw us but it ruined a great battle with 2 outs in the 9th with the tying run at the plate.

It was the entertainment loss that was the worst part.
scottt - Tuesday, April 13 2021 @ 06:25 PM EDT (#396128) #
The inside and outside corners don't change. Maybe the top of the strike zone changes, but the bottom?
Is there a part of Tellez's stance in which his knees come 6 inches from the ground?
The top of the zone is rarely a point of contention and when it is, it's because it's not constant.
A pitch is a ball. A higher pitch is a strike.

It's a bit more complicated than tennis, but not much.
Hitter have a stance, they load up before they swing but the strike zone is determined from the stance.
Tellez was standing still on that call because the ball was nowhere near the strike zone.

scottt - Tuesday, April 13 2021 @ 06:30 PM EDT (#396129) #
Texas is now 3-7 and 2 of those wins came from the Jays.
I'm glad Roark is no longer in the rotation.

Odor and Bruce tonight?
Basically the same lineup for Toronto. Just swap Kirk for Jansen.

Chuck - Tuesday, April 13 2021 @ 06:47 PM EDT (#396130) #
The strike zone isn't just flexible - it's subjective. It's entirely reasonable for two individuals to stand behind the catcher and see a two different strike zones.

North/south perhaps, but not east/west.

grjas - Tuesday, April 13 2021 @ 08:37 PM EDT (#396131) #
ďIt was the entertainment loss that was the worst part.Ē

Thatís the issue. Itís similar to the debate over changing the application of the centre red line in hockey. Purists hated the change, but the game is infinitely more entertaining. The human factor for umps is not the slightest bit entertaining IMHO. Just annoying.

Jeez I Iike Ryu. composed, consistent and competitive. Best Jays pitcher since Halladay, and itís not even close.
lexomatic - Tuesday, April 13 2021 @ 09:06 PM EDT (#396132) #
Wow Cessa throws a lot of sliders.
AWeb - Tuesday, April 13 2021 @ 09:34 PM EDT (#396133) #
I wonder how much better Halladay could have been if he pitched in the current era, where complete games basically don't exist and pitchers appear to be pretty explicitly told when they will be done for the night. Halladay constantly paced himself to try and last the whole game if he could (and some of those teams needed the innings), and changed his entire pitching strategy to reflect that. I think now he might fail entirely, or become a Cole-type of pitcher.

In 2020, an admittedly odd year, there were 20 CGs, 12 of which were non-shutouts. That was ~900 games. So far this year there are 2 CGs, both shutouts (one no-hitter!), in ~155 games.

Missed what happened to Phelps...injured mid-inning? That's ominous.
lexomatic - Tuesday, April 13 2021 @ 09:42 PM EDT (#396134) #
I'm following game cast and it was a deflection. Maybe a precaution? aybe someone who was watchign could comment
Eephus - Tuesday, April 13 2021 @ 09:53 PM EDT (#396135) #
Gary Sanchez can hit, but man he is bad at everything else. Dumb, dumb base running.

The broadcast is raving about Vlad Jrís throw, and it was good... but I like Jansenís headiness throwing behind the runner way more.
jerjapan - Tuesday, April 13 2021 @ 10:09 PM EDT (#396136) #
105 mph screamer flush to the back for Phelps. He was in pain and walking with difficulty.

Awesome game otherwise. Ryu made the Yanks cry like babies. I love watching him pitch.

Josh Ďa coyote ate my gloveí Palacios looks like a player
jerjapan - Tuesday, April 13 2021 @ 10:13 PM EDT (#396137) #
Great play for the win
Four Seamer - Tuesday, April 13 2021 @ 10:14 PM EDT (#396138) #
Man, are these umps some kind of terrible.
99BlueJaysWay - Tuesday, April 13 2021 @ 10:55 PM EDT (#396139) #
In the post game Charlie said Merryweather injured his hip walking back to the dugout. Doesnít seem to be our best year so far with injury luck
uglyone - Tuesday, April 13 2021 @ 11:50 PM EDT (#396140) #
Umps ruining enjoyment again.

That was obviously a beautiful and successful defensive play to the end the game and its just brutal that the ump could ever have thought it wasn't.
Dr B - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 01:44 AM EDT (#396141) #
Unless the umpires are making large numbers of mistakes or showing bias I say keep Ďem. Every fan of every sport thinks that the umpires are biased against their team (a tendency weirdly more common when oneís team loses...) but is there any (statistical) evidence of bias? Does a bad call change the outcome of a game let alone a season? If there is no bias, then your team is also getting calls in its favour and in baseball things have plenty of time to even out.

I get this is subjective, so if a bad call ruins your enjoyment I canít argue against it. I wonít say a bad call doesnít bother me, but not enough to want to get rid of the umpire. I'm watching an entertainment, and the umps are part of the theatre. You still need someone to throw out Rougned Odor don't you?
Jonny German - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 06:24 AM EDT (#396142) #
It changes from batter to batter, and sometimes from pitch to pitch - because it is "determined from the batter's stance" and batters can and do change their stances in mid at bat.

That's how it is today, but there's no reason it has to stay that way. It could be defined purely as a function of the player's height - i.e. the bottom of the zone is 14 inches + 5% of the batter's height, the top is 40 inches + 10% of the batter's height. You'd want to calibrate those values to correspond to current averages, and obviously no matter how you do it there's going to be batters who suffer or benefit due to having unusual stances. Pitchers and hitters would adjust accordingly, and complain accordingly. That's no concern at all compared to having to anticipate the failings and whims of a human umpire on every single pitch.
hypobole - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 06:39 AM EDT (#396143) #
ABS (Auto Ball-Strike) tech is coming, but still a few years away. Won't get rid of any umps though.

To change the subject, I'm wondering how soon Anthony Alford will be hitting the Waiver wire. He should have a long leash because Pirates, but even tankers cut bait on the Socrates Brito types eventually.

23 PA's, reached base 4 times - 3 BB, 1 HBP. Put the ball in play 4 times - 2 GB outs, 2 FB outs. The other 15 PA's all K's. That's a 65% rate. None of the other 282 MLB'ers with 20 PA's so far is over 50%.
scottt - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 09:09 AM EDT (#396144) #
It will be interesting to see the ump scorecard today.
The Yankees complained a lot but Ryu was mostly just hitting the corners.
Taillon does not appear to have a lot of command.

As long as the obvious bad calls are overturned, I don't mind those.
It's early, but the review judges appear better this year.

The Yankees infield defense is bad.
Urshela is good at 3B and Lemahieu is fine but third isn't his best position.
Sanchez has lots of issues, Bruce isn't really a firstbaseman and Torres would fit better at second.
Odor stinks defensively.

Phelps has a back contusion.
Merryweather has some left hip discomfort.
Maybe one or both go on the IL so they can recall Payamps.
Hernandez has tested positive and will probably miss long enough to need some rehab.
Springer appears to be targeting an April 27 return.

scottt - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 11:24 AM EDT (#396145) #
91% accuracy. 96% consistency.
Lack of consistency was only in the top of the zone.
Strike zone was generous on both side.
3 worse calls:  Ryu to Frazier, Taillon to Guerrero, Ryu to Sanchez.

scottt - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 11:33 AM EDT (#396146) #
Lemahieu gets the day off?

Montoyo seems to always be late with his lineups.
Kirk and Panik in today?

bpoz - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 11:42 AM EDT (#396147) #
Jays 2013 draft pick Jake Brentz finally made it to the majors. He is 26 all of this year. Is a lefty reliever.
Gerry - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 11:45 AM EDT (#396148) #
According to reports from Dunedin, TJ Zeuch will start today instead of Ross Stripling.
Mike Green - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 11:47 AM EDT (#396149) #
What Jonny German said. This is a case where objective standards are clearly preferable.
Gerry - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 12:02 PM EDT (#396150) #
Merryweather to the IL. Anthony Castro gets recalled.

Stripling has some forearm tightness.

The Jays have multiple days off over the next two weeks, it seems like the pitching staff needs them.
92-93 - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 12:03 PM EDT (#396151) #
It was fun watching the Dodgers game last night and rooting for the backwards K just to see Tom Hallion explode.
Gerry - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 12:04 PM EDT (#396152) #
Merryweather has an oblique strain, so he's likely gone for a couple of weeks.

The Jays will need a starter tomorrow in KC. Roark back in?
Chuck - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 01:31 PM EDT (#396153) #
Merryweather to the IL.

Well, he gave us 4.1 innings. So maybe not the new Henke?

92-93 - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 02:02 PM EDT (#396154) #
Buck is hilarious. He gets extremely excited for routine fly balls, and has no idea easy HRs are going out.
hypobole - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 02:10 PM EDT (#396155) #
He and Donaldson seem to be having a contest to see who can spend more time on the IL. Josh with the early lead, but Julian mounting a comeback.
Kasi - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 02:39 PM EDT (#396156) #
Zeuch needs to go back to the minors and figure out how to throw a pitch that can reliably cause whiffs. Right now he doesn't and he relies on the defense being perfect, which is not this team's MO.
Eephus - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 02:54 PM EDT (#396157) #
I think Judge is an underrated outfielder defensively, and that was a pretty good throw... but man Iím not sure what Biggio was thinking with that big turn. Iíll give him the benefit of the doubt since heís usually an excellent and alert base runner.... it happens i guess.
Chuck - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 02:55 PM EDT (#396158) #
Buck is hilarious.

He does seem to have no idea where fly balls are going, which are deep and which are not. Also, his new thing is to say "this may go for extra bases" when someone pulls on obvious double into an outfield corner.

Zeuch needs to go back to the minors and figure out how to throw a pitch that can reliably cause whiffs.

As discussed in another thread, if he's going for a Buehrle-type career, he'll need exceptional BB and HR rates to counter the low K rate. That's not happening so far.

He and Donaldson seem to be having a contest to see who can spend more time on the IL.

Merryweather seems like a heart-breaker. So good when he is healthy. Just never healthy. I hope things break well for him, but I wouldn't want to bet money on it.

scottt - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 03:04 PM EDT (#396159) #
Biggio was thinking that the throw was going to home and was getting ready to score if it went past the catcher.
I think it's because Rivera was telling/signaling him no to slide at third.

Eephus - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 03:06 PM EDT (#396160) #
I also agree Buck is hilarious, in a folksy charming kind of way. His pronunciations of certain words is my favorite: why he says measured like ďmayshuredĒ continues to baffle and intrigue me.

Rowdy is starting to hit the ball hard consistently. A good sign for him.
scottt - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 03:28 PM EDT (#396161) #
Interestingly, since Hernandez in on the Covid IL, they can replace him with anybody, even someone who's not on the 40 roster. Which is how Castro ends up here.


Chuck - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 03:34 PM EDT (#396162) #
I also agree Buck is hilarious, in a folksy charming kind of way.

One man's folksy charming is another man's reach for the mute button because this idiot is just killing me.

uglyone - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 03:42 PM EDT (#396163) #
Buck's hate for the shift always makes me laugh.

"AHA! I TOLD YOU that the shift hurts as much as it helps!"

Every time.
uglyone - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 03:46 PM EDT (#396164) #
The anti-shift stuff is extra funny to me because if teams had figured it out decades ago it's exactly the kind of old-school oddball quirk that guys like buck would be defending I think. One of those extra nuances of the game like double switches etc. that bring flavor and complexity to the game and renders simple stats less useful.
uglyone - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 03:53 PM EDT (#396165) #
I know there's not a ton of options right now but I've been annoyed by this Semien-as-top-order-bat thing we've been subject to since day one of spring training. When we're healthy he best be treated as the bottom order bat he is imo.
Mike Green - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 03:54 PM EDT (#396166) #
Paging Anthony Kay. Going to Kansas City, Kansas City, herecI come.
uglyone - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 04:05 PM EDT (#396167) #
Nice. Umps can't ruin that one.
Mike Green - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 04:07 PM EDT (#396168) #
Sweet.
Kasi - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 04:08 PM EDT (#396169) #
Another nice game from Bo. Good to see he's bounced back. I do agree Simien shouldn't be batting leadoff. To me he seems like that ideal number 6 hitter or so. Maybe a 7 in this lineup given its depth. (the best hitters on this team being Springer, Bo, Vlad for sure and Teoscar/Gurriel having a case at times)
Nigel - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 04:13 PM EDT (#396170) #
Castro gave them a huge lift. I also like Thornton in that role rather than as a starter.

If it were me, when everyone is healthy, I would run Springer, Biggio, Bichette and Vladdy as my top 4. There are reasonable cases to stack the non-C bats in practically any order after that.
hypobole - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 04:26 PM EDT (#396171) #
Can't believe I'm defending Buck, but he's not at the park, calling games from TV monitors at home - much harder to judge how far balls will travel.
Think it was yesterday he did make a comment on the shift, in that the pitcher can't lay a ball on the outside edge where the hitter would naturally go the other way into the vacated area. I have heard other announcers not seem to understand that and just complain about a "good pitch" going for a hit because of shifting.
Agree with uo Semien shouldn't hit leadoff. Problem has been a combo of Springer's injuries and Biggio not getting on base enough to warrant a change, although he seems to be coming out of his funk the past few games.
Magpie - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 04:27 PM EDT (#396172) #
Is Buck actually at the Dunedin park, or is he trying to do this from a monitor?
scottt - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 04:27 PM EDT (#396173) #
Very nice from Castro considering he's a freebie from Detroit.

Thornton would be fine starting if he threw fewer balls.
Is he getting more velo from being in the pen?
If he is, I'm not remembering his starts.

Any 4 guys with big OPS in the top 4 is fine.
It's way too early to be down on Semien.
Before the game, he was still third in bWAR as position player.
I like Biggio before Tellez. Palacios is a nice surprise.
It's great to have another left bat.

.500 feels great.
Yankees drop to 5-7 and are playing Tampa next.
It would be a good time to beat on weaker teams.
Need to find innings for Milone and Roark.

Gerry - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 04:28 PM EDT (#396174) #
Sorry hypobole, for games in Dunedin Buck and Tabby are at the park. They don't travel with the team, so the KC commentary will be Shulman and Buck from their homes.
scottt - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 04:29 PM EDT (#396175) #
Buck lives in Florida and he's in Dunedin for every home game along with Pat who, I think, lives in Ohio.
Magpie - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 04:30 PM EDT (#396176) #
Ah, hypobole and I, our minds as one!

I'm pretty sure that, unlike most of us, Buck has watched far more games in person than he has off a TV screen.
Magpie - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 04:32 PM EDT (#396177) #
So much for that.
hypobole - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 04:38 PM EDT (#396178) #
Buck lives in Dunedin, scottt, but he's calling the games from his home.

"Dan Shulman will call games from a studio in Toronto, with either Martinez or Tabler offering the analysis from their homes. That means Sportsnet broadcasts will unfold in four different locations, with one production team on-site and the other in Toronto, and with the play-by-play voice and colour analyst working separately."

"Both commentators have access to several different camera angles. They can see what the viewer sees at home, and they can also access a broader view of the stadium, as well as the bullpen (so they can see which pitchers are warming up) and the scoreboard, among others.

ďItís not the same as being at the ballpark,Ē said Corte. ďBut we try to give them as many angles as possible so they can see as much of the ballpark as they normally would.Ē
uglyone - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 04:43 PM EDT (#396179) #
Potential order, with last 2yrs stats (not including today):

1. CF Springer .359obp, 146wrc+
2. 3B Biggio .363obp, 117wrc+
3. 1B Guerrero .361obp, 128wrc+
4. SS Bichette .323obp, 125wrc+
5. DH Teoscar .323obp, 130wrc+
6. LF Gurriel .329obp, 117wrc+
7. RF Grichuk .324obp, 115wrc+
8. 2B Semien .302obp, 94wrc+
9. C Jansen .296obp, 73wrc+

PH Tellez .302obp, 103wrc+
IF Panik .333obp, 81wrc+
C Kirk .282obp, 78wrc+
uglyone - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 04:45 PM EDT (#396180) #
Potential order, with last 2yrs stats (not including today):

1. CF Springer .359obp, 146wrc+
2. 3B Biggio .363obp, 117wrc+
3. 1B Guerrero .361obp, 128wrc+
4. SS Bichette .323obp, 125wrc+
5. DH/RF Teoscar .323obp, 130wrc+
6. LF Gurriel .329obp, 117wrc+
7. RF Grichuk .324obp, 115wrc+ / DH Tellez .302obp, 103wrc+
8. 2B Semien .302obp, 94wrc+ / Panik .333obp, 81wrc+
9. C Jansen .296obp, 73wrc+ / Kirk .282obp, 78wrc+
scottt - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 04:49 PM EDT (#396181) #
Houston has placed Alvarez, Bregman, Altuve, Maldonado and Robel Garcia on the IL, apparently because of Covid protocol.
I guess they haven't heard the governor saying that Texas has already achieved heard immunity.

Gerry - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 04:55 PM EDT (#396182) #
I don't want to belabour the point but I was watching the games in Florida and for one of the games at least they zeroed in on Buck and Tabby in the booth.
Magpie - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 04:58 PM EDT (#396183) #
Texas has already achieved heard immunity.
br> See, that's the problem. They needed to achieve herd immunity and they settled for a bit of gossip.

Sorry. (Hey, I'm responsible for some of the greatest typos in Box history...)
scottt - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 05:02 PM EDT (#396184) #
And Buck commented how good it is to be in the booth next to Pat, but they don't seem to have a camera up there.
We might actually see Pat's face more on the road.

hypobole - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 05:12 PM EDT (#396185) #
Zeuch's biggest issue is that he's a groundball pitcher that isn't generating ground balls. Last year when he had a bit of success despite not striking anyone out, he was 62.5%. After today it's 45.5% this year. Stro's low point in 7 seasons is 53.7%, with 5 seasons over 60%.
hypobole - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 05:16 PM EDT (#396186) #
OK, I was quoting The Athletic re Buck. Gonna ask for my money back.
Magpie - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 05:19 PM EDT (#396187) #
Can't believe I'm defending Buck

I trust you've learned your lesson! :-)

Judging the flight of the baseball at the ball park is a weird thing, though. I remember in my youth going to the Old Ex several times a year. Someone would send a fly ball soaring into the sky, we'd all "oooh" and "aaah" - and an outfielder would trot in and make a casual catch 100 feet in front of the wall. I quickly learned that if I wanted to know how well the ball was hit, the thing to do was not to watch the ball but to watch how the fielders reacted. Because they generally know.

But once I started seeing more games in person, and especially from watching them always from the same seat, I didn't need to look at the fielders at all. I could just tell, all by myself. (But if I was somewhere else in the park, I was just as lost as ever.)

But I've watched many more games on TV, from the omnipresent centre-field camera. And I don't know if anyone else can confirm, but I swear there have been a number of times when I knew a home run had been hit before the camera even cut away. Just from watching the swing, and the contact, and the sound of the ball. There were certain hitters when you instantly knew when they'd caught one just right.
Eephus - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 05:28 PM EDT (#396188) #
There were certain hitters when you instantly knew when they'd caught one just right.

Well said. Joey Bats had a bit of that, but Carlos Delgado was always that guy for me. The one time I wasn't totally sure, ironically, was his 4th homer in his famous 4 HR game... my first instant thought was he just tossed the bat away thinking he'd missed one. Instead, he knew instantly he'd crushed another and was having one of the best games any hitter can ever have.
Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 05:59 PM EDT (#396189) #
Zeuchs biggest issues is his lack of change up, and the fact he gets hammered by left handed batters. He is forced to nibble and walks left handed batters at Barry Bonds chasing records levels. Heís not a starter.
Magpie - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 06:16 PM EDT (#396190) #
Not so much today - LH batters went 0-7 with a walk against Zeuch this afternoon. His biggest problem was one enormous RH batter. (And his own right fielder.)
Mike Green - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 06:31 PM EDT (#396191) #
Jim Rice in Exhibition Stadium. In Boston, you usually weren't sure whether it would clear the walls, but in Toronto, I knew from contact.
Mike Green - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 06:33 PM EDT (#396192) #
*the Wall.
scottt - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 06:33 PM EDT (#396193) #
4 hits, 2 walks, 2 strike outs. The 2 homeruns hurt.
The first one was a mistake pitch.
He was missing high on many of the pitches to the first hitter.
He left one breaking ball over the plate for Judge.
I think he was scheduled to go tomorrow and that might have made things harder for him.
His ERA is up to 5.56. Kluber's is up to 6.10.
The second one wasn't so bad. Judge is a good low ball hitter. It's best to crowd him inside.

I don't see Stripling as a loss.
Pearson is supposed to be pain free and ramping up.
I'd like them to bring him and use him as an opener while he ramps up.
Matz-Kay-Ray-Ryu, will they go with 4 lefties against KC?


AWeb - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 06:43 PM EDT (#396194) #
Man, early season MLB returns on offense point to a continued drop in BA, with MLB at .235 - my brain can't recognize a .250 hitter as a "good average" guy, and I calibrated my takes in the mini-deadball late-80s. The Cubs are hitting .163 as a team after today. How bad is that? If Tellez goes 2/3, he's past that. Will MLB ever fix the ever increasing Ks and subsequent drop in BA, or just hope things turn around on their own, against 100 years of history (on the rising K side).

Go Jays though! Hope the roster doesn't get decimated by COVID now, and that they find a few workable back-end rotation arms.
Magpie - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 06:48 PM EDT (#396195) #
Jim Rice in Exhibition Stadium.

Oh yes, big bad Jim. What a strange legacy. Until the recent induction of Harold Baines, Rice had seemed to become the poster boy of Hall-of-Famers-who-don't-really belong. Because while he was actually active he was absolutely the most terrifying hitter in the American League. For years and years. I used to shudder when he came up to hit.

I suppose it was the zillion GDPs that put the kibosh to his overall value. Maybe that was the lineup. He was hitting behind Boggs and Evans. Every time he came to the plate, there was a guy on first and probably less than two outs. And Rice hit the ball very hard and didn't strike out that much for a power hitter.
Chuck - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 06:52 PM EDT (#396196) #
Mike Trout went 2 for 4 today with a double. For the day, his OBP was .500 and his SLG .750. These two numbers brought down his season OBP and SLG.
Magpie - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 06:56 PM EDT (#396197) #
So he's in a slump, you're saying.
Magpie - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 07:37 PM EDT (#396198) #
So who's pitching tomorrow? Roark? Milone? Hentgen?
bpoz - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 07:41 PM EDT (#396199) #
Matz has had 4 days off. Hope he pitches.
Magpie - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 07:51 PM EDT (#396200) #
Montoyo apparently said he wouldn't start Matz tomorrow.
Gerry - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 08:11 PM EDT (#396201) #
It's Roark or Kay tomorrow, in my opinion. I can see them giving Roark another shot, veterans always get one more chance. Plus it's KC, try and get him back on track against KC's hitters.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 08:17 PM EDT (#396202) #
"Will MLB ever fix the ever increasing Ks and subsequent drop in BA, or just hope things turn around on their own"


The Atlantic League is going to test out moving the mound back by one foot this season, so that combined with the rule changes they will also be testing out in the minor leagues, I think MLB is going to make some significant changes within the next few years. It's badly needed. The increase in K's and decrease in BIP is very bad. It seems to have gotten much worse this season due to whatever they did with the baseballs.
Thomas - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 08:31 PM EDT (#396203) #
My suspicion, and it's nothing more than an uninformed guess, is that Buck and Pat are both vaccinated, which made them and Sportsnet feel comfortable about calling games in person in Florida and resulted in the changed approach.

I don't know if that's actually the case, but I trust The Athletic enough to believe that news was accurate at the time of reporting and something changed.
Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 08:45 PM EDT (#396204) #
Going into todayís start Zeuch had 13 walks In 13 innings against left handed batters, compared to just 6 in 28.1 innings against right handed batters. Lefties have a 0.433 wOBA against him and righties have a .245 wOBA against him. Barry Bonds had a career 0.435 wOBA for reference.
Chuck - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 09:40 PM EDT (#396205) #
My suspicion, and it's nothing more than an uninformed guess, is that Buck and Pat are both vaccinated, which made them and Sportsnet feel comfortable about calling games in person in Florida and resulted in the changed approach.

There was a shot of them before the game today, sitting side by side with plexiglass between them. And they are probably vaccinated. In Florida, I believe vaccinations are available for everyone.

Chuck - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 09:46 PM EDT (#396206) #
The increase in K's and decrease in BIP is very bad.

362 AB into their season, the Cubs are batting .163 and have struck out 122 times. They are not 0-12, as one might guess. They are 5-7.

BlueJayWay - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 09:51 PM EDT (#396207) #
"Will MLB ever fix the ever increasing Ks and subsequent drop in BA, or just hope things turn around on their own"

Well, they're obviously not just hoping things turn around on their own, since almost all the league has talked about lately is changes to the game, one of which being trying to get more contact and balls in play. There are a bunch of new things being tested out in the minors this year, and supposedly the league is going to start cracking down on illegal substances in the majors sometime this year. And just today it was announced that the Atlantic League (where previous rule changes were tested in the past) will move the mounds back a foot in the second half of the season to test that particular variable.
Eephus - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 11:08 PM EDT (#396208) #
The Atlantic League is going to test out moving the mound back by one foot this season, so that combined with the rule changes they will also be testing out in the minor leagues, I think MLB is going to make some significant changes within the next few years

No. Please no. I understand how few will agreed with me on my apprehension regarding roboumps... but moving the mound a different distance is like the NBA making the rim smaller. Make the mound taller, they've done it before... but just stop fixing something that isn't broken.
uglyone - Wednesday, April 14 2021 @ 11:44 PM EDT (#396209) #
They should simply remove the mound.

Which also happens to be the original game of baseball.
Jonny German - Thursday, April 15 2021 @ 03:32 AM EDT (#396211) #
Coming into this series all of Loaisiga, Green, and Abreu had yet to allow an earned run. The Jays helped them out with that.

Also nice to see Taillon and Kluber get hit around. As much as the Jays really need Ray & Matz to provide some good starts behind Ryu, the Yankees are also looking real thin if they can't count on Taillon & Kluber behind Cole.
Magpie - Thursday, April 15 2021 @ 06:13 AM EDT (#396212) #
The Atlantic League is going to test out moving the mound back by one foot this season

This has been done before, of course. Baseball hasn't moved the mound in a very long time (128 years ago it was moved back about five feet.) It does seem like it could be time to do it again. The pitchers are bigger and stronger and throw a little harder today than in 1892. And logically, doesn't it seem as if the mound should be located in the actual centre of this otherwise symmetrical diamond?

Yup, 63 feet, 6 inches. We can do it in stages - say 6 inches a year until we get there.

We still need to do something about all the hitters holding the bats down at the end, whipping them through the zone, and uppercutting everything. I still think a minimum size on the bat handles are the thing.

The other sports tweak their games relentlessly if it produces better entertainment, but baseball always has to be dragged kicking and screaming out of the distant past into something resembling the recent past.
BlueJayWay - Thursday, April 15 2021 @ 07:05 AM EDT (#396213) #
My preference would be for lowering the mound before moving it back. The distance hasn't changed since 1893, whereas the height was lowered before the 1969 season. If feels less invasive, but if moving it back needs to be done, I'm glad they're testing it out first. Anything to get less swing and miss in the game would be good.

We still need to do something about all the hitters holding the bats down at the end, whipping them through the zone, and uppercutting everything. I still think a minimum size on the bat handles are the thing.


Bill James wrote about this 20 years ago in his New Historical Baseball Abstract. Bats now are so thin and whiplike. Having a minimum thickness of the handles (and maybe a minimum weight) might help.


The other sports tweak their games relentlessly if it produces better entertainment, but baseball always has to be dragged kicking and screaming out of the distant past into something resembling the recent past.

This has annoyed me for a very long time. There's a kneejerk reaction among so many baseball fans to any proposed change, even if it's badly needed and would improve the game tremendously.


scottt - Thursday, April 15 2021 @ 08:24 AM EDT (#396214) #
They did some studies on fastballs, but there's basically no data on breaking balls.
Also, the mounds will be moved back in the middle the season. Will the pitchers have trouble adjusting.
Will this lead to more pitcher injuries? It's a bit crass to experiment in a league where pitchers don't make that much money.

They will also use the hybrid DH. You lose the DH as soon as you pull the starting pitcher.
This is to try to keep starters in the game longer instead of using 5 or 6 relievers per games.
Neither the starting pitchers nor the relievers are going to hit. This actually creates opportunities for bench players.
What's not to like? Guys like Stanton not getting enough AB?

scottt - Thursday, April 15 2021 @ 08:34 AM EDT (#396215) #
It looks like Merryweather dropped from the MLB pipeline prospects list.
Exceeded 45 days on an MLB active roster?

grjas - Thursday, April 15 2021 @ 08:39 AM EDT (#396216) #
Interesting data on Bichette to date.

https://dailyhive.com/toronto/records-broken-matched-blue-jays-bo-bichette
scottt - Thursday, April 15 2021 @ 09:26 AM EDT (#396217) #
He got really hot when he first came up.
That's nice but I'll be more impressed when he breaks franchise records, either for a season or the cumulative ones.
Tellez had a great streak too one September. 

ISLAND BOY - Thursday, April 15 2021 @ 11:49 AM EDT (#396218) #
I'm happy for Carlos Rodon getting a no-hitter last night for the White Sox with only a hit batter preventing him from getting a perfect game. To be honest, I wasn't familiar with him at all, but I saw him interviewed after the game and he said if someone had told him he would throw a no hitter after shoulder surgery in 2017 and Tommy John surgery in 2019, he wouldn't have believed it.
bpoz - Thursday, April 15 2021 @ 11:49 AM EDT (#396219) #
I saw Yates, Romano, Dolis and Borucki as the high leverage bullpen arms. Yates gone but Merryweather and Mayza joined the group. Hopefully Merryweather is off for only a short time.

Tough for Montoyo.
scottt - Thursday, April 15 2021 @ 12:43 PM EDT (#396220) #
Yates was really bad last year, so I never put much stuck in him.
Romano and Dolis were pretty good last year.
They Jays passed on Bass and A.J. Cole--for now--because they had other options.
The loss of Murphy is significant for me. He looked pretty good.
Phelps is a nice extra to have.
Hopefully, Chatwood is not gone too long.
Borucki and Mayza are good left handed options and Bergen is on the 40 and ready to have a shot at it.
Same for Payamps on the right side.
Castro looked pretty good yesterday, but he's not actually on the 40.


John Northey - Thursday, April 15 2021 @ 02:01 PM EDT (#396221) #
Castro is on the 40 man now - has to be in order to play in the majors. Minor league pitchers on the 40 are Bergen, Kay, Luciano, Payamps, Tice. Others are 2 catchers (Adams & Moreno), 2 infielders (Espinal & Lopez) and that is it. The rest at injured list guys (Chatwood, Hatch, Merryweather, Pearson, Hernandez, and Springer). 2 60 day guys who a slot would have to be opened for if healthy (Yates & Murphy).

While challenging, it is a good challenge to have it be tough for the Jays to cut guys from the 40 man, there have been times in the past when guys on the 25 could've been cut and no one would've taken them (that horrid 1994-2014 stretch had many times where that was the case).
uglyone - Thursday, April 15 2021 @ 02:17 PM EDT (#396222) #
"He got really hot when he first came up."

Bo Year 1: 212pa, .368babip, 142wrc+, 5.2war/650
Bo Yr 2+3: 181pa, .355babip, 137wrc+, 5.8war/650

bpoz - Thursday, April 15 2021 @ 02:39 PM EDT (#396223) #
I like to keep up on the 40 man roster list. With Castro there are 43 but I could have counted wrong. My 43 include Yates and Murphy, So still 1 extra. I believe but am not sure that Castro does not count.
Magpie - Thursday, April 15 2021 @ 03:58 PM EDT (#396226) #
You counted correctly. The Jays roster page lists 43 players on the 40 man roster, just two of whom are on the 60 day IL.
scottt - Thursday, April 15 2021 @ 04:57 PM EDT (#396229) #
Yes, I mentioned that a couple of time. Castro is not on the 40 roster because he's replacing Hernandez who is on the Covid-IL. So, yes, they could use SWR or Manoah for this start if they wanted but don't hold your breath.
John Northey - Thursday, April 15 2021 @ 06:00 PM EDT (#396233) #
The 40 man roster rules for COVID are that if a guy is on the COVID list, the guy who comes up is onto the 40 man to replace the COVID guy, but doesn't need to clear waivers after when sent back down/removed from the 40 man when COVID guy comes back. Took awhile to find this. Got it from this site - a Cardinals site
bpoz - Friday, April 16 2021 @ 07:41 AM EDT (#396253) #
Thanks John N.
scottt - Friday, April 16 2021 @ 09:39 AM EDT (#396255) #
Actually, it's Hernandez, not Castro who is off the 40 roster.

A player on the Covid list does not count against either the 26 roster or the 40 roster.

I couldn't find a Covid waivers exception, but that doesn't mean anything.

Yankees at Blue Jays, Apr. 12-14 | 133 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.