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Why, it's the first place Atlanta Braves!

First place? They're 12-13. What gives? Three teams tied for first with records below .500?

The Braves have a share of the lead because they've played the Cubs seven times, winning five of them. They've gone 5-8 against their division opponents. The Mets have gone 7-4 within the NL East. But they're 2-6 outside the division. And the Phillies... well, they just sputter along.

The pitching gets tougher and tougher as the weekend proceeds. Drew Smyly is a league average innings eater (if he can stay healthy long enough to actually eat some innings.) But Charlie Morton has been a very fine starter, even as he slips into his dotage (in baseball terms, you understand.) And Ian Anderson. Geez. I wish he'd stuck to playing the flute on one leg. Since arriving in the majors last August, Anderson's gone 5-2, 2.20 with 72 Ks in 61.1 IP.  Opponents are batting .183/.274/.263 against him. The Jays will be facing him on his 23rd birthday.

You know about Freddie the Freeman, last year's MVP. You know about Ronald Acuna, who's playing like he wants to be this year's MVP. Marcell Ozuna haven't hit a lick so far, but Guillermo Heredia and Austin Riley are doing their best to pick up the slack. The Jays have one major league starter available for the three games, and then Montoyo starts improvising.

Teoscar Hernandez is expected to be activated and play right field tonight. George Springer will continue as the DH for now.

Should be fun!

Fri 30 Apr - Smyly (0-1, 7.20) vs Ray (0-1, 2.81)
Sat 1 May - Morton (2-1, 4.76) vs Some Guys
Sun 2 May - Anderson (2-0, 2.48) vs More Guys

Braves at Blue Jays, 30 April-2 May | 279 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
electric carrot - Friday, April 30 2021 @ 12:14 PM EDT (#396861) #
I know that no one will agree with this -- but if the Jays were foolish enough to make me the manager, my top 6 would look like this:


I like Biggio up top because of his OBP and great running instincts.
Vlad next because he's the best hitter and you want to get him as many at bats as possible.
Springer doesn't steal much anymore and he's the 2nd best hitter I think and the biggest incentive to not intentionally walk Vlad.
And Bichette is the 3rd best hitter I think on the team so he goes next.

I could be convinced to reverse Springer and Vlad but I really like Springer following Vlad for the reasons stated.
John Northey - Friday, April 30 2021 @ 12:22 PM EDT (#396862) #
What is it with ex-Jays executives going elsewhere and having big success? Bobby Cox left Toronto for Atlanta and was their GM and didn't have great records, but then moved back to managing in late 1990 and went from 1991-2010 winning 14 division titles, 1 WS, and had 1 wild card appearance his final season. Now Anthopoulos becomes GM in late 2017 and has 3 division titles in a row and first place right now in season 4.

Ah well. Could be worse. They could've gone to a division rival like Pat Gillick did to Baltimore (and got a wild card his first full year 1996, division title year 2, then a poor 3rd year and resigned as ownership went coocoo and started a 14 year stretch of 10+ games back, 13 of those 20+ back, 6 30+ back of the division).
Gerry - Friday, April 30 2021 @ 12:24 PM EDT (#396863) #
Teoscar to return tonight according to Ben Wagner.
lexomatic - Friday, April 30 2021 @ 12:59 PM EDT (#396864) #
Atlanta had a stocked farm system and some young star players It was a good situation to walk into. With 2 stars on mega cheap deals they have lots of flexibility going forward too.
Chuck - Friday, April 30 2021 @ 01:02 PM EDT (#396866) #
The Jays will be facing him on his 23rd birthday.

I was going to comment that young Ian has accomplished much at a young age. But some investigation confirms that old Ian recorded Aqualung at the age of 23. It's a tough name to live up to.

grjas - Friday, April 30 2021 @ 01:27 PM EDT (#396867) #
“I know that no one will agree with this …”

Not quite the way I would do it, but I don’t have an issue with that order.

In terms of Montoyo’s set up, I guess there is some logic in leaving Springer at the top, but I feel Biggio’s value is as a set up guy so belongs at 1 or 8 or 9. I don’t understand why Montoyo has been putting him in the 5 to 7 holes most of the year.

Of course if everyone returns to career norms or better (VG!) it almost doesn’t matter.

GabrielSyme - Friday, April 30 2021 @ 01:34 PM EDT (#396868) #
The Jays don't have a lot of decent options for finding innings over the weekend. You have Thornton, who's been okay, but Kay is in the minors and not eligible to be recalled until Friday or so. I wonder if the Jays are going to create a phantom injury to get him back up. Without him, you have a lot of Milone and you almost hope Roark gets back with the club.

I'd see how far Borucki can take you in one of the games. He might be able to give you three good innings.
Magpie - Friday, April 30 2021 @ 01:43 PM EDT (#396869) #
if the Jays were foolish enough to make me the manager

They've done things that made less sense.
scottt - Friday, April 30 2021 @ 01:46 PM EDT (#396871) #
I think the plan is Thorton on Saturday and Stripling on Sunday.
Matz goes Monday and Kay is eligible for Tuesday (in 2021, the minimum for a minor league assignment is 10 days).

Chuck - Friday, April 30 2021 @ 01:46 PM EDT (#396872) #
I know that no one will agree with this

I would guess that Springer wouldn't agree with this. I've heard it said out loud that he wants to bat leadoff. I am guessing he will have his way.

Paul D - Friday, April 30 2021 @ 01:55 PM EDT (#396873) #
MLB and the Jays are cutting ties with Roberto Alomar (including removing his name from the Level of Excellence) after MLB concluded its investigation into a 2014 sexual misconduct allegation against him.
Kasi - Friday, April 30 2021 @ 02:03 PM EDT (#396875) #
Springer will play where they likely agreed he'd play during negotiations. I just am amused every time people just want to rearrange the lineup to suit some optimal stats without factoring in the human factor. (same can be said about defensive positioning) Despite how much analytics drive the game these days there is still the human consideration of where players feel comfortable and where negotiations with them agreed on.

As for Alomar sad day for sure. Not a surprise given baseball culture but I wish it would be better. I don't like his response about the "current social climate". Bad things are bad things regardless. When you add in the sadness about Halladay passed away makes me a bit wistful about our HoF members.
ISLAND BOY - Friday, April 30 2021 @ 02:14 PM EDT (#396876) #
It is sad about Roberto Alomar as he was one of my favorite Jays of the past. I maintain that his home run off Dennis Eckersley in the playoffs was one of the most important hits in Blue Jay history.
ISLAND BOY - Friday, April 30 2021 @ 02:17 PM EDT (#396877) #
I forgot to ask -- Some and More Guys - are they brothers?
Parker - Friday, April 30 2021 @ 03:21 PM EDT (#396880) #
Totally cool with that order except yeah, Springer bats leadoff. They signed him to a crazy contract based on his success batting leadoff. If he wants to bat leadoff, you let him.
hypobole - Friday, April 30 2021 @ 03:28 PM EDT (#396881) #
"What is it with ex-Jays executives going elsewhere and having big success?"

John, the next one may be the guy who inherited the worst team in baseball. It's very early, but his team has a better record than either Atlanta or Toronto.
Magpie - Friday, April 30 2021 @ 03:40 PM EDT (#396882) #
Springer is 9th World Series MVP to play for the Blue Jays. I was surprised there were so many, too.

Does anyone else see a trivial question looming? I already cheated and looked it up.

And Gene Tenace doesn't count! He only worked for them.
John Northey - Friday, April 30 2021 @ 03:43 PM EDT (#396883) #
Lineup effects are minimal. Studies have been done by many (I did some back in the early 90's on a tiny 64 kb computer I had for school) and the spread is no more than 10-15 runs a year from 'ideal' to 'worst'. #1 is who you have in that lineup by far. IE: putting Danny Jansen leadoff and Springer 9th isn't as big a spread as playing Davis over Springer for example. So while fun to think about it really isn't a big deal.

Back in 1991 when Devon White wanted to bat leadoff badly Gaston said 'OK' and put him and his (at the time) career 295 OBP in the leadoff hole. Ugh. But 3 division titles and 2 WS later it clearly didn't hurt. In 1992 he had a 303 OBP and every single game Devo started he lead off.

I say keep Springer leadoff if it means a lot to him. Bo #2, Vlad #3, Hernandez #4 and you've got a good thing going. Biggio isn't bad in the #6 hole to set it up for the worst hitters (7/8/9) and basically you need to get him thinking of himself as a mid-order leadoff man who is setting it up for the bottom of the order to be useful. If he would be more comfortable in the 9 hole then so be it, put him there. But some players hate batting last (ego) so I'd be checking that he is OK with it and would use it as an incentive. For example, in 1985 the Jays put Tony Fernandez 9th for 117 out of 162 games, leadoff for 22 games (mostly 2nd or 8th otherwise) as Damaso Garcia and his horrid OBP loved being #1. Tony was viewed as the 2nd leadoff guy in that slot and that was how the media talked about it all the time. The next year he was leadoff for 107 games, 26 times 9th, and mostly 2nd otherwise. (I love BR btw).

Now, as to Roberto Alomar. Sigh. What a sad, sad situation. For it to take over 7 years from time it happened until now with him banned from baseball like Pete Rose is a shame. Unlike Rose & the Reds though the Jays are removing all Alomar based things from the park it sounds like. So our 2 HOF'ers are now dead and ineligible. Sigh.
Thomas - Friday, April 30 2021 @ 03:58 PM EDT (#396884) #
Springer is 9th World Series MVP to play for the Blue Jays. I was surprised there were so many, too.

Does anyone else see a trivial question looming? I already cheated and looked it up.

I can get to 7? Springer, Borders, Molitor, Stewart, Morris, Eckstein and Pearce.

grjas - Friday, April 30 2021 @ 04:03 PM EDT (#396885) #
What a roller coaster with Alomar. He was one of my favourite players while with the Jays, but had attitude issues in his last year with them. The. A few years later there was the awful spitting and Hirschbeck incident that soured a lot of us on the guy.

He got the message that time and did a superlative job of redemption with the ump and his son, and his HOF entry let us all relive his glory days.

And now… clearly he didn’t learn his lesson.
vw_fan17 - Friday, April 30 2021 @ 04:04 PM EDT (#396886) #
So, when do the Jays do something about Jansen? Since WHO you play is more important and an overall bWAR of -0.1 isn't exactly amazing. Kirk is at +0.1 in 80% of the ABs..

Really makes me wish the Jays had thrown that $150M at Realmuto instead, like I wanted.. The upgrade over Jansen would have been PHENOMENAL and Grichuk/Hernandez/etc should still be a decent outfield..
Magpie - Friday, April 30 2021 @ 04:19 PM EDT (#396887) #
I can get to 7

You'll remember one of the other two, and kick yourself a little. And the other guy, you'll go - I completely forgot he was a Blue Jay. I may have been making a sandwich at the time.
John Northey - Friday, April 30 2021 @ 04:23 PM EDT (#396888) #
I figure Jansen has time still - he has had horrid luck. His defense has been solid according to FanGraphs (+2.0 runs so far). His xwOBA is 224 vs a wOBA of 114 (a spread of 110). Last year his spread was 52 points and that was a crazy big spread. The year before 37 points. Grichuk on the other end has a wOBA of 357 vs 326 xwOBA (31 points the other way) so he should drop a bit. From 2016-2020 Grichuk was within 10 points wOBA vs xwOBA - what he did was close to what was expected from the underlaying data. Vlad has a xwOBA of 457 vs his wOBA of 480 so a drop should be expected but still in 'wow' territory.

Basically, Jansen isn't as bad as he looks. He has been bad no matter what, but not THIS bad. He must have run over a black cat that gave him a curse or something. FYI: Reese McGuire's wOBA last year was 091 with an xwOBA of 123 so he had bad luck but not as bad as Jansen's and he hit even worse. It would be nice to see a leaderboard of who has the biggest spread between expected and actual OBA.
Dewey - Friday, April 30 2021 @ 04:29 PM EDT (#396889) #
What number was Gus Zernial, Magpie; and where does he fit in your rankings? For a while, he was a big man on the South Side.
Dewey - Friday, April 30 2021 @ 04:35 PM EDT (#396891) #
Sorry, wrong thread.
Eephus - Friday, April 30 2021 @ 04:37 PM EDT (#396892) #
I could only name 5: Springer, Molitor and Borders (obviously), Pearce... and Troy Glaus I'm pretty sure is one of the missing ones (he won the WSMVP in 2002 I'm certain). Totally forgot about Eckstein, which is sorta funny since he and Glaus were teammates on that Angels team (though Eckstein won his one with St. Louis)
Magpie - Friday, April 30 2021 @ 04:40 PM EDT (#396894) #
Yes, the eighth man is the Mighty Troy.

The ninth man played 15 years in the majors, and appeared in exactly 6 games for the Blue Jays.
scottt - Friday, April 30 2021 @ 04:41 PM EDT (#396895) #
I dunno. Could be interesting to redo those studies. Things change.
For example, many teams had their best reliever only pitching in save situation.
We don't see much late inning pitch hitting.
You want to see the best hitters more often than the worse ones.
Guerrero might get walked if first is opened regardless of who hits behind him.
So who follows whom doesn't matter as much.
A high OBP guy is not worse than a power hitter there.
Is it better to have Jensen hitting 9th or Davis?
It probably doesn't matter much.

Remember that Halladay is not a Jays HOF'er.
He went as himself only.

Gerry - Friday, April 30 2021 @ 04:56 PM EDT (#396896) #
Teoscar reinstated. Jonathan Davis sent to minor league camp.

Tanner Roark is back and gone, he has been DFA'd.
scottt - Friday, April 30 2021 @ 05:02 PM EDT (#396897) #
Atlanta has Ozuna hitting 3rd batting .189.
Riley is hitting .301 and batting 7th.
No different.

I guess the good news here is that Springer is a career .375 hitter against Smyly.
Espinal, Davis or Hernandez? Kirk or Jansen?

Part of the Bisons roster has been announced.
The pitchers are
James Dykstra (30 year old career minor guy)
Jon Harris
Connor Law
Jackson McClelland (guy can reach 3 digits but has never figured it out, reliever, still only 26)
Marc Rzepczynski (Good ol' scrabble, 35 now)
Tayler Saucedo
Graham Spraker (Watched him pitch in the spring. WTF, he had like 12 different arm angles and release points)
Curtis Taylor

AWeb - Friday, April 30 2021 @ 05:09 PM EDT (#396898) #
Seems like some ugliness coming to light about Alomar. Jays have cut all ties with him. I've always wondered how private businesses like mlb are able to conduct investigations, but since law enforcement seems unwilling and especially unqualified, I guess it's better than nothing.
Nigel - Friday, April 30 2021 @ 05:40 PM EDT (#396899) #
It will be interesting to see, because it's possible that tonight is just a rest day, but its also possible that tonight's lineup is signaling that Biggio has become a platoon player. If so, major thumbs down for me on the Semien signing.
pooks137 - Friday, April 30 2021 @ 05:49 PM EDT (#396900) #
It really speaks volumes how finished the Jays think Roark is given his release with only 2 starting pitchers on the roster and virtually no depth currently available in the minors, along with the motley crew of dreck on the Buffalo AAA roster who isn't on the 40-man as listed a few posts above.
hypobole - Friday, April 30 2021 @ 06:06 PM EDT (#396901) #
They Jays are one of the 5 or 6 teams looking at Anibal Sanchez, who is expected to make his decision within a week. Jays seem to be opening a spot for somebody.
Eephus - Friday, April 30 2021 @ 06:23 PM EDT (#396902) #
Even at full health, I'm not overly concerned about Biggio getting semi-regular ABs... either to give Semien a day off at 2B, a spot start in RF, he's probably your backup 1B right now (or Gurriel, who has played there also) or even 3B with an extreme fly ball pitcher starting on the mound. Huh, the Blue Jays did just release one of those though...

As for the trivia question, I looked up the missing ninth dude and it definitely is a guy you'd blink and forget was a Blue Jay, though I wasn't paying as close attention to the team at the time. My first thought was Jayson Werth (before checking) but evidently he did not win the 2008 WS MVP with the Phillies. Plus, his Blue Jays career was somewhat more notable. 
Magpie - Friday, April 30 2021 @ 06:28 PM EDT (#396903) #
the missing ninth dude

It's Frank Viola! Who went and won the Cy Young the following year. Had a nice career (176 wins.) I've never seen a no-hitter in person. I was in the stands for Dave Stieb's Roberto Kelly Game. I was in the press box for Doc's Bobby Higginson Game. And I was there in the final week of the 1992 season when Viola hooked up with David Cone in a dandy. Cone allowed a solo HR to John Valentin. Viola didn't give up a hit until Devon White led off the ninth with a bloop single.

Tough loss for Cone, but no one wins when they score zero runs. Three times that month, the Jays provided Cone with exactly 1 run. He won two of those games.
Kasi - Friday, April 30 2021 @ 06:32 PM EDT (#396904) #
I think there will be times like this where for some short period of time every hitter will be healthy and we'll moan and wail and argue over which one should sit and which one is more deserving of the spots and so on. And then a player will get injured and we'll be happy that we have this problem.
Nigel - Friday, April 30 2021 @ 06:44 PM EDT (#396905) #
But Biggio should be getting semi-regular ABs, he should be getting regular ABs. He has no platoon split and actually has a higher lifetime wRC+ against LH pitchers than Hernandez and Grichuk (for example).
John Northey - Friday, April 30 2021 @ 06:59 PM EDT (#396906) #
Dang on the 9th dude. I thought it was Dave Parker who hit pretty good in his 3 World Series (2 rings) but was a Jay for part of September only in 1991 (don't know what was up with Gillick that year, traded for Parker after September 1st so he couldn't be on the playoff roster, signed as a free agent mid-September after being released by the Angels rather than trading for him 2 weeks earlier. Despite being in contention they only traded for Candy Maldonado (having a bad year in Milwaukee), and Cory Snyder (having a nightmare season after two bad ones) after July 1st. Tom Candiotti and Turner Ward were good guys to get in June but in the playoffs Candiotti sucked to put it mildly (over 8 ERA in 2 starts).
John Northey - Friday, April 30 2021 @ 07:08 PM EDT (#396907) #
I think we're going to see a lot of rotation on the field. Biggio getting time at 3B/2B/RF/LF regularly. Hernandez RF/DH, Springer CF/DH, Grichuk CF/RF/DH, Gurriel LF/DH. Boy a lot of moving parts. Good for the team to have so many options though. Anyone gets hurt then shuffling can happen easily. No one should play 160+ this year. Ideally a lot of guys get 150 games in but there is no need for anyone to be a ironman here.
John Northey - Friday, April 30 2021 @ 07:28 PM EDT (#396909) #
One more thought - Roark gone, Pearson in AAA. Boy, with the rotation in tatters it says a LOT about both of them right now. 10 starters used, Ryu injured, Matz being great (but bad last game), Ray doing well but ... well ... he is Ray, Stripling hurt (but might be back soon), Thornton more an opener right now, Zeuch not looking good (crazy low K/9) and more used like an opener (3 IP or less all I'd expect).

New rotation: Ryu, Matz, Ray, Stripling, bullpen day. Lets hope the AAA season finds the Jays a nice surprise or two quickly. Anibal Sanchez entering his age 37 season after a 67 ERA+ season last year (53 IP) is not too exciting to me. He was solid in 2018, wow in 2013, very good from 2009 to 2014. But 2015 to 2020 he has an 88 ERA+ 2.9 BB/9 8.0 K/9 1.6 HR/9 - not exciting to me. Plus no idea who he will sign with - probably a mix of dollars and role. A few other pitchers are still out there as free agents, but no wows of course at this point. Jeff Samardzija (very good in 2019, horrid in 2020), Rick Porcello (last really good in 2016), Mike Leake (Skipped 2020 but was solid before that, 100 ERA+ inning eater), Cole Hamels (1 start in 2020, working out but not signed), Homer Bailey (decent guy but just 2 starts in 2020). I'd be chasing down Hamels if healthy and ready, then Leake, Samardzija, Bailey, and wouldn't bother with Porcello unless really impressive in workouts.
grjas - Friday, April 30 2021 @ 07:35 PM EDT (#396910) #
That’s a surprise about the DFA given their pitching situation. I wonder if Roark asked for it after reflecting on his situation during his LOA.
Kasi - Friday, April 30 2021 @ 07:40 PM EDT (#396911) #
Biggio has been getting regular ABs. Now he might miss a day a week. Until they start doing things like making him a 3 day / week player I'd not be too concerned.
Magpie - Friday, April 30 2021 @ 07:47 PM EDT (#396912) #
That’s a surprise about the DFA given their pitching situation. I wonder if Roark asked for it

Well, he gets his $12 million whatever happens - no one will claim him on waivers or trade for him. The Jays can either send him to the minors or release him.

I suspect they just watched him pitch and said... Naaahh. This isn't going to get any better.
Parker - Friday, April 30 2021 @ 08:16 PM EDT (#396913) #
Is anyone curious about what Alomar actually DID? This kind of unhappening seems noteworthy. Are we going to hear about his serial murder trial next week?
Eephus - Friday, April 30 2021 @ 08:46 PM EDT (#396914) #
Don’t look behind ya, Danny. Something might be gaining.
Shoeless Joe - Friday, April 30 2021 @ 09:00 PM EDT (#396915) #
You have to like what Ray is bringing to the table right now. I absolutely hate pitching reclamation projects, but Ray has been one that looks very promising right now.
Eephus - Friday, April 30 2021 @ 09:01 PM EDT (#396916) #
Also this is such a minor thing but Espinal is wearing a different hat than everyone else. Nice play though
greenfrog - Friday, April 30 2021 @ 09:02 PM EDT (#396917) #
Ray days have never been more popular in Ontario.
grjas - Friday, April 30 2021 @ 09:03 PM EDT (#396918) #
Pete Walker is looking like a genius this year.
Petey Baseball - Friday, April 30 2021 @ 09:05 PM EDT (#396919) #
Love me some Bob Rae. Probably in the minority. Oh well.

Anyways. I'll ask the same question I did last year. With Espinal on the bench, why is Joe Panik on the team?
Magpie - Friday, April 30 2021 @ 09:08 PM EDT (#396920) #
Is anyone curious about what Alomar actually DID?

Well, the dude was a rock star. I figure he was acting like one.
Nigel - Friday, April 30 2021 @ 09:15 PM EDT (#396921) #
Gained not gaining:). Honestly, Kirk looks like a special offensive player (for a C).
Eephus - Friday, April 30 2021 @ 09:20 PM EDT (#396922) #
Espinal seems to have noticed his unmatching “hatness” and has switched. Another rather solid play though
greenfrog - Friday, April 30 2021 @ 09:31 PM EDT (#396923) #
Here is Eric Longenhagen’s writeup on Kirk (Fangraphs) — complete with prescient reference to catching Robbie Ray:

“Kirk has several elite statistical indicators, both in his surface-level on-field performance and in the background TrackMan data from his 2019 minor league campaign (in addition to what I have over on The Board, a source tells me his expected stats based on quality of contact are very similar to his 2019 Hi-A slash line of .288/.395/.446), and eyeball scouts acknowledge he’s a terrific offensive player.

“But there is skepticism surrounding his long-term athletic viability because Kirk is a very husky guy (listed at 5-foot-8, 265) without a body comp precedent in baseball, or arguably across all of pro sports. Because Christian Vazquez is listed at 5-foot-9, 205 (which is either an embarassing oversight or an intentional lie), the closest measurable comp to Kirk is José Molina at 5-foot-10, 250, but that’s from when Molina was nearly 40-years-old, whereas Kirk is only 22. It’s very difficult to anticipate what might happen to his frame as he enters his mid-20s, when many other players are thickening up as they reach maturity. All of this creates doubt surrounding whether or not Kirk can catch right now and/or long-term. But because he made his major league debut in 2020, we’ve gotten to see him do it a handful of times, and for a lot of different pitchers, at the big-league level. Kirk’s receiving and framing are okay. He catches on one knee even with runners on base, which makes him especially good at framing balls toward the bottom of the zone. He sets his target then lets his glove hand go slack and works back to the ball as it heads home, which magnifies issues with visual presentation to umpires when his pitcher misses his spot. In general, Kirk just has a slow-moving glove and doesn’t catch pitches at the top of the zone as cleanly as the softy sinkers at the bottom, and I wonder if he’ll have more obvious issues catching power arms, though he did fine in two outings as Robbie Ray’s backstop. Kirk’s legs set up as wide as they can go when he’s in his modified crouch so he can try to block balls without actually having to move his whole body laterally, and it actually works okay. He’s not a great thrower despite an average arm because he’s so slow out of his crouch, and sometimes he’ll throw from one knee to circumvent this.

“My visual evaluation is that he’s a passable defender, not a good one, and I think the Jays deep stable of catchers will dictate that he DHs sometimes and catches at others. The more 1B/DH Kirk has to play during his years of team control, the less valuable he’ll be. He has an all-fields, doubles-oriented approach that prioritizes contact and walks, which I think is great for a catcher but won’t be at first. He’s an everyday big league catcher right now, but he may have an abnormally early decline phase. (Alternate site, MLB).”
grjas - Friday, April 30 2021 @ 09:36 PM EDT (#396924) #
Good to see Hernandez homer as the league is starting to pitch around VG.
Kasi - Friday, April 30 2021 @ 09:39 PM EDT (#396925) #
Not a surprise adding Springer and Teoscar makes this lineup a bit more intimidating. Gurrel is batting 7th and Kirk 9th!
greenfrog - Friday, April 30 2021 @ 10:00 PM EDT (#396926) #
Springer/Bichette/Vlad/Teoscar is probably already one of the best top fours in a lineup the Jays have ever had.

Other elite ones include Tulo/Bautista/Donaldson/EE (2015) and the various combos used by the 1993 team (the roster included Henderson, White, Alomar, Molitor, Olerud, Carter, Fernandez — incredible array of offensive talent).

Nigel - Friday, April 30 2021 @ 10:07 PM EDT (#396927) #
That assessment of Kirk’s defence is interesting. With nothing but subjective perspective to support it, I would say the comments about his arm seem right but the comments about his other defensive skills seem a bit harsh. To me, he looks like he could fight the position to a draw. He’s no Sanchez back there.
Magpie - Friday, April 30 2021 @ 10:16 PM EDT (#396928) #
Kirk is a very husky guy (listed at 5-foot-8, 265) without a body comp precedent in baseball

Coincidentally, I've been reading about Hack Wilson, who stood 5'6 and while he's listed as 190 pounds was probably much more like 230. Wilson, of course, spent his career playing centre field.

I don't know that he played it well, but...
greenfrog - Friday, April 30 2021 @ 10:17 PM EDT (#396929) #
The Longenhagen writeup is about four months out of date (and the Kirk assessment might be even more dated). It’s possible that Kirk is more polished than when EL saw him. Kirk is still very young and likely still developing defensively.
uglyone - Friday, April 30 2021 @ 10:34 PM EDT (#396930) #
"Good to see Hernandez homer as the league is starting to pitch around VG."

1. CF Springer
2. 1B Guerrero
3. SS Bichette
4. LF Hernandez
5. 3B Biggio
6. C Kirk
7. RF Grichuk
8. 2B Semien
9. DH
John Northey - Friday, April 30 2021 @ 10:37 PM EDT (#396931) #
WAMCO was amazing...
White/Alomar/Molitor/Carter/Olerud followed by Fernandez. Then Henderson added mid-season to make it even more intimidating. Remember, Olerud won the batting title (and OBP and OPS titles) while Molitor was 2nd and Alomar 3rd for batting average. By OPS+ WAMCO was 108/141/143/112/186 Fernandez 115, Henderson though had a terrible time as a Jay (215/356/319 83 OPS+). Sprague at 3B was worse than I remembered (86 OPS+) while Borders was a defensive catcher (75 OPS+). The bench was bad too leading to a team 110 OPS+ which is far lower than it should've been.

2015 had that scary Donaldson/Bautista/Encarnacion middle - 151/145/148 OPS+'s. Sadly they couldn't figure out the leadoff slot - Reyes 69 games (322 OBP), Revere 33 games (329 OBP), Tulo 26 games (325 OBP), Travis 22 games (272 OBP). Ugh.

This year has a chance to be something special. Of course, this nutty game tonight kind of makes it seem better than it is I suspect. But what is really good is they should be there 1-5 for a few years unless trades happen (Springer/Bichette/Vlad/Hernandez/Grichuk) with Kirk maybe moving up if this keeps up.
uglyone - Friday, April 30 2021 @ 10:41 PM EDT (#396932) #
1. CF Springer
2. 1B Guerrero
3. SS Bichette
4. DH Hernandez
5. C Kirk
6. 3B Biggio
7. RF Grichuk
8. 2B Semien
9. LF Gurriel
dalimon5 - Friday, April 30 2021 @ 10:50 PM EDT (#396933) #
Ray has long been top in K/9 along with guys like Sale, Scherzer and Kershaw. For years.
electric carrot - Friday, April 30 2021 @ 10:59 PM EDT (#396934) #
1. CF Springer
2. 1B Guerrero
3. SS Bichette
4. DH Hernandez
5. C Kirk

If Springer must lead off I support this. I do think pitching around Guerrero is a problem the Jays want to have answers for. (Plus as a fan, I want to see him get pitches in the zone that he can hit.)
Nigel - Friday, April 30 2021 @ 11:08 PM EDT (#396935) #
I’d go Springer, Biggio, Vladdy, Bichette or flip Vladdy and Bichette. I think breaking up the righties against tough RH starters is important - plus Biggio’s OBP is important to this lineup.
Magpie - Friday, April 30 2021 @ 11:14 PM EDT (#396936) #
In each of his major league seasons, Lourdes Gurriel has had a period, that lasts a month or longer, when he's about as good a hitter as anybody. Anywhere. When you just can't get him out.

So the most exciting thing for me tonight would be...

Nah. It's the Captain, my Captain!
hypobole - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 02:56 AM EDT (#396937) #
Any opinions on Kirk's 3-0 green light? It worked great, but was it really the right call?
Magpie - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 06:41 AM EDT (#396938) #
Any opinions on Kirk's 3-0 green light?

I was totally with Tabler, I loved it, I thought it was a great idea. Kirk's a disciplined young hitter, he's not so likely to get out of what he knows he can do. The team already had a two run lead. And because it was a very young hitter looking up at the Mendoza Line there was a non-zero chance of him getting a BP fastball.

It seldom works out that well, but it was worth a shot. And every hitter on the team noticed and approved, which is a good thing as well.
Magpie - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 06:58 AM EDT (#396939) #
Since walking 6 Royals in the first 2.2 innings back on April 18, Robbie Ray has gone 15 innings without issuing a walk.

What weird, topsy-turvy universe have we all fallen into?
scottt - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 07:05 AM EDT (#396940) #
The Roark DFA came to make room for Hernandez.
When Hernandez was on the Covid-IL, he freed a 40 roster spot that they used for Castro.
So the choice now was to send Castro back to the minors or outright someone--who would have to go through waivers.
Makes sense that the guy they find the least useful was Roark.
Roark could accept a minor league assignment--he's probably heading there anyway--but probably not off the 40 roster.

I imagine Milone would be the next to go if they acquire someone or if Hatch comes off the IL.
Or Beasley who hasn't done much yet.

I don't think it matters much where Kirk hits, but I think he might get more playing time going forward.
Like on a bullpen day.

After today, they could activate Stripling and send Bergen or Tice.
I imagine they keep Espinal until they bring Tellez back.

They could let Thornton go deeper, but Atlanta, like most team, is pretty top heavy.
Milone could fall out of graces here as well.

grjas - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 07:49 AM EDT (#396941) #
I hope Espinal keeps hitting so they have second thoughts about sending him down.
Gerry - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 07:58 AM EDT (#396942) #
After the game TJ Zeuch was activated off the IL and assigned to Buffalo/Trenton.
Chuck - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 08:42 AM EDT (#396943) #
Statcast has calculated park factors since 2019 in a number of categories, and overall.
Chuck - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 08:59 AM EDT (#396944) #
With Espinal on the bench, why is Joe Panik on the team?

Panik is getting a lot of consideration simply because he bats left handed on a heavily right handed roster. He may only be hitting singles, when he hits at all, but his left handedness seems to be his passport.

Given that Panik can't defend third base very well and given that his role as a pinch-hitter seems far less likely moving forward, hopefully any future roster decision between Espinal and Panik will be in Espinal's favour.

Despite talk on the broadcasts, I disagree that a fulltime job lies in Espinal's future, given that he is 26, but he serves more uses than Panik does as a bench player, even if he is a right handed hitter.

Gerry - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 09:02 AM EDT (#396945) #
Although Ray's results were good last night, the Braves did hit the ball hard. Ray got five outs on balls hit over 100mph and three more at 98 or 99mph.

Ray is throwing a lot of fastballs and sometimes the hitters hit them hard. The results are good when the balls are hit right at the fielders.
dalimon5 - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 09:39 AM EDT (#396947) #
Hard hit rate is more important for measuring guys like Marcus Stropman. Not as much for flame throwers.
uglyone - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 09:50 AM EDT (#396948) #
2 Year Stats

1.CF Springer 232pa, .257babip, .358obp, 143wrc+
2.1B Guerrero 345pa, .303babip, .377obp, 144wrc+
3.SS Bichette 232pa, .329babip, .319obp, 127wrc+
4.DH Hernandez 241pa, .349babip, .325obp, 134wrc+
5.C Alejandro 69pa, .286babip, .348obp, 142wrc+
6.3B Biggio 344pa, .304babip, .360obp, 115wrc+
7.RF Grichuk 324pa, .300babip, .318obp, 116wrc+
8.LF Gurriel 306pa, .327babip, .324obp, 115wrc+
9.2B Semien 343pa, .252babip, .300obp, 90wrc+

PH Tellez 190pa, .260babip, .305obp, 101wrc+
IF Panik 183pa, .291babip, .328obp, 81wrc+
C Jansen 196pa, .155babip, .269obp, 55wrc+

IF Espinal 86pa, .371babip, .318obp, 86wrc+
OF Davis 60pa, .241babip, .305obp, 84wrc+
OF Palacios 35pa, .318babip, .353obp, 83wrc+
scottt - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 10:01 AM EDT (#396949) #
Seems weird that Springer who hits lead off would have only 232 PA over 2 years.
Do you mean 2020+2021? That's quite a small sample.

bpoz - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 10:08 AM EDT (#396951) #
Bergen starts for the Jays today.
scottt - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 10:11 AM EDT (#396952) #
As long as he doesn't walk anybody, hard hit balls are not a huge concerns.
Hard hit balls on the grounds or popped up are a good outcome too.
He gave up 2 HR on sliders last time, so I don't mind if he throws fewer of those.
Also, the defense is often better when there are few baserunners and the hitters don't go into deep counts.

J.A. Happ was the same type of pitcher when he was successful with the Jays.
Mostly fastballs. Hit it if you can. Happ had problems with some teams who could field 9 right bats.
He still won 20 one year.
Ray is nothing like Ryu or Matz who mixes 4 pitches.
I'm less confident that Kay will be able to fare well in an all lefty rotation. 

scottt - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 10:23 AM EDT (#396953) #
I'm shocked that they announced it so early.
I guess they want Thornton to pitch to more than 9 batters, but they still don't want him to face Acuna/Freeman/Ozuna/Albies more than once.

I imagine Sandoval could DH, but the Braves don't have a ton of left bats.

uglyone - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 10:38 AM EDT (#396954) #
If that's a small sample, Scottt - imagine how small a sample just this year's numbers are!
Petey Baseball - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 10:48 AM EDT (#396955) #
Good riddance to Tanner Roark. His entire Blue Jays tenure he looked out of shape (some guys can pull it off 'a la Ryu, others look like they are gassed and sweat soaked after 30 pitches). The comments to the media last year about being yanked from games too early were off-putting. I remember him sitting at the end of bench earlier this season and it was obvious he was annoyed at the enthusiastic banter of Guerrero, Gurriel, and a couple others. It just didn't seem like a good fit at all, and I'm happy the Jays cut bait.

Chuck I would be supportive of the Jays keeping Panik
for being left-handed, if they didn't also have Rowdy Tellez currently on the bench. Panik has inexplicably DH'd at least once this season already, maybe twice, I'd have to check. To me that is ridiculous.

I also agree that Espinal is not an everyday infielder, but he sure deserves the spot over Panik.

Magpie - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 11:05 AM EDT (#396956) #
If it comes down to Espinal or Panik, under normal circumstances I'm inclined to keep the older player if the job mainly involves sitting on the bench and filling in as required. I'd rather have the younger guy somewhere else and playing evsry day. But these aren't normal circumstances, Espinal isn't really that young (and I don't think anyone sees him as an everyday player in the majors.)

Of course, at the moment you might say that Panik is really here because he's hitting more than Tellez, and has far more defensive utility.
grjas - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 11:13 AM EDT (#396957) #
"I also agree that Espinal is not an everyday infielder, but he sure deserves the spot over Panik."

One option with Espinal is to platoon him with Biggio at third, and use him as a late defensive substitution when appropriate. Biggio could act as a supersub the rest of the time and thereby play 80% of the time.
Petey Baseball - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 11:25 AM EDT (#396958) #
I agree. Espinal also runs well, and can steal a base, which adds to his value over someone like Panik.

To me, Panik is a perfect pickup for a team whose second baseman has hit the DL, they need a guy to make starts for a month without falling off a cliff. He's not a guy you keep around as a utility infielder/bat off the bench when you're competing in a meat grinder of a division like the AL East. There is far more value and upside in making use of (like grjas just pointed out) a Biggio-Espinal platoon.

Anyone remember the Matt Stairs era in Toronto? His role as a 1-2 start per week/power lefty off the bencg was very well managed by John Gibbons and Cito Gaston. If Rowdy can be a little more selective at the plate, this would be ideal for both player and team.
SK in NJ - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 11:29 AM EDT (#396959) #
Glad they cut bait on Roark. In a season where they want to contend, having him start games just to justify his contract was never a good idea. Smart to limit the damage and just eat the contract.

Agreed that Espinal is a better bench option than Panik. More versatile, better defensively, and probably just as good offensively. It’s not like Panik is a platoon option either so him batting LH is essentially meaningless. If he mashed righties then that would be different but he doesn’t.
Mike Green - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 11:36 AM EDT (#396960) #

Nah. It's the Captain, my Captain!

Stealing from Billy Joel, he's always el capitan to me.
Leaside Cowboy - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 11:55 AM EDT (#396961) #
First time, long time.  Nice to be here!

Pitching for the Braves: Ian Anderson, Chris Martin, and Will Smith. Two lead singers plus a rapper. (Anderson is the only starter, so he must be the frontman.)
Magpie - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 11:59 AM EDT (#396962) #
the Matt Stairs era in Toronto? His role as a 1-2 start per week/power lefty off the bencg was very well managed by John Gibbons and Cito Gaston.

Stairs started more often than that - 89 times in 2007 under Gibbons, and 89 times in 132 games the following year under Gibbons and Gaston. If the opposition was starting a right-hander, he was usually in the lineup.
scottt - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 12:08 PM EDT (#396963) #
Stairs was 39-40 years old and started 48 games in the outfield, 37 at first  base and 4 at DH, so 89 total the first year and 75 at DH plus 14 in the outfield for another 89 *before* being traded. 
So, more like 4-5 starts per week.

pooks137 - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 12:31 PM EDT (#396966) #
Glad they cut bait on Roark. In a season where they want to contend, having him start games just to justify his contract was never a good idea. Smart to limit the damage and just eat the contract.

I'm not sad to see Roark go, but I'm still bothered by the fact that they seemingly have no plan to try out any new starting options in the near future despite a stretch of 16 games in 17 days.

Tbf, there's not much left on the farm. But part of the problem is not calling up Anthony Kay when the exception was allowed when Ryu was placed on the IL and instead calling up yet another generic 10th one-inning reliever.

Announcing Travis Bergen as your Sunday starter after a bullpen day Saturday is madness. They'd better let Trent Thornton pitch to more than 10 batters next time out.

Petey Baseball - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 12:31 PM EDT (#396967) #
Magpie not to nitpick, if a guy starts 1-2 times a week the entire season, isn't around 87 starts?
hypobole - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 12:45 PM EDT (#396968) #
This is it:
Soy capitan, soy capitan
Bamba, Bamba.
johnny was - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 01:04 PM EDT (#396969) #
I remember Matt Stairs and the Matt Stairs era with great fondness. What a terrific career for a little guy, even more so given that he put up almost all of those counting stats after turning 29. I would nominate him as the most Canadian ballplayer of all time, a guy from Freddy who played for both the Expos and Jays and made AAA stops in Ottawa and Edmonton.
hypobole - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 01:14 PM EDT (#396970) #
If there is anything positive about the Jays getting rid of overpriced or unplayable contracts is that the club has eaten money each time, but hasn't attached prospects to lessen the financial pain. Tulo, Morales, Martin, Yamaguchi, Roark all come to mind. Some credit or a lot of credit for this to AA, Toronto fans, Shapiro and Rogers.
hypobole - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 01:19 PM EDT (#396971) #
Petey, how many weeks are in your season?
Mike Green - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 02:04 PM EDT (#396972) #
Very good, hypobole. I've got climbers in the family and the thought of using the name of a tall mountain seemed oddly appropriate.
Magpie - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 02:12 PM EDT (#396973) #
I was going to say - Petey clearly plays baseball all year round. :-)

Stairs was definitely supposed to be an occasional start, bench off the bat. I think that was indeed the plan. But he turned out to be the best hitter on the team. And he was a 39 year old DH on a team that had signed Frank Thomas during the off-season. Stairs played some outfield, which he played like you'd expect from a 39 year old DH. He played a bit of first base and it turns out you cann't stretch that far for a baseball when you're 5'9....
Magpie - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 02:16 PM EDT (#396974) #
Soy capitan, soy capitan
Bamba, Bamba.

OK, I'm gonna need a footnote. A gloss. Something.

Right past me, that went!
Magpie - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 02:24 PM EDT (#396975) #
Never mind.

I googled it. And the lyrics came up.
earlweaverfan - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 02:33 PM EDT (#396976) #
I need to admit off the top, I have no meaningful statistical evidence for this, but I think Espinal will turn out to be a core cog in the Jays wheel for the next few years. He has no 2020 minor league season to help me make this case, but I get the impression that he has learned how to be a consistent hitter of a particularly valuable kind, i.e., he knows how to get on base. If true, that is especially valuable on a team where we have too many players who either bash or just disappear at the plate, sometimes for weeks at a time. With all the hot and cold home run hitters we have, it matters when we have base runners for them to drive in.

Meanwhile, Espinal can play any of three infield positions competently and without drama.

This year may be his chance to prove his worth.

And I am also going to be watching for the performance of Otto Lopez. He offers many of the same attributes, plus an ability to play outfield as well.

Versatility rocks!
hypobole - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 02:39 PM EDT (#396977) #
I'm confused Mike, in more ways than many.

I thought the Richie Valens song reference translated to "I am captain, I am captain, bomb, bomb", referencing the 2 bombs he hit last night. The first line translated correctly, but bomb in spanish is bomba, not bamba. I will have to brush up on my Spanish, if I ever learn Spanish.

I am now de-confused on the mountain thing. Apparently there are Bamba mountains in both the Himalayas and the Congo, if Google is to be believed.

Magpie - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 03:02 PM EDT (#396978) #
Apparently la bamba is a dance...

Reminding myself that Richie Valens spoke about as much Spanish as I do.
Slide Piece - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 03:04 PM EDT (#396979) #
I'm with you on this for Espinal. He reminds me a lot of Marco Scutaro and I could see a few years as a passable starter and then moving to a bench role.
hypobole - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 04:00 PM EDT (#396980) #
April finished with an AL 100 wRC+ batting line of .232/,304/.390.

Because park factors are built in, both the Jays .233/.307/.398 and the A's .214/.301/.378 are exactly 100.

And then there's the Tigers - .199/.257/.345 for a 70 wRC+.

One little mentioned positive in April was our baserunning. After ranking 30th, 24th and 22nd the past 3 seasons, Jays finished April as the #1 ranked baserunning team in MLB.
Petey Baseball - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 04:55 PM EDT (#396981) #
Yep definitely messed the math up.
My original point: Panik and not Rowdy should be the odd one out. Having a big scary bat off the bench is valuable.

Didn't say this at the time, but if the Jays were so skeptical that Espinal couldn't be an effective utility infielder, why not bring back Freddy Galvis? He's Joe Panik with a better bat.
Mike Green - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 04:56 PM EDT (#396982) #
Kirk gets the start again today.  I wonder if he'll be DHing on Sunday.
Magpie - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 05:12 PM EDT (#396983) #
I can't imagine that Galvis wants Joe Panik's job. He thinks that he's still someone's everyday shortstop. And so far, it looks like he's right.

Afternoon game after catching nine innings? Kirk will get Sunday off. He might pinch hit.
scottt - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 05:16 PM EDT (#396984) #
The thing with Espinal is that the Jays have lots and lots of right handed middle infielders.
Also, Otto Lopez is already on the 40 roster. He's 22, Espinal is 26.
Espinal is an infield utility player.
Lopez is a super-utility who can play outfield as well as shortstop.

Scouting grades
Espinal Hit:50 Power:40 Run:55 Arm:55 Field 55 Overall:45
Lopez    Hit:55 Power:45 Run:55 Arm:55 Field 50 Overall:45

Looks like Kirk has graduated from Prospects.
No longer on MLB Pipeline lists.

scottt - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 05:18 PM EDT (#396985) #
Freddy Galvis would have wanted to play full time.
hypobole - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 05:21 PM EDT (#396986) #
Yeah, the Tigers. Of the original lineup today, only one batter finished the day hitting over .212.

Their manager must be wondering: "What have I done to deserve this?" :) Couldn't resist.
Cynicalguy - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 05:23 PM EDT (#396987) #
And Semien is being rested. Just when you thought we will see a hole proof lineup for once, Montoyo had to ruin it by putting Panik in there.
scottt - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 05:23 PM EDT (#396988) #
Jansen catches Ryu who is on the IL.
Kirk catches Ray.
2 bullpen days. Makes sense to have Kirk handle Thornton and Jansen handle Stripling if that's really the plan.

Today, Semien gets the day off.
Panik at 2B. Biggio at 3B.

grjas - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 05:42 PM EDT (#396989) #
The thing with Espinal is that the Jays have lots and lots of right handed middle infielders

That adds credence to keeping Espinal up and DFA’ing Panik. The Jays are covered in the event of injuries.
Kasi - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 06:22 PM EDT (#396990) #
I doubt Espinal is going to continue having a babip of .400. Sure I like the guy but let’s not overstate what he is which is a backup you don’t mind being in the lineup. I’d like it better if he was LH but he’s not which is why Panik is still around. Panik is a worse defender but brings similar bat from the left side with decent on base skills. Tellez does bring lefty bat and power but no defensive utility and no on base skills. Maybe he can figure things out in the minors but I just don’t think he’s a good enough player to be a full timer on the Jays now.
scottt - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 06:23 PM EDT (#396991) #
The other thing is that Shapiro believes a top team must have both rookies and veterans to go along with the regular guys.
Springer is the long term vet. Panik is there to add maturity because the team leans young.
In a couple of years, the only maturity they'll need is at DH if Tellez doesn't become more reliable.
They'll always need young guys ready to step up at AAA.

And of course, they still want to have some left bats that they can throw in there.
More like Brantley than Panik though. 

SK in NJ - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 07:39 PM EDT (#396992) #
Counting this season, Panik has a 76 wRC+ (.247/.314/.330) and 0.2 WAR in 1066 plate appearances since 2018. He has a 77 wRC+ over that span against RHP. Having him on the roster and looking at him in a platoon role is both misguided and likely hurting the team since Montoyo seems to love to squeeze him into the lineup any chance he gets.

The Blue Jays not only gave Panik the roster spot out of Spring Training, but gave it to him despite him being thoroughly outplayed by Espinal. The logic is probably due to options, but a bad decision is a bad decision. Thankfully they chose Kirk over McGuire.
Petey Baseball - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 08:06 PM EDT (#396993) #
For the record, I was making the Espinal/Panik comp last year as well. Panik was useful for the 20-25 games that they lost Bichette last year due to injury. He should have been immediately DFA'd afterwards to make way for Espinal.

If veteran presents are what Shapiro wants, why not find a decent veteran catcher to platoon with Kirk?
grjas - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 08:16 PM EDT (#396994) #
Not sure why the Jays are in love with Milone. At his best, he’s mediocre. Why not leave Bergen in for a couple of innings after a clean first? Too married to the opener concept being one inning only.
Eephus - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 08:20 PM EDT (#396995) #
This is starting to feel like the Tommy Milone DFA game, and I take no delight in that potential reality. I’d still give him another shot, but these big league hitters are crushing him right now. Maybe it’s a Barves revenge game thing (Milone pitched in Atlanta in 2020 and was awful).
Petey Baseball - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 08:26 PM EDT (#396996) #
Agreed 100% grjas. I don't understand how going with an opener and then Milone is somehow preferable than just giving Kay an opportunity to get starts. Same with TJ Zeuch, who is a former first round pick! You would think they would want to give him a shot of all people.

It's really puzzling.
uglyone - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 08:30 PM EDT (#396997) #
Crazy that our pitching stats are good despite this procession of meatballs we keep putting on the mound.
Petey Baseball - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 08:32 PM EDT (#396998) #
It seems like they are doing it backwards. You would think the bullpen days would be a last resort due to injuries and ineffectiveness or just a lack of options. Kay and Zeuch may very well not be big league starters but how could anyone make that determination this early? Especially since both have had good minor league numbers.
Eephus - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 08:36 PM EDT (#396999) #
Spring Shoes.
Petey Baseball - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 08:40 PM EDT (#397000) #
Better get used to Springer DHing. That leg still looks painful. He can still hit though.
grjas - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 08:53 PM EDT (#397001) #
Yeah it’s weird that they DFA Roark one day- who is only a couple of years away from success- and then fire up another aging pitcher that’s had cruddy numbers since 2015. Agree that Kay and other younger guys make more sense.
uglyone - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 10:10 PM EDT (#397003) #
Well hello, George.
grjas - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 10:11 PM EDT (#397004) #
And I thought Springer would need some time to get his swing in sync…
Eephus - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 10:11 PM EDT (#397005) #
Spring Shoes x2.
uglyone - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 10:12 PM EDT (#397006) #
Gorgeous George absolutely massacred that ball.

116.4 mph... 470’

4 7 0 FEET.

— Ben Wagner (@benwag247) May 2, 2021
Gerry - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 10:55 PM EDT (#397007) #
If Kirk has to go on the DL the Jays could give Riley Adams his major league debut.

Calling up Juan Graterol or Reese McGuire would require a 40 man roster move.
greenfrog - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 11:00 PM EDT (#397008) #
What happened to Kirk?
uglyone - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 11:15 PM EDT (#397009) #
(Grichuk's contract is a steal)
greenfrog - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 11:15 PM EDT (#397010) #
Way to go Randal. Outstanding first month of the season for him.
Petey Baseball - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 11:20 PM EDT (#397011) #
Romano really threw some cheese tonight.
SK in NJ - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 11:24 PM EDT (#397012) #
Grichuk's had a great start to the season.

Springer doesn't look 100% but clearly can still hit in spite of that.
grjas - Saturday, May 01 2021 @ 11:26 PM EDT (#397013) #
Happy for Grichuk. Didn’t whine about his situation or fan views and comments; just put his head down and played his butt off.
ISLAND BOY - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 05:15 AM EDT (#397015) #
It's nice to be above .500 finally but I worry about the state of the pitching rotation. It seemed to all of us, even before spring training, that it looked thin. Maybe the budget wouldn't allow it but Taijuan Walker wanted to come back here and, while he has some command issues, I'd rather see him starting than Ross Stripling, or the now-departed Tanner Roarke. I just can't see how the Jays will rise much above .500 with a slop thrower like Tommy Milone pitching in the 2nd inning.

On the other hand, George Springer comes as advertised. He's going to add some swagger to the Jays lineup. Maybe we'll win a bunch of 9-8 games.
scottt - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 06:26 AM EDT (#397016) #
I' m worried that Springer won't be able to fully recover.
He's clearly not 100%.

Hip injury?

scottt - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 06:55 AM EDT (#397017) #
The budget is not an issue.
They didn't want to sign Walker for multiple years.
They probably thought that Hatch and Pearson would get more starts.
I'm not hot on Stripling either but maybe he can hover a 5 ERA.

scottt - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 07:09 AM EDT (#397018) #
Nobody mentioned that the Jays just got Paxton Schultz as the PTBNL for Derek Fisher.
14th round pick in 2019. They sent him to pitch in Australia during the pandemic where he had a crazy 17 K/BB ratio.

dalimon5 - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 08:40 AM EDT (#397021) #
Jays will trade big time upside at the deadline for SP. If it's for a rental only, then they will sign another starter in FA better than Walker. Orelvis Martinez will be the centre piece. Think Syndergaard or Scherzer for rental and then long term sign.

Other option I see is resigning Ray or Matz, graduating Manoah and SWR and signing a cheaper free agent like Bundy or Gausman. Then spend on an IF like Story, Seager, Correct or Semien again.

Leaside Cowboy - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 08:51 AM EDT (#397022) #
Gorgeous George always has a nice ring to it. But how about a Crown?

Amongst Canada's Kings: George the 5th was the Second King of Canada. George the 6th was the Fourth King of Canada.

King George IV wears number 4. Canada's New Original King.
Joe - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 09:25 AM EDT (#397024) #
Because I had a hunch, I checked Baseball Savant, and yep — last night's 470ft HR was Springer's hardest hit ball ever, at 116.4 mph. It wasn't his farthest home run, though; that's this 476ft cannon shot off Brett Anderson (Oakland) in 2018, though I have scars from his 474ft homer off Thornton — that one almost went into the fifth deck in SkyDome.
jerjapan - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 09:43 AM EDT (#397025) #
Hey Leaside Cowboy, welcome aboard man!
Anderson, Martin and Smith I'd take on my pitching staff, but as a musical trio, that's ghastly. 
AWeb - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 09:56 AM EDT (#397026) #
If mlb had any ideas on limiting the number of relievers being used, the extra innings rule kills it. If you are pretty sure you won't go past 10 or 11 innings, ever, you can manage a pitching staff like the Jays have been. The general bullpen performance might be unsustainable to some degree, but you can have 1 or 2 bullpen games a week if you have off days and occasional long starter outing. 9 guys pitched yesterday, probably most could pitch again today if necessary. Glad to see the team above .500, and that Springer has jumped right in.

Also, Jansen goes for the dubious 0-fer record today, assuming he plays.
Gerry - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 10:20 AM EDT (#397027) #
It sounds like Alejandro Kirk and Tommy Millone are headed to the IL. Too bad about Kirk, his bat was just warming up.

Stripling is starting today so I assume he will take Millone's roster spot but which catcher will be added?
scottt - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 10:26 AM EDT (#397028) #
The Jays used 8 pitchers today.

The guys available from the pen today are Mayza who only threw 3 pitches, Castro, Payamps and Tice, Borucki (25 pitches on Friday, not a good outing).

Cracka - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 10:29 AM EDT (#397029) #
If Kirk's injury is minor and he's likely to come back after 10 days, then I think Riley Adams will get the call and no one will be added to the 40. But if Kirk is going to be out for a few weeks or longer, then I think Reese McGuire will be added back to the roster and Adams will play regularly in AAA.

The Braves also have to make a roster move at catcher as D'Arnaud in going on the IL. Last week the Brewers lost both catchers and now Luke Maile is their starter. Things change fast.
scottt - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 10:39 AM EDT (#397030) #
Last year, they got Ray for Bergen and this year they resigned Ray and got Bergen back for cash considerations.
Last year, they got Walker for Roberto Rodriguez.

I would be shocked if they traded a top 10 prospects for a rental.

If they want to sign someone long term, Ray is a better fit than Scherzer and the Mets are not trading Syndergaard.
I heard they were interested in Kevin Gausman before he took the QO.

They paid a higher price on Stripling, precisely because he was not a 1 year rental.

pooks137 - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 10:44 AM EDT (#397031) #
But if Kirk is going to be out for a few weeks or longer, then I think Reese McGuire will be added back to the roster and Adams will play regularly in AAA.

The Catch-22 with calling up McGuire is that the next time you send him down, he gets to declare free agency if he clears waivers after his DFA.

So there's no great time to call up McGuire if you want to keep him in the organization, bar a season-ending injury, because he has to stay on the MLB roster from here on out.

Gerry - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 10:52 AM EDT (#397032) #
The Jays have Graterol, Adams and McGuire, all of whom, baring injury, would expect to be in AAA.
greenfrog - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 11:01 AM EDT (#397033) #
Scherzer will be 37 in July. Syndergaard hasn’t pitched since 2019 due to TJ surgery, and he was already injury prone before that (he pitched 7 games in 2017 and 25 games in 2018). I doubt the Jays would trade Orelvis for either of those arms, and they certainly would not offer either pitcher a long-term contract.
PeterG - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 11:08 AM EDT (#397034) #
Trading Orelvis for a rental would be incredibly stupid. He should be worth a lot more than that.
grjas - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 11:22 AM EDT (#397035) #
Yeah I hope they don’t trade a top 10 talent this year for a rental. They’re not at the point where a Cone type trade puts them over the top. And they still have a bunch of interesting players on the minor league roster.

They’ll likely need a solid inning eater type at the deadline which hopefully they can get somewhat cheaper.
bpoz - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 11:35 AM EDT (#397036) #
McGuire's last option was burned with a demotion of very few days over 20. It seemed wasteful to me. I was shocked that Atkins did that.

McGuire can be added and kept around until after Kirk returns. D Jansen can be demoted to work on his hitting.

The game starts at 1 so a decision should be announced soon.
grjas - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 11:39 AM EDT (#397037) #
Meanwhile one of the key “skills” Boston has “developed” is keeping players off the IL. Other than Sale, not much going on. The division is so tight this year, I wouldn’t be surprised if injury records are what decides who makes the playoffs.
85bluejay - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 11:41 AM EDT (#397038) #
German Marquez - 26 and controllable through 2024, fits in perfectly timeline wise and I expect will perform better away from Coors field - the cost is going to hurt but the Rockies have a new GM who probably wants to make his mark and start rebuild with team going nowhere.
hypobole - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 11:45 AM EDT (#397039) #
Cracka mentioned Luke Maile catching for the Brewers. Threw out Mookie Betts in the 11th helping ex-Jay Angel Perdomo get the final 2 outs for his 1st major league save last night.
85bluejay - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 11:46 AM EDT (#397040) #
I think Juan Graterol was acquired for this situation - veteran and expendable if lost on waivers and the Jays apparently have an open 40 man slot.
scottt - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 11:59 AM EDT (#397041) #
By my count, Jeremy Beasley took the last 40 roster spot.
pooks137 - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 12:10 PM EDT (#397042) #
It's some sort of irony that the Jays could actually use Luke Maile's offense at catcher right now.
Mike Green - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 12:28 PM EDT (#397043) #
Thinking that More Guys always was better than Some Guys.  The Guys really broke the mold with More.
Gerry - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 12:37 PM EDT (#397044) #
Looks like its Riley Adams that will get the call.

It does give the Jays time to think about other options, either from their system or elsewhere.
85bluejay - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 12:37 PM EDT (#397045) #
Groshans will be playing SS/3B and Martin SS/CF in AA - Thumbs up.
Gerry - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 12:39 PM EDT (#397046) #
Anthony Castro also goes on the IL with a forearm strain. Anthony Kay is recalled for an Anthony swap.
pooks137 - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 12:46 PM EDT (#397047) #
I'm happy to see Kay back on the roster as a potential starting option, but between Milone and Castro, the Jays are definitely abusing the phantom IL.
hypobole - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 01:00 PM EDT (#397048) #
Why would the Jays put Castro on a "Phantom IL"? They could just option him to bring Kay up. He wasn't used since the 27th and he's been pitching as well as anyone. Makes zero sense.

Nigel - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 01:20 PM EDT (#397049) #
As a charter member of the Riley Adams fan club, I heartily approve of the call up decision. It will be interesting to see where he’s at developmentally.
scottt - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 01:22 PM EDT (#397050) #
Castro would have been useful today and Kay is set up to start on Tuesday.
Having to use Kay today would not be good except maybe for one quick inning.

Nigel - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 01:23 PM EDT (#397051) #
That was a comically bad route by Gurriel.
Polite Nate - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 01:48 PM EDT (#397052) #
Nice to see Jansen break that 0-fer. With Kirk out it would be nice if Jansen can get back into at least a passable groove.
Thanks to the Box for opening registrations, been a long time lurker.
Magpie - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 01:52 PM EDT (#397053) #
Jansen now has as many hits and RBIs as Clayton Kershaw!

Baby steps.

Now the big challenge - catching up to Jacob deGrom.

Told you I'd be bringing the mockery. Hey - so far it's working.
hypobole - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 01:53 PM EDT (#397054) #
Yeah, that was a horrible combination of poor hitting and poor luck. Nice to see Danny actually hit one not right at someone. Maybe the Jays took my suggestion and brought in Wee Willie Keeler as a batting consultant.
uglyone - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 01:58 PM EDT (#397055) #
"There are nine quadrants"

Buck is a baseball player.
Kasi - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 02:02 PM EDT (#397056) #
I think Stripling is a perfectly serviceable fifth starter. Not terribly exciting but he has some decent stuff, good enough control and can miss some bats. I feel he’s been a bit unlucky this year. I think we have a good top 3 group we just need a solid four. I’m hoping that can be Pearson or Thornton but we’ll see.
uglyone - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 02:11 PM EDT (#397057) #
Vladdy and Bo really need to be flipped in the order.
AWeb - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 02:14 PM EDT (#397058) #
Yay for Jansen! Not breaking an Ed Sprague record for hitting futility is good. I think I remember that streak too. Sprague was one of the few guys I remember who could actually swing and miss by a foot or more. When he went bad, which could last for months, it got baaaad. The current breaking ball, specifically slider, heavy league would have destroyed him.
hypobole - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 02:20 PM EDT (#397059) #
Stripling would look more serviceable if we could put more than 1 plus defender behind him.
Kasi - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 02:20 PM EDT (#397060) #
Semien is looking cub more comfortable at 5/6 in the lineup. Nice having his pop down there next to Hernandez.
grjas - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 02:24 PM EDT (#397061) #
I’m hoping that can be Pearson or Thornton but we’ll see.

They have to start stretching Thornton out more. They haven’t even left him in for 3 innings yet. I know they’re being careful given last year’s health issues but baby step increases would be nice. I’d like to see what he can can do as an SP as well
uglyone - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 02:29 PM EDT (#397062) #
Kasi - Matz I wouldn't have guessed but he's passing the eye test easily so far. And Ray I've always liked. No doubting the talent of that top 3 but man oh man are there massive durability questions there. Still think one more reliable #1/2 SP would really set us up nicely, with Ray/Matz/Stripling/Pearson/Kay/Zeuch/Hatch/thornton/borucki/whoever being loads of good but unreliable talent to fill the rest of the rotation nicely.
uglyone - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 02:32 PM EDT (#397063) #
"Semien is looking cub more comfortable at 5/6 in the lineup."

yeah guys like Semien, Grichuk, Gurriel really get to shine down in the order where their power really plays up.

But I really, really, really think they should flip Bo and Vlad in the order. They're just going to stop pitching to Vlad completely, and anyways he's the elite OBP guy, not Bo. Meanwhile, it'll be far harder to pitch around Bo with 2 elite OBP guys getting on base so much ahead of him, and the bats of guys like Teoscar being closer to Bo's level than Vlad's.
electric carrot - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 02:44 PM EDT (#397064) #
Agreed uglyone. That last at bat Vlad got one pitch in the strike zone. It's not going to make a ton of difference but I think swapping Vlad and Bichette would be helpful.
pooks137 - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 02:45 PM EDT (#397065) #
Looking up Ed Sprague's 1994 hitless streak.

His streak started after a 6th inning single against Charles Nagy on May 20th, 1994 in a 2-0 win against the Indians. He would later be issued an intentional walk in the bottom of the 8th against Nagy again in his final PA.

His hitless streak ended on June 1st, 1994 in the bottom of the 2nd with a HR off Todd Van Poppel in a 9-5 loss to Oakland.

It doesn't look like Cito benched Sprague at all during his streak, as he started every game and inning of the streak and never was lifted for a pinch hitter.

During the streak he was walked 4 times, once intentionally. He struck out 12 times. He did not reach on any errors, or earn any sac hits or flies. He was hit by a pitch on May 31st, the penultimate day of his streak. He earned one RBI and scored one run.

I don't remember Ed Sprague's historic streak, but it seems Cito paid next to no attention to it at the time.
hypobole - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 02:55 PM EDT (#397066) #
Great job by Borucki.

Be glad when the Jays are out of Florida. Very disconcerting to hear louder cheers for for the opposition than the home side.
scottt - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 02:59 PM EDT (#397067) #
We're finally seeing them hit some doubles.
The lineup is starting to look deep.
I like Hernandez behind Guerrero.
A long as Vlad scores some run, it's all good.

scottt - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 03:08 PM EDT (#397068) #
LOL. Little Leagues pickle. Ouch.
Nigel - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 03:12 PM EDT (#397069) #
Borucki looked really good today. If they’re adamant about having Vladdy, Spinger and Bichette be their top 3, then I’ve wondered if Bichette, Vladdy, Springer isn’t the right order.
uglyone - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 03:17 PM EDT (#397070) #
Springer yanked. Likely re-injured.
BlueJayWay - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 03:21 PM EDT (#397071) #
Springer out again.

It looked like he tweaked the quad last night running down to first, but stayed in the game and hit two hrs after. Today in his first AB he stumbled a bit coming out of the box, but stayed in for a couple more ABs.
uglyone - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 03:26 PM EDT (#397072) #
High Performance Department
grjas - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 03:47 PM EDT (#397073) #
Somewhat surprised they played him in an afternoon game after looking a bit gimpy the night before.
uglyone - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 03:48 PM EDT (#397074) #

Springer is up and walking around in the dugout. He went down, smiling to congratulate Phelps on his inning too. #bluejays

— Ben Wagner (@benwag247) May 2, 2021
uglyone - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 03:51 PM EDT (#397075) #
great at bat by Grichuk really seems to have sucked the life out of this pitcher.
grjas - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 03:58 PM EDT (#397076) #
I like the new batting order in the bottom half of the lineup. Guys with power in 6 and7 spot and Biggio in the 8th slot as potential set up guy for the top of the order. I hope they stick with it.

I also think Hernandez will come around and protect VG, but if he doesn’t sure switch around with Bichette.

With luck they are just resting Springer to be safe. Otherwise, Biggio is back in lead off.
uglyone - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 04:04 PM EDT (#397077) #
Springer looks fine dancing around the dugout at least.
hypobole - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 04:07 PM EDT (#397078) #
Low Performance Comment
uglyone - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 04:07 PM EDT (#397079) #
Yeah biggio as the faux leadoff guy might work. If we're healthy maybe slot him all the way down in the 9 slot to make him a true virtual leadoff guy aside from the first time through the order.

1. CF Grichuk
2. 1B Vlad
3. SS Bo
4. DH Teoscar
5. C Kirk
6. RF Grichuk
7. LF Gurriel
8. 2B Semien
9. 3B Biggio
Kasi - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 04:10 PM EDT (#397080) #
Yeah Biggio one when Springer is out, 9th when he’s in makes sense.

As for the top 3 other than Ryu I don’t think they’re an injury concern. Ray and Matz have a fairly good record of being healthy. We just really need one of Pearson or Thornton or Kay to lock down that four spot. If they can give a 20ish ranked prospect for another mid season Walker type that’s cool too but don’t touch the good prospects.
grjas - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 04:13 PM EDT (#397081) #
Yeah I like that lineup UO. If they ever get healthy enough to try it!
jerjapan - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 04:44 PM EDT (#397082) #
Of course the perfectly crommulent Joe Panik comes to bat to the perfectly crommulent ‘shine’ by collective soul. Man, how bout panic by the smiths, or panic at the disco, or, you know, anything else.

Hey, I had no idea registration had been blocked. It’s great seeing some new posters!
scottt - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 04:44 PM EDT (#397083) #
First sweep.

I was really happy when I saw Newcomb coming out.
Weird move  by the Braves manager.
Newcomb didn't look that bad 2 days ago.
The Jays shelled him.
So, I wouldn't throw him back in there for more abuse against all those right handed hitters.

I don't understand how a runner walks between first and second after running through first.
That Gurriel sand swimming move. :)

Semien is getting ready to go back to Oakland.
I would imagine that Springer doesn't want to be off that trip to Houston either.

The pen is not in a great spot though.
Phelps, Chatwood and Borucki have been used back to back and should be off.
Borucki probably gets a day off too along with Payamps.
That leaves Romano, Mayza, Tice, Bergen. Thorton might be the long man now but could probably use another day off.

hypobole - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 04:59 PM EDT (#397084) #
scottt. my guess was Albies thought the ball went into the dugout, like Riley's throw did with Bo.

Wonder if it was Vlad who caught the fact or did the 1st base coach? Danny seemed just standing with the ball and Vlad suddenly started pointing. Ah, who cares? Let the narrative be it was Vlad, because I can't spell the 1st bases coaches name.
Cracka - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 05:08 PM EDT (#397085) #
It will be interesting to see who comes on the road trip on the taxi squad now that minor league seasons are starting. I would expect to see Jeremy Beasley at some point on the road trip and after that, we're down to Elvis Luciano in terms of 40-man roster relief options. AJ Cole was on the taxi squad earlier this year and I believe he has a May 15th "opt-out date" approaching.

I would guess that Palacios and Tellez also travel with the team as well as a 3rd catcher - maybe Juan Graterol?
hypobole - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 05:33 PM EDT (#397086) #
Brain cramp - our 1st base coach was nowhere near the play because the 1st base coach was Atlanta's.
grjas - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 05:51 PM EDT (#397087) #
Springer “just tired” and Boston loses to Texas. Now tied in the loss column with the leaders.

Life is good!
Magpie - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 06:49 PM EDT (#397088) #
The Braves have put both their catchers on the IL, and d'Arnaud will be out for a long time. They're down to William Contreras, who started his third game in the majors this afternoon, and Jeff Mathis.

You know, if there's a chance to take advantage of an old friend when he's in a jam.
scottt - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 07:15 PM EDT (#397089) #
A catcher must be on the taxi squad. The rest are mostly pitchers.
Biggio and Panic can play the outfield for a game.
The minors starts on Tuesday and they probably want Palacios, Davis and Tellez to play full-time.
Panic is the emergency catcher and has been taking balls at first.

Pearson and Zeuch should be starting in AAA. (Are they in Buffalo?)

Luciano is pitching in New Hampshire with Moreno catching.
Groshans and Otto Lopez are also there.

John Northey - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 08:19 PM EDT (#397090) #
For Ed Sprague's 1994 streak - that team had a big shortage of decent backups. Domingo Cedeno was probably the next guy after Sprague (25 at the time, 40 OPS+), Darnell Coles played a few games there but at 32 was more an OF than a 3B. The Jays in '94 should've given Howard Battle a shot (he hit 277/328/439 in AAA) but didn't. Battle seemed odd - reached AAA at 22 but stalled out. A 675 OPS the next year and a tiny ML call up (9 games). But did give the Jays great value by being part of the trade that brought Paul Quantrill here.
dalimon5 - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 08:42 PM EDT (#397092) #
"I would be shocked if they traded a top 10 prospects for a rental."

Would you be shocked if the Nationals traded Scherzer for a prospect outside of the top 10? I know most people trading that type of game changing talent would want a return similar to what David Price fetched. Norris, Boyd + the idea you can get a top notch starting pitcher (rental or not) for outside top 10 prospect talent is ludicrous. When I say trade for a player it means someone better than our internal options. Walker type pitcher is not an improvement. Look at the trade for Carlos Carrasco as a reference. I don't think the Jays make a trade for any pitcher not as good or better. So expect serious talent going the other way.

For short term it would be someone like Syndergaard who is coming back next month. He's throwing 100 and has the track record. Difference maker.

For a longer term trade it would be for someone like Sonny Gray, Castillo, Marquez, Flaherty, etc.

FYI Syndergaard is in a walk year and probably the best available SP free agent coming up since Bauer likely won't opt out, Kershaw won't leave the Dodgers and Scherzer...maybe he's a wild card. Greinke is done...
pooks137 - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 09:35 PM EDT (#397093) #
I was surprised that Sprague's record hitless streak only lasted 10 or 11 days, but involved daily starts at 3B without pinch-hitting or platooning. Gaston was notorious for penciling in the same lineup every night and sticking with "his guys".

Jansen's streak on the other hand lasted from April 8th to May 2nd due to a combination of a weird April schedule full of off days, routine off days as a catcher and Kirk working exclusively with Ray.
Kasi - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 09:48 PM EDT (#397094) #
No I don’t see the Jays trading top prospect for an expiring contract unless they get some guarantees they can negotiate contract beforehand. Since that is almost unheard of in baseball then no Jays will not be trading for expensive rentals no matter what Andrew Stoeten and you might wish. They have stated repeatedly their plan is to build a long term contender. You do not do that by trading 2-3 top 15 prospects for a rental.

If they go for that sort of trade it will have to be a Stripling+ deal where they make a trade for a pitcher with 2-3 years left like the ones you mentioned above. That waste of trade capital during multiple trades is part of what led to our window being so short since we had nothing coming up to back up the 2015 team. Heck wasn’t their reports of AA and Shapiro disagreeing on this type of trade? So yeah don’t be disappointed when we don’t trade for Scherzer. Trying to think of the last time the Dodgers traded top prospects for a rental and I’m coming up short there.
Kasi - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 09:54 PM EDT (#397096) #
Actually one thing that could force some sort of big trade is what uo said above. Say we lose one of our top three for the season. That might force them to do something to salvage the season. But if Ryu/Ray/Matz stay reasonably healthy I think they’re going to be patient. It’s interesting because so many pundits want them to push all in this year and they’ve made it very clear they’re not going to do that.
John Northey - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 10:06 PM EDT (#397097) #
I'd be quite surprised if the Jays trade a top 10 prospect this year. 2021 isn't the year for winning it all unless everything breaks right. So if everything is going great in late July and the Jays are clearly missing just 1 piece to go all the way then maybe, but the Jays are built for the long term so the pressure isn't there. Semien, Matz, Ray, Chatwood, Panik, Phelps, Milon are the free agents after the season (plus Roark & Yates who don't matter). Replacements for them all could be found internally or via free agency (maybe even resigning some of them) without too much difficulty I figure. So the pressure the 2016 Jays felt (Bautista & EE free agents after the season) isn't applicable here. Nor the 2015 pressure of not being contenders for so long. Mix in the lack of home games for a second season and the pressure is really off.

I expect mid-season minor trades - guys #11-30 on the prospect list could be traded, but a top 10 only for a guy who would be here for 2022 for sure. No rentals unless cheaply acquired. I could see the Jays taking on salary mid-season to help cut the cost down on a guy too.
99BlueJaysWay - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 10:42 PM EDT (#397098) #
Unless things dramatically change, and Pearson is up and dominating for 6+ innings every 5 days, I would be shocked if the Jays DIDN’T make a move to pick up a difference maker at SP. Remember that both Ray and Matz are only under contract for this season. The Jays are going to need impact starters if they’re going to go somewhere, and if the past few weeks have taught us anything it’s that they don’t have enough impact starters now, let alone going forward.
electric carrot - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 10:48 PM EDT (#397099) #
uglyone, I support your lineup idea, but wonder if cloning Grichuk would fall within the limits of his contract?

1. CF Grichuk
2. 1B Vlad
3. SS Bo
4. DH Teoscar
5. C Kirk
6. RF Grichuk
7. LF Gurriel
8. 2B Semien
9. 3B Biggio
Kasi - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 11:01 PM EDT (#397100) #
99bjw no one disagrees with the Jays trading for a top pitching prospect or young starter with multiple years left. The question is would they trade a couple top ten guys for someone like Scherzer. I don’t think they will unless pushed into it by injuries.
Eephus - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 11:02 PM EDT (#397101) #
Likewise I think trading an exceptional prospect (your Pearsons, your Martins, your Groshans etc) isn't in the cards for this team, unless a perfect situation (like Price in 2015) arises and you just can't say no. It's also like 40 games too early to really be considering this regardless: they could definitely use more pitching, but the 2021 Blue Jays haven't exactly telegraphed who or what they are yet. It's still early, and it's still fun. 
Kasi - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 11:04 PM EDT (#397102) #
The Jays have said they’re in play for pitchers in the offseason. I’d not be surprised if at least one of Ray/Matz isn’t resigned along with some new high impact FA acquisition.
dalimon5 - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 11:31 PM EDT (#397103) #
Obviously you don't trade a Groshans or Martin for 10 or so starts from Scherzer. That's not what I am saying. You would typically give up a prospect from you 11-15 slot, but if you're competing in the bids with others then maybe you go within your top 10, either a Van Eyk, Hiraldo or Kloffenstein.

Kasi, I don't read Stoeten, can't stand the arrogance (blocking his readers back in the day).

I would expect to give up someone with really high upside lower down like SWR was given up for Stroman, or someone higher up with less ceiling, like the guys I mentioned.

Shapiro and Co will definitely make a big move, maybe two moves. They have been consistent in saying they will have depth as well as waves upon waves of prospects.

Jays are top 3 in spending money during the past 2 years BTW, after the Yankees and Nationals.

I think they bring in a rental this year in SP category and I think they try to sign or trade for a big SP in the off season. That would give them a Championship caliber core for half a decade and allow them to focus on building up the future waves ala Dodgers and Rays via savvy trades and drafts.

JohnL - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 11:34 PM EDT (#397104) #
"Viola didn't give up a hit until Devon White led off the ninth with a bloop single."

I was at that game too. One of three games I've been to when the Jays broke up a no hitter in the 9th. Best was May 1989 at Exhibition Stadium, Key vs Langston & Mariners. Jays not only broke up the no hitter (a perfect game except for Junior Felix getting on base by an error), but they won it. Last game Jimy Williams ever won with the Jays.

The other wasn't a real no hitter. It was the last spring exhibition game in 1995 at the Dome vs Mets. Mets used a few pitchers.

Never saw a no hitter, but I did have a ticket for the game (1991??) when Dave Stewart no-hit the Jays. Changed my mind that afternoon, and gave it to a co-worker.
uglyone - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 11:37 PM EDT (#397105) #
Yeah - hearty welcome to all the new posters. Nice to see.

Kasi - Sunday, May 02 2021 @ 11:42 PM EDT (#397106) #
I was looking for Blue Jays stuff on YouTube today (you know that’s a market that’s really untapped I think a good Blue Jays vid maker with some charisma and moxie could make a killing on YouTube, but all that seems to exist is meh) Anyway I found a guy saying a trade would put them over the top. That being 2 out of 3 of Martin, SWR and Moreno for Scherzer. That would be an awful trade that would set the Jays back big time. And the guy suggested you do all three to get Corbin. Then again the guy seemed to be a Yankees fan so maybe he’s trying to sabotage us. :p

Anyway I have no issue the Jays giving a top ten prospect or two for a young stud pitching prospect or young guy with term. That’s cool and I’d be behind it depending on the players involved. But rentals no and I don’t think the Jays will trade prospects for rentals. They want to be like the Dodgers who as well hoard their prospects. You don’t have a good team if you constantly bleed prospects for short term upgrades. I don’t think it’s all that necessary since I really do think Manoah was the best pitcher in his class and that Pearson and SWR will be solid eventually. CF and 3b are still holes and one of Groshan or Martin I think could a lot in there.
Eephus - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 01:07 AM EDT (#397107) #
Never saw a no hitter

I've never even been close to seeing one, in person anyway. I have three live television memories though: watching Randy Johnson's final inning of his perfect game against the Barves in 2004(?), which was damn fun. As a lefty batter with semi-reasonable house league skill, the Big Unit might be the last pitcher in baseball history I'd ever want to face... Larry Walker and John Kruk had the right idea. 

Brandon Morrow's near no-no was rough to watch unfold, especially since the hit in the 9th that broke it up was such a seeing-eye infield job. Boy, I was drinking the "Morrow could be an Ace!" Koolaid that afternoon... though he has enjoyed a fine career (though shadowed by injuries) beyond that and good for that dude. 

Halladay's no hitter against the Reds in the NLDS is the only no-hitter I've ever seen first pitch to final pitch, but I'll never forget it. His stuff was so good that day, by the 3rd inning you suspected history might be in the cards. True story: a friend of mine wanted to shoot hoops with me that day, and I blew him off because it was Doc's first ever postseason start. His snarky reply (not a baseball fan) was that playing sports is better than watching sports. I agree, but.... that day absolutely not. One of my better choices in my early 20s, heh.
85bluejay - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 05:07 AM EDT (#397108) #
If Shapiro/Atkins are serious about building a perennial contender then I don't see the Jays trading top prospects for a rental like 2015 (a GM with one foot already out the door) - maybe for a guy like Marquez who has years of control - add in the fact that Shapiro/Akins are armed with the security of new long term contracts and that the Jays will not be getting the usual attendance and revenue boost associated with contending status and I just don't see it in the cards - not to mention that the San Diego Padres added Clevinger/Darvish/Snell and Musgrove without giving up any of their top 5 rated prospects.
Jonny German - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 05:42 AM EDT (#397109) #
Obviously you don't trade a Groshans or Martin for 10 or so starts from Scherzer. That's not what I am saying.

Um... but it is what you said. When you compared it to the Price trade. Wherein the Jays gave up their #1 prospect.
Paul D - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 07:39 AM EDT (#397110) #
Was Daniel Norris really their number one prospect? I didn't remember that. The overall system is much better now of course, but I'd do the Price trade ten times out of ten. I'm surprised at the negativity here towards 2015, but I suppose we've litigated that before
Jonny German - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 08:10 AM EDT (#397113) #
I guess my comment may have sounded negative on the Price trade, but I wasn't then and I'm not now. And if this team looks close to being a World Series favourite when July comes around, I'd do that kind of trade again - but even tho I'm generally an optimist I don't expect this team to be at that level in July.

Norris was clearly the #1 prospect coming into 2015 (followed by Pompey and Aaron Sanchez), and was very comparable to where Pearson / Martin / Groshans are today.

Top 100 Ranks:
                        BA	MLB	BP
Pre-2015 Norris		18	17	34
Pre-2015 Pompey	        30	43	42
Pre-2015 Sanchez	27	44	25
Pre-2021 Pearson	14	10	35
Pre-2021 Martin	        19	22	22
Pre-2021 Groshans	34	46	41

Batter's Box top 10 for 2015.
Gerry - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 08:15 AM EDT (#397114) #
I was at the Viola game too. It would be unusual to be hoping for good things for an opposition player but by the ninth I was there.
Paul D - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 08:24 AM EDT (#397115) #
Interesting, my poor memory thanks you Johnny.
scottt - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 08:47 AM EDT (#397116) #
The Price trade was just a part of AA's then strategy.
Empty the farm and wish for the best.
The current building strategy is the complete opposite, so the Price trade doesn't really fit.

The Josh Donaldson trade was amazing.
It's too bad the Jays didn't get full value because of health reasons.
With Price, I mostly remember the games he lost and the win he stole from Dickie in the postseason.
The basis for the Price trade was Stroman getting hurt during PFP and missing most of the year.
Without the Price trade, Hendriks trade probably doesn't happen either.

The Jays don't have a long term answer at third base yet.
There are still questions at many other positions.
I expect them to be active in free agency but not trade for rentals just so they can overpay for an extension. They can just extend the guys they already have if they want to.
If anything, maybe something like the Mark Lowe trade might be all they need.

Both the Jays and Yankees are 7-3 in their last 10. However the Jays have played against tough teams and the Yankees have faced Baltimore and Detroit.

bpoz - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 08:52 AM EDT (#397117) #
I was expecting Vlad and co to bring in young posters to da Box if they were making the team win. I did not know that the problem was bots.

I do think that there is a difference between young posters and new posters that are a bit older. Wise posters that have experience constantly see improvements and declines in players. They also see prospects fail on a regular basis. I see decline and failure now and expect it because it is a part of player development. The history is not lying.

My Jay's prospect love has changed in its "elite expectations".
Leaside Cowboy - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 08:58 AM EDT (#397118) #
Vladdy's potential is said to resemble Miguel Cabrera. But for me he looks like Manny Ramirez.
Chuck - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 09:04 AM EDT (#397119) #
Ramirez and Cabrera are certainly in the same family of hitters: good AVG, good OBP, good SLG. The Cabrera comp incorporates the transition from third base to first base, making for a more analogous narrative.
Leaside Cowboy - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 09:18 AM EDT (#397120) #
Cabrera hit the hardest homer I have seen when attending games. It was a bullet off the old Windows restaurant and his second home run that day.
rpriske - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 09:19 AM EDT (#397121) #
"Remember that Halladay is not a Jays HOF'er.
He went as himself only. "

Roy Halladay is a Blue Jay in the Hall of Fame. Not having a hat in the picture doesn't change that one bit.
dalimon5 - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 09:39 AM EDT (#397123) #
The Dodgers traded good prospects for a rental of Machado.

Regarding Norris, I feel people just get defensive when you have to give up something good. Acknowledge that giving up no or cheap prospects will get you back middle of the road pitchers or reclamation projects at best. If we're going into October and want to compete with the best teams, the pitching will need to be addressed, simple as that.

Look at what San Diego gave up for Snell. Patino is at the same level as Pearson, maybe a tick below, maybe. That's the price for controllable bonfire pitching.

I would appreciate it if posters protesting the trade of quality prospects for starting pitchers of the top 20 variety...if you could share how the team would improve the pitching. Is it the view that, "Pearson, SWR, Manoah will improve our rotation, we can resign Ray and we have Ryu?" Is that your view? Because I don't like that plan at many holes in it.
John Northey - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 09:53 AM EDT (#397124) #
The Jays are in an interesting situation now much like the 1984 team I'd say - on the cusp of something special with the kids all jelling but pitching being an issue (then the pen now the starters) but all the core pieces here long term. Checking one of my favorites Cot's Contracts
  • SP: Ryu: signed through 2023
  • SP: Stripling: arbitration for 2022
  • SP: only prospects otherwise under control beyond 2021
  • RP: Dolis: enters arbitration for the first time next winter (!) this is due to years in Japan
  • RP: Yates, Chatwood, Phelps all free agents
  • CA: Jansen/Kirk both under team control for many years
  • 1B: Vlad: through 2025
  • 2B: Semien: just this year
  • SS: Bo: through 2025
  • 3B: Biggio: through 2025
  • LF: Gurriel: signed through 2023, arbitration 2024
  • CF: Springer: signed through 2026
  • RF: Hernandez: arb through 2023, then free agent
  • OF: Grichuk: signed through 2023
  • DH: Tellez: through 2025 at least (a month in the minors adds a year of control I think)
So only Semien is a position player that could be lost before 2024, then only Guriel and Hernandez get added to the free agent pile. Pitching...well...we need more. Luckily some kids are close and relievers are always available. Davis & Espinal are under team control for a long time and both are decent backups. Kids in the minors are under control for at least 7 more years unless the rules change.
scottt - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 10:05 AM EDT (#397125) #
Halladay is an ex-Blue Jays in the hall of fame, just like Jack Morris, but Alomar is the only Blue Jays inductee. That's what really count.

In the end, a player can only represent one team, or none at all.

Never building a championship team around him was a colossal mistake.
I think we can all agree on that.

mathesond - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 10:11 AM EDT (#397126) #
"That's the price for controllable bonfire pitching."

Heh, bonfire pitching reminds me of the Joey Mclaughlin experience - also, Joey Hamilton comes to mind. So I guess my point is, the Jays may want to stay away from pitchers named Joey.
bpoz - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 10:22 AM EDT (#397127) #
I think only Shapiro is getting a "competitive" budget. Richardi and AA were given quite low budgets. Richardi for sure because I think he complained in the media a bit. AA and Beeston told us the money was there. Was that true and how much true? AA's efforts and success in 2015 yielded very good revenues which probably convinced management that spending more could make revenues higher. I still think that the Jays are not a top spending team. IMO no Bauer, Strasburg contracts or Lindor yet. No Tatis to date either.
Mike Green - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 10:25 AM EDT (#397128) #
Batters nicknamed Joey are OK though.  It's so hard to be a GM with all these confusing rules.
electric carrot - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 10:27 AM EDT (#397130) #
Vladdy's potential is said to resemble Miguel Cabrera. But for me he looks like Manny Ramirez.

I agree Leaside Cowboy. There's something about Vlad's swing that reminds me of Manny.
bpoz - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 10:29 AM EDT (#397131) #
Very confusing. A kangaroo court.
bpoz - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 11:03 AM EDT (#397132) #
Regarding big deadline trades. Some work and some don't.

Montreal gave up a "not" top prospect Randy Johnson and a little more for a good SP that did not take them over the top.

Houston got Verlander which helped immensely. Probably a good package going to Detroit. Verlander was extended.

Bauer to the Reds. Rental for "not enough time to judge". Were they high prospects?

D Price for a strong package.

E Loiza for M Young. Loiza lived up to his abilities. Young surpassed his prospect status.

Many other trades that I cannot remember.

Jays getting D Cone was for a championship. Cone and Ricky Henderson were acquired in trade. Morris, Winfield etc.. were FAs. This was to extend a closing window.

There is an old saying that means "I don't know what". "The team getting the best player will most often win the trade". Probably a basketball saying.
Thomas - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 11:15 AM EDT (#397133) #
Halladay is an ex-Blue Jays in the hall of fame, just like Jack Morris, but Alomar is the only Blue Jays inductee. That's what really count.

I completely disagree with this line of thinking.

Polite Nate - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 11:31 AM EDT (#397134) #
I'm always a bit leery of renting an SP at the deadline unless you know for sure you're in the playoffs. Cost is usually higher, and your value is concentrated in a handful of starts. I prefer renting bullpen arms (can never have enough) or papering over holes in the lineup. Cheaper gets, more disposable if they don't work out.

That said, the Jays are in a tricky spot. It's hard to see what things will look like at the deadline. If Ray and Matz fall back to earth and Pearson continues to struggle in the rotation, another SP becomes very attractive. But without expanded playoffs, it's hard to imagine the above scenario without also being on the outside looking in for a playoff spot and so maybe not in the rental market anyway. And vice versa, I feel like if we had a comfortable spot it would mean that our existing pitching actually kept rolling and so I'd be tempted to leave it be.
hypobole - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 11:40 AM EDT (#397135) #

Kirk trying to prolong his career. This is also part of the High Performance Department.

The Happ trade was never a good one and turned out to be a total bust. It got mocked and still does at times. Yet no one blames Rogers for the trade. Jays or Atkins gets the blame and rightly so. But the Jays are part of Rogers.

In the same way, the training staff is part of the HPD. Yet when the training staff has a perceived failure, some blame the HPD rather than the trainers, just like blaming Rogers for the Happ trade.

As a side note, someone brought up Stoeten. He's done the HPD mockery in the past, although his new site is where I found the above Kirk link.

scottt - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 11:41 AM EDT (#397136) #
The Hall of Fame immortalizes a person as he was during the induction.
That's why Alomar  will never be removed from the Hall no matter what he does after of how  he becomes viewed later.
And choosing no team is not the same as choosing multiple teams.
It only makes the player appears selfish and I have not doubt that this is not what Doc would have chosen.

It's like being buried in the family plot.
You can't be buried in 2 different places just because you divorced and remarried.
You can choose one empty grave or 2 empty graves but not 2 full graves.

I'm not the type that leaves flowers on empty graves.

hypobole - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 12:20 PM EDT (#397140) #
Now on to 2015. Shapiro was upset with AA for "draining the farm" as some put it. But AA only drained the top levels, there was still Vladdy and other real talent in A ball and below. That top level drain did make the 2015 success unsustainable, and the rebuild inevitable. But that lower level talent helped make the rebuild a short one rather than what the Tigers have been going through.

But Shapiro I believe was also helped greatly in hindsight by AA's go-for-it moves. I wanted to put 2015 success in quotes, because it both was and wasn't. Would Dodgers or Yankees fans have thought trading so many prospects to not even make the WS a success if their team had done it?

But the Jays had been wallowing for decades. The true long term success of 2015-2016 seems showing Rogers that Toronto can be a large market thanks to the 3 million+ fans that showed up to the RC for multiple seasons. A Springer-type signing was an impossibility for AA, because of payroll parameters from Rogers (also Beeston's 5 year rule which is gone, thank goodness, under Shapiro).

grjas - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 12:37 PM EDT (#397145) #
“I would appreciate it if posters protesting the trade of quality prospects for starting pitchers of the top 20 variety...if you could share how the team would improve the pitching“

What I would do is trade a lower prospect or two for an inning eater pitcher at the deadline if they are still in contention, not a top 10 talent or more for a top tier rental. It’s too early for that IMO. As others have pointed out, the team while looking promising has too many holes for an “all in” move. If they can make the playoffs this year and get some additional postseason experience that’s a bonus and may be they can win a series or two. The WS is a big stretch this year, even with a big deadline addition.

Next year I’d throw a lot of money at a good multi year pitching talent if they can sign one. They’ll also have a better idea by then of what to do with Bichette, when and where Groshans, Martinez and Martin will play, and have a better view on their catching situation. Some of these areas may also need investment.
Kasi - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 12:41 PM EDT (#397147) #
Funny enough it wasn't the high rated pitchers we traded back then that burned us other than Syndergaard. Hoffman and Norris have never amounted to much. But DeSclafani, Musgrove, Boyd, Graveman, etc would look nice here now as starters to fill out the back of the rotation. If I could deals like the Machado one where you send out a bunch of players who turned out to be busts for them then sure do it. But thats a tricky game to play.
Eephus - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 12:56 PM EDT (#397148) #
Hoffman and Norris have never amounted to much.

Hoffman has actually been quite serviceable for the Reds thus far! It's only 24.1 innings and he's walking too many guys, but I imagine getting out of Colorado and that less than functional organization must have been good for him.
Nigel - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 12:59 PM EDT (#397149) #
Hypobole - I completely agree wtih that 2015 assessment. Given the budget issues at the time, AA was forced to act like a mid-market team and ride the success curve (go for it in the contention windows, cut bait when not). I think he did that well and the team generally was rewarded for it. If there really are larger financial resources at play now for the team then Shapiro has more of a chance of "always competing". If the budget isn't there, then the team will have to ride the success curve again.
hypobole - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 01:06 PM EDT (#397150) #
Graveman is no longer a starter. He seems to be Seattle's highest leverage reliever. He's been closing, but worked the 8th yesterday. Checked and yeah, the 8th was Trout, Rendon, Walsh.
uglyone - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 01:17 PM EDT (#397151) #
"Funny enough it wasn't the high rated pitchers we traded back then that burned us other than Syndergaard. Hoffman and Norris have never amounted to much. But DeSclafani, Musgrove, Boyd, Graveman, etc would look nice here now as starters to fill out the back of the rotation."

Maybe it isn't funny - maybe it's a lesson to be learned about the value of "top pitching prospects".

And remember - Thor wasn't actually that highly rated when we traded him. In the 90s on two lists and not rated on the 3rd in the rankings before we traded him, though he did jump into the mid-100s the rankings after we traded him.
hypobole - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 01:21 PM EDT (#397153) #
Last post in this thread. Mentioned the Tigers having the worst hitting in the majors, but they also have the highest bullpen ERA 6.60, 2nd worse is 5.75. Seems Al Avila didn't feel Hinch was punished enough by MLB, so he hired him to manage this conglomeration of dreck.

And lastly, in response to a post about Springer hitting the ball right at people, I suggested hiring Willie Keeler as batting consultant. I am sad nobody Smithers-ed my idea.
hypobole - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 01:32 PM EDT (#397155) #
I lied - one more. uo is absolutely correct. Syndergaard didn't become Thor until he learned the Warthen slider. A month earlier, Miami was offered any of the Jays "big 3" and chose the lefty.
Kasi - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 01:48 PM EDT (#397159) #
Sure which is why pitching prospects are so uneven. You need them but you need them in volume since you don't know which ones will work out. But its also why I wouldn't trade a good hitting prospect for a good pitching prospect.
smyttysmullet94 - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 02:15 PM EDT (#397163) #
Yeah, when people debate the Dickey trade a lot of them tend to forget that Syndergaard didn't become "Thor" until the Mets taught him a 93MPH slider, or that D'Arnaud was the big get for NY at the time. Prospects are voodoo.
Chuck - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 02:18 PM EDT (#397164) #
Prospects are voodoo.

Unless they're your team's prospects. Then they're gold, Jerry, gold.

ae_scott - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 02:22 PM EDT (#397165) #
That raises the question - why couldn't the Jays do that (teach Syndergaard a 93mph slider)?
Glevin - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 02:24 PM EDT (#397166) #
". But AA only drained the top levels, there was still Vladdy and other real talent in A ball and below. That top level drain did make the 2015 success unsustainable, and the rebuild inevitable. But that lower level talent helped make the rebuild a short one rather than what the Tigers have been going through."

Vladdy has become a great player 6 years later. That's not short-term. Who are the other players who were then in the system that have made an impact? Tellez, Borucki, Davis, Mayza and Jansen? That's a bunch of bubble guys not a core of a team. The core of the Jays' team aside from Vlad was all brought in by Shapiro/Atkins almost all as free agents/trades because the system was bare for so long. Shapiro was absolutely right about the state of the system. It was almost empty of talent. You can look at Pipeline's top-30 prospects after the trade and it is bad. Harris, Pentacost, Alford, SRF, Urena, Greene, Nay, etc...
Thomas - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 02:36 PM EDT (#397167) #
Yeah, when people debate the Dickey trade a lot of them tend to forget that Syndergaard didn't become "Thor" until the Mets taught him a 93MPH slider, or that D'Arnaud was the big get for NY at the time. Prospects are voodoo.

I was pretty firmly against including Syndergaard at the time. It seemed like far too high a price to pay for a one-year acquisition of an unusual Cy Young award winner. Syndergaard seemed to be an unncessary inclusion.

IIRC, Syndergaard may have been a back-end Top 100 guy at the time, but he was always a high-variance Top 100 guy. He was a flamethrowing high school pitcher, and more often than not those guys wash out, but the ones that hit can be front end starters, at least for the period of time they hit. They are a different type of bottom-end Top 100 pitcher from the safer mid-rotation type: kind of like the difference between Mick Abel and Nick Lodolo this year, for example.

Of course teams need pitching prospects of both varieties, but I didn't like trading a lottery ticket in that deal.

I also didn't like the Matz deal, so I'm usually wrong.

Thomas - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 02:37 PM EDT (#397169) #
And, as people have pointed out, maybe he doesn't become the Noah Syndergaard we know if he stays with Toronto.
hypobole - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 02:39 PM EDT (#397170) #
Never said the lower level prospects were the future core. But they did help the rebuild being a short one.
uglyone - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 02:40 PM EDT (#397171) #
"when people debate the Dickey trade a lot of them tend to forget that Syndergaard didn't become "Thor" until the Mets taught him a 93MPH slider"

eh, i'd say the instnat change in hype had much more to do with the jersey than the stuff.
uglyone - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 02:42 PM EDT (#397173) #
"I was pretty firmly against including Syndergaard at the time."

some of us most definitely were - though in my case that was because i much preferred trading the more highly rated Sanchez who never had the stats rather than trading the younger Thor with the super elite stats.
Michael - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 04:32 PM EDT (#397182) #
People are always worried that the prospects traded could become major league contributors and forget that the players received back in the trade are major league contributors. If you trade unsure prospects for sure major league players, you often win by a lot. It is rare that you lose. And even if you miss out on a player like Thor, he may not have become Thor in your organization's development.

AA didn't decimate the farm system, he sold high on some of the prospects, most of whom flamed out/became fringe major league contributors at best (much worse quality than what came back). There was still talent in the farm system post trade, and there wouldn't have been that much more talent if he hadn't made the trade. We were not going to be a top 5 farm system even without the trade.
Kasi - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 05:49 PM EDT (#397186) #
Prospects yes are resources and you don't know what they're going to work out. But they do have worth like you said to make trades for major league players. Donaldson was a huge hit for a trade, but I think you could say that AA should have targeted different players than Reyes, Dickey, Price and Tulo.

And true we were not going to be that high without those trades. That is mainly because after that Thor/etc draft where he gamed the system AA didn't really draft well. We had unsigned first rounders and a collection of disappointments. Kinda crazy that Stroman was really the only pick that worked out. Then you got duds like Harris, Smoral, Pentecost, Davis, Smith Jr, Deck, Jacob Anderson, etc.
dalimon5 - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 07:03 PM EDT (#397192) #
If you look at AA's collective work in Toronto and Atlanta, the picture has only gotten worse. He's in love with former top prospects and always signs players he couldn't before, like Donaldson, Morton, Smyly, d'arnaud. He doesn't draft well, hires very likeable but just so so coaches and will not pay top dollar for free agents. I'm glad he's moved on.
Glevin - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 10:18 PM EDT (#397203) #
"AA didn't decimate the farm system, he sold high on some of the prospects, most of whom flamed out/became fringe major league contributors at best (much worse quality than what came back). There was still talent in the farm system post trade, and there wouldn't have been that much more talent if he hadn't made the trade. We were not going to be a top 5 farm system even without the trade."

The Jays weren't going to be a top-5 system even without the trades partly because how badly the team drafted the previous few years but top-5 is a high bar anyway. There were 2 major issues with those trades. 1) Jays sold high on prospects for short-term players. So none of Hoffman, Norris, and Boyd turned into stars, but the Jays traded them for half season of a starter and a few seasons of one of the worst contracts in baseball. The Jays traded away 3 top-100 prospects and got negative long-term value back. 2) The Jays traded so many prospects from 2012-2015 that they didn't even have small pieces to fill in. We take for granted that Espinal or Kay or any number of prospects can be called up and we can see how much the Jays need that. In 2015 and 2016 when they were supposed to be contending, the Jays had absolutely no pieces to call up and no prospect depth to trade from. The Jays got extremely lucky with pitcher injuries in 2016 because no starters got hurt. Any pitcher got injured, Jays were screwed because they didn't have anyone who could pitch in the majors. AA did a lot of good with the Jays but the absolute refusal of some people to see what a mess he left the Jays with is baffling. Trading Thor doesn't bother me because he turned out great, it bothers me because trading top prospects for a 38 YO pitcher when you are coming off a 73 win season is stupid and ended predictably badly. The Marlins trade didn't bother me because they traded top prospects but because they traded a ton of cheap valuable assets for old, overpaid ones. AA kept trying to go all-in and that simply wasn't sustainable. Baseball is all about building a sustainable team and AA was way behind the times there. (And he's clearly grown in Atlanta although oddly enough, in Atlanta, I think he should do more consolidating of his assets and he's show a real reluctance to trade prospects despite having a top system.)
uglyone - Tuesday, May 04 2021 @ 12:44 AM EDT (#397212) #
He left such a mess, in fact, that 6 years later the new guys still haven't built a team anywhere near as good as the team he built in 5yrs while inheriting far less, and the franchise is still built around a player he gave them.
92-93 - Tuesday, May 04 2021 @ 10:22 AM EDT (#397228) #
What's taken for granted is that AA took the Jays to the playoffs for the first time in 22 years, not "that Espinal or Kay can be called up". Even the Jays don't really care about having those guys around, as can be seen by all the playing time being given to scrubs like Panik and Milone instead.
uglyone - Tuesday, May 04 2021 @ 11:16 AM EDT (#397230) #

A.Kay (26): 38.1ip, 5.87era
S.Espinal (26): 86pa, 85wrc+

yeah the suggestion that this is some kind of valuable depth that the 2015-16 jays couldn't match is....funny.
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