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I logged on, saw the 254 comments and thought - whoa! New thread required.

The Oakland A's are in first because... I don't know why. Because the night is dark and full of terrors? They have roughly a league average offense, and considering their home park that means they're doing just fine. But they also appear to have about league average pitching and defense, which is not so good. They scored 122 runs and allowed 128. They shouldn't have the best record in the American League. But guess what! They've gone 3-5 in blowouts, and 6-2 in one-run games.

And  the night is dark and full of terrors.

Matchups? Sure thing...

Mon 3 May - Matz (4-1, 4.00) vs Montas (2-2, 6.20)
Tue 4 May - Kay (0-1, 10.80) vs Irvin (2-3, 3.67)
Wed 5 May - Ray (1-1, 2.78) vs Bassitt (2-2, 3.93)
Thu 6 May - Ryu? (1-2, 2.60) vs Fiers (0-1, 4.50)

It's Marcus Semien Vengeance Tour, OK?
Blue Jays at Oakland, May 3-6 | 215 comments | Create New Account
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scottt - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 01:34 PM EDT (#397156) #
The interesting news with the A's is that Luzardo broke a pinky playing videogames.
I'm not sure if that's a good news. He wasn't exactly one of their best starter.

They seem to have a balanced lineup, except for Andrus struggling at short.
Missing Semien?

Polite Nate - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 01:38 PM EDT (#397157) #
Interesting tidbit in the big Sportsnet story on Marcus Semien, that the Jays "proposed a number of potential contact frameworks, including one as long as four years."
earlweaverfan - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 02:36 PM EDT (#397168) #
Carrying over the issue from the Atlanta thread about what the Jays might/should trade for a rental stater pitcher like, e.g., Scherzer. It strikes me that, given how many teams will potentially be in contention by the deadline, I can imagine that almost every team where a potential top FA starter is now playing is unlikely to be ready to cut bait by then. Scherzer, himself, e.g., is the top starter on the 12-12 Washington club. A mediocre performance out of the gate, sure, but when they get Soto back, they could still step it up a notch. And they are, after all, in 1st place in their division.

In a similar vein, can anyone see the employers of Kershaw, Syndegaard, Stroman, Verlander, Gausman and others trading them at the deadline?

More fundamentally, which are the teams in a long-term re-build mode, who would give up someone the Jays might want longer-term? Only Detroit and Colorado are arguably dead meat right now and the latter continues to deny they are open to trading their current best. Story will tell the story, I guess. Pittsburgh is re-building as well, but they are already coming up the other side of the U.

So Shapiro’s instinct and the state of the market might just coincide.
Mike Green - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 02:40 PM EDT (#397172) #
Four LH starters going for the Jays, it seems. Oakland has hit them slightly better than les lanceurs droits.
John Northey - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 02:43 PM EDT (#397174) #
Oakland has 6 starters over 100 OPS+, led by their 1B: Matt Olsen 189, for comparison Vlad is at 215, just 4 regulars over 100 plus Kirk, Espinal, and Springer. If he wasn't hurt Kirk would probably now be the regular at CA. Hey, Danny Jansen climbed up to a -14 OPS+ with his 2 hit effort last night. Maybe he can crack 0 this weekend :)

Jays still have 5 pitchers with a 0.00 ERA - Mayza (7 IP), Castro (7 1/3), Merryweather (4 1/3), Bergen (2), Chatwood (8 1/3). Kay the worst with his 10.80 ERA (only guy over 7 for ERA) but with 3 shutout innings he could get to under 6. Gotta love how fast things can shift early on.
Jonny German - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 02:58 PM EDT (#397175) #
I have to think some kind of common sense will prevail in Colorado by the deadline and they’ll sell off some pieces. Jon Gray could be a good fit for the Jays, a rental with the potential to be a little better than just an innings eater.
scottt - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 04:00 PM EDT (#397176) #
The A's are 6th in run scored which is better than average.
They are second in HR with 37, 3rd in walks with 101.
They don't hit so well which puts them 9th in OBP.
The top 3 guys in the pen have been good with 6 wins, 0 loss and 7 saves.

I would suggest not walking them and the homers won't hurt as much.

hypobole - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 04:05 PM EDT (#397177) #
"That raises the question - why couldn't the Jays do that (teach Syndergaard a 93mph slider)?"

ae scott (welcome to BB) asked in the previous thread. Good question. Warthen with the Mets was renown for teaching the slider, because not many could do it.

But I don't think the Jays have been known as a player development team since since the days of Mel Queen. This from FG Top 38 Prospects prior to the 2020 season:

"There are lots of changeups and splits in this org, though it hasn’t been one that’s had success developing breaking balls."

Now, there has been quite a bit of turnover in the development side the past few years, so we'll see where it goes.

One more Stoeten. He was aghast the Jays released the NH pitching coach (Horseman?) Why? Because he had turned Hatch into a real prospect by telling him to throw more changeups. SMH
scottt - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 04:11 PM EDT (#397178) #
The whole story about Hatch was that he developed a cutter just before getting traded.
Never heard anything about a change.

scottt - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 04:14 PM EDT (#397179) #
Borucki came up as a guy who had fastball command and a really good changeup.
He struggled with his breaking ball during his rookie year and finally came up with one in the pen.
He barely throws the changeup now.

hypobole - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 04:23 PM EDT (#397180) #
John Lott, The Athletic, Jan 2020

"Then, shortly after he joined New Hampshire, pitching coach Vince Horsman saw him throw a couple of changeups.

You need to throw that a lot more, Horsman said."
Nigel - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 04:44 PM EDT (#397185) #
Borucki didn't just throw a change, it was a significantly above average one to boot. As a prospect, his SL was ok but nothing special. However, since moving to the pen he looks to have dropped his arm angle down from his prospect days. Whether that's related to arm troubles or to get a better angle on his SL I don't know. I suspect Borucki has traded his change in to give him the wipeout SL that he needs to be a high leverage reliever.
scottt - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 05:49 PM EDT (#397187) #
I don't subscribe to that, but it might makes sense.

Hatch in 2020 threw 47% fastball, 3% cutter, 7% sinker, 25% changeup and 18% slider.

Luciano, (just to take a random guy) threw 55% fastball and 19% changeup.

scottt - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 05:54 PM EDT (#397188) #
I don't think that's a "sweeping" slider.
Borucki faces lots of right handed bats, so he's come up with a breaking pitch with more vertical movement. He still throws a few changeup and will probably bring it back more eventually.
It's nice to have another option.

hypobole - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 06:22 PM EDT (#397189) #
Ben Wagner:

Alejandro Kirk is expected to miss significant time with his left hip flexor strain.

Expectation is six weeks before a potential return, according to sources.

John Northey - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 06:47 PM EDT (#397190) #
Dang that sucks. Kirk was just hitting his stride and looked ready to take over. Jansen getting 2 hits his first game without Kirk there was good timing though, this is his chance to regain the full-time job and keep Kirk from claiming it. Hopefully Adams does well so the Jays have a quandary when Kirk is ready.
85bluejay - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 07:00 PM EDT (#397191) #
Next man up, it's that type of season for most teams - great opportunity for Riley Adams.
dalimon5 - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 07:12 PM EDT (#397193) #
"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."

Thank you grjas, that's the type of discussion I wanted to spark. Regarding your proposal, we just got rid of Roark and have Stripping as an innings eater.

I'm of the mentality that if you're good enough to make the playoffs then you're good enough to trade/improve your team to compete in the playoffs. Why wait another season if you have been following the plan and can accelerate true contention? If you wait too long you may just become a competitive team without ever winning it. Ah ha...

That's what I think people really want. I think most fans would prefer to be the NYY going to the playoffs nearly every year but never winning the WS, vs the Royals who won the World series then went into rebuild.

scottt - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 07:21 PM EDT (#397194) #
Right now, I don't see any trades that would turn them into World Series favourites.
The core needs to mature.
But the future is bright.

We'll see Adams' debut this week. I'm betting Thursday catching Ray.
Murray and Manoah will be in AAA. SWR in AA.

scottt - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 07:25 PM EDT (#397195) #
6 weeks doesn't sound too bad.
When my son strained his hip flexor I had to carry him off the field and drive him to the Emergency.
He was playing against a rural team 45 minutes away.
6 weeks in Leattle Leagues is forever.

Nigel - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 07:30 PM EDT (#397196) #
Springer is not in the lineup tonight and Biggio is back to RF.
Chuck - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 07:43 PM EDT (#397197) #
Over/under on Springer's GP this year? And GP in CF?
hypobole - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 07:53 PM EDT (#397198) #
Four. Zero.
ae_scott - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 09:07 PM EDT (#397199) #
ae scott (welcome to BB) asked in the previous thread. Good question.

Hey, thanks! I've been lurking on this site a loong time (since the JP Ricciardi years).
I've long wondered how much of a teams success with players is due to good talent evaluation (ie drafting) and how much of it is development.
John Northey - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 10:09 PM EDT (#397202) #
I expect 100 games for Springer, 75 in CF. Hoping I'm low. I figure he'll be everyday in the 2nd half. Really no reason to push it early. Give a few days off now to save a IL stint later.

My big annoyance right now is how much Montoyo LOVES Panik. Espinal is better on defense and actually is outhitting Panik right now. I'd be playing Espinal a LOT more.
uglyone - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 11:20 PM EDT (#397204) #
How can Matz be upset about getting pulled at 90 pitches after getting hit like that?
Polite Nate - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 11:23 PM EDT (#397205) #
I was thinking earlier that over his last couple of games, Matz certainly wears frustration on his sleeve on the mound when things stop going his way. But yeah, that's just delusional. In what universe does Matz expect to go out for the 6th after that outing?
John Northey - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 11:29 PM EDT (#397206) #
I suspect 90% of Matz' rage was at himself for pitching so poorly. He expects 6+ IP each time out and that is a good thing. I like guys who get mad when they fail to do what is needed.
Nigel - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 11:34 PM EDT (#397207) #
That outing looked a lot like his recent years with the Mets. Hard contact.
uglyone - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 11:43 PM EDT (#397208) #
This ump has to run to the little boys room looks like.
krose - Monday, May 03 2021 @ 11:46 PM EDT (#397209) #
Can’t wait for Robo umps. Will make for a better game.
uglyone - Tuesday, May 04 2021 @ 12:05 AM EDT (#397210) #
Surprise us with a Springer pinch hit for panik.
Polite Nate - Tuesday, May 04 2021 @ 12:12 AM EDT (#397211) #
In that between inning recap, yeah Matz was definitely in rampage mode before Montoyo wandered over, so he looks a bit less delusional, just a testy fellow.
Eephus - Tuesday, May 04 2021 @ 03:08 AM EDT (#397214) #
I definitely agree that Matz was more frustrated with himself than with Montoyo. If he was mad at the skipper he would've argued more or yelled something that might've made other people in the dugout turn around while he unleashed his rage upon his hat. I remember the Gibbons-Ted Lilly game, heh. Matz does seem pretty intense when he's out there and that can be you working against yourself on those nights when guys are crushing ya. Hoping he bounces back and dials down the internal intensity a tiny bit. We've seen he can be good and this team kinda needs that version of him.

(I am also too young to remember Dave Stieb and those legendary stories I've heard of his crazy intensity).
Jonny German - Tuesday, May 04 2021 @ 05:00 AM EDT (#397215) #
Congrats to Travis Bergen on throwing a not-fastball. He came in to this game 29-for-29 throwing fastballs, and threw 20 more to start his night. And then he decided it was time to strike out Tony Kemp and end the inning... with a curveball!

Back out for the 7th, he threw just 5 fastballs before going back to the curveball, and then 3 more fastballs. That's 57 fastballs for his season, 2 curveballs.
Magpie - Tuesday, May 04 2021 @ 08:14 AM EDT (#397216) #
Matz walked the number 9 hitter in a tie game. Who came in to score. Rage and shame are entirely appropriate.
Magpie - Tuesday, May 04 2021 @ 08:20 AM EDT (#397217) #
Dave Stieb and those legendary stories I've heard of his crazy intensity

For crazy intensity... Stieb not quite as much. Really. Stieb was more like Infinite Frustration. On a scale our instruments are still unable to measure. Frustration at the bozos behind him, on the ill-fated bounces of the Ball In Play, of the umpires all out to get him. It was all so frustrating.

Roger Clemens, though. There's some crazy intensity.
Magpie - Tuesday, May 04 2021 @ 08:29 AM EDT (#397218) #
At the other end of the intensity scale are guys like Rafael Dolis, and my own old hero, Tony Castillo. Guys who sometimes look like they've forgotten why they're standing out there in the first place. Or they're struggling just to stay awake. I expect a yawn any second.

Dolis is far more intense than Castillo was. By a mile.
Chuck - Tuesday, May 04 2021 @ 08:34 AM EDT (#397219) #
Roger Clemens, though. There's some crazy intensity.

Mike Piazza agrees with this statement.

Paul D - Tuesday, May 04 2021 @ 08:47 AM EDT (#397220) #
Dave Stewart was pretty intense
scottt - Tuesday, May 04 2021 @ 08:50 AM EDT (#397221) #
Walks and homeruns. That's the A's.
If you get enough 3 balls count you'll eventually walk someone.

Gerry - Tuesday, May 04 2021 @ 08:56 AM EDT (#397222) #

Walks and homeruns. That's the A's.

I was looking at the stats of the A's hitters as they came to the plate. Lots of guys hitting around .220 with a .350 OBP.

bpoz - Tuesday, May 04 2021 @ 09:12 AM EDT (#397223) #
J Key was the coolest. If there was an error he just got 4 outs.
Chuck - Tuesday, May 04 2021 @ 09:49 AM EDT (#397224) #
Something to chew on until the late west coast start tonight...

Aroldis Chapman has struck out 24 of the 35 batters he has faced for a ridiculous 69% rate.

I am trying to identify all instances in history where a pitcher has struck out more than half the batters he faced. I have three instances and am asking for help completing the list (if there are indeed names to be added).

  • Devin Williams 2020, 53%
  • Aroldis Chapman 2014, 52% (fell short in 2020 at 49%)
  • Craig Kimbrel 2012, 50.2%

Josh Hader has never done it though is at 48% this year.

Starting pitchers are typically not even worth investigating though DeGrom, this season, is at an unsustainable 48%.

scottt - Tuesday, May 04 2021 @ 09:49 AM EDT (#397225) #
Hagen Danner who hasn't been successful has a catcher is now a pitcher for the Vancouver Canadians. Apparently he was throwing 95 mph in high school.

hypobole - Tuesday, May 04 2021 @ 10:04 AM EDT (#397226) #
Matz had Ricky Vaughn level fastball command from what I saw. Danny would set up down and in and the ball would end up and away or 6 inches above the strike zone. Painful to watch.
hypobole - Tuesday, May 04 2021 @ 11:10 AM EDT (#397229) #
Lindor is hitting .163/.284/.209, 42 OPS+. Mets fired both batting coaches yesterday.
bpoz - Tuesday, May 04 2021 @ 11:26 AM EDT (#397231) #
The change to pitcher for H Danner was made by the start of 2020. He immediately tweeted that he wanted pointers on developing a changeup. He and Maese are 2 I am going to follow.
hypobole - Tuesday, May 04 2021 @ 12:19 PM EDT (#397232) #

AL one-month-in internal FO calls. Some interesting takes.


* We should be happy to be over .500, but we don’t really have a good feel for who we are as a team yet, as our big free agent spent most of the month hurt, and now our ace is on the shelf, but at least it’s not with an arm issue.

* Our starting pitching depth was a bit shaky to start the year, and injuries have absolutely killed us. We’re a bit desperate here, even if it’s just another Tommy Milone-type — someone who can just pick up some innings for us. Has anyone been in touch with Aníbal Sánchez’s agent? Any weird free agents with any attractive qualities still out there?

* The bullpen is pretty good, right?

* Can we get Lourdes Gurriel Jr. to talk to his older brother and ask about what he did to start drawing walks?
scottt - Tuesday, May 04 2021 @ 12:54 PM EDT (#397233) #
This is obviously a joke feature.

Let's also start identifying players who might fall due to bonus demands that we can use those savings on with later picks.

Wait. Players who fall will get less money. First slot is 8.4M. Baltimore at 5th get 6.2M. Baltimore's second pick is at 1.8M. If they pick a guy slotted to go at 13 and get 4.2M they save 2M and can offer 3.8M in the second round, but it all depends on what other teams are doing. 3.8M is higher than the 16th slot, but you need to convince half the other teams to skip on that prospect.

Now, this seems like a joke because this is what they did the last around when they passed on Martin.

I doubt Cleveland is thinking about trading Ramirez.

Yankees: the team finished the month hot and we're already back at .500.

Yeah, by beating Detroit and Baltimore. That's a line for the average Yankees fan.

John Northey - Tuesday, May 04 2021 @ 12:59 PM EDT (#397234) #
Always interesting to see people outside of the Toronto bubble commenting on the Jays. An inning eater would be nice but are there any out there or do the Jays just keep shuffling AAA guys up to see who has it hoping to stay over 500 until someone grabs the slot. Are there any unlikely to contend teams that would consider trading their #1, and is that #1 good enough (if your team sucks your #1 might suck too). Ex Jay Matt Boyd is doing good in Detroit and is not a free agent until after the 2022 season. He had a horrid 2020 but I'd expect a 90-100 ERA+ from him with a solid 150+ innings - depending how much Detroit wants for him of course - he went there as part of the David Price deal and he was the one I was most worried would develop as he always seemed to need a year where he sucked before he'd take off at a level so I can imagine this being for real. Not sure on others out there - someone must have an expensive pitcher they want off the payroll who is still good.
hypobole - Tuesday, May 04 2021 @ 01:59 PM EDT (#397235) #
Jays were one of the 6 or so teams to watch Anibal's showcase last week. With us, he'll know for sure he's got a starting gig.
scottt - Tuesday, May 04 2021 @ 02:27 PM EDT (#397236) #
Again, that's just a reflection on the Jays sending someone to Sanchez's workout.

Yankees did the same, but that's not what the Yankees fans want to hear.

Huge difference between checking who can be signed now and considering a trade for a guy who doesn't make the team much better.

uglyone - Tuesday, May 04 2021 @ 02:50 PM EDT (#397237) #
Though it might (or might not) be useful to look at some career numbers of some of our not so young youngsters.

Biggio (26): 788pa, 15.7b%, 27.4k%, .305babip, .359obp, 112wrc+, 2.7war650
Gurriel (27): 924pa, 5.0b%, 23.2k%, .323babip, .320obp, 114wrc+, 2.1war650
Jansen (26): 684pa, 9.8b%, 20.6k%, .218babip, .287obp, 71wrc+, 2.0war650
Teoscar (28): 1448pa, 8.1b%, 31.8k%, .310babip, .308obp, 110wrc+, 1.7war650
John Northey - Tuesday, May 04 2021 @ 02:52 PM EDT (#397238) #
I could see Baltimore looking at how to save money on bonuses in the draft - that has been a poorly run team mostly since the 90's with brief exceptions. From 2012-2016 the O's made the playoffs 3 times, but were 12 out barely over 500 the other 2 years and since have been sub 500 every season often ugly too - 3 out of 4 years last place, 2nd last the other, last again this year.

Yankee management has to be frustrated with the slow start, but at 500 tied with the Rays and barely behind the Jays is a good spot for them after a poor start. If the Jays or Rays had started hot like Boston did the Yanks would be nervous but I doubt anyone expects 90+ wins for the Red Sox this year (could happen, but not the most likely situation). Boston has had 2 games vs the Jays, 0 vs the Yankees, and they swept the Rays in 3 after being swept by the O's in 3 to start the year.
Gerry - Tuesday, May 04 2021 @ 04:31 PM EDT (#397247) #
According to Ben Wagner Reese McGuire is in Oakland waiting to be cleared to play as he was not on the taxi squad.

I assume the Jays want Riley Adams to play every day in AAA. Will he get into a game before McGuire is activated?

The Jays need a 40 man roster move to accommodate McGuire.
hypobole - Tuesday, May 04 2021 @ 04:43 PM EDT (#397249) #
John - don't think O's are as poorly run as they were before and they they won't be saving on bonuses as you described - no team does.

It's the same strategy they used last year and we did with Groshans/Kloff. Take a guy you really like higher than he should go, sign them underslot and use the savings to sign a guy who drops because of bonus demands. Orioles 4th and 5th round picks had about $1 million total slot, but they got over $3.2 million because of the 1st round savings.

It's not without risk - what if someone had taken Kloff before we did? I think that happened to the O's last year - it was thought they wanted to give Bitsko at 30 overslot, but Tampa took him at 24.
christaylor - Tuesday, May 04 2021 @ 05:04 PM EDT (#397251) #
The numbers gesture at a quantity of players who, if things break right are the apple that surrounds the core of a competitive team. It's a real shame that the 2021 team can find another top tier starter or a couple reliable arms. Perhaps that will solve itself by mid season. The ages of the players uglyone lists puts a little urgency on opening a playoff window. That said, this FO probably want to stay the course and stay competitive rather than push the chips in as AA did in 2013/2015. 2015 and 16 were awesome but probably lead to lost years at the end of the decade.
John Northey - Tuesday, May 04 2021 @ 07:00 PM EDT (#397260) #
The draft is a big crapshoot at times. 15 guys were drafted before Roy Halladay, Mike Piazza was a 62nd round pick, Albert Pujols 13th round, John Olerud (skipped minors entirely) 3rd round. For more recent, 2010: Chris Sale was 13th overall, the Jays infamously took 'safe pick' Deck McGuire 2 picks earlier. 2016 4th round Shane Bieber (10.6 WAR so far) on a $420k bonus so not an impossible sign by any means - the first two picks of that draft are both negative WAR guys so far (Mickey Moniak & Nick Senzel).

Given that I can see Baltimore focusing on who they like best and taking them regardless of draft position - then taking risks on later picks and spending saved bonus money there. Of course, when you get a guy who looks like the best in the draft falling into your lap you need to be ready to shift gears like the Jays did last year of course.
Gerry - Tuesday, May 04 2021 @ 07:13 PM EDT (#397261) #
No Springer again tonight.
92-93 - Tuesday, May 04 2021 @ 08:01 PM EDT (#397264) #
It's pretty silly to play shorthanded just to get Springer into the DH spot. The Jays let a .077 batter hit for himself in a one-run game last night, and it actually made some sense. Springer should be on the IL and be brought back when he's ready to play full-time.
Mike Green - Tuesday, May 04 2021 @ 08:06 PM EDT (#397265) #
Concur, 92-93. It's going to be a while before he's ready to play the field, and that's a good time for him to return.
GabrielSyme - Tuesday, May 04 2021 @ 08:13 PM EDT (#397266) #
It would have been a tough position to put a guy in his major league debut, but I would liked to have seen Riley Adams pinch hit for either Biggio or Jansen. He has more power than either of them and the platoon advantage relative to Biggio. Down one with nobody on in the 9th inning, it's a good time to look for a home run.
hypobole - Tuesday, May 04 2021 @ 08:16 PM EDT (#397267) #
You guys just want my guess to be right.
Cracka - Tuesday, May 04 2021 @ 08:53 PM EDT (#397273) #
I expect that Kirk will be moved to the 60-day IL to accommodate McGuire. It sounds like he's going to be out 6+ weeks and even if he's ready before 60 days, he'll need a minor league rehab assignment anyway. This is by far the easiest way to get McGuire on the roster rather than carrying 5 catchers and dropping a pitcher.

This could be a career-defining promotion for McGuire - he cleared waivers a month ago but will get another extended look. At this point, he's a 3rd catcher at best but a good couple of months could turn him into a moveable piece at the deadline.
Gerry - Tuesday, May 04 2021 @ 09:06 PM EDT (#397276) #
Jonathan Davis is not in the Buffalo lineup tonight. I wonder if he is in Oakland as insurance in case Springer goes back on the IL.
greenfrog - Tuesday, May 04 2021 @ 09:24 PM EDT (#397278) #
I think the goal for the next month or two should be to play .500-.550 ball and stay in contention. The team should be able to kick it up a notch once everyone is healthy, prospects get closer to the majors, and trades are made at the deadline. There is a lot of talent on the IL and in the minors at the moment.
99BlueJaysWay - Tuesday, May 04 2021 @ 10:19 PM EDT (#397281) #
If they’re able to play at an 89 win pace considering all the injuries they’ve had, that would be a hell of an accomplishment. I am not that optimistic, but I really hope you’re right!
Nigel - Tuesday, May 04 2021 @ 10:27 PM EDT (#397282) #
I have to admit that I don’t see much of interest with Kay. All of his pitches are ok but I don’t see anything that will consistently get big league hitters out. He may have a future as a low leverage reliever.
99BlueJaysWay - Tuesday, May 04 2021 @ 10:31 PM EDT (#397284) #
He passes the eye test to me, but the results are certainly heavily in your favour so far Nigel. I’ve felt that if he could only improve his command he could take a big leap forward.
hypobole - Tuesday, May 04 2021 @ 10:37 PM EDT (#397285) #
What about this Cole Irvin guy? Purchased for cash considerations in the offseason.
uglyone - Tuesday, May 04 2021 @ 10:41 PM EDT (#397286) #
Yeah I've never understood what was interesting about Kay. Just a big bag of 26yr old meh.
Nigel - Tuesday, May 04 2021 @ 10:57 PM EDT (#397287) #
Irwin does look good - his stuff seems ideally suited to deal with aggressive RHHs.
uglyone - Tuesday, May 04 2021 @ 11:19 PM EDT (#397288) #
Robots asap plz
uglyone - Tuesday, May 04 2021 @ 11:56 PM EDT (#397289) #
Umps are destroying the sport.
krose - Tuesday, May 04 2021 @ 11:58 PM EDT (#397290) #
Can’t wait for Robo umps. They will make the game much better.
hypobole - Wednesday, May 05 2021 @ 01:08 AM EDT (#397292) #
Umpires been destroying the sport for over 100 years.
hypobole - Wednesday, May 05 2021 @ 01:28 AM EDT (#397294) #
At least nowadays, it's pretty well only the home plate ump. But technology lets us see just how bad some are. And that called 3rd strike on Vladdy was so egregious I had to step outside for a minute to cool off (I don't swear outside, I do in the house).
bpoz - Wednesday, May 05 2021 @ 08:52 AM EDT (#397297) #
The standings are bunched up enough so that nobody is doing what Detroit did in 1984 by hanging on after a spectacular start.
hypobole - Wednesday, May 05 2021 @ 10:01 AM EDT (#397300) #
Hey, Gerry - you remember this?

Cole Irvin (29th round) was ranked by both PG and BA in their Top 500 lists. Irvin is a projectable 6'4" who has yet to fill out, weighing in at only 175 lbs. With solid breaking balls and hitting 90-91 MPH, Irvin would be a great signing at this point in the draft. He may be a very tough sign, as it is likely he would have gone mid-way through Day 2 if he was signable at slot.

Yeah, the Jays drafted but didn't sign him in 2012.

Gerry - Wednesday, May 05 2021 @ 10:10 AM EDT (#397301) #
Yes, there were lots of players drafted as potential signs back in the day. They were drafted in case the player changed his mind or if the team came up with extra money.

On another topic, the Jays will be back in Buffalo on June 1st.
John Northey - Wednesday, May 05 2021 @ 10:58 AM EDT (#397303) #
What is saddest for the Jays is Cole Irvin's transaction line...
January 30, 2021: Purchased by the Oakland Athletics from the Philadelphia Phillies.

That means the Jays could've had him in the rotation right now for just cash this past winter. Dang. Of course, the Phillies signed Chase Anderson for $4 mil instead of keeping Cole Irvin so it hurts them more.
John Northey - Wednesday, May 05 2021 @ 11:03 AM EDT (#397304) #
Team OPS+ now sub 100 at 96.

Doing well: Vlad (209), Springer (145), Grichuk (125), Kirk (124..dang it), Bichette (122), Espinal (121)
Meh: Semein (103)
Blah: Hernandez (72), Biggio (69), Panik (62), Gurriel (59)
Need to have a DH for them: Tellez (38), Davis (31), Jansen (-25) - all have OPS sub 500.

Interesting to go through and see clear dividing lines.
hypobole - Wednesday, May 05 2021 @ 11:21 AM EDT (#397305) #
Yeah, still happens, though not to the extent AA used to do it. Tanner Houck, the top near-ready Red Sox pitching prospect (and also the guy the Bisons smacked around a bit yesterday) was also a Jays flier pick a few years back.

Mentioned Irvin sold for cash to the A's. He's been solid even before yesterday. 1.0 bWAR, 124 ERA+ with the A's, after scuffling to a 66 ERA+ in Philly the past couple of years.

Nick Pivetta in Boston is at 0.8 bWAR this year, 1.4 bWAR sign being acquired at last years deadline. 154 ERA+ with Boston so far, 78 ERA+ with the Phillies over his 4 years there, his best season there 86 ERA+.

One would think the Phillies would be having some serious internal discussions about their pitcher development. Don't know if it's a coincidence, but read this a few days ago:

"Phillies replaced minors pitching director in March and promoted Driveline-based coach in development shakeup"

The Phillies themselves on their 5th different pitching coach in 5 years.
bpoz - Wednesday, May 05 2021 @ 01:17 PM EDT (#397307) #
Kay and Irvin are both 2016 college LHP draft picks. Irvin is as good as our young pitchers, Kay, Zeuch, Hatch etc.. Just looking to break out after a good minor league development.

My conclusion is that the Phils gave up too soon.
scottt - Wednesday, May 05 2021 @ 01:19 PM EDT (#397308) #
Last seven days:
Semien .957
Guerrero .875
Gurriel .850
Bichette .759
Hernandez .754
Grichuk .714
Biggio .369

hypobole - Wednesday, May 05 2021 @ 02:07 PM EDT (#397311) #
"My conclusion is that the Phils gave up too soon."

I'm trying to fix something. I spend hours on it. I ask someone for help and they fix it in 10 minutes. Does that mean I gave up too soon or I just didn't have the competence to fix it?
hypobole - Wednesday, May 05 2021 @ 03:08 PM EDT (#397314) #
Goldstein with his NL calls.

No joke, but definite sarcasm with Colorado.

It was Miami that struck me. He described 4 players they could deal at the deadline. This is he feels they should internally discuss it:

"None of the four is going to generate a huge return, so let’s try to stay away from big prospect names and maybe try to sneak through some high upside types from the complexes both stateside and in the Dominican. Let’s get the spring training and DR sites of contenders flooded with scouts."

The Happ deal immediately sprang to mind and why it was wrong.
John Northey - Wednesday, May 05 2021 @ 04:19 PM EDT (#397318) #
Last nights umpire scorecard via @umpscorecard on Twitter...

I guess consistency wasn't the issue - the calling stuff a mile outside a strike was the issue. Btw, saw a Joe West one - under 90% for both accuracy and consistency which is about as bad as it gets. How he still has a job in the majors is beyond me.
hypobole - Wednesday, May 05 2021 @ 04:50 PM EDT (#397319) #
Do umpires overall call more strikes as balls or more balls as strikes? It seems many have a wide strike zone and pitchers know this and take advantage of it, so I would guess the latter. But I've never seen a study on this.
Michael - Wednesday, May 05 2021 @ 06:05 PM EDT (#397325) #
The most recent Joe West one:
Joe West's very inaccurate scorecard
Bring on the robo umps!
Joe - Wednesday, May 05 2021 @ 07:51 PM EDT (#397329) #
Unfortunately, it was Merryweather moved to the 60-day IL. Guy can't catch a break.
Gerry - Wednesday, May 05 2021 @ 07:52 PM EDT (#397330) #
Reese McGuire has been activated. Riley Adams has been sent down to AAA. The Adams family was in Oakland to see him make his debut, that was a wasted airfare!

I am trying to remember the name of the catcher who the Jays called up in September one year and he never played. Anyone?

The bad news is that Julian Merryweather has been transferred to the 60 day IL.
Gerry - Wednesday, May 05 2021 @ 07:57 PM EDT (#397331) #
Tonights game remains a Springer free zone.
Gerry - Wednesday, May 05 2021 @ 07:59 PM EDT (#397332) #
Springer went for an MRI today. No results announced yet.

Ryu will be activated and pitch tomorrow.
bpoz - Wednesday, May 05 2021 @ 08:12 PM EDT (#397336) #
Thank you for your response hypobole. My conclusion is that you were incompetent.
Chuck - Wednesday, May 05 2021 @ 08:19 PM EDT (#397337) #
Panik is starting his second game ever at first base.
Maldoff - Wednesday, May 05 2021 @ 08:53 PM EDT (#397339) #
Per Shi Davidi, Springer to DL. Davis recalled.

DL retroactive to Monday
Gerry - Wednesday, May 05 2021 @ 08:53 PM EDT (#397340) #
Springer to the IL, Davis recalled.
92-93 - Wednesday, May 05 2021 @ 09:04 PM EDT (#397341) #
Brian Jeroloman was a legend.

McGuire can't hit any worse than the start Jansen is off to, so a small offensive boost should help.

The lengths Montoya will go to get Panik in the lineup instead of Espinal are impressive.

mathesond - Wednesday, May 05 2021 @ 09:04 PM EDT (#397342) #
"I am trying to remember the name of the catcher who the Jays called up in September one year and he never played. Anyone?"

Was that the year Cito let John Buck play all the time so he could boost his free agency chances? Was it Arencibia that was riding the pine?
grjas - Wednesday, May 05 2021 @ 09:21 PM EDT (#397344) #
Meanwhile Semien back to lead off and Biggio batting 6th again. Sigh.
Gerry - Wednesday, May 05 2021 @ 09:28 PM EDT (#397345) #
Thanks 92-93, It was Jeroloman I was trying to remember. At least Adams didn't spend 37 days waiting for an at-bat.
Gerry - Wednesday, May 05 2021 @ 09:31 PM EDT (#397346) #

I found a recent interview with Jeroloman. Here is what he said about that call-up:

It was unfortunate for me the night before I got called up, I broke my wrist sliding into third base.

uglyone - Wednesday, May 05 2021 @ 10:27 PM EDT (#397347) #
What kind of weird joke was it to call Springer's obvious re-injury just "fatigue" for a week?

Are they stupid or do they think we're stupid?
Nigel - Wednesday, May 05 2021 @ 10:54 PM EDT (#397348) #
This lineup is particularly hacktastic right now. They seem intent on swinging at almost every pitch. This lineup lacks patience at the best of times but this seems pretty extreme.
Kasi - Wednesday, May 05 2021 @ 11:22 PM EDT (#397349) #
Geez overreaction as usual around here. Griping about lineup placements and injury reports. On lineup placements we need to realize that things like FA promises and such veteran treatment means a lot to if players are going to sign with us. So Springer and Semien getting the spots they want (in the field and in the lineup) is part of that. Teams are never going to have the perfect lineup since human considerations (negotiations, where they feel comfortable, etc) will take precedence.

For Semien vs Biggio it’s pretty easy Biggio has been crap both this season and lately while Semien has been hitting well. And Semien is a vet and that matters to a team that has a hard time historically signing FAs.

As for Springers injury considering how they’ve been super quick to IL just about everyone I’m guessing they’re just listening to their star signing. He probably told them he could play shortly and they took him on his word and it didn’t get better and now they put him on the IL. Or you can say like Stoeten and UO here that they think we’re all stupid and managed to miss the obvious quad issues he showed in games over the weekend. I don’t think not having Davis here the last 2 days cost us those games.
uglyone - Wednesday, May 05 2021 @ 11:30 PM EDT (#397350) #
We're about to drop into last place.
johnny was - Wednesday, May 05 2021 @ 11:39 PM EDT (#397351) #
Forcing PT for the bench players is definitely Montoyo's worst characteristic as a manager.

Cavan Biggio has played more right field than third over the past week. The GM needs to have a word.
Super Bluto - Wednesday, May 05 2021 @ 11:45 PM EDT (#397352) #
Man - the simulcast is not working. Buck and Tabby are horrendous but even Shulman is forgetting that he's speaking to a radio audience. I really hope this isn't permanent. Actually, I really hope Rogers realizes what a dumb idea this is and return to radio for radio listeners soon.
uglyone - Wednesday, May 05 2021 @ 11:57 PM EDT (#397353) #
That's more like it.

And a yuge shout out to Teoscar for making them pay for that IBB.
hypobole - Wednesday, May 05 2021 @ 11:57 PM EDT (#397354) #
Going through the posts I noticed Jeroloman and overreaction. At the time of Jeroloman's call-up none of us knew about the injury. We just noticed he never got in games. It was brought up a few times in threads. I remember arguing he should be happy getting major league pay for a month. But one or two of us became very upset with the Jays treating him in such an embarrassing manner.
The truth rarely comes out in these situations, but since it has it's the polar opposite, and paints AA in a positive light. Guessing Jeroloman had been told of the call-up prior to injury and the Jays kept their word.
hypobole - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 12:11 AM EDT (#397355) #
Bunting works if the pitcher is around the zone. So many big FB/slider relievers with poor command makes bunting far more difficult than it used to be, especially for a suicide where you have to get the bat on the ball.
James W - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 12:11 AM EDT (#397356) #
And now Phelps is hurt ...
Michael - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 12:29 AM EDT (#397357) #
hypobole asked "Do umpires overall call more strikes as balls or more balls as strikes? It seems many have a wide strike zone and pitchers know this and take advantage of it, so I would guess the latter. But I've never seen a study on this."

The person behind the umpire scoreboard (Ethan Singer) has a study about this on his website (he's done an impressive amount of work as an undergrad only in his second year of college). You can read it here:

Some key pull quotes (he's mostly covering the 2019 year):

"Even within all of those bad calls, however, a large amount of variation exists. For example, while only 7.4% of actual balls were called strikes, over 11% of actual strikes were called balls (most likely because when a pitch is taken, there is an implicit assumption that it is a ball). And while only 4.1% of 0-2 pitches were called incorrectly, 11.3% of 2-0 pitches were called incorrectly."

"Interestingly, on the season, umpires actually depress scoring. As discussed before, umpires like to help batters on a pitch-by-pitch basis at a higher rate than they like to hurt them (11% vs 7.4%), but umpires actually hurt batters at a much higher volume. This is because the overwhelming majority of taken pitches (70%) are balls, so an umpire only has the ability to help a batter with a wrong call 30% of the time."

"The average team lost about 24 runs due to umpires last year. This adds to about 733 total runs lost in the season."

Also, from this report he has the 15 best and worst umpires. Jerry West and Angel Hernandez are unsurprisingly in the 15 worst. Somewhat surprisingly they are #9 and #15 worst, so 8 umpires are worse than both of them (in that year) as measured by umpire runs created (I.e., how much their calls favored one team over the other on average).
Eephus - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 12:46 AM EDT (#397358) #
Geez, Bullpen Borucki’s slider is seriously nasty.
hypobole - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 12:55 AM EDT (#397359) #
Hey, thanks, Michael. That's fantastic. I'll have to check out that Singer piece tomorrow.
hypobole - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 02:32 AM EDT (#397360) #
So bad news on Springers reaggravation and Phelps with shoulder discomfort. But good injury news for some Jays fans, Joe Panik hurt a calf muscle running out a grounder. May see a phantom IL stint when he and Phelps get further examined Thursday.
Leaside Cowboy - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 06:26 AM EDT (#397361) #
Yesterday, the Blue Jays scored 9 runs without hitting a home run. April 25th was the 1-0 affair in Tampa Bay with just one RBI-single. April 21st the Blue Jays won at Fenway and scored 6 runs without a homer.

April 10th versus Los Angeles, the Blue Jays won 15-1 without any home runs. The Blue Jays accomplished the same feat winning Game 4 of the 1993 World Series -- 15 runs scored without any homers.
Jonny German - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 07:43 AM EDT (#397362) #
At 15-14, the Jays are on pace for 84 wins on the season. But at 4.6 runs/game and 3.8 runs allowed/game, their pace according to Pythagoras is... 95 wins! Pretty amazing with all the injuries and poor hitting performances.
grjas - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 08:31 AM EDT (#397363) #
Hernandez May be the most important guy in this lineup right now. If he gets hot again like last year he’ll take pressure off the other batters, but as importantly he’ll force pitchers to pitch to Guerrero.
hypobole - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 08:53 AM EDT (#397364) #
Fail to comprehend the fury at the public pronouncements on the Springer situation. Maybe if I played fantasy and he was on my team it would be understandable, but I don't.

Of course as a fan it's upsetting that he's hurt, but what the team says makes zero difference. From the outside looking in, he was injured, felt healed enough to DH, hit 2 HR's and even stole a base.

After he was pulled in Atlanta it's also obvious the team didn't think it was as severe as it turned out or they would have made a roster move.

Does the team calling it fatigue, or from tying his shoes or closing a suitcase matter? This ain't a court of law.

scottt - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 09:47 AM EDT (#397365) #
Well, he grabbed his thigh after running to first and later tripped out of the box.
I pulled a quad once when playing softball. I had zero strength in that leg for the rest of the summer.
I could walk just fine. There was no pain, but the leg would buckle under me if I tried to push with it.

Calling it fatigue was silly. They should have re-evaluated it immediately.
I understand that Springer wants to play and that the next series is in Houston.
I can't be too upset because he did win us one of the Atlanta games.

I wonder now how much longer he'll need.

Cracka - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 09:54 AM EDT (#397367) #
I think the fury was over the word "fatigue" when it was quite obvious that it wasn't. It felt like the injury was purposely being downplayed. In the old days, they would have just said "Springer is banged up" or something equally ambiguous. But I do agree with the premise that fans should not expect specific or frequent updates on players' health.

AJ Cole is apparently on the taxi squad and with the team in Oakland. He could be added today if they want an extra arm, but he requires a 40-man roster spot. If I recall, he has a May 15th opt-out date in his minor league contract, so I wouldn't be surprised to see him soon. The easiest way to get him on the roster would be to move Kirk to the 60 day IL (especially if he's going to be out for 6+ weeks), or they could drop a pitcher like Beasley or Luciano.

For today's game, I'm guessing Anthony Kay is optioned to make room for Ryu today and it'll be a two-man bench if Panik cannot play. There are no other position players left on the taxi squad.
scottt - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 10:42 AM EDT (#397368) #
I don't see any reason to cut bait on Luciano. He's 21 this year.
I don't know much about Beasley.
Kirk will probably need at least 60 days especially if you include some rehab.
Besides, they now have 5 catchers on the 40 roster again.

Magpie - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 11:08 AM EDT (#397372) #
Maybe Springer originally said "It's not hurt, it just feels tired." Not wanting to go back on the IL, wanting to keep playing. Who the hell knows.

But legs do get tired and experience fatigue. I know my legs feel tired after I walk to the store. As you probably know, I'm older than dirt.
Magpie - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 11:16 AM EDT (#397373) #
And happy 90th birthday to Willie Mays. There are many immortals, but. I'll just repeat what I said about him five years ago:

Willie Mays was as close to perfection as a baseball player could possibly be. No one's game has ever been more complete. There was nothing he couldn't do. His peak, great as it was - and that was very great indeed - may not have reached quite as high as Mantle's  -  but Mays extended his greatness over a much longer period than Mantle was able to do. While Ruth and Williams were indeed more productive hitters than Mays, Willie Mays was a great hitter himself, and far superior to both in every other facet of the game. Mays was a much better teammate. He was much more durable. He was the smartest baseball player I've ever seen or ever heard about, the greatest baserunner, the greatest outfielder. Willie Mays, people. The greatest living baseball player. Now and forever.

There can be only one.
hypobole - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 11:24 AM EDT (#397375) #
Maybe Springer originally said "It's not hurt, it just feels tired." Not wanting to go back on the IL, wanting to keep playing

Internet Posters Front Office needs a new coach for you, Magpie. Your common sense contact rate is too high and your wild narrative rate too low.
Magpie - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 11:37 AM EDT (#397378) #
Maybe I'm not as outraged as I should be, but if you follow hockey, baseball (and basketball) teams seem unbelievably frank and forthcoming about their injured players. The Leafs goalie has been out for six weeks with a "lower-body injury." (Apparently - this hasn't been confirmed, mind you - it's his knee.)
92-93 - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 11:42 AM EDT (#397379) #
Trout > Mays

We're off your lawn.
uglyone - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 11:53 AM EDT (#397381) #
First off it's not rage, but exasperation.

Secondly, saying "fatigue" is pretending he's not injured, while saying "lower body injury" is admitting he's injured.
hypobole - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 12:00 PM EDT (#397385) #
Honesty is highly overrated.

If I were always totally honest, I'd have been beaten to a pulp, fired and divorced countless times (and that's if anyone would even hire or marry me). I'd also have been banned on every site I post on.

Trust me, that's the truth.
uglyone - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 12:12 PM EDT (#397387) #
It's not a question of honesty, it's a question of stupidity - either their stupidity or the level of stupidity they assume in us.
Kasi - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 12:18 PM EDT (#397388) #
No its not the media relationship is completely secondary here. What matters is the relationship between the Blue Jays and Springer and Springer and his teammates. The guy is a proud guy, he signed this big money contract in the offseason and all indications are he really wants to play. If that means they give him more chances before throwing him back on the IL then some random player on the team that is just fine. This is not about thinking the media or fans are stupid this is about listening to your star player and if he says there is a chance he can play you give him that chance.
Mike Green - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 12:18 PM EDT (#397389) #
Happy birthday, Willie Mays, the greatest living ballplayer.

If Mike Trout can play for another 9 or 10 years the way he has so far, we can take a serious look. Mays had slightly better years at age 31, 33 and 34 than any of Trout's to date (per Fangraphs WAR).  Fangraphs WAR, if anything, underestimates the value of a great defensive centerfielder from that era- it has him saving 15-20 runs per year.  Using more modern statistics, it has Devon White saving 25 runs per year while in Toronto. Trout has been a below average defensive centerfielder in his late 20s per both DRS and UZR, and will likely decline further into his 30s (Hello George!).  He played 114, 140 and 134 games the last 3 years there was a full season and there's good reason to believe that he won't be putting up the 150+ games that Mays did every year from age 30 to 35. 
Magpie - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 12:24 PM EDT (#397390) #
Trout > Mays

Could be, maybe, but for now - too soon. I think Mantle in his 20s was probably a tiny better than Mays. And maybe Trout is as well. But Mays was the best player in the game when he was 35. Mantle wasn't, and we'll have to see about Trout.

But while you're on the lawn, you can always trim the grass.
Magpie - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 12:44 PM EDT (#397391) #
saying "fatigue" is pretending he's not injured, while saying "lower body injury" is admitting he's injured.

I wouldn't say they were pretending. To what possible end? I'd say the player and the team were hoping. But he had an MRI yesterday, and now the team is describing an injury, to an actual specific body part.

Whereas it's just a bit of gossip that Frederik Andersen has injured his knee. This does give us a 50-50 chance of correctly guessing what he's injured. If the gossip is true. As to the type of injury... your guess is as good as anyone's.
Magpie - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 12:49 PM EDT (#397392) #
This Leafs business does irritate me though because Shanahan actually said when he came aboard that this whole practice of "upper-body" and "lower-body" was silly, a disservice to fans, and the Leafs were going to be different. Which they are, but only when you actually see Holl get hit in the face or Hyman get his knee taken out.
Nigel - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 12:53 PM EDT (#397393) #
I've not generally been a fan of this regime's communication style with the fans (to be fair, more Atkins than Shapiro), but the Springer situation isn't one of them. When it comes to injuries everyone plays games with what they reveal publicly.

To me, the more interesting question is whether the team should have been playing a man short the past 3 games? I have no idea of what Springer has been saying to the team, but it sure seemed like a reinjury at the time it happened.
hypobole - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 01:00 PM EDT (#397394) #
To be fair the purpose of the vagueness of hockey injuries I believe was to prevent opponents from targeting the affected area.
Can't see an opposing pitcher making Springer run a lot by throwing him meatballs right down the middle.
hypobole - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 01:06 PM EDT (#397395) #
On the subject, from MLBTR:

We’ve seen plenty of fans and readers comment early in the 2021 season that it feels as though injuries are up from previous years, and that is indeed the case, as Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic breaks down in an excellent look at the increased IL stints of the non-Covid variety. IL placements are up 15 percent overall compared to the first month of the 2019 season, Rosenthal reports, with a 22 percent uptick among pitchers. Specifically, soft-tissue injuries such as hamstring, quadriceps and oblique injuries have nearly doubled in frequency, while arm and elbow injuries are up by a much slighter margin of 19 percent.
scottt - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 01:15 PM EDT (#397396) #
The IL being only 10 days ensure more placements.
Chuck - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 01:22 PM EDT (#397397) #
When it comes to injuries everyone plays games with what they reveal publicly.

I think fans, especially rabid ones, legitimately feel a sense of betrayal at mistruths, untruths, and semi-truths because they presume to be inside their team's tent, a sense of inclusion carefully and intentionally fostered by the teams. You, fans, are part of team-nation. You are with us. We are nothing without you.

To which the fans respond, we are with you, we are on your side. Lie to the rest of the world, we get it, just don't lie to us.

This naive sense of inclusion only leads to frustration and insult listening to mealy mouthed GM-speak and injury euphemisms. Are we, the serious fans, truly your allies inside the tent? Or are we just the faceless, generic mob of consumers, outside the tent, being strategically talked at?

I don't ever expect a GM to speak the truth (he may well be, but I don't take it as a given). There is no upside for him. There is an upside in him pretending to speak the truth, and that is to forge a closer bond with the fan base, to foster the sense of inclusion. And as for injury reports, again, I take it all with a huge grain of salt. Maybe there's truth. Maybe there's not. I am a consumer, nothing more.

Kasi - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 01:36 PM EDT (#397398) #
Well considering on one side with the Jays we have them liberally using the DL, often on things we didn't even notice. (Like who thought or knew Castro was injured, or Panik last night, etc) And then you have Springer who they kept on the team as long as possible. Springer, his teammates, the Jays, etc all know what was visible in the games in that he multiple times stumbled with his quad. Yet they kept him active. It's not that the team thinks the fans are stupid, they're just trying to give their star every chance to come back and avoid the IL and help their team. If that means having a short bench for 2-3 games not a big deal.
Nigel - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 01:45 PM EDT (#397400) #
Chuck that's very thoughtful and I agree with all of that. I do tend to think that disclosures related to injuries are a different breed of misinformation (whether for player safety, privacy or competitive reasons). Were it not for betting, I suspect that many teams wouldn't say anything publicly about injuries, period.
scottt - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 01:56 PM EDT (#397401) #
There is a whole media dedicated to following the team.
They have to cover every injury.
They interview players after big games and ask them what they were thinking before getting good hits or retiring key hitters. They can't pass any real information back, so it feels a lot like a politician being interviewed.
They can't reveal the strategy so they focus on the drama.
Like Matz on the bench or trying to find what is wrong with Springer in non-medical terms. 

Gerry - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 01:57 PM EDT (#397402) #
Atkins update today:

Springer likely to be out more than the 10 days

Kirk will miss 4 weeks and maybe longer

Phelps is headed to the IL, likely to make room for RYU

Panik is feeling better and might not go on the IL
Gerry - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 01:59 PM EDT (#397403) #
More updates:

Merryweather should be ready to return on June 13th

Milone and Castro should be ready when their ten days are up
Gerry - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 02:01 PM EDT (#397404) #
The Angels will release Albert Pujols today, per reports.

scottt - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 02:36 PM EDT (#397405) #
That's interesting. Pujols hasn't been significantly worse than in previous years.
Mike Green - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 02:43 PM EDT (#397406) #
Merryweather should be ready to return on June 13th

As that date is almost 6 weeks off, I'll mark it in pencil in my notional calendar.  Regardless, I'd be delighted to see him back on the mound then. 
scottt - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 02:44 PM EDT (#397407) #
Atkins also said that Pearson is a "candidate" to join the rotation but nothing planned yet.
Michael - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 03:02 PM EDT (#397408) #
It is a small sample size but Pujols has been worse this year than any other year. It is similar to his 2017 and 2020 years, but he was definitely better in 2018 and 2019. If you look at his career stats at it is pretty clear and pretty amazing how much the break between the St Louis years and the Anaheim years are. His worst year in St Louis is better than his best year in Anaheim. Consider the slash lines too (that is a crazy 11 year slash line):

11 years, 1705 G, 7433 PA, .328/.420/.617/1.037 OPS+ 170
10 years, 1181 G, 5053 PA, .256/.311/.447/.758 OPS+ 108

Like his 10 years in Anaheim weren't bad or anything, but the 11 years in STL are MVP caliber and the 10 years in Anaheim are marginally above average (but the last 5 years have been basically around replacement level).

But the main issue is this is the last year of his contract, so the sunk cost is small. He hasn't been the league average player in the past 5 years, but he's still been borderline playable. Which is somewhat impressive for a 37-41 year old.
bpoz - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 03:04 PM EDT (#397409) #
I like the Jays policy of saying only nice things about all players. It does no harm.

Shapiro saying that we want strike throwers made a lot of sense. Of course you have to find them. Romano did not throw enough strikes when he walked the 1st 2 batters he faced a few games ago.

The FO knows what they are doing. I don't think we have anyone walking many batters. We do have pitchers that are giving up hits.
greenfrog - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 03:12 PM EDT (#397410) #
Merryweather should be ready to return on June 13th

Actually, it's already pretty nice outside. Seems like a conservative forecast by Atkins.
bpoz - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 03:14 PM EDT (#397411) #
Haha greenfrog. Took me a while but good one.
vw_fan17 - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 03:26 PM EDT (#397412) #
The Angels will release Albert Pujols today, per reports.
Can he catch? Asking for a friend's favorite team.. Heck, he's out-hitting Panik, Gurriel, Biggio, etc at this point..
John Northey - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 03:36 PM EDT (#397413) #
Kind of sad how Pujols' career is ending. Every year with the Cardinals a top 10 MVP, top 5 10 of his 11 years there, 9th the other year (hit for 'just' a 157 OPS+), an all-star 10 of his 11 years (didn't make it his 2nd year when he was in LF). As an Angel he twice got pity MVP votes (17th place both times) and made 1 All-Star team.

His worst figures (lowest in each category) were 299/366/541 in St Louis (his final season there). His best corresponding numbers in LA? 285/343/516 his first year there. IE: Not once in LA did he have as good as his worst year in St Louis in any category. Well, he did hit 40 HR in 2015 by some miracle (with a 118 OPS+) and his 119 RBI's the next year also fit nicely in with his St Louis numbers (despite a 113 OPS+ - must have been channeling Joe Carter). St Louis a 170 OPS+, LA 108. Very sad. I hope he gets to play one game as a Cardinal to end his career this year like Phil Niekro did with Atlanta. HOF'ers should get that final game with the team that they became famous at so their final time on the field is where they belong.
Paul D - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 03:43 PM EDT (#397414) #
By playing this year, Pujols dropped his average below. 300 and his WAR below 100.

Unless he can sign with the White Sox and bring those numbers up
Jonny German - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 04:04 PM EDT (#397415) #
Fiers at 20 pitches thought 2 innings despite allowing 3 hits.
hypobole - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 04:07 PM EDT (#397416) #
From what I've heard, with the emergence of Walsh and with Ohtani DH'ing, Pujols has been doing some pine sitting and wasn't too pleased. Kinda reminds me a bit of the Jays decision with Tulo.
Chuck - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 04:08 PM EDT (#397417) #
Kind of sad how Pujols' career is ending.

Sure, but no surprise given he signed a 10-year deal at age 32 (or 32*, but we've done that to death). Not everyone goes out like Ted Williams.

Chuck - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 04:13 PM EDT (#397418) #
Pujols has been doing some pine sitting and wasn't too pleased.

When Fowler went out for the season, I thought that might buy Pujols a new lease on life, with Walsh moving from 1B to RF. Not that Pujols deserved playing time, just that there would now be fewer impediments. If the Angels are serious about winning, it was a move they had to make.

Petey Baseball - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 04:14 PM EDT (#397419) #
If think it's time the Jays find a color commentator who can identify and pronounce vowels.

Pat Tabler consistently calls the Jays manager Charlie Montoya. It's seriously mind boggling how someone has not called him out for it. Embarrassing.
Chuck - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 04:20 PM EDT (#397420) #
Unless he can sign with the White Sox and bring those numbers up

I'm sure you said that because of LaRussa, and you might even have been jesting. If you weren't, there doesn't appear to be room at the inn given Abreu and Mercedes are well entrenched.

Will any team take a flier on Pujols? Benches are so short, that would be a valuable roster spot to devote to him, even at the league minimum. Would Pujols even bother signing with a new team at this point if he were given the option?

Jonny German - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 04:34 PM EDT (#397421) #
Handsome Randy!!
hypobole - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 04:39 PM EDT (#397422) #
Fiers at 20 pitches thought 2 innings despite allowing 3 hits.

Now 53 pitches after 3. Thank goodness for Grichuk, after that Vlad and Bo DP.
John Northey - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 04:53 PM EDT (#397423) #
No question it was time. It has been time for a long time for Pujols to retire but I'd have preferred he figured it out himself but it is so rare players do. Of course, I also loved that Rickey Henderson wouldn't quit - he went to indy leagues to keep going for his last 3 years (the first he got a call up to the Dodgers for his last 3 SB and 11 BB). The last 2 years he was 53-4 SB-CS with an OPS over 800 over 164 games at 45/46. A shame he didn't keep going.
Gerry - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 05:02 PM EDT (#397424) #
On the broadcast they were saying that Riley Adams is still in Oakland on the taxi squad. The Jays need to sign a veteran or reorganize their minor leagues to get Adams some playing time.

Apparently AJ Cole is also on the taxi squad even though he is listed on the Bisons roster.
Magpie - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 05:03 PM EDT (#397425) #
Danny Jansen now has more RBIs than Jacob deGrom! And almost as many hits!

The mockery continues its magic.
hypobole - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 05:17 PM EDT (#397426) #
Had a post in my head that Danny may figure it out someday, but it will be after I've given up on him. Hit the next pitch over the wall.
Nigel - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 05:24 PM EDT (#397427) #
A Jansen HR and 2 BBs in the same game by Hernandez? The apocalypse must be nigh!
Magpie - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 05:33 PM EDT (#397428) #
Will any team take a flier on Pujols?

I think there's probably a consensus that the three greatest first basemen ever are Lou Gehrig, Albert Pujols, and Jimmie Foxx.

The truly wild thing is the guy whose game aged the best, the guy who lasted, was Gehrig. Not by much, but Foxx and Pujols last posted an OPS+ better than 130 at age 33, and had their last world-destroying season a couple of years earlier. Gehrig was still wreaking maximum havoc (OPS+ of 190) at 33 and again for another year... and then he got sick and died. Lou Gehrig, built to last. Just a weird concept.
hypobole - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 05:43 PM EDT (#397429) #
Thank goodness for Ryu's composure after he got Teoscar-ed.
uglyone - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 05:56 PM EDT (#397430) #
Teoscar keeps getting those hits behind vladdy. So huge.

And....Grichuk > Springer?
Kasi - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 06:00 PM EDT (#397431) #
We all forget about Teoscar at times. But yeah Semien, him and Grichuk have really done well lately. Makes up for Vlad quieting down a bit. Hopefully this day is a breakout day for Jansen and he can build off this.
greenfrog - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 06:23 PM EDT (#397432) #
Remember when we were making such a fuss about losing Bergen and/or Romano in the Rule 5 draft? Seems like we had a point after all.
John Northey - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 06:34 PM EDT (#397433) #
Kind of glad the Jays were able to reclaim Bergen and Romano then. Trick is to know who you want and keep an eye on them even if they go away I guess.

As to the future lineup - if I was in Tellez' shoes I'd be focused on being the biggest slugger possible in AAA right now as I suspect once Springer is back the line will be...
CA: Jansen/Kirk (once healthy)
1B: Vlad
2B: Semein
3B: Biggio with Panik and Espinal getting lots of time
SS: Bo
LF: Gurriel
CF: Springer
RF: Grichuk
DH: Hernandez
UT: Panik/Espinal/Davis depending on need - Davis likely not around most of the time

So much better with Hernandez at DH than in RF. Tellez will need to be a 130 OPS+ slugger to get time here even being the only LH power potential for the Jays.
grjas - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 06:44 PM EDT (#397434) #
"Panik is feeling better and might not go on the IL"
Chuckled when I saw this. Seems like only our top players hit the injury list.
Terrific to see the lower half of the lineup contributing, and Hernandez and Grichuk taking the pressure off Vlad and putting it onto the opposing pitchers.  The last two games have eased the pain for the team of losing Springer and Kirk.
scottt - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 07:05 PM EDT (#397436) #
I believe the taxi squad requires a catcher at all times or there is no taxi squad at all.
They want to send Adams to Trenton, but they need somebody else to come and replace him.
And, of course, all personnel movement must be done in agreement with the Covid protocol.
Ideally they sign a vaccinated free agent pronto.

scottt - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 07:10 PM EDT (#397437) #
That was a fun game.
To my answer my own question, they really miss Semien in Oakland.
It's sad that they couldn't afford to pay him one year at QO rate.
He would have taken it in a hurry and their lineup would have been real good.

hypobole - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 07:15 PM EDT (#397438) #
Early season standings. A post yesterday said if we lost, we'd be in last place. A day later we're second.

Almost made it through the 4 game set error-free. Teoscar's was the 1st official outfield error so far. Our pitchers are perfect still.

For errors, check out the Tiger's box score. Scored 9, but lost. 7 unearned runs from 4 E's and a PB. 5 different Tigers pitchers gave up at least 1 unearned run. Can't remember seeing that before. Maybe in an A ball box.
John Northey - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 07:21 PM EDT (#397439) #
I'd be tempted to just sign AAAA type guys - ones who are pretty much ready to move into coaching now, early 30's types - for the taxi squad. Call up some kids from AAA for it when you expect to need them in a few days but 99% of the time the guys on that squad are just sitting around so might as well have them be prospective coaches since that is pretty much what they are beyond emergency fill ins. I'd love if MLB would set it up like hockey does so you can flip flop guys in and out of the taxi squad.
DavidtheDeuce - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 07:34 PM EDT (#397440) #
Put some respect on Randal Grichuk's name.

0.8 bWAR through 29 games 2021

0.4 bWAR in 55 games 2020

SK in NJ - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 07:53 PM EDT (#397441) #
I never want to read too much into a small sample of success for Grichuk (he's streaky), but the fact that strike outs around the league have skyrocketed while his K% has plummeted (down to 18.5%) is remarkable. He had a 30 K% in his final year in STL and 26% two years ago. Credit to him for making some significant adjustments. As always the case with him we have to see how long he can sustain the improvement.

The split is a nice outcome after dropping the first two.
greenfrog - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 08:24 PM EDT (#397442) #
Credit should also go to Semien, who is quietly off to a very good start. I predict he’s going to end up with 4+ WAR this season.
grjas - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 08:57 PM EDT (#397445) #
Well Semien started off cold as ice with an OPS under 600 after 3 weeks. But since then he has really turned it on with an OPS of 899 in the last two weeks. With luck, he is having the same trajectory as last year when his first month was cold, but he took off after that.
James W - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 09:05 PM EDT (#397446) #
The IL being only 10 days ensure more placements.

The 10 day injured list is hardly new; it was implemented in the 2017 Collective Bargaining Agreement.
grjas - Thursday, May 06 2021 @ 10:40 PM EDT (#397450) #
I thought our injury list was bad enough but the Brewers at 16, have almost twice as many, including 8 pitchers and 2 catchers.

2021. The year of attrition.
smyttysmullet94 - Friday, May 07 2021 @ 07:42 AM EDT (#397455) #
As a hockey fan, I don't think the idea of the Blue Jays playing down an injury is the problem here. Lord knows it could always be worse, with the upper body/lower body stuff that the NHL has normalized.

The problem as I see it is this whole Springer drama is a continuation of the corporate speak that comes from... Atkins? Shapiro?... and then filters down through everyone else in the org. Springer was so self-evidently not just "fatigued" and every time Montoyo was trotted out to claim otherwise, the situation got more ludicrous. I don't like being talked down to and that seems to be what the org excels at, sometimes. As uo said earlier in this thread, it's exasperating.
scottt - Friday, May 07 2021 @ 08:07 AM EDT (#397456) #
Semien was injured last year.
This year he said that he's taking the time to get used to the new pitchers.
If you look at it that way, he certainly knows the A's pitchers very well.

Next series he'll be the only Jays hitter who has faced Urquidi with 4 ABs.
Same with Christian Javier with only 1 AB and he's hitting Greinke .308 so far over 12 ABs.

smyttysmullet94 - Friday, May 07 2021 @ 08:07 AM EDT (#397457) #
I agree. Someone must have told him by now, surely? Maybe Tabler just really likes The Princess Bride.
hypobole - Friday, May 07 2021 @ 08:55 AM EDT (#397460) #
Looking at statcast defence this morning. The only plus qualified guy we have is Semien, +2 Outs Above Average. Only two 2B's better.

SS is interesting. The best at SS are +4 OAA. These are the usual suspects - Simmons, Ahmed, Lindor, Goodrum, plus J.P. Crawford.

Suarez in Cincy is -10 OAA. His situation is similar to 3B Biggio here, playing out of position because of roster construction.

Then the Bichette group at -5 OAA. This is interesting. Joining Bo there are Bogaerts, Seager, Tatis and Gregorious. Basically plus hitters who can at least fake it at SS.
John Northey - Friday, May 07 2021 @ 09:23 AM EDT (#397465) #
For defense I've always like UZR/150 myself...

1B: Vlad: 2.1;
2B: Semien: 1.7; Panik: 0.9
3B: Espinal: 43.9; Biggio: -30.2; Panik: -34.9
SS: Semien: -0.1; Bo: -0.4
CF: Davis: -3.0; Grichuk: -3.5
LF: Hernandez: 37.2 (just 20 innings); Palacios: -6.3; Gurriel Jr: -11.4
RF: Grichuk: 59.0; Hernandez 15.3; Biggio: -5.7; Palacios: -18.2;

Strangely there is no UZR/150 listed for Tellez at 1B.
Catching there is no UZR, but there is a Defense score at FanGraphs (defensive runs I think): Jansen: 1.8; McGuire: 0.1 (7 innings); Kirk: -0.4;

Based on this Bo isn't that bad, Hernandez should be in LF, Grichuk in RF and why anyone other than Espinal is at 3B is beyond me. The eyeball test for me agrees with the stats there - the spread from Espinal to Biggio and Panik looks like the spread from me (51 and out of shape) vs a pro ball player. It is ugly. Panik and Biggio are good at 2B, but anywhere else they look lost in the field.
scottt - Friday, May 07 2021 @ 09:37 AM EDT (#397466) #
What I find interesting is that the Jays are at the top for both infield errors and double plays.
Maybe they get more chances for both?
At any rate, it kinda balances things out.

Leaside Cowboy - Friday, May 07 2021 @ 09:56 AM EDT (#397467) #
Since the 2018 Supreme Court decision, apparently only three states (Wisconsin, Idaho, and Utah) have yet to introduce any bills for legalized sports betting. Meanwhile, all the leagues have partnered with major casinos and gambling websites. MLB has the MGM deal, the NFL signed with Caesars, and so forth. Some individual franchises have done likewise.

Injury reporting has become a five-alarm issue for the integrity of sports properties. Clearly, the NHL is the worst offender. Far and Away.
hypobole - Friday, May 07 2021 @ 10:12 AM EDT (#397468) #
statcast is the most accurate, although it doesn't measure everything. For OF it's only flycatching, so Teoscar's grounder error doesn't factor in, or his arm.

It takes 3 years of data (so about 450 games) for UZR to be accurate, according to the guy who runs UZR, and even then plays with shifting are tossed out of measurements. They started tossing those when they realised 3B Brett Lawrie was getting credit for superhuman range when shifted to RF.

For IF's I like OAA, for OF's, I look at all 3 systems. For team stats, it's a combo of UZR and DRS.

grjas - Friday, May 07 2021 @ 10:23 AM EDT (#397470) #
Interesting stats John. I’ve felt Hernandez was a better LF’er- other than the arm- vs Gurriel. I agree with your preferred defensive outfield but not sure how often we’ll see it- or your preferred 3rd base option. Pity, as the numbers show that combination could be a decent defensive field, especially when you add in Semien and Springer in the middle and VG’s improvement at first.

Nothing personal against Panik, but I was hoping he’d end up on the IL while Biggio is in right so we’d have a good long look at Espinal to see if he can hit well enough to stay. Would still prefer Biggio as a super sub, as I expect that’s how his career will play out eventually anyway.
hypobole - Friday, May 07 2021 @ 10:45 AM EDT (#397471) #
Espinal is no doubt the better defender and probably tops on the team along with Semien.

Offensively, who know knows? Charlie has tried to shelter both him and Panik. Espinal's total PA's are a SSS, so splits even more so, but both last year and especially this year, they're very pronounced. Espinal 2 year totals:

vs LHP PA 52, .353/.353/.431
vs RHP PA 38, .182/.263/.242

vw_fan17 - Friday, May 07 2021 @ 11:02 AM EDT (#397472) #
Nice comeback there.. Out-scoring the A's 19-8 in the last 2 games! It's too bad they had to play the As (in Oakland) so early this year - no chance to go watch a game: still waiting for shot #2 (Monday), plus my kids aren't vaccinated yet.

After watching this series, though, all I can say is:
WHERE ARE THE @(*#&$*(@# ROBO UMPS?????? 
Is it now normal to call pitches 4-6 inches outside a strike? WTF???
hypobole - Friday, May 07 2021 @ 11:29 AM EDT (#397474) #
Is it now normal to call pitches 4-6 inches outside a strike?

Maybe Magpie or other long time viewer can chime in as well, but umpires have been doing that ever since I can remember. Because of camera angles and no boxes in the older broadcasts, it just wasn't as obvious. But I can recall (or semi-recall because I can't remember the pitchers name - maybe Buehrle?) a game vs the White Sox where the pitcher kept throwing about 6 inches outside to the RH batters over and over and getting called strikes because we never swung at them.

That game was the 1st time I wondered - do our batters get umpire scouting reports?

That reminds me - I found it humorous yesterday with so many very obvious balls called strikes for both sides, the big freakout, with ice tossing even, was Tony Kemp on a pitch that was definitely within the strike zone.
jerjapan - Friday, May 07 2021 @ 11:56 AM EDT (#397477) #
Pat Tabler consistently calls the Jays manager Charlie Montoya. It's seriously mind boggling how someone has not called him out for it. Embarrassing.
Right on @PeteyBaseball.  It's blatantly disrespectful.  I don't blame Pat so much ... he seems like an amiable dude, kinda like my dad, who used to use the word 'oriental' until he passed - he just doesn't know any better.
But the org should insist on getting this right.  It's just like Leo Rautina talking about "Utah Watanabe", instead of "Yuta".
I've taught HS in a diverse school for decades, and the number of kids who tell me not to worry about getting their name right, that it's 'too hard' to say, blows my mind.  I get their names right, but clearly, tons of people can't be bothered. 
scottt - Friday, May 07 2021 @ 12:00 PM EDT (#397478) #
Yep, Kemp had a complete meltdown over a pitch that was called correctly in a game where the ump was all over the place.

The difference between now and decades ago, is that the ump used to have those big shields and were standing directly behind the catcher. Now, the ump stands over the inside corner and is not in position to judge the outside corner properly. Regardless of this, the umps still make bad calls over the inside corner, maybe because the ball is coming directly at them and they close their eyes or look away.

hypobole - Friday, May 07 2021 @ 12:02 PM EDT (#397479) #
Doolittle at ESPN with his stock watch. Jays are #10

Avg. simulation wins: 81.9 | Change from preseason: +1.4
Division %: 4.3 | Playoff %: 19.5
Pennant %: 1.6 | Title %: 0.6

A good thing: Toronto's bullpen looked like a question mark entering the season, but it has arguably been baseball's best in the early going. The Blue Jays rank third in reliever win probability added and first in reliever bWAR. All the more impressive in this area is that Charlie Montoyo has coaxed this performance from a group without a lockdown closer.

A not-so-good thing: A rotation that looked like a question mark entering the season ... remains a question mark. Hyun Jin Ryu, Robbie Ray and Steven Matz have mostly been OK, but after that, it's been an absolute scramble. The Jays rank 26th in average game score.

What struck me are his simulations. Under 82 wins and 19.5% playoff odds seemed light. So I checked elsewhere.

Fangraphs: 87.2 wins, 52% playoffs
538: 87 wins, 47% playoffs

Seems Bradley Doolittle is the new Keith Law.

Gerry - Friday, May 07 2021 @ 01:18 PM EDT (#397487) #
Rowdy Tellez is reportedly in Houston and will likely replace Joe Panik.

Tellez had two hits and two walks yesterday including a home run.

I believe the Jays will face three right handed pitchers in Houston.
Magpie - Friday, May 07 2021 @ 01:57 PM EDT (#397488) #
Where are the robo umps?

It has become my secret theory that Angel Hernandez was put on this earth to Hasten their Coming. Because what other reason could there be?

I try to be tolerant about the strike zone. It's really hard. (Calling balls and strikes, I mean. But being tolerant turns out to be really hard as well.) There's a story about a Nolan Ryan fastball being called a ball, the catcher saying "Really?" and the umpire saying "It sounded outside."

I also don't think the two-dimensional representations we're given of a three-dimensional object help very much.

But clever pitchers always try to work the umpire. Glavine and Maddux were notorious for it. If they got a strike on a pitch that was on the corner, they'd try with a pitch an inch off the corner. And if that worked, they'd try two inches off. And because they were so, so good at actually hitting their spots, they could make it work for them.
jerjapan - Friday, May 07 2021 @ 02:44 PM EDT (#397494) #
Is there any chance that so much ump anger - fairly directed to my my mind - is a result of everybody just having a better view thanks to the technology?  Like, it's always been like this, it's just crystal clear now?
As for Hernandez, man, I can handle anything from an ump as long as it is consistent and professional.  But Hernandez is neither.  The fact that he looks exactly like I assumed he would look (I usually listen to games) when I googled him seems to confirm - he's just an angry entitled tough guy, who happens to suck at his job. 

I'm generally pro-union, anti-union leadership, but if I was in their role, I'd be looking at ways to raise the bar for umpire behaviour.  The writing is on the wall for them already, they don't need Hernandez as the poster boy for what's wrong with umpiring in the game. 
Mike Green - Friday, May 07 2021 @ 03:57 PM EDT (#397497) #
I am glad to see Tellez back. 
Magpie - Friday, May 07 2021 @ 04:02 PM EDT (#397500) #
Like, it's always been like this, it's just crystal clear now?

Posnanski, in the Athletic, makes a pretty good  case that it hasn't always been like this - that the umpires today are actually doing a much better job than they did in the past.
scottt - Friday, May 07 2021 @ 04:24 PM EDT (#397503) #
I don't get the Athletic, but the NL and AL used to have their own umps and they had a different interpretation of the strike zone. Also, umps used to travel less. The players would see fewer umps and get used to them. Then there was a home advantage at some point.
hypobole - Friday, May 07 2021 @ 04:38 PM EDT (#397504) #
For those without a subscription here is some proof. Also mentioned earlier the article what jerjapan and I have pointed out - those boxes let us see how good or poor a call is.

From Joe:

"In 2008, umpires called Chase/Waste Zone pitches “strikes” 3.7 percent of the time, a shockingly high number.

By 2013, the umpires roughly cut the mistakes in half, calling them strikes 1.9 percent of the time.

And now? Well, this year, umpires are calling those pitches a strike only 0.4 percent of the time — it has happened only 135 times in 2021. I say “only” because, as of this moment, there have been 422 games played, meaning that you will get one truly bad pitch call in every three or so games.

But even as I say “only,” it’s also true that 135 dreadful ball-strike calls are noticeable, particularly in today’s time when games on television feature a strike-zone box, when there are social media accounts dedicated to pointing out umpire errors, when writers like me take time to point out gruesome at-bats"
scottt - Friday, May 07 2021 @ 05:18 PM EDT (#397509) #
One bad call every 3 games? We're not watching the same games.
We don't have number from before the statscan era.

Yesterday's ump was accurate 93% of the time but 99% consistent.
He had a huge strike zone on both size. Only one borderline pitch was called a ball.
Maybe the guy Bergen walked?

BlueJayWay - Friday, May 07 2021 @ 05:33 PM EDT (#397510) #
Is there any chance that so much ump anger - fairly directed to my my mind - is a result of everybody just having a better view thanks to the technology?  Like, it's always been like this, it's just crystal clear now?

Oh absolutely. That's why I find all the complaining pretty hilarious. As Magpie said above, it's actually much better now, but due to technology we have the ability to really nitpick and thus the umps seem worse.
John Northey - Friday, May 07 2021 @ 09:12 PM EDT (#397517) #
The issue is we don't need to accept any errors in ball-strike calls now. There is technology to do it and it is used to judge the umps. I know in the 80's the strike zone was far more variable - you had to know the umps if you were a hitter or a pitcher and you had to expect a guy with great control would get a bigger strike zone than a guy like young Nolan Ryan who had no idea where the ball would end up.
mathesond - Saturday, May 08 2021 @ 09:54 AM EDT (#397522) #
"There is technology to do it"

You feel a 2D map accurately represents a 3D strike zone?
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